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.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

 

Nearly three months into shelter-in-place, society is beginning to reopen. People are heading outside. For some it’s to restaurants or back to work. Many are joining the anti-racism protests that began over two weeks ago. And change is happening - in communities, and in government.

Photo courtesy of Rue Mapp

An incident involving a white woman calling the cops on a black birder in Central Park last month sparked a conversation about racism in the outdoors world. And, it sparked a celebration online: Black Birders Week. Black naturalists highlighted both the prejudices and the joys they experience out in nature. One of their messages? There are more of us than you think. 

Chasing Donguri CC-by-NC-SA 2.0

COVID has cancelled many people’s vacation plans, so more Bay Areans might be turning to camping. But can we go? Is it safe? And how can we do it responsibly?

Public Domain

Bonnie Pointer, one of the founding members of Oakland's legendary Pointer Sisters, died yesterday, at 69 years old. After years singing choir music in their home town, Bonnie and her sister June started performing in San Francisco in 1969. When their sister Anita joined them soon after, they made music history.

Adreanna Rodriguez / KALW

In California, farms have not been immune to COVID-19. A Farm Bureau Federation survey recently found that more than half of farms across the state have lost customers or sales due to pandemic. Small family farms are especially vulnerable.

Sarchasm is a Berkeley-based band that’s been together for a decade. They’ve used their music to work through challenges, spread political messages, and support each other.

Courtesy of Roots Community Health Center

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this interview contained errors that have been corrected, below:

* When Dr. Noha Aboelata said the virus is "almost controlled within the white population" we didn't mention she was referring to HIV/AIDS, not COVID-19. We apologize for any confusion our error may have caused.

-----

The weather is warmer and many people are out protesting. But the coronavirus is still here and East Oakland remains a hot spot for COVID-19. Dr. Noha Aboelata of Roots Community Health Center is concerned that people are relaxing too fast.

From the producers of Uncuffed and San Quentin Radio:

Close to 3,500 inmates are currently incarcerated at San Quentin. They live in cells that are 48 square feet, and a little less than eight feet tall — most of them with a cellmate. From San Quentin Radio, here’s the story of a pair of cellmates who made the choice to live together, despite a mountain of obstacles.

Madolan Greene / Flickr Creative Commons / cropped

Reuben Houston is the owner and director of one of Colma Cremation and Funeral Services. The Bay Area has seen a relatively low COVID death rate compared to other population centers, but the virus has still affected his work. In this installment of "The Essentials," Reuben says the pandemic may change the way funerals are conducted for good.

For the past 11 weeks, we’ve been checking in regularly with a mix of people to hear how they’re dealing with these extraordinary times.  This week, many have started leaving their homes to protest another pandemic. 

Courtesy of Alameda County Public Defender

The Bay Area protests against ongoing police brutality have caused cities and counties to enact curfews, including Alameda County.

Courtesy of Geoff Livingston

While many organizers have told protesters to socially distance and wear masks, public health experts fear the Bay Area’s demonstrations could still fuel a rise in COVID-19 infections. That could be particularly devastating to the same black and brown communities most impacted by police brutality.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons


Tony Thurmond is California’s first black Superintendent of Public Schools in four decades. Since mid-March, he’s spoken publicly only about the coronavirus. On Monday, that changed with an emotional address about racism and implicit bias.

Meradith Hoddinott

Artists, drag queens, and members of the queer and trans community gathered together to mourn the closing of San Francisco’s oldest LGBT bar, The Stud. 

Ep. 10 - I Have A Bucket

May 29, 2020

For the past 10 weeks, we’ve been checking in regularly with a mix of people to hear how they’re dealing with these extraordinary times. In this episode, we hear from a family questioning their memorial day trip down the coast, a potter who gets a positive test, and a mother afraid to send her kid back to school. It's Day By Day: KALW's Quarantine Diaries.

Cast A Line At The Angling Club

May 27, 2020

We’re down in the wilder spaces of the park, now. The lower side, with its hiking and mountain bike trails, its hidden gardens, its untamed forests. We continue westward, exploring this less cultivated area where there's more space and more animals, too. You’ll see coyotes out here sometimes. Plenty of raccoons in the evening. Foxes, if you’re lucky. We turn off the road, back into the forest. It’s quiet except for the occasional whizzing sound, gentle crank, and quiet chatter. We’re at Golden Gate Park’s casting pools. Reporter Ian Lewis shows us how it's done. 

Julia Llinas Goodman / KALW

Since shelter in place began, health officials around the Bay Area have struggled to deal with packed parks and beaches. And then there are the crowds at Lake Merritt.

