KQED Radio Staff
Host and Reporter, The California Report
Rachael caught the bug for journalism in high school, where she started on the opinion page before realizing the world is infinitely more interesting when you don't think you know everything.
While getting her bachelor's degree in English at UC Berkeley, Rachael got hooked on public radio at the campus station, KALX-FM. After hosting and co-producing "Film Close-Ups," a radio magazine on Bay Area film, she returned to UC Berkeley for a graduate degree in journalism.
She landed her first job as a producer with Marketplace Radio in Los Angeles, and by the time she left, four years later, Rachael was an all-purpose editor, reporter and fill-in host. Rachael then spent six years reporting full-time for KPCC-FM in Los Angeles before returning to the Bay Area in 2007 to host the daily edition of KQED's California Report. Over the years, she's covered the explosive growth of trade through Southern California's ports, Irish snowballs in San Francisco, and the housing crisis across the state.
Rachael's work has won her awards from the LA Press Club, the Radio and Television News Association, the Associated Press Television-Radio Association of California and Nevada, the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Southern California, the Northern California RTNDA, SPJ Northern California Chapter, the San Francisco Peninsula Club Greater Bay Area and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
Stories (195 archives)
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has served four terms in office, and he's running for a fifth atop the largest jail system in the nation. Four men are running against him, but Baca is still the favorite to win. Earlier this week, federal prosecutors indicted 18 deputies -- and the U.S. attorney's office is only the latest in a string of parties railing against what they call "a culture of violence" inside L.A. County jails. A federal jury recently found Sheriff Baca personally liable for one incident. So why does Baca seem to have a teflon coating? We talk with Frank Stoltze, who covers crime and politics for KPCC in Los Angeles.
A recent investigative series by The Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN uncovered rampant over-billing in California's publicly funded drug rehab system. Basically, Medi-Cal recipients are bribed with cigarettes and pocket money to attend counseling sessions they don't need -- and the government gets the bill. The reports prompted dozens of Justice Department investigations, and a state crackdown that cut funding to the better part of 200 Medi-Cal clinics. But it's a game of whack-a-mole, as reporter Will Evans explains.
In the wake of Nelson Mandela's death, those who were involved in the fight to free him from prison and to divest from companies doing business in South Africa under apartheid are remembering that struggle. In 1979, Berkeley became the first city in the U.S. to pass divestment legislation. In 1984, San Francisco longshoremen famously refused to unload South African cargo. In 1986 -- after years of protests against the South African government -- then Govorner George Deukmejian signed a bill that enabled California's enormous pension funds to divest.
It's the time of year when many of us eat, and eat, and eat -- and then sit around. But in Marin County, the Spirit Rock Meditation Center teaches what is known as "mindful eating." As the perfect storm of calories approaches, we share a story urging us to slow down, and put down our knife and fork.
The economy's recovery from the Great Recession has left many people behind. Hunger is still pervasive across California. The Regional Food Bank in Los Angeles distributes, on average, over one million pounds of food a week. We spoke with the President and CEO, Michael Flood, about how the need has grown in recent years.