SF News

Teen Injured In Thursday Evening Shooting In Bayview

A 16-year-old boy was injured in a shooting in San Francisco's Bayview District on Thursday evening, police said.

The shooting was reported at about 7:20 p.m. in the 1300 block of Mendell Street.

The boy was walking in the area when he was shot twice in the abdomen, according to police.

He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for his injuries, which are not considered life-threatening.

No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

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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SF Breaking News

 

Redeveloment Lawsuit To Be Filed Against California, Gov Jerry Brown

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said Thursday that her city will join other cities around the state in filing a lawsuit to try to stop Gov. Brown and the state Legislature from cutting funding for redevelopment agencies. Brown and the Legislature believe that the policy change will save the state $1.7 billion in the new fiscal year. Quan said if Oakland's redevelopment agency is forced to close, the city might have to halt affordable housing projects as well as efforts to bring more retail stores and entertainment complexes to its downtown. She said if the agency is eliminated, up to 171 city employees, including 18 police officers who are paid with redevelopment funds, could lose their jobs. "There isn't a part of the city government that won't be affected if redevelopment goes away," Quan told reporters at her weekly briefing at her office. She said she doubts that the state will be able to achieve all of the $1.7 billion in savings it expects and she thinks the change "will hurt the state economy in the long run."

Oakland Deputy City Attorney Daniel Rossi said Oakland would join a lawsuit that will be filed next week by the California Redevelopment Association and the California League of Cities challenging the legislation approved by the Legislature and signed by Brown on Wednesday that cuts funding for redevelopment agencies. Rossi said the suit would challenge the bill's constitutionality and would allege that it violates Proposition 22, a measure passed by California voters last November that bars the state from taking funds that are supposed to go to local agencies. Rossi said the suit would be filed directly with the California Supreme Court and he expects that there will be a ruling by the end of July on the suit's goal of getting an immediate stay that would stop the state from cutting the redevelopment funds.

 

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Sixty-Six San Jose Police Officers Laid-Off

The scene at the San Jose Police Officers' Association facility Thursday resembled a funeral, except no one was dead, police union president George Beattie said. Sixty-six (66) officers who were laid off due to San Jose's $115 million budget deficit handed in their badges and said their goodbyes. Beattie said it was the first time in the Police Department's history that officers were laid off. "I felt like I was at a funeral reception," Beattie said. "It was really gut-wrenching." Mayor Chuck Reed expressed remorse about the layoffs, but said they are necessary because the city is not able to afford the officers. "Even though the police budget went up a small amount, police officer retirement costs jumped by $25 million so we had to shrink the department." 

But the reductions will not be without consequences, Beattie said. A police force of 1,106 is now managing a city of nearly 1 million people, he said. The result of that will be slower response times, especially to property crimes. He said city officials could have made better decisions to avoid some of the layoffs. "We're very disappointed that this took place Thursday. Moving forward, whatever harm comes, now they own it. We did what we could do."

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Trial of Seven MS-13 Gang Members To Start Thursday

 After nearly three months of testimony, prosecutors rested their case and defense attorneys began theirs at the federal racketeering and murder conspiracy trial of seven MS-13 gang members in San Francisco Thursday."We've reached a milestone," U.S. District Judge William Alsup told jurors in his Federal Building courtroom. We still have some time to go in the case," he added. "We will hear from the defense." Alsup estimated the case could go to the jury in mid-August following three or four weeks of defense testimony, prosecution rebuttal and closing arguments. The seven men on trial were members of a branch of the violent MS-13 gang known as the 20th Street Clique, based in the vicinity of 20th and Mission streets in San Francisco.

All seven are accused of racketeering, or running a continuing criminal enterprise, and conspiring to commit murder in aid of racketeering. Three are also specifically charged with murder in aid of
racketeering in the gunshot slayings of four men on San Francisco streets between March and July 2008. Other charges include assault and use of guns. The MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, gang originated in Central American and Southern California. Its name is believed to be a combination of the words for gang, Salvadoran and "fear us." The seven defendants are among about three dozen MS-13 Bay Area
gang members and associates who were charged in four successive versions of an indictment in 2008 and 2009. 

About 18 others have pleaded guilty to various charges, and some became prosecution witnesses in the trial, which began April 4. In addition to murder and assault, the 20th Street Clique is alleged to have engaged in drug dealing, robbery, extortion and car theft. The racketeering charge carries a possible maximum sentence of life in prison if the defendants are convicted, and the charges of murder in aid of racketeering carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison upon conviction.

 

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North Fair Oaks Tree Stands Tall

Utility officials Thursday met with North Fair Oaks neighbors to discuss various options that would prevent a centuries-old oak tree from being cut down to make way for a multi-billion dollar water system upgrade in San Mateo County. The valley oak, which arborists have agreed is more than 250 years old and neighbors have nicknamed "Granny," stands in the path of a $4.6 billion project to seismically upgrade the Hetch Hetchy water delivery system. The tree stands on San Francisco Public Utilities Commission property where a new water supply pipeline is replacing two installed in the
1920s and 1930s that are not seismically secure.

The scenarios presented at Thursday morning's meeting included moving the tree to another location, tunneling the pipeline under its roots, and a "trenching" method that would require trimming the tree's roots and burrowing a pipeline around or through them, SFPUC spokesman Tyrone Jue said.

