SF News

Outside Lands Festival To Impact Traffic, Public Transit

Music lovers are converging on Golden Gate Park today for the fourth annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.

Three-day and single-day tickets are still available at the gate for the festival, which features bands including Phish, Muse, Arcade FireThe Shins, Erykah Badu, John Fogerty, The Roots and The Decemberists. Bands will be performing at the Polo Fields, Speedway Meadow and Lindley Meadow.

The festival gates opened at 11 a.m. today and will open at the same time Saturday and Sunday. Music will end at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9:45 p.m. on Sunday.

A number of streets in the park surrounding the festival have been closed for the weekend, and motorists should expect to encounter detours.

San Francisco Municipal Railway service will also be affected. Due to heavy attendance, Muni is advising riders to expect delays, especially late at night on the N-Judah line and all bus lines serving Golden Gate Park, including the 5, 28, 29, 44, 71 and 71L.

Additional service will be added on the 5-Fulton, 71-Haight Noriega and N-Judah lines to accommodate concertgoers, although passengers taking the 71 should only board those buses marked for Outside Lands supplemental service.

Outside Lands is also operating a shuttle from San Francisco's Civic Center to and from the concert for those taking BART or Caltrain or parking downtown, but tickets for the shuttle are sold out.

Parking in the neighborhoods around the park is expected to be difficult, and organizers say tow trucks and Department of Parking and Traffic officers will be on hand to deal with any parking violations. Those attending the concert are strongly urged to take public transit, walk or bike.

 

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Girl Abducted By Father In Sacramento, May Be Headed To Bay Area

A father abducted his child in Sacramento on Sunday and may be headed toward the Bay Area, the FBI said today.

Mourad "Moni" Samaan, 49, took his 2-year-old daughter Madeline Samaan-Fey on Sunday and FBI investigators believe her life might be in jeopardy.

The circumstances of the abduction are particularly concerning, according to FBI officials.

Madeline is 2-foot-8 with brown hair and brown eyes.

Samaan is a U.S. citizen born in Egypt who is 5 feet 6 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes and is believed to be an accomplished Spanish speaker. He is known to drive a green Toyota 4Runner with California license plate No. 3XRM111.

The FBI encourages anyone with information related to this case to call (916) 481-9110.

 

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Man Stabbed In Back In SOMA Late Thursday Night

A man was stabbed in the back by a woman in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood late Thursday night but is refusing to cooperate with investigators, police said.

The stabbing was reported at 11:15 p.m. near the intersection of Seventh and Stevenson streets.

The 36-year-old victim got into an argument with the female suspect, who pulled out a small knife and stabbed him once in the back, according to police.

The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for the injury, which is not considered life-threatening, police said.

When investigators questioned the man about what happened, the man refused to provide further details about the stabbing.

Anyone with information about the case 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 Attacked With Scooter In Tenderloin

A man suffered a broken leg when he was attacked by a man who struck him with a Razor scooter in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood on Thursday night, police said.

The attack was reported at 10:30 p.m. Thursday in the 600 block of Ellis Street.

The 40-year-old victim was standing on a street corner when he was approached by three suspects, one of whom struck him with the scooter, according to police.

The suspects, described as men in their 20s, ran away and have not been found.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for his broken leg. The injury is not considered life-threatening, police said.

Anyone with information about the attack 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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Fire Truck Strikes Pedestrian, Sent To Hospital

A fire truck driving in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood this morning clipped a big-rig, which then hit a man on the sidewalk nearby, fire officials said.

At about 9:10 a.m., the tiller ladder truck was conducting a routine check and was making a right turn from Mission Street onto New Montgomery Street when it struck the parked Penske big-rig, fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

After being struck, the big-rig hit the 20-year-old operator of the truck who was on the sidewalk behind the passenger side door, Talmadge said.

The man fell to the ground but was alert and talking. He had minor complaints of pain and was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, according to Talmadge.

The accident is being considered industrial and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has been notified and will be investigating.

 

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Man Shot In Foot In Hunters Point Thursday

A man was shot in the foot in San Francisco's Hunters Point neighborhood late Thursday morning, police said.

The shooting was reported at 11:29 a.m. Thursday in the 1000 block of Oakdale Avenue.    

The 20-year-old victim was approached by three male suspects, one of whom pulled out a black semiautomatic gun from his waistband and shot at him, according to police.   

The victim tried to flee but a bullet ricocheted and struck him in the foot, police said. 

He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for his injury, which is not life-threatening.

The suspects, two of whom are described as being in their mid to late teens, fled and have not been found as of today, according to police.

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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San Francisco Bay Area Friday News Roundup

Man Arrested And Charged With Murdering 3-Year-Old

A man has been arrested and charged with murdering 3-year-old Carlos Nava in a drive-by shooting in East Oakland on Monday, and investigators are seeking a second suspect in the case, police and prosecutors said Thursday.

