<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - [BAY BLOG]Hashtag Trending]]>Copyright 2018http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usFri, 23 Mar 2018 19:47:34 -0700Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:47:34 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Sculpture in Downtown San Jose Made With Over 200,000 Coins]]>Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:37:55 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/20180315-Bear-Sculpture-DTSJ-03.jpg

Downtown San Jose has added a new piece of art and it’s one pretty penny - or better yet, pennies. 

“Ursa Mater,” or “Mamma Penny Bear,” is a sculpture of a mother bear and her two cubs and it’s now the city’s most recent art installation located on Paseo de San Antonio next to the Fairmont Hotel. But this sculpture isn’t just made of concrete, the bear's “fur coat” is made with over 200,000 pennies. 

Alameda-based artists, Mr and Mrs Ferguson, and a team of 12 volunteers spent about four months layering all the pennies vertically in the concrete. 

“Ursa Mater” first made an appearance at Burning Man in 2017 and is now in San Jose thanks to a partnership between the city and the Burning Man Project. 

The partnership first developed after San Jose’s Director of Cultural Affairs, Kerry Adams Harper, returned from Burning Man and saw an opportunity to re-site art created for the event in downtown San Jose. 

“It is our hope that the community will be inspired by these artworks and human imagination and that they serve as an initiative to experience art, participate in art and also foster one’s creative expression,” said Adams Harper. 

“Ursa Mater” is the second art installation from Burning Man Project to reside in San Jose, Sonic Runway was the first. 

You can catch this mama bear and her cubs on Paseo de San Antonio in downtown until May.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Gonzalez/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Steve Kerr Talks Gun Violence With Bay Area Students]]>Mon, 12 Mar 2018 21:22:57 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/20180312-Steve-Kerr-Gun-Violence-Forum-8.jpgGolden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, an outspoken gun control advocate, joined U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna and community outreach director at Never Again, Matt Deitsch, for a town hall with high school students to discuss gun violence. ]]><![CDATA[Roger Federer’s ‘Match for Africa’ Raises $2.5M]]>Tue, 06 Mar 2018 15:18:10 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/20180305-MatchforAfrica-47.jpgTwenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer joined American tennis star Jack Sock, business mogul Bill Gates and NBC's "Today" show co-host Savannah Guthrie in San Jose Monday for Match for Africa - an exhibition tennis event supporting children's education in Africa.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Gonzalez]]>
<![CDATA[Nic Cage Talks #TimesUp, VR and Oscars at Cinequest]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:07:40 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/206*120/Nicolas-Cage-Cinequest-02.jpg

He's played everything from an angel to an alcoholic writer to a ghost rider - now at 54, Nicolas Cage is ready to take on the virtual world.

The Academy-Award-winning actor was in San Jose to accept the Maverick Spirit award for Cinequest - Silicon Valley's version of the Sundance Film Festival - and promote his new movie, Humanity Bureau - a 7-part dystopian thriller about global warming through VR.

NBC Bay Area sat down with the actor to chat about #TimesUp, virtual reality, movies, and of course, his favorite for the Oscars this weekend.

How does it feel to be at the Cinequest Film and VR Festival?
I’m very happy to support the festival I was happy to be invited, it’s always exciting to be with other film enthusiasts. Also, there’s a technological aspect of the film festival because of Silicon Valley. I think the two go together beautifully.

What does the Maverick Spirit Award mean to you?
Well if by maverick you mean, independently spirited, I have always tried to encourage that in fellow actors as well as in myself. I like to experiment; I see myself as a student of film. I have to stay eclectic; I have to stay interested by taking risks, by taking chances with the hope that I will learn something. I think there is a maverick sensibility to that approach.

What place does virtual reality have in the world of cinema?
I think it’s fascinating, I think it’s obviously new. There’s a lot of excitement and buzz around it because what we’re trying to do with it is to put people into the movie themselves.

For me to be perfectly honest, the format is a bit uncomfortable because I came up in film trying to figure out ways to embrace my co-star but also flirt with one camera or possibly two or three. With a VR camera it’s multiple ones, you know it’s 360, it looks like a flying saucer; I had a camera over here and there was a camera here and this is the camera I’m trying to work with but I can’t get to that [other] camera, so I find it distracting.

I feel that audiences individually have a secret connection with the “star” or actor, whatever you want to call us, and that is a very personal relationship and its individual for each member of the audience. They’re always going to want that connection to be able to look at the screen and look at their actor who they believe they know. I’m aware of that when I’m performing but I can’t do it with the virtual reality yet, I need more practice at it because there’s too many cameras and it’s throwing me off.

I have to continue to try the process as it continues to grow and it becomes more popular and more cinemas take the format. It’s something that I think I need to develop a new set of skills to really be able to incorporate that and work well with it.

Do you think audiences might feel disconnected from the film because there is so much going on?
I do. I think that audiences, many audiences are going to want to keep the traditional format because of that relationship. They’re safe in their seats and they’re not being thrown into the movie itself. There’s going to be those of us who want to do that and that’s exciting and I think it should be a choice, you know, let’s try this but let’s also keep the traditional as well. For me, it’s why I got into movies and what I enjoy. I like having my safe, whether I’m at home or in the theater place to observe and enjoy from my little chair; I don’t know that I want to be in the movie when I’m not making the movie - when I’m just enjoying it.

What are some of the takeaways you hope audiences will take from virtual reality?
I hope that they, in the best sense, are extremely entertained. Almost like they’re on a ride, that they’re in the movie and that they’re participating in some way. If they could, they would communicate with the characters, and that’s probably next.

Oscars are coming up, what is your favorite for best picture?
Dunkirk. Dunkirk. Dunkirk. I love that movie. I think it’s just brilliant original filmmaking. It’s a filmmaker at the top of his craft. I’ve put it at my the top five favorite war pictures. I love what Nolan did with the way he would cut in and out, he would put us in the middle of the scene and I didn’t even know where the dialogue began and ended. It was bleak and stark and beautiful and the spitfire sequences we’re just absolutely stunning. I’m a big spitfire fan, I love that plane, Mitchell’s design just blows my mind. The only thing I’m sad about is I didn’t get to see it in 70 mm but I’m told they’re going to re-release it because of the Oscars; maybe I will get to see it in 70 now.

Nolan believes, and I agree with him, that 70 mm will save cinema because you can only get that experience in the theaters. Whereas more and more movies are being deployed on video on demand and I don’t have any umbrage with that, I think it’s a great way for some movies to be viewable, which may not have a place to be seen. But I would also like all movies to be in theaters.

You’ve played a wide range of characters in your career, what’s one character you hope to play in the future?
Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo, I think I could really play that part without having to act. My first love, even before my parents, was the ocean. I just always had a connection with the sea and I know that I would be able to play that part and really mean it.

There’s a lot going on in Hollywood right now, what are your thoughts on the #TimesUp movement?
I support anybody, whether it’s gender or race or their beliefs, to be heard. I want everyone invited to the table and to be treated equally. I think it’s a good thing that it’s happening. A lot of the problems in the world have been caused by the male ego and I think it’s really time that ladies get their equal rights and fair share.

Every time I’ve worked with a lady, whether it’s an actress or director, like Martha Coolidge, really when you think about it with “Valley Girl,” she directed me in that and really discovered me in many ways and liberated me. She made me free and believed I could be an actor. Before that, I was very stiff and nervous but she opened me up.

I did a movie called “Inconceivable” and I was there because I wanted to support the two co-stars who really the leads, Nicky Whelan and Gina Gershon, terrific actresses both of them, just because women have to have their equal place in cinema and need to be heard. It’s not an easy world for the ladies, especially in Hollywood.

Is “The Rock” the best Bay Area film?
Thank you! I can’t say that maybe you can say that, but I certainly do love that movie. I thought what Michael Bay did with that was terrific. It was a dream come true for me to work with Sean. Those are some of my best memories in my entire body of work on set were my quite wonderful conversations with Connery. It was something else, I love him.

Last question, have you found "the treasure"?
I have not found the treasure but I want to! I would like to find the treasure; especially right now! I love those movies, it made a lot of people happy, and I would love to do another one for sure.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Gonzalez/ NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[The Ladies of 'Big Little Lies' are Back in Monterey]]>Wed, 21 Mar 2018 20:50:11 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hbohackhack.jpg

Monterey just got a little more crowded, the ladies of "Big Little Lies" are back in town.

HBO began production of the second season of the murder mystery starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley last week and the ladies are just as excited as us.

On Monday, Witherspoon, who also produces the show and stars as Madeline Martha Mackenzie, tweeted a photo of herself and co-star Laura Dern in front of the Seaside Coffee Shop in Monterey with the caption, "Look who are back in town! #BLL"

Woodley, who plays Jane Chapman, and Zoe Kravitz, who plays Bonnie Carlson, also shared photos of themselves in costume. One star who hasn’t been spotted is Meryl Streep, who joined the cast for the second season as Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Alexander Skarsgård's character, Perry Wright.

The second season of the show, "will explore the malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting," according to the cable network.

"Big Little Lies" earned 16 Emmy nominations and eight wins after its first season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[William H. Macy at Silicon Valley's Cinequest]]>Wed, 28 Feb 2018 16:27:16 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/WillHmacy-01.jpg

Cinequest, the film festival gem of Silicon Valley, kicked off Tuesday night at the California Theatre with a screening of William H. Macy’s most recent film, “Krystal.”

The film, which took about nine years to get on the screen and is also directed by Macy, is a comedy about a sheltered young man who develops a crush on a stripper. In the words of the Oscar-nominated actor, it’s a “wild and loving look at the world of addiction.”

The film features a diverse cast including Rosario Dawson, Nick Robinson, Kathy Bates and Felicity Huffman – Macy’s wife. Among the hustle and bustle of the red carpet, the Oscar-nominated actor also took a moment to explain the importance of the Time’s Up movement in the film industry.

“I think the world would be a better place if women ran it,” explained Macy. “I think we’re going to see more films with a female sensibility and that’s a good thing.”

Macy went on to explain that Hollywood and the industry is already seeing changes and he can't think of a better time to be a woman. 

For Macy, film festivals are essential in the independent film world expressing Cinequest to be a “wonderful film festival,’ and describing these festivals to be the “lifeblood of the indie world.”

When asked what advice he would give young filmmakers, the ‘Shameless’ actor said he was a little jealous and missed the early days of his career and the moments of triumph.

“Anybody who is a first-time filmmaker, my hats off to them, because it’s not an easy thing to get a film made,” said Macy.

Audiences at Cinequest were one of the first to see a sneak preview of the film “Krystal” but it is expected to premiere to the public in April.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Gonzalez/ NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[SF is Nation's 9th Dirtiest City, NYC Takes the Cake; Report]]>Thu, 22 Feb 2018 08:29:53 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-915891686.jpg

San Francisco’s dirty, really dirty, but not as dirty as New York and Los Angeles combined, according to a new report.

In an infographic released by BusyBee, a cleaning service in NYC, San Francisco has a dirtiness index of 189.03, ranking 9th among the 40 cities included in the report. San Francisco also ranked 5th with a litter index of 210.2 — homes with trash, litter or junk on the streets or any properties within a half block.

Despite how dirty San Francisco may seem to many residents New York took the cake as No.1 in dirtiness, litter and pests index. New York scored a total of 427.9 in dirtiness, 904.2 in litter and 2,275 in pests.

Los Angeles followed NYC at No.2 with a dirtiness index of 317.8.

The report was compiled through data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Housing Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau to create a metric used to determine which metropolitan areas are the dirtiest. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Food Network Star Guy Fieri Films in the Bay Area]]>Tue, 06 Mar 2018 14:37:37 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/guy-fieri-generic.jpg

Have you seen a platinum-blond, spiky-haired guy at your local restaurant? If so, it’s likely you’ve crossed paths with Food Network personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri.

People in the Bay have reportedly spotted the Santa Rosa native as he films for the new season of his series "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" in the Bay Area.

He tweeted Wednesday that he was "Keepin it local and checking out some new Bay Area #DDD spots this week."

So far, he’s been spotted at Scolari’s in Alameda, which serves the famous Impossible Burger, which has no meat. Instead, wheat, potato protein, coconut fat and plant-based protein. This has many wondering if this “impossible” dish will make it on the Food Network.

Fieri has also been spotted at El Paseo in Mill Valley.

Photo Credit: AP Images for Carnival Cruise Li]]>
<![CDATA[Curling — It's a Thing in the Bay Area]]>Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:27:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/TEAMUSA-CURLING.jpg

Curling — it’s a thing in the Bay Area.

Many members of the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club came together at Novel Brewing in Oakland on Monday to cheer on Team U.S.A. as the men’s curling team competed for a spot in the semifinals.

The club tweeted a video of their Olympics watch party as Team Shuster went for the win.

For many, the Winter Olympics has sparked enthusiasm and the possibility of professional curling.

Well Bay Area, you’re in luck!

The San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club not only hosts watch parties but they offer newbies the opportunity to learn to curl with various curling clinics set up in Oakland and Fremont.

The clinic teaches students the basics, the history and the techniques fundamental to the game. But that’s only the first half of the session, the second is a series of mini-games to practice your new found curling abilities.

“The increased exposure allows more people to see the sport,” said San Francisco Bay Area Curling member, Richard Lazarowich. “As soon as they see the excitement on the television they want to figure out how they can try it for themselves and so we set up to learn the curls which is basically a two-hour clinic.”

For many curling may just be a sport they happen to watch during the Olympics but in the Bay Area, it’s had roots as an organization since 1958 when the club was first founded in Mountain View.

Over the years San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club has expanded their practices to San Jose since 1994 and after the 2006 Olympics, it grew even more, allowing them to partner with Sharks Ice to create classes and leagues in San Jose and Fremont. Today the club has expanded as far as Oakland.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Derek Carr Pulls Up to In-N-Out Drive-Thru, Surprises Worker]]>Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:01:11 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/DWNuMh_VoAAYBUx.jpg

A lucky In-N-Out employee in Fresno had a crazy surprise Friday night after seeing Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr pull up to the drive-thru window to pick up his burger and fries.

In a tweet, Brandon Contreras posted three photos where Derek Carr is seen in his car holding up the peace sing alongside a very excited fan. He even signed his In-N-Out burger uniform.

“Greatest moment of my life!” tweeted Contreras. “Derek Carr just came in the drive-thru!”

Photo Credit: Brandon Contreras / Twitter
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<![CDATA[Mouse Surprises an Alameda County Sheriff Deputy]]>Tue, 13 Feb 2018 08:27:02 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Alameda-County-Sheriff-Mouse.JPG

Ever heard of a mouse looking for a ride?

An Alameda County Sheriff Deputy had an eventful drive after being surprised to see a little mouse on the front windshield of the car.

“We don’t know who was more surprised, Deputy Dennington or his stowaway friend,” tweeted the Alameda County Sheriff Twitter account.

In the tweet, Alameda County Sheriff shared a photo of the bewildered looking mouse holding on to the front windshield.

But never fear, they made sure the mouse was safe after sneaking up on Deputy Dennington.

“We are happy to report the little mouse is safely on the ground and looking for a new ride,” tweeted Alameda County Sheriff.

Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff
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<![CDATA[Uber Eats to Offer Specials for Super Bowl Sunday]]>Sat, 03 Feb 2018 18:04:55 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/UberEATS+llega+min+line.jpg

What's Super Bowl Sunday without the delicious food to snack on during the final moments of the game? 

UberEATS, the meal delivery app, reported that Halal Guys’ Combo Platter took the trophy for the most ordered food item in San Francisco during last year’s game.

Right behind Halal Guys' was none other than tacos from Tacomania.

As Super Bowl LIII approaches, these two fan favorites prepare to face off once again.

For Super Bowl fans ready for the game - and the food - UberEATS will be offering a $5 food item for those who have the app. Users simply have to open the app on their mobile device between Feb. 2 and Feb.4, tap the “Game Day Faves” banner and select from a list of $5 food options from restaurants in the Bay Area.

What will you order for the big game?

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[How I Met Venom - A.K.A. Tom Hardy]]>Fri, 26 Jan 2018 22:49:05 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/WEB-Tom-Hardy-SF-VENOM.JPG

Tom Hardy fans: As you already know, Tom was in town to shoot Marvel’s new film Venom. We found someone who crossed paths with the British superstar on Thursday on the Embarcadero right by the Hi Dive Bar. 

Alan Sincich posted a selfie with the supervillain on Reddit

Here’s how Sincich describes the magical moment to NBC Bay Area- How I Met Your Mother style:

Kids... let me tell you about when I met one of the nicest supervillains of all time...

It all started in January of 2018 when I decided to tackle my New Year's resolution by joining a running club, the San Francisco Roadrunners. It was a Wednesday, but I noticed on their calendar that the next day they were having a happy hour at a bar along the Embarcadero called Hi Dive.

Now, in my head, I thought, "What a great opportunity to meet some new people!" I simply thought I'd take a leap of faith to meet some of my new running club mates... but I had no idea what that night had in store for me.

So after work, I went for my usual Thursday night run along the Embarcadero down to Ghirardelli Square and back towards our GetAccept office near ATT Park. I had planned to stop by the happy hour on my way back since it was along the way. As I got near the bar, I noticed there were cameras, lights, and a crew all being set up, but it didn't look like they had begun filming yet.

As I entered Hi Dive, I was immediately greeted by some members of the club. It was probably easy for them to spot me as I was in all of my running gear and sweating up a storm. So I grabbed a drink, introduced myself to a bunch of great people, and chatted for a good hour or so.

Now, as I began to leave the bar, I overhear some people talking about how Tom Hardy was filming for the movie Antidote right outside, which of course grabbed my attention. I thought it was pretty cool that he was somewhere outside filming, but I simply had no idea what was to come in the next few moments...

I noticed there was a security guard standing outside the entrance of the bar, so I figured they had begun filming and he was "directing traffic." I waited for a few moments until he opened the door.

Immediately he asked, "Where are you going?" A bit confused and unsettled by the question, I blankly stared and answered, "Home." I think he was a little embarrassed as he quickly apologized and said, "Oh, of course, my bad, brotha!" and let me through the exit.

What I walked out to seemed like madness, though I'm sure it was industry standard. The crew and equipment covered the whole sidewalk, and I saw everyone ready for action; the boom guy, cameraman, actors and actresses, but alas, no Tom Hardy.

I start walking through the mayhem of people, a bit behind where they were shooting and began blinding shuffling through my music. Then all of a sudden I looked up... and who did I see?

The man, the myth, the legend, Edward Thomas Hardy.

Noticing that he glanced at me, I began walking toward him, all while trying to keep it cool, and said, “Oh, snap! Tom Hardy! How you doin, man?”

To which he replied, "Doin great, bud! What's your name?" Feeling the warm welcome, I walked over, shook his hand, and introduced myself.

I got the impression he was down to chat for at least a second, so I confirmed with him that they were filming Antidote (which I later found out is the working title for Venom), mentioned I love his work, from Inception to Peaky Blinders, and politely asked for a picture with him, which he kindly agreed to without hesitation.

So, I eagerly took out my phone, went to my camera for a selfie, began to pose with him, and what did I do? I clicked the wrong button turning my phone off, leaving me picture-less, and feeling like a dweeb... in front of TOM HARDY.

Now luckily, we both laughed it off and he mentioned that it happens all the time.

We retook the picture, I said to him, “Really appreciate it and can’t wait to see the film!” and proceeded to not geek out as I walked away.

I mean, come on, he’s a Batman and now Spider-Man villain for goodness sake! I remember thinking, "This man is going to be able to claim to be both Bane and Venom, possibly the two coolest, most relentless, and menacing super-villains in comic book history!" And the funniest part was, he seemed like the nicest guy in the world! And no... I don't think he was just acting.

Now kids, as I hope you know, I try to live my life with no regrets. However, looking back, I wish I'd taken more time to talk with him because, honestly, what did I have to lose?

If I had, I would have asked him a question that I had been tackling in my own life at the time.

"What drives you to keep reaching for success? People always talk about their 'why' or their purpose in life, but what steps did you take to figure it out? You went through some tough times before becoming the man you are today, so how did you become aware and motivate yourself to turn your life around and become the best version of yourself?”

I think this is a question we all need to face at some point in our lives, and mentorship is always a great guide through life.

Photo Credit: Alan Sincich ]]>
<![CDATA[Rainbows Fill Bay Area Skies ]]>Fri, 26 Jan 2018 23:11:25 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/01-25-2018-rainbow-1l.jpgThe Bay Area experienced some magical colors in the sky over the past week. Here are some of the rainbows Bay Area residents couldn't help but photograph.

Photo Credit: s_silhouette / Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[William H. Macy and Nicolas Cage Slated to Attend Cinequest]]>Thu, 01 Mar 2018 01:07:29 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/Adios+Amor_1417_MMorenoSilhouette.jpg

Silicon Valley’s film festival gem, Cinequest, is slated to have an impressive roster of Hollywood stars and films that will grace the Bay Area beginning February 27 through March 11.

Cinequest’s opening night will start off with Oscar-nominated actor, William H. Macy, who will join the festival at the California Theatre to screen a film he directed and starred in called “Krystal.” The film, about a sheltered young man who develops a crush on a stripper, stars Rosario Dawson, Nick Robinson, Kathy Bates and Felicity Huffman. Macy is expected to have a conversation about the film alongside select cast and crew.

The film festival, which seeks to create and connect audiences with the art of cinema and technology will feature 228 films from around the world and 29 virtual reality experiences. 

During the 13-day festival, Bay Area audiences can expect to see a variety of films with big names like Shia LaBeouf (“Borg McEnroe”), James McAvoy (“Submergence”), Burt Reynolds (“The Last Movie Star”), Michelle Pfeiffer (“Where is Kyra?”), Peter Fonda (“You Can’t Say No”), Hilary Swank (“What They Had”) and more.

Cinequest will also host a handful of Hollywood stars at San Jose’s California Theatre to honor with the prestigious Maverick Spirit Award, which includes Nicolas Cage, Tatiana Maslany, Tom Cullen and Andie MacDowell.

The closing night film will be the documentary “Brothers in Arms,” about the making of Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” directed by Paul Sanchez and narrated by Charlie Sheen. Sanchez and a few special guests will join the festival for a discussion on the film.

The festival will also feature an abundance of Bay Area original films like “From Baghdad to the Bay,” a documentary about an Iraqi gay man and former U.S. military translator struggling to adjust his life in America; “Adios Amor,” an investigative documentary about the search for a long-forgotten migrant worker who sacrificed everything to organize California’s migrant farm workers half a century ago; and “Pick of the Litter,” a story that follows a litter of pups groomed to become guide dogs for the blind.

As far as virtual reality goes, moviegoers can experience the innovative films made with virtual reality from March 1 - 4.

For a full list of film screenings: https://www.cinequest.org/

Here’s a list of noteworthy events:

Opening Night Screening of “Krystal:” featuring a conversation with Willam H. Macy and select cast and crew
When: Feb. 27 at 7:15 p.m.
Where: California Theatre

Maverick Spirit Award: Nicolas Cage
When: Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: California Theatre

Maverick Spirit Award: Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen with World Premiere of Souls of Totality
When: March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: California Theatre

Maverick Spirit Award: Andie MacDowell
When: March 10 at 7 p.m.
Where: California Theatre

Media Legacy Award: Ben Mankiewicz
When: March 11 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: California Theatre

Closing Night Screening of “Brothers in Arms:” featuring a conversation with Paul Sanchez and special guests
When: March 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: California Theatre

Photo Credit: Adios Amor / Cinequest]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Metro Area Home to Hottest Spots for Buyers: Report]]>Tue, 30 Jan 2018 14:57:06 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/for+sale+sign1.jpg

Right in the heart of the Silicon Valley lies San Jose, the largest city in the Bay Area that’s home to some of the biggest and most popular tech companies in the world. Now, it has one more badge of honor to pin on its symbolic chest: nine of Redfin’s 10 Hottest Neighborhoods in 2018 are located in the San Jose metro area.

The web-based real estate company based its report on increases in favorites and visits to home listings on its website.

With the continuous growth of tech companies in Silicon Valley comes an increase in home prices and values. Redfin reports that tech workers have been in search of affordability, following companies like Google and Apple to downtown San Jose and nearby Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

"While the San Francisco peninsula has traditionally been the hottest of the hot places, we’re seeing it become unaffordable for even the tech giants that helped create its demand in the first place," said Redfin Silicon Valley agent Kalena Masching. "The result has been a tech-worker migration to the South Bay charged by people looking for relative affordability, highly rated schools, short commutes and access to jobs."

The increased demand for homes in San Jose has resulted in a shortage supply, according to Redfin. In December, San Jose had the shortest supply, higher price growth and a faster pace of home sales than any other market.

The Bucknall neighborhood in San Jose locked up the No. 1 spot on the list. With access to neighborhood perks like nearby grocery stores, gyms, highly-rated schools and a movie theater, Masching claims a typical home in Bucknall goes off the market in just eight days.

"Bucknall has a ton of single-family homes, which sets it apart from many neighborhoods in the area that have more mixed-use or multi-family homes," Masching told Redfin.

With easy access to public transit and freeways, its proximity to downtown Campbell and Willow Glen and its highly-rated schools, Cambrian is listed at No. 2.

"Compared to other neighborhoods in San Jose, you get more home for your money," said Redfin San Jose agent Kimberly Douglas.

Ideal for first-time homebuyers, lower prices, highly-rated schools and green scenery makes White Oaks No. 3. Ortega in Sunnyvale is listed at No. 4 and according to Redfin Silicon Valley agent Martin Garcia, "Homebuyers like Ortega because of its proximity to the Cupertino and Santa Clara Apple campus, its highly rated schools and its access to highways 101 and 280."

Close to San Jose International Airport, West Santa Clara is listed at No. 4. Its proximity to Koreatown makes it ideal for those who like American and Korean cuisine.

For those who appreciate rich history, Sunnyvale West — listed at No. 6 and located in Sunnyvale— is filled with "century-old homes intertwined with new construction," Redfin Silicon Valley agent Chad Eng said. "There are lots of community events in the summer, like concerts and movies in the streets, farmers markets and jazz bands that play along the sidewalk."

At No. 7 is Lakewood, which Redfin Silicon Valley agent Jason Burkhart described as "one of the few remaining places in the San Jose metro area where people can get a home for less than $1 million."

At No. 8 is Sunnyside in San Francisco, the only spot on the list that is not in the San Jose area.

Blacow in Fremont, which is listed at No. 9, is known for its affordability and increasing school ranking in the area. Redfin Fremont agent Kat Said said nearby mall, NewPark Mall, "has some of the best restaurants in town and is a short car ride away from most homes in Blacow."

Taking the last spot on the list is Rex Manor, which is located in Mountain View. Residents of the No. 10 listing are no strangers to seeing people ride their bikes to Google, Shoreline Park and the Shoreline Amphitheatre.

