Lisa Pickoff-White is one of KQED News' online producers. Her work has been honored with awards from the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Society of Professional Journalists and SXSW Interactive. Lisa specializes in visual journalism, including photography and data.
Lisa Pickoff-White's Latest Posts
It’s all about public funding in San Mateo County. Residents will decide whether to reopen schools, pass a parcel tax and expand a utility bill.
A wall of fog fell across the Bay Bridge minutes before the last cars would pass over on Wednesday night. It was the final curtain call for a span that had connected the East Bay to Treasure Island for decades. Complete take on the morning commute. A Morning Commute Without the Bay Bridge By Thursday […]
1. The bridge is closing. Hopefully by now you’ve heard the news that the Bay Bridge is closing tonight (Wednesday, Aug. 28) at 8 p.m., and is scheduled to remain closed until next Tuesday morning, Sept. 3, at 5 a.m. If you need to get to San Francisco International Airport at 2 a.m. Friday from […]
On Monday the San Francisco Chronicle announced to staff that the paper will end its short-lived paywall separating Chronicle and SFGatecontent. All Chronicle content will now also appear on SFGate. In a memo, Chronicle executives Joanne Bradford and Jeffrey Johnson said that they believe “we can grow the SFGate audience and revenue faster by having […]
After years of waiting, we finally have two U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the legality of same-sex marriage. But neither ruling was the type of clear-cut decision that advocates on both sides of the issue were hoping for. KQED spoke to several experts about the details of the cases and how this could all play […]
Thousands of people gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, in San Francisco City Hall and in homes nationwide for long-awaited rulings on same-sex marriage this morning. While many people celebrated the Supreme Court overturning a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act and paving the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California, […]
News Pix: Central Valley Farmers Flood Their Fields, Cal Women Head to Final Four and Berkeley’s Outstanding Architecture
Terranova Ranch sits southeast of Fresno in the King’s River basin, an area where farmers are pumping unsustainable volumes of water in dry years. At the other extreme, farms and communities here risk floods when rivers are pulsing with too much water. Terranova is experimenting with a way to address both problems. They capture excess […]
For almost two hours Supreme Court justices heard arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The court covered wide ground, once again spending a significant amount of time on the topic of standing. This time the questions were around whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, had the legal right to sue. As in Proposition 8, the standing question could give the court the option to avoid the case by ruling that it should not have gone through the court system.
The justices also spent time on whether the federal government should be in the marriage business at all, or if that should be left to the states. Several justices also challenged President Barack Obama’s 2011 decision to stop upholding DOMA, and what kinds of precedent that sets. Solicitor General Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. often tried to bring up the equal protection clause, and whether it applies to gays and lesbians. However, the court often took that question and went back to federal versus states legal rights.
UC Davis Law Professor Vikram Amar discussed the oral arguments with KQED News.
Amar: If one is going to read tea leaves based on the oral argument, it seems as if the court is not inclined to do something huge, in striking down the laws of 40 states that currently prohibit same-sex marriage. My big take-away from this has always been, the court did not really want to take these cases. … They may end up doing nothing at all, because both cases may get resolved on procedural standing grounds.
The basic idea is courts exist to decide crisp disputes, not just answer questions everyone wants answered. So unless you have somebody who is a plaintiff who has a lot at stake, and you have a defendant who is an appropriate defendant, then the court simply should not be able to render a ruling.