The California Report Magazine California: creative, bold, innovative. And vast. Home to almost 40 million people. But it's hard to meet your neighbors, much less get to know the whole state. So join host Sasha Khokha on a road trip for your ears, and your imagination. Visit the places and meet the people who make the Golden State unique, from a homeless college student in Oakland, to a cattle ranching mom in the Sierra foothills, a Vietnamese pop star in Orange County, and a gym owner who performs exorcisms near Ventura. Intimate stories, every week on The California Report Magazine.
The California Report Magazine

The California Report Magazine

From KQED

California: creative, bold, innovative. And vast. Home to almost 40 million people. But it's hard to meet your neighbors, much less get to know the whole state. So join host Sasha Khokha on a road trip for your ears, and your imagination. Visit the places and meet the people who make the Golden State unique, from a homeless college student in Oakland, to a cattle ranching mom in the Sierra foothills, a Vietnamese pop star in Orange County, and a gym owner who performs exorcisms near Ventura. Intimate stories, every week on The California Report Magazine.

Most Recent Episodes

Why Italians in California Were Treated as 'Enemy Aliens' During WWII

Within months of the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, as more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were being sent to incarceration camps, other ethnic groups also became the target of new wartime security measures. Italian citizens living near California's coastline and military sites — some 10,000 of them — were forced to leave their homes and find somewhere else to live. It was just one of many government measures meant to protect the West Coast from an enemy invasion that never came. Reporter Pauline Bartolone brings us this story from the Bay Curious podcast. Plus, we look at the labor behind reality television. From blind dates to tiny homes, the genre has exploded in recent years But some workers say the success of the industry hasn't translated into stability for people behind the scenes. Guest host Bianca Taylor talks to KCRW's Megan Jamerson, who's talked to some reality TV workers who say they're being overworked and underpaid.

Making a Home in Fire Country

As journalists, we don't often tell our own stories. We separate ourselves from the issues we cover. But sometimes, the story hits close to home. This week, we're featuring a story from Erin Baldassari, KQED's Senior Editor for Housing Affordability. Growing up in California's Sierra Nevada foothills, wildfire has always been part of her consciousness. Her earliest memory is fleeing a fire as it bore down on her childhood home. As she and her family consider moving back, she wanted to learn how people there are adapting to the rising risk of wildfires due to climate change. Erin's story comes to us from the KQED podcast, Sold Out: Rethinking Housing in America.

A Queer Journalist Reflects on the Legacy of the Proposition 8 Tapes

Proposition 8 's Lessons for One Queer Journalist In November 2008, California voters passed Proposition 8, taking away the right to marry from same-sex couples. But two years later, two same-sex couples sued the State of California in federal court. Prop 8 was eventually overturned. That landmark trial was videotaped, but the recordings were never released to the public. Until a few years ago, when KQED sued for access to the tapes and won. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed them to be unsealed in October 2022. KQED's community engagement reporter Carlos Cabrera Lomeli, spent hours watching those tapes. As a queer journalist covering California's gay marriage journey, Carlos says he learned a lot about himself in the process. Plus, we head to Santa Cruz where Judi Oyama first learned to ride a skateboard in the 1970s. Today, 50 years into a groundbreaking career, she's considered of the best skateboarders in the nation. In fact, Judi recently qualified to race at the World Skate Games in Rome this fall. At 64, she says she's the fastest she's ever been. KAZU's Erin Malsbury brings us her story.

'Racist Trees' Uncovers Little Known History of Palm Springs' Black Community

Today Palm Springs is known for mid-century modern architecture and queer-friendly culture. But a new documentary on PBS's Independent Lens explores the history of racist housing practices in the city that effectively hid a black neigborhood behind a wall of trees. "Racist Trees" covers the fight to remove those trees decades after they were planted, and asks the question: 'Who takes responsibility for the wrongdoing of the past?' Directors Sara Newens and Mina T. Son join Sasha Khokha to talk about the film. Plus we visit San Francisco's Prelinger Library, a treasure trove of ephemera from books of soil samples to zines. In the 1990s, libraries started to become digital and began clearing out their catalogs. A network of like-minded librarians brought the "discards" to Rick and Megan Prelinger's attention. The husband and wife, already collectors of print and text items, opened their library in 2004 and say 'it's available to any and everyone who believes our past can pave a path to a better future.'

