KQED's live call-in program presents balanced discussions of local, state, national, and world issues as well as in-depth interviews with leading figures in politics, science, entertainment, and the arts.
"Judging is not for the faint of heart," writes Judge LaDoris Cordell in her new memoir "Her Honor." Over two decades, as the first Black female jurist to sit on a superior court in Northern California, Cordell oversaw thousands of civil and criminal cases, many of which laid bare for her the racial biases and other structural flaws that infect the legal system. We'll talk about her experiences on the bench and her proposals to reform how justice is administered in U.S. courts.
After a flood of criticism from parents, three members of the San Francisco Board of Education are facing recall in a special election set for Feb. 15. Recall supporters accused the board members of mismanaging school re-openings during the pandemic, misplacing energy on renaming schools and changing the admissions process for Lowell High School, the elite magnet school, and being ill-prepared to steward the district's finances amid a looming $116 million budget deficit. We'll discuss what's next for the school board.
It's hard to talk about death. And the COVID-19 pandemic has made those conversations even harder, as families have grappled with the sudden illness of loved ones and hospital protocols have shifted those freighted interactions to Zoom. We'll talk about how to start conversations about end-of-life care, post-mortem wishes and estate planning. And we want to hear from you: Has the pandemic inspired you to make an end-of-life plan? What advice do you need to have an effective conversation about death with your loved ones?
When he founded the Internet Archive 25 years ago, Brewster Kahle ambitiously set out to create a modern-day library that would “create a permanent memory for the Web that can be leveraged to make a new Global Mind.” Housed in a former church on Funston Street in San Francisco, the archive has amassed 70 million gigabytes of data that includes 65 million books, texts, movies, audio files, and images. Its Wayback Machine has saved more than 653 billion web pages and counting. While Kahle's ideals have stayed steady, the internet has radically changed. We'll talk with Kahle and a panel of experts about what the internet is, could be and should be.
The Bay Area was hit with historic levels of rain on Sunday, causing massive flooding in Marin and power outages for close to 150,000 households. We'll get an update on the damage caused and talk about whether this extreme weather may be the new normal.
Every year about 500,000 Americans who give birth experience anxiety, guilt and insomnia after their baby is born -- and some are even suicidal. The postpartum mental health care they receive varies greatly. Mother and Baby Units are considered the gold standard of inpatient psychiatric care for new mothers in England and several other countries, but none exist in the U.S., despite mental health issues being one of the leading causes of maternal death. We'll look at the differences in postpartum mental health care in the U.S. and the U.K, and learn about California's first inpatient perinatal psychiatry unit.
Hundreds of thousands of workers in industries ranging from health care to coal mining are on strike, in a massive wave of labor actions being dubbed “Striketober”. But even off the picket lines there may be quieter indicators of worker rebellion. Employees are quitting at record rates and employers are struggling to find workers, even after hiking up wages. To former Labor Secretary and UC Berkeley Professor Robert Reich, these are signs that American workers may finally have the bargaining power to push back against low wages, long hours and bad working conditions. “You might say workers have declared a national general strike until they get better pay and improved working conditions” he wrote in an opinion piece for The Guardian. We'll talk to Robert Reich about this moment and the future of labor.
Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation that makes California the first state in the nation to require health care facilities to offer screening for hepatitis B and C, which if left untreated can lead to fatal liver disease and cancer. Almost 90% of people with chronic hepatitis B in California are members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Black Americans have the second highest rate of chronic infection. We'll talk about how the law will work and take your questions.
Last month, Marie Wilcox of Woodlake, Calif., the last known fluent speaker of the indigenous language, Wukchumni, passed away. Before she died, she dedicated herself to preserving the language by putting together a Wukchumni dictionary and recording herself speaking. Similar efforts are underway across California, a state where some 100 indigenous languages were spoken before the arrival of Europeans. Many of those languages have disappeared entirely and some have only a few fluent speakers left. We talk about what it takes to save a language and the work of the California Language Archive at the University of California, Berkeley.
