East Bay Times https://www.eastbaytimes.com Wed, 18 Jan 2023 01:40:13 +0000 en-US hourly 30 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/32x32-ebt.png?w=32 East Bay Times https://www.eastbaytimes.com 32 32 116372269 ‘Please, I did the best I can’: Union City woman’s death was initially thought to be suicide, but now her boyfriend is charged with murder https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/please-i-did-the-best-i-can-union-city-womans-death-was-initially-thought-to-be-suicide-but-now-her-boyfriend-is-charged-with-murder/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/please-i-did-the-best-i-can-union-city-womans-death-was-initially-thought-to-be-suicide-but-now-her-boyfriend-is-charged-with-murder/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 01:40:08 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718586&preview=true&preview_id=8718586 OAKLAND — A year after a Union City woman died of what was initially thought to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, her boyfriend has been arrested and charged with murder, court records show.

Nolan Rian Hurd, 23, was charged last September with one count of murder in the death of 20-year-old Nikha Marcella DeGuzman. Though the charges were filed more than three months ago, Nolan was not arrested until Dec. 15, when police in Stockton took him into custody. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday.

A probable cause statement, filed by Fremont police, lays out in horrifying detail how Hurd went from being viewed as a potential witness of DeGuzman’s suicide to being wanted for murder and suspected of covering up a homicide. The shooting occurred in room #219 at a Fremont hotel, but police have not revealed the location of the shooting, nor was it initially reported by local media.

Hurd was identified as a suspect based on the angle of the bullet, gunshot residue tests, witness statements, and his own conflicting accounts of the shooting, authorities say. Despite all this, police initially recommended that Hurd be charged with a lesser count of involuntary manslaughter, not murder, though no explanation is offered for the disparity.

The shooting took place a little before 10 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2022. Police say that DeGuzman was initially shot behind the ear, but that the bullet missed her skull and she was initially conscious and alert. According to police, it was Hurd who called 911 — though investigators believe it was several minutes after the shooting — and that DeGuzman could be heard talking in the background.

Fremont police Det. Rachel Nieves wrote in court records that, “Based on the calls I believe that Hurd was trying to influence her to say she shot herself and convince the witnesses as they arrived that it was self-inflicted.”

The pistol was found underneath DeGuzman’s right leg.

Other hotel guests reported seeing Hurd banging on doors and asking for help after the shooting, while DeGuzman was seen crawling in a hotel hallway before losing consciousness, while Hurd allegedly told her not to leave and trying to get her back into their room. Some heard the couple arguing before the shot was fired, police say.

Nieves also reviewed police body-worn cameras showing Hurd’s initial interacts with the responding officers.

At one point, he can be heard saying, “I love you… what did I do… Please I did the best I can… I did the best I can,” according to police. At his initial interview at the Fremont police department, Hurd simply placed his head on the table, began crying, and ignored an investigator’s attempts to talk to him for 30 minutes, at which point he was released.

DeGuzman was hospitalized and died two days later, on Jan. 29, 2022. Her obituary describes her as a James Logan High School graduate who attended Chabot College and worked as a service representative for Apple, Tesla, and Round Table Pizza. It says she loved animals, was a talented artist, and wrote poetry, literature, and music in her spare time.

“She was a devoted worker, and often took the responsibility of working late nights. She always was self-sufficient and an independent young lady,” the obituary says.

In April, police interviewed Hurd for a second time at the Santa Rita Jail, where he was in custody for an unrelated criminal investigation. They say that this time — after initially claiming he was in the room when DeGuzman shot herself — that he was actually in the bathroom, but he denied touching the gun. Hurd’s mother allegedly told police that he had confided in her that he had, in fact, handled the pistol after DeGuzman shot herself.

Finally, police say they calculated the trajectory of the gunshot, and believed it was fired from the bed. Nieves wrote that “based on the angel of the entrance wound and trajectory of the fired round I believe that it is physically impossible” for DeGuzman to have shot herself.

