Visitors are starting to flow into Half Moon Bay today in anticipation
of the world-renowned big wave Mavericks Surf Competition that
begins Saturday at 8 a.m.
A forecast of sunny skies and large ocean swells with up to 30-foot
faces could bring ideal conditions to the contest, which attracts
daredevil surfers from around the world.
Area hotels are filling up with contest goers. The Holiday Inn
Express in Half Moon Bay is full, according to a desk clerk. Restaurants
also get a similar influx of clientele during the contest.
Twenty-four of the world's best big wave surfers will be competing.
They come from as far as Australia, South Africa and Brazil to
catch the monster waves. South African surfers are already in
town ready for the event, according to organizers. The Hawaiians
are reportedly flying in today.
Last year the contest was canceled due to poor weather conditions
and a lack of large swells.
Mavericks 2007 Surf Contest
Nominations being accepted for Alameda County Women's Hall
Nominations are now being accepted for this year's inductees
into the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame, county officials
announced this week.
The 15-year-old program recognizes the accomplishments of women
in communities throughout Alameda County and nominations are being
accepted for those who have excelled in any of 11 categories:
business and professions; community service; culture and art;
education; environmental; health; justice; nontraditional careers;
science; sports and athletics; and youth.
A Women's Hall of Fame luncheon and awards ceremony will be held
March 29 to honor inductees. The event, which is hosted by the
Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the county administrator
and County Commission on the Status of Women, will take place
at HS Lordships restaurant, 199 Seawall Drive, in Berkeley. Proceeds
from the event will benefit a charity to be selected.
Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 22 and inductees will
be announced in late February.
Nomination forms are available online at www.acgov.org/cao/halloffame
or by calling the Commission on the Status of Women at (510) 259-3871.
Off-duty San Francisco sheriff killed in traffic accident
An off-duty San Francisco County sheriff's deputy was killed
just after 8 a.m. today during a three-vehicle accident on eastbound
state Highway 4 just west of Bailey Road in unincorporated Contra
Costa County north of Pittsburg.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the
accident that sent two others to the hospital, including an off-duty
Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy, said CHP spokesman Scott
The accident involved a Saturn sedan being driven by the 45-year-old
San Francisco County deputy, a Honda CR-V driven by the Contra
Costa County deputy and a GMC pickup truck driven by a 52-year-old
Antioch man, Yox said.
The No. 1, 2 and 3 lanes were blocked and only the No. 4 lane
was open to traffic as of about 11 a.m.
The CHP is looking for the public's help in determining what
caused the accident, said Yox. Anyone who may have seen any of
the involved vehicles before, during or after the incident is
asked to call the CHP tip line at (800) TELL-CHP or the Contra
Costa County sheriff's dispatch line at (925) 646-2441.
"Even the smallest detail can help us with this investigation,"
Yox said from the scene.
Coast Guard investigating barge accident
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating today what caused a barge
to strike the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge at about 6 p.m. Thursday.
The barge Cascade, being guided by tugboats Delta Deanna and
Pacific Wolf, was headed outbound from Rodeo when it hit the east
piling of the west span of the bridge while carrying 65,195 barrels
of heavy black oil, according Coast Guard officials.
After measuring the amount of oil on the barge after the incident,
officials determined no oil spilled into the bay.
An investigation into the incident was scheduled to begin at
daybreak but weather caused a temporary setback, said Coast Guard
Petty Officer Jonathan Cilley. The investigation began this morning
once visibility improved.
The California Department of Transportation arrived at about
7 p.m. Thursday to assess the damage to the bridge, Cilley said.
The extent of the damage is unknown, although there was extensive
damage to the barge, said Cilley.
The Coast Guard determined visibility of just 1-2 miles due to
fog and a low ceiling, said Cilley. According to Coast Guard Lt.
Anya Hunter, weather will be examined as part of the investigation.
Alcohol tests were administered to the crewmembers and none had
been drinking prior to the incident, said Hunter. Drug tests were
also administered but the results are pending.
