Crosscurrents

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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Email Crosscurrents' beat reporters directly at economy@kalw.org, education@kalw.org, energy@kalw.orgenvironment@kalw.org, health@kalw.org, housing@kalw.org, justice@kalw.org, transportation@kalw.org

Steve Haimovitz cropped and resized with permission

The music you're hearing now is being played by banjo master Bill Evans, when he was a guest of “A Prairie Home Companion.” He's also the author of the instructional book, Banjo for Dummies.

  • The Bay Area reacts to the presidential election.
  • Bookstore Modern Times closes.
  • A Sacramento drug court tries to keep families together.
  • An opera singer performs in an unexpected place.


Muslim leaders are easing the anxiety of their communities  today, who were the target of Donald Trump attacks all through his campaign. Earlier this afternoon a number of national Muslim organizations held a press conference in Washington DC led by CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

11/9: Election recap

Nov 9, 2016

  • A recap of state and local election results.
  • An interview with Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. 


Today’s music is by The Conspiracy of Beards. They’re a local male choir that performs a-cappella versions of songs by Leonard Cohen.

J.C. Howard

Many people in the heavily Democratic Bay Area awoke, as if from a bad dream, to a new political reality Wednesday morning. 

Photo by Jürgen Klemm

Back in 1898, San Francisco and Vallejo were among the first cities in the nation to exercise direct democracy, where specific policy questions are put before voters. 


ELECTION BRIEFS: Measure RR - BART bonds

Nov 4, 2016

BART opened 44 years ago, in 1972. Now, the system is wearing out. Break-downs and delays have become more common, and as our population grows, the system has become overcrowded.

Prop V is known as "the soda tax" and "the grocery tax," but on the ballot it’s “the tax on distributing sugar-sweetened beverages.” Okay, so what’s a "sugar-sweetened beverage?"

Prop Q is about clarifying the city’s policy on homeless tent encampments. Right now, tents and other make-shift shelters often violate a few rules, like sit/lie or public nuisance ordinances and other rules against blocking sidewalks. Prop Q would make them specifically illegal.

Prop P is one of several super technical housing policy measures on the San Francisco ballot. It would change the way the city picks developers to build affordable housing on public land.

Jurassic Blueberries / Used under license from Google Images (noncommercial reuse with modification / cropped from original)

City of Oakland endorses Prop. 64 ... Parental concerns against Prop. 64 ... More towns enact temporary bans ... Israel prepares for Green Rush ... and more.  

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: Sound Commons

Nov 3, 2016
Ninna Gaensler-Debs

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.

The work of San Jose saxophonist and composer Hafez Modirzadeh is equal parts head and heart: He loves to delve into the theory of music as well as the mind-transcending direct experience of making it. His work encompasses jazz, new music, Persian classical and more. He also co-directs the Jazz and World Music program at San Francisco State University.

Sarah Tan

In a fourth grade class at Buena Vista Horace Mann in the Mission district, the school’s ten-year-olds are learning Common Core math. They’re practicing multiplying double-digit numbers. But it’s not in the way you’d think, because they’re learning it entirely in Spanish. This year, California voters will be able to decide if programs like this can be started elsewhere, with the passage of Proposition 58.

Courtesy of the artist / resized and cropped

Our music today is by Roy Zimmerman, who specializes in his own “funny songs about ignorance, war and greed.” Joni Mitchell has said, “Roy’s lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection.” 

San Francisco-based artist Seth Eisen calls himself a “transdisciplinary” artist. He started out studying traditional visual art, but he now makes performances that mix dance, theater, music, puppetry, and installation. His latest piece celebrates the life and work of another multi-genre artist, his friend Remy Charlip.

In most Bay Area grocery stores, you can’t get free plastic bags anymore. San Francisco, all of Alameda County, and many cities in Marin and Contra Costa County have all banned bags. To find a grocery store giving out plastic bags for free, I had to drive to a Lucky in San Ramon.

Jeremy Dalmas

It’s election season. So of course, I’m at the bar El Rio in San Francisco doing what everyone loves to do over a beer -- chat about municipal bonds. I’m asking people:  Do you know what a bond is?

11/2: What exactly is a municipal bond?

Nov 2, 2016


Proposition 54 is about making California’s legislative process more transparent.

Right now, when state lawmakers craft new legislation, they spend days or even weeks ironing out the details of a bill. And yet sometimes, right before the vote, drastic last minute changes get pushed through that make the bill very different from how it started. 

Starchild, star of the San Francisco Libertarian Party

Nov 1, 2016

It’s just about a week before the big election, and a small group of Libertarians have gathered on a corner in the Castro to canvas for presidential candidate Gary Johnson. Starchild is leading the group, banging a drum. 

Measure RR: BART asks voters to fund a major rebuild

Nov 1, 2016
Eli Wirtschafter

 

Supporters of Measure RR like to say that BART is as old as Pong – the classic arcade game involving two rectangles playing tennis with a square.

“In 1972, Atari’s Pong was the state-of-the-art video game,” says BART director Robert Raburn. Nowadays, “you don't find an Atari Pong machine anywhere on the street.”

IMAGE COURTESY OF RASHIDAH GRINAGE, COALITION FOR POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY

 

For years, activists have been pushing for a community-led police commission to keep tabs on the Oakland Police Department. The Department’s involvement in a recent sexual misconduct scandal has brought the need for increased oversight into sharp focus.

11/1: Should BART be trusted with $3.5 billion?

Nov 1, 2016


The Specialist: Blood Girls

Oct 31, 2016
Photo Courtesy of Sandhya Dirks

 

Happy Halloween! Walking around today, you might hear a lot of recorded, ghoulish screaming. Today it's supposed to be all in fun. But there are some people who hear those screams a lot — and whose job is to create hellish situations all year around. Casey Miner and Sandhya Dirks tell us more in this installment from The Specialist.

 

Bay Area Beats: Marco Polo Santiago

Oct 31, 2016

 

Musician Marco Polo Santiago was raised in L.A., in a big Mexican-American family, with the sound of cumbia always in the background. He grew up to be a musician, but his tastes ran more to metal and hip hop than anything Latin.

 

Courtesy of San Francisco Renaissance Voices

The "San Francisco Renaissance Voices" group marks the day after Halloween: All Saints Day. 

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