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.

While local and state leaders are preparing for the next phase, we’re all still grappling with the way the pandemic has changed our day-to-day lives. For the past seven 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 about new loves, dashed dreams, and the competitive spirit of an 8-year-old Uno champ. 

One Night Gone Wrong

May 11, 2020
Courtesy of San Quentin News

From the project Uncuffed and San Quentin Radio:

 

David Jassy is a Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter from Stockholm, Sweden. With a passion for music and a promising career ahead of him, he flew to Hollywood to work with fellow artists. But six weeks into his stay Jassy found himself facing a life sentence in prison.  How did Jassy’s tale turn from triumph to tragedy so quickly?

A Hospital Chaplain On The Front Lines Of COVID-19

May 11, 2020

Rev. Claire Bohman provides support to patients, their loved ones, and staff at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. In this installment of our new series "The Essentials," Rev. Claire says COVID-19 has more caregivers asking for spiritual and emotional support.

Creative Commons

Oakland is bracing for a $122 million shortfall over 14 months due to the coronavirus. This is the largest financial shortfall in the city’s history. What is the city’s plan to weather this economic storm?

Reflect In The Shakespeare Garden

May 6, 2020

The music concourse can be seen as the cultural heart of Golden Gate Park. This wide oval plaza is filled with fountains and framed by museums and the bandshell housing the venerable Golden Gate Park Band. Now it’s time to head out from here to go to a place that’s even more timeless. We climb up stairs as we head south, around the California Academy of Sciences, into a wooded area. Back in the trees, you’ll find flowers from the writings of William Shakespeare. It’s a place dedicated to English literature’s crown prince. Walk through the entrance gate and down a worn brick path to be transported into an English garden filled with manicured flowerbeds, trimmed lawns, and people escaping the noise of the city. Reporter Jeremy Dalmas show us around.

Mike Kai Chen

In April, nearly 4,000 Mission District residents volunteered to get tested for COVID-19 and its antibodies. Unidos en Salud released the results of that testing on Monday, which raise difficult questions about racial and class disparities in San Francisco.

Courtesy of Virgie Tovar

For many teens, body image is a big issue. It’s not a new one, but every generation faces new challenges. At one time, it was getting messages about body image from TV, movies or magazines. For today’s teenage girls, social media and the internet dominate the message of what it means to be pretty, and what size is ‘cute’.

Courtesy of Michael Johnson

Rolling out full-on distance learning assignments when only more affluent students could participate, SFUSD decided, would only deepen the achievement gap. Step One? Figuring out how many students needed devices. 

Flickr user tze69, used under CC-BY-2.0

From San Quentin Radio:

Chanthon Bun is one of the incarcerated men at San Quentin who escaped the regime of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia as a child. 

Courtesy of Casey Kamali

May is mental health awareness month. It's an issue for people of all ages, including teenagers. According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 15 to 24. And the rate is increasingA Los Gatos teen who experienced challenges of her own started a podcast to give her peers struggling with mental health issues a voice. 

Gabe Grabin / KALW

Most Bay Area residents are passing their sixth week of shelter-in-place. We’ll hear from a diverse group of locals, including a real estate broker, a new mom, and a funeral director. It’s Day By Day: Quarantine Diaries.

April is National Poetry Month, and for some poetry helps make sense of the world. M.K. Chavez writes poetry that reflects on what’s going on in society and inside of herself.

Chavez is the author of "Mothermorphosis" and "Dear Animal," Her work has been honored by PEN Oakland and the Berkeley Public Library Foundation among others. In this interview she talks about themes in her writing such as nature and her mother’s battle with schizophrenia. 

Click the play button above to listen.

Jessica Placzek

Each year, little blue creatures wash up along the California coast. They’re about two and a half inches across, blue, and shaped kind of like pringles. Sometimes they’re beached by the millions. They’re called velella velella.

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Melissa Jones is the Executive Director of the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiatives, a coalition of the region's public health departments. The coalition has been meeting regularly to discuss best practices for policy decisions around COVID19. One of which is whether or not counties should keep their parks open for residents to access during the shelter in place order. 

