News From Our Partners

Mobile Classroom Brings Education to the Hardest-to-Reach Students

By Carolyn Jones, EdSource

Tiaira Breaux spent much of her childhood in foster care, served time in the juvenile justice system and had to fight for sole custody of her three sons. But nothing, she said, nothing was tougher than learning high school algebra.

“I could not do it. My mind could just not process it. I was so irritated, I tried to quit,” said the 26-year-old Oakland resident. “Learning how to graph slopes was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Read the complete story at EdSource.

Diverse Cops Make the Difference in Policing Hate

By Jenny ManriqueNew America Media

Hate crimes are on the rise nationwide, including in San Francisco, where the city’s diversity also happens to be a hallmark of the San Francisco Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit.

It’s one of just a handful of such units across the country, and officials say its diversity is a key part of its mission.

Read the complete story at New America Media.

 

Latest California Innovation: A Republican Case for Cap and Trade

By Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

Minutes after a bipartisan coalition of California lawmakers voted to extend the state’s landmark climate-change policy for another decade, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown stood in front of a bank of television cameras and compared the plan to one championed 30 years ago by GOP icon Ronald Reagan.

Back then, the Republican president helped negotiate the Montreal protocol to curb the release of gases that were destroying the ozone layer, persuading Republicans to join Democrats in approving “an insurance policy” that made economic sense in case environmentalists were right. Brown said the California cap-and-trade program the Legislature approved Monday night won support for a similar reason.

Read the complete story at CALmatters.

For more information about  California’s cap-and-trade program, read the San Francisco Public Press (in collaboration with Earth Island Journal and Bay Nature magazine) special report on climate change.

Should We Still Be Worried About Radioactive Waste on Treasure Island?

By Angela Johnston, KALW/Crosscurrents

If you drive east on the Bay Bridge out of San Francisco and look down at Treasure Island, it’s hard to miss what look like enormous piles of dirt. These mounds are actually the remains of old Navy barracks, ground into pieces.

Now, they signify some of the first visible steps in the long-talked-about Treasure Island redevelopment. About a year ago, the city of San Francisco broke ground on the project that includes a ferry terminal, shops, restaurants and 8,000 homes. It’s a big deal for a housing-strapped city. KALW listener Jan Burnham heard about the development and thought about the island's past. The former Navy base there had notorious problems with its cleanup of radioactive materials.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

For more information on Treasure Island issues, read the Fall 2010 San Francisco Public Press Special Report on Treasure Island

California Lawmakers Move to Protect Undocumented Workers

By Elena ShoreNew America Media

If immigration agents show up at a worksite, employers don’t have to let them in.

That is one of the key messages immigrant rights advocates are sending out as a new bill that would increase protections for workers makes its way through committees in the California Legislature.

Employers across the country already have certain rights, said Grisel Ruiz, staff attorney of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “If an employer has [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents coming to their workplace, so long as the workplace is private property, they should also keep ICE agents out…unless they have an ICE warrant,” she said.

Read the complete story at New America Media.

New Funds Available to Train Bilingual Teachers in California

By Ashley Hopkinson, EdSource

In the midst of a statewide teacher shortage, the new California state budget includes $5 million to address a shortfall of bilingual teachers, a shortage a new study concludes will continue following the passage of Proposition 58 and the expected growth of bilingual programs.

The new state law, in effect on July 1, lifted an almost 20-year ban on bilingual education and gives districts more flexibility to offer bilingual classes to all students. Under the old law English learners had to be taught in English, unless a parent signed a waiver to enroll their child in bilingual or dual language programs — classrooms where students are taught in English and another language such as Mandarin or Spanish. The goal is learning to read, write and speak in both languages.

Read the complete story at EdSource.

For more information on bilingual education in California, read the Winter 2017 San Francisco Public Press Special Report on Bilingual Schools: How California Is Following S.F. Language Education

Rift in San Francisco Over Bill to Make It Harder for Voters to Block Developments

By Guy Marzorati, KQED News Fix

State legislation that would make it harder for voters to block developments at the ballot box has split politicians in San Francisco, the latest example of a rift within the liberal city over how to address the city’s housing crisis.

Assembly Bill 943, carried by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, would require that local measures to “reduce density or stop development or construction” brought to the ballot by voters in certain cities and counties would need 55 percent of the vote to pass, instead of the current majority threshold. 

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Early Returns Suggest Drop in Smoking in Response to State Tax

By Matt Levin, CALmatters

Last fall, California voters approved the biggest increase in cigarette taxes since the state first began levying tobacco in the 1950s. Advocates for Proposition 56, which passed with a fairly overwhelming 64 percent of the vote, argued that a $2-per-pack tax hike would hurt pocketbooks enough to nudge millions of California smokers to quit or at least to light up less frequently.

When the tax went into effect in April, smokers saw the average cost of a pack of cigarettes soar from under $6 to up to $9, making California one of the most expensive states in which to buy cigarettes. But the question then: Was that enough to force smokers to kick an increasingly expensive habit?

Read the complete story at CALmatters.

Cap-and-Trade Deal Could Woo GOP Support, Anger Environmentalists

By Guy Marzorati, KQED News Fix/The California Report

In recent months, Gov. Jerry Brown has made clear that an extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program will need GOP support.

“It’s going to take some Republicans,” he said at a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast last month.

He echoed the sentiment weeks later when he said Republicans were “the key” to extending the program (set to expire in 2020) that allows companies to buy and sell credits that allow them to pollute.

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

For more information about the state cap-and-trade program, read the San Francisco Public Press Summer 2013  special report on California’s cap-and-trade program, in collaboration with Earth Island Journal and Bay Nature magazine.



 

Despite Backlog of Rape Kits, California’s not Requiring They Be Tested or Tallied

By Samantha Young, CALmatters/Justice

After a man held a knife to her throat, forced her into her car and repeatedly raped her, Helena Lazaro underwent a painful and humiliating medical forensic examination. The 17-year-old wanted her attacker caught.

She never imagined the evidence collected in what is known as a rape kit would sit untouched for years by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. And by the time she discovered the identity of her attacker, prosecutors couldn’t charge him with the rape because the statute of limitations had expired in California.

“I think about that 17-year-old girl, the 25-year-old girl, the 30-year-old woman – all the versions of myself who have suffered,” Lazaro says. “That suffering could have ended much sooner.”

Read the complete story at CALmatters/Justice.