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Crosscurrents

Daily News Roundup for Monday, February 2, 2015

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

California lawmakers set to tackle excessive prescribing of psych meds to foster children // Inside Bay Area

"California lawmakers will consider a major overhaul this year of how the state cares for thousands of traumatized foster children, a sweeping effort to curb the excessive use of psychiatric drugs in the child welfare system.

"Legislation to boost caregiver training, strengthen court oversight of prescriptions and give foster youth the right to alternative treatments is in the works in the state Senate to address problems revealed in this newspaper's yearlong investigation 'Drugging Our Kids.'"

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California measles outbreak highlights Marin vaccination dilemma // Marin News

"Rhett Krawitt, a 6-year-old in remission from leukemia, just wants to be a regular kid. But Marin County's low vaccination rate threatens the Corte Madera child's recovery. Krawitt can't be vaccinated because his immune system is compromised, and he can't count on others for protection. And the youngster is not alone.

"'There are hundreds of kids in the Bay Area with life-threatening illnesses who cannot be immunized. Babies are at risk. A lot of people are at risk. This goes beyond my child,' said Carl Krawitt, Rhett's father."

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Social Media Campaign Helps Connect Homeless People With Loved Ones  // Huffington Post

"People have a hard time thinking of the homeless as humans, let alone as someone’s child, parent, brother or sister. 

"But a new social media campaign wants to change that, and in the process, give some homeless people permanent shelter off the streets by helping them find loved ones. They’re either too ashamed to contact or have no idea how to reach. The hope is that video clips get shared so that they eventually reach the right people. Kevin Adler, founder of media company NearShot, took to the streets of San Francisco during the holidays with hot tea, warm bread and a video camera in tow and asked homeless people he saw to record a message for someone."

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Altar Server Scandal Is Reminder Of How Far The Catholic Church Has To Go With Women  // Huffington Post

"While Pope Francis has been widely hailed as a champion of social progress, when it comes to elevating women’s roles, critics say the Catholic Church still has a long way to go. The 1.2 billion-member church’s attitude toward women came under extra scrutiny last week when Father Joseph Illo, the pastor at Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco, declared that girls would be phased out as parish altar servers, a job usually fulfilled by older children in the church who then assist the clergy during mass. In explaining the decision, Illo stated 'boys usually end up losing interest, because girls generally do a better job.' In addition, he said, girls may be distractions to male altar servers, and, ultimately, the position is training for a priesthood girls will never qualify for because of their gender.

"While Star of the Sea can make this change with San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s blessing, the church’s canon law authorized female altar servers about 20 years ago, the San Francisco Chronicle noted, and just a few parishes and archdioceses across the nation have instituted boys-only programs."

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Red Cross to open shelter for Mission District residents made homeless by fire, DEK Donations sought // SF Examiner

"The Red Cross will open a temporary shelter on Friday evening for the dozens of Mission District residents displaced by Wednesday's four-alarm fire. The Red Cross will open on Friday evening a temporary shelter to house the dozens of Mission District residents displaced by Wednesday's four-alarm fire, but San Francisco residents are also being asked to lend a hand. One resident died in the blaze that broke out at about 6:45 p.m. at 22nd and Mission streets on Wednesday evening. The three-story building, built in 1907, is expected to be a total loss. 'Sixty-seven people, including 15 children, are now homeless and lost all of their belongings,' the Red Cross said in a statement Friday."

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Oakland mural honors women who have experienced violence  // Oakland Local

"In the early morning of April 5, 2014, a bicyclist found 23-year-old Kimberly Robertson lying in front of the F.M. Smith Recreation Center on Park Boulevard. She had been raped and beaten to death.

"Days later, city workers carried on maintaining the street where Robertson was found, without any acknowledgment of her death. This Oakland Local article exposes a disturbing truth about how dismissive we all were, and how dismissive we continue to be, of the violence women are subjected to.

"Community organizer and Oakland resident Hazel Streete felt moved to memorialize what had happened just down the road from where she attended Mills College. She reached out to various communities and pulled together a team to create Her Resilience: A Mural for Women Affected by Violence in Oakland. "

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