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/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.

Greta Mart

Before and after the recreational use of cannabis became legal in California with the passage of Proposition 64, officials in several Central Coast cities have passed urgency ordinances to temporarily ban commercial cultivation and distribution of the plant. 

A 2015 natural gas leak in Los Angeles is now affecting supply levels around the region. The utility company SoCalGas says environmental restrictions on one of its reservoirs is the cause. 

Aera Energy  and Chevron have filed separate lawsuits against Monterey County, alleging the passage of Measure Z will shut down oil production in the county. 

Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Fire Department

Three San Luis Obispo men have been arrested in connection with a fire in a computer lab at San Luis Obispo High School early Thursday morning. Firefighters were able to save the surrounding building but the flames destroyed the computer lab itself. 

courtesy of Cal Poly/http://bit.ly/2g2HhVe

San Luis Obispo's California Polytechnic State University - known as Cal Poly - has a record number of applicants for the 2017-2018 school year. Nearly 57,000 prospective students applied, roughly 50 more than last fall. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

New numbers released this week show that only about half of marijuana cultivators in San Luis Obispo County have registered their grows with the county after officials passed an ordinance requiring it. 

Randol White/KCBX

Pacific Gas and Electric has agreed to pay out $85 million to San Luis Obispo County and several Central Coast cities and public schools to help ease the proposed closure of California's last nuclear power plant.

Bree Zender

One day in October, Arroyo Grande resident Julie Holt's first grader brought home a flyer from school that made Holt raise some questions.

Tom Wilmer

More than 100 million trees have died in California since 2010, according to data released Friday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Two-thirds - or 62 million - have died just in the past year.

Bree Zender

KCBX's pioneering news director, Randol White, established the station's news department in 2014. He is now moving on to host All Things Considered for Capital Public Radio in Sacramento. KCBX Reporter Bree Zender spoke with Greta Mart, an accomplished radio journalist, who is replacing White as KCBX news director.

Don Barrett/Flickr

Monterey County is now the seventh county in California to ban fracking. Voters there approved Measure Z last Tuesday by a margin of 11 points.

Vandenberg Air Force Base


 The Atlas V rocket on Vandenberg Air Force Base launched successfully this morning.

 

The rocket carries the WorldView-4 imaging and data satellite into orbit.

CalTrans District 5

UDPATE: November 9, 2016:

San Luis Obispo County's ballot measure creating a half-cent sales tax to raise money for local roads and infrastructure is just shy of approval.

Ron De Carli with the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) said Wednesday that there are as many as 30,000 provisional ballots left to count. He said while the Measure J vote is close, its passage looks doubtful.

Bree Zender


Some San Luis Obispo County residents who have recently changed their party affiliation have received two ballots in the mail.

Mission Blue

David Helvarg is an ocean advocate and author of The Golden Shore: California's Love Affair with the Sea. He will be giving a series of speeches and book signings here on the Central Coast. The Cambria Land Trust will host Helvarg on Sunday afternoon from 3-5 on November 13, in Cambria at Vet's Hall. He'll also be signing books at Barnes & Noble Saturday afternoon November 12 and give a talk at the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach the evening of November 12.

Note: This interview was edited for time and clarity.

Google Maps

Work is underway to fix a major computer problem that has services shut down at DMV offices along the Central Coast and throughout the state.

Chris McGuinness / New Times

California's drought has brought in many different effects on places around the state and, in this case, a cemetery. The Arroyo Grande Cemetery stopped watering its grass last year due to drought conditions. Now, while it cut down on water costs people with loved ones in the cemetery are upset because it doesn't look like it's in tip top shape anymore. Chris McGuinness is a reporter for The New Times where he's been reporting on this cemetery. KCBX's Bree Zender spoke with him on Thursday.

Bree Zender / KCBX News

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to delay approval to build an anaerobic digester -- which would turn methane emitted from composted food into energy to power homes in the area.

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