<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - Peninsula]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usWed, 23 Aug 2017 03:37:07 -0700Wed, 23 Aug 2017 03:37:07 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Fire Crews Knock Down Blaze Near Stanford Dish]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 23:30:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stanford+fire-0822.jpg

A brush fire near the Stanford dish was quickly knocked down by firefighters late Tuesday night, according to the Palo Alto Fire Department.

Palo Alto crews responded to a 2- to 3-acre blaze about 10:15 p.m., and units from Mountain View, Santa Clara County and Cal Fire also were called to the scene, fire officials said.

Firefighters stopped forward progress of the flames in about 30 minutes, but officials were holding off until daylight to gauge the size of the burn area.

No damage or injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was not known.

Photo Credit: @PaloAltoFire/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Gas Fueling Company Expands Service]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:07:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Thumbnail_gas.jpg

Booster, GasNinjas and Filld are a few of the on-demand gas fueling businesses that have emerged in recent years, each promising to make life more convenient than the convenience store itself.

A few clicks on an app telling them your preferred time of delivery, location and car details — and voilà. The gas man appears.

Whether it was fueling stations' rising real estate and operation costs, lack of innovation or its inability to scale-up, Filld's president and CEO Michal Buhr said there were a number of reasons for a disruption to the automobile industry.

"The average consumer goes to the gas station every seven to eight days, and they don’t do it because they want to," Buhr said. "They do it because they have to. We have the ability here to completely remove that stress and do it in a far more convenient and cost effective way than you can today."

The company announced $9.65 million in new funding Tuesday, more than doubling its total budget in preparation for a major expansion.

Some of its expansion will be finalizing partnerships with car dealerships. The company says it is envisioning a one-time gas purchase, similar to a warranty, which would come with the purchase of a new car.

Skeptics Weigh In

However, Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives at the National Association of Convenience and Fuel Retailing is skeptical of a disruption on a mass scale. The association represents some of the roughly 150,000 fueling stations presently operating in the country.

"There are roughly 39 million fill-ups happening daily across the nation," Lenard said. "To disrupt the fueling industry, it would take something massive."

And he says the money just isn’t there yet — for the company or for the consumer.

"[Mobile fueling] is certainly more convenient," Lenard said. "The question is how can you make it affordable?"

Fueling stations make just a portion of their profits from fuel sales, according to Lenard. They also bring in revenue from food, car washes, cigarettes, liquor and other grocery items.

Mobile fueling companies don't sell those products. Instead, they charge a delivery fee, which Lenard says is keeping the service relatively exclusive to wealthy customers.

"If people will drive past convenience stores looking to save an extra one or two cents per gallon, they won't pay an extra $6 delivery fee each time they need to fuel gasoline," Lenard said.

However, he notes the high interest coming out of Silicon Valley may change things in the coming years.

Making it Profitable

In Silicon Valley, there are a few ways companies have tried reducing its delivery fee and operating costs.

By offering it to tech campuses and other dense, commercially-zoned areas, Booster has been able to market its service as a company perk. It saves money by accessing many customers at once and in close proximity to one another.

Filld, which charges a $3 delivery fee per order, has been developing its routing technology similar to car-sharing services. It sends its drivers on a route optimized to reduce travel costs and says the more places it expands, the more it has saved.

"[Gas stations are] limited to the geography that they’re in and they’re limited to the number of consumers that can access that location, therefore they don’t get the economy of scale buying," Buhr said. "That limits their buying power and their ability to negotiate better fuel rates from the refinery that they’re buying from."

The company is currently working with Bentley Motors, Volvo, Car2go and Enterprise Rent-A-Car and expects greater buying power to come from future expansion.

Fueling Services Nationwide

The company says it wants to be the nation’s leading retail fuel provider and is eyeing the changing fueling market nationwide.

"In the last 10 years, the number of gas stations is down by 25 percent, but when you look at the major metros, like even San Francisco, they’re down by almost 40 percent," Buhr said. "And that’s just going to continue."

The company has already expanded into areas like downtown Vancouver, Canada, which saw its second to last gas station disappear earlier this year to a new housing development. And he says they're exploring options in other areas where access to gas stations remains tricky.

"You’ll see us in the more densely populated areas first, but we absolutely see it spreading out to even more rural areas," Buhr said. "Probably not in the next year, but two years from now? Absolutely."

If its expansion proves convenient for the masses — and profitable — the automobile industry may be listening.

"If this evolves, it’s not like we’re opposed,” Buhr said. "Convenience stores sell convenience. If someone does convenience better, it’s worth looking at adapting the business model."

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Officials Say County Should Handle Judge Persky's Recall]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 18:27:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0607-2016-AaronPersky.jpg

Those behind the campaign striving to recall embattled Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky — the judge at the center of the controversial Brock Turner trial — say state election officials are siding with them in a legal dispute over the ballot.

Persky has been on the hot seat almost from the moment he sentenced Turner, a former Stanford University student-athlete, to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Critics blasted the sentence as being too lenient.

The recall effort was in full swing until recently when Persky filed a lawsuit arguing that superior court judges are state officers and that their recall should be handled by the state. Since that filing, the campaign has been barred from gathering signatures to put the issue on the ballot. 

Recall campaign leaders on Tuesday said that the secretary of state supports their position that the recall should be managed by Santa Clara County elections officials and not the state.

That jurisdiction decision must ultimately be handed down by a judge, and local judges have recused themselves from the case.

While the recall effort remains on hold, Michele Dauber and those behind the movement continue to remain committed to their goal.

"It’s not going to work. We’re going to collect our signatures," Dauber said. "He’s going to face the voters. He’s going to be recalled.

"Judge Persky has hired Donald Trump’s Arizona state director to manage his campaign and that tells you everything you need to know about Judge Persky’s bias against women and his views on sexual assault," Dauber added.

Judge Persky's attorney said his legal team will have further comment when a decision regarding the recall is reached. 

For now, they will wait for a judge to rule.

"Our role here today is to make sure Judge Persky is treated fairly during these recall proceedings," attorney Christine Peek said.

Those carrying out the recall effort said they need 90,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot. They hope to have those signatures in time for the June 2018 ballot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Jason Doiy/The Recorder via AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[San Mateo Families Protest Rent Hikes, Unsafe Conditions]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 12:01:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Thumbnail_Vigil.jpg

Steep rent increases coupled with mold, bug infestation and crumbling walls prompted 16 Peninsula families to rally Thursday as health officials inspected an apartment complex, whose landlord is a former mayor of Foster City.

The San Mateo residents were joined by Faith in Action Bay Area, a network comprising the San Francisco Organizing Project and Peninsula Interfaith Action. The organization said the Peninsula families' living conditions are common in cities across the Bay Area.

"These types of actions are leading to mass displacement of thousands of families in the Bay Area," Faith in Action wrote in a statement. "The fact that the landlord, who is both a high-profile attorney and the former mayor of Foster City, feels that he can openly and blatantly get away with this type of behavior, reveals just how vulnerable tenants in San Mateo really are to landlord abuse."

Landlord Wayne McFadden, however, insists that he hadn’t received requests to fix his property before the protest.

"I have my name on every lease they sign and I give them a copy," McFadden told NBC Bay Area. "I got zero calls from all tenants."

McFadden said he is working on the infestation problems, but residents say conditions have been left unsafe for nearly a year.

Resident Jose Centeno, who lives at the San Mateo residence with his 11-year-old son, says they will soon be forced to move if conditions don’t improve.

"I'm just in a very bad situation right now" said Centeno. "This bug problem we have, it's not just me. Everybody has this problem in here."

Centeno will soon pay about $3,200 a month for their two-bedroom apartment following a $460 rental increase in July, which also required a matching security deposit.

The price is just under the average rental price in the city, which rounds out to more than $3,500 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to data from Rent Jungle, a housing search engine.

Apartment rentals in San Mateo have increased by $146 over the last six months on average, but Faith in Action Bay Area said this is several families' second increase of nearly $500 in the last year.

"This situation exemplifies how some landlords are too eager to exploit the housing crisis at the steep cost of further destabilizing our communities here in the Bay Area," said René Alejandro Ortega, an attorney at Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto.

Faith in Action Bay Area says it has not been updated on any actions taken on the property since the rally Thursday.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[More Whales Dying From Boat Strikes Than First Thought ]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:28:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/More_Whales_Die_From_Crashing_into_Ships.jpg

New research says more whales die after being hit by ships than first thought. Researchers say that from 2006 to 2016, 83 whales died off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington, but only 36 washed up on shore. Researchers say the dead whales often sink. Ship collisions are a leading cause of whale deaths.]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Traffic Stops for the Solar Eclipse]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 23:58:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Solar+Eclipse+Asia.jpg

Bay Area traffic briefly came to a stop Monday to witness the solar eclipse, as millions across the United States halted the start of the workweek to see the moon briefly take away the spotlight from the sun.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, a solar eclipse was visible in the United States, sending astronomy enthusiasts and curious onlookers into a tizzy of astronomical excitement that was brewing for weeks, months and even years.

The Bay Area was not in the path of totality this go around, but folks in the region were able catch portions of the eclipse between 9:01 a.m and 11:37 a.m. with the peak of the eclipse occurring around 10:16 a.m. Roughly 75 percent of the sun was hidden by the moon at that time.

CHP Contra Costa tweeted out a picture of cars parked on the side of a freeway, with people getting out to snap a photo of the sun.

"We truly hope everybody enjoyed their solar eclipse today which was barely visible due to our micro climate herein our Bay Area. But hopefully you were at your home, on a mountaintop, or in a safe location and not one of these people behaving badly. Can you say "Unsafe stop along the freeway for a non-emergency reason," CHP wrote on Facebook. "Wow is all we can say. How many tickets would you have written?!"

Droves of people gathered at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View to soak in the spectacle.

Claire Dulsky, a youngster from San Carlos, had her protective glasses handy as she took a peek at the partial eclipse crossing over the sky.

"I see like a bite out of the sun," she said, staring upward. "It's like a divet in the sun."

Fellow onlooker Angela Wu of Los Altos noticed a similar site.

"I'm seeing some cheese getting bitten by somebody," she laughed.

In the coming weeks, scientists will be able to see how the atmosphere reacted to the solar eclipse, thanks to satellites, test balloons and other monitoring devices sent up by NASA and other agencies. 

Here are some facts about Monday's eclipse:

What is a solar eclipse?

According to NASA, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves in front of the sun, creating a barrier between the two orbs. The eclipse this year lasted no more than three minutes in its totality. Along with being able to see the sun completely covered, viewers were exposed to a partial eclipse as well. That phenomenon displays the moon’s movements as it blocks out the sun. 

Where could the solar eclipse be seen?

The total eclipse in America was visible in 14 different states, according to NASA. Although California wass omitted from this list (The last occurrence in California was 128 years ago), those wishing to experience the event travelled to Oregon. Other states where the complete solar eclipse could be seen were Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana. The last location to be passed through was South Carolina.

People who reached some of the gatherings needed special glasses to view the solar eclipse. Only when the moon was completely covering the sun could spectators remove their glasses.

If looking to grab memorabilia of the event, the US Postal Service has released a stamp set of the total solar eclipse. The exclusive sheet holds 16 individual stamps that reveal the moon when a finger is placed on the image of the eclipse, heating up the stamp. The original photograph will reappear once the stamp has cooled. The reverse side holds the path of the eclipse across the United States. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Solar Eclipse Brings Near Darkness to Bay Area]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:39:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/170819-Solar-Eclipse-NASA-AMES-11.jpgA rare solar eclipse crossed over the Bay Area on Monday, leaving droves of people staring at the sky hoping to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Gonzalez/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pilot Killed in Crash of San Carlos-Based Plane Identified]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:52:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-19-17_Oregon_Plane_Crash.jpg

An investigation continued Monday into the Saturday crash of a small plane typically based at the San Carlos Airport that went down near an airport in Madras, Oregon, killing a Menlo Park man.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said Sunday the tail number of the aircraft is registered to Mark Rich, 58, of Menlo Park, and Jefferson County officials on Monday confirmed Rich was the person killed in the crash.

An employee who works at the San Carlos Airport said the small plane took off from the Peninsula city earlier in the day Saturday. The employee added that the plane was usually housed at the San Carlos Airport.

Officials in Oregon originally reported that two people died in the Saturday afternoon crash, but a futher investigation revealed that only one person was killed near the airport in the town where many people were gathering to view the solar eclipse.

The homemade aircraft was completely destroyed and had been engulfed by fire.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins says a further investigation and statements obtained from family and friends indicated the pilot was alone at the time of the crash.

"A reservation tied to the plane for two persons to stay in the local area originally suggested that the pilot and a passenger were on board," Adkins said in a statement. "After talking to a family member who had originally planned to make the trip, but changed plans, we can confirm there was just one person on the flight."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Police Ask for Help in Search for Missing Mother, Child]]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:49:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MissingPeopleSanMateo.jpg

Police are asking for the public's help in assuring a mother and child from San Mateo are OK, police said Friday.

Kellanie Scott, 26, and her 9-month-old son Wesley are listed as missing/at risk because they haven't been seen since Tuesday.

Scott was last seen picking up Wesley from daycare on Tuesday and has been out of touch with family.

Police said the two may be in the Atascadero/San Luis Obispo County area. Scott also knows people in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, according to police.

Scott is described as a black woman, 4 feet 11 inches tall and 150 pounds. Wesley is a black boy.

The two may be in a blue Toyota RAV4 with a license plate ending in 517.

Anyone with information that might help police is asked to call the San Mateo police dispatch at (650) 522-7700

Photo Credit: San Mateo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Labor Market Strongest in SF, San Mateo, Marin Counties]]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 09:15:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/now-hiring1.jpg

The labor market in the San Francisco Bay Area is the strongest in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in San Francisco, 3.2 percent in San Mateo County and 3.4 percent in Marin County.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara and Napa counties was also below 4 percent while in Alameda and Contra Costa counties the rates were 4.3 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

The labor market was the weakest in Solano County where the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Plane From San Carlos Crashes in Oregon: Airport Employee]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 18:54:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-19-17_Oregon_Plane_Crash.jpg

Authorities on Saturday said one person died in a small plane crash near a central Oregon airport where people are gathering to view the solar eclipse.

An employee who works at the San Carlos Airport said the small plane took off from the Peninsula city earlier in the day. The employee added that the plane was based at the San Carlos Airport.

The Central Oregon Emergency Information Network said the pilot and a passenger were killed in the crash about 2 p.m. about a mile south of Madras Municipal Airport. Officials later said that only the pilot was on the plane at the time of the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the small plane was approaching a central Oregon airport when it crashed near where people are gathering to view the solar eclipse, the Oregonian/Oregonlive reports.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane that crashed Saturday was a single-engine, homebuilt Wheeler Express.

The Oregonian/Oregonlive reports that the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Campers have been gathering at the airport for Monday's eclipse.

About 200,000 people are expected in the area that's considered a prime viewing spot as the moon completely blots out the sun.

NBC Bay Area's Sergio Quintana contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Federal Agents in Hazmat Suits at Scene of Redwood City Raid]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:17:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DrugLab_RWC1.jpg

Law enforcement personnel from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are in Redwood City Friday morning, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

They arrived at the scene around 8:20 a.m. and closed Whipple Avenue in both directions from El Camino Real to Duane Street.

"I’ve never came across anyone who was making the drugs, but this time apparently they’re doing exactly that," said neighbor Bob Bianchi. "There’s a lot of it. I was amazed at how much stuff there was."

Bianchi said the building is generally quiet with renters paying between $2,000 and $3,000 each month per unit to live in the high-priced neighborhood.

Many members of the public are not aware that ICE engages criminal investigations, according to  James Schwab, a spokesman for Homeland Security Investigations.

"These guys are going to be a lot more active," he said. "You'll see these guys out quite a bit. They do drugs and child predators — all kinds of stuff."

When asked if there was an immigration component involved in this morning's investigation, Schwab said there is not one so far as he is aware.

Further details about the case, such as any arrests, were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Design Tech High at Oracle's HQ to Open in January]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:50:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0816-2017-OracleCharter.jpg

Oracle is building a first-of-its-kind 64,000 square-foot high school at its Redwood Shores headquarters.

The public school will be aimed at educating many designers and techies of the future.

Design Technology School will be tucked into the giant Oracle campus. The public charter school will soon house 550 students, some of whom designed the building.

The unusual design features giant windows and patios overlooking nearby grasslands.

The school's executive director said when they opened 150 spots the school instantly received 650 applications. Design Technology is scheduled to open in January.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Housing Decision on Brisbane Baylands Delayed Until 2018]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:58:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Thumbnail_Baylands.jpg

Following a postponed vote on a housing project at the Brisbane Baylands, the Brisbane City Council has canceled its meeting Thursday and expects a ballot measure related to the plan to be ready by June or November of 2018.

Deliberations had been set to come to a close this month ahead of a ballot measure in November. However, Brisbane Mayor Lori Liu stated that the council would postpone its vote in order to review statewide housing legislation that may impact the city' use of the Baylands site.

The San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, a strong proponent of the housing proposal, has said it has no knowledge of proposed state legislation that would impact the Baylands project.

The vote was initially delayed for an eight-month review period between October and May of 2016, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, during which time proponents and critics of the project packed a series of public hearings set to discuss the proposal. The vote was further delayed to conduct additional environmental and fiscal impact reports to determine the safety of building on a former landfill.

The extended review process is, in part, due to disagreement over the number of housing units the city will approve on its Baylands site.

Developer Universal Paragon Corp. has proposed converting the 684-acre former rail yard and sanitary landfill into seven million square feet of office space and 4,500 home units, while a community proposed plan suggests adding hotel units in place of housing.

Residents argue that the developer's plan, which would nearly triple the population, will change the fabric of their small-town community for good. However, California state lawmakers and local job makers argue that bringing nearly 16,000 new jobs to the area without housing units would further deepen the region's housing crisis.

"As with most public policy issues, it is more complicated than a simple yes or no ballot measure," Brisbane City Manager Clayton Holstine told NBC Bay Area. "The council not only needs to review and make a determination on the applicant's proposal but also needs to deliberate on general plan land use and policy designations and issues."

To learn more about the proposed redevelopment, click here.

Photo Credit: Universal Paragon Corp.]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Companies Banishing Extremists After Charlottesville]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:49:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/techcologos_1200x675.jpg

It took bloodshed in Charlottesville to get tech companies to do what civil rights groups have been calling for for years: take a firmer stand against accounts used to promote hate and violence.

In the wake of the deadly clash at a white-nationalist rally last weekend in Virginia, major companies such as Google, Facebook and PayPal are banishing a growing cadre of extremist groups and individuals for violating service terms.

What took so long? For one thing, tech companies have long seen themselves as bastions of free expression.

But the Charlottesville rally seemed to have a sobering effect. It showed how easily technology can be used to organize and finance such events, and how extreme views online can translate into violence offline.

"There is a difference between freedom of speech and what happened in Charlottesville," said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, an online racial justice group. The battle of ideas is "different than people who show up with guns to terrorize communities."


Tech companies are in a bind. On one hand, they want to be open to as many people as possible so they can show them ads or provide rides, apartments or financial services. On the other hand, some of these users turn out to be white supremacists, terrorists or child molesters.

Keegan Hankes, analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center's intelligence project, said his group has been trying for more than a year to get Facebook and PayPal to shut down these accounts. Even now, he said, the two companies are taking action only in the most extreme cases.

"They have policies against violence, racism, harassment," said Hankes, whose center monitors hate groups and extremism. "The problem is that there has been no enforcement."

Case in point: The neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer has been around since 2013. But it wasn't effectively kicked off the internet until it mocked the woman killed while protesting the white nationalists in Charlottesville.


PayPal said groups that advocate racist views have no place on its service, but added that there is a "fine line" when it comes to balancing freedom of expression with taking a stand against violent extremism.

Other companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google struggle with the same balancing act. The fine line is constantly moving and being tested.

Ahead of the rally, Airbnb barred housing rentals to people it believed were traveling to participate. Before and after Charlottesville, PayPal cut off payments to groups that promote hate and violence. GoDaddy and Google yanked the domain name for Daily Stormer following the rally. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are removing known hate groups from their services, and the music streaming service Spotify dropped what it considers hate bands.

"Companies are trying to figure out what the right thing is to do and how to do it," said Steve Jones, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who focuses on communication technology. What happens from here is "partly going to depend on the individual leadership at these companies and company culture — and probably resources, too."


While traditional brands such as Tiki had no way of knowing that their torches were being bought for the rally, tech companies have tools to identify and ban people with extremist views.

That's thanks to the troves of data they store on people and to their ability to easily switch off access to users. Airbnb users can link to social media profiles, and the company said it used its existing background checks and "input from the community" to identify users who didn't align with its standards.

Yet these services also allow for anonymity, which makes their jobs more difficult. Banned people can sign up again with a different email address, something they can easily obtain anonymously.

Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja said hate groups also know the site's policies and try to keep things just benign enough to ensure they are not in violation.

For instance, the event page for the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville looked fairly innocuous. Budhraja said there was nothing on the page that would suggest it was created by a hate organization. It has since been removed.

Facebook's technology is designed to automatically flag posts that are on the absolute extreme and clearly violate the company's policies. They are sometimes removed before users can even see them. What Facebook can't leave to automation are posts, events and groups in that ever-growing gray area.


The First Amendment offers hate groups a lot of speech protection, but it applies only to government and public settings. A private company is typically free to set its own standards.

Christopher Cantwell, a self-described white nationalist who has been labeled an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, said he was banned from Facebook, Instagram and PayPal because the companies are trying to silence him for his views.

"Everybody is going through extraordinary lengths to make sure we are not heard," Cantwell told The Associated Press .

Even Cloudflare, a security company that prides itself on providing services regardless of their content, terminated Daily Stormer on Wednesday. This appears to be the site's final blow.

Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin said in an email to the AP that these private companies are "de factor monopolies and oligopolies" and should be regulated as "critical infrastructure."

The Daily Stormer and other banned groups could move to darker corners of the web, where extreme views are welcome. But this won't help with recruitment and won't allow them to disseminate their views as broadly as they could on Facebook or Twitter.

"These are the platforms everyone is using," Hankes said. "They don't want to be pushed to the margins because they want influence."

Because of that, the industry's efforts might just be a game of whack-a-mole, with extremist views returning, perhaps in different guises, once public outrage dies down.

Associated Press Writers Michael Casey in Concord, New Hampshire, and Michael Kunzelman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Bans White Nationalist's Accounts Over Hate Speech]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:54:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FBlaptopgeneric_1200x675.jpg

Facebook has banned the Facebook and Instagram accounts of a white nationalist who attended the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended in deadly violence.

Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja tells The Associated Press that the profile pages of Christopher Cantwell have been removed as well as a page connected to his podcast. Cantwell was featured in a Vice News documentary about the rally and its aftermath.

Facebook has also removed at least eight pages connected to the white nationalist movement over what Budhraja says were violations on the company's polices on hate speech and organizations.

Cantwell, of Keene, New Hampshire, was listed on rally flyers and labeled an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. A former information technology worker who moved to New Hampshire from New York in 2012, the 36-year-old Cantwell describes himself as a white nationalist and said he voted for President Donald Trump. He has a podcast and blog that promote his views.

Cantwell says Facebook shut down his account in an attempt to silence him for his views. He also said his PayPal account had been closed. The company wouldn't confirm that because it has a policy of not commenting on the status of accounts.

"I'm not surprised by almost any of this because the whole thing we are complaining about here is that we are trying to express our views, and everybody is going through extraordinary lengths to make sure we are not heard," Cantwell said in a phone interview from an undisclosed location.

"Frankly, whatever you think of my views, that is very scary to me," he said. "Facebook and Instagram is one thing but not being able to participate in the financial system because of your political opinions is something that, you know, people should worry about in America."

In response to the Charlottesville rally and protests, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg addressed racism in America and shared his experiences in a post on the social media site.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Later BART Start Time Could Come Sooner: Agency]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:59:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart+station-0706.jpg

A proposed 5 a.m. start time on BART may be coming sooner as opposed to later, according to the transportation agency.

BART may adjust its start time beginning late this year instead of sticking with a plan to roll out the change in 2018, according to the transportation agency. BART estimates the move would impact about 2,400 riders.

BART's Board of Directors indicated that the agency needs extra time to handle a system-wide rebuild to better serve commuters. An extra hour in the morning could more than double the time maintenance workers have to get on and off the tracks, according to BART.

Early morning commuters would need to take buses if the start time changes go into effect, according to BART. They could also drive.

A number of riders said their bosses would be flexible if they came in a bit later, but the late start could limit certain job opportunities.

"Maybe my boss could be flexible, but I'm sure it doesn't work like that for everybody," BART rider Elvis Gomez said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[SamTrans to Unveil Recommendations to Ease Traffic Headaches]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:47:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SamTrans_generic.jpg

SamTrans on Tuesday is expected to reveal its year-long study looking into the possibility of bringing back the Dumbarton rail line.

The rail system shuttered in the 1990s, but surges in population, public funding and private investment have reignited discussions.

The rail line could run parallel to the Dumbarton Bridge, linking Alameda County to San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

When it comes to funding the project, private investment could supplement funding from gas taxes and proposed bridge toll hikes.

The public can take a peek at the study beginning Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Union City Library. The study will also be on display Wednesday at the same time at East Palo Alto City Hall. On Thursday, folks can check out the study at San Mateo City Hall beginning at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Member of SSF Police Force Surprises Boy Who Had Bike Stolen]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:07:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SSFBike.jpg

A 10-year-old boy brought to tears after his green bicycle was stolen from a South San Francisco library last week is riding on a new set of wheels thanks to a kind-hearted member of the city's police force.

Brian Lara of South San Francisco and his mother stopped by the Grand Avenue Library last week to quickly use a computer, according to Police Service Technician Nelson Primo. When they went to grab the boy's bike roughly 10 minutes later, it was gone.

The boy and his mother promptly alerted police, and Primo was dispatched to the scene. He was greeted by a distraught youngster.

"I saw his face," Primo said. "His spirit was broken. He lost his bike. He was super sad. It made me sad, too."

Moved by the boy's ordeal, Primo decided to conduct an undercover surprise. He had a new bicycle sitting at his home that his son was not using. The police service technician decided to put it to good use. 

One day after the boy's bike was stolen, Primo said he called the family and asked if he could come over to ask some follow-up questions regarding the theft investigation.

Unbeknownst to the family, Primo did not really come with many questions to ask. Instead, he had a special treat up his sleeve. Primo popped his trunk and whipped out a fresh, blue bicycle just for the astonished boy.

"I was so happy," Lara said. "I like the bike because I like the color blue. It was good cause the green bike hurt my feet. This bike is better."

Primo noted that his gesture did not just bring a smile to the boy's face.

"It makes me super happy," he said. "It is a great opportunity to build bridges to impact the South San Francisco community."

Photo Credit: South San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Anonymously Launches an App in China]]>Sat, 12 Aug 2017 21:22:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Facebook+Generic+Photo+logo+on+window.jpg

Facebook anonymously launched a new photo-sharing app in China in a new effort to make inroads in the world's most populous country.

China's ruling Communist Party controls internet traffic across the country's borders and tries to keep the public from seeing thousands of websites including Facebook.

The app, called Colorful Balloons, was launched in China earlier this year and does not carry Facebook's name. Facebook confirmed Saturday that it launched the app.

The social media company's connection to the app was first reported Friday by The New York Times, which said it was released in China through a separate local company called Youge Internet Technology.

The launch of the app comes as China is cracking down on technology that allows web surfers to evade Beijing's online censorship.

Last month, users of Facebook's What'sApp messaging service, which normally operates freely in China, were no longer able to send images without using a virtual private network. That came amid official efforts to suppress mention of the death of Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Nobel Peace laureate.

China's biggest internet service provider, China Telecom Ltd., sent a letter to corporate customers last month saying that VPNs, which create encrypted links between computers and can be used to see sites blocked by Beijing's web filters, would be permitted only to connect to a company's headquarters abroad. The move could block access to news, social media or business services that are obscured by China's "Great Firewall."

Chinese authorities have long blocked Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, arguing that foreign social media services operating beyond their control pose a threat to national security.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sailing Teams Face Off in Half Moon Bay Championship Races]]>Sat, 12 Aug 2017 10:42:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/IMG_42461.JPG

More than one dozen sailboat crews from cities along the West Coast will face off on Half Moon Bay's waters this weekend for three full days of racing. But they'll need to be more than fast.

The Coronado 15 North American Championships are scored together in series and — while it's a race — coming in first isn't always the most important part.

"Consistency is absolutely key," said Scott Pyne, rear commodore of the Half Moon Yacht Club. "Every race is scored separately. So, somebody who finishes second or third in each regatta consistently will wind up with a better series score than someone who sometimes finishes first and sometimes finishes ninth or tenth."

The sailboat teams are each racing the Coronado 15, one of the most common recreational and racing boats used in the United States.

The event continues Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Half Moon Bay Yacht Club, but good views of the races can be seen from Mavericks Beach as well, according to Pyne. 

If you can't make it out this year, the event is shared with two other yacht clubs in Seattle and San Diego and is set to return to Half Moon Bay in 2020.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Billionaire Defies Order to Reopen Path to Martins Beach]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:43:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/khosla-beach.jpg

Despite a court's order to reopen a path leading to a popular Half Moon Bay beach, a billionaire on Friday continued to the defy the demand.

The California Court of Appeal ordered Thursday that the gate leading to Martins Beach be open to the public, but the gate was still in place Friday.

Access to the coastal property south of Half Moon Bay has been the subject of a battle between the landowner, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, and the state of California, along with citizens who have clamored for the billionaire to allow them access to the beach.

Thursday's decision was being touted as a huge victory for surfers and Bay Area beachgoers. But even as the legal team celebrated the win, they said they are bracing for another fight, all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the gate to the main access road for the beach remains closed.

Christopher Manchester, the operator of the Half Moon Bay Kayak Company, expressed frustration with the gate still being up.

"It's like taking Yosemite and not letting people in and just saying, 'It's yours,' and not letting other people enjoy the beauty of the place," he said.

Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, purchased the 53-acre property for $37.5 million in 2008. Two years later, he closed the gate on the only access road to the beach, which had previously been open to the public in exchange for a parking fee.

Thursday's order affirmed the previous decision of the San Mateo County Superior Court, which ruled that the closure violated the California Coastal Act and ordered that the road reopen.

If the gate isn't reopened, Khosla could face thousands of dollars in fines per day until the situation is resolved. Khosla's legal team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In the meantime, surfing will likely continue at the popular spot.

"I expect the surfers that wish to surf on Martins Beach will continue to do so, but right now they have the backing of the law and the courts," John Claussen of the local Surfrider Foundation group said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Puts Hold on Bid to Recall Judge in Brock Turner Case]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:23:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0607-2016-AaronPersky.jpg

A court on Friday temporarily halted the campaign seeking to oust a Bay Area judge targeted for recall for sentencing a former Stanford University student-athlete convicted of sexual assault to jail instead of prison.

Campaign officials said Friday that Santa Clara County election officials authorized campaign officials to begin collecting voter signatures to put the recall of Santa Clara County judge Aaron Persky on the June ballot. Persky was targeted for recall last year after sentencing former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a young woman passed out for too much alcohol.

Elizabeth Pipkin, Persky's attorney, argued that the recall effort is misguided.

"He is a good and fair judge who has always endeavored to follow the law," Pipkin said. "He deserves his day in court. He deserves a fair hearing. He deserves fair consideration by the people of this county."

Persky's lawyers also argued that proponents need permission from the California secretary of state because county judges are state officers.

Pipkin said the campaign is misleading voters by saying they can choose the judge's replacement if he's recalled. The governor is the only person authorized to replace county judges, Pipkin said.

Persky's lawyers contend that recall organizers must restart their campaign with the state.

Retired Orange County Judge Marjorie Laird Carter scheduled an Aug. 23 hearing. Carter is hearing the case in San Jose after all the Santa Clara County judges recused themselves because of their relationship with Persky.

If Carter rules in Persky's favor, it will shorten the time proponents are allotted to gather 90,000 Santa Clara County voter signatures to qualify the issue for the June ballot.

"We believe that this is simply a last-ditch desperate effort by Judge Persky to avoid the democratic process," said Stanford University law professor Michele Dauber, who is leading the campaign effort.

NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Jason Doiy/The Recorder via AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Operation 'Cold Day' Sting Nets More Than 100 Arrests]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 23:47:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/feds+sting-0810.jpg

A two-year-long sting operation has netted scores of drugs, weapons and arrests of suspects who allegedly brought contraband to a non-descript Bay Area warehouse run by undercover agents, according to federal officials.

More than 100 suspects were ensnared in “Operation Cold Day.” Many are from Alameda, San Mateo and San Francisco counties, U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch said. Authorities were still making arrests Thursday.