It was a hot October weekend. Typical Bay Area fall weather, and the end of fire season. A small fire that had broken out in the hills above the Caldecott Tunnel looked nearly extinguished. But then the wind kicked up, and suddenly what had been a campfire-size blaze, became an inferno. That firestorm would go on to kill 25 people and destroy 3,400 homes. Thirty years ago, it seemed like an anomaly. Today, fires so large that they create their own weather systems have become an annual event. We'll talk about lessons learned from the Tunnel Fire with people who lived through it and with those trying to prevent another conflagration from happening again.
California's historic Reparations Task Force heard testimony last week on anti-Black racism in housing, education, banking and the environment as part of a series of meetings considering the impact of slavery in the state. Vice chair of the task force, Dr. Amos Brown, emphasized the importance of the hearings, declaring: “We need to make sure that these testimonies are shouted from the house top and throughout the length and breadth of this state of California.” Commissioned by Assembly Bill 3121 last fall to “study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans,” this task force is the first of its kind in the U.S. We'll talk to task force chair Kamilah Moore about the recent hearings and key questions the group is exploring in their study, including who would qualify for reparations.
Puffy jackets, colorful patterns and statement accessories aren't just trendy wardrobe staples among young people. Senior citizens are showing off what enjoying old age can look like through their unique styles. Photography projects such as Advanced Style and Chinatown Pretty capture the joy, wisdom and stories of neighborhood elders who boldly express themselves through their outfits. We'll talk with the creators of those projects and discuss what we can all learn from the senior fashionistas strutting the sidewalks in our own communities.
When labor economist David Card began studying the minimum wage in the 1990's, conventional wisdom, and economic theory, held that an increase in the minimum wage would lead to job loss. But in a move that revolutionized the way economics could be done, Card and his colleague, Alan Krueger, compared the real world data from a state that raised the minimum wage to one that didn't, and found that the increase didn't kill jobs. This “natural experiment” allowed Card to study the effects of policy changes or chance events in a way similar to clinical trials in medicine. Another natural experiment found that an influx of immigrants did not lower the wages of low-skilled native born workers. Forum talks with Berkeley professor David Card about his work, the “credibility revolution” in economics that it spawned and winning, with Stanford professor Guido Imbens and Joshua Angrist from MIT, the Nobel Prize in economics.
Thirty years ago, a small, mostly-extinguished grassfire was stoked by a hot, dry wind that ignited a firestorm in the Oakland and Berkeley hills killing 25 people and destroying more than 3,400 homes. As the Bay Area remembers the Tunnel Fire, we talk to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf about the lessons the city and firefighters learned from the tragedy and her own memories of that fire which destroyed her family home.
Donald Trump on Monday sued the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection to prevent it from accessing a broad swath of records from his administration. The filing came just before the Committee convenes on Tuesday to pursue criminal contempt charges against Trump ally Steve Bannon for his refusal to cooperate with investigators. We'll talk to Los Angeles Congressman Adam Schiff, who sits on the Select Committee, about his efforts to hold January 6 rioters and their enablers to account, and about his new book "Midnight in Washington," which details the antidemocratic forces still at work in the U.S. political system.
In his new book, "The Loneliest Americans," Jay Caspian Kang sets out to challenge the assumed solidarity of Asian Americans of different classes and waves of immigration. What unites all the peoples from all the different places in the globe's largest continent? Maybe not enough to create a cohesive political unit, Kang argues. We'll talk with Kang, a staff writer for the New York Times Opinion page and New York Times Magazine, about his book, radical politics, and Berkeley through the eyes of a recent East Coast transplant.
Colin Powell, 84, died on Monday due to complications from COVID-19. Powell was one of the largest figures in American public, political and military life of the past four decades. As a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, secretary of state and national security adviser he helped craft modern U.S. foreign policy, including his controversial role in the lead up to the Iraq war in 2003. Born in Harlem, N.Y., to Jamaican parents, Powell was a pioneer in a number of his public service roles, including his time as the first Black Secretary of State and first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. When he endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008, it was one of then-Senator Obama's most significant endorsements, particularly because of Powell's military credentials. We remember Powell's impact on American life, and how his role affected Californians of all political stripes.
