Holly Kernan

News Director

Holly Kernan is the architect of the award-winning Public Interest Reporting Project.  She is currently news director at KALW 91.7FM in San Francisco.  In 2009 she was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  Kernan teaches journalism at Mills College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and has taught at Santa Rosa Junior College, Youth Radio and San Francisco State University's Lifelong Learning Institute.  She lives in Oakland with her husband, Mike, daughter, Julia, and retired greyhound Benjamin Franklin.

Ways To Connect

Photo courtesy of Belva Davis.

The 2012 election marks the final significant broadcast for Bay Area trailblazing journalist Belva Davis. She’s come very far:

“When I was first applying for jobs in television, I had never seen a black television reporter,” Davis once said.

House Committee on Education

It’s been almost two decades since Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. When then-president Bill Clinton signed it, he told Congress that the agreement was the only correct response to the world’s rapidly changing economy. As a border state and a major agricultural producer, California has a big stake in NAFTA. 

U.C. Berkeley geography professor Harley Shaiken has written extensively on the agreement, and he spoke with KALW's Holly Kernan about what NAFTA has meant for this state.

Photo by Jessica Lipsky of Oakland North

KALW's Holly Kernan checks in with East Bay Express co-editor Robert Gammon about the latest news, including a report on the Alameda County decision not to press criminal charges against the officer that shot 18-year-old Alan Blueford in Oakland.

ROBERT GAMMON: The Alameda County D.A. announced that they're not going to be charging Officer Masso. They concluded that they believe Officer Masso's account that he contends that when he shot the teen, that his life was in danger, so it was a justified shooting.

The East Bay has been experiencing something of a wine boom over the past decade or so and the East Bay Express devotes this week’s edition to exploring it in the Taste Edition. There are now at least 25 wineries in East Bay cities. Ellen Cushing wrote about them and their history. She spoke with KALW’s Holly Kernan about wine culture in the East Bay.

Listen to the interview above.

One serious effect of the recession is many people’s inability to afford health care. And when people aren’t insured, they bring their medical problems to the only place required to take them: the public hospital emergency room.

In Oakland, that emergency room is at Highland Hospital. The documentary The Waiting Room takes us into the lobby and behind the scenes with the doctors, nurses, and patients who spend their hours there. KALW’s Holly Kernan spoke with director Pete Nicks.

EastBayExpress.com

Today, The East Bay Express is reporting that the Port of Oakland workers may go on strike for the first time in 41 years. Recently, contracts between the SEIU and three other unions representing port workers have expired. SEIU says that port management is asking for major concessions, including an increased five percent employee contribution to their pension plans and no cost-of-living increase in wages which workers say equates to about a 10 percent pay cut.

Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan is again calling for a youth curfew as a way to reduce crime in the city. The idea is backed by council President Larry Reid and Ignacio de la Fuente. But, the East Bay Express has published reports showing that youth curfews don’t work. The most recent data available from the California Department of Justice shows that felony youth crime has dropped substantially in Oakland, plummeting 26.4 percent from 2001 through 2010.

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One thing you probably don’t think of when you think of hospitals is garbage. And yet, these huge institutions generate tons of garbage that goes straight into our landfills. According to this week’s East Bay Express cover story, on average it takes 33 pounds of garbage to treat each patient.  Reporter Kathleen Richards says the medical industry is one of the leading producers of waste, but has been slow to recycle.

Ali Winston

Of the 2,000 people who initially applied for the 55 new positions on the Oakland Police force, most were from outside the city. In fact, more than 90% of the current police force does not live in Oakland, something that activists say strains community police relations and affects city resources. Oakland spends about 40% of its general fund on police – that compares with 26% spent on police in San Jose, 17% in Sacramento and 7% in Long Beach. 

http://www.meshell.com/photos/

If you want to connect with huge numbers of people this weekend, you might want to make your way to Oakland’s biggest street celebration -- The Art and Soul Festival is a two-day celebration featuring live jazz, rock, gospel, and many other forms of soul music, along with art installations and film projections on the streets of downtown Oakland.

A new law, California Fostering Connection to Success Act or AB 12, extends support for foster children until age 20. But because the law is being phased in, youth who turn 19 this year will not receive support until January 1, 2013. David Colby, a former foster child who had been accepted into UC Berkeley, may only be covered by Contra Costa County until August. Until then, he could be on his own.

Image courtesy of http://www.lacasa.org/our-voice/

Just over 36 years ago, there was nowhere a victim of domestic violence could go for help here in the Bay Area. So a group of women banded together to start La Casa de las Madres, California’s first domestic violence shelter and the nation’s second. Today The Home of the Mothers, as it translates in English, offers a range of crisis and intervention services, including an eight-week emergency shelter and a 24-hour crisis hotline – all free of charge.

Photo courtesy of www.calorganize.org

The recent $26 billion bank settlement found that the nation’s five largest banks engaged in a pattern of unfair and deceptive practices in servicing mortgages and dealing with loan modifications. And yet, hundreds of thousands of Californians have lost their homes. 

