A man was shot and killed in Vallejo, police said Sunday.
Ruben Michelle Johnson Jr., 20, of Vallejo was found shot numerous times in at an apartment complex on the 100 block Hilborn Ave. at 5:50 p.m. Saturday, police said.
Johnson died at a local hospital.
No arrest has been made.
Henry K. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: email@example.com Twitter: @henryklee
Posted: March 30, 2015, 5:15 am
For the people inside Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, the 31st incarnation of professional wrestling’s finest hour was their Super Bowl. “I might not ever get to see a Super Bowl,” said Nick Koliopoulos, a 26-year-old chef from Fremont, wearing a “Steve 3:16” T-shirt in homage to wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin. [...] the organic kale-craving swath of the Bay Area may wonder how the blue-collar ballet could draw any kind of crowd here. [...] for the past several days, wrestling fans have filled hotels in San Jose and packed events where they could get up close and personal with their favorite heroes and villains. Thanks to an estimated 70 percent of the fans making pilgrimages from outside the area, the events around WrestleMania 31 are expected to pump more than $100 million into the Bay Area economy. Fans mimicked Flair’s high-pitched chirp as they streamed off light-rail trains and into the stadium Sunday. VTA officials and fans said light-rail trains from the Fremont BART Station to the stadium were packed with an estimated 11,000 riders — 50 percent more than for the average 49ers game. The transit agency increased the number of express buses to accommodate all of the out-of-towners and started their expanded service four hours before the matches as opposed to three hours for Niners games. Traffic was jammed around Levi’s Stadium much as for a Niners game. If this was a warm-up for the Super Bowl — when many of the fans will be navigating the stadium for the first time — there’s still some herding improvements to make. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, wrestler-turned-movie-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey were in attendance. The stadium was two-thirds full at 3 p.m., when the preliminary matches started. “Nah, I think we’ll stick it out,” said Tittle, a registered nurse from Manteca who paid $100 on a ticket resale site for the privilege of being in the house. The problem with die-hards staying until the end is that traffic heading home was knotted.
Posted: March 30, 2015, 4:12 am
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police requested the public’s help in finding a UC Berkeley student who went missing after he left a party near the University of Southern California.
Officer Norma Eisenman says 19-year-old Eloi Vasquez of Berkeley was last seen on Saturday at 1:30 a.m. on the 600 block of West 28th Street attending a party with friends.
“Eloi is a wonderful young man who has excelled both academically and athletically here at Cal,” the university’s athletics department said in a statement on Sunday.
According to his biography on the team’s website, he is a graduate of Marin Academy high school in San Rafael.
Posted: March 30, 2015, 2:40 am
Women’s marijuana event 'a Tupperware party for cannabis’
In a Russian Hill apartment, 17 women passed around cannabis-infused gluten-free vegan blueberry almond granola and rubbed marijuana-based topical cream into their shoulders.
The attendees — lawyers and chefs and nurses and tech executives among them — inhaled from vaporizers and erupted in laughter when a woman lauded the aphrodisiac wonders of Sexxpot, a new strain of Humboldt County-grown herb that she recently smoked with her husband.
Part professional women’s networking group, part social group for weed-loving women, part showcase for female entrepreneurs, last week’s pot klatch stands on the leading edge of the cannabis movement.
While women are being targeted with new products in the booming $2.7 billion marijuana market, many female weed entrepreneurs are frustrated that their voice is muted in a business that — much like those in the original Tupperware party era — is male-dominated.
Karyn Wagner, whose Humboldt collective created Sexxpot, said dispensary buyers scoffed when she pitched them the strain aimed at the female libido with the marketing tagline, “the flowers she really wants.”
Ramona Green got similar shrugs from male buyers when she pitched them products from her Doc Green’s Healing Collective line.
The Berkeley company sells topical healing creams that combine strains of cannabis with shea butter lotion.
The group gathered at Conley’s apartment included her mother, who recently rekindled her interest in cannabis, and two women in their 20s, comparing notes on the men they met on High There, a dating app for weed-friendly singles.
[...] they wanted to create a broader space for women to share more than business cards.
At one of the group’s first meetings, a woman shared how she had recently visited a dispensary and asked a young male budtender if he had any strains to help alleviate her perimenopausal symptoms.
