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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Around the Nation
7:43 am
Sat February 14, 2015

West Coast Port Closures Are Hitting Several Industries Hard

A few trucks move along the docks at the Port of Los Angeles on Thursday. Seaports in major West Coast cities that normally are abuzz with the sound of commerce are falling unusually quiet due to an ongoing labor dispute.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 11:53 am

No cargo will go in or out of 29 West Coast ports this weekend.

It's the third partial shutdown in operations at these ports in a week, the result of a bitter labor dispute between shipping lines and the union representing 20,000 dock workers. The dispute has been dragging on for eight months, and now the economic impacts of the shutdown are starting to be felt.

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Business
3:26 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Los Angeles Residents Divided Over Proposed $15 Minimum Wage

Protesters assemble in front of a McDonald's in Los Angeles, demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage in September.
Paul Buck EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 9:51 am

Los Angeles is considering raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour, from $9 currently. The dramatic proposal is causing excitement and some anxiety.

San Francisco and Seattle have already passed a $15 minimum wage (they'll rise to that level over the next few years), but what's different in LA is the number of working poor in this huge city.

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Shots - Health News
6:30 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Measles + Low Vaccination Rates = Big Headaches For Schools

California is one of 20 states that allow parents to opt out of vaccination requirements for reasons of "personal belief." About 10 percent of students in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district are not immunized.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 7:25 pm

In Southern California many schools are facing tough questions about measles.

California is one of 20 states that allow students to opt out of school vaccination requirements when those rules conflict with their parents' personal beliefs. Many affluent areas along the California coast are home to schools with some of the highest "personal belief exemption" rates in the country. And that is creating some tension for administrators and health officials.

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U.S.
3:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Nebraska Says Colorado Pot Isn't Staying Across The Border

Deuel County Sheriff Adam Hayward shows off a container of confiscated marijuana in Chappell, Neb., in July.
Nikki Kahn The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 10:02 am

There's a PSA that greets you on the radio when you're driving the flat stretch of Colorado State Highway 113 near the Nebraska state line: "With marijuana legal under Colorado law, we've all got a few things to know. ... Once you get here, can't leave our state. Stick around, this place is pretty great."

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Around the Nation
3:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Deal May Be In Sight For Pacific Coast Longshoremen

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 3:13 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
3:59 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Falling Oil Prices Have North Dakota Migrants Rethinking The Boom

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:33 pm

A year ago, as part of our series on the Great Plains oil rush, we brought you the story of a 36-year-old father who had recently lost his job when one of the last major timber mills in the Northwest shut down. After several years struggling to find steady work and even after going back to school, Rory Richardson decided to commute 550 miles from his home in far western Montana, to a place where jobs are plentiful - the oil fields of North Dakota. But after a little more than a year, he and his family have decided the toll is just too great.

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Rain Eases California Drought Anxiety, If Not The Actual Drought

The drought forced many citrus farmers near Orange Cove, Calif., to mulch their trees because they couldn't afford to keep them alive. Recent rain and new groundwater regulations have eased the crisis, but only slightly.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 12:25 pm

The small city of Orange Cove, at the doorstep of the Sierra Nevada in central California, was suffering the brunt of the state's drought in April.

The rolling hills around the town are lined with citrus groves, and most people work on farms. As the irrigation canals dried up last summer, so did the economy.

"If there's no water, there's no work," Salvador Perez told NPR at the 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 2015 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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Politics
3:23 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 6:49 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
4:09 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 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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Animals
3:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Feds List Gunnison Sage Grouse As Threatened Species

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 9:31 am

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

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Politics
9:38 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 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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Politics
3:33 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 5:23 pm

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

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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