Delaney Van Riper’s genes contain an error. Were we to look at her genetic code in a Microsoft Word document, it would be really hard to find the written misspelling. On a single page of that genetic code, just one letter is wrong, but that letter translates into a degenerative nerve condition. The nerves that run to Delaney’s hands and feet are damaged, affecting how she walks and moves and writes and lives. Now Delaney and her parents are among the first to grapple directly with the question: What does it mean to be able to spell check your genetic code?


Thanksgiving week makes us feel things. Lots of things. About history, about family, about memory. The week has always been particularly special for my family – we’re scattered across the country, but we’ve prioritized coming together, in New York, for as long as I can remember. Two of the fathers in my family are now facing different specters — age and disease — so I had mortality on the brain.

You might not think mortality makes for good dinner table conversation. But I took out my microphone anyway.

KQED: "A Fresno Mom's Faith in Her Child, Despite What the Doctors Said"

When Shanae Fuller gave birth to her son, Jerry, she hardly got to see him. She didn’t get to hold him, or listen to him cry. He was whisked away to a different hospital across town for emergency surgery. Even after the surgery, it was hard to make out the shape and feel of her baby. Jerry was wrapped in bandages and tubes and wires. His whimpers were muffled by the persistent beeps of nearby monitors.


Seeing her son in the neonatal intensive care unit, Fuller was overcome with a wave of anger. Anger at fate for bringing her and Jerry here. But really anger at the doctors and nurses. She was mad at her mom and her boyfriend. No one had prepared her for this.



KALW: Walk with the “Woke Witch”


On a warm Sunday afternoon, a group of people gather for a tour around Oakland’s Lake Merritt. It isn’t just any tour – it’s a Witches’ Walking Tour.Phoenix Love Armenta, who calls herself the “Woke Witch,” leads the monthly, two-mile plant identification walk. She stops to point out boring-looking trees and shrubs that have hidden properties – magical, edible, or homeopathic. They’re plants we might normally ignore, but today they’re the stars of the show.


Improving healthcare for Latinos in the face of DACA threats

In California, many Latinos don’t have a regular primary physician. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, race, ethnicity, and concerns about English skills are among the top reasons why. One Sonoma County health center is trying to improve care by boosting the number of caregivers who come from, and connect to, the Latino population. But that program is in jeopardy because of recent moves by the Trump administration.

I'm Not From Here: Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis is a nine-time Grammy award winning musician and artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. When the Orchestra goes on tour, as they did through Oakland in September, 2016, Marsalis and his bandmates experience -- and try to connect to -- a city's culture and community through their very brief encounters. 

Find the story at 11:55 in the podcast below:

It's Your Move

A one-minute character profile of Chris Specker who, in her real life, is moral and ethical and honest. As an owner of It's Your Move, a game store in Oakland, CA, she spends a lot of time taking on different roles. How and why she opened the store reveals a lot about what it's like to be a gamer.