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Carbon Cutters on Edge: Hoping California's Cap-and-Trade Program Survives

By Julie Cart, CALmatters.org

Salmon — made possible by the rivers they run in and the forest canopy above them — are the lifeblood of the Yurok Tribe. The native word for salmon, Ney-puy, means “that which is eaten,” and the iconic fish and its habitat sustain California’s largest tribe in ways that are both literal and metaphorical.

How this tribe, from its rugged stronghold on the Redwood coast of Humboldt County, became an early adopter of California’s cutting-edge carbon offset trade program speaks to the tribe’s ambitions for its future and the state’s ambitions for its signature environmental policy.

Read the complete story at CALmatters.org.

For more information on California's cap-and-trade program, read the 2013 San Francisco Public Press Special Report on Climate Change

Artists Respond to Fire Safety Crackdown by Calling on the Fire Department

By Laura Wenus and Brian Rinker, Mission Local

In the wake of the tragic fire in Oakland that claimed 36 lives and the city crackdowns that resulted, the founder of a Mission District arts space will bring together firefighters with managers of both underground and above-board arts spaces to help improve fire safety.

Spike Kahn, a prominent housing activist who has also been active in a fire safety advocacy group, is spearheading the effort that will allow owners and tenants in legal and un-permitted spaces to learn how to make the spaces safer.  

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

Facebook Charter School Collaboration Draws Fans and Skeptics

By Sarah Tan, KQED News Fix

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is three years into his second big investment in education reform, after his first investment of $100 million in Newark public schools was widely criticized as being a waste of money. He’s given $120 million to invest in Bay Area schools, but this time he’s choosing to work with programs already claiming success. One is a Bay Area-based network of charter schools called Summit that says it’s redefining how teachers teach.

Summit founder Diane Tavenner founded the first school in Redwood City in 2003 after spending 10 years as a teacher. After having grown up in a poor town near Lake Tahoe and seeing many of her classmates not graduate from high school, she wanted to create a school where students would be engaged in their learning and finish successfully.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Gallery: 12 ‘Drawn to the Bay’ Cartoons That Sum Up 2016

By Mark Fiore, KQED News Fix/The California Report

As we look back at 2016, we put together a gallery of my “Drawn to the Bay” cartoons to reflect on the year in news.

I created “Drawn to the Bay” over a year ago as a way to look into what is going on here in California and the Bay Area, the home that I love. Consider this a collection of my favorites — I hope you like them, too.

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

For Homeless Families, Finding a Home Is a Give-and-Take

By Stephanie Martin Taylor, KQED News Fix

When classes let out for the day at Bessie Carmichael Elementary in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, Principal Tina Lagdamen high-fives each boy and girl, and says the same thing, over and over again: “See you tomorrow.”

This seemingly simple phrase is an important reassurance for many of these kids, Lagdamen explains. Roughly 80 families at this school are homeless, which translates to more than 100 children here who are living in shelters, couch-surfing with family and friends, or even sleeping in cars.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Mission Residents Speak Up on Homeless Tents, Soup Kitchens, City Hall

By Laura Waxmann, Mission Local

A group of residents from the northeastern Mission grilled city leaders on Tuesday about their plans for addressing crime and homelessness in the area, which many said were linked and on the rise.

In the wake of a double homicide on Sunday night just blocks away from where the meeting was held, some residents expressed fear that campers are bringing a criminal element to the neighborhood.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

An English Language Class That Benefits Both Parents and Children

By Hannah Kingsley-Ma, KALW/Crosscurrents

In a sun-filled classroom at an Oakland high school, a room full of adults are learning English.

Everyone here is a refugee, asylum seeker or recent immigrant who has resettled in the East Bay, and each has sought out this free English language class offered by the nonprofit Refugee Transitions. Parents and relatives of kids in the Oakland Unified School District can sign up first.

These adult students hail from countries like Burma, Peru, Yemen and China. Some have college degrees, some never went to school, but they’re all eager to learn, in part to be better equipped to participate in their children’s education.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents. 

A Day in a Homeless Encampment

By Alejandro Galicia Diaz, El Tecolote

The homeless encampment at 19th and Shotwell streets isn’t like any other in San Francisco. Colorful art depicting hearts, a peace sign and a Mayan temple have transformed the cold concrete sidewalk into a happy and walking canvas. But beneath the art is the dreadful reality for Javier Antonio Chab Dzul and his buddies: These streets are the only home they have.

Despite that sad reality, Chab Dzul, who is self-taught, finds an oasis of peace and serenity in his art in the midst of his living conditions.

Read the complete story at El Tecolote.

Why Bay Area Nurses Are Educating Themselves About Pot

By Andrew Stelzer, The California Report/KQED News Fix

It’s brisk business on a Wednesday morning at Magnolia Wellness center, a medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Oakland. Although it’s legal to smoke marijuana in California now for recreational purposes, medicinal cannabis isn’t going away anytime soon.

But have these patients ever talked to their regular doctor or nurse about medical marijuana?

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

S.F. Transportation Officials Blame Uber, Lyft for Traffic Congestion

By Bryan Goebel, KQED News Fix

San Francisco’s top taxi regulator says there should be a cap on the number of Uber and Lyft drivers operating on city streets because ride services are to blame for much of the increase in traffic congestion.

“I would say that common sense would tell you: Wow, there’s a lot of vehicles acting commercially in San Francisco, and it’s having an impact,” said Kate Toran, the director of taxis and accessible services at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. 

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.