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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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Sonja Hutson

Oversized-vehicle parking bans are leaving people who sleep in RVs and vans searching for places to park and live, and leaving public officials trying to balance their empathy for those people with public nuisance complaints.

9/25: A new tenants' movement

Sep 25, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents

  • Marin County residents push for stricter regulations on RV parking, leaving the people who live in them scrambling.
  • Renters and their advocates made a big statement last week with a series of coordinated actions all across the country and here in the Bay Area.
  • A shelter in San Jose protecting the pets of people without homes.

Dragon boat racing in the Bay Area

Sep 22, 2017


This weekend, the Bay waters will be filled with dragons. Well … dragon boats, anyway. The Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival takes place at Lake Merritt Saturday and Sunday. So, what’s Dragon Boat racing about?


Chuck Grimmett - Used under license from Google Images (noncommercial reuse with modification / cropped from original)

Jeff Sessions still doesn’t like pot ... California Assembly takes up marijuana rescheduling question ... Industrial property in Santa Rosa booming due to cannabis ... Health and more.

Jen Olenik

Dr. Emily Silverman noticed that she and her colleagues were missing a creative outlet for processing their professional experiences. So, she created the live storytelling event, The Nocturnist.

Laura Wenus


The narrowly averted closure of a special care facility at St. Luke’s hospital in San Francisco highlights a bigger problem in the region — and even statewide.


9/21: Patients and providers

Sep 21, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents: As one group of patients wins a reprieve, cities grapple with the problem of providing extended nursing care. Doctors and health-care workers, meanwhile, get it off their chests at a live-storytelling series created just for them — The Nocturnists.

Tune in to 91.7 FM at 5:00 p.m.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

A number of immigration-related bills passed the California Assembly last Friday on the last day of the legislative session. These bills and hundreds of others are now headed to Governor Brown’s desk. They're part of a set that Democrats introduced as an act of "resistance" to Donald Trump.

Here's a list of the bills discussed:

Tofu / Creative Commons Flickr

San Francisco is suing five of the world's largest oil and gas companies for the costs of sea walls and other infrastructure needed to protect against climate change.

Lenny Gonzalez


When SF Music Day first started, it was called Chamber Music Day. While the name has changed over the years, the heart of the one-day festival has not.

JoAnn Mar

There's an increased use of live music at Bay Area’s major hospitals and hospices to bring healing and comfort to people who are near death.

9/20: Music as palliative care

Sep 20, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • The bills that the California Assembly passed to protect immigrants — and the one that didn’t.
  • What SF Music Day means to local performer Destiny Muhammad.
  • How music brings comfort and healing to people nearing the end of life.

9/19: Kaepernick

Sep 19, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • An updated broadcast of the KALW original radio documentary "Kaepernick" 

"San Quentin State Prison" by Zboralski. Used under CC BY-SA 3.0.

More than two-thirds of the inmates in California's state prisons are Latino or African American, according to the most recent census. More than 1,000 military veterans are admitted annually.

Photo courtesy of John Sasaki

It’s not only football players protesting during the national anthem. Members of the Oakland Unified School District Honors Band also discussed ways to take part.

Photo courtesy of Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group

This story originally aired in November of 2016.

On September 10, 2016 football players from Mission High School in San Francisco were headed to a game in Redwood City. They were led by San Francisco Chronicle 2015 football player of the year Niamey Harris, a 17-year-old senior quarterback from Bayview.

Photo courtesy of flickr user Sam Howzit

Colin Kaepernick ignited a heated conversation over race and patriotism with a simple gesture involving the national anthem.


We’re all familiar with the song; it’s played at the beginning of major sporting events in the United States.

Screenshot from Al Jazeera English.

This story has been updated since it originally aired in November of 2016.

For many people, this is a time to reflect on what it means to live in the United States. The election season revealed a divided nation, and many folks are saying they feel like strangers in their own country. Clearly, many already did.

Incidents of police misconduct here in the Bay Area and nationwide have fueled widespread public concern. That’s what inspired filmmaker Pete Nicks to make his documentary movie “The Force,” which is out right now.

Aidan Wakely-Mulroney / Creative Commons Flickr


State legislators put in a 48-hour marathon session before going on recess, passing hundreds of bills on to Governor Brown who must pass or veto them by October 15.

THE INTERSECTION: Getting to Googletown

Sep 18, 2017

THE INTERSECTION looks at change in the Bay Area through physical intersections and street corners — where different cultures, desires and histories meet every day.

9/18: A sneak preview of The Intersection

Sep 18, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  •  A new season of David Boyer’s celebrated series The Intersection, exploring a corner smack in the middle of Google's headquarters in Mountain View.

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

Hawaii’s plan for cannabis banking ... Kidnapped dispensary worker still missing ... Senator’s punny medical bill announcement ... Teen pot use continues to drop ... and more.


A federal judge declared Colorado’s sex-offender registry unconstitutional earlier this month, ruling that making sex-offenders' addresses, ages and photos accessible to the public is cruel and unusual punishment. Now, an effort to reform California’s own sex-offender registry is raising questions and concerns.


San Quentin Radio: Lockdown

Sep 14, 2017
Nigel Poor

A lockdown happens when correctional officers decide there is a threat to the safety and security of a prison. That might be a fight, an assault, or a race riot. So what's it like in a lockdown? 



Aeeshah Clottey grew up black in segregated Louisiana. Her journey has taken her from the black church to the Nation of Islam, living in between the painful racial divides in the country — and always trying to find ways to mend our deep social wounds.

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • The debate about sex offender registries, redemption and public safety.
  • A story from our colleagues inside San Quentin State Prison to hear what it’s like to be on lockdown.
  • A conversation with Aeeshah Clottey about racial healing.  

Lee Romney


Being homeless takes a big toll on kids in the classroom. Today, more than 1.3 million children and youth across the country fit that legal definition, the majority of them staying temporarily with friends or family.

A revolutionary poet fans the Bay's literary fires

Sep 13, 2017

From prison activism to revolutionary poetry, author and educator Tongo Eisen-Marten's work has taken him from San Francisco to South Africa, with a stop at Riker's Island and Columbia University along the way.

9/13: Homeless students in Oakland on the rise

Sep 13, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • A mother and son who lost their housing in Oakland — and what that means for his education. 
  • A conversation about how white people can truly be allies to people of color.
  • Revolutionary poet Tongo Eisen-Martin keeps San Francisco’s literary fires burning with the release of his new book.