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Bay Area News

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1 dead, 3 injured in Fremont crash
Sun, 14 May 2017 19:02:15 UT - A Fremont teenager is dead and three others were injured after a two-car collision in Fremont early Sunday, Fremont police said. The driver of the Yaris, the passenger’s mother, 39, sustained major non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Yaris was making a left-hand turn from southbound Fremont Boulevard onto Darwin Drive when it collided with the Malibu, which was traveling northbound on Fremont Boulevard, police said. ]]

Fire crews work on still-smoldering debris from Emeryville complex
Sun, 14 May 2017 15:08:50 UT - Firefighters stamped out pockets of burning debris Sunday from the still-smoldering remains of a massive building project in Emeryville gutted by fire. Neighbors along the 3800 block of San Pablo Avenue stopped to stare at the twisted heap of metal and blackened lumber as investigators began working to determine the cause and origin of the inferno. At least 35 residents from 15 units were evacuated from the neighboring block of Adeline Street because officials worried that the partially burned crane at the construction site would collapse. Alameda County Fire Department tweeted early Sunday that crews safely removing the crane overnight under the supervision of agents from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Between 80 and 100 firefighters responded from the Alameda County and Oakland fire departments to battle the huge blaze, with firefighters using cranes to dump water on the fire as black smoke billowed into the sky. The Oakland Fire Department deployed 15 engines, three trucks and three battalion chiefs, while Alameda County sent four engines, a truck, two battalion chiefs, a fire captain and a public information officer, said Oakland Battalion Chief Zoraida Diaz. There were no reports of injuries, though some security guards said they suffered some smoke inhalation. The neighborhood, just north of Interstate 580, is a mix of retail strip malls, old storefronts and warehouses along San Pablo Avenue and sleek new multistory apartment and condominium buildings erected over the past few years. The fire damaged more than just the construction site on Saturday, with flames jumping to some of the townhomes on nearby Apgar Street. Zamir’s window faced out toward the construction site, and she could feel the heat from the growing flames as they reached toward her home. Fire crews had to be sent to other nearby residential areas, as strong winds carried embers blocks away, threatening homes and charring vegetation. On Market Street between 34th and 35th streets, neighbors said embers the size of grapefruits fell from the sky onto buildings, blackening tall trees and covering the area with ash. On July 6, firefighters battled a blaze at the site that sent dozens fleeing as it spread to at least five nearby homes, an auto shop and cars along San Pablo Avenue. The San Francisco Business Times reported in March that investigators had determined that the first fire was probably caused by youths lighting fireworks on the unfinished fifth floor of the building, which then consisted of wood framing. Holliday Development installed 12 security cameras and hired two armed security guards, Rick Holliday said. Holliday Development promoted the building’s easy access to transportation, electric car charging stations and other environmentally friendly features. After the first fire, developers Rick and Nancy Holliday wrote on their website, “While saddened by the fire that scarred the buildings at the corner of 39th and San Pablo, we want to take a moment and express our deep and heartfelt gratitude to all who came to fight the fire and deal with this event.” Focusing forward, Holliday Development has its sights set on putting this tragedy behind us, as best we can, and rapidly rebuilding this project to bring beautiful housing, office space, restaurants and more to the community as soon as possible. ]]

Bay Area political events: Journalist talk, abortion rights
Sun, 14 May 2017 03:19:27 UT - Bay Area political events: Journalist talk, abortion rights Political events A roundup of upcoming events: Bay Area political journalists, including The Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli, discuss the second 100 days of the Trump presidency. Conversation: A discussion on how social media play into political mobilization and change the nature of protests. Abortion rights: NARAL Pro-Choice America holds a happy hour to raise funds to support its “fight for reproductive freedom.” Farming film: A screening of “Sunú,” a documentary about the struggle of Mexican farmers to grow traditional, non-genetically-modified corn. Peace talk: A conversation with author Susan Griffin on How War Erodes and Destroys Democr Hosted by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Fake news: A conversation with Joaquin Alvarado, CEO of the Center for Investigative Reporting, on the obligation of the government and media to filter fake news. The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity will host a discussion on immigration, followed by postcard writing to support social justice. ]]

Oakland firefighters rescue child from burning building
Sat, 13 May 2017 21:30:59 UT - Oakland firefighters rescue child from burning building Firefighters rescued a child trapped in a burning home in Oakland early Saturday, Oakland Fire Department officials said. Upon arrival, firefighters learned that a child was still inside and were able to locate and get the child to safety within minutes. ]]

