<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usTue, 28 Jun 2016 10:03:28 -0700Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:03:28 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Businesses Reopen After SF Fire, 58 Displaced]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 11:59:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SF+Fire1.jpg

Businesses on Mission Street in San Francisco are starting to reopen following a devastating five-alarm fire that spread to at least six buildings and sent two people to the hospital. 

The blaze, which sent billowing clouds of acrid smoke into the air, appeared to have come from a two-story multi-use building, although fire officials are still investigating the fire's cause and origin. It was reported to fire officials shortly after 2 p.m. and jumped up four alarms in a manner of hours. 

All told, it took more than 140 firefighters to knock the flames down, and 58 people were displaced. The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army set up shelters at San Jose Avenue. 

Fire officials said they had the blaze contained as of 7 p.m. Saturday but would be working on the scene until at least Monday, checking for hot spots and assessing the damage. 

A badly burned restaurant and a Cole's Hardware store will likely not be reopening to the public. 

Jonathan Baxter, a public information officer with the San Francisco Fire department, said that two people were taken to the hospital with smoke inhilation. A 1-year-old was also treated at the scene for smoke-related injury at the scene and was shortly released. 

The department reported that it had been able to reunite two cats with their owners, and advised affected residents searching for their pets to call (415) 554 9400. 

As of Sunday morning, traffic in the area was particularly slow. Officers advised taking detours. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Tsunami Risk Very Low, Scientists Say]]> Thu, 19 May 2016 19:08:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/tsunami.PNG

It's unlikely that a major earthquake will send a tsunami to devastate the shores of the Bay Area, scientists told NBC Bay Area.

A local earthquake, along the San Andreas fault for example, would not even cause a tsunami because the plates on that fault line move side to side and, thus, do not disrupt water.

An earthquake along a subduction zone, a type of fault line where one plate essentially gets pushed under the other, could trigger a tsunami that reaches the shoes of the Bay Area, but citizens would have hours to evacuate and prepare.

This type of seismic event is most likely to occur in far away locations, in places like Alaska, Chile or Japan, says Dr. Steve Ward, a research geophysicist at UC Santa Cruz.

Bathymetry, or the shape of the earth's features underwater, plays a big role in helping waves from those locations reach the Bay Area, says Brian Garcia, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“It can actually steer the tsunami waves into different regions,” he said. “So, we can get impacts from those areas.”

Ward says another way to think about this is to imagine the beam from a flashlight. Much of the energy from an earthquake is directional. It goes forward in the triangular shape of a flashlight beam, he says. Tsunamis follow the path of that energy.

“So if you’re on the flashlight beam, you’re going to get wet,” he said. “If you’re not on the flashlight beam, you’ll probably be safe.”

The Bay Area is on the flashlight beam for a seismic event in Alaska near the Aleutian Islands. If the fault line there ruptures, water displaced at the source would rush down the Canadian coast near Vancouver and saturate the Pacific Northwest coastline before settling in the Bay Area. The water might even pierce the San Francisco Bay by the Golden Gate Bridge, but it shouldn’t do much damage from there.

“It will get into the Bay to a degree, but it’s not going to have any sort of impact especially in the North or South Bay,” Garcia said. “Directly across from the entrance, though, under the Golden Gate, they could have some impacts.”

After the 2011 earthquake in Japan, a small tsunami wave did make its way into the Bay. Pictures of the wave reaching Emeryville can be found online. That wave took several hours to reach the Bay Area, and by that time was less than a foot high.

What’s the tsunami risk where you live? Visit Know Your Zone on the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ website and type in your address to find out.

<![CDATA[Sharks Defeat Penguins 3-2 Trail Series 2-1]]> Sat, 04 Jun 2016 21:50:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5381223781.jpg

The Sharks finally secured their first lead of the Stanley Cup Final, and it came just in time.

In serious danger of going down three-games-to-none against Pittsburgh, Joonas Donskoi scored at 12:18 of overtime to give the Sharks a 3-2 win in Game 3. San Jose had not enjoyed a lead in any of the three games up to that point.

The Sharks trailed 2-1 entering the third, but got the tying goal from Joel Ward. Just as a double-minor to Nick Bonino for high-sticking was about to expire, Ward powered a slap shot through Matt Murray at 8:48.

In overtime, Donskoi skated around the net, turned around and fired it high over Murray to get the Sharks back into the series in what was the first ever Stanley Cup final game in San Jose.

The win was the Sharks’ first in overtime this postseason against four losses, including Game 2 in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Game 4 is on Monday at SAP Center.

Pittsburgh opened the scoring on a Ben Lovejoy point shot that glanced in off of Roman Polak at 5:29. The play began with some nervous moments by Martin Jones playing the puck, only to have it taken away by Matt Cullen before it ended up on Lovejoy’s stick.

The Sharks responded on a Justin Braun goal, when the defenseman hummed in a wrist shot from the high slot at 9:34 that Martin never picked up.

San Jose outplayed Pittsburgh in the second period, but it was the Penguins grabbing the lead back before the intermission. Brent Burns caved to the forecheck this time with a pair of soft plays, and the result was Patric Hornqvist deflecting in a Lovejoy shot at 19:07. 

Donskoi had a wonderful chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but lifted his shot on a clean look in front over the net. San Jose outshot the Penguins in the middle frame, 9-6.

The Sharks played without forward Tomas Hertl due to a lower body injury. It was just the second game Hertl missed this season, and first of the playoffs.

Pittsburgh outshot the Sharks for the game, 42-26, the 12th straight playoff game it has had more shots than its opponent. The Pens also blocked 38 shots, including 12 on Burns alone.

Special teams

The Sharks finished 1-for-3 on the power play, as Bonino was exiting the box the second that Ward scored. San Jose had just three total power plays through the first two games, and is 2-for-6 in the series.

Pittsburgh is still looking for its first power play goal in the series. It went 0-for-1 in Game 3, and is 0-for-6 overall.

In goal 

Jones made 40 saves to improve to 13-8 in the playoffs.

Murray, who had allowed just six total goals in his previous four starts, took the loss with three goals allowed on 26 shots. He’s 13-5 in the postseason.


Dainius Zubrus, a healthy scratch in Game 2, returned in place of Hertl, while Melker Karlsson slotted onto the top line left wing for most of the night.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski continues to be held at bay, as he’s still looking for his first point in the series.

