<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usSat, 24 Jun 2017 09:03:27 -0700Sat, 24 Jun 2017 09:03:27 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Security Measures Ramped Up During SF's Pride Weekend]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:25:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/183*120/GettyImages-5431666901.jpg

San Francisco's wildly popular Pride Weekend kicked off Friday, with the annual Trans March.

Millions of people are expected to head to the city to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

Some famous events include the Trans March, which started around 7 p.m. Friday from Mission Dolores Park; the Pink Triangle from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday at Twin Peaks; and the San Francisco Dyke March at 5 p.m. Saturday, also at Mission Dolores Park.

All the excitement builds up to the LGBT Pride Parade, one of the largest in the world, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The route runs along Market Street, starting at Beale Street and ending at Eighth Street.

Security was tight during San Francisco Pride in 2016 since it followed the shooting deaths of 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

This year, security will be tight once again, but "there is no specific nor credible threat to any of the events this weekend, "Craig Fair, a FBI counter-terrorism expert, said.

Law enforcement officials are still asking people to trust their intuition and report any suspicious behavior. 

Organizers have already fenced off parts of the Civic Center Plaza, with the main stage going up in front of San Francisco City Hall.

Attendees should expect to be screened by walk-through metal detectors or handheld "wands," according to police.

No bags larger than 18 by 18 inches will be allowed, and all bags are subject to search. There will be no storage lockers for oversized bags.

No outside alcohol will be allowed inside and possession of open containers or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on city streets. Inside the event area, alcohol will be available for purchase with valid identification.

The San Francisco Police Department will increase the number of officers stationed at the event both in uniform and plainclothes.

Shootings and other violent incidents have occurred during a number of past Pride celebrations, including a fatal shooting at the 2010 "Pink Saturday" event in the Castro District. That event was canceled last year due to security concerns and will not be returning this year.

The thought of violence or attacks similar to the recent onslaughts in Europe has at least one longtime Pride attendee saying "no" to attending this year's event. 

"I just don't feel safe anymore," Lee Nager said. "I know people say, 'Well, they're going to let them get to you.' But if they get to me, I won't be here."

Police this week advised those planning to attend festivities, to avoid accepting drinks from strangers or drinking and driving, to keep valuables with them rather than leaving them in the car and or elsewhere, and to stay with a group of friends when on the street or leaving bars and clubs.

Pride-goers are also strongly urged to take public transit to and from events wherever possible. Both Muni and Caltrain will provide additional service on Sunday for the parade. A slew of roads will closed during the weekend.

For more information on security screening, check out the San Francisco Pride website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Pride Parade Guide: Where to Eat, Drink, and Party]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:47:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/castro12.jpg

San Francisco will be celebrating the LGBT community June 24- to 25. Events will run throughout the weekend, including the 47th annual Pride Parade. Thousands of LGBT community members and supporters will take to Market Street to join this procession on Sunday, June 25. If planning to be one of the many raising a rainbow flag, here are some places that will keep the fun going and your body fueled.

Parade Breakfast Preparation

Farm:Table: If looking for a locally sourced, wholesome meal, head over to Farm:Table on Post Street. This quaint spot has a selection of items that are simple yet satisfying. The restaurant also changes select menu items during each season, ensuring that the customer gets the freshest ingredients. Make sure to keep an eye out for the rainbow Rice Krispies as well, as Farm: Table is donating 100% of the sweet snack’s profits to the San Francisco LGBT Center.

Mazarine Coffee: Another spot that would make for a stylish start to the day is Mazarine Coffee. Located on Market Street, dwindlers will not have to have to venture far from the parade path to grab a coffee and some avocado toast. Other menu items include Fig and Ricotta Brioche as well as Yogurt Parfait. While a quick breakfast, the food is fit to satisfy both hangover hunger and social media snaps.

The Village: No Sunday morning would be complete without brunch and San Francisco’s Pride weekend promises the best. The Village at 969 Market Street is putting on a Bubbles and Brunch event. Parade-goers will be able to begin Sunday’s festivities at 9 a.m. The 21+ event will include a variety of food items as well as music.

Lunch and Bar Stops

The Sentinel: For those who want to grab a quick bite during the parade, check out The Sentinel. This sandwich shop is located a block over from the Montgomery Street BART station on Stevenson Street and New Montgomery. With menu choices for both vegetarians and meat lovers alike, it is sure to please any picky eater.

Zero Zero: No day of festivities is complete without a good slice of pizza. Zero Zero makes for an open and airy lunch time stop. Along with a menu packed with pizzas, there is a great drink selection to add that pep back into your step. Located three blocks south of the parade route, this Folsom Street pizzeria is worth the detour.

Mikkeller Bar: The perfect pit stop for a pint of beer, Mikkeller Bar is hidden away just off of the Powell Street BART station. The interior supplies a good helping of exposed brick along with a draft list that will impress any beer connoisseur. Groups can also opt to split for a hearty appetizer as well before heading back out on the LGBT pride path.

Post-Parade Events

The Cinch Saloon: After the parade is over, festivities will begin all over the city. The Cinch Saloon on Polk Street will recommence celebrations at 3 p.m. Guests will be transported back to a 1977 disco party that would leave ABBA amazed. Along with groovy music, attendees can participate in a best dressed contest and show off their bellbottoms.

Mezzanine: Also beginning at 3 p.m. is the Mezzanine’s Hard French Los Homos VII. This 7th annual pride party will be playing out across six different clubs until the late evening hours. Accompanying this party playground will be an outdoor block party as well as a performance by Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes.

The Chapel: The Chapel on Valencia Street will be continuing the party later on in the evening. Those who choose to dance the night away at this well-known venue will be able to do so free of charge as well. The event will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and will be hosted by DJ Rockaway.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Celebrates Pride]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:33:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*200/6-23-17-SF-PRIDE2017.jpg

Photo Credit: JC Liang (jc.liang via Instagram) ]]>
<![CDATA[Teens Give Thousands to Junior Giants]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:47:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Headfirst+Leadership.jpg

On a blistering Wednesday, more than 50 young baseball players sought shade under a makeshift tent at the Olivera Field in Concord. As they took turns cooling off, they eyed the rows of tables next to them, on which a mass of expensive baseball equipment — valued at $4,000 — lie ready for the taking. Soon, it would be theirs, thanks to the generosity of two people not much older than them.

