SF News

May 30, 2011

A $248 million bond measure to deal with the major backlog in San Francisco street repair and improve roadways is right at the two-thirds threshold needed to pass if it's placed on the November ballot, according to a...

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Barbara Donovan climbed behind the wheel of a 40-foot school bus for the first time in 1971. She was 25, and Richard Nixon was president. A gallon of gas cost 40 cents, and the first four-function pocket calculator hit...

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Gregory Anthony McFarland Jr. picked the wrong party to crash. It's likely to be a while before he crashes another one. McFarland's troubles stemmed from March 25, 2009, when he and a friend saw a group of people...

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May 31, 2011

The mood around the ballpark Thursday, just 12 hours removed from Buster Posey 's ghastly injury at home plate, was one of hushed concern and mourning. Players milled about quietly in a subdued pregame warm-up. Outside...

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May 28, 2011

San Francisco, CA—Frameline, the world’s largest resource for LGBT media and film, is proud to announce Frameline35, the 35th anniversary of the internationally renowned San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.  This year’s legendary showcase for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cinema runs June 16-26, with San Francisco screenings at the landmark Castro Theatre (429 Castro...

It’s 6:34 a.m, 54° and we’re headed for 56°. Details are here. Carnaval! Live on Mission Loc@l Sunday at 10 a.m. and every hour on the hour! Tune in. Elsewhere, we have the NYT discovering good deli in the Mission. We’ll be trying it soon. My feeling is that anyone living west of the Mississippi...

The Municipal Transportation Agency and the union representing Muni operators are reportedly close to agreeing on a tentative labor contract. The two sides, assisted by a mediator, have made significant progress at the...

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Exactly one year out, officials unveiled their plans to throw the Golden Gate Bridge a 75th anniversary celebration.


One month before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Presidio's Building 640, a converted hangar along Crissy Field, served as a classroom for 58 second-generation Japanese Americans who served in the armed forces.

    As part of the Military Intelligence Service, or MIS, those Nisei,
along with two Caucasian soldiers, studied to become the schools first class
of linguists who would play a vital role in military intelligence and combat duty.

    Although the current state of the ersatz airmail hangar belies its
historical importance, the walls of that historic warehouse in the Presidio
are about to talk.

    Fifty years after the establishment of the language school, the
building was discovered still standing in 1991, and preservation efforts ensued.

    After years of planning and negotiations between the Presidio
Trust and the National Japanese American Historical Society, Friday the two
entities signed a cooperative agreement to rehabilitate the once-secret Army
language school.

    The agreement allows for the conversion of the 10,000-square-foot
building into an MIS Historic Learning Center that will be operated by the
historical society.

    "The MIS story is part of the Presidio's legacy of service,"
Presidio Trust executive director Craig Middleton said in a statement Friday.
"I can't think of a better way to honor the service of the MIS veterans."

    Serving in almost every major campaign during the Pacific War, the
MIS linguists provided indispensable assistance to the Allies by conducting
interrogations and translating maps, personal correspondence and radio

    Months after the language school was established at the Presidio,
then-President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order forcing Japanese
Americans from the West Coast and into internment camps, prompting the school
to relocate to Minnesota in June 1942.

    Four years later, the school returned to California as the Defense
Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey.

    At its peak, the school's 160 instructors taught 3,000 students in
its 125 classrooms.

    The learning center will feature exhibits and ongoing public
programs devoted to the MIS and their experience. Its Wall of Honor will
display the more than 6,000 names of the MIS graduates as a permanent memory
of their contributions.

    "This is indeed a momentous step forward ... to give the MIS story
its proper place of importance in U.S. history," said Ken Kawaichi, the
historical society's board president.

CONTACT: Dana Polk for the Presidio Trust (415) 850-8190

Two Bay Area Charities Named Among the Winners of Chase Community Giving Campaign

Two Bay Area charities were named as winners of the Chase Community Giving campaign.

The campaign gave $5 million in total to the 100 charities that received the most votes on Facebook.com.

The Blue Devil Parent Association in Concord came in 16th out of 100 with 7,847 votes. They received $45,000 to support their youth music and performing arts program -- One Music, One World.

The Santa Clara Vanguard Booster Club in Santa Clara came in 24th with 5,351 votes. They plan to use the $45,000 grant to support their music and movement education program.

These Bay Area organizations were two of four California charities in the top 100.

The number one pick for Chase's campaign received a $500,000 grant and won with 27,514 votes. Chabad of Argentina Relief Appeal Inc. in New York City is a UNICEF-supported charity that works with children who are considered at-risk due to abuse or abandonment.

