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Preview: KQED's Forum Podcast


KQED’s live call-in program presents balanced discussions of local, state, national, and world issues as well as in-depth interviews with leading figures in politics, science, entertainment, and the arts.

Last Build Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:12:03 +0000

Copyright: Copyright © 2016 KQED Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Measure RR Asks Bay Area Voters to Approve $3.5 Billion for BART Improvements

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties' Measure RR would create $3.5 billion in bonds for BART

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Environmentalists and Plastic Bag Industry Face Off Over Propositions 65 and 67

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

In 2007, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban single-use plastic bags. California Governor Jerry Brown later followed suit, signing a statewide ban in 2014. But the ban never officially went into effect: the plastics industry stalled it by gathering enough signatures for a referendum to be placed on the November 2016 ballot - Proposition 67 - that could overturn the law by popular vote. Proposition 65, another measure brought forth by the plastic bag industry, proposes using the fees that grocery stores charge for bags to fund environmental programs. Currently, retailers keep the bag fees. Environmental groups claim that the dual propositions are an industry ploy to undermine the ban and confuse voters, while proponents of Prop. 67 say they are fighting to protect bag makers' jobs. We check in on the issue.

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Former Israeli President Shimon Peres Dies

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:15:00 +0000

We discuss the life and legacy of former Israeli prime minister and president Shimon Peres, who died yesterday at age 93 from complications from a stroke. Peres was a key figure in Israel's political life for seven decades. One of the architects of the Oslo peace accords, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

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Proposition 55 Would Extend Prop 30 Income Taxes to Fund Schools, Health Care

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:30:00 +0000

Proposition 55 would extend the Prop 30 income tax increases for another 12 years.

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California Voters to Weigh Tobacco Tax Hike with Proposition 56

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Under Proposition 56 the tax on a pack of cigarettes would go from 87 cents to $2.87.

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Bombs Fall in Aleppo as U.S. Considers Role in Ending Crisis

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:30:00 +0000

The World Health Organization is urgently calling for safe routes to evacuate the many sick and wounded in the city of Aleppo, which has seen the worst fighting in years after a cease-fire collapsed last week. Tuesday, the U.S. pledged $364 million in humanitarian aid to Syria. As the conflict intensifies and the refugee crisis grows, debate continues over what America's role should be in ending Syria's five year war.

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Fires in Santa Clara and Sonoma Counties Continue to Burn

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

This week's high temperatures have done nothing to help firefighters battling wildfires across California. On Sunday, the Sawmill Fire broke out just east of Cloverdale and on Monday, the Loma Fire started in the Santa Cruz Mountains. That's in addition to the Soberanes Fire in Monterey County, which is now the most expensive blaze in American history, with costs exceeding $200 million. We'll get an update on the state's fires and containment efforts

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Pulitzer Prize Winner Tracy Kidder Examines the Mind of Tech Genius Paul English

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

On the surface, Paul English's story resembles that of many successful tech entrepreneurs: awkward software engineer turned billionaire. But author Tracy Kidder's "A Truck Full of Money" goes beyond that stereotype and digs into English's complicated relationship with money and his day-to-day life with bipolar disorder. Nearly 35 years after Kidder's Pulitzer Prize winning book, "The Soul of A New Machine" examined the world of computer hardware, Forum talks to Kidder about Paul English and the new age of tech entrepreneurs.

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All Eyes on Clinton vs. Trump in First Debate

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

Many analysts predict that Monday's night debate could be the defining moment of the presidential election, bringing together for the first time the wildly divergent styles of veteran politician Hillary Clinton and maverick campaigner Donald Trump. Heading into the debate, a Bloomberg Poll has the candidates each receiving 46 percent in a head-to-head competition and Trump edging out Clinton 43 to 41 percent when third-party candidates are included. We'll check in with political commentators about who performed well and who fell flat during the highly anticipated match up.

