News From Our Partners

Growing Momentum for Self-Driving Cars Worries Safety Advocates

By Brian Joseph, Fair Warning

On Valentine’s Day in Silicon Valley, one of Google’s experimental, self-driving cars sideswiped a city bus at 2 mph. The incident marked the first time an autonomous car contributed to an accident on a public road, but did nothing to diminish the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for driverless vehicles.

A month after the crash, at an autonomous car conference in Dearborn, Mich., Mark Rosekind, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said his agency and the federal Department of Transportation “are using all the tools we have available to advance what see as a revolution in technology,” according to his prepared remarks. “Our goal is to hasten this revolution.”

Read the complete story at Fair Warning.

Will Proposition C Create More Affordable Housing, or Less?

By Liza Veale, KALW/Crosscurrents

Next week, San Francisco voters will decide if they want to give the Board of Supervisors control over how much affordable housing private developers are required to build — thereby enabling the supervisors’ plan to hike up the requirement higher than that of any other city in the country.

Right now, all new buildings with 10 or more units are required to offer a portion of those units at below market rate. The requirement is 12 percent if the affordable units are within the building or 20 percent if they’re built at another location. That rule is locked into San Francisco’s charter, which is kind of like the city’s Constitution.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

Quizzing the Candidates Leaves a Secret Paper Trail

By Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

The eight-page document reads like a contract, asking candidates seeking a seat in the Legislature to pledge support for workers organizing unions. It lists priority issues – including health care, immigration and retirement benefits – and asks if the candidate will be a “supporter,” “champion” or “partner” as the union pursues its agenda in Sacramento.

The answers are a secret paper trail left by politicians who have sought backing this year from the Service Employees International Union, one of the state’s most powerful labor groups. The union won’t share the completed documents with the public. But it will pull out candidate’s responses later when they cast votes as lawmakers.

Read the complete story at CALmatters. 

Is San Francisco's New 'Dream' School Living Up to Its Potential?

By Ninna Gaensler-Debs, KALW Crosscurrents

Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School is the only noncharter public middle school in Bayview-Hunters Point. Sixty percent of the kids in the school’s inaugural sixth grade class live in the neighborhood.

For a long time, the odds have been stacked against these kids. Data from Bayview clinics from 2013 shows that almost 70 percent of youth in the area have been exposed to at least one Adverse Childhood Experience. Children with four or more of such experiences are more than 30 times more likely to have learning or behavioral problems in school. Plus, there’s a history of segregated schools there: The NAACP sued San Francisco Unified School District twice in the 1970s for failing to adequately desegregate schools.  

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.

Where to Throw Your Dog Poop and Other Cost-Saving Energy Tips

By Peter Schurmann, New America Media

“Choice” and “control” aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when the utility bill arrives, especially for low-income households. If anything, it’s the contrary. But Allen Fernandez Smith, manager of Low-Income Programs and Strategies for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., is working to change that.

“I see gas and electricity as a basic right,” said Smith. “It should be affordable. So how do we think more comprehensively about that?”

Read the complete story at New America Media.

Contretemps Quieted: S.F. Ends Picnic Reservations for Dolores Park Lawns

By Dan Brekke, KQED News Fix

It’s been awhile — weeks, at least — since San Francisco has seen a dust-up over gentrification and the rise of techies, hipsters, bros, post-hipsters, steam punks and nouveau grungesters who are remaking the city in their own image. Or images.

The wait for the next contretemps is over. In fact, the contretemps itself is over, even before it really got up a good head of steam.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

 

Utilities Want to Plug In More Electric Drivers

By Andrea Kissack, KQED News Fix/KQED Science

What region leads the nation in electric car sales? Here’s a hint, one of the city mayors drives a plug-in hybrid and Tesla Motors is located there. Well, that was kind of a big hint. Yes, the No. 1 market for electric vehicle adoption is the San Francisco Bay Area (S.F. Mayor Ed Lee drives a Chevy Volt).

Although there are more than 100 public charging stations in San Francisco, electric car drivers can’t always find a place to plug in. 

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/KQED Science.

California Counts: What It Takes to Bring People to the Polls

By Kristen Lepore, KQED News Fix/The California Report

It’s no secret that California has low voter turnout. What will it take to bring people to the polls? KPCC and KQED came together in San Francisco Tuesday night to chat with community members and political analysts about what’s holding Californians back in the weeks leading up to the state primary on June 7.

The town hall was moderated by Larry Mantle, host of KPCC’s AirTalk, and Scott Shafer, senior editor of KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk. It was hosted by California Counts, a collaboration with KPCC in Los Angeles, KQED in San Francisco, Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and KPBS in San Diego.

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

Burning Man Artists Bid Farewell to Treasure Island’s Building 180

By Rachael Myrow, KQED News Fix/KQED Arts

“Cheers,” said one partygoer to another. “To the beginning of the end.”

The party — a warehouse rave for about 2,000 people — was called Terminus. It was a farewell party — a Baby Burning Man to mark the end of something special at Building 180 on Treasure Island.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/KQED Arts.

In California, Lessons on Transgender Student Access to Facilities

By Jane Meredith Adams, EdSource

As schools across the nation work, often for the first time, to ensure a welcoming environment for students who are transgender, California has lessons to share, according to educators, advocates and students.

The first is, in the words of Eric Guthertz, principal of Mission High School in San Francisco, “there is no need to freak out.” A second is that school leaders who have bought into the idea of “school climate” improvements – including anti-bullying programs, mental health support for students and staff, and alternative approaches to suspensions and expulsions – are going to intuitively understand that the focus should be on the needs of the individual transgender student. A third is to educate the parent community about transgender children and teenagers.

Read the complete story at EdSource.