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.Β  He’s an avid skier and traveler in his spare time.

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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 β€” 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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5:11am

Thu April 4, 2013
Around the Nation

Villaraigosa Faulted For Not Helping Latino Politicians

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Los Angeles is getting ready to elect a new mayor, and the field is down to two: city comptroller Wendy Greuel and city councilman Eric Garcetti. Now, while Garcetti speaks often of his Mexican ancestry on his father's side, neither candidate is seen as a product of L.A.'s Latino community or political establishment.

And this is notable because of all the attention paid to the current mayor's background when he came to office. Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.

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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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5:18pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship

A Turning Point For Talking About Suicide And Guns In Wyoming

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:53 pm

Connie Jacobson, coroner in Natrona County, Wyo., says suicide is one of the biggest public health problems facing the state. Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the U.S., and two-thirds of suicides in the state are by firearm.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Guns are a big part of everyday life in Wyoming, and many residents have been directly impacted by a suicide in which a gun was used. The state has the highest suicide rate in the nation, and three-quarters of Wyoming's suicides are by firearm.

The rural state's relationship with guns has long made suicide prevention efforts challenging. But that may be starting to change.

Lax Gun Laws

Last year, there were more suicides in Natrona County than anywhere else in Wyoming.

The soft-spoken county coroner saw them all.

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5:15pm

Mon March 11, 2013
Around the Nation

Owens Valley Salty As Los Angeles Water Battle Flows Into Court

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:30 pm

Owens Lake β€” which dried up after losing its water source, the Owens River, to Los Angeles β€” is known to be a source of air pollution. The city of L.A. is in court over obligations to control dust pollution at the lake.
Kirk Siegler NPR

In the West, fights over water last a long time.

It's been almost 100 years since William Mulholland stood atop an aqueduct along the Owens River and said, "There it is, take it." He was referring to a diversion channel that started piping water to Los Angeles from 200 miles away. That water allowed L.A. to become the metropolis it is today.

But it also meant that the Owens River no longer flowed into the massive Owens Lake, which quickly dried up and became one of the biggest environmental disasters in the nation.

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3:20pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Around the Nation

Sequestered Spring Means Fewer Rangers, Services At National Parks

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Hikers walk on the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall at Yosemite National Park in California. The National Park Service has to cut $134 million from sites around the country, including Yosemite, due to the lack of a budget deal in Congress.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Spring has come early to the Yosemite Valley, and the melting snow makes for a spectacular rush of water off the granite face of Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America.

Early March is when park officials would normally be gearing up for the busy tourist season. Instead, they're figuring out how to cut $1.5 million from their budget. Without a budget deal, the sequestration has forced the Park Service to cut a total of $134 million from sites around the country.

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6:34am

Mon February 18, 2013
Business

G20 Leaders Pledge To Avert Currency War

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:42 am

A meeting of finance ministers from the 20 leading industrial and developing nations wrapped up over the weekend in Moscow. The nations agreed to not to target the exchange rates of their respective currencies amid concerns that competitive devaluation could spark a currency war.

5:47pm

Tue January 15, 2013
Fitness & Nutrition

Fitness Boot Camps May Get The Boot In Santa Monica, Calif.

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 1:10 pm

City officials say Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Calif., is being overrun by people participating in fitness training, including boot camps, yoga classes and massage therapy sessions.
Jae C. Hong AP

If you haven't been to Palisades Park β€” the famous oceanfront park in Santa Monica, Calif. β€” chances are you have seen its swaying palm trees and sweeping ocean vistas in movies and commercials.

Running up the wooden stairs that plunge to the beach is the workout to do in this city where it seems like you have to be fit to fit in. In fact, most early mornings before work hours, this park seems more like an outdoor gym than anything else, with running clubs, weight training and kickboxing classes.

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