<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - San Francisco]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usMon, 22 May 2017 10:41:17 -0700Mon, 22 May 2017 10:41:17 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Suspects Escape After Home Invasion, Police Shooting in SF]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 05:52:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-22-17-home-invasion-sf.jpg

A search for suspects in San Francisco was called off Monday morning following an overnight home invasion and subsequent police foot chase in which officers were fired at but not injured, according to police.

The chaotic scene erupted around 11 p.m. Sunday along the 2100 block of Quesada Avenue when police responded to a home invasion call, according to police. Arriving officers set up a perimeter before spotting several suspects exit the home, hop fences and escape into neighboring backyards.

During the chase, at least one suspect fired at officers, but no law enforcement officials were hit, police said. No suspects suffered gunshot wounds either.

"From what I hear though, it was harrowing," Sgt. Michael Andraychak from the San Francisco Police Department. "Very, very close call for officers that were in the background."

At least one adult male suspect was eventually caught, but the rest got away. The police perimeter was expanded to search for those escapees before being torn down around 3 a.m. after no suspects were found.

Despite the ground search being called off, police are still looking for the suspects.

At least one person in the home believed to be targeted by the suspects suffered injuries, police said.

An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact San Francisco police.

Further information was not available at the time.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Flight Makes Unscheduled Stop at SFO Due to Unruly Passenger]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 07:55:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/United+Trump+Hat+Passenger.jpg

A United Airlines flight from Shanghai to Newark, New Jersey, was delayed several hours and eventually rerouted to San Francisco International Airport Sunday due to an unruly passenger wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, authorities said.

United said the unidentified passenger tried to take another passenger’s seat while boarding flight 187 Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The elderly man allegedly refused to move and grew increasingly disruptive after he was asked to exit the aircraft.

Passengers were forced to de-plane at the Shanghai airport while local law enforcement dealt with the matter.

The man "eventually left the aircraft on his own accord" before the flight departed, a spokesman for United said.

Cellphone video captured by a passenger on the flight showed a crowd of travelers shouting  "Lock him up!" as he was escorted off the plane and to the boarding gate.

The flight was forced to make an unscheduled stopover in San Francisco to get a new crew on board, adding several hours to the already lengthy flight. The flight was scheduled to arrive in Newark at 6:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, but didn't touch down in New Jersey until 2:22 a.m. Monday.

United thanked its customers for their patience and its staff for its professionalism.

<![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[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[Weird and Wacky: Runners Take Over SF For Bay to Breakers]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 23:28:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-21-17_BTB_11.jpg

Bust out the wacky costume, it's Bay to Breakers day.

Nearly 40,000 runners — from those with an interest in their time to those wishing to win the most creative outfit award — graced the streets of San Francisco Sunday morning for the 106th running of the annual event, which shoots runners more than seven miles from the intersection of Main and Howard Streets to the breakers at Ocean Beach.

The starting gun fired right around 8 a.m. Elite runners ignited out of the gates while fun-minded folks followed behind at a leisurely pace. Superman was spotted at least once, a smiling Fred and Wilma Flintstone pairing made an appearance, and even a mustard-covered hot dog came to life.

Felix Sanchez, dressed as "The Flash," was finished with the race before it even started.

"To be honest, I've been to the finish line a couple of times just to see how they're doing," he joked. "Today alone I've been to Rome to see how that place was doing. (I've been to) Japan; love the culture there. I've been all over the place this morning."

Jester-for-a-day Marshall O'Grady also tried his hand at entertaining during his first Bay to Breakers run.

"Well, you know, this whole race is really a joke, isn't it, for 90 percent of us," he said. "So I said, 'Hey, let's dress appropriately.'"

On the more serious side of things, Philemon Cheboi broke the tape at the finish first with a time of 34:48, according to race officials. Buze Biriba paced the women with a finishing time of 39:48.

Participant Mike Domingo didn't necessarily care about his place in the results. The race regular suffered a heart attack 71 days ago. Sunday's event provided an opportunity for some rehab.

"It's not a challenge," Domingo said. "It's something I've always done. It's in my DNA to do it."

The first ever Bay to Breakers race kicked off in 1912, according to race officials. Since that time, creatively-dressed racers have showed off the spirit of San Francisco with a wide gamut of ingenious costumes during the 12K running event.

No alcohol, floats or large bags were allowed in the interest of safety and security. No serious security issues were reported as of 12:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Rick Boone
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<![CDATA[Missing Uber Driver's Car Found in San Francisco: Family]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 21:38:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chhay-kim-0517.jpg

The car belonging to a missing Uber driver out of San Francisco was found Friday night, according to the man's family.

Piseth Chhay, 48, left his home Sunday to help a friend, but the father of two never made it to his friend's house. Five days later, his 2008 silver Mercedes SUV was found on Ingalls Street in San Francisco, the family said.

The vehicle has been impounded, and authorities plan to conduct DNA testing on the car.

Chhay has been described as a dedicated family man and loving father.

"He's an honest person," Chhay's mother said. "That's why a lot of people like him."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Racers Sport Ingenious Costumes for 2017 Bay to Breakers]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 10:10:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-21-17_BTB_1.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Rick Boone]]>
<![CDATA[Boy at Center of Amber Alert Reunited With Mom in SF]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 13:02:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-20-17_Amber_Alert_Reunite.jpg

A 21-month-old boy at the center of a state-wide Amber Alert Friday was reunited with his mother in San Francisco Saturday night, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

The boy, who was reported missing Thursday, was located the following day in Los Angeles after being taken by 30-year-old Jason Lam, who shared custody with the boy's mother, according to the district attorney's office.

Two members of the district attorney's office flew to Los Angeles to retrieve the boy. They reunited him with his mother in San Francisco just before 8 p.m. Saturday.

Sandra Machado, a case manager for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department's Survivor Restoration Program, spoke on behalf of the mother. Through Machado, the mother expressed sincere gratitude to the list of law enforcement agencies, news outlets and people on social media who helped locate her son.

"Thank you all for helping in getting my son back," the mother's statement read. "Thank you all from the bottom of my heart."

Alex Bastian from the San Francisco District Attorney's Office expressed a similar sentiment.

"We're very happy," he said. "For us, anytime we have a child that comes back to the loving arms of his mother, we're ecstatic and all the hard work, this is what it's all about."

After Lam failed to return the boy to his mother, the mother was able to get her hands on a court order indicating that she had sole physical custody of the child, according to Bastian. Authorities then commenced an investigation and found that Lam had been acting erratically as of late. That's when they worked on activating an Amber Alert.

Security footage captured inside a Menlo Park store Thursday recorded Lam and the boy walking around. Several hours later, a ping from Lam's cell phone alerted police to his new location in Southern California, according to the California Highway Patrol.

After the Amber Alert reached the southern portion of the state, a shopper recognized Lam's car and called police. He was later detained roughly six-hours after the Amber Alert was activated.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![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[40,000 Runners Expected to Pack SF for Bay to Breakers]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 12:05:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CihER6CUUAANPdw1.jpg

About 40,000 people have registered to participate in the 106th annual Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco Sunday, staffers said.

The race starts at 8 a.m. at Howard Street near the San Francisco Bay, finishing up at the breakers at Ocean Beach. As ever, a multitude of wild costumes and running groups are expected, as well as serious contenders.

"About 40,000 people are signed up to run," said Michael Fusaro. "We expect around 150,000 spectators."

According to the website, it's not too late to register. Late registrants can't do so online, but can do so at the event expo.

The expo lasts through 5 p.m. Saturday at Pier 35. Runners can pick up their race packets at the expo, which is open to the public and features an array of fitness gear, technology and nutrition.

Participants can sign up for a guaranteed parking pass with Parking Panda by visiting the Bay to Breakers website, Fusaro said.

Whether you're part of a centipede - a linked group of 13 or more - or a seeded runner, there are plenty of options for getting to and from the race.

BART will run special trains before the race starting at 6 a.m. Sunday at 20-minute intervals, Caltrain will run four special northbound trains to the race starting at 5:50 a.m. and the San Francisco Bay Ferry will add special morning service departing at 6 a.m.

Shuttles will run from the North Bay, the South Bay and the East Bay at 6:30 a.m. The North Bay Shuttle picks up runners at the Mill Valley Park & Ride lot, the South Bay uses the Millbrae Park & Ride lot and the East Bay shuttle uses the Emeryville Park & Ride lot.

The shuttles will return to their original pickup locations after the race.

Folks driving through the city are advised by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency that there are only two options to travel north or south across the course of the race. These are at the Embarcadero and Crossover Drive, which connects 19th Avenue to Presidio Boulevard and 25th Avenue through Golden Gate Park.

One of the characteristics of the event, which began as the Cross City Race on January 1, 1912, according to the website, is the wild costumes. In the past, participants in the 7.46-mile race have worn things such as pickle costumes or donned chicken suits - or nothing at all beside running shoes.

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee]]>
<![CDATA[Union Workers For AT&T Embark on Strike]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 17:57:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-20-17_ATT_Strike.jpg

Tens of thousands of members of the Communications Workers of America at AT&T, including about 400 in San Francisco, walked off their jobs Friday, union officials said.

Workers are striking for three days, said Orange Richardson IV, president of the CWA's San Francisco office.

Richardson said he expects about 100 to 200 workers will walk a picket line outside 1 Powell St., AT&T's flagship retail store in the city, Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.

About 40 workers are expected to protest outside the company's main administrative office on Bush Street today, but not over the weekend, he said.

Richardson said the two main issues are commissions for the workers in the company's cell phone stores nationwide and health benefits for all AT&T employees.

"The union wants to empower cell phone store workers to negotiate commissions because at present they are controlled by the company," Richardson said.

Health care benefits are also at issue, the union president said.

"Management wants all AT&T employees to pay 32 percent of their health costs as opposed to 26 to 27 percent now," Richardson said.

The protest will end at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Richardson said.

A spokesman for AT&T said the strike was "baffling."

"A strike is in no one's best interest, and it's baffling as to why union leadership would call one when we're offering terms in which our employees in these contracts - some of whom average from $115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation - will be better off financially," spokesman Steven Maviglio said in an email.

"We're prepared, and we will continue working hard to serve our customers," Maviglio said.

"Like any family, we have our disagreements, but we'll sort them out," Maviglio said. "We've reached 29 fair agreements since 2015 covering over 128,000 of our employees, and we're confident we can do the same here."

Photo Credit: KSTS]]>
<![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[Two-Car Derailment in Daly City Causes Major BART Delays]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 15:26:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-20-17_BART_Derail.jpg

Two BART cars belonging to a nine-car train derailed outside of the Daly City station Saturday afternoon, triggering systemwide delays, officials said.

The 24 people on board the train were not hurt and everyone was able to disembark safely, but the Daly City station was temporarily closed while crews investigated the incident.

Passengers said the train, which had just left the Daly City station, started bucking before coming to an abrupt stop. A photograph from a passenger on a train heading in the opposite direction and aerial footage showed the cars coming to rest about three feet off the tracks.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation but BART officials said it doesn't appear as if it was due to an error on the part of the train operator.

Officials warned commuters of delays on the San Francisco line in the Pittsburg/Bay Point, Dublin/Pleasanton, Warm Springs, Richmond, SFO, Millbrae and Daly City directions.

BART officials around 4:45 p.m. announced that service between the Balboa Park and Colma stations resumed, but officials still warned travelers about delays in the area around the derailment.

The incident is not expected to affect Sunday service for Bay to Breakers, according to BART officials.

Cal Train, Muni and Samtrans provided alternative service following the derailment, BART officials said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Distressed Swimmer Rescued From China Beach]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 13:16:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfrescue.jpg

One swimmer was rescued this morning from San Francisco's China Beach and another from some nearby rocks, officials with the United States Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard crew was notified at about 8 a.m. about a swimmer at China Beach who called 911 to report that he lost sight of a friend while they were swimming from the beach to some nearby rocks.

A Coast Guard crew responded in a motorboat and also called the San Francisco Fire Department to ask for help to get closer to China Beach than would be possible with a boat.

Firefighters responded with jet skis and a rescue swimmer, according to Coast Guard officials.

The Coast Guard crew located the missing swimmer atop of some rocks but couldn't reach him.

A firefighter on a jet ski and a rescue swimmer, however, were able to get to the distressed swimmer and take him to the Coast Guard's boat, Coast Guard officials said.

On the boat, the swimmer showed signs of hypothermia. He was taken inside the cabin to get warm and then taken to a hospital once the boat got to shore.

The person who called 911 also showed signs of hypothermia and was treated by San Francisco firefighters, according to the Coast Guard.

Anyone who plans to swim in the ocean should have a way to get in touch with emergency services and always wear clothing appropriate to the conditions of the ocean, according to the Coast Guard.

Both swimmers had on shorts and only the upper-body portion of a wet suit.

"Even though the air temperature is warm, it does not mean the water temperature is, so always dress appropriately for the water sport you are participating in," Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Worobey said in a statement.

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard]]>
<![CDATA[Volkswagen Has Fix For More Cars in Cheating Scandal]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 12:21:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/092215+volkswagen+generic.jpg

U.S. and California regulators approved a fix for more Volkswagen cars caught up in the company's emissions cheating scandal, giving their owners an option to keep the vehicles instead of having the automaker buy them back, regulators announced Friday.

The modification to bring the vehicles into compliance with U.S. emissions standards applies to about 84,000 Passats with automatic transmission from model years 2012 to 2014, according to Volkswagen. Regulators previously approved a fix for another 67,000 2-liter Volkswagens. More than 550,000 vehicles in the U.S. were implicated in the scandal.

"Today's approval is another important step in efforts to repair the environmental harm caused by these vehicles," said Richard Corey, executive officer of the California Air Resources Board.

The automaker has acknowledged that the vehicles were programmed to turn on emissions controls during government lab tests and turn them off while on the road. The EPA alleged the scheme let the cars spew up to 40 times the allowable limit of nitrogen oxide, which can cause respiratory problems in humans.

The affected vehicles fall into two classes — 2 liters and 3 liters.

The company reached a deal worth up to $15 billion for 475,000 2-liter diesel cars that offered owners the option of repairs or a buyback and additional compensation of $5,100 to $10,000 each. Regulators are evaluating a possible fix for another 49,000 of these vehicles, according to the California Air Resources Board.

A federal judge in San Francisco this week signed off on a separate, $1.2 billion deal with owners of 88,500 Volkswagens with 3-liter diesel engines rigged to cheat on emissions tests. Volkswagen is offering buybacks to some of those owners, but believes it can repair newer models.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/File]]>
<![CDATA[Boys and Girls Club Worker Arrested for Child Porn]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 20:50:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BrianPittman.jpg

Police arrested an employee of the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco Thursday on suspicion of possession and distribution of child porn, the San Francisco Police Department said Friday.

Brian Pittman, 45, was arrested after investigators with the police's Internet Crimes Against Children unit served a search warrant at his apartment, located in the 400 block of Natoma Street, and found numerous child pornography files on various media devices belonging to Pittman, according to police.

An investigation into Pittman began last month when police learned that a person at the residence was uploading and downloading graphic child pornography online.

Investigators also learned that Pittman was working for the Boys and Girls Club in San Francisco as a maintenance worker, police said.

After Pittman was arrested, officials with the Boy and Girls Club were notified and they are cooperating with investigators. Pittman was not directly involved with programs involving children and at this time it does not appear that any of the crimes involve children from the Boys and Girls club, according to police.

Anyone who may have been victimized by Pittman or may have had suspicious contact with him is advised to contact the police's Special Victims Unit at (415) 558-5500.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[21-Month-Old Boy Abducted in San Francisco Found Safe: CHP]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 17:44:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0519-2017-SFAmberAlert.jpg

A 21-month-old boy who was abducted in San Francisco has been found safe in Los Angeles, police said late Friday.

The California Highway Patrol earlier in the day issued an Amber Alert for the toddler and suspect, 30-year-old Jason Lam, who is now in police custody.

Lam has joint custody of the boy with the child's mother, but officials said Lam on Thursday did not return the boy to his mother, who then proceeded to receive new custodial status from the court, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

Security footage captured inside a Menlo Park store Thursday recorded Lam and the boy walking around. Several hours later, a ping from Lam's cell phone alerted police to his new location in Southern California, according to the CHP.

After the Amber Alert reached the southern portion of the state, a shopper recognized Lam's car and called police. He was later detained roughly six-hours after the Amber Alert was activated.

The Amber Alert was activated Friday after investigators uncovered troublesome information about Lam, according to Jerry Rodriguez from the San Francisco District Attorney's office.

The boy's mother and an investigator from the San Francisco District Attorney's Office will fly to Southern California to reunite with the boy.

Photo Credit: CHP
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<![CDATA[Venus, San Francisco's Tallest Statue, Opens to the Public ]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 11:54:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/VenusCMS.jpg

It just got a lot easier to enjoy Venus, a stainless steel statue soaring 92 feet high. 

Sitting pretty at the Trinity Apartments, the sculpture earned its stripes last year as the tallest in San Francisco. Now, though, the public art- and garden-filled plaza that surrounds it is open to the public.

Piazza Angelo, the one-acre centerpiece of the apartment complex at Eighth Street between Market and Mission streets, was unveiled Thursday. The privately owned public space, which features a mosaic path, a 20-seat marble table and 8,000 lb. decorative bollards, is open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Venus is part of a collection designed by renowned artist Lawrence Argent, and is his personal interpretation of the iconic Greek statue, Venus de Milo.

The sculpture means a lot to Yvonne Sangiacomo, whose late husband, Angelo, was the developer of the apartment complex that commissioned the Venus statue. Sangiacomo arrived in a construction hat and wheelchair to witness the feat. She wiped a tear as crews hoisted the stainless steel face on top of the roof.

"He used to always say it would be beyond his imagination how beautiful it was," said Mia Sangiacomo, co-owner of the Trinity Place.  "He'd be surprised that a little Italian guy who flunked kindergarten and lived in his living room until he  was 34 could create so much.  He was a very humble man.  And I think he would've surprised himself how much he did."

Her husband asked a Denver artist to work with a company in China to put the stainless steel statue together; it arrived in San Francisco in 70 pieces. Then it was welded and bolted into 11 stacks, placed on top of each other. Venus is now the centerpiece of what builders are calling 'Piazza Angelo' at the apartments, a plaza that is quite popular in Italy.

"Call it spiritual, call it whatever," co-owner Jim Sangiacomo said. "He trusted the artist to do something really outstanding."

Trinity Place consists of four residential high-rises with a combined 1,900 units. 

"I'm very proud of my dad," Mia Sangiacomo said. "Very proud.  I miss him.  He did a great job.  Great job dad."

Photo Credit: Aubrey Huey/Trinity Management Services
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<![CDATA[SF Police Investigate Stabbing at Dolores Park]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 23:35:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+dolores+park.jpg

A man was in critical condition with several stab wounds Thursday, a day after being attacked by a group of juveniles at Dolores Park in San Francisco, according to police.

At 5:23 p.m. Wednesday, officers responded to a report of a stabbing at the park, located on Dolores Street between 18th and 20th streets.

Police said the group chased the 23-year-old victim across the park, stabbing him in full view of several people who called 911. The victim was taken to a hospital where he remained in critical condition Thursday night, police said.

A gang task force was investigating and developing leads Thursday, police said.

"A vicious attack like that at 5 in the afternoon is a wake up call," said Jesse Quay, a Dolores Park regular. "It's obviously a horrible thing."

The suspects were described as a group of between five and six juveniles. They fled the scene after the stabbing, police said.

Further details, including suspect information or a motive, were not immediately available.  

Resident Matt Tibblals said violence in the Mission isn't new, but the time and place is alarming.

"It seems like a lot of it happens early in the morning or later at night," he said. "They're getting more brazen. Maybe that will make something happen."

People with information about the incident are asked to call the San Francisco Police Department's anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with "SFPD" in the message.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Wife of Missing SF Uber Driver Makes Tearful Plea to Public]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 11:10:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chhay-kim-0517.jpg

The wife of a missing San Francisco man made an emotional plea Wednesday night, saying she believes her husband is "hurting somewhere" and needs help.

Police say there's no trace of Piseth Chhay, 48, or his car. Chhay, who has been married for 20 years and has two children, left home Sunday to help a friend. The friend said he never showed up, and he hasn't been back home since he left.

His wife, Rattana Kim, says she suspects foul play because it's unusual for Chhay to be away from his family for even half a day.

"It hurts, it hurts so bad," Kim said.

Kim calls Chhay a truly dedicated family man, a loving father to his sons, 8-year-old Jaden and 11-year-old Brandon.

"It hurts when I hear my son say, 'Where is Daddy?' and 'When is Daddy coming home?'" Kim said.

Chhay drives a 2008 silver Mercedes SUV and uses it while working as an Uber driver. Though he was not working Sunday, he told a relative that a customer had left a phone in his vehicle, and he wanted to return it.

"People take advantage of his generosity and hurt him," Kim said.

Tracking Chhay's phone is not possible; for some reason, it's turned off. Police are helping with the search, but Kim Wants the public to look too.

"Anybody, please bring him home, please bring him home," she said.

Chhay's family says Uber requires a court order to track his phone or identify his passengers. They're still waiting for a judge to sign it.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Man Accused of Abusing His 10-Month-Old Puppy]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:47:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+abused+pup-0516.jpg

A San Francisco man was arrested Saturday after he was filmed allegedly abusing his 10-month-old puppy.

Zixuan Liu, 26, was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty for allegedly hitting, kicking and otherwise mistreating the Shiba Inu puppy, according to San Francisco Animal Care and Control officials.

The charges carry fines of up to $20,000 or possible jail time. Liu has been released on $15,000 bail.

The puppy, Aniki, is being treated for bruises and abrasions and is in the custody of Animal Care and Control.

Anyone with evidence that animals are being mistreated is asked to call Animal Care and Control at 415-554-9400.

Photo Credit: SF Animal Care and Control]]>
<![CDATA[SF Virtual Reality Startup Sued By Former Employee]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 20:31:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/upload-0516.jpg

A San Francisco virtual reality startup is being sued by a former employee who claims the company created an "unbearable environment for women."

The suit claims UploadVR degraded female employees, throwing parties with prostitutes and even putting a bed in one of its offices and calling it the "kink room."

The lawsuit also alleges that women employees were discriminated against, given menial tasks and were not reimbursed for business expenses. Also, the company paid male employees more despite female employees holding the same positions and having similar responsibilities, the suit claims.

Meg Virick, the director of San Jose State's School of Management, says the details of the lawsuit are frustrating. It's just the latest in a string of incidents in which Silicon Valley companies treat women badly, she said.

"I am beginning to see more and more that women are tending to leave," Virick said. "They're talented, they're engineers, and they're running into barriers we are imposing on them because top management needs to step up and say this needs to become an inclusive environment for everyone."

UploadVR co-founders Will Mason and Taylor Freeman were also named in the lawsuit, according to a report from TechCrunch. Freeman is CEO and Mason holds the title of president.

The pair released a statement Tuesday, saying, "Our employees are our greatest asset, and the sole reason for the success of this company. We are confident that the true nature of how we treat our employees and how we operate as leaders will shine through this unfortunate situation and confirm that these allegations are entirely without merit."

Mason and Freeman were recently named in the media section of Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. Their company has received funding from General Catalyst, Greycroft’s GC Tracker fund, Colopl and others, according to TechCrunch.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Thrill-Seekers Scale Golden Gate Bridge, Dangle From Tower]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 16:55:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-16-17_GGB_Climers_2.jpg

Disclaimer: Do not attempt these stunts at home.

Two audacious daredevils recently risked it all under the cover of darkness to scale all 500 feet of one of the Golden Gate Bridge's towers. But their adventurous climb caught on camera wasn't designed to simply capture a picturesque view. They wanted their stomach-churning video to drive traffic to their YouTube channel.

The duo dangled off the tower's ledge with only their fingertips latched onto the thin railing, pulled off a couple somersaults and even snapped a selfie shot while standing on top of the tower's highest point.

"It was super breathtaking," 18-year-old climber Peter Teatime of Wisconsin said. "One of the most incredible things I have ever seen. It's pretty miraculous up there."

Teatime, who describes himself as being a "really curious person," said he has been climbing buildings all over the globe for several years. To most, ascending the Golden Gate Bridge would seem like an illegal and daunting task. To Teatime, it was just another climb on his list.

"To us, it's not nerve-racking," he said. "You kind of just clear your mind and you're in the moment."

The death-defying adventure was not taken lightly by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

"The Golden Gate Bridge isn’t a playground," spokesperson Priya David Clemens said in a statement. "It’s a vital Bay Area transportation artery and a symbol of our community. These climbers’ reckless actions could have caused immeasurable harm to those driving below."

Teatime isn't worried about any repercussions. He said he respects those who patrol the bridge and purposely dangled late at night to avoid a potential accident with busy traffic below during the daytime hours. He also pointed out that he and his friend did not harm anyone or damage any property.

"It's a pretty innocent thing," Teatime said.

If anything, Teatime welcomes a conversation with authorities. He said he's willing to point out flaws in the bridge's security system. Clemens admitted that the daredevils' adventure "did not trigger any alarms, so the Golden Gate Bridge District's patrol was not aware of the activity at the time."

Authorities are investigating the stunt, and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is considering legal action. Changes to security protocol at the bridge are also in the works.

Climbing on the bridge is a misdemeanor under state law, according to Clemens. The last time someone conducted a similar incident was four years ago, and the individual involved lost their job and was added to the no-fly list.

The California Highway Patrol says it is waiting for information from the Golden Gate Bridge to write up a report. It will then send it to the District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether or not to press any charges.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area also could consider trespassing charges, but it wasn't sure Tuesday if it would pursue it.

Jail time and a fine would be possible if the pair were found guilty.

Days after capping the pulse-pounding stunt with a brisk shuffle back to solid ground, Teatime summed up the experience in five words.

"Craziest experience of my life," he said.

NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews and Jean Elle contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Caters News
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<![CDATA[DA Requests Double Bail on UCSF Child Pornography Suspect]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 17:54:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/billy+lockhart.jpg

A UC San Francisco psychiatry resident pleaded not guilty Monday to child pornography charges at a hearing in which prosecutors sought to increase his bail based on the “sheer volume” of images seized by police.

Billy Lockhart, 36, had already been free after posting $155,000 bail before appearing in court. He is on administrative leave from his position and left court without comment, wearing a baseball cap and dark glasses.

His attorney, Charles Smith, also declined comment outside court.

At a brief bail hearing, prosecutor Adam Maldonado asked Superior Court Judge Sharon Reardon to double bail.

“This is not a typical child pornography case,” Maldonado said, based on the “sheer volume” of more than 1,500 images and 280 videos, some of them depicting infants as young as 6 months old allegedly being victimized.

Lockhart allegedly kept “manuals” and other writings about child molestation.

“That alone, in the people’s view, warrants an increase in bail,” Maldonado said. Lockhart also constituted a flight risk, the prosecutor argued to the court.

Smith, Lockhart’s attorney, said his client was an intern at the hospital and had limited financial means. He said the original bail was based on the two charges, including one count alleging possession of more than 600 images.

“Despite the charges, he’s led an exemplary life,” Smith told the judge. He said Lockhart was the child of a single mother who put himself through Yale Medical School and had spent two years in the Peace Corps.

Reardon said bail will remain the same but told prosecutors she would reconsider the matter if they filed a formal motion. The judge ordered that Lockhart stay away from children and only use the phone.

“I would stay off computers completely,” she warned him.

Outside court, District Attorney’s spokesman Alex Bastian called the case “disturbing” and “unique” based on the volume of images involved and the position of the defendant at UCSF.

Photo Credit: San Francisco PD]]>
<![CDATA[Several Cars Broken Into Near San Francisco's Lafayette Park]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 19:09:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-15-17_SF_Car_Break-ins.png

Several car owners in San Francisco are asking questions Monday after their cars were broken into.

The windows of at least a dozen cars parked along city streets near Lafayette Park were smashed in during the apparent crime spree. It’s an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, but neighbors tell us car break-ins there are a regular occurrence.

“It’s a nice place, a nice park you know, there’s really nice apartment buildings all over the place but you still see a bunch of cars broken into on a regular basis here,” said San Francisco resident Rick Dubin.

Dubin walks his dog down Sacramento every morning and says he sees smashed windows on a daily basis.

Caitlyn He’s Ford was one of the dozen that were hit overnight.

“We parked over here we thought it would be okay,” He said.

Haresh Israni’s Mercedes was another.

“I think for all the taxes we pay the police need to be doing a better job.”

Police were dusting Israni’s car for finger prints Monday.

A look at the police crime map doesn’t show this neighborhood as a standout for break-ins.

In fact the crime map doesn’t offer a lot of insight when it comes to trying to identify auto burglary hot spots.

“It’s a slap on the wrist for a thief to break into a car - it’s a citation,” said Julio Lara, manager at Auto Glass Now.

Lara claims lower penalties under Prop 47 are the reason for the break-ins.

But a spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney says that’s not accurate.

“The increase in auto burglaries preceded Prop 47,” spokesperson Max Szabo said.

The DA was a big supporter of Prop 47 and Szabo says car burglaries have actually declined in the past year, and enforcement is being concentrated.

“Contrary to popular belief this is largely being perpetrated by organized street gangs and those are the folks we’re going after to make sure that when we do catch them,” Szabo said. “They’re held responsible for not just one, not just two auto burglaries, but hopeful more than that.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Mark Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[4 Teens Cited After Allegedly Battering Man on BART]]>Sun, 14 May 2017 13:39:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2015-generic-bart.jpg

A group of teenagers were cited Saturday after they allegedly battered a man at the Colma BART station, according to BART police.

BART police said officers responded at 3:41 p.m. to the station on reports of a man being battered by five juveniles on one of the trains.

According to BART police, the suspects fled into a nearby neighborhood when officers approached, but were quickly detained, police said.

The victim positively identified the suspects, and four of the five juveniles were cited for battery and issued prohibition orders before being released to their parents.

BART police said the fifth suspect was not involved in the incident and was released without being cited, according to police.

There were no visible injuries to the victim.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[People in Cars Exchange Gunfire in San Francisco: Police]]>Sun, 14 May 2017 23:52:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-14-17_SF_Shooting.png

People inside two cars exchanged gunfire with each other in San Francisco Sunday morning before fleeing the scene, according to police.

No injuries were reported, and police have yet to locate any suspects or victims following the shooting, which occurred along the 2700 block of Polk Street around 9:30 a.m., according to San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Giselle Talkoff.

Officers spotted shell casings on the ground, and nearby car windshields were pierced with bullets.

The violence stunned and worried neighbors. One man described what he heard.

"Well, I woke up and was trying to grab a cup of coffee and heard something that I thought was a firecracker, and then heard another one, and there was about 12 in total," neighbor T.J. Ross said. "I literally hit the deck after about the sixth one."

"Well, it scares me," resident Julie Pearson said. "There have been other occurrences on the street so it makes me nervous."

A motive was not clear to investigators Sunday, and no arrests have been made, according to police. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: David Bratton/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[House Race in Georgia Takes San Francisco Twist ]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 17:53:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-12-17_Georgia_SF_Ad.jpg

A race for Congress in Georgia is now linked to San Francisco. That's all because of a unique political advertisement.

Democrat John Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are battling in a special election for Georgia's 6th congressional district seat in the House of Representatives. In hopes to paint Ossoff, who has admittedly received campaign donations from California, as being out of touch with Georgia voters, backers of the ad linked the Democratic challenger to liberal San Francisco stereotypes.

People depicted in the ad appear to represent San Francisco-based hippies or hipsters singing Ossoff's praises. One man can be heard saying Ossoff is "one of us" and another totes that "San Francisco loves them some Jon Osshof."

Jason McDaniel, an associate professor of political science at San Francisco State, said the creators of the ad "want to paint their opponent as unacceptably different."

"One of the purposes of the ad might be to really make people aware that you need to donate money if you care about Republicans maintaining control of Congress," he said. "They're trying to make sure that the stakes are clear."

McDaniel added that the ad could be effective for Republicans because it is receiving attention. On the other hand, McDaniel said a casual voter who comes across the ad might actually vote for Ossoff because of how many times his name is mentioned.

Some tourists in the city by the bay said the advertisement missed the mark. One man mentioned that the ad "didn't seem like San Francisco at all" and another said it was weird that someone from Georgia would be talking about San Francisco during their race for office.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee told NBC Bay Area he has yet to see the ad, but he believes politicians in other parts of the country should focus on their local needs.

"I'm sure if it's (Ossoff's) opponents, it will probably portray us in a negative light, but I say this, I think people of Georgia, and in particular this particular race, they need to register what their needs are," Lee said.

Photo Credit: CLFSuperPAC/YouTube
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<![CDATA[Wells Fargo Created Nearly 3.5M Fake Accounts: Lawyers]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 15:01:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-13-2013-wells-fargo-generic.jpg

Lawyers suing Wells Fargo on behalf of aggrieved customers say the bank may have opened about 3.5 million unauthorized accounts, far more than the figure bank and regulators disclosed last year.

In a court filing late Thursday, lawyers representing customers told a federal judge in San Francisco that they believe bank workers created 3.5 million unauthorized accounts over the last 15 years, "based on public information, negotiations, and confirmatory discovery." The bank had put the total at about 2 million possibly unauthorized accounts.

Bank spokesman Ruben Pulido said the new claim was unverified and only an estimation.

"The unauthorized account numbers reported in the filing are estimates made by plaintiffs' attorneys based on a hypothetical scenario and have not been verified," Pulido said. "The number of unauthorized accounts estimated in the filing do not reflect actual unauthorized accounts."

Pulido declined further comment and the bank has not disclosed its own revised estimation.

The bank said last month said an internal review showed bogus accounts opening as far back as 2002.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo has seen declines in new account openings and bank traffic, and has been working to restore customers' trust since the practices came to light. The biggest scandal in the bank's history led to the abrupt retirement of its CEO, John Stumpf. In response to the scandal, Wells has changed its sales practices, ousted other executives and called tens of millions of customers to check on whether they truly opened the accounts in question.

The bank initially agreed to pay $110 million to settle claims dating back to 2009. But it agreed to add $32 million to the settlement to include claims starting in May 2002.

The new estimate was based on the expanded time frame and was included as part the customers' lawyers request that the judge approve the proposed settlement. A hearing is scheduled for next week.

After paying attorneys' fees, the $142 million will first go to cover any customers' out-of-pocket losses or fees that they may have incurred due to the unauthorized accounts. All remaining money will be split among the all affected customers.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Firefighters Carry Disabled Man Up and Down Stairs]]>Sun, 14 May 2017 18:27:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/David+in+apartment+2.jpg

It wasn’t as dramatic as rescuing someone from a burning building or snapping someone back from the dead with a defibrillator. But to David Clark, the four San Francisco firefighters who carried him and his wheelchair down three flights of stairs were heroes nonetheless. Even if it wasn’t technically life-or-death.

