San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday Midday News Roundup
Firefighter and Resident Suffer Injuries In San Jose Fire
A resident and a firefighter suffered minor injuries in a
two-alarm fire that damaged a four-unit apartment complex in San Jose this
morning, a fire captain said.
Police and firefighters responded to several calls reporting a
fire in an apartment at 671 Yolo Court at about 4:30 a.m., San Jose fire
Capt. Mary Gutierrez said.
Police officers arrived at the scene first, and saw that one of
the residents was trapped on a second-floor balcony, Gutierrez said.
Police used a neighbor's ladder to help rescue the resident,
One firefighter suffered minor burns and was taken to a hospital,
and one resident was assessed at the scene for smoke inhalation but did not
need to be hospitalized, Gutierrez said.
No other injuries were reported.
The blaze was under control by about 6:15 a.m.
The apartment complex was badly damaged, and at least 10 adults
and two children who lived there have been temporarily displaced, Gutierrez
As many as seven of those residents were receiving assistance in
finding temporary housing from the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter,
Fire officials remained at the scene this morning assessing the
extent of the damage and investigating the cause.
City Council Holds Study Session On Crime Response
San Jose City Council members, Mayor Chuck Reed, Police Chief
Chris Moore and others gathered Tuesday night at City Hall for a public study
session on the police response to violent crime and gang activity.
The session began as a detailed overview of what police have done
to manage crime in the face of budget cuts, staffing deficits, and a summer
flare-up of violent crime in the city.
It ended with most of the council members weighing in on what the
city and department should do to maintain the quality and staffing levels of
the police force.
In his opening presentation, Moore noted that there is evidence
that the Police Department is less well-equipped to battle crime than it has
been in recent years, in part because it has fewer officers now than at any
other time in the past decade.
Assistant Chief Rikki Goede said, "The department is facing
unprecedented challenges at all levels."
Police response times for the highest-priority crimes have
increased this year, and the numbers of violent crimes and property crimes
are likely to be the same or higher than last year, Moore said.
The city has seen 33 homicides so far this year. There were 39
total in 2011.
Regarding gang-related crime, Moore said, "We are seeing an
overall reduction in the number of gang-related incidents that are occurring,
but those that are occurring are becoming much more violent."
Still, Moore said, San Jose is "still very safe."
The meeting came the day after Moore announced that he will resign
in January, 27 years after he joined the police force. He has been chief for
less than two years.
After hearing the Police Department's presentation, a number of
council members made suggestions.
Councilman Sam Liccardo questioned whether the department should
bill other cities when it sends officers outside city limits to assist other
departments. He also suggested that the city could use community service
officers for more tasks.
Councilman Pete Constant recommended using reserve officers as
other large California cities do, while Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio
suggested bringing willing, retired officers back as independent contractors.
Councilman Ash Kalra disagreed with that idea, saying, "It
troubles me when we talk about hiring reserves and bringing in retired
officers ... I'd ask us to respect our sworn officers."
The City Hall study session overlapped with another public safety
event organized by the Police Officers' Association to educate residents on
how to protect themselves from being the victims of crime, according to
Police Officers' Association President Jim Unland.
That meeting, which Unland said had been planned for more than a
month, was began at 6:30 p.m. at the Young Men's Christian Association at
1975 S. White Road.
Hot-Dog Eating Champ, Joey Chestnut Joins Campaign Against Texting While Driving
The city of San Jose is urging residents to commit to safe driving
practices by putting down their cellphones and other electronic devices while
on the road.
The national "It Can Wait" campaign, spearheaded by communications
company AT&T, made a stop in San Jose this morning for an event that was
attended by hot dog-eating champion Joey Chestnut.
The campaign is asking Bay Area residents, city employees and AT&T
employees to make a lifelong commitment never to send a message while behind
The event began at 11 a.m. outside San Jose City Hall.
Chestnut, who has ties to the San Jose area, is part of a
celebrity effort to encourage motorists to put down their phones and focus on
A virtual simulator is being set up today in the City Hall rotunda
to show the real-life dangers of texting while driving.