"The area still has some relatively affordable homes, and we’re seeing a lot of attention from the investment community where people come in and buy up the older homes under 1,400 square feet and turn them into modern, technology-filled homes that sell like hotcakes," Masching said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Squaw Valley is Filled with Snow on the First Day of Winter]]>Thu, 21 Dec 2017 15:51:57 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Squaw-snow-004.PNGOn the first day of Winter, Squaw Valley looked nothing short of a wonderland with snow filling every mountain. ]]><![CDATA[SF Ranks No. 5 in WalletHub's Best Cities for New Year's Eve]]>Sun, 17 Dec 2017 12:50:18 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/New-years-eve-generic.jpg

Wondering where to ring in the New Year?

Well look no further, San Francisco has just been ranked No. 5 overall on WalletHub's 2017's Best Places for New Year's Eve Celebrations

Based on their report, in comparison to 100 cities across the nation, San Francisco is tied as the best No.1 city - along with New York and Las Vegas  - with the most nightlife options. It also ranked No. 5 in the "Most Restaurants per Capita" category and No. 4 in the "Most Luxury Shops and Gourmet-Food Stores per Capita." 

In order to determine the best spots in the country to celebrate New Year's Eve, WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated cities in four categories: Entertainment and food, costs and safety and accessibility. 

San Francisco was not the only Bay Area city to rank on the list, Oakland placed No. 77, San Jose No. 84 and Fremont No. 99. 

Here is a list of WalletHub's Top 20 ranked Cities to celebrate New Year's Eve:

  1. New York, NY
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Atlanta, GA
  4. Los Angeles, CA
  5. San Francisco, CA
  6. San Diego, CA
  7. Chicago, IL 
  8. Miami, FL
  9. Washington, DC
  10. Las Vegas, NV
  11. Seattle, WA
  12. Dallas, TX
  13. Denver, CO
  14. New Orleans, LA
  15. Austin, TX
  16. Philadelphia, PA
  17. Buffalo, NY
  18. San Antonio, TX
  19. Louisville, KY
  20. Birmingham, AL

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[NASA, Google Discover 8th Planet in Solar System Like Ours]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:01:05 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tumblr_inline_p0wt5vjGQF1tzhl5u_1280.jpg

NASA and Google have discovered an eighth planet orbiting a star in the Kepler-90 solar system, tying it with our solar system, for the first time, with the highest number of planets.

In a teleconference, the space agency revealed Kepler-90i – a sizzling hot, rocky planet discovered in the Kepler-90 solar system located 2,500 light-years away. According to NASA, it is the smallest of the eight planets and “orbits so close to its star that a ‘year’ passes in just 14 days.” The average surface temperature is estimated to be around 800 degrees Fahrenheit, making it very unlikely for life to exist.

NASA explained that the planet was discovered in data from the Kepler Space Telescope by using machine learning from Google.

“Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analyzing Kepler data,” said NASA in their statement.

In the discovery of Kepler-90i, “computers learned to identify planets by finding instances in Kepler data where the telescope recorded signals from planets beyond our solar system, known as exoplanets.”

The Kepler-90 system is set up like our solar system – small planets located close to their star and big planets far away – but the orbits are more compact.

Although Kepler-90 is the first known star system with eight planets, besides our own, scientists say this won’t be the last. Researchers plan to continue using machine learning with sophisticated algorithms in search for more planets in the Kepler database.

But Kepler-90i was not the only thing they discovered. In the Kepler-80 system, an Earth-sized planet was discovered named Kepler-80g.

“These results demonstrate the enduring value of Kepler’s mission,” said Jessie Dotson, Kepler’s project scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center. “New ways of looking at the data – such as the early-stage research to apply machine learning algorithms – promises to continue to yield significant advances in our understanding of planetary systems around other stars.”

Photo Credit: NASA
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<![CDATA[NASA and Google to Reveal 'Mysterious' New Finding]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:57:58 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/206*120/m17-147.png

NASA and Google have some exciting news!

NASA plans to announce their latest finding from its planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope in a press conference scheduled for Thursday. Although the Kepler has found other planets outside our solar system, this announcement shares the spotlight with the online search giant because the discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google.

“Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analyzing Kepler data,” said NASA in their statement.

The Bay Area participants highlighted in the news conference include Christopher Shallue, a senior software engineer at Google Al and Jessie Dotson, a Kepler project scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Other participants included in the news briefing include Paul Hertz, the Astrophysics Division director at NASA headquarters and Andrew Vanderburg, an astronomer and NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin. 

What the discovery is won’t be revealed until Thursday’s press conference but it could be related to a new planet discovery since Shallue and Vanderburg have been collaborating to use machine learning to find new planet candidates in Kepler data.

You can watch a live stream of the news conference at their website on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m

Photo Credit: NASA / Ames Research Center / Wendy Stenzel]]>
<![CDATA[ Big Sur Makes Travel and Leisure's 50 Best Places to Travel]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:12:05 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-490602865.jpg Every year Travel and Leisure curates a list of the best places in the world to travel to and this time, California's Big Sur made it as one of the 50 best destinations to discover in 2018.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Startup Debuts Vegan Eggs at Castro Restaurant]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 18:24:08 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/192*120/Scramble_entree_Creme+Fraiche_FINAL_sm.jpg

Eating eggs — well, not traditional eggs — appears to have just become a bit easier for vegans.

Hampton Creek, a startup focused on finding healthier and more sustainable food options, has found a way to transform legume known as mung bean into a liquid substance that "magically scrambles like an egg," according to the company.

Hampton Creek calls its new product "Just Scramble," and the company's website indicates that the new item "tastes like an egg."

This first-of-its-kind product is free of antibiotics and cholesterol, utilizing less water in its ingredients and emitting fewer carbon emissions than a conventional egg, according to the company. 

"Just Scramble" cooks as quickly as a real egg, with no strange odors and can be purchased in a bottle, which is equivalent to seven eggs. 

"Just Scramble" is currently on the menu at Flore, a vegan restaurant located in San Francisco's Castro District.

Although the company did not disclose its price per 322-gram bottle, they say the cost will be close to that of premium cage-free organic eggs. 

The company plans to sell "Just Scramble" to restaurants directly and in stores for consumers to purchase by the end of 2018. 

Photo Credit: Hampton Creek ]]>
<![CDATA[Supermoon to Light Up the Sky for the First Time in 2017]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:31:16 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Supermoon-AP-2016.JPG

For the first and last time in 2017, a supermoon will grace the skies on Sunday, Dec. 3.

According to an NPR interview with University of Arizona professor Gurtina Besla, the moon will be completely full at 12:45 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 4. But if that’s too late for you to stay up, don’t worry, the moon will still appear larger than normal when it’s closer to the Earth’s horizon during sunset on Dec. 3 and sunrise on Dec. 4.

A supermoon usually occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit and this time sky gazers will see the moon at approximately 16,500 miles (26,500 km) closer than usual. The moon will appear about 7 percent bigger and 16 percent brighter than average.

In 2016 the moon was the closest its been to the Earth since 1984 and that distance won’t be challenged again until 2034.

If you miss the moon on the first day, don’t fret, the moon will still appear large and bright for a few days after that, it just won’t be a full a moon.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Deactivated Trump's Twitter Says It Was a 'Mistake']]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 01:00:44 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1129-2017-TwitterContractor.jpg

Mystery no more. The contractor who deactivated President Donald Trump's Twitter account for 11 minutes earlier this month has been identified by Tech Crunch as Bahtiyar Duysak.

The 20-something agreed to an interview with TechCrunch at his hometown in Germany. The interview, published Wednesday, can be viewed here.

Duysak, who was assigned to Twitter's customer support, told Tech Crunch the event was a "mistake." He said during his last day someone reported Trump's account, which he then decided to start the process of shutting down the president's account as a throwaway gesture before he bid Twitter farewell, according to TechCrunch.

He never thought Trump's account would actually get deactivated.

"If I am involved in this, then I really apologize if I hurt anyone," he said during the interview. "I didn’t do anything on purpose."

The incident captured headlines, set social media on fire, got the president to tweet about it and prompted the San Francisco-based company to conduct an internal review. Duysak has been called a so-called internet legend. He's even been nominated by the internet for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"I don’t think he thought it was going to be such a big deal," TechCrunch reporter Tito Hamze said from Newark on Wednesday night.

Duysak is German of Turkish descent. He was a former member of the Turkish student association at Cal State East Bay.

He said he identified himself now because he doesn’t want to be looking over his shoulder any more.

"I just want to continue an ordinary life. I don’t want to flee from the media," he told TechCrunch. "I want to speak to my neighbors, I want to speak to my friends."

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed Duysak is a former employee and provided the following statement Wednesday:

"We won’t have a comment on a former employee. We have taken a number of steps to keep an incident like this from happening again. To protect our internal security measures, we don’t have further details to share at this time."

Read more at Tech Crunch.

Photo Credit: Tech Crunch
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<![CDATA[Sold Out SF Museum of Ice Cream Offers Rare Ticket Sale]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 14:48:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/MOIC-015.jpgThe super photogenic pop-up Museum of Ice Cream is offering a rare chance to buy tickets for the sweet exhibit on Friday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Museum of Ice C]]>
<![CDATA[Uma Thurman Calls Out Harvey Weinstein in #MeToo Post]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:03:18 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/umathurman2.jpg

Uma Thurman is finally speaking out against Harvey Weinstein.

The "Kill Bill" actress took to Instagram Thursday to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving Day, except, Weinstein.

“Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators – I’m glad it’s going slowly – you don’t deserve a bullet,)” wrote Thurman on Instagram.

Although she didn’t make any specific accusations against Weinstein, she did explain that “it’s important to take your time, be fair, be exact. “

The Instagram post also became a way for her to reveal her own #MeToo experience.

“I said I was angry recently, and I have few reasons, #metoo, in case you couldn’t tell by the look on my face,” wrote Thurman.

The #MeToo post comes a month after she chose to remain silent on the topic of sexual harassment in Hollywood during an interview with Access Hollywood at the premiere of the “Parisian Woman.”

“I don’t have a tidy sound bite for you,” said Thurman to Access Hollywood. “Because I am not a child and I have learned that when I have spoken in anger, I usually regret the way I express myself. So I’ve been waiting to feel less angry, and when I’m ready, I’ll say what I have to say.”

Thurman previously worked alongside Weinstein on several films like the “Kill Bill” series and “Pulp Fiction.”

Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault in Los Angeles, New York and London and is currently being investigated for misconduct. Weinstein has denied all allegations.

Photo Credit: Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Girl Scouts Under Fire for 'Doesn't Owe Anyone a Hug' Advice]]>Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:56:34 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/girl-scouts-badges.jpg

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Girl Scouts of America is encouraging parents not to force their daughters to hug relatives at family gatherings and their post is receiving a lot of mixed reaction on Facebook.

“Have you ever insisted, ‘Uncle just got here – go give him a big hug!’ or ‘Auntie gave you that nice toy go give her a kiss!’” said the article the organization posted online. “If yes, you might want to reconsider the urge to do that in the future.”

The online post titled, “Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays,” discusses the importance of teaching young kids about real genuine affection and consent. The organization attempts to remind parents that young girls need to learn early in life what form of affection they're really comfortable with. 

The post has since been shared on Facebook more than 7,000 times causing many people to start a discussion.

“No girl is going to seriously think she has to get physical with a guy to be polite, just because she had to give Aunt Betty a hug at Christmas when she was little,” commented Angelique McKowan on the Facebook post.

Another Facebook user, Susan Prestia, also commented saying, “Please, you have gone overboard. One, no one MAKES a child give a hug. Two, don’t assume physical affection leads to negative behavior. A Senior Scout.”

In an article posted on the New York Times, the Girl Scouts said that “its advice on opting out of hugs was not meant to be portrayed as a ‘license to be rude.’”

While some Facebook users were turned off by the post, many parents joined in on the conversation to commend the Girl Scouts for posting the article.

“I agree with this. I never make my kids give hugs to anyone,” commented Neala Stevens Jones. “I just want them to know they have control of their body.”

On a regular basis, the Girl Scouts of America publishes posts on their website relevant to young girls and current events. According to the New York Times, the organization published the article in light of the recent news stories on sexual harassment.

Data from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network says 34% of child abuse victims are related to the perpetrator and Child Protective Services says that in 2013, 47, 000 men and 5,000 women were sexual abusers toward children, both boys and girls.

The organization emphasized that their advice was meant to explain that there are other ways to show gratitude and love that don’t involve physical contact.

Photo Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP
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<![CDATA[Starbucks Holiday Cups Brew Controversy Over 'Gay Agenda' ]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:21:01 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Starbucks_Holiday-Controvery.JPG

Will Starbucks cups ever catch a break? 

This year's Starbucks cups are under controversy - again - for its alleged "gay agenda" and many on Twitter are theorizing that the couple depicted holding hands is a pair of lesbians. 

The Starbucks holiday cup promotion video begins by saying, "The holidays mean something different to everyone," and continues to feature people from many races, genders, and sexualities. Toward the end of the promotional clip, the coffee giant shows two women gazing at each other over a steaming hot drink while holding hands. 

Although the clasped hands depicted on the holiday cup is ambiguous, Twitter couldn't help but question it. 

One Twitter user quoted the Bible to criticize the coffee giants campaign by saying, "The new Starbucks cup has a lesbian couple on it. Rom 1:26 "because of this, God gave them over to shameful lust." 

Others have started to tweet with the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.

"So glad McDonald's has an awesome Caramel Macchiato," tweeted @GarrisonTera. "I had missed them since I was boycotting Starbucks for treating Trump supporters so badly. #BoycottStarbucks"

While some people are speculating the gender of the cups hands, others have found the effort to show same-sex affection to be a good thing. 

"Great new #christmas campaign from Starbucks featuring #lesbian couple on the Holiday Cup," tweeted @rufusdowling. 

Starbucks has yet to comment on the controversy of the hands. 

The theme of this years holiday cups is "Give Good," and Starbucks is inviting customers to color to their heart's content. 

"Each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season," said Starbucks in a statement. "And we'll continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world."

Photo Credit: Starbucks
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<![CDATA[Vans Warped Tour is Coming to an End in 2018]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:43:34 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/Vans-Warped-Tour-005.jpg

All good things must come to an end.

Vans Warped Tour has announced its final cross-country tour in 2018, bringing an end to the mostly pop-punk music festival.

Founder of the tour, Kevin Lyman, released an official statement on the Vans Warped Tour website on Wednesday morning, stating, “I have been a very lucky person to have traveled across the country and sometimes around the world as one of the founders and producers of the Vans Warped Tour.”

He continued on to say, “Today, with mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour.”

The music festival has been touring the country since 1995 and started with bands like Quicksand, Sublime, L7, No Use for a Name and No Doubt. The tour was the place to witness “the rise of pop punk,” according to Lyman, thanks to bands like Sum 41, Simple Plan, New Found Glory and Good Charlotte.

“Though the tour and the world have changed since ’95, the same feeling of having the ‘best summer ever’ will live on through the bands, the production teams and the fans that come through at every stop,” said Lyman.

Over the past 23 summers, the music festival has toured with more than 1,700 bands and was even dubbed one of the most diverse shows, where fans could find Eminem on the same stage as Sevendust. But the festival was more than just music; the Vans Warped Tour was also known for its community outreach and even partnered with 90 nonprofit organizations.

Vans Warped Tour will grace stages across the country for the last time starting in June 2018. Bay Area fans can catch the final tour on June 23 in Mountain View.

For fans feeling nostalgic, Lyman also said he is planning a 25th-anniversary celebration of the Warped Tour in 2019, but in an interview with Billboard, he also expressed his excitement at taking a break from the tour.

“The enduring spirit of the Vans Warped Tour remains as bright as ever, continuing to inspire creativity and ambition in new and exciting ways as we prepare for a 25th-anniversary celebration in 2019.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Three of the World's 50 Best Bars Are in San Francisco]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:08:21 -0700Trick 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[San Francisco Bakery Selling $29 Loaf of Brioche]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 19:32:46 -0700https://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.

<![CDATA[Amazon to Sell Devices at Whole Foods for Holiday Season]]>Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:10:59 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/WHole-Foods-Market-Generic.jpg

This holiday season, Amazon is hoping to make Whole Foods a holiday shopping destination.

The tech giant announced Thursday that over 100 Whole Foods locations will be carrying Amazon devices which include the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and more.

In time for the holiday season, Amazon also announced the new commands featured in the Echo devices like, “Alexa, add Whole Foods Market chocolate truffles to my Thanksgiving list.”

In addition to adding Amazon devices to the Whole Foods shopping experience, Amazon will also open a number of Pop-Up stores at select locations in time for the busy holiday shopping season. The Pop-Up’s are set to open their doors in California starting November 14 and plan to sell more than just devices.

According to the tech giant, the Amazon staffed Pop-Up’s will allow customers to test out devices before purchase as well as learn about other Amazon services.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ Luis Fonsi Joins Dreamforce to Raise $1M for Puerto Rico]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 19:34:39 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/LUIS-FONSI-00009.jpg

Latin Grammy award-winning artist, Luis Fonsi, best known for his summer hit, 'Despacito,' joined Dreamforce Wednesday morning not just to perform but to help raise $1M for Puerto Rico. 

"It's one of the many reasons why I'm here," said Fonsi. "Hopefully we can reach the million dollar mark that the Salesforce team is raising money to do this." 

The singer-songwriter is a Puerto Rico native with family currently living on the island. Fonsi is also the official ambassador for tourism of Puerto Rico and is hoping to use as many platforms to help raise funds for relief. 

"There's a lot of money that needs to be raised and we're trying to do that to give back to that beautiful community which gave me everything," said Fonsi. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images for iHeart Radio
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<![CDATA[Salesforce Raises Millions For Fire and Hurricane Victims]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:02:51 -0700https://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[Indoor Ski Slope in SF Touts as Alternative for Athletes]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 22:47:15 -0700https://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[California Gang Member's Mugshot Goes Viral]]>Fri, 27 Oct 2017 19:10:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1027-MirellaPonce.jpg

Remember the so-called "hot felon" Jeremy Meeks? The internet has stumbled upon his female counterpart.

Meeks' mug shot lit up the internet in 2014 after he was arrested for gun possession in a gang sweep in Stockton. The same is currently happening to Mirella Ponce, who police said was arrested following a traffic stop Monday in Fresno for possessing a loaded firearm.

Police also said Ponce was with her infant child when she was stopped.

The Fresno Police Department posted information about the arrest late Monday, along with pictures of both Ponce and the gun she allegedly was in possession of.

The Facebook post since has gone viral. On Friday the post had surpassed 5,000 shares and was nearing 2,000 comments, many of which discuss Ponce's "good looks."

One commenter wrote, "The only crime she committed was stealing my heart."

Meanwhile, Meeks has since launched a modeling career and is currently dating Chloe Green, daughter of British retail billionaire businessman Sir Philip Green.

Meeks reportedly is looking to introduce Ponce to his modeling agent.

Ponce, who police said is a member of the Tiny Rascal Gang (yes, really), was booked into Fresno County Jail.

Photo Credit: Fresno Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Ranks High Among Hardest-Working Cities in US]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:02:17 -0700https://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[Chilling 'Winchester' Trailer Immortalizes Bay Area Landmark]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 21:50:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/PCHSpots+%2844%29.jpg

Prepare for a fright — or several.

The trailer of the highly-anticipated movie "Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built" was released by CBS Films on Tuesday. The terrifying snippet is a precursor to the film's airing date of Feb. 2, 2018.

In it, Australian filmmakers and twins, Michael and Peter Spierig, have turned the popular San Jose landmark and Sarah Winchester's eccentric story into a psychological thriller. Production occurred in Melbourne, Australia, with spooky scenes being filmed at the famous mansion, CBS Films said.

The plot of "Winchester" follows Eric Price — a psychologist enacted by Jason Clarke — who studies firearm heiress Sarah Winchester — played by Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren.

The protagonist was convinced that she was haunted by the souls killed at the hands of the Winchester rifle. In the wake of the untimely deaths of her husband and child, Winchester threw herself into the construction of the enormous mansion, which is designed to keep evil spirits at bay, the Winchester Mystery House website says.

Amid the trailer's scenes of builders shaving wood, a narrator describes the Winchester Mystery House as a "gargantuan seven-story structure with no apparent rhyme or reason." Filled with 500 rooms that are each "more confusing that the next," the manion's "never-ending construction" began on the "orders of a grieving widow," he continues.

Inspired by true events, the film promises to throw a slew of eerie creatures — souls, demons, ghosts, spirits and apparitions, to name a few — at the viewer.

At the conclusion of the trailer, Winchester's ominous premonition is: "I can feel it — in the air, in the walls. This spirit has a power we've not seen before. It has found us."

People can visit the Winchester Mystery House, known for its staircases, Victorian-era rooms and gardens, for a peek at the film's costumes, which are on display in the Venetian Dining Room

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Corbis Documentary
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<![CDATA[Pence Leaves 49ers Game After Players Kneel During Anthem]]>Sun, 08 Oct 2017 22:27:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*127/ap_17281639847624.jpg

Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance for the Indianapolis Colts-San Francisco 49ers game on Sunday, but he wasn't there for long.

That's because he left Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis after several 49ers players took a knee for the playing of the national anthem.

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, took to Twitter to announce his early departure, writing that he couldn't "dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."

The vice president later released the following statement:

I left today's Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, I don't think it's too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem. I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.

More than 20 San Francisco players could be seen taking a knee during the anthem before Sunday's Week 5 contest, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco. No Colts players could be seen protesting.

National anthem protests across the NFL began last season when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains without an NFL job, refused to stand in protest of racial inequality and police brutality. His former teammates have continued to take a knee during the national anthem this season.

Eric Reid, a 49ers safety who knelt alongside Kaepernick last season, reemphasized earlier this year and after Sunday's game that kneeling for the anthem is not designed to disrespect the military or the flag. The act is designed to press for equality and tackle what Reid says is "systemic oppression."

"This is not about the military," Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area. "This is not about the flag. This is not about the anthem. My mother served in the armed forces. Three of my uncles served in the armed forces. In fact, my mom would’ve gone to the Persian Gulf War had she not been pregnant with me. I have the upmost respect for the military, the anthem and the flag. So I will say that every time you interview me."

Reid also suggested that Pence's exit seemed to be a "PR stunt."

"He knew our team has had the most players protest," Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area. "He knew that we were probably going to do to it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to a game, he tweets a couple things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts."

Service members at Fleet Week were split on the issue, some saying it's disrespectful and other agreeing with Reid.

"It's their constitutional right. That's what we fight for," U.S. Marines Sgt. Michael Johnson said. "So, it's part of the constitution, and they're free to do what they choose."

Others said they agree with Pence, saying kneeling during the anthem disrespects the flag.

"I support my vice president," said Alexandra Frias, a member of the U.S. Navy who added that she fights for both the flag and the freedoms it stands for.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter after the start of the game that he requested Pence to "leave the stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country." In the same tweet, Trump said he was "proud" of Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, who was also in attendance.

NBC Bay Area's Thom Jensen contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cult Favorite 'Earl of Sandwich' Opens in Downtown SJ ]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:57:49 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0823-2017-EarlOfSandwich.jpg

The popular Earl of Sandwich is officially open in downtown San Jose.

The sandwich shop best known for their lightly toasted soft bread is located at One South Market residential tower and will be the company’s first Northern California shop. The bestselling sandwiches include the 'Original 1762' and the Tuna melt. 

The cult favorite claims on its website, “We invented the sandwich and have been eating sandwiches since 1762.”

'Earl of Sandwich' is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to midnight Thursday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. 

Photo Credit: Earl of Sandwich/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[National Taco Day Deals Around the Bay Area]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:17:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/TacoGeneric.jpg

It's not Taco Tuesday, but this Wednesday is still worth celebrating. That's because it's National Taco Day.

In honor of the Oct. 4 celebration, some spots across the Bay Area are offering tasty deals.

Taco Bell: The popular fast food chain, which has locations across the Bay Area, is dishing out a National Taco Day Gift Set. What's included? A Crunch Taco, Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco, Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco and Fiery Doritos Locos Taco. The set of tacos will cost you $5, according to the company's website.

On The Border: The restaurant, which has locations in Dublin and Milpitas, will be handing out mini tacos all day long for just 50 cents, according to the company's website. Chicken, ground beef and veggie options are available.

El Pollo Loco: A free taco platter is up for grabs for those customers who purchase something of equal or greater value than the taco platter itself. Customers interested in this offer have to grab a coupon from the company's website. El Pollo Loco has locations scattered across the Bay Area.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Community Google Doc Connects Fire Evacuees With Shelter]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 02:00:09 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AftermathWednesday8.jpg

As hotels and evacuation centers continue to fill with people, a public Google Doc is becoming a lifeline for evacuees seeking free shelter from the devastating and deadly wildfires ravaging Northern California. 

More than 100 Bay Area residents in safe locations have added their name to the spreadsheet, offering up their available houses, rooms and even comfy living-room couches. 

The list continues to grow as it circulates on community message boards and on social media. People have recently begun adding other services, including free transportation. 

So far, a handful of people said they found shelter through the list.

Ryan Nadeau, who lives in San Francisco, created the document. The tech worker is traveling through Ibiza, Spain, and described feeling “helpless” and “guilty” watching the fires unfold. He posted the document on his Facebook, and it spread from there, with tech industry friends making edits and turning it into an easy-to-navigate spreadsheet. 

He described it as a useful alternative to Airbnb Open Homes, a program that the house-sharing platform activates during some natural disasters. Currently, Airbnb is facilitating free shelter until Oct. 30. 

“Open Homes is great, but it’s just for a couple weeks,” Nadeau said. “People are going to need much longer than that if they’ve lost everything. Hopefully, this will allow people to find shelter for as long as they need it.” 

The Google Doc is also publically accessible to anyone with an internet connection, so users don’t have to create an account to access it. 

“A couple times it’s brought tears to my eyes watching people populate this in real time from so far away,” Nadeau said. 

Matt Sulkis, who listed his San Francisco home, said it seemed like the most direct way to reach people who need help. 

“ A lot of us are local and grew up here, and we figured it was one less step,” he said. “We wanted to get something out there quick.”

The document is just one of many ways the broader Bay Area community has been rallying around victims of the massive infernos. People have also been flocking to donation centers, crowdfunding sites, and community groups to offer aid. 

So far, More than a dozen California fires have torched a combined 140,000 acres since Sunday, destroyed thousands of structures and sending more than 20,000 people fleeing from homes in more than six counties. 

At least 24 people perished in the blazes, and officials expect the death toll to rise. Hundreds are still unaccounted for, and possibly thousands more will return to their homes to find only ash and charred wreckage remaining. 

“It looks like a nuclear blast hit,” said John Fornachan, who lost a home in Santa Rosa that had been in his family for more than 100 years. “Everything is just wiped out.”

“We’re going to have to start from scratch,” he continued. 

Have something to add? Contact Gillian.Edevane@nbcuni.com. Access the Google Doc here or in the hyperlinks above. Find more fire coverage here.  Find ways to help here. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ellen Surprises SJSU Coach Famous for 'Hammer Time' Moves]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 12:13:22 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/EllenSJSUFootball.JPG

Coach Alonzo Carter, the smooth dancing San Jose State University football coach and former MC Hammer backup dancer, has a new famous fan: Ellen.

