By Mike Aldux
July 18, 2007
Court order won't sway Waste Management
A spokeswoman for Waste Management of Alameda County said Tuesday
that a judge's order compelling the company to abide by its contract
and provide complete garbage service to the city of Oakland won't
affect the way the company conducts its business.
Spokeswoman Monica Devincenzi said that's because the company
believes it already is providing full garbage collection services
to Oakland despite its decision on July 2 to lock out more than
"We remain committed to serving our customers and the ruling
doesn't change that," Devincenzi said.
But at a hearing in his courtroom Tuesday, Alameda County Superior
Court Judge Richard Keller said declarations and photographs provided
by Oakland's attorneys, along with news media coverage, have convinced
him that Waste Management isn't providing full service in Oakland
and much garbage remains uncollected.
"I can't ignore what I saw on TV last night," Keller
John Lynn Smith, an attorney for Waste Management, admitted,
"in the early days (after the lockout started) we didn't
pick up all the routes" and "we're playing catch up."
But he insisted that full service was restored by Monday and
said "today is the second full day of full service."
But Oakland Deputy City Attorney Kandis Westmore told the judge,
"This is not the second day of full service because there
hasn't been a first day."
Smith said one reason replacement drivers hired by Waste Management
have been slow to serve all their assigned routes is that locked-out
Teamsters Local 70 members have been blocking trucks when they
try to leave the company's yard in San Leandro in the morning.
Smith said drivers were delayed up to three hours on Monday but
he said things went better Tuesday because San Leandro police
officers were at the yard Tuesday to prevent Teamsters from blocking
In addition to Oakland, the lockout impacts Waste Management's
service to its other customers in the East Bay, which are Albany,
Emeryville, Hayward, Newark, Livermore, the Castro Valley Sanitary
District, Oro Loma Sanitary District in parts of San Leandro and
San Lorenzo, San Ramon and unincorporated Alameda County.
Board of Supervisors pass budget
Initial passage by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday of the governmental
budget for the next year provided a snapshot of San Francisco's
spending: about $6.1 billion to provide public services, retire
debt and contribute to pensions and investments.
Supervisors' unanimous vote also authorizes issuance of bonds
to finance redevelopment and codifies fee increases already in
practice since last September on city golf courses and athletic
Overall spending rose 5.5 percent over last year while budgeted
employee positions rose to 27,990 from last year's mark of 27,162,
or a 3 percent increase.
City budget analysts reported a $10 million decrease in expected
capital and facilities maintenance costs over last year. And reserves
held by the city for contingencies rose by about 25 percent over
last year to almost $80 million.
The reserve fund is buttressed by the city's Rainy Day reserve,
which analysts reported a balance of $117 million for economic
stabilization purposes and $15.8 million for capital needs such
as maintaining the city's buildings, public works and fleet of
Lawmakers gave the Public Education Enrichment Fund the greatest
overall general fund increase over last year, jumping 350 percent
from $6.66 million to $30 million over the next 12 months.
A bright spot was the influx of $146.4 million in revenues from
transfer of real estate from one owner to another. The relatively
hot real estate market in 2006-07 was $41 million more than officials
expected. Analysts noted that Mayor Gavin Newsom's financial planners
did not expect such a large increase to recur this year.
Final passage of the budget requires one more vote before the
mayor can sign it into law.
Napa Valley Unified School District to appeal dress code injunction
The Napa Valley Unified School District said Tuesday it would
appeal a preliminary injunction that set aside the Redwood Middle
School's controversial appropriate attire policy.
Napa County Superior Court judge Raymond A. Guadagni ruled this
month that the district's dress code was in violation of the federal
and state constitution and the California Education Code.
Guadagni said the district's 9-year-old appropriate attire policy,
which allows only certain solid colors and prohibits logos, words,
patterns, pictures and jeans, is broad and restrictive.
"If the defendants wish to continue enforcement of their
attire policy, they must provide six months' notice of the policy
and they must provide parents with an opt-out provision,"
Guadagni said in issuing a preliminary injunction July 2. The
judge heard arguments in the case in May.
In a prepared statement, Sally Dutcher, the school district's
general counsel, said the district's Board of Education approved
taking the issue to the appellate court. She said the appeal should
result in the policy remaining in effect while the appellate court
reviews whether the preliminary order was appropriate under the
"The Board of Education believes this case of first impression
should be resolved on full record, and the superior court order
short-circuits that process," Dutcher said. She said the
board believes any changes to the policy should be agreed upon
and implemented during the course of the 2007-2008 school year.
"We believe that when all litigation is complete, there
will still be a legal appropriate attire policy in effect at Redwood
Middle School," Dutcher said in a prepared statement Tuesday.