Part of that is due to the legacy of the industry’s “boobs and buds” imagery, in which women are largely seen as ornamental.
At a January conference for high-net-worth investors looking to break into the cannabis market, Troy Dayton, co-founder of the pot industry analysis firm ArcView Group, surveyed the audience in a San Francisco ballroom and told them that “for the most part, this crowd is about the whitest, male-est crowd in the world.”
“I would just like to ask for your help in making ArcView and the industry not just another old boys’ network,” said Dayton, whose company was a sponsor of the event.
For months, mainstream pharmaceutical drugs did little to help her recovery until her friends persuaded her to try weed.
Posted: March 30, 2015, 2:03 am
The “Robin Williams Tunnel” took a major step closer to reality when it cleared the transportation committee of the State Assembly on a 16-0 vote last week.
The plan to honor the late comedian by naming the tunnel that connects Golden Gate Bridge traffic to greater Marin County, was introduced by Assembly Member Marc Levine of San Rafael, after 60,000 signatures were collected on a petition.
The tunnel has never had an official name, though some call it “the Waldo Tunnel” because it travels the Waldo Grade, and some call it “the Rainbow Tunnel” because the southern portal is painted in a rainbow motif.
Williams is worthy of its official name, Levine said, because he was raised in Marin and lived most of his life there while driving through the tunnel to San Francisco, to perform in comedy clubs and later motion pictures.
Posted: March 30, 2015, 1:11 am
The legislation would also seek to allow camera-issued citations for cars driving in transit-only lanes, “block the box” violations in which cars obstruct intersections and crosswalks, and illegally parked or stopped vehicles in lanes not designated for transit only.
The MTA is clearly counting on continuing that, having equipped its entire fleet of more than 800 buses with enforcement cameras and rolling out a series of so-called “red carpet” transit-only lanes painted red to stand out.
Tickets for vehicles parked in transit-only lanes run $110, said MTA spokesman Paul Rose, while citations for blocking intersections and crosswalks cost $103, and parking or stopping in bus zones costs $279.
The purpose is to remind people they should not be driving or parking in transit-only lanes or blocking intersections.
The bill has the backing of Mayor Ed Lee, who said reauthorizing the transit-lane enforcement program would “help make Muni, taxis, shuttles, bikes and cars move around the city more smoothly and predictably, and can make the streets safer for everyone, particularly pedestrians.”
Thea Selby, chairwoman of the San Francisco Transit Riders Union, also backed the bill, saying the test of transit-only lanes and camera enforcement has worked.
Posted: March 29, 2015, 10:17 pm
The SNACK benefit concert at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco was put together in a breakneck 3½ weeks, with appearances by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Marlon Brando, Willie Mays and more.
The SNACK concert (Students Need Activities, Culture and Kicks), which raised $200,000 to save high school sports in San Francisco, was everything great about concerts in San Francisco.
[...] it continued the city tradition of artists and promoters who are willing to leave their comfort zones and put on a show that no one will ever forget.
Looking at the past half century of rock and pop music performances, is there any city in the nation you would rather live in?
Is there any city that has gotten more out of its homegrown talent, and seen so many artists from out of town step up their artistry to another level?
Artists and bands on the treadmill of a multicity tour will break out of the haze, throw away their carved-in-stone set list and do something special because it’s San Francisco.
The Long Beach rapper was going through the motions at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium when through the marijuana smoke several figures emerged.
Snoop had invited generations of the greatest S.F. and Oakland rappers — including Too $hort, San Quinn, Rappin’ 4-Tay and Mistah F.A.B. — to engage in a joyous 20-minute freestyle, leaving stunned fans in thrilled disbelief.
The Civic Auditorium has been hosting live music since it was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
More memories exist in defunct venues, including the Avalon Ballroom and Winterland.
San Francisco’s reputation as a special place for rock concerts started in the mid-1960s, when a string of one-offs and benefits solidified San Francisco as not just a creator of new music, but also an inspiration for new ways of looking at performance.
The Grateful Dead were more often than not at the center of these musical freakouts, which The Chronicle, back when it was still more likely to write a profile of Paul Anka or Engelbert Humperdinck than Quicksilver Messenger Service, covered with a mixture of bemusement and concern.
