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KQED's Forum

KQED

Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.

Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Networks:

KQED

Description:

Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Stories of Street Furniture

9/24/2021
Everything has a story — including that street couch in your neighborhood. As USC professor and creator of streetcouch.com Keith Plocek puts it: “Just think of all the sitting. All the conversations. All the silences. Life. Death. Butts. Pets.” And then one day, that piece of furniture ends up on the street and a new story begins — a lucky find for someone, a new canvas for a graffiti artist or an addition to the landfill. In a recent story for the Los Angeles Times, reporter Julissa James...

Duration:00:27:21

New Details of Trump Plan to Overturn Election Results Reveal Weaknesses in Our Democracy

9/24/2021
A recently-surfaced memo written by conservative lawyer John Eastman revealed a detailed plan for the Trump administration to overturn President Joe Biden’s election. The document included a six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election in early 2021, including throwing out legal ballots in seven states. The explicit nature of these strategies from President Trump’s legal team shows the stopgaps and weaknesses in our nation’s election laws. We talk to Washington Post reporter Philip Bump...

Duration:00:26:07

As Chez Panisse Turns 50, What’s Cooking (Next)?

9/24/2021
Berkeley’s influential Chez Panisse restaurant has turned 50. The restaurant transformed food culture in the Bay Area and put California, and farm to table cuisine, on the global culinary map. We talk with founder Alice Waters, and chefs and food producers who got their start at the restaurant, about the history and legacy of Chez Panisse and the future of the ecosystem of farms, food and restaurants it inspired.

Duration:00:51:54

Wildfire Survivors Warn Against Promises from Lawyers

9/24/2021
Most of the 70,000 survivors of wildfires sparked by PG&E equipment between 2015 and 2018, have yet to see any of the promised $13.5 billion settlement with the utility. Now, attorneys in a burgeoning wildfire litigation arena are working fast to hang their shingles in towns like Quincy and Susanville, where many wildfire evacuees -- trapped in motels or staying with friends-- try to figure out their next steps. The lawyers promise big settlements out of PG&E. But many families who once...

Duration:00:14:16

California Health Workers Reflect on COVID Care, Eighteen Months Into the Pandemic

9/23/2021
Last December, Forum spoke to four nurses and doctors on the frontlines of COVID care in California. At the time, cases were surging statewide, and no vaccines were available. They described heartbreaking patient deaths, overflowing ICUs and the heavy emotional toll of their work. The same healthcare workers join us again, nine months later, to share what has improved and the profound challenges that remain for those caring for the sickest patients.

Duration:00:53:20

Maggie Nelson ‘On Freedom’

9/23/2021
The word freedom can be used in so many ways, sometimes at cross purposes. There are those who defend the freedom to remain unvaccinated, others the freedom to move in the world without excess risk. “Can you think of a more depleted, imprecise, or weaponized word?” writes author and Bay Area native Maggie Nelson in her new essay collection, “On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint”. Nelson probes the idea of freedom in the context of some of the most charged disagreements of our age,...

Duration:00:53:18

‘Bewilderment’ Explores Resplendence of the Cosmos and a Child’s Mind

9/22/2021
"Life is something we need to stop correcting." That's what Theo, the single astrobiologist father who narrates Richard Powers's latest novel, thinks when doctors try to prescribe medication for Robin, his passionately curious and emotionally volatile young son. But as Robin continues to lash out, Theo enrolls him in an experimental brain therapy that expands his empathic abilities and sharpens his scientific gifts. The novel, informed in part by the classic story "Flowers for Algernon,"...

Duration:00:39:14

Firefighters Scramble to Save Groves of Grand Sequoia Trees Threatened by Wildfire

9/22/2021
When the KNP Complex fire, which has burned about 40 square miles in the Western Sierra, began spreading through Sequoia National Park, firefighters mobilized to preserve the park's groves of ancient sequoia trees. Among the trees imperiled by the still uncontained fire, was General Sherman, the world's largest tree. We’ll hear about firefighters’ extraordinary efforts to save the giants, including wrapping them in aluminum blankets. And we’ll also talk about what a future of...

Duration:00:14:16

Fewer Latinos Identified as White on 2020 Census

9/22/2021
In the 2020 Census, the number of Latinos who selected “white” as their race dropped to 20% from 53% in 2010, at the same time more Latinos selected “two or more races” or “other” as their racial category. Experts say this indicates an evolution in Latinos' complicated relationship with race. The terms Latino and Hispanic emerged as categories in the U.S. Census decades ago, but the way the categories are presented on forms has been a source of controversy and confusion for just as long....

Duration:00:53:18

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Long Aware of Platform's Ill Effects on Users

9/21/2021
For years, top officials at Facebook have been aware of the platform's adverse impacts on users, and they've turned a blind eye to company employees who've tried to push for change. That's according to a new Wall Street Journal investigation that uncovered internal documents suggesting the company willfully disregarded reports that it's harming teens' mental health and failing to stop the spread of misinformation. In a blog post, Facebook said the investigation deliberately mischaracterized...

