News From Our Partners

Snapshot of Who Uses San Francisco WiFi

By Audrey Dilling, KALW Crosscurrents

At the corner of Sanchez and Market, Jason Dorn pulls out an iPhone. He is  at one endpoint of the access area for San Francisco Free WiFi, a free wireless network that the city launched last December. It spans Market Street, from Castro Street to the Embarcadero.

Dorn says he has heard of the free network but doesn’t use it, since he already has an unlimited data plan for his phone. Still, he says he likes the idea.

“What’s not good about free WiFi?” asks Dorn. “We live in San Francisco. We’re married to our phones and to the Internet. I don’t see a downside to it.”

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents. 

Once Friendly, California Looks to Toughen Rules on Ride-Service Companies

By Jon Brooks, KQED News Fix

In February, when Lyft was battling to stave off regulations of ride-service companies in Seattle, company CEO John Zimmer pointed to California as a shining example of a fruitful partnership between a disruptive tech industry and regulators.

“California had a yearlong rule-making process with several steps,” he said in an interview about the California Public Utilities Commission’s decision last year to sanction what it calls Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs. “And they were able to come out with something that put, in many cases, more strict standards on new companies like Lyft, yet preserved innovation and consumer choice. I think that’s a fantastic model.”

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Interactive Map: How Sea Level Rise Could Swamp Coastal Communities

By lrothjohnson, KQED News Fix/Science 

Rising seas will likely lead to unprecedented flooding along parts of California’s coast within 20 to 60 years, according to new research by Climate Central.

Driven by climate change, global sea levels have already risen several inches over the past century.

To help people learn about flooding risks in their communities, Climate Central has released a new version of an online tool that explores flood risks by zip code.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/Science

 

Sea Rise Threatens Oakland's Sewer System

By Barbara GradyOakland Local/New America Media

The shoreline along Oakland is a checkerboard quilt of cement, steel and wetlands, with grassy estuaries sandwiched between walls of cement where old terminal buildings rise from the shore, steel pipes send effluent to the San Francisco Bay, and massive container ship berths receive their payload. Just inland from this quilt lies a broad north-south strip of railroad and highway.

Only after all that, nearly a mile from the shore, lie residential neighborhoods, block after block of shoebox-size houses in an area known locally as the flatlands. Their distance from the shoreline leads many Oakland residents  into thinking of sea level rise as a remote issue not likely to affect them – a finding based on random interviews when a question about flooding caused people to laugh or raise an eyebrow and point to the scorching sun in drought-worried California.  

Read the complete story at New America Media. 

S.F. Transit Operators, Agency Heading to Mediation

By Bryan Goebel, KQED News Fix

San Francisco transit riders were caught by surprise last week when Muni operators staged a three-day sickout. But the wildcat action was foreshadowed in the campaign four years ago against a voter-approved initiative that required collective bargaining but stripped some of the union’s power to negotiate.

“At this point, the wall is so high in negotiations that we cannot get over it because it’s an unfair process,” said Eric Williams, president of Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, which represents 2,200 operators.

But late last week, in a hopeful sign for the union, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency agreed to meet with a mediator instead of an arbitrator. Union leaders had accused the agency of forcing talks into arbitration, where the odds are stacked against them.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

 

San Francisco Shipyard: Creating a New Town in the City

By Daphne Matziaraki, KALW Crosscurrents

San Francisco is booming as construction cranes transform the city skyline. One of the most significant changes is happening at the Hunters Point Shipyard. It is a project so big, it seems like a whole new town is being built within the city. Residences, shops, parks and high-rises are being built and will replace the naval shipyard – once a major source of employment, but dormant for years.

Now this sleeping giant is on the verge of reawakening. 

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.

Bitcoin Newbies and Pros Meet at 20Mission

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

It’s no secret – Money & Tech are trying to sell you on cryptocurrency. And it's also trying really hard to explain just what that means.

Money & Tech is one of several start-up companies and entrepreneurs partnering with the live-work space 20Mission. The company hosted old-guard Missionites and techies alike at  a recent event  dedicated to promoting and explaining Bitcoin, an online currency currently valued at about $640 a virtual bit.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

Memorializing San Francisco’s Homeless

By Laura Flynn, KALW Crosscurrents

About a 100 people have gathered in a circle at Civic Center Plaza, a park at the footsteps of S.F. City Hall. Holding lit candles, the crowd huddles closely together.

“Good evening, and welcome everyone on this rather somber occasion,” said Rev. Lyle Beckman of San Francisco Night Ministry.

"May this be an opportunity to open our minds and our hearts and help to find ways to bring people into a safer place and care much better for those who are our sisters and brothers,"  Beckman continued.

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents. 

 

California Has Head Start on New EPA Regulations

By Craig Miller/KQED/The California Report

California is farther ahead than most states in terms of thinking of shrinking its carbon footprint. But the new federal energy rules just released will require changes, and they could prove costly.

Listen to the complete story at KQED/The California Report.

A Guide to State Propositions 41 and 42

Produced by KQED News and The California Report

Proposition 41 allows the state to sell $600 million in bonds to fund affordable rental housing for low-income and homeless veterans.

The existing CalVet Home Loans program was created in the 1920s to help veterans buy a home, mobile home or farm. While it has been effective for those who used it, many veterans today are not financially able to purchase a home, and the program now holds hundreds of millions of dollars worth of unsold bonds.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.