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Bay Area Cities, Struggling with Soaring Rents, Vote on Rent Control Measures

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

In Mountain View, where nearly 60% of residents are renters, the average monthly rent jumped more than 50% from 2011 to 2015. In response, advocates in many small Bay Area cities, including Mountain View, Burlingame and San Mateo, have put rent control measures on November's ballot. Forum debates these measures and discusses what it means that campaigns for rent control -- normally found in large urban areas -- are migrating to the suburbs.

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Making Sense of San Francisco’s Jam-Packed November Ballot

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

San Francisco politics are rarely dull, and this election year is no exception. Voters will weigh in on a whopping 25 ballot measures covering hot-button issues like homelessness, public transit and education. In this hour of Forum, we talk with some local political journalists about the big measures and races. We'll also discuss what it all means for Mayor Ed Lee, a divided Board of Supervisors and the future of the city.

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As States Impose New Voting Restrictions, Concerns Mount About Access to the Polls

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

In the past six years, 22 states have passed new voting restrictions, including requiring identification at the polls and banning felons from voting. Journalist Ari Berman says voters are about to head to the ballot box with fewer rights than when Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act over 50 years ago. The author of "Give Us the Ballot" talks with Forum about the history of voting rights in America and why the current wave of voting restrictions predominately affects youth, poor people and minorities.

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Not Your Grandma’s Hula: New Book Looks at the Evolution of Hawaiian Dance

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:30:00 +0000

The stereotypical image of a hula dancer often features a woman in a grass skirt on a beach. But Patrick Makuakāne says that's a far cry from 21st-century hula. The Hawaii-raised and San Francisco-based hula master's shows are elaborate stage productions weaving in everything from opera and electronic music to 90s pop. His newest show, "The Natives Are Restless," looks at the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the native resistance that followed. He and his dance troupe, Na Lei Hulu, are also the subject of a new book by the same title, by local author Constance Hale. She and Makuakāne join us to talk about the evolution of hula and what it means to be Hawaiian in the 21st century.

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Proposition 51 Seeks $9 Billion in Bonds for Public School Construction Projects

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

As part of KQED’s election 2016 coverage, we discuss California Proposition 51, which would authorize the state to issue $9 billion in bonds for K-12 and community college construction projects. Proponents say it has been ten years since the last statewide school bond, and that it provides much-needed upgrades to public school facilities. Critics say it's a giveaway to developers and provides no oversight to ensure the bond money is spent right.

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As Election Day Nears, Media Coverage of Presidential Candidates Under Scrutiny

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

Earlier this week New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet signaled a shift in the paper's approach to campaign coverage: "We have decided to be more direct in calling things out when a candidate actually lies,” he told Quartz. His comments came in the wake of Donald Trump's press conference where the GOP candidate reversed course and said he now believes that President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. For her part, Hillary Clinton has frustrated reporters with her lack of accessibility. In this hour, we'll talk about how the mainstream media is struggling with and evolving in response to an unusual election cycle.

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Ann Patchett Reveals the Personal Side of Writing in ‘Commonwealth’

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Ann Patchett's writing has covered a wide landscape of topics, from the romance between hostages and their captors in “Bel Canto” to the painful toll of her friend’s cancer and heroin addiction in the memoir "Truth and Beauty." Patchett’s newest novel, "Commonwealth,” is loosely based on her own family history, as six stepsiblings struggle to heal from the trauma of their childhoods. Patchett discusses what happens when an author turns the lens on herself, her thoughts on feminism and writing, and why she identifies more as an independent bookseller than a famous author.

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Urban Planner Jonathan Rose on How to Design Better Cities

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Today's cities face a growing number of problems: income inequality, a lack of affordable housing, climate change and terrorist threats, to name a few. But according to urban planner Jonathan F.P. Rose, a more thoughtful approach to planning would allow cities to develop viable solutions to those challenges. In his new book, "The Well Tempered City," Rose looks at lessons that can be learned from past civilizations and lays out a five-part approach for how cities can be more egalitarian and resilient.

