On October 14, 2016 at 8:15 p.m., San Francisco Police Department officers responded to the Lakeshore Shopping Center on a call regarding a subject threatening people and causing a disturbance. Upon arrival, officers located the subject on the unit block of Everglade Drive. When the officers made contact with the subject, he turned toward the officers and fired multiple shots, striking one of the officers in the head. As that officer went down, the suspect fled on foot toward Sigmund Stern Grove.
The injured officer’s partner rendered aid and requested backup.
Google introduced a prototype of its self-driving car last year. Regulators are still working on rules for the vehicles. Photo: Tony Avelar, Associated Press.
Self-driving cars could be lifesavers, preventing many, if not most, of the traffic accidents that claim more than 30,000 American lives each year.
They could also make devastating weapons.
David R. Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reports that hackers could be employed by a hostile nation finding a way to command large numbers of cars on U.S. roads. Picture those hackers ordering the vehicles to suddenly accelerate and turn hard to the right, flipping them over, killing many passengers and clogging freeways with junked cars.
Or envision a lone-wolf terrorist loading explosives into a car and programming it to drive to a targeted building or public space.
“A nation-state will think very carefully before they commit something that can be interpreted as an act of war, so that helps keep us safe,” said Isaac Porche, associate director of the Forces and Logistics Program at the Rand Corp. think tank. “But is it possible? Yes.”
San Francisco County Tax Assessor and former District 4 supervisor Carmen Chu addressed the Muni board on Sept. 20.
Story and photos by Thomas K. Pendergast
A plan by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni) to add 15 new boarding islands along the L-line railway on Taraval Street, while also removing nine stops, was unanimously approved by its board of directors on Sept. 20.
The plan would also include transit-only lanes between 15th and 46th avenues, and a six-month “pilot program” of using only paint, signage and lights at some stops. This is all in an effort to reduce the number of that line’s riders from getting hit as they get on and off the train, after a five-year study showed that 22 people were hit by cars while exiting or boarding light rail cars on Taraval St. in that time.
But many neighbors and merchants in the area organized to oppose the plan after it was announced a year ago, and they were not pleased when the board rejected their request to include more of the plan as a “pilot program” instead of implementing it outright starting next January.
This photo released by the Fullerton, Calif., Police Department shows Josh Acosta, 21, arrested and jailed in Fullerton Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. Acosta is one of two men arrested in connection with the murders of two men and a woman at a Fullerton home Saturday, September 24. Two children were present in the home and called 911 to report that their parents had 'died.' (Fullerton Police Department via AP)
Amy Taxin of the Associated Press reports that two men were arrested in Fullerton, California, and a 17-year-old girl was detained Sunday on suspicion of killing three people inside a Southern California home over the weekend, police said.
Fullerton police Sgt. Jon Radus would not say if the arrested teen was the missing daughter of two of the victims.
He did say she has been found since authorities issued an alert looking for her, initially saying they were concerned about her safety.
"Katlynn Goodwill Yost has been located and she is unharmed," Radus said. "State law prevents law enforcement from releasing the names of juveniles who have been arrested for crimes. That said, a 17 year old female juvenile has also been detained in connection with the murders and is in the custody of the Orange County Juvenile Hall."
As he heads to work, Ruben Calalo (left) gets a kiss from partner Aliren Sunga at the Box City encampment on Seventh Street. The couple are part of a group of immigrants who know each other from the Philippines. Photograph by Lea Suzuki of the San Francisco Chronicle.
With the clunk of a portable toilet plopping down alongside the sidewalk at their shantytown, 20 homeless people in San Francisco began an experiment with the police and a nonprofit agency to try to improve their lives before they inevitably have to tear down their camp.
Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle reports the agreement with the Box City campers is that if they can take good care of the toilet and keep their settlement of a dozen hand-built shacks orderly, they’ll earn gift certificates at local businesses, and in two weeks everyone will have a barbecue together.
Nobody’s calling the little spread near the Caltrain tracks at Seventh and Hubbell streets a permanent camp, and no one wants more homeless people to rush in and set up more boxes. It’s just an effort to put a bit of order into an inherently disorderly situation that is replicated daily throughout the city in more than 75 street camps.
