As workers head back to their jobs, they are navigating the new workplace safety reality of operating in a global pandemic. Labor organizers say the protections against catching the novel coronavirus on the job are insufficient at many workplaces, and lack enforcement. They allege that California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, is critically short-staffed. Erika Monterroza, a spokesperson for Cal/OSHA, said in an email the staff shortage doesn’t keep the agency from meeting its mandate. “We believe that this agency is not doing what it should be doing.
David Chiu, the state assembly member representing California’s District 17, the Eastern side of San Francisco, is running unopposed for re-election this year. He spoke with “Civic” about his recent legislative work.
If San Francisco adhered strictly to state laws that grant residential developers considerable flexibility, it could increase housing density in upcoming projects by up to 35 percent. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
The momentum to increase the minimum wage that is building in San Francisco and other localities across California has not caught on for similar statewide efforts. Part of the summer edition of the San Francisco Public Press. Get yours today.
Research published today also links seasonal water levels to seasonal patterns in seismicity
Depletion of groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley is having wide-ranging effects not just on the agricultural industry and the environment, but also on the very earth beneath our feet. Massive changes in groundwater levels in the southern Central Valley are changing the stresses on the San Andreas Fault, according to research published today.
Timber, dairy and chemical companies are lining up to sell carbon credits, which regulators call “offsets,” to the largest California polluters so they can compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions. Many environmentalists say that because it is notoriously difficult to prove that such projects actually reduce the state’s overall carbon footprint, California should proceed slowly in approving a vast expansion of the cap-and-trade market. This story is part of a special report on climate change in the summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.
One woman’s true tale of human trafficking and rescue
Human trafficking is largely seen as a problem overseas, but its rise in the U.S. has gone largely underreported. For its Spring 2012 edition, the San Francisco Public Press published a special report on human trafficking in the Bay Area. The report examined the financial and political challenges facing agencies that aid trafficking victims and prosecute perpetrators. As a follow-up to this report, renowned cartoon artist Dan Archer illustrated one woman’s story with a full-page cartoon in the Summer 2012 edition.
San Francisco is preparing for the October release of state prisoners to the custody of local governments by forming a commission to prevent them from re-offending. Currently about three-quarters of ex-convicts in the city commit new crimes.
Supervisors Scott Wiener and Malia Cohen Tuesday introduced an ordinance to establish a sentencing commission in hopes of reducing recidivism. The commission would be led by District Attorney George Gascón and would include representatives from the police and sheriff’s departments, public defender’s office, nonprofits serving victims and ex-prisoners, among others.
The California Public Utilities Commission has decided to allow PG&E customers to opt-out of having Smart Meters installed in their homes in Northern California.
PG&E is expected to present a proposal back to the commission within two weeks to allow the opt-out “at a reasonable customer cost,” according to utilities commission President Michael Peevey.
Foes of the Smart Meters were pushing for a moratorium on further installation of the devices.
One of the perks of living in the Bay Area is the wide variety of fresh, local produce we enjoy year-round. Much of that comes thanks to our proximity to the Central Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, this luxury comes at a price, although we aren’t the ones paying it.
Already reeling from a deep recession and massive cuts to staff and services in this year’s budget, San Francisco is being hammered by a new tidal wave of state cuts — estimated at $26.5 million — which could put low-income seniors and others on the brink of homelessness and hunger, many advocates say.