Crosscurrents

Monday-Thursday at 5pm

Crosscurrents is KALW Public Radio's award-winning news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community.

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BAY AREA BOOK WORLD BREAKING NEWS

Crosscurrents: December 15, 2011

Dec 15, 2011

Dangers of eating the fish you catch in the Bay, rising sea levels and what that means for the Bay Area, sea shanties, and local musician Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic.

Local Music: Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic

Dec 15, 2011
Photo courtesy of http://www.luckysun215.org/

Are you ready for a break from Christmas carols?  If so, you might want to know that Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic is playing next Wednesday, December 21, at the Elbo Room on Valencia Street in San Francisco.

They open for another feel-good band: the California Honeydrops.  Both groups get you up on your feet, so be prepared to dance!

Music starts about 9pm.

The War in Iraq has come to a formal end; the flag will be lowered today. Yesterday, President Obama addressed soldiers in an aircraft hangar at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Obama said that, unlike previous empires, the United States did not invade other states for "territories or resources" but "because it is right." Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said Iraqis were glad the US troops were leaving. He told the BBC, "These have been difficult years...”

The increasing need for food assistance is one piece of a bigger problem in California: increasing poverty. Nearly six million Californians are part of families living below the federal poverty level – that’s an average of no more than 22,000 dollars a year for a family of four.

Photo courtesy of The Food Pantry

The state of California produces more than half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts. Still, U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics from the last few years show that more than 14 percent of Californians are food insecure. Food security is a term that describes a person or family’s access to adequate and nutritious food.

Crosscurrents: December 14

Dec 14, 2011

An all-volunteer-run food pantry in Potrero Hill; a conversatoin with Cedric Brown, chair of Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy; and local musician Tommy Guerrero.

Going somewhere?  If it’s through San Francisco Airport on a Wednesday or Friday, between now and December 23, you can hear some live local music while you’re there. The annual “Hear It Now” concerts take place between 11am and 2pm on those dates.

Occupy protesters contributed to a loss of $4-8 million for the Port of Oakland last Monday after attempting to shut down shipping activity. The port generates about $8.5 million per day, and the losses could cause a ripple effect in companies around the world...

People losing their homes has been a national problem, ever since the housing bubble burst, leading the country into recession. A new federal report has revealed that real estate speculation was largely to blame.

Crosscurrents: December 13, 2011

Dec 13, 2011

The skyrocketing number of homeless families in San Francisco; ways to keep families from foreclosing; a great grandmother tells her story of eviction; what a high school student thinks of gentrification; and SF singer-songwriter Misisipi Wolf.

Living in San Francisco, one becomes familiar with the variety in culture, each one seeming to have its own neighborhood. For Hispanics and Latinos, this neighborhood is the Mission.

Until 2002, Adrian Allen was working a good paying job in construction.

“I went to school for construction,” she says. “Graduated at the top of my class. I was the only female on an all-men’s crew.”

West coast protests disrupt ports

Dec 13, 2011
Photo by Julie Caine

Occupy protesters marched on ports from Anchorage to San Diego Monday in a coordinated action designed to shut down operations.

Jen Chien

Josephine Tolbert’s house is locked. It has a “No Trespassing” sign posted on the front door, but through the small lace-curtained windows at the front of the house, she can still see her daycare business.

“We have a little table where the kids draw, and play little games. There's a radio in the back that plays kiddie music, and they do their little kiddie dance. And its a wonderful daycare, I love it and the kids love it … It is beautiful, I wish you could get in there,” she describes.

Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park is set to become Hellman Meadow if the Recreation & Park Department approves the plan unanimously passed last week by the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors. The name change would honor Warren Hellman, the financial and spiritual force behind the three-day free music fest known as Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. But festival neighbors see this motion as being out of tune with their concerns.

Newly-elected mayor Ed Lee wants to eliminate homelessness in San Francisco, and he says the magic number to do it is three million -- dollars, that is. $500,000 of those dollars come from a Dave Matthews Band fundraising concert in 2005...

65% of California adults support Governor Jerry Brown's  plan to raise sales and income taxes on people that earn over $250,000 a year...

What's brewing in San Francisco

Dec 12, 2011
photo by Brian Pelletier

Brewing beer is a complete sensory experience. I can feel the heat on the stove top as the grains and water are boiled to make the wort, the smell of hops fills the kitchen. Later, I can hear yeast feasting on the freshly brewed wort and see the release of the gaseous bubbles that result.