Hurd is being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/please-i-did-the-best-i-can-union-city-womans-death-was-initially-thought-to-be-suicide-but-now-her-boyfriend-is-charged-with-murder/feed/ 0 8718586 2023-01-17T17:40:08+00:00 2023-01-17T17:40:13+00:00
Shooter stood over California mom holding baby, killed both https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/shooter-stood-over-california-mom-holding-baby-killed-both-2/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/shooter-stood-over-california-mom-holding-baby-killed-both-2/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 01:08:04 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718255&preview=true&preview_id=8718255 By STEFANIE DAZIO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A shooter stood over a 16-year-old mother clutching her 10-month-old baby and pumped bullets into their heads in a brazen attack in a central California farming community that left six dead at a home linked to drugs and guns, a sheriff said Tuesday.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said the teenager was fleeing the violence early Monday when the killers caught up to her outside the home in Goshen, a central California community of about 3,000 residents in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, and shot the young mother and her child “assassination-style.”

The other four victims ranged from 19 to 72 years old, including a grandmother who was shot as she slept. Their autopsies are expected to be completed later in the week.

Authorities said they were searching for two suspects and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrests.

“None of this was by accident,” Boudreaux said during a news conference Tuesday. “It was deliberate, intentional and horrific.”

Boudreaux walked back his earlier comments to reporters that the attack was likely a cartel hit, saying that investigators are also looking into whether it was gang violence.

“I am not eliminating that possibility,” the sheriff said. “These people were clearly shot in the head and they were also shot in places where the shooter would know that a quick death would occur … This is also similar to high-ranking gang affiliation and the style of executions that they commit.”

Law enforcement is familiar with the home, the sheriff said, citing gang activity there that “has routinely occurred in the past” without giving any specifics. He added that not everyone who was shot was a drug dealer or gang member — and said that among the victims believed to be innocent are the teen, her grandmother, and of course, the baby.

The sheriff’s department on Tuesday identified the victims as: Rosa Parraz, 72; Eladio Parraz, Jr., 52; Jennifer Analla, 49; Marcos Parraz, 19; Alissa Parraz, 16; and Nycholas Parraz, 10 months.

Boudreaux said “there was no reason” for the shooters to kill the young mother and her child.

“I know for a fact this 10-month-old baby was relying on the comfort of his mother. There was no reason for them to shoot that baby, but they did,” he said.

Samuel Pina said Alissa was his granddaughter and the baby, Nycholas, was his great-grandson.

“I can’t wrap my head around what kind of monster would do this,” he told The Associated Press on Monday.

Pina said Parraz and her baby were living with her father’s side of the family in Goshen, and that her dad’s uncle, her dad’s cousin, her grandmother and her great-grandmother were also killed.

He said the family is in shock.

“It comes in big waves,” he said.

Authorities received a call at 3:38 a.m. Monday about multiple shots being fired — so many that it initially seemed like an active shooter situation — at the residence in the town of Goshen, some 170 miles (273.59 kilometers) south of downtown Los Angeles.

It was later determined the person who made the call was someone hiding at the property. Deputies arrived seven minutes later and found two bodies outside the home in the street, and a third body at the doorstep, Boudreaux said.

Deputies found more victims inside the home, including the grandmother. Down the street they discovered the teen mom and her baby. A forensics investigation revealed she had tried to run away before the shooter caught up with her and stood over her and fired multiple rounds into her skull, Boudreaux said.

“It is very clear that this family was a target,” he said.

Three people survived and will be interviewed by authorities. They include a man who hid in the home as the killings happened.

“He was in such a state of fear that all he could do was hold the door, hoping he was not the next victim,” Boudreaux said.

On Jan. 3, a search warrant at the home led to the arrest of Eladio Parraz Jr., a convicted felon who was killed in the shooting Monday — though Boudreaux said Parraz Jr. was not the “initial intended target” and declined to elaborate. Parraz Jr., 52, had an extensive criminal record including driving recklessly to evade arrest, and possessing firearms and drugs, according to prison records.

The search warrant stemmed from a parole compliance check during which investigators found shell casings on the ground, the sheriff said. The occupants refused to let officials inside the home, Boudreaux said.

