The flagship news podcast of the San Francisco Chronicle. Producer/host Cecilia Lei and co-host Laura Wenus discuss the biggest stories of the day with Chronicle journalists and newsmakers from around the Bay Area. | Get full digital access to the Chronicle: sfchronicle.com/pod
- 'It's what I'm meant to do': How tragedy shaped Dianne FeinsteinTrailblazing San Francisco mayor and California Senator Dianne Feinstein died late Thursday at 90. In this April 3, 2018 interview, Feinstein offered a rare look at how tragedy, death and illness shaped her life and career. The longtime senator spoke with It's All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli about growing up in San Francisco and her time in local politics — including when she lost a bet while serving as mayor and had to wear a bathing suit to a public event.
- New Civil Court Program Promises Care for Mentally Ill — Can it Deliver?On Monday, a new civil court program is launching in San Francisco to serve the seriously mentally ill. It’s called CARE court, and it’s intended to push more people into treatment for certain mental illnesses. While its scope is limited, some critics worry the program will infringe on civil liberties. Others say it doesn’t go far enough. Reporter Aldo Toledo joins host Laura Wenus to give a preview.
- Will Diners Bite on Lab-Grown Meat?At an upscale San Francisco restaurant, diners recently got a taste of chicken that was never part of a bird. The companies developing lab-grown meat say cultivating flesh instead of raising livestock could reduce animal cruelty and the environmental impacts of our food. But how far away are those goals? And more importantly, how does it taste? Producer Keith Menconi picks up his fork — and talks with Chronicle food and wine editor Janelle Bitker and columnist Soleil Ho — to find out.
- The Millionaire Philanthropist Seeking to Unseat S.F.’s MayorA new contender to challenge Mayor London Breed's re-election bid announced his campaign on Tuesday. Wealthy philanthropist Daniel Lurie says it’s time for a "new era of leadership." Senior political writer Joe Garofoli joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss Lurie’s vision for San Francisco and why he has a fighting chance to become the city’s next mayor even as a political newcomer.
- SF Program Offers Help for Priced-Out Renters: RoommatesSharing a home with roommates has always been a strategy for lower-income tenants to rent in expensive cities, but now a nonprofit is matching up strangers on the verge of displacement to help them stay in San Francisco. Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan talked with two people who moved in together with the help of the HomeMatch program. He joins host Laura Wenus to explain how the city is using this tool to prevent homelessness.
- San Francisco Has a Reparations Proposal. Now What?Last week, San Francisco's African American Reparations Advisory Committee went before the Board of Supervisors to present its recommendations for repairing the harm done to the Black community. Will their report lead to action? Reparations committee chair Eric McDonnell reflects on the supervisors' professed support, and Chronicle columnist Justin Phillips analyzes where the city will likely go from here with host Laura Wenus.
- ‘There's Shootings Every Night’: Oaklanders Want Answers on Public SafetyAs Oakland’s crime continues to rise, the city’s leaders are facing growing criticism and demands for more aggressive action. Mayor Sheng Thao has resisted calls to declare a state of emergency, arguing that such a move would amount to “political theater.” Reporter Sarah Ravani joins host Cecilia Lei to help unpack the increasingly fraught politics of public safety in Oakland.
- California Lawmakers Passed 900 Bills. Which Will Newsom Sign?Higher wages for fast food workers? Driverless big rigs? Legal psychedelic mushrooms? California lawmakers just wrapped the legislative session and sent 900 bills to Governor Gavin Newsom. Reporter Sophia Bollag joins It’s All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli to talk about what the governor will sign, what he’ll veto and what we still don't know.
- The Building Drama at 33 TehamaA water main burst last June at 33 Tehama, a luxury apartment tower in San Francisco, forcing residents to evacuate. More than a year later, they haven’t been able to return, and it’s unclear when repairs will be complete. Tenants have been left in limbo, with residents of below-market-rate units hit especially hard. Reporter Rachel Swan picks up the ongoing saga of 33 Tehama with host Laura Wenus and discusses why this story is emblematic of the city’s broader housing challenges.
- An Existential Threat for California FishersThe California fishing fleet is struggling through "unprecedented" times, with drought, wildfires, algal blooms, ocean warming and subsequent restrictions all jeopardizing their work. Climate and environment reporter Tara Duggan tells host Laura Wenus how this is making it harder to find coveted local salmon, what seafood lovers might look for instead, and why these conditions could be a death knell for California's fishing industry.
