SF News

Prop 8 Trial Video To Remain Sealed For Now

A video recording of last year's trial on Proposition 8 in federal court in San Francisco will remain sealed indefinitely.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday granted the sponsors of the ban on same-sex marriage a stay of a lower court order mandating public release of the video.

In last year's trial, now-retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said that Proposition 8, an initiative approved by state voters in 2008, violated the federal Constitution.

The sponsors of Proposition 8 are now seeking to appeal that decision, and Walker's ruling has been put on hold during the appeal.   

In a side issue, the initiative's supporters and two same-sex couples who challenged Proposition 8 are disputing whether a videotape of the 13-day trial should be made public.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge James Ware, the new trial judge assigned to the case, said the video should be unsealed because "no compelling reasons exist" to counter the public interest in access to court records.

The stay granted by the 9th Circuit suspends Ware's order while the appeals court considers further whether to grant a long-term stay. The next step in the dispute is the filing of further written briefs on whether the video should be made public.

The sponsors of Proposition 8 say that unsealing the tape could lead to harassment of witnesses and could possibly deter people from testifying in future trials.

Ware said in his Sept. 19 ruling that the argument was "unsupported hypothesis or conjecture which may not be used by the court as a basis for overcoming the strong presumption in favor of access to court records."

Records of the 12 days of trial testimony and one day of closing arguments have already been made public through the release of written transcripts and a re-enactment of the trial posted on the Internet. 

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

Police Arrest 15 Year Old Boy For Cook's Murder In Mission District

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of an employee at the Hogs & Rocks restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District late last month.

Gaspar Puch-Tzek, 22, had just gotten off work and was outside the restaurant at 19th and San Carlos streets when he was shot at about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 30.

Puch-Tzek, who worked as a cook at Hogs & Rocks, and two acquaintances were standing outside the restaurant having a cigarette when two suspects approached and one shot him in the head, one of the restaurant's owners said.

He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries that afternoon.

During their monthlong investigation, police received help from community members and local merchants, and developed enough information to arrest the teen, who was being held in San Francisco's Juvenile Justice Center on unrelated charges, police said.

He will now be charged with murder, firearms violations and a gang enhancement, according to police.

Police are withholding the teen's name because he is a juvenile.

At the time of the crime, police said Puch-Tzek might have been mistaken for a rival gang member, although he had no gang ties.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

San Francisco Bay Area Thursday News Roundup

Girl Killed In East Palo Alto

A 6-year-old girl was killed in East Palo Alto Wednesday when she was struck by a car driven by a teacher on her way to work -- just a block away from where a motorcyclist died in a separate collision earlier Wednesday morning.

The girl was crossing Bay Road at Gloria Way in a crosswalk a few feet ahead of her mother and two younger sisters shortly after 8 a.m. when she was struck by an eastbound car, East Palo Alto police spokeswoman Veronica Barries said.

The girl, a student at Green Oaks Academy whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, Alisha Whiteparker, 49, of East Palo Alto, was on her way to teach at Costano Elementary School, Barries said.

She stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

It is not yet clear what caused the accident.

The tragedy came less than three hours after a motorcyclist was killed a block away, at Bay Road and University Avenue, when he was struck by a driver fleeing from police.

The chase began after police responded to a 5:25 a.m. call from a resident of the 400 block of Bell Street who believed someone was trying to break into her home.

Officers went to the neighborhood and spotted a dark-colored Land Rover and tried to pull it over, but the driver sped away, she said.

A brief chase followed, ending when the Land Rover struck the motorcyclist while traveling the wrong way on University Avenue, Barries said.

The motorcyclist, Danny Lee Dixon, 50, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police detained several people in the Land Rover for questioning, and arrested the driver, identified by Barries as 46-year-old Eric Banford, of East Palo Alto.

Shootings In Lower Pacific Heights

A man and woman were injured in a shooting in San Francisco's Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood Wednesday evening, police said.

Police responded to reports of a shooting in the 1300 block of Baker Street at 5:23 p.m., according to police Sgt. Michael Andraychak.

The victims were in a blue two-door Buick when an unidentified suspect or suspects shot the female driver and male passenger, both in their 30s.

The victims were taken to a hospital by ambulance. The woman suffered life-threatening injuries and the man suffered non life-threatening injuries, Andraychak said.

No arrests have been made and no suspect information was immediately available.

Oakland Receives $10.7 Million Grant For Police Department

A $10.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will allow Oakland's understaffed police department to hire 25 more officers, Mayor Jean Quan and other officials announced Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference in front of the federal building in downtown Oakland, Quan said the new officers will be assigned to areas around middle schools where they will focus on getting to know the neighborhoods and youth and keeping the streets safe and clear of drugs, gangs and other crime.

Oakland had more than 800 police officers two years ago but that number has shrunk to about 650. The 25 new officers will give the city a total of about 675 officers.

Oakland's grant is the largest that was issued this year by the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) program.

COPS Director Bernard Melekian, who joined Quan, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and others at the news conference, said, "Cities across the country are dealing with numerous challenges and we are pleased to be able to assist their public safety efforts."

However, the money the agency is contributing this year is 75 percent less than it offered two years ago.

In 2009, when Oakland received about $20 million to fund 41 officers, the agency issued $1 billion in grants but this year it only issued $243 million in grants.

San Jose Unions Submit Pension Reform Plan To Save $467 Million

In what they're calling a "fair compromise," five San Jose unions Wednesday submitted a pension reform plan to San Jose elected officials that they say would provide the city with $467 million in reduced pension costs over the next five years.

The unions representing San Jose police officers, firefighters, architects and engineers, middle managers, and maintenance supervisors, submitted proposals that significantly reduce the cost of pension benefits, increase the retirement age, and decrease the rate at which pension benefits are earned.

Additional provisions from the police and firefighters unions include providing an option for current and new police and fire employees to move to the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, pension plan.

Moreover, Beattie said the police union would drop its arbitration over whether members' 10 percent pay cut continues on an ongoing basis, a move that he said would save the city an additional $30 million in the next fiscal year.

He said the proposals submitted Wednesday are a better alternative to the mayor's plan, which calls for setting limits on retirement benefits for new and current employees and retirees -- a plan that Beattie said is "illegal" because it attempts to nullify employee contracts.

Also at the news conference, Robert Sapien, president of San Jose Firefighters Local 230, remarked that in addition to the $467 million in savings, the plan would save the city hundreds of millions of dollars over the long term.

He said the plan meets the city's goals, is legal, and provides immediate savings.

I.C.E Agents Arrest More Than 2,900 Convicted Criminal Aliens

As part of a seven-day national enforcement operation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested more than 2,900 convicted criminal aliens, including 186 in the Bay Area and Northern California, the agency announced Wednesday.

The nationwide "Cross Check" operation, the largest of its kind, involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents from the agency's 24 Enforcement and Removal Operations, or ERO, field offices.

Arrests were made in all Bay Area counties except for San Francisco, which has a sanctuary city law and whose sheriff announced in June that he would not fulfill requests by ICE to detain undocumented immigrants suspected of low-level misdemeanors because the requests are not legally binding warrants.

Of those arrested in Northern California, 126 had prior convictions for serious felonies, including aggravated assault, child abuse and drug trafficking, according to ICE.

The majority of the Northern California arrests occurred in Santa Clara County, where 35 convicted criminal aliens were arrested. Agents arrested 23 aliens in Alameda County.

Zelica Rodriguez, a policy advocacy program director for the group Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network, or SIREN, said that ICE has not been transparent with communities or officials and that the group remained suspicious of ICE's claims that those arrested threatened public safety.

