SF News

Brand-New Muni Bus Malfunctions With Mayor on Board

An event intended to unveil dozens of new San Francisco Municipal Railway buses hit a snag today when one of the buses malfunctioned with the mayor on board.

Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials had touted the new biodiesel-electric hybrid buses at a news conference at Pier 48 near AT&T Park and then hopped on board one of them to be transported to City Hall.

However, the bus could not be driven away, and the mayor and the rest of the group were ushered onto another bus.

"Crews were initially looking at the bus' hydraulic system as the source of the problem, but later determined that a sensor was incorrectly showing that the rear door of the vehicle was open, which prevented the bus from driving away," Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.

"The problem has since been resolved and crews will check the rest of the new buses to make sure similar issues don't pop up," Rose said.

The vehicles are part of a fleet of 62 new hybrid buses being introduced into the Muni system starting this week.

Muni has not had any new buses since 2007, agency officials said.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director of transportation Ed Reiskin said the buses will provide "a smoother, nicer ride" and "really represent a significant investment in transit."

Mayor Lee said the buses are "greener and cleaner" than previous Muni buses and will help shuttle riders to various large events taking place in the city this summer, including the America's Cup sailing races and concerts in Golden Gate Park.

The new buses, which cost about $752,000 each, are being paid for with federal, state and local funding and will replace 13-year-old buses currently in service, Muni officials said.

One of the new buses will be on display to the public in front of City Hall until 5 p.m. today.

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Brand-New Muni Bus Malfunctions at News Conference

An event intended to unveil dozens of new San Francisco Municipal Railway buses today hit a snag when one of the buses malfunctioned.

Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials were on the new bus waiting to be taken to City Hall after a news conference at Pier 48 near AT&T Park when the mishap occurred.

The bus could not be driven away, and the mayor and the rest of the group had to be ushered onto another bus.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said it appears there was an issue with the bus' hydraulic system.

The vehicles are part of a fleet of 62 new biodiesel-electric hybrid buses being introduced into the Muni system, which has not had any new buses since 2007, agency officials said.

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San Francisco Bay Area Monday Midday News Roundup

Oakland Coliseum Needs Fixing

The Oakland A's have been looking to move out of the O.co Coliseum for years and the team is highlighting this weekend's sewage overflow as another reason why they need a new home.

During Sunday's game between the A's and the Seattle Mariners, both teams' locker rooms were flooded with raw sewage, forcing all of the players to shower in the Oakland Raiders' locker room, a team official said.

The leak began in the A's clubhouse early in the game and the sewage flowed into the team's laundry room, shower room, the umpires' shower room and lounge, the training room, and the visitors' clubhouse, said David Rinetti, A's vice president of stadium operations.

"We're fortunate it happened when it did because we have eight days to replace what we need to replace," he said.

The A's are not scheduled to play at the Coliseum again until June 25 when they begin an eight-game homestand. 

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority oversees the O.co Coliseum, which was built in 1966, and Rinetti said the building faces these sorts of issues throughout the year but normally not to this extent.

"The facility is old ... We do have drains that are clogged, we have to shut down areas of the stadium sometimes," Rinetti said. "It just shows why we need a new stadium."

The cause of the sewage overflow has not been determined but there is speculation the large crowd at Sunday's sold-out game may have contributed to it, Rinetti said.

The group "Save Oakland Sports" has been fighting to keep all three of the city's sports franchises in Oakland, but does agree with the team that the A's need a new stadium.

Group spokesman Jim Zelinski called the situation "unfortunate." 

"The fact that the A's attendance is as high as it is after six years of uncertainty is nothing short of miraculous and it underscores (that) the fan base in Oakland and the East Bay is strong," Zelinski said.

A's relief pitcher Sean Doolittle tweeted about the sewage issue Sunday afternoon.

"After I checked out the new swimming pool in our locker room I got to see the Raiders clubhouse! Pretty cool!#CommitmentToExcellence," he wrote.

The A's have been waiting to hear from Major League Baseball on whether the team could be allowed to move to San Jose, which has already set aside a site for a new stadium.

The San Francisco Giants currently own the territorial rights to Santa Clara County.

Assemblywoman Skinner Urges Funds Towards Veterans' Benefits

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner today called on Gov. Jerry Brown to support spending provisions recently approved by state legislators that would provide $6 million to reduce the long backlog of veterans' benefit claims in California.

Speaking at a news conference outside the veterans memorial building near Lake Merritt in Oakland, Skinner, D-Berkeley, said the state Legislature last week passed a provision that would provide $3 million to send "strike teams" of 36 state workers to help shrink backlogs at U.S.

Department of Veterans Affairs offices in Oakland and other locations in the
state.

Lawmakers also passed a provision that would allocate an additional $3 million for county veterans service officers who would help veterans get their claims filed, she said.

"Our veterans put their lives on the line for us abroad, but here at home they are not being served and are facing a shameful situation," Skinner said.

She said veterans coming home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan often have to wait from one to three years to have their requests processed for benefits such as disability claims, education expenses and employment services.

The problem is particularly bad in California, which has 2 million veterans -- the most of any state, Skinner said.

The Oakland Veterans Affairs office, which serves all of Northern California, has the longest wait times in the nation, and the wait times have skyrocketed from an average of 283 days in January 2012 to 562 days now, she said.

Although the Department of Veterans Affairs is a federal agency, Skinner said California should spend money to help because "these people deserve it" and because the state's effort could bring up to an estimated $886 million in federal funding to the state if all of the pending benefit claims are granted.

Skinner said Brown has until June 30 to sign the state budget but she's concerned about reports that his aides have questioned why the state, rather than the federal government, should spend money to help reduce the backlog.

A spokesman for the governor's office could not immediately be reached for comment.

"Oakland Reads 2020 "

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan kicked off a literacy campaign this morning aimed at getting more of the city's schoolchildren to read at grade level.

"Oakland Reads 2020" is a seven-year initiative meant to bump up the number of third graders reading at grade level from 42 percent to 85 percent by the year 2020.

Speaking at the Oakland Marriott City Center along with Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Tony Smith, Quan said, "All of Oakland deserves to read."

City council members Libby Schaaf and Dan Kalb were also at the news conference, as well as state Assemblyman Rob Bonta.

Quan said students who are not prepared to read in third grade are 13 times more likely to drop out of high school. She said poor reading skills can affect children for life, hurting their ability to get a job and making them more likely to become involved in crime.

"If kids do well in school, they will have more hopes and dreams," Quan said. Smith, who will be leaving his superintendent post by the end of the month, said the 85 percent reading readiness goal can only be achieved if everyone -- from the mayor's office to parents to the public housing authority -- shares the responsibility.

He emphasized the importance of school attendance, which he noted boosts school funding and is correlated to academic success.

"In order to be successful in school, they have to be at school," Smith said. "We've got to get the little ones to school."

Oakland parent Charles Allensworth said the community needs to step in and support the project.

"The more that we give, the more our children will benefit from our efforts," he said.

So far, Oakland Reads 2020 has received $700,000 in private funding from the organizations Rogers Family Foundation, Kenneth Rain Foundation, and the East Bay Community Foundation.

The effort continues to be supported by almost 100 other private and public entities, including the city of Oakland and OUSD.

Program organizers are looking to secure more funding at the city, state, and federal
levels.

The initiative is part of the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

Murder Trial of Joseph Naso

Opening statements began in Marin County Superior Court this morning in the quadruple-murder trial of Joseph Naso.

Naso is charged with the murder of Roxene Roggasch, 18, of Oakland, whose body was found in Marin County on Jan. 11, 1977, and Carmen Colon, 22, an East Bay resident who was found dead in Contra Costa County on Aug. 15, 1978.

In addition, prosecutors allege he committed two murders in Yuba County, killing Pamela Parsons, 38, in September 1993, and Tracy Tafoya, 31, in August 1994.

The victims' bodies were found in along rural roads in Yuba, Marin and Contra Costa counties.

The prosecution contends that Naso met the women, who were working as prostitutes, during the course of his work photographing models.

During the preliminary hearing in January 2012, the prosecution presented evidence from pathologists who testified the women died of asphyxiation likely due to strangulation.

Roggasch's body was found on the side of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard on the eastern slope of White's Hill in Fairfax on Jan. 11, 1977.

She was wearing pantyhose inside out, according to the prosecution's witness,
Contra Costa County sheriff's Deputy Tuan Nguyen. 

Nguyen, a criminalist who processed the pantyhose for DNA evidence, testified that the DNA of Naso's wife Judith was found on one pair of pantyhose, and semen from two males was found on another pair. 

One of the semen samples likely came from Naso, Nguyen testified.

Another pair of pantyhose was around Roggasch's neck, a third pair was in her mouth and a fourth pair was wrapped around her mouth, Nguyen said.

Yuba County sheriff's Capt. Alan Long testified at the preliminary hearing that there were ligature marks on Parsons' neck, wrists and ankles and bruises on her naked body.

Long testified Tafoya's decomposing naked body was 20 to 25 feet off state Highway 70 near Marysville, and she was identified by fingerprints.

Colon's body was found by California Highway Patrol Officer Billy Doyle off the side of Carquinez Scenic Drive near Point Costa in Contra Costa County.

Attorney Pedro Oliveros of the Marin County Public Defender's Office is serving as Naso's advisory counsel during the trial. 

He said his role is helping Naso with questions regarding the law and trial procedure.

The trial is expected to last until mid-November.

There are six men and six women on the panel and nine alternate jurors also were selected.

Oliveros said he could not disclose whom Naso plans to call as witnesses, but Naso intends to give an opening statement to the jury most likely this afternoon.

Sheriff's Patrol Cars Stuck in Ice During Chase

Two Contra Costa County sheriff's patrol cars got stuck in ice plant and caught fire in Berkeley during a chase this morning, a sheriff's spokesman said.

