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Crosscurrents

Daily news roundup for Thursday, March 17, 2016

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"casino", by Sergiu Biris, used under CC license, cropped.
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Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Supervisor Yee says SF must turn its attention to gambling addiction // SF Examiner

"As a young boy, Supervisor Norman Yee said he always wondered where his mother would go when she left for hours, sometimes days, at a time. It wasn’t until Yee became an adult that he realized his mother showed the signs of a problem gambler, often staying out late to gamble in Chinatown or traveling to out-of-town casinos to fuel her addiction, Yee said.

"Of those struggling with a gambling addiction, it’s estimated that only 15 percent seek help, with the Chinese American community facing the highest rates of problem gambling compared to the general population."

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SF mayor, neighbors dismiss list of potential shelter sites // SF Chronicle

"San Francisco Supervisor David Campos last week said the city should quickly build six new Navigation Centers to house entire encampments of homeless people — but his first stab at finding locations for the centers has agitated neighbors of some potential sites and has been deemed off the mark by the mayor’s office.

"Campos submitted a list of 36 parcels to the city’s Real Estate Division, asking which of them could potentially house new homeless shelters. On the list are a parking lot next to Ambassador Toys in West Portal, a parking lot near Golden Gate Guppies preschool on California Street, a tiny circular median in a residential cul-de-sac on Lunado Court in Ingleside Terraces — and even Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall. 'This brings no real, viable solutions to the table,' said Christine Falvey, spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Lee. “What it does offer is grandstanding.""

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SF to explore use of parking meters at night // SF Examiner

"San Francisco will explore whether to charge parking meters at night in some areas. The move was seen as an effort to mitigate the impacts of lowered towing fees for drivers that were approved Tuesday.

"The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors asked agency staff to study the impacts of charging for nighttime parking meters at the board’s meeting Tuesday, citing the need for more revenue amid a budget shortfall in the next two years."

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Free Internet Access for Everyone in S.F. Could Cost $867 Million // KQED

"A report released Tuesday on how to provide free Internet access to all San Franciscans found that a public fiber-optic network, while costlier, is more likely to reduce the city’s digital divide, while a public-private partnership would leave much of the work up to private companies. 'Access to fast and affordable Internet is no longer a luxury. It’s an absolute necessity,' said District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, who is leading the effort to provide all San Francisco residents with Internet access. 'As we are building the infrastructure of the 21st century here in San Francisco, I believe the residents of our city should be the owners.'

"An advisory panel, formed Tuesday, will determine whether the benefits of a public-private partnership outweigh the costs of a public fiber-optic network."

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Saturday Is Flax Art & Design's Final Day On Market Street // Hoodline

"Flax Art & Design's flagship store is in its final week in San Francisco, after 39 years in business at the corner of Market and Valencia streets. We first caught wind of Flax's pending departure in May of 2014, when we learned that developers were planning a nine-story mixed-use building for the corner. Since then, plans have moved along, with new renderings of the development released last week. 

"This development doesn't mark the end of Flax: The art store is in the process of moving to Oakland, and will open at 1501 Martin Luther King Junior Way on Monday. Flax also has a new outpost at Fort Mason, for those who'd rather not cross the Bay."

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Stanford researchers out to conquer jet lag // SF Gate

"Researchers from the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine have discovered a therapy that could help prevent one of the peskiest parts of long-distance travel: jet lag. Jet lag affects up to 95 percent of the millions of U.S. travelers who fly across time zones each year, generally leaving them fatigued, lacking in concentration and feeling unwell overall. Medical experts offer a list of strategies to minimize its symptoms, and light has long been considered as one way to beat it for its ability to help reset the body’s internal clock.

"But Stanford scientists, setting out to determine the optimal way light can be used to offset jet lag, found that exposing a sleeping person to quick flashes of light for an hour was more than twice as effective as exposure to continuous light. Short flashes of light the night before travel tended to adjust the body’s internal clock by up to two hours, effectively helping to prevent jet lag, the researcher found."