Here is the latest Local News from San Francisco.
Stripped-down march in SF for right to bare all
Taub, meanwhile, shouted various chants through a handheld microphone, including “Ho ho, hey hey, body freedom is here to stay” and “Hey there, dude, you’re no prude, get in the mood, join us nude.” “Our bodies are not something to hide or be ashamed of,” Taub said before the march to both participants and a slew of passersby who stopped to take photos and videos. Roughly a year later, fellow veteran public nudity protester George Davis warned in another nude protest that the city was becoming too conservative and “turning into Milwaukee.” […] Taub and other self-styled body freedom activists have trodden more official routes to public nakedness.
Amtrak train hits, kills person crossing East Bay tracks
A person was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in San Pablo on Saturday morning, the rail agency said. The victim, who was not immediately identified, was trespassing on the tracks when the Coast Starlight train came through at about 8 a.m., according to Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds. None of the 266 passengers or crew members aboard the Los Angeles-bound train were injured, Leeds said. The train was delayed about three hours by the incident. Kurtis Alexander is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @kurtisalexander
Man fatally shot in Hayward after apparent vehicle chase
An 18-year-old man was shot dead in a car in Hayward late Friday evening after what appears to be a vehicle chase, authorities said. The victim, who was identified only as a Hispanic male, was discovered inside a car on the 27000 block of Gading Road just after the 11 p.m. shooting, said Sgt. Ryan Cantrell with the Hayward Police Department. Investigators traced bullet casings from the crime scene on city streets up to a half mile away.
40 years of Nature Trail volunteers meet back at S.F. Zoo
40 years of Nature Trail volunteers meet back at S.F. Zoo Tracy Nappi got her start at the San Francisco Zoo in 1989 when she was a kid working as a Nature Trail volunteer for the summer. Alongside other adolescents stationed along a winding dirt trail inside the children’s section of the zoo, Nappi would spend foggy summer days talking to visitors about the tortoises, ferrets, snakes and salamanders she brought out with her each day. On Saturday, more than 300 of the program’s alumni showed up at the zoo to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Nature Trail. The event started at 10 a.m. and sent alumni walking along the curving Nature Trail to bump into former colleagues, reminisce and share stories about how their work at the zoo impacted their lives and career paths. Throughout the zoo Saturday, people who at first seemed like strangers could be seen stopping to hug people they realized they had worked with years before. “The zoo crew is back together,” shouted volunteer Rachel Poni as she ran into a group of former colleagues on the trail. Poni recently completed her time as a Nature Trail volunteer, and, like many others, followed the process to move up the ranks. “There really is a built-in career ladder you can start at just 12 years old,” Nappi said. Not only is the program a way to create community and introduce kids to careers in nature and wildlife, but, Nappi said, it teaches real-world fundamental skills. While he said the program has fostered his love for animals, he said the program has also provided him with other priceless experiences, “skills that are useful out in the real world.”
Wildfire near Lake Berryessa grows
The Cold Fire, named after a nearby road, has burned 5,385 acres and is 35 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. In Monterey County, the Soberanes Fire has now burned 55,600 acres and is 40 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. A privately contracted bulldozer operator was killed last week in a roll-over crash in a remote area of the blaze.
California pro-gun group sues over suppressed blog post
A pro-gun group has filed a federal lawsuit against the California Legislature’s lawyer, claiming she violated the group’s First Amendment rights by suppressing a blog post that listed the home addresses and telephone numbers of 40 lawmakers. The Firearms Policy Coalition, a gun rights group that is funding the suit against state Legislative Counsel Diane Boyer-Vine, issued a statement Friday that accuses state officials of using an “unusual and unconstitutional” law to censor what its chief says is legitimate free speech, which is covered under the First Amendment. On July 1, the governor signed six gun control bills that had been passed by the Legislature, making it harder to buy ammunition and barring magazine clips that hold more than 10 rounds — measures that were designed to prevent mass shootings and curb violence in cities throughout California. In response, the state’s deputy legislative counsel, Kathryn Londenberg, sent a letter to WordPress, which hosts the blog, demanding that it remove the lawmakers’ home addresses. “Publicly displaying elected officials’ home addresses on the Internet represents a grave risk to the safety of these elected officials,” Londenberg wrote in the letter, citing a state law that prohibits people from posting any official’s address or phone number on the Internet.
Expedition by land, sea to document state’s timber industry history
The research vessel Fulmar is pitching and rolling in 8- to 10-foot swells. The Fulmar is carrying a boatload of scientists and a few observers on a voyage to another time, an era when the North Coast of California was lined with tiny seaports in small coves, served by a fleet of sailing ships and steam schooners. “They helped build California as we know it today,” said James Delgado, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration historian. Delgado is part of a nine-day expedition by the research agency and the state Parks and Recreation to explore and document the life and times of the Redwood Coast — how huge stands of coast redwood trees were cut down, milled into finished lumber and shipped south to be turned into railroad ties, wooden fences and the Victorian houses we admire today. The seagoing era of the lumber business ended by the 1930s, and the little port towns — Albion, Noyo, Mendocino, Timber Cove and what is now Sea Ranch — have become quaint inns, vacation homes and campgrounds. Two archaeological teams — one by land, the other by sea — are documenting the coast and the tiny seaports — “doghole” ports, they were called. The Coast Pilot, the seagoing bible of the 19th century, described what sailors could expect in these coves: “jagged rock above the water, sunken rocks, foul bottom, breakers.” “The swimming pool is open,” said Lawrence, the team leader, and scuba divers Deborah Marx and Jean De Marignal, went down to look. Both coves are part of Salt Point State Park, while the surrounding waters are part of the Greater Farallones Marine Sanctuary. Under the surface: abalone, sea urchins with spines like porcupines in many colors, and lots of rockfish. There were kelp fields, and jellyfish the size of dinner plates. Later in the week, the land-based team found what Delgado called “all kinds of hardware” used for moving lumber to ships, most of it on nearly inaccessible cliffs around a place called Duncan’s Landing, not far from Bodega Bay. Eventually, the information will be made into an extensive report, so that the area can be considered for the National Register of Historic Places. Though nearly all the artifacts of the sea trade on the Redwood Coast have vanished, there is one major survivor — the lumber schooner C.A. Thayer, now undergoing a complete restoration at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park at the foot of Hyde Street.