“The first thing to say about the Trips Festival is that there is nothing to say about the Trips Festival,” The Chronicle’s Bob Graham wrote after the first day of the January 1966 acid-fueled concert.
The Grateful Dead, Chinese lion dancers and various visual artists contributed to a three-day freakout at Longshoreman’s Hall near Fisherman’s Wharf.
By the time the Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company took the stage on the second day, even The Chronicle was writing about the positive energy of the scene.
There were many events like this in the 1960s, combining different venues and lineups and causes for something unique — events like the Human Be-in on Jan. 14, 1967, which again mixed the music of bands including the Dead with poets and thought leaders, including Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
The tragedy at Altamont Speedway Free Festival in December 1969, which resulted in four deaths, rightfully endures as a symbol of the unofficial end of hippie culture.
Newspaper stories also show bad feelings earlier in the year surrounding the 11th-hour cancellation of the August 1969 Wild West Festival at Kezar Stadium.
The late Warren Hellman’s annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass transcends genres, with folk and bluegrass legends mixing with rock and even rap icons for a free October weekend festival in Golden Gate Park.
The Outside Lands and Treasure Island Music festivals are 21st century versions of Day on the Green, with diverse lineups of popular bands.
Metallica, whose members came up in small S.F. clubs such as the Stone, played a 2011 four-show Fillmore residency to celebrate their 30th anniversary, inviting all of their past collaborators and major influences.
When the demolition of Candlestick Park was announced, Paul McCartney stepped up for a special show last year to send off the stadium; fitting, because the last public Beatles show was at Candlestick in 1966.
Posted: March 29, 2015, 3:00 am
The driver, whose name has not been released, appears to have missed a curve and instead drove off the road and down an embankment, said CHP Officer Amelia Jack.
The car then hit the opposing bank of the creek bed, crushing the front of the vehicle and trapping the driver inside the car, which almost immediately caught fire, she said.
Witnesses claim that they say the driver earlier at a local tavern, while one witness says they saw him driving recklessly prior to the collision, Jack added.
Posted: March 28, 2015, 10:40 pm
With a fourth year of drought looming, officials at many water departments are taking extra steps to make sure their pipes are free of glitches big and small.
“Especially these last four years, being in a drought, this has taken heightened importance for us,” said Katie Miller, a division manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, who is spearheading the program.
Miller noted that reducing lost water also keeps customer rates down, since it doesn’t have to be absorbed as a loss on the books.
With more than 1,200 miles of pipeline beneath city streets, water officials are focusing their initial inspections on about 130 miles of cast iron lines that deliver water exclusively to firefighters.
Bess, 31, who works with his colleague Anthony Stevenson at M.E. Simpson Co., which is based in Indiana, attaches his custom mike to either a hydrant or a valve accessible from the street and listens for the telltale sound of a leaking pipe.
When the sound is detected, as was the case near the intersection of Union and Front streets this month, the two use a specialized computer to measure how long it takes for the sound of the leak to travel to the surface, allowing them to pinpoint the exact location of the faulty pipe.
The utilities commission maintenance team is now seeking an expedited permit to dig up the area and fix the line.
The city’s leak-detection program is being managed by Pure Technologies, based in Canada, which has worked with other cities to reduce water waste.
Posted: March 28, 2015, 10:19 pm
A state appeals court has overturned part of the pension cutbacks for city employees that San Francisco voters approved in November 2011, a reduction of cost-of-living increases for retirees when their pension fund was earning more than previously expected.
The reduction was part of Proposition C, sponsored by Mayor Ed Lee, backed by labor unions and approved by more than two-thirds of the voters.
The ruling doesn’t affect the measure’s central provision, which required city employees to contribute 7.5 percent of their salaries to the pension fund, a percentage that will rise when the fund is dwindling and drop when it is thriving.
Adding to the annual inflation adjustments pensioners were already entitled to receive, the new provisions gave them an additional increase of up to 3.5 percent in years when the city retirement fund’s earnings were higher than anticipated.
While the ballot measure argued that it merely clarified the previous voter-approved laws, the First District Court of Appeal said Friday it was actually a cutback that would eliminate the increased payments in some years when the fund had exceeded its projected earnings.
David Clisham, a lawyer for employees and retirees who filed the suit, said he disagreed with that part of the ruling but considered it an important victory overall for 23,000 former city workers and for current employees.
