Lisa Ratner

Lisa Ratner is a volunteer reporter for KALW's Crosscurrents. Her favorite topics to cover are Public Transportation, Food Politics, Gender Politics, and Film.

She is a freelance Jill-of-all-media-trades including photography, video production, web design, and marketing for small businesses and non-profits. You can view her portfolio here.

 

Ways to Connect

Lisa Ratner

Our Hear Here community storytelling project has been asking Oakland and San Francisco residents to tell them a story about a meaningful place in their neighborhood. Meanwhile, the KALW news team has set out on a similar mission, and visited iconic places all over the Bay Area to talk to the people who visit them. KALW’s Lisa Ratner brought back this story from Treasure Island. LISA RATNER : It is interesting how people I’ve talked to about it, how few have actually been. Since going, I’ve...

(LA Times) // High-Speed Rail construction is facing challenges over its environmental impact on both air quality and endangered species. Concerns include the problematic air quality in the San Joaquin Valley where about 1 out of 7 children have been diagnosed with asthma, and federal biologists say 11 endangered species will be impacted. State and federal agencies will be examining these effects over the next several months, issuing findings that could affect the cost and schedule of...

Phyllis Lyon was the founder of the first lesbian rights organization in the United States, Daughters of Bilitis, in 1955. You may recall her name, as she and her wife Dell Martin were the first same sex couple to be married under the authority of Gavin Newsom when he became mayor in 2004. Phyllis recounts her life experiences such as connecting with Dell Martin, navigating anti-gay laws in San Francisco in the 1950s, her book Lesbian/woman, and shifting her perspective on marriage at the...

Los Angeles Times // In order to retain federal funds, Californias High Speed Rail project would have to spend $3.5 million daily to meet the 2017 deadline for finished construction of track in the Central Valley. If approved, the project would have the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history.

NPR // Conservationist surfers make a section of the Central California coast a World Surfing Reserve. While there is no legal protection that comes with the...

Silicon Valley technology companies Oracle and Google will face off in a legal showdown on Monday. Oracle charges that Googles Android mobile phone technology infringes on its patents... A former fire chief in San Ramon has created a mobile app that alerts users when a 911 cardiac arrest call has been placed nearby. The information enables nearby CPR-trained aides to help while the patient awaits first responders... The California Senate has unanimously approved Bill 1381, which replaces the...

About 16 years ago, San Francisco native Allan Manalo visited Manila, the capital of the Philippines, in an effort to reconnect with his heritage. There he met his wife, Joyce D. Juan-Manalo and recognized that even though they grew up with an ocean between them, they were strikingly similar in many ways. Here they recall the sparks that connected them in the beginning. This interview was facilitated by Frank Kingman of San Francisco Storycorps .

Facebook has acquired the photo sharing service Instagram for $1 billion. Instagram is a two-year-old, 13-employee, San Francisco start-up company. They make a photo-sharing application in which one can add a variety of filters effects and share easily... Today Google Doodle honored the 182nd birthday of Eadweard Muybridge , the man who created filmmaking. Muybridge was hired by Leland Stanford (of Stanford University) to use photography to help him prove that at one point, a trotting horse...

$1.5 billion of Californias High Speed Rail money has been guaranteed to Caltrains rail electrification project. It means progress for building a 1.2 mile tunnel from San Franciscos Caltrain station to the new downtown Transbay Terminal. San Francisco transportation officials are now requesting $1 billion in federal grants for the Bart extension project to San Jose... Police have arrested San Francisco resident Binh Thai Luc on five counts of murder . Reporters have speculated on the motives...

The Federal Transit Administration has committed $900 million to the Bart Silicon Valley project . This extends the existing Bart system 16 miles south to San Jose. Construction can begin , and if all goes as planned, the extension could be running four years from now... Free upgraded Wi-Fi is coming to downtown San Jose this summer. The city previously had coverage, but this system will be more powerful and faster. SmartWAVE Technologies will install and monitor dozens of communication...

Thousands of protesters have marched to Californias State Capitol, today, to protest college tuition hikes. Demands range from supporting Governor Jerry Browns sales and income tax increase to Occupys Millionaire Tax and ReFund California plan... In another approach to addressing education budget cuts, Bay Area School Districts are weighing the pros and cons of investing in iPads ... California budget cuts have also affected state parks; locally, the Bay Area Ridge Trail project is in...

Lisa Ratner

Its Hattam Moktors second day in San Francisco. He arrived from Egypt yesterday and spent today seeing the sights in the city. Now hes standing in front of an empty station agents booth at the Embarcadero BART station trying to get back to his brothers East Bay apartment. I want to ask someone how to get there, so I came here, but there is no one to ask. So I found you! So I will ask you how to get there. Walnut Creek? Moktor laughs. Moktor pulls a crumpled BART map out of his back pocket,...

PG&E insists that its current rates are reasonable despite the fact that the price of natural gas has dropped. Consumer advocates point out that PG&E should pass its savings onto customers and not use it for other sectors of the company budget... East Menlo Park is concerned about the impact of another corporation Facebook as new tenants of the old Sun Microsystems campus. Some of the worries include spikes in traffic, air pollution, and housing prices. Silicon Valley as a whole...

Caltrain is making progress in rail electrification , with the transition expected to occur 5-10 years sooner than anticipated. Electrification would allow for a San Jose to San Francisco direct bullet and is a step forward for the Los Angeles to San Francisco high speed rail. Prop 1A would fund most of the project but would also require the Bay Area to match approximately $1 billion in funds... A recent poll reflects that San Jose is open to tax increases to help alleviate the citys budget...

Oakland officials calculate the cost on the city to manage the Occupy movement has been $3 million since it began in September. The city has spent an average of $50,000 per week on 100 police officers, mostly for the downtown demonstrations on Saturdays... In San Franciscos Inner Richmond District, there has been less demand on police since Jack in the Box cut back its late night hours. The business hours were changed after Thanksgiving Day when a Cal Fire firefighter was hit by a car. A...

The City of Oakland is issuing hundreds of pink slips next week due to loss of redevelopment funds. After state cutbacks nearly eliminated the CITYS redevelopment agency, pink slips will be sent to a range of City Hall employees, though police officers are not included in the cost-cutting measure...

Home mortgage insurer, PMI, is also issuing pink slips, cutting 155 jobs at its head offices in Walnut Creek...

Professional networking company LinkedIn RECENTLY signed...

Californias Representatives and Senators return to Sacramento today after a three-month recess, and will be greeted by a budget deficit of $12 billion. That and the high-speed rail project, public employee pensions, water issues, and a dozen new bills and proposals that stalled last year... Among the returning legislators is avid gun rights supporter and Tea Party member Tim Donnelly, a Republican from Twin Peaks. While traveling back to Sacramento, Donnelly was cited for attempting to bring...