10:02am

Mon June 4, 2012
Politics

Connecting the Dots: Top news stories for June 4, 2012

(Bay Citizen) // More than 75 vocational schools are being investigated after dozens were discovered to be operating without state approval. The schools convicted will be presented with fines of up to $50,000 by the California Bureau for Postsecondary Education...

(SF Gate) // Vandals are quick to deface San Francisco’s renovated parks and playgrounds, waiting less than a day to mark up the new climbing structures and slides of Dolores Park with graffiti. The city’s Recreation and Park Department have had to spend almost $1.8 million in the last five years on repairing and replacing damaged equipment, buildings and even trees destroyed by tag-happy hooligans…

(SF Gate) // A ferry service set to begin running between South San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda on Monday morning will provide a new transportation option for commuters on both sides of the bay. Two new 149-passenger boats, which cost The Water Emergency Transportation Authority $16 million to finance, are the first step in a master plan to have ferries running as far east as Antioch and as far south as Redwood City...

(SF Gate) // According to a new poll, California voters are having second thoughts about an estimated $68 billion bullet train project set to transport passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Agriculture groups, churches, schools, and homeowners are hesitant to back the bullet train when they’re seeing huge cuts made to public education and law enforcement. The Oakland Tribune reported Friday that Governor Jerry Brown proposes to fast-track the project through the courts by easing legal scrutiny under the California Environmental Quality Act…

(Mercury News) // Private colleges across the country, including Oakland’s Holy Names University, are struggling to provide financial support to low incomes students in the recession. Many colleges have begun to offer more money to applicants with the best grades and test scores in an attempt to increase national rankings, forcing some of the neediest students to look for cheaper colleges...

(SF Gate) // Studies show that residents of North Richmond suffer from health issues due to the hazardous air pollutants issued from the Chevron Richmond Refinery. The district is comprised of 97 percent African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, and is also one of the cheapest in the Bay Area, with houses selling for below $100,000. This intersection of environment, poverty, and race is a phenomenon that civil rights leaders have come to call "environmental racism"...

(Inside Bay Area) // The number of students with autism has skyrocketed in Contra Costa County, yet officials say schools are faced with inadequate state and federal funding to support specialized education. The disability, which can range greatly in its severity, was known to affect 926 school age children in 2005 and 1,666 in 2010 in Contra Costa County. The dramatic increase in autism is a topic of hot debate, with some speculating that the rise in numbers is due to doctors and teachers becoming more adept at identifying it...

(Bay Citizen) // Bath salt drug use is on the rise in California with an increase of reported calls made to the Poison Control Center. The drug, which has is similar to LSD, is most commonly used in areas already known for meth addiction. While it is no longer available at convenience stores and smoke shops sold under names such as Vanilla Sky and Cloud Nine, it is not illegal to possess the bath salt drug in California...

(Inside Bay Area) // On Tuesday, Bay Area residents will get a rare chance to see Venus sweep across the sun, a chance that astronomers say won't happen for another 105 years. Look for a silhouette of the planet on the sun at 3:04 p.m., and be sure to use special solar sunglasses or telescopes.

Connecting the Dots brings the day's news together. Connect with us on Facebook or on Twitter @kalwnews.

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