The trenching option, which neighborhood spokeswoman Mary Ann Mullen said could cost as low as $60,000, was least favored by the utility, Jue said. "It leaves the pipe too close to the roots," Jue said, which jeopardizes the pipeline's seismic integrity. Moving the tree to another location would be the most expensive process at $350,000, Jue said. It does not appear likely to happen since the
tree would not be able to be moved very far. The 80-foot-tall oak is so big that it could not be moved without temporarily removing major power lines to get it by, Jue said.The tunneling option, which would cost an estimated $309,000, is the one most favored by the utility. "Tunneling is one of the options we're continuing to move forward on," Jue said.


The tunneling option would include an agreement in which the utility would hand over ownership of the strip of land where the tree stands to an association of neighbors, who would assume liability, tree maintenance and providing increased public access, Jue said.

 

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Marin County Marijuana Eradication

The Marin County Sheriff's Office began this year's outdoor marijuana eradication efforts within the county Thursday morning by destroying nearly 13,000 young plants, a sheriff's lieutenant said. The plants were found at five sites on the east slope of Bolinas Ridge that borders Kent Lake, Lt. Barry Heying said. The Marin Municipal Water District, National Park ServiceCalifornia Department of Justice and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also participated in the eradication effort between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. The pot garden raiders also found living areas with lean-to tents, garbage and pesticides at the grow sites. No one was present in the camps and there were no arrests, Heying said. 

The sheriff's office has been monitoring two-dozen known grow sites in the area since 2006, Heying said. This year, rather than wait until the plants were grown, 12,900 immature plants without marijuana buds were cut so they could not be planted again, saving the cost and effort of hauling them out by helicopter, Heying said. The growers seemed intent to keep the gardens small and spread out as more than one site was tended from one campsite, Heying said. There were also several small grows with only 10 plants, Heying said.  The illicit and clandestine marijuana gardens have typically been found in the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed, Heying said. Heying said the growers have little regard for public safety or concern for ecological damages they create. "These types of criminal enterprises result in erosion damage created by the clear-cutting of indigenous plants as well as hazardous trash left behind by the lawless operators," Heying said.

Dangerous chemicals used by the growers also seep into the watershed and create additional hazards, Heying said. "Increasingly, citizens and visitors are becoming afraid to use public parks due to these individuals invading public lands," Heying said.In 2009, the California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting seized 4.5 million marijuana plants in the state. Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma counties are typically among the top 10 counties where the seizures occur. Marin County was not among the top 40 counties in 2009.

 

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Sale, Possession and use of Fireworks Illegal This Holiday Weekend

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District is reminding residents that the sale, possession and use of all fireworks is illegal in the county. The law even prohibits the use of sparklers and other so-called "safe and sane" fireworks, Fire Marshal Lewis Broschard said.People who have illegal fireworks for disposal can call their local police departments or the fire district's main office at (925) 941-3300. People should not take fireworks to fire stations for disposal, Broschard said. This Fourth of July is expected to be hot, windy and dry, which means high fire danger in the county. Broschard said fireworks cause injuries and fires each year. Last year, more than 40 fires caused by fireworks were reported in the fire district's service area. Those fires resulted in damage to at least one structure, and one person was hurt, Broschard said.  Fire officials are urging residents to enjoy fireworks by attending public displays conducted by professionals. They are also urging parents to make sure their children don't have any fireworks and to teach them that fireworks are dangerous. The fire district has set up a hot line people can call to find professional fireworks displays near them. That number is (925) 941-3328.

  

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Cal Fire Urges Safety Tips for Fireworks Use

Fire officials are encouraging Bay Area residents whose cities allow "safe and sane" fireworks this weekend to follow several safety tips and pay attention to state regulations.  Although more populated cities such as San Francisco and San Jose do not permit fireworks, several cities in Alameda, San Mateo, Napa, Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties allow smaller fireworks that do not explode, dart across the ground or fly through the air, according to Cal Fire. Local fire departments will be working with law enforcement agencies to make sure fireworks are up to code and are not taken outside jurisdictions where they are legal, Alameda County Fire Department spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said. "On the 4th of July there are typically more fire reported across the nation than on any other day of the year," she said. "The Alameda County Fire Department has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal fireworks."  Legal fireworks are sold at licensed stands and have the state fire marshal's seal on them, Knowles said.  Even in cities where safe and sane fireworks are sold legally, there are restrictions on when and where they can be used, she said.

In Dublin, one of three fireworks-sanctioned cities in Alameda County, fireworks can only be used between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on July 4 at three designated parks: Alameda Creek Park, Dublin Sports Ground and Emerald Glen Park. Knowles said anyone in a city that permits fireworks should read the directions, only use fireworks outdoors, stay away from dry grass and other flammables, and have a bucket of water or hose nearby. Fireworks should never be pointed at another person, she said, and users should not try to relight or fix fireworks that do not work on the first try. Children also should not be permitted to use fireworks, according to Cal Fire.

The Bay Area cities that allow safe and sane fireworks are Dublin, Newark and Union City in Alameda County; St. Helena in Napa County; Gilroy in Santa Clara County; Watsonville in Santa Cruz County; and Pacifica and San Bruno in San Mateo County.Dixon and Rio Vista in Solano County also allow fireworks, as do Cloverdale, Petaluma, Rohnert Park and Sebastopol in Sonoma County. Several Monterey County cities also allow fireworks: Gonzalez, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Salinas, Seaside and Soledad. 

