Local News - San Mateo

President Obama calls for immediate access to crash site

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 08:35

President Barack Obama is calling for international investigators to have "immediate and full access" to the site in eastern Ukraine, where a passenger jet was shot down last week.

Obama accused pro-Russian separatists in the area of removing evidence and bodies from the crash site. He says that raising the question of "what exactly are they trying to hide?"

The president says the burden is on Russia and President Vladimir Putin to compel the separatists to cooperate with the investigation. Obama says that if Russia continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty, Moscow "will only further isolate itself" and the economic costs will continue to increase.

The White House says the missile that brought down the Malaysia Airlines plane was fired from an area controlled by the separatists.

UN to vote on crash resolution; Russia has doubts

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 08:03

The U.N. Security Council will vote Monday on an Australia-proposed resolution demanding international access to the Ukraine plane crash site and a cease-fire around the area, with diplomats pressuring a reluctant Russia to approve it.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his country would view a Russian veto of the resolution "very badly," adding that "no reasonable person" could object to its wording.

"This is still an absolutely shambolic situation. It does look more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation," he told reporters.

"Given the almost certain culpability of the Russian-backed rebels in the downing of the aircraft, having these people in control of the site is a little like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene," Abbott added.

The United States has presented what it called "powerful" evidence that the rebels shot down the plane with a Russian surface-to-air missile and training. Other governments have stopped short of accusing Russia of actually causing the crash.

Russian officials have blamed Ukraine's government for creating the situation and atmosphere in which the plane was downed.

Security Council diplomats held consultations late Sunday until past midnight to work out key differences between Australia and Russia. The diplomats emerged cautiously optimistic that a resolution would be approved, but Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin would not guarantee it.

"It was a worthwhile session, so let's see what the result is going to be tomorrow," Churkin told reporters.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop tweeted Monday morning that she would meeting with other ambassadors at U.N. headquarters ahead of the vote.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans met with U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power also met Monday morning to discuss efforts to return the remains of the victims, Dutch Ambassador Karel van Oosterom tweeted.

The resolution calls for pro-Russia separatists to allow access to the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger jet carrying 298 people, including 37 Australian citizens and residents. It asks for the full cooperation of all countries in the region, including Russia. Germany's U.N. Mission tweeted Monday morning that it would join France and Lithuania in co-sponsoring it.

Earlier Sunday, Churkin said Russia is concerned the draft "does not accurately reflect the need for an impartial, international investigation."

He said Russia is proposing that the International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. agency, take the lead in the investigation. The current proposal welcomes "the decision by ICAO to send a team to assist" Ukrainian investigators.

Council ambassadors did not say if an agreement on that point had been reached Sunday.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the council will vote Monday afternoon and "we hope it will be unanimous" in favor of the resolution. Earlier, Lyall Grant accused Russia of proposing one amendment after another to delay passage of the resolution.

"It looks like a typical Russian delay in tactics, and one can guess why they want delay," Lyall Grant told reporters.

Russia has the power to veto the resolution as a permanent council member.

Emerging from the U.N. meeting, both U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi said "hope so" when asked if there was agreement on the resolution.

Bishop said Sunday she expects all 15 council members to support her country's proposal.

"Australia has a lot at stake here," Bishop said. "They have been murdered, and the Australian government will not rest until we're able to bring the bodies home to the Australian families who are waiting for them."

The resolution also demands that armed groups who control the crash site do not disturb debris, belongings or victims' remains.

Churkin said Russia had proposed "a cease-fire around the crash site" and that Australia had accepted that idea. He did not say how large the cease-fire area would be.

Earlier, Abbott said Russian President Vladimir Putin "said all the right things" during a telephone conversation about ensuring an international investigation into the disaster.

Palo Alto: Mountain View man arrested after allegedly trying to steal car

Mercury New - Peninsula - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 07:21
Police arrested a Mountain View man early Saturday morning after he allegedly tried to steal a car from a driveway in Palo Alto and repeatedly backed into another car before fleeing.

