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.

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.

Noah Berger / AP Photos

Health workers and officials continue to process, treat, and quarantine passengers who were aboard the Grand Princess Cruise Ship that docked in Oakland on Monday.

From Magic City To Toxic Island

Mar 9, 2020

Treasure Island is an artificial island built on a natural reef between Oakland and San Francisco. Landon Neill discovered old film footage that sent him on a mission to understand the forces that shaped the island’s history.

Julia Llinas Goodman

It can be hard to run a successful restaurant in the Bay Area. And there are additional challenges that come with being a trans chef. But despite those hurdles, one Oakland restaurant owner is determined to make it work.

Jonathan Hawkins / Flickr Creative Commons

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Adam Incera recently visited San Francisco from New York and wanted to know: Why does the Bay Area have so many transit systems?

JoAnn Mar

Dealing with death is not easy. But some in the Bay Area are opening the conversation by stepping on stage and telling their stories of loss and mortality to an audience.

Mission for the Homeless, 2019

The Bay Area, one of the wealthiest regions in the world, also has the largest percentage of unsheltered people in the United States. For those who devote their lives to working with these individuals, the cost can be burnout, “compassion fatigue”. This story is about someone who is determined to keep going.

Is It Us, Or Is It The Video Games?

Mar 2, 2020

Recently, the World Health Organization declared that obsessive gamers suffer from an addiction called “video game disorder.” Some psychologists fired back, arguing this diagnosis ignores more serious mental health problems. San Francisco teenager Jiahao Chen wanted to know: are his friends just having fun playing Fortnite, or can zealous gaming really be an addiction? 

How Do Bonds Get Turned Into Public Funds?

Mar 2, 2020
Wally Gobetz / Flickr / Creative Commons


    

Public infrastructure – parks, libraries, roads, and sidewalks – surrounds us. But have you ever wondered how any of it actually came into being?

Sarah Lai Stirland / KALW

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Nastassya Saad wonders about the origins of the world-famous moniker for the South Bay.

Reed Saxon / AP Photo

Climate change is fueling devastating wildfires in California, and in some cases, low-wage immigrant workers are cleaning up after them. They sweep ash out of houses and strip debris from burned buildings.

Courtesy of Mary Ellen Donald

When Mary Ellen Donald was eight years old, she fell in love with the piano. Around that same time, she was also diagnosed with macular degeneration, which means she would gradually lose her eyesight. That didn’t stop her ambition. 

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo

In October 2019, a stretch of dry weather and strong winds sparked dozens of wildfires across California, killing three people and destroying hundreds of homes. For the low-wage immigrants who work in those homes, fire season brings its own dangers.

Lynn Lane

In 1611, Nur Jahan was 34, widowed, and a single mother when she married the Mughal emperor. She rose to power in India, but years later story faded from people’s memories. Farah Yasmeen Shaikh is telling her legacy in the show "The Forgotten Empress."

Mariquitas CK / Wikimedia Commons, used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Are Alameda County voters willing to increase the sales tax to help fund young children’s healthcare and education? That’s what drafters of Measure C want to know. If passed, Measure C — or the Care for Kids initiative — would raise the county’s sales tax by one-half of one percent. This would last for 20 years and generate about $150 million annually. 

Brett Simpson / KALW

You may not have heard of the chemical PFAS, but you probably touched it at some point today. It’s a man-made chemical in tons of products in our homes, like nonstick pans and food packaging. But it’s toxic. And in at least one preschool in Berkeley, it’s in the carpets. 

How Big Money Changed Sneaker Culture

Feb 24, 2020

The sneaker industry is expected to be valued at $95.15 billion dollars by 2025. It’s been decades since sneakerheads could claim to be members of a small subculture. San Francisco high schooler Bryan Ng looks into the resilience of sneaker culture. 

Jeremy Fish

Once upon a time in Gold Rush-era San Francisco a businessman amassed a fortune, then lost it all and went insane. His next move? He declared himself Emperor of the United States. 

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

Proposition E is trying to play hardball with San Francisco’s housing crisis. The measure states that if San Francisco can’t build more housing, it can’t have new office space either.

Richard Vogel / AP Photo

Some of San Francisco’s most popular neighborhoods have an empty storefront problem. In North Beach, one in every five storefronts were vacant in 2018. The city says this problem’s on the rise, though it doesn’t know how widespread it is.

Lee Romney / KALW

City College of San Francisco recently eliminated more than 300 class offerings -- without consulting academic chairs, students or city leaders. Those protesting the cuts say the very identity of the institution is at stake. Sound familiar? It is.

The Power And Pitfalls Of Online Activism

Feb 17, 2020

Social media has revolutionized how activists get messages out in the world. Chosang Tenzin, a junior at Oakland Technical High School, wanted to understand the differences between being woke behind a screen — and on the street.

Fernando Gambaroni

  

Sara Moore gives people the gift of laughter through the art of clowning. And clowning has been self-empowering for them when it comes to gender. Sara’s character is out of this world in "The Supers: A Science-Fiction Magical Realism Human Cartoon Opera."

Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC 2.0

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Cameron Williams wanted to know: "What’s the best place in the Bay Area to have a first kiss?"

Eric Risberg / AP Photo

Last January, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration can begin implementing its expanded “public charge” rule, which could systematically deny green cards to low-income immigrants. 

Courtesy of Carina Ho

In this edition of Bay Area Beats, we hear from Oakland musician Carina Ho. Carina studied ballet and played in bands for most of her life but never considered a serious career in the arts. A traumatic accident in 2014 changed that and set her on a brand new path. 

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