Tuesday Morning News Roundup

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BART Providing Additional Charter Buses During Second Day of Employee Strike

BART has obtained additional buses to serve the West Oakland Station and transbay passengers in the second day of an employee strike, officials said Monday evening. 

BART will now have 36 charter buses serving the West Oakland-San Francisco bus bridge, double the number that were available Monday, officials said.

The buses will operate from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and will return from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

BART buses will also continue to serve the El Cerrito del Norte, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont stations from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and returning from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

BART officials said Monday evening that the strike is expected to continue throughout today, as union leaders have given no indication they intend to return to work.

No further bargaining sessions have occurred since representatives from Service Employees International Union Local 1221 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 left the table on Sunday, and none are currently scheduled.

Employees announced their intention to strike midnight Sunday, just after their contract expired.

The key issues in the talks, which began on April 1 but broke off Sunday night, are pensions, health benefits, salaries and safety.

Commuters are being advised to work from home if possible or carpool because the buses provide very limited service.

Oakland City Employees Return to Work After One-Day Strike

Oakland city employees will return to work today after a one-day strike, union officials said Monday evening. 

Most city of Oakland services were stopped Monday because of the strike by city employees represented by Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21.

"Today we took our struggle to the streets with a successful one-day strike intended to draw the public's attention to the city's inaction," said Pete Castelli, SEIU 1021's executive director and lead negotiator.

"We hope that the administration and Mayor Jean Quan got the message and will come to bargaining on July 9 ready to settle a fair, no-concessions contract that bolsters much-needed services and treats workers with respect," Castelli said.

Quan said Saturday that she and city negotiators met with union representatives on Friday and presented a proposal that included cost-of-living increases.

The unions declined the city's offer to continue talks over the weekend, Quan said.

Castelli said in a statement Monday that Quan's account is "simply untrue."

He said "nothing of substance" was put on the table by the city on Wednesday and Thursday during bargaining sessions. He called Quan's offer to bargain through the weekend "disingenuous," intended to mask "three months of bad faith bargaining."

City negotiators are scheduled to meet with IFPTE Local 21 this coming Friday and with SEIU Local 1021 on July 9, according to City of Oakland spokeswoman Karen Boyd.

Alum Rock Park in San Jose Closed Due to High Temperatures

Alum Rock Park in San Jose will be closed today due to high temperatures and fire danger, park officials said today. 

The emergency closure was activated to reduce or eliminate the potential for fire-related emergencies in Alum Rock Park, park officials said.

The park was closed Sunday and Monday as well, although it is always closed on Mondays.

Temperatures in the park hit 98 degrees Monday at 2 p.m., with 22 percent humidity.

Antioch Shooting Victim Has Been Identified

An Antioch man who was shot and killed Saturday after suffering injuries in a shooting just the day before has been identified by the Contra Costa County coroner's office. 

Billy Burks, 42, was found around 9:30 a.m. with a gunshot wound to his head on the porch of his apartment in the 2100 block of Spanos Street.

Burks was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek where he was later pronounced dead, according to the coroner's office.

Police said Burks was also shot Friday at the same location around 11 a.m.

He suffered injuries to his leg and back in that shooting but was uncooperative with officers and would not provide information about who shot him.

Police are continuing to investigate both shootings.

Same-Sex Marriage Licenses on the Rise

The Santa Clara County Clerk's office issued more than twice as many marriage licenses as usual in its first day since a federal court lifted a stay on same-sex marriages late last week. 

Santa Clara County had issued 86 marriage licenses to couples by late afternoon Monday, more than double the average 40 licenses the county issued on an average day before Friday's court decision, Clerk-Recorder Regina Alcomendras said.

County employees used walkie-talkies to communicate when the office opened at 8 a.m. as 10 couples waited outside the entrance to the County Government Center in San Jose, Alcomendras said.

"The first hour was full, but it went smoothly after that," Alcomendras said. "We really didn't have a flowing issue, it was just busier. It was peaceful."

With up to 27 license stations available, the county had given out 86 official documents to gay and straight couples by 4:15 p.m. with others coming at the last minute before the 4:30 p.m. closing time, Alcomendras said.

