California Watch

Google Earth Tool Shows Alarming Proximity of Nuclear Power Plants to Populated Areas

 Nuclear power plants are often located in highly populated areas. That’s because they were designed to provide electricity for people. And the closer the plants are to those people, the less energy required to get that power there.

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Sting Operation Finds Cell Phone Smuggling Rampant In Prisons

 A two-year operation to intercept cell phones being smuggled into state prisons by employees has produced modest results and done little to stem the flow of contraband devices to inmates, according to state data.

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State Turns Blind Eye to Appalling Conditions at Unlicensed Surgery Centers

The body count is mounting. California journalists have been documenting harrowing tales of patient harm and chaos in surgery centers that have been operating in a regulatory vacuum since mid-2007.

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Will Legalizing Pot Wipe Out the Black Market?

Supporters of Proposition 19 liken their cause to the lifting of prohibition on alcohol nearly 80 years ago. Making pot legal and regulating it like alcohol, they say, could raise millions in tax revenues and wipe out the black market, along with the social costs associated with it.

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Studies Show Flame Retardants Seep Into Children and Pregnant Women

In toxicology circles, Californians are notorious for the record-high concentrations of flame-retardant chemicals coursing through their bodies.

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California Cops Exploit DUI Checkpoints to Rake in Cash

Sobriety checkpoints in California are increasingly turning into profitable operations for local police departments that are far more likely to seize cars from unlicensed motorists than catch drunken drivers.

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Why Is the Government Paying Companies Fined for Pollution and Accused of Fraud?

Private corporations working in California have reaped tens of millions of dollars in new federal stimulus funds, despite previous pollution violations, criminal probes, and allegations of fraud, a California Watch investigation has found. 

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