The equipment came courtesy of Nick Walker and Dawson Mann, two 16-year-old Monte Vista High School students who embarked on a philanthropic mission to make baseball fields a more equitable environment for underserved youth.

The two teammates, who play for the Headfirst Baseball Academy, recently launched a nonprofit arm called "Headfirst Leadership: Beyond The Field," which offers coaching to aspiring baseball players and holds equipment drives for local teams. Wednesday's giveaway, the product of a six-week long donation drive, was the first in what the two teens hope will be a recurring opportunity to level the playing field between the "haves" and "have-nots."

“We wanted to be able give back to the community, while also teaching leadership on and off the field,” Walker said. “It’s been a really good experience to go to these other places, and see how some people aren’t as fortunate and help them.”

“It’s expensive to play, and what we really wanted to do was give to kids who didn’t have the opportunity to play baseball,” Mann, who has been involved with the sport since he was four, said. "It also helps us realize how fortunate we are.” 

For low-income families, prohibitive costs loom large over extracurricular enrollment. In baseball, in particular, parents are often responsible for triple-digit enrollment fees combined with the cost of expensive equipment. It's not uncommon for parents of multiple children to spend thousands per year on sports, and, for families that can barely afford to pay eye-popping Bay Area rents, that expense can be hard to justify. Easing that burden, Mann and Walker said, was crucial to fostering the same love of baseball that they have had since they were small children.

“We had been volunteering and doing other sorts of community service...but we wanted to give back to the sport that we loved and find a way to sort of spread that,” explained Walker. 

It should come as no surprise to Bay Area baseball aficionados that Walker and Mann chose the Junior Giants Baseball League, a product of the San Francisco Giants Community Fund, as the recipient for their first big haul of donations. The two organizations — one behemoth, one nascent — share core philosophies, most notably making baseball more accessible and mentorship off the field. 

The Junior Giants league is a free, co-ed, and non-competitive league for kids between the ages of seven and 14. All told, the league has more than 25,000 players across California, Nevada, and Arizona. And, because it had a local chapter in Concord, the boys were able to hand out the equipment themselves. Walker and Mann, clad in brown and yellow Headfirst shirts and matching caps, took turns picking out the correct size bat for each of the junior leaguers. Then, they showed them the correct way to swing the bat, offering words of encouragement — and taking a few steps back, for safety — as the youngers swung the bats back and forth while flashing toothy grins.

Walker noted that the pair plan to incorporate coaching into their own organization.

“We try to teach leadership off the field, not just on it,” he said. 

Ana Villabos, the commissioner of the Concord Division, said she was taken aback by the truckload of equipment the teens had to offer and was pleasantly surprised that other items — like clothes, books, and toys — were also included in the donation. 

“It’s great because it’s not just about baseball,” Villabos said. “It’s about so much more than that. It’s about helping the kids read and be healthy and have confidence. What the boys are doing, it means so much to me, and it’s going to mean to so much to the children.” 

The estimated value of the donations also came as a surprise to Walker and Mann, who didn’t anticipate having quite so much community support for their project. The donation drive centers were overloaded with more than 780 items from people who heard about their project.

“People just kept bringing different sorts of things,” a proud Walker told a Concord police officer, who came by to take pictures with the teens. “Our boxes just filled up, and it all just went from there.” 

It felt, to use baseball parlance, like a home run. 

“We definitely don’t want this to be it,” Walker said. “We want to expand and continue working, and hopefully inspire other people to do the same.”

Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Florist Charged With Defrauding Customers: DA]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:31:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JasminRivera.jpg

A San Jose florist has been charged with cheating people out of more than $26,000 after she didn't deliver flowers and other supplies to paying customers, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Jasmin Rivera, 37, from Gigi's Florist has been charged with six counts of grand theft in addition to two other unrelated charges, according to the district attorney's office. She pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

"These are events that are special and sentimental," prosecutor Garner Morris said. "They put their trust in her to provide these services and she failed them."

Multiple complaints have been flung at Rivera in the past, according to the district attorney's office. One victim, who did not want to be identified, says she shelled out more than $3,000 for bouquets, boutonnieres, church arrangements and table center pieces. She said only about one-third of her order made it to the church.

"When I go to the church, there’s nothing there," the victim said. "There isn’t the boutonniere, there isn’t the bridesmaid bouquets, there isn’t the decorations for the entire church."

Another family took out loans to host their daughter's Quinceañera, according to the district attorney's office. They paid Rivera roughly $10,000 to cover party necessities such as a DJ and limousine. Rivera failed to provide anything the family asked for, and she told the family to take her to court when they asked for a refund.

Last year, another victim paid Rivera approximately $8,000 for wedding decorations, according to the district attorney's office. No supplies were delivered on the wedding day, and the victim was only refunded $400.

Neighboring florist Sal Rosales was disturbed after learning about the charges.

"(Rivera) should pay for whatever she did," he said. "I'm sorry to hear about that for the other people that got their money stolen."

Rivera could end up behind bars if she is convicted. Prosecutors say they're still looking for more victims to strengthen their case.

Anyone with other information regarding Rivera is asked to contact criminal investigation Christine Macias at 408-792-2822.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Top Bay Area Festivals and Fairs to Attend Over the Summer]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:30:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/summer6.jpg

The Bay Area is always buzzing. Every month is packed with celebrations, events, and concerts for locals to flock to. These happenings seem to be in greater abundance during the summer, offering endless choices on how to spend a day in the sun. If looking to explore some of the different events, here are the top festivals and fairs to check out this summer across the Bay.

San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

Taking place in theatres across the Bay Area, this festival is the largest of its kind. The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival has been running since 1977 and draws crowds upwards of 60,000 people. The annual event screens films from every genre, allowing viewers to expand their movie wheelhouse. Tickets are on sale now and showings will run from June 15 to 25.

