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Are Tiny Homes a Solution to Homelessness?

By Truc Nguyen, KALW/Crosscurrents

Last month, San Francisco city workers cleared a large tent encampment of homeless people on Division Street. Citing complaints about urine, feces and blocked sidewalks, the city’s Public Health Department declared the area unsafe and a public health hazard.

While the city offered places at a new shelter at Pier 80, many of the displaced tent residents simply moved their belongings to surrounding alleys where, arguably, health hazards remain an issue.

Since homeless shelters are not always a viable or desirable option for people on the street, some are proposing a novel idea: tiny homes for the homeless.

Read the complete story at  KALW/Crosscurrents.

Why Do Women Dominate Political Fundraising?

By Katie Orr, KQED News Fix/The California Report

It’s shaping up to be a pricey election cycle in California, maybe the most expensive ever. And politicians at all levels are trying to tap into the state’s deep-pocketed donors. Raising money for all those campaigns is a full-time job — and it’s a job done largely by women.

The woman in charge of fundraising for the California Democratic Party is Angie Tate. She is often credited with raising a multimillion-dollar war chest for Gov. Jerry Brown, although she insists the governor did most of the work. That attitude is at the core of Tate’s take on fundraising. 

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

Earn Less Than $13,870? California Rewards Low-Income Tax Filers

By Viji SundaramNew America Media

 The Golden State’s poverty statistics are grim: Two in five people live just over the federal poverty level, and the state has the highest child poverty rate in the nation.

But this year, for the first time, California’s working poor will get to keep more of their earnings in their pockets, thanks to the California Earned Income Tax Credit. But people with low incomes — less than $13,870 a year — must be sure to file their taxes in order to get their money back.

Read the complete story at New America Media. 

CPUC Regulators Still Hashing Out More Rules for Uber and Lyft

By Bryan Goebel, KQED News Fix/The California Report

The California Public Utilities Commission met Thursday to talk about the latest phase of regulations for ride services, just two days after its president told a state Senate committee hearing that no state agency — including his, apparently — wants to oversee Uber and Lyft.

The commissioners were scheduled to vote Thursday on tightening ride-service guidelines, but postponed the decision until April 7 so that regulators could clear up some issues over leased vehicles, get more input on fingerprint background checks and clarify rules for transporting unaccompanied minors. 

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

S.F. Supervisors Rush to Fund Legacy Businesses’ Preservation

By Noah Arroyo, Mission Local

By this summer, San Francisco’s new Legacy Business Preservation Fund is slated to start giving longtime establishments financial assistance to weather the city’s harsh real estate market.

That’s not soon enough for Supervisors David Campos and Aaron Peskin. They have co-sponsored legislation that would inject about $343,000 into the Preservation Fund before it officially activates in July, at the start of the fiscal year. That money would let the fund start working as early as April, helping protect certain businesses from being displaced.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

Free Internet Access for Everyone in S.F. Could Cost $867 Million

By Ericka Cruz Guevarra, KQED News Fix

A report released Tuesday on how to provide free Internet access to all San Franciscans found that a public fiber-optic network, while costlier, is more likely to reduce the city’s digital divide, while a public-private partnership would leave much of the work up to private companies.

“Access to fast and affordable Internet is no longer a luxury. It’s an absolute necessity,” said District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, who is leading the effort to provide all San Francisco residents with Internet access. “As we are building the infrastructure of the 21st century here in San Francisco, I believe the residents of our city should be the owners.”

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

 

California’s Biggest Reservoirs Filling After Parade of Wet Storms

By Dan Brekke, KQED News Fix/The California Report

You’ve seen lots of rain out the window over the past 10 days or so, and you’re wondering what impact the storms have had on the reservoirs that most of California depends on.

Well, El Niño has delivered.

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

 

California Pushes for Firearm Research Center

By Leah Bartos, Fair Warning Reports

A new battlefront has emerged in the nation’s struggle over gun control: a proposed firearm violence research center at the University of California.

In a move being closely watched by advocates on both sides, California lawmakers are pushing for the state to study gun violence, taking over a job the federal government dropped 20 years ago.

Read the complete story at Fair Warning Reports.

California’s Janitors, Security Guards Face ‘Inferior Working Conditions’

By Ericka Cruz Guevarra, KQED News Fix/The California Report

Maria Trujillo cleaned buildings for 25 years.

But on Tuesday, she was leading a chant at a rally outside the state Capitol, calling for an end to abusive working conditions and sexual harassment for janitors like herself who have experienced sexual assault on the job.

“At the beginning, I felt really worthless,” said Trujillo. “I felt like I was worth nothing. I felt like as an immigrant woman, I had to take this, and anyone could step all over me.”'

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

 

How Is California Doing on Climate Change?

By Julie Cart/CALmatters

A panel of energy experts gave mostly passing marks to California’s landmark climate change law but raised concerns about the cost of implementing additional, more stringent, measures.

In a spirited but cordial debate recently in Bakersfield, lawmakers, regulators and advocates explored the state of play in the decade since the passage of AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, and the increasingly complicated tradeoff between renewable energy and fossil fuels.

“It’s wonderful to have ambitious goals, I appreciate that,” said Cathy Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Assn. “Let’s not forget that these programs and policies — all meritorious — have impacts to the consumer.” 

Read the complete story at CALmatters.