News

Berkeley vs. wireless industry over safety warnings

Multiple users of wireless devices check their hand-helds. (Photo: Andrey_Popov, via Shutterstock)

Few people know that there are federal safety limits for exposure to the weak radiation emitted by cellphones and other wireless devices. There often is language about this embedded right in our phones, but finding it requires knowing where to look, wading through sometimes five or more steps and then making sense of the technical jargon.

News

Living with Janus, unions adapt

Demonstrators in New York City on June 27, 2018, protesting the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Janus case. (Photo: Christopher Penler)

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s split decision dealing a significant blow to public unions, California union leaders remain optimistic about their ability to stay viable. “We’ve got our work cut out for us, but people understand the value that the union brings to their lives and institutions,” said Matthew Hardy, a spokesperson for the California Federation of Teachers.

Opinion

Regulating lead-acid batteries

A photo illustration of a lead-acid battery. (Image: Marynchenko Oleksandr, via Shutterstock)

The government nearly always takes the straightforward approach to problematic chemical substances by simply restricting or banning their use. This approach fails to control the replacement(s), so we all too often end up with regrettable substitutions – the use of other chemical substances that perform no better than the substances they replaced in terms of environmental and human health toxicity.

News

State Dem Party shuns private-prison donations*

Headquarters of the California Democratic Party in Sacramento. (Photo: cadem.org)

The head of the California Democratic Party says the CDP will no longer accept political contributions from private prison corporations. Party Chair Eric Bauman said any contributions received since May 21, 2017 would be “donated to organizations doing critical work to protect immigrants from the Trump administration or to support and rehabilitate recently incarcerated folks.”

News

Amid crisis, voters will confront housing options

Housing construction at a new California neighborhood.(Photo: Marilyn Volan)

As California rents and property values continue to rise, it should come as no surprise that three housing-related measures will face voters on the November ballot, targeting veterans’ home loans, local rent control and housing construction for the homeless. Statewide, the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,400, and a home costs $440,000 — far more than double the national average of $180,000.

News

Private prisons are California political players

A correctional facility in Salinas operated by The GEO Group. ((Photo: GEO Group website)

So you think privately run prisons are a Republican thing? Perhaps in Texas and Tennessee. But in deep blue California, it is the Democrats who take in the most contributions from for-profit correctional corporations, primarily Florida’s The GEO Group and the Tennessee-based CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America.

News

Federal bill to reinstate Siskiyou-area tribe draws fire

Black Butte near Mt. Shasta in Siskiyou County. Photo: Pung, via Shutterstock)

A controversial bill to reinstate federal tribal recognition to a long defunct Siskiyou County American Indian rancheria is stalled in the House of Representatives amid questions about the group’s authenticity and motivations. House Resolution 3535, sponsored by Congress Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, would reinstate federal recognition to Ruffey Rancheria, a home for “landless Indians” in Etna approved in 1907 and terminated by Congress some 50 years later.

Opinion

Pharmacy benefit managers ease seniors’ drug costs

A photo illustration of drug costs, with prescription medication atop a dollar bill. (Image: Video_Creative)

OPINION: The Golden Years for senior citizens across the Golden State are longer and more active than for the generations that preceded us. This is a real gift, but it does mean most of us are battling age-related medical conditions, often dealing with them for decades. Prescription drugs are a big part of our healthcare toolbox, and today, almost 40 percent of senior citizens use five or more medications.

Analysis

Patriotic California? Well, sort of

Flags flown at houses along a southern California street. (Photo: Bill Chizek, via Shutterstock)

A financial advisory firm called WalletHub recently issued a study listing the states according to how patriotic they are. Care to guess where California wound up? With July 4 loomimg, we thought we’d take a look. We’re 44th out of the 50 states.

News

Proposition 47 is working, despite glitches

An illustration of a male prison inmate. (Image: phoelixDE, via Shutterstock)

Proposition 47, the voter-approved ballot initiative aimed at easing prison overcrowding by releasing non-violent offenders, has generally succeeded in its goal. But the controversial measure also has run into some glitches. Researchers find that Proposition 47, approved in 2014, contributed to a decrease in rearrest rates while spurring a slight uptick in property crimes.

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