Tuesday San Francisco News Roundup
Search Continues For Missing SF Teacher
The search for a San Francisco teacher who went missing 10 days ago while dirt bike riding in El Dorado County is still underway with crews from four counties participating in the search, according to sheriff’s officials.
Edward Cavanaugh, 46, a teacher at the San Francisco Unified School District’s Downtown High School, went missing on July 17, according to school and El Dorado County sheriff’s officials.
Cavanaugh teaches math and science integrated with outdoor education at the continuation high school, according to SFUSD spokeswoman Gentle Blythe.
He was preparing to return to school to teach in the fall, she said. Cavanaugh began teaching with the district in 2001 and has taught at Downtown High School for 13 years, Blythe said.
As of Monday morning, El Dorado County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Leikauf said search and rescue crews from Stanislaus, Shasta and Sacramento counties had joined the El Dorado County sheriff’s team in their attempt to locate him.
Roughly 85 search and rescue volunteers have also joined in the search and have been combing the area between the towns of Mosquito and Garden Valley, sheriff’s officials said.
A group of Downtown High School teachers and former students have joined in the search as well, Blythe said.
Some teams are walking the area on foot while other teams on dirt bikes and quad runners are searching the Rock Creek trail system. A U.S. Coast Guard air unit searched the area over the weekend, sheriff’s officials said.
Cavanaugh was last seen riding a blue Yamaha YZ 250 on the Rock Creek trail system on his way back to a cabin he owns on Darling Ridge, according to sheriff’s officials and information that his sister, Debbie Cavanaugh Schultz, posted to her Facebook page.
A search of his cabin revealed that his truck was parked outside, the cabin was locked and the lights were still on but his dirt bike was not there, according to the page.
His camping gear was still at his cabin and according to the post, it’s not typical for him to take off for a period of time without letting someone know of his whereabouts.
As of Monday afternoon, a Fundly.com campaign had raised more than $28,000 to support the search for Cavanaugh.
Shay Nielsen, who described Cavanaugh as “our dearest friend and brother,” wrote on Facebook that the funds were being used for search efforts, gasoline, gear and supplies for the search crews.
“We will continue to utilize all efforts and exhaust all resources until we bring Ed home,” Nielsen wrote. “These are very crucial hours and we need all the support and prayers we can get.”
Although in good health, Cavanaugh is diabetic, according to the campaign page.
Cavanaugh is described as standing 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing roughly 160 pounds. He has a bald head and a moustache.
He was last seen wearing Fox-brand dirt biking clothing and a black helmet.
For more information on the Fundly.com campaign, people can visit
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is urged to contact the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 621-6600.
Appeals Court Dismisses Challenge to State Shark Fin Ban
A federal appeals court in San Francisco for a second time Monday rejected a challenge by two Asian-American groups to a California law that bans the possession and sale of detached shark fins within the state.
A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the California statute, which was enacted in 2011 and went fully into effect in 2013, didn’t interfere with a federal law on offshore fishery management or with constitutionally protected interstate commerce.
Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote, “The purpose of the Shark Fin Law is to conserve state resources, prevent animal cruelty, and protect wildlife and public health. These are legitimate matters of local concern.”
The court upheld a decision in which U.S. District Judge William Orrick last year dismissed the lawsuit filed in 2012 by the San Francisco-based Chinatown Neighborhood Association and Burlingame-based Asian Americans for Political Advancement.
Shark finning is the practice of cutting the fins off a living shark and discarding the shark’s body in the ocean, where it will die.
The main use of shark fins is in shark fin soup, an important element of Chinese cultural tradition at ceremonial occasions.
The two groups alleged the law discriminated against Chinese-Americans and conflicted with federal fishery management.
In an earlier ruling in 2013, the appeals court rejected the bias claim, saying there was no evidence the state Legislature intended to discriminate against Chinese-Americans rather than to accomplish humanitarian and conservation goals.
But the court said the two groups could pursue further proceedings on the federal-law-conflict and interstate commerce claims. The organizations appealed again after Orrick dismissed an amended version of the lawsuit.