"Please... be quiet!" That's the desperate plea that becomes a constant refrain for 13-year-old Benny Oh, the protagonist of Ruth Ozeki's new novel, "The Book of Form and Emptiness." After his beloved father dies, Benny starts literally to hear "things" - from the old lettuce that sighs from the refrigerator to the stapler that yaks away unbidden. Benny comes to find solace in a library and discovers "the Book" that will narrate his story. We talk to Ozeki about the novel and the Zen philosophy that informs it.
As fire survivors await compensation from PG&E for wildfires sparked by their equipment, hedge funds grossed at least $2 billion by getting rid of PG&E stock bought under the bankruptcy deal last year. That's according to a new KQED/California Newsroom analysis. The hedge fund stock dump lowered PG&E's share price, and that's affecting fire survivors' compensation and resulting in higher prices for the utility's ratepayers, who already pay 80% more for power than the U.S average. We get the details.
The future of high-speed rail in California remains in jeopardy as funds dry up. Now, the Los Angeles Times reports that the High-Speed Rail Authority will have to approve at least another billion dollars in cost overruns to pay its contractors. Also in question: Will it even be high speed? We get the latest on the state's expensive, delayed, and mismanaged bullet train project.
Authors Joanna Ho and Lisa Moore Ramée want young readers of all backgrounds to see themselves in stories. In her debut children's book “Eyes that Kiss in the Corners,” Ho tells the story of a child's love of her Asian eyes. In her new picture book, “Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma,” Ho highlights world-famous cellist, immigration and the way music can build bridges between different communities. Ramée's young adult novels “A Good Kind of Trouble” and “Something to Say” both center young Black girl protagonists who embark on journeys to find their voices and what it means to stand for something, in your own life or in the community. Ho and Ramée recently joined us for a FORUM LIVE event to talk about the shared themes in their stories of identity, self acceptance and finding one's voice.
This is an encore presentation of Forum: The story of reggaeton music is layered and complex, and, according to reggaeton pioneer Ivy Queen, “the real story of reggaeton is about la resistencia. Resistance.” Queen is also the narrator of the new podcast “Loud” by Spotify and Futuro Studios, which gives reggaeton the documentary treatment and explores its nuances. “Loud” journeys through reggaeton's origins in Jamaican dancehall to Panamanian reggae in español to “las calles” of Puerto Rico to New York and beyond. Once criminalized in Puerto Rico in the ‘90s and early aughts, reggaeton is now one of the most popular genres in the world -- reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny was Spotify's most-streamed artist in 2020. We'll take a critical look at reggaeton's origins and evolution, from its dancehall roots to the massive pop presence it has today.
In his new book “Major Labels,” journalist and music critic Kelefa Sanneh takes on the history of popular music through seven genres that have defined it: rock, R&B, country, punk, hip-hop, dance and pop. The book not only highlights key artists and events in music's evolution over the last 50 years, but reveals how music is a tool to build and mold identity. In his chapter on punk music, Sanneh shares reflections of the genre's pivotal role in his own coming of age. And while music is often celebrated for bringing people together, Sanneh is pointed in the ways people's cherished music tastes and tensions between “mainstream” vs. “outsider” styles can be more antagonistic than unifying. Sanneh joins us to talk about “Major Labels.”
“I am freedom,” says Rahsaan Thomas in a recorded phone call from San Quentin State Prison, featured in a new performance by Flyaway Productions and Museum of the African Diaspora. "Meet Us Quickly with Your Mercy" combines first-person recordings with music and aerial choreography— with the goal of conveying the solidarity of Black and Jewish activism for racial justice and prison abolition. It's rooted in a four-year collaboration that comprised hundreds of letters, prison visits and monitored phone calls between artistic director Jo Kreiter and lead writer Thomas, who co-hosts and co-produces the Pulitzer Prize-nominated podcast “Ear Hustle” and who is currently incarcerated in San Quentin. "Meet Us Quickly with Your Mercy” will run through Oct. 17 and charge no admission fee. Kreiter and Thomas join us to discuss the show and its message.