Alameda County Fair

If you're craving kettle corn and family fun, head to the Alameda County Fair. Beginning June 16, this summer staple will provide carnival rides, concerts, and fried confections. Some guests who will be performing as well will include the Plain White T’s and Sugar Ray. Tickets can be purchased now on their website. Deals are also available until the fair's closing day, July 9.

63rd Annual North Beach Festival

On June 17, North Beach will begin to host the 63rd annual festival. Attendees will be able to roam through a maze of art booths, all while getting a tan. This is a free event that will take place both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phono Del Sol Music and Food Festival

Many festival goers are accustom to spending hundreds of dollar for a ticket, but admission to Phono Del Sol starts at only $29. This single-day event in Potrero Del Sol Park makes for a great summer day. Taking place on June 17, headliners include the alternative bands Thee Oh Sees and The Coathangers. Along with other local artists, attendees will also be able to hit up food trucks between sets. Make sure to pack your sunscreen and tie up your man bun for this one.

ID10T Music Festival + Comica Conival

Suitably situated in Silicon Valley, this two day affair has a lot going on. Bands like Weezer and Crystal Castles will take the stage, alongside DJs Zeds Dead and Madeon. If the musical line up wasn’t enough, the weekend will also be packed with comedians and panels. Created and hosted by Nerdist inventor, Chris Hardwick, this festival is a must. ID10T Fest will be held June 24-25. Tickets are still available.

Fillmore Jazz Festival

The 33rd Fillmore Jazz Festival will be held on July 1-2. Located in San Francisco, this free event is an all-day affair. Packed with over 100,000 visitors, guests will have to opportunity to enjoy a spread of art, food, crafts, and booze. Of course, this will all be accompanied by Jazz music. This festival is a great way to spend your Fourth of July weekend.

Outside Lands

Outside Lands, one of the most anticipated music festivals in the Bay Area, will take place August 11-13. Known in the past to host big name bands like Radiohead, this year will not be different. Attendees will witness performances by the Gorillaz, Metallica, and The Who during the three day affair. Single-day and weekend passes are available for purchase.

Oakland Art + Soul Festival

Sneaking in at the end of the summer is the Oakland Art + Soul Festival. On August 19th and 20th, the streets of Oakland will be taken over by dancers and musicians that the whole family will enjoy. Many of the performers last year were Bay Area natives, giving locals a true sense of pride for their community. Tickets can be bought at the gate during the event.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Replay: Watch and Relive the Warriors Parade]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 11:48:20 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-696389546_594_screen.jpg

If you missed out on the Warriors Championship Parade or want to relive the celebration, we got you covered. Watch highlights of players celebrating with Dub Nation and the team's rally in Oakland below:

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Finalize Five-Year Contract Extension for Derek Carr]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:48:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626178970.png

Derek Carr is now the NFL's highest paid player. The Raiders quarterback agreed on terms of a five-year, $125 million contract extension a source confirmed on Thursday morning, keeping the franchise's public face in silver and black through the 2022 season.

Carr confirmed the agreement on Twitter early Thursday.

"Now it's done!" Carr wrote. "From the jump I've wanted to be a Raider 4 life. One step closer to that! Blessed!!! Business done! Let's just play now!!!"

Carr was set to make a $977,515 base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract. Carr's raise is significant, and underscores his value to the franchise. Carr's $125 million extension includes $70 million in guaranteed money and $40 million fully guaranteed at signing -- the portion not fully guaranteed is guaranteed for injury -- a source said. The deal features $25 million in the first year -- there's a $12.5 million signing bonus -- with $67.5 million over the first three years, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano.

Carr's deal resets the quarterback market -- Matthew Stafford may do so again soon -- with an annual value above Andrew Luck's previous record extension. The Colts quarterback signed a five-year, $122.9 million extension last year, which Carr has now exceeded.

The complete contract structure is not yet known, but a somewhat delayed payout plan is expected due to two key factors. The largest is Carr's desire to see other star Raiders receive extensions, and his deal gives the team some flexibility to keep important players in house. The Raiders will also move to Las Vegas by 2020 at the latest, where there is no state tax. California residents max out at a 13.3-percent tax rate, meaning his money will be worth more later in the deal.

The 26-year old's ultimate goal was to maximize earnings without handcuffing the organization, and that's setting up well. His deal will help the Raiders that regard, though the team has also budgeted to extend several members of their young core. They have financial flexibility in future seasons and upfront salary cap space, though productive drafts are required to remain competitive as the cash gets gobbled by Carr and others in coming years.

The Raiders were always confident the Carr extension would get done this offseason, and the deal was finalized well before the quarterback's self-imposed training camp deadline. Carr's camp had discussed parameters of an extension months ago, but talks heated up in the last few weeks and ended up with an agreement that locks Carr down.

The Raiders also hope to extend two more members of a star-studded 2014 draft class. Right guard Gabe Jackson is next in line, and could get a new deal this offseason and edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a massive contract at some point in the near future. Jackson's entering a contract year, but the team exercised a fifth-year option that creates more time to get a Mack deal done. Amari Cooper has some time under his rookie deal -- it could last through the 2019 season -- but the Raiders want to pair him with Carr for several seasons.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Robbed on Grizzly Peak in Second Incident in Three Days]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:22:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/police+lights+siren2.jpg

A man was robbed on Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley early Friday morning, the second such incident in that location in three days, University of California, Berkeley police said.

At 2:13 a.m. Friday, a male adult with no affiliation to the University was sitting inside his vehicle at Sign Post 16 along Grizzly Peak Boulevard between Centennial Drive and Fish Ranch Road when he was approached by three suspects, according to police.

One suspect entered the man's vehicle and demanded property while the other two suspects removed the man from his vehicle, police said.

The suspects took personal property from the victim and the victim then fled the area and called 911 with help from a passing motorist, according to police.

UC Berkeley police and East Bay Regional Park District police searched the area but were unable to locate the suspects, according to police.

