BART Talks Expected To Resume Later Today As Strike Looms
BART management and its labor unions are expected to return to the bargaining table later today to try to avoid a possible strike that could potentially begin as soon as midnight tonight, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.
BART management negotiators were briefing the transit agency's directors on the contract talks at their board meeting this morning.
Cecille Isidro, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, said union leaders hope that BART General Manager Grace Crunican will participate in the contract talks today.
"We need to reach an agreement as soon as possible, and she needs to be at the table," Isidro said.
Crunican previously has said she doesn't need to be at the bargaining table because BART's negotiators know what management's position is.
BART management began negotiating with SEIU Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and clerical workers, on April 1.
The workers previously went on strike for four and a half days at the beginning of July but finally agreed to Gov. Jerry Brown's request that they return to the bargaining table for another 30 days.
When the second round of talks failed, Brown asked for a 60-day cooling-off period, and that period ends at midnight tonight.
Union leaders said Monday evening that they weren't ready to give their customary 72-hour strike notice, but also said they were keeping all of their options on the table, including going on strike.
The notice is a courtesy but is not mandatory.
According to Allison, BART and the unions remain split on issues such as wages and employees' contributions to health care and pension costs.
SEIU Local 1021 and ATU Local 1555 alleged in a joint statement Wednesday night that BART negotiators "pulled the rug from underneath the unions as well as the entire Bay Area" by withdrawing an offer that had brought the parties close to an agreement.
But Allison said "any suggestion that BART offered a proposal and withdrew it is categorically untrue" and blamed the confusion on "a miscommunication that wasn't on BART's part."
SJSU Lockdown Lifted After Police Investigate Report Of Gunman On Campus
A lockdown at San Jose State University ended late this morning after police investigated a report of a gunman and came up empty-handed, a university spokeswoman said.
University police received a call around 9 a.m. from a student who reported seeing a gunman at Sweeney Hall, in the southern part of the campus near San Salvador Street.
University spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris said police considered it a credible tip and closed down Sweeney Hall, and advised the entire campus about the sighting, Harris said.
She said 300 students and faculty members were on lockdown inside Sweeney Hall until just before 11 a.m.
Police did not find the alleged gunman, who was described as a white male with a handgun dressed in dark attire, Lopes Harris said.
Just before police gave the "all-clear" around 11 a.m., 22-year-old student Katie Herr's father, Gerry Jensen, arrived at the campus.
Jensen said he had received a text message from his daughter that said there was a gunman in her building and that her classroom was locked.
"I came down as a concerned parent," Jensen said.
Harris said police had some difficulty searching buildings because of the lockdown, with students and faculty refusing to open doors.
Oakland A's Fans, Pink Concertgoers Expected To Clog Roadways
Hordes of fans clad in green and yellow are expected to fill the O.co Coliseum this evening for the deciding game in the American League Division Series between the Oakland A's and the Detroit Tigers.
The series is tied 2-2 going into today's game, with the winner of tonight's game advancing to American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox.
The first pitch is scheduled for 5:07 p.m., which means there will be extra crowds on BART during the afternoon commute, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.
He said there will be special-event trains to accommodate the anticipated crowds at the Coliseum station.
Last Friday, when the A's played the first game of the series at O.co Coliseum, there were approximately 440,000 trips made on the system -- one of BART's busiest days this year, Allison said.
Today should be even busier, he said.
For one, there is also a 7:30 p.m. P!nk concert at the Oracle Arena, next to the O.co Coliseum.
And Thursdays are always one of the busiest days of the week, Allison said.
P!nk is performing with Danish rock band New Politics as part of her "The Truth About Love Tour."
"We encourage riders to not linger too long at the Arena," Allison said.
BART trains will run during normal hours and not extend beyond closing time, even if the show runs late.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin said regional transit officials are encouraging people to ride BART today.
"BART is going to be the best way to go," he said.
The Bay Bridge will be congested, and with this combination of events, there were "will be a lot of people descending at the intersection of (Interstate Highway) 880 and 66th Avenue," he said.
The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit will be operating normal bus service, he said.
Today's A's game will be nerve-wracking for fans, who last saw their team advance to the American League Championship Series in 2006.
