California Sun Podcast

California Sun Podcast
The California Sun presents conversations with the people that are shaping and observing the Golden State

Sam Liccardo on San Jose and PG&E
Dec 9 • 21 min
The San Jose mayor discusses the twin challenges of leading a city on the precipice of major change and trying to spearhead a statewide effort to remake PGE into a customer-owned utility.
David Ulin explains Joan Didion
Dec 3 • 28 min
David Ulin, the editor of a new multi-volume edition of Joan Didion’s collected works, shares insights about Didion as a writer and cultural figure.
Can California’s 478 cities really work together?
Nov 21 • 26 min
John Dunbar, president of the League of California Cities, explains how the organization is able to function with so many competing constituents.
Paul Theroux introduces us to our neighbor
Nov 11 • 27 min
Paul Theroux takes the trip through Mexico that all of us in California should take or at least appreciate.
Andrew Yang: If you think tech is under siege now, just wait
Nov 6 • 26 min
A conversation with the tech entrepreneur and presidential candidate Andrew Yang
Dr. Manuel Pastor sees California as America on fast forward
Oct 31 • 30 min
The USC professor looks at the arc of contemporary California history and shows how it mirrors the future of the U.S.
Lincoln Mitchell connects the dots of the last 41 years of San Francisco
Oct 22 • 32 min
Politics professor and author Lincoln Mitchell makes the case that 1978 was San Francisco’s “year zero,” driven by politics, punk rock, and baseball.
Willow Bay on educating our next generation of journalists
Oct 16 • 24 min
Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, talks about how the school is using its unique resources to train young journalists.
Soleil Ho: Every restaurant tells a story
Oct 8 • 23 min
The S.F. Chronicle restaurant critic shares her progressive approach to food criticism and the politics of food.
Hollywood’s Golden Age told through the passion of personal letters
Oct 2 • 30 min
Producer Rocky Lang and film archivist Barbara Hall share the intimacy of personal letters reflecting the passion and work of a long-gone Hollywood era.
Dr. Joely Proudfit on California Indian culture, sovereignty, and education
Sep 25 • 31 min
The Cal State San Marcos professor shares what she’s learned on her journey from impoverished childhood to presidential appointee and leading voice on behalf of Native Americans in California.
Is traffic heading the wrong Waze?
Sep 19 • 24 min
A look at how the traffic app Waze is adversely impacting our neighborhoods and not getting us anywhere faster.
Autumn McDonald on the power of social entrepreneurship
Sep 11 • 25 min
The director of New America CA talks about the group’s efforts to solve social problems via technology, innovation, and storytelling.
Anne Lamott and reasons for hope
Sep 5 • 15 min
The bestselling California author shares some of her insights on hope and dealing with a world seemingly gone mad.
D.J. Waldie and the end of California exceptionalism
Aug 29 • 20 min
The author of the celebrated book “Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir” explains why we need to retire the notion of the California Dream.
2 powerful L.A. City Council members on the city’s present and future
Aug 22 • 45 min
2 powerful L.A. City Council members, Paul Koretz, and Marqueece Harris-Dawson discuss the seemingly insurmountable problems facing Los Angeles.
Ariel Rubissow Okamoto and a deep dive into the San Francisco estuary
Aug 14 • 23 min
Ariel Rubissow Okamoto discusses the growing threat of climate change and rising seas in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tom O’Neill’s 20-year journey into Charles Manson’s world of darkness
Aug 8 • 40 min
Suppose everything we knew about Charles Manson was wrong? An author has reassessed one of the most infamous murder cases in American history.
Noam Cohen on how Silicon Valley undermines an authentic life
Aug 1 • 22 min
The author and journalist shared a contrarian view of the “creative disruption” we take for granted.
David Ulin on the joys and challenges of Los Angeles
Jul 24 • 33 min
The longtime Los Angeles social and cultural critic shares his insights on today’s Los Angeles.
Joe Talbot on “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”
Jul 17 • 17 min
The debut filmmaker talks about the changes sweeping through his hometown.
Leah Garchik on 47 years at the S.F. Chronicle
Jul 9 • 31 min
After helping start readers’ days for more than three decades, the columnist reflected on her unique and storied career.