The victim had minor injuries that were treated at the scene by firefighters.

Police described the first suspect as a black man about 24 years old who was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans and the second suspect as a Hispanic male in his 20s wearing a red shirt, black basketball shorts and long hair pulled back into a ponytail.

The third suspect was described as a white man in his 20s wearing a gray beanie cap and blue jeans.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the UC Police Department's criminal investigation bureau at (510) 542-0472 during business hours or (510) 642-6760 at all other times.

Police said there was an armed robbery at the same location at Signpost 16 along Grizzly Peak Boulevard early Tuesday that ended with a female victim being shot in the leg.

Authorities said officers who responded to a local hospital on report of a gunshot wound victim at 3:49 a.m. on Tuesday determined that a female and two male victims who were aren't affiliated with the university had been parked at Signpost 16 around 3 a.m. when they were approached by three suspects who demanded their money.

The victims fled the scene in their vehicle rather than comply with the demand, and one of the suspects opened fire, striking the female victim in the leg with at least one bullet.

The three suspects were all described as Hispanic men in their mid-20s, police said.

<![CDATA[A's Begin Road Trip With Shutout of White Sox]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:14:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-800211992.jpg

The A’s six-game road trip got off to a promising start Friday as they try to reverse their fortunes away from Oakland.

Jharel Cotton shined over five innings before leaving because of a blister on his right hand, and the bullpen took care of things from there to complete a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the A’s came in just 9-25 on the road so far, this was the rare occurrence of them taking control early and staying in control while wearing the road grays. Now the A’s just hope the victory didn’t come with a steep price.

In addition to Cotton (5-7) leaving after a blister opened up on his right thumb, shortstop Chad Pinder left with a strained left hamstring. The severity of that injury wasn’t immediately known.

Here’s five things you need to know from the opener of this three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field:

-- Davis hits No. 19: Khris Davis gave Cotton some early cushion with a two-run homer off Mike Pelfrey (3-6) to center field in the first. It was Davis’ team-leading 19th long ball, but just his third in 22 games this month.

-- Another solid outing for rookie: Coming off a strong 6 1/3-inning outing against the New York Yankees, Cotton again looked in control Friday before having to leave. The right-hander held the Sox to three hits over his five innings, striking out three and walking one. It’s unknown whether the blister will affect his availability for his next start, but the A’s learned with Rich Hill last season how nagging a blister can be for a starter.

-- Ninth-inning nerves: The final score didn’t indicate how tense things got for Oakland in the ninth. Closer Santiago Casilla gave up two singles to start the inning. After Avisail Garcia flied out, Todd Frazier hit a pop up behind first. Yonder Alonso couldn’t haul it in and the ball dropped, but Alonso alertly threw to second to get a force out. Then Matt Davidson sent a deep fly ball to center that Jaycob Brugman hauled in at the warning track.

--- Joyce powers up: In the fifth, Matt Joyce lit into a 3-2 pitch from Pelfrey and homered to center field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was the ninth homer for Joyce, who continues to provide some of the spark the A’s are looking for in the leadoff spot.

-- A double ejection: : White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria both were ejected for arguing a fifth-inning play after Anderson hit a dribbler near home plate that surprised him by being called fair.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NB Golden Gate Bridge to be Closed For SF Marathon]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:01:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/san-fran-marathon170700426.jpg

The Golden Gate Bridge District Board of Directors voted unanimously Friday to shut down all northbound lanes of the iconic bridge to traffic during next month's San Francisco Marathon.

Concerned for roughly 15,000 marathoners from around the world, all northbound cars will have to find alternate routes between 6 and 9 a.m. on Sunday, July 23. This move has the potential to affect about 4,500 drivers who have driven past runners in past years.

The move aims to bolster safety during the annual event and address terrorism concerns, especially in light of recent attacks in which terrorists have used vehicles in France and the United Kingdom to mow down pedestrians.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the San Francisco Marathon, which is a qualifier for people seeking to participate in the Boston Marathon. 

"In the past, the only thing separating runners from northbound traffic were construction cones," a staff report said. "The decision to allow events to take place on the Bridge roadway always has been of concern. Each year during the permit process, safety concerns such as impaired and/or distracted drivers are contemplated, discussed and debated.

"Unfortunately, today, those discussions and that debate also must include consideration of the recent tragedies brought on by those intentionally driving vehicles into crowds of pedestrians at notable locations, particularly in areas where there are large concentrations of people."

The board plans to limit southbound traffic to two lanes, which will be separated from the runners by a moveable barrier. Road closures are expected at northbound Presidio Parkway at the southbound 19th Avenue exit and at northbound 19th Avenue at southbound Presidio Parkway.

Closing the northbound lanes will not affect drivers heading to the San Francisco International Airport, the staff report said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley’s Quest For Universal Connectivity ]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:59:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-522406734.jpg

Connecting the world's billions of unconnected souls has been a dream of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and tech giants for years. Employing everyone from scientists to seamstresses, labs have launched a series of projects and pilot programs around the world to test theories and aim for the impossible.

But whether it will be Facebook's laser beam approach, Google's balloons, Elon Musk's satellites – or one of the numerous other projects floating around the world – only time will tell who will leave universal connectivity as their legacy.

Here is what you need to know about a some of these projects coming out of Silicon Valley:

Project Loon 

  • Project Loon was launched at X, the top-secret lab sponsored by Google's parent company, Alphabet, where innovators have developed everything from Google's self-driving cars to drone deliveries. 
  • Mike Cassidy, the project lead, and Pamela DesRochers, a former fashion designer, have been working on balloon-powered Internet access, but costs and logistics remain a challenge. DesRochers is working on balloon designs that would stay afloat for months at a time to service the area below the balloon with an internet connection.
  • This project is doing pilot flights around the world. "The idea may sound a bit crazy — and that’s part of the reason we’re calling it Project Loon — but there’s solid science behind it," Cassidy wrote in a blog post. 
  • Like any product from X, there is no promise of success, and the innovative lab says it takes its failures in stride. Astro Teller, who runs X, told Lester Holt, "Most everyone's ideas here just aren't gonna work out. That's just the truth when we're coming up with unusual ideas," Teller said. "One idea in a thousand turns out to be cars that drive themselves."

