KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
Recently on Forum:
Last July, the California State Parks department learned that it was sitting on a $20 million surplus. The embarrassing discovery came after the agency had declared that financial woes would force it to close 70 parks. The department got a new director and a two-year moratorium that allowed it to avoid closures. How is the agency faring now? We check the pulse of the parks, and discuss a recent state report which calls for increased outsourcing of some park sites and functions.
The red-hot Golden State Warriors, who are tied with San Antonio in their playoff series, are also facing some tough opposition off the court this week. At issue is the team's plan to build a new $1 billion arena on San Francisco's Embarcadero. The arena has the blessing of Mayor Ed Lee and other city leaders, but some neighbors and environmental groups oppose the project, saying it is inappropriate for the waterfront location. Supporters maintain that the latest design, unveiled on Sunday, preserves Bay vistas and reduces parking.
Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, says that between Facebook and cloud computing, "your digital identity will live forever." Schmidt and his co-author, Jared Cohen, join us in the studio to talk about their book "The New Digital Age," which explores how online connectivity is changing censorship, privacy, and activism in countries like Mexico, China, and North Korea, and elsewhere around the world.
Six years ago, Mark Bittman was a full-time omnivore. But then a doctor told him to turn vegan for health reasons, and suddenly Mark found himself facing a world void of meat, dairy, or processed foods. So the New York Times food writer decided to personalize his vegan diet and allow for some cheating. He called it "Vegan Before 6," or "VB6," and says it helped him improve his health and focus on cooking at home. Mark Bittman talks about his new book, and how a full-time meat lover adapted to part-time veganism.
The editors of the first anthology of Iranian-American fiction say there is a maturing literary voice emerging from the Iranian-American community. Many Iranian immigrants came to the U.S. after the Shah was overthrown in 1979, and roughly half of them live in California. We talk with Bay Area editors and authors of "Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian-American Writers" about their stories, culture and community.
In a unanimous decision, the California high court has ruled that local governments have the power to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. The decision upholds bans in about 200 California cities. But in a state with a robust pot economy, lawmakers still debate if and how to regulate the drug. We'll discuss the ruling and what this means for the marijuana market, its dispensaries and its consumers.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker William Friedkin reached the Hollywood stratosphere in the 1970s with such groundbreaking films as "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist." But the success was not to last. As he writes in his new memoir, "I was at the edge of a cliff and my demons were standing by waiting to push me off." Today, Friedkin is still directing films -- including 2011's well-received "Killer Joe" -- and has even developed a second career as an opera director. He joins us in studio to discuss his new memoir, "The Friedkin Connection."
California regulators want to penalize PG&E $2.25 billion for the 2010 San Bruno gas line explosion that killed eight people and injured 66. California Public Utility Commission staff recommended the hefty fine, which would be the largest penalty ever brought by a state regulator in the U.S., citing the severity of the damage and PG&E's "reprehensible" failures. Forum discusses the proposed penalty and what has changed since the deadly blast.
Syria responded angrily to attacks believed to be from Israeli warplanes on Sunday, and accused Israel of coordinating with Syrian rebel groups. Its neighbor Iran also warned that it would respond to the aggression. We get the latest updates on what the airstrikes mean for the region.
Does the Bible need a makeover? A group of 20 spiritual leaders from around the country thought so, and they convened recently to update the New Testament. The result combines traditional and newly discovered texts, including ancient Christian stories of women leading their own congregations. San Francisco-based Presbyterian minister Bruce Reyes-Chow was a part of this group, and he joins us to discuss the book, "A New New Testament."
The death toll from the collapse of a Bangladesh clothing factory surpassed 600 on Monday, making it the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry. Officials from Walmart, San Francisco-based Gap Inc. and other retailers met in Germany after the collapse to talk about improving safety measures in Bangladesh. We discuss the social costs of cheap clothing. Are you concerned about where and how your clothes are made?