Youth Radio: Daughter of Coal Country Speaks to the Silence

April 12, 2010 · Filed Under commentary, environment, family, news, Uncategorized · Comments Off on Youth Radio: Daughter of Coal Country Speaks to the Silence 

The death of 29 coal miners in a West Virginia mine explosion has left many outside of the coal mining community struggling to understand its dangers and culture. One of the most moving pieces I have heard on the topic came from Youth Radio‘s Willa Johnson. She shared her struggle to fight the coal mining industry while simultaneously trying to maintain relationships with friends and family members who work in the mines.

Here’s a short sample:

“My grandfather has black lung and my dad has slipped a disk in his back. I have an older brother who I can’t talk to anymore; he still drives a coal truck and believes I have made him the enemy. Truthfully I can’t decide if he is the unsung victim or the unsung hero here in the mountains.”

Johnson’s piece aired on All Things Considered today, but you can hear the whole piece at or by clicking on the link below.

Click here to hear Willa Johnson’s commentary.

Another worthwhile piece is “Why We Still Mine Coal,” which aired on NPR last week. According to the report, the United States produced about 1 billion tons of coal last year and half of the country’s electricity is produced using coal.

Visit to hear “Why We Still Mine Coal.”

Youth Perspectives on Forum

March 29, 2010 · Filed Under Bay Area, family, Uncategorized · Comments Off on Youth Perspectives on Forum 

A group of sixth graders from the The San Francisco School appeared on Forum to discuss The San Francisco School Perspectives Project. As part of the project, students wrote Perspectives, modeled after the two-minute commentaries that air daily on KQED, on subjects as diverse as divorce, soccer and cliques. The students’ teacher, Ruth Corley, then sent the pieces to Perspectives editor Mark Trautwein who was impressed enough to publish all 31 pieces as  web-exclusive Perspectives.

The San Francisco School Perspectives Project and the accompanying Forum episode are both examples of the rich content that results when youth are trusted to express themselves.


To listen to the San Francisco School Perspectives Project click here.

To see Ruth Corley’s lesson plans on using Perspectives in the classroom click here.

For more Perspectives by young people, visit the Youth Perspectives contest page.

A Look at First Generation College Students

March 10, 2010 · Filed Under Bay Area, education, family · Comments Off on A Look at First Generation College Students 

Both of today’s episodes of Forum examined the challenges facing first generation college students and successful strategies for helping them. The show was actually broadcast from the Downtown College Prep High School campus in San Jose and students participated in each hours’ discussion. Both shows are embedded below.

Tell us, what kind of support do you need to help you get into college or to finish your degree? If you’ve already graduated, what kind of support served you well?

Teens Talk About Their Health

February 19, 2010 · Filed Under Bay Area, education, family, health, health care, LGBTQ · Comments Off on Teens Talk About Their Health 

Last night’s Health Dialogues focused on teen health. The on-air pieces included a round table discussion with students from Burton High School in San Francisco, a look at an anti-bullying program in Lake County, and a visit to a group in Fresno that focuses on healthy decision making. Personally, I’m thrilled to see a show about teenagers that actually included teens themselves.  And you can be part of the conversation too. Visit the Health Dialogues site, listen to what other teens had to say, and then tell us what you have to say. Come on. You know you want a chance to vent.

From Youth Radio: Couple Offers Marriage Advice via Twitter

February 12, 2010 · Filed Under culture, family · Comments Off on From Youth Radio: Couple Offers Marriage Advice via Twitter 

87753850There are lots of Valentine’s Day related stories out there. There’s Salon’s What to Click, an exhaustive list of all things Valentine’s on the web, Leah Garchick’s annual column featuring overhead comments about love and a piece by the New York Times on the dangerous health problems caused by the Ecuadorean rose industry.

But it was a Youth Radio piece that alerted me to news that a couple that has been married for 85 years will be offering relationship advice via Twitter on Valentine’s Day. Read the full piece at Youth and submit your questions to @longestmarried.