Unloaded rifle found at MacArthur BART station
An employee for the transit agency found a .22-caliber Winchester rifle inside an unattended case under a bench at the station around 8:50 a.m., said Taylor Huckaby, a BART spokesman. The agency has picked up items ranging from iPhones to prosthetic legs. BART police are holding the weapon until its owner comes forward.
All-female Ferrari rally revs up in SF, raises cash and curiosity
Seven women gunned the engines of their high-performance Italian race cars on the top of Nob Hill on Friday — an “I am woman, hear me roar” salute — before taking off for Santa Barbara in a history-making, first all-female Ferrari rally in the U.S. Clad in jumpsuits, sunglasses and metallic shoes to lend feminine flair to their $1.4 million LaFerraris and $260,000 458 Spiders, the group had plans to shop, dine at winemaker dinners and take a helicopter tour once at Bacara Resort & Spa. […] the real purpose of the trip, which cost participants $5,000 each through donations or sponsorships, was to raise money for the Prancing Ponies Foundation, a nonprofit benefiting underprivileged high school girls. The high-performance cars outside the hotel drew dozens off gawkers who snapped photos and took videos to capture the earsplitting sounds of the engines. “We are creating women leaders one girl at a time by raising funds to send them abroad to help them develop their self-esteem and self-confidence so that someday they are leaders and can own and race their own Ferraris,” said Chanterria McGilbra, a North Bay pharmaceutical executive who created the foundation and organized the rally. McGilbra bought her first Ferrari last year with stock options from work and credited her experience abroad — earning a master’s degree in business from the International University of Monaco in 2007 — with improving her self-confidence. About 2,640 Ferraris — six models ranging from $198,000 to $485,000, not including the limited edition LaFerrari — were sold in North America last year, according to Krista Florin, a corporate spokeswoman, but few of the owners are women. Other participants included Agne Christensen, an artist and creator of the Seek Fine Art app; Colleen Costello, a mother of two teens; Hayley Melidonis, a manager at Intel Corp.; and an interior designer and contractor specializing in tech real estate who identified herself only as Susan D.
Slashing potential fine deflates PG&E pipeline safety trial
A lot of the air has gone out of the criminal case against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. with federal prosecutors’ stunning decision this week to slash the maximum potential fine by nearly 99 percent — from $562 million to $6 million — if PG&E is found guilty of violating pipeline-safety laws. City officials wish the government had also charged individual PG&E executives, she said, but, as Mayor Jim Ruane put it in a recent interview, criminal convictions against the company would stamp “a black mark on the corporate seal.” A federal investigation of the explosion led to charges that PG&E had violated laws that require gas pipeline operators to inspect their lines closely for potential risks, and then test or replace those that reveal hazards and maintain accurate records. The state Public Utilities Commission has fined PG&E a record $1.6 billion for the San Bruno explosion, and victims’ families have settled civil suits for an additional $565 million, according to court documents. The potential criminal fines under federal safety laws are modest by comparison, but prosecutors invoked another provision that would allow a jury to hit PG&E for twice as much as it profited by breaking the law — unless proving that “would unduly complicate or prolong the sentencing phase.” Prosecutors, who allege that PG&E purposely cut pipeline safety programs to increase profit, cited the company’s estimate to California regulators in early 2011 that it would cost $281 million to comply with the government’s safety standards, and argued that the utility should be on the hook for twice that amount, $562 million. During the trial, however, the prosecution did not call any financial experts to assess how much money PG&E had made by cutting corners on pipeline safety, an omission the company’s lawyers noted in arguing to Henderson that the additional fines should be ruled out. […] with jury deliberations already under way, the judge ruled July 29 that the prosecution’s argument that PG&E was obligated to have pipeline records that were “traceable, verifiable and complete” wasn’t based on federal law. David Levine, a criminal law professor at UC Hastings in San Francisco, said criminal prosecution can still serve a purpose — convictions may affect a company’s eligibility for government assistance and can send a message to other operators.
After deaths, Alameda County replaces jail inmate health provider
Alameda County severed ties with its long-running jail healthcare contractor Friday after grappling with allegations that the company provided inadequate care that may have led to inmate deaths. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to award the three-year, $135 million contract to California Forensic Medical Group instead of Corizon Health, Inc., following a vigorous debate between nurses, former inmates, and representatives from the two companies — both of which are giants in prison health care. Corizon and its various predecessors have run medical services in Dublin’s Santa Rita Jail and Oakland’s Glenn E. Dyer detention facility since 1988; Corizon inherited the contract after merging with Prison Health Services in 2011. In recent years the company has come under scrutiny, which heightened when New York City’s Department of Investigation found that Corizon had hired employees with criminal histories to work in its Rikers Island Jail complex. Dr. Harold Orr, chief clinical officer for Corizon’s Western regional operations, said his company has been unfairly disparaged by union representatives who were angered when Corizon laid off 67 licensed vocational nurses early this year — a move that Orr said was required by a recent court settlement. “I was here in 2012 when Prison Health Services became Corizon, and I can tell you it became more and more difficult to deliver high quality patient care,” said a nurse named Maxine Persky, who has worked in jails for 18 years. Persky and other nurses applauded the Supervisors’ decision Friday, and the National Union of Healthcare Workers, an Oakland-based labor group that represents the nurses, praised California Forensic Medical Group for promising to increase the jail staffs.
Russian River health warning: Keep dogs out of the water
Sonoma County health officials are warning people to be careful around the Russian River after water tests found trace amounts of the same algae toxin responsible for the death of a dog there last year. A series of tests indicated Thursday that the blue-green algae toxin, anatoxin, was present at four public beaches along the river. The findings prompted officials to post warnings at all 10 public beaches and urge people to keep children and pets out of the river. “We are trying to keep people educated and informed so they can make the best decisions possible for themselves, their children and their pets,” said Karen Holbrook, deputy public health officer for Sonoma County. In severe cases, it can lead to difficulty breathing, seizures and death. Officials recommend that people stay away from visible algae in the river and keep children on shore or in isolated side pools.