Suspect Arrested For Homicide In San Leandro

A suspect who was wanted for a homicide in San Leandro was arrested near Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland around 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to Oakland police spokeswoman Holly Joshi.

Joshi said a perimeter that was set up by police caused authorities to briefly impose a lockdown at Bishop O'Dowd, which is located at 9500 Stearns Ave., as well as at the nearby Barack Obama Academy at 9736 Lawlor St.

Oakland Motorcycle Club Member Remembered 

A member of an Oakland motorcycle club who was fatally shot at the group's clubhouse Tuesday night was remembered by an associate Wednesday as well-liked and respected by those who knew him.

Hassan Sayyid, 40, "was the nicest person and kept you laughing," said an East Bay Dragons Motorcycle Club member who identified himself as "Big E.B."

Police said Sayyid was shot in the garage-lounge area of the club's building at 8731 International Blvd. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sayyid had been sitting in the garage with other people when a gunman walked in and shot him multiple times, Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said. The shooter then ran away and has not been found.

Big E.B. said he had been watching TV with Sayyid at the club shortly before the shooting occurred. He left the club but then got a phone call a few minutes later from an associate saying that Sayyid had been shot.

He said called the shooting "mind boggling" and said he doesn't know why anyone would kill Sayyid.

Big E.B. said Sayyid "was well-liked and respected from coast to coast" at other motorcycle clubs he visited when he traveled around the country.

Fatal Crash On U.S. Highway 101

The California Highway Patrol released details Wednesday afternoon about a fatal crash on U.S. Highway 101 north of Novato that killed one woman and injured a female passenger.

The driver of a 2005 Chevrolet Aveo was heading south on U.S. Highway 101 north of the Marin County Airport at Gnoss Field around 1:15 p.m., CHP Officer Chris Rardin said.

She allowed the car to drift from the No. 1 lane into the center divide, Rardin said. She lost control of the car when she then turned right to try to re-enter the roadway and crossed both lanes of traffic, Rardin said.

The Chevrolet rotated clockwise and collided with a tree on the west side of the road, Rardin said. The driver died at the scene. Her name is being withheld until her next of kin are notified.

The 29-year-old female passenger suffered major injuries and was taken to Marin County General Hospital, Rardin said.

Man Found Dead At Mall In Daly City

A man was found dead of a gunshot wound in the parking lot of the Serramonte Center mall in Daly City Wednesday morning, a police spokesman said.

Police responded to reports of a person lying on the ground next to a vehicle in the west side of the parking lot at about 9:50 a.m., police Sgt. Mike Barton said.

They found a man dead of a gunshot wound near a white compact car, with a firearm lying near his feet, Barton said.

Police are investigating the death, including the possibility that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted, he said.

Serramonte Center general manager Jennifer Duarte said the mall was open for business Wednesday afternoon.

Missing Woman With Alzheimer's Disease

San Francisco police are asking for the public's help in finding a missing woman who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.

Feng Ai Peng, 70, was last seen at about 3:30 p.m. Monday leaving her home in the 600 block of Jackson Street to take a walk, police said.

She is Chinese, 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 80 pounds.

She was wearing a white hat, a red vest, blue jeans and white leather slip-on shoes.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Police Department at (415) 553-0123.

Bay Area Weather Update

Mostly cloudy skies are expected today in the Bay Area before becoming partly cloudy, with highs in the 60s to lower 70s.

Partly cloudy skies are anticipated this evening before becoming mostly cloudy with patchy fog after midnight. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.

Friday is expected to be cloudy with patchy fog before becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are expected.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday News Roundup

Lower Haight Four-Alarm Fire Displaces A Dozen Residents

A four-alarm fire in San Francisco's Lower Haight neighborhood Tuesday evening displaced more than a dozen residents.

The blaze was reported at 4:08 p.m. at a three-story building on the corner of Haight and Fillmore streets and was under control by 5:15 p.m.

No injuries were reported, a fire dispatcher said.   

The first floor of the building is occupied by a Walgreen store while the top two floors contain 25 residential units.

The blaze started in a unit on the third floor and quickly spread to the attic and across the top of the building, Talmadge said.

The fire did not spread to the second floor, however that floor did sustain water damage, she said. The corner of the building appeared to sustain the most damage and windows were broken on a number of units on the top floor.

American Red Cross personnel were on the scene to assist the 14 residents who were displaced by the blaze.

Fire officials said the cause of the fire is not yet known, however investigators are responding to reports that early responders heard popping sounds. It was too soon to tell if the cause of the fire is considered suspicious, Talmadge said.

Memorial Held For Michelle Le On Tuesday

Slain nursing student Michelle Le was remembered Tuesday night as an ambitious and organized, yet joyful and thoughtful young woman who wanted to dedicate her life to taking care of others.

At a vigil attended by about 150 people at Samuel Merritt University, where she was in an intensive one-year nursing program, Le's cousin, Krystine Dinh, said Le "was my best friend and my role model."

Dinh said Le, 26, who disappeared from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hayward on May 27 and whose body was found on Sept. 17, "was preparing for a selfless life as a nurse, like her mother."

But Dinh said that although Le was ambitious, she also had a playful side and enjoyed life to the fullest.

Laurie Rosa, an assistant professor at Samuel Merritt recalled that Le struggled to balance her studies in the intensive nursing program with her work as an accountant.

Samuel Merritt President Sharon Diaz had that difficulty in mind when she announced that the university will endow a $25,000 annual scholarship in Le's name to help students pay their bills while they participate in the nursing program.

Giselle Esteban, a 27-year-old Union City woman who went to high school with Le in San Diego, was arrested on Sept. 7 and charged with murdering Le, even though Le's body hadn't yet been found.

Le's body was found in an unincorporated area of Alameda County between Pleasanton and Sunol on Sept. 17 and was identified on Sept. 19.    

Esteban is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward this morning to finalize her legal representation and possibly enter a plea.

Dinh, who is 23, expressed sorrow that Le won't be around to share important milestones in her life as she grows older.

In a possible reference to Esteban, Dinh said the lesson she learned from Le is, "You have to move forward with grace and you have to forgive. You can't fight ugliness with ugliness."

Police Are Investigating A Reported Saint Mary's College Campus Rape

Police are investigating a rape that reportedly took place on Sunday on the Saint Mary's college campus -- the second report of a sexual assault at the school in just over two weeks.

Police arrived on campus around 6 p.m. Sunday after school security alerted them of the report, in which a female student alleged that two male acquaintances raped her in an on-campus dorm room, Moraga police Chief Robert Priebe said.

The reported rape comes on the heels of a sexual assault reported Sept. 13 on the Moraga campus that led to an 18-year-old student's arrest.

Priebe said police are now awaiting lab test results in the investigation of that sexual assault.

"It's very disappointing to have two rapes reported in two weeks, this early in the school year," Priebe said, adding that he plans to meet with college officials to address the issue.

Saint Mary's spokeswoman J. Elizabeth Smith stressed the college's resolve to doing just that.

She said the school's Women's Resource Center is set to host a rally this week to raise awareness about sexual assault, while resident advisors will speak to dorm residents about the issue this week.

Berkeley College Republicans Hold Bakesale Aimed At Satirizing Race-Based Admissions

A bake sale by Berkeley College Republicans Tuesday that was aimed at satirizing race-based admissions generated heated debates and counter-protests but no major problems.

Andy Nevis, the executive director of the student Republican group at the University of California at Berkeley, said the "Increase Diversity Bake Sale," in which the recommended prices were based on race and gender, highlights their opposition to state Senate Bill 185.

