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Daily news roundup for Wednesday, April 15, 2015


TechHire Shows Strong Potential For Small Businesses, Startups And
Local Communities // Tech Crunch

"Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced the $100 million
TechHire initiative, a new campaign to work with communities to get
more Americans rapidly trained for well-paying technology jobs – not
just in Silicon Valley but across the country.

"...Large corporations with teams of recruiters, a lot of positions to
fill, and strict hiring guidelines may not be able to easily take
advantage of TechHire. This is why I think the greatest potential
forTechHire is in the small business space.Small businesses generally
have more flexibility in their hires, and many employees wear multiple
hats. Learning technical skills in an accelerated course or boot camp
could be the perfect tool for founders of a startup or a smallbusiness
employee looking to expand their skills and their role within the


Bay Area Food Stamp Recipients Can Soon Shop Online // SF Public Press

"...The United States Department of Agriculture in March approved a
request by online grocer Good Eggs for permission to accept the
subsidized payments, though it still cannot take them online.

"Food stamps — known formally as CalFresh or the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program, or informally as EBT, for the Electronic
Benefit Transfer cards that recipients use — are a federal subsidy
available for very low-income people. Good Eggs, which sells locally
grown produce, specialty baked goods, meat and prepared food, delivers
to customers in cities from San Rafael to Palo Alto.

"Rahmin Sarabi, who helped found the company, said the effort to make
it food stamp-accessible, which he led, started last year when Good
Eggs tested giving discounts to low-income customers. The pilot
program’s participants tended to be middle-aged women with children or
older people on fixed incomes, Sarabi said. One family in San
Francisco’s Mission District spent about $300 every month on things
like prepared rotisserie chickens and masa for making tortillas.

"Many found the products too expensive even with a 50 percent
discount, Sarabi said, but they offered a common refrain: “If you
accepted EBT, this could be great for me.”


Learning Through Tinkering // NYTimes

"...'50 Dangerous Things' emphasizes the importance of introducing
risk, facilitating autonomy and letting kids know that with danger
comes discovery. This book comes to life atThe Tinkering School, a
program Tulley started here in San Francisco in 2000. (There is also a
K-12 school, Brightworks, and a sleepaway camp down the coast; the
program has recently expanded to Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and
My daughter works on a ticket booth as part of a project by Tinkering
School students to build structures for a carnival. CreditTinkering

At the start of the week, children are given a project: to design and
build a Yellow Submarine, perhaps, or to construct a Monster City and
a mechanical King Kong to destroy it. Starting as early as age 6, kids
are taught how to use tools (hammers, orbital sanders, skilsaws)
safely and responsibly (and to put everything back the way they found
it at the end of the day). They form teams, determine tasks and
timelines and, with guidance from an expert crew of instructors (the
ratio is about one adult to four kids), are entrusted as project
leaders designers and heads of a construction crew."


Private contractor struggles to deliver public bus service, records
show // California Watch

"Cash-strapped cities embracing private contractors as saviors of
their public transportation systems may find a cautionary tale in

"The suburban city halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco was
the headquarters of MV Transportation, a rising star in public transit
outsourcing. But the company failed to deliver the bus service it
promised its hometown, emails, documents and interviews show.

"Between 2008 and 2010, the company was fined 295 times by local
transit officials for poor performance, including too many accidents,
missed bus runs and late buses."


Sutter Health East Bay Rehab Center for Adolescents Faces Possible
Closure // East Bay Express

"The East Bay's only residential drug and alcohol treatment center for
adolescents could soon close its doors, prompting protests today
against the facility's operator, Sutter Health, one of the largest
nonprofit healthcare corporations in California. TheThunder Road
Adolescent Treatment Center in Oakland has long provided a range of
mental health and medical services for Alameda County teens and
provides a critical opportunity for rehabilitation for youth caught up
in the criminal justice system. But Sutter Health, which runs Alta
Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, has recently argued that the
program is too costly to continue, raising widespread concerns within
Alameda County about the potential loss of this vital service for some
of the most vulnerable youth in the region."

Liza got her start in radio with KALW's Audio Academy. Now, she is KALW's econmy reporter and a mentor for in the KALW Audio Academy.