Angela Johnston

Enrollment now open for the KALW Audio Academy!

KALW is calling for applicants for our 9-month radio journalism training program based at KALW public radio, an NPR and BBC affiliate station in San Francisco. This program is designed to give you a professional audio production education, tuition-free.

Courtesy Super Bowl 50 Host Committee/ resized and cropped

 

In the next two weeks, more than one million people will flood into the Bay Area to celebrate Super Bowl 50.

 

When Deborah Bevilacqua lost her leg in a motorcycle accident ten years ago, she had to get a prosthetic leg. It’s been functional she says, but it’s not pretty.

Angela Johnston


If you took walk along the Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay on a typical winter weekend, it would be buzzing with activity.

 

Tim Hwang by Flickr user Scott Beale. User under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / resized and cropped

After Internet entrepreneur Tim Hwang created a position for himself as the Deputy Director of the Bay Area Infrastructure Observatory, he began organizing tours of what he calls the "guts of modern life" – the power plants and subway tunnels that keep our cities running. 

Angela Johnston

Up in the Silicon Valley foothills, there’s something that many Bay Area residents don’t even know exists. It’s deep and it’s full of dirt.

“It’s a very large hole in the ground,” says Kari Saragusa, CEO of the Lehigh Southwest Cement Company, just outside Cupertino.

Angela Johnston

It’s the end of the week at Laurelwood Elementary, and the kids in Katy Howser’s kindergarten class are getting a quick lesson about bugs before they clean up and go home.

Eva Royale / Resized.

 

 

There isn’t much in the backyard of Eva Royale’s house. Two white metal patio chairs, her grandsons’ toy cars. What stands out most is her beloved 44-year-old cactus collection.

 

Angela Johnston

Ellen Frankel slips the last of her quarters into the Medieval Madness pinball machine and wipes the sweat off her forehead. It’s her second game of the night, and she’s trying to get a new high score. Although she is shy to admit it, Frankel is a real pinball wizard.

CODE: Debugging The Gender Gap

 


Tech jobs are growing faster than colleges can award computer science degrees. A Microsoft report states that in less than ten years, there will be one million available computing jobs in the U.S. How many of those jobs will be filled by women? As of now, not many. 

Jon Stern

Marine biologist Jon Stern studies cetaceans: porpoises, dolphins and whales. Stern is a professor at San Francisco State and also leads field studies on the Northern California coast for the non-profit Golden Gate Cetacean Research. So he’s gotten up close and personal with his fair share of dead whales.

Angela Johnston

This story originally aired on December 9, 2014.

Henry Evans and his wife Jane live high up in the Los Altos foothills. To get there you have to drive up twisting roads with steep switchback turns. On a Thursday morning 12 years ago Henry drove up these same roads after dropping his children off at school.

Angela Johnston

This story originally aired on December 9, 2014.

At the Livermore Veteran’s Hospital, there are a few animals residents can see: wild turkeys that run around the grounds, rattlesnakes that hide out in the dry grass, and therapy dogs that make weekly visits. But there’s one animal in particular that Bryce Lee is always happy to see: a baby harp seal.

According to a 2013 study, one in six people who work in Silicon Valley spend at least two hours on their commute. Nuemi Guzman is one of those people. She’s a legal assistant with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.

 

Angela Johnston

When you walk inside the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, you can tell right away that this is home for over 400 people. They’ve painted their units bright colors. There are traditional mobile homes that look like small rectangular bungalows – but there are also little cottages, Airstream trailers, and RVs. Kids zigzag between the park’s six streets on their bikes.

“I was 11 when we moved here with my parents. I practically grew up here,” says Erika Escalante.

ROCOR HTTPS://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ROCOR/

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.

Raja Shah

This is Part 3 of a three-part series looking at what’s happened in the five years since the NUMMI auto plant closed. Read Part 1 and Part 2, or (we recommend) listen to the whole radio show!

Angela Johnston

This is Part 2 of a three-part series looking at what’s happened in the five years since the NUMMI auto plant closed. Read Part 1 and Part 3, or (we recommend) listen to the whole radio show!

