Thursday Morning News Roundup
Giants Win World Series With 3-2 Victory In Game 7
San Francisco streets were filled with riotous celebrations Wednesday night following the San Francisco Giants’ World Series victory against the Kansas City Royals.
City streets in areas including Market Street and the Mission District were taken over by large crowds following the 3-2 Game 7 victory.
Police reported a number of bonfires and firecrackers and people were seen climbing on top of buses in some areas. Police were called out in riot gear to the Mission District and Market Street to disperse crowds, and there were reports of bottles being thrown at officers as well as vandalism.
Bus service was suspended due to safety concerns during the celebrations, although Muni Metro and Owl service continued, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority.
At least two shootings were reported in the Mission District, including one at 21st and Valencia in which the victim was struck in the arm.
Both shootings were considered non-life threatening.
The Giants defeated the Royals 3-2 in Kansas City, with Madison Bumgarner throwing five shutout innings after two stellar starts earlier in the World Series.
Both teams scored twice in the second inning and Michael Morse hit a broken-bat RBI single in the fourth to score Pablo Sandoval with what proved to be the winning run. Sandoval reached base all four times in the game.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced Wednesday evening that the city will hold a victory parade for the Giants on Friday.
Lee congratulated the Giants for their third World Series win in five years.
“…This world-class organization brought our city together as only our hometown heroes can,” Lee said in a statement.
“San Francisco waits with giant anticipation for the return of our hometown team so we can celebrate as one city with a parade down Market Street to welcome them home,” he said.
The parade is scheduled to start at noon at Market and Steuart Streets and continue down Market Street to Civic Center Plaza.
The team’s World Series-clinching wins in 2010 and 2012 also came on the road.
University Won’t Allow Students To Pull Bill Maher As Commencement Speaker
The student group that selected comedian Bill Maher to be the commencement speaker at the University of California at Berkeley has attempted to rescind the invitation after student backlash over some of Maher’s statements, but the university won’t allow it, school officials said Wednesday.
Students gathered more than 4,000 signatures on a change.org petition as of this afternoon, complaining that Maher is racist against Muslims and characterizes Islam as a violent religion.
The student group called the Californians, which organizes school events, initially invited Maher to speak at the Dec. 20 commencement but the school has the final say over the speaker.
According to the university, the Californians attempted to take back the invitation in response to the petition.
“The UC Berkeley administration cannot and will not accept this decision, which appears to have been based solely on Mr. Maher’s opinions and beliefs, which he conveyed through constitutionally protected speech,” university officials said.
University Chancellor Nicholas Dirks “looks forward to welcoming Mr. Maher to the Berkeley campus,” the statement said.
Graduating senior Taliah Mirmalek, 20, who has been participating in organizing against Maher’s appearance said Wednesday that she does not think students should be forced to listen to Maher speak if they think he is prejudiced against their religion.
The commencement address is different than a lecture, she said, where students have the option to leave without abandoning a milestone in their lives.
“Suddenly you have to think about whether Bill Maher will make a statement like ‘Arab men are dogs’ or ‘Muslims are inherently violent’,” she said.
The change.org petition lists numerous quotes that the students objected to including, “Islam is the only religion that acts like the mafia that will f—— kill you if you say the wrong thing,” which Maher said in a recent heated exchange with actor Ben Affleck on his show.
The petition also quotes Maher as saying, “Talk to women who’ve ever dated an Arab man. The results are not good,” and, “The Muslim world has too much in common with ISIS.”
Maher said on Twitter Wednesday that he would address the controversy on Friday’s edition of “Real Time With Bill Maher.”
The university will be making changes to the procedures in securing commencement speakers in response to the controversy, officials said.
Arrest Made In Apparent Road Rage Fatal Shooting
Homicide investigators have made an arrest in the fatal shooting on Sunday of a 30-year-old woman in an apparent road rage incident, Oakland police said Wednesday.
Perla Avina was shot dead Sunday shortly after 12:30 p.m. while riding in a black 1998 Toyota Camry traveling south in the 400 to 600 blocks of 98th Avenue, according to police.
Investigators believe the shooting may be linked to a prior road rage incident, police said.
Police Chief Sean Whent will announce details of the arrest Thursday morning.
A reward offered by Oakland police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland in connection with the case was at $30,000 as of Monday.
Lafayette Venture Capital Ceo Gets 2-Year Sentence For Wire Fraud Scheme
The former CEO of a Walnut Creek and Lafayette-based venture capital firm was sentenced in an Oakland courtroom Wednesday to two years in prison and ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution for a wire fraud scheme he devised to pay off personal debts, federal prosecutors said.
A U.S. District Court judge handed down the sentence to 58-year-old Lafayette resident Stephen B. Lopez, founder of local private equity investment company Lighthorse Ventures, LLC.
