officer

A police officer was injured in a crash with another vehicle in
San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood late this morning, a police
spokesman said.

The fire department received reports that a police car had been
struck by another vehicle near the corner of Eighth and Harrison streets,
near an Interstate Highway 80 off-ramp, at 11:41 a.m., fire spokeswoman Mindy
Talmadge said.

The police officer was driving west on Harrison Street and the
other car was headed south on Eighth Street when they collided, police
spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The officer was taken to the hospital but Esparza did not say how
seriously he was injured. The other driver was not taken to the hospital and
stayed at the scene.

Esparza said police are still trying to determine who had the
right of way at the intersection. Talmadge said there were initial reports
that the civilian driver had run a red light, but those reports have not been
confirmed.

As of shortly after noon, Harrison Street was blocked between
Seventh and Ninth streets and Eighth Street was blocked between Folsom and
Harrison streets as a result of the collision. The highway off-ramp at Eighth
Street was also closed.

photo credit: Hannah Albarazi

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Members of one of the largest unions that represents Oakland city
employees plan to march to the City Council meeting tonight to address what
they say are discriminatory practices and the misuse of temporary workers by
the city.

Anna Bakalis, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International
Union Local 1021, said workers from the Police Department, the Department of
Public Works, the Oakland Public Library, Parks and Recreation and other
departments will tell the council about unfair and discriminatory practices
they experience or see.

Bakalis said many workers report that their supervisors overlook
them and pick favorites in selecting employees to work overtime and they
believe the reason is racial discrimination or nepotism.

She also said Public Works employees report that their supervisors
have them spend more time cleaning up illegal dumping and doing street
sweeping in the city’s affluent hills areas and less time cleaning up
problems in the less affluent flatland areas in East and West Oakland.

Bakalis said one of the union’s biggest concerns is the existence
and expansion of the city’s Temporary Part-Time (TPT) workforce, who work
on-call for weeks, months or years with no health care, retirement benefits
nor job security.

She said the TPT workers originally were just to be used for
seasonal work in Parks and Recreation and summer programs but she believes
the city has “abused” the system as a way to avoid paying benefits to many
city employees.

Bakalis said the number of TPTs has “exploded” from 1,000 in 2008
to 2,500 in 2014 and SEIU Local 1021 now represents more TPTs than it does
full-time employees, as it represents about 1,000 full-time workers now.

She said SEIU Local 1021 recently began bargaining with the city
for a new contract to replace the one that expires on June 30 and workers
want to let the City Council members know about their concerns.

The workers’ rally is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on the steps of
City Hall.

At 5:20 p.m., the workers will march into City Hall and at 5:30
p.m. they plan to speak during the council’s public comment period at the
beginning of the meeting.

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The National Park Service will hold a public meeting this
afternoon to discuss a new long-term location for the ferry landing taking
visitors to Alcatraz Island.

The options include keeping the existing landing at Pier 31 1/2,
moving back to the previous site at Pier 41, or moving to Pier 3 near Fort
Mason, park service officials said.

The park service is seeking a long-term location for visitors to
catch ferries to tours of the island’s famous prison. Ferry contracts have to
be renewed every 10 years and the new contracts have necessitated location
changes in the past, most recently in 2006, park service officials said.

Two of the proposed locations, including the current one, are
located along The Embarcadero near Fisherman’s Wharf, a hub of tourist
activity. Pier 3 is on park service property near Fort Mason.

The park service released a draft environmental impact statement
and is accepting public comment on the proposals until May 20, including at
this afternoon’s public meeting.

The environmental impact statement identifies the existing Pier 31
1/2 location as the environmentally preferred alternative as it would require
minimal construction.

However, talks with the Port of San Francisco over long-term
occupancy of a pier have not yielded an agreement. If the port and the park
service can agree on the terms and conditions for Pier 31 1/2, the park
service would build a third berth there and make improvements to the visitor
welcome areas, park service officials said.

