A man authorities say shot himself at the West Oakland BART Station Tuesday night after transit police confronted him about smoking a cigarette on the platform remained in critical condition Wednesday.
The shooting happened at 8 p.m. Tuesday and shut down the West Oakland BART station for hours. The station was reopened late Tuesday night.
When told by transit police to put out his cigarette, the man, Corey Powell, 28, of Union City gave the officers false names and threatened to jump in front of an oncoming train, authorities said.
Powell then “resisted violently” and reached for his waistband, prompting police to stun him with a Taser, authorities said.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 9:19 pm
One of three men from Northern California hailed as heroes for subduing a gunman on a French train last month will appear on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in September, the network announced Wednesday.
Alek Skarlatos, 22, an Oregon Army National Guardsman, along with his two friends, Anthony Sadler, 23, and Spencer Stone, 23, tackled the man wielding an AK-47 on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, possibly averting a massacre.
On the show, which premieres September 14 on ABC, Skarlatos will be paired with professional dancer Lindsay Arnold.
Skarlatos — originally from Northern California, who now lives Roseburg, Ore — was on a European sightseeing trip with his friends, U.S.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 9:05 pm
Hot night meals have returned to San Quentin State Prison and no new confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported, officials said Wednesday.
Six inmates are confirmed to have the disease, a severe type of pneumonia, and 95 others exhibiting symptoms of the illness are being monitored in the prison’s medical unit, said Dana Simas, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The source of the disease, which is spread often by inhaling mist or vapor from water contaminated by Legionella bacteria, is still under investigation.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 7:57 pm
Ruth Newman was 4 when the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 shook her house so hard that all her grandma’s containers full of fresh cream got knocked to the floor. That was just before her father snatched her up in his arms and ran from the house. Mrs. Newman, who died July 29 at age of 113 in her home in Pebble Beach, was said to be the oldest survivor of the quake and fire that leveled much of San Francisco, and the last one to have any lingering memories of it. When the ground started shaking at 5:12 a.m., April 18, 1906, she was living with her family in a ranch in Healdsburg, about 70 miles north of San Francisco.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 7:23 pm
'Let us be his legs to let him see what we get to see.'
Posted: September 2, 2015, 3:55 pm
Lee must make enemies if he wants to combat homelessness
With his pronouncement that the homeless will “have to leave” their encampments on the city’s streets and sidewalks, Mayor Ed Lee has taken his first step away from being the social-worker-style mayor that he has been for the past four years.
The guy was going down the street, stopping along the sidewalk and doorways, poking the sleepers and telling them to Get up, get up.
No social services.
If Lee is serious about getting the chronic inebriates and such off the streets, he is going to have to cross the line and call for the imposition of prolonged stays at residential programs until the homeless who are so out of it they can’t take care of themselves can get a grip on their lives.
[...] if he can prevail, he will receive the eternal gratitude of 600,000 or 700,000 residents of this city, as well as a million visitors who come to work and to play.
Trump’s secret weapon is humor.
Trump is the product of the Comedy Central generation.
Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to skip the Democratic party pow-wow in Minnesota this weekend was a clear bow to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
[...] has anyone seen Bill Clinton? I’m starting to think he’s gone into the witness protection program.
Aaron Peskin’s bid to return to the Board of Supervisors is getting a tremendous boost from both Jack Davis and Rose Pak.
[...] for someone who is seriously ill, Rose looked spectacular when I saw her at the opening of the new cafe addition to Sam’s the other day.
[...] it’s over.
Judy and George Marcus, with Darius Anderson and Steven Kay, hosted 30 of their friends to raise money for an internship scholarship program at the Willie L. Brown Institute at San Francisco State University.
S.F. State President Leslie Wong made the case for the money and a host of supporters including Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean, California Engineering Contractors President Wahid Tadros, Clint and Janet Reilly, housing developer Oz Erickson, Academy of Art head Elisa Stephens, Lennar Urban excecutive Kofi Bonner, Jimi Harris of PG&E, real estate magnate Alvin Dworman, Victor and Farah Makras, Rusty Areias, Rich Guggenhime and the Giants’ Larry Baer responded with donations totaling $400,000.
The generosity prompted real estate magnate and former UC regent George Marcus and wife Judy to match the commitment dollar for dollar, resulting in $800,000 net for the evening.
Many students will be the direct beneficiary of this typical San Francisco generosity.