Federal prosecutors said that in 2008 Lopez needed to pay off a civil settlement that he personally owed and told victims that Lighthorse Ventures needed the money to pay off a loan.
Victims sent checks to the company that Lopez deposited into the firm’s bank account and later used to write a $600,000 check to pay off his own personal debts, according to prosecutors.
After a joint investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI, a federal grand jury indicted Lopez in March 2013. He was charged with three counts of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.
A year later, he was also charged with obstruction of justice and witness tampering, according to prosecutors.
As part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lopez pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud last August.
Santa Rosa Doctor Gets A Year In Jail And Five Years Probation For Sexting With 13-Year-Old Girl
A Santa Rosa orthopedic surgeon was sentenced in Marin County Superior Court Wednesday to a year in jail and five years probation for arranging to meet a 13-year-old girl to commit lewd acts.
Raymond Severt, 54, sent dozens of messages to the girl in an online chat room for adults over two days in February 2013.
He was convicted by a jury of attempting lewd acts with child under 14, sending harmful matter with the intent of seducing a minor, contacting a minor for lewd purposes, arranging to meet a minor to engage in lewd acts and misdemeanor child molesting.
Severt’s attorney, Stephen Turer, claimed the girl misrepresented her age, initially stating she was 21 years old then stating she was 17, 15 and 13. Turer said the online chat room specified it was for adults over age 18.
The girl testified she enjoyed sexting a man who thought she was a woman, Turer said.
“She intended to mislead him,” Turer said.
The prosecution argued Severt should have stopped texting the girl when she said she was a minor.
The girl’s mother read the texts, took the phone and communicated with Severt as if she were her daughter. A meeting to meet was arranged and Severt was arrested by Novato police when he went to meet the girl in Novato on Feb. 11, 2013.
Severt was sentenced to the year in jail for arranging the meeting with a minor for purposes of lewd behavior. Judge Kelly Simmons stayed the remaining four counts.
Severt faced eight years in prison, but the prosecution asked Simmons to sentence Severt to four years. The probation department recommended 18 months in jail, Turer said.
“I can’t argue that the sentence was wrong or too harsh. She did the right thing, her reasoning was sound,” Turer said about the sentence.
Simmons agreed with the prosecution that Severt should have realized he was not communicating to an adult, Turer said.
Severt has credit for 124 days in jail.
Suisun Man Killed When Struck By Vehicle Tuesday Evening
The Solano County coroner’s office has identified the pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle Tuesday evening as 55-year-old Mahesh Goswami of Suisun City.
The collision occurred around 6:45 p.m. in Walters Road south of the Pintail Drive intersection, Cmdr, Tim Mattos said.
Police found Goswami in the northbound traffic lanes of Walters Road. He suffered major injuries and was taken to the NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield where he was pronounced dead, Mattos said.
The driver was treated for injuries at the David Grant U.S. Air Force Medical Center and released. The cause of the collision is under investigation, Mattos said.
Ting Concerned State Funds Earmarked For Education Will Go To Legal Fees In CCSF Trial
Midway through the week-long trial of a lawsuit filed by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera against an accreditation commission that trying to disaccredit City College of San Francisco, San Francisco Assemblymember Philip Ting spoke out against the use of state funds to pay the commission’s legal costs.
Ting said Wednesday that he is “extraordinarily concerned” that the state has given the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges a “blank check” for legal fees accumulated by the commission.
The assemblymember said that last year the state worked hard to get community colleges an extra $100 million in funding, but that the ACCJC has already begun charging its member colleges for the legal fees incurred during the lawsuit, which threatens to take a good chunk of money away from educational programs.
He said “the state could be on the hook for millions and millions of dollars of legal fees” accrued by the ACCJC.
If member colleges don’t pay, Ting said, they run the risk of losing accreditation.
He said his office would address the issue next year either through the introduction of new legislation or by reintroducing action during the budget process in order to stop giving the commission a “blank check” to fund “frivolous lawsuits.”
The lawsuit filed by Herrera on behalf of the people of California last year claims the commission violated the state’s Unfair Competition Law by using unfair, biased and illegal procedures when it decided to terminate the college’s accreditation in 2013.
Herrera alleges that committee and a follow-up committee in 2013 had too few academic members, as opposed to administrators; that the commission failed to provide the college with due process to respond to its charges; and that it was biased against the college’s mission of “open access” to the community.
The lawsuit also alleges a perceived or actual conflict of interest in the appointment of Commission President Barbara Beno’s husband, Laney College Career and Technical Education Dean Peter Crabtree, to a 2012 committee evaluating CCSF.
Herrera is seeking a court order to not only overturn the decision to terminate the college’s accreditation but to require the Novato-based commission to start a new evaluation process.
Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man In Garage Tuesday Evening
Suisun City police responding to a disturbance fatally shot a man at a residence Tuesday evening.
Cmdr. Tim Mattos said police went to the residence in the 500 block of El Mar Ct. in Suisun City around 7:30 p.m. and encountered 49-year-old Roger Shipton in the garage of his residence.