The chase began around 3:45 a.m. when a suspicious black Lexus was spotted near Olinda and Castro Ranch roads in El Sobrante, sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

A deputy attempted to stop the car, but the driver sped off, heading onto Valley View Road, then Appian Way and San Pablo Dam Road before getting onto westbound Interstate Highway 80, Lee said.

The driver eventually exited at Ashby Avenue in Berkeley, then drove into some ice plant and dry grass along the highway.

The suspect was able to make it back onto the freeway, but two patrol cars involved in the pursuit got stuck in the ice plant, stalled and caught fire.

The deputies got out of the cars safely, and no injuries were reported.

The suspect was able to elude authorities, Lee said.

Livermore Police Warn Residents of Daytime Burglaries

Police in Livermore are alerting residents about a recent rash of
daytime residential burglaries.

In about a week's time, there have been eight daytime home burglaries, including in the 100 and 500 blocks of El Caminito; the 5500 block of Charlotte Way; the 1100 block of Essex Street; the 900 block of Wagoner Drive; the 4000 block of Capriconus Avenue; and two in the 700 block of Debra Street, police said.

Police believe the thieves are posing as solicitors and pretending to sell merchandise, according to police.

In some cases, when no one appears to be home, the thieves return the next day and burglarize the residence, police said. Other times, if no one answers the door, the thieves immediately head to the backyard and try to break in.

Police advise residents who are hesitant to answer a door to make it clear that they are home.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity is asked to call police at (925) 371-4978.

Car Accident Kills Passenger

A passenger was killed early this morning when the driver of the car he was riding in crashed into a parked vehicle in South San Jose, police said.

Police received a report at 2:01 a.m. of a car accident in the area of Hillsdale and Pearl avenues, near state Highway 87, police said.

Arriving officers learned that a silver-colored Toyota Avalon had struck a parked car, police said. 

The only passenger in the Toyota, a man believed to be in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene at about 2:30 a.m., police said.

The driver was injured and was transported to a hospital, and is expected to survive, police said.

The Police Department's traffic investigation unit is still looking into the circumstances of the crash and whether drugs or alcohol played a role, police said.

The passenger's name is being withheld until his family has been notified of his death, police said.

Taxi Driver Attacks Passenger Over Tip

A taxi driver choked and robbed a passenger in a dispute over a tip near San Francisco's Buena Vista Park early Sunday morning, a police spokesman said today.

The taxi driver had taken a 37-year-old man to the area of Waller Street and Central Avenue around 1 a.m. Sunday and the victim asked for his change back, leaving no tip for the cabbie, police said.

An argument ensued and the passenger tried to flee but the driver caught up to him and began choking him, police spokesman Sgt. Dennis Toomer said.

The driver then got back into the cab and drove off, Toomer said.

The victim described the taxi driver as a white, balding man between 30 and 40 years old who has a muscular build and was wearing a polo shirt and jeans, Toomer said.

The victim did not know what company the driver works for, but said the taxi was white with red lettering, according to Toomer.

He was taken to a hospital to be treated for neck pain, Toomer said.

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

Dispute Over Parking Spot Leads to Robbery

A dispute over a parking spot in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood early Sunday morning led to a fight and a purse snatching, police said today.

The robbery was reported at 12:27 a.m. near New Montgomery and Natoma streets, where a 28-year-old woman and 38-year-old man had tried to park their vehicle, according to police.

A suspect approached and started an argument over the parking space, then hit the man several times and grabbed the woman's purse before fleeing in a black SUV, police said.

The man complained of pain to his face but declined medical treatment.

The suspect, described as in his early to mid-20s, had not been found as of this morning, police said.

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

Menlo Park Police Search for Masked Gunman

Police in Menlo Park are searching for a masked gunman who robbed a Mexican grocery store over the weekend.

At about 5:45 p.m. Saturday, the suspect, armed with a black handgun, entered La Michoacana Market on Willow Road and demanded money from the cashier, police said.

When the clerk opened the register drawer, the suspect grabbed cash and fled, according to police. He was last seen running north on Ivy Drive.

Officers responded to a hold-up alarm at the market, but were unable to locate the suspect.

He was described as wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans, a white T-shirt, black shoes and a mask over his face.

Anyone with more information about the crime is asked to contact Menlo Park police at (650) 330-6300.

Redwood City Man Drowns 

A Redwood City man drowned Saturday while diving for abalone off the Sonoma County coast, a coroner's deputy said today. 

Gerard Accristo, 61, was pulled from the water near Salt Point State Park at about 11:45 a.m., according to the Sonoma County coroner's office.

Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office and Cal Fire assisted in the response.

Hillsborough Police Investigate Home Burglary 

Hillsborough police are investigating a home burglary that occurred in the city over the weekend.

The burglary happened in the 2400 block of Butternut Drive sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning, according to Hillsborough police.

Investigators believe the burglar or burglars entered through a sliding glass door and stole several items.

Police are asking anyone who saw suspicious people or vehicles in the area to contact the department.

Officials reminded Hillsborough residents to arm residential alarm systems even when at home, and to install motion activated exterior lights.

Free home security inspections are conducted by police through Officer Dana Tandy at (650) 375-7591.

San Mateo County Looking for First Poet Laureate

Roses are red, violets are blue, San Mateo County is looking for its first poet laureate -- and it could be you!

Now through July 31, the county is seeking nominations for poet laureate, someone who can act as an ambassador for literary arts in San Mateo County.

The Board of Supervisors, at its April 23 meeting, created the honorary post to highlight county poets past and present who might not otherwise have been recognized.

A Poet Laureate Advisory Committee has been formed and consists of 12 members of the county's literary arts community, including Poet Laureate of California Juan Felipe Herrera.

"We know there are many fine poets within San Mateo County who have never been recognized before," Supervisor Warren Slocum said. "We look forward to celebrating the diversity of our county through the spoken word and literary arts."

Those nominated for the position must be at least 18 years old, a county resident for at least three years and able to serve a two-year term beginning in October. 

The person should possess a demonstrated commitment to and passion for poetry and have been published or recognized for poetry and literary contributions, according to the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors say the poet laureate must be willing to travel within the county, the goal being to bring appropriate works to at least four selected county-sponsored events, and open a meeting each quarter in poem.

The poet laureate is also expected to write a commemorative poem about the county.

"A Poet Laureate can act as a steward of language, providing opportunities to savor words and sound," C said.

Nomination forms and guidelines are available online at www.sanmateocountypoet.org, as well as at local libraries and at the County Government Center.

Paper submissions can be sent to San Mateo County Poet Laureate, Supervisor Warren Slocum, Board of Supervisors, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA, 94063.

San Mateo County Planning to Increase Traffic Safety Awareness

More than 20 officers from law enforcement agencies throughout San Mateo County will join forces on Wednesday to increase traffic safety awareness, with a focus on protecting pedestrians.

Four recent pedestrian deaths have brought to light the need for more safety measures, Burlingame police Sgt. Jay Kiely said.

Employing the county's S.T.E.P., or San Mateo County Saturation Traffic Enforcement Program, the collaborative law enforcement team will saturate central San Mateo County -- specifically the cities of San Mateo, Foster City and Burlingame.

The San Mateo Police Department has also begun conducting pedestrian safety seminars throughout the city, specifically tailored to senior citizens and offering ways to avoid being injured, according to Kiely.

A previous S.T.E.P. enforcement in May in the cities of Pacifica, San Bruno and South San Francisco consisted of 21 officers from various county agencies. The deployment resulted in more than 200 citations for unsafe driving.

 

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Dispute Over Parking Spot Leads to Attack, Purse Snatching in Soma

A dispute over a parking spot in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood early Sunday morning led to a fight and a purse snatching, police said today.

The robbery was reported at 12:27 a.m. near New Montgomery and Natoma streets, where a 28-year-old woman and 38-year-old man had tried to park their vehicle, according to police.

A suspect approached and started an argument over the parking space, then hit the man several times and grabbed the woman's purse before fleeing in a black SUV, police said.

The man complained of pain to his face but declined medical treatment.

The suspect, described as in his early to mid-20s, had not been found as of this morning, police said. 

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

 

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Sheriff's Patrol Cars Get Stuck In Ice Plant, Catch Fire During Chase

Two Contra Costa County sheriff's patrol cars got stuck in ice plant and caught fire in Berkeley during a chase this morning, a sheriff's spokesman said. 

The chase began around 3:45 a.m. when a suspicious black Lexus was spotted near Olinda and Castro Ranch roads in El Sobrante, sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said. 

A deputy attempted to stop the car, but the driver sped off, heading onto Valley View Road, then Appian Way and San Pablo Dam Road before getting onto westbound Interstate Highway 80, Lee said. 

The driver eventually exited at Ashby Avenue in Berkeley, then drove into some ice plant and dry grass along the highway. 

The suspect was able to make it back onto the freeway, but two patrol cars involved in the pursuit got stuck in the ice plant, stalled and caught fire. 

The deputies got out of the cars safely, and no injuries were reported. The suspect was able to elude authorities, Lee said.

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Taxi Driver Chokes, Robs Passenger After Dispute Over tip

A taxi driver choked and robbed a passenger in a dispute over a tip near San Francisco's Buena Vista Park early Sunday morning, a police spokesman said today.

The taxi driver had taken a 37-year-old man to the area of Waller Street and Central Avenue around 1 a.m.

Sunday and the victim asked for his change back, leaving no tip for the cabbie, police said.

An argument ensued and the passenger tried to flee but the driver caught up to him and began choking him, police spokesman Sgt. Dennis Toomer said.

The driver then got back into the cab and drove off, Toomer said.

The victim described the taxi driver as a white, balding man between 30 and 40 years old who has a muscular build and was wearing a polo shirt and jeans, Toomer said.

The victim did not know what company the driver works for, but said the taxi was white with red lettering, according to Toomer.

He was taken to a hospital to be treated for neck pain, Toomer said.