Duration:00:53:18

California Finally Passed Housing Laws, Could They Help Address the State's Housing Crisis?

9/21/2021
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a set of housing bills last week that aim to increase the state’s housing inventory and return attention to his ambitious goals to build more housing. In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, Newsom called for California to build roughly 500,000 new homes per year to reach a goal of 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. Meanwhile, California has on average added less than 100,000 units of housing per year for the past decade, according to CalMatters....

Duration:00:53:14

Hollywood Writers' Rooms Still Don't Reflect the Diversity of America

9/20/2021
In a new cover story for The Atlantic, writer Hannah Giorgis looks critically at Hollywood’s writers’ rooms and how most of them look nothing like America. Documenting the history of Black writers who have navigated predominantly white writers’ rooms -- often confronting implicit and explicit biases -- Giorgis reveals the renaissance of onscreen representation they helped bring to television. Still, Hollywood remains an industry dominated by white men, and that continues to impact the hiring...

Duration:00:52:20

Two Major Trails Offer Adventure, Beauty, to the San Francisco Bay Area

9/20/2021
It may come as a surprise to some of the region’s urban dwellers that more than 1000 miles of trails outline the San Francisco Bay. Running along the water’s edge through nine counties, the Bay trail passes by museums, bars, and parks ready for kite flying. And the Ridge trail circumnavigates the Bay at a higher elevation, offering 365 degree views across the region. We’ll hear about the provenance and evolution of these two different but precious hiking and biking resources, and what they...

Duration:00:29:15

Modern Border Security Turns to Webs of High Tech Surveillance Systems, Not Walls

9/20/2021
President Joe Biden stopped construction on Trump’s signature wall along the southern border, but he’s asking for more than a billion dollars in his proposed budget for border infrastructure including modern security technology to bolster a “smart wall” increasingly reliant on surveillance tech that backers in Congress have called an effective and humane approach. But critics say the use of facial recognition software, license plate readers, ground sensors and mobile surveillance towers that...

Duration:00:24:45

How ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Highlights San Francisco’s Lesser-Known Neighborhoods

9/17/2021
One of the key action scenes in the new Marvel Studios film, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” involves a city bus losing control on California Street in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood. Other scenes are filmed in the city’s Richmond District -- not a typical locale for a major Hollywood production. The film, released Sept. 3, celebrates San Francisco and Asian Americans in other ways as well. We’ll talk about San Francisco’s role in the movie, which is already one of the...

Duration:00:19:35

Larry Elder’s Rise Prompts Look at Direction of Black Conservative Movement in California

9/17/2021
Gov. Gavin Newsom beat the attempt to recall him this week handily, with over 60% of the vote, so far. But the results haven’t seemed to phase failed Republican challenger Larry Elder, who’s proclaimed he’s not leaving California’s political stage. Elder’s rise prompted Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith to ponder if he could usher in a new era of Black conservatism in California, even while he embraces Trump and denies the existence of systemic racism. As we wind down from this...

Duration:00:33:29

A Eulogy to Alt-Weeklies as SF Weekly Stops Publishing

9/17/2021
Last week, SF Weekly, the free alternative newspaper, announced that it would cease publication for the foreseeable future. The loss of the paper, which won numerous accolades, including a George K. Polk Award for investigative reporting on the U.S. Navy's handling of nuclear waste at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, has been called incalculable. Its closure echoes the 2014 demise of the Weeklys bitter rival, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and it leaves the city with no alt-weeklies. Yet,...

Duration:00:53:03

California Bill Aims to Track Working Conditions At Amazon Warehouses

9/16/2021
Among the various bills sitting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk is AB 701, which would require companies that operate warehouses in California to disclose productivity quotas and tracking information to employees and government agencies. The bill takes aim at Amazon Inc., a global retailer that employs more than 150,000 workers and maintains more than 60 warehouses in California. Workers nationwide have complained about grueling conditions at the company’s distribution centers, which demand...

Duration:00:53:11

Historian Adam Tooze on How the Pandemic Exposed Failures of Globalization, Economic Order

9/16/2021
In his new book “Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World's Economy,” historian Adam Tooze analyzes the different ways governments around the world responded to the pandemic and what their responses say about the way power works in the modern world. Synthesizing information from dozens of countries, Tooze traces various levels of economic interaction and their impacts “from main streets to central banks, from families to factories, from favelas to traders.” Tooze joins us to discuss “Shutdown”...

Duration:00:53:09

Statewide Election Special: The 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall - Part 2

9/15/2021
California's recall process has been called undemocratic, confusing and inordinately expensive. We look at proposals both to change it, such as increasing the number of signatures required to put a recall on the ballot, and to eliminate it altogether. And we continue to bring you live analysis of Tuesday's vote and hear your reactions.

Duration:00:52:55