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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5:34pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Economy/Labor/Biz

The haves and have-nots of San Francisco's mid-Market district

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco's Mid Market district

The mid-Market district of San Francisco is undergoing tremendous change. Construction cranes literally cast shadows over the businesses and charities serving long-time residents of the neighborhood. This is an area filled with supported housing and Single Room Occupancy hotels. Homeless people and panhandlers traverse the wide sidewalks. One of the food pantries that serves them is run by The Quaker Meeting House. It’s on 9th Street, just south of Market, and has been around for nearly 20 years. To date, Twitter has run its global operations around the corner for about half-a-year. Which means these two entities with similar sounding names and strikingly different purposes are unlikely neighbors.

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5:47pm

Tue January 8, 2013
Politics

"Micro apartments" make room for more San Francisco renters

Artist's Rendering of Smartspace Unit Courtesy of Panoramic Interests

We already know San Francisco’s housing market is tight and competition is fierce. A new city regulation hopes to make some more room in the housing market. Soon, current and aspiring San Franciscans will be able to live in “micro-apartments,” just 220 square feet each. City Supervisor Scott Wiener wrote the legislation making these hutches habitable. He talked about them with Crosscurrents Executive Editor, Ben Trefny.

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5:10pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Politics

Investigating the FBI's battle to subvert subversives

Surveillance now takes many forms. From cameras on city street corners, to government traces of emails, texts, tweets, and phone calls, to the rise of domestic drones. It’s unclear, at this point, exactly how much we’re being watched, but we do know that the government – especially the FBI – has a history of surveillance, both legal and illegal. And we know that, in part, because of the work of people like Seth Rosenfeld.

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6:22pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Economy/Labor/Biz

Radical Ideas: New approaches to solving homelessness

Bevan Dufty is Director of Housing, Opportunity, Partnership, and Engagement for the city of San Francisco. In his new role brainstorming solutions to the city’s stubborn homelessness problem, Dufty has come up with some pretty novel thoughts. We wanted to hear about some of the most innovative, so we invited him in for a segment we call “Radical Ideas.”

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5:17pm

Mon November 26, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

The costs of multitasking

Under CC license from Flickr user mrJasonWeasley

Americans' habit for talking, texting, and emailing while driving is only getting worse, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Studies show texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in a wreck, but now that computer monitors are being built into car dashboards, multitasking is become a permanent fixture in our lives. 

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