A Contra Costa County sheriff’s boat began taking on water and sank Thursday morning near Bay Point, forcing the deputies aboard to swim to shore, officials said.
Around 9:20 a.m., a marine patrol boat was traveling along the shoreline near Bay Point in eastern Contra Costa County when the vessel began leaking at an “uncontrollable rate,” according to Jimmy Lee, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
The location of the sunken boat was marked with buoys and a salvage crew removed it by Thursday evening, Lee said.
Posted: July 3, 2015, 2:30 am
A judge on Thursday rejected a request for a temporary restraining order against prosecutors by the company that built the Berkeley apartment complex where six people died in a balcony collapse.
Judge Evelio Grillo of Alameda County Superior Court said Segue Construction Inc. of Pleasanton had not shown evidence that it would suffer “irreparable harm” if the district attorney’s investigators were to inspect the balcony and a second rotted deck without the company’s participation.
The tests are part of a criminal investigation into the June 16 collapse of a rotted-out balcony at the apartment complex at 2020 Kittredge St., in which six people were killed and seven were injured.
In court Thursday, Victoria Ersoff, an attorney for Segue, said the company wanted to preserve evidence for both the criminal case and lawsuits likely to be filed over the collapse.
Assistant District Attorney Micheal O’Connor disagreed, saying, Forensic examination of evidence could hardly be described as tampering.
O’Connor wrote in a court filing that any court injunction “controlling a criminal investigation would infringe on the powers of the executive branch” and “fails to account for the interests of the public in general and of the victims of the collapse in particular.”
Posted: July 2, 2015, 11:00 pm
Transit service, S.F. parking for Fourth of July weekend
Holiday transit and services Friday and Saturday:
offices and courts
Regular weekday service Friday, Sunday schedule on Saturday
Regular weekday service Friday, Sunday/holiday schedule on Saturday.
Golden Gate Transit
Reduced weekday service for Larkspur and Sausalito ferries on Friday.
For buses, no service on the 25 and 37 lines, and extra service on the 36 and 71 routes.
On Saturday, weekend schedule for ferries and Sunday schedule for buses.
No service on 24, 60 and 86 lines Friday; weekday schedule for other routes.
Regular weekday schedule on Friday.
Weekend schedule on Saturday, with four extra southbound trains after the San Francisco fireworks show.
Regular weekday service on Friday, Sunday schedule on Saturday.
Meters and all weekday parking restrictions enforced on Friday.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 10:50 pm
San Francisco’s Embarcadero, one of the city’s most popular destinations for Bay Area residents and visitors, was the scene of a shooting Wednesday evening that left a woman dead and a man detained for questioning as a person of interest.
The fatal incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m. on Pier 14, a pedestrian pier atop a breakwater south of the Ferry Building and Mission Street.
Officers responding to calls found a woman with a gunshot wound in the upper torso, according to Officer Carlos Manfredi, a police spokesman.
Witnesses on the scene heard no argument or dispute before the gunfire, according to Manfredi, which suggests that the incident was random.
“It appears she was here with family,” Manfredi said, standing in front of yellow police tape on a promenade that attracts thousands of strollers and joggers each day.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 10:40 pm
Posted: July 2, 2015, 8:29 pm
Posted: July 2, 2015, 6:48 pm
Take, for example, Supervisor Scott Wiener’s long-planned bid for the state Senate seat Mark Leno will surrender next year when he terms out.
Sure, Wiener on Wednesday said all the things expected of any Democratic candidate in San Francisco, pledging to make tough decisions and fight for more affordable housing, better transportation, additional open space, etc., etc., etc.
With only a few chances to move up the political ladder in San Francisco, an open seat in the Legislature is a shining beacon for ambitious local Democrats.