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

 

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Bullet Fired Into Western Addition Home

San Francisco police are trying to identify a person who fired several shots in the city's Western Addition neighborhood on Sunday night, including one in which the bullet broke a window and became lodged in the wall of a home.

The shooting was reported around 9:15 p.m. in the 1800 block of Eddy Street.

No one was hit by the gunfire, and the shooter was seen fleeing in a black sedan, according to police.

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

 

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Elderly Woman has Purse Snatched in Mission District

A 90-year-old woman had her purse snatched outside her home in San Francisco's Mission District on Friday morning, police said today.

The robbery was reported shortly before 8 a.m. Friday in the 2200 block of Mission Street.

The victim had just opened the gate to her residence when a man ran up and grabbed her purse, then fled on foot, according to police.

The woman was not injured. The suspect, believed to be in his late 20s, had not been found as of this morning, police said.

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

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Mayor Lee to Unveil New Hybrid Muni Buses

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency buses are about to get a facelift, one which will contribute a cleaner city, according to SFMTA officials.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and SFMTA officials today are scheduled to unveil a new line of hybrid buses, officials said.

Beginning this month, Muni will deploy the new hybrid buses, part of a five-year plan to replace the current fleet of buses with 62 new hybrids, according to officials.

The new buses are expected to bring clean, brand-new vehicles that use state-of-the-art hybrid and biofuel technologies to make one of the cleanest bus fleets in the nation, officials said.

In addition to the unveiling of the new buses, Mayor Lee is scheduled to honor Muni operator Felicia Anderson.

Anderson was the driver of the Muni bus who transported an injured passenger directly to a hospital after a shooting aboard a 19-Polk bus earlier this month.

The unveiling is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at Pier 48, at Terry A. Francois Boulevard and Third Street.

One of the new hybrid buses is scheduled to be on display from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

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San Francisco Bay Area Monday Morning News Roundup

Attemped Kidnapping 

A man attempted to abduct a 10-year-old girl in Pacifica Saturday evening, according to police. 

The victim told police that while she was in the area of Beach Boulevard and Santa Rosa Avenue, a man approached her and told her she was coming with him, according to police Chief Jim Tasa. 

When the girl refused, the man attempted to physically force her, but she punched him and was able to run away.

The girl was not injured. Police searched the area but did not locate the suspect, who was last seen on Santa Rosa Avenue, running toward Palmetto Avenue

The suspect is described as a white male adult, 30 to 40 years old, with brown hair. He was 6 feet tall, with a stocky build and a tan complexion, and wearing blue jeans, a red, checkered shirt and black shoes. 

Oakland Police Department HQ Closed

The Oakland Police Department's headquarters, which has closed several times in recent weeks due to water damage and plumbing problems, is expected to reopen to the public Monday morning, police said Sunday. 

The building, located at 455 7th Street, was closed most recently on June 14th. 

The building first closed on June 4, when a plumbing problem on the third floor caused water damage to the first three floors. 

The building reopened briefly the following day but was closed later that day for the rest of the week. It reopened Monday the 10th but then was closed again later in the week. 

Police officials said in a statement on Friday, "We appreciate the public's continued patience as we work to fully restore our police services." 

Fire Near Interstate Highway 80

A brush fire near Interstate Highway 80 in Crockett consumed around 45 acres Sunday afternoon, according to a Crockett-Carquinez Fire Department official. 

The fire, reported around 3:45 p.m., was contained around 5:30 p.m., Assistant Chief Paul Contestable said. 

It initially threatened some homes, but firefighters were able to protect the structures and no damage was reported, Contestable said. 

The fire's cause had not yet been determined Sunday evening, but it appears to have originated near the freeway, Contestable said. 

The fire caused the closure of the right lane on westbound I-80 and the Cumming Skyway offramp, as well as poor visibility in the area, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Four Winning Lottery Tickets 

Four tickets matched all five numbers in Saturday night's Fantasy 5 draw, including one sold in San Francisco, California Lottery officials said Sunday. 

The tickets, each worth $187,960, matched the numbers 38, 39, 16, 15 and 30. The San Francisco ticket was sold at W & K Market at 3098 24th St., officials said. 

The other three tickets were sold in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. Lottery winners have 180 days.

Police Kill Mentally Ill Suspect

A 53-year-old man was shot and killed by police in Fremont Sunday morning, according to the police department. 

At about 6:45 a.m., dispatch received a 911 call from a woman requesting help with her mentally ill adult son, according to Fremont police

The suspect, who was apparently armed with a knife, had overturned furniture, stabbed a door and thrown objects out a window, police said. 

Arriving officers were able to evacuate two family members who had been inside the home.

A third relative was unable to get out due to a medical condition, police said. Two relatives suffered wounds that were not expected to be life threatening. 

As the two officers entered the home, they were confronted by the suspect, police said. Both officers fired and shot the suspect. 

Fremont fire paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene. 

The two officers, both seven-year veterans of the Fremont Police Department, have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by Fremont police and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Elderly Dementia Patient Missing

Police in Oakland were searching Sunday for a 64-year-old man who went missing from his care home on Saturday. James Moten, who suffers from dementia, apparently walked away from his residence at about 6:30 a.m. and has not been seen since, according to Oakland police

Moten is considered at risk because of his mental condition. He is described as a black man with a beard, a bald head and brown eyes.

He is around 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs around 140 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and black sweat pants.

Winners of Wipro San Francisco Marathon

A Berkeley woman and a Parisian man were the first to cross the finish line in the Wipro San Francisco Marathon Sunday morning, a race spokeswoman said.

Francois Lhuissier, 35, the unofficial marathon winner, finished the 26.2-mile course with a time of two hours 25 minutes and 14 seconds, spokeswoman Jenny Radloff said. 

A native of France, Lhuissier is a noted running competitor and currently lives in New York City, where he is a visiting professor at Columbia University, Radloff said. 

On the women's side, Bay Area resident Anna Bretan finished first while setting a new course record, Radloff said. 

Bretan's unofficial race time was two hours 42 minutes and 25 seconds, Radloff said. 

Bretan, 28, has competed in multiple marathons and half-marathons and was the women's winner of the 2012 Oakland Marathon, Radloff said.

Stabbing in Antioch

A 43-year-old man was injured in a stabbing in Antioch on Saturday, police said.

Officers responded to reports of a fight at a home in the 1600 block of Cavallo Ranch Road at about 4 p.m., according to Antioch police

Arriving officers made contact with 49-year-old resident Donald Fosselman, who various witnesses identified as a possible suspect. 

At around the same time, a stabbing victim arrived at a local hospital for treatment, police said. 

The victim told investigating officers that Fosselman had stabbed him during an altercation at the suspect's home. The victim was expected to survive. 

Fosselman was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and booked into Martinez Detention Facility

The suspect apparently has past convictions for robbery, theft, and making terrorist threats, police said.

18-Year-Old's Death Marks Vallejo's 11th Murder This Year

A man was shot to death while attending a child's party late Saturday night, police said Sunday. 

Officers responded to a report of shots fired at a person in a driveway in the first block of Sawyer Street at about 11:30 p.m., police said. 

The victim, an 18-year-old man, was transported by family members to a hospital to be treated for multiple gunshot wounds, but was pronounced dead at about 1 a.m., according to police. 

A pit bull dog was also struck in the gunfire, according to police. 

The dog was taken by animal control officers to a veterinarian for treatment, police said. Its condition was not immediately available. 

A witness of the shooting told investigators that the victim, whose name has not yet been released, was attending a party for a child and was in the front driveway at the time of the shooting, police said. 

At least two suspects involved in the shooting fled the area and remain at large, police said. The killing is Vallejo's 11th of the year.

Storage Locker Theft

A 33-year-old woman was arrested in connection with a storage locker theft in Morgan Hill earlier this week, police said. 

Darla Dominguez, of San Martin, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of taking more than $26,000 worth of items from a storage locker at Storage Mart, located at 18025 Monterey Road, police said. 

The burglary was reported at 8 p.m. Tuesday. A search of Dominguez's San Martin residence turned up multiple items taken from the locker, police said. 

Detectives also found a trailer which had been reported stolen in a separate case. 

Investigators also learned that some of the stolen items had been sold at a garage sale in the 14000 block of Foothill Avenue in San Martin.

Cloudy Skies Expected in Bay Area

Mostly cloudy skies are likely in the Bay Area this morning, with patchy fog.

Highs are expected to be in the 50s to mid 60s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph and gusts up to 35 mph in the afternoon. 

Mostly cloudy skies are likely this evening, with patchy fog and drizzle after midnight.

Lows are likely to be in the upper 40s to mid 50s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph and gusts up to around 35 mph. 

Mostly cloudy skies are expected Tuesday morning, with patchy fog and drizzle.

Highs are expected to be in the 50s to mid 60s, with westerly winds up to 30 mph in the afternoon.

 

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Three Shot in Bayview Thursday

Three people were injured in a shooting in San Francisco's Bayview District on Thursday evening, police said today.

The shooting was reported at about 7:40 p.m. at Fitzgerald Avenue and Ingalls Street. The victims were driving and stopped at the intersection, where a suspect drove up from behind and fired several shots into their vehicle, according to police.

The victims were struck by the gunfire and drove to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for their injuries, which are not considered life-threatening, police said.

The suspect drove away north on Ingalls Street in a green sedan and had not been found as of this morning, according to police.

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

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Friday Morning News Roundup

SF: Vice President Biden Coming to Town for Democratic Fundraiser

A week after the president visited the Bay Area for Democratic Party fundraisers, Vice President Joe Biden will be in San Francisco today for the same reason.

Biden will be in the city for a 5 p.m. fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee held at the home of Dawn Ross and Doug Hickey, the CEO of the San Francisco-based beverage distribution company BinWise.

According to the invitation for the event, tickets were running between $500 and $10,000.

