inmate firefighters
Hundreds of low-level prison inmates make up a crucial part of the state’s firefighting efforts, especially in dry hot summers like this one. Despite making just $2 a day, prisoners prefer the hard work, long hours and rustic conditions to the alternative — being locked up. Their labor saves the state a lot of money both in firefighting costs and the cost of housing them in prison. (Adam Grossberg/KQED)

embarcadero bike
The Embarcadero, with its breathtaking views and growing number of attractions, has become a big draw for tourists, locals and workers. Conflicts are increasing on the street and on the promenade between drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, leading the city to take the first steps toward building a protected bikeway. (Jeremy Raff/KQED)

It’s looking more likely that Oakland A’s fans will continue to wait in lines like this one to see their team play at the Coliseum. The team and the Coliseum’s Joint Powers Authority agreed on Tuesday, July 22, to a 10-year extension of their current lease, approved by the Oakland City Council last week. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors still needs to green-light the deal, but that’s expected to happen next week. (Nina Thorsen/KQED)

SJ fountain
The drought has put saving water at the top of everyone’s mind all over the Bay Area, including the heart of Silicon Valley. A fountain outside San Jose’s City Hall uses reclaimed water to prevent waste. (Craig Miller/KQED)

The Embarcadero BART station is getting a thorough scrub-down this week. Workers on the graveyard shift have been sandblasting sections of the walls along the tracks at night, says BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost. The results are dramatic: It almost appears the clean sections of the wall have been painted white. (Photo posted to Reddit by broostenq)

Citing concerns about garbage and rodents, both dead and alive, the city of Berkeley sent in a team to clean up Gilman Street beneath Interstate 80, where homeless people have been living in recent months. The move angered homeless advocates, who say the homeless have been forced to disperse, making it more difficult to provide them with services and ultimately get them housed. (Drew Jaffe/Berkeleyside)


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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