SFBay https://sfbay.ca 100-percent San Francisco Bay Area news, sports and more! #AllBayAllDay Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:57:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/sfbay-media-library/uploads/2017/03/04211553/cropped-sfbay_3D_2016-1-32x32.png SFBay https://sfbay.ca 32 32 44904188 Mets blast Blach, Giants in 11-4 thumping https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/mets-blast-blach-giants-in-11-4-thumping/ Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:44:53 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=241069 Ty Blach took the early flight home from Atlanta Thursday evening, while his teammates landed in San Francisco a little after 4 a.m. this morning.

Somehow, the bottom-dwelling Mets made Blach look more fatigued than anyone in the park, dragging him through a gruesome seven-run, 11-hit trio of innings. The rookie, for a second start in a row, stared blankly at the ground from his locker and addressed his start plainly:

“I thought I made a few good pitches they hit, but I also made a lot of mistakes.”

New York took an 11-4 win over the Giants Friday night. The Giants have lost nine of their last 10.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at AT&T Park.

It’s hard to believe these same two clubs met in a Wild Card classic just eight months ago. A few hours prior to first pitch, the Mets made known, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, that Curtis Granderson, Addison Reed, Jay Bruce and Asdrubal Cabrera were available on the trading block. The Mets’ 2017 season is kaput, in other words and they’ve accepted it mid-June, 12.5 games back of first.

The lopsided score Friday, therefore, only magnified the Giants’ consistent ineptitude. Jet lag aside, the loss was the same one they’ve played dozens of times over. This time, the loss came in a neat little three-inning package — innings four through nine were superfluous.

Blach tied a career high for hits allowed with 11, and it only took the Mets two innings to get there. The starter was off kilter, which can be disastrous, Bruce Bochy noted:

“With Ty, it’s all about location and tonight he was just off a bit.”

Most of the damage came in that second inning when New York teed off for five doubles, including a lineup-flipping RBI from Seth Lugo, and Yoenis Cespedes mashed a 390-foot three-run bomb into left field. With that, Blach’s skid since his shutout in Philadelphia gained another notch of momentum. He’s allowed 22 runs, including four home runs, since June 2.

But this skid isn’t as bad as it looks, noted Bochy. Save for a rough day against Kansas City at home, Blach allowed just three runs in a loss to a powerful Colorado team:

“If you look at his last start, it was a great start against one of the best teams in the game.”

Blach noted after the game that he was leaving his stuff up–Cespedes’s home run off a high fastball would be something to point to–and that is typically due to a mechanical issue:

“Usually when I leave the ball up it’s because I’m too quick on the backside.”

He’ll look at the tape.

Still, the Giants have attempted often ill-fated comebacks from large deficits, but the Mets leapt on an opportunity to shut this down. Steven Okert, who was called up today and therefore did not have to start his night’s sleep at 6 a.m., gave up three runs, including a Cespedes RBI double.

The Giants are losing because they are underperforming in every facet on each level, to put it mildly. But the pitching woes seem more apparent given the organization’s reliance on quality starts and a shutdown bullpen through the ‘good years.’ The staff sits at 22nd in the MLB with a 4.77 ERA, almost every out is hold-your-breath stressful.

That’s why small rallies, like the Giants’ three-run spree in the sixth inning that cut short Lugo’s strong outing, feel especially futile. This team scored more than seven runs three times on their 1-7 road trip and lost all three of those games.

Up Next

For some reason, these two teams will get to play on national television tomorrow. It’s probably because Jacob deGrom and Johnny Cueto are facing off, which would have been an epic showdown last season at this time and at least has the potential to be entertaining Saturday afternoon.

Notes

Bryan Morris was DFA’d after putting up a five-spot in an incomplete inning yesterday, said Bruce Bochy:

“I talked to Mo and he’s not quite as sharp as he’d like to be.”

The Giants called up LHP Okert to give him yet another look and add to the lefty arsenal. Conor Gillaspie played his first game since May 10 and Eduardo Nunez was placed on the 10-day DL with a hamstring injury.

Madison Bumgarner threw 45 pitches Wednesday with the Arizona League affiliate and is scheduled to throw three innings Sunday. If all goes well, he could be on his way to a rehab assignment from there.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.

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BART recovers after Transbay Tube fire https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/bart-recovers-after-transbay-tube-fire/ Sat, 24 Jun 2017 02:44:59 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=241049 A major BART delay Friday evening was caused by burning debris underneath tracks inside the Transbay Tube, BART officials said.

The incident prompted BART officials to single-track trains through the tube, BART officials initially said at 6:15 p.m.

The delay stemmed from a blown insulator that apparently caused a small fire in the tube, BART spokesman Chris Filippi said.

Response crews arrived on scene and were able to extinguish flames caused by burning debris under the track, according to Filippi.

BART is beginning to recover from the incident and riders should expect residual delays.

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Farm workers hospitalized after pesticide exposure https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/farm-workers-hospitalized-after-pesticide-exposure/ Sat, 24 Jun 2017 02:34:57 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=241041 Eighteen farm workers were hospitalized after being exposed to pesticides at a ranch south of Salinas on Thursday morning, according to Monterey County agricultural authorities.

The Tanimura and Antle celery transplant crew worked for about an hour starting at 4:30 a.m. before some of them came down with nausea, headaches and stomach pain.

One worker vomited, according to the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.

The crew left the area and around 6:50 a.m. were taken to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, where they were decontaminated, treated and released, officials said.

Investigators from the commissioner’s office interviewed the workers at the hospital and took their clothing in for testing after learning of the exposure at 8:30 a.m.

Two fields nearby were treated with pesticides Lannate, Coragen, Movento, Pounce, Actara and Fulfull and fungicides Revus and Previcur around 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Hospital officials said a supervisor from Tanimura and Antle said Lannate, the trade name for methomyl, may have been the culprit, but the county investigation is ongoing.

The county agricultural commissioner and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation are investigating the exposure and report the incident to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies because of the number of victims, officials said.

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Bell: ‘I’ve been a Warriors fan since I started playing’ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/bell-ive-been-a-warriors-fan-since-i-started-playing/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/bell-ive-been-a-warriors-fan-since-i-started-playing/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:46:42 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=241010 Sitting next to Warriors General Manager Bob Myers, in the Golden State practice facility, freshly drafted rookie Jordan Bell wore a grey suit with multicolored stripes. It sparkles under the fluorescent lights of the stage.

Ironically enough, that same suit was purchased in Chicago, the same city that hosts the Bulls, who, in a fitting twist of fate, sold the rights to Bell for $3.5 million to the Warriors during Thursday night’s NBA draft.

“I actually got this (suit) in Chicago when I was at the meetings. I don’t wear suits all the time.”

For Bell, that suit not only encapsulates the first step of his NBA career, but also represents the fortuitous chain of events that landed him on a team that will be defending their second championship in three season.

Bell said he spoke to Draymond Green shortly after being drafted, via FaceTime, and was told to prepare for the work ahead:

“He was like, ‘Yo, enjoy this night. Celebrate it. It only happens once, but after this night, we have to get back to work. We trying to get rings over here, so be ready for it.”

While Bell has dreams of competing for championship in his first season as an NBA player, it’s only natural to wonder what might have been if, in fact, the Bulls did not give up the pick where Bell was selected.

Considering the fact that Chicago had just unloaded its franchise shooting guard, Jimmy Butler, to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the landscape of the Bull’s future was unclear. And for Bell, instability is the last thing a rookie needs.

But Bell said he’s not concerned with where he could have landed and in fact didn’t know who possessed the pick before the Warriors bought it:

“I honestly didn’t even know who had the pick. I just knew the Warriors had it when my name was called.”

He also mentioned that being picked by the Warriors was a dream come true and that he’s been a fan of Golden State for several years:

“I’ve been a Warriors fan since I started playing basketball. Like back with ‘We Believe.’”

Apart from dodging the new mess that has been created in Chicago, Bell now gets the chance to play for a team that has a good chance of making deep playoff runs for the foreseeable future. And after falling short in the Final Four stage of the NCAA Tournament last season with the University of Oregon, Bell says he looks forward to the chance of playing on the game’s highest stage again:

“I think the post-season is when I play my best basketball. I know it’s winning time. I know it’s ‘win or go home.’ I’m definitely think I’m going to play my best when that time comes.”

As a 6-foot-9 forward, Bell will look to shore up a Warriors frontcourt group that is looking at some change with offseason.

The potential departures of Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and David West present the possibility for Bell to step in and contribute with meaningful minutes, similar to what Warriors guard, Patrick McCaw was able to do in 2016.

In three seasons as a Duck, Bell was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team three times and led the team in rebounds with 8.1 per game in the 2016-17 season. Bell also had a monstrous NCAA tournament that included an 11-point, 13-rebound performance against the No. 1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks.

Not to mention, Bell was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 which should put a smile on defensive assistant Ron Adam’s face.

So as the Warriors move into the offseason with yet another upgrade to their already stacked roster. Jordan Bell can put away his Chicago-made-suit as that will be the last memento of the team by whom he could have been drafted.

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BART offers safe space for immigrant riders https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/bart-offers-safe-space-for-immigrant-riders/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/bart-offers-safe-space-for-immigrant-riders/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:59:51 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240885 Just like what the posters say inside BART cars, BART directors on Thursday approved a policy that welcomes everyone on board the transit system.

Directors voted 8-1 to adopt the Safe Transit Policy that declares BART’s commitment to keep the transit system safe, secure, inviting and inclusive for all riders no matter what race, religion affiliations, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status.

Going back to #SF.

A post shared by Jerold Chinn (@jeroldwashere) on

BART board Director Lateefah Simon, who co-authored the policy, said she hopes the policy will help riders feel less afraid especially when talking to BART employees or law enforcement when reporting crimes on the transit system:

“We are all each other’s neighbors and our system is safer when we can call look after one another.”

