Christopher Egusa | KALW

Christopher Egusa

Christopher is currently a fellow in the 2020 class of KALW’s Audio Academy. He previously interned at NPR. Among other topics, he is interested in reporting on issues of chronic illness, disability, and mental health. Christopher’s background is in film production and social impact strategy. He’s worked with major nonprofits and corporations on developing campaigns that advance social issues. 

Christopher is an East Bay native. He’s also a musician and lover of very excellent coffee.

Doug Zimmerman

Oakland Public Library is open for curbside pickup, but its doors remain shut. So what happens to families and kids who depend on libraries for more than books? In this installment of The Essentials, meet a children’s librarian who is working to preserve what makes the library so special.

Phil Roeder


Schools across the Bay Area are back in session — both virtually and in-person. But some are still feeling the effects of COVID-19 on the last school year. Research shows that 2008 graduates are still experiencing impacts of the Great Recession. So what can 2020 graduates expect? 

Sometimes you just need to hear something that's going to get you pumped up. In this week's My Mixtape, Virgie Tovar shares the ultimate self-love anthem. Tovar is an author, activist, and expert on body image. Got a tune of your own to share? Tell us about it!

It's been 100 days since shelter-in-place began and people across the Bay Area are taking stock of how their lives have been transformed. Locals are trying to keep the spotlight on old injustices, while also dealing with our strange new corona-reality. 

1FlatWorld / Flickr / Creative Commons


The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is planning to shut down the port of Oakland on Friday, June 19th. The union is recognizing Juneteenth, a day which commemorates the end of slavery in the US. Cargo will sit unmoved and unloaded at all 29 ports across the West Coast for eight hours.

Paul Lewin is an Oakland-based artist and painter. In this week's My Mixtape, he shares a song that has been a pillar of hope throughout his life.

Paul's art is inspired by Afro Caribbean/ African folklore, nature and sci-fi. You can view his work at his website.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs


Nearly three months into shelter-in-place, society is beginning to reopen. People are heading outside. For some it’s to restaurants or back to work. Many are joining the anti-racism protests that began over two weeks ago. And change is happening - in communities, and in government.

Madolan Greene / Flickr Creative Commons / cropped

Reuben Houston is the owner and director of one of Colma Cremation and Funeral Services. The Bay Area has seen a relatively low COVID death rate compared to other population centers, but the virus has still affected his work. In this installment of "The Essentials," Reuben says the pandemic may change the way funerals are conducted for good.

Wikimedia Commons


COVID-19 has spread to San Quentin State Prison, where over a dozen people incarcerated there have now been diagnosed with the virus.

Screen capture



Tensions between local law enforcement and people protesting the death of George Floyd continued to escalate through last night and this morning. 

Bay Area Enters Phase Two / Tesla Reopening Questioned

Steve Zeltzer

Protestors rallied outside of Tesla’s Fremont factory on Saturday. This comes after the electric car manufacturer reached a deal last week with Alameda county to keep its factory in Fremont in operation.

The past week has been full of contentious posturing between Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and public officials. At one point, Musk threatened to move the Fremont factory to either Las Vegas or Texas. He also opened the plant last week in defiance of Alameda County’s shelter in place law and then dared the government to arrest him.

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 5/12/20, AM

May 12, 2020

Voting By Mail In California On Election Day / New Bill Would Ban Businesses From Refusing Cash / Free Late-Night Taxi Rides For Essential Workers 

Bernard Spragg / Flickr

Public transit service in San Francisco has been cut dramatically due to the shelter in place order. Now, the city’s rolling out a new commuting option for essential workers: free taxi rides.

Edward Perotti is a global event designer known for his creative and immersive events. In this week's My Mixtape, he shares his secret weapon for times when he needs a boost of confidence.

Want to share your own story of a significant song? Click here to find out how.

California To Move Into Second Phase Of Reopening / California Restaurant Association Estimates Half Of State's Bars And Restaurants Will Not Reopen / California Hospital Association Requests $1 Billion In Aid / Fire Experts Predict Severe Season With Early Start

California National Guard

Fire season may start early this year in Northern California. And fire experts predict it’s also likely to be especially severe.

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 4/27/20, PM

Apr 27, 2020

Bay Area Shelter-In-Place Order To Be Extended Through May / Pushback In Rural Counties Against Stay-At-Home Order / Heatwave Brings Crowds To Public Spaces / Stanford Stanford Health Care To Cut Employee Wages / Oakland Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Travis Wise / Flickr

Stanford Health Care is planning system-wide pay cuts and furloughs to roughly 14,000 employees. This comes as embattled hospitals across the country fight the pandemic.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The music industry has reached an agreement with the state assembly for musicians to be exempted from AB5, the state’s new gig-work law.

Now in my seventh month as an Audio Academy Fellow, I can technically say that I’m a professional journalist. That’s because… drum roll… I got paid! Twice! Here’s the story.

Christopher Egusa / KALW

In Fremont, an industrial road near Tesla has become home to a large number of people living in RVs. In February, the city ordered them to leave and began placing boulders in their place. We followed one resident as she struggled with her next move.

Lynn Shipman and her boyfriend live in their RV along Kato Road in Fremont. When I meet her, she immediately invites me in.

Inside, the RV looks like a miniature botanical garden.

San Francisco City Attorney's Office

Public gatherings have been banned for weeks now. But some people have found a way to keep the party going. San Francisco police recently shut down an illegal underground nightclub.

Three State Partnership / Insurance Refunds Demanded / SF Delivery App Fees Capped / SF Party Busted

Vanessa Rochelle Lewis was bullied for her appearance and sexuality. She redefined ugly to mean Uplift Glorify Love Yourself. Vanessa is the founder of Reclaim UGLY, a movement that helps people heal from “uglification” and celebrate their beauty. In this week's My Mixtape, she shares a song that's all about those good vibes.

Photo provided by Santa Clara Public Health Department

The Santa Clara Convention Center has been transformed into a temporary hospital to treat less severe COVID-19 cases. Its first two patients were admitted today.

Miss Lopez Media

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. We're changing things up a bit due to the shelter-in-place order.  This week host Jenee Darden chats with hip-hop artist Call Me Ace about three arts events for you to see, hear and do right from home. 

**Correction: Jenee mistakenly said Madame C.J. Walker was the first self-made millionaire. Walker was the first self-made female millionaire.



Phil Dokas / Flickr


In San Francisco, all MUNI train lines will shut down starting today, with no current plans for them to reopen.

Free COVID-19 tests in Hayward / Park visitation problems / Proposed ballot measures stymied

Tom Wolf / Flickr / Creative Commons

Good news for East Bay residents and health centers: a new, free COVID19 testing center is opening in Hayward.