By Tuesday morning, 370 acres had burned and more than 100 structures were damaged or destroyed, but firefighters had the blaze 20 percent contained, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials.
Locals at the scene said the burned buildings included homes, businesses and a Roman Catholic church.
Fanned by gusting 40-mph winds, it jumped Highway 97 and took off with explosive speed, racing into the community as terrified residents fled.
The fire was headed toward Interstate 5 as the sun went down Monday, and firefighters were reportedly battling to save Angel Valley, a rural area at least half of which was said to have burned.
[...] a wildfire was devouring dry brush and timber along the south fork of the American River near Pollock Pines (El Dorado County) had grown to 11,570 acres and was only 5 percent contained.
Posted: September 16, 2014, 2:12 pm
Supervisor London Breed will announce Tuesday that she has lost confidence in the leadership of the San Francisco Fire Department, saying its inability to get ambulances to medical emergencies quickly is putting public safety at risk.
[...] Breed said she plans to draft a charter amendment, which would have to be approved by voters, requiring the department to maintain minimum levels of ambulance staffing and working equipment.
The Fire Department has increasingly struggled to get ambulances to medical emergencies to transport patients to the hospital, an issue that has been detailed in several city reports this year.
While fire trucks with at least one paramedic on board respond to all 911 calls within minutes to administer medical care, patients are regularly waiting for long periods for an ambulance to arrive - it happened 2,500 times in 2013, a fourfold increase since 2008 and 25 percent jump over 2012.
Earlier this month, the head of the agency's homeland security and special operations division was stripped of his post after he was accused of running into another car in his department-issued sedan, then fleeing the accident with his emergency lights on.
In May, two assistant chiefs were suspended for their handling of a 2013 incident in which an allegedly drunken firefighter struck a motorcyclist and left the scene before being tested for intoxication.
Posted: September 16, 2014, 1:01 pm
The maker of one of the costliest drugs in the world announced Monday that it had struck agreements with seven Indian generic drugmakers to sell lower-cost versions of the medicine — a $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C treatment — in poorer countries.
The moves are intended to provide greater access to the medicine Sovaldi for most of the nearly 180 million infected worldwide with hepatitis C who do not live in rich countries.
The most common modes of infection from the blood-borne virus are unsafe injection practices, inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, and unscreened blood and blood products.
Apple Inc., after facing complaints from customers unhappy with receiving a free copy of U2’s new album, said it has created a way for users to permanently delete it.
Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s plan to test same-day delivery for products purchased on their websites, parent company Macy’s Inc. announced Monday, joining the growing ranks of retailers trying to compete with superfast delivery options offered by sites like Amazon.com.
Industrial production in the United States unexpectedly declined in August for the first time in seven months, as automakers slowed assembly lines.
Posted: September 16, 2014, 1:07 am
The odds the central bank will increase its benchmark rate by July have risen to 58 percent from 51 percent at the end of August, federal fund futures show.
The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting in Washington Tuesday amid comments from officials including Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren that it’s time to consider dropping a pledge to keep rates low for a “considerable time” after the completion of the central bank’s bond-purchase program.
Options traders are betting that Fed officials’ estimates of where the policy rate will be at the end of 2017, displayed as dots on a chart, will be significantly higher than the 2.73 percent rate currently signaled by the December 2017 contracts.
U.S. government debt rose Monday as output at factories, mines and utilities fell 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent gain the previous month that was smaller than previously reported, figures from the Fed showed in Washington.
While more than $3 trillion of debt purchases by the Fed since 2008 helped the United States recover from its worst recession in seven decades, bond-market indicators for inflation expectations have fallen this quarter.
The difference between yields on 10-year notes and similar-maturity Treasury inflation-protected securities, a gauge of trader expectations for consumer prices over the life of the debt, has fallen to 2.13 percentage points from 2.30 as recently as July.
Posted: September 16, 2014, 1:04 am
If this round of Board of Supervisors elections was a movie, it would be called "Dull and Duller" and nobody in their right mind would buy a ticket.
For comic relief, we'll point out that Supervisor Scott Wiener is facing off against a nudist who hates the incumbent's ban on exposing genitalia in public.
If Wiener loses the race, we're sure plenty of political consultants will eat their hats - but keep the rest of their clothing on.
The dearth of excitement in the race is one reason political columnists everywhere - OK, in the press room at City Hall - had their interest piqued this week by a dustup in District 10 involving accusations of sexism and counterattacks of incompetence.