Bay Area News Roundup

Public Defender Jeff Adachi said Friday's dropped cases involving
officers allegedly mishandling drug busts are a sign that these incidents are
no longer isolated to specific buildings in San Francisco.

    District Attorney George Gascon Friday afternoon dropped 26 cases
involving San Francisco police's Mission Station, which has recently been
under scrutiny after Adachi released footage that he claims show misconduct
by officers during drug busts at residential hotels around the city.

    One of the cases dismissed Friday took place in August last year,
when police were checking the home of a man on probation and officers
allegedly kicked down the man's bedroom door and took property from his home,
according to Adachi.

    The man's stepfather and mother, Javier and Mariette Tenorio, saw
the wave of cases being dismissed and then approached the public defender,
telling him that property had been stolen, Adachi said.

    Javier Tenorio explained at a news conference Friday that police
initially approached him on Aug. 19, 2010, and asked him if he had any drugs.

    He said he then consented to a search after an officer, who he
identified as Sgt. Kevin Healy, threatened to arrest him if he did not

    Police then confiscated several items from his son's bedroom that
were never booked into evidence, according to Tenorio.

    He said his son's belongings were never returned to him. His son
was later arrested in March this year on drugs-related charges, and was due
to be released Friday after his case was dismissed Friday afternoon,
according to Adachi's and Gascon's offices.

    "If we have officers that are in fact stealing property, that
obviously questions the credibility of everything else that they do," Gascon said.

    A total of 119 cases involving alleged misconduct by San Francisco
police will have been dismissed as of Friday afternoon, according to the
district attorney.

    "If it is determined through the investigation that any officer is
proven to be dishonest, in any way, they will be disciplined," the Police
Department said in a statement. "This discipline will be swift and severe up
to and including termination."


Construction work could slow down travelers on the Bay Bridge and BART this weekend.

    Caltrans will shut down some eastbound lanes on the Bay Bridge
from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. today and Sunday because it is reconfiguring some lanes
as part of its ongoing effort to rebuild the span to make it more seismically
safe. Westbound traffic will not be impacted.

    BART will be shutting down one of the two tracks in the Transbay
Tube to perform maintenance and repair work to electric cables both this
weekend and next weekend.

    The repair work means that riders who use the tube to cross the
San Francisco Bay could face delays of between 20 and 40 minutes.

    While the work is being performed, passengers who are traveling
from stations in San Francisco and the Peninsula toward Dublin or Fremont
will need to transfer at the 12th Street station in Oakland to a special
Dublin- or Fremont-bound train.

    BART customers traveling from Fremont or Dublin to San Francisco
and the Peninsula should board their normal trains but those trains will be
diverted to the MacArthur station in Oakland.

    Riders will then have to get off their train at the 12th Street
station in Oakland and go downstairs to transfer to a San Francisco-bound

    This weekend, the BART repair work began after the last train
Friday but the ending time will vary.

    The work Friday night will end at 7:30 a.m. today but on the work
tonight and Sunday night will end at 2:30 p.m. the following day. The work will be done at similar hours next weekend, June 3-5.

    The Friday night work will end at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and the
Saturday night work will end at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. No work is scheduled for
that Sunday night.


    Accused serial killer Joseph Naso Friday morning challenged the
"accuracy and legitimacy" of photos of women the prosecution claims are the
probable cause for his arrest on the four murder charges that have been filed
against him.

    Naso, 77, who was a self-employed photographer, is charged with
killing four women, whose bodies were found in Yuba, Marin and Contra Costa
counties between 1977 and 1994. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday

    Nevada investigators recovered photos of scantily dressed women in
Naso's home in Reno, Nev., last year while Naso was in the El Dorado County
Jail serving a sentence for violating his probation.

    One of the murdered women, Roxene Roggasch, 18, of Oakland,
reportedly was partially dressed and bound when her body was found in Fairfax
in 1977.

    The Marin County District Attorney's Office said Naso was not
among the leads generated in the investigation of the Roggasch murder and no
charges were filed against him at that time.

    "Evidence discovered in 2010 generated a fresh investigative
effort," Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said in a news release
last month.

    "This more recent investigation uncovered evidence linking Naso to
the murder of Roxene Roggasch," Berberian said.

    Naso was arrested for the four murders by Marin County sheriff's
deputies when he was released from the jail in South Lake Tahoe on April 11.