Biden is expected to be greeted by protesters from environmental groups who are urging opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline that is being proposed to take oil from the tar sands in Canada across the U.S. to the Gulf Coast.

The groups, which include the Sierra Club, CREDO and 350.org, will be gathering at 25th Avenue and El Camino del Mar in the city's Seacliff neighborhood near where the fundraiser is taking place.

Biden's visit to the Bay Area comes just a week after President Barack Obama also flew in for Democratic fundraisers in Palo Alto and Portola Valley as well as to give a speech in San Jose about the Affordable Care Act.

Oakland: Man Ordered to Stand Trial on Charge He Beat Girlfriend to Death

A felon who told police that he was upset that his girlfriend had had an affair while he was in prison was ordered Thursday to stand trial on a charge that he murdered her near Lake Merritt in Oakland last summer.

Dominic Daniel, 27, admitted to police that he beat and killed 33-year-old Tsega Tesfoy Tsegay on July 31, 2012, according to testimony in a two-day preliminary hearing that concluded Thursday with Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joan Cartwright ruling that prosecutors produced enough evidence to have him face a jury.

Oakland police Officer Eric Molina testified on Wednesday that in an interview with police Daniel said the night before Tsegay was killed she told him "she had a relationship with a married man while he was incarcerated."

Molina said he learned while investigating Tsegay's death that a week before she was killed a judge had put Daniel on probation for a false imprisonment violence conviction for a prior incident in which she had been the victim.

Daniel also has two other prior felony convictions, one for driving a stolen car and one for being an accessory after the fact to a crime.

Tsegay, who lived with Daniel at her father's apartment at 1445 Harrison St. near Lake Merritt, was found suffering from major head trauma in the 1500 block of Lakeside Drive, next to the lake, at about 6:10 a.m. on July 31, 2012.

She was later pronounced dead at Highland Hospital in Oakland.

Tsegay died from multiple blunt force injuries, prosecutor Barbara Foo said.

Molina testified that another officer who had seen Tsegay after she was discovered told him that her face was swollen, her eyes were swollen shut and she had abrasions to her body, torso and arms.

Molina said when he interviewed Daniel he said he'd been in a relationship with Tsegay for four years and referred to her as his wife.

The officer testified that Tsegay's father had kicked them out of his apartment the night before her death after she argued with her father.

Daniel said he was with Tsegay but they were separated for about 40 minutes and he eventually heard her "screaming for help" in Lake Merritt near the Lake Chalet restaurant, Molina said.

Daniel said he dove into the lake and picked her up, tried some type of first aid, covered her with his jacket and asked a jogger to call 911, which brought paramedics to the scene, Molina said.

But Molina said when he confronted Daniel with evidence that indicated that he had beaten Tsegay "he changed his story" and admitted "everything you're saying is true -- I beat her."

The officer said Daniel told police, "I done killed my wife" and repeated words to that effect about ten times. However, Daniel said Tsegay had "punched him first," Molina testified. 

SF: Supes Hold Hearing on Problems With City's Public Housing

Residents in San Francisco's public housing projects and their advocates spoke out Thursday at City Hall, where a hearing was held on a report outlining the mismanagement of the city's Housing Authority.

The Board of Supervisors' government audit and oversight committee held the hearing Thursday morning on a report released earlier this month by the city's budget and legislative analyst about the San Francisco Housing Authority.

The report described "insufficient management of many SFHA functions," including allowing 276 public housing units in the city to remain vacant despite a waiting list of more than 26,000 families to move into a unit.

There has also been a 40 percent decrease since 2010 in skilled craft positions filled at the agency despite a significant maintenance backlog.

Thursday's hearing was requested by Supervisor David Campos, who called the SFHA "an agency that is in crisis."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in December declared the SFHA "troubled," the lowest classification before an agency is placed under federal receivership.

In February, all of the SFHA's commission resigned except for one commissioner who represents tenants.

Then in April, the newly appointed commission voted unanimously to fire executive director Henry Alvarez, who has been replaced by acting executive director Barbara Smith.

Campos said the agency's issues "have trickled down to living conditions" and said it was important to hear directly from residents about problems with the public housing and how they could be solved.

Amber Orantes, who has lived in the Sunnydale complex, recounted widespread sanitary issues.

"There was so much mold in the units that you can smell it," Orantes said.

She said there was also inadequate response to crime in the complex.

"It was so violent, I've never experienced anything like that," she said.

Sweetie Williams, a pastor at the Body of Christ Ministry in the Bayview District, said the city "has given folks a place to live and then we've turned our backs on them."

Williams said, "When people live in broken down homes ... then of course that's how they're going to feel."

Karen Huggins, president of the Holly Courts Residents Council, said "nothing is done in a timely manner" and "nothing is going to change without residents being involved in every aspect."

Campos agreed and said he is fighting to have $1 million set aside in the city's budget for the next fiscal year to set up a public housing collaborative, similar to the SRO collaboratives that represent residential hotel tenants in the city.

He said the collaborative would be "empowering these individuals so they can advocate for themselves."

San Rafael: Alleged Serial Killer Joseph Naso Trial Begins Monday

A jury was selected Wednesday at the trial of alleged serial killer Joseph Naso in Marin County Superior Court and opening statements are scheduled for Monday morning before Judge Andrew Sweet.

Naso, 79, of Reno, is charged with killing four women whose bodies were found in along rural roads in Yuba, Marin and Contra Costa counties between 1977 and 1994.

There are six men and six women on the jury, and nine alternate jurors also were selected, Naso's advisory counsel Pedro Oliveros said Thursday afternoon.

Naso has elected to represent himself, and Oliveros said as Naso's advisory counsel his role is limited to helping Naso with questions regarding the law and trial procedure.

He said he could not disclose whom Naso plans to call as witnesses, but Naso intends to give an opening statement to the jury most likely on Monday afternoon.

Naso is charged with the murders of Roxene Roggasch, 18, Carmen Colon, 22, Pamela Parsons, 38, and Tracey Tafoya, 31, whose bodies were found along rural roads in the four counties.

Naso, a self-employed modeling photographer, photographed nude and partially nude women in heels, lingerie and garters in poses that made them appear dead, incapacitated or unconscious, according to testimony at Naso's preliminary hearing in January.

Pathologists who performed autopsies on the women testified at the hearing that all of them died of asphyxiation likely due to strangulation.

Roggasch, of Oakland, was found dead on the eastern slope of White's Hill in Fairfax on Jan. 11, 1977.

She was wearing pantyhose inside out with another pair around her neck, a third pair in her mouth and a fourth pair wrapped around her mouth, according to the prosecution's witnesses.

Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Tuan Nguyen, a criminalist who processed the pantyhose for DNA evidence, testified Naso's wife's DNA was found on one pair of pantyhose, and semen from two males were found on another pair.

One of the semen samples likely came from Naso, Nguyen testified.

The prosecution is alleging the murders were committed during sexual battery and false imprisonment, and reflect the dominance and control of women in Naso's photographs.

Naso, who represented himself during the preliminary hearing, said he had many dates and girlfriends who willingly posed for the photographs.

"This has nothing to do with power but with rapport," he said during the hearing.

Naso said all the prosecution's evidence at the hearing was circumstantial.

He faces the death penalty if convicted of committing multiple murders. 

Bart Police Respond to Naked Acrobat Incident at SF Station

BART police Deputy Chief Ben Fairow Thursday defended his agency's response to an incident at BART's 16th Street Mission station in San Francisco last month in which a naked acrobat allegedly harassed several passengers and employees.

The response to the May 10 incident "was about as quick as it could have been," Fairow said.

He said San Francisco police, who have a station a block away from the 16th Street station, arrived seven minutes after a station agent reported the incident and BART police one minute later, eight minutes after it was reported.

The BART officers responded from the Montgomery and Civic Center stations in San Francisco, Fairow said.

"I'd like to have had an instantaneous response but we got there as soon as we got a call," Fairow said.

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said a BART video shows the acrobat, Yeiner Perez, 24, doing flips and handstands on fare gates at the station and then harassing several passengers and employees.

Trost said Perez allegedly kicked and pushed a BART employee and then grabbed and pushed an elderly female customer, injuring her lower back.

After Perez was arrested, he was transported to San Francisco General Hospital for observation, she said.

BART also has learned that shortly before the incident inside the station, Perez was jumping on cars on the street outside the station, Trost said.

He was clothed at that time, she said. After Perez was released from the hospital, he was booked on suspicion of one count of misdemeanor battery, Trost said.

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office is reviewing the case but hasn't yet filed charges, she said.

Perez could face additional misdemeanor counts if more victims come forward, Trost said.

Fairow said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is monitoring Perez with a GPS device because he's not a U.S. citizen and is considering whether to deport him.

Fairow declined to say how many officers are normally deployed at BART stations but he said there usually are officers at the 16th Street station because it's "an active station," as there many transients and people with mental health issues in the area.

But he said officers are often called to respond to other stations and staffing levels also are based on whether there are special events at other locations in San Francisco or elsewhere.

Red Flag Warning Issued Friday for Sacramento Valley and Part of Solano County

The National Weather service has issued a red flag warning Today for areas below 1,000 feet in the Sacramento Valley and a portion of Solano County.

The warning is in effect from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Dry conditions and breezy north winds are expected, the National Weather Service said.

The forecast is for northerly winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph and relative humidity between 7 and 12 percent.

Any fires that develop or are already burning will likely spread rapidly, and outdoor burning is not recommended, the National Weather Service said.

The red flag warning zone includes the northeast corner of Solano County away from the large populations of Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo, NWS forecaster George Cline said.

Temperatures in Solano County will be in the upper 80s today with breezes 10-20 mph, Cline said.

"It will cool off to the lower 80s by Saturday," Cline said.

A red flag warning means critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly, and a combination of low relative humidity, strong winds and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire danger.

