Casey Miner

Editor, KALW News

Casey is an editor for KALW's award-winning news, arts, and culture program Crosscurrents, and host and creator of the podcast The Specialist, about work we don't think about and the people who do it. She's also contributed work to NPR, KQED, Marketplace, Mother Jones, PopUp Magazine and Life of the Law.

 

 

Ways To Connect

Casey Miner

In Episode 2 of "The Specialist," we meet Jared McDaniel and Jordan Roberts, acoustics consultants — otherwise known as "the noise police."

"That's not really our title," McDaniel pointed out to me. "We don't have guns," added Roberts.

What they do have are sound level meters, accelerometers, and a mission: to make it a little bit easier to live with noise.

Hari Simons

We’re thrilled to give you a sneak peek at a new podcast we’re working on here at KALW: “The Specialist” is about work you don’t know about and the people who do it. I’m your host!

Casey Miner

All week long we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

There's an inside joke around KALW News: that when you can’t come up with a conclusion, you should just end your story with, "the future is uncertain." And in a way, that's the theme of Jon Mooallem’s new book. It’s called Wild Ones: A sometimes dismaying, weirdly reassuring story about looking at people looking at animals in America. The book looks at three different endangered species polar bears, Lange's metalmark butterflies, and whooping cranes. But it's less about the animals than the people trying to save them.

Mooallem is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and Pop-Up magazine here in San Francisco; he's also appeared on This American Life and the Colbert Report. He spoke with KALW's Casey Miner about how he got started looking at animals  and people. 

JON MOOALLEM: I think it's sort of miraculous that we're doing anything, you know I don't see grizzly bears trying to preserve other species. This interview previously aired on Crosscurents on May 22, 2013.

Casey Miner

Earlier this month Drakes Bay Oyster Company,  in the Point Reyes National Seashore, closed its doors. That was after a long legal battle with the federal government that ordered the company to close so that Drakes Estero, which has been a commercial oyster farm for nearly 80 years,  could become the first fully protected marine wilderness area in the continental United States. The fight over Drakes Bay has stirred up a heated philosophical debate about how we want to interact with wilderness.

Photo by Casey Miner

You might think BART stations would be quiet at 2am. The platforms are empty, no trains rushing through. But they’re not quiet. In fact, the noise is deafening.

Hari Simons

All week long we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

The problems San Francisco’s facing today could really change the course of the city’s future. Local author Annalee Newitz says that future is something we should start trying to protect right now. Newitz wrote the new book Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction. She describes it as an “optimistic book about extinction.” In it, she looks at how humans could deal with a catastrophe along the lines of what killed the dinosaurs. She says one thing we need is strong, resilient cities – and that San Francisco is a model for the world. Newitz spoke with KALW’s Casey Miner about adaptation, innovation, and what we can learn from the time local developers almost turned the Bay into a landfill.

All week long we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

Part of a series on income inequality in the San Francisco Bay Area

If you want to understand the tension between tech workers in San Francisco, who often make six figures, and many of the city's other residents, try standing on the southwest corner of 24th Street and Valencia around 7:30 on a weekday morning.

When I moved to San Francisco’s Inner Richmond last year, I found a lot of things to like -- Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, even the fog. But when I started telling people exactly where I lived, they only cared about one thing: the turkey sandwiches at the Arguello Market. When I went to check it out, I found that the sandwiches were indeed great -- but that wasn’t all that made the place special. 

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

We all know what it's like to be stuck in traffic. But what about paddling under it?

For kayak commuter Stephen Linaweaver, there is no rush hour or gnarly gridlock. His biggest commute worry is a really big ship.

Linaweaver kayaks from Oakland, Calif., to his job as a sustainability consultant in San Francisco. His hourlong commute begins at the Port of Oakland each morning at 7.

Casey Miner

For a lot of people trying to go to Alcatraz today, the cancelations were just an inconvenience. Sure, they’d come from far away or were leaving town soon, but it was a beautiful day and they said they’d find something else to do. But this isn’t true for Linda Plourde.

 

If someone you loved was suffering from a serious mental illness, or seemed like they were on the verge of a psychotic breakdown, you might think you could turn to a psychiatric hospital for help. But in California, that might not do you much good. Institutions have the right to turn a person away unless they’ve been taken into custody. More than ninety percent of patients in California psych hospitals have dealt with police first.

Since 2001, about 2.5 million people have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, at least a third of them more than once. When they return, many veterans need long term physical and mental care. But they often don't get it.

For many of us, ten years can seem like a long time. Things that happened a decade ago feel far away. But for veterans of the Iraq war, and their families, ten years can feel like very little – because the damage wrought by that war is still right there with them.