Firefighters keeping blaze near Lake Berryessa in check
Hundreds of firefighters continue to battle a blaze in Yolo County near Lake Berryessa that has burned nearly 5,000 acres this week, officials said Friday. The Canyon Creek Campground remains closed, and a stretch of Highway 128 is also blocked off. Another major wildfire, the Soberanes Fire near Big Sur, has grown to 53,690 acres.
Caltrain strikes pedestrian, service halted in San Jose
Caltrains were at a standstill in the San Jose area Friday morning after a train traveling northbound struck a pedestrian just south of the Diridon station. About 300 passengers were aboard the train when it struck the pedestrian, Bartholomew said. All other trains were temporarily stopped between the two stations and authorities were working to set up a VTA bus bridge to transport passengers between the stops, Bartholomew said.
San Francisco exhibit highlights treasured works of art inspired by National Parks
You don’t have to be as passionate as the members of the Book Club of California, to appreciate a bound volume. Visit the book club you never heard of, in an atmosphere of beautiful old world elegance, in downtown San Francisco. In honor of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Club will have an exhibit of early books about some of California’s greatest natural settings, opening Monday, April 8.
SFPD union’s dog photo called insult to Black Lives Matter cause
The union representing San Francisco police officers published a photograph of two dogs in its monthly newspaper that critics say belittles the Black Lives Matter movement and raises questions about the police force’s commitment to repairing its relationship with communities of color. The picture, which appeared on the back page of the August issue of the San Francisco Police Officers Association Journal, shows a pair of Labrador retrievers, one black and one white. The photo, submitted by a union supporter, is accompanied by a plea from the union: “Maybe it’s time we all just sit back and tone down the rhetoric,” a reference to many months of heated national debate over police shootings and, recently, the targeted slayings of police officers. Union officials did not immediately comment to a request for comment on the journal photo, but Union President Martin Halloran pointed to a radio ad put out by the union about the recent attacks on police officers. The U.S. Department of Justice is in the midst of a collaborative, top-to-bottom review of the police force that was launched after officers shot and killed a stabbing suspect, Mario Woods, in the Bayview neighborhood in December. A panel of retired judges, assembled by District Attorney George Gascón to investigate potential police misconduct and bias, has questioned whether the union holds too much power in the department, and many activists have accused the union of standing in the way of reforms. “I think that it’s clear that the POA continues to be tone-deaf around the real issues surrounding police accountability,” said Alicia Garza, an Oakland activist who co-founded the Black Lives Matter online forum in 2013 in response to a neighborhood watch volunteer’s killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Anand Subramanian, executive director of the panel of judges investigating bias, also criticized the publication of the dog photo, saying, “It shows a severe lack of judgment and empathy for the real and justified pain and outrage that black communities are feeling.”
Social media popularity ruining beloved swimming hole, locals lament
Local secrets are secret no more thanks to social media, and longtime visitors to a once-serene swimming hole in Santa Cruz County are mourning the dangerous overpopulation of the spot.
Stockton mayor arrested over strip poker game at city youth camp
Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva was arrested Thursday on charges that he supplied alcohol to underage counselors at a city-run youth camp in El Dorado National Forest and surreptitiously recorded a group of young people — including a 16-year-old boy — playing strip poker in Silva’s bedroom at the camp in August 2015. Silva, who was voted into office in 2012 and is currently running for re-election, was taken into custody in the morning at the Silver Lake camp in Amador County, south of Lake Tahoe, where he hosts an annual getaway for inner-city youth on land leased from the U.S. Forest Service. The charges, filed by the Amador County district attorney’s office, prompted calls for Silva’s resignation and represented the latest trouble for a mayor and former Stockton school board trustee who has been investigated in the past for alleged sexual misconduct. The investigation into Silva’s actions at the youth camp stemmed from an incident last September when federal agents — as part of a larger investigation — seized Silva’s cell phone and two of his laptops at San Francisco International Airport as he returned from a mayor’s conference in China. Prosecutors said witnesses at the camp informed FBI agents that Silva had given alcohol to the participants in the strip poker game, who were all under the age of 21, including a 16-year-old boy. Silva was charged with one felony count of recording confidential communications and three misdemeanor counts: contributing to the delinquency of a minor, furnishing alcohol to people under 21, and child endangerment. According to the Stockton Record, the accusations were brought anonymously and have never prompted charges.
Stockton mayor arrested in Amador County
Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva was arrested Thursday in Amador County, sources told KCRA. Details surrounding his arrest are still unclear. In September, Silva’s cellphone and two laptops were seized by federal investigators at San Francisco International Airport as he got off a flight from China. All the while, Silva insisted the federal government wouldn’t find anything incriminating on his devices.
Northbound Highway 101 reopened in Palo Alto after fatal crash
Northbound Highway 101 reopened in Palo Alto after fatal crash The incident blocked all lanes of northbound Highway 101, causing major traffic delays and detours until the roadway was reopened around noon. The crash was reported just south of the Oregon Expressway about 9:15 a.m., said Officer Art Montiel, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol. About 11 a.m., police opened the far left lane at the crash scene, though heavy traffic continued to extend south along 101 to Highway 237.
Fire near Lake Berryessa burns 4,700 acres, continues to grow
A wildfire near Lake Berryessa grew to 4,700 acres Thursday, as more than 600 firefighters worked to halt the blaze’s spread and prevent homes from burning. The Cold Fire, named after a nearby road, ignited Tuesday shortly after 4:30 p.m. along Highway 128, west of Pleasants Valley Road near the Yolo-Solano county line. More than 20 crews were using 65 fire engines, eight helicopters, six air tankers, 15 water tenders and 22 bulldozers to halt the blaze’s spread to the north and south along Highway 128, in hard-to-reach rugged grass and oak woodland areas in Yolo County, Cal Fire reported. Officials were discussing lifting the evacuation for Golden Bear Estates Thursday morning as flames continued to move north into more sparsely populated terrain. In Monterey County, the Soberanes Fire had burned 51,000 acres and was 27 percent contained Thursday morning, Cal Fire reported. A privately contracted bulldozer operator was killed in a roll-over crash while he was fighting the fire.
Colorful look at San Francisco Bay Area through 1930s and 40s matchbooks
On a recent discovery expedition at Alemany flea market, I spotted a box of old matchbooks. After a little back and forth, one of my favorite vendors, Vince, and I came to an agreement on the price for the lot. He seemed hesitant to let them go. I assured him that they were going to a good home, and offered to leave them with him for a little longer, while I shopped. There were a lot of matchbooks.
