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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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For one poet, fine art and reality TV both inspire

Oct 11, 2017
Lisa Beth Anderson, resized and recropped


Poet and professor Dean Rader’s latest collection, "Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry," examines how we construct our own identities everyday using pop culture, politics, and literature. He isn’t afraid to make a wide range of references in his work, from the Internet to Expressionist art. He spoke with KALW’s Jen Chien about where he draws inspiration for his poetry.



Ana Ruth Zamora, resized and recropped


At age nine, Javier Zamora left his grandparent’s home in El Salvador and made the treacherous journey across the U.S.-Mexico border by himself.

10/11: Exploring the Bay Area's poetry scene

Oct 11, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

Lasting Letters: Leaving a legacy behind

Oct 10, 2017
Jeremy Jue


“Lasting Letters: Leaving a legacy behind” reports on legacy letters and how they are helping people prepare for death, say goodbye, and grieve loved ones after they are gone.  

10/11: Lasting Letters: Leaving a legacy behind

Oct 10, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • The latest updates on the devastating fires in the North Bay.
  • The original documentary "Lasting Letters: Leaving a legacy behind," an exploration into a letter-writing process that’s helping people prepare for death, say goodbye, and grieve after a loved one has passed

California slowly prepares for adult use sales ... Bureau of Cannabis Control plans emergency rules ... Truffle Man goes brick & mortar ... Remembering Tom Petty  and more.

Stories Behind the Fog: Briana

Oct 5, 2017
Stories Behind the Fog

Briana Johnson was homeless and struggling to remain in school. When she found the Life Learning Academy, fellow students gave her shelter and Principal Teri Delane helped her through difficult years. Briana spoke to Stories Behind the Fog's Arjanna van der Plas about her time there.

Snow Leopard Conservancy

The snow leopard, listed as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 1972, was reclassified as "vulnerable" earlier this month. So what does that mean for the survival of the species?

Is the San Francisco Zoo ready for a tsunami?

Oct 5, 2017
Jeneé Darden

Hurricanes don’t occur in the Bay Area, but after seeing so many animals rescued after the recent devastating storms in the Caribbean, one KALW listener asks about San Francisco Zoo's disaster plans.

Male, Female, or Nonbinary. Californians may get more choices on state documents

Oct 5, 2017
Marissa Ortega-Welch


Californians might have more options than just “M” for male, or “F” for female, on their driver’s license soon, if Governor Brown signs a bill on his desk into law in the next few weeks.


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • What will it mean if the governor adds a new gender designation on driver’s licenses?
  • Does the San Francisco Zoo have plans in place for natural disasters — such as tsunamis?
  • What it means when the status of an endangered species changes.
  • Briana's story, from our collaboration with Stories Behind The Fog.

"Marijuana" by CC Flickr user Memento Mori, resized and recropped


Pot smokers throughout California are looking toward January 1, when marijuana will be legally available to adults. It was made possible last election when Prop. 64 passed.


But there are some major snags.

Revolutionary breakfast in West Oakland

Oct 4, 2017
Photo courtesy of Sana Javeri Kadri, Resized and Cropped

At its height, the Black Panther party fed tens of thousands of school children every morning across the country with their Free Breakfast Program.

Aperture Fashion Show


Bay Area comic Dhaya Lakshminarayanan has shared the stage with the likes of Marc Maron and Janeane Garofalo, and she’s a regular contributor to the popular radio show Snap Judgment. But she didn’t start out as a comedian.

Stories Behind the Fog: Cherri

Oct 4, 2017
Stories Behind The Fog


After 23 years in prison, Cherri Frazier moved into a halfway house in San Francisco.


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Legalized recreational marijuana is just a few months away. Is the Bay Area ready?
  • Comic Dhaya Lakshminarayanan talks about how she sharpened her comedy skills during her career as a venture capitalist.
  • A firsthand perspective from an ex-offender who became homeless, from our friends at Stories Behind the Fog.

Stories Behind the Fog: Nieves

Oct 3, 2017
Jonath Mathew, resized and recropped


Nieves Moreno grew up in Chicago and was homeless from 1969 to 1989. He shared his story with Arjanna Vander Plas and Maria Muzas.

Humanizing homelessness, one story at a time

Oct 3, 2017
Brenton Gieser


Flickr user J R under CC BY 2.0


From switching to renewable energy to battery storage, to taxing drinking water. Out of the hundreds of bills that the California Assembly debated in the final hours of the legislative session this month, many dealt with water, climate change, and the environment. KALW's energy and environment reporter Angela Johnston shares some of the key environmental legislation now sitting on Governor Brown’s desk, and the ones that didn’t make it there.

NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been two weeks since Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. President Trump visited the island for just over four hours today — and a contingent of Bay Area nurses will spend much more time there as part of the Registered Nurse Response Network.

10/3: Stories Behind the Fog

Oct 3, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • A rundown on the environmental bills sitting on Governor Brown’s desk, and the ones that didn’t make it there.
  • An interview with Diya Guha, creative lead on the multimedia project “Stories Behind the Fog.” 
  • The story of a man who overcame homelessness, and his thoughts on the best ways to solve the problem.

10/2: Jakeri's story

Oct 2, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • A new nonprofit is trying to alleviate the homelessness crisis by asking East Bay residents to open their homes to those in need.
  • A radio diary of a young mother-to-be during the last two months of her pregnancy.

Ariel Plotnick

Safe Time Home Sharing, a new nonprofit organization, is trying to alleviate the homelessness crisis by asking East Bay residents to open their homes, and temporarily donate their extra bedrooms to those in need.

From foster care to motherhood: a radio diary

Oct 2, 2017
Cornelia Banks


Jakeri Bawcum was just five days old when she was placed in foster care. Her childhood and adolescence was tough.

Ryan Jerz

With more than 500 people injured at the concert, there have been calls for blood donations from service agencies including the Red Cross. Also, a Go Fund Me page for Las Vegas victims was set up early this morning with an original goal of raising $500,000, though nearly $2,000,000 has been donated to this point.

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

[Click the blue hyperlink headline to read the full story.]

LEGISLATION & REGULATION                                   

State regulatory agency has new name //

The Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation is no more. It is now named the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

Jeremy Dalmas

2551 San Pablo Avenue had been getting code complaints for years. After it burned down, some residents had to move onto the street.

Claire Stremple


Jessie Beck, a biologist with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, is our captain on today’s inflatable boat commute to Año Nuevo Island.

Bay Area Beats: Maya Songbird

Sep 28, 2017
Vanessa Crawford

Maya Songbird is an eclectic, electric, lo-fi musician born and raised in the Castro in San Francisco.