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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Many people still think of San Francisco’s most famous intersection -- Haight-Ashbury -- as the epicenter of the hippie movement of the mid-1960s. Plenty of the businesses along Haight Street ensure that era is not forgotten.

What is forgotten is why that particular corner became the namesake of Flower Power. About 20 other streets intersect Haight Street, so why choose Ashbury? Greg Pabst of San Francisco City Guides says it has to do with its location along the Panhandle section of Golden Gate Park.


Congressmen to DOJ: knock it off… New DOJ forfeiture plans… Mayor works for dispensary… California’s Blue Ribbon Commission wants input… and more.


Colorado still hasn't collapsed //  Another report from the front lines of the drug war: "Things in Colorado haven't really changed much since we legalized pot" over a year ago.

Today's local music is by Bay Area singer/songwriter Judi Jaeger.

She'll be accompanied by Sean Cody a week from Sunday (04.19). They have an evening of original material planned, and you can hear it – and them – at The Bazaar Café in San Francisco, starting at 7pm. 

The UC Alumni Chorus has an extravagant program planned on Saturday, April 11, 2015. They’ll be performing “Carmina Burana” along with singers from The Santa Barbara Choral Society and the UC Men’s and Women’s Chorales.  Those singers will all be joined by dancers from the Smuin Ballet.  The performance takes place at the Berkeley Community Theater, starting at 7:30pm.  

Friction Quartet doesn't only play music you’d expect from a string quartet; they also commission new works.

No, that’s not an experimental heavy metal band you’re hearing, and it’s not screaming babies, either. It’s the Parrots of Telegraph Hill


Do you know the saying, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail?”  Well, when Bay Area percussionist Moe Staiano sees just about anything - it looks to him like a way to make music. That can include sheet metal, kitchen implements – even standard drum kits. 


Statewide forums seek input… Emerald Triangle now favors legalization… CBD & Kids: does it really work?... and more.


Public input requested at forums //  Focus will be on three areas: legalization, taxation, and regulation. The first meeting is April 21 at UCLA, followed by one in San Francisco in May and ending with one in Fresno in June.

Today's local music is by the Pacific Guitar Ensemble of San Francisco. All eight members of this group are faculty or alumni of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 

The Pacific Guitar Ensemble will be at Mt.Tamalpais Methodist Church in Mill Valley on Sunday (03.29). Their concert is part of the 41st season of the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society. The concert begins promptly at 5pm.  

Today’s local music is by Queen Makedah of El Sobrante.  She’s one of four performers taking part in an event called Empress Meditations. The purpose of Empress Meditations, they say, “is to highlight the works and message of conscious female artists in reggae and world music.” 


Cannabis goes to Congress… Nevada first state with 2016 ballot measure… “I speak for the salmon”…  Business news… Lawyer drops baggy in court room… and more.



Group seeks change in UN drug policy… Will Congress legalize marijuana?...  So Cal tribe forms cannabis business… CBD news… and more.


Today’s local music is by Hoxton Mob from San Francisco. They describe their sound as “sad songs, in major keys.” 

Hoxton Mob will be playing at Great American Music Hall tomorrow (03.13), opening for another San Francisco band, The Shams. Doors open at 8pm.  

Flamenco music!  Is there any music more sensual?  If so, we probably can’t play it on the radio!  You can experience the passion and power of flamenco on Saturday (03.14) when Clara Rodriguez and David McLean present “An Evening of Flamenco” at the Sound Room in Oakland. Doors open at 7pm with the performance at 8pm.

What are you doing Friday the 13th?  Don’t be afraid to go out, especially when you can join the Friday Night Dance Party at the Empress Theater in Vallejo.  Music will be provided by the Zydeco Flames, from San Anselmo -- you’re hearing them now. Expect to start dancing at 8pm -- and keep dancing until it’s over!


More groups favor legalization… Federal court in Washington State still  convicting growers… Art contest… Utah rabbits hopped up on illegal grows… and more.