Series of earthquakes shake Lassen County
SF janitors reach contract deal, avoiding strike
A tentative agreement to raise wages was reached Wednesday evening between a union representing thousands of San Francisco janitors and the cleaning companies that employ them, preventing a strike amid tense negotiations, union leaders said. The mayor’s office stepped in to assist negotiations between Local 87 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents 3,500 janitors in the city, and a group of janitorial services that includes ABM Industries, officials said. More than 1,000 janitors waited outside of City Hall holding union banners during talks between the organizations Wednesday evening. The union also wanted to maintain a low co-pay on health care plans and decent dental coverage, which it also received in the new contract, he said. Union representatives said workers also will get an increase in what their employers contribute to their pension funds and a stronger employee grievance process. The contract covers about 85 percent of the union members who clean downtown office buildings, including those of Airbnb, Uber and The Chronicle, union officials said.
BART police punching video: Man pleads not guilty
A man shown on cell phone video being punched in the face by a BART police officer while struggling during an arrest pleaded not guilty Wednesday to several misdemeanor counts, as his attorney questioned whether police had been justified in detaining him in the first place. Michael Smith, 22, of Oakland was arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court on one count of resisting arrest and five misdemeanor counts of battery on a peace officer, stemming from the confrontation Friday at BART’s Embarcadero Station. The incident began around 12:50 p.m. when BART police responded to reports of a possibly armed man trying to rob a passenger on a train, said Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman. Cell phone video showed an officer punching Smith in the face while Smith was pinned on the station platform. Adachi accused police of overreacting to “an uncorroborated statement from a white male who started this whole thing.” Tarina Larsen, a witness who posted the cell phone video of the arrest on Facebook, gave a similar account. Smith’s aunt Jacqueline Smith said outside court Wednesday that her nephew is very caring and nurturing, and I’m really glad that at least they didn’t kill him. BART has additional video of the arrest from officers’ body cameras and surveillance cameras, Trost said. Trost said Smith was arrested by BART police on two other occasions, in 2013 on suspicion of petty theft and in 2014 for alleged fare evasion.
A final carrot, then off to the sticks for retiring police horse
Acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin, who was handing out the fruits and veggies, acknowledged that police work is easier from the back of a horse than most other places. Gunny performed his last patrol about six months ago, about the same time his left rear foot began to go lame. […] the Tennessee Walker has been doing his walking slowly, in the police paddock in Golden Gate Park. […] Gunny, under the terms of his golden parachute, need never fear the glue factory and need never again have a human on his back. On Wednesday, he was given the honor of having one of his horseshoes nailed to exalted spot where most retired police horse shoes go — the transom above the front door of Lefty O’Doul’s restaurant. The transom was already overflowing with the horseshoes of Magnum, Rebel, Hammer, Riddle, Charlie, Hawk and Hunter, so the restaurant was obliged to install Gunny’s shoe on an adjoining wall. On horseback, a cop poses for pictures, rides in parades, answers questions from well-wishers and hands out stickers to kids. Gunny, like his equine colleagues, is a calm critter immune to the parade of trucks, double-deck buses and taxis buzzing through Union Square like a paddock horsefly. A sensible member of the force who understands that being a cop is about making good choices, Gunny spit out his last carrot when he saw that Chaplin was about to offer him an apple.
Corrections, Aug. 4
Wiener beating Kim in dollars, Aug. 3, Bay Area, D1 An item in the City Insider column misspelled Ahsha Safai’s name in some editions.
Elliot Tiber, who helped enable staging of Woodstock, dies at 81
NEW YORK — Elliot Tiber, an artist, screen writer and designer best known as the businessman who helped enable the staging of the landmark 1969 Woodstock music festival, has died. In the summer of 1969, Woodstock concert organizers had been seeking a location after efforts in Woodstock and nearby Wallkill failed, with local residents fearing the prospect of thousands of hippies in their small communities. Mr. Tiber, who moved away from Woodstock soon after the concert, collaborated with Ernotte on the screenplay for “Rue Haute,” a 1976 release that was Belgium’s entry for the Academy Awards best foreign language film.
Aftershocks from Napa quake still happening 2 years later
Aftershocks from the devastating South Napa earthquake two years ago are still rattling the ground, including another small one this week, which brought the total to more than 4,600 temblors, according to scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey. The damaging quake struck Aug. 24, 2014, with a magnitude of 6.0. Tuesday’s magnitude 3.0 aftershock in the North Bay was the latest of more than a dozen that size that have been detected on a line west of the original quake’s epicenter on the West Napa Fault zone, said Jeanne Hardebeck, a USGS geophysicist.
Hiker from Sonoma County missing in Oregon for 7 days
A massive effort in rural Oregon to find a 21-year-old missing hiker from Sonoma County reached its fourth day Wednesday as 60 search and rescue crew members traveled on foot, horseback and by air in a a bid to locate the man in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness southeast of Portland. The hiker, Riley Zickel, is an undergraduate student at Lewis and Clark College in Portland after being born and raised in Sebastopol, where he graduated from Analy High School. The next day, last Friday, he was supposed to meet friends for another hike in the Seattle area, but he never showed up. Search and rescue officials described Zickel as an experienced hiker who had brought enough food and supplies to last him four days in the wilderness. Officials believe the young man is carrying a cell phone, but attempts to pinpoint the phone’s location were unsuccessful. Deputies and searchers interviewed nearly 500 hikers in the area to gain insight into Zickel’s whereabouts, but they did not gain any concrete answers, said Lt. Chris Baldridge, a spokesman for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Masonic temples, secret meetinghouses and other mysterious San Francisco buildings
People love a good Masonic mystery (thanks, Dan Brown) and, fact or fiction, we’ve long been fascinated by buildings that have connections to Freemasonry.
Cold Fire near Lake Berryessa grows to 2,200 acres, threatens homes and PG&E equipment
A wildfire burning near Lake Berryessa grew to 2,200 acres by Wednesday morning and was threatening Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power equipment after the flames ignited Tuesday and prompted an evacuation of Canyon Creek Resort and Golden Bear Estates in Winters, fire officials said. The Cold Fire, burning in Yolo County off Highway 128 west of Pleasants Valley Road, started shortly after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Officials issued an evacuation order for Canyon Creek Resort, an RV, cabin and tent-camping site, said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. An army of firefighters, support workers and specialists were on scene Wednesday assisting Cal Fire, including Napa County Fire, Winters Fire and Dixon Fire crews.
