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Bay Area

Building the bay’s signature span

Patricia Decker, McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:48pm

When all the pieces are finally welded together and tethered by the main suspension cable, the Bay Bridge east span will be not just a new American icon, but also a truly global monument. From the enormous solid steel castings of cable saddles, brackets and bands being forged in Japan and England to the gigantic bearings and hinges being manufactured in South Korea and Pennsylvania, fabrication of the bridge is under way in seven foreign countries and in more than two dozen American cities, including 12 in California.

The fine print: Interest doubles total price tag

Robert Porterfield, McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:47pm

Overall cost estimates have been presented to the public in annual reports and press briefings, but the cost of interest on money borrowed to pay for construction has not been included.

A timeline of the old and new Bay Bridge east span

Mike Adamick, McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:46pm

Graphic illustration: the Bay Bridge

McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:45pm

The east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in graphic illustration. Design by Eleven: Greg Hathaway, Darlene Gibson, Stella Trenggono & Liz Gershman.

Billy Bragg saved my life

Tim Kingston, The Public Press — Nov 10 2009 - 10:55am

There is something about being unemployed — or underemployed, as it is cutely referred to these days — that puts a crimp in one’s life. What is harsh is the loss of hope that comes with long-term unemployment. It is the constant effort to keep optimistic and on top of things while isolation grinds one down. Unemployment focuses the mind on individual survival, instead of collective solutions. Watching Billy Bragg perform recently at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco was, for me, a desperately needed injection of hope and a reminder that there is a lot more to life than getting by.

Oakland’s community policing program continues to face challenges

Sandhya Dirks, Crosscurrents on KALW Public Radio — Oct 28 2009 - 4:49pm

Officer Clay Burch is one part of the three-pronged approach that makes up Measure Y, in which community police are complemented by street outreach teams. PSOs and outreach teams link young people to the actual programs that help create foundations for a better life. And for Burch, improving Oakland’s toughest neighborhoods happens one building, and one person, at a time.

Craigslist founder rejects link between site, crimes

Stephen Robert Morse, The Public Press — Oct 21 2009 - 10:03pm

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, said he does not believe his Web site is to blame for crimes committed by those who use the Internet to lure their victims.

“People might use our site, much like they might use the phone, or a car, or the roads, and I can’t find a reason for any of us to feel guilty about it,” Newmark said during a wide-ranging interview with the Public Press’ Stephen Robert Morse.

In ‘Deep East’ Oakland, youths pegged as criminals say police harassment spurs more violence

Crosscurrents on KALW Public Radio — Oct 7 2009 - 4:39pm

For many, the police are here to serve and protect. The men and women in blue are those we call when we’re in trouble. And no part of Oakland is more in need of policing than the streets between the East 70s avenues and the East 100s avenues — stretching from the base of the hills to the bottom of the flatlands — or what residents call the “Deep East.” It is where over one-third of the city’s 124 homicides occurred last year. But many of the youths living on these dangerous streets don’t welcome the police as protectors — they consider them the enemy.

Carpenters Union and Chase/WAMU gnaw on each other's nerves

Tim Kingston, The Public Press — Jun 4 2009 - 5:33pm

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.

A tour of toxic hot spots in the Bay Area — Jun 2 2009 - 5:38pm

The reputation of the Bay Area as a haven for sustainable lifestyle practices, the cradle for the slow food movement and solar energy development reaches far and wide, but it is also the home to pockets of persistent toxic trouble spots, partly as a legacy of past manufacturing activity and partly a result of ongoing business practices. This legacy has real and detrimental effects on the lives of those who live and raise families there.

Two experienced journalists, Kwan Booth and Kim Komenich, are working for in partnership with the journalism micro-funding site, to identify and tell the narrative of a neglected community in the Bay Area that suffers from this type of pollution and ecological degradation.

The stories come in a multimedia package of photography, audio commentary and text reporting, with the goal of creating a rich audio-visual narrative to give a voice and reveal the lives and challenges of real people who are often reduced to statistics in policy papers.

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