Every eight years, the state goes through a process to determine how much and what kind of housing should be built in every California city. The allotment, known as the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, is up for renewal this year and has called for cities to plan for more housing than in the past. Historically, most cities don't build the housing the state recommends, and dozens have already filed lawsuits fighting the numbers. RHNA only tells cities how much housing they should plan for, but doesn't require them to approve housing projects or ensure that the housing is actually. We'll talk about this year's assessment process and why the vast majority of cities fall short of the state's goals.
Despite more and more Americans having stuff delivered during the pandemic, the USPS is in deep financial trouble. In order to save money, the USPS has made a few operational changes. One of the big ones: The U.S. Postal Service began slowing down delivery of some letters and packages starting Oct. 1. But economists say that's a vicious cycle -- if you make a product worse, fewer people will buy it, and that will only exacerbate the postal service's problems. This is not new -- the postal service has been in trouble for years, facing massive losses. The Postmaster General told Congress that there's “no end in sight,” in particular because the agency is on the hook for billions in employee pensions. We talk about the problems plaguing the postal service, how to make the agency viable for the future and what that means for you.
As part of our First Person series, Forum invites Bay Area residents to share their lived experience leading remarkable and important lives within our community. Matt Marostica lives in Berkeley but is the High Councilor in the Oakland Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as people within the faith prefer to be called instead of the more common term Mormon. Marostica, a former bishop of the Berkeley ward, says his congregation is made up of all sorts of people, from openly-gay members, to undocumented immigrants, to conservatives. Marostica says he loves his church and faith community, and is working to change it from the inside.
The coronavirus pandemic led to not only high unemployment from business closures and layoffs, but it has also induced a record number of worker resignations. This past August alone, close to 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In what has been dubbed “The Great Resignation," workers are less likely than ever to settle for jobs they consider unacceptable. We talk with experts about what's driving people to quit and how businesses are responding.
The Department of Justice asked a federal appeals court on Monday to halt Texas's abortion law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. This comes after a federal appeals court on Friday temporarily reinstated Texas's law, following a brief block by a lower court. Amid the legal uncertainty, local news organizations are reporting a near-total shutdown of abortions in Texas, and the ripple effects have already been seen in California, where clinics are scheduling appointments for women planning to travel from Texas. In the meantime, on Dec. 1 the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the closely-watched Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which could overturn Roe v. Wade. We'll discuss the latest news regarding abortion law and the current stakes in Texas, Mississippi and beyond.
Pedestrian deaths increased 46% nationwide in the past decade, while the number of all other traffic deaths rose by just 5%. Black pedestrians were killed at a rate 82% higher than whites, and residents of low-income neighborhoods are far more likely to be struck by a car and killed than people in higher income neighborhoods. We hear from experts about the role vehicle speed, smart phones, and our enduring attachment to SUV's are playing in the tragic, and unequal, rise in deaths. And, we talk with a mother whose son died in a pedestrian accident about what urgently needs to be done to make streets safer.
"I don't want to die anywhere else," writes José Vadi in "Inter State," his new essay collection about California. Vadi explores what he calls our "disjointed mosaic of a state" from his vantage point as a poet, skateboarder, laid-off tech worker and grandson of a Central Valley farmworker. We talk to Vadi about California and the variegated experiences of its inhabitants.
“In the United States, it's very stark that the past is not yet past. Problems that we think of as historical in fact continue to impact our lives on a daily basis,” says Princeton historian and writer Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. Last week Taylor received a 2021 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship for her scholarship on how past and present political and economic policies sustain chronic racial inequality, and how social movements, like Black Lives Matter, can transform that narrative. We'll talk to Taylor about her work and her most recent book “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Home Ownership” which was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer prize.
