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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Politics
10:02 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

LA Mayoral Candidates Try To Persuade Voters To Pay Attention

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

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 11:46 am

The candidates have spent a record amount of money. They've stumped hard in a city that isn't easy to campaign in β€” 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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Around the Nation
12:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 1:41 pm

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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The Salt
10:11 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Why An Immigration Deal Won't Solve The Farmworker Shortage

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

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:01 pm

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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It's All Politics
11:31 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Looking To Broaden Appeal, RNC Heads To Hollywood

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

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 12:49 pm

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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Around the Nation
10:21 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:20 am

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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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
12:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Battling Suicide In A 'Gun State' Means Treading Carefully

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

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 12:58 pm

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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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
12:20 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

A Turning Point For Talking About Suicide And Guns In Wyoming

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

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 12:53 pm

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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Around the Nation
11:47 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Owens Valley Salty As Los Angeles Water Battle Flows Into Court

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

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 1:30 pm

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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Around the Nation
10:20 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Sequestered Spring Means Fewer Rangers, Services At National Parks

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

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:49 am

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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Fitness & Nutrition
1:07 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 8:10 am

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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It's All Politics
8:07 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Beyond Hot Air: Political Blimps Take To Swing State Skies

A blimp with a message in support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney flies over Plantation, Fla., on Sunday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:41 am

How do you reach an audience of more than 200,000 people a day in an important swing state without buying an expensive TV ad?

If you're Sid Overton, you build a blimp and fly it alongside one of Colorado's busiest freeways.

"It says, 'Romney For President. He Creates Jobs,' " Overton told KUNC.

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Politics
9:43 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Being 'Better Off' May Not Be Enough To Win Colo.

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 2. He and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will have their first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 2:11 pm

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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It's All Politics
4:54 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Obama Backers Battle For Dominance On Denver Airwaves

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:01 am

Watching the first 20 minutes of Saturday Night Live's season premiere in Denver, I counted at least four ads by the Obama campaign and liberal groups backing the president. Just one ad countering their message was aired in the same span by the Romney campaign.

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Politics
12:58 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

New Politics Emerge In Aurora, Colo., After Shooting

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The deadly movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado has become a key issue in at least two tight congressional races in that battleground state. Since the attacks, two Democratic candidates - running in districts in and around Aurora - have called for stricter gun laws. But Republicans have accused them of trying to politicize the tragedy.

From member station KUNC, Kirk Siegler reports.

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It's All Politics
6:44 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Pro-Romney SuperPAC: 'Enormous Opportunity' In Western Swing States

Americans for Prosperity brought its "Failing Agenda" bus tour to suburban cities in Colorado's heavily populated Front Range.
Kirk Siegler KUNC

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:55 am

Some well-funded pro-Mitt Romney superPACs and other advocacy groups are pulling their TV ad dollars in Pennsylvania and Michigan and are doubling down on efforts in what they consider to be more crucial swing states β€” such as Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.

Those are states where President Obama has also been spending considerable time campaigning lately, but where he's facing a barrage of attack ads from his Republican rival and the conservative superPACs, such as American Crossroads, and nonprofit advocacy groups, like Americans for Prosperity.

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Election 2012
11:46 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Colo. Gov. Hickenlooper To Address Convention

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is among the scheduled speakers at the Democratic Convention tonight. The former brew pub owner is one of the most popular governors in the country, and the Obama campaign hopes his popularity will help the party, once again, with the battleground state of Colorado in November. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC has this profile.

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It's All Politics
6:11 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Aurora Shootings Come Into Play In Colorado Races

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:57 am

Last month's deadly theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., are starting to play front and center in at least two hotly contested U.S. House races in the swing state.

The conservative lobbying group Compass Colorado this week announced it's beginning a slate of automated calls highlighting what the organization says is Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter's politicization of the July 20 attack that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

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News
1:09 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

In Colorado Wildfires' Wake, Survivors Live In Limbo

C.J. Moore stands where her front door used to be, before the Waldo Canyon Fire swept through the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo. The fire destroyed more than 350 homes there.
Kirk Siegler for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 11:10 am

When the Waldo Canyon Fire roared over the hill behind the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo., in June, nearly 350 homes were destroyed. The blaze reduced this affluent neighborhood at the foot of the mountains to rubble.

C.J. Moore's home on Mirror Lake Court was among the casualties. The inferno was so hot, her stone driveway exploded. Only a few blackened trees sway eerily in the wind where her home used to stand.

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Around the Nation
11:30 am
Sun July 22, 2012

After Shooting Rampage, A Community Looks To Heal

Ted Engelmann, left, helps Yamilet Ortega, 3, second from left, and Kimberly Hernandez, 7, light candles, Saturday at a memorial near the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others Friday.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 12:33 pm

President Obama is in Aurora, Colo., on Sunday, meeting with the families of the victims of the deadly theater shootings that killed 12 people and injured 58 more. He'll also attend a memorial service and meet briefly with local officials.

Outside the movie theater where Friday's rampage occurred, there's a makeshift memorial at the edge of a hot and dusty lot. There are hundreds of candles and flowers, American flags and signs memorializing the victims.

"It's a sad time, very sad time," said William Cloud, a local professor, who came by to pay his respects.

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U.S.
12:53 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Massive Wildfire Burns Out Of Control In Colo.

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 3:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In the southern Rocky Mountains, several destructive wildfires are burning across a vast stretch of parched land and firefighters are struggling to gain control. In Colorado, the High Park Fire which flared up this past weekend is huge, even for a region where wildfires are common. The fires quickly engulfed more than 41,000 acres, destroying dozens of homes and buildings. And there's no end in sight. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC brings us this update.

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