<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - San Francisco]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usTue, 21 Nov 2017 11:43:20 -0800Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:43:20 -0800NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Kate Steinle Trial That Sparked Immigration Debate to End]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:49:29 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_172096682989701.jpg

A jury may begin deliberations Tuesday on the fate of a Mexican man charged in the killing of a woman on a San Francisco pier — a case that became fodder in the national debate on immigration enforcement.

Closing arguments began Monday in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate.

Prosecutors argue he deliberately shot Kate Steinle while the defense says he was a hapless homeless man who found a stolen gun that went off by accident.

At the time of the 2015 killing, Garcia Zarate had been deported from the U.S. five times. He had just finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry and was wanted for a sixth deportation.

Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump seized upon Steinle's death to decry America's loose borders.

Check back for updates on this developing story.



Photo Credit: Michael Macor/ San Francisco Chronicle via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Report Names Bay Area Traffic Hotspots During Thanksgiving]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:14:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dc+traffic+thx.jpg

Hitting the road for Thanksgiving? Expect delays across the Bay Area.

At the height of the Thanksgiving travel period, drivers across the region could see delays of roughly 250 percent compared to ideal driving times, according to AAA and INRIX.

AAA and INRIX —an analytics company — pinpointed 10 spots across the Bay Area where traffic headaches are likely:

1. Eastbound Interstate 80 at Pinole Valley Road in Pinole

2. Eastbound Interstate 580 at Santa Rita Road/Tassajara Road in Pleasanton

3. Westbound Interstate 80 at the San Francisco Bay Bridge

4. Northbound Interstate 680 at Calaveras Road in Milpitas

5. Eastbound Highway 37 at Wilson Avenue in Vallejo

6. Northbound Interstate 880 at 23rd Avenue in Oakland

7. Eastbound Highway 24 at Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek

8. Northbound Highway 101 at Petaluma Boulevard in Petaluma

9. Northbound Highway 1 at Highway 101 in San Francisco

10. Eastbound Interstate 80 at Interstate 80/Interstate 580 in Oakland



Photo Credit: Linda Davidson/The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[In Photos: Kate Steinle Trial in San Francisco]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:09:00 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/163*120/11-21-17-KATE-STEINLE-CASE6.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Thanksgiving Day Restaurant Guide]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:36:48 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/205*120/2015-11-23_16-18-13.jpg

Not in the mood to cook up a Thanksgiving feast this year? Would you rather dine out and have the meal prepared and served to you? You're in luck. There are plenty of restaurants all around the Bay Area open on everyone's favorite gluttonous holiday.

We ran a search over at OpenTable.com and found over 100 open eateries on turkey day. We compiled that list into an interactive Google Map (above) so that you can easily find the restaurant nearest you. 

Restaurants on the map with a knife and fork symbol have advertised special Thanksgiving options. All others will be open on Nov. 23 and are taking reservations.


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<![CDATA[Steel at Base of New Bay Bridge Tower in Question]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:09:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11202017BayBridgeRod_834966.JPG

The federal government’s chief bridge engineer voiced concern that “rogue plate” -- steel that does not meet Caltrans’ standards – is being used to seismically reinforce the tower of the new Bay Bridge, according to documents disclosed under the state’s Public Records Act.

“We think it’s prudent for Caltrans to look into this further,” Brian Kozy, the Federal Highway Adminstration official, told Caltrans officials in a June email, but added, there’s no “immediate safety concern.”

Kozy cited independent test results on a four-inch thick piece of steel taken from the system designed to bolster the 525-foot tower at its base.

Testing showed that three out of four samples taken from the steel stretched too readily when exposed to quake-level stress. The worry is not outright failure, but a permanent weakening as the result of a quake.

For Kozy, the worse-case scenario explanation for the bad test results is that Caltrans unknowingly accepted “rogue plate” that did not meet its specifications.

The issue is just the latest in a string of problems on the $6.4 billion eastern span project, which includes cracked bolts, flawed welds and a foundation flooded with corrosive saltwater.

Brian Maroney, the chief bridge engineer on the project, said Caltrans did a new review of the steel’s quality control documentation, created before it was installed.

The review concluded that all the sampled material met Caltrans’ standards, including its ability to handle 50,000 pounds-per-square-inch stress. But the test data suggests that the steel only meets a 36,000 pounds-per-square inch standard, a lower grade.

Maroney emphasized that the steel at issue is not intended to bear weight during normal conditions, only to channel and control the twisting and upheaval of a massive earthquake.

“The only reason this thing is there is for a seismic event,” said Maroney, who says the four-inch thick plates help bind the four-legged tower together to restrain unpredictable seismic forces.

At issue is the steel’s yield strength, which measures how easily it stretches permanently, or deforms. Lower grade steel yields more readily than higher grade material.

While experts fear that the foundation could be left weaker, Maroney is not concerned about that possibility, saying that the tests simply reflected the expected differences in quality of steel in a four-inch thick sample.

Still, he said, there could be some damage that might not otherwise occur.

“You might get some bending, early,” Maroney said, but contends there’s “plenty” of residual strength to guarantee the bridge will safely handle a major quake.

“I think the bridge is just fine and quite frankly this is not going to affect any kind of performance on this bridge.”

The chairman of Caltrans’ peer review panel on the project, John Fisher, has already endorsed that conclusion. But UC Berkeley professor emeritus Bob Bea does not share that confidence.

“We don’t know its effect on the entire bridge system’’ he said of the problem steel.

Bea told NBC Bay Area the issue needs to be looked at in context of all the other problems that have been identified involving brittle bolts, problem welds and saltwater intrusion.

Bea, who co-founded the university’s Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, says the only way to vouch for the integrity of the span is to do a full analysis of the entire bridge under high stress conditions.

“We have to confirm the anchorage is safe enough, and that has not been done,” he said. Maroney is expected to present his findings on the steel issue to a bridge oversight panel meeting next month.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[11 Tied to Hells Angels Indicted for Racketeering: Officials]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:54:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FBI12.jpg

Officials in San Francisco on Monday announced that 11 people associated with the Hells Angels motorcycle club have been indicted by a federal grand jury on racketeering charges.

Charges announced include murder, maiming, home invasion robbery, extortion and witness tampering.

A coordinated law enforcement operation on Saturday in Santa Rosa involving local, state and federal agencies resulted in six of the arrests, officials said. Others were arrested in cities such as San Francisco, Boston and Fresno.

An investigation has been in the works for three years, officials said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Defense: No Evidence Immigrant Wanted to Shoot Steinle]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:18:10 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

The defense attorney for a Mexican man accused of gunning down a woman on a San Francisco pier says prosecutors have not presented any evidence to support what he calls a “wild narrative” that he wanted to hurt someone.

Closing arguments were underway Monday in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who is accused of murder in the death of Kate Steinle in July 2015.

The case touched off a fierce national immigration debate because San Francisco officials had released Garcia Zarate under the city’s sanctuary city policy.

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez says video evidence shows an unusual amount of activity in the area where Garcia was an hour before the shooting.

Garcia Zarate claims the gun he had found fired accidentally, killing Steinle.

Garcia Zarate was "playing his own secret version of Russian roulette," a prosecutor said in her closing argument Monday.


He was playing his own game, San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia told jurors, deriding as implausible the defense argument that he accidentally shot a weapon he didn't know was a firearm. Defense attorneys were scheduled to present closing arguments later.

Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Kate Steinle was fatally shot in the back while walking with her father on the pier in July 2015. Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle but said it was an accident.

The shooting happened during the presidential campaign and touched off a fierce debate over the country's immigration policies. San Francisco's "sanctuary city" law bars local officials from cooperating with federal attempts to deport those in the country illegally, and the city had released Garcia Zarate from custody despite a federal detention request.

The prosecutor on Monday referred to Steinle as a "vibrant life" taken too soon but otherwise did not dwell on the victim in a closing argument that lasted about an hour.

Instead, she painted a picture of a man who hid a firearm in his baggy clothes, went to a pier filled with tourists and whirled about on a stool for more than 20 minutes before shooting it at Steinle's back.

"He knew exactly what he was doing," Garcia said.

Garcia Zarate said he found the stolen gun wrapped in a shirt under a chair on a pedestrian pier and that the weapon accidentally fired when he picked it up. The bullet ricocheted on the pier's concrete walkway before it struck Steinle.

His attorneys say the ricochet showed the shooting was an accident. Much of the testimony during the monthlong trial has focused on ballistics experts.

A judge ruled last week that the jury of six men and six women can consider a more serious charge of first-degree murder in addition to a second-degree murder charge. Jurors are expected to get the case after closing arguments.

Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate had finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and was transferred in March 2015 to San Francisco's jail to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana. The sheriff's department released him a few days later after the district attorney dropped the marijuana charge, despite a U.S. request to detain him for deportation.

President Donald Trump said during the campaign that Steinle's death was another reason the United States needed to build a wall on its southern border and tighten its immigration policies. Since taking office, Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from places with similar sanctuary city laws.

Defense attorneys have told jurors that Garcia Zarate lived on the streets of San Francisco after being released from jail, scraping together a living by collecting recyclables and scavenging for food.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['Painted Lady' Portable Restroom Unveiled in San Francisco]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:50:37 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PaintedLadiesBathrooms.JPG

There's a new set of "Painted Ladies" in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Public Works department on Monday introduced the new "Painted Lady" bathroom, a portable restroom that resembles the iconic Victorian homes next to Alamo Square Park.

The bathroom on wheels was crafted thanks to the Pit Stop program, a section of the city's public works department that places restrooms with sinks, bins for used needles and dog waste bags across various city locations.

"We are testing innovative designs that are inviting and encourage people to use them," Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said in a statement. "We will continue to do everything we can to improve your experience on San Francisco's streets. At the end of the day, the Pit Stops bring relief and dignity to people in need of a bathroom and improve neighborhood livability."

More than one dozen portable toilets operated by the Pit Stop program are rolled out across the city by the bay on a daily basis, according to the public works department. There is also a semi-permanent toilet overseen by the program. 

Paid attendants work at the lavatories to make sure they are kept clean, working and used for the appropriate reasons, according to the public works department.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Public Works
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<![CDATA[Families of Crash Victims Call For Safer Streets in SF]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:05:41 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Families_of_Crash_Victims_Call_For_Safer_Streets_in_SF.jpg

Families whose lives were forever changed by traffic crashes gathered Sunday in San Francisco to honor the victims and call for safer streets. Christie Smith reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Group in SF Protests Eating Turkey Ahead of Thanksgiving]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 23:57:42 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/TurkeySFProtest.PNG

'Tis the season for turkey, but not everyone seems to be pleased about feasting on the Thanksgiving meal centerpiece.

Dozens of demonstrators on Sunday gathered in the Westfield San Francisco Centre food court to protest the killing and consumption of turkey.

Demonstrators held signs from the organization Direct Action Everywhere — a collective of animal rights activists — that read "Animals Want to Live," "Free Them All" and "It's Not Food. It's Violence," among others.

As well as chanting their opinions via a microphone, demonstrators handed out leaflets to shoppers.



Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Daly City Cop Crashes During Pursuit; 2 Suspects Arrested]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:47:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBSFChase1_817206.JPEG

A Daly City police officer riding on a motorcycle crashed during a pursuit along Interstate 280 in San Francisco on Sunday, according to officials. 

The officer was transported to the hospital and is listed in stable condition, according to police. Two suspects involved in the pursuit were later arrested.

The pursuit started after police were called to the Serramonte Mall on a report of people casing parked cars, according to police. 

When police located a vehicle believed to be connected to the report, a car chase ensued and eventually continued onto Interstate 280, police said.

At one point, the motorcycle officer got into a solo-vehicle crash between San Jose Avenue and Alemany Boulevard, police said.

The suspects then became entangled in a non-injury crash on the off-ramp to Alemany Boulevard, police said. They were detained and arrested for auto burglary and evading an officer a short time later in a nearby neighborhood. 

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Medical Emergency Closes Montgomery Street BART Station]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 12:05:51 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart-riders-generic.jpg

BART's Montgomery Street Station in San Francisco was temporarily closed Sunday morning while crews rescued a person who was under a train, according to officials.

The adult was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, fire officials said.

BART announced on Twitter at 10:52 a.m. that the station was closed due to the major medical emergency. The station reopened around 12 p.m.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Unemployment Rates Below 4 Percent in Most Bay Area Counties]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:02:24 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/GettyImages-147883234.jpg

The unemployment rate was below 4 percent in October in eight of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, officials with the California Employment Development Department said.

San Mateo County had the lowest rate at 2.5 percent followed by Marin County at 2.6 percent and San Francisco County at 2.7 percent.

The rates were between 3 and 3.5 percent in Santa Clara, Sonoma, Napa, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Solano County had the highest unemployment rate in the Bay Area at 4.3 percent.

The unemployment rate was 4.9 percent statewide compared with 4.1 percent nationwide in October.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SFO Is Among 10 Most Instagram-Worthy Airports in US: Report]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:50:04 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10242017SFO_538724.JPG

Photogenic airports?

Apparently, they exist. 

TravelBank, a budgeting and expense app, reviewed Instagram data to determine which airports are most popular. 

San Francisco International Airport is the only Bay Area location to snag a spot among the top 10. 

Los Angeles International Airport — more commonly called LAX — came in first place, TravelBank found.

“Currently in the middle of a $1.6 billion renovation, LAX will not only continue to be the place where people snap pics with the rich and famous, but it’s bound to keep flyers happy with its endless amenities and its Instaworthy locale," according to Travel Bank's website. 

A public art collection, colorful underground passages and restaurants with views of runways helped Chicago O'Hare snag the second spot.

SFO, which underwent a $2.6 billion expansion and features archival photography from the SFO Museum, was next. It is a "major travel hub for the app-loving millennials of tech-savvy San Francisco and Silicon Valley," TravelBank said.

Here's a list of the 10 most popular airports in the United States:


  1. Los Angeles Airport
  2. Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  3. San Francisco International Airport
  4. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
  5. Miami International Airport
  6. Dulles International Airport
  7. Tampa International Airport
  8. Denver International Airport
  9. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  10. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New BART Trains Unlikely to Be in Service by Thanksgving]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:31:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/01-10-2014-new-bart-train-cars.jpg

There's good news and bad news on BART's new 775-car fleet: The manufacturer has a fix for problems that surfaced during a test run, but it's highly unlikely any of the trains will be in service by Thanksgiving.

New BART train cars flunked a safety inspection by the California Public Utilities Commission, a state regulatory agency, earlier this month, delaying approval of the cars by the commission.

Paul Oversier, the system's assistant general manager, told the BART board yesterday during a board meeting that Bombardier, the manufacturer, has solutions to the issues that came up, according to BART Spokesman Jim Allison.

"BART is going through the CPUC's punch list and will be responding to their questions shortly. Then CPUC inspectors need to ride the train with us again," Allison said in an email.

He was referring to the fact that after the repairs are made, members of the utilities commission will once again take a test drive. The problems initially surfaced during a test run of a 10-car pilot train with a Utilities Commission team aboard.

"So we are aiming to put the 10 new cars into service later this month or possibly early December. Shouldn't be later than December 15th," Allison said.

BART had earlier set Thanksgiving as its goal for getting some of the trains into service.



Photo Credit: BART]]>
<![CDATA[RAW VIDEO: Embarcadero Center Building Lighting Ceremony]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:16:49 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_100000001240156_1200x675_1098708547561.jpg

Raw video from NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger of Friday night's building lighting ceremony at San Francisco's Embarcadero Center.]]>
<![CDATA[Alec Baldwin Brings His Political Satire to San Francisco]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 17:54:07 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBAlecBaldwinAmerica_811322.JPEG

San Francisco was filled with politics and humor Saturday night as actor and activist Alec Baldwin took the stage at the Curran Theater to promote his new parody book, ‘Donald J. Trump: You Can’t Spell America Without Me.’

The event titled “Political Satire as Deeper Truth ” wass described to be an evening filled with discussion of the current political and cultural climates along with audience questions and more.

Fans of the actor and his co-author, Kurt Anderson, had the opportunity to mix and mingle during a pre-stage book signing event.

“I loved watching Alec Baldwin on SNL and when I gave him a wave outside of the car, he gave me a head nod,” said San Francisco resident, Lauren Chanen.

Unfortunately for fans, Baldwin did not don his Donald Trump costume for the event but he did get into character for a few minutes to read a passage from the new book. 

“I’ve really liked the satire he’s done over the last year being Trump,” said San Rafael resident Kalei Colridge. “It’s really lightened the whole political spectrum and made some of these things that have been going on in our country a little easier to handle.”

The audience was jam-packed full of fans curious to hear more on Baldwin's opinions of the political climate, "The Democratic Party needs a vibrant Republican Party." 

"I don't want Democrats to have all the power, I don't," said Baldwin at the event. "I trust the Democrats about this much more than I trust the Republicans." 

During the event, he even explained how he doesn't believe Trump will be removed from office. 

"The removal of the President, I mean, you've got to catch him with a crack pipe in one hand a revolver in the other." 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Identify Driver of Overturned Truck on Hwy 101]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:32:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEB101SFTraffic3_803187.JPEG

A dump truck overturned on southbound Highway 101 in San Francisco, fatally pinning the driver underneath the vehicle on Friday afternoon.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner's office has identified the driver of the dump truck as 38-year-old Cesar Trujillo Gonzalez from San Pablo. 

According to CHP, the driver was unconscious when taken out of the vehicle and still had a pulse but died soon after. 

A Muni bus on the scene suffered minor damage, CHP officials said. Five Muni passengers were injured, two of which went to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Commuters aboard the Muni were transferred onto another bus and taken away. 

The truck overturned near the off-ramp exit of Cesar Chavez Street and blocked three right lanes. Officials closed down the affected lanes for approximately two hours, but as of 8:30 p.m. all lanes are now open. 

As the situation unfolded, the freeway came to a standstill as cars slowly passed by in two lanes, the traffic backed up as far as the Bay Bridge. 

A commuter stuck in the traffic says a 40-minute trip from the East Bay took him two and a half hours and he almost ran out of gas. 

"I stayed on the side in case I ran out so I could pull over," said Leo Sigua. 

Crews were able to get the truck back on its wheels and the freeway back open after four hours. 




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area and Safeway's Feed the Need Holiday Food Drive]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:46:19 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DO8GU1BUQAAkto5.jpg

NBC Bay Area and Safeway are joining forces for the annual Feed the Need food drive on Saturday, November 18, kicking off a month-long effort to fight hunger in the Bay Area. This year's food drive will take place at 167 Safeway stores throughout the Bay Area to benefit local food banks through December 26.
It is easy to help families in need this holiday season, visit one of the 167 participating Safeway stores and look for the bag display, grab a flyer from the tear pads and take it to the register for just $10. Your donations to your local food bank will include sustainable food items like: pasta and sauce, canned vegetables, soup, and important proteins like peanut butter, beans and canned chicken breast.
Last year, the food drive collected more than 360,000 bags across the Bay Area, nearly tripling the amount from the previous year and amounting to more than 2,880,000 pounds of food for those in need.
NBC Bay Area news reporters will volunteer at their neighborhood Safeway stores on Saturday, November 18, please see the list below.  
NBC Bay Area volunteer locations: 
Laura Garcia and Marcus Washington - 840 E Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill at 7 to 9:30 a.m. 
Robert Handa and Ian Cull - 235 Tennant St, Morgan Hill at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Janelle Wang and Chris Chmura - 160 First St, Los Altos at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Terry McSweeney, Sam Brock, and Mark Matthews - 110 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley at 2 to 4 p.m.  
Scott McGrew, Kari Hall, and Vianey Arana - 3970 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  
Mike Inouye and  Bob Redell - 4495 First St, Livermore at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
Damian Trujillo - 2980 East Capitol Expressway, San Jose at 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Kris Sanchez and Garvin Thomas -  1530 Hamilton Ave, San Jose at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Rob Mayeda - 3496 Camino Tassajara, Danville at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.  
Jodi Hernandez and Cheryl Hurd - 5051 Business Center Dr, Fairfield at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
A special thanks to our volunteers:
Junior League of San Jose
Girl Scouts of the Bay Area
Kiwanis Clubs
Alameda County 4-H
Second Harvest Food Banks
Contra Costa and Solano Food Banks

NBC Bay Area and Safeway are joining forces for the annual Feed the Need food drive on Saturday, November 18, kicking off a month-long effort to fight hunger in the Bay Area. This year's food drive will take place at 167 Safeway stores throughout the Bay Area to benefit local food banks through December 26.

It is easy to help families in need this holiday season, visit one of the 167 participating Safeway stores and look for the bag display, grab a flyer from the tear pads and take it to the register for just $10. Your donations to your local food bank will include sustainable food items like: pasta and sauce, canned vegetables, soup, and important proteins like peanut butter, beans and canned chicken breast.


Last year, the food drive collected more than 360,000 bags across the Bay Area, nearly tripling the amount from the previous year and amounting to more than 2,880,000 pounds of food for those in need.NBC Bay Area news reporters will volunteer at their neighborhood Safeway stores on Saturday, November 18, please see the list below.  

NBC Bay Area volunteer locations:

  • Laura Garcia and Marcus Washington - 840 E Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill at 7 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Robert Handa and Ian Cull - 235 Tennant St, Morgan Hill at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Janelle Wang and Chris Chmura - 160 First St, Los Altos at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Terry McSweeney - 1 Camino Alto, Mill Valley at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Sam Brock, and Mark Matthews - 110 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley at 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Scott McGrew, Kari Hall, and Vianey Arana - 3970 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Mike Inouye and  Bob Redell - 4495 First St, Livermore at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Damian Trujillo - 2980 East Capitol Expressway, San Jose at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Kris Sanchez and Garvin Thomas -  1530 Hamilton Ave, San Jose at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Rob Mayeda - 3496 Camino Tassajara, Danville at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Jodi Hernandez and Cheryl Hurd - 5051 Business Center Dr, Fairfield at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

A special thanks to our volunteers:

  • Junior League of San Jose
  • Girl Scouts of the Bay Area
  • Kiwanis Clubs
  • Alameda County 4-H
  • Second Harvest Food Banks
  • Contra Costa and Solano Food Banks



Photo Credit: Terry McSweeney/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Wild Animals Aren't Pets, Experts Say After Boar Surrendered]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:53:02 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+wild+boar2-1116.jpg

Although Spirit, the wild boar surrendered in San Francisco by people who had tried to make him a pet, will be OK, it's usually not a good idea for humans to try to adopt a wild animal, experts said.

San Francisco residents apparently found Spirit when he was a baby three months ago near Mount Shasta. They brought him home to keep as a pet, but developed doubts about keeping him as he got bigger, Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Deb Campbell said.

"Fortunately, Spirit is looking forward to a good life. He's a lucky pig. But he is an exception," Campbell said.

The spokeswoman said Animal Care found a licensed rehabilitation facility for Spirit. If he can be successfully rehabilitated to forage for food in the wild, he'll be released.

If this goal can't be accomplished, he'll be able to stay in the facility, she said. But not all wild animals adopted by humans are so lucky.

"When wild animals are babies, they are very cute, and there's this desire on peoples' part to connect with wild animals," said Alison Hermance of WildCare, a wildlife hospital and environmental education center in San Rafael.

However, when the critter reaches sexual maturity, it goes from being a cute baby to whatever wild animal it is - a wild squirrel, a wild raccoon, a wild boar, Hermance said.

"As soon as it gets to the age where it would have been on its own in the wild, there is no biological imperative for it to be calm, to not bite, to not run away, to not be a wild animal," the spokeswoman said.

"You end up with aggression, depression, parrots tearing feathers out of their chests, animals clawing their way out of cages," Hermance said.

Also, it's hard to replicate a wild diet in a captive situation, so an animal can develop nutritional deficiencies. Hermance cited the example of a wild harrier hawk whose owners fed it only hamburger meat.

"They didn't realize the hawk eats the entire rodent. They get calcium from the bones, vitamin A from the liver, fiber from the hair," she said.

Additionally, possessing and transporting wildlife is illegal in California, with potential fines between $500 and $10,000.

If a person finds a wild animal in distress, the best thing to do is to call Animal Care and Control or a center like WildCare with trained personnel.

"We always raise them with their species. We keep our interaction with them at a minimum, and as soon as they are healed, we get them back out into the wild," Hermance said.



Photo Credit: SF Animal Car & Control]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Tries to Run Over Police Officer in San Francisco]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:59:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/209*120/sfpd.PNG

Police are searching for a suspect who tried to run over an officer near San Francisco's Twin Peaks neighborhood, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

The officer was not hit in the incident, reported just after 11 a.m. Friday at Woodside Avenue and O'Shaughnessy Boulevard. Police said the suspect also hit another vehicle.

No other information was immediately available.

]]>
<![CDATA[Steinle Trial: Jurors Can Consider 1st-Degree Murder Verdict]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:59:12 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Defense_Rests_Case_in_Kate_Steinle_Murder_Trial.jpg

Jurors in the trial of the man accused of fatally shooting Kate Steinle on San Francisco's Pier 14, which is set to go to closing arguments on Monday, will be allowed to consider a first-degree murder verdict following a judge's decision this week.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a 45-year-old homeless Mexican citizen, was arrested around an hour after the July 1, 2015 shooting, which occurred while Steinle was walking on the pier with her family. The murder weapon, a gun that had been stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger's car just days earlier, was recovered from the Bay near the pier a short time later.

Prosecutors charged him with second-degree murder, which applies to murder that is deliberate but not premeditated or that was caused by committing an inherently dangerous act.

Prosecutor Diana Garcia has sought to prove during the trial that Garcia Zarate, who had no connection to Steinle or known motive for shooting her, pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger deliberately.

However, Judge James Feng on Wednesday agreed to a request by Garcia to instruct the jury in first-degree murder as well as second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

"The jury will be instructed on multiple theories of homicide," District Attorney's Office spokesman Alex Bastian said, declining to comment further.

First-degree murder typically requires that the murder be willful and premeditated, but can also apply to cases of "felony murder," in which a defendant is involved in a dangerous crime that leads to a person's death. It is unclear which theory Garcia might ask jurors to consider in closing arguments on Monday.

Defense attorneys Matt Gonzalez and Francisco Ugarte have worked to demonstrate that the shooting, in which the single bullet ricocheted off the pier before striking Steinle in the back, was accidental, occurring after the defendant found the stolen gun on the pier and picked it up. They presented expert witnesses who testified that the shooting bore the hallmarks of an unintentional discharge and that the bullet did not travel in a straight line.

It is unclear whether the inclusion of first-degree murder in jury instructions will have an impact on the outcome of the case.

"We are not terribly concerned about it because nothing in the evidence supports first-degree murder," said Tamara Aparton, a spokeswoman for the public defender's office.

Garcia Zarate has also been charged with assault with a semi-automatic firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He has prior convictions for a drug charge and for reentering the country after deportation.

Garcia Zarate's arrest triggered national controversy over San Francisco's Sanctuary City policies after it was learned that he had been released from the city's jail a few months before the shooting without notification to federal immigration authorities.

He had just completed a federal prison sentence for reentering the country after deportation when he was transferred to San Francisco by federal authorities based on a warrant for a marijuana charge, but that charge was dismissed by San Francisco prosecutors after he arrived.

Despite the controversy, which played a role in the 2016 presidential race when now-President Donald Trump took it up as an issue, Garcia Zarate's immigration status has not played a role in the case.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[First New Muni Train Goes Into Service in San Francisco]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:34:33 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/newMUNItrainpic_795683.JPEG

A new Muni train rolled onto the tracks Friday afternoon in San Francisco as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency adds to and eventually replaces all of its trains, SFMTA officials said.

Car No. 2006 took its first fair-paying passengers down the N-Judah line around noon.

"San Francisco, your commute just got a sleek upgrade," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said on Twitter.

The train's first fair-paying passenger was greeted to a lot of applause and seemed pleasantly surprised, according to SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose.

The next new train is expected to debut on Muni tracks next month and one to two new trains are expected every week after that, Rose said.

For now, the new car No. 2006 will be traveling on different lines depending on the day.

Agency officials were planning to roll out 24 new trains by the end of 2018, but they are ahead of schedule and expect to have 68 new trains in service in the same time period. The 68 trains will expand the fleet to 218 and then additional new trains will replace the existing fleet.

Agency officials plan to have the entire fleet replaced by 2028.

Rose said riders commented on how the new train looks and how quiet it was.

He said passengers also appreciated the train's larger signs, which are lit by LEDs and provide more information in a clearer way. The signs show the train's next destination and final destination.

Agency officials said there are far fewer parts in the new trains, which should reduce the number of malfunctions and therefore train delays. The trains are also designed with wider aisles, leaning pads, space for strollers and pull-down seats.

The new train commemorates the late Larry Martin, a Muni employee and former president of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, who died last month. He started his career with Muni in 1966.

Martin was also a former president of the Recreation and Park Commission and a member of the Human Rights Commission, according to Muni officials.

A plaque was unveiled on the new train in Martin's honor.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Boar on Leash Surrendered to Animal Control in SF]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:31:00 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+wild+boar2-1116.jpg

San Francisco residents surrendered a wild boar to Animal Care and Control officials this week in what officials are describing as a definite first for the agency.

The residents apparently found Spirit, a young wild boar, when he was a baby three months ago in an area near Mount Shasta.

They brought him home to keep as a pet, but developed doubts about keeping him as he got bigger, according to Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for Animal Care and Control.

Campbell said Spirit walked into the animal shelter on a harness and leash.

Animal Care and Control is now looking for possible homes for Spirit at sanctuaries and licensed wildlife rehabilitation facilities.

Possessing and transporting wildlife is illegal in California, with potential fines between $500 and $10,000.



Photo Credit: SF Animal Car & Control]]>
<![CDATA[Chefs and Wineries Unite for North Bay Fire Relief ]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:56:45 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/northbaywineries.jpg

San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza will open its doors to foodies on Saturday for “ChefsGiving,” a Bay Area fundraiser that will donate all proceeds to North Bay Fire relief efforts.

More than a 100 restaurants have participated all week with a goal of raising $1 million.

Foodies will have the opportunity to samples some of the Bay Area’s best cuisine and wine. Some wines will also be up for auction as well.

The event will continue until November 19 and tickets can still be purchased




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rash of Car Break-Ins Leaves Mount Sutro Residents on Edge]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:03:43 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11162017SFCarBreakIn_789834.JPG

Residents of San Francisco's Mount Sutro are on alert after nearly two dozen car break-ins occurred overnight Thursday.

The crimes are the latest round of smash-and-grabs in the city.

Resident Erin Coe caught a glimpse of crushed glass Thursday morning while walking her preschooler to their sky blue Volkwasgen.

"I'm just tired," Coe said. "My car has been stolen before. My moving truck has been stolen here. And now this happened, just a break-in."

Coe has plenty of company.

University of California, San Francisco pharmacist student Nancy Ramirez called for a window replacement after her boyfriend's car got the same criminal treatment.

"Well the police officers were already here when I came [in the morning] so they knew, when I looked at it, that it was my car," Ramirez said. "So they kind of just made a case out of it."

In the dead of the night, some 15 cars were burglarized at a UCSF housing facility, Aldea San Miguel on Clarendon and Johnstone.

University police are investigating and confirm 21 car break-ins when you include the surrounding neighborhood.

Despite copious amounts of shattered glass, there are no reports of any injuries. UCSF said its recently taken precautions to improve security here with enhanced lighting and tree-trimming for visibility.

Police currently have no suspect in their sights.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Walker, Toddler Injured in SF Crash]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:28:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/sfdogax1116_792601.JPG

A professional dog walker and toddler were injured and three dogs went missing Thursday afternoon after a pickup crashed in San Francisco, according to the fire department.

The crash occurred about 3:15 p.m. at 26th and Santiago streets, fire officials said. Nine dogs were in the bed of the pickup. 

All the dogs were accounted for by Thursday night.

The pickup lost control and rolled down a street, striking parked cars and coming to rest against a house, fire officials said. The female dog walker and child were taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

For hours after the crash, the lone missing dog was a black Labrador named Kiwi. A Facebook page with the title "Find Kiwi" was launched Thursday, and the dog was found late Thursday night.

He was safe and sleeping at home. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Slow-Moving Storm Pelts Bay Area With Rain]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:36:20 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/bus43.jpg

Heavy rain soaked the North Bay late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning and pushed south into the greater Bay Area in time for the morning commute, weather forecasters said.

After pelting Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties overnight, prompting a flash flood warning for those areas until 3 a.m. and a flood advisory in Solano County until 2:45 p.m., the storm slowly began making its way toward the Peninsula, East Bay and South Bay early Thursday. 


Temperatures will be in the 50s to start the morning, and by the afternoon, there's a chance the rain could linger over the South Bay, forecasters said.

Rain totals on average for lower elevations will be 0.50 to 1.25 inches and 1-3 inches above 1,000 feet. The heaviest rain will spread across the Santa Cruz Mountains and into the South Bay around sunrise, the National Weather Service said.

The South Bay, which usually misses out on the heavy rain, got hit hard with this storm as many places saw up to an inch of rain. In the Rock Springs neighborhood of San Jose, which was flooded earlier this year when Coyote Creek overflowed its banks during storms, residents were not ready for more rain. 

Flood victim Hao Nguyen and her visiting granddaughter, Trang Lieng, were back home, just in time.

"The owner fixed the house, and she's very glad we can move back in before the rain," Lieng said.

The storm also made life even more miserable for the homeless in San Jose, where CHAM Ministries handed out blankets, tents and water at a Felipe Road encampment.

"There are a lot of people, right here, struggling," pastor Scott Wagers said. "You know, the guys are desperate for tarps right now because they're trying to keep their stuff dry."

In the North Bay, rainfall rates over coastal Sonoma and Marin counties were up to half an inch per hour Wednesday evening, posing the possibility of mudslides, downed trees and flooding in the areas burned out by wildfires last month.

Twenty-four rainfall totals as of 4 a.m. Thursday had already exceeded two inches in Petaluma and Guerneville. Lafayette recorded 1.79 inches during that time frame, Santa Rosa registered 1.39 inches of rain, Pacifica recorded 1.31 inches and Oakland logged 1.26 inches. Those numbers will increase as the storm makes its way out of the region.

Deluges of rain also prompted the closures of some roadways in San Francisco.

The connector ramp to northbound Highway 101 was shut down due to flooding, according to the California Highway Patrol. Southbound lanes of the Great Highway were also forced to close as a result of flooding. 

On the road to the Sierra Nevada, about 1-2 feet of snow was expected above 7,000 feet, the weather service said. Chains were required on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit on the way to the Reno-Tahoe region. 


Drying weather returns Friday and Saturday, forecasters said.

NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.


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<![CDATA[DOJ Warns 8 Bay Area Jurisdictions About Sanctuary Status]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:31:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/jeff+sessions+salvatrucha.jpg

The cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, Fremont and Watsonville and Contra Costa, Monterey, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties on Wednesday were among 29 jurisdictions nationwide to receive sanctuary warning letters from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The letters say the department is concerned that the cities' and counties' policies may violate a federal law that bars local governments from preventing their employees from communicating with federal immigration agents.

Compliance with the law, known as Section 1373, is a condition of Justice Department grants to local governments under a program known as the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Program.

The letters signed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson ask the cities and counties to submit a response by Dec. 8 explaining whether they have "laws, policies or practices" that violate the law.

The letters also ask the recipients to state whether they would comply with the law if they receive a Byrne grant in the current fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1.

"Jurisdictions that adopt so-called 'sanctuary policies' also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

He continued: "I urge all jurisdictions found to be potentially out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents."

