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Thursday Morning News Roundup

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The Oakland A's have rejected a proposal by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to extend their lease at the Coliseum for 10 years, the baseball team said.

In a statement, the team didn't say why it is turning down the authority's offer, saying only that, "While the proposal was for 10 years, it did not address all of our issues" and "consequently, we cannot accept the terms of the offer.

The A's said, "We have tried to negotiate in good faith for the past several months. As the authority knows, it is still our preference not to negotiate this agreement through the media."

The A's issued their statement Tuesday night after the Coliseum Authority released a statement saying they had offered the team a 10-year lease to remain at the Coliseum site.

The authority said it wouldn't release the terms of its offer to the A's publicly but it had shared them with Major League Baseball.

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who chairs the authority, said in the statement, "We wanted to send a clear statement to the A's, the fans, (A's owner) Lew Wolff and Major League Baseball that we want the A's at the Coliseum and want to keep baseball in Oakland."

Miley said, "A 10-year extension, lasting through the 2024 season, gives the team a place to call home and our fans and sponsors a window to continue investing their time and passion in this team. We are also working to ensure this deal safeguards county and city taxpayers."

He said, "We are meeting the A's management where they say they want to be and hope to conclude these negotiations quickly."

A key issue dividing the A's and the city of Oakland and Alameda County officials who serve on the Coliseum Authority is whether to build a new baseball stadium in Oakland and where it would be located if it were to be built.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and a group of Oakland business leaders are exploring the possibility of building a new waterfront stadium at the Howard Terminal just north of Jack London Square.

But Wolff, who previously has tried to move the A's to San Jose, has said he's not interested in hhaving a stadium at that site

A 5-year-old boy suffered severe eye injuries when he was hit with a paintball in West Oakland on Tuesday evening, police said.

The boy was in a car with his family driving in the 1700 block of Ninth Street at about 6:10 p.m. when a teenager on the sidewalk opened fire with a paintball gun at the car, police Officer Frank Bonifacio said.

The boy was struck in the eye and his family took him to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries, Bonifacio said.

No one has been arrested for the assault, Bonifacio said.

Federal scientists on Wednesday announced the re-discovery of a steamship that sank 126 years ago after the second-worst maritime disaster in the history of the San Francisco Bay.

They also released never-before-seen sonar photos of the ship, which was found upright on the Bay floor in 217 feet of water, according to Dr. James Delgado, director of the Maritime Heritage Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

The ship, City of Chester, connected San Francisco to other areas including Eureka, Portland and British Columbia.

On Aug. 30, 1888, Delgado says the City of Chester was headed out from the Bay when it collided with another ship, the Oceanic, slicing it open.

The captain of the Oceanic tried to keep his ship in the opening to prevent water from filling up the side of the City of Chester, Delgado said.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Oceanic worked to help the 90 passengers aboard the City of Chester. Ultimately, 16 people lost their lives.

Delgado said the significance of the steamship's re-discovery is partially a matter of setting historical record straight.

The crew of the Oceanic was mostly Chinese immigrants and Delgado says the prevailing sentiment, both locally and nationally, was decidedly negative.

President Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act in May 1882, which significantly restricted the ability of Chinese people to immigrate into the U.S.

"At the time of the wreck, the initial response from the media was anti-Chinese. That the crew of the other ship stood by and let other passengers drown," Delgado said.

"However ... people actually lived because the Oceanic crew jumped to help the people aboard the other ship," he said.

Additionally, Delgado says the captain of the City of Chester was found to be at fault in the crash.

About one year ago, Delgado says traces of the City of Chester were discovered by navigation teams plotting the course for the America's Cup sailing race.

Since then, crews have been gathering increasingly refined sonar pictures of the ship.

People living on an area known as the Albany Bulb will have to move out by Friday as part of a settlement with the city of Albany.

The Albany City Council voted in May 2013 to begin a process of incorporating the Bulb into the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park and to start enforcing the city's no-camping ordinance there in October.

