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

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StoryCorps: Finding hope after war

Aug 8, 2017
Courtesy of San Francisco StoryCorps

William Lehnhart joined the military when he was 20 years old, during a time of peace. 

Latino communities remember Alex Nieto through art and activism

Aug 8, 2017
Josiah Luis Alderte


Alex Nieto was a young Latino from San Francisco who was shot at 59 times by four San Francisco police officers on the night of March 21, 2014 in Bernal Heights Park. All four officers were later acquitted of all charges.  

Photo by Judy Dater, resized and recropped

Elizabeth Rosner’s parents both survived the Holocaust. Growing up she felt traumatized, even though she personally didn’t experience the camps. And when she talked to other children of survivors — not just of the Holocaust, but also of the Cambodian killing fields and the Armenian genocide — she realized she wasn't alone.

8/8: Remembering Alex Nieto

Aug 8, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • How a San Francisco man killed by police is being remembered
  • A daughter of Holocaust survivors explains how trauma can be inherited
  • A veteran discusses his struggle to return to civilian life after fighting in Iraq

Cari Spivack


In early June, I was walking a trail in Land’s End in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, when I came upon a children’s book called The Fox Wish, by Kimiko Aman. Each page was a mounted panel, installed just a few feet away from the next, like storytime breadcrumbs.


It was a delightful book about a fox who steals a little girl’s jump rope, but it got me wondering: What’s a children’s book doing in this National Park?


From CC Flickr user Freedom II Andres, resized and recropped.


August 6th marked the 72nd anniversary of when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Wednesday is the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Altogether, nearly 200,000 people died in the attacks.


Considering California's cap-and-trade program's local effects

Aug 7, 2017


Not everyone is happy about the state’s new climate change laws.


Today on Crosscurrents: 

  • How California’s commitment to cap-and-trade pollution policy will affect local communities.

  • The story of a great summer romance between the National Parks Service and the San Francisco Public Library.

  • Remembering the lives impacted by two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Used by permission from CC Flickr account humboldthead

You might expect that a Jerry Garcia-themed event in San Francisco would be founded by a Deadhead. You know, a stereotypical Grateful Dead mega-fan who followed the band around the country for years, dropping acid, wearing tie dye, and talking about world peace.

That’s not Tom Murphy.

He’s got a crew cut, drives a Nissan Altima, and is usually dressed business casual. He’s a loan consultant.


Shootout at California grow site ... Cannabis literally takes over town ... Police sniffer dogs invalidated ... NFL will consider cannabis ... and more.

Dani is twenty-two years old. She was born in Mexico and moved to Richmond when she was three. About a year ago, she started working at a cannabis dispensary. It’s more than just a job. She identifies as a “first generation bud tender” - one of the first people to openly sell cannabis now that it’s becoming legal in California. She's proud of her role, but it hasn’t been easy. Cannabis is still not federally legal so as an immigrant, she's working in a legal grey area. Plus, her family wasn’t too happy with her work.

Courtesy of the Oakland Athletics

The Bay Area has a rich pro sports scene with distinctive voices who bring us all the action.

Photo by CC Flickr user mtarvainen, resized and recropped

If you look back at the origins of rock music — or Rock and Roll, as it was known in the 1950s — you hear that the new sound borrowed elements from gospel, rhythm & blues, and country.

"Pier 14 King Tide 2-2016" by Flickr user Dave R, under CC BY-NC 2.0, cropped and resized

Two California counties and one city did something unprecedented last week: San Mateo County, Marin County, and Imperial Beach down in San Diego are suing 37 different oil and gas companies for the projected effects and costs of sea level rise along the coast.

7/27: Legal action about climate change

Jul 27, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents

  • A legal case involving two Bay Area counties, 37 giant oil companies, and rising seas.
  • A surprising origin story about rock-n-roll.
  • The answer to this week’s Audiograph mystery sound.

The Stoop: Nice tribal wear. Now take it off.