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera strongly disagreed with the Justice Department's analysis.

"San Francisco is in full compliance with federal immigration law," he said in a statement.

Herrera said the administration of President Donald Trump is making "novel and shifting interpretations" of the Section 1373 law, "going far beyond its text."

"The law means what it says, and we follow it," he said.

Herrera said San Francisco restricts other cooperation with immigration officials, but maintained that such local restrictions don't violate federal laws.

"This letter is the latest salvo in the barrage of Trump administration threats to sanctuary cities," he said. "The law is on our side, and we intend to beat back this threat, just like all the others before it."

In the South Bay, Santa Clara County said there is one problem with the threat.

"The big joke on them is we never took any money from them in 2016," Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese said.

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Car Crashes Snarl Traffic as Rain Pounds Bay Area]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:33:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/111617HWY85CARS_786055.JPEG

A number of car crashes snarled traffic across the Bay Area during the Thursday morning commute as another round of rain soaked the region.

A big-rig around 5 a.m. slammed into a power pole in Fremont, knocking out power for roughly 3,000 customers in the area near Auto Mall Parkway and Boscell Road, according to police. The crash temporarily shut down both directions of Auto Mall Parkway.

The power pole was thrown across several lanes of traffic, but no one was hurt.

Full power in the area immediately surrounding the crash scene is expected to be restored by 5 p.m., according to PG&E.

In the South Bay, overturned vehicles briefly blocked all northbound lanes of Highway 85 near Winchester Boulevard in Los Gatos around 5 a.m., but only minor injuries were reported, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Despite the proximity, the crashes happened independently of each other. CHP officials said speed played a role in the wrecks.

Around the same time along the Peninsula, a collision blocked four lanes of southbound Highway 101 at Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View, according to the CHP.

Drivers are encouraged to slow down and keep a safe distance between the cars in front of them when rain is falling. 

Track the latest road conditions using NBC Bay Area's traffic map



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Flood Barriers Return to Folsom Street in San Francisco]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:58:35 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Flood_Barriers_Return_to_Folsom_Street_in_San_Francisco.jpg

Flooding on Folsom Street in San Francisco is not a new problem, and the barriers used to protect businesses and homes have been around for three years now because officials say they work. Some new wrinkles have been added this year: flood grants and a strike team to help out with the problem. Sam Brock reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Three of the World's 50 Best Bars Are in San Francisco]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:08:21 -0800Trick Dog as the large and packed neighborhood bar that "manages to compete on quality with the best of San Francisco." ]]>Trick Dog as the large and packed neighborhood bar that "manages to compete on quality with the best of San Francisco." ]]>https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/TrickDog-FB-001.jpgThe annual list of "The World's 50 Best Bars" has been released and three of them are in New York City.

Photo Credit: Trick Dog Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[A Projection of History at SF Victorian House Museum]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:53:43 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ben+wood+2.jpg

In an artistic display aimed at drawing visitors into San Francisco’s sprawling Haas-Lilienthal Victorian House Museum — San Francisco’s only Victorian home open for tours — the operators have commissioned an artist to display the family’s memories — on the outside.

In a downstairs window, artist Ben Wood created a light projection of family photos and home movies dating back to the the family’s earliest days in the house, which was built in 1886. As the sun goes down, the memories pop-up — giving the passing traffic on Franklin Street a dose of nostalgia.

“What I’ve tried to do is sort of imagine and peel back the layers of history,” Wood said recently while tweaking the projection. “What would happen if you looked through the windows and saw some of the people who lived in the house over the decades?”

Three panels of video scroll down the long Victorian windows — one band flashes pictures of the home’s interior, another historic family photos, and a third projects home movies dating back to the 1920s.


“I was able to access quite an extensive archive of photographs over the generations,” Wood said.

The home was built for William and Bertha Haas, Bavarian-Jewish immigrants, and survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. Three generations of family lived in the home. Alice Haas Lilienthal was the last resident — living in the house until her death in 1972. Her heirs donated the home to San Francisco Heritage, which has operated it as a museum ever since.

“When people visit the Haas-Lilienthal House," said Mike Buhler, president of San Francisco Heritage, “we want them to be able to step back in time to understand how people lived in San Francisco in the 19th and early 20th century.”

The organization recently completed an eight-month, $4 million renovation of the home. Wood's project was part of the reopening celebration.

“It kind of reflects the human side of the house and its story,” Buhler said. “Many people are struck by the architecture of the house, and this neighborhood used to be full of Victorian homes like this.”

Alice Russell-Shapiro never knew the home by its formal name — Haas-Lilienthal. She knew it as “Grandma’s house.” She spent her childhood in the home visiting her grandma Alice Haas-Lilienthal, banging on the hallway’s pump organ and hanging out in the kitchen with her grandma’s cook. Her own baby photo is among the visual memories scrolling along the outside windows for all to see.

“I almost can’t believe it — that it’s my family out there on Franklin Street,” Russell-Shapiro chuckled. “Twelve-feet tall or whatever it is.”


The rolling images show scenes of Christmas and Easter parties, which family members celebrated even though they were Jewish. A video shows a rare snowfall outside the house and a wedding that took place on the lavish staircase.

Family descendant John F. Rothmann said for a house famous for its ornate architecture and period interior, the installation is scratching a deeper layer into the family’s story.

“It’s more than brick and mortar,” Rothmann said. “It’s a place where real people lived, had real lives — there were romances in this house, there were funerals in this house.”

The installation will remain up until the week after Thanksgiving, but Wood hopes it will become an annual tradition at the home.

“Nowadays, you know, we can be especially detached from history,” Wood said. “I think this is a great way to capture people’s imagination and to offer them a glimpse into the past.”



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
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<![CDATA[BART Rider Caught on Video Yelling Racist Slurs, Hitting Man]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 10:01:32 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11142017BARTRANT_775435.JPG

BART police are investigating an incident involving a man who yelled racial slurs and assaulted another man on a train Monday night, which was filmed and has since been widely viewed on the internet.

At about 10:10 p.m., at least three riders onboard a Warm Springs station-bound train called police dispatch regarding a disturbance.

In a video that was shared on YouTube, a suspect is seen standing and yelling racial slurs at a man sitting, who appears to be of Asian descent. At one point, the suspect slaps the victim's face.

During the ordeal, some riders came to the victim's defense. The video can be seen online.

According to BART officials, police responded and boarded the train at the Union City station, however, they were unable to locate the suspect.

BART officials called the incident "deplorable" and "unfortunate," but commended the riders who called police and voiced support for the victim without physically intervening.

About 420,000 people ride BART each day, according to BART officials. While the agency says it's increasing its police presence and hiring 40 new officers, it says that it also relies on riders to report crimes.

BART officials said that riders can report crimes to 911, (510) 464-7000 or by downloading the BART Watch app.

Anyone with information about Monday night's incident is asked to contact BART police investigations at 510-464-7040. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call -510-464-7011.



Photo Credit: PACMANWU/YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Homeless Births Rising in High-Priced San Francisco]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:31:27 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Born+Homeless+Composite+Enlarged.jpg

An NBC Bay Area investigation reveals a dramatic increase in the number of homeless pregnant women and newborns struggling to make ends meet in high-priced San Francisco, where the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment now totals $3,390 per month.

"Women tend to languish without stable housing for most of their pregnancy," said Dana Lazarovitz, a registered nurse with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  "There's nowhere affordable for them to live with their family."

When pregnant women are spotted throughout the city, Lazarovitz is generally the first to respond.  The epidemic of pregnant homeless women is on the rise and Lazarovitz is trying to confine the crisis.

"More and more women are describing themselves as homeless or marginally housed," she said.  "It doesn't feel like there's enough housing available to them when they need it most."

Rising Number of Homeless Pregnant Women

Her patient list of homeless pregnant women has roughly tripled in just the past five years. While San Francisco shelters boast 137 beds each night for homeless families, most pregnant women aren't prioritized until they're at least 7 months along.

“In my experience, pregnant women will spend most of their pregnancy on the streets before they're prioritized for a family shelter,” she said.  "That's a really serious issue."

Lazarovitz believes the housing crisis is to blame for the rising number of pregnant homeless women.

“There are so few affordable housing units and supportive housing units for women,” she said.


The number of pregnant homeless women is difficult to track, but the crisis is clear in San Francisco: moms with children, including newborns, can be seen begging on the street.

The Homeless Prenatal Program, a San Francisco based non-profit aimed at eliminating childhood poverty, provided housing and prenatal care to at least 224 homeless pregnant women so far this year.  The number of women giving birth in San Francisco who identify as homeless or live in a single-room occupancy hotel has spiked 76 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to the California Department of Public Health.  

Impact of Homelessness on Pregnancy

The pressures of homelessness can affect a pregnancy, according to Lazarovitz. 

“That kind of a chronic stress of not knowing where you're going to have your baby and not knowing where you can take your baby is an indicator for a negative outcome for a woman's labor and delivery," she said.  "Women who have chronic stress throughout their pregnancy are more likely to deliver early and we know that pre-term birth can have lasting effects for the child."

One of Lazarovitz's patients is 24-year-old Patricia Dowell.  

“When I found out I was pregnant I was just like really overwhelmed and scared,” said Dowell.  “How am I going to bring this kid into this world right now? I don't have anything. I don't have anything to offer...but I don't believe in abortions. So I decided to keep my baby.”

"I Made It This Far...I Can Go Further"

At a free visit with a midwife at San Francisco General, Dowell learned she’s having a baby girl, who she decided to name "Faith."

"It's believing in things unseen," she said.  “I made it this far, you know, I can go further."

To get her doctor’s appointments, Dowell embarks on an hour-long commute each way: two bus lines and a train. Her fiance, Ace has also been on the streets.  He now lives at a drug rehab center and Dowell resides in a women-only shelter though Catholic Charities. Dowell also regularly attends free parenting classes at the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco’s Potrero District. 

"Just because you're homeless doesn't mean that you're not capable of getting what your child needs," Dowell said.

Dowell has lived nearly half her life homeless.  Her mother’s drug addiction forced them onto the streets when she was only four years old.  Despite her rough beginnings, Dowell held several jobs and spent a year in college.

“I had to stop going to school because it's really hard trying to focus on school if you're homeless and you don't know where you’re going to sleep at night,” she said. 

At times, Dowell has slept in city parks.  

"I was in survival mode," she said.

"We Are Going to Literally End Family Homelessness..."

"There is a housing crisis in San Francisco -- it's been a crisis in the making," said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Lee, speaking exclusively to the Investigative Unit, appeared optimistic over the city's newly unveiled plan to dramatically reduce the homeless population through a public-private aimed at increasing affordable housing and shelter space.

Lee pointed to a $30 million program led by Lynn and Marc Benioff, which will create rent subsidies aimed at getting homeless families into housing.  

Over the next five years, the city plans to develop more permanent housing for homeless families, enough for 527 people.  The subsidized housing, unlike shelters, won’t have time limits on when families would need to move out.

“We are going to literally end family homelessness as we know it, “ said Lee.  

As San Francisco moves forward with it's latest proposal to house more families, children continue to be born into homelessness.

New Found Faith

On October 30, 2017, Dowell checked into San Francisco General. One week past her due date, she was in labor.  “A Halloween baby,” she said. Dowell was determined to have a natural child birth.  But after about 30 hours of labor, doctors discovered the baby was in distress and decided to deliver immediately by C-Section.  

Faith was born at 2:02am on November 1. She stretched just over 20 inches long and weighed 5 pounds, 14.7 ounces.

“I’m exhausted and happy at the same time,” said Dowell, beaming over her baby.  "She's mine."

Dowell’s temporary shelter runs out in 4 months. 

"You have to just survive and do what you can," she said.

While she isn't sure where she will move to next, Dowell is sure she will be able to provide a home for her baby.

"I have no choice but to be confident and hopeful that things will get better," she said.  "If I have to change around my whole life just to make sure [Faith] has a place to stay and that she doesn't have to be homeless during her childhood, I will."




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Delay Makes It Unlikely San Francisco Will Sell Pot Jan. 1]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 23:55:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/91997111-marijuana-generic.jpg

San Francisco supervisors delayed voting Tuesday on proposed pot regulations, making it more unlikely that people in this weed-friendly city will be able to buy recreational pot when adult use becomes legal Jan. 1 in California.

Supervisors have had a hard time fashioning local rules for pot shops as older members of the Chinese immigrant community have come out against placing retail stores too close to schools, daycare centers and anywhere else that children might gather.

Tuesday’s board meeting in San Francisco was emotional, with some supervisors arguing to get temporary rules on the books for the first day of legal sales while others urged the board to take more time to make the regulations right.

San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen urged the board to hold off until it could meet again in two weeks, saying a stop-gap measure to allow existing marijuana outlets to sell recreational weed Jan. 1 would only benefit existing operators, who are not African Americans, veterans, women or other traditionally marginalized groups.

“Doing this ensures that the final legislation passed is thoughtful, culturally sensitive and the best legislation for the city of San Francisco,” Cohen said.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin said passing the temporary measure would give the board more time to hash out rules and send a signal that San Francisco “is ready to enter the dawn of the 21st century.”

Recreational pot might be available in San Francisco in the first week of January, if officials meet a tight timeline requiring the mayor’s quick approval. It could also be ready Jan. 1 if supervisors meet in special sessions.

San Francisco isn’t the only California city struggling with local permits, which growers and retailers need in order to apply for a state license. Los Angeles is still working on its rules.

The state expects to release emergency regulations later this month and has said it will begin issuing temporary licenses on New Year’s Day.

Lori Ajax, the state’s top state marijuana regulator, has said she doesn’t know how many growers or retailers will come forward to seek licenses. It’s a critical question, since the state’s legitimate pot sales could be undercut by illegal operators.

Jeff Sheehy, a San Francisco supervisor who uses medical marijuana to mitigate pain from older HIV medications, pleaded with the board to adopt the temporary measure.

“Taking the time to get the piece right makes a lot of sense, but not having something available on Jan. 1 makes us look bad,” he said.

He and other cannabis advocates prefer a 600-foot (183-meter) buffer zone between pot shops and schools, comparable to the distance now required for stores that sell liquor or tobacco.

Some Chinese-American organizations have pushed back, calling for an outright prohibition on retail stores in San Francisco’s Chinatown. They want future retail stores to be at least 1,500 feet (460 meters) away from schools, child-care centers and any other places where minors gather.

Several supervisors expressed outraged at the way cannabis advocates have characterized Chinese opponents, calling the comments overtly racist and intolerant.

__

AP writer Michael R. Blood contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Recreational Marijuana Rules Rile Pot-Friendly San Francisco]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:36:19 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17318012783165.jpg

Famously pro-cannabis San Francisco, where the 4/20 marijuana holiday is celebrated with a group smoke-out on Hippie Hill, is having a surprisingly difficult time establishing regulations for the broad legal pot market coming to California in January.

Writing local rules in the weed-friendly city has taken a contentious turn as critics, many of them older Chinese immigrants who oppose marijuana use, try to restrict where pot can be sold.

Divided San Francisco supervisors are scheduled to take up the issue at a board meeting Tuesday, where they may vote on a stop-gap measure to allow the sale of recreational cannabis through existing medical marijuana outlets on Jan. 1 as they continue to figure out where to allow new stores.

The possibility of overly strict regulations has businesses fretting over access and some San Franciscans wondering what happened to the counter-culture, anti-Prohibition city they know and love. The smell of cannabis being smoked is not uncommon in certain neighborhoods and parks.

"Let's be honest: Cannabis is effectively legal now and the sky hasn't fallen. A lot of the information people have been given is completely false," said Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who uses medical marijuana to mitigate pain from older HIV medications.

He and others are calling for keeping recreational retail pot stores 600 feet (183 meters) away from schools, comparable to the radius required of stores that sell liquor or tobacco. Medical marijuana dispensaries are required to be at least 1,000 feet (305 meters) away from schools and recreation centers that primarily serve minors.

But some Chinese-American organizations have pushed back, calling for an outright prohibition on retail stores in San Francisco's Chinatown. They want future retail stores to be at least 1,500 feet away from schools, child-care centers and any other place minors gather. Supervisors are considering a 1,000-foot buffer that cannabis advocates say is too restrictive for a city as compact as San Francisco.

Ellen Lee, family social worker at the nonprofit San Francisco Community Empowerment Center, which has helped lead the protests, said most of the people opposed to recreational cannabis are elderly and speak little to no English. She said children are impressionable and must be protected from a drug that remains illegal under federal law, and she is frustrated by elected officials.

"We have been meeting with them and talking to them," she said, "but they are not listening."

Chinese-Americans are an integral part of San Francisco's history and they carry political clout in a city where one-third of its 850,000 residents are Asian and Chinese-Americans are the largest Asian sub-group. The mayor is Chinese-American, as are other elected officials in the city.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin said Monday he has a holdover measure that will allow 46 existing medical marijuana facilities to sell to adults while the board takes more time to hash out zoning regulations. He said that would allow people plenty of places to buy cannabis come Jan. 1.

Peskin, who represents the Chinatown district, said he expects the board will come up with a resolution that satisfies most people in the diverse city.

"We're not just legislators. We are group therapists for 850,000 people and understanding what their concerns are, whether we agree or disagree, and addressing them respectfully is very important in the legislative process," he said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[SFO's Busiest Holiday Travel Day: Friday Before Thanksgiving]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 07:05:13 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SFOGeneric.JPG

The holiday travel season has arrived, and this Friday — six days before Thanksgiving — is expected to be the busiest travel day of the holiday season at San Francisco International Airport, according to an airport spokesperson.

The Friday before Thanksgiving week has been the busiest holiday travel day at SFO for at least five years or so, airport spokesperson Doug Yakel said.

"We think it’s related to most schools giving the whole week off to kids nowadays," Yakel wrote in a statement.

As for the Sunday after Thanksgiving, that's believed to be the second busiest day of travel at SFO during the Thanksgiving holiday period, Yakel said.

The holiday travel season for SFO kicks off this Friday and ends on Jan. 2, 2018, according to Yakel. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pot-Friendly San Francisco Fights Over Recreational Cannabis]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 05:31:56 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/182*120/Marijuana+Pot+Up+Close+Generic.jpg

Famously pro-cannabis San Francisco, where the 4/20 marijuana holiday is celebrated with a group smoke-out on Hippie Hill, is having a surprisingly difficult time establishing regulations for the broad legal pot market coming to California in January.

Writing local rules in the weed-friendly city has taken a contentious turn as critics, many of them older Chinese immigrants who oppose marijuana use, try to restrict where pot can be sold.

Divided San Francisco supervisors are scheduled to take up the issue at a board meeting Tuesday, where they may vote on a stop-gap measure to allow the sale of recreational cannabis through existing medical marijuana outlets on Jan. 1 as they continue to figure out where to allow new stores.

The possibility of overly strict regulations has businesses fretting over access and some San Franciscans wondering what happened to the counter-culture, anti-Prohibition city they know and love. The smell of people smoking cannabis is not uncommon in certain neighborhoods and parks.

"Let's be honest: Cannabis is effectively legal now and the sky hasn't fallen. A lot of the information people have been given is completely false," said Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who uses medical marijuana to mitigate pain from older HIV medications.

He and others are calling for keeping recreational retail pot stores 600 feet away from schools, comparable to the radius required of stores that sell liquor or tobacco. Medical marijuana dispensaries are required to be at least 1,000 feet away from schools and recreation centers that primarily serve minors.

But some Chinese-American organizations have pushed back, calling for an outright prohibition on retail stores in San Francisco's Chinatown. They want future retail stores to be at least 1,500 feet away from schools, child-care centers and any other place minors gather. Supervisors are considering a 1,000-foot buffer that cannabis advocates say is too restrictive for a city as compact as San Francisco.

Ellen Lee, family social worker at the nonprofit San Francisco Community Empowerment Center, which has helped lead the protests, said most of the people opposed to recreational cannabis are elderly and speak little to no English. She said children are impressionable and must be protected from a drug that remains illegal under federal law, and she is frustrated by elected officials.

"We have been meeting with them and talking to them," she said, "but they are not listening."

Chinese-Americans are an integral part of San Francisco's history, and they carry political clout in a city where one-third of its 850,000 residents are Asian, and Chinese-Americans are the largest Asian sub-group. The mayor is Chinese-American, as are other elected officials from the city.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin said Monday he has a holdover measure that will allow 46 existing medical marijuana facilities to sell to adults while the board takes more time to hash out zoning regulations. He said that would allow people plenty of places to buy cannabis come Jan. 1.

Peskin, who represents the Chinatown district, said he expects the board will come up with a resolution that satisfies most people in the diverse city.

"We're not just legislators. We are group therapists for 850,000 people and understanding what their concerns are, whether we agree or disagree, and addressing them respectfully is very important in the legislative process," he said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Bakery Selling $29 Loaf of Brioche]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 18:32:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1113-2017-Brioche.jpg

The Internet is sounding off on a San Francisco bakery reportedly selling a loaf of bread for $29.

Les Gourmands, which opened in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood about a month ago, features the high-priced brioche on its menu. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the large price tags at the bakery helps pay an 18-month paid apprenticeship program to train new generation in classic French techniques.

More on Les Gourmands via the San Francisco Chronicle here.

Meanwhile, Reddit users are going off about the price tag in a thread titled "$30.00 bread...... welcome to SOMA." Here are a few of the responses from Reddit users:

  • "$30 is a reasonable price if it comes with a whole avocado," one Reddit user wrote.
  • "For $29, it had better actually be from France, flown here this morning..."
  • "It's not even covered in gold leaf?"

View the Reddit thread here.



Photo Credit: LES GOURMANDS BAKERY/FACEBOOK]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Tops WalletHub's Best Cities for Singles List]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:35:39 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/174*120/singles.jpg

The Bay Area is home to the city Wallethub has dubbed the best place for singles.

San Francisco tops a list of more than 180 United States cities Wallethub used to analyze what it said are "32 key indicators of dating-friendliness."

Rounding out the top five following SF are Atlanta, Los Angeles, Denver and San Diego. San Jose came in at No. 34 in the study.

Other California cities named in the top 100:

  • No. 44 Sacramento
  • No. 54 Riverside
  • No. 58 Long Beach
  • No. 64 San Bernardino
  • No. 70 Irvine
  • No. 79 Fresno
  • No. 81 Anaheim
  • No. 89 Huntington Beach
  • No. 96 Santa Ana
  • No. 100 Oakland
View the full Wallethub study here.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dispute Over Parking Spot in San Francisco Ends in Stabbing]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:20:03 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/SFPDGeneric.JPG

Two men were transported to the hospital Saturday night after being stabbed during a dispute over a parking spot in San Francisco, according to police.

Both men were taken to the hospital in critical condition, police said.

During the feud, which occurred around 10 p.m. in the area of 24th and Alabama streets, the suspect entered the victim's car and started to assault him before stabbing him, police said.

The victim then stabbed one of the suspects, according to police.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Mob Uses Air Freshener While Robbing Boy on Bus in SF]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:28:56 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

One teenage girl was hurt and a teenage boy had his phone stolen after a half-dozen teenagers used air freshener during a robbery on a bus in San Francisco Saturday afternoon, according to police.

The six suspects were riding the bus near Fillmore and McAllister streets around 12:30 p.m. when one of the teenagers sprayed air freshener at the 13-year-old boy, according to police. The teenager then smacked the boy's phone out of his hands and grabbed it, police said.

The teenage girl tried to intervene, but she was punched by one of the other suspects.

The suspects, who range in age from 15 to 17 years, promptly hopped off the bus, according to police.

The victim who was punched was treated at the scene, police said.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Guide Dog Puppies Take a Ride on the Muni Metro in SF]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 20:44:14 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBGUIDEDGOS_732849.JPEG

A dozen cute puppies all hopped onto the J-Church line in Downtown San Francisco on Saturday as a part of Guide Dogs for the Blind training exercise.

The adorable Labradors and golden retrievers rode the Muni Metro for an informal training exercise to understand how to navigate the noisy and hectic environment that is public transportation. To better serve the visually impaired, the informal training exercise attempted to socialize and get them used to sights, sounds and vibrations of a light rail train before finally going into formal training at 16 months old.

“Every dog has a purpose,” said Karen Woon, vice president of marketing for Guide Dogs for the Blind in an interview with the SF Gate. “They have a joy in service. They have great health and the right temperament. “We find these breeds to be the most successful.”

After riding the Muni from the Van Ness Station to the Embarcadero Station, the dogs got off with their puppy raisers and roamed around the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building.



Photo Credit: Guide Dogs for the Blind]]>
<![CDATA[SF Police Mourn Death of First Chinese American Officer]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 21:07:41 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/WEB-Chinese-American-officer.JPG

San Francisco police are mourning the passing earlier this month of the first full-time Chinese-American officer in their department, police said.

Sgt. Herbert "Herb" Lee died peacefully Nov. 1 surrounded by family. He was 84.

Lee became a full-time San Francisco police officer in 1957, after serving in the Navy. Lee was born in 1932 in San Francisco and attended St. Mary's School and Polytechnic High School.

After joining the Police Department, Lee was enlisted to help recruit minority police officers. Many of those recruits took on leadership positions in the department, police said.

Lee mentored other officers and had the greatest impact while serving as the executive director of the Police Department's Police Activities League.

Before his role as executive director, Lee started the league's fishing program and took thousands of less privileged children fishing on his boat "Ah Choo."

He retired as a police officer in 1987.

Police said he was known for his generosity, calm and humorous demeanor and affirmative coaching style.

"He was a beloved friend, mentor, and colleague to many San Francisco Police Department officers and we will hold him as a shining example of how one person can make a positive difference for so many people," Police Chief William Scott said in a statement.

In recent years, Lee enjoyed karaoke, fishing, golfing and bowling.

Lee is survived by his wife Dorothy, sisters Norma and Rosemary, brother Clarence, four children, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Family Photos Stolen From NorCal Fire Victims at SF Concert]]>Sun, 12 Nov 2017 16:09:48 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AP_17287774005806.jpg

A Santa Rosa family whose home was reduced to ashes by the Tubbs Fire went to a concert benefiting North Bay fire victims like themselves, only to suffer yet another heartbreaking loss. 

Jason Kracht lived in Coffey Park with his wife and 3-year-old daughter until California's deadliest wildfire laid waste to thousands of homes across wine country.

Coincidentally, the trio had transferred digital copies of their family pictures to a new laptop — which was among the few items they were able to save — before the wind-whipped flames gutted their house. The original photographs were lost in the fire.

On Thursday, the Krachts went to AT&T Park in San Francisco for the Band Together Bay Area concert, where Metallica, Dead and Company, Dave Matthews, Raphael Saadiq, Rancid and G-Eazy performed to raise money for people who suffered losses due to the wildfires.

However, they left the show and made an alarming discovery, Kracht said.

Someone had broken the rear passenger window of their vehicle, flipped a lever to drop a car seat and taken off with a suitcase and three briefcases that had been stored at the back of the family's car, according to Kracht. 

Among the stolen items was a 13-inch Acer laptop that stored all their precious memories, Kracht said.

"That computer had the only copy of many of the pictures and videos of our daughter as she conquered her liver transplant and has continued to grow into a thriving 3-year-old," he said.

A Dell Precision laptop, an Apple Macbook and Samsung Galaxy tablet were also robbed.

The family is working with the San Francico Police Department and Kracht said that investigators are trying to get surveillance video from an armored car company across the street from they were parked. He also asked for the public's assistance.

"After losing nearly everything in the Tubbs fire on October 9, having these photos (on the computer) stolen from us has felt like having a knife twisted into the wounds of our previous loss," Kracht said. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Driver OK After BMW Flies Off I-80, Falls Onto SF Street]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 16:02:19 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/crushedcar1.jpg

A BMW on Saturday veered off a San Francisco freeway, flipped over and crashed onto a street below, but the driver escaped from the mangled vehicle with only minor injuries, fire officials say. 

The collision was reported to the San Francisco Fire Department around 4 a.m. when the vehicle flew off eastbound Interstate 80 and landed on its roof on Vermont Street, which is located close to Fire Station 29, according to officials.

Fire officials said the driver sustained non-life threatening injuries and rescued themself.

Additional details about the circumstances leading up to the crash or specifics about the driver's condition were not immediately available.





Photo Credit: San Francisco Fire Department
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Honors Veterans]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 19:00:47 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-132335266.jpg

People across the Bay Area offered thanks to all who have served, honoring their service and sacrifice in a number of ways.

SOUTH BAY:

San Jose Veterans Day Parade

10 a.m. Saturday: A ceremony will be held at Plaza de Cesar Chavez

11 a.m. Parade will start at West Santa Clara Street and Highway 87. Attendees will travel east to Market Street, where they will turn south toward the reviewing stand in front of the park. 

Honor on the Row in San Jose

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday: Santana Row will celebrate veterans with a gold star memorial to honor the fallen, a display of military vehicles and classic cars, and a collection booth for care packages.


SAN FRANCISCO:

We Are All Americans! Tribute to Nikkei Veterans

10 a.m. Saturday: A free public ceremony hosted by the National Japanese American Historical Society at 640 Old Mason Street.

11 a.m. Saturday: GO FOR BROKE! Anthony Brown's Asian American Orchestra

12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday: Luncheon reception

Veterans Day Service + Art at the Presidio

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday: Veterans and civilians can view service members' artwork on display at the Presidio Officers' Club and participate in community service for victims of the North Bay wildfires.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday: Family-friendly arts and crafts

Commemoration of 75th Anniversary of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday: The Naval History and Heritage Command, in partnership with the USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation and San Francisco Fleet Week Association, will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal at the USS San Francisco Memorial at 2400 El Camino Del Mar. The ceremony will honor the sailors and marines who were killed in action during the battle on Nov. 12 and 13.

Veterans Day Parade

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday: An estimated 20,000 people are expected to attend the annual Veterans Day parade that traditionally starts with motorcycle riders leading the way. It starts on the Embarcadero at North Point Street and heads to Fisherman's Wharf along Jefferson Street.


EAST BAY:

Veterans Day Celebration in Alameda

10 a.m. Saturday: The USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum at 707 West Hornet Avenue will offer a station for people who want to make thank-you cards for veterans.

11 a.m. Saturday: The USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum will hosts its annual ceremony on the ship’s hanger deck. Afterward, a wreath will be cast into San Francisco Bay in honor of U.S. veterans of all wars and branches of service.

Veterans Memorial Dedication in Union City

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday: Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle will dedicate a new monument at Veterans Memorial Park at 4525 Dyer Street. The memorial will feature a hexahedra granite monument — with each of the six sides representing a different branch of the military — and memorial bricks that can be individually dedicated to service members. The event will include the presentation and retiring of colors by the United States Army’s 91st Division, two ceremonial firings from a Howitzer cannon, a flyover and landing of Vietnam helicopters, and a BBQ Lunch served by local firefighters.

Sixth Annual Veterans Day Services in Castro Valley

11 a.m. Saturday: Sue Alverson of the Veterans of Foreign Wars' National Home for Children will address the crowd at Castro Valley Community Park at 3683 Quail Avenue, followed by a raffle of a Henry Salute to the Military Rifle with all the proceeds going to the VFW.


NORTH BAY:

Veterans Day Parade in Petaluma

12 p.m. Saturday: Music will begin at Walnut Park

1 p.m. Saturday: The parade will begin and end at Walnut Park

2:45 p.m. Saturday: A prayer, pledge of allegiance and follow-up program will follow the parade in the gazebo.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Final 2 Piers of Bay Bridge's Old Eastern Span Demolished]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 12:49:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11112017bbimplosion_731400.JPEG

Demolition of the marine foundations of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's old eastern span finished Saturday morning with just one small blip caused by an errant seal, a Caltrans spokesman said.

Piers E17 and E18, the final two piers, were successfully demolished this morning at 7:30 a.m., a spokesman said.

"It went well, it went according to plan," said Alejandro Lopez of Caltrans.

However, there was one minor hitch caused by a seal.

"We had a slight delay because the seal was spotted in the exclusion zone," Lopez said. "We had marine mammal watchers on scene. We followed protocol, and after the animal left the area, we were able to successfully complete the implosion at 7:30 a.m."

The series of implosions to demolish the 1936 concrete structures took place over six weekends this fall, starting in September.

Caltrans combined multiple piers on certain demolition dates, allowing the demolition work to be completed a year ahead of schedule, saving taxpayers nearly $10 million, the agency said.

There was a traffic break on the bridge this morning to accommodate the implosion, but traffic quickly returned to normal after the implosion, Lopez said.



Photo Credit: Caltrans]]>
<![CDATA[Recruits Tell Fire Chief of Hazing at SF Fire Academy]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 23:43:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sffd.jpg

Eight cadets say they are victims of racist abuse and hazing at the San Francisco Fire Academy, according to a letter they wrote to the city’s fire chief obtained by NBC Bay Area News Friday.

“We are the men of color of this 123rd Probie class and all we want is to work hard and graduate earning the Firefighter badge for the City of San Francisco,” the recruits say in the 18-page letter they sent to Chief Joanne Hayes-White this week.

“As we are in the middle of week seven of the 20-week Training Academy, we have seen and experienced retaliatory, demeaning, punishing, and racist/sexist behavior by some of the training staff,” the cadets wrote. “The last straw was when a battalion chief taught the Cultural Competency class last week and used the “N” word. All of us eight African American probies in this class were offended.”

The “N” word was used in the context of an acronym, coined by Tupac Shakur: “Never Ignorant Gets Goals Accomplished” as referred to in the letter.

Battalion Chief Kevin Smith, head of the city’s Black Firefighters Association, said similar allegations have been raised by other rookies from past classes. Last week, Mayor Ed Lee signed off on a $100,000 legal settlement with three former cadets who alleged they were hazed and suffered racist abuse at the academy.

“They tell some horrific stories of rude, indecent disparate type of treatment that they have suffered at the hands of the training staff,” Smith said of the latest allegations.

Another veteran firefighter, Capt. Sherman Tillman, expressed dismay at the cadets’ claims.

“If one page of this letter is true, we have a problem,” the 19-year-veteran said. “We have a big problem.”

Change has been slow to come at what is known in the department as “The Tower,” Smith said.

“It’s sad, it’s disappointing,” he said. “And, I would hope that this department would take it as an embarrassment that this keeps popping up.

“Either all these groups of people are just fabricating untruths or there’s some truth to it,” he added. “I just don’t know if there’s the willingness to make the changes that are necessary.”

Chief Hayes-White hasn’t commented on these recent accusations, but a department spokesman said the chief just received the letter and was still reviewing the allegations.

“The Department takes allegations very seriously and will thoroughly investigate any allegations or concerns brought forward and take appropriate action,” department spokesman Lt. Jonathan Baxter said in a statement.

The cadets told the chief: “We are men of color who want an equal opportunity at a career that we have been working tirelessly for years to achieve. All we ask (for) is a fair shot.”



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/File]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion in SF's Diamond Heights Tranquilized, Captured]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 23:47:19 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DOTeKzBUIAAUrVf.jpg

Days after a mountain lion was spotted outside Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff's house near the Presidio, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has tranquilized and captured a cougar in the Diamond Heights neighborhood.

A San Francisco resident on Friday morning reported seeing a mountain lion sleeping amid trees, brush and ivy behind a housing complex.

Officials from the police, animal care and control, fish and wildlife, and parks and recreation departments were spotted in the vicinity of Diamond Heights Boulevard and Duncan Street, where they set up a perimeter as they tracked the big cat. 

Authorities decided to tranquilize the cat and relocate it because it was near a playground and in a heavily populated area.

