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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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CC Flickr user lukexmartin, resized and recropped

In January Congress confirmed retired general James Mattis as the new US Secretary of Defense.

State not likely to meet 2018 start date for recreational sales ... Oakland diversity coalition examines industry rules ... Pot drive-thru shut down ... and more.

On June 9, 2016, physician aid-in-dying became legal in California.

2/2: Physician aid-in-dying expands to California

Feb 2, 2017

  • Reporter Aaron Glantz investigated the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
  • A look at California's recent law allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients die.

Today’s music is by The Conspiracy of Beards. They’re a local male choir that performs a-cappella versions of songs by Leonard Cohen.

Many of California’s elected officials have been speaking out against President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. 

Courtesy of Pui Ling Tam


An estimated three million people worldwide took to the streets to participate in the Women’s March.

Matthew Washburn

Contemporary classical composer Sahba Aminikia came to San Francisco as a refugee. Born and raised in Iran in the 80s, he left as a young man to study music in Russia, and then got his bachelors and masters of music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Local Music: The Shams

Feb 1, 2017

Here’s a quiz for you. If you have an Irish rock band, that’s really from San Francisco, what would you call it? How about The in “the sham rocks.” Get it?

Odell Hussey / cropped and resized

When Deuce Eclipse and Juan Manuel Caipo joined forces in 2008, they wanted to make music that could do two things: provide information, and make beats that bang. Their band, Bang Data does just that. Deuce Eclipse comes from the world of hip-hop as an emcee and a b-boy - while Juan mostly played rock before joining the band.

2/1: Are President Trump's executive orders legal?

Feb 1, 2017

  • A conversation with an ACLU attorney about President Trump’s immigration ban.
  • Three San Francisco students reflect on the Women’s March on Washington.
  • An Iranian-American composer whose music bridges cultural divides.


Once there was a band called The Screaming Bloody Marys, who you’re hearing now. Then they broke up, for 18 years. Now they’re back, with the original members, plus a new vocalist. 


In 1996, when San Francisco's Presidio was decommissioned as an army base and turned into a national park, a man named Eric Blind came to work there as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Blind recalls at the time that the dilapidated Presidio was like a “ghost town.” 

Hana Baba


President Trump signed an Executive Order on Friday to temporarily ban all refugees, indefinitely ban refugees from Syria and temporarily ban citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

Hear the defiant voices of this weekend's SFO protests

Jan 30, 2017
Liza Veale


On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order restricting refugee and immigrant entry to the US. As customs agencies at airports across the country scrambled to interpret and enforce the order, thousands of protesters came out in support of immigrants and refugees.

1/30: Bay Area responds to Trump's immigration ban

Jan 30, 2017

  • Bay Area Muslims respond to President Trump's executive order limiting immigration.  
  • A new edition of Bay Area Beats with the band Bang Data.
  • Squatting in the "ghost town" of San Francisco's Presidio. 
  • Today's local music is the Screaming Bloody Marys


“No way” will California be ready for recreational pot, says state senator // Fresno Bee

“’Being blunt, there is no way the state of California can meet all of the deadlines before we go live on January 1, 2018,’” said Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg. ‘We are building the regulatory system for a multibillion dollar industry from scratch.’”

Bay Area Beats: Village Road Trio

Jan 26, 2017
Courtesy of Village Road Trio


The Village Road Trio reimagines classical music with folk influences. The trio shared some of their music in this edition of Bay Area Beats.



If you can’t afford bail in this country, you get stuck in jail until your trial. Many have said it’s a system that's biased against the poor.

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: Casting Club

Jan 26, 2017
Photo by Ian Lewis

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. 

Lincoln Adler

Have you ever wondered what becomes of members of boys choruses once they grow up? Well, in the case of Berkeley native Kurt Ribak, he became a jazz musician.  The Kurt Ribak Trio, who you’re hearing now, take the stage Friday at Armondo’s in Martinez, starting at 8 p.m.

1/26: San Francisco looks to update its bail system

Jan 26, 2017


Cropped and used under CC license from Flickr user Amy the Nurse

Donald Trump signed two executive orders that had to do with undocumented immigration today.

Rob Peterson

Tunisia stands alone among the nations that went through Arab Spring revolutions, in successfully forging and sustaining a democratic government after toppling a dictator.

Holly McDede


Last week, some of the Bay Area’s most celebrated authors came together to share their thoughts about our own democratic moment. The event, presented by Litquake, was called “No Shadow Without Light: Writers Respond to Trump.”

1/25: Bay Area writers respond to Trump

Jan 25, 2017


Lila Blue, who you’re hearing now, has lived in San Francisco about a third of her life, yet she’s only been here since 2011. How’s that possible? Lila Smith is only 16 years old. Her first instrument was the ukulele. Now she also plays guitar, bass and piano.

Image courtesy of Daphne Matziaraki


Daphne Matziaraki's film 4.1 Miles captures a day in the life of a Greek Coast Guard Captain whose job is to try to save refugees trying to cross the Aegean Sea. It was featured as a New York Times Op-Doc, won a Student Academy Award, and it’s been nominated for an Oscar.

Judy Silber

Anyone at the Bay Area Women's Marches on Saturday couldn't help but notice the quantity and variety of signs held by protestors. Here are some that were on public display in Oakland and San Francisco.

Most Americans are unprepared for the worst to happen—an accident or an unexpected illness that leaves them brain dead, but still alive.  That's what happened to Terri Schiavo, a young woman who became comatose after suffering a heart attack in 1990.