Simon added:

“Singling out one segment of our ridership puts our system in a hole.”

The policy will prohibit BART to use of any funds or resources to help enforce any immigration laws and prohibit employees from asking a rider about their immigration status, except as required by federal or state law, or by court order.

It would also forbid BART Police from releasing information regarding the release status, date and time of any individual in custody, except as required by federal or state law, or by court order.

Arturo Fernandez, an undocumented doctoral student at UC Berkeley, said that approving the policy will show BART’s commitment and willingness to support a community that is under attack:

“You might not know it, but today you have the potential to do something great, to help undocumented families, to make them feel better that someone is listening.”

The policy does stop short of calling it a sanctuary policy so the transit agency would not jeopardize federal funding,

Director Debora Allen was the dissenting vote. Allen said she did not support the portion of the policy that stated BART will not use a federal verification program to determine if a potential employee or subcontractor can legally work in the U.S.:

“I would not want to embroil our employees in a battle with the federal government over the process of hiring and put them at risk for unknown violations.”

Allen added that she did not think the policy adds anymore protections to undocumented immigrants that already exists currently.

BART’s Chief of Police Carlos Rojas said he did not find any documentation of police officers asking riders about their immigration status.

There was one incident more than five years ago where officers did arrest someone with an immigration warrant, said Rojas.

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BART dumps seat hog policy https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/bart-dumps-seat-hog-policy/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/23/bart-dumps-seat-hog-policy/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:49:13 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240891 A policy that was to prevent riders from taking up more than one seat during the rush hour commute on BART, but was never enforced, no longer exists.

The BART Board of Directors Thursday voted 5-4 to rescind the so-called “seat hog ordinance” that BART Police officers would have enforced by issuing a $100 citation for first time offenders and $500 for repeated offenders.

Directors Debora Allen, Joel Keller, John McPartland and Thomas Blalock wanted to keep the ordinance in place.

McPartland said expecting people to be polite on BART has “no teeth” and referred to incidents where constituents from his district called the BART Police, but were told the officers were unable to do anything about it:

“Good conduct and politeness just isn’t going to fly.”

Allen said she did encounter a woman Thursday morning with a bag on the seat next to her who removed it as soon as a passenger asked if they could sit down:

“Without a rule, I believe people will not feel comfortable doing that anymore.”

BART board President Rebecca Saltzman, who put forward the motion to rescind the ordinance, said the BART Police Officers Association was not in favor of the ordinance because it would likely target the homeless and possibly cause officers to use additional force.

While the current ordinance no longer exists, directors Keller and Lateefah Simon will work together on a new one-year pilot proposal that would be piloted at the new East Contra Costa BART Extension, which will open for revenue service next year.

The pilot proposal will need approval from the board.

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BART to penalize paper ticket users with surcharge https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/bart-to-penalize-paper-ticket-users-with-surcharge/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/bart-to-penalize-paper-ticket-users-with-surcharge/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:26:21 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240866 BART riders who buy magnetic paper tickets from station vending machines may want to start using a Clipper card instead beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

The BART Board of Directors at its regular Thursday meeting approved fare changes that includes a 50-cent surcharge to riders who buy the paper tickets.

BART board President Rebecca Saltzman said she was initially not in favor of the surcharge, but said:

“It’s something I can live with particularly because of the plans we have to have Clipper card vending machines at every single station so people can buy them.”

BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said staff will come back to the board with a proposal to help lessen the impact of the 50-cent surcharge it may have to low-income riders.

According to BART documents, staff will carry out a board-approved “Mitigation Action Plan” to distribute free Clipper cards to low-income riders.

The transit agency will generate about $5.6 million a year from the 50-cent surcharge.

BART officials had projected a budget deficit of about $31 million at the beginning of the budget process due to recent declines in ridership, especially on the weekends.

The 50-cent surcharge will help the transit agency balance its budget, and BART wants riders to move away from purchasing paper tickets.

Director Lateefah Simon said:

“We do have to get away from the paper ticket culture.”

On top of the 50-cent surcharge, there will be an inflation-based fare increase across the board starting on Jan. 1, 2018.

The youth fare discount age will extend to 18-year olds. Currently only youth riders between the ages of 5 and 12 receive a discount. While officials decided to extend the age of the youth discount, the discount rate will decrease from 62.5 percent to 50 percent.

Directors on Thursday also approved BART’s $1.92 billion budget, which includes funding to pay for BART’s new rail cars, replacing aging infrastructure and modernizing stations.

The budget will also help fund an additional four janitors to help clean the Civic Center and Powell stations.

An issue that has plagued the system, and is addressed in the budget is fare evasion. BART will spend $2.6 million on fare invasion measures inlcluding hiring six community service officers and one police administrative specialist.

Officials will also raise the barriers surrounding the paid area inside stations to 5 feet high.

The budget includes a late injection of $16 million from the state passing a 12-cent hike to the gas tax. The new funds came at a good time. Directors had discussed opening morning service an hour later and possibly not continuing its partnership with AC Transit to run late-night service.

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Muni gets more expensive for second time in 2017 https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/muni-gets-more-expensive-for-second-time-in-2017/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/muni-gets-more-expensive-for-second-time-in-2017/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:05:25 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240734 Muni riders who have already purchased a monthly Muni Fast Pass for July may have noticed a bump in price.

That’s because Muni fares will increase starting July 1 across the board from adult monthly Fast Passes to single-cash fares.

The fare increases are part of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s automatic fare index formula. The SFMTA Board of Directors approved the fare increases last year as part of the transit agency’s 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 budget.

Muni riders might also recall that adult monthly Fast Passes increased by $5 at the beginning of the year. This was a separate increase outside of the automatic fare indexing policy approved by the Board of Directors last year as well.

Directors last year also approved to charge cash-paying passengers an extra 25 cents in an effort to increase Clipper card usage on Muni.

Passengers can sign up to ride Muni for free if they meet income requirements.

Fare Increases July 1, 2017

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Warriors deal for Jordan Bell, serve notice to young bigs https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/warriors-deal-for-jordan-bell-serve-notice-to-young-bigs/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/warriors-deal-for-jordan-bell-serve-notice-to-young-bigs/#comments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:57:01 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240880 Walking into the 2017 NBA draft, the Warriors held not a single pick to their names. And after winning their second NBA title in three years, why would they even need one?

But for the second consecutive year, they walked away with their guy after trading cash for the rights to another NBA prospect.

In 2016, Golden State purchased the rights for $2.6 million to Patrick McCaw from the Milwaukee Bucks, who selected the UNLV guard with the No. 38 overall pick,. A small price in hindsight that landed a rookie who contributed meaningful minutes to a championship season.

This time around, the Warriors made a move for Jordan Bell, a 6-foot-9 power forward out of the University of Oregon.

Similar to McCaw, Bell was selected at No. 38. But he came at a slightly higher cost of $3.5 million, a price Warriors ownership had no problem paying, said general manager Bob Myers:

“I’m lucky to work with great owners that are aggressive and willing to spend. Not a lot of people allow their front office to pursue things like this and spend that kind of money. So I’m fortunate and that’s been the case since I got here.”

Coming out as a junior, the 22-year-old big man looks to be an ideal fit for Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, and his championship proven system. Bell’s athleticism and knack for attacking the rim seem to be perfect for what the Warriors need from their bigs. Myers said:

“As far as how we think he helps us; athletic, switch screens, finish at the rim and kind of a screen and roll guy… There’s a lot of things we like about him.”

The Long Beach native averaged nearly 11 points per game in 38 appearances as a Duck in the 2016-17 season. He snagged 8.7 rebounds per game, including 2.9 on the offensive end of the floor.

Under the Warriors’ highest rated offense last season, obtaining second chances for that unit will come at a premium. Bell’s athletic ability may be a reason why the defending champions bought out Bell’s rights from Chicago.

Myers said the team is not sure where the newly-acquired big man will be placed relative to positions on the floor:

“For us right now, we have to see what he can do. The NBA is a different game. If he’s a five or a four, I mean, I think we learned our lesson with Draymond Green. We don’t really care what position a player is. We care if they can play basketball.”

The real story coming from this pick is rooted in what Bell’s arrival will mean for big men that are already on the team and the scope of their futures as it pertains to staying in Warriors uniforms.

JaVale McGee will become an unrestricted free agent July 6. The fan favorite, who signed a one-year deal with the team last summer, was able to successfully revitalize his career and simultaneously shed the narrative of being a “Shaqtin-a-Fool” star.

By doing this, McGee will begin a search for a potential payday, up to $15 million per year. This will be out of Golden State’s price range and may very well lead to McGee’s departure after only one season.

On top of McGee, Warriors centers, Zaza Pachulia and David West will also begin their summers as unrestricted free agents.

The pickup of Bell also signals the team’s lack of optimism regarding Kevon Looney, the former first round pick who the Warriors selected 30th overall in 2015. Looney has experienced a slew of injuries that have severely limited his development.

Sources around the team tell SFBay the Warriors have been concerned with Looney’s work ethic and ability to stay in shape throughout the season. Picking Damian Jones in the first round of the 2016 draft sparked speculations surround their doubts, only to subside once Jones was sent to the NBA Developmental League at the beginning of the year.

If Looney does not find a way to prove his worth and step ahead of Jones, and now Bell, on the depth chart, his time in Golden State may soon be over.

Though they’ve already proven their dominance, the Golden State Warriors have made it clear they are still looking to improve and remain hungry.  And as the team prepares to officially introduce Bell on Friday afternoon, this hunger was proven with one purchased pick. Myers said:

“Our job is to get better everyday. … It’s never good enough for Joe (Lacob). Gotta keep moving.”

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Teen critically hurt after Land’s End fall https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/teen-critically-hurt-after-lands-end-fall/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:25:00 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240868 A female teenager is in critical condition after she reportedly fell from a cliff and went into the water at Lands End in San Francisco Thursday evening.

