agriculture

As work conditions shift, inhumanity of immigrant labor becomes human rights concern

Alejandra Cuéllar, SF Public Press — Dec 27 2011 - 1:37pm

Gabriel Thompson worked alongside immigrants in the back of restaurants in New York City and in factories that produced some of the most basic foods in the American diet: lettuce and chicken. Not an immigrant himself, Thompson used his investigative reporting techniques to lift a veil on working conditions that many undocumented immigrants and low-income Americans face daily. His colleagues experienced excruciating soreness from physical labor. They had no employee benefits. And they had to do monotonous and repetitive work, which led to a high rate of injuries. Thompson’s one-year immersion into the lives of working immigrants, documented in his recent book, “Working in the Shadows,” comes at a time when working conditions are changing. The immigrant workers are leaving the workplace under pressure from law enforcement, a trend that is forcing the employers to look for new ways of attracting workers.

Agricultural production in Central Valley leaves toxic legacy for locals

Erica Gies, KALW Public Radio — Mar 24 2010 - 12:34pm

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.

Homeless counseling group first on Health Dept. chopping block

Kevin Stark, The Public Press — Jun 2 2009 - 1:09pm

Caduceus Outreach Services could close its doors as early as July 1 due to the crippling budget deficit facing the San Francisco of Department of Public Health.

Caduceus, a 13-year-old SOMA-based nonprofit organization, could lose two-thirds of its budget as a result of the Health Department’s efforts to cope with an unprecedented $163 million deficit. Caduceus, which provides psychiatric counseling to about 100 homeless people, is just one of 104 city-based community program agencies facing the budget ax this summer, as the city tries to deal with a total deficit of $438.1 million.

News Notes: July 1 budget cuts to trim homeless and AIDS support

Hank Drew, The Public Press — Jun 1 2009 - 1:55pm

Mayor Gavin Newsom's July 1 budget cuts would raise Muni fares and elminate, through layoffs and attrition, about 1,600 city jobs.

One homeless drop-in center will be closed as part of the new budget proposal and services for HIV and AIDS patients, drug addicts and the mentally ill will be reduced.

News Notes: Thousands of Bay Area children to lose health coverage

Hank Drew, The Public Press — May 29 2009 - 12:11pm

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to end the Healthy Families Program could leave more than 60,000 Bay Area children without health care coverage by June 30, 2010, according to the California Budget Project.

News Notes: Budget cuts lead to UCSC hunger strike

Leyna Lightman, The Public Press — May 27 2009 - 11:28pm

In anticipation of Wednesday’s Earth Day celebration, Berkeley Farmers’ Market has stepped up to the “green” plate – by becoming the first market in the nation to eliminate all plastic bags and packaging.

“We’ve been anti-plastic for a long time, but we’re also committed to our farmers and didn’t want to negatively impact them through diminished sales or costs,” said Ben Feldman, program manager of The Ecology Center – an environmental non-profit that has run the markets since 1987.

The market launched its “Zero Waste” campaign March 7, demanding all farmers’ market refuse be recyclable or compostable. The new rule includes materials for bagging produce as well as containers and utensils for prepared foods.

Farmers’ Market says no to all plastics

Leyna Lightman, Apr 22 2009 - 3:11pm

In anticipation of Wednesday’s Earth Day celebration, Berkeley Farmers’ Market has stepped up to the “green” plate – by becoming the first market in the nation to eliminate all plastic bags and packaging.

“We’ve been anti-plastic for a long time, but we’re also committed to our farmers and didn’t want to negatively impact them through diminished sales or costs,” said Ben Feldman, program manager of The Ecology Center – an environmental non-profit that has run the markets since 1987.

The market launched its “Zero Waste” campaign March 7, demanding all farmers’ market refuse be recyclable or compostable. The new rule includes materials for bagging produce as well as containers and utensils for prepared foods.

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