Monday’s decision upholding the dismissal was made by a three-judge panel of the appeals court. All three judges agreed the lawsuit in its most recent form should be dismissed, but Judge Stephen Reinhardt said in a partial dissent that the groups should be allowed to amend the lawsuit again to expand on the claim that the state law conflicts with the federal fisheries management law.
The ruling can be appealed further to an 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Joseph Breall, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the groups “are considering all the options.”
“We believe the law is still unconstitutional,” he said.
Humane Society of the United States attorney Ralph Henry said the society “applaud(s) the court for upholding California’s decisive action on this important animal welfare and conservation measure.”
“The California law and similar laws recently passed in more than a half dozen other states are critical tools in preventing the loss of millions of sharks each year to the cruel practice of finning,” Henry said in a statement.
The lawsuit was filed against state officials. The Humane Society, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation and the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance were allowed to participate as official parties to join the state in defending the law.
BART Station Agent Stabbed Outside Powell Station, Suspect Arrested
A BART station agent was stabbed in the abdomen on Friday afternoon outside the Powell Street BART Station in San Francisco, according to BART officials.
BART police Lt. Paul Kwon said the victim was a BART station agent. Kwon said he had no further information about the assault and that the investigation was being handled by the San Francisco Police Department.
San Francisco police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan said the stabbing occurred at street level near the intersection of Powell and Market streets at about 12:40 p.m. on Friday.
The victim, described as a man in his 30s, was stabbed in his abdomen with a knife. The suspect, who was arrested at the scene, is described as a man in his 40s, according to police.
The victim and the suspect were allegedly involved in a verbal altercation prior to the stabbing, police said.
The victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, police said.
The motive for the stabbing remains under investigation, police said.
Bicyclist Suffers Serious Injuries in Crash Into Car in Dolores Heights
A bicyclist suffered serious injuries when he struck a car in San Francisco’s Dolores Heights neighborhood on Sunday evening, police said Monday.
At about 7 p.m. on Sunday, a bicyclist was riding his bike down a big hill near the intersection of Seward and Douglass streets when he crashed into a Honda Element, police said.
The cyclist, a man in his 20s, struck the Honda’s windshield before ultimately landing in the street, police said.
He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with internal bleeding and facial wounds, injuries that were not considered life-threatening, police said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Season’s First Spare The Air Day Called For Tuesday
As a heat wave moves into the Bay Area, the summer’s first Spare the Air Day has been called for Tuesday.
Temperatures are expected to climb into the triple digits this week and little wind is forecasted, so smog levels are expected to reach unhealthy levels.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking residents to avoid driving alone on Tuesday and instead walk, bike, carpool or take public transit to cut down on pollution from vehicle exhaust.
In addition, residents are advised to avoid physical activity during the hottest parts of the day. Smog can lead to throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, asthma attacks and can worsen bronchitis or emphysema, according to the air district.
More information about Spare the Air alerts are available at www.sparetheair.org.
Officer Shoots Dog That Charged at Police
An officer shot a dog Monday evening when the dog began charging at two officers near the United Nations Plaza.
Around 6:44 p.m., officers in a marked patrol car were patrolling an area near Fulton and Hyde streets, when the officers noticed a man standing on the sidewalk, on the south side of the Asian Art Museum, according to police.
Officers noted the man was in possession of narcotic paraphernalia, police said.
The officers got out of their patrol car to speak with the man, who also had a dog with him, according to police.
As officers approached the man, the dog began to charge at the officers, police said.
The dog’s owner did not have control over the dog’s leash as the dog ran toward the officers, police said.
Fearing for their safety, the officers retreated in order to create a distance between them and the animal, according to police.
One of the officers fired approximately two to three rounds at the animal. One bullet struck the dog, causing a minor injury to the dog’s ear, police said.
The animal’s owner then gained control of his dog.
Officers summoned San Francisco Animal Care and Control to the scene, and the animal was treated for its injury, according to police.
Today’s Weather Forecast
Today will be sunny and highs will be in the 70s. Southwest winds will reach 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Tonight will be clear with lows in the upper 50s. Southwest winds will reach 5 to 15 miles per hour.
Wednesday will be sunny with highs in the 70s. Southwest winds will reach 5 to 10 miles per hour.