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The Evolution of California’s ‘College Promise,’ as Told Through 4 Students

By Ana Tintocalis, KQED News Fix/The California Report

Does higher education in California still unlock economic opportunities for young people? I explored that question by looking at the cost of a college degree through the lives of four students at very different points in California’s history.

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

Ex-Felons on Path in S.F. to Changing Their Criminal Records

By Serginho Roosblad, Mission Local

More than two dozen people came to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union’s office at 1980 Mission St. on Saturday to start the process of having certain nonviolent felonies removed from their criminal records.

The event was organized by the union, which represents more than a million workers in the retail and food-and-meat processing industries.

“Many people have difficulties finding a job because they’ve been convicted of a felony in the past,” said Jennifer Garcia, a local union representative.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

Texting for Help: Golden Gate Bridge Tries New Suicide-Prevention Tool

By Stephanie Martin Taylor, KQED News Fix

Kyle Gamboa’s iPhone 5S still sits, fully charged, next to his parents’ living room sofa. Every few months, the phone lights up with a text from one of his friends.

“I love you brother,” reads one message, dated June 2, 2016. “I really don’t know what happened. I miss you. I wish you were here.”

Kyle’s father agrees. “You know, texting and all the social media stuff, it’s such a part of their life — this is normal for them to do,” he says. “Even though they know Kyle is gone, they know his phone is still on.”

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.


10 Years in, Has California’s Climate Law Really Lowered Emissions?

By Craig Miller, KQED Science/News Fix

When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed California’s landmark climate strategy into law in 2006, he laid out the mission succinctly.

“We simply must do everything we can that is in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late,” he declared at the Sept. 27 signing ceremony. 

Ten years later, few would argue that California hasn’t done its fair share in the fight against climate change. But the question of how much the Global Warming Solutions Act, still known by its legislative shorthand as AB32, has actually cut California’s greenhouse gas emissions is tougher to get at.

Read the complete story at KQED Science/News Fix.

All Mission Station Officers Now Wearing Body Cameras

By Laura Waxmann, Mission Local

As of Monday, all patrolling officers at Mission Police Station will be outfitted with body cameras.

Mission Station has received 150 to 160 cameras, according to San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Carlos Manfredi.

A total of 112 patrol officers, 23 sergeants and five lieutenants are now mandated to wear the cameras strapped to their chests during most interactions with the public.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

If Robots Take Our Jobs? Turn to Basic Income

By Queena Sook Kim, KQED News Fix

When we talk about the economy, we spend a lot of time talking about jobs — how to create more of them and how to replace the ones being lost. But what if we’re entering an automated future where there won’t be enough jobs for the people who need them? If this happens, how will people pay for food and shelter?

In Silicon Valley, a growing number of those in the tech sector believe that one solution may be the universal basic income. Simply put, the idea is that Uncle Sam will cut citizens a regular paycheck whether they work or not.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Gig Companies Go Old School and Hire Workers

By Sam Harnett, KQED News Fix

Over the last few years, investors have poured money into gig companies like Uber and TaskRabbit that rely on armies of contract workers. Now, some smaller gig companies are changing course and doing what most businesses do. They’re actually hiring their workers.

For some companies ditching the gig model, the decision is about making clients more comfortable with workers. Honor, for instance, provides elder care. You can see why someone might feel better hiring a regular employee rather than a freelancer to take care of an elder loved one. 

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

The Pension Gap

By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times

With the stroke of a pen in 1999, California Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation that gave prison guards, park rangers, Cal State professors and other state employees the kind of retirement security normally reserved for the wealthy.

More than 200,000 civil servants became eligible to retire at 55 — and in many cases collect more than half their highest salary for life. California Highway Patrol officers could retire at 50 and receive as much as 90 percent of their peak pay for as long as they lived.

Read the complete story at CALmatters.

Jack Dolan is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. Judy Lin, a reporter at CALmatters, contributed to this story. This story is part of an ongoing project involving the Los Angeles Times, CALmatters and Capital Public Radio.

Photo Essay: Displacement in the Mission

By Joe Sciarrillo, Mission Local

As a fourth-generation Bay Area resident, I grew up hearing stories about the changes in San Francisco from family who grew up in the Mission, the Marina and the Richmond districts.

Seeing drastic changes in San Francisco over the past decade, I’ve set out during my lunch breaks where I live and work in the Mission District to document the city’s changing landscape. These images are part of the photojournalism project “San Francisco: A Changing City” and are intended to capture different responses of what it means to call San Francisco “home."

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

Mission Residents Challenge City’s Plans to Remove Tents, House Homeless

By Laura Waxmann, Mission Local

Community members and homeless advocates frustrated about the dozens of tents that have popped up in the Mission District shouted down city and police officials on Wednesday during a discussion of a new plan to tackle homeless encampments in the neighborhood.

“We had encampments catch on fire right on my street. After living here all these years, I’ve seen things really get ugly,” said Gilles Combet, who lives on Shotwell Street between 16th and 17th streets and has voiced concern of an encampment there for years. “We are letting people live without bathrooms, without showers, with nothing at all — that’s wrong.”

Read the complete story at Mission Local.