The bill, which was approved by the state Legislature and now sits on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk, would allow the university to consider race, gender, ethnicity and other factors in graduate and undergraduate admissions.    

But Yvette Felarca of By Any Means Necessary said the activist group held a counter-demonstration near the Berkeley College Republicans' table on Sproul Plaza in the heart of the campus "because we wanted to represent the proud voice of students who are unequivocally for affirmative action and equal opportunity and integrating the University of California system."

The bake sale by Berkeley College Republicans called for goods to be sold at varying prices depending on students' race and gender.   

Nevis said, "There were a few heated discussions" between the Republican group and those who objected to the bake sale but there weren't any problems.

About 150 people who belong to the Black Student Union and other organizations that support affirmative action, most of whom were dressed in black, protested the bake sale by silently lying on their backs in the middle of Sproul Plaza for about an hour starting at noon.

Sausalito Police Completed Investigation On Councilwoman Carolyn Ford's Claim Of Assault

Sausalito police have completed their investigation into Councilwoman Carolyn Ford's claim that Councilman and Vice-Mayor Michael Kelly assaulted her at a Sept. 13 City Council meeting.    

The report on the investigation was forwarded Tuesday to the Marin County District Attorney's Office which will decide if charges will be filed against Kelly, Sausalito Police Chief Jennifer Tejada said Tuesday afternoon.    

Tejada said police did not make a recommendation whether charges should be filed.

Tejada said the allegation appears to be a misdemeanor battery.   

Ford said she was asking the city's Public Works Director Jonathon Goldman a question at the meeting but Kelly and Mayor Herb Weiner started talking and she couldn't hear Goldman's response.    

"I held up my hand and said 'shush' while still focusing on the PW Director," she said in a written statement.

"I put my hand back down and Mike Kelly hit it hard. I was shocked," Ford said.

"He said, 'Don't shush me for Christ's sake.' I said, 'Don't hit me.' He said, 'Don't put your hand on my side of the table.' I told him he had sunk to a new low," Ford said.

Ford said she reluctantly decided to file a charge against Kelly and there has been verbal abuse on the Council for more than a year.

Kelly did not respond to an email and a phone call for comment Tuesday afternoon.

40% Of San Francisco's Inmates Sent To State Prison Will Return To County Jail, Probation Programs

Some 40 percent of San Francisco's inmates who were sent to state prison will soon return to the county's jail and probation programs when recent California legislation goes into effect on Saturday.

District Attorney George Gascon and Supervisors Scott Wiener and Malia Cohen held a press conference Tuesday with law enforcement officials to announce a piece of local legislation addressing the realignment.    

The legislation, the Sentencing Commission and Recidivism Reduction Ordinance, was introduced at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday afternoon and, if passed, would create a disciplined committee to ensure the city's criminal justice decisions are appropriate in light of changing conditions.

Under the new state legislation addressing overcrowding in state prisons, AB 109, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on April 4 and goes into effect on Oct. 1, state inmates convicted of nonviolent, non-serious offenses -- as well as adult parolees and juvenile offenders -- would return to local jurisdictions.

California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates that realignment will return about 700 offenders back to San Francisco.

The commission, which would formalize meetings already occurring among existing members of the criminal justice system, aims to result in net savings for the city by encouraging sentencing strategies that reduce recidivism and prioritize public safety.

San Pablo City Councilman Arturo Cruz Suffers Heart Attack And Stroke

San Pablo City Councilman Arturo Cruz suffered a heart attack and stroke on Friday, and is now recovering at a San Francisco hospital, city officials announced Tuesday.

Cruz, 37, is listed in stable condition after undergoing heart surgery, city officials said.

"We are devastated by the news," San Pablo Mayor Paul Morris said in a statement. "He is a very young and capable individual, and to be going through this at this stage in his life is just shocking to us all."

"On behalf of the San Pablo City Council and the city organization, we stand by Arturo, and support him entirely in his fight to regain his full capabilities," Morris said.

Cruz has served on the City Council for nearly three years.

Eugene Albert Protsman Arraigned On Murder Charges

Eugene Albert Protsman was arraigned Tuesday on charges that he murdered two people in their homes in Alameda 15 years ago, police said.    

Alameda police said DNA evidence helped them connect Protsman, a 56-year-old native of Colorado Springs, Colo., to the deaths of 59-year-old Manual Garcia in the 100 block of Crolls Garden Court on Oct. 29, 1996, and 54-year-old Diane Ely in the 2200 block of San Jose Avenue 12 days later, on Nov. 10, 1996.

Police said there is no evidence that Garcia and Ely knew each other and at the time of their murders there was no indication that the two cases were related.

Alameda police said in the fall of 2010 they received information that linked Protsman to both homicides and Sgt. Kevin McNiff reopened both investigations.

McNiff reviewed the original investigation, obtained updated statements and re-examined all of the physical evidence, police said.

Recent technological advances in the science of DNA evidence ultimately helped him solve the case, they said.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office has charged Protsman with two counts of first-degree murder along with four special circumstance allegations that could lead to the death penalty if he's convicted.    

Alameda police and District Attorney officials were unavailable for comment on Protsman's criminal history.

San Francisco Asian Art Museum's Business Model Restructured

The San Francisco Asian Art Museum, despite its role as a steward of the past, is no stranger to transformation and Tuesday announced a plan to rebrand itself.

Once a wing of the de Young Museum, the museum moved in 2003 to the former city library building opposite Civic Center Plaza, a Beaux-Arts building that inside and out is a testament to Western architectural styles.

Tuesday morning marked the start of new era for the museum, which a year ago was nearly forced to close its doors before successfully restructuring $120 million in debt.

In a cavernous hall whose entrances are flanked by Ionic columns more than 30 feet tall, city and museum officials gathered for Tuesday morning's unveiling of the museum's rebranding, which the museum's director Jay Xu said is meant to "transform how we do business and how we serve our customers."

Mayor Ed Lee, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and Xu took scissors to the cords holding up a red curtain, revealing the museum's new logo: an upside-down "A," a mathematical symbol meaning "for all," "for any," or "for each."

The symbol, Xu said, reflects the museum's new perspective, its boldness and confidence, and how it invites all people to engage with its more than 17,000 works of Asian art chronicling 6,000 years of history.

Xu said that to make itself more relevant and engage a broader audience, the museum aims to "awaken and inspire" its visitors by shifting its focus from curating art objects to curating art experiences, from a role of preservation to one of provocation.

Spare The Air Alert Issued For Today

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a "Spare the Air" alert for today, warning of unhealthy pollution levels and asking residents to take public transit.

Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district, said high temperatures and light winds are hurting air quality in the Bay Area this week.

District officials explained that car exhaust, industrial emissions and household chemicals contain volatile organic compounds that can combine with oxygen in the heat and create ground-level ozone.

Today is the region's eighth Spare the Air alert of the year, according to the district.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

Sunny skies are expected today in the Bay Area, with highs in the 60s to lower 70s.

Mostly clear skies are anticipated this evening before becoming mostly cloudy. Lows are expected to be in the upper 50s.    

Thursday is expected to be mostly cloudy before becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the 60s to lower 70s are expected.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

22,000 Customers Lose Power In Daly City, San Francisco

PG&E is investigating a power outage that affected more than 22,000 customers in San Francisco, South San Francisco and Daly City this morning, a utility spokeswoman said.

The outage began at around 11 a.m. and disrupted power to homes and businesses in northern San Mateo County and southern San Francisco, including the Lake Merced neighborhood and the San Francisco State University campus, PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Ehlers said.

