I love covering long trials and big construction projects. Sounds strange, I know, but I never wanted to be a lawyer or an engineer...it's just fascinating to talk about what they do. The stories I cover give me access to a broad range of people, places, and ideas. That's the fun of being a reporter! I see it as being a career student.
While a grad student at USC, I worked a variety of internships and production assistant jobs. At KCBS, I was Harvey Levin's intern, posing as his pregnant (not really) girlfriend for a story on prenatal care at the county hospital. I also helped him book his first attempt at a talk show, "Harvey in the Lion's Den." So it's really odd to watch his wildly successful "TMZ" show now. Makes me feel like a veteran beyond my years in the business!
As a Southern California high school student, I came to San Francisco all the time for speech and debate tournaments at USF, swim meets, synchronized swimming meets (yes with gelatin in the hair, nose plugs and all), and to visit relatives in the Oakland Hills. I fell in love with the city then, for its natural beauty, clean air, cool, bright summers and charming Victorians. So after only four years into my career, it was a thrill to land at ABC7.
One of my most memorable moments as a reporter happened in Dallas (my last job before San Francisco), January 1996. We got a call to leave the grass fire we were on, and move to a missing girl story. The girl was Amber Hagerman. She went missing on the first night of my work week, and was found exactly five days later, on my last night. Later they named the Amber Alert after her. It was a sad story and it still bothers me that they've never found her killer. Every time there's an Amber Alert my mind goes straight back to the time I spent covering that story.
Outside of work my biggest hobby is my children. They are all-consuming and I really enjoy my time with them! If I had it, I'd spend more time on the tennis court, skiing, brushing up on my French and traveling with my husband. I'd love to be a better cook but I think that might be hopeless. Our only pets right now are tropical fish. My son and husband are both allergic to cats and with our busy lives, I don't think we have a lot of time to walk a dog&maybe later.
Heather Ishimaru reports on Transportation, Courts & Cops and Power. That's Power as in electricity, not political or otherwise.