San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday Midday News Roundup

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Flurry Of Events Planned To Mark Harvey Milk Day

The late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk will be remembered in a series of events today, on what would have been his 83rd birthday.

Milk, who was the city's first openly gay supervisor, was gunned down along with Mayor George Moscone by fellow Supervisor Dan White at City Hall on Nov. 27, 1978. Milk was 48 when he died.

In the decades since then, Milk has been recognized as a champion for civil rights. In 2009, his birthday was declared "Harvey Milk Day" throughout the state.

The GBLT History Museum in San Francisco, located at 4127 18th St., is marking the occasion with free admission today.

A video clip of one of Milk's speeches will be screened throughout the day, and tours of the museum will highlight Milk's work.

"We live in a diverse society and our mission as a museum is to encourage respect and understanding for that diversity in our culture," museum spokesman Gerard Koskovich said.

Many student groups are expected to stop by the museum throughout the day. The Milk exhibit includes photographs, videos, and some personal belongings that were donated to the museum -- including his well-worn jeans, a "Milk for Supervisor" T-shirt, and novelty glasses, Koskovich said.

"He was famous for his wacky sense of humor," Koskovich said. Kosovich said the exhibit gives a sense of what Milk's life was like.

"You get a feeling of what he was like as a Castro District resident," he said.

Milk had a camera store in the heart of the Castro, which became the headquarters for his civil rights campaign. Koskovich said Milk was known as the mayor of Castro Street.

This evening, a panel discussion will be held at Books Inc. at 2275 Market St. at 7:30 p.m. with the editors of a new book, "An Archive of Hope," a compilation of Milk's speeches and letters.

The panel will include a former employee of Milk's camera shop, Daniel Nicoletta, and his speechwriter, Frank Robinson.

Later tonight, a birthday party will be held in Milk's honor at the Lookout bar at 3600 16th St. beginning around 9 p.m., according to Koskovich.

"The neighborhood is really coming together to honor him and carry on his work," Koskovich said.

San Francisco's Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy will hold an annual celebration this evening at the campus at 4235 19th St.

Starting at 6 p.m., students will hold a talent show and unveil a panel for the national AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Gov. Jerry Brown released a statement today, saying, "I urge all Californians to remember Harvey Milk for his contributions to the more open, free and honest society that we live in today."

Driver Killed In 'Freak Accident' On I-580 When Pipe Flies Through His Windshield

A man was killed when a metal pipe came crashing through his windshield as he drove on Interstate Highway 580 in the Livermore area this morning, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

The incident was reported west of Grant Line Road at 8:11 a.m. The 33-year-old man was driving west on the highway when the metal pipe flew through the windshield of his 2003 white Volvo XC70 and impaled him, CHP Officer Tyler Hahn said.

The Volvo veered left into the center divider, went up an embankment and came to rest. The CHP arrived to find the driver deceased inside the vehicle and the engine still running, Hahn said.

Hahn described the pipe as about 2 feet in length and 2 feet in diameter. He said it is not clear where it came from.

"No witnesses saw it bouncing down the road, nobody's called in to say that they lost anything of this sort," he said.

Hahn said it appears to be a type of pipe used to help secure loads on large trucks.

The victim's name has not been released but Hahn said he may be from the Rocklin area near Sacramento.

Hahn called the case "completely a freak accident" and said it "literally is being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

No one else was in the Volvo at the time, and no other injuries were reported.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the CHP at (925) 828-0466 and ask for Hahn or Officer Azevedo.

Firefighters Responding To Two-Alarm Grass Fire In San Jose

Fire crews were responding to a two-alarm grass fire in San Jose late this morning, a dispatcher said.

The fire was reported at 10:59 a.m. near Singleton Road and Locke Drive.

Crews from the San Jose Fire Department and Cal Fire are at the scene.

Man Injured In Shooting After Argument Over Drugs In Bayview

San Francisco police arrested a woman and are seeking a man in connection with a drug-related shooting in the city's Bayview District on Tuesday evening, a police spokesman said today.

The shooting was reported at 7:14 p.m. in the 1900 block of Palou Avenue.

The 48-year-old victim got into a dispute with another man over drugs and was shot in the buttocks, leg and hand, police said. He is expected to survive.

The suspects fled, but officers pulled over a red, two-door vehicle about a block away and arrested 21-year-old Lakendra Deshay, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said. They also recovered a weapon from the vehicle.

The shooter is believed to be a 36-year-old man who remains at large. Esparza said he is known to police, but his name has not yet been released.

"We're doing our best to locate him," Esparza said.

Deshay was booked into jail on suspicion of attempted murder, conspiracy, weapons violations and an outstanding warrant, Esparza 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.

Suspect Arrested For Stealing Electronics From Lick-Wilmerding High School

A suspect has been arrested for allegedly stealing electronic equipment from a San Francisco high school early this morning, a police spokesman said.

The burglary was reported at about 3:30 a.m. at Lick-Wilmerding High School, located at 755 Ocean Ave., police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

A male suspect was arrested, Esparza said. Police have not yet released more details about the case or the suspect.

Gov. Brown Appoints Three Prosecutors As New Superior Court Judges

A local, state and federal prosecutor were each appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday to San Francisco Superior Court judgeships.

