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

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Race
6:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Remembering Rodney King, Southern Calif. Watches Ferguson, NY

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:51 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Business
2:52 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Colorado's Pot Industry Looks To Move Past Stereotypes

Brooke Gehring, CEO of Patients Choice and Live Green Cannabis, stands in one of her company's grow houses in Denver.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:04 am

It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.

"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."

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The Salt
9:01 am
Fri November 14, 2014

With Drought The New Normal, Calif. Farmers Find They Have To Change

California sheep rancher Dan Macon had to sell almost half of his herd because the drought left him without enough feed.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 10:37 am

Ask Northern California sheep rancher Dan Macon what this drought is doing to his pocketbook and he'll break it down for you real quick.

"It's like if you woke up one morning and lost 40 percent of the equity in your house," he says. "Our primary investment in our ranch is in these sheep and we just sold 40 percent of our stock."

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Politics
9:26 am
Sat November 8, 2014

The GOP Takes Heart From Colorado, But Still Faces 2016 Hurdles

Senator-elect Cory Gardner of Colorado delivers his victory speech to supporters during a GOP election night gathering. Gardner appealed to moderates and unaffiliated voters.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 11:33 am

Colorado is one of the battleground states where Republicans made big gains this week. Republicans in the state believe they now have momentum going into the 2016 presidential election.

But the GOP has suffered some punishing losses there lately, owing in part to the state's changing demographics. That trend may still be a big factor in 2016.

The last time Republicans won a U.S. Senate seat here was when Wayne Allard was re-elected in 2002. Back then, Congressman and now Senator-elect Cory Gardner was a young staffer working behind the scenes for Allard.

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Around the Nation
3:46 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Keep On Drillin'? Santa Barbara Prepares To Vote On Oil Future

A cow walks near oil pump jacks in Santa Maria, Calif. Oil production has long been a part of Santa Barbara County, but a new ballot measure could effectively shut down all new drilling operations there.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 1:25 pm

Think of California's Santa Barbara County and you might picture the area's famous beaches or resorts and wineries. But in the northern reaches of the vast county, oil production has been a major contributor to the economy for almost a century.

So it's no surprise that the oil industry there is feverishly organizing to fight a local ballot initiative — Measure P — that would ban controversial drilling methods such as hydraulic fracturing. What is turning heads, however, is the sheer volume of money flooding into this local race, mainly from large oil companies.

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Environment
4:26 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Coping In A Drier World: California's Drought Survival Strategy

The San Luis Reservoir in central California is the largest "off-channel" reservoir in the U.S. It is currently at less than 30 percent of its normal capacity.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 6:44 pm

The past few years have been California's driest on record. Forecasters predict that punishing droughts like the current one could become the new norm.

The state uses water rationing and a 90-year-old water distribution system to cope until the rains come. The system is a huge network of dams, canals and pipes that move water from the places it rains and snows to places it typically doesn't, like farms and cities.

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It's All Politics
4:16 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Identity Politics Center Stage In California's Central Valley Campaign

On the campaign trail, Amanda Renteria talks often about her parents, who were migrant farmworkers in the Central Valley.
Courtesy Amanda Renteria for Congress

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 5:57 pm

In California's rural Central Valley, a candidate's identity means everything in politics. Just take the race between first-term Republican Rep. David Valadao and Democrat Amanda Renteria for the state's 21st Congressional District seat, which is attracting some unusual attention this fall.

In a midterm election year where immigration remains a thorny subject, both Valadao and Renteria talk openly about the need for Congress to pass the stalled comprehensive reform bill.

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Around the Nation
4:06 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

To Counter Gun Violence, Researchers Seek Deeper Data

Surrendered handguns are piled in a bin during a gun buyback event in Los Angeles on May 31, 2014.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 5:43 pm

For the first time in nearly two decades, federal money is beginning to flow into gun violence research. And there's growing momentum behind creating a reliable national reporting database for firearm injuries and deaths.

On the front lines at the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, one of the top trauma hospitals on the West Coast, researchers like Dr. Demetrios Demetriades hope to get a better picture of the scope of the problem, so states can better target their prevention programs.

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Politics
4:28 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Colorado Republicans Buck National Party Trends On Immigration

Republican Colorado state Sen. George Rivera says the GOP's pitch of small government, low taxes and traditional values is starting to resonate with the state's Latino voters.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:04 pm

Steel mills, unions and the Democratic Party have defined politics in Pueblo, Colo., for decades. But that doesn't discourage George Rivera.

"When we look at values, when we look at who we are, especially as Hispanics, our values tend to be conservative," Rivera says.

Rivera, a retired deputy police chief, is going door to door for votes in a neighborhood east of downtown, near where he grew up. Last summer, he unseated local Democrat Angela Giron in the state Legislature, in a high-profile recall election that focused on guns.

