Angela Johnston


When you listen to the radio in your car, you’re listening -- but mostly driving. Your hands are on the wheel, eyes on the road, and you’re aware of the cars around you, your speed, and your environment.But, it’s really easy to take our eyes off the windshield, even just for a second.

On a rare, hot summer Saturday on the San Francisco Bay, a race between a pair of 10 million dollar sailboats has just begun: Team Italy against Team New Zealand. Spectators at a viewing area on San Francisco’s Embarcadero lounge on bean bag chairs. Piers 27-29 have been converted into a giant pavilion, with big screen TVs, picnic tables, a concert space, and Nespresso machines at every corner.

San Francisco’s waterfront is booming. It’s become a major destination for tourists and locals, celebrated two World Series wins, and is currently playing host to an international sailing race. There’s a new cruise ship terminal, and a re-invented Exploratorium. And now the waterfront is preparing itself for another huge makeover.

This past summer, Peet's Coffee, founded in Berkeley back in 1966, was purchased by a German Company for $1 billion. Over the last half-century, on its way to becoming a billion dollar company, Peet's helped launch the Bay Area craft coffee movement, spawning places like Four Barrel, Blue Bottle, Philz, and other independent coffee shops. Today, there's a wealth of coffee shops to be found, each with its own distinctive flavor and fans.

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In 1969, Stephen Barncard’s first visit to San Francisco ended with a spontaneous visit to the Fillmore West.

“I’d never seen the Grateful Dead live before,” Barncard recalls. “I thought their records really were terrible sounding. So I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the band until I heard them live. … But I never figured I’d be working with them.”

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I’m sitting on a brown leather couch inside Studio A at Hyde Street Recording in the Upper Tenderloin. A white baby grand piano sits to my left and a faded blue rug with pink roses lies on the hardwood floor in front of me. If you close your eyes and listen hard enough, you may be able to hear the sounds of San Francisco in the 60s.

Fifty years ago, this building was called Wally Heider Recording. And this room was used by the likes of Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Starship.

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Close to 100,000 jobless Californians will lose as many as 20 weeks of federal unemployment insurance benefits by the end of May. Improvements in California’s economy and a drop in the unemployment rate will end an extension of federal benefits. At an Employment Development Department on Franklin and Turk, KALW’s Angela Johnston spoke to Little Vila, John Saunders, Maurice Gonzales and Yvette, who wouldn’t give her last name. Here are their thoughts on being unemployed in today’s economy:

(San Jose Mercury News) // On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear a case determining whether the State Bar has the authority to allow an undocumented immigrant to practice law. Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant who graduated from Chico State University and a Florida law school, passed the Bar exam in 2009...

(Bay Citizen) // UC Berkeley has filed a trespass lawsuit against 14 people who they claim illegally occupied a tract of land in Albany for the past two and a half weeks. The protesters are calling their movement "Occupy the Farm" and are planting vegetables on the 10-acre parcel of land. The university says the lawsuit is meant to ensure that the trespassers, rather than taxpayers, will bear the expenses of damage to the land...

(SF Gate) // After much criticism, California State University officials say they will consider scrapping a policy that would allow them to pay new presidents 10 percent more than outgoing presidents. Instead, incoming presidents would earn the same salaries as their predecessors until 2014...