Martina Castro

Editor & Producer

Martina Castro served as the Managing Editor of KALW News until 2014.  She started her career in journalism as an intern at National Public Radio in Washington D.C., and worked with NPR as a producer, trainer, and freelancer before coming to KALW.  Martina's independent work has been featured nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Day to Day, as well as the online radio magazine The [Un]Observed.

On KALW’s Crosscurrents, Martina has produced stories gauging the impact of the recession on the Bay Area, and also has focused on the arts like in her series The Audiophiles, a wide-range of conversations with creative people working in sound around the Bay.  She also edited and produced The Fault Lines, an award-winning series about the roots and solutions to violence in Oakland.  Martina likes to work in audio even in her free time – she makes radio in Spanish as senior producer of the new podcast Radio Ambulante, is a sound artist and designer for local art installations, and she sings with the San Francisco Latin rumba reggae band Makrú.  She’s also known to go out for an occasional surf. 

Julie Caine

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.

John Santos is a five-time Grammy-nominated percussionist in the Afro-Latin tradition. He’s a San Francisco native, who chose to explore his family’s roots in Puerto Rico and Cape Verdean Islands through his music. His career as an educator, composer, writer, and performer spans 35 years.

When it comes to exploring how Latinos have influenced American music, he first asks us to consider how we use the word “American.”

Cal Tabuena-Frolli

Martina Castro took a walk around the Mission with San Francisco’s poet laureate Alejandro Murguía to hear about what the neighborhood used to be like when he first moved here, back in the 1970s - and what’s changed.

 

StoryCorps

From time to time, the StoryCorps team goes mobile, and collects interviews at different sites around the Bay Area. One of the places they visited was Highland Hospital in East Oakland. The public hospital has been around since 1927, and has since served thousands of patients from all walks of life.

Nigel Poor

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.

Elizabeth Young

So what? I’m a little obsessed with pigeons. I’m not sure when it started exactly, but at some point I realized I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them.

I take photos of them whenever I get the chance: making patterns in the sky as they play in the wind; huddling on telephone lines; bathing in the dirty water that pools on the side of the road. I think it’s fascinating to see how they survive alongside us, in all of our filthy urban glory.

Jonty Wilde

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.

photo by Aubrey Trinnaman

Emily Ritz and Kacey Johansing are best friends. They were both in separate bands and living in Marin County when they decided to go on tour together. They ended up in Norway and decided to form a duo. But it wasn’t until they got back from their trip that they came up with their name.

Mike Kepka, The San Francisco Chronicle

A lot of the change we’re seeing in the Bay Area is happening rapidly. Neighborhoods, industries, and infrastructure are transforming right before our eyes.

Now, just imagine how much things have changed in the last hundred years. Well, 103 years, to be precise.

1911...Back then, you got around the Bay Area by boat - the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges wouldn’t exist for another couple decades. Silicon Valley was rural farmland, filled with fruit trees and cornfields. William Howard Taft was president, Orville Wright kept a glider airborne for almost ten whole minutes, and we were still a few years away from the start of World War I.

1911 also marked the year that Dr. Ephraim P. Engleman was born. He directs the Rosslyn Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis at UCSF, and he just released a book called, 'My Century.' 

Today is his birthday. In this story from our archives, KALW's Martina Castro asked him to share some of his rules for living.

Phil Pasquini

Hesham Alalusi, is an Iraqi American living in the Bay Area. He left Iraq in the 1980's and using his own funds  started the Alalusi Foundation. His foundation offers assistance to refugees trying to put their lives back together, like Ahmed Al Kubaisi, a young man who was shot in Fallujah and is now getting medical aide at a hospital here in the bay area.  Alalusi says that he's seen the difference that the organization has been able to make in refugee's lives but the devastation in his region is ongoing.

Each year, the Ocean Film Festival honors a local filmmaker with the Golden Gate award. Filmmaker Adam Warmington won the award this year for his film, "The Sunnydale Kids." In the film, Warmington takes a group of kids from an at risk neighborhood in San Francisco surfing for the day.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcysurfer/3274321844/ / CC License

There’s no denying that the media has latched onto a stereotype of what it is to be a “surfer girl.”

DAYLA SOUL: Like they’re bikini-clad, jumping off of waterfalls and listening to cool girly music, you know? And I wanted something a little more edgy, something a little more of the reality of who we are at Ocean Beach.

Ben Trefny

Thao Nguyen grew up in Northern Virginia, and started playing music at age 12. Since then she has released three critically acclaimed albums, and spent most of her 20s touring, including a national stint with NPR’s RadioLab. It was coming back home to San Francisco and getting involved in her community that inspired her latest album, We The Common. Thao tells us a little more about how she’s grown up through her music.

The People's Community Medics

If you’ve ever picked up the phone to call 9-1-1, you or someone else probably needed help. Badly. And you probably assumed that after dialing those three numbers, help would come screeching around the corner, lights and sirens blaring.

Well, the residents of East and West Oakland say that depends on where you live.  In this special hour-long KALW documentary, “The Race to an Emergency” host Martina Castro and reporter Ali Budner trace the path of a 9-1-1 call in Oakland: from the dispatchers to the emergency responders. And they consider how geography and demographics figure into a crisis that has been brewing in Oakland for decades.

