El Nino Storms Continue To Wreak Havoc on the Bay Area

Jan 28, 16 El Nino Storms Continue To Wreak Havoc on the Bay Area

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At first glance, the sudden rains brought by El Nino seem like a blessing for the drought-ridden state of California. Upon looking closer, however, it’s clear that not all is well in the Golden State. First, the Bay Area popcorn factory Kettlepop was forced to close down due to a mouse infestation. According to CBS Local, it’s likely that the infestation was caused by the downpour of rain resulting from El Nino. General Manager Aaron Reimer explained that employees in the Benicia factory have been seeing mice around the factory for a while now, and the company has been closed for the past two weeks while pest exterminators clear up the problem. Considering that one mouse is capable of producing as many as 100 droppings per day, and this waste carries tons of microscopic bacteria, it’s a good thing that the factory decided to close. But while Kettlepop has ensured that it won’t be tied to any cases of food poisoning any time soon, El Nino has spurred the growth of another poisonous culprit: wild mushrooms. According to CBS News, California residents are starting to discover that the rains have caused deadly mushrooms to sprout. While most people know well enough to stay away from these toxic plants, pets aren’t quite so knowledgeable about the mushrooms. Veterinarians throughout the Bay Area have already begun to see many household pets (especially dogs) come in with mushroom poisoning; at least one furry patient per week, in some offices. Finally, a certain stretch of coastal real estate between San Franisco and Half Moon Bay is hanging — quite literally — on the edge of destruction. A row of apartments overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Pacifica, CA are in such peril of collapsing that officials have ordered residents to pack their belongings and leave. According to The New York Times, the heavy rains and coastal waves have “accelerated” erosion along certain coastal bluffs. Mike Cully, the chief building official, stated that 20 apartments in the Pacifica bluff are...

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Supreme Court Agrees To Hear an Appeal About Insider Trading

Jan 27, 16 Supreme Court Agrees To Hear an Appeal About Insider Trading

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 19 agreed to hear an appeal regarding insider trading, which has been a divisive issue in several federal appeals courts for months. The case, coming from California, involves trading by a man named Bassam Salman. Salman made his purchases after receiving information from his future brother-in-law, Maher Kara, who was then part of Citigroup’s healthcare investment banking group. Prosecutors are now trying to prove in the case, Salman v. United States, No. 15-628, that Kara passed on sensitive information to Salman in exchange for a personal benefit and that Salman is guilty of insider trading. As the New York Times...

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AngelSense: The App Designed to Help Keep Children With Autism Safe

Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you the safety of their child is the most important thing. Because of this, a missing child is a parent’s biggest concern. For parents who have children on the autism spectrum, this worry is even more pressing, as children with autism have a tendency to wander. And sometimes, simply tracking a child with autism’s whereabouts isn’t enough — particularly when their imminent safety is at stake. But now, a new app and wearable device, called AngelSense, has a new feature for emergency situations, called First Responder Alert. The new feature not only alerts parents on the location of their child but provides them with data on how long it will take them to get to certain location. The app’s GPS tracking system and alert features were developed by Doron Somer and Nery Ben-Azar, parents who each have children with autism spectrum disorders. The app came about when they both decided to create a way to keep track of where their children were. The app comes with a wearable GPS tracker, small enough to fit in a pocket or attach to an item of clothing via a magnet. As the wearer moves about, the tracker collects their location data every 10 seconds, sending text alerts to parents when the tracker senses movement. Additionally, the device has a microphone that helps parents to better understand the environment their child is currently in. The app also has mapping capabilities. With one swipe, parents are able to pull up Google Street View images and directions to where their children are, and they are able to send contacts the information as needed. AngelSense could potentially save the lives of many children on the autism spectrum. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 50 school-age children are diagnosed autism. A 2012 study reported that 49% of parents of children with autism said their child had wandered or attempted to run away after the age of four. Wandering can quickly...

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Rubio Defends His 2004 Support of FL Bill Giving Undocumented Immigrants In-State College Tuition Rates

Jan 25, 16 Rubio Defends His 2004 Support of FL Bill Giving Undocumented Immigrants In-State College Tuition Rates

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Presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) recently came under criticism for his co-sponsorship of a bill which provided in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants in Florida. The law was enacted in 2004 when Rubio was in the Florida Statehouse, according to the Huffington Post and Washington Post, and Rubio told ABC’s This Week that he “absolutely” stands by his co-sponsorship of the bill a decade later. The legislation mandated that undocumented immigrants would only be able to receive in-state college tuition if they had lived in the U.S. for a long time and if they graduated high school with a certain GPA. “It was very narrowly tailored to high-performing students who found themselves in a situation where they were brought here by their parents when they were five, didn’t even speak another language except English, and therefore couldn’t attend college because they were being charged like they were from out of state,” Rubio explained. “They still had to pay for college, but they paid…what people paid when they lived in Florida.” The issue of providing any sort of benefits to undocumented immigrants has become a controversial and divisive issue in light of the upcoming presidential election, and it’s almost surprising that it took this long for criticism about Rubio’s involvement in the law to hit headlines. “We didn’t legalize anybody. That’s the issue here,” Rubio said, while explaining that he still opposes deportation relief and the legalization of undocumented immigrants. Still, this tuition assistance legislation is pretty substantial; considering that the average public college charged just over $9,000 in the 2014-2015 school year but only for in-state residents, the additional tuition assistance has allowed hundreds of young immigrants to pursue a higher education. It’s getting more difficult for families living legally in the U.S. to send their kids to college. As the National Journal reported, public college tuition has skyrocketed in recent years for no apparent reason — in 1971, and accounting for inflation today, annual tuition was just $500. Allowing more young adults to...

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Paid Maternity Leave is Still Not Second-Nature in the U.S.

Being a mother is a full time job in and of itself. From feeding to dressing to putting a baby down for a nap, the basic tasks of motherhood take a great deal of time. In fact, it takes two minutes and five seconds to change a diaper, totaling up to two 40-hour workweeks per year! And despite the fact that moms in the U.S. are putting in the hours, they aren’t getting the time or money they need to fully execute their duty as mothers. In fact, the United States is on the list of several other countries that don’t offer paid maternity leave at the federal level. But unlike the other countries on this list, the United States is the only advanced economy. So what does that say about the value of the working woman? The debate for paid maternity leave is not only a moral issue, but a social and an economic one, to boot. In total, women make up almost half of the workforce (47%). Yet despite this, a whopping 88% of working women don’t have access to any sort of paid maternity leave. And for working mothers, it doesn’t always paint the prettiest picture. Despite the stereotype of the woman who “has it all,” with a blossoming, kick-ass career and a baby bouncing on her perfectly proportioned hip, the truth is, the perfect mother doesn’t exist. “Women want to be perfect at work, and we want to be perfect at home, but it’s hard to be perfect at anything,” says Pamela Lenehan, author of the recently released My Mother, My Mentor: What Grown Children of Working Mothers Want You to Know. In her book, Lenehan reports the findings of a study in which she surveyed 1,000 grown children and working mothers. And despite the inevitable imperfections and shortcomings of being a working mother (likely without paid maternity leave), Lenehan found that grown children with working mothers have a strong work ethic, a marked sense of independence and resilience, and...

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