[...] there are all five supervisors from San Mateo County, which makes up a 10th of the state Senate district, the local police and fire unions, a bunch of other labor groups and a list of other backers that includes former 49ers President Carmen Policy, former Ambassador James Hormel, Pius Lee of the Chinatown Neighborhood Association, and civic leaders Anne Halsted and Mark Buell.
[...] none of the names on the list has much if any connection to San Francisco’s progressive community, where Kim, Campos and Ammiano would draw their support, but they do show that the area’s more moderate power structure is united behind Wiener.
Given the progressives’ recent track record in high-profile city races, that leaves a question for the supervisor’s would-be opponents:
Muni will boost its light-rail fleet of 161 train cars by 64, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has said.
“The additional trains helps us to meet the expanding demand in the short term and the long term,” MTA spokesman Paul Rose said.
The new train cars will have a new seat configuration and new interior color schemes and exterior design.
“These additional vehicles will bring a once-in-a-generation improvement for people riding Muni,” agency Director Ed Reiskin said in a statement.
How complicated are the issues — and politics — surrounding the Port of San Francisco’s update of its waterfront plan?
Ten spots are reserved for people drawn in general from the city and region; another five are assigned to one representative each from advisory groups that already have been established.
The remaining 13 appointees are expected to embody various “waterfront perspectives,” from public access and maritime commerce to urban design, tourism and all manners of transportation.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 6:22 pm
Drought-stricken Bay Area hit by tiniest bit of rain
Some areas, including Santa Rosa and coastal San Mateo County near Pescadero, received scattered showers overnight resulting in measurable rainfall between .01 and .02 inches, Strudley said.
Hamed Aleaziz is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 4:43 pm
Luciano Sagastume said he walks past the “Por Vida” mural on the exterior of Galeria de la Raza at 24th and Bryant streets in San Francisco every day, but the first time he saw it he stopped to take it in.
The mural, which depicts two queer couples on opposite ends of the wall-sized artwork with a transgender man in the middle, spoke to him.
“I had never seen a Latino trans man depicted before,” said Sagastume, a 28-year-old transgender Latino who lives just a few blocks from the gallery.
More than 150 members of the community — including politicians, artists, activists and religious leaders — rallied in the streets just outside the gallery Wednesday evening to support each other and send a message that the vandalism, which is being investigated as a hate crime, would not divide the Mission, especially coming on the heels of a joyous Pride weekend and the Supreme Court decision that gave federal recognition to same-sex marriage.
Three days after it went up, someone sprayed blue and red paint over the faces of the mural’s subjects, but gallery workers replaced the mural June 18 with a fresh print.
While the tenor of Wednesday’s rally had notes of sadness, fear and grief, the overall message was one of resolve and motivation to use the ugly incident to foster dialogue within the community.
“When I look through the layers,” Sagastume said, pointing to the original mural now exposed through the hole burned in its replacement.
The suspect in Monday’s arson is a male about 5 feet 9 and 160 pounds who wore a black sweatshirt, black pants, white tennis shoes and white gloves, with his face covered by a black cloth.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 4:49 am
A 25-year-old woman died Wednesday when she crashed into another vehicle at Mineta San Jose International Airport, police said.
The victim, whose name was not immediately released, was driving a red 2007 Pontiac G5 at high speed when she crashed into a 2010 Audi sport utility vehicle outside a parking structure near Terminal B about 10:30 a.m., authorities said.
Five people inside the SUV, including an infant, were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 2:32 am
Before Alcatraz was what park historian Stephen Haller calls “the most famous prison in the world,” it was a fortress, bristling with guns and complete with a moat, a drawbridge and a sally port, like an ancient castle.
On Wednesday, the island’s newly refurbished old guardhouse and sally port entrance to the complex were unveiled with a flourish by Golden Gate National Recreation Area general superintendent Chris Lehnertz.
The sally port, which resembles a brick tunnel and was staffed by armed guards for more than a century, “is historic and important,” Lehnertz said.
Most visitors today come to see Al Capone’s cell and hear stories about famous inmates and escape attempts, but the island’s military past is also important.