1,700-acre fire near Lake Berryessa forces evacuations
1,700-acre fire near Lake Berryessa forces evacuations A 1,700-acre grass fire burning out of control near Lake Berryessa Tuesday prompted an evacuation of Canyon Creek Resort and Golden Bear Estates in Winters, fire officials said. The Cold Fire, burning in Yolo County off of Highway 128 west of Pleasants Valley Road, started shortly after 4:30 p.m., according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Officials issued an evacuation order for Canyon Creek Resort, an RV, cabin and tent-camping site, said Calfire spokesman Daniel Berlant.
Last big piece of old Bay Bridge ready to sail into history
It’s 504 feet long and 80 feet high — the last of the five trussed spans that once formed the central third of the roadway from Oakland’s muddy shore to the forested knob of Yerba Buena Island. […] even though two decks of asphalt and much of the steelwork has been removed, the homely structure still weighs roughly 3.2 million pounds. If you want a hint of how the latest act of deconstruction will take place, check out the four enormous green metal “wheels” that adorn the corners of the truss. The cables will lift the horizontal truss from its 60-year-old supports, swing it to the side and pivot it out to be lowered onto a pair of barges waiting below. The two barges then take a short voyage to the Port of Oakland, where the trussed section will be transferred to land and dismantled, with the individual beams winding up in recycling facilities across the Bay Area.
Investigation into spike strip found on Marin County trail complete
An investigation into a spike strip discovered on a Marin County trail is being declared complete by sheriff’s deputies.
Alameda County set to settle suit over jail conditions for women
Alameda County will pay $130,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by four women who say they were subjected to execrable conditions in Santa Rita Jail, including overflowing toilets and walls stained with blood and feces. The settlement, approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, requires Santa Rita to institute a slew of policy changes to ensure better treatment of female inmates. The jail will have to provide curtains for privacy during searches, garbage bags in holding cells and menstrual pads for women who need them. “This is a small action, but I think the treatment we received is emblematic of what goes on in jails throughout the United States,” said Anne Weills, the lead plaintiff in the case, who is a civil rights attorney and the wife of Oakland attorney Dan Siegel. Weills and her co-plaintiffs, Mollie Costello, Alyssa Eisenberg and Tova Fry, were arrested for civil disobedience on Feb. 14, 2014, during a demonstration outside the Elihu Harris State Building in Oakland, at which protesters urged state Attorney General Kamala Harris to prosecute police officers who shoot black men. Eisenberg was “forced by deputies to parade up and down the hallway, in front of (a) glass window through which approximately 17-20 male prisoners peered at her,” the women claimed in their lawsuit, filed in October 2014.
Governor hopefuls Newsom, Chiang raise millions for 2018 race
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has been raising money for more than a year and has $8.6 million in cash between two campaign accounts — including $1.6 million raised between Jan. 1 and June 30 — but a competing candidate is proving to be a strong fundraiser as well. Campaign finance reports released Monday show that state Treasurer John Chiang raised $2.3 million in the seven weeks of his campaign that were covered by the filing. “Money doesn’t always win, but in a race like this when there are potentially half a dozen or more candidates, someone would like to jump ahead to give others a reason to say, ‘Well, maybe I will consider something else,’” said Larry Gerston, professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University. In the contentious San Jose state Senate race, incumbent Jim Beall has been spending big against his rival, Assemblywoman Nora Campos. In the mad dash to qualify Gov. Jerry Brown’s ballot measure on prison sentencing reform for the fall ballot, the campaign supporting Prop. 57 spent nearly $5 million on signature gathering this year, according to Monday’s filings. The ballot measure would require the state Legislature to wait 72 hours after a bill is made public before voting on it and mandate that videos of public hearings be put on the Internet within 24 hours. A ballot measure to extend taxes on the wealthy to fund education has raised $18 million so far this year.
Delia Fleishhacker Ehrlich, noted SF philanthropist, dies at 85
Delia Fleishhacker Ehrlich, a noted San Francisco philanthropist whose family helped develop the Comstock mines, bring electricity to California and contribute to the city’s culture with contributions to education and the fine arts, died peacefully at home on Sunday after suffering a stroke. Mrs. Ehrlich was a fourth-generation San Franciscan, the great-granddaughter of Aaron Fleishhacker, a Bavarian immigrant active during the Gold Rush and in the development of the Comstock silver mines, and who made a fortune with the A. Fleishhacker & Co. Paper Box House, a box company. Her grandfather, Mortimer, was a lumber, paper, banking and hydroelectric power entrepreneur who, with his brother, founded Great Western Power, which later became part of Pacific Gas & Electric. The fatal genetic condition among some Eastern European Jews affects nerve cells in the brain, which the couple discussed in a 1974 Chronicle story to bring awareness to the issue. After divorcing in the 1970s, Mrs. Ehrlich worked at Macy’s, establishing the department store’s personal shopping service and running its community relations in seven states for 11 years. Mrs. Ehrlich was a supporter of the Little Jim Club’s Mardi Gras Ball, the San Francisco Opera, the Conservatory of Music, the Magic Theatre, ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation), and other groups, and served as president of the Fleishhacker Foundation from 1978 to 1988. Among the most coveted invitations in her social circle was her family’s July 4 party at Green Gables, a folksy event with hot dogs, corn on the cob, lemonade and a Dixieland band. Guests explored the manor house, the lawn and stairs leading to an immense Roman water garden with reflecting pool.
Prosecutors in PG&E case abruptly reduce potential fines
Prosecutors in the pipeline-safety trial of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. abruptly dropped their request Tuesday for potential penalties against PG&E based on the company’s cost savings from safety shortcuts, reducing the maximum potential fine from $562 million to $6 million. PG&E, California’s largest utility, is charged with 11 felony violations of federal laws requiring gas pipeline operators to inspect their lines for serious risks, to test or replace endangered lines, and to maintain accurate records. Before Tuesday’s filing, prosecutors had been seeking additional fines equal to twice the company’s savings from any safety violations found by the jury, under a federal law allowing such penalties.
