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
4:52 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Summer 'Heat Tourists' Sweat With Smiles In Death Valley

Tourists walk across the Badwater Basin, which sits 282 feet below sea level, in Death Valley, Calif., on June 30. People from around the world flock to the area to experience temperatures that rise to the high 120s on a regular basis.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 11:11 pm

It's no secret that Death Valley, Calif., is one of the hottest, most unforgiving places on Earth come summertime. July 10 is the 100th anniversary of the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet — 134 degrees Fahrenheit — and the heat is drawing tourists from all over the world to Death Valley.

Like Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport, Death Valley becomes a melting pot of foreign accents. On a recent afternoon, Belgian tourist Yan Klassens admires the view of the Badlands from Zabriskie Point, describing it as "nice, awesome and colorful."

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U.S.
2:53 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Despite Hefty Payouts, Fire Insurance Costs Hold Steady

Firefighter Brandie Smith walks by the remains of a structure destroyed in the Black Forest wildfire north of Colorado Springs last month. More than 500 homes have been lost to wildfire in the state this year.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:46 pm

Wildfires have already destroyed hundreds of homes in the American West this year. The insurance industry is once again poised to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to cover those losses, as it already has for homeowners who lost their houses during last year's fire season.

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Federal Investigators Probe Ariz. Fire That Killed 19 Hotshots

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 9:52 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

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Around the Nation
5:09 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Shock Gives Way To Sadness In Deaths Of 19 Firefighters

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In Arizona, shock is giving way to sadness and deep appreciation for the 19 firefighters killed battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire on Sunday. A candlelight vigil is being held this evening in the city of Prescott, home of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. All of the firefighters killed were part of that unit. Karen Takai is with the Southwest Incident Management team, the federal unit now in charge.

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NPR Story
7:38 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Colorado Springs Learns To Live With Fire

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Colorado is often the site of devastating forest fires, but the city of Colorado Springs has been hit particularly hard as of late. In the span of just one year, more than 800 homes have been destroyed from wildfires in and around the city. This time last year, it was the Waldo Canyon fire, and now it's the Black Forest fire. NPR's Kirk Siegler spent the week in Colorado Springs and sent this report.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Rain, Cooler Weather Slow Colorado Fire

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:14 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Black Forest Fire Rages On Near Colorado Springs

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:12 pm

The Black Forest Fire burning near Colorado Springs is the most destructive wildfire in the state's history.

Around the Nation
5:22 am
Fri June 14, 2013

First Lives Lost In Colorado Wildfire

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Black Forest Fire outside Colorado Springs has now left two people dead. That fire has forced nearly 40,000 people to evacuate, and it's consumed over 300 homes since it was first ignited Monday afternoon. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports it's now the most destructive natural disaster in Colorado history.

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Around the Nation
2:57 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Rail Project At Los Angeles Port Draws Environmentalists' Ire

Shipping containers stack up at the Port of Los Angeles.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 12:21 pm

In California, a high-profile lawsuit is seeking to halt construction of a new $500 million rail yard next to the Port of Los Angeles. Activists, including a national environmental group that's spearheading the opposition, say the massive project would mean even more pollution for nearby neighborhoods that already have some of the worst air in the country.

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U.S.
8:29 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Fatal Shootings In Santa Monica Leave Several Injured

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A grim and chaotic scene today in Santa Monica, California. That's where authorities say at least six people are dead after a shooting rampage that ended violently on the campus of Santa Monica Community College. Several more people are being treated at area hospitals. Authorities say some injuries are serious, others minor. The shooting triggered lockdowns at the college and at other nearby schools. NPR's Kirk Siegler joins us now with the latest from NPR West in Culver City. And Kirk, what have you learned so far?

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Business
4:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

California Hosts U.S.-China Summit

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 5:32 am

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:32 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Identities Of 24 Victims In Okla. Tornado Emerge

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:40 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In Moore, Okla., today, details about some of the people killed in the massive tornado began to emerge. Ten of them are children. They include a 4-month-old girl whose mother also died, an infant and her 4-year-old sister, and seven third-graders who were trapped in the Plaza Towers Elementary School.

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Around the Nation
8:26 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Red Cross Expects Okla. Shelters To Be Open For Weeks

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 9:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Wednesday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Renee Montagne comes back tomorrow.

