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When You Can’t Buy Soda at Work

By Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED News Fix

If you wanted to buy a soda at work but couldn’t, would you drink more or less of the sugary liquid when away from the office?

Preliminary results from what researchers are calling a first-of-its-kind study suggest that limiting access to sugar-sweetened beverages at the workplace can help heavy soda drinkers reduce their overall daily intake.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Too Many California Ballot Measures? Just Explain Them in Song

By Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio/The California Report

Americans will decide more than 150 state ballot measures on Tuesday — up slightly from two years ago. That puts a lot of pressure on voters to study up on everything from marijuana legalization to gun control to the death penalty.

Californians in particular have a lot of homework to do. With 17 measures, their state has the longest ballot in the country this year. On top of that, there are 650 local measures around the state to decide on.

Voters are coming up with some creative ways to keep track of it all — like resident Deborah Barron, who had a “Proposition Party” at her home in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Read the complete story at Capital Public Radio/The California Report.

Starchild, Star of the San Francisco Libertarian Party

By Sarah Tan, KALW/Crosscurrents

It’s just about a week before the big election, and a small group of Libertarians have gathered on a corner in the Castro to canvas for presidential candidate Gary Johnson. Starchild is leading the group, banging a drum.

He’s an out and proud bisexual sex worker who is also the unofficial spokesman for the San Francisco Libertarian Party. He’s made a name for himself on the city’s political scene, running multiple times for local office over the past 15 years.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

BART Bond Foes Say Agency Emails, Videos Violate Campaign Laws

By Dan Brekke, KQED News Fix

State Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, an outspoken BART critic and Measure RR opponent, filed a complaint Oct. 16 with the state Fair Political Practices Commission that cited a pair of agency emails sent earlier that month.

Glazer’s complaint notes the emails — sent out with the subject lines “Get informed about Measure RR” and “What’s threatening power to the people?” — linked to articles on the bart.gov website describing the agency’s infrastructure challenges and how the bond would help meet them. The articles also contain links to further information on BART’s infrastructure plans.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Report Finds Nearly 500 Reported Cases of Human Trafficking in S.F. in 2015

By Ryan Levi, KQED News Fix

There were 499 reported cases of human trafficking in San Francisco last year, according to a report by the Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking released Friday.

“Human trafficking is happening here in San Francisco,” said Minouche Kandel, the director of women’s policy at the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women. “A lot of people think of human trafficking as a problem that happens in other countries and developing countries, but it’s happening right here in our backyard.”

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

For more information on human trafficking, read the San Francisco Public Press special report, "Force, Fraud, Coercion": Human Trafficking in the Bay Area.

 

Is Silicon Valley Having a Teachable Moment About ‘Implicit Bias’?

By Queena Sook Kim, KQED News Fix

Peter Thiel’s recent $1.25 million donation to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is igniting a conversation about “implicit bias” in parts of Silicon Valley.

Thiel is both a legendary and controversial figure in Silicon Valley. He is the co-founder of PayPal. He was an early investor and sits on the board of Facebook, and he is a part-time partner at Y Combinator, one of the valley’s hottest incubators. But lately he’s been in the news because of the fierce debate his donation has sparked among tech workers in Silicon Valley.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Reservoirs Provide Tap Water Yet Significantly Contribute to Climate Change

By Matt Weiser, Water Deeply/KQED News Fix

Hydropower dams are generally thought to be a clean source of electricity. By moving water through turbines, dams can generate large amounts of electricity almost continuously and without causing air pollution.

It’s partly for these reasons that more than 3,700 hydroelectric dams are currently proposed or under construction worldwide.

But a growing body of science reveals a dark side. It turns out the reservoirs formed by dams are a significant source of greenhouse gases – particularly methane, about 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In the last 10 years, dozens of studies have shed light on this problem.

Read the complete story at Water Deeply/KQED News Fix.

2016 BART Board Races: A Referendum on 2013 Strikes, Union Contracts

By Dan Brekke, KQED News Fix

The BART Board of Directors is probably the most influential elected body in the Bay Area that most people seem to know nearly nothing about.

The nine members of the BART board play a huge part in the lives of the hundreds of thousands of individual passengers who ride BART each weekday as well as the legions who drive to work on highways that would be near permanent gridlock, were it not for the regional rapid transit system.

The board makes decisions that affect riders in large and small ways. It signs off on the agency’s budget — $1.8 billion in the current fiscal year. It approves big-ticket items like BART’s new fleet of rail cars and has the final word on the district’s labor contracts.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Q&A on Conservation Photographer's New Film About S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge

By Eric Simons, Bay Nature

Ian Shive grew up in central New Jersey working as an assistant to his photographer father — meaning, he says, “I didn’t want anything to do with photography.” But after leaving the East Coast for college in Montana, Shive picked up the camera, and found that he loved the power it gave him to explain this new place to people back home. “Immediately, I was using it as a tool to communicate,” he says.

After leaving college, he moved to Southern California and landed a job in Hollywood, where he spent a decade marketing films and television. He went to screenings with movie stars. He watched Danny Elfman compose a film score. He worked on Spiderman. And one day, he says, he looked at the slate of upcoming movies and realized he just couldn’t do it anymore. At the time he’d been taking long weekends in parks around the Western United States, photographing landscapes and selling his images to magazines like National Geographic and Time. So when he couldn’t do Hollywood anymore, he started his own photo company, Tandem Stills + Motion.

Read the complete story at Bay Nature. 

 

Designing Affordable Housing in the Mission District

By Sonner Kehrt, Mission Local

In the small, bright patch of sunlight that filters down between the buildings, a woman in a pink shirt pauses to admire a mural. It’s bold, with brightly colored shapes that are accentuated by the nearby flowers and another colorful painting on an opposite wall. In the small alleyway between the two pieces of artwork, a small group plays guitar while a couple strolls by, arm in arm.

It’s not the scene that immediately comes to mind when discussions about affordable housing come up, and to be fair, it’s not even actually a real scene — yet. It’s depicted in an architectural rendering of the Paseo Artista, a public pedestrian alley that will define one side of the new 100 percent affordable housing development at 1950 Mission St. near 16th St., which is tentatively scheduled to break ground in early 2018.

Seven fully affordable housing projects are scheduled to be built in the Mission in the next several years. Together with community organizations, architects are confronting the challenges of integrating 100 percent affordable housing developments into the larger neighborhood, working to create buildings that take advantage of their location in the Mission but also seek to offer something to the Mission in return by drawing on the best ideas in design.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.