- What a Violent Tenant-Landlord Confrontation Says About Bay Area HousingWhen landlords in Berkeley celebrated the end of an eviction moratorium recently, the backlash was swift: Tenant advocates protested, and a physical fight broke out. Tensions between renters and property owners have been escalating, but for the most part they don’t boil over — they show up in court, where a swell in eviction cases is overwhelming staff. Berkeleyside and Oaklandside reporters Supriya Yelimeli and Natalie Orenstein tell host Laura Wenus what this violent incident says about the state of Bay Area housing.
- What You Need to Know About the New COVID VaccineAmid rising local and national COVID-19 cases, public health officials are hoping updated COVID vaccines will help prevent yet another winter surge of infections. Chronicle reporter Aidin Vaziri joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss the sub-variants that are causing the latest swell of cases, as well as tips on how to get the new shots.
- Dreamforce is Packing Downtown S.F. Could it Be the Last Time?Dreamforce is in full swing in downtown San Francisco this week, bringing in tens of thousands of people and millions of dollars to the city. But Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has warned that the event may leave San Francisco next year if the city’s drug and homelessness problems don’t improve. Reporter J.D. Morris joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss why San Francisco has been seeing declines across the convention industry and how city leaders are strategizing a convention tourism comeback.
- San Francisco Drug Arrests Are Surging. Here’s What That Means.Drug users and dealers are being arrested in unusually high numbers in San Francisco’s troubled Tenderloin neighborhood amid a spike in overdose deaths and complaints about street conditions. It’s just the latest in a series of enforcement pushes, and this time, state agencies are involved. But even within the city’s own government, this is a deeply controversial strategy. And, as City Hall reporter Aldo Toledo and data reporter Susie Neilson tell Laura Wenus, neighborhood denizens are not yet seeing the desired results.
- A Sexual Abuse Reckoning for Bay Area SchoolsA new state law that took effect in 2020 has expanded the window for former Bay Area students who allege sexual abuse by educators to file claims against schools they say didn’t protect them. Chronicle reporter Sophia Bollag joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss her months-long investigation and the patterns of abuse and grooming by educators and neglect by administrators. She’ll also share how coming forward decades later is helping heal some alleged victims. Content warning: This episode includes descriptions of child sexual abuse and assault.
- The Stud Returns: How an LGBTQ Icon Made Its S.F. ComebackSan Francisco’s gay bars and nightclubs have been struggling for years, but now a rare bright spot: After closing in March 2020, the owners of the Stud bar have found a new location and plan to reopen early next year. Arts and culture writer Tony Bravo joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss this historic LGBTQ institution and why so many have rallied to save it.
- Inside San Francisco's Staffing CrisisAbout 4,000 city jobs are vacant in San Francisco. That means the city is short police officers, street cleaners, accountants, nurses and technicians. Why? A Civil Grand Jury report from June pinpoints roadblocks to hiring. Foreperson Karen Kennard gives highlights of the jury’s findings and Department of Human Resources Director Carol Isen tells host Laura Wenus what the city’s been doing to fix this longstanding problem.
- Unpacking Albany High's Racist Instagram ScandalWhen a teen at a Bay Area high school started posting overtly racist images on Instagram, the fallout fractured a community and surfaced deep divides. Journalist Dashka Slater spent years reporting on the aftermath and how it affected a generation of students at Albany High — which happens to be host Cecilia Lei's alma mater.
- Can San Francisco Come Back from This? Pittsburgh Did.As San Francisco struggles against the rip tide of urban decline, reporter Chase DiFeliciantonio found a model for its future in Pittsburgh. The East Coast city stagnated after the collapse of its steel industry in the 1970s, but it has recently reinvented itself as a center for tech innovation and higher learning. Chase joins host Joe Garofoli to discuss what lessons the fall and rise of Pittsburgh might hold for San Francisco.
- Car Break-Ins: A San Francisco Criminal Tradition?Car break-ins have risen dramatically in San Francisco and Oakland since 2010. At their peak, San Francisco saw more than 80 incidents a day. And this isn’t the first time a spree of automobile thefts has bedeviled the city: S.F. faced a similar situation a century ago. Data reporter Susie Neilson and culture critic Peter Hartlaub dig into the history with host Laura Wenus to figure out what's behind these twin crises and what could help.