Power was restored at about 11:40 a.m., Ehlers said.

PG&E workers were still trying to determine the cause of the outage.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

Beaten Giants Fan Bryan Stow Taken Out Into The Sun As Recovery Continues

For the first time since he was attacked after a baseball game in Los Angeles in March, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow on Friday felt the sun's warmth on his face, and called the experience "magical," his family said.

Stow suffered brain damage in the attack outside Dodger Stadium on March 31, and after months of setbacks in his recovery, he showed signs of progress last week when he began regularly communicating through facial expressions and bits of conservation.

Stow has been speaking a few words at a time with family members and his physical therapists since Wednesday, although he has yet to progress to full conversations, his family said on a website they created to chronicle his progress.

"On Friday Bryan said something that perfectly fit the moment, and really describes these past few days," his family wrote. "Bonnie asked Bryan how it felt to be outside. Bryan, sitting in the sun, with his eyes closed said, 'It's magical.'"

His family said Monday that Stow "is more responsive and getting stronger," and will begin having sessions with his physical and occupational therapists five days a week.

In August, Stow, a 42-year-old Santa Cruz man who worked as a paramedic in the South Bay before the attack, battled infections related to surgery to replace a missing part of his skull with a bone flap.

Swelling in Stow's brain had prompted Los Angeles doctors to remove a portion of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain. Doctors at San Francisco General Hospital said the procedure saved Stow's life, but that replacing the missing skull fragment has proved challenging.

Doctors have had to attempt that surgery several times in recent months because of complications. Doctors performed the most recent surgery to insert the bone flap on Aug. 10, and the infections had prevented doctors from performing additional necessary procedures, according to his family.

Two weeks ago, Stow's condition had improved enough to allow doctors to insert a shunt to divert fluid from his brain. Stow has since made facial expressions -- often blinking on command to answer questions -- and began talking on Wednesday, his family said.

Dr. Geoff Manley, chief of neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital, said Thursday that doctors are "encouraged" by Stow's progressive neurological improvement but that he remains in serious condition.

Stow was attacked as he left Dodger Stadium on March 31 by two suspects who first taunted him and then hit him from behind.

Two men have been charged with Stow's beating -- Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marivin Norwood, 30 -- and pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court last month to mayhem and assault charges. Sanchez and Norwood are scheduled to appear in court Sept. 30 for a preliminary hearing.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area

Partly cloudy skies in the morning are expected to become sunny in the Bay Area today, with highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s.

Mostly clear skies are anticipated this evening. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.

Wednesday is expected to be sunny throughout the day. Highs in the 60s to lower 70s are expected.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

Fight Spills Into Streets During House Party

A house party in San Francisco's Bayview District turned ugly when a fight broke out, sending two to the hospital Saturday morning, police said.

The party was broken up when the suspect, an unwanted guest, came to the home in the 1600 block of Palou Avenue and a fight began, eventually spilling into the street, San Francisco police spokesman Carlos Manfredi said.

The suspect, a Hispanic male in his 30s, was seen driving a burgundy 1993 Geo Metro and has not been arrested, Manfredi said.

Two Hispanic males, ages 25 and 29, were taken to San Francisco General Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone with information about the fight is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

Two Stabbed During Fight In Richmond District

Two men were taken to the hospital with stab wounds following a fight in San Francisco's Richmond District Sunday afternoon, police said.

A 27-year-old man and a 24-year-old man were taken to San Francisco General Hospital with stab wounds following a fight that broke out at 18th Avenue and Geary Street at 5:58 p.m., San Francisco police spokesman Carlos Manfredi said.

The victims were engaged in a physical fight with a 20-year-old man when he pulled a knife and stabbed both, Manfredi said.

No arrests have been made and the victims are in stable condition, Manfredi said.

Anyone with information about the stabbing is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday News Roundup

President Obama Departed From Moffett Field After Yesterday's LinkedIn Town Hall

President Obama has left the Bay Area after appearing at a town hall meeting in Mountain View Monday morning hosted by LinkedIn.    

Obama departed from Moffett Field aboard Air Force One at 12:23 p.m., and is now headed to Southern California for fundraising appearances later Monday. The president will be speaking at three campaign events -- one in San Diego and two in Los Angeles.

Monday's town hall meeting, "Putting America Back to Work: LinkedIn Presents a Town Hall with President Obama," was held at the Computer History Museum. It began late Monday morning and wrapped up a few minutes before noon.

The president's motorcade then whisked him to Moffett Field, arriving at 12:12 p.m.

Before boarding the plane, Obama stopped to greet the family of a retiring Air Force One crewmember and pose for a photo. He shook the hands of the crewmember, his wife and three children.

Afterward, the wife, who declined to give her full name but said her husband is based out of Fresno, said she was nervous to meet the president.

"He's a very nice man," she said. "Very proud of him as our president, and I told him that."

Obama flew into Moffett Field on Air Force One Sunday evening and attended two fundraisers later that night at the Woodside home of John Thompson, chairman of Symantec, and the Atherton home of Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook.

Hospital Officials And Union Leaders Trade Blame For Alta Bates Patient's Death

Hospital officials and union leaders traded blame Monday for the death of a patient at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland early Saturday due to a medical error by a replacement nurse.

Oakland police, who haven't yet released the patient's name, said they went to the hospital at 4:05 a.m. Saturday to investigate a reported patient death.

They said a preliminary investigation revealed the victim had been given a lethal dosage of non-prescribed medication, police said.

The patient who died had been receiving treatment at the hospital since July, police said.

Martha Kuhl, a registered nurse at Children's Hospital Oakland who is on the board of directors for the California Nurses Association, said Monday that that Alta Bates Summit administrators had barred regularly-employed nurses from returning to work Friday after a one-day strike by 23,000 nurses at Sutter, Kaiser Permanente and Children's hospitals on Thursday.

Children's Hospital also locked out nurses who tried to return to work on Friday but Kaiser allowed 17,000 regular nurses to come back to their jobs on Friday she said.

The lockouts at Alta Bates Summit and Children's Hospital are expected to end this morning, Kuhl said.

Kuhl said the union is calling on the California Department of Public Health to carefully examine conditions in Sutter hospitals that have locked out RNs.

C. Duane Dauner, the president and chief executive of the California Hospital Association, which represents hospital operators and health care systems, said, "It is inappropriate and irresponsible for the California Nurses Association to exploit this tragedy to further their union agenda."

Dauner said, "This is the same union that has taken nurses away from patient bedsides more than 100 times during the past three years."    

He said, "When the nurses union calls a strike, hospitals cannot simply send their patients home and close the doors" because patients need care around the clock every day.

Dauner said, "The only option is for hospitals to hire temporary replacement nurses."

He asked, "If the union believes the use of licensed replacement nurses is a threat to public safety, why have they chosen to pursue a pattern of waging strikes on a routine basis?"

Two Found Fatally Stabbed In Burning Oakland Home

A man who was one of two people found fatally stabbed in a burning home in Oakland two weeks ago was a 73-year-old heroin addict and convicted murderer who was released from state prison in January after serving about 30 years, authorities said Monday.

The bodies of John Gilbert Navaerette of Oakland and 56-year-old Renee Washington were found when firefighters responded to a fire at a two-story building in the 3100 block of Coolidge Avenue at about 1 a.m. on Sept. 11, police said.

Navaerette and Washington were found inside a residential unit on the second floor.

An autopsy later revealed that Navaerette and Washington suffered multiple stab wounds, and authorities believe the fire was started to cover up the crime.

