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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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Got a comment, tip, or a story we should cover? Email or call (415) 264-7106

Hey Area: Will BART damage my hearing?

Sep 22, 2016
Eli Wirtschafter


Every morning, Michael Mackin gets on BART with two bags. There’s a satchel where he keeps all his work stuff, and a backpack where he carries Cooper and Jetta, his two adorable papillions.

Courtesy of Stroy Moyd // Resized and cropped

Bay Area comedian Stroy Moyd was born in East Oakland, moved to Berkeley as a teen, and now performs all over the Bay, and beyond. The twenty-something has been doing stand-up since he was 16, inspired by his dad's sense of humor and way with words.

9/22: Can BART damage my hearing?

Sep 22, 2016

9/21: The family of Luis Góngora calls for answers

Sep 21, 2016

Prop 63 takes aim at ammo sales

Sep 21, 2016
Photo by Lucy Kang


Boxes of ammunition are stacked on the shelves of Coyote Point Armory, a gun store in Burlingame. Owner John Parkin has been in business here for two years. On a Friday afternoon, a steady stream of customers comes in to look at handguns under the glass counters.

Adriana Camarena


Last April, Luis Góngora— a homeless man living in the Mission District—  was fatally shot by San Francisco police.  In the days following the incident, the community expressed outrage over the excessive force used against him and demanded answers from the SFPD.

Julie Caine


In January 1969, two members of the Black Panther Party – Alprentice ‘Bunchy’ Carter and John Huggins – were shot and killed on the campus of UCLA.

San Quentin Prison Report: A nephew's forgiveness

Sep 21, 2016
Post News Group


In this segment from the San Quentin Prison Report, Reporter Tommy Shakur-Ross brings us the story of two inmates discovering they are linked by a murder — and how they manage forgiveness.

Photo courtesy of Diamond Davis


Football players from Mission High School in San Francisco made headlines across the country when the team, as a unit, refused to stand for the national anthem, in protest against the oppression of people of color in the U.S.



A gaggle of middle school girls are running around a soccer field in East Oakland. The scene is a blur of ponytails and mismatched cleats. Some of the girls wear a yellow chalky sunscreen in stripes across their face. It’s called thanaka, a powdered root that’s popular in Burma.

Al Letson makes art with a purpose

Sep 20, 2016

  Radio superstar Al Letson is the host of Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and the host of State of the Re:Union

  • A soccer team helps refugee teens adjust to life in and out of the classroom.
  • Past and present members of Lowell High's Black Student Union reflect on the group's history.
  • Radio superstar Al Letson on his new one-man show.

Tom Levy


Western literature’s most important books have been translated, not once, but many times. The book at the top of the charts is the Bible: more than 100 translations, and that’s just in English.

Tom Levy

If you’re familiar with Black churches you know they’re lively and uplifting places. That’s how San Francisco native Yvette Flunder remembers hers. At the Pentecostal Church she grew up in, she recalls pastors and church leaders who were tender and kind and understanding. That is, until one topic came up.

Incubating progressive leadership in the Black Church

Sep 19, 2016
Photo courtesy of Ben Trefny


Mike McBride is pastor of The Way Christian Center in Berkeley. He’s also the Director of Urban Strategies for the PICO National Network of progressive, faith-based organizations.

9/19: The Spiritual Edge

Sep 19, 2016
  • An Oakland pastor turns the tables on homophobia in the church. 
  • A new translation revives the poetry and nuance of the Zohar, a Jewish mystical text. 
  • Pastor Mike McBride uses his Berkeley pulpit for social justice.

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

Prop. 64 slips in poll ... Cannabis could come to Marin hospital ... Less marijuana for youth ... Newsom’s lone stand ... and more. 


“Trends toward the negative” in Colorado after legalization // NBC Bay Area

Are you a spiritual "some," "done" or "none"?

Sep 15, 2016
Illustration by Front Group.


To me, Sunday mornings are sacred, but not for any religious reason. It’s when I head out for a weekly bike ride through Golden Gate Park, and west to Ocean Beach. But one weekend, I decide to go on a Saturday instead. 

Mission families displaced by fire still searching for home

Sep 15, 2016
Hannah Kingsley-Ma

Marcela Cordova had just finished dinner with her daughter when she started hearing the sirens. They sounded like they were getting closer and closer, so she told her daughter to stay put and opened the front door.

Photo by Truc Nguyen

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.

DIY: How to recycle water in your home

Sep 14, 2016
Patrick Smith

Think about the parts of your home where you can conserve water: there’s the shower, the sink, the toilet, and if you’ve got them, maybe a dishwasher or washing machine. You can reduce the amount of water you use, but what about reusing it? KALW’s Thea Chroman decided to learn how to reuse water spent on cleaning herself – and stuff – in a segment called D.I.Y.

Angela Johnston


When you exit Highway 101 into East Palo Alto, there’s a construction site you just can’t miss. It’s a big, brick, three-story building with huge glass windows. By early next year this building should be home to a company, and the builders hope it’s a tech startup.

Creative Commons


Author Mary Roach is prolific. Since 2003, she’s written best-selling books about cadavers, sex, ghosts, the digestive tract, and space toilets. Her latest book is ‘Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.' It delves into the very specialized science of modern combat.

9/14: Does East Palo Alto have enough water?

Sep 14, 2016

Holly McDede


Finding a new police chief can be complicated. Just ask San Francisco.

Activists, politicians, and police union members all have opinions about who should replace former chief Greg Suhr, who resigned under pressure after activists protested several officer involved shootings.

  • 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.