The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. near the Lands End Labyrinth, according to San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Baxter said.

Rescue swimmers were able to reach the teen, who was unconscious and is in critical condition, according to Baxter.

“Strong and treacherous search conditions” initially hampered the rescue crew’s ability to reach the victim, but ultimately, “crews fought aggressively and got to the victim”, Baxter said.

The victim was secured to a floating device and crews transported to her China Beach.

Crews with the U.S. National Park Service assisted the fire department with the rescue operation.

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A’s drop first game of post-Vogt era, suffer sour sweep https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/as-drop-first-game-of-post-vogt-era-suffer-sour-sweep/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:43:29 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240850 Like marauders in the night, the Houston Astros stormed the Coliseum gates taking all that Oakland owned.

The Athletics (31-42) didn’t have much, but the Astros (50-24) swiped any and all momentum they had built through a home stand-opening sweep. Gone was a chance at a winning stand against a pair of division leaders. Gone were Oakland’s chances at getting back to .500 by July. And, when things were all said and done, gone was the man who had become a favorite and most respected personality in the A’s clubhouse in this decade.

Jumping all over Jesse Hahn (L, 3-5, 4.66 ERA) in the second, Houston built enough of a lead to withstand a six-tun bottom of the eight, departing the Bay with a 12-9 victory, their 15th in 16 chances against the green and gold.

Back-to-back sacrifice flies from Carlos Beltran and Evan Gattis got the Astros off to a modest yet effective start in the first. And the steam was robbed from Hahn’s balloon in the second.

Five of the first six Houston hitters reached base, including Jake Marisnick, who rounded the bases with a three-run homer (10). It was actually eight of the first nine to reach, but a rare error by first baseman Yonder Alonso gave Beltran an unearned base. The ninth batter of the frame, Marwin Gonzalez, planted a massive exclamation point on the outburst, launching the Astros’ second three-run homer (13) of the frame to finish an eight-run onslaught.

Josh Smith came on in the third, and held the line tossing three zeroes on the board. And while Michael Brady, making his second career appearance, was tagged with two more runs, 10 was, in the end, already enough.

One of the runs came off the bat of former Oakland fan favorite Josh Reddick, who connected on a solo home run, No. 7 of the season and No. 35 in 297 career games at the Oakland Coliseum.

A Fond Farewell

Another fan favorite, Stephen Vogt, who 49 homers in 458 games as an Athletic, was designated for assignment prior to the game. It wasn’t power that he was known for, however. He was known as the master of the pitching staff, which also bid adieu to longtime coach Curt Young earlier in the homestand. He will be remembered by the players as a leader; a friend; an inspiration.

He knew before his fans did, though. Prior to pinch-hitting and playing left field for the fourth time in his career, the two-time All-Star and captain of his club was informed by his skipper and general manager of the team’s intentions before Wednesday’s game, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Softening the blow of Vogt’s departure, his replacement Bruce Maxwell made his impact felt in Game 1 of the post-Vogt A’s era. Maxwell finished the afternoon 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI, fueling a nearly “some kind of special” (a favorite quote of Vogt’s) comeback.

The 25-year-old everyday catcher of today and tomorrow led off the fifth inning with a single before scoring the A’s first run of the game on a Matt Olson ground-out. Oakland added two more in the sixth, with RBI hits from rookies Chad Pinder and Jaycob Brugman. Maxwell did ground into the second out of the inning with a runner in scoring position, but he would make up for that in the eighth.

Oakland rookies — Olson, Pinder, Brugman and Maxwell — combined to go 8-for-15 with five runs and five RBIs.

Down nine heading into their penultimate trip to the plate, it would have been easy for a team reeling from the loss of their leader to roll over. They didn’t.

Rajai Davis, a veteran in jeopardy of suffering a fate similar to that of Vogt, led off with a double. After a strikeout of Pinder and a walk of Brugman, Maxwell doubled in Rajai. Adam Rosales, another of those under-performing vets, collected two RBIs on his own double. Matt Joyce, the last of those vets, walked to re-ignite to rally.

The A’s scored three more, making it 12-9 and a save situation.

Chris Devenski (S, 3, 2.53 ERA) did exactly that, striking out all three batters he faced to lock down the win for David Paulino (W, 2-0, 5.04 ERA).

Oakland showed grit, It showed fight. And that is perhaps the only thing Houston couldn’t steal — a will to battle. Well, that and the fact that the A’s have a plethora of young talent waiting in the wings for its opportunity to hand in its mantle of “future” in exchange for “face” of the green and gold.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.

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Motorcyclist who drove into protest cited for reckless driving https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/motorcyclist-who-drove-into-protest-cited-for-reckless-driving/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:26:55 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240842 A motorcyclist who allegedly tried to run down a group of protesters outside San Francisco’s Federal Building on Wednesday was cited for reckless driving and released, police said Thursday.

The motorcyclist, whose identity has not yet been released by police, allegedly drove the wrong way on Seventh Street and plowed through a group of around 20 protesters who were lying in the street as part of a protest of the federal Republican health care bill, according to witnesses at the scene.

He then turned around and began to drive back through the group before he was stopped at gunpoint by federal police.

He was later cited for reckless driving and released without being booked into San Francisco jail, according to San Francisco police Officer Robert Rueca.

There were no injuries as a result of the incident.

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San Francisco taps LEDs for brighter, cheaper streetlights https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/sf-taps-leds-for-brighter-cheaper-streetlights/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/sf-taps-leds-for-brighter-cheaper-streetlights/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:43:30 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240630 San Francisco streets are about to get a little brighter.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is charge of The City’s drinking water, collecting and treating waste water and supplying power to streetlights, is in the process of replacing all of the city-owned 18,500 streetlights with LED fixtures.

So far, the agency has converted 6,000 of the cobra-shaped fixtures with LEDs as part of the LED Streetlight Conversion Project, according to officials. The SPUC still has 12,500 fixtures that need the new LED bulbs.

Harlan L. Kelly, Jr., general manager of the SFPUC, said the agency is focusing on changing The City’s infrastructure:

“Our streetlights is about 100 years old in most cases and we’re really here to revamp the infrastructure.”

Kelly, joined by Mayor Ed Lee on Wednesday morning in Chinatown, where crews will begin installing the LED fixtures.

Lee said he has heard from business merchants that The City needs to do more to help them survive, especially in Chinatown where merchants say businesses have been struggling because of the construction related to the Central Subway Project:

“They’ve got the Central Subway that is disturbing a lot of businesses. We have to compensate and mitigate that.”

Lee added:

“One way to do that is to do something smarter, more efficient, less expensive and a little bit more enlightening.”

He hopes the new lighting will bring out more residents and tourists to enjoy the Chinatown nightlife.

Norman Fong, executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center, said he recalled a time in 1991 when the center put up their own lights throughout Chinatown:

“Now we’re getting some high-class lights.”

The SFPUC said the new LED lights will illuminate a warmer white light on city streets, and will also consume on average 50 percent less energy than the current streetlights, which means lower electricity costs for The City.

Another benefit is that the LEDs will not need replacement for up to 20 years compared to The City’s current high-pressure sodium streetlights, which officials said burn out after four years.

Crews began installing the new LED fixtures in the spring 2017 and will take approximately one year to complete the rest of The City’s streetlights.

The public can check out an interactive map to find where the new LED fixtures have already been installed and where SFPUC crews plan to install them.

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Raiders lock up Derek Carr with monster deal https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/raiders-lock-up-derek-carr-with-monster-deal/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/raiders-lock-up-derek-carr-with-monster-deal/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:31:34 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240822

Derek Carr just signed a deal to make him the best-paid quarterback in history. Carr, the fourth-year quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, signed a reported $125 million, five-year deal with the Raiders on Thursday that was confirmed by the player’s brother, former NFL quarterback David Carr. 5yrs 125million …. @derekcarrqb You got lunch. — David Carr…

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A’s designate struggling Steven Vogt for assignment https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/as-designate-struggling-steven-vogt-for-assignment/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/as-designate-struggling-steven-vogt-for-assignment/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:45:10 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240814

The Oakland Athletics designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment on Thursday. Vogt was named to the All-Star Game in both 2015 and 2016, but has struggled mightily this season. The 32-year-old is batting .217 with four homers and 20 RBIs in 2017. Vogt was shuffled into left field in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros,…

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Astros catch up to Manaea, continue A’s ownage https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/22/astros-catch-up-to-manaea-continue-as-ownage/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:21:36 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240702 Facing a pitcher who has had their number, Houston waited patiently for the opportunity to strike. All the while, Mike Fiers held the Oakland Athletics in check, and the Astros finally broke through for a 5-1 win Wednesday.

Through five, Sean Manaea looked to be coasting to another solid start versus Houston, but a three-run sixth was all the Astros (49-24) needed, and the A’s (31-41) are in jeopardy of splitting an eight-game home stand after sweeping the first four.

This story will be updated with quotes and post-game material from the A’s clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum.

Manager Bob Melvin said that this loss cannot be put entirely on the shoulders of his starter:

“You only get four hits, and you score one run, you’re not giving him much of a chance. It’s not like he pitched poorly.”

He and Manaea (L, 6-4, 4.05 ERA) did not see eye-to-eye on that, though:

“This loss is completely on me. It’s something that — there’s a lot of things I need to get better at, and it’s definitely one of them to keep my emotions in check and finishing off hitters.”

Since surrendering four runs to the Astros over 4 innings in his major league debut last April, Manaea has put one of the American League’s most potent offenses in his back pocket. He entered Wednesday’s tilt having mowed through them, allowing a single earned run in 22-1/3 frames.

But Wednesday night’s contest presented his worst outing against Houston since his A’s foray.