Andrew Roth is a sound designer who re-creates soundscapes that no longer exist. You can hear his most recent work at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. The exhibit is called BoomTown, and it’s what San Francisco sounded like in the early 1850s, when the city was known as the Barbary Coast.

Click the audio player above to listen to the story. 

The best commute ever

Feb 7, 2013
Dan Suyeyasu of Oakland

If you met Stephen Linaweaver after 7am, you probably wouldn’t think he’s much different from any other Bay Area professional. He’s 38 years old. He works for a company that does sustainability consulting for corporations. He’s kind of outdoorsy. Whatever.

But if you met him before 7am, you’d definitely think he was unusual. For starters, you’d have to do what I did, which is drive down to the Port of Oakland before dawn and talk with him while he’s getting ready to launch his kayak into the Bay.

Marianne Kavanagh

Carliane Johnson is about to dive into a narrow channel of water, just about five or six feet between the dock and the seawall. She won’t have to dive deep to find what she’s looking for.

“The population can explode all of a sudden, and we’ll be pulling a lot,” she says. “Some can be six or seven feet long. It’s a lot of plant material, and I just bring it to the docks, someone grabs it, and I go back and look for more.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/school-and-building-evactuated-for-bomb-scare / Examiner

When she came into work this morning, Frank McCoppin kindergarten teacher Selina Cheung didn’t know whether she’d have a job next semester or not. Parent Siobhan Culhane hadn’t heard the news about Proposition 30 either.

“I advise you when crossing the street to always look left and right,” John Alex Lowell tells me.

When Lowell crosses a San Francisco street, he doesn’t just look both ways. He looks left, then right, then left again, then over his shoulder, to make sure no one’s coming from behind him making a turn. He’s also keeping tabs on the countdown of the walk sign.

“Only if it’s a double digit, or at least an 8, should you start walking, and not have it become 1 and you’re right there in the middle of the intersection,” Lowell advises.

Drive my car, please

Aug 20, 2012

Think about how much you drive your car. You might drive to work – then you just park your car all day while you’re inside. Or you leave town for a few days – then don’t use your car for the next three weeks. Meanwhile, plenty of other people don’t have cars, but sometimes need them.

Photo by David Paul Morris / http://davidpaulmorris.com/

What’s the size of a car, but travels 13,000 miles an hour? That would be the Curiosity Mars Rover, which touched down on the Red Planet last night after eight months of travel and what NASA engineers called “seven minutes of terror.”

Top Five Bike Lists

Jul 30, 2012

On today's show, we played a lot of top five bike lists – everything from the top five reasons it's great to bike in San Francisco to the top five tips for being an urban female biker. Listen to them all, plus a few extra, here.

Chris Hoff, KALW sound engineer

Top five bike gripes

5. San Francisco hills. These mighty obstacles have forced the strongest of us to dismount on occasion and walk our trusty steeds up their towering heights. Or, just go around them.

4. Drivers talking on their cell phones. Sweet Fancy Moses.

The Bay Area is one of the country’s centers for food activism – and for the whole idea that local efforts can have big effects on the food system as a whole. Raj Patel is author of the book Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World’s Food System. The book is a critical look at the inequalities in food access around the world.

The Supreme Court this morning upheld President Obama's healthcare reform law, the Affordable Care Act. We want to know what you think:

turnstylenews.com

Marvin Gaye’s album, What’s Going On, has been called one of the great soul music records of all time. The album was showcased at a 1972 concert at the Kennedy Center in Marvin’s hometown of Washington DC. Last Thursday, the Kennedy Center commemorated that performance with a concert. They also gave one musician the original recording of the song "What's Going On," to re-imagine it in a modern context. That musician was Youth Radio's Brandon McFarland.

Photo by Casey Miner

Since the country’s foreclosure crisis began in 2007, nearly four million people have lost their homes. In the Bay Area, more than 750,000 homes have been foreclosed. And even though the economy might be getting better, they’re still happening.

A local filmmaker documents the story of an Iraqi women's basketball team and the challenges they face; San Francisco fights to keep the ocean at bay; and an in-depth profile of local jazz great Bobby Hutcherson.

Casey Miner

The basic definition of the number pi is that it’s doesn’t have an exact value – it’s an infinite calculation. But it is possible to know the exact number of people required to sing a fully orchestrated song about it – sixteen.

I visited San Francisco’s Exploratorium a few days before this year’s Pi Day celebration, to watch a rehearsal of the 16-person band in question. They’re called Buffon’s Needle, a reference to an 18th Century French mathematician who approximated the value of pi by throwing pine needles on the ground.

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