Jenee Darden / KALW

Gov. Newsom announced in-store shopping can resume. County health officials in parts of the Bay Area haven’t approved this yet. We visit Oakland’s Fruitvale District to hear non-essential small business owners’ concerns and how they’re surviving.

Jess Engebretson / KALW

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Americans into sudden intimacy with difficult feelings: anxiety, fear, and grief. In this story from The Spiritual Edge, we get to know a North Carolina woman whose Buddhist practice has helped her navigate fear and grief.

For the past nine weeks, we’ve been checking in with people from around the Bay to hear how they are dealing with these extraordinary times. In this episode, we hear from a senior who sings, a teacher on his last day of class, and a bookseller happy to see regulars again.  It’s Day By Day: KALW’s Quarantine Diaries.

Put The Wind In Your Sails At Spreckels Lake

May 20, 2020

Most of the cultivated features of Golden Gate Park are found on its eastern side. Now we’re heading for the wilder west — an area more frequented by locals than tourists. And as you’ll see and hear, there’s plenty to discover. There are lots of grassy areas here where people like to picnic. It gets foggier ... and we pass by one of Golden Gate Park’s more dramatic features. It's a waterfall cascading down from a man-made hillside, right next to an overpass. We continue on, under the bridge, and down the hill. The creek running alongside us eventually feeds into a lake with plenty of birds in it. That's where we're going today: Spreckels Lake. Reporter Hannah Kingley-Ma introduces us to its visitors.

Jules Wecker

In this story from The Spiritual Edge, we'll meet Al and Andi Tauber, married singer-songwriters who direct music for a congregation of urban Mennonites in Chicago. Like their Amish and Quaker spiritual cousins, Mennonites favor the simple life, but they see God in city life too. For the Taubers, this means taking their faith and music to the streets.

Vikki McCloskey is a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. The museum has been closed for months, but there are tens of thousands of animals, bugs, and fish that live there. And they still need to eat. In this installment of "The Essentials," McCloskey takes us into a swamp as she feeds four snapping turtles and an albino alligator named Claude.

How Carlos Muñoz Crocheted His Way To Freedom

May 18, 2020
Steve Drown / KALW

From the series Uncuffed:

Carlos Muñoz had been incarcerated for more than 20 years when he finally found his calling—crochet. He started out in hiding, embarrassed to crochet in front of other men. But over time, he brought his art into the light. Carlos shared the wisdom he’s learned from his crochet hooks.

For the past eight weeks, we’ve been checking in with people from around the Bay to hear how they are dealing with these extraordinary times. In this episode, we hear from an 88-year-old poet, an unemployed potter, and a frustrated restaurant owner.

Nose Around The Rose Garden

May 13, 2020

  

We’ve just left the Shakespeare Garden, in a thicket off 9th Avenue. We're going to head back toward the north side of the park, and to get there, we'll take a circuitous route down a hill into the parking garage serving the California Academy of Sciences and the DeYoung Museum. Soon we’re back in the sprawling music concourse. We go down a path to the left of the Japanese Tea Garden until we get to John F. Kennedy Boulevard, where our destination is just across the street. It’s a garden. Sheer Elegance. Wild Blue Yonder. Lady Elsie May. Daybreaker. Although these might sound like romance novel titles, they’re actually names for different species of the flower of romance, the rose. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has one whole acre of land dedicated to roses. Reporter Chris Hambrick follows the scent.

Courtesy of St. Anthony's

The city is opening its first so-called “safe-sleeping-site" nearly eight weeks after Mayor London Breed announced San Francisco’s shelter-in-place ordinance. It’s between the Asian Art Museum and the main library, right in front of City Hall.

Miss Lopez Media

When rapper Call Me Ace isn’t grinding at his YouTube job, he’s on the mic dropping positive lyrics about life and adulthood. His latest EP is ironically titled 'Working From Home.'

Where Can Women Go To Heal, Bond... And Twerk?

May 12, 2020
Alyia Renee Yates

People are gathering virtually for work, to see friends and family, and to blow off steam. Sure, there's online fitness classes, but there’s also Free The Cheeks. It’s a class that teaches women different ways to shake their booties, embrace their sensuality, and feel empowered. In this story from our archives, we visited them at In The Groove Studios in Oakland.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

There’s no end date for when it will be safe to gather in crowds again, so people around the world continue to stretch the possibilities of a Zoom call. Funerals, weddings, and church services have all been happening virtually. For one woman in Berkeley, the shelter-in-place order meant rethinking two very different rituals.

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