Thirty-five couples had used the county's first-ever Express Ceremony service, allowing them to be married by a clerk right at the licensing station or by Board of Supervisors President Ken Yeager in his 10th floor office, Alcomendras said.

Yeager had performed at least 10 of the Express Marriages by about 4 p.m., including the first same-sex wedding of the day Monday morning to San Jose residents Eva and Trish Kedar, he said.

The clerk-recorder's office closed on Friday at 4:30 p.m. before receiving any same-sex marriage applications.

Hours earlier, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 3-0 to withdraw its 2010 stay of a lower court order that allowed gay and lesbian marriages.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal of the lower court decision by backers of Proposition 8, an initiative passed by California voters in 2008 that banned same-sex marriages.

BART Strike Estimated to Cost Region $73 Million a Day

A Bay Area economic institute estimates that the BART strike is costing the region $73 million a day in lost labor productivity. 

The figure is a conservative estimate, according to the business advocacy group the Bay Area Council, mostly based on estimates of lost hour and productivity from longer commute times due to traffic delays or taking alternate public transit.

"The Bay Area Council and our 250 members companies implore the BART unions to end this damaging strike and return to the bargaining table, and we urge both sides to reach a fair and reasonable agreement," Bay Area Council president and CEO Jim Wunderman said in a statement today.

According to the council, the economic impact of the strike could in fact be much larger if considering the costs of workers not spending money by staying home or otherwise altering their routine, increased fuel prices because of clogged freeways, and that workers telecommuting may not maintain the same level of productivity.

Four Suspects Arrested and Identified in Bay Bridge Pursuit Sunday Night

Police arrested four suspected gang members Sunday night after a shooting in San Francisco that led to a pursuit over the Bay Bridge and a crash into a church in Oakland, a police spokesman said Monday. 

The shooting, which did not injure anyone, was reported at 8:27 p.m. Sunday near Leavenworth and McAllister streets.

A four-door silver sedan was seen leaving the area and was later spotted in the area of First and Mission streets as it headed toward the Bay Bridge, police said.

Officers tried to stop the vehicle while on the bridge but the driver refused to yield and a passenger threw a firearm out of the car, according to police.

The pursuit then continued onto city streets in Oakland, where officers finally stopped at West Grand Avenue and Market Street because the vehicle was going at a high rate of speed, police spokesman Sgt. Dennis Toomer said.

The suspect vehicle, a silver four-door Mercedes, continued but then crashed through the wall of Joshua Christian Church a short distance away at West Grand Avenue and West Street, Toomer said.

Two men and a woman were arrested near the vehicle while a third man was arrested near 22nd and Curtis streets, police said.

Toomer today identified the suspects as Jesus Campos, 24, of San Lorenzo; Christian Bravo, 21, of San Francisco; Ruben Villegas, 21, of Oakland; and Sonia Medrano, 28, of Burlingame.

One-Alarm Residential Fire Spreads in Concord

A one-alarm residential fire has spread to vegetation in Concord, a fire district spokesman said. 

The fire was reported around 4:15 p.m. at 2201 Smith Lane, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman Robert Marshall said.

Crews were also responding to a massive 240-acre brush fire near Concord Monday afternoon.

"This is a lot of fires for a fire department that doesn't have a lot of resources," Marshall said.

Man Attempts to Stab Off-Duty Police Officer in Mission District

A man allegedly stole a phone and then tried to stab an off-duty police officer who chased after him in San Francisco's Mission District on Friday afternoon, police said Monday. 

Daniel Dearman, 33, was arrested following an incident that began at about 4:30 p.m. Friday when the off-duty officer saw him allegedly steal a cellphone from a business near the intersection of 19th and San Carlos streets, according to police.

The officer identified himself as police as he pursued Dearman, who pulled out a knife and allegedly tried to stab the officer, police said.

The officer was able to avoid the attack and restrained the suspect until on-duty officers were able to arrive and taken him into custody.

Dearman was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide of a police officer, robbery, resisting arrest and violation of probation, police spokesman Sgt. Dennis Toomer said.

