Debra Greene

Weekend On-Air Host / Reporter

Debra Greene is an award-winning broadcast journalist. She is a native Southern Californian, Phi Beta Kappa graduate from UCLA with an M.A. in broadcast journalism from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication. She started her career as a weekend news writer for a station in Los Angeles and then moved to Northern California to become a news reporter for a top Sacramento radio station. She returned to Los Angeles to report for radio, with a stint at KCET’s newsmagazine show, SoCal Connected. Before joining KCLU, Debra anchored at an Inland Empire-based radio station and worked as a radio news correspondent for 24/7 News Source, where her reports were aired on stations across the country.
 
Debra has earned numerous journalism awards including the Simon T. Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism from USC, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, an APTRA Mark Twain Award, a NorCal RTNDA Award and four Golden Mikes.
 
You can hear Debra anchoring on weekend mornings and her reports during the week, and you can reach Debra here.

Ways to Connect

Some changes are being made at a college on the South Coast in an effort to reach more people in the community.

Santa Barbara City College is undergoing a reorganization and expansion of some of its noncredit and fee-based programs. These courses will now fall under a new umbrella called School of Extended Learning.

A South Coast woman has been killed after authorities say her sister accidentally struck her with a car.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says 55-year-old Dora Perez was standing in her driveway on the 1300 block of Vallecito Place in Carpinteria around 7:15 Saturday morning when her 70-year-old sister was moving a nearby vehicle. Officials say the car suddenly sped out of control, hitting Perez and pinning her against the wall of the house.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

A law enforcement agency on the South Coast is mourning one of their own. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve lost a member their family.

Forty-one-year-old Custody Deputy Trevor Carpenter died on Wednesday after a fight with Leukemia. He had been with the Sheriff’s office since 2003. He was an avid photographer, supporter of the Boy Scouts and a huge Dodgers fan. He was also a family man. Carpenter leaves behind his wife of 19 years and four children.

Photo by Andrew Hill

There’s an effort to get Santa Barbara County residents to go solar.

The Community Environmental Council has launched Solarize Santa Barbara County, which is its first countywide group purchasing program.

April Price, a renewable energy specialist with CEC, says it provides residents with discounted solar electric systems while helping the environment.

Low-income families on the South Coast now have a place to call home.  

“There’s no words to express how happy we are,” said Evangelina Medina.

She, along with her husband and three children, moved into their new house in Santa Paula last week. After moving out of a home that was falling apart, she says she’s relieved that her children now have a safe place to live.

Photo by VCAAA

Free screenings are now being offered on the South Coast to people who may be having memory issues.

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging is providing 15-minute memory screenings as part of an initiative by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Monica Neece, who conducts memory screenings for the County, says residents who are at least 18-years-old may get tested.

A shooting on the South Coast has left three people injured.

Santa Paula Police say officers responded just before 3 a.m. Saturday to a trailer park in the 200 block of South Beckwith Road. An investigation determined that three people were confronted by two suspects before the shooting occurred.

Health officials are warning the public not to come into contact with water in part of a South Coast city due to a sewage spill.

Ventura County’s Environmental Health Division says around 7 a.m. Friday, about 500 gallons of raw sewage was discharged in Simi Valley in the 1100 block of Waltham Circle. It was the result of a blockage in the city’s main line, which was later cleared and the discharge stopped.

The fields of science and engineering are dominated by men. So, there’s an effort across the nation to encourage young women to become scientists and engineers. Some girls on the South Coast are learning about those fields in an unusual way. 

A South Coast man has a special connection to the International Space Station.

In 2013, Anacapa School students from Santa Barbara spoke to Astronaut Chris Cassidy who was aboard the International Space Station via a program called Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS.

The teacher of that class, Levi Maaia – who’s on the Board of the Santa Barbara Radio Club and is now earning his PhD in education at UC Santa Barbara – has been named to the ARRIS U.S Education Committee, which provides guidance on educational aspects of the program.

Photo by FEMA

Some South Coast homeowners may soon be forced to purchase flood insurance as federal officials create new coastal flood maps.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA has used new technology and data to create revised draft flood maps for the Ventura County coast.

Sergio Vargas with the County Watershed Protection District says some properties have been removed from the floodplain while other properties have been included for the first time.

A body has been discovered on the South Coast.

Ventura County Sheriff’s officials say the remains of a man were found in a wash near State Route 23 and Whitecliff Road in Thousand Oaks around 6 pm Saturday.

There’s no word on the cause of death. The case is under investigation.

Arrests have been made in connection to a series of vehicle burglaries and thefts on the South Coast.

Thousand Oaks Police say in early April, there was a number of car break-ins in the city of Thousand Oaks and in the unincorporated area of Oak Park. Detectives say the suspects took numerous items of property including cash and credit cards. They're accused of using the stolen credit cards to make several hundred dollars’ worth of fraudulent purchases.

Hundreds of children spent a day learning about the inner workings of a government agency on the South Coast as part of an effort to raise their enthusiasm about the fields of science and technology.

A robotic tractor with arms called a skidsteer - operated via remote control - used to pick up debris to clear channels was part of the demonstration to the more than 700 children from preschool to high school taking part in Public Works Day in Ventura.

Photo by Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

A South Coast professor is playing an important role in analyzing opinions about climate change across the nation.

