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

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.

Photo by Reid Murphy

One of the creators of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. visits the South Coast.

Michael Berenbaum, a Holocaust scholar and filmmaker, spoke Sunday at the Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

He serves as director of the Sigi Ziering Institute that explores the ethical and religious implications of the Holocaust at American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He served as project director for the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Photo by Skyler Bennett​, MyWorld Productions​; Art by Claire Frandsen​ and Iris Kelly​

Thousands of people across the country and right here on the South Coast marched over the weekend to demand action on climate change. The People’s Climate Marches took place on Saturday, which coincided with President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office.

Katie Davis, the chair of Santa Barbara Sierra Club, was one of the organizers of the march from La Playa Stadium at Santa Barbara City College to Shoreline Park.

A stubborn fire that spread because of gusty winds on the South Coast destroyed one home and damaged a neighboring home.

Fillmore Fire officials say it started around 7:30 Friday night in the kitchen of a single-family house on the 200 block of Olive Street. The fire quickly spread because it was fanned by strong winds. Firefighters battled the fire from outside the home because it was too dangerous to do so inside. The roof collapsed as they were putting out the flames, and live electric lines were down around the home. 

Photo by California State Parks

A Central Coast campground is reopening to the public after being closed for months due to damage from strong storms this winter.

The North Beach Campground at Pismo State Beach has been shut down since January 4th after it got flooded due to heavy rain.

“With all of the continued storm activity that we had throughout this winter and spring, it continued to stay closed. We had some pretty severe damage occurring and trees failing,” said Park and Recreation Specialist Dena Bellman.

Photo by NASA New Horizons

Fran Bagenal is one of the team leaders for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, and she will share her discoveries at Cal Poly this week. 

She says it took nine years for the spacecraft to finally make a flyby and 15 more months to beam images back to Earth. She says the data far exceeded her expectations.

With a recent surge in coyote encounters throughout Ventura County, an agency has now come up with a management plan.

Ventura County Animal Services says the drought has led to more coyotes coming into populated areas because they’re looking for food and water. There has been an increase in coyote sightings and coyotes attacking pets.

It can be challenging to encourage high school students to eat healthy and stay fit. That’s especially true for schools with low-income students where there are high rates of obesity and family histories of diabetes. One such high school on the South Coast is helping their students kick the bad habits and turn to a healthier lifestyle.

Farm workers took to the streets to protest in Ventura County this weekend.

Men and women who work in the fields marched on Sunday in Oxnard with signs that say “We Feed You,” “Resist” and “Trump, Who Will Feed America?”

Farm worker Jose Guadalupe, who’s undocumented, said he’s calling for protections against deportation.

More than 200 people came together on the South Coast this weekend to talk about equity in education.

Educators, administrators, students and parents attended Cal State Channel Islands’ 9th Annual Conference for Social Justice in Education yesterday at its campus in Camarillo. This year’s theme was “First Do No Harm: Challenging Laws, Policies and Practices that Undermine Social Justice in Education.”

Authorities are investigating the cause of an overnight apartment fire that displaced four people and led to evacuations of dozens more on the South Coast.

Ventura County Fire officials say the fire started around 2:30 Saturday morning in the 400 block of East Clara Street in Port Hueneme. About 60 people were evacuated from the building. The fire that was confined to a single 1,000-foot apartment unit was knocked down by firefighters in less than 20 minutes.

Someday in the future, NASA hopes to send a swarm of autonomous rovers to explore Mars. But, before they can do so, they need to create a computer code so that these robots can run on their own and work together. Some computer science students on the South Coast are among those across the nation who are working on code that could revolutionize space exploration.

Photo by Darcy Bradley

A UC Santa Barbara researcher has been studying how scuba diving with sharks – which has become a multi-million-dollar global tourism industry -- impacts the shark population. The findings were surprising.

With a quarter of shark species at risk of extinction, Darcy Bradley, a postdoctoral researcher with the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UCSB, wanted to know if scuba diving influences the behavior and the abundance of shark populations.

