Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators. Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland. Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association. Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.
Environmental activists protest outside the Carrie Gosch Elementary School during a visit by U.S. EPA Adminstrator Scott Pruitt on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana.

This Saturday, scientists and their supporters in San Francisco and cities across the country will hold a “March for Science” in response to the Trump administration’s policies on climate change and other issues. The unprecedented action has critics questioning whether scientists should play a role in politics, while supporters argue that scientists must take a strong stance in a time of intense polarization and “alternative facts.” In this hour of Forum, we discuss the upcoming march and hear from local scientists. Tell us what you think: should science and politics mix?

More Information:
Scientists Take to California Streets This Saturday (And Ask You to Join Them) (KQED Science)

Analyst Corey Weiss, who was disgnosed with Autism as a young boy, works at Mindspark on August 24, 2016 in Santa Monica, California.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one percent of the global population has autism spectrum disorder. And while events like Autism Awareness Month have raised the disorder’s profile, a Drexel University study found that about 40 percent of young adults with autism are unemployed. But some tech giants like SAP, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise are actively trying to hire employees with autism. In this hour, we’ll look how employers and employees can both benefit from closing the employment gap for those on the autistic spectrum.

Resources Mentioned on Air

A wall dedicated to the memory of US rapper Tupac Shakur is seen on May 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

The late rapper and actor Tupac Shakur will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April. Tupac recorded his best-known songs for Death Row Records in Los Angeles, but he spent some of his formative years in the Bay Area and continued to claim Oakland after he left the city because, as he put it, “that’s where I got the game at.” Tupac lived in a Marin City public housing complex known as “The Jungle,” attended Tamalpais High School and debuted as a rapper with the Oakland hip-hop group Digital Underground. Before his murder in 1996, Tupac had become one of hip-hop’s most charismatic and controversial figures. His music addressed issues of inequality, police brutality and racism, but also espoused the gangster lifestyle and a personal code of ethics he called “thug life.” In this hour we talk about Tupac’s life and legacy, and his ties to the Bay Area.

Vanessa Hua is the author of "Deceit and Other Possibilities."

A Hong Kong movie star forced to return home to Oakland after a sex scandal. A boy from Mexico reunited with his parents in San Francisco, only to find his family splitting apart. An obedient Korean-American daughter who failed to get into Stanford and fakes her way onto campus. These are the characters in Vanessa Hua’s debut collection of short stories, “Deceit and Other Possibilities,” which centers around the lies people tell themselves and others. The San Francisco Chronicle columnist joins us to talk about her fiction writing and breaking away from stereotypes of first- and second-generation immigrants.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's car drives past bail bonds businesses near the Men's Central Jail October 15, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.

Over 60 percent of people in California jails haven’t been convicted of a crime, but are in custody awaiting trial. That’s led some state lawmakers and civil rights advocacy groups to push for reforms to the state’s bail bonds system. Those pushing for change say that people shouldn’t be detained simply because they can’t afford bail and that the state’s exorbitant bail rates push low-income defendants to accept plea bargains. But bail agents and district attorneys argue that such reforms could destroy a system that ensures people show up for trial and saves taxpayers money. Meanwhile in Santa Clara County, law enforcement has been cracking down on illegal bail bonds operations, where longtime inmates use the promise of cheap bail to funnel incoming inmates to certain bail bonds companies. In this hour of Forum, we discuss the current state of California’s bail system and debate potential reforms.

A view of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters on March 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. U.S.

The White House released a $1.1 trillion budget plan Thursday that proposes deep cuts in spending on environmental protection, social services and education,and calls for a $54 billion military spending increase. According to state officials, the proposal, which also calls for the elimination of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, could have far reaching effects on California. Federal dollars constitute about a third of the state’s budget and a number of programs — particularly those that serve the poor — would need to be scaled down. We discuss what the President’s plan could mean for California.

A screen grab of Robert Kelly's BBC interview that was interrupted by his two children.