"When I arrived the mountain lion was hunkered down," Lt. James Ober, a Fish and Wildlife game warden, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It appeared to be under a lot of stress."

Ober shot the 82-pound male a second time, after he saw the animal still moving after 10 minutes. By 2 p.m., the mountain lion had been loaded onto a truck, its paws secured with straps and a black mask over its eyes.

From a distance, the animal could be seen twitching, which officials say is a side effect of the tranquilizer and not an indication of the animal being in pain. 

"The drug doesn't allow them to have full control," Ober said to NBC Bay Area. "We put the mask over their eyes and put an ointment on their eyes so they don't dry out and it lowers the stimulation." 

The animal was turned over to the Santa Cruz Puma Project out of the University of California at Santa Cruz. It has since been fitted with a GPS collar and is ready to be released back into the wild.

California Fish and Wildlife officials initially thought that the puma was a female, but Chris Wilmers, a wildlife ecologist at the university and the head of the Puma Project, said it is "a typical young dispersal age male who takes a wrong turn."

Big cats were spotted twice in one week outside Benioff's house. It remains unknown if they are two different animals or the same one doubling back. 

"This lion likely came up from the natural lands just south of the city," said President of Felidae Conservation Fund Zara McDonald. "It's probable this may be the same lion that showed up on the Salesforce CEO's camera."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Josue Kevin Duran/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[RAW: Guide Dog Puppies Take a Ride in SF]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 20:43:15 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBGUIDEDOGSMUNI_732812_1200x675_1094082115599.jpg

A dozen cute puppies all hopped onto the J-Church line in Downtown San Francisco on Saturday as a part of a Guide Dogs for the Blind training exercise.]]>
<![CDATA[New 70-Unit Housing Site For Homeless Veterans to Open in SF]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 13:45:37 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-106681777.jpg

The day before Veteran's Day, there's some good news for veterans: A new 70-unit permanent supportive housing site for chronically homeless vets is set to open in San Francisco.

The Auburn Hotel, a new 70-unit housing site at 481 Minna St., will open in about a month. It will have a bed, dresser, mini-refrigerator, microwave and flat screen television in every unit, the city's Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing said.

Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing, a San Francisco nonprofit, will manage the property, and Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco will provide on-site support services, city officials said.

"Permanent supportive housing" refers to such things as long-term rental assistance and other help for people with chronic illness, disabilities, mental health issues or substance use disorders who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness.

"Nobody should have to live on the streets, especially those who have served our country," Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness, said in a statement.

"Thanks to permanent supportive housing sites such as the Auburn, we are coming ever closer to ending chronic homelessness for veterans in San Francisco," he added.

Three other permanent supportive units opened in the last year: The Crown, with 50 units, the National, with 100 units, and the Winton Hotel, with 104 units.

These three house both chronically homeless veterans and non-veterans, city officials said, while the Auburn is solely for chronically homeless veterans.

In more good news for veterans, this year, the city's Assessor-Recorder granted $16.5 million in property tax exemptions to disabled veterans who own and live in their homes, according to city officials.

The Disabled Veterans' Exemption is a statewide program. It helps disabled veterans save on property taxes by deducting up to $196,262 worth of assessed value from their property's total assessed value.

This can yield as much as $2,300 in savings on property taxes, city officials said.

In 2017, 151 applicants qualified for the program,  according to city officials.

To qualify, veterans must be disabled because of a service-related injury or disease suffered while in the armed forces, and must be California residents who own and occupy the property as their principal residence.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steap Creates San Francisco Twist on Cheese Tea]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 15:28:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/SteapTonysTea.jpg

A trendy Asian beverage is getting a local twist in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Emil DeFrancesco opened Steap Tea Bar in January, but he started it as a pop-up venture nearly four years ago. Back then, he sold drinks in front of nearby Tony's Pizza Napoletana in North Beach thanks to the good graces of owner Tony Gemignani.

Now DeFrancesco has an opportunity to pay homage to Gemignani with Tony's Tea, a new drink he's launching in the shop on Saturday. It's a variation on cheese tea, which has roots in Taiwan and China and is currently proliferating in the Bay Area thanks to chains like Happy Lemon.

Don't picture Velveeta, cautions DeFrancesco — cheese tea is really more like a savory whipped cream, often blended with salt and powdered cream cheese. DeFrancesco's version uses Gemignani's imported Italian sweet mascarpone cheese blended with sea salt for a rich and fluffy topping on his Meyer lemon-green tea. As you sip, you can control the amount of tea and topping you ingest, or blend it all together for something akin to a tea shake.

Gemignani will provide 100 free slices of pizza to the first customers at Steap on Saturday who order Tony's Tea starting at noon.

DeFrancesco took inspiration from cocktail bars for Steap, and he displays his high-quality ingredients in front of his customers.

"I love mixing drinks for people of all ages," he said.



Photo Credit: Tamara Palmer]]>
<![CDATA[Hawaiian Flavors Bloom at San Francisco's 'Aina]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 19:00:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/226*120/EWP2017_Aina-0072.jpg'Aina presents Hawaiian food with the refined technique of a celebrated San Francisco restaurant. Now there's a tasting menu option.

Photo Credit: Eric Wolfinger]]>
<![CDATA[Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Lee Speak Out About #GOPTaxScam in SF]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 19:00:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pelosileesplitscreen.jpg

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, both of California, are in San Francisco on Friday, discussing the proposed GOP tax plan.

Both have been blunt about their disapproval of the Tax Cuts and Jobs act. Specifically, they are opposed to eliminating medical, student loans and state and local tax deductions.

“We’re fighting a historic fight and it’s more than just Democrats and Republicans,” said Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi said. “It’s about who we are, as a country and how we support opportunity and fairness.”

The Mission Bay fire station served as Pelosi’s stage on Friday as she discussed how the new GOP plan affects everybody across the country and benefits only the rich.

“This whole tax bill is a gift to corporate America. $1.5 trillion,” said Pelosi.

Pelosi on Twitter even went so far as to call the proposal a #GOPTaxScam.

Not everyone agrees with Pelosi, like California Republican Vice-Chair, Harmeet Dhillon, who says the drastic dip in the corporate tax rate will lead to new jobs, investments and wage growth.

But there are people who might pay for the corporate cuts in other ways.

“This plan could seriously disincentivize me and many of my colleagues from pursuing graduate degrees and using our disciplines to contribute to the common good,” said recent USF grad, Shara Caya who is worried about the vanishing tax deduction on student loan interest.

President Donald Trump has made a self-imposed deadline for the tax plan to be passed: Thanksgiving.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Hosts Former Interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 23:40:23 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583550088.jpg

Donna Brazile, a former Democratic National Committee interim chair, addressed a crowd in San Francisco on Thursday evening.

The veteran political strategist spoke at the sold-out Marines' Memorial Theatre at 600 Sutter St. The Commonwealth Club conversation was called "The Hacking of an American Election," according to the event's website.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned from the helm of the DNC in July 2016, while the party was in a state of chaos and dealing with internal rivalries, leaked emails, and a hacker, event organizers wrote.

Brazile stepped in as chairwoman while the DNC experienced one of its most volatile times — complete with bomb threats, cyberattacks and Twitter feuds with President Donald Trump.

Her new book, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House" has garnered attention nationwide. 

There were a number of reasons why Brazile decided to write the memoir. One, she said, was her desire to talk about the election hacking and why it’s important to voters to demand accountability.

She also talked about what she saw behind the scenes that she simply didn’t agree with and why she stayed in a particularly challenging situation.

"I did it because I love Hillary," she said. "I did it because I love my country. I did it because the DNC was hacked."

Brazile said data was corrupted and voter files were compromised.

"For a campaign to rely on data and analytics at a time when the Russians were essetnailly using active measures to disrupt our campaign and discredit our nominee, let me just tell you, I wanted to write this story because I believe it’s a warning to all Americans," she said.

She also touched on a fundraising agreement between Clinton’s campaign and the party.

Bernie Sanders supporter Barbara Farhner was concerned about debate questions during the Democratic primary and came to hear Brazile’s side of the story.

"I think she should have come out, but it is for the moment driving the party even farther apart," Farhner said. "I didn’t feel she was bashing anybody. I feel she was trying to give her observations and again that hopefully we can learn from this and do a better job."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Defense Rests Case in Kate Steinle Murder Trial]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 23:33:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

Defense attorneys rested their case Thursday in the trial of the man charged with shooting and killing Kate Steinle on San Francisco's Pier 14 after presenting testimony from a translator who brought into question parts of the interrogation conducted by police.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of Steinle, a 32-year-old San Francisco resident who was walking on the pier on July 1, 2015 with her family when she was struck, seemingly at random, by a single bullet to the back.

Prosecutor Diana Garcia has not presented a motive for the shooting, and is not required to prove that Garcia Zarate intended to kill Steinle for a second-degree murder charge, but she does have to prove that he fired the gun intentionally. She has pointed to the fact that he threw the gun into the water after it fired and left the scene quickly as evidence of his guilt.

While defense attorneys do not dispute that Garcia Zarate was holding the gun, a semi-automatic pistol that had been stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger's vehicle days earlier, they have argued that the shooting was accidental. Garcia Zarate, a homeless undocumented immigrant with a history of deportations and drug charges, fled the area because he was startled and had reason to try to avoid attention, they argue.

During a police interrogation after the shooting, Garcia Zarate, speaking primarily through a Spanish interpreter, gave police a number of inconsistent and confusing statements, some of which conflict with the physical evidence in the case. At some points he appeared to agree he fired the gun, even telling officers he was shooting at a sea lion on the pier, while at other points he described the gun as going off by itself.

However a translator presented as an expert witness for the defense today said the police translator had consistently mistranslated the word "trigger" during the interrogation.

Instead of asking Garcia Zarate if he had pulled the trigger, as officers asked him in English, the translator asked if he had fired the gun, according to translator Fanny Suarez, a trained legal interpreter and investigator for the public defender's office.

"The issue of whether Mr. Garcia Zarate admitted to pulling trigger is a very key issue in this case, and the term 'pull the trigger' literally was never translated to him," defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said outside of court.

Urgarte and Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney for the public defender's office, have presented seven defense witnesses this week including two firearm experts who testified that the bullet ricocheted off the pier before it struck Steinle and that the shooting appeared likely to be accidental.

They also presented a video enhancement expert who walked jurors through footage showing a group of people lingering near the seat on the pier where Garcia Zarate sat shortly before he arrived.

Defense attorneys have said that Garcia Zarate found the gun on the pier and fired it accidentally when picking it up to investigate. They used this footage to demonstrate that the gun could have been left there shortly before his arrival.

Garcia did not present any evidence linking Garcia Zarate with the gun's theft or demonstrating that he possessed it prior to the shooting, but did have a witness demonstrate to jurors that it could have fit into one of his pockets.

Steinle's shooting draw national attention after it became known that Garcia Zarate had been released from a city jail several months earlier without notification to federal authorities. Republicans including then-presidential candidate Donald Trump used the shooting as a way to attack San Francisco's Sanctuary City policies, which limit communication and cooperation between local law enforcement and immigration authorities.

Steinle's family filed a lawsuit against the city over Garcia Zarate's release but that case has since been dismissed. Despite the controversy, Garcia Zarate's immigration status has not played a role in the trial.

Somewhat more relevant to the case have been concerns over ongoing problems with auto burglaries in San Francisco and the theft of firearms from law enforcement. Three law enforcement officers have had firearms stolen from them in the city since August alone, and one of those guns, a personal weapon taken from a San Francisco police officer's car, has since been involved in a homicide.

Defense attorneys have drawn attention to the role of the BLM ranger in the case, noting that if he had properly secured his weapon Steinle would still be alive. Steinle's family also has a lawsuit pending against federal authorities over the gun's loss.

Gonzalez said his team was satisfied with the case they had presented. The prosecution will present at least one rebuttal witness on Monday and closing arguments are scheduled for the following Monday, Nov. 20.

While jurors may have the option of convicting Garcia Zarate of a lesser offense such as manslaughter, Gonzalez today said that was not his aim.

"We're not trying ot get Mr. Garcia Zarate convicted of manslaughter, our defense is that he's not guilty because it was an accident," he said. "When he picked up this object he did not know what it was and it fired."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Taylor Swift, Cat Squad Unveiled at Madame Tussauds in SF]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:52:54 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMG_2204_1+Edit.jpg

Madame Tussauds San Francisco has a new addition: Taylor Swift.

The 27-year-old's squad of A-list pals is as famous as the singer-songwriter herself, and the famous wax museum did not disappoint in that regard either.

In the city by the bay, Swift's #squadgoals feature real-life, adoptable cats — a tipping of the hat to her love for felines.

“Taylor is an avid cat-lover who regularly shares pictures of her beloved Meredith and Olivia on social media,” Madame Tussauds San Francisco General Manager Dalia Goldgor told NBC Bay Area.

"This launch is a fitting and fun way to pay homage to her love of animals and raise awareness for the adorable, adoptable cats at Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue."

Swift, who is a cat mom to Meredith and Olivia, drops her latest album, Reputation, on Friday. Her wax figure is draped in sheer black lace lingerie and valued at approximately $350,000, according to the museum.

Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue's adoption fees are $150 for one cat and $250 for a pair. That includes the costs of spay/neuter surgery, shots, and microchips.



Taylor is an avid cat-lover who regularly shares pictures of her beloved Meredith and Olivia on social media. This launch is a fitting and fun way to pay homage to her love of animals and raise awareness for the adorable, adoptable cats at Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue



Photo Credit: Madame Tussaud's San Francisco]]>
<![CDATA[Former Interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile to Speak in SF]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 12:17:57 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Former_Interim_DNC_Chair_Donna_Brazile_Speaks_in_San_Francis.jpg

Donna Brazile, a former interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, will be in San Francisco on Thursday. She's the speaker at the Commonwealth Club. Her new book, ‘Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,’ has a lot of people talking. In it she writes Hillary Clinton had a fundraising deal with the DNC that allowed her to control the party's finances. Brazile writes that was unfair to Bernie Sanders.]]>
<![CDATA[DACA Rallies Slated Across the Bay Area]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 12:09:53 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DACA_Rallies_Slated_Across_the_Bay_Area.jpg

Thousands on Thursday are expected to rally in the Bay Area and across America for DACA recipients. Those participating are calling on Congress to pass new legislation and pressing for permanent protections for DACA recipients. Local rallies are being planned at San Francisco State University, San Jose City Hall and Richmond City Hall.]]>
<![CDATA[Light of Hope: SF's Castro Celebrates Harvey Milk]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 23:55:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfcastromilk1108_706144.JPG

Hundreds gathered in San Francisco's Castro district Wednesday night to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the election of Harvey Milk to the Board of Supervisors.

Milk was the first openly gay politician elected in California.

A new tribute to Milk that was unveiled during the event provides a light of hope. The words "Hope will never be silent" will permanently shine over the Castro district.

After a year of attacks on LGBT rights by President Donald Trump's administration, the crowd also was celebrating the election of the first transgender woman to state office. On Tuesday, Virginia voters elected 33-year-old Danica Roem to the state's 13th District House of Delegates.

Supervisor Jeff Sheehey said the election of diverse candidates across the country adds to the celebration for Milk.

"A trans woman elected to the House of Delegates in good old Virginia, heart of the south. What progress! Sheehey said. "We're celebrating action, celebrating people getting elected to office, celebrating standing up for our rights, all wedded together. Resistance and action!"



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Kate Steinle Trial: Firearms Expert Testifies]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 19:10:28 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/DOJVdC4UEAAvQhv.jpg

A firearms expert Wednesday testified in support of defense arguments that Kate Steinle was killed on San Francisco's Pier 14 accidentally, describing unintentional firearms discharges as "all too common."

Alan Voth, a firearms forensic expert who spent 35 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, testified Wednesday in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who is charged with second-degree murder in Steinle's death.

Steinle, a 32-year-old Pleasanton native and San Francisco resident, was shot once in the back as she walked on the pier with family members on the evening of July 1, 2015.

Defense attorneys are not contesting that Garcia Zarate, 45, fired the shot that killed Steinle, but instead are arguing that the shooting was an accident that occurred after Garcia Zarate found and picked up a gun on the pier that had been stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger several days earlier.

Prosecutors are not required to prove Garcia Zarate intended to kill Steinle for a second-degree murder charge, but they still must prove he intended to fire the gun.

Voth, who has trained law enforcement on proper weapons handling, Wednesday testified that unintentional discharges can be caused by manufacturing defects, operator error, muscle spasms, loss of muscle control or a loss of tactile sensation, such as when the hands are cold or in gloves and are "all too common" among both law enforcement and civilians.

Signs that a shooting was an unintentional discharge would include if a single shot fired rather than multiple shots, if the operator was poorly trained and if the operator injured himself, Voth said.

Other signs would include a lack of deliberate aiming, evidence that the person was doing something other than aiming when the gun went off, bullet strikes in illogical locations, a lack of motive or evidence of planning in the shooting and the actions of the shooter after the gun fired.

No evidence has been presented to indicate any motive or planning on Garcia Zarate's part.

Evidence presented in the case indicates the single bullet that struck Steinle hit the ground on the pier around 12 feet away from where Garcia Zarate sat before it hit Steinle around 90 feet away from him.

Under questioning by Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney for the Public Defender's Office, Voth said it was obvious the bullet had ricocheted and that he would consider that as an "illogical bullet strike."

"There's no apparent reason to fire into a concrete pier," he said.

Voth said in a situation such as Garcia Zarate's, where a person who is seated fires a single bullet at the ground that ricochets and strikes someone 78 feet away from the ricochet, "I see the probability that this is an unintentional discharge."

Outside court, defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said Voth's testimony corroborated statements by Garcia Zarate and his defense team that the shooting was accidental.

"It has all the physical characteristics of an accident," Ugarte said.

Defense attorneys Wednesday also worked to undermine the credibility of a witness who testified in court that she had seen Garcia Zarate laughing and acting strangely shortly before the shooting.

Sgt. Conroy testified that the witness, Michelle Lo, did not mention the laughter when she was interviewed by police after the shooting. Michelle Lo's son, Danny Lo, testified that Garcia Zarate made him uncomfortable because he was homeless and said the defendant had looked nonchalant and bored when he saw him on the pier before the shooting.

Steinle's shooting triggered a national furor over San Francisco's Sanctuary City policies after it was learned that Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant with a history of deportations and drug charges, had been released from San Francisco jail several months earlier without notice to federal immigration authorities.

However, Prosecutor Diana Garcia did not bring up Garcia Zarate's immigration status and criminal record during the presentation of her case, which concluded last week.

Defense attorneys are expected to finish presenting their case Thursday, with closing arguments expected to take place next week.

]]>
<![CDATA[SF Paramedic Accused of Taking Puppy From Family]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 13:05:07 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11082017puppy_705202.JPEG

A paramedic with the San Francisco Fire Department is being accused of taking a puppy from a family in the midst of an emergency medical situation.

The family says they feel victimized by someone who was supposed to be there helping them.

A woman, who asked NBC Bay Area to not use her name, says on October 30 her husband felt ill after a dialysis treatment. The couple is originally from Laos. She says as two paramedics were treating her husband in the ambulance, a third paramedic who stayed behind suddenly asked to take a puppy.

"I say, 'you can come back tomorrow and take the dog. Take care of my husband first,'" the woman recalled. She says the paramedic insisted on taking the puppy right then there.

Fearing her husband's condition would worsen, the woman says she let the paramedic take the dog because she didn't think they would leave without it.

Family friend Kevin Chung tracked down the puppy with help of the fire department. The dog was reportedly given to friends of the paramedic.

"It's crazy. I mean, you shouldn't be taking advantage of these people during that situation -- in her condition, in his condition," Chung said.

The fire department says it is investigating the incident and declined to name the accused paramedic. But the family tells us a fire captain came Wednesday with an interpreter and said the puppy will be returned on Nov. 21 after a health quarantine. The paramedic faces disciplinary action, according to the fire department.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Snapchat and Twitter Adopting New Looks to Gain More Users]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 03:38:12 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SnapchatGettyImages-586113582.jpg

A pair of struggling social-media darlings have decided they need to take on new looks if they want to prosper.

Twitter is rolling out a 280-character limit for nearly all its users, abandoning its iconic 140-character limit for tweets.

And Snapchat, long an app popular with young people, will undergo a revamp to make itself easier to use, in the hopes it can attract a wider audience.

Both companies announced the moves Tuesday as they look for ways to expand beyond their passionate but slow-growing fan bases.

At the end of the third quarter, Twitter had 330 million monthly users, up just 1 percent from the second quarter. Snapchat added 4.5 million daily users in the quarter to 178 million, which amounts to a 3 percent growth. The company does not report monthly user figures.

But those numbers pale next to social media behemoth Facebook, which reported its monthly users rose 16 percent to 2.07 billion.

"The one thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback," Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel said. "As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use."

His comments came on a conference call with industry analysts after the company posted the lackluster user-growth numbers and revenue that fell well short of Wall Street expectations. Snap's stock was bludgeoned in after-market trading, falling more than 17 percent to $12.53. The Venice, California-based company went public in March at $17 a share.

Snapchat needs to grow its user base beyond 13 to 34 year olds in the U.S., France the U.K. and Australia, Spiegel said. This, he said, includes Android users, people older than 34 and what he called "rest of world" markets.

Twitter, meanwhile, appears also to be banking that by freeing users from the 140-character straitjacket, its platform will gain in popularity. The San Francisco company says 9 percent of tweets written in English hit the 140-character limit. People ended up spending more time editing tweets or didn't send them out at all.

The move to 280 characters was first started as a test in September.

"People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall," said project manager Aliza Rosen in a blog post.

The expansion to 280-character tweets will be extended to all users except those tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, who will still have the original limit. That's because writing in those languages uses fewer characters.

The news led to an onslaught of extended tweets by users seeming to revel in the sudden doubling of their Twitter real estate. Others were not impressed, including at least one who quoted Shakespeare: "Brevity is the soul of wit."

And, as Spiegel noted, change does not come without risk.

"We don't yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application," he said. "We're willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion Spotted Near Salesforce CEO's SF House Again]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 13:48:42 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BenioffMountainLions.JPG

For the second time in a matter of days, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff spotted a mountain lion sauntering around near his San Francisco property.

The leader of the cloud computing company on Saturday shared video of a large feline strolling in front of his home near the Presidio. Four days later, Benioff once again shared surveillance footage of a mountain lion traipsing near his house under the cover of darkness.

"Big cat!" Benioff wrote in a tweet on Wednesday following the second sighting.

It is not clear if the sightings involve the same mountain lion or two separate mountain lions.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to the National Park Service for comment.

Benioff says he has notified police, city officials and the National Park Service about the large cat or so-called "San Francisco mountain lion."

The timing of the mountain lion sightings present a compelling coincidence given that a designated "Dreamoji," or emoji for Salesforces's ongoing Dreamforce conference, just so happens to be an apparent lynx or other member of the cat family.



Photo Credit: Marc Benioff
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<![CDATA[New BART Train Cars Fail Safety Inspection]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:12:37 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/222*120/7-24-17_BART_Fleet_of_Future.JPG

New BART train cars flunked a safety inspection by a state regulatory agency Friday, casting doubt on whether the new 775-car fleet will be providing passenger service by Thanksgiving.

The cars in the agency's 669-car fleet are 30 to 40 years old on average, "the oldest of any heavy rail commuter system in the U.S.," according to spokesman Jim Allison, and the agency is replacing them.

However, BART must first correct a problem that surfaced during a test run of a 10-car pilot train with a California Public Utilities Commission team aboard Friday, according to Elizaveta Malashenko, director of the CPUC's Safety and Enforcement Division.

"The Operator was unable to open the doors at platform stops," Malashenko noted in a Monday letter to BART's general manager.

"... BART is denied permission to operate the new cars in revenue service until the aforementioned issue and all issues have been corrected and an additional ride check is performed by CPUC staff," Malashenko said in her letter.

Allison explained the problem in an interview.

The ten cars "are all connected, and they communicate with the control car in the front like a big caterpillar with a brain," Allison said.

"When the test run arrived at Bayfair Station, instead of recognizing all ten cars, it went into safe mode in which it recognized only three and locked out control of the seven cars in the back," the spokesman said.

"Safe mode" means that only the first three cars are under the operator's control. The rationale is that these cars are closest to the operator and the operator can closely monitor them, he said.

"What we don't know is what triggered it," Allison said.

BART engineers and technical staff from Bombardier Inc., the manufacturer, are working to find out what went wrong, the spokesman said.

The problem must be identified and fixed "before we can assess the impact, if any, on the planned operation of the cars in passenger service around Thanksgiving," Allison said in an email.

The agency had set Nov. 23 as the deadline to roll out passenger service on some of the new trains.

Realistically speaking, the best-case scenario would probably be fixing the problem, passing another test and getting final approval from the utilities commission the week of Nov. 20, Allison said.

That would mean the agency would just squeak in to get passenger service started by Nov. 23, Allison said.

Allison acknowledged that the process could stretch into December.

The timing is at the discretion of the utilities commission, he said.



Photo Credit: Scott Budman/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Police Seek Additional Suspects in Castro Shooting]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 10:21:19 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/CastroShootingSuspectWeapon.JPG

San Francisco police on Tuesday said they are searching for additional suspects who may be connected to a police shooting in the Castro District that left one officer and one suspect with critical injuries.

At a town hall meeting this evening police said investigators have not yet been able to interview the officer injured in the Nov. 1 shooting, a nine-year veteran who remains hospitalized, and are still working to identify witnesses who were seen in the area.

The incident began shortly after midnight Wednesday, when a citizen flagged down two uniformed officers walking a Halloween foot beat in the area of 18th and Diamond streets, according to police.

The resident pointed out a suspicious vehicle parked in front of 77 Diamond Street with one person inside, who he thought may been breaking into the vehicle, Capt. Valerie Matthews, head of the department's major crimes division, said.

When the officers approached the vehicle, the officer closest to the car ordered the man, later identified as 32-year-old Hayward resident Sesar Valadez, to get out.

Valadez then allegedly pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and began shooting at that officer, striking him multiple times, before turning to fire at the second officer, Matthews said.

The second officer fired back, striking the suspect. In all, the officer and the suspect are thought to have each fired 16 rounds, and the suspect appears to have emptied his gun, police said. Both weapons have been recovered.

The vehicle Valadez was found in had been reported stolen out of Hayward, police said.

The suspect and injured officer were both taken to the hospital with critical injuries and remain there as of this evening.

Matthews said police are searching for at least two individuals thought to have been with the suspect and who fled the area after the shooting.

Investigators are also trying to determine if those individuals are the same ones responsible for the armed carjacking of a taxi that occurred about a block away shortly after the shooting. That vehicle was abandoned a short distance away at 18th and Oakwood streets near Dolores Park.

Department policy generally calls for the release of body-worn camera footage in officer-involved shootings, and police on Tuesday said that one of the officers, the one who fired his weapon, did activate his body camera and capture a portion of the incident.

However Chief William Scott said that footage would not be released at this time.

"In this case we have determined that there are key witnesses who have not yet been interviewed including the involved officer and the release of body worn footage at this juncture will jeopardize the investigation so we will not be releasing it tonight," Scott said.

Police also typically release the name of the involved officer within 10 days of a shooting, but Scott said that officer's name would be withheld while investigators worked to determine if it's release would pose a threat to his safety.

"There are unanswered questions in this case as to motive and who was involved," Scott said. "Due to not having these questions answered we have not been able to get a full assessment of the safety of the officers at risk."

The shooting rattled Castro District residents, a number of whom lined up at this evening's town hall meeting to thank police and to call for an increased police presence in the neighborhood. Scott pointed to a recent increase in foot patrols, implemented in August, while Supervisor Jeff Sheehy urged residents to support funding for more officers.

Sheehy said the department is currently working to reach a staffing level of 1,971 officers dictated by a mid-1990s ballot measure, but argued that that target should be increased.

"At that time the community thought that was the appropriate number officers but the city has grown dramatically since then, it's become much more complex, and some of the new tactics that the department is deploying to prevent officer-involved shooting, time and distance, require more officers, so for all these reasons I think that number is way too low," Sheehy said.

Valadez was formally booked into jail on Friday but remains in the hospital. He was arrested on suspicion of numerous charges that include two counts of attempted murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and driving a stolen vehicle.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[California NAACP Calls for Change to National Anthem]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 06:16:59 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd-49ers-GettyImages-856373702.jpg

It has been a staple of American culture throughout the nation's history, but the NAACP in California say it needs to go.

The organization says the "The Star-Spangled Banner" should no longer be used as the national anthem because the third stanza of the song, which is rarely sung, references slaves.

Alice Huffman, the president of the NAACP in California and Hawaii, brought up the idea at a recent NAACP state convention. She says the song is racist.

"We're not trying to protest the flag at all," she said. "We're just trying to get it removed so that whatever comes out in the future as a national anthem we can all stand proudly and sing it."

The specific stanza that Huffman has issue with reads, "Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave."

"And if you look at it, there's no way you can think it meant anything great for African Americans," Huffman said.

Huffman hopes for a new, more inclusive song that would better represent modern day America.

The NAACP will ask lawmakers for support of its campaign in January.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kate Steinle Trial: Defense Says Shooting Was an Accident]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 18:57:50 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1107-2017-SteinleTrial-Behringer.jpg

Surveillance video footage of a group of people gathered on San Francisco's Pier 14 shortly before Kate Steinle was shot supports the claim by the man charged with her murder that he found the gun on the pier, defense attorneys said Tuesday.

Defense attorneys for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45,who is on trial for second-degree murder in the July 1, 2015 shooting, asked a video enhancement expert, Paul Hiromi Endo of the San Bruno-based video and graphics firm Think Twice, Inc., to present enhanced video of the pier where the shooting occurred and analyze other images taken at the scene.

Defense attorneys Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney for the public defender's office, and Francisco Ugarte, are not contesting that he fired the shot that killed Steinle, a 32-year-old Pleasanton native and San Francisco resident.

Instead, they are presenting a series of expert witnesses this week to bolster their argument that the shooting was an accident that occurred after Garcia Zarate found and picked up a gun on the pier that had been stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger several days earlier.

The dark, grainy video presented by Endo today was taken by a surveillance camera at another pier around a quarter of a mile away and shows individuals only as small indistinct figures. The version presented to jurors today was zoomed in and enhanced to somewhat improve visibility.

While prosecutors showed jurors the portion of the video including the shooting, Gonzalez had Endo walk through an earlier time period before Garcia Zarate first appears on the pier.

A group of six people can be seen gathering there around the seat where the defendant later sat, moving back and forth and at some points appearing to bend down as if they are picking things up or setting them down.

Prosecutors have cast doubt on Garcia Zarate's statement to police that he found the gun on the pier, arguing that he could have been carrying it in his pockets.

However, defense attorneys say the images of the group on the pier shows one way the gun could have ended up on the pier.

"We believe that it was entirely likely that group of individuals discarded that weapon," Ugarte said outside of court. "That's evidence that when he said he found the gun right there it appears to be a legitimate statement."

Gonzalez also spent some time with Endo going over enhanced imagery that appeared to show Garcia Zarate bending over in his seat, another point the defense said corroborated his story. In addition, he presented still photos demonstrating that items hidden behind Garcia Zarate, such as a gun wrapped in a piece of cloth, would not necessarily have been visible to passersby.

Steinle was hit in the back by a single bullet as she walked on the pier with her family. The bullet ricocheted off the pier about 12 feet in front of Garcia Zarate before it struck her where she stood around 90 feet away.

On Monday, the defense opened its case with testimony from James Norris, former head of the San Francisco crime lab, on that bullet ricochet.

Prosecutor Diana Garcia is expected to cross-examine Endo Wednesday as the trial continues.

Steinle's shooting triggered a national furor over San Francisco's Sanctuary City policies after it was learned that Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant with a history of deportations and drug charges, had been released from San Francisco jail several months earlier without notice to federal immigration authorities.

Sanctuary City policies, which have been adopted by hundreds of cities and counties across the country, limit the communication and cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

The policies are intended to increase community safety by encouraging immigrants to report crimes and work with local police and also to avoid liability due to illegal detentions. They have been upheld by court rulings but are bitterly opposed by immigration opponents.

Garcia Zarate had been sent to San Francisco jail after he completed a federal sentence for returning to the country following deportation because he had a warrant in the city for an old marijuana charge. That charge was dismissed once he arrived in San Francisco and he was released.

Defense attorneys have said they expect to wrap up their case this week, with closing arguments expected to take place next week.



Photo Credit: Vicki Behringer]]>
<![CDATA[Rock 'n' Roll Photographer Steps Out From Behind the Lens]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 19:50:42 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/jay+by+joe.jpg

Chances are if you’ve been to a Bay Area rock concert in the last 40 years, you’ve encountered Jay Blakesberg at work on stage. He was the guy behind the camera.

And after decades focusing his lens on some of the biggest names in music, the prolific rock 'n' roll photographer is the star of his own career retrospective titled Dark + Light, opening in San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Photo Center this Thursday.

For the show, Blakesberg pared down what he estimates are more than two-million photos taken during a 40-year career, into 140 pictures lining the walls of the photo center, with even more on display in the San Francisco Parks and Rec Department’s McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park.

“When people look at my photographs,” Blakesberg said, “I want my photographs to take them to another place.”

Blakesberg was around 16 years old in New Jersey when he began borrowing his father’s camera to take photos and develop them in his basement. Soon he was sneaking his camera into rock concerts to photograph bands like Led Zeppelin and Crosby Stills and Nash.

“I was bringing my camera to concerts,” he said, “because I wanted to create my own memorabilia to hang on my bedroom wall.”

It was the Grateful Dead that lured Blakesberg West. Inside the photo center where he was setting up for his show, he pointed to a picture of the band taken in San Francisco in 1978. He rode a Greyhound Bus across the country to see the concert — and ended up staying.

“I’m not an L.A. guy, I’m not a New York guy,” Blakesberg said. “I’ve always been based in San Francisco.”

The photos themselves are embrued with stories — both conveyed in expression and setting — but also in Blakesberg’s account of each session.

He photographed Tom Waits playing a tiny piano in the Petaluma recording studio closet where the artist preferred to record. The photo of Jerry Garcia strumming a guitar was taken in mandolinist David Grisman’s Mill Valley home. He took the portrait of Emmylou Harris at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival where Blakesberg has been a staff photographer for the last 16 years.


He photographed guitarist Roger McGuinn at a Byrds concert back in New Jersey in 1979 while Blakesberg was still in high school. Decades later he was taking a portrait of McGuinn in his San Francisco photography studio when he pulled out the earlier photo to show the musician.

“We look at this photograph and I notice the date, April 14, 1979,” Blakesberg said. “And this was April 14, 2004 — 25 years to the day later.”

He points out a picture of Bono spray painting the Vaillancourt Fountain in 1987. It was Blakesberg’s first assignment for Rolling Stone Magazine. His photo of Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen, taken when the photographer was 16, was the first picture he ever sold to a magazine.

“Nowadays we’re published every day; Instagram, Facebook, social media, Snapchat,” he said. “Back then a photograph in print in a magazine was a pretty monumental thing.”

Blakesberg’s photos are a mixture of live concert action — and thoughtful portraits posed in what appears as fussily crafted settings — which isn’t necessarily the case. The Richard Avedon-esque black and white of John Lee Hooker was taken with a white sheet for a backdrop in the musician’s Redwood City garage. Another photo of Tom Waits was taken behind a shed. Waits didn’t want to sit for the shot until Blakesberg took a polaroid to convince him of the pose.


