by Juliana Birnbaum Fox
Kindergarten Enrollment on the Rise
Demand for public school Kindergarten in San Francisco continues to rise, with over 5% more requests for the 08-09 school year than this time last year.
After a decade of declining enrollment, this is the second year in a row that requests for Kindergarten placement have increased. Superintendent Carlos Garcia visited a newly opened public Montessori Kindergarten this week, one of only a handful of certifi ed Montessori Kindergartens in the nation’s public schools.
Anheuser-Busch Tries Luring Drinkers with “Swag”
Anheuser-Busch is sponsoring AB 1245, a bill to lower the restrictions on “swag,” free giveaways connected to the sale of alcohol. The limits on “swag” were put in place because promotional items like T-shirts and glasses can infl uence underage drinkers. Research has shown that more alcohol ads kids see, the more likely they are to drink. In 2006, the Journal of Studies on Alcohol concluded that underage drinking cost the citizens of California a staggering $7.3 billion.
Bay Area Joins Statewide Opposition to Water Bond
Supervisor Tom Ammiano voiced agreement with water advocates around the state last week, asking Governor Schwarzenegger to remove a $9.3 billion bond from November’s ballot. Advocates want the Governor to instead distribute existing bond funds, and engage in a process to develop real solutions for California’s water challenges.
“In San Francisco, we’ve been working for years to ensure that our water system returns water to the environment and diversifies our local supply in a responsible manner,” said Jennifer Clary of Clean 7Water Action. “This bond doesn’t reflect those priorities.”
Controversy Swirls Around East Bay Police Killings
Family and friends of slain Berkeley grandmother deportations that are separating families and terrorizing communities. They spoke out in support of the city’s sanctuary ordinance, which protects thousands of families, and called for an immediate moratorium on all raids, deportations, incarcerations and separation of families.
Pencils Linked to Irresponsible Logging of California Forests
Some of the world’s largest pencil manufacturers have been linked to the clearcutting of California’s Sierra Nevada, according to a report released by Forest Ethics. The report card grades pencil makers on the amount of recycled content in their products, the use of lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council , and the use of lumber from Sierra Pacific Industries, a notorious violator of environmental logging standards. USA Gold and Dixon/Ticonderoga were last on the list, earning Fs. “Parents don’t want their children using pencils which degrade California’s landscape, drinking water, or species, and the top companies on our report card show that there’s a better way,” says Josh Buswell-Charkow of Forest Ethics.