The National Federation of Community Broadcasters is having its 38th annual conference right here in San Francisco May 29th through June 1st.  KALW will be well-represented on the opening afternoon for a special session called “recipe for good listening.”  Among the panel participants: KALW’s Martina Castro, co-founder and senior producer of Radio Ambulante, the spanish-language podcast that features compelling, sound-rich radio stories from everywhere Spanish is spoken.  Details at

Women learn the art of a knock out

Apr 25, 2013
Impact Bay Area's website.

One Sunday afternoon at a fitness center in San Jose, a chorus of yelling and cheering can be heard: “Leave me alone. I don’t know this man. This man in the blue shirt is bothering me. Go away.”

It sounds like someone is being seriously threatened but instead it’s eight women demonstrating what they’ve learned after 22 hours of self defense training with Impact Bay Area, at the Morning Crane Healing Arts and Fitness Center.

KALW's Nancy Mullane spent the last year touring the most secure prisons in California, including death row at San Quentin, the Protective Housing Unit at Corcoran, and Pelican Bay State Prison. 

She sat down with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) deputy secretary Terry Thornton to discuss why these stories aren’t told more often.

Today's local music: Slim Jenkins

Apr 22, 2013
Slim Jenkins promo photo

If you’re looking for old-style Voodoo Blues and swing, look no further than Slim Jenkins.

The group is part of this spring’s “Swing in the Square” dance and concert series. They play a free show on Wednesday 24, April, at San Francisco’s Union Square.

Dance lessons are at 7pm, with Slim Jenkins taking the stage at 8pm.

According to Slim Jenkins' website, the band is a celebration of great American roots music.

Golden Gate Toll Booth

Apr 18, 2013

Bikes are a common sight around San Francisco, and one of the most celebrated city experiences is biking across the Golden Gate. If you do that on a regular basis, you’ve surely noticed that there are no more toll collecting officers on the Bridge. Earlier this month, we spoke with Jacquie Dean who worked for 18 years in a Golden Gate Bride Toll Booth. After airing her story, we asked what listeners thought about the new toll system.

Today’s Local Music: Los Trovadores

Apr 18, 2013

That voice? It belongs to Fito Reinoso. He’s the singer for a new Bay Area group that performs Cuban Son, Danzon and Boleros. They call themselves Los Trovadores, and they’re playing acoustic dance music on Earth Day this Saturday, April 20, at Rhythmix Cultural Works on Blanding Avenue in Alameda. The music begins at 8:00pm.

Proposed museum would shine light on New Deal

Apr 17, 2013
Works Progress Administration

In the coming months, San Francisco’s grand Presidio park will announce a new tenant. The space up for grabs is the commissary building on Crissy Field, currently occupied by Sports Basement. And while George Lucas’ proposal for a museum of illustration has gotten the most press, there were 15 others, including a plan for a global observatory, a center dedicated to play, and a National New Deal Museum.

Today's local music: Rupa & The April Fishes

Apr 1, 2013

A worldly ban with a worldly sound, is Crosscurrents' band for Monday April 1. 

San Francisco-based band Rupa and the April Fishes is a collaboration of Aaron Kierbel and Safa Shokrai, Misha Khalikulov, Mario Alberto Silva, and is headed by Rupa.

Summoning ghosts at the Oakland Museum

Mar 14, 2013
Photo by Frederic Larson, courtesy Port of Oakland

If you’ve traveled out of Oakland airport, you’ve probably seen a beautiful piece of artwork – graceful, long-legged cranes painted on the windows in Terminal 2. It’s called “Going Away, Coming Home.” It’s a piece about being of and from two places at once, about the in-between existence we inhabit in transit. By looking at it, you’d probably never imagine that the artist once risked her life to make paintings like this.

Access to legal counsel proves challenging for immigrants

Mar 12, 2013

You would never notice it if you were walking by, because there are no signs, but San Francisco's immigration court is on the eighth and ninth floors of a nondescript office building here on Montgomery Street in the city's financial district. Immigrants can get a notice to appear here if they are facing deportation or applying for asylum. The people outside are here without lawyers. When I asked a man if he had a lawyer, he told me he wasn't sure if they'd let him see a judge or not.