The NBC personality was so impressed by Carter's sweet "Hammer Time" moves that she planned a special surprise for him and some other lucky Spartan football players.

Carter and the squad thought they were being filmed for an EllenTube project, but the host decided to join them live from her studio.

"Hey everybody," Ellen said to the group gathered on the field. "How's it going?"

A split second of silence ensued before the group, led by Carter, erupted in a fit of pandemonium.

When the group finally settled down, a brief back-and-forth followed as Carter was showered with praise from head coach Brent Brennan and cornerback Jermaine Kelly.

"'Zo' is great guy," Kelly said. "From day one, he came in here, he took us all under his wing. He treated us like we were his sons."

Brennan, who has known Carter for 20 years, knew he needed Carter on his staff when he took the head coaching job this season.

"I've seen him change lives in the city of Oakland forever," Brennan said. "I knew when I got this job here I just had to have him be a part of it. He's got incredible energy. He connects with people on an incredible level. He's amazing."

Since joining the Spartans — something Carter wanted to do in hopes of changing lives — community service has been at the forefront of his mission. He helps steer a program coined Beyond Football, which is designed to get players out into the community in hopes of inspiring others. Collectively, SJSU football players have completed more that 750 hours of community service since Carter jumped on board.

"Whatever you name, San Jose State football, we in our community giving back trying to change people's lives," Carter said.

That feat prompted Ellen to offered her final surprise: a check totaling $25,000 for the Beyond Football program.

Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
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<![CDATA[Vendor Who Had Earnings Seized by UC Police Receives $87K]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 10:34:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-23-17_Beto_Check_1.jpg

An unlicensed street vendor in Berkeley who had his money seized by a University of California police officer received a check for more than $87,000 on Saturday after a viral GoFundMe campaign was launched in his favor.

The vendor, who asked to be identified only as "Beto," was captured on video earlier this month being ticketed for selling hot dogs on the UC Berkeley campus while fans poured out of Memorial Stadium following a football game. The video, which shows the officer confiscate earnings from the vendor's wallet, was posted online and quickly shared across social media with critics jumping in to denounce the officer for going too far.

UC Berkeley alumnus Martin Flores captured the video and kicked off the GoFundMe campaign in the vendor's name.

"Hardworkers should not be violated," Flores said Saturday. "Their money should not be taken from their wallets, watching it be snatched from their hands. They should be treated with dignity."

Nearly 5,600 people have since raised $87,948 for the vendor over the past two weeks. The vendor's check included a grand total of $87,921 when it was presented Saturday morning.

In an interview with NBC Bay Area’s sister station Telemundo, the vendor said he holds down a regular job in construction. He was selling hot dogs to earn a little extra money, he said.

"People saw I wasn’t doing anything wrong," the vendor said. "I wasn’t stealing or drinking. I was just working to sustain my family."

UCPD opened a complaint investigation into the incident, according to UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy. The officer involved was allowed to continue to work during the investigation.

While the officer remained on the job, a petition was created to remove him from the department. That petition has gained 57,067 supporters as of Saturday night.

The backlash from the video has reinvigorated existing debates about civil forfeiture, a controversial practice in which officers are allowed to seize assets, including cash, that they allege are involved in a crime. The money or sales from seized assets often funnels back into police departments, where it is used as a routine source of funding.

The tactic was originally meant to disrupt "large-scale criminal enterprises," but it has since been abused by small and large law enforcement agencies, according to the ACLU. Several reform efforts directed at changing civil forfeiture laws are already underway.

NBC Bay Area's Gillian Edevane contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Telemundo 48
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<![CDATA[Milo Yiannopoulos to March for Free Speech at UC Berkeley]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 08:29:39 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MILO+ON+UC+BERKELEY+-+115520171.jpg

Milo Yiannopoulos didn’t mince any words Saturday, saying he will speak at UC Berkeley "come hell or high water."

The self-proclaimed troll is in the Bay Area to headline Free Speech Week, organized by student group Berkeley Patriot and slated to run Sept. 24 and Sept. 27. That plan went up in smoke Saturday when the student group withdrew its sponsorship of the four-day conservative political event.

Yiannopoulos hosted a strongly-worded Facebook Live, flanked by political commentator Pamela Geller and Infowars host Mike Cernovich, saying he was "disappointed to have been completely blindsided" by Berkeley Patriot’s letter to the university’s Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton, detailing why the "mutated" Free Speech Week was being called off.

"I do understand their fears and they are right on all counts when they say UC Berkeley is threatening their educational futures," he said. "But we cannot host an official university event without a student sponsor."

Yiannopoulous blasted UC Berkeley for having "hypocritically named this academic year its ‘Year of Free Speech.’"

"The administration has done everything in its power to crush its own students’ aspirations," he said. "UC Berkeley may have a deservedly poor reputation for free speech, and its students will graduate knowing less than when they came in as freshmen, but you have to give the school credit: they are masters of bureaucratic dirty dealing."

Yiannopoulos lashed out at university officials, who he said "leaked" Free Speech Week's speaker list to "domestic terrorists" like Antifa.

He also decried the narratives that the "Berkeley Patriots were hopelessly disorganized" and that he "somehow knowingly allowed fans to spend money travelling to Berkeley" despite suspicions that the event would be axed. 

That said, Yiannopoulos said he was undeterred in his plan to express his First Amendment rights at the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. The former Breitbart News editor’s attempt to speak at UC Berkeley in February came to a screeching halt when masked rioters began vandalizing property and lighting fires.

In their capacity as citizens with the constitutional right to express their views, Yiannopoulos and other speakers will rally at Sproul Plaza at 12 p.m. Sunday at what has been dubbed a March for Free Speech. Over 140 people had expressed interest as of Saturday evening.

"We will proceed no matter what, in whatever format we can, to realize the promise of Free Speech Week and send a message that conservatives will not be bowed by pressure from academics, the media or anyone else," Yiannopoulos said.

Yiannopoulos said that the Berkeley Police Department knows of his plan and will be "out in full force," patrolling Sproul Plaza.

Despite being miffed at Berkeley Patriot for pulling the plug on Free Speech Week, Yiannopoulos said he plans to endow the group with $10,000 – dubbed the Mario Savio Free Speech Fund. Berkeley "needs a strong, populous, free-speech loving conservative publication," he said.

Yiannopoulos contined: "Free Speech is at risk on college campuses like never before in America’s history."

Yiannopoulos also asked people who bought plane tickets, reserved hotel rooms or spent money in any other form to attend Free Speech Week to send him their receipts and confirmation. "We will take care of you," he said, alluding to a surprise at Sunday's rally. 

"I deeply appreciate the efforts freedom-loving Americans have gone to in order to support this event and I am personally grateful to the fans who came in from all four corners of the earth," he wrote on Facebook. "I want you to know that I share your frustration with the administration and with the media, and that I will take care of you. Berkeley did this to you, but I’m going to fix it."

Ann Coulter was meant to be the recipient of the Mario Savio Award for Free Speech, Yiannopolous said, admitting that he considered smashing it on the steps to Sproul Plaza "to declare that free speech at Berkeley is dead." Instead, he will safeguard it.

"We will be back. I will get Ann Coulter here … I will get Uncle Steve back. I will get all of the people that you were looking forward to seeing here," Yiannopoulos promised.

He then invited UC Berkeley’s Chancellor Carol Christ and University of California President Janet Napolitano to debate with him or any conservative of their choice on the issue of free speech.

"It's high time that America had its big showdown free speech debate," Yiannopoulos said.

Anyone hoping the demise of Free Speech Week means they won’t have to hear about him anymore will be disappointed, Yiannopoulos added, since he is launching an international Troll Academy tour.

In California, he will speak at Cal State Bakersfield on Oct. 25, at San Diego State University on Oct. 29 and at Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 31.

Some universities welcome speakers with controversial points of view, while some don’t, Yiannopoulos said, but "the vast majority do not possess the resources, clout, and pure malevolent evil of UC Berkeley."

Yiannopoulos also revealed that he is launching a publishing house called "Dangerous Books," which will publish Geller’s next book, "Fatwa: Hunted in America."

Returning to the issue at hand, Yiannopoulos said: "We will go through this madness, and we will do it again and again and again, until conservative speakers are given the same rights and privileges as their left-wing counterparts at every college in the country," he said on Facebook. "I will not rest until every student in America feels able to share their politics openly and proudly without fear of being marked down on essays, laughed at in the classroom or punished for inviting their speaker of choice."

UC Berkeley issued a statement Saturday evening indicating that it was aware of Yiannopoulos' plans to speak and that the school was "putting measures in place to ensure the safety of the campus community." The university also advised people in attendance on Sunday to avoid violence.

"Our campus will not tolerate acts of violence or the destruction of property, and the UCPD will dutifully investigate, arrest, and prosecute anyone who commits crimes on our campus," a statement from the university read.

Photo Credit: Facebook Live
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<![CDATA[Lackluster Response to Launch of iPhone 8, Apple Watch 3]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:19:52 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DKVVWQaUMAA16Us.jpg

The new iPhone and Apple Watch Series 3 were rolled out Friday, however, the massive crowd typically associated with the company’s product launches was missing in the Bay Area, as well as most cmajor cities.

One man was the only one who camped outside the shop on University Avenue. Noah Marriott had pre-ordered the phone but didn't want to wait until October to receive it.

It’s possible that other consumers are waiting for their new phones to be delivered to their doorsteps, while others may be holding out for the iPhone X, which hits the market later this year.

Inside the Peninsula store, though, there was a flurry of activity with employees polishing and vacuuming the space before daybreak Tuesday. Tim Cook stopped by the shop at 8 a.m. when the phone officially became available.

The iPhone 8 features a new glass and aluminum design, wireless charging, improved camera technology and faster processor. It allows for augmented reality, comes in two sizes and can be purchased starting at $699.

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Series 3 comes with a built-in cellular network and wireless charging. It retails for $329 and up.

Photo Credit: Kris Sanchez/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[ACLU, Speakers Distance Themselves From Cal Free Speech Week]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:51:39 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/milo-coulter-bannon.jpg

With less than a week to go before kickoff, uncertainty is still looming over UC Berkeley's student-planned Free Speech Week. 

A rash of alleged speakers released statements this week denying involvement in the four-day conservative extravaganza, organized by right-wing student group Berkeley Patriot. 

Perhaps the strongest rebuttal came Tuesday, courtesy of the Northern California chapter of the ACLU, which was rumored to be helping the student group wage a legal battle against the university. 

"Make no mistake — the views expressed by Steve Bannon, Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos are about bigotry and racism," the regional branch of the ACLU said in a statement. "While the Constitution protects the expression of those views, let’s be clear that this event is about spreading hate and intolerance, not free speech." 

The rumors started last week after a spokesperson for Berkeley Patriot suggested in an interview with KQED that the ACLU was "ready to go to court" to defend the group.

Pranav Jandhyala, the student representative who initially made the remark, told NBC Bay Area that it was a “misunderstanding.” He said he was told the ACLU would be helping out by Yiannopoulos, and that he hadn’t heard it first hand. 

A lineup of speakers sent to news organizations last week included former White House chief strategist Bannon, commentator Coulter and former Breitbart editor Yiannopoulos, with only Yiannopoulos confirmed. Another list included Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, and InfoWars radio show host Mike Cernovich.

Several lists are currently circulating, many containing contradictory information. One released on Wednesday from UC Berkeley's press office confirms only a handful of speakers and refers to others only as "unconfirmed speaker." 

The events are supposed to take place from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27, with each day revolving around a theme. For example, "Feminism Awareness Day" on Sunday is supposed to feature Yiannopoulos, who once equated the women’s rights movement with "cancer." 

Berkeley Patriot missed a Friday deadline to sign a contract and submit a $60,000 payment to UC Berkeley so the events will now take place outdoors, if at all.

"We'd like to continue working together and cooperating," said Berkeley Patriot member, Mike Wright, who said the group wants to help "the university demonstrate they are the home of free speech."

Members of the student group, however, also failed to confirm their invitee list, apparently blind-sighting people who appeared on it. 

Dan Mogulof, a spokesperson for UC Berkeley, said he has fielded calls from speakers who say they had no idea how they were put on the roster.

Following the loss of venue, it appears Coulter and Bannon — media heavyweights who arguably attracted the most attention — have also backed out, according to reports. A list sent out by UC Berkeley's press office lists them as "unconfirmed."

Other speakers who have denied involvement include author Michael Malice, former Google employee James Damore, author Heather MacDonald, and libertarian speaker Charles Murray. The list is growing murkier by the day, as additional speakers email news outlets and the school to say they will not be there.

Jandhyala told NBC Bay Area that the group never reached out to all of the speakers directly, crediting Yiannopoulos’ team with creating the widely-circulated roster. The spokesperson said the project was a "big undertaking" that has become replete with "logistical falsities." 

"Milo had been communicating with those specific speakers and I’m not sure what happened there," the student said. "We ourselves should have made sure to have been in constant contact with all the potential speakers to avoid this." 

He continued: "I also know that some speakers started to get nervous about violence because of the venue issue and started dropping out." 

The Berkeley Patriot has accused UC Berkeley of engaging in "de facto viewpoint discrimination" by allegedly stymying the viewpoints of conservatives on campus.

The group's lawyer Marguerite Melo said, "As we get close (to Free Speech Week), it's clear the university is putting more and more requirements" on the event. UC Berkeley officials are getting in the way of Berkeley Patriot members and "doing everything they can to suppress their ability to exercise their rights," she said.

Through the Law Offices of Melo and Sarsfield LLP, Berkeley Patriot has elevated its objections to the U.S. Department of Justice and is pushing for an investigation into the matter.

"The students of the Berkeley Patriot believe that they have been subjected to a pattern and practice of suppression of their First Amendment rights, specifically Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association, and their Fourteen Amendment right to Equal Protection," Melo wrote in a complaint addressed to the Justice Department.

In a statement issued Wednesday, however, Mogulof said UC Berkeley remains "deeply committed to freedom of speech" and has devoted "extraordinary security and financial resources" to the group, regardless of political leanings.

The university has bent over backwards to work with Berkeley Patriot and will continue to do so, Mogulof said.

"We're going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to support this student group and the speakers coming to campus," he said, "and at this point we all need to work together so next week works well."

Read Berkeley Patriot's entire complaint below:

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

Photo Credit: AP Images (File)
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<![CDATA[Savannah Guthrie Pens Children's Book With Special Message]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:21:25 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Guthrie1.jpg

"Today" host Savannah Guthrie and educator Allison Oppenheim have released a new children's book, and it's all about reminding girls that it doesn't always matter what they wear; it's that they have the power and ability to accomplish any task they set their mind to.

The book, which is coined "Prinesses Wear Pants," follows the journey of "Princess Penelope Pineapple" as she navigates the world as a girly-girl, sparkly princess who also makes sure to wear different pants and tackle any job.

"Girls love princesses and we wanted them to be able to embrace that but to maybe dig a little deeper and think about it," Guthrie said. "So our princess loves sparkles, she wears dresses, but she also wears pants specifically when she has things to do. She's got a lot of important work. She's a leader. She's a doer. She's a go-getter."

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Popular Hello Kitty Truck Coming Back to Bay Area ]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:28:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hello-Kitty-Cafe-Eater.jpg

The Hello Kitty Cafe truck — a bright pink Mercedes van adorned with flowers and the feline Sanrio mascot — will be making several stops in the Bay Area in the next few weeks. 

According to its event page, the Instagram-famous truck is slated to appear in the following locations: 

    • Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 
    • Santana Row in San Jose at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23
    • Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.
    The truck will stay in each scheduled location until 8 p.m., or when supplies sell out.  

    The Hello Kitty truck tours different cities selling — you guessed it — Hello Kitty gear and sweet treats, including T-shirts, coffee mugs and undoubtedly cloying macarons and doughnuts. 

    Wherever it goes, a bounty of Instagram posts are sure to follow. Since making its debut at the annual Hello Kitty Con, a (surprisingly real) convention devoted to all things Hello Kitty, the truck and its retail items have attracted a rabid following on social media. 

    In Walnut Creek last Saturday, more than 900 people turned out to get some of the coveted limited-edition goodies. Despite 90 degree weather, some people waited more than four hours to get to the top of the line.

    Watch the video above to see some highlights from the last event. 

    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hello Kitty Cafe Truck
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    <![CDATA[Review: Apple Watch Goes Solo, But Don't Dump Your Phone Yet]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:35:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-846157114.jpg

    A chief gripe with Apple Watch is that it requires you to keep an iPhone with you for most tasks. The inclusion of GPS last year helped on runs and bike rides, but you're still missing calls and messages without the phone nearby.

    A new model with its own cellular-network connection is Apple's next step toward an untethered world. Now you can make and receive calls and messages on the watch while leaving your phone at home.

    But the watch still needs regular contact with an iPhone, and for most tasks, the phone needs to be on and connected, even if it's nowhere nearby. So you can't get away with ditching the iPhone altogether. (Android users have their own wristwear options, including Samsung Gear and Android Wear watches, some of which can already manage their own network connections.)

    The new Apple Watch Series 3, distinguished by a red crown, comes out Friday starting at about $400. You can forgo cellular, and the red crown, for $70 less. Or get a first-generation model, without GPS, for about $250.


    You might not want to bring your phone on a short jog; the watch can still keep you in touch. Or you can leave the phone home while walking the dog or performing a quick errand.

    You need a data add-on from the same wireless provider as your phone. It typically costs $5 or $10 a month and uses the phone's data allotment.

    While the watch technically has its own phone number, the major carriers have worked out number syncing. Calls to your phone will go to the watch, and calls from the watch will appear on caller ID with your regular number. Same goes for texts and iMessage chats.

    Calls use the watch's speaker and microphone, or wireless earphones. Colleagues say call quality was fine. It came in handy for sneaking in runs during conference calls (though if you're my boss, just kidding! Now, about that raise ...).

    Phone calls and iMessage chats work on the watch even if your phone is off, as do turn-by-turn maps and queries to the Siri voice assistant. For texts, the phone needs to be on — somewhere. With the phone on, you can perform a variety of other tasks, including checking weather apps, Yelp recommendations and notifications that go to the phone.

    Coming soon: the ability to stream Apple Music, even with the phone off. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to rival music services or Apple's podcast app.


    Because the watch screen is small, many apps offer only a sliver of information and refer you back to the phone to view more. That was little more than an annoyance when the phone was in the same room. If you've left the phone behind, though, you'll be left hanging.

    You can also run into trouble while roaming, particularly internationally. For one thing, engineers weren't able to squeeze in support for cellular frequencies around the world. And outside the U.S., only a handful of carriers are supporting the cellular watch. In any case, don't forget to switch to airplane mode on flights.

    Cellular data also drains the battery quicker. Apple's promised 18 hours of battery life includes about four hours of such use. An hour of phone calls over LTE will drain the battery completely.

    I got dropped from two conference calls because the battery was low to begin with. Plan ahead. A spare watch charger at your desk helps for those days you're dumb enough to leave your phone on the kitchen counter.


    It can be handy to untether the watch at times, but it's not always necessary. Even when tied to the phone, Series 3 offers improvement such as tracking elevation, so you get credit for climbing stairs or jogging up a hill. And you can now hear Siri responses on the watch speaker, something enabled by the new version's faster processor.


    For owners of past models, a software update out this week, watchOS 4, will bring easier access to music playback controls when exercising — just swipe left. There are more prompts when reaching or nearing daily goals, and options for multiple sports in a single workout.

    A new heart rate app now shows heart rate at rest and averages when walking or recovering from exercise. These can help you gauge your overall fitness.

    And if your heart rate is high without any signs of exercise, you'll get an alert. You enable this when you first open the heart rate app. It can signal health problems, though Apple is stopping short of telling you to see a doctor or visit the emergency room, as the watch isn't marketed — or certified — as a medical device.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Steve Earle to Perform at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 09:28:16 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Blue-grass-festival-set-list.jpg

    San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is set to have a group of special performances at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival from Grammy award winning musicians Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller and Lucinda Williams on Oct. 8.

    The artists are scheduled to perform at the festival as a part of Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees, an eight-city tour produced by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to raise awareness and funds to help refugees receive educational opportunities.

    “Education is a life-saving intervention for refugees,” said Executive Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service, David Robinson. "With Lampedusa, we hope people are inspired by the music and are compelled to get involved.”

    According to JRS, funds from the tour will help refugees “heal, learn and thrive.”

    Hardly Strictly Bluegrass runs from Oct. 6-8.

    Lampedusa 2017 is scheduled in the following eight cities:

    • Oct. 3: Seattle, WA, The Moore Theatre
    • Oct. 4: Portland, OR, The Aladdin Theatre
    • Oct. 8: San Francisco, CA, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 
    • Oct. 10: Los Angeles, CA, The Wiltern Theatre
    • Oct. 12: Tucson, AZ, Fox Tucson Theatre
    • Oct. 13: Albuquerque, NM, The KiMo Theatre
    • Oct. 14: El Paso, TX, Abraham Chavez Theatre
    • Oct. 15: Dallas, TX, The Majestic Theatre

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[What Is the Cost of Free Speech at UC Berkeley? $600,000 ]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:05:27 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-847128682.jpg

    There is a price to pay for free speech, and the University of California, Berkeley forecasts inflation.

    It cost the famously liberal university an estimated $600,000 to put the campus on virtual lockdown as conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke Thursday night.

    That's on top of another $600,000 spent in April to secure the campus during the planned visit of right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, which was ultimately canceled.

    An additional $200,000 was spent on security for an event featuring former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, which was abruptly called off when left-wing anarchists rioted outside the event.

    "It's an incredible amount of money," campus spokesman Dan Mogulof said Friday, a day after the Shapiro event. "And while we don't regret that we spent it given the event was held peacefully, we certainly would have rather spent it on other purposes."

    The current tally of roughly $1.4 million is expected to multiply if an event organized by Yiannopoulos — billed as "Free Speech Week" — goes ahead later this month. Yiannopoulos says he has lined up 20 speakers including Coulter and Steve Bannon, ex-chief strategist for President Donald Trump, to speak on campus during a four-day event.

    UC Berkeley officials say that event is not yet confirmed but they will prepare security accordingly if it takes place.

    "We can't turn a blind eye to recent events in the city, around the campus and the country," Mogulof said. "So we accept that we will need to continue to do what is necessary to support our non-negotiable commitment to the First Amendment and safety of our campus."

    Berkeley's reputation as a liberal stronghold and the birthplace of the 1960s Free Speech Movement has made the city and campus flashpoints for the country's political divisions, drawing extremist groups from the left and right.

    Four political demonstrations, starting with the Yiannopoulos event, have turned violent since February, prompting officers to come up with new strategies to control rowdy and sometimes dangerous crowds.

    Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor, was invited by campus Republicans. His speech drew several hundred protesters who held a protest outside but there was no violence.

    Police sealed off the building where Shapiro was speaking and required attendees to pass through metal detectors and police barricades that kept protesters at a distance.

    Streets and nearby indoor parking lots were closed. A list of banned items Thursday included shields, masks, bandanas, poles and torches, and for the first time in two decades, the city council authorized city officers to use pepper spray to control violence.

    City police said nine people were arrested mainly for having banned items. There were no injuries or property damage.

    The university has declined to say how many officers were on hand but reinforcements were called in from all 10 UC campuses and from law enforcement agencies around the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

    The largest costs were for bringing in the reinforcements and paying their room, board, travel and overtime, as well as overtime costs for campus police and staff to work during the evening event, Mogulof said.

    The university has struggled financially in recent years, but Mogulof said the security expenses would not cut into academic spending.

    "Our operating budget is north of $2.6 billion a year. You're going to have allowances for unforeseen situations," he said.

    AP writer Sudhin Thanawala contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA['Free Speech is Not Hate Speech': Uproar Over #BenAtBerkeley]]>Sun, 17 Sep 2017 10:29:15 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-15-2017-berkeley-ambercummings.jpg

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[BART Map Gets a Mario Kart Upgrade]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:33:02 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2015-generic-bart.jpg

    BART has been making some changes recently. With new train cars tested, cameras fitted and clipper card-only entrances installed, it seems that the transit company is starting to catch up with technology. But one BART customer thinks the company needed one more upgrade.

    On July 19, the transit agency tweeted out a station map that had been redesigned as “MarioBART.” The concept was created by Dave Delisle, who revamped the map with the classic Nintendo characters and warp pipes.

    While the design pays homage to the older version of the video game, fans of all ages will recognize the set up that is going viral on social media.

    So far, the tweet from BART’s account has gained more than 6,000 likes and nearly 3,000 retweets.

    Delisle explained on his website that his creation was inspired by the Rainbow Road Track from Mario Kart. He thought the color scheme was very suiting when mapping out the BART stations.

    While this is not the next official BART map (although, maybe it should be), fans can purchase their own copy of the design to hang in their home.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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    <![CDATA[Google Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over Gender Pay]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:12:04 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/New+Image31.JPG

    Google faces a new lawsuit accusing it of gender-based pay discrimination. A lawyer representing three female former Google employees is seeking class action status for the claim.

    The suit, filed Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court, follows a federal labor investigation that made a preliminary finding of systemic pay discrimination among the 21,000 employees at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California. The initial stages of the review found women earned less than men in nearly every job classification.

    Google disputes those findings and says its analysis shows no gender pay gap.

    The suit, led by lawyer James Finberg of Altshuler Berzon LLP, is on behalf of three women — Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri — who all quit after being put on career tracks that they claimed would pay them less than their male counterparts. The suit aims to represent thousands of Google employees in California and seeks lost wages and a slice of Google's profits.

    "I have come forward to correct a pervasive problem of gender bias at Google," Ellis said in a statement. She says she quit Google in 2014 after male engineers with similar experience were hired to higher-paying job levels and she was denied a promotion despite excellent performance reviews. "It is time to stop ignoring these issues in tech."

    Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said the company will review the suit in detail, "but we disagree with the central allegations."

    "Job levels and promotions are determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees, and must pass multiple levels of review, including checks to make sure there is no gender bias in these decisions," she said.

    Charges of gender discrimination have swirled at Alphabet Inc.-owned Google since the U.S. Labor Department sued in January to bar Google from doing business with the federal government until it released thousands of documents related to an audit over its pay practices. The sides have been battling in court over how much information Google must turn over.

    The lawsuit also follows the firing of male engineer James Damore, who wrote a memo circulated on internal message boards that blamed inherent differences between men and women for the underrepresentation of women in engineering roles.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Journey's White House Visit Sparks Possible Breakup Talk]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:00:38 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-634134518-sm.jpg

    Is legendary Bay Area band Journey set for a breakup soon?

    That's the question many on social media are now trying to tackle after founding Journey guitarist Neal Schon blasted fellow band members for visiting the White House and meeting with President Donald Trump.

    Band members Arnel Pineda, Jonathan Cain and Ross Valory made the visit last week, which Schon claimed on social media he had no idea about before it happened.