US investigators slam safety record of East Bay Tesoro refinery
Shortcuts, a lax safety culture and pressure on workers at the Tesoro refinery near Martinez created conditions that led to four people being burned by sulfuric acid in two separate incidents in 2014, one of which released 84,000 pounds of the corrosive chemical, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. The East Bay petroleum plant, part of Texas’ Tesoro Corp., did not learn from previous accidents and minimized the seriousness of the 2014 events that hospitalized workers with first- and second-degree burns, the agency concluded. According to the report, the company initially hindered progress on the two-year probe by refusing to let investigators into the refinery and failing to preserve evidence. In the February incident, two Tesoro employees were sprayed with sulfuric acid that spurted from a valve due to the failure of a connector tube, the report said. “We strive for an injury-free workplace by proactively managing risks, following rigorous standards, ensuring our leadership is committed and our employees have a personal responsibility for safety,” the company statement said. The federal agency slammed the broader atmosphere at the plant, saying managers emphasized expedited training and maintenance to keep costs low at the expense of worker safety.
Underground equipment fire sends smoke on to S.F. streets
Smoke and flames poured out of street-level manholes and more than 350 homes lost power after an underground equipment fire ignited early Tuesday in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, officials said. Reports of booms, power failures and a small fire in an underground vault containing Pacific Gas and Electric Company equipment along Hyde and Geary streets came in around midnight, officials said. Both PG&E and San Francisco Fire Department crews responded to the scene, but the fire burned out on its own, said Abby Figueroa, a PG&E spokeswoman.
Pedestrian hit, killed by motorcyclist at Union Square
A man from New Zealand was killed and a woman was severely injured when a motorcyclist struck them Monday afternoon at an intersection next to San Francisco’s bustling Union Square, authorities said. The incident unfolded just after 4 p.m. when a 32-year-old man traveling west on Geary Street on a Harley Davidson Dyna Glide motorcycle hit a 60-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman as they walked in a crosswalk at Stockton Street, San Francisco police officials said. The man who was struck, identified as William Tims of Hastings, New Zealand, experienced head trauma and died from his injuries, officials said. Police offials said the motorcyclist remained at the scene of the collision and was cooperating.
SF man among 3 dead during Southern California music festival
A 22-year-old San Francisco man was among three people who died over the weekend after attending a music festival in Southern California, officials said. Derek Lee died at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton at 12:10 a.m. Sunday, said San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials. The possibility of a drug overdose was “certainly not ruled out,” said Jodi Miller, a sheriff’s department spokeswoman. Six additional people were hospitalized during the festival for medical emergencies, but officials did not know their current condition, Miller said. Nearly 600 law enforcement representatives, including 370 deputies from the sheriff’s department, patrolled the festival.
Oakland extends warm welcome to youngsters becoming citizens
Each received a certificate to prove his or her citizenship during a ceremony that at several points became a rebuke of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose criticism of Gold Star parents of a Muslim soldier caused a national outcry over the weekend. “We know that in the city of Oakland, what makes America great, what makes America proud, is our diversity,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf, contorting Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan to promote what she says are her city’s core values: openness and inclusivity. Schaaf delivered remarks in English and Spanish to welcome the children, ages 3 through 10, who all became U.S. citizens when their parents were naturalized and who on Monday received certificates to prove their citizenship. Comedian and inspirational speaker Michael Pritchard, who hosted the ceremony for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was exuberant. Held in Aesop’s Playhouse — a children’s theater with animal sculptures arrayed under a large canopy —the ceremony opened with a medley of American folk songs by Tosca, a vocal group from the Golden Gate Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. Robin Barrett, San Francisco field office director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, administered the oath and handed out the certificates, alongside Schaaf and Pritchard. Many of the attendees were reluctant to talk politics, and some said they have not paid much attention to the sparring between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Korean War gets a memorial in the Presidio at last
Just over 63 years after a cease-fire ended the bitter and bloody Korean War, veterans finally got a memorial in San Francisco on Monday to remember a conflict that many Americans call the forgotten war. The new memorial is a long, curving piece of granite in the Presidio with pictures and plaques to recall a war that lasted three years and cost more than 37,000 American dead and many thousands more Korean and Chinese lives. “It was a war that had to be fought, and I was proud to have fought in it,” said Paul “Pete” McCloskey, a former San Mateo and Santa Clara county congressman who was a Marine lieutenant in a rifle company. American, Korean and United Nations flags snapped in the breeze behind him as he spoke from a podium at the Presidio National Cemetery. McCloskey was wounded in the war and was awarded the Navy Cross and two Purple Heart medals. The war was unpopular in the United States and ended in a stalemate, with Korea still divided between a democratic south and North Korea ruled by a communist dictatorship. “I remember a fight in October 1952,” said Marvin Pheffer, who was a private in a Marine rifle platoon. Kim Jung-Boon, South Korea’s vice minister of veterans affairs, said the war devastated South Korea. John Stevens, who was one of the main organizers of the Korean War Memorial project, served with the Marine Provisional Brigade at a time when the American and South Korean forces were pushed back into a small area around the port of Pusan. The Korean War Memorial Foundation, a veterans group, raised about $4 million to plan and build the monument, including $400,000 for long-term maintenance. About $2 million came from Korean War vets, $1 million from the South Korean government, and the rest from Korean and Korean American donors, said Gerard Parker, the foundation’s executive director.
Cool zoomable map of San Francisco in 1938: Find your street
A fun San Francisco map stitched together by noted SF cartographer David Rumsey has popped up again online, and even though it’s a few years old, it’s worth another look.
Wildfire near Big Sur covers 63 square miles, but some evacuations lifted
More than a week after it ignited, firefighters on Monday continued hacking away at an obstinate wildfire near Big Sur that grew to more than 63 square miles overnight as new fires continue to crop up around the dry state. A privately contracted bulldozer operator out of Fresno County, Robert Reagan III, was killed last Tuesday after rolling his heavy equipment in a remote area on the fire’s southeastern edge, authorities said. Some 2,000 homes remained threatened Monday, but evacuation orders have been lifted in Carmel Highlands and for communities along Riley Ranch Road, Corona Road and Red Wolf Drive.
