San Francisco


On the July 15th edition of Your Call, we’ll continue our weeklong series on solutions to California’s drought by talking about recycling and reusing wastewater.

Cal Tabuena-Frolli

The Book Report is a series where we talk to local authors about the books they love. Writer Kevin Smokler shared his pick - The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin - with Ninna Gaensler-Debs.

Derek Bridges

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

When SF needs money, it holds an auction

Jul 8, 2015
Under CC license from Flickr user Wally Gobetz


Public infrastructure – parks, libraries, roads, and sidewalks – surrounds us. But have you ever wondered how any of it actually came into being? A lot needs to happen to create a park – from coming up with the idea in the first place, to environmental reviews, construction, and of course, getting the money to pay for it. In San Francisco, funding for these projects needs to be approved by voters, as was the case with 2012’s Proposition B, which gave the city permission to borrow $195 million to renovate parks, including Golden Gate Park

How the sausage gets made

Jul 8, 2015

Drewes Meats (soon to be known as E & J Fine Meats) in San Francisco is one of the oldest butcher shops in all of California -- it’s been at its current location on Church Street in Noe Valley since 1889. In this audio postcard, butcher Joseph Napier gives us a peek behind the scenes to show us “how the sausage gets made.”

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 – 

Today's Local Music: Natalie Cressman & Mike Bono

Jul 1, 2015

Today’s local music is by Natalie Cressman & Mike Bono. They’ve been working together since last year, and have put together a program of original music that combines indie rock and contemporary jazz.  The Natalie Cressman – Mike Bono Duo will be sharing their sounds on Friday (07.03) at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco. You can expect the music to begin around 7:30pm. 

The weekend is just around the corner, and I have some suggestions on how to spend your time, making most of the very summery-feeling heat here in the Bay Area.


The music you’re hearing now is by The Hot Club of San Francisco.

The Hot Club of San Francisco will be opening for Randy Newman on Sunday (06.28) at San Francisco’s Stern Grove Festival. It’s the festival’s 78th year, and it’s free, as always. But get there early for good seats. Music starts at 2pm.

The Black Sheep

Jun 23, 2015


The next time you're in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, if you look carefully you’ll see a symbol of this support: a black cross drawn in marker. It’s the coat of arms for the Black Sheep, the area’s unofficial homeless first aid squad.


The trouble with garbage in San Francisco

Jun 22, 2015
CC license Flickr Brad Greenlee


The most heavily used neighborhood park in San Francisco is Dolores Park. According to Sarah Ballard, with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, that comes with a high cost.  

Zero waste in San Francisco is a 2020 vision

Jun 22, 2015
Adam Teitelbaum

“The goal is Zero Waste by 2020, and we think that is an achievable goal.”

Those words from former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom back in 2009 promoted the idea of diverting all waste from landfills. It was actually an official resolution passed back in the Willie Brown Administration. Now in 2014, Mayor Ed Lee claims the city has reached 80% diversion. Whether or not that debatable claim is true, there’s a long way to go to reach the goal. So what’s it going to take to achieve zero waste by 2020?

Samuel F. B. Morse

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

Michael Zelner

It’s Thursday, and do you know what you’re doing this weekend? If you don’t, fear not: I’ve got a list of go-to events that are open to everyone.

'Gay Semiotics' - a photo trip back to the 1970s

Jun 18, 2015
Image courtesy of the artist and Ratio 3, San Francisco:


Gay Semiotics is a set of two dozen iconic photographs with embedded text, presented as a tongue-in-cheek anthropological essay on the codes of sexual orientation and identification in 1970s San Francisco. They’re on view through June 27 - for the first time in San Francisco since 1977 - at Ratio 3 gallery, 2831A Mission St.

Daily News Roundup for Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jun 17, 2015
Timothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse / Getty Images
Colin Peden

Punk rock started as a kind of music for people who didn’t fit in. San Francisco, a city that has long been a place for outsiders to make their own communities, was one of the centers of this movement.

