Friday Morning News Roundup
Raiders Looking At Joint Stadium Site In Southern California
The Oakland Raiders on Thursday announced plans to share a stadium in Southern California with the San Diego Chargers if both NFL teams fail to find new stadium solutions in their hometowns.
In a joint statement by the two conference rivals in the AFC West, the teams said they are looking at a stadium site in Carson in Los Angeles County while still looking at options in their respective current cities.
“We have both been working in our home markets to find a stadium solution for many years, so far unsuccessfully,” the teams said.
“We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises,” the teams said.
Earlier Thursday, the head of an investor group trying to build a massive development at the current O.co Coliseum complex in Oakland warned that the Raiders could leave Oakland if officials in Alameda County don’t get involved in negotiations soon.
Speaking to the West Oakland Commerce Association, Floyd Kephart, the lead executive of New City Development LLC, said city of Oakland officials have been “very straightforward” in working on the Coliseum City project but he said, “We don’t have that same thing from Alameda County.”
Kephart, the chairman of the board of Renaissance Companies, a San Diego firm that advises hedge funds, private equity groups and financial institutions, said a development plan for the Coliseum site “has to be done in the next few months or the Raiders will leave.”
Kephart told the business group that Raiders owner Mark Davis called Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Scott Haggerty on Wednesday and “asked him to push this along.”
But Haggerty said he’s already talking to Davis on a weekly basis and county officials are committed to retaining all of Oakland’s pro sports teams, which are the Raiders, the A’s baseball team and the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
Alameda County’s participation is a key component for the $2 billion-plus Coliseum City project because the county and the city own about two-thirds of the 200 acres at the Coliseum site where the development is proposed.
Plans call for at least one new sports stadium at the site plus housing, retail stores, hotels and housing.
Giants Manager Admitted To Hospital For Heart Procedure
San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy was admitted to a hospital in Arizona Thursday for a heart procedure, according to team officials.
Giants medical staff began monitoring Bochy’s heart Wednesday after he experienced some discomfort following a physical, the team said in a statement.
This afternoon, he was admitted to Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center, where doctors inserted two stents, small tubes used to treat narrow or weak arteries and improve blood flow.
Bochy, 59, is now resting comfortably and will be released from the hospital today, officials said.
Deputy In Jail Smuggling Case Facing New Charges Of Fraud, Perjury, Embezzlement
The attorney for a former San Mateo County sheriff’s deputy accused last year in a jail smuggling case and last week in a new case involving embezzlement and fraud on Thursday accused San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe of bringing a “personal vendetta” against his client.
Juan Pablo Lopez, 51, was charged last November with allowing two corrections officers to smuggle cellphones and drugs to an inmate in the Redwood City jail between April and December 2013.
Last week, Wagstaffe filed new charges against Lopez accusing him of committing fraud during a campaign for sheriff last year, embezzling campaign funds and filing false documents in an attempt to profit off of homes he owns in Newark and Redwood City.
But Lopez’s attorney, Stuart Hanlon, said that he thinks the two cases against his client are retaliation for Lopez’s unsuccessful bid for sheriff last year. Lopez lost by a landslide to Sheriff Greg Munks, only collecting 1.4 percent of the vote.
“I think these charges are retaliation, this whole set of cases against him are retaliation,” Hanlon said. He said Wagstaffe has a close relationship with Munks and is bringing the cases due to a “personal vendetta.”
Hanlon said he intends to file a motion to recuse the district attorney’s office so the state Attorney General’s Office can prosecute.
But Wagstaffe said that Hanlon’s allegations of retaliatory prosecutions were “nonsense.”
“I certainly have known Sheriff Munks for many years, but that’s no basis to recuse my office,” he said, adding that he also had a friendly relationship with Lopez when he was a deputy.
“To claim that somehow this is a political prosecution based on my friendship with the sheriff is something that comes out of fantasy land,” Wagstaffe said. “It’s not based in any fact.”
Wagstaffe said Munks would not be a witness in the case and that he has no intention of prosecuting the case himself.
Lopez pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the new charges related to his finances and campaign for sheriff, prosecutors said Thursday.
Many of the charges stem from whether Lopez lived in Newark or Redwood City. He owned homes in both cities but prosecutors allege that Lopez continued to live in Newark while his fiancée, Evelyn Segura-Chavez, 34, lived in the condo, where she operated a childcare facility, according to Wagstaffe.
City Is One Step Closer To Richmond-SF Ferry Service
Plans for a proposed Richmond to San Francisco commuter ferry came closer to fruition Wednesday with the approval of a cooperative agreement between the ferry operator and the county’s transportation authority.
