The loss of the red abalone is not just a blow to the kelp forest ecosystem, but also to the sense of California’s coastal identity. Scientists, fishermen, divers and long-time residents recognize the abalone’s cultural significance and are working to ensure their survival.

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Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Now, it is the most commonly used drug in overdoses: about 30 percent of overdoses in 2016 involved fentanyl. In 2016, the rate of overdoses involving fentanyl was 12 times larger than it was in 2013.

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Ripple plastic: The unintended life of plastic at sea

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UK artist and conservationist Mandy Barker has spent years gathering plastic items from beaches all around the world, arranging and photographing them in evocative ways. With colorful items popping against a dark background, many of her collections give a feel of outer space — a galaxy of garbage. Barker’s work is featured in Our Plastic Ocean, a touring exhibition through Impressions Gallery in the UK. The exhibition includes a virtual reality experience of Barker’s photographs produced by Stanford University students that is viewable through rippleplastic.com.

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Behind the plate: The life of a Bay Area umpire

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Wayne Yoshitomi knew only English and his grandfather mostly spoke Japanese, but they didn’t need to talk on summer nights in the mid-1960s when the San Francisco Giants were playing. At the kitchen table or in the backyard of their family’s Richmond neighborhood flat, 6-year-old Yoshitomi and his grandpa would tune in a Zenith transistor radio. Shigeo Ogawa would play solitaire as Russ Hodges narrated the game, yelling “Bye Bye Baby!” to call a home run.Their shared love of baseball is the only strong memory Yoshitomi has of his grandfather, who passed away in the 1980s. Baseball has since taken Yoshitomi around the country, meeting others who share his love…

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Why Louisiana church burnings prompted a discussion about racism in metal music

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Authorities highlighted an arson suspect’s association with a music sub-genre known as “black metal” as a possible motive for allegedly burning down three historically black churches in Louisiana. Some on social media felt that the conversation should have been about racism, not music. But others pointed out that black metal has a history of association with nationalism and white supremacy.

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Remembering and rebuilding the Honey Run Covered Bridge after the Camp Fire

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Honey Run Road and its historic covered bridge connected the two municipalities of Chico and Paradise. The bridge was a place where residents from both areas learned to swim, spent lazy summer afternoons with their families, attended pancake breakfasts or got married.Last year’s Camp Fire took the lives of more than 80 people, decimated the town of Paradise, and claimed the beloved Honey Run Covered Bridge. But it didn’t take long for residents to start rebuilding the bridge — using salvaged materials from the original structure. At the end of November, Chico resident Karin Willhoit sold heart ornaments crafted from the metal of the original covered bridge. The ornaments were…

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Remembering and rebuilding the Honey Run Covered Bridge after the Camp Fire

The Camp Fire destroyed the beloved Honey Run Covered Bridge. But it didn’t take long for residents to start rebuilding the bridge — using salvaged materials from the original structure.

By Melanie Hogue and Ashlyn Rollins

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