Friday San Francisco News Roundup
ANIMAL SERVICES SEEKING DONATIONS FOR SICK PUPPY’S TREATMENT
Frodo, a terrier mix puppy who came to Oakland Animal Services as a stray, was set to be adopted into a happy home but now is fighting for his life.
While waiting to be neutered before his impending adoption, the pup contracted parvovirus, a potentially fatal infection of the intestinal tract, from another dog. His adopters decided they could not afford Frodo’s expensive treatment given his uncertain prognosis, animal services officials said.
In the past, the shelter has lacked the resources to treat the disease but recently has been providing the extensive veterinary care required for puppies suffering from parvo that have a chance of recovery.
To help treat Frodo, the shelter is asking for support from local dog lovers.
Frodo first came to the shelter as a stray but his happy personality quickly got him adopted in May at a Maggie’s Pet Adoption Day, a program that pays adoption fees and gives support to shelters.
The adopters were eager to take him home, but Frodo fell ill before they could. Frodo’s treatment could run up to $5,000.
Funding provided to the shelter through the city’s general fund doesn’t cover extensive vet treatment for seriously ill or injured dogs, so they look to their non-profit partner the Friends of Oakland Animal Services.
“We think treating the animals that have a decent prognosis is absolutely the right thing to do,” Oakland Animal Services director Rebecca Katz said in a statement. “Just look at this puppy. He deserves a fighting chance at life.”
Donations to treat Frodo and other dogs like him can be made at:
BART DIRECTORS APPROVE BUDGET AIMED AT IMPROVING SERVICE
BART directors voted Thursday to approve a $1.6 billion budget for the next fiscal year that they said is aimed at increasing train passenger capacity, improving station cleanliness and ensuring that more trains arrive on time.
BART Board of Directors President Tom Blalock said that until additional train cars are phased into service in a few years, “We need to be creative in finding ways to meet our customers’ needs now” and the new budget accomplishes that.
Blalock said in a statement, “With these new investments, we’ll squeeze more capacity out of our existing rail cars, tackle some of our recurring reliability issues and even invest in keeping trains and stations cleaner.”
BART officials said the budget will pay for changes that are designed to put 30 more train cars in service during peak periods and add 16 train trips each weekday.
They said that will be accomplished by moving train cars from maintenance to passenger service at a faster pace, even though BART already has one of the industry’s highest rates of cars availability, adding shifts for train car maintenance workers and repairing and putting back into service four to six badly-damaged cars.
BART officials also said each of their lines will see service improvements and there will be additional trips on the Pittsburg/Bay Point to San Francisco and Millbrae to Richmond lines.
The transit agency said the budget also includes money to improve on-time performance by adding two train control technicians to quickly fix train control failures that currently account for almost one-fifth of late trains. The new technicians are expected to improve response time by 15 percent, according to BART.
In addition, the budget calls for adding six more rail vehicle engineers and extending the hours for stand-by paramedics to respond more quickly to medical emergencies in and near the transbay tube during BART’s busiest times.
To increases the cleanliness and police presence on the system, the budget calls for 21 more station cleaning workers to clean and scrub stations more frequently, 14 more employees to clean floors and disinfect seats and adding four new police officers dedicated to downtown San Francisco.
Those officers will support the agency’s crisis intervention team, which seeks to help people who have mental health issues, according to the transit agency.
BART also will add another four officers and plus five new community service officers.
SUPES VOTE TO CONTINUE VOTE ON AIRBNB LEGISLATION, ISSUE POISED TO GO TO THE BALLOT
When the San Francisco Board of Supervisors this week postponed by a month a vote on legislation that would regulate short-term rentals in the city, it sparked concerns among some proponents about behind-the-scenes deal making.
San Francisco Supervisor David Campos is the author of legislation that would limit short-term rentals on platforms such as San Francisco-based Airbnb while Supervisor Mark Farrell and Mayor Ed Lee have introduced conflicting legislation that would also regulate short-term rentals, albeit less aggressively.
Campos’ legislation would also require Airbnb and other platforms to disclose the addresses and dates of rentals to the city. Farrell and Lee’s legislation suggests the creation of a new enforcement agency, but doesn’t compel the online platforms to share relevant data needed for enforcement.
Campos said that in order for the city to address its housing crisis it must limit short-term rentals, which he said “are removing long-term housing opportunities for San Francisco residents.”
The short-term rental industry is taking up to 23 percent of vacant units off the market citywide, Campos said. In the Mission District, up to 40 percent of vacant units are on Airbnb, while in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood the percentage is even higher, at 43 percent.
Campos expressed his disappointment at Farrell’s motion to continue the items for another month and expressed concern that the Brown Act, which governs meetings by public agencies, could be violated in that time.
According to the San Francisco City Attorney’s Good Government Guide, which states the laws governing conduct of public officials, an unlawful meeting can occur under the Brown Act even if a majority of the members of the board are not present in one place at one time.
Any communications among the majority of the members outside of a noticed public meeting are considered unlawful, according to the Good Government Guide.
Farrell’s legislative aide Jess Montejano said that while the supervisor is engaged in ongoing “conversations with our colleagues” he “would never violate the Brown Act.”
While a violation of the Brown Act could invalidate an action, and is considered a misdemeanor offense by participants, it is difficult to enforce.
Montejano said that the board will work toward a general consensus and that the issue lies in “just a couple of key difference between the bills.”
He said that mostly likely there would be a vote on those items on July 14th and that there is only a slim chance that anyone would be introducing substitute legislation or amendments to the current legislation.
Campos said that if his measure were voted down after the one-month continuance he would work to take it to the voters in November.
POLICE SEEK INFO ON GUNMEN WHO SHOT AT GAS STATION CLERK IN SOMA
Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating gunmen who fired at a store clerk but missed during an early morning robbery at a gas station in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood last month.
At about 2:40 a.m. on May 19, two suspects, described as men in their early 20s, walked into a Shell gas station located at the intersection of Harrison and Eighth streets, according to police.
The suspects had a short conversation with the clerk, looked around the store and then approached the clerk while brandishing a handgun, police said.
The suspects demanded money from the clerk. Fearing for his life, the clerk ran out of the gas station with the suspects chasing after him. One of the suspects fired four to five shots at the clerk, but missed him, police said.
The suspects then fled the gas station in what appeared to be a light-colored sedan that was waiting nearby. Police said a third suspect might have been in the car. The vehicle was last seen driving on Eighth Street toward the Interstate Highway 80 on-ramp.
Both suspects who entered the store were captured on video surveillance and police have released still images and videos of the suspects.
Both suspects are described as Hispanic men with black hair and brown eyes who wearing blue jeans.
Police said one suspect was about 22 to 25 years old, standing 6 feet tall and weighing about 150 pounds. He had a thin mustache and was wearing a gray beanie, a black hooded sweater, a white T-shirt and white shoes at the time of the attempted robbery.
The second suspect was described as 20 to 22 years old, standing 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 120 pounds. He was wearing black shoes and a dark hooded sweatshirt with “Raiders” printed in white lettering.