'Racist Trees' Uncovers Little Known History of Palm Springs' Black Community

The Poet and the Silk Girl: A Japanese-American Story of Love, Imprisonment and Protest

Nine months into Satsuki Ina's parents' marriage, Pearl Harbor was bombed. Their life was totally upended when, along with 125,000 other Japanese-Americans, they were sent to incarceration camps. After unsuccessfully fighting for their civil rights to be restored, they renounced their American citizenship. That meant the US government branded them as "enemy aliens." Ina was born in a prison camp at Tule Lake, but didn't know much about that difficult chapter in her parents' life. Then she discovered a trove of letters that they sent to each other while they were separated in different camps. Now, at close to 80 years old, Ina – who spent most of her career as a trauma therapist — is publishing a memoir about how her parents' relationship survived prison camps, resistance and separation. Using letters, diary entries, haikus written by her father, and photographs, The Poet and the Silk Girl is a rare first-person account of a generation-altering period in Japanese-American history. Sasha Khokha sat down with Satsuki Ina to learn more about her parents' story and how it shaped the course of Ina's own life.

The Poet and the Silk Girl: A Japanese-American Story of Love, Imprisonment and Protest

Oscar-Nominated Shorts Tell Joyful California Stories

When Oscar season rolls around, everyone's trying to catch up on the blockbuster films. But there's rarely buzz about the short films, especially the short documentary category. This year, two joyful California films made the nominee list. Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó is a love letter from Fremont-raised filmmaker Sean Wang to his two grandmothers, 94 year old Nǎi Nai and 83 year old Wài Pó. They are in-laws turned best friends who spend their days together, even sharing a bed. The Last Repair Shop tells the remarkable stories of the people behind the scenes who fix instruments for students learning music in LA Unified School district. Sasha Khokha talks to Sean Wang as well as Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot, the co-directors behind The Last Repair Shop, about their films.

On Our Watch: A Whistleblower at California's Most Violent Prison

When correctional officer Valentino Rodriguez first stepped behind prison walls, he wasn't just starting a job, he was joining a brotherhood. What he didn't know was that he was now bound by an unwritten code that would ultimately test his loyalty to his oath and his fellow officers. Valentino's sudden death on October 21, 2020 would raise questions from the FBI, his family and his mentor in the elite investigative unit where they both worked. For more than two years, our colleagues with KQED's investigative podcast On Our Watch have been looking into what happened to Valentino Rodriguez, because his story is part of something much bigger. He was a correctional officer at New Folsom prison, near Sacramento, where the reporting team has found use of force that's off the charts, and a pattern of suspicious beatings. This week we bring you an excerpt from the first episode of the series.

How the Freeway System Shaped California

In many California cities, freeways and sprawl are just a fact of life. They're baked into the design of much of the state. But how did we get here? Just how did freeways come to be such a big part of California life? This week, we're featuring a story from our friends at the KPBS podcast Freeway Exit. Host and producer Andrew Bowen looks at how our relationship with the freeway has changed over time, and how it will have to change in the future.

Could 'Urban Villages' Help Fix San Jose's Suburban Sprawl?

How The Bay Area's Biggest City Wants to Overcome Its Sprawl The cars and trucks we drive account for nearly half of California's total carbon emissions. And bringing those emissions down is going to require more than just swapping out gas guzzling cars for electric ones. It's going to mean redesigning our cities around people, not cars. KQED's Adhiti Bandlamudi takes us to San Jose where local leaders are trying to rethink how residents live and how they get around. This story comes to us from KQED's podcast Sold Out: Rethinking Housing in America. LA's Bé Ù Puts a New Spin on Vietnamese Takeout, and Workers' Rights Many chefs will tell you their cooking reflects the food they grew up eating. Food shared on holidays or at family parties. For our series Flavor Profile, The California Report's Keith Mizuguchi introduces us to a chef cooking up Vietnamese comfort food inspired by her family's recipes. She's also a former union organizer trying to build a business where workers are paid a fair wage.

From Mannequins to Musical Roads: More of California's Hidden Gems

This week, we feature stories from our Hidden Gems series about out-of-the-way secret spots in California - places you might want to visit on a road trip! How This Oakland Business Gives Mannequins New Life (Almost) You might not notice them, but mannequins can be found everywhere from the tiniest boutiques to Target. But what happens to these non-biodegradable figures when stores go out of business or styles change? In California, many of them end up at Mannequin Madness, an Oakland warehouse run by a woman whose mission is to keep mannequins out of the landfill. This Stretch of the Mojave Desert Plays the 'Lone Ranger' Theme There's a road in the western Mojave Desert that's supposed to sound like the "William Tell Overture" by Rossini. Honda built the road back in 2008 as part of a TV commercial for the Civic. But it's seen better days. Reporter Clare Wiley headed out to Lancaster to make some music with her tires. Fort Bragg's Larry Spring Museum Preserves Creativity in California The tiny Larry Spring Museum is dedicated to a Mendocino County TV repairman who lived in Fort Bragg most of his life. He was an amateur physicist, a keen observer of nature and the items he left behind reveal his deep curiosity about the world. KQED's Katrina Schwartz takes us to this whimsical museum to learn more about the man behind it.