“I don’t want to put out pictures of people looking bad,” Blakesberg said of his loyalty to his subjects, “or doing things they might not want the public to see.”

Blakesberg has long straddled the worlds of analog and digital photography. The show is split into two walls — analog on one side, digital on the other. Blakesberg said he’s a bit nostalgic about his thousands of hours spent in darkrooms watching photos slowly come to life in a pool of chemicals. And yet, he said he wouldn’t go as far as saying he actually misses it. He doesn’t. These days he only shoots digital.

He said he’s shot a million, three hundred thousand digital files since 2004. And probably another million photos on film. Many of those photos were taken of his childhood favorites, the Grateful Dead, whom he has followed for decades — including snapping the band’s iconic 50 year anniversary in 2015. Blakesberg’s photo is taken from behind the stage with the band posing with the crowd at its back.

Blakesberg still marvels that he’s gotten to photograph so many of his childhood idols — and is now folded into a plethora of musical families.

“I’m a working photojournalist, I’m a working commercial photographer,” Blakesberg said. “And I happened to get lucky enough to do it all in sort of the rock 'n' roll world.”



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
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<![CDATA[More Prison Time for Ex-Agent After Bitcoin Theft]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:36:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gavel____.jpg

A former U.S. Secret Service agent who was previously sentenced to nearly six years in prison for corruption during a probe of the Silk Road online black market has been sentenced in federal court in San Francisco to another two years for an additional crime.

Shaun Bridges, 35, of Laurel, Md., was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg for one count of money laundering. The laundered funds were 1,606 bitcoin he stole from government custody in a separate case in 2015.

Seeborg also ordered Bridges to forfeit approximately 1,500 bitcoin and other currency with a present value of approximately $10.4 million, according to U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Abraham Simmons.

As a Secret Service agent, Bridges had participated in the seizure of the bitcoin in November 2014 from a European bitcoin currency exchange that was under investigation.

Meanwhile, however, Bridges himself came under investigation for his earlier theft of bitcoin in 2013 from Silk Road, a now-defunct online market that sold drugs, false identification and computer hacking tools. Silk Road customers paid for items with bitcoin virtual currency.

Bridges pleaded guilty in 2015 to money laundering and obstruction of justice in connection with the 2013 theft and was sentenced by Seeborg to five years and eleven months of prison.

Bridges resigned from the Secret Service in March 2015, while knowing he was under investigation, but kept the only key to the digital wallet holding the bitcoin seized in the second case.

While his prosecution in the Silk Road case was under way, he transferred the bitcoin seized in the second case to other digital wallets to which only he had access, according to Simmons.

"Bridges stole from the government that he had already betrayed," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing brief.

As part of his plea agreement, Bridges agreed to return the stolen bitcoin.

Seeborg ordered Bridges to serve the new two-year sentence consecutively to the previous sentence.

Bridges was one of two federal agents convicted of corruption during the probe of Silk Road, which was operated by Ross Ulbricht from 2011 and 2013 and was described by the FBI as the most extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet at the time.

The other agent was former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Carl Force, 47, of Baltimore. He pleaded guilty to extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice and was sentenced by Seeborg in 2015 to six and one-half years in prison.

Ulbricht was arrested while using his laptop in a San Francisco branch library in 2013. He was convicted in federal court in New York of seven counts, including running a continuing criminal enterprise and selling drugs, and was sentenced to life in prison.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Service Comes to a Close for United Airlines' 747 Aircraft]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 23:53:44 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/United747.JPG

It's the end of an era.

United Airlines' historic Boeing 747 aircraft — famously known as the "Queen of the Skies" — took off from San Francisco for Honolulu on Tuesday, marking the final time that the airline will use the massive jetliner for commercial travel.

United's fleet of 747s has been shuttling passengers around the globe since 1970, according to the airline.

United is replacing the 747 aircraft with much fuel efficient and cost effective airplanes, according to the airline.

In order to relive the glory days of the aircraft's first flight more than four decades ago, United Airlines celebrated the final flight by stepping back into the past. Flight attendants dressed in retro uniforms and the more than 300 guests onboard were treated to a 1970s-style menu.

Tickets for the final flight went on sale back in September, according to the airline. Those tickets sold out in less than 90 minutes.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley's Great Wealth Bypasses Its Working Homeless]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 07:48:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17310777735151.jpg

In the same affluent, suburban city where Google built its headquarters, Tes Saldana lives in a crowded but tidy camper she parks on the street.

She concedes it's "not a very nice living situation," but it also is not unusual. Until authorities told them to move, more than a dozen other RVs filled with people who can't afford rent joined Saldana on a tree-lined street in Mountain View, parked between a Target and a luxury apartment complex.

Homeless advocates and city officials say it's outrageous that in the shadow of a booming tech economy - where young millionaires dine on $15 wood-grilled avocado and think nothing of paying $1,000 for an iPhone X - thousands of families can't afford a home. Many of the homeless work regular jobs, in some cases serving the very people whose sky-high net worth is the reason housing has become unaffordable for so many.

Across the street from Saldana's camper, for example, two-bedroom units in the apartment complex start at $3,840, including concierge service. That's more than she brings home, even in a good month.

Saldana and her three adult sons, who live with her, have looked for less rustic accommodations, but rents are $3,000 a month or more, and most of the available housing is distant. She said it makes more sense to stay in the camper near their jobs and try to save for a brighter future, even if a recent city crackdown chased them from their parking spot.

"We still need to eat," said Saldana, 51. "I still want to bring my kids, once in a while, to a movie, to eat out."

She cooks and serves food at two hotels in nearby Palo Alto, jobs that keep her going most days from 5 in the morning until 10 at night. Two of her sons, all in their 20s, work at a bakery and pay $700 toward the RV each month. They're all very much aware of the economic disparity in Silicon Valley.

"How about for us people who are serving these tech people?" Saldana said. "We don't get the same paycheck that they do."

It's all part of a growing crisis along the West Coast, where many cities and counties have seen a surge in the number of people living on the streets over the past two years. Counts taken earlier this year show 168,000 homeless people in California, Oregon and Washington - 20,000 more than were counted just two years ago.

The booming economy, fueled by the tech sector, and decades of under-building have led to an historic shortage of affordable housing. It has upended the stereotypical view of people out on the streets as unemployed: They are retail clerks, plumbers, janitors - even teachers - who go to work, sleep where they can and buy gym memberships for a place to shower.

The surge in homelessness has prompted at least 10 local governments along the West Coast to declare states of emergency, and cities from San Diego to Seattle are struggling to come up with immediate and long-range solutions.

San Francisco is well-known for homeless tent encampments. But the homeless problem has now spread throughout Silicon Valley, where the disparity between the rich and everyone else is glaring.

There is no firm estimate on the number of people who live in vehicles in Silicon Valley, but the problem is pervasive and apparent to anyone who sees RVs lining thoroughfares; not as visible are the cars tucked away at night in parking lots. Advocates for the homeless say it will only get worse unless more affordable housing is built.

The median rent in the San Jose metro area is $3,500 a month, yet the median wage is $12 an hour in food service and $19 an hour in health care support, an amount that won't even cover housing costs. The minimum annual salary needed to live comfortably in San Jose is $87,000, according to a study by personal finance website GoBankingRates.

So dilapidated RVs line the eastern edge of Stanford University in Palo Alto, and officials in neighboring Mountain View have mapped out more than a dozen areas where campers tend to cluster, some of them about a mile from Google headquarters.

On a recent evening, Benito Hernandez returned to a crammed RV in Mountain View after laying flagstones for a home in Atherton, where Zillow pegs the median value of a house at $6.5 million. He rents the RV for $1,000 a month and lives there with his pregnant wife and children.

The family was evicted two years ago from an apartment where the rent kept going up, nearing $3,000 a month.

"After that, I lost everything," said Hernandez, 33, who works as a landscaper and roofer.

He says his wife "is a little bit sad because she says, 'You're working very hard but don't have credit to get an apartment.' I tell her, 'Just wait, maybe a half-year more, and I'll get my credit back.'"

The plight of the Hernandez family points out one of the confounding problems of the homeless surge along the West Coast.

"This is not a crisis of unemployment that's leading to poverty around here," said Tom Myers, executive director of Community Services Agency, a nonprofit based in Mountain View. "People are working."

Mountain View, a city of 80,000 which also is home to Mozilla and 23andMe, has committed more than $1 million over two years for homeless services, including money for an outreach case manager and a police officer to help people who live in vehicles. At last count, there were people living in more than 330 vehicles throughout the city.

Mayor Ken Rosenberg is proud of the city's response to the crisis - focusing not on penalties but on providing services. Yet he's also worried that the peace won't last as RVs crowd into bike lanes and over-taxed streets.

Last week, Mountain View officials posted signs banning vehicles more than 6 feet high on some parts of the street where Saldana, Hernandez and others living in RVs were parked, saying they were creating a traffic hazard. The average RV is well over that height.

That follows similar moves over the summer by Palo Alto, which started cracking down on RVs and other vehicles that exceed the 72-hour limit on a busy stretch of El Camino Real.

In San Jose, officials recently approved an ordinance pushed by an interfaith group called the Winter Faith Collaborative to allow places of assembly - including gyms and churches - to shelter homeless people year-round.

Ellen Tara James-Penney, a 54-year-old lecturer at San Jose State University, parks her old Volvo at one of those safe haven churches, Grace Baptist Church, and eats in its dining hall. She is paid $28,000 a year to teach four English classes and is carrying $143,000 in student debt after earning two degrees.

She grades papers and prepares lessons in the Volvo. At night, she leans back the driver's seat and prepares for sleep, one of two dogs, Hank, by her side. Her husband, Jim, who is too tall for the car, sleeps outside in a tent cot with their other dog, Buddy.

The Bay Area native remembers the time a class was studying John Steinbeck, when another student said that she was sick of hearing about the homeless.

"And I said, 'Watch your mouth. You're looking at one.' Then you could have heard a pin drop," she said. "It's quite easy to judge when you have a house to live in or you have meds when you're depressed and health care."

In response to growing wealth inequities, unions, civil rights groups and community organizations formed Silicon Valley Rising about three years ago. They demand better pay and benefits for the low-income earners who make the region run.

SEIU United Service Workers West, for example, organized roughly 3,000 security guards who work for companies that contract with Facebook, Google and Caltrain, the mass transit system that connects Silicon Valley with San Francisco.

One of those workers is Albert Brown III, a 46-year-old security officer who recently signed a lease for half of a $3,400 two-bedroom unit in Half Moon Bay, about 13 miles from his job.

He can barely afford the rent on his $16-an-hour salary, even with overtime, but the car that doubled as his home needed a pricey repair and he found a landlord willing to overlook his lousy credit. Still, Brown worries he won't be able to keep up with his payments.

His feet have been hurting. What if a doctor tells him to rest for a few days or a week?

"I can't miss a minute. If I miss a minute or a shift? No way, man. A week? Forget it, it's over. It's all downhill from there," he said.

"It's a sad choice. I have to decide whether to be homeless or penniless, right?"

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Glows at Sunset]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 23:14:14 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/WEB-CHOPPER-RAW-SUNSET1.JPG

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Salesforce Raises Millions For Fire and Hurricane Victims]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:02:51 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/20171107-Dream-Force-RB-2.jpgDreamforce is more than just a tech conference — it's all about "giving back." The largest tech conference in the world raised millions that will go toward helping hurricane-affected communities and those affected by the deadly North Bay fires.

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee/ NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Crime Lab Supervisor Testifies in Steinle Trial]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:26:33 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

On Monday, former San Francisco crime lab supervisor James Norris testified in the Kate Steinle murder trial that the gun used in the shooting was pointed at the ground when it went off. He showed the jury a picture of the flattened bullet and the divet where it struck the pier about 12 feet from where Garcia Zarate was sitting. Mark Matthews reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Law Enforcement Search for Stolen Police Guns]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:35:15 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SMgunsstolen1105_670275.JPG

Law enforcement officers across the Bay Area are on the lookout for stolen police weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Authorities said a shotgun, rifle, ammunition, Kevlar vest and FBI jacket were stolen from an unmarked San Mateo County Sheriff's Department vehicle in San Francisco on Friday night. The vehicle was assigned to a deputy from San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and was on loan to the FBI's joint terrorism task force.

Investigators will not disclose if the deputy was on or off duty when the incident occurred. NBC Bay Area on Monday learned the San Mateo County employee is temporarily suspended from the FBI task force he was serving on while authorities investigate.

The incident is the fourth time in three months thieves have stolen weapons from a Bay Area law enforcement official's vehicle.

The unmarked vehicle in Friday's incident was stationed along the 100 block of Jones Street in the Tenderloin District when it was broken into just after 10 p.m.

It is not known if the weapons were locked and secured inside the trunk, but NBC Bay Area has been told FBI policy is that the guns should be. In addition, the inside trunk latch should be disabled.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has learned the special agent in charge of the FBI issued an notice in the San Francisco bureau that if you are assigned to a task force, you are not to store weapons in vehicles that do not have a lock box without the express approval of the special agent in charge.

"It is pure negligence. How many people have to die? How many more killings will there be?" said State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo. "Crimes will be committed because of weapons left in law enforcement vehicles."

Two people have been killed with stolen police guns and Hill said if the rules aren't followed, tougher sanctions for officers may be needed.

Hill wrote last year's bill that required officers to lock down their weapons in unattended vehicles. The bill was written for handguns, but he said the same principles should apply to long guns.

Anyone with information regarding the recent  incident is encouraged to call the San Francisco Police Department's tip line at 415-575-4444.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Seize 2 Pounds of Heroin, 70 Pounds of Meth in SF]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 13:42:23 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NarcoticsArrest.JPG

A San Francisco man was arrested on suspicion of drug offenses Wednesday in his hometown, police said Monday.

Alejandro Alvarez, 44, was arrested at about 1:30 p.m. when police served a search warrant in the 1200 block of Sanchez Street in the city's Noe Valley neighborhood.

During the search, police allegedly found and seized about two pounds of heroin, about 70 pounds of methamphetamine and more than $46,000 in cash.

Alvarez was booked on suspicion of possessing drugs, possessing drugs with the intent to sell them and maintaining a place for the purpose of selling drugs.

Police are still investigating the case and ask anyone with information about it to call them anonymously at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with SFPD.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Dishing Out Fewer Traffic Tickets: Report]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 06:24:44 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

As San Francisco strives to improve traffic safety, new numbers indicate that the city's officers are issuing fewer traffic tickets, according to a report.

While the city by the bay continues to push its Vision Zero campaign with hopes of eliminating traffic deaths by 2024, the San Francisco Examiner reports that the number of tickets handed out has dropped each year since 2015.

The number of tickets dished out between 2013 and 2015 — approximately 120,000 annually — remained about the same each year during that time period, according to the report. The amount of overall traffic tickets issued so far this year is about 30,000 less than the same time in 2015.

The amount of tickets for speeding, running red lights and other serious offenses is remaining steady, according to the report.

It is not clear why the amount of tickets has been dropping, according to the report, but the drop allows the police department to meet its mandate of having 50 percent of all tickets being in "vital traffic safety categories."

While the overall number of tickets issued continues to fall, so does the number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities, according to the report.



Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tens of Thousands Expected at Dreamforce Conference in SF]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 23:39:47 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dreamforce1105_670684.JPG

Tens of thousands of people are expected to converge on San Francisco this week for the annual Dreamforce conference.

The event, held by tech giant Salesforce, kicks off Monday.

On Sunday night, San Francisco police already were closing off some streets. The conference, which takes place at multiple venues, including Moscone Center, is expected to draw more than 170,000 people, plus another 10 million viewers online.

Notable conference guests include former first lady Michelle Obama, actor Ashton Kutcher and musical artist will.i.am.

Part of the Dreamforce festivities include a concert at AT&T Park on Tuesday night, featuring Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys.

The conference runs through Thursday.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Church Leader Reacts to Mass Shooting in Texas]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 21:45:23 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf3rdbaptist1105_669718.JPG

In the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting at a church in Texas, local religious leaders are thinking about their own security. San Francisco’s 3rd Baptist Church did not beef up security, but over time, the church has made changes to keep people safe.

Rev. Amos Brown said says he's seen an increase in violence in general in the United States, blaming a government that fails to care for the mentally ill and one that he said puts power above compassion. The country is changing for the worse, he said.

"It's what happens to a society and a culture when it loses its moral compass," Brown said. "We have become a violent nation in our priorities."

Brown has overseen the installation of security gates and surveillance cameras and has had to hire guards since he became the church's leader 41 years ago. The church is located in the inner city unlike the church targeted in Sunday’s shooting.

"What this gentleman did at church this morning he was encouraged to do it because he thought he had a right to take his pistol, whatever weapon he used, and go to church," Brown said.

The reverend said society helps shape more people like suspected killer Devin Patrick Kelley by becoming complacent about violence and accepting the volatile tempermant of some our leaders.

"It has created a climate of instability and violence, and people tend to mirror and reflect their environment," Brown said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Security Breach at SFO Prompts Lockdown in Terminal 2]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 21:47:34 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10242017SFO_538724.JPG

Security officials at San Francisco International Airport issued a lockdown in one of the terminals on Sunday evening, according to an airport spokesman.

At about 3:10 p.m., a breach at one of the security checkpoints in Terminal 2, which serves domestic flights, prompted the lockdown, airport spokesman Jeff Figone said.

The breach was caused when a passenger entered the terminal through an exit door and started walking through the airport. He then walked through to the gates then went back to a security checkpoint, Figone said.

San Francisco police detained and questioned the man, and K-9 units sniffed his trail to try to detect anything suspicious but didn’t find anything, Figone said.

The brief lockdown caused a massive backup in the lines at the TSA security checkpoints in the terminal.

No further details were available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Salesforce CEO Spots Mountain Lion Outside SF Home]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 11:05:45 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BenioffMountainLion.PNG

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff received quite the surprise recently when a mountain lion strolled in front of his San Francisco home.

The leader of the cloud computing giant on Saturday tweeted a link to a YouTube video showcasing the large feline walking on his property near the Presidio.

The timing of the mountain lion sighting presents an intriguing coincidence given that the designated "Dreamoji," or emoji for Salesforces's upcoming Dreamforce conference, just so happens to be an apparent lynx or other member of the cat family.

The emoji for Dreamforce goes by the name "Appy," and Benioff used the hashtag #AppyDF when sharing his mountain lion encounter on social media.



Photo Credit: Marc Benioff
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<![CDATA[Guns, Ammo Stolen From San Mateo Co. Sheriff's Car]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 06:58:02 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SMgunsstolen1105_670275.JPG

A shotgun, rifle, ammunition and other items were stolen from an unmarked San Mateo County Sheriff's Department vehicle in San Francisco on Friday night, according to officials.

The unmarked vehicle was stationed along the 100 block of Jones Street in the Tenderloin District when it was broken into just after 10 p.m., according to San Francisco police.

A Kevlar vest and FBI jacket were also stolen from the vehicle, police said.

The car was assigned to a San Mateo County sheriff's sergeant who is a member of the Bay Area’s FBI task force, according to a sheriff's department official.


A sheriff's spokesman listed the stolen weapons and ammunition: "So the first is going to be a shotgun with a Weatherby 12-gauge pump action, blue steel with a brown stock. The second is a Colt AR4, black in color. There were also 40 mags containing 20 rounds each of .223 that were stolen."  

The guns were locked in the trunk of the car, but the thief or thieves managed to break a window and escape with the items, according to a sheriff's spokesman.

It was not clear whether the deputy was in the city as part of an investigation.

While examining Bay Area police agency records, the NBC Bay Area Investigate Unit found that the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department reported that 58 guns were lost or stolen during a five-year time period ending in 2015. 

A new law requires that law enforcement officers secure their weapons in a locked trunks or a safe box in their vehicles.

Anyone with information regarding the recent  incident is encouraged to call the San Francisco Police Department's tip line at 415-575-4444.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Furor Erupts Over Decision to Arm SFPD Officers With Tasers]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 17:59:57 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1132017sftaserfuror_656893.JPEG

San Francisco police commissioners voted 4-3 late Friday night in support of a plan to arm all city police officers with Tasers following a raucous six-and-a-half-hour hearing that was at one point shut down and relocated to another room in response to audience protests.

The vote means the department will move to develop a policy for the conducted energy devices, commonly known by the brand name Taser. However, an amendment by Commissioner Robert Hirsch will delay implementation until the department's new use of force policy has been in effect a full two years in December 2018.

Commission President Julius Turman and commissioners Petra DeJesus and Bill Ong Hing, all of whom were appointed by the Board of Supervisors rather than the mayor, voted against the policy and spoke out strongly against the move.

Turman said the department was making great strides in changing its culture, implementing a new use of force policy, increasing the number of officers trained in crisis intervention and improving community relations.

"Now is not the right time to do this," he said. "This is going to derail the progress we are making."

"Please commissioners, do not do this," Turman added, saying the commission should revisit the issue in a year.

Commissioner Joe Marshall, however, dismissed arguments about timing.

"When the department was not progressing it was not a good time to have them, when the department is progressing it is not a good time to have them," he said. "What I heard is that people just don't like Tasers, and for a lot of people it will never be the time to have them."


The decision marks a major victory for the police department and for Police Chief Bill Scott.

Police in San Francisco have been lobbying to be allowed to use the devices for more than 10 years as a less lethal alternative to firearms, but the commission has previously been deterred by stiff community opposition. Opponents argue the devices are unsafe and fear they will be used as another weapon against the vulnerable and disenfranchised.

The department renewed its efforts this year however under the leadership of Scott, who took over in January. This time, the push also has the backing of a set of 272 U.S. Department of Justice recommendations for department reform issued in October last year, which include a call for the department to adopt Tasers.

Friday's commission hearing was the culmination of a process launched earlier this year with the creation of a task force to develop a potential policy for the use of conducted energy devices. Two meetings were also held in September to gather public comment.

Scott, who previously served with the Los Angeles Police Department where Tasers are in use, acknowledged that they pose a risk of injury or death, but said studies show they reduce the risk of injury overall to both subjects and officer. He noted that they also allow officers to maintain more distance from suspects than other options.

"I strongly believe as the chief of police that our officers need CEDs" Scott said, calling them "part of a comprehensive range of less lethal force options."

Those speaking at the hearing, however, were largely opposed, with many speakers citing the high cost of Tasers, which according to a budget and legislative analyst report could cost as much as $8 million up front as well as annual costs for training, replacement and legal liability.

Others cited studies showing they are disproportionately used against minorities and the mentally ill and questions around their reliability, as well as a general distrust of police.

"Many said it doesn't matter whether police have guns or Tasers, it was going to be bad for them either way," Human Rights Commission Executive Director Sheryl Evan Davis told the commission in a summary of public feedback.

A UCSF study presented to the commission also indicates that in their first year of use, Tasers may actually increase the rate of sudden deaths and police shootings, although those numbers appear to later subside.

Those speaking against included representatives of the State Bar and the Coalition on Homelessness, as well as Supervisor Sandra Fewer. Fewer said it would be shortsighted for the department to put its resources into Tasers when it has not implemented most of the other recommendations from the Department of Justice and is still working to improve training on deescalation practices.

"It is irresponsible to authorize the use of a weapon that escalates violence without having conducted intensive training in deescalation first," Fewer said.

The hearing was brought to a halt shortly after the start of public comment after members of the public began shouting and chanting in defense of Maria Cristina Gutierrez, a former "Frisco Five" hunger striker who played a role in the downfall of former police Chief Greg Suhr, when she kept speaking past her allotted time.

Audience members convened an impromptu public meeting of their own, chanting and taking turns speaking out against the use of Tasers, until the meeting was moved to a different hearing room, sending the crowd pouring upstairs and leaving many left waiting outside while the hearing resumed inside.

The maneuver drew angry protests from a number of speakers, but Turman refused to allow more than a few people back inside at a time during the lengthy public comment period. The move prompted Commissioner Petra DeJesus to leave the room to stand with audience members outside in what she said was a protest at their treatment.

"We had to switch rooms because people won't let us hear what is being said, it is disruptive," Turman said in response to one complaint. "Let us hear what people have to say. Of course I take everything people say seriously but I have to hear it."

DeJesus said the commission had "turned a deaf ear" to community concerns.

"There's something wrong with this process, I think it was designed to keep people out," she said. "I think it's a shame for this commission to even consider voting on this."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Anti-Trump Rally at SF's Union Square Despite Permit Denial]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 18:09:41 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/DN0tr3hUMAAMS1d.jpg

Hundreds of people who believe that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence must be ousted from the White House plan to descend on San Francisco's Union Square on Saturday.

Hosted by nonprofit Refuse Fascism, the rally and march have been dubbed "This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!"

The group and its supporters claim that Trump and Pence pose a "catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power," according to a Facebook event page. 

Thousands of people plan to protest across the United States and those in the Bay Area will not be left behind, organizers promised.

Refuse Fascism contacted the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department for a permit for Saturday's event. The group was turned down.

City officials said the Nov. 4 rally organizers called them in early October.

"We immediately informed them Union Square was not available on this date as it is already permitted for two other large and longstanding installations and there is not adequate additional space for this event at that location," officials said in a statement.

Further, permits are not issued based on the type of event that is proposed, they stressed.

"Instead we issue permits based on first-come-first serve site availability and site appropriateness for the stated activity," parks officials wrote. "To ensure the safety of all involved we coordinate with public safety departments on these determinations."

The explanation did not satisfy Refuse Fascism, whose attorneys filed a First Amendment challenge in U.S. federal court.

In a statement issued Saturday, organizers wrote: "We took our case to Court, to the Mayor's office, and the Board of Supervisors and were turned down. The reason they gave: part of the space is taken up by an ice skating rink! This is ridiculous: in a moment when the people of the world are in grave peril, commerce does not trump the urgency and importance of this protest. And besides there is LOTS of space in the area."

Refuse Fascism called San Francisco officials' behavior "outrageous and unacceptable," but stressed that they would not lose sight of their goal. 

"The word has already gone out and we will gather at Union Square, have our rally and march. We insist and demand that the safety and integrity of this is ensured. And will stand united together, having each other's backs, as we stand with the people of the world," they continued.

As of 1 p.m., around 380 people have said they will attend the protest, while another 1,600 are interested. A storm is dumping rain on the Bay Area, and it remains to be seen whether the inclement weather will prevent protesters from taking to San Francisco's streets.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Shooting That Critically Injured SF Officer]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 10:39:27 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SF+OIS.JPG

A Hayward man was arrested Friday after shooting and critically wounding a San Francisco officer earlier this week, police said.

The suspect, Sesar Valadez, 32, was also severely wounded in Wednesday's "exchange of gunfire" in the Castro district. 

Booked in absentia at a hospital, Valadez was booked on a slew of charges, including two counts of attempted murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers, driving a stolen vehicle, discharging a firearm in a negligent manner, carrying a loaded firearm in public and resisting arrest, according to police.

Wednesday's incident began just after midnight when a 41-year-old officer, who had been flagged down by a citizent, started to investigate a suspicious vehicle near 18th and Diamond streets, according to police. That's when shots were fired.

The officer, a nine-year veteran, sustained at least one gunshot wound. He has undergone surgery and remains hospitalized, police said.

Valadez was also hospitalized with a gunshot wound. His injuries are considered life-threatening, police said.

The investigation has revealed that the car deemed suspicious was a gray Chrysler sedan with paper dealership plates that had been reported stolen. A firearm, that police believe belonged to the suspect, was found at the crime scene, and homes in the area were riddled with bullet holes.

Police said two women and a man carjacked a SuperCab at gunpoint near the crime scene, and they believe it is connected to the shooting.

Police found the cab abandoned on Oakwood in the Mission district, where dozens of police officers launched a massive search for the suspects later Wednesday.

Neighbors say officers searched backyards and rooftops in the area for hours. It remains unknown whether the suspects have been located.

The San Francisco Police Department's homicide unit and Internal Affairs Division, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Police Accountability are investigating the shooting.

Castro resident Pete Howells described hearing "a lot of shots" and noted that the the shooting was "not just your typical exchange."

The incident marked the third officer-involved shooting in a Bay Area city in under 12 hours. A stabbing suspect on Tuesday was killed after being shot by police in Sunnyvale. Hours later, Sonoma County sheriff's deputies shot a man who tried to run over a person in a stolen car.

It's also the second incident in two weeks to leave a San Francisco police officer critically injured. On Oct. 18, bicycle officer Elia Lewin-Tankel was run down by a van driven by a suspect wanted in a weapons investigation. Lewin-Tankel is still recovering in the hospital.

Wednesday morning's shooting was not the first instance of the Castro district being marred by violence on Halloween night. Nine people were shot in the neighborhood in 2006 after a fight broke out.

Anyone with information about the recent shooting is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department tip line at 415-575-4444. People can also text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with "SFPD."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Ten Cars Involved in Crash on Highway 101 in San Francisco]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 12:08:32 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic.jpg

Ten cars were involved in a crash on northbound U.S. Highway 101 in San Francisco on Saturday.

California Highway Patrol officers held traffic back to get all the vehicles off the freeway around 12 p.m.

About one hour later, all the cars had been taken to Cesar Chavez and Indiana streets.

There was no word on injuries.

Additional information was not immediately available.

Check back for updates.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Indoor Ski Slope in SF Touts as Alternative for Athletes]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 21:47:15 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/110417_urbansnow1.jpgDuring the Snow Bomb Festival at Pier 35 in San Francisco, a Bay Area ‘virtual startup’ Urban Snow, showcased a 30-foot slope with synthetic snow.

Photo Credit: Urban Snow]]>
<![CDATA[SF Races Upgrading Water Systems With Eye On Climate Change]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:53:23 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1103-diver+1.jpg

It may be mostly happening out of sight, out of mind — but San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is in the midst of a whirling dervish of 70 construction projects including upgrades to the city’s aging and decrepit water treatment plants and sewer systems. The price tag for phase 1 alone -- $2.9 billion.

“It’s time for an upgrading,” said Chris Colwick, a SFPUC spokesman. “We’re operating with some equipment that’s basically at the end of its useful life, in some cases past its useful life.”

Utility officials say the city is filled with aging infrastructure — water plants dating back to the forties and fifties, sewer systems installed a century ago. While the hearty antique technology reflects the ingenuity of the city founders, it’s also old and falling apart.

Tucked in among the tourist attractions along Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco’s 65-year old Northeast Wet Weather Facility is showing its years. During a recent tour, senior SFPUC sewer replacement project manager Jignesh Desai pointed out the plant’s growing flaws.

“The is a typical gate that isolates the flow,” Desai said, pointing to a large metal gate that resembled a giant decaying waffle. “So this is a corroded gate that will require replacement.”

The plant kicks-in during severe storms and treats 150 million gallons of sewage a day; sending solids on to the city’s Southeast treatment plant which is undergoing its own major rehabilitation, and channeling treated storm water into twin pipes that empty into the bay. The city is racing to complete the repairs before the rainy season.

“Right now it’s quiet, because we are not in the wet weather obviously,” Desai said, gesturing across a room of large, empty concrete tanks. “When it’s rainy season, this place is buzzing.”

While the repairs are aimed at modernizing infrastructure of the past, they also have an eye on the future — namely climate change and rising sea levels. The SFPUC has projected a rising sea level of 36 to 66 inches by 2100. Any long-term fixes will have to take those changes into account.

“We’ve actually seen sea level rise,” Colwick said. “We’ve actually seen it with our facilities.”

California has also seen an increase in intense storms that have tested San Francisco’s wet weather systems which have for the most part have weathered the challenges.

At pier 31, divers have spent weeks hand vacuuming sediment from underwater pipes that empty treated sewage water from the nearby treatment plant. The work will clear the pipes and maximize outflows during heavy storms.

Just down from the pier, throngs of tourists milled along the Embarcadero, oblivious to the nearby plant and the vital systems running just below their feet.

“Looking at this plant you wouldn’t know it’s a challenge,” said the plant’s supervisor Andre Moore. “But when there’s a mechanical failure, it’s a challenge.”



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[SF Police Commission Mulls Arming Officers With Tasers]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 22:29:59 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SFPD_Holding_Meeting_on_Taser_Policy.jpg

The San Francisco Police Commission on Friday could make a decision on whether or not to arm officers with stun guns.

San Francisco and Boston are the only two major American cities that don't allow officers the less lethal option of Tasers.

Leading up to Friday’s meeting, the San Francisco Police Officers Association has been airing radio ads pushing for the use of Tasers. On Thursday, police Chief Bill Scott penned and op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Not having the option of using a Taser creates a higher likelihood of prolonged hands-on physical force by police officers and a higher probability of increased resistance by a suspect,” he wrote.

In recent months, the commission has revised the department’s use of force policy with a focus on de-escalation. That came in the wake of protests surrounding the December 2015 death of Mario Woods, a man who was armed with a knife in the Bayview district and was shot and killed by San Francisco police officers.

The department also released a report Thursday on its use of force, which includes officers pointing their weapons to control suspects. It indicates that the overall use of force by fell by 32 percent between July and September this year compared to the same time period in 2016.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Early Winter Storm to Dump Rain, Snow on Northern California]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 17:35:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-467299859.jpg

A storm moving in from the Gulf of Alaska arrived Friday in Northern California, soaking the state's Redwood Coast for several hours.

Rain increased from a light drizzle overnight to steady rain on Friday in the state's far north, forecasters with the National Weather Service said.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, overnight light rain made for slick roads ahead of the morning commute.

A mountain pass across the Sierra Nevada that runs through Yosemite National Park closed to traffic Thursday ahead of the storms expected to dump up to 2 feet of snow on the highest peaks, park officials said.

Officials are asking drivers to be safe and prepared for this Winter-like storm by having chains on their vehicles. Despite the dangers, the early snow is a welcome sign for several ski resorts who hope to get several hundred inches of snow for the season. 

Resorts like Boreal Ski will be the first to open their ski area in the California for the 2017-2018 season. 

"It's incredible when we're able to open early," said Tucker Norred. "There's some seasons when we only 73 inches and there's others that we've had 750 inches." 

In fire-scarred regions of Northern California's wine country, meanwhile, crews were working to stem the flow of ash, soil or hazardous substances into waterways in case the storms bring heavy rains there.

Tioga Road, the soaring eastern entry to Yosemite, was closed to traffic shortly before nightfall Thursday. Officials were also closing Glacier Point Road, which offers sweeping views of Yosemite Valley.

Both roads are to be shut through Monday, when the storms are expected to dissipate and road conditions can be assessed.

Two storm systems will be moving through Northern California over the weekend, bringing rain and snow to the region.

Most of the rain is expected overnight Friday into Saturday morning.

In Sonoma County north of San Francisco, crews have been working long days to prevent feared mudslides and water pollution in areas hit by last month's devastating wildfires, which killed at least 43 people and destroyed more than 8,900 homes and other structures.

The work includes placing sandbags and bundles of straw to block runoff into streams, and moving to capture some of the runoff in urban areas that burned. California has declared a public-health emergency in fire areas in part out of concern that household chemicals from burned areas could contaminate soil and water.

This weekend, up to 2 feet of snow are forecast to fall in elevations above 8,000 feet, and at least a foot of snow is expected in Donner and Tioga passes and other areas above 6,000 feet and up, forecasters said. The storms coming in from the Gulf of Alaska will also bring rain to the San Francisco Bay Area, including North Bay counties still recovering from last month's fires.

The first storm will clear by Sunday afternoon. But a second storm system is expected to hit the area Sunday night.

So far, the only Lake Tahoe-area ski resort open is Mt. Rose area on the Nevada side. But operators were pleased with the forecast.