    He said Friday the provocative photos recovered from his home do
not depict women "in forced poses, forced bondage or being deceased."

    Citing four documents in the probable cause statement for his
arrest and detention, Naso asked Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew
Sweet to suppress the statement, which is currently sealed, dismiss the
murders complaint against him and release him from jail.

    Sweet directed Naso to file a written motion on his request. The
Marin District Attorney's Office said it will respond in writing to Naso's
motion by Wednesday.


A Yemeni man who allegedly tried to storm the cockpit of a San
Francisco-bound jet pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to an
indictment charging him with interfering with a flight crew.

Rageh al-Murisi, 28, was ordered by U.S. Magistrate Jacqueline
Corley to return to court in San Francisco on June 23 for an appearance
before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who will preside over his
not-yet-scheduled trial.

Al-Murisi, who is being held in custody without bail, is accused
of trying to open the locked cockpit door of an America Airlines plane as it
neared San Francisco International Airport on May 8 and then ramming the door
with his shoulder.

He was subdued by flight attendants and at least three passengers,
including two retired law enforcement officers and an off-duty pilot.

A former defense attorney and another magistrate have said
al-Murisi appears to have mental health problems.

U.S. Magistrate James Larson wrote in a detention order on May 19
that al-Murisi told the court's pretrial services staff that "he has had
hallucinations for approximately one year, and that the hallucinations have
worsened in the past one to two months."

Al-Murisi met with a doctor on Monday, according to his current
lawyer, Christopher Morales.

Larson denied bail at a May 13 hearing on the ground that
al-Murisi is both a flight risk and a danger to the community, and confirmed
his ruling in the May 19 written order.

The indictment was issued by a federal grand jury on May 19 and
contains the same charge as a criminal complaint previously filed by
prosecutors, but the grand jury action means that no preliminary hearing is

The charge carries a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in
prison if he is convicted.

Al-Murisi, a former math teacher in Yemen, has a wife and children
in Yemen.

He entered the U.S. in January 2010 and lived with relatives in
Vallejo for several months while looking for work. He then moved to New York,
where he worked at several convenience stores before suddenly quitting a job
a few days before he flew to San Francisco, according to Larson's ruling.


    A state appeals court in San Francisco has overturned an Alameda
County welfare rule that cut off housing funds to recipients whose landlords
failed to fill out forms.

    A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday
that the policy reducing general assistance payments from $336 to $105 per
month was illegal and inhumane.

    "The conditions it imposes for obtaining housing assistance are
unreasonable, if not intolerable," Justice Paul Haerle wrote.

    The policy was slated to go into effect in 2009, but was blocked
that year by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch, acting on a
lawsuit filed by two general assistance recipients.

    Thursday's decision upholds the trial judge's ruling.

    General assistance is a last-resort, state-mandated welfare
program for indigent adults who are not covered by any other program and have
no other support. It is paid for by counties.

    In Alameda County, the maximum payment to a single individual is
$336 per month, including a $191 allowance for housing. In most cases, the
county pays the housing allowance directly to landlords.

    Under the now-overturned policy, landlords were required to fill
out forms giving their taxpayer identification number or Social Security
number. The recipients' lawsuit contended that many landlords are unable or
unwilling to provide the personal information.

    If a landlord failed to complete the forms, the county would not
pay the rent and would also deduct $191 from the recipient's welfare check.

    Including another $40 deduction for county medical care, that
reduction would leave recipients with $105 per month to live on. Those who
lost their housing could then apply for homeless shelter beds or, if no beds
were available, for housing assistance payments.

    But the result is that a recipient "must become homeless before he
can obtain any housing assistance at all," the court said.

    The appeals panel said the policy violated a state law that
requires general assistance programs to provide appropriate aid "promptly and
humanely" and in a way that encourages self-respect.


    The Port of Oakland is expanding an electrification program meant
to curb diesel emissions thanks to $25 million in funding announced Friday by
the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

    The funds will go toward the port's "cold ironing" projects, which
allow container ships to turn off their diesel power generators and connect
to cleaner-burning electrical power while berthed in Oakland, air quality
district spokeswoman Kristine Roselius said.

    The ships need a constant power source while they are berthed, and
cold ironing reduces diesel exhaust emissions, she said.

    "Diesel emissions from port operations have a serious health
impact in the West Oakland community," air district executive officer Jack
Broadbent said in a statement.

    The $25 million will allow 11 new ship berths to be cold ironed,
according to Roselius

    Shipping company APL already received $4.8 million in air district
grants to retrofit its terminal, which went online Friday, she said.