As has been the case this year for the Oakland pitching staff, Manaea looked overwhelming for the majority of the evening, but one blink unraveled into a three-run inning, and that was too much for his offense to overcome.

The big lefty did pay tribute to the Astros, whose offense tops the AL in runs (391), hits (692), home runs (114) and batting average (.279):

“They’re unbelievable. One through nine, you don’t catch any breaks. They’ve got power, they’ve got speed.”

Through five, Manaea had recorded more strikeouts (5) than he had allowed baserunners (4), but that all fell in his lap in the sixth.

He said:

“I was getting ahead of hitters more and getting guys out with my changeup. The slider was — I couldn’t really throw it for a strike tonight.”

After falling behind 3-0 to perennial All-Star Jose Altuve, he battled back to 3-2 only to have a fastball away lined into right for a single, his third hit allowed of the night. He then fell behind Carlos Correa, who had struck out and grounded out in two trips, before the shortstop poked a 2-0 challenge fastball up the middle for a single.

Manaea said the problems stemmed from his sudden inability to get ahead in counts:

“Getting behind hitters — getting into hitters counts — things kinda snowballed, and I didn’t do a good job of containing things.”

Manaea didn’t get any help from rookie center fielder Jaycob Brugman, who winged an ill-advised throw to third in an attempt to get one of baseball’s speediest base runners, Altuve. In the end, Ryon Healy never attempted a tag on the runner, and Correa was able to move to second on the throw.

Evan Gattis followed with a bloop single to center, and both Astro middle infielders scampered home.

Brugman’s throw may have been of no consequence as Yuli Gurriel sent a one-out liner into center. Two batters later Jake Marisnick picked up an RBI line-drive of his own.

Both hits came in 0-2 counts. And both pitches hit were fastballs nearly center-cut in the strike zone following swing-and-miss changeups. Manaea said that while he continues to trust his stuff, his slider was not there for him leaving him with the choice between trying to overpower good hitters, or back up his changeup. He chose the former twice in the sixth and was burnt both times.

The skipper said that the sixth was the product of his command, and a Houston offense always ready to attack:

“They just got on him a little bit that one inning, made him work — probably not as good with his command that inning. … They’re pretty good about being timely when they get their hits and they were off him.”

He ended the inning striking out Nori Aoki, giving him three on the inning and eight for the evening, but the damage was done.

Fiers (W, 5-2, 3.81 ERA) made the three runs of support stand up, allowing one, on a Stephen Vogt pinch-hit RBI ground-out in the seventh, in 6-plus innings. The A’s could muster just three hits while he walked three and struck out five.

Said Melvin:

“He’s got a lot of pitches, there’s a lot of deception involved — he can throw your timing off a little bit, whit his delivery — and he was good. He didn’t throw too many balls in the middle of the plate. … When he’s throwing strikes, and he’s got good command, he’s tough to deal with.”

Houston didn’t let the lone Oakland run go unanswered, though, adding runs in the eighth, on a Marisnick sacrigice fly, and ninth, on a long solo homer (14) to center by Correa.

The A’s went quietly into the night, getting their fourth hit of the night off closer Ken Giles (S, 18, 3.49 ERA) who shut the door with a strikeout of Brugman.

Having now given up just eight earned runs in 32-1/3 innings (2.37 ERA) Manaea remains winless, falling to 0-2.

On deck

The A’s finish their series with the Astros in a Thursday afternoon tilt. After sweeping four from the Yankees to open this eight-game homestand, Oakland will need a win to claim a winning record. Getting the starting assignments in the scorcher will be Jesse Hahn (3-4, 3.56 ERA) and David Paulino (1-0, 5.03 ERA).

Notes

Outfielder Ryan LaMarre, who was placed on waivers Saturday when the A’s selected the contract of relief pitcher Michael Brady, cleared waivers and was released by the team Wednesday. He went 0-for-7 in three games in Oakland this season. … The A’s have now lost 14 of their last 15 games against the Astros. … Stephen Vogt was used as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the seventh, collecting an RBI on a ground-out. He was left in the game to play left field. It was his fourth career game in left and first since July 2, 2014. Manager Bob Melvin said:

“I thought he handled every ball pretty well. …kinda gave me an option, we could have done something a little differently but if we got down there we wanted another left-handed bat in the lineup.”


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.

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Warriors turn focus toward reloading for 2017-18 https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/warriors-turn-focus-toward-reloading-for-2017-18/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/warriors-turn-focus-toward-reloading-for-2017-18/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 02:04:20 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240517 The NBA offseason is one week old. And the Warriors are on the game’s third “C.”

Golden State has competed. It has celebrated. Now comes the commerce.

Players under contract for the 2017-18 season include Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Damian Jones and Patrick McCaw.

As has been reported, Durant intends to opt out of the second year of his two-year contract and re-sign with Golden State at a cost below his max value, in hopes that the team is able to retain sixth man Andre Iguodala. “Iggy” will explore free agency and his worth to championship contenders, according to The Vertical, and the 2015 NBA Finals MVP is expected to fetch as much as $20 million per year.

Should the Warriors miss out on keeping the man who has been an integral piece to their success since becoming part of it in 2013, re-signing Shaun Livingston could become the next course of action.

Livingston made $5.8 million last season, playing 76 games — averaging 17.7 minutes — and scored 5.1 point per game. At 31, he is two years younger than Iguodala, though his impact falls short by comparison to his fellow veteran guard.

If the Warriors reach a deal with Iguodala, Livingston becomes dispensable. If not, though, the team would not serve itself well bidding adieu to both.

McCaw’s play in the playoffs — in particular the Finals — showed he is ready to step into a bigger role, filling the role of the vet who departs.

As for the straw that stirs the drink, Stephen Curry will finally be paid for what he has brought to the franchise. After playing for relative peanuts, signing a four-year, $44 million extension in the midst of health questions, Curry will cash in on a “super max” deal worth more than $200 million over five years.

With that group putting Golden State over the cap alone, the Warrior ownership will be paying luxury taxes while heading into the free agent market in search of more “ring chasers.”

JaVal McGee and Ian Clark earned themselves too much money — in the primes of their earning career, no less — for the Warriors to maintain any real expectation of retaining either. David West is likely pondering retirement, while Zaza Pachulia may also go out looking for another pay check.

The team may retain James Michael McAdoo in hopes he continues to grow, but that is unlikely as well.

That means the Dubs will need to find four (at least) free agents willing to play for the veteran’s minimum (or thereabouts) to fill a roster.

A quick sift through the pools turns up names like Vince Carter, Zach Randolph, Nene, Thabo Sefolosha and Luis Scola.

Each is on the wrong side of 30, has built a fiscal nest egg, and is short a ring. And, most importantly, fit the Warrior model of the team-first mentality.

Curry, who grew up around Carter, may have the ear of his father Dell Curry‘s former teammate — the two played together on the Toronto Raptors the final three years of the elder Curry’s career. Randolph, Carter’s teammate over the past three seasons in Memphis, has said in the past that he views fellow Michigan State alum Green as a little brother.

Sefolosha could be viewed as a poor-man’s version of Iguodala, with his defensive effectiveness and willingness to take a backseat on the offensive end of the court. Nene could fill the role of West, and Scola offers a veteran’s savvy and still effective mid-range jump shot.

With Jones having yet to show is able to play in the NBA — limited to 85 minutes on the court during his rookie season — the most important piece for general manager Bob Myers going forward is a center (or center tandem) who can play 24 minutes per game, rebound and set screens. Because, in the end, it will be Curry, Durant, Green, Thompson and Iguodala, Livingston or McCaw that will be relied upon to win when it matters.

As for the competition, opposing GMs head into free agency (starting July 1) asking themselves a different question from the one of summers past. Teams are not looking for a way to get better, they are looking for a way to beat the Warriors.

Paul George, who told the Indiana Pacers he will not remain with the team when his current contract expires next season, is the top prize, and nearly every contender is exploring trade options, wondering if he can do for them what Durant did for the Warriors. But, those teams did not win 73 games, and they don’t boast the two-time reigning MVP.

The Los Angeles Lakers are making the strongest push for “PG13,’ while the Cleveland Cavaliers (three-peat winners of the Eastern Conference Finals) and Boston Celtics (2017 regular season No. 1 seed in the east) are also in the hunt.

The Los Angeles Clippers, on the other hand, are trying to lure LeBron James to the west coast, with Jerry West leading the charge. The San Antonio Spurs are linked to free agent point guard Chris Paul. Top rated free agent (not coming off a championship season) Gordon Hayward is also being wooed by the Celtics.

In the end, though, only three or four teams — Cavs, Spurs and Celtics — have justifiable hopes of unseating the champs, all other teams are just building to challenge in the future.

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Motorcyclist drives into crowd of protesters https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/motorcyclist-drives-into-crowd-of-protesters/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:24:00 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240660 A man on a motorcycle allegedly drove into a crowd of people protesting Republican efforts to change federal healthcare this afternoon in San Francisco, nearly hitting several.

Protesters had gathered outside the San Francisco Federal Building at 7th and Mission streets around 12:30 p.m. and were conducting a “die-in,” in which a group of around 20 people laid down on Seventh Street to block traffic, when the incident occurred.

Emily Lee, a spokeswoman for the group Bay Resistance, which organized the protest along with Senior and Disability Action, said the man drove up on a red motorcycle, traveling the wrong way on Seventh Street.

Lee said:

“Everyone thought he was just confused, but he didn’t stop, and at some point it became clear he was going to come through the crowd and people jumped out of the way.”

Lee added:

“He was definitely targeting us. … It was unclear if it was for political reasons or if he was just mentally unstable or what, but it was terrifying.”

Lee said the man then turned around and began to come back through the crowd.

Federal police officers on the scene ordered him to stop and one pulled out a gun when he initially failed to listen to orders to get off his bike, Lee said.