The Coast Guard, Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, the
California Department of Fish and Game, a Marin County Hazardous
Materials team and the San Rafael Police Department are assisting
in the investigation.
Cell Phone evidence in tiger case transferred to Santa Clara
A dispute over possible evidence in the cell phones and car of
two brothers who were mauled by a San Francisco zoo tiger was
transferred from San Francisco to Santa Clara Superior Court today.
San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner Bruce Chan said state
law has "clearly expressed" that the city's bid to inspect
the evidence should be heard in Santa Clara County, the residence
of Amritpal and Kulbir Dhaliwal.
The two brothers were injured and their friend, 17-year-old Carlos
Sousa Jr. of San Jose, was killed when a Siberian tiger leaped
out of its grotto on Christmas Day.
San Francisco's bid to inspect the items now goes to Santa Clara
County Superior Court Judge Socrates Manoukian, who has scheduled
a hearing for Wednesday. Manoukian has also issued a temporary
order requiring San Francisco police to maintain custody of the
phones and car.
City attorneys have said the car and photos in the cell phones
may contain crucial evidence that would be needed if the tiger
victims file expected lawsuits against the city and zoo.
In papers filed with Chan, lawyers for the city alleged without
giving details that the car contains a half-empty bottle of alcohol
and "apparent evidence of drug use." They also said
the car may have contents that could be relevant to foreign objects
found in the tiger grotto that could have been used to pelt or
taunt the tiger.
Outside of court, Shepard Kopp, a lawyer for the Dhaliwals, called
the drug accusations "more character assassination."
Kopp said, "Nothing is going to come out of this that is
incriminating," but said, "Our clients want their property
Ten-year-old boy hit with stray bullet while taking piano
lessons expected to survive
A 10-year-old boy who was hit by a stray bullet Thursday while
he was taking piano lessons is expected to survive but may face
debilitating injuries, Oakland police said today.
The bullet was from one of several shots fired during a robbery
attempt at a Chevron gas station at 4400 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant
Valley Road about 4:30 p.m. Thursday and traveled across the street
and into the Harmony Road Music School, where the boy was taking
a lesson, according to police spokesman Roland Holmgren.
The boy was taken to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery,
Several police officers were completing a traffic accident investigation
in the area when they heard the gunshots from the robbery and
citizens directed them to the suspects' vehicle, which was speeding
away from the scene, according to Holmgren.
The officers chased the vehicle as it sped west on Pleasant Valley
Road, continuing to the intersection of 51st Street and Telegraph
Avenue, where it struck another vehicle and a parked car, Holmgren
The driver, 24-year-old Jared Adams of Oakland, was detained
by officers as he attempted to flee on foot, Holmgren said.
Witnesses identified Adams as the robber and the shooter and
officers arrested him for multiple felony charges, according to
Holmgren. He said Adams has a prior criminal record, including
a prior gun conviction.
Officers recovered a loaded firearm in the vehicle, Holmgren
Holmgren said the passenger of the vehicle was identified as
Maeve Clifford and she was arrested on robbery charges.
The case will be presented to the Alameda County District Attorney's
Office for filing charges against Adams and Clifford, Holmgren
Body found in Bethany Reservoir identified
The Alameda County coroner's bureau confirmed today that a body
discovered by divers in the Bethany Reservoir on Thursday is that
of missing fisherman Eric Wright.
The body of the 32-year-old was discovered just after 3 p.m.
near the area where Wright's boat was seen capsized the afternoon
of Dec. 23, sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
Wright, a Tracy resident, was fishing in the reservoir, located
in a state recreation area northeast of Livermore, with his father-in-law,
Nelson said. He reportedly asked his father-in-law if he could
take the boat out for another spin around the reservoir before
leaving for the day, Sgt. James Jukich said.
His father-in-law agreed, saying he would go to the bathroom
and retrieve the truck used to transport the 12-foot aluminum
boat before coming back to the boat ramp, according to Jukich.
