Ben Trefny | KALW

Ben Trefny

News Director

Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, delivering daily newscasts, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and supervising special projects including KALW's Audio Academy training program.

He earned a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 2000 and got his start in public radio at NPR member station KLCC in Eugene. After freelancing for many magazines and producing for regional and national commercial and public radio programs, Ben joined KALW in 2004. He has helped the department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He has also helped teach hundreds of audio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today. He currently serves as the president of the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Ben lives with his wife and twin children in San Francisco's Outer Sunset district, where Golden Gate Park meets Ocean Beach, and spends as much time as he can outside.

You can reach him at

California Counties Beg For Vaccine As Eligibility Expands / Nine State Inmates Charged With Unemployment Fraud In San Diego / Man Accused In Fire That Killed 36 Expected To Plead Guilty

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 1/13/21, PM

Jan 13, 2021

California Giving Senior Residents Priority Access To COVID-19 Vaccine / Governor Newsom Asks For $2 Billion To Bring Schools Back To Classrooms

Drivers Sue Over Proposition 22, Saying It Doesn't Allow Them To Organize / US Forest Service Planning Prescribed Burns Around Lake Tahoe / Researchers Find Wildfire Smoke Accounted For Half Of All Small Particle Air Pollution In The West

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 1/12/21, AM

Jan 12, 2021

California Virus Deaths Top 30,000 After Deadliest Weekend / California Assembly Approves Resolution Calling On President Trump To Resign / Alameda County Declines To File Charges Against Second BART Police Officer In Oscar Grant Killing / Governor Newsom Sets High Goals To Increase Affordable Housing / Former San Francisco Police Chief And Detective Prentice Earl Sanders Has Died

State Lawmakers Return And Focus On Coronavirus And Small Business Relief / Multiple People Swept Out To Sea In High Surf / Hayward Librarian Honored By 'I Love My Librarian Award'

California's coronavirus catastrophe reached a staggering new level Monday as Johns Hopkins University data showed the nation’s most populous state has recorded more than 30,000 deaths since the pandemic started nearly a year ago.

Virus, Housing Issues Await Returning California Lawmakers / Woman Swept Away On Pescadero Beach Still Missing / Governor Newsom's Budget Proposal / Proposed Budget Includes A Billion Dollars For Wildfire Prevention / Helicopter Accidentally Drops Air Conditioner On Oakland Street 

California Hospitals Prepping For Grim COVID-19 Choices / Newsom Cancels News Conference As "Caution" Amid Protests / In First, Black Men Lead Two California Public Safety Panels

Governor Gavin Newsom Proposes $600 Payment To Low-Income Californians / Civil Rights Advocate Notes Racial Discrepancies In Response To Protests / Congressman Mike Levin Recounts His Experience During the U.S. Capitol Siege / Advice For Parents On How To Talk About Turmoil With Their Kids

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 1/6/21, AM

Jan 6, 2021

California Board Urges Bias Reviews Of Police Social Media / At Least One CA GOP Congressman To Object To Biden's Electoral College Victory / Alameda County Seeks Federal Approval to Delay Homeless Population Count For One Year / Lemur Thief Released / Somewhat Stormy Weather On The Way

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 1/5/21, PM

Jan 5, 2021

California's First State Snow Survey About Half Of Average / State Shows Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rose In 2018 — First Increase Since 2012

Albert Huynh / Flickr / Creative Commons

California police agencies should routinely review officers' social media, cellphones and computers for racist, bigoted or other offensive content that contributes to disproportionate police stops of Black people, a state advisory board said Monday.

California Struggles With Virus After Holidays / Dozens Of ER Workers Infected By COVID-19 At Kaiser Permanente In San Jose / Google Engineers Form Union / Man Dies Trying To Save Children From Sneaker Wave In Jenner / National Weather Service Issues Avalanche Warning In Sierra Nevadas

California Struggles With Virus After Holidays / Vandals Attack Homes Of Speaker Nancy Pelosi And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell / Publicly Held Companies Now Mandated To Include Person Of Color Or LGBTQ-Identifying Person On Board / Parolee Arrested Several Times Before Killing Two People In San Francisco Hit-And-Run

California Struggles With Virus After Holidays

Jan 4, 2021
Travis Wise / Flickr / Creative Commons


LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said on the CBS program “Face the Nation”, yesterday, that the nation's most populous county is recording a new COVID-19 case every six seconds.

Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 12/17/20, PM

Dec 17, 2020

California Has Emerged As The Newest U.S. Epicenter Of The COVID-19 Outbreak / State Prioritizes Teachers, First Responders, And Restaurant Workers For Next Round Of Vaccines / A Crunch On Bay Area Intensive Care Units Means The Region Must Now Follow State Stay-At-Home Order / Some Lawmakers Looking To Ensure Personal Protective Equipment For Farmworkers

How Is California Distributing Its Limited Supplies Of The COVID-19 Vaccine? / Chihuahua Reunited With Owner Five Years After Going Missing

California Demands COVID-19 Safety Information From / San Francisco Board Of Supervisors Consider Condemning Zuckerberg Chan Names On General Hospital / Two Earthquakes Shake Bay Area / Winter Storm Rolling Into Bay Area Wednesday Afternoon / Extreme Athletes Seek To Replicate Donner Party Excursion

California Administers Its First COVID-19 Vaccinations / Recall Effort Against Governor Newsom Has Half The Required Signatures To Force Vote / Oakland Organizations Work To Preserve Murals Made In 2020 / Stanford Women's Basketball Coach Ties National Record For Most Wins

San Francisco And L.A. Break COVID-19 Records As State Readies To Distribute Vaccine

Russ Allison Loar / Flickr / Creative Commons

The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Los Angeles County, which again broke a record for coronavirus hospitalizations this weekend as San Francisco County reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Federal Land With Fossil Fuels In Kern County Put Up For Auction / Governor Newsom's Businesses Received Nearly $3 Million In Federal Loans / San Francisco's Official Holiday Tree Will Be Lit Tonight

Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 12/10/20, AM

Dec 10, 2020

Sacramento Region Moves To Most Restricted List At Midnight / Wildfire Danger Eases In Southern California / Light Rain Expected In Northern California This Weekend / San Francisco Unified School District Approves New School Assignment Process For Elementary Schools

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 12/9/20, PM

Dec 9, 2020

California Allows Outdoor Playgrounds To Open / Some California Businesses Not Complying With COVID-19 Restrictions / Sacramento Region Added To State's Most Restricted List / GM Will Release Fully Driverless Cars In San Francisco / Liane Randolph Appointed To California Air Board

California's Top Doctor Says Restaurant Dining Is Closed To Keep People At Home / Man Swept Away By Massive Surf In Pacifica / Police Overspending Led To Oakland's Budget Deficit

California Hospitalizations Are At Record Levels / State Has Requested Up To 600 Contract ICU Workers / Three Coastal Counties Want To Be Separated From The Southern California Region COVID-19 Designation / State Has Paid As Much As $2 Billion In Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits / Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon Signed In And Announces End To Cash Bail / Victims' Families Sue "Ghost Gun" Manufacturers

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 12/8/20, AM

Dec 8, 2020

COVID-19 Cases In Rural Counties Are Going Up Fast; California Is Launching A Quasi-Contact Tracing App / People Should Seek Out Opportunities To Get Outdoors In Their Neighborhoods / San Francisco Indicts Another Police Officer In A Shooting

San Jose And Oakland Ban Natural Gas In Most New Buildings / California Unemployment Fraud Involving Claims From Incarcerated People Tops $400 Million / San Francisco's American Indian Cultural District May Include Dolores Park / San Francisco May Designate Non-Sworn Service Providers To Respond To Non-Violent Calls

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 11/30/20, PM

Nov 30, 2020

California Breaks Record With More Than 7,400 COVID-19 Hospitalizations On Sunday / State Has Stockpiled More N95 Masks Than The Nation Itself Has On Hand / Curfew Begins Tonight In San Francisco / Santa Clara County Announces Indoor And Contact Sporting Activities Are Prohibited Until Nearly Christmas / California Recommends Hospitals Test Workers On A Weekly Basis, And Test All Incoming Patients For COVID-19

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 11/24/20, PM

Nov 24, 2020

Elected Officials Ratcheting Up Recommendations For COVID-19 Safety / Golden Gate Fields Extends Closure Of Horse Racing Track / Los Angeles On The Brink Of Stay-At-Home Order / Orange County To Provide Half-A-Million Mail-In Test Kits / 35,000 Unemployment Claims Filed On Behalf Of Incarcerated People / Advocates For Low-Income People Ramp Up Pressure To Pass More Stimulus Funding