The other two sites would require extensive improvements,
including rebuilding the existing piers.

This afternoon’s meeting will be held in the Bayside Conference
Room at Pier 1 at 4 p.m. There will be a tour of the three sites on Thursday.

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A man stabbed a security guard in the arm with a pocketknife at
San Francisco’s Union Square early Tuesday morning, police said.

The suspect, described as a man in his mid 20s, was in Union
Square around 3:45 a.m. when a male security guard approached him.

According to officers, the park was closed for the night and the
security guard asked the man to leave.

The suspect refused to leave the park and then cut the security
guard in his arm with a pocketknife, police said.

Officers said the suspect fled the area and has not been arrested
as of this morning.

The security guard suffered a minor laceration and declined
medical transport, police said.

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A suspect detained after a reported attack with a hammer in
Berkeley on Tuesday afternoon was not arrested and the reported victim was
uninjured, a police spokeswoman said today.

Police had responded to reports of an assault with a hammer near
the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Stuart Street at 3:44 p.m., police
spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said.

The suspect had fled before police arrived but was determined to
be hiding in the area. Police set up a perimeter and advised people to stay
inside nearby homes and businesses, Coats said.

Officers found the suspect, spoke to him, and eventually were able
to take him into custody.

However, the reported victim was uninjured and refused police
service, so police did not arrest the suspect. The suspect was taken to a
hospital for evaluation, Coats said.

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A Palo Alto woman was convicted Tuesday of stealing diamonds from
under a clerk’s nose at a San Mateo jewelry store last year, according to the
San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Angela Walker, 46, was arrested after she left contact information
with the store clerk last March 27 and returned days later, apparently in an
attempt to steal more diamonds, police said shortly after her arrest.

After three hours of deliberations Tuesday, a jury convicted her
of commercial burglary, grand theft and possession of drugs, prosecutors
said.

She committed the theft at Galati Jewelers at 35 E. Fourth Ave. in
San Mateo, where she went shopping for a diamond ring at about 2 p.m. on
March 27, according to police.

The clerk showed her several loose diamonds and a solitaire
diamond ring. When the saleswoman went into a back room, Walker stole the
diamond ring, police said.

Walker then switched one of the loose diamonds with a cubic
zirconia of matching size.

Walker told the saleswoman she planned on coming back to view more
diamonds and left her contact information. A few hours later, the clerk
realized the items had been stolen and called police.

Investigators realized the contact information Walker left behind
was legitimate and convinced the clerk to call her back to the store.

Walker returned days later, viewed more diamonds and attempted to
sell the store a suspected stolen necklace, police said. Officers arrested
her and found her in possession of another cubic zirconia, one the same size
as the diamond she was scheduled to view.

Searching her home, detectives found more suspected stolen jewelry
and loose cubic zirconia gems labeled with their sizes, police said.

Walker was scheduled to return to court today to determine whether
she served two prior prison terms, prosecutors said.

Her defense attorney Jeff Jackson could not immediately be reached
for comment this morning.

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Registered nurses from Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland
are holding a news conference this afternoon to discuss what they say is the
latest in a series of workplace safety violations by Sutter Health.

Organizers will address the California Division of Occupational
Safety and Health’s recent imposition of a $71,275 fine against Sutter Health
for a 2012 incident at the Summit campus on Hawthorne Boulevard in Oakland.

Nurses with the California Nurses Association said management put
23 patients with transmissible diseases in isolation rooms that were not
properly vented to prevent the spread of diseases that can be carried by
solid or liquid particles in the air, a violation of state regulatory
standards.

The nurses said the violation put staff, patients and visitors at
risk for exposure to tuberculosis or other serious diseases.

Sutter Health has denied that part of the nurses’ account.

“It’s important to note that review of the clinical data
demonstrated that no patients or staff were put at risk,” Sutter Health
spokeswoman Carolyn Kemp said in a statement.