Angela Johnston

On April 1st, the lunch line at the Golden Corral Buffet in Tracy snaked out the door. It was full of people who hadn’t seen each other in over five years.

Artwork by Angela Johnston

Marco Salsiccia is a huge movie buff. He owns hundreds of DVDs. They fill his small apartment in the Sunset District. Some are piled on his dining room table, others are organized in spinning shelves in his living room.

“I have 400 movies in my collection, more than the library!” he says.

He has action films, horror films, comedy flicks, and lots of animation. Those are his favorite because animation is a big part of Salsiccia’s life.

Angela Johnston

 


Rosa Santos is leaning over a pile of forms and documents in the corner of the San Jose’s new DMV. I meet her along with her friend. They’re both applying for their licenses for the first time through AB 60.

Santos came prepared today. She studied for hours, pouring over YouTube tutorials and sample driver's tests. As she waits in line, she riffles through the documents she needs -  a Mexican ID, a piece of mail to confirm her address, and $33 for the processing fee.

Flickr user andreagp

Note: Prices have changed since this story was first reported in 2012.

99 Ranch’s seafood counter is enormous – and it needs to be: the store serves seafood eaters of many nationalities and income levels all over the Bay Area. The selection is huge: grouper from Peru, fish from Vietnam, China, Taiwan, and India.

Carlos Montelibano heads the fish department at the 99 Ranch in Mountain View where the prices are low.

Angela Johnston

At the breakwater bordering a yacht club in San Francisco’s Marina, Kirk Lombard is carefully balancing on two algae-covered rocks. He’s holding a homemade bamboo fishing pole, poking and wiggling it into rocky crevices. A crowd of people watch nearby, anxious to see if he will get a bite.

Lombard is fishing, or technically poke-polling, for monkeyface eel. He calls himself a sea forager, and every other week offers this walking and fishing tour: a two-hour lesson on how to catch your own seafood from the Bay’s urban waters.

Angela Johnston

Del Seymour makes sure to take everybody on his walking tours of the Tenderloin to the corner of Turk and Taylor.

“I lived on this street,” he says. “I didn’t have an address but I lived on this street if you know what I mean.”

I’m with a group of a dozen tech workers following Seymour around the neighborhood, listening to him talk about his experiences here.

Angela Johnston

The sun is just beginning to rise over the glassy water at San Francisco’s Aquatic Park. Karen Wapato is beaming as she emerges from the Bay and peels off her goggles.

“It was better than yesterday,” she says. “I keep on just telling myself, stay calm don’t panic, keep breathing, try to keep my stroke real smooth, as smooth as I can,” she says as she catches her breath.

Wapato has never swum in the ocean before, and it’s her second day swimming in the San Francisco Bay. 

“I can’t believe I am doing it! I can’t believe I am one of these people that swim in the Bay, I’ve joined this elite group.”

Angela Johnston

Skylar Crownover is walking me through the lush tree lined streets of Mills College, and through buildings with red clay roofs.

Students constantly wave hello as we make our way to the center of campus. Crownover is a junior this year, and the current student body president.

photo courtesy of http://sfcmc.org/

Miguel Garcia has tears in his eyes while he’s singing a an old Righteous Brothers tune. This song brings back memories. He’s wearing a red Manchester United jersey, navy blue track pants and bright green flip flops.  Sixty one year old Garcia is  used to having a microphone in front of him, so he begins belting out a medley of his favorite songs. He says that his past was at times, well, unhealthy.

Rocor https://www.flickr.com/photos/rocor/

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

Flickr user --Mark--

State Democratic Senator Leland Yee has been charged with public corruption, after a series of raids this morning by the FBI and gang task force officials. Yee’s Senate office in Sacramento was searched, and he was arrested at his Sunset district home in San Francisco.

Under CC license from Flickr user Kevin Krejci

Steve Sacks is the PTA President at Alvarado Elementary School in Noe Valley. He takes a lot of pride in this small school and the education it provides to just over 500 students.

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