KUNC-FM: Kirk Siegler

Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.

Siegler grew up near Missoula, MT, and received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado.  He’s an avid skier and traveler in his spare time.

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3:01am

Tue August 13, 2013
U.S.

Of Bison, Birth Control And An Island Off Southern Calif.

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:59 am

Bison have been roaming the Santa Catalina Island since the 1920s. At one time they numbered more than 600.
Kirk Siegler NPR

In an open-aired Jeep, it's a bone-jarring ride into Santa Catalina Island's vast interior. The dirt road winds and climbs, twists and turns, climbing 2,000 feet up.

From there, the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean comes back into view, and if you squint, you can see downtown Los Angeles 30 miles off on the horizon.

Some days, you can also see wild bison.

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3:09am

Wed July 31, 2013
The Salt

Farm Laborers Get A Foothold With Their Own Organic Farms

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 2:01 pm

Agricultural work, which is physically demanding, is also a risky business venture.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Northern California's Salinas Valley is often dubbed America's salad bowl. Large growers there have long relied on thousands of seasonal workers from rural Mexico to pick lettuce, spinach and celery from sunrise to sunset. Many of these workers seem destined for a life in the fields. But a program that helps field workers, like Raul Murillo, start their own farms and businesses is starting to yield a few success stories.

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3:41am

Thu July 25, 2013
Code Switch

After Years Of Violence, L.A.'s Watts Sees Crime Subside

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 10:48 am

Los Angeles police officers take a break during a basketball game with residents of the Nickerson Gardens housing project in July 2011. Violent crime at Nickerson Gardens and two nearby housing projects has fallen by almost half since 2010.
Thomas Watkins AP

On most weeknights, in the middle of his shift, Los Angeles police officer Keith Mott trades his gun and uniform for a T-shirt and shorts, and heads to a park in the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles. He's there to coach 7- and 8-year-old boys on the Pop Warner Pee Wee football team, the Watts Bears.

The kids come from three nearby housing projects: Jordan Downs, Nickerson Gardens and Imperial Courts. The park was carefully chosen. It's a neutral site for local gangs. Otherwise, most of the Bears' parents wouldn't allow them to come and play.

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4:50pm

Wed July 10, 2013
Around the Nation

Summer 'Heat Tourists' Sweat With Smiles In Death Valley

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 11:11 pm

Tourists walk across the Badwater Basin, which sits 282 feet below sea level, in Death Valley, Calif., on June 30. People from around the world flock to the area to experience temperatures that rise to the high 120s on a regular basis.
David Gilkey NPR

It's no secret that Death Valley, Calif., is one of the hottest, most unforgiving places on Earth come summertime. July 10 is the 100th anniversary of the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet — 134 degrees Fahrenheit — and the heat is drawing tourists from all over the world to Death Valley.

Like Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport, Death Valley becomes a melting pot of foreign accents. On a recent afternoon, Belgian tourist Yan Klassens admires the view of the Badlands from Zabriskie Point, describing it as "nice, awesome and colorful."

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7:38am

Sun June 16, 2013
NPR Story

Colorado Springs Learns To Live With Fire

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Colorado is often the site of devastating forest fires, but the city of Colorado Springs has been hit particularly hard as of late. In the span of just one year, more than 800 homes have been destroyed from wildfires in and around the city. This time last year, it was the Waldo Canyon fire, and now it's the Black Forest fire. NPR's Kirk Siegler spent the week in Colorado Springs and sent this report.

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2:57am

Mon June 10, 2013
Around the Nation

Rail Project At Los Angeles Port Draws Environmentalists' Ire

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Shipping containers stack up at the Port of Los Angeles.
Nick Ut AP

In California, a high-profile lawsuit is seeking to halt construction of a new $500 million rail yard next to the Port of Los Angeles. Activists, including a national environmental group that's spearheading the opposition, say the massive project would mean even more pollution for nearby neighborhoods that already have some of the worst air in the country.