Alameda Co. apartment fire displaces more than a dozen residents

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 07:19

A two-alarm fire at an apartment complex in San Lorenzo that left more than a dozen people displaced Sunday night likely started as an electrical fire, fire officials said.

Firefighters responded at 5:27 p.m. to the blaze at the two-story Galway Terrace Apartments in the 800 block of Galway Drive, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.

Responding firefighters battled flames coming from the first and second floors and the attic, fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.

Firefighters were able to knock down the blaze about 30 minutes after arriving.

There were no report of injuries.

At least 10 units sustained either fire or water damage.

The American Red Cross responded to the scene to help the displaced residents.

Garbage truck crash downs power lines, closes Newark road

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 07:09

Streets in Newark won't be reopened until this afternoon in an area where a garbage truck hit a parked car and brought down live power lines early Monday morning, a police sergeant said.

The garbage truck hit a parked car near the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Newark Boulevard at about 4:30 a.m., police Sgt. Jolie Macias said.

The crash also brought down a tree, which knocked down live power lines, Macias said.

PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said main power lines were unaffected but secondary lines - going from the main lines to homes in the area -- were knocked down, disrupting power for 10 customers.

Their power is expected to be restored Monday afternoon, Sarkissian said.

The garbage truck's driver suffered minor injuries and initially declined treatment but was taken to a hospital to be checked out, Macias said.

The truck also leaked fluids onto the street, but its diesel fuel was contained and the fluids were mainly oil, she said.

Streets in the area are expected to reopen at about 3 p.m., Macias said.

South San Francisco: 141 citations issued in speeding operation

Mercury New - Peninsula - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 07:05
South San Francisco police issued 141 citations Friday and Saturday during a crackdown on speeding.

Boy, 4, dies after apparently being thrown from car in Tampa

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 07:01

A 4-year-old boy has died after apparently being thrown from a vehicle on a Tampa, Fla., street late Sunday.

The boy, identified by police as Marterrance Albury, died early Monday after being found lying injured in the middle of a street at 109th and N. Florida avenues, Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said in a press release.

“A witness said the child came from a car,” Davis said.

Witnesses described the vehicle as possibly a green 2001 to 2004 Ford Expedition.

Davis said detectives are examining video from area red light cameras and surveillance video from from area businesses in an attempt to track down the vehicle.

Legos washing up on English beaches

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 06:59

In 1997 a shipping container filled with 4.8 million Lego pieces fell from a cargo ship off the coast of Cornwall in southern England. 

The BBC reports that pieces are still floating to shore 17 years later.

The Tokio Express captain described the wave that hit the ship as a "once in a 100-year phenomenon." The ship tilted 60 degrees one way, then 40 degrees back, sending more than 60 containers into the water.

Tracey Williams has started a Facebook page to track the Lego pieces. Take a look at some of what's washed ashore.

[View the story "Legos washing up on English beaches" on Storify]

San Francisco bus provides showers for the homeless

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 06:57

San Francisco will soon be equipped with a shower bus.

It's exactly what it sounds like — a bus with a shower. (Via Lava Mae)

It offers two free private bathrooms with hot showers to people who are homeless.

"Even though you're going to be on the bus for 20 minutes or so, it's 20 minutes of complete privacy and respite. ... Lava Mae is not about ending homelessness." (Via Lava Mae)

That was the founder of Lava Mae, Doniece Sandoval, and she says hygiene brings dignity, which in turn would open up opportunity.

She made the news last year when she set up a decorated toilet display to raise awareness about Lava Mae and the need for clean toilets. And there is a need. (Via Getty ImagesGetty Images)

"The Great Recession drained the number of city shower facilities from 10 to 7, forcing the homeless to put their names on waiting lists just to clean up. Sandoval hopes to fill the gap the city left behind." (Via KPIX)

According to the 2013 San Francisco Homeless Survey, there were more than 6,400 people who are homeless in the city.

