Holly J. McDede | KALW

Holly J. McDede

Justice Reporter
Steve Baker / Used under CC BY-ND 2.0 / cropped

A new law went into effect this year, requiring police to release certain disciplinary records. But some police unions are fighting to keep records hidden.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

When the Camp Fire ravaged Paradise in November, the whole town was incinerated. Many who escaped the flames had to abandon precious valuables, and in some cases, also the cremated remains of people they love. Months after the fire, survivors are still hoping to find those cremains.

Cary Bass-Deschenes / Flikr Creative Commons, used under CC BY-SA 2.0

So many people are dying from opioid overdoses in the United States that these deaths have fueled an overall decline in life expectancy in 2017. Doctors in the Bay Area are responding by bringing medication for opioid addiction to people in unconventional places, like homeless encampments, emergency rooms, hospitals, and jails.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

In California, deaths related to Fentanyl overdoses have spiked, and it’s still hard to find treatment for opioid addiction. A medication called buprenorphine, more commonly known by the brand name Suboxone, can help.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW

The San Francisco Immigration Defense Unit is a team of eight lawyers with the public defender’s office who represent people threatened with deportation. 

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

Ever since recreational cannabis went legal in California, cannabis tourism companies started popping up around the state. They offer travelers a chance to smoke and sip wine, paint and puff, and learn cannabis factoids while lighting it up.

Flickr user Sharon Hahn Darlin (Used under CC:BY)

Derick Almena and Max Harris, former managers of the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, are going to court on Friday. Prosecutors accuse the men of manslaughter in the blaze which killed 36 people two years ago.

JoAnn DeLuna / KALW News

Hotel workers face high rates of sexual assault and harassment on the job, with over half of hotel staff in Oakland saying a guest has flashed them or opened the door naked.

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Voters around California are weighing dozens of ballot measures that would impose taxes on marijuana businesses in different cities and counties. Oakland’s Measure V is unique, however, because it could lead to lower tax rates for marijuana businesses.

Emma McAvoy and Holly J. McDede / KALW News

Shortly after Alcatraz prison shut down in 1963, the people who lived and worked on the island began hosting annual get-togethers. When the National Park Service invited the “alumni” to host the reunions on the island, convicts were invited, too. This year, as surviving alumni dwindle, the tradition is coming to an end.

Creative Commons. Alpha Stock Images. Cropped and resized

There's been a lot of debate recently about how tech companies should handle our data, and whose job it is to regulate it. San Francisco's Proposition B, also called the Privacy First Policy, is one approach to the problem. It aims to protect people from having their personal information abused by companies.

 

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

In Oakland, black cyclists are more than six times as likely than white cyclists to be pulled over by cops. Last month, Najari Smith, a Richmond-based community organizer, was arrested by Oakland police while biking and playing loud music. Now, cycling groups around the Bay Area are pushing for change.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News

Nearly two hundred undocumented immigrants facing deportation for violating federal immigration laws were detained at West County Detention Center in Richmond, awaiting hearings to decide their fates. As of late last week, ICE had transferred all of those detainees to other sites, many of them out of state.

Flikr User Thomas Hawk / used under CC BY-NC 2.0

BART riders are on edge after a spate of killings on the system, including the brutal stabbing of 18-year-old Nia Wilson. In the wake of the violence, the transit agency announced plans for a $28 million dollar security package. That proposal includes a ban on panhandling, a fierce crackdown on fare evasion, and a ramped up surveillance system.

Flikr user Rusty Blazenhoff used underUNDER CC BY-NC 2.0 / CROPPED AND RESIZED

When recreational cannabis was legalized in California just over six months ago, the people championing legal weed had high hopes. Growers could emerge out of the shadows into the light. People arrested during the War on Drugs could become CEOs of cannabis empires. Millions of dollars worth of tax revenue would ooze out of marijuana plants right into the government’s pockets. But cannabis trade groups also warned regulations would push some people out.

 

Back in 2016, Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Aaron Persky sentenced Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to six months behind bars for raping an unconscious woman. The case sparked international outrage.  

Holly McDede

When Stanford student Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in prison for sexual assault back in 2016, lots of people thought he deserved a longer sentence. They saw a white, college athlete let off the hook.

 

 

Proposition H is a San Francisco ballot measure that would speed up the process of arming the city’s police officers with stun guns.

San Francisco’s police officers are already on track to carry taser stun guns. Last November, the city’s police commission voted to arm police with tasers.

 

All over the world, Victory Outreach churches reach out to the downtrodden, including drug users, alcoholics and gang members.

 

The California Constitution currently says that any ballot measure passed by voters will go into effect the day after election day, unless the proposition states otherwise.

Proposition 71 supporters say that’s not enough time.

For one thing, mail ballots can arrive up to three days after the election and still get counted.

So, if passed, Proposition 71 would impose a five-day waiting period after all votes have been fully and completely counted and the Secretary of State has certified the election.

Handout / Wikimedia Commons

California has seen some notorious serial killers over the years, including the Zodiac Killer, the Grim Sleeper, and the Hillside Strangler. But the Golden State Killer might be the most terrifying. 

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

California has some of the strictest gun regulations in the country — and a booming gun industry. More than 1 million firearms were purchased in the state in in 2016, or roughly one gun for every 30 residents.

kgroovy / Flikr Creative Commons

 

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Since Sacramento police shot and killed Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard last month, protests have taken to the streets almost everyday.

Jeff Foster

There’s Wifi and Tesla, Cheerios and Cocoa Puff. There are three registered Clintons, and thirteen Bernies. Those are just some of the names of registered dogs residing in San Francisco, where the city's 120,000 canines famously outnumber its children.

COURTESY OF JOSE ARTIGA

It's been over a year since President Donald Trump issued an executive order promising to halt federal funding for cities that limit cooperation with immigration agents. After the order was made, mayors from across the country vowed to remain so called “sanctuary cities” anyway. 

Donna Personna

 

For decades, the story of the Compton's Cafeteria riot was lost to history. Few people knew about the courageous drag queen who fought back against police with a cup of hot coffee, or the transgender women who took to the streets that night. But now a theater piece is bringing that act of resistance back to life.

Margaret Shear / Flickr / Creative Commons

Everyone in San Francisco seems to have a story about a car break-in. It’s expensive, frustrating — and predictable.

Amber Miller

 

California is becoming the largest legal marijuana market in the nation. It’s estimated that the industry will bring in more than $1 billion in taxes every year.

A San Francisco jury last week found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty of murder in the death of Kate Steinle.

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