SF News

August 13, 2011

The sound of power saws and hammers filled the cluttered hallways of San Francisco's Cobb Elementary School this week. Wires hung from ceilings, wet paint signs flapped off doorways, and unattended ladders were...

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August 11, 2011

A Washington, D.C., woman who was hit by a bicyclist last month while crossing a street along San Francisco's waterfront died early today, police said. Dionette Cherney, 68, died at a hospital at 5:20 a.m. as a result...

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Gabriela Salas, the owner and chef of Charanga, takes us to her favorite place.

The fire department responded this afternoon to a one-alarm fire in a three-story residence at 256 Cumberland. Everyone was evacuated and the fire is under control. Most of the damage was on the third floor. It is not yet known how the fire started.

Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area

Mostly cloudy weather is expected in the Bay Area this morning with patchy fog before becoming mostly sunny.

Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are anticipated. Tonight is expected to mostly clear becoming mostly cloudy with patches of fog after midnight.

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

 

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Update: Thousands Of Dollars Donated At Fundraiser For 9-Year-Old Hit-and-Run Victim

Thousands of dollars were raised at a popular Union Square restaurant this afternoon to help curb the rising medical costs for a 9-year-old boy who was injured in a hit-and-run in San Francisco last week.

Plates were piled high with food in the name of Philadelphia Phillies fan Ryan Smith, who was struck in the city's South of Market neighborhood after he watched his team beat the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, Lefty O'Doul's owner Nick Bovis said.

Bovis donated half of the proceeds from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Lefty O'Doul's and his other restaurant, Broadway Grill in Burlingame, to fund Ryan's medical bills and other expenses.

About $2,500 was raised today, but through the Lefty O'Doul's Foundation for Kids, Bovis said about $4,000 has been donated directly to help Ryan.

Lefty O'Doul's is no stranger to fundraisers -- it typically raises money to donate baseball equipment or sponsor Little League teams -- but this one hit home, Bovis said.

It is also personal for Ryan's 27-year-old cousin who organized the fundraiser, Woody Hooten. "It affects the whole family," Hooten said at today's fundraiser. He said Ryan's 12-year-old brother, Kevin, has been affected the most.

Both were with Ryan when a white truck struck him as he crossed Mission Street. The truck, which was turning left on Mission Street, had been driving north on New Montgomery Street, which is a one-way southbound street, Hooten said.

San Francisco police arrested Hayward resident Andrew Vargas, 21, after Hayward police stopped his truck. He was charged by the district attorney's office Tuesday with two counts of felony drunken driving with injury and one felony count of hit-and-run with injury.

Ryan suffered a traumatic brain injury, fractures to his pelvis, left leg, and ankle, and lacerations to his liver. "Every day he makes progress," Hooten said. Ryan started to say his first words and can drink water, he said.

"It really does seem like he's doing good." Hooten said his cousin would be upset about missing visits from Phillies and Giants players, including Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino.

Those who wish to donate money for medical bills and expenses can visit http://kidsneedbaseball.com/ and contribute directly to Ryan. Checks can also be sent to Ryan Smith at P.O. Box 542, San Francisco, CA 94104.

 

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SF, Bay Area Gas Prices Remain High Despite Nationwide Price Drop

Gas prices have been dropping in many parts of California the past few days, but Tuesday's AAA gas price report shows many Bay Area cities are seeing slightly higher prices at the pump since last month.

The average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in California is $3.78, the same price from a July 2011 report. Compared with reports from this time last year, this is a 61-cent increase, according to AAA officials, who monitor the rates.

In Northern California, gas prices are averaging $3.79 per gallon this month, up two cents from last month. In the Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $3.88 per gallon, also a two-cent increase from July.

San Francisco continues to have the highest gas prices in the Bay Area with the average gallon at $3.94. The cheapest gas in the Bay Area is in Santa Cruz, averaging $3.72 per gallon, according to the AAA report.

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Thursday News Roundup

Voluntary Jet Ski Patrol Plans Will Be Presented Today

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office today will present a plan to federal officials that could provide for a voluntary Jet Ski patrol for the safety of surfers at the famous Mavericks break. 

Privately operated Jet Skis are prohibited at Mavericks, which lies within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

However, personal watercrafts that are used by a public agency to protect public safety or property are allowable, marine sanctuary spokeswoman Mary Jane Schramm said.

"We have never prohibited a public agency from using Jet Skis when it comes to public safety," Schramm said.

The sheriff's office will attend a Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting today to present plans for a "San Mateo County Motorized Personal Watercraft Volunteer Marine Rescue Program," which could provide a framework to put Jet Ski patrols within the sanctuary while surfers are in the water at Mavericks.

"We're very interested in hearing the presentation from the sheriff's office," Schramm said.

Local surfer Jeff Clark, who has been surfing Mavericks for more than 35 years, says Jet Ski patrols are essential for providing a safety net when surfers are in the water at the Mavericks break, typically during the winter months.

"Unless there's somebody out there making sure that everyone is accounted for, you get a situation like Jacob Trette," Clark said. Trette, a surfer from Southern California, was found unconscious in the waters inside the Mavericks break in January.

Trette was pulled from the water by a photographer on a Jet Ski, Clark said, and was later revived at Stanford Hospital.

Hawaiian surfer Sion Milosky died in March after he wiped out at Mavericks.

He was pulled onto a Jet Ski and taken to the beach, but he never regained consciousness.

The marine sanctuary advisory council may or may not take action to allow the sheriff's Jet Ski patrol plan to move forward at today's meeting, Schramm said.

"We're going to listen to the sheriff's presentation and consider it," Schramm said. "It's been a very controversial issue."

The meeting is scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m. at the Pedro Point Firehouse in Pacifica.

