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The End of Long-Term Drug Rehab

State and federal officials are expected to eliminate funding for long-term residential drug treatment programs as part of an overhaul of MediCal.

By Brian Rinker

In 1988, Angela Porter hit bottom. She was just 22 years old at the time, but her crack cocaine habit had consumed her life. She lost her friends, her family, her home, and her dignity. Homeless, alone, and broke, she resorted to knocking on people’s doors in Berkeley and begging for money.

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Where you go when you have court fines and are all but homeless

By Brian Rinker, Aug. 23, 2015, Arizona Republic. A1. 

Margaret Sommer can transform a classroom at the city’s homeless shelter into a court of law in fewer than five minutes.

All she needs to do is push the tables against the wall, arrange the chairs in a u-shape and pull a judge’s bench and two flagpoles out from against the wall. Then slide a single table and two chairs into the middle of the room, a few feet from the bench.

A microphone is placed on the corner of the table. The cord runs along the floor, kept in place with blue tape, and connects to a web cam.

And with that, homeless court is ready to begin.

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Not According to Plan: Special-Needs Students Falling Through the Cracks Force Absurdly Expensive Solutions

By Brian Rinker, Wednesday, Dec 18, 2011, SF Weekly.

Donna McAllister arrived early to pick up her 10-year-old son, Lio, from elementary school just in time to see him bolt from his classroom and run down the hall crying. She followed and found Lio pressed against the elevator frame, trying to squeeze down as far as he could, clawing at the cracks where the doors meet the frame.

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Veteran P.I. goes on trial for allegedly encouraging a witness to disappear. But some say it’s all a set-up.

Update: After the first trial ended in a mistrial, Steve Vender pleaded to a misdemeanor charge.

By Brian Rinker, Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014, SF Weekly.

Officer Damon Jackson spotted Ladarius Greer in the Tenderloin, near Turk and Mason, on Oct. 9, 2009. Cops knew Greer as a member of the Western Addition Page Street Gang, and knew that there was a no-bail warrant for his arrest out of Solano County. After confirming the warrant, Jackson – a member of the San Francisco Police Department’s Gang Task Force – approached Greer, cuffed him, and drove him to police headquarters at 850 Bryant St. Greer didn’t know it then, but he was about to become a key player in an unusual battle between law enforcement and a veteran private investigator.

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Three Brothers; Three Paths out of Foster Care

Update: This story inspired California law makers to create Senate Bill 12, which secures foster care benefits for probation-involved youth.

By Brian Rinker, October 14, 2014.

The brothers escaped on a Sunday.

Matt, 14, Terrick, 12, and Joseph, 11 pretended to go to church that day in 2006, but in secret they had planned to run away and never come back. No more living with an angry grandmother who drank. No more beatings with the belt.

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