In October, the council approved a $570,000 transition plan that included assistance and temporary transitional shelter for homeless people.

A group of several law firms, including Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, the East Bay Community Law Center and the Homeless Action Center then sued the city on behalf of the landfill residents in November.

The civil rights lawsuit, lodged in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, asked for a temporary restraining order and/or an injunction barring Albany from removing homeless people from the site until the city found adequate shelter for them.

The complaint asserted that the city's offer to set up temporary shelter in portable trailers parked next to the entrance road to the landfill was insufficient.

It also said many Bulb residents would not have been able to access the trailers due to physical disabilities, there would not have been enough beds for all evicted residents, and that the trailers would not have offered people the right to privacy they enjoyed in their homes on the landfill.

As part of the settlement, 28 of the residents will be entitled to $3,000 in cash in exchange for leaving with all their personal property by Friday. They also have to stay away from the Bulb for a period of 12 months.

A website has been set up to raise money for the family of a mother and her 3-year-old son who died in a fire last week at their apartment in San Francisco's Sunnydale neighborhood.

Eseta Ioane and her son, Santana Williams, perished in the April 16 fire at their home at 76 Brookdale Ave.

The one-alarm fire was reported at 9:54 a.m. at the two-story building.

Ioane was pronounced dead at the scene, while Santana was taken to San Francisco General Hospital in critical condition. He later succumbed to his injuries, fire officials said.

More information about the fire and how it started will be released after autopsy results of the victims are completed, a fire official said.

According to site organizers on, Ioane was a "loving and caring person," who was "known for speaking her mind and her delicious cooking."

Santana was remembered as a happy boy who loved Spiderman and football.

Friends are hoping to raise $15,500 in the next week to pay for funeral and other expenses, including ongoing support for surviving family members.

As of Wednesday afternoon, two donors had pitched in $250.

Organizers said plans for funeral and other memorial events are in the works.

The Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved $8.7 million in funding Wednesday morning to expand the Bay Area Bicycle Share program to the East Bay in 2015 despite delays in existing expansion plans caused by the bankruptcy of a key business.

An expansion of Bay Area Bike Share's existing program in San Francisco, San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City planned for this year has been delayed because the manufacturer of the bikes and docking stations filed for bankruptcy, according to a spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which has been overseeing the bike sharing program.

In a statement in January the Montreal-based Public Bike System Company, also known as Bixi, announced it was filing for bankruptcy because customers had withheld $5.6 million in payments in response to delays in rollouts of its technology.

Air district spokesman Tom Flannigan said that there haven't been any issues with the company's technology so far in the Bay Area, as have been reported in cities like New York and Chicago.

"We've been really fortunate, we haven't had those same problems here," Flannigan said. "Our program is running pretty smoothly."

But a planned program expansion from an existing 700 bikes to 1,000 later this year has so far made no progress as Bixi is no longer manufacturing bicycles, Flannigan said. He said the company was recently sold but it remains unclear if or when production will resume.

Flannigan said that he does not anticipate that the company will fold entirely. The air district is monitoring the situation closely and still hopes to add 300 bikes to the system by the end of this year, he said.

The air district is in the process of transitioning management of the bike share system to the MTC, which will oversee the proposed addition of about 750 bikes to the East Bay.

The East Bay expansion would place about 400 bikes in Oakland, 350 in Berkeley, and some in Emeryville at locations such as colleges, BART stations, and other transit hubs such as the Emeryville Amtrak station.

MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler said that while Bixi's bankruptcy filing "creates a sense of uncertainty," the underlying business model and idea of bike sharing remains sound.

A 17-year-old girl who was killed early Monday morning when a car in which she was a passenger crashed into a wall in West Oakland has been identified by the Alameda County coroner's office as 17-year-old Sariah Cleveland of Oakland.