Lawrence Denard, 26, of Oakland, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Pittsburg. He has been charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

He also charged with several enhancements and could face more than 100 years in prison if convicted. He was arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court Thursday afternoon.

Nava was shot in a drive-by shooting that happened at about 1:10 p.m. Monday near International Boulevard and 65th Avenue. Two men were also hit by bullets but survived.

Police said it appears the men were the intended targets and that Nava, who was in the area shopping with his family, was shot by accident. He later died at Children's Hospital Oakland.

Investigators believe the shooting was gang-related.    

One of the men who was shot provided the name of the driver of the suspect vehicle when he was questioned at the hospital, police said in a probable cause statement.

Investigators also located an additional witness who identified the shooter as Denard.

Denard was taken into custody shortly after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Pittsburg. A search warrant was served at an apartment associated with him, and several pieces of evidence were collected, according to police.

Denard, who has prior gun-related convictions, has denied that he was involved in the murder, police said.

Investigators are still seeking the second suspect who they believe drove the car used in the shooting, but have not released his name.

Lt. Brian Medeiros of the Police Department's homicide section said there are a "couple more loops to close on this that we're actively pursuing."

BART Protests On Thursday Did Not Occur

BART protests expected to disrupt service Thursday afternoon failed to materialize, but the agency said that riders should be vigilant in coming weeks while the threat of protests lingers.

"Today we heard rumors there might be protests, and there might be protests tomorrow," agency spokesman Linton Johnson said at a media briefing Thursday night inside the Powell Street station. "We don't know."

BART had put a warning on its website Thursday for passengers to be "advised that protesters may attempt to disrupt train service during August commute periods beginning as early as Thursday, August 11, 2011, in downtown San Francisco BART stations."

On July 11, protesters disrupted rush-hour commutes in response to the killing of Charles Hill by BART police a week earlier. BART police arrested a number of protesters that night and temporarily closed San Francisco's Civic Center BART station, among others.

Thursday afternoon, BART police were standing, with about a dozen officers in riot gear and a dozen safety officers in green vests present on the train platform at Civic Center Station, where protesters were expected to gather around 4:30 p.m.

Lt. Andy Alkire said that no arrests were made Thursday and that it helped to have a uniformed police presence.

"I don't believe it was a hoax," Alkire said. "We had pretty good intelligence that it was going to happen."

As an added precaution, the agency shut off cellphone service on the station's platform. While Alkire said the tactic was an unusual measure, he said it was "a great tool to utilize for this specific purpose" given that the agency was expecting a potentially volatile situation.

"This group seems to want to challenge BART, challenge the police department," Alkire said.

Johnson encourages BART passengers to remain aware of their surroundings as they commute over the next month.

"Report unsafe behavior, do not confront protesters," Johnson said. "Stay out of harm's way."

Passengers can report suspicious or unsafe behavior by calling (510) 464-7000 or by locating an intercom.

Santa Rosa Charter School Manager Charged With Embezzlement And Forgery

The finance and business manager of a nonprofit Santa Rosa charter school was arraigned in Sonoma County Superior Court Thursday afternoon on embezzlement and forgery charges.

Sheila Accornero, 42, of Cloverdale, allegedly embezzled nearly $400,000 from the Kids Street Learning Center charter school in Santa Rosa and the school building's owner, Lincoln Holding Company Inc., Deputy District Attorney Amy Ariyoshi said.

Accornero did not enter a plea to the eight felony charges and is scheduled to return to court Aug. 22.

She is being held at Sonoma County Jail without bail for violating her probation for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud in February 2008.

Accornero also is charged in the forgery and embezzlement complaint with possessing a controlled substance without a prescription.

Ariyoshi said the alleged embezzlement and forgery charges occurred between December 2008 and Tuesday, when Accornero was interviewed and arrested, but that the case is still under investigation. Accornero was hired by the school at 709 Davis St. in Santa Rosa in 2005, Ariyoshi said.

Accornero allegedly embezzled $389,477.84 from the charter school and $7,156.03 from Lincoln Holding Company Inc., Ariyoshi said.

On its website, the Kids Street Learning Center lists its mission as providing children and families living in extreme crisis a caring, supportive educational community to call home.

The school fosters a "hands-on, real world self initiated education," according to the website.

Kids Street Learning Center also offers an after-school program.

Larae Archibald, an investigator with the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office, said she received information about "suspicious financial activity" from the United States Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network which tracks suspicious financial transactions.

"I dug deeper and got bank records and it appeared obvious to me," Archibald said of the alleged embezzlement outside the courtroom Thursday afternoon.