For three weeks this spring, Clark was stuck in his third floor apartment in San Francisco’s Western Addition while the sketchy elevator down the hall was undergoing renovation. Clark was left quadriplegic in 1986 as the result of a random shooting that left a bullet pressed against his spine. He’s lived in the same assisted-living building since 1989.

The broken elevator rendered the 28 steps between his apartment and the ground floor as insurmountable as a hike up Mount Everest. Clark said he was offered the opportunity to move someplace else during the elevator work but he opted to stay in his apartment to be near the comforts that make his life manageable. But he soon discovered the lack of mobility made his world stiflingly small.

“It’s almost like being in a jail,” Clark said of life without the elevator.

In the midst of the three weeks the elevator was out of commission, an anniversary memorial service for a friend who had died came up. Even though his parents urged him to attend, Clark didn’t see any way down the three flights of stairs.

“I would’ve jumped out the window I suppose,” Clark deadpanned, “but it didn’t come to that.”

Instead, his mother emailed a firefighter cousin in West Virginia, who in turn emailed someone from the San Francisco Fire Department. San Francisco firefighter Dan Casey said the email came to the department’s union office.

“He told us about his cousin who lives here in San Francisco,” Casey said, “and was a quadriplegic and has mobility issues.”

On the day of the memorial gathering, Casey reached out to firefighters from Station 5 to see if they could help. A crew of four firefighters showed-up at Clark’s apartment in between calls.

“I responded with my crew,” said fire department Captain Mike Maloney. ”A very strong crew, which was very nice.”

The firefighters pulled the wheels off Clark’s wheelchair, and hoisted him up. He could see the tops of their heads — a view one doesn’t normally enjoy from chair height.

“It was just really interesting going down three flights of stairs,” Clark said. “I kept wanting to reach down and push my wheels and help somehow.”

“I started to think I hope my old back holds up during this operation,” Maloney recalled with a grin.

The crew whisked Clark down the steps in just a couple minutes. Clark and his friend Tammy Creighton boarded a special disability bus for the memorial gathering. After the event, when the bus arrived back at Clark’s apartment, the same fire crew was waiting for him.

“It’s a little different taking somebody back up the stairs,” joked firefighter Lorenzo Ibarra.

The four men once again lifted Clark, a load of around 200 pounds, and quickly spirited him up the 28 narrow steps.

“They had rethought a way to do it,” Creighton said, “and going up I think was even faster.”

The firefighters described Operation David Clark as fairly routine — the kind of public assistance they do weekly and sometimes daily.

“It’s a little weird for us to talk about,” Casey said “because it’s something we actually do anytime for anybody.”

“It’s a seemingly insignificant act,” Maloney downplayed. “But to David it sounds like it was a big deal and that feels good.”

To Clark, the journey down and up the staircase was like scaling a spiritual mountain — chipping away at 30 years of psychical struggles that has increasingly kept him inside. It took him back to the years following the shooting that left him paralyzed, when he would play wheelchair rugby and head out into the world more readily.

“I don’t like to go out much anymore,” Clark admitted. “Kind of comfortable in my cocoon here.”

Creighton hoped the brief adventure might inspire Clark to venture out more, especially now that it wouldn’t require a strong crew to carry him down.

“Maybe then he’d be likely to go out more often even in the elevator,” Creighton said. “Now that the elevator’s working.”

Clark wheeled himself down the hallway of his building, to an outdoor patio — past the elevator that was now functioning just fine. He gazed up at the growing clouds overhead and considered his recent venture.

“Being able to go out was a huge thing,” he said. “The fire department made it happen.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![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.

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<![CDATA[SF Sues Uber to Disclose Driver Info for Tax Purposes]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 23:53:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+uber.jpg

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Thursday sued Uber in an effort to force the ride-hailing company to turn over driver information to the tax collector's office.

The petition, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, asks the court for an order forcing Uber to comply with a subpoena seeking contact information for drivers working in San Francisco.

The subpoena, issued by Tax Collector and Treasurer Jose Cisneros in January, is intended to allow the city to determine whether the drivers have obtained a business license as required by law for all independent contractors.

Uber has complied with similar requests going back to August 2014, but began refusing in December of last year, leading to the issuance of the subpoena, according to the city attorney's office. Last week, the company filed a lawsuit of its own against the city seeking to quash the subpoena.

The company argues that the demand for the names and addresses of drivers violates driver privacy and exceeds the tax collector's authority.

The company also says it objects to the city's practice of posting the names and contact information of those with business licenses on a public website.

City officials say the requirement that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft obtain a business license is nothing new and applies to every business in the city including independent contractors.

Since the tax collector's office launched an enforcement effort involving drivers for the ride-hailing companies last year, it has mailed notices to nearly 60,000 drivers and registered around 19,000. Another 15,000 have filled out declarations that they don't need to register for various reasons.

The names of those registered for a business license are posted to a public database, but registrants are allowed to use post office boxes as addresses and register fictitious business names.

"San Francisco has over 130,000 registered businesses, and every one -- large or small -- that operates here has to play by the same rules," Cisneros said. "Publishing information about a business's registration status is a fundamental consumer protection service -- people who use a business have the right to know if that business is operating legally."

Herrera called the argument about drivers' privacy "a complete red herring."

"Not surprisingly, Uber is thumbing its nose at the law," Herrera said. "It's time for that to stop."

The legal battle with the city coincides with Uber's efforts to back state legislation, Senate Bill 182, that require drivers to register for a business license in only one city, regardless of how many they operate in.

Cities such as San Francisco would be prohibited from requiring a business license if the driver was registered in another city.

The business registration issue is not the only point of conflict with San Francisco city officials.

The company has also refused to share data with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, recently tested self-driving cars on city streets without a state permit, and resisted calls by city officials for stricter background checks on drivers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[BART Looks to Solve its Homeless Problem to Boost Ridership]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 08:09:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart-riders-generic.jpg

Complaints about homeless people at BART stations are contributing to a decline in ridership as are concerns about crowded trains and unreliable service, a reports says.

In excess of 400,000 people ride BART during the week, that number is down 3 percent in comparison to last year, according to the SF Gate. Criticism aimed at the overall atmosphere at the agency's stations and on its trains is causing the slump.  

Homeless people take shelter at BART stations, especially the ones in downtown San Francisco, which is a major concern for commuters. 

Agency leaders have been spurred into action and are not working with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and homeless outreach group to address these problems, the SF Gate reports.

Toward that end, BART plans to have more workers cleaning stations, get homeless people to shelters and create higher barriers to dissuade fare evaders. A number of community officers will also patrol BART stations.  

This collaborative strategy is in inception phase. BART officials hope to include the proposed fixes in their upcoming budget for the next fiscal year, the SF Gate said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Planning Commission Signs Off on Lucas Museum Development]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 02:47:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/222*120/lucas+museum+exposition+park+renderings.jpg

The Los Angeles Planning Commission signed off Thursday on the development proposal for filmmaker George Lucas' highly-anticipated Lucas Museum of Narrative Art at Exposition Park.

Plans call for a five-story building with 300,000 square feet of floor area for a cafe and restaurant, theaters, office space, lecture halls, a library, classrooms, exhibition space and landscaped open space.

"There is no better home for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art than at Exposition Park, and today we moved one step closer to building it right here in the ... Ninth District," City Councilman Curren Price said.

"If you look around Expo Park, you'll see it is experiencing a resurgence with exciting developments like the Los Angeles Football Club Soccer Stadium, renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and now, what will be a world-renowned cultural institution with the Lucas Museum," he said.

Lucas, creator of the "Star Wars" film franchise, producer of the "Indiana Jones" franchise and founder of visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic, chose L.A. as the home of the $1 billion museum in January, after facing legal challenges in Chicago and also considering San Francisco.

The museum will house works by painters such as Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renior; illustrations, comic art and photography by artists such as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth; as well as storyboards, props and other items from popular films. It will be a "barrier-free museum" where "artificial divisions between 'high' art and 'popular' art are absent,'' according to the museum's website.

Price said the Planning Commission approval is key.

"One step closer to more jobs for the community. One step closer to greater access to culture and the arts. One step closer to more green space," he said. "Thank you to George and Mellody Lucas, as well as the stakeholders who came out in support of the project at this morning's Planning Commission meeting. Your input and collaboration has been invaluable to the future of South L.A."

Photo Credit: Lucas Museum of Narrative Art]]>
<![CDATA[UCSF Psychiatrist Arrested on Child Pornography Charges]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 23:46:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-11-17_SF_Child_Porn_Arrest.jpg

A psychiatrist working with the University of California, San Francisco was arrested Tuesday for using the school's Wi-Fi to upload child pornography and subsequently distribute the material to other parties, police said.

Billy Lockhart, 36, of San Francisco was found to be in possession of hundreds of child pornography videos and images after investigators conducted a search warrant at his home on the 100 bock of Buena Vista Terrace, according to police.

Another man living in the residence, identified as 33-year-old Benjamin Martin, was also arrested after police found him to be in possession of similar material, police said.

Lockhart and Martin were both arrested, according to police. Both men were charged for possessing child pornography and holding more than 600 files of child pornography. Lockhart was also charged with distributing child pornography.

UCSF on Thursday confirmed that Lockhart was arrested, and that the UCSF Police Department is cooperating with investigators.

"We take these allegations extremely seriously," a statement from UCSF read. "UCSF has placed Dr. Lockhart on investigatory leave from the Department of Psychiatry’s residency training program, suspending all clinical activity and access to all UCSF information systems"

The San Francisco Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit began investigating Lockhart back in March.

Anyone with information regarding Lockhart or Martin is asked to contact the police department's special victims unit at 415-558-5500.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Break Ground on SF Ferry Terminal Expansion]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 13:54:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-11-17_SF_Ferry.jpg

Transportation authorities on Thursday broke ground on an expansion project that will bring additional options and amenities to ferry riders in San Francisco.

The Water Emergency Transit Authority announced that the San Francisco Ferry Building will welcome two new entry gates, weather-protected canopies, a new plaza south of the ferry building and more. San Francisco Bay Ferry service will also expand by adding stops in Richmond and Treasure Island.

"We're going to be able to land more frequently here in San Francisco as we don't have to stand off while another boat clears the dock so we can have more service coming in, we have more boats coming in," Ernest Sanchez with the Water Emergency Transit Authority said.

Officials hope the expansion project, which is planned to reach completion by 2019, will ease overcrowding on all local public transportation options.

State and federal funds to the tune of nearly 80 million will be used to pay for the project.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![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[SF Man Fighting for Life After Brutal Attack in Atlanta]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 15:04:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mark+calub-0510.jpg

A San Francisco man was fighting for his life Wednesday night after being randomly attacked during a trip to Atlanta.

Police said Mark Calub was leaving a nightclub Saturday with two friends when a group of men approached and started beating them. The suspects were captured on surveillance video.

Calub was found bleeding from his head, and his parents immediately flew to Atlanta to be with their son. Back in San Francisco, his friends were in disbelief.

"We're all in shock; we're all beside ourselves," one friend said.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help Calub and his family. It had raised just over $2,300 of a $50,000 goal as of late Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Calub family]]>
<![CDATA[Privacy Concerns Over Smartphone Searches at Airports]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 19:06:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0502-2016-Smartphone.jpg

Smartphones are becoming targets of customs agents at airports, including San Francisco International.

Aaron Gach, a San Francisco artist and professor, said customs agents at SFO demanded to search his iPhone after a recent trip.

"I eventually consented, unlocked my phone and handed it over, which they searched out of my sight," Gach said.

The ACLU said phone searches are happening more frequently and believes the law surrounding such searches is murky.

Mike McCarron, an airport security consultant, explained to NBC Bay Area what authorities are looking for in searches.

"They were saying it's a random search -- they may be looking for a specific name, for someone who fits a specific profile," McCarron said.

The ACLU said it is now working with Gach and believes customs officers may be violating citizens' privacy rights.

"It's certainly a situation where if you're carrying sensitive information, your company's intellectual property or your personal e-mail, or something you're worried about being exposed, you might want to consider not carrying that information across the border," said Chris Conley, an ACLU policy attorney.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Release Video of Officer-Involved Shooting at Subway]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 23:45:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05101-2017-SF-Surv.jpg

Video footage released Wednesday shows a man shot and killed by San Francisco police in a Market Street Subway store last week had attacked and struggled with an employee before officers arrived and opened fire.

The videos, taken both from body-worn cameras worn by the responding officers and from surveillance cameras inside the store, were released at a town hall meeting on Market Street held to present preliminary information on the May 3 shooting that killed 26-year-old Nicholas Flusche.

Police were alerted to the attack at the Subway store at 991 Market St. around 11:15 a.m., when two uniformed officers in the area to investigate an unrelated vandalism report were flagged down, according to Cmdr. Greg McEachern, who heads the department's investigations bureau.

The officers found three people in a physical fight behind the counter, with one person stabbing another, McEachern said.

The stabbing victim and the other man came out from behind the counter and Flusche allegedly followed after them with a knife in his hand, at which point one officer fired one shot, striking him, McEachern said.

Police provided medical aid but Flusche died at the scene. The stabbing victim was treated for stab wounds and bruises to the head but was released from a hospital later that day.

Footage taken from the officers' body-worn cameras shows that the shooting occurred very quickly after police stepped into the store, with Flusche on the floor almost immediately after he follows the other two men out from behind the counter. He was struck once in the lower right back, police said.

The footage taken from the store cameras shows a lengthy struggle that occurred after Flusche stepped behind the counter and before police arrived.

As he and the employee grappled on the floor, several other people can be seen trying to intervene by hitting Flusche with objects, throwing things at him and distracting him. The third man behind the counter when police arrived appeared to be among those trying to stop the attack.

The officer who fired the shot has been identified by police as Officer Kenneth Cha. Cha was also involved in a shooting on Jan. 6 that injured Sean Moore after officers responded to a noise complaint made by Moore's neighbor in the city's Oceanview neighborhood.

Moore, who is mentally ill, was unarmed at the time of the shooting. Police and prosecutors have alleged he kicked and punched officers during a struggle, while the public defender's office and advocates have argued he was defending himself against officers who exceeded their duty.

A judge last month dismissed most charges against him and prosecutors Wednesday dropped the remaining charges.

Police Chief William Scott, who was appointed in late January, said the videos and other information about last week's shooting were being released Wednesday as part the department's commitment to transparency.

Scott was careful to avoid commenting on whether the shooting was justified, instead noting that multiple agencies are investigating it, including police, internal affairs, the Office of Citizen Complaints, the district attorney's office and the medical examiner's office.

"We want to get it right, we want to be transparent, and we want to report the facts as they are," Scott said.

The department is in the midst of implementing a long list of reforms recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice last year in the wake of controversy over a string of police shootings.

Scott on Wednesday noted that the department had followed a number of recommendations relating to officer-involved shootings, including implementing a new use of force policy and improving the notification of other investigative agencies.

The department will also hold its own firearm discharge review in a more timely manner, rather than waiting until all other investigations are complete, he noted.

While past town hall meetings on officer-involved shootings have drawn angry, raucous crowds, today's was quiet and lightly attended.

Several speakers expressed suspicion of police and concerns about Cha's record.

One speaker, neighborhood resident Jamie DeJesus, said the civilians who had intervened in an effort to distract or dissuade Flusche should be commended by the city.

"If they hadn't done that, that person might not be there today," DeJesus said. "They put their lives in harm's way to save someone else that they probably didn't even know."

Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue Two Hikers Stranded on Side of SF Cliff]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:03:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+cliff+rescue-0509.jpg

Firefighters rescued two people stranded on the side of a cliff in the Fort Funston area of San Francisco Tuesday, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

Crews responded about 5:35 p.m. to reports of two people stranded about 50 feet down the side of a cliff, fire officials said. They found a man and a woman who had been hiking stuck on the cliff and used a technical rope rescue to pull them to safety, fire officilas said.

No injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Researchers Track Down Name of Mystery Girl Uncovered in SF]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:05:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+mystery+girl-0509.jpg

Exactly one year after a coffin containing a mystery child from the 1800s was uncovered in San Francisco, the girl's identity has been found and was revealed Tuesday.

Thanks to a mix of detective work and Bay Area technology, researchers now know the name of a nearly 3-year-old girl found clutching a single rose inside a Victorian-era coffin is Edith Howard Cook. Not only do they know who she was, but also that she was born November 28, 1873, and died October 13, 1876.

After the girl was uncovered May 9, 2016, in the backyard of a Richmond district residence, officials from the nonprofit Garden of Innocence called her Miranda Eve and held a service and burial at a Colma cemetery. Now, her headstone will be turned around and engraved with her proper name.

"It's a joy to give her a name," said Elissa Davey, founder of Garden of Innocence. "Let her have her name back."

Ericka Karner, who owns the home where the girl was found, said she was doing some remodeling when workers came across the small coffin.

"It was a little challenging for us to figure out how to manage this," Karner said.

So she turned to Garden of Innocence, which discovered that Edith was buried here when Ulysses S. Grant was president. Then, they turned to a UC Santa Cruz DNA expert. Part of the challenge was that researchers there decided to use DNA technology that’s fairly new.

"We have a clean room lab for DNA work where we can extract DNA, in this case from a small amount of human hair," said Ed Green, professor of engineering.

Ultimately, they found a match, a great nephew in Marin County, and soon after the child’s proper name.

"I feel like now we have closure, and we know who this little girl was," Davey said. "Everybody needs a name. A name is a dignity everybody deserves. Her parents lovingly gave her a name. It got lost in the process somewhere. Now, she's got it back."

Garden of Innocence has reached out to Edith's family. They say they're planning a memorial service for Edith in June.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SFSU Students Showcase Clothes for People With Disabilities]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 22:18:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-10-17-hooded-trenchcoat-for+the+blind1.jpg

Gene Chelberg has impeccable taste in fashion, and favors suits and striking ties.

Chelberg, however, is blind and his trusty service dog is trained, for safety reasons, to circumvent overhanging roofs, awnings and ledges. So when it rains, the pair often gets soaked.

Hearing of Chelberg’s experience spurred Kinsey Thomas and Erin Fuller, two design students at San Francisco State University, into action. Chelberg is the school’s Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

For Runway 2017: Unforeseen, a fashion show hosted by students majoring in apparel design and fashion merchandising, Thomas and Fuller created a detachable, waterproof hood to go with one of Chelberg’s trenchcoats. The pair also ensured that the hood’s material matches the coat’s beige fabric and has magnets on its collar so it can clasp itself.

“I believe that fashion, and what people wear is very personal,” said Thomas, 20, of San Francisco. “In order to get what the clients wanted, we had to ask personal questions and for many student designers, they found themselves informed of stigmas within disabilities – whether they be visible or invisible disabilities – and how they can be prevented.”

Thursday marks SFSU’s 23rd annnual fashion show and nearly 90 students are involved in the event in different capacities. Many are on the cusp of graduating.

“As students look out in their future, with what’s going on in the world, it is unforeseen for them,” said Constance Ulasewicz, who chairs the Consumer & Family Studies/Dietetics Department.

One of the segments of the show involves clothes created for people with disabilities. About 20 student designers partnered with amputees, blind people, some who struggle with post-traumatic stress and others who are in wheelchairs.

The goal is to be “inclusive” and encourage students to create clothes that would help people “embrace or enhance their disabilities,” Ulasewicz said.

Another part of the show focuses on sustainability and reusing garments. Students worked with the university’s bookstore, which collected damaged or town clothing through the year. The scraps were redesigned into other items of clothing.

“I created a 60s inspired dress out of old T-shirt jerseys as well as SF emblems and am very excited to show the sustainable garment to the Unforeseen audience,” Thomas said.

The final section of the fashion show will feature 18 senior design students displaying a collection of clothing that's oriented around a theme of their choosing.

For her part, Ulasewicz said she is excited by the chance to “promote the idea that clothing is a non-verbal language that’s part of our identity.”

The show will be hosted at the SFSU Annex 1 at 1 North State Drive. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets cost $30 and students can enter for $10. For more information, visit with a valid SFSU ID. More information can be found online.

Photo Credit: SFSU]]>
<![CDATA[49ers Legend Joe Montana Sues Millennium Tower Developers]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 21:41:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0508-2017-montana-millenniumtower.jpg

San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana is suing the Millennium Tower’s developers, saying they gave him a discount on a lease seven years ago in exchange for helping sagging sales without telling him the luxury high-rise was already sinking dramatically.

In a suit filed late last week, Montana and his wife Jennifer accuse Millennium Partners of hiding the building’s growing troubles when they struck two deals with the celebrity couple and then gave them a deal in buying a unit on the 41st floor in 2013.

The building is sinking and leaning to the north and west and continues to sink at a rate of about an inch a year.

“The interior surfaces of the Montanas' unit are off-level and the fit and finish of the unit are in disrepair due to the total and differential settlement of the Tower,” the suit claims, referring to their unit on the 41st floor of the 58-story tower.

“In addition to owning unit 41C at the Tower, the Montanas entered into a promotional agreement with the Tower's developer,” the suit says, but Millennium officials “failed to disclose the settlement issue to the Montanas at the time of contracting.”

Montana’s suit also blames the public agency partnership constructing the transit hub next to the tower, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, for contributing to the sinking problems and for joining Millennium in failing to disclose the problem to owners.

In the suit, the Montana couple is described as “well known in the San Francisco Bay Area.” It goes on to note,

“In addition to Mr. Montana's status as a sports icon, the duo has also gained extensive experience and earned nationwide recognition as developers of both commercial and residential properties.”

According to the suit, Millennium approached the couple “regarding possible promotion of the Tower due to slow initial sales in or around 2009.”

The couple then forged at least two agreements, according to the suit. One in 2010, was to live in 41C while promoting the building. They later bought the unit in 2013 with an agreement that included a “promotional component.”

Millennium knew back in 2009 that the building was settling more than expected but failed to tell anyone who bought units, the suit alleges.

“Between 2010 and 2015, the Montanas engaged in extensive promotional work for the Tower, and other Millennium Parties' projects, on behalf of the Millennium Parties, and pursuant to their contracts.”

As part of the deal, the Montanas gave Millennium permission to use their names to promote the building and make three two hour long promotional appearances over the term of their lease.

They later got a discount on their unit when they bought the condo in 2013. Their unit, the suit claims, is now “unmarketable and valueless.”

The couple has suffered “serious and considerable emotional distress while residing in the Tower, and an absence of assurance regarding safety thereof, have caused them to fear for their safety while living in their home.”

Millennium assured Montana, according to the suit, that the foundation for the tower was “state of the art” and “much deeper than required,” and that the building was “well-built and properly anchored, and in fact, that the design is cutting edge and over-engineered.”

The suit goes on to claim Millennium officials assured the couple that, “If the Montanas were to be safe anywhere in San Francisco, it was in unit 41C of the Tower.”

Millennium has not yet responded to our requests for comments on the lawsuit.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Group Pledges $100 Million to Battle Homelessness]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 18:26:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/homeless-sf-generic.jpg

A San Francisco-based nonprofit has pledged to raise $100 million to reduce chronic homelessness in a city widely known for sidewalk tent encampments amid multi-million dollar homes.

Tipping Point Community said the money will come from private donations and go toward affordable housing and homeless services provided by other nonprofit groups as well as government.

The office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says this is the largest private commitment ever made in the city to combat homelessness.

Daniel Lurie, Tipping Point's chief executive and founder, said that such poverty was unacceptable in such a wealthy region. ``Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis and the issue of our time,'' he said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines the chronically homeless as people who have been living on the streets for more than a year and have a disability such as drug addiction or mental health issues.

The mayor's office reports there are about 2,000 people in the city who are chronically homeless. Lurie would like to cut that number in half.

``There is no silver bullet to confronting homelessness. We need new ideas to address this issue and must tackle it from all angles,'' the mayor said in a statement.

The nonprofit said in a press release that it has already raised $60 million

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two-Way Protected Bike Lane Opens in Oakland]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 08:38:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-8-17-oakland-two-way+bike+lane.jpg

Busy Broadway in Oakland is getting a two-way protected bike lane. It officially opens Monday morning at 11 a.m. The lane starts at Broadway and Keith Avenue and extends uphill from that point for three blocks. The lane comes with Oakland's first functional bike traffic signals.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Muni Crime at its Lowest Level in 5 Years: SFMTA]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 08:47:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/muni+def2.jpg

Crime on San Francisco's Muni system is at its lowest level in five years, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Photo Credit: TELEMUNDO 48 ]]>
<![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[SF to Get $100M to Cut Homelessness in Half in 5 Years]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 06:33:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf-homeless-2016.jpg

San Francisco is getting a $100 million donation to reduce homelessness in the city, Mayor Ed Lee tweeted this morning.

Nonprofit Tipping Point has pledged $100 million to cut chronic homelessness by 50 percent in five years, according to the mayor.

Officials with Tipping Point, a San Francisco-based company, said the donation is the largest amount of money raised to reduce homelessness in the city that city officials have ever received.

The money will be used to create new housing as well as improve the mental health, criminal justice and child welfare systems.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sen. Harris Criticizes GOP's Health Care Bill]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 23:11:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-6-7_Kamala.jpg

Senator Kamala Harris journeyed to San Francisco Saturday night to address a crowd at the Warfield Theater, and she wasn't afraid to mince words about the Trump administration's revived health care efforts.

Among other discussion topics, California's first-year senator decried the Republicans' effort to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"They believe health care is a privilege, not a right," Harris said. "So you might as well say, well people don't starve because they don't have food. What the f--- is that?"

During other parts of the conversation, Harris called for the reduction of prescription drug costs and establishment of Medicare for all. She also complained about the thought of 24 million Americans potentially losing health coverage if the GOP's bill ends up passing.

"Those are human lives," she said. "Those are real people."

The new health care plan, which skirted through the House of Representatives by a 217-213 vote, vows to lower insurance cost for Americans and get rid of the requirement of maintain a personal health insurance plan. The bill would also change the way patients with pre-existing conditions obtain health coverage, and it would halt Medicaid expansion, among other changes.

After Harris addressed those in the audience who paid $40 for a ticket, some came away with a receptive view of the senator's points.

"I think she was charismatic," Oliver Paprin said. "When she spoke, it was clear everyone was listening. It wasn't just banter."

Harris also took time to address a proposed single-payer system which could grant health care to all people in the Golden State.

"I like the concept," she said. "We have to work out the details. We do need to get to a place where it is not a function of your income that you have access to health care."

On the other hand, attendee Eric Coffin-Gould wasn't entirely sold on that proposal.

"There was sort of a question there of how do you make incremental progress that there didn't seem to be a clear answer to," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Massive Quilt Combating Sexual, Domestic Violence Unfurled]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 22:07:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-6-17_Quilt_SF.jpg

A football field in San Francisco on Saturday transformed into a work of art with the intent of raising awareness about sexual and domestic violence.

Unfolded across the length of the San Francisco City College football field, thousands of survivor stories and messages of support stitched together in red quilt squares spelled out the words "Not Alone." Those words of comfort and inspiration are designed to console the survivors of rape and abuse.

Hannah Brancato, co-founder and co-director of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, which is the artist and activist collective behind the project known as "The Monument Quilt," said the piece has compiled about 2,000 messages since being created in Baltimore back in 2013. Roughly 600 more stories were added Saturday with hopes of driving continued public conversation about sexual and domestic violence.

"We blanket public spaces as a way to demand public space to heal and create a space where communities can support, publicly, survivors and where survivors can reconnect with community," Brancato said.

The quilt will head back to the East Coast this week after completing its seven-city tour across the nation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[French Community in Bay Area Preps For Presidential Runoff]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 19:38:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/France_Election_Topix.jpg

A high-stakes election half a world away is making its presence felt in the Bay Area.

French nationals in the Bay Area on Saturday cast their ballots for either centrist Emmanuel Macron or far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen as the European country preps for Sunday's presidential runoff. The fate of Europe's future, worldwide economic markets and diplomatic relations are expected to be impacted by the results.

While Macron remains the favorite headed into Sunday, his campaign was hacked and "a significant amount of data" — and some fake information — was leaked on social networks, according to France's election campaign commission. It is unclear who was behind the attack, but some are questioning Russia's alleged involvement.

Remi Demarast, who voted for Le Pen, called that notion "fake news."

"That's ridiculous," he said. "Everything is about, 'Oh my God, the Russians are evil.'"

Morgan Lagier, who supports Macron, claims Le Pen's camp is spewing "fake news" before alleging that Russia was indeed behind the hack in some form.

"I'm pretty sure that Russia is partly involved," she said.

Presidential voting kicked off Saturday in France's territories across the globe. Voters in France will hit the polls Sunday.

Photo Credit: AP; Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Friends of Man Shot by SFPD Reeling From His Death]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 16:29:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/163*120/suspect63.jpg

Friends of the 26-year-old Texas man who on Wednesday was shot and killed by San Francisco police were shocked to hear that he had been stabbing a Subway employee.

Alex Skokowski, who lived with Nicholas Flusche for over a year while the pair attended Texas State University, struggled to reconcile recent headlines with the man he had known. The pair had fallen out of touch and hadn't spoken since graduating in 2015, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Still, Skokowski had a hard time imagining his friend hurting someone.

“Nick was always the person who was trying to solve problems,” he told the Examiner. “That doesn’t sound like Nick at all. He was a great dude. He was a southern gentleman.”

Skokowski, 26, remembered Flusche as someone who was highly motivated and brimming with ideas. Hailing from Muenster, Flusche as a business student had even thought of acquiring funding for a project to cure baldness.

Another friend, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Examiner that Fluesche had previously worked for a home security company. He had moved to the Bay Area to build a fitness and nutrition business. 

Flusche was shot at 11:22 a.m. in the 900 block of Market Street after two officers came across a stabbing in progress, according to police Chief William Scott. The officers moved to intervene and "at least one" officer opened fire, he said.

Flusche, who was allegedly stabbing the other man, died at the scene. The stabbing victim was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.

Flusche's uncle has created a GoFundMe account to pay to transport the man's body from San Francisco to his hometown. Donations will also be used to cover funeral costs, Carl Flusche wrote.

As of Saturday evening, 89 people had raised $8,695, exceeding the $5,000 goal. 

Contributors described Flusche as a "happy young man," who was "always courteous and kind." Someone else wrote that Flusche "always had a smile on his face followed with a big hug."

San Francisco police have yet to identify the officers involved in the shooting or the man who was stabbed by Flusche. 

“Loss of life is tragic, doesn’t matter how it happens, it’s tragic,” Scott said following the deadly shooting. “These things, we try to avoid them as much as we can, but we have an obligation to protect the public.”

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: @R27D via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Bill Introduced to Protect Immigrants Testifying in Court]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 18:22:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ScottWiener1.jpg

Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and a co-sponsor have introduced a bill to protect immigrants from irrelevant disclosures of their immigration status in court, Wiener's office announced Friday.

The bill would require attorneys wishing to question witnesses about their immigration status to first submit the questions to the judge in chambers - that is, in private. The judge would rule on whether the questions could be asked in open court.

The bill is co-sponsored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego.

The bill's purpose is to keep information such as a person's immigration status from being unnecessarily shared in court, according to the announcement.

"People should not fear that stepping onto the witness stand could be a first step toward deportation," Wiener said in a written statement.

"The focus of our justice system should be discovering the truth, not scaring potential witnesses by disclosing their immigration status when it is unrelated to the case," Wiener said in the statement.

SB 785 would bar any reference to immigration status in court, unless a judge first determines it's admissible. To establish admissibility, an attorney would have to persuade a judge in a private hearing before raising the issue in open court.

"Immigration status, when unrelated to the facts of the case, should be left outside the courtroom doors," Wiener said.

Gonzalez Fletcher, the bill's co-sponsor, said in a statement, "We can and should protect all California residents from inadvertent exposure when they are testifying in a courtroom. No one should have to decide between being a witness and being deported."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Populations of San Francisco, Oakland Peak]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 17:35:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SFOAKLANDTRAFFIC.jpg

Don't be surprised if San Francisco and Oakland feel more cramped. 

It isn't a well kept secret that the Bay Area is one of the United States' most expensive places to live in.

Even so, the population of both metros has spiked, according to a recent California Department of Finance report that shows that San Francisco and Oakland are packed with more people than ever before.

San Francisco is now home to 874,227 people, gaining 9,000 residents from last year, according to Hoodline. Oakland's population has reached 426,000, up 7,000 people from 2016.

By 2030, San Francisco’s population is expected to leap to a million, the report forecasts. 

Across California, the number of housing units built in 2016 — 89,000 — was 31 percent more than in 2015. Of those, 5.75 percent or 5,114 new homes were completed were in San Francisco, the report says. The state now offers 14,071,000 homes in total — another record high.

And that's not all.

The state's population swelled by 335,000 people to an all-time high of 39.5 million. Putting that in context, the entire country of Iceland is occupied by roughly 334,000 people.

Los Angeles, the largest city in California, has crossed 4 million people with the addition of 42,000 residents in 2016. It was followed by San Diego at 1,392,000, a jump of 15,000 people from last year, according to the report.

San Jose retained the title of the Bay Area's largest city. An estimated 10,000 people moved to the Silicon Valley hub in 2016, boosting its population to 1,046,000. 

Menlo Park, where social media giant Facebook is headquartered, is the fastest-growing city, Hoodline reports. With 35,670 residents, the San Mateo County city's population is up 5 percent from the previous year and development is primarily in the form of multi-family houses, the report shows. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[United Passenger en Route to Paris Finds Herself in SF]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 17:59:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/United-Airlines-cambia-politicas-tras-violenta-remocion-de-pasajero.jpg

United Airlines is back in the crosshairs. 

This time, a French woman believed she boarded a flight from Newark to Paris — only to end up in San Francisco, the SF Gate reports

Lucie Bahetoukilae, who doesn't speak English, on April 24 carried a boarding pass that said, "Newark to Charles de Gaulle." A flight attendant scanned the piece of paper, and directed the woman onto the plane for a roughly 7-hour journey.

However, Bahetoukilae found someone already sitting in 22C, the seat assigned to her. The woman flagged down another flight attendant, who again looked at the boarding pass and then gave Bahetoukilae an alternate seat, the SF Gate said.

After flying about 2,500 miles in the wrong direction, Bahetoukilae landed at San Francisco International Airport. 

The trip was meant to be a short one, but the woman was forced to spend 11 hours at the airport before getting on another flight — this time really to Paris. In total, Bahetoukilae spent nearly 28 hours in transit, the SF Gate reported.