Dutcher said dozens of administrators, teachers and parents worked
on the attire policy for almost a decade and students have found
it assisted with the learning process at the school.
State appeals court approves 49ers' patdown policy
The San Francisco 49ers' policy of conducting patdown searches
of fans who attend football games was approved by a divided state
appeals court Tuesday.
A Court of Appeal panel in San Francisco said by a 2-1 vote that
a Danville husband and wife who sued the team "have no reasonable
expectation of privacy" because they knew about the patdowns
when they bought tickets for the 2006 season.
Longtime season ticket holders Daniel and Kathleen Sheehan claimed
in a San Francisco Superior Court lawsuit in 2005 that the patdowns
violate the California constitution's guarantee of privacy.
But the appeals court majority said the couple by implication
consented to the policy by voluntarily purchasing 2006 season
Justice Timothy Reardon wrote, "By voluntarily re-upping
for the next season under these circumstances, rather than opting
to avoid the intrusion by not attending games at Monster Park,
the Sheehans impliedly consented to the patdowns."
Reardon said in the ruling, "Rather than submit to the patdown
the Sheehans had the choice of walking away, no questions asked."
The Sheehans, a retired glazier and former school employee who
moved to Danville after spending most of their lives in San Francisco,
were represented by lawyers working with the American Civil Liberties
Union, who were not immediately available to comment on the ruling.
The patdowns were instituted by the 49ers in the fall of 2005
in response to a nationwide mandate by National Football League,
which said football stadiums are a potential terrorist target.
The 49ers' inspections "consisted of screeners running their
hands around ticker holders' backs and down the sides of their
bodies and their legs," the court said.
Murder suspect's estranged wife convinced of his guilt
The estranged wife of a man accused of murdering an elderly Millbrae
couple became convinced her husband committed the crimes after
hearing reports in the news on the way they were killed, she testified
Tuesday at a preliminary hearing in San Mateo County Superior
Joseph George Cua, 53, a part-time resident of both Burlingame
and Hemet in Southern California, remains in custody without bail
after his arrest in Oxnard a few days after Millbrae police discovered
the brutally beaten bodies of Fernand and Suzanne Wagner in their
home at 623 Lomita Ave.
Fernand Wagner, 78, was an investor and Suzanne Wagner, 68, was
a part-time hairstylist. Police discovered their bodies after
Suzanne Wagner failed to show up to work on June 14, 2006.
Cua managed properties for the Wagners in Burlingame and San
Jose and was arrested following a phone tip from a confidential
source that identified him as a possible suspect, according to
Joy Cua told a judge Tuesday that when Joseph Cua returned to
the couple's Hemet home after an urgent trip he told her was for
business, he appeared to be shocked and sounded distraught when
informing her the Wagners had both been shot to death.
But after noticing significant cuts and bruises on her husband's
leg and hand, and learning from news reports that the couple had
been beaten to death and not shot, her suspicions against her
husband were confirmed, Joy Cua said.
"I know he did it now," she recalled.
The couple has had ongoing divorce proceedings for more than
two years, and the marriage had not been harmonious at the time
of the murders, Joy Cua testified during cross-examination. She
harbored long-term suspicions that her husband had been wiretapping
her phone, and she knew little of his business dealings, she said.
"I knew there were a lot of lines never to be crossed when
we were together," she said.
Joy Cua also admitted she has been trying to publish a book about
the murders and about her husband's behavior over the course of
"Joseph and living with a psychopath," she described
Further testimony during the afternoon from the Wagners' estate
planning attorney indicated Cua had originally been designated
an executor of the Wagner's trust, but was removed as the successor
trustee in 2005.
Thomas Rogers, a forensic pathologist with the San Mateo County
Coroner's Office who conducted the autopsies of Fernand and Suzanne
Wagner, testified earlier Tuesday that both died of trauma from
multiple blunt injuries, including multiple skull and rib fractures
"not commonly seen to this extent" and more common in
Fernand also suffered a slashed jugular vein in his neck and
Suzanne was strangled and had vaginal injuries from some kind
of sharp, cutting instrument, Rogers testified.
Fremont Police coax man from office building ledge
A lockdown of a Fremont office building ended after local police
talked a man out of leaping off the four-story building on Tuesday,
Detective Bill Veteran said.
The lockdown began at the building at 1860 Mowry Ave. at noon,
when police first responded to the incident.
Hostage negotiators, detectives and SWAT teams were deployed
to scene, according to Sgt. Chris Mazzone.
No injuries were reported and police found that the man, who
claimed he had a weapon, was unarmed.
The man, who was reportedly in his 30s, was transported to Washington
Hospital, where he will undergo psychiatric evaluation.
