We’re saddened to share the news that former Metro Silicon Valley staff writer Loren Stein, 62, died on Jan. 27 of leukemia. Her death was announced by her husband, Hal Plotkin, who called her “the light of my life and the source of every important blessing I have enjoyed” and wrote “I will miss her forever” in a touching social media post.
Stein produced a formidable body of investigative work, including deep dives into the local mental health system and a report on how local officials failed to prevent health care giant HCA from closing San Jose Medical Center.
Her work for Metro received first place recognition in the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s Investigative Reporting category.
Stein graduated from UC Berkeley and earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism. In addition to Metro, she worked at the Emeryville-based Center for Investigative Reporting, Pacifica Radio, the Palo Alto Weekly and as a freelancer. She also sang in several jazz choirs, was a Big Sister in Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and volunteered at Planned Parenthood.
Her investigative reporting appeared in California Lawyer, Christian Science Monitor, Sacramento Bee, National Law Journal, Pacific News Service, Time-Life News Service, PBS Lehrer NewsHour, KQED-TV, Columbia Journalism Review, Mother Jones, The Recorder, and Infoworld. She was a researcher for the award-winning TV documentary series on climate change, “The Years of Living Dangerously.”
Stein grew up in Los Angeles. She married her husband, former Metro political writer and U.S. Department of Education official Plotkin, 21 years ago. The couple returned from the Washington, D.C., area to Palo Alto with their daughter Keira at the end of Hal’s service in the Obama administration.
Below are some notable examples of Stein’s journalism when she worked at Metro:
- How local officials failed to stop HCA’s shutdown of downtown’s only hospital
- As church begins to come to terms with sexual abuse, the most frequent victims—adult women—are overlooked
- Jeanine Harms’ killer got away with murder
- Other pieces by Loren Stein