 

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San Francisco City Attorney's Office To Consider Criminalizing Male Circumcision

The San Francisco City Attorney's Office made a rare move Thursday by filing a brief on a measure for the November ballot, a proposal to criminalize male circumcision. The city attorney's office filed a brief in response to a lawsuit filed last week by opponents of the proposed ban, who are seeking to have the measure removed from the ballot. The organizer of the ban campaign, Lloyd Schofield, has said he believes male circumcision is wrong and likened it to female circumcision practices that are already banned in the U.S. The proposal would punish people who circumcise a minor with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to a year in jail. But opponents, who include the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Anti-Defamation League, say San Francisco would have no power to enact the ordinance because only the state can make rules about medical procedures.
 

The opponents also argue that the decision to circumcise boys for religious reasons is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A brief filed by the city attorney's office Thursday said it is taking "the unusual step" of filing a brief on a proposed ballot measure because of the possibility that a court preempts the measure from applying to medical professionals.  If that happens, the proposal would then be unconstitutional if only narrowly applied to religious practices, according to the city attorney's office. "San Franciscans cannot be asked to vote on whether to prohibit religious minorities from engaging in a particular religious practice, when the same practice may be performed under non-religious auspices," Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart wrote in the brief.  The city attorney's office "rarely takes a position on the merits in pre-election litigation concerning the legality of proposed ballot measures" unless the measure would be "clearly invalid," Stewart wrote. "This is such a case."

 

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Kalra Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor Drunk Driving Charge

San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge, his attorney said Thursday. Attorney Eric Geffon entered the plea on Kalra's behalf on June 9.  Kalra was arrested early the morning of May 7 after a California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over on Market Street, south of San Fernando Street. The officer had noticed a nonworking taillight on Kalra's gold Toyota Prius, but when he stopped him, the officer detected an odor of alcohol, according to the CHP. Kalra was asked to perform field sobriety tests, and the tests indicated he was intoxicated, CHP officials said. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and booked into Santa Clara County Jail, and was later released.Kalra admitted to drinking with friends before getting behind the wheel of his car. "He said from the beginning he wanted to take responsibility for this and I think to the very end, he has proved he's just not saying those words but living them," Geffon said. This was Kalra's first alcohol-related incident, Geffon said. As part of his sentence, Kalra faces three years of probation, a fine of approximately $1,900, a three-month DUI class, and five days of community service.

 

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Ararao Fatally Shot Dead by Police In Suisun

Suisun City police have identified the man who was fatally shot by a police officer Wednesday morning as 55-year-old Bernardo Ararao, of Suisun. Police were called to the Suisun Senior Center at 318 Merganser Drive around 11:25 a.m. after someone reported that a man wearing camouflage clothing and carrying a gun told seniors he was "on assignment," Cmdr. Tim Mattos said. There were five seniors in the area of the armed man at the time, and one informed the senior center's manager, who called police, Mattos said. By the time police arrived less than 90 seconds later, the man had left on a bicycle, Mattos said. Two officers located Ararao behind the Sunset Shopping Center and the U.S. Post Office at 325 Merganser Drive, Mattos said. One of the officers saw that Ararao was armed and told him several times to put the gun down, Mattos said. During the confrontation, the officer shot Ararao once in the chest. "At some point, he became an immediate threat to the safety of the officers and the citizens around them, and the officer used force to stop it," Mattos said.

Ararao was taken to the NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield where he was pronounced dead at 11:53 a.m., Mattos said. Mattos said he does not know if Ararao pointed the gun at the officers. "He did something that caused the officers to fear for their lives and those of the people in the busy area," Mattos said. Police have had prior contact with Ararao, Mattos said. A man who answered the phone at the senior center Thursday afternoon said he wasn't at the center on Wednesday but was familiar with Ararao. He said he would not consider Ararao a dangerous person. "He would sit and have coffee and would leave in 10 minutes," said the man, who asked not to be identified. Ararao's autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.

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BREAKING: Golden Gate Ferry to Strike on Friday

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Golden Gate Ferry service won't operate Friday because of a strike called by the Inlandboatmen's Union.

Officials with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which manages the ferries, canceled service late this afternoon, just hours after the union announced plans for a one-day strike.

"The best course to minimize impacts to our riders is to announce now that we will not be in service on Friday, July 1," said district spokeswoman Mary Currie.

Golden Gate Transit buses, whose drivers are represented by a different union, will operate as usual, she said. Extra bus service will be offered for ferry riders unaware of the strike plans.

A press release from the union at about 3 p.m. said the strike will take place at the San Francisco, Sausalito and Larkspur terminals from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Union officials were not immediately available for comment but the press release stated that the strike would last just one day.

The district plans to eliminate ticket agents at the terminals, and rely completely on vending machines and Clipper cards to handle fares - a plan the union finds objectionable.

"Replacing the ticket agents with machines eliminates the only real customer service available to the public," said Marina Secchitano, regional director of the San Francisco Inlandboatmen's Union, which represents the ticket agents. "Meanwhile, the ferry division has just announced another 5 percent increase in its fares. They are asking the public to pay more for less service, and that isn't fair."

The contract between the district and the union expires at midnight Thursday. In its press release, the union said the district is moving ahead with its plan without negotiating or providing acceptable severance pay. The district said it has been negotiating in good faith, and was surprised by the strike announcement.

The Golden Gate Ferry system carries about 6,000 passengers each weekday. Because of the holiday weekend, ridership on Friday is likely to be lighter than usual.

 

Chief Suhr To Hold Community Meeting Today To Discuss Officer-Involved Shooting

San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr will be holding a community meeting today to discuss Wednesday's officer-involved shooting on Gough Street that injured a wanted parolee.