Police Officer Robert Rueca said there were no injuries as a result of the incident. The suspect is in custody but charges have not yet been determined and his identity has not yet been released.

The “die-in” was intended to illustrate the potential effects of Republican healthcare legislation now moving through the U.S. Senate. A Congressional Budget Office report found that 23 million fewer people would have insurance by 2026 under a similar law approved in the U.S. House of Representatives in May.

The event was part of a national day of action regarding the healthcare legislation, which is moving through the Senate with little public input or notice.

Lee said the group lying in the street included seniors and people with various disabilities, because they would be among those most affected by the legislation.

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Two San Jose seniors die in heat wave https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/two-san-jose-seniors-die-in-heat-wave/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:14:58 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240658 Sweltering temperatures claimed the lives of two senior citizens in San Jose on Monday, Santa Clara County public health officials said Wednesday afternoon.

The 87-year-old woman’s name has not been released pending the notification of her family. The other victim, a 72-year-old man, has not yet been identified, according to the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office.

Michelle Jorden, a neuropathologist with the medical examiner’s office, said in a statement:

“It is tragic when someone dies of hyperthermia, since in most every case, it could have been prevented. …  Hyperthermia and heat stress happen when a body’s heat regulation system cannot handle the heat. … It can happen to anyone, which is why it is so important to be in a cool location, drink plenty of water and take a cool bath or shower if you are getting too hot.”

The heat wave began on Saturday. The National Weather Service’s heat advisory remains in effect until Thursday night as temperatures in the 90s are expected to continue across most of the county.

Sara Cody, the county’s Health Officer and Public Health Director, said in a statement:

“Those who are frail or have chronic health conditions, are dealing with drug or alcohol issues or are homeless may be at risk for heat-related illness. … People who work or exercise outside in the heat need to know that even a few hours of exertion may lead to heat-related illness or even heat stress,”

Cody added:

“Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in homes with no air conditioning or in vehicles.”

San Jose, Gilroy and Morgan Hill are still under excessive heat advisories, county officials said, and overnight temperatures are expected to remain above normal tonight and Thursday evening.

Overnight low temperatures in the Santa Cruz Mountains will be in the 70s and 80s with other areas of the Santa Clara Valley in the 50s and 60s overnight.

Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey Smith said in a statement:

“While it is essential that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out to those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of extreme heat, including children, the elderly and their pets. … Extreme heat such as this is not just an inconvenience. It can be dangerous and even deadly. … But we can protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated.”

Cooling centers have been made available at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and at public libraries and community centers in San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Los Altos and Campbell.

A list of the cooling centers’ addresses and hours can be found at the county’s Office of Emergency Services website at https://www.sccgov.org/sites/oes/Pages/Office-of-Emergency-Services.aspx.

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Bicyclist struck, killed near Alemany & Silver https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/bicyclist-struck-killed-near-alemany-silver/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:30:01 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240644 A bicyclist struck and killed by a vehicle in San Francisco’s Mission Terrace neighborhood Tuesday evening has been identified as 51-year-old Moises Chavez, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Chavez, a San Francisco resident, was struck around 5:30 p.m. in the area of Alemany Boulevard and Silver Avenue.

The driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators. No arrest was made in connection with the collision, police said.

No other details about what led to the collision were immediately available.

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Three rescued from waters near Golden Gate https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/three-rescued-from-waters-near-golden-gate/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:01:27 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240634 A boat capsized west of the Golden Gate Bridge Wednesday afternoon, putting three people into the water and triggering a rescue operation, according to San Francisco fire officials.

All three victims have been pulled from the water by fire and U.S. Coast Guard personnel and are being taken to the Marin County side of the Golden Gate for treatment, according to fire officials.

San Francisco fire officials first reported the incident on Twitter at 2:42 p.m.

 

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Castro ‘hot cop’ ordered to stand trial https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/castro-hot-cop-ordered-to-stand-trial/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:12:58 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240626 A San Francisco police officer known as the “Hot Cop of the Castro” was ordered Wednesday by a judge to stand trial on felony hit-and-run charges in connection with a North Beach collision that injured two pedestrians in 2015.

Christopher Kohrs, 40, who had been with the department for seven years at the time of the Nov. 29, 2015 collision, was ordered to stand trial Wednesday on two counts of felony hit-and-run with injury after a preliminary hearing that included testimony from a friend who was riding in the car with him.

One of those counts was elevated today to felony hit-and-run with serious or permanent injury.

Kohrs, who is out of custody on $100,000 bail, is accused of striking two men in their 40s around 2:20 a.m. that day at Broadway and Montgomery Street and then fleeing the scene on foot. The collision caused severe internal injuries in both men.

Kohrs’ friend Norman Banks, a passenger in the car, today testified that while he and another friend had been drinking that night, Kohrs was the designated driver. He said Kohrs had appeared sober and seemed to be going at a reasonable speed at the time of the collision.

Banks said he saw someone in the crosswalk and then, when Kohrs did not react quickly, called out “Watch out! Watch out!” before hearing a sound of shattering glass.

It was after checking on the victims that Banks said he realized Kohrs had left the scene.

Kohrs turned himself in at police headquarters around 10 a.m. that day, after he was identified by investigators as the registered owner and driver of the orange and black 2009 Dodge Charger left at the scene.

Kohrs had gained social media fame as the “Hot Cop of the Castro” following his time spent patrolling the Castro District and participating in events such as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Big Gay 10K race.

That fame appears to have followed him to the scene of the collision, which drew a crowd.

Banks said:

“I was uncomfortable at the scene myself because there were tons of people there who obviously knew him and people taking video. … It didn’t seem like a safe scene.”

Defense attorney Peter Furst today said in court that he “planned a vigorous defense” of Kohrs at trial.

Max Szabo, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said only that prosecutors were “pleased with the court’s ruling.” Kohrs was ordered to return to court on July 5 for further proceedings and to set a trial date.

In March, Kohrs settled a civil lawsuit filed against him by one of the victims.

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Magnitude 3.3 quake shakes Kensington https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/magnitude-3-3-quake-shakes-kensington/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:36:06 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240624 A 3.3-magnitude earthquake was reported at noon Wednesday in the Kensington area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake had a depth of 5 kilometers and occurred on the Hayward fault, according to the USGS. SFBay received reports of “significant” shaking on the UC Berkeley campus but no observed damage.

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Travis Kalanick steps down as Uber CEO https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/travis-kalanick-steps-down-as-uber-ceo/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/travis-kalanick-steps-down-as-uber-ceo/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:34:12 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240598

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has finally acceded to investor demands and resigned from the ride-hailing company he founded. His resignation caps a series of recent scandals that Uber has been embroiled in from the start of 2017. According to the New York Times, a shareholder revolt made it unsustainable for him to stay on as the…

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Scoot cements permanent spot on SF streets https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/scoot-cements-permanent-spot-on-sf-streets/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/21/scoot-cements-permanent-spot-on-sf-streets/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:19:03 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240582 Electric shared moped company Scoot will now become a permanent fixture in San Francisco’s ever-evolving world of shared ride services.

Under a permanent permit program approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors at its Tuesday meeting, Scoot’s 19,000 members will be able to park in residential parking permitted areas, parking in motorcycle stalls for free, and in between metered parallel parking spaces.

In return, Scoot will pay a permit fee of $325 a year for each moped. The company will also have to provide data to the SFMTA in order for the transit agency to address any issues that might arise, said Andy Thornley, a senior analyst with the SFMTA Sustainable Streets Division:

“We’re paying close attention to what we’ve been calling crowding and stagnation. Two things we hear from the public about. Seeing Scoots parked in a certain place and have them sit there for a long time.”

Thornley said the idea of Scoot vehicles sitting around in the same curb spot could be true, but the SFMTA would have a better idea on the movement of Scoot vehicles having the data available.

Another concern from residents is having the vehicles cluster in one neighborhood or just on one block, sad Thornley:

“Having data access is going to be key for us to pay attention to those big concerns.”

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who represents District 1, said she has been hearing from residents on the issue of Scoot vehicles being allowed to use “scrap” parking spaces to park the red mopeds.

Under a trial program in 2015, the SFMTA allowed Scoot members to park in residential parking permitted areas at curb spaces that are 8 feet or less. Some of those curb spaces are between driveways of residents.

Fewer said:

“When we say scrap parking, actually to many people in my district, it is not scrap parking. It is utilized in many different ways.”

Fewer also mentioned Scoot not providing its training videos in other languages.

Board Director Gwyneth Borden said the parking curb space was a “delicate” issue and made a motion to get rid of the 8-feet parking regulation for vehicles, which was part of the proposed permit program.

She also wanted get a six-month report back from staff to see if issues like the clustering of the Scoot mopeds would be resolved. Directors approved the motion with board Director Lee Hsu in dissent.

Other questions directors had was about insurance for its members.

Michael Keating, founder and CEO of Scoot, said the company carries a $1 million insurance policy from a third-party in case a member causes damage to property or injuries another person.

San Francisco resident Jesus Gomez said he had concerns with another ride-sharing company trying to go skirt the rules in The City:

“Just like Lyft and Uber have circumvented our taxi regulations. Now here is another company trying to circumvent existing rules. Let’s stop impacting residents in the rest of The City.”

Thornley said Scoot has been working with the SFMTA and have been good players:

“We’re with them and we’re walking next to them.”

Another issue that directors brought up was safety.

Before anyone can sign up for Scoot, a person must have a valid driver’s license and not have more than one collision or moving violation on their record within the last three years, said Keating.

Potential members also need to take an in-person training session with an instructor for one hour, or watch online safety videos, with quizzes that follow.

Any members who keep breaking laws such as not wearing a helmet, which Keating said he caught and flagged a member down for not wearing a helmet Tuesday morning, could face the potential of Scoot deactivating their account:

“We’re very happy to do it. Safety is the number one thing.”

