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A New Bridge? Second BART Tube? Here’s How You Might Pay for It

KQED News Fix

Earlier this month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and East Bay Congressman Mark DeSaulnier wrote to officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and told them that they needed to start planning for a new vehicular and rail crossing between the Peninsula and East Bay.

Feinstein and DeSaulnier  suggested that planning should start under the auspices of Regional Measure 3, a pitch to Bay Area voters to increase bridge tolls by as much as $3 to raise money for dozens of transportation projects.

Read the story at KQED News Fix.

State Utility Regulators OK New Fire Safety Measures

KQED News Fix/The California Report

The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to beef up rules for utilities that have facilities in areas where thick vegetation and strong winds make fires more dangerous.

Under the new rules, electric and telecommunications utilities will need to widen vegetation clearances around their lines. They will also have to conduct more inspections of power lines, phone lines and utility poles.

Read the story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.

Peer Pressure Ousting Politicians Accused of Sexual Harassment


The electorate is a politician’s ultimate boss. If voters don’t like what their representatives are up to, they can throw the bums out — really.

But in recent weeks, as a wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations hits politicians in several statehouses and the nation’s Capitol, another force is proving to be as powerful as the electorate: peer pressure.

Read the complete story at CALmatters. 

As Mayor, Ed Lee Broke Barriers but Left a Complicated Legacy

KQED News Fix/The California Report

Edwin M. Lee, San Francisco’s first Asian-American mayor, died suddenly early Tuesday morning after suffering an apparent heart attack while grocery shopping. He was 65 years old.

London Breed, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, became acting mayor upon Lee’s death.

“Ed was not a politician,” Breed said at a City Hall press conference Tuesday morning. “He did not always deliver the best sound bite. He was humble and determined. No matter the job he held, he was fair and collaborative.”

Read the story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.

Low-Income S.F. Residents Still Wary of Regional Bike-Sharing Program

Mission Local

A lot of confusion still exists about Ford GoBike’s 7,000 bicycles in places like the Mission. As part of a regional public bike-sharing system, it has been linked to gentrification.

Although the company has reached out with plans for low-income residents, some believe the bikes are there only for higher-income residents. It is a problem that sparked vandalism and then calls for the program to withdraw or slow its expansion.  

Read the story at Mission Local. 

More Than 1 in 10 California Students Are 'Chronically Absent'


Last year, more than 1 in 10 students were chronically absent, according to data released by state education officials this week. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing at least 10 percent of school days for any reason.

The data, which the state released for the first time, shows that 1 in 4 foster children was chronically absent from California schools last year as were about 1 in 5 homeless, Native American and African-American students.

Read the story at EdSource.

Most S.F. Police Stations Don't Do Well in Communicating With Residents

Mission Local

It might be an uphill effort to find out what police are up to in your neighborhood. 

Getting frequent communications from the San Francisco Police Department in a newsletter, or nothing at all, depends  on where you live and who your local captain is. Bayview residents, for example, get a weekly comprehensive newsletter emailed to them, but until November, if you live in the Mission, you have not seen a newsletter since 2009.

Read the story at Mission Local. 

California’s Emissions Diminish — Thanks to the Weather


California’s Air Resources Board had good news about emissions reported by companies covered under the state’s cap-and-trade system.

Its recent report showed that greenhouse gas emissions reduced by almost 5 percent in 2016. According to analyses from the air board and independent experts, last year’s emissions drops were caused not by technological breakthroughs or drastic pollution reductions from oil refineries or other industries, nor did the cap-and-trade program make a signifiant difference.

It was the rain.

Read the story at CALmatters. 

For more information about  California’s cap-and-trade program, read the San Francisco Public Press (in collaboration with Earth Island Journal and Bay Nature magazine) special report on climate change.

San Francisco Tries to Cut Down on 911 ‘Butt Dials’

Mission Local

With an increase in calls and a shortage of people to answer them, San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management instituted a new campaign,  Make the Right Call,  aimed at reducing unnecessary — and accidental — 911 dials.

“A large portion are, for lack of a better word, ‘butt dials,’ ’’ said Francis Zamora, the agency’s director of external affairs.

Around 30 percent of all calls to 911 in San Francisco are unintentional.

Read the story at Mission Local. 

High Levels of Lead Detected in Tap Water at Some San Francisco Schools

KQED News Fix

New documents obtained by KQED show that half of San Francisco schools have lead in their water, but levels vary widely from school to school.

The science classroom faucet at San Francisco International High School registered lead at 5,600 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency sets the allowable limit at 15 ppb.

Read the story at KQED News Fix.