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Cooling It

It’s late summer, and across the Bay Area, the heat has been building, prompting many residents to turn on their air conditioning – if they have it. A lot of housing built along the West Coast didn’t consider the possibility of American Southwest-level …

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Cut to the Quick: Transit Looks to Rapid Bus Upgrades

Several Bay Area transit agencies are improving bus reliability and cutting travel time with speedy bus routes in dedicated lanes — an offering that could expand as operators assess commute needs post-pandemic. Today, bus-speed improvements are on Van …

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El Cerrito’s 50-year Impact on the Recycling World

At the 50th anniversary celebration for the El Cerrito Recycling Center on Aug. 5, Anura Saliya Pieris of Sri Lanka made a hat for his daughter, Lakshmi, out of old atlases recovered from the center’s home-goods exchange zone. Pieris had toured the bel …

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Inspiring the Next Generation of Environmental Journalists

Journalist Felicity Barringer had covered government for decades — first at The Bergen Record in New Jersey, then at The Washington Post, and finally at The New York Times — so when she became the Times’ national environmental correspondent in 2003, it …

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From Vacant Storefronts to New Neighborhoods

Let’s face it: While commercial strips may provide convenience, they are frequently unattractive. With changing retail patterns, they are also increasingly under-utilized. Urban planners see a new future for them as locations for a mixture of housing a …

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Healing the Hood

Growing up as the child of Filipino and Toisan immigrants near Los Angeles, Bernadette Lim never saw a doctor. “We didn’t trust them, it was not a place we wanted to go,” recalls Lim, who is now a doctor herself. Instead, her family relied on Vicks Vap …

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Bad Air and Sick Plants: Handicapping Our Helpers

Green is the signature color for environmental issues because it’s the color of healthy plants, and healthy plants are an indicator of a healthy environment. Plants are also critical components of many of the measures proposed to reduce the impacts of …

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Activating Schoolyards for Communities

On a bright Saturday afternoon in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, Will Portillo grabbed a soccer ball and his kids, Moses, 10, and Michael, 2, and walked them one block to Paul Revere Elementary School, where Moses is finishing up 4th grad …

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Dredging up an Ecosystem

Horned Grebe dining on a polychaete worm (Alitta sp.) offshore from the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. Polychaete worms are part of the benthic macroinvertebrate community that can be affected by dredging activity. (Photo by Raul Agrait, iNat …

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Getting Granular Gives Transcendent Take on Food

Fine art and commercial photographer Caren Alpert. When San Francisco photographer Caren Alpert first started shooting food through a scanning  electron microscope, it was just for fun. Then a chance encounter put her extraordinary images of ordinary e …

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