Fifth & Mission

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

Universal Basic Income: Can It Work?
The idea of putting, say, $1,000 a month in the hands of every American is gaining currency amid the economic shocks of the pandemic. Reporter Jason Fagone talks about how UBI can attack inequality on the personal and civic levels.
26 min
Should Wineries Be Open?
People are drinking more, which is a boon for California wineries, but the industry's also struggling with shutdown orders. Wine critic Esther Mobley talks about the confusion at tasting rooms and the efforts to protect vineyard workers.
15 min
Defund the Police: Berkeley Tries It
Pressed by the killing of George Floyd and demonstrations for racial justice, Berkeley is promising big changes designed to reduce bias. But as reporter Brett Simpson and columnist Otis Taylor Jr. explain, the real work begins now.
21 min
San Francisco Zoo Is Back in Business
Director Tanya Peterson had to feed 2,000 animals with no ticket revenue coming in since March because of the coronavirus shutdown. She's delighted the zoo is open again, and she says she can tell the animals are too.
21 min
Caltrain Could Be Derailed
The Peninsula rail system has lost 95% of its ridership, and under the strange governance system that rules it, two San Francisco supervisors were able to kill a sales tax measure to save it. Caltrain says it may have to shut down.
17 min
California's New Shutdown
Gov. Newsom has demanded that a host of activities come to a halt as coronavirus cases surge around the state. Health reporter Erin Allday explains why California has taken a U-turn in its reopening plans and what’s likely to come next.
19 min
Reopening Schools: Confusion and Frustration
Getting kids back to school is tops on President Trump's agenda, but California districts are increasingly opting for distance learning. Education reporter Jill Tucker talks about the latest in a rapidly changing situation.
24 min
San Francisco As a Biking and Walking Utopia
Bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit fans have long dreamed of major changes to the unsafe streets of San Francisco. In The Throughline, Peter Hartlaub writes about how the COVID-19 pandemic could finally those changes a reality.
23 min
Coronavirus Surges on College Campuses
It's a bad trend at UC Berkeley and elsewhere: An outbreak of coronavirus cases tied to fraternity parties. The surge is threatening colleges' plans to reopen for the fall. Reporter Ron Kroichick talks about what campuses will look like.
15 min
Baseball Season Is Looking Doubtful
Sports columnist Ann Killion says that given the rough start to training camp, she's skeptical MLB will be able to launch its season in two weeks, or keep it going for 60 games if so. Plus: New activism among athletes, and cuts at Stanford.
20 min
Muni's Breakdown
San Francisco's love-it-or-hate it transit system is in major trouble as revenue has plunged during the pandemic. The city will probably lose 40 of its 68 bus lines permanently — and don't expect to ride the cable cars until there's a vaccine.
24 min
San Francisco Without its Nightlife
Heklina, one of the city’s best-known drag queens, talks about how bars and nightclubs can eventually reopen safely and why she’s angry bar owners in other parts of the state and country are acting so irresponsibly.
18 min
SF Homeless Project Takes on COVID-19
Will coronavirus worsen homelessness or provide an opportunity to get people housed? Reporter Kevin Fagan and host Demian Bulwa kick off the SF Homeless Project, a weeklong Chronicle special report.
25 min
40 Years in the Wilderness With Tom Stienstra
The Chronicle's outdoors columnist talks about how he landed his plum job after having an epiphany while covering a Raiders-Packers game, and he tells campfire tales about the wildest adventures in his storied career.
24 min
Black Lives Matter Protests: What Comes Next?
Sheryl Davis, executive director of San Francisco's Human Rights Commission, has been surveying people of color to ask what they want to see happen next when it comes to police reform and racial justice.
25 min
Health Officers Facing Threats, Intimidation
Given great power during the coronavirus pandemic, local public health officers are dealing with great scrutiny — and sometimes intimidation and threats. Some have quit. Staff writer Carolyn Said on what's behind the anger.
13 min
Coronavirus Spike: How Worried Should You Be?
Rising COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area and around the country are forcing communities to pause, and in some cases backtrack, on reopening plans. Health reporter Erin Allday on what's behind the surge.
14 min
Coronavirus Means Bad Times for Goodwill
Goodwill San Francisco CEO William Rogers describes closing all shops and furloughing most employees as the nonprofit was too big to qualify for federal help. Plus: People cleaning up during shutdown have flooded donation drop-offs.
23 min
Should You Fly During the Pandemic?
Features editor Sarah Feldberg discusses how airlines are responding and what travelers need to know to be safe from coronavirus if they have to board a plane, or if they want to for pleasure travel.
15 min
California's Alarming COVID-19 Spike
More than 12,000 residents tested positive for the coronavirus in just two days this week, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom to caution Californians to continue being careful or risk renewed shutdown orders. Reporter Peter Fimrite explains.
8 min
COVID-19 Terror at San Quentin
State prison officials dealt with a coronavirus outbreak at Chino State Prison by transferring untested inmates to San Quentin, which the virus is now ripping through. Reporters Megan Cassidy and Jason Fagone have details.
17 min
San Francisco's Toppled Statues
From the removal of Christopher Columbus outside Coit Tower to the toppling of Father Junipero Serra, Francis Scott Key and Ulysses S. Grant in Golden Gate Park, the city's not-so-progressive statues are sparking controversy.
18 min
New From The Chronicle: Extra Spicy
Chronicle food writers Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips are hosts of The Chronicle's new food and culture podcast, Extra Spicy. They talk with Heather Knight about why they're launching a food podcast in these troubled times, and they give a sneak peak into what listeners can expect. | Get full Chronicle access:
22 min
An Announcement: Goodbye Audrey, Hello Demian
Chronicle Editor in Chief and Fifth & Mission co-host Audrey Cooper says farewell as she heads off for her new job as editor in chief at WNYC in New York. She and co-host Heather Knight welcome Demian Bulwa back to the show. He preceded Heather behind the Fifth & Mission mic, and now he'll succeed Audrey. | Get full Chronicle access:
3 min
Coronavirus Survivors Tell Their Stories
Reporters Peter Hartlaub and Annie Vainshtein play excerpts from and talk about their project Surviving the Virus, which features interviews with recovered COVID-19 patients. Plus: Survivor Rafael Arias reads from his diary.
20 min