The meeting is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Northern Police Station at 1125 Fillmore St.

On Wednesday morning, police shot and wounded 38-year-old Roselyndo Sicat, who was wanted on a $75,000 warrant for felony vandalism and resisting arrest and was on active parole for a weapons violation.

The shooting occurred just before 8 a.m. after two plainclothes officers spotted Sicat leaving a residential driveway near the corner of Gough and Ellis streets in a four-door Honda, police said.

The officers identified themselves as police and approached Sicat, who allegedly fired at least one round at the officers, according to police.

They returned fire, striking him. After he was shot, Sicat crashed into a car parked nearby.

The officers, who were not injured, took Sicat into custody and he was transported to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for his injuries, police said.

A search of the Honda turned up an assault rifle and a handgun, according to police.

Investigators believe Sicat had fired the assault rifle last week but police haven't released details about that shooting.

In accordance with department policy, the officers who shot Sicat have been placed on paid administrative leave as Wednesday's shooting is investigated, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The officer-involved shooting is the Police Department's second in the past month.

On June 7, officers fatally shot a suspected bank robber near Buena Vista Park after he allegedly tried to run them over with his car.

For more information about today's community meeting, contact the department's community relations unit by phone at (415) 734-3280 or by email at sfpdcommunityrelations@sfgov.org.

 

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Teen Shot In Leg In Bayview Early This Morning

A 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg in San Francisco's Bayview District early this morning, police said.

The shooting was reported at about 12:20 a.m. in the 1500 block of Oakdale Avenue.

The victim was standing outside when he was shot once in the thigh, according to police.

He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for the wound, which was not considered life-threatening, police said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

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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Woman On Bart Tracks At Glen Park Causes System-Wide Delays

A woman got stuck underneath a train at the Glen Park BART station in San Francisco this morning, causing major delays for BART riders, an agency spokesman said.

A train operator pulling into the station at about 8:50 a.m. noticed someone on the tracks and immediately hit the "stop" button, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

The train, which was traveling at about 35 mph, took several seconds to stop, he said. Seven train cars rolled over the woman, who apparently survived by lying between the rails, Johnson said.

BART police responded within 10 minutes and found the woman, who is in her 40s, covered in soot and sitting near the top of the stairs with her head in her hands, Johnson said.

It's unclear how she climbed out from under the train.

She suffered cuts and bruises and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, he said.

BART does not release conditions of patients.

Johnson said it is not surprising that the woman survived, and that people who fall onto the tracks and can't get out are advised to lie flat between the running rails or get underneath the lip of the platform, then stay still and yell for help.

"If the train comes it's most likely you will survive because of the depth of the trackway between running rails," he said. "There's quite a bit of room." 

The trains also do not pass at all under the platform lip, he said.

The Glen Park station was closed for nearly an hour after the incident, with only some trains able to pass through.

The station was cleared at about 9:45 a.m. but there were still residual delays, BART said.

The train operator is being put on standard paid administrative leave during the investigation and was given a drug test this morning, Johnson said.

The operator will also be offered psychiatric help. During the closure, most southbound BART trains were turned around at the 24th Street/Mission or Montgomery BART stations in San Francisco, Johnson said.

Trains bound for San Francisco International Airport single-tracked through the Glen Park station and were delayed by about 15 minutes, according to Johnson.

Other passengers experienced major delays heading into San Francisco from the East Bay.

 

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Glen Park Bart Station Cleared, System Experiencing Residual Delays

A person was struck by a train at the Glen Park BART station in San Francisco this morning, causing major delays for BART riders, agency spokesman Linton Johnson said.

The station was closed for nearly an hour after the incident, with only some trains able to pass through.

The station was cleared at about 9:45 a.m. but there were still residual delays, BART said. During the closure, most southbound BART trains were turned around at the 24th Street/Mission or Montgomery BART stations in San Francisco, Johnson said.

Trains bound for San Francisco International Airport single-tracked through the Glen Park station and were delayed by about 15 minutes, according to Johnson.

Other passengers experienced major delays heading into San Francisco from the East Bay.

Information was not immediately available about the person, who was hit at about 8:50 a.m. and pinned under the train.

 

 

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Taxi Driver Robbed At Knifepoint In Western Addition

A taxi driver was robbed at knifepoint in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood overnight, police said today.

The robbery happened at about midnight near the intersection of O'Farrell and Beideman streets.

The cab driver, a 54-year-old man, picked up the suspect, who held a knife to the driver's neck and demanded money, according to police.

The driver gave him cash, and the suspect fled. The cabbie was not injured in the robbery, police said.

The suspect had 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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Person Hit by Train at Glen Park Bart Station, Service Disrupted

BART Train Hits Person

A person was struck by a train at the Glen Park BART station in San Francisco this morning, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

As of 9:10 a.m., most southbound BART trains were being turned around at the 24th Street/Mission or Montgomery BART stations in San Francisco, Johnson said.

Trains bound for San Francisco International Airport were single-tracking around Glen Park and delayed by about 15 minutes, according to Johnson.

Other passengers should expect "modest" delays heading into San Francisco from the East Bay.

Information was not immediately available about the person, who was hit at about 8:50 a.m. and pinned under the train, Johnson said.

 

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Farrell Proposes Hearing On Issue Of Families With Kids Fleeing City

Children are Leaving our City

A San Francisco supervisor wants to hold a hearing on why families with children appear to be fleeing the city.

