News

How California police departments targeted gay men in sting operations for a century

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LONG BEACH — San Carlos-based civil rights attorney Bruce Nickerson estimates that between 40,000 and 50,000 people in California, mainly gay men, have been arrested in illegitimate police decoy operations since 1979, the year the California Supreme Court redefined lewd conduct to include a question of whether an action was highly offensive to an observer.

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Wildland development escalates California fire costs

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PARADISE — The Camp Fire is just the latest mega-fire in California — and the cost of fighting such fires has risen dramatically. California dwarfs other states in fire-suppression costs, an analysis by a Stanford journalism class has found. The Stanford class analyzed daily reports from the most expensive fires in every state from 2014 to 2017, and found that dense development at the border of wildlands — in communities like Paradise, Cobb, and Santa Rosa — helps explain California fires’ exceptional damage and expense to put out.

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