"We are so excited for the coming storms," said Marcie Bradley, a spokeswoman with Northstar Ski Resort in Truckee, which is scheduled to open Nov. 17.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steinle Trial: Prosecution Tries to Demonstrate Intent]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:34:41 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinledemo1102_642729.JPG

In the Kate Steinle murder trial Thursday, the prosecution conducted an unexpected demonstration in court as it tried to establish the defendant's intent to fire the fatal shot.

Before prosecutors rested their case against Jose Garcia Zarate, 45, their lead investigator took the weapon and the clothes Garcia Zarate wore the night of the shooting and showed the jury how the Sig Sauer handgun could have been concealed in his pockets. The gun barely fit inside the jeans Garcia Zarate was wearing when Steinle was shot in July 2015 on Pier 14 in San Francisco.

"So whether the gun was concealed in the clothing of the defendant is relevant to whether he intended to pull the trigger, and that is the evidence you saw in court," said Alex Bastian, spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

The demonstration immediately drew red flags from defense attorneys.

"There are a lot of pockets that gun could fit in," said Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney for the Public Defender's Office. "But this is a new theory that they’re putting forward, and as I pointed out, they never bothered to test the pockets for gunshot residue."

Lead investigator Anthony Ravano then said Garcia Zarate didn’t shoot the gun through his pocket.

Ravano also faced pointed questions about federal Ranger John Woychowski, who apparently got a pass on all investigative questions related to his stolen weapon.

"The decisions were made with a judge, and the judge makes a ruling on what’s relevant and what’s not relevant," Bastian said. "That is done through a process, and those relevance issues were all hashed out before this trial."

Gonzalez said the prosecution conducted an investigation with "kid gloves," trying not to do anything that could incriminate the officer. But with Garcia Zarate they didn’t bother to watch important videotape evidence that could corroborate his story.

Gonzalez was referring to video of the pier the defense shared, showing a group of people around the same seat Garcia Zarate ultimately sat in 30 minutes prior.

On Thursday, Ravano told the court he watched the video from around the time of the shooting onward. He said he believes Garcia Zarate could have found the weapon "anywhere but on the pier."

Steinle, a 32-year-old Pleasanton native, lived in San Francisco's South Beach neighborhood. She was walking on the pier with her father when she was shot.



Photo Credit: Vicki Behringer]]>
<![CDATA[Service Restored After Mission Bay/SOMA Outage: PG&E]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 14:47:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/164*120/1102-2017-sf-outage.jpg

Just over 5,000 PG&E customers in San Francisco were affected Thursday afternoon by an outage in the city's Mission Bay/SOMA area.

The outage started at 3 p.m. PG&E said service was rested at 5 p.m.

Equipment failure is likely the cause of the outage, according to PG&E.

No other information was immediately available.



Photo Credit: PG&E]]>
<![CDATA[Goat Yoga Finds Fans in San Francisco]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 10:52:26 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/yogaconcabras_6399841.JPEG

A San Francisco group is offering clients a unique and fun experience: Yoga with goats. Interacting with the friendly animals is a way to disconnect from daily pressures and destress.

Watch our sister station Telemundo 48's report in Spanish here: http://nbcbay.com/lCsm0MT





Photo Credit: Telemundo 48]]>
<![CDATA[25 Hottest Companies to Work at in 2017: Indeed]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 13:01:35 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-131978227.jpg

It's been a good week for the Bay Area.

Four of the five tech companies that are most attractive to job seekers across the United States are local, according to Indeed

This, just one day after the Bay Area dominated LinkedIn's first-ever list of the most in-demand startups nationwide.

When compiling its inaugural list, the employment search engine looked for job listings that sparked considerable interest across five sectors: tech, media/entertainment, retailers, consumer brands and finance.  

Sony Interactive Entertainment, of San Mateo, is ranked first, followed by Red Hat, of Raleigh, N.C. A trio of San Francisco companies — Postmates, Slack and Airbnb came in third, fourth and fifth places respectively.

“There are a small number of companies that see extraordinary interest from job seekers," said Paul D'Arcy, a senior vice president at Indeed. "These 'hot' companies could be seeing above-average traffic due to a number of factors like expansion, new products or increased marketing activity."

Potential employees considered a variety of factors, from company reputation to wages and length of commute to culture, Indeed found. 

"These companies are the outliers in their respective industries, with highly attractive job postings to a larger than expected group of hopefuls," D'Arcy continued.

Below are the top five companies in the four other categories:

Hottest media/entertainment companies of 2017


  1. Sony Pictures
  2. Conde Nast
  3. Nickelodeon
  4. HBO
  5. Thrillist
Hottest retail companies of 2017
  1. Aldi
  2. Publix
  3. BJ's Wholesale Club
  4. Big Lots
  5. TJ Maxx
Hottest consumer brands of 2017
  1. Volvo
  2. Tesla Motors
  3. Mattel, Inc.
  4. Fossil Group
  5. Bose
Hottest finance/banking companies of 2017
  1. World Bank
  2. BKD, LLP
  3. Comerica Bank
  4. Raymond James
  5. CohnReznick




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SFMTA Considers Redesign of Powell Street in San Francisco]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 05:39:14 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Powell6.JPG

Developers are pushing for a project that could make a popular San Francisco street even more pedestrian friendly.

The proposed Powell Streetscape project would bring additional lighting, wider sidewalks and a flat curb level along Powell Streets between Geary and Ellis streets.

The area under review was part of an 18-month pilot project that made Powell Street car-free back in July.

The change to a car-free street reduced traffic volumes by roughly 60 percent, simultaneously reducing the likelihood of auto-pedestrian collisions.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will hold open houses to discuss the project at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. at 151 Powell St. in San Francisco.

SFMTA will make a final decision in January, and construction could begin as early as 2021.



Photo Credit: SFMTA]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon Plans to Hire 800 People Across the Bay Area]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:46:12 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/amazon-warehouse.jpg

Looking for a job?

Amazon is holding job fairs across the Bay Area hoping to hire 800 people to fill their seasonal warehouse positions.

According to Amazon, these seasonal positions could even lead to a full-time job.

“Last year, thousands of holiday positions were transitioned to regular, full-time roles after the holidays, and the company expects to continue that trend this year,” said Amazon in a press release.

In January, the online retail company said it would add 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months, despite their attempt to make the switch to automated warehouses.

Amazon plans to hold the job fairs on Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 at the Hyatt House in San Jose at 9 a.m. Other dates include Nov. 4 at the Silliman Center in Newark, Nov. 9 at the Courtyard Marriot in Richmond and Nov. 10 at the Doubletree Fremont-Newark.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[BART Issues Plea to Commuters: Stop Jamming Train Doors]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 09:02:32 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BART_Issues_Plea_to_Commuters__Stop_Jamming_Train_Doors.jpg

BART is pleading its commuters to stop racing onto trains and jamming the doors because its slowing down service.

The plea comes after about 200 BART cars had to be taken out of service in August alone due to damaged doors.

Passengers rushing onto a train and getting stuck in a door can force the door off its track or dislocate the rubber seal. That problem can knock out the car or even the entire train and send it to the service yard for repairs.

Chris Filippi of BART understands that people are in a hurry, but he wants to make sure their impatience doesn't disrupt service for other commuters.

"What we’re hoping is that people keep in mind, if they’re stuck in our door or they force a door open, that that’s going to have a long term impact that literally is going to impact the time of thousands of people," he said. "It's going to take one of our cars out of service unnecessarily. It's going to create a more crowded environment. These are all bad things we're trying to avoid."

The doors on BART's soon-to-be-released cars won't pocket like the existing ones. That feature makes them more durable and soundproof.

The transportation agency hopes to have 20 of the next generation cars in service by the end of the year.

]]>
<![CDATA[Jurors View Interrogation of Steinle Murder Suspect]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 19:19:32 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

The man on trial in the 2015 fatal shooting of Kate Steinle on San Francisco's Pier 14 gave conflicting and sometimes false answers in an interview with police after the incident, in which he seemed to confess to the shooting at one moment and then contradict himself the next.

Prosecutor Diana Garcia on Wednesday showed jurors a video of a police interview with Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a 45-year-old homeless Mexican citizen charged with second-degree murder in Steinle's July 1, 2015 death.

Steinle, a 32-year-old Pleasanton native and South Beach resident who was shot with a stolen gun as she walked on the pier with her father and a family friend.

Defense attorneys are arguing that the fatal bullet, which ricocheted off the pier before it struck Steinle, was fired accidentally after Garcia Zarate found the gun on the pier and picked it up. The gun had been stolen from the car of an off-duty Bureau of Land Management ranger in San Francisco days earlier.

Garcia Zarate, who was arrested in the area of Townsend Street and Embarcadero about an hour after the 6:30 p.m. shooting, can be seen slumped in the interrogation room in the video as he answers police questions, initially in sleepy monosyllables.

Speaking largely through a police interpreter, Garcia Zarate first denied being near the scene of the shooting, saying he was instead sitting near the ballpark eating cookies or crackers, and gave police a false name and date of birth.

He also declared early in the interview that he is Colombian and would pay for a lawyer.

As the interrogation progressed into the early hours of the next day, Garcia Zarate acknowledged his involvement, but still gave several versions of events.

"When I got there, I was walking along, there was a rag and I stepped on it and it fired and then I picked it up," the interpreter translated him as saying.

A short time later, Garcia Zarate agreed twice with police when they asked if he pulled the trigger, but when they asked him again why he threw the gun in the water he responded through the interpreter "Because the gun was firing by itself."

Giving frequent answers of "I don't know," Garcia Zarate never indicated a motive for the shooting, saying that Steinle had not done anything to make him want to shoot her and indicating that he had not known that he shot her. At one point, in response to repeated questions, he told police he was shooting at a sea lion, or a fish.

Outside of court today Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney for the public defender's office, noted that Garcia Zarate had willingly agreed to statements suggested by police that later turned out to be false, such as when he said he was only 5 feet away from Steinle when she was shot. He was, in fact, around 90 feet from her, evidence shows.

He also agreed at times to statements by police suggesting that he found the gun somewhere else, but then immediately returned to saying he found it on the pier when asked to explain.

Gonzalez said the evidence was, overall, consistent with the defense theory of an accidental shooting.

He attributed the confusing statements in part to fatigue, as the interview was conducted between 1:50 a.m. and 5:45 a.m., and Garcia Sanchez had been sitting in custody since his arrest around 7:30 p.m. the previous evening. He also noted that Garcia Zarate had little formal education and alluded to possible mental issues.

"The fact that very skilled and experience and educated interrogators can get a second-grade Mexican immigrant to adopt what they were saying, like that he was five feet away when the gun was fired, doesn't make it true," Gonzalez said.

"When you compare 5 feet to 90 feet, when you get discrepancies like that it raises questions," Gonzalez said.

Police lied to Garcia Zarate at several points in the interview, telling him that they had witnesses, DNA and gunshot residue evidence tying him to the shooting and had recovered the firearm, none of which were true. Lt. Anthony Ravano testified on the stand that it was a tactic used to "motivate" the suspect to be more truthful.

Gonzalez said the practice was common in interrogations, as is lying on the part of defendants when they are first confronted by police.

The defense cross-examination of Ravano, the lead homicide investigator on the case, is expected to continue Thursday morning. Defense attorneys expect to begin presenting their case as soon as next week.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Woman Accused of Relieving Herself on BART]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 07:28:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart42.jpg

A San Francisco woman sought for theft and arson was arrested last month after being spotted numerous times as she soiled BART trains, according to transit officials. 

Police identified the suspect as Ardis Williamson, 68. BART officials were alerted to the presence of the San Francisco woman — accused of being a serial urinator and defecator — when a rider shared pictures and videos of her, spokeswoman Alicia Trost wrote on Facebook. 

"So we had officers ride the train each morning in hopes of locating her," Trost said because they can only cite someone after observing the act he or she is accused of committing.

On Oct. 20, the BART rider once again called the transit agency to report seeing Williamson, Trost said. Officers made contact and arrested her on an outstanding $5,000 warrant for theft and a no-bail warrant for arson.

"Quality of life issues impact our riders and we need to keep our system safe and clean," Trost said. "We've heard folks say BART ignores these issues, we do not. We hope this person can now get the help they need."

People who need to use a restroom at an underground BART station in San Francisco can use Pit Stop bathrooms at the street level, Trost said. 

Williamson was booked into the Redwood City jail on the warrants and an additional charge for possessing drug paraphernalia, police said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Startups Rank High on LinkedIn's Top 50 List]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 10:29:45 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Laptop+Typing.jpg

LinkedIn on Wednesday revealed its first-ever list of the "most in-demand" startups in the United States and the Bay Area is home to seven of the top 10.

Surprised, anyone?

Uber landed in first place despite being in recent headlines for "sexual harassment claims, regulatory issues, a new CEO and loads of boardroom drama," according to LinkedIn. The untoward attention didn't stop the San Francisco-based ride-sharing giant from expanding and luring valuable employees away from behemoths like Google, JPMorgan and Facebook.

The "super-unicorn" employs 16,000 people globally, is valued at $68 billion and gives employees credit to use on personal rides or UberEATS. 

Airbnb, also headquartered in San Francisco, made second place. The company, which has a team of 6,500 people, is the David to the $550 billion hotel industry's Goliath. Valued at $29.25 billion, Airbnb is expected to exceed 100 million stays in 2017 — a 25 percent jump from just last year. 

The hospitality company has also teamed up with Newgard Development Group to launch co-branded apartments, which will be "optimized for home sharing and flexible sharing."

In third place is coworking startup WeWork, which is based in New York City, employs 3,000 people around the world and is valued at $20 billion.

Lyft, San Francisco's other quickly expanding ridesharing platform, is in fourth place, with a global headcount of 2,000 and an $11 billion valuation.

Slack, a popular workplace messaging service located in San Francisco, took fifth place. Forty-three companies from the Fortune 100 list use Slack, which has 890 workers and a $5.1 billion valuation. 

Companies had to meet certain criteria to make LinkedIn's inaugural list of the country's hottest upstarts: They had to be 10 years old or younger, employ at least 100 people, be independent and privately held, and have received at least one round of venture-backed funding.

LinkedIn also examined their "employee growth, job seeker interest via views and applications, member engagement with the company and its employees."

The ranking also takes into account "how well these startups pulled talent" from 50 businesses — including Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce, Tesla, Apple and Netflix — that made LinkedIn's top companies list

Automotive startup Nio, whose global headquarters are in Shanghai, China, but North American headquarters are in San Jose, came in sixth place. It is followed by Rubrik, of Palo Alto; Dropbox, of San Francisco; Houzz, of Palo Alto; and Convoy, of Seattle.

Here are LinkedIn's top 20 startups in the United States:


  1. Uber — San Francisco, Calif.
  2. Airbnb — San Francisco, Calif.
  3. WeWork — New York City, NY
  4. Lyft — San Francisco, Calif.
  5. Slack — San Francisco, Calif.
  6. Nio — Shanghai, China and San Jose, Calif.
  7. Rubrik — Palo Alto, Calif.
  8. Dropbox — San Francisco, Calif.
  9. Houzz — Palo Alto, Calif.
  10. Convoy — Seattle, Wash.
  11. General Assembly — New York City
  12. Stripe — San Francisco, Calif.
  13. Glossier — New York City, NY
  14. Flexport — San Francisco, Calif.
  15. Aryaka Networks — San Mateo, Calif.
  16. Pinterest — San Francisco, Calif.
  17. Grail — Menlo Park, Calif.
  18. Duo Security — Ann Arbor, Mich. 
  19. Udacity — Mountain View, Calif.
  20. G2 Crowd — Chicago, Ill.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[SF Police Officer Gifts Boy a Batman Costume for Halloween]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 21:07:28 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpdcares.jpg

A San Francisco police officer on Halloween responded to a young boy’s bat signal.

According to the Mission District station's Twitter page, a yet unnamed officer found out that the child did not have a costume in which to dress up. So he set out to the rectify that.

A video shows the officer standing at a house’s front door while the boy runs down a flight of stairs. In the officer’s hand is a Batman costume.

“Come on, dude!” the officer says. “It’s all yours.”

Someone in the background can be heard saying the child was crying – a fact that the boy immediately denied, drawing chuckles from the officer.

“There’s a mask, all that good stuff,” the officer said.

“Alright,” the boy replied.

As the officer asked the boy if he thought the attire would fit him, the child flung the costume aside, said, “Thank you,” and threw his arms around the man’s waist.

The officer returned the hug. “No problem, dude,” he said, smiling.

Additional details about the pair’s interaction are unknown.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to the San Francisco Police Department for a comment.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Shooting Leaves SFPD Officer, Suspect in Critical Condition]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 22:58:21 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SF+OIS.JPG

A police officer and a male suspect were hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday following an "exchange of gunfire" in the Castro district of San Francisco, according to police.

The 41-year-old officer, who had been flagged down by a citizen just after midnight, started to investigate a suspicious vehicle near 18th and Diamond streets, according to police. Shots were then fired between the suspect and at least one officer.

The officer, a nine-year veteran, was taken to an area hospital with a gunshot wound. He has undergone surgery and is in critical, but stable condition, police said in a statement.

The suspect was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. His injuries are considered life-threatening, police said.

The investigation has revealed that the car deemed suspicious was a gray Chrysler sedan with paper dealership plates that had been reported stolen. A firearm, that police believe belonged to the suspect, was found at the crime scene. And homes in the area were riddled with bullet holes.

Police said two women and a man carjacked a super cab at gunpoint near the shooting scene, and they believe it is connected to the shooting.

Police found the cab abandoned on Oakwood in the Mission district, where dozens of police officers launched a massive search for the suspects later Wednesday.

Neighbors say officers searched backyards and rooftops in the area for hours.

The San Francisco Police Department's homicide unit and Internal Affairs Division, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Police Accountability are investigating the shooting.

Castro resident Pete Howells described hearing "a lot of shots" and noted that the the shooting was "not just your typical exchange."

The incident marked the third officer-involved shooting in a Bay Area city in under 12 hours. A stabbing suspect on Tuesday was killed after being shot by police in Sunnyvale. Hours later, Sonoma County sheriff's deputies shot a man who tried to run over a person in a stolen car.

It's also the second incident in two weeks to leave a San Francisco police officer critically injured. On Oct. 18, bicycle officer Elia Lewin-Tankel was run down by a van driven by a suspect wanted in a weapons investigation. Lewin-Tankel is still recovering in the hospital.

Wednesday morning's shooting was not the first instance of the Castro district being marred by violence on Halloween night. Nine people were shot in the neighborhood in 2006 after a fight broke out.

Anyone with information about the recent shooting is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department tip line at 415-575-4444. People can also text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with "SFPD."

NBC Bay Area's Laura Malpert and Jean Elle contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Taco Bell Handing Out Free Treat Thanks to Stolen Base]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 14:39:27 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-846234500.jpg

The Bay Area may not be represented in this year’s World Series, but that won’t stop baseball fans from getting some free food on Wednesday.

Thanks to Houston Astros outfielder Cameron Maybin, who stole second base during Game 2 of the World Series, Taco Bells across the country will be giving away a free Doritos Locos Taco to customers from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

The annual "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion has been in effect over the last three years, and thanks to Maybin, fans will be able to cash in on Wednesday.

Fans who get free tacos will still be able to enjoy one last baseball game, as Game 7 of the World Series between the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers will take place on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 5:20 p.m. Pacific time. 

For a complete list of Taco Bell locations, hungry fans can visit the restaurant's website



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Open Enrollment Begins for Covered California]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 23:08:06 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-479421059.jpg

As the White House continues to debate the future of the Affordable Care Act, open enrollment for Covered California begins Wednesday.

The open enrollment process marks the one time of the year when those in need of health insurance can enroll without having to meet qualifying conditions.

Those wishing to enroll will have three months to do so, but people are encouraged to sign up by the middle of December to make sure their coverage kicks in by Jan. 1.

Interested enrollees are also encouraged to shop and compare due to the changes for 2018. Some insurance companies such as Anthem Blue Cross are withdrawing from parts of California while others, such as Blue Shield of California, will be expanding.

Subsidized consumers will see a decrease when it comes to paying for coverage, according to a study performed by Covered California. For the 1.1 million Californians who enroll and receive financial assistance, the average price for coverage will drop about 1.5 percent. That decline equates to a savings of about $9 per month and $108 per year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Struck and Killed by Vehicle in SF's Sunset: Police]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 23:01:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpedax1031_620265.JPG

A man was killed Tuesday evening after being struck by a vehicle in San Francisco, according to police.

Officers responded about 8:10 p.m. to reports of a pedestrian being hit at Sloat Boulevard and 36th Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard, police said. The man was struck by a vehicle traveling on Sloat and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim's identity was not released.

The vehicle's driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with the investigation, police said.

No further details were available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Three Injured After Runaway Truck Careens Down SF Street]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 23:03:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfdumptruck1031_617135.JPG

Three people were injured after a runaway dump truck careened down a steep San Francisco street Tuesday, slamming into multiple cars, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

The incident was reported about 2:45 p.m. at Vallejo and Divisadero streets, fire officials said. They said three people suffered from injuries not considered life threatening.


The 26,000-pound truck hit at least nine moving and parked vehicles, including an Uber driver carrying a passenger, according to San Francisco police.

"It was terrifying," said Cara Flaherty, who was in one of the vehicles struck by the truck.

Divisadero was closed between Vallejo and Broadway for hours as the scene was investigated and cleaned up.

Police determined the truck's emergency brake failed, causing it to roll out of control down Divisadero, one of the steepest streets in the city.

The workers operating the truck were employees of Smart demolition and had been working on Divisadero Street for a few weeks, according to a company spokesperson. Smart is a subcontractor for Synergy Housing.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Dog Rescued After Falling off Cliff at Fort Funston in SF]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 12:07:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fortfunston_615691.JPEG

San Francisco firefighters on Tuesday rescued a dog that fell off the a steep cliff at Fort Funston and got stuck.

The canine was not hurt, fire officials tweeted.

Additional details were not immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Employee at SF Safeway Stabbed, Bit by Suspect's Dog: PD]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:39:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBSFSafewayStabbing.JPG

A grocery store employee in San Francisco trying to stop a male suspect from stealing items was bit multiple times by the suspect's dog and was also stabbed by the man, according to police.

A grocery store employee trying to stop a suspect from stealing items was bit multiple times by the male suspect's dog and was also stabbed by the man, according to police.
The attempted theft and attack, which left the victim in life-threatening condition, occurred around 12:30 a.m. at a Safeway near the corner of 7th Avenue and Cabrillo Street, police said.
After trying to stop the suspect, the victim and suspect became entangled in a physical altercation, police said. The suspect's dog proceeded to bite the employee on the legs and in the buttocks. The victim also suffered a stab wound to his back.
As other employees rushed to aid their coworker, the suspect tried to stab them as well, according to police.
The suspect eventually fled the scene before later being detained and arrested, police saidA grocery store employee in San Francisco trying to stop a male suspect from stealing items was bit multiple times by the suspect's dog and was also stabbed by the man, according to police.

The attempted theft and attack, which left the victim in life-threatening condition, occurred around 12:30 a.m. at a Safeway near the corner of 7th Avenue and Cabrillo Street, police said.

After trying to stop the suspect, the victim and suspect became entangled in a physical altercation, police said. The suspect's dog proceeded to bite the employee on the legs and in the buttocks. The victim also suffered a stab wound to his back.

As other employees rushed to aid their coworker, the suspect tried to stab them as well, according to police.

The suspect eventually fled the scene before later being detained and arrested, police said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New California Gas Tax to Go Into Effect on Nov. 1]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 23:04:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-97962752.jpg

The summer-driving season is over, but drivers across California will see an increase in prices at the pump starting on Nov. 1.

That's because a statewide gas tax will go into effect.

The new tax equates to a 12-cents-per-gallon increase for most drivers. Diesel users will have to pay 20 cents more per gallon.

Gas taxes, which will likely bring in an extra $5 billion, will be utilized for state and local projects.

By 2017, nearly 77 cents of every dollar drivers spend on gas will actually pay for some sort of tax, with California cashing in on 58 cents of that number.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bullet Ricocheted in San Francisco Pier Shooting: Officer]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 21:52:18 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

Guns don't go off without someone pulling the trigger, a retired police investigator testified Monday at the San Francisco murder trial of a Mexican national at the heart of a nationwide debate over immigration policy.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate is charged with shooting to death Kate Steinle as she walked on a San Francisco pier with her father on July 1, 2015. Zarate had been deported five times was wanted for a sixth deportation before the shooting.

The San Francisco sheriff's department released him from jail despite a federal immigration request to detain him. San Francisco is a so-called sanctuary city that bars city officials from cooperating with federal immigration deportation efforts. President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from cities with similar policies.

Garcia Zarate claims the shooting was accidental. He said a gun he found wrapped in a sheet on the pier accidentally fired when he picked it up. His lawyer, Matt Gonzalez, told jurors last week that Garcia Zarate didn't know he picked up a gun until it fired.

Retired San Francisco police inspector John Evans conceded during cross examination that he doesn't know whether Garcia Zarate fired the gun accidentally. But he did argue that accidental discharges result from a shooter mishandling a gun and pulling the trigger.

Evans said he prefers the term "negligent discharge" rather than "accidental discharge."

The semi-automatic handgun used to kill Steinle was stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger a week before the shooting. San Francisco Police Department officers carry similar weapons, and Gonzalez has argued that the gun is designed to fire with the slightest pressure. The department's officers reported 29 accidental weapon discharges 29 times between 2005 and 2011, he said.

Evans said guns "do not fire by themselves" and even accidental discharges require a trigger to be squeezed. Evans said he believed Garcia Zarate pointed the gun at Steinle and pulled the trigger.

Earlier, Evans testified that the bullet that killed Steinle ricocheted off the pier's concrete walkway. Gonzalez said the ricochet supports the accidental shooting argument.

But Evans said that inexperienced shooters often pull the trigger too hard, causing the barrel to dip before firing.

Gonzalez called that aspect of Evans' analysis "highly speculative." The two wrangled over whether the shot had traveled straight, which would support the prosecution's contention that Garcia Zarate aimed the gun before firing.

Prosecutors and Gonzalez said the case boils down to whether Garcia Zarate pointed and fired the gun intentionally or the weapon accidentally discharged.

The shooting sparked a political furor during last year's presidential race, with then-candidate Trump citing the killing as a reason to toughen U.S. immigration policies.

Garcia Zarate had been released from the San Francisco jail about three months before the shooting, despite a request by federal immigration authorities to detain him for further deportation proceedings.

Garcia Zarate was arrested shortly after Steinle died in the arms of her father, who has attended nearly every day of the trial with his wife and son.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, Steinle family, San Francisco PD]]>
<![CDATA[SF Reimbursing Drivers for Overpaid Parking Tickets]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 10:59:10 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-172567318.jpg

Thousands of people are in line for a reimbursement after coughing up too much money for parking tickets in San Francisco.

That's because between January 1995 and June 2014, there was roughly $600,000 in overpayments and duplicate tickets, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The amounts of reimbursements range anywhere from around $20 to hundreds of dollars, and people can get their money back as long as they file a claim by December 14.

Those wondering if they are eligible for reimbursement can look up their license plate or name on the SFMTA website and then file a claim.

Any unclaimed money will be turned over to the city and county of San Francisco. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead After Fire Rips Through San Francisco Residence]]>Sun, 29 Oct 2017 20:45:18 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SFHouseFire1.JPG

One person died after a fire engulfed a residence in San Francisco early Sunday, according to a fire official.

The blaze, which broke out at 44 Molimo Dr., was reported just before 4:20 a.m., San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Jonathan Baxter said.

Neighbors quickly ran out to see if they could help calm the blaze but found 20 to 30-foot flames engulfing the structure for about ten minutes. 

"The whole front of the house had flames coming out the front," said Daniel Homsey, a member of the Miraloma Park Improvement Club. "People had fire hoses, trying to supress the fire and stop it from spreading to the homes nearby."

Responding fire personnel were met with "heavy fire blowing out of the front of the building" when they arrived, Baxter said.

Witnesses told officials the homeowner, who's now hospitalized, escaped from the rear of the house while a second person was killed trying to escape from the front of the home which was engulfed in flames.

The fire department and police have not released the identity of the man who was killed. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to Baxter.

Further information was not immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF Drill: First Responders Simulate Disaster Response]]>Sat, 28 Oct 2017 21:01:18 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/194*120/drillbus_587119.JPG

Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA[Man Clings to Life After Stabbing in San Francisco: Police]]>Sat, 28 Oct 2017 22:48:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfstabbing1028_587308.JPG

A man was clinging to life Saturday night after being stabbed near San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, according to San Francisco police.

The stabbing took place about 6:05 p.m. at Eddy and Cyril Magnin streets, police said. When officers arrived, they found a man suffering from a stab wound. The victim was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.

The suspect, also a male, was still at large, police said.

No further details were available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Ayesha Curry's International Smoke Restaurant Opens in SF]]>Sat, 28 Oct 2017 13:13:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/split2-curry-mina.jpg

After finding a home at the base of San Francisco’s Millennium Tower, Ayesha Curry’s much-anticipated International Smoke restaurant opened its doors on Nov. 13.

The eatery, which is part of a partnership deal with celebrity chef Michael Mina, is replacing his recently closed RN74 restaurant, which occupied the tower’s base for the past eight years.

International Smoke is expected to be a permanent iteration of the pop-up shop the two celebrities collaborated on this past summer, featuring family-style portions of grilled and smoked meats and southern fare. The menu promises to be influenced by Curry’s Chinese, Jamaican, African American and Polish roots.

Mina and Curry opened a brick-and-mortar location in Hawaii, which has three-and-a-half stars on Yelp. The price point hovers between $11 and $30, according to the site.

Curry, who is the wife of Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, has made a name for herself in the culinary industry. She is the author of several cookbooks and often shares recipes and meal pictures with millions of followers on her social media accounts.

She was recently named the new spokesperson for CoverGirl cosmetics, following in the footsteps of Taylor Swift, Queen Latifah, and Ellen DeGeneres. And, next year, Curry is slated to host the “The Great American Baking Show,” an American spin-off of the hugely successful British cooking competition.

Talking about the power of food to bring people together, the mother-of-two told Tasting Table, “For me, recipes should create memories for everyone involved. The saying ‘It takes a village’ often applies. I try to remember to accept help and to do things together.”




Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[SF Cops Cleared in 2 Fatal Shootings, 2 In-Custody Deaths]]>Sat, 28 Oct 2017 15:46:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

Police officers involved in the fatal shootings of two suspects and the deaths of two people in police custody have been cleared, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

The officers were cleared following investigations by the district attorney's Independent Investigations Bureau, which reviews use of force cases.

The bureau concluded that Officer Kenneth Cha should not face criminal charges for fatally shooting Nicholas Flusche on May 3, 2017.

Flusche was at a Subway restaurant that day when police got a call that someone was stabbing an employee with a knife. When Cha and Officer Jordan Cagonot arrived, the officers ordered Flusche several times to get on the ground.

But Flusche did not listen and Cha shot and killed him.

Prosecutors said they will not pursue criminal charges against Cha because available evidence, a report, video surveillance and witness statements support the conclusion that Cha acted to defend the life of another person.

The bureau also cleared four other officers in the June 19, 2016 death of Robert Bower. Bower died while in police custody.

San Francisco's Chief Medical Examiner Ellen Moffatt concluded after an autopsy that Bower died of a methamphetamine overdose, meaning that prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against Officers Ian Goold, Franco Ragusa, Kathleen Cavanaugh and Andrew Sargenti.

Additionally, two other officers have been cleared in the death of Marvin Day who died July 2, 2015, after he had been transferred to medical personnel from police custody.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Hunter found that Day died of "acute methamphetamine toxicity," and that "atherosclerotic heart disease with cardiomegaly" played a part in the death.

Prosecutors said that after reviewing available evidence there is nothing to show that Officers Eric Kuk or James Puccinelli acted criminally in connection with Day's death, so they won't pursue criminal charges.

In the death of Alice Brown, who died March 17, 2015 when Officer Michael Tursi and Sgt. Tom Maguire shot her, the three officers have been cleared.

Brown was shot to death as she was driving and posed a threat to the lives of police and others, according to prosecutors.

Before the shooting, police tried to stop Brown because they thought she was driving a stolen vehicle. But she fled and officers started pursuing her on foot.

Prosecutors said during the chase Brown rammed occupied and parked cars, drove the wrong way on a one-way street, drove on a sidewalk, nearly hit a motorcyclist and crashed into a building.

Prosecutors said they will not pursue criminal charges against Officers Tursi and Maguire and Officer Donn Peterson because they don't believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers' actions were not taken to defend themselves or others.

Investigations by the Independent Investigations Bureau focus only on whether criminal charges against the officers should be filed.

Prosecutors said the bureau's review says nothing about whether officers complied with police policies and procedures, say nothing about their training or tactics and nothing about civil liability issues.

A series of officer-involved shootings put the city's police department under a substantial amount of intense scrutiny last year. The scrutiny ultimately led to the resignation of then Police Chief Greg Suhr, who stepped down after the officer-involved shooting of Jessica Williams May 19, 2016 when she was shot to death by Sgt. Justin Erb during a confrontation.



Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Demolishes Three Piers of Old Bay Bridge Foundation]]>Sat, 28 Oct 2017 18:14:30 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10282017caltransimplosion_580397.JPEG

Caltrans demolished three piers of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's old eastern span Saturday morning, officials said.

Caltrans began demolishing the old eastern span in September 2013 after the new eastern span opened to traffic. The agency said it plans to finish demolishing the remaining marine foundations by mid-November. 

Pier E3, which was the largest pier and the closest to Yerba Buena and Treasure islands, was removed in 2015 and piers E4 and E5 were removed in 2016.

The remaining piers will be removed every other weekend through the second week in November, Caltrans officials said.

By combining the demolition of multiple piers, when possible, Caltrans says it is poised to save $10 million in taxpayer money.



Photo Credit: Caltrans]]>
<![CDATA[Four Injured in San Francisco Shooting: Police]]>Fri, 27 Oct 2017 19:02:15 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10272017SFPDShooting_579126.JPG

Police are investigating a shooting that left four people injured late Friday in San Francisco.

Police said two possible suspects have been detained. The shooting was reported at 7:25 p.m. Police said the victims all have been transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Officials during the investigation issued an advisory for people to avoid the area of the 1100 block of Fillmore Street, between Turk and Golden Gate.

No other information was immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Metallica, Dave Matthews Headline Concert for Fire Relief]]>Sun, 29 Oct 2017 18:52:47 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Metallica-wildfire-concert.jpg

Some of the biggest names in music are coming to the Bay Area to raise money for Northern California wildfire victims. Scott Budman reports.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[SF's Cartoon Museum Reopens 2 Years After Losing Its Space]]>Fri, 27 Oct 2017 17:37:27 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1027-2017-cartoonmuseum.jpg

There are plenty of stories of artists and art spaces forced out by San Francisco by skyrocketing rents. Mostly, they don’t come back.

Which makes the reopening this weekend of the venerable Cartoon Museum a check mark in the win-column for the art world. The museum, which was founded in 1984, was forced out of its longtime Mission Street location two years ago by a ginormous rent increase.

Executive Director Summerlea Kashar wondered if maybe it was time to close the book on the longtime museum devoted to the art of the cartoon.

“When we realized we weren’t going to be able to stay in the Mission Street space I met with the board,” Kashar said. “And ‘do we want to keep doing this, do we want to try?’ And we thought, ‘why not?’”