Their bodies were so disfigured that authorities initially were unable to identify them. Washington was identified on Sept. 16 and Navaerette wasn't identified until Monday.

Six people were displaced by the one-alarm fire, which was extinguished within about 15 minutes, Oakland fire Battalion Chief Darin White said.

A witness reported seeing several suspects running away from the building after the fire started, White said.

Although Naverette was a convicted murderer, Oakland police said they don't know the motive for his death and the death of Washington and doubt that revenge for his crime many years ago was a factor.

Vigil Held For Michelle Le At Samuel Merritt University In Oakland

A vigil will be held for slain nursing student Michelle Le at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland tonight.

The vigil will mark the four-month anniversary of her disappearance from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hayward, Samuel Merritt spokeswoman Elizabeth Valente said.

Le, 26, who graduated from San Francisco State University, was in an accelerated one-year nursing program at Samuel Merritt and was scheduled to graduate in December, Valente said. Le had waited five years to get into the program, she said.

Valente said she expects the vigil to be well-attended because it will be a chance for Le's family members and friends as well as the general public, classmates and faculty at Samuel Merritt "to say goodbye to her."

A private memorial will be held for Le at a later date, her cousin, Krystine Dinh, said Monday.

In a statement announcing today's event, Dinh said, "On behalf of our family, this vigil is our chance to thank her loved ones, the community and other key people for their help in bringing her home."

Dinh said Le "was a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a grandchild, and she will be deeply missed."

Giselle Esteban, a 27-year-old Union City woman who went to high school with Le in San Diego, was arrested on Sept. 7 and charged with murdering Le, even though Le's body hadn't yet been found.

Authorities said footage from security cameras at the Kaiser Permanente parking structure showed that Esteban was present around the time of Le's disappearance, and that evidence found inside Le's car indicated that Esteban had been in the vehicle.

In addition, DNA evidence and cellphone records tied Esteban to Le's death, authorities said.

Le's body was found in an unincorporated area between Pleasanton and Sunol on Sept. 17 and was identified on Sept. 19.

Esteban is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Wednesday to finalize her legal representation and possibly enter a plea.    

The vigil will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the outdoor green space area at the Samuel Merritt campus at 450 30th St. in Oakland.

Police Still Searching For Suspect Who Led CHP Officers On High-Speed Chase

Police are still searching for a suspect who led CHP officers on a high-speed chase along Interstate Highway 880 Monday morning, leading to a two-hour closure of a stretch of the roadway.

The chase began at around 3:30 a.m. when a CHP officer initiated an enforcement stop on a van matching a stolen vehicle description issued an hour earlier by the Hayward Police Department.

Rather than stopping, the driver of the stolen van sped away along northbound Highway 880 in Hayward, racing at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour, CHP Officer R. Crawford said.

At around 3:50 a.m., CHP officers closed both sides of Highway 880 near 66th Avenue as the pursuit went on.

The suspect then exited the highway, crashed through a fence and tried to re-enter I-880 before exiting the van and leaving it to roll toward the highway's center median, Crawford said.

Despite a nearly two-hour search of the area, officers were unable to locate the driver of the van and do not have a suspect description.

Officers called off the search and reopened the roadway just before 6 a.m. Monday. Crawford said morning commute traffic was backed up due to the road closures, but returned to normal at around 7:30 a.m. 

Crawford urged anyone who might have information about the stolen vehicle to contact the Hayward Area Office at (510) 489-1500.

Contra Costa County Train Boxcar Caught Fire

A train traveling through Contra Costa County Monday left a billowing plume of smoke in its wake after one of its boxcars caught fire.    

Contra Costa Fire Protection District dispatchers said they received reports of the fire at around noon Monday, when the train stopped near the intersection of Old Orchard and Howe roads in Martinez.

Firefighters arrived at the scene a short time later, and put out the blaze by about 1 p.m., a dispatcher said.

The train car was full of wood chips, the dispatcher said.    

No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported.

San Mateo Police Forced To Shoot Dogs

Police in San Mateo were forced to shoot two dogs that were threatening people in a park Monday afternoon.    

At about 4:20 p.m., officers responded to reports of two boxer-type dogs that were threatening a smaller dog and a child in Laurie Meadows Park.

Arriving officers said a group of adults had positioned themselves between the loose dogs and children playing soccer in another section of the park.

Some officers cleared people out of the park while others cornered the dogs, which continued to act out of control, police said.

A recorded phone alert was sent out to residents near the park advising them of loose vicious animals in the area.

Before animal control workers arrived, an officer tried to subdue one of the dogs with a Taser, police said.

The animal was not subdued and police shot both dogs, killing one and wounding the other, police said.

No people were injured in the incident.

Police are working with the Peninsula Humane Society to contact the dogs' owners regarding accountability for the incident.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

Partly cloudy skies in the morning are expected to become sunny in the Bay Area today, with highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s.    

Mostly clear skies are anticipated this evening. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.

Wednesday is expected to be sunny throughout the day. Highs in the 60s to lower 70s are expected.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

Moffett Field: Update: President Obama Leaves Bay Area

President Obama has left the Bay Area after appearing at a town hall meeting in Mountain View this morning hosted by LinkedIn.

Obama departed from Moffett Field aboard Air Force One at 12:23 p.m., and is now headed to Southern California for fundraising appearances later today. The president will be speaking at three campaign events -- one in San Diego and two in Los Angeles.

Today's town hall meeting, "Putting America Back to Work: LinkedIn Presents a Town Hall with President Obama," was held at the Computer History Museum. It began late this morning and wrapped up a few minutes before noon.

The president's motorcade then whisked him to Moffett Field, arriving at 12:12 p.m.

Before boarding the plane, Obama stopped to greet the family of a retiring Air Force One crewmember and pose for a photo. He shook the hands of the crewmember, his wife and three children.

Afterward, the wife, who declined to give her full name but said her husband is based out of Fresno, said she was nervous to meet the president.

"He's a very nice man," she said. "Very proud of him as our president, and I told him that."

Obama flew into Moffett Field on Air Force One Sunday evening and attended two fundraisers later that night at the Woodside home of John Thompson, chairman of Symantec, and the Atherton home of Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

President Obama Leaves Bay Area

President Obama has left the Bay Area after appearing at a town hall meeting in Mountain View this morning hosted by LinkedIn.

Obama departed from Moffett Field aboard Air Force One at 12:23 p.m., and is now heading to Southern California for fundraising appearances later today. The president will be speaking at three campaign events -- one in San Diego and two in Los Angeles.

Today's town hall meeting, "Putting America Back to Work: LinkedIn Presents a Town Hall with President Obama," was held at the Computer History Museum. It began late this morning and wrapped up a few minutes before noon.

Obama flew into Moffett Field on Air Force One Sunday evening and attended two fundraisers later that night at the Woodside home of John Thompson, chairman of Symantec, and the Atherton home of Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

San Francisco Bay Area Monday News Roundup

Detained UC Berkeley Hikers Released

Two University of California at Berkeley graduates who were detained in Iran on espionage charges for more than two years returned to the United States Sunday, after spending three days in Oman following their release from Iran.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 29, released written statements from Oman Saturday before boarding a plane bound for New York with their families.

"We are eager to go home at last," Fattal said, who was joined on his flight home by his mother and father, Laura and Jacob Fattal, and his brother, Alex Fattal.

Bauer's family boarded the plane with him as well, including his mother and father, Cindy Hickey and Al Bauer, and his fiancie, Sarah Shourd, 33, who was arrested with Bauer and Fattal but released last year.    