The father-in-law returned to see the boat capsized about 200
to 300 yards offshore and Wright nowhere in sight, according to
Autopsy scheduled for Fairfield woman killed in manslaughter
An autopsy was scheduled for this morning on Lisa Pastor, a 24-year-old
Fairfield woman who was fatally shot in the head at a residence
in the 1200 block of Broadway Thursday evening.
Solano County coroner's Deputy Ray Lamb said Pastor was pronounced
dead at 8:11 p.m.
Police arrested 26-year-old Evan Rowe for involuntary manslaughter,
Lt. Al Bagos said. Rowe was standing in front of the residence
with blood on his clothing when police arrived, Bagos said.
Rowe initially told police he accidentally shot his friend then
said she shot herself, Bagos said.
Police were called when someone reported hearing a gunshot and
heard someone screaming for help. Officers found Pastor lying
in the doorway, Bagos said.
Rowe recently purchased a bolt-action rifle and went shooting
with it earlier Thursday, Bagos said. Rowe planned to have dinner
with Pastor at the residence and showed her the rifle when he
arrived, Bagos said.
As Pastor was handing the rifle back to Rowe he apparently grabbed
it incorrectly and the rifle discharged striking Pastor, Bagos
Rowe's 6-year-old daughter was in a back bedroom at the time
of the shooting and was not injured, Bagos said. She was placed
in protective custody with Solano County Child Protective Services,
Body of San Jose pedestrian fatality identified
The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office identified Estella
Manalo Bacong, 50, of San Jose, today as the woman who was fatally
struck by a vehicle near a San Jose intersection Thursday morning.
The accident occurred on Capitol Expressway north of Quimby Road
at about 7 a.m. Bacong was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said Bacong was likely not walking in a crosswalk when
the collision occurred.
The driver of the vehicle that struck Bacong stopped after the
crash and police do not believe that alcohol or speed were factors,
San Jose police Officer Jermaine Thomas said.
The incident marks the second pedestrian fatality in San Jose
this year, Thomas said.
A Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail train
fatally struck 50-year-old Randy Walke, of San Jose, on Jan. 4
while he was crossing the tracks near North Capitol Avenue and
Ohlone Drive, according to Thomas. Preliminary investigations
into the VTA accident suggested Walke was crossing against the
crossing signal when he was hit, Thomas said.
Suspect in 2001 Daly City stabbing pleads not guilty
A Guatemalan man who leapt 25 feet over a concrete railing at
San Francisco International Airport to flee from authorities will
go to trial on charges that he was involved in a fatal 2001 stabbing,
a deputy district attorney said today.
Reynaldo Maldonado, 28, pleaded not guilty to all charges during
his San Mateo County Superior Court arraignment Thursday, Chief
Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
He is on no-bail status in San Mateo County Jail, but was previously
hospitalized under armed guard after his attempted escape Oct.
20. He was at the airport returning to California after authorities
arrested him in Miami days earlier for the murder of 15-year-old
Alba had been a freshman at Westmoor High School in Daly City
when on May 21, 2001, he was found dead with multiple stab wounds
in a storage room in the carport area of the Westlake Apartments,
according to Daly City police.
Both Maldonado and his roommate, 16-year-old Erick Morales, who
was Alba's classmate, lived at the apartment, according to police.
A recent tip led police on Oct. 11 back to the apartment, where
an excavation in the backyard uncovered the suspected murder weapon,
a knife, as well as bloody clothing and Alba's cell phone, according
to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Solano County woman stabbed by estranged husband
The Solano County coroner's office said 33-year-old Adriana Pantoja
was stabbed multiple times and died of sharp force trauma to the
Her body was found Monday morning in her family's home in the
80 block of Coral Lane in Suisun. Police arrested her estranged
39-year-old husband Miguel Pantoja at his Fairfield home.
Pantoja appeared in court Thursday afternoon and will be arraigned
for murder Jan. 17.