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5:55am

Sat May 25, 2013
Around the Nation

Baptist Church In Oklahoma Churns Out Meals For Victims

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hundreds of volunteers have come to Moore, Okla., this week to help the community after Monday's deadly tornado. Some people are cleaning debris, others are bringing out water and supplies to people whose lives have been turned upside down. NPR's Kirk Siegler stopped by one volunteer-powered relief group that's working east of town.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE SPEAKING)

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5:06am

Mon May 20, 2013
Business

Yahoo To Buy Tumblr In An Attempt To Revitalize Itself

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big blogging buyout.

Today, Yahoo announced its purchase of the blogging site Tumblr. The $1.1 billion deal was unanimously approved by Yahoo's board. Analysts say the acquisition is Yahoo's attempt to revitalize itself.

NPR's Kirk Siegler has more.

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5:06am

Mon May 20, 2013
Energy

Calif. Law To Require Ships To Cut Pollution

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 5:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Two ports, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, handle almost half of all of the consumer goods being shipped into the United States. Together, these two ports are also the single largest polluter in Southern California, a region famous for its smog.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports on a new California law that will soon require some of the largest diesel-guzzling ships to kill their engines and plug in to shore power at the docks.

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3:02am

Fri May 17, 2013
Politics

LA Mayoral Candidates Try To Persuade Voters To Pay Attention

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 4:46 pm

Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel had similar records while serving together on the City Council.
AP

The candidates have spent a record amount of money. They've stumped hard in a city that isn't easy to campaign in — 470 square miles sliced up into neighborhoods divided by a web of freeways.

Yet despite nearly $20 million in spending in the March primary alone, turnout is expected to be low next Tuesday in Los Angeles when voters go to the polls to pick a new mayor to replace the term-limited Antonio Villaraigosa.

As a result, City Councilman Eric Garcetti and his opponent, City Controller Wendy Greuel, are engaged in an all-out blitz for votes across the sprawling city.

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5:24am

Sun May 5, 2013
Around the Nation

A Splash Of 'Urban Ocean' On A Southern California Cruise

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:41 pm

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., exposes guests to the "urban ocean" in the country's biggest shipping terminal.
Kirk Siegler NPR

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., sounds like a picturesque summer outing. But the Urban Ocean boat cruise highlights the juxtaposition of a powerful port with a fragile ecosystem: You're just as likely to see trash as you are to see marine life.

In front of the aquarium, school kids are running around, eager to go inside and pet the sharks and see the penguins. There's also a marina, where a small passenger boat called the Cristina shoves off from sunny Shoreline Aquatic Park.

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3:11pm

Tue April 30, 2013
The Salt

Why An Immigration Deal Won't Solve The Farmworker Shortage

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:01 pm

American farms like this iceberg lettuce field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods outside Salinas, Calif., are facing a dwindling supply of farmworkers from rural Mexico.
Kirk Siegler

The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.

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5:21pm

Thu April 11, 2013
It's All Politics

Looking To Broaden Appeal, RNC Heads To Hollywood

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 5:49 pm

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the National Press Club in March. Priebus has irritated faith-based values voters and others in the GOP with his quest to retool the party following the losses of 2012.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

The Republican National Committee is holding its spring meeting in the Democratic stronghold of Hollywood this week — part of an effort to broaden the party's appeal.

So far, there are sharp divisions among RNC delegates about the future direction of the GOP. But there's general agreement that the party isn't effectively communicating its message.

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3:21am

Wed April 10, 2013
Around the Nation

L.A. Schools Hire Security Aides To Watch For Threats

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:20 am

Students at Tenth Street Elementary out on the playground.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Tenth Street Elementary is in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles, a few blocks west of the Staples Center and downtown skyscrapers. It's a tough neighborhood; school security is always an issue.

On a recent day, about 150 third-graders were spread across a worn cement playground, running around, playing chase and tag.

Most lunch hours, you'll find Juan Alfayate, the school's energetic principal, out on the blacktop, dodging soccer balls and having fun with the kids while on playground patrol.

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5:33am

Sun March 24, 2013
Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship

Battling Suicide In A 'Gun State' Means Treading Carefully

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 5:58 pm

In Wyoming, a gun is used in about three-quarters of all suicides. Nationally, guns are used about 50 percent of the time.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Wyoming has the highest per capita suicide rate in the nation. Guns are also a big part of everyday life: The state has one of the highest rates of gun ownership.

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