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Around the Nation
3:47 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Surfers Flock To The Water, As Huge Waves Hit The West Coast

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:29 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's All Politics
1:34 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Embattled Montana Senator Withdraws From Race

Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., has been accused of plagiarizing a portion of his 2007 master's thesis.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 6:04 pm

After cancelling a string of campaign events and fundraisers this week, Montana Democrat John Walsh announced Thursday that he would drop out of the race for the U.S. Senate.

"I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator," Walsh said in a statement. "You deserve someone who will always fight for Montana, and I will."

He will serve out the remainder of his Senate term, which expires in Jan. 2015.

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Around the Nation
5:03 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Three Years On, Utah's Immigrant Guest Worker Law Still Stalled

This statue is located in Utah's Capitol building, beneath a mural of Brigham Young and the first Mormon pioneers traveling out west. "Utah is a place that understands the value of immigration," says Utah's speaker of the House, Becky Lockhart.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 7:28 pm

At the Utah State Capitol, a mural of Brigham Young and the first Mormon pioneers brings some color to the building's spartan rotunda. Beneath it is a more modern sculpture — a woman walking forward with her son, who's holding a globe.

Underneath the statue are the words "Immigration and Settlement." The symbolism isn't lost on state House Speaker Becky Lockhart.

"Utah is a place that understands the value of immigration, the value of peoples coming to find a better life," she says, pointing up at the sculpture.

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Strange News
9:15 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Dressing Up As A T-Rex Is All Part Of The Job

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 12:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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U.S.
3:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

As Immigration Crisis Grows, A Protest Movement Gains Steam

In Oracle, Ariz., on Tuesday, protesters gather near the entrance to a juvenile facility in an effort to stop the arrival of a busload of Central American immigrant children. The bus never arrived.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:01 pm

Anti-illegal immigration activists are planning several hundred protests in cities across the country on Friday and Saturday, part of a growing backlash against the federal government's efforts to temporarily house migrant children detained at the border.

Protesters say they are concerned about safety, as the Obama administration pushes to move detainees from Texas to shelters run by nonprofits in other states.

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Business
3:59 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Picketing Truckers Raise Tensions At LA Port Amid Dockworker Talks

Picketers supporting independent truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach stand outside a container terminal.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 6:04 pm

Labor tensions are high at the largest port complex in the country — Los Angeles and Long Beach — which handles nearly half of all the cargo coming into the United States.

Short-haul truck drivers are striking. They're the independent, contract truckers who bring the containers off the ships to nearby warehouses for companies like Wal-Mart and Costco. At the twin ports, their numbers hover around 10,000.

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Business
4:29 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Truckers Strike At 2 Calif. Ports, Larger Labor Dispute Looms

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:04 am

Independent truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are on strike against three large trucking firms that operate at the ports.

Handling almost half of all the nation's cargo, the ports of Los Angles and Long Beach are the main gateway for imports from Asia.

A lot of the shipping containers end up on these idling trucks. The short-haul truckers bring the goods from here to nearby rail yards and distribution centers for companies like Costco, Forever 21 and Skechers.

"We're in this to win," says truck driver Byron Contrerras.

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U.S.
4:05 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

Increasing Use Of Oil Trains Inspires Backlash From States

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:18 am

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It's All Politics
9:46 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Calif. Town Thrusts Heated Immigration Debate Into National Spotlight

Human-rights activist Enrique Morones, at podium, speaks during a rally in support of immigrants on Wednesday in San Diego. A group of about 70 people rallied in support of migrant children and families Wednesday, a day after U.S. Homeland Security buses carrying the migrants were routed away from American flag-waving protesters in Murrieta, Calif., and transported to a facility in San Diego.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 12:49 pm

As the saying goes, all politics is local. And that couldn't have been clearer this week in and around Murrieta, Calif., a sleepy conservative enclave 60 miles north of San Diego.

Local leaders here made a loud stand against the planned movement of immigrant detainees to their city from overcrowded U.S. Border Patrol stations in Texas — and in the process rather purposefully thrust their city into the national political spotlight.

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Immigration Debate Splits California City In Two

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 5:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Tensions Eddy In Murrieta After Protesters Turn Back Buses Of Migrants

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 6:20 pm

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:52 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Calif. Lawmakers To Debate Controversial Gun-Control Bill

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 9:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I am Renee Montagne. Here in California today, a controversial gun control bill gets its first hearing. It was introduced in the wake of last month's mass murder near the campus of UC Santa Barbara. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: When California lawmakers began debate today, expect the case of Elliott Rodger to come back into focus.

