Tom Herriman's Journal
 |   |   |   |   |   | 
Podcast graphic
Here are podcasts some of my recent news stories that have been carried on Pacifica Evening News on KPFA and elsewhere,

Trump's DC hotel profits may be unconstitutional
Click photo to enlarge
15-Mar-2017
Several legal experts and a Washington watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington are suing President Trump in federal court alleging he is violating the emoluments clause in the U.S, Constitution, which forbids public officials from taking bribes and financial gifts from foreign governments. The suit alleges President Donald Trump received money from foreign governments through his private business deals… Tom Herriman has more.
(04:42 Minutes)
Download (4.30 MB)
Oakland demolishes homeless village
Click photo to enlarge
24-Feb-2017
City of Oakland police and sanitation crews dismantled a homeless encampment at 36th and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in west Oakland Feb 2, evicting as many as fifteen residents and barring dozens more volunteers and supporters from the area. Photo: Village resident Nancy Mitchell packs up her belongings into a shopping cart under watchful eyes of Oakland Police. Report by Tom Herriman.
(04:19 Minutes)
Download (3.95 MB)
10.000 Chipotle workers join class action suit to reclaim stolen wages
Click photo to enlarge
16-Nov-2016
The Chipotle restaurant chain which went through a major food safety crisis last year now faces claims by thousands of current and former employees that the company has been cheating them on overtime pay for years. Chipotle has over 45,000 employees in 2,000 stores and a net income of $475 million but could be facing tens of millions in back pay awards. Pacifica's Tom Herriman reports:
(04:51 Minutes)
Download (2.22 MB)
Panthers' 50th: Interviews with Kathleen Cleaver and Robert King
Click photo to enlarge
24-Oct-2016
Hundreds of former members of the Black Panther Party, friends, scholars, admirers and well wishers gathered at the Oakland Museum of California over the weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the party’s founding in Oakland in 1966. To get a perspective on half a century of activism, Pacifica News reporter Tom Herriman asked two veteran Panther leaders to talk about the roots of their connection to the Party, and how Black Panther ideals are faring 50 years later. (Photo: Kathleen and Eldridge Cleaver).
(10:08 Minutes)
Download (4.06 MB)
Who's swiping from who when you swipe your credit card?
Click photo to enlarge
15-Sep-2016
American consumers swiped their credit cards 25.4 billion times in 2012, buying over $2.4 trillion worth of groceries, gas and tv sets. The credit card companies and the banks charged on average $1.62 on each swipe producing billions in revenue. Where’s does that money really go? and how is it affecting our economy? Tom Herriman reports on the hidden costs of paying with plastic.
(07:53 Minutes)
Download (3.61 MB)
Taylor Farms workers fight firings, surveillance, discrimination in union organizing drive
Click photo to enlarge
21-Jul-2015
Meet some of the workers who pack your salads and arrange your arugula: Taylor farms is the largest fresh-cut fruit and vegetable producer in the U.S. with 10,000 employees and $1.8 billion in revenue. They grow, process and package salads and vegetables for McDonalds, Safeway, and countless school districts and food suppliers across the nation. When workers at Taylor Farms in Tracy California decided to form a union in 2013, they didn’t think they would be in for a bitter years-long battle with the company including numerous charges of firings, intimidation and other illegal behavior by the company. After all, Taylor Farms had long recognized and worked with the union at its plants 100 miles south in Salinas. In fact, the union campaign in Tracy has been one of the bitterest fights in the agriculture industry in recent memory, and the final resolution of the conflict will be made at the highest levels of the National Labor Relations Board. I met some Taylor Farms workers last week and produced this story for KPFA. Photo, Taylor Farms workers Brenda Vega and Armida Galeana.
(06:00 Minutes)
Download (2.75 MB)
Fishing with Ed and Cindi John on the Linda Sue
Click photo to enlarge
16-Jun-2015
Fishing in Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan with a native American fishing family.
(05:11 Minutes)
Download (2.07 MB)
Harsh law blocked for now, but Uganda anti-gay hysteria continues unabated
Click photo to enlarge
12-May-2015
Uganda’s draconian anti-gay law was struck down by the Constitutional Court in August last year, but the scrapped legislation could be quickly revived and would pass easily in parliament. A solid wall of opposition by Western donor nations is giving Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni 2nd thoughts about whether to allow the bill to surface again. But there’s also growing opposition to the bill within Uganda. Whether the bill becomes law or not, widespread homophobia and lack of legal protection has made life increasingly precarious for gays in Uganda. A gay Ugandan tells KPFA reporter Tom Herriman about decades of harassment, arrests, mob attacks, and living as an outcast from society.
(05:49 Minutes)
Download (5.33 MB)
Adjunct teachers unionize at 2 Bay Area colleges
Click photo to enlarge
04-Jun-2014
By Tom Herriman
(Broadcast on Pacifica Evening News, KPFA, May 27, 2014). Adjunct professors at San Francisco Art Institute won a resounding victory Friday as they voted by a 78% margin to join with the Service Employees International Union—the SEIU—to bargain with the college for better wages and job security. Less than a month ago, adjunct professors at Mills College in Oakland also voted to join SEIU, also by a 78% margin, to combat what they say are dismal working conditions at Mills and for the majority of college teachers across the country. Contrary to the traditional view of professors, over 75% of the nation’s 1.5 million college faculty are now part-time temporary employees who have no job security, no path to full-time tenured positions, and who earn wages more often seen in the fast food industry. NPR reports US adjuncts earn an average of between $20,000 and $25,000 per year. This disposable work force includes part-time faculty called adjuncts or adjunct professors, graduate assistants, and a few full time temporary faculty. Reporter Tom Herriman recently asked some of the adjuncts at Bay area colleges to explain the reasons behind their unionizing efforts. Photo: Mills College Adjuncts Ben Brown and Kate Robinson.
