Connecting the Dots: Top news stories for Thursday, July 21

As many Bay Area residents are well aware, housing prices are high and rising. San Francisco isn’t in the lead, though. It’s the San Jose metro area that demands the highest average sum for a monthly rental. A continued boom in the technology industry means more jobs and more renters, but since the foreclosure crisis is far from over, many former homeowners are now renting...

Rent in San Francisco may not be the highest in the region, but it’s still high enough to be too expensive for undocumented immigrants, according to a study by the Public Policy Institute of California. Even though this population is a tough one to count, the study suggests that about 30,000 out of 809,000 San Francisco residents are undocumented. This is only 3.7 percent of the population and the lowest of the Bay Area’s nine counties...

The high cost of housing is also pricing California’s families out of their homes completely. California has more homeless students than any other state in the country (a third of all homeless students nationwide). To help, the California Department of Education employs a federally-funded homeless education coordinator and offers information through the department’s Homeless Children & Youth Education website...

Money woes are also an issue for California’s prison system. State controller John Chiang released an audit report this week that found that prison bookkeeping could be a lot tighter. For instance, millions of dollars were not accounted for and many excess payments to exiting employees were never recouped, which show “high potential” for both misappropriation of public funds and fraud...

Oakland’s police department is not being accused of fraud; it’s on the line for excessive force. The family of 37-year-old Derrick Jones – who was shot and killed by police officers in November 2010 – is filing a $10 million civil rights lawsuit against the City of Oakland. The family claims the officers used excessive force, but officers say they believed at the time that Jones had drawn a gun...

In San Francisco, people have come out to protest the police shooting and killing 19-year-old Washington parolee Kenneth Harding last weekend. Forty-three protesters were arrested Tuesday for unlawful assembly, disrupting traffic, dropping smoke bombs, and, for two of the protesters, suspicion of assault. Harding had allegedly opened fire on the officers after they’d asked him for a Muni ticket...

Muni and BART trains are not the cleanest, according to over 2,200 Bay Area residents surveyed by BART officials. Overwhelmingly, those surveyed preferred cleanliness to comfort when they tried out different designs for future BART seats. Vinyl or plastic seats, while not as comfortable, are far easier to wipe down...

The east bay might be becoming too warm for comfort, say climate scientists – at least for the comfort of its vineyards. Over the next few decades, unpredictable rainfall, weird weather patterns, and higher temperatures overall will seriously impact California’s wine, according to a recent study. This is especially true, they found, in ocean-shielded areas like the Livermore Valley.

Connecting the Dots brings the day's news together.