Daily news roundup for Thursday, April 21, 2016

Apr 21, 2016

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

Sharp concerns over crowded ballot // Capitol Weekly

"California’s clogged, high-stakes November ballot is riveting voters’ attention – and raising fears among those who have to count the votes.

"It’s a perfect storm: Intense interest in the presidential general election, a deluge of six dozen ballot in initiatives cleared for circulation, labor-intensive signature-verification requirements and the likelihood that the potential initiatives will be submitted in a tight time window, thus further straining resources."

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Uber Forcing Democrats to Rethink Labor Rules // KQED

"Organized labor has always counted on Democrats’ support for issues like raising the minimum wage and paid sick leave. But in the new gig economy, run on apps for companies like Uber and TaskRabbit, the very nature of work is changing. And the new tech-driven workplace could put some Democrats at odds with their friends in the labor movement.

"Food service workers, janitors and other low-wage employees staged a protest recently across the street from the headquarters of the tech company Intel in Santa Clara."

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Intel slashing 12,000 jobs from global workforce // The Mercury News 

"SANTA CLARA -- Intel is slashing its global workforce by 12,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its employees, as the chip giant grapples with a dramatically shifting market for its products.

"The workforce shocker is expected to save Intel $750 million this year and an estimated $1.4 billion annually by the middle of next year. Intel will take a $1.2 billion charge for the move in its next quarter."

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Few Psychiatric Beds For Tens Of Thousands In Need // Capital Public Radio

"For people struggling with their mental health, there are an increasing number of opportunities to get help. But the groups working to expand resources in the Sacramento area say the system is hamstrung by the lack of adequate treatment facilities. 'It's a shell game right now,' says Officer Michelle Lazark. She's with the Sacramento Police Department's psychiatric services unit.

"She says officers do their best to connect people in crisis with the best treatment options, for examples, veterans to veterans groups and the elderly to adult protective services. It all depends on a treatment provider's available space."

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Oakland to impose impact fees on new housing developments // SF Gate

"Oakland has a new solution for its affordability crisis: Beginning in September, the city will impose impact fees on new housing developments, adopting a mechanism that many Bay Area cities use to generate money for transportation, infrastructure and affordable housing.

"'It’s long overdue,' said Councilman Dan Kalb, who supported the measure when it went before the City Council on Tuesday, prompting a debate that lasted well into the night. The council approved the fees by a 7-1 vote, with Councilwoman Desley Brooks dissenting."

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Should City College Be Free? Supervisor Jane Kim Thinks So // SFist

"Attending City College would be free for San Francisco residents under a new proposal announced yesterday by Supervisor Jane Kim. The measure, which would need to be first approved by the Board of Supervisor before then being placed on the November ballot, could be implemented as soon as the fall of next year and would eliminate tuition fees for many.

"'San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the world - the cost of living has increased exponentially,' wrote Kim in a press release announcing the measure. 'When students have to make the choice between paying rent or paying tuition, buying groceries or buying textbooks, we have to act. Higher education isn’t a luxury - it’s a fundamental necessity if we want San Franciscans to be able to compete in the 21st century workplace and we have a plan that can fully fund this proposal to help over 20,000 students from all walks of life, of all ages, to pursue their dreams.'"