Nina Thorsen

Nina Thorsen is a KQED radio producer and director, and frequently reports on sports, food and culture.   She co-created and produced KQED's Pacific Time,  a weekly radio program on Asian and Asian American issues that aired from 2000 to 2007. Before coming to KQED, Thorsen was the deputy foreign editor for Marketplace.  In her home state of Minnesota, she worked for A Prairie Home Companion and for Public Radio International.   Nina was honored by the Radio-TV News Directors Association of Northern California in 2012 for a series of stories on the Oakland A's stadium.  She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in speech-communication. 

Why ‘White Christmas’ Is Actually a California Song

Many people don’t realize it, but Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” – the most recorded holiday song of all time, because it’s also the most recorded song of all time – is written from the point of view of a Californian. The part of the song that we all know is the chorus; the verse, which … Continue reading Why ‘White Christmas’ Is Actually a California Song →

SF Bulls Hockey Team to Hold ‘End of the World’ Promotion Dec 21

Some say the world will end in fire, the San Francisco Bulls say on ice. As anyone who has access to the Internet knows, the end of everything is coming on Dec. 21. (NPR, among others, says this isn’t the case, but you know how they are.) Anyhoo, the San Francisco Bulls hockey team is … Continue reading SF Bulls Hockey Team to Hold ‘End of the World’ Promotion Dec 21 →

Sports Roundup: Quakes’ Season Ends; Photo: Dallas Braden and President Obama — Together on the Mound at Last

Soccer The San Jose Earthquakes’ remarkable season ended last night;  the team  fell in the Major League Soccer playoffs to their arch-rivals the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Quakes had beaten the Galaxy on Saturday, 1-0; last night they lost 3-1, and while in other sports that would mean the teams were tied, it’s different in  soccer, … Continue reading Sports Roundup: Quakes’ Season Ends; Photo: Dallas Braden and President Obama — Together on the Mound at Last →

After Giants Victory, A Day to Dry Out and Rest Up

The San Francisco Giants have a day to dry out and rest up from the National League Championship Series, which ended in a torrential downpour that hit just before the final outs of the 9-0 victory over the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals. Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro was named the Most Valuable Player for … Continue reading After Giants Victory, A Day to Dry Out and Rest Up →

No More Gopher Flesh: Oakland Kids Chow Down on Veggies

At my elementary school, and probably at yours, we sang a subversive little song about the cuisine served to us in the lunchroom that involved greasy grimy gopher guts, mutilated monkey meat, and oven-fried parakeet.  All of it pretty unappetizing — and probably coincidentally, all of it animal-based. So kids in Oakland schools may have … Continue reading No More Gopher Flesh: Oakland Kids Chow Down on Veggies →

The Man Who Wrote ‘The Autumn Wind is a Raider’ Dies

The autumn wind is pretty darn mean in the 1974 poem, “The Autumn Wind.” It rips the leaves off trees and turns people upside down and generally wreaks havoc. In short, it’s imbued with the spirit of the the Oakland Raiders. So thought Al Davis, who quickly enshrined the poem as the unofficial anthem of … Continue reading The Man Who Wrote ‘The Autumn Wind is a Raider’ Dies →

Giants, A’s Chances of Making Play-offs? Good. You Getting Tickets? Anyone’s Guess

Nothing’s certain until it’s certain, but according to Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds Report, the San Francisco Giants have a 99.4% chance of making the postseason, and the Oakland Athletics are not far behind at 92.9%.  And so, both teams are getting their postseason tickets ready for sale with some degree of confidence.  While season ticket … Continue reading Giants, A’s Chances of Making Play-offs? Good. You Getting Tickets? Anyone’s Guess →

The 5 Trashiest Places Around the Bay

Save the Bay released its sixth annual list of Bay Trash Hot Spots on Wednesday.   The places on the list are such major contributors to the flow of junk into San Francisco Bay that they actually violate the Clean Water Act.  Here are the offenders: Coyote Creek in San Jose Damon Slough in Oakland The … Continue reading The 5 Trashiest Places Around the Bay →

In Dispute Over SJ Territorial Rights, A’s Claim Opposition Group is ‘Astroturf’

After more than three years of study, Major League Baseball still hasn’t acted on the desire of Oakland A’s ownership to move the team south to San Jose. But while the larger issue of territorial rights is up in the air, there is a court date — September 21 to be exact — to address one … Continue reading In Dispute Over SJ Territorial Rights, A’s Claim Opposition Group is ‘Astroturf’ →

Sacramento Expresses Interest in A’s, But It’s Not Mutual

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson held a press conference Monday to tout his city’s potential as a home for the A’s or another Major League Baseball team.  Johnson was the major force behind a plan to build a new arena for the Sacramento Kings, a deal that collapsed in April when the team’s owners, the Maloof … Continue reading Sacramento Expresses Interest in A’s, But It’s Not Mutual →

‘Knuckleball Princess’ Makes Her Bay Area Debut — Part of Long History of Women in Baseball

Friday’s game San Rafael Pacifics game will be the first chance Bay Area baseball fans have to see Eri Yoshida play.  Yoshida, a pitcher for Na Koa Ikaika Maui (translated as “The Strong Warriors of Maui”), is the first woman to play professional baseball in two countries, the U.S. and her native Japan.  Her first … Continue reading ‘Knuckleball Princess’ Makes Her Bay Area Debut — Part of Long History of Women in Baseball →

Burned West Oakland Building Stood on Site With Long History

We were curious about the “senior center under construction” where the fire that temporarily closed BART service between San Francisco and Oakland began.  It turns out the site has a long and rather unhappy history. The building under construction was the Red Star Senior Apartments — a name which has nothing to do with the … Continue reading Burned West Oakland Building Stood on Site With Long History →

The Matt Cain Appreciation Society Roundup

There’s lots and lots of web traffic about Giants’ pitcher Matt Cain’s perfect game.  Here are some highlights: At McCovey Chronicles, Grant Brisbee enumerates “50 Awesome Things About Matt Cain’s Perfect Game“, including 48. Not worrying about how much this raised his offseason price in free agency. Matt Cain is on the Giants for a … Continue reading The Matt Cain Appreciation Society Roundup →