Lava Mae buses will use water from fire hydrants as part of a deal with the city. But making a shower bus is pricey. It cost $75,000 to convert the bus into a shower machine.

That cost was covered by private donations. KNTV reports even Google made a donation. 

But there's been a severe drought in California — San Francisco being no exception. There is already dead, brown grass everywhere due to a water shortage. (Via Getty ImagesGetty Images)

The San Francisco Examiner says city officials are talking about closing some public restrooms if the drought worsens. 

That would make the need for Lava Mae even greater. The full service is scheduled to launch next spring. 

Deputies investigate Marin City shooting

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 06:42

The Marin County Sheriff's Office is investigating a Sunday night shooting in Marin City.

Deputies responded to the area of Drake Avenue and Cole Drive just before midnight after receiving several calls of a person being shot, according to sheriff's office spokesman Doug Pittman.

Pittman said responding deputies located a male victim who had shot multiple times in the face and head.

The victim was still conscious and was sitting on a curb near where the shooting occurred when deputies arrived.

He was transported to a local hospital and was still in surgery early Monday morning, Pittman said.

The sheriff's office has not released the victim's identity, and no arrests have been made.

Boy, 9, marries 62-year-old mother of five for second time

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 06:15

At an age when most boys would be the ring bearer at a wedding, South African 9-year-old Sanele Masilela was the one walking down the aisle … to marry a 62-year-old woman for the second time.

A video from the U.K.-based Barcroft Media shows Masilela, dressed in a silver tuxedo, going through the wedding ceremony with mother-of-five Helen Shabangu in Bushbuckridge, South Africa.

>>Photos: See pictures from the wedding ceremony

According to the South African Sunday Times, both families claim the wedding is simply a "ritual" after Sanele said he was told by his dead ancestors to wed last year.

Masilela and Shabangu originally wed in a similar 2013 ceremony, but South African tradition calls for a second ceremony in order to make the union official.

The Mirror reports villagers described the ceremony as "sickening," but Sanele's family says the union is just a ritual and not legally binding. Masilela and Shabangu do not live together.

>> Read more trending stories

Shabangu is already married. Abel Shabangu, 66, attended both ceremonies.

"My kids and I are happy because we don’t have a problem with her marrying the boy," the Mirror was quoted Alfred as saying. "I don’t care what other people say."

According to the Mirror, Masilela says he wants to marry a bride his own age when he grows up.

2 Americans fighting for Israel killed in Gaza

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 06:01

The State Department has confirmed two Americans are among the casualties in the bloodiest day of fighting in Israel's current offensive against Hamas. 

The IDF said on its blog 21-year-old Texas native Nissim Sean Carmeli was killed in combat. 

His rabbi told The Algemeiner: “[Carmeli] was enthusiastic to go in and to fight for the Jewish people.”

Max Steinberg, 24, of California was the other IDF-enlisted American killed in combat. His father told CBS "He was completely dedicated and committed to serving the country of Israel … He was focused, he was clear in what the mission was.”

Carmeli and Steinberg were among the 13 Israeli soldiers killed Sunday. So far, 20 Israelis have died in the two-week offensive. On the Palestinian side, the casualties are much higher — 65 died Sunday, bringing the total death toll in recent weeks to more than 500. (Via ITN

The weekend’s fatalities come amid renewed calls for a cease-fire. Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Cairo Monday to push for a truce. (Via U.S. Department of State

Egypt has already offered up a cease-fire which Hamas rejected — in part because the terms did not include the release of prisoners arrested in the West Bank.  

Which makes Hamas’ latest claim — in this video — that it captured an IDF soldier all the more significant. Israel denies the group is holding any Israelis, but if Hamas did manage to capture one, it could be a game changer. (Via Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam Brigades via YouTube / Mostafa Jour)

Back in 2006, Hamas-linked militants captured an Israeli soldier. Gilad Shalit was held for five years before Israel agreed to hand over 1,000 jailed Palestinians in exchange for his release. (Via Israel Defense Forces / CC BY NC 2.0)

Meanwhile, the United Nations is also calling for an immediate end to the fighting. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the IDF for failing to protect civilians, in what he described as an “atrocious action" on Israel's part.