They returned with a search warrant and arrested Parraz Jr. after discovering ammunition, a rifle, a shotgun and methamphetamine in the home, court records show. He was released on bail four days later.

Rural California is no stranger to drug-related violence. In 2020, seven people were fatally shot in a small, rural Riverside County town where the property had been used for an illegal marijuana growing operation — a common practice in that area.

The following year, a man accidentally shot himself while working at his family’s illegal marijuana grow in Butte County’s Forbestown. His father and two brothers were accused of moving his body to prevent investigators from discovering the grow site.


Associated Press writer Martha Mendoza in Santa Cruz contributed to this report. Researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and Video Producer Javier Arciga in San Diego contributed to this report.

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Why Japanese star Shintaro Fujinami and the Oakland A’s are a perfect match https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/why-japanese-star-shintaro-fujinami-and-the-oakland-as-are-a-perfect-match/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/why-japanese-star-shintaro-fujinami-and-the-oakland-as-are-a-perfect-match/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 01:06:48 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718572&preview=true&preview_id=8718572 OAKLAND — There wasn’t an empty seat at the Oakland A’s introductory conference for Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami, the team’s newest free agent addition.

The makeshift podium room at the A’s Jack London Square offices was jam-packed with reporters, cameras and team executives — including former president of baseball operations Billy Beane standing in the back of the room.

“Wow,” general manager David Forst said as he looked around from the podium. “This is exciting, it’s not something we do every day. It’s been a while.”

The A’s aren’t big on the pricy free agency signings that might warrant a flashy news conference — a recent history of cost-cutting and low budgets forces the front office to keep spending at a minimum. So it has been a while. Think Yoenis Cespedes’ intro in 2013, or Hideki Matsui in 2010.

Fujinami’s one-year, $3.5 million deal with the A’s wouldn’t normally warrant the big gathering, but the international draw was enough to get a large group of Japanese language media who will follow “Fuji” — his preferred American nicknamed — through his MLB journey.

“Like Mt. Fuji,” Fujinami said through Japanese interpreter Issei Yamada.

Fujinami’s deal with Oakland poses a perfect opportunity for both sides. Fujinami was looking for a team that would let him pitch as a starter. And the A’s were in need of another arm in their rotation.

“It was important to him to have a chance to be a starter, and that’s how we’ve seen him perform in Japan,” Forst said.

The opportunity to start alone could have been the ultimate draw to Oakland for Fujinami. The 28-year-old was drafted in the first round into the Nippon Professional Baseball, alongside superstar and high-school rival Shohei Ohtani in 2012. He made four straight NBP All-Star teams during his 10-seasons with the Hanshin Tigers as a hard-throwing starter who can hit triple-digits to go with a low 80’s mph slider and a splitter.

But Fujinami lost his command somewhere along the way. In 2017, at age 23, his walk rate jumped from 3.7 walks per nine innings to 5.7 in 26 games with the Tigers, including 11 starts. His struggles had him switching between starter and reliever toward the latter part of his Tigers career.

Lately, he’s been able to regain some of that control, lowering his BB/9 back down to 3.0 in 25 games. The 6-foot-6 pitcher struck out 65 batters with 21 walks for a 3.38 ERA over 66 2/3 innings last season — both as a starter for 10 games and a reliever for six.

It was Fujinami’s track record as a starter that interested the A’s, who are in desperate need of some stability in their rotation with Daulton Jefferies recovering from Tommy John surgery and James Kaprielian likely to miss time to start the season with an arm injury. Oakland brought back Paul Blackburn on a one-year deal and Cole Irvin also returns, while 2022 trade acquisitions Ken Waldichuk and JP Sears are among the other rotation options.

A.J. Puk will still be stretched out as a starter, Forst said, with an opportunity for the lefty to earn a rotation spot in spring training.  The A’s also signed Drew Rucinski to a one-year, $3 million deal. The 34-year-old spent the past four seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization League.

But Forst sounded certain Fujinami will start.

“I didn’t realize we brought Mt. Fuji to the Bay Area. We’re moving mountains, I guess,” Fujinami’s agent Scott Boras said. “Today marks a very special time for him, it really does.”

