SF News

Two Trucks Collide In SOMA Neighborhood, Block Highway Offramp

A crash involving a San Francisco Fire Department truck and another truck closed a freeway off-ramp in the city's South of Market neighborhood for over an hour this morning, police said.

San Francisco police responded to the crash at around 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Eighth and Harrison streets. Two people were taken to San Francisco General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries, police said.    

Officials from the California Highway Patrol said the U.S. Highway 101 off-ramp in the area was blocked until around 10 a.m.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.

 

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41 Flights To Northeast Cancelled Due To Hurricane Irene

A total of 41 flights from San Francisco International Airport to the East Coast have been cancelled today due to severe weather caused by Hurricane Irene, an airport duty manager said.

All airports in the northeast have been closed over the weekend in a massive infrastructure shut down that has affected millions.

Airport officials said that no flights are leaving the northeast region today, with the exception of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

As of 10:30 a.m. no flights are scheduled to be canceled Monday, and while there may still be announcements of cancellations, airport traffic may be back on schedule tomorrow. 

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Sunday News

San Jose Police Search for Transient Suspected of Killing 52-Year-Old Woman

San Jose police are searching for a transient suspected of killing a woman found dead in a Whitton Avenue home on Friday.

The woman, who has been identified as Irma Campos, a 52-year-old San Jose resident, was found dead in a home on the 1200 block of Whitton Avenue just after 11 a.m. on Friday. She was found there by another woman, who reported the death to a nearby fire station.

Police now believe Campos was killed in a domestic-violence related incident, and are searching for 55-year-old Juan Osornio Martinez in connection with her death, according to Sgt. Jason Dwyer. Martinez is homeless, and known to frequent the downtown San Jose area.

Campos is San Jose's 29th homicide victim this year.

Eight-Alarm Fire in Fairfield Grows to 700 Acres

An eight-alarm vegetation fire on the northeastern edge of Fairfield grew to around 700 acres Saturday night and threatened one home, fire officials said.

The fire, first reported in the area of Torrington Way and Mystic Drive shortly before 6 p.m., has expanded to the northeast toward Vacaville, Fairfield Fire Chief Vincent Webster said.

The fire, which has reached the maximum possible level of eight alarms, was about 60 percent contained as of around 9:30 p.m. and wasn't expected to be under control before morning, Webster said.

While a communications tower threatened by the flames earlier in the evening appeared to be safe, a unit was sent to protect a single-family home in the fire's path, Webster said.

No injuries were reported.

Federal Judge Keeps Barry Bonds' Conviction in Place

A federal judge in San Francisco kept in place home-run champion Barry Bonds' conviction on a charge of obstructing justice by giving evasive or misleading testimony to a grand jury in 2003.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston late Friday turned down Bonds' bid for either an acquittal or a new trial on the obstruction count.

Illston wrote that the record of Bonds' three-week trial in March and April "supports a finding, beyond a reasonable doubt....that defendant endeavored to obstruct the grand jury."

The obstruction charge was Bonds' sole conviction in the trial. The jury deadlocked on three other counts in which the former San Francisco Giants slugger was accused of lying to the grand jury.

Prosecutors have not announced whether they will retry Bonds on those counts. 

The 2003 grand jury was investigating the distribution of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to baseball players and other athletes by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

Bonds, 47, who set Major League Baseball's career home-run record while playing with the Giants, can appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The three counts on which the trial jury could not reach a verdict were charges that Bonds lied when he denied that he had ever been injected by Anderson and that he had ever knowingly taken steroids or human growth hormone.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake 65 Miles South of San Jose

A 4.6-magnitude earthquake struck about 65 miles south of San Jose early Saturday morning in Pinnacles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake rattled an area 4 miles from Pinnacles at 12:18 a.m., said the USGS.

The quake had a depth of 4.7 miles.

A series of aftershocks were recorded near Pinnacles including 3.6- and 3.3-magnitude temblors at 12:21 a.m. and 1:19 a.m., respectively, according to the USGS.

Pinnacles is near the Monterey-San Benito County border.

East Coast Flight Cancellations, Due to Hurricane Irene, Strand Soldiers in Bay Area

Flight cancellations on the East Coast due to Hurricane Irene left dozens of soldiers stranded in the Bay Area and the USO sent out an urgent call for help in providing for them.

The United Service Organization, based at San Francisco International Airport, was assisting 47 members of the National Guard stranded by Hurricane Irene as of Saturday afternoon, said Bryan Carmody, communications director for USO Northern California.

That is about 50 percent more people than the center usually handles at any given time, and food and other supplies were already running low, Carmody said.

"Around 18 of them have a flight halfway there," Carmody said.

"The rest of them could possible be stuck here for a week, so this is a major deal."

The USO center urgently needs nonperishable food items such as individually wrapped snacks like chips, granola bars or fruit snacks, paper plates and plastic silverware, or cash donations.

Donations can be brought to the USO center on the mezzanine level of Terminal 1 at SFO. The center is open and staffed 24 hours a day.

Two Men Rescued by Helicopter Near Point Bonita Lighthouse in Marin County

Two men were rescued by helicopter Friday afternoon when their boat ran onto rocks after the engine failed near the Point Bonita lighthouse in Marin County, a search and rescue controller said.

People on shore spotted the disabled boat and notified the Coast Guard, who launched a boat to rescue the men aboard a 24-foot Bayliner around 1:15 p.m., Coast Guard search and rescue controller Danielle Couture said.

The Coast Guard boat could not get close enough because of the rocks and the National Park Service and a California Highway Patrol helicopter were called to assist with the rescue.

The boat was left on the rocks while the helicopter took the rescued men to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries, Couture said.

The National Park Service is investigating the incident.

Palo Alto Police Release Photos of Suspected Commercial Burglar

Palo Alto police released surveillance photos Friday of a man suspected in a series of recent nighttime commercial burglaries.

The most recent burglary occurred early morning on Wednesday at Ramona's Pizza, located at 2313 Birch St. Police said the suspect entered the business and stole cash and a bicycle.

The burglaries date back to 2009 and police believe a single person is responsible for at least 10 burglaries. The person is suspected in commercial burglaries in several other cities as well, including Monterey, Los Altos, Mountain View, San Mateo, and as far as Beverly Hills.

The suspect appears to be singling out small restaurants and salons and he typically enters the business through the rear door or window during the early morning hours, according to police.

Officers have not yet been able to identify the suspect.

Dozens of Bay Area Flights Canceled Due to Hurricane Irene

The effects of Hurricane Irene, the tempest battering the East Coast, were felt here in the Bay Area as dozens of flights were canceled because of storm-related airport closures.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, four airports in the New York City Metropolitan Area -- New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, New York City's John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia International airports, and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh -- closed at noon Eastern time Saturday.

Travelers headed beyond the New York and Boston metropolitan areas were advised to check the status of their flights because of ripple effects that are expected to affect flights across the county.

More than 40 flights out of San Francisco International Airport to the Northeast were canceled in anticipation of the Category 1 hurricane, airport spokesman Michael McCarron said.

McCarron advised all passengers, regardless of their destination and carrier, to contact their airline for flight information. Passengers should not come to the airport unless their carrier has indicated that their flight will depart as scheduled.

In the South Bay, two JetBlue flights that were scheduled to depart from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport Saturday evening were canceled, airport communications director David Vossbrink said.

San Leandro Police Department Welcomes New K-9 Unit

The San Leandro Police Department welcomed a new K-9 unit Friday.

Officer Jason Bryan and his K-9 partner Aero Vikar, a 2-year-old German shepherd, completed a 160-hour K-9 school and passed qualifying exams to become a patrol team, police said.

Bryan has served in the San Leandro Police Department since 2008. He was a K-9 handler for four years while serving in the Hayward Police Department since 2000.

"(Bryan's) experience and passion for being a K9 handler will be valuable to the San Leandro Police Department," Lt. Jeff Tudor said in a statement.

Aero Vikar was born in the Czech Republic on Dec. 26, 2008.

