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Daily news roundup for Tuesday, February 3, 2015

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

California drought: Big storm on the way for Northern California // Contra Costa Times

"After the driest January in recorded history, the Bay Area is back in the rain business.

"Meteorologists are reporting that conditions in the Pacific are generating what appears to be a strong 'Pineapple Express' storm that is expected to hit Northern California starting Thursday evening, bringing steady rain through the weekend to the drought-stressed Golden State.

"Although conditions could still change, the storm is expected to bring between 1 and 3 inches of rain to the Bay Area, with the heaviest amounts in the Santa Cruz Mountains and other high elevations, and up to 5 inches in North Bay communities like Sonoma County by Monday morning."


Bay Area health officer issues call to get vaccinated against measles // San Jose Mercury News

"The city's health officer urges people to get vaccinated against measles in light of the statewide outbreak that has reached Alameda County.

"Children should receive two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine to avoid contracting measles. The disease can lead to severe complications including hospitalization and death, according to the city's Public Health Division. Parents and guardians should visit their health care provider if their children have not received the two recommended doses, the agency advises."


A New Age for Sheltering in Oakland // East Bay Express

"When Maria Steelman first launched No Kill Oakland last year as an informal animal advocacy group, the goal was to pressure the city to reform its shelter policies. For years, animal rights advocates alleged that Oakland Animal Services (OAS), when it was under the control of the Oakland Police Department and was plagued by chronic understaffing, had been killing adoptable dogs and cats."


Will Uber And Lyft Be Forced To Treat Drivers As Employees? // SFist

"A federal judge struck a blow to the business models of 'ride-sharing' companies like Uber and Lyft by suggesting that it's not legal to treat drivers as independent contractors, and the companies may be on the hook for benefits, reimbursed expenses, and a minimum wage. Friday's comments in court came in a case against Uber brought by a group of drivers nationwide — though it was narrowed just to California — and it follows hints of a similar decision at a hearing the day before in a separate federal case against Lyft."


Is the Marijuana Industry a Fertile Field for Unions? // San Francisco Chronicle

"In what appears to be the first union foray into the marijuana business, about 100 workers at medical cannabis dispensaries are being organized by a San Jose-based food workers union, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The move, he wrote, could 'help efforts to legalize marijuana and open the door for the union to organize thousands more workers if state voters pass a measure in November to allow recreational marijuana use by adults.'"


Google Partners With Tech Diversity Group CODE2040 // Silicon Beat

"Tech diversity group CODE2040 announced Monday it is getting help from Google to support black and Latino students who want to land internships and full-time jobs at big Silicon Valley tech firms.

"The San Francisco-based nonprofit organization announced during its third anniversary celebration Monday that it is launching two new Google-funded initiatives. One expands CODE2040′s offerings to high-performing students from underrepresented backgrounds who will get coaching and mentoring on how to land a top job in tech."

Crosscurrents technology
Alexis Luna-Torres was born and raised in the city of Richmond. She double majored in Journalism and Cultural Communications at New York University. She has worked for social and economic justice with a focus on labor issues. With KALW, Luna-Torres hopes to tell well-researched, artistic stories about the working class and Latino and Chicano culture.