"The objective of Operation Cold Day was very simply to get guns and drugs off the streets of our communities," Stretch said.

Many of the alleged thieves were involved in burglary and auto theft rings in San Francisco and Oakland, sources say. The operation involved law enforcement from San Mateo County, Daly City and San Francisco as well as federal ATF agents.

Investigators, including those from the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said they were able to interrupt supply chains of narcotics and illegal firearms.

"This Operation Cold Day resulted in the largest number of arrests in ATF history," said Jill Snyder, ATF special agent in charge.

Officials said they targeted home bases for gang members and other invididuals, some of whom played a role in violent crimes, including homicides.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Court of Appeal Orders Martins Beach Open to Public]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:44:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/khosla-beach.jpg

The California Court of Appeal ordered Thursday Martins Beach be open to the public.

Access to the coastal property south of Half Moon Bay has been the subject of a battle between the landowner, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, and the state of California, along with citizens who have clamored for the billionaire to allow them access to the beach.

Thursday's decision was being touted as a huge victory for surfers and Bay Area beach-goers. But even as the legal team celebrated the win, they said they are bracing for another fight, all the way to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the gate to the main access road for the beach remained closed Thursday night.

"It belongs to the people, and today ensures that the people have a right to actually get to use those resources," said Eric Buescher, attorney for the Surfrider Foundation, which has been leading the years-long challenge against Khosla. "There's no taking away of private property. As the court said today, the only thing that's required is to allow that gate to be open."

One beach resident said she just hopes beach-goers behave.

"Have consideration and respect for the people who live here," Greta Waterman said. "Pick up after yourself. Get the government, since they have opened it, to maintain the beach."

Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, purchased the 53-acre property for $37.5 million in 2008. Two years later, he closed the gate on the only access road to the beach, which had previously been open to the public in exchange for a parking fee.

Thursday's order affirms the decision of the San Mateo County Superior Court.

If the gate isn't reopened, Khosla could face thousands of dollars in fines per day until the situation is resolved. Khosla's legal team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[One Arrested After Redwood City Teen Shot in Leg, Mouth: PD]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:05:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-10-17-redwood-city-shooting-teenager-daylight-pic.jpg

A teen was shot in the mouth and leg early Thursday in Redwood City, while another was arrested on suspicion of pulling the trigger, police said.

The crime occurred outside a home on the 3500 block of Hoover Street around 2 a.m., according to people who called police. 

The 18-year-old was taken to Stanford Hospital for treatment and is said to be undergoing treatment. His condition is unknown.

Police say the suspect is 16 years old and the pair knew each other. Guns were found in the suspect's house.

A witness, David Domino, said his sleep was disrupted by two gunshots. He then heard someone say, "There you go," leading him to believe the victim may have been targeted. Domino said his wife also heard two men arguing before and after the shooting.

Officers are looking for surveillance footage that may have captured the incident.

Further details were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Bob Redell/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Executives Urge Brisbane to Build Housing]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 19:38:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Brisbane_Baylands.jpg

Executives from nearly three dozen leading Silicon Valley companies on Tuesday asked Brisbane officials to help tackle the Bay Area's critical housing shortage by approving the hotly debated Baylands project, which aims to add 4,400 units to the region's housing inventory.

Home to just under 4,700 people, Brisbane has held tightly onto its small town charm, despite years of housing and annexation suggestions by city leaders and developers.

Now, several of the region's job makers, including Salesforce and Yelp, are speaking up, in a story first reported by the San Francisco Business Times.

"The Bay Area added more than 530,000 jobs in the past five years but built just 94,000 housing units," the letter stated. "We believe the Baylands is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move the needle on San Mateo County’s job-housing imbalance."

The letter comes after a delay in a now year-long review of Universal Paragon Corporation's proposal to develop Brisbane's former rail yard and sanitary landfill.

The developer has proposed a mixed-use development, which would also add 7 million square feet of office space in addition to the housing units, while the community plan proposes adding hotel units and additional commercial space in place of housing units.

Pressure to add housing from outside groups, including county and state officials, is mounting. Several of California's lawmakers voiced concern about the community's alternative plan Monday, because it would bring 15,500 additional jobs to the area without anywhere to house the workers. 

One of the residents speaking in favor of housing at a special council meeting was former Brisbane Mayor Michael Barnes. He said the decision to remove housing came from the council, not the community.

"...The citizen's preferred alternative, a Baylands plan developed by the people of Brisbane included housing, but the city council stripped it out of their proposal," Barnes said. 

While the majority of the community was opposed to the developer's plans in a community survey, more than have of respondents said they were open to some housing being built on the Baylands site.

Barnes urged the council to consider the wider context of the housing shortage in their final deliberations.

"The fact that we have 120 legislators in Sacremento and 130 housing bills in Sacremento shows that everyone in California thinks housing is a problem and that we should build some housing here," Barnes said. "Please consider some housing at the Baylands. Negotiate with your state legislators." 

However, the majority of Brisbane residents present were vocal in their opposition to the project.

"All of these moral arguments about how Brisbane owes the rest of the region and the state to fix the problems that everyone else created are hollow arguments." said Brisbane resident Tony Verreos. "A lot of emotion, not a lot of logic there."

The Brisbane City Council is expected to vote this month on a recommendation for a November ballot measure.

To learn more about the proposed redevelopment, click here.

Photo Credit: City of Brisbane Via Universal Paragon Corp.]]>
<![CDATA[Belmont Homicide Suspect Arrested at East Bay BART Station]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 11:44:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/892017-belmont-homicide-suspect.jpg

A man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred Saturday in Belmont was arrested early Wednesday morning in Union City, police said.

At 12:25 a.m., Belmont police located 27-year-old Jovhon Alexander Stewart at the Union City BART station. They were assisted by Union City and BART police officers.

According to police, Stewart was arrested without incident on a no-bail arrest warrant and booked into the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City on suspicion of homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The weapon used in the crime is believed to be a semi-automatic handgun. It was not recovered, police said.

Belmont police officers responded to a report of shots fired at an apartment on the 500 block of Ralston Avenue around 5:15 a.m. Saturday.

At the scene, officers found several people outside the building. Inside a housing unit, they found a man with a gunshot wound, police said.

Belmont Fire Department paramedics treated the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The victim was later identified as 24-year-old DeJohn Jones of Union City.

Photo Credit: Belmont Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[San Mateo County Approves New Landing Fees at Two Airports]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:30:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/columbusairport.jpg

San Mateo County's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved new fees for charter planes landing at the county's airports in San Carlos and Half Moon Bay.

All charter aircraft operators will immediately begin paying a $75 landing fee in an effort by the county to offset the costs of operations at the airports from increased commuter and charter plane traffic in the past five years, county officials said.

Charter passengers will also be charged $10 per day for a limited number of overnight vehicle parking spaces during a six-month pilot period.

County officials estimate the landing and parking fees will generate about $150,000 in net revenue each year.

The increased commuter and charter operations in recent years has required extra staffing and hours of operations and prompted unanticipated maintenance expenses, according to county officials, who said the $75 fee is consistent with ones at several other airports in the area.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Bruno Mayor Ruane to Step Down at End of Year]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 18:57:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/jim+ruane-0808.jpg

San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane announced Monday that he intends to step down at the end of his current term, but the filing deadline for the upcoming election is a week away and so far no one is running for the position, according to City Clerk Carol Bonner.

Ruane has served on the City Council since 1995, and he was most recently re-elected for a two-year term as mayor in 2015. That term expires in November, according to the city's website.

"I really hadn't planned on doing it quite this long," Ruane said Tuesday morning.

"It's just about time for me to spend more time with my family," he said. "I have four grandsons and a business I run every day."

As mayor, Ruane helped lead the city through the tragedy of the PG&E pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes on Sept. 9, 2010.

He spoke earlier this year at the sentencing hearing for PG&E on criminal convictions of violating pipeline safety laws and obstructing an investigation into the explosion. In other proceedings, the utility has paid $70 million in compensation to San Bruno and hundreds of millions to settle survivors' civil cases.

"I ran for mayor I guess eight years ago and won handily, and then the world blew up," Ruane said. "I just wanted to see the PG&E thing through with consistency for our city."

The filing deadline to apply for Ruane's soon-to-be-vacant position is coming up on Aug. 16. It would typically be on Aug. 11, but the deadline has been extended five days since the incumbent is not running for re-election.

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Police Identify Man Connected to Fatal Shooting in Belmont]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:20:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stewart-0807.jpg

Police have identified an East Bay man wanted in connection with the shooting death of a 24-year-old man in Belmont over the weekend.

Jovhon Alexander Stewart, 27, is wanted in connection with the fatal shooting, which occurred Saturday at about 5 a.m. at an apartment in the 500 block of Ralston Avenue, police said.

At the scene, responding officers found several people outside and located a victim suffering from a gunshot wound in one of the apartments, police said.

The victim, later identified as DeJohn Jones of Union City, was treated by paramedics but was pronounced dead at the scene.

A no bail arrest warrant has been issued for Stewart, who police say should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police have released a photograph of Stewart in hopes that the public can help locate him. Police said Stewart might have changed his hairstyle to short dreadlocks since the photo was taken.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Belmont police at (650) 290-6224.

Photo Credit: Belmont PD]]>
<![CDATA[Family Recounts Tree Branch Collapse at Menlo College]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 18:15:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/tree+menlo.jpg

A toddler and her mother were recovering Monday after a freak accident in which a large tree branch came crashing down on them in Atherton.

A 50-foot long branch on a massive oak tree gave way at Menlo College on Saturday during a company picnic. The branch injured multiple people, including a 2-year-old girl who suffered a fracture to her skull and an eye injury that required surgery. She is expected to fully recover.

The girl's mother, Jasmine Garcia, was walking hand-in-hand with her daughter, Zealyn, when she heard a loud cracking noise from above.

"It just happened so fast," said Garcia, who suffered a broken toe and other bruises. "I just felt branch after branch, bam, bam, bam, hitting us. The final ones made us fall down on the floor."

The girl's father, Chris Garcia, was nearby and saw it all happen. He was relieved when Zealyn began to cry.

"I saw my daughter laying face down, not moving," he said. "I didn’t know what to expect."

Zealyn is recovering from eye surgery at Stanford Hospital, and Jasmine said doctors expect the crack in the girl's skull to heal on its own.

"It’s scary," Jasmine said. "I still picture her laying there. It replays over and over again."

While the Garcia family focuses on getting well, they’re hoping other families or students on the Menlo campus won’t have to experience what they’ve endured.

"I just don’t want this to happen to anyone," Jasmine said. "I believe it could have been prevented."

The tree was being removed Monday.

According to the fire department, there are no laws that require the college to inspect the trees. But the fire department has requested the fire marshal work with the college to put a safety plan in place.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jasmine Garcia]]>
<![CDATA[SamTrans Reinstates School Day Service]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:55:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SamTrans_Officials_Mull_Axing_Three_Lowest_Performing_Routes.jpg

A lot of students are getting ready to head back to school, and Bay Area public transit agencies are prepared. SamTrans is reinstating school day service and adjusting service on several bus lines. The transit agency is also adding a new route to help students. Route 78 will serve students attending Woodside High School and Canada College in Redwood City.]]>
<![CDATA[Man Shot, Killed in Belmont Identified]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 15:20:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMG_12892.JPG

A man who died in a shooting in Belmont early Saturday morning has been identified as Dejohn Jones, 24, a Union City resident, the San Mateo County coroner's office said.

The shooting occurred at an apartment building in the 500 block of Ralston Avenue around 5 a.m., police said Saturday.

Officers who responded found several people outside and a man with a gunshot wound in one of the apartments, according to police. The victim was treated by paramedics but was pronounced dead at the scene.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tree Branch Falls at Menlo College, Injuring Mother, Toddler]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 00:23:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-6-17_tree_collapse.jpg

A mother and her young daughter were injured Saturday after a large oak tree branch snapped and fell on top of a crowd of people gathered for a picnic at Menlo College in Atherton, according to fire officials.

Several people were hit by the falling piece of timber, and the mother and her 2-year-old girl had to be transported to the hospital, fire officials said.

The branch, which is roughly three feet wide and 50 feet long, crashed shortly before 2:30 p.m. while hundreds of people were enjoying a company picnic with Riverbed Technologies, fire officials said.

Footage from the scene captured several chairs, a children's play table and a stroller buried under thick pieces of wood and smaller branches.

One other person who suffered minor injuries refused to be treated.

Jason Del Rosario, a family member of two of the victims, said that his sister, Jasmine Garcia, suffered a broken toe and bruising on her shoulder. Del Rosario added that his niece suffered a fracture in her skull and lacerations on her eyelids.

As of Sunday evening, Del Rosario said that Garcia and his niece were at Stanford Hospital, awake and "in their usual spirits."

Minutes before the branch toppled, about two dozen adults and children were seated where the tree limb fell, but they had moved to participate in an activity, according to fire officials.

"I know the fire crews that responded to this incident were extremely relieved that it wasn't much worse than it could have been given the size of the group and proximity of the seating area under the tree," Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said in a statement.

Fire officials plan to follow up with the college regarding tree inspections this week.

Photo Credit: Menlo Park Fire District]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrain Fares to Increase in October]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 11:48:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_caltrain.jpg

Caltrain fares are going up, with adult fares increasing 25 cents as of Oct. 1, the agency announced.

Also, Caltrain's monthly parking prices will jump from $55 to $82.50 effective Oct. 1. In addition, the discounted eight-ride ticket is being eliminated, the agency said.

The price of the agency's Go Pass will increase from $190 to $237.50 effective Jan. 1, 2018. The price will increase again a year later, rising from $237.50 to $285 effective Jan. 1, 2019.

The changes were approved by the agency's board of directors to provide revenue to cover the cost of operating the system, Caltrain said.

Photo Credit: Telemundo 48]]>
<![CDATA[1 Person Critically Hurt When Car Rams Into Bicyclists]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 11:48:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/portola+crash1.PNG

A car on Saturday rammed into bicyclists in Portola Valley, injuring three people.

Officials with the San Mateo County Fire Department said that mass casualties were reported around 10:52 a.m. Firefighters were informed that a car had collided with bicyclists at Portola and Farm roads.

It appears that the driver was turning into a parking lot, but instead crashed into the bicyclists. 

One of the victims was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Two others sustained minor injuries, officials said.

Further details were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[Pooches Pounce on Waves at World Dog Surfing Championships]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 03:36:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/852017-surfingdogs1+-+Copy.jpg

Photo Credit: Dave Elkinson/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Belmont's First Homicide of 2017]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 08:04:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMG_12892.JPG

A man was shot dead in a Burlingame apartment early Saturday morning, marking the Peninsula city's first homicide of 2017, according to police.

Police said they responded to the 500 block of Ralston Avenue around 5:15 a.m. There, officers found a man with at least gunshot wound, who died.

The crime may have occurred at a party or some type of get-together where roughly six people were gathered, police believe.

Police have not yet provided suspect information or confirmed a motive for what they say was an isolated shooting.

Neighbor Marshae Glenn said she was asleep in her apartment when she was woken up by the uncommon sound of gunshots.

"I've been here for a year and six months, never any commotion this serious," she said.

A car was later towed away from the area to be examined for any potential evidence, according to police.

An investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hillsborough Mansion Hits Market for $14.5 Million]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 22:54:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO3_Hillsborough.jpgTake a look at this 11,800-square-foot estate in Hillsborough, which hit the market at a cool $14.5 million. Built in 1931, the property has since been upgraded to include a private tennis court and vineyard on the 3-acre property.

Photo Credit: Realtor.com]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrain Strikes Truck at 'Dangerous' Burlingame Crossing]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 18:12:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-4-17-caltrain-truck-crash1.jpg

Authorities are investigating a Friday morning collision involving a Caltrain commuter train and truck in Burlingame.

Neighbors said the crash is the latest example of a very dangerous intersection they hope can be changed.

Art Ramos and his coworker were in the cab of a delivery truck when a Caltrain slammed into it, ripping off the back door. The impact sent the door flying and destroyed the pedestrian crosswalk.

The crash occurred at the Burlingame Broadway crossing just before 9 a.m.

Ramos said he was crossing the tracks approaching the Carolan Avenue intersection about 100 feet from the rail line when he said the driver in front of him stopped at a green light, leaving the back end of the 25-foot truck right in the train's path.

"I get up right on him and I honked and he didn't move," Ramos said. "Now the light is turning yellow -- we can see the emergency flashers for the train are on and he's not moving."

Ramos said he did not have anywhere to go and by the time he considered getting out, it was too late.

"All of a sudden the train just hit and it was a big impact," Ramos said.

No one was hurt in the collision, but a handful of neighbors said they are not surprised to see another accident.

"Everyone is talking about how bad it is around here and it seems to be getting worse," resident Andy Hont said.

Caltrain said in the last year at least three vehicles have been hit by a train at the intersection. None of the accidents were deadly.

Following the previous accidents, Caltrain said it increased safety signage in the area. Caltrain has also been working with several agencies to improve the flow of traffic across the tracks.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Brisbane Council to Finish Review of Baylands Development]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 14:52:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Brisbane_Baylands.jpg


  • The Brisbane City Council is expected to continue final deliberations on housing development at the Baylands site throughout the month after deferring an official vote Monday evening. 
  • Several California state lawmakers voiced support of the proposed 4,400-unit housing project as well as commercial spaces on the site, but most residents speaking Monday were opposed. The community's proposed plan adds hotel units and additional commercial space in place of housing units. Both projects are expected to bring roughly 16,000 jobs to the area.

The tight-knit community of Brisbane has held onto its small town charm, despite years of housing and annexation suggestions by city leaders and developers.

However, an attractive offer by Universal Paragon Corp. to convert the city's former rail yard and sanitary landfill into more than 4,000 houses and 7 million square feet of office space is causing concern among some residents

The developer says the project — poised to be one of the largest redevelopment projects on the West Coast — will serve as an example for other housing-strapped regions on how to effectively convert similar untapped, urban spaces into more housing units.

However, residents argue that the developer's plan, which would about triple the population, will change the fabric of their small-town community for good.

With a population of just under 4,700, Brisbane has stayed small intentionally and, despite the sorely-needed housing units, city leaders estimate that they have significantly more to gain by converting the space into retail and hotel units.

Research conducted by Keyser Marston Associates on behalf of the city found that building all of the housing units proposed by the developer would bring in between $9 million and $10 million annually, more than half of the city’s current revenues, but would also require necessary upgrades and expansion of existing city services to accommodate the new residents.

By contrast, using the same space for additional hotel units would generate between $16 million and $18 million in city revenue and a larger overall surplus to the city of Brisbane.

Now, the Brisbane Baylands review process, which has involved public hearings, as well as environmental and fiscal impact reports to determine the safety of building on a former landfill, is about to end after nearly a year of consideration.

The Brisbane City Council is expected to vote this month on an official recommendation for a November ballot measure.

To learn more about the proposed redevelopment, click here.

Jean Elle and Stephen Ellison contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: City of Brisbane Via Universal Paragon Corp.
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<![CDATA[Sweltering Temperatures Blanket Most of Bay Area]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 10:38:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/07-29-2015-heat-sun-weather-generic-1.JPG

Sizzling temperatures will return to several locations across the Bay Area Wednesday as the region welcomes an uncommon threat: thunderstorms.

An area of monsoonal moisture will move into the southern portion of the Bay Area by the end of Wednesday, packing a chance of thunderstorms and dry lightning strikes. The system will also make for above-average humidity.

Hot temperatures in the inland valleys and locations above 750 feet have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a heat advisory through 9 p.m. Thursday.

Livermore on Wednesday is expected to top the charts at 103 degrees, Concord is forecasted to settle around 102 degrees and Antioch should peak around 101 degrees.

Moving west, Oakland is slated to hover around 80 degrees while San Francisco will max out around 75 degrees.

Areas in and around San Jose as well as locations in the North Bay will flirt with temperatures in the mid-90s.

For those looking for heat relief, the coast is the place to be. Half Moon Bay will peak around 66 degrees while Santa Cruz will enjoy temperatures in the high-70s.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Announces Help on Low Income Housing Effort]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 08:14:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Facebook_Announces_Help_on_Low_Income_Housing_Effort.jpg

Facebook has a new partner in its push to create affordable housing. The social media giant on Tuesday announced that a nonprofit called the Local Initiatives Support Corporation will work to turn the company's initial $18.5 million investment into as much as $75 million. Facebook is working to build new low-income housing and take on some legal costs in eviction cases. At the same time, Facebook's own recent success has indirectly led to even tighter housing demand and traffic on the Peninsula.]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Traffic Study Hopes to Improve Commutes]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 21:53:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dumbarton_bridge.jpg

A new plan could change the way tens of thousands of people in the Bay Area get to work.

SamTrans released a study on Dumbarton transportation Thursday recommending possible solutions to improve mobility between Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

To help improve auto, transit, bicycle and pedestrian commutes, SamTrans is recommending a Dumbarton Rail line to connect passengers from Newark to Redwood City by 2025, as well as a Dumbarton Rail line with BART, Caltrain and ACE by 2030.

“Providing another option, another outlet for people to use public transit to get across the Bay is really needed,” SamTrans spokesperson Dan Lieberman said.

Among its suggestions, SamTrans is also recommending flyover express bus lanes to connect the Dumbarton Bridge to Highway 101.

SamTrans is expected to vote on this plan in the fall. If approved, the next challenge will be figuring out how to fund the multi-million dollar project.

<![CDATA[Woman Fears Losing Home Over Inflated Mortgage Payment]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:32:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/property+taxes.PNG

Lynne Smart adores the new Redwood City home, which she bought in October.

"The home gives me happiness," Smart said. "It just makes me happy."

However, Smart was quite unhappy when her new mortgage payment included an inflated charge for property taxes. She says the calculation was $1,100 per month higher than it should have been, despite her repeated calls to her mortgage servicer to correct it.

"They continued, and they refused to lower my monthly payments,” said Smart.

The source of Smart’s mortgage trouble is a pair of California propositions: 60 and 90. They let homeowners who are age 55 or older downsize without a punishing property tax reassessment. That means Smart is allowed to keep her previous property tax rate for her new home. But instead, her mortgage servicer, Cenlar, was charging her the current rate, which is $1,100 more each month.

“I couldn’t have afforded to do it without proposition 90,” said Smart.

Smart complained to Cenlar, and says the company told her it would revisit the math after she lived in the home a year, and would then give her a refund — in a year. So Smart started paying the extra $1,100 a month. She feared foreclosure if she paid less.

“And I paid it and paid it and paid it,” Smart said.

But it didn’t sit right with Smart. So she pressed Cenlar to square things up right away. The company finally refunded Smart part of the $5,400 it owed her, but wouldn't return all. 

So she contacted NBC Bay Area Responds. We contacted Cenlar. Next thing you know, Smart received a $4,300 check, settling up the nearly $10,000 she overpaid.

“Plus, my loan amount is exactly right,” said Smart.

Smart is confident her call to NBC Bay Area Responds prompted Cenlar to recalculate her payments.

“You fixed it completely!” said Smart.

Cenlar didn’t respond to our request for comment.

For homeowners of all ages: Smart’s story is a reminder that while automatic escrow accounts for insurance and property taxes are convenient, they still require your attention. Double check your mortgage company’s figures against your actual bills and insurance policies.  

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[HempCon Medical Marijuana Convention Returns to Bay Area]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 17:12:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Getty_Sized.jpg

One of the largest medical marijuana trade shows in the country is set to return to Cow Palace this weekend for Canna-Games, a three-day show featuring live entertainment, exhibits and seminars.

"Whether you are a patient or someone who wants to learn more about medical marijuana, there is something for everyone," HempCon organizers wrote on the event's website.

Something for every adult that is. The adult-only event does require an ID and proof of medical need such as a valid doctor's recommendation to enter certain areas of the venue.

This year's event runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening and has more than 300 vendors signed up to attend. 

Just two years ago, HempCon drew thousands of people to the San Jose Convention Center to try everything from marijuana ice cream to new innovations in cannabis farming.

More information on this year's event can be found on the HempCon website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Advisory in Effect in Parts of Bay Area]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:51:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/072617+heat+generic+hot+weather+generic.jpg

Temperatures in the inland parts and higher elevations of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas will be much hotter than usual Tuesday and Wednesday, National Weather Service officials said.

A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday for higher elevations such as the North Bay mountains, mainly around Lake Berryessa, the East Bay hills and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Weather service officials may issue a heat advisory for inland locations in the two areas if forecasted temperatures rise slightly.

A heat advisory means dangerous temperatures are expected, potentially causing heat-related illnesses.

In inland areas and those at high elevations, temperatures are expected to reach 100 to 105 degrees with some areas approaching 110 degrees.

In Concord on Tuesday, De La Salle band members and football players had abbreviated practices in the sweltering heat as the school's athletic trainer closely monitored both groups.

"We have water coolers out here," trainer Doug Bauman said. "There's water on each field."

Band members took frequent breaks and moved much of their practice into the shade. The football team also made modifications.

"We won't have equipment on today," Bauman said. "Sometimes it's a matter of taking off equipment to allow bodies to cool a little better. Sometimes it's a matter of changing when (what time) practice is."

Meanwhile, weather service officials urge residents to look inside their cars before locking them to be sure no pets or children have been left behind.

Temperatures near the coast will be more seasonal and above-average elsewhere. While it may be cooler at the coast, visitors should check for any beach hazards that could make visiting beaches risky.

Weather service officials said prolonged exposure to high temperatures increases the chance that people, especially those with respiratory conditions, will suffer heat-related illnesses.

Also, pets and livestock may need extra care during the hot weather. The chance of wildfires is also higher, according to the weather service.

During the heat, residents and visitors are encouraged to drink enough fluids, stay in air conditioning, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.

On Tuesday, several community centers in San Jose offered extended hours to help residents beat the heat.

The community centers, spread across the city, will all be open until 9 p.m. City officials said that the centers act as cooling centers when temperatures reach or exceed 97 degrees.

The locations are Bascom Community Center at 1000 S. Bascom Ave., Camden Community Center at 3369 Union Ave., Mayfair Community Center at 2039 Kammerer Ave., Roosevelt Community Center at 901 E. Santa Clara St. and the Seventrees Community Center at 3590 Cas Drive.

The city of San Ramon also released locations and hours for cooling centers this week:

Tuesday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library noon-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Wednesday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-7 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library noon-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Thursday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-8 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5:30 pm; Dougherty Station Library 10 am-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Friday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-7 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library 10 am-5 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-5 pm.

NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Arrested Following Suspicious Fires in Palo Alto]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:38:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-31-17-fire-suspect-palo+alto.jpg

Police in Palo Alto on Saturday arrested a man for his alleged role in a series of suspicious fires that ignited within walking distance and hours of each other on Friday.

Terry Lee Hill Jr., 23, of Palo Alto was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on four felony counts of arson, according to police.

The first fire was reported at about 2 a.m. at the Caltrain parking lot in the 600 block of Urban Lane. A vehicle was set on fire there and was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The vehicle was significantly damaged.

At 4:25 a.m., firefighters responded to another fire in the 100 block of Palo Alto Avenue, where they found a fire inside a dumpster.

About an hour after that, another small fire was reported in a parking garage in the 500 block of High Street. At about the same time, a brush fire was reported along a bicycle path near Homer Avenue and Alma Street.

A person of interest in the case was spotted by surveillance footage, according to police. An officer on routine patrol on Saturday spotted the person of interest, who was later identified as the arrestee, and detained him without incident.

No one was injured by the fires.

Photo Credit: Palo Alto Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Welcome National Night Out]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 06:07:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cms890.jpg

Neighborhoods are ready. It's National Night Out.

Police in cities and towns across the Bay Area are hosting National Night Out celebrations Tuesday evening to help residents become more aware of how they can prevent crime and drug use.

From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in San Jose, residents will gather with police in their neighborhoods to get to know each other.

A host of events are scheduled such as potlucks, barbeques and even large block parties.

San Francisco police will host several events around the city for National Night Out, with food, arts and crafts and entertainment. Times and locations of the events can be found online.

Also in San Francisco, the public defender's office is hosting two Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities events aimed at catching children before they fall through the social services gap, spokeswoman Tamara Barak Aparton said.

The public defender's office has formed MAGIC programs in the Bayview-Hunters Point and Western Addition neighborhoods, where many residents are underserved.

"Those are the two neighborhoods that we specifically set out to serve because they are the most underserved and most in need of resources," Aparton said.

"We recognize that the best way to prevent crime is to provide underserved communities and families with resources relating to health, education and recreation and that's why we formed our MAGIC programs," she said.

Elsewhere, local law enforcement agencies and neighbors in Martinez have organized a third annual Alhambra Valley National Night Out at the Alhambra Christmas Tree Farm at 2647 Reliez Valley Road from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Neighbors can dance to live rockabilly music, savor barbeque and indulge in ice cream from the Boy Scouts of America.

In Concord, National Night Out will be celebrated from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Concord Library at 2900 Salvio St., where there will be activities for children and adults such as K-9 demonstrations, face painting and a bike rodeo.

Rohnert Park public safety officers will host National Night Out activities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Center Plaza at 475 City Center Drive.

Residents can eat, get public safety information, see emergency vehicles and win prizes.

A detailed list of National Night Out events around the Bay Area is listed below: 

North Bay:

Sebastopol Fire Department BBQ: 220 S. Main St., Sebastopol

Rohnert Park City Center Plaza: 475 City Center Dr., Rohnert Park

Petaluma Target Parking Lot: 401 Kenilworth Dr., Petaluma

San Francisco:

Ella Hill Hutch Community Center: 1050 McCallister St., San Francisco

Bayview Opera House: 4705 Third St., San Francisco


Grundy Park: 586 Cherry Ave., San Bruno

East Bay:

Alhambra Christmas Tree Farm: 2647 Reliez Valley Rd., Martinez

Concord Library: 2900 Salvio St., Concord

Martinez Block Party: 600 block of Main Street, Martinez

St. John's Catholic Church: 264 E. Lewelling Blvd., San Lorenzo

South Bay:

Downtown Gilroy: Fifth Street between Eigleberry Street and Monterey Road, Gilroy

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Hazardous Weather Expected Across Bay Area]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:36:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Trees_Heat_Generic.jpg

The National Weather Service Sunday issued a hazardous weather outlook for early this week and midweek for portions of the Bay Area.

Weather officials said the threat of heat-related illnesses will increase today and especially Tuesday and Wednesday, with the danger greater for elderly and at-risk populations, as well as those engaging in outdoor activities.

Residents are urged not to leave people or pets in a parked vehicle for any reason, for any length of time, weather officials said.

The officials also noted that increased fire weather concerns are also likely as a result of hot and dry conditions.

Temperatures in the North Bay will range from the 90s to the low 100s in interior valleys and the 60s to the low 70s at the coast, weather officials said.

In the East Bay, temperatures in the valleys will range from the 90s to the low 100s, while temperatures will be in the 70s to the low 80s along the bay.

Temperatures will generally be in the upper 70s in San Francisco and in the 60s along the Peninsula coast.

In the South Bay, temperatures will be in the 90s in the valleys and in the 80s along the bay, weather officials said.

In the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas, temperatures will reach the 90s inland and the 60s and 70s on the coast.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[ FAA Issues Noise Reduction Report for Bay Area Airports]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:40:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Reducing_Noise_Reduction.jpg

The FAA is reportedly getting closer to a plan to reduce airplane noise over some Bay Area cities. The agency recently released a report on noise reduction recommendations for planes flying into the Bay Area. The report focuses primarily on flights arriving at San Francisco International Airport and Palo Alto, which is among those cities feeling the most impact. One solution involves a new flight path for incoming planes. FAA leaders now have to decide which recommendations to enact. There's no set timetable on when that might happen.]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Fall Short on Best Places to Rent List]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:40:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/GettyImages-678975.jpg

When it comes to renting a home, the Bay Area does not appear to be the ideal place to poke around.

That's because multiple Bay Area cities ended up ranked in the bottom half of WalletHub's "Best and Worst Places to Rent" list, which analyzed 150 of the largest rental markets in the United States.

The Bay Area city deemed to be the best place to purchase a rental was San Francisco, according to WalletHub. The city by the bay, which was ranked No. 70 on the list, was followed by San Jose (No. 73), Santa Rosa (No. 75), Fremont (No. 76) and Oakland (No. 148).

For those looking for the optimal location when it comes to renting, the desert seems to be the place to be. Four cities in Arizona — highlighted by Scottsdale, Ariz. at No. 1 — topped the charts as the best places to rent, according to WalletHub. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Cleveland, Ohio was determined to be the worst place to rent, according to WalletHub.

WalletHub's analysis examined rental market and affordability factors such as cost of living, size of rentals, historical changes in rental pricing and forecasted pricing changes, among several others. The study also took into account quality of life factors such as job opportunities in an area, weather and neighborhood safety.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sexual Assault Reported on Stanford University Campus]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 09:53:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stanford-campus-generic.jpg

A sexual assault occurred late Thursday night on the campus of Stanford University, according to the university's department of public safety.

