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Forum |  Oct 27, 2014 - 9:00 AM
Restaurants Replace Tipping with 20 Percent Surcharge

A handful of local restaurants are planning to get rid of tipping, opting instead for a 20 percent service charge that would be automatically included on the bill. The restaurant owners say it would help spread the revenue more evenly amongst waiters and cooks, while critics say it reduces the incentive to provide good service.

Forum |  Oct 24, 2014 - 10:00 AM
'All in the Family' Producer Norman Lear: A Life of Pushing Boundaries

It's hard to name a groundbreaking TV show from the 1970s that wasn't connected to writer and producer Norman Lear. "All in the Family," "Good Times," "The Jeffersons" and "Sanford and Son" were just a few of Lear's trademark creations, shattering taboos with their edgy racial humor and willingness to dive into topics like rape, abortion and the Vietnam War. Lear joins us to talk about his new memoir, "Even This I Get to Experience."

Forum |  Oct 24, 2014 - 9:30 AM
Artificial Turf War: S.F. Voters Face Competing Athletic Field Plans

Two competing San Francisco ballot measures -- Propositions H and I -- ask voters to decide whether or not to renovate the Beach Chalet soccer fields on the western edge of Golden Gate Park to include artificial turf and additional lighting. Approved by the California Coastal Commission and the city's Board of Supervisors, critics claim the plan is bad for the environment and for kids' health.

Forum |  Oct 24, 2014 - 9:00 AM
California Prisons Agree to Stop Using Race-Based Punishments

California prison officials will no longer be allowed to impose inmate lockdowns based on race under a new legal settlement. California is the only state that uses these race-based punishments. Prison attorneys who sued the state cited at least 160 examples of such lockdowns that lasted six weeks or longer. We discuss the use of race-based policies in California prisons and what the new settlement means for maintaining safety and order in California's lockups.

Forum |  Oct 23, 2014 - 10:00 AM
Novelist Jane Smiley Explores a Century of Family and Farmland

In 1992, Jane Smiley won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel "A Thousand Acres," the troubled story of an Iowa farmer and his three daughters fighting over his land. Smiley's new book "Some Luck" returns to the Iowa farmlands to trace the lives of the Langdon family from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the Communist hysteria of the '50s. The novel is the first in a trilogy that will examine American family life through the year 2020.

Forum |  Oct 23, 2014 - 9:30 AM
Betty Yee Sets Sights on Tax Reform as State Controller

Betty Yee has served on California's Board of Equalization since 2006 -- and now she's seeking to manage the state's $100 billion budget as the next controller. We'll talk to Yee about some of the issues she's raised during her campaign, including inequality, pension security and what she calls California's "unfair, outdated and unsustainable" tax system. Yee is running against Republican Ashley Swearengin, who was recently on Forum.

Forum |  Oct 23, 2014 - 9:00 AM
Golden Gate Bridge Considers Charging Pedestrians, Cyclists

Bicyclists and pedestrians might have to pay a toll to cross the Golden Gate Bridge starting in 2017, as the bridge district struggles to chip away at a $33 million deficit. On Monday, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District released a 45-point plan to keep itself solvent, part of which includes sidewalk fees.

Forum |  Oct 22, 2014 - 10:00 AM
How Alcatraz Became a Canvas for Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei

For the next six months, visitors to Alcatraz will encounter more than empty cells and beautiful views. The island is the site of dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's new installation "@Large," a collection of works that explore themes of human rights and freedom of expression. One piece, "Trace," features portraits of prisoners of conscience and is made up of over a million Lego pieces. We'll talk to the organizers of "@Large" about the installation and about the challenges of collaborating with Ai Weiwei, who is barred from leaving China by its government.

Forum |  Oct 22, 2014 - 9:00 AM
Prop. G Seeks to Ease Housing Crisis by Reigning in Speculators

Proposition G on San Francisco's November ballot aims to curb real estate speculation, which critics say is widespread and is driving up rents and home prices in the city. But opponents of the measure say that it won't solve the housing crisis and offers no protection for seniors or families who have to sell their property because of hardship.

Forum |  Oct 21, 2014 - 10:00 AM
Novelist and Programmer Vikram Chandra Sees the Beauty in Code

Computer code has changed the world. But is it beautiful? That's the question at the heart of Vikram Chandra's first non-fiction book, "Geek Sublime." Best known as a novelist and UC Berkeley English professor, Chandra is also a computer programmer. We'll talk with him about the links between literary theory, aesthetics and the craft of writing code.

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