Bree Zender

News Reporter, Mid-day Host, Producer

Bree Zender is a reporter, midday host and producer at KCBX.

Bree is originally from Northwest Washington. The fantastic hiking is what drew her to Missoula, Montana, where she attended the University of Montana. She studied journalism and theater, graduating in 2016.

She got her start in radio as an intern at Montana Public Radio, where she hosted Morning Edition and reported the news.

Bree started working at KCBX in July of 2016. She runs the operating board weekdays from noon to 4:00 PM, and reports the news. She's also the creator and producer of the KCBX podcast The Strangers Mixtape.

You may have also heard Bree on NPR News, National Native News, and her two podcasts, Rest Stop Radio and Storytalk: The Conversation You've Never Heard. When she's not at KCBX, she's exploring the Central Coast and its many wonders.

You can reach her at her email, bzender@kcbx.org.

Ways to Connect

Greta Mart

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is encouraging those who have six or more cannabis plants for non-personal use to register the plants online.

The county says it would use the information to collect data for future studies. The registry program asks people to provide information on the scale of their past cannabis growth and plans for the future. 

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America


The US Geological Survey sent out an alert Wednesday afternoon that a 6.8-magnitude earthquake had struck off the coast near Isla Vista--except the earthquake actually occurred in June of 1925.

Wikimedia commons/Basar

San Luis Obispo is named one of the top 25 "Best Towns Ever" by Outside magazine in a recent cover story. Jonah Ogles, an editor for Outside, spoke to KCBX about what gave the SLO the honor.

Greta Mart/KCBX

54 people were arrested last week in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation targeting areas in Central California. ICE officials said over a third of the arrests took place in Monterey County, specifically in communities in the Salinas Valley.

Greta Mart/KCBX

In late May the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved an “area code overlay,” meaning phone companies will start issuing numbers with a new area code on the Central Coast - and beyond - starting in the summer of 2018. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Jails across California are struggling to keep up with inmates who are deemed incompetent to stand trial. Oftentimes, there's not enough space for these inmates in mental health facilities. They're sent to jail instead, because it's the only place left for them.

Jaya Narasimhan

Have you ever thought of the scariest moment of your life? Tobin, who is traveling on his bike along the Pacific Coast Highway, sure has. He tells of his experience missing a bus in Panama in this episode of the Strangers Mixtape.

Courtesy of Denise Smart

Thursday marked the twenty-first anniversary of the disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart. Smart, who was a freshman at the time, went missing after walking home from an off-campus party in 1996. She was legally declared dead in 2002. 

Willis Jacobson

The Lompoc Valley Medical Center is at risk of losing its Medicare, Medicaid, and Medi-Cal certifications after a routine review from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found several violations at the facility.

Bree Zender

In late April, the Trump administration announced a new executive order that directs the Interior Department to review the designations of certain national monuments, like the Carrizo Plain National Monument in southeastern San Luis Obispo County. 

NOAA

Two Central Coast environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District in an effort to improve habitat for local endangered fish.

Bree Zender

Horacio Amezquita has lived at the San Jerardo Cooperative, just southeast of Salinas, since 1979, when he was 18 years old.

He had immigrated to the United States from Mexico about five years earlier. Amezquita, his parents, and his 8 brothers and sisters were excited to move into house that had more than two bedrooms when they moved to San Jerardo. 

Bree Zender

Although the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians succeeded in their efforts to fold the 'Camp 4' property into the Chumash reservation through a federal land trust, opponents throughout the Santa Ynez Valley continue to oppose it.

The March for Science is taking place on Saturday, April 22. In what is now a global event, scientists and those who support science-based evidence will be hitting the streets in mass marches, similar to the Women’s March on January 21. In a mission statement, organizers say the event “champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” 

Jaya Narasimhan

On this episode of The Strangers Mixtape, we once again grab a microphone, find a stranger, and start asking them questions about their lives. This stranger we talk to today is Amanda, who is struggling with finding her path after some significant life struggles.

Jaya Narasimhan

For the past several months, KCBX contributors Rebekah Nolan and Bree Zender have been collecting interview with complete strangers. Like... we just approach them, and start asking questions about their lives. Sometimes we prompt them with cards with questions on them. And some of these stories we heard are hilarious. Some are mundane. And some are sad. But it's just random pieces of these people's lives. And lives are just kind of like that. 

Mark Moz/http://bit.ly/2oIGvzG

The most recent market report from the Century 21 real estate company says the housing shortage on the Central Coast is at an all-time high. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

With a surge of rain over the winter months, scientists at UC Berkeley are on alert for the spread of Sudden Oak Death disease, or SOD. And they need the help of ordinary citizens for research. 

Courtesy of the United State of Cinema

On Tuesday, independent movie houses on the Central Coast - and across the country - are all screening the film "1984," a cinematic version of George Orwell's 1949 novel. Organizers of the synchronized screenings say it's to promote discussion of the film’s fictitious events compared and contrasted with the reality of today’s political climate.  

Some cities around California and the country have been declaring themselves as sanctuary cities, claiming a type of social and seemingly lawful refuge from Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents. Last week the Soledad City Council voted unanimously to officially establish the city as a safe haven. But other cities, and police departments, are more concerned with the safety of all than political assertions.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Thursday, a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court jury found two writers from CalCoastNews guilty of defaming a Central Coast hazardous waste contractor in a 2012 article published on the site.

CalTrans

CalTrans sent engineers out Wednesday to evaluate how to completely demolish the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, after a wrecking ball failed to break through the bridge Monday. 

Greta Mart

 

If a Central Coast lawmaker prevails, students in California public schools may soon be taught how decipher fact-based news from “fake news.” State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson from Santa Barbara has introduced a bill to create a statewide advisory committee to come up with the best way to educate students on responsible media consumption. 

rachelflowersmusic.com

Hearing is Believing is a documentary about Rachel Flowers--a rising musician who has been called a 'piano prodigy'. Flowers lost her eyesight shortly after she was born due to retinopathy of prematurity. She stated playing piano at the age of 2-and-a-half, and at age 4 was accepted to the Southern California Conservatory of Music. Hearing is Believing will be featured at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival on March 19th at 2:30 at the Historic Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. A concert from Flowers will follow.

Bree Zender/KCBX

In the months since the 2016 election, progressive organizations around the country, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have been holding seminars to provide information about becoming an activist. Many are modeling their efforts on the grassroots Tea Party playbook that made that movement so effective in 2009.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Activist women and supporters on the Central Coast are planning a general strike and march on Wednesday, part of a greater ‘Day Without a Woman'. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, March 8, the planned one-day action is happening across the country. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

On this Valentine's Day, KCBX reporter Bree Zender headed to San Luis Obispo's Mission Plaza to ask passersby about their most romantic memory. She heard tales of love, tenderness and heartbreak and put together this montage of romantic memories. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Water advocacy leaders in California are calling for the state government to permanently invest in water infrastructure--noting that over 300 California communities are affected by unsafe drinking water. 

Courtesy of SMJUHSD

Officials at Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria broke ground Monday for a new tech-based building. The $22 million dollar building will house 38 classrooms to replace the mobile classrooms that have been sitting on campus for years. 

Greta Mart

Pismo Beach is once again on track for enacting a permanent ban on retail cannabis sales and commercial production within city limits. This week the city council passed a resolution prohibiting retail commercial stores, manufacturing and outdoor growth of the plant. 

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