Eli Wirtschafter | KALW

Eli Wirtschafter

Producer

Eli is the Program Director for KALW's project in state prisons. We teach incarcerated people how to record and edit audio stories, and air them as part of the series Uncuffed.

Eli graduated from KALW's Audio Academy in 2016. He became KALW's transportation reporter, and also interned with KQED News and The California Report.

Eli has lived in the East Bay since he was seven. He's a musician, a bicyclist, and an active member of the Jewish community.

Uncuffed / KALW

Note: These positions have been filled. Please reach out to uncuffed@kalw.org to be considered for the board in future years.

 

Jenee Darden / KALW

This past spring, Alma Vasquez Garcia and her son Angel were killed by a car while crossing the street in East Oakland. Family Laundry honored the victims in a ceremony where City of Oakland representatives made a big announcement.

Peter Merts

Dameion Brown thought his theater career was over when he left prison. But three years later, he still performs with Marin Shakespeare Company, the group that first introduced him to acting at Solano State Prison. He also teaches with their programs in youth prisons.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

Tomorrow night, the Warriors will play their last game in Oakland. When the team leaves the Coliseum, they’ll leave behind a stadium that’s ideal for public transit riders. 

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

On April 13, a Mercedes slammed into a family crossing the street in East Oakland. A 6-year-old and his mother were both killed. Another family member was critically injured. Foothill Boulevard, where it happened, is one of Oakland’s most dangerous streets for pedestrians.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

Every day, the Dumbarton Bridge is choked with tech workers commuting from the East Bay to Silicon Valley. Next to the bridge is a rail line that’s been defunct for almost 40 years. Now, that rail crossing could be rebuilt for commuters. And Facebook might pay to make it happen.

Find more information on the Dumbarton rail bridge project here.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

Taxis are notorious for driving past black travelers. Uber and Lyft have helped to level the playing field, but black riders are still more likely to have their requests canceled.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center is six months old. The huge bus station, and planned high speed rail station, opened to a lot of fanfare. And then, six weeks later, workers found cracks in the building’s structure. It’s been closed ever since, and repairs have only just begun.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

Hundreds of San Francisco taxi drivers are in debt after paying $250,000 for medallions, licenses to drive in the city. The city’s plan to help that group of drivers comes at the expense of other drivers, who have also suffered from the taxi industry’s collapse.

 

22-year-old Oscar Grant was killed by a BART police officer ten years ago this month. His death led to calls for reform of BART’s police department. Ten years later, has that reform happened? And has it worked?

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

On January 1, over 200,000 drivers of electric and plug-in vehicles will lose the right to take the fast lane solo. It’s an effort to speed up carpool lanes that misses the real culprit: cheaters.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

Gas prices have topped $4 a gallon at some stations in the Bay Area. Fuel in California usually costs more than any other in state in the continental US.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

The fight over housing in the Bay Area has turned up even in the elections for BART’s board of directors. The candidates are divided as to whether the agency should build more housing near its stations, or stay focused on running the trains on time.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

Proposition 6 would repeal the gas tax and transportation funding package that Governor Brown signed last year. That could put money back in your pocket at the pump, but take money out of roads and transit.

Creative Commons. By Tobias Kleinlercher. Resized.

Alright, let’s say you are a paramedic and you work for an ambulance company. When you take a lunch break, are you still on-call? Can your company make you respond to an emergency?

Creative Commons. Cropped.

Proposition 6 is all about repealing the new gas tax, and making it harder to raise gas taxes in the future.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

The dockless electric scooters that appeared on the streets of Oakland a few months ago quickly become a popular form of transportation. Now, officials are creating a permits to allow them to stay in Oakland. But companies have to meet certain requirements: like offering a low-income membership for just five dollars a year.

Selena Wilson

In the spring of 2018, KALW and East Oakland Youth Development Center teamed up to present a series of audio storytelling workshops for East Oakland youth. Taught by KALW reporter Eli Wirtschafter and Snap Judgment producer Adizah Eghan, the students learned the basics of audio storytelling and created their own pieces, which you can listen to below.

 

How a chance encounter inspired Oral Lee Brown to give back

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

The California Global Youth Peace Summit brings together immigrants, refugees, and US-born youth for a week of community-building and reflection.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

The new Transbay Transit Center opens next month in San Francisco. It’s meant to connect buses from the East Bay with MUNI, Caltrain, and High-Speed Rail. The only problem? The tunnel connecting Caltrain to the transit center hasn’t been built yet. The tunnel will be less than miles long, but building it will cost $4 billion dollars, on top of the $2.2 billion already spent on the transit center.

Eli Wirtschafter

Last December, James Smith’s car was towed as a consequence of unpaid parking violations. Smith was homeless, and the car was his only shelter. Now, Smith filing suit against San Francisco, arguing that towing for debt-collection is unconstitutional.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News

Since 2013, KALW News producers have been going into San Quentin State Prison to train incarcerated men to be radio reporters. We air the stories they produce there as San Quentin Radio.

Eli Wirtschafter

 

Oakland resident Shaniesa Williams wrote to Hey Area — KALW’s community-journalism project — to ask why there are so few traffic signals on International Boulevard.

Frank Schulenburg / WikiMedia Commons

Regional Measure 3 would increase the tolls on all Bay Area bridges — except the Golden Gate.

Under this plan, the tolls at every bridge would go up by $3 over the next seven years. So if you’re used to paying $6 to cross the Bay Bridge during rush hour — surprise! Next year it would cost $7. And by 2025 — $9.

Tewy / Wikimedia Commons

 

California’s Proposition 69 is concerned with fuel taxes and transportation.

Last year California’s state legislature voted to raise the gas tax, the diesel tax, and vehicle registration fees.

The bill they passed said that all $52 billion of revenue would go to transportation projects — like road repair and public transit.

Joshua Wirtschafter

In late March, little electric scooters started popping up all over San Francisco. So far the scooter companies have been operating without any kind of permit, but that could change soon.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

 

A massive, multi-year transit project is transforming International Boulevard in Oakland — and financial aid for local businesses affected by the project is tangled up in red tape.

 

Eli Wirtschafter

Activist Lateefah Simon ran for the BART Board of Directors, and won, in part because of the killing of Oscar Grant. She’s now helping the agency navigate troubled waters following the killing by BART police of another young, unarmed black man — Sahleem Tindle.

Wikimedia user Dllu, used under CC-BY)z

Eight years ago, there was no such thing as Uber or Lyft. Taxis were around, but they only made around one percent of all vehicle trips in San Francisco. Fast forward to now, and ride hailing companies make up around 15 percent of all trips that start and end within the city — an estimated 170,000 rides per day.

Photo credit: Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

 

San Francisco has made a sweeping change in how much it costs to park in the city.

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