SJ: Wedding Band, Old Coins, Earrings Among Artifacts Found in Forgotten Graveyard

Dentures, a wedding band and earrings were among the artifacts found by experts in a forgotten graveyard containing the remains of at least 631 people behind the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, a spokeswoman said.

Archaeologists and bone specialists in hard hats who were excavating the site Thursday used brushes to dust dirt off the skeletons of individuals who died at the county hospital sometime between 1875 and 1935, hospital spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said.

None of the people have been identified thus far and once examinations of the remains are completed, the bones will be turned over to the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office, Alexiou said.

The medical examiner will then have the unidentified remains cremated in accordance with state law, Alexiou said.

The latest part of the excavation, unveiled by the county to reporters Thursday morning, contained more than 50 unmarked graves with skeletons, many in redwood coffins that have since all but dissolved into the ground.

Examinations of their bones revealed many had limbs amputated, probably due to diabetes, and a number had died from syphilis, Alexiou said.

The persons buried in the cemetery probably succumbed at the county hospital, which opened in 1876, and were either indigent, unidentified or unclaimed by family members, she said.

"Every coffin you see out here had a family," said Jim Zetterquist, 59, a lifelong San Jose resident, while gesturing to the rows of remains.

"Unfortunately, they were down on their luck when they passed away, but luckily they had a safety net that provided medical treatment for them and a coffin and a burial site," Zetterquist said.

While artifacts are considered rare in a Potter's Field for the poor, the county displayed some recovered there: pipes, buttons, marbles, cufflinks, a pocketknife, a scalpel, an 1882 Indian head penny and silver dimes dated 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905.

Bones from the graves are being cataloged, removed and shipped for examination to the bio-anthropology lab at San Francisco State University, Alexiou said.

"Depending on the condition of the coffin, it typically takes one or two days per coffin, but it can take longer," Alexiou said.

A few of the graves unearthed so far had more than one body, including a mother and an infant, who both may have died during childbirth, Alexiou said.

Each of the graves has been isolated onto separate mounds and has one archaeologist and one osteologist assigned to examine the contents, Alexiou said.

About 15 of the coffins were unearthed in February 2012 as the construction company URS began digging six feet down to build a loading dock for a medical supply building at the medical center, Alexiou said.

URS sent employees from its archaeological division to work the site and D&D Osteological Services of San Jose was hired to analyze the bones for age, sex, growth, disease and cause of death.

Most of the bodies, some in old-fashioned hexagonal-shaped coffins, were of men from 23 years old to over 60. 

Berkeley: Ashkenaz Music Center Robbery, Shooting Suspect to Appear in Court Friday

A man arrested in connection with a March shooting and robbery at Berkeley's Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center is scheduled to appear in court today, an Alameda County district attorney's office spokesman said.

Christopher Washington, 25, of Rodeo, will have a plea hearing for five robbery charges and two attempted murder charges stemming from the March 16 incident at the center, according to district attorney's office spokesman Eamon O'Connor.

He was arrested later that morning after two armed suspects entered the music venue shortly after midnight and demanded cash from employees.

He was allegedly one of two suspects that shot and wounded two employees before fleeing from the center, located at 1317 San Pablo Ave.

One of the employees injured was Larry Chin, the center's managing director and a Concord resident who has worked at Ashkenaz for three decades.

He was shot in the head, while another employee, who has been at the center for five years, was struck in the arm.

Both were released from the hospital in the days following the incident and were sent home to recover.

The robbery happened after a 40th anniversary show at the international music and dance venue and teaching center.

Following the violent robbery, a benefit concert was planned and the center was reviewing its security measures.

As of Thursday, the second suspect remains at large, Berkeley police Officer Jamie Perkins said.

She said there are not any updates from the ongoing robbery investigation.

Washington remains in police custody and will appear at Department 112 the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland at 9 a.m.

Weather Forecast for the San Francisco Bay Area

Sunny skies are likely in the Bay Area this morning.

Highs are expected to be in the mid 50s to lower 70s, with westerly winds up to 30 mph in the afternoon.

Partly clear skies are likely this evening, with patchy fog after midnight.

Lows are likely to be in the 50s, with westerly winds up to 30 mph. Sunny skies are expected Saturday morning.

Highs are expected to be in the 50s to mid 60s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph in the afternoon.

 

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Blogger Pleads No Contest For Photographing City Supervisor In Bathroom

A blogger who snapped a photo of San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener in a City Hall bathroom last October pleaded no contest today to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to three years' probation.

Michael Petrelis, a gay rights activist who authors the blog "The Petrelis Files," entered the plea this afternoon.

The charge stemmed from an incident in which he photographed Wiener as the supervisor stood at a sink in a second-floor bathroom at City Hall on Oct. 26.

Petrelis, who posted the photo on his blog the next day, has clashed with Wiener over various pieces of legislation, including his ban on public nudity.

Petrelis addressed San Francisco Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng during today's hearing. "I recognize my mistake and it'll never happen again," he said. 

However, he accused Wiener of "misusing his power" by pursuing criminal charges against him and said he had "serious doubts the complaint would've resulted in charges" had it not involved an elected official.

He said he looks forward to "blogging fully again" and "voting for the opponent of this official when he comes up for re-election."

Along with the three-year probation term and various fines and fees, the judge also issued a complicated stay-away order that Petrelis said was a sticking point in resolving the case.

The blogger will be required to stay 150 feet away from Wiener except on the second floor of City Hall, where he cannot be within 30 feet of him.

Petrelis is also banned from using any bathrooms on the second floor of City Hall and entering Wiener's office, but can attend all legislative hearings held in the building.

Petrelis came to court wearing a surgical mask over his mouth, saying he had gotten sick after previous trips to the Hall of Justice. He said outside of court that he is "satisfied with this settlement" and is looking forward to attending meetings at City Hall again.

Wiener declined to comment on the case this afternoon.

 


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Police Release Sketch Of Suspect In Attack Near Dolores Park

San Francisco police today released a sketch of a suspect who attacked a man near Dolores Park early Saturday morning, causing serious head injuries.

The attack occurred sometime between 12:45 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. in the first block of Hancock Street, just west of the park, police said.

The victim saw that the suspect, possibly a homeless man, was preparing to spend the night in front of a home and asked him to sleep in a different spot, according to police.

The suspect then became aggressive with the victim, who said he was going to call police. But before he had the chance, the suspect knocked him to the ground, causing the head injuries.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated and has since been released, according to police.

The suspect fled and has not been found. He was described as a white man about 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds. He had curly brown hair and was last seen wearing a dark jacket, dark pants and a baseball hat, police said.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Sgt. Waaland at the Police Department's Mission Station at (415) 558-5485. People wishing to remain anonymous can call (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411 with "SFPD" in the message.

 


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Zoo Names Rhino After 49ers' Alex Boone

San Francisco 49ers lineman Alex Boone will join San Francisco Zoo patrons on Friday to celebrate the naming of a 4-year-old black rhino after him.

Boone became heavily involved in the zoo in the fall of 2012 and has since created the Alex Boone Animal Education Project to bring local at-risk youth to the zoo, officials at the zoo said.

To honor him for his efforts, the rhino has been named "Boone."

"There are very few black rhinos left on this planet, so to have one named after me is truly an honor," Boone said in a statement. There will be a VIP event beginning at 2 p.m. at the Nature Exploration Meadow, followed by a public event in which the 49ers offensive lineman will feed the rhino and unveil a plaque, zoo officials said.

The 49ers' Gold Rush cheerleaders and the team's mascot Sourdough Sam will also be in attendance.

 


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Pair Killed In Visitation Valley Shooting Overnight Identified

Two men who were fatally shot in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley neighborhood early this morning have been identified by the medical examiner's office as 22-year-old Tantrell Crawford and 27-year-old Deshawn Byes.

The shooting was reported at about 12:50 a.m. near the intersection of Blythedale and Brookdale avenues, police said.

Both Crawford and Byes have been identified as alleged gang members in city documents.

Declarations filed in San Francisco Superior Court in 2010 by the city attorney's office in support of a requested gang injunction identified the pair as members of the Down Below Gang, based in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood.

According to the documents, Byes went by the nickname "Posso" and Crawford by the nickname "Trail Mix."

The injunction was granted in February 2011.

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7 Arrested When Police Clear 7 Protesters From Hayes Valley Site

Seven people were arrested early this morning when San Francisco police cleared out an encampment of activists who were occupying the former site of the Hayes Valley Farm, a police spokesman said.

The "Liberate the Land" protesters entered the site on Laguna Street between Fell and Oak streets on June 1, the day after farm proprietors
left.
Hayes Valley Farm opened in January 2010 under an interim-use agreement with the city that allowed organizers to temporarily use the land
to build community and raise awareness about growing local food.

The interim agreement has now ended and the land, owned by developers Avalon Bay and Build Inc., plan to begin construction on a 182-unit housing project there later this year.

The activists have named the site "Gezi Gardens," after Gezi Park in Istanbul where anti-government protests have been occurring over the past several weeks, and had refused orders to leave.

At about 1:30 a.m. today, police officers came and gave dispersal orders to the roughly 44 people who were at the property, police spokesman Sgt. Dennis Toomer said.

Three activists were on platforms in trees and refused to come down, so police asked for assistance from the city's Department of Public Works, which provided cherry pickers that officers used to go up and arrest the trio, Toomer said.

Toomer said one of the protesters tried to avoid arrest by climbing out on a tree limb, then jumping onto foam padding that police had set up below.
The protester was not seriously injured in the drop and was taken into custody, Toomer said. 

Two others were arrested on the ground inside the site, and two more were arrested outside for disorderly conduct, Toomer said. The names of the seven activists taken into custody have not been
released. Police remained at the scene as of 8:30 a.m. cleaning up the site, and Laguna Street was closed to traffic between Fell and Oak streets.
 

The windshield of a nearby green Volkswagen Passat was smashed, but police did not say whether the vandalism was related to the protest.