The school's administrators were unaware of the missing money until detectives contacted them Tuesday, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Mike Lazzarini said.

The school's executive director and principal, Linda Conklin, has not returned a phone call for comment. The school is funded through grants and donations, police said.

Inmate Accused Of Killing Nurse Ordered To Stand Trial

An inmate accused of killing a nurse in an unprovoked attack in Contra Costa County jail last October was ordered to stand trial for murder Thursday following a preliminary hearing.

Aaron Nygaard, 35, of El Cerrito, has been charged with murder in connection with the death of Cynthia Palomata, 55, of El Sobrante, who he allegedly attacked with a lamp on Oct. 25, 2010.

Nygaard had been arrested that morning after an El Cerrito resident caught him burglarizing his home, police said.

He was taken to county jail in Martinez and was in the jail's intake area when, at about 4 p.m., he allegedly faked a seizure.

Contra Costa County Sheriff's Deputy Dana Sanchou said she interviewed another nurse who was working with Palomata the day of the attack.

The nurse told her that Nygaard was thrashing around on the floor in front of a holding cell, but that he was clearly not having a seizure, Sanchou said.

He was sent to the nurse's station, where he admitted to a deputy that he had faked the seizure because he wanted to get out of the holding cell he had been placed in, Sanchou said.

Palomata and the other nurse checked Nygaard's vital signs and began treating him for what appeared to be alcohol withdrawal.

When the second nurse went to tell a sergeant that Nygaard had not had a seizure and could be booked into jail, Nygaard allegedly grabbed a lamp off the desk, stood up and struck Palomata on the head with it, Sanchou said.

According to Sanchou, one witness, an immigration agent who was booking other inmates into the jail, said he saw Nygaard swing the lamp at Palomata's head with both hands. The lamp shattered when it hit her and "she fell back like a statue and hit the ground," Sanchou said.

Nygaard, who is being held in Alameda County Jail, is scheduled to return to court Aug. 29 for an arraignment on the holding order.

San Francisco City And School District Leaders Urge Students To Attend School

San Francisco city and school district leaders had a message for the children who are starting school this Monday -- show up.    

"People think that attendance is not a big deal. Well, it is a big deal," San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia said at a news conference Thursday afternoon at Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School in the city's Mission District.

Garcia was joined Thursday afternoon by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon to announce that the number of habitually and chronically absent children in public schools has dropped for the fourth year in a row.

They were also there to remind students and parents that the crackdown on chronic absenteeism is ongoing and that the trend can begin at a young age.

Garcia said that the school district has already sent out 976 letters to the parents and guardians of students in kindergarten through second grade who had a high rate of absenteeism last school year.

Garcia said the school district and district attorney's office established a system about five years ago that partners with city agencies, students' parents, and organizations such as the YMCA-run Truancy Assessment and Resource Center to identify truants, figure out why the student is absent from school, and attempt to resolve the issue.

The district attorney's office is integral to the model. The office sends out a letter to parents at the beginning of each school year explaining that it is illegal to keep children out of school.

Once truants are identified, the district attorney's office often steps in to intervene. Garcia said their involvement is not intended to be punitive and they try to avoid prosecution if possible.

In most cases, he said, it is a matter of connecting the parents with the proper resources, like affordable childcare.

San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Presented Plan For Jet Ski Patrol

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Thursday presented federal officials the framework for a proposal that will allow volunteers on Jet Skis to patrol the surf break at Mavericks.

The program, called the "San Mateo County Motorized Personal Watercraft Volunteer Marine Rescue Program," could be formed as an extension of the sheriff's marine unit, sheriff's Sgt. Joe Sheridan said.

"We would be taking our current marine unit and expanding it to include personal watercraft," Sheridan said.

The all-volunteer marine unit is comprised of certified divers and boatmen who are trained by the sheriff's office to respond to cliff rescues and waterway emergencies, Sheridan said.

The unit could be expanded to encompass a fleet of volunteers on Jet Skis who would eventually patrol all the ocean waters off the San Mateo County coast, including Mavericks and coastal zones further south that lie outside the 1,282-square-mile Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

The proposal, still in its planning phase, was outlined Thursday morning at a meeting of the sanctuary's advisory council, who approached the sheriff's office and requested they formulate a plan to establish patrols in critical areas of the sanctuary, Sheridan said.

The Mavericks break lies within the marine sanctuary and is therefore subject to federal regulations, which include restrictions on personal watercraft for personal use in federally protected waters.

The use of Jet Skis was restricted in sanctuary waters in the 1990s to protect endangered wildlife from being disturbed, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary spokeswoman Mary Jane Schramm said.    

"That is an area that is used by many species that are protected by federal law," Schramm said.