Speaking about the incident with help from her niece who translated, Bahetoukilae said the boarding gate was changed at Newark Liberty International Airport. But there was no announcement and no one informed her.

United Airlines gave Bahetoukilae a flight voucher, promising to work "with their team in Newark to prevent this from happening again."

Foremost for Bahetoukilae, however, is that airline officials, who were sued by a Kentucky doctor who was dragged off a plane, start doing a better job, she said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crowd of Young People Beat Father at San Francisco Park]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 19:14:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+officer+fired-0403-2017.jpg

A group of eight young people on Thursday attacked a father after he asked them to stop having a water fight near where his son was playing, police said.

The 30-year-old father was hanging out with his son at a park near Felton and Holyoke Streets around 7:15 p.m. when we asked the band of roughly 20 youngsters to move their water fight, police said. Eight youth responded by knocking the father to the ground before throwing punches and landing kicks.

The father was left with non-life threatening injuries, but he was still transported to a local hospital, police said.

One of juveniles was arrested, police said.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Man Found in Possession of Over 600 Files of Child Porn]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 14:26:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DouglasForrester_CMS.jpg

A San Francisco man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of crimes involving child pornography, police said.

Douglas Forrester, 47, was arrested on suspicion of possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and possession of over 600 files of child pornography, according to police.

The case began with an investigation in March by the department's Internet Crimes Against Children unit, police said. The investigation identified Forrester as a suspect, according to police.

On Tuesday, police investigators served a search warrant on Forrester's residence in the 200 block of Noe Street, police said. Forrester was detained at his home during the service of the warrant.

Investigators located hundreds of child pornography files on numerous media devices, police said.

Anyone who has been victimized or had suspicious contact with this individual is asked to contact the Special Victims Unit at (415) 558-5500.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![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]]>
<![CDATA[Flatbed Truck Slips Into Sinkhole in San Francisco]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 18:04:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sffd.jpg

All lanes have reopened on Seventh Street between Townsend and Brannan streets in San Francisco after a sinkhole swallowed a truck Friday morning, a San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokeswoman said.

Seventh Street was closed for hours on Friday between those two streets as crews worked to fill in the sinkhole, according to Betsy Lauppe Rhodes, a spokeswoman for the SFPUC.

The truck was removed earlier in the day and the sinkhole has been filled in and cordoned off, Rhodes said.

The sinkhole, estimated to be 15 feet by 10 feet, opened up in the parking lane off Seventh and Townsend streets around 5:18 a.m., according to Rhodes. No one was injured in the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/File]]>
<![CDATA[SF Supervisor Wants to Fix Shortage at 911 Dispatch Center]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 19:24:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/911+Generic.jpg

A San Francisco supervisor is calling for a hearing to address a staffing shortage at the city's 911 dispatch center.

The issue became apparent after a massive power outage in April that left 88,000 PG&E customers in the dark.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin said he wants a complete review of the dispatch center. Peskin also has pointed questions that go beyond when the system was overwhelmed during the power outage.

Many San Francisco dispatchers work overtime to fill the gap.

The issue was clear on April 21 when an equipment failure and fire at a PG&E substation knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers. The department prefers to have 14 call takers, but that day has 12.

Peskin has called for a hearing about the overall system, data on call responses and staffing models.

The expectation is 911 centers are not designed to answer a certain spiked level of calls. Though calls go through a queue, many people hung up while waiting that day.

Officials said there are 40 trainees who should begin to help boost numbers.

<![CDATA[Coroner IDs Man Shot by SFPD For Stabbing Subway Employee]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 13:46:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/163*120/suspect63.jpg

The San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office has identified a man who was fatally shot by police Wednesday for stabbing a Subway employee as 26-year-old Nicholas Flusche from Texas. It's unknown what Flusche was doing in San Francisco.

According to SFPD Police Chief Bill Scott, two SFPD beat officers came across Flusche stabbing another man around 11:22 a.m. on the 900 block of Market. The officers intervened, and at least one officer shot Flusche, Scott said. The victim was transported to a hospital and is receiving treatment for non life-threatening injuries, police said. "Despite the initiation of life-saving efforts, the second suspect is now deceased," Scott said.

Cellphone video of the aftermath of the stabbing shows SFPD officers surrounding a man who was sitting down on the sidewalk near a Subway restaurant. The man looked like he had suffered injuries to his face and was bleeding. NBC Bay Area has not been able to confirm whether he was the victim.

San Francisco police confirmed that the man who was stabbed worked at Subway. Sources told NBC Bay Area that Flusche walked into the Subway restaurant and asked the employee to make him a sandwich, but refused to pay for it, at which point the employee told him: "No money, no sandwich." The suspect then pulled out his knife, and started attacking him, sources said.

One man who was caught in the middle of the stabbing described the scene. Kevin Ramsey says it all happened so fast. 

"I see this guy behind the counter just stabbing the clerk, so he needed help, and I helped him," Ramsey said. "He was covered in blood head to toe. I grabbed his arm and held it, and we fought for (the knife) till the cops came in the door to do with they had to."

Ramsey said the police arrived just moments after he did.

"The cops came in and told us all to get down, and he wasn't complying, so I'm not gonna get down," Ramsey said. "So I pushed him away from me and got out of the way, and he came after the cop, and the cop did what he had to do and shot one time."

The shooting is currently under investigation by the SFPD Homicide and Internal Affairs division, the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability, the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office and the SF attorney's office.

Scott did not disclose any more details about the case, citing the ongoing investigation. "Everything is very preliminary, witnesses have to be interviewed, evidence has to be gathered," he said. "It's going to be a very long process and a very thorough process."

But sources confirmed that a homeless-looking Caucasian man in his 30s refused to pay for the sandwich he'd ordered. When he didn't get it, he grabbed a knife and started stabbing the much older Asian employee.

Multiple people who work in the area also reported a shooting in the area on Twitter.

When asked by reporters if the shooting could have been avoided, Scott said police have "an obligation to protect the public."

Wednesday's officer-involved shooting is the first police shooting under Scott, who was hired following a push for police reform in San Francisco.

"Loss of life is tragic, doesn't matter how it happens, it's tragic," Scott said. "These things, we try to avoid them as much as we can, but we have an obligation to protect the public."

Sources told NBC Bay Area that when police officers told Flusche to drop his knife, the suspect continued to stab the person, prompting the officer to open fire. 

The San Francisco Police Department said on Twitter around 11:36 a.m. that people should avoid the area of 900 Market Street due to police activity and street closures. Muni trains and buses were also rerouted. The section was reopened several hours later, around 5:40 p.m.

NBC Bay Area's Riya Bhattacharjee, Terry McSweeney, Jaxon Van Derbeken and Christie Smith contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: @R27D via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Police Investigating Possible Suspicious Package in SF]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 22:40:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic24.jpg

Residents of San Francisco's Castro District were asked to shelter in place late Wednesday night due to a possible suspicious package.

The advisory was for the areas around Market and Castro streets, 18th and Castro streets, as well as Diamond Street, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management officials said on Twitter just before 10 p.m.

Market and Castro streets have been closed to all traffic, Officer Grace Gatpandan said on Twitter at 10:11 p.m.

People are being asked to avoid the area.

<![CDATA[Proposal on the Pitch: Deltas Goalie Asks, and She Says Yes]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 19:34:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/deltas-proposal-0502.jpg

She said yes. And the start of the soccer match would have to wait.

Marriage proposals at sporting events are not all that uncommon, and they typically involve fans in the stands. But what happened last weekend during a San Francisco Deltas professional soccer game at Kezar Stadium offered a new twist.

Deltas goalkeeper Romuald Peiser asked his girlfriend Taylor Lincoln to come down to the field before the game Saturday night, and she had no idea what was about to happen.

Lincoln recalled the scene and what was going through her mind.

"So he was with the guys, and I guess he just told them, 'One sec, I'll be right back,'" Lincoln said. "And they were all, 'But we're supposed to play a game; where are you going?' And he turned and walked towards me, and that's when it all kind of fell into place."

Peiser and Lincoln met two years ago when both were employed by the Ottawa Fury. A mutual love of soccer drew them together.

"That's why I think it was so special," Lincoln said. "Some people think we're crazy and stuff, but we met on the field and fell in love on the field, and we spend our days and our nights on the field, so it's definitely part of who we are. So, to do something like that just made complete sense for us."

Peiser said he's happy the way it turned out.

"It's something you have to be proud of," he said. "I told her, like I imagined that I would drop the ring or I fall down or she passes out. That would have been bad, but I think since everything went well, it's something we can be proud of. It's a really awesome memory.

"I'm pretty proud of me, of us," he added. "I think it's a really nice way to start our life together."

Photo Credit: Colin Resch/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two-Ton Bronze Bunny Finds Home in San Francisco]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 06:29:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0503-2017-bunnyartcenter.jpg

In a city with a history of strange sights, there are few sights in San Francisco lore stranger than the eleven-foot bronze bunny — a bronze bunny with a skull in its mouth — floating gracefully through the air at the mercy of a crane.

The bunny’s creator Jeremy Fish was as awed by the scene as the dozen or so onlookers who gathered near Haight Street and Laguna to see Fish’s nearly-mythical bunny actually turn up.

“I just still can’t believe it’s sitting here,” Fish marveled as the massive sculpture finally touched down and was wiggled into place in front of the new Haight Street Art Center.

Fish had good reason to fear this blessed moment might never arrive. The installation of the two-ton behemoth was mired for months in a purgatory of city red tape, insurance issues and permit hell.

Despite a public crowd-funding campaign that generated $70,000 for its construction, a neighborhood psyched for its appearance, the bunny remained in storage in Berkeley’s Artworks Foundry where it was created.

“Making the statue’s pretty hard,” Fish said. “Getting it permitted in a public place — super hard.”

On Saturday a few hundred people turned-out to witness the sculpture’s unveiling — Fish peeled off a Pepto-Bismal colored shroud to enraptured applause.

“I would have to say this is probably one of the proudest moments of my career,” announced Fish, who last year served as the San Francisco’s first-ever city hall artist-in-residence.

Fish’s bunny sculpture was an homage to the pink fiberglass bunny he constructed in a friend’s driveway several years ago and installed in a corner of a building down the street that was slated for demolition. The six-foot tall pink bunny, as well as the murals on surrounding walls, was intended to remain about six months — but instead lasted three-and-a-half years — endearing itself to the neighborhood.

“I genuinely put that original statue there just for the fun of it,” Fish said, emphasizing he is not a sculptor — and has no desire to be a sculptor.

When the building came down, Fish staged a public funeral for his creation — it was demolished by a tractor. But the spirit of the bunny didn’t die in the demolition which yielded a corner of new condos. Instead he was approached by the Lower Haight Street Neighbors Association and a soon-to-come Haight Street Art Center to build a more lasting version of the bunny.

“‘Would you consider making a permanent version of it if we raise the money?’” Fish recalled. “I was like ‘yeah good luck.’”

But the Kickstarter campaign kicked in the funds and Fish hit-up an actual sculptor to help him create the piece. Despite figuring out how to actually build the thing, Fish said the most impressive part to him was that the public ponied-up the money to build it.

“This was literally paid for by citizens, mainly of this city and around the world,” Fish said.

Though San Francisco is filled with art, both good and bad, the sculpture may be the strangest. Fish said it’s believed to be the largest public bronze sculpture in California paid for by crowd-funding.

"Usually when you’re in public and you see a giant bronze,” Fish said, “some foundation paid for it or some rich collector paid for it.”

“I don’t think there’s too many people with that on their resume,” said Kevin Brancato, who manages Upper Playground, the Lower Haight shop that sells t-shirts emblazoned with Fish’s peculiar mix of creepy/cuddly illustrations.

Fish’s art is prolific in San Francisco, emblazoned on everything from skateboards, to murals to vinyl toys. But the bronze bunny may be his Pieta.

“Trying to describe it to people is fairly indescribable,” said Maeve Forester who turned-up to watch the installation.

To Fish, the bunny is more than just a peculiar art piece at what was once considered the gates of the Haight. It strikes him more as a statement about the kookiness of San Francisco, which somehow still glimmers beneath sparkling new condos and swanky hip restaurants.

“No matter what anybody wants to say about San Francisco becoming the tech city or the gentrified this or that,” Fish opined, “there’s still enough weirdos here to think a giant eleven foot tall bunny at the entrance to a neighborhood is a good idea.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Shoots, Kills Suspect Stabbing Man on Market Street]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 13:31:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/163*120/suspect63.jpg

San Francisco police on Wednesday afternoon shot and killed a man who allegedly stabbed a Subway sandwich maker on Market Street, police said.

The investigation shut down a major part of mid-Market for more than five hours, re-routing traffic in the middle of the afternoon.

According to SFPD Police Chief Bill Scott, two SFPD beat officers came across a man stabbing another man around 11:22 a.m. on the 900 block of Market. The officers intervened, and at least one officer shot the stabbing suspect, Scott said. The victim was transported to a hospital and is receiving treatment for non life-threatening injuries, police said. "Despite the initiation of life-saving efforts, the second suspect is now deceased," Scott said.

Cellphone video of the aftermath of the stabbing shows SFPD officers surrounding a man who was sitting down on the sidewalk near a Subway restaurant. The man looked like he had suffered injuries to his face and was bleeding. NBC Bay Area has not been able to confirm whether he was the victim.

San Francisco police confirmed that the man who was stabbed worked at Subway. Sources told NBC Bay Area that the suspect walked into the Subway restaurant and asked the employee to make him a sandwich, but refused to pay for it, at which point the employee told him: "No money, no sandwich." The suspect then pulled out his knife, and started attacking him, sources said.

One man who was caught in the middle of the stabbing described the scene. Kevin Ramsey says it all happened so fast. 

"I see this guy behind the counter just stabbing the clerk, so he needed help, and I helped him," Ramsey said. "He was covered in blood head to toe. I grabbed his arm and held it, and we fought for (the knife) till the cops came in the door to do with they had to."

Ramsey said the police arrived just moments after he did.

"The cops came in and told us all to get down, and he wasn't complying, so I'm not gonna get down," Ramsey said. "So I pushed him away from me and got out of the way, and he came after the cop, and the cop did what he had to do and shot one time."

The shooting is currently under investigation by the SFPD Homicide and Internal Affairs division, the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability, the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office and the SF attorney's office.

Scott did not disclose any more details about the case citing the ongoing investigation. "Everything is very preliminary, witnesses have to be interviewed, evidence has to be gathered," he said. "It's going to be a very long process and a very thorough process."

But sources said a homeless-looking Caucasian man in his 30s refused to pay for the sandwich he'd ordered. When he didn't get it, he grabbed a knife and started stabbing the much older Asian employee.

Multiple people who work in the area also reported a shooting in the area on Twitter.

When asked by reporters if the shooting could have been avoided, Scott said police have "an obligation to protect the public."

Wednesday's officer-involved shooting is the first police shooting under Scott, who was hired following a push for police reform in San Francisco.

"Loss of life is tragic, doesn't matter how it happens, it's tragic," Scott said. "These things, we try to avoid them as much as we can, but we have an obligation to protect the public."

Sources told NBC Bay Area that when police officers told the suspect to drop his knife, the suspect continued to stab the person, at which point the officer opened fire and shot the suspect.

The San Francisco Police Department posted on Twitter around 11:36 a.m. asking people to avoid the area of 900 Market Street due to police activity and street closures. Muni trains and buses were also rerouted. The section was reopened around 5:40 p.m.

NBC Bay Area's Jaxon Van Derbeken and Christie Smith contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: @R27D via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Thousands Take Part in Bay Area May Day Marches]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 23:38:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mainimage3.jpg

Thousands took part in peaceful yet passionate May Day marches and rallies across the Bay Area on Monday, joining demonstrations around the nation fighting for immigrants' and workers' rights.

In San Jose, a march included children who skipped school and business owners who closed up shop to show their solidarity. It began at Mexican Heritage Plaza about 3 p.m. and followed Santa Clara Street through downtown and finishing at SAP Center. Along the way, the marchers made four stops, each time knocking down a symbolic wall in the middle of the street.

Parents with schoolchildren were hoping the demonstration would be a teachable moment for their kids.

"I'm trying to bring her out here so she can learn a little bit, social stuff here that you don’t see too much in schools," parent Jamie Torres said.

The marchers walked by several businesses, many closed for the day. The owner of Mexico Bakery said he’ll lose thousands of dollars but added it’s a price he’s willing to pay to support the march. His 50 workers participated in the march.

Meanwhile, San Jose police kept a close eye on the marchers, getting an early head count so they were able to see how many officers they would need.

"Our officers have met with the organizers, and we have an operational plan in place," Sgt. Enrique Garcia said. "Our goal is to keep it a safe environment for all the participants as well as the community."

In San Francisco, the May Day march drew a bigger crowd than it has in previous years, and while it was peaceful, there was no lack of passion among the marchers, and the recurring message of resisting hate, racism and discrimination had a bit more punch.

"The people in this country support immigrants, we don’t hate," demonstrator Richard Goldstein, of San Francisco, said. "Immigrants made this country."

Fellow marcher Lisa Cassidy, of Dublin, agreed.

"We all come from immigrants," she said. "I mean all our families. And there shouldn’t be this huge ban on selective groups of people."

Among the marchers Sergio Rosales and his 14-year-old daughter Karina. He said he wanted his daughter to understand what is happening.

"I really want her to see and experience what other people are having," he said.

Twenty-seven years ago, Rosales ran across the border from Mexico. He has since become a U.S. citizen and started his own janitorial business, now with 11 employees.

"I’m not a criminal," he said. "I'm a father of two kids, you know, working hard. That’s the story of many people in here."

Karina said she got the message. It brought her to tears.

"I think that everyone should just take advantage of what they have right now because some people take that for granted," she said. "And people in a lot of countries really want what they have here."

Earlier in the day in San Francisco, roughly 20 protesters linked arms and formed a human wall in front of the entrance and exit point for deportation buses at the ICE building.

In Oakland, the latest in a series of May Day marches ended at San Antonio Park in the afternoon. At least 500 people marched down International Boulevard, some saying this year's demonstration felt a bit different because of the current political climate.

"It definitely feels different than last year," marcher Gloria Ramirez said. "I think last year was to promote workers' rights, but right now, it's to promote everybody's rights."

At an earlier rally at the Alameda County government building, four people were arrested after chaining themselves to the front doors, demanding changes in how the county deals with federal immigration officials.

"To break away from their reliance on militarized policing, break away from their ties with ICE and stop the explosion of cages," said Woods Ervin of Continual Resistance.

The Oakland rally was expected to last well into the evening.

No arrests were reported in San Jose or San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Gordon Mak]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Road Rage Stabbing Deemed Case of Self-Defense]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 23:51:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

A woman stabbed another woman with a scalpel in an apparent act of self defense following a vehicle collision in San Francisco's Oceanview neighborhood on Tuesday morning, according to police.

The incident in the 400 block of Capitol Avenue occured shortly before 8:30 a.m. when a 34-year-old woman dropping off her 4-year-old at her babysitter was sideswiped by another woman.

The woman whose car was hit is Lizzett Hasbon, who said she tried to diffuse the confrontation, but got backed up against her car.

"And we pulled aside and basically I told her, 'Hey, you kinda hit my car,'" Hasbon said. "And she came out really aggressive and violently."

Hasbon said the 41-year-old woman started cussing, yelling and "literally had me behind my car."

"My child was in there," she said. "I'm like 'I will defend myself if you don't back up.'"

Hasbon said the woman kept coming and that's when she pulled the scalpel.

"As she was actually trying to swing at me, so I was defending myself," she said. "I was kind of blocking her hand and then she backed up."

Witnesses back up Hasbon's version of the events and police decided it was self defense. Police are not identifying the other woman involved in the altercation.

Police do say while the woman is the victim in the stabbing, investigators also view her as the perpetrator of the apparent road rage. The woman was treated and released at a local hospital.

The collision involving two female drivers occurred shortly before 8:30 a.m., according to police spokeswoman Giselle Talkoff.

The incident also occurred near Sheridan Elementary School, but did not involve the campus in any way, police said.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[15-Year-Old Boy Fatally Shot in SF's Sunset District: Police]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 15:27:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfsunsetshooting.jpg

A 15-year-old boy died Monday afternoon after he was shot in San Francisco's Sunset District, a police spokeswoman said.

Police got a call around noon regarding a shooting near Sunset Boulevard and Kirkham Street, according to police spokeswoman Officer Giselle Talkoff. The medical examiner's officer identified the teen as Reajohn Jackson of Daly City. 

Police say a car pulled up next to a white car being driven by the teen on the busy boulevard, and someone started shooting at it. People who live nearby say they heard six shots, and the car was riddled with bullet holes.

A teenage passenger was not hurt, police said.

Police say there is no suspect description or description of the suspect's vehicle. They say they believe Reajohn was targeted, but they don't know why.

Neighbors were in shock that such a violent crime occurred so close to home. Rose Widness drove through the intersection moments after the shooting.

"We went to the corner and saw the young boy lying there, and we didn't know if he was alive or dead," she said. "We thought it was a car accident. It's kind of scary. You don't expect things like that happening in your neighborhood." 

Investigators were hoping to find surveillance video of the car that explains what was behind the shooting. They said especially with cars, when they're moving, they continue to move a crime scene, and where it started and where it ended is then difficult to determine.

Sunset Boulevard was closed between Kirkham and Lawton streets as police investigated the shooting, Talkoff said. Drivers were advised to avoid the area and use alternate routes.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to leave information anonymously at 415-575-4444 or to text a tip to TIP411, beginning the message with "SFPD."

Editor's note: San Francisco police initially reported the victim was 16 years old. They then updated the number.

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Airbnb & San Francisco Settle Nearly Year-Long Lawsuit]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 18:16:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/sf+skyline_logo.png

More than 70 percent of Airbnb's short-term rental listings in San Francisco could soon be purged off the site following a settlement between the home-sharing company and its hometown.

Airbnb sued San Francisco in June to block the city from enacting tougher regulations that would slap home-sharing companies with pricey fines and possible criminal penalties if they post rental listings that aren’t registered with the city.

San Francisco is now claiming victory in that the settlement dismisses Airbnb's legal challenge to the city's short-term rules, thus, clearing the way for unregistered listings to be purged from home-sharing websites. 

“We have successfully defended San Francisco’s common-sense regulations on short-term rentals,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement.  “This agreement helps protect the city’s precious housing supply by obligating these companies to ensure that all their listings are legal and properly registered."

As a result of the settlement, home-sharing companies Airbnb and HomeAway must require their users to provide proof they are properly registered with the city before allowing them to post their short-term rental listings online.  The new requirement is scheduled to take effect by September, but current users will have until the start of 2018 to get into compliance.

"Similar to other agreements we have established with cities all around world, this agreement puts in place the systems and tools needed to help ensure our community is able to continue to share their homes," Airbnb said in a statement.

Airbnb and HomeAway also agree to cancel future stays and deactivate listings if notified by the city about unregistered hosts.

The settlement also allows Airbnb and HomeAway to offer its users a way to register with the city using their own websites.

Affordable housing advocates partly blame short-term rentals for driving up home prices in the city. Rental hosts, however, argue home-sharing helps residents afford to live in high-priced San Francisco.

Mayor Lee hopes that the new agreement will help the crack down on illegal hotels.

“This protects our rental housing stock while allowing residents who follow the rules to gain income to help make ends meet," Mayor Lee said in a statement.

"When platforms cooperate with the City to only list lawfully registered hosts, we can more effectively enforce our laws and protect our rental housing supply. This settlement is a significant leap forward for enforcement of our short-term rental laws."

The city’s attempt to crackdown on illegal listings followed an NBC Bay Area investigation in May that revealed thousands of short-term rental hosts in San Francisco continue to break the law by failing to complete the city’s required registration process.

City law defines a short-term rental as lasting 30 days or less. Since February 2015, San Francisco has required short-term rental hosts to register with the city and remain the primary resident of the home they plan to rent out.

Currently, 2,100 hosts are registered with the Office of Short-Term Rentals to legally rent out their homes. However, the Investigative Unit discovered Airbnb alone had 8,800 hosts listing its site as of late 2016. That means at least 76 percent of hosts in San Francisco appear to be breaking the law.

In June, one month after the Investigative Unit aired its original report, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took steps to begin holding home-sharing companies accountable, including Airbnb, for any illegal short-term rentals they post on their websites. The change in law was scheduled to take effect in July 2016 and would have required home-sharing websites to verify that listings are registered with the city before posting them online. Otherwise, companies could face government issued penalties of up to $1,000 per day and potential criminal penalties.

The ordinance, however, never went into effect. The city held off on enacting the new law after Airbnb filed its lawsuit against San Francisco and requested a judge issue a preliminary injunction to halt the new enforcement process.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Fight for Rights: Thousands March in May Day Rallies]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 17:41:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-1-17_May_Day_SF.jpg

Joining hundreds of thousands around the world, droves of demonstrators on Monday are gathering across the Bay Area for May Day rallies, which are drawing special attention to immigrants' rights in the wake of the Trump administration's controversial executive orders and promises.

Traditional May Day demonstrations were originally designed to propagate workers' rights and combat exploitative working conditions. But, in recent years, the annual day of action has been highlighted by a range of social issues, particularly the need for immigration reform and a living wage.  

The jam-packed day of activity started with people blocking off an intersection near the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco. Standing in the street in front of cars, demonstrators overtook crosswalks and hoisted signs reading "Sanctuary For All" and "Resist Hate, Racism, Corporate Greed" into the air. Others grabbed chalk and paint to decorate the concrete with phrases such as "Resist" and "No Ban, No Wall" in large red and white letters.

Roughly 20 protesters stamped with white pieces of paper on their shirts reading "#ResistUniteProtect" or "#SanctuaryForAll" also linked arms, formed a human wall and planted themselves in front of the entrance and exit point for deportation buses at the ICE building. The move was designed to promote solidarity with immigrants, according to protester Dalia Yedidia.

"So we know that there are workers, immigrants, and immigrant workers, and we're here in solidarity with them denouncing the intense escalation of anti-immigrant racist policies coming out of the Trump administration," she said.

Demonstrators blocks away at Justin Herman Plaza waved politically-themed signs and shouted in support of immigrants' rights while simultaneously chastising the Trump administration's border wall proposals and commitment — despite a blocked executive order — to defund sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.

"Folks are feeling a lot of fear right now in both with the executive orders and with we don't know what's going to come down the pipe," demonstrator My Trinh said. "I think they're feeling unsupported. There are folks who are being pushed into the shadows."

Across the Bay Bridge, motionless people — outlined by chalked silhouettes — rested on the ground outside the Alameda County Administration building while demonstrators stood over them chanting for an end to police violence, mass incarceration and immigration raids.

At least four people attending that rally were arrested for trespassing, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

Shops and restaurants across the Bay Area joined the movement behind the May Day rallies by closing their doors, students engineered school walkouts, and even major tech hubs like Facebook and Uber allowed their employees to participate in workers’ strikes without penalization.

Work at the Port of Oakland temporarily came to a halt, but it wasn't a walkout, a spokesman for the longshoremen's union told NBC Bay Area. He said it's a negotiated day off in the port workers' contract because typically hundreds of dock workers participate in May Day demonstrations. Only the day shift at the port was affected, he said.

Check below for a list of protests, rallies and demonstrations:

San Francisco: Rally and festival at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office at 8 a.m.; Chinatown community rally at Portsmouth Square from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Rally at Justin Herman Plaza with a march to Civic Center Plaza at 11 a.m.; Montgomery Bart Station rally from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mountain View: March at Rengstorff Park Community Center at 4 p.m. A rally will follow at 5:45 p.m. at City Hall.

San Jose: Rally at Mexican Heritage Plaza at 1 p.m.; March to Arena Greens at Autumn and Santa Clara Streets at 3 p.m.; May Day rally and march at Story and King Roads from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Morgan Hill: March from Galvan Park to ICE office on Vineyard Court at 4 p.m. 

Oakland: People's Climate Movement contingent march on 12th street near Citibank at 2 p.m.*; Hotel Workers contingent march at Mandela Parkway and Yerba Buena at 1:30 p.m.*; May Day Restaurant Industry contingent march on 1419 34th Avenue at 2 p.m.*; Rally at Fruitvale Plaza at 3 p.m. 

*These marches will likely feed into the rally at Fruitvale Plaza. 

Berkeley: Workers’ Day Rally at UC Berkeley at noon. 

Concord: Rally at Meadow Homes Park at 4 p.m.; Rally at Todos Santos Plaza at 6 p.m. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[At Least 4 Killed on Bay Area Roadways After Major Crashes]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 06:58:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-1-17_Fatal_Crashes.jpg

At least four people died on Bay Area roadways Monday morning after a slew of major crashes, according to officials.

An adult male and a child, who police believe was not properly secured in a BMW, were killed along Interstate 880 in Oakland shortly after 5 a.m. during a violent collision with two other vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol. The crash temporarily blocked all lanes of northbound lanes of traffic and triggered major delays in the area, according to the CHP.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the black BMW veered from the roadway near 5th Avenue and slammed into a box van that was stopped on the shoulder, according to the CHP. The BMW attempted to maneuver back onto the freeway, but it was smacked by a Ford truck.

The adult male and child were sitting in the back seat of the BMW when the crash occurred, according to the CHP. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Three other people in the BMW, including the driver and another child, were injured and transported to local area hospitals, according to the CHP.

Authorities do not believe that alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash, but the driver could be charged for not adequately securing the child.

A second fatal crash on northbound Interstate 880 also blocked traffic in San Leandro earlier in the morning. That crash happened just before 1 a.m. along northbound Interstate 880 near Marina Boulevard, according to authorities.

A Ford Fusion was travelling in the No. 4 lane when it rear-ended a Honda Insight, sending the Honda across four lanes of traffic and into the center divider, according to the CHP. An incoming Buick struck the Honda, launching it back into the center of the roadway. A semi-truck then side-swiped the Honda before the Honda finally came to rest.

The driver of the Honda was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the Buick sustained major injuries, according to the CHP.

Across the Bay Bridge, a fourth person was found dead around 3:30 a.m. on the Octavio on-ramp to southbound Highway 101, according to officials. It is not clear at this time how the person was killed, but the ramp was temporarily closed for an investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Full Service: Bay Bridge Bike Path to Open on Weekdays]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 19:16:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bay+bridge+path-0430-2017.jpg

Folks fond of traveling across the eastern span of the Bay Bridge on bikes or their feet will soon have five more days each week to enjoy that experience.

That's because the bridge's bicycle and pedestrian path will be open every day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting Tuesday. Those hours will be shifted from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. when May 26 rolls around.

"They sound ecstatic, they sound excited about it," said Angelica James, a security officer for the bike path. "This gives them more opportunity on the weekdays to do their biking and for people who use it to exercise and for people who do it just to say 'I did it.'"

"If we're going to pay millions of dollars to live here, we may as well be able to bike across the bridge," cyclist Shelby Ziesing said.

The more than 2-mile-long path connects Oakland with Yerba Buena Island, and it features an outside lane for those on foot and two adjacent lanes closest to vehicle traffic for those on two wheels.

Pedestrians and bicyclists were first able to travel on the bridge's path back in September of 2013, but only a portion of the path was actually usable because of ongoing construction. The final segment was opened in October of 2016, but the path was only open to the public on weekends.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Expected to Show at Bay Area May Day Rallies]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 23:36:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/may+day-0430-2017.jpg

Hundreds of thousands of protesters on Monday are expected to gather across the country for International Workers' Day, a May 1 tradition that has gained renewed momentum as strident immigration rhetoric continues to seep out of the Trump administration.

The demonstrations, which originated with the labor movement, are marked by employee strikes against exploitative working conditions. But, in recent years, the annual day of action has highlighted a range of social issues, particularly the need for immigration reform and a living wage.  

Given that President Donald Trump's campaign platform — and a slew of his executive orders — have targeted undocumented immigrants, this year's protests are expected to be yet another pointed rebuke of the business mogul's presidency.

Shops and restaurants across the Bay Area are expected to shutter on Monday. Students are planning school walkouts. Even major tech hubs like Facebook and Uber have allowed their employees to participate in workers’ strikes without penalization.

Work at the Port of Oakland will come to a halt, but it won't be a walkout, a spokesman for the longshoremen's union told NBC Bay Area. He said it's a negotiated day off in the port workers' contract because typically hundreds of dock workers participate in May Day demonstrations. Only the day shift at the port will be affected, he said.

Also in Oakland, volunteers prepared signs for Monday's march. Among them was a high school student who helped organize hundreds of fellow Oakland students joining the march along its route.

"When you really talk to the youth, they really care about it and want to know how they can help," student organizer Reyna Jauregui said.

Another high schooler helped energize a movement at St. Elizabeth Church in Oakland, where people of faith and workers' groups will also meet to join the march.

"I think it's incredible," said Jocelyn Medina of Oakland Community Organizations. "Love of everyone."

Migrant worker rights groups are among some of the most energized. Organizers estimate more than 70 groups are involved so far. Their goal on May Day is connecting with a Latino community, which they say is living in fear of the Trump administration's new immigration policies.  

In San Jose, busy Mendoza’s restaurant is one of several businesses that plan to close Monday. Workers there will instead join thousands of others in a march through downtown.

"The workers that want to participate, we made T-shirts with our logo: 'No one is illegal' or 'Black Lives Matter or 'Love is love,'" Adilene Mendoza said.

On Sunday, faith and community leaders talked about showing solidarity in a peaceful event.

"We march because we feel that we need to stand together," said the Rev. Jon Pedigo of the Diocese of San Jose. "We have been placed together in a difficult situation with undocumented persons, with Muslim persons, with LGBTQ persons. ... We are telling Trump we are here to stay, we are here to fight and be truly represented by our government."

Check below for a list of protests, rallies and demonstrations:

San Francisco: Rally and festival at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office at 8 a.m.; Chinatown community rally at Portsmouth Square from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Rally at Justin Herman Plaza with a march to Civic Center Plaza at 11 a.m.; Montgomery Bart Station rally from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mountain View: March at Rengstorff Park Community Center at 4 p.m. A rally will follow at 5:45 p.m. at City Hall.

San Jose: Rally at Mexican Heritage Plaza at 1 p.m.; March to Arena Greens at Autumn and Santa Clara Streets at 3 p.m.; May Day rally and march at Story and King Roads from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Morgan Hill: March from Galvan Park to ICE office on Vineyard Court at 4 p.m. 

Oakland: People's Climate Movement contingent march on 12th street near Citibank at 2 p.m.*; Hotel Workers contingent march at Mandela Parkway and Yerba Buena at 1:30 p.m.*; May Day Restaurant Industry contingent march on 1419 34th Avenue at 2 p.m.*; Rally at Fruitvale Plaza at 3 p.m. 