The land in question used to be the site of a freeway on-ramp that was torn down after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

While it was the Hayes Valley Farm, as many as 20,000 volunteers worked at the 2.2-acre site and numerous community events were held there, according to organizers. 
    

 


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San Francisco Bay Area Thursday Morning News Roundup

Bryan Stow Back at Home After Insurance Runs Out for Facility Care

Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan critically injured in an attack after a Los Angeles Dodgers game in 2011, is back home after his insurance company declined to continue paying for care at a live-in facility, according to an online post from Stow's family.

Stow's family has been posting updates on a website, www.support4bryanstow.com, since the Santa Cruz-area paramedic and father of two suffered a severe head injury in an attack outside Dodger Stadium during the Giants' opening day game on March 31, 2011.

In the latest update posted last Thursday, the family said that although Stow had been recovering at a live-in facility in Bakersfield for the past several months, his insurance company ceased payments, requiring the family to bring him home.

"Bryan could have benefited greatly by staying ... longer," the family wrote.

"We are glad to have him home, but as prepared as we thought we were, it was a difficult transition."

The family has hired caregivers for Stow but said he has "physically experienced a big setback" by not having as much therapy.

"We do what we can at home, but he needs the 5 days a week that he grew accustomed to," the family said.

"We just don't know how to get that for him."

The family thanked the community for the support they have received.

Stow has received support from the Giants, including via a series of concerts by third base coach Tim Flannery earlier this year that raised nearly $75,000 to go toward the medical bills.

The two men arrested for Stow's beating, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, are still awaiting trial in Los Angeles. 

SF: ICE Cancels Deportation Orders for Mother of Infant Son, Wife of Soldier

A Stockton woman who was about to be deported to the Philippines despite being married to a U.S. Army soldier and the mother of a 9-month-old baby was given a reprieve Wednesday by federal immigration officials.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced Wednesday afternoon that they were exercising prosecutorial discretion in the case of Karla Gaerlan, 28, canceling a formerly issued order of "voluntary departure."

The announcement came hours after dozens of people gathered outside of the ICE office in San Francisco to call on the agency to stop the deportation of Gaerlan, who was joined by her husband Specialist Thad Schmierer, who is due to deploy to Afghanistan in October.

Gaerlan was set to be deported to the Philippines on Sunday after she said she was coerced into signing a "voluntary departure" waiver form when she was detained in federal immigration custody.

Gaerlan, who suffers from post-partum depression after giving birth to her son, was initially detained by police after scratching her husband during an argument at their home on May 7.

Gaerlan and Schmierer joined more than 20 people Wednesday outside the ICE office in San Francisco to call on federal authorities to allow her to stay in the country.

Gaerlan struggled to hold back tears while describing how ICE agents intimidated her and told her to waive her right to see a judge.

She said that if she is deported, she would not be allowed to return to the U.S. for 10 years.

"They didn't tell me I was eligible to apply for a green card," she said.

The couple got married following her eight-day immigration detainment -- charges were never filed in the scratching incident -- but before Wednesday afternoon's announcement, they were looking at being split apart on Father's Day.

Schmierer said the thought of being without his family "makes you want to break down and cry."

Anoop Prasad, an attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, which is representing the couple, said the case is an example of immigration officials "using any means necessary to trick people into signing away their rights."

The American Civil Liberties Union last week filed a lawsuit against ICE for its alleged practice of coercing undocumented immigrants to sign the "voluntary departure" forms while in custody.

ICE officials said that the meeting with Gaerlan and her family was done in "a professional and respectful setting" and that the agency conferred with Gaerlan, her husband and her mother-in-law.

Prasad said earlier Wednesday that the case is one of many that should be put on hold while Congress considers comprehensive immigration reform.

"It can't be business as usual at ICE," he said. 

SJ: 14-Year-Old Boy Arrested in March 11 Murder of San Jose Man

San Jose police on Tuesday arrested a 14-year-old boy on suspicion of murder with a gang enhancement in a March homicide that led to another suspect being killed in a police shootout, police said Wednesday.

The minor, whose name was not released, was captured without incident and booked into the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall in San Jose, police spokesman Officer Albert Morales said.

The boy's arrest came exactly three months after officers found Daniel Canales, 44, of San Jose, lying wounded in the 2700 block of Murtha Drive in East San Jose on March 11.

Canales was pronounced dead at the scene from at least one bullet wound.

On March 18, a San Jose police officer shot and killed a separate suspect in the Canales murder, Elisa Mejia, 27, of Livermore, in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County near White and Story roads, Morales said.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting of Mejia, Morales said.

Then on May 21, San Jose homicide unit officers, with a warrant, arrested Faustina Teresa Lopez, 26, of San Jose, on suspicion of murder and a gang enhancement in Canales' death. 

Alameda Co.: County Administrator Presents Proposed Budget, Says Economic Outlook Brighter

Alameda County's economic outlook is "brighter" than it was a year ago but cuts in federal and state funding mean that it still faces "an extremely challenging and uncertain fiscal environment," County Administrator Susan Muranishi said.

In presenting her proposed $2.7 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, Muranishi told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the county's unemployment rate has dropped to 7 percent, which is below national and state levels, and sales tax and property tax revenues are up.

But she said state and federal funding provide the money for about half of the county's budget and both of those levels of government are cutting back their funding.

The proposed budget represents an increase of $58 million, or 2.2 percent, over the current budget At the state level, Gov. Jerry Brown wants to transfer about $300 million statewide away from county health and prevention programs in the next fiscal year and $900 million and $1.3 billion, respectively, in the following two years, Muranishi said.

She said Brown's proposal "raises significant concerns" about the ongoing cost to counties of providing services to those not covered by an expansion in a state-administered Medi-Cal expansion program.

In Alameda County alone, an estimated 100,000 people may still be uninsured and require county indigent health care services, Muranishi said.

The county also expects to lose about $7 million in federal funding because of sequestration cuts and recently approved caps on discretionary spending, she said.

Those cuts will hurt the county's senior and housing programs, Muranishi said.

On a more positive note, Muranishi said the county's $80 million funding gap is $8 million smaller than the gap in the current fiscal year that ends on June 30 and those two shortfalls are the only ones in the past five years that have been less than $100 million.

She said she plans to close the funding gap by making $48 million in one-time saving strategies such as efficiency efforts and $32 million in ongoing strategies such as cutbacks in programs and staffing.

Muranishi said much of the savings will come from the county's ongoing fiscal management reward system, which allows departments to carry over net savings each fiscal year to be used in subsequent years to balance the budget and help preserve important services.

Despite the efforts to close the funding gap, Muranishi is proposing a net increase of 66 county workers, a switch from the current year, in which 37 positions were eliminated by not filling vacancies.

That would bring the county's workforce to a total of 9,162 employees.

For the first time in five years, Muranishi also is proposing cost of living increases for most county employees as well as for 260 community-based organizations who deliver services to county residents.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings on the budget on June 25, 26 and 27 and is scheduled to approve a budget on June 28. Muranishi said she's "cautiously optimistic" about the next fiscal year but the county still will have to continue to "scrimp and save" because it likely will face another funding gap the following year.

Fremont: Man Charged With Kidnapping Teen Girl in Supermarket Parking Lot

A Fremont man was charged Wednesday with kidnapping for allegedly abducting a 16-year-old girl at knifepoint from a grocery store parking lot early Monday morning.

Aron Kumar Roy, 23, who is being held in custody without bail, was scheduled to be arraigned at Alameda County Superior Court in Fremont Wednesday.

He's charged with second-degree robbery and possession of cocaine in addition to kidnapping.

According to a probable cause statement filed in court by Fremont police Officer Vivian Tung, the girl told police that Roy appeared from the back seat of her car, held a knife to her arm and told her to drive when she returned to her car after shopping at the Lucky store at the Brookvale Shopping Center in Fremont at about 7 a.m. Monday.

Roy then directed the 16-year-old to make a series of turns and asked her if she was a virgin, Tung said.

Roy eventually had the girl park on Nutman Drive just south of Dominici Drive and told her to take off her clothes but she was able to bolt out of her car and run to a nearby house, where a resident let her in, locked the door and called police, according to Tung.

The girl wasn't physically harmed but when she spoke to police she "was extremely upset" and was crying, shaking and scared, Tung said.

Investigators arrested Roy at his job as a salesman at the Best Buy store at 4820 Dublin Blvd. in Dublin, where he was helping a customer, at about 6 p.m. Monday after discovering a latent fingerprint on the girl's car that linked him to fingerprints that were in a police database from previous arrests, Tung said.

Investigators also tracked Roy's movements through tracking the girl's cellphone, which he allegedly stole, she said.

After he was arrested, Roy admitted that he had been at the Lucky grocery store but said he had gotten into the wrong car by accident, according to Tung.

Roy also admitted that the cocaine found in his wallet belonged to him and that he had downloaded "rough sex porn" onto his cellphone, Tung said.

However, "Roy said that he never touched the victim and that this was an accident and that he was only trying to get out of the car," Tung wrote.

Union City: Man Killed After Crashing Into Light Pole Tuesday Morning

A man was killed after crashing into a light pole Tuesday morning in Union City, police said Wednesday.

Anthony James Chavez, 45, of Manteca and Union City, was driving his 2000 Jeep Cherokee east on Horner Street, near Varni Place, when he lost control of his car at about 11:05 a.m., according to police.

The Cherokee then collided into a light pole and chain-link fence, police said.

Chavez was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was the only person in the car.

No one else was injured in the crash, police said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Union City police at (510) 675-5292. 

Vallejo: Solano DA Says Officers Acted in Self-Defense in Mario Romero Fatal Shooting

Two Vallejo police officers acted in self-defense when they fatally shot one man and wounded another in September, Solano County District Attorney Donald du Bain said in a 15-page report Wednesday. Mario Romero, 23, was fatally shot and 21-year-old Joseph Johnson was wounded as they sat in a white 1992 Ford Thunderbird around 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, in the 100 block of Pepper Drive.