    Schon, who has been with the band since 1972, has said Journey's credo has always been the music it creates is for "everyone."  The guitarist also points out the trio who made the White House visit knows his position.

    "This clearly shows no respect or Unity...just Divide," Schon said in a social media posting.

    On Monday, Schon in a tweet denied he is leaving the group. He did, however, mentioned tensions in the group have been running high for close to two years.

    Photo Credit: WireImage
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    <![CDATA[Lyft Sparks Censorship Fears With Email to Drivers]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:41:39 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-450502220.jpg

    Lyft apparently doesn't agree with the adage, "Any publicity is good publicity."

    In an email, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing giant asked its drivers to pump the brakes before speaking with the press, and instead check in with Lyft officials first, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

    The July note states: “Email press@lyft.com if you’re ever contacted by a reporter. Speaking of Lyft in the news: We’re here to help if you get approached for an interview. Shoot a note to our communications team and they’ll make sure you’re prepared for any questions.”

    The message has created a stir, raising concerns about censorship.

    Some drivers have taken to online message boards, calling it a scare tactic. Others say this is Lyft’s way of trying to get in front of bad publicity, which has plagued its biggest competitor, Uber, according to the SF Examiner.

    Drivers also wrote that they are independent contractors, not employees, so Lyft cannot restrict their actions.

    Scott Coriell, a Lyft spokesperson, shared a statement with NBC Bay Area, which reads: "Drivers are free to speak to the press — and we know they do all the time. There are no restrictions or requirements. We often hear from drivers who are approached by the media and have questions or concerns. We wanted to remind them that we're here as a resource. We have sent similar reminders in the past."

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Google Doles Out $820 Million For 52 Sunnyvale Properties]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 23:59:46 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-508003271.jpg

    Google has snatched up 52 Sunnyvale properties, shelling out a whopping $820 million on the acquisitions.

    The buildings, which were bought from real estate company CBRE, are located roughly four miles south of the tech giant's Mountain View headquarters, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. A real estate brokerage silently collected the properties on Google's behalf, the report said.

    In recent years, Google has leased or bought a slew of smaller campuses in Sunnyvale and the company's new properties fill in the gaps between them, the Business Journal said.

    The company highlighted its need for room to grow by reporting on Monday that it has more than 72,000 employees, CNBC said.

    Once the ongoing purchases have been buttoned up, Google's workforce will be scattered from San Francisco to San Jose. That sets the company apart from rivals, including Apple and Facebook, whose workers are clustered closer together.

    In keeping with its plans for expansion, Google in June also won exclusive rights to negotiate with San Jose leaders about a new development that will span roughly 8 million square feet around the Diridon Station. Google partnered with real estate giant Trammell Crow for that project, and has already spent more than $100 million on land in the South Bay city. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And, he adds, housing near public transportation.

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

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

    Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Google Street View Takes You Out of This World, Into the ISS]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:25:46 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-20-2017-google-iss.jpg

    We see it in the sky, but can’t climb aboard.

    The International Space Station is home to a small number of elite astronauts, working on cool experiments in a gravity-free environment.

    But now, thanks to Google’s Street View, you too can take a ride inside the ISS.

    Street View has, for the time being, ditched the cars and backpacks in favor of a small camera and bungie cords.

    Bungie cords?

    “In space, with zero gravity, the astronaut sets up with a bungie cord.”

    That’s Google’s Deanna Yick on how the astronaut on the ISS contorted himself to take more than 1,500 pictures Google eventually stitched together.

    “He literally had to position the camera,” Yick says, “then float out of the way , take the picture, rotate the camera, and do it again.”

    The result is a cool tour of every nook and cranny of ISS. You control it with your mouse. A chance to search, in space, from Earth’s biggest search engine.

    Scott views on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: NBC BAY Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Viral Video: Street Party Unites Punjabi, Mexican Neighbors]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:54:14 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-19-17_Stockton_Dance_Party_4.JPG

    It began as an ordinary July 4 party, but morphed into something much bigger — both in terms of fun and symbolism.

    Jashandeep Kahlon’s relatives and friends bonded at a BBQ, listening to upbeat Punjabi tunes in the garage of the family’s Stockton home. Nearby, a friend began to dance — by himself — in the middle of the street.

    As Kahlon, 20, fretted that the music was too loud, a neighbor, of Mexican descent, walked over and joined in the fun. Quickly, the twosome swelled to nearly 25 people reveling in each other’s cultures.

    “I never expected it to be like this,” said Kahlon.

    The San Francisco State University basketball player said his family and a large group of neighbors frolicked on the road between their two houses for nearly an hour. The fun was captured on video, which has since gone viral.

    “We would dance to their Mexican music and they would dance to our Punjabi music,” Kahlon said. "We all were just having fun and enjoying it.”

    The area that Kahlon calls home is multi-ethnic and peaceful, but neighbors mostly just greet each other in passing, he said. The July 4 celebration was a “great moment,” he said, during which people came together without worrying about their differences.

    “We just danced,” Kahlon said, laughing. “In Punjabi, we have a dance called Bhangra and we were trying to show them some of our moves and it was cool because they were actually getting some of it down. And they were learning with us.”

    It is not lost on Kahlon that the two cultures blended seamlessly at a time of political divisiveness in the United States.

    “If you really look at the big picture, these were two minorities that were celebrating the independence of America, and two cultures celebrating each other in a country where we’re all the same people,” he said.

    Photo Credit: Jashandeep Kahlon
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    <![CDATA[Want Art on Demand? Just Text the SF Museum of Modern Art]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 12:09:03 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfmomacollage.jpg

    The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is putting its vast collection within people's reach — literally. 

    Send Me SFMOMA is a wildly popular creation out of the museum's Lab that encourages people to text 572-51 and get a piece of art delivered directly to their phones. 

    Start the message with "send me" and then keywords, emojis, colors, subjects and feelings are fair game, the museum says. Each reply features an image, its title and date of creation, and the artist's name.

    The initiative first kicked off with a standard 10-digit phone number, but the SFMOMA quickly hit a roadblock.

    "The project's beta test began March 31 and ran for four days before the major carriers blacklisted it due to its popularity — they thought we were spamming people with art," a museum spokesperson told NBC Bay Area.

    Send Me SFMOMA was officially reintroduced to the public on June 19 — this time with a 5-digit number.

    "The response to Send Me SFMOMA has been overwhelmingly positive, revealing a deep appetite for art among the public. We’ve responded to over three million texts," according to a museum spokesperson.

    An application program interface powers the text service, creative technologist Jay Mollica told SFist, adding, "SFMOMA has an API that includes metadata for over 30,000 artworks in the collection."

    Due to space constraints, the museum is only able to display about five percent of its total collection at any given time, TechCrunch reported. "Send Me SFMOMA" is a way for art lovers to dig deeper into the world renowned organization's offerings.

    Museum officials say they are now mulling expanding Send Me SFMOMA's reach beyond the United States. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Celebrate National Hot Dog Day at These Bay Area Eateries]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:29:42 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hot-Dog-Generic.jpg

    Well, hot dog! Put your leftovers back in the fridge because today is National Hot Dog Day! A celebration of a true American classic, this food takes families back to a time of barbecues and baseball games. Rather than indulging in a sub-par meal for supper, swing by one of these top Bay Area sausage stops. Vegetarians are welcomed as well, with all restaurants offering meat free options.

    Rosamunde Sausage Grill

    Rosamunde Sausage Grill is a perfect post work stop. With locations in Oakland, Mission and Lower Haight, guests can craft a custom hot dog. Other options include curry wurst or a sausage plate. Be sure to check out their beers on tap too, because nothing goes better with bratwurst than a cold one.

    Top Dog

    During the 1960s, Berkeley was hosting the Free Speech Movement, housing hippies and... making quality hot dogs? Established in 1966, the eatery has presented a place to curb late night cravings for over 50 years. Top Dog is never short of customers either. Berkeley’s college student population keeps the American dream alive with hot dogs, fraternities and football games.

    Dog Haus

    National food holidays are synonymous with free meals. Freemont’s Dog Haus has pulled through with this expectation, offering two hot dogs for the price of one. Good thing too, because this restaurant has an inventive selection of sausages. We recommend taking a bite of the Old Town Dog which includes a hot dog wrapped in smoked bacon with a chipotle aioli, pickled jalapenos, caramelized onions and cojita cheese.

    Dog Haus’s Southern California location also ranked among the top hot dog eateries in the country.

    Happy Hound

    Hot dogs are an American staple for a reason. If looking to grab a good old fashioned dog, head to Happy Hound in Los Gatos. This diner does not mess around when it comes to their menu. Short and simple, guests can grab a classic hot dog with all the trimmings alongside some fries and a shake. It does not get much better than that.

    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Bill Nye the Science Guy is Coming to the Castro Theater ]]>Fri, 08 Sep 2017 21:04:40 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/bill-nye-the-science-guy.jpg

    Bill. Bill. Bill. Bill.

    Bill Nye the Science is making his way to the Castro Theatre this Sunday!

    That’s right science fans, Nye is scheduled for what is being described as an “unforgettable afternoon to read and sign his new book” in San Francisco Sunday, Sept. 10.

    The beloved staple of children’s science education will be sharing his recently published book, Everything at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd. Nye will also be joined by Bay Area Science Festival director, Kishore Hari, who specializes in producing innovative live science events.

    Fans can purchase tickets online for $20 or pay $45 ticket for both a seat and Nye’s new book – which he’ll be able to sign during the event.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “Good point,” Musk replied.

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

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

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

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

    Musk stayed mum on that.

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

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

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

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

    Musk and the domain name share history, though.

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

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

    Stay tuned.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Social Media Reacts to Palindrome Week]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 18:54:16 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/121330338.jpg

    This week is palindrome week—every date reads the same forwards and backwards. 7/10/17, 7/13/17, 7/14/17... you get the point. Just like words and phrases can be palindromes—mom, racecar, level, live not on evil—so too can numbers.

    The palindrome has a long history that goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks, who would inscribe palindromic phrases on fountains. One of the most popular fountain inscriptions was "wash the sin as well as the face." Although that phrase isn't a palindrome in English, it is one in Greek.

    Check out how the week is being celebrated on social media below:

    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Image Source
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    <![CDATA[Startup Lingerie Party in San Francisco: Harmless or Sexist?]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 16:26:11 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lingeriemingle.jpg

    It almost seems like a parody from the hit HBO show, "Silicon Valley." Only it’s not.

    Some lucky guests on Saturday will attend "Startup Mingle Party and 'Summer Seduction' Lingerie Fashion Show" at the W hotel in San Francisco.

    For the uninitiated, the event is being billed as an opportunity for people to network and pitch startup ideas while models sashay around in lingerie. A fembot with bared breasts adorns its poster

    The party will be co-hosted by Creative Startup Labs, a company that offers entrepreneurs everything from legal and consulting services to product incubation, and Angelica Janice, the owner of Cake Angel, a food and beverage company. DJs will spin some tunes while Shasta Moore's lingerie designs are exhibited.

    The purported idea that a seductive undercurrent will somehow help people looking to get their start in the tech industry has earned the event's organizers flak on social media. With accusations of sexual harassment and prejudice looming large over the tech industry, some are viewing the party as yet another instance of misogyny or tone deafness in Silicon Valley.

    Asked if he thought the party's theme come make people uncomfortable , Brad Carrick, the founder of CSL, replied, "Why is that?"

    He then added, "Look, I know what you mean. It’s the creative arts. There are artists showing off their own designs."

    Fashion shows are common at such gatherings, Carrick told NBC Bay Area. This one just happens to feature lingerie.

    "I wasn’t aware of what the design was this time around," he added.

    In an email to Mashable, Carrick said: "The fashion show, as I understand, is to highlight local startup designers trying to grow their own businesses, be they in menswear, fashion-tech, wearables, women's wear, etc. The models and designs are organized by the local designer and certainly not hired promo/entertainment models by any tech company."

    The event is expected to last from 9 p.m. Saturday to 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $10 to $500. 

    Update: As of early Saturday, the event has been renamed as a "Startup Mingle Party & Fashion Show." It also boasts a more PG poster, featuring a chalkboad with advice "To My Future Self," including staying humble and helping others, scribbled on it. What prompted the change remains unknown.

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

    Photo Credit: Creative Startup Labs and Angelica Janice via Eventbrite]]>
    <![CDATA[True Crime, Sports: Best Bay Area Podcasts For Long Commutes]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 16:21:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/traffic_crop.png

    Bay Area residents have some of the gnarliest commutes in the entire country. Whether grappling with bus and BART delays or inching along in gridlock traffic, simply getting to or from work can take hours. 

    Most Bay Area denizens will probably admit that living here is worth the wait — most of the time. But for the days when it isn't, here are a few Bay Area-themed podcasts to remind you why you enjoy living on the top side of the best coast. 

    Misconduct: a True Crime Podcast

    Would any list of podcasts be complete without a true crime entry? Probably not, so here's Misconduct. In episode 10, the narrators discuss the "San Mateo Slasher" and the Gypsy Hill murders, which claimed five lives in the 1970s. Check it out here.

    Bay Area Mystery Club

    If one episode of Misconduct isn't enough true crime for you, enjoy an entire series based on the "murderous history" of the Bay Area. Because it's so hyperlocal, this podcast will provide you with more than you ever needed — or wanted — to know about some of the region's most devastating and grisly crimes. Check it out here. 

    NPR/KQED's Bay Curious. 

    An easy and perhaps obvious entry, Bay Curious plumbs some of the deepest mysteries of this loveable — but admittedly frustrating and flawed— region. From the origins of the word "hella" to the homeless crisis, the podcast doesn't miss a beat. It also incorporates interactive elements, with each episode's topic is based on reader submissions. Check it out here


    Okay, so the show about San Francisco history doesn't roll out new episodes on a weekly basis as it did years ago, but the archives still make for great listening. Created by amateur historian Richard Miller, each audio track focuses on something unique to the Bay Area, from the history of San Francisco's 1920s flapper girls to the modern-day Mission burrito. Check it out here 

    Too Short's Boombox

    One of the Bay Area's most famous rappers hosts this lively podcast. Boombox allows listeners to be a fly on the wall as moguls, entertainers, and other celebrities chit chat and kick back. It's also interactive; questions are often taken from audience feedback. Check it out here

    99% Invisible

    Did you know one of iTunes' most popular podcasts is recorded in the Bay Area? With more than 150 million listeners, the show is one of our region's most popular podcast exports. But 99% Invisible doesn't always focus on Northern California, instead delving into a number of odd topics that have national appeal. The show is all about the "unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world," according to its website. First-timers might enjoy the episode on Milk Carton Kids, which explores the origins of the "missing" signs tacked on the back of milk cartons. Find it here.

    Bay Area Sports Guy:

    The name pretty much says it all. This podcast all about Bay Area sports, featuring informed commentators who know the ins and outs of the games they cover. Find it here.

    See something missing from this list? Contact the author below. 

    Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
    <![CDATA[Bay Area Tech Giants on Indeed's 'Best Places to Work' List]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 14:31:16 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-457215850.jpg

    Tech titans in the Bay Area are doing right by their employees.

    Or so says Indeed's 2017 list of best places to work.

    Coming in first place is San Francisco-based Salesforce, an enterprise software company that was founded in 1999 and today employs more than 10,000 people. 

    Why? Due to Salesforce's "culture of 'Ohana' (which means family) and its spirit of philanthropy," according to Indeed, a search engine for jobs. In fact, CEO Marc Benioff has tapped his Golden Retriever, Koa, as the company's Chief Love Officer.

    Salesforce employees have also praised the benefits and work-life balance they enjoy. 

    Airline companies, Southwest, of Texas, and Jetblue, of New York, came in second and third on Indeed's list, which is based on 15 million reviews by employees of Fortune 500s.

    Not surprisingly, Facebook and Google rounded out the top five positions.

    Located in Menlo Park, Facebook has between 5,000 and 10,000 workers, one of whom said, "They give you opportunities to become a better version of yourself, which gives them the return of a happy, more proficient employee."

    Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View, has a team that is 10,000 people strong and yet "continues to inspire its employees," Indeed said in a blog post. 

    "There might be thousands of people working at Google; however, you have a voice and you will be heard," said one employee who works at the tech company that was created in 1998.

    The final Silicon Valley behemoth to crack the top 10 was Cupertino's Apple, which shares eighth place with Nike.

    Here are 20 of the best places to work in 2017:

    1. Salesforce
    2. Southwest Airlines
    3. Jetblue Airways Corporation
    4. Facebook
    5. Google
    6. CenterPoint Energy
    7. DTE Energy
    8. Nike 
    9. Apple
    10. The Walt Disney Company
    11. Delta 
    12. Costco Wholesale
    13. Discovery Communications, Ltd.
    14. Johnson & Johnson
    15. Chevron
    16. Fannie Mae
    17. Bristol-Myers Squibb
    18. Exelon
    19. Viacom
    20. Starbucks

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Stockton, Merced Named in 'Worst American Cities' List]]>Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:18:48 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/stockton-bank-generic-1.jpg

    It's a list Stockton, Merced and San Bernardino are not proud to be on.

    The three California cities are ranked among the 50 Worst American Cities to Live In, according to 24/7 Wall St. The financial news and opinion website recently published the ranking using a formula that included comparing crime, economy and environment data.

    Here's a look at the "worst" cities and where the trio of California cities ranked:

    See the complete list here.

    <![CDATA[Couple Ties the Knot in Dramatic Mount Everest Wedding]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 12:27:40 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Charleton_Churchill_Everest.jpgA shared love of adventure has transformed a Sacramento couple and their wedding photographer into viral sensations.

    Photo Credit: Adventure wedding photographer Charleton Churchill]]>
    <![CDATA[Bay Area Companies Lead 'Best Places to Work' Ranking]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 16:57:25 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/New+Image20.JPG

    The Bay Area is well represented on a recent LinkedIn list of the United States' best places to work. 

    Top Companies Where the World Wants to Work Now” ranks 50 of the country's biggest businesses. Collectively, they span 21 industries and employ over three million workers, according to LinkedIn. The list is based on employee retention and interest in not only a company's available jobs, but also its overall brand.

    With 72,000 employees globally, Alphabet, the parent company of Mountain View-based Google, came in first place. The tech behemoth set out in 2012 to rely only on renewable energy, and is on track to do exactly that this year.  

    In second place was Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle. The company boasts over 340,000 employees across the world and has picked up three Oscars in the last 12 months, LinkedIn said.

    Local companies earned the next five spots on LinkedIn's list. Facebook, of Menlo Park, came in third and was followed by Salesforce and Uber, both of San Francisco; Tesla, which is headquartered in Palo Alto; and Apple, a tech giant located in Cupertino. 

    Three media organizations — Time Warner, the Walt Disney Company and Comcast NBCUniversal — rounded out the top 10 positions on the list. 

    Other familiar names that made the cut include Airbnb, Netflix and Twitter.

    LinkedIn, which is also based in Mountain View, excluded itself from the list.

    Here are this year's top 20 companies in the U.S.:

    1. Alphabet
    2. Amazon
    3. Facebook
    4. Salesforce
    5. Uber
    6. Tesla
    7. Apple
    8. Time Warner
    9. The Walt Disney Company
    10. Comcast NBCUniversal
    11. Airbnb
    12. Netflix
    13. McKinsey & Company
    14. Dell Technologies
    15. Workday
    16. Under Armour
    17. Twitter
    18. CBRE
    19. Visa
    20. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
    <![CDATA[Berkeley Makes List of 'Best Cities to Live in America']]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 16:13:14 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-52237594.jpg

    Berkeley has made headlines recently for a rash of political protests and violence, but a new report puts the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement among the top 10 places to live in the United States.

    Ranking and review website Niche unveiled its annual “Best Cities to Live in America” for 2017, and the East Bay city came in at No. 5. 

    Niche said it analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to compile the ranking. 

    The “Best Cities to Live” list was based on crime, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities, Niche said.

    Located in Alameda County, Berkeley has just under 117,400 residents. In Niche’s report card, Berkeley earned an overall A+ grade.

    Looking closer, the city, which Niche considers a good place in which to raise families, received an A+ for its public schools, diversity and weather. The city’s commute and and nightlife brought in an A grade, and its jobs a B.

    Berkeley didn’t fare quite as well in other areas, though – getting a C+ in both housing, and crime and safety, and a D+ for its cost of living, the report showed.

    Ann Arbor, MI. came in first place in the “Best Cities to Live” list, and was followed by Naperville, Ill. and Arlington, VA. 

    Below are Niche's top 10 “Best Cities to Live in America” for 2017:

    1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
    2. Naperville, Illinois
    3. Arlington, Virginia
    4. Columbia, Maryland
    5. Berkeley, California
    6. The Woodlands, Texas
    7. Plano, Texas
    8. Overland Park, Kansas
    9. Boulder, Colorado
    10. Irvine, California 

    See the full list here

    NBC Chicago contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
    <![CDATA[World's Largest Plate of Nachos to Feature Cricket Chips]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:38:58 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NachosGeneric.jpg

    There is a new addition to the wacky of unusual world record attempts.

    Food aficionados in San Francisco this Saturday will attempt to break the world record for consuming the largest plate of nachos, but there's a tasty twist.

    The monstrous dish won't house a layer of customary tortilla chips. Instead, it will feature cricket chips — the first ever chips made with cricket flour. That ingredient is created by mashing dried crickets into a high protein powder, according to creator Chirp Chips.

    Aside from the one-of-a-kind chips, the enormous plate of nachos will also feature 1,000 pounds of nacho cheese, 800 pounds of beans and 400 pounds of corn and salsa, according to event organizers.

    The record-breaking effort is slated to take place at 3:00 p.m. at the SOMA Streat Food Park located at 428 11th Street.

    Tickets for the event are available via Eventbrite.

    Chirp Chips was created by three college students back in 2014, according to the company. The students chose to use crickets as the main ingredient in their snack product after realizing that the bugs packed sustainable and nutritious value.

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

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

    Parade Breakfast Preparation

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

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

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

    Lunch and Bar Stops

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

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

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

    Post-Parade Events

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

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

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Five Bay Area Restaurants Among World's Best]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:51:50 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Benu_Sign.jpg

    Before the official "World's 50 Best Restaurants" list is unveiled in April, organizers dished out the runners-up.

    A total of five eateries in the Bay Area clinched a spot on the honorable mention list, which includes restaurants ranked between the No. 51 and No. 100 positions. Only nine restaurants in the United States qualified to make the bottom half of the top 100 list.

    San Francisco's Benu checked in at No. 67 on the list. The French Laundry in Yountville slid in right behind at No. 68.

    Atelier Crenn in San Francisco settled in at No. 83 while The Restaurant at Meadowood in Santa Rosa followed at No. 84. Manresa in Los Gatos rounded out the Bay Area selection at No. 90.

    The World's 50 Best Restaurants List, No. 51-No. 100

    51. Mikla, Istanbul, Turkey

    52. Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo, Japan

    53. Burnt Ends, Singapore

    54. Lyle’s, London, England

    55. Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain

    56. Nerua, Bilbao, Spain

    57. Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

    58. Momofuku Ko, New York, USA

    59. Combal Zero, Rivoli, Italy

    60. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China

    61. Hertog, Jan Bruges, Belgium

    62. Quique, Dacosta Denia, Spain

    63. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

    64. La Grenouillère, La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France

    65. Biko, Mexico City, Mexico

    66. Estela, New York, USA

    67. Benu, San Francisco, USA

    68. The French Laundry, Yountville, USA

    69. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia

    70. Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany

    71. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, China

    72. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau,Switzerland

    73. La Colombe, Cape Town, South Africa

    74. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium

    75. Sud 777, Mexico City, Mexico

    76. Lasai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    77. Martin Berasategui, Lasarte-Oria, Spain

    78. Indian Accent, New Delhi, India

    79. Maaemo, Oslo, Norway

    80. Le Cinq, Paris, France

    81. Maní, São Paulo, Brazil

    82. Chef’s Table At Brooklyn Fare, New York, USA

    83. Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, USA

    84. The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, USA

    85. Belcanto, Lisbon, Portugal

    86. Odette, Singapore

    87. Per Se, New York, USA

    88. Selfie, Moscow, Russia

    89. Mingles, Seoul, South Korea

    90. Manresa, Los Gatos, USA

    91. St. John, London, England

    92. Twins, Moscow, Russia

    93. Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France

    94. Kadeau, Copenhagen, Denmark

    95. Quay, Sydney, Australia

    96. Epicure, Paris, France

    97. Sushi Saito, Tokyo, Japan

    98. Hedone, London, England

    99. Florilège, Tokyo, Japan

    100. Olympe, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Instagram Account Parodies Tesla's Office Parking Lot Woes ]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 18:47:44 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4132017carstesla.jpg

    If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, these photographs convey an absolute mess.

    Auto manufacturer Tesla routinely makes headlines for its cutting-edge technology. Last week, it even surpassed General Motors as the United States’ most valuable car company.

    But on Tuesday the company got some unflattering attention for its overcrowded employee parking lots in Fremont and Palo Alto.

    Tesla employs 6,000 people, according to the Daily Mail, but they have to squeeze their cars into 4,500 spaces – often with rather alarming results, as documented by its employees on social media.

    The parking nightmare has sparked its own Instagram account: @teslaparkinglot.

    Followed by more than 10,000 people, its 134 posts chronicle Tesla employees’ desperate efforts to park. Any space is game, and traffic laws have been relegated to myths, with cars parked diagonally in straight parking spaces and occupying spots reserved for motorcycles and drivers with disabilities.

    One image – titled “smart mini collaboration. pun intended” – shows two compact cars jammed into a single parking space. Vehicles have also been photographed hanging over curbs and medians.

    Other pictures exhibit rows upon rows of cars, all of which are squashed tightly together, begging the question: How does anyone get out?

    Many drivers have parked their cars just a few inches away from neighboring ones, but some appear to have gotten into fender benders trying to force themselves into unavailable spots.

    Even bicycle riders don’t seem to fare better. Photographs show they have been mounted on top of one another due to a shortage of space.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is aware of the problem and is said to be working on a solution.

    A Tesla spokesperson said the company offers alternative transportation options to decrease the number of cars that need to be parked. Toward that end, it offers shuttles, subsidizes public transit expenses, partners with ridesharing and car-pooling companies, and incentivizes biking to work. 

    Photo Credit: @teslaparkinglot via Instagram
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    <![CDATA[Mansion in SF's Pacific Heights Hits Market for $40 Million]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 22:16:47 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GoldCoasthome.jpg

    San Francisco’s real estate market just a hit a new high.

    A newly-constructed 11,400-square-foot limestone house can be yours for a whopping $40 million.

    The home’s astronomical price tag begins to make sense – kind of – when you realize that it is located in the city’s affluent Pacific Heights neighborhood. Taking it a step further, the residence at 2712 Broadway was built on the highly sought-after three-block stretch of land called the Gold Coast or, perhaps more aptly, Billionaire’s Row, according to the SF Gate.