On-Duty Firefighter Arrested After Hitting Motorcyclist

An on-duty San Francisco firefighter who was arrested on suspicion of DUI and leaving the scene of a crash that involved a fire truck late Saturday night had no prior disciplinary record, fire officials said Monday. 

Michael Quinn, 43, was arrested following the collision, in which tge fire truck he was driving struck a motorcycle around 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Fifth and Howard streets in the city's South of Market neighborhood, police said.

The fire truck was responding to an emergency call with its lights and siren on when it struck the motorcyclist, who was seriously injured but is expected to survive, police said.

Quinn was later arrested after apparently leaving the scene of the crash, according to police.

Fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said Quinn is a 23-year veteran of the department.

Quinn has no prior disciplinary record and, in fact, has two merit awards for his actions as a firefighter, said Tom O'Connor, president of San Francisco Firefighters Local 798, the union representing the city's firefighters.

"He's never been in trouble his whole career," O'Connor said. "It's very uncharacteristic."

Two Women Drowned After Being Swept Away by Waves

Two women drowned Sunday after a wave swept them into the ocean while their husbands fished at a beach about 8 miles north of Santa Cruz according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office. 

Leoannie Binas-Semana, 30, of San Francisco, and Aylene Semana, 28, of Milpitas, were with their husbands on a cliff in the area of Bonny Doon Beach off of state Highway 1, sheriff's Sgt. Patrick Dimick said.

A warden from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and a ranger from the state Department of Parks and Recreation spotted the group and asked the men, who are brothers, to show their fishing licenses, Dimick said.

As one of the men started walking farther up the cliff to get his license, a large wave hit the rocks below and knocked the two women into the ocean around 3:30 p.m., Dimick said.

The ranger and warden, who were still nearby, saw the women floating in the water, Dimick said.

Both husbands jumped into the ocean to try to save their wives but they were pushed back by waves, Dimick said.

The ranger made an emergency call for assistance, and a U.S. Coast Guard rescue boat, a boat from the Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol and rescue personnel from the state parks department were dispatched to the area, Dimick said.

The U.S. Coast Guard in San Francisco, where rescue helicopters for the area are based, was notified at about 3:48 p.m., according to a Coast Guard dispatcher.

The two men ended up trapped on a rock outcropping, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jake Hess said.

The Coast Guard sent over a helicopter and lowered a rescue basket to pick the two men up one by one and carry them to shore, Coast Guard Chief Mike Lutz said.

The men were treated by emergency medical responders at the scene, Hess said.

State park lifeguards, the Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol and Coast Guard working together recovered the bodies of the two women about an hour after they fell into the ocean, Dimick said.

"Everything appears to be accidental," Dimick said.

Suspect Arrested For the Killing of His Parents

Two people who were slain in Aptos over the weekend have been identified as the father and mother of the man arrested for their murders, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office. 

The bodies of Joseph Henderson, 71, and Edith Henderson, 68, were found at their home at 163 Ridgeview Drive after sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a family disturbance at 4:48 p.m. Sunday, sheriff's Deputy April Skalland said.

Their son, 39-year-old James Henderson, whose address is unknown, was taken into custody at 7:50 p.m. Sunday while hiding in a neighbor's yard a few houses down from his parents' home, Skalland said.

Joseph Henderson had been struck by a car, while Edith died as the result of some kind of attack, which remains under investigation, Skalland said.

"We are still gathering evidence at the scene," Skalland said Monday morning.

Henderson had allegedly fled his parents' property on foot after the killings, Skalland said.

The motive for the murders remains under investigation, she said.

During the search for Henderson, a reverse 911 call went out to residents in the area advising them to lock their doors and to call police to report any suspicious activity.

Bay Area Weather Forecast July 2nd

Mostly cloudy skies are expected in the Bay Area this morning. Highs are likely to be in the lower 60s to mid 70s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph. 

Mostly cloudy skies are expected this evening. Lows are likely to be in the upper 50s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog are expected Wednesday morning. Highs are expected to be in the 60s to 70s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph.

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