125 Years of History and Culture in San Jose's Japantown
San Jose's Japantown is one of three remaining Japantowns in the United States. In its early days, the community served as a refuge for Japanese immigrants. Now, in its 125th year, the streets are filled with everything from tofu shops to artsy boutiques to low-riders. We talk to Japantown's residents, look back on the neighborhood's history and find out how it is evolving.
National Park Service Director on the Future of America's Parks
The National Park Service celebrates its 100-year anniversary next summer. Though the system's 407 national parks attract more than 280 million visitors annually, the Park Service has set lofty goals for its future: increase the diversity of visitors to include more youth and people of color, partner with health providers and ramp up collaborations with scientists, which is the focus of a summit this week at UC Berkeley. National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis is in town for the summit, and joins us in the studio.
Critics may need to revisit California's reputation as the "job killer" state. New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that California added more jobs between January 2014 and January 2015 than any other state. But California still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. We'll look at what's working — and what's not — as far as job creation in the Golden State.
Citing the need to adjust to new Common Core standards, the California Board of Education decided earlier this month to suspend the use of standardized test scores as its main measurement of school performance. This comes as teachers, parents and students nationwide protest against the overuse of tests. We talk with NPR education blogger Anya Kamenetz about the perils of overusing test scores and other methods of measuring school and teacher quality.
San Francisco commuters have long been unhappy with the city's transit service, and entrepreneurs have seized the opportunity. Private companies like Leap and Chariot are offering shuttle services they claim get people to their destinations faster, and with perks such as gourmet coffee. Critics say these private transit options further the divide between the rich and poor, and take resources away from public transportation agencies.
Supreme Court Hears Case on SFPD Shooting of Mentally Ill Woman
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday over whether police must make accommodations in how they deal with a person who they know is mentally disabled. The case was prompted by the 2008 police shooting of a San Francisco woman with schizoaffective disorder. We'll discuss the case and the challenges around police interactions with mentally ill individuals.
Kevin Ashton on the Secret History Behind the World's Amazing Inventions
In "How to Fly a Horse," Kevin Ashton explores the surprising history behind some of the world's most extraordinary inventions, from the Ohio bicycle shop where the Wright Brothers got their start, to the 25-cent bet that spurred the creation of the stealth bomber. Ashton himself has spent a lot of time in the world of inventions — he co-founded an MIT lab dedicated to new technologies and founded three successful tech startups. We'll talk to Ashton about the culture of inventions, past, present and future.
A developer's plan to construct 12,000 homes along the bay in Redwood City has been stalled. The Environmental Protection Agency announced it will decide whether the Cargill Saltworks site falls under protection of the Clean Water Act, which would prohibit the development. We'll discuss what's at stake in the struggle to balance San Francisco Bay restoration efforts with a Bay Area housing shortage.
'Black Violin' Find Their Beat Combining Classical, Hip-Hop Traditions
When Wil Baptiste and Kevin Sylvester were teens growing up in South Florida, they learned to play the viola and the violin, respectively. But classical stringed instruments were seen as uncool, so the pair added beats and a hip-hop twist. After college the pair reunited and the duo Black Violin was born. They've since gone on to perform at the Billboard Music Awards and the Presidential Inaugural Ball. The two join us to play a few songs and discuss their genre-bending approach to music.
The Psychologist Behind the 36 Questions to Make You Fall in Love
Back in January, a New York Times "Modern Love" column went viral after the author claimed she fell in love after she and her date asked each other 36 soul-probing questions. Those 36 questions were the brainchild of psychologist Arthur Aron. In examining what increases human intimacy, he came up with 36 questions for couples to ask one another to build closeness — not just romantically, but between family and friends. He joins us as part of Forum's First Person series, profiling the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique. Have you tried asking the 36 questions? How did it go? What are your tips for building emotional closeness with your partner?