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Crosscurrents

Daily news roundup for Monday, August 3, 2015

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Scott Strazzante/The Chronicle
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Wayne Howard stands in the corner by a wall that has been coated with pee-repelling paint at the 16th and Mission Street Bart Plaza in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, July 30, 2015.

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

Link SF helping more homeless find services//Hoodline

"Zendesk has created a mobile app for homeless and the low income to find shelter, food, medical care, a shower and public access to a computer—234 services in all, from multiples like Glide’s food, rehab and housing programs to a weekly food pantry for Tenderloin residents administered by Korean American Senior Service.

"The app even gives them distance and directions how to get to what they need from wherever they are in the city. And they don’t need an iPhone. Any under-$50 smartphone will do.

"The app — Link-SF — connects more people to more help than ever. It could even increase the cost-effectiveness of resources like shelters because the app tells which location has how many beds available,achieving a more even distribution of services. People can know where they can get a bed without trudging from place to place and to find out ahead of time how to register and apply for waitlists."
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Country club golf course plans sewer plant as newer fix for grass water woes//Bay Area News Group

"DIABLO -- Responding to Mother Nature and bureaucrats ordering water cutbacks, a century-old private golf course at the base of Mount Diablo plans to become what is likely the first in California to build its own mini-sewage plant to keep its greens and fairways lush for years to come.

"Operators of the 128-acre, 18-hole Diablo Country Club golf course plan to spend $6 million to $10 million to build an on-site, 6,000-square-foot sewage plant that could deliver up to 500,000 gallons of recycled water per day. The golf course this year is using an average of about 165,700 gallons per day.

"We want to control our own destiny and have a sustainable water supply," said Larry Marx, general manager of the country club, which is surrounded on three sides by million-dollar and multimillion dollar homes. "It's hard to see how any California golf course in 10 to 15 years will rely entirely on potable water."

"The project will be paid for by the club's 436 members through their annual golfing dues, Marx said.
Effluent for the affluent -- it's the latest example of how the drought is changing water use in the state."
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'Death Cafes' provide forum for that least comfortable of topics//Inside Bay Area

"If you're like a lot of people, you don't want to talk about death. Others, meanwhile, are dying to.

"Fortunately, death discussions are finding a forum. A worldwide movement, a global conversation has begun. A leading such forum is Death Cafe (deathcafe.com), with sessions scheduled in Oakland Aug. 11 and 25, and in San Francisco Aug. 24. A March session in Orinda hosted by Orinda Books owner Maria Roden drew a capacity crowd of 75 people.

"Death Cafes are owned by no one person, although they originated from one man. Sociologist Bernard Crettaz began hosting pop-up "cafe mortals" in Switzerland in 2004. The gatherings swiftly took on their "social movement" momentum in 2011, when East Londoner Jon Underwood hosted dozens of cafes in the United Kingdom. Bringing the cafes across the Atlantic, Lizzy Miles held the first U.S. Death Cafe in Columbus, Ohio. Since 2011, more than 1,700 Death Cafes have taken place."
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Another dead whale washes up on Pacifica beach//SFGate

"Yet another dead whale washed up at a Pacifica beach in what has become an inexplicable summer trend, marine officials reported.

"Beachgoers observed the carcass of the humpback whale at Esplanade beach on Sunday, said Laura Sherr, spokeswoman for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

"The whale that washed up Sunday is just the latest in a string of mysterious dead whales found in the area. A humpback whale washed up on Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica in May, and in April the rotting carcass of a sperm whale on the beach near Mori Point left scientists baffled as a dissection revealed no official cause of death."
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S.F.’s new urine-resistant walls seem to be keeping things dry //SFGate

"The city’s famous new pee walls seem to be doing their job.

"Thursday night at 16th and Mission, where the weekend starts early, action at the wall was shockingly calm. People flooded out of the BART station at regular intervals, loudly chatting and laughing. A half-dozen homeless people settled into their nooks and crannies for the night. And the wall — it stayed relatively dry.
    
"Last week, Public Works crews finished painting nine city walls with urine-repellent paint. At a molecular level, the coating creates a surface texture with geometric shapes with peaks, or high points, that repel most water-based and some oil-based liquid.

"That means the painted surfaces will spray urine right back at the shoes and pants of unsuspecting relief-seekers. It has proved to be effective in Europe. It was applied to walls in Hamburg’s St. Pauli quarter, where drinkers apparently often can’t be bothered to find a restroom. Much like in San Francisco."
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