"Getting off the plane that brought us [to Oman] three days ago was the most incredible experience of our lives. We will never forget the excitement of seeing our loved ones waiting for us at the foot of the plane," Bauer said.

Bauer, Fattal and Shourd were arrested on July 31, 2009, after embarking on a hike in Iraq's Kurdistan region near the Iranian border.    

Iran accused all three of them of espionage and last month Bauer and Fattal were sentenced to eight years in prison.

But the hikers and their families said they aren't spies but instead were detained after they accidentally crossed an unmarked border into Iran.

Iran released Shourd last September because she was in poor health. Shourd announced in May that she would not return to Iran for a trial because she is suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.    

Shourd and family members of Bauer and Fattal greeted the two men in Muscat, Oman, when they arrived there after being released and flown out of Iran.

President Obama Arrived At SFO For LinkedIn Town Hall

President Barack Obama arrived at Moffett Field Sunday afternoon for a series of fundraising events and to attend a town hall meeting at Mountain View-based LinkedIn.

Air Force One landed at 5:53 p.m. and was greeted by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Mountain View Mayor Jac Siegel and NASA Ames center director S.P. Worden, as well as around 70 other VIPs.

The plane arrived around 28 minutes late because a previous fundraiser the president attended in Washington, D.C. ran late.    

Obama deplaned at 5:42 p.m., spent a few minutes shaking hands and signing autographs, and then left in a motorcade of about 20 vehicles.

He was scheduled to attend two fundraisers Sunday night, one at the Woodside home of Symantec Chairman of the Board John Thompson and one at the Atherton home of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Today's event, "Putting America Back to Work: LinkedIn Presents a Town Hall with President Obama" will be a forum for a live audience of LinkedIn members and employees -- plus online members nationwide -- to ask the president about job creation and the economy, according to the White House press secretary's office.

To prep for Obama's visit, LinkedIn has created an online community centering on job creation and economic issues.

Members of the online professional network are invited to take part in the discussion via this group, where they can share questions and comments for the president.

To watch today's live town hall meeting, officials encourage the public to log onto LinkedIn.com or WhiteHouse.gov/live.

President Of San Jose Chapter Of Hells Angels Killed In Gang Shooting

The 51-year-old president of the San Jose Chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang was killed in a gang shooting at a Nevada casino on Friday night, police said.

Officers responded to reports of a multiple shots fired in John Ascuaga's Nugget casino in the city of Sparks at about 11:25 p.m., according to the Sparks Police Department.

Preliminary information from the investigation indicated the shooting erupted between members of the Hells Angels gang and a rival motorcycle gang known as the Vagos Motorcycle Club, according to police.

Jeffrey Pettigrew died from wounds sustained in the shooting, police said.

Vagos member Leonard Ramirez, 45, was shot in the abdomen and was reported to be recovering at a hospital in stable condition, police said.    

A second Vagos member, Diego Garcia, 28, was also reported to be in stable condition after being shot in the leg.

One person has been arrested in the wake of the shootout, police said. Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, 36, was allegedly seen on video surveillance shooting into a crowd during the confrontation.

It has not been confirmed if the shots he fired were responsible for wounding any of the three victims, police said.

Villagrana was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm.

Police believe the incident was witnessed by bystanders who might have videotaped or photographed the shooting.

Santa Clara Police Searching For Hit-And-Run Driver

Police in Santa Clara are searching for a hit-and-run driver who fatally struck a man in a wheelchair and dragged him 300 feet Sunday morning.    

Officers responded to a report of a man down at the intersection of E. Homestead Road and Pomeroy Avenue at about 1 a.m., according to Santa Clara police.

Arriving officers found a 67-year-old Santa Clara man unconscious and critically injured in the roadway.

Paramedics were not able to revive the victim, and he was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Investigators believe the victim was in a wheelchair crossing E. Homestead Road near Quince Avenue when he was struck by a vehicle traveling west, police said.

The vehicle dragged the man approximately 300 feet to where he was found.

The driver has made no attempt to contact the authorities.   

Police are trying to compile a description of the suspect vehicle, which likely has significant damage to its front end and possibly to its windshield.

Police Investigating Oakland Hospital Death

Police are investigating the death of a patient at an Oakland hospital who appears to have been given a lethal dose of medication by a replacement nurse.

Officers went to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center at 4:05 a.m. Saturday to investigate a reported patient death, according to the Oakland Police Department.

A preliminary investigation revealed the victim had been given a lethal dosage of non-prescribed medication, police said.

The California Nurses Association Sunday issued a statement stating that Summit Hospital administrators had barred regularly employed nurses from returning to work Friday after a one-day strike by 23,000 nurses at Sutter, Kaiser Permanente and Children's hospitals on Thursday.

"We are calling on the Department of Public Health to carefully examine conditions in Sutter hospitals that have locked out RNs," CNA legislative director Bonnie Castillo said in a statement.    

The patient who died had been receiving treatment at the hospital since July, police said.

The name of the victim was being withheld pending an ongoing investigation by the police department's major crimes division and the Alameda County coroner's bureau.

Daly City Woman Killed In Collision On 101

A Daly City woman was killed in a collision on southbound U.S. Highway 101 Sunday morning in Menlo Park, and the California Highway Patrol is searching for a pickup truck that fled the scene.

The crash occurred around 5:30 a.m., when a red Honda Civic was rear-ended by a 1960s or 1970s model pickup truck, according to CHP Public Information Officer Art Montiel.

The Honda and was struck a second time by a taxicab. The Honda sustained severe damage and the driver was killed. The San Mateo County coroner's office has identified the driver as Jacqueline Thompson, 37, of Daly City.

The pickup truck fled the scene. It was described as an older model Ford, tan or rust in color, with significant front-end damage.

The crash blocked southbound 101 for nearly three hours.

Santa Cruz County Apartment Fire

Firefighters from multiple agencies extinguished a fire at an apartment in Santa Cruz County Friday, according to the Santa Cruz County Central Fire Protection District.

The fire district received calls of a fire at 2500 Soquel Drive at 10:44 p.m. and district personnel arrived to find smoke coming from the sliding glass door of apartment 11 in building 100 of the complex.

Initially, firefighters believed the fire had spread to a neighboring apartment, and called for assistance from nearby fire departments in Santa Cruz and Aptos.

Deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office also responded and assisted in evacuating residents from neighboring apartments and directing traffic.

Firefighters quickly contained the fire to one apartment and extinguished it within 15 minutes.    

They determined that no one was home at the time of the fire, and investigators later determined the cause was accidental and the fire started in the living room.

The fire was mainly contained to the living room and kitchen of the apartment, though the rest of the home was affected by heat and smoke damage.

Two Men Shot In Oakland 

Two men were shot in separate incidents in Oakland Saturday night and Sunday morning, but neither suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.

The first shooting happened at 10:28 p.m. Saturday, when a man was shot in his side near the corner of 17th and West streets. The victim was transported to the hospital and is in stable condition.

Hours later, just before 1 a.m., another man was shot on the 1300 block of 76th Avenue, but his injuries were not life-threatening and he is in stable condition.

There were no arrests in either shooting.

San Bruno 2-Alarm Blaze Suspected To Be Electrical Fire

Firefighters hacked through the roof of a San Bruno residence early Sunday morning as they worked to extinguish a 2-alarm blaze suspected to be an electrical fire, fire officials said.

The fire started around midnight at 110 Linden St., said Millbrae Fire Department Division Chief Ron Lavezzo. The first reports came from an Arco gas station nearby that noticed smoke in the area.