The reported assault occurred at about 11:30 p.m. on the campus's west side between two people who knew each other.

The female victim described the suspect as a white man, 22 to 25 years old with brown hair, brown eyes and a thin build.

Police and university officials are investigating the assault.

Anyone with more information about the investigation is asked to call the Stanford University Department of Public Safety at (650) 329-2413.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend Temps Could Ail Those With Respiratory Conditions]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 08:36:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Heat_Generic_Hot_car.jpg

High temperatures predicted for this weekend could make breathing more difficult for people with respiratory issues, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said Friday.

Studies show that very high temperatures can make it harder to breathe for people with conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart problems, especially children and the elderly.

Officials have not issued a "Spare the Air" alert for poor air quality, but those with known respiratory conditions should try to stay in cooler locations, drink plenty of water, avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day and keep inhalers and medications handy at all times.

Residents who wish to be notified when a Spare the Air alert is in effect can sign up at www.sparetheair.org or call (800) HELP-AIR. Residents can also download a Spare the Air app or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Palo Alto Police Investigate Four Suspicious Fires]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 17:58:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-28-2017-paloaltoarson.jpg

Police in Palo Alto are investigating four suspicious fires set to cars, trash and brush early Friday morning — all within walking distance and hours of each other.

Police released a surveillance photo of a man seen walking in the area just before one of the fires, but investigators still aren't sure if he's connected to that fire or any of the others. They are seeking the public's help in identifying the potential suspect.

The first fire was reported at about 2 a.m. at the Caltrain parking lot in the 600 block of Urban Lane. A vehicle was set on fire there and was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The vehicle was significantly damaged.

At 4:25 a.m., firefighters responded to another fire in the 100 block of Palo Alto Avenue, where they found a fire inside a dumpster.

About an hour after that, another small fire was reported in a parking garage in the 500 block of High Street. At about the same time, a brush fire was reported along a bicycle path near Homer Avenue and Alma Street.

No one was injured, but all of the fires are considered suspicious, which has shocked people who live in that part of the Bay Area city.

"I don't like it at all," Ann Roper.

Kirbi Yelorda echoed the same sentiment, saying, "I hope they get to the bottom of it."

Police are investigating whether they may be related, but found a surveillance video of a person walking in the area of Palo Alto Avenue shortly before the fire began.

The man was wearing a beanie-type cap, a light-colored long sleeve shirt, dark-colored pants, and a backpack, police said.

"There’s a lot of dry leaves and things around here," Yelorda said. "It's concerning for sure but I believe our police department will take care of it."

Anyone who recognizes the person or has further information about the fire has been asked to call Palo Alto police at (650) 329-2413 or via the tip line at (650) 383-8984.

NBC Bay Area's Michelle Roberts contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Palo Alto Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Congress Members Seek Action on Airport Noise Complaints]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:38:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/FAA.jpg

San Francisco International Airport and surrounding airports are some of the busiest hubs in the United States, which make the beds of activity some of the noisiest spots in the Bay Area. And neighbors in the surrounding communities are not pleased with the rising decibel levels.

After receiving complaints in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, Reps. Jackie Speier, Anna Eshoo and Jimmy Panetta called for action by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Each of the three Congress members is part of the Quiet Skies Caucus and said in a joint statement they will "hold airlines and airports accountable to reduce aircraft noise."

In response to the request, the FAA announced phase two of an initiative to reduce noise and help communities sleep a little easier at night.

Some of the addressed recommendations included:

  • Improving aircraft set-up and sequencing between facilities
  • Adjustments to OAK and SFO southbound departures
  • Collaborating with the SFO Noise Abatement Office and FAA on outreach to pilots and controllers to keep aircraft over the water while approaching the area
  • Increasing controller awareness to keep departures east of Highway 101
  • Collaborating with the SFO/Community Roundtable on future changes

Recommendations for the review came from the San Francisco International Airport/Community Roundtable and the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals, and many of the concerns addressed in the report were FAA statements reaffirming a commitment to existing policies and procedures.

Some recommendations that were not approved included shifting arrivals at San Jose International Airport and to modify south arrivals at SFO, because it would affect the noise levels in other communities. 

However, the FAA notes that it is a work in progress. The report includes a review of only about 14 percent of recommendations and an updated version will be released once the other recommendations have been reviewed.

Photo Credit: FAA]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Cafeteria Workers Unionize, Seeking Higher Wages]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:54:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Unite_Line.jpg

Around 500 cafeteria workers at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park have elected to unionize in an effort to negotiate higher wages, health care benefits, and pensions.

"They're living in the shadows," said Enrique Fernandez, the business manager for Unite Here Local 19. "Access has to be there for all."

Local 19 is the local chapter representing the group of Facebook workers and more than 4,000 other hospitality workers in Silicon Valley who have unionized at companies like Intel Corp., Cisco Systems and Dell.

Many tech companies rely on a growing number of drivers and culinary staff to accommodate their expanding workforces, but service workers say they feel the impact of Silicon Valley's lack of affordable housing.

Many opt to live in vans and trailers — which can be seen lining the streets in Mountain View neighborhoods near Google's headquarters — in an effort to make ends meet.

Fernandez says the problem extends throughout the region.

"They park next to the park and they shower. It’s very sad," Fernandez said. "This is working people. It is not like these people are not working."

Two of those workers raise their three children in a garage just blocks from Facebook headquarters, according to the Guardian.

The majority of the cafeteria workers are employed full-time and make an average of $18.81 per hour, according to the union, which would be an annual salary of just under $40,000 per year.

However, the cafeteria workers say their earnings can't keep up with the high living costs in San Mateo County, where the median household income is $101,272 annually.

Facebook said it has been working to address affordable housing concerns and employed one of the earliest set of standards for contract vendors in 2015, which included a $15 per hour minimum wage, 15 paid days off and new child benefits.

"Our vendor workers are valued members of our community," a Facebook spokesperson said. "We are committed to providing a safe, fair, work environment to everyone who helps Facebook bring the world closer together, including contractors." 

Most of the upcoming discussions will be handled directly between the employees and the company handling the contracts, Flagship Facility Services, which has said it is willing to negotiate with the union.

Fernandez said because of the positive partnership, he expects a contract to be completed in a matter of months. 

"Living in Silicon Valley is hard," Fernandez said. "But I'm optimistic that it will not take long. It could take six months, it could take three months — you cannot rush the process."

Facebook's shuttle workers, who voted to unionize in 2015, successfully negotiated a union contract in roughly three months.

Photo Credit: Unite Here Local 19
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<![CDATA[Sex Discrimination Cases at Silicon Valley Tech Companies]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:13:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ellen-Pao-Tech-Harassment-AP_998998012528.jpg

Add Binary Capital venture capital firm co-founder Justin Calbeck to a growing list of executives and companies in Silicon Valley faced with sexual discrimination charges. 

Caldbeck, who recently apologized for using his position for sexual gain, resigned shortly after six women came forward detailing explicit late-night text messages, groping and unwanted sexual advances.

The announcement came just after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned following an investigation into gender discrimination at his company as well.

Here are some other high-profile cases that attracted national attention and prompted changes at Silicon Valley tech companies:

Pao v. Byers, November of 2011 to February of 2015

In a three-year legal battle, Reddit CEO Ellen Pao sued her former employer and lost. The high-profile case drew national attention when Pao sought $16 million in damages against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Following her loss, Pao may have been on the hook for $1 million in legal costs if she didn’t drop the case.

Hong v. Facebook and Huang v. Twitter, March of 2015

Shortly after the Pao verdict, two other gender discrimination lawsuits followed. Chia Hong sued Facebook following a data analysis she did concluding that code created by female employees was rejected more frequently than code written by their male colleagues, but the company refuted the basis of Hong's allegation.

Twitter engineer Tina Huang also filed a lawsuit in March recounting a history of bypassing qualified women for promotions. Twitter denied the allegations and published new diversity initiatives shortly after.

Moussouris v. Microsoft, September of 2015

Katie Moussouris' suit on behalf of "all current and former female technical professionals employed by Microsoft in the U.S." argued that Microsoft's evaluation process discriminated against women, resulting in women being promoted less frequently and paid less than their male colleagues. Microsoft responded that it tried to maintain "a workplace where all employees have the chance to succeed." The court has dismissed Microsoft's request to dismiss the claims on two occasions last year, and the lawsuit is ongoing.

Ard  v. Yahoo and Anderson v. Yahoo, October of 2016

On the flip side, Yahoo's focus on elevating and hiring more women landed them in the hot seat for gender discrimination as well. The company was involved in two separate lawsuits by former male employees, Scott Ard and Greg Anderson. The pair argued that higher-ranking female executives showed bias to female employees in the annual review and hiring process.

Justice Dept. v. Oracle, January of 2017

At the start of 2017, the Department of Labor announced it would sue Oracle, because it found a pay gap by gender and race. Oracle called the lawsuit "politically motivated, based on false allegations and wholly without merit."

Essay: "Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber," February of 2017

While it wasn't a lawsuit, a blog post penned by Uber engineer Susan Fowler generated a massive audience and sparked an internal investigation by Uber and another by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Uber fired at least 20 people during the investigation into Fowler’s claims and CEO Travis Kalanick resigned in June.

Labor Department v. Google, April of 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor sued Google for "extreme" gender pay discrimination while the tech giant argued it found no gender pay gap in its own internal analysis.

Lai v. Binary Capital, June of 2017

The company came under public scrutiny following a lawsuit by Ann Lai and six accounts from women detailed sexual harassment by Justin Caldbeck, the co-founder of Binary Capital venture capital firm. Caldbeck apologized for using his position for sexual gain and resigned.

Photo Credit: File--AP
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Braces For More Jobs, But Where Will Techies Live?]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:21:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-79425812.jpg

The good news: More tech jobs are coming to the Bay Area, as companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and LinkedIn promise to grow in the years ahead.

The bad news: Traffic is already really bad here, and housing is at a premium.

Where will the techies live, and how long will it take us all to get to work?

Those two issues are being taken up by Bay Area politicians in an initiative that has been named Plan Bay Area 2040. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it aims to increase housing for all income levels, while somehow trimming our commute times.

“This is sort of a blueprint,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who admits Plan 2040 is a guess at what the future will bring.

“The one constant in the Bay Area is growth,” he added. “We need to focus on affordable housing.”

And, he adds, housing near public transportation.

Good news for young techies, who like to walk anyway.

For the rest of us? Hold on to what you have, and keep an eye out for more affordable housing.

Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Restaurant Burglary in Belmont]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:19:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BelmontBurglary.jpg

Belmont police are investigating a burglary at a restaurant on El Camino Real last week.

The break-in occurred July 19 at about 6:50 a.m. in the 1600 block of El Camino Real, police said.

Police said the suspect rode a bicycle to the restaurant north on El Camino Real, appearing to come from the San Carlos area.

The suspect took a chair from the outdoor seating area and smashed the front window of the eatery, checking out the cash register before walking throughout the restaurant, according to police.

Capt. Patrick Halleran said the break-in was very unusual, since nobody called in a report of the man throwing a chair through the window despite the morning rush hour on El Camino Real.

"You would think with all those cars going down El Camino that somebody would call 911, but nobody did," Halleran said.

The suspect even sat on the curb for a short time after breaking in before leaving. Police said they aren't aware of anything being taken from the restaurant in the burglary.

According to police, the suspect is an Asian man who is between 30 to 40 years old with a medium height and build, a receding hairline, and was clean-shaven. He was seen wearing a black sweatshirt over an orange hoodie and jeans.

Police have released photos of the suspect at the restaurant.

Anyone with information about the case is advised to call Belmont police at (650) 595-7400.

Photo Credit: Belmont Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Police Warn Public About 'Virtual Kidnapping' Phone Scam]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 06:51:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/phone+screen+generic.jpg

Police in Palo Alto are warning people across the country about a phone scam that is demanding people hand over money in exchange for a loved one supposedly in danger.

The scam involves a caller contacting the victim claiming that a family member or friend was tangled in a car crash, according to police. The caller says that his vehicle was marred in the collision before demanding that the victim of the scam cough up money via an electronic transfer to pay for the damages. If they don't comply, the scammer says the loved one will be kidnapped and hurt.

The caller insists that the victim stay on the phone and complete the money transfer to ensure the safe release of the loved one, according to police. The act of keeping the caller on the phone prevents them from calling police.

Palo Alto police said this specific scam is targeting victims across the United States. 

In order to prevent being scammed, police instruct potential victims to either hang up the phone if they receive a random call from a stranger, contact police or demand proof that their loved one is actually in harm.

Marianna Villaescusa with the Palo Alto Police Department encourages victims who can't bring themselves to hang up to press for specifics.

"What does my loved one look like?" she said. "What are they wearing? Can you describe their car? Can I speak with that person? Just ask very direct questions that will require a direct answer from them."

Los Angeles police and the FBI on Tuesday announced the arrest of a woman believed to be the ringleader of a virtual scam that victimized people in California and three other states. Dating back to 2015, victims paid $114,000 for loved ones who were never actually in danger, according to Los Angeles police. 

To date, no one in Palo Alto has lost money as a result of the scam.

Any victims of the scam are encouraged to contact Palo Alto police at 650-329-2413. People can email anonymous tips to paloalto@tipnow.org or call or text 650-383-8984.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Leaders Focus on Sustainable Growth]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 05:58:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/Close5Header.jpg

Leaders from all nine Bay Area counties on Wednesday will meet to discuss a plan focused on improving housing, jobs and infrastructure in the region by 2040.

The concept, coined "Plan Bay Area 2040," hopes to pack 820,000 more housing units into the Bay Area and add 1.3 million more jobs between now and 23 years down the road. Most of those additions will be made in and around San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, but leaders will also look to expand in smaller cities such as Mountain View, Emeryville and Richmond.

Leaders will also tackle traffic concerns and formulate potential solutions, which could be paid for by $303 billion in expected revenue from federal and local levels over next 20-plus years.

Keeping an eye on the environment, the plan complies with Senate Bill 375, which aims to keep the state on track with sustainable strategies. The bill calls for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to transportation and makes sure to focus on creating adequate housing for the growing population.

The meeting slated to take place in San Francisco at 7 p.m. is expected to welcome representatives from more than 100 Bay Area cities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Menlo Park Police Locate Boy Reported Missing]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:56:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Arlington-police-generic.jpg

A 7-year-old boy reported missing late Tuesday in Menlo Park has been located, police said.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Music Teacher Arrested for Sexually Abusing Palo Alto Teen]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:19:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-25-2017-john-patrick-root.jpg

An after-school music teacher was arrested last week for sexually abusing a 15-year-old Palo Alto student, police said.

Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department learned about the alleged crime around 1:30 p.m. on July 13. An investigation revealed that John Patrick Root, 35, was a part-time music teacher at the School of Rock at 2645 Middlefield Road.

The victim was one of his students and the sexual abuse occurred numerous time over the past several months when the pair at various locations across Palo Alto, according to police.

An arrest warrant issued on July 19 charged the San Francisco resident with multiple counts of felony sex crimes.

The next day, Palo Alto police, with help from San Francisco officers, arrested the suspect. He was taken to the Santa Clara County Main Jail and booked on four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor.

Detectives are working with school officials to determine if Root abused anyone else.

People with more information are asked to call the police department’s 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be sent to paloalto@tipnow.org or via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Photo Credit: Palo Alto Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Arrested in Man's Fatal Stabbing in Burlingame Home]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 22:10:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mia+smith-0724.jpg

A woman was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murder in the fatal stabbing of a man in a Burlingame home, police said Monday.

Mia Smith, 36, of Burlingame was booked into San Mateo County Jail on homicide charges after officers responded to a residence in the 100 block of Myrtle Road about 9:40 p.m. Saturday and found a man suffering from life-threatening stab wounds. The victim, who had not been identified, died at the scene, police said.

Smith also was at the scene and subsequently taken into custody. Smith and the victim knew each other, police said, and there is no threat to public safety.

Anyone with information related the crime should contact the Burlingame Police Department Investigations Bureau.

Photo Credit: Burlingame PD]]>
<![CDATA[Mobile Farmers Market Provides Fresh Produce Around Bay Area]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:51:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/3XwbM7KGDViz1LA7_xgZUWU0icSAdFZpTBmMvEIKGyU.jpg

Farmers markets are not just on Saturdays anymore.

A mobile market called Freshest Cargo just expanded its business into East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, reports Almanac News. Facebook also joined in on the endeavor, partnering with the truck for their new route expansions. The project is a part of the non-profit Fresh Approach, which works to provide local fruits and vegetables to underserved communities.

The non-profit currently has two trucks and runs seven different routes a week across the Bay.

Along with the mobile store, Fresh Approach provides nutritional classes and an incentive program for those shopping with food stamps. This encourages communities to buy fresh produce and look towards local foods for nourishment rather than fast food.

Facebook’s global events, amenities and community engagement manager Alex Gahagan told Almanac News that Freshest Cargo only harvests seasonal crops from local farmers. Along with supporting California businesses, Gahagan also mentioned that the produce is cheaper than what is typically found at neighborhood farmers markets.

None of the food goes to waste either. Almanac News stated that any produced that is not purchased is donated to community food banks.

If looking to support a good cause, check out Freshest Approach’s route schedule on their website.

Photo Credit: Fresh Approach]]>
<![CDATA[Hazmat Response to San Carlos Middle School a False Alarm]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 22:11:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hazmat1.jpg

A hazardous materials team responded to a San Carlos middle school late Sunday for an "unknown haze" in the area, but it turned out to be a false alarm, according to the San Mateo County Fire Department.

The county hazmat team responded just after 8 p.m. to the Central Middle School campus at 828 Chestnut St., with support from Redwood City and Belmont fire crews, fire officials said. No hazardous material was found or detected.

San Mateo County Sheriff's deputies also were at the scene helping set up a perimeter and providing support, a sheriff's official said.

It was not clear exactly what prompted the initial report and response.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Frozen Yogurt Trip Ends With $1 Million Lottery Victory]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 22:03:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-23-17_Lottery_Frozen_Yogurt.jpg

Hot weather can be a pain for some, but for Moises Alonzo-Reyes, a toasty day back in May turned out to change his life.

The Central American native stopped for frozen yogurt in San Mateo on a hot evening and decided to test his luck with a lottery ticket, according to California Lottery. Soon enough, he learned he would be the new owner of $1 million.

"I scratched the ticket in the store and saw that I won," Alonzo-Reyes told the California Lottery. "I couldn’t believe it."

Alonzo-Reyes plans to use his new fortune to move back to Central America and reunite with his family, something he hasn't done in more than 12 years, according to the California Lottery.

The winning ticket was snagged from La Raza Market located at 380 North Ellsworth Ave. in San Mateo, according to the California Lottery.

Photo Credit: AP, NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Family of Missing Man Pleads for Barriers Near Devil's Slide]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 09:40:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MossMissing.jpg

The family of Richard Moss on Saturday clamored for the installation of traffic barriers near Devil's Slide along Highway 1 — the last known location of the missing 22-year-old man who disappeared in May.

A wheel belonging to Moss' car was recently found on the side of a cliff next to Highway 1, meaning that he most likely drove off a portion of the coastal roadway near Pacifica and plummeted into the ocean.

That revelation prompted Dan Moss, Richard's father, and supporters to hold signs along the coast Saturday urging Caltrans to improve safety in the area.

"We want those temporary barriers put up immediately from the north end of Montara Beach where it's straight all the way up to the tunnel," Dan Moss said.

A berm, low brick and some portions of railing line Highway 1 near the Devil's Slide area. Caltrans did send a team to the area under scrutiny to conduct a review this week. That team examined the geology to figure out an appropriate course of action when it comes to possibly installing improved safety measures.

Between 2005 and 2015, at least three cars left the road in the area of Devil's Slide, according to Caltrans.

While Caltrans continues to investigate the area and craft a fix, Dan Moss is left to think about what happened to his son and ponder what he can do to improve safety for drivers nativating along the ocean.

"[Richard] could have been distracted," Dan Moss said. "He could have changed the nob on the radio. We could have dropped his soda. I don't know, could have been anything. We'll never know the answer to that question, but we do know that if a barrier was up, he would be alive."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['Home Alone' Actor John Heard Found Dead in Palo Alto Hotel]]>Sat, 22 Jul 2017 13:41:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JohnHeardFile.jpg

John Heard, the actor famously known for playing the father in the "Home Alone" movie series and a corrupt detective in "The Sopranos," was found dead in a Palo Alto hotel Friday, according to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office. He was 71.

Heard's cause of death is not yet known at this time. An autopsy was completed Saturday morning, but further testing, including toxicology, is needed to determine the exact cause, according to officials.

Based on a preliminary investigation, officials said there is no evidence of foul play.

Dominic Mancini, a talent agent representing Heard, talked to Heard last week and was told that the actor was slated to have a medical procedure done on his back. Mancini later tried to call Heard, but he wasn't able to reach him.

"I will miss John," Mancini said in a statement. "He was truly one of a kind and an amazing talent. His blend of comedy and quirkiness was unmatched."

Heard played Peter McCallister, the father of Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin, in "Home Alone" and "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." He said in later interviews that he sought a movie with kids in it so his son, age 5 at the time, could come to the set and have someone to play with.

After it became a big hit, he was reluctant to revisit the role but his agent convinced him the money was too good to pass up.

"I didn't want to be the 'Home Alone' dad for the rest of my life," he told Yahoo News in 2013.

He was born March 7, 1946, in Washington, D.C. and grew up performing in local theater. One of his memorable early roles was as a disabled Vietnam War veteran in the 1981 film "Cutter's Way."

He was active in film for the next decade, playing Tom Hanks' rival in "Big," actress Geraldine Page's son in "The Trip to Bountiful" and in the movies "The Pelican Brief," ''Beaches," ''Gladiator," ''Rambling Rose" and "After Hours."

He earned an Emmy nomination for playing Vin Makazian in "The Sopranos." Television also kept him busy. He acted in "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," ''Elementary," ''Prison Break," ''Modern Family" and "Entourage." One of his favorite jobs came in the original "Sharknado" television movie in 2013.

"I knew it was going to be a cult classic," he told the Baltimore Media Blog last year. "It's just ridiculous. I thought it would replace people calling me the 'Home Alone' dad."

Fellow actor Michael McKean paid tribute on Twitter Saturday: "RIP John Heard. Never not good."

Heard was married and divorced three times, including briefly to actress Margot Kidder. He had three children.

"John will be very much missed by his family, friends, and his many fans," Tammy Hunt, a manager respenting Heard, said. "John was one of those people that you meet and know immediately that he is one of a kind. A true professional and dear gentleman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stowaway Kitten Found on Truck During Delivery to Shelter]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 09:39:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Pallet+1.JPG

A delivery truck on Friday dropped off an unusual package at a Burlingame animal shelter: a stowaway kitten.

The two-month-old cat has been named Pallet — in honor of where he was found — and is now looking for a forever home.

“Our staff was helping to unload a delivery truck of supplies for our shelter when they came across a tiny kitten that had stowawayed in the truck and was hiding behind the pallets,” said Buffy Martin Tarbox, a spokesperson for the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA.

She continued: "We’ve named the kitten Pallet in honor of the way in which he arrived unexpectedly at our shelter."

It is unknown when and where Pallet made his way onto the truck, but Tarbox said, "we are grateful he was discovered and was in good health."

The shelter's staff members moved the truck's pallets around till they could reach the scared kitten and get it to safety. Pallet, who has since been medically evaluated and found uninjured, was by himself on the truck, Tarbox said.

Pallet has been microchipped and can be adopted from the Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion in Burlingame for $120.

People looking to adopt the cat can visit the shelter from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Photo Credit: Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Nearly $2 Billion Caltrain Electrification Project Kicks Off]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:14:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/224*120/caltrain.PNG

California officials on Friday broke ground on Caltrain's nearly $2 billion electrification project.

California’s High Speed Rail Authority got clearance to proceed with a plan to electrify Caltrain tracks between San Francisco's 4th and King Station to San Jose's Tamien Station. The first electric train is expected to start running in late 2020 or 2021.

Friday's ceremony was attended by Gov. Jerry Brown, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other leaders. 

The state Department of Finance  approved the expenditure of $600 million in voter-approved bond money. The approval follows the Trump administration’s decision to fully fund a $650 million grant for the project.

The peninsula section is the northernmost piece of the $64 billion bullet train that will link San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Caltrain runs diesel locomotives that are more than 30 years old and need to be replaced, officials say.

An estimated 65,000 people ride Caltrain every day, which is more than double the number of commuters in 2005. With its new electric trains, Caltrain can increase capacity by adding up to six new trains in each direction during peak hours. The new cars will still top out at 79 mph, but will be quieter and less polluting.

High-speed rail opponents have filed a lawsuit challenging the electrification project. They argue that state legislation unconstitutionally allows high-speed rail bonds to be spent on Caltrain, violating promises made to voters in 2008.

A number of people with property along the tracks might be forced to give up some or all of their land to make way for the project. Some of them have also raised safety and health concerns about the electromagnetic field that this project will create.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[Nine Years of Zuckerberg's Annual Challenges]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:39:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO1_PaulMarottaGetty.jpgFrom ditching his signature hoodie for a "more serious" look to killing his own dinner, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has been posting annual challenges. The challenges range in in complexity, time commitment and difficulty.

Photo Credit: Paul Marotta / Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Peninsula Neighborhoods Featured as Best Value in SF Metro]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:50:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO4_Woodside.gifSan Francisco’s “10 Best Value Neighborhoods” aren’t in the neighborhoods of the bustling San Francisco, but rather on the Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Realtor.com]]>
<![CDATA[Worker Injured After Fall at Facebook Construction Site]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 20:38:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-18-17_Menlo_Park_Facebook_Fall.jpg

For the second time in a matter of months, a construction worker was injured after falling at the site of an under-construction Facebook building in Menlo Park, according to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

The latest incident occurred Tuesday morning when a worker, who was wearing his safety harness and rigging, fell 10 to 15 feet from the steel framing on the building's fourth floor, according to fire officials.

"Fortunately, the steel worker was wearing his safety harnesses and rigging, which probably helped to prevent significant injury or even death," Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman said in a statement. 

The worker experienced significant pain and suffered both bruises and cuts, fire officials said. He was transported to a nearby hospital.

The worker was walking along a piece of decking or steel when it was dislodged, sending the worker plummeting toward the third flood, according to fire officials. The worker's safety gear managed to catch him just before slamming into the floor.

Using a 107-foot-long aerial ladder, firefighters managed to lower the worker to the ground where an ambulance was waiting, according to fire officials.

Back in April, two other workers were injured at the same building after falling about 20 feet. Those workers were also wearing safety equipment that stopped them before they could actually hit the ground.

"This is the second time we’ve been out here in the last three months for injured steel workers falling from the building," Schapelhouman said in a statement. "That’s not only very unusual, but it deeply concerns me."

Photo Credit: Menlo Fire - Battalion Chief]]>
<![CDATA[California's Highest Home Prices Found in Bay Area]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:30:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-79425812.jpg

Supply and demand economics are escalating housing prices across California, particularly in the Bay Area.

In June, the state’s median home price was $555,150, representing a 0.9 percent increase from May and a whopping 7 percent jump from June 2016, according to a new report by the California Association of Realtors.

In the Bay Area, meanwhile, housing supply cannot keep pace with job growth, hiking up prices.

The local median home price climbed to $908,740, a 1 percent bump from May’s $899,730. But, at just shy of a million dollars, that price tag is 7.9 percent higher than June 2016’s $841,960, outpacing the statewide cost increase.

A closer look at the report's year-over-year sales growth reveals that Santa Clara County’s median home price jumped 12.6 percent to $1,182,500 while Alameda County’s rose 12.1 percent to $900,000. It increased 9.8 percent to $1,433,750 in San Mateo County, 8.8 percent to $1,469,000 in San Francisco County and 5.6 percent to $660,000 in Contra Costa County.

In June, the Inland Empire saw California’s largest year-over-year sales increase at 10.4 percent to $346,380, and was followed by the Los Angeles metro area at 8.3 percent to $500,240, which demonstrates the marked difference between home prices in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the state.

“A lack of available homes for sale continues to be the largest single factor influencing California’s housing market,” said Geoff McIntosh, president of the California Association of Realtors.

In June, San Francisco County also came in first in terms of average price per square foot: $909. It was followed by San Mateo County at $848 and Santa Clara County at $662 per square foot. In comparison, California’s average was much lower at $270, the report said.

The report further shows that the median amount of time a property spends on the market has fallen to 22.4 days in June. One year ago, that was 27.1 days. Last month’s gains come second only to May 2004 when a house was sold after spending 21.9 days on the market, the report said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Wages Can't Keep Up With Housing Costs]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 09:16:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/120916+cash+money+generic.jpg

Wages in Silicon Valley are not keeping up with the Bay Area's housing costs, according to a new report.

Numbers crunched by the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies found that the median apartment rent price in Silicon Valley rose 45.2 percent between 2011 and 2016. During that same time period, the median wage increase was just 14 percent.

Housing opportunities as a whole are also coming up short in the areas surrounding the Bay Area's tech giants. A grand total of 80,285 housing units were added in Silicon Valley between 2007 and 2017, according to the report. In order to keep pace with the swelling population, 138,146 units need to be constructed.

The report also found that Silicon Valley job growth has tapered off. Through the midway point of 2015, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties were together adding approximately 100,000 jobs year over year, according to the report. The year over year gains by May of this year had dropped to 40,000 jobs.

On a positive note, unemployment in the area has steadily declined. The number of people without jobs in the San Francisco area has dropped from 5.2 percent in May 2013 to 2.6 percent in May 2017. Unemployment in San Jose has declined from 6.4 percent to three percent during that same time range.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trial for Murder-For-Hire Suspect Postponed Until January]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:38:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/green-li.jpg

A judge on Monday pushed back to January the trial against a Chinese real estate scion charged with orchestrating the murder of her children's father, prosecutors said.

The San Mateo District Attorney's Office said a judge set a new trial date for Tiffany Li for Jan. 16, 2018, to allow both prosecution and defense more time for discovery.

Li, 31, is charged with directing her boyfriend and another man to kill Keith Green, 27, and dispose of his body, which was found in May with a bullet wound to the neck 80 miles north of the suburban San Francisco mansion he and Li once shared with their two young daughters.

Prosecutors say Li feared she would lose custody of her daughters. Li and the two men were arrested shortly after Green's body was found. She has pleaded not guilty. 

Li's family helped her post $35 million in April, and she is free from jail pending trial. Two men also charged in the case remained jailed, unable to post an extravagant bail amount.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrain to Seize Properties for Electrification Project]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:06:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/A_New_Funding_Source_for_Caltrain.jpg

Space is a commodity in the Bay Area.

In recent years, multimillion-dollar properties have squeezed into every corner of Peninsula cities, including next to the railroad tracks. However, dozens of those owners may be forced to give up small portions or all of their property as Caltrain moves forward on its much-anticipated electrification project.

SamTrans, which has the power of eminent domain, is eyeing some extra square-footage on 55 properties along the South Bay and Peninsula to assist with Caltrain's acquisition.

But it isn’t the lost value that concerned Justyna Cruz, the owner of a Belmont property about to be acquired by the transit system.

"The very small portion of the building that I own is going to be acquired by the electrification system," Cruz said. "I work near that wall 10 hours a day, every day. If I sign, I give away all my rights."

While SamTrans staff reports say its acquisition will not disrupt businesses or any current uses of the property, Cruz says its reports on the health effects from the electromagnetic fields have been inconclusive.

"I don’t want to be working there for 10 years, 20 years and then find out that I have cancer when I take very good care of myself," Cruz said. "I would like to know what can they do to protect my health."

No drugs, alcohol or meat, Cruz means business when it comes to healthy living.

His testimony spurred "no" votes from board supervisors Carole Groom, Karyl Matsumoto and Josh Powell, but the acquisition proposal ultimately passed 6-3 at the advising of Joan Cassman, an attorney with the San Mateo County Transit District.

"This has been a long, thoughtful process," Cassman said. "These property takes by and large are very, very small."

Most of the changes to the properties will be to place poles for the support structure, though several will require an electrical safety zone, which requires the removal of pools, ponds or foliage in the area.

Cassman said the agency would address Cruz's health concerns later with documents already provided to the property owner. However, if negotiations fail, it will seize the property through eminent domain.

"The documents that I’ve received do not specify if there’s any health issues that I should be concerned about," Cruz said.

It isn't the first time Caltrain has expanded into surrounding private property. The transit line has regularly acquired extra space over the course of its nearly 153-year history, with several properties most recently acquired for a Hillsdale Station and other projects on the Peninsula near Michaels Stores, Jersey’s Mike Subs and Big 5.