(05:38 Minutes)
Download (5.16 MB)
California reforms could slow prison's revolving door
Click photo to enlarge
29-Jan-2014
Passage of AB 109 by the California Assemby two years ago has focused new attention on the problem of re-integrating formerly incarcerated people back into society. The legislation was brought about by Federal court rulings that force California to address its overcrowded prisons. AB 109’s solution is to transfer thousands of non-violent, non-sexual, non-serious offenders to county correction systems. The bill also provided billions of dollars to the counties to handle the influx. . But the new law provides little guidance to counties on how to use the money, or standards on how transitioning prisoners should be treated. To look at some of the challenges and opportunities under AB 109, reporter Tom Herriman talked to two men, Michael Santos and Gary Scott, who have recently been navigating the re-entry process.
(06:41 Minutes)
Download (2.68 MB)
Those formerly incarcerated face big challenges re-entering society
29-Jan-2014
In 2009, the US Supreme Court ordered the state of California to reduce its prison population, setting off some of the biggest changes ever seen in the state’s prison system. In response, the legislature passed AB109 a bill that would transfer thousands of prisoners and billions of dollars to county law enforcement agencies, and provided the biggest opportunity in the state’s history to reform and reshape California’s penal system. Tom Herriman reports on some of the most important developments, and some opinions from key participants in the system.
(06:22 Minutes)
Download (2.91 MB)
Port Truckers Strike Part II
Click photo to enlarge
22-Nov-2013
Port of Oakland Truck drivers who shut down the giant SSA Marine terminal for most of the day October 21 are cautiously claiming some modest success for their protest. The drivers are seeking higher pay for transporting containers, better bathroom access, a congestion fee to compensate for long waiting times, and help in retrofitting their trucks to meet strict new environmental rules. The truckers received crucial help in their protests from members of the International Longshore and Warehouse union who refused to cross the picket lines. But ILWU members are now debating over whether and how much to continue their support of the truckers. In the photo, POTA spox Frank Adams.
(07:57 Minutes)
Download (3.18 MB)
Port Truckers Strike
Click photo to enlarge
22-Nov-2013
Frustrated truck drivers at the port of Oakland held their second picket line in two months this morning to protest long waiting times that cut into earnings, the high cost of meeting new air quality standards, and dehumanizing treatment while in the Port waiting for loads. By law, the over 4,000 truck drivers who haul containers to and from the Port are not employees. Rather, they are independent contractors who maintain their own rigs, and pay all their own fuel and maintenance costs. Their income depends on the number of loads they can haul everyday.
(06:31 Minutes)
Download (1.12 MB)
Head Start Hit Hard by Sequester
13-Sep-2013
By Tom Herriman
Local Head Start programs struggle with 5% funding cut brought on by federal spending sequester. Interviews with Pam Shaw, Bonnie York and Jessica Devine. Broadcast on KPFA, Berkeley CA September 13, 2013.
(07:21 Minutes)
Download (2.95 MB)
Oakland Fast Food Strike
29-Aug-2013
Hundreds of McDonalds, KFC, Jack-in-the-Box workers on strike in Oakland today...part of nationwide fast food organizing strike. Interviews here with two workplace strike leaders. Broadcast on KPFA, Aug 19, 2013
(05:55 Minutes)
Download (2.37 MB)
Harsh conditions for Uganda journalists
03-Sep-2012
Interviews with Geoffrey Ssebaggala, Human Rights Network for Journalists, and Gideon Tugume about the risks of reporting on political dissent.
(07:23 Minutes)
Download (2.96 MB)
Some key facts are missing from Kony 2012 video...like Kony's not actually in Uganda and the war ended there in 2006...
Click photo to enlarge
15-Mar-2012
An American college professor and a ugandan-american student discuss the Kony 2012 video.
(06:56 Minutes)
Download (2.78 MB)
Edward Lee Elmore released after 30 years in prison
Click photo to enlarge
05-Mar-2012
Edward Lee Elmore, jailed since 1982 for a crime he didn't commit, got out of jail March 2 in a plea bargain. He had to confess to get out, but still maintains he didn't do the murder he was charged with. In a new book, author Raymond Bonner describes Elmore's ordeal in detail. I interviewed Bonner on the day of Elmore's release. In photo, Elmore with lead counsel Diana Holt, center, and previous counsel Marta Kahn.
(07:45 Minutes)
Download (3.11 MB)
One homeowner's ordeal with Bank of America
Click photo to enlarge
28-Feb-2012
Bertina Jones of Bowie MD suffered through a years-long nightmare as she tried to stop Bank of America from foreclosing on her house. (broadcast on WPFW-FM, February 28, 2012).
(08:18 Minutes)
Download (3.32 MB)
Adjunct faculty, the field-hands of higher education turn to unions
23-Feb-2012
Adjunct professors at American University in DC won union representation last week in SEIU.
(05:13 Minutes)
Download (4.78 MB)

Recent Thoughts and Enthusiasms

Sex, War, Kidnapping, Bootleggers
Recently I tried to put down some recollections of my Dad's family that I could pass along to my kids and future... Continues...
Basketball in Raleigh NC on M.L. King day
January 2016, I met my daughter Erika in Raleigh where she officiated at the women's basketball game between Duke and... Continues...
We built a childrens art center in Uganda
March, 2015...the Namungona Children's Art Center opened in a converted shipping container, staffed by Uganda Art... Continues...
Bach in the living room
We've been holding classical music house concerts at our house with an organization called Groupmuse.com which matches... Continues...
Karamoja, Uganda, March 2014
Karamoja is one of the poorest districts in Uganda. Its vibrant traditional culture is being reshaped by powerful... Continues...