Monday-Thursday at 5pm

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

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UPS employee shares insights about San Francisco mass shooting

Jun 15, 2017

When Jimmy Lam opened fire inside a UPS facility in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood, killing three coworkers and then himself, many other employees escaped without physical harm. But the experience was traumatic.

6/15: Seeking compassionate release

Jun 15, 2017


  • An update on yesterday's shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco 
  • Finding a sympathetic ear in a time of need with San Francisco's warm line
  • A brother and sister fight for compassionate release prison

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

Morning shooting leaves four dead at UPS facility in San Francisco

Jun 14, 2017
Andy Bosselman

A gunman shot and killed three people and then himself in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. KALW's Laura Wenus and Andy Bosselman report on how the tragedy unfolded, the possible motives of the shooter, and what happens next.

Liza Veale


You may know Lake County for the nude retreat center Harbin Hot Springs. Maybe you know it for its marijuana farmland. Or maybe your first association with the place is just fire.

The unexpected beginnings of Armistead Maupin

Jun 14, 2017
Courtesy of Jennifer Kroot


Armistead Maupin is the veteran San Francisco writer known for his iconic series Tales of the City.

San Francisco Sherriff's Department / 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.

6/14: Lake County after the fire

Jun 14, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • After the devastating valley fire, Lake County wants to rebuild something better than what was lost
  • A new documentary tells the backstory of Armistead Maupin

photo courtesy Antique Naked Soul

Oakland's Antique Naked Soul describe themselves as a “beatbox-sing soul band,” which means they use only their own voices, looped on-stage, to create their sound, and their message.

Susan Cervantes

40 years ago Susan Cervantes and her husband Luis founded Precita Eyes Muralists in San Francisco's Mission District.

CC Flickr user Evelyn, resized and recropped


Thousands of babies are born at Stanford Children's hospital each year, and most of them go home with their parents. But for some families, the joy of giving birth becomes a nightmare.

Jarek Pepkowski

Peppino D’Agostino is a master guitarist. He’s comfortable with so many musical styles that he calls his sound “minestrone music.” 

Peppino D’Agostino will be serving up his tasty guitar licks on Friday (6/16) at the Historical Museum in Benicia. And if you miss him there, you’ll have to go to Italy — he’s playing a festival there at the end of the month. 

6/13: The cuddlers of the NICU

Jun 13, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents

  • The volunteers who help the smallest babies meet the world.

  • A conversation with Susan Cervantes, an artist who’s helped fill San Francisco with murals.

  • A Bay Area Beats with Antique Naked Soul. 

StoryCorps: A good attitude until the end

Jun 12, 2017
Courtesy of StoryCorps

Frank Hatch lived with HIV for more than 20 years, only to be diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer in 2010. For comfort and guidance, he turned to his Buddhism practice. And then, with encouragement from his nephew, he decided to do something he never thought he could: a 16-day rafting trip in the Grand Canyon.

Mark Betancourt

Gary Shepherd has spent more than half of his 45 years incarcerated — his entire adult life. In that time he’s become a self-taught scholar and a self-described spirit warrior, putting into action a deeply-held belief in the power of altruism and cooperation. All of this springs from Shepherd’s study of evolution. It’s made him what he calls an “evolutionary.”

6/12: Saved by science

Jun 12, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents: 

  • From the Spiritual Edge, a story about making meaning from behind bars.
  • A StoryCorps conversation between an uncle and a nephew remembering the trip of a lifetime.

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

DOJ reviewing federal marijuana policy ... Secret Service rethinks past cannabis use ... Customs picks up pounds of pot from peppers ... Events, health and more.

San Quentin Radio: Preparing for parole

Jun 8, 2017
Courtesy of Nigel Poor

When an inmate is up for parole, it's a chance to prove that they've been rehabilitated —  helped by  classes, self help groups and other prison programs. For many, going in front of a parole board is their last chance to appeal for freedom.

San Francisco Sheriff Department


Since the early 1960s, a big chunk of San Francisco’s criminal justice system has been living inside the Hall of Justice. With its faulty elevators and occasional flooding, the building already has a bad reputation for employees who work there.


Then there are the people who have no choice but to live there.


(Mary Hill, Amelia Hogan & Margaret Miles)
Scott Rowe (photo cropped and edited)

  The song you’re hearing now is by Ed Sheernan, being sung by Yes M’am! This a-cappella trio (Mary Hill, Amelia Hogan, Margaret Miles) sings traditional folk songs, along with music that might never be considered “folk” … until you hear their version. Yes M’am! takes part in the 41st annual San Francisco Free Folk Festival, which is happening this year at Everett Middle School on Saturday, June 10 from Noon until 10pm. 

Guess this Bay Area sound! June 3, 2017

Jun 8, 2017
Illustration by Rich Black / cropped and resized

  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.

If you think you can identify this Audiograph sound of the week, call 415-264-7106. Also, tell us where to record next. We’ll give away a KALW t-shirt every week to one lucky caller.


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Inside the Hall of Justice, where routine maintenance has gotten mired in controversy
  • San Quentin inmates give us a lesson in how to prepare for parole
  • How a tiny community in Marin landed the name Dogtown

Eli Wirtschafter

Listen to Google’s Sergey Brin, or Uber’s Travis Kalanick, and you might think we’ll wake up tomorrow in a world where no one needs to drive. But we’re not there yet.

Claire Stremple


“Oh, my god!”


Erica Deeman gasps as she walks into her solo exhibition for the first time.


“Sometimes I have to pinch myself. It is the first time I’ve seen them all in a room together, all thirty pieces framed.”

The music we’re featuring today is by singer/songwriter Mike Rufo. His music has been featured on KALW’s Saturday music programs, “A Patchwork Quilt” and “Bluegrass Signal.”

One of Mike Rufo’s music projects, called No Exit, will be part of the entertainment during the Haight Ashbury Street Fair this Sunday, June 11. 

6/7: The future of self-driving buses

Jun 7, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • A self-driving bus that’s coming soon to a parking lot near you
  • A interview with artist Taro Hattori, who creates installations to start conversations
  • How photographer Erica Deeman uses silhouettes to challenge cultural stereotypes

Putting the art back in BART

Jun 6, 2017
Reis Thebault

Travelers at the Orinda BART station are in a hurry. They don’t seem to notice the abstract, multicolored, geometric shapes on each wall. 

Claire Stremple


(Editor's note: this story was inspired by Jill Tucker's feature profile of Tim Wilson in the April 21, 2017 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.)

When it comes to making it big at anything, you’ve got to do some hard work. Behind every rock star, there are thousands of hours of practice, touring and rocking out. Of course, to rock out, you don’t actually need to know how to play an instrument – at least not at the San Francisco Regional Air Guitar Championships. There, rock gods are judged on their stage presence, technical merit, and something called “airness.”

To find out what that is, just take a listen to this story from KALW’s Christopher Connelly, who was there to witness it all firsthand.

6/6: Art on BART

Jun 6, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Why can’t BART be a gallery for public art?
  • A local hero and music teacher retires—here's what made him so special.
  • The art of air guitar.

Tune into 91.7 FM at 5:00 P.M. Audio will be uploaded after the show.