Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

Lee Romney / KALW

This is part of an ongoing series “Learning While Black: The Fight For Equity In San Francisco Schools.”

The Big Lift, an original KALW documentary, follows Carver Elementary School’s family liaison over the course of a year as she works to support struggling parents and guardians — so their kids can thrive in the classroom.

KALW is listener supported. Donate to support local public radio.  

Richmond community members get involved with regulating their own air quality. Then, we continue our series of interviews with San Francisco mayoral candidates — meet Ellen Lee Zhou. And, how a Bay Area community helped overthrow a dictator thousands of miles away.

San Francisco Mayor's Race / Uncuffed Episode 1

Oct 21, 2019

First up, we meet a candidate for mayor who wants to use revenue bonds to make San Francisco the greenest city on earth. Then, our partners in California prisons have a new series: Uncuffed is now available wherever you get your podcasts. 

First up, we start our series of interviews with candidates for San Francisco mayor with opera singer Wilma Pang. Then, a big data project helps shed light on the achievement gap for students here in the Bay, and across the country. And, for today’s Audiograph, we learn something new.

Magnolia McKay / KALW

San Francisco’s public housing is in the middle of a huge transition. In 2007, the city rolled a plan to redevelop four of the city’s public housing sites in phases to avoid displacing any residents. Now, residents in Potrero Hill are in the first phase.

First up, a candidate for San Francisco District Attorney wants to take politics out of the prosecutor’s office. Then, a new band out of Oakland uplifts black women through their special sound. And, for today’s Audiograph, we’re headed to the rodeo.

First up, former police commission president Suzy Loftus on why she should be San Francisco's next top cop. Then, we hear about a BART director’s attempt to stop panhandling on BART. And, a Mountain View gathering this weekend wants to connect Silicon Valley to Africa.

First up, why our state’s forests actually need more fire, not less Then, he’s a public defender, son of incarcerated radicals, and today he’s running to be San Francisco’s next top cop. And, we’ll go to one of the best-smelling spots in San Francisco.

First up, we meet a candidate for San Francisco District Attorney who’s pushing to turn juvenile hall into a mental health treatment center. Then, we get to the bottom of a mystery found at San Francisco intersections. Plus, our latest story from Solano State Prison.

First up, when immigrants send money back home, it’s not only about dollar amounts. Then, how a local nonprofit is helping migrants keep up with the changes in immigration law. And, an Audiograph — a signature sound from around the Bay Area.

First up, We go on the hunt for the perfect straw. Then, what state bills were signed into law this session, and which ones weren’t? We get a legislative update. And, we explore why designers don’t like San Francisco’s city flag.


First up, will San Francisco skyscrapers stand up against the Big One when it hits? Seismic specialists hash it out. Then, we explore one architect’s process of designing sacred spaces. And, we’ll visit a street in San Francisco known for people getting along.

First up, a small harbor-front community is losing their beach, and a famous surfing wave. Then, we'll hear from some of the first surfers to brave San Francisco waters. And, what does a prison do when the earth shakes?

First, it’s the last season for the Raiders, and the Warriors have crossed the Bay. What’s next for Oakland sports? And, since the Raiders aren't out quite yet, you can still experience one of the most raucous parties in the Bay Area. Then, we’ll bring it back to the Black Panthers of the '60s and '70s to see what legacy they left in East Oakland.

New Cannabis Permits / John McLaren / Philosopher Walk

Sep 25, 2019

First, special permits are allowing cannabis consumption at music festivals in the bay. Then, the man who helped develop San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park- the story of John McLaren. And, we stumble upon one of the city’s best-kept secrets: a thought-provoking trail in his namesake park.

First, we’ll hear from young filmmakers on climate change, their future, and film. Then, we’ll head to a neighborhood known as San Francisco’s “Garden District." And, we have a chat with one of the dancers in Hamilton.

Coming up, new legislation is changing the landscape for gig workers and other freelancers throughout California. Is AB5 a done deal? Then, we’ll share a new story from the Uncuffed team at Solano State Prison. And, we find possible solutions to heal ourselves using sound.

We’ll hear about the battle for People’s Park in Berkeley. Then, we'll meet the man behind this signature Berkeley sound. And, monologist Josh Kornbluth wants us to be more positive about aging. 

First up, stories of abuse or serious neglect in nursing homes make headlines, but patients and consumer advocates are also trying to bring attention to systemic issues. We’ll also hear from long-time advocate Patricia McGinnis about what’s worked … and what hasn't.

Long-Term Nursing Care / East Oakland Community

Sep 17, 2019

First up, we look into why nursing home patients and their families can feel squeezed by their insurers. The impact of insurance on senior care. Then, our documentary “Where is East Oakland?” looks at the culture of the community.

First up, long-term nursing care is getting harder to find in expensive, urban areas. Then, what’s behind the name of a new Muni station in San Francisco’s Chinatown? And, we’ll meet a guy in prison who started a spiritual group … based on Superman.

First up, Brown versus Board of Education -- in jeopardy. Then, a samba dancer in Oakland answers the call of the African drum. And, we’ll take you behind the scenes at San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers.


First up, Bay Area tech companies are facing pushback after contracting with ICE. Then, we visit the building in San Francisco where pretty much the entire history of the internet is kept. And, Oakland’s film festival opens the doors of creativity for filmmakers of all ages.

First up, we hear how solar energy is empowering people in a Berkeley homeless encampment. Then, a local artist is documenting a peculiar trend in San Francisco house paint. And, the memories of the oldest park ranger in the country — stationed right here in the Bay Area.

First up, a new tool used by the San Francisco district attorney redacts race from police reports. Then, a new book chronicles the trauma that’s pushed many of the city’s vagabond youth to the streets. And, from Uncuffed, a former gang member tells his story.

First up, we get an update on a controversial plan for the future of ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore. Then, we chop it up about food and culture with The Splendid Table’s Francis Lam. And, from Audiograph, one man shares his talent in an unlikely place.

It's Chocolate O'Clock

Sep 4, 2019

Today, we have a show that may make your mouth water — it's about the Bay Area’s long history of chocolate connoisseurs. And, we’ll meet local artisans who are changing the way we consume it.

First up, a big development planned in Alameda and we’ll hear about how residents feel about it. Then, San Francisco is designating a parking lot where people living without homes can sleep. And, how Muni’s oldest streetcar survived the chopping block.

First up, why so many inmates are dying in East Bay jails. Then, we'll meet a high school teacher who is giving lessons on everyday skills. It's the final installment of our series "It Takes A School." And, we'll hear about the ghostly mastermind behind a South Bay mystery mansion.

First up, a longtime staple of the Bay Area’s radio dial is gone. We’ll hear what you had to say about it. Then, from our series "It Takes A School," we’ll meet a woman who has worked in a variety of roles throughout the San Francisco school district. And musician Tammy L. Hall talks about the challenges and privilege of making her family proud.