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California Journal

Robin Abcarian Commentary, news and analysis
Party down in San Francisco for Super Bowl! (Homeless people, go away.)

The demonstration took place on the Embarcadero, just across the street from a fenced-off party venue called Super Bowl City. In normal times, Super Bowl City is a premier public space, along the city’s popular waterfront, with a windswept plaza and a children’s playground, and two blocks of Market Street.

Super Bowl City is meant, I guess, to be a gift to the people of San Francisco.

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Barren a year ago, a snowpack station comes up deep and dense

It was 22 degrees and snowing Tuesday morning. State snow surveyor Frank Gehrke slowly crossed a blanketed field.

He periodically jabbed a hollow pole into the snow and then hung it from a portable scale, reading nature to draw a bead on where, exactly, the California drought is heading.

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How prostitution is 'modern-day slavery,' and what law enforcement is doing to stop it

The customer has no idea what he is walking into. He is in his early 30s, dressed kind of schlubby, and wanting to buy some sex on a gorgeous weekday afternoon a stone's throw from Levi's Stadium, home of Super Bowl 50.

He knocks on the door of Room 141. It opens. He disappears.

There will be no happy ending for him today.

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A political searcher agitates for the independent nation of California

Louis J. Marinelli is a very smart, very talkative 29-year-old ESL teacher who lives in San Diego with his Russian-born wife. A native of Buffalo who moved to California in 2006, he's been studying how his adopted state fits in with the rest of the country.

He has come to the conclusion that while America needs California, California does not need America.

At all.

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A land-use case that's enough to furrow a farmer's brow

John Duarte is a fourth-generation California farmer. Just outside Modesto, his family owns one of the biggest agricultural nurseries in the country.

Duarte Nursery is famous for its grapevines, and its almond, walnut and pistachio root stock. The family also cultivates vineyards and orchards. In all, it's a $50-million-a-year concern.

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Poetic justice: Felony charge for maker of anti-Planned Parenthood videos

I’ve said it all along and will say it again: The antiabortion “sting” videos purporting to trap Planned Parenthood into admitting it harvests and sells aborted fetal parts for profit were as malicious as they were untrue.

On Monday in Houston, a grand jury agreed.

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