It was one of six fatal officer-involved shootings in Vallejo in 2012 that drew protests at Vallejo City Hall Vallejo police said Romero reached for a weapon that turned out to be a Beretta pellet gun that was a replica of a Beretta semi-automatic handgun.

District Attorney Donald du Bain said Vallejo Police Officers Dustin Joseph and Sean Kenney are not criminally responsible because they "actually and reasonably believed that they were in imminent danger of being shot, resulting in death or serious bodily injury by Mr. Romero."

"Mr. Johnson it appears was inadvertently struck by a bullet in the pelvic area on his left side when the officers were firing at Mr. Romero," du Bain said.

"The doctrine of self-defense is available to insulate anyone in the officers' position from criminal responsibility in this situation as long as they were acting in justifiable self-defense when inflicting the injury on an otherwise innocent bystander," du Bain said.

Du Bain said the events that day "posed an awful dilemma for the officers in this case."

"No one sought the tragic result that occurred. Still, given the circumstances and applying the legal principles outlined above, I must conclude that both Officer Kenney and Officer Joseph were justified in using deadly force in self-defense of each other; therefore I find their actions with respect to both Mario Romero and Joseph Johnson to be lawful," du Bain said.

The district attorney said Romero's decision to remove the pellet gun from his waistband was "a very poor decision."

"The officers, both fearing for their safety, had no opportunity to determine whether the firearm was real or fake before reacting to this threat by firing their handguns in self-defense and the defense of each other," du Bain said.

Du Bain noted Romero's supporters claimed Romero never opened the car door and could not have exited as police assert.

"However, one of the bullet holes in the door of the Thunderbird had a corresponding hole in the interior, which is visible only when the door is in an open position, indicating that the door was indeed open when it was shot, most likely by Mr. Joseph," du Bain said.

Civilian witnesses claimed an officer fired into the car's windshield from the roof of the vehicle, du Bain said.

"None of the 23 bullet holes found in the windshield of the Thunderbird exhibited characteristics consistent with a downward angle," du Bain said.

Kenney maintained he never fired into the car from the roof, but was on the roof to get a better view of the interior of the car, du Bain said.

The officers were responding to a report early that morning of a burglary in an area where that was a recent spike of violence, including six incidents that were gun-related, du Bain said.

Kenny was aware one of the shootings involved a white 1990s Thunderbird, and the officers were justified in investigating the people in the 1992 Thunderbird as possible suspects or witnesses to the reported burglary, du Bain said.

Du Bain said his analysis of the incident will be reviewed by the U.S. Attorney's Office's Eastern District and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. 

Santa Rosa: Propane Tanks Explode During Garage Fires at Residences

A fire that caused propane tanks to explode burned the garages of two residences in northwest Santa Rosa Wednesday morning, a Santa Rosa Fire Department battalion chief said.

Firefighters who arrived around 9:25 a.m. found flames burning the inside and outside of a garage at 1414 Tuliptree Road, Battalion Chief Mark Basque said.

The fire burned through a wood fence between 1414 and 1418 Tuliptree Road and caused 5-gallon propane tanks between the residences that were exposed to the extreme heat to explode, Basque said.

Lawn mowers and gas cans between the fences of the two residences also were destroyed, Basque said.

The fire also reached the garage at 1418 Tuliptree Road prompting a second alarm.

The resident at 1414 Tuliptree Road evacuated before the fire department arrived, and the residents next door were not at home at the time of the fire but arrived after the fire was under control, Basque said.

A small dog was found safe in a backyard and returned to the residents.

The fire caused very serious damage to the interior and exterior of the garage and personal belongings at 1414 Tuliptree Road, Basque said.

The blaze caused moderate damage to the exterior of the garage at 1418 Tuliptree Road but the interior of the house was not affected, Basque said.

PG&E responded to secure gas meters and electrical panels that were damaged by the flames, Basque said.

The fire left both homes uninhabitable and the Red Cross responded to find shelters and supplies for the occupants.

The fire caused damage estimated at $300,000 and the cause is under investigation, Basque said. 

Berkeley: Police are Still Looking for Sexual Assault Suspect

Police are still searching for a man who sexually assaulted a child in a public bathroom at the Berkeley Marina on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said Wednesday.

Berkeley police spokeswoman Officer Jamie Perkins said detectives worked through the night following up on any leads they may have received about the assault, which was reported by a community member at 1:37 p.m. Tuesday.

Perkins said the suspect is described as a male of unknown race with a dark complexion under 30 years old with blonde hair with a green streak who was wearing a green shirt, jeans and black sneakers.

Berkeley police said that after the incident was reported on Tuesday afternoon, they responded quickly and worked to contain the marina by checking all cars leaving the area.

They said they were assisted in the search, which included air and foot patrols, by officers from East Bay Regional Park District police and the state Department of Fish and Game.

Perkins said it's difficult to know where the suspect is now but she said police are still conducting patrols in the Berkeley Marina area.

She said anyone with information about the incident should call a tip line at (510) 981-5735.

Berkeley police haven't released the age or gender of the child or any information about the child's condition. 

SJ: Remains, Artifacts Excavated from Old 'Potter's Field' to be Displayed at Building Site

The excavation of hundreds of bodies from an unmarked cemetery, some buried back in 1875, at a construction site in San Jose is nearly complete and remains and artifacts will be on display, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Osteologists, or bone experts, and archeologists have been examining the remains of 631 people since some coffins were unearthed last year behind the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, said Santa Clara County spokeswoman Joy Alexiou.

A building contractor's crew discovered the so-called Potter's Field in February 2012 while doing grading work for the county hospital's Services Building on undeveloped land off of Ginger Lane between Clover and Middle drives, Alexiou said.

"They ran into some coffins and then kind of started digging and found about 15 and then they said 'we have something here and we need to have this looked at,'" Alexiou said.

The individual, unmarked graves contained the bodies of people buried between 1875 and 1935 who were either unidentified, unclaimed by family members or could not afford funeral expenses, Alexiou said.

Most of the remains were inside redwood coffins but others were buried without clothing and wrapped in some kind of material, Alexiou said.

Santa Clara County's first government hospital opened next to the Potter's Field in 1876, so it is likely many of the people had died there, Alexiou said.

The osteologists were hired to study the skeletal remains for evidence of disease and bone formation so "they can determine the age and sex of the deceased," Alexiou said.

"A lot of the bones were of men who died in their 20s to 60s," she said.

Archeologists have been going through the historic artifacts recovered from the bodies that included spectacles, some clothing and jewelry, Alexiou said.

None of the bodies could be identified, she said.

Local knowledge of the cemetery, which had no signs or tombstones, waned over the years after it closed in 1935.

The graveyard was marked on a county map dated from 1932 but a revised map drawn in 1958 did not show it and in 1966 the county turned most of the site into an employee parking lot.

The 631 people buried there is substantial but not that many considering the cemetery operated for 60 years, Alexiou said.

Remains and artifacts from the excavation will be on display from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Ginger Lane in the rear of medical center's campus at 751 S. Bascom Ave. 

Berkeley: Chez Panisse Restaurant Prepping for June 24 Reopening Months After Fire

After a fire in March shut the doors to Berkeley's famous gourmet restaurant Chez Panisse, the eatery is preparing to reopen later this month.

The March 8 fire at the restaurant owned by renowned chef Alice Waters, located at 1517 Shattuck Ave., caused as much as $200,000 in damage when electrical equipment under the building's porch malfunctioned.

The fire broke out just after 3 a.m. that day and shuttered the business for months as it worked on repairs to the side and underside of the building, along with utility issues and smoke and water damage.

Since the end of May the restaurant has been taking reservations for the restaurant and café starting on June 24.

A Facebook message posted last week on the restaurant's page stated, "We are booking one calendar month out in advance, and can't wait to have all of you back!"

A woman answering the reservation line Wednesday morning said calls have been coming in frequently to book a spot at the restaurant.

Ahead of the opening, a re-opening celebration and fundraiser is scheduled at the restaurant on June 21.

The $1,000 to $2,500 per head dining tickets will go toward education programs at the Edible Schoolyard Project.

The nonprofit program provides a school curriculum that teaches students about food, the environment, and healthy living.

In Berkeley, there is a 1-acre organic garden and kitchen classroom for students at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, located at 1781 Rose St.

The evening will offer a special menu, music, dancing and wines.

The event falls on the summer solstice and will be the first operating night at the restaurant since its closure. 

Weather Forecast for the San Francisco Bay Area

Sunny skies and patchy fog are likely in the Bay Area this morning.

Highs are expected to be in the 50s to lower 70s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph.

Mostly clear skies are likely this evening, with patchy fog after midnight.

Lows are likely to be in the 50s, with westerly winds up to 30 mph.

Sunny skies are expected Friday morning.

Highs are expected to be in the upper 50s to lower 70s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph in the afternoon.

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday Midday News Roundup

SF: Market Street Reopens After Muni Collision Sends 15 to Hospitals

Fifteen people were taken to hospitals -- including a number of children -- when a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus and a streetcar collided this morning on Market Street.

The accident, which involved a 9L-San Bruno bus and the F-Market and Wharves streetcar, happened around 11 a.m. at Market and Sixth streets.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said 15 people were taken to four hospitals, including four adults who were taken to San Francisco General Hospital with moderate injuries.

Seven children were among those transported, she said.

None of the injuries are life-threatening. Others were evaluated at the scene but declined to be transported.

"It was a little chaotic initially," the chief said. Harold Day, who said he witnessed the collision while walking across Market Street toward UN Plaza, said the eastbound 9L was stopped and the streetcar was moving east slowing when it rear-ended the bus.

He said he saw people on the bus get tossed around by the impact.

He didn't see anyone with visible injuries, but he saw a girl crying and a man comforting her. "It was really difficult to see that little girl ... crying," Day said.