Rescue workers are nearing the end of their search for survivors in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, where a powerful tornado claimed 24 lives and injured hundreds. Officials said heavy rain slowed the rescue effort on Tuesday, but at least 100 people have been pulled from the debris alive. Now attention turns to the huge cleanup effort.

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Business
5:06 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Yahoo To Buy Tumblr In An Attempt To Revitalize Itself

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big blogging buyout.

Today, Yahoo announced its purchase of the blogging site Tumblr. The $1.1 billion deal was unanimously approved by Yahoo's board. Analysts say the acquisition is Yahoo's attempt to revitalize itself.

NPR's Kirk Siegler has more.

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Energy
5:06 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Calif. Law To Require Ships To Cut Pollution

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 5:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Two ports, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, handle almost half of all of the consumer goods being shipped into the United States. Together, these two ports are also the single largest polluter in Southern California, a region famous for its smog.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports on a new California law that will soon require some of the largest diesel-guzzling ships to kill their engines and plug in to shore power at the docks.

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Politics
3:02 am
Fri May 17, 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 4:46 pm

The candidates have spent a record amount of money. They've stumped hard in a city that isn't easy to campaign in — 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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Law
4:50 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Reward For Christopher Dorner Will Be Split Four Ways

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Around the Nation
5:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Cooler Weather May Help Battle Southern California Wildfires

A cold front that's bringing cool temperatures and rain showers to Southern California is welcome news to firefighters who are working to contain the Springs Fire in Ventura County west of Los Angeles. The blaze is one of a half dozen large fires burning in parched California, where the wildfire season is off to an unusually early start.

Around the Nation
5:24 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 6:41 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
3:59 pm
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 8:01 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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Around the Nation
5:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

L.A. Reclaims No. 1 Worst Traffic Rating

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Los Angeles has reclaimed its place at the top, as the city with the worst traffic in the country. That's according to a report from a company called INRIX, which makes systems that handle traffic data. And it doesn't surprise me, Steve, because a couple of days ago, it took me two hours to get six miles.

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: That would be three miles an hour, on average. NPR's...

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It's All Politics
4:31 pm
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 5:49 pm

The Republican National Committee is holding its spring meeting in the Democratic stronghold of Hollywood this week — 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
3:21 am
Wed April 10, 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 7:20 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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Around the Nation
5:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Villaraigosa Faulted For Not Helping Latino Politicians

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Los Angeles is getting ready to elect a new mayor, and the field is down to two: city comptroller Wendy Greuel and city councilman Eric Garcetti. Now, while Garcetti speaks often of his Mexican ancestry on his father's side, neither candidate is seen as a product of L.A.'s Latino community or political establishment.

And this is notable because of all the attention paid to the current mayor's background when he came to office. Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.

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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
5:20 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 5:53 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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Religion
5:35 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

L.A. Archdiocese Settles With Sex Abuse Victims For Nearly $10 Million

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:44 pm

The Los Angeles Archdiocese has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a priest sex abuse case. The settlement is the first since documents detailing the involvement of high-ranking church officials — including Cardinal Roger Mahony — in moving and protecting abusive priests. Mahony was at the Vatican where he was one of the 115 cardinals who gathered to select the new pope.

Around the Nation
4:47 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Owens Valley Salty As Los Angeles Water Battle Flows Into Court

Owens Lake — which dried up after losing its water source, the Owens River, to Los Angeles — 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 6:30 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
3:20 pm
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 11:49 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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Around the Nation
5:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Ex-LAPD Officer May Have Stalked Targets Before Killing Spree

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

We're learning more about the actions of Christopher Dorner, the former police officer turned fugitive in Southern California. Today, police in Los Angeles said they believe he stalked LAPD officers and their families before he began his alleged killing rampage. Authorities say Dorner killed himself last week during a violent standoff in the mountains east of L.A. NPR's Kirk Siegler has this update.

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Around the Nation
6:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

No ID Yet On Charred Body Found After Police Manhunt

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The manhunt for fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner is officially over. Dorner was wanted for four murders. Tuesday he apparently perished in a burning mountain cabin, after a chase and a gunfight.

Yesterday, authorities offered new information about the ordeal. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: When San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon faced reporters yesterday afternoon, he stopped short of confirming that it was Christopher Dorner recovered from the burned out cabin.

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