According to Caltrain, the need for more space to complete the electrification project is critical. Its ridership has nearly tripled in the past decade, with commuters making about 65,000 daily trips, roughly 25 percent over its capacity.

Caltrain argues that electrification is necessary to modernize the diesel-fueled system and provide more services to the growing population’s demand.

<![CDATA[State Pushes Forward Bill to Help Acquire Martin's Beach]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:41:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/khosla-beach1.jpg

The state has moved forward Senate Bill 42 to help acquire the trail to Martin's Beach. The new legislation follows a multi-year legal battle between public groups and Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla.

Formerly known for co-founding Sun Microsystems, Khosla has been involved in a highly-publicized legal battle for the last seven years following his purchase of roughly 53-acres of the surrounding coastal property for $37.5 million. In 2010, the trail to the sandy alcove near Half Moon Bay boasted a gate reading "Beach Closed, Keep Out."

The sign and negotiation efforts for public access to the nearly 80-year-old beach has attracted national attention.

The new bill, introduced by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, sets aside a sub-account to accept funding through donations as well as a contribution from San Mateo County, to acquire roughly 6.4 acres of Khosla's estate through eminent domain.

San Mateo County has said that it will finance the acquisition up to $1 million. Jennifer Savage, the California policy manager for the Surfrider Foundation says she hopes the funds will be enough.

Previous negotiations between the State Lands Commission (SLC) and Khosla failed, due to disputed estimates of worth. While official estimates for the portion of land was valued at $360,000, Khosla demanded $30 million.

If the acquisition requires more than $1 million, Savage said the sub-account will allow private parties to chip in or hold fundraisers.

"Everyone in California has the right to go to the beach," Savage said. "It’s an equalizer. You can be rich, you can be poor, but you can still dig your toes in the sand."

While just a small beach, Savage says what happens at Martin's Beach affects all Californians and sets a precedent for the state's roughly $40 billion coastal economy.

"Beach access is one of the primary reasons that we exist," Savage said.

The group has been involved in a number of lawsuits against landowners restricting public access to beaches, a move it argues is not only wrong, but against the law.

The Coastal Act of 1976, which ensures the public's right to state-owned beaches, has been one of the arguments the group has used against wealthy landowners whose arguments center around privacy and property rights.

While the Surfrider Foundation won its lawsuit against Khosla, which ordered him to open the gates, access remained tricky. Savage said the last six times she's visited this month, the gate has still been in place.

Khosla has since filed an appeal of the court order and has individual lawsuits against the Coastal Commission and the staff of both San Mateo County and the State Lands Commission.

Savage says she sees the legal battle continuing for many years, but Hill's legislation would move forward eminent domain proceedings.

The bill is expected to be brought to the Senate Appropriations Committee for a vote no sooner than August.

Vinod Khosla's representation was unavailable for comment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Distracted Driver Hits Two Kids in South San Francisco]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:15:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-080615.jpg

A distracted driver struck and injured two young children walking across a street in South San Francisco on Sunday afternoon, according to police.

The collision occurred at about 4:55 p.m. in the 200 block of Arroyo Drive near Buri Buri Park.

A family, including two children ages 3 and 5, was crossing the street within the marked crosswalk when a 61-year-old San Francisco resident driving west hit the two children, police said.

The driver was distracted and did not see the family before hitting them. He stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators, police said.

The two children were taken to a hospital for treatment of their injuries. Police did not immediately release their conditions.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is encouraged to call South San Francisco police at (650) 877-8900 and ask for Officer Hart while referring to case number 17-4229.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Pedestrian Struck, Killed Along Highway 101 in SSF]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 05:14:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-17-17_SSF_Crash.jpg

All southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 101 at Grand Avenue in South San Francisco were temporarily blocked Monday morning due to a fatal collision, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

The collision was first reported at 3:12 a.m. and involved a vehicle that struck a pedestrian.

A Sig-alert was issued at 3:59 a.m. because all southbound lanes on U.S. Highway 101 were blocked. All lanes reopened by 5:40 a.m.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[1 Child, 2 Adults Rescued From San Francisco Bay]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 23:04:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/coast-guard-generic.jpg

Two adults and a child were rescued this evening from San Francisco Bay, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

At 6:19 p.m. Coast Guard officials were called after a 12-foot boat capsized, Lt. Andrea Prosser said.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued the three from the water and took them to firefighters with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

Prosser said all three boaters were wearing lifejackets. The three were taken to Stanford Hospital.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sizzling Temps Prompt Heat Advisory, Red Flag Warning]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 13:28:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Heat_Generic_Hot_car.jpg

A scorching Sunday furthered a heat advisory and prompted a red flag warning for several Bay Area locations as the region swelters during another summer heat wave.

A heat advisory implemented Saturday morning for the Diablo Range, Santa Cruz Mountains, Big Sur region, East Bay valleys and North Bay mountains will remain in effect until Sunday at 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures in those regions could reach 105 degrees or more.

Due to blistering temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity, a red flag warning is also in effect for spots above 1,000 feet where wildfires could ignite and spread quickly. Those areas include North Bay hills, East Bay hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Heat sensitive residents are at moderate to high risk of heat-related illnesses and the danger of wildfires will rise with the rising temperatures, according to weather officials.

Cooler temperatures are forecast for early next week.

The hottest temperatures for inland valleys and ridges will be in the North Bay, East Bay, South Bay and in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

In the North Bay, interior valleys could reach the low 100s, according to weather officials.

On East Bay ridges temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s.

The inland areas of the South Bay are forecast to reach the 90s while ridges will be near 100. San Jose will open several cooling centers Sunday across the city.

Inland valleys of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties are expected to be in the 90s. The ridges could reach the low 100s.

Coastal temperatures from the North Bay to Monterey Bay will be lower, weather officials said.

Across the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, temperatures in the hilly and mountainous regions could stay above 70 degrees during the night and early morning hours.

Weather officials said pets and livestock may require extra care during the heat.

The officials suggest residents drink plenty of fluids, stay in air conditioning and out of the sun and check up on neighbors and relatives.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford Professor Maryam Mirzakhani Dies at 40]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:36:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/stanford16.JPG

Maryam Mirzakhani, a Stanford University professor who was the first and only woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics, has died. She was 40.

Mirzakhani, who battled breast cancer, died on Saturday, the university announced. It did not indicate where she died.

In 2014 Mirzakhani was one of four winners of the Fields Medal, which is presented every four years and is considered the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize. She was named for her work on complex geometry and dynamic systems.

"Mirzakhani specialized in theoretical mathematics that read like a foreign language by those outside of mathematics: moduli spaces, Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry," according to the Stanford press announcement. "Mastering these approaches allowed Mirzakhani to pursue her fascination for describing the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces_spheres, doughnut shapes and even amoebas - in as great detail as possible."

The work had implications in fields ranging from cryptography to "the theoretical physics of how the universe came to exist," the university said.

Mirzakhani was born in Tehran, Iran, and studied there and at Harvard University. She joined Stanford as a mathematics professor in 2008.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said her death pained all Iranians, the Tehran Times reported.

"The news of young Iranian genius and math professor Maryam Mirzakhani's passing has brought a deep pang of sorrow to me and all Iranians who are proud of their eminent and distinguished scientists," Zarif posted in Farsi on his Instagram account. "I do offer my heartfelt condolences upon the passing of this lady scientist to all Iranians worldwide, her grieving family and the scientific community."

Mirzakhani originally dreamed of becoming a writer but then shifted to mathematics.

When she was working, Mirzakhani would doodle on sheets of paper and scribble formulas on the edges of her drawings, leading her daughter to describe the work as painting, according to the Stanford statement.

Mirzakhani once described her work as "like being lost in a jungle and trying to use all the knowledge that you can gather to come up with some new tricks, and with some luck you might find a way out."

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne called Mirzakhani a brilliant theorist who made enduring contributions and inspired thousands of women to pursue math and science.

Mirzakhani is survived by her husband, Jan Vondrák, and daughter, Anahita.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Stanford News Service]]>
<![CDATA[Elon Musk Hints at Mystery Website, Internet Goes Wild]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 20:09:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479833756-Musk.jpg

Another day, another tweet from Elon Musk has the Internet in a tizzy.

The chief executive officer of Tesla Motors and SpaceX revealed on social media on Friday that he’s "excited to announce the launch" of a new website called x.com.

“It’s a little verbose right now, but that will be fixed tomorrow,” he continued.

Musk’s tweet picked up 5,740 retweets and 26,235 likes. More than 2,000 comments poured in, some of which he replied to.

Federico Cingolani pointed out that Musk could offer users a more “streamlined experience” by paring down the HTML that initially popped up on the screen.

“Good point,” Musk replied.

“May I change my bio to 'http://x.com UX Advisor?'" Cingolani asked.

“It is true, so fine by me” was Musk’s response.

Another Twitter user, Stan Schroeder, asked Musk if wrote the “very clean code” himself. Musk said he did.

Amused by the back and forth, AJ Joshi wondered if x.com could "possibly be the most valuable domain in the world?"

Musk stayed mum on that.

A visit to the site now reveals a blank white screen with a lower case “x” in the upper left hand side corner.

One Twitter user deemed the latest design “impressive,” while another inquired about Musk’s apparent love for the alphabet X as demonstrated by the Tesla Model X, Space X and now x.com.

Still another said the X is symbolic. “X Marks the Spot”: he is reserving the site until he reveals his true plans for x.com,” Evelyn Janeidy wrote.

“It’s what you don’t say,” Musk tweeted coyly.

Musk and the domain name share history, though.

He started x.com in 1999 as the co-founder of PayPal, but lost the domain when the company went public and he departed, according to Gizmodo.

A few days ago, Musk reacquired x.com from PayPal for an undisclosed amount. Rumors abound, with some speculating that he shelled out an eight-figure sum. No word on Musk about that.

Stay tuned.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Heat Advisory in Effect as Bay Area Boils]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 18:36:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-74094872.jpg

A heat advisory for the Diablo Range, Santa Cruz Mountains and Big Sur region has been expanded to the East Bay valleys and North Bay Mountains, National Weather Service officials said Friday.

The advisory is in effect from 8 a.m. Saturday to 9 p.m. Sunday for all five locations where temperatures could reach 105 degrees or more.

Heat sensitive residents are at moderate to high risk of heat-related illnesses and the danger of wildfires will rise with the rising temperatures, according to weather officials.

Cooler temperatures are forecast for early next week.

The hottest temperatures for inland valleys and ridges will be in the North Bay, East Bay, South Bay and in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

In the North Bay, interior valleys could reach the low 100s, according to weather officials.

On East Bay ridges temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s.

The inland areas of the South Bay are forecast to reach the 90s while ridges will be near 100. San Jose will open several cooling centers Sunday across the city.

Inland valleys of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties are expected to be in the 90s. The ridges could reach the low 100s.

Coastal temperatures from the North Bay to Monterey Bay will be lower, weather officials said.

Across the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, temperatures in the hilly and mountainous regions could stay above 70 degrees during the night and early morning hours.

Weather officials said pets and livestock may require extra care during the heat.

The officials suggest residents drink plenty of fluids, stay in air conditioning and out of the sun and check up on neighbors and relatives.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lamborghini Erupts Into Flames, Damaging Chevron Gas Station]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 15:33:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/19959352_10212535672080741_100207098183345504_n.jpg

A red Lamborghini on Thursday exploded into flames at a Chevron gas station in Redwood City, sparking a fire that also damaged part of the building.

The Fire Department tweeted around 9 p.m. that the blaze at 710 Woodside Road had been extinguished. 

No one was injured, but roads were closed due to the fire, which caused traffic delays.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Further details were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Ivan Delgado
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<![CDATA[Tech Companies Join Fight Against Net Neutrality Limits]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 23:46:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/net+neutrality+protest+open+net+utility+comcast+opposes+generic+pbj.jpg

Netflix, Google, and Facebook are on a mission: To fight the federal government.

Silicon Valley companies, both big and small, are battling for the future of net neutrality, the idea that Internet content should be open anytime, anywhere, at high speed.

The issue is front and center here in the valley, now that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is trying to repeal the current rule protecting net neutrality. It goes to a vote later this year.

So, tweets, posts, and promises of protection have been flying around the ‘net to protest Pai’s plan.

In the Menlo Park headquarters of AnchorFree, David Gorodyansky is working as well. The company's co-founder and CEO showed NBC Bay Area the Hotspot Shield, a download that will keep your surfing habits away from your internet service providers, so they can’t slow down your progress, which is the worry companies have about net neutrality going away.

“As a user,” Gorodyansky says, “your YouTube videos are gonna be slower, your Netflix movies are gonna be slower” without net neutrality. So his company is joining the fight, to protect your right to surf freely.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of this station, and is one of the internet service providers often mentioned as a supporter on limits to net neutrality.

Scott surfs on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Scientists Release Timeline on Rising Sea Level Impact]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 18:02:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thumbnail_sealevel.jpg

A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) provides a timeline for when sea level rising will cause massive flooding.

The findings show a handful of Bay Area cities some 50 or 100 years from now could be flooded every other week.

While erosion along ocean shore properties has been an ongoing topic of concern, the study found the largest impact in the Bay Area will be from frequent flooding of bayfront communities.

By 2100, the group predicts both Alameda and San Mateo counties will be considered "inundated," defined as an area where 10 percent or more of the usable land floods at least 26 times per year. 

Climate Scientist Kristina Dahl, who co-authored the report, said that while most of the effects will be seen mid-century, several local areas will begin to experience flooding within two decades.

"For hundreds of cities around the country, there is a limited window to start preparing for sea level rise," Dahl said.

Currently, the UCS estimates about 90 communities in Louisiana and Maryland are considered inundated.

However, Dahl notes the timeline is a bit more forgiving for the West Coast as the seas continue to rise at a much slower rate than on the East and Gulf Shores. 

"When the East and Gulf Coasts have a combined 270 to 360 communities...the West Coast has only two or three," Dahl concluded.

Dahl says that while the Bay Area has been a leader in innovative projects to study sea level rise, it has been more difficult implementing change in other regions.

"We have found in the course of our work that the basic acceptance that the sea level is rising is a challenge," Dahl said. "That does a disservice to their planning efforts."

In East Palo Alto, City Manager Carlos Martinez said the city is already teaming up with neighboring communities to find a solution. He said the environmental engineers are designing a levee or sea wall that would protect several cities along the Peninsula.

The projects currently underway in Bay Area cities are long term, and Dahl expects it may be another decade before results from these projects can conclude its effectiveness in mitigating the expected damage from sea level rise.

The full report is available here.

Michelle Roberts contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[A Peek Inside Luxury Homes of the Bay Area]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 20:11:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO11_Homes.jpgWe took a look inside some of the high-profile homes around the Bay Area with unbelievable views and jaw-dropping price tags:

Photo Credit: Realtor.com]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Administration Delays 'Startup Visas']]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 19:37:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17189303351169.jpg

Will Silicon Valley's job growth be put on hold?

That's the fear some high-tech leaders have now that the Trump Administration has officially delayed a rule that would allow some foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States and build their companies.

The development is exactly what startup executives did not want. They say it will essentially kill startup visas for entrepreneurs. Execs also argue it is entrepreneurs from other countries that have made Silicon Valley what it is today.

Almost everywhere you look in Silicon Valley you see the work of entrepreneurs who immigrated to the United States, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin from Russia.

Now the Trump Administration plans to at least delay a new startup visa, slated to take effect next week.

Tech analyst Tim Bajarin calls the move short sighted.

"Silicon Valley wouldn't be where it is if we didn't have the talent coming from other countries to help bolster what we're doing today," Bajarin said.

Bajarin said when startups founded by immigrants are successful, it is not just high-tech workers that benefit, but all the Americans hired as support staff. He also said the United States just does not have enough highly skilled engineers to meet the current demands.

Some fear the restriction could destroy Silicon Valley's competitive edge.

"Obviously any delay in doing this would have a detrimental impact certainly in the short term and long term we want Silicon Valley to be attractive for talented people to come in and do work," tech employee Riaz Raihan said.

Some said there are plenty of other countries ready to welcome immigrant entrepreneurs with open arms and killing the new immigration rule may give them the chance they need to lure valuable talent.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci]]>
<![CDATA[3 East Bay Vegetation Fires Being Investigated as Suspicious]]>Sat, 08 Jul 2017 09:15:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-8-2017-deer-complex.jpg

Fire officials on Saturday are investigating three vegetation fires, spanning nearly 250 acres near Brentwood, as suspicious.

The early morning fires in and around Contra Costa County's Round Valley Regional Park were collectively named the Deer Complex Fire.

The first blaze, which was threatening one structure, was reported just after 2 a.m., according to Brian Helmick, fire chief of the East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

While firefighters were trying to get a handle on the flames, two other grass fires were called in. All the fires were in different spots around the intersection of Deer Valley and Balfour roads, a dispatcher said. 

"With three incidents of this magnitude close to each other without having any weather event, thunder or lightning, it is considered suspicious and is under investigation," Helmick said.

Two of the fires are completely contained, while a third is at 80 percent containment as of Saturday evening, according to Cal Fire. No injuries or evacuations were reported in the impacted rural area, Helmick added.

About 200 firefighters from Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Cruz Counties, were deployed to the fires, according to dispatch. 

The National Weather Service has instated a heat advisory across most of the Bay Area until 9 p.m. Saturday. Temperatures inland are likely to reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit in Santa Rosa, 103 degreees Fahrenheit in Concord, 102 degrees Fahrenheit in Livermore and 93 degrees Fahrenheit in San Jose. 

Coastal areas will stay a bit cooler with 71 degrees Fahrenheit expected in San Francisco, 83 degrees Fahrenheit in Santa Cruz and 62 degrees in Half Moon Bay, forecasters say. 

A Red Flag Warning is also in effect through 9 p.m. Saturday, indicating that the weather is ideal for fires to spark and spread, according to the National Weather Service. The affected zone includes the East Bay hills and Diablo Range. Winds are expected to range from 10-20 mph and could even reach 25 mph, but will like decrease in strength later in the day. Humidity at 15 to 30 percent is already low, but it could plunge to single digits in the afternoon. 

Firefighters in the Bay Area are stretched thin as they work to extinguish fires on multiple fronts: the 2,000-acre Wall Fire in Butte County; the 2,035-acre Winters Fire in Yolo County; the 2,940-acre Hawk Fire in Kern County; and the 36-acre Banderilla Fire north of Hayward in Mariposa County, to name a few. 

People are being urged to take every possible precaution in the heat. Here are some ways to beat the heat:

  • Ensure that cool drinking water is available.
  • Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often; do not wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
  • Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.

Older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during peak heat hours. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as cooling centers, shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.
  • Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water. If you’re on a special diet that limits liquids, check with your doctor for information on the amount of water to consume.
  • Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect against sun damage. And remember to use sun screen and to wear sunglasses.

Infants and children:

  • It is illegal to leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle (California Vehicle Code Section 15620).
  • Infants and young children can get dehydrated very quickly. Make sure they are given plenty of cool water to drink.
  • Keep children indoors or shaded as much as possible.
  • Dress children in loose, lightweight, and light colored clothing.


  • Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked or open.
  • Outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.
  • Do not leave pets outside in the sun.
  • Pets should not be left in a garage as garages can get very hot due to lack of ventilation and insulation.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that roughly 50 homes had been evacuated. No evacuations were caused by the Deer Complex Fire. (July 8, 2017)

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Morning Recovery: New Drink Aims to Cure Hangovers]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 17:40:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Thumbnail_MorningRecovery.jpg

Throbbing headaches, stomach pain, light and sound sensitivity usually don’t make for good business – except when it comes to Sisun Lee.

The former Tesla and Facebook employee has spent months throwing back drinks in the name of research ahead of his new product’s release.

Morning Recovery, the hangover drink that hit its $25,000 goal on Indiegogo in just 10 minutes after its launch Wednesday, is not entirely new.

Lee picked up the idea after a visit back to his home country in South Korea last year, where its $125 million per year hangover industry supplies convenience stores and markets with everything from herbal remedies to chocolate-covered ice cream bars, all aimed at curing the dreaded hangover.

"It’s actually a big market there," Lee said. "All my friends were trying [hangover drinks]. When I was going out, I said, 'Great, let me try this.' The next morning I woke up feeling great, so that really sparked my curiosity to learn more about it."

After researching what goes into the process, the Mountain View-based engineer enlisted the help of friends and advisor, Dr. Jing Liang, at the Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

The group created a nutritional supplement as a side hobby over the span of a few months based on Liang's research on dihydromyricetin, or DHM, which is a component of herbal medicine and a key ingredient in Lee’s hangover drink.

"In the beginning, I tested it on myself, my friends, my roommates — at one point when I thought it worked really well for me, I had to give it to some of my friends," Lee said.

As a former Facebook worker, his beta group became hundreds of his former tech workers.

"I approached them and said, 'Hey, we have this unlabeled product that presumably helps you the next morning – would you mind trying this after you go out and party?'" Lee said.

After getting feedback from the close-knit network, he put out a general inquiry online for more testers and received thousands of willing participants overnight.

He says that while the drink is currently an FDA-compliant nutritional supplement, Lee sees it expanding from here.

His team at 82 Labs, which did the research behind Morning Recovery, is working on more hangover solutions as well as certification as an FDA-approved drug. 

"Within 82 labs, our goal is to solely focus on solving hangovers," Lee said. "When we think about hangovers, it’s actually quite a big economic problem.

In 2010, the Center for Disease Control attempted to put a number on the loss to the U.S. economy each year calculating it to be around $179 billion, an estimate based, in part, on no-show employees or workers reportedly too hungover to work.

"This is a massive problem and [hangover drinks are] our single focus," Lee said. "I’m not here promoting drinking more alcohol, but I do believe people deserve the freedom to go out, kick back and have a good time to without having to sacrifice their morning the next day."

Lee is currently working with distributors to get the drink offered at convenience stores and markets, but the drink is currently available as a 12-pack online for $45. It is designed to be consumed while or immediately after consuming alcohol.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Tech Giants on Indeed's 'Best Places to Work' List]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 14:31:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-457215850.jpg

Tech titans in the Bay Area are doing right by their employees.

Or so says Indeed's 2017 list of best places to work.

Coming in first place is San Francisco-based Salesforce, an enterprise software company that was founded in 1999 and today employs more than 10,000 people. 

Why? Due to Salesforce's "culture of 'Ohana' (which means family) and its spirit of philanthropy," according to Indeed, a search engine for jobs. In fact, CEO Marc Benioff has tapped his Golden Retriever, Koa, as the company's Chief Love Officer.

Salesforce employees have also praised the benefits and work-life balance they enjoy. 

Airline companies, Southwest, of Texas, and Jetblue, of New York, came in second and third on Indeed's list, which is based on 15 million reviews by employees of Fortune 500s.

Not surprisingly, Facebook and Google rounded out the top five positions.

Located in Menlo Park, Facebook has between 5,000 and 10,000 workers, one of whom said, "They give you opportunities to become a better version of yourself, which gives them the return of a happy, more proficient employee."

Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View, has a team that is 10,000 people strong and yet "continues to inspire its employees," Indeed said in a blog post. 

"There might be thousands of people working at Google; however, you have a voice and you will be heard," said one employee who works at the tech company that was created in 1998.

The final Silicon Valley behemoth to crack the top 10 was Cupertino's Apple, which shares eighth place with Nike.

Here are 20 of the best places to work in 2017:

  1. Salesforce
  2. Southwest Airlines
  3. Jetblue Airways Corporation
  4. Facebook
  5. Google
  6. CenterPoint Energy
  7. DTE Energy
  8. Nike 
  9. Apple
  10. The Walt Disney Company
  11. Delta 
  12. Costco Wholesale
  13. Discovery Communications, Ltd.
  14. Johnson & Johnson
  15. Chevron
  16. Fannie Mae
  17. Bristol-Myers Squibb
  18. Exelon
  19. Viacom
  20. Starbucks

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Daly City House Fire Injures 1 Person, Displaces 5]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 11:24:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-6-2017-DALY-CITY-FIRE.jpg

Five people were displaced and one suffered smoke inhalation injuries in a residential structure fire in Daly City early Thursday morning, according to firefighters.

The fire was reported at 2:22 a.m. in the 700 block of Higate Drive, according to the North County Fire Authority.

A total of six fire companies responded to the two-story single-family residence. As they arrived on scene, there was smoke coming from the front and back of the structure, and after entering the structure they found fire in the rear.

The flames were contained to the first floor, but the second floor sustained heavy smoke damage. Fire officials told NBC Bay Area they suspect the fire sparked in a converted unit at the back of the home's first floor. That has yet to be confirmed.

Crews remained on scene for more than two hours to make sure the fire didn't ignite again.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Animal Shelters Packed With Frightened Runaways After July 4]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 10:34:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Animal_Shelters_Swell_Following_Fourth_of_July.jpg

Bay Area animal shelters are packed with animals that were scared by fireworks and ran away over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. 

Twenty-one animals were found wandering the streets of San Mateo County, and as of Thursday, 17 of them are still waiting to go home, according to the Peninsula Humane Society & Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"We believe many of the animals that came into our shelter fled their homes after becoming frightened by fireworks and other festivities associated with the Fourth of July," PHS/SPCA spokeswoman Buffy Martin Tarbox said.

It's more of the same in Sonoma County. 

Animal control officers brought in 16 strays from Sunday to Tuesday — and that number could rise. 

Of them, nine dogs ended up at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, which was nearly filled to capacity. Two dogs have since been reunited with their families.

California law requires shelters to keep found animals for four days before making them available for general adoption.

Any San Mateo county residents who are missing their pets are advised to look for them at the Coyote Point facility in San Mateo at 12 Airport Blvd., between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays or 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Do's and Don'ts for Launching Fireworks on the Peninsula]]>Mon, 03 Jul 2017 21:11:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-495864642.jpg

San Bruno and Pacifica are the last remaining places to legally launch your own fireworks on the Peninsula. But following fireworks bans around Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, the Fourth of July brings large crowds annually to show off their patriotic pride in these cities. 

>> Fourth of July Bay Area Events Guide

Here are both cities' regulations on fireworks use on the Fourth of July, including designated places safe for launching "safe and sane" fireworks:


  • Beaches: On Pacifica's Linda Mar Beach, "safe and sane" fireworks are allowed immediately west of the north parking lot to just 10 feet east of the tide. This area stretches from markers immediately north of Taco Bell to the north end of the parking lot. On South Pacifica State Beach and South Rockaway Beach, fireworks are allowed on the asphalt areas of the parking lots. At all other beaches, fireworks are prohibited, and those caught with illegal fireworks will be cited and can be sentenced up to one year in jail. 
  • Hours of Use: From noon to 11 p.m. on June 28 and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. from June 29 to July 5, it is legal to shoot fireworks off at designated locations.
  • Permissions: You must obtain permission from homeowners that you are shooting fireworks over and stay within 10 feet of any home. Fireworks are also not allowed in city parks. The city also requires a permit from its fire chief. 
  • Adults-Only: Those launching fireworks must be at least 18 years old.

To report individuals using, possessing or selling illegal fireworks, the city asks that you call its non-emergency Pacifica Police dispatch line at (650) 738-7314.

San Bruno

  • Hours of Use: Fireworks are legal from noon to 9 p.m. from June 28 to July 3 and noon to 11 p.m. on the Fourth of July.  
  • Permissions: San Bruno has banned fireworks on public property such as parks and schools as well as private open areas such as parking lots or vacant property without the consent of the owner. Similar to Pacifica, fireworks are also required to be launched at least 10 feet away from any residence, building or structure. Anyone found using illegal fireworks within the city limits will be fined up to $1,000. 
  • View more guidance on which fireworks are allowed on the city website.

To report individuals using, possessing or selling illegal fireworks, the city asks that you call (650) 616-7100.

Photo Credit: Ian Forsyth / Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Drone Could One Day Provide Global Internet Access]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 15:15:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-520677392.jpg

A solar-powered drone backed by Facebook that could one day provide worldwide internet access has quietly completed a test flight in Arizona after an earlier attempt ended with a crash landing.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's long-term plan for the drone, called Aquila, is to have it and others provide internet access to 4 billion people around the world who are currently in the dark.

"When Aquila is ready, it will be a fleet of solar-powered planes that will beam internet connectivity across the world," he wrote Thursday on Facebook.

The drone's second flight was completed in May at Yuma Proving Ground, The Yuma Sun reported.

The drone flew with more sensors, new spoilers and a horizontal propeller stopping system to help it better land after the crash in December. It was in the air for an hour and 46 minutes and elevated 3,000 feet (910 meters).

The drone flew with the engineering team watching a live stream from a helicopter chasing the drone, said Martin Luis Gomez, Facebook's director of aeronautical platforms.

The team was thrilled with the outcome, Gomez said.

"The improvements we implemented based on Aquila's performance during its first test flight made a significant difference in this flight," he said.

The drone weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) and has a longer wingspan than a Boeing 747.

The drone runs mostly on autopilot, but there are manned ground crews to manage certain maneuvers.

"We successfully gathered a lot of data to help us optimize Aquila's efficiency," Zuckerberg said. "No one has ever built an unmanned airplane that will fly for months at a time, so we need to tune every detail to get this right."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Speeding Driver Dies in Solo-Vehicle Crash in Daly City: PD]]>Sat, 01 Jul 2017 15:13:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0701-2017-DC-Ax.jpg

A motorist who sped down Mission Street near John Daly Boulevard in Daly City at excessive rates of speed died in a single-vehicle collision early Saturday, police said.

A police officer tried to conduct a traffic stop on a speeding vehicle just before 4 a.m., Daly City police Sgt. Ron Harrison said. The vehicle didn't stop, but continued going southbound on Mission, Harrison said.

Because the motorist was driving so fast, the officer didn't chase him, Harrison said. The officer found the vehicle shortly afterward in the 7400 block of Mission Street, where it had become involved in a collision, according to Harrison.

The man who was driving the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, Harrison said. It's not certain what the vehicle hit, though there is a large center median the driver may have run into, according to Harrison.

Further details were unavailable.

Police are investigating the incident and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Patrick Dolan at 650-238-7962.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[People Asked Not to Set Off Fireworks to Limit Air Pollution]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 10:41:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fireworkssdsan.jpg

Officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District are asking San Francisco Bay Area residents to avoid setting off their own fireworks this Fourth of July to limit air pollution.

The smoke, dust and soot from fireworks can trigger asthma attacks, coughing, wheezing and eye irritation.

People who are sensitive to air pollution such as those with respiratory conditions, heart or lung disease and children and the elderly should limit their exposure to fireworks.

Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive director, suggests families go to a professional fireworks display instead of setting off their own.

Because of the use of fireworks on July 4, air in the Bay Area often exceeds federal air quality standards in the evening of the Fourth and on July 5.

Even safe and sane fireworks contain metal salts, which create excessive levels of smoke.

Fireworks also increase the risk of wildfires, which add to air pollution.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Stepping Up Boating Safety Patrols]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 10:30:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/coast-guard-generic.jpg

The U.S. Coast Guard is beefing up boating safety patrols throughout the Bay Area this Fourth of July holiday weekend to make sure boating under the influence laws are enforced, agency officials said.

As part of a national effort called Operation Dry Water, members of the Coast Guard will be boarding boats in the San Francisco Bay and elsewhere to check for boating under the influence, a spokeswoman said.

"The Coast Guard is going to be out there making sure everybody is safe on the water," said Coast Guard Lt. Megan Mervar. She said boating under the influence, or boating while intoxicated, is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state, according to the Coast Guard.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vallejo-Fairfield is Hottest Real Estate Market in U.S.]]>Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:18:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/200478945-001.jpg

The most in-demand housing market in the United States is in the Bay Area.

No shock there, right?

But you may be surprised by where it is: the Vallejo-Fairfield market in Solano County.

A Realtor.com tool called the Hotness Index measures where homes are selling the fastest. In that part of the North Bay, properties sell within 31 days. In May, a single-family home in Vallejo was able to fetch $365,000, according to the Mercury News.

Overall, the Bay Area is well represented among the 20 hottest real estate markets in the nation, which also reflects the housing crisis that grips this part of Northern California, the Mercury News reported.

Housing supply is at a historic low in the Bay Area, while housing prices continue to climb. The combination has sent commuters scurrying further away to more affordable locations, which are still within reach of the jobs-rich area.

The second market on the Hotness Index is the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara is No. 9, the Mercury News reported.

The Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade metro area came in fourth place, Santa Rosa is 17th, Yuba City is the country’s 19th hottest market, and Modesto rounded out the list at No. 20.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Highway 92 Reopens in Both Directions After Three-Car Crash]]>Fri, 30 Jun 2017 09:03:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/crime+scene+tape+stock.jpg

A three-car accident early Friday closed Highway 92 in both directions.

The crash occurred near 12000 San Mateo Road, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office tweeted around 7:40 a.m. No injuries were reported.

