Californians should feel good about the new report by an advocacy group, the Endangered Species Coalition, which looks at “Ten Success Stories Celebrating the Endangered Species Act.” Despite healthy numbers, the southern sea otter, found in California’s coastal areas, remains a threatened species because it gets caught in fishing nets and oil spills, and its food sources have declined due to climate change. (Endangered Species Coalition)

Anti-eviction activists drew a crowd Monday morning, December 9, by blocking a bus headed for Google‘s Mountain View campus. Adding to the drama, the Bay Guardian caught what appeared to be a Google employee on camera confronting protesters. Later, the paper learned from anonymous tips that the “Google employee” was actually a labor activist from Oakland. (Steve Rhodes)

About 50 people rallied outside Urban Investments on Tuesday, saying the firm is abusing the Ellis Act, the state law that allows property owners to evict tenants to change a building’s use. The group, Eviction Free SF, says they’re working with elected officials to put Ellis Act reform on the ballot next year. (Peter Lollo/KQED)

Colder than usual temperatures have put the Bay Area’s homeless population at risk for exposure. Four homeless people have died in San Jose since Thanksgiving, and Bay Area cities are scrambling to convince people living on the streets to come inside. It can be a tough sell. Qat Astrophic says she’s been in San Francisco for five years and homeless off and on for 20 years. She says she feels safer sleeping in her tent on the sidewalk than staying in a shelter. (Sara Bloomberg/KQED)

A fragile skin of ice on the surface of Mallard Lake in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Tuesday morning. Freezing overnight temperatures frosted the park and surrounding neighborhoods. (Tom Prete/Ocean Beach Bulletin)

Frost in Golden Gate Park, on a trail near Mallard Lake. (Tom Prete/Ocean Beach Bulletin)

While most people steer clear of shark-infested waters, some folks pay big bucks to take a dip in the ocean near some of the most feared sharks in the world: the great white. The Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, are one of the few places on the planet where the brave can test their mettle. Here, Bruce Watkins of Great White Adventures makes sure it’s safe for a diver to get out of the great white shark viewing cage. (Copeland McKinley/KQED)

UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall debuted a new old-school organ this week — the Noack Organ. Its mechanical action allows for great range of dynamics. UC Berkeley music Professor Davit Moroney says the difference in touch allows the musician to add clarity to the sound. It’s the equivalent of consonants in language. (Courtesy UC Berkeley)


Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

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