Interview

Simply the Basics Facebook page/Resized

Meeting personal hygiene needs are hard when you're living on the street. But a new nonprofit is trying to change that. Simply the Basics launched just last year and is providing homeless shelters and nonprofits with basic hygienic needs like tampons- but also soap, toothpaste, deodorant and other personal care items that help keep people healthy, but also help them live with dignity. It’s called the Hygiene Bank. Meghan Freebeck is founder of Simply the Basics. She spoke with KALW's Hana Baba.

ODC Performance/Robbie Sweeny

 Amara Tabor-Smith is a choreographer, performer, and an initiate in the Yoruba Orisha tradition. Over the years, she’s been infusing her performance work more and more with her spiritual practice. Her new show EarthBodyHOME continues that trajectory with a multi-media dance theater performance. It's inspired by the Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta. Mendieta was active in the 70s and 80s, before falling to her death from a 34th story window in 1985, under mysterious circumstances.

Flickr/Kenneth Lu

When the eastern span of the Bay Bridge was built, it was designed to be awe-inspiring. A shining tower rising high above the water, suspending one of the nation’s most significant thoroughfares.

It does all that, but massive cost overruns and continuing structural problems have many people deeply concerned about whether building such an innovative bridge was a good idea.

One of those people is Jaxon Van Derbeken, an investigative journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle. He sat down to talk with KALW’s Ben Trefny.

Blank on Blank: Jerry Garcia on the Acid Tests

Jul 2, 2015


It’s been 50 years since the original band members of The Grateful Dead began playing together in clubs around Palo Alto and San Francisco. In that time they’ve sold 35 million records. But more importantly, they inspired an unprecedented culture of fandom – 

"30 Rock" on NBC

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...


Daniel Alarcón is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. But there’s more to him than that. His identity reaches across many borders. And his storytelling traverses multiple media.

His latest book, At Night We Walk in Circles, was a finalist for this year's PEN/Faulkner award. His feature story "The Contestant" was part of the first edition of the California Sunday Magazine. And you may have heard his show Radio Ambulante – a Spanish-language podcast that airs Thursday nights on KALW that is often compared with This American Life.

This Sunday, Alarcón is expanding his broad horizons even further, hosting a live Radio Ambulante event in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The show is called Outsiders and will feature multimedia storytelling from Cuba, Chile, Mexico, and the United States.

Spartan Daily

Governor Jerry Brown sounded the alarm yesterday, not about the drought, but about the skyrocketing pension costs the state will continue to incur in the years to come.  In a letter to CalPers - the state’s pension fund - the governor warned that plans must be made for longer-lived retirees that will drive pension costs up by $1.2 billion a year.

Reporting difficult stories requires journalists to go beyond headlines and sound bites. Unraveling complex issues means taking the time to dig deep--to go beyond the obvious and try to piece together sometimes hidden and conflicting facts to tell as complete a story as possible.

Courtesy of Farhad Manjoo

Writer Farhad Manjoo skewers modern American dog culture in a Slate column titled “No, I Do Not Want to Pet Your Dog.” Manjoo sat down with KALW’s Liz Pfeffer to expand on his views about irresponsible dog ownership and the overabundance of canine companions in restaurants, coffee shops and even the gym. 

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.

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.