"My stomach's churning," A's blogger and longtime fan Rhamesis Muncada, 37, said this morning.
He noted that the game feels like déjà vu, with the A's facing Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander -- just like in the fifth game in the ALDS in 2012.
Oakland Anniversary Celebration To Mark 2 Years Since 'Occupy Oakland' Formation
Today marks two years since the Occupy movement set up camp in downtown Oakland, and an anniversary event this afternoon will honor the political activism spurred by the movement.
Occupy Oakland built a camp at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza the afternoon of Oct. 10, 2011 as part of the then-burgeoning Occupy Wall Street campaign.
One of the group's first actions was to dub the site "Oscar Grant Plaza."
The camp was officially dismantled about a month later after several violent confrontations between police and protesters.
"Occupy" began in New York City and spread across the country and world as a way to protest economic disparity and the plight of the so-called "99 percent."
In the years since, its members have taken on various issues from environmental degradation to immigrants' rights and beyond.
At today's anniversary event, the theme will revolve around the California prisoners' hunger strike that started in July and related issues, organizer JP Massar said.
Starting at 2 p.m., music will entertain attendees, followed by a series of guest speakers.
Sarah Shourd, a UC Berkeley graduate who was detained in Iran with her now-husband and friend after they crossed the border while hiking in Iraq on July 31, 2009, will address the crowd.
Shourd will speak about her work as an activist since her return.
She and the rest of the trio were accused of espionage and entering the country illegally.
Shourd was held for more than a year in an Iranian prison.
Massar said the Occupy anniversary event will be a chance to review the work done by activists, who have continued to meet at the plaza every Sunday.
There will be an hour devoted to various "spin-off" committees to report what they have been working on and what they are planning for future action.
The groups include those advocating for the family of 18-year-old Alan Blueford, who was fatally shot by Oakland police in May 2012, and those protesting the closure of the Berkeley post office.
The anniversary event will also be an opportunity for attendees to "reaffirm our solidarity with the BART workers," event organizers Mike Wilson said.
Once the sun goes down, documentaries about Occupy Oakland and other groups will be screened.
There will be donated food provided at the celebration.
"It's not to wax nostalgic but to have a good time and come together," Massar said.
Family Of Missing Toddler Daphne Webb To Hold Vigil For Her In Oakland
The family of missing Oakland toddler Daphne Webb will hold a candlelight prayer vigil today to mark her second birthday as well as the three-month anniversary of the day she was reported missing.
Daphne's father, 49-year-old John Anthony Webb of Oakland, reported her missing shortly after 11 a.m. on July 10, telling police that she had been abducted by a stranger shortly after 11 a.m. that day while she sat in a parked car with his 87-year-old mother while he went inside the Gazza Supermarket at 7838 International Blvd. to buy something.
She remains missing, despite numerous searches by Oakland police and a $20,000 reward for information that helps authorities find her.
Daphne's maternal grandfather, Kevin Davis, said in a statement, "We still have the Oakland police and the FBI doing all that they can do. It's still a priority. We still have our hopes up."
The vigil will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today at the corner of International Boulevard and 79th Avenue, the location where John Webb reported Daphne was missing.
Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson wasn't immediately available for comment today.
She has previously said that the Police Department's primary focus is finding Daphne alive but that they're also looking into the possibility that foul play was involved.
Watson has said the Police Department's missing persons and homicide units are both investigating the disappearance.
Oakland police arrested John Webb on suspicion of felony child endangerment the day of her disappearance because he had left her in the care of his mother, who suffers from dementia.
But Webb was released from custody two days later, after the Alameda County District Attorney's Office declined to file charges against him.
Watson has said that Webb remains a person of interest in the case but isn't a suspect.
Daphne is described by police as 2 feet tall and 30 pounds.
She is black with short, curly black hair and a deformity in her left ear.
She was last seen wearing orange two-piece pajamas with pink hearts.
Suspect Arrested At Nearby Residence After Overnight Standoff In Santa Rosa
A lengthy standoff in northeast Santa Rosa ended this morning when a man believed to have barricaded himself inside his home was found outside nearby residence and was arrested, a police sergeant said.
The man was found around 10:15 a.m., Sgt. John Snetsinger said.
