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Daily news roundup for Tueday, January 5, 2016

El Nino storms flood the Russian River in 1998.

Here’s what’s happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW News:

California Braces for Series of El Niño Storms // ABC News

After all the talk, El Niño storms have finally lined up over the Pacific and started soaking drought-parched California with rain expected to last for most of the next two weeks, forecasters said Monday.

As much as 15 inches of rain could fall in the next 16 days in Northern California, with about 2 feet of snow expected in the highest points of the Sierra Nevada, said Johnny Powell, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.


Bay Area Low-Income & Homeless Residents Push to Build Own Housing// New America Media

In the Bay Area, where demands for affordable housing and solutions to homelessness have reached fever pitch, some low-income and homeless residents are taking things into their own hands – by trying to build housing themselves.

POOR Magazine/Prensa Pobre, a Bay Area-based nonprofit arts and education organization founded in 1996 and led by people struggling with poverty and homelessness, wants to build four eco-friendly townhouses in a multi-use lot at 80th and MacArthur for low-income and homeless families.


Longtime Market Street arts supply store Flax moving to Oakland // SF Gate

First the artists. Now the art supplies.

Flax, the family-owned art supply story that is being forced off Market Street to make way for condominiums, is shifting its main operation to Oakland.

Flax will take 14,500 square feet at 1501 Martin Luther King Way, a former automotive repair shop and indoor soccer facility on the outskirts of downtown Oakland. The store will open in February, said Howard Flax, the store’s third-generation owner.


California's employment outlook looking bright; 400,000 new jobs added in 2015 // KTVU

The Bay Area’s employment outlook is bright, but even better is the news that California overall created jobs in 2015, according to labor analysts.

Michael Bernick, labor lawyer and former director of the Employment Development Department says California's labor market did well last year.


Santa Clara County: Inmate files lawsuit over alleged beating by jail guards // San Jose Mercury News

More than five months after having his jaw broken at the Santa Clara County Main Jail -- and after hearing the cries of a fellow inmate who later died from a beating -- a former inmate filed a lawsuit Monday against the county and two correctional officers.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, seeks a jury trial to determine an unspecified amount of compensation for physical injuries, mental distress and medical expenses from the incident alleged to have occurred the night of July 24. It also seeks punitive penalties against the guards, saying their conduct was "malicious, wanton and oppressive," and alleges civil rights violations by the guards and the county.


California drought: Forest Service reviews Nestle's bottled-water operation  // Oakland Tribune

The U.S. Forest Service has begun an environmental review of Nestle Waters North America's bottling operations in Southern California's San Bernardino National Forest, according to a newspaper report.

Nestle was sued in October by environmental and public interest groups who allege the Swiss-based company is operating its Strawberry Canyon facility on a permit that expired in 1988. The groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity said the prolonged drought in California combined with the water bottling operation is affecting wildlife.

Edwin Okong’o is an African-born award-winning writer, journalist, humorist and satirist. He has worked as an associate editor and communications director at New America Media, and a reporter for PBS’s Frontline/World. “Kenya: Sweet Home, Obama,” a documentary he made about Kenyans and the 2008 U.S. presidential elections for the PBS program, was voted the People’s Voice at the 2009 Webby Awards. He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated from in 2007 with a Master's degree in journalism.