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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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On the May 13, 2016 edition of 99% Invisible.

Angela Johnston

It’s the last week of school at Bessie Carmichael Elementary on 7th and Harrison in the South of Market neighborhood. Photographer Janet Delaney and I are here to see someone we’ve been trying to get in touch with for months -- Bobbie Washington.

Sights & Sounds of East Oakland: Art after foreclosure

May 11, 2016
Photo courtesy of Oakland Voices


This is my grandmother’s story as much as it is mine. I lived with her, Attaway, on 2657 67th Avenue from August 2006 to May 2012 and enjoyed every minute of it. But, a series of events killed my joy.

Luisa Cardoza

There’s a lot of graffiti at 60th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. Tags in various colors are thrown up on storefronts all along the street, but the mural on the side of Aswad, Inc., screenprinting shop remains untouched.

Daily news roundup for Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016

Here’s what’s happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Mayor Lee put on public display over SF police reforms - San Francisco Examiner

“With beefed up security at City Hall and a room full of protesters, Mayor Ed Lee was taken to task Tuesday by members of the Board of Supervisors who sought answers for how San Francisco will address a beleaguered police department.

5/11: Arts around the bay

May 11, 2016
  • In East Oakland, a woman uses art to heal after her grandmother's home was foreclosed on.
  • Snapshots from San Francisco’s SOMA district, from back before they called it SOMA.
  • Our favorite moments from the many artist interviews we’ve aired on Crosscurrents.

Phil Daley

San Francisco wasn’t the first city to celebrate LGBTQ pride every June, but its Pride parade is world-renowned. One of the annual delights of that parade is the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.

A shepherd finds the perfect flock

May 10, 2016
Michael Pisais

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church sits on a quiet residential corner in the outer Sunset district of San Francisco.

Today's Local Music: Brian Thorsett

May 10, 2016
Courtesty of Brian Thorsette

Brian Thorsett has been described as having “a deeply moving, resonant, and unblemished voice.”

Thorsett, who has studied at a variety of Bay Area music programs, will be accompanied on piano by Ming Luke, Music Director of the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra.

The performance is a fundraiser for the Chorus & Orchestra, taking place Saturday, May 14, at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. Music starts at 2pm.

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016
By Flickr user FarOutFlora/ under CC license/ cropped and resized

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

SFPD unaccountable, uses ‘stop and frisk,’ D.A.’s panel says // SF Gate

5/10: Firsts with Jesse Thorn

May 10, 2016

A special hour-long episode, with special guest Jesse Thorn, host of NPR’s "Bullseye." A story from the first episode of "Crosscurrents" reported by the show's first sound engineer, Roman Mars. The first openly transgender head pastor of a Lutheran Church. And the country’s first openly gay marching band.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution is organized and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California. On view March 17–July 5, 2016 at The Contemporary Jewish Museum [Cropped]


How is it that Bill Graham, legendary Bay Area concert promoter, rates a major museum exhibit? Lorri Starr, executive director of the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) in San Francisco, where “Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution” is on display, says it’s quite simple: Graham deserves this show because he was “the greatest rock ‘n’ roll impresario that we will ever know.”

Photo taken by Molly Raynor

At the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, there are classes in music, video production, visual arts, writing and acting. Every year, all the students come together to create a multimedia show, and they're the ones in charge of the whole event, from the concept to the actual production.  

Photo by Gregory Goode / cropped and resized.

After 20 years of making music together, the Cypress String Quartet have decided to disband this summer — but before they do, they’ll be performing all of Beethoven’s string quartets in a two week series of free public concerts through the city. 

Used under license from Creative Commons.

AUMA qualifies for November … Former S.F. sheriff now cannabis consultant … Sex and pot … and more.


AUMA qualifies for November ballot // L.A. Times

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: The BART operator

May 5, 2016
Eli Wirtschafter

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.

Courtesy Evangelist Alveda King

This week we’ve been bringing you stories from the families of revolutionaries. And we conclude this series with Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Young men preventing sexual assault

May 5, 2016
Lisa Bartfai


When it comes to crimes like rape and sexual assault, the focus is shifting from prosecution and punishment to prevention. That means finding the cause of the problem and tackling it early on.


Bert Johnson, East Bay Express (with permission of the band). Cropped and resized.

This music?  It’s by a seven-piece band from San Francisco called The Seshen.

The Seshen will be performing a free show at Yerba Buena Gardens on Saturday, May 7th, starting about 1 pm. 

The name Angela Davis is synonymous with revolution. But her niece, Eisa Davis, didn't learn that until later in life. "I did know that my aunt was a public figure of some kind," says Eisa Davis. "And I did know that my mom had done everything she could to save her sister’s life."

Steven Short

“Be sure to take the stairs!”

That’s good advice from a cardiologist, and in this case it’s good advice for anyone visiting the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

Oh, there are elevators, of course — old leisurely ones and new speedier ones. But Craig Dykers, co-founder of the Snohetta architectural firm and lead designer of SFMOMA’s newly completed expansion, isn’t giving health recommendations. He wants you to experience the stairs as art.

5/5: The BART operator

May 5, 2016


Yesterday afternoon protesters marched to San Francisco’s City Hall demanding an end to police brutality and rampant racial bias.



In Oakland, just past Jack London Square, there’s a zone along the water that’s a little wild. It’s past the new condos and great restaurants, past the wholesale produce warehouses that open for business before dawn, and down the channel from Lake Merritt’s newly landscaped park. It’s an in-between space. But change is coming from both sides.


5/4: The Birdman

May 4, 2016

Who's your Bay Area hero?

May 4, 2016
"A bounding superhero," by Flickr user Sallie The Cape Lady. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0. Cropped.

KALW wants to know who your local Bay Area heroes are: people who make our communities thrive; people you don't usually hear about in the news.

The sun is beating down on Islais Creek, a small marine channel in Hunters Point that opens out into the Bay. 

Bob Hsiang


Yuri Kochiyama was known as one of the most fearless activists of her time. She was the daughter of Japanese immigrants, and spent time in an internment camp in the 1940’s.

Lost items on US-Mexico border become art

May 3, 2016
Photo by Richard Misrach courtesy of San Jose Museum of Art/Resized and cropped.

Two Oakland artists are taking an innovative look at the US-Mexico border conflict in Border Cantos, an exhibition now on display at The San Jose Museum of Art.