Rohnert Park Man Arrested in Santa Rosa After Alleged High-Speed Chase

A Rohnert Park man was arrested Saturday morning in Santa Rosa after allegedly leading officers on a high-speed chase while under the influence of alcohol, police said.

Officers stopped Gilberto Rodriguez, 43, after they said he failed to stop behind a limit line at an intersection at about 12:10 a.m.

An officer attempted to stop his vehicle, but Rodriguez continued traveling on College Avenue until he eventually reached a red light at an intersection, according to the Santa Rosa Police Department.

The officer asked him to exit his vehicle after he allegedly observed signs of intoxication. Rodriguez refused and sped off, police said.

Rodriguez led officers on about a 13-mile chase through the Roseland area and then onto U.S. Highway 101 into Rohnert Park. Rodriguez allegedly reached speeds of about 100 mph during the pursuit.

He exited Highway 101 at the Rohnert Park Expressway and came to a stop on the off-ramp, where officers took him into custody.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony evasion of a peace officer, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license and a probation violation.

Man Fatally Shot in West Oakland Identified

A man who was fatally shot in West Oakland on Tuesday night has been identified by the Alameda County coroner's bureau as 24-year-old Jepeabo Wellington.

The shooting happened just after 9 p.m. in the 1000 block of 10th Street. Wellington was shot four times, police said.

He died at a local hospital at 12:19 a.m. Wednesday, according to the coroner's bureau.

Another shooting near the West Oakland BART station in the 700 block of Mandela Parkway at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday left a man with one gunshot wound.

He was taken to the hospital in stable condition, police said.

The shootings occurred less than a mile apart.

Bicyclist Transported to Hospital After Crashing Through Car's Rear Window in Sausalito

A bicyclist was transported to a hospital Saturday morning with head injuries after the rider crashed through a car's rear window in Sausalito, a police sergeant said.

The bicyclist had been traveling north on Second Street, a downhill stretch of road without parking on either side, when the rider struck the rear of a vehicle that was stopped while waiting to make a left-hand turn, Sgt. Bill Fraass said.

The vehicle, which had been stopped for about 15 seconds while waiting to turn from Second Street onto Valley Street, was stopped for oncoming traffic because there are no stop signs for that maneuver, Fraass said.

The bicyclist shattered the vehicle's back window, sustaining a head injury of unknown severity, and was transported to Marin General Hospital, he said.

An investigation of the crash is ongoing, Fraass said.

Woman Arrested After Alledgedly Chasing Boyfriend with Butcher Knife

A woman was arrested for allegedly chasing her boyfriend around their San Anselmo apartment with a butcher knife Friday night, police said Saturday.

A 911 call came into the Police Department at about 7:40 p.m. Friday from a resident in the 100 block of Sycamore Avenue and someone could be heard in the background saying, "Stop throwing knives," police said.

Officers arrived at the home and talked to the couple. The man and woman told police they had an argument that got out of hand.

Irina Dmitriva was booked into Marin County Jail.

Bay Area Sunday Weather

Sunny skies are expected in the Bay Area today after clouds and fog clear this morning. Highs in the 50s to upper 60s are likely. Southwest winds around 5 mph are expected, increasing to 10 to 20 mph in the afternoon.

Forecasters predict clear skies this evening, before becoming mostly cloudy tonight. Lows in the mid 50s are anticipated, with southwest winds 10 to 20 mph.

Monday is expected to be mostly cloudy in the morning before becoming sunny. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph are anticipated, with highs in the 60s.

Increased Enforcement at Candlestick Park, Drop in Violence at 49ers Game

Increased enforcement at Saturday's San Francisco 49ers game following several instances of violence at Candlestick Park last weekend helped keep the battle on the gridiron.

Only one person was arrested, two people were cited for public intoxication and 12 people were ejected from Saturday's game, which ended in 30-7 win for the visiting Houston Texans, San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza said.

The increased police presence at Candlestick Park was a response to the Aug. 21 game versus the Oakland Raiders, where two men were shot in the parking lot and another man was beaten unconscious in the stadium's bathroom.

One of the shooting victims was released from the hospital and the other two men were listed in fair condition as of Tuesday.

Fights in the stands and in the parking lot were caught on amateur video and police Chief Greg Suhr said last week that this was not typical behavior.

"Last Saturday night was an aberration," he said.

Attendance at the Aug. 21 game was a third less than a typical regular season game, and Suhr said that there were 40 percent more officers at that game than would be at a regular season game.

Despite that, he said, the amount of calls for unruly conduct rose dramatically.

Although only one person was booked Saturday, 12 people were arrested at the Aug. 21 game.

There was also a significant drop in calls made for an ambulance, with only six medical calls Saturday, which falls below the average of seven to 10 calls per game. The Aug. 21 game saw 50 such calls and the number of public intoxications more than doubled, Suhr said.

"The degenerate behavior that happened on Saturday is not going tobe tolerated," 49ers president Jed York said at a news conference last week.

"We are not going to allow that type of behavior at our football games."

SoMa Shooting Sends Man, Bystander to Hospital

A shooting in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood sent two men to the hospital early this morning, including a bystander who was unintentionally struck by the gunfire, police said.

Police responded to the 400 block of Minna Street at about 2:15 a.m. after receiving reports of a shooting, San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza said.

It appears that one of the victims, a man in his 40s, was walking when he was approached by a gunman who shot him multiple times in the upper and lower body, Esparza said.

A passerby, a man in his 20s, was unintentionally struck in his chest during the gunfire, he said.

Both men were taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for injuries that are not believed to be life threatening.

The shooter is described as a black man in his 20s, but Esparza said police have not released any further information.

San Francisco Bay Area Sunday Weather Forecaset

Sunny skies are expected in the Bay Area today after clouds and fog clear this morning. Highs in the 50s to upper 60s are likely. Southwest winds around 5 mph are expected, increasing to 10 to 20 mph in the afternoon.

Forecasters predict clear skies this evening, before becoming mostly cloudy tonight. Lows in the mid 50s are anticipated, with southwest winds 10 to 20 mph.

Monday is expected to be mostly cloudy in the morning before becoming sunny. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph are anticipated, with highs in the 60s.

Motorcycle Trip Honoring Flight 93 Passengers Leaves SF Monday

United Airlines Flight 93 was headed for San Francisco on Sept. 11, 2001, but terrorists hijacked the plane and it never arrived.

Next week, a group of family members, friends and supporters of the plane's 40 passengers will leave San Francisco to start "Ride With the Forty," a cross-country motorcycle trip in their memory and in honor of the 10-year anniversary of their deaths.

The group will leave Monday from near San Francisco International Airport, where the plane was supposed to land, and will arrive on Sept. 11 at a field in Pennsylvania where the plane crashed exactly 10 years earlier.

Flight 93, one of four planes hijacked by the terrorists that day, was the only one that did not cause further destruction when the 40 passengers on board overcame the hijackers, causing the plane to crash in the field near Shanksville, PA.

The Ride With the Forty campaign was started in 2009 by the family and friends of Louis "Joey" Nacke, one of the passengers who died on the flight.

His brother Ken Nacke will be one of the people making the trip again this year.

"It's a labor of love," Nacke said. "It's all about the 40, not just my brother, all 40 of them."

Along with celebrating the lives of the passengers on the plane, the trip is helping to raise money to fund the construction of the permanent Flight 93 National Memorial.

The National Park Service plans to have the first phase of construction on the memorial done in time for this year's anniversary, with the second phase expected to be completed by 2014.

In 2009 and 2010, the first two years of the Ride with the Forty campaign, riders traveled along the planned path of Flight 93, from Newark International Airport in New Jersey to San Francisco.

But for the 10-year anniversary, the group decided to switch up the trip to have it start on the West Coast and end at the passengers' final resting place.

"We decided to reverse it to try to bring as many riders as we can to the opening of the national park for Flight 93," Nacke said.    

There is also a southern route of the trip starting Monday in Los Angeles, where riders will head east toward the memorial as well, he said.

