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Daily news roundup for Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"California Hotel, Oakland," by Sharon Hahn/Used under CC license/Resized and cropped

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

Campos throws down gauntlet, calls for state of emergency on homelessness // 48 Hills

“Supervisor David Campos, frustrated by the city’s lack of progress on homelessness, is planning to announce Tuesday 3/8 that he’s introducing legislation to call a state of emergency to clear the way to build six more navigation centers in the next year.”

“In a strongly worded statement aimed directly at Mayor Ed Lee, Campos says: 'If the Executive Branch of our local government won’t act then it is the responsibility of the Legislative branch to intervene.'”


Hogging seats on BART? You may face a fine in the future // SF Gate

“It’s the height of the morning commute, and the BART train is packed so full there’s nowhere to sit or even stand — except, of course, for that perfectly good seat occupied by the suitcase of an airport-bound passenger or by the sprawled legs of a sleeping rider."

"While the sight may be infuriating, a violation of the unofficial commuter code of conduct and just plain rude, it’s not illegal.”

“But BART Director Joel Keller wants to change that. For Keller, the disapproving glare of fellow passengers isn’t enough.”


There’s a Cancer-Causing Chemical in My Drinking Water, But California Isn’t Regulating It // KQED

“I have to admit, after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, I’m a little freaked out about what’s in my tap water. So when I opened my water bill from the city of Fresno recently, I decided to actually read the 'consumer confidence report' for drinking water. And I found this footnote in tiny print:

Consumer Confidence Report Footnote

123 Trichloropropane has been detected in 29 wells in Fresno…. Some people who use water containing it over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer, based on studies in laboratory animals.”


Uber driver wins unemployment benefits // San Jose Mercury News

“Adding another wrinkle to the fight over whether Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors, a driver recently won unemployment benefits after the company kicked him off the ride-booking app.”

“Last month, California's Employment Development Department awarded Patrick Ely of San Diego up to $9,308 in unemployment compensation. That means the EDD views Ely as an Uber employee, since independent contractors are not eligible for unemployment assistance.”


California lawmakers reintroduce anti-Citizens United ballot measure // Sacramento Bee

"After being booted from the ballot in 2014, two state senators have reintroduced an advisory measure that would poll California voters on unlimited independent campaign spending.”

“Senate Bill 254, from Democratic Sens. Ben Allen of Santa Monica and Mark Leno of San Francisco, would pose a nonbinding question to voters in November: Should Congress pursue a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 Citizens United decision, which held that political spending by corporations and labor unions is protected as free speech?”


One Affordable Housing Development in Oakland You Need to Watch // KQED

“Kokavulu Lumukanda is a history buff who likes chatting about how his family moved to Oakland from Texas during the first half of the 20th century. First it was his aunt in the ’30s, then his uncle in the ’40s. Lumukanda moved from Dallas to Oakland in 1968 when he was 21 and eventually found himself living in West Oakland — a part of the city that has felt a lot of pressure from gentrification.”

“Given that his family has roots in Oakland, he takes personally the displacement of the city’s African-American population — which has dropped 10 percent in the last decade.”