CNA nurses said the 2012 violation was discovered while state
officials were on site to investigate another major safety violation in 2009
that left a respiratory technician and an Oakland police officer unable to
work after being exposed to meningococcal disease.

CNA nurses also alleged that Sutter has failed to provide an
adequate number of Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) in violation of
new regulations adopted in November for caring for suspected Ebola patients.

The nurses are speaking at 4 p.m. at the Merritt Pavilion, located
at 350 Hawthorne St. on the Summit hospital campus.

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A San Mateo County jail custodian accused of smuggling drugs to
inmates last year pleaded to a lesser charge Tuesday after key prosecution
witnesses refused to testify, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve
Wagstaffe said today.

Michael De Cartagena, 46, had been charged last September with two
counts of smuggling drugs into jail between May and June 2014. On Tuesday, he
pleaded no contest to misdemeanor possession of drugs and was sentenced to
two years’ probation, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors had alleged that De Cartagena had started letting jail
inmates use his cellphone and then began delivering packages to them,
including drugs. An inmate came forward to report the alleged smuggling.

Wagstaffe said prosecutors ran into problems proving the case when
two of three jail inmates slated to testify against De Cartagena stopped
cooperating with the prosecution.

With only one inmate willing to testify, Wagstaffe said the case
would have been too difficult to prove since it would have been the word of
one jail inmate against a county employee with no criminal record.

He said prosecutors thought the plea to the lesser charge was a
“reasonable middle ground.”

“We wish the case were stronger so we could hold him accountable
to a higher level,” Wagstaffe said, “but you’re only as good as the evidence
you have.”

De Cartagena’s attorney, Michael Hroziencik, could not immediately
be reached for comment today.

The case was unrelated to a separate case alleging two corrections
officers and a sheriff’s deputy smuggled cellphones and drugs to a Hells
Angels member over the course of seven months in 2013. Those charges are
still pending.

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Police suspect two men robbed a 54-year-old woman at People’s Park
in Berkeley Wednesday, University of California at Berkeley police said.
The incident occurred at 2 p.m., police said.

A suspect grabbed the woman by the neck and pushed her to the
ground, according to police. Police said the other suspect took belongings
from the woman’s purse.

The woman protested and one of the suspects verbally threatened
her, police said. The woman suffered minor injuries, according to police.

She was treated Thursday at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and
filed a police report the same day, according to police.

Police are describing one suspect as a black man about 25 years
old with a mustache, 6 feet 2 inches tall and 180 to 200 pounds. Police are
describing the other suspect as a white man with red hair, 20 to 30 years
old, 6 feet tall and 180 pounds.

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The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office this afternoon
charged a Sonoma man with first-degree murder and personal use of a hammer
for the killing of a Cazadero man found in a barrel near Sonoma City Hall
last Friday.

Christopher McNatt, 40, was arraigned in Sonoma County Superior
Court but did not enter a plea. His next court date is set for Thursday
morning.

The body of the 64-year-old victim, Ronald Gordon Sauvageau, was
found in a plastic barrel near Sonoma City Hall around 11:50 p.m. Friday,
Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha said.

Police responded to the area after a witness reported seeing
someone dump the 55-gallon barrel with dried blood outside and a blue tarp on
top, Focha said.

Deputy District Attorney Jamie Kandel said the complaint also
alleges McNatt has a prior strike and serious felony conviction stemming from
a 1993 burglary.

Court records show McNatt has convictions and dismissed cases
since October 1993.

The convictions include misdemeanor child cruelty, felony theft,
and the felony burglary charge. McNatt was sentenced to three years’
probation and nine months in the Sonoma County Jail for the Dec. 31, 1993,
burglary. He was later given a suspended four-year prison sentence for
violating probation and failing to appear in court.

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The San Mateo County coroner’s office has identified a man who
died in a head-on collision Monday evening on state Highway 1 in
unincorporated Pescadero near Ano Nuevo State Park.

