Crosscurrents

12:41pm

Mon July 21, 2014
Transportation

What makes a street dangerous? Decoding deadly Van Ness Avenue

The intersection of Grove and Van Ness, where two people have died in 2014.
Isabel Angell

Four people have been killed by cars on Van Ness Avenue in 2014 – more than half of the pedestrian deaths in San Francisco this year.

One ran into traffic after an argument. Another was a hit and run. One didn’t appear to use a crosswalk. Stories like that seem to support the idea that pedestrians are often to blame. But in San Francisco, motorists are at fault in almost two-thirds of pedestrian collisions.

Nicole Schneider is the director of the pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco.

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11:02am

Mon July 21, 2014
Arts & Culture

A musician, going deaf, fights for a life in music

Sandy Mix teaches piano to Diane Wilson.
Rachel Wong

 

 

From the moment Sandy Mix wakes up in the morning, she is thinking about music. Over coffee, she plans the day’s lessons.

“I can’t believe how lucky I am, because everybody wants to do the thing that they love, and hardly anybody gets to do it,” she says.

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7:07pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Arts & Culture

At children's hospital, kids find comfort in music therapy

Oliver Jacobson is a music therapist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Here, he plays a session with one of his patients, Maia Mead.

 

Oliver Jacobson started playing violin when he was six years old. At 18, he enrolled at Berklee College of Music, one of the top music schools in the country. Back then, he wanted to be a star. But he had a sense he might be able to use his talent for something more.

“I was in the practice rooms for four hours a day,” he says, “trying to be the best jazz violinist I could be, and just feeling kind of hollow in that.”

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6:54pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Economy/Labor/Biz

Chinatown Tenants Gather Strength

Chinatown resident Lee Ming Dang in her 7 by 7 foot home.
Melanie Young

Tenants are facing a tough time in San Francisco. The city has some of the nation’s highest rents and laws like the Ellis Act have made evictions front page news. But there are pockets of affordability, like in Chinatown, where the average rent is one third as much as in other neighborhoods.  

But the neighborhood is also one of the country’s most overcrowded and tenants claim that landlords violate health and safety codes.

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2:51pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Arts & Culture

Keeping memories of Chinatown alive -- and kicking!

Courtesy of Grant Avenue Follies

From the 1940s until the 1960s, San Francisco’s Chinatown was home to a thriving Chinese American nightclub scene. The clubs had names like Forbidden City, the Chinese Skyroom, and the Shanghai Low. They had showgirls, ballroom duos, comedians, jazz singers, and magic acts -- all featuring Asian-American entertainers. These clubs had wide appeal: celebrities like Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, and Lauren Bacall were all spotted over the years, along with tourists, businessmen and locals.

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