Crosscurrents | KALW


Monday-Thursday at 5pm

Crosscurrents is KALW Public Radio's award-winning news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community.

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Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News

On the south side of San Francisco, a performance is taking place. It's an annual tradition, in a transformed arena off Geneva Street. In a space once reserved for livestock and cowboys, the streets of Victorian England come alive. It’s the Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

Teresa Castracane (cropped) / Courtesty of Berkeley Rep

Actress Nilaja Sun has returned to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre with the West Coast debut of her one-woman show Pike St.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

On January 1, over 200,000 drivers of electric and plug-in vehicles will lose the right to take the fast lane solo. It’s an effort to speed up carpool lanes that misses the real culprit: cheaters.

Courtesy of Drunken Dumpling

It's been one month since the Camp Fire burned through the entire town of Paradise. Since then, nearby businesses like food trucks, printing companies, and breweries have banded together, finding creative ways to contribute on a small-scale.

Chemicals without borders: Unearthing the Green Revolution

Dec 5, 2018


Unearthing the Green Revolution, Part III: California's industrial approach to agriculture has long served as a model for government officials in Punjab, India, which dramatically increased crop yields decades ago as part of the high-tech, chemically supplemented Green Revolution. Yet the cost for Punjabi farmers has been a legacy of pesticide reliance, debt, and the hopes for a better life in other countries. 

Gurdeep Singh Dhaliwal


Unearthing the Green Revolution, Part IIThe story of how agriculture became agribusiness in California and around the world begins in Punjab, India, where the Green Revolution didn't just change how farmers work the land; it changed how they live. 

Courtesy of Mel Waters

From the Carlos Santana tribute wall in the Mission District to his Jerry Garcia piece in the Haight, much of Water’s work celebrates the iconic figures of San Francisco’s past.

Gurdeep Singh Dhaliwal

Unearthing the Green Revolution, Part I: California's fertile Central Valley is home to a sizable community of farmers from Punjab in India, a region also famous for its rich cropland. Why they came to the United States is a story as layered and complex as the politics and science of the crops they cultivate. 

David Allen

In 1980 journalist Chuck Nevius left a high school sports reporting gig in Colorado and landed a job with the San Francisco Chronicle covering the Raiders.

Courtesy of San Francisco State University

A lot has changed in the 50 years since the strike at San Francisco State University brought about the country’s first ethnic studies program. Today, ethnic etudies courses are offered nationwide.

The fight for a curriculum that reflects the nation’s diversity began 50 years ago, at San Francisco State University. 

National Park Service spokesperson Alexandra Picavet grimaces as we bump down an unmarked, steep dirt road.

A prisoner dreams of becoming a rancher

Nov 28, 2018
JulianGlenn Padgett

From the series Uncuffed:

Doing time in prison a person can often lose hope. But that’s not the case for Aaron Daria. He has elaborate plans to start a ranch once he is paroled. Uncuffed producer Joe Kirk, who is also incarcerated, sat down with Aaron to ask him about his dream.

Flickr user GPS, used under CC BY-SA 2.0

We know now that Democrats dominated in California. And, we're antipating many changes at local and statewide levels. To break it down, KALW’s election coordinator, Angela Johnston, and news director, Ben Trefny, talk about what’s new.

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

Ever since recreational cannabis went legal in California, cannabis tourism companies started popping up around the state. They offer travelers a chance to smoke and sip wine, paint and puff, and learn cannabis factoids while lighting it up.

Courtesy of Randy Shaw

There are a lot of things to blame for the housing affordability crisis in the Bay Area — we talk about a shortage of housing, we talk about predatory landlords and property flippers, we talk about why we have a for-profit housing system at all.

Losing your language in prison

Nov 27, 2018
MICHAEL LORUSSO / Flikr / Creative Commons

Imagine if you forgot how to speak the language you learned as a child — a language that gave you an identity, a language that says, "Hey you belong here, you're one of us." How will your sense of self be impacted?

Courtesy of Pooja Kaur

This award-winning documentary explores the lives of Sikh youth in America, and how they confront and respond to violence, sometimes with humor.

Preserving holiday memories for future hunger pangs

Nov 20, 2018
Margaret Katcher / KALW News

Thanksgiving week makes us feel things. Lots of things. About history, about family, about memory. Last year, reporter Margaret Katcher brought a recorder to her holiday table, but found herself wondering about her impulse to document the moment.

Bay View: Why the Galeria de la Raza Matters

Nov 20, 2018
Courtesy of Galeria de la Raza

We’re introducing a new semi-regular segment—Bay Views. It’s a chance for you—folks from our community of listeners and makers—to share your thoughts about our changing city and region. 

Angela Johnston

The Camp Fire in Northern California is now the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history. For most Californians, this milestone is starting to sound all too familiar.

Flickr user Oakland Local, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Cropped

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the tragedy at Jonestown. More than 900 people died, most by suicide, coerced by the cult leader Jim Jones.

Jeremy Dalmas / KALW News

Every year since 1975 the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony has taken place on Alcatraz Island on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day. Native Americans of many tribes attend the ceremony to commemorate the 1969 protest when the Alcatraz Red Power Movement occupied the island. They stayed there for 18 months, until they were removed by federal marshalls in 1971.

UC Berkeley struggles with a student hunger crisis

Nov 19, 2018
Sara Harrison / KALW News

At UC Berkeley rising tuition and a lack of affordable housing have created a student hunger crisis. Now, the University is working with faculty and staff to try and meet students most basic needs.

John Lucas, used under CC attribution / cropped

The KALW News team is looking for an experienced radio reporter to cover the immigration beat for our daily news magazine Crosscurrents.

B.F., used under CC0 1.0 / cropped / Wikimedia Commons

The Camp fire in Butte County burned down more than 15 thousand structures. Evacuation centers are filling up. The town of Paradise suffered a huge portion of the devastation: death and destruction.

For Asians, Latinos, and other ethnic minorities, the end of life presents unique challenges. Language barriers and cultural traditions can often inhibit access to hospice, pain management, and comfort care.

Jessica Zitter

The end of life is not easy for most people nearing death. Over half of all Americans experience unwanted pain and suffering during their final days. The numbers are even greater for people of color.

Georgia Simian

In the early '90s, San Francisco dance instructor and choreographer Micaya began producing hip-hop dance shows in the city’s Mission District. The shows originally featured local dance crews from throughout the Bay Area and by 1999 would grow to become the San Francisco International Hip Hop Dance Fest.

Bay Area Beats: Karl Digerness & Minna Choi

Nov 13, 2018
Courtesy of Karl Digerness

Songwriting can be a challenge. So when San Francisco musician Karl Digerness found himself battling writer’s block he started reading the texts from plays written by William Shakespeare for some lyrical inspiration.