9:30am

Thu January 12, 2012
Politics

Connecting the Dots: Top stories for Thursday, January 12, 2012

Monterey had the highest youth homicide rate in California in 2010, followed by Alameda County, according to an analysis conducted by the Violence Policy Center. Brian Contreras, who co-founded the Second Chance youth program, says this is due to an entrenched gang culture and a lack of alternatives to gang participation...

Sit down for this one: liquor triggers the release of pleasure-inducing endorphins in the brain. For the first time, with brain-imaging technology, scientists at UCSF and UC Berkeley have seen it. The next step to help cure alcoholism will be to find a way to create a drug to block pleasure. Not all pleasure. Just alcohol-related pleasure...

The University of California might not know how to make alcohol less enjoyable at the moment, but they are going to making smoking less enjoyable by banning it on all 10 campuses. The stamp-out happens in two years, to give the smokers time to prepare. Colleen Stevens, chief of the tobacco-control branch of the California Department of Public Health, says people have been working on this ban for a decade. But, for some reason, many smokers argued against it...

Smokers often feel misunderstood, and so do Mormons, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.  This includes many of the 100,000 Mormons in the Bay Area. But, 63 percent feel their acceptance is rising. Perhaps this feeling could be related to the rise of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. About 86 percent of all Mormon voters view Romney favorably.

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