The northern route of the trip begins at 7:15 a.m. Monday at Dudley Perkins Harley Davidson, a motorcycle dealership located in South San Francisco just north of the airport.

Dozens of people are expected to either ride along with the group on the various legs of the trip or greet them when they arrive at their daily stops, Nacke said.

Nacke said he hopes that the trip will keep the sacrifice of the 40 passengers fresh in the public's memory.

"We want ... them to be honored, cherished and remembered for generations to come," he said.

For more information on the Ride With the Forty trip and the 40 passengers of Flight 93, or to donate money toward the memorial, visit www.ridewiththe40.org.

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Saturday News

United Airlines, Virgin America Cancel Flights In and Out of San Francisco Due to Hurricane Irene

United Airlines and Virgin America have both canceled flights in and out of San Francisco International Airport for Friday and today in response to the expected arrival of Hurricane Irene, airport officials said Friday evening.

United has canceled five flights for Friday, including three to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and two to Newark Liberty International Airport, airport spokesman Mike McCarron said. The airline also canceled eight flights for today including four to JFK, three to Newark and one to Philadelphia International Airport.

Virgin America has canceled eight flights for today including four to JFK, three to Washington Dulles International Airport and one to Boston Logan International Airport.

No other carriers flying between SFO and the northeast have canceled flights as of Friday evening, McCarron said.

Oakland International Airport officials said that as of Friday evening, no airlines have canceled flights in response to the hurricane.

Federal Judge Upholds Barry Bonds' Conviction

A federal judge in San Francisco has kept in place home-run champion Barry Bonds' conviction on a charge of obstructing justice by giving evasive or misleading testimony to a grand jury in 2003.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston late Friday turned down Bonds' bid for either an acquittal or a new trial on the obstruction count.

Illston wrote that the record of Bonds' three-week trial in March and April "supports a finding, beyond a reasonable doubt....that defendant endeavored to obstruct the grand jury."

The obstruction charge was Bonds' sole conviction in the trial. The jury deadlocked on three other counts in which the former San Francisco Giants slugger was accused of lying to the grand jury.

Prosecutors have not announced whether they will retry Bonds on those counts. 

The 2003 grand jury was investigating the distribution of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to baseball players and other athletes by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

The obstruction charge concerned Bonds' answer to a prosecutor's question about whether Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, had ever given him anything that required a syringe to inject himself with.

Bonds gave a rambling response in which he referred to himself as a "celebrity child" of a famous ballplayer father and said, "I just don't get into other people's business because of my father's situation, you see."

Bonds' lawyers argued that the response shouldn't be considered a crime because the outfielder answered a similar question more directly less than two minutes later by denying that Anderson had ever given him a liquid to inject himself with.

But Illston wrote, "The conviction can be upheld if defendant endeavored to obstruct justice, even if he did not succeed."

The judge said that for purposes of an obstruction conviction, an evasive answer is not necessarily legally erased by a later direct answer. 

Referring to other points in the testimony, she added, "Here, defendant repeatedly provided nonresponsive answers to questions about whether Anderson had ever provided him with injectables."

Bonds, 47, who set Major League Baseball's career home-run record while playing with the Giants, can appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The three counts on which the trial jury could not reach a verdict were charges that Bonds lied when he denied that he had ever been injected by Anderson and that he had ever knowingly taken steroids or human growth hormone.

Body Found in San Jose Ruled Murder

A woman whose body was found in a San Jose home Friday morning was murdered, police said.

Officers responded to a report of a suspicious circumstance at a home in the 1200 block of Whitton Avenue at 11:09 a.m., police said.

The discovery of the body was initially reported to the fire department by a female resident.

Officers arrived to find the body of a 52-year-old woman and determined she had been killed.

Police are withholding details about the crime because it is in the early stage of investigation.

Detectives have not yet identified a suspect or motive in the case, but are saying the homicide does not appear to be gang-related.

Two Men Sentenced to State Prison for Voluntary Manslaughter of Rapper

Two men were sentenced to state prison Friday for voluntary manslaughter convictions for their roles in the fatal shooting of an aspiring rapper three years ago in a case of mistaken identity.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joseph Hurley sentenced 20-year-old Paul Tanner to 24 years and 21-year-old Taron Deary to 11 years. Tanner was sentenced to a longer term because he also was convicted of robbery for a separate incident.

Tanner and Deary were both charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Bobby Hall II in the 6800 block of MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland on July 19, 2008.

But prosecutors entered into plea bargains with Tanner and Deary in exchange for their testimony against 29-year-old Frank Savoy because they believed Savoy was the person who killed Hall and that Tanner and Deary played lesser roles.

On July 22 Hurley sentenced Savoy to 78 years to life in state prison.

Prosecutor Greg Dolge said Savoy, Tanner and Deary spotted Hall in a car they recognized a few minutes before the fatal shooting three years ago and mistakenly thought Hall was the man who had been in an argument over a woman with other friends of theirs several days before.

Dolge said Savoy, Tanner and Deary followed Hall to the 6800 block of MacArthur, where Hall was visiting some friends at their apartment.

He said Savoy snuck up behind Hall while Hall was sitting on a couch with his back to the living room's screen window and shot him in the back of his head at close range.

San Francisco Police Release Details of Suspect in Fatal Bernal Heights Shooting

San Francisco police released more details Friday afternoon on a suspect and suspect vehicle in a Bernal Heights shooting that killed an 18-year-old man.

Kevin Hall was shot around 12:30 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Alemany Boulevard and Crescent Avenue.

Hall was one of two people in a faded red Buick traveling east on Alemany Boulevard at the time of the shooting, according to police.

When the car stopped at a red light, another vehicle pulled up alongside it. A suspect, described as a black male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, got out of the passenger side of that car, walked to the rear of the victims' vehicle and opened fire, police said.

The suspect fled the scene in a vehicle, possibly a silver Acura or Honda two-door, with a license plate beginning with "5." The vehicle's windows were heavily tinted and the headlights covered with a yellow film.

The victims drove to San Francisco General Hospital, where Hall succumbed to injuries he suffered in the shooting, according to police.

Less Than a Dozen Homes Remain Without Power in East Palo Also After Power Surge Causes Outage

Fewer than a dozen homes remain without power in East Palo Alto Friday afternoon after a power surge last night caused an outage.

Power lines that were damaged when a tree branch fell last night shortly before 9 p.m., causing an unusual high-voltage power surge, have been repaired and reenergized. Power has been restored to all but a handful of homes, and Molica said work crews are waiting until residents return to the remaining homes so that meters and circuit panels can be inspected for possible damage.

PG&E shut down power to about 232 customers in the Peninsula city last night after the unusual power surge, caused when the branch made contact with a neutral ground line as well as power lines.

At 4:03 a.m., power lines also came down across a portion of U.S. Highway 101, adding to the power issues in the area. Those lines were cleared by 5 a.m.

The surge caused damage to some meters, but Molica said the damage was not related to the installation of new SmartMeters.

Nonprofit Suing San Francisco Over What It Calls Illegal Dumping on Ocean Beach

A nonprofit is suing San Francisco over what it calls years of illegal dumping of rocks and debris on Ocean Beach in an effort to halt erosion.

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 9 by the California Coastal Protection Network, argues that the city has been dumping rocks and other materials on sections of Ocean Beach without permits from the California Coastal Commission since around 1997, in violation of both state law and city policy. The lawsuit seeks the removal of the debris and the development of long-term plans to protect the area.

The city has placed rock, concrete, steel poles and sand at the southern end of the beach over the years in an effort to protect Great Highway and a sewer tunnel from erosion. Most recently, after heavy storms over the 2009/2010 winter season closed Great Highway south of Sloat Boulevard for months, the city placed a 425-foot rock wall on the beach in April 2010 and removed 1,000 tons of debris from the beach, according to information from the Department of Public Works.

The problem, according to the lawsuit, is that the city never obtained the necessary permits to do the work, or in some cases violated the terms of the emergency permits that it did obtain. Furthermore, the debris used to shore up the beach impedes access to the beach and creates a hazard to beach users.

