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Morning Splash: BART Says Man Shot by Cop Had Knife; Bay Area Tourists on Sunken Mexico Boat; Marin Assessor Cuts Home Valuations

| July 5, 2011
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  • BART: Suspect killed by officer in S.F. had knife (SF Chronicle)

    A BART police officer shot and killed a man on the platform of the Civic Center Station in San Francisco late Sunday after the man used a bottle as a weapon and drew a knife, transit agency officials said. What started as a common police call – a report of a man with an open bottle of alcohol – escalated into a fatal shooting within one minute of officers arriving, BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said Monday.

  • Bay Area tourists’ boat sinks in Mexico (SF Chronicle)

    One man died and eight more were missing Monday, a day after a boat carrying 28 American tourists, most of them Bay Area men on an annual Fourth of July fishing trip in Mexico, capsized in the Gulf of California, authorities said. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Mexican navy were searching for survivors more than 36 hours after a sudden, unexpected storm toppled the boat.

  • BART police shooting unlike Oscar Grant case in key ways (Oakland Tribune)

    Reports that BART police had shot and killed a man at a San Francisco BART station Sunday immediately brought back memories of the Oscar Grant shooting and ensuing public outrage for many in the East Bay, but the police confrontation that ended with an unidentified man killed at the Civic Center station is proving to have major differences. Police initially received a call at 9:34 p.m. Sunday reporting that a man in a tie-dye shirt and military fatigue pants was walking around the BART station platform with an open bottle of alcohol, BART police Chief Kenton Rainey said at a news conference Monday. Two officers riding a Millbrae-bound train responded to the call, arriving at 9:45 p.m. after a second call reported that the man was wobbly and drunk.

  • Assessor cuts Marin valuations (Marin Independent Journal)

    The county assessor, citing a continuing slide in home values, has reduced the value of 27 percent of Marin’s residential properties, providing tax breaks for 21,600 homeowners. The move by Assessor Rich Benson eclipses adjustments made last year that reduced the value of 21 percent of the county’s residences in what was then the biggest reassessment purge since Proposition 13, providing breaks for 16,000 property owners.

  • UCSF, Stanford autism study shows surprises (SF Chronicle)

    Environmental factors play a more important role in causing autism than previously assumed and, surprisingly, an even larger role than genetics, according to a new study out of UCSF and Stanford that could force a dramatic swing in the focus of research into the developmental disorder. The study, published in Monday’s issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at 192 pairs of twins in California and, using a mathematical model, found that genetics account for about 38 percent of the risk of autism, and environmental factors account for about 62 percent.

  • Debris from Japanese tsunami steadily drifting toward California (San Jose Mercury News)

    Millions of tons of debris that washed into the ocean during Japan’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in March — everything from furniture to roofs to pieces of cars — are now moving steadily toward the United States and raising concerns about a potential environmental headache. Scientists using computer models say the wreckage, which is scattered across hundreds of miles of the Pacific Ocean, is expected to reach Midway and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by next spring and beaches in California, Oregon and Washington in 2013 or early 2014.

  • California school districts push to reverse new protections for teachers (Sacramento Bee)

    A budget-related bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed Thursday has sparked a division within the education community as school districts push to reverse new protections for teachers. Lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 114 in the final 45 minutes of the legislative session Tuesday night. The bill protects teachers from further layoffs in the new fiscal year. It also requires districts to ignore the possibility they could lose $1.5 billion in classroom funding in December as well as $248 million in school bus money.

  • San Francisco copes with Fourth of July chaos on Golden Gate Bridge sidewalk (SF Examiner)

    Due to the recent closure of the span’s western sidewalk — normally reserved strictly for cyclists during the weekends and holidays — bikers and walkers were crammed into the eastern sidewalk, making for a chaotic scene of near-misses, close calls and plenty of traffic bottlenecks. The Fourth of July was the first holiday on the bridge since the western sidewalk was shut down for four months due to seismic retrofit work.

  • Prices outpacing wages for many in Bay Area (Oakland Tribune)

    Bay Area paychecks aren’t keeping up with rising prices, putting increasing pressure on households throughout the region amid the economic fallout from the recession… Over the one-year period that ended in the first quarter of 2011, per-capita wages in the Bay Area rose 2.3 percent, the state’s Employment Development Department reported. Prices in the Bay Area rose 2.8 percent over the year that ended in April.

  • East Bay cities vow to fight plan to end redevelopment agencies (Contra Costa Times)

    East Bay cities are vowing to fight a plan signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week to use money earmarked for local revitalization to plug the state deficit. Brown endorsed two bills: One dissolves the state’s nearly 400 redevelopment agencies and the other allows individual agencies to remain if they “pay to play,” handing over their share of the $1.7 billion in givebacks and making smaller payments in perpetuity. City administrators around the East Bay are calling the move “coercive” and “disastrous” and many have pledged to support the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities in bringing a suit to the state Supreme Court.

  • Mountain View reaches agreements with employee groups (Palo Alto Daily News)

    Mountain View’s employees will not get cost-of-living pay increases or merit raises in exchange for a couple of extra paid days off, under arrangements released by the city Friday. The city council is scheduled to vote today on new 2011-12 agreements with two unions as well as unrepresented employees, such as police and fire managers and department heads. The deals will save Mountain View about $500,000, which meets the city’s goals for the year, Acting Assistant City Manager Max Bosel said in a report.

  • SF Bayview Opera House renovation needs more money (SF Chronicle)

    …What started off as ordinary repairs (at the Bayview Opera House) led construction workers to discover that a fungus had been eating away at the 50-foot-by-36-foot south wall for decades. So under San Francisco’s proposed budget for the new fiscal year, the wall will get a $500,000 overhaul. The expense, designated an emergency cost by the city, comes on top of the $3 million building renovation, which has been under way since 2007.

  • Study predicts Latino population group to grow (Silicon Valley Community Newspapers)

    Latinos and Asians are driving population growth in Silicon Valley and in the state of California, but a study shows that by 2040 Latinos will make up the largest population group in the region (San Mateo and Santa Clara counties). Former San Jose mayor Ron Gonzales discussed this and other information about the Latino population at the June meeting of the National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Associates.

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