Daily news roundup for Tuesday, August 18, 2015 | KALW

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aug 18, 2015

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

SFUSD school year to begin with unique classes, new middle school // SF Examiner

"The start of the 2015-16 school year on Monday is bringing many firsts to the San Francisco Unified School District.

"From the introduction of a unique computer science curriculum, to the opening of the first new school constructed in a decade, to what is believed to be the first LGBT studies class at a public high school in the U.S..."

-----

Lawmakers to revive California right-to-die bill // San Jose Mercury News

"Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday will unveil plans to revive legislation that would give terminally ill Californians the right to die on their own terms.

"Authors of the controversial 'End of Life Option Act' shelved the measure last month when it became clear the bill didn't have enough support to clear a key Assembly committee by a mid-July deadline. It was unclear Monday how the measure will advance now.

"Senate Bill 128 would allow mentally competent, terminally ill patients to obtain a legal dose of medication from a physician to ease their suffering by ending their lives."

-----

"Rosie the Riveter" Guinness World Record attempt in Richmond // Contra Costa Times

"Twelve years ago Sharon Moore founded an online store named for the iconic composite of women who entered the workplace in nontraditional roles during World War II. Moore's company sells industrial work wear for women, and business has been so good she recently purchased a van for her San Luis Obispo-based company.

"Saturday that van was parked near the Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Richmond's Marina Park, where rows and rings of Rosies, wearing blue coveralls, red socks, and red bandannas with white polka dots, gathered in an attempt to set a Guinness Book world record for the most Rosies gathered in one place at one time since World War II.

"The attempt to set a world record, surpassing a gathering of 776 Rosies in Ypsilanti, Michigan, was tentatively successful."

-----

Will the Bay Area Continue to Reduce Driving With Improved Transit? // Streetsblog SF

"Commuters in the Bay Area ditched cars faster than in any other major metropolitan area between 2006 and 2013, according to a new U.S. Census report. With studies showing that car traffic in San Francisco is declining, the report is one more sign that efforts in SF and the region to attract commuters to transit, walking, and biking may be working.

"Commuting by private car in the densely populated region, including carpooling, dropped from 73.6 percent of workers in 2006 to 69.8 percent seven years later, giving it the nation’s third highest level of alternative commuting."

-----

Authorities report spike in car break-ins in San Francisco // SF Gate

"Authorities say there has been a 47 percent spike in car break-ins in San Francisco in the first half of this year, an increase that had led to finger pointing among officials and left many angry victims.

"According to the San Francisco Police Department there were 11,917 reported vehicle burglaries in the city from January through June. It's escalated 62 percent from 2013, during the same period. And it's skyrocketed 171 percent from 2010."

-----

30 Percent of California's Forest Firefighters Are Prisoners // Mother Jones

"Between 30 and 40 percent of California's forest firefighters are state prison inmates. The state has become a tinderbox of sorts from a four-year drought, and roughly 4,000 low-level felons are on the front lines of the state's active fires.

"For years, California's prison system has operated a number of 'conservation camps,' in which low-level felons in the state prison system volunteer to do manual labor outside, like clearing brush to prevent forest fires or fighting the fires themselves. A handful of other states have similar programs, but California's program is by far the largest, with roughly 4,000 participants. At its best, the program is a win-win situation: Inmates learn useful skills and spend time outside the normal confines of prison, and the collaboration with Cal Fire saves the state roughly $80 million a year."