PHOTO ESSAY: Choice & Consequence

BREAKING DOWN: Monica Villa weeps in the seats of the Merced City Council chamber in early August after giving a rambling account of how her companion, "Pirate," was injured in an apparent hit-and-run accident as he was returning home to the Bear Creek encampment. At left in the picture is Jana Mowrer, a candidate for City Council during the November election. A week after her emotional display, Villa was completing ballot requirements for her own City Council campaign. (TIMES PHOTO BY JONATHAN WHITAKER)

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