News Pix: Rain! Olympics! Surveillance! Books! Dogs!

rain The Bay Area is finally getting some rain, the most the area has seen since the very rainy December of 2012. North Bay hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains could get more than half a foot of rain by the end of the weekend, while areas closer to the Bay will get 2 to 3 inches. Forecasts call for lots of snow in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada. The wet weather isn’t a drought buster — a “drought denter” is more like it — but we aren’t complaining. (Mark Andrew Boyer/KQED)

Previews - Winter Olympics Day -2 The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics kicked off Thursday night with preliminary heats in some sports (we’ll go out on a limb and say that’s a two-person bobsled above). California is well represented at these games, particularly in skiing and snowboarding events. Follow Californians on KQED’s Olympics page throughout the games. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

spying Protesters opposed to Oakland’s new Domain Awareness Center rallied in front of Oakland’s City Hall Tuesday night (and we have to stop and say that is the coolest protest sign ever). While the city and proponents say the surveillance center will be used to fight crime, activists argue it will make it easier to spy on citizens. (Andrew Stelzer/KQED)

transgender Darryl Avery is a transgender man seeking medical care to complete his transition. Avery lives without a steady source of income, but because California is expanding its Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, Avery now has access to health insurance. More than 1 million Californians are newly enrolled in Medi-Cal as of Jan. 1, and among those are some of the most stigmatized in health care — transgender patients. Medi-Cal will now cover transition-related surgeries; previously, the Medi-Cal reimbursement rates were so low that few surgeons would perform them. (Angela Hart / KQED)

PhotoWeek140207paws Visit the Berkeley Public Library’s North Branch on Tuesday night, and you’ll see kids reading aloud. To dogs. It’s a program called Paws to Read that helps children get comfortable reading by giving them a cute, cuddly dog listener provided by Oakland-based TherapyPets. (Nancy Rubin/Berkeleyside)

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