Front page of Issue 16Get the winter 2015 print editionwith a special report on school segregation. Plus an insert commemorating the now-defunct S.F. Bay Guardian.

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State Senator Re-Introduces Health for All Bill

By Viji Sundaram, New America Media

Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) today re-introduced the Health for All Act of 2015 that would guarantee all Californians, regardless of their immigration status, access to health care coverage.

“Access to health care is a human rights issue and until everyone is included, our work is unfinished,” the senator said in a press release after he introduced the bill. 

Read the complete story at New America Media. 

Obama’s Plan for Immigration Reform — What You Need to Know

By New America Media Staff

Editor's Note: On Nov. 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced that he would take executive action to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Following his announcement, New America Media hosted a national telephonic press briefing for ethnic media reporters, with speakers Marielena Hincapié of National Immigration Law Center, Marshall Fitz of Center for American Progress and Sally Kinoshita of Immigrant Legal Resource Center. More than 75 reporters from around the country called in to ask questions about the impact it will have on their communities.

Here are the answers to some of their most frequently asked questions.

Read the complete story at New America Media. 

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear S.F. Case on Police Handling of Disabled

By Associated Press/KQED News Fix

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will consider whether police must comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act when confronting armed or violent suspects who are mentally ill.

The justices said Tuesday they will hear an appeal from the city and county of San Francisco, arguing that disability laws do not apply to officers facing violent circumstances.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Coastal Crabs in Survival Mode Under Climate Change

By Alison Hawkes, Bay Nature 

Porcelain crabs are adaptive critters. As they scuttle around the intertidal zone, they have to withstand wide swings in daily temperature and ocean water acidity.

But even a hearty porcelain crab may be susceptible to the extremes brought on by climate change. Researchers at San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center have just published a paper showing that these ubiquitous crabs, which inhabit nearly all the world’s oceans including Northern California coastal waters, can run out of energy for much beyond survival when their environment becomes too warm and too acidic, even for a brief period of time.

Read the complete story at Bay Nature. 

Where Are Asian Voices in Immigration Debate?

By Scott Shafer, KQED News Fix/The California Report

President Barack Obama announces his executive action tonight, likely granting temporary protection from deportation for some undocumented immigrants. Latinos have been at the forefront of calls for immigration reform. But undocumented Asian immigrants also have a lot riding on the president’s announcement.

That much was clear recently in San Francisco, where about 20 Asian immigrants and their family members streamed into a legal clinic. Asian Law Caucus immigration attorney Anoop Prasad describes who’s here.

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

California Revenues Up, Schools Get the Cash

By John Myers, KQED News Fix/The California Report

It’s exactly what voters said they wanted when they amended the California Constitution in 1988: When the state’s coffers fill up with tax dollars, public schools should be guaranteed the single-largest portion of the cash.

And so consider it good news from the Legislature’s independent fiscal watchdogs that tax revenues in the current fiscal year are beating expectations to the tune of $2 billion, and that K-12 schools and community colleges get all of the money. Plus a tad more.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The Californa Report


S.F. Study: Childhood Trauma Lasts Into Adulthood, Leading to Public Health Crisis

By Anna Challet,  New America Media

Past experiences of childhood trauma are common among California adults, and those experiences correlate with harmful behaviors and chronic disease at a level that constitutes a “public health crisis,” according to a new study.

The report by the Center for Youth Wellness, a health organization that serves children and families in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point area, demonstrates that "the effects of early adversity on lifetime health are astounding,” according to the center's founder and CEO Nadine Burke Harris.  

Read the complete story at New America Media.

2014: The Most Expensive S.F. Election in Years

By Rigoberto Hernandez, Mission Local

When it comes to ballot measures, this has been the most expensive election cycles since at least 2011, and that year does not even come close in spending.

Proponents and opponents of 12 city ballot measures, which ranged from a tax on sodas to approval of soccer fields in Golden Gate Park, have poured a whopping total of $16,724,644 million (not including third party expenditures).

That is more than the total money spent on all ballot measures in 2013, 2012 and 2011 combined — with $3 million to spare.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 


811: The Number to Call Before You Dig

By Ngoc Nguyen, New America Media

Wolfgang Gordillo recalls the day when a fellow worker, digging on a construction site in Seattle, accidentally struck and ruptured a gas pipeline with a pickax.

“The fire department showed up, evacuated the area [and] closed off the gas line,” said Gordillo, who works as a contractor in construction and home remodeling in the Bay Area.

The accident did not cause an explosion or fire — a possible risk when gas from a leak comes into contact with air and a spark, but it disrupted service to the area and prompted an evacuation. 

Read the complete story at New America Media. 

Californians Will Soon Have More Time to Turn in Mail-In Ballots

By Lisa Pickoff-White, KQED News Fix

Late voters will have more opportunity to mail in their ballots, thanks to a new law that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. The law stipulates that vote-by-mail ballots will need to be postmarked by Election Day and received up to three days later, rather than the current requirement that ballots must actually be in the hands of election officials by Election Day.

Election officials hope the date change will help alleviate voters’ concerns about mailing in their ballots. Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation, for example, says she’s seen trays of ballots go uncounted because they were mailed in too late.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.