San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday Morning News Roundup

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SF: Man Injured In Early Portrero Hill Shooting

A shooting that occurred early this morning in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood left one man injured, according to police.

Police responded to a report of a shooting at 1:40 a.m. in the vicinity of 25th and Connecticut streets, located on Potrero Hill's southern slope near a development of San Francisco Housing Authority apartments.

The victim was transported to a local hospital by ambulance and sustained injuries not considered to be life-threatening, police said. No suspects have been arrested, police said.

SF: Chiu Re-Elected President of Board of Supervisors

David Chiu was elected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for the third time Tuesday.

Chiu, 42, was unanimously re-elected to the position by his fellow supervisors at Tuesday afternoon's meeting after two other supervisors -- Jane Kim and Malia Cohen -- withdrew their nominations just before the vote.

The board president serves a two-year term and, among other duties, is in charge of appointing chairs and members of board committees and running the full board's regular meetings.

Chiu was voted into the post by the other supervisors at the start of his first term in 2009 and was re-elected in 2011.

He thanked his colleagues Tuesday for the "incredible honor" and said he hopes the board will move past the "oppositional politics" that have plagued it in past years.

"This Board of Supervisors has been getting things done," Chiu said, while noting, "we still have a lot of work to do."

Cohen told reporters after the vote that she withdrew her nomination because she did not have the six votes needed to win the majority of the 11-member board.

"The support wasn't there," she said. "It wasn't enough."

However, Cohen said she hopes the nominations of her and Kim "sets the stage for a greater conversation moving forward."

Kim said the negotiations over the board president position only came together in the last few days and said she had no problem with supporting Chiu, whom she had nominated for the spot back in 2011.

The inaugural meeting of the new Board of Supervisors also included the swearing-in of all supervisors who were elected or re-elected in November.

Chiu, Eric Mar, David Campos and John Avalos were re-elected, while London Breed and Norman Yee won their first terms on the board.

Breed thanked the voters of District 5 and said that as a native of the area, she is "prepared for the challenges we face."

Breed also participated in a ceremonial swearing-in by state Attorney General Kamala Harris Tuesday morning at City Hall.

She said she held Tuesday morning's event so that more of her family and friends could celebrate her taking office, since the board chambers were filled to capacity for the inaugural meeting.

All 11 supervisors followed Tuesday's meeting with receptions and open houses at each of their offices at City Hall. 

SJ: City Council to Consider Pilot Program Allowing 'Curb Cafes'

Taking a cue from San Francisco, the San Jose City Council Tuesday unanimously started a pilot program allowing some restaurants to replace street parking spaces with raised "curb cafes" so patrons can sit outside.

The one-year pilot program will authorize up to five eateries to install curb-level platforms to widen the sidewalk for things like tables, chairs, bike parking and plants, city officials said.

"Residents and businesses have long asked us to find better ways to exploit San Jose's uniquely ideal weather, to bring restaurants, cafes, vendors, and gathering places out into the sunshine," Councilman Sam Liccardo said in a statement.

"Through this pilot project, we're taking a healthy step toward a solution," Liccardo said.

Storefront businesses may now apply for a permit for a proposed curb cafe, detailing the property lines and property owners within 15 feet and how many parking meters would have to be removed, according to a city staff report.

The cafe platforms, also known as "parklets," have to be on a street with a speed limit of 25 mph or less, extend no more than 6 feet outside the curb line and could not take up more than two parking spaces except under special circumstances.

The application fee is $600, and business owners have to provide $1 million in liability insurance, naming the city of San Jose as an insured party, and obtain separate permission if they want to serve alcoholic beverages outside.

San Jose's proposed curb cafe plan is similar to San Francisco's, which started in 2010 and now has 42 "parklets" along sidewalks in the Mission, Haight-Ashbury, North Beach and other neighborhoods, according to the city's website.

However, unlike San Francisco's program, in which the parklets are considered public space, those in San Jose will be considered an extension of the business, giving the business owners discretion over how the parklets can be used.

"Basically this gives the business owners the right to exclude people who are not customers," Liccardo said Tuesday.

San Jose Director of Transportation Hans Larsen said, "In San Francisco anybody can create one, it's just an extension of open space.

What we want to create is an extension of the sidewalk cafe."

Larsen said there already are businesses in the downtown and Willow Glen areas that are interested in applying for a curb cafe.

SF: Brown Asks Three-Judge Panel to Lift Prison Population

Gov. Jerry Brown has asked a federal three-judge panel to lift an order requiring the state to reduce the number of inmates in its overcrowded prisons to 110,000 by June.