When San Francisco sought after-the-fact authorization for several of the projects from the California Coastal Commission this July, as well as permission to add more rock to the beach, the commission unanimously rejected the request.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the work violates city policy. In 1999 a city resolution prohibited the use of further city funds for shoreline armoring at Ocean Beach, and called for the rocks to be removed, the complaint states.

Pescadero Residents Can Stop Boiling Tap Water

Pescadero residents can stop boiling their drinking water after local tap water supplies were given the all-clear Friday.

San Mateo County officials said Friday that residents of the rural unincorporated coastal community, who have been under orders to boil all drinking and cooking water since Tuesday, could once again start using water straight from the tap.

More than 100 customers -- including homes, restaurants, businesses and schools -- lost their water supply when a pump stopped functioning late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, according to San Mateo County Public Works Director Jim Porter.

After initial efforts to repair the pump failed, its replacement was ordered and shipped from Salinas, some 70 miles away, Porter said. Public Works staff worked through the night to extend a well intake pipe and install the replacement pump, which was put in operation shortly after midnight Tuesday.

The order to boil water remained in effect, however, while county and state officials disinfected and tested the system's water.

Man Beaten Unconscious During Robbery in Mid-Market

A man was beaten unconscious during a robbery in San Francisco's
mid-Market neighborhood on Thursday night, police said.

The robbery was reported at 10:35 p.m. near the intersection ofMarket and Sixth streets.

The 20-year-old victim was approached from behind by a suspect who punched him and took his cellphone, according to police.

The suspect ran away and was pursued by the victim, but a secondsuspect intervened and punched the victim multiple times until he lostconsciousness, police said.

The male suspects, both in their late teens, fled and had not been found as of Friday morning.

The victim suffered minor injuries but refused transport to a hospital, according to police.

Oakland Man Sentenced to 21 Years for Fatal Shooting of Girlfriend

A 23-year-old Oakland man was sentenced Friday to 21 years in state prison for a voluntary manslaughter conviction for fatally shooting his girlfriend two years ago after she broke up with him and returned the ring he had given her.

Prosecutor Danielle London sought a second-degree murder conviction for Jesse James Blue for the shooting death of 18-year-old Ayesha Thomason at her home at 9820 C Street at about 10:40 a.m. on June 16, 2009.

But after deliberating for nearly four full days, jurors decided on July 18 to convict him of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter instead.

Jurors also convicted Blue of using a gun, specifically a Glock pistol, to kill Thomason.

London said Thomason had spent the night before her death with Blue at his home, and in the morning she broke up with him and returned a ring to him.

She said Blue went to Thomason's home a few hours later, banged on her window and convinced her to open her door.

London said she believes Blue shot Thomason on purpose, but Blue testified during his trial that the gun went off accidentally while he and Thomason were struggling over it.

London said evidence was introduced at Blue's trial that showed he had a history of anger toward Thomason and had beaten her twice during their nine-month-long relationship.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Allan Hymer gave Blue the maximum sentence based on his convictions: 11 years for voluntary manslaughter and 10 years for using a gun.

One Suspect in Pinole Armored Car Robbery Arraigned

One of two suspects in a violent armored car robbery in Pinole on Wednesday that left one person dead and three injured was arraigned Friday afternoon in Richmond but did not enter a plea.

William Fuller, a 30-year-old El Cerrito resident, is scheduled to return to Contra Costa County Court in Richmond on Sept. 6 to be assigned an attorney and enter a plea. His bail was set at $2.2 million, according to a court clerk.

A second suspect has also been charged in the case, but remained in the hospital Friday.

According to police, the incident began shortly after 9:15 a.m. Wednesday in front of the Wells Fargo bank at 1374 Fitzgerald Drive.

A guard of a Loomis armored vehicle was leaving the bank with a bag of cash when a man investigators believe was 25-year-old San Pablo resident Pierre Daniel confronted her and a struggle ensued, senior deputy district attorney Harold Jewett said.

At that point a man investigators believe was 24-year-old San Pablo resident Freddie Daniel, Pierre Daniel's brother, joined the struggle and the two men wrestled the bag of money from the guard's hands. The guard was, however, able to maintain control of her gun and shot each suspect once as they were running away, Jewett said.

Pierre Daniel dropped the bag of money and disappeared around a corner, but as the guard went to get the bag, he reappeared and shot her, shattering her hip, Jewett said.

Officers found Pierre Daniel lying on the sidewalk on Fitzgerald Drive. As an officer approached him, Pierre allegedly made eye contact with the officer and reached for his gun, which was lying near him on the sidewalk, Jewett said.

Pierre Daniel allegedly reached for the gun and the officer shot him multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Freddie Daniel, meanwhile, made his way to a vehicle investigators believe was being driven by Fuller.

Fuller took Freddie Daniel to Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo to be treated from a gunshot wound, where Freddie Daniel was arrested.

Fuller was arrested later that night, police said.

Sea Lion Found on Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf Suffering from Gunshot Wound Euthanized

A sea lion found on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf suffering from a gunshot wound last week was euthanized Thursday night.

The California sea lion, dubbed King Neptune, was put down after tests determined that his condition had deteriorated significantly, officials with the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito said.

An infection from the gunshot wound had spread to his chest, causing a serious case of pneumonia to develop. The wound was also failing to heal and muscles along his spine were atrophying, a center spokeswoman said.

King Neptune, a young adult male, was rescued from the wharf Aug. 17 after he was spotted by a member of the public.

He was lethargic and underweight, and veterinarians at the center's Sausalito facility found that he had been shot by a large-caliber weapon. X-rays showed bullet fragments lodged dangerously close to his spine.

Veterinarians estimate the sea lion was shot a few days before the rescue. He was put on antibiotics and painkillers, but officials reported difficulty in persuading him to eat.

Mostly Cloudy, Patchy Fog and Drizzle Expected

The Bay Area is expected to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog and drizzle this morning before becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the 50s to upper 60s are likely.

Partly cloudy skies are expected this evening, with patchy fog after midnight, becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s are likely.

Mostly cloudy skies are expected Sunday becoming mostly sunny with patchy fog in the morning. Forecasters predict highs in the 60s.

Man Shot In Bernal Heights Succumbs To Injuries At Hospital

An 18-year-old man was shot in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood on Thursday afternoon and later died at a hospital, police said today.

The shooting was reported at 12:33 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Alemany Boulevard and Putnam Street.

The victim, identified by the medical examiner's office as Kevin Hall, was one of two people in a car that was heading east on Alemany Boulevard shortly before the shooting, according to police.

When the car stopped, another vehicle pulled alongside it and a suspect got out of the passenger side of the car, walked to the rear of the victims' vehicle and opened fire, police said.

The victims fled, driving to San Francisco General Hospital where Smith succumbed to injuries he suffered in the shooting, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The suspect or suspects fled in a vehicle described as a two-door silver sedan, possibly a Honda, according to police. No other suspect information was immediately available today, Esparza said.

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

 

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Man Shot In Hip Walking Through The Mission

A person was shot in the hip in San Francisco's Mission District Thursday night, San Francisco police said.

The victim was walking near 18th and Mission Streets around 9:46 p.m. when they were shot in the hip, police said.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life threatening, according to police

Suspect information was not immediately available.

 

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"Giant" Race To Close City Streets Saturday Morning

The 2011 Giant Race in San Francisco will send an expected 10,000 participants running Saturday morning and close city streets, affecting traffic and bus routes.

The racing event, which begins at 8 a.m., features a half-marathon and 10K and 5K races, which all end on the field of AT&T Park -- home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The race will close streets in the Embarcadero, along Fisherman's Wharf, Fort Mason and the Presidio throughout the morning, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said.    

The race route will affect San Francisco Municipal Railway service including the F-Market and T-Third lines and the 28, 39 and 49 bus lines, Rose said.

The annual race has raised more than $50,000 for Project Open Hand, an organization that provides meals to seniors and people living with serious illnesses, organizers said.

All participants will receive a medal, shirt, and a bobblehead doll of Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum.