The CIA is again put to the task, this time out to eliminate three rogue, stone-cold losers that it had turned into permanent assassins.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 3:48 pm
The Transbay Joint Powers Authority has called off a much-anticipated live auction of a key piece of land after several of the developers, spooked in part by the meltdown of international stock markets, informed the agency they wouldn’t be submitting bids.
While $200 million is less than 10 percent of the cost of the $2.1 billion transit center, it’s money that is badly needed because the project’s construction costs have been skyrocketing.
Real estate sources said that several of the prequalified bidders were uncomfortable with the auction process, which would have required a hefty nonrefundable payment before any project was approved for the property.
[...] at least two of the five bidders were Chinese and may have been reluctant to place a major bet at a time when stock markets in that country have lost 43 percent of their value since June.
The agency’s decision to hold a live auction was likely motivated by a desire to jump on a land rush, largely fueled by Chinese money in recent months, that resulted in a $297 million sale of a 1.17-acre development site at nearby 50 First St. The buyer in that case was Tohigh Property Investment, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese group Oceanwide.
While money from China will continue to pour into San Francisco, it will be less likely to go after deals that come with the political and market risks associated with large downtown developments.
Darlene Chiu, who heads up ChinaSF, a city agency that helps bring Chinese investors to San Francisco, said she doesn’t expect any slowdown.
Patricia Yeh, a senior manager at architecture giant SOM, who works with Chinese developers, said that some foreign builders found that Block F, a mid-block site currently used for staging and access to the Transbay Terminal construction site, was trickier than initially thought.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 2:40 am
The Port of Oakland appears to be back up and running at full throttle after a summer of traffic jams and backlogs caused by a labor dispute earlier this year, officials said.
Tuesday marked the sixth straight day where no ships had to wait for berths at the port’s five marine terminals, officials said, after a long buildup of shipping vessels waiting to dock clogged the bay.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 2:13 am
“Julie Christensen has impressed me with her character and sense of civic purpose,” Feinstein said in a statement.
“I believe she will bring to the Board of Supervisors a commitment to improving the quality of life and neighborhood character in District 3, as well as neighborhoods throughout San Francisco,” Feinstein said.
The supervisor showed the senator the Navigation Center, a new homeless shelter in the Mission that allows people on the streets to move in with all of their belongings and provides them a variety of support services.
Muni riders on the 5R-Fulton Rapid line will soon get the thrill of going around traffic circles on their trips through the Western Addition.
The board approved a package of changes designed to further speed the bus — including the traffic circles, new traffic signals at Broderick and Scott streets, some bus stop relocations and 23 parking space removals.
Sean Kennedy, manager of the Muni Forward program, said the improvements should help reduce travel times, already reduced 9 percent, by another 11 percent.
[...] some residents worry that the traffic circles will bring vehicular chaos — including speeding cars and confused drivers — to their quiet residential neighborhoods.
The MTA board, to no one’s surprise, also endorsed Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed Transportation Sustainability Program, also known as the new transit impact fee that developers will be asked to pay to help pay for Muni.
The program, which would apply fees for the first time to large-scale residential development — often called luxury condos — needs a approvals, including by the Board of Supervisors, before it takes effect.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 12:42 am
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that raises the fee for filing ballot initiatives from $200 to $2,000 in an effort to discourage what has become a plethora of over-the-top measures in recent years.
The $200 filing fee, unchanged since 1943, has been too small of a price to pay for satirists and cranks intent on using the initiative process for making outrageous statements.
A Southern California woman countered with the “Intolerant Jackass Act,” requiring people who propose measures to murder gays and lesbians to attend sensitivity training.
A San Jose man advanced the “Shellfish Suppression Act,” which would have made the sale or consumption of shellfish a felony with heavy fines or imprisonment.
The bill originally called for raising the filing fee to $8,000, but the state Senate was reluctant to raise the price that much and revised it downward.
Posted: September 2, 2015, 12:38 am
Services will be held on Sept. 19 for Rosario Anaya, the longtime leader of the Mission Language Vocational School in San Francisco, a former president of the city’s Board of Education, and for decades a vigorous advocate for the education of immigrants and their families.
During her 42-year tenure, Ms. Anaya transformed the program that offered mainly English instruction for Latinos into a broader vocational training school for all immigrants, with classes in medical assisting, clerical skills and computer, culinary, business and pharmacy skills.