Bay Area political events: Peace walk, journalist talk
Sat, 13 May 2017 05:48:47 UT - Bay Area political events: Peace walk, journalist talk Political events In honor of Mother’s Day, a walk on the Golden Gate Bridge to “build bridges, not bombs.” Bay Area political journalists, including The Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli, discuss the second 100 days of the Trump presidency. Conversation: A discussion about how social media play into political mobilization and change the nature of protests. The event is from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the World Affairs Auditorium, 312 Sutter St., Suite 200, San Francisco. Abortion rights: NARAL Pro-Choice America holds a happy hour to raise funds to support its “fight for reproductive freedom.” Farming film: A screening of “Sunú,” a documentary about the struggle of Mexican farmers to grow traditional, non-genetically modified corn. Peace talk: A conversation with Susan Griffin, author of more than 20 books, on the topic “How War Erodes and Destroys Democracies.” Hosted by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Fake news: A conversation with Joaquin Alvarado, CEO of the Center for Investigative Reporting, on the obligation of the government and media to filter fake news. The event is from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the World Affairs Auditorium, 312 Sutter St., Suite 200, San Francisco. The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity will host a discussion on immigration, followed by postcard writing to support social justice. The event is from 10 a.m.-noon at Northern Police Station Community Room, 1125 Fillmore St., San Francisco. ]]

Price for extension of AC Transit service to Oakland hills schools: $1 million
Sat, 13 May 2017 03:24:17 UT - AC Transit announced the terms of its deal with Oakland’s school district that allowed for a one-year extension of bus service to three schools in the Oakland hills. On Friday, a transit agency spokesman, Robert Lyles, said the short-term compromise includes $1 million in new funding — $500,000 pledged by the school district and the other $500,000 coming from the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The bus service to Skyline High, Montera Middle and Community Day schools will also benefit from $900,000 worth of new “efficiencies” — including altering school schedules to allow AC Transit to use some of the same buses for two schools at once, said John Sasaki, a spokesman for the school district. The future of the three bus lines had been threatened after the school district abruptly stopped paying for the $2.25 million-a-year service in January, saying that after 20 years of the arrangement officials realized they were paying fees that AC Transit did not charge in other counties. More than a dozen stakeholder groups along with Oakland government officials joined together to strike the one-year compromise, but AC Transit warned that more work needs to be done. ]]

Contra Costa County DA union board votes no confidence in boss
Sat, 13 May 2017 01:57:53 UT - The seven-member board of the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Association voted unanimously that it had “no confidence” in District Attorney Mark Peterson, meaning they believe he should step down, said Aron DeFerrari, the board’s president. The board’s unprecedented vote in the county — which pits the union directly against their own boss — is largely symbolic and has no legal implications, but it levies more public pressure on Peterson to step down. The district attorney has been fending off calls for his resignation since he admitted in December to inappropriately spending more than $66,000 of his campaign money on himself. Though Peterson later repaid the misspent campaign funds, along with a hefty fine, and acknowledged his mistakes, a grand jury cited his “willful misconduct” and recommended his removal from office in the Thursday filing. The grand jury’s report specifically cited 600 instances, or transactions, that Peterson admitted to making from his campaign funds over a four-year period beginning in 2011, referring to them as “malfeasance.” Peterson — who spent the money on hotel stays, movie tickets and phone bills, among other expenses — later repaid the funds in full after a state audit was announced. The district attorney, who served as the treasurer of his own campaign committee until 2015, told The Chronicle in a December statement that he was “humbled and embarrassed by my mistakes, for which I take full responsibility, and I apologize for my regrettable errors.” ]]

Bus crash on I-580 kills off-duty sheriff’s deputy
Sat, 13 May 2017 01:02:59 UT - Bus crash on I-580 kills off-duty sheriff’s deputy An off-duty Alameda County sheriff’s deputy who was killed Friday when a bus carrying Tesla employees crashed into his car near Tracy was a 10-year veteran of the force, a husband and a father of four, according to officials. Deputy Sroeuy Khin was killed about 7 a.m. when his white Volkswagen Beetle was rear-ended by the bus on Interstate 580 at Interstate 205 on the Altamont Pass, said Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern. The collision occurred when Khin’s car either slowed or came to a stop in a middle lane of the freeway and the bus slammed into the rear of the vehicle, said Cmdr. Christopher Sherry of the California Highway Patrol Division in Dublin. The bus driver, whose name was not immediately released, told CHP officers that he didn’t see the car because the sun was in his eyes. CHP officers at the scene placed an American flag over Khin’s body lying in the roadway. Sherry said the bus driver was cooperating with the investigation, and that drugs or alcohol were not suspected in the crash. ]]