Making beer is like learning a fine art – one that’s been nourished here in the Bay Area for more than 200 years. And as a San Francisco-based homebrewer, I wanted to find out more about our fermenting forebears.

San Francisco’s brewing history

Under CC license from S_falkow. http://www.flickr.com/photos/safari_vacation/5929769873/

It’s been a significant year for criminal justice in the Bay Area, but many of the challenges have come late in the year.

“Crosscurrents” goes live for December MAPP

Dec 8, 2011

The KALW news team and guests took the stage at the Polish Club SF on December 3rd for an evening of multimedia storytelling as part of the Mission Arts and Performance Project (MAPP). The theme of the night was “Beginnings and Endings.” Performers included Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington, John Reichmuth of the comedy troupe Kasper Hauser, StoryCorps, and New York Times and Pop-Up Magazine contributor Jon Mooallem. KALW’s own reporters told ghost stories, love stories and stories about the end of the world.

Early this morning police took down San Francisco’s Occupy encampment – the last large Occupy camp in the Bay Area. Seventy people were arrested, a few on felony charges of assaulting an officer…

The Berkeley theater company Shotgun Players started performing twenty years ago in the basement of a Berkeley pizzeria. Now it’s got its own building, but the company has stuck with its founding principles: taking on little-known or brand new plays and working hard to create theater for the community.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the company is presenting an entire season of world premieres: five brand new plays.

Under CC license, Flickr user 401K

That 52-inch flat-screen TV you just bought your loved one (or yourself) for the holidays should be arriving any day now. And what a deal – nice picture, good price, delivered right to your door. And since you made the purchase online, you weren’t charged California sales tax for that shiny new piece of technology.

Here’s the thing though: there’s a good chance you owe the California government some money. And the state needs it. You know it and Governor Jerry Brown knows it.

In an attempt to prevent deeper cuts to schools and other public services, Governor Jerry Brown has filed a ballot measure that would increase the sales tax by half a cent and income taxes by one or two percent, depending on annual salary. People who earn less than $250,000 will not see any change in their income tax rate. A number of outside groups have filed alternative tax measures as well, so tax hikes in California may be inevitable...

High-speed rail looking more uncertain

Dec 5, 2011

While BART managers are trying to bring the Bay Area’s rail system into the future, state officials are trying to bring a new train system into existence. High-speed rail is supposed to whisk passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just two and a half hours. It’s a controversial project, though, and over the past few months it’s gotten even more controversial. KALW’s transportation reporter Julie Caine has more.

HOLLY KERNAN: Julie, we know the price tag for high-speed rail has now gone up to an estimated $100 billion. What is happening?

Photo courtesy of Dave Wong

In San Francisco, you don’t have to go to a stuffy night club or a formal classroom to learn how to swing dance. If you want to learn the Lindy Hop, you can learn in the great outdoors.

KALW’s Carolina Hidalgo, who is originally from Chile, found the group called Lindy in the Park, dancing in full daylight on one of her walks in Golden Gate Park. She brings us this profile for the next installment of Meet Your Neighbors.

Technology has done great things for medicine: Machines can help keep hearts beating and lungs breathing. Electronic medical records help doctors keep track of their patients’ treatment and prevent mistakes. But all that technology needs a lot of monitoring – and that can be frustrating for nurses who want to be tending people, not machines.

To combat this problem, healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente is implementing a new program to help nurses relax a bit, and shift their focus back to what’s really important.  KALW’S Christopher Connelly has more on what they’re doing.

Under CC license from Lukasz Lech. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gibffe/2497417145/

Tonight, a show called "Weed Wars" is premiering on the Discovery Channel, and it’s entirely based on the Bay Area medical marijuana trade. The premiere has interesting timing: Yesterday, a U.S. District judge in Oakland rejected a request from dispensaries to keep federal prosecutors from filing charges against them. It’s the latest in a series of events that have been challenging California marijuana advocates, kicked off by Melinda Haag, the U.S.

The education of young people is increasingly, if not exclusively, coming from the internet. And a big part of it is from the website Wikipedia. The English-language version alone has more than three million entries. It’s consistently ranked as one of the most visited websites in the world, after Facebook and before Twitter. And in the last few years, Wikipedia has started spreading to college classrooms, but not without its share of controversies and concerns.

California is home to more than 55,000 foster kids - the largest population in the country. And, the one place in the state where most of those kids come together is in public school. Jetaine Hart, a former foster youth and current educational mentor in Alameda County, argues that’s where we should be putting resources to help foster kids – kids who often shuffle from school to school and have unstable home lives.

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