Connecting the Dots: Top news stories for Thursday, September 8

Castro activists Michael Petrelis and Bill Wilson have won at least one battle with the neighborhood merchants group over the iconic rainbow flag flying over Harvey Milk Plaza. As you may recall, controversy over the flag flapped again last week when the Merchants of Upper Market/Castro hadn't made a move to arrange for the memorial lowering.  The flag will be flying at half-mast all day Sunday - only the 6th time MUMC has agreed to lower the flag since it was installed in 1997...

A shooting at the 24th Street BART plaza in San Francisco marks the third Mission District homicide in one week. Police spokesman Albie Esparza said it’s not known if the latest incident is gang-related...

"Battle-scarred" politician John Burton hasn't officially announced it yet, but the California Democratic party chair has decided to run for another term to lead the party in 2013...

In other state news, levels of banned methyl bromide in some of the California’s top strawberry-growing counties remain nearly as high as they were a decade ago despite a mandated phase-out by 2005 according to an analysis by New America Media. Three legal advocacy groups filed a Title VI civil rights complaint in 1999, charging that the state’s approval of methyl bromide disproportionately affected Latino children in schools located near fields that were sprayed. This August, after 12 years of litigation, the EPA finally agreed...

The number of California kids living in poverty has risen since the recession began, even as key institutions serving young people and their families are cutting programs. You can get the latest data and learn from a panel of youth story tellers who translate these data into real lives at a community forum on September 14th.

Connecting the Dots brings the day's news together