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If you’re going to San Francisco, better bring a water bottle

Various types of reusable water bottles on the market.
( Los Angeles Times)

Will plastic water bottles soon go the way of the single-use plastic bag in Los Angeles and other big cities? The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban the sale of drinking water in single-use bottles on city property. The rule would take effect Oct. 1 for indoor events and 2016 for outdoor events. There would be exemptions for some large athletic events (like the Bay to Breakers race, presumably).

San Francisco was one of the first cities in the nation to prohibit stores from packing groceries in single-use plastic bags, and it’s likely other California cities will eventually follow.

There are parallels between single-use plastic bags and bottles. Both often become litter and clutter the landscape. Both have readily available reusable alternatives.

But the plastic bag ban still offered an option for consumers who didn’t have their own reusable bags. They could buy one on the spot for about a buck, or in some cities they could buy brown paper bags for a dime. How will San Francisco accommodate the thirsty City Hall visitor who arrives without a reusable bottle? Will he have to make repeated visits to the water fountain? Or will he end up buying a bottle of soda from a vending machine? And is that a good alternative?

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Must-read headlines from L.A. to CA:

DWP makes little progress on phone call delays, Los Angeles Times

A utility website shows that callers wait an average of 29 minutes for customer service, an improvement of two minutes over November, when officials promised to fix the system.

Reinventing skid row, Politico

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When hipsters met the homeless, and made a new downtown L.A.

Health experts don’t buy into L.A.’s e-cigarette ban, LAist

So-called vapes are considered by many to be a better alternative to regular cigarettes because the nicotine-laced vapor comes from water and is completely tar-less. Many people who are trying to curb their smoking habit have turned to vapes as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes.

In Mexico, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Spanish goes far, Los Angeles Times

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Eric Garcetti puts his Spanish to use on a trade mission. A Mexican reporter says the mayor’s Spanish is pretty good, albeit “lacking a few words.”

There are 17 apartments for every 100 poor families in L.A., Curbed LA

We know that rents in Los Angeles are sprinting toward complete unaffordability for anyone but the rich, but today we get a glimpse of just how grim the situation is for L.A.’s ever-marginalized low-income residents. A just-released map from the Urban Institute (via NextCity) shows that for every 100 “extremely low-income” household that rents, there are only 17 units available.

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Follow Kerry Cavanaugh on Twitter @kerrycavan and Google+


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