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The Bay


The Bay is a local news podcast about what’s really going on here. We’ll show you the messy and resilient culture of this place we call home, with help from Bay Area reporters, community leaders, and neighbors. New episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Bay is a local news podcast about what’s really going on here. We’ll show you the messy and resilient culture of this place we call home, with help from Bay Area reporters, community leaders, and neighbors. New episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


United States




The Bay is a local news podcast about what’s really going on here. We’ll show you the messy and resilient culture of this place we call home, with help from Bay Area reporters, community leaders, and neighbors. New episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.




The Struggle to Hold Chevron Accountable

Over the past few days, the Chevron refinery in Richmond has been intermittently sending flames and toxic fumes into the air, and people living in the area have complained of a strong gas smell. Meanwhile, the public still has not received details about the cause behind another incident at the same refinery more than 8 months ago: a pipeline leak on Feb. 9 that sent 750 gallons of fuel into the San Francisco Bay. Guest: Ted Goldberg, supervising senior editor for news and newscasts at KQED...


The ‘Invisible’ HelloFresh Workers Trying to Unionize in Richmond

During the pandemic, the meal kit delivery company HelloFresh has made record profits. But some employees at HelloFresh factory kitchens like the one in Richmond say they’re not sharing in those gains, and that they feel invisible and underappreciated. Instead, they say they’re being asked to work harder and faster as more white-collar employees working remotely use the service. Now, they want to form what would be the first union in the meal kit industry. Guest: Sam Harnett, KQED tech...



We’re getting an unusual amount of rain this week, with the potential for strong storms during the weekend. And after a summer of drought and wildfires, the rain’s just got us feeling some type of way. So this all begs the question: Could this rain actually put a dent in this year’s fire season or our drought? Guest: Dan Brekke, KQED editor and reporter This episode was produced by Ericka Cruz Guevarra and Kate Wolffe, and hosted by Alan Montecillo. More Resources: Sign up for Bay Area...


30 Years Ago, the Oakland Hills Burned. Could it Happen Again?

On Oct. 19, 1991, a fire started to burn and spread in the Oakland Hills. By the time it was done, an estimated 25 people were killed and thousands of homes were destroyed. 30 years later, a warmer climate and drier conditions mean that another wildfire could break out in or near the city of Oakland. So, are we more prepared this time? Guest: Brian Krans, contributing reporter for The Oaklandside Listen: Remembering the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm This episode was produced by Kate Wolffe...


Vallejo's 'Participatory Budgeting' Process

Nearly a decade ago, Vallejo launched an experiment: what if citizens played a more active role in deciding how to spend public money? It's a process called 'participatory budgeting', and Vallejo is the first city in the nation to try this citywide. Now, more local governments in California are considering this approach, too. Today, we're sharing an episode of California State of Mind, a podcast from Capital Public Radio and CalMatters. Hosts Nicole Nixon and Nigel Duara explore this topic...


‘40 Acres and a Tesla’? California Considers Reparations for Black Americans

California’s Reparations Task Force has a huge challenge before them: to study and recommend reparation proposals for Black Californians and descendants of enslaved people. The task force wrapped up a series of meetings this week ranging from housing discrimination, to environmental racism to educational inequities. But this formal public process is also a time for people to share their personal emotions and experiences — and tell the state what reparations would mean to them. View past...


Unpacking the Rise in Gun Violence

In 2020, homicides in the Bay Area increased by about 25%, according to a Guardian analysis of census and state data. Many of those deaths involved guns. The majority of people killed were Black and Latino, and some of the largest increases took place in Oakland, Vallejo, and Stockton. We don't yet know all of the reasons why this increase occurred, but many local practitioners of gun violence prevention point to factors like economic hardship, and the closures of important community spaces...


How Tahoe Protected Itself From the Caldor Fire

The Caldor Fire came very close to burning thousands of homes and businesses in South Lake Tahoe. But in the end, while the wildfire has done a lot of damage, the city was largely spared. That’s no accident. South Lake Tahoe was protected from the Caldor Fire thanks to the hard work of firefighters, some favorable wind shifts, and years of forest preparation. Guest: Danielle Venton, KQED climate reporter This episode was produced by Ericka Cruz Guevarra and Adhiti Bandlamudi, and hosted by...


Sonoma County Vineyard Workers are Demanding More Protections

Vineyard workers already have hard jobs that usually don’t pay high wages. And as wildfire season increasingly overlaps with harvest season, their work has gotten even more dangerous. Now, advocates and farmworkers in Sonoma County are demanding that wine businesses provide stronger protections for the laborers who make the industry possible in the first place. Guest: Nashelly Chavez, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion reporter for the Press Democrat Follow The Bay to hear more local Bay Area...


