Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news
"Kanak Jha doesn’t mind social pingpong. He was willing to volley a bit on Thursday with a reporter who is a decent garage player for 10 shots. But on the 11th, Jha put so much slice and speed on the ball that you could snap your wrist trying to return it.
The ball hit the floor and spun like a top. The smiling player who administered it is barely 16 years old, 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds. He is also both the U.S. men’s singles champion and the U.S. men’s youth champion in table tennis, and the first American athlete born in the 2000s to qualify for the Olympic Games."
"The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency is set to launch service on a 43-mile line stretching from downtown San Rafael to the Santa Rosa Airport later this year.
But recruiting engineers, signal technicians and vehicle maintenance technicians is proving to be a challenge because of the costs to live in the region. In response, the agency board approved an 11 percent pay increase for those positions."
"San Francisco wants people who rent out their homes through Airbnb and other online platforms to follow some rules, and it wants the platforms to advertise only those rule-abiding listings – or face steep fines.
That means Airbnb and others must stick to advertising San Francisco hosts who have registered with the city and haven’t exceeded the number of nights they’re allowed to rent. The penalty? Platforms can be fined $1,000 a day per violation."
"A former San Francisco high school teacher was arraigned Thursday on child pornography charges, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Christian Lancaster, a longtime teacher atThurgood Marshall Academic High School in the Bayview, was charged in Oakland with possessing or accessing one or more images of prepubescent minors engaging in sexual conduct. Lancaster left the San Francisco school district in January. It was not immediately known how long he had been at Marshall."
"We can safely say that lots of people no longer in grade school are also Pokémon Going. Last week, around the office, I spied a 20-something meandering her way to the elevator, eyes locked on her phone in a way appropriate for someone tracking an earthbound asteroid, but that’s it. I thought — and I swear this is true: This woman could walk right off a cliff.
Later I saw two people walked right off a cliff."
"Back in 2014—as tensions flared over tax breaks for technology companies descending on Mid-Market—the nonprofit theater company People of Interest debuted 'Campo Maldito,' a dark comedy that turned the strife into a relatable ghost story.
The play's synopsis: Angry ghosts are disrupting business at a tech startup based in the Tenderloin. The company's young white CEO hires a Latino Santeria priest to purify the office—underscoring 'the cost of gentrification and the price you pay when you piss off the dead.'"