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California

The Takeaway

Punishing Drought Threatens California

Monday, February 03, 2014

A sandy drought has swept across California and is now threatening the state’s drinking water supply. The drips are coming to an end and people have been given notice all over the state to expect their supplies to be turned off soon. The main municipal water distribution system has announced it doesn't have enough water to supplement local supplies—so for the first time in history the spigot is being turned off. Dan Macon owns the Flying Mule Farm in Auburn, CA joins The Takeaway to discuss this punishing drought. 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

In The Midst Of The Polar Vortex, A Drought In California

Monday, January 27, 2014

In light of California Governor Jerry Brown's declaration of a drought emergency, Lauren Sommers, science and environmental reporter at KQED, discusses the political and environmental effects of the drought. 

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Slate Political Gabfest

The Political Gabfest: Why Don't the Homeless Just Use Uber Edition

Friday, December 13, 2013

Slate's Political Gabfest, featuring David Plotz, John Dickerson and Emily Bazelon. This week: The bipartisan budget deal, can Obama resurrect his second term, and the effect of the super rich on cities. Show notes at www.slate.com/gabfest."

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The Takeaway

New Tech Shines Light on Human Trafficking in Supply Chains

Friday, October 25, 2013

KnowTheChain.org is an online resource that lists which businesses have a policy against human rights abuses in their supply chains. Lori Bishop, director of investments at Humanity United, says its the first step in a long-term strategy to engage businesses in a dialogue about human trafficking. Also on the market: apps that allow consumers to examine a company's ethical practices before making a purchase. Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC's New Tech City, joins The Takeaway to discuss these apps.

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Studio 360

American Icons: The Disney Parks

Friday, October 18, 2013

Generations of Americans have grown up with Walt Disney shaping our imaginations. We’ll tour Disneyland with its art director, a second-generation Imagineer, who explains why even the trash cans are magic. In Florida, urban planner Andres Duany shows how a theme park helped reimagine city life; Tom Hanks, the first person to play Walt Disney on screen, and futurist Cory Doctorow explain how Disney made them kids for life.

Bonus Track: Cory Doctorow on the Disney theme parks

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The Takeaway

States Anxiously Hope for Federal Budget Deal

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The shutdown continues, the debt ceiling deadline looms and states are scrambling to fill in the gaps. In the wake of the Great Recession, state budgets are already stretched thin—and a federal default could spell catastrophe. Michigan state budget director John Nixon and California budget office deputy director H.D. Palmer discuss how states are coping.

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On The Media

Legislating Speech On the Internet in California and the Rest of the Country

Friday, October 04, 2013

Recently, California passed a number of laws meant to protect individuals online from harassment and from themselves, but those laws have potentially problematic speech implications. Bob talks with Santa Clara University Law Professor Eric Goldman about the details of these laws, and how they can affect the rest of the country.

Paul Whiteman - Love Nest

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Transportation Nation

No Driving Across SF Bay, as Old Bridge Closes To Make Way for New

Thursday, August 29, 2013

KALW

At 8 p.m. last night, the last car drove across the original eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. If everything goes according to schedule, the new, blinding white span will open to the public on Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. Pacific Time. 

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Transportation Nation

A "Quick Fix" Could Open the SF Bay Bridge on Labor Day

Monday, July 22, 2013

KALW

After all that, the San Francisco Bay Bridge could open on Labor Day. That’s if a new solution—being called the “quick fix”—is approved to temporarily stabilize the structure’s broken bolts.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

California Prison Strike

Thursday, July 18, 2013

As of July 16, 2,500 inmates in California prisons remained on a statewide hunger strike. Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times reporter Paige St. John about the protestors’ demands—and about a lawsuit challenging long-term solidity confinement practices.

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The Takeaway

California Prison System Sees Scrutiny for Overcrowding, Inhumane Conditions

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

California’s state prison system, one of the country’s largest, is under a great deal of scrutiny these days. A hunger strike by prisoners protesting their long-term solitary confinement is going into its second week, and federal courts have repeatedly found that California’s prisons are overcrowded and underfunded, and prisoners face inhumane and unsanitary conditions. Michael Bien, the lead lawyer representing inmates in a lawsuit over mental health care, joins us to discuss the conditions in the prisons.

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The Takeaway

In California, Almost 30,000 Inmates Go on Hunger Strike

Thursday, July 11, 2013

This month, inmates in prisons around California are participating in a hunger strike. The strikers are demanding better conditions overall in the prison system. They are also revisiting the issue of solitary confinement. Los Angeles Times reporter Paige St. John has been following the story, and updates us as the hunger strike continues on. 

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The Takeaway

Transit Workers in San Fran Temporarily End Strike as Talks Continue

Friday, July 05, 2013

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers are back on the job—at least for now. BART and its unions reached an agreement late last night to extend current employment contracts for 30 days, which will be sending workers, who were striking since Monday, back on the job. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the strike and future negotiations—and what the situation is like on the ground for struggling travelers—is Dan Brekke, news editor at KQED.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Understanding Women and Alcoholics Anonymous

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Gabrielle Glaser, journalist and author of Her Best Kept Secret: Why Women Drink—And How They Can Regain Control discusses how one violent offender took advantage of the organization to target vulnerable women within the community.

