REDWOOD CITY — Redwood City officials approved an urgency ordinance capping rent increases and setting new requirements for just-cause evictions, joining a small group of California cities to pass similar emergency measures as tenants wait for statewide protections that take effect in 2020.

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Local health officials scramble to alert, assist medically vulnerable residents during PG&E blackouts

PALO ALTO – Amid a new wave of preemptive power shutoffs by PG&E, San Mateo and Santa Clara County health officials are working to ensure those who depend on electric-powered medical devices know of and are prepared for the blackouts.

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A billboard about the public charge rule at a bus stop on Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, Calif. on Oct. 5, 2019. The billboard directs people concerned about the proposed rule to call a San Mateo County help line.

Courts blocked Trump’s public charge rule. Immigrant advocates say the proposal had a ‘chilling effect.’

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The Trump administration this summer proposed a rule that would have made it harder for people to get green cards if they had been using government assistance like Medicaid, housing vouchers or food stamps — or if they were deemed likely to use those programs in the future. The so-called public charge rule was set to take effect on Oct. 15. Instead, courts issued temporary injunctions to stop the rule four days before it was due to kick in.

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Bay Area restaurants tally losses from spoiled food, lost sales from power shutoffs

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Pacific Gas and Electric’s late October power shutoffs impacted numerous restaurants in the Bay Area. Restaurants lost food and customers. Picco Restaurant & Pizzeria, a restaurant specialized in California-influenced Neapolitan pizzas in Larkspur, had to close their restaurant Oct. 26 at 2:30 p.m. and reopened on Oct. 29. It estimates its losses at $43,000. The shutdown caused the restaurant to lose six meal periods, said Ryan Heis, Picco’s managing partner. The restaurant had to throw out some of its food and beverages. Some of these included stocks, sauces and open bottles of wine served by the glass.  “We lost a lot, we lost a good Saturday night business,” said Lauren…

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Despite existing rent control laws, mobile home residents in Mountain View lack protection

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MOUNTAIN VIEW – Mobile homes, which refer to houses built in factories and transported to different sites, are affordable housing options in overpriced Mountain View. The city harbors six mobile home parks and a total of 1,130 mobile home spaces. But both a newly passed state law and an existing city law that limit how much landlords can increase rent do not apply to mobile homes.

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Kincade Fire forces adoptable animals to evacuate twice

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SACRAMENTO — The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County prompted large-scale evacuations on Oct. 26 and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes. But it wasn’t just humans that were displaced by the fire — pets and animals living at shelters also had to evacuate. The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took in a total of 42 animals from Sonoma County.

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Tech disability community meets for conversation and connection

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SILICON VALLEY — Demographic data on employees who self-identify as having a disability is often some of the last to be added to diversity reports for tech companies. And some major tech firms still lack resource groups focused on disability. The Tech Disability Project is a place where tech workers with disabilities can meet, share their experiences, and discuss their hopes for disability advocacy in the tech industry.

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Remembering and rebuilding the Honey Run Covered Bridge after the Camp Fire

The Camp Fire destroyed the beloved Honey Run Covered Bridge. But it didn’t take long for residents to start rebuilding the bridge — using salvaged materials from the original structure.

By Melanie Hogue and Ashlyn Rollins

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