TIME States

Right-to-Die Law Proposed in California

Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill woman who decided to end her life early under an Oregon law. She died Nov. 1, 2014.
AP Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill woman who decided to end her life early under an Oregon law. She died on Nov. 1, 2014.

Brittany Maynard's family is backing the measure

Two California lawmakers backed by the family of a woman who drew national attention by choosing to end her life after an aggressive and debilitating cancer diagnosis are set to introduce a new right-to-die bill on Wednesday.

The End of Life Option Act would allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medications to terminally ill patients with six months or less to live, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Two state senators are pushing the bill with the support of Brittany Maynard’s family.

MORE Brittany Maynard Could Revive the Stalled ‘Death With Dignity Movement

Maynard was living in the San Francisco Bay Area when she and her husband moved to Portland, Ore., to take advantage of the state’s Death With Dignity law, in a widely publicized story that the bill’s authors say could be a tipping point in support for medically assisted suicide. Oregon, Washington and Vermont have such laws, but attempts to pass similar legislation in California have failed before.

“Our hope is to see the end-of-life option as part of a continuum of established rights available to patients,” state Sen. Bill Monning said.

[San Jose Mercury News]

TIME Infectious Disease

Five Workers at Disneyland Have Been Diagnosed With Measles

Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.
H. Lorren Au Jr.—AP Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

Unvaccinated workers who came into contact with them have been asked to take paid leave

Five employees at Disneyland, California have been diagnosed with measles, bringing the total number of cases in the outbreak up to 53.

All workers who have come into contact with the five have been asked to show vaccination records or do a blood test, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Those who have not been vaccinated have been asked to go on paid leave until their health status can be confirmed.

Earlier this month, nine cases of measles were confirmed in two California-based theme parks, and in Utah from people who had visited the resorts between Dec. 17 and 20.

Since then, the disease has spread across three other states and to Mexico.

[LAT]

TIME Basketball

High School Basketball Coach Suspended After 161-2 Win

"I didn't expect them to be that bad. I'm not trying to embarrass anybody."

A California high school basketball coach has been accused of poor sportsmanship after his team beat another 161 to … 2.

Arroyo Valley High girls’ coach Michael Anderson was suspended for two games following the rout against Bloomington High last week and now faces criticism for running up the score, CBS Los Angeles reports.

“The game just got away from me,” Anderson told the San Bernardino Sun on Friday.

“I didn’t play any starters in the second half,” he added. “I didn’t expect them to be that bad. I’m not trying to embarrass anybody.”

This isn’t the first time Arroyo Valley has so thoroughly dominated a matchup. The girls’ team has won its previous four games by 70 points or more. As for Bloomington? They had already lost a game by 91 points.

Still, Bloomington coach Dale Chung says Anderson crossed a line.

“People shouldn’t feel sorry for my team,” Chung told the Sun. “They should feel sorry for his team, which isn’t learning the game the right way.”

But Arroyo Valley parents disagree.

“I feel it’s very wrong. I felt like, what are you teaching these kids? To lose and not be rewarded,” parent Martha Vodinez told CBS Los Angeles. “Are you teaching them to be a loser?”

Adds another unidentified parent: “I feel like, if you lose, you just need to get out there and learn from that. Get better. Don’t down talk the next team.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

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TIME On Our Radar

See San Francisco Before the Tech Boom

Take a trip to vintage San Francisco

Today, South of Market, a wedge-shaped neighborhood in northwest San Francisco, is home to tech giants such as Twitter and Airbnb, but for most of its existence it was a very different kind of place.

Once famous for its “factories, slums, laundries, machine shops, boiler works, and the abodes of the working class,” as writer Jack London noted in 1909, it changed dramatically in the 1960s when many businesses that called the district home moved out and a community of artists and gay men and women emerged in its place. In the late 1970s, in the face of then expanding dereliction and as part of efforts to remake the neighborhood, city authorities condemned many of the residential hotels that had become a hallmark of the area, displacing many residents and small businesses.

It was at this time that photographer Janet Delaney moved to the area, seeking cheap rent. Between 1978 and 1986 she captured a neighborhood at the cusp of change. One that was not salubrious — she was held up at knifepoint and had her camera stolen — but one where behind the rough edges, a small but strong community of families and businesses still thrived.

