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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News From Our Partners

SF Green Cab Pulls Taxis Off Street, May Shut Down

By Jon Brooks, KQED News Fix

We have been covering the woes of the San Francisco taxi industry for some time now, and here’s another one for you: SF Green Cab, a small worker-owned taxi cooperative founded in 2007, has stopped operating and could be out of business for good.

Green Cab pulled its 16 cabs off the street late Thursday night just before the midnight expiration of its insurance, says Mark Gruberg, a member of the company’s board and one of its founders.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

High Cost of Living in S.F. Hits Teachers Hard

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

Linda Perez, a teacher at Buena Vista Horace Mann, shares her home with nine people — and only two of them are family members. Frank Lara teaches fourth grade at the same school and has crashed on friends’ couches or shared a bedroom to make ends meet, all while struggling to repay a mountain of student loan debt. Laura Rocha, who used to teach pre-kindergarten classes at another school, said she can earn more money cleaning houses or rolling burritos than she can as a teacher.

“I adore kids, but I can’t support myself and my daughter like this,” Rocha said.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.



 

StoryCorps: Learning From the Dying at Zen Hospice Project in S.F.

By Rachel Vasquez, KALW Crosscurrents

Tracy Grubbs grew up fascinated, curious and afraid of death. Her curiosity, plus her interest in Buddhism, led her to volunteer at the Zen Hospice Project, a San Francisco center for the dying supported by the Buddhist community. Grubbs spoke with her colleague Lisa Messano.

TRACY GRUBBS: When I heard there was something like the Zen Hospice Project and they would train you to be with people who were dying, I was intrigued. I was also afraid.

Listen to the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents. 

S.F. Study Puts Price Tag on Health Risks of Smoking

By Julian Do and Peter Schurmann, New America Media 

We all know the health risks associated with smoking. But according to a new study from the University of California San Francisco, the financial toll for states and counties is almost as staggering.

According to the UCSF School of Nursing’s Institute for Health & Aging, smoking-related illnesses cost California $18.1 billion in 2009. That comes to about $487 per resident or $4,603 per smoker. The costs included direct healthcare expenses as well as lost productivity due to illness or death.

Read the complete story at New America Media.

Acorn Woodpeckers Expand Range to S.F., Elsewhere in Hunt for Scarce Acorns

By Bruce Mast, Golden Gate Birder/Bay Nature

They are the clowns of the oak savannah — acorn woodpeckers — with their harlequin faces, gregarious habits and off-kilter laughing calls that inspired Woody Woodpecker. According to "Birds of North America," the acorn woodpecker is a “common, conspicuous inhabitant of foothill and montane woodlands from northwestern Oregon, California, the American Southwest, and western Mexico through the highlands of Central America to the northern Andes in Colombia. Throughout its range, this species is closely associated with oaks (genus Quercus) and is most commonly found in pine-oak woodlands.”

Here in the Bay Area, acorn woodpecker colonies are common in the East Bay hills and the western slopes of Mount Diablo, particularly where there are concentrations of valley oaks. South of Livermore, they can be locally abundant in the Diablo range. They are rare in Tilden and Redwood Regional Parks, and practically unheard of west of the Hayward Fault.

So what’s up with the recent spate of acorn woodpecker sightings in urban San Francisco and the East Bay lowlands?

Read the complete story in Bay Nature. 

An Election Guide for Californians

Produced by KQED News and The California Report

Will you be casting an informed ballot this year? Smarten up with our Election Guide to the statewide propositions and races. See who is funding the campaign for and against each measure, and how much they are spending.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

S.F. Street Trees in Bad Shape as City Shifts Upkeep to Residents

By Daphne Matziaraki, Bay Nature

San Francisco is planning to shift more street trees into the hands of private property owners, despite evidence that the city’s tree canopy has suffered since the transfer policy began three years ago.

San Francisco’s Department of Public Works explained its controversial plans on Monday at a packed room in San Francisco’s City Hall at a hearing of the Land Use and Economic Development Committee.

The department  "is unable to take care of all the trees,” said Carla Short, an urban forester at Public Works.

Read the complete story at Bay Nature.

Here’s What Would Be Taxed — or Not — in S.F., Berkeley Soda Tax Measures

By Lisa Aliferis, State of Health/KQED News Fix

Both San Francisco and Berkeley have measures on their November ballots that would institute a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. With less than a week to go until Election Day, we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. People want to know exactly what will be taxed — and what won’t.

First things first: The tax is on sugar-sweetened beverages, so diet sodas would not be taxed. After all, they do not have sugar or any other sweetener that has calories. Maybe the moniker “soda tax” is misleading here.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/State of Health.

Housing on S.F. Ballot — Getting to Know Propositions K and G

By Hana Baba and Liz Pfeffer/KALW Crosscurrents

Liz Pfeffer speaks with Hana Baba about housing-related measures on the upcoming San Francisco ballot, including Propositions K and G.

Listen to the complete discussion at KALW Crosscurrents. 

 

What Proposition 1 Means for California's Water

By Audrey Dilling, KALW Crosscurrents

When you go to vote next Tuesday, the first thing you’ll see in the list of state measures is Proposition 1. It’s also being called “the water bond.” And let’s get one thing straight right now — this bond won’t resolve the current drought. We can’t vote to make it rain.

But Proposition 1 can make it rain in the form of $7.5 billion worth of funding for water projects around the state. These could include projects that recycle, conserve and store more of the water we already have.

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.