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Francesca Fenzi

Researchers team up to solve a ‘50-year old murder mystery’: What’s killing sharks in the San Francisco Bay?

Spirits were low in McCovey Cove as the San Francisco Giants played a discouraging game against the Kansas City Royals. The visitors were on track to win, holding on to an 8-1 lead for several innings. The atmosphere was buoyed, however, when a cameraman spotted an unlikely supporter in the cove: a leopard shark swimming along the surface of the water. Giants player Jeff Samardzija’s nickname is “Shark,” and fans seemed to interpret the animal as a good omen. The…

Around the Way: DeepFlight designs sleek, personal submarines fit for a Bond villain

Two men wearing red knit caps sit inside a sleek, winged vehicle as it bobs on the ocean’s surface. They’re seated one behind the other, and their features appear slightly magnified inside twin glass domes that enclose each cockpit. A third man wearing a mask and snorkel circles the vehicle, then gives a thumbs-up to its pilot, Graham Hawkes. Hawkes engages two propellers and directs the vessel, which looks more like a bulbous airplane than any kind of watercraft, into…

Can ‘community ambassadors’ untangle Richmond’s relationship with the police?

Richmond Police Sgt. Florencio Rivera lifts a thick leather belt from the trunk of his police cruiser. He points to several objects dangling from it — pepper spray, handcuffs, riot baton, pistol, Taser — and explains: These are just stand-ins. The baton is made of foam, the Taser is unloaded, and the pistol fires Airsoft pellets. Together, they represent a pretend version of the “duty kit” carried by Richmond officers. Rivera is supervising a mock scenario as part of the…

Environmental, youth groups team up to clean Richmond Greenway

Youth leaders and environmental organizations kicked off their fall programs with a joint clean-up of Richmond’s greenway earlier this month. And the accumulated junk was impressive: One group unearthed two satellite TV dishes, a Rick James album, a fake deciduous tree covered in Christmas lights, one dead lizard in a wine bottle, and a disembodied red bike frame, among other items.

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