Keating added that Scoot is working to staff up in order provide language services for Scoot potential members who may not speak English as a first language.

Thornley said the SFMTA plans to issue the permits sometime this summer.

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Four prospects the Warriors could target Thursday https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/four-prospects-the-warriors-could-target-in-thursdays-draft/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/four-prospects-the-warriors-could-target-in-thursdays-draft/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:57:38 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240561 The Warriors may not have any draft picks in Thursday’s NBA draft, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be active.

Armed with the maximum $5 million to trade, the Warriors will almost assuredly use some or all of that to trade into the second round, much like they did last year when they bought the pick that became Patrick McCaw.

With the Warriors’ core commanding hefty salaries, they look to be a team capped out every season in the near future, so getting rotational players on cheap second-round salaries for multiple years is imperative to their success. And with what’s considered a very deep draft, here’s a look at who the Warriors could target.

PJ Dozier, 6-foot-6, 200 lbs., PG/SG, South Carolina, Sophomore

With a 7-foot wingspan and the ability to guard three positions, Dozier would be very useful in the Warriors positionless style. His season averages of 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists won’t wow you, but the fact that Dozier led the seventh-seeded Gamecocks all the way to the Final Four speaks volumes.

During that run, Dozier played almost exclusively at point while shooting over smaller guards and using his good speed to blow by bigger ones. If that sounds familiar, Warriors fans, it’s because Dozier is almost exactly like Shaun Livingston, someone who could potentially depart in free agency. Nbadraft.net even lists Livingston as his NBA comparison.

Like Livingston, Dozier isn’t much of a 3-point shooter, 27 percent for his career. But if he were to slide into the same minutes as Livingston, he would be paired with Stephen Curry so his shooting would be less important.

Where Dozier could make the biggest impact is on the defensive side, where his quick hands, good instincts and long arms could wreak havoc on any backcourt.

Tyler Dorsey, 6-foot-4, 185 lbs., PG/SG, Oregon, Sophomore

Dorsey landed on every scouts radar after an incredible NCAA tournament run, helping lead the Ducks to the Final Four. While Dillon Brooks got all the accolades throughout the season, it was actually Dorsey who led the team in scoring and hit numerous clutch shots, including the game-winner in their Sweet 16 victory over Michigan.

He averaged 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists during the regular season but pumped up his scoring average to 23.8 during the NCAA tournament.

While his numbers are eye-popping, his NBA future lies as a scoring guard off the bench. He’s too small to offer the position flexibility that the Warriors covet, but the one thing they are lacking is a shooter off the bench, even if they brought Ian Clark back, which seems very unlikely.

Dorsey would slide very nicely into that same role, guarding point guards on defense, while playing off the ball on offense. As a career 41 percent shooter from the 3-point line and a blistering 60 percent from deep in the tournament, Dorsey should feast on the open looks the Warriors offense creates.

He’s not a perfect prospect though, as his aforementioned size will give him fits at the next level where he’ll be forced to defend point guards, but may not have the quickness to be an above-average defender.

He’s also sort of a black hole on offense, averaging just 1.8 assists for his career, but if he can shoot with the same consistency that he showed in the tournament, the Warriors can deal with everything else.

Semi Ojeleye, 6-foot-6, 240 lbs., SF/PF, Southern Methodist University, Junior

The bouncy forward is almost a prototypical stretch-4 for what the Warriors want to do. He can create off the dribble, shoot from the outside, finish above the rim and crashes the offensive glass hard. Ojeleye is also a very good athlete as he showed at the NBA combine, placing in the top four of all forwards in standing vertical, max vertical, lane agility and three-quarter sprint.

The Warriors could use another stretch big with almost all of their current centers up for free agency, but Ojeleye also offers versatility to play on the wing should all of their bigs re-sign. His 42 percent from the 3-point line on close to five attempts a game point to someone who could roam the outside in a pinch.

The concerns with Ojeleye have to do with his just one good college season. Before this year, he played at Duke for two season where he did almost nothing. He’s also close to an all-offense player, something that will have to change should the Warriors draft him. He averaged just 0.4 blocks and steals for the season and considering he played against less than stellar competition, is not a great sign for his defensive prowess in the NBA.

Ojeleye is already a man in terms of his body, there’s no projections there. An important quality for any Warriors picks, as they just need players who can contribute if called upon and won’t be completely overmatched physically when thrown into a game, since we know Steve Kerr loves to play his entire bench.

Kobi Simmons, 6-foot-4, 170 lbs., PG/SG, Arizona, Freshman

See a trend here? It’s no secret that the Warriors need to balance their roster, which means less centers and more wings. Considering both their bench guards are free agents, it only makes sense for them to start drafting replacements.

Simmons is the biggest lottery ticket of this group as he’s a Top 25 high school recruit and was a big part of Arizona’s early season success.

But like lottery tickets, you could easily end up with nothing, as Simmons averaged just 4.3 points per game during the team’s last 15 games. And once the Pac-12 conference tournament kicked off, he logged double-digit minutes just one time in the team’s six games. He also showed some attitude concerns when he started to pout after being moved to the bench midway through the season.

But another p-word is what makes Simmons so intriguing: potential. He can flat-out score the ball, which is something the Warriors have been missing on the second unit.

Their Achilles heel all year has been bench scoring, especially when they give both Kevin Durant and Curry a break simultaneously. Combine that with his ability to defend multiple positions and he has a chance to be a Shaun Livingston light minus the passing ability. He’s also got one of the quickest first steps in the draft and his 32 percent from deep is not horrible.

The tools are all there for him to be a contributor, but he needs the right organization to sand his rough edges. And with the Warriors history of being able to mold players, they could be just the right fit.

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Cal student reports off-campus sex assault https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/cal-student-reports-off-campus-sex-assault/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:54:56 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240585 Police at the University of California, Berkeley said that a female student was sexually assaulted near campus early Thursday morning.

The assault is thought to have occurred in a cooperative housing facility around midnight, and was reported at 4:45 p.m. later that day.

The victim knew her attacker, according to police.

The case remains under investigation and further details were not immediately available.

Roughly 80 percent of sexual assaults and rapes are perpetrated by someone known to the survivor, according to police, and on college campuses roughly 90 percent of survivors know their attackers.

Police said that if you are sexually assaulted and you wish to file a police report, do not shower or wash any clothing worn during the assault.

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Astros pile on Gray early, pull away from A’s late https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/astros-pile-on-gray-early-pull-away-from-as-late/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:00:35 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240545 Auditioning for perhaps his top suitor this trade season, Sonny Gray showed the Houston Astros his intestinal fortitude.

Gray was lit up in the first, surrendering five hits, two walks and five runs to the Astros (48-24). He settled in, though, giving up just two hits and two walks over the next four, finishing his five-inning battle with the American League’s top offense keeping the Athletics in the game.

Oakland made things interesting, chipping away at the deficit one run at a time. But, alas, the hill became too high to climb with three more late as the A’s (31-40) fell 8-4 Tuesday night.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the A’s clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum.

Gray (L, 2-3, 4.84 ERA) took the blame for the loss, saying:

“I really dug us a big hole there in the first. And, against a team like that, and an offense like that, giving them a five-spot in the first is tough on the rest of the guys.”

Manager Bob Melvin added:

“You have to hold them down for the entire game for the most part, especially with their pitching. But, we did, we kept going, found some good at-bats and scored some runs, got ourselves back into the game where we’re one at-bat away from tying the game.”

Gray couldn’t have asked for a worse start to the game.

George Springer got things started immediately, launching his franchise record-tying eighth leadoff home run (21) of the season. Things began to snowball for Gray, who walked Josh Reddick on four pitches in front of a bunt single from Jose Altuve. But, after a momentary reprieve in the form of a double-play grounder from Carlos Correa, the Oakland hurler lost control.

The Astros followed with a double, a walk and another double. The cherry was slapped on top of the sundae by Alex Bregman, whose chopper up the middle scored two rounding out a 10-batter, 38-pitch taxing of Gray.

Catcher Stephen Vogt said Gray’s misses weren’t bad pitches, they just missed a bit up:

“That’s a good lineup over there, so when they smell blood they usually take it and run with it.”

Though his misses weren’t terrible, according to Vogt, Gray said he has to figure out how to keep the inning from spiraling out of control, something that has been a weakness of his all season:

“I’ve got to figure out a way to shut the inning down when I get to two outs. That’s something that I’m going to try to get better at in the future.”

But the beleaguered ace found his groove, powering his way through 5 five-run frames. He allowed 12 base runners — seven hits, four walks and a hit batsman — while striking out five. His offense answered the first-inning outburst, albeit a modest answer.

With two down, another A’s trade piece, Jed Lowrie, beat the shift by lining a single to left. Khris Davis looked to have added another to his long list of impressive opposite-field blasts, but the towering fly ball banged off the National League out-of-town scoreboard giving him an RBI double instead.

Chad Pinder did reach the seats in the third, sending a drive 448 feet, according to Dinger Tracker, off the window of a luxury box in left-center for the solo homer (9).

Oakland continued to chip away, picking up single runs in the fourth and seventh. But a 1-for-13 team performance with runners in scoring position kept the A’s from tying or taking a lead.

Unable to impact the game with a crooked number, the A’s seemed fine with battling back one at a time, eventually knocking out Houston starter Francis Martes (W, 2-0, 5.02 ERA), who was tagged with six hits and three runs in 5-2/3 innings. The bullpen held up its end of the bargain until the eighth.

After a hit and two walks, the Astros got what has eluded the A’s for much of the season — a big-money hit. With two down, Correa jumped all over first-pitch fastball following a four-pitch walk, lining a single into the right-center field gap putting two runs on Liam Hendriks‘ record. Just for good measure, Houston added another in the ninth.