*These marches will likely feed into the rally at Fruitvale Plaza. 


Rally at Lovonya Dejean Middle School in Richmond with RYSE youth center, the Richmond progressive alliance and United Teachers of Richmond at 4 p.m. 

Berkeley: Workers’ Day Rally at UC Berkeley at noon. 

Concord: Rally at Meadow Homes Park at 4 p.m.; Rally at Todos Santos Plaza at 6 p.m. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[UC Berkeley Named 'America's Best Value College': Forbes]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 11:09:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/UCBerkeleyGeneric.jpg

Tuition might be expensive, but attending the University of California, Berkeley provides the most bang for your buck, according to a new Forbes report.

The East Bay university topped the list of Forbes' "America's Best Value Colleges" list, which calculates what schools are worth the financial investment. Southern California's University of California, Los Angeles and the East Coast's Princeton University rounded out the top three, respectively.

UC Berkeley wasn't the only institution in the area labeled as a school worth the investment. Stanford University checked in at No. 7 on the list while University of California, Davis grabbed the No. 9 spot.

Not to be left out, Santa Clara University (No. 63), San Jose State University (No. 140), University of San Francisco (No. 176), San Francisco State University (No. 210), Saint Mary's College (No. 234), California State University, East Bay (No. 240) and Sonoma State University (No. 300) also nabbed a spot on the list.

The annual list takes into account "tuition costs, school quality, post-grad earnings, student debt and graduation success," according to Forbes.

An interesting trend noted in the report indicates that roughly 70 percent of the schools listed in the top 100 are research universities, meaning that the education is centered around science, technology and engineering. A STEM-oriented education is defined by Forbes as being increasingly valuable because that's where the jobs are in this day and age.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[De Young Museum Celebrates 'Summer of Love']]>Mon, 01 May 2017 01:26:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/P1120646.jpgIn commemoration of San Francisco's 1967 Summer of Love movement, the De Young Museum's new exhibit celebrates the experience that produced iconic rock posters, photographs, music, costumes and avant-garde films

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee/ NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Construction Prompts Flight Delays, Cancellations at SFO]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 11:56:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfo+airport.jpg

Flights were being delayed about an hour on Saturday morning at San Francisco International Airport because one runway is closed for rehabilitation, airport officials said.

As of 10 a.m., there were 108 delays, which include both arrivals and departures. Twenty flights have been cancelled.

About 30 flights an hour are arriving.

Airport officials are encouraging visitors and passengers to check with their airlines for flight information.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area Evictions Investigation Leads to Public Hearing]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:24:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-28-17_Airbnb_Evictions.jpg

Frustrations boiled over at San Francisco City Hall Friday as renters and housing advocates lined up by the dozens to share their eviction stories and urge city officials to crack down on landlords skirting the law. 

The public hearing was called by Supervisor Jane Kim after an NBC Bay Area investigation uncovered what appears to be wide-spread abuse of city’s owner move-in eviction laws by landlords attempting to force out rent-controlled tenants.

“We need to catch these bad actors, and we need to make them pay,” said San Francisco Tenants Union Executive Director Deepa Varma.

Representatives from the San Francisco Rent Board, the District Attorney's Office, and the City Attorney's Office answered questions from Kim and Supervisor Aaron Peskin about weak enforcement and how loopholes in the law allow some landlords to profit from illegal evictions.

“It’s lovely to have nice words on the books, but if they are not enforceable, they really don’t make that much difference,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin said.

Over the past five years, there’s been a 200 percent increase in the number of owner move-in evictions in San Francisco. The law allows landlords to evict tenants if they, or in some cases, a family member, want to move into the unit.

“Today’s hearing on eviction enforcement was initiated by the fact that we have seen more than 8,000 people in San Francisco evicted from their homes over the past four years, the fastest growing basis being owner move-in evictions,” Kim said.

Dozens of tenants, some angry or fighting back tears, recounted being forced from their homes because their landlord or their landlord’s family member said they were going to move in. Most said they suspected their landlord never intended to move in, but lacking the resources to fight the eviction, felt compelled to take a buyout and move on. Many traveled to the hearing from new homes outside San Francisco, unable to afford the city’s exorbitant rental prices after being kicked out of a rent-controlled apartment.

“The smart thing to do was to just take the money before I was served an eviction and basically my (stuff’s) on the sidewalk,” said San Francisco resident George Howell, who said he was forced to move into a dingy apartment next to a strip club, but counts himself lucky to still be in San Francisco. “My apartment has been 100 percent Airbnb. Nobody ever moved in.”

NBC Bay Area’s investigation also highlighted another problem – a nearly complete lack of enforcement of the city’s owner move-in eviction laws.

“While they are not a city agency, I should also recognize and thank NBC’s Investigative Unit for taking the time to do the work that I would hope that we would be doing,” Kim said.

The Rent Board oversees the city’s owner move-in eviction process, but Executive Director Robert Collins said the agency doesn’t have the resources to check if landlords or their family members are actually moving in after evicting tenants. Instead, his office submits a random sampling of 10 percent of all owner move-in eviction notices each month to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office for possible investigation. But in the last decade, the District Attorney's Office hasn't prosecuted a single case.

At Friday's hearing, Evan Ackiron, Managing Attorney at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, said a 2007 California Supreme Court ruling made prosecuting landlords for wrongful evictions nearly impossible. According to Ackiron, the court ruled there is a “litigation privilege” under state law preventing landlords, or anyone else, from being prosecuted for "using the legal process." Ackiron said that ruling even applies to eviction notices, considered precursors to the legal process.

“Since 2007, those cases have pretty much been dead in the water,” Ackiron said.

But tenant rights advocates are troubled by the lack of prosecutions, and say there are egregious cases out there that could be tried. NBC Bay Area highlighted one such case earlier this year, when an administrative law judge recommended the district attorney’s office file criminal charges against a landlord after his tenant filed a wrongful eviction complaint with the Rent Board. Even then, the office declined to file criminal charges.

The city attorney’s office, which can file civil suits against landlords and has a lower burden of proof to win a case than the district attorney’s office, said it's filed just one lawsuit in recent years for a fraudulent owner move-in eviction. The office says it typically focuses on cases affecting large groups of tenants, which is generally not the case in an owner move-in eviction.

“Unless the conduct is happening on a large scale, it’s very difficult to justify the commitment of resources that it takes to litigate these cases,” Deputy City Attorney Peter Keith said.

In an effort to strengthen enforcement, Kim and Peskin are now collaborating on new legislation that would make it easier to hit landlords with fines and criminal penalties if they wrongfully kick out rent-controlled tenants in favor of new tenants willing to pay more in rent. Supervisor Mark Farrell also recently introduced his own legislation targeting landlords who violate the law.

“I do want to be very clear,” Kim said. “We are not saying that every landlord is acting in bad faith, or even the majority of landlords are acting in bad faith. But we also know that fraudulent evictions are happening, and everyone, whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, can agree that we want our laws enforced and we want fraudulent evictions to stop.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[San Francisco Police Deem Package at Westfield Mall Safe]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:48:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

The discovery of a suspicious package that was later deemed safe prompted the brief closure of Westfield San Francisco Centre on Saturday morning. 

Police began the investigation around 9:45 a.m. They urged people to avoid the mall and also closed Jessie and Mission streets between 4th and 5th streets.

Around 11:05 a.m., however, police said that the mall and streets would soon be reopened.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lawn Landfill at Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 11:02:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DoloresPark1.jpg

The sun will be shining, the grass will be green, and the park will be filled with both people and — unfortunately for visitors — trash.

San Francisco's Mission Dolores Park is a hotbed for visitors on sunny, warm weekends. One of those picture-perfect weekends is expected this Saturday and Sunday, but when people pack the park, so does their garbage.

Officials with San Francisco Recreation and Park estimate that they collect roughly 7,000 gallons of waste during busy weekends.

"Bottles lined up and so much trash in these hills," parkgoer Lucia Buggiano said while describing the normal scene she encounters at the grassy refuge. "It's polluted. It's disgusting."

The trash is an unpleasant site for visitors and park officials, who say they are doing their best to eliminate the nasty problem. Additional permanent trash bins have been installed in the park this year, and a service will be provided this weekend to increase the amount of dumpsters available in hopes of enticing chronic litterers to put their waste where it belongs. That physical reminder of disposing trash will also be backed up by people meandering around the park verbally instructing people to make sure their waste ends up in the right place.

"We should all be respectful and pick our trash after ourselves," park visitor Arturo Flores said.

An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people are expected to visit the well-known San Francisco park this weekend, according to San Francisco Recreation and Park.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Jean Elle]]>
<![CDATA[Frustration Builds as Experts Examine Millennium Tower]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:19:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/GettyImages-588545352.jpg

One of the two outside engineers who reviewed the now sinking Millennium Tower’s foundation testified Friday that he repeatedly stressed that his analysis left out the massive nearby Transbay project because he “had no idea” about its potential impact.

“We knew there was a big project and it was next door to this building, and I had no idea, you know, what kind of influence it might have on this kind of building, so it was important to mention that,” Hardip Pannu testified at a Board of Supervisors committee hearing.

Millennium Partners now blames the transit terminal for destabilizing the tower foundation. Transbay officials counter that Millennium’s foundation was already doomed to failure because it was not rooted in bedrock.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin wanted to know why Pannu stressed in multiple letters why Transbay was not considered.

NBC Bay Area’s review of documents shows that back in early 2006, city building inspection department engineer Hanson Tom declared it was “not the responsibility” of the two-member peer review team to consider the Transbay project.

It appears, based on minutes of a project meeting in February 2006, that Tom dismissed the need for such a review after one of his colleagues raised the issue.

Peskin said after the hearing that he wanted to ask Tom about that decision. But Tom failed to show up and the building inspection official who stood in could not address the issue.

“Nobody is taking responsibility,” Peskin said after the hearing. “Not the peer reviewers, not the Department of Building Inspection, not Millennium. It’s quite frustrating.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prepping for Protests: Bay Area Gears Up for May Day Marches]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:48:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-28-17_May_Day.jpg

The first of May is just days away, but this year's May Day festivities will likely be a bit different than years past.

That's because President Donald Trump and his policies are likely to be the target of marches and rallies geared toward spotlighting immigration.

May Day rallies typically focus attention on fighting for workers' rights, but this year's events are expected to raise awareness about immigrant workers and deportation.

Droves of people are expected to descend on San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza come Monday to fight for sanctuary cities and schools. Organizers are especially committed to marching for children of immigrants and the future of their education.

"Public money is going to private schools and, of course, an increase in charters, that runs counter to public education being a cornerstone of democracy," Lita Blanc from the United Educators of San Francisco said.

Police in San Francisco on Friday were already installing barricades outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in advance of the marches and rallies. They are reminding attendees to express their opinions in a peaceful and respectful manner.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds in SF Protest Federal, City Affordable Housing Cuts]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:03:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+housing+rally-0427-2017.jpg

More than 200 people from tenant and neighborhood groups rallied in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco Thursday to protest potential federal and city cuts in affordable housing.

"Housing is a basic human right. It's so important that we stand up for a basic human right," said Rene Cyprien, a San Francisco tenant whose apartment is subsidized with vouchers under the federal Section 8 program.

Cyprien said that after being evicted by what he called a predatory lender, he was homeless for a year before obtaining affordable housing under the voucher program.

"Thank goodness for public housing," he told the crowd.

"(President Donald) Trump talks about making America great again. You want to make America great again, take care of our homeless people and housing for our seniors and our veterans," he said.

The rally was aimed at protesting both Trump's proposed $6 billion cut to programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a San Francisco Planning Commission hearing Thursday on proposed legislation on affordable housing requirements for developers.

Sarah Sherburn-Zimmer of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco said, "The Trump budget makes massive cuts."

It has been estimated that the cuts will cause the loss of more than 200,000 housing vouchers nationwide, she said.

Organizers said more than 30 tenant, faith, labor and neighborhood organizations were represented at the rally. The speakers included tenants and union representatives and their comments were translated into Cantonese.

Groups carrying large banners included the San Francisco Community Tenants Association, Senior and Disability Action, Tenderloin Chinese Rights Association, Tenderloin Filipino-American Community Association and Council of Community Housing Organizations.

After a 40-minute rally, the participants marched to City Hall, where the Planning Commission was conducting a hearing on whether to recommend legislation to the Board of Supervisors to change the formula for the amounts of low-income and moderate-income affordable housing developers are required to build.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Three SFPD Officers Hurt When Two Patrol Cars Crash]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:25:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

Three San Francisco Police Department officers were injured Thursday night when two police cruisers crashed on city streets. 

Two marked police cars were responding — with lights and sirens on — to a call for backup at 15th and Valencia streets around 10:45 p.m. when they collided near 15th and Mission streets, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

One of the vehicles also struck a fire hydrant before ramming into a building.

Two officers were in one of the vehicles, and one officer was in the other vehicle, police said. All three were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Other officers handled the incident at 15th and Valencia streets, police said.

The police department's Traffic Collision Investigation Unit is investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Make Another Arrest in Cable Car Fare Embezzlement]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 18:15:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0427-2017-CableCar.jpg

A second San Francisco Municipal Railway cable car operator accused of pocketing fare money made an appearance in court Thursday afternoon and was released from jail pending arraignment.

David Reyes, 55, who was arrested Wednesday evening, faces felony charges of misappropriation of public funds and embezzlement.

Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Lee today said that Reyes may have taken anywhere from $200 to $400 per shift. She estimated the total loss in the "tens of thousands."

Reyes, who according to defense attorney Sam Lasser has no prior criminal history, was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on May 10 for entry of plea and for identification of counsel.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said Reyes has worked for the agency for 19 years, including 15 as a cable car operator. He is currently on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Reyes is the second cable car operator to be arrested this month in connection with an investigation by the Police Department's Muni Task Force.

Cable car operator Albert Williams, 61, of American Canyon, was arrested on April 19 and faces the same charges as Reyes.

Lee, who is also prosecuting Williams' case, said in court last week that a search of his home found at least $32,000 in a safe and multiple receipts for luxury items.

Williams was arraigned and entered a not guilty plea on April 20 and has a court date scheduled for May 8. Bail was set at $50,000 and he is no longer in custody, according to jail records.

Prosecutors have not alleged any collaboration between Williams and Reyes.

Muni director Ed Reiskin said after Williams' arrest that the agency will explore long-term options including the elimination of on-board cash fare payments for cable cars.

Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA[New BART Train Fails, Triggers Systemwide Delays]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:03:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CHOPPER+BROKEN+DOWN+BART+-+08412916.jpg

A new four-car BART train underwent overnight testing but failed early Friday morning, triggering major systemwide delays. 

The issue was first reported before 5 a.m. at the Lake Merritt Station in Oakland. 

Officials origially said it is "too soon to say exactly why it lost propulsion." After investigation, a blown fuse was determined to be the culprit.

While the out-of-service train — that officials say was not carrying passengers — was pushed to a pocket track near the San Leandro station, BART was forced to single-track it through the area. 

BART officials said on Twitter around 6:45 a.m. that the system was "recovering," but advised commuters to expect residual delays. 

BART officials have on order 775 new train cars, which are scheduled to be delivered between now and 2022. The first 10 were delivered last year.

BART officials are aiming to eventually have 1,081 new cars running but there is no money right now for the additional 306.

Also, adding the 306 would require the train control system to be upgraded, according to Huckaby.

Measure RR, which voters passed in November, provides $3.5 billion for the construction and improvement of BART property. Some of that money could be used to upgrade the train control system, Huckaby said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Preparations Underway to Salvage Sunken Barge From SF Bay]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:29:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0407-2017-SunkenBarge.jpg

Preparations for salvaging the barge that capsized in San Francisco Bay earlier this month began Wednesday, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

The 112-foot freight barge Vengeance capsized on April 7 south of the Bay Bridge and settled above the subterranean BART Transbay Tube, which is protected by a 25- to 30-foot layer of earth, according to Coast Guard officials.

On Wednesday, Global Diving and Salvage began preparations to rotate the barge upright on the sea floor, an operation called a parbuckle.

Preparations for the parbuckle may take several weeks and will involve divers rigging anchors to the sea floor and to the barge. Once all components have been rigged, tension will gradually be applied to the anchors to rotate the barge upright.

Information gathered during the operation will support development of a plan to refloat and tow the barge to a facility for fuel removal.

"Our goal with this operation is to mitigate any environmental threat posed by the fuel remaining on the Vengeance while protecting the subterranean BART Transbay Tube and ensuring the safety of responders and the public," Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Jeremiah Winston said in a statement.

Mariners in the area are asked to abide by the 350-meter safety zone and to monitor local media channels since the safety zone is subject to change, Coast Guard officials said.

Photo Credit: US Coast Guard]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Whose Wedding Ring Was Stolen in SF Just Wants It Back]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:18:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+ring+suspects.jpg

A South Bay woman whose wedding ring was stolen in a car-break-in in San Francisco is offering a reward to get it back.

Carrie Perez's cherished ring was stolen April 8 on Golden Gate Avenue while she and a friend participated in the Rock 'N' Roll Half-Marathon. The Morgan Hill woman has photographs of the ring and the people she believes stole it.

She said when she returned to her car that day, she knew right away what happened. Sure enough, when she checked the trunk, everything in it was gone.

"Duffle bags and my purse, and that was the worst thing because my engagement ring and wedding band, which I can't run with, were in my purse," Perez said. "I got really upset and tried not to tear up. The bags are just things, but we only got married seven months ago. Obviously, the ring is super sentimental; it means a lot."

The thieves quickly racked up hundreds of dollars on Perez's stolen credit cards. Surveillance video shows a man using one of the cards in San Francisco, a female companion with him. Perez is hoping someone recognizes them and calls police.

Her offer is simple.

"No questions asked. If you could just get my ring back to me, I would not say anything," Perez said. "I would even reward anyone who can give me information as to how I can get those rings back."

Anyone who may recognize the man or woman in the video footage is asked to call police; leave your name if you want the reward. As for the suspected thieves, Perez is hoping they'll anonymously mail the rings to police.

Photo Credit: SFPD/Courtesy of Carrie Perez]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Drops Most Charges Against Suspect Shot by SF Officers]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:02:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf-ois1.jpg

A judge dismissed all but two charges on Tuesday against a man shot by San Francisco police during a confrontation in January, and Public Defender Jeff Adachi is now calling for prosecutors to drop the remaining charges as his case prepares to go to trial.

Judge Jeffrey Ross dismissed eight of 10 charges filed against Sean Moore in the Jan. 6 shooting, leaving him scheduled to go to trial Friday on just one count of misdemeanor violating a stay away order and felony battery causing serious injury.

The decision is the second time a judge has reduced the case filed by prosecutors against Moore, a 43-year-old mentally ill man who was shot around 4 a.m. at his home in the 500 block of Capitol Avenue after Officers Kenneth Cha and Colin Patino responded to a noise complaint made by a neighbor.

Moore's mother said the shooting never should have happened.

"He could have been dead," Cleo Moore said. "He's got a mental condition, but the officers continued to egg him on."

Sean Moore, who repeatedly told the officers to leave his property, was unarmed but is accused of kicking and hitting officers during the confrontation that led to his shooting. The remaining battery charge relates to an allegation that he punched Patino.

The officers used batons and pepper spray on him before Cha opened fire.

In March, Judge Ethan Schulman also dismissed two counts of criminal threats against Moore following a three-day preliminary hearing.

Ross's decision came after Deputy Public Defender Brian Pearlman argued in court that officers had no legal grounds to remain on Moore's property after he told them to leave, and that when they approached him they were essentially trespassing.

"They're trying to punish a victim of a crime, a crime committed by the officers, for defending himself in his own home," Pearlman said Wednesday.

Adachi was critical of the investigation by police and the District Attorney's Office that led to charges being filed against Moore. He said that the officers, who were inexperienced and lacked training in dealing with mentally ill subjects, acted illegally but were allowed to collude and file essentially identical statements about the incident after conferring with the same attorney and reviewing body-camera footage.

"If this is what reform looks like in the SFPD, we're in big trouble," Adachi said.

Moore has been through multiple surgeries since the shooting. He remains in custody, although Pearlman said he planned to argue for his release at a hearing on Friday.

Cleo Moore said she felt the officers had egged on her son and wanted to know if the police department would improve officer training to avoid shootings involving the mentally ill.

"They need to be trained," she said. "Perhaps out of some of this, for all the young men that have been shot and killed in this city, something good will come of this."

The DA's office released a statement, saying it is reviewing the case: "The judge who heard all the evidence at the preliminary hearing found there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial on almost every charge. Yesterday, another judge that reviewed the transcripts from that hearing came to a very different conclusion. As such, we are weighing our options."

NBC Bay Area's Thom Jensen contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA[Artists Collective Evicted From Converted Warehouse in SF]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:44:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+warehouse-0426-2017.jpg

A San Francisco artist collective may be the latest victim of fallout from last year's deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland.

On Wednesday, San Francisco sheriff’s deputies arrived to formally evict the resident artists from the converted warehouse in the city's Bernal Heights neighborhood. It’s one of the first evictions being linked to crackdowns on such conversions since the Oakland fire that killed 36 people in December.

The residents received eviction notices about four months ago, just 10 days after the Ghost Ship fire, and they appealed to the rent board. They said Wednesday despite the advance warning, the eviction comes as a shock.

"It's been a really supportive place and atmosphere that honestly seemed like, for me, a safe place to call home," said Nathan Cottom, who along with his roommates chipped in to make the nearly $4,000-a-month rent.

Shortly after getting the eviction notices in December, the artist group gave NBC Bay Area a tour, trying to make a case to stay and noting the cost of housing was pushing artists out of the Bay Area.

"It was a creative outlet for a lot of folks who lived here for various different types of art," writer Tony Burgess said.

Now, most of the people who lived there are looking for their next place to stay. They've been given 15 days to clear everything out. Some had places lined up, at least temporarily. Others didn't.

"No. No clue," one resident said.

The sheriff's office confirmed the eviction ordered but had no further comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Takes to the Skies With Next Ride-Hailing Project]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:58:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/uber-file.jpg

Uber is taking to the skies with its next project — "flying cars" — even as all eyes are on its problems on the ground.

On Tuesday, the embattled ride-hailing company announced plans for an on-demand network of electric aircraft that can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. It wants to test a network for such vehicles by 2020.

The company says its partners in this Elevate initiative include real estate companies, aircraft manufacturers, electric vehicle charger makers and the cities of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

Uber's Jeff Holden says urban aviation "is a natural next step for Uber."

Uber has been reeling from executive departures and accusations of sexual harassment at its workplace. Results of an internal investigation are expected in May.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested on Suspicion of Attempted Kidnapping in SF]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:25:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Darrin+Bravo.jpg

A man who tried to kidnap a woman in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood Saturday evening was located and arrested the next day in Sonoma County, police said Tuesday.

In the attempted kidnapping, which occurred at about 8:50 p.m. in the 2800 block of Steiner Street, a man exited his car and tried to grab a 31-year-old woman who was walking on the sidewalk, according to police.

Witnesses intervened and the woman was able to get away. The suspect then fled in a silver Nissan pickup truck, police said.

Witnesses were able to provide some information about the suspect and officers were able to identify him as 46-year-old Cotati resident Darrin Bravo, according to police.

On Sunday, San Francisco officers located Bravo as he was driving in his hometown and contacted the California Highway Patrol for assistance. 

CHP officers then tried to pull over Bravo. Bravo, however, fled in his vehicle but collided with another vehicle in Petaluma.

Officers arrested Bravo on suspicion of felony attempted kidnapping and booked him into the San Francisco County Jail.

The occupants in the vehicle that collided with Bravo's suffered injuries not considered life-threatening, police said.

Bravo remains in custody and is being held on $300,000 bail, according to jail records.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrain's Rail Grinding Project to Reduce Noise]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:20:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/223*120/caltrain.jpg

Caltrain’s ultimate goal is to reduce noise levels near stations like the one in San Carlos.

But it could be a noisy process – at least in the short term.

Starting Wednesday night, Caltrain will begin a rail-grinding project, using a rail-mounted industrial-sized grinder, to smooth out any defects along the rail. Officials hope this will cut down on noise in the area and offer passengers a smoother ride.

The grinder will look like a rail car, but it will sound a lot louder. People living along the tracks are in for some long nights.

Some said they get accustomed to the noise.

"I'm getting used to it, but it's still a bother," San Francisco resident Zain Hussain said. "Not to me so much as the dog."

Smoothing out the tracks has to be done overnight, official said. It will start at midnight and go until about 4:30 a.m. so as not to interrupt service for commuters.

"In order to get work done, it takes hours of uninterrupted effort," said Dan Lieberman of the San Mateo County Transit District. "It has to be done when train service is not running. We do apologize to residents nearby. They are going to have some noise."

The work starts at the San Francisco Caltrain station and crews will make their way down the Peninsula, ending up in the South Bay.

This project is expected to take up to three weeks, wrapping up on May 19.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Brain Parasite Sickens Bay Area Couple in Hawaii]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:07:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4122017-bay-area-couple.jpg

A Bay Area couple on their honeymoon and two people who drank a homemade herbal beverage are among the rising number of victims in Hawaii falling ill with a potentially deadly brain parasite.

After the newlyweds' plight with rat lungworm disease recently got attention online, the couple and some experts accused Hawaii of failing to adequately warn tourists and residents of the danger they can face. Tourism officials say the disease is rare and there's no need to cancel vacation plans.

"It never occurred to us that our honeymoon would be two weeks in paradise to return home with worms in our brains," Ben Manilla of San Francisco, a journalism professor at UC Berkeley, said in an email after spending a month in the hospital, undergoing several operations and suffering complications.

Hawaii has seen the same number of infections so far this year that it will often get annually. Eleven cases have been confirmed — six on Maui and five on the Big Island.

The reason for the "concerning increase" is not clear, said Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the state health department. But it could be blamed on a recent Maui influx of a semi-slug that can carry the disease.

What to know about the disease and how the state is responding:


A roundworm parasite found in rodents causes the disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. When rodents expel the larvae of the worm, they can be ingested by snails, slugs, crabs and frogs, then passed to people.

The disease is prevalent in Southeast Asia and tropical Pacific islands and has been seen in Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S. It's rare, and most people completely recover without treatment, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms can range from mild headaches to temporary paralysis, and diagnosis is difficult, requiring a spinal tap, said William L. Gosnell, program director for the graduate certificate in tropical medicine at University of Hawaii's medical school.

Hawaii sees between one and 11 cases each year, with 11 in 2016, state health officials said. Two deaths have occurred since officials began tracking it in 2007.


By eating food contaminated by the larvae of the parasite. They can be found in raw snails or in produce contaminated by tiny snails or slugs.

Two adults on the Big Island got the disease after consuming contaminated homemade elixir, health officials said last week.

They left homemade kava, a dietary supplement, in uncovered buckets overnight and noticed slugs after drinking it, Pressler said.

Four others who drank the same batch are suspected of being infected.


Avoid eating raw snails or slugs and properly wash produce.

Manilla said had he and his wife, Eliza Lape, known about the disease, they would have more thoroughly cleaned fruits and vegetables. They believe they contracted it in the remote Hana area of Maui early this year.

"It's easy in the U.S. to think that we're impervious to things that occur often in the developing world and apparently in some of the remote areas of Hawaii," Manilla said in an email.

The couple declined an interview but told Hawaii News Now that the symptoms began after they returned to San Francisco.

"My symptoms started growing to feeling like somebody was taking a hot knife and just stabbing me in different parts of my body," Lape told the Honolulu news station.

Still, the couple can't wait to return to Hana, Manilla said.

"We'll do it a bit differently next time knowing what we know now about rat lungworm disease," he wrote.


The state health director says the department works with the Hawaii Tourism Authority to warn visitors about risks on the islands.

Pressler pointed to "hard to miss" information about the disease on the department's website.

The tourism agency also has been meeting with members and contractors who book travel to explain the disease, and it's working on getting messages to tourists that Hawaii is safe, said George Szigeti, president and CEO. It noted a special alert on its website and a mention in its e-newsletter.

For residents, the state is holding community forums, Pressler said.

Hawaii needs to do much more, said Susan Jarvi, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Hawaii's Hilo campus.

"I think most people on the island of Hawaii feel the state hasn't done enough to help," she said.

Jarvi wants to see more funding to combat disease-transmitting pests and more education about controlling invasive species.

"The research and education on this disease is really lacking," she said.


The tourism authority said people should not overreact and urged visitors to keep eating at restaurants and enjoying fresh produce.

"The key facts that everyone needs to remember about rat lungworm disease is that it is very rare, it is very uncommon for people to get infected, and the disease is easily preventable by properly washing and storing all food, especially produce, before eating," Szigeti said in a statement.

Ashlynn Martin, of Yuma, Arizona, has been planning a Maui vacation for two years. The October trip isn't refundable, so she and her husband aren't changing their plans.

"We're just going to take the chance," she said, adding that she will make sure to wash produce. "It worries me, but I feel like so many people travel to Hawaii. ... I think we'll be OK."

Associated Press writers Cathy Bussewitz in Honolulu and Michael Stobbe in New York and AP researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Hawaii News Now]]>
<![CDATA[Female Construction Worker Assaulted in SF Road Rage Attack]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:49:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+attack-0424-2017.jpg

A group of good Samaritans jumped in to stop a road rage assault of a female construction worker Monday in San Francisco, but not before the driver took the woman to the ground while punching her.

The angry driver got out of his car at Haight and Steiner streets and attacked the woman directing traffic. What looked like a street brawl was a crowd of people trying to get an enraged driver away from the worker.

The worker, who did not want to be identified, said words were exchanged, and then the driver got out of his car.

"He shoved me first; I went down, grabbed his T-shirt. After that, swing, swing, swing," she said.

Two men driving by said it looked like a person on the ground needed help. They thought someone was hurt, there was some commotion and then they realized it was a man beating on a woman for no apparent reason.

The two passers-by, identified only as Ryan and Duncan, said it seemed like the construction worker was on her own.

"We were surprised more people weren't helping, and we had to put the car in park to help," they said.

The worker snapped a picture of the man and his car once the crowd got him away from her.

"I have brusies on my back, my ribs and stomach," she said. "That's where he was hitting me."

She said she is grateful for the help and for the hard hat that helped absorb the impact of hitting the pavement. When police arrived, she turned over her photographs to them and then finished her shift.

San Francisco police are investigating the assault. No arrests had been made.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Five Bay Area Schools Among Nation’s Top Public High Schools]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:52:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/school-class-generic-student-elementary.jpg

Five Bay Area public high schools are among the nation's top 100, according to a new annual listing. U.S. News and World Report ranks more than 22,000 public high schools each year. Coming in 23rd nationally was Kipp San Jose Collegiate, which is a South Bay charter school. San Francisco's Lowell High School ranked 59th. Another South Bay charter school, San Jose's University Preparatory Academy, ranked 72nd. Mission San Jose in Fremont was just behind that at 76th and Oakland Charter High School was 91st.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Goodbye: High Number of Residents Ditching Bay Area]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:19:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*160/1493076386-housing-afford.png

The Bay Area has higher numbers of people migrating elsewhere than any other region in the nation, according to a new study. New York finished in second place while Los Angeles settled in at No. 3 on the list. The study compared Redfin users in the nation's 75 largest metro areas.]]>
<![CDATA[Six-Figure Salary in Some Bay Area Spots Dubbed Low Income]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:11:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MoneyBayAreaIncome.jpg

It's no secret. The Bay Area grows increasingly expensive by the day.

What may come as a surprise — or not really at this point anymore — is that six-figure salaries in some Bay Area locations classify families as being low income.

That's right. In Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, a family of four earning $105,350 is considered to be living at the low income limit, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That's because the median income in those regions has soared to $115,300.

A "very low" income mark in those three counties equates to a family of four earning $65,800, according to the data. "Extremely low" income means that same family is only bringing in $39,500.

Folks living in the Bay Area's six other counties aren't experiencing much of a financial break either. A family of four living in Alameda and Contra Costa counties tallying $80,400 per year is labeled as low income, according to the data. In those spots, the median income for a family of four has jumped to $97,400. A family of four in Santa Clara County is considered to be low income if they bring in $84,750. The median income in the South Bay currently sits at $113,300.

The low income line for a family of four drops slightly for those in Napa ($74,500), Solano ($64,300) and Sonoma ($70,500) counties, according to the data.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Milwaukee Woman Says Fitbit Exploded and Burned Her Arm]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:56:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fitbit-0424-2017.jpg

Fitbit devices are supposed to help keep people healthy and active. But that wasn't the case for one woman, who claimed her Fitbit caught fire while it was still on her arm. Now, the San Francisco-based company is in damage control mode.

Dina Mitchell, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said she suffered a second-degree burn after wearing her Fitbit Flex 2 device for only two weeks.

"The Fitbit itself is totally melted; the bracelet melted," she said. "And I got pieces of plastic burned into my arm."

Mitchell said her doctor had to pick those pieces out of her wound. She said the fitness tracker exploded Tuesday night while she was reading a book. There was no indication anything was wrong with the device prior to the explosion, Mitchell said, and Aurora Health Care confirms Mitchell visited urgent care the next day.

"This a product so many people use," Mitchell said. "My nephew, their whole class gets these from their teachers, and they wear them."

The device comes with a warning. On Fitbit's website a statement cautions consumers: "The device contains electrical equipment that could cause injury if not handled properly."

Mitchell said she was very careful when wearing the device, but that didn't prevent something from going wrong.

"If they are exploding, or if there's some type of malfunction with them, I mean, I'm going to have a scare from this probably," Mitchell said. "Can you imagine what it would do to a child?"

Fitbit released a statement, saying:

"We are extremely alarmed about Ms. Mitchell's complaint regarding her Flex2, and we are investigating the issue. We are not aware of any other complaints of this nature. In fact, based on our extensive internal and independent safety testing, we do not believe it is possible for this to occur under normal use. The quality of our products and the health and safety of our customers are our top priorities. Fitbit products are designed and produced in accordance with strict standards to ensure the safety of our users."

Since news of the fire got out Monday, Fitbit stock has fallen by about 1 percent in after-hours trading.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dina Mitchell]]>
<![CDATA[Suspicious Device Shuts Down Streets in SF's Potrero Hill]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:44:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Police-tape-generic-jpg.jpg

An incident involving a suspicious device halted traffic in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood Monday evening.

Police and the police department's explosion ordnance disposal team responded to the intersection of Wisconsin and 22nd streets, police Capt. Raj Vaswani said in a tweet at 5:20 p.m.

