In the television hall of fame, there needs to be a special wing dedicated exclusively to horrible anti-drug PSAs. Even if we control for the overall improvement of TV ads in the last few decades, I can't imagine these things stopped many kids from smoking pot.
But even if the PSAs didn't work, adults could always fall back on the law: if kids did drugs, they would go to jail. But that won't work for marijuana anymore as the legal age for recreational pot in California is 21 and older.
So how do you talk to kids about the potential risks of marijuana use when it'll be legal for them to use in just a few years. KQED's health editor Carrie Feibel went back to (middle) school to see how educators are teaching kids about legal weed. Turns out, legalization hasn't changed the curriculum too much, but the scare tactics and guilt trips of earlier decades (and PSAs) are long gone:
In a nutshell, the focus now is on facts, not fear. Also conspicuously absent are simplistic dictates like “just say no.” Instead, teachers spur students to examine data, speculate on motives, discuss risks, and deliberate on their own goals and values.
Election Day Pt. 1 (also known as the June 5 primary) is almost here, which means it's a good time for a refresher on ranked choice voting. Several Bay Area cities use ranked choice voting (RCV) including Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco, which has a pretty hotly contested mayoral election coming up.
Here's the short version of how it works:
For offices decided by RCV, voters rank their first, second and third choices. Through a complicated system of algorithms, if no candidate gets 50 percent-plus-one after counting all the first-place votes, the last-place candidates are eliminated one by one, and their voters' second-choice votes are redistributed.
To me, Rancho Cucamonga sounds more like something you'd yell when jumping into a swimming pool than a town's name, but there it is, nestled into the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
The name comes from the Kukamongan Native Americans who established a settlement in the area in 1200 A.D. and the "ranchos" of the secularized Spanish mission system of the 19th century.
Aside from its name, the town is also known as the home of the oldest commercial wine facility in the state and as the birthplace of Flamin' Hot Cheetos. Wine and Cheetos: a match made in Rancho Cucamonga.
I have never heard of or seen a sideshow, so this week's Bay Curious about the history and culture of sideshows in Oakland fascinated me.
As some of you may know, sideshows are part-car show, part-block party. They started in the 1980s and have deep roots in Deep East Oakland's African-American community and hip-hop culture. They were a chance to show off cool cars and share great music.
But a lot of people now associate them with violence and crime and Oakland has cracked down on sideshows. Like most things, sideshows are a lot more complex than they may appear on the surface, and this story is a great place to start if you want to understand those complexities...and listen to some sweet music.