Jet Skis are permitted at Mavericks when they are operated by a public agency like the sheriff's office, or when ocean conditions prompt a high surf warning from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sanctuary superintendent Maria Brown said.

Sheridan said the sheriff's office is in the process of identifying money to establish a certification program for the proposed Jet Ski unit, and is excited to work with surfers and the community to improve safety at Mavericks.

"Anything we can do to provide a more safe environment for locals or people who visit, we're excited to do," Sheridan said.

Dozens Urge San Francisco Planning Commission To Review America's Cup Plans

Dozens of people came to a San Francisco Planning Commission hearing Thursday on plans for the America's Cup sailing race to say that the city's environmental review of the project is inadequate.

The hearing at City Hall Thursday afternoon was on the draft environmental impact report for the plans for the race, which will transform much of San Francisco's northern waterfront for several weeks in 2012 and 2013.

The California Environmental Quality Act requires a report to be prepared that assesses the environmental impacts of the project, from marine biology in the Bay to the issues of transportation and historic resources in the city.

During public comment at Thursday's hearing, a standing-room only crowd of environmental and recreational groups and stakeholders along the waterfront urged the city to make improvements to the environmental review document.

An official from the Ferry Building said she worried that the proposed closure of The Embarcadero's northbound side during the races will negatively impact merchants there, who rely on vehicle access to deliver their products.

Several members of the Dolphin Club, an athletic organization that organizes swims in the city's Aquatic Park, also spoke, saying the race activity would prevent them from their normal activity.

"The report is not acceptable as it stands now," Ken Coren, the club's vice president, said following the meeting.

Coren said his and other groups had been trying since early this year to give input about the potential impacts that the race activity would have on the city and in the Bay, but were disappointed that the document did not include most of their suggestions.

"We were ignored," he said, adding that he was thankful that many of the planning commissioners Thursday acknowledged that the environmental review still needs some work.

Commission Vice President Ron Miguel said at the close of the hearing that the report was not yet adequate and complete, and said that, as a swimmer in Aquatic Park years ago, he sympathized with the Dolphin Club's concerns.

Miguel said the idea in the report that the swimmers could use Ocean Beach as an alternate location is "ludicrous ... that's not a swimming venue."

San Jose Investigators Seek Help In Solving Homeless Man's Death

A year and a half after Hideki Hirakawa was found murdered in a vacant Victorian church, San Jose police investigators are reaching out to the public to help solve the 45-year-old homeless man's death.

Hirakawa's body was found on Feb. 5, 2010, in an abandoned century-old church at 217 Delmas Ave., police said.

Hirakawa was known to frequent the INN Vision homeless housing at 358 N. Montgomery St. and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in downtown San Jose, according to police.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Sgt. Merlin Newton or Detective Juan Vallejo at (408) 277-5283. To remain anonymous, call the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP (7867) or visit http://svcrimestoppers.org/.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects.

Woman Accused Of Burglarizing Alex Trebek's Hotel Room Claims She Is A Prostitute, Not Burglar

The woman accused of burglarizing the San Francisco hotel room of "Jeopardy" game show host Alex Trebek told police she was there working as a prostitute when she was mistakenly identified as the thief, according to the public defender's office.

Lucinda Moyers, 56, said she was meeting a john at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis at 55 Fourth St. on July 26 around 3 a.m., San Francisco Public Defender's Office spokeswoman Tamara Barak Aparton said.

When her date did not answer the hotel room door, Moyers said she was in the hallway when Trebek rushed out his room, Aparton said. Moyers said she ran because she was afraid of getting caught for prostitution.

Trebek, who was in the Bay Area filming the National Geographic World Championship at Google headquarters in Mountain View, said he and his wife Jean were sleeping when he awoke to find a woman inside the room, stealing items, according to San Francisco police.

He sprung out of bed and chased her down the hallway when his Achilles tendon ruptured and he fell "in an ignominious heap to the carpeting," he told the audience at Google when he arrived on crutches to the taping.

Moyers, who was charged with one count of residential burglary and one count of possession of stolen property, pleaded not guilty.

The district attorney will review the case after the preliminary hearing to determine whether it will be prosecuted as a three strikes case. Moyers will be in court Monday to set a date for the preliminary hearing.

She is being held on $625,000 bail and was also ordered to stay at least 150 yards away from Trebek and his wife.

Last White Cross Hammered Into Hillside Memorial In Lafayette

The last white cross has been hammered into the hillside memorial in Lafayette this week, memorial organizers said.

The memorial, which was erected in 2006, had placed a cross for each United States military death since entering Iraq in 2003. But with the growing number of casualties overseas, project organizer Baika Pratt said, "It's too hard to keep track of."

Dozens of American soldiers, including 30 Navy SEALs, who died when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan last weekend highlight the growing number of casualties that have made the memorial difficult to maintain.