The incident was resolved about three hours later, with the bomb specialists rendering the device safe.

Traffic in the area was impacted, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's line 10 Townsend was rerouted during the investigation.

No further details were available.

<![CDATA[Police Investigating Homicide in SF's Potrero Hill]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:05:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

San Francisco police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred Monday morning in the Potrero Hill neighborhood.

The shooting occurred around 10:30 a.m. in the area of Missouri Street and Watchman Way.

The victim, a 30-year-old San Francisco resident, was taken to the hospital but later died of his injuries, according to police.

Police were not releasing further details on the suspect or circumstances as of Monday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Political Parody Group Roasts President Trump]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:23:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/183*120/TrumpInaugural.jpg

An incoming Trump administration promising big changes lured one former street performer out of retirement and back to his stage for an encore.

Vowing to "make American street theatre great again," performer Jeff Grubler resurfaced to create the Trump Dis-Organization, a political satire group that has been performing dances and skits on the streets of San Francisco.

Their backdrop: groups protesting President Donald Trump for the last few months. 

Laughter rang out at Saturday's Tax March in San Francisco as protesters gathered around to hear Grubler crack jokes at Trump’s expense.

"Every cent donated will help Donald Trump pay for more portraits of himself!" Grubler said to an applauding crowd.

The jokes flow for Grubler, who has had a decade of practice roasting conservative administrations.

Grubler said he first began performing in the late 1990s. However, news surrounding the Iraq War in 2003, when President George W. Bush was in the White House, drove more performers to the streets, prompting the demonstrators to form an official group, named Ronald Reagan Home for the Criminally Insane.

In the years that followed, the group could be found trolling Wall Street, Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and any number of hot-button issues that sparked protests during the late period of the Reagan era.

"After Trump was elected, we knew there was going to be a lot of difficult times ahead," Grubler said. But this time, he said, the group's performances might actually get a reaction from the commander in chief.

"All these presidents, CEOs, corporations — they're all bothered when they are ridiculed — and humor is so powerful — but they don't usually show it," Grubler said. "But [Trump] goes crazy when he's made fun of, when he's ridiculed, and so it’s beautiful to actually get a response to it even if he's not responding to us directly."

Designed to provide comical relief to those struggling with the agenda of the new administration, one member cast as the Trump Wall said it is important to keep the dialogue open.

"I think a lot of us want to turn away and forget about it," said Edna Miroslava Raia, a trained clown, mime and comedian. "But we can’t because all of these decisions affect everyone."

Under the group’s scrutiny currently are increased deportations, proposals for a Border Wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and even senate confirmation hearings. Grubler's latest skit zeroed in on the announcement that PBS was not slated to receive federal funding.

Grubler said making light out of the serious topics is no easy feat and planning lineups that feature everyone from Elmo to Betsy Devos keeps him up at night, cutting and gluing together the performers’ costumes.

The effort is worth it, he said, for a hearty laugh.

With no funding or structure, Grubler says the group is about getting their messages out while having fun.

"Our mission is to bring back the art of street theatre," Grubler said. "People need to laugh so I’m glad we can play a small role in that."

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Runway Work Triggers Delays, Cancellations at SFO]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:45:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfo+night2.jpg

A runway construction project at San Francisco International Airport — one of the busiest airports in the United States — is causing headaches for some travelers, and the issue won't be going away anytime soon.

Over the weekend and into Monday, dozens of flights were either canceled or delayed while crews repaved and upgraded Runway 28L, according to airport officials. A total of 50 flights on Monday were canceled before the runway reopened at 10 a.m.

The construction schedule calls for the runway to be shut down on seven future weekends through June 16, with the exception of Memorial Day, airport officials said. The closures typically occur between 6 p.m. Friday until noon Monday but are subject to change, the airport said.

If everything goes well, airport officials hope to complete the project by the Fourth of July weekend.

Construction kicked off on the final day of March and was expected to continue every weekend moving forward, but inclement weather during Easter weekend temporarily halted repair efforts. Two more future weekends packed with rain or other foul weather could put the Fourth of July target date in jeopardy, airport officials said.

If Mother Nature nature throws a wrench into the fold, the summer travel season at SFO could be severely impacted. July and August are the busiest months at the airport, according to officials.

Runway 28L, which is used primarily for arriving flights, is getting a fresh coat of pavement as well as new LED centerline lights, the airport said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Flights Canceled, Delayed at SFO Due to Construction]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 23:34:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfo+night2.jpg

San Francisco International Airport on Sunday endured dozens of flight cancellations and delays because of an ongoing runway construction project, according to airport officials.

The Bay Area's largest airport reported 80 canceled flights and 108 delays due to the repaving and upgrade of Runway 28L, officials said.

The backlog left some passengers stranded at the airport overnight. Jackie Wiseman and her friends had been trying to get home to Eugene, Oregon, since Saturday night.

"We landed last night at 11 p.m.," Wiseman said Sunday. "Waited here until 7 a.m., out by 11."

It meant sleeping at the airport, then three hours at a hotel, then back to the airport ... for more delays.

"It was delayed four hours," passenger Danielle Soben said. "Then we couldn't get a flight until 24 hours later."

The construction schedule calls for the runway to be shut down on nine weekends through June 9, with the exception of Memorial Day, airport officials said. The closures began on March 31. The closures typically occur between 6 p.m. Friday until noon Monday but are subject to change, the airport said.

Runway 28L, which is used primarily for arriving flights, is getting a fresh coat of pavement as well as new LED centerline lights, the airport said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Sports Legends Honored with Street Signs]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 22:56:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf-streets-rice-0423-2017.jpg

Candlestick Park may be a distant memory, but the names of sports legends who made it an iconic fixture will live on in a future development where the stadium once sat.

Household names from the 49ers and Giants, such as Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Orlando Cepeda and Juan Marichal, were honored Sunday afternoon with street signs that will soon be erected in a new neighborhood on top of the demolished stadium.

Mayor Ed Lee and former Mayor Willie Brown were on hand to present signs to Montana and Rice.

"We are entering into a new era for the Candlestick neighborhood, and we will always cherish the memories that we have with the amazing sports moments" that occurred there, Lee said.

Montana actually made a special request that "Joe Montana Drive" be renamed "Montana Clark Drive," in honor of his good friend and former teammate Dwight Clark.

Clark, the former 49ers receiver who recently disclosed his ALS diagnosis, received his own honor: a mural of the play he helped make famous known simply as "The Catch." 

"I couldn't have done any of this without the people around me on that team," Clark said.

The private dedication ceremony, which took place at San Francisco City Hall, also dedicated street names to Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Bill Walsh, Carmen Policy, Ronnie Lott and Barry Bonds.

"I never thought I'd have a street named after me, and I'm sure the other players feel the same way," Rice said following the ceremony. "But it's a great recognition, and I feel very fortunate."

Officials say the ground work has been laid for the future development but did not provide specific details or a timeline on the project.

Candlestick Park was home to the Giants and 49ers for roughly five decades. It closed its gates in 2014 before being torn down.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[NFL Stars Flash Dance Moves at Children's Hospital Proms]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 15:20:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SF49ersPromChildrensHospital_1.png

Prom is a life event that many young hospital patients typically miss out on, but some professional football players in the Bay Area partnered with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital to change that Friday evening.

A number of teenagers receiving care at children's hospital in San Francisco dressed to impress before joining the dapper San Francisco 49ers players on the dance floor for a night jam-packed with dance contests and selfies.

San Francisco's Garrett Celek, Joshua Garnett, Quinton Dial and newest 49er Pierre Garcon were among those dressed to the nines.

"I'm enjoying my first event, my first community event with the team," Garcon said. "It's a prom so I couldn't ask for a better thing to dress up and meet the young kids of the community, especially at the children's hospital out here in San Francisco. It's an amazing thing. I'm just happy to be a part of it."

Across the San Francisco Bay, several members of the Oakland Raiders also flashed their best suits and ties during another prom at UCSF Children's Hospital Oakland. Young patients latched onto the players' arms as they graced the red carpet together before strutting their stuff.

"I met some amazing people," Raider's long snapper Joe Condo wrote on Twitter.

Photo Credit: San Francisco 49ers]]>
<![CDATA['March for Science' Lures Massive Crowds Across the Bay Area]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 14:09:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4222017-sf-march-christie.jpg

Science supporters were out in droves throughout the Bay Area on Saturday, decrying President Donald Trump's policies and urging him and the rest of the U.S. to put faith in evidence-based science.

More than 500 communities around the world, including San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Pacifica, Walnut Creek, Hayward and Livermore, participated in the "March for Science."

In San Francisco, the rally began at Justin Herman Plaza and attracted hundreds of people. Social media posts indicated that trains heading into the city were jam-packed with people heading to "March for Science." It was standing-room only, one person wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, crowds toting all manner of signs — some of which read "In science we trust" and "Climate change is real" — chanted, "What do we want? Fact-based evidence! When do we want it? After peer review!"

Kishore Hari, an organizer for Saturday's event, expressed concern regarding President Trump's proposed budget cuts for scientific research.

"Cutting the (Environmental Protection Agency), not funding any kind of climate research whatsoever, eliminating stem education in our schools, those are direct threats to our education," she said.

Adam Savage, the former host of MythBusters, spoke to the teeming crowd in San Francisco and said that bias is the "enemy of science," according to Twitter.

"When we see politicians move away from the best data toward their own biases, that is not policy that benefits everyone," Savage told the crowd. "That is policy that benefits the few."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee tweeted his support for "March for Science."

"Science is not alternate facts," he wrote. "#SF supports the scientists who improve our lives everyday."

President Trump, in addition to taking to Twitter, offered his own Earth Day statement.

"My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and environmental risks," his statement read.

In the East Bay, a march scheduled at UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza kicked off at 4 p.m.

About 500 people had pre-registered to march across the mudflats and wetlands of the Hayward Regional Shoreline, a stretch of restored marshes beside the San Francisco Bay.

In Livermore, winemakers and researchers and administrators from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory were scheduled to speak at a rally at Livermore High School. Afterward, marchers were invited to a family-friendly science fair with hands-on STEM activities for all ages.

In Walnut Creek, a march took over the pavement at Civic Park. The event was coordinated by Women’s March Contra Costa, and billed as a nonpartisan rally to promote the importance of scientific research and advancement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Christie Smith/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[American Airlines Tries to Learn From United's Mistakes]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 08:10:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/american-airlines-flight591.jpg

Another day, another cellphone video of a conflict on an airplane.

American Airlines said it grounded a flight attendant who became entangled in confrontations with two passengers on a Friday flight from San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth.

Spokeswoman Leslie Scott says the airline is looking into whether the male flight attendant, who has since been temporarily removed from duty, violently took away a stroller from the female passenger just before she boarded the plane. The airline is also investigating the verbal feud that subsequently ignited between the flight attendant and a male passenger who tried to stick up for the distraught woman.

Despite the flare-up, NBC Bay Area aviation expert Mike McCarron said American Airlines did everything right by responding to incident immediately.

"They knew they had an issue to take care of and they did that," he said. "They upgraded the woman to first class for the rest of her trip and they're investigating immediately. They didn't let it fester or get any worse than it could have been."

In an age of cellphone videos and social media, airlines are learning the hard way that it is essential to deescalate tense situations that occur during air travel, even as there are more passengers, less room and fewer flight attendants than ever before.

The incident comes less than two weeks after video of a man being violently dragged off a United Express flight sparked widespread outrage .

United initially blamed its passenger, Dr. David Dao, before finally apologizing days after the incident, fanning the public's fury. American, by contrast, seems to have learned from United's mistakes: it immediately said it was sorry, that it had grounded the flight attendant while it investigates the incident, and that it had upgraded the passenger involved and her family to first class.

"American doesn't want to become the next United, but then, United didn't want to become the next United," said Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research Group. "No airline wants to be seen as being anti-consumer or anti-passenger."

Smartphone cameras and social media are shifting power to consumers who can share customer relations gaffes with the world. They're increasingly making confrontations with customer-facing staff headline news, making it harder for companies to sweep complaints under the rug. The faster companies own up to mistakes, the quicker they can start to do damage control.

American's fast reaction to the incident could be helpful, said brand consultant Allen Adamson, CEO of BrandSimple.

"The quick reaction will prevent it from escalating further, but it won't mitigate the perception among flyers that flying is becoming a less enjoyable experience every day," he said.

Overall, airlines must start to put more of an emphasis on customer service, he said.

"It's another example of airlines struggling to treat their passengers with the traditional 'customer is always right' attitude," he said. "Good customer service is finding a way to deescalate a situation and he (the flight attendant) was throwing gasoline on it."

Days after Dao was dragged off the United Express flight from Chicago to Kentucky to make room for airline crew, his lawyer spent a good part of a news conference railing against what he said was the industry-wide shabby treatment of airline passengers. Dao lost his teeth, suffered a broken nose and received a concussion in the incident, which also was captured on video.

In the case of the American flight on Friday, a video taken by a passenger and posted on Facebook shows the sobbing woman holding a small child and saying, "You can't use violence with [a] baby."

Later, an unidentified male passenger confronts the flight attendant, telling him, "You do that to me and I'll knock you flat." The flight attendant responds with, "Hit me. Bring it on."

Traveling is stressful under any circumstance, and conflict resolution training is an essential part of being a flight attendant, Harteveldt said.

"If airlines aren't going to improve staffing or restore leg room for customers, they should at least provide flight attendants with better, more relevant training about how to handle these types of situations," he said.

At the same time, passengers should also be respectful of flight attendants — who often work long hours on multiple flights — as well, he said.

A union that represents American Airlines flight attendants said in a statement that not all of the facts are known about the incident so there shouldn't be a rush to judgment. If a passenger threatened a flight attendant, that would be a violation of federal law, said Bob Ross, president of The Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

"Air rage has become a serious issue on our flights," he said in a statement. "We must obtain the full facts surrounding these incidents. Our passengers and the flight attendants deserve nothing less."

Associated Press writer Juan Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Surain Adyanthaya]]>
<![CDATA[SF Firefighter Hurt Battling 1-Alarm Blaze at Empty School]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:27:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4222017-sffd-fire.jpg

A firefighter was injured in a fire on Saturday morning at an abandoned school in San Francisco's Portola neighborhood, fire officials said.

The one-alarm fire was reported at 10:53 a.m. at 456 Cambridge St. The school was described as a two-story concrete building.

The fire was under control at 11:13 a.m. According to fire officials, the firefighter is in stable condition.

People were asked to avoid the area.

No further details, including the cause of the fire, were immediately available.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Fire via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area, Telemundo 48 Participate in Comcast Cares Day]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 09:19:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4222017-comcast-cares-day.jpg

NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48 employees rolled up their sleeves Saturday for the 16th annual Comcast Cares Day. 

From boxing donated food to mentoring youth, our employees volunteer year-round to make a difference in our shared communities, and Comcast Cares Day is our yearly celebration of this commitment to volunteerism.

"It was amazing just to see how many people showed up and they just descended on the projects," Stephanie Vose of Comcast said of what is now the largest single-day corporate effort in the United States.

In San Francisco on Saturday, familiar faces, including anchors Raj Mathai and Janelle Wang, were spotted at Sutro Elementary School at 235 12th Avenue. The school got some TLC in the form of a mural, an expanded learning garden, planters with fresh bark, and repainted safety lines around classroom doorways.

Myra Quadros, the principal of Sutro Elementary School, was captivated by the way Comcast employees, along with their friends and families, transformed the campus.

"It's really incredible," she said. "We were adopted through Comcast and this would never happen through the school district."

In San Jose, our team went to Glider Elementary School at 511 Cozy Drive. As part of our partnership with the school, bences were sanded, flowers were planted and a USA map was added to the playground. 

"This is a great event that's helping out the city, that's changing a school, that's helping our youth," artist Dave Young Kim said.

A slew of volunteering opportunities were also available in Oakland, Milpitas, Santa Cruz, Fremont and elsewhere. 

"The most important thing we can do is be involved locally and make positive change locally and be strong," said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. 

Comcast Cares Day has evolved from a modest service effort with 6,100 volunteers at the time of its founding. In 2016, nearly 108,000 volunteers participated, improving more than 930 project sites throughout 540 local communities.

"Kids are going to come back, their school is going to be transformed or a garden is going to be transformed and you don't understand the impact that this has on kids who sometimes wonder -- and families sometimes wonder -- if their country is ignoring them or they've been left behind," said David Cohen, senior executive vice president of Comcast Corporation.

More information can be found online.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[American Airlines Investigates Altercation at SFO]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 12:55:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/647190268-American-Airlines-generic.jpg

Video posted online and receiving thousands of shares on social media appears to show the aftermath of an alleged altercation between an American Airlines flight attendant and a number of passengers.

American Airlines spokesperson Leslie Scott said the flight attendant has been released temporarily while the company investigates the incident.

The altercation occurred Friday on American Airlines flight 591 bound for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from San Francisco International Airport.

Video taken inside the plane shows a sobbing woman, who was holding a baby, pleading to flight attendants that her stroller be returned. A man sitting in one of the plane's front rows then stood up and demanded that he receive the name of the employee responsible.

Another apparent female passenger came to the woman's defense before a man dressed in American Airlines garb stepped onto the plane. A male passenger from the plane's front rows got up from his seat and told the man, "You do that to me, and I'll knock you flat."

The American Airlines flight attendant responded by pointing his finger at the passenger and yelling, "Hey, you stay out of this."

Another apparent flight attendant helped escort the male passenger to his seat and said the incident with the woman was an "accident."

Scott said the woman got off from the plane and was booked for the next flight to Dallas.

American Airlines also issued the following statement to NBC Bay Area late Friday:

We have seen the video and have already started an investigation to obtain the facts. What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers. We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident. We are making sure all of her family's needs are being met while she is in our care. After electing to take another flight, we are taking special care of her and her family and upgrading them to first class for the remainder of their international trip. The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care. In short, we are disappointed by these actions. The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images (File)
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Appears to be at Full Employment: Analyst]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:00:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/205*120/now+hiring1.jpg

Unemployment rates in the Bay Area were among the lowest in the state in March indicating the region is at full employment, according to a state labor market analyst and labor market data.

In San Mateo County, unemployment was at 2.7 percent, the lowest in the state, while in Marin County and in the City and County of San Francisco unemployment was at 3 percent, the second lowest level in the state.

The unemployment rate in all other counties except Solano County was below 4 percent last month.

"Many consider we are at full employment," Janice Shriver, a state labor market analyst based in the Bay Area, said.

Full employment is typically considered 4 percent unemployment, Shriver said. Four percent unemployment is considered full employment because at any time people are changing jobs while others are entering or leaving the workforce.

Full employment means that virtually everyone who is willing and able to work is working.

But Shriver cautioned that for individuals still looking for work, the numbers have less meaning. "If one person is unemployed, he's 100 percent unemployed," she said.

Employment growth in the East Bay has been particularly strong.

Last month in Alameda County unemployment was 3.9 percent while in Contra Costa County unemployment was 4.1 percent.

In March 2016, the unemployment rate in Alameda County was 4.3 percent and in Contra Costa County 4.5 percent.

The February unemployment rate in Alameda and Contra Costa counties was the same as last month.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Stranded on SF Cliff Rescued]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:58:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0421-2017-CliffRescue.jpg

A California Highway Patrol helicopter helped rescue a man trapped on a cliff above San Francisco's China Beach Friday afternoon, according to a San Francisco Fire Department spokesman.

At about 3 p.m., the fire department received a call about a man trapped on the cliff and sent rescue crews and paramedics to the area, said spokesman Jonathan Baxter.

Members of the rescue team located the man and used a rope system to get down to him and provide medical care, Baxter said.

He suffered some minor injuries and is in stable condition but his precarious position on the cliff prompted fire officials to call in the CHP helicopter for the rescue.

He was plucked from his perch at about 4:30 p.m., according to fire officials.

Baxter said it's still unclear how the man became trapped.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hospital Fined For Mistakenly Removing Patient's Ovaries]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:18:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/dieta-mediterranea-10.jpg

California health officials are fining Redwood City-based Sequoia Hospital $47,452 for erroneously removing a patient’s ovaries last year.

The Peninsula facility is one of 14 hospitals facing 17 penalties issued by the California Department of Public Health on Thursday. Accused of not complying with “licensing requirements that caused, or were likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients,” the hospitals are being made to shell out a total fine of $1,135,980.

Including Sequoia, the Bay Area houses four of these hospitals: California Pacific Medical Center-St. Luke’s Campus Hospital and Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco; and Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa.

According to the CDPH, doctors at Sequoia were supposed to surgically remove the patient’s uterus, fallopian tubes and appendix. But the procedure was entered incorrectly in the hospital's surgery log, leading to the removal of her ovaries. The report does not specify whether the woman’s ovaries were taken out instead of or along with the uterus, fallopian tubes and appendix, but says the patient will require lifelong estrogen replacement therapy as a result of the misstep.

Meanwhile, a St. Luke’s patient felt dizzy and fell off her bed, but was not put through hourly neurological checks as prescribed, the CDPH found. The woman hit her head and died despite undergoing emergency brain surgery, and the hospital is facing a $47,452 penalty.

Kaiser is being fined $147,025 for two separate incidents, both of which led to the deaths of patients in 2015 and 2016.

In the first, a dialysis patient suffered “massive blood less and cardiac arrest” when his femoral catheter got disconnected from his bloodline, both of which were under a blanket. In the second, the patient experienced “acute respiratory failure” after a tracheostomy tube cuff valve was mistakenly left inflated. The mismanagement of the tracheostomy – described by the CDPH as “a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea” – led to the patient dying.

At Queen of the Valley, three separate incidents in 2013 in which hospital staff didn’t track patients’ symptoms and administered incorrect treatment, resulted in two deaths while the third patient is left in a vegetative state. The CDPH has levied a $225,000 fine on the Napa hospital for its mistakes.

Other hospitals on the CDPH list are LAC/Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance; Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara; Bakersfield Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield; Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs; and Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis.

The CDPH says regulations adopted in 2014 allow the agency to issue up to $75,000 in fines for a hospital's first administrative penalty, up to $100,000 for the second, and up to $125,000 for the third and every following violation within three years. Penalized hospitals are required to put forth a plan of correction, and have 10 days to appeal the fine. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Power Restored to 88,000 PG&E Customers in San Francisco]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:36:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4212017sftrafficugc.jpg

A massive power outage struck downtown San Francisco, leaving at least 88,000 PG&E customers without electricity, snarling traffic as intersection signals went dark and stopping the famed cable cars for a time.

PG&E officials said an overloaded circuit breaker malfunctioned at the Larkin substation, sparking a fire in the insulation. The fire caused a series of outages beginning at 9 a.m. PT and left thousands without power in a massive swath of the central city.

All power was restored to customers by 5 p.m., officials said.

The outages affected the Financial District and prompted the temporary closure of the Bay Area Rapid Transit's downtown Montgomery Station. People used the lights of their cellphones to walk through the darkened station before BART stopped service there.

According to PG&E, residents and businesses in Western Addition, Pacific Heights, Japantown, Polk Gulch, Russian Hill, Marina, Richmond, Presidio, Laurel Heights, Sunset, Chinatown, North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf also found themselves in the dark.  

California Pacific Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital were in the affected area, but remained open by using backup generators. Public schools also were open, according to PG&E. 

The San Francisco Fire Department said it has responded to more than 100 calls for service. However, no injuries related to the blackout were reported.

The department tweeted that the calls included 20 elevators with people stuck inside. The department added there have been no delays in responding to calls.

The SFMTA said in a tweet that people should treat intersections as four-way stops due to "scattered" power outages citywide. SFMTA warned commuters to expect delays, while Caltrain tweeted that their trains were still running on time. 

People milled on sidewalks, controllers directed traffic manually, and shops were dark. Some buildings had power, others did not. ATM screens were blank.

Social media posts indicated that the outage forced businesses to close. Some posted apologetic messages on their doors, while others closed their gates.

Famous Union Square steakhouse John's Grill said it was unable to  to serve lunch for the first time since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Macy's and other stores were also closed.

Susan Dang, a manager of a doughnut and Vietnamese sandwich shop, said they would have to close unless they could get a generator.

“If there’s no power, I let my boss know already,” she said.

Employees at a Starbucks were giving out cups of iced and hot coffee in the darkened shop. A worker said that was better than letting the coffee go to waste.

Brent Chapman, who works in billing and reporting for First Republic Bank, told his team to go home after huddling on a sidewalk and waiting for word of when power would be restored.

His team had been ready to send out a finished project Friday, one they’d been working on for six months, after some had pulled an all-nighter.

“It’s brutal. This is seriously the worst possible time that this could have happened,” he said. “I do not want to leave. I want to stay and get this done.”

People were asked to refrain from calling 911 except for emergencies. Texting "AlertSF" to 888-777 will activate text alerts on people's cell phones.

They also acknowledged people's fears about a number of simultaneous power outages that were reported in other cities - including Los Angeles and New York City - but believe that the one in San Francisco was triggered by "equipment failure."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Dylan Gale
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<![CDATA[Streets to Be Named After SF Giants, 49ers Legends]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:30:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CANDLESTICK+GIF_18147279.gif

Even though Candlestick Park is but a shadow of the once famous San Francisco landmark, some of the greats who thrived there will be celebrated on Sunday.

Several 49ers and Giants legends, including Barry Bonds, Ronnie Lott, Bill Walsh and Orlando Cepeda, will be honored with streets named after them. T

The roads will be part of the neighborhood that is replacing Candlestick Park. Their exact locations are yet to be revealed.

Photo Credit: Lennar Urban]]>
<![CDATA[Anita Hill and Ellen Pao Embrace Role as Voice For Women]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:50:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hill-pao-0420-2017.jpg

They were forced into an uncomfortable spotlight, and now they're embracing their roles as voices for women.

Anita Hill and Ellen Pao teamed up Thursday night at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco to deliver yet another powerful message. The pair say it is a unique moment in time, even more so now that Fox News decided to part ways with Bill O'Reilly amid a sexual harassment scandal.

They are hoping it's a moment that creates some change.

"Fox News made a decision to tolerate Bill O'Reilly's behavior and even to spend a certain amount of money to keep it quiet," Hill said.

Hill, who spoke up at a Senate Judiciary Committee more than 25 years ago about sexual harrassment during her time working for now-Justice Clarence Thomas, said the O'Reilly sexual harassment case once again shines a light on a persistent problem.

"Every individual has to fight the case as if it's a new problem," Hill said. "You've gotta have a clear record."

Pao, the venture capitalist who put Silicon Valley's culture of gender discrimination on trial, agrees while there is awareness, the response, like in the O'Reilly case, isolates women. She said the tech industry handles sexual harassment and discrimination cases a lot like Fox News, removing the victim instead of changing the culture.

"When you look at tech, it's somewhat similar, it comes from the top, and there's a lack of will power to change," said Pao, who in 2015 accused executives of sexual harassment at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. "It is so much easier to push the women out."

Hill and Pao both are still active on the sexual harassment issue. Pao is working with small startups to establish inclusive work places. Hill is looking into how to implement changes in the college culture.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[4/20: Thousands Light Up at Golden Gate Park's 'Hippie Hill']]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 19:53:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO4_420.jpgThousands of people packed into Golden Gate Park in San Francisco for an annual 4/20 celebration at Sharon Meadows, also known as Hippie Hill.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Descend on 4/20 Smokeout in Golden Gate Park]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:58:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/420-party5.jpg

An estimated 15,000 people descended on Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Thursday to celebrate 4/20, the annual unsanctioned marijuana smokeout.

This year's party at Sharon Meadows, also known as Hippie Hill, looked a bit different, as city officials decided to make it cleaner and safer for all.

Some of the changes included: a higher-than-average number of police officers and medical personnel stationed in the area; only adults allowed in the park; a gated perimeter; preapproved food stalls; portable trash bins; and portable toilets across the venue.

The city allowed merchant sponsors to have a permit providing the infrastructure around the event.

Ray Chavez noticed a difference.

"It's more organized; it wasn’t as hectic as last year," he said. "I think its dope, to be honest. Like anyone could come here and do what they want."

Reaction to the changes was mixed, though, with some feeling the city was going too far. Desmond Thomas, an unpermitted vendor, was selling shirts outside one of the entry points this year.

"They’re just going overboard this year," he said.

For the most part, those who came to celebrate were feeling good.

"I just came for the good vibes, the smoke and peaceful people," one attendee said.

The city also aimed to resolve some of the past congestion issues, providing shuttle bus service. Though no street closures were initially planned, Haight Street was shut down in the afternoon.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Shells Out Big Bucks to Mend Storm-Battered Roads]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 07:03:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/potholes8.jpg

Anyone driving around the Bay Area knows our roads have taken a beating during this winter’s heavy rain. Now the question remains: How much will it cost to fix potholes and other pockmarks?

NBC Bay Area reached out to the public works departments in five major counties and found that four have experienced significant increases in the taxpayer dollars needed for road repairs. Moreover, their expenditure does not factor in money spent by individual cities and Caltrans, officials say.

Public works officials say Alameda County was forced to spend: $143,757 during the first quarter of 2017, which is a staggering 51.5 percent increase over the $69,585 spent in the same time frame in 2016.

Meanwhile, San Francisco city and county public works officials spent the most, shelling out $759,836 to fix over 10,000 potholes. Officials say that expense is 35.5 percent more than the $490,188 spent during 2016’s first quarter.

In Contra Costa County, the Public Works Department reported spending $124,215 to fix potholes in the 2017’s first quarter. That’s a 32.6 percent jump from last year’s $83,766, according to officials.

A similar situation unfurled in Santa Clara County where $217,715 was required to fix roads in the South Bay versus $168,248 in 2016. That’s a 22.7 percent increase, officials say.

Alternately, the San Mateo County public works officials say this year’s pothole-related expenses didn’t fluctuate much from 2016. Why? Because potholes took a backseat to their problem with mudslides.

California’s lawmakers recently approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s $5-billion-a-year plan to boost gas and vehicle taxes to pay for major road repairs.

It will raise gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon — a 43 percent increase — and diesel taxes from 16 cents per gallon to 36 cents. Drivers will also face a new annual fee to be paid with their vehicle registration, ranging from $25 to $175 depending on the value of their vehicle. The taxes and fees will rise each year with inflation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Officials Unveil New Potrero Hill Public Park]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 07:38:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ed+lee1.jpg

San Francisco city officials Wednesday celebrated the opening of a new open space in the Potrero Hill neighborhood on what was once an underused dead end street.

The new Daggett Plaza is a one-acre space at the intersection of 16th and 7th streets, close to U.S. Interstate 280, on the former Daggett Street right of way.

The new plaza includes a lawn area, play and seating areas, a fenced-off dog run, a public art piece titled Mission Marsh Bears and landscaping.

It was built by developer Equity Residential at a cost of $4.9 million in return for a credit toward project impact fees on a neighboring development at 1000 16th St. Equity will also maintain the park site, which will be owned by the city and managed by a local nonprofit.

"As we continue to provide critical new housing for San Francisco families, we need to make sure that these residents can enjoy nearby open spaces," said Mayor Ed Lee, who attended an opening celebration at the plaza Wednesday along with Supervisor Malia Cohen. "Public-private partnerships like this one enable us to meet those needs while serving the continued growth of our neighborhoods."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area in Top 10 for Worst Air Pollution Nationwide]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:03:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-19-17-state-of-the-air-report.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area ranks among the top 10 most polluted regions in the country, according to a report issued Wednesday by the American Lung Association.

State of the Air 2017 is based on air quality monitoring from 2013 to 2015, and includes San Benito and San Joaquin counties in the greater Bay Area.

San Joaquin County has the highest level of year-round particle pollution levels in the region. The county suffered its worst period ever for pollution from diesel exhaust, wood burning devices, wildfires and other sources of soot, a situation exacerbated by climate change and recent drought conditions, according to the American Lung Association.

Overall, the Bay Area's particle pollution ranked sixth nationwide for the number of unhealthy days and fourth nationwide for year-round levels. This puts area residents at risk for health problems like asthma and lung cancer.

"I run cross-country and compete in track and field, so I always need to be aware of my surroundings," Jaxin Woodward, a 15-year-old high school athlete from Vacaville, said in a statement. "Exhaust from cars triggers asthma attacks a lot for me."

There was a reduction in the number of days with unhealthy levels of ozone. San Francisco, Marin, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties all had zero unhealthy ozone days during the period monitored.

The report also indicates that the number of unhealthy ozone days have dropped throughout the state and nationwide, which the American Lung Association attributes to the federal Clean Air Act.

Air quality laws and policies to combat climate change save lives, according to the American Lung Association, and need to be protected in Congress.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Officials Place More Restrictions on 4/20 Pot Celebration]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:43:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP10042001795_GOldenGate420.jpg

Thousands of pot smokers will descend on Golden Gate Park on Thursday to celebrate 4/20, the unsanctioned, but well-known tradition in San Francisco. 

The all-day event — and its accompanying clouds of smoke — will unfold in the Sharon Meadows area of the park, also known as Hippie Hill. But tokers' high holiday will look different this year, city officials promise.

Board of supervisors President London Breed made it clear at a news conference on Wednesday that the 4/20 event is not sponsored by the city.

However, over the years, cleaning up the garbage left behind by pot smokers has been problematic, so city officials are teaming up with a private sponsor to help pay for additional resources.

In a statement, Breed said: “Love it or hate it, the culturally historic '4/20 festival' is not going away, and it has a significant impact on our city, on our district, and on our parks. Past '4/20' festivities have led to horrific traffic, overwhelmed residential streets, public urination, damage to public and private property, and strained police, Muni and park resources.

“And on the following day, 4/21, dozens of City staff members and volunteers have had to laboriously collect over 10,000 pounds of litter left in the parks.”

There also were complaints about traffic, public urination and property damage.

To keep the event more secure, a higher-than-average number of police officers and medical personnel will be stationed in the area. Also, only adults will be allowed into the park, which will feature a gated perimeter and preapproved food stalls. Officials will also install portable trash bins and bathrooms across the venue.

“There will be no drugs for sale, no unauthorized music, no unpermitted concessions, and no alcohol,” Breed wrote.

Although 4/20 is not officially approved by San Francisco leaders, Breed hopes a “well-oiled plan” will lead to a “cleaner and safer” event for all attendees.

Neighbor Stacy Kolsrud is skeptical.

"They can try, but I don think they will succeed," Kolsrud said. "It's like a bunch of teenagers."

Deb Harms and Shanna Leblanc drove in from Utah for the unofficial tribute to marijuana use. They've heard restrictions are coming.

"Too much controlling will change the event to make it not as fun for everybody," Harms said. "Part of the whole thing, it was the whole hippie culture."

