After weeks of preparation and alerts to riders, BART shut down service between the East Bay and San Francisco early Saturday to work on much-needed track repairs, the start of a weekend-long closure.
Free transbay buses are running all weekend between the 19th Street Station in Oakland and the temporary Transbay Terminal in San Francisco. Officials have warned that the bus trip could add an extra hour or more to a commute. Ferry service is also being increased over the weekend.
“It’s going very smoothly,” Jim Allison, a BART spokesman, said Saturday morning. “It’s better than what we could have hoped for. There are 50 free buses in service now so we don’t have a lag in service.
Posted: August 2, 2015, 1:42 am
LOWER LAKE, Lake County —As white ash and blackened pine needles rained down on the small towns east of Clearlake, firefighters took advantage of cooler temperatures and increased humidity Saturday to push the massive Rocky Fire away from some 5,000 homes in its path. The favorable weather in Lake County put crews on the offensive for the first time against a blaze that, like nearly two dozen other major wildfires burning across California, is feeding furiously on a landscape parched by four dry years. In the face of the drought, Gov.
Posted: August 2, 2015, 12:13 am
Bus drivers who transport workers for large tech companies moved closer Saturday to an agreement with its employer, Compass Transportation, over higher wages and improved benefits.
Employees unanimously voted to support a proposed three-year contract from Teamsters Local 853 that calls for overtime pay and paid holidays. The contract would affect about 180 drivers employed by Compass Transportation/Transdev, which serves Apple, Yahoo, Zynga, eBay, Genentech, Amtrak and Evernote. On Saturday, 75 drivers at a San Leandro union meeting voted in favor of the proposed agreement.
Posted: August 1, 2015, 10:39 pm
Like many older cities, Berkeley has architectural facets that set it apart — not only the shingled landmarks of Julia Morgan but the diamond patterns of block glass in 20 or so workaday West Berkeley structures. They were formed using Crete-Glass, a system sold by long-gone Berkeley Concrete Form Co. with the promise that it would both “save time and labor” and provide “a most cheerful atmosphere for workers.” Many of these buildings now hold uses far different than when they began. But together, they remain an element of the local scenery as distinct as the commuter trains that rumble past Fourth Street.
Posted: August 1, 2015, 4:16 am
With BART shutting down the Transbay Tube all day Saturday and Sunday to make critical track repairs, many Bay Area residents are thinking hard about whether to travel between Oakland and San Francisco.
Officials recommend people just stay home — but that isn’t an option for everyone. If you must cross the bay, here are some basic tips and resources to make what will probably be a slow trip a little faster:
General information: BART will still be running on either side of the bay. But the West Oakland Station, along with the Transbay Tube, will be closed from the end of service Friday night until service resumes Monday morning. Visit www.bart.gov for full details.
Posted: August 1, 2015, 1:48 am
San Francisco voters will have a chance this fall to weigh in on measures ranging from a proposed pause in the construction of market-rate housing in the Mission to limiting the availability of short-term rentals through companies such as Airbnb.
Friday was the deadline for ballot initiatives to go on the November ballot, but most have been in the works for months. The Board of Supervisors and the mayor can place measures directly on the ballot, or voters can qualify them through a signature-gathering process.
Posted: August 1, 2015, 1:44 am
A person was struck and killed by a Caltrain in San Francisco Friday afternoon, bringing service both in and out of the city to a standstill for nearly two hours, officials said.
Around 4:17 p.m., the person, who was not immediately identified, was struck by southbound train No. 360 near 22nd and Iowa streets, said Tasha Bartholomew, a Caltrain spokeswoman.
Emergency personnel were on the scene. Train service was stopped in both directions and delays of up more than an hour for some trains were being reported by 6 p.m.
Posted: August 1, 2015, 1:06 am
A nationwide group of abortion providers filed suit Friday in San Francisco federal court to try to stop an antiabortion group from releasing the same type of inflammatory, heavily edited recordings of the abortion providers’ meetings that it has been airing against Planned Parenthood.
