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Groundwater Depletion Is Destabilizing the San Andreas Fault and Increasing Earthquake Risk

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.

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California’s Market for Hard-to-Verify Carbon Offsets Could Let Industry Pollute as Usual

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.

Comic: Obedience is the best weapon

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.

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San Francisco works to prevent ex-convicts from re-offending in city

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. 

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California utilities commission to allow customers to opt-out of smart meters

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.

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State cuts set to slam San Francisco’s seniors, poor

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.