Steven Short


Steven has been with KALW News since it’s beginnings in 2004. His history, art and public interest stories have won awards for Breaking News, Feature Writing and Explanatory Journalism. Some of his reports have aired nationally on NPR.

He is responsible for The Source, a recurring feature on the origins of Bay Area place names. He also researches most of the listings for the Crosscurrents local music calendar and compiles the weekly online Cannabis News Round-up.

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Supreme Court tosses marijuana case … Canada ruffles U.N. narcotics conference … “Massive recall” of pot over pesticides … Vets risk felonies … Sports, opinion, and infused Nutella ….


Canada shakes up the U.N. narcotics conference // National Post

Three Times Bad

The band you’re hearing now is called Three Times Bad, a San Francisco band that’s difficult to categorize. Some call it bluegrass music, others call it Americana – and still others say it includes “a hint of vaudeville.”

Three Times Bad is appearing tomorrow, Friday, March 25, at Peri's Bar in Fairfax. They'll start about 9pm.

By Alison Webber / resized and cropped

Looking for a reason to go out on a weeknight? Well, a band known as The Spiral Electric is playing at Bottom of the Hill in a couple of days.  This psychedelic group started as a duo, but soon expanded to a quintet.

You'll find The Spiral Electric and two other bands at Bottom of the Hill in their hometown of San Francisco on Thursday (03.24). Doors open at 8:30pm.

Used via Google Images/noncommercial reuse.

California’s recreational initiative spawns opposition … NORML denied credit card processing … What pesticides are you smoking? ... and more.


“Stop Pot 2016” hopes to block legalization //

Courtest of The Blondies

The music you’re hearing now is by The Blondies. All the band members are from Berkeley – except for the ones who are from Oakland.

photo courtesty of Dirty Cello


Rebecca Roudman and Jason Eckl are willing to play music just about anywhere. In fact, they seek out unusual places.

Photo courtesy of The Bogues

Paul Griffiths plays with various combinations of musicians, and you can hear him in person during his St. Patrick’s Day show on Thursday, March 17th.

Used under license from Creative Commons – CCO

Marijuana laws modified…  Investors alerted to possible scam… “Altered States” exhibit preview… Opinion, Stephen Colbert, and more….


The Leaf endorses AUMA // The Leaf

What pioneering advocate Chris Conrad likes and dislikes about the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Hey! Wake up! The Bum City Saints are in the house! This San Francisco punk trio started in 2007, inspired, as they describe it, “by boredom and a burning desire to play music.”



Marin County is noted for its open spaces, and also for some pretty pricey property. One of the towns there is considered by many to be so exclusive that it doesn’t even allow any businesses. That would be Belvedere.

Used under license from Creative Commons – CC0

More states seeking legalization … Montana court guts medical marijuana … Swarms of workers want jobs in California’s “green rush” … Painkiller deaths drop in legal states … Analysis, opinion, profiles, and more…

Carolina Lugo & Carolé Acuña.

Traditional Spanish flamenco is all about the passion, and that’s what Carolina Lugo and Carolé Acuña deliver with their Ballet Flamenco.

Ballet Flamenco has a performance on Saturday, March 5th, at the Pena Pachamama Center in San Francisco, starting about 7:00 pm.

Courtesy Smokin' Ziggurats. Resized and cropped.

Today's local music is by the mysterious San Francisco outfit, the Smokin' Ziggurats. They’re opening for Dengue Fever this Friday night at the New Parish in Oakland. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Courtesy of Iriefuse

Today’s local music is by IrieFuse. This Marin County collective started under the name Counter Culture in 2011 and has become a regular feature at northern California universities, house parties and even weddings!

Used under license from Creative Commons – CCO

NORML supports AUMA… Holder calls for reclassification… Black arrests still out of proportion to population… A look at the future of cannabis clubs… “Taxing cannabis is horrible”… Sing along with Willie & Merle… and more.


The voices you’re hearing now belong to members of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. Their stated goal is “To inspire joy and unity among all people through Black gospel and spiritual music traditions.”

by elston (cropped) Used under license from Creative Commons – CCO Public Domain

Who pays for seed to sale tracking?... Parker doubles AUMA financial support… Medical marijuana has “genuine uses”… Americans have always been hell raisers… and more. 


Photographer: Matt Emrich

Two members of Congress, a former Surgeon General and a member of the California State Assembly walk into a cannabis business conference. And as unlikely as that sounds, it’s no joke.


Today's local music is by Deborah Crooks. Many adjectives could be employed to describe her sound, but we'll go with this review: "It is quite simply smart and engaging music."

Used under license from Creative Commons – CC0 Public Domain

How marijuana laws impact usage…  Amoeba Records in finals for Berkeley license… Colorado’s billion dollar bud sales… Menstrual relief through cannabis… Roseanne Barr joins celebrity branding… and more.


Courtesy of Ira Marlowe

The husky voice you’re hearing now belongs to singer/songwriter Ira Marlowe. The San Francisco Chronicle has called him “Oakland’s sweet little secret.”

Ira Marlowe will perform solo at The Monkey House in Berkeley on Saturday (02.13) It’s a small place, so arrange for tickets ahead of time.


The music you’re hearing right now is by David Bowie. But it’s being performed by Cat People, a Bowie tribute band from San Francisco. 

Cat People will be dipping into five decades of Bowie’s creativity on Thursday (02.12), at the Stork Club in Oakland. Music starts around 9pm.   

Used under license from Creative Commons – CC0 Public Domain

Brown removes March 1 medical deadline… Conflicting medical views on legalization, and commercial grows… cannabis Christians… Tommy Chong... and more.


This music? It’s by Cascades de Flores. Their sound has been described as “a delicious discovery of retro acoustic music with Mexican and Caribbean roots.”
Cascades de Flores appears Sunday (02.07) at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco’s Presidio. It's a family show, starting at noon.

Image courtesy of the artist / Resized and cropped

  Today’s local music brings to mind honest-to-goodness old style rock ‘n’ roll – the type played by ZZ Top and Mountain in the '70s. But this is the current sound of a San Francisco group called Older Sun

Older Sun tops the bill on Thursday, February 4th, at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco. Music starts about 8:30 pm.  

Used under license from Creative Commons

Bill fixing AB 21 goes to Governor… Legal states look to outside investors… Why is wine celebrated and cannabis demonized? … Cops & Courts… Dennis Peron… Driving while paranoid… even a Super Bowl mention!


Courtesy of Justin Ancheta

The music you’re hearing now is by East Bay musician Justin Ancheta who has played for audiences from Spain to Hawaii.

Used under license from Creative Commons

California city bans could be corrected soon… Who smokes what, where? … Teens, cannabis and I.Q…. “Pot purses” arrive… Events, Opinion and more.


Courtesy Berkeley Choro Ensemble. Cropped from Original.

Today’s local music is by the Berkeley Choro Ensemble. Choro is a type of Brazilian music dating from the 1800s.  

The Berkeley Choro Ensemble will be performing on Sunday January 24 at the Old St. Hilary's Church in Tiburon. Music starts at 4 in the afternoon.  $20 tickets will be available at the door.

Learn more about the Berkeley Choro Ensemble here

Used under license from Creative Commons (cropped from original)

NAACP supports AUMA… More cities pass marijuana bans… Oakland dispensary to go public… Migraines and epilepsy… and more.


NAACP gives support to AUMA // Sacramento Bee “Legalizing marijuana is an important civil rights issue because pot-related arrests are ‘racially biased’ and disproportionately affect blacks and Latinos,” says the president of the California chapter.