San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman, chief Deputy Attorney General Rochelle East and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracie Brown were each appointed to replace retiring judges.

Dorfman, 56, has been a managing attorney in the district attorney's homicide unit and has prosecuted high-profile cases including the trial against Edwin Ramos, who was convicted of multiple murder charges for the killing of a father and his two sons in San Francisco's Excelsior District in 2008.

District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement, "I have a high regard for his leadership and the utmost respect for his commitment to public safety. San Francisco is a better place with Harry Dorfman on the bench."

Along with her decade-plus of experience in the state attorney general's office, East, 56, has also worked in Haiti as a U.S. Department of State foreign service officer and served in the U.S. Navy for a decade.

Brown, 42, has been with the U.S. Attorney's Office since 2002, having worked for private law firms for several years beforehand.

Local Artist's Steel Sculptures Now On Display At Crissy Field

An art exhibition at San Francisco's Crissy Field featuring eight large steel sculptures created by a local artist is opening to the public today.

The sculptures, which are up to 50 feet tall and 40 feet wide, span decades of work by Mark di Suvero and are on display thanks to a partnership between the National Park Service, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the non-profit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Located at 1199 East Beach, the yearlong exhibition is free to the public and comes in advance of SFMOMA's extended closure starting June 2 for construction on the museum's expansion.

During the closure, which will last until 2016, the museum is holding off-site exhibits such as the one at Crissy Field.

"This exhibition will give us an opportunity to further explore how art can create a new understanding and appreciation for a historic landmark like Crissy Field," Golden Gate National Recreation Area Superintendent Frank Dean said in a statement.

"The fact that di Suvero is a sculptor with local roots and influences adds another dimension to the story," Dean said.

Di Suvero, who turns 80 this year, moved to San Francisco when he was 7 years old and attended the University of California at Berkeley, according to park officials.

Shooter Fires More Than 20 Rounds At Pair In Late-Night Richmond Shooting

A man was wounded and a woman narrowly escaped injury in a hail of gunfire in Richmond on Tuesday night, police said.

The pair was exiting a car in the 800 block of Virginia Avenue around 11:30 p.m. when someone walked up and fired more than 20 rounds from an assault rifle, Detective Nicole Abetkov said.

The man suffered a bullet graze wound to the head and the woman was unhurt, the detective said.

Officers who heard the gunfire quickly arrived at the scene but were unable to locate the shooter, Abetkov said.

The male victim was taken to Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center where he was treated and released.

Police do not have a suspect description and no arrests have been made.

Oakland Man Ordered To Pay $3.4 Million In Restitution For Charity Fraud Scheme

An Oakland man was ordered to pay $3.37 million in restitution and was sentenced to 121 months in prison on Monday for a charity fraud scheme, federal prosecutors said.

Keith Aaron Vann, 42, received the sentence for the role he played in a scam in which three Arizona residents were convinced to donate large sums of money to a phony charitable organization, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

Following a four-day trail in December, a jury found Vann guilty of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and three counts of money laundering, Haag said.

The donors were led to believe that the phony charity, Global Missions, was a nonprofit organization that provided humanitarian aid worldwide, according to prosecutors.

Posing as an attorney named James Preston, Vann misled victims into believing that the organization was recognized by the IRS and that their donations would be tax deductible, prosecutors said.

The money collected was spent by Vann and others on a $1.25 million home, a down payment on a luxury car, jewelry and personal trips, according to Haag's office.

Two of the victims were elementary school teachers, and the money they donated was from their father's estate, prosecutors said.

Thieves Steal Cars Left Running In Fremont Driveways

Police are warning residents to keep an eye on their cars after two vehicles left running and unattended in driveways in Fremont were stolen early Tuesday.

Fremont police responded to a report of an auto theft in the 4100 block of Redstone Terrace at about 5 a.m.

A second car was reported stolen around 7:20 a.m. about 2 miles away, in the 32400 block of Lake Temescal Lane, police said.

In both instances, the cars were left running in the driveway with the key in the ignition.

About 10 minutes after the second vehicle was stolen, a third car theft was reported in the 32400 block of Meadowbrook Common.

In that case, police said, someone burglarized one vehicle and found a set of keys, then stole a second vehicle.

The car taken from Redstone Terrace was later found abandoned in Newark, police said.

Sonoma County Coroner's Office Identifies Chico Man Killed In Highway 116 Crash Tuesday

The Sonoma County coroner's office today identified a driver who died in a crash near Sonoma on Tuesday as 40-year-old Matthew Allen Gebhardt, of Chico.

Witnesses told investigators that Gebhardt was driving east on state Highway 116 in a 1989 Ford F-250 truck at the 55 mph speed limit when the crash happened at about 12:15 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Just west of Watmaugh Road, the truck ran off the highway, struck a eucalyptus tree and landed on its roof, CHP Sgt. William Bradshaw said.

Gebhardt was ejected from the truck and landed on the south shoulder of the road, Bradshaw said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. There was no immediate indication of alcohol impairment or a mechanical failure, Bradshaw said.

An autopsy was scheduled for this morning.

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