Jul 27, 2017
Illustration by Neema Iyer, resized and recropped

The new podcast The Stoop officially launched last week, hosted by Crosscurrents host Hana Baba and Leila Day. Listen to their first episode: "Nice tribal wear. Now take it off."

To hear more episodes, subscribe to The Stoop wherever you get your podcasts.

7/26: The Stoop

Jul 26, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents:

  •  A special presentation of an episode of the new podcast The Stoop.  

Photo by CC Flickr user Julie Pimentel, resized and recropped

Western medicine once shunned alternative treatments like acupuncture, acupressure or the Indian system of Ayurveda. But the field of medicine is now taking them more seriously.

7/25: The power of icons

Jul 25, 2017

Today on Crosscurrents

  • An artist who couldn’t just do art for art’s sake, and found his calling within the Russian Orthodox church.
  • A conversation with a doctor who believes medicine is moving towards a time of integrating mind, body and spirit.

Courtesy of Pooja Kaur


In May 2017, two men were convicted of a hate crime for attacking Richmond resident Maan Singh Khalsa the previous September. Before they attacked Khalsa, they threatened to cut off his hair. As a follower of the Sikh faith, Khalsa doesn’t cut his hair, and like many Sikhs, he ties a turban.

Guess this Bay Area sound! July 22, 2017

Jul 24, 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.

7/24: I ain’t here for no reason

Jul 24, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents

  • An original documentary exploring the lives of Sikh American youth in the Bay Area

Courtesy of Yetunde Olagbaju

Yetunde Olagbaju grew up in Minnesota but has embedded herself in the Bay Area’s creative scene as a multidisciplinary artist and youth arts educator. Her work ranges from video, and installation to performance, and often deals with themes of personal memory, ritual, and vulnerability. She sat down with KALW’s Jen Chien to talk about building human connections through the practice of art.

Lisa Morehouse

Water is the defining feature of the Delta, and recreation on the water is a big part of the economy and culture of this place.

Youth Speaks: Golden State Warriors halftime show

Jul 20, 2017

The international youth poetry slam festival Brave New Voices comes to the Bay Area this week, bringing with it workshops, town halls, and poetry slams in Oakland and Berkeley. We're getting primed with poems from Youth Speaks. Here’s poets Aleah Bradshaw, Tova Ricardo, Tassiana Willis and Trey Amos performing their original poems at a Golden State Warriors' halftime show.

Youth Speaks: "An open letter to cis people"

Jul 20, 2017

The international youth poetry slam festival Brave New Voices comes to the Bay Area this week, bringing with it workshops, town halls, and poetry slams in Oakland and Berkeley. We're getting primed with poems from Youth Speaks. Here’s poet Ash Phillips performing the original poem "And open letter to cis people." 

7/20: Boat culture on the Delta

Jul 20, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Getting to know boat culture on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
  • An interview with Bay Area artist Yetunde Olagbaju
  • More poetry from Youth Speaks as Brave New Voices returns to the Bay Area 

Navigating the Delta: The roots of agriculture

Jul 19, 2017
Lisa Morehouse

Major California rivers drain into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and over decades of building dams and reservoirs and pumps, it’s become the major hub of California’s water system — a system that may change again if Governor Jerry Brown's controversial plans to build tunnels for water transport go through.

Robbie Sweeny

Bay Area choreographer and director Erika Chong Shuch has been making all kinds of performance work, ever since she discovered her love for it at UC Santa Cruz over two decades ago. She’s presented work in theaters for more than 1,000 people. But her latest work is for an audience of just 12. It's what she calls an “intimate adventure,” both personal and collective.

7/19: Digging into the roots of the Delta

Jul 19, 2017


Today on Crosscurrents:  

  • As the state contemplates water tunnels in the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta, we'll meet a farm family that’s worked that land for generations
  • Bay Area artist Erika Chong Shuch creates a day-long performance to provide a dozen people with life-long memories
  • More poetry from Youth Speaks to get us in the mood for this week's International Poetry Slam