Environment

New smoking ban aims to end cigarette butt litter on state beaches and parks

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During the early Saturday morning hours of  Oct. 22, volunteers lined up in front of Ocean Beach yet again. They were here just two weekends ago, But they knew they could fill their buckets mainly with one thing: cigarette butts. They were ready to spend the next two hours of their weekend ensuring the beach was clean for the public. The volunteers had three waste containers: one for trash, one for plastic and one just for cigarette butts. Cigarette butts are not only the highest form of trash collected from national parks and beaches but also the most littered item in the world. Every year, 4.5 trillion butts are disposed…

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Bay Area kid activists are prioritizing climate protests over school plays to save their future

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BAY AREA — There is a growing crowd of Bay Area youth climate activists. Youth leaders were some of the critical organizers of the local September climate week, where 40,000 people were out in the streets of San Francisco, a portion of the estimated 7.6 million who struck globally in support of more governmental action to prevent climate change.

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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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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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Are pesticides the reason honeybees are in trouble?

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SAN MATEO — According to the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, the number of honeybees declined by 60 percent since 1947. Over the last decade, some environmental activists and scientists pointed to the negative effects of neonicotinoid pesticides as potential reasons for the declines in honeybee colonies. But some members of the San Mateo beekeeper’s guild are citing other explanations

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As fires rage, California takes steps to integrate technology into wildfire management

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CALIFORNIA — In September, even before the October wildfires began to ravage parts of northern and southern California, governor Gavin Newsom announced two contracts totaling nearly $2 million for developing technology to facilitate wildfire detection and emergency decision-making.

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