After a long search, the museum landed a large space on 781 Beach Street in San Francisco’s Aquatic Park — a location that looks out on the Bay. The landlord agreed to give the museum below-market-rate rent.

The new museum features about 5,000 square feet of gallery space with brick walls and steel earthquake supports that lend an industrial hue to the seamless white walls.

“It has all these wonderful elements,” Kashar said, “that bring character to these characters on the wall.”

Kashar said Mayor Ed Lee’s office helped connect the non-profit group with the Northern California Community Loan Fund which helped it navigate the swirling waters of finding a new space.

“They helped with real estate, they helped with finances,” Kashar said. “They helped with any technical questions we had.”

The museum has a long history of promoting cartoons, which Kashar defines as “a drawing with or without words.” Among the gallery’s initial offering in the new space is a series of drawings by Bay Area cartoonist Raina Telgemeier.

“To see kids coming into a museum,” Telgemeier said during a pre-opening party,” and seeing comics on the wall and knowing they’re a valid art form just fills me with happiness.”

The cartoon genre is often overlooked as valid art according to those in the cartoon world. But supporters say cartoons have the unique ability to cover a wide swath of the art world from children to adults.

“You get political commentary, you get newspaper strips,” said artist Gary Amaro. “You get graphic novels.”

The museum will host cartoon classes and promote emerging artists. During its hiatus, it created pop-up displays at other venues.

“A lot of people they want to buy the toy or the t-shirt or whatever,” Kashar said, “we’re here to show there’s artists behind all of this.”

As Kashar and her crew attended to the last-minute details before opening day; cleaning windows and hanging cartoons, a sense of home seemed to hover over the place.

“Everybody’s really excited,” Kashar said, “and ready to come back and support us again.” 



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Federal Agent at Heart of Kate Steinle Murder Case Testifies]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 17:03:07 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10262017KateSteinleSketch_564686.JPG

Jurors witnessed a series of tense exchanges between attorneys in San Francisco Superior Court today as a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger whose stolen gun was used in the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle at Pier 14 two years ago took the stand.

Steinle, a 32-year-old Pleasanton native and South Beach neighborhood resident, was killed by a single gunshot on July 1, 2015, as she walked on the pier with family members.

Defense attorneys in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45, who is charged with second-degree murder for her death, have argued that the shooting was accidental and occurred after the defendant found the stolen weapon stashed under a seat on the pier.

The gunshot that struck Steinle was a ricochet off the pier, according to evidence presented at the preliminary hearing.

As part of their case, the defense attorneys have placed the actions of Ranger John Woychowski, whose gun was stolen from a car in San Francisco shortly before the shooting, at the center of their case.

Woychowski was off duty and stopping off in San Francisco on a family trip to a temporary posting in Helena, Montana, on the night of June 27, 2015, when the gun was stolen.

Woychowski said he left the gun, a .40-caliber Sig Sauer P239 that served as his secondary duty weapon, in a holster inside a backpack stashed under the front seat of his SUV parked on The Embarcadero near Pier 5 while the family went to dinner. The backpack also contained his badge and law enforcement credentials.

"It appeared to be at the time a safe location," Woychowski said. "It was well-lit and metered and there were other pedestrians in the area, which made me feel safer."

Woychowski said he also spoke to someone he took to be a meter maid or security guard in the area who said he would be patrolling until 11 p.m., and took that as additional assurance his vehicle would be safe.

When he returned, two of the vehicle's windows had been smashed and the backpack with the gun inside was missing.

Prosecutors are not presenting any evidence in the case to indicate that Garcia Zarate stole the gun.

The gun was reported missing to San Francisco police and to Bureau of Land Management officials immediately and Woychowski said the incident was investigated but he was not disciplined for it.

Matt Gonzalez, who is representing Garcia Zarate, pushed hard on Woychowski in cross-examination Thursday, questioning why he had left the fully loaded weapon in a backpack in the car and whether his actions were unsafe or against BLM policies.

Gonzalez also attempted to raise the question of whether the person Woychowski took to be a security guard might have been involved in the theft.

However, Judge James Feng has previously ruled to greatly limit the scope of questions that could be asked of Woychowski.

Prosecutor Diana Garcia made numerous objections to Gonzalez's questions Thursday and Feng largely agreed, repeatedly blocking Gonzalez.

After several attempts by Gonzalez to argue the point, Garcia asked the judge, "Your honor, I'd ask that we not make speeches in front of the jury."

"My speeches are much longer than that," Gonzalez shot back, drawing a laugh from the courtroom.

Woychowski's loss of the gun is also the subject of a federal lawsuit filed by the Steinle family against the Bureau of Land Management.

Steinle's parents originally sued the city of San Francisco as well, alleging that the city's decision to release Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant, from jail without notifying federal immigration authorities played a role in her death.

The city's Sanctuary City policy, which has been the subject of national controversy, sharply limits the circumstances under which local law enforcement can share information with immigration officials.

However, the family's lawsuit against the city and former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was thrown out earlier this year.

Guns stolen from law enforcement have been used in several fatal shootings other than the Steinle case in recent years.

Most recently, a gun stolen from a police officer's personal vehicle on Aug. 12 was used in an alleged crime spree that included the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Abel Enrique Esquivel Jr. on Aug. 16 in San Francisco's Mission District.

Three people were arrested in that shooting, which occurred during a robbery.

In Oakland, 27-year-old Antonio Ramos was shot and killed on Sept. 29, 2015, with a gun that had been stolen from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent's car weeks earlier. Police arrested 20-year-old Marquise Holloway in connection with the shooting on Nov. 20.

In response to those and other cases, a state law was signed last year requiring that law enforcement officers store guns in a locked trunk or safe box if they are kept in a vehicle. Civilians were already required to store their weapons securely but law enforcement had previously been exempt.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors also passed an ordinance in February 2016 requiring all weapons left in vehicles to be secured in a locked trunk or lock box, for both civilians and law enforcement.



Photo Credit: Vicki Behringer/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Tops Forbes' List of America's Coolest Cities]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 20:36:24 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-470165439.jpg

San Francisco grapples with mind-boggling real estate prices, a homelessness crisis and worsening property crime rates. Even so, a certain je ne sais quoi landed the city by the bay at the top of Forbes’ 2017 list of America's Coolest Cities.

Home to an assortment of fine dining establishments, including dozens with Michelin stars, San Francisco also offers public transit, world-class museums, sports teams and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, according to Forbes.

According to Bert Sperling, who founded Sperling's Best Places, which partners with Forbes on this list, San Francisco is "crushing it."

He continued: “We’ve heard anecdotally that it is too expensive and people might be looking for other options. But that doesn’t change its desirability. You could make a strong case that this is what people are looking for and desirability makes it less affordable. It would be an anomaly if you found a place that was really really cool but was really really cheap.”

San Francisco, which was credited for its local restaurants, alternative transportation and diversity, is followed by Seattle, famous for recreation, coffee shops and beer breweries, and San Diego, commended for its youth, recreation, and propensity for electric cars.

New Orleans and Portland round out the top five coolest cities.

However, coolness is at best a nebulous concept.

So Forbes explained that it investigated net migration, population aged 25 to 34, diversity and small business growth in the country's 100 largest metropolitan areas. Recreational options, restaurants, eco-friendly methods of transportation, good coffee and social hotspots were some other factors taken into consideration.

The only other Bay Area city that cracked the top 10 places on Forbes' list is San Jose, which came in sixth place.

Here are 20 of the United States' coolest cities:

  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • San Diego
  • New Orleans
  • Portland
  • San Jose
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Boston
  • Denver
  • Charleston
  • Honolulu
  • Austin
  • Miami
  • Madison
  • Houston
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Tampa




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Leaders Celebrate Bill to Create Parks Under SF Highways]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 07:16:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/I15-Overpass-Lake-Hodges-1207.jpg

Local leaders met Wednesday to celebrate the signing of a bill to help create parks and open spaces under or adjacent to highways in San Francisco by California Governor Jerry Brown.

Assembly Bill 857 would allow the city to lease up to 10 parcels of land at 30 percent of market rate from Caltrans. The properties in question would be under or adjacent to Interstate Highways 80 and 280 as well as U.S. Highway 101.

Sites identified as potential locations for the new parks include the Alemany Maze at Highway 101 and Highway 280, Showplace Square under Highway 101 in the Mission, the Hairball under Highway 101 near Cesar Chavez

Street, off-ramps from Highway 280 to Balboa Park and City College as well as an area in the central South of Market district under Highway 80.

"San Francisco has a history of using these sites to build skate parks, basketball courts and other public amenities, and this legislation will allow us to expand upon those efforts," Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 11:39:14 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/PumpkinThumb.JPG

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[49ers, Police Unions Sign Pledge for Bump Stock Ban]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 21:57:42 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/49ersPolice.JPG

The San Francisco 49ers and a number of law enforcement unions on Thursday signed a pledge calling for a "more understanding and safer America" in the wake of recent violence and strained relationships between officers and citizens.

The pledge between multiple parties first calls for the ban of "bump stocks," which allowed the Las Vegas concert shooter's semi-automatic weapons to fire like automatic firearms, in addition to the use of armor-piercing bullets and gun silencers.

"I commend these police officers associations for supporting common sense measures to ban devices that allow for the conversion of a gun into an automatic weapon," 49ers President Jed York said.

The San Francisco football franchise and police unions are also pushing a public awareness campaign designed to foster better relationships between police and the communities they serve.

"Our hope is that through education, both officers and citizens will strive to make each interaction with one another grounded in mutual respect," York said.

The 49ers have vowed to fork over $500,000 for the overall campaign and will work to invite other organizations across the NFL to join in the cause.

On of the other side of the partnership, the San Jose Police Officers' Association, Los Angeles Police Protective league and New York Police Department's Sergeants Benevolence Association have agreed to sign the promise. Unions representing officers in Santa Clara County, Oakland, Sacramento, Long Beach, Calif. and Portland, Ore. have also pledged support.

"The officers that are here today and those that they represent deserve tremendous credit for stepping forward to present a platform that will keep citizens and officers alike safe," York said.

Organizers say the pledge is not directly connected to the national anthem protests about alleged police mistreatment of African Americans. But that protest started with the 49ers.

"That's why we appreciate Mr. York and the 49ers organization recognizing the role they can play in creating a more understanding and safer America," said Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, which spearheaded the effort. 



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut, Getty]]>
<![CDATA[House Party, Shooting Has SF Neighborhood in Uproar]]>Wed, 25 Oct 2017 22:45:59 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfhouseshooting1025_554669.JPG

A recent gang shootout at a house party in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood has concerned neighbors and city leaders calling for a probe into the home's owner.

A spray of bullets sent people scrambling for cover in the normally safe area two weekends ago during what neighbors described as a rowdy party.

"What can only be described as a lengthy gunbattle, both on foot and in cars and circling around the neighborhood as well," San Francisco police Capt. John Hart said.

Two people were injured, and police are still looking for the people involved in the gunbattle.

According to the police, people from across the Bay Area converged on the neighborhood to attend the house party. City leaders want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

They said the home shouldn’t have been available as a short-term rental on Airbnb.

The city says the owner lives in Bali, Indonesia. The house is currently listed as a long-term rental. City Supervisor Hilary Ronen said that’s because Airbnb and VRBO pulled it from their platforms after the shootout. The city’s law regulating short-term rentals should have stopped the house party from happening.

"Had Airbnb not sued the city, preventing it from being implemented, then we would have kept this horrific incident in the city," Ronen said.

Airbnb recently settled that lawsuit. It’s now slowly removing properties from its platform that are not properly registered with the city’s office of short-term rentals.

Residents also want the city to do something about the absentee homeowner.

"When it’s somebody like this guy, who was living out of the country, and it’s turning into unregulated party house and unregulated club, then that is a very dangerous situation,' neighbor Bill Shields said.

Ronen said her office is working with the City Attorney’s Office to see if there’s any further legal action the city can take against the homeowner.

AirBnB provided the following statement Thursday:

“There have been over 200 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings and negative incidents are extremely rare. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and upon learning of this incident, we permanently banned this guest from our platform and suspended the listing. Additionally, we have reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance and are in contact with city officials. The overwhelming majority of Airbnb hosts and guests are good neighbors and respectful travelers, but when issues happen to arise, we work to make things right.

Regarding the neighbors that were impacted, we are currently working to support them under our Host Protection Insurance program which will cover property damage that resulted from this incident.”



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Kate Steinle Murder Trial: Video Appears to Show SF Shooting]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 05:46:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10252017SteinleVideo_553698.JPG

Surveillance video footage shown in court Wednesday shows the man charged in the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle at San Francisco's Pier 14 throw something in the water and then leave the scene immediately after she is struck, according to prosecutors.

Jurors in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45, who faces charges including second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the July 1, 2015 shooting, were shown surveillance footage of the shooting taken from a fire station located about a quarter of a mile away.

The grainy, black-and-white footage shows a small figure dressed in black, identified by police as Garcia Zarate, sitting down on a chair on the Pier shortly after 6 p.m., according to police Officer Craig Dong, who collected and analyzed the video.

A short time later, a group of people can be seen passing by, including one figure in white identified by Dong as Steinle.

Steinle, a 32-year-old Pleasanton native who lived in San Francisco's South Beach neighborhood, was walking on the pier with her father and another family member following a meal at the Ferry Building at the time of the shooting, according to previous testimony.

In the video, Garcia Zarate remained seated until the figure in white can be seen falling down, at which point there is a splash in the water in front of him as he gets up and leaves the area, Dong said.

"I see Kate Steinle falling down and the man throws something in the water and he walks away almost immediately," Dong said, as prosecutor Diana Garcia played the video for jurors.

Additional surveillance video footage shows Garcia Zarate as he walks south down Embarcadero away from the scene.

He does not appear to run, in any of the footage, and stops at one point to look inside a garbage can before police pull up in the area of Embarcadero and Townsend street to detain him. Garcia Zarate can be seen laying down on the ground after police arrive before the video ends.

Defense attorneys are not disputing that Garcia Zarate was holding the gun when Steinle was shot, but have argued the shooting was an accident that occurred after he found the gun, wrapped in a T-shirt or piece of cloth, underneath his seat on the pier. The bullet that struck Steinle ricocheted off the pier in front of Garcia Zarate before it struck her.

Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney for the public defender's office, said in opening statements that Garcia Zarate threw the gun in the water when it went off to make it stop and walked away without knowing that anyone had been hit.

Outside court Wednesday Gonzalez said the footage showed the "tremendous distance" between Garcia Zarate and Steinle at the time of the shooting.

In addition, he noted that the fire station camera footage shows a group of people huddled at the same seat where Garcia Zarate later sat, picking objects up and putting them down. He noted that police had never examined this portion of the footage or checked for additional surveillance camera images of the people in that group.

Police had the footage but were so convinced of Garcia Zarate's guilt that they didn't investigate "the one piece of evidence that corroborates his claim that somebody else could have put it there," Gonzalez said.

Prosecutor Diana Garcia today also presented testimony from the police officer who arrested Garcia Zarate and from the diver who retrieved the gun from the water, as well as forensics evidence.

Police did not locate a cloth or t-shirt such as Gonzalez suggested might have been wrapped around the gun in the area of the shooting, and the diver, Officer Scott Hurley, said he did not find one in the water. However he noted on cross-examination that he was not instructed to search for any cloth in the water.

Garcia Zarate's trial has drawn national attention because of its ties to controversy over Sanctuary City policies used by San Francisco and other cities that limit the cooperation of local law enforcement with federal immigration authorities.

San Francisco officials had released Garcia Zarate, a Mexican citizen with a history of deportations, from jail months before the shooting after a minor drug charge was dismissed without notifying federal immigration authorities, as is the city's practice for most cases.

Testimony is expected to continue Thursday morning. Garcia Zarate remains in custody without bail during the trial.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Michelin Awards Top Honors to 55 Bay Area Restaurants]]>Wed, 25 Oct 2017 20:45:26 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rasa1.jpg

Take a bow, Bay Area restaurateurs.

Tuesday’s release of the “Michelin Guide: San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country 2018” thrust 55 local eateries into the international spotlight.

The Bay Area is the crown jewel of the United States’ culinary world with seven three-starred restaurants as compared to New York’s six and Chicago’s three. 

This year’s highly coveted awards were delayed by several infernos that raged across the North Bay, starting Oct. 8. Initially slated for release on Oct. 12, this marked the first postponement since the Michelin guidebook was first published in 2005. 

“Recognizing the turmoil and tragedy of the fires that are still burning, we understand this is a time for grief and recovery, not celebration,” a Michelin spokesperson said in a statement, explaining the decision to wait until Oct. 25. Michelin also made a donation to the Red Cross to help people affected by the wildfires.

North Bay cities, including Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Healdsburg, are home to some of the Michelin winners, but a majority are located in San Francisco. A few others are sprinkled across the South and East bays and the Peninsula.

THREE STARS

  • Benu — San Francisco
  • Coi — San Francisco
  • The French Laundry — Yountville
  • Manresa — Los Gatos
  • Quince — San Francisco
  • The Restaurant at Meadowood — St. Helena
  • Saison — San Francisco
TWO STARS
  • Acquerello — San Francisco
  • Atelier Crenn — San Francisco
  • Baume — Palo Alto
  • Californios — San Francisco
  • Commis — Oakland
  • Lazy Bear — San Francisco
  • Single Thread — Healdsburg
ONE STAR
  • Adega — San Jose
  • Al’s Place — San Francisco
  • Aster — San Francisco
  • Auberge du Soleil — Rutherford
  • Bouchon — Yountville
  • Campton Place — San Francisco
  • Chez TJ — Mountain View
  • Commonwealth — San Francisco
  • Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant — Forestville
  • Gary Danko — San Francisco
  • Hashiri — San Francisco
  • In Situ — San Francisco
  • Ju-Ni — San Francisco
  • Keiko a Nob Hill — San Francisco
  • Kenzo — Napa
  • Kin Khao — San Francisco
  • Kinjo — San Francisco
  • La Toque — Napa
  • Lord Stanley — San Francisco
  • Luce — San Francisco
  • Madera — Menlo Park
  • Madrona Manor — Healdsburg
  • Michael Mina — San Francisco
  • Mister Jiu’s — San Francisco
  • Mourad — San Francisco
  • Octavia — San Francisco
  • Omakase — San Francisco
  • Plumed Horse — Saratoga
  • The Progress — San Francisco
  • Rasa — Burlingame
  • Rich Table — San Francisco
  • Sons & Daughters — San Francisco
  • SPQR — San Francisco
  • Spruce — San Francisco
  • State Bird Provisions  — San Francisco
  • Sushi Yoshizumi — San Mateo
  • Terra — St. Helena
  • Terrapin Creek — Bodega Bay
  • The Village Pub — Woodside
  • Wako — San Francisco
  • Wakuriya — San Francisco




Photo Credit: Rhea Mahbubani/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Burned San Francisco House Hits Market For Whopping $800K]]>Wed, 25 Oct 2017 20:57:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/caldwelllisting.jpg

A San Francisco house that was “completely gutted” by a fire is on the market for about $800,000 – staggering evidence of the Bay Area’s worsening housing crisis.

Located at 121 Gates Street in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, the 600-square-foot house offers one bedroom and one bathroom. It was built in 1907 and boasts views of the San Francisco Bay, according to the Coldwell Banker listing.

This list of attributes doesn’t take into account the fact that the house, which sits on a 1,746-square-foot lot, was badly damaged in a 2016 fire. No one was injured.

Photographs of the house show stairs leading up to a charred house where sunlight streams through a window, highlighting charred walls, mangled appliances and interiors that are burned beyond recognition or repair.

However, in a city where housing stock cannot keep up with skyrocketing demand, the fire hasn’t detracted from the house’s appeal. In fact, realtor Jim Laufenberg told Business Insider that its price tag – $1,331 per square foot for a total of $799,000 – is on the low side. The seller did so intentionally to generate interest, he said.

The house, which will need to be overhauled, is being billed as fixer upper.

“Contractors! Fixer! However, great location North of Cortland with all its amenities,” its listing reads.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to Coldwell Banker and is awaiting a comment.



Photo Credit: Caldwell Banker]]>
<![CDATA[Teens Who Climbed Golden Gate Agree to Diversion Program]]>Wed, 25 Oct 2017 07:58:33 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GGBFile.jpg

Two Wisconsin teens who took a video of their free-climb to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge in April have agreed to participate in a misdemeanor diversion program.

Deborah Lewis, the attorney for Thomas James Rector and Peter Cameron Kurer, appeared in Marin County Superior Court Wednesday to reschedule the teens' change of plea hearing until Nov. 21.

Lewis said the two defendants have agreed to accept the Marin County District Attorney's Office's offer to participate in the diversion program.

Terms and conditions of the offer could include volunteer work, counseling, direct restitution to the victim or injured or damaged party and a diversion restitution fee between $100 and $1,000 and another diversion fee not to exceed $300, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The teens were charged with misdemeanor trespassing and climbing a toll bridge on April 11. The six-minute video posted on May 7 on YouTube by Kurer, using the name PeterTeatime, shows the pair climbing the north tower of the bridge from the west sidewalk.

During the escapade the teens do back flips and somersaults and hang from their fingers without a harness. The video begins at dusk and ends in darkness.

Climbing the bridge is punishable by up to a year in county jail.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report Suggests Bay Area Housing Market Could Be Cooling Off]]>Wed, 25 Oct 2017 15:41:04 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-484768986.jpg

A new housing report suggests that the Bay Area housing market may be cooling off, but not for every region.

Bay Area home sales overall dropped about 4 percent this September compared to one year ago, according to the California Association of Realtors.

Alameda County witnessed a 15 percent decrease in home sales, according to the report. Napa home sales fell 12.4 percent, Solano County sales declined 6.3 percent and Contra Costa County sales slipped 5.5 percent.

The one county with a jump in sales was Marin County, which saw a nearly 24 percent increase, according to the report.

Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Sonoma counties experienced either no change in home sales or shifts below the 2 percent threshold, the report indicated.

While the number of sales drops, home prices continue to soar. The median price for a single-family home in the Bay Area rose 11.7 percent this past year, according to the report.

Sales could be on the decline and prices could be climbing due to a lack of supply. Active sale listings across the region were down 20 percent in September compared to last year, according to the report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Board of Supervisors Push Resolution to Impeach Trump]]>Wed, 25 Oct 2017 05:48:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10242017ImpeachTrump_543255.JPG

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday put forward a resolution to impeach President Donald Trump.

The effort is backed by California billionaire Tom Steyer, who is also dumping at least $10 million into a national television advertising campaign and online push calling for Trump's impeachment.

In addition to technology, Steyer is appealing to the politics of a largely liberal city.

"This president is a clear and present danger to the health of every American," he said.

But some are skeptical, pointing out Steyer is also rumored to be seeking office himself.

It is unlikely the president will be impeached at this point, unless Congress turns democratic in 2018.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[FAA Investigating Questionable Air Canada Jet Landing at SFO]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 19:22:29 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10242017SFO_538724.JPG

Questions continue to swirl around a new issue involving an Air Canada flight landing at San Francisco International Airport.

The pilot for Flight 781, an Airbus 320, on Sunday failed to respond to air traffic control's warning not to land on the runway because it was not clear whether another jet was still on that runway. It's the second incident involving an Air Canada jet at SFO in the past six months. A spokesperson confirmed to NBC Bay Area Tuesday there were two different pilots involved in the incidents.

The Federal Aviation Administration said air traffic control cleared Flight 781 to land on the runway, but then noticed a preceding arrival might not clear the runway in time.

In air traffic recordings, the tower repeatedly calls for the Air Canada jet to "go around." The FAA said the crew did not acknowledge the controller's instructions.

A supervisor in the tower then used a red light to alert the crew to go around, which is standard protocol when a crew is not responding to radio instructions. But the pilot did not acknowledge the red light alert as well.

After landing the pilot told the tower his radio had malfunctioned.

Aviation experts said there are some big questions that need to be answered.

"They usually have two radios," aviation expert Mike McCarron said. "All back up was there, but it didn't kick in."

In July, the FAA said an Air Canada pilot almost landed on the taxiway instead of the runway at SFO. In response to the close call, the FAA issued new rules for nighttime landings and control-tower staffing at SFO.

Keith Rayle, a former Army pilot, said he will still catch his flight with Air Canada, but passengers should get answers on what went wrong in both incidents.

"It's unusual that would happen," Rayle said. "Flashing red means you shouldn't land. That's flying 101."

The FAA is investigating both incidents.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Air Canada Crew Says Radio Didn't Work During SFO Landing]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:47:18 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/051717+air+canada+plane.jpg

Federal Aviation Administration officials are investigating an incident at San Francisco International Airport involving an Air Canada plane that appeared to have a radio communication breakdown while landing. 

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said air traffic control cleared Flight 781, an Airbus A320, to land on Runway 28R on Sunday night. The Air Canada crew acknowledged the instruction when they were about six miles away from the airport, Gregor said.

"The tower controller subsequently instructed the Air Canada crew multiple times to execute a go-around because he was not certain that a preceding arrival would be completely clear of the runway before the Air Canada jet reached the runway threshold," Gregor said, adding the crew onboard the plan did not acknowledge any of the controller's instructions.

A supervisor then resorted to using a red light gun to alert the Air Canada flight to go around. Gregor said flashing a light gun is standard protocol when an air crew is not responding to radio instructions.

Air Canada Flight 781 landed on Runway 284 at 9:26 p.m. The Air Canada crew after landing told the tower they had a radio problem, according to Gregor.

"A radar replay showed the preceding arrival was in fact clear of the runway when Air Canada landed," Gregor said.

Aviation expert Mike McCarron said an incident like the one on Sunday "does not happen very often."

"While not alarming, it certainly is of some concern that for some reason for basically a five-six minute stretch, the aircraft never heard any of the radio calls from the tower," he said.

McCarron added that factors such as pilot error or a mechanical malfunction with radio communications could have triggered the communication disruption. 

Sunday's incident follows a July 7 incident at SFO when an Air Canada jet nearly struck planes on the ground.

In response to the close call, the FAA issued new rules for nighttime landings and control-tower staffing at SFO.



Photo Credit: John Li/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Kate Steinle Murder Trial Underway in San Francisco]]>Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:49:47 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

A Mexican national who touched off a debate on illegal immigration when he fatally shot a woman on a San Francisco pier fired the gun on purpose, a prosecutor said Monday in her opening statement at his trial.

Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia showed jurors the handgun that Jose Ines Garcia Zarate is accused of firing and said a ballistics expert will testify that the only way to fire it is to pull the trigger.

"It's a very reliable, high-quality gun," Garcia said. "It's one that won't go off on accident."

Garcia Zarate's lawyer, Matt Gonzalez, countered that his client did not know he had picked up a gun when he reached under a bench and found something wrapped in a T-shirt. The lawyer said the gun had no safety and operated on a hair-trigger motion.

"He did not know he was handling a firearm," Gonzalez said.

He added: "This gun is inherently dangerous in the hands of someone who isn't properly trained."

Gonzalez asked jurors if they believed prosecutors would have charged "a college student or Swedish tourist" with murder if they were the suspects instead of Garcia Zarate.

The shooting in 2015 touched off a political furor during last year's presidential race, with President Donald Trump citing the killing of 32-year-old Kate Steinle as a reason to toughen U.S. immigration policies.

The handgun belonged to a Bureau of Land Management ranger who reported that it had been stolen from his parked car in San Francisco a week before Steinle was shot.

Prosecutors called Steinle's father as their first witness.

Through tears, with a packed courtroom hanging on every word, Jim Steinle recounted the final moments of his daughter's life after she was shot.

He told the court that he and a family friend were visiting his daughter and they went for a walk on the popular waterfront.

The elder Steinle said he heard a loud "bang" and his daughter collapsed in his arms, saying "'help me, Dad.'"

Jim Steinle said her eyes were closed and she had trouble breathing.

"I couldn't figure out what was wrong," he said, choking back tears. "She didn't have any health problems."

He rolled her on her side and discovered a bullet hole with little blood. Paramedics arrived and she was later declared dead at a hospital.

Garcia Zarate, 54, has acknowledged shooting Steinle in the back. He has said he was handling the handgun when it accidentally fired.

Garcia Zarate is charged with second-degree murder, which could result in a sentence of 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was homeless in San Francisco when he shot Steinle. He had recently completed a prison sentence for illegal re-entry to the U.S. when he was transferred to the San Francisco County jail to face a 20-year-old marijuana charge.

Prosecutors dropped that charge, and the San Francisco sheriff released Zarate from jail despite a federal immigration request to detain him for at least two more days for deportation.

The sheriff's department said it was following the city's sanctuary policy of limited cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Since being elected, Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities such as San Francisco, several of which have filed lawsuits to prevent the move.

None of that is at issue during the trial, and the judge has barred mention of the politics of immigration and gun control during the proceedings.

Steinle's mother and brother also attended the opening of the trial, where lawyers for each side spoke for about 90 minutes. The trial is expected to last several weeks.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Summer-Like Heat Returns to the Bay Area]]>Sun, 22 Oct 2017 12:00:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Heat_Generic_Hot_car.jpg

It may be the middle of October, but summer-like heat had made a comeback across the Bay Area this week.

The National Weather Service over the weekend predicted that daytime high temperatures across the region could be 15 to 20 degrees above seasonal averages on Monday and Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service reported Salinas reached triple-digit heat with 100 degrees registered at the city's airport.

Watsonville reached 98 degrees, and was followed by Hollister and Monterey both registering 95 degrees in the afternoon.

Other cities that reached at least 90 degrees include Santa Rosa, Napa, San Jose, Concord, Half Moon Bay, Livermore and San Martin, according to the National Weather Service.

The Bay Area warming trend does include low humidity levels, which ramps up fire danger.

Those hoping for fall-like temperatures will likely have to wait until next weekend.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Former SFSU Wrestling Coach Files Age Discrimination Lawsuit]]>Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:23:15 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Former_SFSU_Wrestling_Coach_Files_Age_Discrimination_Lawsuit.jpg

San Francisco State University is reportedly denying allegations of age discrimination in the recent firing of the school's wrestling coach. Over the summer, the school told former coach Lars Jensen his contract would not be renewed. The San Francisco Examiner reported that a 27-year-old coach filled the position. An attorney for Jensen filed a claim last month saying the school let Jensen go in part because he did not bring in enough minority athletes. The school says several reasons factored into Jensen's firing, and discrimination did not play a role.]]>
<![CDATA[Michelin to Reveal 2018 Rankings for SF's Restaurant Guide]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:32:36 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gettyimages-162809869.jpg

After postponing the initial release of the 2018 Michelin Guide to San Francisco Bay Area restaurants following the Sonoma and Napa County wildfires, the company announced it will reveal their 2018 rankings on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

In a statement from Oct. 11, the company said, “Recognizing the turmoil and tragedy of the fires that are still burning, we understand this is a time for grief and recovery, not celebration.” Michelin then announced a donation to the Red Cross to help victims affected by the North Bay wildfires.

The guide’s postponement is the first since it first began publishing U.S. guidebooks in 2005, according to Eater San Francisco



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Blancpain]]>
<![CDATA[Nonprofit Event Honors Robin Williams, Billy Crystal]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:36:57 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/crystal1019_492164.JPG

The stars were out in San Francisco on Thursday night.

Wayne Brady, Idina Menzel and Glenn Close were on hand at Bimbo's 365 Club for the fifth annual fundraiser for Bring Change to Mind, a nonprofit with the mission of ending the stigma of mental illness.

Comedian Billy Crystal received the Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter Award during Thursday's event. Crystal and Williams were close friends.

Another longtime friend, Whoopi Goldberg, made an appearance via video.

Williams' children, Zak and Zelda, presented the award to Crystal.

Willams, who was a longtime Bay Area resident, took his own life on Aug. 11, 2014, at the age of 63. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but an autopsy report later revealed he suffered from a severe case of Lewy body dementia.

Close founded Bring Change to Mind in 2010 after her sister, Jessie Close, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her nephew, Calen Pick, with schizo-affective disorder, according to the organization's website.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sex Workers' Group Challenges California Prostitution Law]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:51:28 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_court_gavel_generic_law.jpg

A lawyer for a sex workers' advocacy group asked a federal appeals court in San Francisco Thursday to overturn a 145-year-old California law that criminalizes prostitution.

"I believe people in this country have the right to act this way and to make a living this way," attorney Louis Sirkin told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sirkin, a First Amendment free-speech attorney from Cincinnati, represents the San Francisco-based Erotic Service Provider Legal, Educational and Research Project in a federal lawsuit filed in 2015 to challenge the law.

The plaintiffs also include three unidentified former prostitutes and a disabled man who says he wants to be a respectful client of erotic services.

They claim the law, first enacted in 1872 and amended since then, violates their constitutional due process right to liberty and their right to free speech.

They are appealing a ruling in which U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of Oakland dismissed the case last year.

The appeals panel took the case under submission after hearing about 30 minutes of arguments. It has no deadline for issuing a ruling.

Circuit Judge Carlos Bea closely questioned both sides.

"Why is it illegal to sell something that it's legal to give away?" he asked Deputy California Attorney General Sharon O'Grady.

O'Grady, defending the law, argued that the Legislature had a rational basis for criminalizing commercial sex to deter violence against women, sex trafficking, drug use and transmission of sexual diseases.

Bea also questioned Sirkin when he sought to cite a landmark U.S. Supreme Court gay-rights ruling, Lawrence v. Texas of 2003, as support for the appeal.

In the Lawrence case, the court by a 6-3 vote struck down a Texas sodomy law, saying that consensual sexual conduct was part of the "personal and private life of the individual" protected by the due process liberty right.

Bea asked, "What is the interest protected by due process? The conduct or the relationship?"

"I believe it is the conduct. We have voluntary individuals who want to engage in sexual activity," Sirkin answered.

Judge Jane Restani, a visiting U.S. Court of International Trade judge temporarily assigned to the appeals court, suggested that the Lawrence decision concerned "how to conduct private lives" rather than brief sexual encounters.

O'Grady said, "The state is not telling anyone who they can sleep with," but argued that banning commercial sex is "an easy place to draw the line" to protect against violence, drug use and trafficking.

The state attorney noted that prostitution is illegal in all states, except some Nevada counties, and said it is up to the Legislature to make any changes in the law.

]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD IDs Decorated Officer Critically Wounded in Hit-and-Run]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:55:54 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ofc.+Lewin-Tankel11.jpg

San Francisco police on Thursday identified the decorated officer who is undergoing intensive care after being mowed down a day prior by a suspected hit-and-run driver, who has since been arrested.

Elia Lewin-Tankel, 32, has been a police officer since 2012 and was assigned to the Tenderloin station in March last year. He was critically wounded in the line of duty Wednesday, police said.

The police department issued a statement Thursday, commending Lewin-Tankel's decision to join "one of the busiest, most demanding districts" in the city. They said his move reflects his "dedication to serving the residents of San Francisco."

During his tenure as a police officer, Lewin-Tankel has received multiple awards. He was recognized with the San Francisco Police Department's Purple Heart award in 2015 after being injured "as a direct result of actions he took to prevent serious injury or loss of life to members of the community," police said.

The suspect, Maurquise Johnson, 50, has been faced with multiple charges including, attempted murder, use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, inflicting great bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury, resisting arrest causing great bodily injury, possession of a stolen item, felony possession of stolen property, reckless driving causing injury, unlicensed driver and resisting a police officer.

The incident began around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday when officers from the Tenderloin station observed a suspect who they believed was carrying a firearm, according to police Chief Bill Scott.

"It appears that the suspect became aware of the officers' presence" and took off, hitting Lewin-Tankel who was on the bicycle beat, according to Scott.