"It was totally unreal." Around 11:45 a.m., a woman who appeared to be one of the victims was walking away from the scene with an ice pack on her right shoulder.

Thais Schwab, a camp counselor with Vision Academy, said she was on the 9L with a group of 31 elementary and middle school students when the collision occurred.

She said about 11 of them were injured when the bus was hit from behind. Another person, who declined to be identified, reported seeing many children with ice packs on their heads.

Market Street was shut down between Sixth and Seventh streets.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the road was expected to reopen around 12:30 p.m.

Santa Clara Co.: Son of Worker Killed at 49ers Stadium Site Says Family Wants Answers

A son of an elevator worker who was killed Tuesday at the construction site for the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium in Santa Clara said today the family is struggling to come to grips with the loss and wants answers.

"I really have no idea what's going on," Cody White, 32, said of the death of his father, Donald White, in an apparent accident inside an elevator shaft.

"We're just kind of holding on, figuring it out," Cody said from his home in Redwood City.

Family members will be meeting today with Donald's wife, Wendy, who came to Redwood City from the couple's home in Sacramento, "and we'll be getting things sorted out," he said.

The accident was reported at 6:53 a.m. at the future site of Levi's Stadium, the $1.3 billion football stadium project at Centennial Boulevard and Tasman Drive set to open in 2014.

White, 63, was an employee of subcontractor Schindler Elevator Corp. and a 43-year veteran in the elevator trades, according to Robert Rayborn, stadium project co-director with general contractor Turner-Devcon.

The union worker was apparently standing on a ladder beneath the counterweight of an elevator when the counterweight "came down and struck him," said Peter Melton, a spokesman for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which is investigating the incident.

Turner-Devcon halted construction after White's death and announced that work on the stadium would not resume until early Thursday morning.

Cody White said his family wants to know exactly what occurred at the time Donald was killed.

"We have questions and they will be answered," he said.

"They will take a little bit of time." Donald had been living with Wendy in Sacramento but was staying at Cody's home temporarily while working on elevators for the stadium project "so he wouldn't have to be by himself in a hotel room," Cody said.

"He was our Dad, he was the best," said Cody, a communications electrician and one of Donald's four adult sons.

"He wouldn't hurt a fly -- he'd give you the shirt off his back," Cody said.

An officer worker at the San Francisco-based International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 8, of which Donald White was a member, said that the union's business manager was at a meeting at the construction site this morning.

SF: Police Commission to Consider $50K Settlement for Bystander Shot in 2011

An innocent bystander who was shot by police in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood in 2011 could receive $50,000 in a settlement being considered by the city's Police Commission at its meeting this evening.

Jessica Orozco and an Oakley man were injured in the shooting, which happened at about 2 a.m. on Sept. 17, 2011 in the 400 block of Broadway, police said.

Officers were chasing Jesus Paredes Rodriguez, whom they had witnessed allegedly conducting a drug transaction and who tried to flee after police patted him down, police said.

Police said that as he fled, Rodriguez, who was 20 at the time, allegedly pulled out a TEC-9 gun and pointed it at officers but didn't shoot. An officer fired his service weapon in self-defense, missing Rodriguez but hitting Orozco and the other bystander, who were behind him in a parking lot, police said.

Orozco was hit in the right thigh and is still experiencing residual numbness in her leg, her attorney Edward Casey said today.

Casey filed a lawsuit on Orozco's behalf in U.S. District Court against the city and county of San Francisco and the police officers involved in the incident.

Casey said the shooting wasn't necessary because Rodriguez was getting rid of his gun and throwing it to the ground rather than pointing it at the officers.

"It's something that happened that shouldn't have happened but the officers felt the need to try to protect the public," he said.

The case against Rodriguez is still pending in court, Casey said. Police Chief Greg Suhr held a community meeting in the days after the shooting and said, "The department cannot feel worse about having two bystanders injured."

Suhr said, "However, the alternative of having a suspect with this weapon ... could've been a lot worse."

The $50,000 settlement was reached in April but has to be approved by the city's Board of Supervisors.

The Police Commission is meeting this evening and will consider recommending approval of the settlement to the board. The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Room 400 at City Hall.

Regional: Emergency Response Drill Underway in Bay Today

Dozens of agencies from throughout the Bay Area are participating in an emergency response drill on the San Francisco Bay today, a bridge district spokeswoman said.

The Golden Gate Ferry division of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District is hosting the interagency exercise, spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

The U.S. Coast Guard has established a "safety zone" for the training south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in an area where San Francisco, Marin and Contra Costa counties share jurisdiction, Currie said.

Currie said the training is the third in a series of three such exercises intended to test and improve local agencies' ability to respond to a security-related emergency on the Bay.

Two ferries are being used in today's drill. Some of the activity may be visible from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and from certain spots in Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties, Currie said.

Multiple emergency response vehicles will be at the scene, and white smoke may be visible, she said.

About two-dozen agencies from throughout the Bay Area are participating, as well as the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Currie said. The training will last throughout the day, ending around 5 p.m.

Regional: Caltrans, CHP Crews Picking Up Litter in Annual Cleanup Today

A massive litter cleanup is under way today on highways throughout the Bay Area, a Caltrans spokesman said. Caltrans and California Highway Patrol crews will be at four locations picking up trash as part of the 10th annual Litter Cleanup and Enforcement Day, Caltrans spokesman Adam Priest said.

A total of roughly 40 crewmembers will participate in the cleanup, which is a way to let Bay Area residents know that trash buildup on highways "is an issue that we need to bring attention to," Priest said.

In San Jose, the cleanup was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. along U.S. Highway 101. Crews are picking up trash between Interstate Highway 280 and state Highway 237.

A second cleanup is taking place throughout the morning farther north on Highway 101, between the Sierra Point Parkway exit in Brisbane and the Candlestick Park exit in San Francisco.

In the Oakland-Alameda area, crews are removing litter from Doolittle Drive between Hegenberger Road and Island Drive.

The final cleanup is taking place in Marin County on Highway 101 between Tiburon Boulevard and Tamalpais Drive in Corte Madera, and over the Alto Hill, Priest said.

Priest said that in addition to the annual one-day event, smaller cleanups are done quarterly.

Anyone who wants to help remove litter from highways can do so through Caltrans' Adopt-a-Highway program. More information about the program can be found at www.dot.ca.gov.

Antioch: 21-Year-Old Man Fatally Shot

A young man was fatally shot this morning in Antioch, according to police. Police received a report of a shooting in the 1900 block of D Street, near Fremont Elementary School and Antioch High School, at 12:26 a.m.

Upon arrival, officers found a 21-year-old Antioch man with a gunshot wound.

Medical personnel and police officers tried to save his life, but the victim later died at a hospital, according to police.

The Antioch Police Department Investigations Bureau is continuing to investigate the homicide and identify suspects, police said.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Antioch police at (925) 779-6894.

East Palo Alto: Man Arrested on Drug, Gun Charges After Search Warrant Served

A 20-year-old man was arrested on drug and weapons charges after police served a search warrant in East Palo Alto on Tuesday, Menlo Park police said today.

Police converged on a property in the 800 block of Runnymede Street to search the premises as part of an investigation into the ongoing sales of methamphetamine, acting police Cmdr. Eric Cowans said.

The search yielded a stolen pistol, a rifle and a large amount of methamphetamine packaged for sale, according to police.

Officers arrested Yannique Devillez, of East Palo Alto, on charges of possession of a controlled substance while armed, possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of stolen property.

Devillez was taken to San Mateo County Jail where he is being held on $200,000 bail, according to police.

Palo Alto: Armed Suspect Robs 7-Eleven Early This Morning

A 7-Eleven store in Palo Alto was robbed at gunpoint early this morning, police said.

Officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at the 7-Eleven at 708 Colorado Ave. at about 12:10 a.m., Palo Alto police Detective Sgt. Brian Philip said.

An investigation determined that a male suspect had entered the store, pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money, according to Philip.

The robber then took cash and fled east on Colorado Avenue, Philip said.

Philip said the clerk was the only person in the store at the time of the robbery and that no one was injured.

The suspect is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a white hooded sweatshirt with a red T-shirt over it, a ski mask and black pants, shoes, and gloves, police said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Palo Alto police at (650) 329-2413, or anonymously at (650) 383-8984. Tips can also be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org.

Solano Co.: Man Killed by Train in Dixon Identified as Vacaville Resident

The Solano County coroner's office has identified a man who was killed when he was struck by an Amtrak train in Dixon on Monday morning as 37-year-old Roberto Martin Gutierrez, of Vacaville.

Gutierrez was hit from behind by the southbound train near West A Street several hundred feet from the nearest crossing around 10:30 a.m., Dixon police said.

The train, which was traveling from Sacramento to San Jose with 62 passengers on board, was delayed by nearly two hours because of the incident, Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said.

Graham and Dixon police said the engineer sounded the train's horn but that Gutierrez did not respond.

Nothing at the scene indicated that Gutierrez was wearing headphones that would have prevented him from hearing the approaching train, Harris said.

 

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Teen Girls Rob Woman on Muni in Bayview

A 68-year-old woman was punched in the face and had her two purses stolen by two teenage girls on a San Francisco Municipal Railway light-rail vehicle in the city's Bayview District on Tuesday night, police said.

The robbery was reported at about 8:35 p.m. near Third Street and Carroll Avenue.

The victim was sitting in the front of the Muni train when the two teens approached her and punched her, then stole the purses, which contained cash, a cellphone and other items, according to police.

The girls, described as about 13 or 14 years old, fled from the Muni vehicle and had not been found as of this morning, police said.

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

 

Check out some of our most popular blogs:

     We Built a Stronger SF Economy on Smart Government Investments

     The BART That Could Have Been

     Run For Your Life! (For Fun)

     Love Muni, Hate Muni or Somewhere in Between? Let the SFMTA Know!

 

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