November 6th, 2012
Election Day brings out the love of data and numbers in all of us. As reporters around the state and country dig into voter returns and look for clues to the final tally, we thought we’d highlight these interesting California voter facts [PDF] recently released by Debra Bowen, California’s secretary of state.
October 1st, 2012


30 Issues in 30 Days looks at foreclosure in America. Check out the map of foreclosures by county, over the last five years. Here.

-Jody, BL Show-

Although foreclosures in California hit a five-year low in the second quarter of 2012, experts say millions of Californians who owe more on their homes than they are worth might not see their situation improve for years. Read more from The Bay Citizen’s Aaron Glantz here

Reblogged from WNYC's Transmitter
September 30th, 2012

Volatile weather creates dramatic changes for California farmers

On the front lines of climate change, California’s agriculture industry faces a new landscape with less water, warmer winters, unexpected rain and rising salinity.

Our new “Heat and Harvest" series with KQED explores the challenges that farmers in the state are facing due to volatile weather conditions. Find out what’s at stake for this $30 billion industry — and your grocery bill.

Watch the full documentary here

Photo: Almond trees show signs of poisoning by exposure to salt. Rising salinity levels in irrigation water has farmers alarmed. Credit: Serene Fang/Center for Investigative Reporting

September 13th, 2012

The Bay’s five trashiest waterways

Five waterways in the Bay Area have such high levels of trash that they’re in violation of the Clean Water Act, according to Oakland nonprofit Save The Bay.

Read more about these “Trash Hot Spots” here.

Photo courtesy of Save the Bay

September 6th, 2012

How to track West Nile virus in your county

There have been more reported cases of West Nile virus in the U.S. so far this year than at any time since 1999, when the disease was first detected in the country. Nearly 2,000 people have been infected, and 87 have died as a result. 

California has had 69 human cases of the virus this year to date, including three fatalities. Have there been cases in your county? Here’s how you can find out: 

September 6th, 2012

Inside Oakland’s pot politics

Oakland pot entrepreneur Dhar Mann (pictured) has become a national figure, expanding his medical marijuana business weGrow across the country. But newly obtained emails and a police report offer hints of Mann’s close relationship with city leaders that helped build his pot empire.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the city politics and business dealings that fueled the Oakland’s marijuana boom from reporter Zusha Elinson.

Photo by Adithya Sambamurthy / The Bay Citizen

August 30th, 2012
It tells you something about the state of electoral politics when going to a fundraiser hosted by somebody who was convicted of money laundering seems like a good idea.

Oliver Luby, a former San Francisco ethics officer, commenting on an ex-City College of San Francisco official who is now raising money for a City College trustee’s re-election campaign after pleading guilty in a political fundraising scandal. 

Read the full story here.

August 29th, 2012

Disabled vets stuck in backlog limbo

Disabled troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan face an unexpected battle: the Department of Veterans Affairs’ growing stack of disability benefit claims, leading to processing delays of six months or more.

In California, veterans who file claims with any of the VA’s three regional offices – in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego – wait more than nine months on average for a decision.

Read the full story here. You can also explore our new interactive map to see how long veterans are waiting for benefits decisions nationwide.

August 24th, 2012

Get an inside look at California’s forgotten prison population.

Under federal court order to reduce overcrowding in state prisons, California is now releasing thousands of prisoners or transferring them to county jails. But the rapidly aging and dying prisoners confined to state prison hospices are often left behind. As many as 3,300 inmates in the U.S. die in prison every year.

August 21st, 2012
A gram of heroin is the price of one pill. A gram of heroin could last you three or four days. One pill could last you a couple of hours. So the calculation is simple. Sell the pills you get, make money and get free dope.
Evan, 23, a resident of Orange County, Calif., who spoke to us about moving from using prescription pain killers to heroin. Read our story and learn more about Evan in our online video. (via centerforinvestigativereporting)
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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.