Supervisor Mark Farrell on Tuesday proposed holding a hearing to bring together several different city agencies to discuss why the number of children living in San Francisco is decreasing.

Farrell said the hearing is in response to recent media reports about the latest census figures, which showed less than 5,000 kids living in San Francisco in 2010 compared to 2000, despite the city's total population going up over the course of the decade.

The hearing will call on representatives from the San Francisco Unified School District, the city's Department of Children, Youth and Families, the Recreation and Park Department, the Mayor's Office of Housing and Mayor's Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs to come and speak about the issue. "Let's dig in and really see what's happening ... and see what proposals we can push forward legislatively," Farrell said.

The supervisor, who has two small children of his own, said he has many childhood friends who are among those leaving San Francisco after having kids.

"What we want to do is understand" the reasons for the family flight, Farrell said, whether it is the cost of living, the lack of open space and parks compared to other cities, or issues with the schools or other youth programs.

Farrell said the hearing would probably not be held until after the August recess when negotiations over the city's budget are completed.

 

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SF Supervisors Denounce Privatizing Hospital Security

San Francisco supervisors and city workers came together Wednesday to denounce a proposal to privatize the security forces at the city's hospitals, calling the plan dangerous and intellectually dishonest. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said the Department of Public Health's Proposition J, which would save an estimated $4 million annually by replacing the hospital's sheriff's deputies with private security officers, would jeopardize the safety of patients, their families and hospital staff. Wednesday morning he joined Supervisor John Avalos and members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents many of the hospital workers affected by the decision, at a news conference to ask the Board of Supervisors to reject the proposal when it goes before the budget and finance committee today. The Department of Public Health said the new contract would "seek to maintain the same level of safety currently provided by the San Francisco Sheriff's Department," but Mirkarimi and other speakers questioned how that would be possible. "Our utmost concern is that staff and patients -- whether they're 5150s or people detained by police -- be safe," he said. "The best-trained personnel are deputies." The Department of Public Health could not be reached for comment. Bob Ivory, a nurse at the trauma center at San Francisco General Hospital, said he has encountered countless dangerous incidents in his 30 years there. Any time there is a shooting in the city, the victims, perpetrators, and their friends and family all come to San Francisco General, he said. Fights between families have broken out, and rival gang members have brandished guns in the Intensive Care Unit. Patients who are high on drugs or having psychotic episodes have lashed out at staff and attacked other patients, Ivory said. It takes a trained officer to de-escalate the situation and protect outside parties without hurting the patient, Ivory said. "I've had patients take a fire extinguisher off the wall and threaten to bash in the heads of elderly patients," he said. "This is something that needs to be responded to now, not be called in by someone trained to observe and report."

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San Francisco Bay Area Thursday News Roundup

Oakland City Council Will Attempt Again to Approve Last-Minute Budget

The Oakland City Council will make another attempt to approve a budget at a special meeting this evening, only hours before the new fiscal year begins. The meeting will be a follow-up to a four-hour hearing Tuesday night at which council members discussed three competing budget proposals but ultimately could not agree on a budget. City Council President Larry Reid said last week that he thought the council was so divided that it would be "a miracle" if a budget were approved before the deadline at midnight tonight, but he said Wednesday that he's now more optimistic that the council can beat its deadline after all. "There is very little difference in the three proposals so we'll see what we can work out and see if we can reach an agreement," Reid said. The city faces a $58 million deficit for the new fiscal year that starts on Friday. Mayor Jean Quan wants to balance the budget in part by getting $28.7 million in concessions from city workers, such as having them contribute more money for their retirements. Bargaining representatives for the city's largest unions, including the unions that represent police officers and firefighters, agreed to concessions earlier this week but those concessions must be approved by the members of the respective unions in a process that will not be completed until next week. Reid said he hopes the City Council can approve a budget today that is based on the concessions to which the bargaining representatives have agreed. He said if rank and file union members reject those concessions, the city would then have to revise its budget sometime in July. At the meeting Tuesday night, Quan said, "These are tough times and even under the best scenario there will be layoffs and cuts" to some city services. Quan, who does not vote on City Council matters, said to council members, "I urge you to move as quickly as you can" on a budget. The council's meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at the council's chambers at 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

 

Prosecutor Seeks Second-Degree Murder Charge for Man whose Pit Bulls Killed Child

During a preliminary hearing in Martinez Wednesday prosecutor Mary Knox asked a judge to add a charge of second-degree murder against Steven Hayashi, a Concord man whose pack of pit bulls attacked and killed his 2-year-old step-grandson last July. Hayashi, 53, has pleaded not guilty to charges of child abuse, owning a vicious animal and an enhancement alleging that he allowed his step-grandson, Jacob Bisbee, to be in a situation that resulted in his death. The attack happened the morning of July 22, 2010, at Hayashi's home at 1785 Trailcreek Court in Concord, where Jacob, his older brother and their father lived with Hayashi, his wife and their two teenage sons. Hayashi also had five pit bull mix dogs, which he kept in the backyard and the garage. Knox argued that Hayashi knew the dogs were aggressive, particularly toward the children, and had not taken adequate steps to protect the children from the dogs. She argued that he acted with conscious disregard to human life by keeping the dogs in the home and failing to prevent the attack and therefore should be ordered to stand trial on charges of second-degree murder. Hayashi's attorney Pamela Lauser, however, argued that there was no evidence that Hayashi was responsible for the children when the attack happened or that he knew that the dogs were vicious. She objected to Knox's request to have a murder charge added and asked the judge to dismiss the charges. Hayashi allegedly told Rodriguez that he usually locked the door from the house to the garage but that he had not locked it on the morning of the attack, Rodriguez said. At about 8:45 a.m., Jacob went into the garage and was attacked by the three dogs inside. The two dogs in the yard were not part of the attack, police said. Concord police Forensics Specialist Linda Damarco testified that she witnessed animal autopsies, known as necropsies, of the dogs and watched as a piece of Jacob's shirt and some buttons were removed from the stomach of one dog and hair, believed to be from Jacob's head, was removed from the stomach of another dog.

