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It's been a busy week overseas. Here's what's happening in our neck of the woods.
We all know about how Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. But what we don't often think about is that there were dozens of minor leagues operating all over the country, and they all had color barriers of their own.
One of those barriers was in the Pacific Coast League, and in 1949, it was broken in Oakland when Artie Wilson suited up for the Oakland Oaks. Wilson was a 5-time all star in the Negro Leagues, and some say he was even better than Robinson. While playing for the Oaks, Wilson faced the same bigotry and racial hatred that Robinson did on the other side of the country.
In 1951, Wilson made his big league debut for the New York Giants, but he eventually told the Giants manager to send him back to the minor leagues so the team could bring up a young star in the organization: Willie Mays.
I had never heard of Artie Wilson until I listened to KQED's Brian Watt's interview with Gaylon White, a baseball historian and author of "Singles and Smiles: How Artie Wilson Broke Baseball’s Color Barrier." It's a great interview full of fascinating details and stories from baseball's past.
One of the most popular places in East Palo Alto isn't a restaurant, a park or a community gathering space. It's a Bank of America ATM. It's the only major bank presence in East Palo Alto, a city of nearly 30,000 residents.
KQED's Tonya Mosley explains that the lack of banking options is a holdover from the region's racist past, when segregation and redlining were pervasive. Now, residents are fighting to get more banks into their city.
It seems like every week there's a new fire (or two or three) burning through the region or the state. And while all wildfires might look alike to most of us, Stephen Pyne knows they're not.
Pyne teaches about fire at Arizona State University, and he says that we need to stop fighting all fires the same:
Every major fire rekindles another round of commentaries about “America’s wildfire problem.” But the fact is that our nation does not have a fire problem. It has many fire problems, and they require different strategies. Some problem fires have technical solutions, some demand cultural calls. All are political.
About 85 percent of San Francisco’s water comes from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, and it goes on quite the journey. Along its more than 150 mile trek, the water goes through a hydroelectric dam that generates electricity to power San Francisco schools, Muni light-rail vehicles and more.
So how long does that all take? Bay Curious explains, with the help of a very curious 8-year-old.
My first reaction when I saw the story headlined, "The Female Orgasm Comes (Quietly) to the Streets of San Francisco," was that it might be one of the best headlines I'd ever read.
Then I read the story and found it even better than the headline. It's about a new "smart" vibrator — effectively a cross between a sex toy and a fitness tracker that produces data synced to a smartphone app — and how hard it is to advertise something like that.
The company had to be so careful with what words it actually used on its ads that no one KQED's Patricia Yollin talked to on the streets had any idea what product the ads were trying to sell.