    Your neighbors could include Oracle founder Larry Ellison and philanthropist couple, Ann and Gordon Getty.

    The sprawling mansion features seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and four half-baths, courtesy of developer Bill Campbell. It also offers a gourmet kitchen, a spa, a gym and massage room, a theater and two wine rooms, the SF Gate reported.

    And if your feet grow tired covering that much space, an elevator can whisk you away to the terrace. 

    Campbell of Marble Management told the Wall Street Journal that he has applied for LEED platinum certification, having outfitted the house with a solar water heating system and underground tanks to store and reuse runoff.

    And that’s not all.

    Floor-to-ceiling windows – made of course of non-reflective glass – cater to jaw-dropping views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, Sausalito and the island of Belvedere, the SF Gate said.

    Campbell spent $7.8 million on 2712 Broadway in 2009. He demolished the clapboard that dated back to the 19th century, and then, over the next four years, built an “on-spec” home, the Wall Street Journal reported. That means he didn’t construct the house for any specific buyer.

    Public records show that a nearby Gold Coast mansion sold for $35 million in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    Val Steele of Pacific Union International and Tom Biss of Sotheby's International Realty represent the property at 2712 Broadway.

    Photo Credit: Jacob Elliott Photography]]>
    <![CDATA[Schwarzenneger Offers to Trade Jobs With Trump]]>Thu, 02 Feb 2017 10:50:45 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trump-schwarzenegger.jpg

    President Donald Trump took more than a moment at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning to pray for former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and talk some trash on the new host of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

    And "The Governator" lashed back, offering to trade jobs with POTUS saying he could do a better job.

    The coast-to-coast tiff occurred within one hour, from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. PST.

    "They hired a big, big movie star to take my place," Trump said at the prayer breakfast, after being introduced by Mark Burnett, the producer and creator of both “The Celebrity Apprentice.” "And we know how that turned out. The ratings went down the tubes. It's been a disaster."

    Then he said: "I want to just pray for Arnold if we can."

    At 7:01 a.m. Schwarzenegger took on Trump on the president's favorite platform, Twitter.

    In a post titled, "The National Prayer Breakfast?" the former governor and longtime actor made a homemade video that looked like he was standing on his back porch.

    "Hey Donald, I have a great idea," he said. "Why don't we switch jobs? You take over TV because you're such an expert in ratings. I take over your job because then people can finally sleep comfortably again."

    Schwarzenegger's premiere night audience for "Celebrity Apprentice" in early January was a disappointing 5 million viewers, according to the Nielsen company. Viewership dropped to 3.9 million viewers in the second week.

    The season-to-date average for the first month was 4.7 million viewers, compared to 7.6 million viewers for Trump's final season as host in winter 2015.

    Trump is still listed as an executive producer of "Celebrity Apprentice" and retains a financial stake in the NBC program, so he has incentive to want high viewership.

    Thursday was not the first time Trump criticized Schwarzenegger over the show's ratings. Trump tweeted last month that Schwarzenegger was "swamped" in his "Celebrity Apprentice" debut "by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT."

    "So much for being a movie star," said Trump's tweet, which continued: "But who cares, he supported Kasich and Hillary."

    Schwarzenegger did endorse Ohio Gov. John Kasich during the Republican presidential primaries, but he did not endorse Democrat Hillary Clinton in the general election.

    Despite the back-and-forth, both Trump and Schwarzenegger share at least three things in common: They're Republicans. They're politicians. They're reality TV stars.

    AP's Darlene Superville in Washington, D.C., and television writer Frazier Moore in New York contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[SF Startup Offers New Hires $10K De-Location Package]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:49:24 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/193*120/0929water1.jpg

    Talk about an astonishing turn of events.

    Citing the Bay Area’s astronomical rents, tech startup Zapier is paying new hires $10,000 to move away from here.

    No, you didn’t read that wrong.

    The company has replaced relocation packages with an experiment aimed at delocation, Zapier’s co-founder Wade Foster wrote in a blog post.

    Zapier is behind a tool that enables different web apps to work together automatically, and all of its employees work remotely. Zapier's team includes an estimated 80 people, according to SF Curbed.

    But people who live in the Bay Area should not be forced to pick between professional and personal development, reasoned Foster, who as a Missouri native is familiar with the challenges associated with living in what appears, at least on the surface, to be a “thriving tech scene.”

    “If you work in tech in a small town, coming to the Bay Area is like coming to the big leagues,” Foster wrote. “You actually encounter people who understand what you do on a day-to-day basis.”

    But look closer, and the blemishes appear.

    A chronic housing shortage and steep rents are common across the Bay Area. So people, some of whom earn six-figure salaries, are unable to make it more than a pitstop.

    “The housing crunch and high cost of living simply price out many families and, despite loving the area, the realities are many of us need to look elsewhere to create the life we want for our families,” Foster said.

    But Zapier doesn’t want its employees to have to choose.

    To that end, it will help employees looking to move out of the Bay Area with up to $10,000. The fine print of the package says that it will reimburse employees for “moving expenses you incur in the first three months while working at Zapier. We also ask you stick around Zapier for at least a year.”

    Foster acknowledged that prohibitive costs of living are common in a number of other U.S. cities. Right now, though, this delocation package is available only to people seeking to leave the Bay Area.

    Based on how this test goes, there is a chance the program will be expanded to help Zapier employees in other parts of the country, he said.

    NBC Bay Area has reached out to Zapier, but has yet to hear back.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[‘HOLLYWeeD’ Artist Hangs ‘Impeach’ Trump Banner in Bay Area]]>Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:19:38 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ggbannermain.jpg

    An artist claiming responsibility for the “HOLLYWeeD” sign prank on New Year’s Day struck again over the weekend by helping install a massive banner pushing to impeach President Donald Trump on the Golden Gate Bridge.

    The artist, Zach Fernandez, on Sunday posted a picture of the banner with the caption “You’re Fired. #wethepeople.”

    Fernandez recently turned himself into the Los Angeles Police Department after claiming he was behind altering the iconic Hollywood sign to say “HOLLYWeeD.”

    Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol said no arrests have been made in connection to the banner that hung on the Golden Gate Bridge. An investigation is also ongoing.

    No other information was immediately available.

    IM�� "You're Fired." �� #wethepeople

    A photo posted by Zach Fernandez (@jesushands) on

    Photo Credit: @watchblakewin @jesushands @jdotcolombo @learnfern]]>
    <![CDATA[Full Circle: 'Full House' Cast Returns to Iconic SF Home]]>Mon, 05 Dec 2016 05:14:14 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FH+pic.JPG

    It was a full house — literally — at the San Francisco home immortalized by the famous eponymous 80's sitcom.

    The Tanners on Friday flocked to the Lower Pacific Heights home where they "lived." The classic Victorian home was bought — fittingly — by "Full House" creator Jeff Franklin. Talk about full circle!

    Cast members, including Candace Cameron-Bure, Andrea Barber, Bob Saget, Jodie Sweetin and Dave Coulier, celebrated Franklin's purchase of the property at 1709 Broderick Street.

    “I’ve never heard of a creator buying the house of an original series, but I think it shows how attached Jeff is to the show," Barber said. "This is, like, his baby.”

    Outside, fans were starstruck.

    "We just came down to take a picture of the house and it was so random that everything was happening," said tourist Ikram Kamal.

    Fellow visitor Emily Le agreed. “I think it’s awesome that they’re coming out for the fans and want to be here for their supporters and are actually here interacting with their fans as real people. I think it's something that a lot of people don’t get to do. So it’s really cool that they’re doing that," she said. 

    The iconic home had been on the market since May at a price tag of $4.15 million. The house's exterior, then painted white, was used as the Tanner family's residence in the original show. 

    Franklin paid about $4 million for the 2,985-square-foot house, which features three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. One of the first things he said he did after buying the property was have its front door painted red — as a throwback to the hit TV show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The previous homeowners had opted to paint it a seafoam green.

    A listing on the Vanguard Properties website says the Charles Lewis Hinkel home was constructed in 1883 and is one of the city's finest examples of preserved Italianate, Victorian architecture. However, that means the house is something of a fixer-upper.

    "We have to seismically retrofit it, redo the foundation, electrical, plumbing —that’s going to take awhile," Franklin said.

    The restoration will also include five freshly imprinted and signed blocks of concrete.

    Franklin is also laying the foundation for the "Full House" reboot — dubbed "Fuller House." Season two will be out on Netflix on Dec. 9.

    “We want to come back here to shoot some new footage, some stock shots, do a scene leaving the house — I don’t know, exactly," Franklin said.

    Franklin says he will likely rent the house after renovating it. Finding tenants in this housing-challenged city won’t be hard, he surmised.

    "Full House" premiered on Sept. 22, 1987 so Sept. 22, 2017 will mark the show's 30th anniversary.

    "That will be around the time that all of my construction will be done, so I hope to bring the cast up to the house and have a big slumber party here so people can drive by and actually see the Tanner family living there for one whole day," Franklin told The Hollywood Reporter. "That would be pretty fun."

    NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: Robbie Beasom/NBC Bay Area
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    <![CDATA[A Sinkhole Named 'Steve:' CHP Names Big Hole on Highway 13]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:09:49 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1-23-17_Highway_13_Sinkhole.jpg

    It may not be the biggest sinkhole in the world.

    But it’s possibly the only one with a name. At least a name conceived by the California Highway Patrol.

    The CHP Oakland division named a sinkhole along Highway 13 “Steve” on Monday morning. “Please be careful as you pass Steve on southbound 13 in Oakland,” the CHP tweeted.

    Later in the day, CHP tweeted out a video of crews filling up Steve with cement, thus marking its end. "No!!!!!!! Look what they are doing to Steve! #SteveTheSinkhole," they tweeted around 4:30 p.m.

    And then for Steve's creation story: “Steve was born this morning at about 5:20 a.m. on southbound SR-13 just north of Broadway Terrace," the CHP wrote on Facebook. "Steve is approximately 5 feet in diameter and 10 feet deep.”

    As far as the CHP Oakland knows, it could be the first time a sinkhole has ever been named. (Though, no agency is known to really track the naming of sinkholes.)

    As for why Steve?

    The CHP tweeted: "Why not?"

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[NBC Bay Area's Best Facebook Posts of 2016]]>Thu, 29 Dec 2016 18:11:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-508981392.jpg

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Uber Self-Driving Car Caught on Camera Running Red Light]]>Wed, 14 Dec 2016 18:53:42 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-609845718.jpg

    It’s day one of Uber’s self-driving car test in San Francisco, and already trouble is brewing amidst reports of vehicles running red lights and California regulators threatening legal action.

    The ride-hailing giant on Wednesday rolled out a fleet of self-driving cars, but ignored the state’s permit requirement. Uber agued that its cars do not meet the state's definition of an "autonomous vehicle'' because they are foolproof: a person will always be behind the wheel to monitor and intervene if needed.

    However, that fail-safe, well, failed hours aftert the big launch when Uber blamed the car’s driver for running a light in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, the San Francisco Examiner first reported.

    A company spokesman said in a statement “This incident was due to human error. This is why we believe so much in making the roads safer by building self-driving Ubers. This vehicle was not part of the pilot and was not carrying customers. The driver involved has been suspended while we continue to investigate.

    Dashcam footage obtained from taxi company Luxor Cab San Francisco shows a slew of cars careening by in the final seconds of a yellow light on Third Street. One even scrapes by just as the light turned red.

    The taxi stopped at the light, but a few seconds later, an Uber self-driving car cruised past the already red light. This, after a man had stepped onto the pedestrian crossing.

    Earlier in the day, San Francisco-based writer and producer, Annie Gaus, tweeted: “Just passed a 'self-driving' Uber that lurched into the intersection on Van Ness, on a red, nearly hitting my Lyft.”

    Her next tweet says, “(Not enough time to get a good shot, but...whoops!)”, and shows an Uber self-driving car that came to a stop partially into the intersection.

    The San Franciso Examiner also reported that the city police department’s traffic division was in the dark of Uber’s plan to debut its self-driving fleet.

    Meanwhile, hours after the self-driving cars took to San Francisco’s streets, the California Department of Motor Vehicles ordered Uber to cease the pilot program until it obtained the necessary permit.

    Consumer Watchdog is urging the San Francisco Police Department to impound Uber’s recalitrant robot cars, and City Attorney Denns Herrera to file criminal charges against the company’s CEO Travis Kalanick.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Rogue 'Get Your S--- Together' Anti-Hate BART Campaign]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:48:31 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BARTshit.jpg

    An unknown number of posters slapped up on BART trains began surfacing on Friday telling racists to "get their s--- together," but are not approved by the transit agency.

    The poster, which has a very real-looking BART logo reads: "Attention BART riders: Racism, Sexism, Islamophobia, Homophobia, Transphobia and Xenophobia are prohibited in the BART systems at all times. Get your s--- together. #BARTbehavior101." And then it asks riders to report incidents to BART police."

    Commuters were stunned.

    "Racism — Oh my God! Have we come to that now?" Kathy Bertolucci said. And Brian Dorn admitted to being rendered "speechless."

    Buzzfeed editor Sarah Karlan tweeted one of the posters, which has taken off around the web. Stephanie Vanegas of Santa Clara also spotted a poster, which she described on Twitter as "very concise and clear messaging."

    Matt McGown saw a poster on the Richmond train Friday morning affixed in the bottom-right corner of a Warriors ad featuring Draymond Green. He likes the ad, albeit a little "flip," but in his mind, the Bay Area needs to "embrace diversity and denounce bigotry."

    BART rider Warren Johnson agreed. "I think it's good because we all need to come together and that’s a good start right there," he said.

    And while the message seems to be popular among some in the San Francisco Bay Area, BART spokesman Taylor Huckaby said the work is not that of the agency's. In fact, BART is working on its own, more toned-down tolerance campaign after a rider was verbally accosted because of her Assyrian heritage last month.

    "We don't prohibit free speech," Huckaby said.

    In a tweet, BART stressed that "one has the right to hold vile views. However the Bay is NOT fertile ground for bigotry. Look out for one another."

    And in a separate reply to a rider, BART tweeted: "We want to create community and foster empathy, not authoritarianism."

    Huckaby said he wasn't sure how many posters were put on the trains, and where this exact one was taken. But he said the posters will be taken down when they are spotted.

    "We can't have people speaking on behalf of agency using our logo," Huckaby said.

    He added: "Though we can appreciate the value of guerilla art, misrepresenting the District sets a dangerous precedent and is not allowed on the system even when art installations are permitted."

    Photo Credit: Matt McGowen
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    <![CDATA[Bay Area Freebies, Discounts on Election Day]]>Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:35:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Donas+getty+3+jun.jpg

    In the spirit of election season, a number of vendors will be treating Bay Area voters Thursday while folks cast their ballots.

    Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

    Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will be handing out free treats Tuesday to those rocking an "I Voted" sticker.

    Participating locations in the Bay Area include San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Union City and Fremont, according to the company.

    Doughnut lovers in the East Bay won't be so lucky. Shops in Brentwood, Concord, Pinole and Vacaville will not be taking part in the promotion, the company reported.

    Krispy Kreme vendors may request that voters show proof that they accomplished their civic duty, but that's illegal, according to the Voting Law Compliance Handbook. Rules state that "federal law prohibits anything of value being given in exchange for proof of voting" if a federal office position is being decided by voters.


    Fill-up joints around the Bay Area will be offering coffee priced at $1, according to the chain.

    Interested coffee drinkers must use the 7-Eleven mobile app to take advantage of the discounted drink.


    Select vehicles will be available for free in the case that voters need to make a last-minute rush to the polls, according to the company.

    The promotion, which waves reservation charges, will take place from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. local time.

    The ride won't be entirely free as taxes and fees still apply, the company said. Available rides are also expected to sell out quickly so interested customers are encouraged to book their reservation early.


    Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft are offering discounts on rides to the polls on Tuesday.

    Lyft is offering a limited number of 45 percent discounts between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The discount will be capped at $10.

    First-time Uber users will be able to save $20 from their first ride by using promotional code: VOTETODAY.


    Shoppers can take an extra 10, 15 or 20 percent off select items if they use the promotion code "VOTE" at checkout, according to the company.

    Folks can also chop off $10 from their order if they spend $25 or more on certain pieces of merchandise.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Bay Area Robot Roams Lowe's Aisles]]>Thu, 17 Nov 2016 17:55:32 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BUDMAN+SJ+ROBOT+PKG+-+00003013.jpg

    “How ya doin'?”

    That, from a shopper who — literally — ran into a robot while looking for a new refrigerator in San Jose.

    Such is life at Lowe’s, which just rolled out its first shopping robot.

    The robot, which had been tested at OSH Hardware locations (also owned by Lowe’s), is rolling through the aisles – coming to 11 Lowe’s near you.

    Made by Fellow Robots of Mountain View, the robots come with 3D scanners to detect when people walk into the store, as well as laser sensors. They can also help track inventory for the stores. 

    And, they come from comic books!

    According to Kyle Nel of Lowe’s, the company saw the robot shoppers “in a comic book. So, we hired science fiction writers to make the idea come to life,” and then brought Fellow Robot on board.

    It’s the latest example of robots coming into daily life, and if it works at a hardware store — who knows what’s next?

    Scott tracks robots on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Tech Worry About Trump Leads to Silicon Valley Stock Slump]]>Thu, 10 Nov 2016 19:56:52 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_456651566735.jpg

    It’s natural to have some uncertainty about a new President-elect.

    But in the case of Donald Trump, it’s costing Bay Area tech investors a lot of money.

    Even as the Dow — fueled by bank and energy stocks — hit new record highs on Thursday, tech stocks tumbled. Apple stocks fell 3.3 percent, Amazon 4.3 percent, Google parent Alphabet 3.3 percent, and Facebook 4.7 respectively.

    Blame uncertainty. Without knowing where Trump stands on tech, investors are backing away.

    “The problem is there really isn’t a clear bridge between Silicon Valley and Trump’s administration," venture capitalist Hemant Taneja of General Catalyst said.

    Without the bridge? Worry.

    And with worry, comes more selling.

    Scott tracks tech on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
    <![CDATA[The Great Twitter ‘Purge’: Are Accounts Being Unfairly Cut?]]>Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:12:50 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/twitter+generic+logo.jpg

    As if there wasn’t already enough tension surrounding politics and social media, but on Tuesday reports emerged of what some called a Twitter “alt-right purge” – the culling of accounts that spewed hate speech.

    Twitter didn’t comment beyond pointing out that its rules prohibit abuse and harassment, but, as San Jose State media professor Richard Craig says, "We always have freedom of speech in America, but we don’t always have freedom from consequences."

    A good point, but is Twitter cutting some accounts unfairly?

    Andrew Torba, the chief executive officer of social media startup Gab, says he heard "the purge" was coming. He’s no longer on Twitter, leaving 23,000 followers behind. He says some of his fellow Trump supporters were purged, simply because of their political preferences.

    “They’re not anti-Semitic, they’re not white supremacists,” he says. Just Republicans.

    If you’re on Twitter, or the rapidly growing Gab, fear not. You can avoid hate speech, with filters that let you block not only users, but also phrases and words you find offensive.

    Scott tracks tech on Twitter and Gab: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File
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    <![CDATA[Hunter Pence Channels His Inner Napoleon Dynamite]]>Tue, 01 Nov 2016 12:22:52 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/HunterPenceHalloween.png

    San Francisco Giants' outfielder Hunter Pence may have a calling in the acting business once his time on the diamond is up.

    The eccentric and crazy-haired ballplayer tapped into his inner Napoleon Dynamite this Halloween and dawned a "Vote for Pedro" t-shirt, wire-rimmed glasses and black moon boots. Pence capped his impressive display by busting his Napoleon-like dance moves while rocking out to Jamiroquai's single "Canned Heat."

    Pence's soon-to-be-wife Alexis Cozombolidis even chipped in and sported a costume mimicking Napoleon's best friend Pedro.

    In a true tribute to the 2004 comedy and the film's array of memorable lines, Pence captioned his Instagram post "Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!"

    Pence certainly put his skills on full display. The video amassed over 123,000 views as of Tuesday afternoon and that number continues to climb.

    And yes, according to Twitter, it appears as though the 33-year-old Giant shaved his scraggly beard for the occassion.

    Photo Credit: Hunter Pence
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    <![CDATA[Ipsy's First Male Stylist Heads to SF, Dishes on Beauty Biz]]>Thu, 03 Nov 2016 18:56:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ZamoraDiptych.jpg

    Gabriel Zamora stumbled upon his love for makeup by accident.

    The then high school student enjoyed acting, but found that his “small eyes” and “thin, sparse” eyebrows didn’t translate well on camera.

    A Google search for “How to make your eyes bigger” revealed a cache of YouTube videos, replete with demonstrations and suggestions.

    Instantly, the Los Angeles native was hooked.

    “I’m not a trained makeup artist, I never worked at a makeup counter,” Zamora said. “I learned everything from YouTube. So I’m a product of my environment, in a sense, because now I’m working on YouTube videos with makeup.”

    Zamora will join other makeup mavens, including Michelle Phan, Desi Perkins, LustreLux and Christen Dominique, on Nov. 5 and 6 at Ipsy’s Generation Beauty at San Francisco's Pier 27. This is the first time the sold-out event has come to the Bay Area. 

    The journey that started with one product when he was 17 years old – white eyeliner to help his eyes stand out – led Zamora two months ago to the Los Angeles-based beauty-box subscription service. Every month, Ipsy members pay $10 for a Glam Bag that includes samples of a slew of trending beauty products, which they have the option of buying in full size.

    And what makes this breakthrough even more special?

    “I’m the first boy,” Zamora crowed of his newly minted position as an Ipsy stylist.

    The 25-year-old and a handful of other male makeup stylists – think Patrick Starrr, Manny Mua and Jeffree Star – are pioneers in an otherwise female-dominated field.

    “Makeup has no rules, makeup has no boundaries, and now … makeup has no gender,” said Zamora, who will also be the only male makeup artist at Generation Beauty. “I think it’s really fun that we can normalize makeup on an everyday basis.”

    It wasn’t always smooth sailing, though.

    Zamora admits to struggling with self-doubt and anxiety because posting videos online meant he was vulnerable. It wasn’t until February that he was able to move past the crippling fear and post his work on YouTube.

    “It takes a lot of talking to yourself [and] realizing that this industry is going to be a little harsh,” Zamora said. “I get great comments, but I also get those negative comments. There’s a lot of people who say, ‘Men shouldn’t wear makeup’ or ‘Why are you wearing this?’ or other derogatory comments. And you have to get a tough skin.”

    It took time, Zamora acknowledges, but he is finally in a place where he feels comfortable filming himself on YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat and not focusing on the naysayers. Instead, he interacts with his supporters – and moves on.

    That’s what success looks like to Zamora, as well as the feeling of being truly happy with what he does.

    “Makeup is art at the end of the day and you can’t really put art in a box. Art is free … art is sometimes emotion; art should just be an expression of yourself and on yourself, sometimes,” he said.

    By way of advice for other makeup stylists, Zamora suggested using social media to follow others in the field and study their craft. To makeup lovers, who want to try their hand at styling, but are instead stuck on the sidelines, Zamora said: “Just do it.”

    Gabriel Zamora’s obsessions

    Favorite social media platform: Snapchat

    Favorite video editing software: iMovie

    Won’t leave home without: Sunscreen

    Loving that look: No-makeup makeup

    Dying to get my hands on: tarteist PRO Amazonian clay palette

    Foundation: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Matte Foundation

    Concealer: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

    Bronzer: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Give Me Sun!

    Highlighting powder: Bronze Glow by Bobbi Brown

    Blush: Cheeky by Tarte Cosmetics

    Lipstick: Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Gemini

    Eyeshadow: Morphe’s 35O – 35 Color Nature Glow Eyeshadow Palette

    Brows: All Benefit Cosmetics all day

    False lashes: Lilly Lashes

    Makeup brushes: Morphe

    Editor’s note: Gabriel Zamora’s beauty tips have been edited for brevity.

    Photo Credit: Ipsy
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    <![CDATA[Social Media Comes Up Big During Election 2016]]>Wed, 09 Nov 2016 17:23:50 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Twitter-generic1.jpg

    This was the election of social media.

    While polls failed, research failed, and the so-called Clinton Mandate failed, social media soared.

    Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton used Twitter and Facebook to reach out to voters. After the election, those voters — and other observers — used the same sites to celebrate, commiserate and reflect.

    After a night where a record-setting 75 million tweets were sent, “People are sharing today,” San Jose State University media professor Richard Craig said. “Almost everybody is using it to vent.”

    Like a baseball game or award show, it was possible to follow the presidential election, blow-by-blow, on social media.

    And judging by the numbers, many people did just that.

    Scott has elected to be on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
    <![CDATA[Is Apple Gearing Up to Make a Foldable Phone?]]>Wed, 02 Nov 2016 05:11:52 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Apple+Patent.JPG

    A newly issued patent provides a clue about the direction of Apple’s future iPhone: It might fold.

    But not in a bad way.

    The phone could have an interior flexible enough to fold, giving the user twice the screen, without doubling the size, according to the patent.

    Now, admittedly, this is all speculative.

    There is an entire website devoted to Apple's patents — it’s called Patently Apple and it's fun to sift through — most of which have not seen the light of day.

    But foldable technology is coming. We’ve seen almost foldable phones, a foldable TV on Kickstarter, and of course VR goggles, which at least look foldable.

    “You have no limitation anymore,” analyst Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies said about foldable mobile devices. “You’re immersed in the experience.”

    An experience set to change very soon.

    Scott is flexible on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office]]>
    <![CDATA[Viral Letter Urges Nordstrom to Boycott Ivanka Trump's Brand]]>Fri, 28 Oct 2016 16:36:26 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Donald+e+Ivanka+Trump.jpg

    Ivanka Trump is engulfed in a maelstrom of protests against her father.

    A woman, whose Twitter name is Nasty Woman Laura and who uses the handle @SheWhoVotes, has written an open letter to Nordstrom, calling on the department store to boycott Trump’s clothing and accessories line.

    Describing herself as a "lifelong Nordstrom customer," the woman admitted to turning to Nordstrom "for everything but groceries."

    But that trend ended because the woman, whose husband she said is Jewish, is "increasingly conflicted about supporting a store that carries any Trump brands."

    "The hate speech directed at African Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, LGBT people, and women by the Trump campaign is unacceptable and does not seem to represent Nordstrom's values," she wrote, according to a copy of the letter that she posted on Twitter. "Yet Ms. Trump continues to defend it, and Nordstrom continues to defend her."

    The author also accused Trump of providing insufficient maternity leave to female employees and using sweatshops where people are forced to work in "horrific" conditions.

    The woman posted a copy of her letter on Twitter and included the #GrabYourWallet hashtag, which is an effort spearheaded by a Bay Area woman.

    Shannon Coulter, CEO of DoubleKnown Marketing and Communications, said she was inspired after vulgar tapes about Donald Trump groping women surfaced earlier this month.

    Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Marshalls, Amazon, and a slew of other retailers have also received calls and letters demanding that they stop carrying all Trump products.

