Daily news roundup for Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jun 23, 2015

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

Report: African-American Adults Seven Times As Likely As Whites To Be Arrested in San Francisco // KQED

"Although African-Americans represent just six percent of San Francisco’s adult population, they are seven times as likely as whites to be arrested, according to a report slated for release today by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

"The report, produced for a city and county advisory council, revealed wide disparities in arrest, booking, and conviction rates. It also found that black adults in San Francisco were eleven times as likely to be booked into county jail and over 10 times as likely to be convicted of a crime."

- - - - -

Oakland Council Considers Department of Race and Equity // SF GATE

"Supporters of a controversial department of race and equity packed a special Oakland City Council meeting Monday night, ultimately persuading the council to establish the department permanently.

"Council members voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that would create the race and equity department the same night they pushed their own amendments to the city’s 2015-17 budget."

- - - - -

LGBT Studies Course at San Francisco High School May Be First In Nation // CBS SF

"A San Francisco high school may be the first in the country to offer an LGBT studies course. The course will cover terminology, and the broad history of LGBT issues.

"We’ll look at what it’s been like for gay men, what it’s been like for lesbian women, what it’s been like for transgender people," Ruth Asawa High School Social Studies teacher Lyndsey Schlax said. Schlax has been working with human rights activist Cleve Jones, who was mentored by San Francisco’s Harvey Milk. The curriculum stretches back to ancient times.​"

- - - - -

Muir Woods Considers Reservation System to Tackle Traffic Problem // SF Gate

"The redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument draw over one million visitors every year, creating traffic and congestion on surrounding roads on peak visit days. To manage the chaos on the drive in, the U.S. National Park Service and Marin County are considering parking limits and a vehicle parking reservation system. 

"On June 30, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will vote on a proposal put together by Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) to restrict parking and expand public transit to the popular park. The National Park System will consider the proposal shortly after. The plan is to immediately start restricting parking on certain areas of Muir Woods Road," Congressman Huffman told SFGate. Visitors who want to drive to the park would be required to make a reservation online or by phone ahead of time. Initially, 110 roadside spots would be available but over time that number would be reduced to only 30."

-----

House Provides Structure for S.F. Parents in Tough Spot // SF Gate

"Raphael House is a unique San Francisco shelter that tries to help about 60 families a year leave behind homelessness by laying down strict rules and building self-sufficiency through a few months of intensive career development, mental health services and structured family activities. The parents have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but Raphael House — a nonprofit organization that is in the midst of an expansion — provides the straps.

"Originally an emergency shelter for single mothers and their children, Raphael House became San Francisco’s first shelter catering to families in 1977 when it moved to the former Golden Gate Hospital at 1065 Sutter St., where it remains today.​ Trent Rhorer, who directs the Human Services Agency, said about 80 families in the city are in emergency shelters, with around 140 on the waiting list. “There are thousands of families in San Francisco who are in precarious housing situations due to the extremely high rents," Rhorer said."

- - - - -

Times Are A Changin': At 95, The League of Women Voters Grapples for Relevancy in the information Age // Contra Costa Times

"When the League of Women Voters of Livermore-Amador Valley celebrates its 60th anniversary later this year, the gathering will more likely resemble a wake.
"The group, which began meeting in the homes of members in 1954, is closing up shop, citing declining membership. It's a problem plaguing chapters nationwide as the nonpartisan volunteer organization struggles to stay relevant in the Internet Age. "It's been a long, slow process, but we just got to the point where we didn't have enough critical mass to maintain leadership," said longtime board member Jane Staehle. "We had to fish or cut bait."