San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday Midday News Roundup

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Giants Fans Urged to Take Transit to World Series Victory Parade

Excitement is building for Wednesday's World Series victory parade for the San Francisco Giants, and transit agencies are adding service to accommodate the droves of fans expected to descend on the city. 

The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Market and Steuart streets and will proceed down Market Street, making a right at McAllister Street and ending at City Hall. A celebration will follow in Civic Center Plaza.

San Francisco Municipal Railway is adding six light-rail trains to supplement service, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said. The extra service will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Caltrain, which carries about 20,000 commuters on an average weekday, is also adding service, as is BART. BART officials said the agency will be using every available train.

Anyone planning to ride BART is encouraged to buy a roundtrip ticket -- or load up Clipper Cards -- today rather than waiting until Wednesday morning when there will be long lines at ticket machines.

Transit agencies are warning that there might not be much parking at BART and Caltrain stations. The Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District is adding extra ferry service, spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

In 2010, for the Giants World Series parade, Golden Gate Ferry carried more than 15,000 people, Currie said. On a normal weekday, it serves about 6,600 people, she said.

Currie said the district expects similar ridership on Wednesday. Extra buses will be on standby, she said.

Those planning to take a ferry to the city are also encouraged to buy their tickets early, Currie said.

Rose said any riders coming into the city should expect delays.Commuters are advised to factor in extra time for their trips to work.

Both Market and Mission streets will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to about 5 p.m. for parade and celebration-related activities, Rose said. Muni buses will be allowed on Mission Street during the closures, he said.

University of California Hastings College of the Law at 200 McAllister St. will be closed Wednesday because of the festivities.

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Gwen Oldham said she is not aware of any plans by the chamber's 1,500 member businesses to close Wednesday. 

 

 114 SFO Flights Cancelled as East Coast Airports Remain Closed

As post-tropical cyclone Sandy battered much of the East Coast with strong winds, flooding and even blizzards this morning, many airports remained shut down and dozens of flights were canceled at Bay Area airports. Mid-morning, 114 flights had been canceled at San Francisco International Airport, a duty manager said.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, seven airports remain shut down because of the storm, including John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark International Airport, and La Guardia Airport. There is no estimated time when the airports will reopen.

SFO has also seen cancellations of flights going to and from Boston, Baltimore, both Washington D.C. airports and Philadelphia, airport duty manager Shannon Wilson said.

Oakland International Airport has a small number of flights that go in and out of JFK that have been affected, an airport official said.

Mineta San Jose International Airport has only one flight canceled today into JFK, spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes said.


On Monday night a flight into Boston was canceled, she said. 

Before heading to the airport, travelers are advised to check the status of their flights.

 

Mysterious Substance Found in Bucket Near Curb Deemed Harmless

A white powdery substance found inside a bucket near a curb at San Francisco International Airport this morning has been deemed harmless, an airport duty manager said.

The San Francisco Fire Department's hazardous materials team was called in around 8:45 a.m. after an airport employee spotted the brown, one-gallon bucket about half filled with the white substance between Terminals 1 and 2 in the upper-level departure area, duty manager John Ginty said.

The bucket was removed around 10:30 a.m. after the hazardous materials team determined that the substance was not dangerous, Ginty said.

No flights were affected and no injuries reported.


U.S. Citizen Attempts to Smuggle 100 Cocaine Pellets in his Intestines

An American citizen who had apparently swallowed 100 cocaine-filled pellets in a smuggling attempt was arrested at San Francisco International Airport last week as he was on his way to board a flight to Japan, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers interviewed the passenger, Emmanuel Amankwa, 55, extensively at the airport on Wednesday before it was determined that he was attempting to smuggle the drugs in his intestines, according to the agency. 

He was transported to a nearby hospital to be monitored by medical staff until Thursday, when he had passed all 100 cocaine pellets, agency spokesman Officer Frank Falcon said. The pellets weighed more than 2.5 pounds.

Amankwa was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further action, according to Falcon.

 

Castro Valley School Locked Down as Deputies Chase Suspect

An elementary school was locked down for about an hour as Alameda County sheriff's deputies pursued a suspect in Castro Valley this morning, a sheriff's sergeant said.

Sheriff's deputies responded to Proctor Avenue after receiving a report that a suspicious man was looking into cars at about 10:15 a.m., Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.

When deputies arrived at the scene, the man took off running, Nelson said. Authorities alerted staff at Proctor Elementary School, and the school was locked down as deputies pursued the man, he said.

The man ran through yards of homes before being caught at about 11:15 a.m., Nelson said. The lockdown was lifted a short time later, he said.

Nelson said the man, whose name has not yet been released, was arrested for a probation violation.
   