For decades, organizations, doctors and parents focused on treating autism as a disease and steered millions of dollars in funding to find a “cure” instead of to provide services to autistic people. Political journalist Eric Garcia chronicles that history in his new book “We're not Broken: Changing The Autism Conversation,” and draws on his own experience as an autistic person to lay out the ongoing challenges and misperceptions they face. Garcia points out that autistic people are often portrayed as white male children or engineers, when in fact autistic people come in every gender and ethnic background. We talk with Garcia about why autism is so misunderstood and how to change the narrative.
Has all the pandemic time in your home kitchen perfected your souffli? Or maybe you've realized it's possible to survive on just condiments. For a lot of us our cooking habits vacillated during this time between unrealistically high culinary expectations and dispiritingly low ones. But hopefully you've found at least a few just right, joy bringing, doable dishes that have brought comfort to your day. We want to hear about those meals.
Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 10th to sign or veto the bills on his desk. We'll talk with KQED's politics team's Katie Orr and Marisa Lagos about some of the bills he's signed into law, including drug sentencing reform and the nation's first ban on nonconsensual removal of a condom during sex. And we'll look at some of the closely watched bills still waiting on a decision.
The pandemic forced many of us to rethink cultural norms — one being the expectation that people, especially women and younger folks, should color or hide their roots. Amid salon closures and cancelled social events, many people chose to grow out their gray hair, and some are sticking with the look. We'll talk about why for some the choice to go gray can feel fraught, and why for others it brings a sense of empowerment. And we want to hear from you: Did you decide to grow out your gray hair during the pandemic? Or are you on the fence about whether to forgo the dye? What does gray hair mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month ends Oct. 15, and in a recent column for the Los Angeles Times, staff writer Daniel Hernandez explores the meaning behind the plethora of ironic memes that have popped up to celebrate and poke fun at the occasion. Some of the memes offer ironic takes on popular songs, characters such as Mama Coco from the movie “Coco,” and customs such as eating a tortilla slathered with butter or using ovens to store pots and pans. Hernandez joins us to discuss the memes and the deeper themes they reveal about, as he writes, “the state of ambivalence that we have about ourselves, and that non-Latino Americans continue to have about us.”
Two California scientists, David Julius from UCSF and Ardem Patapoutian from San Diego's Scripps Research, have won the 2021 Nobel Prize for medicine. In their work, which focuses on the biology of our senses, Julius and Patapoutian identified receptors that allow the cells in your body to sense touch and temperature. Their findings hold potential medical applications for better treatment of chronic pain. We talk with the prize-winning researchers about their work.
Not many people get a backstage pass to history, but Ben Fong-Torres has. As a writer and music editor for Rolling Stone magazine, Fong-Torres stood at the center of an era of rock and roll from which acts like Bob Dylan, The Doors, the Grateful Dead and Elton John emerged, and his writing was so revered by musicians that Fong-Torres was often the only journalist bands would talk to. A new documentary by Suzanne Joe Kai taps into Fong-Torres' personal archives and includes interviews with him as well as some of his famous subjects to tell the story of how Fong-Torres, the Bay Area-born son of Chinese immigrants, found himself in the middle of the cultural zeitgeist. We'll talk to Fong-Torres about the film, which will be shown at the upcoming Mill Valley Film Festival.
During a recent Los Angeles Dodgers game, three people sprinted across the field waving banners with the names of former neighborhoods -- Bishop, La Loma and Palo Verde -- that were razed on the land that is now home to the team's stadium. The protest was an attempt to call attention to a piece of L.A. history known as the Battle of Chavez Ravine, when in the 1950s city officials displaced roughly 1,800 mostly Mexican American families from the area. Officials promised to build a new public housing complex where the families could live, but instead sold the land to the Dodgers to build a stadium. We talk about that history and Mexican Americans' deep and complicated relationship with the team.
During the past decade, widespread optimism for what technology could accomplish turned into a backlash against Silicon Valley and what it has spawned. Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter hold enormous power over our economies and lives, but nobody is quite sure how to rein in the companies. In their new book, “System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot,” three Stanford University professors from different fields spell out exactly what has gone wrong and offer ideas to hold the powerful accountable in meaningful ways.