Courtesy of www.facebook.com/8Factors

Michael Bush is a Bay Area Native who works with small, local businesses through a nonprofit called InnerCityAdvisors. He's developed a workshop called “The 8 Factors” to help businesses succeed. KALW's Holly Kernan sat down with Bush to talk about how to make it in a tough economy.

The city of Richmond is notorious for its high crime rate and industrial pollution. And the Iron Triangle neighborhood – which is bordered on three sides by train tracks – just might be the city’s most dangerous neighborhood. But inside the Triangle, activist Tania Pulido is cultivating community and social consciousness through the Berryland Community Garden. Pulido is one of the winners of the 2011 David Brower Youth Awards, and she joined KALW’s Holly Kernan in studio to talk about how she got started with the garden, and her social activism.

Photo courtesy of http://www.judibari.org/

It was called "Redwood Summer." Back in 1990, environmental activists were gathering in Humbolt County, staging tree sittings and calling for an end to clear cutting the redwoods and for the preservation of the Headwaters Forest.

Tensions between the activists and local loggers were rising. Earth First activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney had received numerous death threats for their work.  Still, they continued to fight for the forests.  On May 24, 1990, the two were in Oakland and got in the car to drive down to Santa Cruz for a rally.

Michael Minor is chief deputy secretary of the Division of Juvenile Justice at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It’s his job to help shape the future for this department that’s potentially on the budget chopping block. KALW’s Holly Kernan spoke with Minor about what the role of the Division of Juvenile Justice.

Photo courtesy of http://newamericamedia.org/2012/02/human-trafficking-a-growing-global-scourge.php

Slavery doesn’t often make the headlines, but the practice is alive and well in the 21st century. According to an investigation in the San Francisco Public Press, there are more people enslaved today than at any other time in history. The U.S. State Department says that estimates of those enslaved through human trafficking ranges from 4 million to 27 million people.

Thomas Hawk, Flickr

PG&E announced it will pay the city of San Bruno $70 million in restitution from pipeline explosion of September 2010, which killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes. Jim Ruane is the mayor of San Bruno, which has a population of about 40,000 people. KALW's Holly Kernan spoke with Ruane about what the settlement means for the city. 

Miss Representation is a new film about the rapid proliferation of media in the 21st Century and how it affects young boys and girls. The film notes that the reach of media today is unprecedented and more pervasive than ever before – and it may be presenting a very skewed portrayal of what it means to be female. Women are only 16 percent of the protagonists in movies and, Miss Representation argues, girls are encouraged by ads, TV and films to achieve an unrealistic standard of beauty at younger and younger ages. Here are some girls talking about how images are affecting them:

Thousands of students and other protesters converged on the Capitol today to protest cuts to public education. Tuition and fees at the University of California 10 campuses are up 21 percent this year, according to the College Board. Students and faculty say the constant cost increases are pricing out most Californians.

Some of the first people in the Bay Area were Native Americans – members of the Ohlone tribe, who settled around what is now the city of Richmond. Beginning in the 1920s, another group of Native people found their way to the Bay Area. They were migrants from the Acoma and Laguna tribes of the Southwest. When they arrived, they took up an unusual living arrangement: in boxcars, parked on the dead ends of the city’s railroad tracks.

Photo Courtesty of Flickr user Kellie Parker, http://www.flickr.com/photos/sigmaration/233499524/

A couple of weeks ago, KALW’s Holly Kernan was reading the San Francisco Chronicle and there was an article about a U.C.gay  Berkeley teacher being arrested for soliciting sex in a bathroom. The teacher is suing over it. Kernan found it strange that police would be doing sting operations in university bathrooms. It also seemed odd to her that consensual sex would be a crime.

Most of us have experienced job burnout – when we get bored with our work or sick of our colleagues, for example. But what happens when your work is all about other people? If you’re a doctor, or a nurse, or a teacher? This is what Berkeley PhD student Eve Ekman calls “empathy burnout.” Holly Kernan spoke with Ekman about her research.

In the University of California system, officials are considering raising fees as much as 16% a year through

For many artists, creating works of art is a deeply personal process –not a lucrative one. But for others, it’s an opportunity to make money. A lot of money. Take today’s pop music artists – you can hear commercially promoted music by tuning into America’s Top 40. But if you want to find emerging artists and diverse sub-genres from the Bay Area and around the world, you should check out All Day Play from Oakland’s Youth Radio. The station DJs follow the latest trends from hip hop to soul to electronica, rock, and house.

The increasing need for food assistance is one piece of a bigger problem in California: increasing poverty. Nearly six million Californians are part of families living below the federal poverty level – that’s an average of no more than 22,000 dollars a year for a family of four.

California is home to more than 55,000 foster kids - the largest population in the country. And, the one place in the state where most of those kids come together is in public school. Jetaine Hart, a former foster youth and current educational mentor in Alameda County, argues that’s where we should be putting resources to help foster kids – kids who often shuffle from school to school and have unstable home lives.

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