The deal also plants the seed for another American League West dynamic. Fujinami could wind up facing his old friend, Ohtan,i when the A’s and Los Angeles Angels match up in at least one of the 13 times they play each other this season, including the opening week.

“No doubt about it. I’m very excited,” Fujinami said. “We’re the same age. Obviously, he’s one of the best players in the world. For the Japanese fans, it’ll be very exciting for us to play against each other. I’m very excited.”

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/why-japanese-star-shintaro-fujinami-and-the-oakland-as-are-a-perfect-match/feed/ 0 8718572 2023-01-17T17:06:48+00:00 2023-01-17T17:25:12+00:00
New Bay Area maps show hidden flood risk from sea level, groundwater https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/new-bay-area-maps-show-hidden-flood-risk-from-sea-level-groundwater/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/new-bay-area-maps-show-hidden-flood-risk-from-sea-level-groundwater/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 00:45:45 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718552&preview=true&preview_id=8718552 By Rosanna Xia | Los Angeles Times

Amid dramatic ocean swells and drenching atmospheric rivers, a new report lays bare a hidden aspect of sea level rise that has been exacerbating flooding in the Bay Area.

The report, which was released Tuesday, maps areas that could flood from groundwater hovering just a few feet, or even inches below ground. This layer of water gets pushed upward as denser water from the ocean moves inland from rising tides. On its way up, even before the water breaks the surface, it can seep into the cracks of basements, infiltrate plumbing, or, even more insidiously, re-mobilize toxic chemicals buried underground.

Communities that consider themselves “safe” from sea level rise might need to think otherwise, said Kris May, a lead author of the report and founder of Pathways Climate Institute, a research-based consulting firm in San Francisco that helps cities adapt to climate change.

“I started working on sea level rise, then I went into extreme precipitation, and then groundwater … but it’s all connected,” May said. She noted that hot spots where the soil is already saturated with rising groundwater were some of the first to flood when a recent series of atmospheric rivers dumped record rainfall onto California: “These huge storms really highlight the magnitude of the risk.”

The report unfortunately does not include all Bay Area counties. May said they expect to publish updated groundwater level data for Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties in about a year.

The new findings are the result of an unprecedented joint effort by May, the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), UC Berkeley and a wide-ranging team of regulators, building officials, and flood-control agencies to identify where the groundwater along the bay shoreline is close to, or already breaking, the surface. A set of searchable maps, available online to the public, zooms in on Alameda, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties — the first of many jurisdictions that researchers hope will undergo this intensive data-refining process.

The maps build on a new but growing body of research. In 2020, another study led by the U.S. Geological Survey laid the groundwork for this issue along California’s 1,200-mile coast, and state toxic substances control officials have since started their own mapping efforts to better understand how rising groundwater might affect contaminated land.

Similar research into vulnerable communities in Southern California is now also being conducted by a team led by Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Northridge.

This emerging flood risk raises many tough questions, but the data so far make clear the need for urgent action.

“We really need to focus on where contaminants may be mobilized by rising groundwater, because that could have an immediate impact on a 6-year-old, or a pregnant woman, or someone who has extra vulnerability in their immune system,” said Kristina Hill, a UC Berkeley researcher who has been particularly concerned about underserved communities like Marin City and historically industrial areas like East Oakland, where much of the soil is contaminated. “This [remobilization] could be happening now while it’s wet outside.”

When talking about groundwater, there are two types to keep in mind: One, the kind researchers are now worried about, is the unconfined water that gathers in the pore spaces of soil very close to the surface. This is the water that runs off streets and soaks into the ground. The other type, confined in aquifers many hundreds of feet deep, is the water that we tap for drinking.

When the tide moves inland, the shallow freshwater tends to float on top of the denser saltwater — and gets pushed upward toward the surface as sea levels rise. Because the shallow groundwater is not consumed, few people have studied this layer of water in California.

Hill, who directs the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at UC Berkeley, first realized almost a decade ago that this shallow groundwater layer had been overlooked in sea level rise conversations. Together with May and Ellen Plane, who is now an environmental scientist at SFEI, she analyzed data from 10,000 wells across the Bay Area and concluded more than twice as much land could flood from groundwater as the ocean continued to rise.