John Preyer, a 61-year-old resident of Manteca, was headed south
in a 1995 Chevrolet Silverado when, for unknown reasons, he veered over the
double yellow line, colliding with a Nissan Altima near Green Oaks Way around
5:40 p.m. Monday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A 20-year-old man driving the Nissan and his 50-year-old male
passenger suffered major injuries in the crash and were transported to
Stanford Hospital, according to the CHP. An update on their condition was not
immediately available today.

Drugs and alcohol are not thought to be a factor in the collision,
CHP officials said.

The crash closed lanes of traffic in both directions on Highway 1
between Pescadero and Santa Cruz for more than three hours, according to the
CHP.

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A veteran San Jose police officer was killed in a shooting on
Senter Road this evening and a search is underway for the suspect, a police
spokesman said.

Officers responded to a report of a man armed with a gun
threatening to kill himself in the 2600 block of Senter Road around 6:50
p.m., San Jose police Officer Albert Morales said.

Arriving officers were met with gunfire, he said.
One of the officers was shot and pronounced dead at the scene,
Morales said.

Officers have surrounded the area and are looking for the suspect,
he said.

Police did not release further details tonight.

An employee at a Vietnamese restaurant on Senter Road a block away
from the shooting said police informed them that there was somebody in the
area with a high-power rifle.

The employee, who declined to give his name, said police
instructed them to stay in place at the restaurant, where there were roughly
20 customers tonight.

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A pedestrian suffered severe injuries but was in stable condition
after being struck by an automobile in Pleasanton Thursday, police said.

Officers responded at 2:46 p.m. to Hansen Drive and Hopyard Road
on a report of the collision at the crosswalk, according to police. Police
said all parties were at the scene when officers arrived.

Medics of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and Paramedics
Plus gave first aid to the pedestrian who was taken to Eden Hospital, police
said. Police said the pedestrian was in stable condition at 3:20 p.m.,
according to Eden Hospital.

Police did not have an update this morning on the pedestrian’s
condition. The driver of the auto is cooperating with police, police said.

Police continue to investigate the collision and are asking anyone
with information about the incident to call the Pleasanton Police Department
at (925) 931-5100.

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A woman who died in a rockslide at Point Reyes National Seashore
on Saturday has been identified by the Marin County coroner’s office as
58-year-old San Francisco resident Nancy Blum.

Blum and another hiker were in the area of Arch Rock in the
national seashore around 5:55 p.m. Saturday when they reached the end of the
trail and the cliff unexpectedly gave way, causing them to fall about 60 feet
down the Cliffside, National Park Service officials said.

Blum was pronounced dead at the scene while the other hiker was
airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with what park service officials
described as serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Park service officials said they had put up signs in the area and
an advisory on their website earlier last week to warn about a fissure that
appeared at the tip of the Arch Rock overlook and to warn visitors not to
hike to the end of the trail.

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a
resolution Tuesday urging City College of San Francisco officials to quickly
repair and reopen the Civic Center campus, education advocates with the
Central City Coalition for Public Education said.

The resolution also urges college officials to provide temporary
classrooms near the closed campus for all classes that were displaced by the
closure.

City College officials abruptly closed the campus, located in the
Tenderloin neighborhood, Jan. 12.

Advocates have said the move has displaced courses important to
immigrants and people with low income in the area around the campus. The
important courses include English as a second language and computer literacy.

“The digital divide in our neighborhood is as big as the Grand
Canyon,” Community Organizing & Resident Engagement tenant leader Duane Sears
said in a statement.

Advocates claim that enrollment at the Civic Center campus has
dropped in half from 600 to 300 since college officials closed the campus.

College officials closed the campus because it is not seismically safe.

Supervisor Jane Kim wrote the resolution, which was co-sponsored
by Supervisors Eric Mar, David Campos, Norman Yee and Julie Christensen.

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