Cleveland was riding in a white 1995 Mercedes C220 that collided head-on with a pillar supporting elevated BART tracks at Fifth and Union streets at about 1:25 a.m. on Monday, Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Oakland police have only identified the driver of the Mercedes as a 24-year-old Oakland man. He was transported to a hospital where he is listed in critical condition, according to Watson.

She said a preliminary investigation indicates that the driver was speeding while traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Fifth Street and then failed to negotiate a turn, just west of Union Street.

The driver lost control and the car crossed over the raised center median and collided head-on with a support pillar for the elevated tracks, police said.

Investigators believe alcohol may have been a factor in the collision, Watson said.

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo will testify at his misdemeanor peeking trial today after Judge Gary Medvigy Wednesday afternoon denied a defense motion to dismiss the case.

Carrillo, the 33-year-old 5th District Supervisor, is charged with peeking into the window or door of his neighbor's Brockhurst Drive home in west Santa Rosa on July 13.

He was standing outside her apartment in his socks and boxer briefs when Santa Rosa police arrived around 3:40 a.m. He was arrested later for prowling and burglary.

The 11 women and three men on the jury, two of whom are alternates, heard two of Carrillo's recorded interviews with police. On Tuesday, Carrillo's neighbor, identified only as Jane Doe, gave her account.

She said she was sleeping soundly around 3:30 a.m. when she heard a tearing and scratching sound and rustling blinds at her bedroom window.

Doe said she woke up, went to the living room and saw a "scary, large and muscular" man standing in front of her apartment when she looked out the window.

She testified she woke up two female quests who were spending the weekend, and the three of them armed themselves with butcher knives. The man knocked on the front door, and when she asked who it was he replied, "it's your neighbor." Doe said she called police at 3:40 a.m., and again at 3:50 a.m.

Police found the lower left corner of the bedroom window screen was damaged and the window was open enough to allow someone to reach inside. Doe testified that her window was open when she went to sleep.

Officials in Redwood City on Wednesday celebrated the completion of the Port of Redwood City's $17 million modernized wharf, the first built in the Bay Area to accommodate projected rising sea levels.

The modernized wharf meets the latest seismic and sea level design standards and will allow the Port to welcome larger cargo ships, officials said.

Construction began in 2012 on the wharf, which replaces a 60-year-old wooden wharf built in the World War II era, according to Port Chair Lorianna Kastrop. Located on the northern end of the Redwood Harbor Ship Channel, the concrete structure is situated between a Cemex cement marine terminal and Sims Metals scrap iron terminal.

Kastrop said she was happy to say that the wharf, which will service port customers for the next 50 years or more, "creates a legacy for our future."

The wharf will allow the Port to dock dry bulk ships known as Panamax ships, which are currently the largest ships able to pass through the Panama Canal, Kastrop said. From the deck on the new wharf, mobile cranes and large hoppers will be able to load and unload cargo and use the 30-foot-wide concrete ramps to transport the goods to the shore.

Funded by a $10 million 2012 Port Revenue Bond and port capital project reserves, the new wharf boasts a 950-foot long sea wall that was specifically designed to deal with predicted rising sea levels due to climate change.

The project design team, which considered sea level rise estimates from the California Climate Action Team and modeled local conditions to allow for an expected 100-year storm surge, designed the wharf two feet higher than most existing waterfront structures in the bay, according to Port Director Michael Giari, who emceed Wednesday's dedication.

The wharf will allow for a major increase in the import of aggregates used in construction to the Peninsula and the Silicon Valley, which currently hold five of the state's largest construction projects, including Levi Stadium, the new Facebook campus, the San Mateo County Jail and Stanford Hospital, Kastrop said.

Berkeley's historic UC Theatre will reopen as a nonprofit live music venue next year, organizers said Wednesday.

The 1,460-seat theater on University Avenue, which has been closed for 12 years, will undergo renovations starting this summer before reopening as a year-round live music venue managed by the nonprofit Berkeley Music Group, the group said.