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority Board voted to approve an agreement with the Water Emergency Transportation Authority to begin implementing ferry service in Richmond.
Kevin Connolly, manager of planning and development for WETA, said the WETA Board is expected to vote at its meeting on March 5 to approve the agreement.
After that, the water authority will be able to start spending money – an estimated $40 million to $45 million – to procure two catamaran ferry vessels and build the ferry terminal at Ford Peninsula in Richmond.
Ferry riders can expect to see service sometime in 2018, he said.
“It’s going to be a great service,” Connolly said. “It’s a great part of the Bay Area and what we’re experiencing on ferry service generally is explosive growth.”
The CCTA chose Richmond for the ferry service among other potential sites in Hercules, Martinez and Antioch because it was the most feasible based on operating costs and ridership projections, said CCTA program manager Peter Engel.
Engel said the ferry could serve as a boon to Richmond residents, not only in increasing the ease for people to commute to San Francisco and in attracting businesses to the area but also by reducing traffic congestion.
Based on experience in South San Francisco, where WETA most recently expanded service, Connolly said he expects ridership levels to start off slow.
Connolly said the new service will tap into an underserved market and provides another form of transportation in the event of a natural disaster, like the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
Sheriff’s Office Detains Several People As Part Of Kidnapping Investigation
A Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team detained several people Thursday afternoon as part of a kidnapping investigation, a sheriff’s lieutenant.
The alleged victim told Petaluma police Wednesday that she was kidnapped three weeks ago and held against her will at a property in Santa Rosa, Lt. Carlos Basurto said.
The woman said she was beaten and sexually abused and she had injuries consistent with her allegations, Basurto said. The alleged victim said she escaped when her captors left a door open, Basurto said.
Sheriff’s detectives determined the kidnapping occurred three weeks ago in the Roseland area of unincorporated Sonoma County south of Santa Rosa, Basurto said.
Detectives Thursday morning identified where the woman was held and the SWAT team served a search warrant in the 3000 block of Stony Point Road, Basurto said.
The sheriff’s office advised pedestrians and motorists at 1:50 p.m. to avoid the 3500 block of Stony Point Road.
The advisory was lifted around 4:15 p.m., and the sheriff’s office announced at 4:45 p.m. that several people had been detained in connection with the alleged kidnapping, Basurto said.
Utility Workers Repairing Leak To Large Aqueduct
Utility workers are in the process of repairing a leak in Walnut Creek to the largest aqueduct in the East Bay Municipal Utility District, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
The utility district learned of the leak Monday morning after residents on Cornwall Court called about flooding in their backyard, said Abby Figueroa, a spokeswoman for the district.
Figueroa said workers estimated there were roughly 100 gallons of water leaking every minute. The water was draining down the side of a hill, where a storm drain was blocked, causing the water to overflow and enter neighbors’ properties.
She said at least two homes were affected before workers were able to clear the blocked storm drain and allow the water to drain.
There are three aqueducts underground in that area, and Figueroa said it took roughly a day to find out which one was leaking.
It took until Wednesday night to drain a portion of the 7-foot wide, 90-mile pipeline that runs from the Sierras to the East Bay, Figueroa said.
With workers draining a roughly 500-foot segment of the aqueduct, the district lost another 3 million to 3.5 million gallons of water, Figueroa said.
“When there’s a planned shutdown, it’s a lot easier to know what to do with the water,” Figueroa said. “When there’s an emergency like this, it’s harder.”
Crews will begin welding work on Friday, she said.
She estimated the repairs would be completed either early next week or by the middle of the week.
The pipeline runs below the Briones-to-Mt. Diablo Regional Trail, and Figueroa said a portion of the trail would need to be closed while the workers complete the repairs.
Utility workers are still trying to determine a cause for the leak, which Figueroa said could be attributed to corrosion, ground movement or age.
The pipeline was built in the 1960s, she said.
2 Suspects Arrested In Fatal Shooting Of Security Guard
Two suspects have been arrested in the fatal shooting of a security guard in San Jose Saturday, according to police.
San Jose police announced the arrests of the two suspects Thursday afternoon in connection with the shooting of Manuel Zuniga. Their names and the circumstances of their arrest have not been released.
Zuniga, 34, was found shot in the 300 block of North Capitol Avenue at 9:44 p.m. that day, police said. He was working as a security guard at a nearby business when he was shot.
He was taken to a hospital but died from his injuries a short time later, police said.
