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As the number of Americans receiving food stamps increases – it has now reached an all time high of more than 21 and a half million households – an ongoing debate over whether the system is working has emerged.

Last fall, over a dozen members of Congress took the “Food Stamp Challenge” to see what it was like to live solely on a food stamp budget for a week. Bay Area representatives Barbara Lee of Oakland and Jackie Speier of San Mateo both participated. Congresswoman Lee had to live on four dollars and fifty cents a day.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user KayVee.INC

On June 5th, San Franciscans will be voting on many things, one of which has to do with their trash.

Since the 1930s, the company Recology has been taking care of The City’s trash and recycling, with no competition. This year, proponents of Proposition A want to change that by opening up the city's trash collection and processing services to a competitive bidding process. Other companies – even out of state ones – would have the chance to bid for the job.

On today’s Your Call, Holly Kernan talks with David Talbot, founder of Salon.com, and author of the new book Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love.  Talbot chronicles the turbulent times from 1967 to 1982 in Northern California and how some of the hippies, outcast and healers of the 60s became the bombers and murderers of the 70s.  What’s the continuing impact of those times on Northern California?  And what are San Francisco values today? 

Hear LoCura lead singer Kata Miletich and guitarist Bob Sanders perform "Manzanilla" from their new album, Semilla Caminante, live at KALW studios.

 

(San Francisco Chronicle) // The San Francisco teachers union will vote this week on whether to strike in protest of salary and benefits cuts proposed by the San Francisco Unified School District. District officials say they'll have to find $80 million dollars over the next two years, but the union claims that money is available within the existing budget...

Oakland director explores love in new film

May 3, 2012

A documentary by Oakland filmmaker Terence Nance made a big impression at the San Francisco International Film Festival. It’s called An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. It’s as much a multimedia work of art as it is a movie. Nance wrote, directed, starred in, and wrote music for the film, which explores the mind of a man who is falling in love. KALW contributor Kevin Robinson sat down with Nance to talk about an earlier film by Nance called How Do You Feel.

TERRENCE NANCE: It has a very experimental feel to it.

KEVIN ROBINSON: Why?

The San Francisco chapter of the Democratic Party is demanding that the Democratic administration in Washington immediately “cease all Federal actions in San Francisco, respect State and local laws, and stop the closure of City-permitted medical cannabis facilities.”

Photo courtesy of http://therumpus.net/cherry/

Generally, pornography isn’t something that comes up in casual conversation. It’s a taboo topic for obvious reasons – but local author Stephen Elliott says this means people know very little about the people who work in that industry, and often consider them victims or bad people. In his twenties, Elliott was a stripper in his hometown, Chicago, and he's part of the sex worker community here in San Francisco. He and his friend Lorelei Lee, an adult film star, decided to co-write a screenplay that would share their perspective of what it’s like to work in porn.

A magnitude 2.4 earthquake struck near the intersection of Ygnacio Valley and Oak Grove roads in Walnut Creek just before 9am this morning. The "microquake" did not apparently result in any major property damange or injuries...

On today's Your Call, we’ll mark the beginning of the 55th annual San Francisco International Film Festival by discussing one of it’s featured films--Jamie Meltzer’s Informant.  The film follows the story of Brandon Darby, a charismatic activist turned FBI informant. Since 9/11, the FBI has built a network of more than 15,000 informants. How much impunity does the FBI have for entrapment?

Audio Pending...

Sports aren’t for everyone. And baseball, in particular, can be a hard sell. The baseball season has 162 games, and these games feel like they last forever – the players always seem to do a lot of standing around and spitting, never much actual playing.

So why is it the national pastime? Any fan might tell you it’s about the skill of the game – strategy combined with athleticism.

But it’s more than that.

Smoother Sailing for the America's Cup

Mar 29, 2012

On March, 27, after nearly a year of negotiations, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a revised deal to bring the America’s Cup -- sailing's pre-eminent event -- to San Francisco in fall 2013.

The agreement finalizes the venues for the 34th America's Cup and calls for millions of dollars in pier and waterfront improvements in San Francisco. The event expected to draw more than 1 million spectators.

What was behind the unanimous vote? How will the race benefit the city, and what concerns are still on the table?

www.nps.gov

At Maritime National Historical Park, the golden age of shantey-ing comes alive again as sailors and sea music enthusiasts gather around an ancient vessel, the "Balclutha.” Peter Kasin’s job is to preserve these ancient shanties, and in turn to preserve San Francisco’s dangerous Barbary Coast past. But not everyone likes their shanties; some say they’re more bouncy than they were in the past, and should capture the sweat of the sailors who sang these songs way back in the 1800s to help make their rough shipboard jobs a bit more rhythmic.

