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Daily news roundup for Monday, May 11, 2015

Michael Macor
SF Chronicle
Shara Fish of Mount Shasta carries bottles filled with spring water from the headwaters of the Sacramento River in Mount Shasta, Calif., on Tues. April 28, 2015. Crystal Geyser is opening a bottling plant nearby without any environmental review or limits

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

Crystal Geyser to tap Siskiyou County groundwater // San Francisco Chronicle

"A private water bottling company will soon be sucking up thousands of gallons a day from an aquifer that feeds the Sacramento River, the primary source of drinking water for millions of thirsty Californians struggling to cope with a four-year drought.

"The plan by Crystal Geyser Water Co. to sink a tap this fall into Big Springs, which burbles out through lava tubes at the base of Mount Shasta, is allowed because the State Water Resources Control Board considers it groundwater, and California regulations monitoring groundwater are years from implementation.

"The Calistoga purveyor of sparkling mineral water and juice is not required to do an environmental impact report or obtain a permit from the state to bottle and sell a resource that is in such short supply that California farmers are letting crops go fallow and water districts are developing plans to subject their customers to rationing."


Medical Center Eyes Valencia, Opposition Mounts // Mission Local

"As construction nears completion at V20, the 18 unit condo at 20th and Valencia, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation plans to open a medical facility in the ground floor commercial space – if it’s approved by the Planning Commission.  Some Valencia Street neighbors, however,  are working to prevent that from happening or at least working to get it downsized.

"The medical center would include various services, including physician’s offices, equipment for tests and lab work. It would also take up the full 7,100 square-foot corner space. Its large size requires conditional use approval from Planning because Valencia Street is zoned for 3,000 square-foot retail spaces."


Marin General Hospital study shows cesarean rates declined after midwifery program expanded // Marin Independent Journal

"An expanded midwifery program for privately insured women at Marin General Hospital has reduced cesarean delivery rates there significantly, researchers say.

"The study was a collaboration between Marin General and the University of California at San Francisco. It was presented earlier this year at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Diego.

"'It’s been submitted for publication,' said Dr. Melissa Rosenstein, an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics at UCSF.

"In April 2011, Marin General altered its staffing practices, making midwives available for most privately insured women and allowing doctors to focus solely on their laboring patients instead of having to juggle their surgical and office responsibilities. Previously, only publicly insured women at Marin General were typically given the choice of having their delivery overseen by a midwife with backup provided by an obstetrician."


Some Richmond property owners agree to limits on rent increases, but face skepticism // Richmond Confidential

"In Richmond, politicians and community organizations are tackling the issue of rising rents. Last week, in a step that he hopes will bring immediate relief to tenants vulnerable to rent increases, Vice Mayor Jael Myrick announced agreements with a number of property management companies to temporarily limit rent increases while the city council debates solutions for tensions over rent prices.

"According to Myrick, some of the biggest players in the city’s rental market, who collectively own more than 1,600 units, will voluntarily limit rent increases to no more than 10 percent per year. 'I think that’s a very good sign, and it gives us the ability to move forward and figure out what direction we really want to go in without having to fear that people are going to have their rents increased,' said Myrick."


How will the Mission housing moratorium affect rents? Supes want to know // San Francisco Business Times

"What’s the latest weapon in the political fight brewing over a proposed temporary halt on Mission District market-rate housing? A call to action from two moderate supervisors – to the city’s chief economist.

"Supervisors Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener, who are aligned with Mayor Ed Lee against the Mission’s Supervisor David Campos’ proposed moratorium, said Monday that they want the San Francisco controller’s office to measure citywide economic effects of the proposal."


A staggering success? S.F. to host Beer Mile showdown // SF Gate

"If you’ve ever had trouble deciding whether you should drink beer or exercise, there is an event coming to San Francisco this summer that will make that decision easy — or, better yet, obsolete.

"The ambitiously titled Beer Mile World Classic will hit Pier 70 on Aug. 22, and if you’re confused about what the event is, well, it’s exactly like it sounds.

"Participants line up, chug a beer as quickly as possible, run their first lap and chug another beer, then repeat the process over the course of four laps.

"Among the slim list of rules: The beer must be in cans, must be 5 percent alcohol or higher, and ought to stay down. Those who vomit incur a penalty lap.