Sightings & Happenings Around Town

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Burn Notice

Biomass is coming under fire for polluting the air and threatening wild forests. But is the controversy warranted?

Much of the 8 million tons of woody debris that facilities burn each year is material that would probably burn in open fields if there wasn’t an energy-producing alternative. Since the smokestacks on a biomass plant include filtering apparatuses that can remove some pollutants from the emissions, the industry — which has helped to phase out open burning of agricultural waste — has been credited as an overall boon to California’s air quality.

Jul 23, 2015 Alastair Bland
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Elder Care Urban Legend

Few seniors actually sail into their golden years, but the myth exposes widespread misunderstanding

In the past decade, there have been a handful of instances in which older adults have opted to live on cruise ships instead of paying for traditional senior living communities. That’s how the story grew. Now, when senior living experts gather, they tell dramatic tales of lonely seniors constantly sailing the globe on cruise liners as a way of illustrating the expense of senior housing and how neglectful families can be of their aging loved ones.

Jul 17, 2015 Anita Creamer
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Big Bad Biomass

Just because it’s renewable doesn’t make it clean

As California looks for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and help curb climate change, environmental activists are questioning the integrity of the biomass industry, which burns millions of tons of woody plant matter each year to help power the state’s electric grid.   

Jul 16, 2015 Alastair Bland
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Governing in the Digital Age

California State Assemblyman Matt Dababneh talks tech and the need to improve financial literacy for all

At 34, Assemblymember Matt Dababneh is one of the youngest members of the California Legislature. During his short stint in the Assembly, Dababneh has forged a reputation as a tech-savvy, pro-business lawmaker and earned himself the chairmanship of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee. We sat down with him recently to talk about a few of his key agenda items.

Jul 15, 2015 Rich Ehisen
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Startup of the Month: Wyndow

Search less, do more with on-demand entertainment finder

If you’ve ever wasted hours of free time searching for something to do with your free time, Oleg Kaganovich feels your pain. In 2012, he found himself in that exact situation during a business trip in the Big Apple. Rather than wait in a hotel room between meetings, he wanted to explore New York, but didn’t know where to begin. So he took his question to the web.

Jul 13, 2015 Russell Nichols
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To Serve or Not to Serve

How do all of these Californians get out of jury duty?

Hi Law Librarian, I recently came across a study that claims one in five Californians fail to report for jury duty. It made me wonder, what are the ramifications for ignoring a summons? Also, are there legal ways to avoid serving? ​During our busiest times, my boss prohibits us from taking time off. Plus, I get paid based on the hours I work, so if I miss work, either my income will take a hit for the week or I will have to use up my scarce vacation days.

Jul 13, 2015 Coral Henning
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Keeping IT Confidential

Which data is opened and which stays closed

“It’s not secret data,” says West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “It’s already held by the government; the data sets are all subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It’s not private, confidential data. It’s already open to the public, but it’s just not in any usable form.”

Jul 9, 2015 Allison Joy