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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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  • San Francisco officials ask a wary public to trust them as they search for their next police chief.
  • Author Mary Roach on her new book, "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War."

used under CC0 Public Domain

Instead of working just one job for a single employer, more and more of us are becoming gig workers: people who consult, freelance, contract, temp, and do jobs on-call. The number of Americans with these alternative work arrangements has been growing steadily over the last ten years. 

by Aaron Parecki // used under CC BY 2.0

Freelancing is an old concept, but disputes are cropping up left and right between gig workers and the companies that hire them.

The Golden Gate Park Band plays almost every Sunday afternoon at the Spreckles Temple of Music, more commonly known as the Bandshell. They've been playing there since 1882. 

9/12: Is freelancing the new normal?

Sep 11, 2016


Used under CC BY / Cropped

“Potalyzer” research at Stanford ... Prices collapse in Colorado ... Sex trafficking in Emerald Triangle ... Prop. 64 explained ... Opinion, history, and more. 

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: East Bay Bike Party

Sep 8, 2016
Eli Wirtschafter

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.

Courtesty of Daniel Heimpel

Journalist Daniel Heimpel is the founder of Fostering Media Connections, a nonprofit he started in 2010. He focuses on the foster system through what he calls "solutions-based reporting."

Advocate sees a foster kid to adulthood

Sep 8, 2016
Photo by Truc Nguyen

More than 400,000 kids are in the U.S. Foster system today. In California alone, there are 60,000 in care. For many, change is the only constant. They live in different homes with different people, switching schools frequently. Many become homeless after they exit the system as young adults.

Album Cover / Resized and cropped

The music you’re hearing today is by pianist Manny Moka. Perhaps you’ve heard him on the “Jazz After Hours” program from PRI. 

Does Urban Shield help or harm?

Sep 7, 2016
Sandhya Dirks

Mass shootings, natural catastrophes, hostage situations — all of these will be taking place in Alameda County this weekend. But don’t worry! They're all a part of elaborate mock scenario drills for the 10th annual Urban Shield, one of the largest law enforcement training exercises in the country. 

Berkeley-based singer songwriter Diana Gameros comes from Ciudad Juárez — a Mexican border town ripped apart by violent drug cartels. Gameros hasn’t been home in 13 years. 

Courtesy of Diana Gameros, Resized

This music is by Diana Gameros of San Francisco. She describes herself as "a young indie artist at the borderlands between cultures, languages, and genres."

Sayra Trejo


One of the most popular parks in the country is just north of the Golden Gate bridge in Marin County. It’s so close to San Francisco that Muir Woods National Monument hosts close to one million visitors a year.

Angela Johnston

California has suffered more than 5,000 wildfires this year, and we’ve only reached the beginning of the season. Just last week, more than 10,000 firefighters were battling blazes throughout the state – fires largely fueled by already-dead, dry trees.

Photo courtesy of Alicia Reyes


The Alameda County Bookmobile tours the county with books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and most everything else you can find at your local library. 

This music is by Aireene Espiritu, a singer/songwriter living in Oakland. She mostly plays original songs incorporating Latin and African rhythms, folk, and inspirations from gospel music – your basic mix of Americana. 

Guess this Bay Area sound! Sept. 4, 2016

Sep 6, 2016
Illustration by Rich Black.


This is Audiograph — the Bay Area’s sonic treasure hunt. Each week, we’ll play you a sound recorded somewhere in the Bay Area.

Used under license from Google Images (commercial use & modifications allowed / cropped from original)

No guns for marijuana users ... Weedmaps’ tainted reviews ... Cannabis: an alternative to opiates? ... Cannabis goes to the fair ... Opinion ... and more.


Review of recent California cannabis legislation // East Bay Express

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: Sproul Plaza

Sep 1, 2016

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.

An alternative to calling 911 in the Tenderloin

Sep 1, 2016
Concrn (resized and cropped)


Jacob Savage almost became a cop. He spent high school and college going on police ride-alongs, wearing a uniform and a bulletproof vest.

Photo courtesy of Aya De Leon

If you came of age in the 90’s in the Bay you might be familiar with Aya de Leon. She was a local slam poet hero who found fame touring the states with her hip hop theater show, Thieves in the Temple. Now, she’s out with her first novel, Uptown Thief, which she calls a “feminist heist novel.”

9/1: An alternative to calling 911

Sep 1, 2016

Photo by Don Meehan, Courtesy of GG Park Band // Resized and Cropped

Today’s local music is by the Golden Gate Park Band of San Francisco. This group’s origins trace back to 1882, when it was created to support the California National Guard. 

Photo courtesy of Rue Mapp


One of the Bay Area’s main attractions is its proximity to nature. Only 45 minutes separate Bay Area residents from arriving at the ocean, the mountains, or a hiking trail. But not everybody experiences the Bay Area’s natural beauty.

8/31: Opioid addiction in San Francisco

Aug 31, 2016

Photo courtesy of flickr user ep_jhu


The drug Fentanyl has been at the center of San Francisco’s recent opiate overdose outbreaks. It’s a drug 100 times more potent than morphine, according to Philip Coffin, the Director of the Substance Abuse Research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health.