Then, in a remarkable move to turn these first approximation studies into data that government agencies would actually use, the researchers called on the officials themselves to help fill in the data gaps. City and county staff tracked down geotechnical reports and other possibly useful records that had been archived in various (and often siloed) departments. They sifted through hundreds of PDFs and spreadsheets to compile all the underground data that had been gathered for construction permits and projects.

Public works staff then vetted the updated maps with their own observations — such as storm drains that back up during high tide and roads that tend to flood even when it’s not pouring.

Patterns emerged. Many of the communities most exposed to flooding were built along historical creeks or on top of filled-in wetlands. When you overlay 5.5 feet of sea level rise on the map, the water is projected to move back in to essentially every wetland area that has been filled.

Officials in San Francisco are already taking this data into account as they consider new building projects. Other cities and counties are starting to rethink their flood-protection options — a traditional levee or seawall, after all, would do nothing to stop the groundwater as it moves with the rising sea.

Ultimately, officials need to figure out what to do with all the contaminated sites along the bay that are still awaiting cleanup — or those that need to be further remediated, said Hill, who has been finalizing another set of maps that will show where, and in which direction, rising groundwater might remobilize harmful chemicals underground. The oft-used approach of “capping” a toxic waste site rather than actually removing the contamination from the soil, for example, may no longer be sufficient

Regulators at the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board have been following all this research with great interest and are already diving into the updated maps, said Assistant Executive Officer Lisa Horowitz McCann. The board recently ordered 16 bayfront landfills to account for groundwater rise in their long-term flood protection plans, and caseworkers are now going through hundreds of cases to figure out which sites need further action.

“This data further empowers — and actually legally supports — stronger actions that we can take,” Horowitz McCann said. “We’re looking at a bigger universe of cases now.”

Researchers hope to continue this mapping work for the rest of the Bay Area. Next up is Contra Costa County in the East Bay, where a number of historically contaminated sites are being considered for redevelopment along the industrialized shoreline of Richmond.

A lot more work also needs to be done to understand what the actual damage will look like for gas lines, septic systems, foundations and other buried infrastructure, said Patrick Barnard, whose research team at the U.S. Geological Survey has done extensive flood modeling that is used by officials across the state.

“We need to start merging this information with the engineering world,” he said.

“We built everything assuming the soil is dry… what does it mean to have it now be saturated all the time?”Barnard has also been studying what scientists are starting to call “compound extremes.”

What do we do when seawater is trying to push in during a high tide, at the same time our rivers and storm drains are trying to flush excess rainwater into the ocean, and the ground can’t absorb anything because the groundwater is also flooding?

“We looked at this in one case for the Napa River, and basically, your average annual winter storm could turn into the 100-year flood event if the ground is already saturated,” he said. “Add any amount of rain on top of it, even amounts that are not usually catastrophic … and they turn into catastrophic impacts.

”For Chris Choo, the planning manager for Marin County, helping the latest mapping effort has been eye-opening in more ways than one. She has spent years helping communities plan for climate change, and the challenges have only gotten more complicated the more each disaster seems to overwhelm the next.

“We went from drought, drought, drought and being really worried that we don’t have enough water, to suddenly, within two weeks, seeing the impacts of having way too much of it,” she said, noting not just the flooded roads that have kept her colleagues working around the clock, but also the powerful surf that ripped through much of California earlier this month and even split a pier in two.

“People still tend to think of these things as isolated terrible things, rather than as part of a collective shift … in what the future might hold,” she said. “We live in nature and too often think of ourselves as separate from it … but nature is still very much in charge.”

Staff writer John Woolfolk contributed to this report.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/new-bay-area-maps-show-hidden-flood-risk-from-sea-level-groundwater/feed/ 0 8718552 2023-01-17T16:45:45+00:00 2023-01-17T16:45:50+00:00
Antioch Police Chief Steve Ford at community forum Tuesday https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/antioch-police-chief-steve-ford-at-community-forum-tuesday/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/antioch-police-chief-steve-ford-at-community-forum-tuesday/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 00:31:55 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718537&preview=true&preview_id=8718537 Antioch Police Chief Steven Ford will be on hand for the city’s first community forum of the year at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Those attending the District 1 event will have the opportunity to hear from Chief Ford and meet several of the city’s officers. The two-hour community forum will be at Contra Loma Estates park at 1203 Sycamore Drive.