Public Housing Units To Be Rehabilitated As Private Entities Takes Over Management
San Francisco’s long-dilapidated public housing units will receive a $500 million facelift over the next three years as the units are transitioned to private property managers under the nationwide Rental Assistance Demonstration program, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced Thursday.
At a press conference in a public housing unit in the Tenderloin neighborhood Thursday afternoon, Secretary Castro said that this shift to private management of public housing would allow major improvements to public housing to be made leveraging private capital.
He said this announcement comes after years of government failure to address the needs of public housing units nationwide.
Tight federal budgets and limited state and city funding has left many public housing units in unsafe conditions and has prevented creation of new units, according to Castro.
Through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, housing units in San Francisco, and
across the country, are being transferred from the public housing programs to
a Section 8 program.
Private developers, drawn to the program by tax breaks and subsidies, are given incentives to invest in affordable rental housing under the RAD program.
According to the National Housing Institute, a non-profit research organization, the RAD program was created in 2012 in order to give public housing authorities a tool to preserve and improve the country’s more than 1.1 million public housing properties in need of repairs, and address a backlog of roughly $26 billion in deferred maintenance nationwide.
According to the Mayor’s Office of Housing this public-private partnership will allow San Francisco to rehabilitate 4,584 public housing units for 5,400 low-income San Franciscans.
AC Transit Will Begin Double-Decker Bus Pilot Program Monday
AC Transit on Monday will begin a three-week pilot program in which it will use a 42-foot-long, double-decker bus on selected longer routes in its service area in 13 cities and surrounding areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Bus agency officials said the 80-seat coach will offer riders comfortable excursions with spectacular views, especially on transbay routes that go to and from San Francisco.
On Monday, the bus will make its first trip on the Line U, which goes from Fremont to Stanford University. It will then be deployed on other daily routes, particularly on transbay routes.
AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson said Thursday that the double-decker bus has a much larger capacity than the current articulated, accordion-style buses used by the agency, which only seat about 50 people.
The double bus also a smaller carbon footprint than current buses and allows passengers to exit from rear doors, Johnson said.
Johnson said the idea is for AC Transit to gauge customer reaction, assess how well the bus functions and ultimately determine whether the bus will be permanently added to its fleet.
AC Transit General Manager David Armijo said in a statement, “We have been operating transbay service for more than 50 years, and we want to look at what is the best vehicle that best fits us now, given our current needs.”
He said, “We’ve tried a lot of different kinds of coaches. But until now we haven’t tried this one.”
People who want to get a close-up view of the bus can look at it in front of AC Transit’s headquarters at 1600 Franklin Street in downtown Oakland from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Wednesday.
Bus agency officials said the double-decker bus offers panoramic views, foot rests, soft reclining seats on its upper deck and an upgraded surveillance system to assist the driver.
They also say there will be free fares for all who board it during its three-week trial run.
Man Suspected Of Killing Father Was Convicted Of Shooting Stepfather
A man arrested Monday in the homicide of his biological father in Salinas was also sentenced to state prison in 2006 for the shooting of his stepfather, who was a Monterey County sheriff’s detective, police said Thursday.
Matthew Roberts was arrested Monday on suspicion of homicide in the death of his biological father, 70-year-old Jerry Roberts, although the cause of the man’s death has not been determined, Salinas police Cmdr. Vince Maiorana said.
Salinas police, while performing a welfare check on Jerry Roberts at about 9 p.m. Monday, located his body in his home in the 700 block of Inglewood Drive just east of Natividad Road, police said.
Police have submitted the case to the district attorney’s office and are waiting for the results of an autopsy on his body, Maiorana said.
Charges had not been filed against Matthew Roberts, who is in the county jail, as of Thursday afternoon, according to the district attorney’s office.
In 2006, Matthew Roberts was sentenced by a judge in Superior Court in Salinas to six years in prison for the September 2005 shooting of his stepfather, sheriff’s Detective Larry Bryant.
Bryant survived the shooting, became supportive of his stepson and urged Judge Terrance Duncan to sentence the defendant to probation in lieu of prison, prosecutors said.
Duncan declined to grant him probation, citing evidence that Roberts had abused alcohol and methamphetamine prior to the shooting, but the judge removed an enhancement that would have added another three years to his sentence, according to prosecutors.
School District Considers Pay Cuts, Layoffs For Teachers
The San Bruno Park School District’s governing board discussed plans to lay off teachers and reduce their pay as part of an effort to balance the budget during Wednesday night’s meeting, which took place amid protest from teachers and parents.
The board is looking to cut $2.15 million from the budget for the 2015-16 school year, mostly by increasing class sizes to the maximum number of students allowed under the district’s contract with teachers.