    The switch to shoreline power is expected to immediately cut more
than 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions and 1,500 pounds of toxic soot
annually from APL ships berthed in Oakland, Roselius said.

    The 11 new cold-ironing projects are expected to bring the total
to 600,000 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions and 10,000 fewer pounds
of toxic soot each year.

    The $25 million were provided by the California Air Resources
Board and air quality district, and will be bolstered by additional funds
from the federal government and Port of Oakland. 

    Regulations mandating cold ironing take effect in California in


    Officials Friday unveiled their plans to throw the Golden Gate
Bridge a 75th anniversary celebration befitting an icon of the
septuagenarian's stature.

    The extended fete will be anchored by a two-day festival over
Memorial Day weekend in 2012. A new visitors' pavilion will be built in the
current parking lot, and renovations will be made to the existing facilities
at one of the world's most recognizable 1.2-mile stretch of road.

    Two new vantage points will also be added to the San Francisco
waterfront, and 75 community partners will be chosen to pay tribute to the
bridge in unique and creative ways.

    The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Friday presented the
proposal, which was approved unanimously by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway
and Transportation District board of directors. The Presidio Trust and
National Park Service are also collaborating on the events.

    "I'm thrilled the ideas were embraced," conservancy executive
director Greg Moore said. "I think the board can see that collectively we can
improve the bridge experience for visitors."

    San Francisco Giants president Larry Baer and philanthropist Nancy
Bechtle are chairing the 75th anniversary committee, which launched a new
website Friday, the bridge's 74th birthday.

    Baer, a fourth-generation San Franciscan, said he has loved the
bridge ever since he was a kid growing up in the Richmond District.

    "You come home -- like after one of your key players gets injured
-- and find solace with the bridge," he said, referring to catcher Buster
Posey's potentially season-ending leg fracture during a game on Wednesday.

    The Giants have already signed on to be among the 75 community
partners devising creative ways to honor the bridge.

    The Marin Symphony is also commissioning and performing a piece
for the bridge, Moore said, and the anniversary committee is soliciting
proposals for other projects until June 20.

    Most of the tributes will take place between April and October of 2012.

On May 26-27, 2012, a two-day festival will be centered on the
city's waterfront to evoke the bridge's historic opening fiesta, which was
held at Crissy Field in 1937.


    Officers arrested a teen suspected of taking a gun that was thrown
from the window of a passing car in Santa Cruz Thursday night, police said.

    Police responded to the area near West Cliff Drive and Sacramento
Avenue at around 7 p.m. after receiving reports of a vehicle with bullet
holes and a flat tire that was driving recklessly in the area.

    Responding officers learned that a firearm was thrown from the
vehicle and a man walking in the area reportedly took it, police said.

    The man was last seen heading northbound on Stockton Avenue.

    Officers spotted Derek Bodiford, 19, in the area and he matched
the suspect's description, according to police.

    Bodiford allegedly ran from officers into the back of a school in
the 200 block of Swift Street, police said.

    Officers received assistance from a K-9 unit, State Parks
officials and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office to establish a perimeter
around the school.

    Police said Bodiford attempted to leave the school grounds by a
back gate onto Merced Avenue and was detained by authorities.

    Bodiford was arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen
firearm, possession of a firearm within a school zone, resisting arrest and
being a minor in possession of alcohol.

    A search of the school grounds and surrounding area was conducted
but police did not recover the firearm.

    Police contacted nearby residents and school officials about the
missing firearm, which is described as a silver semi-automatic firearm with
black grips.

    Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call (831) 420-5820.


    A man who graduated just last week from University of San
Francisco died Thursday, a day after being struck by a car in the city's
Marina District, police and school officials said.

The 22-year-old man, identified by school officials as Zander Urban, was struck at Lombard and Pierce streets at about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday,
police said.

Urban was taken to a hospital and put on life support, and died
shortly after noon Thursday, police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.

The driver of the car stopped at the scene, and told police he did not see Urban before the collision. The crash remains under investigation, Dangerfield said.

Urban had just graduated from USF last week with a bachelor of arts degree in international studies, university spokeswoman Anne-Marie Devine said.

He worked in the Media Production Department at the university, and was ready to start an internship after graduation. He had also worked as an intern at the state Capitol last summer and played in a band, Devine said.

"Zander touched the lives of many people here at USF and his loss is being felt by many members of our community," she said.

The university was organizing a memorial service for Urban that was to take place Friday evening in Sutro Heights Park.