Police knocked on the door of the single-family residence to inform residents that there was smoke coming from the second floor of their house. One resident had been awake watching TV, and smelled smoke, but thought that a neighbor had been using a fireplace, Lavezzo said.

"It was kind of a concealed fire," he said.    

In the course of fighting the fire, firefighters had to take about a quarter of the house's roof off. The fire was mostly out by around 12:30 a.m., Lavezzo said, but firefighters remained on the scene for several hours searching for remaining hotspots in the attic.

One woman, the home's owner, was taken to the hospital, but her injuries were not serious, Lavezzo said.

Preliminary investigation suggests that the fire was an electrical fire that started in the attic, Lavezzo said. He said the homeowners had been doing some remodeling in the house, but it is unknown if the fire was related to the interior construction work.

He estimated the fire caused $100,000 in damage to the house.    

Five fire engines were called to the scene of the fire, and personnel responded from Daly City, South San Francisco, Burlingame, and Millbrae, which shares a fire department with San Bruno.

Lavezzo said electricity to the house has been shut off to prevent the fire from restarting.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

Cloudy skies with patchy fog in the morning are expected to become sunny in the Bay Area today, with highs in the 50s to upper 60s.

Mostly clear skies are anticipated this evening before becoming partly cloudy later in the night. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.

Tuesday is expected to be partly cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 50s to lower 70s are expected.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

Two Small Earthquakes Felt In San Leandro, San Francisco

Two small earthquakes were reported in the Bay Area this evening.

A 3.5 magnitude quake centered 3 miles north-northeast of San Leandro occurred around 8:08 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Around three minutes later, a 2.3 magnitude quake occurred 3 miles west of the San Francisco Zoo.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

President Obama Arrives At SFO For LinkedIn Town Hall

President Obama arrived at Moffett Field this afternoon for a series of fundraising events and to attend a town hall meeting on Monday at Mountain View-based LinkedIn.

Air Force One landed at 5:53 p.m. and was greeted by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Mountain View Mayor Jac Siegel and NASA Ames center director S.P. Worden, as well as around 70 other VIPs.

The plane arrived around 28 minutes late because a previous fundraiser the president attended in Washington, D.C. ran late.

"Putting America Back to Work: LinkedIn Presents a Town Hall with President Obama" will be a forum for a live audience of LinkedIn members and employees -- plus online members nationwide -- to ask the president about job creation and the economy, according to the White House press secretary's office.

To prep for Obama's visit, LinkedIn has created an online community centering on job creation and economic issues.

Members of the online professional network are invited to take part in the discussion via this group, where they can share questions and comments for the president.

To watch Monday's live town hall meeting, officials encourage the public to log onto LinkedIn.com or WhiteHouse.gov/live.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

San Francisco Bay Area Sunday News Roundup

Oakland School Officials Release List Of Schools To Close

Oakland school officials released a list of five schools slated for closure Saturday and say the move could save more than $2 million, money that can be put toward improving other district schools.    

District Superintendent Tony Smith is proposing to close five elementary schools in 2012: Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell park and Santa Fe. Another eight school programs would be redesigned, according to the proposal, two - Burckhalter and Kaiser -- would be expanded and one middle school would see its grades reconfigured.

The school closures would affect more than 900 students.   

A district staff report says that the district operates far more schools than other districts. Long Beach Unified School District, for example, operates 89 schools for 86,000 students, Sacramento Unified School District operates 85 schools for 48,000 students, and San Jose Unified School District operates 52 schools for 32,000 students.

Oakland, meanwhile, operates 101 schools for 38,440 students. Nineteen of those schools have fewer than 200 students and 24 of them have between 200 and 299 students.    

The recommendations will be presented at a meeting Tuesday, but is not scheduled to make a final decision until Oct. 26.

Hundreds Gather To Honor The Life Of Cindy Nguyen

Among the hundreds of people gathered to commemorate the life of slain popular radio show host Cindy Nguyen at The Plant shopping center in San Jose on Friday night, there were tears and questions, but, more than that, there were smiles and lots of happy memories shared.

The Plant is where the 60-year-old Campbell woman was abducted last Friday after her car battery died. She had called a colleague and told her she needed help jump-starting the battery, but then had called back to say a man had come by to help her.

She wasn't seen again until the following morning, when officers found her body in a home in the 500 block of North 12th Street, a home that police say her killer has ties to.

One week after that tragic day, the shopping center was illuminated by hundreds of white candles held by friends, family, and strangers alike who gathered to pay their respects. City and police officials were also on hand for the vigil.

Paul Castillo, a 33-year-old parolee from San Jose with a violent criminal history, is suspected of kidnapping and killing Nguyen as part of a crime spree that began at a Chevron gas station in San Jose on the morning of Sept. 16 and ended Sunday night outside of a Little Caesars restaurant in West Sacramento. He is being held without bail at Santa Clara County Jail.

Prosecutors have charged him with eight felony counts, including murder and kidnapping during a carjacking, which could make him a candidate for the death penalty.

Castillo is scheduled for a court hearing on Oct. 5.    

Nguyen's funeral is scheduled to take place on Monday at the Oak Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park on Curtner Avenue.

Bicyclist Killed In Oakland Hills Collision With Vehicle

A bicyclist was killed in a collision with a vehicle Saturday morning while riding on a road in the Oakland Hills, police said.    

Police responded to Claremont Avenue and Grizzly Peak Boulevard at about 11:30 a.m. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, Oakland police said.

Oakland Fire personnel, East Bay Regional Park District police and the California Highway Patrol also responded to the scene.

The road was closed for several hours, police said.

Delays On U.S. Highway 101 Due To Construction

Motorists traveling through the South Bay on Sunday morning should plan ahead to avoid delays when a section of U.S. Highway 101 is temporarily closed during construction work.

Three 10-minute closures will occur between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Highway 101 in both directions near Mountain View's Rengstorff Avenue exit, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

The closures will allow preliminary work to proceed as part of the freeway's auxiliary lanes project, which aims to improve traffic congestion by adding auxiliary lanes and extending existing some high-occupancy lanes along Highway 101 between state Highway 85 and the Embarcadero Road interchange in Palo Alto.

During the closures, existing utility lines will be relocated, weather permitting, according to the VTA.

The VTA is responsible for congestion management issues in the county, as well as for bus, light rail and paratransit operations.

Man Killed In West Oakland Shooting

A 19-year-old man was killed in a shooting just before noon Saturday in West Oakland, police said.    

Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 3200 block of Hannah Street in Oakland's Clawson neighborhood at 11:55 a.m. The man was the only victim, police said.

No one was in custody as of Saturday afternoon, and the shooting remained under investigation, police said.

Milpitas Police Arrest Registered Sex Offender

Milpitas police arrested a registered sex offender who was wanted for a parole violation Thursday night, police said.

Officers responded to the Save Mart Shopping Center in the 200 block of West Calaveras Boulevard on reports of a man who was panhandling and harassing customers, according to police.

Responding officers identified 39-year-old transient Marcos Moralez and after a record check they determined that he was wanted by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for a parole violation, police said.

Moralez was booked into Santa Clara County Jail.

San Mateo County Rear-End Collision Left One Man Critically Injured

A rear-end collision in San Mateo County Thursday has left one man critically injured, according to California Highway Patrol.    

The crash happened shortly after 8 p.m., just north of the intersection with Alpine Road on Interstate Highway 280, when Daniel Strickland, 27, of San Jose hit a deer in his Grey Volkswagen.

Strickland stopped in the road and stayed there for about a minute before his car was hit from behind by a red Audi driven by Christopher Libre, 49, of Mountain View.

