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Crosscurrents

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, May 5, 2015

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Santiago Mejia, The Chronicle
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Meseka Henry, pictured Monday, April 27, 2015, in San Francisco, Calif. Henry is a MUNI bus driver who says she was stopped by police officers, arrested and violently handled which resulted in serious bruising. She was charged with resisting arrest.

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

African Americans cited for resisting arrest at high rate in S.F. // SFGate
"African Americans in San Francisco are cited for resisting arrest at a rate eight times greater than whites even when serious crimes are not involved, according to statistics drawn from court records.

"From January 2010 to April 24 of this year, law enforcement officers cited suspects with resisting arrest 9,633 times in cases where the suspect was not charged with a felony. African Americans accounted for 45 percent of those cited, even though they make up just 6 percent of the city’s population."

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Quite a lot of art as guerrilla gallery fills parking spaces // SFGate

"Before sunrise Saturday, Joey Enos was driving on the Bay Bridge with a 4-foot orange pyramid on his roof and a traffic sign reading, “We Are All Going to Die.” Enos is not a doomsayer but an artist determined to get the front spot at the Parking Lot Art Fair, a guerrilla happening that took over the free public pavement at the harbor across from the Marina Safeway."

"The fair opened at 6, and by 10 Enos had no offers. 'Business is slow,' he said cheerfully, 'partially because people are told they aren’t supposed to sell anything.'"

"The Parking Lot Art Fair allowed no sales because it had no permits. The police cannot bust you just for getting there when the lot opens and setting up in adjacent stalls on two facing rows of white stripes. Nobody could set up the night before because the location was not revealed until 10 p.m. Friday. But it wasn’t too hard to figure out, because the Parking Lot Art Fair was a renegade answer to the commercial fair Art Market San Francisco, taking place at the same time inside adjacent Fort Mason. Art Market charged $26 at the door, and an alternative spinoff fair, the stARTup Art Fair at Hotel Del Sol nearby, charged $10."

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ACLU creates app for filming potential police abuse // SFGate

"Think the police are violating someone’s civil rights? Want to record it and keep the video on file? The ACLU of California has an app for that.

"As protests over police violence spread across the country, the ACLU of California announced a new smartphone app Thursday that allows Californians to record videos of police officers they believe are violating civil rights and send them directly to a local branch of the group for review."

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Allen: Oakland celebrates its 163rd birthday with tours of the city // Inside Bay Area

"Monday marks the city of Oakland's 163rd birthday.

The month of May also heralds the start of downtown walking tours, sponsored by the Oakland Tours Program. The free 90-minute walks will be offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays, continuing through October. Knowledgeable volunteer guides lead the twice weekly tours, and showcase the city's changing skyline, landmarks, high-rises, and houses of worship."

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Citations for sleeping, camping in SF parks balloon // SF Examiner

"In the past four-plus years, the number of citations issued by the Recreation and Park Department for sleeping or camping in San Francisco’s open spaces has increased six-fold.

"The trend has advocates for the homeless crying foul, while Rec and Park and city officials say The City is just conducting business as usual. Meanwhile, the citation increase is showing no signs of slowing down.

"Through March 14, Park Patrol officers had cited nearly 700 people for sleeping, camping or being in parks after-hours from Golden Gate Park to Sue Bierman Park on the waterfront. If citations continue at that rate, the total this year would far exceed the rise seen in recent years."

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Is drought behind uptick in abandoned kittens? // SFGate

"The California drought has had a pronounced effect on the animal kingdom — salmon are getting stuck up dry riverbeds, bears are wandering farther in search of food and water, and newts have stayed in hibernation longer, perhaps because it’s not wet enough to come out.

Now, there may be another critter to add to the list of the drought-afflicted: kittens.

Animal shelter officials in Oakland made a public plea for donations Monday after announcing at a news conference that warm, dry weather had put love in the air in the East Bay, at least in the feline world. Cats appear to be mating more — and producing more offspring than they can care for."