It’s a new year, and in 2014 Forum and KQED News will continue to bring you the latest in local, state and national news as well as arts and culture coverage. But airtime is limited. We open the phone lines to get listeners’ thoughts on what issues we should be covering and prioritizing.

Dan Brekke, blogger and online editor for KQED News
Scott Shafer, reporter and host of The California Report and co-host of KQED TV's Newsroom

  • LaurenAyers

    There has been very little coverage of the battle in Sonoma County that actually affects the whole Bay Area. That’s the fluoridation issue.

    Nearly all the counties in our hip part of the earth are fluoridated except Sonoma County, but people are waking up. The decay rate in fluoridated cities isn’t lower than in non, meanwhile current research shows that fluoridation is toxic to the rest of the body and correlates high higher rates of cancer, Alzheimer’s and more.

    Why did highly educated towns like Portland and Davis oppose fluoridation? Why did Israel quit?

    The real question is why are public health departments so intent on it?

    If Sonoma stops it, then activists elsewhere will try yet again to quit, this applies to us all in the KQED listener area, so how about more coverage?

    • Research shows that only topical fluoride reduces cavities, not ingestion of fluoridated water

    • It violates the Precautionary Principle• It is mass medication in uncontrolled doses, ignoring age and health status (the CDC warns parents of infants under 6 months not to mix their powdered formula into fluoridated water)

    • Fluoride is more toxic than lead and almost as toxic as arsenic, and the product used actually contains those elements as well as radon (fluorosilicic acid from phosphate plant scrubbers is not the same as the pharmaceutical grade fluoride used in toothpaste)

    • It has never been scientifically shown to be safe and effective

    • The liability issues are risky for public agencies (just ask the asbestos and tobacco corporations

    • It is harmful to ecosystems receiving the treated water

    • Aaron

      Even worse by far than fluoridation is the addition of ammonia to our water, called chloramination.

      See here:

  • Aaron

    I’ve like to see more coverage of the ways in which the USA is becoming a 3rd world country. We’re behind other countries in almost all measures that matter to most people. Education, corruption, income inequality, prison population, water quality, etc.

    I’d also finally like to hear Mr Krasny interview someone from Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which is based in San Francisco but oddly shunned by the mainstream media. If we only had a free press in the USA… alas we don’t and KQED proves it.


    • Robert Thomas

      Oh, the bucolic evenings of my youth (okay, jejune young adulthood), spent listening to the dulcet tones of Dave Emory and Nip Tuck wafting from the radio of the ’69 Polara. Good times.

  • Another Mike

    When you’re working 60-80 hours a week, finding time to “give back to the community” can be difficult.

    I’m happy that SF’s 25 year experiment in penalizing companies for hiring employees is ending.

  • Another Mike

    SF — currently Disneyland North for adults — is becoming a bedroom community. Deal with it.

  • Mandy Millett

    The comment that jobs are in the south and people are living in SF, is interesting. I live in the suburbs and it’s been that way forever! We all commute to work. So big deal. So what if they have to start doing that in the city too?

  • Another Mike

    Somehow Asian-American families can raise children in San Francisco — how about a show on how do they do it?

    • David

      why? because one would think they can’t? or, because no other family can? other families obviously can, and do. so, why focus on Asian-American families?

      • Another Mike

        David, did you hear the program? The difficulty of raising a family in SF was specifically mentioned. And yet somehow I see Asian-American kids all over town.

        Try googling “families moving out of San Francisco.” And here’s an excerpt from HuffPo:
        “According to statistics presented to a special hearing of the Board
        of Supervisors [3/2012], San Francisco has the lowest percentage of
        children of any major city in the country. Only 13.4 percent of the
        city’s approximately 800,000 residents are under the age of 18.

        “The number of kids in San Francisco has gradually declined since the 1960s, when they made up a full quarter of the population.

        [Per the Chron]:

        “The high costs of housing and living in general seem to be
        the main culprits of family flight, according to city officials who
        testified Thursday. Households earning at least 80 percent of the city’s
        median income–pegged at $92,700 for a family of three–can easily
        afford to rent an apartment, [Director of Community Development at the
        Mayor’s Office of Housing Brian] Cheu said.”

  • Robert Thomas

    A VERY SMALL fraction of the people who work in the technology industry in Santa Clara County commute from San Francisco.

    The whinging of put upon San Franciscans is EPIC.

    • Another Mike

      How about a show on SF’s culture of complaint? An analysis of why the 49ers will be playing in Santa Clara despite years of trying to get a new SF stadium would be enlightening.

      • Robert Thomas

        AM, I SO enjoy scolding whining SFians. But I admit that they shed my piercing jibes (as they do those of so many others) like water off a duck’s back.

        So, SF is important to our region and I love it. So, what do the people of SF *want*? What do they want for their city? How do they propose to get what they want? Will day trippers buying tchotchkies continue to finance it?

        I’d invite more SF-centric hours if these questions were discussed in a responsible manner.

  • Lea

    Perhaps tech buses could sponsor Lava Mae? Here’s a bus everyone can get behind: mobile hygiene for those in need.

  • Stuart

    Why protest corporate buses when the result is the reduction of single person car commuting?

    • Another Mike

      The point is that techies do not deserve to live in SF. They should be buskers or baristas, not coders.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Would love to hear more more shows on population issues, veganism, homeschooling,and the growth of the NON religious population. And serious immigration reform NOW.

