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What Happens to Raccoons Trapped in San Francisco?

By Jessica Placzek, KQED News Fix

As part of our series Bay Curious, we’re answering questions from KQED listeners and readers. This question comes from Emily Shumway, who was working late one night and came home to a raccoon in the middle of her living room. Now she wants to know:

What happens to raccoons that are live trapped in San Francisco? Where do they go?

Raccoons are trapped for two main reasons: Either they were found on someone’s property or they were found in pretty bad shape.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Lessons From an El Niño That Didn’t Go as Planned

By Lester Rowntree, Bay Nature

While many people feel this winter was a bit of disappointment — a betrayal even, since we didn’t get a record-busting Godzilla-like 1982-83 and 1997-98 — I’m not one of them. Remember back in your science classes when you learned that scientists are just as interested in being wrong as being right, or that a busted hypothesis was equally important as one substantiated?

Well, we can learn a lot from this year’s quirky El Niño. Some forecasts were right on the money while others were consistently wrong, and now, as El Niño’s unpredictable twin sister La Niña strengthens, it’s worth asking what lessons there are to take from the 2015-2016 winter.

Read the complete story at Bay Nature.

Child Care Providers Struggle to Afford Rising Minimum Wage

By Andrew Stelzer, KQED News Fix

If you’ve got kids, or are expecting one, you’ve probably been warned a million times: Child care is expensive. But just how expensive is it here in the Bay Area?

About $1,800 a month and up for an infant, according to Kim Kruckel with the Child Care Law Center in San Francisco.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Surge in Younger Voters Failed to Materialize in California Primary: Analyst

By Katie Orr, KQED News Fix

Turnout for the California primary, which some expected to be pumped up by a surge in registrations among younger voters, fell short of analysts’ expectations. One major factor in that lower-than-anticipated turnout: For the most part, an analysis of vote-by-mail ballots suggests that those younger voters simply didn’t participate.

Paul Mitchell, vice president of Sacramento-based Political Data Inc., noted Wednesday that people under 35 made up more than half of 2.3 million new voters who registered before the primary, indicating an enthusiasm for the contest. And he says those younger voters told pollsters that they would cast ballots. 

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

S.F. Supervisors Approve Short-Term Rental Law Aimed at Platforms

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday approved legislation that requires short-term rental platforms like Airbnb to list only rentals that have undergone the required registration process with the city.

The legislation places the onus on Airbnb, HomeAway and other hosting platforms to make sure that hosts who want to rent out part of their homes to visitors have gotten a business license from the city. Supervisor David Campos, who put forward the law with Supervisor Aaron Peskin, called the shift in responsibility a move toward “corporate responsibility.” 

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

S.F. Police Watchdog Might Soon Investigate All Officer-Involved Shootings

By Holly McDede, KALW/Crosscurrents

Last month, Jessica Williams, a 29-year-old black woman, was shot and killed by a single bullet fired by a police sergeant in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. Williams' death reportedly marked the 21st fatal officer-involved shooting under former S.F. Police Chief Greg Suhr’s watch.

Just hours later, Mayor Ed Lee called for Suhr’s resignation. Suhr stepped down, and Lee pledged to bring more accountability to San Francisco’s Police Department through a series of reform measures already in motion.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

Growing Momentum for Self-Driving Cars Worries Safety Advocates

By Brian Joseph, Fair Warning

On Valentine’s Day in Silicon Valley, one of Google’s experimental, self-driving cars sideswiped a city bus at 2 mph. The incident marked the first time an autonomous car contributed to an accident on a public road, but did nothing to diminish the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for driverless vehicles.

A month after the crash, at an autonomous car conference in Dearborn, Mich., Mark Rosekind, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said his agency and the federal Department of Transportation “are using all the tools we have available to advance what see as a revolution in technology,” according to his prepared remarks. “Our goal is to hasten this revolution.”

Read the complete story at Fair Warning.

Will Proposition C Create More Affordable Housing, or Less?

By Liza Veale, KALW/Crosscurrents

Next week, San Francisco voters will decide if they want to give the Board of Supervisors control over how much affordable housing private developers are required to build — thereby enabling the supervisors’ plan to hike up the requirement higher than that of any other city in the country.

Right now, all new buildings with 10 or more units are required to offer a portion of those units at below market rate. The requirement is 12 percent if the affordable units are within the building or 20 percent if they’re built at another location. That rule is locked into San Francisco’s charter, which is kind of like the city’s Constitution.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

Quizzing the Candidates Leaves a Secret Paper Trail

By Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

The eight-page document reads like a contract, asking candidates seeking a seat in the Legislature to pledge support for workers organizing unions. It lists priority issues – including health care, immigration and retirement benefits – and asks if the candidate will be a “supporter,” “champion” or “partner” as the union pursues its agenda in Sacramento.

The answers are a secret paper trail left by politicians who have sought backing this year from the Service Employees International Union, one of the state’s most powerful labor groups. The union won’t share the completed documents with the public. But it will pull out candidate’s responses later when they cast votes as lawmakers.

Read the complete story at CALmatters. 

Is San Francisco's New 'Dream' School Living Up to Its Potential?

By Ninna Gaensler-Debs, KALW Crosscurrents

Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School is the only noncharter public middle school in Bayview-Hunters Point. Sixty percent of the kids in the school’s inaugural sixth grade class live in the neighborhood.

For a long time, the odds have been stacked against these kids. Data from Bayview clinics from 2013 shows that almost 70 percent of youth in the area have been exposed to at least one Adverse Childhood Experience. Children with four or more of such experiences are more than 30 times more likely to have learning or behavioral problems in school. Plus, there’s a history of segregated schools there: The NAACP sued San Francisco Unified School District twice in the 1970s for failing to adequately desegregate schools.  

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.