Approximately 4,000 crosses, Stars of David and Islamic crescents blanket the hillside, and Jeff Heaton, who started the memorial, said it has become difficult for the dozen active volunteers to upkeep the land.    

This core group goes out once a month to maintain the memorial by trimming grass, as well as repairing and painting fading crosses.    

The memorial began with 300 crosses and a sign that read "In Memory of 2839 U.S. Troops Killed In Iraq." The sign now reads, "In Memory Of Our Troops," with the death total number from the Department of Defense.    

Heaton continually sees people visiting the memorial, some of whom are relatives of fallen soldiers.

"It's more for their personal need to find closure," Heaton said. "I'm always finding more crosses being decorated."   

The total number of American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan stands at 6,198, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.    

"The war has gone on so long, it's crazy," Heaton said. "The crosses represent where we went wrong to begin with."    

"We think a statement is still being made," Pratt said. "The statement is there are consequences for actions."

The memorial across from the Lafayette BART station on Deer Hill Road has generally been supported by the Lafayette community and has seen the number of opponents fade, Heaton said.

"It's a memorial and will always be a memorial," Pratt said. 

Bay Area Weather Forecast

Mostly cloudy weather is expected in the Bay Area this morning with patchy fog before becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are anticipated.

Tonight is expected to be partly cloudy becoming mostly cloudy with patches of fog after midnight. Lows in the mid 50s are expected.

Forecasters predict mostly cloudy skies Saturday with patchy fog in the morning becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are anticipated.

 

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BART Service Runs Without Problems Despite Threat Of Protests

BART protests expected to disrupt service this afternoon failed to materialize, but the agency said that riders should be vigilant in coming weeks while the threat of protests lingers.

"Today we heard rumors there might be protests, and there might be protests tomorrow," agency spokesman Linton Johnson said at a media briefing tonight inside the Powell Street station. "We don't know."

BART had put a warning on its website today for passengers to be "advised that protesters may attempt to disrupt train service during August commute periods beginning as early as Thursday, August 11, 2011, in downtown San Francisco BART stations."

On July 11, protesters disrupted rush-hour commutes in response to the killing of Charles Hill by BART police a week earlier. BART police arrested a number of protesters that night and temporarily closed San Francisco's Civic Center BART station, among others.

This afternoon, BART police were standing, with about a dozen officers in riot gear and a dozen safety officers in green vests present on the train platform at Civic Center Station, where protesters were expected to gather around 4:30 p.m.

Lt. Andy Alkire said that no arrests were made today and that it helped to have a uniformed police presence.

"I don't believe it was a hoax," Alkire said. "We had pretty good intelligence that it was going to happen."

As an added precaution, the agency shut off cellphone service on the station's platform. While Alkire said the tactic was an unusual measure, he said it was "a great tool to utilize for this specific purpose" given that the agency was expecting a potentially volatile situation.

"This group seems to want to challenge BART, challenge the police department," Alkire said.

BART was not the only transit agency that took precautions this afternoon. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency also announced that it had shut down regular cable car service on the Powell Street portion of the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde lines at 3:30 p.m.

Shuttle buses provided service along the route until normal Muni service resumed at 6:30 p.m.

Johnson encourages BART passengers to remain aware of their surroundings as they commute over the next month.

"Report unsafe behavior, do not confront protesters," Johnson said. "Stay out of harm's way."

Passengers can report suspicious or unsafe behavior by calling (510) 464-7000 or by locating an intercom.

 

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Accused Alex Trebek Hotel Thief Says She Is Prostitute, Not Burglar

The woman accused of burglarizing the San Francisco hotel room of "Jeopardy" game show host Alex Trebek told police she was there working as a prostitute when she was mistakenly identified as the thief, according to the public defender's office.

Lucinda Moyers, 56, said she was meeting a john at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis at 55 Fourth St. on July 26 around 3 a.m., San Francisco Public Defender's Office spokeswoman Tamara Barak Aparton said.

When her date did not answer the hotel room door, Moyers said she was in the hallway when Trebek rushed out his room, Aparton said. Moyers said she ran because she was afraid of getting caught for prostitution.

Trebek, who was in the Bay Area filming the National Geographic World Championship at Google headquarters in Mountain View, said he and his wife Jean were sleeping when he awoke to find a woman inside the room, stealing items, according to San Francisco police.

He sprung out of bed and chased her down the hallway when his Achilles tendon ruptured and he fell "in an ignominious heap to the carpeting," he told the audience at Google when he arrived on crutches to the taping.

Trebek told police he saw the door close, but did not see the person who was leaving, according to Aparton. Moyers said she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was not found in possession of any stolen property when she was taken into custody, Aparton said.