After the races, participants can attend the Safeway Post Race Expo at AT&T Park. The event will feature food, music, and ballpark vendors.    

All road closures are expected to reopen by 1 p.m., Rose said.

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Friday News Round Up

No Immediate Decision Made By Judge On Barry Bonds Case

A federal judge in San Francisco heard 30 minutes of arguments but made no immediate decision Thursday on whether to overturn the obstruction-of-justice conviction of home-run champion Barry Bonds. 

The obstruction charge is the only count on which the former San Francisco Giants outfielder was convicted by a jury in Illston's court after a three-week trial in March and April.

The jury deadlocked on three other charges that Bonds lied in 2003 testimony before a federal grand jury investigating steroids distribution by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

Prosecutors haven't announced whether they will retry Bonds on those charges, nor have they said when they will reveal their decision.

The obstruction conviction was for giving evasive testimony to the 2003 grand jury in answer to a prosecutor's question about whether Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, ever gave him "anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with."

The three other counts in which Bonds was accused of lying to the grand jury concerned answers to slightly different questions.

In those responses, Bonds denied he had ever been injected by Anderson and that he had ever knowingly taken steroids or human growth hormone.

Oakland Mayor Spoke Out Against Crime-Fighting Proposals

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Thursday spoke out against crime-fighting proposals suggested by Police Chief Anthony Batts and city council members Larry Reid and Ignacio De La Fuente.

Batts has long favored imposing curfews for teenagers and injunctions against gangs and Reid and De La Fuente have also strongly supported those measures in the wake of a drive-by shooting that claimed the life of 3-year-old Carlos Nava in East Oakland on Aug. 8.

But Quan said Thursday that she does not think a youth curfew would be an effective crime-fighting tool, as the two suspects in the fatal shooting of Carlos are both in their 20s and the suspects in other recent homicides in the city also are over the age of 18.

Quan said she favors a loitering ordinance instead of a youth curfew, saying she thinks there would be fewer civil rights issues with such an ordinance.

The mayor also said she does not support injunctions against gangs, saying she prefers injunctions against individuals who are deemed to be dangerous instead of injunctions against large groups of people.

Oakland won an injunction against the Norteno gang in the city's Fruitvale District in June and won an injunction against the North Side Oakland gang last year.

When the City Council meets again in September, Reid and De La Fuente will ask the council to support seeking injunctions against gangs in other parts of the city as well.

Police Arrest Third Suspect In Connection With Attempted Robbery Of Armored Car

Police arrested a third suspect Wednesday night in connection with an attempted robbery of an armored car in Pinole that led to a shootout between the suspects and a security guard.

William Fuller, 30, was arrested at about 8 p.m. and is alleged to have driven the vehicle used in the robbery, police said.

He has been booked into county jail on suspicion of murder, two counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a felony and robbery, police said.

The incident began shortly after 9:15 a.m. at the Wells Fargo bank at 1374 Fitzgerald Drive.

A guard of a Loomis armored vehicle was leaving the bank with a bag of cash when two men assaulted her and attempted to rob her, police said.

The guard resisted and the group began shooting at each other, police said. The guard and both suspects were injured.    

The guard was taken to a hospital, where she was in serious but stable condition Thursday, police said.

The two suspects attempted to flee, but police caught up to one of them, identified as 25-year-old San Pablo resident Pierre Daniel, on Fitzgerald Drive near the bank.

Officers allegedly ordered him not to reach for a gun, but he reached for it anyway and an officer shot him, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the confrontation, Pinole police Officer Brian "Justin" Takacs was shot in his left shoulder, police said.

Takacs was scheduled for surgery Thursday afternoon and is expected to recover from his injuries.

While police were investigating the shootings near the bank, Pierre Daniel's brother Freddie Daniel, 24, of San Pablo, was dropped off at a local hospital with a gunshot wound.

Freddie Daniel has undergone surgery, but remained in critical condition Thursday. He is facing the same charges as Fuller.

Law Enforcement Authorities Arrested Four Suspects In Connection With Fremont Robberies

Law enforcement authorities arrested four suspects in Newark Thursday morning in connection with a string of Fremont robberies, a Fremont police detective said.

One suspect remains at large.   

The suspects were taken into custody after search warrants and arrest warrants were served in Newark Thursday morning through the combined efforts of the Newark, Milpitas, Fremont, Union City, and San Leandro police departments, Detective Bill Veteran said.

Details about the arrests and the suspects were not being disclosed by police, Veteran said.

Northern California Congressment Hosted Forum On Job Creation And Export Of American-Made Goods

Three Northern California congressmen hosted a forum Thursday in Walnut Creek for local entrepreneurs to discuss efforts to create jobs and promote the international export of American-made goods.

Thursday's "Export to the World" forum was directed by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Creek, George Miller, D-Martinez, and Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, and was part of a nationwide export tour by President Obama's Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez.    

On the tour, Sanchez aims to highlight opportunities for businesses to grow the economy by expanding exports and creating jobs. Part of that effort involves leveraging public-private partnerships to encourage investment and growth.

The congressmen are also all strongly in favor of proposed legislation related to the Democrats' "Make it in America" agenda, an initiative that aims to rebuild the country's manufacturing sector.

Investments in education and energy innovation are key components of the agenda, and legislation has already been passed to end tax loopholes that encourage companies to move jobs overseas, to expedite the patent process, and to cut taxes and create loans for small businesses.

Castro Valley Man Refuses To Vacate Home, Taken Down By K-9

A Castro Valley man who refused to vacate his mobile home when faced with eviction Thursday afternoon was taken down cursing by a sheriff's K-9, ending an hour-long standoff with law enforcement.    

The proprietor of the Tra-Tel Trailer Park in the 3700 block of Castro Valley Road attempted to serve an eviction notice to one of her tenants, but, according to Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson, the man holed himself up in his trailer with what the landlady believed was a shotgun.

The woman called the sheriff's office at about 1 p.m., and deputies responded, establishing a perimeter and evacuating approximately 20 residents and guests who were home at the time.

Deputies attempted to contact the man, Fred Murphy, 54, by placing calls to a phone inside the trailer. When there was no response they resorted to a patrol car loud speaker, but to no avail, Nelson said.

Murphy opened the trailer's main door and a screen door, and he stepped partially outside, flipped off the deputies, and allegedly said "F--- you guys!" before stepping back inside, Nelson said.    

Although the screen door had closed, Murphy did not close the main door before sheriff's K-9 Bo busted through the screen and began biting Murphy, Nelson said.

Nelson said that Murphy was arrested on suspicion of making threats against the landlady and brandishing a replica weapon, which authorities determined was a pellet rifle.

Man Arrested After Running From Police

A man was arrested after allegedly running from his car after being pulled over by an off-duty San Francisco police officer on a U.S. Highway 101 off-ramp in Sausalito on Wednesday night, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The incident started around 10:45 p.m. on the Spencer Avenue off-ramp from northbound Highway 101.

The off-duty police officer saw a 1996 Kia sport utility vehicle driving north on Highway 101 and its driver appeared to be intoxicated, the CHP said.

As the vehicle exited the highway at Spencer Avenue, the officer, who was driving an unmarked police vehicle, pulled behind the Kia and tried to contact the driver. But when the officer got out of his vehicle, the driver ran away toward downtown Sausalito, according to the CHP.

The officer held a 31-year-old passenger in the car at gunpoint until CHP officers arrived.

Investigators identified the driver as 43-year-old David Ray Wright, who was eventually spotted by Sausalito police at a bus stop on Spencer Avenue at 4 a.m. Thursday.

CHP officers were called to the area and observed that Wright showed signs of intoxication, leading them to conclude that he had indeed been driving under the influence when he was pulled over on the off-ramp hours earlier, CHP Officer Chris Rardin said.

Wright was arrested and booked into Marin County jail on suspicion of DUI and evading arrest. He was booked on suspicion of felony DUI because he has at least three prior DUI convictions, Rardin said.    

The 31-year-old passenger of the Kia was released after cooperating with officers.