In filings in federal courts in San Francisco and Sacramento on Monday night, Brown contends the order is no longer needed because the prison population has already been significantly reduced and health care greatly improved.

"The overcrowding and health care conditions cited by this court to support its population reduction order are now a distant memory," state lawyers argued in the papers.

"California's vastly improved prison health care system now provides inmates with superior care that far exceeds the minimum requirements of the Constitution," the attorneys contended.

The population reduction was ordered in 2009 by the three-judge panel acting on a lawsuit in which inmates claimed that prison health care was so deficient that it amounted to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

The panel concluded that severe overcrowding was a primary cause of poor health care and ordered the state to decrease the population of its 33 adult prisons to 110,000 inmates, or 137 percent of the designed capacity.

At the time, the prisons housed 150,000 inmates in facilities designed for 80,000.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that ruling in 2011, saying that the "grossly inadequate" health care was unconstitutional.

The prison population has now fallen to 119,000, as a result of several measures, including the so-called "realignment" process in which some low-level offenders are diverted to county jails.

Brown claims in the court papers that continued enforcement of the population reduction order is now "unfair, unnecessary and illegal."

Monday was also a deadline for the Brown administration to tell the court how it would complete the remainder of the population reduction by June.

In a separate filing, the administration said the number of inmates could be reduced further by changes in state laws to provide shorter sentences and/or by court orders for the early release of some prisoners, but argued that those options might endanger public safety.

The three-judge panel is made up of U.S. District Judges Thelton Henderson and Lawrence Karlton of Sacramento and 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt of Los Angeles.

It was convened under a federal law that provides that a court order to reduce prison population can be made only by a three-judge panel and not by a single trial judge acting on a civil rights lawsuit.

Donald Specter, a lawyer for the inmates, called Brown's filings "misguided and misplaced" and said the prisoners' attorneys will oppose lifting the 2009 order.

"He's not aware of the true facts, which show that the prison system is still unconstitutionally overcrowded," said Specter, who works out of the Prison Law Office in Berkeley.

In a statement filed with the court on Monday, the prisoners' attorneys argued that the prison system remains "vastly overcrowded," that medical and mental health care continues to be inadequate and that there are safe and effective ways to reduce the population.

Hayward: Man Crushed, Killed by Tractor-Trailer Backing Up at Warehouse

A man was killed Tuesday morning when he was crushed by a tractor-trailer backing into a loading dock at a Hayward warehouse, police and state occupational health officials said.

The man, identified by the Alameda County coroner's bureau as Chengbin Xiao, 56, of Union City, was a worker at Keeco LLC., which has a distribution center at 30736 Wiegman Road, Hayward police said.

Emergency personnel were called at 9:10 a.m. when the worker was struck by a tractor-trailer.

The trailer was backing up into a dock at the warehouse when the victim attempted to gain the driver's attention to tell him that he was backing into the wrong trailer bay, police said.

The victim was apparently leaning outside the warehouse when he was struck, police said.

The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the fatal accident. Cal/OSHA spokesman Peter Melton said the victim's head was crushed between the dock and the trailer.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Melton said the company decided to send all workers home for the day after the morning's fatality.

He said Cal/OSHA has not shut the business down or prevented operations.

No other incidents have been reported at the business in the past five years, according to Melton.

The agency has six-months to investigate the accident.

According to the Keeco website, the company imports products from China including table linens, quilts, textiles, pillow cases, duvet covers and other similar items.

The company headquarters are at the Hayward facility and showrooms are located in New York and Bentonville, Ark.

Regional: Pilot of Oil Tanker That Struck Bay Bridge had 3 Previous Incidents

The pilot of an empty oil tanker that struck the Bay Bridge on Monday morning had three minor incidents in his file since being licensed in 2005, according to state records.

Guy Kleess has been identified as the pilot of the Overseas Reymar, the 752-foot tanker that was headed out to sea at about 11:20 a.m. Monday when it struck a fender on the most eastern tower of the bridge's western span.

No spill was reported in the Bay and everyone aboard the vessel was safe.

About 30 to 40 feet of the bridge tower's fender was damaged by the boat but the bridge has been deemed safe, Caltrans officials said.

Kleess was found to be involved in three incidents in 2009 and 2010, according to records from the state's Board of Pilot Commissioners.

A vessel piloted by Kleess ran aground in the Sacramento River on Aug. 27, 2009, while two days later a boat he piloted struck a wooden pylon at a berth in Stockton.

Then on May 26, 2010, he ran aground again with a vessel in the Richmond Inner Harbor.

While additional practice trips were required after the first two incidents, no restrictions were placed on Kleess' license by the Board of Pilot Commissioners.

