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.

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5:45pm

Mon March 24, 2014
Airbnb

The New Gold Rush: How tourist rentals are affecting San Francisco’s housing market

Can this property be legally rented to tourists?
Ben Trefny

The sharing economy in San Francisco is humming. Companies like Airbnb have figured out how to make a lot of money by using existing housing stock to meet consumer demand, which in Airbnb’s case is coming from tourists. Fast Company magazine declared AirBnB will soon become “the world’s largest hotel chain – without owning a single hotel.”

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6:08pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Technology

Oakland hires first tech chief

Bryan Sastokas, Oakland's Chief Information Officer
KALW's Ashleyanne Krigbaum

Groups like Open Oakland and Code for America want to help improve digital efficiency in the city, and now, a new government office is joining that effort. This past January, Bryan Sastokas became Oakland’s first Chief Information Officer (CIO). He has held the role in two cities previously, most recently Modesto. He oversees all things tech in city government, and it is his job to figure out how technology can solve communication breakdowns between residents and City Hall, or within the network of city departments. 

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4:33pm

Mon February 24, 2014
Arts & Culture

A conversation with two-time Mavericks surf champion Grant "Twiggy" Baker

The Mavericks champ in the garage of fellow big-wave surfer, and sometimes housemate, Ryan Seelbach
Ben Trefny

Big wave surfer Grant "Twiggy" Baker talks about San Francisco's Ocean Beach, his thought process in taking on the world's biggest waves, and life after competitive surfing in this interview with KALW's Ben Trefny.

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5:00pm

Tue February 18, 2014
Health, Science, Environment

Interview with an environmental scientist: Where has all California's water gone?

Peter Gleick
Courtesty of the Pacific Institute

As California faces an extreme drought, water politics are under a microscope now more than ever. Oakland-based Pacific Institute is a leader in research on the impacts of climate change on water. Its director, Peter Gleick, was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his work on water resources.

Even though 38 million Californians cook, clean and bathe with water, the Central Valley is still the largest user by far, taking up 75 percent of the state's water supply. Gleick sat down with KALW's Ben Trefny to decipher the state's water issues. 

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5:46pm

Wed February 5, 2014
Arts & Culture

A conversation with legendary prankster Mal Sharpe

Mal Sharpe stops by our studios


Part of this year’s SF Sketchfest includes a tribute to a local comedy team that pioneered improvisational comedy right here on the streets of San Francisco.

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