Shipton threatened the officers with a firearm and the officers, in fear of their lives, shot Shipton to end the immediate threat, Mattos said.
The circumstances of the shooting are still under investigation, Mattos said.
California Issues Ebola Quarantine Order, One Stanford Doctor Quarantined
California doctors returning from Ebola-stricken areas must be placed on a 21-day quarantine after returning to the U.S., the state Department of Public Health said Wednesday.
One Stanford University doctor was placed on a similar quarantine last week before the state’s order was issued and officials are reviewing the details of his quarantine to make sure it complies with the state’s order, San Mateo County health officials said.
Dr. Colin Bucks is one of many health care workers who have traveled to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to help combat the Ebola epidemic here.
To help assuage fears that the Ebola virus, which is communicable only through direct contact with blood and bodily fluids, could spread in the U.S., state officials are requiring doctors to undergo a 21-day quarantine.
State officials are evaluating individuals’ experience who might have come into contact with the virus and are tailoring the quarantines on a case-by-case basis.
Upon Bucks’ return he was cooperative with state and local health officials and agreed to a voluntary quarantine. He is staying home and avoiding contact with others for the duration and is allowed limited activities outside, such as jogging alone, county health officials said.
He is communicating with county health officials daily and so far has shown no symptoms.
“We are very proud of the work this physician has done,” San Mateo County Health Officer Scott Morrow said in a statement.
“Healthcare workers who take care of patients with Ebola are not only helping those affected in West Africa, but also protecting people around the world, including here in the United States, by fighting the outbreak at its source,” he said.
Fake Police Officer ‘Horseplay’ Backfires On Cloverdale Man
A Cloverdale man who handcuffed two teen girls while pretending to be a police officer in Mill Valley Tuesday was arrested for impersonating an officer, police said.
A witness notified Mill Valley police Tuesday evening about a man handcuffing two teen girls and placing them in the back seat of a Ford sedan that resembled a police car in the parking lot of the Alto Shopping Center on E. Blithedale Avenue, police said.
The witnesses confronted the man, who made statements indicating he was a police officer although he was not in uniform, Detective Steve Heisinger said.
Police responded around 6:30 p.m. and determined no law enforcement agencies were involved in any arrest in that area, and the Ford was gone before police arrived, Heisinger said.
The driver of the solid white Ford Crown Victoria was located and identified as Frank Christ, 26, of Cloverdale, Heisinger said.
The Ford had no logos or emblems but was equipped with antennae and internally-mounted lighting equipment, Heisinger said.
Inside the car police found portable radios and scanning devices, loaded ammunition magazines, handcuffs, pepper spray, flashlights and a controlled substance, and a legally-owned pistol was found in the trunk, Heisinger said.
The teen girls said they were acquainted with Christ and all three of them were engaging in harmless horseplay, Heisinger said.
Christ was arrested for impersonating an officer and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. He was booked in the Marin County jail but posted bail.
Supes Pass Legislation Clarifying ‘Buffer Zones’ At Reproductive Health Clinics
Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a new version of an existing ordinance that seeks to ensure women can access reproductive health services without undue harassment.
The board voted unanimously to approve a proposal to limit harassment by protesters at reproductive health and abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood.
The board passed a 25-foot “buffer zone” law in 2013 modeled after a similar Massachusetts statute that established a zone outside of reproductive health clinics.
In June, the Supreme Court struck down the Massachusetts law in the case McCullen v. Coakley, ruling that prohibiting protesters from entering or remaining in a buffer zone denies them their constitutional right to free speech.
Since the ruling, Campos said he has been working with the city attorney’s office to re-craft the San Francisco ordinance so it complies with the decision.
“It’s not a buffer zone in the way it was before,” Campos said. “It actually focuses on the conduct of the individual and if that individual is harassing someone.”
Under the ordinance, those wishing to engage in “quiet, consensual conversations” will be allowed within the 25-foot zone, but those wishing to shout and speak with amplifiers or in elevated tones need to stand 50 feet away.
The ordinance also prohibits people from impeding access to the door of a reproductive health facility, Campos said.
If anyone violates any of the provisions, police officers can require an offending person to disperse and remain 25 feet away from the facility for eight hours or until the business closes for the day.
“This allows the kind of quiet counseling outlined in McCullen but not loud, harassing behavior,” said Hillary Ronen, legislative aide to Campos.
Police Seek Suspect Who Fired Into Home This Morning
A man in an SUV fired a gun into a San Mateo residence Wednesday morning, according to police.
The shooting happened just before 10 a.m. when the man used a handgun to fire multiple shots into a home near the corner of Norfolk Street and Newbridge Avenue, police said.
The man appears to have specifically targeted the residence and fled in a silver SUV, police said.
He is described only has having dark hair and a ponytail, according to police.