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Crosscurrents

Daily news roundup for Thursday, December 10, 2015

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"880 to Downtown Oakland" by Michael Patrick, used under CC / Cropped
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Here's what's happening in the Bay Area as curated by KALW news:

Repairing the Gash in the Heart of Oakland // Streetsblog SF

"On a rainy morning in Preservation Park in Oakland, I met with Andrew Faulkner and Jonathan Fearn, advocates with 'Connect Oakland,' to discuss their organization’s vision to remove the 980 freeway, which sits between downtown and West Oakland. . ."

". . . The idea is gaining support, including with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. She has told Connect Oakland that 'I-980 is a cautionary tale — a broken promise of a second crossing that remains a scar on our urban fabric.' The city has requested $5.2 million from the Alameda County Transportation Authority to study the conversion of I-980 into a second BART tube."

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California Democrat withdraws support for the high-speed rail project // LA Times

"Assemblywoman Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando) says she is withdrawing her support for the project, and she says five other Democrats in the Legislature are reviewing their positions."

"Lopez said in an interview that the project would damage her mostly Latino, working-class district, which includes Pacoima, San Fernando and Sylmar. The rail route would cut through the district."

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Commutes to San Francisco get longer for those earning under 40k // SF Chronicle

"The median commute distance for people who work in San Francisco and earn less than $40,000 jumped from 9 miles in 2008 to almost 15 miles in 2013, according to a study by Zillow. The commute for those making more than $40,000 remained relatively unchanged over that period."

"Commutes are getting so long that fewer low- and middle-wage workers who live outside San Francisco are applying for jobs in the city."

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Oakland Unified and Code.org partnership expands computer science education // EdSource

"The Oakland Unified School District and nonprofit Code.org announced Wednesday that they are trying to increase diversity in the tech workforce and bring Oakland into the limelight as an emerging tech­ hub through a partnership that aims to bring computer science to every school in the district over the next two years."

"The ambitious plan was unveiled during a packed ceremony at Fremont High School in Oakland, where students learned that their school is receiving a $10,000 grant from Code.org in recognition for its participation in the “Hour of Code” activity that takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week, which is Dec. 7­-13 this year."

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What Peskin’s return to the board means // 48 hills

"Beyond all the headlines about the jail (which Peskin has not taken a public stand on) and the bicycle laws (again, he said Tuesday he hadn’t had time to review the ordinance yet), what Avalos was talking about it probably the biggest immediate impact of Peskin’s return to City Hall."

"Progressives have been stuck of late playing a lot of defense, trying to stop bad things from happening. Although we’ve seen some amazing victories (Eviction 2.0 and the Campos Ellis Act payments laws got enough votes to pass and avoided a mayoral veto), it’s often been hard to count to six."

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No Place to Go // East Bay Express

""There's nowhere to go to the bathroom around here," said Rick Briscoe, who is homeless and has been living on the streets of Berkeley for about a year now. Although the city does have public restrooms, the closest ones to where Briscoe hangs out are several blocks away, which makes it difficult for him because of recent health problems. He said he's also hesitant to leave his belongings unattended for long. "It's not easy to pack all this stuff up — it can take forty minutes!" he said, as he pointed to his things sprawled around him on the Shattuck Avenue sidewalk."

"Homeless advocates say that people like Briscoe will be deeply impacted by new measures that the Berkeley City Council recently greenlighted to deal with the city's homeless population. The measures are designed to eliminate urinating and defecating in public parks and open spaces, and to prevent homeless people from sleeping in planters boxes for trees."

Crosscurrents