It's been 30 years since Anita Hill testified before an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee during Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, describing how he sexually harassed her in the workplace. Anita Hill joins us to reflect on that experience, which she says laid bare the systemic faults in a confirmation process that still casts doubt on the credibility of women, and to talk about her new book "Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence."
A pipeline leak first reported on Saturday has spilled at least 126,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific, washing up on the shores of Huntington Beach and contaminating the area's environmentally sensitive wetlands and marshes. While the leak has been stopped, clean-up efforts are just getting underway. We'll talk about the effects of the oil spill and its impacts on the Huntington Beach community and environment.
What do a bicycle, a living room sofa, spools of copper wire, and a six-pack of Cherry Vanilla Coke Zero have in common? All of them may soon be or currently are in short supply as the global economy experiences a supply chain in disarray that has left few consumer goods and commodities untouched. Ships backed up and waiting to dock in California ports, containers that wait for trucks or trains to deliver them, and warehouses that lack enough labor to unpack those containers – all contribute to the bottlenecks in the supply chain that threaten to leave store shelves empty. With the holidays around the corner, some retailers, like Costco, are hiring their own ships to help deliver goods. We'll look into what is causing these supply chain issues and how they might be resolved in the near- and long-term future.
Join us for a roundup of political news in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed numerous bills into laws in the past few weeks including a slew of laws aimed at increasing affordable housing, a new requirement for disclosing policy misconduct records, and changes to the state's conservatorship law known as the #FreeBritney bill. We'll take a look at what legislation is moving forward and other political news.
The San Francisco Giants have clinched a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. With 105 wins under their belt, the 2021 team is among the best in the franchise's history, and have a serious shot at beating the Los Angeles Dodgers for the division title. With the end of the season in sight, the team could soon be reliving the glory days of their championship victories in the 2010s. We'll talk about what has contributed to the Giants' successful run and what to expect from the playoffs.
Drug company Merck is applying for emergency use authorization in the U.S. for a new oral treatment for COVID-19 that trials suggest cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by half. We'll talk with UCSF's Dr. Monica Gandhi about the promising new treatment, get the latest coronavirus numbers for the Bay Area, and hear what to expect now that flu season is around the corner.
Residents of the small Northern California town of Willows suffered from smoke-filled air four out of twelve months in 2020. That makes it the smokiest place in the Western United States. That's according to a recent analysis by NPR's California Newsroom that looked at air quality across the state--and the country--between 2016 and 2020. We'll hear about the investigation and catch up on the newest science on how smoke affects health. Then at 10:40, we'll dive deep in on how to read and interpret air quality maps, and which ones are best.
Airports are often the first, last, and sometimes only impression a traveler has of a city. Singapore's Changi airport dazzles; Newark Airport in New Jersey offers less delight. SFO leads the way in design with its newly opened Harvey Milk Terminal which boasts Heath tiles in the restrooms, lighting that makes you look less tired, and improved acoustic design. But the airport industry has been challenged by the pandemic, which dropped traveller numbers and put new stresses on airports already grappling with issues like aging infrastructure. We'll talk about airports you love, airports you never want to see again, and hear from experts about airports of the future.
The new film “The Many Saints of Newark” brings Sopranos fans a prequel to the revered HBO series about mobsters in New Jersey. Director Alan Taylor, who won an Emmy for his work on the show, joins us to talk about the movie set during Tony Soprano's adolescence against a backdrop of the 1967 Newark race riots. The series, which ran for six seasons between 1999 and 2007 followed the story of Tony Soprano, a mafia boss who sought help for anxiety and mental health issues. We discuss the new film, which comes out Friday in theaters and on HBO, and the legacy of “The Sopranos.”
A federal lawsuit from Texas is challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act, the landmark 1978 law designed to keep Native American children within Native American families in state child custody proceedings. The case, Brackeen v. Haaland, is the subject of the second season of the award-winning podcast “This Land” which explores the threats the case poses to the legal structure that defends Native American rights. We'll talk with writer, activist and “This Land” host Rebecca Nagle about the political interests driving the court challenge and the children and families affected.