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The newest concept for commuting could have us taking to the skies.
1. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Uber.
In 1985, the science-fiction film "Back to the Future" we were first introduced to the time-travelling, high-flying DeLorean. Back then, the idea of a flying car seemed pretty far-fetched. Even now, more than 30 years later, it doesn’t seem very plausible. But, buckle your seatbelts, flying cars could ... maybe ... someday ... become a reality.
And the company who wants to take us to this above-the-road, seemingly traffic-free world is none other than San Francisco-based ride-sharing giant Uber.
This week, the company revealed a concept design for a flying taxi at its Elevate Summit in Los Angeles. If this wasn't enough, the company announced it plans to launch a pilot flying taxi program, hello UberAir, in L.A. and Dallas in 2020, with a more widespread commercial service to take flight in 2023.
So how do you feel about hitching a ride on UberAir?
This week Dan Brekke goes down the rabbit hole of 1906 traffic-related fatalities after an article waxes poetic about a San Francisco before automobiles clogged the streets.
One key data point: San Francisco recorded 95 vehicle-related death the year of the Great Earthquake -- an incidence of fatality about six times higher than that seen in the city today. The most surprising finding: Streetcars accounted for 60 deaths and was by far the deadliest means of transportation in the years just after the turn of the 20th century.
One other discovery about traffic mayhem, 1906-style: The local papers seemed to relish publishing the most gruesome details of street deaths, with extended discussions of victims dismembered or crushed beyond recognition.
In December we reported that Oakland Unified School District had to cut $9 million from its budget. While any budget cut to educational programs is a unfortunate, the district already had less allocated to its programs than other Bay Area schools.
According to the latest available data from the Rand Corporation, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) spent $13,813 per student during the 2016-17 school year. (In comparison, across the Bay in affluent Palo Alto, the school district spent $17,941 — over $4,000 more — per student.) Moreover, in December 2017, OUSD approved $9 million in mid-year budget cuts, nixing dozens of non-teaching staff positions and reducing budgets for supplies, teacher benefits and other areas.
The budget cuts were predicted to hit harder mid-year, but local music nonprofits are stepping in to support the underfunded music programs. SFJAZZ, Women's Audio Mission, Oaktown Jazz and Oakland Public Conservatory are expanding music education programs in Oakland classrooms, making sure students get consistent exposure to the arts during the budget crisis.
Could a survey be the new tool to help combat sexual harassment in the state Legislature? Leaders in the California Assembly and Senate hope so.
In the wake of multiple scandals, resulting in resignations and investigations, staffers were encouraged to take part in the survey gauging workplace culture in the Capitol. Along with the survey, the Joint Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response has been formed, two first steps in a long process to fix a broken system.