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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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Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

As American cities recover from floods, hurricanes and violent political demonstrations, we take a look at one of San Francisco’s more unusual tools for disaster response.

Courtesy PG&E

Pacific Gas & Electric put a historic worker exchange into effect, sending 100 linemen from the Peninsula and East Bay to help restore power for thousands of customers in Florida.  KALW's Ben Trefny speaks with PG&E's Mayra Tostado about the agreement, who takes part, and how the crew hunkered down to weather the storm. 



Click the audio player above to hear the full interview. 

Intervention class aims to disrupt harassment

Sep 11, 2017
Hana Baba


You’re sitting on a train, and the guy next to you starts verbally attacking another passenger with racial slurs. Or homophobic, anti-Semitic or Islamophobic slurs. What do you do?

9/11: What to do when you witness harassment

Sep 11, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Sitting in on a bystander intervention class.
  • A conversation  with AC Thompson, a reporter with ProPublica’s ‘Documenting Hate’ project.
  • San Francisco's secret weapon for disaster response: old Muni buses.
  • A story from our partners at San Quentin Radio about a man's unusual relationship with nature.


By Pixabay user gomopix. Licensed under Creative Commons CC0/cropped.

White House wants info on medical users ... Breakdown on today’s cannabis buyers ... No increase in teen use in Washington ... Cannabis and pregnancy ... and more.

Was there ever an exotic zoo in Glen Canyon?

Sep 7, 2017
From the San Francisco Chronicle, July 18, 1897. Courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library, Articles and Databases.

KALW listener Richard Goldman wanted to know if there was ever an exotic zoo in Glen Canyon, and whether there was a railroad that connected the canyon to downtown San Francisco. 

Tyler Gourley


When he was 16 years old, Bryant Terry became vegan.

Courtesy of the Center For Asian American Media

Thao Nguyen is known for her music, and for the band she's led for the past 10 years — Thao and the Get Down Stay Down.

Chemicals without borders: Unearthing the Green Revolution

Sep 7, 2017


Unearthing the Green Revolution, Part III: California's industrial approach to agriculture has long served as a model for government officials in Punjab, India, which dramatically increased crop yields decades ago as part of the high-tech, chemically supplemented Green Revolution. Yet the cost for Punjabi farmers has been a legacy of pesticide reliance, debt, and the hopes for a better life in other countries. 

9/7: Unearthing the Green Revolution

Sep 7, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • How massive chemical companies impacted farming in India, leading to large scale migration to California.
  • A conversation with food activist and chef Bryant Terry. 
  • Musician Thao Nguyen talks about a new documentary that captures her first ever trip to Vietnam.
  • Answering your questions about Glen Canyon.

Gurdeep Singh Dhaliwal


Unearthing the Green Revolution, Part IIThe story of how agriculture became agribusiness in California and around the world begins in Punjab, India, where the Green Revolution didn't just change how farmers work the land; it changed how they live. 


Today on Crosscurrents

  • San Jose residents speak out against a proposal to build "tiny homes" for the homeless.
  • Exploring the roots of agribusiness in Punjab, India, and the Central Valley.


How rescinding DACA will impact the Bay Area

Sep 5, 2017
Cropped and resized with permission from Alex Chris / Flickr


Today the Trump Administration announced plans to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which was created by an executive order signed by President Obama. 


Gurdeep Singh Dhaliwal


Unearthing the Green Revolution, Part I: California's fertile Central Valley is home to a sizable community of farmers from Punjab in India, a region also famous for its rich cropland. Why they came to the United States is a story as layered and complex as the politics and science of the crops they cultivate. 

9/5: From Punjab to the Central Valley

Sep 5, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • A conversation with Sally Kinoshita, deputy director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center about the Trump administration's decision to phase out DACA.
  • How a community of Punjabi farmers ended up in California.

By Pixabay user noexcuseradio. Licensed under Creative Commons CC0/cropped.

City insider heads San Francisco Office of Cannabis ... Oakland SWAT team saves grow site ... California has cannabis jobs ... Lawsuits loom over cannabis copyright infringements ... and more.

DJ Celskiii and DJ Deeandroid: Bay Area Beats

Aug 31, 2017
Courtesy of DJ Celskiii and DJ Deeandroid


You know what scratching sounds like, right? It’s the "ziggah ziggah" noise that happens when a DJ moves vinyl records back and forth under the needle.

Boawen Wang


At the corner of 17th and Broadway in Oakland, there’s a large neon green sign with black letters that reads “Youth Radio.” Its graduates have have worked with some of the Bay’s biggest rappers and engineered some of the most popular local songs of the last decade.

Thizz What It Is: A look into hyphy with Nump

Aug 31, 2017


In order to fully understand the sound of beat makers today, it’s important to understand their influences.

8/31: Bay Area hip-hop

Aug 31, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • An interview with Bay Area rapper Nump. 
  • Exploring a training ground for young beat makers.
  • A Bay Area Beats with DJ's Celskiii and Deeandroid. 

It’s throwback Thursday, when we go back to the Summer of Love, in 1967... 

Today’s music is by Jimi Hendrix, a Seattle performer who is spending a lot of time in San Francisco these days. He’s getting a lot of attention for his fiery guitar playing — and we mean that literally. 

You can expect to find Jimi Hendrix taking the stage at the Winter Ballroom in San Francisco, where he plays often.

Andy Bosselman

In the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the San Francisco Police Department may be preventing injection drug users from getting clean needles. That could violate the department’s own guidelines — and have deadly consequences.

Photo by Mark Hogan cropped and reused under CC

After failing to make a deal last year, state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown vowed to take action to address California's housing crisis. They just might get it done this week.

Kevin Wong at Right Angle Images


Writer and performer Baruch Porras-Hernandez is a busy man. He hosts the Shipwreck Fan Fiction Competition and podcast in San Francisco, he founded the Latinx performer showcase Donde Esta Mi Gente, and he performs regularly with The Moth, Radar Productions and Literary Death Match.

8/30: Inside a syringe access program on Haight Street

Aug 30, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Are San Francisco police officers discouraging drug users from getting clean needles?
  • Lawmakers push legislation to ease California’s housing crisis
  • A conversation with poet and performer Baruch Porras-Hernandez

San Quentin Radio: The barbers of San Quentin

Aug 29, 2017

Getting a haircut can make a person feel good. For the men in San Quentin, it's no different. Some of the barbers are paid to cut hair. Others volunteer to do so. It can be a complex process, but it's important in the prison environment.

Angela Johnston

Three years ago a major earthquake rattled the Bay Area. Napa Valley was hit the hardest: 200 people were injured, one person died and the total financial damage in the area was almost a billion dollars. It was also the first time an experimental early warning system called Shake Alert notified researchers of a major quake before it actually happened. If researchers secure enough funding, we may have more time to duck, cover and hold on before the next big one.

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • California looks to expand its earthquake early-warning system. 
  • The backstory of Bruce Lee's formative years in the Bay Area.
  • A story from San Quentin Radio about the barbers of San Quentin. 

Bruce Lee's Bay Area roots

Aug 29, 2017
Courtesy of Barney Scollan

Bruce Lee is admired around the world for his legendary martial artistry, and his film and TV roles — but less known are his early years in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This Stanford grad student was one of the first Trump travel-ban detainees

Aug 28, 2017
"JFK Protest" by CC Flickr User Gabriel F, resized and recropped

Nisrin Elamin Abdelrahman is a Stanford doctoral student in anthropology. A citizen of Sudan, she was flying back to the United States from her academic field work when President Trump issued the first iteration of his travel ban.