San Francisco police believe she stole items including purses, wallets and cash. Officers found several of the items near a hotel ice machine, but did not recover the cash, according to police.

Moyers, who was charged with one count of residential burglary and one count of possession of stolen property, pleaded not guilty.

She has two prior convictions for residential burglary in San Francisco in 1990 and 1991, and served time in state prison for both, San Francisco District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Erica Terry Derryck said.

The district attorney will review the case after the preliminary hearing to determine whether it will be prosecuted as a three strikes case. Moyers will be in court Monday to set a date for the preliminary hearing.

She is being held on $625,000 bail and was also ordered to stay at least 150 yards away from Trebek and his wife.

 

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Dozens Call On City To Improve Environmental Review Of America's Cup Plans

Dozens of people came to a San Francisco Planning Commission hearing today on plans for the America's Cup sailing race to say that the city's environmental review of the project is inadequate.

The hearing at City Hall this afternoon was on the draft environmental impact report for the plans for the race, which will transform much of San Francisco's northern waterfront for several weeks in 2012 and 2013.

The California Environmental Quality Act requires a report to be prepared that assesses the environmental impacts of the project, from marine biology in the Bay to the issues of transportation and historic resources in the city.

During public comment at today's hearing, a standing-room only crowd of environmental and recreational groups and stakeholders along the waterfront urged the city to make improvements to the environmental review document.

An official from the Ferry Building said she worried that the proposed closure of The Embarcadero's northbound side during the races will negatively impact merchants there, who rely on vehicle access to deliver their products.

Several members of the Dolphin Club, an athletic organization that organizes swims in the city's Aquatic Park, also spoke, saying the race activity would prevent them from their normal activity.

"The report is not acceptable as it stands now," Ken Coren, the club's vice president, said following the meeting.

Coren said his and other groups had been trying since early this year to give input about the potential impacts that the race activity would have on the city and in the Bay, but were disappointed that the document did not include most of their suggestions.

"We were ignored," he said, adding that he was thankful that many of the planning commissioners today acknowledged that the environmental
review still needs some work.

Commission Vice President Ron Miguel said at the close of the hearing that the report was not yet adequate and complete, and said that, as a swimmer in Aquatic Park years ago, he sympathized with the Dolphin Club's concerns.

Miguel said the idea in the report that the swimmers could use Ocean Beach as an alternate location is "ludicrous ... that's not a swimming venue."

Commissioner Michael Antonini said, "I think it's a great project, and has tremendous benefits for San Francisco, but I think we have some more work to do."

Deb Self, executive director of the environmental group San Francisco Baykeeper, said she is "optimistic the city is going to do the right thing, and put some meat on the bones" of the report, particularly when it comes to pollution and the impact on marine wildlife.

"We're trying to help the city get it right so we don't get in trouble down the road," Self said.

However, some members of the commission said they have somewhat limited jurisdiction over the planning for the event, much of which will take place on federal park space or on the ports.

Commission President Christina Olague said the commission would "not be having much jurisdiction over the final product, and it's important for the public to be informed of our ultimate role as it relates to the America's Cup."

Olague and other commissioners encouraged the groups to attend some or all of three meetings that the National Park Service is holding on the America's Cup, the first of which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito.

San Francisco was named the host of the prestigious international sailing race after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison won the previous America's Cup in 2010 on behalf of the city's Golden Gate Yacht Club and got to choose the host city for the next race.

After months of consideration, the team announced in December that San Francisco would host the event, which includes America's Cup World Series races and the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2012, the America's Cup Challenger Series from July 13 to Sept. 1, 2013, and the America's Cup Finals from Sept. 7 to Sept. 22, 2013.

The environmental impact report for San Francisco's part of the project is available on the city's Environmental Planning website at http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?recordid=45&page=2719.

For more information about the federal portion of the project, visit www.americascupnepa.org.

 

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Update: Pedestrian Who Died This Morning After July Bicycle Collision Identified

A pedestrian who died this morning from injuries suffered after a collision with a bicyclist at Mission Street and The Embarcadero last month has been identified.

Dionette Cherney died in the hospital at 5:20 a.m. from injuries she sustained when she was struck by a bicyclist on July 15, according to San Francisco police and San Francisco General Hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan.

Officers arrived to the intersection around 8:30 a.m. and found the woman with a life-threatening head injury, Officer Albie Esparza said. 

Detectives determined the bicyclist was riding recklessly, ran a red light, and hit the woman who was crossing the street legally, he said. The bicyclist was questioned and detained at the scene before being released.

Police will present the case to the San Francisco's District Attorney's Office to determine if charges will be filed.

"The San Francisco police investigation is still under way, and we have not formally been presented with the case to review for charging," San Francisco District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Erica Terry Derryck said.    