 

Alameda Conducts Independent Review of Memorial Day Drowning

The city of Alameda has chosen a former state fire marshal to conduct an independent review of the drowning of a suicidal man at Crown Beach on Memorial Day. Chief Ruben Grijalva, who has also served as director of Cal Fire, was asked to take a detailed look at the factors contributing to the death of 52-year-old Raymond Zack and the city's response to the drowning so far, City Manager John Russo said. The city's leadership and policies came under attack after it came to light that police and fire rescuers stood around for about an hour while Zack waded into the frigid water off Crown Beach and lost consciousness. Grijalva is expected to finish his inquiry by late September and will present his findings to the City Council at an open meeting, Russo said. "He's got a very strong reputation in the field," he said. "He's seen as tough, fair and independent." Grijalva started his career in 1976 with the city of Sunnyvale, which has one integrated department of public safety instead of separate police and fire departments, Russo said. He then served as assistant fire chief and then chief of the Palo Alto Fire Department from 1990 to 2004, when he was appointed state fire marshal. Between 2006 and 2009 he oversaw Cal Fire, and now he is the CEO of a public safety consulting firm called FireChiefs.com. "We wanted somebody who had experience in both police and fire," Russo said. The Alameda Fire Department said after the drowning that crews hadn't been trained in water surface rescue and could do nothing but stand by as a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was delayed responding to the incident. The city has since reinstituted the training and changed its policies so that commanders can send in rescuers. Grijalva's review will include a detailed chronology of the drowning and the policies that dictated rescuers' responses, as well as a look at whether the city's actions to date are enough to prevent future tragedies.

 

Wanted Parolee Shot, Wounded in Stand-Off with Police in Western Addition

A wanted parolee who was shot and wounded by police officers after firing at them in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood Wednesday morning has been identified as 38-year-old Roselyndo Nagayo Sicat, police said. Investigators had been searching for Sicat, who was wanted on a $75,000 warrant for felony vandalism and resisting arrest and was on active parole for a weapons violation. He was believed to be armed with an assault weapon that he had fired earlier this week, according to police. No one was injured in that previous shooting, police Officer Albie Esparza said. Officers received information Wednesday morning that Sicat was in the 1000 block of Gough Street, and two plainclothes officers spotted him at 7:56 a.m. near the corner of Gough and Ellis streets as he was leaving a residential driveway in a gray Honda Accord, police said. The officers identified themselves as police and approached Sicat, who allegedly fired at least one round at the officers, who returned fire, striking him. Sicat crashed shortly afterward into cars parked nearby, police said. The officers, who were not injured, took Sicat into custody and he was transported to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for his injuries, which are not considered life-threatening, according to police. A search of the Honda revealed the assault rifle, as well as a handgun on the floorboard on the passenger side of the car, police said. The officers who shot Sicat have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting, per standard procedure, Esparza said.

 

Man Beaten Unconscious in Figth, Dies After 6-Year Coma

A man who was beaten unconscious in a 2005 fight died last week after more than six years in a coma, a San Jose police sergeant said. San Jose resident Octavio Medina, 48, died on June 21 under hospice care after receiving severe head injuries in a fight on Feb. 28, 2005, in the 300 block of Keyes Street. Medina had remained unconscious since police found him injured at the scene in 2005, police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said. The beating suspect, Silvestre Felix Burgara, 53, who was living in San Jose in 2005, was arrested later that year following a verbal altercation Burgara and Medina had at a San Jose bar. The verbal fight led to an attack outside the bar, where Burgara allegedly attacked Medina, who sustained a head injury, according to Dwyer. The Santa Clara District Attorney's Office declined to file criminal charges in 2005 and Burgara was released. He was then deported to Mexico and his current whereabouts are unknown, Dwyer said. There are no search warrants for Burgara and there are no active police searches, but the case is being reviewed by the district attorney's office, Dwyer said. The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office told police Burgara died from injuries related to the attack six years ago.

 

Grocery Store Owner Dies of Irregular Heartbeat Triggered by Assault

The owner of a grocery store died of an irregular heartbeat triggered by the assault in his business Tuesday night, according to an autopsy Wednesday. Solano County coroner's Deputy Ray Lamb said Ho Jun Kim, 70, the owner of the Travis Dairy at 140 E. Travis Blvd., died of "cardiac arrhythmia due to emotional distress caused by an assault." "He had a bad heart and had surgery before," Lamb said. Fairfield police Lt. Greg Hurlbut said Kim called police around 7:50 p.m. Tuesday to report he had been robbed and needed an ambulance. Three suspects pepper-sprayed Kim and left the minimart with a cash register and a video camera Kim used to record his daily business activities, Hurlbut said. A witness said three black males in their late teens went into the business but Kim said the suspects were white, Hurlbut said. The suspects were driving a light brown or tan late model Honda, Hurlbut said. Kim was taken to the NorthBay Medical Center in Vacaville, where he died at 8:36 p.m., the coroner's office said. Police are investigating other robberies where pepper spray was used, Hurlbut said.

