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Crosscurrents

Daily news roundup for Monday, June 15, 2015

#OurDroughtIsReal Photos
Huffington Post San Francisco
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Farmers who hold senior water rights are facing manditory cuts because of California's drought, seen here in Coyote Hills, Fremont, CA

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

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California Orders Major Water Cuts For Farmers // Huffington Post

"State water officials told more than a hundred senior rights holders in California's Sacramento, San Joaquin and delta watersheds to stop pumping from those waterways. The move Friday marked the first significant mandatory cuts because of drought for senior water rights holders since the last major drought in… 1976-77, but that order affected only a few dozen rights holders.

"The order applies to farmers and others whose rights to water were staked more than a century ago. Many farmers holding those senior-water rights contend the state has no authority to order cuts.

"The reductions are enforced largely on an honor system because there are few meters and sensors in place to monitor consumption."

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Ron Conway High School? SF School Board considers selling off naming rights // 48Hills.org

"The San Francisco School Board is considering changing its nationally acclaimed policy on commercial-free schools and allowing big corporations access to students — and permitting school facilities to carry the logos and names of major donors.

"The plan would “allow district personnel to notify students and families of opportunities by private or for-profit companies that support our districts mission.” That means direct advertising support for corporations in exchange for money. It means teachers could be told to promote the latest I-Pad or the use of Twitter."

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Dolores Park Preps for Its Reopening // SF Gate

"With a week to go before the newly renovated northern part of Mission Dolores Park reopens, Amberlin Tannehill stood on 18th Street and peered through the chain-link fence at the abandoned stretch of grass.

"'It’s been closed forever,' Tannehill, who lives in the Castro, said Friday. 'It’s astounding how quiet it is. Just imagine how it should look on a sunny day. It won’t look anything like this in September.'

"Construction workers in reflective orange vests were quietly spray-painting the tennis courts and edging the grass, finishing the renovation that closed the north side of the park for more than a year. Dolores Park was initially slated to reopen in January, but vandalism and drainage issues caused delays. The park’s reopening on Thursday will kick off with a silent disco at 3 p.m.”

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Will Safeway's fair-trade fish make a splash? // SF Gate

"The high-minded among us have been buying Fair Trade coffee for years. But are they ready to spend more for Fair Trade fish?

"The fishing industry is a global one, in which more than 120 million people work for primary or secondary income, and it turns out to be riddled with human rights horrors.

"In March, an Associated Press investigation exposed a group of caged men who had for years been forced to catch squid, snapper, grouper and shrimp off boats in Indonesia. Since tainted fish was processed alongside ethically sourced fish, the AP found the two were mixed and could end up on shelves at American supermarkets including Walmart, Safeway, Kroger and Albertsons."

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Low Hospitalization Rate for California's Mentally Ill Draws Complaints // San Jose Mercury News

"The vast majority of patients who arrive at California hospitals with a psychiatric emergency are not admitted, a situation that has prompted some mental health advocates to ask whether enough is being done to help those who may pose a threat to themselves or others. 

"John Snook, executive director of Virginia-based Treatment Advocacy Center, said that only the most severe and dangerous cases are hospitalized because California has so few psychiatric beds. Public psychiatric beds in California have dropped from 6,285 in 2005 to 5,283 in 2010, down 16 percent, according to a Treatment Advocacy Center report. The study recommends 50 beds for every 100,000."

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YouTube to Launch App, Site Dedicated to Gaming // KRON

"YouTube is hoping to become a big presence in the gaming world. The San Bruno-based online video service announced plans on Friday to launch a separate app and site specifically for fans of video games. The company says YouTube Gaming will feature pages dedicated to more than 25,000 games.

"The site will also seek to make it easier for users to broadcast live gameplay to YouTube by eliminating the need to schedule a live broadcast and creating singular links that can be shared. YouTube Gaming is scheduled to debut this summer in the U.S. and U.K."