San Francisco was also on the forefront when it came to women joining the punk scene.  Enter Penelope Houston. In 1976, she and some friends started one of the most influential San Francisco punk bands ever—The Avengers.

Colin Peden


I’m inside what looks like it could be a college library or a research institute. People sit quietly working at desks and tables, surrounded by shelves full of periodicals and rows of storage boxes that are neatly indexed by color and symbol. Lydia Athanasopoulou shows me around. She’s the senior content coordinator here -- kind of like the head librarian.

Saving wild nature in San Francisco

Jun 9, 2015

KALW’s Julie Caine sat down with Amber Hasselbring to talk about nature corridors.

Over 830,000 people live in San Francisco and that number is growing. Yet beneath the dense urban atmosphere is a hidden world that goes about its own business and even has its very own roads. Well, you might call them roads, they're actually nature corridors that connect one habitat to another.

The Gay '70s: "Sex, Drugs, And Disco"

Jun 4, 2015

Take a trip back to the '70s with San Francisco author Mark Abramson. His memoir, "Sex, Drugs, and Disco" chronicles the story of gay men flooding into the Castro from all over the country to find more freedom. A time of cheap drinks, cheap sex, lots of drugs, and penicillin trucks.  Another chapter in the history of gay San Francisco as Pride month begins.  Marilyn hosts. Out In The Bay, this Thursday June 5th at 7pm.

Liz Mak

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.

Robin Galante,

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

Cal Tabuena-Frolli

The Book Report is a new series where we talk to local authors about the books they love. Writer Cara Black shared her pick - The Lover, by Marguerite Duras - with Ninna Gaensler-Debs.

Dutch Treat Imaging Atelier

For the person accustomed to playing a factory model, a guitar from the hand of a skilled luthier is always a revelation. The tone, action, craftsmanship, and finish make playing such an instrument a unique pleasure.

Irving Sloane – Classic Guitar Construction

It used to be that if you wanted to learn how to make a guitar, you had to apprentice with a luthier. You’d find them in Europe, and you had almost no other option. That is, until New Yorker Irving Sloane wrote the book on high-end construction: Classic Guitar Construction: Diagrams, Photographs, and Step-By-Step Instructions.

Out Walking The Streets of San Francisco

May 20, 2015


Julie Caine

Jim Provenzano delivers a Message of Love

May 14, 2015

San Francisco author Jim Provenzano’s novel "Every Time I Think of  You" won a Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Romance category. The sequel, “Message of Love,” is a finalist this year for the same award. The books tell the tale of two high school boys who fall in love, and how they become adults as they deal with the aftermath of a sporting accident that leaves one of them paralyzed from the waist down. Jim reads from the books, speaks with host Eric Jansen about themes in his novels and shares stories from his life and career as a sports and entertainment writer.

Note: This piece loses much of its music in written form. Click the audio player above to get the full effect. 

Roland Feller is responsible for the well-being of many of the city's stringed instruments. When you imagine him working on a violin, picture him seated at a tiny old fashioned desk littered with tools and wood shavings, in a room piled with sheet music, billing forms...and violins. Violins hanging on the walls and from the ceiling; violins leaning against the table legs on the floor.

99% Invisible: 99% 180

May 8, 2015

On the May 7, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

In the beginning, former AIA-SF president Henrik Bull and the Transamerica Pyramid did not get along.

Karen Ripley's "Oh, No! There's Men On The Land!"

Apr 23, 2015

The hilarious gay comedy pioneer Karen Ripley tells the stories of lesbian life in the '70s in her solo show, "Oh, No! There's Men On The Land!" opening May 1st at The Marsh in Berkeley. A gay stand-up before there WAS gay stand-up. Hear about the legendary Brick Hut cafe in Berkeley and all its 'dyke drama,' find out about the hot sex everybody was having with everybody, and discover the many characters in this coming-of-age story.