Marissa Ortega-Welch | KALW

Marissa Ortega-Welch

Reporter / Editor
Anoka County Library, used under CC-by-2.0

San Francisco’s Prop C is an incredibly small and specific ballot measure, but it’ll likely mean a lot to the handful of people it affects. 

It has to do with providing retirement health care benefits to about a hundred San Francisco Housing Authority employees. 

Here’s the back story:

San Francisco Housing Authority is the federally funded agency that provides rental assistance like Section 8 vouchers to city residents. 

It was mismanaged for years. Last year, the feds ordered that the city take it over and get into shape.

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Experts and enthusiasts discuss another year of data.

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Smartphones are making the wilderness easier to access, but no longer a place to escape and unplug.

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Meet a maverick fire chief in the Sierra Nevada who says California’s forests are actually not having enough fire, or, the right kind of fires.

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

A statewide story about L.A.’s water use, Bay Area’s trash, and a whole lot of gulls. 

Creative Commons, used under CC BY 4.0

Professor of Journalism Elena Conis wrote a book on the history of vaccines. She says, since we’ve had vaccinations in this country, we’ve had opposition to them. 

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

The hype may feel new, but Californians have been excited about wildflowers for a long time.

Marissa Ortega-Welch

 

Biologists are trying to lure herons that have been nesting in downtown Oakland to move to Lake Merritt instead. Will it work?

Lars Hammers (CC BY-NC-2.0)

Five Bay Area counties have won millions of dollars in a lead paint lawsuit, but now they say, paint companies are doing everything they can to prevent them from getting it.

Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS, used under CC-BY-2.0

If we just focus on monarchs and not all insects around us, we’re missing the big picture.

Public Domain

Operation pest patrol, Part III: When the country was figuring out its pest policies, it was also figuring out its immigration policies. And those two debates had some very dangerous overlap.

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Operation pest patrol, Part II: An insect spreading a deadly citrus disease threatens to wipe out California’s commercial citrus industry. But environmentalists say, we’ve seen this headline before and what it really means is using a whole lot of pesticides.

 

Operation pest patrol, Part I: Customs and Border Protection officers board and inspect every ship that comes into our country's ports.

Marissa Ortega-Welch/KALW

This is the first in a four-part award-winning series “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area.”

A 2017 Reuters report showed that a few Bay Area neighborhoods have some of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the country.

Angela Johnston

 

This is the second story in our four-part award-winning series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the Bay Area.

Courtesy of John Bauters

This is part of our series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the region.

Marissa Ortega-Welch

 

This is the third story in our four-part series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the Bay Area.

The numbers show the lead poisoning problem in the Bay Area is bad — but is what we know just the tip of the iceberg?

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 // Indigo Skies Photography

This is part of our series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the region.

Angela Johnston

 

This is the last story in our four-part series “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area.” 

In Alameda County, which has some of the highest lead levels in the country, an energetic public health nurse helps families after their child has been lead poisoned. But her work is a stopgap solution. What’s the answer to preventing leading poisoning before it starts?

This is the first story in our four-part award-winning series “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area.

A 2017 Reuters report showed that a few Bay Area neighborhoods have some of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the country.

Public Domain. Cropped and resized


Proposition 12 has to do with the caging of farm animals.

 

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel/Released

Proposition 2 deals with funding a housing program for people who have mental health issues. Back in 2004, Californians voted in favor of something called the Mental Health Services Act. It charges a one percent income tax on people who make a million dollars or more, to fund mental health services in counties across the state.

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW News

Bears in places like Yosemite are hot on human food — because we introduced it to them in the first place. We’ve been inventing solutions to keep them out of our food ever since.

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.

Drivera / Wikimedia Commons

 

San Francisco’s Proposition E proposes to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products throughout San Francisco.

 

The Board of Supervisors already voted for this ban last year. But tobacco companies didn’t like that decision. So they gathered enough signatures to put the decision in the hands of the voters instead.

 

Sulfur CC-BY-SA-3.0 Wikimedia Commons

 

This is part of our series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the region.

Marissa Ortega-Welch

Concerned about lead? Resources vary by city and county, but here are a few starting points.

Testing your child’s blood for lead

If you have private insurance or Medi-Cal, ask your primary care provider. All health insurance plans are required to pay for the blood lead test.

If you are uninsured, contact your local county health system to enroll in a county health care program.

Chuck Grimmett/Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Most of us don’t even think about the health effects of cannabis secondhand smoke — partly because there’s very little research being done on it.