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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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Bay Area perspectives on the Affordable Care Act

Jan 10, 2017
Cari Spivack / KALW

Doctors, nurses, and medical students stood outside of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital this week in their lab coats and scrubs, holding signs that said “Protect our patients” and “Keep America covered.”

1/10: The future of health care

Jan 10, 2017

  • As Congress prepares for a showdown over the Affordable Care Act, locals prepare for the consequences.
  • Doctors want to help ready patients for end-of-life care.

Photo courtesy of DISH SF

San Francisco used to be full of Single Room Occupancy hotels—cheap dorm-style places for people to live. These days, only a few SRO’s remain, with about 19,000 San Franciscans living in them. Today we’ll get to know another one of these residents, for our series of SRO Stories.


When you think of school, you might not think of prison. But in 2014, approximately 47,600 young people in California actually attended school inside juvenile hall. Those schools are called “court schools.”

Mary Rees


It’s rare for a play to make its Bay Area premiere on Alcatraz, but then, this is no ordinary play — and the Poetic Justice Project is no ordinary theater company.

The Daniel Castro Blues Band brings their musical talents to the Club Fox in Redwood City on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Music starts at 7 p.m.

Guess this Bay Area sound! January 9, 2017

Jan 9, 2017
Illustration by Rich Black.

This is Audiograph — the Bay Area’s sonic signature. Each week, we’ll play you a sound recorded somewhere in the Bay Area. Your job? Listen to the sound (in the player above), figure out where it was recorded and what it is, then call to let us know.

1/9: The students of San Francisco Juvenile Hall

Jan 9, 2017


“Buzzed driving” bill introduced ... Medical dispensaries prepare for recreational customers ... California working on banking fix ... Thousands of joints to be distributed at presidential inauguration ... and more.

By Flickr user Gary Denham, under CC//resized and recropped

Last year, hackers obtained and released the emails of Democratic Party leaders, potentially affecting the presidential election. Earlier this fall, Yahoo! revealed that 500 million users had been hacked, only to disclose last month that another 1 billion accounts had been breached by a different attack in 2013.

Under CC license from Flickr user Beatrice Murch

In San Francisco’s Richmond District, where Geary Boulevard meets Park Presidio, there stands a bright, white, defunct Christian Science church. There are big white columns out front, with pink steps leading up to iron double doors.

But what goes on inside this church is not quite what you’d expect.


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. 


Today's Local Music: Yassou

Jan 5, 2017
Amy Harrity cropped and sized with permission

Today’s local music is by San Francisco band, Yassou. Billboard magazine recommends that they “should be on your radar." Yassou is one of several artists appearing at a benefit for those involved in Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire. That’s happening at the Starline Social Club, in Oakland, on Saturday, Jan. 7, starting at 8 p.m. sharp.

1/5: Cybersecurity in the digital age

Jan 5, 2017



Disability rights lawyer Lainey Feingold is known for negotiating landmark accessibility agreements. She pioneered a dispute resolution method called “Structured Negotiations.” Instead of suing companies to be more accessible to the disabled, she talks to them, builds relationships, and brings her disabled clients to the negotiating table. Feingold is the author of  Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits.

Angela Johnston

This week promises lots of rain for the Bay Area — but too much of a good thing can sometimes turn bad. Erosion, mudslides and flooding are a danger.

1/4: Oakland picks a new police chief

Jan 4, 2017

  • After seven months, Oakland picks a new police chief.
  • The rain worries neighbors of a creek that divides two cities.
  • A disability rights lawyer explains why bringing clients to the negotiating table can be more effective than lawsuits.

The Specialist: Snap Judgment

Jan 3, 2017
Photo by Casey Miner

Every time we go out and interview people for our show, all kinds of specialists, they’re curious about what we do. They hear some back episodes, take a look at the recording gear, and say 'wow, your job is so interesting.'

FAR-West 2012 PGS


What you’re hearing now is the singing, and ukulele playing, of Aireene Espiritu.  Espiritu is part of a fundraising concert for The Little Village Foundation. This group supports performers from non-traditional backgrounds who would never have heard their music recorded otherwise. All proceeds from CD sales and concerts go to the artists. 

1/3: Meet Snap Judgement's story sculptor

Jan 3, 2017

  • In the season finale of The Specialist, we pull back the curtain on the craft of podcasting.
  • A bonus story from Glynn Washington, host of the podcast Snap Judgment, about happily failing in a dull job.

Live storytelling from San Quentin

Jan 2, 2017
Photo by Peter Merts


Today we have a rare opportunity to hear from the men in the San Quentin Wednesday Night Creative Writing Class, in a live storytelling event inside the prison's education center.

1/2: Live from San Quentin

Jan 2, 2017

Members of the San Quentin Creative Writing Class present the stories they've been writing to fellow inmates and guests at a live event inside the prison.

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

Murder for hire leads to marijuana charge ... Update on CBD classification ... Mexico importing medical cannabis from California ... Better golfing through cannabis ... and more.

East Bay Express

The deadline for submitting an essay has been extended to Jan. 11. See details below! 

by Pixabay user urguru. Licensed under Creative Commons CC0/cropped.

California recreational cannabis laws could stall sales ... New restrictions on CBD ... Santa Rosa extraction firm now legal ... Petitions, Health, and more.

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: Lost Landscapes

Dec 15, 2016
Claire Mullen / cropped and resized

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.

Hannah Kingsley-Ma


In a sun-filled classroom at an Oakland high school, a room full of adults are learning English.

Every year, post offices around the country are inundated with letters to Santa Claus asking for toys, candy, puppies and more. For 103 years the post office and its volunteers have been answering these letters as part of the Letters to Santa program.

San Francisco Girls Chorus

Looking for a holiday event like no other? Then you might consider this year’s concert by the San Francisco Girls Chorus, called “A Highlands Holiday.” Choristers will present seasonal works and sing-alongs, and they’ll be joined by local bagpipers! 

12/15: Letters to Santa

Dec 15, 2016


  • Teaching immigrant parents English can help the educational experience of their kids.
  • What happens to all those letters written to Santa.
  • The story behind this week’s Audiograph mystery sound.