The blocked lanes reopened around 8:15 a.m., but drivers were told to expect major delays.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Urge Firework Safety as July 4 Approaches]]>Fri, 30 Jun 2017 07:40:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N430A+FIREWORK+SAFETY+VO+-+000019211.jpg

While people around the United States celebrate the July 4 holiday, firefighters and first-responders will be hard at work.

Firefighters warn revelers to not only be careful at fireworks shows, but also to only buy legal fireworks that are referred to as Safe and Sane. That means sparklers, snaps and smoke balls are permitted, but fireworks with aerial effects, such as firecrackers and roman candles, are not.

People caught in possession of illegal fireworks could face penalties, including jail time. San Jose police recently confiscated more than 2,700 pounds of illegal fireworks from people, who they believe planned to sell them.

Here's a full list of cities where Safe and Sane fireworks are permitted:

  • San Bruno
  • Pacifica
  • Union City
  • Newark
  • Dublin
  • Gilroy
  • Petaluma
  • Sebastopol
  • Rohnert Park
  • Cloverdale

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pit Bull Recovering After Found Badly Injured in Palo Alto]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:24:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0628-2017-PitBull.jpg

The Peninsula Humane Society is asking for help following a disturbing case of animal abuse.

Police in Palo Alto last month found a 9-month-old pit bull badly injured and running in the street.

The pitbull, named Gabby, had an extremely swollen face from wire or cord that was tied around her month.

"We were able to get her mended and fixed up and treat her," Peninsula Human Society spokesperson Buffy Martin Tarbox said. "And now she's available for adoption."

Gabby still has a scar around her neck and face, but other than that she is healthy and curious.

Investigators with the Peninsula Humane Society said they have been reaching out to neighbors in the area where she was found to hopefully get some answers that could potentially help other animals that may be in danger.

"It's not just about this dog, but this person could abuse another dog as well," Tarbox said. "We just don't have any information to go on."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Penisula Humane Society at 650-340-7022. Gabby is up for adoption at the adoption center in Burlingame.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Robbery Suspect Steals Marijuana, Evades Police in Belmont]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:16:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-crop.jpg

A man who tried to sell marijuana at a shopping center in Belmont Tuesday evening was attacked and injured by an armed suspect who fled the scene, police said.

At 6:25 p.m., Belmont police responded to multiple calls of a physical fight in the south parking lot of the Carlmont Shopping Center at 1049 Alameda de las Pulgas. When officers arrived, they found a man with injuries that were not considered life threatening.

According to police, an investigation revealed that the victim, a 22-year-old Belmont man, went to the shopping center's parking lot to sell marijuana.

During the transaction, he was pistol-whipped by the male suspect who then stole his backpack, which contained marijuana, and fled the scene.

The victim was later treated at the scene by paramedics, police said.

Police arrived and began to search for the suspect, who was located around 7 p.m. in the 1100 block of Ladera Way. A foot pursuit ensued and the suspect fled into Belmont Creek, running west into a culvert that goes underneath the shopping center, police said.

Police issued a shelter-in-place advisory for the area. Officers searched for almost two hours, but did not find the suspect, police said.

The shelter-in-place advisory was lifted at 8:15 p.m.

According to police, the suspect is described as an Asian or Hispanic male, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160 pounds, with medium complexion, black curly hair and a tattoo on the left side of his neck. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and red shorts and carrying a black backpack.

The suspect was also armed with a semi-automatic handgun, police said.

According to police, the suspect was wearing additional clothing during the robbery, which they believe was discarded in the area of Ladera Way. Police believe he may have discarded a dark-colored hoodie, light brown or orange sweatpants and a brown ski mask.

Residents in the area of the 1100 block of Ladera Way are asked to check their yards for these items. If found, residents are urged not to touch the items, and to call police.

Police said this was not a random attack, but that the victim was specifically targeted for the marijuana.

 The case is under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Belmont police at (650) 595-7400 or police@belmont.gov.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Fourth of July Festivities Around the Bay Area]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:29:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-71370037.jpg

[Editor's Note: For our extensive list of dozens of events taking place around the Bay Area, click here]

The Fourth of July has always been accompanied by flashy fireworks, barbeques and parades. While this year’s Independence Day falls on a Tuesday, families still have a plethora of events they can attend. Here are some of the top celebrations to attend in the Bay Area this year:

East Bay

4th of July at the Berkeley Marina: Berkeley’s Fourth of July party is an all-day affair. Beginning at noon, attendees will be able to enjoy live music, photo booths and free boat rides from the city’s canoe racing club. There will also be festivities for children with an Adventure Playground, zip line, and petting zoo. A spectacle of fireworks will wrap up the day at 9:35 p.m. by the Berkeley Pier.

4th of July Backyard BBQ: If the most exciting part of this American holiday for you is the food, head over to the Backyard BBQ at Jack London Square in Oakland. This is a free event filled with the best barbeque. Last year, over 10,000 turned up for the party and were able to enjoy local vendors and beer gardens. The event runs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., leaving plenty of time to find fireworks for the night.

Red, White and Blues Festival: The Alameda County Fair will be hosting the annual Red, White and Blues festival for the Fourth of July. Families at the fairgrounds on Tuesday will be able to soak in the sweet soulful tunes of different jazz and blues musicians. Fireworks will also follow around 9:30 p.m. Be sure to buy a ticket early as all sales will desist after 6 p.m.

Green, Red, White and Blue Celebration: Albany’s celebration will be officially held between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Early birds who arrive between 9 a.m. though can grab a pancake breakfast at the Veteran’s Memorial Building. Once the event has begun, people will have the chance to relive their childhood with classic family fun. Make sure to also check out the Mustache and Beard Contest to see the best hipster looks.


Redwood City’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration: Redwood City is celebrating their 150th Anniversary this year and has planned a day packed with events. Beginning in the morning, community members can either join a 5K run at 8 a.m. or enjoy a plate of pancakes with the Redwood City Fire Department. Following, attendees can check out Northern California’s largest Independence Day Parade which will be hosted by the appointed Grand Marshal, Kenny Ortega. The day will continue with a street fair and fireworks.

Foster City’s Fourth of July Celebration and Festival: Foster City will be hosting their own Independence Day party at Leo Ryan Park. The admission will be free for all who attend. Festivities will run from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., concluding with a fireworks show by the lagoon at 9:30 p.m. Along with the usual events, there will also be a Family and Dog Parade. Prizes will be given to families and pets for Most Patriotic, Most Unique, Best group and Best Overall.

Palo Alto’s Chili Cook-Off: Families will have to push forward their best cooks for Palo Alto’s 36th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Summer Festival. Competitors can win a cash prize if deemed to be the best chili cooker. Of course, those who can’t handle the kitchen heat will still enjoy the day munching away on Independence Day delicacies.

San Francisco

Fourth of July Pub Crawl: Starting at 4 p.m., beer lovers will be able to check in to Bar None for a pub crawl through San Francisco. Each bar will be holding $3 drink specials until midnight. Those who would rather trade a beer for a bratwurst can also take part in the annual hot dog eating contest. The form to sign up can be found here.

July 4th Celebration at the Pier: The Fourth of July is built off a foundation of good music and a frenzy of fireworks. Pier 39 will have both to enjoy. Live perfromances will be going throughout the day, including one from the cover band Tainted Love - The Best of the 80s Live! at 5 p.m. Fireworks will be put on by the City and County of San Francisco, guaranteeing a spectacular display.

Dockside Fireworks Viewing Aboard SS Jeremiah O’Brien: Head to Pier 45 in Fisherman’s Wharf to board a World War II ship and enjoy the fireworks on the water. Tickets can be purchased either online or in person. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m., three hours before the show.

South Bay

4th of July Dinner and Rooftop Fireworks Viewing: For a more reserved Independence Day, book at spot at Scott’s Seafood fireworks viewing party. $80 will get guests a four-course meal and sparkling wine. Such a setup will also make for a romantic evening. Be sure to request either outdoor or window seating when reserving a spot.

Milpitas 4th of July Celebration: Escape the July heat at the Milpitas Independence Day celebration. Families can make their way over to the sports center for a pool party that will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be free for all who attend, although space is limited. The night will close with the city’s "Red White and Boom" Fireworks and Concert. Attendees will be able to enjoy the music of The House Rockers with a traditional fireworks show.

San Francisco Symphony: The San Francisco Symphony will be moving to the Shoreline Amphitheatre for the night. Here, conductor Edwin Outwater will weave together a procession of music into the night’s Fourth of July firework spectacular. Some songs that will be performed include “Somebody to Love” and the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back.

North Bay

Sausalito 4th of July Festivities: The City of Sausalito will be putting on a handful of patriotic events. Along with a parade in the morning, attendees will also be able to enjoy a picnic accompanied by food, tug-of-war, and an egg toss. A Journey tribute band will also perform prior to the evening’s fireworks.

Independence Day Wine Train: For a sophisticated Fourth of July Experience, check out Napa Valley’s Wine Train. Those on board will be able to watch the Yountville fireworks. Travelers will also be served a gourmet dinner and wine on their 3.5 hour journey. Tickets are $201 and can be booked by phone.


If you're looking to celebrate the 4th of July outside of the Bay Area, take a trip to Squaw Valley for the rare chance to shred the slopes in July.

Here's a full list of cities where Safe and Sane fireworks are permitted:

  • San Bruno
  • Pacifica
  • Union City
  • Newark
  • Dublin
  • Gilroy
  • Petaluma
  • Sebastopol
  • Rohnert Park
  • Cloverdale

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Palo Alto Leaders Consider Big Jump in Cost of Parking]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:01:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pa+parking-0627.jpg

Downtown Palo Alto parking, already a harrowing and costly endeavor, is about to get more expensive.

City leaders are considering a plan that would increase the cost of downtown parking permits by more than 50 percent.

Neighbors aren't happy about the idea.

"I don’t want to work for parking," said Miguel Lopez, a server at Coconuts Caribbean restaurant. "It doesn’t make sense for anyone."

Lopez said he can’t afford the annual parking permit, so he parks in free spots on the street.But in order to avoid getting citations, he has to move his car every two hours.

"Five-minute break, and move my car," he said. "Sometimes it takes longer because I can’t find parking anywhere."

The Palo Alto City Council on Tuesday night discussed the city budget proposal, which includes the parking permit hike. If it's approved, the permit for the garage below City Hall would jump from $466 a year to $730.

Planning Director Hillary Gitelman said the extra revenue would be used to fund transportation-related programs.

"Sounds like a big number, but if you look at the cost to park on a daily basis, it’s pretty minimal," Gitelman said. She also noted the price is closer to what other Bay area cities charge.

Redwood City charges $1,200 a year for a downtown garage permit, and a spot in San Francisco will cost more than $3,000.

Some in Palo Alto hope the parking price hike also will price a few people out of the market, reducing traffic.

"A whole lot of cars and no parking spaces," resident Boris Pleshakov said.

Others fear the added cost will encourage small businesses to move out.

"When you have five or six employees, that’s a lot of money," Stuart Esbit said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Group Files Paperwork to Recall Judge in Brock Turner Case]]>Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:02:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-26-17_Recall_Persky.jpg

Dozens of Santa Clara County leaders on Monday announced the filing of paperwork designed to recall the embattled judge at the center of the Brock Turner sexual assault case.

Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky has been blasted by critics across the nation in the past for bias in sexual assault cases involving collegiate athletes, notably Turner. In response, community leaders filed notice of intent papers in hopes of eventually dismissing the judge from the bench.

"Women have had enough of rape culture," Michele Dauber, Stanford law professor and chairperson of the recall campaign, said. "We are ready to take action and recall this judge."

Persky sentenced Turner, an ex-Stanford swimmer, to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Turner, who is now a registered sex offender, ended up only serving three months behind bars before being released. That decision drew public outcry, but a California agency that oversees judicial discipline ruled that Persky committed no misconduct in the controversial case.

Persky also came under fire last year for allowing a collegiate football player to escape jail time after the student-athlete confessed to police that he hit his girlfriend in a Sunnyvale parking lot in February 2015. 

The campaign to dismiss Persky will now aim to gather signatures in favor of booting Persky. If the recall committee gathers nearly 59,000 signatures, voters will be given the chance to decide whether or not to recall and replace Persky.

The goal is to have the recall effort on the ballot by June 2018.

CORRECTION: (June 27, 2017, 6:55 a.m. PST): An earlier version of this story erroneously reported the first name of the chairperson of the Recall Persky Campaign. The chairperson's name is Michele Dauber, not Michelle Dauber.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Breaks Out at High School Gymnasium in Belmont]]>Sun, 25 Jun 2017 10:55:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/firefighter-generic-san-die.jpg

Firefighters extinguished a fire that broke out Saturday evening at a high school gymnasium in Belmont.

According to Belmont city officials, at 5:55 p.m. Belmont police and firefighters responded to a report of smoke coming from the roof of the gym at Carlmont High School at 1400 Alameda de las Pulgas.

When crews arrived they found smoke coming from the gym's roof above the area of the boy's locker room.

About 50 people who were attending the playoffs for an adult basketball league were evacuated from the main gym. There were no injuries, city officials said.

Belmont firefighters attacked the two-alarm blaze. They were assisted by crews from the San Mateo, Foster City and Redwood City Fire Departments, as well as Cal Fire.

Crews remained on the scene for about three hours to ensure the fire was out and did not spread to other parts of the building.

According to city officials, the main portion of the gym was not affected by the fire, however the fire did cause about $100,000 in damage to the boy's locker room area.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. Fire officials are looking into a possible connection to roofing work that was done on the building earlier in the day, city officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Florida Men Arrested in San Bruno With 12 Lbs. of Pot]]>Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:57:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/91997111-marijuana-generic.jpg

Two Florida men were arrested on suspicion of possession of more than 12 pounds of marijuana in San Bruno Friday night, police said Saturday.

Emilio Alejandro Gil, 30, of Valrico, and Luis Juan Hernandez, 19, of Tampa, were arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, attempted transportation of marijuana for sale out of state and conspiracy, according to San Bruno police Sgt. Gene Wong.

A San Bruno police officer assigned to the San Mateo County Gang Task Force stopped the suspects' vehicle around 9:40 p.m. for a traffic violation, Wong said.

With the assistance of a San Bruno Police Department canine, officers located more than 12 pounds of marijuana packaged for sale out of state, according to Wong.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact San Bruno police at (650) 616-7100 or by email at sbpdtipline@sanbruno.ca.gov. Information can be left anonymously.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Palo Alto Cracks Down on Homeless People Living in RVs]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:04:41 -0700http://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[Pantsless Driver Exposes Himself to Two Girls in Palo Alto]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:21:50 -0700http://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[BART Fare Goes Up to Help Close $31 Million Budget Deficit]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:27:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-25-17_BART_Warm_Springs.jpg

BART's board of directors at its Thursay meeting in Oakland passed a sanctuary resolution declaring the agency's commitment to being a secure and inclusive transit system for all passengers regardless of demographic or immigration status.

During public comment, numerous speakers urged the board to support the Safe Transit resolution.

"The Bay Area's success relies on the contributions of hard-working immigrants and refugees," said Linda Olvera with the California Sanctuary Campaign. "Many of these same people are now hiding and running scared."

Jane Martin with Service Employees International Union – United Service Workers West said people shouldn't have to be afraid when trying to go to work or school or to pick up their children.

"California has taken the lead to being part of the resistance," Martin said. "We're really excited that you're going to be a part of that resistance as well."

Just two speakers criticized the resolution, arguing that there may not be a demonstrated need for such a policy and asking how often people are detained in immigration-related cases on BART.

Director Debora Allen asked BART police Chief Carlos Rojas when the last time a BART rider was asked for immigration papers, and Rojas said he was not aware of any incidents of that nature.

Rojas said an individual was arrested on an immigration warrant, but said that arrest occurred more than five years ago.

Just before noon, the board voted 8-1 with Allen casting the sole dissenting vote.

"We will now be spending our resources keeping BART riders safe, not deporting them," said director Nick Josefowitz, who sponsored the bill along with director Lateefah Simon.

"Under Safe Transit, BART will focus its resources on our top priorities — transporting our riders with affordability, accessibility, and accountability — not harmful, wasteful anti-immigrant policies," Simon said. "I am proud that BART is the first transit system in the nation to pass a Safe Transit policy, and I hope other regions follow."

In an unrelated matter, the board passed an inflation-based fare increase of 2.7 percent as well as a 50-cent surcharge on fares paid for with paper tickets. They also reduced the discount for youth riders ages 5 to 12 from 62.5 percent to 50 percent, and established a new 50 percent discount for youth ages 13 to 18.

Those changes go into effect in January 2018.

"It's 2017, it's time to end the paper tickets," Allen said. "I'm happy to support that. This is a step in the right direction."

In a narrow 5-4 vote, the board also repealed the controversial "seat hog" ordinance, which would have prohibited riders from taking up more than one seat during commute hours with warnings for first-time offenders and a series of escalating fines of up to $500 for repeat violations.

Police had concerns the ordinance would cause delays, target the homeless and lead to unnecessary use of force incidents. It was never enforced.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Wants to Nudge You Into 'Meaningful' Online Groups]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:13:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/zuck-chi.jpg

At Facebook, mere "sharing" is getting old. Finding deeper meaning in online communities is the next big thing.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is no longer satisfied with just connecting the world so that people can pass around baby pictures and live video — or fake news and hate symbols. So the Facebook founder wants to bring more meaning to its nearly 2 billion users by shepherding them into online groups that bring together people with common passions, problems and ambitions.

Much like the creation of Facebook itself — arguably the largest social-engineering project in history — that shift could have broad and unanticipated consequences. Facebook will apply the same powerful computer algorithms that make its service so compelling to the task of boosting membership in "meaningful" groups to more than a billion people within five years.

If successful, that would also encourage people to spend more time on Facebook, which could boost the company's profits. While Facebook doesn't currently place ads in its groups, it said it "can't speak to future plans." Advertising is virtually Facebook's only source of revenue ; it brought in almost $27 billion dollars in 2016, 57 percent more than the previous year.


The shift comes as Facebook continues to grapple with the darker side of connecting the world, from terrorist recruitment to videos of murder and suicides to propaganda intended to disrupt elections around the world. For Zuckerberg, using his social network to "build community" and "bring the world closer together" — two phrases from Facebook's newly updated mission statement — is a big part of the answer.

"When you think of the social structure of the world, we are probably one of the larger institutions that can help empower people to build communities," Zuckerberg said in a recent interview at the company's offices in Menlo Park, California. "There, I think we have a real opportunity to help make a difference."

Zuckerberg outlined his latest vision at a "communities summit" held Thursday in Chicago. It's the company's first gathering for the people who run millions of groups on Facebook, a feature the company rolled out years ago to little fanfare. Facebook is also rolling out new administrative tools intended to simplify the task of screening members and managing communities in hopes that will encourage people to create and cultivate more groups.


Facebook groups are ad hoc collections of people united by a single interest; they offer ways to chat and organize events. Originally conceived as a way for friends and family to communicate privately, groups have evolved to encompass hobbies, medical conditions, military service, pets, parenthood and just about anything else you could think of.

To Zuckerberg, now 33, the effort to foster meaningful communities reflects his recent interest in ways Facebook can make the world a less divisive place, one that emerged following the fractious 2016 presidential election. 

He has previously talked about the need to bring people together in both a lengthy manifesto published earlier this year and during his commencement address at Harvard University last month.


Data-driven to its core, Facebook has quantified "meaning" so it can be sure people are getting more of it. And what Facebook aims to maximize is the time people spend in its online groups. Whenever someone spends at least 30 minutes a week in a group, Facebook classifies it as "meaningful." The company estimates that 130 million of its users are in such groups; it aims to boost that to over a billion by 2022. 

Facebook has already been tweaking its algorithms to recommend more groups to users. Those changes have increased the number of people in "meaningful" groups by 50 percent over the past six months, Zuckerberg said — a testament to the power of algorithms on human behavior. 

Of course, anything that keeps people coming back to Facebook also gives it more opportunities to learn about their interests and other personal details that help it sell advertising, according to analysts.

"It's really simple economics: If users are spending time on Facebook, they're seeing more ads," said eMarketer analyst Debra Williamson. "Increasing user engagement is a necessity for Facebook."


Virtual communities "can fill a fundamental need we have for a sense of belonging, much like eating or sleeping," said Anita Blanchard, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who's studied them for 20 years. 

Her research has also shown that online communities can make people less intolerant of opposing viewpoints. "They get you out of your own clothes and make connections across the U.S., making you realize you can get along with people with different beliefs," she said. 

For Sarah Giberman, an artist and parent who lives in Arlington, Texas, a meaningful group is one "that serves a need in your life, that fills some space that would otherwise feel vacant."

"I spend a lot more time on Facebook because of the groups than I would otherwise," she said. "Especially with the current sociopolitical climate, I'm not comfortable being very open in my regular newsfeed."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Teresa Crawford/AP]]>
<![CDATA[San Bruno School Locked Down Amid Search for Robbery Suspect]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:40:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-22-17-san-bruno1.jpg

The search for an alleged robbery suspect on Thursday forced San Bruno police to put a school on lockdown. 

According to the San Bruno Park School District, police were pursuing the suspect when the person crashed into another car near John Muir Elementary School.

The suspect was last seen running across the campus around 12:30 p.m. 

School is not in session, but there is staff & faculty on-hand, as well as a daycare class, district officials said.

Video from the scene showed a wrecked burgundy SUV that had collided with a gray hatchback. 

No further details were immediately available. It remains unclear if the suspect has been apprehended.

Stay tuned for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Swelters Amid Dangerously High Temperatures]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:45:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-53263722.jpg

The Bay Area is in the grips of a dangerous heat wave that was expected to peak Thursday. 

A National Weather Service excessive heat warning is in effect until 9 p.m. The National Weather Service says they expect daily records for the Central Valley and the rest of the interior.

High temperatures across the Bay Area are expected to range between 90 and 105 degrees across most inland areas with locally hotter temperatures possible, forecasters said.

Caltrain posted on Twitter around 1:45 p.m. Thursday that a Level 1 heat restriction was in place on all main tracks that connect San Mateo and San Jose. That means trains will be running at slower speeds than normal. The restriction expired about 6:40 p.m.

Two people died this week due to the extreme heat wave. A 72-year-old man and an 87-year-old woman died in San Jose Monday, when temperatures reached 94 degrees. A third person died Tuesday, but the Santa Clara County coroner has yet to confirm that it was caused by the heat.

The soaring temperatures and stagnant air are also likely to create unhealthy levels of ozone, prompting the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to issue a Spare the Air alert for Thursday

Another major concern during the scorching temperatures is a growing strain on the local power grid, which could prompt widespread outages. 

All week, PG&E has been ramping up for Thursday.

Crews have combed through neighborhoods on the hunt for vulnerable tree limbs, which were taken care of before they could fall and potentially take down light poles.

The utility is using smart meters to identify outages faster than relying on customers calling in. PG&E meteorologists are also using outage prediction models to pinpoint where the heat could trigger power outages before they happen so crews can preemptively get in place.

For a list of Cooling Centers and information on heat-related illnesses and prevention, visit the County of Santa Clara Office of Emergency Services website or call 211.

People are being urged to take every possible precaution in the heat. Here are some ways to beat the heat:

Additional tips for those who must work or exercise outdoors:

  • Ensure that cool drinking water is available.
  • Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often; do not wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
  • Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.

Older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions:

  • During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as cooling centers, shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.
  • Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water. If you’re on a special diet that limits liquids, check with your doctor for information on the amount of water to consume.
  • Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect against sun damage. And remember to use sun screen and to wear sunglasses.

Infants and Children:

  • It is illegal to leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle (California Vehicle Code Section 15620).
  • Infants and young children can get dehydrated very quickly. Make sure they are given plenty of cool water to drink.
  • Keep children indoors or shaded as much as possible.
  • Dress children in loose, lightweight, and light colored clothing.


  • Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked or open.
  • Outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.
  • Do not leave pets outside in the sun.
  • Pets should not be left in a garage as garages can get very hot due to lack of ventilation and insulation. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[3 Rescued After Boat Capsized in Richardson Bay]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:44:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0621-2017-Boat.jpg

Three people were rescued after a boat capsized Wednesday afternoon in Richardson Bay near the Golden Gate Bridge, officials said.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Head-On Crash Closes Eastbound Highway 92, Snarling Traffic]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:31:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic24.jpg

Highway 92 is closed near Crystal Springs Reservoir because of a head-on crash on Wednesday morning, San Mateo County officials said.

County officials issued an alert at 7:18 a.m. about the crash on Highway 92 just east of Highway 35, also known as Skyline Boulevard.

County officials advised drivers traveling to or from the Half Moon Bay area on Highway 92 to use alternate routes until further notice.

No other details about the crash were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Wave Scorches Bay Area, Strains Power Grid]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:14:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-81651821.jpg

PG&E customers across California have been asked to conserve electricity through Wednesday before the statewide heat wave peaks.

The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the operation of the state's bulk electric system, transmission lines and electricity market, on Monday issued a statewide Flex Alert, asking people to voluntarily cut down on utility consumption.

The goal is to save 500 megawatts to avoid widespread blackouts, the agency said. And that means everyone must pitch in. Electric customers are urged to conserve electricity from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We find that 500 megawatts shaved off is enough to get us over the critical time," said Anne Gonzales, a CAISO spokeswoman. "If consumers can respond, that will take a lot of the stress off of the grid."

Conservation is especially recommended during the late afternoon, when air conditioners are typically at peak use, officials said.

According to CAISO officials, electric customers can help avoid power outages by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances before 2 p.m. or after 9 p.m., and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher.

Temperatures are expected to soar Thursday, forcing the National Weather Service for the Bay Area to upgrade a heat advisory to an excessive heat warning for some of the hotter inland areas of the North Bay mountains and the East Bay valleys and hills.

The heat advisory has also been extended until Thursday evening for most inland areas and expanded to the San Francisco Bay shoreline, including Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, Redwood City and San Mateo — but not San Francisco.

Coastal locations will be near normal, but inland weather is expected to be roughly 20 degrees hotter than usual.

Temperatures will rise an estimated two to five degrees from Tuesday to Wednesday, then another two to five degrees on Thursday — and some areas may exceed 110 degrees.

The weather will begin to cool off Friday, continuing into the weekend.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Open Space District's Plan for Home Sparks Controversy]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:11:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0620-2017-RangerHome.jpg

A new controversy surrounds a small two-bedroom house near open space on the Peninsula.

The home was purchased by the Open Space District for $1 million in 2005 and spent another $90,000 in taxpayer money to renovate it with the intention of it being available for park rangers. But now the district plans to tear the home down, which is located in an area with limited access.

"It's really important for us when we preserve land, that the public has access to it," said Brian Malone with the Regional Open Space District.

Malone said the road to the 1,400-acre preserve was half owned by the previous property owner, which has created access issues for the property.

"They had some dogs that were running loose that would bark and act aggressively," Malone said.

To this day, public access requires several steps, including calling the district on a weekday to get a code to open the gate the following day.

All that work just to get access to one of the six newly constructed parking spots outside the home.

Taxpayer watchdogs think that is asking a lot and want the property sold, with the proceeds used to buy more accessible space.

"This is supposed to be for the public's benefit," said Mark Hinkle with the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association. "But if you put roadblocks, literally, to gaining access to the property, they're preserving open space where no one gets to use it."

Last year, only 39 people called the district for the public access permit.

Despite the fact the property will be torn down and the access remains limited, the district believes protecting the access was worth the price.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Crashes Into Senior Center in San Bruno; No Injuries]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:54:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/san+bruno+truck+2-0619.jpg

A dump truck crashed into the San Bruno Senior Center on Monday afternoon, San Mateo County officials said.

County officials issued an alert at 3:40 p.m. about the crash into the building at 1555 Crystal Springs Road. Fire crews and police responded to the scene where the truck was seen lodged into a corner of the building.

No injuries were reported in the crash, which prompted the closure of Crystal Springs Road at Cunningham Way.

The driver reportedly had been arrested on DUI suspicion, and the California Highway Patrol was at the scene to investigate whether the driver had the correct license to operate a dump truck. 

Residents were advised to avoid the area while the crash was investigated.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Body Found Near School District Offices in Daly City: Police]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:02:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DC+BODY-0618.jpg

Daly City police were investigating a homicide Sunday after a body was found on or near the grounds of Jefferson Union High School District, police said.

Police received a report Sunday morning of a body on Serramonte Boulevard, near the district headquarters. It was a male's body, they said, but little else was known about the circumstances of the person's death.

No further details were available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Triple-Digits Blanket Inland Locations, Set Records]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:41:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-18-17_Heat_Santa_Cruz.jpg

Triple-digit temperatures once again blanketed portions of the Bay Area Sunday, provoking some to flock to pools and ice cream shops in hopes of escaping the dangerous heat.

A heat advisory, which kicked into effect Saturday morning for most of the Bay Area, has been extended to Thursday night. Temperatures away from the coast and immediate locations surrounding the San Francisco Bay are expected to top out anywhere from the upper-90s to mid-100s during that time period, according to the National Weather Service.

Sunday, which is likely to be the hottest day during the lengthy heat wave, featured a slew of unofficial record-breaking high temperatures across the Bay Area.

Temperatures in San Francisco were forecasted to range anywhere between the high-70s to low-80s, but San Francisco by 12 p.m. reached 88 degrees, breaking a record previously set in 1993, according to the NWS. Nearby San Francisco International Airport reached 96 degrees, shattering the previous record-high of 88 degrees established in 1981.

The thermometer at the Oakland International Airport also eclipsed a new high of 96 degrees, breaking a previous high of 93 degrees set in 1962. In San Jose, the mercury rose to 100 degrees, breaking the previous high mark of 99 degrees cemented in 1945.

Other records broken Sunday were in San Rafael with a high of 105 degrees (previous record 98 in 1962); Livermore with 106 (previous record 105 in 1918); and Moffett Field with 100 (previous record 95 in 1993).

The coast, for the most part, is the spot for those looking to cool down. A light on-shore flow of air is bringing cool conditions to areas such as Half Moon Bay, which was only forecasted to reach a high of 67 degrees Sunday. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, was forecasted to top out at 88 degrees.

The sweltering heat is bringing even higher temperatures to Arizona, Nevada and California's Central Valley, which is under an excessive heat warning. Neighborhoods in and around areas such as Sacramento and Fresno are flirting with 110 degree temperatures. Death Valley on Sunday will check in just below a sizzling 120 degrees. 

High temperatures reach new records in nine Bay Area locations:

  • In San Rafael, the temperature reached 105 degrees, breaking the record of 98 degrees set in 1962.
  • At Moffett Field the temperature reached 100 degrees, which broke the record of 95 degrees set in 1993.
  • It was 106 degrees in Livermore where the previous record was 105 in 1918.
  • It was 103 degrees in Kentfield, one degree higher than the previous record set in 1945.
  • The temperature in Richmond reached 92 degrees, breaking the old record of 85 in 1957.
  • In San Francisco, the temperature rose to 88 degrees, which broke the record of 86 degrees set in 1993.
  • At San Francisco International Airport the temperature reached 97 degrees, breaking the previous record of 88 in 1981. At Oakland International Airport, the temperature also reached 97 degrees, breaking the record of 93 degrees set in 1962.
  • In San Jose, the temperature reached 103 degrees, breaking the old record of 99 in 1945.

Here are some tips on how to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar
  • Limit physical activity, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don't leave people or pets in closed, parked cars
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas, including malls, libraries, movie theaters and community centers
  • Cool off by taking a bath or shower.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Do not bundle babies or put them in blankets or heavy clothing.
  • Cover your head with wide-brimmed, vented hats or use umbrellas 
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Rest in shady areas
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Adults, Dogs Rescued After Being Stranded by High Tide]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 22:12:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Generic+Beach+Generic+Marconi+Beach.png

Crews on Saturday rescued 11 adults and two dogs stranded by high tide near Davenport, according to Cal Fire officials.

Ropes were used to rescue those trapped on a cliff, according to officials.

Davenport is just over 10 miles north of Santa Cruz.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Sweltering Heat Grips Bay Area]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 15:41:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-17-17_Santa_Cruz_Heat.jpg

Summer has not officially arrived, but summer-like temperatures sure did blanket most Bay Area cities with uncomfortable heat Saturday.

A heat advisory, which kicked into effect Saturday morning for most of the Bay Area, has been extended to Wednesday night. Temperatures away from the coast and immediate locations surrounding the San Francisco Bay are expected to top out anywhere from the upper-90s to mid-100s during that time period, according to the National Weather Service.

Sunday is likely to be the hottest day during the lengthy heat wave. Antioch is expected to top the charts as the hottest Bay Area spot with a high temperature of 105 degrees on tap. Tri-Valley locations will hover around the low-100s. In the South Bay, San Jose will top out at 95 degrees while Gilroy will reach 101 degrees.

