Friday, December 23, 2011
Filipino-American Parol Lanterns
Just a few blocks from San Francisco's shopping mania, the Bayanihan Community Center is filled with people engaged in a much more traditional activity -- hand-making star-shaped lanterns out of bamboo and tissue paper. During the Christmas season, many Filipino-American homes display the colorful star shaped lanterns called parols. Parols have a long history in the Philippines, but the holiday symbol isn't so well known in California. Now a community center in San Francisco is encouraging people to reconnect to this tradition, by making their own parols, and sharing them with the community.
Latinos and the "green economy" in Imperial County
In 2009, President Obama called for a New “Green” Deal… evoking Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930’s that dramatically expanded and changed America’s infrastructure. The goal of the Obama plan was to create millions of green jobs. But has that happened? And if so, has this “new deal” been for everyone?
In this piece, I revisit my reporting in Calipatria in Imperial County which sits atop abundant geothermal activity. It’s 80% Latino and has one of the country’s highest unemployment rates. But the people there hope this renewable energy resource will give it just the “green” economic boost it needs.
Salt Farmers in Mendocino
Bob LaMar really does take a boat 3 miles off the Mendocino Coast to harvest sea water (I know, I went with him!), and he and his wife Lora make salt and seasonings at their home salt shed in Gualala. The Mendocino coast, two total individuals, and salt. What's not to love?
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Los Hilos de la Vida
Jesus, abortion, deportation, border issues. These are some of the stories told in quilts made by immigrant women in Mendocino County's Anderson Valley.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Curandero Chuck Garcia on Latino USA's Radio Nature.
and on The California Report magazine November 11, 2011.
Chuck, who teaches classes on herbalism out of his Richmond home, let me come along on a "wildcrafting" trip in Marin County. He says he rejected the idea of becoming an herbalist like his mother and grandfather but, he says, "you can't escape who you are."
Monday, October 31, 2011
Mt. Maidu country, revisited
A new version of the story of Mt. Maidu people working to gain formal stewardship of tribal lands.
Grapes of Wrath in Volcano, CA
I visit a tiny Gold Rush town whose theater company staged a story written 70 years ago that is totally relevant today: The Grapes of Wrath.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Listen In at Log Cabin Ranch: Radio Diaries of Incarcerated Youth
This spring, I got to work with The Beat Within and inspirational co-teacher Will Roy. Each week we drove out to the hills of La Honda to meet with young men from San Francisco incarcerated at Log Cabin Ranch. We interviewed them, gave them a few pointers on collecting audio, and asked them to record diaries of their daily lives. They blew us away with their humor and honesty. These pieces aired in a series called Listen In at Log Cabin Ranch on New America Now on KALW. Here's the whole series:
Friday, September 2, 2011
Holtville Pauper's Cemetery
(scroll down, it's the third piece)
And on The California Report Magazine:
Pauper's cemeteries aren't new. They're where unclaimed and unidentified bodies, or those of families too poor to pay for funerals, are buried. But in the southeastern corner of California, in a small rural town called Holtville, a "John Doe" cemetery tells a larger story about the state, and nation. It's where the bodies of nearly 700 undocumented immigrants are buried -- immigrants who died trying to cross the border.
Friday, July 29, 2011
The Future of Small Town California part VI: Mt. Maidu Country
Aired on The California Report Magazine on July 29, 2011 (with a photo slideshow).
For this story in the series I headed up the Feather River to the mountains of Plumas and Lassen Counties. This story starts before towns we see on a map today even existed; before Greenville or Taylorsville, this land was filled with the villages of native Mt. Maidu people. But Gold Rush prospectors, developers and government agencies honed in on their land. Their population declined, and so did their access to the land for traditional practices. Now Mt. Maidu are now working to regain formal stewardship of their homeland.
With a reporter's notebook:
Monday, July 18, 2011
Published in the Association of Independents in Radio AIRblast, July 2011.
I couldn't be doing my small town series if it weren't for the relationship I have with KQED's The California Report, and they wouldn't have reporting in some of the state's far-flung places without this series.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
California Song: John Doe's "The Golden State"
Aired on The California Report on May 27, 2011.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
The Future of Small Town California Part V: Calipatria
Aired on The California Report on May 20, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
The Future of Small Town California Part IV: Avenal
Aired on The California Report evening magazine on March 18, 2011.
With a reporter's notebook:
Friday, January 7, 2011
The Future of Small Town California Part III: Garberville
Aired on KQED public radio's The California Report on Friday, January 7, 2011.
The Humboldt County town of Garberville is a thriving center of California's marijuana industry. For the past few decades, pot growing has gradually replaced logging and ranching as the economic engine there. We visit Garberville to learn more about the changing identity of a town underwritten by pot. Co-reported with Kym Kemp.