Up next

The Sharks are 3-9 all-time when trailing a playoff series two-games-to-one.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Standoff on VTA Ties Up Commute]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 07:44:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/VTA+TRAIN+STANDOFF+LIVE+RAW+-+04344316.jpg A standoff between a man on top of a VTA train in San Jose and Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies early Thursday morning tied up traffic and delayed the morning commute for hours along the train's route.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Three Adults, Baby, Injured in Oakland Crash]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 05:57:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/STRINGER+OAKLAND+HEAD+ON+CRASH+-+00020029.jpg

Three adults and a baby were taken to the hospital early Thursday morning after a head-on collision between an SUV and a truck on International Boulevard and 60th Avenue.

The crash was reported about 3:30 a.m.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two-Alarm Vallejo Fire Burns Child, Displaces Six Others]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 08:42:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/STRINGER+VALLEJO+HOUSE+FIRE+-+00021524.jpg

A two-alarm fire in Vallejo injured a child with 2nd degree burns and displaced six others in the house.

The fire was reported about 1:20 a.m. Thursday in the 1400 block of Carl Avenue. One child suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns, officials said. Three adults and three other children were displaced and were receiving help from the Red Cross.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[12-Hour Standoff on VTA Train Ends Peacefully]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 18:15:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/050516-man-on-train.jpg

A standoff between a man on top of a VTA train in San Jose and Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies early Thursday morning tied up traffic and delayed the morning commute along the train's route for 12 hours.

It peacefully ended just after 1 p.m. The man was finally convinced to come down by a deputy who arrested him last month that he had built "a rapport with," Sgt. James Jensen said, and who was offered a bag of trail mix he spotted in the cherry picker that took him down.

Kyle Lewis, 25, of Prunedale, who was spitting at deputies and later yelling about wanting to "mess up people's commutes," was escorted away - shirtless - by deputies, Jensen said.  He was later booked for disrupting a VTA line, a misdemeanor, and faces up to a year in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. Jensen said he was also arrested on these misdemeanor charges: resisting arrest, being under the influence of a narcotic, and assault on an officer, for spitting.

Train service in the area was restored soon thereafter.

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The frustrating morning began when Lewis, on probation for nonviolent offenses, first hopped on top of the light rail train at North First and Component streets, just outside the NBC Bay Area studio, about 1:20 a.m., according to Jensen.

Lewis spent hours on top of the train, wrapped in a yellow blanket, as deputies  tried to convince him verbally to come down. Jensen said deputies did not want the situation to turn volatile and did not want to harm him or Tase him. At one point, Lewis was seen taking a nap on top of the train. At some point, his yellow blanket was taken away.

As the standoff entered its 11th hour, Judge Stephen Manley, who oversees the Santa Clara County Court mental health efforts, was pulled from the courthouse to come help and advise. Manley has been critical of Sheriff Laurie Smith's supervision when three of her jail deputies allegedly beat inmate Michael Tyree to death in August. But it was Smith who decided to call the judge in for help, Jensen said. "The sheriff reached out to him just to get his insight," Jensen said, adding that the judge was only there for 20 to 30 minutes.

But it was a deputy who arrested Lewis last month for an undisclosed reason, who recognized the man and offered to come down to try to help. The deputy, who didn't want to be named, talked to some crisis intervention negotiators for advice and was able to get Lewis to come down, Jensen said.

Jensen said despite the commuting headache, he was glad the situation ended without any violence, force or tragedy.

"It's a huge relief that it resolved in a safe manner," Jensen said. "None of the deputies got hurt, and Kyle was not injured."

Lewis' rooftop decision left Silicon Valley VTA commuters, and even those on surrounding highways, delayed for hours. The light rail agency had to set up bus bridges to help out, as the North First Station was closed throughout the standoff.

"It was just really disrupting," said commuter Jorinda Gallardo. "I actually had to have somebody drive me to work because I would have been way too late."

VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress credited the quick thinking of the VTA operator who first spotted Lewis and kept him from getting hit on the tracks or electrocuted on top.

Childress reminded the public that electricity through the trains carries between 750 and 850 volts of direct current and that trespassing on trains is an obvious no-no.

"Today we were extremely fortunate because we were able to proactively power down before the individual made contact with the high-voltage lines," she said. "Unless there is an emergency or extenuating circumstances, the entire overhead system is fully powered and can cause electrocution upon contact."

The VTA added that it will thoroughly investigate the incident and re-evaluate its policies, if needed.

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Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Man Shot in San Jose Driveway]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 13:12:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjdrive2.jpg

A man standing in a San Jose home's driveway was shot Sunday afternoon, police said.

Police believe a black truck pulled up outside a residence in the 1600 block of Havana Avenue and someone inside opened fire on the victim.

The assailants fled the scene and remain at large, according to San Jose police. The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Police have not detained anyone and have not provided information about the incident.

<![CDATA[Can Tesla Meet Demand?]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 11:37:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Large-car-winner-over-50k-Tesla-Model-S-70D.jpg

The timing could not be worse. 

Tesla Motors, facing a crucial earnings test after the bell Wednesday, announced that two of its executives left the company earlier in the day.

Greg Reichow, VP of Production, and John Ensign, VP of manufacturing, both resigned from the company. Tesla's CEO praised the two, while vowing to keep the company on track.

Meanwhile, Tesla investors, who have been an extremely optimistic lot, are watching the company closely for the earning numbers; not so much for profit/loss (expect a pretty sizeable loss), but for current and future car sales. The Model S has been strong, the Model X is still something of a question mark, and orders for the Model 3 were through the roof - investors will be looking for clues as to whether or not the company can deliver on that optimism.

As I write, shares of Tesla stock (TSLA) are down about 4 1/2 percent, dipping after the departure news got out.

Scott tracks Tesla on Twitter: @scottbudman

<![CDATA['Project Include' Launches to Increase Diversity]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 19:07:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/twitterGettyImages-494325030.jpg

The stats don't lie: Nearly 70 percent of tech workers are still male, the majority still white.

When it comes to Venture funding? Just 11 percent of VCs, according to a recent study, are women.

Project Include wants to change that. Boasting a lineup of female tech executives from Pinterest, Slack, Kapor Capital and including Ellen Pao, it's a project to encourage tech executives to bring more women and minorities into the mix.

It's a welcome push, according to Chenxi Wang. Wang is a tech executive who also launched "Equal Respect," aiming to bring more diversity to tech, with a focus on shows and conventions. "I think we all want the same things," she says. "More women, more diversity, and more people from different walks of life in the tech industry."

Will it work? We'll see. Even Sheryl Sandberg, who successfully launched the "Lean In" movement, told us in a recent interview that "we're still really far from equality."