Driver pulled over in I-80 carpool lane with doll as passenger
Sat, 13 May 2017 00:12:30 UT - A motorist’s attempt to sneak into a carpool lane by using a life-size doll as a passenger was foiled when a California Highway Patrol officer stopped the driver in Oakland, officials said. The driver was pulled over last week on Interstate 80 in an area where at least three occupants are required in vehicles other than two-seaters, officials said. ]]

SF couple sue PG&E over Marina contamination
Sat, 13 May 2017 00:04:40 UT - A San Francisco couple whose home in the Marina district sits atop the remains of an old Pacific Gas and Electric Co. gas plant have sued the utility, saying contamination from the facility threatens the health of their young children. In the suit, filed Tuesday, Dalene Bramer and Joseph Gabany also say the contamination has prevented them from expanding the home as planned or using its backyard as a play area for the children. PG&E has spent the past seven years taking soil samples in the Marina, where the company used to run two plants that manufactured a fuel similar to natural gas, using coal and sometimes oil as the raw material. In eight of those cases, the utility took the highly unusual step of buying the homes to get at the tainted dirt. “While we don’t believe these sites pose a health concern, we want to work together with each property owner to address any potential remediation needs specific to their property,” said company spokesman Jeff Smith. Bramer and Gabany, in their complaint, say they did not know about the former gas plants or the contamination when they bought the house on North Point Street in 2009, the year before PG&E’s testing and cleanup program in the Marina began. According to the complaint, Bramer and Gabany negotiated with PG&E for more than a year on the types of soil tests to be conducted, with the couple insisting that the earth be tested for lead. ]]

Hundreds mourn Archbishop George Niederauer at SF funeral Mass
Fri, 12 May 2017 23:47:35 UT - Levada returned from a business trip to Rome to be with Niederauer in the final weeks of his life. Niederauer died May 2 at age 80 at the Nazareth House retirement home in San Rafael, several months after being diagnosed with lung disease and only two days after the 55th anniversary of his entry into the priesthood. Niederauer spent more than half a century in service to the church, so it was fitting that several verses from Romans 14 were read at his memorial: For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. “We are here to commend his soul to his creator,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told the assembled mourners, as the smell of incense wafted across the pews and sunlight transformed the cathedral’s long, narrow stained glass windows into ribbons of multicolored light. Niederauer was remembered as a man of God who served the church for decades and who loved film and teaching. “I once heard one of his former students remark that he never taught a boring class,” said Levada. When Niederauer moved from his home in Menlo Park to Nazareth House after his diagnosis, he remarked almost casually, “Well, it looks like this will be my final move,” Cardinal Levada recalled at the cleric’s funeral. Without the paralysis of fear, however, we can walk throughout our lives with Jesus into the Father’s eternal embrace, he wrote. Niederauer’s career was not without controversy — in particular, he was widely considered to be instrumental in the passage of Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot measure banning same-sex marriage, helping to secure $20 million in donations to promote the measure. ]]

East Bay high school evacuated after science experiment goes awry
Fri, 12 May 2017 23:45:54 UT -

$500K in cosmetics stolen from Bay Area chain stores recovered
Fri, 12 May 2017 23:40:37 UT - Investigators have tracked down a cache of a half million dollars worth of cosmetics stolen from Walgreens and CVS stores throughout the Bay Area, and arrested two people on suspicion of buying the pilfered merchandise, officials said Friday. Investigators from the San Francisco district attorney’s office, San Francisco Police Department, Organized Retail Crime Task Force and Berkeley Police Department worked together to identify Jimenez as the alleged purchaser of the stolen goods. On Wednesday, detectives searched Jimenez’s home on the 2000 block of San Leandro Boulevard and a nearby storage unit, and seized approximately $500,000 worth of stolen items, mostly cosmetics. Rodriguez and Jimenez were booked into Berkeley City Jail, and charged with receiving stolen goods and accessory to a felony, according to the Berkeley Police Department. ]]

Corrections, May 12
Fri, 12 May 2017 23:32:26 UT - Brown adds billions to budget, May 12, Bay Area, D8 The “Budget highlights” chart with a story that started on Page D1 incorrectly listed the amount of money in the revised state budget that would come from the new transportation funding plan. The correct amount is $2.8 billion. ]]

Last Update at: Sun May 14 14:36:14 PDT 2017