    The Business Insider reported that @SheWhoVotes’ now-viral letter has been shared on Twitter by upwards of 1,300 people.

    Although the author does not hold Ivanka Trump "responsible for her father’s conduct," she does hold her accountable for being a "vocal surrogate" and defending him.

    However, a spokesperson for Trump said that she is in fact not a campaign surrogate, but the presidential candidate's daughter. 

    The boycott also ignores a statement issued by Trump following the release of the Access Hollywood tapes, the spokesperson said.

    In it, Trump said, "My father's comments were clearly inappropriate and offensive and I'm glad that he acknowledged this fact with an immediate apology to my family and the American people."

    According to Women's Wear Daily, a survey conducted by research company Brand Keys showed that Donald Trump's brand has suffered significant damage during his run at the White House, while Ivanka Trump's has been spared.

    “When the video surfaced on Oct. 7, she was not among the many surrogates and apologists to rush to Mr. Trump’s defense," Brands Keys president Robert Passikoff told WWD. "And, while there’s been large losses to the [Donald] Trump brand and its ability to bring added value to various products and services, Ivanka’s brand does not appear to have suffered the same fate as her father’s."

    For her part, the woman behind @SheWhoVotes acknowledged that Nordstrom "cannot reasonably filter out every brand with questionable business practices or controversial figureheads." However, she stressed, "some brands are so toxic, they will hurt your business by alienating your customers, and this is surely one of them."

    "I cannot, in good conscience, continue to support a store willing to do business with a company that devalues me, my husband, and most Americans," she wrote.

    The woman has since tweeted that Nordstrom has not replied to her letter, and so she has begun shopping elsewhere.

    Nordstrom has yet to respond to NBC Bay Area’s request for comment.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Does Facebook Allow Advertisers to Discriminate?]]>Sun, 30 Oct 2016 12:39:55 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Facebook+Generic.jpg

    The next time you check your Facebook page, notice the ads.

    The social media giant allows advertisers to exclude certain ethnic groups from seeing an ad on their page, ProPublica first reported.

    When you open the page to create an ad you can choose a target audience, but you can also choose groups to exclude based on so-called ethnic affinity. It even shows you how many millions of users wouldn't see the ad.

    “I’m very much concerned about anything that's exclusionary in our society especially in today's climate,” said Rev. Jethro Moore II, president of the NAACP San Jose/Silicon Valley chapter.

    Targeted marketing is not illegal. However, if the advertiser uses the Facebook tool to exclude ethnic groups from housing listings or employment opportunities, attorneys say it would be illegal.

    “I don't think on its face Facebook’s policy is invalid,” said attorney Rodney Moore. “I think it creates a great risk for the marketplace and a great potential legal liability for Facebook if it in fact is used inappropriately."

    Christian Martinez, who heads U.S. multicultural sales at Facebook, took to the company's business page on Friday, and referenced concerns over housing and employment discrimination.

    He wrote: “Our ad policies strictly prohibit this kind of advertising, and it’s against the law. If we learn of advertising on our platform that involves this kind of discrimination, we will take aggressive enforcement action."

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File
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    <![CDATA[Girl Scout Cookie Cereals Set to Hit Store Shelves]]>Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:01:42 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GirlScoutCookieCereal.jpg

    General Mills will soon give you an excuse to satisfy your morning Girl Scout cookie craving.

    Company spokesperson Mike Siemienas confirmed Monday that the juggernaut food company will soon roll out two new sweet cereals resembling Thin Mints and Caramel deLites, which you may know better as Samoas.

    The Girl Scout cookie-styled cereals will be available on store shelves nationwide sometime in January, Siemienas said.

    Further details regarding the breakfast treats will be available closer to the release date.

    The Girl Scouts organization, which has been made famous for selling a variety of delectable cookies since 1917, has been empowering and providing opportunities to young females in the United States and around the world for over a century, according to the organization's website.

    Photo Credit: General Mills]]>
    <![CDATA[Ipsy's Generation Beauty to Debut in San Francisco]]>Fri, 04 Nov 2016 10:10:30 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-91853863.jpg

    Christmas will come early for Bay Area makeup lovers.

    Ipsy, a monthly beauty subscription, is hosting San Francisco’s first-ever Generation Beauty on Nov. 5 and 6. The two-day convention, which was hosted in New York in September, will be hosted at Pier 27 at the Embarcadero.

    The lineup of popular stylists includes Ipsy co-founder Michelle Phan, Gabriel Zamora, LustreLux and Desi Perkins. Benefit, GHD, NYX, Tarte, and Jouer are some of the makeup brands that are slated to make a splash at Generation Beauty.

    And as if that’s not enough, fans will receive a swag bag, which, Ipsy promises, will feature over $200 worth of treats.

    Makeovers, tips and tricks – think bold lips, beauty bling, and hair hues – and up-and-coming products are also on tap at Generation Beauty.

    Admission costs roughly $180 for both days. Generation Beauty will last from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

    For more information, visit www.genbeauty.com.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
    <![CDATA[Young Warriors Fan Shares Nachos with Kevin Durant]]>Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:35:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-591590684.jpg

    Kevin Durant is quickly becoming a fan favorite in the Bay Area.

    Video posted on Instagram shows the newest Golden State Warriors star sharing what is an unforgettable moment for one young fan attending the team's open practice late Wednesday.

    Ronnie Holley's son, Khalil, was checking out the practice at Oracle Arena with nachos in hand when Durant leaned over across the scorer's table and asked, "Did you double dip?"

    Khalil shook his head no and the NBA All Star proceeded to grab a chip, dip it into the fan's cheese sauce and eat it.

    The moment was captured on video by Holley, who posted it on Instagram late Wednesday. The video has since gone viral, having been viewed more than 60,000 times and re-posted countless of times online.

    The 7-year-old student from Turner Elementary in Antioch said Durant apparently got hungry "because when I was eating my nachos, he heard me eating them."

    Khalil said his grandmother got him and his family tickets to watch the Warriors practice because of his good grades. 

    The moment shared with Durant is something Khalil will never forget.

    "My son is on cloud 9 right now," Holley wrote in an Instagram post following the encounter.

    Holley in an interview with NBC Bay Area on Thursday said the encounter was surreal.

    "What you don't see on camera is my wife tears up," he said. "I kind of hold my breath -- a shock and in awe moment. My daughters are frozen in time."

    Photo Credit: Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images
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    <![CDATA['Impossible Burger' Makes Bay Area Debut]]>Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:10:22 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1013-2016-ImpossibleBurger.jpg

    Silicon Valley's well-backed plant based burger with realistic meat taste landed on two prominent Bay Area menus on Thursday.

    The "Impossible Burger" has been developed over the past five years by Redwood City's Impossible Foods, a private company founded by former Stanford University biochemistry professor Patrick O. Brown. Though based in the Bay Area, the product was unveiled in the summer at Momofuku Nishi, a restaurant based in New York City.

    Now it can be found on the lunch menu at Cockscomb ($19), a San Francisco restaurant operated by Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino. In the evenings, it's available in the bar and lounge at chef Traci Des Jardins' Jardinière ($16), where it will be the only burger on the menu, dressed with caramelized onions, avocado, special sauce and a side of pommes frites (fried potatoes).

    Cosentino, who is known for utilizing whole animals in his cooking (and will soon publish a cookbook called Offal Good), serves the Impossible Burger with caramelized onions, lettuce, Gruyère cheese, Grandma Helen's pickles, Dijon mustard and mixed greens. He also offers a pork-based "ham" burger on his menu.

    At a press conference, both chefs praised the versatility of the "meat," made with ingredients including coconut fat, wheat protein, potatoes and heme, a nonprotein that contributes to giving meat its color and juicy flavor. As a result of adding heme, many reports have called the Impossible Burger a "bleeding burger." Though that's not quite accurate, it can lead to a juicy result if not overcooked.

    Des Jardins noted how she liked that the texture and flavor changes as it is cooked, similarly to meat, while Cosentino enjoys how it can be caramelized and crisped.

    "It's a delicious product that I think has the potential to change the way that we eat and the way that we make choices about what we eat," Des Jardins said.

    The Impossible Burger's mission is to not compromise on flavor while delivering a much more environmentally kind and efficient product. It takes only a quarter of the water and five percent of the land that it takes to make a regular beef burger, with no animals harmed or killed in the process.

    Photo Credit: Tamara Palmer]]>
    <![CDATA[San Jose is 'Place to Be' for Electric Car Startup]]>Thu, 13 Oct 2016 19:02:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMG_7073.JPG

    North San Jose is staking its claim as the next Motown.

    LeEco moved in earlier this year, Apple is rumored to be building a car-oriented facility there, and today, NextEV opened up shop.

    NextEV is a China-based company working on electric cars. Not only is it generating new jobs in North San Jose — 250 so far, close to 1,000 planned over the next several years — but also its leadership is generating a buzz.

    Topping the team is CEO Padmasree Warrior. A longtime Cisco executive, Warrior says she was inspired to join the team because of Bay Area traffic.

    "I think any major industry — and maybe I’m biased — starts in Silicon Valley," she said.

    To that, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo added: "This is the place to be, right?"

    No cars to show yet, but an ambitious plan to take on the likes of LeEco and Tesla.

    "You’ll see us testing our cars in the streets” soon enough," Warrior promised

    Scott tracks EVs on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: Scott Budman]]>
    <![CDATA[Muralist Salutes Colin Kaepernick in Oakland]]>Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11:47:16 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/colinkaepernick3.JPG

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received death threats and the dubious title of the most disliked player in the NFL this week.

    But there are plenty of people who like what Kaep's been doing, too: Not standing during the national anthem over issues of equity and police brutality.

    And now, the QB has an Oakland artist who's got his back.

    A muralist who signed the work "FLC" painted a striking image of Kaepernick on what appears to be the back of a garbage structure at 22nd Street and Telegraph Avenue. Across the athlete's face are the words "We Got Your Back." A mural of Ray Charles is on the other side of the wall, and the entire art piece is a block or two away from the Oakland Burmese Mission Baptist Church and a main thoroughfare in the downtown-to-Temescal district.

    The image caught the eye of Pendarvis Harshaw, 29, a journalist and senior communications associate at PolicyLink, who saw it on Thursday walking home from work. After tweeting out a picture of it, Harshaw garnered nearly 1,000 retweets in 15 hours.

    "The illustration speaks volumes," Harshaw said. "It's about the community rallying around the athlete." But he also noted how significant that is in Oakland, home to the rival football team, the Raiders. Oaklanders usually never tip their hats across the bay to the San Francisco 49ers.

    Kaerpernick has indeed divided the country over what constitutes patriotism and received scorn in less progressive parts of the United States. But the biracial football player is a hero to many in Oakland. Several high school students are now starting to grow out their hair in full Afros, which Kaepernick sported a couple of weeks ago. The city of Oakland is comprised of roughly 30 percent African Americans, compared to the rest of the Bay Area, which has just about 7 percent, Census data shows.

    Most recently, his coach, Chip Kelly, who is white, told reporters Thursday afternoon that he also believes his quarterback is standing up, or sitting down, for the right reasons.

    "He's shedding light on a situation that is heinous, it shouldn't happen in this country," Kelly said, regarding police shootings of black men. "You look at what's going on in Tulsa and Charlotte in the last two nights — it's an issue that's in the forefront of our country. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be taken care of because it's not right."

    Photo Credit: Pendarvis Harshaw
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    <![CDATA['You're Fired': Bono Breaks Down Trump’s Wall at U2 Concert]]>Sat, 08 Oct 2016 21:52:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trumpbono.jpg

    U2 took on Donald Trump at the Dreamforce benefit concert Wednesday night in the Bay Area via a virtual face-off: Bono vs. video clips of the Republican presidential candidate.

    As thousands packed the Cow Palace in Daly City to watch the legendary rock band perform, the group’s lead vocalist slammed Trump’s wall with the help of a brilliantly-choreographed pseudo-conversation.

    “Now candidate … the only question we have for you this evening is, what is your vision for this great nation?” Bono asked, to which Trump replied on a pre-made video clip to simulate a read dialogue: “I will build a great, great wall on the southern border of the United States.”

    "A wall? Like the Berlin Wall? Like the Great Wall of China?” Bono asked, as a beaming Trump declared on a giant screen: “And I will have Mexico pay for the wall.”

    Bono, who called Trump “potentially the worst idea that ever happened to America,” on Charlie Rose last month, didn’t hesitate to use the concert to send a strong message to the Republican presidential candidate. The Cow Palace, for the night, was nicknamed the “Cloud Palace” in honor of Salesforce’s massive technology conference in San Francisco.

    “Now candidate, you understand, it’s not just Mexican people who are going to have a problem with this wall of yours,” he said. “It’s everyone who loves the idea of America. Like the Irish, for example, or the French, or the Brazilians. Everyone who believes what they read at the foot of the Statue of Liberty: 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’”

    “If I win they’re going back,” Trump declared in another pre-made clip.

    “All of them, I mean all of us?” Bono asked. “Now candidate, you are going to make a lot of people very upset around here. Good people are not going to stay silent while you run off with the American dream. Alright, candidate? Hear me, candidate. Smart girls in the Bay Area are not going to stay silent, even the nerdy guys around here are getting revved up, not going to stay silent. And these people here, they know a little bit about the business of America. And these guys have a message for you candidate: “You’re fired.”

    Bono then went on to play the now-viral clip where Trump makes the comment about how he wants to punch a protester in the face. “Guys like The Edge? Like Adam Clayton? Like Larry Mullen Jr.? Anyone who stands up to you? Anyone who speaks out, you want to punch him in the face?” Bono asks.

    Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff supported U2’s message in a tweet: “Incredible & riveting political statement as @u2's Bono creates a pseudo conversation with @realDonaldTrump in a surprise set at Dreamfest!”

    U2 raised more than $10 million from sponsorships and ticket sales Wednesday which will go toward helping pediatric care and research at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

    Many Salesforce employees and concert attendees also took to social media to applaud Bono.

    “#Bono vs #Trump at #DF16. Feeling proud to work @salesforce who give a chance to those types of initiatives,” tweeted Olivier Girard.

    “Slay him Bono,” another person tweeted.

    As of 9 a.m. PST, Trump had not directed any tweets toward Bono.

    During his interview with Charlie Rose, Bono didn’t hide his feelings for Trump either.

    "I don't think he's a Republican," he said. "I think he's hijacked the party, and I think he's trying to hijack the idea of America. And I think it's bigger than all of us. I think this is really dangerous ... Wise people of conscience should not let this man turn your country into a casino." 

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    <![CDATA['Faithful Farm': Rooftop Garden at Levi's Stadium]]>Mon, 12 Sep 2016 09:36:02 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-12-16-faithful-farm.jpg

    It's no secret that spinach makes you strong.

    So, it's no wonder that the San Francisco 49ers love their veggies.

    In fact, last week, the executives at Levi's Stadium, where the team plays in Santa Clara, announced the unveiling of a new, 4,000-square foot organic vegetable and herb garden – nicknamed the Faithful Farm – to bring the first-ever rooftop farm to a professional sports venue in the National Football League.

    Baseball has already gotten into the act. For instance, Bon Apetit runs a garden behind the centerfield wall at AT&T Park where the San Francisco Giants play. And there' are rooftop gardens at National Park in Washington, D.C. and on the third base side of the Red Sox's Fenway ballpark in Boston.

    Organizers said the Faithful Farm features nearly 40 crops and herbs that will be harvested for use in dishes served at Levi’s Stadium in club spaces during games and at the more than 200 private events hosted at the stadium each year.

    Levi’s Stadium executive chef Dinari Brown of Centerplate is developing a diverse menu of dishes such as truffled summer squash and ratatouille nicoise, using produce from the farm. Plus, some of the food will be sent to the nonprofits, Hunger at Home and the Salvation Army, stadium officials said.

    “We’re proud to reinforce Levi’s Stadium as an industry leader in environmental sustainability with the addition of the Faithful Farm,” Jim Mercurio, San Francisco 49ers vice president of stadium operations and general manager said in a statement.

    The rootop farm located on the NRG Solar Terrace in Santa Clara has been producing crops such as tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, eggplants, herbs and more since July, organizers said. The Faithful Farm is expected to produce an average of 150 pounds of produce per week, or 7,500 pounds of produce per year.

    Photo Credit: San Francisco 49ers
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    <![CDATA[Future Driverless Car Engineers: Your Class is Online]]>Wed, 14 Sep 2016 18:19:54 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/self-driving+car+video+Udacity+Nanodegree+Team+and+Students+-+00043607.jpg

    The future will likely be full of driverless cars, whether you like it or not.

    But, in order for the Ubers and Googles and Lyfts to roll autonomously, they’ll all need engineers to design and build them.

    Enter: Udacity.

    The Mountain View-based education company on Wednesday announced plans to put a class online that will teach engineer-types about careers in the self-driving car world.

    Seem like a long shot?

    Udacity President Sebastian Thrun says they have 250 slots – and 2,300 applicants, after one day.

    “It’s kind of the hottest topic on the block right now,” he said.

    Udacity will offer three classes, starting in October. Each will cost $800.

    Now, get ready to study, and leave the driving to your algorithm.

    Scott cruises on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: Udacity]]>
    <![CDATA[Kaepernick Wears Socks Depicting Cops as Pigs]]>Thu, 01 Sep 2016 14:33:15 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kaepernick-pig-socks.jpg

    The quarterback at the center of a firestorm because he says he will sit on the bench during the national anthem to stand up for the rights of people of color, has sparked a new discussion — this time over his socks.

    Photos of San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick at an Aug. 10 training session at Kezar Stadium and other practices are now surfacing, showing him wearing black socks with pigs wearing police hats — an obvious dig at police officers.

    "I wore these socks, in the past," Kaepernick wrote on Instagram Thursday, "because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust. I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and work to protect and serve ALL people. So before the socks, which were worn before I took my public stance, are used to distract from the real issues, I wanted to address this immediately."

    In the 16th century, the term pig was derogatory for all people, and then years later, became a popular and unflattering nickname for police officers, according to the Dictionary of Bucking Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence published in 1811.

    For its part, the San Francisco police officers union has demanded an apology from Kaepernick for not standing during the national anthem. President Martin Halloran invited Kaepernick to a training academy to see what a police officer's daily life is like.

    There was no immediate comment from the union on the socks. But the tweets and the digs flew as far away as Vermont, where the Burlington Police Department tweeted: "Wearing 'pig socks' cannot be compared to protesting oppression in broad, powerful messages like Ali, Smith & Carlos. Inspiring vs. crass."

    The socks saga followedwhat Kaepernick told reporters in the locker room on Sunday, when he talked about his disdain for the practices of many in law enforcement, reported CSN Bay Area.

    “There is police brutality,” Kaepernick said. “People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change.

    "There are things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.”

    Amid the criticism over his protest, many veterans this week used the Twitter hashtag #VeteransforKaepernick, saying that they are behind the player's right to express himself. 

    Kaepernick has said that he has "great respect for the men and women who have fought for this country" and his protest is not anti-military.

    A test of how football fans will respond could come Thursday night. Kaepernick is set to be in San Diego when the 49ers play the Chargers in an annual Salute to the Military game.

    The idea behind the salute is to pay "tribute to the hundreds of thousands of current and retired military personnel who live and work in San Diego," the Chargers said in a news release this week.

    In San Diego, the national anthem will be performed by Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell from the U.S. Navy while 240 sailors, marines and soldiers present a U.S. Super Flag and service emblems from all branches of service. Color guards from the Navy, Marine Corps and Army will present the flag, the Chargers said.

    Photo Credit: Ben Margot/AP
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    <![CDATA[SpaceX Rocket Explodes, Takes Down Facebook Satellite]]>Thu, 01 Sep 2016 18:51:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/spacex-explostion-smoke.jpg

    When the SpaceX rocket exploded Thursday morning during a practice test on Cape Canaveral, it badly damaged the reputation of SpaceX and Elon Musk.

    But it took Facebook down a peg as well.

    The Menlo Park-based social networking giant spent close to $200 million on a satellite, with the goal of providing internet access to developing countries.

    In fact, while in Nairobi, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the satellite project, saying it will be used “to make sure that networks spread and reach everywhere.”

    Good for Facebook, and good for people everywhere who want to be connected. But that will have to wait — the satellite was destroyed in the blast.

    “You try to move forward,” says Sinclair Vass of Milpitas-based Viavi.

    Vass knows. He’s been part of tech-related space programs before, and Viavi’s technology is about to help with the NASA launch of a rocket aiming for an asteroid next week.

    “It’s always frustrating,” Vass said about failures. "But it’s part of exploring the frontier.”

    And these launches will continue, with Silicon Valley technology on board.

    Scott can be found stargazing on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: Frank Jakubetz]]>
    <![CDATA[Koko the Gorilla Jams With Flea From Red Hot Chili Peppers]]>Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:49:42 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/210*120/2016-08-23_8-46-00.jpg

    Most people know by now that 45-year-old Koko the gorilla, born at the San Francisco Zoo, knows sign language.

    But who knew she could play bass guitar?

    Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea did. The Australian-born rocker, who apparently is one of the gorilla’s favorites, got to hear Koko strum - or rather, try to strum - at the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California. The foundation posted a short video of their jam session, adding: "Koko rocks a flea bass like it ain't nuthin."

    The Aug. 19 post, also on the Chili Peppers Facebook page, has had more than 11 million views so far.

    Flea appeared to be starstruck by Koko’s rudimentary bass playing.

    “This is the greatest thing that ever happened,” Flea said. “I will never forget.”

    The Gorilla Foundation's development director Jane Narich told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday that it was really great having Flea come to the foundation — the rocker emailed that he wanted to play with Koko about six months ago, and his wish was granted.

    Narich added that Koko has had a long line of famous visitors meet with her over the years including Mister Rogers, Betty White and Robin Williams.

    Koko is probably the world's most famous gorilla, all because she learned American Sign Language in the 1970s with Dr. Penny Patterson.

    Narich is quite enjoying all the buzz. She's hoping the jam session will bring awareness to her foundation, which she would like to upgrade for the other gorillas living there.

    Donations to support the Gorilla Foundation can be made at Koko.org.

    Photo Credit: The Gorilla Foundation
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    <![CDATA[From 'The Face' to 'Finger Wag': How The Olympics Get Social]]>Tue, 09 Aug 2016 19:15:14 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/phelps-face1.jpg

    From “Phelps Face” to “Hijabi Zorro” to a single finger wave launching an international discussion, it’s clear that the 2016 Olympics are happening not just on the athletic fields, and certainly not just on your TV.

    They’re social, with millions of tweets and Facebook posts flying around so fast that it’s easier to keep up with the Rugby hits and Volleyball spikes than the viral mentions.

    “Everyone’s gonna talk about it,” says Sean Chauhan of NetBase, a Silicon Valley company that tracks online social trends. “Now, I can experience and participate with my phone and computer.”

    And they are.

    According to data science company 4C, Adam Peaty’s record in the 100-meter breaststroke set off more than 211,000 Twitter engagements; Ginny Thrasher of Team USA’s win in the air rifle competition got 220,000 tweets.

    That’s a lot of action – all on the mobile screen.

    Photo Credit: NBC]]>
    <![CDATA[Silicon Valley Tech Boosting NASA’s Asteroid Mission]]>Fri, 09 Sep 2016 18:04:23 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NA60R+NASA+ASTEROID+MISSION+LAUNCH_09-08-16+-+000012011.jpg

    It has everything, except Ben Affleck: A trip to an asteroid, an $800 million budget, five million miles of travel, and Silicon Valley tech along for the ride.

    NASA successfully launched a rocket that, if all goes as planned, will end up on an asteroid called Bennu.

    The goal is to scoop up a little of Bennu’s surface, which is said to possibly contain some of the same building blocks as the Earth.

    Milpitas-based Viavi is providing an optical filter, to help NASA analyze what’s on Bennu’s surface.

    “The end goal is to really understand the origins of human life as well as the universe itself,” said Viavi’s spokesman Sinclair Vass.

    An ambitious project, with a little piece of the Bay Area on board.

    Scott blasts on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: NASA]]>
    <![CDATA[Supermodel Tyra Banks to Teach Class at Stanford University]]>Fri, 19 Aug 2016 20:50:34 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_476387618231.jpg


    Supermodel Tyra Banks is slated to teach a class at Stanford University next spring.

    It remains to be seen whether smiling with the eyes – a phrase she coined as a host of America’s Next Top Model on the CW Network – will be part of the Graduate School of Business class curriculum.

    Banks, 42, will, however, team up with professor Allison Kluger for the spring elective titled “Project You: Building & Extending Your Personal Brand.” In 2011, the businesswoman earned a Harvard Business School diploma in a nine-week-long Owner/President Management program.

    The chairman of Tyra Banks Co. and founder of Fierce Capital, LLC was spotted at the Palo Alto school last month. According to Stanford, the Inglewood native discussed the importance of hiring the right people, making cold calls, and knowing when to pivot, as part of the university’s Women in Business series.

    Banks and Kluger met at the discussion and decided to team up, the Mercury News said.

    "For the first 30 minutes of the class, I'm raising my hand, I'm all into it, 'cause it's kind of like theory and just like, the social part of the case," Banks told VH1, the newspaper reported. "The last hour it's all like Einstein and algebraic equations and craziness.

    "And I'm just like, what the (heck) is going on? Please don't call on me because it won't be pretty."

    Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Zuckerberg Troubled by Castile Death on FB Live]]>Fri, 08 Jul 2016 09:39:48 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/AP_16189542220756-diamond.jpg

    The man whose company created Facebook Live said on Facebook he was troubled by what happened in the viral video taken by Philando Castile’s girlfriend just after he was fatally shot by a police officer in Minnesota.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t tout his new live-streaming video service in his three-paragraph post on Thursday, or say outright that his technology allowed for the world to see a graphic account of what has become a disturbing national trend: Black men getting killed by police.

    In this case, the black man, a 32-year-old cafeteria worker, was pulled over Wednesday for a broken tail light and then was shot to death by St. Anthony, Minn. Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez as he was reaching for his wallet, as his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said in the live video. Castile also had a license to carry a concealed weapon, which his girlfriend said Castile also specificallly told the officer before he started reaching into his pocket.

    Zuckerberg simply stated his grief and worry about what's being going on across the United States.

    “My heart goes out to the Castile family and all the other families who have experienced this kind of tragedy. My thoughts are also with all members of the Facebook community who are deeply troubled by these events,” he posted. His post, as of Friday morning, had been shared, more than 14,000 times, and received more than 200,000 comments.

    The first person to comment, Edward Craig, praised Zuckerberg and the Menlo Park-based social media giant for allowing citizens to document history, good or bad, for all to see.

    “Your Facebook platform is not just changing the entertainment world," he wrote, "but it's dramatically improving peoples' sense of themselves and their relationship to power. Mark, you've done good, kid. Thank you for giving the marginalized a voice. It was a serious history altering day, thanks to Facebook.”

