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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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State Coronavirus Numbers Up Slightly, But Positivity Rate Remains Low California counties find themselves on very different paths when it comes to reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday San Francisco learned it is moving into the yellow tier of the state’s framework on restrictions as Shasta and Riverside counties are being downgraded t…
 
It isn’t fun, but for Andrew Lewis working the phones to protect the right to vote this year has taken on a somewhat religious cast. The calls come slow and steady. The issues are sometimes serious, at times simple, at times nuanced. A woman in North Carolina received both her ballot and a card stating that she was not properly registered. An early…
 
Fire Experts Use Satellites to Monitor and Understand Wildfires As this epic fire season drags on, the state is watching for new fires from space. Satellites allow scientists and fire officials see where wildfires are, and help them understand how quickly these fires grow and what controls their growth. Reporter: Danielle Venton, KQED Residents Pro…
 
Asian Americans are the fastest growing voting bloc in the country according to Pew Research data. A recent Asian American Voter Survey shows they have strong enthusiasm for this year’s election. Yet, outreach to Asian American voters remains low. The same survey reported that 58 percent of Asian Americans say they received no contact from either D…
 
Back in 2019, the city of Mountain View approved a controversial ban of oversized vehicles on narrow streets, citing traffic and safety concerns. Advocates, led by former Mountain View mayor Lenny Siegel, responded by amassing enough signatures for a referendum on this November ballot. Measure C seeks to uphold the city’s limit on where and how lon…
 
The Oakland City Council is set to vote Tuesday on a plan to clear homeless camps in “high sensitivity areas” near schools, businesses, residences and parks. The policy would also set health and safety standards for encampments. City officials say the policy appropriately balances the needs and rights of the unsheltered with those of their neighbor…
 
Social distancing is vital to containing the pandemic, but not everyone experiences the practice in the same way. Matthew Vernon has this Perspective on social distancing while Black. It is a familiar feeling to most Black people. You walk down the street and see someone white approaching. They peek over their shoulders, seemingly to check for back…
 
GOP Agrees to Modify Controversial Ballot Boxes California’s Republican Party says it plans to modify but expand its ballot collection program after legal threats by California’s Attorney General. The boxes appeared in counties with competitive congressional races, including Fresno where the boxes have been removed, for now. Reporter: Alex Hall, KQ…
 
No matter which party prevails in November, the next president will inherit an economy in shambles, with the latest jobs report showing nearly 900,000 weekly unemployment claims – the highest number since August. President Trump has been vague about his economic plan, but vows to cut taxes for the middle class, impose tariffs on companies that move…
 
Two Democrats are competing for the Silicon Valley-based state senate seat vacated by Jim Beall, who termed out this year. On the ballot are Dave Cortese, a Santa Clara County supervisor, and Ann Ravel, an attorney and former member of the Federal Election Commission under President Barack Obama. We’ll hear the candidates’ positions on the economy,…
 
Sara Alexander is one of the many for whom the reality of wildfire is no longer someone else’s problem. I live at the edges of the fires, and they have been getting closer every year. In 2015 they were just on the evening news. Two years later ashes from the Tubbs Fire covered my deck. I developed a nervous attachment to my cell phone, and packed a…
 
Trump Administration Rejects State's Petition for Wildfire Relief The Trump Administration has rejected California’s petition for a federal disaster declaration and relief funds in the aftermath of several recent wildfires, including the devastating August Complex Fire, the biggest wildfire in state history. Oakland, Portland Sue Over Use of Federa…
 
Women dropped out of the U.S. workforce at a rate eight times higher than men last month, according to CNN. Meanwhile, a recent report from McKinsey and Lean.org found that one in four women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce due to Covid-19. Women in service industries have seen their jobs disappear, while those wh…
 
Public schools in San Francisco and Alameda county remain closed for in- person learning while some school districts in Marin and Santa Clara county have opened to students. We’ll discuss why counties and school districts with similar rates of Covid are adopting different approaches to reopening and we’ll look at the challenges facing Bay Area scho…
 
The California Republican Party said on Wednesday that it will continue to use unauthorized vote-by-mail drop boxes, despite a cease-and-desist letter from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The unofficial boxes have been found in districts with closely contested congressional races, and have been widely…
 
Jonathan Slusher was raised to be a tough guy, so he didn’t need help to overcome trauma. Until he knew that he did. I don’t recall what brand of cereal I was eating. But I was at the breakfast table when my brother burst in and howled, “Dad’s dead! Dad’s dead.” It was stupid. It was Candid Camera. It was the cruelest joke ever. It wasn’t even real…
 
Dangerous Weather Conditions Mean More Power Shut-Offs in Northern California 53,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers in Northern and Central California are without power this morning. The utility has shut it off because of dangerous weather conditions that could spark a wildfire. Reporter: Dan Brekke, KQED State Grid Operator Faces Tough Questio…
 
Proposition 19 on California’s November ballot would amend the state’s property tax structure in multiple ways. First, it would allow homeowners who are either age 55 and older, severely disabled or lost their home to wildfire to take their existing property tax rates with them when they move multiple times. Second, it would partly clamp down on wh…
 
In 2018, state lawmakers passed the California Consumer Privacy Act, a landmark bill aimed at protecting consumers and their digital data. The law took effect earlier this year and allows consumers to tell companies not to sell their personal information, among other protections. Now, Proposition 24 wants to take protections even further than those…
 
California’s Proposition 23 on this November’s ballot would require outpatient kidney dialysis clinics to have a licensed physician on site during operating hours and to report certain medical data to government officials, among other rules. Supporters, including the Service Employees International Union, say the rules are needed to keep patients s…
 
In three days of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Democratic senators focused on portraying Barrett as an extreme conservative and Republicans touted her credentials. Barrett, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and former law professor, spoke with ease about the constitution, case precedent an…
 
SCOTUS Ruling Ends Census, Leaving Marginalized Communities Undercounted The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Trump Administration can end counting for the 2020 Census now instead of waiting until the end of the month. The court’s decision is a blow to local governments and advocacy groups, who say stopping the count now will lead to a big und…
 
State Eases Restrictions as COVID Hospitalizations Drop Hospitalizations for coronavirus patients in California are at their lowest level in six months. Just over 2,200 COVID patients were hospitalized as of this past Saturday compared to the peak of nearly 7,200 patients hospitalized in July. And coronavirus patients in intensive care units are no…
 
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