Robin Abcarian Commentary, news and analysis
It was a nice day in the surf — except for the shark attack

— Elinor Dempsey was sitting on her red longboard off Morro Strand State Beach last Saturday, waiting for a wave. The sun was out, the ocean was glassy, and she was doing what surfers do — spacing out a little bit, enjoying the water.

As she looked down, she noticed something swimming under her. A seal, perhaps? No, she decided, too big for a seal. Must be a dolphin. A really big dolphin.

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How the drought has affected San Francisco's devastating lack of public restrooms

There are a lot of people whose lives have been adversely affected by the unrestricted flow of urine on the streets of San Francisco. On a hot summer day, the stench in some neighborhoods — the Tenderloin, the Mission and South of Market — is nearly unbearable.

But few people have come close to death-by-urine the way Luis Gomez did. Gomez, 40, is a barber.

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Was justice served in the case of amorous 'Django' actress Daniele Watts?

The case of Daniele Watts, the “Django Unchained” actress who claimed she was a victim of racism last summer after an encounter with the Los Angeles Police Department, has ended as ridiculously as it began.

Watts, you recall, had been canoodling with her boyfriend in a parked Mercedes-Benz in broad daylight last Sept. 11 in Studio City.

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Trump's rhetoric on immigration gets a reality check in Tijuana

He's called for a 2,000-mile border fence. He's called for an end to remittances. He's called for the deportation of 11 million people and for the end of birthright citizenship.

I guess we should all be grateful that the current Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, hasn't called for anti-immigration drone strikes at the Mexican border, as his rival Ben Carson did Wednesday.

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An abortion doctor speaks out about a woman's right to choose

Susan Robinson was sitting on the patio of her Central Coast home, above golden hills and oak trees shimmering in the summer heat. She sipped homemade hibiscus tea as she patted the head of her mischievous border collie, Radar, and told me about the pride she takes in her work.

Robinson, 69, is an abortion doctor, one of only a handful in this country who perform abortions in the third trimester.

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Living on tinder hooks in forest fire country

From this teensy town, which bills itself as the "exact center of California," the Willow fire did not look especially menacing. White smoke billowed up, away from people, away from homes, into the Sierra National Forest's clear blue sky.

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