Courtesy of Cecilia Pena-Govea

Cecilia Peña-Govea is La Doña. She is a Chicana artist whose music explores themes of romance, feminism, and identity. In this edition of Bay Area Beats, La Doña talks about finding her sound in San Francisco’s diverse Latinx communities.

Jenee Darden / KALW

Oakland is continuing to close off 74 miles of roads through their Slow Streets Initiative. The closures are supposed to give Oaklanders more safe, outdoor space while we shelter in place. But some residents in East Oakland aren’t open to the idea.

Incarcerated Father And Son Reunite After 22 Years

Apr 27, 2020
JulianGlenn Padgett / Uncuffed

From the project Uncuffed:

Lorenzo Fosselman Jr. and Lorenzo Fosselman Sr. hadn’t seen each other in 22 years. They both received life term sentences, and were incarcerated at different prisons. But thanks to a quirk of fate, we were able to bring Jr. and Sr. together face to face here at Solano Prison.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

One population that’s especially vulnerable in this COVID-19 pandemic is people who are addicted to opioids. A medication known by the brand name Suboxone can help, but it can be difficult to access, especially for people who are homeless. In 2019, we reported on a dramatic increase in Fentanyl-related deaths in Contra Costa County, and one doctor who decided to bring the medication to the streets. 

Courtesy of Shubham Goel

Shubham Goel is sheltering in place with his parents in Danville, but this isn’t the first time he’s been through a quarantine. He was on a reality TV show where isolation was one of the rules. 

It’s been 38 days since the shelter-in-place order went into effect in the region. Since then, we've been checking in regularly with a mix of people from all around the Bay, including a teacher, a restaurant owner, an artist, a grocery store worker, a nurse, and a ten-year-old. 

Steven Senne / AP Photo

Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the six criteria that must be met before we can all return to life as we knew it before shelter-in-place. That includes things like closely monitoring communities for the coronavirus, tracking down cases and isolating people who have it, and building capacity in local hospitals to handle sudden surges.

Courtesy of Meridy Volz

The coronavirus is on all of our minds, and for some, it brings back memories of another public health crisis, when the federal government was slow to respond and communities had to take care of each other: the AIDS epidemic.

Angela Johnston / KALW

It’s been a month since health officials across the Bay Area ordered residents to shelter in place. Since then, we have been checking in regularly with a mix of people from all around the Bay to see how the pandemic is affecting our lives. This week, we will hear from a public defender, a high school student, a new parent and a single parent, a delivery driver and more.

Ninna Gaensler-Debbs / KALW

Because of the coronavirus, justice is moving more slowly in California. Jury trials have been suspended, and hearings have been delayed. But immigration courthouses are still open. In this interview, Francisco Ugarte, an immigration attorney with San Francisco’s Public Defender’s Office, speaks about how this pandemic has changed deportation hearings. 

Courtesy of Melissa Jones

Melissa Jones has been electrifying stages around the Bay Area with her music and poetry. She is the lead singer of the soul/funk band No Lovely Thing. Melissa talks about how her Oakland roots and being a black woman influence her work.

Instagram / cropped

Bay Area shelters and dog rescues are currently closed to the public. So, what’s happening with all the unhoused dogs? Turns out, shelters are getting creative. 

Ben Sutherland / Flickr Creative Commons

Some singles are sexually frustrated and longing for intimacy while sheltering in place. They’re refraining from physical contact for their own health and safety. But they are finding ways to cope without touch. 

Christopher Egusa / KALW

In Fremont, an industrial road near Tesla has become home to a large number of people living in RVs. In February, the city ordered them to leave and began placing boulders in their place. We followed one resident as she struggled with her next move.

Lynn Shipman and her boyfriend live in their RV along Kato Road in Fremont. When I meet her, she immediately invites me in.

Inside, the RV looks like a miniature botanical garden.

Ex-Marine Confronts Terminal Cancer In Prison

Apr 13, 2020
Courtesy of Raymond Brassfield

From the project Uncuffed:

Having cancer is bad enough. But what if you had it in prison? Raymond Brassfield is an ex-marine with leukemia. He’s been told it will kill him.

Jae C. Hong / AP Photo

Domestic workers are using lessons learned from California’s wildfires to support their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re also pushing for legislation that could protect workers in future disasters.

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