Scott covers tech on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Cruz Tells Young Heckler He Should Be Spanked]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 10:33:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CruzHecklerLaPorteIN_12694435-146220929512900001.jpg Ted Cruz told a young boy who interrupted his speech in La Porte, Indiana by yelling "You suck!" that children ought to speak with respect and if he was in his house, he'd get a spanking.]]> <![CDATA[SCOTUS Approves Rule Change to Expand FBI Hacking Power]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 09:01:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/USSupremeCourtBuilding-518005430+%281%29.jpg

The U.S. Supreme Court approved a measure on Thursday that would allow judges to issue warrants for computer searches in any jurisdiction. Civil liberties groups say it unnecessarily expands the FBI's hacking capability, while the Justice Department says it is a minor change necessary to modernize the criminal code.

Judges are normally only able to issue warrants within their own jurisdictions, which are typically small and limited to a few counties. A Justice Department spokesperson said the change is necessary due to the "anonymizing" capabilities that criminals use to conceal their identity and location, and that remote searches are the only way to track the suspects down.

Google and civil liberties groups said that the change is an attack on American's privacy and is counter to the U.S. Constitution's protections against illegal searches and seizures.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Golden State Warriors Practice at Training Facility in Oakland ]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 10:09:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/WARRIORS+6.JPG

Photo Credit: Ariel Nava ]]>
<![CDATA[Inside the Lockheed Martin Mars Experience]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 10:19:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/25837112184_82f5c4b137_z1.jpg Lockheed Martin launched "Generation Beyond," a first-of-its-kind, free national educational program to bring space exploration into homes and classrooms. One of the key highlights was a trip to Mars.

Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin]]>
<![CDATA[Elizabeth Holmes talks to NBC]]> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 18:55:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_241410476392.jpg

Elizabeth Holmes hosted the Vice President, and a national magazine called her the "Next Steve Jobs."

Her company, Palo Alto-based Theranos, performed six million blood tests, with the goal of changing healthcare. Cheaper, more transparent testing; even an arrangement with Walgreens. Holmes became a billionaire, with a company worth 9 billion dollars.

Then, trouble hit. The Centers for Medicare and Medicade Services (CMS) found what it called critical violations inside a Theranos lab. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, these included failure to properly hire and train qualified staff to run the blood testing machines, and allowing unlicensed workers to review patient test results.

After a long and baffling period of silence, Holmes spoke to NBC's Today Show, saying, "I feel devastated that we did not catch and fix these issues faster." After a follow-up letter where CMS called the fixes "insufficient," Holmes tells NBC, "I'm the founder and CEO of the company; anything that happens in this company is my responsibility."

Holmes told NBC's Maria Shriver she "absolutely" thinks her company will survive, and that she plans to re-build the offending lab from scratch. But, after making it the darling of the healthcare industry, will investors stick around?

Scott follows tech and healthcare on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Tony Robbins to Save 85-Year-Old Woman from Eviction]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 00:15:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-491437998.jpg

Self-improvement guru and motivational speaker Tony Robbins -- who by now is no stranger to Bay Area-based philanthropy -- is coming to the aid of an 85-year-old Burlingame woman whose roommate and friend died last month.

Robbins, who has amassed millions of dollars through books and speeches, stepped up and offered to pay a hefty portion of 85-year-old Georgia Rothrock's rent at a senior citizen's complex.

According to attorney Paula Canny, who has been helping Rothrock in a housing dispute, Robbins offered to pay $450 a month for the rest of the octogenarian's life.

"Tony Robbins is awesome," Canny said, adding that Rothrock will be moving into a senior housing complex in Belmont this coming week. She will use the $450 and her Social Security Check to pay the monthly cost of living at the complex.

Rothrock had been struggling to find a new home following the death of her 97-year-old roommate, Marie Hatch. The pair were in the midst of fighting an eviction notice from landlord David Kantz, who inherited the property from his late wife and is reportedly following the dictates of a family trust.

This is not the first time Robbins has come to the aid of Bay Area residents in trouble. in February, he bailed out a soup kitchen run by a pair of nuns. Then, he put up $650,000 to find them new housing, according to the Mercury News. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Big Rig Carrying Wine Flips on I-880 in Hayward]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 12:54:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/t48+HAYWARD+880+BIG+RIG+AX+RAW+-+06223914.jpg A big rig carrying a load of wine jackknifed on southbound Interstate Highway 880 in Hayward early Friday morning, causing a traffic headache for early morning commuters.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Telemundo]]>
<![CDATA[Is Bernie Sanders Transparent About His Taxes?]]> Fri, 08 Apr 2016 21:40:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_5964269609531.jpg

Bernie Sanders came under fire this week for failing to make his tax information public.

CNN’s Jake Tapper confronted the Vermont senator about releasing his tax forms.

“Nobody’s seen them, I guess is the point,” Tapper said on his show The Lead.

Sanders quickly retorted, “That’s not true. That is not true. Of course we have released them in the past.”

But Sanders isn’t telling the whole story.

According to the Washington Post, a nonprofit group called Tax Analysts tracks all of the publicly-released tax documents from presidents and presidential candidates past and present. The information dates back to Franklin Roosevelt’s tax forms from 1937.

The website lists just one federal tax document for Bernie Sanders, a 2014 1040 form which shows he earned a gross income of just over $205,000 that year.

However, Sanders only released the first two pages of the form, which leaves out all information about charitable donations or itemized deductions.

Throughout much of the campaign season, Sanders has attacked his opponent, Hillary Clinton, on transparency, but the former Secretary of State has released hundreds of pages of tax information, including her full tax forms dating back to 2000.

Sanders told Tapper he’d release his most recent forms as soon as possible, but that “there ain’t going to be very much exciting in that.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Olympic Athletes Using GoPros]]> Thu, 14 Apr 2016 19:12:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6P+GO+PRO+OLYMPIC+TECH+PKG+-+00003625.jpg

The road to the Rio Olympics is going to be paved with technology. 

A variety of Bay Area-made gadgets and software is being used to help Olympic athletes train, but one of those products is getting more attention than others: The GoPro camera.

The small, wearable piece of tech is making a big difference in how athletes are evaluating their own performances for training purposes.

“Because we measure everything that the athlete does, and [The GoPro] streams it live and records it, we can go back after the fact and tear down the performance, frame by frame by frame,” said Josh Carrasquillo of Coach's Eye. 

So far, the camera has been used in training for BMX competitions, but swimmers are also beginning to sllee the value in recording their every movement. 

“All of these Olympic swimmers that train in the pool, they put in hours and hours of work, and a fraction of a second makes a difference scrubbing frame by frame with a coach’s eye," said David Troup, Xensr's CEO. "That’s what allows them to get better.”

The Olympics will convene in Brazil on Aug. 5. Here's to hoping those athletes post some of the GoPro footage on YouTube for us all to see. 

