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News From Our Partners

Upgrading San Francisco's Aging Pipes During Drought Years

By Audrey Dilling, KALW Crosscurrents

The Hetch Hetchy Regional Water system, operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission , carries water to 2.6 million customers in the Bay Area. How it does that is remarkable – remarkably simple, said the agency's Water Resources Manager, David Briggs.

“Because it's gravity driven, largely,” Briggs said, “the Romans, if they were here today, they could probably understand how our system works.”

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.

Fire Victims Have Right to Return, Yet Few Do

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

Within a few days of the fire that destroyed their homes on 22nd and Mission streets, the 65 displaced tenants were told repeatedly how city officials and rights groups were there to serve them, would help them and would guide them on their long round trip journey back to their apartments. After all, tenants were assured, they had a right to return to their homes at their former rent.

For distraught residents, it all sounded so hopeful, but it is becoming clear how long and arduous the process will be. Rent Commissioner and tenant lawyer Cathy Mosbrucker said that, in general, “it’s unlikely” for tenants displaced by fires to return to their buildings.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

‘Water Police’ Track Down Water Waste in San Francisco

By Scott Shafer, The California Report

Funny thing about a drought. Even without any rain, you turn on the faucet and the water still comes out. And that makes it harder to convince people not to use it.

 At the State capital this week, Gov. Jerry Brown hinted that tighter restrictions on water use could be on the way unless things change, weather-wise.

Read the complete story at The California Report. 

Schools Have Key Role to Play in Youth Voting

By Louis FreedbergEdSource

In the shadows of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the appallingly low turnout of youth voters in last November’s elections should raise an alarm about the future of our democracy.

According to a January report from the California Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis, only 8.2 percent of eligible 18- to 24-year-olds voted statewide. In raw numbers, that translates to a mere 285,000 out of 3.5 million adults in that age group.

Read the complete story at EdSource. 


Activists Mobilize to Halt New Development Projects

By Daniel Hirsch, Mission Local

As part of an ongoing effort to fight the changing nature of the Mission District, a group of activists and community groups met Monday night to strategize on how to slow down displacement and gentrification. The key strategy: Stop new market-rate developments in the Mission.

Around 70 people gathered at Galería de la Raza for the event, organized by Roberto Hernandez, head of the Lowrider Council and a longtime neighborhood organizer.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 


San Francisco’s Native Bees Do the Job Just Fine

By Michelaina Johnson, Bay Nature

Does San Francisco have a healthy enough native bee population to pollinate the city’s agriculture?

Andrew Potter, a former San Francisco State University graduate student and now an environmental consultant, asked himself that question a few years ago after learning that not enough bees live in “pollinator deserts,” such as California’s Central Valley, to provide adequate pollination service to plants. He wondered if urban San Francisco shared the same challenge.

Read the complete story at Bay Nature. 

Chevron, Other Refineries Face Tougher Air Quality Rules

By KQED News Staff and Wires, The California Report/State of Health

The public will have a chance to comment this week on proposed air quality rules for the Bay Area’s five oil refineries.

The new rules, from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, aim for more accurate estimates of all refinery emissions and to assess any risks to human health. The district also wants to see a 20 percent decrease in emissions.

Refineries would have to compile a profile of all emissions over one year.

Read the complete story at The California Report/State of Health.

S.F. Supervisor: Latest Mission Fire Shows New Danger in Housing Crisis

By Ted Goldberg, KQED News Fix

The fire that injured a family of five in San Francisco’s Mission District this week has exposed a potentially dangerous side of the city’s housing crisis.

When firefighters arrived at 24th Street and Treat Avenue early Wednesday morning, they found two people trapped inside a liquor store on the first floor of the burning building.

The store entrance was padlocked and firefighters had to cut off the lock to free the people inside. Investigators later found beds in the back of the store.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 


Trend to Banish Tips From Restaurants

By Liz Pfeffer, KALW Crosscurrents

Alyssa Arian has worked in San Francisco restaurants for a decade and, like most servers, she got into it for the tips.

“Some nights you leave with $80 or $90,” she says. “$100 is kind of the average mark for what you want as a server, sort of anywhere in this city I think as a minimum.”

Since February, though, Arian hasn’t earned any tips. She’s working at Sous Beurre Kitchen, a new French spot in the Mission where tipping’s not allowed.

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.

With Suspensions Down, Some Schools Struggle to Increase Learning

By Zaidee Stavely, KQED News Fix/The California Report

It’s a well-known fact at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Middle School in San Francisco that the toughest time to teach is right after lunch. Kids are tired, and trouble that starts at lunch can sometimes carry into the classroom.

Today, the academic counselor is trying to mediate between two girls who were sent out of the classroom, and who are arguing about who’s responsible. Later, three adults have to restrain another girl from running out into the hall.

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