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Crosscurrents

Daily News Roundup for Thursday, August 6th, 2015

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

Google wants in on on-demand; workers want rights // SF Weekly

"The warehouse from which Google Express operates its same-day and overnight delivery services is less than a mile from Google's corporate headquarters in Mountain View, but the two workplaces couldn't be more different. While employees at the Googleplex reportedly stock up on munchies in a snack room, get a haircut, drop off their dry cleaning, and go for a quick swim between brainstorming sessions, workers at the Google Express warehouse are excited that in the last week management finally installed a fan.

"And that's not all. 'All of a sudden, they're giving us water jugs and saying it's potable water,' says 26-year-old Gabriel Cardenas."

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Toxic algae blooming in warm water from California to Alaska // SF Gate

"A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel.

"This coastal ribbon of microscopic algae, up to 40 miles wide and 650 feet deep in places, is flourishing amid unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures. It now stretches from at least California to Alaska and has shut down lucrative fisheries. Shellfish managers on Tuesday doubled the area off Washington's coast that is closed to Dungeness crab fishing, after finding elevated levels of marine toxins in tested crab meat."

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Open space district raises possibility of turning 'The Cube' into a one-story visitor center // Times-Herald News

"Instead of restoring or demolishing the Almaden Air Force Radar Tower, an environmental group has come up with a third option: Lop off the building's top four floors and convert the tower to a one-story visitors center.

"That possibility is presented in a design rendering that was recently released by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, which manages the summit of Mount Umunhum and the concrete radar tower perched there, known locally as 'The Cube.'"

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Sound arts fading out at Ex'pression College // East Bay Express

"When Hannah Nelly visited Ex'pression College in 2013, she was smitten with the lavish recording studios available to students in the Sound Arts program. And the faculty impressed her enough to move from Florida and enroll. The department felt like a community of engineers imparting hard-earned knowledge and experience, she recalled, but by Nelly's second year the harmony was cracking. Following an ownership change, new policies forced out longstanding instructors and alienated others. When Nelly circulated a petition opposing new requirements foisted upon her teachers, more than half of the student body signed it.

"'Now it feels like a bummer,' she said recently. 'There's a complete shift in the overall energy in the school. A lot of the students are pissed and just considering not going there anymore.'"