"He's in custody and everybody's safe," Snetsinger said.
Officers responded to the man's home at about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday after a woman called to report that her husband had fired shots at her and a locksmith she had hired to help her get back into her home after her husband locked her out, police said.
No one was hit by the gunfire, but the bullets struck a nearby vehicle, police said.
A SWAT team and a hostage negotiating team were sent to the home, located in the 3800 block of Sedgemore Drive near Rincon Ridge Park.
Overnight, negotiators attempted to communicate with the 43-year-old man, police said.
It was finally discovered late this morning that he was in the backyard of a nearby home, and he was taken into custody.
His name has not yet been released.
Fatality Reported In Highway 12 Head-On Crash East Of Rio Vista
At least one person died in a head-on crash this morning on state Highway 12 near Isleton, just east of the Solano County border, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The crash, which involved a big-rig and car, was reported at 7:48 a.m. on Highway 12 near the Mokelumne River Bridge, east of Rio Vista, according to the CHP.
The accident had the entire two-lane highway shut down.
Man Arrested For Fatal Tenderloin Shooting In July
Police have arrested a man in connection with a fatal shooting in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood this July, a police spokesman said today.
Leonard Colvin, 41, of San Francisco, was arrested Monday for the murder of 39-year-old Emmett Byron, Officer Gordon Shyy said.
Colvin is believed to have shot Byron in the 200 block of Turk Street, near Leavenworth Street, at about 11:40 p.m. on July 20, according to police.
Byron was transported to San Francisco General Hospital.
He succumbed to his injuries about a month later, on Aug. 19, police said.
Although an arrest has now been made in the slaying, police are continuing to investigate the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at (415) 553-1145 or anonymously at (415) 575-4444.
Anonymous texts can also be sent to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message.
Infant Who Died Suspicious Death Early Tuesday Identified
A 7-month-old infant who died in what police are calling a suspicious death early Tuesday morning has been identified by San Francisco medical examiner's office as Julian Martinez.
Julian was brought to San Francisco General Hospital by his mother and another family member around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Investigators have not determined the cause of the death or released any information about why it is considered suspicious.
The car used to take Julian to the hospital has been confiscated as part of the investigation, Shyy said.
Police have also searched the house the baby was at in the first block of Monterey Boulevard, and have interviewed family members.
As of this morning, no arrest had been made in connection with the death, Shyy said.
Light-Rail Vehicle Involved In Crash, No Injuries Or Delays Reported
A San Francisco Municipal Railway light-rail vehicle was involved in a minor collision this morning, a railway spokesman said.
The collision, between an outbound N-Judah light-rail vehicle and a car, was reported at 8:07 a.m. in the area of Judah Street and 24th Avenue, spokesman Paul Rose said.
Witnesses to the crash told investigators that the driver of the car, which was traveling on 24th Avenue, ran a stop sign while crossing Judah Street, causing the collision, according to Rose.
No injuries or delays were reported, Rose said.
All passengers on the light-rail vehicle were taken by bus shuttle to 19th Avenue, according to Rose.
Rose said the crash was cleared at about 9 a.m.
The incident remains under investigation.
Santa Cruz Man In Critical Condition Following Explosion Linked To Butane Hash Oil Production
A man was severely burned in an explosion that occurred during the manufacturing of hash oil at a home in Santa Cruz on Wednesday afternoon, police and fire officials said.
At 1:24 p.m. on Wednesday, fire crews responded to a report of an explosion in the 100 block of Walk Circle, near Delaware Avenue.
Witnesses told police they saw a badly burned male occupant drive away from the home, police said.
Upon arrival, firefighters found light smoke coming from the residence and the front windows blown out.
Fire crews turned off all electricity and gas to the building before making entry.
According to fire officials, there was no fire inside the building, but remnants of a large explosion were evident.
Signs of intense heat were found in the bathroom.
Damage to walls, doors and windows were also evident, fire officials said.
The building was not occupied when firefighters arrived on scene.
According to fire officials, a 29-year-old male occupant of the residence had already left the scene and was headed to Dominican Hospital with his girlfriend prior to the arrival of firefighters.
The occupant had suffered significant burns and was flown to a Bay Area trauma center for medical treatment, fire officials said.
