Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

On today's show: Bay Area counties are expecting millions of dollars from a lawsuit about lead paint, but getting that money may not be easy. Then, meet Hayward’s newest city council member — an Afghan American millennial woman who is already making waves. And, we go through the looking glass with a theater artist who is adding a modern take to classic fairy tales.

Remembering Jeff Adachi / Polynesian and in prison

Mar 4, 2019

 On today's show: Public defenders and community leaders gather to remember and mourn Jeff Adachi. Then, two stories from our series Uncuffed — a man who feels trapped between two worlds: American urban culture and ancient Polynesian tradition, and a musician changes his tune after a visit from his sister.

On today's show: People in the Bay Area have been bugging out about a possible monarch butterfly extinction. Then, an Oakland novelist confronts modern issues using horror-fiction. And, a musical show that gives misfits a sense of sanctuary.

Coming up, local businesses react to San Francisco’s new flavored tobacco ban. Then, we remember San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi with his longtime friend and colleague Matt Gonzalez. And, a local skating legend finds rhythm on the skateboard and on the bass.

On today's show: a Buddhist teacher brings diversity to a meditation center in Oakland. Then, a place for women to heal… and twerk. And, a Bay View about the challenges of being dual-identity: techie and first-gener.

On today's show, a recap of the My Brother's Keeper conference, where a former president speaks to young men of color in Oakland. Then, we’ll meet a woman who left the business world to tell the story of one of the greatest artworks in San Francisco. Plus, more questions answered from listeners like you!

Coming up, El Nino is back! How is all this rain affecting our water supply? Then, there’s an apex predator among us in San Francisco. And, we’ll continue finding answers to your questions, like, "Why are there so many sand dollars on Ocean Beach?"

Coming up, a play about a man who spent more than half a century in prison. Then, dealing with depression . . . and getting the wrong pills. And, we’ll get bite-sized answers to questions you asked. Like, "what's the oldest streetcar in San Francisco?"

Art that heals / Harpist Destiny Muhammad

Feb 14, 2019

Coming up, a story about the little things that bring romance to life and what happens when you let love grow. Then, we’ll hear from the Oakland Jazz harpist whose unlikely path to music was a thing of Destiny.

Coming up, the story of how a defiant radio station is operating in a repressive country: Inside Turkey’s first and only listener-supported station. Then, we’ll talk to an Oakland cartoonist who’s telling stories from her daily life through comics.

Today, a look inside the battle lines being drawn over whether police should release misconduct records. Then, the Sundance Film Festival was abuzz about “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.” Hear from the moviemakers.  And a young singer/songwriter makes waves in the jazz scene.

On today's show, repairs have begun at San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center, but we don’t know when it will re-open. Then, an East Oakland mom takes her kids to an event in Marin. And, a man who’s been in prison for 28 years finds out if he got parole.

Today, we hear about a possible teachers strike at Oakland Unified along with some painful school closures.  Then, the story of a great grandmother, who lives her best life by helping others eat healthy. And, Audiograph will give us a taste of Vietnam at a South Bay mall.

Andreas Zhou


Every Lunar New Year, Chinese American women from across the country travel to San Francisco to participate in the Miss Chinatown USA pageant — an ethnic beauty pageant that’s been a national event since the late fifties.

On today's show, what shutting down the Berkeley Flea Market this winter means for the city. Then, we'll go inside God's Gym in Oakland — a gym that pumps up your body and your spirit. And, a bilingual rapper draws influence from her grandmother’s stories.

Today, remembering the legacy of Japanese American incarceration camps — how one woman was inspired to become an activist after being incarcerated as a child. Then, get ready for a black history lesson in Santa Clara county. And, from Solano State Prison, a man teaches a class on how to drive a truck — using a model dashboard he made by hand.

On today's show, a “grand bargain” on housing moves forward, but some key leaders are not on board. Then, more than five years since the 49ers left Candlestick Park, there’s a play about their final season. And, a throwback to another era in NFL history.

Today, we hear from the first-ever state surgeon general. She’s on a mission, and it’s all about the kids. Then, San Francisco cabbies who paid thousands of dollars to get taxi medallions say the city owes them. And, behind the wheel with Examiner columnist Kelly Dessaint on why he left Lyft and Uber to drive a taxi.

Dependence: a story of motherhood and addiction

Jan 29, 2019
Rachel Cassandra / KALW

Bay Area reporter Rachel Cassandra spent nine months reporting in Fresno, a city with a long history of high rates of intravenous drug use. Rachel met Amanda, who is struggling with both homelessness and heroin addiction. This is her story, as told in the audio documentary, Dependence.

First up, Oaklanders rally around presidential candidate Kamala Harris. Then, a team of dogs finds cremated remains of loved ones lost during the Camp Fire. And, from our series Uncuffed, the unlikely friendship between a black man and a skinhead.

Today, we hear about a question that might be on the 2020 Census. It could cost the Bay Area billions of dollars. Then, meet San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley on the importance of celebrating jazz history. And, we visit an old-school recording studio where songs are made by cutting (actually cutting) tape (actual tape).

Bay View on Sudan / Adult ISH / Radically Fit

Jan 23, 2019

Today, we take a look at turmoil happening in Sudan in a new series called Bay Views. Then, a new show by young people who say they aren’t quite yet adults just yet. And, we’ll hear about a space in Oakland where queer people of color are getting Radically Fit.

Women's March / Peaches Christ / Uncuffed

Jan 22, 2019

Today, we’ll hear voices from the third annual Women’s March in San Francisco. Then, we’ll check in with one of the queens of the San Francisco scene, Peaches Christ, on drag becoming part of mainstream culture. And, from our series Uncuffed: a father and son housed in different prisons form an unbreakable bond.

99% Invisible: Ponte City Tower

Jan 21, 2019

In a special presentation from KALW News, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re considering race and class relations from an international design perspective with our friends from 99% Invisible. It’s the story of the Ponte City Tower.

Lee Romney / KALW

This is part of an ongoing series “Learning while black: The fight for equity in San Francisco schools.”

San Francisco’s African American community has shrunk by half since 1970. Of the families that remain, nearly a fifth live in public housing or get a rental subsidy. Now, a city effort is turning public housing into a key front in the battle to improve educational outcomes for African American kids.