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Crosscurrents

Daily News Roundup for Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia / Cropped and Resized
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Point Richmond, Richmond, California

Cap and Clear-Cut // East Bay Express

"Brown and California are widely regarded as global leaders in the fight against climate change in large part because of the state's cap-and-trade program, which was authorized by the 2006 California Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32). The law caps the total amount of carbon emissions in the state and is designed to reduce emissions by allowing polluters to buy "credits" or "offsets" from carbon-saving projects or to sell credits themselves if they've significantly reduced their own emissions. California's largest polluters — including power plants and refineries, like the Chevron refinery in Richmond — can also invest in carbon-saving projects elsewhere in the United States, or in Québec, on a commodity exchange market. The oil giant Shell, for example, is using forests in Michigan to offset its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its refinery in Martinez."

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Lawmakers reject bills aimed at artificial turf // CALmatters

"One reason so many play spaces are made of crumb rubber is that the state gives away money to encourage its use. To keep some tires out of landfills, California’s recycling department has given $42 million in grants since 2005 to communities that use materials made from old tires."

"No research has proven a link between cancer and exposure to crumb rubber. But given recent questions about its potential health risks, Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) said he thinks California ought to hit pause. Yet the Legislature has rejected his attempts for two years in a row, with labor and business interests prevailing over the concerns of parents and health advocates."

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Santa Clara County to consider doubling size of mental health ward at new jail // Contra Costa Times 

"With a dire need for more beds reserved for inmates with acute mental illness, Santa Clara County officials are considering doubling the number of bunks for them in their planned new $240 million lockup."

"The current plan calls for one floor of 105 beds for mentally ill inmates. Next month, officials with the sheriff's department will bring a plan to the Board of Supervisors that would use a second floor in the same manner, in turn eliminating some of the space serving general population inmates and reducing the total capacity."

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Guidelines issued for California's assisted suicide law // LA Times

"With the state’s assisted death law taking effect in months, the California Medical Assn. on Tuesday issued guidelines to physicians on writing prescriptions of lethal doses of drugs for terminally ill patients."

"The 15-page guide details the complicated legal and medical path that doctors must take before they can authorize medication to hasten a patient’s death, and helps physicians understand their legal rights to participate or not participate based on their own moral or religious values."

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West Side Neighbors, Facing Potentially More and Taller Housing, Ask: “What Happened to Planning in This City? // SF Weekly

"Supervisor Katy Tang sallied forth into her own neighborhood last night to pitch a plan for more and taller housing in the city’s traditionally low-rise western neighborhoods." 

"The measured argument, made to a room of skeptics at the Sunset Rec Center, went something like this: It’s not that bad, we really need more housing, and by the way, if we don’t do this then the state is going to unleash all of your worst nightmares and let them run riot on the neighborhood anyway."

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In-N-Out ignores East Coast's pleas, opens pop-up in Australia instead // SF Gate

"Undisputed best fast food chain ever In-N-Out has a cult-like following in California. With 300 locations in the Western United States and Texas, the restaurant has a solid flow of clientele in other states, too. Visiting doubters from the East Coast touting the supremacy of Five Guys, or whatever other definitely inferior burger joint they're into at the moment are almost always taken aback by In-N-Out's greasy perfection and crispy fries."

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