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KALW News

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, March 10th

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The Chronicle

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

S.F. Homelessness a picture of futility in 2015 // SF Gate

"For thousands of tourists and commuters, the first impression coming out of the Ferry Building isn’t Coit Tower or the downtown skyline, but the tents and carts that litter the landscape at neighboring Justin Herman Plaza. It’s just one of the scores of homeless encampments that have sprung up across the city.

There’s little sign the tents are about to come down. Even when a camp is cleared, often as not the residents are gone just long enough to let the city’s teams of cleaners clear out the garbage and hose down the sidewalk. Then they move right back in."

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As Oakland's Minimum Wage Rises, A Mixed Reaction from Workers and Businesses // Oakland Local

"Oakland workers earning minimum wage will see an increase on their checks next payday due to a citywide wage increase that took effect Monday. The boost from $9 to $12.25 an hour may sound great to employees, but it wasn’t an easy change for some small business owners.

The minimum wage increase was initiated by a group called Lift Up Oakland, which collected over 33,000 signatures to place Measure FF on the November ballot. It passed with 81 percent of the vote. The measure requires employers to offer an hour of paid sick days for every 30 hours worked and for all service charges at hotels and restaurants to be paid to workers, instead of to management."

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San Francisco Pushing Nation's First Soda Warning Label on Advertising // CBS San Francisco

"San Francisco could become the first city in the country to require warning labels on advertising for soda and other sugary beverages. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced new legislation Tuesday. It could go before voters next year.

Wiener’s proposal is modeled on a failed attempt at the state level last year. It was vehemently fought by the beverage industry."

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Oakland's 'lone builder' unveils plans for three new market-rate projects // SF Business Times

"Madison Park Financial, developer of theonly new market-rate apartment building finished in Oakland last year, is seeking approval for three new housing projects totaling 230 units, another sign of increased investment and development interest in Oakland."

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Date set for public forum with W. Kamau Bell and Elmwood Café in wake of racism accusation // Berkeleyside

"A date has been set for a public conversation between comedian W. Kamau Bell and the owner of a Berkeley café where Bell says he was the victim of racial abuse. The forum will be held on Friday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Willard Middle School at 2425 Stuart St.

The need for a public conversation became apparent to Bell and Michael Pearce, the owner of the Elmwood Café on College Avenue, after the comedian, who is African-American, made public on his blog how he was asked to leave the café on Jan. 26. while he was talking to his wife and her friends, who are white, at an outdoor table."

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Oakland Police Overtime Costs Continue to Soar // EBX

"Over the years, several mayors and city councils have tried to reduce the Oakland Police Department's overtime expenditures, but OPD continues to spend tens of millions of dollars on overtime annually — and the problem has been getting worse recently. According to city records, Oakland has spent approximately $232 million on police overtime over the past decade. In addition, since 1999, OPD has exceeded its overtime budget in every year except one, totaling $81 million in extra spending.

It's not entirely clear what amount of OPD's overtime spending is due to short staffing, and therefore necessary, given the mayor and the city council's desired level of police services; what's due to inefficiency within OPD; and what is caused by officers who game the city's compensation rules to juice their paychecks."