    Photo Credit: AP
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    <![CDATA[Branding Expert Says Lochte Apology 'Not Enough']]>Fri, 19 Aug 2016 18:14:10 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-08-19-at-11.58.01-AM.jpg

    He did it on the web, and the web reacted.

    American swimmer Ryan Lochte has had a lot of success in the pool. A bit less, lately, online.

    After posting an apology on Instagram and then Twitter, it was parsed, largely because people said it didn’t go far enough.

    At the center of this maelstrom is a late-night incident at a Rio gas station that the 12-time medalist insists was a robbery. Brazilian police, however, said Lochte and three other swimmers vandalized a bathroom and were confronted by armed security guards before they paid for the damage and left.

    We showed Lochte's post to branding expert Jeff Holmes of a San Jose-based marketing company, 3 Marketeers.

    His reaction?

    "Every time he comments, he's in the media for another 24 hours. If he would stop, make his apology, it could go away," Holmes said.

    He has a point.

    Even Lochte pointed out that “there has already been too much said …”

    But Holmes has a larger point.

    Calling Lochte Gate the worst part of an otherwise successful games, he says Lochte did himself irreparable damage. The hashtag #LochMess even went viral on Twitter on Thursday.

    “He's got the look, he's got the medals, he's got all that going for him, but he lacks integrity," says Holmes. "What brand is gonna want to stand behind somebody who doesn't have integrity?"

    Scott swims through Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: Globo]]>
    <![CDATA[Could Drone Racing Be an Olympic Sport?]]>Thu, 11 Aug 2016 18:51:54 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6P+OLYMPIC+DRONE+RACING+PKG+-+00000000.jpg

    It’s one of the fastest moving, fastest growing sports in the world.

    Could drone racing be flying into the Olympic Games?

    Rumor has it that it’s the latest sport to be thrown into the “should be in the games” mix, joining bridge, chess, tug of war, pole dancing, and others.

    After 700,000 drones were sold last year alone, drone racing is catching on fast.

    "Unlike a lot of other sports that require a very particular set of skills or body type, or strength, drone racing is open to just about anybody," Marque Cornblatt of Aerial Sports League said.

    He also said many drone racers are 12 and 13 years old. It’s a growing sport, a young sport, and a fast-moving sport, Cornblatt said.

    Maybe coming to a worldwide venue near you?

    Stay tuned.

    Scott drones on Twitter: @scottbudman

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Ayesha Curry Still Regrets NBA Finals 'Rigged' Tweet]]>Fri, 08 Jul 2016 03:48:58 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/517699976-ayesha-curry-steph-curry.jpg

    Ayesha Curry regrets sounding off about the NBA Finals being rigged in a tweet after Game 6 that quickly went viral.

    Coming to the defense of her husband, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, the 27-year-old Canadian native blamed the team's Game 6 loss on a "rigged" system.

    "I've lost all respect sorry this is absolutely rigged for money... Or ratings in not sure which. I won't be silent. Just saw it live sry," she wrote in a tweet that was later deleted.

    Curry was called for a foul during the game, and her tweet was rooted in the belief that it stopped the team from going on to a victory.

    While Ayesha Curry subsequently explained she "tweeted in the heat of the moment because the call was uncalled for," nearly a month later she's airing her regret over the entire ordeal.

    "I was just a fan in that moment so I didn't think about the ramifications," she told People. "I regret the way that I voiced how hurt I was. I felt hurt for [Steph], and I didn't mean to offend anybody. Obviously, what I wrote is not what I think about what he does for a living."

    Reporter Pits Ayesha Curry Against LeBron James' Wife and Ayesha's Response Is Perfect

    Though some time has already passed since the social media faux pas, Curry has bared the brunt of digital bullying.

    "Since all this hoopla has happened, I have been a victim of reading the comments," she explained to the magazine. "It hurts my feelings because I didn't intend to hurt anybody. I apologized for it, and I feel like people should move on. There's a lot more serious things going on in the world."

    Curry's husband has his wife's back.

    "I know her intentions. I know where she was coming from," he told People. "You're not going to win any battles on Twitter, so I tell her, 'Keep being you. Keep doing what you're doing. Don't worry about what people are going to say.'"

    Stars Playing Basketball

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, FIle]]>
    <![CDATA[Dog Skateboards at Giants Game at AT&T Park]]>Thu, 07 Jul 2016 09:19:31 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/skateboard1.jpg

    There are more questions than answers about a dog skateboarding - twice so far this season - at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

    What's the dog's name? How did the black-and-white mix learn to skateboard? Who shot the video? Who owns the talented pooch?

    The latest skateboarding sighting was June 28 at a Giants vs. A's game, following a June 13 sighting along the same concourse on June 13 at a Giants vs. Brewers game.

    Perhaps none of this really matters, as the most important part is simply to get a giggle by watching this unusual feat. The dog's definitely got talent.

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    <![CDATA[Stanford Ranked Top College in America ]]>Tue, 05 Jul 2016 17:11:04 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/174*120/GettyImages-493193647.jpg

    Stanford University has been ranked the No. 1 Top College in the country for 2016, according to Forbes.

    Following behind Stanford University was Williams College, Princeton University and Harvard University.

    “No one could have imagined that in the following century–plus this startup school would emerge as the nation’s preeminent university, which in large part created today’s Silicon Valley, the cult of entrepreneurship and a global boom of digital disruption,” stated the Forbes article

    In the list of the Top 25 Colleges for 2016 released by Forbes on Monday, the high ranking schools all prove to have the highest retention rates in the country with minimal student debt.

    Described as “Higher ed in transition” the 9th annual Top Colleges rankings are based on a firm Forbes belief: What is the return on investment (ROI)?

    A list curated alongside the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Department of Education, Payscale and the America’s Leader’s list looked for factors concerning students directly, not what is required to be accepted into the college.

    The 660 colleges across the nation were ranked on categories of student satisfaction, postgraduate success, student debt, four-year graduation rate and academic success.

    The full list of all 660 schools will be announced on July 6, you can see the Top 25 Colleges of 2016 below.

    The 25 Top Colleges 2016

    1. Stanford University
    2. Williams College
    3. Princeton University
    4. Harvard University
    5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    6. Yale University
    7. Pomona College
    8. Brown University
    9. Wesleyan University
    10. Swarthmore College
    11. University of Pennsylvania
    12. Amherst College
    13. University of Notre Dame
    14. U.S. Military Academy 
    15. Northwestern University
    16. Columbia University
    17. Dartmouth College
    18. Tufts University
    19. Bowdoin College 
    20. University of Chicago
    21. Georgtown University
    22. Boston College
    23. Haverford College
    24. U.S. Naval Academy
    25. Davidson College

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Bay Area Universities Rank High on Forbes America's Top Colleges]]>Wed, 06 Jul 2016 18:11:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-52237594_594_screen.jpg

    The completed list of Forbes America’s Top Colleges has been released and Bay Area Universities are ranking high.

    Not only was Stanford University ranked the No. 1 top college in the country, but UC Berkeley also made the list at No. 40 followed by Santa Clara University at No. 88 out of 660 schools across the nation.

    But that wasn’t all; UC Davis was ranked No. 125 and UC Santa Cruz No. 200.

    The 660 colleges across the nation were ranked on categories of student satisfaction, postgraduate success, student debt, four-year graduation rate and academic success.

    The list was curated alongside the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Department of Education, Payscale and the America’s Leader’s list looked for factors concerning students directly, not what is required to be accepted into the college 

    The full list of the Top Colleges of 2016 is up now, but you can see all the Bay Area schools that ranked below.

    America’s Top Colleges 2016

    Stanford University #1

    University of California, Berkley #40

    Santa Clara University #88

    University of California, Davis #125

    University of California, Santa Cruz #200

    University of San Francisco #231

    San Jose State University #315

    San Francisco State University #374

    California State University, Chico #384

    California State University, Sacramento #429

    California State University, East Bay #465

    California State University, Stanislaus #475

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Tesla Creates 'Golden Ticket' Contest for 12 Model 3 Owners]]>Thu, 30 Jun 2016 12:08:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tesla-Factory-AP_924536002086.jpg

    Who needs a Willy Wonka chocolate bar when you can drive a Tesla?

    The Fremont, California company quietly created a “Golden Ticket” drawing for the 150,000 Model 3 reservation holders who placed a pre-order during the first day and randomly selected 12 winners to receive an all-expense paid trip to on July 29 the Gigafactory Grand Opening in Reno, Nevada, Electrek first reported on Thursday.

    The site obtained one of the dozen emails sent to the lucky winners. The Model 3, which is expected out in late 2017, is starting at $35,000 and promises 215 miles of range per charge and can speed up from zero to 60 mph in under 6 seconds.

    Tesla confirmed the offer was real in an email to Elecktrek.

    The Verge reported that a number of Tesla VIPS have been invited to the party, but have to pay their own way.

    The Reno Gigafactory produces lithium ion battery packs for Tesla cars.

    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Santa Clara Native Crowned Miss California]]>Wed, 06 Jul 2016 20:37:20 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MissAmericaCrown-GettyImages-56652160.jpg

    First it was Miss North Bay 2016 and as of Saturday night, Jessa Carmack is the newly crowned Miss California 2016.

    The 22-year-old Santa Clara native not only claimed the title, but also received a $20,000 scholarship. As a recent San Jose State graduate, Carmack is looking forward to using her scholarship to pay off her loans and help fund her graduate studies.

    In an interview with the Fresno Bee, Carmack said, “I’m so incredibly grateful and proud to be representing the state of California and I cannot wait for my year to come.”

    As the newly crowned Miss California, Carmack hopes to use her crown to reach out to people across the state and promote her platform, "Building a Healthy Future."

    Despite her new title, Carmack is already mentally preparing herself for her next competition in September: Miss America.

    “I know that these next months are going to be fast-paced and chaotic preparing for Miss America,” Carmack told the Fresno Bee. “Any chance I get, I want to thank my friends and family because without them I would be able to be where I am today.”

    View the full report on the Fresno Bee.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Some Hawaii Neighbors Grumbling About Mark Zuckerberg's Wall]]>Tue, 28 Jun 2016 07:48:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FinishedWall-zuckerberg-6-30-16.jpg

    HONOLULU (AP) — Some of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's neighbors are grumbling about a rock wall he's having built on his property on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

    Retiree Moku Crain said Tuesday the wall looks daunting and forbidding. Crain hopes and expects Zuckerberg will soften the wall's look by planting foliage around it.

    The wall began going up about four to six weeks ago. It runs along the property next to a road in the semi-rural community of Kilauea.

    "Whereas before when we drove along the road we could see the ocean and see through the property, it's closing off that view," Crain said. "So I think that's part of it. Nobody likes change."

    Crain estimated the wall was about 6 feet tall and that another existing wall on the property was only about 4 feet. Few would complain if the new wall was built at the same height, Crain predicted.

    Lindsay Andrews, a spokeswoman for the Silicon Valley billionaire's Kauai property operations, says the rock wall is designed to reduce highway and road noise. Similar walls are routinely used for this purpose, she said. The wall follows all rules and regulations, she said.

    "Our entire team remains committed to ensuring that any development respects the local landscape and environment and is considerate of neighbors," she said in a statement.

    Other neighbors told The Garden Island newspaper on Kauai that the wall was oppressive, blocks breezes and views and "doesn't feel neighborly."

    But software engineer Brian Catlin said the fence looks nice. He said it's an improvement on the barbed wire fence that was there. He said the complaining was limited to "just a few crybabies" and "nobody else cares."

    "If they wanted to protect the view, they should have bought that land," Catlin said. "He paid a lot of money for that so he can do what he wants with it."

    Catlin insisted the rock wall was less than 6 feet tall because that's how tall he is and he can see over it.

    Forbes reported Zuckerberg paid over $100 million for the property, which spans more than 700 acres on the coast, in 2014.

    Catlin said it was a good thing Zuckerberg bought the property because a previous landowner had plans to build a housing development on part of it, which would have increased cars and traffic. The Garden Island newspaper reported in 2014 that a 357-acre section of the property called the Kahuaina plantation had been subdivided for 80 luxury homes of up to seven acres a piece.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

    Photo Credit: Gy Hall/The Garden Island
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    <![CDATA[President Obama Surprises Guests at SF's Twenty Five Lusk]]>Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:03:04 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16175573082431.jpg

    Folks taking in happy hour at San Francisco's Twenty Five Lusk were treated with quite the surprise when President Barack Obama strolled in Thursday.

    Video posted on Instagram by Alex Dwyer shows Obama greeted with cheers while walking into the trendy South of Market District restaurant and bar.

    "It's pretty cool," Dwyer said of the experience.

    Dwyer, 27, who works at a tech startup just a block away from the restaurant, knew something was up when he arrived for happy hour with co workers.

    "They said there was a special event happening and the whole street was blocked off," Dwyer said.

    Dwyer said anyone entering the restaurant received an "airport security type pat down" before gaining access.

    It was at that moment he had a hunch the president just may be stopping by. And when Obama arrived, it marked the second time Dwyer was able to see him.

    "I met (Obama) during my first year in college randomly when he arrived at my church in South Carolina," Dwyer said.

    Obama earlier in the day landed at Moffett Field in Mountain View. The president is in the Bay Area to headline the seventh annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University's Memorial Auditorium, where he will make remarks during a partner plenary scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday.

    Other speakers include Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and AOL co-founder Steve Case.

    He will then take part in a Google Portal virtual conversation with entrepreneurs at the university shortly after noon Friday.

    The president is scheduled to depart from Moffett Field at 1:35 p.m. Friday for Seattle, where he will speak at a reception for Gov. Jay Inslee and a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event.

    Obama attended Democratic fundraisers during his last two visits to the Bay Area in February and April.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: AP
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    <![CDATA[Major Movement Detected Along San Andreas Fault ]]>Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:35:01 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/creeping+segment+san+andreas+fault.jpg

    A new analysis of GPS data has revealed previously undiscovered movement along the San Andreas Fault, which forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American plate and spans much of California.

    According to the analysis, which is built on records that have been available for over a decade, large sections of land on either side of the fault are moving up or down every year in what, seismically speaking, could be considered "major movement."

    "While the San Andreas GPS data has been publicly available for more than a decade, the vertical component of the measurements had largely been ignored in tectonic investigations because of difficulties in interpreting the noisy data,” said Samuel Howell, the lead author of the study. “Using this technique, we were able to break down the noisy signals to isolate a simple vertical motion pattern that curiously straddled the San Andreas fault.”

    The GPS records, which were studied by a slew of research teams from University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Washington and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, also reveal nearly 125-mile long "lobes" of motion that straddles the fault system. Although the motion has been predicted before, it had never been documented.

    To anyone who isn't studying fault lines, the data may not mean much at this point. But many researchers have said that this new insight into how the fault operates could help them predict "The Big One" -- the large earthquake that many believe is overdue to hit California.

    <![CDATA[Warriors Splinter on Repercussions of Game 7 ]]>Sun, 19 Jun 2016 14:41:37 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/uspresswire-warriors-kerr-curry.jpg

    After nearly nine months reaping the benefits of unity, being of one mindset, the Warriors are, in at least one regard, splintering as they approach Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

    A loss would slap the term “failure” on this season, say guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

    “Yeah, pretty much, because that was our goal from the beginning,” Curry said Saturday, on the eve of Game 7, echoing comments Thompson made two days earlier.

    A loss would not define the season as a failure, says coach Steve Kerr, who took mild umbrage that someone would frame such a question.

    “I don’t want to insult anybody,” Kerr said. “I think that’s an unfair question. And I never look at sports that way, and I think it’s insane.

    “With all due respect to Klay, of course, it’s insane to actually say that. Like, really? Come on.”

    What we have here may be less a difference of opinion than a disparity in perspective.

    Kerr is 50 years old. He’s in coaching after completing a 15-year playing career, during which he won five championships with two different franchises. He’s a married father of three. He’s coping with the lingering agony of back surgeries performed last summer but have yet to heal.

    He also carries with him, every day since he was 18 years old, the brutal assassination of his father, Malcolm Kerr. 

    Curry and Thompson are, by contrast, two young men in the primes of their careers with a completely different outlook on life.

    Curry and Thompson look at Game 7 as a referendum on them and their status in today’s NBA. 

    Kerr looks at Game 7 as, well, Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

    “Reputations from the critics, and that’s all part of this machine that the NBA is, and that’s why we all make a lot of money,” Kerr said. “That’s why it doesn’t bother me. So everybody’s reputation is at stake in terms of legacy or whatever and what people write. But in terms of the people that matter – your family members, your friends, your teammates, the people in the organization – nobody’s reputation is at stake. 

    “We’re trying to win a game, and it doesn’t change anything about anybody on either team, win or lose. It changes the narrative in the media, and that’s the deal. That’s the deal we accept when we sign up for this stuff.” 

    Kerr and his players do agree on the desire to win another championship. It’s there, in full, for all.

    “We’re here on Game 7 with a chance to do it,” Curry said. “We’ve had two chances already and haven’t gotten it done. We have 48 minutes to do it. So if we come up short, we’ll all be very, very disappointed. No two ways around that.”

    Photo Credit: The Associated Press]]>
    <![CDATA[Google Reacts to Grandma's Super Polite Searches ]]>Fri, 17 Jun 2016 21:01:25 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/731664041.jpg

    A U.K man's tweet about his grandmother's oddly polite internet use has gone viral, and its even garnering the attention of Google. 

    It all started last week when Twitter user (and apparent nosy grandson) Ben John found his "nan's" laptop open and was immediately amused by her search queries. It became clear to him that she types "please" and "thank you" when using Google's search engine. Naturally, he tweeted a photo of his find and the whole thing went viral: 

    John told BBC News he was curious about the odd habit and asked her why she did that. 

    "I asked my nan why she used 'please' and 'thank you' and it seemed she thinks that there is someone, a physical person, at Google's headquarters who looks after the searches," he told the news organization. "She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker." 

    His original tweet quickly went viral, for many different reasons. Some thought his grandma was sweet, some thought her etiquette was a throwback to generations past and others just got a good chuckle out of it. Eventually, the tweet made its way back to Google, whose company headquarters are in the Bay Area's Mountain View.

    Apparently, employees there found the whole thing just as amusing as the 45,000 other people who favorited the tweet. The UK team even personally answered her question Wednesday — meaning that, this time, there really was a real person answering her query:

    Ben's nan, whose real name is May Ashworth, hasn't let her newfound viral fame change her. Ben told CBC News they celebrated the "weird" experience with a cup of tea — and, in a toast to the internet age, a selfie: 

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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    <![CDATA[Tim Cook Reacts to Fla. Shooting]]>Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:59:59 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-539895888.jpg

    Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the massacre in Orlando and asked for a moment of silence Monday at the tech giant's annual developer's conference.

    Cook spoke to the crowd Monday at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco during the weeklong Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company touted its new line of smart watches and TV features. 

    Cook wrote at length about being gay in a 2014 op-ed, and on Monday celebrated the multiculturalism of Apple’s own Cupertino-based workforce.

    "At Apple, we celebrate our diversity. We know that it makes us stronger and moves everyone forward," Cook told the audience, saying the massacre of at least 49 people at a gay nightclub Sunday was a "senseless, unconscionable act of terrorism and hate, aimed at dividing and destroying."

    He called for silence, and as the audience hushed for a moment in the dark theater, Cook wiped a tear from his eye.

    Having diversity in the world, Cook said Monday, “makes us stronger and moves everyone forward.”

    Since Cook came out to the public, he's supported several LGBT causes, including last year when he lent his name to an anti-discrimination bill in his native state of Alabama

    Last spring, under Cook's leadership, Apple announced it was giving $50 million to nonprofits to recruit a more diverse tech workforce. Most recently, in March, Cook and other tech leaders signed letters of disapproval to the North Carolina's governor over a state law derided by the Department of Justice for limiting legal protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[SFPD on SF Pride Safety ]]>Sun, 12 Jun 2016 17:13:29 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/169*120/sfpride172002475.jpg

    Following Sunday’s deadly massacre in Florida and reports that another mass killing may have been planned in Los Angeles, San Francisco organizers are assessing security measures ahead of the city’s annual SF Pride festival.

    The festival, which is slated to take place on June 25 and 26, draws thousands of people from all over the globe to celebrate diversity and gay pride. With such large crowds, many prospective attendees have expressed concern that the event will be a target for crazed gunmen like Omar Mateen, who on Sunday shot and killed at least 50 people and wounded at least 53 more at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

    Vigils have been planned across the Bay Area to honor the victims. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other Bay Area politicians quickly released statements expressing solidarity with Florida. 

    SF Pride released its own statement that addressed some of the safety concerns. The hosting organization said the “most important thing” is to “continue our plans for our 46th annual parade and celebration and let terrorists against our community, and Democracy, know that we will be unbowed and unbroken by this attack.”

    The organization said it was working with the San Francisco Police Department to do a security review and determine additional measures it could take to ensure public safety.

    The city’s police department also released a statement saying it had been working with SF Pride for months to ensure a safe environment for the all-ages event, and that more security reviews were scheduled between Sunday’s tragic events and the festival.

    In the meantime, the department announced that it would be increasing police presence in bustling areas, including areas with popular transit, shopping and entertainment locales. Officers were quick to remind the public that there was no known threat to San Francisco.

    "We remind the public, if you see something, say something!” a spokesperson for the department told NBC Bay Area.

    <![CDATA[Prankster Trolls San Jose Wikipedia Page]]>Sat, 04 Jun 2016 21:45:59 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trolling+San+Jose.jpg

    A mysterious prankster has been altering the Wikipedia entry for the city of San Jose, and it appears the Stanley Cup Final taking place in the city may have something to do with it. 

    The Wikipedia entry for San Jose has been altered in recent days. The page had listed Mike Sullivan, a former hockey player for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the team's current coach, as the city's mayor as of Saturday morning. It looks to be a jibe against the San Jose Sharks, who are facing off against the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final. 

    By Saturday evening, the troller's edits seem to have been fixed and the real mayor, Sam Liccardo, was listed in his correct position.  

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
    <![CDATA[Trump Supporters Egged in San Jose]]>Fri, 03 Jun 2016 13:15:21 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_497860005643-trump.jpg

    The unidentified woman who got egged Thursday night at a raucous Donald Trump rally became a flashpoint and a trending Twitter moment as the Republican presidential candidate spoke at the San Jose Convention Center.

    Her identity remained a mystery on Friday. Even a front desk employee at the Hilton San Jose hotel where she was attacked, didn't think she was a guest there.

    But her image was documented by reporters, citizen journalists and photographers, showing the aftermath of what happened to her: Her blond hair and cheeks were streaked with egg yolk.

    Sara Murray from CNN also captured the woman, who appears to be in her 30s and wearing a red-white-and-blue USA Trump T-shirt, entering the hotel, which is connected to the convention center. Murray tweeted that the woman “flipped the bird and taunted” anti-Donald Trump protesters, who in turn, threw egg on her. Other witnesses told NBC Bay Area that the woman and her friend were harassing them, and yelling racist remarks before the egg was lobbed.

    Before the egging, video taken by NBC News correspondent Jacob Rascon showed Trump haters holding Mexico's flag and yelled the F--- word at her, and blowing loud horns in a tense protest that left one police officer assaulted and yielded "a few arrests."

    In an interview Friday, Rascon said it's possible the woman flipped off Trump critics earlier, but he didn't see it. He said he watched the scene for about two minutes and only saw her getting harassed. "She was rushed," he said.

    After she was egged, the woman didn't flinch. Instead, she smiled and fist-pumped the air, despite being covered in goo.

    Rascon said he didn't get the woman's name as she "went right into the hotel" after she was hit.

    Whether getting egged was appropriate opened a vigorous debate about the First Amendment, which allows for free speech, but not for physical harm. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo had harsh words for Trump, but also for the violent protesters. Many on the right bashed "liberals" and Mexicans for being the likely perpetrators. Even those on the left said they were embarrassed for the unnecessary vitriol. The Associated Press noted that at least a dozen or more people were punched and Trump hats were snatched off heads and set on fire.

    The anonymous woman wasn't the only person egged at a Trump-fest. In April, Santiago Mejia, a New York photographer, snapped a photo of a bearded man with glasses looking at some egg yolk on his shirt.

    Photo Credit: AP
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    <![CDATA[Petition Calls for Stanford Assault Judge's Removal ]]>Thu, 09 Jun 2016 23:57:55 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0607-2016-AaronPersky.jpg

    After garnering nearly 1 million signatures, several advocacy groups will submit petitions on Friday calling for the ousting of the Santa Clara judge who ruled in the Stanford sexual assault case.

    The petitions will be submitted 12 p.m. Friday at the California Commission on Judicial Performance office in San Francisco. A rally will be held outside on Golden Gate Avenue, according to activist groups. 

    Santa Clara Federal Judge Aaron Persky has been the subject of national scrutiny following the six-month jail sentence he handed down to Brock Turner, a former Stanford swimmer who was seen and later convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a university frat party. Many have also accused Persky, who is a former Stanford athlete himself, of showing bias in favor of Turner.

    The embattled judge slid into a new six-year term on Tuesday. Voters didn't get a chance to remove him from his post through the ballot, as he ran unopposed.

    Stanford law professor Michele Landis Dauber, along with organizers from advocacy groups UltraViolet, Daily Kos and MoveOn, are slated to speak at the rally.   

    "With one-in-four women sexually assaulted in college, we need judges who work to protect survivors, not their rapists," said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, announcing the rally. "The California Commission on Judicial Performance must move swiftly to remove Judge Persky from the bench and send a clear signal that rape apologists will never be tolerated as part of the criminal justice system."

    All told, UltraViolet’s petition collected about 824,000 signatures since it launched earlier this week, while petitions from MoveOn and Daily Kos culled 167,000 combined. There have been a slew of other petitions calling for Persky’s removal.

    The 6-month sentence, which a parole board recommended, roiled victims' rights groups and ushered the case to the forefront of a growing conversation about sexual assaults on college campuses. A searing, 12-page account of the attack that the victim wrote has been shared thousands of times on social media.

    "My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me," wrote the victim. "You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today."

    The letter, which has been haralded for its bravery, will also be read aloud next week during a meeting of U.S. House of Representatives. 

    Since the sentencing hearing last month, a high school guidance counselor apologized for writing a letter supporting the assailant, and Vice President Joe Biden penned an open letter praising the victim for her courage.

    "You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted—year after year after year,” Biden wrote. “A culture that promotes passivity. That encourages young men and women on campuses to simply turn a blind eye."

    Turner, who is likely to serve three-months of his sentence, is appealing his conviction. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. 

    Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
    <![CDATA[Bernie Sanders Fans Line Up for Miles in Oakland]]>Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:42:40 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bernieoakland.jpg

    As Donald Trump plans to descend on the San Jose Convention Center Thursday night, his polar opposite, Bernie Sanders, released a time-lapse video showing the progressive presidential candidate’s last stop in Oakland on Memorial Day.

    Oakland police estimated about 20,000 people came to Frank Ogawa Plaza at City Center Monday evening to see Sanders speak – and don a Warriors cap, hours before the basketball team clinched the Western Conference Finals.