Somewhat more comfortable Sunday temperatures will be found around the bay. Oakland is expected to reach 87 degrees and San Mateo will sit at 86 degrees. Along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, highs will stretch to 80 degrees while the Outer Sunset will enjoy 75 degree weather.

The coast, for the most part, will be the spot for those looking to cool down thanks to a light on-shore flow of air. Half Moon Bay will only approach a high of 67 degrees. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, will top out at 88 degrees.

Fire personnel in the East Bay stocked up on extra water in the event that they would have to help in an emergency related to the heat. PG&E crews also beefed up staffing just in case they would have to manage heat-related power outages.

Here are some tips on how to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar
  • Limit physical activity, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don't leave people or pets in closed, parked cars
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas, including malls, libraries, movie theaters and community centers
  • Cool off by taking a bath or shower.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Do not bundle babies or put them in blankets or heavy clothing.
  • Cover your head with wide-brimmed, vented hats or use umbrellas 
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Rest in shady areas
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Kitten Rescued From Rear Bumper of Tesla Model X]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:12:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/GettyImages-103131850.jpg

A kitten on Saturday needed some purr-suasion to get out of an unusual spot.

The tiny feline spent more than 14 hours trapped inside the rear bumper of a Tesla Model X, according to the car's owner, Saleem Umar. 

Umar, of Boynton Beach, Florida, first spotted the kitten — since named Tessie — as he left work on Friday. Upon spotting the man, the cat fled under his car. Umar didn't pay much attention to the animal as feral cats are common in the area.

Around 6:30 a.m. the next day, Umar went to his house's garage to grab something when he heard the kitten's plaintive meows. "We don't have a cat!" a baffled Umar told NBC Bay Area.

He continued: "I assumed one of the neighborhood cats had gotten in our garage for shelter, considering it had been raining the past couple of days. My wife and I thoroughly searched the garage, all the while hearing faint intermittent meows. After clearing the garage, both of use began eyeing our Tesla Model X."

The couple thought that Tessie might have climbed into the car's trunk. 

"I opened the rear trunk lid and falcon wing doors with the key fob, expecting an irritated cat to jump outside. Nothing. Yet the moews were still audible!" Umar said.

Umar and his wife followed the sound — captured in a YouTube video — and were stunned to realize that it was coming from the rear bumper. 

Concerned for the kitten's life, Umar contacted Tesla's 24-hour assistance number. His case was flagged.

"I drove as gingerly as I could to the service center, not wanting to scare Tessie more than she already was," Umar recalled.

The mechanics hoisted the Model X onto a lift and a few technicians got to work right away.

A second video shows a Tesla Service Center employee gently prying the kitten out of the car. 

"After about 30 minutes of removing parts of the rear bumper and undercarriage, locating exactly where Tessie was hiding with flashlights and inspection mirrors, and lots of coaxing, they successfully pulled Tessie out —healthy and unharmed, albeit quite shaken up," Umar said.

The mechanics gave the cat water as soon as she was dislodged and one even offered to give Tessie a forever home, according to Umar. 

"Tessie, the lucky cat, ended up moving from the wild to a loving home through a crazy set of events, in a matter of hours," he said.

It still remains unclear exactly how the kitten managed to squeeze itself into the cramped space.

The adorable video caught the attention of Tesla's Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who posted it on Twitter on Saturday afternoon. His tweet has since been retweeted more than 2,200 times and picked up roughly 11,000 likes. The automaker's headquarters are located in Palo Alto.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Stealing Car, Eating Victim's Lunch: Police]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:32:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic24.jpg

Police on Friday captured an Antioch man they say not only stole a car in Pacifica but also ate the owner's lunch.

Pacifica police officers responded to Terra Nova Boulevard and Alicante Drive around 7:10 a.m. on the report of a stolen car. The car's owner told them he left it running for a few minutes to warm it up and when he returned, his car was gone, police said.

Shortly afterward, an officer saw what he believed to be the stolen vehicle on northbound Highway 1 at the Manor Drive offramp, police said. Officers soon found the parked and unoccupied vehicle in the area of Beaumont Boulevard and Coral Ridge Drive.

The police then tracked down the suspect in the 200 block of Clifton Road. The suspect was in possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as the victim's wallet, credit cards, driver's license and cell phone, according to police.

The suspect was also eating the victim's packed lunch that had been in the stolen car, police said.

Jose Herrera, 34, was arrested and booked into San Mateo County Jail for an alleged outstanding $200,000 felony warrant and on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, delaying/resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Braces For Heat Wave]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 19:39:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-71477253.jpg

It's about to get hot, hot, hot!

A potentially record-shattering heat wave has started enveloping the Southwest United States and is threatening to bring temperatures of more than 120 degrees to parts of Arizona and California next week. Strong high pressure building over Western states is behind the onslaught.

Officials warned of excessive heat throughout the 450-mile length of California's Central Valley. Almost the entire Golden State is predicted to simmer above normal temperatures.

In the Bay Area, temperatures are expected to hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coast will be much cooler.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for all of Northern California. Solano County will be under a heat warning. It will be in effect from 11 a.m. Saturday through 11 p.m. Monday.

Young children, elderly people, pregnant women, people with disabilities and animals are especially vulnerable to the heat.

Forecasters say prolonged heat will make snow melt faster in the Sierra Nevada, where massive winter storms coated towering peaks after years of drought. Waterways could flood, with vacationers warned to be cautious near water and avoid camping close to streams.

Camp counselor Sabrina Chu, 17, said she and others in San Francisco were having kids drink lots of water while playing outdoors. The city was expected to have a high of 82 Sunday, well above the normal upper 60s.

"Compared to other places in California, the Bay has pretty consistent weather, so this is unusually hot for the area," Chu said.

In Pleasanton, this weekend marks the start of the Alameda County Fair, and the threat of triple-digit temperatures doesn't seem to be scaring people away.

Even so, officials are urging people to be prepared.

"Drink plenty of water," said Angel Moore with the fair. "Make sure you wear your sunscreen, wear loose fitting clothing."

Fire and medical teams will also be scattered throughout the event as well as five misting stations. 

"We're expecting a lot of heat related emergencies," said Alameda County Fire Department Division Chief Eric Moore. "We're well prepared to deal with heat-related injuries."

Here are some tips on how to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar
  • Limit physical activity, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don't leave people or pets in closed, parked cars
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas, including malls, libraries, movie theaters and community centers
  • Cool off by taking a bath or shower.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Do not bundle babies or put them in blankets or heavy clothing.
  • Cover your head with wide-brimmed, vented hats or use umbrellas 
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Rest in shady areas

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 3 Hurt in Major Collision in East Palo Alto]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 19:57:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*131/DCfYIkQV0AAYiM9.jpg

At least one person died in what East Palo Alto police have described as a "major vehicle collision" on Friday afternoon.

Police reported the collision at University Avenue and Kavanaugh Drive on Twitter at 3:10 p.m. The person who died was a 49-year-old man and three other people were injured, according to police.

University Avenue in that area has been closed in both directions and police did not say when they expect the roadway to reopen.

Further information about the collision was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: David Gonzalez/Telemundo 48]]>
<![CDATA[East Palo Alto Nonprofit Schools on Tech, Community Support]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 16:31:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO4_StreetCode.jpgFrom 7-year-old Brian Miller to 79-year-old Keisha Evans, everyone can learn to code, according to StreetCode, an East Palo Alto nonprofit trying to bridge the digital divide in the Silicon Valley. But they’re hoping to be more than just another coding class.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Affirms Tech Exec's Domestic Violence Plea Deal]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 23:51:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rastogi-0615.jpg

The victim in a domestic violence case involving a former Silicon Valley tech executive says she was let down by the legal system.

Earlier this year, Abhishek Gattani faced two felony counts of domestic violence for beating his wife. But during plea bargaining, the charges were reduced. On Thursday, a judge accepted most of the terms of the plea deal but required Gattani to self-surrender to serve a one-month jail sentence starting Friday.

The victim, Neha Rastogi, said she was hoping for a more severe punishment after she endured more than a decade of abuse.

"These people who we believe in the privacy of our own homes that they’re stronger than us are actually way weaker than us," said Rastogi, who has worked at Apple, Adobe and Cisco. "We’re the stronger ones who are able to take the abuse and still survive."

Outside the Palo Alto courthouse Thursday, a small group of protesters called for justice in her honor.

Gattani, former CEO of Cuberon, has been sentenced to three years of probation, 30 days in jail, and five months of community service.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Nanny Arrested on DUI Suspicion After Hitting Child]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 23:46:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/belmont+dui-0613.jpg

A San Mateo woman was arrested Monday in Belmont on suspicion of driving under the influence after she allegedly drove her vehicle through a fence at a school and injured a child, police said.

At 3:06 p.m. Belmont police received several 911 calls about a car that had struck a child at Cipriani Elementary School, located at 2525 Buena Vista Ave.

Police and fire crews responded and found a Toyota Corolla that had driven through a fence off of Buena Vista Avenue and struck a student, before coming to a rest near the school building, police said.

According to police, the 11-year-old Belmont boy who was struck was treated at the scene by paramedics and then taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The driver, identified as 64-year-old Evgeniya Martynova of San Mateo, is a nanny who had come to the school to pick up another student, police said.

An infant passenger in Martynova's vehicle was not hurt. Martynova was also uninjured and then arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City on suspicion of DUI and child endangerment.

Photo Credit: Belmont PD]]>
<![CDATA[Here's Where You Can Fly Drones in the Bay Area]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:14:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NoDrones.jpg

Popular droning sites along the San Francisco Peninsula no longer allow the use of any unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) following a park superintendent order.

While drones are currently allowed in California State Parks, local district superintendents are allowed to ban them at any of its local sites. Christopher Spohrer, the Santa Cruz District Superintendent joined other regional park districts in May when he signed new restrictions on drone use at its parks.

Santa Cruz District's new order is not yet online, but a notice should be posted at all parks and beaches it is being enforced.

It includes restrictions on all use of model aircraft, UAS or gliders at any the state parks and beaches in its district, which encompasses the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as the parks along the coast from Watsonville to Half Moon Bay, including Half Moon Bay State Beach, New Brighton State BeachPescadero State Beach, Pomponio State Beach and San Gregorio State Beach.

The Bay Area District previously restricted model aircraft and UAS in September, which included Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, as well as all parks in the East Bay Regional Park District.

Where to Fly Your Drones in the Bay Area:

Know Before You Fly

Between the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) easing its unmanned aircraft guidelines last year and new drone models being released each year, more drones are in the air than ever. 

According to a FAA report, sales of consumer drones were expected to spike from 2.6 million drones in 2016 to 7 million in 2020 with some of the highest concentrated users in the Silicon Valley.

Here are some things to keep in mind before you fly:

  • NO NATIONAL PARKS: Currently, the National Park Service (NPS) prohibits drones at national parks which include the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin counties; Rosie the Riveter grounds in East Bay, Fort Point, Presidio, Alcatraz Island and the Maritime in San Francisco as well as Point Reyes and Muir Woods in North Bay. See all national park trails and parks where drone use is currently prohibited. National Park Service rangers may issue citations of $125 and additional fees to drone users who violate its policies.
  • SOME STATE PARKS: California State Parks allow drone use, with the exception of some regional districts have posted their own local rules. In the Bay Area, the local parks are currently prohibiting drone use at the majority of state parks. View some exceptions above.
  • SOME CITY AND COUNTY PARKS: There are currently no drones allowed at many local parks such as San Mateo County and Santa Clara County parks as well as the majority of city parks in the area. The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, which maintains parks throughout Santa Clara County as well as for the cities of Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell, San Jose and Morgan Hill also ban the use of drones unless granted a permit for use. The Port of San Francisco, which maintains Heron's Head Park, also bans all drones as part of its status as a wildlife protection area. Mission Bay Park, maintained by MJM Management Group, says they have added a park rule banning drone use as well. 
  • PRIVATE LAND Privately-owned fields, farms, and other spaces may be a good option with permission from the landowner. Santa Clara County Model Aircraft Skypark is a local nonprofit that allows its members to fly drones and aircraft if they follow Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) guidelines. 
    • REGISTER: Register your UAS online if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds or file a paper request for drones more than 55 pounds. Registration costs $5 and is valid for 3 years.
    • FLY SAFE: Fly at or below 400 feet and keep it in sight. Never fly over groups of people, stadiums, sports events or near emergency response efforts such as fires. The FAA also mandates UAS users never operate under the influence. The FAA outlines several safe flying practices here. 
    • RESPECT NO FLY ZONES: Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports, and be aware of airspace requirements. In the Bay Area, this includes no flying zones surrounding three large airports (SFO, OAK and SJC) and smaller airports. You can download the FAA "Know Before You Fly" application to verify if you’re in a safe fly zone. B4UFLY is available for free download in the App Store for iOS and Google Play store for Android.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Stabbed Teen Outside Millbrae Library ID'd]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 10:56:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-12-17-nelson-tolentino-mugshot.jpg

Officials on Monday identified the man who stabbed a teenager outside the Millbrae Public Library last Friday.

Nelson Tolentino, 44, of South San Francisco was arrested and is being charged with willful injury to a child and attempted murder for his role in the attack, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department.

Tolentino approached a 13-year-old standing outside the library, brandished a four-inch folding knife and began attacking the teen, according to sheriff's officials.

The teen managed to escape Tolentino's grasp and run inside the library for shelter, according to the sheriff's department. He suffered injuries to both of his arms, but he is expected to recover.

Sheriff's deputies arrived seconds after the attack and eventually took Tolentino into custody after he initially resisted, officials said. He was booked into the San Mateo County Jail.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Department ]]>
<![CDATA[44-Year-Old Man Stabs Teen Outside Millbrae Library: Sheriff]]>Sat, 10 Jun 2017 00:05:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0609-2017-MillbraeStabbing.jpg

A 13-year-old boy in Millbrae, California, was injured after a knife-wielding man stabbed him outside a public library on Friday, in what police are saying was an unprovoked attack.

Police said a 44-year-old man from South San Francisco approached the teen, who had just finished the final day of classes at nearby Taylor Middle School, and began randomly attacking him with a four-inch pocket knife in front of the library.

"Once the kid was stabbed, obviously he was afraid, he was panicking so as he was doing so, he was moving around a lot," San Mateo County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sal Zuno said Friday.

The boy suffered multiple stab wounds on both of his arms and was taken to a hospital, police said. He is expected to recover.

Deputies were on scene seconds after the 911 call. They took the suspect into custody, police said. The suspect was taken to San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City, but authorities did not release his name. He has been charged with willful injury to a child and attempted murder, police announced Saturday.

Officers thanked the middle schooler's friends who helped him after he ran inside the library following the attack.

"After the attack, his friends did not leave his side," Zuno said Friday. "His friends actually gathered him and rushed him inside into the bathroom so his friends acted very bravely."

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

CORRECTION (June 10, 2017, 4:20 p.m. PST): Police originally stated that the suspect was 40 years old. They have since clarified and said he is 44 years old.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[A Look at Mark Zuckerberg's Journey Around America]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:01:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO7_WISCONSIN.jpgWhile the way people connect is changing, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced in January that he intended to learn about Facebook’s role in building stronger communities.

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[SamTrans Board Mulls Axing 3 Lowest Performing Routes]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:11:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SamTrans_generic.jpg

Three SamTrans bus lines that serve several Peninsula schools, libraries and community centers are on the chopping block.

The San Mateo County Transit District’s Board of Directors are expected to meet on Thursday to decide the future of routes 11, 43 and 89. These three are the system’s lowest performers, with a total of four trips daily, each with about five riders. That’s much lower than the daily average of 19 commuters on other lines.

There may not be a lot of people who rely on the SamTrans routes in question, but if they’re eliminated, students and parents would feel the biggest impact.

Route 11 serves two schools in Daly City: Thomas Edison Elementary and Fernando Rivera Middle schools.

Route 43 serves San Bruno City Hall Library, Capuchino High and Mills High schools, and the Milbrae Community Center.

Route 89 serves Encinal Elementary School in Atherton.

There are other SamTrans lines that serve the same areas but not the so-called community service routes that only run on school days and don’t connect to the rail.

If the transit board approves the cuts, they go into effect in August.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Missing 11-Year-Old Boy Found Safe: Mountain View Police]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 10:55:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-080615.jpg

Mountain View police on Tuesday found a missing 11-year-old boy.

The missing fifth grader was reported missing just after 10 a.m., according to police. Less than one hour, the boy was found safe.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Authorities Thwart Man's Attempt to Kill 3 Bay Area Doctors]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:08:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-6-17-dr-yue-chen.jpg

Authorities across the state of California last week thwarted a would-be killer from slaying three Bay Area doctors, the Palo Alto Police Department announced Tuesday.

Yue Chen of Visalia was arrested last Wednesday after officers determined the 58-year-old drove from Central California to the Bay Area with the intent to shoot and kill his doctors because he was upset about his medical condition and medical treatment performed by the physicians, according to police.

"We feel pretty confident of what his intent was and that if we hadn't been able to, in a sort of a time sensitive way, coordinate our efforts, that we would be investigating at least one homicide, if not multiple homicides at this point," Lt. James Reifschneider from the Palo Alto Police Department said.

Visalia police first notified Palo Alto police about Chen's proposed hit attempt last Wednesday, according to police. Officers in Visalia found that Chen had been reported missing, along with his two legally-owned handguns. Turns out Chen rented a car and began his journey to the Bay Area.

A host of law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area were notified about Chen's movement as well as the work and home locations of the doctors believed to be in harm's way, according to Palo Alto police.

Later Wednesday, the California Highway Patrol spotted Chen driving in the rental car on Highway 101 near Hellyer Avenue in San Jose, according to Palo Alto police. Chen was detained without incident, and officers found two guns with loaded, high-capacity magazines in the car.

Chen was transported to a local hospital to receive treatment for his condition, according to police. When he was released later that evening, Chen was transported to the Santa Clara County Jail and booked for attempted murder and carrying a loaded firearm.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Officer later filed three felony counts of attempted murder against Chen, according to Palo Alto police.

Police are still gathering information at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call Palo Alto police at 650-329-2413. Those wishing to remain anonymous can email paloalto@tipnow.com or text 650-383-8984. People can also leave an anonymous voice mail at that number.

Photo Credit: Palo Alto Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Sex Education Curriculum Triggers Stir in Palo Alto]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 07:24:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Classroom-School-GettyImages-470622795.jpg

Contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and abstinence are some of the topics that could be discussed with middle school students in Palo Alto, but some parents are concerned.

The Palo Alto Unified School District is scheduled to address those questions and the sexual health course, which could be delivered to students as young as seventh grade, during a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The curriculum, which features 10 hours of content to be delivered over a two-week period, will cover gender roles, relationships, sexuality, reproductive health, contraception and STDs, according to nonprofit Health Connected, the group the district is partnering with for the course.

Students are required to receive sexual health education once in middle school and again in high school, according to California's Healthy Youth Act.

Parents in Palo Alto can opt out of the program if they see fit, according to the school district. Parents can also take a peek at the material before their children do.

For proprietary reasons, parents can only review the course material in person. Health Connected doesn't share the material electronically.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Blend Images RM]]>
<![CDATA[Palo Alto Home Sold for $30 Million: Report]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:54:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/282*120/PaloAltoHome.JPG

A Palo Alto home apparently has sold for $30 million. Yes, that's right. Thirty. Million. Dollars.

The Mercury News pulled county records that show Audrey Scott from Jones Family Trust paid the shocking amount for the home at 1107 Cowper Street, located in the city's Professorville neighborhood.

This home’s price tag is not one that is commonly seen in the neighborhood. Realtor.com estimates the four-bedroom, seven-bath home to be worth around $1.5 million. Average prices in the neighborhood show homes have sold in the ballpark of $2.5 million.

In an interview with the Mercury News, real estate agent Steve Mohseni said the purchase may have been looked at as an investment and driven by the land accompanying the home.

In this case, the existing residence may be replaced with several smaller houses, Mohseni said.

And with multiple properties comes multiple profits.

Although this real estate anomaly may be rare for the Palo Alto community, it is a telling sign of the need for property in the Bay Area. For decades now, the rising demand for housing in high-ticket San Francisco neighborhoods have pushed homes to be sold for an average of several millions of dollars.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[10 LGBT Pride Events Around the Bay Area in June]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:14:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SMC+Pride+Thumbnail.jpg

Following the opening of its first LGBTQ Pride Center, San Mateo County is set to celebrate LGBT Pride Month with festivities Saturday in Central Park.

While Silicon Valley Pride is set for late August, several cities will be hosting their annual pride events over the next three weeks:

Love Our Island's LGBTQ Pride Celebration in Alameda

  • DATE: Tuesday, June 6
  • TIME: 7 p.m.
  • LOCATION: Alameda City Hall 2263 Santa Clara Ave #320 in Alameda
  • DESCRIPTION: Community members are invited to eat free ice cream and take a photograph with the city mayor and council members before the weekly city council meeting (view event). 

Pride Cruise in San Francisco

  • DATE: Saturday, June 10
  • TIME: 3 to 6 p.m. 
  • LOCATION: USS Potomac, San Francisco Ferry Building Gate E, 1 Ferry Building in San Francisco
  • DESCRIPTION: The Pride Law Fund's annual fundraiser to fund fellowships for law students focusing on LGBT civil rights issues takes off from the San Francisco Ferry Building on Saturday. Tickets cost between $100 to $150 (view event).

Pride Parade at San Mateo Central Park

  • DATE: Saturday, June 10
  • TIME: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • LOCATION: San Mateo Central Park, 50 E 5th Ave in San Mateo
  • DESCRIPTION: San Mateo celebrates its 5th annual pride parade with this year's theme as "Still We Rise" (view event).

Equality March for Unity and Pride in San Jose

  • DATE: Sunday, June 11
  • TIME: The march begins at 11 a.m and the rally begins at 1 p.m.
  • LOCATION: San Jose City Hall to Plaza de César Chávez Park
  • DESCRIPTION: Participants in San Jose are expected to join cities across the nation marching during the annual Equality March for Unity & Pride (view event).

Raise A Glass Pride Fundraiser

  • DATE: June 15
  • TIME: 5 to 10 p.m.
  • LOCATION: Laughing Monk Brewing, 1439 Egbert Ave, Unit A San Francisco, CA
  • DESCRIPTION: There will be an early pride celebration and fundraiser at Laughing Monk Brewing where event organizers say $1 dollar for every beer sold will be donated to the Lyric Center for LGBTQQ Youth and the AIDS Family and Youth Foundation as well as another dollar for every image posted on social media with people raising a glass with the Laughing Monk page tagged and the hashtag#RaiseAGlass. (view event).

Pride Party and Fundraiser at the TAYLOR/MONROE in San Francisco

  • DATE: June 17
  • TIME: 8 to 11 p.m.
  • LOCATION: TAYLOR / MONROE, 448 Grove St. San Francisco, CA 94102
  • DESCRIPTION: This annual fundraiser is an option for those 21 and up with all proceeds from event tickets, raffles and auction items benefiting the SF LGBT Center (view event).

Pink Triangle Installation & Commemoration

  • DATE: June 24
  • TIME: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • LOCATION: Twin Peaks in San Francisco
  • DESCRIPTION: The north side of Twin Peaks facing the Castro District is turned into a memorial annually to remember the gay victims who were persecuted and killed in concentration camps in Nazi Germany starting in 1933 through the end of WWII (view website).

Pride Brunch at the Hotel Whitcomb in San Francisco

  • DATE: June 24
  • TIME: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • LOCATION: Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market St. in San Francisco
  • DESCRIPTION: Wells Fargo is sponsoring the Gary Virginia and Donna Sachet's 19th Annual Pride Brunch which benefits the Positive Resource Center and honors the parade's grand marshals. Tickets cost $75 for balcony seating, $100 for general admission and up to $10,000 for sponsoring tables (view event).

Pride Party at the Mezzanine in San Francisco

  • DATE: June 24
  • TIME: 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
  • LOCATION: 444 Jessie St. Mezzanine in San Francisco
  • DESCRIPTION: The Mezzanine's annual event is an option for those 21 and up with a portion of its proceeds from the night donated to the San Francisco City Clinic (view website).

Pride Parade in San Francisco

  • DATE: June 24 to 25
  • TIME: Festivities on June 24 are between 12 and 6 p.m. with the parade the following day on June 25 at 10:30 a.m.
  • LOCATION: Festivities on June 24 are on Civic Center Plaza with the parade on June 25 taking place on Market Street (view map).
  • DESCRIPTION: Tens of thousands flood the city blocks annually for the pride festival and parade in San Francisco. The theme for the 47th Annual San Francisco Pride Parade is a "Celebration of Diversity" (view website).

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrain Strikes, Kills Person in Atherton]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 10:48:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-5-17-caltrain.jpg

A person was struck and killed by Caltrain Monday morning, according to the transportation agency.

The collision occurred just before 10 a.m. at the Encinal Avenue crossing in Atherton, according to Caltrain.

The incident marks Caltrain's third fatality of 2017, according to the transportation agency.

A total of 340 passengers were on the train at the time of the collision, according to Caltrain. No passenger injuries were immediately reported.

Further information was not available at the time.

Stay tuned for details.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Plan to Curb Congestion on Highway 101 Along the Peninsula]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 06:47:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Traffic+Generic2.jpg

A fix for traffic nightmares on Highway 101 along the Peninsula may be in the works.

Caltrans and San Mateo County officials on Monday will hold a meeting to discuss a plan to add a "continuous lane" in each direction of the highway between Interstate 380 and northern Santa Clara County in hopes of easing lengthy commute times.

A total of four main proposals are on the table. One would create a toll lane, which would include a toll for solo drivers. Another option is to extend the carpool lane from the San Francisco International Airport to the northern Santa Clara County line and increase the carpool minimum to three people instead of two.

If the plans take shape, clean-air vehicles, motorcycles and commuter buses would be exempt from the tolls as long as they have a FasTrak Flex account.

The public meeting to discuss the options is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Redwood City City Hall.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Two Mountain Lion Sightings Reported in San Carlos]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 00:00:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MountainLionGeneric.jpg

Officials in San Carlos are alerting residents to keep a watchful eye after two separate mountain lion sightings were called in Saturday night, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Residents reported seeing the big cats in the Crestview area before the animals disappeared, according to sheriff's officials.

The first sighting occurred around 9:40 p.m. along Crestview Drive near Melendy Drive, sheriff's officials said. A driver was cruising along when she told authorities she saw an "adult-sized mountain lion" meander in front of her car. The mountain lion fled in an unknown direction.

Roughly two hours later, a second sighting was reported along the 3300 block of Brittan Avenue. A man said he saw a "really big whitish-brown mountain lion" on a nearby hillside, according to sheriff's officials. That animal vanished into the Pulgas Ridge Open Space.

"As I was walking my dogs, it was in the back of my mind," resident Mike Thompson said. "But usually they keep away from people."

It is unclear if the mountain lion spotted in the first sighting is the same one seen two hours later.

Officials are advising residents to never approach a mountain lion if they spot one. The animals will likely avoid confrontation, but if a person finds themselves face-to-face with one, they are advised to face the cat, stand tall and make noises in an attempt to look big and intimidating. Those trapped in that predicament can also throw rocks or other objects.

NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Losing Thousands of Residents to Seattle Job Boom]]>Sat, 03 Jun 2017 21:09:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-539768278-cropped.jpg

It’s no secret that the Bay Area has been losing people over the past few years, but where are they going? A LinkedIn Workforce Report has revealed that many are moving to Seattle.

Based on the data, for every 10,000 LinkedIn members in Seattle, 48.29 workers migrated to the city in the past year from the Bay Area, making it the top city that Seattle has gained the most workers from, followed by New York City and Chicago.

The rise in migration may be due to the 90 companies – many coming from the Bay Area – that have opened engineering centers in Seattle.

The Bay Area has become complicit in the past year when it comes to gaining workers, adding approximately 8.98 per every 10,000 LinkedIn members, according to the study.

Despite the loss, based on LinkedIn’s Workforce study, the Bay Area has gained most of its workers from New York City, Boston and Chicago. Approximately 5.67 workers moved to Bay Area in the last year from the Big Apple.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Water in South San Francisco Deemed Safe to Drink]]>Sat, 03 Jun 2017 16:37:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-2-17_SSF_Water_Tank1.jpg

The coast is clear for water customers in South San Francisco.

More than 24 hours after advising residents in the Sunshine Gardens area not to drink or cook with their water because of concern about a nearby "compromised" water tank, California Water Service officials on Saturday announced that the water was safe.

The precautionary advisory was issued Friday after officials noticed that someone climbed onto a water tank and attempted to pry open a top hatch, according to Cal Water. It was not clear if they were able to get inside, but — out of an abundance of caution — Cal Water asked affected customers to use bottled water for drinking and cooking while tests were carried out.

Initial water tests conducted Friday found the water to be normal, according to Cal Water. Follow-up tests were ordered just to be safe, and those results yielded the all-clear signal Saturday.

While the advisory was in effect, residents were allowed to pick up free bottled water from a nearby stationing area. For those who purchased water, Cal Water promised reimbursement.

Police are still searching for the suspect or suspects who broke into the water tank enclosure.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['Compromised' Tank Leads to Water Advisory in SSF]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 23:53:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SSFWaterTank.jpg

Customers in a South San Francisco neighborhood on Friday were advised not to drink the water because a small storage tank had been "compromised," according to California Water Service officials.

The advisory is simply precautionary for some residents in the Sunshine Gardens neighborhood, but — out of an abundance of caution — Cal Water is still asking folks to use bottled water for drinking and cooking.

"I got a family email saying don't drink the water, come out and get a case (of water) as soon as I get off of work," resident Cari Olocco said.

Authorities say someone climbed onto the tank and attempted to pry open a top hatch, but it's not clear is they were able to get inside.

Initial tests conducted Friday found the water to be normal, according to Cal Water.

"The initial results for PH, turbidity (and) temperature are all normal, so we feel comfortable with that," Mike Utz from Cal Water said.

Just to be safe, additional tests were also undertaken. Those results are expected to be revealed Saturday. If the results are clean, residents will be given the green light to use their water again.

The problem was initially discovered Friday morning when officials found a cut lock on a gate leading up to a couple of water tanks, according to Cal Water. They then realized that someone had climbed onto one of the tanks.

"We have a large venting system we call a cupola on top of the tank," Utz said. "We’re not sure if that was breached or not. It’s a very heavy device.”

Cal Water pledged to reimburse any customer who purchased bottled water during the incident. Customers in need can also pick up bottled water from 92 Chestnut Ave. no later than 9 p.m. Friday and as early as 8 a.m. Saturday.

Cal Water is investigating the issue with the State Water Resources Control Board's Division of Drinking Water and local law enforcement.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Paying a Premium for Bay Area Neighborhoods]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 22:24:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/rent+sign+generic.jpg

San Francisco is notoriously known for its expensive housing prices. Now, high rental costs for apartments have expanded to surrounding areas.

According to an article published in the San Francisco Business Times, 11 of the top 20 priciest Bay Area neighborhoods reside outside the city by the bay. Those costly spots include Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mountain View.

While these Silicon Valley neighborhoods may not come as a surprise, other regions that topped the list were Berkeley and Oakland. Each city’s apartment rent average exceeds $3,000, with Palo Alto’s being the highest at $3,718, according to the report.

As rent continues to balance around $3,150 per month in San Francisco, RentCafé has reported that prices have dropped four percent from last year. Yet, when looking at specific neighborhoods such as near the Presidio, the average rent cost skyrockets to $4,762. Such a rate pushes the neighborhood’s zip code to compete with the affluent Manhattan, New York rental prices.

For comparisons sake, the country’s average rental rate in April was $1,314.

While these statistics can make your wallet gasp, San Francisco Business Times also points out that RentCafé and the market analysis company Yardi Matrix only looked at complexes that contained more than 50 apartments. This has led to the exclusion of many rentals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[High School Muralist Leaves Her Mark at Hillsdale Mall]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:28:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Thumbnail47.jpg

Before the Crystal Springs high school senior jets off for college on the East Coast, she wanted to leave something special behind for her hometown community to enjoy. And if you've visited Hillsdale Shopping Center over the last month, you might have already stumbled upon her work in progress.

Every morning, Isabelle Decontreros, 17, set up to work on her larger-than-life mural beside the M.A.C. Cosmetics store, ending her sessions with paint-splattered jeans and dyed hands each day.

In lieu of final exams – and to the delight of seniors – each student was granted the month off from schooling to pursue a "passion project."

Bruce Pollock, the head of Crystal Spring's seniors, says it is a tradition that has spanned many years.

"For decades, our seniors have been given the month of May off from classes to dive deep into a subject that they hadn't been able to explore at all, or as deeply, during their high school careers," Pollock said.

When it approached time for Decontreros' project, she knew she wanted to do a mural that represented the town she was leaving behind for college.