Muni resumes service after small fire in downtown SF
Smoke in a Muni tunnel in downtown San Francisco near the Civic Center station prompted a fire investigation and temporary delays on the transit system Monday morning, officials said. Minutes later, officials said they had extinguished a small debris fire in a fan room. Jonathan Baxter, a fire agency spokesman, said the smoldering trash could have been caused by a number of factors, such as a discarded cigarette or sparks from the rail.
SF’s landmark tower for rich and famous is sinking and tilting
The Millennium Tower, a leading symbol of San Francisco’s new high-rise and high-end living, is sinking — setting the stage for what could be one of the most contentious and costly real estate legal battles the city has ever seen. Rated by Worth magazine as one of the top 10 residential buildings in the world, the Millennium at 301 Mission St. is home to such A-listers as Joe Montana and Hunter Pence. […] his recent death, it’s where venture capitalist Tom Perkins owned a penthouse. There are potentially big public dollars at stake, with the owners alleging that the massive hole dug next door for the new Transbay Transit Center is to blame for the building’s issues. The problem first came to light in 2010 when the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the public agency constructing the transit center, hired the consulting firm Arup to gauge how the excavation could affect the tower. According to the consultant’s initial report, by the time excavation began — two years after the $350 million Millennium was completed — the tower had already settled 10 inches. […] “the building has continued to settle vertically, now 16 inches,” representatives of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority said in a statement in response to questions from The Chronicle. P.J. Johnston, spokesman for tower builder Millennium Partners and its principal owner, Sean Jeffries, said a nine-month, independent structural safety review in 2014 “determined the settlement has not significantly affected the seismic performance of the building, and does not represent a safety risk.” An attorney for the Millennium homeowners association’s board, John Gill, recently sent a confidential letter to some of the more than 400 residents saying the board was “actively engaged in negotiations with Millennium Partners to resolve building settlement issues.” The authority also signed an agreement with the Millennium developer in 2008 “to repair, at its own cost and expense … any damage to the development substantially caused by TJPA’s construction activities,” according a copy of the agreement on file at San Francisco City Hall. “To cut costs, Millennium did not drill piles to bedrock,” or 200 feet down, the transit center authority said in its statement. […] the shifting and sinking of the concrete platform beneath the building has necessitated what Johnston called “minor repairs to sidewalks and connections at the ground level.”
Homemade spike strip, possible booby trap, found on Marin trail
Two bikers discovered what looked to be a homemade spike strip affixed along a trail near Woodacre last week.
Excitement in the air at Berkeley Kite Festival
Kite flying soared high as a solo or team sport, as a ballet, as an artistic pursuit, and also as a family activity at the Berkeley Kite Festival on Sunday, which drew more than 35,000 to the Berkeley Marina over the weekend. Carol and Cass Pittman of San Diego have elevated their competitive kiting to a performance art, elegantly choreographing the swoops and drops of their steerable multi-line sports kites to the stirring strains of “Feeling Good,” the song made classic by singer Nina Simone. The retired couple starting competing about four years ago, enjoying the physicality of the sport as well as the art of crafting and performing routines to music. “If you’ve ever seen us play golf, you’ll know why we do kiting,” said Cass Pittman, 63, as the pair wrapped up their performance Sunday. McAlister, owner of Highline Kites and a member of the Berkeley Kite Wranglers, said he wanted to share with people the artistry and excitement of kite flying. McAlister said highlights of the festival include the more than 3,000 free kites donated to kids by festival sponsor Hills Physicians and the candy drop, in which more than 500 pounds of candy are dropped from kites over the two days. While the sun didn’t start to peek out over the water until Sunday afternoon, most festival goers didn’t seem to mind and said the winds were strong enough to do their job. Glenn Mitchell, 67, of Coalinga (Fresno County), discovered indoor kite flying as a supplement to weight training after he retired from teaching high school biology after 36 years. The sport didn’t look too taxing as he monitored his 85-foot-long show kite with two black witches attached — a type of inflated kite known as “line laundry.”
Two men arrested by CHP after climbing new Bay Bridge tower
Two young men were arrested for trespassing Sunday after scaling the 525-foot tower at the end of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, said Officer Vu Williams, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol. The men, who are 18 and 23 years old, walked up the bike path on the southern side of the new bridge and then climbed over a railing that separates the path from the tower, Williams said. By the time CHP officers arrived, the pair, whose names were not released, were headed back down. “We ask that people, for their own safety as well as the safety of the motorists, stay on designated paths,” Williams said.
Disabled brothers displaced by Mission fire living without furniture
Fire victims Bobby and Jose Montoya lost nearly everything in the June 18 Mission St. fire and finally have a new place to live, but still need furniture.
Small earthquake rattles early morning Napa
The United States Geological Survey reports that an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.7 struck near Napa and Sonoma on Sunday, July 31, 2016.
Celebrities who got married in the San Francisco Bay Area
For a destination wedding, there are few places finer than Northern California. From Napa Valley’s serene vineyards to the picturesque churches of San Francisco, it’s obvious why many Los Angeles-based celebs have come north to wed.
Man drowns after falling from cliffs near Sutro Baths
Strong waves and cold water near San Francisco’s Sutro Baths on Saturday claimed the life of a man who plunged from the cliffs above, despite a rescue attempt by two National Park Service employees. The incident began at about 4:35 p.m. when the unidentified man fell from Point Lobos into the surf, according to Jonathan Baxter, a spokesman for the San Francisco Fire Department. The two park service men swam through hazardous waves and were able to get the victim onto a rescue board and beyond the surf to a U.S. Coast Guard boat. Despite the efforts, the victim was pronounced dead by paramedics from the Southern Marin Fire Protection District, which has a facility at the Sausalito harbor.
Walnut Creek BART Station reopens after equipment fire
The Walnut Creek BART Station reopened late Saturday afternoon after a fire broke out on track-side equipment earlier in the day, suspending trains from traveling in both directions, officials said. Trains were single tracking through the Walnut Creek Station, on the track that did not catch fire, about 5 p.m., two hours after Contra Costa County Fire Department officials were called there over report of equipment burning on the Oakland-bound track, said Alicia Trost, a spokeswoman for BART. The blaze had spread through cover boards on the third rail along elevated track near the station, Trost said. Investigators were working to determined the exact cause of the fire.
