Fifth & Mission

The flagship news podcast of the San Francisco Chronicle. Producer/host Cecilia Lei and director of news Demian Bulwa discuss the biggest stories of the day with Chronicle journalists and newsmakers from around the Bay Area. | Get full digital access to the Chronicle:

A Teacher, a Cotton Prop, and a Lesson on Slavery
When a San Francisco teacher recently handed students cotton plants in a lesson about the hardship of slavery, it ignited immediate controversy at the school. There was an investigation, a debate among parents and an apology.
20 min
How an Ugly Incident Led to Police Reform in Ti...
Chronicle reporter Joshua Sharpe joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss how a Black couple leveraged a viral moment when police insisted they prove they owned their own store. Two years later, they've led the effort to implement police reform in the wealthy coastal town.
13 min
What Matt Haney's Win Means for San Francisco H...
The San Francisco supervisor defeated David Campos by positioning himself as the pro-housing candidate for the state Assembly seat. Chronicle reporter Dustin Gardiner joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss why Haney's win is a coup for YIMBYs.
15 min
No Masks on Planes? Dr. Bob Wachter Weighs In
Bay Area transit agencies are scrambling to figure out their mask requirements now that the federal mandate for travel has been lifted. UCSF's Department of Medicine chair shares how he's thinking about masking, and when he thinks you should wear one.
15 min
S.F. Man Wins Freedom After Three Decades
San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin's Innocence Commission has exonerated its first person. Joaquin Ciria has been behind bars for more than 30 years. Chronicle reporter Joshua Sharpe joins host Demian Bulwa to talk about the case and what it means.
14 min
Has Mayor Breed's "Tough Love" Approach to the ...
After Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in the Tenderloin and pledged to bring in more police, critics feared she was criminalizing drug users. Months later, Breed maintains her position.
17 min
Understanding San Francisco's Redistricting Mess
The task force tasked with drawing the city's new supervisor districts has missed its deadline, and it's not clear how the process — marked by protests and outbursts at public meetings — will play out.
19 min
Is Dianne Feinstein Mentally Fit to Serve?
Five members of Congress — including four Democrats — have told The Chronicle that they're concerned that the 88-year-old's memory is rapidly deteriorating, and that it appears she can no longer represent the state without her staff doing much of the work.
23 min
What an Oklahoma Abortion Ban Means for California
Republicans across the country are moving to restrict abortions in their states, including in Oklahoma where a near-total ban on abortion was signed on Tuesday.
19 min
California Public Schools Face Enrollment Decli...
Shrinking populations mean school districts are facing long-term financial instability. Chronicle reporter Jill Tucker joins host Cecilia Lei to explain what's causing the enrollment declines and how the state might help.
15 min
Why Scientists Want the 'Holy Grail' of COVID-1...
Covid-19 vaccines and boosters have allowed many people to return to their pre-pandemic activities, but they still don't appear to provide long-lasting protection against Covid infections.
13 min
Fentanyl Test Kits: Now Available In Local Bars
Bay Area residents are being confronted by fentanyl in places you might not expect. A local organization is making fentanyl test kits available in bar bathrooms, just one element of a larger harm reduction strategy fighting the fentanyl crisis.
14 min
What Went Wrong at John Muir Health?
In 2012, John Muir Health formed a multimillion dollar partnership with Stanford to boost its pediatric program and operations. The deaths of the hospital’s pediatric patients, including 2-year-old Ailee Jong, have raised questions about John Muir’s ability to perform complex procedures.
28 min
How Will We Respond to Another Mass Shooting?
After an exchange of gunfire on a crowded Sacramento street killed six people and wounded 12 more, Democratic politicians and others are again calling for gun control. Will there be meaningful change?
12 min
Cleve Jones: Facing Eviction and the Death of t...
Activist Cleve Jones has lived in the Castro for five decades but now he faces eviction after a wealthy new landlord bought his building and more than doubled his rent.
18 min
The Crisis Inside California Fast Food Restaurants
Employees at California fast food restaurants are confronting sometimes volatile situations at work without protection or training, according to a study that reviewed 911 calls at eateries in nine cities.
13 min
California Extends Eviction Protections Again -...
California lawmakers approved an emergency bill to extend eviction protections that were set to expire on March 31st. 11th hour politics have provided temporary relief for tenants and landlords, but there's no permanent solution in sight.
14 min
Laguna Honda Hospital Is In Crisis — Again
Federal officials have threatened to withhold critical funding that could mean the San Francisco hospital will have to close. As reporter Rachel Swan tells Dominic Fracassa, the crisis follows two patient overdoses last year that triggered a widespread investigation.
14 min
The Drought and Wildfires: Are We Prepared For ...
As California's historic drought persists, Chronicle reporter Kurtis Alexander joins host Cecilia Lei to give an update on water conservation efforts and whether the state is prepared for the upcoming wildfire season.
15 min
COVID: Oops, I Got It Again
Many Bay Area residents have been reinfected with COVID-19. The virus isn't going away, but health reporter Erin Allday tells host Demian Bulwa that the good news is that both vaccinations and infections can build protection for the future.
15 min
Soleil Ho is More Than a Food Critic
Award-winning Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about the Season 3 launch of the Extra Spicy podcast. Ho reflects on how the pandemic has changed the food industry and using food to explore larger social issues.
18 min
Why Were Toxic Releases Kept Secret at a Bay Ar...
Residents of nearby cities are angry after finding out that the Valero refinery in Benicia was releasing chemicals at levels hundreds of times higher than the legal limit for years, and government regulators knew about it. Julie Johnson has the story.
11 min
Californians Could Get Some Relief at the Gas Pump
Gov. Gavin Newsom has unveiled a gas tax rebate plan that would put money back into the pockets of car owners and incentivize mass transit services. Reporter Dustin Gardiner joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about the governor's proposal.
13 min
Is an End in Sight for Golden Gate Bridge Suici...
After years of delays and opposition, a suicide prevention system is nearing completion on the bridge. Chronicle reporter Rachel Swan joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about what the project means to victims’ families and the lessons learned by people on the front lines of bridge rescues.
17 min
Can a Shelter Mandate Fix San Francisco's Streets?
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about his proposal to force the city to offer shelter to all unhoused people, and Chronicle reporter Mallory Moench explains the potential costs and concerns of his plan.
17 min