She said the office was communicating with police, but the district attorney will wait to receive all of the information before making a decision.    

Esparza said after the collision the bicyclist would face the same potential legal repercussions as the driver of any car involved in a collision with a pedestrian.

 

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Hayward Man Pleads Not Guilty To DUI, Hit-And-Run Involving 9-Year-Old Boy

A Hayward man accused of striking a 9-year-old boy with his truck and then fleeing the scene in San Francisco last week pleaded not guilty today to hit-and-run and drunken driving charges.

Andrew Vargas, 21, allegedly struck Ryan White with his white pickup truck at the intersection of Mission and New Montgomery streets at about 10:30 p.m. last Thursday.

Ryan was visiting from Philadelphia with his family and had just left a game at AT&T Park between the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies when the accident happened.

The driver of the pickup was heading north on New Montgomery Street -- which is a one-way southbound street -- when he turned left, ran a red light and hit Ryan, who was crossing Mission Street, police and prosecutors said.

Vargas fled but was stopped in Hayward about an hour later and arrested.

He was charged earlier this week by the district attorney's office with two counts of felony drunken driving causing injury, one felony count of hit-and-run with injury, and one count of having an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle.

Vargas, who had been released after posting $65,000 bail, was accompanied by several family members and friends as he made his initial appearance in San Francisco Superior Court today to be arraigned on the charges.

Prosecutor Omid Talai argued for Vargas to be remanded into custody on an increased bail amount out of concern for public safety.

Talai said that after hitting Ryan, a second person -- a woman who suffered minor injuries -- and at least two parked cars, Vargas fled and drove to his apartment in Hayward, then tried to flee again when he saw police waiting outside.

When he was eventually stopped and arrested, Vargas' blood-alcohol content was between .13 and .15, nearly twice the legal limit, Talai said.

Defense attorney Randall Knox argued to keep the bail set at $65,000, saying that Vargas has no criminal history or driving infractions on his record, and is a recent graduate of California State University, East Bay, who has a job and was planning to go to graduate school.

Judge Nancy Davis sided with prosecutors, though, increasing the bail to $465,000 and remanding Vargas into custody.    

He was taken away from the courtroom in handcuffs and will return to court on Tuesday for a bail hearing.

None of Vargas' family members spoke to the media outside the courtroom, but Knox said his client is "distraught and ashamed of how he acted."

"This is a horrible tragedy for both families," he said.

He said Vargas "hopes Ryan makes a full recovery."

Ryan remains at San Francisco General Hospital where his condition was upgraded earlier this week from critical to serious.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury, which is slowly healing, as well as fractures to his pelvis, left leg and ankle, and a laceration to his liver, according to a statement that was released by his family.

Lefty O'Doul's, a popular restaurant near Union Square, has raised thousands of dollars to help the White family with medical costs, and representatives from both the Phillies and Giants have stopped by the hospital to visit Ryan.

People wishing to donate money for medical bills and family expenses can visit www.kidsneedbaseball.com and contribute directly to Ryan. Checks can also be sent to Ryan White at P.O. Box 542, San Francisco, 94104.

 

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"Sunday Streets" To Hit Civic Center, Tenderloin

This weekend's family-friendly "Sunday Streets" event in San Francisco's Civic Center and Tenderloin neighborhoods will feature free music, classes, bicycle rentals, and dancing.

A two-and-a-half-mile route will be closed to traffic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. so pedestrians and bicyclists can safely participate in the fun.

The route will start at the Civic Center and travel along Golden Gate Avenue, and Jones, Ellis and O'Farrell streets in the heart of the Tenderloin, organizers said.   

"Through Sunday Streets we are able to create temporary open space and recreational opportunities in neighborhoods that need it most," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said.

"The Tenderloin is one of the most densely populated communities in our city, and there are not a lot of open spaces or safe places for residents to recreate and relax," Lee said.

Sunday's activities include the San Francisco Public Library's third annual Tricycle Music Festival, featuring music geared toward children and families, on the main library's steps from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The city's Department of the Environment will host an "Eco Zone" on Grove Street, between Hyde and Larkin streets, that will feature activities with an environmental theme.

Other activities include square dancing and break dancing lessons, free bike rentals, and a Funky Town Roller Disco with free skate rentals.

 

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American Cancer Society To Honor Pelosi Tonight

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be honored tonight in San Francisco by an American Cancer Society advocacy group.

Pelosi was chosen to receive the 2011 California Federal Advocacy Leadership Award because of her work on health issues, American Cancer Society spokeswoman Maria Robinson said.

The award is given out annually by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network -- a non-profit, nonpartisan group that advocates for cancer patients by helping to pass laws that benefit patients and their families.