Lefty O'Douls Raises Thousands Of Dollars For Hit-And-Run Victim

Thousands of dollars were raised at a popular Union Square restaurant Wednesday afternoon to help curb the rising medical costs for a 9-year-old boy who was injured in a hit-and-run in San Francisco last week.

Plates were piled high with food in the name of Philadelphia Phillies fan Ryan Smith, who was struck in the city's South of Market neighborhood after he watched his team beat the San Francisco Giants a week ago, Lefty O'Doul's owner Nick Bovis said.

Bovis donated half of the proceeds from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Lefty O'Doul's and his other restaurant, Broadway Grill in Burlingame, to fund Ryan's medical bills and other expenses.

About $2,500 was raised Wednesday, but through the Lefty O'Doul's Foundation for Kids, Bovis said about $4,000 has been donated directly to help Ryan.

Lefty O'Doul's is no stranger to fundraisers -- it typically raises money to donate baseball equipment or sponsor Little League teams -- but this one hit home, Bovis said.

It is also personal for Ryan's 27-year-old cousin who organized the fundraiser, Woody Hooten. 

"It affects the whole family," Hooten said at Wednesday's fundraiser.

He said Ryan's 12-year-old brother, Kevin, has been affected the most. Both were with Ryan when a white truck struck him as he crossed Mission Street.

The truck, which was turning left on Mission Street, had been driving north on New Montgomery Street, which is a one-way southbound street, Hooten said.

San Francisco police arrested Hayward resident Andrew Vargas, 21, after Hayward police stopped his truck. He was charged by the district attorney's office Tuesday with two counts of felony drunken driving with injury and one felony count of hit-and-run with injury.

Ryan suffered a traumatic brain injury, fractures to his pelvis, left leg, and ankle, and lacerations to his liver.

"Every day he makes progress," Hooten said. Ryan started to say his first words and can drink water, he said. "It really does seem like he's doing good."

Two Charged In Beating Of Giants Fan

The two men charged in the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court Wednesday.

Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, each pleaded not guilty to one count of mayhem and assault in connection with the attack on Stow outside Dodger Stadium after the March 31 Giants game, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Jane Robison.

During the plea entry, the prosecution said the two Rialto men "made admissions" regarding the case, but Robison said she would not comment further about the specific "admissions."

Grand jury transcripts were also turned over to the defense during the plea entry, she said.

The defense attorneys withdrew motions for a bail review, and Sanchez and Norwood will remain in Los Angeles County Jail on $500,000 bail.

A criminal complaint details injuries Stow suffered during the attack including slits to his nose, ear and lip, along with cuts to his tongue and injury to one of his eyes.

The 42-year-old Santa Cruz father of two worked as a paramedic in Santa Clara County. Following the attack, Stow was treated for many weeks at a Los Angeles hospital until he was stable enough to be transferred to San Francisco General Hospital, where he has been undergoing treatment since mid-May. In June, Stow's doctors upgraded his condition from critical to serious.

According to his family's website, Stow was the most responsive to date on Sunday. The family said he lifted his left leg slightly when asked, raised his left arm, and puckered when his sister asked for a kiss.    

Norwood's attorney, Victor Escobedo from the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender's Office, and Sanchez's attorney, Gilbert Quinones, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rally To Be Held Addressing America's Cup Sailing Race

Environmental and neighborhood groups plan to hold a rally outside San Francisco City Hall today to call on the city to improve what they say is an inadequate environmental review of plans for the America's Cup sailing race in 2013.

The rally will precede a public hearing held by the city's Planning Commission on the draft environmental impact report for the project, which will transform much of San Francisco's northern waterfront to handle the race activity.

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.

But the Environmental Council, a coalition of 30 groups including San Francisco Baykeeper, the Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Dolphin Club, say the draft version of the report does not adequately address concerns about air and water quality, among other issues.

"We really need to take care of the shortcomings of this document now, before it gets rushed to final approval," Deb Self, executive director of San Francisco Baykeeper, said in a statement.

"Imagine having the Blue Angels and Fleet Week non-stop for nine weeks," Jennifer Clary of San Francisco Tomorrow, another group in the coalition, said in a statement. "Everyone who lives in the city understands the impacts of those events. We want the city's plan to do the same."

The group's rally is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. outside City Hall, where they will also attend the hearing of the Planning Commission, scheduled for noon in Room 400 inside the building.

Joy Navarrete, an environmental planner with the city, said Wednesday that she anticipates that there will be many people at the hearing, which she estimated will last at least two hours.

Emerging From Bankruptcy, City Of Vallejo Uses Grant Money To Hire Police And Firefighters

The City of Vallejo, which emerged from bankruptcy on Friday, is using $4.7 million in grant money to hire additional police officers and firefighters.

The city will apply the grants -- $735,000 from Kaiser Foundation Hospitals over three years and $332,961 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- to hire two police officers, a sergeant, a police dispatch supervisor, two parking enforcement officers and an abandoned vehicle officer.

The two-year, $3.6 million federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grant will allow the City to pay for nine additional firefighter and paramedic positions and reopen Fire Station 25 at 595 Mini Drive.

Vallejo closed three fire stations between 2008 and 2009 and reduced fire staff from 121 to 67 positions when general fund revenue dropped from $83 million to $65 million.

The City will use the $3.6 million SAFER grant to hire three fire captains, three fire engineers and three firefighters.

Fire Chief Paige Meyer said he plans to hire from the state's displaced firefighters' list. He said he hopes to retain the nine positions when the SAFER grant expires in two years if other firefighters retire or if the grant is extended.

Meyer and City Manager Phil Batchelor informed the Mayor and City Council Tuesday reopening Station 25 will do the most to improve overall response times.