The skipper said that, after fighting back to within one run, the two-run double zapped any and all momentum in the home dugout:

“Obviously, the two runs they got against Hendriks kinda deflates you a little bit, but the guys battled back, battled hard, we just gave up too many runs in the first inning.”

Khris was the only Athletic to collect multiple hits, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Houston, on the other hand, got two-hit performances  from Josh Reddick (2-for-4), Carlos Beltran (2-for-4) and Bregman (2-for-3).

As for Gray, whether he gets traded or not has yet to be seen. And while he was the first to admit that locking in mentally is something he needs to work on, his fighter’s spirit is alive and well, as is his stuff:

“My stuff is there. My stuff is good, my stuff is there. I think now, moving forward, it’s going to be a mentality thing. I’ve got to figure it out.”

On deck

The A’s continue their search for a home win over the AL-leading Astros Wednesday. They will send Sean Manaea (6-3, 4.01 ERA), who boasts a career 1.71 ERA in five starts against Houston — though he is without a win in those games. Mike Fiers (4-2, 4.00 ERA) will take the mound on the Astros’ behalf.

Notes

Prior to the game, the A’s announced that they reached contract agreements with 31 of their 40 selections from the 2017 First-Year Player Draft. Among those was first-round pick Austin Beck (No. 6 overall), who was given an A’s franchise record $5.3 million signing bonus. … The A’s new stadium would generate $3.05 billion, along with 2,000 construction jobs, according to the Economic Impact Report released by the team Tuesday. The EIS is the latest of several steps necessary before the team can request planning approval from the Oakland City Council. … Ryan Dull (right knee) is expected to throw off the mound as early as next week, according to manager Bob Melvin. Dull has not thrown from the mound since injuring his knee in a game against the Boston Red Sox on May 19. … Kendall Graveman (right shoulder) is on a timetable similar to that of Dull. He is expected to thrown off the mound next weak as well, Melvin said. … Former Cal Bear and journeyman Michael Brady, originally drafted in 2009 as a second baseman, made his major league debut pitching the ninth and allowing a Carlos Beltran homer.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.

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Bay Area heat advisory bumped to ‘excessive’ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/bay-area-heat-advisory-bumped-to-excessive/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:50:09 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240534 A heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service for the Bay Area has been upgraded to an excessive heat warning on Thursday for some of the hotter inland areas of the North Bay mountains and the East Bay valleys and hills.

The heat advisory has also been extended until Thursday evening for most inland areas and expanded to the San Francisco Bay shoreline, including Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, Redwood City and San Mateo – but not San Francisco.

Coastal locations will be near normal, but inland weather is expected to be roughly 20 degrees hotter than usual.

Temperatures will rise an estimated two to five degrees from Tuesday to Wednesday, then another two to five degrees on Thursday – and some areas may exceed 110 degrees.

The weather will begin to cool off Friday, continuing into the weekend.

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Zenefits to pay millions in unpaid overtime https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/zenefits-to-pay-millions-in-unpaid-overtime/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:19:06 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240558 A 4-year-old human resources software company based in San Francisco has agreed, following a U.S. Labor Department investigation, to pay $3.4 million in unpaid overtime to 743 current and former workers in California and Arizona.

Zenefits, founded in 2013, sells small and medium-sized businesses software for managing payroll and employee benefits. The company also sells group health and life insurance.

The Labor Department announced today that investigators in its Wage and Hour Division found Zenefits violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by misclassifying 743 account executives and sales representatives as exempt from minimum wage and overtime.

The company incorrectly paid the workers a flat salary for all hours worked, regardless of overtime or training time, the department said.

The $3.4 million will go to those 743 present and former employees. Zenefits also agreed to an enhanced compliance plan that will include monitoring by the department to prevent future wage and hour violations.

Ruben Rosalez, regional administrator in the Wage and Hour Division’s San Francisco office, said:

“We have put money back in workers’ wallets while also working with Zenefits to ensure future compliance with federal labor law. … This case allows us to level the playing field for all of the employers who play by the rules.”

Zenefits Vice President of Communications Jessica Hoffman said:

“We are pleased that after the DOL’s review regarding classification of two jobs at Zenefits, there were no penalties, fines or damages. … Zenefits fully cooperated with the DOL and we are happy to have this issue behind us.”

In a separate set of probes last year, the insurance departments of California and 16 other states reached settlements with Zenefits for insurance sales licensing violations.

California Insurance Commission Dave Jones said Zenefits allowed unlicensed agents to sell insurance and used a computer program to circumvent education requirements for employees seeking a license.

The program enabled workers to complete a licensing course in fewer study hours than required, by advancing the course timer even when the employee was not actively studying.

California levied a $7 million fine, the largest among the state settlements. But Jones said he would waive half the fine if Zenefits has no significant licensing violations by 2018.

In February, Zenefits laid off about 45 percent of its workers, or a total of 430 employees from its offices in San Francisco and Tempe, Ariz.

The company now has about 500 workers serving 10,000 small and medium-size businesses in all 50 states, according to its website.

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San Jose steps up talks to woo Google into downtown https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/san-jose-steps-up-talks-to-woo-google-into-downtown/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 04:50:58 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240556 The San Jose City Council passed an agreement Tuesday evening that will enter the city into exclusive talks with Google over a 6 million-square-foot office and retail complex around the Diridon station that promises to bring as many as 20,000 jobs to downtown.

The development, which public inclusion-minded city officials have avoided calling a “campus,” would include public plazas and paseos, retail shops and a public greenbelt and park along Los Gatos Creek.

Kim Walesh, San Jose’s Deputy City Manager and Director of Economic Development, said in her presentation:

“This is really a once-in-a-century opportunity.”

If all goes according to plan, Walesh said, the site will constitute part of the most transit-rich region in the western United States, transforming downtown San Jose, which has historically lagged in public transit use.

Diridon, already a transit hub with service from Caltrain, Amtrak, Altamont Corridor Express, light-rail and buses for three counties, is poised to become a stop on the California High-Speed Rail Line and Phase II of the Silicon Valley BART extension.

Nanci Klein, the city’s Assistant Director of Economic Development and Director of Real Estate, said the project would be a boon to San Jose, bringing jobs to a “bedroom community” that she says is housing-rich and jobs-poor.

The city currently has about 0.85 jobs per employed resident, compared to 2.9 in Palo Alto and between 1.6 and 1.8 in Cupertino, Mountain View and Santa Clara, Klein said.

Mark Golan, Google’s Vice President of Real Estate and Workplace Services, said in a brief address to the council:

“Google shares the city’s vision.”

The vote came after more than an hour of public comment, largely from union leaders and housing advocates calling for the city to negotiate for terms that would prevent displacement, support housing affordability and create good jobs for locals, including construction and service workers.

“We’re not depressed here. We don’t need Google,” one advocate said, arguing that the development would “not necessarily” lead to an improved quality of life in Silicon Valley.

Some advocates called for delaying this evening’s vote, saying rushing into exclusive talks could give the Mountain View search giant too much power.

Bob Brownstein, a strategic advisor for Working Partnerships USA, said:

“Google is not the government. … It can’t perform the representative function that only the government can.”

Mayor Sam Liccardo said he was receptive to the advocates’ concerns and intends to engage the community as the project moves forward:

“We know this is just the beginning of the conversation … I do appreciate the very sincere and intense expression of concern … about pains of growth.”

In response to union advocates, councilman Raul Peralez called up Golan to confirm that Google would work to create good jobs for locals:

“Google has had a really good track record with working with our local unions. … They’re providing recruiting and training opportunities for our local residents.”

The mayor added that San Jose has “borne the brunt” of high housing costs and traffic brought by tech workers in neighboring cities like Cupertino, Palo Alto and Mountain View without enjoying the tax revenues and proceeds from the sale of public land to tech companies.

The city made $34 million when Adobe moved into San Jose more than 20 years ago, Liccardo said.

A 6 million- to 8 million-square-foot development would generate $8 million or more in property tax revenue, Klein said.

As for the city’s issues, like affordability, Liccardo said:

“Google didn’t cause them, and Google’s not suddenly going to fix them.”

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A’s toss record bonus to first-rounder Austin Beck https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/as-toss-record-signing-bonus-to-first-rounder-austin-beck/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 03:24:04 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240536 The Oakland Athletics have reached agreement with 31 of their 40 selections from the 2017 MLB Draft. Among them was first-round selection Austin Beck, who claimed a franchise record $5.3 million signing bonus.

Beck has been compared to all many of MLB superstars including the star, Mike Trout. Of that comparison, the 18-year-old outfielder said, through his North Carolina drawl:

“I’ve heard of it, but he’s the best player in the game so it’s kinda hard to compare anybody to that. I guess I’ve got similar tools to what he’s got.”

He compares his own game to 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen.

Manager Bob Melvin has seen young players become stars in his 30 around the league. Of his team’s No. 6 overall selection, he said:

“I’ve heard some comps. I don’t like to put comps on guys, but he legitimately looks like a five-tool guy. He can do just about everything: throws; he runs; he hits; he hits for power; all the types of things you would hope you would get from a premiere first-round pick.”

The comparisons, albeit unfair to the youngster, are not unfounded. Beck batted .590 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs in 28 games as a senior at North Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina. In his high school career, he hit at a .457 clip with 23 homers in 103 games. In fact, it may be that only ACL surgery during his junior kept him from going even higher than the six-spot, according to Minor League Ball.

Beck was invited to take batting practice with the team prior to Tuesday’s game. Hitting with the final group, the first-round selection put on a show, flashing lightning-quick bat speed and accompanying thunderous power. Using a wooden bat, he launched several over the wall from straight-away left to the right-center field gap.

As far as what he believes he can bring to the Oakland organization, Beck said:

“The will to win. I come out here to compete and do the best I can, and try to play 100 percent.”

He added:

“(I play) very fast-paced. I go out there and do everything as fast as I can.”