Oakland-Based Teen Rock Group PopLyfe Makes It To "America's Got Talent" Finals

The Oakland-based teen rocker group PopLyfe has traveled a long way in the four years since the group formed as a jam session in an Oakland living room.

After nailing their performance on "America's Got Talent" on Tuesday night, a performance that clinched them a spot in the show's finals, the group is flying into Oakland Thursday evening for a home visit, according to Oakland Vice Mayor Desley Brooks.

Fans, family and friends planned to gather at Oakland International Airport's Terminal 2 to greet the musicians with signs and cheers in a show of support.    

PopLyfe has eight members -- keyboardist Dylan Wiggins, 13, drummer Denzel Merrit, 12, lead vocalist KehLani Parrish, 13, saxophonist Ranzel Merrit, 15, bassist Jaden Wiggins, 11, turntablist Ali-Khan Lochin, 15, and guitarist Dillion Ingrem, 13.

These rockers may be young, but they are already learning from some of the best in the business.

The group's eight members are being groomed by Grammy Award winner D'Wayne Wiggins, their producer and mentor who also worked in the same capacity for Destiny's Child and Keyshia Cole.

Brooks said that she and the father of two of the children in the ensemble helped the group gain exposure by offering the group stage opportunities at the Arroyo Viejo Parks Summer Series Concerts.    

Brooks also said that she hopes the group will continue to gain exposure through the support of the community.

"We really want people to watch the show and vote afterward in the finals," she said.

A celebration for the artists will be held Thursday evening at Everett & Jones Barbeque in Oakland's Jack London Square, Brooks said.   

PopLyfe draws on Oakland's rich musical legacy, which includes artists such as En Vogue, MC Hammer, Tony Toni Tone and Too Short.

Woman Attacks San Francisco Department Of Parking And Traffic Officer

A woman attacked a San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic officer who gave her a parking ticket in the city's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood Wednesday evening, a police lieutenant said Thursday.

The attack was reported at about 5:50 p.m. in the 1500 block of Haight Street.

An altercation ensued after the parking officer wrote the woman a parking ticket, according to Lt. Belinda Kerr from the Police Department's Park Station.

The woman reached into the DPT vehicle and threw items out of the vehicle, Kerr said.

"When the DPT person tried to stop her, there was a little bit of a tussle and he got hit," she said. "We don't know if it was intentional."

The suspect, described as an Asian woman between 18 and 25 years old, fled in the car and was not found despite an extensive search, Kerr said.

Police have the license plate number of the vehicle, but its registered owner is not believed to be the suspect, she said.

The officer was not injured in the incident.

Sausalito Police Report That Three Cars Were Broken Into Over A Three-Day Period

Sausalito police said three locked vehicles were broken into over a three-day period this week.    

Property stolen from the vehicles was in plain view, and in two cases, the suspect smashed a side window to get in the vehicles, Lt. Kurtis Skoog said.

The third vehicle's side window was missing from a previous burglary in another jurisdiction and the suspect reached in and unlocked the door, Skoog said.

A vehicle burglary occurred during the daytime on Aug. 19 in the 800 block of Bridgeway, Skoog said.

The other two burglaries occurred overnight on Aug. 22 and 23 in the 200 block of Glen Drive and on Wray Avenue, Skoog said.

Oakland's New Public Safety Radio Communications System Still Has Problems

Oakland's highly-touted new public safety radio communications system is still having problems, more than two months after it began operating, City Administrator Deanna Santana said Thursday.

At a briefing at City Hall, Santana said, "For achieving normalcy, we're not there yet."

When the new system began operating on June 5, Mayor Jean Quan said it had already been tested for a month.

But Santana said Thursday the city anticipated an implementation period of 90 to 120 days to work out any technical issues that arise from the development of new technology and the city is still in that implementation mode.

Oakland officials say the new system offers more streamlined communications operations for police officers and firefighters in the field and fewer dead spots than the old and outdated system it replaced.

The new system complies with national standards for digital radio communications, which are called Project 25, or P25 for short. The previous system was analog.

Oakland is the first city in the Bay Area to be fully compliant with P25 standards. The new system cost about $18 million but it was paid for by federal funds.

California Supreme Court Unanimously Upheld Berkeley Man's Death Penalty

The California Supreme Court Thursday unanimously upheld the death penalty of a Berkeley man who fatally shot his sister and her son after a series of arguments.

Erven Blacksher, now 46, was convicted in Alameda County Superior Court in 1998 of the first-degree murder of his nephew, Torey Lee, 21, and the second-degree murder of his sister, Versenia Lee, 46, on May 11, 1995.

He was sentenced to death the following year on the basis of a jury finding of a special circumstance of multiple murders.

The victims were living at the home of Blacksher's and Lee's mother, Eva Blacksher, in West Berkeley.

Erven Blacksher, the youngest of eight siblings, had moved to a back cottage on the property to enable his sister to live in the house while taking care of their mother.

According to testimony at the trial, the early-morning shootings came after several days of arguments between Blacksher and his nephew.

Blacksher, who had previously been hospitalized several times for episodes of mental illness, argued at the guilt phase of his trial that he lacked the ability to form an intent to murder because he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

He also argued in a separate sanity phase of trial that he was insane at the time of the shootings. But the jury rejected both those arguments.

In Thursday's decision, issued in San Francisco and written by Justice Carol Corrigan, the state high court rejected a series of appeal claims in which Blacksher challenged evidence rulings and jury instructions at his trial.

Man Fatally Shot In East Oakland Early Tuesday

A man who was fatally shot in East Oakland early Tuesday was identified Thursday as 18-year-old Evan Chapman of Oakland after someone recognized him from photos of his tattoos and called police, authorities said.

Chapman was found shot to death in the 1800 block of 79th Avenue in Oakland, near Arroyo Viejo Park, shortly after midnight Tuesday after police received reports that there had been a shooting.   

Oakland police have not released any information about a suspect or a motive in the case.

Police asked for the public's help in identifying Chapman because they were not able to immediately identify him.

Police released photos of Chapman with stars on his right forearm and the name "Theresa" tattooed on his left forearm.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

The Bay Area is expected to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog and drizzle this morning before becoming mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are likely.

Mostly clear skies are expected this evening, with patchy fog after midnight, becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s are likely.   

Mostly cloudy skies are expected Saturday becoming partly cloudy with patchy fog in the morning. Forecasters predict highs in the 60s to lower 70s.

 

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Community Groups File Lawsuit to Try to Block Installation of AT&T Boxes

Opponents of a plan by AT&T to upgrade its network in San Francisco by installing hundreds of 4-foot-tall boxes around the city have filed a lawsuit to try to block the project from moving forward.

AT&T is proposing to install up to 726 of the boxes, which house its Lightspeed data transmission technology that would improve and expand its U-verse Internet, cable and landline phone service.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors narrowly voted 6-5 last month to exempt the project from the state's usually lengthy environmental review process after AT&T pledged to only install 495 boxes at first before seeking further approval from supervisors to build the rest.

A coalition of community groups that appealed the environmental review exemption argued that the boxes would impede pedestrian traffic, inconvenience property owners and reduce the city's aesthetic appeal, and are making the same arguments in the lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court by various community groups including San Francisco Beautiful, San Francisco Tomorrow, Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association and the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association.

The lawsuit is asking for the environmental review to be done, with an injunction in place to prevent the installation of any boxes while the case is pending in court.

"We really don't want to sue but are left no choice when the city refuses to uphold its own environmental codes and is about to give away our sidewalks for the benefit of a private company without any objective review," said Milo Hanke, past president of San Francisco Beautiful.

"We want the U-verse technology in San Francisco, but we don't want it on our sidewalks, we want it on private property," Hanke said.

He said the opponents hoped to have a court hearing in the case within the next couple of weeks.

AT&T officials were not immediately available for comment today, but the company has pledged to work with neighborhood groups on where to put the boxes, which each serve about 400 households.

AT&T officials said after the board's July 19 decision approving the exemption that the boxes would help bring better competition for cable service in San Francisco. Comcast is the only major provider of cable service in the city.