"I really just wanted to do something that was really bright and lively and encompassed the San Mateo area, because I’ve grown up here," Decontreros said.

The shopping center jumped on the chance to feature her piece and hopes the mural sends a message to other artists thinking about showcasing their work in the community.

"More art here would be really exciting," Decontreros said. "It has a really positive impact. All of the people walking by are like, 'Wow, this is so amazing that you're putting up this art.'" 

Decontreros is heading to Boston College in the fall where one of her majors will be in art.

"I definitely want art to be part of my life going forward," Decontreros said.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Menlo Park Church Pastor Arrested on Suspicion of Sex Crimes]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 13:51:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6A+MENLO+PARK+SEX+ASSAULT+VO+-+00001226.jpg

A Menlo Park church pastor was arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexually assaulting several people, both youngsters and adults, according to police.

Victor Elizandro Tax-Gomez faces six counts of sexual assault after a number of victims, the youngest of whom is under 14 years old, reported that he touched them inappropriately, police said. The East Palo Alto resident, 47, is a pastor at El Senor Justicia Nuestra Church on the 1300 block of Chilco Street.

Capt. Dave Bertini told the Mercury News that police suspect Tax-Gomez committed most of his crimes at the church. Police have not cofirmed, however, whether the victims were members of the Justicia Nuestra congregation, which leases space at an existing church.

Officers located Tax-Gomez and brought him to the Menlo Park police station for questioning. He was arrested at the end of the interview and booked into the San Mateo County Jail.

His charges include sexual penetration with a foreign object of an adult and two juveniles, one of whom is under 16 years old. Tax-Gomez is also accused of committing lewd acts with a child — one under 14 and the other under 15 years old — as well as meeting with someone less than 18 years old with the intent to commit a lewd act, police said.

Police are not looking for any outstanding suspects, but have asked any additional victims to come forward.

People with information about the case are asked to call Sgt. Ed Soares at 650-330-6360, Detective Jeremy Ordone at 650-330-6357 or the anonymous tip line at 650-330-6395.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Mateo County Opens First LGBTQ Pride Center]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 14:00:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cut_Thumbnail.png

San Mateo County on Thursday kicked off LGBT Pride Month on a high note.

Officials unveiled a Pride Center at 1021 S. El Camino Real in San Mateo, joining approximately four other cities in hosting an LGBTQ community center. It will also be the first in the state to feature a clinical health center in addition to its other resources. 

"The Pride Center is actually funded through the Mental Health Services Act," said Jei Africa, the director of the San Mateo County Health System’s Office of Diversity and Equity. "It's unique because it brings together the clinical services for behavioral health and recovery and provides services for the community... and it also features an online resource."

Speakers acknowledged the long-awaited opening of a meeting and community resource space in San Mateo County, which is also home to California’s first LGTBQ Commission.

The commission was announced three years ago with the unanimous approval by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to focus on the needs of the LGBTQ community.

Former Assemblyman Rich Gordon, the first openly gay candidate in San Mateo County, said it was an important and symbolic message to send to residents.

"I never thought the day would come that I would see the gay pride flag flying on El Camino Real," Gordon said. "This is where I was raised, at a time and a place where — if you were gay — the only role that you had was in the closet. We’ve come a long way in 69 years."

Speakers also said the timing of the center's opening is apt due to the current political climate and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.

"Together, we are powerful," said Lisa Putkey, the center's director. "[We] have the ability to overcome hate and oppression as long as we are bold, take risks, stand in solidarity, centering the voices of the most harmed amongst us until each one of us is honored, seen, heard, valued and loved."

In collaboration with San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, the new center is run by five partnerships including  StarVista, Peninsula Family Service, Outlet of Adolescent Counseling Services, Daly City Partnership and Pyramid Alternatives.

LGBT Pride Month

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Water Main Break Forces Evacuation of Four Homes in Belmont]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 18:01:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/DBUcYJsUQAEX_yb1.jpg

A major water main break early Friday morning forced the evacuation of four Belmont homes and left behind a mess. 

Crews swarmed the scene at Monserat Avenue and San Juan Boulevard when the break was reported around 3:45 a.m. They said a 6-inch cast iron pipe from 1958 had broken, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of water into the streets and nearby houses. 

"It was probably 120,000 gallons of water per minute," said police Capt. Patrick Halleran.

The break was capped around 7:45 a.m., police tweeted. Roads in the area were not closed, they said, but urged drivers to be cautious due to the mud on San Juan Boulevard near Monte Cresta Drive.

Homeowners said they were rudely awakened early Friday morning by what sounded like a river rushing through their neighborhood.

Geologists first checked the evacuated houses to ensure that they are structurally sound before allowing residents to re-enter, according to city officials.

As Friday progressed, however, all eyes remained on a hillside above the houses that residents worry may have been compromised by the water main break.

CORRECTION (June 2, 2017, 4:15 p.m. PT): An earlier version of this story reported the break was capped around 7:45 p.m. This has been corrected to 7:45 a.m.

Photo Credit: Kris Sanchez/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[20 Sexual Assault Cases Open in Palo Alto School District]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:28:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PAUSD.jpg

A Bay Area school district has 20 open investigations into student-involved sexual assault or harassment cases.

The Mercury News reports all 20 cases were brought up this school year. A majority of the incidents in the Palo Alto Unified School District were logged in May following public scrutiny into the district's handing of student sexual violence.

In response, the district will create a new assistant superintendent position to oversee reports of sexual harassment as well as staff training. It will also launch a website with information on sex-and gender-based discrimination reporting, investigation and findings.

Palo Alto is home to Stanford University, where former swimmer Brock Turner attended when authorities say he sexually assaulted an unconscious woman outside an on-campus fraternity house in 2015.

A jury convicted Turner and he was sentenced to six months in jail.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Ryann Vargas/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Kids Aspire to High-Profile Careers as YouTube Personalities]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:03:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Thumbnail_Ellen.jpg

With online celebrities popping up almost overnight on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, it may not be surprising to learn that youngsters are looking to get in on the burgeoning career. 

From 15-year-old Russell Horning — a.k.a Backpack Kid — drawing laughs during his appearance on Saturday Night Live to 9-year-old A.J. Heinicke, from San Mateo, showing off motorcycle stunts on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," kids are gaining national attention through a variety of Silicon Valley-based platforms.

First Choice, a British vacation company, decided to see how its youth weighed online careers in comparison to traditional professions like becoming a doctor or actor.

Silicon Valley's influence was apparent in its survey of 1,000 kids around the United Kingdom. The surveyed kids overwhelming favored online fame and more than one-third of them specifically aspired to YouTube stardom.

Just over 11 percent of the children said that fame is the main reason for their choice, but the most common reason was the ability to "create cool content." Children also counted self-expression, travel and earnings among their inspirations.

Since its founding in 2005, San Bruno-based YouTube has expanded its reach to 95 percent of the world’s internet population, spanning 88 countries and 76 languages. According to the company, it now boasts more than one billion users and a larger viewership than any television network in the United States.

    Top Career Choices in Surveyed Kids:

    1. YouTuber – 34.20%
    2. Blogger/Vlogger – 18.10%
    3. Musician/Singer – 16%
    4. Actor – 15.7%
    5. Film Maker – 13.6%
    6. Doctor/Nurse – 13.4%
    7. TV Presenter – 12.4%
    8. Athlete/Teacher – 11.9% 
    9. Writer – 8.4%
    10. Lawyer – 6.4%
    First Choice, a British vacation company, 

    Photo Credit: The Ellen DeGeneres Show
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[Caltrans Proposes Toll Lane, Other Options for Hwy. 101 ]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 23:56:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/101-toll+lane-0531.jpg

    If you could pay a toll to hop into the carpool lane on Highway 101 to make it through rush-hour traffic faster, would you?

    That’s one option Caltrans is considering as a solution to the growing traffic congestion on the major Bay Area corridor.

    The agency rolled out four options for a roomful of curious Peninsula residents in San Mateo. There were different opinions on those options, but everyone agreed something has to be done to manage the increasing crush of traffic.

    Those options include: allowing only vehicles with three or more passengers to ride in the carpool lanes; adding lanes along sections of Highway 101; extending the carpool lanes from San Francisco International Airport down to the Santa Clara County line; and charging a toll for solo drivers who are willing to pay to use those lanes.

    The toll idea prompted lots of questions.

    "I’m not sure that this is going to do the trick," Foster City resident Linda Koeling said. "It will help. But I want to see what the price tag is on it, and then what is the future."

    Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus had an answer.

    "Once they’re in the express lane, they’re out of the general purpose lanes, so that’s less traffic for everyone else to deal with," Haus said.

    Carpools, buses, motorcycles and clean-air vehicles would still be able to access those lanes for free.

    People wanting to use the express lane would need a special transponder that allows them to flip a switch when they’re riding solo or have one passenger or three or more.

    Caltrans will present the ideas at another meeting in Redwood City next week.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[SpaceX Chases Spaceflight History With Reused Capsule]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:06:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/International-Space-Station.jpg

    Southern California-based SpaceX will look to make more history Saturday when the company launches a supply mission to the International Space Station using a spacecraft that will be making its second visit to the outpost.

    Stormy weather thwarted SpaceX's effort Thursday to launch its first recycled cargo ship to the International Space Station.

    A lightning strike within 11 miles of the pad violated launch weather rules. Moments later, SpaceX halted the countdown at Florida's Kennedy Space Center with just 25 minutes remaining. The company will try again Saturday, but more storms are expected.

    The Hawthorne company has already revolutionized the spaceflight industry by recovering the first stage of its Falcon 9 rockets multiple times for re-use. The company successfully re-used one of them during a March flight.

    The scheduled launch will mark the first time SpaceX has re-used one of its Dragon spacecraft, albeit a heavily refurbished one. The craft previously traveled to the International Space Station in 2014.

    The spacecraft will be launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and SpaceX will again attempt to recapture the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that boosts it into orbit, landing the rocket back at Cape Canaveral. If successful, it would be the fourth time SpaceX has piloted the rocket's first stage back to Cape Canaveral. The rockets have been recovered six times on a barge floating in the ocean.

    The mission, dubbed CRS-11, will carry nearly 6,000 pounds of supplies and payloads, according to SpaceX.

    The rescheduled launch window will open at 5:07 p.m ET (2:07 p.m. PT) Saturday.

    Photo Credit: AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[Caltrans Considers Express Toll Lanes on Highway 101]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 19:22:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/traffic_freeway_generic.jpg

    Caltrans is considering a massive construction project that would turn HOV lanes along the Peninsula into an express toll lane.

    "The population in this area keeps growing," Caltrans spokesperson Bob Haus said. "Unfortunately, there's not a lot of room to build."

    Officials said 200,000 drivers commute along Highway 101 on the Peninsula daily.

    If the plan is approved, the express toll lane would stretch from Highway 101 in Santa Clara County to the Interstate 380 interchange. The lane would be free for carpools, but solo drivers could pay a toll for a faster ride.

    "We can do some widening here and there, but mostly it's getting the most efficiency possible out of what you have," Haus said.

    In some areas where there is not enough room to widen the highway, Caltrans is considering converting a regular lane into the express.

    A public meeting to discuss the proposed project is scheduled Wednesday night at San Mateo City Hall. Caltrans said even if the plan is approved in the near future, the work would not begin for another couple of years.

    <![CDATA[Water Safety Warnings After Three Recent Kite Surfing Scares]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 21:19:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/coast-guard-generic.jpg

    The U.S. Coast Guard is reminding adventurers to keep an eye on safety after a recent string of water rescues around the Bay Area.

    The latest rescue happened around 4 p.m. Monday when a helicopter team saved a kite surfer stranded on a rocky shore near Santa Cruz, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Two days before that rescue, a kite surfer and instructor clinging to a buoy without any life jackets were plucked from the water near Oyster Point Marina in South San Francisco.

    No major injuries were reported in either incident, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Officials are using both rescues as teaching moments. The U.S. Coast Guard urges people to be aware of their surroundings, monitor weather conditions, carry a communication device and never enter the water alone.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Palo Alto Police Seek Man Seen Masturbating on Park Bench]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 19:54:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-26-17_Palo_Alto_PD.jpg

    Police are looking for a man who was seen masturbating on a bike path bench next to Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto Thursday morning.

    Around 8:20 a.m., a school security officer reported the incident as it happened. By the time officers arrived, the suspect had left, police said.

    The man had been sitting on a bench on the Bol Park Bike Path, which runs from Hanover Street along Cornelis Bol Park and Gunn High on Arastadero Road.

    The bench the man was sitting on faced the football field but was separated from the path by some bushes, so people passing behind him on the path would not have been able to see what he was doing, police said.

    A school security officer saw the man masturbating from campus and reported the incident to police while another staff member captured the act in a cellphone video, in which a man and a teenage girl are seen passing behind him.

    The suspect did not attempt to communicate with the passersby or call attention to himself, police said.

    Investigators are not aware of anyone who saw the incident other than the two school employees.

    The man was described as light-skinned and standing about 5 foot 10 to 6 feet tall with a medium build.

    He was wearing light blue jeans and a gray hooded sweatshirt that concealed his face from the cellphone video, which police will not be releasing publicly.

    Another lewd conduct incident was reported along the same path on Sept. 30, but farther north toward Bol Park, police said.

    Police have not identified any suspects from the September incident and do not know if the same suspect isresponsible for both crimes.

    Anyone with information about this incident has been asked to call Palo Alto police dispatchers at (650) 329-2413.

    Photo Credit: Palo Alto Police Department]]>
    <![CDATA[Bay Area Events Honor U.S. Military Members]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 14:58:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/052515+memorial+day+flags+generic.jpg

    Joining the rest of the nation Monday, folks in the Bay Area will take time to pay their respects to past, present and future U.S. military service men and women at a variety of Memorial Day events.

    Here is a list of just some of the local events dedicated to veterans and their families:

    San Francisco

    San Francisco's 149th Memorial Day Commemoration: Event begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Presidio Officers' Club. A 21-gun salute and a grand march with veterans will highlight the event. Ret. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, and poet laureate Dana Gioia will also speak.

    San Jose

    Memorial Day Ceremony: Event begins at 11 a.m. at Oak Hill Memorial Park. Medal of Honor recipient James Livingston is slated to speak.

    South San Francisco

    Vietnam Veterans Procession & Memorial Day Ceremony: Event beings at 9:30 a.m. at Fire Station 61. Vietnam veterans will march from the fire station to the eternal flame sculpture at Orange Memorial Park.


    Memorial Day Ceremony Aboard the USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum: Events begins at 11 a.m. at the USS Horney Museum. A wreath casting ceremony will highlight the event.

    San Rafael

    Memorial Day Program: Event begins at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. A keynote address by Tom Tarantino, a Balkan and Middle Eastern conflict veteran, will highlight the event.


    Memorial Day Ceremony: Event begins at 10:30 a.m. at Oak Hill Park. Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Maj. James Taylor will deliver a keynote address.


    "Wings of Freedom" Tour: Event begins at 10 a.m. at Livermore Airport. World War II aircraft will be on display.


    Memorial Day Parade and Music Festival: Event begins at 10:30 a.m. at town hall. The parade will continue to Hillsborough North School.

    Aside from these events, members of the military and veterans are eligible for additional discounts at stores and restaurants.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Fire Officials Urge Caution During Memorial Day Weekend]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 13:31:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-590713310_master.jpg

    Cal Fire officials are urging the public to be cautious about the increased fire danger during Memorial Day weekend.

    In a statement, Cal Fire officials said that while holiday weekends are a great time to gather and enjoy the outdoors, the public is asked to be aware of fire danger and risks posed in the outdoors.

    "We urge safety and preparedness when in wildland areas," Cal Fire Director Chief Ken Pimlott said. "California's extremely dry conditions are primed for wildfires, and it takes diligence from everyone to avoid sparking a fire."

    According to fire officials, despite heavy rainfall during the winter season, drought conditions continue across much of California and wildfires can spark easily if caution is not followed.

    Anyone who is camping is asked to check local fire restrictions in their area, to clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire, and to completely extinguish it before leaving.

    Campers are also reminded not to leave a barbecue grill unattended.

    Anyone traveling by car is reminded to properly maintain their vehicles, make sure nothing is dragging on the ground and to never drive or pull over onto dry grass. When towing, drivers are urged to make sure trailer chains are properly secured.

    According to fire officials, since Jan. 1, Cal Fire crews have responded to over 1,000 wildfires that have burned nearly 15,000 acres.

    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[AAA to Offer Free Tows to Tipsy Drivers on Memorial Day]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 20:23:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Craft-Beer-Generic-Getty-1.jpg

    AAA is offering free "Tipsy Tow" services to celebrants this Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

    The service will run from 6 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday and is available to anyone, not just AAA members.

    "If your plans involve alcohol, plan ahead for a safe ride home," AAA Northern California spokesman Mike Blasky said in a statement. "If those plans fall through, please don't get behind the wheel. Call AAA and we'll get you home safely."

    Drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and restaurant managers can call (800) AAA-HELP (222-4357) and provide the driver's name, home address, phone number and their pick-up location.

    AAA will send out a tow truck and give the driver, the driver's vehicle and one passenger a free 10-mile tow and ride home. For distances beyond 10 miles, a standard towing rate will apply.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Two-Car Wreck Blocks Lanes of Traffic in Menlo Park]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 15:20:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-27-17_Menlo_Park_Crash.jpg

    Both directions of the Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park are open Saturday afternoon following a collision earlier in the day that closed all eastbound lanes, police said.

    Two drivers were involved in the wreck, which occurred around 9:20 a.m., according to police. One vehicle managed to strike a pole before sliding back into the middle of the roadway.

    The driver of that vehicle was transported to a nearby hospital, according to police. The other driver was not hurt and released after speaking with police.

    As of 1:06 p.m. both directions of the highway at Chilco Street were open.

    No information on the collision was immediately available.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[More Legal Maneuvering in Mavericks Surf Saga]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 19:20:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mavericks-02-01-17.jpg

    The messy legal situation that wiped out this year's Mavericks surf contest is getting even more complicated.

    NBC Bay Area has obtained documents that show the San Mateo County Harbor District is objecting to the auction process planned by the current contest organizer 'Cartel Management' and its connected entity 'Titans of Mavericks.'

    As NBC Bay Area has reported, Cartel Management has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans an auction June 1st to sell its assets which, Cartel claims, includes a key contest permit from the harbor district.

    But the harbor district filed a complaint objecting to any 'sweeping sale' that includes the permit.

    A bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for June 7.

    "Cartel seems to be presenting this sale as some sort of ready made 'turn key' event ready to be put on by anyone willing to buy the assets and the permit" said harbor commissioner Sabrina Brennan.

    "We're concerned whoever obtains the permit is capable of running the event and has the financial resources to pull it off, " Brennan said. "We're worried about public safety and the safety of the athletes."

    "We also believe Cartel is misleading potential buyers by listing some permits, including one from the Coastal Commission, which have expired."

    Brennan added there is still some question on whether Cartel legally has the rights to the harbor district permit since the district board never saw the final permit, which attorneys representing Cartel and the district changed without board approval.

    This latest move by the harbor district follows other legal action taken by others involved in the contest, including main sponsor Red Bull and original contest founder Jeff Clark.

    NBC Bay Area was the first to report that Cartel filed for bankruptcy protection that ultimately sank this year's competition.

    The surf contest is an international event in which the world's top surfers have 48-hours to come to Pillar Point once organizers deem the big waves worthy.

    This year's contest was to be the first with a women's heat.

    Cartel Management has said in the past it considers itself the rightful owner of contest assets. Attempts to reach Cartel regarding the harbor district action have been unsuccessful.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Stanford Trauma Team Provides Training for Students]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 21:35:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0525-2017-TraumaTraining.jpg

    Redwood City students on Thursday got a crash course in what to do following a terror attack from some of the best doctors in the nation.

    The students at Sequioa High School hope they never have to face a mass casualty situation. But in the event, many students feel they are now ready to help save lives thanks to a visit from a Stanford trauma team.

    "These students are now sort of an extension of the Stanford trauma team," said Dr. David Spain, Stanford's chief of trauma.

    The Stanford trauma team said in 20 percent of emergency cases, a person's life could have been saved if bystanders knew how to stop the bleeding.

    The school said there is now a little sense of relief should the unthinkable happen.

    "Feels like you're obligated now," student Roger Soriano said. "But in a way that's good and you know you can help save someone from dying."

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Wildlife Workers Save Pelican With CPR-Like Procedure]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 21:17:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pelican+saved-0525.jpg

    A juvenile California brown pelican is alive today thanks to the quick thinking and ingenuity of Bay Area wildlife workers.

    Staff members with the Peninsula Humane Society saved the dying pelican's life by performing a CPR-like procedure at the agency's Wildlife Care Center in Burlingame, according to an agency news release Wednesday.

    A passerby at a Pacifica beach found the 1-year-old pelican lethargic, emaciated and covered in lice and called the humane society for help. Wildlife staff picked up the bird and took it to the Wildlife Care Center, where they found its body temperature was so low it wasn’t even registering, and its vital signs began to plummet, the agency said.

    "It was clear the pelican was dying," said PHS/SPCA Lead Wildlife Technician Greg Hassett. "I decided to try one last effort to save his life by creating a makeshift warming tent of clean towels with warm forced air and provided oxygen to the pelican while keeping his airway open."

    With the pelican placed on a surgery table, Hassett enlisted the help of three others: Wildlife Technician Mariah Horan and interns Jess Qwan and Amy Caufield. The four took turns massaging the pelican to improve circulation as the warm air continued flowing into the towel tent, Hassett said.

    When the bird began fighting back, it was a sign their efforts were paying off, he said. Soon, the bird started breathing on its own.

    It was the first time PHS/SPCA performed such a procedure, the agency said.

    "Through my training, I learned about the importance of keeping airways opens, but I’ve never had to do anything like this on a pelican before," Hassett said. "If we’d done nothing, the pelican surely would have perished, and I’m glad our efforts saved his life."

    The pelican is recovering at PHS/SPCA in stable condition. He will continue to be monitored by wildlife staff until he improves enough to be returned to the wild, the agency said.

    PHS/SPCA spokeswoman Buffy Martin Tarbox said the agency is treating two other starving pelicans found by the bayshore or coast.

    Brown pelicans survive off of small fish at the surface of the water. Some experts worry those fish are following the warmer water to deeper levels, and that’s making it more difficult for pelicans to get the food they need.

    "With whatever is happening right now in the bay, there’s just not the fish that they need to survive," Tarbox said. "It’s a very sad situation."

    The California brown pelican, formerly an endangered species, is native to the Bay Area and is a common sight along the coastal California.

    Photo Credit: Peninsula Humane Society]]>
    <![CDATA[World Surf Dog Competition Returns to the Bay Area]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 06:45:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giphy4.gif

    The World Surf Dog Competition will return to the Bay Area August 5, bringing with it a sea of hounds who can hang ten and a few who will wipeout.  

    The competition, hosted by TasteTV, is open to amateurs looking to ride the waves with some of the world's top dog surfers.

    Last year’s winner, Abbie, traveled from Southern California to compete, but owner Michael Uy said it was actually a home reunion.

    The Australian Kelpie was adopted from the Humane Society of Silicon Valley after being rescued from the side of a road. 

    Uy said he would take Abbie to the beach as part of her rehabilitation. He soon discovered Abbie could ride a wave by herself while he was out surfing one day.

    The talented pooch has since gone on to become a decorated "surf dog" and holds the Guinness world record for longest wave surfed by a canine.

    More surfers are opting to take their four-legged friend out on the waves with them. However, if your dog does not take to a surfboard immediately, there is still hope.

    The Surf Dog Series released tips for getting your dogs ready to head out on the water and a decorated surf dog, Ricochet, hosts a home training schedule online:

    Here are some of their tips you can use to get your dog stoked for surfing:

    1. Swim Before You Surf: "Make sure your dog can swim!" Uy said. Even his world record-holding dog Abbie falls off the board. Uy emphasized making sure conditions are safe and your dog can handle the wave.
    2. Safety First: Uy outfits his dog in a wet suit designed just for Abbie. But Judy Fridono, a dog trainer and owner to famous surfer dog Ricochet, said most people looking to surf with their dogs “are folks who go out a few times a summer.” Most active surfer dogs have at least a doggy life jacket on during the ride.
    3. Don’t Force It: Many owners can sense if they’re dog is having fun or not. Trainer Fridono emphasized the biggest rule for her is: "If they really don't want to surf, then find something else you both enjoy." While some dogs surf on their first time out on the water like Abbie, others take a bit longer to learn so patience and baby steps may be required.
    4. Train at Home Practice makes perfect! "Getting your dog to surf really depends on each individual dog,” Fridono said. However, she does suggest putting away the surfboard when you're not training so your dog gets excited each time.
    5. Food and Treats By serving treats and meal time on the surfboard, the trainer said you reinforce your behavior of your dog being on the board, rather than getting off it.
    6. Distraction Training: "Many dogs are very distracted by everything else going on, so they tend to jump off the board to play, go after a ball, sniff another dog …" The trainer said to complete basic distraction trainers to get your dog ready for crowded beaches.
    7. Use Verbal Cues: "Use a word to release your dog from being on the board, such as 'release.'" Many dogs surf backward so they can keep an eye on their owner. The trainer suggests using a word to help your dog learn that they should stay on the board even when you’re behind them.
    8. Say Cheese: Your dog has a special talent and people will take notice! Prep your dog for the social media fame that may follow.
    9. Have fun! Each trainer and owner emphasized that the biggest part of surfing with dogs is to spend more time with the dog. Make sure it is fun for you and your furry friend!

    The second annual World Dog Surfing Championships is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 5 at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica.

    Photo Credit: Michael Uy/Go Pro]]>
    <![CDATA[FedEx Driver Pleads Not Guilty to Laptop, Cash, iPad Theft]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 09:18:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-24-17-fedex-suspect-arrested-kevin+baker.jpg

    A convicted felon, who worked as a contract driver for FedEx, on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to burglarizing three unlocked San Mateo County homes, and making off with laptops, iPads and cash, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

    Kevin Baker, 57, of Hayward, is accused of first burglarizing an Atherton home on Orchard Hills Street around 1:30 p.m. May 3. He made off with a $1,500 laptop, but was captured on a surveillance camera, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

    His second crime was on the 200 block of Park Lane, also in Atherton, at 1:20 p.m. May 5, at which time he stole $40 from a wallet while the resident was upstairs, according to prosecutors.

    Police said Baker then burglarized a Menlo Park home on the 1100 block of Trinity Drive at 7 p.m. May 17. He grabbed two iPads worth $2,000, and police used the tablets to track Baker to his Hayward home, prosecutors said.

    Baker now faces charges of felony residential burglary. He was appointed a public defender Wednesday and chose not to waive his right to a speedy preliminary trial, prosecutors said.

    FedEx issued a statement, saying: “FedEx Ground contracts for, and expects the highest levels of conduct from service providers and their employees. We are cooperating fully with the authorities as they conduct their investigation and will take the appropriate steps to address this matter.”

    Baker’s criminal history, however, includes various theft-related offenses. Police believe open and unlocked doors proved to be too much of a temptation for the driver delivering packages on the Peninsula.

    "Yeah, I don't know about FedEx's hiring practices, but it appears he broke in while on his rounds," a district attorney representative said Wednesday.

    When pressed on FedEx's policy on background checks, company spokeswoman Meredit Miller said, "Businesses providing service on behalf of FedEx Ground contractually agree to comply with all applicable employment laws related to their drivers and must conduct a background check that includes a review of driving record and criminal history.

    "We can confirm that this driver is no longer providing service on behalf FedEx Ground."

    Bail is set at $800,000, and Baker, who is still in custody, is expected back in San Mateo County Superior Court on June 6.

    NBC Bay Area's Kris Sanchez and Peggy Bunker contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office ]]>
    <![CDATA[Serena Williams to Join SurveyMonkey's Board of Directors]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 22:41:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/632915024-Serena-Williams-Australian-Open.jpg

    Tennis legend Serena Williams is hoping to change the tech world.

    The international superstar is joining SurveyMonkey's Board of Directors with the goal of improving diversity.

    Williams on Wednesday spoke to the San Mateo tech company at a closed door meeting and told employees she hopes to raise its profile when it comes to hiring women and minorities.

    SurveyMonkey said Williams will help it plan for the future, both in terms of growth and diversity.

    NBC Bay Area business and tech reporter Scott Budman has more on Williams' first foray into a tech company in the video report above.

    Photo Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[South San Francisco Police Shoot, Kill Allegedly Armed Man]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 08:58:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-24-17-south-sf-shooting-investigation.jpg

    South San Francisco police officers early Wednesday shot and killed a man who they say was armed with a shotgun.

    A resident on the 3700 block of Cork Place called police around 11:50 p.m., reporting a disturbance involving a gun.

    Responding officers encountered a man who was standing in the middle of the street, and disobeyed repeated orders to drop his weapon, according to police.

    Shots were fired, police said, and the man was killed. It's under investigation if the man pointed his gun at officers or fired shots beforehand.

    One officer sustained minor injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

    Police are not searching for any outstanding suspects and the neighborhood has been deemed safe. Officers are expected to be in the area for several hours due to the ongoing investigation. 

    Cathy Toy, who grew up in South San Francisco and has lived in the area for about 25 years, was rattled by the deadly shooting. She said she was thankful that no one she knows was out on the street at the time of the face-off.

    "It's scary," Toy said.

    The South San Francisco Police Department and San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office are jointly investigating the officer-involved shooting.

    Police said this was the first officer-involved shooting since February 2016. The department has experienced four such incidents in the last four years, but it remains unclear how many of those were fatal. 

    Further details about the suspect, officers and circumstances leading up to the shooting were not immediately available.

    People with more information are asked to call police at 650-877-8900 or the anonymous tip line at 650-952-2244.

    NBC Bay Area's Pete Suratos contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[FedEx Driver Arrested in Connection With 3 Home Burglaries]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 23:31:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-24-17-fedex-suspect-arrested-kevin+baker.jpg

    A convicted felon, who worked as a contract driver for FedEx, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of burglarizing three San Mateo County homes while on the job.

    Kevin Baker, 57, of Hayward, is accused of first burglarizing an Atherton home on Orchard Hills Street around 1:30 p.m. May 3. His second crime was in the 200 block of Park Lane, also in Atherton, at 1:20 p.m. May 5, according to police.

    Police said Baker also burglarized a Menlo Park home in the 1100 block of Trinity Drive at 7 p.m. May 17.

    In a statement issued Wednesday, the delivery company said: “FedEx Ground contracts for, and expects the highest levels of conduct from service providers and their employees. We are cooperating fully with the authorities as they conduct their investigation and will take the appropriate steps to address this matter.”

    However, Baker’s criminal history includes various theft-related offenses, police said.

    Police believe open and unlocked doors proved to be too much of a temptation for the driver delivering packages in Atherton and Menlo Park.

    "Yeah, I don't know about FedEx's hiring practices, but it appears he broke in while on his rounds," a district attorney representative said Wednesday.

    When pressed on FedEx's policy on background checks, company spokeswoman Meredit Miller said, "Businesses providing service on behalf of FedEx Ground contractually agree to comply with all applicable employment laws related to their drivers and must conduct a background check that includes a review of driving record and criminal history.

    "We can confirm that this driver is no longer providing service on behalf FedEx Ground."

    Bail is set at $150,000, and Baker was expected to appear in San Mateo County Superior Court later Wednesday.

    NBC Bay Area's Peggy Bunker contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[SF Supervisors to Determine Fate of Delivery Robots]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 18:32:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/robot_thumbnail.jpg

    A slew of Bay Area cities, including Redwood City, San Carlos and Sunnyvale, have signed on to host delivery robots from Starship Technologies, but San Francisco is approaching the new service with a measure of hesitation.

    City Supervisor Norman Yee, who represents District 7, proposed legislation last week to ban delivery robots, citing safety and privacy concerns.

    "For me it's all about safety," Yee explained. "Our public sidewalks are for people, not robots. It’s all about trying to get ahead of the curve before it gets out of hand."

    While some applauded the lawmaker's preemptive approach, others said it was counterproductive.

    "We should be working with tech to figure out the future together ― not wasting time on legislation to shut it down," city resident Ennis Olson wrote on the supervisor's Facebook page.  

    While there are no existing laws mandating the use of autonomous deliveries in San Francisco, the proposed ban would affect a few companies already testing their delivery robots in the area.

    Dispatch, a South San Francisco startup, raised more than $2 million just last year in seed funding to develop a new robot called Carry. Another company, Marble, announced its use of autonomous robots last month.

    "We share Supervisor Yee's commitment to safety," said Marble CEO and co-founder Matt Delaney. "We’re looking forward to working with the supervisors... to craft smart regulation that balances the needs of pedestrian safety, local businesses, manufacturing and innovation."

    Delaney also said their robots travel at the same speed of a typical pedestrian and "behave politely as good citizens of the sidewalk."

