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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Code Switch
3:18 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

LAPD Chief Has Lessons To Share About Department's Past 'Ghosts'

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, a reformer hand-picked by former LAPD Chief William Bratton, is seen as an innovator and also someone respected by the old guard.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:33 pm

On the 11th floor of the Los Angeles Police Department's downtown high-rise, Chief Charlie Beck has been fielding a lot of calls since the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Beck's counterparts around the country are calling to find out how his department addressed what he calls the "ghosts of LAPD's past."

"I don't want people to have to have their city go up in flames like Los Angeles did in 1992 to learn these lessons," he says.

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Race
5:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Remembering Rodney King, Southern Calif. Watches Ferguson, NY

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 9:51 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:30 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

California Storm Brings Welcome Rain During Record-Setting Drought

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 8:34 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH: This is what Californians have longed to hear.

(SOUNDBITE OF RAIN)

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Business
1:52 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 7:04 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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U.S.
3:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

'Undocumented' Stigma A Barrier In Asian-American Communities

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 4:39 pm

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

Politics
2:23 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

In Southwest, New Immigration Policies Bring Frustration From All Sides

An anti-Obama protester yells on a megaphone Friday across the street from Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, where President Obama delivered remarks on his use of executive authority to relax U.S. immigration policy in Las Vegas.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 5:49 pm

Even before the details of the president's executive action on immigration came down, William Gheen was hitting the phones, organizing demonstrations outside the Las Vegas high school Obama visited Friday.

"I don't know what's going to be effective, I don't think anybody ever expected that the president of the United States would side with an illegal immigrant invasion over American citizens' interest, but that's what's happened here," Gheen says.

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The Salt
3:09 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 9:37 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
8:38 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 10:33 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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Politics
2:33 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

In Colo., Republicans Try To Capitalize On Obama's Unpopularity

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 4:23 pm

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

Around the Nation
2:46 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 12:25 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
3:26 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 5:44 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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Around the Nation
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

After Quarantine, Ebola-Free Dallas Residents Face New Challenges

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 5:36 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:03 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

For LAPD Cop Working Skid Row, 'There's Always Hope'

LAPD Officer Deon Joseph has patrolled Skid Row for 17 years.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 4:41 pm

LAPD Officer Deon Joseph patrols one of the toughest places in America: Skid Row, a 50-block concentration of drug dealers, gangs, chronically homeless and the mentally ill — and the shelters and clinics in downtown Los Angeles that serve them.

"About 2,500 people on probation for violent crimes or narcotics crimes. Registered sex offenders, which can range from 500 to 700 individuals concentrated in here because there are no services anywhere else," Joseph says.

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It's All Politics
2:23 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 4:57 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
3:06 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 4:43 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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Around the Nation
2:19 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Hundreds Of Homes Threatened By Calif.'s King Fire

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:49 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
3:28 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 5:04 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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Politics
3:02 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Colo. Democrats Bet On Immigration To Boost Udall's Re-Election Bid

Sonia Marquez of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is encouraging Latinos to turn out for this year's midterm elections.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:25 am

In southwest Denver, a wave of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador has settled in the neighborhoods around the intersection of Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue.

Billboards are in Spanish. Chile stands, taquerias and Asian noodle houses line the streets.

In a small office plaza across from a carniceria, a group of Latino activists are staging a press conference to roll out their Immigration Voter Accountability Project.

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Around the Nation
2:47 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 5:29 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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It's All Politics
12:34 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 5:04 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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Politics
3:29 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Scandal Threatens Montana Democrat's Hold On U.S. Senate Seat

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 Wed August 6, 2014 10:25 am

On Sunday morning, with haze from wildfires thick in the air, Sen. John Walsh addressed a graduation for officer candidates at the Fort Harrison Army post outside Helena, Mont.

"As your senator and someone who sat in your seat approximately 30 years ago today, I will always be your partner," Walsh told the small crowd.

For Walsh, this should have been a perfect event. He's the only Iraq War veteran serving in the U.S. Senate. And he had graduated from this same training here.

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Around the Nation
4:03 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 6:28 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
8:15 am
Sat July 26, 2014

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

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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U.S.
2:53 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 9:01 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
2:59 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 5:04 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
2:13 am
Tue July 8, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:04 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.
3:05 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

Increasing Use Of Oil Trains Inspires Backlash From States

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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It's All Politics
8:46 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 11:49 am

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
2:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Immigration Debate Splits California City In Two

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 4:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

Tensions Eddy In Murrieta After Protesters Turn Back Buses Of Migrants

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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