Ninna Gaensler-Debs

Reporter & Editor

Ninna Gaensler-Debs is a reporter and editor for Crosscurrents. Since 2012, Ninna has worn a variety of hats at KALW - she was both a producer and event planner for Localore project Hear Here. Ninna also programmed and organized the Sights and Sounds live events - two in Bayview, and most recently, one in East Oakland. 

Ninna also founded and directed The Litography Project, a multimedia project documenting literary history and culture in the Bay Area. She's reported for 99% Invisible, Matter, KQED, and worked on immersive audio tours for Detour

The Book Report is a new series where we talk to local authors about the books they love. Writer Anisse Gross shared her pick - The Abortion - by Richard Brautigan, with Ninna Gaensler-Debs.

Jeannette King-Harris grew up in Oakland and says she’s tired of all the difficulties young people face there today. So, she’s launching an organization called Planting Special Seeds to change that. It’s a youth empowerment program that offers job training, educational advising, and emotional support to young people from around Oakland.

Pete Villaseñor moved to San Francisco from his home state of Texas almost 20 years ago. That’s well before the Bay’s current housing troubles began. But, moving to a new place can come with other difficulties, like homesickness. Villaseñor told our community storytelling project Hear Here how he found solace in a new city.

Audrey DIlling

Our community storytelling project Hear Here also had the chance to visit the ROCK program at Visitacion Valley Middle School to record the stories of young people there.

Eighth grader Pauline Dip told our Hear Here producers about her favorite hobby.

Alvin Kwok is a tutor with ROCK at Visitacion Valley Middle School. He told Hear Here about his family, who has lived in Visitacion Valley since his grandmother first immigrated there from China. She’s been working hard ever since to make a loving home for her family.

When a landlord and a tenant are involved in a dispute, an eviction from the property is the last resort. And when evictions do occur in San Francisco, there are two people who are involved with every single one. They both make up the Eviction Assistance Unit at the Sheriff’s Department, but they don’t really act like cops. Their job is to visit anybody served an eviction notice and try to connect them to resources.

KALW’s Ninna Gaensler-Debs takes us through a day in their lives.

Click the player above to listen to the entire ridealong.

Audrey DIlling

Astor Lee shared her story with KALW's Hear Here project at the Visitacion Valley library branch. She told us about how the art of Tai Chi helped create a sense of community for recent immigrants to the neighborhood.

Eric Hannan was only supposed to work as the 81st Avenue Library's Teen Service Director for a few weeks. He ended up staying two years.

KALW is proud to partner with the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) to present the Sights and Sounds of Bayview: a live radio event hosted by Crosscurrents’ own Hana Baba and featuring stories about the remarkable people who live, work, and make a positive impact in the neighborhood. Join us on Thursday, September 19th at 7pm at the beautiful and historic Bayview Opera House for an evening of storytelling, live music, and local food and drink. KALW reporters have spent the past several months documenting eight of these stories with both recorders and cameras.

Hear Here producers are once again venturing out to both Oakland and San Francisco libraries-and we want you to come and share your stories! We're bringing our microphones to record your memories, tales, and favorite personal stories. Bring a loved one, bring a few friends, or come by yourself-your stories will be featured online, and may air on 91.7FM!

Alyssa Kapnik

Yesterday was opening day for the new and improved Exploratorium over in San Francisco's Embarcadero. Right around Pier 15, the new space boasts 330,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits, 150 of them brand new. It also hopes to become the largest net-zero energy museum in the United States — if not the world.

Juan Leguizamon

A surfer takes on a Maverick wave.  A writer acquires an unexpected tenant – and his house plant. These stories and more told live on stage at the Victoria Theater in San Francisco. Fri. April 12 at 8pm.

KALW 91.7FM presents “Heard Here,” an interactive evening of storytelling. Inspired by real people in the Bay Area, this show will feature stories of ordinary locals who have gone through extraordinary circumstances – all told by some of the Bay's best writers, radio producers, and performers.

This past summer, Peet's Coffee, founded in Berkeley back in 1966, was purchased by a German Company for $1 billion. Over the last half-century, on its way to becoming a billion dollar company, Peet's helped launch the Bay Area craft coffee movement, spawning places like Four Barrel, Blue Bottle, Philz, and other independent coffee shops. Today, there's a wealth of coffee shops to be found, each with its own distinctive flavor and fans.