The song you’re hearing now is by Victor Krummenacher. If you don’t know HIS name, you may remember a band he co-founded called Camper Van Beethoven.  

Victor Krummenacher is still with “Camper,” but he’s going to play music from his new solo album on Saturday (03.07) at Armondo’s in downtown Martinez. He takes the stage about 8pm.  

The singer you’re hearing is named Kendra McKinley. She’s only called the Bay Area home since 2013 – but she studied classical guitar at UC Santa Cruz, so that counts for something.  

Kendra McKinley will be joined by Scott Mickleson on Saturday (03.07) at Viracocha in San Francisco’s Mission District. Music starts about 8pm.   


“You know, you can only paint a painting once. But a song, you can replay, re-envision, re-imagine virtually an infinite number of times,” says Matt Jaffe. And that’s one reason he wants to devote himself to music.

This Mill Valley singer-songwriter has opened for the legendary Mavis Staples and will do the same March 7th for Megan Slankard. One thing he couldn’t do, if he wasn’t on stage, is legally attend many of his own shows; Matt Jaffe is only 19.

flickr user "Oakland Daily Photo."

  In our current era of electronic transfers, bank cards and direct deposit, it is easy to forget that people used to go home at the end of the week with a pay envelope filled with... money! In fact, the name of one Bay Area neighborhood is based upon that old practice. 

The music you're hearing was written by Bay Area composer Lou Harrison, and is being played by David Tenenbaum.  It’s a commission from Other Minds, the contemporary music organization dedicated to encouraging “creative exploration in new music.”

 It's part of the first concert in the twentieth "Other Minds Festival," taking place Friday (03.06) at the SFJazz Center on Franklin Street. There's a panel discussion at 7pm, with the concert at 8pm.      


Legalization from coast to coast, and beyond…  Price collapse worries Colorado dispensaries… Health… Opinion… and more.


Cannabis now legal in Alaska //  “One can now carry up to an ounce in public — consumption in public is still illegal — and one can give another person without remuneration up to one ounce or up to six plants with three flowering.”

Do you like singer/songwriters like Jack Johnson, John Gorka and John Mayer? If so, you might give Forest Sun a listen.  

Forest Sun has played from Japan to North Carolina, and you can hear him Saturday (02.28) at The Monkey House in Berkeley, starting at 7:30pm.  

What is it with all the non-traditional cello players in this area? Well, whatever it is, Dirty Cello, who you’re hearing now, is a purveyor of the style.  Dirty Cello has played throughout the world, but you only have to go as far as Fairfax to hear them this week. They’re at The Garage on Thursday (02.26), where the motto is “Shop Local, Party Local, Enjoy Local.” Music starts at 7pm. 


State Attorney General not opposed to legalization… Colorado hit with multiple lawsuits… TV loses fear of marijuana… The munchies explained… and more.


Business conferences are about growth and profits and networking. That wasn’t totally true with the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), held this week in San Francisco.

“Legalization isn’t about money. It’s about personal liberty,” is how founder Alex Rogers started the event. The first day of programming followed that idea, with not one business speaker on the schedule.


This is Danny Click. One of his earliest memories is hearing his mother play a slide guitar. He picked up the guitar himself for the first time when he was six years old. 

 Danny Click will be picking up his guitar again tomorrow night (02.20) for a rare acoustic show at The Monkey House in Berkeley. Music starts about 8pm. 

That’s Josh Beemish Johnson playing banjo AND drums right now. He’s joined on this song by Alison Craig. But he could be joined by YOU tomorrow (02.19). That’s when Josh Beemish Johnson is hosting an Open Mike at the Bazaar Café in San Francisco. Music starts at 7pm.


California Assembly to consider legalization bill & Marijuana Watershed Protection Act… US Attorney’s seizure plans held up, again… No Pomo pot plantation… Health news, and more… 


The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) takes place in San Francisco over Presidents’ Day Weekend. Alex Rogers, executive producer of the event, has deep experience in the field, much of it in the Bay Area.