Kirk Siegler

Kirk Siegler is a reporter for NPR's National Desk. In this role he covers Southern California and the West from NPR West's studios in Culver City, CA.

Since joining the national desk in December of 2012, Siegler has covered everything from a dock worker strike at the nation's largest port to an unprecedented manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer wanted for a string of vengeance killings. He's also contributed extensively to the network's coverage on the ongoing national conversation about guns; assignments that have taken him from Newtown, CT, to an inner-city Los Angeles hospital's trauma ward, to rural Wyoming.

Siegler has won numerous Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press Awards for his coverage of Environmental, Political and Business issues in Montana and Colorado. Siegler was a 2010 Science Literacy Project fellow at the University of California-Berkeley and most recently he completed the 2012 Knight/MIT "Food Boot Camp" Fellowship.

Prior to joining NPR, Siegler spent seven years reporting from Colorado, where he became a familiar voice to NPR listeners reporting from Denver for NPR Member Station KUNC. He also spent two years as a reporter and news director at Aspen Public Radio. Siegler got his start in reporting in 2003 covering the Montana Legislature for Montana Public Radio.

Siegler has spent much of his adult life living in the West. He grew up in Missoula, MT and received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is an avid skier and enjoys traveling and visiting his family scattered across the globe.

Pages

6:48am

Sat December 6, 2014
Race

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/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more

2:52am

Tue December 2, 2014
Business

Colorado's Pot Industry Looks To Move Past Stereotypes

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

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

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."

Read more

9:01am

Fri November 14, 2014
The Salt

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

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

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

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."

Read more

9:26am

Sat November 8, 2014
Politics

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

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

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

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.

Read more

3:46am

Thu October 30, 2014
Around the Nation

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

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

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

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.

Read more

4:26pm

Wed October 22, 2014
Environment

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

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

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

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.

Read more

4:16pm

Thu October 9, 2014
It's All Politics

Identity Politics Center Stage In California's Central Valley Campaign

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

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

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.

Read more

4:06pm

Sun September 28, 2014
Around the Nation

To Counter Gun Violence, Researchers Seek Deeper Data

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

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

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.

Read more

4:28pm

Wed September 3, 2014
Politics

Colorado Republicans Buck National Party Trends On Immigration

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

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

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.

Read more

3:47pm

Wed August 27, 2014
Around the Nation

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/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more

1:34pm

Thu August 7, 2014
It's All Politics

Embattled Montana Senator Withdraws From Race

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

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

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.

Read more

5:03pm

Thu July 31, 2014
Around the Nation

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

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

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

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.

Read more

9:15am

Sat July 26, 2014
Strange News

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/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more

3:53pm

Thu July 17, 2014
U.S.

As Immigration Crisis Grows, A Protest Movement Gains Steam

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

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

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.

Read more

3:59pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Business

Picketing Truckers Raise Tensions At LA Port Amid Dockworker Talks

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

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

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.

Read more

Pages