<![CDATA[Transportation Code Kept Branson from Halting Virgin America Takeover]]> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 19:11:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RC+VIRGIN+TAKEOVER+PKG+-+00001313.jpg

Virgin America founder Sir Richard Branson couldn’t do anything to stop his company’s merger with Alaska Airlines, according to laws regulating U.S. air carriers.

Transportation code requires “at least 75 percent of the voting interest” in an American airline to be “owned or controlled by persons that are citizens of the United States.”

Because of the law, Branson, who is a British citizen, only had 25 percent voting share in his company, and thus was unable to stop the $2.6 billion merger with Alaska Airlines.

He lamented that fact on his Virgin America blog earlier this week.

“Because I'm not American, the US Department of Transportation stipulated I take some of my shares in Virgin America as non-voting shares, reducing my influence over any takeover,” he wrote. “So there was sadly nothing I could do to stop it.”

Stanford corporate securities law expert Ronald J. Gilson says that while Branson’s claim is factually correct, it is possible Branson could have done one thing to stop the takeover. But in the end, it wouldn’t have made much sense economically.

“The hypothetical is could he put together a private equity group that could match Alaska’s price,” he said. “It’s hard to see how Virgin America is worth anything close to the price Alaska paid, or will pay, to anybody but Alaska.”

Alaska Airlines paid an 83 percent premium on Virgin America’s shares based on where the market had it priced.

Branson will make close to $800 million from the deal.

Gilson said a recent trend toward consolidation means independent American air carriers struggle to survive on their own.

When Branson founded Virgin America back in 2007, there were nine major air carriers in the U.S.

Four major mergers have occurred since then, and today only four major carriers control 80 percent of the American market.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New WiFi Coming to San Jose]]> Wed, 13 Apr 2016 11:27:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-wifi-hotspoh-st.jpg

Facebook, with its F8 Developer Conference, has been dominating the conversation in San Francisco for the last couple of days. On Wednesday, the social media giant looked a bit south to San Jose to make some news: It's new wifi service will make its debut in San Jose.

Facebook calls the service "Terragraph." A Facebook spokesman says, unlike Google Fiber, Facebook will pump out its service by putting metal boxes on lightpoles in downtown San Jose.

The signal will piggyback off of San Jose's current wifi, but Facebook insists the service will be faster and more robust with "Terragraph."

This is good news for San Jose, which calls itself the "Capitol of Silicon Valley," but really doesn't have the wifi speed to back it up. The city was hoping to be the local launch pad for Google Fiber, but the search company chose San Francisco instead.

But the densely-packed high-tech San Jose downtown is welcoming Facebook with open arms. “San José is proud to work with a global tech leader like Facebook," says San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who says his city wants to "pilot a next-generation technology that can help us achieve these goals and support research to support communities around the world.”

Scott can be found tweeting, on wifi, @scottbudman.

<![CDATA[Students Take Field Trip to Cemetery]]> Wed, 23 Mar 2016 19:17:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kid+in+cemetery.jpg

On a recent day, several hundred students from San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley Middle School followed their guide down a wooded path before coming upon the scenic Golden Gate Bridge overlook.

The normally giddy group suddenly became hushed when they took in the sight: a sea of graves.

"When I came over the hill," said student Angel Garcia, " I was like ‘wow,’ so many dead soldiers."

The unusual field trip is part of a program put on by the Presidio Trust to help youngsters understand the sacrifice of generations before them, by taking them to the national cemetery there.

Using an old poem, which extols current and future generations to honor military heroes, Presidio educator Mary Maya has been bringing students to the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio, where 30,000 veterans have been buried since the Civil War.

"What it really is about," said Maya, "is remembering these young soldiers that gave their lives."

Maya wants the children to not only remember the sacrifice of fallen soldiers but understand why some are remembered and others forgotten. That message is made real when the students visit the vast monument, walk among the graves and even make wax rubbings of the gravestones.

Maya urged the students to examine the graves, to note the absence of flowers or mementoes on the majority of them. A group of four boys spontaneously kneeled around a single grave to pray, placing hands on the thin granite slab.

"We have a generation right now that’s completely removed from what’s happening overseas," Maya said, "and very disconnected to the casualties of war."
The course is designed around Archibald MacLeish’s 1949 poem "The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak, " a plaintive soldiers’ plea from beyond the grave calling on people to remember their sacrifice.

They say, We were young. We have died. Remember us.
They say, We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.
They say, We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave.
They say, Our deaths are not ours: they are yours: they will mean what you make them.

But Maya said that message of sacrifice doesn’t seem to sink in with students until they actually step into the Presidio and cast eyes on the thousands of graves covering the hillside.

"Right now it’s kind of like a fiction," Maya said. "The minute they’re actually seeing that poem on that trail, the minute they’re touching and seeing the history there, it is all of a sudden a reality."

"To me it’s kind of sad," said student Erik Mayfield, "because most of these soldiers died very young."

Presidio Ranger Frederik Penn teaches classes in the Presidio, pointing out that more than 400 Buffalo Soldiers, the name given to African-American cavalry soldiers in the 1860s, are buried in the Presidio. He said the stories of the young soldiers; their plight and their loss seem to ring with students.

"For high school kids, middle school kids who are right around draft age," Penn said, "I think it’s a good perspective for them to see how their lives are different today."

For many of the students who grew up in the city’s Southeastern neighborhoods, the trip across town represented a first visit to the Presidio — a chance to meander through its forests and to take in its grand bay vistas. Garcia stood amid a row of gravestones, his gaze affixed toward the Bay view, referencing the message of MacLeish’s poem.

"The poem was about what the soldiers wanted us to remember about them — what they could say to us, " Garcia said surveying the rows of graves. "It’s practically our job to decide what their deaths meant to us."

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
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<![CDATA[Facebook to Pay $1M Bonuses to UK Staffers to Cut Tax Bill]]> Mon, 07 Mar 2016 17:08:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/facebooklogo1.jpg

Facebook is to award bonuses of £280 million ($396 million) to its U.K.-based staff over the next three years in a bid to offset the amount of tax it has to pay to the U.K. Treasury, NBC News reported.

Each employee will receive an average of £775,000 ($1.1 million), which Facebook will list as a taxable expense.

The news, as revealed in the Sunday Times, comes just days after Facebook's very public tax restructuring in Britain, which the social media giant explained was a bid to "provide transparency to Facebook's operations in the U.K." The company had announced on Friday that it would be changing its tax setup by no longer diverting profits from its largest British advertisers through Ireland, where corporate tax is lower.