Johnson was tracked down and taken into custody in the 500 block of Ellis Street about 3:30 p.m., officials said. The vehicle involved in the hit and run was located earlier, but unoccupied.

Lewin-Tankel suffered "significant" leg injuries in the crash on Turk Avenue between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. He was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and underwent surgery, Scott said.

San Francisco police officers gathered at the hospital, and Lewin-Tankel's family was expected to arrive late Wednesday from out of state. 

Police described the man as a popular, highly-respected officer who recently began attending law school, teaches Jiu Jitsu to colleagues and the community, and frequently volunteers at events in the Tenderloin district.

On behalf of Lewin-Tankel's family, police asked people to "send good energy and prayers for his recovery, which we know will happen, because Elia is a survivor.”

The investigation is ongoing, and although an arrest has been made in the incident, SFPD investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the SFPD Anonymous Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message. Tips may remain anonymous.




Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Ranks High Among Hardest-Working Cities in US]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:02:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Computer+generic+responde.jpg

One Bay Area city cracked the top 10 list of 2017's hardest-working places in the United States: San Francisco.

In a recent study, WalletHub's analysts compared a number of metrics, including average weekly work hours, labor-force participation rate, average commute time and average leisure time per day, from across the nation's 116 largest cities. 

With a total score of 90.76, Anchorage, Alaska reigned supreme. It was followed by Plano, Texas with 81.49 points, Cheyenne, Wyo. with 81.17, Virgina Beach, Va. with 79.91 and Irving, Texas with 79.71.

San Francisco came in seventh place with a score of 77.82.

The rest of the Bay Area also fared well.

Fremont — ranked 52nd — is the next Bay Area city that hard workers call home, WalletHub found. San Jose is 61st and Oakland is 85th. 

Here are 2017's top 10 hardest-working cities:

  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  2. Plano, Texas
  3. Cheyenne, Wyoming
  4. Virginia Beach, Virgina
  5. Irving, Texas
  6. Scottsdale, Arizona
  7. San Francisco, California
  8. Corpus Christi, Texas
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Sioux Falls, South Dakota



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Kate Steinle Murder Trial: Opening Statements Begin Monday]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 23:12:35 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

Opening statements will begin Monday in the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting Kathryn Steinle as she walked on San Francisco's Pier 14 in 2015.

A jury and five alternate jurors were seated and sworn-in Wednesday in the murder trial of Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate, who was arrested shortly after the fatal shooting of Steinle, 32, on July 1 2015.

Defense attorneys have said they expect to argue that the shooting, which appeared to be the result of a ricochet, was accidental.

The arrest of Garcia-Zarate, 54, generated national controversy over San Francisco's "sanctuary city" policies.

Garcia-Zarate, an undocumented immigrant, had been taken into city custody in March 2015 for a warrant on a marijuana sales charge after he completed a nearly four-year federal sentence for illegal re-entry following deportation.

When the marijuana charge was dropped, local officials released him without notifying immigration authorities despite a pending civil detainer request. City authorities do not generally comply with such requests unless they are accompanied by a criminal warrant or the inmate is guilty of certain serious felonies.

In the aftermath of the shooting it was also reported that the gun used in the shooting had been stolen from the vehicle of an off-duty U.S. Bureau of Land Management agent's car in San Francisco only days earlier, highlighting ongoing problems with auto burglaries and the improper storage of weapons in cars by law enforcement officers.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Involved in injuring SFPD Officer Appears in Court]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:38:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Suspect_Involved_in_SFPD_Officer_Hit-and-Run.jpg

The suspect involved in the hit-and-run that critically injured an SFPD officer appeared in court Friday. Christie Smith reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Report Outlines SF's Plan to Bring Internet to Every Home]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:16:54 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Report_Outlines_San_Francisco_s_Plan_to_Bring_Internet_to_Ev.jpg

A new report details plans to bring high-speed internet to every home in San Francisco. The cost of the project is nearly $2 billion. The report, which was put together by a consulting company, calls for the installation of fiber optic cables throughout the city. Then the city - through a utility - will provide low cost internet service. Companies can also lease the infrastructure to sell competing services. Next month, the report will be presented to companies in the industry.]]>
<![CDATA[Californians Prepare for Annual 'ShakeOut' Earthquake Drill]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:34:23 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/EarthquakeFile.jpg

Millions of Californians and many others around the world plan to drop, cover and hold on in an annual drill aimed at keeping them safe during the violent shaking of earthquakes.

Organizers say 10.2 million people are registered to take part in the "Great California ShakeOut" at 10:19 a.m. Thursday.

Participants include more than 6 million K-12 students and nearly 2 million people at colleges and universities as well as governments, businesses, faith-based organizations and individuals.

An additional 42 million people have registered for other ShakeOut drills across the United States and its territories as well as in British Columbia to Japan, Italy and New Zealand.

The ShakeOut drills originated in California in 2008.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Sues PG&E Alleging Utility's Work Caused 2016 Landslide]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 04:38:57 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfvspge1018_475720.JPG

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against PG&E alleging that the utility's negligent work caused a landslide last year that destroyed one home and damaged five others.

The lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court seeks to recover all costs the city has incurred in dealing with the landslide, which so far include $6.7 million paid to six homeowners, $600,000 in construction contingencies and more than $500,000 in attorneys' fees.

City officials allege the January 2016 landslide between Casitas Avenue and Miraloma Drive occurred after PG&E relocated gas lines from under sidewalk to under Casitas Avenue, directly next to a city water main and perpendicular to lateral connections.

The lawsuit alleges that PG&E filled the trench with the wrong material and failed to properly compact it, putting stress on at least one water lateral at 234 Casitas Ave. and causing it to break.

The leak flowed into the uncompacted trench and on to the slope where the landslide occurred.

One home at 256 Casitas Ave. had to be demolished after city engineers found it was in imminent danger of sliding down the hillside into neighboring homes.

"Homeowners were faced with a dangerous situation when their houses were suddenly threatened by this landslide," Herrera said in a statement.

"PG&E's shoddy work caused this problem, but the company is trying to shirk its responsibility," he said.

PG&E's franchise agreement with the city includes a requirement that it cover the costs of all repairs to public property caused by the utility's work.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare that PG&E's gas line relocation was a factor that caused the landslide and order the utility to correct the construction defects or pay the city's costs to relocate its water pipes, as well as cover the city's costs for the landslide.

PG&E has not yet returned a call seeking comment about the suit.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[No Criminal Charges to be Filed in 2016 SF Police Shooting]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:53:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CHOPPER+SF+BAYVIEW+OIS+-+10233711.jpg

No criminal charges will be filed against San Francisco officers in a fatal police shooting that led to the abrupt resignation last year of police Chief Greg Suhr, the District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

Jessica Williams, 29, was killed around 9:40 a.m. on May 19, 2016, on Helena Street by a single shot from Sgt. Justin Erb after she allegedly drove toward him in car that had been reported stolen.

Erb, Officer Eric Eastlund and one civilian were the only witnesses to the shooting, which occurred after officers conducting a stolen vehicle recovery operation spotted a Honda Accord listed as stolen, according to the report released Wednesday by the DA's office.

When they knocked on the window, Williams allegedly started the car and drove away but crashed into a parked utility truck around 75 feet away. She then attempted to get away, first by reversing the vehicle back toward Eastlund and then forward directly toward Erb, according to the report.

The shooting came at a time of rising protests over police shootings, including the death of Mario Woods in the Bayview District in December 2015 and that of Luis Gongora in April 2016.

Suhr, who activists and even some elected officials had targeted with calls for resignation, pushed ahead with police reform efforts for several months but ultimately resigned just hours after Williams' death.

Under state self-defense law, Erb had no legal duty to retreat, so the question of whether he could have ducked out of the Accord's path does not factor into the decision on whether to file charges, the report notes. In addition, all three witness statements are largely in agreement about what happened.

"All of the available evidence suggests Sgt. Erb faced a volatile and unpredictable situation looking uphill at an approaching car when he fired his gun at Williams," the DA's office said in a statement. "Here, when the relevant legal and prosecutorial ethical standards are applied, the available evidence does not support the conclusion that Sgt. Erb's use of deadly force was objectively unreasonable."

The DA's office Wednesday also released reports in two nonfatal officer-involved shootings and one in-custody death, finding that no criminal charges were warranted in any of those cases.

The cases cleared included the Nov. 6, 2014, shooting of Jason Seymour by Officer Eduard Ochoa. Seymour, who survived the shooting, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of brandishing a firearm at a police officer in the incident.

They also include an Oct. 24, 2015, incident in which officers fired at Randal Maykopet during a pursuit after he allegedly stole a police vehicle, struck several vehicles on city streets and then drove to Treasure

Island. Officers there fired at Maykopet as he maneuvered around a roadblock by driving on the sidewalk, but did not hit him.

The DA's office also found that the June 10, 2016, death of Raymond Fields while he was in the custody of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department was due to natural causes.

The DA's office investigations are focused solely on a question of whether criminal charges are warranted and would stand up in court, and do not consider questions of whether officers complied with department policies and procedures or whether they might face civil liability.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area chopper]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Officer in Critical Condition After Hit-and-Run Crash]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 23:33:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpdhitrun1018_475537.JPG

A suspected hit-and-run driver was in custody following a manhunt Wednesday afternoon after a San Francisco police officer on a bicycle was mowed down and critically injured, police said. 

Maurquise Johnson, 50, was arrested on multiple charges, including hit and run, reckless driving causing bodily injury, evading an officer with willful disregard and a probation violation. He also could be facing an attempted murder charge.

Around 12:20 p.m., officers from the Tenderloin station observed a suspect who they believed was carrying a firearm, according to police Chief Bill Scott.

"It appears that the suspect became aware of the officers' presence" and took off, hitting the officer who was on the bicycle beat, according to Scott.

The officer, a four-year veteran, suffered "significant" leg injuries in the crash on Turk Avenue between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. He was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and underwent surgery, Scott said. He was recovering in the intensive care unit late Wednesday. 

SFPD officers gathered at the hospital, and the injured officer's family was expected to arrive late Wednesday from out of state.

Johnson was tracked down and taken into custody in the 500 block of Ellis Street about 3:30 p.m., officials said. The vehicle involved in the hit and run was located earlier, but unoccupied.

During the manhunt, police asked people to shelter in place in the vicinity of Buena Vista Park or to avoid the area altogether. Video from the scene showed a cluster of police cars as well as officers combing the area.

The shelter-in-place and avoid-the-area orders for Buena Vista Park were lifted about 3:50 p.m., police said.

The crash caused bus and Muni delays and heavy traffic in the area. 

The investigation is ongoing, and although an arrest has been made in the incident, SFPD investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the SFPD Anonymous Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message. Tips may remain anonymous.

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




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Sandy Hook Group Promotes Gun Reform in SF]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:32:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sandy_Hook_Group_Promotes_Gun_Reform_in_SF.jpg

A "promise" to do better in protecting our children. On Monday, a national gun reform campaign came to a San Francisco school. It's called "Say Something." Speakers from the group "Sandy Hook Promise" spoke to middle school students at Lawton Alternative School in the Outer Sunset. The topic? Recognizing the signs that something is wrong with a fellow student or community member, and reporting it to a trusted adult.]]>
<![CDATA[Rat Infestation in SF, Oakland Among Worst in US: Report]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:40:10 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/RatGeneric1.JPG

If the thought of a rat scampering across the ground makes your skin crawl, San Francisco or Oakland might not be the place for you.

The two Bay Area cities are ranked No. 4 on Orkin's top-50 "rattiest" regions list.

Orkin compiled the list by tallying the amount of times company workers responded to a rodent treatment call in a given city between September 2016 and September 2017. Chicago topped that list, followed by New York and Los Angeles, respectively.

Fall marks the beginning of rodent season, according to Orkin. The cooler temperatures prompt rats and mice to scurry indoors as they seek shelter from the elements.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Represented on Happiest Places in U.S. List: Report]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:23:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Boardwalk1.jpg

Beach living appears to be treating those along the Monterey coast very well.

That's because a report from National Geographic ranks the Santa Cruz-Watsonville area as the second happiest place in the entire country. Boulder, Colorado locked up the top spot with Charlottesville, Virginia nabbing the third slot.

Not to be left out, three other Bay Area regions checked in on the top-25 list. The region of San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara checked in at No. 6, Salinas grabbed the No. 13 spot, and the combination of San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward settled in at No. 17, according to the report.

National Geographic, author Dan Buettner and research-based company Gallup examined a number of factors — financial stability, amount of time spent vacationing, civic engagement and healthy eating habits — when compiling the list.

"In happier places, according to Buettner, locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals," the report reads.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Jury Selection Ramps Up in San Francisco Pier Killing Trial]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:49:02 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

A key phase of jury selection started Monday in the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a woman on a busy San Francisco pier, in a killing that set off a fierce national immigration debate.

Mexican national Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who was deported five times, has admitted to fatally shooting 32-year-old Kate Steinle while she walked with her father on a San Francisco pier crowded with tourists.

He has said the shooting was accidental and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Earlier this month, lawyers summoned hundreds of potential jurors to fill out questionnaires to help narrow the selection pool. On Monday, 160 jurors reported to the San Francisco Hall of Justice for questioning, according to San Francisco Superior Court spokeswoman Megan Filly.

The chief attorney for the defense, Matt Gonzalez, said he’s expecting to form the jury from Monday's group, but there are challenges to finding fair-minded people in such a high-profile case.

"I think we’ve given up the idea that we’re going to have a jury that doesn’t know anything or hasn’t heard anything about the case," Gonzalez said. "And I think we’re looking for jurors that have heard about the case but will base their decision on the evidence presented to them."

Gonzalez added that he’s looking for "authenticity" in jurors’ responses.

Media members were not granted access to the courtroom.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Smoke Advisory, Spare the Air Alert Issued for Bay Area]]>Sun, 15 Oct 2017 23:36:31 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17285575204007.jpg

A smoke advisory and Spare the Air alert have been issued for Monday in the Bay Area, air quality officials said Sunday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District recommended that people, especially in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties, stay inside when possible in buildings with filtered air such as public libraries and shopping malls; or people in the fire-impacted areas should leave the area for areas less impacted by wildfire smoke until the smoke levels subside.

People who must stay in the fire-impacted areas should wear an N95 mask to minimize breathing harmful particles in smoke.

Air district officials urge people to protect themselves and their family from heavy smoke.

Residents who see or smell smoke in their immediate area should stay indoors, if possible, with the windows and doors closed and air conditioning units on recirculate.

Air district officials are asking residents and visitors to avoid adding pollution to the air by cutting back on activities such as wood burning, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, driving and barbecuing.



Photo Credit: Eric Risberg/AP]]>
<![CDATA[2 Injured After Assault and Shooting in San Francisco]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 20:59:11 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+lights+generic+picccc.jpg

Two people were injured following an assault and shooting in San Francisco late Tuesday, police said.

The San Francisco Police Department said officers are investigating the incident at 25th Street and Treat Avenue in the city's Mission District.

Police initially reported four people injured in the incident.

No other information was immediately available.

]]>
<![CDATA[North Bay Fires Prompt Smoke Advisory for Bay Area]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:45:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/AP_17282592183596.jpg

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory Monday as a result of multiple fires burning in Napa and Sonoma counties.

Smoke from the fires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres, wafted across the Bay Area due to high winds late Sunday and early Monday, air district officials said.

According to AIRNow, air conditions across the Bay Area are ranging between unhealthy and hazardous. Cities near or in Napa and Sonoma County are advised to take proper precautions. The air quality in these counties are very unhealthy and the population can be affected. 

Residents are advised to limit outdoor activities and to set air conditioning and car ventilation systems to the "recirculate" option to prevent outside air from entering.

If indoors, keep your windows and doors closed unless it is extremely hot outside. According to air district officials, if the home lacks air conditioning, staying inside with the windows closed may be dangerous in hot weather. It is advised that people in these circumstances seek alternative shelter. 

It is important to keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent additional smoke from coming in. 

Elderly people, children and those with respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible to the smoky conditions and should take extra precautions, air district officials said.




Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Body of SF Officer's Wife Returned as Gun Debate Heats Up]]>Sun, 08 Oct 2017 21:35:10 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/etcheberescort1008_335520.JPG

The body of Stacee Etecheber, who was one of 58 people killed a week ago in the Las Vegas massacre, was returned to waiting family in Novato on Sunday.

The wife of a San Francisco police officer arrived at San Francisco International Airport and was escorted by SFPD officers to a funeral home.

Meanwhile, as victims' families continue to grieve and heal, lawmakers continue to spar over gun control. The topic dominated the Sunday morning talk shows.

"Look, how many of these events to do we have to have happen with these devices before we do something about it?” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said on "Face the Nation."

Feinstein admitted no law could have stopped the attack since the gunman passed all background checks. But she, along with other gun control advocates, said there are other measures to take, such as limiting the use of bump stocks.

A bump stock allows a semi-automatic weapon to mimic an automatic weapon.

"I don’t want to do anything that violates the Constitution," said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., "but there are common sense things we can do if Democrats and Republicans come together to reduce violence in our community."

Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot in June at a congressional baseball practice, said he stands for an unlimited right to bear arms.

"Look, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi already said she wants it to be a slippery slope. She doesn't want to stop at bump stocks," Scalise said. "They want to go out and limit the rights of gun owners."

The National Rifle Association is calling for reviews and not necessarily a ban of bump stocks. The NRA wants the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to regulate sales and for Congress to not get involved.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Abducted Girl From San Francisco Found]]>Sun, 08 Oct 2017 11:05:54 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/CHP-Suspects-Amber-alert-sf.jpg

The two-year-old girl who was abducted from San Francisco has been found and is safe. According to SFPD, two male suspects are now in custody. 

The child, Jalanie Fortson, was abducted from San Francisco at approximately 3:06 p.m.

San Francisco police officers responded to Golden Gate and Webster and determined that the child's mother had been assaulted. An Amber Alert was issued out at approximately 8:30 p.m.

SFPD was notified at around 9:44 pm that the suspects were in custody outside of the San Francisco County and that the child had been located and safe. 

She was last seen wearing a hot pink zip-up sweater, matching sweatpants and black and gray shoes. She is described as African American with black hair in two long braids and is about two-feet tall according to officials. 

Officials described the suspects as two males, Javonn Fortson, 21, Lipine Faafui, 22, and an unknown female. They were last seen in a 2008 silver Ford Fusion with a California license plate: 7RLR145. The suspects should be considered armed and dangerous.

No other details were immediately available. 

Check back for updates. 



Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol
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<![CDATA[Fleet Week Thrills Millions in San Francisco]]>Sun, 08 Oct 2017 21:16:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sffleetweek3+-+Copy.JPG

Photo Credit: dankurtzmanphotography via Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Coast Guard Ramps Up Security Patrols For Fleet Week ]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 16:58:42 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-91668503.png

The Coast Guard has ramped up its security and safety patrols during Fleet Week to make sure spectators and participants enjoy the event safely, agency officials said.

Air shows are going on this weekend, and Coast Guard patrol boats and small boat station crews are maintaining safety zones for the shows. They are also escorting other military ships during Fleet Week and standing ready to respond to search and rescue events, officials said.

Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security teams from San Francisco, Los Angeles/Long Beach and Seattle, in addition to Maritime Security Response Team West, based in San Diego, have deployed alongside Bay Area-based Coast Guard and partner agency crews to ensure safety, according to officials.

Fleet Week brings a parade of military ships, community events and air shows by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels to San Francisco every October.

It attracts millions of visitors and generates more than $10 million in annual revenue.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mental Health Aid Available for Residents Affected by Fire]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 21:24:51 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-861062716.jpg

As fires continue to ravage Northern California, mental health services are available for people grieving - or fearing - the loss of their homes and loved ones, county officials said.

"We know this is a time when people are experiencing trauma in their lives," said Jennifer Larocque, a spokeswoman for Sonoma County said. "They have been evacuated, they may have lost their loved ones, they are looking for their friends. We want to make sure we are there for them in any way they need."

With that in mind, Larocque said mental health services are available at the county's four shelters. The shelters are as follows: Sonoma-Marin County Fairgrounds, 1350 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma;

Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa; Elsie Allen High School, 599 Bellevue Ave., Santa Rosa; and Santa Rosa Veterans Building, 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa.

Two of Solano County's shelters have mental health clinicians, according to the county's Office of Emergency Services. These shelters are at Solano Community College, 4000 Suisun Valley Road, in Fairfield, and Allan Witt Park, 1741 W Texas St., also in Fairfield.

"We have had mental clinicians out at the (shelters) and other community organizations have been there as well," said Sandra Sinz, Solano County's mental health director. "Kaiser has sent clinicians there as well," she said.

Sinz said people can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

"We get some data from them, and they have been receiving more calls from our area," Sinz said. She said a person doesn't have to be suicidal to call the line.

"It goes through a switchboard and then connects you to a local California crisis line," Sinz said.

As with the other two counties, mental health services are available at Napa County's three shelters, Cara Wooledge, a health education specialist with Napa County, said today.

The shelters are at Napa Valley College, 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway in Napa; the Crosswalk Church, 2590 First St., Napa; and the American Canyon High School, 3000 Newell Drive, American Canyon.

"We have bilingual staff there who are available to talk to folks if they need support," Wooledge said.

The health education specialist had another resource: The national Disaster Distress Helpline.

"It's a great resource, available 24/7," Wooledge said. "Anyone across the U.S. can call and talk to a trained mental health counselor. We're trying to share this not only with people affected directly by (the fires) at the shelter, but people at home if they have been affected."

The number is 1-800-985-5990, and it's also possible to communicate via text, she said. To do so, people should text one word with no spaces, talkwithus, to 66746. To do so in Spanish, text one word, hablanos, to 66746.

Services specifically for veterans are also available in Napa County.

The Vet Center, a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, has deployed personnel to the wildfire evacuation center at Napa Valley College from Concord and Fairfield to provide mental health services and paperwork assistance for any displaced veterans.

The mental health personnel will be at the shelter today and Saturday.

They were at the shelter Thursday with a trailer set up for three separate counseling sessions to be conducted simultaneously.

"Say you're having a panic attack," readjustment counselor Lori Shepherd said. "You come in here and have a counseling session."

Shepherd said the smoke, smells and sight of burnt buildings can be stressful for veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan or other war zones.

Mental health services are available at Napa Valley College for any veterans who have been displaced by the North Bay wildfires and are in need of assistance. They can be reached at (925) 433-3407.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fleet Week Returns to the Bay Area]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 11:06:33 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/Fleet-Week-SF.jpg

The blue skies above the San Francisco Bay will belong to the Blue Angels this weekend as large crowds take in the 37th annual San Francisco Fleet Week. 

The annual event has been around since 1981 and is best known for the parade of ships and the Blue Angels air show. Fleet Weeks has become a Bay Area tradition and is one of the largest events of its kind in the country. 

In light of the recent violence in Las Vegas, Fleet Week organizers say everyone who plans to attend the festivities should expect stepped up security

Fleet Week will take place from October 1 - 9 on the Marina Green.

Check out a few of the cool events: 

Tuesday, October 3rd

  • Veterans Art Exhibit: The Cannery Galleries
    9 AM – 6 PM
    Exhibit open October 3-26, 2017; Tuesday-Sunday 9 am – 6 pm, closed Mondays. 

Wednesday, October 4th

  • USS ESSEX LHD 2
    10 AM – 2 PM
    Location: SF Pier 30-32
    United States Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship


Thursday, October 5th

  • Honor Our Fallen Tribute Concert: Marines’ Memorial Club
    6 PM – 8 PM
    The concert is free and open to the public. 


Friday, October 6th

  • Parade of Ships: The United Airlines Festival Center on Marina Green
    11 AM – 12 PM
  • Fleet Week Air Show: The United Airlines Festival Center On Marina Green
    12 PM – 4 PM


Saturday, October 7th

  • AT&T K-9 Heroes: Bark at the Park: Duboce Park
    10 AM – 1 PM
    Demonstrations include dogs trained in urban search and rescue, detection and more. 
  • Fleet Week Air Show: The United Airlines Festival Center on Marina Green
    12 PM – 4 PM


Sunday, October 8th

  • The United Airlines Festival Center on Marina Green
    10 AM – 5 PM
  • Fleet Week Air Show: The United Airlines Festival Center on Marina Green
    12 PM – 4 PM


Monday, October 9th

  • High School Band Challenge: Golden Gate Park Band Shell
    10 AM – 2 PM
    Select Bay Area high school bands take the stage, competing for prize money, to support their school music programs.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gov. Signs Bill Reducing Penalties For HIV Transmission]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 13:22:06 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Governor-Jerry-Brown-Bill.jpg

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that reduces the penalty for intentionally exposing some to HIV.

The legislation signed Friday is part of an attempt by Democratic lawmakers to reverse the tough policies enacted during the AIDS scare of the 1980s and '90s.

Under those policies, intentionally exposing someone to HIV was a felony. SB239 reduces the crime to a misdemeanor, treating HIV like other communicable diseases.

Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco says the harsher penalties for HIV discourage people from getting tested for the disease and stigmatize those who have it.

Critics say the bill would endanger people.

Lawmakers last year approved legislation allowing people with HIV to receive transplants from HIV-positive donors, reversing a ban imposed amid widespread fear about the disease.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Returns to Bay Area for Book Tour and Speech]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 10:59:10 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Hillary-Clinton-Book-Signing-Generic.jpg

Former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, visited the Bay Area Friday to join fans for a book signing in San Francisco and a keynote address at a Stanford Conference on global digital policy.

Clinton made her first Bay Area stop at Books Inc. on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco to sign copies of her new memoir, titled "What Happened." The event, which sold out in less than 18 hours, had more than a thousand fans hoping for a few seconds to say hello and thank you to the former Secretary of State.

“I am feeling really inspired and a mess. I just love her, she is an incredible human being,” said a fan and volunteer for the Clinton campaign in Washington state, Shelby Healy.

Clinton was then slated to head south to attend the launch of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law’s Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University.

During her keynote speech, in CEMEX Auditorium, Clinton said the United States is in a cyber war with Russia. 

"We learned just this week some of the Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin," said Clinton. "Two states that decided the election with razor-thin margins which suggest the Russian strategy was more sophisticated than we knew."

The former Secretary of State continued to discuss Russia's involvement with fake news, encouraging lawmakers to take cyber threat security. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Four Cyclists Injured in a Hit-and-Run in Marin County ]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 22:36:23 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Marin-county-hit-and-run-cyclist.JPG

Four cyclists were injured during a hit-and-run incident on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road while riding in a charity cycling event on Saturday.

Witnesses told officials that a dark blue Dodge Ram pickup truck was traveling westbound on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road when the driver intentionally swerved to the right, striking all four cyclists. According to witnesses, the driver did not stop and quickly fled the scene.


The four men all sustained a number of injuries and were all transported to hospitals. One of the cyclists was flown to the hospital in critical condition. 

"It is a benefit for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. If there's a single most important priority in our work, it's safety," said a cyclist at the scene, Jim Elias. "That's why an event like this is heartbreaking." 

Officials are asking the public’s help to locate the vehicle associated with the collision. The driver of the vehicle was described as a white male, between 20-35 years old with stubble facial hair and crew-cut brown hair.

Marin CHP is asking that anyone with information regarding the hit-and-run incident call dispatch at (707) 551-4100. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Data Breach Affects Eight Whole Foods Stores in Bay Area ]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 12:14:29 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-696617858.png

Heads up, Bay Area: If you shop at certain Whole Foods stores, your payment information may have been hacked.

Whole Foods officials said in September that the credit and debit card information of people who bought meals or drinks at its in-store restaurants or bars were exposed to hackers.

Eight of the 470 locations affected are in major cities in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara and Walnut Creek. 

The grocer, which was recently acquired by Seattle-based online retailer Amazon.com Inc., is investigating the hack, but says it did not affect its main checkout registers or any Amazon.com shoppers.

Below is a list of local stores where customer payment information may have been compromised:

Cupertino

20955 Stevens Creek Boulevard

Tap Room, Gengi Asian Venue

Dublin 

5200 Dublin Boulevard

Tap Room, Gengi Asian Venue

Mill Valley

731 East Blithedale Avenue

Tam Tam

San Francisco

Potrero Hill:

450 Rhode Island St

Burger Venue, Coffee Bar

SoMa:

399 4th Street

Tap Room, Gengi Asian Venue

San Jose

777 The Alameda

Pizza Venue, Sushi Venue, Tap Room

Santa Clara

2732 Augustine Drive, Suite 1600

Burrito Venue, Sandwich Venue, Tap Room

Walnut Creek

2941 Ygnacio Valley Road

Tap Room, Taqueria Venue

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Campaign Aims to Reduce Number of Accidental 911 Calls in SF]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 18:05:37 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/911+Generic.jpg

San Francisco has come up with a new way to try and reduce the number of accidental 911 calls that can delay responses to a real emergency.

The city's 911 dispatch center is busy with an overall call volume that has jumped in recent years, including accidental dials.

"We've seen a huge increase due to cell phones and touch screens," said Rob Smuts with the Department of Emergency Management. The department will soon roll out a public education campaign aimed at reducing  accidental calls.

"We estimate that close to one-third of our 911 calls are accidental calls of all kinds," Smuts said.

Dispatchers still need to verify all calls are not real emergencies. The new campaign urges users to lock cell phones before putting it in your pocket or purse, and to make the right call. In example, dialing 311 to report certain crimes that are not in progress.

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin has held hearings on the city's lagging 911 response times and said they are in the process of filling operator positions and addressing issues.

"Our numbers thankfully have been creeping up. We are 83 percent, but we still have another seven points before we hit the national standard of 90 percent of calls being answered within 10 seconds," Peskin said.

]]>
<![CDATA[BART to Remove Asbestos From SF's Powell Street Station]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 11:00:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-184699709.jpg

BART is preparing to make some additions to one of its most popular stations in San Francisco, but, in the process, it will have to remove a material that has sparked concern among riders.

The agency needs to remove asbestos from three locations at the Powell Street station before installing new ceiling panels and lights. Starting Monday, the work will take place when the station is closed, but a protective enclosure will be visible during business hours.

BART says the asbestos has not been a hazard while it remained undisturbed. However, the new installations could cause dusting or flaking of the material so they are taking necessary precautions to inform the public about the construction.

Although BART says passengers have nothing to fear because it is common practice to remove asbestos from older buildings, some commuters can’t help but be worried that asbestos is dangerous and can, in some cases, lead to cancer.

Over the summer, BART removed asbestos as well as lead paint from eight other stations without running into any issues.

A special filtering system will be in place at the Powell Street station to ensure that the air in the station is clean. BART will also have safety monitors present during the work, which officials say could take two weeks.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Falls Off Cliff at San Francisco's Fort Funston]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 04:39:42 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10052017CliffFallSF_299535.JPEG

A young woman died Thursday after she fell 300 feet from a cliff in San Francisco's Fort Funston, according to fire officials.

Emergency crews responded to a report of a woman who fell off a cliff at around 4:40 p.m. Fire officials believe the woman was alone.

Investigators carefully looked for clues about the fall along the cliff's edge, near the viewing platform.

There are signs along the trails warning walkers to stay away from the edge. A lot of footprints also can be seen in those dangerous areas.

Rene Samayoa said up top, it may not seem dangerous. But from the beach, it's easy to see the cliffs crumbling.

"People stand by the edge to catch the sunset," Samayoa said. "My teeth are cringing. I see sand falling; they don’t know the danger they are in."

No other information was immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[SF Adds New Items to Blue Bin Recycling Program]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:24:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/187*120/sf-blue-bin-recylce.jpg

San Francisco residents can now throw more items into the blue recycling bins under changes to the city's recycling program announced today.

The changes mean that empty paper cups, paper cartons such as milk cartons, juice boxes and ice cream cartons and plastic bags and wrap can all go into the blue bin along with other recyclables, officials said.

Plastic bags and wrap must be contained in a plastic bag before they are added to the bin.

In return, residents will see their black waste bins shrink to 16 gallons. Blue recycling bins will be 64 gallons and green compost bins will be 32 gallons.

The new bins and signage explaining the changes have been rolled out in the Sunset District and will spread to the rest of the city over the next two years, officials said today.

Information about the changes is available online as well as information about San Francisco's recycling program



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[90-Year-Old Man Fatally Struck by Vehicle in San Francisco]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 09:27:10 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-crop.jpg

A 90-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle near San Francisco's Panhandle on Wednesday evening, according to police.

The collision was reported at 5:22 p.m. in the area of Fell and Baker streets.

A 28-year-old woman was driving the vehicle that struck the man, who was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He has been identified by the medical examiner's office as San Francisco resident David Grinberg.

The woman was not arrested as a result of the collision.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Police Bolstering Security for Weekend Events]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 22:50:06 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/San_Francisco_Police_Bolstering_Security_for_Weekend_Events.jpg

San Francisco police Chief Bill Scott vows to have increased security around weekend events such as Fleet Week and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park. Terry McSweeney reports.]]>
<![CDATA[No Fingerprint Requirements for Uber and Lyft]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 11:21:51 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/No_Fingerprint_Requirements_for_Uber_and_Lyft.jpg

California regulators are reportedly stopping short of requiring Uber and Lyft drivers to submit fingerprints under proposed new regulations. California's PUC oversees ride service companies. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the agency on Wednesday decided only to require proof of annual background checks, which Uber and Lyft already do. The companies oppose fingerprint requirements, and in other states it's become a divisive issue. Taxi drivers in California are generally required to submit fingerprints, but the CPUC decided an added layer of security would not boost safety.]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Returns to the Bay Area]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 11:12:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hillary_Clinton_Returns_to_the_Bay_Area_Friday.jpg

Hillary Clinton on Friday will head to Books Inc. in San Francisco for a book signing and then give a keynote speech at a conference at Stanford University.]]>
<![CDATA[SF City Leaders Leave Car Break-In Issue to PD to Handle]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 18:37:30 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11A+SF+CAR+BREAK-INS+PKG+FEED+-+10491409.jpg

Trying to break a bad cycle of skyrocketing car break-ins, San Francisco city leaders on Wednesday unveiled a new plan with a twist.

Car break-ins citywide are up 25 percent since just last year. Two supervisors were working on a plan to dedicate an officer in every district of the city to property crime. But on Wednesday, they basically scrapped it. Instead, they opted for a resolution to fight the problem, handing police Chief Bill Scott the keys to the car.

Essentially that means, absent of any city mandates, the San Francisco Police Department will deal with the "epidemic" of car breaks-ins with whatever strategies gain traction. And so far, there has been some early promise.

Over the summer, the department doubled foot patrol in the hardest hit areas, such as Lombard Street and Fisherman’s Wharf, and Scott says auto burglaries dipped 8 percent in the first month.

The chief will be creating a campaign called Park Smart, educating people on how not to become targets. And police will have decentralized, neighborhood units for property crime.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen, sponsor of the original legislation, says the emphasis is on getting the government and the police department tackling car break-ins immediately, and not waiting weeks or months for new legislation to pass.

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, however, was a bit skeptical, saying, "We don’t have enough officers to clamp down on property crime."

By the end of the year, SFPD is expected to have 270 more officers than last year, and the supervisors pledged to spend more money, if needed, for resources.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area file]]>
<![CDATA[Enhanced Security for Fleet Week, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 06:05:48 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBSFSECURITY_279391.JPEG

In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, enhanced security will be put in place for two large outdoor events scheduled to take place in San Francisco this weekend.

People attending Fleet Week and the Hardly Strictly Blue Grass music festival should expect to heavy security at both events.