The rear of Strickland's car was crushed, and Strickland suffered major head trauma in the collision. He was transported to Stanford Hospital where he was in critical condition as of Friday evening.

California Highway Patrol officers are investigating the collision and whether drugs or alcohol were a factor.

Inclement Weather Prevents Bay Area Scientists From Collecting Data

For the first time in more than two decades, inclement weather prevented Bay Area scientists from collecting data used to assess the vulnerability of an endangered species -- the California sea otter.

The U.S. Geological Survey typically leads a team of scientists and volunteers in conducting the population survey, which has been an annual event since the 1980s, according to the USGS.    

That data is in turn used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to gauge the species' population recovery progress and whether the California sea otter can be removed from the endangered species list.

Although the team was able to conduct shore-based observations using telescopes, heavy fog, poor visibility and strong winds throughout this past spring and summer prevented completion of aerial observations, according to Tim Tinker, the chief scientist for the annual survey.

Both measurements are crucial, so a reliable total count for this year was not possible, Tinker said.

The partial data, however, can still be helpful in tallying next year's population.

The survey is conducted in May and June along the entire coast between San Mateo County and Ventura County. Because of limited coastal access, only about half of that stretch can be counted using shore-based techniques.

Last year, the California sea otter population index was 2,711, representing a decline for two consecutive years. The population would need to exceed 3,090 for three years in a row for the marine mammal to be considered recovered, according to a threshold set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

Hillsborough Construction Site Burglary

After a recent construction site burglary in Hillsborough in which the thieves made off with numerous tools, authorities are encouraging contractors to store equipment securely.

The burglary in the 100 block of Bridge Road, which is in eastern Hillsborough, was reported Friday. Police said the burglary occurred sometime between 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 a.m. Friday.

The suspects forced open two oversized toolboxes and removed numerous tools, police said.

Contractors are advised to store equipment off-site to reduce the risk of theft.

Santa Cruz County Government Website Hacked

Two men were indicted for hacking charges Thursday related to a 2010 attack on a Santa Cruz County government web site, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Christopher Doyon, 47, of Mountain View and Joshua John Covelli, 26, of Fairborn, Ohio, were charged with damaging a protected computer for allegedly participating in a distributed denial of service attack that brought down Santa Cruz County's website in December, 2010.

The attack was allegedly in retaliation for arrests in a long-running protest against restrictions on sleeping outside in the city of Santa Cruz. During that demonstration, which ran from July 4, 2010 into October, protesters camped outside the Santa Cruz County Courthouse leading to multiple arrests and citations.

Following the disbandment of the protest by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department, activists with the "People's Liberation Front" allegedly organized a distributed denial of service attack, which involves multiple systems attacking a computer server, and may be accomplished through the use of back-door programs unknowingly run by other users.

The attack successfully shut down the Santa Cruz County web site on Dec. 16, 2010, according to the indictment.

Covelli has also been indicted for allegedly participating in another similar attack on PayPal in the same month.    

Both defendants could face up to ten years in prison if found guilty, and a maximum fine of $250,000. Covelli's next court appearance for is scheduled for Nov. 1, while Doyon is next ordered to appear on Sept. 29.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee Announes Oakland-Based Public Health Institute Funding

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee announced Friday that the Oakland-based Public Health Institute will receive $209.5 million in "cooperative agreement" funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The award, nearly twice as large as previous USAID agreements, will go to support the Public Health Institute's role in the Global Health Fellows Program.

The Global Health Fellows Program recruits and trains health professionals for placement in Washington, D.C. and abroad to strengthen USAID's public health outreach.

Hayward Family Injured In Fatal Los Angeles Crash

A Hayward family was injured in Los Angeles Saturday in a fatal crash after the suspect in a high-speed chase slammed into the family's car near the California State University at Los Angeles campus, the California Highway Patrol said.

The chase, which reached speeds in excess of 100 mph, began shortly after 1 a.m. after a CHP unit attempted to stop a 1997 Honda Accord for a speed violation on Interstate Highway 10 -- also known as the San Bernadino Freeway -- east of Del Mar Avenue.

The pursuit continued on surface streets after the Accord's driver abruptly exited the freeway at South Freemont Avenue before turning west onto West Hellman Avenue, which turns into Paseo Rancho Castilla at the northern edge of the university's campus.

The family of three -- a man, 53, and two women, 49 and 20 -- were in a 2006 Dodge Charger that was stopped at a stop sign at Paseo Rancho Castilla and Mariondale Avenue, preparing to turn right into the university parking lot.

As the Accord barreled west on Paseo Rancho Castilla, it failed to navigate the road's curves, slamming head-on into the front of the Charger before hitting a bus stop and coming to a stop on the sidewalk.    

The suspect in the pursuit exited the Accord, and he immediately collapsed on the lawn in front of the bus stop, the CHP said. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel.    

All three people inside the Charger, which had been pushed approximately 125 feet from the intersection, sustained injuries ranging from minor to major, and they were transported to the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center.

Oakland Man In Stable Condition After Pittsburg Shooting

An Oakland man is in stable condition after he was shot Friday evening in Pittsburg behind a medical center, a police lieutenant said.

The 29-year-old victim was shot once in the chest near 2311 E. Leland Road, close to the Pittsburg Health Center, at about 6:20 p.m., Lt. Ron Raman said.

The victim was transported to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he is in stable condition, Raman said.

Shortly before the shooting, the victim had been involved in a confrontation with at least one person.

"This was definitely not a random act," Raman said.

Pleasanton Gas Station Robbed At Gunpoint

A Pleasanton gas station was robbed at gunpoint Friday evening, and the thief made off with cash and cigarettes, Pleasanton police said.    

Police were called to the station at 4191 First St. at 8:10 p.m. The clerk at the Union 76 gas station said that the robber entered the store and showed the clerk a black semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash.    

The robber fled towards Vineyard Avenue, and police checked the area but did not locate any suspects.

Police are searching for a light-skinned male in his early 20s, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 140 pounds. He was wearing a dark-colored long-sleeve shirt under a white T-shirt, dark-colored basketball-style shorts with white stripes down the side, black shoes and a black beanie.

He obscured his face with a black bandana and carried a gray pinstriped backpack, police said.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

There will be cloudy skies with a slight chance of rain in the morning, and there is a chance of rain in the afternoon in the Bay Area today, with highs in the lower 60s.

Mostly cloudy skies are anticipated this evening and lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.

Monday is expected to be cloudy in the morning before becoming sunny in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 70s are expected.
 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

Firefighters Quickly Put Out Fire In Concrete Factory

A structure fire at an abandoned factory was quickly doused by San Francisco firefighters Saturday, a fire dispatcher said.     

The 1-alarm fire was reported at 11:25 p.m. near the corner of Third Street and Mariposa Street. Firefighters had the fire under control by 11:36 p.m.

Firefighters do not yet know how the fire in the concrete factory was started.

 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Check out some of our newest Blogs:

     Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans

     Why is San Francisco So Dirty?

     SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco

     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

September 30, 2011

A motorcycle gang member accused of gunning down the president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels in Nevada was arrested Thursday night by a UCSF police officer in San Francisco, authorities said. Ernesto...

Email this Article
Add to del.icio.us
Add to digg
Add to Facebook


A 15-year-old alleged gang member has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a Mission District cook who investigators believe was mistaken for a rival, police said Thursday. The suspect in the Mission slaying, whose...

Email this Article
Add to del.icio.us
Add to digg
Add to Facebook


September 29, 2011

Click title to read more

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137