Rachael Bale

Rachael Bale is researcher and reporter for The Center for Investigative Reporting and occasional contributor to KQED News and The California Report. A California native, she has a bachelor's degree in political science from Reed College and a master's degree in journalism from American University.

Interactive Map: A History of San Francisco Place Names

In San Francisco, we have a lot of streets with no-nonsense names, like Pine, 3rd Street and Broadway. But what about Geary? Divisadero? Castro? Do you know what they’re named for? There’s a map for that. A new interactive map from Noah Veltman, a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellow at the BBC, gives the history behind the names of San … Continue reading Interactive Map: A History of San Francisco Place Names →

Strike Delays Garbage Pickup in Parts of Alameda, Santa Clara Counties

A strike has disrupted garbage pickup in Milpitas, Santa Clara, San Jose, Fremont and Union City, and might affect Richmond as well. Workers there are picketing in support of striking Teamsters at Republic Services’ hauling yards in Tennessee. Areas Affected Teamsters Local 350’s work stoppage at the Newby Island Resource Recovery Park in Milpitas, which has … Continue reading Strike Delays Garbage Pickup in Parts of Alameda, Santa Clara Counties →

After Boston Marathon Explosions, California Officials Examine Security at Home

After two explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, killing at least two and injuring dozens, California law enforcement and emergency officials are  monitoring the situation and how it relates to California. California’s State Threat Assessment Center, which comprises the governor’s office, California Highway Patrol, the California Emergency Management Agency and the California Department … Continue reading After Boston Marathon Explosions, California Officials Examine Security at Home →

What is Mark Zuckerberg’s Fwd.us?

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., buzzing with the debut of his new organization, Fwd.us (say: “Forward Us”). What is it exactly? It has been called a lobbying group, a political action committee and a super PAC. But it is not really any of those. It’s organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the … Continue reading What is Mark Zuckerberg’s Fwd.us? →

Report: Bay Area Community College Graduation Rates Sliding

By Rachael Marcus and Charla Bear Fewer than half of students in California’s community colleges are completing their degrees, and Bay Area community colleges are no exception, according to new data released by the California Community Colleges on April 9. De Anza College in Cupertino had the highest graduation/certificate completion rate, at 66.6 percent, and Merritt College in Oakland … Continue reading Report: Bay Area Community College Graduation Rates Sliding →

UC, CSU, California Community Colleges — and the New University of California?

There’s the University of California, the California State University and California Community Colleges. Soon, there could be a fourth system of higher education — the New University of California. The catch? It wouldn’t offer classes. It wouldn’t charge tuition. And it wouldn’t hire professors. Instead, it would awards degrees based on mastery of skills and subjects, … Continue reading UC, CSU, California Community Colleges — and the New University of California? →

Gamers Mourn as LucasArts Gets Zapped

For fans of such LucasArts games as “Star Wars,” the empire struck back on Wednesday — the Disney empire, that is. Reports spread rapidly that LucasArts, based in San Francisco’s Presidio, had ceased production of games, laying off 150 people, according to multiple sources. Game studio LucasArts is part of Lucasfilm, which Disney bought from … Continue reading Gamers Mourn as LucasArts Gets Zapped →

Engineers Zero in on Bay Bridge Broken Bolt Solutions

Engineers have yet to settle on a fix for the more than 30 bolts they found had cracked on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, but there are two likely fixes engineers could implement, said Steve Heminger, the executive director of Metropolitan Transportation Commission, on Forum Thursday morning. One is to replace all the bolts. … Continue reading Engineers Zero in on Bay Bridge Broken Bolt Solutions →

Prop. 8 Co-Author: Striking Down Prop. 8 Would Be Judicial Activism

Andy Pugno, a co-author of Proposition 8 and general counsel at ProtectMarriage.com, is part of the legal team defending the same-sex marriage ban at the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. Pugno discusses with KQED's Scott Shafer the major themes of their legal argument as well as what changing public opinion means for the case. Even though prominent Republicans, Fortune 500 companies and the public is becoming more accepting of same-sex marriage, Pugno said he thinks it will not have much of an effect on the justices. "I think the justices are accustomed to avoiding being sucked into a political debate," Pugno said. "I think they'll be mindful of their limited role as judges to interpret existing law, not to make new law." [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOi3MEz6MWs]