    • Aaron

      The non-religious issue connects to the immigration issue in that many H1B migrants come from countries where atheism is virtually unknown and unaccepted, like India and middle east.

  • Fyza Parviz

    I would love for forum to cover more local Bay Area authors and literary scene. Also we should embrace the tech in SF and cover new innovations that are happening.

    • Another Mike

      I miss the SF Book Festival, held every November. You could hear and talk to local authors. Maybe KQED could revive it.

  • agatasul

    Please discuss the impact of retirement of babybomers on the economy, income inequality, wealth transfer, etc.

    • William – SF

      How about “Is our economy working?” How could it work better? Is the economy changing in fundamental ways? Where is the economy headed?

      Bring Robert Reich and a conservative counterpart to discuss…

      Provide facts not conjecture.

  • Pontifikate

    How will be deal with structural causes of unemployment? We have a winner-take-all society and most of us left in the dust. how do we deal with forces of globalization and technology?

  • Aune Michener

    I’m so pissed off that people think millennials don’t want critical critique in on our radio programs. Just because we are young doesn’t mean we aren’t gonna carry the world any less on our shoulders. We’re SO TIRED of stuff being dumbed down- STOP IT!

    • Robert Thomas


  • Aaron
    • Robert Thomas

      Better leave now!

  • Linda Kincaid

    Please cover elder abuse by county employees, especially Public
    Guardians. ABC7 covered the Santa Clara
    County Public Guardian imprisoning and isolating Gisela Riordan in San Jose.

    That situation is now
    being repeated with the Monterey County Public Guardian imprisoning and
    isolating San Francisco resident Margarita Zelada. Margarita has been kept isolated at Senior
    Paradise in Del Rey Oaks since March 2013.
    The Public Guardian instructed the facility to call the police if anyone
    asks to visit Margarita.

    These stories are all too common across the state. AB937 was passed to clarify that conservatees
    retain the right to visitation. The
    Monterey County Public Guardian promptly went to court for an order
    circumventing AB937.

  • Kurt_InterestedInForum


    Building things is tough, especially if it is new. I’d love to see more interviews with people who have build things, even if they have not written a book. Maybe such interviews could spark the imagination for the listening community.

    Another topic dear to me is I hear many interviewees asserting this or that. I’d like to hear some follow up questions asking for sources or basis for such comments.

    Thank you for facilitating inspiring discussions! I admire too you breadth of knowledge.

  • Helen

    I would like to see continuing coverage on the City College of San Francisco accreditation issue. With the issues affecting income inequality and increased California State and California University college tuition, there will be a greater need for affordable opportunities to pave the path to a better education, vocational skills, and personal development. Students, the community, and the jobless need affordable opportunities to improve their financial situation and to compete in today’s job market. CCSF is a commuter college, with many using public transportation. Having to go to another community college that is located outside of San Francisco would exacerbate a student’s financial situation, i.e. increased transportation cost, and cause fewer study hours, and potentially the need to reduce job hours, if applicable. There are thoughts that CCSF’s accreditation issue is actually a privatization issue, which would be even more detrimental to a diverse community with a growing need for affordable education.

    • Robert Thomas

      This is a very good choice. Although there has been Forum time spent on this issue, I confess I have little understanding of the facts of the subject through the haze of the axe grinding advocates. It’s an important topic for SF and for the region.

    • Another Mike

      On the theme of private vs. public: I was surprised to learn how few vocational or technician level programs in general were offered by Bay Area community colleges, which virtually forces people to sign up for the sort of costly private school that advertises on daytime TV. Transfer to a four-year school is nice, but getting a job skill in two years (or less) is also a worthy goal.

  • Peter Varshavsky

    There is a dearth of high quality reporting on TAFTA and TPP that are being negotiated and that the administration is seeking to pass with minimal congressional oversight. The public has very little access to information, while the private interests seem to be steering the trade agreements in their favor. Thankfully the liberal democrats and tea-party republicans are coming together in opposition to the fast track procedure, which would hopefully slow it down and give the public an opportunity to become informed and get a place at the table.

    This could turn out to be a hugely powerful piece of international legislation with consequences more damaging to representative democracy and public interests than Citizens United.

  • rematrav

    What are the goals for Forum? There are several, but one of the goals, I think, is to educate listeners to make them informed citizens. I know there are other important goals. But Bay Area Forum listeners hear the liberal perspective that permeates our air. Contrary views are sometimes heard on Forum, but they’re rare.

    The Federal Government spends almost $1,000 per month, per person for every man, woman and child in the US. I did the math; $3.5 Trillion in spending for 310 Million population. That doesn’t include State, County and City spending. Some argue it doesn’t include unfunded liabilities in Social Security and Pensions. Perhaps the average listener doesn’t care because the tab can probably be left to our children and grandchildren. And politicians, especially Democrats, don’t like to talk about it. But mostly the average listener doesn’t understand the debt, or the consequences of the debt, or what a national bankruptcy looks like. Forum is missing this critical issue.

    Also, just Interview more conservative thinkers down the peninsula at the Hoover Institute. Yes, the callers will howl, but it’s good for them to hear ideas different from their own. Open-minded listeners will learn some valuable stuff.

    The Wall Street Journal editorials and Op Eds have intelligent conservative views rarely heard on any local or national media. Just look there for more ideas. And I’m not talking about Rush et. al.

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