The response was late to 30 percent of the emergency medical services calls in the Station 25 area after that fire station was closed, Meyer said.

Batchelor said Vallejo could not accept the federal stimulus money unless it had a grant to match it.   

"We approached Kaiser and asked if they could pay for one police officer for three years," Batchelor said.

The grants from Kaiser and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will fully fund a pilot neighborhood policing program in North Vallejo and a crime suppression unit that will concentrate on quality of life issues including prostitution, drug dealing, illegal medical marijuana establishments and neighborhood blight citywide.

Oakland Police Investigate Drive-By Shooting That Killed A 3-Year-Old

Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said Wednesday that officers are "making very good progress" in investigating a drive-by shooting that killed a 3-year-old boy in East Oakland on Monday, but no arrests have been made so far.

Batts told reporters at an impromptu briefing at police headquarters that the investigation is "very chaotic" and is changing rapidly because officers are busy chasing down leads and sources.    

Batts said he is "confident we have very good leads" but indicated it might take a while to arrest the suspects in shooting near a Little Caesars pizza restaurant at 6447 International Blvd. at about 1:10 p.m. on Monday that claimed the life of Carlos Fernandez Nava, 3.

"Even if we don't arrest anyone in a short period of time, we won't give up," Batts said.

A police spokeswoman said earlier Wednesday that investigators believe the shooting resulted from gang activity in the area and are interviewing suspected gang members.

Police said they think two adult males were the intended targets of the shooting.

However, a stray bullet struck Carlos, who was with family members who were shopping in the area. Police said Carlos and his family had no connection to the targeted men.

Carlos was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital Oakland shortly after the shooting.

The two adult males were also struck by bullets, but police said their injuries are not life-threatening.    

Batts said several other law enforcement agencies are helping Oakland police with the investigation and searches have been conducted in several other cities.   

A vigil for Carlos was held at the shooting scene Tuesday night.

Batts, who spoke at the vigil, said he has met with Carlos' family several times to express his condolences for the "pain" it has suffered.    

He said Carlos' father is having "an extremely tough time" dealing with Carlos' death.

A fund has been established to help the child's family.

People who want to make contributions should send them to the Carlitos Nava Fund at Wells Fargo's San Leandro Marina branch. The account number is 3981855954.

Non-Profit Santa Rose Charter School Manager Arrested For Alleged Embezzlement

The finance and business manager of a nonprofit Santa Rosa charter school has been arrested for allegedly embezzling nearly $400,000 to support a prescription drug habit, Santa Rosa police said Wednesday.

Sheila Accornero, 42, of Cloverdale, is being held in the Sonoma County jail without bail.

She is scheduled to be arraigned today afternoon in Sonoma County Court on felony embezzlement, forgery, burglary, narcotic possession charges and probation violations.

Accornero worked as a bookkeeper for the past five years at the K-6 Kids Street Learning Center charter school at 709 Davis St., police Sgt. Mike Lazzarini said.

Police received a tip about the alleged embezzlement during the past several weeks and believe Accornero misappropriated almost $400,000 over the past three years, Lazzarini said.

The total amount of missing money has not been determined and none of the money has been recovered, Lazzarini said.

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

The school's executive director and principal Linda Conklin did not return a phone call Wednesday afternoon. The school is funded through grants and donations, police said.

Accornero had a large amount of prescription pain pills when she was arrested, Lazzarini said.

Accornero is believed to have acted alone, Lazzarini said.

"She wrote checks to herself, cashed them and spent them all on prescription drugs," Lazzarini said.

"Some of the checks totaled $20,000 to $30,000 a month. There were a lot of transactions," Lazzarini said.

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office also investigated the alleged embezzlement.

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, and also offers an after-school program.

Construction Of New Transbay Transit Center On Schedule

One year has passed since city officials broke ground for San Francisco's new Transbay Transit Center, and transit authorities Wednesday said that construction is right on schedule.

The $4.1 billion transit hub, dubbed the "Grand Central of the West," will replace the old Transbay Transit Terminal at Mission and First streets. The old terminal was built in 1939 and declared seismically unsafe after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

The new transit center will act as the terminus station for the planned high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as a hub for 11 other transit operators -- Caltrain, AC Transit, BART, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, San Mateo County Transit District, Western Contra Costa Transit Authority, Lynx, Paratransit and Amtrak.

The first phase of construction, which includes the construction of a five-story transit center and new bus ramps, is scheduled to be completed in October 2017.

Demolition, the first stage of phase one, is expected to be finished by the end of this month and the second stage is already under way, said Robert Beck, a senior project manager for Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

The second stage -- the installation of shoring -- will allow crews to de-water and excavate the site. Construction crews will also begin construction of a buttress inside the shoring for stability at the end of this month. The buttress is expected to take 18 months to complete.    

Construction of the center's below-grade structures -- such as the rail levels, which will serve Caltrain and the high-speed rail -- is set to begin in late 2012.

Phase two of construction will extend Caltrain's rail line from Fourth and King streets underground to the transit center.    

Once finished, the transit center is expected to serve more than 100,000 passengers each weekday and more than 45 million passengers per year.

Former Athletic Apparel Retail Manager Accused Of Secretly Videotaping Restroom And Dressing Room

The former manager of an athletic apparel retailer in Milpitas is facing a federal lawsuit filed in San Jose this week accusing him of secretly videotaping females in an employee restroom and dressing room.   

A lawsuit was filed on Monday in San Jose against David Meyer, 29, and the Finish Line chain by five female employees -- one current -- ranging in age from 17 to 21 who claim they are suffering from emotional distress, according to their attorneys Mariana Cole and Joshua Ezrin.     

The lawsuit states that on multiple occasions, Meyer "secretly placed a concealed video camera in the employee restroom and the general dressing room used by both employees and customers."   