“What we’re trying to do is make this a more neighborhood-friendly environment while the camp is here,” said Officer Yvonne Moilanen, one of several police officers who deals especially with homeless camps in the city. “My goal is to let people know I’m not the enemy here, to change the impression that we’re here to only police things. We’re actually here to help.”
Robert Mathew Kaplan, 37, of San Diego Kaplan is charged with several felonies including battery on a peace officer with serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, and aggravated mayhem. Photograph courtesy of the SFPD.
On September 9th, 2016 at 6:21 AM, an SFPD officer responded to a report of a naked male chasing people and throwing a branch at pedestrians walking on the 3800 block of 25th Street in the Mission District.
Upon arrival, the officer encountered a partially nude male in his 30’s who was talking to himself. Shortly thereafter, the officer announced over the radio that he was in a physical fight with the suspect.
Henry Wimmer, an SFCR board member and DJ at the station with his 17-year-old pet Augie Doggie.
Story and photograph by Thomas K. Pendergast
A radio station that the University of San Francisco drop-kicked off the airwaves back in 2011 is hoping to bounce back, after the Federal Communications Commission awarded it a new lower-power frequency last June.
Formerly known as KUSF at 90.3 FM on the dial, the resurrected online streamer still faces a major financial hurdle: raising about $50,000 to buy a new transmitter and related gear, which it has to do over the next year.
Operating as San Francisco Community Radio (SFCR) at the moment, they will be sharing the 102.5 FM frequency with the San Francisco Public Press (SFPP), a local newspaper published quarterly, splitting the day into four shifts of six hours each. The current plan is for SFCR to take over broadcasting twice each day, between 10 and 4, with SFPP filling in the rest of the air time.
“It seems like it could be a really good partnership of them doing news content and more spoken-word stuff and we’re more musically oriented, although we have a history of being community-oriented as well,” said SFCR board member and DJ Henry Wimmer. “We thought that might be best for both entities because a lot of people get their news as they are driving into work and that would allow Public Press to reach their people. And a lot of our listeners are late-night listeners. We’re hoping that’s a win-win and works best for both of us.”
But first, SFCR has to come up with money to buy the gear it needs.
Randy Ishida exits his tractor after spraying citrus trees last year on his farm in Lindsay (Tulare County). Below, a sun-scorched orange hangs in a dried-up orchard that was abandoned near Lindsay. Photo: Leah Millis, The San Francisco Chronicle
The figures, reported Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Marissa Lang of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, come amid warnings that a fifth year of drought could continue to drive down agriculture earnings and ultimately hurt the state’s economy. Agriculture officials predict a continued downward trend in farm revenue this year.
Pumping groundwater to make up for the loss of state- and federally allocated water has caused the valley floor to sink. Turning to high-yield crops like almonds, which bring in more dollars per gallon of water than many other crops, helped farmers maintain a revenue stream even as they stopped tilling fields and fired workers.
But that strategy can go only so far.
The 2015 numbers show farmers may have reached their limit, and Manuel Cunha, president of the Nisei Farmers League in Fresno, expects matters to worsen in the years to come.
Warren Hinckle with his dog Bentley on Oct. 29, 1987. Photo: Eric Luse, SF Chronicle File
Warren Hinckle, a happily hard-drinking swashbuckler of San Francisco journalism who mixed leftist leanings with an everlasting contempt for the powerful, died early Thursday. He was 77.
Mr. Hinckle had been in declining health and died of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home in San Francisco, relatives said. He was surrounded by his family, reports Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
From his groundbreaking days of editing the iconic liberal magazines Ramparts and Scanlan’s Monthly in the 1960s and ’70s to his reliably irreverent columns for newspapers, including The Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner, Mr. Hinckle delighted in tweaking anyone in charge of anything and muckraking for what he fiercely saw as the common good.
With his ever-present Basset hound Bentley in tow, Mr. Hinckle held forth at watering holes and events throughout the city, tossing off one-liners in a low growl like a late-night comic. Along the way, the one-eyed rapscallion — he’d lost his left eye in a childhood car accident and wore a patch — drew the wrath of mayors, police and anyone who got in his way, and he reveled in it.
“He had a great, great time, and no regrets,” said his daughter Pia Hinckle, who followed her father into a writing career. “He never looked back, and he was always looking for the next thing to do.”