Mary Rees



Wed February 20, 2013

Seniors on the streets of San Francisco

Photo by Jim Forest on Flikr

If you really want to know how our local economy is doing, look no further than the nearest homeless shelter. Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty oversees homelessness in the city, and he says these days, San Francisco’s roughly 1,150 beds are nearly full each night. Advocates say there’s been a sharp increase in homeless seniors, especially women. It was rare to see this population on the streets a few decades ago, but now service providers say it seems to be the norm.

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Tue December 11, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

Finding alternatives for homeless encampments

One of several tents under the I-280 on-ramp at 5th and King, in San Francisco.
Mary Rees

As California sloshes through its rainy season, homeless people around the Bay Area are looking for places to stay dry. In San Francisco, the spaces under freeways are popular, and groups of homeless people sometimes band together for their mutual protection. Still, as you might expect, living on the streets isn’t safe or easy.

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Mon December 10, 2012

Get to school on a walking school bus

A walking school bus heads to an elementary school in Missouri.
Under CC license from Flickr user MoBikeFed

There's  a place in the urban East Bay where you might have to look twice to spot the school bus. That’s because it’s a special kind of bus: kids get off to climb trees and pick strawberries along the way; the drivers don’t need a special license; and -- most importantly -- it runs on sneaker feet, not wheels.

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Tue September 11, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

By hook or by crook, urban farmers plant their seeds

It’s a Saturday morning at a formerly vacant lot in Richmond. The sun warms the ground. Rows of fruit trees bend in the breeze. A raised bed made of cinder blocks harbors vegetable plants. Andromeda Brooks carefully plucks weeds from her raspberry patch, offering the young plants encouragement. This is Happy Lot Farm and Garden. 

Less than a year ago, this 14,000-square-foot lot, zoned for low-income housing, lay empty, except for the litter.

“Nothing has really been done on the lot for well over ten years,” says Brooks.

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Tue May 22, 2012
Afternoon news roundup

Connecting the Dots: Afternoon edition for Tuesday, May 22, 2012

(SF Gate) // Investigators found DNA evidence linking Antolin Garcia-Torres to the disappearance of a 15-year-old Morgan Hill girl. At a news conference, today, Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith said the source of the DNA was not blood. The girl, Sierra LaMar, was last seen on March 16…

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