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KQED’s award-winning team of science reporters explores climate change, water, energy, toxics, biomedicine, digital health, astronomy and other topics that shape our lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a trusted news source, KQED Science tackles tough questions facing humanity in our time with thoughtful and engaging storytelling.
 
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Amid a record-breaking fire year, a new report out Thursday says the state lacks a grasp on the true costs of wildfires. The report is from the California Council on Science and Technology, an independent nonprofit organization established to offer state leaders objective advice from scientists and research institutions. Ahead of the CCST’s public …
 
With most planning a smaller Thanksgiving table this year, maybe you don’t need an entire turkey. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has this Perspective on making a vegetarian feast the center of your holiday meal. The gathering of 52 English colonists and 90 Wampanoag Indians in 1621 marked the beginning of what we call Thanksgiving today. Enduring a year …
 
General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy informed President-elect Joe Biden Monday that she would release the post-election funds and resources necessary for his transition to the presidency. The news came just after Michigan certified its election results, allocating its 16 electoral votes to Biden and ending Trump's multi-pronged campai…
 
Four years ago, Lisa Lucas became the first African American to lead the National Book Foundation, the organization that runs the National Book Awards and promotes reading and writing. Lucas will move into a new job in January as senior vice president at Penguin Random House. As she wraps up her current role, she has called on the book industry to …
 
In a long-awaited move, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin filed charges against a police officer who fatally shot a man in 2017 after a car chase. The shooting happened nearly three years ago, well before Boudin took office, but has been seen as a pivotal case for Boudin, who campaigned on a promise to hold police accountable for brutali…
 
Health Officials Urge Californians to Scale Back Holiday Plans as COVID-19 Cases Surge New COVID-19 cases in the state continue to increase rapidly, with well over a million cases so far. In Los Angeles County, supervisors are contemplating a strict stay-at-home order, similar to the one implemented in the early days of the pandemic. Judge Denies R…
 
It’s the holiday shopping season and Catherine Thorpe says now is the time to shop big at struggling small, local retailers. My friend and I end our Friday night walk in the heart of town, pausing to admire lit-up store windows. Over the years, shops have come and gone – but 2020 is unusual. We pass the bookstore. Bright and early October 1, I got …
 
California has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases since the end of October, as well as an increase in hospitalizations. The state coronavirus test positivity rate is now above five percent, yet that's relatively low when compared to much of the rest of the country. While California hospitals still have capacity, other parts of the nation are already …
 
California’s unemployment agency has been under scrutiny ever since claims surged as the pandemic took a toll on jobs. Criticism has revolved around outdated technology, claims backlogs and a revamped customer help center still unable to accommodate all the calls. Most recently, the Employment Development Department sent out 38 million pieces of ma…
 
L.A County Suspends Outdoor Dining As the state and counties put in place new coronavirus restrictions, California businesses try to survive. Guelaguetza is a well known restaurant here in L.A. known for its Oaxacan dishes from Mexico. Guest: Bricia Lopez, the co-owner of Guelaguetza, a restaurant in L.A Hospitals Brace for COVID-19 Surge Californi…
 
Paul Staley has this Perspective on the ins and outs, literally, of this holiday season. The holidays we observe in this last quarter of the year are, to some extent, about scrambling up the relationship between the outside and the inside. Halloween kicks things off by letting what is usually on the inside go outside instead. Trick or treating mean…
 
Businesses across the country are struggling because of the pandemic, but Asian American establishments face particular challenges. In addition to steep drops in revenue and little help from the government , racism and xenophobia are also taking a toll. Now that the pandemic has stretched on for almost a year, some owners are scrambling to survive …
 
As coronavirus cases surge in the state, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a curfew for most of the state and many counties are reinstating restrictions that were only recently lifted. Add to that the winter cold and rains, which make it harder to gather outside, and the coming holidays which remind us of more festive times. It’s leaving many of us …
 
Governor Gavin Newsom this week announced a dramatic rollback of reopening plans--including a curfew in a majority of the state’s counties. But the governor himself is under fire for attending a birthday party for a friend-- and powerful lobbyist -- at the exclusive French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley. Among the other attendees were top offici…
 
How Police and the Public Are Likely to Respond to Newsom's Curfew Order Governor Gavin Newsom is imposing an overnight curfew as California tries to head off a surge in coronavirus cases. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly says the limited stay-at-home order is being implemented in 41 counties. Guest: Scott Rodd, CapRadi…
 
Many people are hungry and pandemic poverty has taken hunger to places — and people — it hasn’t gone before. Richard Swerdlow has this Perspective. When shelter-in-place was declared, gyms closed. To stay fit, I started taking long walks around San Francisco. The walks are beautiful and I always discover something interesting. But not everything I …
 
With coronavirus case numbers rising in California and across the country, public officials are telling families to stay home and avoid gathering for Thanksgiving. Many families are now reworking their usual game plans -- whether that means holding a virtual gathering, ordering takeout or abandoning typical Thanksgiving rules to cook something you …
 
Programs that temporarily house elderly and vulnerable homeless people in hotel rooms during the pandemic got a boost earlier this week when Governor Newsom announced an additional $62 million in funding. But finding permanent housing for these individuals remains challenging. San Francisco plans to begin shutting down the first seven of 29 shelter…
 
Stockton's Mayor Lost Reelection. Will His Initiatives Continue? Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs has lost reelection to his challenger, Republican pastor and veteran Kevin Lincoln. Tubbs conceded the race on Tuesday. Tubbs launched initiatives that generated national attention. When he leaves office, the resilience of those programs will be tested. Re…
 
Racial inequities in policing have been a focal point in 2020, and that includes differences in how police can react to people experiencing mental health crises. Mary Vradelis has this Perspective. I am a white woman, raised in the 60s by a single mother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was often a painful and scary time. And yet, I now re…
 
Largest River Restoration in U.S. History to Proceed with Removal of Klamath Dams The largest river restoration in U.S. history will proceed along the Klamath in 2023, under a new agreement announced Tuesday. This summer the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission threw a wrench in the gears of an agreement decades in the making, to remove the dams. R…
 
The coronavirus pandemic has jolted many industries and Hollywood is no exception. With only a few weeks of material left to shoot, the blockbuster “Jurassic World: Dominion” halted production after a few positive coronavirus tests. Movie theaters nationwide are hurting from restrictive measures on indoor viewings. Even media conglomerates such as …
 
Stanford University distanced itself from Trump administration task force member and Hoover Institution senior fellow Dr. Scott Atlas on Monday after Atlas tweeted that Michigan residents should "rise up" over new coronavirus restrictions. In a written statement, Stanford said his views were “inconsistent with the university’s approach” and emphasi…
 
The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it will continue to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving 2500 in each nation by January 15. The move drew bipartisan rebukes from lawmakers and some top military commanders, who say the troop reduction is premature and could further destabilize Afghanistan in particular. The announcement comes …
 
Stephanie Denman says a simple compliment or “thank you for what you do” can fulfill the need we all have to be appreciated by others. I used to make fun of my grandpa for writing me “thank you notes for my thank you letters.” It seemed sappy at the time, but I was recently reminded of how meaningful — and lasting — it is to be thanked. My parents …
 
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