Taxi crashed into Mission saloon after colliding with taxi

A taxicab struck a neighborhood saloon after colliding with an
Uber vehicle in San Francisco’s Mission Dolores neighborhood this morning, a
fire spokeswoman said.

The collision involving the two vehicles was reported at the
intersection of 16th and Guerrero streets at 9:24 a.m., San Francisco fire
spokeswoman Jen Balestrieri said.

Balestrieri said one person was transported to a hospital with
injuries not considered life-threatening. Four others were assessed at the
scene but declined medical transport.

A manager at Elixir, located at 3200 16th St. said the cab struck
their building, but that fortunately no one was inside the business at the
time of the collision.

The manager, Nick, who declined to give his full name, said that
the damage doesn’t appear to be too extensive, but that they are evaluating
what repairs are needed.

He said he was not sure if the bar would open for business today.

Nob Hill garage fire threatened high-end restaurant

San Francisco firefighters extinguished a garage fire that
threatened a high-end Italian restaurant in the city’s Nob Hill neighborhood
early this morning, according to a fire spokeswoman.

The blaze was reported at about 1:30 a.m. in a garage on
Sacramento Street between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue, according to San
Francisco fire spokeswoman Jen Balestrieri.

Balestrieri said the fire appears to have begun in a heap of trash
against a wall in the garage.

Acquerello, a high-end, Michelin-star Italian restaurant, was
threatened in the blaze, but Balestrieri said she did not know whether the
restaurant sustained damages.

The fire was brought under control at 1:57 a.m., she said.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under

Vehicle with keyless entry system carjacked from man at Parkside gas station

A man carjacked another man’s car at a gas station early this
morning in San Francisco’s Parkside neighborhood, police said.

The carjacking was reported at about 4:10 a.m. at a Shell gas
station located at the intersection of 19th Avenue and Taraval Street, police

The manager of the Shell gas station, Yovan Argueta, said the
employee working in the gas station at the time didn’t witness the incident,
but said he is in the process of reviewing the gas station’s surveillance

The victim, a 42-year-old man, told police he had gone to the gas
station to make a purchase. He returned to his car, described as a 2013 Honda
Accord equipped with a keyless entry system, and the doors automatically
unlocked as he neared.

He said the suspect, described as a man in his 30s, approached him
from behind, jumped in the car and drove away.

Police said neither the suspect nor the car had been located as of
this morning.

Man sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax fraud

A Santa Rosa man was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for
filing false tax returns and failing to report his financial interest in
foreign bank accounts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Efrain Arturo Jovel, 64, pleaded guilty on Oct. 21 to willfully
failing to report his financial interest in several foreign bank accounts and
to knowingly signing false 2009 and 2010 federal income tax returns,
prosecutors said.

Jovel owned and operated a tax return preparation business for
more than 30 years in Santa Rosa and prepared approximately 1,800 tax returns
per year, prosecutors said.

Jovel did not disclose interest income of $35,104 earned in 2009
and 2010 on funds he held in foreign bank accounts, prosecutors said.

He also admitted he willfully underreported gross receipts from
his tax preparation service of $244,120 and $307,846, resulting in a tax loss
of $175,023, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Jovel agreed to pay a penalty of $287,896 prior to his sentencing
by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg. In addition to his 18-month prison
term, he was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and was
ordered to pay restitution of $175,023 and a $10,000 fine, prosecutors said.

Oakland mayor urges support for small businesses struggling with new minimum wage

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made a pitch this morning for the 82
percent of Oakland voters who passed a minimum wage hike in November to
support local businesses struggling to adjust to higher costs.

“It’s time for Oaklanders to put their money where their votes
were,” Schaaf said at a news conference outside of Farley’s East coffee shop
on Grand Avenue.

Oakland’s minimum wage rose from $9 per hour to $12.25 per hour on
Monday after the passage of Measure FF in November. The measure also requires
employees to be provided paid sick leave.

Schaaf said the higher wages pose a challenge for Oakland’s small
businesses, but ultimately will strengthen the city’s economy and provide
more stability in the workforce.

“The city of Oakland is committed to supporting our businesses in
this transition,” she said.

Farley’s co-owner Chris Hillyard appeared alongside Schaaf to say
he supports the enactment of a higher minimum wage, despite the largest
increase in costs in the six-year history of his business.

“We believe in paying our employees a fair wage,” he said, but his
business now needs to generate more income, which means higher prices in
order to pay his workers the new wage.

“This industry operates on a razor-thin margin,” Hillyard said,
with payroll as the biggest expense.

Kiara Gomez, a single mother who has worked as a dishwasher and
cook at Farley’s for two years, said the new minimum wage should finally give
her the resources to get her own home.

“It’s going to help us out a lot,” Gomez said.

Sal Bednarz, the owner of Actual Café on San Pablo Avenue near the
Berkeley border, also spoke at this morning’s news conference to express his
support for higher wages despite uncertainty over its immediate impact.

Already Bednarz has had to raise prices at his café, he said, but
he is sympathetic to his workers trying to get by in one of the most
expensive areas in the world.

“I understand it is challenging to live as an hourly wage worker
in this area,” he said.

To the 77,000 voters who passed the minimum wage hike, he said,
“Spend your dollars where your values are. Support the minimum wage by
supporting small businesses in Oakland.”

The mayor acknowledged that already the hike has had some
unexpected effects, including some restaurants experimenting with eliminating
tipping. She said she has worked as a tipped employee and understands how
stressful it can be.

Restaurants eliminating tipping is legal, Schaaf said, and as long
as employees are earning a fair wage, she said she is supportive of the
industry looking at creative ways to comply with the letter and spirit of the

“Oakland’s restaurant and bar and café scene is flourishing,”
Schaaf said, noting that 300 new ones opened last year.

Appearing in an Oakland-made pink dress, Schaaf has made a point
of promoting Oakland’s small businesses. She said she thinks the new minimum
wage will only improve the strength of Oakland’s individual businesses and
overall economy.

“Fair wage food tastes better,” she said.