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Daily news roundup for Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wikimedia user SanctusAbMortis. Cropped, Resized. Used under CC BY.
Golden Gate Park on April 20, 2014

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


How 4/20 became the pot industry’s Black Friday // SF Chronicle

“The April 20 pot-imbibing counterculture holiday simply known as 4/20, which has its roots in the Bay Area, has taken on a more corporate hue as the medical marijuana industry has grown and adult recreational use has become legal in states including Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

‘You see all kinds of door-buster sales and discounts, half off certain products and strains, and very aggressive marketing by recreational marijuana stores,’ said Chris Walsh, managing editor of Marijuana Business Daily, a publication that reports on the medical and retail cannabis markets.”


San Francisco just became the first big US city to require solar panels on new buildings // Business Insider

“San Francisco may be known for its fog, but the city wants to turn the sunny days it does get into power for its buildings.

“The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously passed legislation that would require new construction that is shorter than 10 floors to install solar panels or solar water heaters on top of both new residential and commercial buildings.

“According to California law, all new buildings with 10 floors or less must have at least 15% of their rooftops designated as solar ready — meaning not in the shade. San Francisco now requires those buildings to actually use it for solar panels.”


Businesses find new opportunity in food that once went to waste // SF Chronicle

“Bay Area shoppers will soon be able to get a new kind of local produce at Whole Foods stores.

“Affectionately known as ugly produce, the fruits and vegetables are perfectly healthy and safe yet are usually left to rot because they don’t meet typical supermarket cosmetic standards.

“Bags of the aesthetically challenged produce will arrive at Northern California Whole Foods outposts later this month. To start, five stores — Berkeley (Telegraph), Oakland (Harrison), Cupertino (Stevens Creek), Santa Rosa (Coddingtown) and Sonoma — will sell ugly produce, thanks to Emeryville’s Imperfect, one of several new Bay Area companies taking advantage of crops that are usually wasted in California fields. The move underscores not only the Bay Area’s growing awareness surrounding food waste, but also a new commercial industry growing around the untapped resource.”


Berkeley Student Says He Was Kicked Off Southwest Flight for Speaking Arabic // Slate

“If you speak Arabic, best keep your mouth shut when you’re boarding a plane in the United States. That seems to be the lesson from the humiliating experience that 26-year-old UC–Berkeley senior Khairuldeen Makhzoomi lived through when he was supposed to fly from Los Angeles to Oakland earlier this month.* Makhzoomi, an Iraqi refugee, was speaking to his uncle in Baghdad before the plane took off. And it seems the common Arabic expression 'inshallah,' meaning 'God willing’ set off alarm bells inside the head of a passenger. Makhzoomi noticed the female passenger was staring at him when he hung up and then she got up and left her seat.”


San Francisco CRO [Chief Resilience Officer] Patrick Otellini on risk beyond the Big One // GreenBiz

“This week, San Francisco made its mark as the eighth city globally to launch a comprehensive resilience strategy, joining the likes of flood-prone New Orleans in the search for greater adaptability in the face of climate change and the ever-evolving demands of the modern economy.

“Fresh off the heels of neighboring Berkeley, California's resilience strategy launch earlier this month, the famous city by the Bay released a plan focused on connecting the dots between interconnected risks related to natural disasters, social turmoil and other political and economic forces.”

(more on the plan)


Why are Bay Area Hydrants Spraying Water on Streets? // ABC7 News

“California is still under a statewide order to save water, so you might wonder why you are seeing fire hydrants around the Bay Area blasting out water.

“It looks wasteful, but flushing water through hydrants is actually considered a critical part of keeping your drinking water clean. High velocity water scours the underground pipe system, clearing out sediment and chemicals that might otherwise flow out of your tap.

“During the drought, many Bay Area communities put off flushing hydrants to save water, but now some are catching up on this kind of routine maintenance.”