"Nancy Pelosi has been a fierce fighter in the war on cancer," David Veneziano, CEO of the American Cancer Society California Division, said in a statement.

Robinson said Pelosi will be recognized for her work in championing health care reform, as well as for her leadership role in doubling research funding at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute over the past decade.

"Combating disease and expanding health research, increasing access to affordable medical care, and investing in prevention and treatment are critical priorities for cancer patients and for all Americans," Pelosi said in a statement.

More than 100 people are expected to attend the event, including Veneziano and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Dr. Raymond Weisberg, an American Cancer Society volunteer and former president of the society's board, will present the award.

 

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BART Asks For Public's Input On Fleet Design

BART is hosting the first in a series of open house events today in Richmond to get feedback on design concepts for future trains.

BART's aging cars will be replaced in the coming years, but a design concept is needed first.

The public will be asked to give feedback on three interior concepts and one exterior concept that will be presented on 7-foot-tall displays. The design concepts were created by BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

The trains' final design will be based on what riders have to say, BART officials said.

The design ideas can also be viewed at 14 BART stations or online at www.bart.gov, where people can share their feedback using an online form.

Today's open house will be held at Richmond Main Street, 1000 Macdonald Ave., Suite C, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Additional open house events will be held through Aug. 27 at various Bay Area locations.

 

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Pedestrian Struck By Bicyclist Last Month Dies

A woman who was badly injured when she was struck by a bicyclist in a crosswalk at Mission Street and The Embarcadero last month died this morning, San Francisco police said.

The pedestrian, whose name has not been released by the medical examiner's office, died at a hospital at 5:20 a.m. of the injuries she suffered in the July 15 collision, Officer Albie Esparza said.

Police were called to the intersection around 8:30 a.m. and found the woman suffering from a life-threatening head injury, Esparza said.

An investigation revealed that the bicyclist had run a red light, hitting the woman as she was crossing the street legally, he said. The bicyclist was questioned at the scene before being released.

Esparza said police will present the case to the San Francisco's District Attorney's Office to determine if charges will be filed.

Esparza said after the collision that the bicyclist could face the same legal repercussions as the driver of any car involved in a collision with a pedestrian.

"Every bicyclist in the city should be reminded each and every day that all the laws on the books apply to them, too," Esparza said. "They need to stop at every stop sign and every stop light."

 

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Muni Passenger Helps Detain One Of Two Men Who Robbed Woman On Bus

A woman was robbed of her cellphone by two men on a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus early this morning, but another passenger helped catch one of the thieves, police said.

The robbery was reported at 1:57 a.m. near the intersection of Ninth and Mission streets in the city's South of Market neighborhood.

The 31-year-old victim was approached from behind on the bus by a man who grabbed her cellphone from her hands, according to police.

The suspect and an accomplice ran off the bus, and when the victim gave chase, the accomplice pushed her up against a wall and began choking her, police said.

At that point, another passenger on the bus got off and put the suspect, a 25-year-old man, in a stranglehold and detained him until police arrived and arrested him.

The other suspect, a man described as in his mid-20s, was able to escape with the phone and had not been found as of this morning, according to police.

The victim was not injured, police said.

Anyone with information about the robbery or whereabouts of the suspect 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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Update: Two-Alarm Fire Damages Clothing Store, Cafe On Haight Street

A two-alarm fire early this morning damaged a clothing store and cafe that share a building in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, a fire department spokeswoman said.

Firefighters responded at 4:59 a.m. and found a blaze burning at True Clothing and the People's Cafe, located at 1415 and 1419 Haight St., near Masonic Avenue, fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

"The crews got in there pretty quickly," Talmadge said. "It was very visible when they arrived at the scene."

The flames were mostly in the rear of the building and its attic, and firefighters were able to extinguish the fire by 5:43 a.m., she said.

No one was injured.    

Talmadge did not yet have a damage estimate and said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

 

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Man Hospitalized After Getting Punched, Kicked During Robbery

A man was hospitalized after being assaulted and robbed of his cellphone in San Francisco's Mission District early this morning, police said.

The robbery was reported at about 2:30 a.m. in the 2700 block of Mission Street, between 23rd and 24th streets.

The 39-year-old victim was approached by someone who began punching and kicking him, according to police.

The victim fell to the ground, and the attacker reached into the man's pocket and stole his phone, police said.

The suspect, described as a man in his mid 30s, fled on a bicycle and has not been found.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for a cut to his head. His injuries are not considered life-threatening, according to police.

Anyone with information about the robbery 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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Firefighters Fighting 2-Alarm Fire This Morning

Firefighters are at the scene of a two-alarm fire this morning at Haight Street and Masonic Avenue in San Francisco, a fire dispatcher said.   

The fire was reported at 4:59 a.m.

 

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