Daily news roundup for Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Jun 11, 2015

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

S.F. top cop Suhr now says all rape kits will be tested this year // SF Gate 

"San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr on Tuesday said the city’s entire backlog of old rape kits has been counted by hand and will be tested by the end of the year with money already in the department’s budget.

The pledge means San Francisco stands to join a handful of cities around the country with no backlog of rape kits. New York City, Cleveland and Houston are among the few cities that have cleared their backlogs."

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SF mayor won’t fund body cameras in scandal-ridden county jail // SF Examiner 

"Less than four months after an investigation revealed jail guards allegedly pitted inmates against one another in staged fights, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has refused to help pay for body cameras in The City’s jails — despite giving millions to fund police body cameras.

“Not funding cameras … for our deputies subverts our mission in improving safety, accountability and transparency,” Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi told the San Francisco Examiner on Monday"

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San Jose police looking to boost number of female officers // San Jose Mercury News 

"Driving around in the morning last week, Officer Cat Alvarez squinted outside her windshield and eyed the road ahead.

A 17-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department, Alvarez has done it all and seen it all. She has worked on the East Side, in downtown, daytime and in the dead of night. She is one of 88 female officers at the Police Department."

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East Bay Businesses that Give Applicants a Fair Chance // East Bay Express 

"When Michael Rachal began a job search four years ago, he quickly became familiar with the judgmental expressions on the faces of prospective employers. As soon as the 43-year-old Richmond resident was released from prison in May 2011, he began looking for work. But because he didn't want to lie on applications, he always checked the box that asked applicants if they had criminal records.

"As soon as somebody sees that, it's like they don't want to have to deal with it," said Rachal, who spent ten months behind bars for a firearm conviction. "They would say, 'I'll call you in a week.' But I knew they were not going to hire me. They were not even going to give me a chance."

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Ocean investigators set their sights on Pacific Ocean 'blob' // San Jose Mercury News 

"Researchers remain uncertain what caused the mass of warm seawater they simply call "the blob," or what it'll mean long term for the West Coast climate. But they agree it's imperative to better understand its impact, as it may be linked to everything from California's drought to record numbers of marine mammals washing up on Northern California shores.

The blob -- that's the technical term -- first appeared in late 2013 as a smudge of warm water near Alaska. It then expanded southeast and merged with warm waters farther south, growing into an anomaly that extended from the Aleutian Islands to Baja California and stretched hundreds of miles west toward Hawaii."