“In my first two years of college I spent a lot of time, like many people in the early 70s, thinking of formal issues, like structure, and how a photograph is constructed,” Delaney says, recalling the kind of aesthetically-driven photography she was making up until she moved to the area. ” [I was] responding to minimalism, and how photography addresses these concepts.”

Later, a six-month solo trip to conflict-riddled parts of Central America left a deep impression on Delaney, and saw her take a socially-conscious turn with her work. Upon returning, the often-tough lives of her neighbors seemed to take on a new significance and she felt the need to document them. Using a large 4×5 view tripod-mounted camera, she made portraits and architectural views and shot the interiors of local businesses, in an attempt to document life in the neighborhood.

Janet DelaneyPlanting Boganvia, Yerba Buena Gardens

The images that emerged are as frank as they are beautiful and are a testament to a once gritty, even vibrant neighborhood. Indeed, they bear an uncanny resemblance to pre-war documentary photography. It is perhaps all down to the camera, Delaney says: a bulky contraption that takes up a large amount of space but yields finely detailed images. And for the photographer, the ever obvious camera itself became an important part of the documentation process.

“The camera gave a sense of honor to a neighborhood that nobody ever considered, a neighborhood the city felt it could demolish,” Delaney says.

By 1988, with rents getting ever higher, Delaney, now a mother, moved across the bay to Berkeley. “I wouldn’t have left if that rent hadn’t been so high,” she adds, feeling that she was pushed out of her old neighborhood by rising prices. And that process doesn’t seem to be slowing as the neighborhood, now known as SoMa, continues to gentrify.

“I’ve continued to photograph South of Market,” Delaney says. “There’s more of a bustle, there’s more going on. But it’s really expensive. People are moving into high rises. It’s a more elegant, beautiful, [but] slightly alienating environment.”

Janet Delaney: South of Market runs until July 19, 2015 at the De Young Museum in San Francisco

Myles Little is an Associate Photo Editor for TIME

TIME California

Brittany Maynard’s Family Fulfills Sacred Promise to Her

Brittany Maynard Death with Dignity
AP This undated file photo provided by the Maynard family shows Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life under Oregon’s death with dignity law.

Maynard's last wish was for California to pass death-with-dignity legislation

The text came from the bedroom above. “Are you coming up?” asked his brother, Dan Diaz.

Adrian Diaz felt nervous about heading to the second story where his sister-in-law, Brittany Maynard, 29, was about to purposefully swallow a prescribed, lethal medication. They had grown close since her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer.

He climbed the stairs on Nov. 1 in the Portland, Oregon home Maynard had rented with her husband, Dan, so she could access that state’s Death With Dignity law. Adrian saw Brittany in her bed. She immediately rose and stepped to him. She hugged him, said she loved him, then gave the Bay Area lobbyist a solemn task…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Jan. 14, 2015

A compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Robin Hammond‘s work on sandmining in Lagos, Nigeria, an urban hub that is Africa’s most populous metropolitan area. Most of the sand for the concrete used in construction comes from the bottom of the Lagos Lagoon. The photographs follow a group of sand diggers, who work like miners, except underwater. They navigate the lagoon on small boats, their sails constructed of rice sacks, and dig by hand before bringing their haul back ashore. Hammond’s striking pictures offer us a glimpse into the lives of those who play a crucial role in Lagos’ booming growth.

Robin Hammond: Life in Lagos: Building the City, One Bucket at a Time (National Geographic PROOF)

Andrew Testa: An Ancient Pastime With a Modern Twist (The New York Times) Fascinating series on camel racing with robots on their humps.

Amos Chapple: The Coldest Towns on Earth (The Wired Raw File) Shivering pictures from Russia’s Oymyakon and Yakutsk.

Matt Black: Almonds Suck California Dry (Mother Jones) These photographs capture California’s nut boom—in the midst of an epic drought.

Rian Dundon: A Homecoming in Oakland (TIME LightBox) The photographer documents his native California after having spent years away.

TIME 2016 Election

7 Things You Need To Know About Kamala Harris

2014 Variety Power Of Women Presented By Lifetime - Show
Jason Merritt—Getty Images Kamala Harris is the current attorney general of California.