The employees are suing the company and Meyer for invasion of privacy, negligence, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The incident occurred sometime between December 2009 and April 2010 when Meyer was a manager at the Milpitas store inside the Great Mall in Milpitas.

Finish Line is a national chain with additional locations where Meyer was also manager in San Jose at the Oakridge and Eastridge Malls.

Meyer's last known address was in Mountain View, but he fled to Indiana when the video recordings were discovered on his computer in March, the lawsuit states.

The videos depict Meyer adjusting the camera while wearing his employee T-shirt.

He was a manager at the Milpitas location from 2006 to 2010.

A Finish Line spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

Police Recovered Pickup Truck Used In Early Wednesday ATM Theft

Police have recovered a pickup truck used to smash through the plate-glass window of a Concord bingo hall early Wednesday morning and steal an ATM, but no suspects have been identified, Concord police Lt. Steve Dyer said.

At about 3 a.m., two suspects drove the truck through the front windows of the Blue Devils Bingo Hall at 4065 Nelson Ave.

The pair then loaded an ATM into the back of the pickup and drove off, Dyer said.

The break-in activated the business' alarm system, and a security guard notified police, but the suspects were gone by the time they arrived, Dyer said.

California Highway Patrol officers found the pickup truck, which had been reported stolen in June, at about 6 a.m. abandoned in a remote area on Alhambra Valley Road.

The ATM was in the back of the truck but had been emptied, Dyer said.

Bret Rios, operations director for Blue Devil Performing Arts, the non-profit organization that runs the bingo hall, said the break-in caused between $8,000 and $10,000 in damage to the building.

The ATM itself was worth about $8,000 and had between $5,000 and $6,000 in cash inside, Rios said.

"It was gutsy, that's for sure," Rios said of the break-in. "Clearly they had to have known the ATM was there, so they'd been in the building before."

He said the crime was caught on the business' surveillance video, which they have given to police.

Despite the mess, Rios said the hall was still planning to run bingo Wednesday night and was working on cleaning up the mess and building a temporary wall where the truck went through the window.

Revenue from the bingo games is used to support youth organizations, Rios said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Greg Mahan at (925) 603-5814. People who wish to remain anonymous can call the Police Department's tip line at (925) 603-5836.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

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

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

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

 

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One Year In, Transbay Transit Center Construction Project On Schedule, Officials Say

One year has passed since city officials broke ground for San Francisco's new Transbay Transit Center, and transit authorities today said that construction is right on schedule.

The $4.1 billion transit hub, dubbed the "Grand Central of the West," will replace the old Transbay Transit Terminal at Mission and First streets. The old terminal was built in 1939 and declared seismically unsafe after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

The new transit center will act as the terminus station for the planned high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as a hub for 11 other transit operators -- Caltrain, AC Transit, BART, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, San Mateo County Transit District, Western Contra Costa Transit Authority, Lynx, Paratransit and Amtrak.

The first phase of construction, which includes the construction of a five-story transit center and new bus ramps, is scheduled to be completed in October 2017.

Demolition, the first stage of phase one, is expected to be finished by the end of this month and the second stage is already under way, said Robert Beck, a senior project manager for Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

The second stage -- the installation of shoring -- will allow crews to de-water and excavate the site.

Construction crews will also begin construction of a buttress inside the shoring for stability at the end of this month. The buttress is expected to take 18 months to complete.

Construction of the center's below-grade structures -- such as the rail levels, which will serve Caltrain and the high-speed rail -- is set to begin in late 2012.

Phase two of construction will extend Caltrain's rail line from Fourth and King streets underground to the transit center.

Once finished, the transit center is expected to serve more than 100,000 passengers each weekday and more than 45 million passengers per year.

 

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Suspects Use Crayon To Try To Con Elderly Man Into Thinking He Struck Car

Two suspects are being sought for allegedly using a crayon to try to convince an elderly man that he struck a car in San Francisco's Sunset District last week to get money from him, police said today.

The incident began last Friday afternoon as the 81-year-old man was pulling his vehicle into the garage of his home in the 1600 block of 16th Avenue.

A male suspect approached and said his wife's car had been struck by the man's vehicle and had to go to an auto shop, according to police.

The man did not believe that he was involved in an accident, but followed the suspect in his car several blocks away to Moraga Street between 20th and 21st avenues where they stopped.

The suspect said the accident happened three blocks from that location, and pointed to the victim's car, which had a red mark that went from the front passenger door to the car's fender, police said.

At that point, a second suspect approached and said that he also saw the crash, according to police. When the victim said he was going to call the police, the first suspect pulled out some sort of badge and showed it to the man before quickly putting it away, police said.

The suspect then tried to convince the victim to split the cost of the alleged repair by giving him more than $2,000, but the man refused and said he wanted to report the incident to his insurance company.

The suspect then threatened to have the man's car impounded and told him that he knew where he lived, according to police.

The two suspects then got into the initial suspect's car and drove away. They have not been found, police said. When the victim's insurance adjuster examined the red mark on the car, it was discovered to only be the mark of a crayon, according to police.

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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Rally Planned Before City Hearing On Environmental Review of America's Cup

Environmental and neighborhood groups plan to hold a rally outside San Francisco City Hall Thursday to call on the city to improve what they say is an inadequate environmental review of plans for the America's Cup sailing race in 2013.

The rally will precede a public hearing held by the city's Planning Commission on the draft environmental impact report for the project, which will transform much of San Francisco's northern waterfront to handle the race activity.

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. But the Environmental Council, a coalition of 30 groups including San Francisco Baykeeper, the Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Dolphin Club, say the draft version of the report does not adequately address concerns about air and water quality, among other issues.

