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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…

Amid ‘nightmare’ budget cuts, EPA closing its Richmond lab

With “nightmare” budget cuts on the legislative slate, the EPA is closing its Region 9 lab in Richmond, where scientists perform everything from monitoring drinking water to watching over some of the worst toxic waste sites on the West Coast. It will be consolidating some of the lab’s services and moving others out of California.

Richmond Confidential reporter Reis Thebault wins Society of Professional Journalists award

The Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists awarded former Richmond Confidential reporter Reis Thebault the 2017 Excellence In Journalism Award. The accolade, announced this week, was for his investigations into the “fraud, corruption and legal woes” of the city’s medical marijuana industry. As a health, science and environmental reporter, Thebault’s stories focused on pay-to-play schemes, illicit messages sent by an Richmond Police Department officer, and hidden sales at marijuana dispensaries in the city. Thebault credits the help…

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.

At a mulching party, East Bay residents learn how to convert lawns to gardens

On a warm Saturday morning, people began to slowly stroll into the Memorial Tabernacle Church in Oakland’s Bushrod neighborhood. They were gathered not for a morning service, but for a special kind of lawn party. Trail mix, cookies, apples, and fresh-cut pieces of banana were laid out in colorful bowls on a table, but nothing smelled more fresh than the two 4-foot piles of compost and wood mulch laid out on the road in front of the church. StopWaste, a public…

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