At this time, there are no planned street closures around the park, but that could change, officials say, depending on how the party pans out.

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

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Cable Car Conductor Stole Fare Money: Official]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:58:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/cable+car+generic.jpg

A conductor of San Francisco's iconic cable cars has been charged with embezzlement for allegedly stealing cash he collected from riders.

District Attorney George Gascon says 61-year-old Albert Williams, of Napa, was arrested Wednesday on felony charges of misappropriation of public money and embezzlement.

Gascon says an investigation showed that Williams hid the true amount of cash he collected and pocketed hundreds of dollars in cash from cable car riders. How much Williams allegedly stole was not released.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says it will strengthen its oversight of cash transactions and may no longer take cash payments in its cable car system.

Built in the 19th century, San Francisco's cable cars are one of the city's biggest tourist attractions.

A one-way cable car ride costs $7.

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[SF Bolsters Response to 4/20 Party at Golden Gate Park]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 18:04:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP10042001795_GOldenGate420.jpg

San Francisco residents and officials are bracing for tens of thousands of people to flock to Golden Gate Park on Thursday and light up at a massive annual pot party.

Board of supervisors President London Breed made it clear at a news conference on Wednesday that the event is not sponsored by the city.

However, over the years, cleaning up the garbage left behind by pot smokers has been problematic, so city officials are teaming up with a private sponsor to help pay for additional resources.

In a statement, Breed said: “Love it or hate it, the culturally historic "4/20 festival" is not going away, and it has a significant impact on our city, on our district, and on our parks. Past "4/20" festivities have led to horrific traffic, overwhelmed residential streets, public urination, damage to public and private property, and strained police, Muni and park resources.

“And on the following day, 4/21, dozens of City staff members and volunteers have had to laboriously collect over 10,000 pounds of litter left in the parks.”

There also were complaints about traffic, public urination and property damage.

To keep the event more secure, a higher-than-average number of police officers and medical personnel will be stationed in the area. Also, only adults will be allowed into the park, which will feature a gated perimeter and preapproved food stalls. Officials will also install portable trash bins and bathrooms across the venue.

“There will be no drugs for sale, no unauthorized music, no unpermitted concessions, and no alcohol,” Breed wrote.

Although 4/20 is not officially approved by San Francisco leaders, Breed hopes a “well-oiled plan” will lead to a “cleaner and safer” event for all attendees.

Neighbor Stacy Kolsrud is skeptical.

"They can try, but I don think they will succeed," Kolsrud said. "It's like a bunch of teenagers."

Deb Harms and Shanna Leblanc drove in from Utah for the unofficial tribute to marijuana use. They've heard restrictions are coming.

"Too much controlling will change the event to make it not as fun for everybody," Harms said. "Part of the whole thing, it was the whole hippie culture."

At this time, there are no planned street closures around the park, but that could change, officials say, depending on how the party pans out.

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

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sen. Kamala Harris in Bay Area to Talk About Trump, Future]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 23:46:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kamala-0418-2017.jpg

For years, Kamala Harris was a rising political star. Now, she's arrived.

An Oakland native and former San Francisco district attorney, the newly elected U.S. senator was back in the Bay Area on Tuesday night, talking about President Donald Trump and her own future in Washington, D.C.

Harris has visited with Syrian families at a refugee camp in Jordan. They are families she says the United States should welcome.

"They are referred by the U.N. after two years of vetting," she said. "When they arrive at our border, all that has happened is they've cleared vetting."

The senator also met with U.S. service members in Iraq, a group she plans to stand up for during the budget battle.

"The idea that we want to cut services for servicemen and women is immoral," Harris said.

With the fight against the Islamic State continuing and the U.S. taking military action in Syria and Afghanistan, Harris says the Trump adminstration needs to detail its plans in the Middle East.

"It's deeply troubling," she said. "The American people deserve to know what our strategy is."

North Korea also is a concern, one that the president says he shares.

As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Homeland Security and Govermental Affairs Committee, Harris believes the commander and chief needs to be more presidential.

"An administration who wants to outdo a dictator who is unpredictable by having a Twitter storm back and forth, that's irresponsible and potentially dangerous," she said.

With Republicans in control and protecting the environment and immgration reform also topping her list of concerns, Harris says there is a lot of work to do.

"We have to keep fighting," she said.

As for her political ambitions, such as future plans to run for president?

"I don't even know what I'm having for lunch," she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Ban on Menthol, Flavored Cigarettes Proposed in SF]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 20:17:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/031811+menthol.jpg

Selling flavored or menthol cigarettes would be banned in San Francisco under legislation proposed to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

Flanked by about 40 supporters waving signs with slogans like "Protect Our Youth," San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen announced the proposed ordinance on the steps of City Hall Tuesday morning.

"The tobacco industry targets young adults, African Americans and LGBTQ people, deceptively associating these products with fruit, mints and candy," said Cohen, who is lead author of the legislation.

Mayor Ed Lee, who spoke at the event, has endorsed the proposed ordinance.

Cohen said tobacco companies focus on young people as a marketing strategy "to protect their bottom line by constantly cultivating new users."

"We want our communities to be healthy," Lee said. "Tobacco companies are trying to get vulnerable communities hooked. I look forward with eager anticipation to signing this (ordinance)."

The ordinance would ban the sale of products including cigarettes, cigars and e-products that are advertised as having a "characterizing flavor." Examples include hazelnut cigars and peach cigarillos.

A similar ordinance will be introduced to the Oakland City Council in May by Annie Campbell Washington, Oakland's vice mayor.

"We took on Big Soda and won. Now we're taking on Big Tobacco," Campbell Washington said at the rally.

She was referring to the fact that San Francisco, Oakland and Albany voters passed measures taxing soda to reduce consumption in November.

"This has been a long time coming," said Dr. Valerie Yerger, an associate professor at University of California at San Francisco.

Yerger said more than 80 percent of African American smokers use menthol cigarettes, and 45,000 African Americans die annually from tobacco-related diseases.

A coalition of advocates including Breathe California and the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council attended the rally, wearing black T-shirts with the classic red circle and slash over the word "flavor," with an image of a cigarette below.

Smoking flavored or menthol cigarettes wouldn't violate the ordinance, said Brittni Chicuata, a legislative aide to Cohen.

"It only bans their sale," she said.

Their are 852 tobacco retailers in San Francisco, and 99.7 percent of all tobacco retailers sell menthol cigarettes, Chicuata said.

She said San Francisco's tobacco retailers have been cooperative in the past and she foresees no problems should the ordinance pass.

"The (city's) Department of Public Health has done a tremendous job cultivating relationships with retailers," Chicuata said.

The ordinance would be enforced similarly to existing prohibitions against selling cigarettes to minors, she said.

The health department would contact retailers to tell them about the ban well in advance of its anticipated Jan. 1, 2018 start date, Chicuata said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NCAA Tourney Coming to Warriors' New Arena in San Francisco]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:24:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chase-center.jpg

Chase Center, the new San Francisco arena being built as the future home of the Golden State Warriors, will be the site of NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament regional games in 2022, the Warriors announced Tuesday.

The Pac-12 Conference will serve as host for the West Regional on March 24 and 26, 2022, at the Mission Bay venue, which is slated to open for the start of the 2019-20 NBA season.

It will mark the first time NCAA basketball tournament games will be played in San Francisco since the inaugural tournament in 1939. Those games were played at the California Coliseum on Treasure Island, the team said.

“This is one of the most exciting events on the calendar for sports," Warriors President Rick Welts said. "We have nine people on our current roster and coaching staff fortunate to have advanced to the Sweet 16 during their college career, and we’re excited for this to be the first event officially on our Chase Center schedule."

Back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry, All-Star forward Draymond Green, forwards Matt Barnes, Andre Iguodala, James Michael McAdoo and Kevon Looney participated in the Sweet 16 during their college careers. Warriors coach Steve Kerr and assistants Jarron Collins and Bruce Fraser also competed in the Sweet 16.

"There is nothing quite like the NCAA Tournament," Kerr said. "Advancing to the regional finals, and eventually the Final Four, was certainly one of the highlights of my college career."

Photo Credit: Andy Dolich]]>
<![CDATA[World's Largest Plate of Nachos to Feature Cricket Chips]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:38:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NachosGeneric.jpg

There is a new addition to the wacky of unusual world record attempts.

Food aficionados in San Francisco this Saturday will attempt to break the world record for consuming the largest plate of nachos, but there's a tasty twist.

The monstrous dish won't house a layer of customary tortilla chips. Instead, it will feature cricket chips — the first ever chips made with cricket flour. That ingredient is created by mashing dried crickets into a high protein powder, according to creator Chirp Chips.

Aside from the one-of-a-kind chips, the enormous plate of nachos will also feature 1,000 pounds of nacho cheese, 800 pounds of beans and 400 pounds of corn and salsa, according to event organizers.

The record-breaking effort is slated to take place at 3:00 p.m. at the SOMA Streat Food Park located at 428 11th Street.

Tickets for the event are available via Eventbrite.

Chirp Chips was created by three college students back in 2014, according to the company. The students chose to use crickets as the main ingredient in their snack product after realizing that the bugs packed sustainable and nutritious value.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Drifters Sentenced in 2015 Double Murder]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:17:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/alligood-lampley.jpg

Three so-called drifters who confessed to killing two people in a brutal crime spree in 2015 were sentenced on Tuesday.

Morrison Haze Lampley, 24, of San Francisco, and Lila Scott Alligood, 19, of San Rafael, in February pleaded guilty to killing a Canadian tourist in Golden Gate Park and a Marin County therapist in a park near Fairfax. 

Lampley admitted to discharging a firearm and was sentenced to 100 years to life in prison. Alligood, of San Rafael, is eligible for a youthful offender parole hearing after she has served 25 years, Deputy District Attorney Leon Kousharian said.

As part of their plea, the two defendants waived their right to appeal the convictions, according to Marin County District Attorney Edward Berberian said.

Third defendant Sean Angold, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. He testified under a grant of immunity against his two co-defendants at their preliminary hearing in September.

Berberian said the disposition of Lampley's and Alligood's cases was reached with extensive discussions with the families of the victims. Several members of Carter's family and Carey's aunt spoke at the sentencing by Marin County Superior Court Judge Kelly Simmons.

Lampley's expression never changed as he walked into court and looked down throughout the sentencing. In contrast, Alligood, his former girlfriend, cried through most of the testimony from the victim's families. 

"As far as I’m concerned, no punishment however harsh could do justice to the horrific, unforgivable crime that you three have committed — fully intentional and, as far as I’m concerned, without any remorse whatsoever," said Lokita Carter, the wife of Steve Carter.

Then it was Alligood's turn.

"I feel so much guilt and shame for the wrongdoings and the hurtful decisions that I made and I’m sorry," she said.

Angold's attorney read a statement in which his client said he will spend the rest of his days remembering the wrong he's done. He also begged the victims' families to forgive him. 

A statement read by Lampley's attorney said he wished he could go back in time and change things.

Lokita Carter said she had seen Lampley's letter before it was read aloud in court, but "it left me with nothing," she said. 

When asked if the sentencing will bring closure, the Carters' friend Christina Dejongh replied, "I don’t know if I will ever have it. My feeling is what can compensate for an act like this? I sort of even don’t relate to the punishment."

"Vengeance," Dejongh said, won't "bring him back."

Carey befriended the trio in Golden Gate Park, and Lampley shot her in some bushes where they were smoking marijuana, according to Angold's testimony at the hearing.

Angold testified he heard gunshots, and when he asked Lampley what happened, Lampley replied, "She's dead dude, don't worry about it."

The trio left with some of her belongings, Angold said.

Angold also testified that the trio wanted to steal a vehicle and head to Oregon with the intention of growing marijuana. They encountered Carter as he was hiking with his dog in the Loma Alta Open Space Preserve near Fairfax.

Angold testified he heard several shots but did not see Lampley shoot Carter and his dog about 30 feet away on a trail because his back was turned.

Angold said Lampley took the keys to Carter's Volkswagen Jetta and blood-soaked money from Carter's pocket. He said Alligood drove them from the scene and he threw the gun, which had been stolen in San Francisco, out of the car's window. Carter's dog survived the shooting.

Angold also testified the trio was using methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin and LSD in the days before the murders.

The defendants were arrested in a church dining hall in Portland, Oregon, on Oct. 7. They were tracked there by the Jetta's GPS.

Defense attorneys attacked Angold's credibility at the preliminary hearing and his grant of immunity to testify against his co-defendants. They also cited Angold's admission during his testimony that he has a history of blaming others for the crimes he has committed, including a residential robbery in Los Angeles and thefts from a Wal-Mart store.

The three defendants were apologetic during the two-hour sentencing in Marin County Superior Court this morning, and Alligood broke down during her brief statement, Kousharian said.

None of the defendants made any references to the facts of the case against them, Kousharian said.

<![CDATA[Elderly Woman in SF Seriously Injured in Collision]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:13:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance+GettyImages-478895016.jpg

An elderly woman was seriously injured in a collision in San Francisco's Lake Street neighborhood late Monday night, according to police.

The collision was reported at 11:03 p.m. in the 300 block of Lake Street.

A 28-year-old woman driving a vehicle east on Lake Street made a left turn toward a driveway and pulled into the path of a vehicle being driven west by an 87-year-old woman, police said.

The two collided and the younger woman's vehicle also struck a nearby parked car, according to police.

The 87-year-old woman was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries that are considered life-threatening, police said.

No arrest was made in connection with the collision and no other details about the case were immediately available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[111 Years Later: SF Remembers 1906 Earthquake Victims]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 05:29:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-18-17_1906_Earthquake.jpg

Tuesday morning marked the 111th anniversary of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco.

City leaders and community members gathered at Lotta's Fountain — one of the oldest monuments in the city by the bay and one-time gathering place for earthquake survivors — to remember the lives lost after the quake and sweeping blaze. The blaring sound of fire engines roared at 5:12 a.m. to mark the exact time when the earth violently shook 111 years ago.

The large group then meandered to the corner of 20th and Church Streets to continue the annual tradition of painting the famous "Little Giant" hydrant, which is known for helping save the Mission District more than a century ago.

For the second-consecutive anniversary remembrance, an original survivor was not on hand to offer a personal recount of the terrifying day. Bill Del Monte, the last known survivor, died in early 2015 at the age of 109.

A formal memorial dedicated to the earthquake does not exist in San Francisco, but some folks are campaigning to change that. Organizers are striving to house a memorial plaque in front of the de Young Building located at the intersection of Market and Kearny Streets.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cremated Remains Returned to Family After SF Car Burglary]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 17:22:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+ashes-0413-2017.jpg

A container of ashes stolen last week from tourists visiting San Francisco from North Carolina was found and returned this weekend, police said Monday.

The ashes were stolen last Wednesday around 5 p.m. when the family's rental car was broken into while it was parked at a garage in the 500 block of Beach Street.

Luggage was stolen, with items inside including a container wrapped in velvet that held the cremated remains of a family member, according to police.

The victims filed a report and later met with police after the story generated news coverage.

On Saturday, around 2:20 p.m. plainclothes officers spotted a person of interest in the theft and contacted him in the area of Chestnut and Montgomery streets, police said.

The person told the officers where the container was located and contacted a friend who brought the container to police.

The subject was released pending further investigation, and police were able to return the cremated remains to the victims.

An investigation continues, and police are asking anyone with information to call 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with "SFPD" at the start of the message.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Company Fined For Fatal Forklift Accident in November]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:11:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1121-2016-Forklift.jpg

A building supply company in San Francisco was fined more than $62,000 for multiple safety violations related to a forklift accident that killed a man in November, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health announced Monday.

Good View Roofing & Building Supply Co., located at 1320 Marin St. in the city's Dogpatch neighborhood, was the site of the accident that killed 58-year-old South San Francisco resident Ruan Qiang on Nov. 21.

Qiang was operating a forklift that was transferring building supplies from the company's warehouse to a customer's vehicle and a bag of mortar mix fell off the load and blocked the front right wheel of the forklift as it descended a ramp, according to Cal/OSHA.

Qiang reversed the forklift to free the bag, and as he turned the steering wheel, the back wheel went over the edge of the ramp, tipping the 5-ton vehicle over. Qiang tried to jump out of the cab of the forklift but was crushed to death, Cal/OSHA officials said.

Good View Roofing & Building Supply received a $62,320 fine from Cal/OSHA.

The state agency cited six violations, including failure to ensure the proper use of a forklift seatbelt, failure to ensure that the forklift operator was certified to operate it safely and failure to ensure that industrial ramps have at least an 8-inch curb installed along the open edges.

"This incident could have been prevented had the employer effectively evaluated the workplace for hazards, which would have identified the unguarded edge of the ramp that exposed the forklift to tipping," Cal/OSHA chief Juliann Sum said in a statement.

"The worker should have been properly trained to stay seated with the seatbelt fastened in the event of a tip over," Sum added.

Cal/OSHA encourages any employees with work-related questions or complaints to call the department's call center at (844) LABOR-DIR. Complaints can also be filed confidentially at Cal/OSHA's district offices.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Car Charging Stations for All New Building Projects in SF?]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 07:53:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-17-17-charging-station-ev.jpg

No more problems finding a charge in San Francisco could become a reality. New legislation would install charging stations for electric cars all over the city by the bay. The new law would require all new construction projects and retrofits to install charging stations. Officials with the mayor’s office said the project would be an investment in the fight against pollution.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sen. Feinstein to Host Town Hall in San Francisco]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 07:57:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-17-17-einstein-host-town+hall.jpg

Sen. Dianne Feinstein will listen to questions from Bay Area voters during a town hall meeting Monday morning in San Francisco. This will be the first town hall hosted by Feinstein since President Donald Trump took office. The veteran lawmaker has taken heat from critics for not holding more town halls during the last congressional recess. Anyone interested in attending Monday’s event will need a ticket in advance. It takes place at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in the city by the bay.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Celebrates 50th Year]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 23:43:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cherry+parade.jpg

The Cherry Blossom Festival parade went marching down San Francisco streets Sunday in honor of the festival's 50th year. It was a colorful scene along the pararde route that started at Civic Center and wound through Japantown.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[United Flight Bound for Hawaii Forced to Return to SFO]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 13:51:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/United_Airlines_Generic.jpg

A United Airlines flight Sunday morning turned back to San Francisco International Airport because of a mechanical problem, an airport official said.

United Airlines Flight 1721 was on its way to Kona International Airport in Hawaii when it turned around and made an emergency landing.

Airlines spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said the problem was a maintenance issue.

The plane landed safely at about 10:30 a.m. and another plane was going to be used to take the passengers on their trip.

That plane was expected to depart at 1 p.m. Pacific time, according to Schmerin.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Man Plucked from San Francisco Sewer System, Avoids Injury]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 10:39:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N5P+SF+FIRE+AMBULANCE+SEX+VO+-+00001715.jpg

San Francisco firefighters on Sunday plucked a man who was trapped in the city's sewer system, fire officials said on Twitter.

The man decided earlier in the morning to explore the sewer system and started yelling for help when he got lost. A police officer heard him through a sewer grate and called firefighters who responded and rescued the man.

The man was not injured after being pulled to safety along the 400 block of Berry Street, according to fire officials.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['Lock Him Up': San Francisco Tax March Draws Thousands ]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 16:24:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tax+March.jpg

Thousands of people — and three inflatable, dazzling chickens with tufts of Trumpian-orange hair — flocked to San Francisco’s City Hall on Saturday to demand the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a demonstration synchronized with hundreds of other protests across the country

City hall started swarming with people shortly after 1 p.m. for what was collectively billed as the largest demonstration against Trump since the Women’s March in January. Scores of people waved around their own tax returns and chanted “Lock him up,” a re-appropriated version of his own campaign chant directed at Hillary Clinton.

Speakers and attendees criticized the president’s connections to Russia and the growing economic divide between the country’s rich and poor. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston and San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim all made brief speeches prior to the start of the march.

After rallying for two hours, the protesters marched from city hall down along Market Street, blocking the entire roadway and diverting traffic. They remained peaceful throughout the demonstration, a far cry from the street brawl happening just 15 miles east in Berkeley, where Trump supporters and detractors met for their second face off in less than two months. 

Families with kids gathered on the grassy lawn outside city hall for picnics. Carry Washington, of San Francisco, said she appreciated the peaceful atmosphere in San Francisco. It allowed protesting Trump to become a “family affair.”

“This is really about camaraderie and being united, showing that we haven’t forgotten and we’re not going away,” Washington, who brought her 11-year-old daughter along, said. “It’s to show his staff — Kellyanne (Conway) — that yes, the people do care that Trump releases his tax returns."

Conway, a senior Trump advisor, had said two days after the inauguration that Trump had no intention of releasing his taxes, telling news stations that people “don’t care” about the documents. Trump added that he wouldn't release the returns because he was under audit.

The president's unwillingness to share his tax returns labels him as the first major party nominee in more than 40 years to not release the financial documents.

It should be noted that most people who came out to the march in San Francisco were not under the delusion that marching would compel Trump to release his tax returns. Instead, they said it might convince someone else to leak them. 

“Oh, no, not at all,” Jeff Garrison answered, when asked if he thought the protest would put pressure on Trump. “He’s never going to release them. The people have to do it, and that’s what we’re hoping for.”

Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Flock to San Francisco Tax Day March]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 17:17:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO5_REBECCA+copy.jpgThousands gather under the 33-foot "Trump chicken" to demand the release of President Donald Trump's tax return at Tax March San Francisco on April 15, 2017.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[36-Year-Old Polar Bear at San Francisco Zoo Dies]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 20:01:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Uulu.png

A beloved polar bear by the name of Uulu at the San Francisco Zoo has died, zoo officials announced Friday. She was 36.

Uulu, who was one of the oldest polar bears housed in any zoo across the globe, died after battling congestive heart failure and old age, according to the zoo.

The female bear is being remembered for her curiosity, which was usually on full display when she was treated to mounds of powdery snow piled high inside her enclosure during special "snow days" at the zoo. The 545-pound beast made sure to seize those moments when she could playfully twist and turn on top of her natural habitat.

When snow wasn't available, Uulu didn't mind dirtying herself up by rolling around in the mud, zoo officials said. She also fancied a menu full of romaine lettuce and chicken — her favorite dishes.

Aside from treating crowds throughout the year, Uulu and her exhibit helped raise awareness about climate change and polar bear conservation, according to the zoo.

Uulu was the only bear at the zoo at the time of her death, according to the zoo. Plans are in place to construct a new polar bear facility at the park.

Photo Credit: Marianne Hale]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters Want DA to Charge SFPD Officers in 2015 Shooting]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 18:02:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/0414-2017-SFProtest.jpg

Activists are demanding the San Francisco District Attorney to reconsider his decision to clear two police officers in the 2015 fatal shooting of Amilcar Perez-Lopez.

Demonstrators protested outside the Hall of Justice Friday, two days after DA George Gascón announced he will not charge officers in the shooting death.

Protesters said they want Gascón to come and talk with the community. They also want more details in a full report.

The DA's Office said full reports are not released due to concerns, including witness and victim information.

Perez-Lopez, a Guatemalan man, was fatally shot by officers in the Mission District on Feb. 26, 2015. Officers at the time were responding to a 911 report of a man running with a knife down Folsom Street toward 25th Street, chasing another man, officials said.

The DA's Office on Wednesday released animation of what they believe happened during the 2015 shooting. The DA's Office said Perez-Lopez died from six gunshot wounds by police, had a knife and the officers used deadly force in self defense.

Meanwhile, demonstrators on Friday believe someone is covering up the truth, which is why they are demanding a full report.

Photo Credit: Christie Smith/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Housing Market Named Most Competitive: Report]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 20:08:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/for-sale-sign.jpg

The following may not come as a surprise to Bay Area residents. The region is home to the most competitive housing market in the nation, according to real estate company Redfin.

Of all the homes sold in San Jose during March, 69.6 percent of them sold above the asking price, according to Redfin. That mark established the South Bay city as the most competitive market in the United States.

Not to be left in the dust, San Francisco followed right behind with 66.7 percent of its housing sales finalizing above the listing price, according to the report. Oakland rounded out the top three with 65.9 percent of its home sales settling in higher than the asking price.

San Francisco still topped the charts as the location with the highest median sale price ($1,185,000) for a home, according to the report. San Jose's median sale price was $957,000 followed by Oakland's mark of $650,000.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Ashes of Loved One Stolen From Tourists' Rental Car in SF]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:05:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+ashes-0413-2017.jpg

A mother-daughter trip to San Francisco to scatter a loved one's ashes took a horrible turn when thieves broke into the family's rental car and stole the ashes.

Julie Wilkinson and her mother, from North Carolina, did what a lot of tourists do: They drove down to Fisherman's Wharf and parked the rental car in a garage. What they didn't know was thieves target those marked cars.

Now, they are desperate to get back their loved one's ashes.

Wilkinson said thieves broke into their rental car's trunk at the Anchorage Square parking garage on Wednesday and stole the scattering tube with her father's remains inside.

"We came to scatter his ashes, celebrate his birthday, and instead we're here talking to you about how he isn't with us anymore," Wilkinson said.

City leaders are well aware thieves target rental cars, which usually have distinguishing bar code stickers on the bumpers or windows. Supervisor Norman Yee just introduced legislation that would require rental car companies to remove such markings.

"You're putting a target on a customer's back," Yee said. "If you want to do business here in San Francisco, you have to get rid of these things to protect the customer."

Yee also introduced legislation last year requring rental companies to warn customers about the break-in problem. That legislation has yet to pass.

Wilkinson said she shared her story to help get that warning out and hopefully get her father back.

"If anybody knows, please give him back," she said.

The Wilkinsons said the ashes can be returned, no questions asked. They also said it's very unlikely they will ever return to San Francisco.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Dragged Off Bus, Robbed in SF: Police]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:09:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_muni_martes_san_francisco.jpg

A woman was dragged off of a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus and robbed in the city's Western Addition neighborhood on Wednesday night, police said.

The robbery was reported around 9:40 p.m. in the area of Fillmore and McAllister streets.

The 30-year-old victim was on a bus when a suspect approached and tried to take her property, according to police.

Several other suspects then dragged her off the bus and punched her while taking her cellphone, wallet and some of her clothing before fleeing north on Fillmore Street, police said.

The suspects, described as four boys and six girls, remain at large as of this morning. The victim did not require hospitalization after the robbery, according to police.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with "SFPD" in the message.

Photo Credit: TELEMUNDO 48]]>
<![CDATA[Tax Day Marches Scheduled Across Bay Area Saturday]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 11:09:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/tax+day.jpg

Five tax day marches are scheduled across the Bay Area Saturday in protest of President Donald Trump refusing to release his tax returns.

Marchers will gather in the cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek and Santa Cruz.

“Every president since FDR has released his taxes,” said Valerie Cohn Ormeno, co-organizer of Tax March San Jose. “We’re concerned that he is not only hiding his taxes but his financial ties, collusion, conflicts of interests, and evades paying his fair share given his massive fortune. That’s really the bottom line.”

Sixty percent of Americans believe Trump has a responsibility to release his tax records, according to a January Pew Research Center poll.

The White House confirmed in March that Trump paid $38 million in federal income tax on more than $150 million in income for 2005.

Trump has repeatedly said an Internal Revenue Service audit prevents him from releasing his records. The IRS has released a statement declaring an audit would not preclude anyone from releasing their own tax information.

Local marches will coincide with the Tax March on Washington the same day. Thousands are expected to attend the Washington D.C. march.

South Bay resident Cohn Ormeno decided to organize a San Jose march when she realized one had yet to be organized in the area. Dissatisfied with who she calls an “arrogant, misogynistic, and incoherent” president, Cohn Ormeno wanted a space for herself and others to be an active resistance against the federal administration.

“I’m just an average Joe,” Ormeno said. “Before I was opinionated. Now I’m political.”

Dozens from the political group South Bay Indivisible will attend marches in both Palo Alto and San Francisco.

“For us as a group, Donald Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns is extremely troubling,” said Lisa Ferino, co-director of Indivisible South Bay. “He’s probably covering up something and we want to know what that is.”

Visit Taxmarch.org for more information about local marches.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Video of 2013 Fatal BART Accident Reveals Safety Lapses]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 10:09:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart-generic.jpg

BART’s in-cab surveillance video of the 2013 accident that left two track workers dead shows that the inexperienced operator was left largely unattended by his trainer who was preoccupied in the passenger compartment, chatting about the World Series part of the time.

NBC Bay Area obtained the video of the Oct. 19, 2013 accident that occurred on the first day that the rookie driver had been operating a train on the main system.

The state Public Utilities Commission is relying on the video as it presses to fine BART $600,000. Lawyers for the transit agency have filed a motion to seal the video and keep it from being released to the public, citing privacy grounds.

A key element in the case is the extent to which the driver had been prepared to operate the train that day. He had spent less than four weeks in the classroom and practicing on a makeshift simulator – a train car up on blocks.

He was part of BART’s plan to provide backup service should a second strike hit the system in a matter of months.

NBC Bay Area has obtained a Sept. 30, 2013 memo from a top BART official to state rail regulator Don Filippi outlining “reduced” training for managers needed to fill in for striking workers.

Under the details of that plan, which BART’S manager Greg Leong wanted Filippi to “remain confidential,” normal training time of 14-weeks would be cut substantially.

BART now says the program involved four weeks of classroom instruction followed by what Leong said would be three weeks of “on-the-job” training.

The operator of the train that day was among the group of inexperienced managers Leong said would be tasked with moving around managers and empty trains to allow more experienced managers to operate passenger service.

The video shows the trainee was alone in the cab of Train No. 963 during the 25 minute period leading up to the accident. His trainer, transportation manager Paul Liston, is in the passenger compartment, instead of being at the operator’s side as required by BART rules.

The tape shows the trainee calls upon Liston for help repeatedly.

“I don't know if I'm doing it wrong or not,” the trainee tells Liston at one point. “Yeah, okay, hold on one second,” Liston replies.

At another point, Liston chides the trainee about needing so much help.

“How many more times are you going to make me get up…. G**dammit?”

Records reviewed by NBC Bay Area indicate Liston was texting and talking on his phone – both violations of BART’s policy. In the video, we hear him chat with colleagues about the upcoming World Series.

“Did the dodgers get beat last night?” Liston asks an unknown BART employee. “Yeah, nine to zero.”

“Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. So it’s St. Louis and then they’re waiting, right?”

Meanwhile, BART engineer Christopher Sheppard and consultant Laurence Daniels were checking on a dip in the rail north of the Walnut Creek station. Just after 1 p.m., BART operations center had issued an alert over the radio about the two men working there.

The men had ventured onto the tracks under BART’s policy known as simple approval. Under that rule, they were charged with gauging the risk they faced and whether they had 15 seconds to escape an oncoming train.

But they failed to realize they were behind a long curve that would keep them from seeing an oncoming train until it was too late. They also didn’t have the required lookout.

At 1:30 p.m., BART was supposed to issue another radio alert for the men, but it never came – another violation of BART policy.

The video shows that at 1:44 p.m., the trainee operator heads into the blind curve. He later told federal accident investigators that he had spotted the men up ahead. Not sure what they are doing, he went into the bend at full speed of 68 mph.

The video shows that five seconds before impact, the trainee sees the workers reemerge as he rounds the curve. He presses a button that he later told federal investigators he believed was the horn. The video indicates he actually pressed the hold door/close button, directly above the horn.

He then hits the brakes, but it’s too late to avoid hitting the men, who investigators believe had their backs turned until the final second. Just before the accident, he jumps forward in the cab and shouts “Move!” repeatedly.

In BART’s final report – issued in January of this year – the chief safety officer concludes that because of the curve, the deaths were “unavoidable.”

The report cites the “simple approval” policy in effect at the time, which made workers “individually responsible for providing their own protection…” The report concluded: “Adherence to the rules would have prevented the accident.”

“They are blaming the victims for this,” says Sen. Jerry Hill, who has long been a vocal safety advocate in the legislature. “I think it’s shameful ... it really is.”

The state agency charged with overseeing public rail systems, the Public Utilities Commission, blames BART for having a “poor and inadequate” safety culture. Regulators contend BART could, and should, have banned workers from the blind curve, or at least made trains slow for them automatically. Regulators say the agency should be fined $600,000 for a string of violations, including its reliance on the “simple approval” protocol.

After the accident, BART did abandon its policy of having workers largely responsible for their own safety and agreed to regulators’ demands that it tighten lookout rules, improve communications and stop trains anytime workers up ahead come within six feet of the rail.

Despite making those changes, BART told us the agency has had a “robust” safety record all along. “The violations alleged by the CPUC concern an individual employee’s violation of a BART rule, not a gap in BART’s safety rules or a general failure by BART to enforce those rules,” the agency said in a statement.

Although BART now says that he broke several rules, the trainer – assistant chief transportation officer Paul Liston – retired last year without discipline. Neither Liston nor the trainee responded to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, regulators’ effort to sanction BART has suffered a blow. The judge in charge of the case recently sided with BART’s lawyers and dismissed more than a dozen charges on due process grounds. But the judge has yet to rule on whether to impose the $600,000 penalty sought by regulators.

BART contends the state agency has no legal authority to fine BART for violating its own rules.

But Hill says BART needs to be held accountable for the lapses he saw in the video. “No one was properly trained, no one was doing the job they were supposed to do for safety," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART Officials Explore Service Cuts, Lower Discounts]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 06:48:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/bart38.jpg

Faced with a dwindling ridership, BART directors on Thursday mulled service cuts, reduced discounts and other ways to make up a multi-million dollar budget deficit.

BART fares are already slated to go up 2.7 percent in January. 

However, officials rejected the idea of trimming discounted prices for seniors, children and people with disabilities from 62.5 percent to 50 percent. They also scrapped a proposal to offer service starting at 5 a.m. instead of 4 a.m.

Officials left on the table the option to enact a 50 cent surcharge on magstripe tickets, in the hope of encouraging commuters to purchase clipper cards, which generate more revenue.

The transportation agency had been enjoying six years of consecutive growth, but during the first half of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, BART reported a roughly 4 percent drop in the number of weekday riders. Weekend ridership slumped by approximately 9 percent.

That drop in ridership could mean that BART will finish this year $15 to $25 million below budget. The agency could face a $25 to $35 million shortcoming as it prepares its future budget.

To prevent the agency from hemorrhaging money, BART has asked every department to cut back on spending and officials have eliminated overtime costs. 

A final decision is expected in June.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Construction of GGB Suicide-Prevention Net to Start]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 06:48:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N5P+GGB+SUICIDE+BARRIERS+PKG+-+00003129.jpg

San Francisco officials on Thursday marked the start of the construction of the suicide-prevention net under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Officials say the net will be positioned 20 feet below the sidewalk and extend out another 20 feet. Made of seven football fields worth of stainless steel, the structure will curve up slightly at its ends and be suspended 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean on both sides of the bridge — invisible to drivers.

