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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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Free Press

Calling all young Richmond storytellers! Do you want to learn how to tell stories in sound? Get the basics for sound recording, editing, and making your own podcast or radio show? Tell stories about where you live? KALW Public Radio is partnering with RYSE Center to offer a 6-week audio storytelling workshop!

5/3: What do you mean I sound white?

May 3, 2017


Jaimal Yogis is a San Francisco author who lives at Ocean Beach with his wife and three sons. He spent many years traveling the world seeking spiritual enlightenment. That time is captured in his upcoming book All Our Waves Are Water: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment and the Perfect Ride. Jaimal sat down with a fellow surfer, KALW’s Ben Trefny, to talk about it.

Claire Stremple


Many people with physical disabilities have been told that they can’t do things like hike, camp, rock climb, or bowl. Lori Gray says they can. She runs an outdoor adventure group for Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, or BORP. It’s an organization with a mission to get people with disabilities involved in sports and recreation.

East Bay bike bridge opens seven days a week

May 2, 2017
Courtesy Bike East Bay

Starting today, the bike path on the East Span of the Bay Bridge is finally open seven days a week. It's the last milestone for a construction project that began eight years ago.

5/2: Living life with disability

May 2, 2017

Instead of working just one job for a single employer, more and more people are becoming gig workers: folks who consult, freelance, contract, temp, and do jobs on-call—often through smartphone apps. But there’s one kind of gig worker that’s been around for centuries: musicians. Reporter Shereen Adel finds out how they make it work. 

Jeremy Dalmas

Parking isn’t easy in San Francisco.

Courtesy of Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society


The Migration Policy Institute estimates that the number of immigrant workers in the U.S. has tripled since 1970. As foreign born workers and their children make homes in the U.S., they often face a society that sees them as 'other.'

On strike and in the streets on May Day

May 1, 2017
Josiah Luis Alderette


Demonstrators spoke out in cities around the Bay Area today, on behalf of immigrant workers.

The blocky Vaillancourt Fountain near San Francisco's Ferry Building has been controversial since its installation in the 1970s. One issue that's dogged the fountain for decades? It's often dry. Listener Ingrid Roseborough wrote to Hey Area wondering why. Click the player above the hear the answer. 

5/1: International Workers

May 1, 2017

Are women prepared for HIV PrEP?

Apr 28, 2017
Chloe Lessard


Did you know that you can take a drug to reduce your risk of getting HIV? If you’re a gay man, you’ve probably heard of it. It’s a daily regimen called PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis. Maybe you’ve even seen ads for it on BART trains or clinic brochures, usually targeting men who sleep with other men.

In the 1980s, the term “sanctuary” was used in the context of churches that sheltered individuals and families fleeing war in the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Pro-pot legislation progresses in California Assembly ... Nevada not afraid of the Feds ... Postal Service won’t deliver tax money ... “Your brain on drugs, 2.0” ... and more. 

Ashleyanne Krigbaum

We played you this sound, and asked you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

Bryon Malik


Oakland Voices correspondent Kat Ferreira lives near the remains of the Ghost Ship warehouse—where 36 people died in a fire in December. She brings us this story about how a new mural is helping some neighbors process the tragedy and move on.

Editted and cropped with permission

Today’s local music is by Dirty Denim, an all-girl band using elements of sixties garage rock and garage punk.  Should they call themselves girls? You can take it up with them when Dirty Denim appears Sunday at Bottom of the Hill in their hometown of San Francisco.

4/27: PrEP extends its reach

Apr 27, 2017

  • Women are slowly picking up a drug that prevents HIV.
  • A memorial to help Oakland's Fruitvale community grieve the Ghost Ship fire.
  • A waterway tour of a little-known island in Contra Costa County.

Representative Ro Khanna jumps into the fray

Apr 26, 2017

Ro Khanna is the freshman representative for California’s 17th district. A former college educator from Fremont, he was appointed by former President Obama to work with the U.S. Department of Commerce. He ran for Congress and lost to Mike Honda in 2014, but ran again and defeated Honda last November.

Margo Moritz

Live music and dance go together like peanut butter and jelly. But what happens if you actually dance with the instruments making the music? What if that instrument is a double bass that’s almost as big as the dancers?

Today’s local music is by Oakland musician Alex Jimenez,  a veteran of the Bay Area open mike scene. You can hear Alex Jimenez Saturday, April 29 when he plays the Bazaar Café in San Francisco.

4/26: Governing in the age of Trump

Apr 26, 2017

  • An interview with former Rep. Mike Honda and his successor Rep. Ro Khanna
  • Choreographer Risa Jaroslow and composer and bassist Lisa Mezzacappa on experimenting with the interplay of dancers and music.

Matthew Beardsley / cropped and resized

The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir brings together singers from many faiths and walks of life, united in their passion for black gospel and spiritual music. The choir is hosting its very first international interfaith gospel music conference

Photo by Bill Joyce

Most artists follow their visions in the privacy of their studios, but one Oakland artist is re-defining public space: a park. Laila Espinoza is a community artist — one whose art touches larger social themes while engaging the surrounding community. She does all this at Athol Plaza Park in Oakland nearly every weekend.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 2,000 people have been exonerated after false convictions since 1989. Men of color are disproportionately victims of the injustice.

4/25: Exonerated

Apr 25, 2017

Local Music: Cocktails

Apr 25, 2017

This nice music? It’s by a band called Cocktails. Their motto is, “Nice pop music for nice pop people.”

photo by Julie Caine


Climate change is an issue that can be hard for some to prioritize. It’s abstract. We can read the charts and the statistics—but is there a way to feel it? The Bay Area’s Climate Music Project at UC Berkeley wants to make the experience visceral.

If you’ve driven across the Bay Bridge this month you probably noticed the banner above the Treasure Island Tunnel that says “Armenian Genocide 1915.” It's been just over a century since the Ottoman Empire began to systematically kill what would eventually be 1.5 million Armenians. Waves of refugees immigrated to the Bay Area, fleeing the killings. Today, tens of thousands of people of Armenian descent live here.