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 broadcast journalism and theater. At UM, Bree worked for a magazine called Montana Journalism Review and was a video producer for UM's newspaper, the Montana Kaimin. Bree graduated from UM in May 2016.

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

You may have also heard Bree on 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 is either backpacking or performing sketch and improv comedy.

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

Ways to Connect

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. 

Google Maps Screenshot

The City of Paso Robles is considering purchasing the former El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility property from the State of California. The facility hasn't been in use since 2008. 

Flikr User David K


The San Luis Obispo County Opioid Safety Coalition is celebrating its first anniversary.

Of the 58 counties in California, San Luis Obispo ranks in the top third in opioid abuse and prescribes over a quarter more opioid-based medication than the California average. The Coalition was formed last January to fight against growing opioid abuse in San Luis Obispo County.

Santa Barbara County Live Webcam

Earlier this week, KCBX reported water reservoirs on the Central Coast have been getting a much-needed recharge from the past month’s rainstorms.

Several reservoirs, like Lopez Lake and Lake Nacimiento, have increased by many acre feet. Lopez has seen a rise of six feet in elevation since the fourth of January. Nacimiento rose 23 feet in that same amount of time and 12 feet in just the past three days.

However, reservoirs on the southern Central Coast haven’t been receiving nearly as much of a refill. Specifically, Lake Cachuma, which serves the Santa Ynez Valley, Montecito, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria.

Greta Mart

MindBody, the San Luis Obispo company that designs software platforms for fitness centers and gyms, is partnering with Google to make it easier to get or stay in shape. 

Courtesy of Photo: San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department

After years of drought, reservoirs in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties have dropped to record-low elevation levels. But after this weekend’s storms and with a rainy week ahead, storage levels are starting to rebound, and that's good news for future uses such as agricultural irrigation and recharging ground water supplies.

Greta Mart

Areas around the Central Coast may experience flooding in the coming week, with record amounts of rainfall expected. Here is a list of where you can pick up sand and sandbags in our listening area. Please note that some places may have limits to how many bags you can take.

NOAA/www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/atmrivers/

Boulders slid onto Highway 1 near Ragged Point on Tuesday night after over 13 inches of rain in the Big Sur area. The road has been cleared, but forecasters say more rain expected this weekend may compound damage.

Bree Zender


If you’re familiar at all with the Santa Ynez Valley, you know it’s famous for its rolling hills and farmland bordered by country roads and twisted-trunked oak trees.

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