San Francisco police prepping for Fleet Week, which attracts over one million per year, were already increasing patrols on land and on water before the concert shooting in Las Vegas. Those security measures for Fleet in addition to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass will likely increase following Sunday's nights shooting.

"Already our entertainment venues like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and the concerts are adding and beefing up security. They're working even closer with the police department about any holes, any gaps," Mayor Ed Lee said.

Lee added that San Francisco is home to a number of tall buildings and hotels looking out over large, open spaces. The shooter who opened fire in Las Vegas showered concertgoers with bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel. That reality has Lee concerned.

"We have to pay a lot of attention to that," he said.

Fleet Week is already underway as of Wednesday, but the more populat events last through the weekend. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass kicks off Friday and continues through Sunday.

In addition to monitoring both events closely, San Francisco police indicate that they have a plan in place should a scenario like the one that transpired in Las Vegas occur in the Bay Area.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Environmental Group Sues California Over Whale-Killing Gear]]>Tue, 03 Oct 2017 09:57:53 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/189*120/WhaleGeneric.jpg

An environmental group has sued the state of California for allegedly not doing enough to keep Dungeness crab fishery gear from killing protected whales.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed its lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco, saying the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is liable for a surge in entanglements of endangered whales and sea turtles because it authorizes and manages operation of the fishery.

California should put in place more mandatory protection measures, such as blocking fishing operations from especially important waters for whales, restricting the amount of gear in whale hotspots and reducing the amount of rope running through the water, the center said.

"These entanglements are heartbreaking, illegal and way too common," said Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney with the Center. "California officials can't let this minefield of crab traps continue to slaughter endangered whales and sea turtles."

Kirsten Macintyre, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the center has a longstanding policy not to comment on pending litigation.

The pots and lines used by crab fishing boats can get carried away by waves or by vessels that accidentally snag whales and turtles. The animals can drag fishing gear for hundreds of miles and often die from their entanglement injuries.

Entanglements of whales have broken records on the West Coast in each of the past three years. There were 71 reported whale entanglements last year, up from 62 in 2015 and 30 in 2014. Before that, whale entanglement reports averaged fewer than 10 per year, it added.

The California commercial Dungeness crab trap fishery entangles more endangered whales and sea turtles than any other U.S. West Coast fishery. Many of last year's entanglements were clustered around the biologically rich Monterey Bay, where migrating whales came to feed, according to the center.

California fishermen and port officials working with the Nature Conservancy environmental group this year launched a program to recover lost or abandoned ropes, buoys and anchors of fishing gear from the ocean in an effort to reduce the number of entangled animals.

Noah Oppenheim, executive director of a group that represents West Coast commercial fishermen, said the lawsuit is disappointing and that fishermen and women take the health of the ocean "incredibly seriously."

"We do everything we can to avoid whales when we fish, and fishermen have risked life and limb to help whales escape in some of the rare instances in which they do become entangled," said Oppenheim, of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scientists Studying Bay Area Ocean Conditions Hit Milestone]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 17:43:51 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Rosato-Jaime.jpg

On a recent day, the eyes and ears of marine biology rode a research boat past the Golden Gate Bridge — beyond the Farallone Islands some 27 miles off San Francisco’s shores, to begin a 10-hour day of research that would surround them with whales, sea birds, and the chemistry of a changing ocean. 

The journey marked the 50th time since the program launched in 2004 that the combined scientific forces of Point Blue Conservation and Science and the Gulf of Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries would head out to sea to document seabirds and mammals while taking a snapshot of ocean conditions. 

“It’s really hard to keep long term monitoring sets like this going,” said Cordell Bank Researcher Danielle Lipski. “And so that is really meaningful that we’ve hit this milestone.” 


The team of researchers aboard the Fulmar have visited the waters of Cordell Bank and Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries over 13 years — not only documenting the ocean itself but the visible creatures living there. They’ve studied it during El Niño years, during the strange phenomenon known as the “warm blob” and through growing concern over the increasingly acidic ocean conditions. 

“We have seen a lot of variability between good years,” said Point Blue scientist Jaime Jahncke. “We have seen bad years, we have seen cold years, we have seen really extreme warm years.” 

During the day-long treks, the teams pull-off a myriad of scientific studies. They navigate a series of fixed paths taking samples of ocean waters. They sample for krill — the main food staple of whales. 


Then they settle in to ride pre-designated routes recording every mammal, seabird and vessel they see along the way. It was somewhat fitting that during the group’s 50th journey landed in the middle of what they estimated were about 100 humpback and blue whales traversing and feeding. 

Blue whales passed within yards of the boat, loudly belching up a blast of anchovy breath. Spouts filled the horizon in all directions as the sound of blow holes peppered the quiet tranquil waters. 

“One of the very few times that I’ve been among, and in the mix of a hundred plus whales,” said Point Blue researcher Ryan Berger. “It’s incredible to see and just look everywhere around you — you just see spouts going on.” 


The team’s data of increasing whale populations and habits has helped NOAA re-route shipping lanes away from the whales’ regular pathways, helping to reduce the number of ship strikes. But Berger said there are increasing reports of whales snagged in fishing gear. 

“We had 2002 to 2012 an average of 8 to 10 reports in California,” Berger said. “In 2016 there were over 70 reports confirmed.” 

Berger said the group is hoping its data can shed more light on where fishermen’s crab pots and whale trajectories intersect. The information could lead to a strategy to better keep the two separated. 

“We’re all coming together to share perspectives on how to mitigate whale entanglement,” Berger said.




Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
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<![CDATA[Disaster Drill at SFO Tests Preparedness of First Responders]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 18:44:11 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBSFODISASTERDRILL_279201.JPEG

Preparing for the worst, first responders came together overnight to sharpen their skills during at an emergency exercise at San Francisco International Airport.

The annual exercise is designed to make sure first responders know exactly what to do in a mass casualty event in hopes of saving lives.

This year's event centered around a simulated terrorist attack involving an active shooter. Although details of the simulation appear to be eerily similar to Sunday's deadly concert shooting in Las Vegas, the airport planned the scenario in back in January following the shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport that left five people dead.

The simulation at SFO included deployed smoke, sounds of gunfire and explosions, and about 60 people acting as victims. Airport staff, police officers, firefighters and other agencies were tested to see how adequately they could provide aid.

"At the end of tonight's exercise, we're going to do what we call a 'hot wash' which is essentially a debriefing," SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel said. "We're going to talk about what worked well and what didn't work so well, and we use exercises like this to continually improve and enhance our procedures.

The federal government requires that these drills be held every three years. SFO conducts the drill on an annual basis "just because it makes us better," Yakel said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Proposal Aims to Shut Down Bicycle 'Chop Shops' in SF]]>Tue, 03 Oct 2017 18:50:24 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/1003-2017-Bike.jpg

The City of San Francisco intends to crack down on bicycle chop shops springing up in homeless camps.

On Tuesday, city supervisors overwhelmingly approved the first reading of a measure to confiscate bikes and parts from people who appear to be running a sidewalk business.

The measure passed 9-2 to allow the Department of Public Works to confiscate bicycles from suspected chop shops -- not because the bikes are stolen, but because they are blocking sidewalks.

At homeless camps all over San Francisco, there are thousands of dollars worth of bikes and bike parts that are being used as a type of street currency.

"It's a quick way of making money," said Oscar Kinney, who has been on the street for years.

Robert Winterstein, who has been homeless for 15 years, estimates 90 percent of bikes are stolen.

"That's what people do around here -- pretty much break into cars or steal bikes," Winterstein said.

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy's ordinance would allow the Department of Public Works to confiscate bikes from people who had more than five bikes or bike parts blocking the sidewalk.

"It's about access to a right of way and it's about an illegal business on the sidewalk," Sheehy said.

But even some people who have had their bikes stolen are not on board with going after the homeless.

"I have personally an issue with harassing homeless people that don't necessarily have a place to stay," San Francisco-resident Lee Stafford said.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen pointed the ordinance does not address the problem of stolen bikes -- no one is arrested and there are no fines.

"This legislation does not address that theft at all," Ronen said.

But the measure passed easily on Tuesday. A spokesman for the Bicycle Coalition pointed out the measure is not a silver bullet, but they believe it is a step in the right direction.



Photo Credit: Mark Matthews/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Wakes Up to Guns Pointed at Him in SF Home Invasion]]>Tue, 03 Oct 2017 09:03:36 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfpd-generic-san-francisco-police.jpg

A man woke up Monday morning to guns pointed at him during a home invasion robbery in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood, according to police.

The robbery was reported at about 5:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The 43-year-old victim said he woke up to three suspects pointing guns at him. The suspects attacked the victim while three other suspects ransacked the house, stealing a laptop, game console, camera, pistol, rifle, shotgun, printer, guitar and other items, police said.

The suspects fled and remain at large today. Detailed descriptions of them were not immediately available from police.

The victim was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries that are not considered life-threatening, police said.

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: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Three Women From Bay Area Killed in Las Vegas Mass Shooting]]>Tue, 03 Oct 2017 15:49:24 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/etcheber_vo.jpg

Three women from the Bay Area were among the 59 people who were killed during the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas Sunday night.

A family member on Tuesday wrote on Facebook that Novato resident Stacee Etcheber, who went missing after the gunman opened fire on thousands of concertgoers, had died. Etcheber was married to a San Francisco police officer who was also at the concert and jumped in to aid the wounded.

"It's with a heavy heart and deep sorrow, Stacee Etcheber has passed away," Al Etcheber, Stacee Etcheber's brother-in-law, wrote. "Please pray for our family during this difficult time."


Michelle Vo, a 2003 graduate of San Jose's Independence High School, was also among those killed.

The 32-year-old previously worked as an administrative assistant in Mountain View before moving to Southern California. She was described as being "a sweet soul" with a bright smile.

Later Tuesday, NBC Bay Area learned a third Bay Area woman, Denise Cohen, of San Ramon, also was killed in the shooting, according to Facebook post by the California High School Alumni Association. Cohen graduated from Cal High in 1977.  


Stacee Etcheber was instructed by her husband to run when the gunman, who was perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel, unleashed a barrage of bullets in the direction of the open concert venue.

Stacee Etcheber's husband Vincent stayed behind to help the shooting victims, but when he later tried to find his wife, he was never able to spot her amid the chaos, according to the San Francisco Police Officers' Association. Stacee Etcheber did not have her cellphone with her during the concert, and she had handed her ID to her husband when the concert began.


San Francisco Police Chief William Scott wrote in a statement that Stacee Etcheber "was taken in a senseless act of violence" while her husband "heroically rushed to aid shooting victims."

Al Etcheber indicated that his sister-in-law, who worked as a hair stylist in Marin County, leaves behind two children.

"We will dearly miss you," Al Etcheber wrote on his Facebook post.


In addition to the 59 people who were killed during the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, 527 people were also wounded. The gunman, who has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, killed himself before officers stormed the hotel room he was staying in.

NBC Bay Area's Shawn Murphy contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Facebook, SFPOA
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<![CDATA[Jury Selection Begins in Kate Steinle Murder Trial]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 23:31:29 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steinle+trial-0906.jpg

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of the man accused of fatally shooting a 32-year-old woman on a San Francisco pier, which touched off a national immigration debate.

Court records show that lawyers began summoning the first of 1,000 potential jurors Monday to the San Francisco courthouse to fill out questionnaires. Possible jurors are being asked if they can sit through a lengthy trial or have moral qualms about the case.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate said he accidentally fired the shot that killed Kate Steinle while she was walking with her father in July 2015. Garcia Zarate, 54, had been recently released from the San Francisco Jail after the district attorney dropped a minor marijuana charge. Zarate was released despite a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain him for deportation proceedings. He had previously been deported five times.

The San Francisco sheriff, citing the city's policy of limited cooperation with federal immigration officials, ignored the ICE request.

Monday's questionnaire is only the first step, and the process is expected to take about two weeks, after which lawyers will then start questioning potential jurors about their views on immigration and other issues in an effort to seat an impartial jury. That portion is also expected to last about two weeks.

President Donald Trump referred to Steinle's death several times while campaigning as a reason to toughen immigration policies in the country and the case has frequently been invoked as part of the immigration debate. Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities, several of which have filed lawsuits to prevent that.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Responses to Disaster and Mass Shooting Differ Greatly]]>Tue, 03 Oct 2017 17:34:56 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/SF+disaster+drill.jpg

Doctors, nurses, sailors and U.S. Marines set up an emergency field hospital Monday in San Francisco as part of a Fleet Week drill to respond to a catastrophic incident.

In this case, the exercise was done in preparation for an earthquake. But, in the wake of the tragic events that took place in Las Vegas late Sunday night, many questions focused on handling victims of a mass shooting.

Dr. Christopher Colwell, director of emergency medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital has been part of an emergency response to two mass shootings in Colorado. He was called out to treat the victims at Columbine High School in 1999, when two students gunned down 12 classmates and a teacher before taking their own lives.

Thirteen years later, Colwell was on duty the night James Holmes opened fire in the Aurora, Colorado, theater.

"So I had a chance to see some of these events unfold and had a real opportunity to learn lessons for how we can be better prepared for events like this," he said.

Colwell had some ideas on how to rethink the way we respond to disasters. Sending ambulances to the scene and then transporting hundreds of victims to hospitals doesn’t work if it ends up overwhelming the emergency rooms, he said.

"We just simply transplant the disaster, which is what we’ve done across this country," he said.

For starters, he’d like to see alternative care sites identified throughout the city, where resources and people could be sent to handle cases closer to the scene.

"Save the hospitals for truly the most critical patients and ultimately get them all to the hospital, but not all at once," Colwell said.

Places like the military field hospital assembled Monday could be put up in churches or gyms or a large space with running water, he said.

"We could identify 50 centers in San Francisco alone that we could mobililze in a matter of hours," Colwell said.

As for the series of drills scheduled for this week, they were to be done in conjunction with the military, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Emergency Services. In the case of a major earthquake, marines and sailors set up a field hosptial and trauma center at Zuckerberg San Francsico General Hospital.

One tent is set up to handle light to moderate injuries while others were designated for trauma center operating rooms and critical care units.

The Marines' officer in charge took a lot of pride in how quickly the teams can set up. He said getting a trauma victim to a medical care within 60 minutes is the key to survival. Trauma teams call it the "golden hour."

"With all hands involved on it, we can make that," said Lt. Rob Parker of the Travis Surgical Unit. "The fastest we’ve done is 26 minutes."

"If you can capture them within an hour, there’s a high chance that they can survive from whatever issue that occurred," said Navy corpsman Lashad Hamilton.

But in mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas that left at least 59 people dead and more than 520 injured, the military’s rapid response wouldn’t be nearly fast enough. The Marines need 96 hours to get their people and equipment deployed.

"That’s a reality, but I don’t think it’s an unreal assumption that we would need help five days after a catastrophic earthquake," said Mike Dayton of the Department of Emergency Management.



Photo Credit: Mark Matthews/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Wife of SFPD Officer Missing After Las Vegas Mass Shooting]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 23:00:40 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stacee+etcheber-1002.jpg

The wife of an off-duty San Francisco police officer is missing following the mass shooting Sunday night in Las Vegas, police said Monday.

A post on Facebook said that Stacee Etcheber, of Novato, is missing and that she is the wife of Vincent Etcheber, who's listed as an officer with the San Francisco Police Department's Northern Station in a station newsletter from last year.

The Facebook post by Al Etcheber, Vincent's brother, also said that after the shooting Vincent helped injured people to the hospital.

At least 59 people were killed and more than 520 were injured in the shooting at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay casino.

Al said his brother shepherded his wife and friends to a partition or scaffolding when the shooting started. Then a woman near them was hit, and Vinnie went to help treat her and helped get her to the hospital in a pickup truck, Al said. Vinnie told Stacee and their friends to "make a run for it" when he thought it was clear.

That’s the last time he saw Stacee, Al said.

"The complication lied in the fact that his wife did not have her cellphone with her; she had left it at home, probably didn’t want to lose it," Al said. "And then, she did not have her ID on her. My brother held her ID, probably just for safe keeping."

Al Etcheber said even more concerning is the fact that Stacee knows her huband's phone number and hadn't called him yet. He also said family members were not being allowed into hospitals or triage centers Monday and had to wait for further instructions.

Despite their lack of information, the Etcheber family remained positive.

"Stacee’s tough as nails," Al said. "If anyone’s going to make it through this, it’s going to be her. And knowing her, she probably came back looking for her husband or to try and help other gunshot victims."

The San Francsico Police Officers' Association said it was sending a crew of its members down to Las Vegas to assist Vinnie in his search for his wife.

City officials did not address Etcheber's case specifically but did speak about the tragedy.

Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement, "We are sending our deepest condolences and sympathies to the hundreds of families affected by this senseless act of gun violence. Our nation needs stricter, common sense gun laws. We cannot continue to play politics with American lives."

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon also released a statement about the shooting and the country's gun laws.

"The rights of gun owners must be weighed against everyone's right to be safe from gun violence," Gascon said. "Lawmakers continue to pay deference to gun owners and the gun lobby at the expense of the public at large."

Lee said that as San Francisco visitors, residents and employees prepare to take part in upcoming civic events such as Fleet Week, police will be more present, and they will be working with state and federal authorities to keep residents safe.



Photo Credit: SFPOA]]>
<![CDATA[US Searches Former Russian Consulate SF Building: Diplomat]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 18:10:57 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-841287394.png

SAN FRANCISCO - A Russian diplomat says the United States is violating international law by searching a two-story brownstone building in San Francisco that was the consul's residence.

Russian diplomat Nikolay Pukalov says at least 20 U.S. officials were coming in and out of the property Monday.

The U.S. State Department confirmed it conducted a walkthrough to make sure all residents had left the premises.

Pukalov, head of the consular division at the Russian embassy in D.C., called the inspection an "intrusion" and a violation of international law and of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

President Donald Trump's administration on Aug. 31 gave Moscow two days to shutter diplomatic outposts in San Francisco and other American cities and a month to vacate diplomatic residences.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Serious Side of SF Fleet Week: Disaster Response Drill]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 22:51:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fleetweekdrill1001_248138.JPG

The 37th annual Fleet Week in San Francisco is officially underway. And while the sight of the Blue Angels flying overhead thrills fans, there’s also a serious side to the event.

Crews in the area will be training to deal with a potential disaster.

Landing craft units arrived Sunday near the Mariposa Hunters Point Yacht Club in San Francisco, unloading U.S. military vehicles and equipment.

"It's going to drop its front, and all of the supplies that are part of our medical surge exercise happening tomorrow, all of that equipment is going to be coming here to San Francisco," said David Cruise, spokesman for San Francisco Fleet Week.

Military personnel and local first responders will take part in a disaster training scenario Monday at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

"The scenario tomorrow is San Francisco has suffered an earthquake that is not catastrophic, but it does isolate the city, and there is a need for medical assistance," Cruise said.

One of the biggest concerns if a disaster strikes, Cruise said, is how to get resources into the city.

"This is that drill you’re seeing happening right now in Houston and in Florida, especially in Puerto Rico, where ports are closed, you can't get commodities in," Cruise said.

According to estimates, Fleet Week is expected to bring in more than $10 million in revenue for the city. And with the disaster response exercise, the hope is the city will be ready for an emergency.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man, Woman Shot Dead in Car in SF's Dolores Heights Area]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 21:43:12 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DLAFGgaV4AEkkEd.jpg

A man and a woman were shot dead and found in a vehicle in San Francisco's Dolores Heights neighborhood on Saturday, police said.

At approximately 9:31 a.m., officers got a call from a citizen asking that they check on the well-being of two people in a vehicle near the intersection of Rayburn and 21st streets, spokesman Officer Robert Rueca said.

There, officers found the pair suffering from gunshot wounds. Police said they died at the scene despite first responders' medical aid.

Officers contacted Child Protective Services after finding a car seat but not a  child. Police checked with outside agencies and determined no child to be in danger. 

Neighbors were initially told to shelter in place because police were unsure of the type of crime they were responding to. 

A gun was recovered at the scene of the shooting. 

Police did not provide any suspect information, but said that they don't believe the crime was random. There is no oustanding threat to the neighborhood, they said.

It's unclear how long the bodies had been in the car.

The department's homicide unit and the medical examiner are investigating the case, the officer said.

He asked that anyone with information on the killings contact the department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.

Bay City News contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Accused SFPD Officer Claims Whistleblower Retaliation]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 10:16:24 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/929107joelbabbs_231607.JPEG

A San Francisco police officer facing misdemeanor charges of vehicle registration fraud and making a false police report claims that the latest accusations follow months of departmental retaliation for alleging racism in the ranks.

"It’s been (a) living hell," Joel Babbs told NBC Bay Area. "How dare you have the audacity to make a complaint? We’re going to ruin you. We’ll ruin you. "

In a statement, spokesman David Stevenson said of Babbs’ claims: "We are aware of these allegations, which are under investigation. The investigation uncovered evidence that led to charges being filed last week. Because this is an ongoing, internal investigation, we cannot comment any further."

Babbs, 56, known as JB, said the trouble started when he gave Internal Affairs the two cell phone videos he took at the police department’s Muni transit division, which based at the Hall of Justice.

In one of the videos taken in October, the lieutenant in the unit cautions against anyone dismissing the Department of Justice report’s findings that San Francisco police officers were stopping a disproportionate number of black motorists. At the same time, he describes a vehicle stop of suspected gang members who could be armed.

"You know as a cop, I’m asking those guys, because they look f—ing dirty," the lieutenant said. "But what they see, what they see is you pulled over two black men, and you ask them if you are on probation and parole."

Babbs, a 26-year veteran officer, was outraged. "They had a gun, they should have known because they looked dirty," Babbs said derisively.

"They were dirty, they looked dirty — as he referred to black occupants in a vehicle — that that’s why I say he’s racist, that’s the nature of the complaint. When listening to the video, over and over, he says some very, what I feel, are some very racist things toward black people. ’’

In a separate roll call video, the same lieutenant appears to boast about a clash he said he had with a black woman suspect in the Bayview district.

"If you ever see her, she’s missing a tooth from me," he says on the recording, adding later: "I went to handcuff her and she grabbed my hand, so I f—ing grabbed (her) finger and snapped it."

Babbs said he felt compelled to act based on the comments the lieutenant and a sergeant said during roll call.

"I couldn’t live with myself," if he had not complained, Babbs said. "I couldn’t live with myself, knowing every day this person comes to work and feels that about people like me."

Babbs said he naively expected that the department would investigate the videos and act upon what was said.

"I thought it was over — I thought it would be resolved," he said.

In March, Babbs says, he was questioned by Internal Affairs about improperly taping roll call sessions. The two supervisors were also moved out of the unit.

Babbs said that is when he began to be ostracized and was kept from overtime assignments. In May, the city's Department of Human Resources concluded that its "investigative findings were sufficient to establish that you were subjected to retaliation" for being a whistleblower.

Two months later, Babbs was stripped of his gun and star and assigned to paid leave. While the police department’s letter does not specify the basis for the order, Babbs said the department’s doctor told him why.

"People in my unit were scared of me," he said.

Last week, Babbs said, he was "booked like I’m a criminal." But he says that he is only guilty of putting the wrong registration sticker on the wrong car.

"There’s no victim here, there’s no intent here," he said.

As for the false police report allegation, he said he was simply reporting that his license plate had been taken without a search warrant.

Babbs' attorney, Murlene Randle, said her client is being targeted for standing up.

"I’m just proud that Officer Babbs has decided to stand his ground," she said. "I’m disappointed at what he’s been through what he’s being put through. It not only breaks his heart, it breaks my heart."

After news broke of his arrest, Babbs said his daughter called him in tears from Japan after family members saw his mug shot on social media.

"Like myself, they can’t believe it," said the officer, who added that he still hopes he can return to work on the Muni detail. "It’s a job I love, it’s a job they took away from me. For no apparent reason but to tell the truth."

The lieutenant's attorney didn’t respond to NBC Bay Area's request for comment.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Demolishes Two Piers of Old Bay Bridge Foundation]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 08:12:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bbimplosiono_231573.JPG

Caltrans demolished two piers of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's old eastern span Saturday morning, officials said.

The implosions took place underwater and removed piers E9 and E10.

It was the third of this fall's six scheduled implosions for the demolition of the remaining 11 marine foundations of the original east span of the bridge. 

Traffic breaks were expected anytime between 9 and 11 a.m., when the implosions were planned to take place, according to Caltrans. 

The agency said it plans to finish the work by mid-November. Caltrans began demolishing the old eastern span in September 2013 after the new eastern span opened to traffic.

Pier E3, which was the largest pier and the closest to Yerba Buena and Treasure islands, was removed in 2015 and piers E4 and E5 were removed in 2016.

The remaining piers will be removed every other weekend through the second week in November, Caltrans officials said.

By combining the demolition of multiple piers, when possible, Caltrans says it is poised to save $10 million in taxpayer money.

Caltrans provided a livestream of the demolition online.



Photo Credit: Caltrans]]>
<![CDATA[Fleet Week Expected to Draw Millions to San Francisco]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 11:30:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-91668503.png

Security in San Francisco – on land and in water – is being boosted on the cusp of Fleet Week.

The event known for the parade of ships and Blue Angels air show attracts millions of visitors every year, generating over $10 million in revenue for the city.

However, the large crowds taking it all in means a bigger emphasis for on safety and security.

Officials are encouraging people who climb aboard boats to wear a life jacket and watch their speed. The San Francisco Police Department will also be patrolling the bay for intoxicated boaters.

The U.S. Coast Guard will be working closely with law enforcement agencies on many fronts, including potential terror threats.

Capt. Tony Ceraolo said first responders are “always on guard” and plan on “remaining vigilant.”

The San Francisco Fire Department will have its rescue water craft on hand and team fully staffed for help. Officials have warned people to stay away from cliffs and designated trails.

Fleet Week's events will take place at Marina Green in San Francisco, starting Tuesday. The parade of ships and air show will take place on Friday.

More information on Fleet Week can be found online.




Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cain 'More Than Satisfied' in Final Big League Start]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 18:51:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cain-giants-12324.JPG

Matt Cain walked into the clubhouse Saturday morning and found himself confronted by … Matt Cain. A whole lot of Matt Cain.

Every TV in the clubhouse was showing a Cain highlight reel filled with his postseason strikeouts, moments from early in his career, and the most memorable plays of his perfect game. Cain thought it was awkward. He also thought it was kind of cool. He snuck a peak for a few minutes before changing the channel on the television hanging over his locker. A few hours later, he surprised even himself when he added one last gem to a highlight reel full of them.

Cain went out with five shutout innings in the 331st and final start of his big league career. On a day full of emotion and ovations, he let the crowd and his teammates carry him to the finish line.

“I’m more than satisfied,” he said, his voice cracking at times. “I was kind of surprised to get that far into the game. I’m pretty proud of being able to go out there and throw five innings today, but that honestly was the excitement of the fans and my teammates pushing me along. That didn’t have anything to do with me. I was riding their wave.”

For so many years, the Giants let Cain keep them afloat. The 2002 draftee spent 13 seasons in the big leagues, helping build the base of the sport’s latest dynasty. Cain will forever be remembered in this ballpark for his durability, his postseason success, and the night he was perfect. But for his teammates, he’ll be remembered for much more than that. He was the consummate leader, a prankster who kept the room loose, a mentor, and a player credited with bringing title teams together. There might have been some doubt about how long Cain would last in his first appearance since August 31, but there was no doubt about the way he would be received after his final big league pitch.

“Guys were crying in the dugout,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s how much they care about the guy.”

So many parts of this day lined up perfectly. Cain spent days wondering if Ted Barrett, the home plate umpire for his perfect game, would be on this crew. When he got to the park Friday, he found that Barrett was indeed lined up for his final start. Barrett watched as Cain walked off the field for the final time, and in a fitting touch, Cain began and ended the celebration by hugging the two players who will now take over as the longest-tenured Giants.

Buster Posey was waiting for Cain at the dugout entrance, and he delivered one final Buster Hug. Madison Bumgarner was waiting at the end of the line of teammates. He wrapped Cain in a bear hug, lifting him off the ground. The two have been close friends since the moment Bumgarner burst into camp, when he asked Cain — the veteran — how to pitch to Manny Ramirez. Cain told him to throw heaters inside. Bumgarner promptly went out and repeatedly threw 96 on the hands. Cain remembered telling himself that he couldn’t wait to hand the reins over to the young lefty.

“I don’t think it could have been more fitting than to have Bum at the end of the line,” Cain said.

The moment came at the end of an inning because of a trait that Cain and Bumgarner are both known for. Physically spent, Cain dug deep to give Bochy just a couple more outs. His day had started with several standing ovations, and he said he rode adrenaline for the first couple of innings. By the third, he was relying on the lone voices that kept breaking through a crowd of 40,000.

“I could hear two or three guys for some reason, going, ‘Come on, Cainer!” he said.

In the dugout, teammates were whispering the same thing. Bochy tried to will him along, but he had Derek Law and Ty Blach warm up just in case. Bochy had originally hoped to pull Cain in the middle of an inning so he could soak in the cheers, but as Cain got through the fourth and into the fifth, he decided the right-hander deserved a shot at career win No. 105. When Cain walked Cory Spangenberg to lead off the fifth, that plan looked shot.

Bochy walked out to the mound, moving quickly to show Cain that a conversation would be had. The infielders gathered on the mound and Bochy asked Cain to be honest about how he felt.

“I think I can get another hitter or two,” he said.

Bochy walked back to the dugout, boos having turned to cheers. Cain looked in at Posey, knowing he had not been entirely truthful.

“I was done,” Cain said. “(But) I told him I could get a couple more outs.”

Cain struck out Austin Hedges and tried to do the same with a two-strike curveball to Jhoulys Chacin. The opposing pitcher rolled it over to short, putting the final touch on a career that lasted 2,085 and 2/3 innings.

Bochy met Cain at the top step of the dugout. He wanted the fans to know that Cain’s day was done and the celebration was on. The ovation lasted about a minute, with Cain putting an exclamation point on it by flinging his hat into the seats. He came back out for a curtain call after the hug with Bumgarner, tears filling his eyes.

What happened next was as predictable as Cain’s ability to gut through one final inning. The Giants blew a lead twice and lost 3-2 to the Padres. Cain finished his career 104-118, with 109 no-decisions as a starter. On many of those nights, he deserved much better.

The fact that Cain never complained about his situation is just a part of his legacy, and it’s a trait that has been passed on to a new generation of Giants pitchers. Bochy hopes Cain continues to teach those lessons, and the Giants expect him to have some kind of future role with the organization.

For now, Cain said he doesn't want to rush into anything. He wants to take a deep breath, take some time with his wife and kids, and figure out the next steps as they come. The organization will celebrate Cain throughout Sunday’s season finale, and he said he hopes to take the mic after the final pitch and thank the fans. It’s a lock that he’ll do it. Bochy said Cain can do whatever he wants on his final day in orange and black.

“He can manage if he wants,” Bochy said, smiling. “Honestly, I haven’t done too well.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Woman Hits $2 Million Jackpot on $20 Scratcher]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 23:00:43 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lottery+winner-0928.jpg

A 29-year-old San Francisco woman hit a $2 million jackpot on a $20 Scratcher ticket, according to the California Lottery.

Bich Ha received the Crossword Deluxe Scratcher ticket as a birthday gift from her father and now plans to use her winnings to take care of her parents, lottery officials said.

"I really want to get a place for my parents," Ha told lottery officials. "I definitely want to get them a house, preferably in the city."

The ticket was purchased at Woerner’s Liquor at 901 Geary St. in San Francisco. The store owner will get $10,000 for selling the winning ticket, lottery officials said.

Ha became the second Bay Area millionaire in as many weeks from a Scratcher jackpot. On Sept. 21, Salvador Reyna won $3 million on a $5 Set For Life Scratcher he bought at a Fremont 7-Eleven.



Photo Credit: Jean Elle/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[ Slumping Crane at Top of SF's Salesforce Building ]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 22:48:48 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/226*120/salesforce-crane-sf.JPG

A frightening moment for many San Francisco residents as a slumping crane rests on the metalwork around the Salesforce tower on Friday.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) was called out to the building Thursday as the crane was being dismantled. Officials are calling the slump a rooftop mounted derrick. 

According to Cal/OSHA during the dismantling process, the cranes boom ended up slumping and came to a rest on the ornamental metal outside the building. 

The building was not damaged and there were no injuries. 

Cal/OSHA's inspectors determined the roof mount to be stable. There is no danger of the derrick falling or collapsing. 

Before the the derrick is fully dismantled an engineer will need to come out to the scene and approe the plan to get the boom repositioned. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[ICE Raids Target Immigrants With Previous Convictions]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 17:53:28 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/041211+ICE+agent+generic.jpg

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced Thursday that agents arrested 27 allegedly undocumented immigrants in San Francisco and Santa Clara County in a four-day operation that ended on Wednesday.

Twenty-three of those arrested had previous criminal convictions for offenses such as driving under the influence, drug trafficking and assault, the agency said.

ICE spokesman James Schwab said the operation targeted San Francisco and Santa Clara County because they are so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor ICE detainers or allow ICE agents to enter jails to interview suspected immigration violators.

Detainers are requests by ICE to local authorities to hold a person for two more days after release from jail.

The operation, known as Bay Area Safe City, was carried out by agents of ICE's San Francisco field office, whose territory stretches from Bakersfield to the Oregon border.

The home countries of those arrested are Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras, Schwab said.

He said that arrestees who have pending orders for deportation or who entered the United States illegally after being deported are subject to immediate removal.

Some others who are accused of other types of immigration violations are in custody but will be given hearings before an immigration judge, Schwab said.

Among those arrested is a Salvadoran man, who was apprehended in San Francisco. He entered the country illegally and has previous convictions for sex with a minor under the age of 16. He was released from local custody before ICE could assume custody, Schwab said.

A Mexican citizen arrested in San Jose overstayed his visa for more than 10 years and was previously convicted of drug trafficking and felony child abuse, Schwab said.

Eight of those arrested had previous convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In addition, there were in total two cases of drug trafficking convictions and one case each of assault, battery, burglary, contempt of court, cruelty toward a spouse, dangerous drugs, disorderly conduct, drug trafficking, drug possession, larceny, sexual assault, other sex offense, traffic offense and vehicle theft, according to ICE.

People with active status in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program were not targeted, ICE said.

ICE Acting Director Tom Homan said in a statement from Washington, D.C., "ICE's goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners to help prevent dangerous criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets."



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Puerto Rican Community Helps With Hurricane Relief]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 22:58:02 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bay_Area_Puerto_Rican_Community_Helps_With_Hurricane_Relief.jpg

Members of the Puerto Rican community in San Francisco fear their families and friends in Puerto Rico devastated by Hurricane Maria have been forgotten. Now they are stepping up to help. Terry McSweeney reports.]]>
<![CDATA[SF's Economy is Fastest Growing Among Nation's Top 10 Metros]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 23:12:59 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/sf+economy-0927.jpg

Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows San Francisco's economy last year grew significantly faster than any of the top 10 metro areas in the nation, according to an analysis by SpareFoot Moving Guides.

The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), ranked seventh in the U.S., generated a gross domestic product dollar value of $406.2 billion in 2016, a 5.4 percent increase from the previous year, the analysis said. Of the other top 10 metro economies, No. 10 Atlanta was closest with a 3.7 percent jump.

With a GDP of $236 billion in 2016, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area, 13th-largest in the U.S., saw its economy grow by 5.9 percent. But its economy is just 58 percent the size of San Francisco's, the Sparefoot analysis said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>