The city of San Jose teamed up with AT&T's campaign earlier this
summer. Given its location in the technology hotbed of Silicon Valley, the
city was selected as a key spot for targeting unsafe driving practices.
An online texting-while-driving simulator is in the works that
would give users at home a sense of the riskiness of that behavior, according
More information about the campaign is available at itcanwait.com.
City Hall is located at 200 E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose.
USF Law School Launches Centennial Today With Speech By Robert Kennedy Jr.
The University of San Francisco School of Law is launching its
100th anniversary celebration today with a keynote speech by Robert F.
Kennedy Jr. at an evening convocation.
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and law professor at Pace
University in White Plains, N.Y., is expected to talk about the role of legal
education and lawyers in ensuring justice around the world, law school
spokeswoman Anne-Marie Devine said.
The 5 p.m. convocation at St. Ignatius Church on the university's
campus at Fulton Street and Parker Avenue, near Golden Gate Park, is open to
The private, nonprofit Jesuit Catholic law school was founded in a
building at Seventh and Market Streets on Sept. 18, 1912, with 39 students
and three professors.
Today, it has 700 students taught by 40 professors.
Dean Jeffrey Brand said that, in keeping with Jesuit tradition,
social justice is a cornerstone of the school's identity.
"Our centennial celebration is about far more than longevity,"
"It's about 100 years of offering an education with a conscience,
and graduating top attorneys who empower the powerless and help change a
world plagued by injustice," he said.
"As we begin our second century in this magnificent city, we
rededicate ourselves to our vital mission of educating for justice," the dean
Brand said that last year, USF law students provided 22,000
volunteer hours of legal work to underserved communities.
The school has seven free legal clinics in which students can work
to earn academic credit.
The clinics focus on the areas of child advocacy law, criminal and
juvenile justice, employment law, international human rights, Internet and
intellectual property justice, investor justice and mediation.
Devine said most of the school's first class of 39 men were first-
or second-generation Irish-American Catholics.
Today, the law school is rated by U.S. News and World Report as
the nation's 10th most diverse.
Nearly half of the students identify themselves as people of
color. Women were admitted beginning in 1927 and now make up 53 percent of
the student population, Devine said.
Over the century, 300 alumni of the law school have become judges.
SF Giants To Honor Petaluma Little League Team At Tonight's Game
The San Francisco Giants tonight will honor the Petaluma National
Little League team, which nearly won the national title in the Little League
World Series last month.
The team finished second in the United States and third in the
world in the series, held in South Williamsport, Pa.
Tonight at AT&T Park, the team will be treated to a field visit,
attend batting practice and participate in a ceremony at home plate. The
game, in which the Giants are playing the Colorado Rockies, begins at 7:15
The Giants themselves are on the verge of clinching the National
League West Division title, holding an eight-and-a-half-game lead over the
Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 12- and 13-year-old players on the Petaluma team beat the
Little League team from Panama 12-4 on Aug. 26 to win the consolation game
after losing a bid for the national championship to a team from Tennessee.
A team from Toyko, Japan, beat the Tennessee team to triumph in
the Little League World Series.
Petaluma celebrated its team's accomplishments with a parade and
celebration on Sept. 2, and the Oakland A's previously honored the team at
one of its games.
Fire Extinguished In Noe Valley
Firefighters responded to a one-alarm fire at a residential
building in San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood this morning, a fire
department spokeswoman said.
The blaze was reported at 11:08 a.m. on the second floor of a
three-story building at 1080 Noe St. near 24th Street, fire spokeswoman Mindy
The fire was extinguished at 11:28 a.m.
No injuries were reported, Talmadge said.
Man Hospitalized After Being Punched During Break-In At Lower Haight Home
A man was hospitalized after being punched repeatedly during a
break-in at a home in San Francisco's Lower Haight neighborhood early this
morning, police said.
Shortly before 4 a.m., two suspects broke into a home in the 900
block of Haight Street occupied by four residents, according to police.
One of the suspects, who was armed with a handgun, woke up two of
the victims in a bedroom. One of the victims was punched several times when
he tried to detain that suspect, police said.