Facebook makes an annual $4 billion in profits, but has yet to release figures as to its U.K.-specific earnings.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scam Artists Hit Seagate Technology]]> Mon, 07 Mar 2016 16:06:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Laptop-GettyImages-585043481.jpg

A phishing email scam has forced data storage firm Seagate Technology to disclose private employee information, CNBC reported.

Tax information, including Social Security numbers and salaries, for all current and former U.S.-based employees was sent to an unauthorized third party last week, the Cupertino-based company told CNBC in an e-mailed statement.

"The information was sent by an employee who believed the phishing email was a legitimate internal company request...At this point, we have no information to suggest that employee data has been misused, but caution and vigilance are in order."

Seagate added that it had immediately notified the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is now actively investigating it along with federal law enforcement.

In an attempt to pacify angry staff, Seagate is offering affected employees a two-year membership to an identity theft protection service developed by Experian.

Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Several People Report Breathing Issues While at East Bay Holiday Inn]]> Sun, 13 Mar 2016 00:38:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-AMBULANCE-HOMBRE-MUERE.jpg

A medical scare broke out at a hotel in the East Bay Area Saturday evening. 

At least five ambulances were called to the scene of the Walnut Creek Holiday Inn Express on Main Street, where at least 10 people reported having serious breathing issues, fire officials said.

Hotel guests complained of a "pepper spray-like" smell, and said they suffered from itchy eyes and throats. The hotel has been evacuated.

Five people were treated at the scene, while one person was transported to a nearby hospital with non life-threatening injuries. 

Two Hazmat teams combed the hotel looking for what the issue could be, but were unable to locate the source of the irritant by about 10:30 p.m. 

The structure was ventilated and the HVAC system was switched to bring in a lot of fresh air, a hotel worker said. 

Firefighters on on scene investigating whether the cause is a harmful substance.  

<![CDATA[Spurs Bottle Up Curry, Hand Warriors 7th Loss ]]> Sat, 19 Mar 2016 20:45:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_830897887497.jpg

The different venue, different pace, different result.

In the most anticipated game of the stretch run of this season, the Warriors went in to San Antonio hoping to snap a 32-game losing streak here but too often found their offense stifled in an 87-79 loss to the Spurs at AT&T Center.

The 79 total points represents a season-low for the Warriors, who at 62-7 remain one game ahead of the pace set by 1995-96 Bulls, when they finished with 72-10, the best record in NBA history.

Four Warriors scored in double figures, led by Klay Thompson, who totaled 15 points. Steph Curry finished with 14, Draymond Green had 11 and Brandon Rush added 10.

The loss allowed the Spurs (59-10) to move within three games of the Warriors in the Western Conference playoffs race. San Antonio has won 44 in a row at home, and is 35-0 this season.

The Warriors shot only 37.8 percent (31 of 82) from the field, including 25 percent (9 of 36) beyond the arc. Moreover, they were outrebounded 53-37, as the Spurs used their superior size to positive advantage.

The Spurs controlled the pace and avenged a 120-90 loss on Jan. 25 at Oracle Arena.

Green, who started at center for the ailing Andrew Bogut, earns the nod for being a productive live wire from the start, defending multiple positions, running the offense and dropping in a few jumpers.

Green’s line: 11 points (5-of-10 shooting, 1-of-5 from deep), nine rebounds and eight assists in 39 minutes. He finished minus-1 for the night, best among the Warriors starters.

Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa were strong off the bench, combining for 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Livingston finished plus-7, and Barbosa was plus-8.

This one was in doubt until the final minutes, with the Warriors within one (78-77, 4:01 remaining) before the Spurs closed it out with a 9-2 run over the final 3:37.

The Warriors scored only one field goal in the final four minutes, going 1-of-8 and committing a turnover.

Warriors: C Andrew Bogut (L big toe strain) was listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff. F Andre Iguodala (L ankle sprain), C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) and F Kevon Looney (R hip inflammation) are not with the team.

Spurs: No injuries listed.

The Warriors return to action Monday night, when the face the Timberwolves at Target Center in Minneapolis. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. (PDT)

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Unlocking iPhones Could Pose Threats:' Apple Executive]]> Mon, 07 Mar 2016 12:39:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/apple-457311216_10.jpg

The man behind Apple's software says that the FBI's demand that the company help break into an iPhone is dangerous in a world where hackers want to get into our bank accounts, government computers and transportation systems, NBC News reported.

Smartphones are now firmly a part of everyday life for many, and that makes them juicy targets for people looking for digital soft spots, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, wrote in an opinion column for the Washington Post published on Sunday evening. That's why Apple focuses on security, including the encryption built into the iPhone, he says.

"Once created, this software — which law enforcement has conceded it wants to apply to many iPhones — would become a weakness that hackers and criminals could use to wreak havoc on the privacy and personal safety of us all," Federighi wrote.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Hampshire Primary Winners Have Good Odds Long-Term]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:52:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-509278698-bernie-sanders-new-hampshire.jpg

The Presidential primaries have begun, and last night the political establishments were upended when Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders cruised to huge victories.

New Hampshire is an important state to win, but is it a good predictor of how the candidates will do in the long run?

Yes it is, according to close to 70 years of historical election data.

Since World War II, the first or second place winner in New Hampshire has gone on to win the GOP nomination.

In 1948, Thomas Dewey decimated his competition and won the New Hampshire primary. Since then, every single first place finisher, except for three, has represented Republicans on the ballot the following November. Winners include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and most recently, Mitt Romney.

The three exceptions? John McCain placed first in 2000, Pat Buchanan in 1996, and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. in 1964. In each of those years, the second-place finishers made the ballot.

In the modern era, the New Hampshire winner is the GOP nominee 82 percent of the time.

That information certainly bodes well for Donald Trump.

What about the Democratic side?

Hillary Clinton should like her chances of regaining front-runner status.

Democratic candidates who finished in the top two in New Hampshire have also represented their party on the ballot that fall, but that pattern has only been in place since 1972, and more second place Democrats have taken the nomination than Republican runner ups.

Since 1972, seven out of eleven Democratic winners in the Granite State primary have captured the nomination.

In 2012, Barack Obama finished first, but he was already the presumptive nominee. In the last truly contested New Hampshire primary in 2008, Hillary Clinton won.

It’s possible the former Secretary of State could find more success as the second-place finisher.

After all, if the historical data tells any story, it’s this: Hillary Clinton stands a greater chance of grabbing that final spot on your ballot, than New Hampshire’s Republican runner-up, John Kasich.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom Welcomes Baby Boy ]]> Sat, 27 Feb 2016 18:58:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gavin-newsom-min-wage.jpg

There's a reason California Lt. Governor Gavin Newson is missing from the state's democratic convention in San Jose, and he weighs eight pounds, 12 ounces. 

Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, announced Friday the birth of their baby boy, Dutch William Siebel Newsom. The birth was announced on the lt. governor's Instagram. 

The photo's caption read: "Welcome to the world, Dutch. We love you." 

The post also explained the meaning behind the baby's unusual name. Newsom wrote that the bundle of joy gets his moniker from the town of Dutch Flat in Placer County, just east of the Sierras. 

The place holds a special significance for the family, Newsom wrote. 

A formal statement was issued after the Instagram announcement, in which the couple jointly stated that they look forward to bringing Dutch home to greet his older siblings, Montana 6, Hunter, 4, and Brooklyn, 2. 

Photo Credit: Mark Matthews/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Japanese Held at Internment Camps Honored]]> Mon, 15 Feb 2016 13:04:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Japanese+Internment.jpg

San Jose State University hosted the city’s 36th annual “Day of Remembrance” event Sunday, honoring the estimated 120,000 Japanese prisoners held at internment camps during World War II. 

Those interned were held on a 1942 executive order signed by President Roosevelt, which the U.S government has since acknowledged as “a great injustice…motivated largely by racial prejudice.”

During the enforcement of that executive order, San Jose State’s university’s gymnasium was used as a registration center that processed more than 2,000 people of Japanese descent, giving this year’s event an added historical significance.

More than 200 people came together for the remembrance event, which took place from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Jimi Yamaichi, a speaker at the event, was one of those who were processed in the gym, which has since been renamed the Yoshihiro Uchida Hall. 

“Coming to the gymnasium here to sign up…that’s when we received our number -- a family number --and lost our dignity as a person,” Yamaichi, 93, said in an interview with NBC Bay Area.

He was only 19 years old when he and his family were sent to internment camps. The next four years of his life were spent being transferred around with his family. Like many others, they were forced to abandon their farm and livelihood in San Jose. 

He said that the Remembrance Day was not just about remembering the past, but also about learning from it.

"Don't let it happen again," he cautioned. 

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Santa Clara), who was incarcerated at the Amache internment camp in Colorado, was also on hand for the event, along with others who had firsthand experience living in the confines of the camps.

The organizers of the remembrance event  selected a “Wartime Hysteria” theme for this year’s remembrance day. The theme is intended to serve as a warning against racial and religious discrimination, according to a news release.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Locks Down 125,000 Accounts]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:04:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/twitterGettyImages-494325030.jpg

Twitter announced Friday it will shut down more than 125,000 accounts as part of an effort to crack down on extremist content.

In a news release, the company said it was committed to weeding out content that advocates for terrorism and violence. It said there is no "magic algorithm" for targeting such content, but it will continue to "engage with authorities and other relevant organizations to find solutions to this critical issue."

Since late last year, Twitter has been using "proprietary spam fighting tools" in order to identify accounts that violate their terms of service policy. It also has assigned a dedicated team to examine the accounts. 

The moves come as the White House has been putting more pressure on social media companies to proactively identify potentially dangerous accounts and content.

The Obama administration has sent high-level personnel including F.B.I Director James Comey to California to discuss how the tech giants and government can work together more effectively. 

Twitter said the nature of its product, which it called "an open forum for expression," makes it vulnerable to becoming a communications tool for social media savvy terrorist organizations like ISIS, as NBC News reported. 

Last month, a woman whose husband was killed in Jordan in a terrorist attack sued Twitter in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit claimed Twitter was partially responsible because the ISIS attack was coordinated via the social media platform.

The suit is not expected to get far, as Twitter is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but it does raise questions about the level of responsibility that social media companies should have regarding the content on their platforms.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brazil Sprays to Curb Zika as Fears Threaten Carnival]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 19:01:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/zika-GettyImages-506931512.jpg

Health department workers are spending the week spraying insecticide up and down the streets of Brazil's major cities, trying to kill as many mosquitoes as possible before Carnival. The giant festival of parades, music and dancing attracts millions of visitors from around the world.

As crowds pour into Recife airport, they're met with bands and warnings, according to NBC News. Staffers in mosquito-decorated T-shirts offer information about the Aedes aegypti mosquito that's spreading the virus across Latin America and the Caribbean.

"In a couple of days we will have about 1.5 million people on these streets during Carnival," said Jailson Correia, health secretary for the northeastern coastal metropolis. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fans Camp Out to Buy New Jordans]]> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 14:13:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MJ+Shoes.png

Michael Jordan retired from the NBA 13 years ago but still draws massive Chicago crowds.

Days before Jordan’s newest sneaker launches Saturday, fans turned out in droves at Nike’s new Jordan Brand store for the chance to buy his latest kicks, a collaboration with designer and Chicago native Don “Don C” Crawley.

The limited supply Air Jordan 2 Retro “Just Don” hit shelves Saturday for $650. Kids’ sizes retail for $350.

Don C grew up on Chicago’s South Side at a time when the Chicago Bulls, number 23 and Air Jordan sneakers were taking over the city, according to Nike’s website. Don C created his own label in 2011, and has become known for his unique designs that blend the line between sportswear and luxury fashion.

Shoe enthusiasts brought lawn chairs, sleeping bags and comforters to wrap the side of the 32 S. State St. storefront this week, braving below freezing temperatures at times. The line started Monday, a full six full days before the shoe’s release, and continued to grow by the hour.

The footwear, draped in quilted leather with suede detailing, aims to put a luxurious spin on the 1987 icon. “Just Don” and “23” can be seen imprinted in metallic gold and red on the inside of the shoe’s tongue. The creamy beige pair comes housed in a bright red box, the same color as the specialty cap that comes with the men's sizes. 

For those unable to make it to the store, men’s sizes of the Air Jordan 2 Retro ‘Just Don’ will be available via a drawing on Nike.com Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. EST.

Photo Credit: NBC 5
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<![CDATA[Longshoremen Strike in NY, NJ Over]]> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 19:15:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Walk-Off-Port-Authority-NY-NJ-0129.jpg

The Port Authority says the surprise strike staged by thousands of longshoremen Friday is over.

The workers had walked off the job at Port Authority terminals in New York and New Jersey Friday afternoon, all but shutting down one of the nation's busiest port networks.

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The Port Authority said in a tweet that full operations were being restored Friday evening, "thanks to the expedient efforts" of the unions involved. Gates will open as scheduled on Feb. 1.

Members of the International Longshoremen's Association, one of the primary rank-and-file unions at the ports in New York City and New Jersey, stopped working about 10 a.m., according to the Port Authority. The stoppage affected all of the terminals in the port system, which receives nearly 30 percent of all cargo on the East Coast.

