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Daily news roundup for Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bonnie Chan
435 Tremont Avenue

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

 Poverty rate still near all time high in bay area // SF Biz Journal

"Not all ships have risen with the tide, especially in the Bay Area. The poverty rate in the region still hovers near its all-time high, with more than 800,000 people living below the poverty line.

"About 11.3 percent of those living in the Bay Area are existing at or below the poverty line, according to a new report out on Wednesday from the Joint VentureSilicon Valley Institute for Regional"


Bench Projects // East Bay Express

"For years, Ellen Lake has been seeing the same ad on a bus bench near her home in North Oakland. “ADVERTISE HERE,” it read. Finally, she decided that someone should be utilizing the space. With the help of an Alternative Exposure grant, she started Bench Projects, an artist-led initiative to occupy Oakland’s bus stop benches with art."


Apple take heat for barring former felons from construction work // SF Gate

"A state senator on Monday expressed his concerns about Apple’s policy of not hiring construction workers with past felony convictions at the tech giant’s new campus.

“There are certain positions where there is some nexus between the crime committed and the position offered. Construction does not appear to be one of those,” said State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. “In this situation, I would strongly suggest that this policy be changed.”

Union leaders told The Chronicle that several workers suddenly lost their jobs building Apple’s new campus in January because they had past felony convictions."


Complaints about homeless continue as new approach begins // Mission Local

"Blocked sidewalks, litter, discarded needles, drug and alcohol abuse, and threatening behavior by homeless individuals have long been thorns in the sides of Mission residents, especially those with children, and many say the situation has worsened as homeless encampments on their streets become more entrenched.

"Tuesday night a number of residents who brought their case to Mission Station’s police captain at the monthly community meeting were briefed about the Navigation Center, a new approach by the city to address homelessness. Bevan Dufty, who runs the city’s efforts to help the homeless, fielded questions about the center, which opened this week at the former site of Phoenix High School on Mission Street. The center will be in place temporarily, putting the space to use until planned construction of affordable housing units begins."


Little free library movement begins to blossom in Richmond // Richmond Confidential

"The concept is simple: a handful of books in a wooden box, mounted in a public space. The books are free. Peruse the selection. Take a book if you’d like. Leave a book in its place if you can. Enjoy.

"Called the Little Free Library, these informal neighborhood lending libraries have popped up in front of schools, homes, parks, bike paths and cafes in all 50 states and more than 70 countries since a man named Todd Bol installed the first one in Hudson, Wisconsin, in 2009. North Richmond’s first — and so far, only — Little Free Library was established last summer in front of a community garden lot at 1643 Fred Jackson Way. Along with the library in North Richmond, Richmond is now home to at least three other Little Free Libraries. Cristal Banagan, who installed the Little Free Library at Fred Jackson Way, has big plans to keep them growing."