University Ministry will lead a reflection on his life, and attendees will have a chance to share their thoughts and prayers, Devine said.

The service is planned for 7:30 p.m. at the park located at 48th and Point Lobos avenues.


Three people were struck by gunfire Friday night in Oakland during a drive-by shooting, an Oakland police officer said.

The gunman, riding a motorcycle, sprayed bullets on a crowd of people in the 800 block of Athens Avenue at about 8:20 p.m., Officer A. Frye said.

The victims were transported from the area, which is between San
Pablo Avenue and Market Street, to hospitals, and their injuries were not
believed to be life-threatening, Frye said.


Campbell police are searching for a 35-year-old man they believe severely abused his ex-girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

The 15-year-old son of the man, identified as George Rodriguez, found the girl rolled up in a carpet in Rodriguez's garage at his home in the 1300 block of Pollard Road two weeks ago, police Capt. Charley Adams said.

The child is now in protective custody.

Her mother, Jane Marin, 31, was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and remains in custody at Santa Clara County Jail, Adams said.

Police initially announced the case on May 11, when they responded to the house on a report of child abuse and could not locate Rodriguez, Marin, or the 3-year-old girl.

Rodriguez is described as a Hispanic man about 6 feet 1 inch tall who weighs 230 pounds.

Adams said detectives have searched the San Jose and the Sacramento areas based on tips and leads. The Sacramento Police Department and sheriff's office are also involved in the search.

Anyone who sees Rodriguez is asked to call 911 or has information about his whereabouts to call police at (408) 866-2101.


A Rodeo man was charged Friday for allegedly making counterfeit money and passing it on to local businesses, Hercules police said.

The investigation began Wednesday evening when Hercules police received a report of a man trying to open the doors to Bio-Rad's offices at 825 Alfred Nobel Dr.

The man was described as a white man in his 50s wearing blue jeans, a white t-shirt and carrying a brown jacket, police said.

Officers found a man matching that description crossing near the 3600 block of San Pablo Avenue and stopped him.

The man, Marcus Peppard, was identified as the person who had been at Bio-Rad, police said.

When officers searched him, they allegedly found what they described as a "large quantity" of counterfeit money, which he allegedly admitted to making, and police arrested him.

Friday, Hercules officers served a search warrant at Peppard's residence in at 216 B Sharon Drive in Rodeo, where they allegedly found more counterfeit money and a computer and printer they believe was used to make it.

The district attorney's office filed felony counterfeit and forgery charges against Peppard, according to Hercules police.


A slight chance of showers is in the forecast for the Bay Area this afternoon, with mostly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 50s.

There is a slight chance of showers this evening, with mostly cloudy skies becoming mostly clear and breezy tonight. Lows are expected to be in the upper 40s with northwest winds of 20 to 30 mph.

Sunday is expected to be partly cloudy in the morning, becoming sunny, with highs in the upper 50s.


Local independent filmmakers could find themselves in a low-cost office space on July 1 thanks to the San Francisco Film Commission's new project.

The commission's SF Film Collective will provide affordable office space to local filmmakers to help create more film production in the city and nurture "home-grown" talent, commission officials said.

To be considered, filmmakers must be at least 21 years old and actively engaged in a film, video, television, or multimedia project.

"We see this as a way to not only support local filmmaking talent,
but to shine a light on San Francisco as a city which welcomes independent
productions," executive director Susannah Greason Robbins said in a

Participants must either be a resident of the city or working on a
project that is directly related to San Francisco.

The office space is located at 134A Golden Gate Ave. Twelve offices are available and the space offers a common area, conference room, and a communal kitchen.

Applications are due by June 1 and can be found at www.filmsf.org.

Spaces will be awarded on June 8 for July 1 occupancy. Anyone interested in touring the space should call (415) 554-6241.

    CONTACT: Film Office (415) 554-6241

DA to Dismiss More Than Two Dozen Drug Cases After New Video Surfaces

More than two dozen cases involving San Francisco police performing drug busts are being dismissed this afternoon after another video recently surfaced showing alleged misconduct among the officers, according to District Attorney George Gascon.

The footage is the latest in a string of videos released by Public Defender Jeff Adachi since March that he claims show misconduct by officers during drug busts at residential hotels around the city.

Gascon said that at 2 p.m. he will dismiss 26 cases involving plainclothes officers from the Police Department's Mission Station performing drug busts in 2010 and earlier this year.

One of the cases dismissed took place in April last year, when police were checking the home of a boy on probation and allegedly stole property, Gascon said.

