Daily news roundup for Monday, April 20, 2015 | KALW

Daily news roundup for Monday, April 20, 2015

Apr 20, 2015

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

Scientists find radioactive WWII aircraft carrier off San Francisco coast // San Jose Mercury News

"In a ghostly reminder of the Bay Area's nuclear heritage, scientists announced Thursday they have captured the first clear images of a radioactivity-polluted World War II aircraft carrier that rests on the ocean floor 30 miles off the coast of Half Moon Bay.

"The USS Independence saw combat at Wake Island and other decisive battles against Japan in 1944 and 1945 and was later blasted with radiation in two South Pacific nuclear tests. The Navy deliberately sank the contaminated ship in 1951 south of the Farallon Islands."

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Last call for city’s last lesbian bar // San Francisco Chronicle

"The Lexington Club is packed, shoulder to shoulder. It’s been this way for nearly an hour. All those bodies have made the Mission District bar warm and loud.

"A pool table has been shoved into a corner and a microphone stand sits on top. A little after 8 p.m., Joey “Cupcake” Stevenson climbs up. She quiets the crowd and makes a few announcements, and the eulogies begin.

"One after another, people come to the microphone to share their memories — of spin the bottle and bathroom fights, love stories and ghost stories. Stories about community and stories about loss. “I’m scared of how it’s going to feel to miss you,” somebody says.

"And everybody gets it: The Lex is closing."

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To shield tech executives, California’s biggest water users are secret // The Center for Investigative Reporting

"In the midst of a historic drought, Californians have no way of knowing who’s guzzling the most water.

"That’s not an accident. It’s by design, thanks to an obscure 1997 measure that weakened one of the state’s chief open government laws, the California Public Records Act."

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Lacking rent protection, artist community faces displacement // San Francisco Public Press

"San Francisco’s affordability crisis rears its head almost daily in narratives that typically feature the same basic characters: long-time residents losing their rent-controlled homes to unscrupulous or, occasionally, misunderstood building owners.

"But soaring real estate values are threatening many other renters because city controls protect only residential tenants whose homes are in older buildings. Commercial tenants — nonprofits, small shops, and even artist collectives, as well as highly profitable businesses — often face drastic rent increases when their leases come up for renewal.

"That includes the 70-plus artists who belong to Studio 17 in the Mission District’s Redlick Building at 17th and Mission streets, where Thrift Town occupies the first floor and the iconic “17 Reasons” sign used to grace the roof."

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Rossmoor seniors fired up about curative powers of cannabis // SF Gate

"There is a club for Bay Area marijuana enthusiasts where most members don’t want to get high. Mostly because they’re afraid of falling. Or getting too disoriented.

"The club is in Rossmoor, the senior citizen community of 10,000 near Walnut Creek.

"With an average age of 76, Rossmoor is the kind of place where smoking is banned, though many puff cigars in plain sight on the golf course. But before the Rossmoor Medical Marijuana Education and Support Club held its first meeting in 2011, marijuana was rarely seen, smelled or discussed on the facility’s surgically trimmed grounds."

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KPFA's Wesley Burton identifiedas Oakland hit-and-run victim // SF Gate

"A KPFA radio producer and host was identified as the victim in a fatal hit-and-run in Oakland early Saturday morning.

"Wesley Burton, who was the co-host of the Berkeley radio station’s music shows, Sideshow Radio and After Hours, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2:20 a.m. crash on the 5900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

"A preliminary investigation by officers indicated the driver of a Dodge Charger was driving at high speeds west on 60th Street and collided with the Mercury Sable driven by Burton, which was heading south on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, he said."