“So, our question very simply was:  Do sharks avoid areas that are frequented by scuba divers?” she said.

Conejo Valley residents came together to unite against hate and to promote tolerance following hate crimes that recently hit the community.

A Chumash blessing kicked off this Unity in the Community event at Mae Boyar Park in Oak Park. Twelve-year-old Ethan Skopp said he hopes it sends a clear message.

“We came out here today to help promote diversity and unity and to speak out against hate,” he said.

Participants wrote messages for the traveling Peace Tree and did expressive painting on intolerance.

Three men from Fresno have been arrested on the South Coast on human trafficking charges.

Ventura Police say they received a call from the National Human Trafficking Center hotline on Saturday evening about a 17-year-old girl who claimed she fled from a human trafficking situation and was hiding near Victoria Avenue and Valentine Road. Officers found the teenage girl, and she told them that she was with three men for the last three days and was forced to commit acts of prostitution in San Diego County until they arrived at a motel in Ventura. She claims that she was not free to leave and was threatened with physical harm.

There’s some good news about the job market for the South and Central Coasts. Unemployment is falling.

The California Employment Development Department is reporting that the jobless rate in Ventura County was 4.7% in February, down from 5.1% in January. For Santa Barbara County, the unemployment rate was 5.5% last month, dipping 0.5% percent from a month earlier. And, the percentage of people unemployed in San Luis Obispo County was 3.9% last month, decreasing from 4.3% in January. Employers on the South and Central Coasts have added more than 15,000 jobs in the past year.

When you think about first aid training, you probably think about CPR and using those skills to help someone suffering from a cardiac emergency. But that’s not the only first aid training that helps save lives. You can become certified in mental health first aid on the South Coast.

Leticia Yanez shook with anxiety as she pretended to have a panic attack. Her instructor and classmates tried to calm her down. Yanez said she actually felt anxiety even though she was just role-playing.

Middle school girls on the South Coast are using their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills to create their own innovations.

Using scissors, glue and tape to attach things like astroturf, tin foil, play-doh and bubble wrap to their projects, more than 80 nine to 13-year-old girls from Ventura County schools are building prototypes of future cities at this STEM Innovation Challenge at Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo.

Photo by Santa Barbara Unified School District

A teenager on the South Coast is running her own nonprofit organization that aims to empower young people.

Seventeen-year-old Gabriela Goldberg is a senior at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, and she’s also the Co-Founder and Co-President of Santa Barbara Speaks.

“We are dedicated to giving teenagers in Santa Barbara a place to have a voice. And, we do that through producing different community-wide events that are all entirely youth-run and youth-oriented,” she said.

Hundreds of teenagers and their hand-made robots from across California, the western U.S., Hawaii and as far as Chile converged on the South Coast, and some local teams were among the winners.  

It’s the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition, which was a three-day event that ended Saturday at Ventura College. Forty-two high schools with about 2,000 students took part.

A new library will soon be opening in an area of Ventura that lost its library several years ago, and an event happening on Saturday will help to partly pay for this new branch.

Ventura Friends of the Library is holding a book sale from 10 am to 3 pm in front of the Von’s on Telegraph Road and Victoria Avenue. The nonprofit’s president, Kathy Thomson, says while the money collected from the book sale will benefit the library system in general, they’ll also be collecting donations for the new Hill Road Library on the East Side.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that the fruits and vegetables you eat don’t start out at the supermarket. Instead, they begin with a seed. You could take an entire college course on how a seed turns into what ends up on your dinner plate. But, this course is being taught to an unusually young audience on the South Coast.

Preschoolers – ages three to five – are learning about gardening, sustainability, eating healthy and the environment.

About 50 veterans are participating in a four-day firefighting training workshop in the Santa Monica Mountains, so that they’ll be prepared to be on the front lines during the upcoming wildfire season. 

Water flows through a creek  at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills where Bureau of Land Management firefighting instructors are showing veterans how to use a portable pump. They pump water from the creek into a fire hose.

John Carter, a Navy veteran, is a seasonal firefighter who is hoping this course will hone his skills.

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