East Palo Alto: Just two join council race in first week

Mercury New - Peninsula - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 05:59
So far, the City Council race isn't much of one. Council members Ruben Abrica and Donna Rutherford were the only people to pick up nomination papers last week for two open seats in the November election, although other candidates have at least until Aug. 8 to enter the race.

Santa Clara County hires new schools chief for $295,000

Mercury New - Peninsula - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 05:59
The Santa Clara County Board of Education officially hired its new superintendent, Jon Gundry from Southern California, who will begin work Aug. 1. Departing from its practice with previous chiefs, the county board will not provide a housing loan to Gundry, who is superintendent of the Pasadena Unified School District. But the board will pay him $30,000 for relocation.

Flying soon? TSA fee hike means you'll pay more

KTVU's Top Stories - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 04:34

Traveling this summer? Get ready to shell out some more cash at the airport.

On Monday, Transportation Security Administration fee hikes go into effect, and they will have the greatest impact on travelers who make nonstop flights or have long layovers between flights.

Critics say the agency should call the fees what they really are: a tax hike.

“Any way you look at it, this is an increase in taxes,” said Charlie Leocha, chairman of the consumer group Travelers United.

The old fee had been $2.50 for a nonstop and $5 for a connecting flight. The maximum fee for a round trip was $10. The new security fee for all flights is $5.60. Any layover exceeding four hours counts as a separate flight.

>> Read more trending stories

For example, someone traveling from Atlanta to Denver, with a stop in Dallas on the way out and a stop in Chicago on the flight home, could be billed for four separate flights — $22.40 in TSA fees. The old fee: $10.

That may not sound like much if you’re a business traveler, said Chris McGinnis, a travel specialist. He blogs about business travel at TravelSkills.com.

“You just kind of grin and bear it,” he said.

Families, he said, are more likely to notice the fee changes when paying for multiple tickets.

Congress authorized the TSA hikes when it amended the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. In a June memo, the TSA explained the hike:

“The revenue is to be used to offset TSA costs for providing civil aviation security services, after stipulated amounts are applied to reduction of the federal deficit.”

The fees, said Jean Medina, a spokesperson for Airlines for America, an airline advocacy group, “add insult to injury” for travelers and airlines.

Air passengers shouldn’t be saddled with fees that don’t enhance their travel experience, said Cathy Keefe, manager of media relations for the U.S. Travel Association, an industry group composed of travel-related businesses.

“The travel industry support fees that benefit passengers,” she said. “This is not benefiting passengers.”

Coastside history uncovered: Nonprofit awarded Purissima property

San Mateo Daily Journal - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 02:00
The nonprofit Coastside Land Trust has inherited a piece of history and is inviting the public to join this weekend in restoring the old Purissima site back to a usable natural resourceIn January 20

Jury deadlocks in fatal San Mateo pedestrian crash

San Mateo Daily Journal - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 02:00
Jurors wrestling with whether a driver whose out-of-control car sent a concrete garbage can fatally flying into a 67-year-old San Mateo pedestrian convicted him of felony hit-and-run for fleeing the s

Driver gets rehab for fatal crash that killed cousin

San Mateo Daily Journal - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 02:00
A 23-year-old South San Francisco man was sentenced Friday to a year in jail and five years probation for the drunken crash that killed his cousin and injured another after spending an afternoon drink

McDonald's manager orders up robbery plea deal

San Mateo Daily Journal - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 02:00
A McDonaldrsquos manager accused of robbing two of the fast-food franchises including his own in Pleasanton pleaded no contest in a San Mateo incident where he forced the employees of the restaurant i

Time served for man who stabbed friend

San Mateo Daily Journal - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 02:00
A Santa Barbara man who stabbed his friend seven times during an argument after attending a San Francisco 49ers game in September is free from custody after striking a plea dealDustin Semenza 28