In 2016, 39 people jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and plunged to their deaths, according to spokeswoman Priya Clemens. But bridge patrol workers were able to prevent an additional 200 people from committing suicide.

Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein led the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Kimberly Renee Gamboa held back tears as she remembered her son Kyle, who killed himself at the bridge in 2013.

"He was just starting his senior year in high school at Sacramento Waldorf School," an emotional Gamboa said, pausing while she gathered her breath. "It doesn't just happen to the family. It happens to every single person he knew."

Three-and-a-half years later, Gamboa joined federal and state leaders at Thursday's festivities, which also included a planting ceremony near the bridge.

"Today we are here to observe a labor of love," Pelosi said.

The California Highway Patrol has been tasked with managing traffic during construction. The agency will be paid for opening and closing designated lanes at night, when the bulk of the work is expected to occur. The construction is scheduled for nighttime when fewer cars are on the road.

First approved in 2014, the nearly $200 million project has been delayed due to years of debate and its hefty price tag. Contractor fencing to protect workers will go up in early May, and net installation is set to begin mid-2018.

The project is expected to be completed by 2021.

NBC Bay Area's Laura Malpert contributed to this report. 

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Photo Credit: Handout, File]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Officers Cleared in Shooting of Amilcar Perez-Lopez: DA]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:24:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-amilcar-perez-lopez-san-francisco.jpg

San Francisco police officers will not be charged in the shooting death of Amilcar Perez-Lopez, District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday.

Perez-Lopez, a Guatemalan man, was fatally shot by officers in the Mission District on Feb. 26, 2015. Officers at the time were responding to a 911 report of a man running with a knife down Folsom Street toward 25th Street, chasing another man, officials said.

Gascón said it took two years to gather evidence and interview three dozen witnesses.

“I take my responsibility in these cases incredibly seriously,” Gascón said. “It is my sworn duty to follow the facts and the law, wherever that may lead.”

The DA's Office launched an investigation shortly after the shooting. Activists criticized the slow pace of the investigation and in August held a vigil and rally to mark the 18-month anniversary of Lopez's death.

Gascon said the investigation was delayed in part because some witnesses came forward a year or more after the incident, opening up new lines of inquiry and prompting investigators to seek input from expert witnesses.

The DA's Office at news conference Wednesday released animation of what they believe happened during the 2015 shooting. The DA's Office said Perez-Lopez died from six gunshot wounds by police, had a knife and the officers used deadly force in self defense.

The decision sparked protests in San Francisco later Wednesday, as people stood in the middle of the street, blocking traffic and calling for justice.

Leaders of a San Francisco minority group say the DA's decision is fueling resentment toward police that's reaching a critical point.

"Pressure breaks a pipe. You understand? And when it gets like that, it's gonna explode," said DeJenney Davis of the Black & Brown Social Club.

A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Officers Association called the incident tragic and hopes the decision will not drive a wedge between the community and police.

Attorney Arnoldo Casillas provided the following statement Wednesday on behalf of the Perez-Lopez family:

"We have always anticipated that the district attorney would refuse to bring charges against the officers who killed Amilcar Perez Lopez. The long-awaited decision comes as no surprise. Rarely, if ever, do prosecutors bring charges against police officers in shooting cases. Instead, as Mr. Gascon did today, prosecutors will make every effort to give the officers the benefit of every doubt. For example, the inconsistencies in the officer’s versions which the DA’s report points out are deep and meaningful.

Yet, for Mr. Gascon, these inconsistencies are superficial and he is willing to overlook them. Such meaningful differences in the accounts given by co-defendants in a shooting would have doomed them both to being prosecuted and likely convicted. Unlike the prosecution of other shootings which do not involve police officers, prosecutors are eager to take on such cases. Here, because the killers were police officers, Mr. Gascon has shied away from his duty to do justice.

It takes courage and a true commitment to justice to take on the police. It’s a shame that the District Attorney would not carry out his duty to impartially apply the law."

Martine Halloran, president of the San Francisco Police Officers' Association, provided the following statement Wednesday:

"Today, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office announced that it will not be pressing charges against the officers involved in the 2015 shooting of Amilcar Perez-Lopez.

While the DA’s decision makes it clear that the responding officers are not guilty of any crime, there is no doubt that this incident was tragic for everyone involved. It left a family to grieve for a loved one, and it forever changed the lives of the officers involved.

We cannot let this pain be a wedge between us. Instead, it should motivate us to work together as a community to prevent future tragedies from taking place. This means putting in place smart policies and introducing 21st century tools that will protect both the public and police officers.

It is through collaboration, not conflict, that progress will be made.”

NBC Bay Area's Thom Jensen and Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: TELEMUNDO 48]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens Rally For Teachers, Education in San Francisco]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 23:52:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+rally-0411-2017.jpg

More than 100 people, mostly teachers, demonstrated against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The demonstrators walked from the federal building to the San Francisco Unified School District headquarters to deliver their message.

A spokeswoman for United Educators of San Francisco said low pay is already driving teachers out of the city, and DeVos's policies toward privatization will further erode teacher pay and education funding.

"Betsy DeVos is a billionaire who does not believe in public education," said Lita Blanc. "She's in the process of trying to dismantle education."

The union and the school district are currently involved in contract negotiations over pay and benefits. Union members say the city could lose hundreds of teachers in the coming years due to the cost of living if pay is not increased.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Homicide Suspect Allegedly Pulled Gun From Stroller]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 10:41:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gun+generic+092115.jpg

A man charged in a fatal shooting in San Francisco's Tenderloin earlier this month pulled the gun used in the shooting out of his 9-month-old daughter's stroller, a prosecutor said Tuesday in court.

Johnnie Reed, a 33-year-old Vallejo resident, was arraigned this afternoon on felony charges including murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and child endangerment in connection with the April 2 death of Antonio Stanberry.

Stanberry, a 31-year-old San Francisco resident, was shot in the first block of Jones Street shortly after 2:30 p.m. and died after being taken to San Francisco General Hospital, according to police.

Reed, who was arrested two days later in Sacramento, pleaded not guilty to all charges on Tuesday.

Tiana Jacobs, a 24-year-old Vallejo resident and the mother of Reed's child, was also arrested in Sacramento on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact and was later also charged with child endangerment. She also entered not guilty pleas on Tuesday.

Deputy Public Defender Michelle Tong said Reed, the father of four children, cares for his disabled father and works at Petaluma Poultry. She said his past criminal record consists primarily of some marijuana convictions.

"The evidence is thin in terms of making any connection between Mr. Reed and Mr. Stanberry," Tong said.

However, Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart said prosecutors had video showing Reed pulling a gun out of the stroller of his 9-month-old daughter.

He allegedly shot Stanberry nine times and then placed the gun back in the stroller before he and Jacobs fled the scene with the baby, Swart said.

He also has a protective order to stay away from Jacobs because of domestic violence allegations, Swart said.

Reed remains in custody with bail set at $2 million. Jacobs is out of custody on $15,000 bail.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Crews Contain Blaze at SF Building; 60 Displaced]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 05:42:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+fire-0411-2017.jpg

No injuries were reported, but 60 people were displaced Tuesday night after a two-alarm fire in San Francisco's Financial District.

The blaze was reported at 662 Clay St., a three-story hotel building, fire officials said. They reported it on social media at 8:45 p.m. The initial location of the fire was incorrectly listed by fire officials as 659 Merchant St.

The fire occurred in a storage room in the basement of the three-story building that houses both commercial business and residential units, fire officials said. At least 60 people were displaced by the blaze, they said.

Fire officials were asking people to avoid the area.

San Francisco Municipal Railway officials said riders on the eastbound 1-California bus line may see delays.

Fire crews would remained at the scene late Tuesday night to monitor hot spots.

Red Cross volunteers also were on the scene to provide support for residents displaced by the fire, officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Couple Contracts Brain-Infecting Parasite in Hawaii]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:56:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4122017-bay-area-couple.jpg

A Bay Area couple's idyllic honeymoon took a horrific turn when they contracted a brain-infecting parasite in Hawaii. 

Newlyweds Ben Manilla, a journalism professor at UC Berkeley, and Eliza Lape were both diagnosed with rat lungworm disease, according to Hawaii News Now.

Manilla, 64, and Lape, 57, traveled to Maui for their wedding in January. After the ceremony, they spent a fortnight in the area of Hana, Hawaii News Now reported.

Lape began presenting symptoms even before the duo’s return to San Francisco.

"My symptoms started growing to feeling like somebody was taking a hot knife and just stabbing me in different parts of my body," she told Hawaii News Now.

Rat lungworm disease is caused by a parasite that impacts rats that then excrete worm larvae. Slugs and snails consume the larvae, which can be passed on to humans via raw produce, freshwater shrimp and land crabs, according to Hawaii News Now. The parasitic worms trigger a rare meningitis that affects the brain and spinal cord.

Lape has recovered, but Manilla has spent a month in the ICU and needs to undergo rehabilitation, the TV station said.

"I've had several operations, two pneumonias, a blood clot. Right now, I'm dealing with a kidney issue, all of which was spurred by the ratlung," Manilla said to Hawaii News Now.

The couple is speaking about the experience to help other people take appropriate precautions.

"Had we known we were walking into this kind of environment, we would have had a completely different attitude," Lape told Hawaii News Now. "It really does disrupt and destroy people's lives."

Officials have noted an upswing in rat lungworm disease – at least nine cases recently – on the Big Island and on Maui, Hawaii News Now reported. But health experts believe that number may not include people who went to private clinics, not hospitals. The Department of Health is investigating.

Photo Credit: Hawaii News Now]]>
<![CDATA[Police Officers Shouldn't do Airlines' Dirty Work: SF Supe]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:17:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/united+airlines+passenger+removed+1.png

It should never happen here — that’s what one San Francisco supervisor says about the violent forced removal of a United Airlines passenger from a flight on Sunday.

“I think all of us were outraged by the video we saw over the weekend,” Supervisor Jeff Sheehy said Tuesday. “The amount of force that was used to get him off the plane was appalling.”

The passenger, identified as Kentucky physician Dr. David Dao, refused to get up after the airline demanded he give up his seat on flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville. The flight was fully boarded, but United personnel said they had to make room for four crew members who were added to the flight at the last minute.

Sheehy was so struck by the escalation, which left the passenger bloodied, that the supervisor is proposing San Francisco change city code. Sheehy says police officers here shouldn’t be thrust into a position where they are forced to do an airline’s dirty work – like they were in Chicago.

"I don't think our law enforcement officials should be spending their time helping an airline enforce a dumb rule and enforce their business failure," he said. Sheehy believes that law enforcement should only intervene when the airlines establish a risk to safety or threat to security.

He said he’s asking the city attorney for guidance on how best to implement such a proposal.

United on Monday focused blame on the passenger for failure to comply with the crew’s instructions to give up his seat.

The carrier faced backlash on social media and its stock dropped as much as 4 percent.

The airline’s tone changed Tuesday.

United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz issued an apologetic letter.

“I’m sorry,” he wrote, vowing to “fix what’s broken to ensure this never happens again.”

The social media firestorm continues, including renewed calls for a boycott, but United stock rebounded slightly.

Today, a United Airlines spokesman told NBC Bay Area that they “rarely” deny passengers who have already boarded a plane. But the spokesman insisted the airline retains that right – to deny you a seat after you’ve boarded — as was the case, apparently, with the weekend flight from Chicago to Louisville.

United said the review of its policies, including its interaction with law enforcement, is due April 30.

“I promise you we will do better,” Munoz wrote.

Photo Credit: Getty Images / NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Owners Claim Fertilizer Sickened Dogs in San Francisco]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 18:17:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dog-GettyImages-100394559.jpg

Dog owners in San Francisco claim their pups started vomiting and foaming at the mouth after visiting a city park last week, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The worried owners claim a chemical sprayed on the grass at Precita Park in Bernal Heights is what sickened the pooches.

While no one has said for sure what caused the two dogs to get sick after going to the park, regulars said they have a pretty good idea what happened.

"It's called Giardia, and it's a bacteria that can be found in moist soil," dog owner Patrece Bryan said. "The reason it's so pervasive here is because of the retaining wall; it keeps all the water in."

Dog owners claim Giardia, a parasite found in feces contaminated water and soil, is a big problem in the neighborhood. But veterinarians said the symptoms of the dogs who just got sick don't entirely match up with Giardia.

"It's not the typical sign that we see from Giardia, but it is a potential sign that we sometimes see," Dr. Joshua Van Geem of VCA said.

Veterinarians added that foaming of the mouth is more consistent with the dogs eating something disagreeable.

District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen was notified by the dog owners about the incident, according to the Chronicle. The owners emailed Ronen asking what fertilizer was used, what the schedule is for applying fertilizer and how the chemicals can be prevented from being used at the park in the future. Ronen proceeded to contact San Francisco Recreation and Park representatives to learn more about the allegations.

San Francisco Recreation and Park representatives said no fertilizer had been sprayed at the park in over a year, but they are still looking into the matter.

"We are still looking into our maintenance activities last week and would welcome any input from the public on any incidents that they might have possibly witnessed and believed to be related," the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department wrote in a statement.

An investigation into the allegations is ongoing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Follows, Arrests Reckless Teenage Dirt Bike Rider in SF]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:05:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0411-2017-CHPArrest.jpg

A teenage dirt bike rider was arrested in San Francisco on Sunday after trying to give California Highway Patrol officers the slip when he was seen riding recklessly.

The encounter began around 4:45 p.m. when CHP officers spotted between eight and 10 dirt bike riders on San Francisco streets. They stood out because they were ignoring stop signs, running red lights, hopping onto curbs, blocking traffic, and riding without helmets, the CHP San Francisco division wrote on its Facebook page.

When officers tried to stop the riders, they took off. Patrol units did not chase the riders because that would have put other drivers and pedestrians at risk, the CHP said. But a CHP aircraft, using a high-powered camera, filmed the group’s “lawless activities,” officers said.

One man, later identified as 19-year-old Ronet Sanidad, was particularly worrisome to the CHP, officers wrote, so the aircraft followed him to Gould Street and Paul Avenue. He was recorded hiding his bike behind a vehicle in a grassy area and sprinting across the road, where he tried to crawl beneath a parked car, the CHP said.

The aircraft helped direct officers to Sanidad and he was arrested. The teen's motorcycle was also impounded after the CHP found that its vehicle identification number had been changed, according to the CHP Facebook page.

Sanidad has been booked into San Francisco County Jail. He faces a litany of charges, including felony reckless evading, conspiracy to commit a crime, and tampering with a vehicle identification number, officers said.

Photo Credit: CHP San Francisco]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Suspicious Car Near AT&T Park in SF]]>Sun, 09 Apr 2017 15:49:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

Police in San Francisco on Sunday blocked off a portion of an intersection near AT&T Park to investigate a suspicious car.

The corner of Embarcadero and Townsend Street was taped off in order for authorities to take a closer look at the vehicle. Witnesses said police are looking at a gray car that has been parked in the area for several days and has multiple citations on it.

The car reportedly is packed full of unknown items, and police haven't been able to determine what the items are. They have cleared pedestrians from the area and said it may take several hours to resolve.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Crews Rescue 2 Kite Boarders from SF Bay]]>Sun, 09 Apr 2017 09:33:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/KiteSurfingGeneric.jpg

Coast Guard boat crews rescued two distressed kite boarders in two separate locations Saturday in San Francisco Bay.

According to U.S. Coast Guard officials, around 4:30 p.m. they received a report of a downed kite boarder near Coyote Point in San Mateo.

At about 5 p.m., a boat crew arrived and recovered the kite boarder from the water and returned the man and his gear to Coyote Point with no reported medical concerns.

At 5:50 p.m., onlookers at Crissy Field in San Francisco notified Coast Guard officials of a downed kite boarder located about 400 yards west of Anita Rock.

According to Coast Guard officials, a boat crew arrived at 6:10 p.m. and rescued the man and his equipment. He was transported to Pier 45 with no reported medical concerns.

According to Petty Officer Second Class Jacob Hamburg, these cases are common in the San Francisco Bay.

"We advise kite boarders to keep a marine band radio with them, as that is the quickest way to contact rescue service," Hamburg said.

In addition to wearing wetsuits, Coast Guard officials advise kite boarders to wear a life jacket, as wetsuits provide limited buoyancy.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mansion in SF's Pacific Heights Hits Market for $40 Million]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 22:16:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GoldCoasthome.jpg

San Francisco’s real estate market just a hit a new high.

A newly-constructed 11,400-square-foot limestone house can be yours for a whopping $40 million.

The home’s astronomical price tag begins to make sense – kind of – when you realize that it is located in the city’s affluent Pacific Heights neighborhood. Taking it a step further, the residence at 2712 Broadway was built on the highly sought-after three-block stretch of land called the Gold Coast or, perhaps more aptly, Billionaire’s Row, according to the SF Gate.

Your neighbors could include Oracle founder Larry Ellison and philanthropist couple, Ann and Gordon Getty.

The sprawling mansion features seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and four half-baths, courtesy of developer Bill Campbell. It also offers a gourmet kitchen, a spa, a gym and massage room, a theater and two wine rooms, the SF Gate reported.

And if your feet grow tired covering that much space, an elevator can whisk you away to the terrace. 

Campbell of Marble Management told the Wall Street Journal that he has applied for LEED platinum certification, having outfitted the house with a solar water heating system and underground tanks to store and reuse runoff.

And that’s not all.

Floor-to-ceiling windows – made of course of non-reflective glass – cater to jaw-dropping views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, Sausalito and the island of Belvedere, the SF Gate said.

Campbell spent $7.8 million on 2712 Broadway in 2009. He demolished the clapboard that dated back to the 19th century, and then, over the next four years, built an “on-spec” home, the Wall Street Journal reported. That means he didn’t construct the house for any specific buyer.

Public records show that a nearby Gold Coast mansion sold for $35 million in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Val Steele of Pacific Union International and Tom Biss of Sotheby's International Realty represent the property at 2712 Broadway.

Photo Credit: Jacob Elliott Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Could Myles Garrett Fall to 49ers at No. 2 in Draft?]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:34:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/milesformyles.jpg

For a long time now, the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft seemed to be a lock.

The Browns, having earned the top choice with their horrendous 1-15 season, were assumed to be committed to Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the consensus top talent available.

Yet ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that the Browns now are torn between taking Garrett and North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky. If that were to happen, the 49ers – sitting at No. 2 – would have the top prospect in the draft fall into their lap.

One NFL executive told ESPN.com, “Don’t be surprised if Myles Garrett isn’t the No. 1 pick.”

Garrett, at 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, this past season was a first-team All-America pick after collecting 8½ sacks and making 15 tackles for loss in 11 games, all while slowed a bit by an early-season knee injury. In 2015, he had 12 sacks and 19½ tackles for loss.

Garrett not only has excelled on the field but was impressive at the NFL Combine and in interviews and other workouts.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com noted in his scouting report following the combine that Garrett’s athleticism and talent point “toward an All-Pro career.”

And, he’d be a bonanza for the 49ers, who want to upgrade their pass rush in a scheme that is expected to feature a 4-3 base defense in which Garrett could be at home at defensive end.

But, it could also be a draft smokescreen by the Browns. Schefter earlier reported that Cleveland had given Garrett an “astronomical grade” in its draft evaluation report.

What’s equally interesting is that Trubisky’s stock has risen so much that he’s now considered a possible No. 1 overall pick after starting just one season at North Carolina.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angry Driver Arrested After Beating Mailman in San Francisco]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 14:48:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/060511+usps+trucks.jpg

A driver apparently angry that a mailman was double parked in San Francisco's Marina District was arrested after getting out of his car and assaulting the mailman on Thursday, police said.

The 51-year-old mailman was double-parked while delivering mail in the area of Divisadero and Bay streets at 5:55 p.m., police said.

The suspect, a 46-year-old man, pulled up behind the mailman and started honking his car horn loudly. He then got out of his car and hit the mailman multiple times in the face and body.

Police arrived and arrested the driver. The mailman was taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Families Unable to Return to Muddy Oakland Hills Homes]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 14:43:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11P+EAST+BAY+STORM+DAMAGE+PKG+-+00000704.jpg

A storm that battered Northern California, endangering homes and leaving thousands in the dark, dumped only a drizzle of rain in the south and was beginning to roll out of the state Saturday.

But first, the rain softened soil already saturated by months of previous storms, causing a landslide in the Oakland hills. Five families were displaced late Thursday and four homes had been red-tagged by Friday. Some houses were filled with nearly five feet of mud and officials said the hillside is unstable. 

Being red-tagged means no one can live in those specific homes, at least for the time being. Also, all work to clean up the fallen hillside and repair the homes has to stop until city officials gives the the go-ahead.

There were also reports of several downed trees in the area. Part of Thornhill Drive was closed through Saturday after a tree slammed into a house and blocked the road. 

Neighbor Suzanne Quick said the tree came crashing down around 3:50 a.m., and she said the damage to the home resulted in a total loss. Fortunately for the residents, they were able to walk away.

"The tree apparently fell on a stud, and that's the only thing that kept from everybody being wiped out," Quick said.

Earlier in the week, Diane Henderson recalled a wall of mud coming through her home's roof and down the hallway on Thursday. Even a tree made its way into her house.

"Hillsides are full of trees and brush and plants, and you feel they are holding the hillsides up," she said. 

But that was not the case on Thursday night.

Barbara Stone, who is now forbidden from reentering her house, was given 10 minutes to evacuate.

“I don’t know what to expect next," she said. "Two minutes from now, we may have to run, to get out." 

Buckets caught rain water, but that's about all the women could do Friday to mitigate the damage as a less-severe system passed through the Bay Area.

Homeowners are also concerned about who will pay for the repairs.

"They called me back and said that we're not covered for mudslides," Stone said about her insurance provider. 

Jonathan Aragon felt like he was living in a war zone.

“We didn’t want to go to sleep last night," he admitted. "We were afraid the other tree back there was going to fall. We kept shifting through the house and everything.” 

The East Bay Municipal Utility District and PG&E temporarily cut water and power service to 23 homes in the area. 

Homeowners on Friday night hoped that a crumbling road above their properties wouldn't slide down and bring with it a lot more mud. They wondered too if a section of a water main that crews have isolated for restoration broke beneath the road, causing a lot of the damage. District officials said the scenario is unlikely, but that the pipe will be preserved as part of an investigation.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Steals Trays of Food at Knifepoint in San Francisco]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 14:59:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/knife-generic-edit.jpg

A deliveryman was robbed of trays of food at knifepoint outside a Chinatown restaurant on Thursday morning, police said.

The victim, a 57-year-old man, was heading into the restaurant in the 600 block of Pine Street at 11:20 a.m. when he was approached by a 24-year-old man.

The suspect held a knife to the deliveryman and told him not to move. He then grabbed trays of food from the delivery vehicle and fled on foot, police said.

The suspect remains at large and the deliveryman was uninjured.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[$40M Pacific Heights Mansion is SF's Most Expensive Home]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 10:58:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/L3_Dining_89501.jpg

Photo Credit: Jacob Elliott Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Plugs Fuel Leak in Sunken Barge in SF Bay]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 11:08:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0407-2017-SunkenBarge.jpg

State and federal agencies on Saturday managed to gain an upper-hand in the fight to clean up after a sunken barge spewed fuel into the San Francisco Bay.

Roughly 3,000 feet of booms supported by boats corralled the spill in hopes of containing the oil slick, which was originally spotted on Friday after a 112-foot freight barge named "Vengeance" sank, according to Coast Guard officials.

The barge, located just south of the Bay Bridge, sent leaking diesel fuel into the bay, but divers managed to plug the leaking fuel Friday afternoon.

But, as of Friday night, responders and investigators were still at the site executing cleanup strategies for the potential release of 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 300 gallons of hydraulic fluid, Coast Guard officials said.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Sarah Wilson said on Saturday morning that a Coast Guard chopper had flown over the location where the barge went down. Pilots spotted a light sheen of oil on the surface of the water. But Wilson said that is a good sign because it means that the barge is not leaking as much oil as it was yesterday.

Capt. Patrick Nelson added to that optimistic sentiment.

"To this point, other than that small sheen, we haven't seen significant environmental impact," he said.

Aside from the crews on the surface cleaning up the oil, divers swam on the sea floor to make sure the fuel vent plugs were still securely in place.

Coast Guard officials suspect that the barge sank during the storm’s heavy rain and strong winds on Friday. The cause remains under investigation.

BART previously used the barge as a launch point for divers. Those divers would regularly launch from the large and conduct anti-corrosion work on the transbay tube.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, Vortex Marine Construction and Bay Area Rapid Transit responded to the sunken barge, Coast Guard officials said.

Photo Credit: US Coast Guard]]>
<![CDATA[US Missile Strikes in Syria Trigger Protests in SF]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 21:27:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11P+SF+SYRIA+PROTEST+PKG+-+00001301.jpg

The night after the U.S. military launched missiles into a Syrian air base, protests brewed across the country. From San Francisco to New York, people spoke out against President Donald Trump’s show of power.

The Syrian military said the strike killed at least seven people and wounded nine others, according to The Associated Press. The U.S., at Trump's command, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in response to a deadly chemical attack in Idlib on Tuesday.

"I'm vehemently opposed to bombing of Syria," said David Welsh of Berkeley, California. "We need to pull back from the brink. This is a terrible development."

Trump said he ordered the action after seeing proof that Syrian President Bashar Assad was responsible for the chemical attack, which killed more than 80 people.

Protesters said they aren't convinced Assad is responsible.

The president may view the attack as a success if the use of chemical weapons stops. But political experts say with the show of force is risky, with Russia backing Assad.

"This plunges us into an arena that puts us in a position of danger," said Karthika Sasikumar, a political science professor at San Jose State University. "Risking escalation with Russia – we might regret doing this."

Russia called the bombing a significant blow to U.S.-Russian relations.

“The U.S. needs to come home, take care of business here, and stop interfering in other countries in the world,” Welsh said.

Protesters are urging people to rally together and show the Trump administration that they don't support military involvement in the Middle East.

In Manhattan, New York, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Midtown and Union Square to voice their opposition to the U.S. strikes on Syria on Friday night.

"It's only going to escalate the violence," protester Martin Jennings said. "I'm really concerned about the future of the Syrian people."

Thursday's attack was the first direct American assault on the Syrian government and Trump's most dramatic military order since becoming president just over two months ago. The strikes also risk thrusting the U.S. deeper into an intractable conflict that his predecessor spent years trying to avoid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[#LegalizePizza Protest Erupts at Muni Stops in SF]]>Fri, 07 Apr 2017 23:11:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/legalizepizza.jpg

It wasn’t a typical protest, but it conveyed a message.

On Friday, hundreds of people traipsed to Muni stops across San Francisco armed with slices of pizza — with all manner of toppings. #LegalizePizza, they demanded.


To stand in solidarity with a homeless man who on March 5 was eating a slice of pizza at a bus stop shelter when a police officer cited him for it. The man was handed a ticket — to pony up a $250 fine — for eating a pie that he bought for his friend's birthday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The ticket pointed out that the homeless man was "eating or drinking in or on a system facility or vehicle in areas where those activities are prohibited by that system."

The man's experience irked Shaun Osborn and spurned the 37-year-old San Francisco resident to action.

"I reflected on the number of times I had done the same without incident," he said. "I quickly created an online event page and meme with a call to eat Pizza at a bus shelter on April 7th. #LegalizePizza was born."

The protest was conceived in a way that allowed people to partake in the gastronomical show of dissent at a time and location that was convenient, Osburn said. Many took to Twitter with pictures of themselves chowing down on pizza slices.

Although Osburn has not spoken to the homeless man who was cited on March 5, he has heard from others like him "who have been given absurd citations not normally levied upon housed people."

Osburn said none of the 100-plus protesters had any run-ins with the law. 

Despite being the one to come up with the idea for a #LegalizePizza protest, Osburn acknowledged the importance of keeping public transit clean and "free of beverages and food."

However, he stressed, "Muni shelters are on public streets and are not actual stations. Citations such as this are far too often levied on poor and homeless people who do not have the resources to pay or fight them. Issuing them is a waste of taxpayer money and serve only to further hurt already struggling people."

NBC Bay Area has reached out to the San Francisco Police Department for a comment.

Photo Credit: Kelley Cutler via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Coast Guard Responding to Sunken Barge Near Bay Bridge]]>Fri, 07 Apr 2017 10:38:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0407-2017-SunkenBarge.jpg

A freight barge that capsized south of the Bay Bridge early Friday morning is leaking and an unknown amount of fuel has gone into the bay, a Coast Guard official said Friday.

Adam Stanton, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard District 11, initially said there was "no oil in the water," but Petty Officer 3rd Class Sarah Wilson has since clarified that a sheen of oil was detected by a helicopter around 8 a.m.

The 112-foot freight barge Vengeance capsized in the bay between Yerba Buena Island and the city of Oakland shortly after midnight, according to the Coast Guard.

National Response Corporation Emergency Services, a private company, has deployed 3,000 feet of boom around the barge to keep the spill contained, Wilson said.

Cleanup strategies are underway for a maximum potential release of 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 300 gallons of lube oil, according to Wilson.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response is assisting with the cleanup efforts, the Coast Guard said.

Photo Credit: US Coast Guard]]>
<![CDATA[4 Oakland Hills Homes Red-Tagged After Storm-Fueled Mudslide]]>Fri, 07 Apr 2017 20:07:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-7-2017-oakland-hills-damage1.jpg

Heavy rains softened already saturated grounds and caused a landslide in the Oakland hills, which left five families displaced and four homes red-tagged, while high gusts of wind Friday morning left thousands without power in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Gusts up to 48 mph ripped across San Francisco and blasts of up to 62 mph hit the Oakland area, National Weather Service meteorologist Anna Schneider said.

In Oakland, residents of at least five homes were forced to evacuate Thursday night following a landslide that in some cases dumped about five feet of mud in their houses. Of those, four were red-tagged by Friday. Officials say the hillside is unstable. 

Being red-tagged means no one can live in those specific homes, at least for the time being. Also, all work to clean up the fallen hillside and repair the homes has to stop until city officials gives the the go-ahead.

Diane Henderson recalled a wall of mud coming through her home's roof and down the hallway. Even a tree made its way into her house.

"Hillsides are full of trees and brush and plants, and you feel they are holding the hillsides up," she said. 

But that was not the case on Thursday night.

Barbara Stone, who is now forbidden from reentering her house, was given 10 minutes to evacuate.

“I don’t know what to expect next," she said. "Two minutes from now, we may have to run, to get out." 

Buckets caught rain water, but that's about all the women could do Friday to mitigate the damage as a less-severe system passed through the Bay Area.

Homeowners are also concerned about who will pay for the repairs.

"They called me back and said that we're not covered for mudslides," Stone said about her insurance provider. 

There were also reports of several downed trees in the area. Jonathan Aragon felt like he was living in a war zone.

“We didn’t want to go to sleep last night," he admitted. "We were afraid the other tree back there was going to fall. We kept shifting through the house and everything.” 

The East Bay Municipal Utility District and PG&E temporarily cut water and power service to 23 homes in the area. 

Homeowners on Friday night hoped that a crumbling road above their properties wouldn't slide down and bring with it a lot more mud. They wondered too if a section of a water main that crews have isolated for restoration broke beneath the road, causing a lot of the damage. District officials said the scenario is unlikely, but that the pipe will be preserved as part of an investigation.

Meanwhile, more than 40,000 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in the San Francisco Bay Area were without power Friday morning because of the stormy weather that started Thursday and lasted into Friday. But late Friday, that number hovered just above 7,400.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, residents paid close attention to erosion and downed power lines on the fire-weary Santa Cruz Mountains. Parts of the hillsides have been washed away due to the series of heavy rains this winter season.

"We did experience significantly heavy winds in the South Bay — up to 52 mph in San Jose," said Mayra Tostada with PG&E. "That’s where trees are toppling. Power lines and power poles have been coming down."

PG&E set up a base camp in Scotts Valley from where they monitored the storm and dispatched repair crews. The agency brought in additional crews from the Central Valley to help. 

“We’re prepared for this storm," Tostada said.

David Navarro said he woke up to sparking power lines after a small tree came crashing down. Now, he is worried about two nearly 150-foot trees that have roots exposed.

He complained that he’s been calling county officials for weeks, hoping someone would remove the danger above his home. PG&E restored power to Navarro’s home, but not his sense of security.

"I was scared because I have a little daughter and I’m more concerned about my family," Navarro said.

By Friday, though, it appeared that the Santa Cruz Mountains had been spared from the latest storm's wrath. Crews in fact had been sent from higher elevation areas to cities like Cupertino and Los Altos to bolster repair efforts. 

Scattered showers will continue through Saturday afternoon when things will dry out until another small storm system hits on Wednesday, Schneider said.

Forecasters warned of significant travel disruptions Friday in the Sierra Nevada passes, around the town of Mammoth Lakes and along U.S. 395.

"Avoid travel if possible, you could be stuck in your vehicle for many hours," the weather service warned.

Forecasters upgraded a winter storm watch to a warning for heavy, wet snow, effective from midnight Thursday to 5 a.m. Saturday along the eastern Sierra, west of U.S. 395.

The Mammoth Mountain ski resort in the eastern Sierra Nevada reported early Friday that up to 26 inches of snow fell overnight, with more expected over the next day or two.

That raised the season total to 562 inches or nearly 47 feet 

Advisories for small watercraft and gale warnings were in effect along about a third of the California coast.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[WB Lanes Reopen After Big-Rig Overturns on Bay Bridge]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 20:53:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0406-2016-BigRigAx1.jpg

All westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge were blocked late Thursday due to an overturned big-rig, according to the CHP.

The incident was first reported at 8:24 p.m. on Interstate 80, just west of Treasure Island. The big-rig landed on its side and no other vehicles were involved, according to the CHP. Fire officials said heavy winds may have caused the big-rig to tip over.

Lanes started to reopen just after 9:40 p.m.

No other information was immediately available.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: @OaklandFireLive
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<![CDATA[Protesters Accused of Blocking Train Tracks Appear in Court]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 19:19:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+protest-0405-2017.jpg

Eleven protesters accused of blocking railroad tracks in San Francisco during President Donald Trump's inauguration appeared in court Wednesday requesting that the charges be dropped.

An attorney for the accused said the charges send a message that the sanctuary city isn't really on board with resisting the Trump administration.

The District Attorney's Office, however, sees it differently.

