Public Press wins an Excellence in Journalism award for ‘Public Schools, Private Money,’ in the winter 2014 edition


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Coastal Crabs in Survival Mode Under Climate Change

By Alison Hawkes, Bay Nature 

Porcelain crabs are adaptive critters. As they scuttle around the intertidal zone, they have to withstand wide swings in daily temperature and ocean water acidity.

But even a hearty porcelain crab may be susceptible to the extremes brought on by climate change. Researchers at San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center have just published a paper showing that these ubiquitous crabs, which inhabit nearly all the world’s oceans including Northern California coastal waters, can run out of energy for much beyond survival when their environment becomes too warm and too acidic, even for a brief period of time.

Read the complete story at Bay Nature. 

Where Are Asian Voices in Immigration Debate?

By Scott Shafer, KQED News Fix/The California Report

President Barack Obama announces his executive action tonight, likely granting temporary protection from deportation for some undocumented immigrants. Latinos have been at the forefront of calls for immigration reform. But undocumented Asian immigrants also have a lot riding on the president’s announcement.

That much was clear recently in San Francisco, where about 20 Asian immigrants and their family members streamed into a legal clinic. Asian Law Caucus immigration attorney Anoop Prasad describes who’s here.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.

California Revenues Up, Schools Get the Cash

By John Myers, KQED News Fix/The California Report

It’s exactly what voters said they wanted when they amended the California Constitution in 1988: When the state’s coffers fill up with tax dollars, public schools should be guaranteed the single-largest portion of the cash.

And so consider it good news from the Legislature’s independent fiscal watchdogs that tax revenues in the current fiscal year are beating expectations to the tune of $2 billion, and that K-12 schools and community colleges get all of the money. Plus a tad more.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The Californa Report


S.F. Study: Childhood Trauma Lasts Into Adulthood, Leading to Public Health Crisis

By Anna Challet,  New America Media

Past experiences of childhood trauma are common among California adults, and those experiences correlate with harmful behaviors and chronic disease at a level that constitutes a “public health crisis,” according to a new study.

The report by the Center for Youth Wellness, a health organization that serves children and families in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point area, demonstrates that "the effects of early adversity on lifetime health are astounding,” according to the center's founder and CEO Nadine Burke Harris.  

Read the complete story at New America Media.

2014: The Most Expensive S.F. Election in Years

By Rigoberto Hernandez, Mission Local

When it comes to ballot measures, this has been the most expensive election cycles since at least 2011, and that year does not even come close in spending.

Proponents and opponents of 12 city ballot measures, which ranged from a tax on sodas to approval of soccer fields in Golden Gate Park, have poured a whopping total of $16,724,644 million (not including third party expenditures).

That is more than the total money spent on all ballot measures in 2013, 2012 and 2011 combined — with $3 million to spare.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 


811: The Number to Call Before You Dig

By Ngoc Nguyen, New America Media

Wolfgang Gordillo recalls the day when a fellow worker, digging on a construction site in Seattle, accidentally struck and ruptured a gas pipeline with a pickax.

“The fire department showed up, evacuated the area [and] closed off the gas line,” said Gordillo, who works as a contractor in construction and home remodeling in the Bay Area.

The accident did not cause an explosion or fire — a possible risk when gas from a leak comes into contact with air and a spark, but it disrupted service to the area and prompted an evacuation. 

Read the complete story at New America Media. 

Californians Will Soon Have More Time to Turn in Mail-In Ballots

By Lisa Pickoff-White, KQED News Fix

Late voters will have more opportunity to mail in their ballots, thanks to a new law that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. The law stipulates that vote-by-mail ballots will need to be postmarked by Election Day and received up to three days later, rather than the current requirement that ballots must actually be in the hands of election officials by Election Day.

Election officials hope the date change will help alleviate voters’ concerns about mailing in their ballots. Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation, for example, says she’s seen trays of ballots go uncounted because they were mailed in too late.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

SF Green Cab Pulls Taxis Off Street, May Shut Down

By Jon Brooks, KQED News Fix

We have been covering the woes of the San Francisco taxi industry for some time now, and here’s another one for you: SF Green Cab, a small worker-owned taxi cooperative founded in 2007, has stopped operating and could be out of business for good.

Green Cab pulled its 16 cabs off the street late Thursday night just before the midnight expiration of its insurance, says Mark Gruberg, a member of the company’s board and one of its founders.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

High Cost of Living in S.F. Hits Teachers Hard

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

Linda Perez, a teacher at Buena Vista Horace Mann, shares her home with nine people — and only two of them are family members. Frank Lara teaches fourth grade at the same school and has crashed on friends’ couches or shared a bedroom to make ends meet, all while struggling to repay a mountain of student loan debt. Laura Rocha, who used to teach pre-kindergarten classes at another school, said she can earn more money cleaning houses or rolling burritos than she can as a teacher.

“I adore kids, but I can’t support myself and my daughter like this,” Rocha said.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.


StoryCorps: Learning From the Dying at Zen Hospice Project in S.F.

By Rachel Vasquez, KALW Crosscurrents

Tracy Grubbs grew up fascinated, curious and afraid of death. Her curiosity, plus her interest in Buddhism, led her to volunteer at the Zen Hospice Project, a San Francisco center for the dying supported by the Buddhist community. Grubbs spoke with her colleague Lisa Messano.

TRACY GRUBBS: When I heard there was something like the Zen Hospice Project and they would train you to be with people who were dying, I was intrigued. I was also afraid.

Listen to the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.