Tuesday News Roundup
GIANTS ANNOUNCE VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE FOR FANS, BETTER WI-FI, NEW FOOD
San Francisco Giants fans will get a chance to join the team on the field this season at AT&T Park with the help of a new virtual reality system.
Team officials today said that they are partnering with the Palo Alto-based firm Jaunt this year to provide fans with a virtual reality experience that includes time on the field for Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium and in the batting cages, a virtual press conference and a ride in the car with Sergio Romo.
The system, announced at the team’s annual media preview day, will be available at AT&T Park’s social media center, the @Café. It will allow fans to experience the team in a whole new way, Mario Alioto, executive vice president of business operations, said today.
“You’ll be in the moment,” Alioto said. “You’re practically a member of the team.”
Maintaining its technology-friendly reputation, the team also announced an expansion of the ballpark’s Wi-Fi system, giving it 1,628 access points, the most of any MLB facility. The team’s Wi-Fi system delivered more than 100 terabytes of data to fans last season alone, officials said.
Off the field, AT&T Park concessionaires Centerplate and Bon Appetit Management Company today unveiled new food offerings including flatbread pizzas with no gluten-containing ingredients, porcini doughnuts with raclette cheese foam, shrimp sandwiches and fried Brussels sprouts.
Other ballpark improvements announced today include an expansion of the safety netting behind home plate and the replacement of some poles with cables to improve sight lines.
The Giants will begin their 17th season at AT&T Park and 59th in San Francisco on Thursday, April 7 with 30,750 season ticket holders, the largest number in franchise history. In addition, the team currently holds the longest consecutive regular season home-game sellout streak in the National League and the longest active one in Major League Baseball, at 408 regular season games and 23 post-season games.
MAN INJURED IN EARLY MORNING CHINATOWN SHOOTING
A man was shot and seriously injured in a Chinatown shooting early this morning, according to San Francisco police.
The victim, a 27-year-old man, told police he stepped out of a building in the 700 block of Pacific Avenue just after 3 a.m. when he spotted the suspect, a man in his early 20s.
The suspect shot the victim multiple times in the legs with a handgun and then fled in a gray sedan, police said.
The victim was taken to a hospital in serious condition, police said.
No arrest was reported in the shooting as of this morning.
NO CRIMINAL CHARGES TO BE FILED IN DEADLY BALCONY COLLAPSE
There will be no criminal charges filed for the deadly collapse of a balcony at a Berkeley apartment complex last year that killed six people and injured seven others, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office announced today.
Prosecutors said they reviewed the case over the last nine months, conducting a forensic inspection of the deck and a thorough review of the legal issues involved to determine if there was criminal negligence in the balcony’s construction or maintenance warranting potential manslaughter charges.
But while the district attorney’s office investigation came to the same conclusion that the city of Berkeley’s investigation did regarding the cause of the collapse — that water intrusion had rotted support beams inside the deck — District Attorney Nancy O’Malley concluded there would be no criminal prosecution.
There were many contributing causes for the moisture intrusion, including the materials used, which were not prohibited by the building code, and wet weather during construction. There were numerous people who potentially could be held responsible in the construction and maintenance of the building, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors wrote in a statement explaining the decision, “In order to file a manslaughter case based on criminal negligence, the District Attorney must be satisfied that any defendant or defendants acted with gross
or reckless conduct akin to a disregard for human life, and that the deadly consequences of those actions were reasonably foreseeable.”
Thirteen people attending a birthday party, including many visiting Irish students, were standing on the fourth-floor balcony at the Library Gardens apartment complex at 2020 Kittredge St. when it collapsed in the early morning hours of June 16, 2015. Six people were killed and seven others were seriously injured.
The Berkeley City Council passed stricter construction codes for outdoor structures and required inspections for all existing structures. The inspections determined that 402 of 2,176 structures inspected needed work.
Lawsuits filed by the victims and their families alleged that there were signs of issues with the balcony for years, including mushrooms growing on it, indicating the moisture intrusion, and the balcony leaning when people were standing on it.
Prosecutors said they will work with state officials considering imposing stricter oversight of contractors and new building codes.
“This is not a decision that I came to lightly,” O’Malley said in a statement. “It is the culmination of months of consultation with my team of attorneys. It follows extensive review of reports, both legal and factual, and numerous meetings with investigators and experts.”
Prosecutors said they met with the families of each victim prior to making a public announcement.