Free Basics

  • Free Basics was developed as part of Internet.org by Facebook. One obstacle to the project has been what websites the service provides access to, or rather, what it doesn't provide access to. While some say Free Basic violates the principles of net neutrality because of its decision to host only select sites, Facebook said it is focusing on providing basic access to websites it has deemed essential such as news sites, job postings, health and education information as well as Facebook. 
  • While it has been banned or restricted in several countries, roughly 40 million people are using Internet.org as of November 2016, according to the company. 

Sidewalk Labs and Intersection

  • Launched in June of 2015, Sidewalk Labs, which provides New York City with free Wi-Fi through its LinkNYC network, expanded to cities around the United States under a new company called Intersection
  • Both projects are sponsored by Alphabet, Google's parent company, and focus on providing connectivity in urban centers.
  • Intersection states that it wants to improve the health, efficiency and consumption methods in cities through increased connectivity. 

Connectivity Lab

  • The Connectivity Lab is also a product of Internet.org by Facebook. The group has been working on everything from collaborations with mobile carriers to laser beams to come up with solutions to universal connectivity — really.
  • While Project ARIES is working on the ground to provide people living just outside cities with access to high-speed internet, Aquila is a solar-powered plane currently testing the possibility of beaming lasers from its surface to provide those services.


  • Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who co-founded Tesla, had an idea that was just too big for planet Earth. He wants to provide universal connectivity by launching a network of satellites into space.
  • One obstacle came in 2015 after Facebook contracted with SpaceX for its own satellite. It made news after it was ultimately unable to take-off and exploded before leaving its platform.
Do you know of another project that belongs up here? Email the details to rebecca.greenway@nbcuni.com. 

Mike Cassidy, Project Lead

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Van Conversion Company Inspired by Steep Rental Prices]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:24:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Van+Start+Up.jpg

It’s no secret that living in the Bay Area is expensive, and the number of people living out of cars and vans in San Mateo County has reportedly spiked in recent years.

With stories of homeowners converting to mobile living popping up each week, we talked to one van conversion company about the #vanlife and its beginnings in a San Mateo employee parking lot. 

Q&A have been edited for brevity:

[[430408003, C]]

Where did the idea for The Advanture Co. come from?

"[Co-founder Brandon Nelson] was actually working at GoPro in San Mateo for a couple years and was unable to afford rent in the Bay Area," said Scott Nelson, co-founder of the Santa Cruz-based company. "Him and a couple of other people decided to live in Sprinter vans with mattresses."

His small business has been rolling out customized vans now for about a year-and-a-half and has evolved into a lifestyle brand, which advocates for what it says is a more affordable and flexible living option than home ownership.

"After four or five months of living on a mattress, we decided to take it to another level. We built out his van over eight months," Nelson said. "So that’s kind of how it started.”

The van conversion company has already converted and built vans for a folk band, physical therapist, photographers and more.

"The whole idea is basically allowing yourself the freedom to do anything you want," Nelson said. "That’s the bottom line." 

What’s the process like?

"Everything’s custom, totally varied," Nelson said.

The company works with each client to determine pricing and needs. Depending on the use of the van — whether for work, touring or leisure — can change the outfit of the van, according to Nelson.

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Do you think the number of people living in vans is going to keep going up?

"I think it’s going to keep going up if housing keeps going up,” Nelson said. "We live in one of the most expensive places to live in the world."

Perhaps because of this, the perception of those living in cars has started to change.

"At first it was thought of as a weird homeless situation, but it’s now being viewed as more for mobility, to not throw away $2,000 plus dollars rent, to get rid of the mortgage,” Nelson said. "It’s really an investment if you do it right."

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What is the biggest hurdle to joining the #VanLife?

"At the end of the day, to do the "vanlife," you do have to downsize your wardrobe," Nelson said.

But, he says, it isn’t a lifestyle restricted to couples and single people.

"You could have a family of four in there if you build it right," Nelson said. "Set up to live small. Don’t try to cram all your stuff into it. You don’t have to."

And, he says, it comes with a big payoff. 

"It simplifies everything," Nelson said. "There are all of these costs that you can eliminate. Every appliance in the vans runs on solar. The only thing you need is diesel fuel and new tires every five to 10,000 miles."

The Advanture Co. will be producing a series of short films with photographer Chris Burkard, after completing his own van. After that, the small team is looking at expanding their company into tiny homes, Airstream travel trailers as well as other cities that might be interested in van conversion services.

Photo Credit: The Advanture Co.
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<![CDATA[Palo Alto Cracks Down on Homeless People Living in RVs]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:04:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-23-17_Palo_Alto_RVs.jpg

Dozens of homeless people hunkered down in RVs next to Stanford University for more than a year will soon be asked to move.

The droves of seemingly larger and larger RVs lining El Camino Real in Palo Alto have drawn some complaints, prompting city officials to ask the owners to move the RVs or risk being towed.

New signage to be posted along the street will ask drivers to move their vehicles within 72 hours, according to police. Towing notices will be issued to those who don't comply.

"Towing is on the table, but it is completely a last resort," Palo Alto Police Department Captain Zach Perron said. "That is absolutely our last hope."

Palo Alto city officials are working with surrounding cities to solve the housing cruch and homelessness with dignity.

“There has to be a place where these people can be treated with some dignity and have the ability to rise above this," homeless advocate Catherine Poston said.

Poston and the individuals living in the RVs said the homeless do their best to keep the street and sidewalks clean. They may not be pleased with the city's decision, but they understand why the city is cracking down.

Mike Becker, who joins scores of others along the Palo Alto sidewalk, has his primary attention set on moving and finding a stable home.

"I'm in the position where I have to live in this RV and it's because the rents are so high around here," he said. "I'm trying to relocate to another area where it's more affordable for me."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[ Light-Rail Service Resumes in San Jose]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:20:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0209-2016-VTA.jpg

Light-rail service between the Karina and Bonaventura stations in North San Jose was briefly disrupted Friday after an incident involving a pedestrian in the crosswalk, according to Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority officials.

