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Here's what's happening in our neck of the woods.
Back in 1993, KQED ran a 5-part series called "Virtual World" all about how the "information superhighway" (aka the internet) was affecting society. Twenty-five years later, our Silicon Valley bureau decided to take a look back at that series, and it turns out, we're still asking a lot of the same questions:
Will technology change our lives for better or worse? Will it allow us to become creators as opposed to just consumers? And, maybe most importantly, who is benefiting from technology? Is it equitable?
And the answers haven't changed much either. The technology may be far more advanced today (one woman back in '93 was extremely worried about voicemail), but the issues it presents to society are pretty much still the same.
While the rest of San Francisco (and most of the Bay Area, really) has been rapidly getting more developed and expensive, the Tenderloin has pretty much stayed the same for decades. As I learned in this week's Bay Curious, it turns out there are four big reasons behind that:
- Nonprofits bought up a bunch of land cheap back in the day and run affordable housing programs there now.
- In 1985, they passed zoning restrictions that prevent buildings over 13 stories high to block luxury condos.
- The Tenderloin has one of the highest number of SROs of any neighborhood, and the city has made it tough to get rid of them.
- Much of the neighborhood is a historic district or rent-controlled, providing anti-development protections.
The story also goes into the history of the Tenderloin, which I knew very little about, and raises the big question: can the Tenderloin get safer and cleaner without forcing people out?
Here's the short version of a complicated story that's been playing out for months:
The Fremont Unified School District Board of Education voted early Thursday to scrap the sex ed program for fourth through sixth graders. Controversial content included addressing the emotional aspects of sex and sexual activity; the possibility that as adults, people may have more than one sexual partner; and inclusive LGBTQ lessons, like on transgender individuals and gender fluidity.
Up until the vote, sex ed had been taught in Fremont schools to fifth and sixth graders since the 1980s, and to fourth graders since 2011. The board approved the update to sex ed in seventh through ninth grades — which they were essentially required to do to comply with the California Healthy Youth Act.
This story has so many layers and voices in it, and it hits on everything: sex, race, education, culture. There's also a fantastic episode of The Bay podcast about this that I highly recommend.
The story of Frank Fat's restaurant in Sacramento is almost painfully American. It's got an immigrant coming to this country and opening a thriving small business. It's got the wheeling and dealing of backroom state politics. And it has a dark racist underbelly.
It's obviously more complicated than that, and Bianca Taylor does a great job of telling Frank Fat's story, including cameos from Willie Brown and Earl Warren.
I had to work on Saturday, so I couldn't take advantage of Free Comic Book Day, which was a real bummer. They literally give away free comic books. How awesome is that?
But thankfully, I was able to live vicariously through this photo essay of folks in Berkeley making the most of this epic holiday.