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Lydia O'Connor
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Lydia O’Connor is a San Francisco editor for The Huffington Post. Before joining HuffPost, Lydia graduated from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She is a fifth generation, born-and-raised San Franciscan, urban living enthusiast and burrito snob.

Entries by Lydia O'Connor

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Says His Call To Drug-Test Lawmakers Was Just 'A Joke'

(5) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 7:34 PM

In a radio interview Friday morning, Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for California governor, made a push for regularly drug-testing state lawmakers. There was some blowback.

By Friday afternoon, Kashkari was saying his drug-testing comment was just "a joke," the Merced Sun-Star reported. "It was 6...

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San Francisco May Be The First City To Give Out Free HIV-Prevention Pills

(25) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 1:59 AM

The day after San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener came “out of the PrEP closet” on The Huffington Post as a user of the revolutionary HIV-prevention drug, activists gathered outside of San Francisco City Hall to rally in support of an initiative to make it more available...

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California Women Are Widely Underrepresented In Local, State Government Offices

(7) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 8:06 PM

California women are outnumbered by men three to one in city, county and state government positions -- a figure made all the more troubling by the likelihood that the breakdown is among the most balanced in the U.S., according to a study released this week.

The study by...

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This Man Is Refusing To Shower For 128 Days Thanks To California's Drought

(15) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 3:59 PM

Ojai, California, native Cody Creighton has a dirty little secret: He hasn’t showered in 60 days and doesn’t plan to again for months.

It’s all because of the historic California drought, which has ravaged the state, left entire communities without running water, shrunk...

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‘Six Californias' Is Officially Dead

(153) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 5:54 PM

A starry-eyed ballot initiative to split California into six separate states will not appear on the November 2016 ballot because it failed to gather enough qualifying signatures, the state announced Friday.

Just 66 percent of the signatures on Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper’s petition were valid, California...

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Schwarzenegger Reportedly Has Maria Shriver Painted Over In Portrait, Fails Miserably

(310) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 5:23 PM

An undeniable blotch on an official portrait of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is a hasty cover-up job to erase estranged wife Maria Shriver’s face from the painting, sources told the New York Post and San Francisco Chronicle.

The portrait, which Schwarzenegger sat for in...

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San Francisco May Be First City To Oppose Sex-Selective Abortion Bans

(4) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 8:51 PM

San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu (D) introduced a resolution this week that would make the city the first in the U.S. to formally oppose sex-selective abortion bans, which he and Asian-American activists warn encourage racial profiling and refusal of services.

The resolution, presented Tuesday at the Board...

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Educator Defends His Right To Bring Gun To Middle School

(141) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 7:04 PM

A middle school administrator in Bakersfield, California, has sued the city and its police department after he was arrested for bringing a handgun on campus.

Kent Williams, 51, vice principal of Tevis Junior High School since 2010, has been bringing a gun to school regularly since obtaining a...

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Yosemite Meadow Fire Forces Evacuations Near Famous Half Dome (PHOTOS)

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 4:00 PM

A towering blaze that started Sunday afternoon east of Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome has grown to 2,600 acres, forced approximately 100 hiker and backpacker evacuations and closed all trails in the area, the National Park Service (NPS) reported Monday morning.

The NPS believes the blaze burning...

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Labor Unions Blamed For Derailing Campaign Transparency Efforts

(2) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 7:56 PM

A California bill that supporters say could have shifted campaign finance into a new era of transparency was instead involuntarily withdrawn last week -- and the activists behind the bill are blaming the labor unions that united against it.

Authored by Democratic state Sens. Mark Leno and Jerry...

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Even California Has Major Gripes With Obama, Poll Finds

(51) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 3:56 PM

President Barack Obama’s popularity in California has fallen to an all-time low, with his approval rating among voters down to just 45 percent, a Field Poll released Tuesday found.

This is the first time his approval has dipped below 50 percent in the state since 2011 and is...

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California Community Relying On Bottled Water May Be Grim Preview Of Things To Come

(45) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 4:31 PM

Residents of a poor Central California community relying on bottled water after their wells ran dry paint a grim picture of what could happen across the state as the record-breaking drought continues to plague the West.

Roughly 300 homes dependent on private wells in Tulare County’s East Porterville...

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More Than 90 Percent Of Napa Residents Don't Have Earthquake Insurance: Report

(8) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 5:25 PM

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake that shook Napa Valley early Sunday morning could total more than $1 billion in losses. As many as 100 homes were left in unlivable condition, and it’s likely most residents will be paying out-of-pocket for repairs.

“The percentage of homeowners and...

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Confederate Flag Doesn't Fly With California Lawmakers

(1636) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 7:52 PM

California lawmakers hauled down the Confederate flag this week -- figuratively speaking -- as both houses of the state legislature gave final approval to a bill banning the state government from displaying or selling items featuring the Civil War emblem.

The bill, AB 2444, passed the last legislative hurdle on...

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Female Inmates Should Soon Have This Basic Human Right Protected In California

(13) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 9:21 PM

Legislation sparked by a media report and a state audit that found female prisoners were being unlawfully sterilized in California's prisons heads to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk this week for the Democrat's signature. The worst allegations suggested that women were coerced into sterilizations.

The bill, SB 1135, would...

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Bill Takes Aim At Campaign Corruption In California Schools

(1) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 6:10 PM

A California bill banning school and college administrators from raising money for their board members’ campaigns -- a major conflict of interest brought to light by recent scandals in multiple school districts -- passed out of the State Assembly on Monday and now awaits the signature of Gov....

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Splitting Up California Won't Do The GOP Any Favors, Study Finds

(34) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 7:54 PM

Despite some Republican enthusiasm for venture capitalist Tim Draper’s proposal to split California into six states, a recent study found that the splicing would do little to shake up the national political climate.

Three of Draper’s proposed six states -- Silicon Valley, West California and...

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Beyonce Just Crushed All Of San Francisco's Dreams In One Instagram

(130) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 8:55 AM

There have been rumblings for months that Beyonce and Jay Z might stick around San Francisco after completing their On the Run tour and make a surprise appearance during Kanye West's Outside Lands set, but Queen Bey laid those rumors to rest in one Instagram:

"Thank you San Fran! Your city is beautiful. It was the perfect place to complete the best tour of my life!" she captioned the photo of Jay Z and baby Blue next to a jet, all but confirming that the venerable duo was heading out of town the night before Kanye's set.

Maybe we should have seen this coming after they weren't able to attend Kanye's marriage to Kim Kardashian in...

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Here's Whom The Musicians Will Be Watching At Outside Lands

(2) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 10:37 AM

The windmills have gone up, the food lineup already has you drooling and Karl the Fog is waiting patiently in Golden Gate Park for the festivities to start -- it’s Outside Lands week in San Francisco, and the only downside to a lineup swarming with big...

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California Could Be First To Provide Low-Income Families This Overlooked Necessity

(188) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 12:38 PM

A staff member at West Valley Community Services, a basic needs center in Cupertino, Calif., recently overheard a mother admit she was withholding liquids from her child to cut back on diapers. That was when Jacqueline de Guzman, the organization's director of community resources, realized they had a major problem,...

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