Ben Trefny

News Director

Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and managing the KALW Audio Academy training program. He earned a Masters degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 2000 and got his start in public radio at NPR member station KLCC in Eugene. After freelancing for numerous magazines and working for various commercial and public radio programs, Ben joined KALW in 2004. He has helped the department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He has also helped train dozens of radio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today. Ben lives with his wife and twin children in San Francisco's Outer Sunset district, where Golden Gate Park meets Ocean Beach, and spends as much time as he can outside.

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5:14pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Arts & Culture

Fine tuning: the art of guitar making

Dutch Treat Imaging Atelier

For the person accustomed to playing a factory model, a guitar from the hand of a skilled luthier is always a revelation. The tone, action, craftsmanship, and finish make playing such an instrument a unique pleasure.

Irving Sloane – Classic Guitar Construction

It used to be that if you wanted to learn how to make a guitar, you had to apprentice with a luthier. You’d find them in Europe, and you had almost no other option. That is, until New Yorker Irving Sloane wrote the book on high-end construction: Classic Guitar Construction: Diagrams, Photographs, and Step-By-Step Instructions.

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10:18am

Fri May 15, 2015
Arts & Culture

Candlestick memory: Caroline Hickson

Danny Kaye
From Flickr user Kimberly Brown-Azzarello.

As a child in the 60’s, Caroline Hickson rode the bus with a friend all the way to Candlestick Park to watch Giants baseball games.

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6:01pm

Wed May 6, 2015
Arts & Culture

Creative Growth Art Center gives artists with disabilities a place to shine

"Untitled" by Meyshe Shapiro-Nygren, Creative Growth artist

Eleven percent of Bay Area residents live with a disability. That includes developmental disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome. Society makes accommodations for people with these conditions when they're young and in school, like mandated special needs education. But once they’ve aged out, life can become even more challenging. And in the U.S., history has not been kind.

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5:45pm

Wed April 29, 2015
Economy/Labor/Biz

Urban farmer Novella Carpenter on raising animals in the middle of Oakland

When you think of a farmer, you may picture an old curmudgeon in overalls and straw hat squinting out at a bucolic pasture, chewing a piece of grass as he slaps wildly at flying pests. Well, that was the old breed of farmer.
Novella Carpenter is one of the new breed, and she's raising her rabbits, chickens, and goats right in the middle of Oakland. She blogs about it at Ghost Town Farm, and she just published a book: "Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer." KALW's Ben Trefny sat down with Novella Carpenter to ask her how exactly it all works.

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5:30pm

Wed April 22, 2015
Arts & Culture

Nurturing the creative seed: The artwork of Josefa Vaughan

Courtesy of www.josefa.com.

In 1983, after the U.S. Navy left San Francisco's Hunters Point Shipyard, a collective of artists moved into the abandoned buildings. Since then, the group has grown and grown until today, when more than 250 artists ply their trade in the former repair station. It is now America's largest artists' community.

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