    Robot creators have reasoned that the autonomous machines help get rid of the short-distance deliveries that are less profitable for human workers, while also easing traffic congestion downtown.

    The proposed legislation will be considered by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June. If passed, autonomous robots found on city sidewalks would carry a penalty of up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $1,000.

    Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
    <![CDATA[Unemployment in Bay Area Counties Below 5 Percent in April]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 10:02:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/165*120/141970054.jpg

    Unemployment in all nine Bay Area counties was below five percent last month, officials with California's Employment Development Department said Friday.

    Unemployment in San Mateo County was the lowest in the Bay Area at 2.5 percent. In Marin and San Francisco counties the unemployment rate was 2.7 percent.

    Except for Solano County, unemployment in the other Bay Area counties was between 3.1 and 3.6 percent.

    In Solano County the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[As Told in Gifs: How to Train Your Dog to Surf]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:00:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giphy4.gifHere are tips you can use to get your dog stoked for surfing as well as have a safe ride on the waves.

    Photo Credit: Michael Uy/Go Pro]]>
    <![CDATA[Spare the Air Alert Issued For Monday]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 14:02:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12-24-2013-spare-the-air.jpg

    A Spare the Air alert for smog in the San Francisco Bay Area has been issued for Monday, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said Sunday.

    Smog is expected in parts of the East Bay and the Santa Clara Valley because of light winds and a weak and delayed afternoon sea breeze, according to air district officials.

    This is the second Spare the Air alert for smog in 2017.

    Commuters who drive to work alone are encouraged to use other ways to get to work.

    Smog is especially harmful to children, seniors and people with respiratory and heart conditions, air district officials said.

    People who decide to exercise outdoors should do so in the early morning hours when smog levels are lower.

    Transit will not be free on Monday and air district officials have not issued a wood-burning ban.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Feds to Approve Funding for Caltrain Electrification Project]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 14:35:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/223*120/caltrain.jpg

    Federal funding that was in limbo earlier this year for a Caltrain electrification project will be approved after all, federal transportation officials announced Monday.

    A $647 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration had been approved in the final days of President Barack Obama's administration and was set to be sent in February, but Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, appointed by President Donald Trump, initially declined to sign off on the funds.

    Members of the Republican congressional delegation had complained that the project also draws funds from a high-speed rail project they oppose, but Bay Area Democrats in Congress pushed for Chao to sign off on the funding, saying thousands of jobs were at stake.

    The money will come after all, with federal transportation officials saying in a statement Monday that the FTA "intends to sign" off on the funding, known as the San Carlos Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project Full Funding Grant Agreement.

    The nearly $2 billion electrification project is expected to reduce emissions, save fuel and reduce traffic by increasing capacity on the overcrowded Caltrain system that currently carries about 65,000 people per day.

    Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, issued statements following today's announcement.

    "Secretary Chao has done the right thing and committed the federal government to fulfill its obligation to see this project through completion," Harris said.

    Speier said the project is "shovel-ready" once the funding is approved and called Monday "a great day for jobs, clean air and decongestion of traffic in the Bay Area."

    <![CDATA[Innovators Show Off Creations at Maker Faire ]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 18:44:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO4_MAKERFAIRE.jpgStudents on field trips, work conference groups and Maker Faire VIP holders packed in to the San Mateo County Event Center to take a peek at this year's creations at the annual Bay Area Maker Faire event. The yearly gathering of do-it-yourself enthusiasts showcases ingenuity from over 1,300 makers from all over the world.

    Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
    <![CDATA[Man's Body Plucked From San Francisco Bay]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 19:20:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

    The body of a 20-something man was pulled from the San Francisco Bay in Brisbane Saturday morning, according to the Brisbane Police Department.

    There were no signs of trauma, and an initial investigation indicates that the San Francisco man may have drown, according to police.

    A kayaker in the area originally spotted the body and alerted the U.S. Coast Guard, according to Brisbane police. After determining that the body was in the Brisbane area, Brisbane police took over.

    Identification on the man helped police identify his age and location, police said.

    Further information was not available at the time.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Bay Area Companies Lead 'Best Places to Work' Ranking]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 16:57:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/New+Image20.JPG

    The Bay Area is well represented on a recent LinkedIn list of the United States' best places to work. 

    Top Companies Where the World Wants to Work Now” ranks 50 of the country's biggest businesses. Collectively, they span 21 industries and employ over three million workers, according to LinkedIn. The list is based on employee retention and interest in not only a company's available jobs, but also its overall brand.

    With 72,000 employees globally, Alphabet, the parent company of Mountain View-based Google, came in first place. The tech behemoth set out in 2012 to rely only on renewable energy, and is on track to do exactly that this year.  

    In second place was Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle. The company boasts over 340,000 employees across the world and has picked up three Oscars in the last 12 months, LinkedIn said.

    Local companies earned the next five spots on LinkedIn's list. Facebook, of Menlo Park, came in third and was followed by Salesforce and Uber, both of San Francisco; Tesla, which is headquartered in Palo Alto; and Apple, a tech giant located in Cupertino. 

    Three media organizations — Time Warner, the Walt Disney Company and Comcast NBCUniversal — rounded out the top 10 positions on the list. 

    Other familiar names that made the cut include Airbnb, Netflix and Twitter.

    LinkedIn, which is also based in Mountain View, excluded itself from the list.

    Here are this year's top 20 companies in the U.S.:

    1. Alphabet
    2. Amazon
    3. Facebook
    4. Salesforce
    5. Uber
    6. Tesla
    7. Apple
    8. Time Warner
    9. The Walt Disney Company
    10. Comcast NBCUniversal
    11. Airbnb
    12. Netflix
    13. McKinsey & Company
    14. Dell Technologies
    15. Workday
    16. Under Armour
    17. Twitter
    18. CBRE
    19. Visa
    20. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
    <![CDATA[Habitat for Humanity, Residents Fight Over Housing Complex]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 19:24:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-19-17_RWC_Construction.jpg

    Habitat for Humanity is in the works of constructing an apartment complex for low-income families in Redwood City, but some neighbors aren't too happy about the plan.

    The complex located along Jefferson Avenue will house 20 units in a six-story building with one story designated for parking.

    Geoff Car, speaking on behalf of several neighbors who filed a complaint with the city's planning commission, is upset that the proposed building will sit between historical buildings as well as increase congestion in the area.

    "I hate putting a six-story pole in the middle of two to three historical buildings," Car said. "It's not what we consider appropriate respect for the historical status that we have."

    A one bedroom pad in downtown Redwood City currently goes for roughly $2,800 per month. Habitat For Humanity hopes to offer a cheaper option with its complex, and Maureen Sedonaen from the nonprofit expects hundreds of people in need to apply for the affordable housing. She also argues that the building's residents will benefit the community.

    "They are working families often who are often our emergency responders, our teachers, our ibrarians, and they’re trying to raise their families and plant their roots," she said.

    Redwood City officials on Monday will consider Car's complaint and a request to cap the building at three stories. Following through with a limit would negatively impact Habitat for Humanity's goal.

    "If we had to cut out units, we'd have to cut out the three and two bedroom units, which basically limits the number of families that we can do because then they're in the one bedroom unit," Sedonaen said.

    If the city moves forward with construction, Car plans to sue the city and Habitat for Humanity.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[San Mateo County Allocates $44M to Affordable Housing]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 15:56:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/207*120/dark2.jpg

    The Measure A sales tax, extended for two additional decades under Measure K, is expected to generate $160 million in revenue for San Mateo County over the next two years. Roughly $44 million of those funds were approved Tuesday by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for affordable housing projects.

    Here is how the budget breaks down:

    • $35.75 million is budgeted to more than double previously allocated funds to the Affordable Development and Preservation Fund
    • $5 million is budgeted for the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust
    • $1.6 million is budgeted for ongoing programming and staffing
    • $1.4 million is budgeted for tenant assistance programs

    "Many of the people in the county were asking (San Mateo County) to do more," Kenneth Cole, the director of San Mateo County's Department of Housing, said in response to the budget approval.

    Following a decrease in revenue for redevelopment initiatives at the state level, the county asked voters to extend the sales tax with promises to soften the budget shortfall on projects such as affordable housing.

    "This county has stepped up to replace (the missing funds)," Cole said.

    He expects the new allocations to sustain efforts at the same level as they have in previous years.

    However, the pipeline of moving public funds into housing projects is slow moving because of pending land sales and fluctuating markets, according to Cole. As a result, the $43.5 million approved for fiscal years 2017 through 2019 will not likely be spent immediately.

    So far, roughly one quarter of the $20 million working budget for 2015-2016 has been expended on housing projects. Almost $3.8 million was spent in the prior two fiscal years combined. 

    While affordable housing projects remain tied up in a slow-moving process, a recent survey found low-income residents shouldering hefty rent increases and a spike in evictions locally.

    According to a recent survey, there was a 59 percent increase in renters evicted after failing to pay their monthly rent and three times more no-cause evictions reported. The practice of no-cause evictions refers to when landlords give no reason for a tenant's eviction.

    The survey also estimated that about 44 percent of non-subsidized affordable housing dissolved from the market since 2012. The housing department is studying that finding.

    The county said Tuesday it has created 268 finished affordable housing units in the last few years with hundreds more in pre-construction phases.

    However, those efforts are dwarfed by an estimated shortage of about 25,882 affordable rental units, a rise of 14 percent from the previous year.

    "We need a lot more (units), but at least we’re getting the pipeline flowing," Cole said. "We're all in this together."

    “We need a lot more than that – but at least we’re getting the pipeline flowing.”

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Rebecca Greenway]]>
    <![CDATA[County Announces $40M Deal to Acquire Mobile Home Park]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 18:19:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/buena+vista-0518.jpg

    After four months of negotiations, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority on Thursday announced an agreement to acquire a Palo Alto mobile home park for more than $40 million, allowing roughly 400 low-income residents to stay in their homes.

    If formally approved by the housing authority's board of commissioners during their meeting on May 23, the $43,375,000 purchase will be funded by a three-way partnership between Santa Clara County, the city of Palo Alto and the housing authority.

    According to the housing authority, the city and county have committed $29 million in affordable housing funds and the housing commission will use U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to close the gap.

    "This is an extraordinary opportunity to preserve affordable housing for low-income residents, including at least 100 children, in a city where it is desperately needed," Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff said in a statement. "Palo Alto's commitment of affordable housing funds to this project are well spent."

    The deal is expected to go through by early fall, after part of the parcel is sub-divided for commercial use. That piece of land will be retained by the current owner.

    "From the beginning of this effort we've had three goals: to preserve over 100 units of desperately needed affordable housing; to prevent the eviction of 400 low-income residents, folks who truly have nowhere else to go; and to ensure that the current property owner receives full and fair market value for the property," Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian said.

    "With today's announcement we can celebrate the realization of all three goals," Simitian said. "All of this happened because so many good folks had the grit, the determination, and the decency to make it happen."

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Sex Offender on Campus? Palo Alto High Parents Want Answers]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 06:13:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pa+sex+assault-0516.jpg

    Parents at Palo Alto High School are outraged after being told a student who had been convicted of one sexual assault and accused of another was allowed to remain on campus.

    On Tuesday night, parents demanded answers, and the school board moved to make immediate changes in its reporting and disciplinary policies.

    While the school district said it cannot divulge information about a minor, NBC Bay Area learned Tuesday that the student in question left the school voluntarily.

    District officials still weren't clear about why the student wasn't moved to another campus.

    "We need to know when we have an active predator around so they can be aware of this, of course," parent Saundra Zenger said.

    Parents just found out about the assault that happened off campus in 2015. The assailant, a junior at Palo Alto High, was convicted in December of forced oral copulation.

    "My daughter has two classes with the person in question," parent Rhyme Adzema said. "He has acted inappropriately towards her, and I don't know what's going on."

    The Palo Alto Unified District school board met in closed session Tuesday evening to evaluate the way Superintendent Max McGee handled the matter.

    "We can't disclose anything about minors," a district spokesperson said. "We can't disclose anything regarding contact with the police, with the juvenile justice system. I can't even tell you if they're in school today."

    The student's attorney released a statement, saying, "Although the District Attorney's Office has declined to file anything against the student, other than consensual underage sexual activity as a result of the conduct on campus, the student has elected not to complete the school year on campus."

    Meanwhile, parents clamored for changes.

    "I want to know that this administration is dealing with these types of issues with this or others in a serious manner," Chris Cummings said.

    The school board announced changes in the way it handles reporting of sexual assaults or harassment, is adding a new administrative position and is renewing its educational efforts for staff and students.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Pacifica Man Arrested After Child Porn Images Found in Home]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:47:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Jail-Generic-Photo1.jpg

    Police and FBI agents arrested a 28-year-old man Tuesday morning after a search of his Pacifica home allegedly led to the discovery of roughly 14,000 images of child pornography on his computers and other electronic devices.

    Officials served a warrant at Marlon Ramirez's home on Eastridge Circle around 7 a.m., according to police.

    The warrant was part of an investigation launched earlier this year when detectives found out about a Pacifica resident downloading child porn online.

    Ramirez allegedly provided a statement to investigators, and was arrested on suspicion of possessing and circulating child pornography, police said.

    Further details about the case were not immediately available.

    <![CDATA[Veteran's Family Sues VA Department After Death in Hospital]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 23:33:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/douglas+ross-0515-2017.jpg

    A Navy veteran who died while being treated at a Palo Alto veterans' hospital was the victim of neglect, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by his family.

    The suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs accuses VA Palo Alto of elder abuse and neglect after Vietnam War veteran Douglas Wayne Ross died May 5, 2016, from a traumatic head injury after a fall in his hospital room. Ross's family said he was in need of continuous care and was left alone for too long.

    Ross, 72, was admitted to VA Palo Alto last spring for surgery to restore blood flow to his lower body. The lawsuit alleges VA Palo Alto left him "unattended" and "unrestrained."

    "What you can't do is take someone who's essentially helpless, in a frail condition, and put him in a chair and walk away," said attorney Niall McCarthy, who is representing the family.

    According to the lawsuit, Ross suffered a heart attack after his first surgery. After recovering, he continued to require care, including dialysis and blood thinners and was designated a high risk for falling down, the lawsuit says.

    McCarthy said that in March of this year, in a response to the family's claim for damages, the Department of Veterans Affairs said it conducted its own investigation and declared no breach of care led to harm. It also concluded there was no wrongful act by any employee and denied the claim for compensation.

    "Well the family ... the most important thing they want is change," McCarthy said. "There's certainly going to be a component which is compensation, but that's not why they brought this suit."

    The lawsuit comes as VA Palo Alto already is trying to repair damage to its reputation from previous highly publicized problems.

    VA Palo Alto did not respond to calls or emails requesting comment on the lawsuit.

    Photo Credit: Ross family]]>
    <![CDATA[Discover Popular Bay Area Bike Rides During Bike Month]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 14:31:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/Thumbnail46.jpg

    Whether you want to discover a new part of the Bay Area or just get some exercise, these bike trails are great for beginners and experienced bikers alike. You'll even get gorgeous views along the route!

    San Francisco Bay Trail: The 500-mile trail loops around the Bay Area's bayfront cities and has several route options on its website. From the six-mile Bay Farm Island Loop in Alameda to the nearly 15-mile route through Baylands Park in the South Bay, each trail is sure to provide spectacular views.

    Coastal Trail: Views of the ocean are a given on this beautiful stretch of trails and you’ll have a flat path most of the way. If you feel like an extra challenge, stop at one of Pacifica’s bike paths or nearby Montara Mountain if you feel like really breaking a sweat.

    Golden Gate Park: San Francisco’s Route 30, called the Wiggle, is marked with green signs labeled "SF Bicycle Route 30" and loops around downtown for a city tour before taking you straight into Golden Gate Park through Fell Street. The park boasts miles of paths through the greenery, waterfalls, and gardens around Stow Lake. If you want a slice of city riding with a view of the ocean as well as a picnic in the park, try this four-mile route from Haight-Ashbury to Ocean Beach. The last one to dip their feet in the ocean buys dinner!

    The Silverado Trail: A relatively flat ride, this trail through Napa Valley isn't one to miss. The scenic trip through wine country is maintained through the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition and is great for families. 

    Golden Gate Bridge: Choose a bike path with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Use Google to route yourself to Black Sands Beach, which includes a steep incline at Conzelman Road, or take your bike to Sausalito, which includes a ride on the ferry. Another popular option is riding through the Presidio’s trails and along the shoreline

    Tennessee Valley: There’s plenty to do on this route in Marin County, offering a stop at Muir Beach, sightseeing and lounging on the beach at Tennessee Cove. Watch for horses as it is also a trail for horseback riders.

    Angel Island: Perimeter Road, which loops around Angel Island, is an easy ride with loads of views to take in. Get to the island through the ferry service and head around the island on your bike. If you don’t have a bike to bring along, you can rent one on the island during certain seasons.

    Crystal Springs and Cañada Road: Starting south of San Bruno into Woodside, the nearly 18-mile route on the Peninsula has restrooms and picnic areas at the Sawyer Camp and includes Woodside’s popular Cañada Road. Cañada Road even closes its road to traffic on Bicycle Sundays

    Haul Road: This roughly 10-mile round trip takes bicyclists through picturesque redwoods in Portola Redwoods State Park until reaching Pescadero Creek. The thick forest provides a contrast to the ocean and bayfront bike trails in other Bay Area cities.

    Lake Chabot: A ride along the lakeshore is perfect for families and provides great views of Lake Chabot. If you want a challenge, the area boasts some popular mountain biking routes in the East Bay. The lake is also a popular kayaking spot, so if you need to cool off, just head over to the boat rental and lounge on the water.

    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[Foster City Leaders Advance Levee Raising Project]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 23:48:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/foster+city+levee.jpg

    Foster City leaders on Monday night moved forward with a massive plan to raise the city's levee two to three feet to protect the city from potential flooding caused by sea level rise.

    The City Council approved an environmental impact report and design to upgrade the 8-mile levee around the city. The $90 million project would protect the city from projected sea level rise through 2050.

    Supporters say the project will maintain property values and save people from paying flood insurance because they'd no longer live in a flood zone.

    "It's one of the biggest projects we've done since the city's been built, and it's important to maintain the quality of life and the value of life here in Foster City," Mayor Charlie Bronitsky said.

    The project initially would be paid for by property owners through a bond that is expected to appear on the November ballot.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[More Than 100,000 Expected to Bike to Work Day Thursday]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 06:03:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Biking_SiliconValley.jpg

    The 23rd annual Bike to Work day kicks off with a weeklong commute challenge as well as events planned throughout the week to commemorate May as National Bike Month.

    Official Bike to Work Day throughout the Bay Area is Thursday.

    Tech companies including Google and Facebook, as well as cities and nonprofit organizations, have collaborated to host more than 150 stops around Bay Area communities including 26 stops in San Francisco.

    According to San Mateo County's commuting report, its booming economy and low unemployment rates mean more commuters clogging up the roads.

    "San Mateo County commuters are experiencing longer commutes, extended peak-hour traffic and crowded trains," the report stated. 

    In response, organizers are hoping the event will bring more newcomers out to the streets to give commuting by bicycle a try.

    Last year's weeklong commuter challenge on the Peninsula had a combined 789,000 miles logged from 1,306 participants and an additional 12,000 bicycle riders counted at the annual Bike to Work Day stations in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. 

    National Bike to Work Day follows the local event on May 19.

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    <![CDATA[2017 Mother's Day Events in the Bay Area ]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 16:10:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mothersdaygen.jpg

    If you forgot to make Mother's Day plans this year, don't fret. It's not too late to plan a memorable day for the mom in your life. 

    Here are some of NBC Bay Area's favorite events happening this weekend: 

    Free Day at the Exploratorium:

    Families are invited to celebrate Mother's Day at the Exploratorium in San Francisco for free on Sunday. Spend the morning making crafty flowers, or immerse yourself in some of the interactive activities the museum offers. The area is packed with brunch places nearby, too. Visit the Exploratorium's website for more details. Free tickets are first come, first served. 

    Mother's Day at the Zoo:

    Mom and her cubs might enjoy a docent-led cycling tour through the San Francisco Zoo. You have to bring your own bike, and pre-registration is required. But there's a free continental breakfast at the end of the tour, so there's no need to make additional lunch plans. Visit the San Francisco Zoo website for more details. Tickets are $35 for non-members. 

    Downtown Alameda's annual Spring Festival:

    One of Alameda's most popular hubs will transform into a large-scale festival, complete with live music, arts and crafts booths, bounce houses, and more. A lot of pop-up shops will be selling artisanal goods, so this activity could also double as a leisurely shopping trip. Visit the Spring Festival's website for more information: 

    Stanford Powwow:

    The 46th annual Mother's Day Weekend Powow will bring Native American music, dancing and cuisine to the prestigious university's scenic campus. The event runs Friday through Sunday, and families are invited to camp overnight. The event is free, but donations are accepted. Check the Powwow's website for more information. 

    Urban Tilth's Festival of Flowers:

    The community farm in Richmond on Saturday will host its inaugural Annual Festival of Flowers, complete with live music, a brunch buffet and a raffle. Prizes include tickets to the Oakland symphony, a professional manicure and pedicure, and gift baskets. Families will also have the opportunity to make unique flower arrangements, flower crowns and Mother's Day cards. The best part? The event is completely free! Check out the website for more information. 

    Wine and painting: 

    If you and mom are looking for something more low-key, consider one of the many Paint-and-Sip classes that have popped up in recent years. There are dozens of shops scattered around the Bay Area that offer attendees the chance to sip wine, listen to relaxing music and get a painting lesson straight from the professionals! Check out the Canvas and Cabernet website to see what the classes entail and find price information. 

    Plan your own adventure: 

    Visit one of the Bay Area's many beaches, or scour parts of your neighborhood that you've never been to before — maybe start a new tradition. Ultimately, you can't go wrong on Mother's Day so long as you and mom have quality time together. 

    Is there an event missing from this list? Email Gillian.Edevane@nbcuni.com with details for possible inclusion. 

    <![CDATA[New Paved Path to Replace Stanford's 'Scary Path']]>Mon, 08 May 2017 20:47:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scary+path-0508-2017.jpg

    A poorly lit trail between residence buildings at Stanford University that's been dubbed the "scary path" is being replaced by a new paved path.

    The uneven dirt path not far from where former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner sexually assaulted a woman in January 2015, is a highly used route for those on campus. The new path, which is being named the Knoll Path, will be paved and have much better lighting, campus officials said.

    Stanford officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, and construction on the new path began. Those who frequented the "scary path" said they're relieved.

    "I mean, I've definitely walked on the path at night, and it has been frightening, especially as a female on campus," student Alexis Kallen said. "I think it's a great idea."

    Stanford officials said they want the area to feel safer.

    "We're gonna be paving and lighting it, so we hope students use that path instead of this one over here," said Greg Boardman, vice provost for Student Affairs.

    The new path comes after years of student lobbying for something safer. The university said the path work will continue through the summer, and it should be open by the time students arrive for the new school year in the fall.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Rising Sea Level Discussion in Foster City]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 08:23:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-3-17-brush-fire.jpg

    A special meeting to discuss the threat of rising sea levels is scheduled to take place Monday in Foster City. Scientists predict the issue will threaten billions of dollars worth of infrastructure, and some lawmakers have called San Mateo County "ground zero" for the impact because of how many of the county's assets are located at sea level.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[High Surf Advisory in Effect For Bay Area Beaches]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 11:29:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Waves-generic-san-diego-091715.jpg

    A high-surf advisory is in effect until Sunday afternoon for all of the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Bay Area coastlines, according to National Weather Service officials.

    The advisory is in effect until 2 p.m. for the coastline from northern Sonoma County to southern Monterey County and the Big Sur coast.

    Forecasters are expecting a northwest swell of 15 to 18 feet with 11-second swell periods.

    Large waves will be capable of sweeping people into the water, which is cold and turbulent. The high surf will also produce rip currents, weather officials said.

    People are urged to avoid coastline beaches, rocks, jetties and piers until the high surf subsides.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
    <![CDATA[Silicon Valley Companies Hiring, But Not From Ivy Leagues]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 06:59:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-73909596.jpg

    Considering shelling out big bucks on an Ivy League education? You may want to reconsider that – at least if you're eyeing a job in Silicon Valley.

    The list of top 10 universities big-name Bay Area companies hire from doesn't feature any of the Ivy League universities in the country, according to artifical intelligence company HiringSolved. The analysis was based on 10,000 profiles of tech workers who were hired or promoted into new roles in 2016 as well as January and February 2017, according to the San Francisco Business Times

    Leading the list were two local schools: University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

    The others, however, included well-known engineering schools, such as Georgia Institute of Technology, and large public universities, including San Jose State University, UC San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, University of Texas at Austin. 

    Of the Ivy League schools, Cornell University made it to rank 15.

    “Our research suggests that in addition to specific skills and educational backgrounds, Silicon Valley is looking for a strong fundamental understanding of the basics of technology in their new hires” HiringSolved CEO Shon Burton said in a statement. “Often what separates say, a good engineer from a great one, is a knack for understanding the baseline ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of how things work – the physics of the technology.”

    Applicants looking to stand out must demonstrate familiarity with a number of softwares, including Python, C++, Java, Linux and Matlab, the analysis shows. 

    Here are the top 10 schools favored in the past year by recruiters at top Silicon Valley companies:

    1. University of California, Berkeley
    2. Stanford University
    3. Carnegie Mellon University
    4. University of Southern California
    5. The University of Texas at Austin
    6. Georgia Institute of Technology
    7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    8. San Jose State University
    9. University of California, San Diego
    10. Arizona State University

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Reports of Burglary Attempt, Battery Put Stanford on Alert]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 06:43:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stanford-campus-generic.jpg

    A case involving battery and an attempted burglary were reported at Stanford University student on Saturday morning, police said.

    The battery occurred at about 1 a.m. on the east side of campus. Police are describing the suspect as an unshaven man about 20 years old and about 6 feet 1 inch tall. He was wearing a red and white Cleveland Cavaliers jersey.

    Also, police said the university's department of public safety was told of an attempted burglary that occurred Saturday on the first floor of Roble Hall.

    The student heard noises at his window. The student went to the window and saw a person holding the window screen open.

    The suspect ran away when he was spotted. Police are describing the suspect as a man in his 30s with short dark hair and a heavy build. The man was about 5 feet 9 inches tall.

    Police are encouraging students and visitors to be alert and protect themselves. They also urged students and visitors to keep doors and windows locked and to report suspicious and criminal activity to police as soon as possible.

    Anyone with more information is asked to call Stanford police at (650) 329-2413.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Pimping, Prostitution Arrests in San Bruno]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 20:52:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SMCsuspects1.jpg

    Two men and two women were arrested Friday on suspicion of prostitution and pimping, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

    Jin Deng, 31, and Jin Zhen, 26, both of San Francisco, are accused of pimping, sheriff's officials said. Wenyan Ma, 33, of San Gabriel, and Liuyng Zhang, 50, of Los Angeles, are suspected of committing acts of prostitution. 

    Law enforcement officials from the San Mateo County sheriff's office, and Redwood City and San Bruno police departments investigated the suspects for a month, according to a statement.

    They then served a search and arrest warrant at a house on the 1100 block of Herman Street in San Bruno around 2 p.m. Friday. 

    It remains unknown what officials found during their investigation and what led to the arrests. It is also unclear how long the business was in operation.

    Neighbor Gloria Mendoza was taken aback to learn about about the month-long investigation and arrests.

    "I'm surprised for this neighborhood being pretty quiet," she said.

    The suspects have been booked into the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City. An investigation is ongoing.

    People with information about this case are asked to call the sheriff's office at 650-363-4911. Anonymous tips can be left at 1-800-547-2700.

    Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
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    <![CDATA[Heiress Changed Millbrae Man's Life Then Plotted His Death]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 05:10:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0505-2016-KeithGreen.jpg

    Keith Green was a popular but troubled Bay Area high school football star who had recently washed out of college when he met Tiffany Li.

    Li was a pretty, jet-setting daughter of a rich and powerful Chinese family who was born in Beijing and grew up in Silicon Valley.

    She changed his life.

    Then, according to prosecutors, she orchestrated his murder last year when she fell in love with another man after more than six years with Green.

    That man, his "bodyguard" and Li have all been charged with first-degree murder. The men are jailed pending a September trial.

    Li, however, called on her wealthy family and friends to post $4 million in cash and put up more than $60 million in real estate to secure bail and set her free before trial. The district attorney called the amount unprecedented in the region.

    Her release on bail shocked Green's family and friends and underscored just how wealthy and influential her family is.

    Li's attorney Geoff Carr says she had nothing to do with the murder and that's why her family and friends took the financial risk they did to post her bail. Li and the two men have pleaded not guilty.

    Court records show her mother and stepfather amassed a fortune through real estate investments and construction projects in China, including two Beijing skyscrapers. The documents show the family has properties in the Cayman Islands and St. Kitts, Caribbean island nations known for their lush beaches and strict financial privacy laws.

    The couple's story began around 2009. Li and Green met when he was 21 and she was 23 and quickly decided to live together. They first moved into an apartment owned by her mother, who disapprovingly told homicide detectives that Green grew marijuana in one of the bedrooms.

    They soon moved into a newly built $7 million mansion in the exclusive San Francisco suburb of Hillsborough owned by her mother. Li gave birth to a daughter in 2012 and to a second daughter two years later, and the home was staffed with nannies, housekeepers and landscapers. The couple had their pick of exotic sports cars and SUVs to drive.

    He liked tattoos. She talked about plastic surgery, according to court records.

    Li held a master's degree in business from the University of San Francisco, and her mother paid her $100,000 a year to help manage the family's real estate holdings. Green had trouble finding work after convictions for theft and fraud as a minor, court records show.

    Li's mother told police she disapproved of Green because he drank and smoked marijuana, and he lost a construction job. She called him a "black hole" in the family. Still, she picked up the $40,000 annual tab for Green to attend Cordon Bleu Culinary School in San Francisco.

    Those who knew him previously remember someone different.

    Green grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in San Mateo, a high-tech, San Francisco Bay Area enclave. His parents divorced when he was young, and he was raised by his mother, family friend Angela Dunn said.

    He ran into legal troubles, including a fraud case involving Macy's gift cards, when he was a juvenile, according to court records.

    Nonetheless, he was a popular high school athlete, and he had many friends when he died. Dunn said about 50 people attended an April 28 vigil marking the one-year anniversary of his death.

    Steve Sell, Green's high school football coach, said Green led the team to an undefeated season and a playoff win in 2005, earning a half-scholarship to Eastern Washington University. But he dropped out after a year and drifted from temporary job to unemployment.

    "Tremendous athlete," said Sell, who noted Green also played baseball and basketball. "Popular and funny."

    Li, meanwhile, was born in Beijing, and court records indicate her grandparents served in China's army. She moved to Silicon Valley in 1992 with her younger brother, mother and stepfather and became a U.S. citizen in 2000. She attended six different private schools, including the prestigious Santa Catalina boarding school in Monterey.

    Sometime after they met, Green introduced Li to his friend and that's when the trouble began. Li and Kaveh Bayat soon began an affair.

    Prosecutors say Li kicked Green out of the mansion in October 2015, closed their joint bank accounts and turned off his phone. Green went to live in the one-bedroom apartment of a family friend. Bayat moved into the mansion.

    Green and Li began a legal battle over custody of their young daughters, eventually agreeing Green could gradually retain 50 percent, starting with unsupervised weekend visits.

    The first weekend visit was to take place April 30, 2016, but Green disappeared two days before.

    Prosecutors say Green agreed to meet Li in a restaurant parking lot in Millbrae, near San Mateo, the night of April 28, 2016.

    Li told detectives they sat in her car for about an hour, discussing their children, then Green left after an amicable talk. But court records show investigators tracked both of their cellphones back to her mansion.

    A walker found Green's body nearly two weeks later 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    A few days after that, using phone records, police arrested Olivier Adella, a 6-foot-5 (2-meter) French-born mixed martial arts professional who describes himself as Bayat's bodyguard. He has since opted to cooperate with police.

    He said Li and Bayat showed up at his apartment the night of the restaurant meeting with Green's body in the front passenger seat of Li's SUV, blood coming from his mouth and ears.

    Olivier told detectives Bayat showed him a handgun stuffed in his waistband and handed him gloves.

    "I need you to take out the trash," Olivier says Bayat told him.

    Geoff Carr, Li's attorney, says Olivier is lying about Li's involvement. Charles Smith and John Halley, lawyers for Bayat and Olivier, did not return phone calls from The Associated Press.

    Bayat and Li were arrested at the mansion the day after Adella's arrest.

    "This is all so stupid and sad, and all these lives are ruined," said Mitri Hanania, an attorney who once represented Green, after Li accused him of stealing a Range Rover. Those charges were dropped.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>