The suspects took a laptop and backpack from the home and fled in
a vehicle described as a late 1980s or early 1990s four-door Honda or Toyota.
They had not been found as of this morning, according to police.
The victim who was punched was taken to a hospital to be treated
for cuts to his head. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the
Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by
text message to TIP411.
Coroner Releases Sketches Of Unidentified Man Killed On Caltrain Tracks In June
Nearly three months after a man on a scooter was killed on the
Caltrain tracks in San Mateo, the coroner's office has still not been able to
identify him or track down anyone who might have known him.
The coroner's office released sketches of the victim on Tuesday
and is asking for the public's help in learning his identity.
The man, estimated to be between 60 and 75 years old, was struck
by a southbound train at the East Fifth Avenue track crossing at about 4:45
p.m. on June 21, Coroner Robert Foucrault said.
He was not carrying any identification, and an extensive search,
including of DMV and military records, has yielded no results.
The victim was riding a "Go-Go Pride Mobility" scooter when he was
struck, Foucrault said. The serial numbers on the scooter had been scratched
The man was described as white, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and
weighing about 130 pounds. He had brown eyes, a gray moustache and gray and
silver hair that was cut in a flat-top.
He was last seen wearing a black Fumagalli pea coat, an Old Navy
button-down black short-sleeve shirt, black Old Navy pants, black socks and
black leather shoes.
Anyone who might have information about the victim or the case is
asked to call the San Mateo County coroner's office at (650) 312-5562.
Man Arrested After High-Speed Chase Early This Morning
A Vallejo man was arrested after a lengthy car chase in Solano
County this morning, a Solano County sheriff's deputy said.
Sheriff's deputies attempted to make a traffic stop in
unincorporated Vallejo at about 2:30 a.m. but the driver of the car
accelerated away, Solano County sheriff's Deputy Daryl Snedeker said.
The chase started at slow speeds, topping out at about 40 miles
per hour through parts of unincorporated Solano County and the city of
Vallejo, Snedeker said.
The suspect, a 41-year-old Vallejo man, entered westbound
Interstate Highway 80, then went onto eastbound Interstate Highway 780 for
one exit to Cedar Street before getting back on I-80 heading east, Snedeker
Snedeker said that when the chase resumed on I-80, speeds reached
90 miles per hour. The chase covered about six miles before the driver exited
at Marine World Parkway, and began heading west on state Highway 37, he said.
When the suspect exited I-80, he tossed a shotgun out the window,
which deputies later retrieved, Snedeker said.
The chase continued on westbound Highway 37 and the driver exited
just before the Mare Island Causeway Bridge, Snedeker said. Two deputies were
following him, and one struck a big-rig at the off-ramp in the area of Wilson
Avenue and Sacramento Street, he said.
Deputies lost the driver near Tennessee Street, but soon found the
car abandoned in the first block of Edgemont Avenue in Vallejo, Snedeker
Believing the man had gone inside a home on Edgemont Avenue,
authorities set up a perimeter around the residence and arrested him at about
5 a.m., Snedeker said.
The man was arrested on suspicion of evading police, as well as
traffic and gun violations, Snedeker said. His has not been released.
Another man, a 28-year-old who was in the home at the time of the
arrest, was also arrested for violating probation and possession of
contraband, he said.
Snedeker said the deputy involved in the crash was taken to a
hospital but has since been released.
The California Highway Patrol and Vallejo police also participated
in the chase, Snedeker said.
Teen Arrested For Attempted Market Burglary
A teenager was arrested early this morning on suspicion of trying
to break into a Petaluma market, a police sergeant said.
Police responded to an attempted burglary at Lolita's Market at
451 Lakeville St. around 3 a.m., Sgt. Steve Nelson said.
The market was closed but an employee inside called police to
report that someone had broken the glass of the front door, Nelson said.
Officers found 18-year-old Brendon Schiefer, of Petaluma, in a
parked vehicle about 100 to 150 feet from the market on a side street, Nelson
Schiefer tried to drive away but was stopped and arrested on
suspicion of attempted burglary. He was booked into the Sonoma County Jail
and was being held on $10,000 bail, Nelson said.
Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137