"We really need to take care of the shortcomings of this document now, before it gets rushed to final approval," Deb Self, executive director of San Francisco Baykeeper, said in a statement.

"Imagine having the Blue Angels and Fleet Week non-stop for nine weeks," Jennifer Clary of San Francisco Tomorrow, another group in the coalition, said in a statement. "Everyone who lives in the city understands the impacts of those events. We want the city's plan to do the same."

The group's rally is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. outside City Hall, where they will also attend the hearing of the Planning Commission, scheduled for noon in Room 400 inside the building.

Joy Navarrete, an environmental planner with the city, said today that she anticipates that there will be many people at the hearing, which she estimated will last at least two hours.

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 the project is available on the city's Environmental Planning website.

 

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Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse; Protesters Gather At Noe Valley Church

A San Jose man has filed a lawsuit against a San Francisco priest who is accused of child sexual abuse and claims that officials of two California dioceses and an archdiocese knew about the abuse and neglected to act on it.

The civil suit accuses Father Don Flickinger of St. Paul Catholic Parish and School, located at 221 Valley St. in the city's Noe Valley neighborhood, of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy 10 years ago.

The plaintiff, 23-year-old Matthew Frazer, claims that Flickinger sexually abused him when he was a parishioner and altar boy at St. Frances Cabrini Church in San Jose, where Flickinger was a priest.

The lawsuit claims Flickinger has a 40-year history of sexual misconduct and accuses three area dioceses -- in Fresno, San Jose, and San Francisco -- of conspiracy, negligence, fraud and deceit for what his accusers say is their knowledge of Flickinger's actions and their failure to intervene or warn the public.

More than 20 witnesses -- including former altar boys and their parents, students, and parishioners of Flickinger's parishes -- claim in the lawsuit to have seen or been the victim of Flickinger's misconduct.

Representatives from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, gathered in front of the San Francisco church this morning to bring Flickinger's alleged misconduct to light.

"The church shouldn't be in the business of protecting child abusers," said Tim Lennon, leader of the San Francisco chapter of SNAP.    

Employees at St. Paul's rectory and the school said no one was immediately available to discuss the charges and that Flickinger had retired and moved out of the rectory about three months ago.

Frazer's attorney, Tim Hale, said, "We strongly believe there are many other victims."

Frazer allegedly reported the abuse shortly after it occurred to the San Jose Police Department. The lawsuit claims that Flickinger knew about the investigation and was prepared when Frazer and the police conducted a "sting" phone call in which Frazer confronted him with his accusations.

Around 2005, the lawsuit claims, members of the San Jose diocese seemed to limit Flickinger's ministry -- for example, the lawsuit said the priest was sent to a retreat in Northern California where he was allegedly only allowed to perform mass for the nuns in residence.

A witness in the lawsuit claims that Flickinger admitted that he had been suspected of sexual abuse and that the San Jose parish asked him to leave.

Lennon, a victim of sexual abuse himself, said the churches and diocese should have stepped in and done something to protect children in light of the allegations. Instead, he said, church officials "circled the wagons" and moved Flickinger from church to church.

Frazer pleaded no contest to misdemeanor child pornography charges in 2009, according to Hale.

Hale said Frazer downloaded child pornography from the Internet shortly after the abuse occurred and that this behavior was a "direct result of psychological abuse."

 

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Firefighters Contain Small Trash Fire At Pier 39

Tourists at San Francisco's Pier 39 were greeted with an unpleasant odor and smoke from a trash fire this afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the one-alarm fire at 4 p.m. and found a small fire burning below the pier, a San Francisco Fire Department representative said.

To access the fire, crews cut out a small plank from the pier, and the blaze was contained in about a half-hour, according to a fire representative.

There are no reports of injuries or significant damage to the pier, she said. The cause of the fire is unknown.

 

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Fisherman's Wharf Murder Suspect Again Asks For New Attorney

A souvenir shop worker at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf who is accused of fatally shooting two employees at a neighboring business in January is asking for the second time to have a new attorney.

Hong Ri Wu, 56, is suspected of shooting Feng Ping Ou, a 30-year-old woman, and Qiong Han Chu, a 30-year-old man, on the night of Jan. 30 inside the souvenir shop where they worked at 269 Jefferson St. Wu has pleaded not guilty to charges in the case.

In June, Wu's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Kleigh Hathaway, said in court that she had doubts about her client's mental competency and his ability to understand the nature of the charges or assist in his own defense.

Criminal proceedings were suspended while a forensic psychologist assessed Wu, and the psychologist's report came back last month saying he was not competent to stand trial.

At a hearing this morning, for which Wu was not present, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong said Wu has asked again for a hearing to change his attorney from Hathaway, who was court-appointed.

Wu had previously asked the same thing on July 13, but was denied the right to change attorneys after a hearing held that day. 

Hathaway said outside of court today that she did not know why Wu no longer wanted her to represent him.

The second hearing on the issue will take place on Aug. 23.

Also at today's hearing, prosecutors said they are seeking to overturn the competency report by the doctor and proceed with the criminal case against Wu.

A hearing on the competency issue will take place on Aug. 30.

If the judge affirms the psychologist's report, the case would be suspended indefinitely while Wu received mental health treatment.

 

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Two Women Injured In Pacific Heights Fire Die

Two women who were injured in a house fire in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood on Sunday night both died Tuesday, according to the medical examiner's office.

The women were identified by the medical examiner's office today as Marilynn Postley, 84, and Connie Yim, 67, who also went by the name Connie Chung.

The blaze was reported around 11:30 p.m. Sunday at a home in the 1900 block of Jackson Street.

Postley and Yim suffered burns and smoke inhalation and were taken to St. Francis Memorial Hospital, fire department spokesman Mindy Talmadge said.

Yim was Postley's caregiver and lived in the house with her, Talmadge said.