Posted: March 28, 2015, 8:55 pm
Posted: March 28, 2015, 10:00 am
Martinez police were investigating a fatal crash between a pedestrian and a vehicle on Morello Avenue near Highway 4 on Friday night.
A stretch of Morello on the south side of the highway was closed because of the incident, according to a Police Department post on Twitter.
Details weren’t immediately available.
Erin Allday is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: March 28, 2015, 5:08 am
Bullying behavior, offers of cheeseburgers for silence, threats of violence, rumors of other deputies knowing but doing nothing — the accusations in the 2006 sexual assault civil cases against San Francisco sheriff’s Deputy Scott Neu echo the allegations made Thursday by County Jail inmates who said the deputy forced them to fight each other for his entertainment.
After three inmates in 2006 accused Neu of forcing them to perform sexual acts on him, the case was handled internally by other deputies, and apparently no criminal charges were presented to the district attorney’s office.
Since those accusations, Neu has had four more lawsuits filed against him: one for a false arrest and three for excessive force.
Harry Stern, an attorney for the deputies’ union, said he did not believe that the sexual misconduct suits had merit in the criminal justice system, which is why charges were never filed against Neu.
In recorded conversations with Adachi, the inmates said Neu had created an environment of fear and retribution in County Jail No. 4 at 850 Bryant St., humiliating an overweight inmate by making him “train” for the fights and ordering them to gamble for their basic benefits of food and clean laundry.
[...] Mark Nicco, assistant legal counsel for the Sheriff’s Department, said that before the 2014 establishment of the criminal investigations unit, the sheriff’s internal affairs unit handled all reports of deputy misconduct.
Since 2005, the department has fired six sworn personnel and three civilian employees, but Nicco said he did not know why.
According to the city attorney’s office, a jury ruled in Neu’s favor in one 2011 excessive force lawsuit.
Since the fight allegations came to light, Neu, along with the other deputies named in the allegations — Deputies Eugene Jones, Clifford Chiba and Evan Staehely — have been put on paid administrative leave.
Posted: March 28, 2015, 4:48 am
A federal appeals court ruling that eases legal standards for deportees who face the prospect of torture has given new hope to a Bay Area man who described ordeals of abuse in his native Mexico at the hands of corrupt police.
In the same ruling, the court overturned previous decisions, dating to 2004, that required immigrants who feared torture after deportation to prove that it would be impossible to relocate to a safe place in their native country.
According to his testimony, which immigration judges found credible, Maldonado was held for three months and subjected to beatings, burnings with cigarettes, electric shocks to his testicles and choking with a water-filled bag placed over his head.
Maldonado fled to the United States three times between 2000 and 2007, was deported each time, and suffered the same brutal treatment from police, who had started to gather victims from airports across Mexico, he testified.
[...] the appeals court majority, led by Judge Richard Paez, said federal immigration law does not require a deportee to prove that safe relocation in a country would be impossible.
[...] the court said government records showed that in April 2010, six months after his last deportation order, he applied for renewal of his California driver’s license in Palo Alto.
Posted: March 28, 2015, 3:53 am
Rabbis, pastors, priests and members of different faiths encircled a San Ramon mosque on Friday afternoon, standing shoulder to shoulder with locked arms in a show of solidarity with the Muslim Americans who were inside praying.
“We’re recognizing that there is a whole community that lives in fear of violence against them,” said the Rev. Will McGarvey, executive director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, one of the organizers of the event, which brought more than 200 people to the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center.
Afterward, Muslims, Jews and Christians gave speeches emphasizing their commonalities as people.
In February, a group of protesters confronted Muslim Americans attending Islam Day at the Oklahoma Capitol just weeks after a similar protest was held outside of Texas’ Muslim Capitol Day rally.
Earlier in the month, three Muslim Americans in North Carolina were shot dead, allegedly by a neighbor, in what the victims’ families called a hate crime.
“It’s a concrete example that we can give our children that we are not alone,” Hina Mukhtar, a 43-year-old San Ramon teacher and mother of three boys, said of the event.
Maimoona Ahmed, a 71-year-old Concord resident and member of a local interfaith women’s circle who also helped organize the event, said it was inspiring.
Hamed Aleaziz is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.
Posted: March 28, 2015, 2:28 am