Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

Some California residents feel safer on the streets than in the shelters the state has provided, despite the health risks of living outdoors. Our partners at Valley Public Radio bring us a story about a team of physicians and medical students who are bringing healthcare to the streets. Then, the band The Seshen wants to redefine what it means to be a pop star. And, we hear a reading from a local author’s new young adult fantasy novel

Lately, people have been spending a lot more time indoors with their pets. So, what happens when our furry friends get sick or injured in the age of COVID? We find out from a San Francisco vet. Then, best-selling author Mary Monroe's latest book, inspired by real-life characters, is about neighbors who learn the hard way that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. And, from our producers at Solano State Prison, a story about the wild side of being a bike messenger

COVID cases are on the rise in the Bay Area and more people are getting tested. Now, there’s a backlog. We hear why testing varies from site to site and how the state plans to fix that. We also get an answer to a question about whether negative test results can be trusted. Then, a San Francisco event designer talks about traveling the globe planning luxurious parties and affairs.

Plus, today's local music features Prys, a bi-coastal Philadelphia-Oakland duo. They released their debut record, ISLY, earlier this year.

Oakland received a multi-million dollar grant to fund environmental projects in the deep east. We hear about that and skepticism from some residents. Then, an Oakland R&B artist found their identity through performing. Plus, a reading from a new book about fermentation.

Even before the coronavirus lockdown, fishing was a complicated industry. What is it like to juggle a fishing career and a family during COVID? Then, Oakland rapper Jwalt shares why he got so personal on his debut album. And, a role-playing game brings incarcerated people together.

Today, we get to the bottom a new noise on the northside of San Francisco. Then, UC Berkeley’s journalism school has a new dean who is promising change. And, we get an unexpected answer to a question about the most influential Latinos in the Bay Area.

Redefining Aging / Golden Gate Parkcast / New Arrivals

Jul 15, 2020

Best-selling author and geriatrician Louise Aronson wants us to redefine aging. Then, the Golden Gate Parkcast brings us a quixotic story that takes place at the ends of the earth. And, a reading from a local author’s new science fiction novel.

A report from UC Merced shows pandemic-related job losses have hit non-citizens hardest, and in particular undocumented women. Then, we hear how the pandemic has changed the daily routine of a laundromat owner in Richmond. And, from the producers of Uncuffed, what it’s like to be coping with depression in prison. Plus, a mini-reading from a new book by a Bay Area author. Today's featured local music is from Madeline Kenney's new album Sucker's Lunch.

Bo Walsh / KALW

In November of 2018, Chico resident and expecting mother-to-be Kaylan Sigel began writing letters in a journal to her unborn son. Four days after penning the first entry, Kaylan’s life was turned upside down when the Camp Fire of Butte County burned down her home.

Alpine county has been working for three years to change the name of a mountain peak named after a Confederate president. Why does it take so long? Then, the musical Hamilton is giving high school students a new way to see and hear history. And, we’re headed to the west side of Golden Gate Park, where marksmen and women take aim. Plus, a new reading from our "New Arrivals" series.

As COVID continues to spread throughout California prisons, and cases in San Quentin surpass 1,400, people share letters they wrote to their incarcerated loved ones. And, we hear from one of the men who, until last week, was behind bars at San Quentin. It's a special episode from the Uncuffed team.

Santa Clara County passed a resolution declaring that racism is a public health crisis. What does that mean for the county? Then, book shop supporters around the Bay Area rally to save their beloved independents. And, a reading from a local author’s new novel.

COVID-19 cases at San Quentin State prison have surpassed one thousand. We hear from a law professor who has been following the outbreak. Then, we return to San Francisco’s backyard, for the next installment of the Golden Gate Parkcast, where we meet the park’s hairiest denizens. And, a reading from a local children’s author whose new book is about surfing... and emotions.

Plus, today's local music is Oakland-based artist Baeilou featuring Mani Draper from Richmond. Their new track "Uneven" was produced by Nahuel Bronzini.

Shaina Shealy

In this story from The Spiritual Edge, we meet a Palestinian man trying to navigate one of the thorniest conflicts imaginable — whether Palestinians and Israelis can exist peacefully on a landmass barely bigger than the nine-county Bay Area.

Ash Ponders

Most religions teach people to help those in need. But what happens when that mandate clashes with how the government views the law? In this story from The Spiritual Edge, we hear how federal prosecutors cracked down on volunteers providing aid on the border. 