Cohen is a young, slim, attractive African American woman with an enviable wardrobe.
Frankly, we thought Kelly and the organizers of the party would take the politically correct route, say the wording was misunderstood and apologize for any offense taken.
Maloof, who is also African American, is endorsing Kelly, who is white, because she thinks he will act in a more straightforward, quicker fashion than Cohen.
Cohen's website lists 40 accomplishments in her first term, from passing tough regulations on guns and lethal ammunition to increasing penalties for illegal dumping, a longtime problem in the Bayview.
Posted: September 16, 2014, 12:07 am
The Three Feet for Safety Act, a state law passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, takes effect Tuesday - in time to help make bike riding safe during the traditional back-to-school surge in two-wheel commuting.
Drivers have always been required to pass bicyclists on the left and to allow a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bike.
Impatient drivers who squeeze past bike riders at a closer distance are subject to fines of $35 plus court costs, which increase the cost to $237.
According to the California Highway Patrol, 153 bicyclists were killed in collisions with motor vehicles in the state in 2012, a 7 percent increase from 2011.
Some drivers have asked what happens if a bicyclist swerves toward them or tries to squeeze through slow-moving traffic between cars, making it difficult or impossible to stay 3 feet away.
Posted: September 16, 2014, 12:07 am
A lone Buddha statue placed in a crime-troubled neighborhood becomes a shrine that seems to have helped quell illegal activity The 11th Avenue resident in Oakland's Eastlake neighborhood was simply feeling hopeful in 2009 when he went to an Ace hardware store, purchased a 2-foot-high stone Buddha and installed it on a median strip in a residential area at 11th Avenue and 19th Street. Area residents began to leave offerings at the base of the Buddha: flowers, food, candles. Since 2012, when worshipers began showing up for daily prayers, overall year-to-date crime has dropped by 82 percent. Robbery reports went from 14 to three, aggravated assaults from five to zero, burglaries from eight to four, narcotics from three to none, and prostitution from three to none. To this day, every morning at 7, worshipers ring a chime, clang a bell and play soft music as they chant morning prayers. The original statue is now part of an elaborate shrine that includes a wooden structure standing 10 feet tall and holding religious statues, portraits, food and fruit offerings surrounded by incense-scented air. In 2012, after a resident's complaint, the city's Public Works Department tried to remove the statue but received such passionate blowback from neighbors that city officials decided to table and "study" the issue.
Posted: September 16, 2014, 12:07 am
Forecasters say the Category 2 hurricane that struck Mexico's Baja California peninsula overnight Sunday, dubbed Hurricane Odile, could send moisture to Northern California sometime Wednesday.
The projected rainfall is not expected to be significant, but it would mark the first precipitation since July when parts of the Bay Area recorded a few hundredths of an inch.
Posted: September 15, 2014, 9:50 pm
The burgundy BMW sedan went into the double doors of the saloon at 155 Columbus Ave. at about 1:45 p.m., plowing through until it reached the bar, said Central Station police Capt. David Lazar.
The driver, who remained at the scene and cooperated with police, was evaluated for minor injuries.
Fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said damage to the building didn't appear to be structural.
[...] Comstock Saloon managing partner Jonny Raglin said the crash "pretty much destroyed the bar area," and that the restaurant will be closed indefinitely for repairs.
Posted: September 15, 2014, 8:17 pm
A fiery big rig crash sent nine people to the hospital early Monday morning in San Leandro and closed all lanes of Interstate 880 in both directions for hours, turning the morning commute into a nightmare for scores of commuters, CHP officials said.
The incident began around 3 a.m. when the driver of a sport utility vehicle crashed in the southbound lanes of the freeway near Marina Boulevard, said CHP Officer Colton Kropp, an agency spokesman.
The truck burst through the barrier - spraying chunks of concrete across all lanes of the highway - before coming to rest partway in the fast lane of northbound 880.
Posted: September 15, 2014, 7:46 pm
California is in a historic three-year drought, and recent photos taken in Northern California put a visual exclamation mark on the issue. The images were captured in August by Justin Sullivan of Getty Images, in the same locations at Lake Oroville and Folsom Lake where the California Department of Water Resources took photos in July 2011. Lake Oroville in Butte County is currently at 31 percent capacity, while Folsom Lake near Sacramento is at 38 percent of capacity.