San Francisco's District 5 Supervisor, Christina Olague, has requested a hearing to examine neighborhood recycling scavenging. Since 2010 Recology and the city have looked into how to stop the activity, which costs up to $5 million in revenue annually. The hearing should take place in April before the board’s City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee...

Bay Area beekeeper Marina Shoupe is a member of the San Francisco Beekeepers Association, and she’s one of two women in the group who remove unwanted beehives. The process is known as “extraction.” Shoupe told KALW's Steven Short about the first time she had to answer a call for extraction. She ended up getting way more intimate with bees than ever before.

If you’ve lived in San Francisco long enough, you might have noticed that there are fewer yellow school buses crisscrossing the city. State budget cuts have forced the school district to cut its bus services to 98 percent of high school students. Only five middle schools still get busing. Even elementary schools have been losing service. And deeper cuts are promised for next year.

An alternate perspective on egg donation

Mar 14, 2012

Susan Cieutat is a nurse, an attorney, and she runs the San Francisco Donor Network, which connects hopeful mothers with prospective egg donors. Below is her response to a story on egg donation that aired on Crosscurrents on January 25, 2012. Cieutat says that story portrayed a "very false image of egg donation."

If your business or nonprofit is ready to make an important contribution to San Francisco’s future, consider hosting a student intern this summer.

San Francisco public high school students pursuing in careers in finance, information technology, biotech, hospitality, law, and health science  are looking for summer internship opportunities.  They're motivated and ready for real-world work experience.   

On today's Your Call, a few days before “that other award show” we will announce your nominations for the film that most powerfully changed the way you understand the world.  Documentaries, features, shorts, or even animation.

SFJAZZ presents a new Season in the new SFJAZZ Center. Concerts include Jazz and World Music artists like the SFJAZZ Collective, pianist John Medeski, hip-hop keyboardist Robert Glasper and many more.

The President cashes in at Bay Area ATM

Feb 17, 2012
Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

There were two sides to the story of President Obama’s appearance at a San Francisco fundraiser Thursday night. One happened inside the Masonic Center on Nob Hill. The other took place immediately outside.

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/livenature/2556769885/

Everyone acknowledges that San Francisco is different. Maybe that’s why there are so many songs about the city by the bay.  So many, in fact, that it’s perhaps the only city in the country – and maybe the world – with not one, but two official songs.

photo: Courtesy of The NAMES Project

The AIDS quilt has come home for a visit.

Considered by organizers to be the largest participatory art project in the world, the AIDS Memorial Quilt began spontaneously on San Francisco’s Market Street a generation ago, when gay rights activist Cleve Jones asked people to create quilt panels memorializing loved ones who had died of AIDS-related causes.

That was in 1987; today, over 91,000 individuals have been memorialized on more than 5,800 quilt panels, each the symbolic size of a coffin (3 X 6 ft.).

Flaming Faggotry: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, editor of the new queer anti-assimilationist anthology "Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform," is back for another "delicious conversation" on Out in the Bay. This time, he -- oops, I mean she -- brings Harris Kornstein, aka ice-skating drag queen Lil Miss Hot Mess, one of his/her San Francisco-based contributors with her/ him.

A new study shows that getting rid of old diesel trucks has helped cut gas emissions around the Port of Oakland in half. For years, the neighborhoods around the port have been known for extremely high air pollution that can cause health problems. KALW took a look at the effectiveness of these new state air regulations earlier in the month and also found that pollution has decreased near the port…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/3640362081/

A new nature preserve and wildlife habitat is being created out of a decades-old dumping ground in Marin County. Aramburu Island, which was created in the 1950s from human debris, will be renamed the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary. The project is being bankrolled by a number of entities, including the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin...

Christmas, Golden Girls Style!

Dec 8, 2011

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes" is non-stop holiday hilarity all month at The Victoria Theatre in San Francisco's Mission district with Trannyshack creator, Heklina, and her band of merry drag stars. Marilyn visits with Heklina, who plays the Bea Arthur role, and Cookie Dough, who plays her mother. Marilyn saw the opening night which was a benefit for Project Open Hand and guffawed throughout. What a way to start the festivities! Leave it to the queens, honey! 

Host Alan Farley talks with composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, who is leading the San Francisco Symphony this week in a program will include his violin concerto, and with musicologist Scott Fogelsong, who will play some rare archival recordings of the orchestra, on the day that marks the 100th anniversary of the symphony's first concert.

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