By increasing every single class in the district to 31 students per teacher, the district plans to reduce the number of teachers required to keep their schools running.
“They’re going to cut teachers and I’m assuming they would have to move students so all the classes are maxed out at 31-to-1,” said San Bruno Education Association president Julia Maynard, who teaches sixth grade English and history at Parkside Middle School.
According to Wednesday’s meeting agenda, the district hopes to save an estimated $600,000 by consolidating K-8 classes and cutting eight teaching positions. An additional $700,000 in savings will come from the special education budget, which stands to lose five teaching positions.
District superintendent David Hutt said those numbers may be revisited.
Documents indicate that special education classes in the district typically have 12 to 15 students per teacher. The district is looking at reducing the program costs associated with those students, according to Hutt.
Part of those savings are expected to come as a result of special education students leaving the district as they matriculate to higher grade levels, Hutt said.
The district initially talked about cutting three other positions, including a counselor, receptionist and part-time maintenance worker, but those cuts were taken off the list.
Instead, they’re proposing a 1 percent pay cut to all employees district-wide, which would have to be negotiated with the teacher’s union before it can be implemented.
CHP Motorcycle Officer Suffers Only Minor Bruising In Bay Bridge Crash
A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer suffered minor injuries in a crash on the Bay Bridge around noon Thursday, CHP officials said.
The crash was reported on the eastbound lower deck of the bridge near the off-ramp to Treasure Island, according to the CHP.
The officer’s bike slid into another motorcycle but the second motorcycle was not knocked down, CHP Officer Vu Williams said.
The officer suffered minor bruising and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital for evaluation, Williams said.
Two eastbound lanes of the bridge were closed until shortly after 1 p.m. while the CHP investigated, CHP officials said.
Sheriff’s Office Planning Mobile Phone Locator System
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office plans to meet with the public Friday to discuss a state-funded mobile phone location system to help find criminals, missing persons and others based on court orders, a sheriff’s spokesman said.
The community meeting on the mobile phone triangulation system, to include invitees such as the NAACP, Asian Law Alliance and county staffers, will take place at the sheriff’s office at 1 p.m. Friday, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. James Jensen said.
The proposed mobile triangular system would permit the sheriff’s office to use current cellular phone services to pinpoint the location of mobile phones on a cellular network to find people or acquire data on criminal activity, according to the office.
The state’s Homeland Security Grant Program has fully funded the $502,889 cost for the county’s triangulation system, sheriff’s official said.
The system would be used in accordance with sheriff’s office policy and could be deployed only after receiving a warrant signed by a magistrate except in life and death situations, officials said.
Even in instances of life and death emergencies, the sheriff’s office would have to request a search warrant or court order to be signed by a magistrate after the fact.
Examples of when the system would be used include investigations into serious or violent felony crimes against people and searches for armed and dangerous criminals, for at-risk missing children and adults and victims of human trafficking.
The triangulation system would be used solely to trace mobile phones in those types of cases and not to find members of the community or to monitor, eavesdrop or intercept phone conversations or data transmissions such as texts, sheriff’s officials said.
Office Manager Arrested For Embezzlement From Tax Consulting Company
Sausalito police arrested a woman Wednesday on suspicion of embezzling more than $100,000 from a tax consulting company, a police lieutenant said.
Chandra Love, 37, of Sausalito, an office assistant manager, told her employer in August 2013 that she was suffering from cancer and needed payroll advances, but her employer later discovered she was writing business checks to herself and doctoring financial records, Lt. Kurtis Skoog said.
Love also befriended a woman and said they should start a salon business together, Skoog said. Love then allegedly opened credit card accounts and charged $50,000 on the cards, Skoog said.
When the woman confronted Love about the illegal activities, Love asked her not to call police because she had cancer and only had months to live, Skoog said. There is no evidence Love had cancer, Skoog said.
Detectives served a $200,000 arrest warrant on Love in the 100 block of Prospect Avenue in Sausalito around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday. Love and her boyfriend had their bags packed as if they were leaving at the time of her arrest, Skoog said.
She was booked into the Marin County Jail on suspicion of embezzlement, ID theft, forgery and obtaining money by false pretenses.
Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area
Skies will be mostly cloudy today with patchy fog in the morning and highs in the lower 60s. Winds will be from the west at 5 mph.
Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy and lows will be in the lower 50s. Winds will be from the southwest at 5 mph.
Saturday morning, skies will again be mostly cloudy before becoming sunny. Highs will be in the mid-60s with light winds reaching 5 mph.