Kamala Harris will launch her campaign Tuesday for the Senate seat from California, making her the first candidate in a large potential pool to officially step forward to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer. (California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he won’t be running.)

Here are 7 important things to know about the current Attorney General of California:

1. As the daughter of an African-American father and an Indian mother, Harris is the first female, first African-American and first Asian-American Attorney General in California’s history.

2. President Obama once called her “the best-looking attorney-general in the country” – and was then forced to apologize for being sexist.

3. When she worked in the Alameda County District Attorney’s office for eight years after law school, Harris specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases.

4. She got her undergraduate degree from Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C.

5. She worked on Jesse Jackson’s campaign for President in the 1980s and had a “Jesse Jackson For President” bumper sticker on her car.

6. She was floated as a possible Supreme Court nominee if another seat opened up during Obama’s time in office.

7. Her name means “lotus flower” in Sanskrit.

TIME cities

Cities Parched by Drought Look to Tap the Ocean

A seawater desalination plant under construction near San Diego will be the nation’s largest when complete

After three years of drought, California’s reservoirs are filled with more mud than water. Many farmers can’t irrigate their fields and have no choice but to leave them fallow.

As insurance against future droughts, San Diego is turning to a vast and largely untapped body of water for help: the Pacific Ocean. A huge desalination plant is under construction just outside the city that is expected to provide 7% of the arid region’s water needs.

“Desalination isn’t dependent on rainfall or snowpack,” says Peter MacLaggan, a senior vice president with Poseidon Resources, the company that is developing the plant in Carlsbad, Calif. “Traditional sources have been cheap and plentiful, and that’s not necessarily the case anymore.”

Desalinization is an old technology used widely in the Middle East that is getting new attention in the United States because of innovation and lower costs. With growing populations and increasingly scarce water, more than 15 California coastal cities are considering the ocean as an alternative to fickle Mother Nature.

But desalination is still far more expensive than damming rivers and pumping ground water. Furthermore, critics worry about the environmental consequences and argue that water conservation is a much cheaper option.

When complete, the $1 billion Carlsbad desalination plant will be the largest in the Western Hemisphere, providing up to 50 million gallons of water daily to San Diego County and its more than 3 million residents. Seawater sucked up from an offshore pipe will be blasted through a series of membranes that have microscopic holes to help filter out the salt, sand and algae.

Construction, delayed for years by lawsuits, is expected to be completed by late 2015 or early 2016. Ultimately, the water produced by the plant will be “bottled water quality,” MacLaggan says.

Over the years, desalination plants have had a mixed track record. A number of cities that tapped seawater during droughts later closed the plants after the rains returned, because of the high costs.

Just up the coast, Santa Barbara, Calif. built a $34 million desalination plant in early 1990s amid a water shortage, but then closed it a few years later. With the latest drought, city officials are considering paying millions of dollars more for refurbishments so they can restart the plant.

Meanwhile, several Australian cities spent billions of dollars over the past decade for seawater treatment plants. However, many of them were put on idle to save money after the droughts ended.

“We end up spending a lot of money and getting very little water,” says Conner Everts, executive director of the Southern California Watershed Alliance, who opposes desalination plants because of their cost and their potential impact on the environment. “Don’t think of the ocean as an endless reservoir, but a fragile ecosystem.”

In particular, Everts complains about desalination plants discharging briny waste into the sea that he says could kill marine life. San Diego’s plant, for example, will suck up two gallons of seawater for every gallon of potable water it produces. The excess, which is 20% more salty that typical seawater after being diluted, will be pumped back out into the surf. The plant’s operators insist the discharge will be safe for sea life.

Opponents filed more than a dozen lawsuits to block the plant’s construction based on environmental and other concerns. But the plant’s supporters ultimately prevailed in court.

San Diego officials pushed for the desalination plant following a serious drought across much of the West. With few rivers and an average of only 10 inches of rain annually, the San Diego region is particular vulnerable to water shortages.

Officials agreed to a 30-year deal to buy desalinated water from the plant’s developers for $2,014 to $2,257 per acre foot, about the equivalent of what a family of five uses in a year. The cost is nearly double traditional sources. County residents will ending up paying an extra $4 to $7 in their monthly water bills, on average.