Firefighters were able to put the one-alarm blaze out just before midnight. It caused about $25,000 in damage to the home's roof and a bedroom, fire officials said.

An assistant fire chief initially said the fire may have been caused by cigarettes, but Talmadge said the cause remains under investigation.

 

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Arson Suspected In Bayview Car Fire

San Francisco police are investigating a suspected arson case in which a vehicle was set on fire in the city's Bayview District on Tuesday night.

Officers responded at about 9 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a car burning in the 2400 block of Griffith Street.

The suspect, believed to be a female, fled before the officers arrived and has not been found, according to police.

The fire was extinguished and no one was hurt, police said.

Anyone with information about the suspected arson 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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Man Arrested After Impersonating Cop During Robbery

A man was arrested after impersonating a cop while robbing another man at San Francisco's Parkmerced apartment complex early this morning, police said.

The robbery was reported at 3:06 a.m. in the 300 block of Font Boulevard.

The 19-year-old victim was chased by a suspect who claimed to be a police officer. The suspect caught up to him, beat him, and demanded money, then snatched a necklace from him and fled, according to police.

The suspect, a 21-year-old man, was subsequently arrested, police said.

The victim suffered an abrasion to his elbow and complained of pain in his mouth, but did not require hospitalization.

 

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Man Attacked At Bar For Wearing Motorcycle Club Shirt

A man was beaten and robbed by a group of men who did not like the motorcycle club shirt he was wearing at a bar in San Francisco's Outer Mission neighborhood on Tuesday night, police said.

The attack was reported at about 10 p.m. Tuesday outside a bar in the 5700 block of Mission Street.

The 31-year-old victim was pulled outside of the bar by five suspects who apparently did not like his shirt, according to police.

The suspects beat the man and also took his cellphone and cash before fleeing, police said.

The victim suffered a cracked tooth and a contusion to his hip during the attack. He was able to drive himself to a hospital to be treated for his injuries, which are not life-threatening, according to police.

The suspects have not been found as of this morning. 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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San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday News

BART Officials Still Unsure Of Cause Of Computer Glitch

It could take weeks to determine what caused a computer glitch that brought BART service to a halt on Monday evening, a BART spokesman said Tuesday.

BART service was back to normal Tuesday morning after the problem forced BART to stop trains in service and let passengers off.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson explained Tuesday afternoon that the problem occurred when a network router failed. Normally when that happens, the router is supposed to communicate the problem to another router, but for some reason that did not happen Monday, he said.

As a result, information was not getting to BART's Operations Control Center, and personnel at the center were unable to monitor trains.

It is still unclear what caused the problem, which began shortly after 7:30 p.m. The system was rebooted at 9:50 p.m., and service was fully restored around 11:15 p.m.

It took a while to address the problem because computer engineers had gone home for the day, Johnson said. Now, he said, a staff member will be on duty to monitor the data intake during all of BART's operating hours until the cause has been pinpointed.

"We need to get to the root cause," Johnson said.

He said Monday evening was "miserable" for many BART riders and called it an "embarrassing moment" for BART.

"We can't apologize enough," he said.

Johnson said that although the glitch created a major inconvenience, it did not put BART riders in any danger.

"We have a lot of redundancies in place so that when things fail, they fail safely," he said.

Oakland Deputy Police Chief Confident Arrests Will Be Made In Connection With Drive-By Shooting

Oakland Deputy Police Chief Eric Breshears said Tuesday that he is confident arrests will be made soon in a drive-by shooting that killed a 3-year-old boy in East Oakland on Monday.

"We have investigative leads and expect that we will have closure to this," Breshears said.

He was speaking to reporters at a briefing outside a Little Caesars pizza restaurant at 6447 International Blvd. near where the toddler was shot at about 1:10 p.m. on Monday.

"We're hoping that having the crime being quickly solved will bring some closure to the family, although it won't compensate for losing the boy," Breshears said.

Police said they believe the targets of the shooting were two men who had no connection to the young boy and his family. The men were struck by bullets but survived.

The 3-year-old was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital Oakland shortly after the shooting.

Oakland police have not yet released the boy's name, but according to a T-shirt with his photo that is displayed at a memorial for him on the sidewalk near where the shooting happened, his name is Carlos Fernandez Nava.

The T-shirt says, "Rest in God's Hands, Precious Angel" and "Gone Too Soon."

Mourners have dropped off stuffed animals, candles, and a large baby bottle. There is also a large poster on which community members have written condolence messages.

Among the messages are, "May you rest in peace Little Guy" and "God bless you Little Baby Boy."

Woman Arrested In Connection With Santa Cruz Hit-And-Run

A 33-year-old Soquel woman was arrested Tuesday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run collision in Santa Cruz two months ago, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Sundara Wertz was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, the CHP said.

She is suspected of driving a white 1999 Infiniti QX4 that struck and killed Noel Hamilton, 31, as he was riding his bicycle on June 27, according to the CHP.

At about 10:10 p.m. that evening, Wertz's Infiniti was going south on Soquel-San Jose Road when it allegedly collided with Hamilton, who was also traveling south on his bike.

Hamilton, a Soquel resident, was pronounced dead on the road.

Wertz initially fled the scene and then returned to provide a statement to CHP officers.

She surrendered to officers at about 4 p.m. at Santa Cruz County Jail following a CHP investigation that found she was responsible for the crash.

SOMA Hit-And-Run Victim Upgraded From Critical To Serious Condition

A 9-year-old boy who was injured during a hit-and-run in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood Thursday has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, a San Francisco General Hospital spokeswoman said.

Ryan White was visiting from Philadelphia and had recently left the evening baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies when he was struck by a white pickup truck while crossing Mission Street at around 10:30 p.m.