    While he trails behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the polls, and it’s unclear who would better beat Trump in the general elections, Sanders definitely has loving fans in the Bay Area.

    His Facebook video, which had more than one million views and 17,000 shares on Thursday, shows how the line to see him speak went on for miles.

    “Hillary Clinton said the primary is over," the Sanders camp posted."Donald J. Trump thinks we can be ignored. Oakland California disagrees.”

    Photo Credit: Lisa Fernandez
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    <![CDATA[Noah Builds Ark, Priest Builds Shark]]>Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:14:15 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sharks+mache1.jpg

    Well, Noah built the ark to save all the animals.

    And Father Brendan McGuire built larger-than-life-size paper mache shark and penguin to root on his beloved hockey team on the steps of his home at the Holy Spirit Church in San Jose.

    Together with friends and parishioners Jed DeTorres and Andy Perrucci, the trio cut wood and bent chicken wire, dipped newspaper into a gooey glue and painted the whimsical structures on Sunday, just after the last Mass.

    “I promised Joe Pavelski that if they made it to the finals, I’d build a shark,” McGuire said on Wednesday, referring to the San Jose Sharks hockey captain, who is also a member of the church.

    The Sharks made history by making it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in the team’s 25-year history and they’re playing the Pittsburgh Penguins – documented by the priest and his pals by the smaller paper mache object inside the big shark’s mouth. (Perhaps a reference to Jonah and the whale?)

    On Monday, the Sharks lost to the Penguins 3-2 in Game 1.

    The church is a hotbed of Sharks activity. The team’s trainer, Mike Potenza, “comes all the time,” McGuire said, adding that parishioners frequently offer him tickets to see the games.

    For now, McGuire is getting a kick out of the hockey fans stopping by 6546 Crown Boulevard in San Jose’s Almaden neighborhood to pose and take selfies in front of the display. In fact, McGuire's been taking his own selfies, dressed in his collar as well as a teal Sharks jersey.

    He may also be praying for a small miracle. Game 2 is on Wednesday at 5 p.m

    Photo Credit: Father Brendan McGuire ]]>
    <![CDATA[Police Help Rescue Stranded Sea Lion in SF]]>Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:18:47 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0531-2016-SFSeaLion.jpg

    When duty calls, San Francisco police officers answer. Even if that duty is baby-sitting a stranded sea lion pup.

    That's exactly what happened to them on Ocean Beach around 1 a.m. Monday.

    The Richmond District Blog reports police received a call that the little mammal was in stairwell five, shivering and in distress. Responding officers found the sea lion and then called the Marine Mammal Center.

    The facility's rescue van was too far away, so the center asked police to stay and watch the youngster until crews arrived.

    The center estimates that the pup was about a year old and very malnourished and dehydrated. The sea lion is now being treated at the Marine Mammal Center.

    Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department
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    <![CDATA['Full House' Tanner Home For Sale]]>Mon, 30 May 2016 08:04:10 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tannerhouse.jpg

    The Tanner House in San Francisco – “lived in” by the fictional 1980s “Full House” family - is up for sale, listed at $4.15 million.

    Vanguard Properties is touting the three-bedroom home at 1709 Broderick Street as a “unique opportunity to own a rare piece of San Francisco history.” The Victorian was originally constructed in 1883 by Charles Lewis Hinkel.

    Photos of the renovated home look nothing like the family-friendly pad where Danny Tanner, Uncle Jesse and the rest of the girls hung out during the wildly popular television show that has a sequel “Fuller House” now on Netflix. Gone are the red door and comfy couches. Now, the interior is uber upscale. The ad mentions nothing of the goofy sitcom.

    The real house on Broderick starred in the series' opening credits, but was mostly filmed at the Warner Bros. studio in Burbank.

    Fun facts from “Hooked on Houses:” On the show, the address was listed as 1882 Girard Street, which doesn’t even exist. Also, the Tanner House is not even one of the seven “Painted Ladies” that make up the colorful row of Victorian houses shown behind them when the Tanner family picnics at Alamo Square Park.

    Photo Credit: Google Street View]]>
    <![CDATA[San Jose Man Devours Two Giant Boxes of Cereal in 17 Minutes]]>Fri, 27 May 2016 19:16:19 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mattstonie.jpg

    It wasn't your average bowl of cereal.

    7,700 calories, 586 grams of sugar and 17 minutes later, Matt "Megatoad" Stonie downed two giant boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in his latest eating challenge, according to the eating champion's Facebook page.

    The San Jose native is no foreigner to eating copious amounts of food in no time at all. He is famously known for dethroning eight-time defending champion Joey Chestnut at last summer's Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

    This wasn't Stonie's first cereal devouring endeavor. He has completed Cap'n Crunch and Trix cereal eating challenges, according to Stonie's YouTube page.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Bay Area Cheers on San Jose Sharks]]>Thu, 26 May 2016 09:22:09 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-534363282_594_screen.jpg

    The Golden State Warriors have won an NBA champsionship. The San Francisco Giants have won three World Series. And the San Francisco 49ers have won five Super Bowls. Even the scrappy Oakland A's won their share of World Series back in the 1970s and 1980s and were featured in the film, "Moneyball," as a hardscrabble, underdog team.

    And now, the Bay Area sports community is honoring the San Jose Sharks, the under-the-radar National Hockey League team who made to the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, the first such feat in the franchise's 25-year-history.

    All sorts of professional athletes chimed in to congratulate the Sharks, using the hashtag #BayAreaUnite, including Warriors' hero Steph Curry, who smiled with a Sharks bobblehead of himself after the win.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Now's Your Chance to Buy the 'Full House' Home]]>Tue, 31 May 2016 07:04:12 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/GettyImages-84591059.jpg

    One of San Francisco’s most iconic homes hit the market this week, and it’s predictably expensive.

    The Pacific Heights Victorian made famous by 1980s sitcom Full House is now available for purchase for $4.15 million. The house, located at 1708 Broderick St., is prominently featured in the family-friendly sitcom’s opening and transitional scenes.

    The San Francisco Chronicle reported that realtors are choosing to stress the home’s Victorian design rather than its famous history. The home’s façade is currently featured on Fuller House, a spinoff of the original show that is now playing on Netflix.

    Prospective homebuyers should note that the home does not come with a golden retriever or a pair of cool uncles, but there might be some familiar faces just around the bend. 

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Jimmy Fallon Mocks San Jose Sharks]]>Thu, 26 May 2016 15:31:47 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/234*120/2016-05-26_8-08-21.jpg

    The Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon had fun with the the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night, after the South Bay hockey team made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in the franchise's 25-year history.

    He riffed on a bunch of NHL players, including a pimply faced image of Mirco Mueller, who he said was the "most likely to sign a 3-year deal with puberty."

    "That's interesting," Fallon said, his voice purposely cracking like he was a teenager, "because I didn't think he was going to sign."

    Mueller is a 21-year-old defenseman from Switzerland. But he looks a lot younger than that.

    Fallon also mocked Canada's full-bearded Joe Thornton, 36, as the "most likely to be manscaped at PetCo."

    And he riffed on clean-cut Tommy Wingels, 28, of Evanston, Illinois as the "most likely to be saving himself for prom night." And last but not least in the Sharks mocking, Fallon nicknamed 27-year-old center Logan Couture as "Sexy Gilbert Gottfried," whose acting career involves playing the voice of a parrot in Disney's "Aladdin" movie.

    Photo Credit: Jimmy Fallon]]>
    <![CDATA[Sharks: Black Kitten Jo Paw-velski Has Been Adopted ]]>Sun, 15 May 2016 21:32:42 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jo+pawvelski.jpeg

    Jo Paw-velski, feline media marvel and the San Jose Sharks' good-luck charm, has a new home right here in Silicon Valley.

    The black kitten who made it out onto the SAP Center ice before a San Jose Sharks playoff game on April 29 has been adopted along with another kitten by a local family, according to a news release from the Humane Society Silicon Valley.

    "We are pleased to know that Jo has found a good, loving home," John Tortora, chief operating officer of the Sharks, said in the release. "I want to personally thank the staff and volunteers at the Humane Society Silicon Valley for the time and attention they have dedicated to Jo and the other animals in their care. I also want to thank our fans who immediately expressed concern for the well-being of the cat."

    The 3-month-old feline, initially was mistaken as a male and named Joe Paw-velski, after Sharks captain Joe Pavelski. She made her Shark Tank debut during warmups before Game 1 against the Nashville Predators and became an instant social media sensation. Fans watched her make a beeline for the oversized, fiberglass shark's head, only to escape under the seats.

    The venue’s engineering staff was able to safely rescue the cat the following Sunday, and Jo was taken to the Humane Society Silicon Valley for a health examination and microchip scan.

    Finnegan Dowling of the Humane Society said at the time Jo is not of any special breed. "But she is the type of cat that helps hockey teams win games," she said.

    Tortora said that a staggering number of people were interested in adopting Jo, a veritable Internet sensation.

    NBC Bay Area's Ryann Vargas contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: Humane Society Silicon Valley
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    <![CDATA[Ayesha Curry, Michael Mina Team Up for Pop-Up Restaurant]]>Tue, 17 May 2016 22:42:18 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/split2-curry-mina.jpg

    Bay Area foodies rejoice!

    Two local culinary powerhouses are joining forces  

    Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina are poised to unveil a pop-up restaurant, named International Smoke, starting June 4. 

    Since it opened doors last summer, Mina’s Marina-based Test Kitchen has offered diners a smorgasbord of Middle Eastern, Indian and Italian-American fare, according to SFGate.

    Now, he’s changing things up.

    The theme at International Smoke will be all things barbecue. The $45 four-course menu promises to be influenced by Curry’s Chinese, Jamaican, African American and Polish roots.

    “As Michael and I talked, this idea was born. It embodies every aspect of the flavors I cook with and it is representative of the different cultures I grew up with and around,” Curry said in an email to SFGate.

    The 27-year-old is married to Stephen Curry, MVP of the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. 

    In announcing International Smoke on her Instagram account, Curry wrote: "A lighter fresher take on barbecue from all over the world! Everything from hummus to chili to ribs and fixin's... Did someone say double dipped onion rings?!!! ������"

    Diners can expect tweaks to the menu, which is slated to feature items from Curry’s upcoming cookbook, “The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well,” roughly every month, the SFGate reported.

    International Smoke will be open Wednesday through Saturday nights until the end of the summer.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Google Tests Free Carpooling App in Bay Area]]>Mon, 16 May 2016 22:27:27 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Google26.JPG

    Google on Monday jumped feet first into carpooling with the launch of Waze Rider.

    The free app, available to 25,000 employees at certain Bay Area companies to start, matches riders with drivers who are using nearly identical routes. Drivers are able to accept or deny the requests to carpool via the Waze app. 

    Riders are only permitted to seek carpools during rush hour twice a day — once to work and the other back home, according to the Waze website

    Passengers are asked to pay the Internal Revenue Service's recommended 54 cents per mile, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. In its test phase, Google won't retain any percentage of Waze Rider's transactions, but that could change.

    The Waze website also says riders and drivers will split the cost of gas for the trip. Payments are decided in advance and the money is transferred between the two automatically.

    Companies located near Google's offices, including, UCSF, Adobe and Walmart Global eCommerce, will test Waze Rider in its pilot phase. If successful, the app will be expanded to other cities, the Chronicle reported.

    Google announced its plans via an animated promotional video Monday, which indicates that Waze Rider will help reduce Bay Area traffic congestion while helping riders conserve gas and money.

    “This is kind of an extension of what we do at Waze, to build this trusted community,” Josh Fried, head of partner development for Waze’s carpooling efforts, told the newspaper.

    An estimated 700,000 Bay Area residents currently use Waze for directions, and police and traffic alerts. So, according to the Chronicle, Waze Rider is poised to render a blow to Lyft — which charges $1.16 per mile in San Francisco as well as other fees — and Uber — which charges $1.15 per mile and additional fees.

    “Critical mass is a big reason carpooling hasn’t been able to be as successful as it could be,” Susan Shaheen, co-director of the UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center, told the Chronicle. “It’s exciting to see how we can use technology in a socially and environmentally beneficial way.”

    Photo Credit: Google/Waze
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    <![CDATA[Curry Family on Cover of Parents Magazine]]>Tue, 03 May 2016 13:19:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-477764290_Curry.jpg

    It's not basketball, but fatherhood, that’s landed Warriors’ Steph Curry on yet another magazine cover.

    However, it's adorable shots of daughters, Riley and Ryan who steal dad's spotlight on the June issue of Parents Magazine.

    Inside, Curry and wife, Ayesha, talk about co-parenting, the pitfalls of social media, and how Riley calls daddy "Steph Curry" once he steps into his Golden State uniform.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Twitter May Stop Counting Links, Photos in 140-Character Limit]]>Tue, 17 May 2016 14:40:15 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Twitter-generic1.jpg

    Many Twitter users — and more importantly, the billions more who don't use Twitter — feel constrained by the company's somewhat archaic 140-character limit.

    Is it time to ditch it as Twitter searches for ways to grow its stagnant user base?

    The limit was created so tweets would fit in a single text message, back when people used Twitter that way. But most people now use Twitter through its mobile app, where there isn't the same technical constraint.

    And Twitter users already employ creative ways to get around it. They send out multi-part tweets, or take screenshots of text typed elsewhere.

    CEO Jack Dorsey, in a screenshot that he tweeted in January, appeared amused by the fact that people — not to be constrained — are finding creative workarounds such as the text block photos. Maybe it's something Twitter could build on.

    "(What) if that text...was actually text?" he mused. "Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That's more utility and power."

    This suggests that the company is at least thinking about creative ways to keep the spirit of the 140-character limit while giving people more freedom to share their thoughts and rants. But there's history, nostalgia, and the Twitter brand being inexorably tied to quick, short bursts of text. Twitter is still often described as a "short messaging service," after all.

    Dorsey called the limit a "beautiful constraint" that inspires creativity, brevity and a "sense of speed." Twitter, he wrote, will never lose the feeling.

    A few months later, Dorsey insisted to "Today" show host Matt Lauer that the 140-character limit was here to stay, even as Twitter itself evolves.

    But a news report this week, citing unnamed people, said the company was planning to stop counting Web links and photos in the 140 characters, a move that would further erode that limit. Twitter declined to comment on the Bloomberg report.

    Gartner analyst Brian Blau called the idea "a good compromise." Twitter already shortens long links to give users more room to write. This might be a logical next step.

    Easing the character limit, though, might not be enough to reverse Twitter's stagnation. The San Francisco company, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday, has long lagged behind Facebook as a place for everyone. It has 310 million users, less even than the professional networking service LinkedIn.

    Facebook, meanwhile, has 1.65 billion users. Even though many people are familiar with Twitter, at least in name, the company has not been able to persuade them to use the service. Twitter remains hard to understand for many people, with its own lingo of hashtags and "at" symbols.

    Although it makes sense that Twitter doesn't want to alienate existing users with too many changes, Blau said, Twitter has to "fundamentally revamp the service and make it more appealing to more people."

    Getting rid of that limit might be a start.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Black Cat Spotted Skating Before Sharks Game is a Girl!]]>Mon, 02 May 2016 17:29:52 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jo+pawvelski.jpeg

    It's a girl! 

    A black cat that surprised NHL fans in the Bay Area Friday and brought good luck to our home team, the San Jose Sharks, underwent something of an identity change Monday, but is in good health, the team announced Monday.

    The small feline, who crept out of the player bench area Friday and scurried onto the ice before the Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2 at the SAP Center, was renamed Jo Paw-velski.

    The cat, mistaken as a male, was initially named Joe Paw-velski, after Sharks captain Joe Pavelski.

    As the Sharks warmed up for the first game of their best-of-seven playoff series, fans watched Joe making a beeline for an oversized, fiberglass shark head, only to escape under the seats at "the Shark Tank," as the arena is known.

    The venue’s engineering staff was able to safely rescue the cat Sunday and Jo was taken to the Humane Society Silicon Valley for a health examination and microchip scan.

    Although the Sharks didn't provide any information about her owner or if they even know who the person is, team officials on Monday said Jo is doing well at her temporary home. 

    "We are pleased to hear that Jo is doing well at the Humane Society Silicon Valley," Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora in a statement. "They have a fantastic facility for animals with an amazing staff. We are confident that Jo is receiving the best care possible and look forward to a happy resolution of the story when Jo is placed in a loving home."

    Finnegan Dowling of the Humane Society said Jo is not of any special breed. "But she is the type of cat that helps hockey teams win games," she said.

    Jo isn't up for adoption because shelter staff is trying to determine whether she has an owner and give the person time to claim her. If no one steps up by Friday, though, the animal shelter will begin the adoption process and oversee it.

    Tortora said that a staggering number of people are interested in adopting Jo, a veritable Internet sensation.

    "If [she] is indeed a stray, our goal is to find the best home for [her] with the support of our local animal shelters," Tortora said. "If families are interested in adopting [Jo] but unsuccessful, we strongly encourage you to consider adopting another animal in need of a good home from one of our terrific local animal shelters."

    You can watch Jo via the Humane Society's live camera here

    NBC Bay Area's Ryann Vargas contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: Humane Society Silicon Valley
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    <![CDATA[Oakland Firefighters Free Pigeon from BART Wires]]>Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:44:54 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pigeon1.jpg

    Firefighters are known for rescuing humans from burning buildings and cats from trees.

    But this weekend, Oakland rescued a pigeon that was trapped in wires at the Fruitvale BART station.

    The Oakland fire union tweeted and Facebooked the daring feat, showing video of a firefighter on engine 18 climbing up a ladder, untangling the bird from the wires, and saying “there you go buddy,” as the pigeon flew off into the sky.

    Photo Credit: Oakland Fire Live via Twitter
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    <![CDATA[San Francisco Clock Tower Penthouse Listed for $8.5M]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 14:00:26 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/clocktower1.jpg

    Real estate watchers are excited about an iconic property that has just hit the market.

    The penthouse of San Francisco's Clock Tower building at 461 Second Street in SoMa has been listed for $8.5 million.

    Prospective buyers would only be the second to live in the two-bedroom, three-story space, which was converted into a residential penthouse in 1993. And while they would get to enjoy close proximity to the clocks, they would not be responsible for their maintenance; that falls on the building's Home Owner's Association.

    The 94-year-old building was originally the home of Schmidt Lithograph Corp., the biggest employer in the city at the time, according to SFGate

    The owner told the publication he never got tired of watching the hundreds of thousands of cars commuting across the nearby Bay Bridge each day. "It's fun to be part of this living art," Tom Burkhart said.

    Sotheby's agents Rob Levy and Eric Turner have created a special website for the listing, complete with music. A brokers' tour is scheduled for Thursday, with additional showings available by appointment.

    Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Rob Levy & Eric Turner - Sotheby’s International Realty and OpenHomes Photography]]>
    <![CDATA[73-Cent Beer All Day at Lake Chalet]]>Thu, 14 Apr 2016 12:54:08 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-521065172.jpg

    One Oakland restaurant is offering the celebratory, albeit boozy, deal of a lifetime in honor of the Golden State Warriors, who made basketball history Wednesday night with the most wins in a season.

    Lake Chalet restaurant on Lakeside Drive will serve handcrafted ales for 73 cents all day long. Yes, if you haven't clued in, the Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies at the Oracle Arena, giving them the historical honor of winning 73 games in a single NBA season. The team who last did that was the Chicago Bulls in 1995, when they won 72.

    The restaurant has a few caveats though: The offer is limited while supply lasts.

    And the management (as always) has the discretion of kicking unruly customers out.

    Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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    <![CDATA[Lucky Oakland Students Win Warriors Tickets]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2016 17:26:18 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Warriors-Beat-Cavs-AP_713923010428.jpg

    Three lucky Oakland students will get to watch the Warriors attempt at making history at the Oracle Arena Wednesday night, thanks to the generosity of power forward Draymond Green.

    The Warriors announced that Dyllon Louis of McClymonds High School, Travon Hadnot a 12th grader at Dewey Academy, Joseph Martin, a 10th grader at Coliseum College Prep Academy were the winners of Green's largesse.

    They will get to meet No. 23 ahead of the game against the Memphis Grizzlies, where the Warriors are trying to win the most games in a single season in NBA history.

    Warriors spokeswoman Lisa Goodwin said the team worked with the schools to find the type boys that Green was looking for, and released brief bios of each of them:

    • Joseph, who was born in Liberia and grew up in a refugee camp along the Ivory Coast, is an honor roll and point guard at his school's basketball team. He is one of eight siblings. He has a 3.2 GPA.
    • Dyllon moved to West Oakland after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans left his family homeless and his mother very ill. She sent him to live with his godfather and instilled in him the drive to get good grades. He now has a 3.73 GPA.
    • Travon was raised in a single-family household and struggled at a mainstream high school, but is turning things around at the academy where he plans to graduate.

    The last team to set such a record was in 1995-1996, when the Chicago Bulls won 70 games that year. Warriors coach Steve Kerr played for the Bulls back then.

    Without Green's offer, these three students likely would not have had the means to attend the game. Tickets on Ticketmaster are going for more than $300. Courtside tickets are going for $17,000.

    But Green wanted even those who couldn't normally afford such an event to be able to be present for possible history.

    "Going to buy 3 tickets and find an underprivileged kid in Oakland and allow them to witness history Wednesday!!! Let's get it fellas!!!” the forward tweeted.

    In an interview, he followed up on that thought: "When you do right, good things happen to you."

    NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: AP
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    <![CDATA[Hello Kitty Food Truck Returns to SJ]]>Sat, 09 Apr 2016 10:08:52 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/hellokittycafesf.jpg

    A food truck called the "Hello Kitty Cafe" will sell sweet treats and cute merch is coming to the Bay Area.

    The vehicle, a pink Mercedes, will park and open for business at Saturday's Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco. The Hello Kitty Cafe will also visit Santana Row in San Jose from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 30 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 1.

    One does not merely waltz up to the Hello Kitty Cafe, which has been greeted with huge lines at previous appearances in San Jose and San Francisco, though. Plan accordingly to avoid disappointment and experience the desired cute overload.

    Those who brave the waits will have the chance to purchase brand new Hello Kitty treats such as a box set of French macarons featuring a surprise Sanrio character, a three-piece cookie set, mini cakes, t-shirts, water bottles and mugs.

    Photo Credit: Hello Kitty Cafe USA Facebook Page]]>
    <![CDATA[Snoop Dogg Deletes 'Ganja' Tweet ]]>Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:13:15 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/snoop5.jpg

    Rapper Snoop Dogg turned into a Super Bowl 50 “reporter” during the Broncos and Panthers press conference in Santa Clara Thursday, chatting up Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and telling Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis to “go to work” with a broken arm.

    "That's your spirit. Go to work. And when you get a sack, dab with your broken one, for me," he told Davis, referring to the "dab" dance move newly popular with football players and other athletes.

    The rapper tweeted a photo of him shaking hands with Manning: “Legend. #TurfdUp,” he wrote, referring in the hashtag to his YouTube sports show. His next tweet was a selfie, followed by a photo of himself acting as a reporter for DirectTV's "The Rich Eisen Show."

    Snoop also sent out a couple of tweets promoting Merry Jane, his Marijuana lifestyle platform he hopes will act as an icebreaker for people who take pride in their love for marijuana.

    One said: “ganja proving 2 help athletes with sports related injuries,” with a photo of a rolled up ball of weed.

    The tweets were removed from his timeline after some time. It wasn’t immediately clear why the rapper took the tweets down.

    The NFL has a strict drug policy, but many question whether it is out of date. According to media reports, marijuana is coveted by NFL players as an invaluable painkiller, and for younger players, smoking weed is normal.

    "There are so many people in the closet, and we are giving them an opportunity to come out of the closet and just admit they like to smoke," Snoop said at the Merry Jane launch at TechCrunch Disrupt in September. "I’m a smoker, my name is Snoop Dogg, and I’m a stoner."

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA['This Is Huge For Me:' Cam Newton Makes Sunnyvale Mom's Dream Come True]]>Wed, 03 Feb 2016 17:17:19 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/189*120/camfammain.JPG

    Cam Newton didn’t just take time out of his super busy week to fulfill a cancer victim’s bucket list wish — he went a step further.

    Scot Sieczko first became captivated with Newton in 2010 (even though the rest of his family were loyal 49er fans).

    “One day he called me in the middle of a Florida Gators game,” his mother Trae Sieczko, who lives in Sunnyvale, said. “You have to watch Auburn mommy, there’s this kid quarterback you have to see,’ he told me.”

    Trae Sieczko and the rest of the Sieczkos have been Cam Newton fans since then. “We followed his career and became Carolina Panthers’ fans because Cam Newton went there,” she said.

    When Trae Sieczko lost her son to cancer in 2014, she knew there was one thing she wanted from his role model – “tick it off Scot’s bucket list,” as she describes it: Have Newton sign her son’s jersey.

    “To me this is a connection to my son — how silly this sounds that a signature would mean so much to someone,” she said. “But this signature represents a wish that Scot didn’t get to fulfill. So he lives through me. I keep going as his mom, as any mom would do for her kids.”

    On Monday night, that wish finally came true, only in a bigger way.

    Newton went a step durther, signing a Panthers jersey for Scot after meeting with his mother and the rest of Scot’s family at the SAP Center for Super Bowl 50 Opening Night.

    Trae’s efforts to reach Newton was the result of a long chain of events — It caught the attention of Jaime Mathews, the mayor of Santa Clara, who then reached out to 49ers CEO Jed York, who had the team’s VP of communications Bob Lange get in touch with the Panthers’ Director of Communications, Steve Drummond.

    “Cam said he wanted me there at Opening Night so he could sign Scot’s jersey,” Sieczko said. “I’m still in LaLa land and can’t believe it happened. But it did. Checking this off Scot’s bucket list is huge for me.”

    Trae Sieczko is keeping Scot’s memory alive by forming a non-profit to help children with cancer.

    Scot’s motto was “Shred childhood cancer.”

    As for their support for Newton: “We will follow him wherever he goes,” Sieczko said.

    I want to Thank Cam Newton for taking a few minutes of his time to sign Scot Sieczko's jersey. Now I can check that off...

    Posted by Trae Sieczko on Monday, February 1, 2016

    Photo Credit: The Sieczko Family]]>
    <![CDATA[Fairmont San Francisco Lures Big Spenders With $1M Super Bowl Package]]>Mon, 25 Jan 2016 21:05:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/fairmont2.JPGSuper Bowl 50 is inspiring Bay Area hotels to get creative to lure big-spenders.]]><![CDATA[Top Stories]]>Thu, 17 Dec 2015 19:43:35 -0700]]><![CDATA[Trending Moments]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2016 16:52:55 -0700]]><![CDATA[Trending Talkers]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2016 16:53:02 -0700]]><![CDATA[Trending Realism]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2016 16:52:36 -0700]]><![CDATA[Trending Oddities]]>Mon, 11 Jan 2016 19:22:16 -0700]]><![CDATA[Trending Lifestyle]]>Mon, 11 Jan 2016 19:22:44 -0700]]>