Over time, improvements in technology are supposed to drive down costs of desalination. Pumps, membranes used in the plants are becoming increasingly efficient and durable, for example. Whether the costs will ever fall in line with traditional water sources is a subject of much debate. For his part, MacLaggan predicted that the costs will reach parity by 2025.

But Everts says water conservation and recycling waste water are much cheaper alternatives that should get a lot more attention. Encouraging home owners to rip out their water-guzzling lawns and install more efficient toilets are just some of the options.

“Desalination is a sexy technology that sounds like a great idea,” Everts says. “But it distracts us from putting resources to other things that could help us right now.”

In any case, Mother Nature may be coming to the rescue. California’s rainy season has got off to a good start with a series of strong storms. But the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the most important barometer, is still low. Moreover, a few wet months alone can’t offset years of drought.

MacLaggan, with the Carlsbad plant’s developer, agrees that more conservation is necessary along with other strategies like treating wastewater so that it is clean enough to drink. “We need to do all these things,” he says, adding that desalination should be part of the solution because conservation won’t be enough to offset the growing population and the region’s lack of rain. “This is a drought-proof supply.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME portfolio

A Homecoming in Oakland

"There is a mythology to Northern California: the Gold Rush, Haight Ashbury, the modern-day prophets of Silicon Valley"

Rian Dundon grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, before emigrating to China for six years. On his return to the U.S., he documented the inextricable changes that have transformed his hometown, his neighbors and his friends. He speaks to TIME LightBox.

Leaving home, eventually you find that the same things which drove you out are the ones that pull you back in. Learning to see a place again—and recognizing its richness—is only possible once you’ve spent time away. The big shock is realizing that while you can never truly go home again, you can linger there indefinitely. It turns out leaving is the easy part. Much harder is knowing why you came back.

Northern California is, by all accounts, somewhere special. There is a mythology to the place: the Gold Rush; Haight Ashbury; the modern-day prophets of Silicon Valley. We’ve seen a lot of change here—especially in San Francisco, where my ancestors settled and then fled the fires in 1906, decamping across the bay to a burgeoning Oakland. Big events can give us leave to break free of the people and associations that are holding us back, but it’s humbling how a shift in scenery can reset your perspective. Like moving away or going to prison. Or finding sobriety and someone to share it with. If I’ve learned one thing it’s that change is what defines us. But change can also be its own end. Whether we stay or go, the turmoil of life keeps moving us forward.

After working abroad for a number of years, coming home was a chance to better visualize my own story. Thrusting back into my childhood milieu I longed to rediscover a sense of shared history; to find solidarity with the past. This was my opportunity to address what Lucy Lippard describes as “the dialectic between place and change”. What I failed to recognize was just how much I had already disconnected from the place, and just how much that place had moved on without me. If, as Lippard contends, place is “the locus of desire”, then these pictures represent my yearning for a somewhere that no longer exists.

Homecomings are an established motif in photography. A photographer returns to his point of origin armed with some new perspective on the place, or perhaps with access unknowable to an outsider, to make fresh pictures of the local. The tradition is nearly as established as its inverse (the shooter who ventures outward into the unknown exotic), and yet it is one that could do with greater examination. Suited as it is for distant travel, perhaps photography is even better positioned as a language for explicating memory and history, and the seemingly familiar details that most of us have long since ceased paying attention to.

Rian Dundon is based in Oakland, California.

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

TIME Transportation

Golden Gate Bridge Closing for First Time in Decades

Exploring San Francisco & The Bay Area
George Rose—Getty Images The Golden Gate Bridge at Golden Gate National Park is viewed from a nearby hiking trail on April 2, 2014, in San Francisco, California. (Photo by George Rose--Getty Images)

Longest closure in the bridge's history

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is closing down for the weekend for the bridge’s longest shutdown ever and its first closure in more than 25 years.

The bridge will be closed from midnight Friday until 4 a.m. Monday morning so workers can install a moveable median barrier to prevent head-on collisions, according to a statement on the bridge’s website. Since 1970, there have been 128 head-on collisions that have resulted in 16 deaths, the Associated Press reports.

The bridge closed briefly in 1987 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, but the 52-hour closure this weekend will be the longest in the bridge’s history.

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