Initially, VTA reported that a train had struck someone 1st Street and Karina Court. The agency then clarified that it was unclear if the train had made contact with the pedestrian or the person had just fallen. 

The person was taken to a hospital in an unknown condition.

A bus bridge was provided to passengers on the Mountain View to Winchester and Alum Rock to Santa Teresa lines. 

The disruption was reported around 10:30 a.m. Service had resumed by 11:05 a.m.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Coroner IDs Teenage Girl Who Died After Falling Off Cliff]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:46:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+rescue-0622.jpg

A teenager died Thursday after falling 50 feet off a cliff in San Francisco's Lands End, according to the city's fire officials.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office identified the 17-year-old as Victoria La Rocca of Corte Madera.

La Rocca attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco and would have graduated in 2018.

The school sent out a letter informing parents about La Rocca's death.

"It is with great sadness that I write to you of the tragic death of Tori La Rocca '18," the head of the school wrote. "Tori died in an accident after losing her footing at Lands End around 6:30 p.m. this evening. We mourn her loss and ask you to pray for her entire family and friends."

St. Ignatius will be sharing resources to support students and families in the coming days.

Fire rescue crews responded about 6:20 p.m. to a report of a person over the cliff near the Legion of Honor, Fire Battalion Chief Denise Newman said. The incident took place near the Lands End Labyrinth, a scenic outlook that overlooks the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The area is closed off with cable fencing and warning signs.

"This is a tragic incident and our convalescences are with the family and friends, but we really want to ask the public to adhere to the signage there," Sonja Hanson, a spokesperson for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, said.

Avid hiker Lori Luttrell said the area where La Rocca fell isn't easy to navigate.

"A terrible tragedy," she said. "It's very scary. When I go through here sometimes I'm a little nervous."

The teen apparently slipped over the edge and fell all the way down to the water, Newman said. She estimated the girl fell at least 50 feet.

"When we arrived, we tried to get as close as possible, but there was a lot of terrain," Newman said. "Beach Patrol, which is the lifeguard at Ocean Beach, they had their Jet-ski and came on the water side and were able to find the victim."

The girl was still breathing but in critical condition when rescuers reached her. She had suffered multiple injuries and fractures and had been in the water about 10 to 15 minutes, Newman said. 

The beach patrol transport vehicle took the victim to China Beach, where an ambulance was waiting. Once in the ambulance, however, the victim was pronounced dead, Newman said.

The coroner's office said no additional information will be released until the office completes its investigation with the U.S. Parks Department.

NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Four Woman Arrested For Robbing Two Victoria's Secret Stores]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:42:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WCrobbery.jpg

Four women were busted Thursday for grab-and-run robberies at two Victoria's Secret stores in Contra Costa County — and using a stolen vehicle in an effort to get away, police say.

Walnut Creek police officers said they were called to a robbery at a Broadway Plaza location of the lingerie company.

A patrol officer had tracked down the suspects in an SUV – which police discovered was stolen as well – and took them into custody.

“We love to have visitors shop and dine in our lovely town. We just appreciate it when people actually PAY for the items they want,” Walnut Creek police wrote on Facebook.

Pictures of the arrest, posted to social media, show clothes as well as Victoria's Secret bags and unopened boxes in the car.

That’s not all: Walnut Creek police linked the same suspects to an earlier robbery at a Victoria's Secret in Concord.

“Criminals be warned, we don't tolerate criminal behavior and if we catch you (which we will), you will go to jail,” they wrote on Facebook, signing off with #keepingwalnutcreeksafe and #crimedoesntpay.

Photo Credit: Walnut Creek Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Here's Where You Can Find Free Wi-Fi in the Bay Area]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:33:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO7_Wifi.jpg In celebration of World Wi-Fi Day this week, San Mateo County expanded wifi spots in cities along the Peninsula. But it is far from the only one offering free Wi-Fi around the Bay Area.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed, Another Injured in Two-Car Crash in San Jose]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:04:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-23-17-sj-deadly-car-crash.jpg

Two vehicles slammed into each other at a San Jose intersection late Thursday, killing one man and leaving another in critical condition.

The crash was reported at 10:26 p.m. near Monterey Highway and Bailey Road, police said. 

The driver of one of the cars was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The second driver was taken to an area hospital and treated for severe injuries.

The slain man's identity will not be revealed until his next of kin have been notified, according to police. The man's death marks San Jose's 24th fatal collision of 2017.

People with information about the crash are asked to contact Detective Troy Sirmons of the San Jose Police Department's Traffic Investigations Unit at 408-277-4654.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Alameda KFC Repainted After Residents Deem it an 'Eyesore']]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:16:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kfc+thumb.jpg

The new paint job at the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Encinal Avenue in Alameda is not what neighbors expected, and now city leaders are cracking down, demanding yet another facelift. 

The issue was brought up during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, when residents who live near the fast food eatery said that the new red-and-white striped building looked "garish," like a circus tent, and out of place in the otherwise quaint neighborhood.

After viewing photographs, the council agreed: the new paint job went against the city's chosen aesthetic and approved color palate. 

The old exterior was a neutral tan shade with red accents, allowing it to blend better with the posh homes that flank one of its sides.

But not everyone thinks the KFC needs changing. 

"I don't think it's a burden to the neighborhood," said Alameda resident Melissa Cunningham. "If anything, I think it makes it look a lot cleaner and friendlier." 

Do you think the colors should be changed?

Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane
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<![CDATA[Heat Hardest on Those Who Have to Work in It]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 23:56:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Heat_Hardest_on_Those_Who_Have_to_Work_in_It.jpg

The heat wave hit its peak Thursday, and perhaps nobody felt it more than those working at non-air-conditioned jobs, like a group of roofers in Los Gatos and a shift brewer at a local craft beer maker. Ian Cull reports.