At this point, police believe the man will not face charges,
Great America mandates lifejackets for children
In the wake of last week's drowning at Great America, the amusement
park's parent company has decided to mandate children 4 feet and
under wear lifejackets at the park's wave pool and "Castaway
Creek'' lazy river attraction, Great America spokesman Gene Fruge
The new rule applies to all 18 of Cedar Fair's parks across the
United States, including several other wave pools similar to the
one 4-year-old Carlos Flores drowned in Thursday.
At the time of the drowning, signs had been posted at the pool
recommending lifejackets for children. Lifejackets are also available
free of charge to anyone who wants them.
The boy was found without a lifejacket under the surface of about
\two feet of water, according to officials.
Carlos' mother was reportedly sitting on the beach while Carlos
and his sister were in the water, according to Fruge. The wave
pool has six lifeguards.
The lifejacket rule was in effect at some other parks owned by
Cedar Fair but the rule has been expanded now to all parks, Cedar
Fair spokeswoman Stacy Frole said.
Antioch man suffers three gunshot wounds
A man suffered three gunshot wounds Tuesday tonight in the 1100
block of West Fifth Street in Antioch, according to Antioch police.
An Antioch police officer heard about four or five shots being
fired just before 8 p.m. while on downtown patrol, police said.
The officer found the wounded man on the ground in front of an
Witnesses told the officer they saw a maroon or burgundy Nissan
or Honda fleeing the scene following the shootings.
The victim was flown to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek,
where he is listed in critical but stable condition.
The Antioch Police Department encourages anyone with information
about the shooting to call (925) 778-2441.
Richmond police investigate shooting in Iron Triangle neighborhood
Police are investigating a shooting that critically injured a
man in Richmond's Iron Triangle neighborhood Tuesday afternoon,
Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said.
Police received a report of shots fired at 2:44 p.m., Gagan said.
Officers arrived to find the driver of a vehicle in critical condition.
The victim had apparently been driving his car in the 600 block
of Harbour Way when he was shot, Gagan said, and then crashed
the vehicle a block and a half away on Ninth Street at Ripley
The man was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment and homicide
investigators were interviewing witnesses to see if anyone else
was in the car at the time of the shooting.
No motive for the shooting has been determined and no suspects
have been identified, Gagan said.
BART up and running, with delays
All Bay Area Rapid Transit service was up and running Tuesday
afternoon following system-wide delays caused by a cracked rail
inside the eastbound side of the Transbay Tube.
"We have great news to report . . . it appears we are going
to resume service by the evening commute," BART spokesman
Linton Johnson said.
Delays between 15 to 30 minutes are expected as service resumes,
Johnson said, but all should be on time come the evening commute.
The crack in the rail was first reported at 12:28 p.m. BART officials
had full service resumed at 2:21 p.m., Johnson said.
While BART crews worked to restore the rail inside the eastbound
tube, all eastbound and westbound trains were forced to share
the westbound side of the tube track, causing significant delays.
Oakland Unified School District appoints Glaster as CFO
The Oakland Unified School District said Tuesday that Leon Glaster
has been appointed as its interim chief financial officer.
According to school district officials, Glaster has nearly three
decades of senior leadership experience and for the past 13 years
has served as the top financial executive for several school districts
in the Bay Area, including East Palo Alto, San Jose and San Leandro.
Glaster succeeds Javetta Robinson, who was recently fired by
Kimberly Statham, the state administrator who runs the financially
troubled school district.
Robinson served as chief financial officer for two-and-a-half
In a statement Tuesday, Statham praised Glaster as "a veteran
administrator with a strong record of achievement in Bay Area
Statham said, "He has a demonstrated ability to handle the
demands that accompany financial management of a large, urban
school district and established methods for improving the fiscal
standing of a school system."
School district officials say that as interim CFO, Glaster's
responsibilities will include administration of all budget development
and financial forecasting, as well as supervision of all insurance
programs and procurement, print shop, nutrition, facilities and
Fairfield man to re-enter pleas for murder, DUI, and drugs
A Fairfield man will return to Solano County Superior Court next
month to re-enter pleas to murder, DUI and drug charges in connection
with a fatal crash in March.
Isidro Pena Soto, 26, was held to answer after a preliminary
hearing Monday to the second-degree murder of 33-year-old Kent
Boone of Antioch in a head-on crash March 31 on state Highway
12 east of Fairfield. Soto also faces a trial for DUI and possession
of methamphetamine in his Ford Expedition.
The California Highway Patrol said Soto crossed double yellow
lines to pass vehicles at 90 mph and lost control of the Expedition
which struck Boone's Ford F-350 truck. Boone, a father of five,
died at the scene.
Soto will re-enter pleas to the charges on Aug. 15.
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