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Daily news roundup for Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

SF Examiner

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

Judge rules that blind passengers can sue Uber for discrimination // SFGate

A federal magistrate will allow a lawsuit to move forward on behalf of blind Californians accusing the ride-hailing company Uber of discriminating against passengers with guide dogs. One advocate says the ruling sets a precedent for holding technology companies accountable under civil rights laws.

The suit, filed in September, said many Uber drivers have refused to take passengers with dogs. In one incident, the suit alleged, a driver agreed by phone last May to pick up two men and take them to a home in Menlo Park, but when the driver arrived and saw a guide dog, he shouted “No dogs,” cursed at the owner, ignored his explanation and sped away.


Oakland Apartment Tower Deal May Be Illegal // East Bay Express

In spite of surging opposition from neighbors and affordable housing advocates, the developer who wants to build a controversial high-rise luxury apartment tower at the foot of East 12th Street near Lake Merritt is poised to win approval. But if the Oakland City Council votes to sell the city-owned land to developer UrbanCore LLC, it could violate both state and city laws. At the very least, say affordable housing advocates, the process has set a terrible precedent for future decisions regarding development on publicly owned land, and for achieving Oakland's affordable housing goals.


"Very Sad Day:" Doctors Medical Center Closes Amidst Financial Woes // NBC Bay Area

After threatening to close several times, the doors finally shut at a 60-year-old hospital that serves mostly low-income patients on Tuesday, with saddened doctors and nurses gathering around a flag-pole to say goodbye to Doctors Medical Center San Pablo.

Much of its financial problems arose because more than 80 percent of its patients were covered by Medicare or the state-federal Medicaid program known as Medi-Cal. Fewer than 10 percent of the hospital’s patients had private insurance. As the East Bay Express noted in a series of articles, many public hospitals such as Doctors Medical Center, have shouldered the burden of caring for the poor, while private hospitals fail to do so despite being given huge tax breaks.


Digital debate: SF supervisors mull connecting the masses with citywide broadband network // SF Examiner

After a new report showed more than 100,000 households lack Internet access, San Francisco is reviving the effort to create a public municipal broadband network to close the digital divide by connecting everyone in The City, while also examining other models.