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Transportation Nation

Devil's Slide Tunnels Open After a Long Fight

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Devil's Slide Tunnels under construction in 2009 (photo by flickr user Mars Hall)

The new tunnels at Devil’s Slide on the northern California coast are finally open to drivers. This marks the first time cars have driven through a brand-new California highway tunnel in almost 50 years. The Devil’s Slide tunnels, officially named the Tom Lantos Tunnels, have been under construction since 2007 but have been a source of controversy since the 1970s.

When Highway 1 was built along the California Coast in the 1930s, it included a 1.2 mile stretch of road on an extremely unstable piece of hillside between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay called Devil’s Slide. During especially rainy winters, the ground would give way, causing the road to break and forcing drivers into a 45 mile detour. In 1995, the road was closed for 158 days.

Since the 1960s, California’s Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, had been looking for an alternative route. Caltrans proposed a highway bypass that would cut through the coastal hills. Locals and environmental activists were vehemently against the bypass, which would have been a larger freeway and split Montara State Park. The groups successfully used the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Coastal Act to postpone construction of the bypass through the 1970s and 80s. At the same time, the groups fought for a tunnel as the solution to the Devil’s Slide.

Caltrans had originally said that a tunnel would be too costly, but an independent study in 1996 showed that the tunnel was “reasonable and feasible.” In November of 1996, 74 percent of the voters of San Mateo County approved an initiative that stated a tunnel was the only permissible repair alternative to Devil’s Slide.

Construction began in 2007. The tunnels are over three-quarters of a mile long, with a total of 32 ventilation fans. The project’s cost of $439 million was fully funded with Federal Emergency Relief money, secured by U.S. Representative Tom Lantos, the tunnel’s namesake.

In a press release, Brian Kelly, the acting secretary of California’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, praised Caltrans and the other groups that worked to make the tunnels a reality.

“Ingenuity, will, and perseverance combined to get this project done. The new tunnels are state of the art structures that blend well into the beautiful, natural surroundings on this stretch of Highway 1,” he said. “Thanks to the work of the men and women who dedicated themselves to completing this project, motorists and emergency responders will have a safer journey from this day forward.”

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The Takeaway

Alleged Murderer Christopher Dorner Is Still at Large

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Hollywood-style manhunt has gripped the city of Los Angeles for the past several days. Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer wanted for the murder of three people, including the daughter of a former L.A.P.D. captain, has been at large for more than four days.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The History of Silicon Valley

Monday, February 04, 2013

Randall MacLowry, director of “Silicon Valley,” looks at the early high tech pioneers that transformed a fertile valley in California into a hub of technological ingenuity. In 1957 a group of eight brilliant young men defected from the Shockley Semiconductor Company in order to start their own transistor company. Their radical innovations helped make the United States a leader in both space exploration and the personal computer revolution. “Silicon Valley” premieres on American Experience February 5, 9- 10:30 p.m. on PBS.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

California's Cap and Trade

Thursday, January 31, 2013

On January 1, California launched its cap and trade program, and it  was recently upheld in a court ruling. Time magazine Senior Editor Bryan Walsh discusses the program and why the country's most populous state is tackling climate change.

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Jessamyn West on an Author's Responsibility to Her Readers

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WNYC
"Dear Reader," Jessamyn West pointedly addresses her audience at this 1960 Book and Authors Luncheon. She then goes on to explore the relationship between an author and her reading public, noting how Victorian novelists felt no qualms in responding to the emotional needs and moral judgments of their audience, whereas today's writers barely acknowledge the reader. Indeed, it is only the Beatniks, "those brave bearded boys," who are willing to admit out loud how "dear" their readers are to them.

 

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Transportation Nation

How Prop 39 Works: Closing a Tax Loophole To Bring Clean Energy Funds to California

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Proposition 39, which passed in California on Election Day, will tax out-of-state businesses and earmark those new billions of dollars for clean energy programs in the state. To learn more about how it will work, KALW's Ben Trefny spoke with Paul Rogers, environmental writer for the San Jose Mercury News and managing editor for KQED’s science programs. Rogers explained how Prop 39 came about, how it will change the state, and how the money will be applied.

PAUL ROGERS: This was a measure by San Francisco financier Tom Steyer which closed a loophole in the way that corporations pay taxes in California. It will now generate a billion dollars per year in new revenue –and for the first five years going forward, half of that money, actually a little more than half, $550 million a year, has to go to fund renewable energy projects. So we're looking at a tidal wave of money, $2.74 billion over the next five years, in new funds that's going to come in to do projects in California on renewable energy. Most of that is going to be things like retrofitting schools, community colleges, universities, putting better insulation in, solar panels on the roof, new windows. And that kind of thing is going to generate jobs. That's why a lot of unions supported this measure, but it's also going to lower the electricity bills at a lot of schools and universities, probably by up to a third when this stuff is put in. And that money, in turn they're going to be able to spend back on education.

 

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