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A spokesman for the union said the walkout took many union officials by surprise. Another union official told NBC 4 New York the strike was spurred by a bevy of grievances including concerns about the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor's role in collective bargaining, regulations on time off after injuries and drug testing protocols.

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Several workers told NBC 4 New York they didn't know the strike was happening when they went to work on Friday and they were awaiting instruction on what to do next. The walk-off appeared to be organized and peaceful, however. 

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In a statement issued after the strike ended, NYSA said the walkout was "extremely disruptive and in violation of the NYSA-ILA Collective Bargaining Agreement." 

An emergency contract board meeting held in the afternoon resulted in a deadlock. An arbitrator found the strike was in violation of the workers' contract and ordered the ILA to inform its members, according to NYSA.

During the discussions, the ILA and NYSA agreed to continue talking about outstanding issues like jurisdiction, hiring and technology. 

Affected terminals include Port Newark, the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, Port Jersey in Bayonne, Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island, and the Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood.

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Gridlock was reported near port access points, with hundreds of truckers idling at the gates or inside the terminals. One trucker, Kennedy Twaits, said he was losing a day of work from the stoppage.

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"Yeah, A lot of money I lost," he said. "Not only me. Everybody loses money here."

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It's not clear how the work stoppage has affected cargo ships.

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The Port Authority said in a statement earlier Friday afternoon that police were working to keep people safe, and urged ILA members to "

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"As the agency that oversees the largest port complex on the East Coast, we strongly urge the ILA members to return to work immediately and resolve their differences after they return. In the meantime, Port Authority Police are actively working to ensure public safety for all of the stakeholders at the port," the authority said.

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-- Pei-Sze Cheng contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Brian Thompson / NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Freak Hail Storm, Gusty Winds Surprise Bay Area]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 00:41:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hail+storm.jpg

Hail and rain slammed the Bay Area Sunday, bringing with it gusty winds, high surfs and light rain that may continue through Monday.

A wind advisory was issued until Monday, with warnings of gusts approaching 45 mph. Damage to trees and scattered power outages might last through the morning commute, though the day should open up to some cool temps in the upper 50s with slightly less windy conditions.

In Redwood City, the Ceballes family had a close scare when a tree came crashing down near their garage just minutes after the family had gone inside.

"Me and my husband and my stepson were underneath the tarps in our driveway. I mean, it could have come down a little bit before and it would have hit all three of us," said Sandra Ceballes.

"It's a bummer, because my brother is handicapped so he literally has to go under the tree to get into the house," Ceballes added.

On Sunday, the windy weather hit San Francisco especially hard, bringing at least two trees crashing down. 

One of the downed trees briefly blocked traffic today in San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood.
At about 3 p.m., firefighters responded to a report that a tree had fallen was blocking two lanes in the 1500 block of Portola Drive, according to fire officials.

With the help from the city's Department of Public Works, firefighters were able to quickly clear the tree by about 3:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, over in Livermore, snow mixed with rain fell on the hilly areas. The white-capped hills are likely to linger into Monday morning as wind speeds accelerate over Sunday night.

In Pleasant Hill and other parts of the East Bay, heavy hail storms shocked unsuspecting residents.

Hail the size of pees slammed down on cars and homes, leading many to take pictures of the rare wintry occurrence.

<![CDATA[If Approved, New Fee Will Impact All California Drivers]]> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 09:22:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0127-2016-Gasoline.jpg

Driving into the new year, California Governor Jerry Brown has already hit a speed bump: the state’s transportation budget is strapped for cash.

That’s because gas tax revenues are down in the state, as drivers in the Golden State increasingly move toward fuel-efficient cars and gas prices continue to drop. About half of California’s gas tax revenue is tied directly to gas prices.

The governor’s office has made headlines with talk of testing a new mileage program to fill the budgetary hole created by falling gas tax revenues. That program docks drivers based on how much they drive.

However, a closer look at this year’s budget reveals a different proposal entirely: a new registration fee. In total, an addition $65 per car, pending approval by the legislature.

That fee is expected to drum up at least $2 billion, or double what California is projected to lose in gas tax revenue by next year.

According to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, revenue totals will drop from $5.4 billion last year to $4.4 billion by 2017.

“That means at some point, sooner rather than later, we have to bite the bullet and enact new fees and taxes for this purpose,” the governor said during his State of the State speech earlier this month.

Drivers at a San Jose gas station told NBC Bay Area that amidst the talk to dwindling transportation funds, they never even heard about a potential new fee.

“I was not area of that fee at all,” said Kim Tran.

“This is something I need to look at because...we have to work harder to pay that kind of fee,” added Josephone Phan.

While many Californians are likely to be irked by an additional fee, University of California at Berkeley clean energy expert Dan Kammen says now is the ideal time to kick start this conversation.

“What the dip in taxes highlights for me is the need to find new revenue, but because we still have significant revenues from the gas tax, it’s the perfect time,” he said.

Kammen says the state can roll out a new vehicle tax like Brown’s current proposal, or use a mileage program, since both systems affect all drivers. The key, he adds, is to make the process tailored to promote cleaner fuel.

““So you’re driving an electric vehicle, perhaps you pay the lowest fee,” Kammen said. “If you’re running a gas-hybrid vehicle, maybe it’s a little bit higher. And if you’re in a regular gas-powered vehicle, perhaps it’s at the highest category. And that’s something which is no more difficult to manage than things we’re already used to doing.”

California currently leads the nation in electric vehicles, but they still make up only a tiny percentage of cars on the road.

It’s clear the state is moving to cleaner vehicles, and more electric cars on the road will only further dry up gas tax revenues.

Bottom line? California needs to switch its formula for raising transportation money, and there are several good options right now.

But that whopper of a registration fee that could come down the pike a year from now?

California voters once booted former California Governor Gray Davis out of office for a similar hike.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Toddler Accidentally Killed by Parent Driving Family Truck]]> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 18:09:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TODDLER+EDITED.jpg

In what police are calling a "tragic accident," a 2-year-old girl was struck and killed by a truck driven by one of her parents Thursday in Richmond.

Police responded at 2:21 p.m. to a call about a child that was hit by a GMC pickup truck in the driveway of a house in the 300 block of Beck Street, according to initial reports from police officials.

Police officials later said that the responding officers arrived to find the child clutched by one of her parents. Officers realized the girl had been hit by her father, who was driving the family's truck, police said.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.The driver is cooperating in the investigation. Police said at this time it appears this was an accident.