Two dogs with burns from the explosion were removed from the property, police said.
The cause of the explosion was determined to be a result of the use of butane while manufacturing hash oil inside the bathroom of the residence, according to fire officials.
Police found a large quantity of marijuana and over a dozen butane canisters in the bathroom.
Santa Cruz police are continuing to investigate the explosion.
According to the Santa Cruz Police Department, this explosion is the second caused by butane hash oil production in Santa Cruz in the last 10 days.
Hundreds To Dance West Coast Swing 'Til Dawn At 'Boogie By The Bay' In Burlingame
Dancers from all over the world are flocking to the Bay Area this weekend for Boogie by the Bay, a West Coast swing dance convention taking place in Burlingame.
Event organizer Andy Bouman said about 1,500 dancers from as far away as France, England, Australia, Singapore, Korea and Brazil will fill the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport beginning tonight.
Top West Coast swing dancers will be performing and teaching workshops at the event, including Benji Schwimmer, who won the second season of the Fox TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2006.
The term "swing dancing" conjures images of World War II-era Lindy hop and girls in polka-dot dresses being tossed in the air by their partners.
West Coast swing is different.
It is danced in a slot, mostly to contemporary music and blues, and is smooth rather than bouncy.
Bouman said there are a number of tales as to how West Coast swing evolved, but the one he feels is most likely is that after WWII, when the big band era wrapped up, the music changed.
Clubs started hiring smaller, bluesy bands and the change carried over to the music, he said.
"I think the dance is driven by the music," Bouman said.
While West Coast swing is not as popular as a dance like salsa, those who dance it are fiercely devoted and describe the hobby as an addiction.
At a convention like Boogie by the Bay, there are workshops and competitions during the day, followed by performances and social dancing at night.
The social dancing can go until 7 a.m. or beyond.
"People will dance until they can't move, and sometimes they will stay up even later," Bouman said.
He said he thinks part of the appeal of West Coast swing is that it is a partner dance that can be danced to "a lot of what people are hearing on the radio these days."
Popular songs include Top 40 hits by Rihanna, Jason Mraz and Usher, as well as timeless classics by Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson.
People also like that they can bring creativity to the dance, Bouman said.
He invited those interested in trying West Coast swing to take some classes at the convention on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when there will be free beginners' workshops from 9 a.m. to noon taught by champions.
"These workshops are designed for anybody who is new to West Coast Swing or wanting to review the basics," he said.
The full schedule can be found online at www.boogiebythebay.org.
Oktoberun This Saturday In Redwood City
Hundreds will lace up their sneakers to either run a race or run for a beer at Redwood City's Old Courthouse Square this weekend, as the third annual Oktoberfest gets under way early Saturday morning.
Runners can participate in one of three races -- a half-marathon, a 5K or a 5Kolor Run midday, which is new this year, according to race director Rick Hunter.
The half marathon course is flat and scenic, Hunter said.
The mostly off-road course runs from downtown to the Bay Trail near Bair Island, and has runners traveling next to Steinberger Slough in Redwood Shores before it turns around.
The 5Ks take runners along city streets.
Race organizers are expecting more than 2,200 participants in the three events, and all race proceeds will benefit the Redwood City Education Foundation and the Redwood City Rotary Club's water purification project, H2OpenDoors.
Both Redwood City rotary clubs work together to put on these events, Hunter said.
Last year, the races raised about $50,000, he said.
The 5Kolor Run, is an un-timed race in which runners are blasted with paint along the route.
This race begins at 11 a.m., after the end of the other two races, which start at 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.
"It's a great race -- once you run, you can cool off and then have a beer and brats while you listen to German music," Hunter said.
Oktoberfest will continue throughout the day, with booths open until 9 p.m.
Patrons can stroll throughout the cordoned-off downtown, tasting strudels, bratwurst and pretzels while sipping on a variety of beers.
The Golden Gate Bavarian Club will perform, and The Internationals will play traditional music between noon and 6 p.m., according to organizers.
Throughout the day there will be side performances and entertainment.
An after-party begins at 9 at the Fox Theatre.
Runners have until race day to purchase a bib.
More information can be found online at www.oktoberfestandrun.com.
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