James K. Buck / Wikimedia Commons

Yes, President’s Day is over. No, we don’t have another three day weekend until May, not that I’m counting. But buck up kids, the weekend will not only bring sun, but also the promise of international celebration with Russian festivals, Chinese New Year parades, record-setting rappers, and the glamour of the red carpet as stars gather for the 85th Academy Awards. So, grab your fur hat and a glass of champagne and prepare yourself for a weekend that just might live up to its three-day long predecessor...

Science is rarely easy to understand and even harder to explain. But here at the Exploratorium, science isn’t hard – it’s fun. Why? In order to learn, you have to play.

Isidro Demry is playing with the Soap Bubble Tray exhibit. The name says it all: it’s a big tray with pools of soapy water. It’s simple, but surprisingly cool. Especially because I played with the same exhibit when I was six years old, then again when I was ten, and now, I watch as it’s used for what must be close to the last time before it leaves for a new home.

Alyssa Kapnik / www.alyssakapnik.com

This article was originally published on December 13, 2012. It has been updated to include additional photos from the event.

On Saturday, December 8, KALW hosted its second annual Live Crosscurrents in the James Moore Theater at the Oakland Museum of California. Hana Baba hosted the event, supported by Tin Cup Serenade as house band for the evening. 

Maybe you've just seen The Bourne Legacy and have nagging feeling that you're being watched at all times. Maybe you related a little too much to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So if you see low-flying helicopters crisscrossing the skies this week, you might think the government is after you, or that the aliens have finally arrived. But the more likely explanation is that you've caught a glimpse of the federal effort to measure "naturally occurring background radiation."

San Francisco’s Humphry Slocombe ice cream parlor is known for its unique flavor selection. On a given week, your choices might include Sour Cream, Salt and Pepper, and Boccalone Prosciutto. Right now, they have a special option that will only be available until July 1st – a foie gras ice cream sandwich.

SF Chronicle // Starbucks has bought the Bay Area based chain La Boulange Cafe and Bakery for $100 million. Starbucks plans to start to replace its current pastry selection with La Boulange products in 2013. There are 19 La Boulange cafes across the Bay Area...

Courtesy of www.readingpartners.org

This week, the California Department of Education gave us some grim news: according to its biannual report on the financial health of the state’s school systems, nearly one-fifth of school districts in the state face bankruptcy, and that includes six Bay Area districts – four in Santa Clara County and two in San Mateo County.

San Francisco Chronicle // Some investors have reacted angrily to Facebook's debut as a public company, accusing the social networking giant of failing to reveal pertinent financial information in advance of its IPO. Several media outlets have claimed that Facebook gave banks information that would provide unfair advantage over other investors, prompting lawsuits and government inquiries...

(SF Chronicle) // After a one-hour stand-off, a suspect in a Rohnert Park murder case was killed by police in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. After firing numerous shots and setting fires in an apartment on Post Street, the gunman was shot dead at around 10 p.m....

California Watch // The Federal Election Committee recently passed a proposal to let consumers trade in loyalty program points for donations to their preferred political candidate. Now, regulators are reviewing Repledge.com, which would would make Republican and Democratic donations made through the Repledge system cancel each other out, redirecting the money to charities...

(SF Gate) // Protestors vandalized cars and more than 30 businesses last night in the Mission district. The protestors were part of a group that marched from Dolores Park and traveled down 18th Street and onto Valencia, where they smashed windows and threw paint and eggs onto buildings and hoods of parked cars...

(Contra Costa Times) // Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, two power players in the tobacco industry, have donated more than tens of millions of dollars to defeat Proposition 29, a new tobacco tax on the June ballot. Prop 29 would increase taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $1 to $1.87, which would generate approximately $735 million annually that would mostly fund cancer research...

The Assembly Committee on Public Safety has rejected a bill that would make it a felony for teachers to date students, voting it down 3-0. The bill was incited by the much publicized case of a 41-year-old-teacher in Modesto leaving his wife and three children to move in with an 18-year-old student. Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Modesto pledged to keep pushing for similar legislation...

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan will not disclose the location of her "100 block" plan, a proposal to focus police operations and social services in the area where 92% of the city's violent crime occurs. City Council members have expressed frustration with the Mayor's office, demanding more transparency and voicing concerns that they have not vetted the plan.

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