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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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8/25 - Waste

Aug 25, 2015

The waste of Keurig single-serving coffee pods, illegal dumping in Oakland, and more stories from 18-year-olds.

Todd Whitney

For over a decade, Oakland has attempted to abate the illegal dumping of mattresses, electronics, furniture, and other large items onto city streets. The phenomenon is a problem throughout the Bay Area, but noticeably worse in Oakland.

Single use coffee cups

Aug 25, 2015
Laura Flynn


Where do you get your morning cup of coffee? Did you get it at a cafe? Use an old fashion coffee maker, or did you use a single-cup brewing machine? In 2014, single-cup brewing was the fastest growing coffee trend. But what happens to all of the waste created by those individual pods?

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Aug 25, 2015
Mike Koozmin, S.F. Examiner

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


Police arrest robbery suspect following foot chase through BART tunnels // SF Examiner

“A robbery suspect sent polio on a roughly one-hour foot pursuit through the BART tunnels near the Lake Merritt station today, a BART police lieutenant said.

Poster art on the streets, the Academy of Art in San Francisco profits by violating housing laws, a new series about high school students called "18 in the Bay," and local musician Sony Holland.

When you walk around town, you’re sure to see large posters pasted to construction sites and the sides of buildings. Many are advertisements for movies, records, or cars. Occasionally, you’ll see a poster that isn’t selling anything: It may be there to rally people for a demonstration or make a point about affordable health care. But no matter what the intentions of the poster are, these pieces of public art draw mixed reviews from political artists, store-owners, and city workers. 


Sony Holland got her start singing for tips at Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square – and notes that that’s where Robin Williams and Carlos Santana started, too!

Sony Holland sings in a fancier place these days: She’s at The Lounge of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 6:30 pm.

Christian Peacock / Forbes

In just over two decades, Academy of Art University in San Francisco has been transformed under President Elisa Stephens. It has expanded from just over 2,000 students to 16,000. Its revenues have also grown from around eight million dollars a year to about $300 million.

18 in the Bay

Aug 24, 2015
Jiro Bevis for Matter

Turning 18 is a big deal. You can rent an apartment, you can get a tattoo, you can vote. Perhaps most importantly, you're legally recognized as an adult.

You might remember that moment yourself, but almost everything else about being that age is changing fast, even in the past few years. So what’s it actually like to be 18 right now?

Daily news roundup for Monday, August 24, 2015

Aug 24, 2015
Suitable 4 Framin's Flickr page

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

SF City Attorney Vows to Wipe Out Serial Graffiti Vandal - SF Bay

“City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a civil lawsuit against Cozy Terry on Aug. 14 for allegedly causing close to $54,000 of damage to city property with her graffiti tags.

Under CC license from Flickr user: the Vaporizers

Cannabis bill shelved due to cost… Harborside: good news and bad news… Pesticides in concentrates… and more.


California’s statewide medical cannabis bill put on hold // EastBayExpress   The widely supported bill was tabled because of it’s $20 million estimated implementation cost.

Heidi de Marco/KHN

People over the age of 65 are one of the largest demographic groups in the country. And here in California, the number of senior citizens is expected to nearly double by 2030. How we care for our aging population is a big question. More and more, elderly and disabled Californians are choosing in-home care rather than living in nursing homes. Reporter Anna Gorman has the story. 

Unregulated caregivers, The Cadillac Hotel in San Francisco, this week's Audiograph game answer, and local musicians The Goat Family.

Alyssa Kapnik Portraiture



 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.

ABC7 News

Here’s what’s happening around the Bay Area, as curated by KALW News


 Rent-controlled units are now more abundant in San Francisco than in New York City // SF Examiner

8/19 - Public Education

Aug 19, 2015

The state of California's public university system, re-examining how we evaluate public schools, and local musicians The San Francisco Lyric Chorus.


For decades, California’s public university system has been a model for the world, and its prestige has helped to create much of the state’s prosperity. More recently the system has been stumbling – a victim of constant budget cutting, chronic overcrowding, and administrative gridlock.

The San Francisco Lyric Chorus is celebrating two important San Francisco centennial anniversaries.  First is the Panama Pacific Expo of 1915, and second is the hundredth anniversary of the Mission Dolores Basilica.  The San Francisco Lyric Chorus will be performing in the Basilica on Saturday and Sunday. And it’s worth noting that all of the music in their program would have been familiar to audiences in 1915.

Daily news roundup for Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Aug 19, 2015
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

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

Appeal to stop ‘excessive’ sand mining in SF Bay scheduled for next week // SF Examiner

“An environmental group will present arguments in an appeals court next week in what may be the group’s final legal effort to stop what it deems excessive sand mining in the San Francisco Bay.

Cashing in on police body cameras, the gods of tango, an artist who sings for women caught in the criminal justice system, and local musicians La Mixta Criolla. 

The place is Argentina. The year is 1913.  A young woman named Leda has just arrived from her home in Italy to join her new groom, only to find that he has died.  But Leda decides to stay and navigate the unpredictable life of an immigrant girl in the land of the tango. That’s the plot of the new book "The Gods of Tango" by Oakland author Carolina De Robertis.


San Francisco musician Naima Shalhoub performs for incarcerated women, and recorded her latest album live inside the San Francisco County Jail. We meet the Lebanese American musician in this segment of Bay Area Beats.

On a February morning, Taser International CEO Rick Smith paced in front of a crowd of hundreds of law enforcement officers from across California. Known for its electronic weapons, the ubiquitous stun guns used by law enforcement around the world, Taser is banking its future on recording and documenting what police do in the field.

Today’s local music is by La Mixta Criolla, from Marin County. They play their own mix of original songs and traditional tunes. 

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aug 18, 2015
Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group

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

SFUSD school year to begin with unique classes, new middle school // SF Examiner

"The start of the 2015-16 school year on Monday is bringing many firsts to the San Francisco Unified School District.

Robotic seals comfort dementia patients but raise ethical concerns; a conversation with Jerry Kaplan on new robotic technologies; Robots for humanity: how technology is changing the life of one Bay Area man; and local band Charming Hostess.

These days, new robotic technologies are being rolled out in fields as diverse as healthcare, transportation, and retail. Though these wonders bring with them convenience and efficiency, they all bring about new concerns for society to consider.

Angela Johnston

This story originally aired on December 9, 2014.

Henry Evans and his wife Jane live high up in the Los Altos foothills. To get there you have to drive up twisting roads with steep switchback turns. On a Thursday morning 12 years ago Henry drove up these same roads after dropping his children off at school.

Angela Johnston

This story originally aired on December 9, 2014.

At the Livermore Veteran’s Hospital, there are a few animals residents can see: wild turkeys that run around the grounds, rattlesnakes that hide out in the dry grass, and therapy dogs that make weekly visits. But there’s one animal in particular that Bryce Lee is always happy to see: a baby harp seal.