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Crosscurrents

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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Van Meter Williams Pollack architects
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A rendering of Openhouse's planned senior apartments at 55 Laguna Street

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

Work starts on LGBT senior housing // Bay Area Reporter

"Graffiti covers the interior walls throughout Richardson Hall, a vacant historic Spanish Colonial Revival style structure at the corner of Laguna and Hermann streets built in 1925 as part of the now-defunct San Francisco State Teacher's College complex.

From a broken window pane in a second floor classroom wafts in the sound of construction on an adjacent major infill development named Alta Laguna where Wood Partners is building 330 units of housing, a portion of which will be below market rate."

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License suspensions create hardship for poor // Inside Bay Area News

"A bus driver in Alameda County gets a $29 ticket for missing the 10-day deadline to notify the California Department of Motor Vehicles of her address change. A pretty penny-ante transgression. Yet when she fails to pay, her license is suspended. She can't drive a bus without a valid license and gets fired from her job. The initial $29 fine soars to $2,900, which of course she can't pay. The mother of two winds up on CalWorks, a public assistance program funded by taxpayers.

"She is one of the desperate who has visited the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, seeking help getting their licenses back. Her story is featured (she requested anonymity) in a recent report (http://bit.ly/1cAUIWj), "Not Just a Ferguson Problem: How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California." Co-authored by the East Bay Community Law Center, the report details how the state's imposition of huge fines and fees for very minor traffic violations has dealt a crushing blow to people living paycheck to paycheck."

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Artists and Landlord Face Off at Redlick Building // Mission Local

"A group of 73 Mission District artists face losing their shared workspace in the Redlick Building at 17th and Mission this June when the building’s landlord says he will not renew the master tenant’s lease. The space, dubbed Studio 17, is in the building famous for the historic “17 Reasons Why” advertisement. It has been studio to scores of painters, multimedia artists, sculptures, photographers, and more since 2003.

“Ultimately we have no god given right to stay in a commercial space when the perceived market value has well surpassed our resources,” said Robert Donald who is the space’s master tenant and manages Studio 17. He shared his side of the story through a series of emails sent in the busy few days of preparation before this weekend’s Open Studios, running Saturday and Sunday."

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Berkeley looks at public art fee for private developers // Berkeleyside 

"The city of Berkeley is crafting a new law to require private developers of many buildings to spend 1% of their construction costs on public art.

"Under a recommendation put forth by Mayor Tom Bates and approved in concept by the Berkeley City Council at itsMarch 17 meeting, the “private percent for public art” legislation would apply to all new commercial and industrial buildings, and residential buildings with at least five units, except for projects in downtown Berkeley. The one-time fee would pay for publicly accessible art on-site, or the developer could instead pay into a new city pot for public art.

"At the same meeting, council expanded the city’s definition of art to include installations, performance and social practice works, and other types of original displays. "

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Mental Health First Aid training course sees gains in support, funding // Marin I J

"It’s not very often that someone can say he talked a person out of jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Gary Scheppke can.

Scheppke, a member of the Marin County Board of Mental Health, credits completing a certified course that trains a broad spectrum of people to identify and respond to mental illness.

The Mental Health First Aid course, advocates say, could grow to be what CPR is to heart attack victims."