 

Menlo Park Police Investigating Thefts of Copper Wiring from Facebook HQ

Police in Menlo Park are investigating three separate thefts of copper wiring this month from the future headquarters of Facebook. On June 17, construction crews reported that more than 1,000 pounds of copper wiring was taken from one of nine vacant buildings on the 57-acre campus, located at 312 Constitution Drive, police spokeswoman Nicole Acker said. It is believed that the wiring was extracted sometime between June 7 and June 13, Acker said. Three days later, a second load of more than 1,000 pounds of copper wire was reported stolen from a storage unit at the site that was being used by a construction contractor, Acker said. Investigators believe the wiring was removed sometime between June 17 and June 20. A third theft of several hundred feet of wiring occurred at another vacant office building on the site on June 22, Acker said. The total value of all the stolen copper is estimated at about $8,500. There are no suspects, according to police.

 

SJ Man Arrested After Police Find 800 Counterfeit DVDs

A 23-year-old San Jose man was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of counterfeit trademark when he was allegedly pulled over with more than 800 counterfeit DVDs of major studio releases, a Santa Clara County sheriff's sergeant said. Carlos Medina was stopped at about 11:20 p.m. Sunday at White Road and Westboro Drive in San Jose because of an expired registration tag on his license plate, Sgt. Rick Sung said. He allegedly provided deputies with a false name, so they ran his fingerprints and discovered he was wanted on an outstanding $15,000 bench warrant for failing to appear in court for a prior counterfeiting arrest, Sung said. He also did not have a valid driver's license. Sung said the deputies allegedly found 814 counterfeit DVDs, including 114 with Disney trademarks and others belonging to Dreamworks and MGM. Among the DVDs were "The Hangover Part II" and "Cars 2," both of which are still playing in theaters. Medina was arrested on suspicion of counterfeit trademark, failure to disclose origin of recordings, providing a false name to a peace officer, and driving with a suspended license, Sung said. He was free Wednesday on $37,000 bail, Sung said. He will face enhancements when he appears in court in August for allegedly committing crimes while out on bail.

 

3 Richmond Men Arrested for Robbery of US Bank in Benicia

Three Richmond men were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of robbing the US Bank in Benicia, police Lt. Mike Daley said. Rork Parker, 24, Terrell Franklin, 24, and Travis Overton, 29, were booked into Solano County Jail Tuesday night for armed robbery and conspiracy, Daley said. Police received a call at 1:40 p.m. that the bank at 848 Southampton Road had just been robbed by two armed men wearing masks, Daley said. A witness provided police with the license plate of a vehicle the suspects left in, and police determined the vehicle had been stolen in El Sobrante, Daley said. The suspects abandoned that car in Benicia and left in another vehicle, Daley said. The second vehicle was spotted in San Pablo in and around an apartment complex on Alan Court, Daley said. One suspect was arrested almost immediately and the other two were arrested after a search by canine teams from the Vallejo and San Pablo police departments, Daley said. Police then searched a nearby apartment on Alan Court and both vehicles used by the suspects, Daley said. Police and the FBI are examining evidence from the searches to determine the suspects' involvement in the Benicia bank robbery and whether the suspects were involved in bank robberies in other jurisdictions, Daley said. "As with many violent crimes in out community, it appears as though armed criminals from other cities have targeted a Benicia business to victimize," Daley said. "Once again, we had an alert citizen take notice of the getaway vehicle and provide valuable information," Daley said. The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office also participated in the investigation that led to the suspects' arrests, Daley said. Anyone with information about the Benicia robbery is asked to call detective Gregg Rouse at (707) 746-4251, and anyone with information about other bank robberies in the area is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (707) 644-7867.

 

Orinda Teen Injured at Santa Cruz Beach Remains in Critical Condition

An Orinda teenager injured Saturday at a state beach in Santa Cruz County remains in critical condition at a San Jose hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said. Ryan Buchanan, 17, was on a field trip to Sunset State Beach near Watsonville with a group from Creekside Community Church in Alamo. Ryan and a 17-year-old friend had dug two holes in the sand with a tunnel connecting them, said Mike McMenamy, public safety superintendent for the Santa Cruz state parks district. The tunnel collapsed and buried Ryan and his friend. The other boy was rescued from the sand within about five minutes, but Ryan was deeper in the sand and was pulled from the sand a few minutes after his friend. He was taken by helicopter to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where he has been treated in the pediatric intensive care unit, according to his family who has been posting updates on Ryan's health at www.caringbridge.org/visit/ryanbuchanan. Wednesday the family wrote Ryan has been taken off all his sedation medication, but was given new medicine after he had a couple of minor seizures. His lungs, heart and other organs are functioning on their own and he has shown some small movements. When his shoulders are stimulated his legs move and his eyes have responded slightly to light. The family said he has been coughing and gagging, which is good to loosen sand that was lodged in his lungs during the collapse. Nurses can now suction out more of the sand he ingested. The family remains cautiously optimistic about Ryan's reovery and knows it will take time. Doctors have told them it may be a few more days before Ryan will be able to open his eyes. "It sure will be nice to see his smile and to hear him sing again," the family wrote. Every night since the Saturday accident Creekside Community Church has held 7 p.m. vigils for Ryan, who will be a senior at Miramonte High School in Orinda. The vigils will continue this week at the church on 1350 Danville Blvd. in Alamo.

