News Roundup for Monday, August 1, 2016

Oakland Commemorates New U.S. Citizens

Twenty children from 10 different countries will take the Oath of Allegiance today
at a special ceremony in Oakland, according to U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services officials.

USCIS Field Office Director Robin Barrett will administer the oath to the children,
aged three to nine, who became United States citizens upon their parents’ naturalization, USCIS officials said.

The ceremony is set to take place at noon at Children’s Fairyland,
located at 699 Bellevue Ave., with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf delivering
opening remarks. Inspirational speaker and youth counselor Michael Pritchard
will also speak at the event. Pritchard has been nationally recognized for his
work on anti-bullying programs and was the subject of the documentary Happy,
according to USCIS officials.

Bay Bridge Climbers Arrested

Two men were arrested Sunday afternoon on suspicion of trespassing
after they climbed to the top of the tower on the Bay Bridge’s eastern span,
a California Highway Patrol spokesman said. CHP officials started getting calls
just after 3 p.m. of two men making the climb by using a bike path on the bridge
to get to a cable that led them to tower’s tip, spokesman Vu Williams said.

When officers arrived, the men were on the way down.
The men, 18 and 23 years old, were arrested and taken the San
Francisco county jail on suspicion of trespassing. Williams did
not know why the men made the climb.

Firefighters Working to Contain Monterey County Wildfire

A Monterey County wildfire spread to 40,000 acres Sunday evening
but firefighters increased containment to 18 percent, Cal Fire officials
said. The Soberanes Fire that started at 8:48 a.m. on July 22 north of
Big Sur may not be contained until the end of this month.

“We’ll be here for a while,” Cal Fire spokesman Henry Herrera
said. The fire is burning in steep and rugged terrain. Herrera said there
are no roads in some areas so firefighters are using any trails to get to
the fire as well as bulldozers.

The north end of the fire is about a mile south of Carmel Highlands.
The fire follows U.S. Highway 1 south to about two miles north of Big Sur
and west to about four miles east of the communities of Tassajara, Carmel
Valley and Cachagua.

One person has died in the fire. Bulldozer driver Robert Oliver Reagan III,
35, of Friant in Fresno County died when his bulldozer overturned as he was
working on the front lines, according to Cal Fire officials.

The fire has destroyed 57 homes and 11 sheds and damaged five
other buildings. The fire is threatening about 2,000 structures, Cal Fire
officials said. More than 5,000 personnel are working to extinguish the fire,
which has closed state parks from Point Lobos State Natural Reserve to Julia
Pfeiffer Burns State Park as well as the Los Padres National Forest.

The low humidity in the area allowed the fire to spread Saturday
night, Herrera said. But fortunately temperatures have been cooler since
Saturday, he said. Evacuations are in effect for all homes along Cachagua Road
from its intersection with Nason Road to the intersection with Tassajara Road
and all homes on Tassajara Road from East Carmel Valley Road to the Tassajara
Zen Mountain Center.

Evacuations are also in place for Robinson Canyon Road from San
Clemente Trail to White Rock Gun Club, for Robinson Canyon to Rancho San
Clemente Gate House including Arroyo Sequoia Road, for the community of Palo
Colorado, for Bixby Creek Road from state Highway 1 south to Mesa Road, for
the area between Cantera Run to Garzas Trail and for Old Coast Road and Rocky
Creek Road.

Roads that are closed include Palo Colorado Road at U.S. Highway
1, Robinson Canyon Road south of Penon Peak Trail and Weston Ridge Road at
Highway 1. Evacuations have been lifted for Red Wolf Drive, Corona Road, and
Riley Ranch Road and all of Carmel Highland.

Acting Gov. Tom Torlakson, the state’s superintendent of public
instruction, declared a state of emergency in Monterey County on Tuesday.
Gov. Jerry Brown was away at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Because of the amount of destruction the Federal Emergency
Management Agency is making grant money available for eligible firefighting
costs. Help is available for residents and pet owners. Pet owners who need help
rescuing, feeding or sheltering their pets can get help from the Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Monterey County at (831) 373-2631.

Residents affected by the fire can get help from the Monterey County Department
of Social Services at (800) 755-4400 or the American Red Cross of the Central Coast
at (866) 272-2237. An evacuation center is on standby at Carmel Middle School at 4380
Carmel Valley Road in Carmel-By-The Sea.

Korean War Memorial Dedicated to Honor Those Who Served

U.S. and Korean leaders will cut the ribbon this morning on the
Korean War Memorial just outside of the San Francisco National Cemetery,
organizers said. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will start at 10 a.m. at the
corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Sheridan Avenue in the Presidio.

More than 2,250 Korean War veterans are buried in the San Francisco National
Cemetery, according to organizers. The ceremony is open to the public.
Organizers expect hundreds of a dwindling number of Korean War veterans and their
families to attend. The event is expected to bring together government and business
leaders, supporters, donors and others from the U.S. and the Republic of
Korea and other countries, organizers said.

The Korean War started on June 25, 1950, when North Korean soldiers crossed the
38th Parallel into South Korea. The war led to an increase in the number of soldiers
in the United States armed forces and with it an increase in responsibilities for the
Sixth Army at the Presidio, according to organizers.

Departing and returning soldiers received training and support at
the base where the former Letterman Army Hospital served as a major care
center for the sick and wounded soldiers arriving by ship. The memorial is the result
of a partnership between the Korean War Memorial Foundation and the Presidio Trust.

(News by BayCityNews