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Connecting the Dots: Top news stories for Monday, April 23, 2012


A new study funded by the state’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program has found that tobacco companies systematically market towards low-income and African American youth. Although the state has the second-lowest smoking rate in the country, tobacco usage among African Americans is 3-6% higher than the statewide average...

A national study released by the Brookings Institution, which includes statistics from California, finds a correlation between high neighborhood housing prices and high-performing schools. The study’s author, Jonathan Rothwell, argues for a closer look at how zoning and housing market regulations exclude lower-income students from good schools...

In other education news, a new statewide initiative called Create CA aims to increase public funding and visibility for arts education by bringing together artists, educators and executives who have been working independently. Despite previous efforts by state policymakers and groups like the California PTA, arts education is still lacking in many public schools...

A group of activists using the name “Occupy the Farm” took over an unused plot of land owned by UC Berkeley last Sunday. They broke into the gated 10-acre area, rototilled the soil, and planted seedlings for carrots, broccoli and corn. A spokesperson for the group said their aim was not to live on the land but to create a working urban farm. Police were present in the afternoon, but no arrests were made...

Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will face a misconduct hearing before the city’s Ethics Commission this afternoon. Today’s proceedings will determine the “process, parameters and protocol” for the hearing, according to the commission’s agenda. The hearing is projected to take at least a month, after which the commission will send its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, who will vote on Mirkarimi’s fate...

Recent court documents show that while PG&E is willing to pay compensation to victims of the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, the corporation plans to fight the payment of punitive damages. PG&E maintains the explosion was an accident, but lawyers for the victims say they have evidence of negligence and wrongdoing on the part of the utility.

Connecting the Dots brings the day’s news together.






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