“She was a trailblazer,” said her friend Sandy Close, executive director of the ethnic news coalition New American Media, where Ms. Anaya was an active board member for nearly 20 years.
In 1989, when school district administrators revealed that black children accounted for nearly 75 percent of all suspensions yet were only 20 percent of enrollment, Ms. Anaya urged the administration to develop a long-range plan for black students and back it up with adequate funding.
Educated at the University of San Francisco, she received a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a master’s in counseling and psychology.
In 2010, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed her to the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission (now the Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure), which oversaw affordable housing.
Posted: September 1, 2015, 11:25 pm
Fire crews extinguished a vegetation fire that had been threatening structures in the Oakland hills Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
The first reports of the blaze came in just after 3 p.m. The fire, which burned approximately three-quarters of an acre to an acre of vegetation across the street from Kimberlin Heights Drive, did not damage any homes or cause any injuries, said Battalion Chief Coy Justice of the Oakland Fire Department.
Posted: September 1, 2015, 11:18 pm
While bicycling certainly has its health benefits, a new study on injury rates over the past 15 years is proving that riding a bike can be risky — especially for older cyclists.
The study, conducted by researchers at UCSF and published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that hospital admissions associated with bicycle injuries more than doubled between 1998 and 2013, with head and torso injuries occurring most frequently.
For riders over the age of 45, the proportion of injuries rose by 81 percent during that time, the authors wrote.
Posted: September 1, 2015, 10:49 pm
San Francisco’s first effort to document the scope of human trafficking in the city identified nearly 300 known or suspected victims in the second half of 2014 alone and highlighted the challenge of addressing a crime in which women, men and often children are exploited in society’s shadows.
Yet the count, released Monday, offers city officials a starting point and a numerical baseline as they grapple with what they call a complicated and entrenched problem — one that features victims who often don’t understand they’re being victimized, and a system that is frequently unable to prosecute the suspected traffickers.
The 291 individuals identified — mostly juveniles and young adults — had some kind of contact with the city or a community social service provider, according to Mayor Ed Lee’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking, which he started in 2013.
“We know there is a lot of human trafficking going on that is invisible,” said Emily Murase, executive director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, which oversees the task force.
[...] it could get worse, city officials fear, with the Super Bowl coming to the region in February — an event that some say increases demand and supply for sex trafficking.
The mayor recently funded evening and weekend hours for outreach workers to respond to the immediate needs of sexually exploited children identified by the city.
[...] the city’s Family and Children Services department is piloting a screening tool to assess those at risk of exploitation.
During the last six months of 2014, the Police Department’s Special Victims Unit arrested four trafficking suspects, according to the report.
[...] the city’s adult probation department said it had no trafficking convicts under supervision during the time period that was studied.
Despite the lack of action in the courts, “we are being proactive as it pertains to human trafficking,” said district attorney’s office spokesman Max Szabo.
The city survey defined survivors of trafficking as those exploited for profit by being coerced, manipulated or physically forced into sex or labor.
The report includes recommendations, including the systematic screening of at-risk populations, such as foster children; the use of a standard definition of human trafficking; and increased efforts to identify and address labor trafficking.
“Human traffickers recruit, transport, harbor, obtain, and exploit victims — using force, threats, lies, or other psychological coercion,” according to the 48-page report.
Traffickers offer potential victims false promises, such as a high-paying job, educational opportunity, or marriage.
The mayor said human trafficking is “a global issue, and at the local level we have the opportunity and the responsibility to take action.”
A San Francisco task force’s first survey of human trafficking identified 291 known or suspected victims who had contact with any of 19 government or community agencies during the second half of 2014.
Posted: September 1, 2015, 3:47 am
State regulators levied a $50,000 fine against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Monday for failing to fix security problems at a San Jose power substation that were exposed by a 2013 sniper attack.
The California Public Utilities Commission said PG&E had failed to safely maintain its Metcalf substation, allowing burglars to breach its fence and steal $40,000 worth of equipment more than a year after someone shot up the site.
The commission’s safety and enforcement division found numerous gaps in security at the substation, including a lack of training for supervisors and on-site personnel.
Security guards on duty at the substation either ignored or didn’t hear alarms as burglars stole construction equipment from the substation and an adjacent yard, the state agency said.
In a statement, PG&E said it had replaced its third-party guard contractor since the burglary, improved lighting and camera systems at Metcalf, and increased the number of security officers at the substation.
Posted: September 1, 2015, 2:41 am