Joshua Johnson

Paul's Hat Works in San Francisco's Richmond District

A growing number of businesses are betting their futures that Bay Area consumers are willing to pay more for goods produced locally. As recently as 1996, Gap and Levis Strauss were among the San Francisco-based garment companies that employed some 14,000 workers. That number has declined steadily since then, to just over 1,600 in 2013. But a group of local entrepreneurs and designers is bucking the “fast fashion” trend and producing everything from jeans to hoodies here, in the Bay Area. What are the benefits and challenges of manufacturing locally? Are you willing to pay more for the Made in the Bay Area label?

A bottle of OxyContin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the painkiller OxyContin for patients aged 11 years and older who suffer from severe, long-term pain. Supporters of the FDA’s move say it will ease the suffering of children who have no other treatment options and provide physicians with improved dosing and safety information. But critics say that prescribing OxyContin to youth puts them at risk for addiction.

Rescued baby sea lion

Scientists report that an algae bloom spreading from California to Alaska is poisoning marine life and has quickly become one of the most toxic blooms they’ve ever seen. Abnormally warm water temperatures are allowing the bloom, which produces a dangerous neurotoxin, to grow quickly — up to 40 miles wide in some parts. Crab fisheries and the anchovy market have already been affected. We’ll talk to scientists who are tracking the toxic bloom about its impact on marine life and humans.


Students at Stony Brook University in New York will soon be able to earn a masters degree in “masculinities studies.” The new program symbolizes increased attention to how masculinity is treated across cultures and disciplines. At the recent International Conference on Masculinities, seminars ranged in topics from mental health to fatherhood to friendship. We’ll explore the growing academic field of men’s studies and what we’re teaching today’s young men about masculinity. founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon can be a brutal place to work. That’s according to a New York Times report that described employees crying at their desks, backstabbing co-workers and a “rank and yank” practice to cull staff. But some within the company say that the practices keep them motivated and productive. What makes for a healthy — or toxic — workplace culture?

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego)

California lawmakers are back at the state Capitol for the final weeks of the 2015 legislative session. Among the issues to be debated: funding Medi-Cal, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and repairing transportation infrastructure. John Myers, senior editor of KQED’s Politics and Government Desk, provides an update on the legislative battles to watch.

There’s a growing concern on college campuses that scholarship is suffering at the hands of emotional sensitivity. Critics argue that trigger warnings and avoiding microagressions are taking precedent over intellectual discourse. Still, others say that feeling safe and respected are prerequisites for any learning environment. We’ll discuss the realities of today’s classroom, where students and professors bring their trauma and prejudice along with them.

A student raises his hand in class.

As kids across the country head back to school, many will be entering classrooms that are more racially segregated than they were in the 1970s. In San Francisco, nearly one-fourth of the city’s public schools are racially isolated. We’ll talk about what this means for student achievement and how today’s schools came to be so racially divided. How important is diversity when selecting a school? Should school districts make diversifying schools a priority?

Jose Antonio Vargas

A new documentary from by MTV titled “White People” asks white millennials to take a closer look at how they view race. “I don’t think we can have a conversation about race in America anymore and not include white people in the conversation,” said journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who produced the film. How can we have conversations about race that are both welcoming and honest? What are your most meaningful conversations about race, and who were they with? What circumstances fostered them, and what did you learn?


The Richmond City Council voted this week to enact eviction protection and rent control rules that will limit rent increases to that of the Consumer Price Index for the region, or about 2 percent annually. Supporters say the rules, which will go into effect December 1, are necessary to stem evictions and displacement. Opponents say the protections unfairly burden landlords and are too costly to the city. We look at the economics and politics of rent control.

Laszlo Bock

Google’s Laszlo Bock, head of what the company refers to as “people operations,” argues that companies ought to invest more science and rigor into how they hire and deal with their employees. He joins us to share insights from his book “Work Rules!” including the best interview questions to ask and how a “nudge,” or small signal, can result in large behavioral changes.

Excerpt from 'Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead';


A groundbreaking longitudinal study focusing on LGBT health — all powered by an iPhone app — launched last month. UCSF’s PRIDE Study, an acronym for “Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality,” hopes to follow its participants across several decades and track the impact of heart disease, depression and other health issues. We discuss these new strategies to address health issues within the LGBT community with the study’s co-directors.

Embryos are frozen and stored at a fertility clinic.

One divorced San Francisco couple’s fight over the fate of frozen embryos could set a legal precedent in California for how to deal with fertility technology. Mimi Lee and Stephen Findley created five embryos and froze them after she was diagnosed with cancer and shortly before they married. They’ve since divorced and now disagree about what to do with the embryos. We’ll discuss the latest developments in the trial and how it could impact future cases.


In the two weeks since a balcony in downtown Berkeley collapsed, killing six people, new details have emerged about reported construction flaws and inadequate building oversight. The firm that built the balcony has paid out $26.5 million in construction defect settlements over the past three years, according to an investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle. We’ll talk with reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken about his findings and Alameda County’s criminal probe into the collapse.