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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. The show is hosted by Ericka Cruz Guevarra, and new episodes drop every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.

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. The show is hosted by Ericka Cruz Guevarra, and new episodes drop every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.


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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. The show is hosted by Ericka Cruz Guevarra, and new episodes drop every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.




Why Are There So Many Driverless Cars in San Francisco?

A self-driving car is not an uncommon sight in San Francisco. And it can feel like more and more of them are out there on the roads. But why? Today, an episode from our friends at Bay Curious about this, and whether we're headed towards a driverless future.


‘I Hope a Lawyer Will Answer’

The U.S. currently has an immigration court backlog that surpasses 1.5 million cases — and that includes many people who are seeking asylum from violence or persecution in their home countries. In northern California, asylum cases are typically heard at an immigration court in San Francisco’s Financial District. That’s where KQED immigration editor Tyche Hendricks met Pablo Lopez, a Nicaraguan man living in Walnut Creek as he awaits his opportunity to make his case before an immigration...


San José Considers Expanding the Vote to Noncitizens

On Tuesday, the San José City Council voted to study the possibility of giving noncitizens the right to vote in local elections. Community organizers in the city, where 40% of residents are foreign-born, have talked about the idea for years. They argue it’s time to enfranchise the city’s immigrants, regardless of their citizenship status. If successful, San Jose would join New York as one of the biggest cities to do this nationwide. Guest: Carlos Cabrera-Lomelí, community engagement reporter...


A Chaotic Return to School

Last week, students, teachers and staff returned to class after the winter holidays…and right in the middle of a record-high surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases across California. The result? Lots of classroom absences and disruptions, thanks to huge numbers of positive cases among students and educators alike. So, what happens next? Guest: Vanessa Rancaño, KQED education reporter This episode was produced by Alan Montecillo, Ericka Cruz Guevarra, and Christopher Beale, and hosted by Ericka...


RIP Traxamillion, an Architect of the Hyphy Movement

Traxamillion, born Sultan Banks, was a producer from San Jose who helped define the Bay Area’s sound and propelled the Hyphy Movement to the national stage. If there’s a Bay Area hip-hop anthem you love, whether it’s Sideshow, Super Hyphy or San Francisco Anthem, Traxamillion had his fingerprints on it. Traxamillion died on Jan. 2 in Santa Clara from a rare form of cancer at the age of 42. So today, we remember his legacy on the hyphy movement, the Bay Area, and local artists. Guest: Nastia...


Examining January 6 with Rep. Zoe Lofgren

Rep. Zoe Lofgren was in the U.S. Capitol a year ago when a mob of Trump supporters, white supremacists, and conspiracy theorists stormed the building to try and overturn the results of the presidential election. Now she’s one of 9 House members — and the only one from the Bay Area — charged with investigating what happened leading up to that day, and who was involved. On this episode, we share an interview between Rep. Lofgren and KQED’s Brian Watt. Guest: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA),...


Keeping Up With California's COVID Testing Surge

Long COVID test lines and empty shelves where the rapid at-home tests used to be — all signs of another post-holiday pandemic surge. It’s hard to know just how big of a testing deficit we’re in, but with the Omicron variant spreading and a huge spike in demand after the holidays, just how prepared were we for another testing surge? Guests: Kristen Hwang, CalMatters health reporter and Yolanda Oviedo, COVID-19 Response Coordinator at Canal Alliance in San Rafael This episode was produced by...


The Cost of Crossing Bay Area Bridges, And Who Pays the Most

As of Jan. 1, 2022, it’ll cost $7 to cross a bridge in the Bay Area. But if you thought that was expensive, wait until you hear how much it has cost those who don't pay: One Bay Area resident racked up $30,000 in unpaid toll debt. A report that came out late last year shed new light on how this problem hurts low-income people the most. And it turns out that racking up thousands of dollars in debt is easier than you might think. So what’s being done to try to help make this late payment...


The Bay Looks Back at 2021

New year, same pandemic. The Bay team reflects on another year of covering local news from the Bay Area, and discusses both the hard — and hopeful — stories from 2021. Our top picks! Rain! With Dan Brekke ‘Our People Are Not Disposable’: How East San Jose Is Coping With the Pandemic with Farida Jabvala Romero This episode was produced by Carlos Cabrera-Lomeli, Mary Franklin Harvin, Raquel Maria Dillon, and was hosted by Ericka Cruz Guevarra and Alan Montecillo.


