Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Traci Des Jardins Thanksgiving

Aired on The California Report Magazine, November 16, 2012.

And on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, November 17, 2012.

I asked two-time James Beard Award-winner Traci Des Jardins to demonstrate one favorite Thanksgiving dish for this story, but when I walk into her home kitchen in San Francisco she's making four. One of those dishes is her grandmother's rice. Des Jardins was raised in a family of rice farmers in California's Central Valley and, every day as a child, she ate this short grain white rice they grew.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Violins for Vets

Aired on The California Report Magazine November 9th, 2012.

For this Veteran's Day piece I got to team up with the The Kitchen Sisters as part of the KQED Radio series "The Making Of..." -- stories about what people make and why. Ninety-two-year-old Remo del Tredici donates his hand-carved violins to veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Siskiyou County pre-election road trip

Aired on The California Report Magazine on October 26, 2012.

Up in Siskiyou County, on the Oregon border, people say anyone who calls San Francisco "Northern California" has it wrong. They live in the real Northern California. This sprawling county, home to the Klamath River and Mt. Shasta, has barely 45,000 residents. So the answer to the question "What's Government For?" comes back to people's relationship with the land.

Political Switchers

Aired on KQED News October 31 and Nov 1, and on The California Report Magazine

KQED wrote:

We don’t need to tell you the American electorate is polarized these days. You just have to tune in to any call-in show or even make an injudicious casual remark at Thanksgiving dinner to realize how personal our political identities are and how emotional discussing the issues and values surrounding them can be. So we decided it would be interesting to ask one Republican and one Democrat why they did what is unthinkable to so many: switch parties. Two portraits of political discontent…

A Republican since childhood leaves the party on the last day of the RNC:

A life-long Democrat has a 9-11 conversion:

The California Report mash-up:

Fiddletown Fiddler's Jam

Aired on The California Report Magazine on September 21, 2012.

Last year I was driving through Amador County on my way to do a story about a tiny Gold Country theater's performance of Grapes of Wrath:

My GPS had no idea how to handle the little back roads, and I ended up driving through Fiddletown, and pulled over when I saw the 20-foot fiddle on its community center.  I heard they had a yearly Fiddler's Jam, so I had to go back.

PS -- my recorder pooped out on me this day so the whole thing was captured on iPhone.  Terrifying.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Conspiracy of Beards...encore

Aired on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday on September 8, 2012:

Thirty men sing Leonard Cohen a cappella.  One more reason to still love San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tejano Conjunto...Californio

My friend and colleague (and accordion ambassador) Julie Caine and I explain why hundreds of people come Sacramento for a little taste of Texas: 6th annual Tejano Conjunto Festival. It's a celebration of Latino music from Texas that migrant farmworkers brought with them as they made their way west. Acclaimed accordionist Flaco Jimenez is headlining this weekend's show.

Three ways to hear it.

On KQED News:

On KALW's Crosscurrents:

And on The California Report:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Conspiracy of Beards

Aired on The California Report Magazine on July 6, 2012.

30 men singing the songs of Leonard Cohen. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hunting Wild Pigs in Yolo County

Aired on The California Report Magazine May 25, 2012.

Some of the most beautiful, undeveloped property in California is privately owned. That means it's off-limits to hunters, hikers, birdwatchers and other members of the public. But thanks to a new program from the Department of Fish and Game, public and private are coming together -- starting with a series of wild pig hunts.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Los Hilos de la Vida

Aired on NPR's Latino USA on May 18, 2012. 

My favorite quilters hit the air again, talking about immigration and religion and becoming artists in rural Mendocino County.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Arcata Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary...and Wastewater Treatment System

Aired on The California Report magazine on May 4, 2012:

In most cities, waste treatment plants are unwelcome and often controversial. The concrete and steel facilities can be ugly -- and smelly. But that is not the case up on the North Coast, where the City of Arcata built an eco-friendly wastewater system right on scenic Humboldt Bay. But this system is so popular, people have gotten married on its grounds. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Tresspass" Marijuana Grows Targeted by NorCal Community Groups

Aired on The California Report on Thursday, April 5, 2012.

Fort Bragg Councilman Jere Melo loved the woods.  That's why, even after he retired from a career in forestry, he took on contract work patrolling private timberland. He often looked for signs of illegal marijuana grow sites, and he became increasingly concerned about their negative impact on the environment and public safety.  Last August 27, he was on such a patrol, but he didn't find a marijuana garden.  Instead, a mentally disturbed man who was reportedly tending a field of opium poppies shot and killed him.  After Melo's death, his widow Madeline started the Jere Melo Foundation to educate the public about her late husband's passion: keeping the forests free of illegal marijuana grows.  The organization hosted its first public forum at the end of March.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mendocino Salt Farmers

Aired on The Splendid Table on February 18, 2012.

A couple in their 50s have to reinvent their careers and want to stay on the Mendociono Coast.  What do they take on?  Salt farming, of course.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Funding Cuts Would Keep Rural Kids Waiting for the Bus

Aired on The California Report on the morning of Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

Before dawn on January 24th, two school buses full of students and a caravan of community members from rural Humboldt County began a five-hour trek to Sacramento. They're protesting the decision to eliminate all state funding for school buses as part of the budget-balancing trigger cuts.