Kevin Fagan
Kevin Fagan
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The numbers are in: SF homeless population rose 30% since 2017

The numbers are in: SF homeless population rose 30% since 2017

San Francisco’s appalling homeless problem seemed to worsen only modestly compared to the rest of the Bay Area when the city released its preliminary homeless-count numbers in May. The first glimpse showed a 17% uptick — not great, sure, but not as bad as Alameda County’s 43% rise. Or Santa Clara’s 31% increase. Turns out the news wasn’t quite so rosy.The final report released Friday, in the middle of a holiday weekend, shows that the street-count increase would actually be 30% if the city had used the same standards for counting as it had in past years. San Francisco now has 9,784 unhoused...

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Kevin Fagan
July 9, 2019
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Earl Sanders, first Black San Francisco police chief, dies at 83

Earl Sanders, first Black San Francisco police chief, dies at 83

Earl Sanders, the stylish, tough homicide detective who became San Francisco’s first African American police chief and who championed the hiring of minority officers, died Monday after a lengthy battle with kidney failure.Sanders was a San Francisco cop for 39 years, working some of the most difficult murders in the city’s history, from the Zebra “Death Angels” killings of the 1970s to the 101 California mass murder of the 1990s. He was 83 and died at an assisted living facility in Burlingame.Known for showing up at homicide scenes in the dead of night dressed in his trademark fedora,...

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Kevin Fagan
Jan 12
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David Perlman, award-winning Chronicle science writer, dies at age 101

David Perlman, award-winning Chronicle science writer, dies at age 101

David Perlman got to spend nearly eight decades doing what he loved most: hanging out with scientists, chasing down big stories from earthquakes to moon landings, and writing newspaper articles about them eloquently and fast.He loved everything about newspapers, and he was intensely proud that most of his career was spent in San Francisco, covering science for The Chronicle.At the time of his retirement in 2017, at the age of 98, Perlman — known fondly by his colleagues as “Dr. Dave” — was believed to be the oldest full-time news reporter at a U.S. metro newspaper.Perlman, who had cancer,...

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Kevin Fagan
Jun 20
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Zodiac Killer case, 50 years later: Tracing the legend of ‘our Jack the Ripper’

Zodiac Killer case, 50 years later: Tracing the legend of ‘our Jack the Ripper’

He is our Jack the Ripper. Fifty years ago this week, a psychopath with a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol sneaked up on two high school students parked on a windswept lover’s lane in Benicia. Shot down as they scrambled in terror, the young couple died in a spray of gunfire. It was an unusually messy crime scene.The killing on Dec. 20, 1968, of David Faraday, 17, and his 16-year-old date, Betty Lou Jensen, marked the beginning of what became the twisted legend of the Zodiac Killer. By the time he was done, five more victims across the Bay Area would be shot or stabbed — three of them...

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Kevin Fagan
February 11, 2019
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Unrest spreads to Bay Area suburbs: Walnut Creek declares curfew, woman shot

Unrest spreads to Bay Area suburbs: Walnut Creek declares curfew, woman shot

Walnut Creek declared a citywide curfew Sunday night and asked businesses to shut down immediately in response to unrest and looting in the Broadway Plaza shopping area, one of several Bay Area suburbs where vandalism was reported.A woman was shot and wounded in the arm in connection with the Walnut Creek unrest, police told The Chronicle. Dozens of stores in the shopping district were vandalized, and officers eventually fired tear gas to disperse protesters.“Due to civil unrest in the Broadway Plaza area, the city of Walnut Creek is establishing a curfew, effective at 6:00 pm today &...

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Kevin Fagan
June 1, 2020
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