Tom Levy

How an architect designs meaningful space

Architecture has the power to transform. A building can make us feel joy, or sadness, powerful or weak. Nowhere is this more true than in a church, a chapel, synagogue, Buddhist temple, or a mosque. For centuries, religion has sparked the design of some of the world’s most beautiful buildings. But what is that process? What built elements make a space sacred? Architect Susie Coliver says experiencing the design of a sacred space begins way before you step foot in a building.
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Bridging the generational gap in Japantown

1 minute ago
Suite J-Town

On Post Street in San Francisco’s Japantown, there’s a building that doesn’t look like its neighbors. It’s modern, and covered in chrome and glass. Inside, Japanese pop music pumps through speakers.

The New People building is dedicated to Japanese pop culture -- street fashion like the frilly “Lolita” style, or manga and anime, Japanese comics and animated cartoons. But just up the street lives the older, slower Japantown -- where it’s more about bonsai and taiko than robots and platform boots.

Bridging the generational gap in Japantown;  a conversation with Janice Nimura, author of "Daughters of the Samurai";  The Hamlin School - a place of tradition and innovation; and local soul band Otis.

Janice Nimura

Japan and the U.S. have a long history together. In the late 1800s, Japan had just emerged from a civil war, and the government had a mission to build the country back up again by learning the ways of the West. So they started sending young men to the U.S., to learn how Americans do business, build and work. Then, came the idea to send young women. Actually -- girls.


Callie Jones is showing me how to 3-D print a tiny yellow chess piece, after designing it herself on a computer. It’s her second day in the 3-D printing club and she’s already a pro.

“So the printer’s like putting little dots on top of little dots on top of little dots, and so when the dots hit each other, they start to dry, and so it just starts to build up and up and up until you make the figure that it’s printing,” she explains.

The Mission Seven live on Fog City Blues tonight

9 hours ago

The Mission Seven is on a mission to return dance music to its fun roots with a mixture of Latin Soul, Boogaloo, Cumbia, hard driving beats, and a retro garage edge. Taking a human approach with real drums and percussion, a soulful horn section, and vintage guitar and bass, their sound is sophisticated without being stuffy, and very dance floor friendly. They join host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio tonight (Wednesday 7/29) at 9 pm.


On the next Your Call we’ll speak with Ric O’Barry, former Flipper trainer turned dolphin activist and star of the academy award winning documentary The Cove. The Dolphin Project works to end the billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and to end the killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. We are seeing unprecedented level of backlash against Sea World, but the dolphin trade is increasing abroad. What’s next for marine mammals? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Web Resources:

The Cove

It’s not a kitten video or an on-air blooper or a wardrobe malfunction. Who would have thought a 15 minute debating society speech could go viral? 

How an architect designs meaningful space; Jaxon Vanderbeken on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge; the unlikely squatters of the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge; and local band Dakila.

Flickr/Kenneth Lu

When the eastern span of the Bay Bridge was built, it was designed to be awe-inspiring. A shining tower rising high above the water, suspending one of the nation’s most significant thoroughfares.

It does all that, but massive cost overruns and continuing structural problems have many people deeply concerned about whether building such an innovative bridge was a good idea.

One of those people is Jaxon Vanderbeken, an investigative journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle. He sat down to talk with KALW’s Ben Trefny.

When you drive along the new eastern span of the bridge, you get a great view of crews dismantling the old eastern span. It’s not an easy thing to do -- crews have to proceed carefully to avoid what the Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Projects website calls a “dangerous spring action effect.”

So, they’ve got a lot on their minds. And then, there’s the cormorants.



Your Call: What is in store for the future of Medicare?

On the July 27th edition of Your Call, we'll mark the 50th anniversary of this landmark government program by discussing its achievements and challenges.
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KALW is proud to be media sponsor for

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest - August 7 to 9

The 26th annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest takes place Friday - Sunday, August 7 - 9. The event presents over 100 shows on 13 stages of jazz, funk, Latin, blues, R&B, New Orleans and world music. Featured artists include Tower of Power, Brian Culbertson, Eddie Palmieri, John Pizzarelli, Terri Lynn Carrington (with Ledisi), Javon Jackson, The Internet, Etienne Charles, JC Brooks, Glen David Andrews, Storm Large, Kamasi Washington and many others. Information at
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National Chicken Wings Day-KALW Almanac-July 29, 2015

210th Day of 2015 155 RemainingAutumn Begins in 56 DaysSunrise:6:11Sunset:8:2014 Hours 9 MinutesMoon Rise:6:52pmMoon Set:4:24amPhase:96%Full Moon July 1 @ 7:22pm and July 31 @ 3:45pmFull Thunder Moon / Full Hay MoonJuly is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the...
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City Visions: Can we fix Prop 13?

It’s widely known as the third rail of California politics, but is the time ripe for a change to Proposition 13?
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