Posted: September 15, 2014, 7:08 pm
Fillmore then runs down the hill, past Victorians, many of them with fresh paint, on the edge of the Alamo Square Historic District.
Fillmore flattens out at the bottom of a big valley, the historic heart of the Western Addition.
The names of vanished storefronts on Fillmore are carved in the sidewalk, names from the 1920s when this was a Jewish neighborhood.
Jimbo's Bop City, the Booker T. Washington Hotel, just off Fillmore, the offices of the African American Sun Reporter and the Japanese American Nichi Bei Times.
The Japanese were packed off to internment camps and black families, drawn West by the promise of jobs, replaced them.
There are dozens of names on plaques embedded in the concrete - civil rights leaders, union men and women, writers, preachers and politicians.
Audley Cole, the first African American to work for the Muni Railway, his wife, Josephine, the city's first African American high school teacher, Yori Wada, the first Asian to be a UC regent.
Up Fillmore, past the venues where they are trying to keep jazz alive, is Geary Boulevard and just west of that are the sites of Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium and Jim Jones' Peoples Temple - both famous in their day.
A couple of blocks away, young men make hanging out on street corners into an art form.
Posted: September 15, 2014, 12:01 pm
Friday, Sept. 12, draw and payouts
Mega MillionsJackpot: $52 million
18283336427MEGATuesday, Sept. 16, jackpot: $62 million
Sunday, Sept. 14 draws
Fantasy 5719283031Daily 47129Daily 3 (midday)430Daily 3 (evening)277Daily Derby race time: 1:45.78
First06Whirl WinSecond09Winning SpiritThird02Lucky StarSaturday, Sept. 13, draw
PowerballJackpot: $149 million
1616375327PballPrize categoryCalifornia winnersPrize amount per winner5 of 5 with Pball0$149,000,0005 of 51$1,098,6244 of 5 with Pball6$5,1944 of 5104$1013 of 5 with Pball170$973 of 55,505$72 of 5 with Pball2,886$61 of 5 with Pball18,292$3Matched Pball35,650$4Wed., Sept. 17, jackpot: $171 million
Saturday, Sept. 13, draw
Super LottoJackpot: $8 million
36373841475MEGAWed., Sept. 17, jackpot: $9 million
For lottery updates: www.calottery.com
Posted: September 15, 2014, 5:29 am
Veteran Bay Area attorney Joanne Garvey, a pioneer among female lawyers in California, died of cancer Friday at her home in Kensington.
Ms. Garvey practiced business and tax law for most of her 52-year career and argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994.
In a statement from the group's 40th anniversary celebration, current President Neda Mansoorian said, "California Women Lawyers benefited profoundly from the historic and groundbreaking work of our founding mother, Joanne Garvey - a feminist visionary, a trailblazer."
Ms. Garvey was "one of the earliest and most powerful feminist voices in the national and local legal communities," said Noreen Farrell, executive director of Equal Rights Advocates, a nonprofit legal organization in San Francisco.
On the side, she played basketball at Holy Names High School in Oakland and at UC Berkeley when "it was considered unladylike to play against other teams," she told an interviewer in 1997.
Posted: September 15, 2014, 1:06 am
Impatient drivers pull into intersections - ignoring sluggish traffic, yellow or even red lights - and sit there blocking cross traffic, forcing pedestrians to meander through cars, trucks and buses and creating a gridlocked mess.
San Francisco transportation officials are considering reviving a tactic last used 27 years ago to get traffic moving during the evening commute.
The Municipal Transportation Agency just completed a six-day test of stepped-up enforcement and traffic control at two busy South of Market intersections on evenings when Giants games conspired with the evening commute to make bad traffic even worse.
If San Francisco were to create a "Don't Block the Box" campaign, it would probably focus on the South of Market area and possibly on Market Street and Church Street, said Cameron Samii, the MTA's enforcement manager.
Typically, cities identify a collection of problem intersections, post warning signs and then start writing tickets to violators.
The test program stemmed from a waterfront transportation study and complaints from SoMa residents about intersections clogged with drivers headed for the Bay Bridge, Blankinship said.
On the final two days, teams of parking control officers stood in the streets, directed traffic and issued citations to drivers unable or unwilling to follow directions.
Casey Osborn, an MTA intern counting cars for the project, said the difference in driver behavior changes instantly with the presence of the officers.
Posted: September 15, 2014, 1:03 am