When a Covid Expert Gets Covid

Alexis Madrigal was super-cautious about COVID-19 from the beginning. He co-founded the COVID Tracking Project through The Atlantic and has been reporting on the virus since the earliest days of the pandemic. But in the summer 2021, he got invited to a wedding where he would eventually contract COVID (despite being fully vaccinated). The positive test turned his life upside down and sent ripples of anxiety through his family and extended network. His story points to where we are right now —...


Vallejo Plans to Fire the Cop Who Killed Sean Monterrosa

This episode contains descriptions of police violence. After Vallejo police officer Jarrett Tonn shot and killed Sean Monterrosa on June 2, 2020, the Vallejo Police Department hired the OIR Group, a firm that provides independent reviews of police actions, to investigate what happened the night of Monterrosa’s death. The findings of the yearlong investigation were released earlier this month. They conclude that the officers involved in the shooting failed to follow department policy and...


Rightnowish: A Bay Area Rollerskating Legend

Ericka took up roller skating during the pandemic, and a lot of other people have, too. Maybe you've seen it along Lake Merritt or in front of City Hall in San Jose. Skating also has a long history in the Bay Area, and for more than 50 years, Richard Humphrey has been at the forefront, especially at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Humphrey talked with Rightnowish host Pendarvis Harshaw on what it was like to skate in the Bay Area during the 70s, what it was like skating as a Black person...


Abortion Services Are Still Hard to Find for Rural and Low Income Californians

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Californians won’t lose the right to an abortion. The right to have one is codified into state law. But having the right to an abortion isn’t the same as having good access to one — especially if you’re low income or live in rural parts of the state, where 40% of mostly rural counties in California — home to hundreds of thousands of people in the state — have no clinics that provide abortions. Guest: Katie Orr, KQED politics and government reporter...


When Police Need PR Help, Many Turn to One Firm in Vacaville

When the police kill or hurt someone, the public has a right to know what happened. But in many cases, the police’s story is carefully crafted to protect officers. And in California, it’s often done with the help of a Vacaville-based PR firm known as Cole Pro Media, which has at least 100 clients across the state. Cole Pro focuses on helping police departments and sheriff’s offices improve their public image. But they’ve also helped law enforcement agencies avoid scrutiny and transparency....


A Second Pandemic Holiday Season for Food Banks

During the first few weeks of sheltering in place, food banks saw a huge explosion in demand as thousands lost their jobs and income. Food banks also had to stop or restrict volunteer programs for fear of spreading COVID-19. Now, as we go into our second holiday season during the pandemic, many still can’t afford to buy the food they need for themselves and their families. And on top of that, prices for many food items have increased as well. Guest: Carly Severn, KQED senior engagement...


Omicron: What We Know (and Don't Know)

Federal health officials are expanding the search for the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the U.S, including at San Francisco International Airport, where there’s increased testing for some international travelers. There’s still a lot we don’t know — Omicron could be a big deal, or it could change very little about the pandemic. Medical experts are currently trying to figure out whether this variant is more contagious, whether it's more deadly, and how the vaccines hold up against it....


For Afghan Artists in the Bay, It’s a Painful Time

Artists in Afghanistan are in trouble now that the Taliban are back in charge. Visual artists and performers are fleeing the country for fear of being harassed, persecuted, and even killed. This has ripple effects here in the Bay Area, which is home to a well-networked Afghan community and many Afghan American artists. They fear that creativity and freedom of expression are under attack once again. And they’re responding in different ways — through raising money, through changing their...


Meeting My Husband During the Pandemic

Meeting new people as an adult is hard enough, whether it’s dating or meeting new friends. Then the pandemic happened, and it got even more difficult. But there are success stories out there. KQED Silicon Valley reporter Adhiti Bandlamudi did start dating someone during the pandemic. And in a recent episode of The California Report Magazine, she spoke with host Sasha Khokha about what that was like — and how it led to a connection she wasn’t expecting. We're hiring a producer! Please apply...


A Win For Indian Farmers and Their Bay Area Supporters

A movement to support Indian farmers scored a win this past week. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced plans to roll back three controversial laws that had sparked protests for more than a year. The Sikh community in California had rallied behind this movement and staged several marches here in the Bay Area, including one that stopped traffic on the Bay Bridge. Many said they wanted to take a stand against privatization. Some wanted to stand in solidarity with relatives back...


'That Walgreens Was Essential'

This month, Walgreens closed 5 stores in 5 different San Francisco neighborhoods. The company claims it was because of “organized, rampant retail theft,” although available information doesn't quite back that up. These Walgreens locations also got national attention, and became part of heated local debates about policing and a fear of increased crime. And all the while, many San Francisco residents — especially older people and lower-income families — have lost an essential resource in their...