Researchers say about 70% of Americans think global warming is happening. While that’s encouraging to scientists, it doesn’t paint the full picture. That’s why Matto Mildenberger, an assistant professor of political science at UC Santa Barbara, became one of the lead researchers in creating a map that details climate beliefs at every level – including the hyper-local.

Photo by Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara

A scholarship fund in Santa Barbara County that’s been helping teens go to college for more than a half century will reach a big milestone this week.

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara will surpass the $100 million mark in scholarships awarded to more than 47,000 students during its 55-year history.

A group of kids played basketball this weekend on the South Coast, but there was no running across the court.  That's because they were all in wheelchairs.

About a dozen six-  to 19-year-olds who must use a wheelchair to do physical activities participated in this Junior Wheelchair Mini-Sports Camp on Saturday at Camino Real Park in Ventura.

Fire investigators are looking into the cause of a small brush fire that crews knocked down on the South Coast. 

Santa Barbara City Fire officials say it started around noon on Saturday in the foothills above Santa Barbara to the north of Parma Park.  The fire grew to between a quarter and a half acre.  City fire crews -- along with firefighters from Santa Barbara County, Montecito and Los Padres Fire Protection -- extinguished the fire in 45 minutes.  

No homes were damaged, and no injuries were reported.  

We’re experiencing a heat wave this weekend across the South and Central Coasts.

National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said you can expect above normal temperatures on Saturday and Sunday with highs from around 70 at the beaches to the 80s to lower 90s inland and in the valleys.

"The heat wave is being generated by a good offshore flow that's from the mountains towards the ocean. As the air sinks, it kind of compresses and warms things up," he said.

Eating healthy foods can do more than improve your health.  Researchers say it can also benefit the health care system and even the planet. A new study by scientists on the South Coast finds that healthy eating will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking a bite out of an apple or chomping on some carrots can actually make inroads in addressing climate change, according to a study led by UC Santa Barbara researchers.

Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

A NASA scientist, who will be visiting the South Coast, runs a mission that studies asteroids and comets approaching Earth.

Amy Mainzer is a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. She’s the principal investigator of NEOWISE, which is an orbiting space telescope that surveys for asteroids and comets that get close to Earth.

A man on the South Coast is in critical condition after someone beat him, lit him on fire and then fled the scene.

Santa Paula Police say they responded to the incident just before 7 pm Saturday on the 100 block of South 10th Street. They arrived to find the victim with burns to over 50% of his body.

Police say someone approached the victim who was lying down on a bench, beat him and then poured a flammable substance on him.  He then lit him on fire.

A man who was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies on an Indian Reservation in San Diego County was apparently from the South Coast.

Authorities say 50-year-old Jeroen Peter Koornwinder of Santa Barbara had tried to hit sheriff’s deputies with his vehicle.

A report of a reckless driver sent deputies to the Barona Indian Reservation in Lakeside on Wednesday afternoon. They spotted a man in a truck and attempted to stop him. They say he was uncooperative and a chase began.

Research shows that music can have a healing power, and that’s why it is used as a form of therapy. A study is being conducted on the South Coast that looks at the cognitive impacts of live music performances on elderly dementia patients.

A French horn player and a pianist perform Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 1 in front of about a dozen elderly residents at this retirement home in Santa Barbara called Valle Verde.

“I’ve been happy listening to the live music. It’s wonderful,” said Dorothy Vader, who has dementia.

Photo by CSUCI

A university on the South Coast is preparing for a new engineering program it hopes to have in place within the next two years.

Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo proposed to launch an engineering program last summer. University officials say they’re still awaiting final approval from the CSU Chancellor’s Office, but they expect to get a green light soon.

So, they’ve begun the planning process for a program focused on mechatronics, which is a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering.

Political dialogue has recently become more bitter and polarizing. But, there’s now an opportunity on the South Coast to learn how to communicate better.

Santa Barbara City College’s Center for Lifelong Learning is holding its 10th Annual Nonviolent Communication Conference later this week.

Participants will learn tools to deepen connections with friends, family and co-workers through listening without judgment and speaking from the heart.

Climate change was the topic of a forum held on the South Coast this weekend.

The League of Women Voters of Ventura County and Ventura College hosted Saturday's free event on campus called “Climate Change is Here to Stay…So What’s Next?”

Jim Hines, chair of the Sierra Club’s Los Padres Chapter and one of the panelists, said people must become activists to turn the tide.

The month of May is usually warm and dry but not this weekend.

A storm from the Gulf of Alaska is hitting the South and Central Coasts.

"We have a cold storm system that's moving into the region today [Saturday], and that will bring periods of light rain, patchy drizzle to most coastal/valley areas," said National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Hall. "As this cold air pushes in later today [Saturday], we will see the potential for the heavier rain with this system to start to develop as well as the possibility of isolated thunderstorms."   

Photo by Emily Read

The number of native oysters off the California Coast has been diminishing to the point that only a sparse population is left. But, a group of students on the South Coast are gathering information to help future oyster recovery efforts.

Graduate students from UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management are trekking across the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve on land and in water in search of native California oysters called Olympia oysters.

Photo by UC Santa Barbara

Scientists at a South Coast university are using crowd-sourcing to find a solution to the problem of ships colliding and killing whales in the ocean.

These ship strikes are particularly concerning for the West Coast, which is home to the blue whale – the largest animal that has ever lived and an endangered species. Researchers say there were multiple documented incidents of fatal strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel in the late 2000s, with at least five whales killed in 2007.

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