 

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Woman Comes Home to Find Burglar Hiding in Closet

A woman who had just arrived to her home in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood opened a closet door to find a burglar inside Wednesday night, police said.

The 22-year-old victim had arrived around 9 p.m. at her home in the 100 block of McAllister Street.

After she saw the suspect in her closet, the woman ran outside and called police. The burglar fled before officers arrived and apparently took some of the woman's lingerie, as well, according to police.

The suspect, a man in his 20s, had not been found as of this morning.

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

 

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Man Sliced in Side During Mission District Robbery

A man was sliced in the side with a knife during a robbery in San Francisco's Mission District on Wednesday night, police said.

The robbery was reported at about 9:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of Mission Street between 16th and 17th streets.

The 27-year-old victim was walking along the street when a suspect approached and demanded his property.

The suspect then took out a knife and slashed the victim in the side before taking his cellphone and cash and running away, police said.

The suspect, a man in his mid 60s, had not been found as of this morning. The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for his injuries, which are not considered to be life threatening, according to police.

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

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

The Bay Area is expected to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog this morning before becoming partly cloudy.

Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are likely. Partly cloudy skies are expected this evening, with patchy fog after midnight, becoming mostly cloudy.

Lows in the mid 50s are likely. Mostly cloudy skies are expected Friday becoming mostly sunny with patchy fog in the morning.

Forecasters predict highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s.

 

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Man Suffers Life-Threatening Injuries in Tonight's Crash

A man suffered life-threatening injuries in a two-vehicle crash in San Francisco tonight, police said.

A minivan and a Mustang crashed at Bayshore Boulevard and Bacon Street.

A man in the minivan suffered life threatening injuries. A woman and child in the minivan were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The two Mustang occupants were injured and are expected to survive.

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Morning News Roundup

San Jose Police Department Lets Go Of Two Federal Immigrations Agency Investigators

The San Jose Police Department is letting go of two federal immigrations agency investigators it had enlisted to help crack down on escalating gang violence.

The department Wednesday announced it is terminating its partnership with the Department of Homeland Security after seeing a decrease in gang-related violence.

Police Chief Chris Moore extended his gratitude to the federal agents in a statement released on the department's website.

"We were gearing up for a potentially hot and violent summer," Moore said. "But thanks in part to the hard work of our officers and the investigators, we've reached a point of stability."

Moore enlisted the help of the investigators from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in late June as part of the Department of Homeland Security's "Operation Community Shield" program.

He assured the community the agents would not be targeting immigrants, but were helping the department target escalating gang violence and that he would remove them if they overstepped their boundaries.

Immigrant and civil rights groups were not convinced. Several were vocal about their opposition to the program, maintaining that the program would increase the community's distrust of law enforcement, cultivate fear and undermine immigrants' civil liberties.

They were concerned that the department's collaboration with the two ICE agents would increase the chances of racial profiling and deportations.

Police maintain the agents provided "much-needed investigative assistance" with the department's gang suppression strategy, which they said has been "extremely successful."

Speakers At BART's Three-Hour Public Hearing Criticize Decision To Temporarily Cut Off Cellphone Service

Most of the 18 speakers at a three-hour public hearing Wednesday criticized BART's decision to temporarily cut off cellphone service at several San Francisco stations Aug. 11 because of concerns there would be a violent protest.

Michael Risher, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, told the transit agency's board of directors that BART's cellphone network "is a designated public forum that you can't cut off except in very limited circumstances."

But a man who identified himself only as Gary H. said that to claim that BART violated passengers' free speech rights by temporarily halting cellphone service at a few stations is a "specious" argument and "trivializes our First Amendment rights."

The Aug. 11 protest was planned by groups such as No Justice, No BART who have criticized the transit agency's police officers for fatally shooting Charles Hill, a transient man, at the Civic Center station in San Francisco the night of July 3.

BART police said Hill was armed with two knives and a broken bottle and was attacking them.

BART Interim General Manager Sherwood Wakeman said Police Chief Kenton Rainey recommended temporarily cutting off cellphone service and he approved the action "based on my concern that the demonstration would include illegal activity which would be a serious threat to the safety of our patrons."

BART directors were briefed on the decision to temporarily halt cellphone service and approved the action but several directors said Wednesday that they have second thoughts about it in the wake of the public's outcry and legal opinions cited by the ACLU.

Board President Bob Franklin said BART directors and staff will now formulate a formal policy on when the transit system will cut off cellphone service in underground stations.

Franklin said BART officials will consult with the agency's recently-formed citizens' police review board and free speech groups before bringing the proposed policy to a board of directors meeting in two to four weeks.

Pinole Police Officer And Security Guard Injured In Shootout

A Pinole police officer and a security guard were injured in a shootout in Pinole Wednesday morning that left one suspect dead and another injured, police said.

The incident began shortly before 9:20 a.m. when two men attempted to rob a Loomis armored car in front the Wells Fargo bank at 1374 Fitzgerald Drive.

Details about what happened next were not immediately available, but police could confirm that a female security guard was injured by gunfire.

Phone calls received by the police indicated that two male suspects were involved in the robbery and that one of the security officers working for Loomis had been shot.

Responding Pinole police officers encountered one of the robbery suspects on Fitzgerald Drive near the bank. The armed suspect was fatally shot by a police officer.

Another suspect was arrested after he showed up at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo seeking treatment for a gunshot wound. He was transferred to John Muir Medical Center, police said, where he was still receiving treatment as of 4:45 p.m.

A responding police officer who was shot in the shoulder and the security officer were transported to a hospital for treatment. Police said that the security officer's injuries and condition were unknown but that the officer and the security guard are both expected to survive.

Man Accused Of Stealing Ballots From San Francisco Polling Station Set Free

A man accused of stealing ballots from a San Francisco polling station last November was set free Wednesday after staying in jail for 50 days longer than necessary because of his conduct during a series of bizarre court appearances.

Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, was accused of taking about 75 ballots, a voter roster, a cellphone, and a memory box and access key to a voting machine on Knott Court in the city's Crocker Amazon neighborhood where he was working as a voting station inspector on Nov. 2, 2010.

Nicholas was arrested the next day, and the ballots were later found in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts. He has been in custody ever since. The memory box, access key and cellphone have yet to be found.    

Nicholas was set to be freed last month after pleading guilty in December to a felony count of tampering with voting machines and ballots in exchange for a year in county jail and other penalties, although he later tried to withdraw the plea.

With credit for time served, the one-year mark came on July 5, but at a hearing that day, at which his defense attorney Stuart Blumstein had filed a motion to have him released from jail on his own recognizance, Nicholas was tackled by sheriff's deputies after yelling at the judge and Blumstein.

Following the outburst, the judge denied the motion to have him released and had the case continued until his scheduled sentencing the following week in the court of Judge Anne Boulianne.

But during the scheduled sentencing, Nicholas began refusing to talk to his attorney or acknowledge the questions of Boulianne, who ordered him held for a mental health examination instead of sentencing him.

Boulianne said she was finally ready to sentence Nicholas -- 50 days after she had originally planned to.

Boulianne reduced the felony charge to a misdemeanor since he had served the term of his jail sentence -- and then some -- and also ordered him to serve three years of probation.

Redwood City School District Board Of Education

The Redwood City School District Board of Education Wednesday night was scheduled to decide whether to enact a series of price increases on meals served in school cafeterias, a district spokeswoman said.

Effective Oct. 1, the price increase would raise the cost of breakfast from 75 cents to $1.25, and lunches would go up from $1.75 to $2.25, according to the school district.

Meal prices would be raised 25 cents in the 2012-2013 school year, and 25 cents again in 2013-2014.

Redwood City School District currently has the lowest priced school meals out of any school district in San Mateo County.

The price increases could raise revenues to the school district by an estimated $537,000 over the three years, district chief business officer Raul Parungao said.

The money would be used to provide a greater variety of fresh vegetables and whole wheat products, cover increasing labor costs, upgrade kitchen equipment, and provide more free meals to kids from low-income families.

Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office Announces That Jeanine Sanchez-Hams Murder Case Put To Rest

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office Wednesday announced that Maurice Nasmeh killed Jeanine Sanchez-Harms, who went missing in 2001, based on evidence of 27 rug fibers found in his car, finally putting to a rest a 10-year-old murder mystery.

Though the investigation, which District Attorney Jeff Rosen said was "exhaustive and extensive," has been concluded it does not bring Nasmeh to justice. On Jan. 15, Sanchez-Harms' 52-year-old brother, Wayne Sanchez, shot and killed Nasmeh at a shopping center in San Jose and then took his own life.

Wayne Sanchez accused Nasmeh of murdering his sister, who went missing on July 27, 2001.

Although Sanchez-Harms' body has not been found, the district attorney's office determined Nasmeh did, in fact, murder Sanchez-Harms shortly after they arrived at her apartment, concealed her body in a Persian rug on her living room floor and used his Jeep Grand Cherokee to dispose of her body.

"I believe the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt and I believe a Santa Clara County jury would convict him," Rosen told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning.

The conclusion was based on the discovery of 27 fibers from Sanchez-Harms' Persian rug and latch hook rugs in the cargo area of Nasmeh's Jeep.

"This is not like finding a needle in a haystack, this is like finding a needle in a stack of needles," Rosen said. "There is no innocent explanation for those 27 fibers to be in the back of Maurice Nasmeh's Jeep Cherokee."

Several Bay Area District Attorneys And Officials Met To Discuss AB 109

Several district attorneys and other officials from counties around the Bay Area met in San Francisco Wednesday to discuss recent California legislation that will soon put many offenders and parolees under local rather than state supervision.

AB 109, a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to address overcrowding in state prisons and the state's large budget deficit, will apply to people convicted of nonviolent, non-serious offenses, as well as adult parolees and juvenile offenders.

The bill was signed into law in April and is set to go into effect on Oct. 1.

The move is estimated to save the state an estimated $1.4 billion but will likely cause added stress on county services, which was the reason for Wednesday's meeting held at University of California's Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

District attorneys and chief probation officers from the nine Bay Area counties plus Santa Cruz County were among the attendees at Wednesday afternoon's summit.

The summit planned to focus on pre-trial issues, sentencing, and revocations and reentry, according to the district attorney's office.

Activists Help Protest Outside Oakland Unified School District Headquarters To Demand Firing Of Acting Police Chief

Activist groups held a protest outside Oakland Unified School District headquarters Wednesday to demand that the district's acting police chief be fired because he was involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect earlier this year.

Bhatt was appointed acting police chief on Aug. 5, when former chief Pete Sarna was placed on leave while school officials investigated allegations that he made racist remarks to two sergeants at an off-duty golf outing last month.

Sarna, 41, who previously worked for the Oakland Police Department and the California Department of Justice, resigned his post last week and retired from law enforcement.

Activist Cat Brooks said witnesses claim Bhatt and a fellow officer, Sgt. Jonathan Bellusa, made racist remarks to 20-year-old Raheim Brown shortly before Bhatt shot Brown five times in an incident on Jan. 22 outside the Joaquin Miller Community Center, where students from Skyline High School were having their winter ball.

School district police said Brown was in a stolen car and tried to stab one of the officers with a screwdriver.

School district spokesman Troy Flint said an investigation by a third party determined that there was no wrongdoing by Bhatt and Bellusa.

Flint said Smith named Bhatt to be the acting chief because he was the highest-ranking member of the police department not involved in the incident in which Sarna made comments that were alleged to be racist.

Los Gatos Man Dies At Yosemite National Park

A Los Gatos man died at Yosemite National Park on Monday when he fell from the face of Half Dome, the National Park Service said Wednesday.    

The park's emergency communication center received a report at 6:30 p.m. Monday that the man, Ryan Leeder, 23, had fallen off the rock face. 

Climbers who were at the base of Half Dome and were preparing to do a climb the following morning saw Leeder fall, park spokesman Scott Gediman said.   

By that time the sun had begun to set, and darkness prevented park rangers from initiating the search Monday night, Gediman said. Rangers extricated Leeder's body from Half Dome's base Tuesday after it was spotted by helicopter.

Several hikers have fallen to their death from Half Dome's final ascent, which is traversed using cables bolted into the rock. Hikers are required to obtain a daily permit to access the Half Dome trail, one that can see hundreds of people a day.

Before the permit system was implementing in 2010, up to 800 people used the trail on weekends and holidays, according to the park service. Now, a maximum of 400 permits are issued daily.

Weather conditions at the time Leeder fell were clear, with temperatures in the mid 70s and there was no precipitation. "Weather was not a mitigating factor," Gediman said.

Leeder had been hiking alone and apparently fell from the rock itself, not from the cables, according to Gediman. He was the 17th person to die in 2011 at the park, and Gediman said that tally includes natural and accidental deaths and represents one of the deadliest years on record.

Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Amtrak Train Identified

A pedestrian who was fatally struck in San Jose by an Amtrak train that was headed to Los Angeles Wednesday morning has been identified as a San Jose man.

The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office identified the victim as 52-year-old Kevin Anthony Aplustill.

The fatality was reported at about 10:50 a.m., San Jose Fire Department Capt. Mary Gutierrez said.

It is not known exactly where the man was hit, but his body was located on Monterey Road at the intersection of Capitol Expressway. The San Jose Fire Department first reported the body was found at Monterey Road and the Blossom Hill Road overpass.

The Union Pacific tracks were shut down during the investigation, and some 200 people who were on the train were not allowed off until the body was removed by the medical examiner's office, Gutierrez said.

17-Year-Old Boy Fatally Shot In Richmond

A 17-year-old boy was fatally shot in Richmond Tuesday night, according to police Lt. Shawn Pickett.

Police were notified of the shooting through the city's ShotSpotter alert system at around 9:45 p.m.

Responding officers found the victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in the carport of a building in the 800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, Pickett said.

The teen was taken to a hospital before being airlifted to John Muir Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

The victim was identified as Elvis Escobar Alfao of San Pablo, according to the Contra Costa County coroner's office.

Witnesses described the shooter as a black man, around 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing about 130 pounds, Pickett said.

He was wearing dark clothing and was armed with a handgun.    

The suspect was last seen running east on Pennsylvania Avenue before heading south on Ninth Street.

Bicyclist Struck By Vehicle In Menlo Park Dies

A bicyclist who was struck by a vehicle in Menlo Park Wednesday morning has died, police said.

Richard Buckley, 64, of Redwood City was taken to Stanford Medical Center after he was struck by a vehicle shortly after 11 a.m.    

The crash occurred on Bayfront Expressway at Chilco Street, according to the Menlo Park Police Department.

The driver of the vehicle cooperated with investigators and showed no sign of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to police.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

The Bay Area is expected to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog this morning before becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are likely.

Partly cloudy skies are expected this evening, with patchy fog after midnight, becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s are likely.

Mostly cloudy skies are expected Friday becoming mostly sunny with patchy fog in the morning. Forecasters predict highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s.

 

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Woman Arrested After Tenderloin Stabbing

A woman was arrested after stabbing a man in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The stabbing was reported at 3:32 p.m. in the 300 block of Ellis Street.

The victim, a 60-year-old man, was arguing with the 38-year-old woman when she took out a knife and stabbed him in the chest, according to police.

The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital. His injuries are not considered to be life threatening, police said.

The suspect ran away following the stabbing but was subsequently arrested. Her name was not immediately available.

 

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Teen Fatally Shot In Visitacion Valley Identified

An 18-year-old man fatally shot in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley neighborhood last week has been identified by the medical examiner's office as Ricky Tims.

At about 10 p.m. Thursday, Tims was standing in the 200 block of Rey Street when two suspects approached him on foot and opened fire, police said.

Tims was taken to a hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and succumbed to his injuries at 1:55 a.m. Friday, according to police.

The suspects, believed to be two teenage boys, ran away following the shooting and have not been found as of today, police said.

The Police Department's gang task force is investigating the case. Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call the department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

 

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