12:23am

Tue February 26, 2013
Law

Supreme Court Considers If Warrantless DNA Swab Violates Constitution

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 6:44 am

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case about the collection of DNA evidence, and whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits police from obtaining DNA samples before conviction without a warrant.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a case that could throw a monkey wrench into the widespread use of DNA testing — a case that pits modern technology against notions of personal privacy.

Twenty-eight states and the federal government have enacted laws that provide for automatic DNA collection from people at the time of their arrest. The question is whether it is unconstitutional to do that without a warrant, for the sole purpose of checking the DNA against a national DNA crime scene database.

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12:21am

Tue February 26, 2013
Business

Technology Upends Another Industry: Homebuilding

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 6:44 am

The recession forced Mid-Atlantic Builders Executive Vice President Stephen Paul to cut the company's staffing. But he says the firm is being efficient with half the original number of employees.
Marie McGrory NPR

Years into the economic recovery, hiring remains slow. Many businesses learned to do more with less during the recession, so they don't need to bring on as many people now.

These new efficiencies have led to what economists call "labor displacement," which is taking place around the country. One business in Rockville, Md., is doing the same amount of work with half its original staff.

Two things are noticeably absent from the offices of Mid-Atlantic Builders: people and paper.

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12:00am

Tue February 26, 2013

5:04pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Crosscurrents

Crosscurrents: February 25, 2013

The Ellis Act and evicting tenants in San Francisco, rental wars in San Francisco, The Money Diaries featuring young voices from Oakland, burning a piano at Ocean Beach, and local musician Amy X Neuburg.

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5:03pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Politics

Condo conversion bill could circumvent rent control in San Francisco

Apartment building on Larkin Street in San Francisco
Flickr user sftrajan

If you’ve tried to find a place to live in the city lately, or even know someone who knows someone trying to find a place to live, you know San Francisco has a housing crisis. For many of the city’s longtime residents, rent control is the only thing that allows them to stay in their homes, but there’s a way for landlords to circumvent it – it’s a 1986 law called the Ellis Act.

The Ellis Act allows landlords to evict tenants if they plan to convert the building to a different use; for example, to move in themselves. In practice, it’s often been used to put buildings on the market at prices that those former tenants couldn’t afford. The last time Ellis Act evictions spiked was during the late 90s tech boom – there were 440 of them just between 1999 and 2000.

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4:42pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Economy/Labor/Biz

Money Diaries: The cost of a breakup

Money Diaries is a new series in which young people from Oakland talk about their relationship with money.
Under CC license from Flickr user 401(K)

The pain of heartbreak is hard enough – but when couples live together, a breakup can have financial implications, too. That’s what happened to La’Trisha Dillon, who goes by Dillon. This is the first story in a series we’re calling “Money Diaries,” in which young people from Oakland talk about their relationships with money.

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4:33pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Economy/Labor/Biz

Rental war wages on in San Francisco

Under CC license from Flickr user Charleston's TheDigitel

This probably isn't news to anyone living in San Francisco, but our City by the Bay has the highest rent in the country, and the competition out there for an apartment is fierce. San Francisco rents have gone up about 15.8 percent from a year ago while rents in other parts of the country are rising with a rate of inflation of about 2.7 percent. While some argue that owners are taking advantage of the tech bubble to hike up the market value of their properties, but there are owners who resist  the urge to cash in on the rental wars.

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4:29pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Weekly digest

Coming up this week on Your Call

  

What's ahead this week on Your Call?  Check out our upcoming show topics...  If you have ideas about people we should be talking to, questions we should be asking, resources we should know about -- drop us a line at feedback@yourcallradio.org or post a comment right here!  

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4:25pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Arts & Culture

Audiograph: A piano burns in Half Moon Bay

The crowd gathers to listen to the last notes
photo by Julie Caine

All month long at sundown people have been coming to the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Half Moon Bay to play and listen to a baby grand piano. Originally, it belonged to Elida Oetell. When her house was foreclosed, she had to leave the piano behind. The new owner, Christina Conklin, tried to get it tuned for her kids to play, but it was beyond repair. So she called Mauro Di Nucci. He calls himself Mauro Ffortissimo. He’s an artist, sculptor and musician, and he likes to make things out of pianos.

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3:28pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Economy

Too Soon To Blame Payroll Tax For Stagnant Retail Sales?

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:23 pm

Wal-Mart is one of several large retailers that say an increase in the payroll tax may hurt U.S. sales in the months ahead.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

For Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, its earnings projections out last week were not pretty. Sales will fall, it said, and company CEO Clarence Otis called higher payroll taxes a "headwind."

After a two-year tax break, the payroll tax, which funds Social Security payments, went back up to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1. The 2-percentage-point increase is an extra $80 a month in taxes for someone earning $50,000 a year.

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