Your Call: US-Cuba relations & the budget deal

Dec 19, 2014

On the December 19th, 2014 edition of Your Call, it’s our Friday media roundtable. This week, we’ll discuss coverage of President Obama’s historic announcement to reestablish relations with Cuba. We’ll also talk about the $1.1 trillion dollar budget deal, which affects everything from abortion to campaign finance. Who’s reporting on the deal’s budget cuts and banking provisions supported by Wall Street? We’ll be joined by the Huffington Post’s Michael Michael McAuliff, investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, and McClatchy’s Kevin Hall.




On the July 24th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we'll talk about a recent report that found that 76 percent of public grant money in San Francisco goes towards arts programs with primarily white audiences, even as people of color make up over half of the city's population. What’s the right way to decide who gets public money for the arts? Do the criteria need to change to ensure that the broadest public is served? It's Your Call, with Hana Baba, and you.


Your Call: Is it time to reform Prop 13?

Jun 4, 2014


Tearsa Joy Hammock / San Francisco Public Press

In 2011, the latest year that data is available, parents at San Francisco elementary schools collectively raised over five million dollars for their kids’ schools. More than half of that money was raised by only ten elementary schools in a district of 71.

On a rare, hot summer Saturday on the San Francisco Bay, a race between a pair of 10 million dollar sailboats has just begun: Team Italy against Team New Zealand. Spectators at a viewing area on San Francisco’s Embarcadero lounge on bean bag chairs. Piers 27-29 have been converted into a giant pavilion, with big screen TVs, picnic tables, a concert space, and Nespresso machines at every corner.

Under CC license from Flickr user mrjoro

The Eastern span of the Bay Bridge is the region’s biggest-budget project. Plans for the seismically strong segment were first developed in 2002. It’s been more than a decade and the single suspension structure has cost more than $6 billion, which makes it overdue and over budget.

Recent issues involving snapping rods and improperly galvanized bolts may delay the long-awaited Labor Day opening.

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jaxon Vanderbeken has been covering the Bay Bridge controversies. KALW’s Ben Trefny sat down with him for a wide-ranging conversation.

A discussion of Oakland's fiscal health and looming pension costs.  Oakland is being challenged to find ways honor its pension and retirement obligations while providing essential city services.  How realistic is the city's Five-Year Financial Plan?  What lessons can be learned from Oakland's approach to its unfunded liabilities?

Under CC license from Flickr user s_falkow

One of the areas hit hardest by state budget cuts is California’s judicial branch. Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature cut $350 million from the court system this past fiscal year.

In response, courts across the state have had to reduce hours and lay off staff. In San Diego, San Bernardino, Tulare, and Fresno counties, whole courthouses have closed down. That means people who have civil and family court proceedings like restraining orders, custody cases, and divorce will have to travel further, wait longer, and pay more to use the legal system.

Flickr user Max Wolfe

California’s public education system is facing serious challenges. Continuing cuts to funding are fueling changes in many districts around the Bay, like school closures and arts and PE being cut. Two state tax initiatives on the November ballot would partially solve this public school funding crisis. So as we roll into a new school year, we’ve asked education reporter Jen Chien to talk to help us understand what’s happening.

Click the player above to listen to the full report.

California State Park System in Crisis

Jul 24, 2012

For budgetary reasons, 70 of California's 279 state parks were set to close to the public on July 1st. But thanks to partnerships with private businesses and advocacy groups, 68 of those parks remain open for the time being.  Even with this money and the recently discovered surplus in the Parks Department, Californians need to decide if funding our state park system is in our best interest, especially in an economically challenging climate. We talk about California’s State Park system, its history, its value, and what closing a state park might look like.


How do you close a beach?

Jun 25, 2012

I’m standing on a beach smack dab in the middle of California. The breeze coming off the jetty is getting violent, and it’s really cold. Through the fog, I can only see a couple hundred feet of gray ocean. This is where I meet Mike French.

He’s standing on a windy bluff away from the water – reading the low waves and the bored surfers for signs of a good set. He’s a local.

French comes to the beach to read the waves several times throughout the week. “And it’s only good enough to go in once or twice a week, particularly at this time of year,” says French.

((Huffington Post)) // Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, is in town presenting a paper about transgender Health at San Francisco General Hospital. The 50-year-old sexologist at the Cuban National Center for Sex Education will also sit on a panel at the annual conference of the Latin American Studies Association happening in San Francisco this week…

Thousands of protesters have marched to California’s State Capitol, today, to protest college tuition hikes. Demands range from supporting Governor Jerry Brown’s sales and income tax increase to Occupy’s 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...

On today’s Your Call, it’s Our Friday media roundtable. This week’s we’ll have a conversation about President Obama’s $3.8 billion dollar budget and the deal reached on payroll tax cuts. We’ll also discuss the brutal crack down in Bahrain. We’ll be joined by the Nation’s Greg Kaufmann, the Huffington Post’s Mike McAuliff and independent journalist Mona Kareem joins us from Kuwait. Join us at 10 or send your story of the week to feedback@yourcallradio.org. Where did you see the best reporting this week? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.



On the next Your Call, we’ll talk about the end of California’s redevelopment agencies.  Governor Brown’s decision to dissolve redevelopment to redirect funds to the state’s budget will go into effect February 1st.  What has redevelopment accomplished in California?  And what, if anything, will take its place? Join us at 10 or email feedback@yourcallradio.org.  How has your local redevelopment agency changed your city?  It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and you.



On today's Your Call, we’ll air a live broadcast of Governor Jerry Brown’s State of the State address and then open the lines for questions and responses.  The state now faces a 9.2 billion dollar deficit.  Brown is hoping to raise more revenue through tax increases.  But that will have to be approved by voters in November.  In the meantime, where will budget cuts hit the hardest?  Join us at 10 or email feedback@yourcallradio.org.  What do you hope for California in 2012?  It’s Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you. 


On Wednesday at 10am, tune in for live coverage of Governor Jerry Brown's State of the State address, live from Sacramento.  Then join the conversation with Your Call host Holly Kernan and her guests.  What do you of the state of the state?  And is Governor Brown leading California effectively in a time of economic hardship and budgetary contraction?

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