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BART Needs to Speed Up Installing Surveillance Cameras, Says Top Official

By Ted Goldberg, KQED News Fix

BART needs to stop “tap dancing” around and quickly install surveillance cameras on all of its trains, the chairman of the Bay Area’s regional transit planning agency said after learning that the system was moving slowly in putting the devices in place.

“I don’t know what’s taking so long,” Dave Cortese, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, said in an interview. “I think there’s a genuine concern that BART isn’t able to move quickly enough on some of these basic maintenance- and security-type issues.”

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Displaced Tenants Pick Up Checks, But Many Have Nowhere to Go

By Laura Waxmann, Mission Local

Community efforts raised $140,000 to help 67 individuals displaced by a five-alarm fire at 29th and Mission streets last month get back on their feet.

The Mission Economic Development Agency dispersed some of that money Friday night at the Salvation Army Community Center at 1156 Valencia St. near 23rd St.

Most of those picking up their checks are still without permanent housing and expressed serious concerns about the city’s efforts to relocate them.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

At Least 2 Dozen S.F. Police Dept. Officers Tied to Teen at Center of Sexual Exploitation Scandal

By Alex Emslie and Nicole Reinert, KQED News Fix

The San Francisco Police Department has minimized the extent to which a sexual exploitation crisis rocking several East Bay law enforcement agencies has touched its side of the Bay Bridge, but a KQED analysis of current and former department officers’ Facebook accounts shows that the 18-year-old woman at the center of the sex abuse scandal was connected to dozens of people affiliated with the department.

A week after former Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent suddenly resigned amid revelations that several Oakland Police Dept. officers may have sexually exploited and trafficked a young woman — and allegations that he may have mishandled an internal investigation — headlines blared that S.F. Police Dept.  officers may also have been involved. The woman, who calls herself Celeste Guap, claimed to have had sex with San Francisco officers who knew she worked in the sex trade.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Immigrants Still Look to Anti-Deportation Act for Relief in Uncertain Times

By Elena ShoreNew America Media

Leticia Urrutia’s DACA renewal is coming up in October, a month before the presidential elections.

“I was like, ‘What am I going to do?’ ” the 23-year-old native of Mexico said at a recent media roundtable in San Francisco.

Urrutia is a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a renewable, two-year protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. 

Read the complete story at New America Media.

Homelessness in the Mission District: A Neighborhood View

By Sukey Lewis, KQED News Fix

A man’s weathered face peers out from inside a green-and-gray tent on Treat Avenue in San Francisco’s Mission District. Pop tunes pour out of a portable radio next to him, as I introduce myself and shake his hand. He tells me his name: Willy Colon. He says he’s been living on the street for about 15 years.

Colon is tired and recovering from a stroke and a broken hip. He is 69 years old.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

California Drought, Marine Heat More Likely With Warming

By John Upton, KQED News Fix/Climate Central

A persistent wash of warm waters off the West Coast, which caused wildlife die-offs and blocked drought-quenching storms from reaching California last year, was caused by the happenstance interplay of natural ocean cycles, research findings published Monday show.

The findings also suggested that while the drought and the blob of warm water were the result of the natural whims of the weather, climate change could make such events more likely and intense in the future. To a small extent, it’s already doing so.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/Climate Central.

With Cap and Trade in Doubt, Key Questions Go Unanswered

By Julie Cart, Calmatters

Assemblyman Brian Jones leaned in to the microphone with a tight smile. It was May, and legislators were debating whether to request an audit of the California Air Resources Board.

Frustrated that the agency was not more forthcoming about aspects of the cap-and-trade program it runs, Jones fixed his gaze on the embattled regulator assigned to parry lawmakers’ questions.

Read the complete story at Calmatters.

Why Your Signature Is Worth So Much This Election Season

 By Angela Johnston, KALW/Crosscurrents

The California ballot will be crowded this November. Last week, the Secretary of State put out a list of the official initiatives — all 17 of them. We’ll be voting on whether the state should legalize marijuana, lower the cost of pharmaceuticals, repeal the death penalty, require condoms in porn and countless others. And the large number of measures makes the process a lot more expensive. Here’s why.

There will be almost twice as many initiatives on the ballot this year than in the last presidential election, in 2012. Part of the reason for this increase is because the bar to qualify is lower. The number of signatures you need to get your measure on the ballot is based on 5 percent of the number of people who voted in the last governor's race. So, fewer votes means fewer signatures.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

 

Building Inspection Study: Majority of Housing Code Violations Corrected

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

The San Francisco Department of Building Inspections released a report this month showing that the majority of housing code violations reported in the Mission District between 2014 and 2015 were corrected.

Between July 2014 and June 2015, 215 notices were issued that cited some 1,564 code violations were in the building inspection district that covers the Mission District and parts of Potrero Hill and the Dogpatch. The majority of the violations were in the Mission District, and more than 1,300 — or 82 percent — of them were abated by the landlord. Some 18 percent of the cases where violations were issued remain active.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

 

High Rents Keep S.F. Homeless on the Street, Various Ties Keep Them Here

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

Many people living on the streets know that the only exit from homelessness is finding a home. But in a city with exorbitant rents, that becomes trickier than simply getting a job and submitting an application. Some already work, and others are on a fixed income. And leaving altogether often isn’t a viable alternative.

Catherine Mary Kelliher is living under the overpass in an area known as “the Hairball” with some 10 other of the city’s estimated 6,500 to 10,000 homeless. Kelliher was evicted from her apartment near St. Luke’s hospital, where she had lived since 2009, in late 2015. At the time, she had been paying around $1,000 a month to rent a small one-bedroom.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.