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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5:19pm

Mon March 16, 2015
Arts & Culture

Brewing up support for a higher minimum wage

Farley's East

Some small businesses owners have warned that raising the minimum wage could shut them down, but Farley’s East owner Chris Hillyard says he’s willing to make the transition. He sat down with KALW’s Ben Trefny.

Chris Hillyard: So youre gonna have to pay a little bit more, but it’s for a better Oakland.

Click the audio player above to listen to the full story.

 

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5:36pm

Tue March 10, 2015
Economy/Labor/Biz

A restaurant owner who thinks differently

Jennifer Piallat of Zazie, with some of her employees
Dave Getzschman

Jennifer Piallat has worked in most every aspect of the restaurant industry – dishwasher, waitstaff, chef, manager – and those experiences have informed her decisions as owner of Zazie, a popular bistro in San Francisco's Cole Valley. Her employees receive a living wage, and benefits, and she's testified about her philosophies and process before the U.S. Department of Labor.

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4:57pm

Thu February 19, 2015
Technology

A conversation about workers' rights in the gig economy

Jack Alley for The New York Times

Sharing economy companies like Uber and Lyft have become a powerful part of the economy. Now, some of the workers propelling that sector are organizing to ask for more from the companies that pay them. Drivers from both companies have filed a lawsuit -- they want to be made employees rather than contractors, and receive the benefits mandated by the state of California.

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5:20pm

Thu February 12, 2015
Economy/Labor/Biz

Fresh Fruits, Broken Bodies: the lives of migrant workers

Viviana Aguirre, UFW union worker at Muranaka Farms in Oxnard, CA

While it can be difficult for some San Francisco residents to find healthy food in their own neighborhood, you might be surprised to learn that the very people who pick our produce also have trouble finding healthy food to eat. Anthropologist and physician Seth Holmes spent five years in the fields living in labor camps, picking fruit, and crossing the border with migrant workers in order to learn more about what challenges they face. He documented his experiences in his book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies to get a better insight into our food and health care system. 

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5:47pm

Wed February 4, 2015
SPORTS

"Home Field Advantage" tells the story of Oakland's greatest athletes

Marshawn Lynch is one of dozens of athletes from Oakland profiled in "Home Field Advantage"
Paul Brekke-Miesner

The Bay Area was well represented in Super Bowl XLIX. The MVP, Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady, is from San Mateo. His favorite target, Julian Edelmen, is from Redwood City. And the man who could have won the game for the Seahawks, running back Marshawn Lynch, went to high school at Oakland Tech. In fact, Oakland has an especially rich history of athletes making it to the pros.

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