California Can Soon Strip Badges from Cops for Serious Misconduct

Currently, there's little stopping a police officer accused of serious misconduct from simply resigning and moving to a new department. But that's about to change. The Kenneth Ross Jr. Police Decertification Act of 2021, named after a Black man who was shot in the back by an exonerated Gardena Police Officer in 2018, makes it possible for the state to strip bad cops of their badges so they are barred from working in law enforcement for good. Guest: Sukey Lewis, KQED criminal justice reporter...


What’s the Deal with COVID-19 Booster Shots?

The news about COVID-19 booster shots has been confusing. In mid-August, President Biden announced that a COVID-19 booster shot would roll out to all eligible U.S. residents starting the week of Sept. 20. But then, amid disagreement among federal health officials, that plan was scaled back. Now, the federal government is recommending that some people get a third shot. Today, we break down who is eligible, and how to get one. Read more about the COVID vaccine rollout and information on how to...


An Intergenerational Welcoming for Afghan Refugees

Since July, at least 2,000 refugees from Afghanistan have arrived in California, with most settling in Northern California and the Bay Area. Since the Taliban took over Kabul in mid-August, the pace of resettlement has ramped up, and many of the people supporting newly arrived refugees come from already-established communities of Afghan Americans in the Bay — who know what it means to be displaced and start anew. Guest: Tyche Hendricks, KQED immigration senior editor Click here to find more...


The Immigrant Renters the Eviction Moratorium Didn't Protect

California’s eviction moratorium is set to expire tomorrow, September 30. But in many parts of the Bay, Latino immigrant tenants have still been getting evicted by their landlords. That’s because protections on paper haven’t necessarily added up to protections in practice, as many renters have not been made aware of their rights and face barriers to receiving rental assistance. Guest: Madeleine Bair, founding director of El Tímpano Episode transcript: This episode was...


How Two Wineries are Dealing With Climate Change

Wineries have been affected by heat, drought and wildfires. Many have seen lower yields and have even lost grapes. But winemakers are also adapting, and finding creative ways to make sure their livelihoods continue. Today, we follow two wineries in the North Bay and learn how they're experiencing and adapting to climate change. Guest: Ezra David Romero, KQED climate reporter Episode transcript: This episode was produced by Alan Montecillo and Mary Franklin Harvin, and...


California Passed a Law to End Single-Family Zoning

Two days after the recall election, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 9, which effectively ends single-family zoning in California. The law is part of a larger effort to increase the supply of housing, at a time when prices are at an all-time high and rents remain unaffordable for many people. Guest: Erika Kelly, senior editor of KQED’s housing affordability desk Episode transcript: This episode was produced by Ericka Cruz Guevarra and Mary Franklin Harvin, and...


Will Oakland Require COVID-19 Vaccinations for Public School Students?

Oakland Unified’s Board of Education is considering a proposal that would require all students 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Some say it’s a necessary step to make schools safer, while others worry that it will create another barrier to in-person learning. The resolution could be voted on as early as tonight, and if passed, OUSD would become the first district in Northern California to mandate vaccines for students. OUSD's Board of Education meeting today starts at 4 p.m....


Mountain View's Mobile Home Parks Could Have Rent Control Soon

In Mountain View, residents of mobile home parks are on the verge of winning protections under the city’s rent control law — which they have been excluded from so far. But in this expensive Silicon Valley city, the political fight about rent control in mobile homes is far from over. Guest: Adhiti Bandlamudi, KQED Silicon Valley reporter Episode transcript: This episode was produced by Christopher Beale and Ericka Cruz Guevarra, and hosted by Alan Montecillo.


Where Our Water Comes From

Most Bay Area residents rely on water that travels a long way to get here. And as we experience another drought, it’s more important than ever to understand how our water works, especially in our different local communities. Today, we’re sharing an episode from our friends at Bay Curious. This is one episode in their six-part series on drought. Episode transcript


Gov. Gavin Newsom Easily Defeats the Recall

19 months, 46 candidates, and hundreds of millions of dollars later, Gov. Gavin Newsom has easily defeated the effort to remove him from office. It marks the end of a campaign that was first launched in February 2020 by a retired Yolo County sheriff’s deputy. The governor will stay in office until at least January 2023, when his first term ends — or longer, if he wins re-election next year. Guest: Marisa Lagos, political correspondent for KQED and co-host of the Political Breakdown podcast...


Two Latino Families on the Recall Election

Latinos are roughly 28% of the voting public in California. And over the past 20 years or so, most have voted for Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom. Now, the recall election is here, and millions of Latino voters across California are deciding how to vote (or whether to vote). Today, we meet two families — one from Modesto, and one from Oakland. Guests: Maria Peña, producer for KQED en Español, and Scott Shafer, senior editor of KQED’s politics and government desk Episode transcript...