White was walking ahead of a family member when he was struck by the truck, which was turning left onto Mission Street. The truck had been driving north on New Montgomery Street, which is a one-way southbound street, police said.

Hayward resident Andrew Vargas, 21, was stopped in Hayward at around 11:30 p.m. when local police spotted his truck.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence in connection with the incident, police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.

White suffered a traumatic brain injury, which is slowly improving, as well as fractures to his pelvis, left leg and ankle, and a laceration to his liver, according to a statement that his family released Tuesday.

"Ryan has a long road ahead of him, but he is young and strong and we expect steady improvement especially when he can engage in rehabilitation full time," the statement read.

The family also expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of support they have received from the city's police and fire departments, the mayor, and the Giants and Phillies organizations.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee visited the boy and his family Tuesday at the hospital. "I will continue to keep Ryan and his family in my prayers as he recovers," he said in a statement.

Representatives from both the Phillies and the Giants went to the hospital to visit Ryan and his family, and Giants players sent Ryan and his 11-year-old brother Kevin signed baseball bats and jerseys, a team spokeswoman said.

San Jose Family Learn Of Death Of Navy SEAL Kevin Houston

Navy SEAL Kevin Houston's family in San Jose has been left heartbroken by news that he was killed along with 37 others when his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan Saturday.

Houston, 36, lived in San Jose until he was 9 years old and still visited family there frequently. He moved to Cape Cod, Mass., when his parents divorced when he was a child.

Houston's aunt, Catherine Mann, of San Jose, said she is making preparations to travel to Houston's home in Virginia so she can be with his family for upcoming services.

Houston's primary home was in Virginia with his wife, Meiling, and their three children, a 2-year-old boy, an 11-year-old girl, and 17-year-old son who just graduated from high school and is preparing to go to college.

Mann said that Houston's duties as a Navy SEAL made him travel frequently, and he had completed tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, but that when he was home he was a loving husband and father.

"I could tell when I was around them that he was a good husband and father," Mann said.

Mann said that Houston knew he wanted to be a SEAL when he was only 8 or 9 years old. She speculated that might be because of his uncle, who was in the Navy.

Living on Cape Cod, Houston swam frequently, she said, and would emerge from the water with a knife between his teeth. "What are you doing?" his family would ask him, and he would respond, "I'm training."

"That's a big deal, to know what he wanted to do as a kid and aspire to do it, and to be really good at it," Mann said.

She said that in his time off, he loved riding motorcycles, and that he had a fun-loving personality but that he took his work very seriously.

"He loved what he was doing, and did it well obviously because he rose in the ranks so quickly," she said.

Man Convicted Of Trying To Kill Wife With Hammer In 2008

A man was convicted Tuesday of trying to kill his estranged wife with a hammer in 2008 at her home near San Francisco's Twin Peaks.

Steve Acosta, 59, faced 22 separate charges in the case, including attempted murder, torture, mayhem, stalking, making criminal threats, burglary and violating a restraining order.

His estranged wife, Kimberly Celoni, was attacked with a hammer on April 16, 2008, at her home on Glenview Drive, where Acosta had also repeatedly threatened and vandalized her property in the days leading up to the attack, prosecutors said.

Celoni was left with permanent cognitive and physical injuries from the attack.

A San Francisco Superior Court jury found Acosta guilty of 20 of the 22 counts, acquitting him of two of the criminal threats charges.

Acosta also had two prior convictions for assault in 1974 and 1986, and could face a life sentence under the state's three strikes law.

His defense attorney, Floyd Andrews, said outside of court that Acosta was a recovering addict who began using drugs again after having back surgery and getting painkillers.

He and Celoni had been married for 11 years, but after using drugs again, Acosta began accusing her of having affairs, even one with a man who had been dead for years, Andrews said.

He said the jury's verdict was "not unexpected" since he had acknowledged Acosta was guilty of the attack during the trial.

Acosta will return to court today for a trial to affirm his two previous convictions and likely to set a date for sentencing.

Charges Filed Against Woman Who Enlisted Two Boys' Help In Attempted Murder

Prosecutors filed charges Monday against a 36-year-old Vallejo woman who allegedly enlisted two teenage boys to help her try to kill her ex-boyfriend's wife twice in San Pablo in May, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Kate DeFerrari said Tuesday.

Darlene McDade has been charged with conspiracy, two counts of attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, stalking in violation of a restraining order, first-degree residential burglary and enhancements for using a gun and causing great bodily injury, DeFerrari said.

The first attack came on May 4 after McDade allegedly told two teenage boys to meet her in San Pablo and bring their guns, DeFerrari said.

According to San Pablo police Sgt. Scott Cook, the boys were 15- and 16-year-old Vallejo residents who McDade allegedly offered to compensate for carrying out the shootings.

When she met up with the boys, McDade allegedly drove them to a gated community in San Pablo where her ex-boyfriend lived with his 31-year-old wife. The group allegedly waited at the gate until the victim came home and then followed her inside, DeFerrari said.

According to Cook, the victim told police that a male suspect threatened her and fired one shot from a shotgun as she fled into her home, striking her in the leg.

The second attack came nine days later, on May 13, as the victim was driving on Rumrill Boulevard near the border between San Pablo and Richmond, DeFerrari said.

The victim immediately reported both incidents to the police.

McDade quickly became a suspect because she had previously violated a restraining order her ex-boyfriend had filed against her and was involved in a bitter custody battle with him over their 2-year-old daughter, Cook said.

According to Cook, the 15-year-old boy had been arrested by Vallejo police about a month after the shootings and found to be in possession of a shotgun.

During a search of McDade's residence, police allegedly found property belonging to McDade's ex-boyfriend that had been taken in a residential burglary earlier this year, Cook said.

