News From Our Partners

Supervisors Seek Cure for Double Parking ‘Epidemic’

By Alexander Mullaney, Mission Local

After waiting 20 minutes on the J streetcar because of a double-parked delivery truck, District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener stepped out to investigate. He found the offending delivery truck driver, four streetcars backed up and another issue to add to his list of needed transportation work.

S.F. Theater Breaks Ground on New Market Street Performance Complex

By Dan Brekke, KQED News Fix

The renaissance of San Francisco's mid-Market neighborhood took another step forward Wednesday, with leaders of the city's American Conservatory Theater joining city officials to break ground on a $32 million remake of a moribund movie palace that goes back to the vaudeville era.

ACT Artistic Director Carey Perloff said the two small theaters planned for the Strand will serve as a magnet: "In this space, we hope to produce new work, to engage new artists, young artists, local artists, we hope to share this space with a lot of community partners here, many of whom surround us here. This is a neighborhood filled with arts."

The Strand, on Market between 7th and 8th streets, is close to another theater and a dance company, and there are plans for a new arts complex two blocks away.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.


Veteran Bay Area Journalist Tim Redmond on Today’s Media Landscape

By Ben Trefny, KALW

With so many media options to choose from, some older forms are getting less attention. So how are these changes reshaping what news we read, see, and hear?

KALW’s Ben Trefny is exploring this idea with Bay Area media makers. Today, he spoke with Tim Redmond, who recently left the San Francisco Bay Guardian after more than three decades with the paper.

“I've always believed that democracy can't exist without reporters," says Redmond. "We need reporters."

Listen to the complete story at KALW.

The Danger Zone of South Van Ness

By Heather Mack, Mission Local

When Mark Morey wanted to know how often people were speeding past his South Van Ness home, he didn’t rely on mere estimates. The 49-year-old Mission resident equipped himself with a cheap radar gun, posted up near a few busy intersections and took aim.

“Almost everyone who drives down that street is driving too fast,” said Morey. “And anyone who has to cross the street is fear-stricken. It’s no surprise that there are so many accidents there.”

So many, in fact, that South Van Ness is among the worst of the worst when it comes to dangerous streets in San Francisco. Beyond casual field observations like Morey’s, hard evidence attests to the dangers of traffic on South Van Ness. Although the city has taken some steps in the last two years to make it more pedestrian-friendly, accidents still frequently occur, and residents said they want to see drastic changes.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

Biohacking Project a Glowing Controversy

By Holly J. McDede, KALW

When we think of garage scientists, eccentric, gray-haired Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future might come to mind. But these days, garages seem a little old-fashioned -- especially when you can work in a tricked out DIY Bio Lab. 

DIY, or Do It Yourself, labs are for citizen scientists to collaborate. Rather than for profit, the projects are for learning -- things like building robots and printing live cells from 3-D printers. Collective membership dues make the fancy lab equipment affordable. And that’s the goal: make science more accessible, and less intimidating.

Recently, four scientists at BioCurious began experimenting with making glowing seeds. But they needed money, so instead of keeping the seeds for themselves, they decided to promise them to anyone who backed their project on Kickstarter. It was their way of democratizing biology.

After eight weeks, the project had more than 8,000 backers -- all expecting glowing seeds. And all those backers caused a backlash from people worried that distributing the seeds could have unintended, and dangerous, consequences for ecosystems around the world.

The Container Lab, parked in San Francisco’s Dogpatch district, was once an actual shipping container. These days, though, it’s a molecular biology lab. Which suits Kyle Taylor just fine. 

Read or listen to the complete story at KALW.

New Funding Models Kick-Starting Solar Energy Use

By Laura FlynnNew America Media/KALW Crosscurrents

Fly low over California, and you’ll see a patchwork of black and shiny rooftops fitted – with solar panels. It didn’t always look like this. Just over a decade ago, there were fewer than 500 solar rooftops in the state. By last year, that jumped to over 160,000. Much of that growth has happened in just the past few years. It doesn’t stop there; national industry analysts say the solar sector grew by a third in just the first quarter of this year, with California leading the charge.

A few things are making solar more accessible, among them: cheaper panels, rebates, and new ways to for pay for them. Crowdfunding is among these new and creative ways to finance solar panels. Instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars to install solar, other people pitch in and get something in return. It’s like a Kickstarter for your electricity bill – and it’s a business model that allows people to participate directly in making solar happen. 

Read the complete story at New America Media.

A Love Supreme in San Francisco

By Kristina Loring, KALW

The Church of John Coltrane has always put the man’s music at the center of its services.

“I hear John Coltrane say that when you discover the possibilities of music, you want to help humanity and free people from their hang ups and make the world a better place,” says Wanika King-Stephens, the church’s pastor. “And so that’s the kind of intention that he had behind his music.”

Her father, Franzo King founded the church decades ago after he took his wife Marina to see Coltrane play.

San Francisco was a hotbed for jazz at the time, filled with smoke-filled clubs and a rotating cast of musical greats. The Kings were at a popular club in North Beach, the Jazz Workshop. That night, Franzo King experienced what he calls his “sound baptism.”

“We had great expectation for John Coltrane. But I think that the most obvious thing I can remember is the atmosphere around his being,” Franzo King says. “He flooded our heart with the divine love of god, and he planted seeds that grew into what we now call the St. John Coltrane Church.”

Read or hear the complete story at KALW.

Give California Cyclists 3 Feet – It's the Law

 By Olivia Hubert-Allen, KQED News Fix

A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday requires drivers to give cyclists 3 feet of space while passing on the left or else face a fine.

The law says that the distance will be measured between "any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator." In many situations, that calls for 3 feet between the cyclist's shoulder or handlebars and the vehicle's side mirror. 

It's been a long road for the "Three Feet for Safety Act" to make it to state law. Earlier laws proposing similar regulations failed to pass the Legislature in 2006 and 2008. Brown also vetoed two earlier versions of the bill, based on recommendations from Caltrans.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

San Francisco Measures Value of CCSF

By Sara Bloomberg, KQED

With the deadline for City College of San Francisco to lose its accreditation less than 10 months out, city officials are questioning its economic impact on the city.

The answer appears to be at least $311 million.

At a Budget and Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Supervisor Eric Mar called an evaluation he had requested on the college's economic impact "groundbreaking."

“I think this report is groundbreaking because it quantifies a huge economic impact to the city and county of San Francisco and so many families and people of San Francisco, young and old, that have improved their lives” by taking classes there, Mar said. CCSF is the largest community college in the state, with 80,000 students enrolled in the 2012-2013 academic year.

Severin Campbell, a representative of the city's Budget and Legislative Analyst office, presented the findings of the report, which breaks down the economic impact into two main categories: grant funding and jobs.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.


S.F. Artistic Community Wants Piece of Mid-Market St.

By Cy Musiker, KQED News Fix

The American Conservatory Theater plans to break ground Oct. 2 on the restoration of San Francisco's Strand Theatre.

The $30 million project will be a dramatic moment for arts companies that have been trying to remake mid-Market – one of the city’s funkiest neighborhoods – into a theater and arts district.

Market Street at night was once ablaze with the well-lit marquees of vaudeville houses, movie theaters and dance halls like the Gaiety, the Hub, the Odeon and the Paris.

"This street used to be like the Great White Way in the '50s, lit up with theaters up and down Market Street," says Carey Perloff, artistic director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.