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If Feds Try to ID Deportable Immigrants Using California Data, State Will Block Access

By Elizabeth Aguilera,

Ever since Maribel Solache began teaching her own version of driver's ed in Spanish two years ago, the classes — held around San Diego County — have been jammed. She estimates she’s helped some 3,000 students earn their licenses. But lately, apprehension has smothered that enthusiasm.

“More people come with fear. They say ‘what is going to happen to my information?’ ” she said. “I tell them they have to get [their driver's licenses] before Jan. 20. Before Donald Trump.”

Read the complete story at

Campos Wants $5 Million More for Immigrants, Mayor Says No

By Brian Rinker, Mission Local

Instead of writing wish lists for Santa Claus, immigrant activists gathered on the steps of City Hall Monday to write letters to Mayor Ed Lee urging him to provide more funding to the public defender’s office in the anticipation of a Donald Trump presidency that promises to deport thousands of undocumented people.

So far, Lee has resisted such pleas to increase funding for the public defender’s office.

Early Monday morning, Lorena Melgarejo woke her daughter up, “We’re not going to school today. We’re going to City Hall to fight for immigrants’ rights.”

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

Homeless U: Homework Without a Home

By Laura Klivans, KQED News Fix/The California Report

Brittany Jones is burrowed into her seat on a BART car, catching some sleep before the morning commuters arrive. As the car starts to fill with people, she finally pulls down her jacket, uncovering her face. The whoosh of the doors, the sweaty surge of denim and backpacks: This is her alarm clock.

Jones is 24, a student at Laney College in Oakland, and homeless.

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

Four-Legged Medical Care Helps San Francisco’s Homeless

By Brittany Hosea-Small, KQED News Fix/The California Report

The saying “dogs are a man’s best friend” is just a phrase, but to those living on the streets and battling housing insecurity, it can be the honest truth. For people who are contending with homelessness, their companion animals are the world to them. They are their family, their children and their sense of security. But getting proper medical care for their animals can often be even harder than getting it for themselves.

This is where Veterinary Street Outreach Services comes in. Vet SOS is a veterinary pop-up clinic run through the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium’s Street Outreach Services and provides free veterinary care to the companion animals of San Francisco’s homeless community. Founded 10 years ago by local veterinarian Ilana Strubel, the clinics happen 12 times a year. Each clinic is staffed entirely by volunteers, from the intake staff all the way to the veterinarians themselves. 

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

Neighbors and Nuns Face Off Over Soup Kitchen

By Laura Waxmann, Mission Local

Residents in the northeastern Mission District are forming a community group to push local government toward ending homeless encampments in the area, while a pair of nuns displaced from the Tenderloin tries to gather support for a soup kitchen in the neighborhood that neighbors fear will attract only more homeless.

The nuns are Marie Benedicte and Marie Valerie of the Fraternite Notre Dame Mary of Nazareth, and their appearance surprised even Andrew Presley, a resident of Natoma Street and one of the organizers of a neighborhood meeting on Monday night.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

After California Legalizes Weed, Local Dealers Brace to Compete

By Laura Newberry, Mission Local

When it comes to doing business, Leaf isn’t discreet. The friendly 25-year-old saunters around Dolores Park in San Francisco with a big teddy bear on his shoulder and a ring of plastic marijuana leaves around his neck. You can’t miss him.

Selling weed is his game, one he won’t quit anytime soon. Yes, recreational cannabis was just legalized in California on Nov. 8, heralding a new era of pot consumption in America’s most populated state. But he’s not worried.

“I’ll still be out here, because what happens when you don’t want to go out to the club?” Leaf said of recreational dispensaries. “It’s about convenience, and I always have stuff on me. I’m right here.”

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

The Future of California’s Seniors: More Diverse but More Disabled, Too

By Carrie Feibel, KQED News Fix/State of Health

The number of seniors in California is expected to more than double by 2060, from roughly 5 million to 12 million. A new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office says this future senior population will be more racially diverse than seniors in the U.S. as a whole: The state’s elderly population is projected to become majority nonwhite as soon as 2030.

The proportion of these future seniors who are disabled will also increase. That’s because nonwhite populations have higher disability rates. Seniors are also expected to live longer, and seniors over age 85 experience higher disability rates as well.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/State of Health.

SFO Grappling With Emergency Repairs to Eroded Seawall

By Ted Goldberg, KQED News Fix/The California Report

Amid heightened concerns about rising sea levels around the Bay Area, San Francisco International Airport officials are scrambling to make emergency repairs to a seriously damaged concrete wall that protects SFO’s airfield from the bay.

The airport’s top official called the damage to the seawall along SFO’s perimeter “an imminent threat to airport property” in a letter to the Airport Commission in September.

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

For more information on rising sea levels, read the 2015  San Francisco Public Press special report, "Building on the Bay: Sea Level Rise Threatens Waterfront Development."

S.F. Officials Seek Deportation Defense Funding

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

To defend undocumented immigrants from incarceration and deportation under a Donald Trump administration, Supervisor David Campos and other city officials are pushing for $5 million in funding to hire attorneys to the Public Defender’s office and community nonprofits.

Campos’s joint proposal with Public Defender Jeff Adachi hinges on the idea that those facing immigration proceedings should have legal counsel, like any other person accused of a crime. Currently, undocumented immigrants facing deportation do not have the right to a court-appointed attorney, though some are able to find lawyers through nonprofits.

Immigrants facing proceedings are four times as likely to win their cases with a lawyer on their side – if they have been detained, a lawyer makes it seven times as likely that they will prevail, according to the California Coalition for Universal Representation. 

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

To Save S.F. Bay and Its Dying Delta, State Aims to Replumb California

By Julie Cart, CALmatters

The report’s findings were unequivocal: Given the current pace of water diversions, the San Francisco Bay and the delta network of rivers and marshes are ecological goners, with many of its native fish species now experiencing a “sixth extinction,” environmental science’s most-dire definition of ecosystem collapse.

Once a vast, soaked marsh and channel fed by the gushing Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, the delta has diminished dramatically over the previous century as those rivers and their mountain tributaries have been diverted to irrigate Central Valley farms and Bay Area urbanity. With winnowing supplies of Chinook salmon available for food, Orcas off the coast are starving. So, too, are seals and fish-eating birds. And the Gulf of the Farallones, a national marine sanctuary, is suffering from a lack of freshwater fed by the bay.

Read the complete story at CALmatters.