The 15-year-old boy has been charged in juvenile court with assault with a deadly weapon, but the other boy has been released without charges.

McDade remained in county jail Tuesday afternoon on $2.4 million bail.

San Mateo County Takes Further Steps Toward Bicycle Share Program

San Mateo County took another step Tuesday morning toward implementing a bicycle share program that will connect Caltrain commuters to bike kiosks at stations in five cities.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to join a partnership of local agencies participating in the Regional Bicycle Share Pilot Project, which will be administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The program aims to put up to 1,000 bikes in more than 100 kiosks along Caltrain's Peninsula corridor, air district spokesman Aaron Richardson said.

"The idea is that one of the ways these bikes could be most valuable is as commute extenders," Richardson said.

Caltrain commuters could essentially deboard Caltrain, check out a bicycle from one of the kiosks and ride to work or a final destination, where the bike could be left in another nearby kiosk, Richardson said.

The pilot program will establish bike kiosks in San Francisco, Redwood City, Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose.

Among the agencies that have agreed to take part in the pilot program are the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Mateo County Transportation District, the city of Redwood City and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

By joining the partnership, San Mateo County has agreed to provide staff to promote the program locally and designate sites on county-owned properties as possible locations for bike kiosks.

"Bike sharing is an innovative way to improve our community's health and air quality by replacing short car trips with zero-emission bikes," Air District executive director Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

The pilot program is being funded by $4.29 million in grant funds awarded to the air district by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Richardson said.

The air district hopes to have the pilot program up and running in the summer of 2012, Richardson said.

Man Convicted Of Running Over Pedestrian

A man convicted of intentionally running down and killing a pedestrian in San Francisco's Mission District in 2007 was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in state prison.

Hamilton Diaz, 30, struck Randal Gross, 24, with his red Toyota Tercel near the intersection of 16th and Valencia streets early the morning of March 20, 2007.

Diaz and Gross had gotten into an argument, after which Gross allegedly smashed Diaz's windshield and walked away north on Valencia Street, prosecutors said.

Diaz drove onto the sidewalk and allegedly struck Gross from behind with his car, then sped off. Gross died at the scene, and Diaz was arrested a short distance away after ditching his car and fleeing on foot.

He was charged with murder and hit-and-run, but on June 23, a San Francisco Superior Court jury convicted him of a lesser charge, voluntary manslaughter, with a special allegation of the use of a deadly weapon: the car used to fatally strike Gross.

Gross' mother Janet Miley spoke at Diaz's sentencing hearing Tuesday, telling him, "You ended my family's lineage," because her only other child has cerebral palsy and other health issues.

Miley criticized the justice system for not deporting Diaz, an undocumented immigrant, after he was released from custody following a prior conviction on a 2006 arson charge. The incident in the Mission District happened seven months after his release.

Miley and other family friends who spoke at the hearing asked for Diaz to be sentenced to the maximum prison term allowable.

His defense attorney, Mark Goldrosen, argued for a shorter term of eight years, saying Diaz had been provoked into an "explosion of violence that happened in an instant."

After arguments from both sides, Judge Jerome Benson decided on the longer term of 14 years, which included 11 years for the manslaughter charge, one for use of the deadly weapon, one for hit-and-run, and one for a prior conviction on a 2006 arson charge.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

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

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

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

 

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Man Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison For 2007 Mission District Killing

A man convicted of intentionally running down and killing a pedestrian in San Francisco's Mission District in 2007 was sentenced today to 14 years in state prison.

Hamilton Diaz, 30, struck Randal Gross, 24, with his red Toyota Tercel near the intersection of 16th and Valencia streets early the morning of March 20, 2007.

Diaz and Gross had gotten into an argument, after which Gross allegedly smashed Diaz's windshield and walked away north on Valencia Street, prosecutors said.

Diaz drove onto the sidewalk and allegedly struck Gross from behind with his car, then sped off. Gross died at the scene, and Diaz was arrested a short distance away after ditching his car and fleeing on foot.

He was charged with murder and hit-and-run, but on June 23, a San Francisco Superior Court jury convicted him of a lesser charge, voluntary manslaughter, with a special allegation of the use of a deadly weapon: the car used to fatally strike Gross.

Gross' mother Janet Miley spoke at Diaz's sentencing hearing today, telling him, "You ended my family's lineage," because her only other child has cerebral palsy and other health issues.

Miley criticized the justice system for not deporting Diaz, an undocumented immigrant, after he was released from custody following a prior conviction on a 2006 arson charge. The incident in the Mission District happened seven months after his release.

Miley and other family friends who spoke at the hearing asked for Diaz to be sentenced to the maximum prison term allowable. 

His defense attorney, Mark Goldrosen, argued for a shorter term of eight years, saying Diaz had been provoked into an "explosion of violence that happened in an instant."

After arguments from both sides, Judge Jerome Benson decided on the longer term of 14 years, which included 11 years for the manslaughter charge, one for use of the deadly weapon, one for hit-and-run, and one for a prior conviction on a 2006 arson charge.

By hitting Gross from behind, Diaz's actions "almost can be considered to be an ambush," Benson said. "There was no time for escape from that sidewalk."

Diaz will likely get out in less than a decade, though, because he has more than four years' credit for time already served in jail since his arrest.

Outside of court, Miley said she was "definitely satisfied" with the judge's sentence after being disappointed that the jury had only found Diaz guilty of the lesser manslaughter charge.

Miley, who now lives in Lake County, worked in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a court reporter at the San Francisco Hall of Justice, and experienced her first murder trial in the same courtroom where Diaz's trial was heard.

"Never did I think I was going to listen to my son's murder trial here," she said.

The case will return to court on Aug. 19 for a victim restitution hearing.

 

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