Richmond police chaplains were called to the scene to offer support. Police added that a peer support team was also activated for the responding officers.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Thieves Steal Toy Car From Toddler With Autism]]> Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:40:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_toycarstolen0126_1500x845.jpg

Thieves in Katy, Texas, stole the toy car of a toddler with autism when he went inside with his mother and siblings, according to KPRC 2.

The Sunday theft was captured by a neighbor's security camera.

Claudia Ortega told the station she was outside playing with her three children before they all headed back into the house. While they were inside, the video shows, a car pulled up and a young woman jumped out. She grabbed the car and jumped in the vehicle, which raced away.

Ortega said she is hoping the thieves will return the vehicle, which belonged to her 3-year-old son, Santiago.

"He's little, he doesn't understand," said Ortega. "He's still looking for his car."

Photo Credit: KPRC 2]]>
<![CDATA[Ford Recalls About 391K Ranger Pickups Due to Air Bag Death]]> Tue, 26 Jan 2016 10:52:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ford-GettyImages-467038616.jpg

Ford is recalling nearly 391,000 Ranger pickups because the driver's air bag inflators can explode with too much force and cause injuries.

The recall covers trucks from the 2004 through 2006 model years in the U.S. and Canada.

It comes just days after the government announced that a South Carolina man was killed when an inflator exploded in December. Joel Knight, 52, of Kershaw died when he was struck in the neck by metal shrapnel after his 2006 Ranger hit a cow in the road and struck a fence.

The government says automakers will recall another 5 million vehicles equipped with faulty inflators made by Takata Corp. of Japan. Some of the recalls are because of the crash that killed Knight, with the rest due to air bags failing in lab tests.

Other automakers are expected to announce more recalls soon as the Takata inflator mess continues to grow. It now covers 14 auto and truck makers and totals about 24 million vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the number of recalls is likely to expand further.

Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to cause a small explosion that creates gas and inflates air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high heat and humidity and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister designed to contain the explosion.

Knight is the 10th known death worldwide due to the inflators, and more than 100 people have been hurt.

Ford says it will send letters to owners about the recall starting the week of Feb. 22. Although it has some replacement parts available, the company is working with air bag makers to make additional inflators as soon as possible, spokesman John Cangany said.

The Rangers also were recalled last year to replace the passenger air bag inflators. Ford says customers can find out if their trucks are included by going to Ford.com and clicking on "safety recalls." Then they can enter their vehicle identification number to check.

Knight hit the cow at about 6:20 p.m. on South Carolina Route 522 not far from Columbia. If not for the inflator rupture, the crash would have been moderate and wouldn't have killed him, said Amanda Dotter, spokeswoman for the Elrod Pope Law Firm, which is representing his family. 

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boy, 7, Shot to Death by Another Child]]> Tue, 26 Jan 2016 08:50:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/crime-tape-1186359959.jpg

A Tennessee 7-year-old was fatally shot by another child when their parents left them in a car to go pay a cellphone bill, police said.

Four children had been left unattended Monday in a parking lot in Crossville, Tennessee, about 70 miles east of Knoxville, Crossville police said, when one found a loaded semi-automatic pistol inside their mother's purse, which was in the car.

"The child removed the magazine in an effort to unload the firearm. The firearm was accidentally discharged," police said in a press release. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Aurora Creative]]>
<![CDATA[Zuckerberg Targeted by Campaign Over Facebook Incitement]]> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:06:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Zuckerberg-Robot-467503096.jpg

How do you get Mark Zuckerberg's attention? Hit him up near home.

That's the approach one Israeli NGO is hoping to try by raising funds to erect billboards near the Facebook founder's mansion in protest of what it claims is a policy on his social network that permits incitement against Jews, NBC News reported.

Shurat Hadin, which says it advocates for Israeli victims of terror, is trying to raise $30,000 via crowdfunding site Headstart to pay for the signs. The campaign called "Zuckerberg don't kill us" kicked off on Sunday.

"When Palestinian terrorists called for the killing of Jews on Facebook, Facebook closed its eyes," the video released as part of the campaign intones while flashing a picture of Zuckerberg closing his eyes.

A recent wave of Palestinian attacks, mainly stabbings, has claimed the lives of 29 Israelis and injured 289. Some 146 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, of whom 101 are said by Israel to have been attackers, according to The Associated Press.

Photo Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Can Hundreds of New Apartments Help Ease Oakland’s Housing Crisis?]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 20:18:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0114-2016-DowntownOakland.jpg

The Oakland City Council last week moved forward with a plan for a new mixed-use development project in the city’s Uptown neighborhood.

The proposed property at 2330 Webster Street, will pump out 234 new housing units, mostly market rate but some affordable options too, along with retail space and parking. The units are walking distance to BART and the city’s famed Auto Row.

A chorus of critics has stoked fear that the units in the building, all one and two bedrooms, are a quick fix for Oakland, where the housing market has squeezed residents with rising rents. It will provide more housing to be sure, but what happens when new, younger residents want to expand and start families?

That’s not an issue in the near term says Trulia’s Housing Economist Ralph McLaughlin.

“The mid thirties now is the new mid twenties for getting married and having kids,” he said. “They’re doing it later in life. So new households that move into that area probably won’t be looking to move out very quickly to start families.”

McLaughlin highlights another trend popping up in his company’s research: people want to be closer to work and closer to transportation. In the middle of a major city, that’s achieved through denser housing.

“Otherwise, you promote sprawl and the less dense you build, well you’re going to have to build somewhere and keep going further out,” said Rachel Flynn, Oakland’s Director of Planning and Building. “The whole point of an urban setting is to maximize density where you have the transit and that’s what these plans are about.”

Critcs’ comments imply a need for more single-family home construction in Oakland, but Flynn told NBC Bay Area that the city does not build those types of homes in the Uptown neighborhood. There simply isn’t enough space.

Single-family homes require more viable land, a hard-to-find commodity in the area thanks to the region’s fault lines and hillsides. Plus, apartment complexes typically include a requirement of 15 percent affordable units.

There’s not a similar rule for new homes.

That’s why city leaders like Flynn view any new housing as a good thing, especially in increasingly popular neighborhoods like Uptown.

“We have plenty of demand and we’re trying to get more supply,” she said. “So this was one way to expedite the process and get developers building.”

The rising cost of housing has been a focus across the Bay Area, particularly in Oakland. The median home price in the city has almost doubled in the last five years, while rents have grown by 50 percent in that time.

But there are downsides to developments like the one approved for the Broadway-Valdez area in Uptown. For one, more people typically means more traffic. And that’s not all.

“There’s a possibility that prices could rise in the area if it gentrifies,” said Trulia’s McLaughlin. “And while that’s good for existing homeowners, if rents also rise, that’s actually not great for existing residents.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>