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Around the Nation
3:42 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Tensions Still High In 'Nevada Land' Over Cattle Dispute

Rancher Cliven Bundy stands near a gate on his 160-acre ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., the site of a standoff with the government last month. If the federal government comes back, Bundy promises, his militia supporters will also return in force.
Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:51 am

Cliven Bundy's ranch is just a few miles off Interstate 15 in southern Nevada, near the tiny town of Bunkerville. The dirt road that gets you there snakes through a hot and forlorn patch of desert. You know you've found it when you see a spray-painted sign for Bundy Melons.

"What we say is, we raise cows and melons and kids. That's what we do here," says Bundy, smiling as he hoses down a dusty sidewalk that leads into the family's ranch house.

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Law
3:00 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Las Vegas Shooting Returns Police Attention To Bundy's Ranch

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 5:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

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Politics
2:46 am
Tue June 10, 2014

In Booming San Jose, Businesses Settle Into A Minimum Wage Hike

Chuck Hammers, owner of Pizza My Heart in San Jose, Calif., raised prices on slices by 25 cents and pies by about $1 after the minimum wage increase, and says he hasn't experienced a drop in business.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 8:33 am

It's been a little more than a year since San Jose, Calif., increased the city's minimum wage by $2 per hour, with adjustments for inflation. Now at $10.15 an hour, it's one of the state's highest.

Back in 2012, as voters were debating the wage hike, some in the restaurant and hospitality industry warned that an increase would be bad for the sector. It would deter new businesses from opening, they said, and would cause existing businesses to slash hours for employees.

So how are San Jose's businesses faring today? The answer is, it depends.

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Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

In Las Vegas Shootings, Some Suspect Roots In Anti-Government Militias

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:42 pm

A married couple apparently killed two police officers and another woman in Las Vegas. The husband and wife, also killed in the shooting, appear to have held anti-government and anti-law enforcement views.

Shots - Health News
2:03 am
Thu May 29, 2014

The Divide Over Involuntary Mental Health Treatment

Involuntary commitment to a hospital for mental illness can be a lengthy and complex process. A California law makes mandatory outpatient treatment an option.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:19 pm

The attacks near the University of California, Santa Barbara, are renewing focus on programs aimed at requiring treatment for people who are mentally ill as a way to prevent mass shootings and other violence.

In California, a 2002 law allows authorities to require outpatient mental health care for people who have been refusing it. Proponents argue that this kind of intervention could prevent violent acts.

But counties within the state have been slow to adopt the legislation, and mental health professionals are divided over its effects.

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Around the Nation
6:49 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Retiring Columbine Principal Turned Guilt Into Action

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 1:09 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Today is Graduation Day at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. And, of course, it will be an emotional time for the school's principal, Frank DeAngelis. He'll be giving his final sendoff to a senior class. Mr. DeAngelis is retiring at the end of this school year. He's one of just a few staffers who stayed on at Columbine after the 1999 mass shootings there. Fifteen people died, including the two gunmen, who were also students. As NPR's Kirk Siegler reports, the massacre and the school's response to it defined Mr. DeAngelis's career.

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Environment
3:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Ahead Of Wildfire Season, Scientists Study What Fuels Fires

A lab technician lighting a fire in a wind tunnel at a fire lab in Riverside, Calif.
Sean Nealon University of California, Riverside

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 6:00 pm

As fire managers in the drought-stricken Southwest gear up for another long and expensive wildfire season, federal fire scientists are trying to better understand the physics behind what makes blazes spread.

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Race
2:19 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Sterling's Tarnished History Of Alleged Discrimination

LeBron James of the Miami Heat wears black socks to protest Clippers owner Donald Sterling during the Heat's playoff game Monday against the Charlotte Bobcats. Stars throughout the NBA have offered bitter rebukes of Sterling.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 11:52 am

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been at the heart of racial controversies before.

Sterling, one of the longest-tenured owners of an NBA franchise, is alleged to have made racist comments in an audio tape that was first posted by the celebrity gossip site TMZ.

He is also a prominent real estate mogul in LA who, ironically, has been honored for his philanthropy by the local NAACP.

The NBA says it will announce findings Tuesday afternoon from its investigation into the controversy.

A Fortune In Real Estate

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The Salt
2:26 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Fields And Farm Jobs Dry Up With California's Worsening Drought

Recent rains kept Suzanne and Mike Collins' orange grove alive, but the rainy season is ending. If they don't get federal irrigation water by this summer, their trees will start dying.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:47 pm

On a recent afternoon on the main drag of Orange Cove, Calif., about a dozen farm workers gather on the sidewalk in front of a mini-mart.

One man sits on a milk crate sipping a beer. A few others scratch some lotto tickets. Salvador Perez paces back and forth with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans.

If there is no water, there's no work, he says in Spanish.

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