A DA spokesperson said Wednesday that while the city and the office feel strongly about protecting people's right to protest, they believe what happened on Jan. 20 was dangerous.

On that day, protestors hit the streets of San Francisco in opposition of Trump. The protest included blocking Caltrain tracks.

Attorney Emily Rose Johns represents one of the 11 protesters, referred to as the J20 Resistors, charged with misdemeanors, including blocking a railway. On Wednesday, they pleaded not guilty.

"Everything everyone was accused of doing was quite peaceful," Johns said. "We asked the court to hear us on demur, which is a motion to dismiss."

Johns added that the charges send a mixed message.

"I think it sends a message that San Francisco is not really dedicated to resisting the Donald Trump administration in the way they presented themselves by becoming a sanctuary city," she said.

The DA's office says it feels strongly about protecting First Amendment rights, but its a balancing act.

"It isn’t only dangerous as far as what may happen; it’s also disruptive as far as critical infrastructure," a DA spokesman said.

Caltrain riders had mixed reaction.

"I don’t think it’s appropriate to block trains to block freeways," said Ira Dearing, of San Jose.

Neeraj Mathur, of Los Altos, said, "This was a very unusal time for us as a country, for what they were protesting. I'm with them, a minor inconvenience."

The protesters are due back in court on June 12.

<![CDATA[San Francisco Evictions Decline for First Time Since 2010]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 15:13:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SFEvictions2017.jpg

The number of eviction notices served to San Francisco residents last year dropped 21 percent compared to the year before, according to city records.

The recent drop-off in evictions marks the first time since 2009-2010 that resident removals actually declined, according to city records.

A total of 1,881 eviction notices were issued between March 1, 2016 and Feb. 28, 2017, according to the city. That number was 2,376 the year before.

The top three reasons for evictions this past year were breach of rental agreement, owner/relative move-ins and committing a nuisance, according to the city.

Evictions triggered by rental agreement rifts actually dropped 29 percent since last year, according to records. On the other hand, evictions prompted by nuisance reports jumped by seven percent.

Additionally, San Francisco landlords are legally allowed to carry out evictions if they decide to move into the home. If landlords already live in their own building, they can also evict other tenants to make room for their relatives. The practice, known as owner/relative move-in evictions, declined by five percent since last year, but such evictions still represent a more than 200 percent spike compared to five years ago.

Owner move-in evictions were the subject of a series of NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit reports that exposed, what appeared to be, widespread abuse by landlords kicking out rent-controlled tenants in order to charge new tenants higher rent. Of the thousands of people living in San Francisco who have been evicted from their homes in recent years, hundreds of those residents may have been wrongfully evicted, according to a recent analysis by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit. Those reports have since prompted city leaders to consider new laws to fine and prosecute landlords who wrongfully evict rent-controlled tenants.

NBC Bay Area's Bigad Shaban contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Tackles Uptick in Coyote Sightings]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 10:09:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-5-17-coyote-workshop.jpg

A recent string of coyote sightings is prompting animal control leaders to hold a special workshop Wednesday night in San Francisco. It's not clear how many coyotes live in San Francisco, but there have been frequent sightings in and around city parks. Coyotes usually avoid humans, but they can go after pets. City park and animal control workers will join a conservation group at the county fair building to talk about ways to coexist with coyotes.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Salesforce Tower 'Tops Off']]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 19:40:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-6-17-SALESFORCE-TOWER.jpgCloud computing giant Salesforce is celebrating the laying of the final beam — known in construction terms as "topping off" — at its new headquarters in downtown San Francisco. (Apr. 6, 2017)

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Tackles Waste by Installing New Trash Cans]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 08:43:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SFTrashCansMissionStreet.jpg

The amount of trash cluttering Market Street in San Francisco may soon dwindle. That's because the city by bay is installing 38 new trash receptacles along the typically dirty stretch of pavement.

San Francisco's Public Works Department on Tuesday announced the garbage can additions as part of its "Yes We Can!" pilot program designed to reduce waste around the city. The 38 new bins bring the number of trash receptacles along Mission Street between 14th and Cesar Chavez Streets to 73.

City leaders admitted that increasing the amount of trash cans may not actually help tidy up city streets. Roughly one decade ago, San Francisco actually extracted about 1,000 public receptacles. That's because people rummaging through bins tended to scatter trash on nearby sidewalks and others illegally placed their personal trash next to public bins instead of paying for service.

"Our aim with Yes We Can! is to find the sweet spot that provides more places for people to dispose of their trash properly, while not adding to the litter problem with people using the cans inappropriately," Larry Stringer, operations chief for San Francisco Public Works, said in a statement.

City leaders will install additional trash cans in other neighborhoods if the pilot program along Mission Street proves to be successful.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Public Works]]>
<![CDATA[Police Arrest Suspect in Sexual Batteries on Muni Trains]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 23:04:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/muni+suspect-0403-2017.jpg

A man accused of groping women on Muni trains has been arrested, police said Tuesday.

The man assaulted four women on the N Judah light-rail line, police said. He may have approached women on other lines as well.

Police said the man, whose name has not been released, has been charged with a number of misdemeanors.

Investigators believe there are more cases and witnesses and are hoping they come forward. At least 4 victims have come forward so far.

Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA[House Arrest for Granite Company Owner After Worker Deaths]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 07:25:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/handcuffs14.jpg

The owner of a San Francisco granite company has been sentenced to house arrest and probation in connection to the death of two workers who were crushed by a large slab of granite while on the job.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Meng Peng, the owner of the now-closed Galaxy Granite, was sentenced Tuesday to one year of house arrest, three years of probation and ordered to pay unspecified restitution.

He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of felony involuntary manslaughter and three labor code violations.

Peng and his employees 46-year-old Hector Vazquez, of Oakland, and 53-year-old Philip Marich, of South San Francisco, were unloading the slab from a container truck on Feb. 7, 2014, when it fell and killed Marich and Vazquez.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[SF Granite Company Owner Sentenced in 2014 Worker Deaths]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 18:59:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+worker+deaths-0404-2017.jpg

The owner of a granite company in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood was sentenced Tuesday to one year of home detention and three years' probation in the 2014 deaths of two workers who were crushed by falling slabs of granite.

Meng Peng, a Hillsborough resident, was sentenced after pleading guilty in January to two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and three labor code violations in connection with the deaths of two of his employees on Feb. 17, 2014.

Philip Marich, 53, of South San Francisco, and Hector Vazquez, 46, of Oakland, were removing large slabs of granite from a shipping container at Galaxy Granite at 1525 Cortland Ave. when slabs fell on them around 10:15 a.m.

Both men were extricated from the shipping container, but Marich was pronounced dead at the scene and Vazquez later died at San Francisco General Hospital.

Defense attorney Brian Getz said his client felt remorse and regret that he will "carry with him for the rest of his life."

"He genuinely is remorseful and accepts responsibility for what he did," Getz said. "He would do anything to undo what he did."

Peng, who listened to proceedings in court with a bowed head, said through a Mandarin interpreter, "I feel terrible about everything that happened."

Assistant District Attorney Greg Alker urged Judge Charles Crompton to give a higher sentence of two years in prison, noting that while Peng was now remorseful, he had initially denied involvement or awareness.

A later investigation determined that Peng was aware of safety issues and had failed to enforce precautions such as the use of an A-frame to support the metal slabs inside the shipping container, Alker said.

"I understand that he is now remorseful and wants this situation to move forward, but I ask the court to consider not just what would be best for Mr. Peng but for San Francisco and the community," Alker said.

Crompton chose to sentence Peng to one year of jail, which can be served as home detention, and three years of probation to run concurrently, as well as community service and compensation to the victims.

He noted that Peng had no previous criminal record and had already paid some compensation to the victims' families.

Outside of court, Alker described the sentence as "a little light" but said he appreciated that the judge had included jail time.

"Hopefully we're sending a message to all the construction companies that they have to do things safely and comply with OSHA regulations," Alker said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SFMTA Changing Advertising Policy For Its Vehicles]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 17:38:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfmta-ads-0404-2017.jpg

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is adopting a new advertising policy, hoping to end years of offensive ads read daily by commuters, who have bitterly complained.

"We certainly understand why they were offended by these ads; they offended us as well," said Paul Rose, chief spokesperson for the SFMTA. "They have been offensive, but there was no way we could not not run them."

Major cities across the country have dealt with a similar problem: run the ads or get sued for violation of free speech. SFMTA says it has studied other cities that were able to create advertising criteria. If they are demeaning in nature, racist in nature, or political in nature, they don't run.

Many commuters say they think government-run transportation shouldn't have politically sponsored ads.

"I think all political and maybe even religious advertising should be eliminated from Muni buses," commuter David Smith, of San Francisco, said.

Minority groups agree.

"The problem is while you're going to be banning this offensive, anti-Muslim speech, you're also going to be banning pro-diversity and educational speech as well, and that could be damaging," said Sameena Usman, spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The new SFMTA policy takes effect Wednesday, and the agency said all ads on its buses currently meet the new criteria.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Metallica, The Who, Gorillaz to Headline Outside Lands 2017]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 21:27:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OutsideLands2017.jpg

The lineup is set.

Metallica, The Who and Gorillaz are slated to headline at Outside Lands, San Francisco's premier summer music festival, according to the event's website.

Lorde, Queens of the Stone Age, Empire of the Sun, Young the Giant and Rebelution are just a few of the other artists and groups scheduled to rock Golden Gate Park between August 11 and August 13.

General admission and VIP tickets will be up for grabs beginning on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Complete Outside Lands 2017 Lineup:

Metallica, The Who, Gorillaz, Lorde, A Tribe Called Quest, Alt-J, Queens of the Stone Age, Above & Beyond, Fleet Foxes, Empire of the Sunm The Avett Brothers, Belle and Sebastian, Solange, Future Islands, Schoolboy Q, Young the Giant, Rebelution, Little Dragon, Vance Joy, Kaytranada, Bleachers, Tove Lo, Action Bronson, Shovels & Rope, Thundercat, Dawes, Warpaint, Dr. Octagon, Rag'N'Bone Man, Bomba Estereo, Real Estate, Rac, James Vincent McMorrow, Temples, K. Flay, Hamilton Leithauser, Maggie Rogers, Sofi Tukker, Foxygen, How to Dress Well, Sohn, Electric Guest, Goldroom, Hundred Waters, Noname, Khruangbin, Kamaiyah, Survive, Kali Uchis, San Fermin, Joseph, The Japanese House, Lee Fields & The Expressions, The Lemon Twigs, Muna, Mon Laferte, Grace Mitchell, Porches, Jacob Banks, Mondo Cozmo, Frenship, John Moreland, Sam Dew, Oliver Tree, Lawrence, The She's, Berklee College of Music

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Niners' Taking Patient, Smart Approach to QB Situation]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 08:10:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Hoyerbridge.jpg

Brian Hoyer may not carry the label of a franchise or Pro Bowl quarterback, but his signing by the 49ers in free agency recently may have been one of the smartest early moves by general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Hoyer can be a solid pro, and his price – a two-year deal worth as much as $18 million if he hits certain incentives – is affordable enough that it doesn’t tie the team’s hands in filling so many other holes on a thin roster over the next two seasons.

As ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner wrote after the signing, Hoyer can serve “as a bridge” to give the team time to find a long-term solution at quarterback. “And,” he wrote, “if something changes and the 49ers do locate that quarterback this offseason, Hoyer would be a strong veteran backup.”

With the first round of the NFL draft now just over three weeks away, some analysts still believe the 49ers could use their No. 2 overall pick – or another first-round selection acquired in a trade down – on a quarterback, such as Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina, DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame, Deshaun Watson of Clemson or Pat Mahomes of Texas Tech.

But, there’s another scenario, too: Perhaps the 49ers use a mid- to late-round pick on a quarterback prospect to add to the mix (with Hoyer and Matt Barkley), take their chances with Hoyer in 2017 and then draft a quarterback with a top pick next year (when the prospect class is supposed to be better) or bring in a veteran such as Washington’s Kirk Cousins or New England’s No. 2, Jimmy Garoppolo, who are expected to hit the free-agent market.

As Wagoner of ESPN noted this week, the 2018 draft class has several highly rated prospects at QB, including Sam Darnold of USC and Josh Rosen of UCLA. Other top-rated QBs expected to be available: Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma State, Luke Falk of Washington State and Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma. So, if the 49ers are patient, they could be in a much better position to land a franchise-quality passer if they wait a year, while using this year’s draft as an opportunity to fill other key needs.

Said Shanahan to Wagner: “You’ve got to be smart with what you do and you’ve got to be patient.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ghiradelli Joins Krispy Kreme in Doughnut Creations]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 10:33:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-4-17-ghiradelli-krispy+kreme.jpg

San Francisco-based Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is teaming up with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to create two new decadent doughnuts. The new mint chocolate and sea salt caramel doughnuts are inspired by Ghirardelli's popular chocolate squares, and they're made with Ghirardelli ingredients. The doughnuts are available now for a limited time at participating Krispy Kreme shops.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Slapped with Citation for Eating Pizza at Bus Stop in SF]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 22:56:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-4-17_Pizza_Ticket_Muni.jpg

Bus riders, beware. Eating food, including pizza, can result in a costly citation in San Francisco.

A man experienced that reality the hard way back in March when he was handed a ticket, which can yield a $250 fine, for chowing down on a pizza at a Muni bus stop, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The citation was delivered on March 5 to a homeless man who purchased a pie for his friend's birthday before enjoying some slices at a bus stop located at Market and 7th Streets, the newspaper reported. The exact wording on the ticket referenced "eating or drinking in or on a system facility or vehicle in areas where those activities are prohibited by that system."

Consuming food while riding on most public transit vehicles is against the law, but those rules are seldom invoked, according to the newspaper.

A Muni spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle he was not sure if it's legal or illegal to eat while sitting at a bus stop. Eating on a Muni bus or inside a Muni station is an offense, but "food prohibition doesn’t necessarily extend to bus shelters," the spokesperson told the newspaper.

The man's ticket will likely be thrown out if the man can prove he is homeless and in search of services, the newspaper reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Ticketed for Eating Pizza in San Francisco: Report]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 08:26:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-4-17-pizza-citation.jpg

The San Francisco Chronicle reports police recently ticketed a man at a Muni bus shelter for eating pizza. The $250 citation was tweeted by an organizer for the Coalition on Homelessness. While it's technically illegal to eat at a Muni stop, citing someone is never enforced and a waste of resources, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It's likely the citation will be dismissed once the man shows he's homeless.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[#EqualPayDay: Businesses Rally Behind Wage Gap Fight]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 06:59:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/161*120/EqualPay.jpg

Roughly two dozen businesses across the Bay Area and several more around the nation on Tuesday are fighting to close the pay gap between men and women.

Some of those establishments plan to offer a 20 percent discount to illustrate the roughly 20 percent pay difference between working men and women across the United States.

Women on average earn about 80 cents for every dollar that men tally, according to LeanIn.org. In California, women make about 86 cents for every dollar collected by men, according to an analysis conducted by the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Aside from smaller local businesses around the Bay Area, Lyft and Salesforce are some of the bigger names rallying behind the wage gap effort. For example, Lyft plans to donate 20 percent of its proceeds gathered from Tuesday rides completed across 240 cities to groups that fight for women and families.

Closing the wage gap could add $513 billion to the American economy, according to research from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Individually, women could pocket $530,000 more during their careers if equal pay is achieved, according to LeanIn.org. Those funds could push 3.1 families above the poverty line and reduce hunger concerns for struggling women and their children, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

Companies Participating in #EqualPayDay in San Francisco:

California Cowboy Apparel, CookieLove, Craftsman and Wolves, Dev Bootcamp, Flora Arte, Hackbright Academy, Honeycomb Salon, Kara's Cupcakes, Margaret Elizabeth, Nick's Crispy Tacos, Terra Mia Ceramic Studio LLC, The Little Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant

Companies Participating in #EqualPayDay in Silicon Valley:

Books Inc., Boutique 4, Budget Blinds, Kepler's Books & Magazines, Life in Play Company LLC, Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, Passion Fit, St. Stevens Green, The Striped Pig, Tin Pot Creamery, Title Boxing

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Police Investigate Reports of Sexual Battery on Muni Line]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 23:49:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/muni+suspect-0403-2017.jpg

San Francisco police on Monday night were investigating reports of sexual battery on the N Judah light rail line that spans the city.

Multiple women in the Sunset neighborhood reported an unwelcome passenger who they said was touching them inappropriately. Police released a photo of the suspect.

Word of the sexual battery investigation on public transit was unsettling for riders.

"It's scary it's happening on public transportation people use every day," resident Kelly Keene said.

Police say they took the sexual battery report last week and ever since the suspect's photograph hit social media platforms, investigators have received additional calls.

While police search for the suspect, riders like Keene say it's important to be alert on Muni.

"I'm definitely aware of my surroundings," she said. "I try to sit where I can see, try not to have my face in my phone."

Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA[SF Considers New Eviction Laws Following NBC Investigation]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:32:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0403-2017-SFWide.png

Landlords who wrongfully evict rent-controlled tenants in San Francisco could soon face criminal penalties and hefty fines.

Two separate pieces of legislation, scheduled to be introduced during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, call for major changes to the city’s housing laws that would impact renters and landlords citywide. The push comes as a direct result of a six-month NBC Bay Area investigation that exposed what appears to be widespread abuse by landlords kicking out rent-controlled tenants in order to charge new tenants higher rent.

“I’m not going to sit here and standby idly,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who authored one of the proposed ordinances.

“It was the great work of NBC that really turned up the volume … to really talk about and identify and expose the amount of fraudulent practices that are happening in this area and really spur us into action.”

His legislation, which takes aim at landlords who try to wrongfully evict tenants, would provide city officials with additional tools to go after landlords who fraudulently use what is known as an “owner move-in” eviction.

In San Francisco, landlords can legally evict their tenants if they – or in some cases, their relatives – want to move into the home. However, NBC Bay Area found a lack of oversight may be allowing some landlords to wrongfully kick out rent-controlled tenants in exchange for new tenants willing to pay substantially more in rent. Despite current laws prohibiting the practice, the investigation found they are rarely, if ever, enforced.

“If you own a piece of property and want to move back in, I think everyone should have the right to do so,” Farrell said. “But I’m not going to sit here and stand by idly when you see and hear of cases where people are blatantly breaking the law.”

After knocking on hundreds of doors across San Francisco last year, NBC Bay Area was able to survey residents at more than 100 addresses where an owner move-in eviction took place. In 24 cases, nearly one in every four, neither the landlord nor their family member was living in the unit. In some instances, new tenants had moved into the home, paying significantly more rent than the previous tenants.

“It’s Emotionally Exhausting”

When owners kick out tenants through an owner move-in eviction, current housing laws require landlords or their relatives to move into the unit within three months and live there for at least three years. A series of Investigative Unit reports, however, revealed city officials do not check to see whether owners actually move into those units, which has forced tenants to play detective if they suspect they were wrongfully evicted.

“It’s exhausting. It’s emotionally exhausting,” said Nicole Delisi, a 4th grade teacher who had a hunch she was being fraudulently forced out of her San Francisco apartment when she came home to a 60-day eviction notice taped to her door in 2015.

“There were a lot of tears, there was a lot of anger,” Delisi said. “I didn’t know what direction to go. I felt lost.”

She was paying about $1,450 a month for her apartment, but believed her landlord, Collin Lam, could get at least double that if it was placed on the open rental market. The only option for Delisi to find out if she was being wrongfully evicted was to sue her landlord, which would allow her attorney to question Lam and his brother-in-law, Jordon Wong, who claimed to be moving into the home.

Caught on Camera: “New Tenant” Didn’t Know Number of Bedrooms

In a videotaped deposition, however, Wong could not answer basic questions about the apartment he was supposed to be moving into, including the number of bedrooms. Neither Lam nor Wong responded to NBC Bay Area's requests for comment.

“It falls to individuals to find attorneys to help defend them,” said Mark Hooshmand, Nicole Delisi’s attorney. “Ultimately, the tenants have to go out of pocket, most cases, to pay an attorney to defend them even if it’s a completely bogus eviction.”

Hooshmand said he gets at least one phone call a week, and many more emails, from tenants who believe they’re being fraudulently evicted. While there are tenants’ rights groups that can help to a certain extent, those groups have limited resources.

“There needs to be a lot more done to protect tenants, to protect the policies in place and to protect peoples’ belief in the system,” Hooshmand said. “There needs to be a lot more checks and balances so that landlords can’t get away with it.”

Hooshmand eventually won Delisi’s case, however, she did not want to comment on how much a jury awarded her.

“It was one of the worst experiences of my life,” she said. “It’s still hard.”

Delisi's landlord is appealing be case, so she has not received any of the money she was awarded. She said no amount of money, however, can make up for being forced out of the apartment and city she loves. 

“That was just my sanctuary, my sanity,” Delisi said. “I saw whales migrating in the evening, I walked my dog. For me, that was more than money could ever offer.”

Delisi she said she couldn’t afford another San Francisco apartment on her teacher’s salary, so she was forced to move to Alameda.

“We have a housing crisis in our city,” Farrell said. “Tenants who are evicted, and especially those who are fraudulently evicted, often this is their last chance in the city of San Francisco. So, we need to be on their side and protect them at all costs through the legal system here in San Francisco.”

“People are Blatantly Breaking the Law”

Farrell’s proposal, which aims to keep residents like Delisi from being forced out of San Francisco, would require landlords or their family members to present evidence they actually moved into the unit, such as a utility bill or new voter registration. Such documentation would need to be provided annually for up to three years following the eviction.

The ordinance would also beef up the city’s enforcement mechanisms, which housing advocates and tenants’ attorneys have long criticized as ineffective. The legislation would require landlords to sign a declaration, under penalty of perjury, that they or their relatives intend to move into the unit for at least three years.

A second proposal, being introduced by supervisors Jane Kim and Aaron Peskin, would make it easier for the city to hit landlords with fines and jail time if they wrongfully kick out tenants in order to charge new tenants higher rent. Although it's already illegal for landlords to raise the rent on a unit for three years after performing an owner move-in eviction, city officials say the current laws are tough to enforce.

Current law requires the Rent Board to submit a random sampling of 10 percent of all owner move-in eviction notice to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office each month for possible investigation. Yet, over the past decade, not a single landlord has been prosecuted for a fraudulent owner move-in eviction, despite the apparent abuse.

A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office said proving a landlord intended to commit fraud is challenging. Additionally, a 2007 California Supreme Court ruling limited a prosecutor’s ability to use eviction notices as evidence. Farrell, however, believes his legislation would make criminal prosecutions more likely.

“This type of behavior is outrageous and we don’t want to see it continue,” Farrell said. “People are blatantly breaking the law.”

Here's How to Potentially Save Thousands on Your Rent

The Investigative Unit mapped out every owner move-in eviction in San Francisco over the past three years. You can use the interactive map below to find evictions in your neighborhood. While many of these evictions are legal, if your address is listed and you are not the landlord or a relative of the property owner, someone may have been wrongfully evicted from that unit, which might entitle you to lock in the previous tenant’s cheaper rent.

If your address is listed, let us know about it by emailing us here. You may also submit an official request to the city to have your rent reduced.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Firefighters Knock Down Two-Alarm Structure Fire in SF]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:07:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N5P+SF+FIRE+AMBULANCE+SEX+VO+-+00001715.jpg

Firefighters knocked down a two-alarm structure fire Monday evening in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, fire officials said on Twitter.

The fire was reported on the San Francisco Fire Department's official Twitter account at 5:36 p.m. at 1810 Page St. Fire officials said the blaze was under control about 6:20 p.m.

The fire caused damage to three floors of a three-story condominium building, but firefighters kept it from spreading to other buildings, fire spokesman Lt. Jonathan Baxter said.

No injuries were reported.

The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation, Baxter said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Shanahan Eager for Start of Offseason Workouts]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 10:51:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/173*120/shanbeginnn.jpg

In the weeks since Kyle Shanahan became head coach of the 49ers, he’s been putting in long hours every day at the team facility, meeting his players, communicating with his coaching staff and watching film. Lots and lots of film.

Recently, general manager John Lynch called Shanahan “a grinder” who loves to do his football homework. CEO Jed York has seen the same thing, telling Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com that his new head coach is “a football junkie” who just “wants to be around ball.”

Next week, Shanahan will get his chance to do something other than watch football on film. For the first time as 49ers head coach, he’ll be with players on the field and in the weight room.

The 49ers’ Phase 1 of the team’s offseason workout program will begin Monday, April 10 at the team facility. It will consist of two three-day sessions, April 10-13 and April 18-21. Phase 2 sessions will be May 1-4, May 8-11 and May 16-18. Organized team activities will be May 22-23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6 and June 8-9.

Also, the team’s voluntary minicamp will be held April 25-27 and a rookie minicamp is set for May 5-7, following the NFL Draft on April 27-29.

The final workouts scheduled (before a summer break leading into the start of training camp in July) will be at the mandatory minicamp, June 13-15.

In the Phase 1 and Phase 2 portions of the offseason workout program, no live contact or team offense vs. team defense scrimmages are permitted. Only strength and conditioning are allowed in Phase 1. The second phase will include individual player instruction and individual and team drills.

Shanahan recently told Wagoner he’s excited about the offseason program’s opening day on April 10. Shanahan said he’s been keeping a notebook about the ideas he wants to express when he first addresses the team as a unit.

“It’s changing all the time, but I’m always soaking it in and thinking about what I want to say,” Shanahan said. “What I want to say today might change by then, but you have always got an idea of what you want to do and what you want to say to the team. But it’s got to come out natural and not a memorized thing, and you really just try to get up there and be myself.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Connection to SF Triple Shooting Released]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 17:11:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/03-29-2017-oceanview-shooting.jpg

A Vallejo man arrested last week in a shooting that killed one woman and injured two men in San Francisco's Oceanview neighborhood has been released from custody without charges pending further investigation.

Jonathan Santos, 24, was arrested on Wednesday following the 10:40 a.m. shooting at Plymouth Avenue and Broad Street, according to police.

The shooting killed 65-year-old Lian Xiu Wu, a neighborhood resident who had been walking to a bus stop at the time, and injured two men in the area.

Police said they had located and detained Santos by around 11 a.m. in the 300 block of Mansell Street.

Santos was initially booked into jail without bail on suspicion of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He is no longer in custody.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Police Officer Linked to Racist Texts is Fired]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 23:28:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+officer+fired-0403-2017.jpg

Three years after getting wrapped up in a racist text investigation, a San Francisco police officer has been fired.

Investigators said an anti-Muslim text message was discovered, sent from the officer's personal phone.

"Once you're sort of caught expressing any kind of message that shows bias, racial gender, whatever, I think that message is clear, that the police department will fire you," attorney Tony Brass said. "Bias in policing is a very serious issue."

The text message, sent in 2014, was uncovered during the criminal investigation of two other SFPD officers.

"Well, police officers take an oath to be non-biased, and I think they should stick by that," David Mizer, of San Francisco, said.

The unnamed officer who sent the text expressed remorse over it and even met with Muslim community leaders and voluntarily worked security detail at mosques after the incident. None of that was enough to persuade the new chief to keep him, a move that surprised some.

"When we work with a police officer who's done more to express remorse, and he does affirmative things to imrove himself and communicated directly with that community, that there's no forgiveness, there's no second chance, I'm surprised by that," Brass said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Banner Above Bay Bridge Highlights Armenian Genocide]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 12:15:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-3-17_Armenian_Genocide_Banner.jpg

For the third year in a row, Bay Area drivers traveling into San Francisco across the Bay Bridge will be greeted by a familiar sign on Treasure Island.

The banner, which is hanging above the tunnel on the eastern side of the bridge, reads "Armenian Genocide 1915" with a link to GenocideEducation.org. The sign is designed to raise awareness about the roughly 1.5 million Armenians who were killed by the Ottoman Empire more than one century ago.

The Turkish government still does not recognize that the genocide occurred, prompting local Armenian community leaders to reignite a discussion about the historical event.

"What I would like people to do is to just give it a thought about how they can prevent genocide, how they can recognize genocide and how they can educate themselves about what has happened," community leader Alex Bastian said.

Roughly 30,000 Armenian community members in the Bay Area contributed to pay for the banner, which will remain in its place for the entirety of April.

"It's great for people to see the banner for the whole month of April on the bridge because it brings awareness and will spark interest and that's what we want," community leader Kim Bardakian said. "We want people to go to the website. We want people to see and learn about our history."

NBC Bay Area reached out to the Consulate General of Turkey in Los Angeles — the closest to the Bay Area — but has yet to receive a comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gunned Down in San Francisco's Tenderloin Neighborhood]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 13:10:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

A San Francisco man was shot and killed near a Tenderloin residential hotel Sunday afternoon, police said.

The man, identified by the medical examiner as 31-year-old Antonio Stanberry, was shot near the Boyd Hotel in the first block of Jones Street around 2:30 p.m.

Police said Sunday that officers found him there suffering from a gunshot wound and took him to a hospital.

The suspect fled the scene before officers arrived. Police have said only that they are looking for a male suspect, and they have not released a detailed description or information on the circumstances that led to the shooting.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with "SFPD" in the message.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Allegedly Shooting People with Pellet Gun]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 12:53:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

A man was arrested after allegedly shooting at passersby with a pellet gun from a rooftop in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood on Saturday evening, injuring one person, according to police.

The shooting was reported at 6:14 p.m. in the 600 block of Larkin Street and struck a 41-year-old man in the leg.

Officers responded and found the suspect, a 31-year-old man whose name was not immediately released.

The victim's injuries are not considered life-threatening.

No other information about the shooting was immediately available from police.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF's Aquarium by the Bay Will Welcome New River Otter]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 06:15:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf-otter-0402-2017.jpg

A new baby otter has joined the aquatic family at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco aquarium officials announced Sunday.

Baby Tahoe, a juvenile North American river otter, will make his official debut on April 14 at the aquarium, which is located near the edge of Pier 39 at The Embarcadero.

Aquarium officials said Tahoe joins otters Shasta, Baxter, Ryer and the more then 20,000 fish, sharks, and other sea creatures that call the aquarium home.

Photo Credit: Aquarium by the Bay]]>
<![CDATA[Bumgarner, Greinke Toe the Rubber in Opening Day Showdown]]>Sun, 02 Apr 2017 10:37:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GiantsDBacksOpeningDay.jpg

Get ready, Bay Area. Opening Day for the San Francisco Giants is finally here.

The Giants are in the desert to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in a National League West division showdown. First pitch is slated for 1:10 p.m.

San Francisco's lefty stud Madison Bumgarner will take the hill against Arizona's ace Zack Greinke.

Center fielder Denard Span will lead things off for the Giants, followed by first baseman Brandon Belt and right fielder Hunter Pence. Buster Posey, who will be in the squat, returns to his regular role as the cleanup hitter. Brandon Crawford, fresh off his Gold Glove from the 2016 campaign, will be flashing the leather at shortstop. Eduardo Nunez will play next door at third base and bat in the sixth position. Jarred Parker earns the start in left field. He will be followed in the batting order by second baseman Joe Panik in the eighth hole and Bumgarner in the ninth and final spot.

Hoping for yet another round of "even-year magic" last season, the Giants' pursuit of a fourth title in six years was upended in the National League Divisional Series when the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs dispatched the Giants in four games.

The Giants won't open up before their home crowd until April 10 when they host Arizona for a Monday afternoon matchup.

That's when fans of the "Orange and Black" will be able enjoy to the crack of the bat, the aroma of ready-to-eat garlic fries and unimpeded views of the San Francisco Bay from AT&T Park.

Game Update:

San Francisco leads Arizona 5-4 in the ninth inning. The Giants and Bumgarner were rolling after five innings — leading 3-0 — before Arizona heated up in the sixth. The Diamondbacks jumped on Bumgarner for three runs in their half of the frame to tie the game. Bumgarner responded with his second solo shot in the top of the seventh. Arizona, facing San Francisco's bullpen, answered with a run of its own in the eighth. San Francisco's Conor Gillaspie broke the tie in the ninth inning with a sacrifice fly, which scored Panik.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vigil Held for Missing San Francisco Toddler, Dead Mother]]>Sat, 01 Apr 2017 17:14:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AriannaFittsVigil.jpg

Nearly one year since two-year-old Arianna Fitts disappeared from San Francisco, family and community members determined to locate the young girl gathered on Saturday to hold a candlelight vigil and reinstill hope that the toddler is still alive.

The young girl was reported missing in early April 2016 just days after her mother, Nicole Fitts, was found dead in John McLaren Park. While grieving the loss of her sister, Contessa Fitts has remained committed to finding her young niece, who was last seen in February.

"I can't believe it's been a year already," Contessa Fitts said. "I still can't believe that all of this has even happened. It seems to unreal."

Despite the "devastation" that the whole ordeal has triggered, Contessa Fitts is still optimistic.

"I do believe that Arianna is still alive," she said.

Police said Arianna Fitts sometimes stayed with caregivers for extended periods while her mother worked.

Claire Bonnar, a friend of Nicole Fitts, believes the child could be with a former babysitter, Helena Martin, who has been questioned multiples times by police.

"The silence on (Martin's) part and the part of her family has been staggering," Bonnar said before claiming that the babysitter played a part in the toddler's disappearance. 

Martin's attorney presented the following statement to NBC Bay Area:

"We want the baby to be found. We are as traumatized and as concerned as anyone else. Helena Martin was not involved. Once it was put out there that she was a person of interest, it made her life very difficult."

Contessa Fitts said "it's a high possibility" that Martin could have also handed the toddler to someone else.

"I do believe that someone is caring for (Arianna)," Contessa Fitts said. "I believe that the whole reason this happened is because someone wanted Arianna."

Meanwhile, authorities continue to investigate the death of Nicole Fitts. Recreation and Park Department employees on April 8 found her body buried in a shallow grave near a playground and covered with a plywood board. Police have not released a cause of death.

Nicole Fitts was last seen on the night of April 1, when she went to meet someone she knew, and was reported missing by her family on April 5, according to police. Police said they had obtained video showing Nicole Fitts near the area where her body was later found.

Many questions still remain in the case, but on Friday San Francisco police uncovered a new lead — a car that may be connected to the case.

That discovery gave Contessa Fitts a glimmer of hope.

"That's huge," she said. "Knowing this detail is huge for me. It gives me hope that it's going to soon, hopefully soon, lead to the people who are responsible."

Nicole Fitts was an employee at a Best Buy store on Harrison Street in San Francisco, and the store last year announced a $10,000 reward for information in the case.

Police have executed search warrants at locations in Oakland, Emeryville and Daly City in an effort to locate Arianna and also followed up on leads in Southern California. Police are also reviewing computer, cell phone and financial records. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>