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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Got a general comment, story, or tip for us? Email news@kalw.org or call (415) 264-7106.

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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

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San Francisco’s Central Market neighborhood is the focus of a lot of attention these days. The long rundown area has become a canvas of urban planning: local art and mural projects fill the sidewalks, and big businesses like Twitter have decided to locate there because of generous civic tax breaks.

Smartphones bring us streaming audio, directions to where we're going, instant connections with our friends and family. But an increasing number of experts are sounding an alarm that smartphones may as well be called spyphones.

As many San Franciscans know, dropped calls are such a common problem with cell phones that in 2002, Verizon Wireless launched a commercial empire based on that now-famous tagline:

If your kid comes up to you on Thanksgiving and asks you, "What should I be thankful for? I can't think of anything!" you should say to that child, "Boy (or girl), do I have the book for you!" (especially if you are a character in a commercial). In the book I See Kindness Everywhere, by Lafayette mom Shelley Frost, a little girl says, "When I put on my socks, I see the kindness of people who cut and sewed the material. Thank you, sock makers!" I don't want to ruin the ending, but there's a spiderweb. Hint: Webs of kindness.

Early this morning at UC Berkeley, police clearned an Occupy Cal encampment which had been set up for a second time Tuesday night on Sproul Plaza. Almost all campers left voluntarily, except for two who were arrested.

Earlier this week, two Caltrans workers were fired for allegedly falsifying test results on various projects around the state, and neglecting proper testing procedures of the new span on the Bay Bridge. 

Tired of potholes? The residents who live along Lichau sure are. Road Warrior, a Sonoma County transportation blog, holds a poll each year for the worst of the roads. This year’s winner? Yep, Lichau.  We sent KALW’s Lindsey Lee Keel for a drive.

Stephen T! Millhouse (no, that exclamation point is not a typo), is on a 1,460 mile march to call attention to homelessness and hunger. Millhouse, a veteran, has been homeless himself, in both California and Montana, and relied on social services and veterans assistance to survive. Now, he’s repaying the favor, raising money by walking from his current home of Missoula to his former home of Los Angeles, by way of the Bay Area.

Police in riot gear dismantled the Occupy Cal tents on the UC Berkeley campus early this morning. Two protesters were arrested, but it was otherwise calm and orderly....

In Episode #26, Gena Castro Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Youth Justice Institute, discusses the unique needs of girls in the juvenile justice system, using her direct service experience to inform policy debates, partnering effectively with probation departments, using data to improve programming, and more.

Gena Castro Rodriguez Interview Highlights

Castro Rodriguez on Building Trust with Youth:

Economic unrest is at the heart of social movements taking place around the country. But in San Francisco, that wasn’t enough to shake up the political establishment. When voters went to the polls last week, political incumbents carried the day, with George Gascon taking the race for district attorney, and appointed Mayor Ed Lee winning four more years in office.

If you grew up in the US, you’re probably well-acquainted with fairytales in which real animals behave like people; whether it’s pigs, wolves, rabbits or turtles. But in India, children grow up hearing about half-monkey gods and 10-headed demon kings.

Bringing down the banks

Nov 16, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street protests have started a national conversation about how capitalism should work – or if it can work at all. But for all the talk about the problems with our financial system, it seems like few workable solutions have emerged. After several large bank bailouts, many people feel powerless. But others are taking action to get that power back.

In this web exclusive interview, San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos reflects on his runner-up showing in the San Francisco mayor’s race. He also discusses how ranked-choice voting worked out in last week’s election, and describes his efforts to bring more lower-income and middle-class values to City Hall. Avalos also speaks about issues of the Occupy movement.

“Genius” is a pretty loaded title. But the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation began bestowing that honor on American luminaries who shine in a variety of respective fields. They no longer call the recipients “geniuses,” but they do still award half-a-million dollars to 20 or so every year to support their work. No strings attached.

Occupy Oakland made a peaceful return to Frank Ogawa Plaza last night following a march by several hundred from the Public Library on 14th and Madison to City Hall. Despite holding a packed General Assembly in the amphitheater, dozens of Oakland Police positioned throughout the plaza and the surrounding streets deterred any attempts to set up tents or permanently retake the plaza.

Photo courtesy of NAM

When it comes to poverty in California, it boils down to some pretty startling numbers: Last year, six million people in the state were officially living below the poverty line, two million of them children. And more than half of the state’s students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. This data comes from Kidsdata.org, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for children’s health.

As the Occupy Wall Street movement unfolds in the Bay Area, KALW is trying something new. We’re using the sound-sharing platform SoundCloud to collect perspectives on the movement from Bay Area residents. Tell us what’s happening in your city and what you think about it. Share it with us using your Android, iPhone, or iPad and the SoundCloud App.

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