Beth Spotswood

Beth Spotswood is Alta's digital editor, podcast host, events manager, and a contributing writer. In addition to her work for Alta, Beth writes a Thursday column for the San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in Marin County, California with her husband and son (who is lovingly referred to as Baby Alta by her coworkers.)

The Tomb of the Unknown "Wetback"

How does the death of an immigrant killed in the 1950's by Anaheim police and a 2019 family funeral converge into one incredible moment for Gustavo Arellano? He joins the Alta podcast to explain.   

Recorded Live: Jazz Singer Paula West Gets Personal

In this episode, recorded on November 13, 2019 at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley California, West discusses her process—and her politics— in this intimate evening of conversation and music.

Hummingbirds Are Fascinating. Really.

Today’s guest is Jason G. Goldman, a science journalist, author, and expedition leader based in Los Angeles. He is one ...

The California Hall of Fame celebrates the “legendary people who embody [the state’s] innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.” Founded in 2006, the museum admits between 7 and 14 members each year.

10 Californians Who Are Missing from the Hall of Fame

A new class of Californians was inducted into the state Hall of Fame this week. Here are ten names we'd like to see in the class of 2020.

A Few of Our Favorite Things

Holiday shopping gets a lot easier with our gift ideas for everyone on your "nice" list.

Can Cancer Be Funny?

Can cancer be funny? Author Mary Ladd and illustrator Don Asmussen certainly think so. The pair, both of whom have ...

Have We Got a Story for You

In this week's newsletter, we reveal which Alta contributors and reviewed titles are up for (or have already won) some of literature's top honors.

Nick Neely Follows the Footsteps of Portolá

Burger King, loneliness, binoculars, and camp coffee; it was all part of Nick Neely’s quest to better understand California.  Neely ...

Harrison Ford as Rick Decker in the 1982 film Blade Runner.

California’s Fictional Future

In this week's newsletter, we create a DIY futuristic California film festival.

U.S. marshals arrest Harris for draft evasion in 1969 at Struggle Mountain, the Harris-Baez home in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

California, Resist!

In this week's newsletter, the Golden State is first in fighting back. Activist David Harris’s draft resistance is one of many movements that originated on (and continue to emerge from) the West Coast.