Board executive director Capt. Allen Garfinkle said, "I would classify the incidents as minor." Pilot error is being investigated as a possible cause of Monday's allision with the Bay Bridge, according to officials with the U.S. Coast Guard.

There was about a quarter-mile of visibility in the Bay at the time of the accident, authorities said.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Tuesday morning that the agency is also investigating the incident, which it classified as a "major marine casualty" because it caused more than $500,000 in property damage, NTSB officials said.

The agency also investigated the 2007 Cosco Busan spill, in which a tanker hit a fender on another tower of the bridge's western span, causing more than 53,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel to leak into the Bay.

The Marshall Islands-registered Overseas Reymar, owned by OSG Ship Management Inc., remained anchored Tuesday evening east of Alcatraz Island while the accident is investigated.

The ship had dropped its load of fuel before striking the Bay Bridge.

Kleess, the pilot, graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., in 1976, according to a bio released Tuesday by the San Francisco Bar Pilots' Association.

He worked at Exxon Shipping Co. from 1976 to 1990.

At Exxon, he sailed as a third mate and third engineer, second mate, chief mate, and captain.

After completing the SF bar pilot training program in 2005, he has worked in part as a river pilot for the ports of Stockton and Sacramento since 2009.

He has made 1,160 trips as a pilot since 2005, according to the association.

Oakland: School District Administration Building Closed Due to Overnight Flood

Employees arriving for work at the Oakland Unified School District's administration building Tuesday morning discovered that the building had been flooded overnight, a school district spokesman said.

The flooding occurred after a faucet was left on in a janitor's closet on the fourth floor, causing damage to all four floors of the building, located at 1025 Second Ave. near Lake Merritt, district spokesman Troy Flint said.

The building will be closed at least for the rest of the week for repairs, but whether it will remain closed longer depends on the extent of the damage, which is still being assessed, Flint said.

Roughly 1,440 gallons of water was released into the building overnight, Flint said, with about 3 gallons of water per minute flowing for about eight hours.

The damage varies in different parts of the building, with the ceilings and floors nearing collapse in some areas, while others had only light flooding.

Most district employees worked from home Tuesday, and the district is in the process of making short-term arrangements at other sites so employees can return to work, Flint said.

A board of education meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. today will be moved across the street to the Great Room of the newly constructed La Escuelita Education Complex.

Oakland: Lawyers Disagree About Whether Admitted Killer is Guilty of Murder 

A lengthy trial has proven that Laron Logwood fatally shot Edwin "Mikey" Grady outside a corner market in East Oakland in broad daylight in July 2009 but a prosecutor and a defense attorney disagreed Tuesday about whether Logwood is guilty of murder.

Prosecutor Tim Wellman told jurors in his closing argument that "all of the elements for murder are met" in the case against Logwood, 36, who is charged in connection with the shooting of Grady, 25, outside the Arrwa One Stop Market at the corner of 86th and Bancroft avenues just before 2 p.m. July 16, 2009.

"There was no need, real or perceived, for Mikey to be shot," Wellman said.

But Logwood's lawyer, William DuBois, said Logwood should be found not guilty, arguing that Logwood acted in self-defense because he thought that Grady was armed with a gun and was going to shoot him and his friends.

DuBois said Logwood had come to the store after a female cousin told him that a man -- not Grady -- had smashed her face and needed his help.

Logwood admitted during his trial that he fatally shot Grady but he said he did so because he was "115 percent sure" that Grady had a gun.

But police officers who responded to the shooting didn't find any evidence that Grady had a gun.

However, DuBois alleged that Grady's friends removed his gun before police arrived.

The shooting was captured by the store's surveillance camera and the footage was shown to jurors.

The video shows Logwood firing a single shot into Grady's chest.

Grady then ran around the corner, collapsed and died a short time later.

Wellman told jurors that he believes the reason that Logwood killed Grady is that Logwood belongs to a gang called the Upper High Street Boys and "Mikey had disrespected him in front of his family and friends" by saying something to Logwood when they were in front of the corner market.

"If he (Logwood) didn't act he would appear weak and lose respect" in the eyes of others, Wellman alleged. Jurors will begin deliberating Logwood's fate today.

SF Bay Area Morning Weather Forecast

Mostly cloudy skies are expected in the Bay Area this morning with a slight chance of rain.

Highs are likely to be in the mid 50s with winds up to 20 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies are likely this evening with a chance of showers.

Lows are expected to be in the lower 40s with northwest winds up to 20 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies and a chance of showers are expected Thursday morning.

Highs are likely to be around 50, with northwest winds up to 20 mph.

 

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