Within hours, a federal judge issued an order blocking any such releases — at least until Monday.
In its lawsuit, the National Abortion Federation said its last two annual meetings, closed-door sessions for members and their guests in San Francisco and Baltimore, were infiltrated by agents of the Center for Medical Progress posing as a fetal research company called Biomax Procurement Services.
Posted: August 1, 2015, 12:57 am
Seen somebody wasting water? Don’t know who to call?
The state of California can help.
State water officials this week launched the drought-inspired website Save Our Water (www.savewater.ca.gov), which allows anyone in California to report water abuse with a simple touch of their smartphone or other digital device.
While many local water departments already have apps or Web pages for customers to rat out the neighbor who waters his lawn every day or the guy who washes his car too much, the state’s new site welcomes tips from anywhere in California.
In other words, you don’t have to know who’s in charge to be a drought hero.
Posted: July 31, 2015, 11:23 pm
The city’s famous new pee walls seem to be doing their job.
Thursday night at 16th and Mission, where the weekend starts early, action at the wall was shockingly calm. People flooded out of the BART station at regular intervals, loudly chatting and laughing. A half-dozen homeless people settled into their nooks and crannies for the night. And the wall — it stayed relatively dry.
“We have been sending crews out every day to see if there is a urine smell or if they see wet on the walls,” San Francisco Public Works spokeswoman Rachel Gordon said. “So far, so good. Our crews haven’t smelled the stench of urine in our hot-spot areas as much.
Posted: July 31, 2015, 9:59 pm
Posted: July 31, 2015, 4:52 pm
A fast-moving wildland blaze in Lake County grew to 13,500 acres Thursday, triggering road closures and evacuations as hundreds of firefighters battled to contain it from land and air, officials said Thursday.
The Rocky Fire east of Lower Lake sparked at around 4 p.m. Wednesday and swept through the area, destroying several outbuildings and three homes, said Suzi Blankenship, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Hundreds of residents in the area — including on Dam Road, Quarterhorse Road and Bonham Road — were told to leave.
Those roads and a handful of others were closed.
Posted: July 31, 2015, 5:15 am
After weeks of warning, the time has come. All day Saturday and Sunday, BART will close the Transbay Tube for major track repairs, severing the regional transit system at its backbone and forcing riders onto buses and ferries or into their cars to get between San Francisco and the East Bay. The shutdown underscores the wear and tear of an aging system that is more popular than ever, and raises questions about whether agency leaders could have done anything to avoid taking the tube offline for a full weekend. But mostly, it’s a serious headache for riders.
Posted: July 31, 2015, 3:58 am
A jury sent a blunt message Thursday to Sinbad’s Restaurant, which has been trying to stave off eviction from the San Francisco waterfront site it has occupied for more than 40 years: It’s time to set sail.
The Superior Court jury voted 10-2 in favor of the Port of San Francisco, which sued the restaurant owners after telling them to vacate their site at Pier 2 by March 21 to make room for an expanded ferry terminal and more public access to the shoreline.
Jurors also granted the port’s request that Sinbad’s pay more than $71,000 in rent that has accrued since the port filed suit in April. The jury deliberated for a little more than a day after a 2½-day trial.
Posted: July 31, 2015, 2:43 am
An Alameda County judge says he’s inclined to dismiss part of a medical-negligence lawsuit by the family of Jahi McMath, the Oakland girl who underwent surgery for sleep apnea and then was declared brain-dead after suffering cardiac arrest.
In a tentative ruling Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman did not address the issue of whether surgeon Frederick Rosen or UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland were negligent in diagnosing and operating on the then-13-year-old girl in December 2013. But Freedman said Jahi’s parents could not prove their claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress because they were not in the operating room when the allegedly botched surgery occurred.
Posted: July 31, 2015, 12:50 am