Tykes on bikes make big strides in SF Strider competition
A line of seven kids ranging from 2 to 3 feet tall sat on small pedal-less bikes on a platform Saturday morning on San Francisco’s Pier 35. A judge yelled, “Ready … set … go,” the gate fell, and the 2-year-olds strode their bikes down a ramp and through a winding lane of track over several wooden ramps and metal bump strips and eventually to the finish line. Winners of each heat went on to compete in higher brackets of competition in the next wave, and the pattern continued throughout the day, with several other age groups of competition. The day of racing marked the sixth annual Strider Cup World Championship, the top competition in the world of Strider bike races, where tykes — some still wearing diapers — navigate a 600-foot indoor and outdoor racetrack in hopes of both fun and becoming a world champion. “It’s serious racing,” Ryan McFarland, founder and chief executive officer of Strider, said with a smile. Strider was founded by McFarland in 2007 as a means of presenting a simple, no-pedal bike to children as young as 18 months in order to help them train more efficiently to ride normal two-wheel bikes. The Strider competitions were officially started a few years later, in 2011, growing out of fun McFarland had setting up tracks and helping his own kids learn how to bike-race. Mason took to the starting platform around 10:30 a.m. on a small red bike and in a helmet in the shape of flames. Eastin said his daughter was able to ride a pedal bike with no training wheels by the age of 3½, after just six months on the Strider.
Coast Guard searching delta region for three missing people
Coast Guard searching delta region for three missing people Crews searched Saturday for three missing people last seen on a Jet Ski near Rio Vista, Coast Guard officials said. A 36-year-old man, 22-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were all aboard a white Jet Ski that left the Brannan Island State Park in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta around 8 p.m. Friday, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
Fire in Big Sur area grows, 15 percent contained
A fire raging in the Big Sur area for more than a week has grown to 52 square miles, officials said Saturday. On Thursday, officials lifted evacuation orders in the Carmel Highlands area, while Riley Ranch Road and Corona Road were reopened to traffic. The Palo Colorado Community and residents around Old Coast Road and Rocky Creek Road among others are still under evacuation orders. Robert Reagan III, a Friant (Fresno County) bulldozer operator working with a private contractor, died after rolling the heavy equipment in a remote area of the Soberanes Fire on Tuesday.
2.7-magnitude earthquake rattles Bay Area
The United States Geological Survey reports that an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.7 struck near Benicia and Vallejo on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
The earthquake struck at 5:35 a.m. at a depth of 7 miles.
Family to sue Oakland over man’s fatal shooting by police
The family of an Oakland man shot by police while holding a pellet gun was set to file a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against the city of Oakland and the four officers involved, attorneys said. Richard Perkins Jr., 39, died on the evening of Nov. 15 on a sidewalk on 90th Avenue near Bancroft Avenue after three officers and a sergeant shot him while he held a “Desert Eagle replica” pellet gun, police said. The suit, brought by Perkins’ mother Ada Perkins-Henderson and his son Richard Perkins III, alleges police used excessive force and that the city failed to properly train and supervise officers, said EmilyRose Johns, an attorney representing the family. Police, however, said in a coroner investigator’s report that Perkins walked up to officers and pointed the gun at them, which prompted the gunfire. The video was not immediately made available to the media or public, police said, citing the ongoing investigation. An autopsy report from the Alameda County coroner’s office showed several of the bullets that struck Perkins hit him in the back.
State questions its share of proposed deal between Uber, drivers
Replying to a federal judge, who had also questioned the adequacy of the settlement, a lawyer for the state Labor and Workforce Development Agency said Friday he saw “no rationale” for the $1 million figure, “other than that this is a round number and a large figure” compared with the state’s share of other labor settlements. The attorney, John Cumming, said the agency agreed with U.S. District Judge Edward Chen of San Francisco that Uber could be on the hook for more than $1 billion in labor law penalties if the drivers go to trial and prove they should be classified as employees instead of independent contractors. The suit was filed in 2013 on behalf of 385,000 Uber drivers in the two states, challenging the ride-hailing company’s classification of them as independent contractors rather than employees entitled to overtime, work expenses and other benefits. Other groups of drivers have filed separate lawsuits against Uber, also claiming employee status and seeking payment for meal and rest breaks, waiting times between rides, and to make up for the denial of workers’ compensation benefits because of their contractor status. The suit sought damages for the drivers’ wages and work expenses, and also exposed Uber to potential penalties for violating state labor laws.
4 Sierra plane crash victims were from Tuolumne County
Four relatives who died in a fiery plane crash at a Sierra airport were identified Friday as Tuolumne County residents, officials said. Commercial pilot Daniel Allan Kruetzenfeldt, 43, was flying the plane when it went down at Columbia Airport around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. All of the victims — the only people aboard the plane — were identified through dental records, officials said. The plane, a twin-engine Cessna 310, crashed under unknown circumstances east of the airport’s north-south runway and caught fire, said Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board launched investigations into the crash.
Woman at scene of minor crash killed when car hits her
A 58-year-old woman was killed on a sidewalk in Petaluma when a car slammed into a line of vehicles stopped on the side of the road from an earlier accident and sent one of the vehicles barreling into her. The initial accident happened about 3:50 p.m. Thursday on Sonoma Mountain Parkway when a Ford Explorer driven by a 17-year-old boy from Petaluma hit a Mazda Miata near Rainier Circle, police said. Both cars suffered minor damage, and the teenager and Mazda driver, a 76-year-old Petaluma man, pulled off to the right side of the road. A witness, a 39-year-old man from Petaluma, stopped in his Nissan Maxima behind the Mazda to make sure everyone was safe.
2 injured in apartment fire on San Francisco’s Russian Hill
Two construction workers were taken to a hospital Friday morning after a fire ripped through the apartment building in which they were working on San Francisco’s Russian Hill. Reports of the blaze burning through the fifth and sixth floors of the building at 2200 Leavenworth St. came in at 9:46 a.m., said Jonathan Baxter, a spokesman for the San Francisco Fire Department. Construction workers were welding in the apartment and fire officials are investigating that as the possible source of the fire, Baxter said.
Oakland-bound medical plane crashes — 2 killed, 2 missing
At least two people were killed when a medical transport plane headed to Oakland with a patient and three others aboard crashed Friday morning in Humboldt County, officials said. The tw