Tony Serra offers a defense of his Ghost Ship client Derick Almena
Jun 27 • 38 min
The famed criminal defense attorney argues for Derick Almena, who is a defendant in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people.
Allison Haley on California’s death penalty debate
Jun 20 • 31 min
A conversation with Napa County’s district attorney about the impacts of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s suspension of capital punishment.
Paul Schrade on the California primary tragedy of 1968
Jun 13 • 21 min
Paul Schrade, a longtime friend of Robert F. Kennedy, shared his memories of the night when he and the presidential candidate were both shot and the political world changed forever.
Julian Guthrie and the “alpha girls” of Silicon Valley
Jun 6 • 29 min
A conversation about a rare group of women who succeeded in the Silicon Valley world of venture capital and have built some of the foremost companies of our time.
Mark Arax on chasing water and dust across California
May 29 • 23 min
A conversation with the veteran journalist about the age-old cycle of floods and drought in California, and the unquenchable thirst of cities and farms for water.
The California dream inspired and destroyed Robin Williams
May 23 • 29 min
A conversation with Robin Williams biographer Dave Itzkoff about the California comic’s drive for success and the price he paid to get there.
Roy Choi on bridging the food divide
May 16 • 16 min
A conversation with the Southern California chef about food’s role in bringing cultures together.
David Talbot and a tale of San Francisco gone wrong
May 7 • 27 min
The Salon founder and longtime San Franciscan looks at a city fighting for its soul.
Leslie Berlin on Silicon Valley’s origin story
May 1 • 29 min
A conversation with the Stanford historian and author of “Troublemakers: Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age.”
Randy Shaw on the sabotaging of California housing
Apr 24 • 29 min
A conversation with the executive director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic on whether California can ever build its way out of the housing crisis.
Richard Walker on the crises and contradictions of Silicon Valley
Apr 18 • 33 min
A conversation with the acclaimed urban geographer about tech’s reshaping of the urban fabric of the Bay Area, and the crossroads now facing Silicon Valley.
Nancie Clare on Beverly Hills and the birth of celebrity politics
Apr 11 • 30 min
Nancy Clare, a longtime Southern California journalist, explains why Beverly Hills is no ordinary city. She tells how the gilded enclave shaped the region’s politics, movies, and the battle for water, and gave it a special place in the evolution of Los…
Audrey Cooper on the future of local news
Mar 25 • 23 min
Audrey Cooper, the editor in chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, reminds us that while we often turn our eyes toward Washington, it’s local and regional journalism that actually shapes how we live, vote, and earn a living. She shares her vision of local…
Dr. Tom Hoffman on the Mars-California connection
Mar 22 • 24 min
Dr. Tom Hoffman has had an interplanetary journey without ever leaving NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. It’s taken him from Neptune to his current role as project director on the Mars InSight mission. He gives us an up-close look at Mars…
Mike Fitzgerald on Stockton and the “other California”
Mar 18 • 26 min
Mike Fitzgerald just retired after 30 years as a reporter and columnist for the Stockton Record. He is one of those rare journalists who comes to embody the place he writes about. Fitzgerald discusses his hometown’s branding problem and why he holds such…
Mike Davis and his alternative view of California
Mar 12 • 26 min
Mike Davis, author, MacArthur fellow, and professor emeritus at U.C. Riverside, shares his alternative civic history of Southern California in which the rush to build edge cities, freeways, and subdivisions paved the way for what he sees as nature’s…
David Kipen shares five-hundred years of opinions about Los Angeles
Mar 8 • 18 min
David Kipen, author, journalist and cultural historian of Los Angeles has scoured libraries, archives, and private estates to assemble a kaleidoscopic view of the truly unique city of Los Angeles. He shares five-hundred years of writings in and about the…
Miriam Pawel on the future of public education in California
Feb 28 • 25 min
Teacher strikes in Los Angeles and Oakland, along with charter school legislation now working its way through Sacramento, could reshape the future of public education in California. Mariam Pawel, Pulitzer-prize winning reporter and biographer of Cesar…
Dr. Kevin Starr on the California Dream
Feb 12 • 38 min
There’s no better way to understand the issues and people shaping California today, than by understanding its colorful and complex history. Few understood the scope and depth of that history better than Dr. Kevin Starr. Dr. Starr passed away two years…