The boy's parents, Javier and Mariette Tenorio, saw the wave of cases being dismissed and then approached Adachi, telling him that property had been stolen, according to Gascon and Tamara Barak Aparton, a spokeswoman for the public defender.

"If we have officers that are in fact stealing property, that obviously questions the credibility of everything else that they do," Gascon said.

A total of 119 cases involving alleged misconduct by San Francisco police will have been dismissed as of this afternoon, according to the district attorney.

"The officers in these videos have the same rights as any other citizen," the Police Department said in a statement.

"If it is determined through the investigation that any officer is proven to be dishonest, in any way, they will be disciplined," the statement said. "This discipline will be swift and severe up to and including termination."

Adachi will hold a news conference at 1:15 p.m. about the most recently released video, which Gascon said he received on Thursday.
CONTACT: San Francisco District Attorney's Office (415) 553-1167
San Francisco Public Defender's Office (415) 575-4390
San Francisco police (415) 553-1651

Man Convicted of Rape in Cold Hit Case from 2001

A man has been convicted of kidnapping and rape charges in a cold hit case from 2001, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office announced today.

Damien McCartney, 37, was convicted by a San Francisco Superior Court jury on Friday of two counts of kidnapping to commit rape, two counts of rape, and other sexual assault charges, as well as an allegation that he used a deadly weapon during the attack, prosecutors said.

According to evidence presented at the two-and-a-half week trial, early on the morning of Oct. 4, 2001, the female victim went to a bus stop at Mission and Oliver streets in the city's Outer Mission neighborhood.

McCartney approached her, dragged her away and assaulted her, according to the district attorney's office.

In 2006, a match was made between McCartney's DNA and the DNA found at the scene, but the case could not be prosecuted because the victim could not be located.

Three years later, McCartney was arrested in Santa Clara County in an unrelated case. A lieutenant in the San Francisco Police Department's sex crimes detail noticed the arrest and looked again for the victim. She was found and the rape case was filed, prosecutors said.

McCartney will return to court on June 21 to set a date for his sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of 110 years to life in state prison.
CONTACT: San Francisco District Attorney's Office (415) 553-1014

Folding Bikes Now Allowed on Muni Buses, Light-Rail Vehicles

Folding bicycles are now allowed on San Francisco Municipal Railway buses and light-rail vehicles, a Muni spokesman said today.

The policy is part of the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency's bicycle plan to increase ridership around the city, spokesman Paul Rose said.

The city's original bike plan was adopted in 2005, but improvements to the network could not be implemented until four years later when a court injunction was lifted.

Rose said the foldable bike policy was not enacted with some of those initial improvements by the SFMTA because "we just wanted to make sure we were moving as safe and as appropriately as possible."

Customers using folding bicycles are asked to fold their bikes prior to boarding, and to keep them with them and away from other passengers or wheelchairs.

Non-folding bicycles can be put on bike racks mounted on the front of Muni buses. The agency is currently developing a policy for allowing them on the light-rail vehicles. No bikes of any kind are allowed on cable cars.

As part of the city's bike plan, Muni is also working with BART to set up a bike station at the Civic Center station, which the two agencies share.

Since the court injunction was lifted, the SFMTA has installed more than 350 sidewalk bike racks, which provide 700 bicycle parking spaces, as well as eight on-street bike corrals in areas with high bike parking demand.

For more information on the city's bike plan, visit www.sfmta.com/bikes.
CONTACT: Muni spokesman Paul Rose (415) 701-4582, (415) 601-1637 cellphone

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May 29, 2011

That proposed ban on circumcision on November's ballot really isn't so only-in-San Francisco after all. We may be the first city in the country to see the ban make it onto the ballot, but opponents of male circumcision...

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At least one float in today's dazzling Carnaval parade in San Francisco was paid for with warm chocolate souffles. And ginger margaritas. That would be the one with orange bunting, a rainbow of streamers and dancers...

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May 27, 2011

The holiday lights of this weekend will be bright red ones - as in brake lights.

With Memorial Day coming in a few days, here are a few tips for parking and getting around the city on the holiday. 
According to FindingtheSweetspot.com, parking rules in the city for Memorial...

The Planning Commission unanimously approved on Thursday a mixed-use, 18-unit condominium at 899 Valencia Street. Construction is expected to last between a year and 18 months. The Commission also unanimously approved the permit for Pollo Campero to begin operating at 2740 Mission Street. The Commission asked the project’s sponsors to address the neighbors’ noise and...

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