<![CDATA[Caltrain Strikes Man on Tracks in Sunnyvale]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:03:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/223*120/caltrain.jpg

A commuter train struck a man in Sunnyvale Friday morning, according to Caltrain.

The agency reported the incident on social media around 8:30 a.m., saying the victim was a trespasser.

Delays of 15 to 30 minutes were reported and VTA was accepting Caltrain fare. By 9:15 a.m., trains were single tracking through the Sunnyvale station, which is expected to remain closed for at least three hours, Caltrain said on Twitter.

Information about the victim's current condition was not immediately available. 

Here's what to expect during Caltrain incidents like this one: www.caltrain.com

Check back for updates.

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Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image
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<![CDATA[Anti-Police Guideline Ahead of Trans March Stirs Controversy]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:19:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trans+march-0622.jpg

Controversy is brewing with the Trans March in San Francisco even before activists hit the streets Friday.

A guideline for the march that instructs people not to talk to or thank police officers along the route was posted then removed Thursday.

The posting said "law enforcement is generally hostile towards trans people, particularly those who are black and brown. From harassment and abuse to violence and outright murder, law enforcement has not been a friend to our communities and many of our allies. Do not talk to them. Do not take selfies with them. Do not high-five them. Do not thank them."

Thousands of people are expected to participate in or watch the Trans March, which begins at 6 p.m. The route will be lined with police officers to ensure safety.

Transgender pastor Meghan Rohrer has volunteered with the Trans March and is a chaplain with the San Francisco Police Department. Rohrer wants the community to know it has support in the department.

"For the officers who volunteer at the Trans March because they are LGBTQ, because they want to support their own community, it means the world to them," Rohrer said.

The board of directors for the march posted the guidelines for the event. They said they were too busy Thursday night setting up for the event to comment on the guidelines, which were removed because of the level of backlash in response.

While the community marches for equal rights for all on Friday, Rohrer is hoping everyone can embrace a guideline of mutual respect.

"We need all the colors of the rainbow at our Pride celebrations, even the blue," Rohrer said.

March attendees are expected to start gathering at Dolores Park in the afternoon, hours before the march kicks off.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Whale Spotted Frolicking in SF Bay on Hot Day]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:11:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-22-17-SF+WHALE.jpg

It's one of the hottest days of the year and a whale was spotted enjoying the cool waters of the San Francisco Bay.

NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger on Thursday noticed the whale breaching the waters near Ocean Beach and then diving beneath the surface.

The massive marine mammal was seen just three days after a pod of whales delighted people on the Golden Gate Bridge

We wish we could join them!

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two Men Shot Dead in Brentwood]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:48:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-22-17-brentwood-double-homicide-day+shot.jpg

Brentwood police launched a double homicide investigation late Wednesday after two men were gunned down at a home.

Officers arrived in the 200 block of Birch Street around 11:15 p.m. to investigate a shooting. They found a pair of men who had been shot and were pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was hurt, police said.

Preliminary investigation shows the incident was a targeted home invasion robbery by two armed suspects, police said. When the suspects confronted the homeowner, who also was armed, the homeowner opened fire, killing both suspects, police said. The alleged shooter was unharmed and taken into custody.

The robbery suspects both were in their 30s but were not yet identified, police said.

The investigation was still in its preliminary stages late Thursday, but it did not look as if the homeowner would be facing any charges, police said.

Police secured the scene and do not believe there is an outstanding threat to the public.

Anyone with more information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective Eric Huesman at 925-809-7735.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pair of Students Hit It Out of the Park for Youth Baseball ]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:43:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JR+GIANTS-0622.jpg

Two Bay Area high school students have hit home runs, stepping up to the plate to give back to their community.

Dawson Mann and Nick Walker, who attend Monte Vista High School in Danville, started an equipment drive last year to share their love of baseball with underprivileged youth.

The two students collected about $4,000 worth of items, which they delivered Wednesday to the Concord Junior Giants baseball team.

"It's really a great experience," Walker said. "We did it to teach leadership off the field, not just on it."

About a half-dozen teams from the Concord league will receive the equipment, which includes a pair of Stephen Curry's Under Armour shoes.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[At Peak of Heat Wave, PG&E Cuts Power in SJ Neighborhood]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:55:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06-22-2017-pge.jpg

A San Jose neighborhood is trying to understand why PG&E would intentially cut their power during the peak of the Bay Area heat wave, espcially considering that one of their neighbors was one of three people who died because of this week’s heat. Damian Trujillo reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pantsless Driver Exposes Himself to Two Girls in Palo Alto]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:21:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pa+flasher-0622.jpg

Palo Alto police were searching for a man who exposed himself to two girls Wednesday afternoon while driving without pants through the city's neighborhoods.

Police received a report about 8 p.m. that the suspect exposed himself about 4:40 p.m. to a 12-year-old girl who was walking her dog southbound on Newell Road approaching North California Avenue, police said.

A man sitting in a parked car called out to her as she passed and asked her for directions, and before she continued walking, she noticed he wasn't wearing pants or underwear and was touching himself, police said.

The car then drove away northbound on Newell. The victim later told her parents about the incident, and they called police.

The second indecent exposure case occurred at about 5:55 p.m. and involved a 16-year-old girl who was riding her bicycle westbound on Coleridge Avenue, approaching Bryant Street, police said. A vehicle pulled alongside her, and she saw that the driver was not wearing any pants or underwear and was masturbating. He did not speak to her, police said.

The victims both described the suspect as a thin white male driving a newer-model light-colored four-door sedan. The older victim estimated the suspect’s age as being in his 20s or 30s, police said.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the police department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

<![CDATA[Bay Area Residents Flock to the Coast to Escape the Heat]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:42:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bay_Area_Residents_Flock_to_the_Coast_to_Escape_the_Heat.jpg

While many suffered through the extreme heat across the Bay Area Thursday, others flocked to the coast, finding a haven from those triple-digit temperatures. The shores of San Francisco and Half Moon Bay were two popular stops. Christie Smith reports.