GLBT History Museum Reopens After Being Vandalized Early Monday

The GLBT History Museum in San Francisco's Castro District is reopening today after being damaged by vandals early Monday morning, museum officials said.

Two large plate-glass windows were shattered shortly before 5 a.m. Monday. The museum is located at 4127 18th St., near Castro Street.

The museum was closed Monday for repairs but was set to reopen at 11 a.m. today with the windows boarded up, said Gerard Koskovich, museum curator and founding member of the GLBT Historical Society.

Nothing inside was damaged, officials said. Police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy did not have additional

details on the case as of this morning. 

Koskovich said museum officials have not heard from investigators about whether the vandalism might be related to raucous celebrations that turned destructive after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series on Sunday night.

Rowdy fans vandalized storefronts along several blocks in the Mission District and also damaged multiple San Francisco Municipal Railway buses, including by lighting one on fire on Market Street.

Police arrested 36 people for various offenses.

Koskovich said well wishes have been coming in from around the globe as well as donations to help the museum repair the windows, which he said could cost at least a few thousand dollars.

The museum touts itself as the only standalone museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history and culture in the U.S. 

Donations to help pay for the repairs can be made online at www.glbthistory.org/donate.

 

Man Beaten During Giants Celebration Sunday Night

A man out celebrating the San Francisco Giants' World Series win was critically injured in an apparent attack in the city's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood Sunday night, police said today.

The incident occurred sometime between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Haight Street somewhere between Masonic Avenue and Stanyan Street, according to police.

The 37-year-old victim told his roommate that five people surrounded him and hit him in the head multiple times with a metal object, police said. The victim was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Anyone with information about the attack is encouraged to call the

Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

 

Man Killed in Bar Shooting identified as Pittsburg Resident

A man killed in a shooting in Oakley early Sunday morning has been identified by police as 28-year-old Clay Ward, of Pittsburg.

The shooting was reported at 1:40 a.m. at the Broken Wheel Cocktail Lounge at 5620 Main St. Responding officers found Ward, who had been shot in the head, police said.

He was taken to Sutter Delta Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Oakley police and Contra Costa County sheriff's detectives are continuing to investigate the killing, and say it appears Ward was involved in an altercation before he was shot.

There was a party being held at the Broken Wheel at the time of the shooting, police said. No arrests have been made in the case.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call (925) 313-2648. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (866) 846-3592.

 

Jaguar Driver Dies in Fiery Crash on Highway 1

    A man died Monday night when his car crashed on state Highway 1 near The Sea Ranch in northern Sonoma County, a California Highway Patrol
officer said.

The 36-year-old man's name is being withheld because his family is still being notified of the death, a Sonoma County coroner's office spokeswoman said.

The man was driving a 2000 Jaguar south on the two-lane highway north of Vantage Road at a high rate of speed when the crash happened around 8:45 p.m., CHP Officer Kerri Post said.

He failed to negotiate a sweeping curve in the road, crossed into the northbound lane and struck a dirt embankment and a tree on the east side of the highway, Post said.

The Jaguar caught fire, with the driver trapped inside, Post said.

The crash closed the highway for several hours.


Vallejo Residents to Help Decide How to Spend Sales Tax Revenue  

Vallejo residents will get the chance to help decide how to spend some of the city's sales tax revenue under a new "participatory budgeting" process unveiled by the city this week. 

City Council members and representatives from the group Better Vallejo, the NAACP and the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Participatory Budgeting Project launched "Participatory Budgeting Vallejo" at a news conference Monday.

A one-percent sales tax hike approved by voters as Measure B in November 2011 is expected to generate $9.8 million annually over the next 10 years.

The City Council in April agreed to set aside $3.2 million, or 30 percent, of Measure B sales tax funds for participatory budgeting.

Vallejo is the first city in the country to adopt the concept citywide. It is being employed on a district-wide level in New York City and Chicago, according to Ginny Browne, community engagement coordinator with the Participatory Budgeting Project.

At nine public assemblies through Dec. 5, members of the public will present ideas on how the money should be spent to improve Vallejo. Browne said the assemblies are "the engine" of the process.

Volunteer budget delegates, who can be as young as 14 years old, will collect the ideas proposed at the assemblies and determine which are feasible and not already in progress. They will narrow down the list to about 30 projects, Browne said.

A steering committee will conduct a citywide election over several days in May to allow voters to choose which of the projects should go forward.

The priority projects selected by voters will then go before the City Council, which must approve the projects before they can proceed.

Brown said it is possible that one project that has widespread support could get the lion's share of the $3.2 million, or that four or five projects could be funded.

The Participatory Budgeting Project's goals include informing the public about the concept, generating project ideas at the assemblies and recruiting delegates, who will receive training in December, Browne said.

The first assembly is at the Vallejo Adult School, 2833 Tennessee St. between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

 

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