Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thursday Must Reads: California Salmon Run Decimated by Mass Die-Off; Berkeley Council Okays Green Affordable Housing Plan

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 10:01 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A mass die-off of Chinook salmon eggs and hatchlings last winter in the Sacramento River pushed the already endangered salmon run to the brink of extinction, the Chron reports. About 95 percent of winter run Chinook salmon eggs and babies died because of warm temperatures in the river. Water managers had released water from Shasta dam to keep the river temperatures cool — as required by environmental law — but the water was too warm because of the four-year drought.

click to enlarge Lori Droste.
  • Lori Droste.
2. The Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a green affordable housing plan proposed by Councilmember Lori Droste that would slash parking requirements in order to make new multi-unit housing projects cheaper and would streamline the process for approving affordable housing developments, Berkeleyside reports. Droste’s proposal will come back later to the council for final approval.

3. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called for more “new housing at every income level so the people moving into Oakland don’t push out the people already here,” the Trib$ reports. Schaaf’s comments came in her first state of the city speech.


4. Two regional agencies — the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) — have agreed to study the possibility of merging in order to combine and streamline transportation and planning for housing needs in the Bay Area, the Bay Area News Group$ reports.

5. The average home in the upscale town of Diablo in Contra Costa County used more than 1,000 gallons of water a day last year — by far the highest of any community in East Bay MUD’s service area, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. The next highest usage was the town of Alamo, which averaged 687 gallons of water per household per day last year.

6. Uber’s “surge” pricing strategy — which raises prices for ride fares during peak demand — doesn’t work very well, because both Uber drivers and customers avoid the surge periods, the Chron reports, citing a new study. Both drivers and customers avoid the busy surge periods because they’re not worth the hassle.

7. And Democrat Bernie Sanders became the first major presidential candidate to call for the removal of marijuana from the nation’s list of dangerous drugs — a move that would allow states to legalize pot without fear of interference from the federal government, the Washington Post$ reports. 

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