Click the player to listen to the hour-long documentary. For more information, links to sources, photos and data maps, please visit the documentary website, www.theracetoanemergency.org.  

Note: This piece first aired on October 8th, 2013.  To see the original post and hear the audio from that airing, click HERE.  

Leila Day

If you walk down Mission Street this weekend you’ll see family members holding pictures of loved ones in one hand and candles in another. You may see ofrendas--small altars set up to pay tribute to people who have passed away. It’s a tradition that’s been present in the Mission for years, but how it’s celebrated depends on who you ask.

If you’ve ever picked up the phone to call 9-1-1, you or someone else probably needed help. Badly. And you probably assumed that after dialing those three numbers, help would come screeching around the corner, lights and sirens blaring.

KALW’s Martina Castro asked reporters with the San Quentin Radio Project currently serving time there to imitate the sounds of their daily lives. Take a listen.

Jaimal Yogis is the author of the book The Fear Project: What Our Most Primal Emotion Taught Me About Survival, Success, Surfing . . . and Love. In it he takes an experiential approach to getting over some of his own fears, by confronting them head on. He tells stories of swimming with sharks, forcing himself to do public presentations, and surfing giant waves. Along the way, he also spoke with researchers about the science behind our fears.

Nancy Mullane

Danny Murrillo grew up in Los Angeles county and was still a minor when he was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. He spent seven of those years in Security Housing Units, or SHUs. You can hear about the conditions he experienced there in this interview with KALW's Nancy Mullane about the ongoing hunger strike protesting SHU conditions and indeterminate segregations. 

Today is day 24 of the prison hunger strike in California. It started off with thousands of prisoners refusing meals, protesting the conditions in the Security Housing Unit, or what’s also been called solitary confinement. The number of strikers has now come down to several hundred, and last week one of them, inmate Billy Sell, died in the SHU at Corcoran State Prison. He had been there for 24 years. The CDCR has issued a statement that his death a suicide, but mediators are calling for an independent investigation to see if he had received proper care during his hunger strike.

Photo by Julie Caine

This story is part of The Audiophiles series, our award-winning series of conversations with the most creative people working with sound around the Bay.

Under CC License from Flickr User Michael B.

Today is the last day of school for students in the Oakland Unified School District, and it also marks the end of a long year for student teacher Diana Arbas. We’ve been listening in on her radio diaries all week, as she struggled with classroom management and learned how to take better care of herself so she'd be prepared to help her 9th graders pass her class.

Karen Gordon

Diana Arbas has been retracing the ups and downs of teaching ninth graders at Oakland High School. In her first semester she was guided by a mentor, as she tackled some pretty big challenges – by December she was exhausted, and learned she had to take better care of herself if she was going to meet the demands of her classroom. By April, she was finally feeling in control. 

shared by USAG-Humphreys on flickr

Have you ever had to command the attention of three dozen teenagers? It’s not easy. Especially when you’re still learning how to be a teacher.

“Classroom management, it’s about control,” says Oakland High School student teacher Diana Arbas. “Control of the students, sure, but it’s about control of self. It’s about demonstrating to them how an adult behaves.”

Diana, 27, is learning to lead in the classroom with the help of her Coordinating Teacher, or CT. She has felt a sense of responsibility to her students from the beginning. But, by December, when we last heard from Diana, she was ready for a break.

Karen Gordon

Diana Arbas, 27, is a student teacher at Oakland High School. She’s in a masters program at Mills College, where in order to earn her degree, she has to tackle a real classroom. Diana has the guidance of a more experienced teacher, known as a Cooperating Teacher, but the goal is for her to be able to stand on her own.

Oakland’s a hard city to teach in. Oakland High is in East Oakland. The student body is made up of kids with very diverse backgrounds, many from the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Not all come to the ninth grade ready to tackle that level of work.

A year ago, KALW’s Ali Budner met Sharena Thomas and her friend Lesley Phillips, two women from East Oakland who say the 911 emergency response system in their neighborhood is broken.

In trying to find a possible solution, they co-founded group called The People’s Community Medics. Its goal is to train citizens in basic first aid so they can help people as they wait for emergency responders.

Rick Bucich / http://www.flickr.com/photos/rbucich/4360784494/

Jaimal Yogis was 29 years old when he went through his first big heartbreak. At the time, he was living in a dark studio to save money and Jaimal was feeling pretty sorry for himself.

His girlfriend Sara was his first real love. When they met in their early 20s, Jaimal was instantly drawn to her silly sense of humor and green-blue eyes. After a short time, they fell for eachother. Hard.

The chemistry between people on a dance floor and the DJ mixing for them is not something to take lightly. The DJ is like a combination of artist, entertainer, and performer – taking the crowd on a musical journey.

Courtesy of Radio Ambulante

In February 2013, Radio Ambulante put on a live show in New York City. We presented some of our best stories from our pilot season in English and Spanish, but we kicked off the evening with a conversation between novelists Junot Díaz and Francisco Goldman and Radio Ambulante's Executive Producer Daniel Alarcón.

This conversation is about the art of translation, on what it's like to write stories about Latinos in English, and about the relationship each author has with Latin America.

Note: this conversation contains explicit language.

 

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