Crosscurrents | KALW

Crosscurrents

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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Email Crosscurrents' beat reporters directly at economy@kalw.org, education@kalw.org, energy@kalw.orgenvironment@kalw.org, health@kalw.org, housing@kalw.org, immigration@kalw.org, justice@kalw.org, transportation@kalw.org.

March To The Beat Of The Golden Gate Park Band

Mar 26, 2020

We just got a fun workout with the swing dancers on John F. Kennedy Drive. Now, let's catch our breath and wander into the Music Concourse. As we walk along Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, we can see the California Academy of Sciences in front of us, with its skylights and living roof. To our right, the M.H. De Young Memorial Museum looks like a copper-clad battleship beached in the middle of a forest. In between the two cultural attractions is an open-air, oval-shaped plaza with many levels. If you walk down to the other end of the concourse, you’ll find yourself at the bandshell. This is the Spreckels Temple of Music and it's home to the Golden Gate Park Band. The band has brought life to the park every Sunday between April and October every year since 1882. Reporter Steven Short went strolling in the park and here’s what he heard.

Special Episode: Prisoners Face Coronavirus

Mar 26, 2020

Disease can spread quickly in prisons. In this special conversation from Uncuffed, the men of Solano Prison share their thoughts on the global coronavirus pandemic, and what it would mean if it came inside.

Toni Morrison once said that in chaotic times is when artists must go to work. Theaters, concert halls, and other event venues are shut down. But that isn't stopping Bay Area artists from shining on the virtual stage.

Magic Magic Roses' Meditations On Nature

Mar 25, 2020
Courtesy of Magic Magic Roses

Sarah Simon and Kate Sweeney met over ten years ago through boyfriends at a dinner party. They first began playing Jimmie Rodgers covers in Sarah's living room and eventually made their first album there too, experimenting with at-home recording. Inspired by California's landscape, the duo makes meditative folk music, refencing blades of grass, beaches, canyons and valleys. 

Most of us are working from home, including the staff of KALW. In fact, this show was put together using apps like Slack, Zoom and a variety of recording and file sharing services. It’s been an adjustment, but many of us are realizing how much we can communicate and do without meeting in person.

Victims of domestic violence are especially vulnerable in this health crisis because abusive partners are now not leaving for work or working from home. Even if support groups and shelters are open, a victim has to be able to make that call, which may not happen if the abuser is home all day. 

Elizabeth Michelini Franco, styled by Vania Michelini Castillo

Rooted in Mexican oral tradition, Chhoti Maa raps, sings, and writes about migration, queerness, and indigenous spirituality. In this edition of Bay Area Beats, the Oakland based artist talks about her latest album, "Caldo de Hueso," meaning bone broth.

Marissa Ortega Welch

John Pearson works in the emergency room at Highland Hospital in Oakland. He says healthcare workers there were already experiencing critical shortages before COVID-19 existed.

San Francisco Sheriff's Department

San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju sounded the alarm about the coronavirus dangers inside the county’s jails weeks ago. He called for the immediate release of inmates who are at the end of the sentences, and the release of people at heightened risk for the virus, like those who are elderly, or who have lung disease or diabetes.

Music As A Family Affair

Mar 23, 2020

Picture a mariachi band. You probably think of older men dressed in fancy clothes, playing their instruments and singing in a restaurant to a group of people at a table. But that isn’t all mariachi players, and that’s not where most mariachi music is performed. Samaria Pineda tells it like it is in a story she made when she was a senior at Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco.

Swing Over To Lindy In The Park

Mar 19, 2020

Now, let's climb the steps up and out of the hollow and turn west along John F. Kennedy Drive. The flower garden before the conservatory is full of blooms and people lounging on the grass. It’s a nice, flat walk to our next stop, and we can just see it up ahead. In San Francisco, you don’t have to go to a stuffy nightclub or a formal classroom to learn how to swing dance. If you want to learn the Lindy Hop, you can learn in the great outdoors. Reporter Carolina Hidalgo, who is originally from Chile, was surprised to find the group dancing in full daylight on one of her walks in Golden Gate Park.

Jan Roletto / Wikimedia Commons

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Britt Byrd wanted to know, “Why does San Francisco have the Farallon Islands? They’re thirty miles off the coast, but they’re legally part of San Francisco. What’s up with that?” 

Mike Adaskveg

Women are underrepresented in a lot of scientific fields, but there’s one branch of biological science that bucks that trend: veterinary science. Women now make up the majority of veterinarians in the U.S., and fill close to 80 percent of the seats in vet schools.  

The Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands is a good example of this trend. The center is a combination emergency hospital, rehabilitation center, and research institute for seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, dolphins, among other sea creatures. Three quarters of its paid staff and the volunteer community are women.

Ben Trefny / KALW

It’s day two of the shelter in place order for the San Francisco Bay Area. Here's the latest on BART ridership, school closures, grocery shopping, and more.

Courtesy of Vanessa Rochelle

Vanessa Rochelle Lewis was bullied for her appearance and sexuality. She redefined ugly to mean Uplift Glorify Love Yourself. Vanessa is the founder of Reclaim UGLY, a movement that helps people heal from “uglification” and celebrate their beauty.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

This story was updated with additional reporting on March 18, 2020 at 8:21pm.

The Bay Area’s historic shelter-in-place order is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. But it could have a profound impact on low-wage workers, who live month-to-month. Low-wage immigrant workers are particularly vulnerable, and some of the programs available to them are struggling to stay up and running.

Click the play button to listen to the full story.

Frank B. Rudolph

Oakland’s Lake Merritt was the nation’s first wildlife refuge, before Yosemite, before Yellowstone.

America is in a health crisis, but it’s also been in a housing crisis. For almost a quarter of renters, more than half of their income goes to their landlord. Eviction displaces a million households a year. About four million people spend at least three hours driving to and from work.

Sona Avakian / KALW

 


Last night Governor Gavin Newsom gave a speech on Facebook. He told Californians he would be extending our restrictions here in the Bay Area, to the entire state. 

Lee Romney / KALW

Bay Area school districts have scrambled to put plans in place to keep feeding low-income students during virus-related school closures. On Monday, March 16, 2020, the first Grab ‘N Go sites welcomed Oakland families. 

A Quest To Understand Rap

Mar 16, 2020

 

 

Hip-hop is one of the most popular genres in the country. Matthew Policarpio, a senior at Abraham Lincoln High School, wanted to understand why so many of his friends are die-hard rap fans.

Wilson Lam / Flickr / Creative Commons

California has joined much of the rest of the world in a state of suspended animation as people try to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. This afternoon, officials from six Bay Area counties asked residents to shelter in place, except for getting groceries or taking care of other essential functions. 

Sarah Lai Stirland

In anticipation of a possible social shutdown, some shoppers at India Cash & Carry in San Jose stocked up on toilet paper and other supplies, while others went about their business as usual.

Imran Ali Malik / KALW

 

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Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. This one comes from New York staff writer Jelani Cobb. He asks, “How did there get to be an entirely separate city inside of Oakland?”

Lee Romney / KALW

 

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John Templeton’s been leading land tours of SF’s black history for years. Now, he’s launched a Bay tour, to share those hidden stories from the water. He hopes to defy stereotypes and give black youth, in particular, a sense of pride and belonging.

This is part of an ongoing series “Learning While Black: The Fight For Equity In San Francisco Schools.”

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

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California is taking stronger measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Disneyland shut down. Same with sports. And the San Francisco Unified School District will be closed to students for three weeks beginning Monday. But what's being done for the most vulnerable?

Groove On Down To Tunnel Jazz

Mar 12, 2020

We started our tour at the Conservatory of Flowers. Now, we’re back outside. As we walk along the path back toward the street, we see flower beds laid out before us, in fact, there’s a huge clock set into one of the gardens, embedded amongst the blooms. Then, we walk down some steps, and before us, there’s a tunnel. If you’re here on a Saturday, you might hear a sound emerging from it. It’s jazz! Laura Klivans introduces us to the people making the music.

Richard Dowing / Courtesy of Sins Invalid

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Antoine Hunter is an Oakland-based dancer, choreographer, director, and advocate for the Deaf community — that’s Deaf with a capital D, which refers to Deaf culture. When Antoine was growing up, dance became a lifeline to the world around him.

Jenee Darden / KALW

 

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Jurors found John Lee Cowell, the man who killed 18-year-old Nia Wilson guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder. Now jurors have to decide on his mental state. Even as the case winds down, emotions are still high. 

Flickr user Tony Wasserman

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The number of COVID-19 cases, and it varies county by county. As of the time of publishing, there are 14 confirmed cases in San Francisco. Santa Clara County has 45 cases, Alameda County is confirming three cases, but the numbers are constantly changing.

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