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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Courtesy of Josh Kornbluth

Can your golden years truly be golden? Josh Kornbluth thinks so, but he says it starts with how you think about aging. The actor explains this in the video “Age without Ageism.” It’s part of his web series Citizen Brain.

Jeremy Dalmas

In this Audiograph, we climb inside the third tallest bell and clock-tower in the world, UC Berkeley's Campanile.

Laura Wenus / KALW

Stories of abuse or serious neglect in nursing homes make headlines, but patients and consumer advocates are trying to bring attention to overarching issues and push for a better system.

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

Patricia McGinnis, executive director of California Advocated for Nursing Home Reform, discusses the problems in the nursing care industry.

Laura Wenus / KALW

As California ages, the demand for nursing home beds is exceeding the supply. Advocates say it is especially difficult for seniors who need long-term care because our health care system incentivizes providers to favor short-term patients.

Rev. Harry Williams, is an author, activist, and minister of compassionate care at Glide Memorial Church. He’s featured in the KALW documentary, "Where is East Oakland?"


Deondre Hudson always wanted to be like Superman. In prison, he got his wish. He leads a group of men who follow the teachings of Superman and the mythology of the planet Krypton.

Nursing Care Expected To Worsen As California Ages

Sep 16, 2019
Laura Wenus / KALW

Advocates warn that people who need nursing care may increasingly be sent far away from San Francisco in a developing shortage of affordable nursing home beds linked in part to the cost of doing business and the cost of living in the Bay Area

Jocelyn Tabancay / KALW

Chinatown’s political powerhouse Rose Pak has been dead for three years, but that hasn’t stopped her from causing controversy. San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency named the new Muni station in Chinatown after her but not everyone is behind the decision.

Credit: State Attorney Generals Office

The State Attorney General recently came to Marin County to announce the first settlement to desegregate a California school in five decades. Meanwhile, 65 years after Brown v. Board of Education, segregation is on the rise nationwide.

Courtesy of Theo Aytchan Williams

Theo Aytchan Williams was walking through Oakland when he heard African drumming. The beat stayed in his and hasn’t left. Now he’s sharing his love for music and dance as founder of Samba Funk.

Under CC license from Flickr user Beatrice Murch

In San Francisco’s Richmond District, where Geary Boulevard meets Park Presidio, there stands a bright, white, defunct Christian Science church. There are big white columns out front, with pink steps leading up to iron double doors.

But what goes on inside this church is not quite what you’d expect.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

The Bay Area is home to some of the most powerful tech companies in the world, and many of them provide essential services to government agencies.


Last year, Oakland became Hollywood north. The Town was featured prominently in three mainstream movies: "Blindspotting," "Sorry to Bother You," and, of course, "Black Panther."

Segregation During The Era Of Rosie The Riveter

Sep 11, 2019
From the Storycorps booth

If you've ever visited the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park on the Richmond waterfront, chances are you have heard of its most celebrated ranger.

Sergio De La Torre / Cropped

When Sergio De La Torre first moved to San Francisco, he was struck by the variety of colors that dressed the city’s homes. In his neighborhood, houses were painted with every color of the spectrum. Today, though, one color is taking over the rest: Gray.

Alice Woelfle / KALW

For few generations now Berkeley has been home to alternative living arrangements like communes and co-ops. There’s a new intentional community keeping this tradition alive.

Here, no one’s in charge and decisions are made by consensus. This place is at the forefront of the housing crisis — in fact, it’s the reason the people here came together in the first place. 

'Monster Kody' — Monster No More?

Sep 9, 2019


From the series Uncuffed:


Sanyika Shakur, formerly known as “Monster” Kody Scott, is getting out of prison. While incarcerated in 1993, he published “Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member,” which made him famous.

Josh Edelson / AP Photos

African Americans are disproportionately arrested and prosecuted in San Francisco. District Attorney George Gascón is turning to artificial intelligence to keep bias from influencing prosecutors. But how much of a difference can this new tool actually make? 

This is Uncuffed, a new podcast made inside prison walls at San Quentin Prison and Solano State Prison in California. We share intimate stories of our struggles and triumphs, and of the heartache and forgiveness taking place within these walls.

Opera At The Powell Street Turnaround

Sep 5, 2019
Julie Caine

In this week's Audiograph, one man shares his talent in an unlikely place.

Courtesy of American Public Media

Francis Lam grew up in New Jersey to Chinese immigrant parents who dreamed of him becoming a dentist or lawyer. When he said he wanted to be a writer, well, they weren’t exactly thrilled. But then they saw that first byline and they were convinced.

Angela Johnston

Last month, we aired a story about the future of ranching in Point Reyes National Seashore. The Park Service finally released its draft plan.  And the public has until September 23rd to comment. 

A Taste Of The Long History Of Bay Area Chocolate

Sep 4, 2019
Asal Ehsanipour / KALW News

The Bay Area’s long history of chocolate spans all the way back to the Gold Rush. Since then, the region has been a source for chocolate innovation again and again, from a Berkeley-based revolution in chocolate desserts to a craft chocolate revolution in the ‘90s that turned the industry on its head.

Zeina Nasr / KALW News

There’s a long history of chocolate making in the Bay Area that goes all the way back to the Gold Rush. Over a century later, a new guard of chocolate makers is picking up where a previous generation of innovators left off, and they’re leading a small but potent revolution in the chocolate industry.

Jenee Darden / KALW

A real estate company recently proposed a big development plan for Alameda South Shore Center. It has residents talking about the need for more housing, potential traffic problems and future of the island’s culture. 

Kevin N. Hume / SF Examiner

On Thursday, the city and county’s Planning Commission unanimously approved a proposal to designate a parking lot near Balboa Park BART Station for long-term parking and overnight camping in vehicles. This approach has already been tried in Oakland, Palo Alto, and San Jose, but it’s a novel move for San Francisco. 

Courtesy of Market Street Railway Archives

San Francisco’s oldest working streetcar is a survivor. Car 578, sometimes called “The Dinky,” has a Cinderella story. Once the laughingstock of the fleet, it went on to inspire Muni’s collection of historic cars. 

We Go Down To Go Up To Go Down At The Winchester Mystery House

Aug 29, 2019

In this Audiograph, we’re headed for the South Bay, to go behind the scenes of a famously haunted mansion.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

Contra Costa County jail officials are investigating a recent in custody death at the Martinez Detention Facility earlier this month. That inmate is the third person to die inside the jail so far this year.