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San Jose Ballot Measure E Seeks to Lift Part-Time Workers

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

California is the hardest state for part-time workers to find full-time jobs, according to Labor Department data from 2014. Measure E on San Jose's November ballot would require local businesses with 35 or more employees to offer extra hours to part-timers before hiring more workers. Opponents say the measure will punish small businesses and kill jobs. We'll debate the proposal as part of NPR's "A Nation Engaged" project, which this week asks: “What can we do to create economic opportunity for more Americans?”

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Chinatown Community Activist, Political Powerhouse, Rose Pak Dies

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:30:00 +0000

Rose Pak was called the "godmother of Chinatown," "the most powerful woman in San Francisco" and, perhaps most often, a "power broker." That last was a term she didn't like. "If I was white," she said, "they'd call me a civic leader." Pak's many friends and allies -- from San Francisco's political leaders to the low-income seniors, immigrants and other outsiders whose causes she championed -- are mourning her death this week. We'll discuss the controversial leader's life and legacy.

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Candidates Focus on National Security After Bomb Blasts in New York and New Jersey

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

Bomb attacks over the weekend in New York and New Jersey have renewed focus on the national security positions of presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. On Monday, Clinton slammed Trump's campaign rhetoric and said Trump is being used as a "recruiting sergeant" for terrorists and called for a surge in intelligence. Meanwhile Trump called for a radical departure from the current administration's anti-terror policies but not offer any specifics. We'll talk to NPR's national security correspondent David Welna about where the candidates stand on the issue of national security.

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Jeffrey Toobin Revisits Patty Hearst Case in ‘American Heiress’

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

In 1974, Patty Hearst, the granddaughter of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped from her Berkeley apartment by a radical political group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army. In the year and a half that followed, Patty Hearst the hostage became "Tania" the revolutionary, committing crimes on behalf of her supposed captors until her eventual arrest in 1975. New Yorker writer and CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin covers Hearst's bizarre saga in his new book, "American Heiress." We'll talk to Toobin about Hearst's kidnapping, her trial and the still debated implications of the case.

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Grassroots Meets Big Data as Citizen Scientists Help Tackle Environmental Problems

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Regular citizens armed with little more than cell phones can transform scientific research, according to Bay Area writer and environmentalist Mary Ellen Hannibal. Citizen scientists, amateurs who take part in scientific endeavors, are tracking sea star die-offs along the Pacific coast and monitoring bird migrations in the Central Valley. They're also part of a long tradition of amateur researchers, from Thomas Jefferson to Ed Ricketts. Hannibal joins Forum to talk about the role everyday people can play in scientific research and about her new book, "Citizen Science: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction."

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California Prop. 53 Would Expand Voter Approval to Revenue Bonds

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

As part of KQED's Election 2016 coverage, we'll discuss California's Proposition 53. The measure would require voter approval for any public works project using more than $2 billion in revenue bonds, which are repaid with funds generated by the project. Currently, voter approval is only needed for general obligation bonds, which are repaid from general tax money. Proponents say Proposition 53 safeguards against bureaucrats running up state debt for pet projects. Opponents say the measure would make it even harder to achieve much-needed infrastructure improvements in California.

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Bayview Opera House to Re-Open after $5.7 Million Renovation

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 17:30:00 +0000

The Bayview Opera House, San Francisco's oldest theater and a registered historical landmark, will re-open this weekend after a $5.7 million renovation that took nearly three years to complete. Built in 1888 as an entertainment hall within a Masonic temple, the opera house has for decades hosted plays, dance performances, and poetry readings. We discuss the Opera House's architecture, history and the artists and community members who have shaped it.

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Albino Redwoods May Hold Key to Understanding Forest Health

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Albino redwoods, white-leaved, stunted versions of their towering brethren, have baffled scientists for years. But new research suggests that these "ghosts of the forest" may absorb toxins from the soil and contribute to overall ecosystem health. We discuss the implications of the findings and look at ongoing efforts to protect California's redwoods.

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