Ben Trefny

News Executive Editor

Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams.  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.  Since then, under the leadership of news director Holly Kernan, he has helped the department win numerous 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.



Thu May 3, 2012
Go Mashers

KALW's McLaren Park Mashers earn their first victory

Clockwise from top left: Mashers Max Jacobs, Audrey Dilling, Katie Styer, Seth Samuel, Casey Miner, Ryan Mitchell, Rina Palta, Jake Martin, Erica Mu, Lisa Ratner, Chris Hoff, Ben Trefny
Masher Holly (aka Ninna Gaensler-Debs)

The McLaren Park Mashers are KALW’s softball team. Until last night, they had never won a game. What follows is a recap of this historic moment from our Masher Supercaptain, KALW Executive News Editor Ben Trefny.

May 2, 2012. Here’s what happened:

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Thu May 3, 2012
Arts & Culture

Meet Your Neighbors: Batting lessons from a pro

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mot the barber

To many people in the Bay Area, the city of Burlingame is just a city straddling the 101, just south of San Francisco International Airport. As you drive by, you might see industrial warehouses and business parks- nothing too distinctive. 

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Thu April 26, 2012

How should the city handle Ross Mirkarimi?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user S_falkow

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi continues to be in hot water as the City of San Francisco determines whether or not he should lose his job. Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi on March 20th, after he plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment. The charge is connection with a New Year’s Eve incident in which he grabbed his wife's arm during an argument, causing a bruise. 

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Tue April 17, 2012
Arts & Culture

Radical Idea: Open source social networking

Can social networks become open source, or are users permanently tied to specific companies such as Facebook and Myspace?
Courtesy Flickr user hanspoldoja

In some ways, the Internet is an open, unlimited space. But it can also feel very private, especially when communicating one on one, or conducting personal business like paying a bill, or doing your taxes. As more and more of our daily lives go digital, some big questions arise. What are we giving up? What truly is the cost of our being so dependent on it, and who is truly benefiting from how much we’re glued to our screens? Author Jason Benlevi explores this question in his book, Too Much Magic: Pulling the Plug on the Cult of Tech.

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Wed April 11, 2012

Call and Response: Free public transit for youth

A few weeks ago, we aired a story about San Francisco students' access to public transportation. The piece discussed possible legislation that would provide free Muni passes to local youth. Here are some responses that came through the Crosscurrents voicemail line.

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