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2 Landscapers Arrested for Attempting to Steal Pickup Truck

Two East Bay landscapers were arrested Tuesday while allegedly trying to steal a pickup truck in South San Francisco, police said. Neighborhood patrol officers reported halting the vehicle theft in progress in the 800 block of Olive Avenue at about 10:45 p.m., according to South San Francisco police. Three suspects -- Oakland residents Gerardo Delaberrera, 26, Jesus Duenas, 29, and an unidentified man -- drove off in their own vehicle but were pursued by police until the 900 block of Linden Avenue. The men ditched their vehicle and tried to flee on foot, police said. Duenas a parolee, and Delaberrera, who is on probation, were both apprehended after a brief foot chase and arrested, police said. The third suspect was last seen in the area of Linden Avenue at Airport Boulevard. He was described as a 25-year-old Hispanic man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall with an average build. Anyone who might have information about the suspect is asked to call South San Francisco police at (650) 277-8937.

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Teen Arrested In Connection With Saturday Shooting Pleads Not Guilty

An 18-year-old man arrested in connection with a shooting that injured five people near Market and Seventh streets in San Francisco on Saturday pleaded not guilty today to gun possession and gang-related charges in the case.

Terrell Blay was one of two people arrested after the shooting at about 6:15 p.m. Saturday, but prosecutors said today that the other person arrested, a 16-year-old boy, was the shooter, not Blay.

The teen, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and various other gun possession charges, district attorney's office spokesman Seth Steward said.

He is expected to appear in juvenile court on Friday, Steward said.

During Blay's arraignment hearing in San Francisco Superior Court this afternoon, prosecutor James Thompson said the shooting was preceded by an encounter between two rival gangs that led to a member of the rival gang firing at Blay and his group.

One member of the group was hit, as well as four bystanders -- a 17-year-old boy from El Cerrito, a 22-year-old man from Santa Cruz, a 45-year-old man visiting from England, and a 74-year-old San Francisco resident, police said.

All five victims were taken to San Francisco General Hospital and are expected to survive.

Blay fled the area and police officers saw a loaded handgun fall from his pant leg, Thompson said.

After a brief pursuit on foot, Blay was eventually taken into custody.

Thompson said, "The only reason there weren't more shootings is that the police arrived so quickly."

Blay's defense attorney, Paul Dennison, said that his client did not try to return fire, and was running for his life, but Thompson countered that Blay and an unidentified acquaintance only began running after being approached by police.

Blay pleaded not guilty to felony gun possession charges with gang enhancements, as well as resisting arrest, Steward said.

He was ordered held by Judge Nancy Davis on $250,000 bail, an amount criticized by Dennison, who said it was higher than it should be because of the high-profile nature of the shooting, which occurred while a San Francisco Pride celebration was taking place nearby in Civic Center Plaza.

Police said the shooting was unrelated to the celebrations. "The bail doesn't make sense to me," he said. "We have dozens of these cases every day."

Blay is scheduled to return to court again on July 19 to set a date for the preliminary hearing.

 

 

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Update: Police ID Man Shot By Officers In Western Addition This Morning

A wanted parolee who was shot and wounded by police officers after firing at them in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood this morning has been identified as 38-year-old Roselyndo Nagayo Sicat, police said.

Investigators had been searching for Sicat, who was wanted on a $75,000 warrant for felony vandalism and resisting arrest and was on active parole for a weapons violation.

He was believed to be armed with an assault weapon that he had fired earlier this week, according to police.

No one was injured in that previous shooting, police Officer Albie Esparza said.

Officers received information this morning that Sicat was in the 1000 block of Gough Street, and two plainclothes officers spotted him at 7:56 a.m. near the corner of Gough and Ellis streets as he was leaving a residential driveway in a gray Honda Accord, police said.

The officers identified themselves as police and approached Sicat, who allegedly fired at least one round at the officers, who returned fire, striking him. Sicat crashed shortly afterward into cars parked nearby, police said. The officers, who were not injured, took Sicat into custody and he was transported to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for his injuries, which are not considered life-threatening, according to police.

A search of the Honda revealed the assault rifle, as well as a handgun on the floorboard on the passenger side of the car, police said.

The officers who shot Sicat have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting, per standard procedure, Esparza said.

 

 

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Duck Boat Towed To Shore Near At&T Park

A "duck" boat carrying tourists on a land and water tour of San Francisco had to be towed to shore from the Bay late this morning, a fire dispatcher said.

The fire department received a report at 11:48 a.m. that the boat was not moving and had smoke coming out of it near Pier 50.

A fire department rescue boat responded and pulled the boat to land near AT&T Park, the dispatcher said.

No fire was found and no one was injured, and the rescue was completed by 12:50 p.m., according to the fire department.

 

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July 1, 2011

Marathon negotiations stretching into the early morning hours at San Francisco City Hall today produced a $6.8 billion budget package for the new fiscal year that reverses the majority of proposed health and human...

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City Hall officials in San Francisco were huddled behind closed doors Thursday evening, trying to figure out the final pieces of a budget package for the year that starts today. The board's budget committee was...

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California has a balanced budget for the fiscal year that begins today, after Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed the spending plan to close what had been a $26.6 billion deficit when he took office in January. The...

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Three San Francisco hospitals and the Kaiser Permanente system earned top marks in caring for patients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to an annual report released Thursday by a national...

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July 2, 2011

Marathon negotiations stretching into the early-morning hours at San Francisco City Hall on Friday produced a $6.8 billion budget package for the new fiscal year that reverses most proposed health and human services...

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