Word of the Week: Marriage and Proposition 8

January 15, 2010 · Filed Under Bay Area, California, family, LGBTQ, news, word of the week · Comments Off on Word of the Week: Marriage and Proposition 8 

By Emmanuel Hapsis and Amanda Stupi

In Other Words
is back with another Word of the Week–the series that explains the news behind the buzz.

This week we decided to give you the basics of the Proposition 8 trial.

To follow KQED’s ongoing coverage of the trial, visit:

The California Report’s special coverage of Same-Sex Marriage in California

Scott Shafer’s Proposition 8 Trial blog

NPR’s State by State: The Legal Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage map

Proposition 8 in Federal Court

January 11, 2010 · Filed Under Bay Area, California, family, LGBTQ, news · Comments Off on Proposition 8 in Federal Court 

gavel2_pdcBy Emmanuel Hapsis

The gay marriage debate in California is back in the spotlight. After the passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008, which revoked the right granted by the California Supreme Court in June 2008 for same-sex couples to legally marry, civil rights activists vowed to bring the issue back to the courts and they’ve made good on their promise. Today marks the beginning of Perry v. Schwarzenegger and the first time a federal court has ever debated same-sex marriage. Here’s what you need to know:

Many expect Perry v. Schwarzenegger to be a landmark case that will ultimately end up at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Some gay rights activists, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), tried to prevent the lawsuit because they believe that taking the issue to federal courts, specifically what many view as a right-leaning Supreme Court, is too risky.

Former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson and trial lawyer David Boies, a Republican and Democrat respectively, are set to represent the same-sex couples who have been denied the right to marry. What’s interesting about their collaboration is that, in 2000, they were on opposing sides of Bush v. Gore, the highly-controversial court case that resolved the 2000 presidential election in George Bush’s favor. The two high-profile lawyers plan to make the case that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution by denying the equal protection promised in the Fourteenth Amendment.

The defendants include a number of religious and conservative groups led by Charles Cooper, a lawyer who worked for the Justice Department under former President Ronald Reagan. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown are also listed as defendants, although both refuse to defend Prop 8 in court. Schwarzenegger has refused to officially pick a side on the issue, while Brown shares the Olson-Boies team’s belief that gays have the constitutional right to marriage.
Read more

Helping the Most Troubled Foster Kids

November 9, 2009 · Filed Under California, family · Comments Off on Helping the Most Troubled Foster Kids 

The California Report aired the final story in its series on foster care in California. Today’s story looks at a new treatment that helps foster children with serious emotional problems grow up in families, instead of institutions.

You can listen to the first two stories in the series at

Changing the Odds of Foster Care

As Long at It Takes for Foster Kids

The California Report: “As Long as It Takes” for Foster Kids

November 5, 2009 · Filed Under California, family · Comments Off on The California Report: “As Long as It Takes” for Foster Kids 

The California Report continued their series on foster care this week.

The second installment highlights A Home Within, an organization that matches children in the foster care system with therapists who commit to staying with them long term.  Research shows that even one stable adult in a child’s life can help prevent emotional problems.

Visit The California Report website for a list for more information on foster care in California and A Home Within.

Teen Suicide

October 28, 2009 · Filed Under Bay Area, culture, family, health · Comments Off on Teen Suicide 

Yesterday’s Forum discussed teen suicide. The statistics presented during the show’s introduction were quite startling: suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for teenagers in California. 8.5% of high school sophomores attempt suicide.  Four Palo Alto teens have  taken their lifes at or near the same Caltrain crossing in the last six months.

Many callers voiced concerns that not enough preventive measures are in place. One voice not heard throughout the show was that of teenagers, the very people the show was about.

If you are a teenager, please tell us, what is being done in your community to educate you about suicide prevention? Are there mental health resources at your school? Does media coverage of teen suicides help prevent more deaths or is the media coverage part of the problem?

Please, listen and share your thoughts:

A list of counseling resources can be found on Forum’s archive of the show.

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