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Crosscurrents is the award-winning daily news magazine from KALW Public Radio. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the divides in our community - economic, social, and cultural.

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State treasurer explores “marijuana banking” ... Oregon at a standstill due to testing ... New ‘drugged driving” rules ... Meet the trimmigrants ... Cannabis and Cabernet considered ... and more.

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: Dickens Christmas Fair

Dec 8, 2016
Ninna Gaensler-Debs

All week long, we've been playing this sound and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

SRO Stories: "I survived"

Dec 8, 2016
Courtesy of Dish SF

All week we’ve been airing a series of SRO Stories, profiling the residents of single room occupancy buildings. These residential hotels are the housing of last resort for a lot of people that would otherwise be homeless.

Ryan Johnson, recropped and resized

Stand-up comedian Shanti Charan won Best Comedian of 2016 in the SF Bay Guardian’s annual Best of the Bay write-up, but she still feels like she’s working towards her best material.

Credit Oakocalyptic Designs: Edited and cropped with permission

Our local music for today is by Musae , a women’s vocal ensemble from San Francisco. The group is a musical collective, meaning that each singer contributes to the artistic process.

12/8: Living in a SRO

Dec 8, 2016

O ne woman’s journey of moving from the street into an SRO. A comedian teaches her audience through humor. T he festive story behind this week’s Audiograph mystery sound.

Ariel Messman-Rucker,

If you spend time walking around the East Bay, you may have seen a homeless person selling newspapers.

Photo courtesy of flickr user Fabrice Florin:

UCSF is conducting one of the first ongoing studies on the experience of homelessness among adults over 50. It’s called the Health Outcomes of People Experiencing Homelessness in Older Middle Age, or HOPE - HOME.


The housing of last resort for a lot of people that would otherwise be homeless are SRO’s, or single room occupancy hotels.

12/7: Homelessness and mental health

Dec 7, 2016

Mental health problems are often a consequence —not a cause—of homelessness. Nonprofit pledges to fund Street Spirit, a newspaper that covers homelessness. One man makes a home inside a Tenderloin residential hotel.

Angela Johnston

Austin Newsom is an Amtrak ticket agent at the Transbay Terminal in downtown San Francisco. On his lunch breaks, he takes walks along the Embarcadero . “It’s really nice, and people usually, when they’re walking along the waterfront, for whatever reason they have big smiles on their faces. I think it makes people happy.”

Photo courtesty of DISH SF

Today, there are about 19,000 San Franciscans living in SRO’s—that’s single room occupancy buildings or residential hotels, but that number is scarce compared to 50 years ago.

Eleanor Petry

Hey, wake up! Never Young is on the radio! They say they play “an exceedingly tight, hook-filled slab of noise.”

Phil Daley

The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band started its life as the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corp in 1978.

12/6: Investigating the water quality of the Bay

Dec 6, 2016

We set sail to investigate the water quality in the Bay. The second profile in our series "SRO Stories." A look back at the birth of San Francisco's Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band .

Marissa Ortega-Welch

The city of Oakland is continuing to sort through the remains of the Ghost Ship , the warehouse in the Fruitvale District that burned down during a party on Friday night. Thirty-six people have now been confirmed dead, with about a third of the building yet to be searched. The site is now an active crime scene.

Courtesy of DISH SF

Some of the only housing that’s gentrification-proof in the inner cities of the Bay Area are SRO’s or Single Room Occupancy buildings. They’re the residential hotels you see mostly in neighborhoods like the Tenderloin and SOMA and in downtown Oakland.

Melorra Green

When Artist and curator Melonie Green and her twin sister moved to San Francisco 15 years ago, they made themselves an integral part of the arts community through art shows, public events, and even their own weekly radio show on KPOO.

12/5: The tragedy at 'Ghost Ship'

Dec 5, 2016

East Oakland artist Favianna Rodriguez on the Ghost Ship warehouse fire . Artist and curator Melonie Green on building a collaborative art scene. The first in our series " SRO Stories ."

Commentary: Are all Buddhists atheists?

Dec 2, 2016
Front Group

In the comments on our Nov. 21 story, " Some, None or Done: A Zen Atheist ," listeners discussed whether Buddhism is theistic or non-theistic. We asked John Nelson , a scholar of religion who serves on The Spiritual Edge's academic advisory committee, to help us understand the issue:

Dark times expected with Attorney General pick ... Some dispensaries selling recreational cannabis ahead of 2018 ... LED lighting helps sustainable growers ... Emerald Cup, and more.

Here's the sound we played as a clue. We asked you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

Will social media shift after the election?

Dec 1, 2016
CC Flickr user Sarah Marshall, resized and recropped

Nearly 1.8 billion people use Facebook each month. It’s become a go-to news source, and that’s had a big impact. In fact, some suggest that social media companies, including Facebook, impacted the presidential election by encouraging fake news and polarizing political views.

Courtesy of Guatam Tejas Ganeshan

Berkeley-based singer Gautam Tejas Ganeshan plays Carnatic music -- a devotional form traditional to South India. But he's bringing a local twist to this centuries-old sound.

12/1: Social media's shifting impact

Dec 1, 2016

H ow social media has affected the way we see the world. A local musician adds his own twist to a traditional form of singing. A Swedish Christmas in San Francisco.

Mark Twain in the West

Nov 30, 2016

Mark Twain was born on November 30th, 1835 over 180 years ago. To celebrate him we’re telling you the story of his time out West, where he launched his career as a writer.

11/30: Mark Twain in the West

Nov 30, 2016

A tribute to the American writer Mark Twain and his time in the West.

Local Music: Jinx Jones and the King Tones

Nov 30, 2016
Jinx Jones

This music is by Jinx Jones. One reviewer says of him, “Whether navigating rockabilly, swing or hardcore country, Jinx Jones puts on a fiery guitar display that leaves you breathless.”

Pumping up bodies and spirits at God's Gym

Nov 29, 2016

The training floor of God’s Gym is definitely old school – one room crammed with barbells, benches, and ancient weight machines.

Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News, resized and recropped

Patients over 65 tend to be less resilient during a hospital stint than younger patients, research finds, and more vulnerable to mental or physical deterioration, even if they recover from the illness or injury that sent them there.