Fort Sumter is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
The Army occupied the island for more than 75 years, as a fortress and then as a military prison — a disciplinary barracks was the term.
The sally port was the entrance to a citadel and was guarded by cannon and smaller rifle gun ports.
If an enemy had somehow landed on the island, that enemy would have to cross a dry moat and either batter down the walls or storm them in a frontal assault.
Just down a steep flight of stairs from the sally port entrance is a medium-sized room — the guardroom, where the first military prisoners were held.
In the Civil War days, it housed civilian prisoners accused of such offenses as flying the Confederate flag, denouncing the military, refusing to take a loyalty oath to the United States or, Haller said, “rejoicing at the assassination of the president.”
Later, supervising ranger Marcus Koenen led a rare tour “under the scenes,” to the citadel underneath the main prison cell block.
The citadel and the dungeon areas are laced with steel bracing to hold up the buildings on top of the island.
The sally port restoration, which included seismic work, cost $3,087,959 exactly, or $1 under budget, said project manager David Dusterhoff.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 2:03 am
Safety of warhead-related tests challenged, June 29, Bay Area, C4
A story that began on Page C1 contained incorrect information about the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. The United States ratified it in 1970.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 1:08 am
The state Senate voted last week to name the tunnel after the late comedian and Marin resident — who got his big break wearing rainbow suspenders on the “Mork & Mindy” TV show — after approval by the Assembly in April.
Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, introduced the legislation after a Change.org petition garnered thousands of signatures in support of the name change.
The tunnel is also sometimes called the Rainbow tunnel because of the rainbows painted on the tunnel arches on the southern side.
Signs are being made at a cost of about $3,000, which is being paid from private donations, said Caltrans spokesman Steve Williams.
[...] Bay Area traffic reporters may have to practice calling the tunnel by its new name.
California Highway Patrol officers, though, will probably still call it the Rainbow tunnel or Waldo Tunnel, said Officer Daniel Hill, an agency spokesman.
“We’ll accept whatever callers will use for it, but it’s really hard to break a CHP officer out of a habit,” Hill said.
“He was my neighbor — I often saw him running errands, walking the dog, performing at the local theater, working at the coffee shop,” she wrote on the Change.org page.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 12:44 am
California residents cut their water use by nearly 29 percent in May compared with the same month in 2013, the steepest reduction since officials began calling for people to conserve last year, according to figures the state released Wednesday.
The 28.9 percent drop was well above the 11 percent cumulative savings registered in the year since Gov. Jerry Brown called for voluntary statewide cutbacks of 20 percent.
[...] there was optimism Wednesday that residents across the state might finally be looking at the lack of rain not as a dusty irritation, but as a threat to the state’s quality of life.
“We hope we’ve hit a turning point in terms of people getting the message, that it’s sinking in that we’re in a severe drought,” said Katheryn Landau, an environmental scientist for the State Water Resources Control Board.
Asked the secret to Hillsborough’s success, interim City Manager Kathy Leroux could point to no single factor.
Average daily water use per person was 66.4 gallons — the lowest per capita residential figures for any part of the state except the North Coast.
Posted: July 2, 2015, 12:20 am
Once again, much of the Bay Area sizzled Wednesday, the back half of a two-day surge of heat that pushed temperatures in some spots into the triple digits.
[...] the warm-up was expected to simmer down late Wednesday and Thursday, with cooler temperatures prevailing into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, forecasters said.
The cooling will be less pronounced in San Francisco, because the city never really felt this week’s heat wave, barely cracking 70 degrees.
The cooler weather comes as a strong ridge of high pressure hovering over the northern part of the state weakens and monsoonal moisture starts to drift over from the Southwest.
Temperatures in San Francisco will stay in the mid-60s through the weekend as some patchy fog drifts in for Saturday’s fireworks celebrations.
Posted: July 1, 2015, 10:06 pm