<![CDATA[Spare the Air Alert Issued for Bay Area Friday ]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:59:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bay+smog-0622.jpg

A Spare the Air smog alert has been issued for Friday in the Bay Area, the second day in a row that regional air district officials have warned of unhealthy air quality expected.

A combination of persistent high temperatures, light winds and vehicle exhaust is expected to cause unhealthy levels of ozone, particularly in the East Bay, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Air district officials are encouraging people to avoid driving alone and find other ways to reduce air pollution.

The heat wave in the Bay Area this week is expected to ease by the weekend, but until then people are encouraged to only exercise outdoors in the early morning hours when ozone levels are lower, according to the air district.

The Spare the Air smog alert is the fifth so far this year, air district officials said. To find out when an alert is in effect, residents can visit www.sparetheair.org, call (800) HELP-AIR, download the Spare the Air smartphone app or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[ Firefighters Quickly Control Fast-Moving Fire in Vallejo]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:27:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06-22-2017-vallejo-grass-fire.jpg

At least two structures were damaged in Vallejo Thursday afternoon due to a fast-moving 4-alarm grass fire.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Caught on Cam: Man Fondles Corpse Flower in San Francisco]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:16:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/200*120/corpse2.PNG

A bit too close and personal? A visitor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers got a little too friendly with its smelliest attraction: The "corpse flower," ignoring warning signs not to touch it.

The conservatory’s livestream camera caught a man with a backpack reaching out to this famous flower — which only blooms for a few days — and touching its wilting petals, feeling them with his fingers, almost fondling them, and even getting another visitor to photograph him touching it. He then procedes to smell his fingers.

Needless to say, the conservatory is not happy: "The Conservatory is saddened to see a visitor not respecting the protective barrier that staff had erected around Terra and behaving in a way that jeopardizes not only the plant but other visitors' ability to experience something so fascinating and rare"

The video was posted on YouTube with the title “Jerk messes with SF Conservatory Corpse Flower." One commenter asked if the man was arrested for his actions. Conservatory volunteers have been guarding the flower, which received more than 7,000 visitors during its peak blooming period.

The plant, also known as Terra the Titan, earned its name from the aroma it omits once flowered. NPR described the stench as a cocktail of “fish, unwashed feet and rotting cabbage.”

Photo Credit: SF Conservatory of Flowers]]>
<![CDATA[BART Board Approves 'Safe Transit' Immigration Policy]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:38:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/bart+board-0622.jpg

BART's board of directors on Thursday passed a measure that forbids agency employees and officers from questioning riders about their citizenship status or independently enforcing immigration laws.

But the BART leadership was quick to say it's not a sanctuary policy. That idea worried the board members because the Trump administration has threatened to withhold federal funding from agencies designated them self as sanctuaries.

BART hopes what's being dubbed a "safe transit policy" will allow them to protect their funding and their riders, even as it vows not to actively help federal immigration authorities enforce new immigration policies, as sanctuary organizations are doing.

"Basically, what we said today is that we're not ICE; we're BART," Director Lateefah Simon said.

Simon co-authoured the policy, which says BART will help enforce immigration laws when it is ordered to by a court or compelled by federal law.

"This isn't political," Simon said. "It's about a basic function of our BART system and our police to worry about matters at hand."

On Thursday, a few critics spoke out against the policy shift, saying it does nothing more than make a promise to immigrants that BART can't keep.

"Sure it would give them a sense of peace," rider Sidney Gamble said. "But I would argue that it's a false sense of peace."

"It's just virtual signalling for people who want to feel good about themselves because they supported the undocumented immigrants," David Hein added.

But numerous supporters, including riders groups, unions and migrant service providers praised BART’s decision.

"BART needs to be a safe space where individuals don't have to worry about facing deportation based just on using public transportation," said Raha Jorjani, an Alameda County immigration attorney.

Malena Mayorga, of Mujeres Unidas Activas, said without the policy, "people would be afraid to ride public transit. I hear about this very, very frequently from people who are afraid to ride BART because of this very situation."

Only one BART director voted against the "safe transit" policy, questioning whether it actually changes what BART is already doing.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of BART]]>
<![CDATA[Man With Weapons, Ammunition Arrested at Metro Station ]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 23:24:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/170621-metro-gold-line.JPG

A man seen urinating in public at the Sierra Madre Metro Gold Line Station in Pasadena was arrested Wednesday with a "cache of weapons" inside his duffel bag, officials announced.

Sheriff's deputies working a foot beat discovered the man was carrying a loaded handgun restricted for law enforcement use, a loaded high-power firearm, high-capacity magazines, a suppressor and other dangerous items.

The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Christopher Goodine of Georgia.

Goodine was placed under arrest for possession of the illegal weaponry. 

He was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail pending a Friday court appearance in Pasadena, according to sheriff's inmate records.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said there is no intelligence to indicate there was a nexus to terrorism, but "the outcome would not have been good no matter what he was going to do."

"We're vetting it every which way we can," McDonnell added. 

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV ]]>
<![CDATA[Skiers in Bikinis Hit Mammoth Slopes in the Summer]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 23:22:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/slope-summer.jpg Despite the rising temperatures across the country, skiers and snowboarders are still enjoying the slopes at Mammoth Mountain and baring skin while doing so.

Photo Credit: Mammoth Mountain]]>
<![CDATA[Doctors in SF Rally Against Senate Health Care Proposal]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:06:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/doctors+rally-0622.jpg

Health care, not wealth care.

That was the key slogan Thursday at San Francisco General Hospital, as doctors rallied to oppose the Senate's new health care proposal.

The group of doctors and other medical staff members chanted "Healthcare yes, denials no, profiteering has got to go." They say they have firsthand experience with the Affordable Care Act, and while it's not perfect, it's working.

"For here at the general, before ACA, nearly 35 percent of our patients came here and got care uninsured," Dr. Jeff Critchfield said. After the ACA, 3 percent of our inpatient days and 10 percent of our outpatient days are uninsured."

Doctors and nurses are angry that the Senate's health care bill includes a tax break for the nation's wealthiest people.

They also say the cuts to Medicaid will leave too many families without any health care coverage.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>