Day By Day: Week 14

Jun 25, 2020

It's been 100 days since shelter-in-place began and people across the Bay Area are taking stock of how their lives have been transformed. Locals are trying to keep the spotlight on historical injustices, while dealing with our strange new corona-reality. It’s Day By Day: KALW's Quarantine Diaries.

Yunfei Ren

San Francisco lost one of its most influential queer elders this year. Phyllis Lyon was a lesbian activist and trailblazer. She died in April at the age of 95. Phyllis developed dementia in her final years and was able to live independently in her own home. Or so she thought. A community of lesbian, queer, and trans people supported her with kindness... and deceit.

Constance Johnson chronicles her experience sheltering in place with her two kids on a converted school bus in Richmond. Then, an artist tells the stories of LGBTQ+ history in San Francisco through acting. And, we hear a reading from a San Francisco poet whose debut poetry collection has just been published.

Day By Day: Week 13

Jun 18, 2020


This week the Bay Area entered its fourth month of shelter in place. It's a confusing time: infection rates are climbing in some counties, just as some are welcoming back diners.

For the past three months we’ve been checking in with people from all around the Bay Area, to see how the pandemic is affecting their day-to-day lives. It’s Day By Day: KALW's Quarantine Diaries.

Black Students And Dyslexia / New Arrivals

Jun 17, 2020

California public schools are moving slowly to address the most common reading disability. In the second part of a two-part series, we hear about who is getting left behind. And, in the latest from our New Arrivals series, we hear a reading from a local author.

California public schools are moving slowly to address the most common reading disability. We’ll hear about who is getting left behind. Then, we learn who’s behind the name of San Francisco’s Castro District. And, we’ll hear a reading from a local author and garden expert who’s written a book about growing marijuana in the garden.

From our series on essential workers, we bring you an episode on a butcher who's doing things a little differently. Then, we’ll take a look at the legacy the Black Panthers left in East Oakland.

Day By Day: Week 12

Jun 11, 2020


Nearly 3 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. At the same time, experts warn that COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. This week we check in with a group of people as they decide how to move forward in the midst two unfolding crises. It’s Day By Day: KALW's Quarantine Diaries.

School’s out, flights are canceled, and many of us are thinking about getting outside … if we can. We find out how to camp safely and responsibly in the summer of COVID. Then, we're rexamining stereotypes about who is and who is not ‘outdoorsy.’ And, we’ll hear a reading from a local author who writes about a painful family history.

How is the agriculture industry faring in the new normal? We look at how family farms are adjusting during shelter-in-place. Then, East Bay musicians share what it’s like to be LGBTQ in the pop-punk scene. And, we'll continue our "New Arrivals" series featuring local authors. Plus, we're remembering Oakland's Bonnie Pointer.

A clinic in East Oakland is on the frontlines of fighting the spread of the coronavirus. We'll hear one doctor's thoughts on whether restrictions are being relaxed too soon. Then, a funeral director says the pandemic is making it easier for some loved ones to say goodbye. And, we head to San Quentin state prison, and hear from two unlikely cellmates.

Day By Day: Week 11

Jun 4, 2020

Since the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order took effect over 11 weeks ago, we’ve been hearing the voices and opinions of a mix of people to find out how they are dealing with these extraordinary times. In these past months, we’ve learned a lot about the virus. It has affected our work, our lives, and revealed longstanding racial disparities. In some states, black Americans are more than three to seven times more likely to die from COVID-19 than whites. So, when the video of the police killing of George Floyd sparked uprisings and protests across the country, thousands of residents gathered and put their lives at risk to protest something bigger. It’s Day By Day: KALW's Quarantine Diaries.

Thousands of Bay Area residents feel compelled to protest, but many struggle to balance that against the threat of COVID-19. We’ll hear what protesters can do to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Then, we talk to Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods about the protests. And, we continue our new arrivals series featuring local bay area authors.

Kaepernick: Race, Protest, And Respect

Jun 2, 2020

Today, we're considering the relationship between police and people of color. Before the current wave of protests, one Bay Area athlete sacrificed his career by demanding change.

This documentary originally aired on November 15, 2016.

The Bay Area erupted in protest over the weekend. We hear from a Oakland journalist Darwin BondGraham about OPD's response. And, we celebrate San Francisco's oldest gay bar as it closes its doors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.