Leaders of the nonprofit, who include Board President David Mayeri, a former chief operating officer for Bill Graham presents, say the venue will present around 75 to 100 shows a year and will be the only venue of its size and type in the East Bay.

Mayor Tom Bates hailed the planned reopening as a major economic boost for Berkeley's downtown.

"The reopening of the UC Theatre as a music and live entertainment venue in the heart of downtown Berkeley is a key milestone in downtown's ongoing revitalization," Bates said.

The Berkeley Music Group has raised $2.7 million so far toward the theater's revitalization, more than half of its goal of $5.2 million.

The UC Theatre, which is named after the University of California at Berkeley but not associated with it, first opened in 1917, group officials said.

Known to many as a repertory theater, the UC Theatre held the record for the longest-running series of Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings, and hosted historic events including an event at which filmmaker Werner Herzog ate his shoe, on a dare from fellow filmmaker Errol Morris.

A man's body was found at a dump near Petaluma Wednesday, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to the Sonoma County Central Disposal Site at 500 Mecham Road shortly before 1 p.m. after employees found the body in a debris pile, according to Sgt. Shannon McAlvain.

Based on its location, the body might have come from a transfer truck coming from the Healdsburg area, McAlvain said.

A preliminary investigation found no signs of foul play in the death, McAlvain said.

The body has been identified as that of a 39-year-old white male, but the man's name is not being released until his next of kin can be notified, McAlvain said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning. The death remains under investigation, McAlvain said.

A Livermore police office rescued an elderly woman from a burning house Tuesday night, police said Wednesday.

Multiple calls came in to 911 around 8:50 p.m. Tuesday reporting the fire at 820 Grace Street, and one caller reported an elderly woman trapped inside the home, according to Officer Steve Goard.

Officer Brian Sleeper, the first officer on the scene, was alerted by neighbors of the woman inside the house and immediately kicked open the front door and ran inside, Goard said.

Sleeper found the woman lying on the floor in the master bedroom and carried her out of the house, Goard said.

The woman received medical attention at the scene but was uninjured, Goard said.

The fire's cause remains under investigation.

A San Leandro police officer saved an apparently suicidal man on Tuesday who fell while sitting on a bridge railing, police said Wednesday.

The officer was patrolling on the 1100 block of Bancroft Avenue around 6:15 p.m. when he spotted a 30-year-old male sitting on the railing of a bridge that crosses the San Leandro Creek Watershed, according to Lt. Mike Sobek.

The officer knew the man from previous contacts, and suspected he might be considering a suicide attempt, Sobek said.

When the officer approached the man, he fell backwards toward the officer.

The officer was able to prevent any injury, and after he confirmed the man was suicidal, the officer arranged a psychiatric hold and transportation to a hospital for observation, Sobek said.

"Our officer's keen observation skills, beat knowledge and quick action prevented this man from taking his own life," Sobek said. "His actions epitomize one of a police officer's core responsibilities, and that is to save lives."

An advisory warning people not to swim at Monterey Municipal Beach that was posted Tuesday has been lifted after bacteria levels in the water subsided to safe levels, county health officials said Wednesday.

The Monterey County Health Department found unsafe levels of indicator bacteria in water samples taken at the beach Monday.

Indicator bacteria are used to estimate the level of fecal or other contamination in the water.

Sources of the bacteria can include marine life, animals, human activity and runoff from storm drains, according to county health officials.

Mostly cloudy skies are likely in the Bay Area this morning. Highs are expected to be near 60, with westerly winds of up to 10 mph.

Partly cloudy skies are likely this evening, with a slight chance of rain. Lows are expected to be in the lower 50s, with westerly winds of up to 20 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies are likely Friday morning, with a chance of showers and slight chance of thunderstorms. Highs are expected to be in the upper 50s, with westerly winds of up to 15 mph.
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