Little did professor Robert Kelly know that when he sat down for a BBC interview via Skype from his home office, it would turn into an internet sensation. In a matter of seconds, his two young children wandered into the live interview before their mother dashed in to take them away. For many of the roughly 25 percent of employed Americans who work from home, the video captured the daily battle of conducting business in the most personal of spaces. In this hour, we look at the pluses and minuses of working from home and hear tips on how to do it more effectively. And we’d like to hear from you: what are the challenges you face as a remote employee? What’s made working from home successful for your company? Have you had a ‘BBC Dad’ moment?

A view of Sutro Tower and downtown San Francisco on September 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California

“Frisco,” the word San Franciscans love to hate — or do they? KQED’s Bay Curious podcast recently took up the question of why Bay Area locals are so divided over the nickname. We’ll talk to KQED producer Vinnee Tong about what her reporting on the moniker and the city’s relationship with it. And we want to hear from you: How do you feel about “Frisco”? Do love it, hate it or are you happy as long as no one says “San Fran”?

More Information:

Hear The Bay Curious Podcast on ‘Frisco’:

Jessia Waldman and Rick Roiting as the bartender in "The Speakeasy."

Turn down a dark alley in North Beach, say the right password to a man in a trench coat, and a secret world of dice games, blackjack and cabaret singers will appear. The Speakeasy, an immersive theater show that recreates the look and feel of a 1920s Prohibition-era drinking club, is interactive and lets actors and audience commingle at gambling tables and a bar stocked with “bootlegged liquor.” Many guests show up in period clothing, from fedoras to flapper dresses, and cell phones are strictly forbidden. (You can’t get a signal in 1923!) We’ll discuss creating immersive theater with The Speakeasy’s producers and the hurdles to finding a permanent space in San Francisco.

More Information on “The Speakeasy”

Julian Assange, founder of the online leaking platform WikiLeaks, is seen on a screen as he addresses journalists via a live video connection during a press conference on the platform's 10th anniversary on October 4, 2016 in Berlin.

The CIA figured out how to spy on people through cell phones, websites and smart TVs, and then lost control over that information, according to the website Wikileaks. In what it called its largest release ever, Wikileaks made 8,761 files available Tuesday that detailed surveillance techniques. Wikileaks says it will release more details soon, after allowing tech companies to review the information so that they can patch any security vulnerabilities. We discuss the implications of the disclosure and Wikileaks’ political influence.

A woman holds a cell phone and a credit card.

Digital privacy feels more elusive than ever as we give up personal information for the conveniences of communicating, shopping, and researching topics online. And as the Trump Administration proposes to require certain people to surrender their social media passwords as a condition of entry to the U.S., concerns mount about the level of privacy we can expect from the government. In this hour, we speak to a panel of journalists and digital privacy experts about how to take control of your online identity.

Mentioned on Air:

The Privacy Paradox from Note to Self

Liccardo-HeadShot2--for-web

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo joins Forum to talk about his priorities for the last two years of his term, which include building more housing, improving transportation infrastructure and expanding the city’s police force. We’ll also get an update on how the city is addressing the impacts of last month’s flood, which displaced thousands of residents and caused at least $73 million in damage to public and private property. What’s your question for the mayor?

A Caltrain train pulls into the Palo Alto station.

Arguing that the South Bay’s transportation system is breaking down, the urban planning think tank SPUR released an ambitious proposal for the region Thursday. In its Caltrain Corridor Vision Plan, SPUR proposes improvements to Highway 101 and calls for Caltrain to quintuple its ridership, expand service into downtown San Francisco and upgrade infrastructure. The SPUR report follows the Trump Administration’s decision last week to suspend $647 million in funds for Caltrain’s electrification, a move the rail agency says will hinder its ability to make needed improvements. We discuss the future of Caltrain.

The Caltrain Corridor Vision Plan (Spur.org)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives for a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray (out of frame) at the Foreign Ministry building in Mexico City on February 23, 2017.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly traveled to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The visit comes on the heels of rising tensions between the two countries over a border wall that President Trump insists Mexico pay for, a renegotiation of NAFTA and most recently, a tightening of U.S. deportation rules.