And speed is one of those tools Melvin said makes him a very intriguing addition. Beck has been clocked as fast as 4.1 seconds from the right hander’s batter’s box to first — the league average in 2016 was 4.62, according to MLB.com. Beck’s speed is also on display in his 41 runs scores his senior year — 1.5 per game.

He is also his hopeful his speed shines as he rises through the ranks in the A’s system. Asked how quickly he hopes to make that climb, Beck said:

“As quick as possible. I’m going to go out there and play the best I can every day, and try to fight for a spot on this team.”

The journey continues Wednesday, when the young man flies to Arizona, where he begins his professional baseball career in the Arizona League.

He hasn’t had much time to enjoy the ride since agreeing to his contract, saying the past couple days have “kinda flown by,” but he did find time to indulge a bit of Bay Area culture. He said his first day in Oakland included a midnight run to In-N-Out.

And, for a guy used to doing things fast, he hasn’t allowed the moments to pile up too quickly, saying he went numb upon being notified of his drafting. He added that his celebration on draft day included a late-night fishing trip with about eight of his buddies. He said:

“It’s really exciting. It’s always what you’ve dreamed of — of doing as a little kid.”


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.

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San Francisco snuffs menthol cigarettes, flavored tobacco https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/san-francisco-snuffs-menthol-cigarettes-flavored-tobacco/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:53:57 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240530 Legislation restricting the sale of all flavored tobacco including menthol cigarettes was approved unanimously by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

Supervisor Malia Cohen introduced the legislation targeting flavored tobacco products because they are typically marketed to vulnerable populations including children and young adults, African Americans and LGBTQ people.

Cohen said Tuesday:

“It’s no secret that flavored tobaccos are considered by many experts to be starter products. … They taste good, they mask the harsh flavor and they make it easier for people to start a lifelong habit.”

The legislation drew some protests from small business advocates who said it could hurt small corner stores that rely on tobacco and alcohol sales to turn a profit.

In response, Cohen Tuesday introduced amendments that extended the date it takes effect from Jan. 1, 2018 to April 1, 2018, to allow more time for the transition.

Cohen also said she would be interested in providing additional city assistance to stores looking for ways to revamp their offerings.

The financial cost to San Francisco in direct health care expenses and lost productivity from tobacco use is estimated at around $380 million a year.

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Oakland marks $14M for homeless services https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/oakland-marks-14m-for-homeless-services/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:47:57 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240468 The Oakland City Council voted Monday night to allocate $14 million to support homeless residents, city officials said.

According to Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, the funds will enable the city to purchase existing single-room occupancy motel properties, help people get off the streets and provide services and support.

The money will come from bond funds via Measure KK, approved last November for affordable housing projects, programs and infrastructure improvements.

“Homelessness is a growing crisis in our community,” Kaplan said in a statement, adding that she was pleased with the amount allocated.

Kaplan added:

“The Oakland City Council took an important step but the work does not stop here, and we will continue to work with the county and others to bring the services our community needs.”

A recent count of Oakland’s homeless population found that homelessness in the city is on the rise and there are currently more than 1,900 unsheltered residents, Kaplan said.

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Big bump in SF garbage rates approved https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/big-bump-in-sf-garbage-rates-approved/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/big-bump-in-sf-garbage-rates-approved/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:24:20 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240386 After shutting down recycling centers throughout much of San Francisco, saying curbside recycling made them obsolete, San Francisco Monday gave Recology Sunset Scavenger a green light to raise collection rates, charging residents more for trash, recycling and compost.

At City Hall Monday morning, the three-member Refuse Collection and Disposal Rate Board unanimously rejected 53 different objections to the proposed new trash rates, which will increase garbage bills by an average of more than 14 percent starting July 1.

Rates will then increase over the next two years by more than 5 percent until, by 2021, most garbage bills will have increased by more than one-fifth.

Those who showed Monday to voice their objections included Inner Sunset architect Thomas Soper, who was there with his wife, Kathleen. He noted that for two-unit buildings with 32-gallon black, blue and green bins, the increase goes above 36 percent:

“It’s a very unjust and unfair decision in relationship to two-to-five-unit buildings. … The reality of these fixed-agreement or fixed-costs that they claim that is driving this need for an additional, heavy-handed charge, unit-based, is an overreaching attempt to recover the cost. …  To overburden, in a disproportionate way, the people that are residents of two-to-five unit buildings is really unfair.”

Apartment buildings of six units or more would see their overall garbage collection rates increase by 10.75 percent.

In his Director’s Report, Mohammed Nuru addressed a perception that Recology makes sufficient revenue on the selling of recyclables to mitigate its need to request a rate increase:

“Recology’s net recycling revenues in (2018) are projected to be $20.6 million, or about 15.5 percent of RSF’s total operating costs. … About 60 percent  of that revenue comes from mixed paper and cardboard. Aluminum and certain plastics (PET) account for another 20 percent of recycling revenues. These revenues are applied to the benefit of ratepayers.”

Nuru also addressed concerns over recycling theft:

“Members of the public expressed considerable frustration about pilfering from recycling bins and the loss of material revenue that could help mitigate the rate increase. I understand and share the public’s frustration with poaching from residential recycling bins. Some ratepayers suggested deterrent measures, such as tamper-resistant bins or anti-theft stickers.”

Nuru added:

“Staff has looked extensively at bin designs and concluded that no design is theft-proof and some tamper proof designs are cost prohibitive, can lead to more expensive bin damage or even theft of the bin itself, as well as collection costs that are larger than the resulting revenue. Recology testified to the complexities of preventing pilfering and estimated it would cost at least $6 to $7 million to save about $1.2 to $3.5 million annually. … Stickers, and even language molded into bins, have been tried in the past with little deterrent effect.”

In the same document, Nuru stated that an overall rate increase is necessary for a number of reasons:

“The largest cost driver is an increase in what can be characterized as the regular cost of doing business, followed by the maintenance and expansion of existing programs in response to greater public participation, and the implementation of new programs in support of the City’s zero waste goal. Costs related to the new landfill agreement are also a substantial contributor. Finally, the increase in regulatory-related costs for the composting operations and capital investment in the new West Wing facility to transfer compostables are also contributing costs.”

Peter Reitz, executive director of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute, an organization he claims has about 2,000 members, says many in the organization are owners of two-to-five-unit buildings, and this includes a lot of immigrants:

“A lot of our people are really struggling to make their mortgages and I think that we can find a way to continue the recycling program in San Francisco without extortion of these small property owners that often provide rents of $300 to $500 a month. … It’s a sector you want to maintain in this city.”

Gideon Kramer said he was not convinced that Recology needed to raise the rates based on its claims about the cost of doing business:

“I do not believe Recology has made a compelling case for those rate increases. … In my case, a four-unit building, the rate will go up by 36.5 percent…. I think that’s way, way out of line….”

He noted that a significant portion of this increase was related to the blue recycling bins:

“If you want to incentivize people to eliminate or minimize black (bin) trash, you want to increase the rate for black (bin) trash; then you want to incentivize people to put more into the green and blue bins. And instead, Recology is proposing to triple the rate for blue and green trash (bins)…. It may look good from a marketing standpoint but in terms of achieving the goal that the City has, it seems to be completely the opposite. It makes no sense to me.”

The board chair, Jennifer Johnston, said she agreed that a 20 percent increase is significant:

“And it is not lost on me that will have an impact on single-family homes and smaller apartment buildings and the expense will be passed down to tenants,” Johnston said…. “Although it is a significant increase, I do feel that it’s merited.”

Board member Ted Egan, from the City Controller’s office, acknowledged that a possible equity issue has been raised along with the new garbage rates.

“I think that the rate structure that has been proposed is fair,” Egan said. “I think that moving forward it (will be) more along the lines that it could pay the cost of service.”

Michael P Carlin, a deputy general manager with the Public Utilities Commission, agreed with Johnston about the necessity of the new rates.

“The required revenue that Recology has here is reasonable,” Carlin said. “It does make sense that if the landfill costs go up; the rates have to go up. If more people are participating in programs that has to be paid for, and that overall costs of doing business in the City are rising. That includes Recology’s costs.”

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San Francisco libraries return to seven-day service https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/san-francisco-libraries-return-to-seven-day-service/ https://sfbay.ca/2017/06/20/san-francisco-libraries-return-to-seven-day-service/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:34:54 +0000 https://sfbay.ca/?p=240334 Anyone wanting to do some summer reading at any of the San Francisco library branches can now so every day.

The San Francisco Public Library is adding an additional day of service at nine library branches that include the Anza, Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial, Golden Gate Valley, North Beach, Ocean View, Parkside, Potrero and Presidio branches.

Mayor Ed Lee, joined by City Librarian Luis Herrera and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, announced the expanded day and library branch hours at the Glen Park Library branch. Lee said:

“When you get your free library card, you can learn about to 70 languages. You get a high school diploma online if you want or you can even check out the free New York Times if you want to read the New York Times.”

In addition to the expanded day of service at nine library branches, six branches will extend its hours including the Bayview/Linda Brooks-Burton, Glen Park, Ingleside, Mission Bay, Portola and Visitacion Valley branches.

Lee said the extended hours will be permanent.

According to the San Francisco Public Library, all library branches will open now at a minimum of 50 hours each week thanks in part to the additional hours. The City’s Main Library already opens a total of 60 hours each week.

Sheehy has three public library branches in District 8 including the Glen Park Library. He said the extended hours will provide more time for kids to read and participate in the library’s annual Summer Stride program.

Kids who participate in the summer program can keep track on the number of books read and time spent in the library. Kids can enter a weekly raffle at their library branch where they can win tickets to sporting events and to museums.

Funding for the expanded library hours was part of The City’s 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 budget, approved by the Board of Supervisors and signed by Lee last year.

The new library hours went into effect last Saturday. Click here for all library hours of all branches.

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