Bay Area

Vacaville Blaze Forces More Than 100 to Flee Homes

Blaze races across at least 320 acres, prompts five alarms and mutual aid from several counties.

Higher Electricity Rates Approved for Most California Customers

Commission approves plan to raise rates on more efficient users while giving a break to big energy users.

Parts Of Social-Sharing Site Reddit Go Dark In Apparent User Revolt

Firing of key figure at San Francisco-based site prompts many moderators to take their sections private.

DOJ Clears Sheriff’s Deputy in Death of Andy Lopez

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus fatally shot 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa in 2013

Recently on KQED Public Radio

Forum With Michael Krasny

Uber Headache: Driver Was Employee, Says State Labor Commission

In a decision that could threaten Uber's business model, the California Labor Commission has ruled that one of the company's drivers qualifies as an employee. Uber drivers are usually treated as third-party contractors, who use their own cars to provide rides to passengers found through the company's mobile phone app. The commission's ruling means that Uber may have to provide benefits to its drivers and comply with other employer regulations. We'll discuss the decision and its implications for the so-called sharing economy.

Warriors Win First NBA Championship in 40 Years

The Golden State Warriors clinched the NBA Championship on Tuesday, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105 - 97 to win the series in six games. We'll talk about the series and look back at the team's historic season.

Tule Elk Breed Problems for National Park Management

Animal rights activists and local farmers are at an impasse over how to manage a local population of Tule Elk. Originally native to the area, the animals were hunted to near-extinction and disappeared entirely from the Bay Area until their reintroduction at Point Reyes National Seashore in the 1970s. Under pressure from the drought, nearly half the enclosed herd has died off in the past two years. The activists say not enough is being done to preserve the Tule Elk, while ranchers say the free-ranging animals are drinking water needed for cattle.

Flaws in Bay Bridge Rods Renew Quake Safety Questions

State officials have approved spending $4 million to test the eastern span of the Bay Bridge after recent inspections raised questions about the integrity of the steel rods that anchor the new span's tower. The $6.4 billion span has been plagued with problems since it opened two years ago. Recent tests found that salt water has infiltrated the bridge and may be causing corrosion, and that has many asking whether the new span could withstand a major earthquake.

The California Report

President Obama Grants Disaster Relief in Wake of Napa Quake

President Barack Obama has declared last month's South Napa Earthquake a major disaster. The declaration frees up emergency federal dollars for California. The White House didn't say how much, but Gov. Brown's office has identified an estimated $87 million worth of costs that could be reimbursed. Federal funds will go to reimburse state and local governments and non-profits for emergency work, and repairs and replacement of public facilities.

Recycled Wastewater Program Keeps East Bay Gardens Alive

As the drought wears on, Californians are looking for new ways to conserve water. In the hot suburbs east of San Francisco, one water district is giving away treated sewage water for landscaping. It's the first program of its kind in the nation.

Oakland School District to Hire Learning Specialist for Undocumented Minors

Many children who fled Central America due to violence are now attending schools across California. Some districts are taking steps to prepare for the specific needs of these new students. Oakland Unified is one such system. It's perhaps the first district in the state that plans to hire an unaccompanied minor specialist.

Reunited by Crisis: Two Sisters From El Salvador Deal With Trauma

Seventeen-year-old Jennifer Cruz fled El Salvador nine months ago to escape gang violence. Like hundreds of other Central American kids who came to California, Jennifer is trying to make her way through U.S. immigration court. Meanwhile, she's living with her sister, Yesenia, in San Mateo County -- they've been reunited after years apart.