Earlier in the day on Sycamore Drive, police responded to calls about a possible shooting near Peppertree Way just after 10:45 a.m. A man, who suffered at least one gunshot wound, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. It was the city’s first homicide of the year.

The police department plans to hold community forums in each district, rotating them throughout the year.

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Letters: Reservoir room | Difference is obstruction | Empty offices | Non-native animals https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/letters-1121/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/letters-1121/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 00:30:18 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718534&preview=true&preview_id=8718534  

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.

Save reservoir roomfor snowmelt

Re. “Tiny fish hindering water capture,” Page A1, Jan. 14:

Your article on water capture ignores a very obvious reason for not filling the reservoirs at this point, and it has nothing to do with tiny fish. It’s called the snowpack.

If we fill our reservoirs now, and we get a warm atmospheric river in March, and the snowpack melts, then we have no capacity to hold that water back. Look back to the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville. With the volume of the current snowpack it would flood Sacramento, Stockton and the Delta region.

It’s easy to blame a little fish for our water deficit, but what about the expanding planting of almonds and vineyards at the same time we are expanding housing and population in arid regions of the state? Instead, we should be looking to capture water run-off in urban environments. There are 40 million people in the state, but let’s blame a fish.

Peter CalimerisPleasant Hill

Difference between Trump,Biden is obstruction

The big difference between Donald Trump’s documents and Joe Biden’s is the difference between cooperation and obstruction.

If Trump had turned over the documents when asked, several times, Mar-a-Lago would never have been searched.

Frank GrygusSan Ramon

A’s development willadd only empty offices

Re. “Vacancies on offices, rents rise at year end,” Page B1, Jan. 16:

The East Bay Times reports the office vacancy rate for Oakland, including Jack London Square, is 25%. One wonders how many vacant offices the A’s ownership development project will add to Oakland.

Please, do not approve this plan.

Mike TracyOakland

State should not importnon-native animals

California annually imports some 2 million American bullfrogs (commercially raised) and 300,000 freshwater turtles (taken from the wild) for human consumption, non-natives all. All are diseased and/or parasitized, though it is illegal to sell such products. Released into local waters, the non-natives prey upon and displace our native species.

The market animals are kept in horrendous conditions, often butchered while fully conscious. Worse, the majority of the bullfrogs carry the dreaded chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has caused the extinctions of 100-plus amphibian species worldwide in recent years.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife should cease issuing import permits. The powers-that-be seem more concerned about politics as usual, profits and cultural/racial matters than the real issues here — environmental protection, public health, unacceptable animal cruelty and law enforcement.

The deadline for the introduction of new bills is Jan. 20. Let your representatives hear from you.

Eric MillsOakland

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/letters-1121/feed/ 0 8718534 2023-01-17T16:30:18+00:00 2023-01-17T16:30:27+00:00
High school girls basketball rankings: Bay Area News Group Top 20 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/high-school-girls-basketball-rankings-bay-area-news-group-top-20-6/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/high-school-girls-basketball-rankings-bay-area-news-group-top-20-6/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 00:15:20 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718518&preview=true&preview_id=8718518 Bay Area News Group girls basketball Top 20

(Mercury News & East Bay Times)

No. 1 PIEDMONT (15-0)

Previous ranking: 1

Update: Beat Castro Valley 85-22, Alameda 73-14, Cathedral Catholic-San Diego 80-37, Salesian 69-63.

Up next: Wednesday at Bishop O’Dowd, 5:30 p.m.


Previous ranking: 2

Update: Beat Sacred Heart Cathedral 65-45, St. Francis 79-30, Oakland Tech 68-60, Bishop O’Dowd 61-31.

Up next: Friday vs. Valley Vista-Surprise, Arizona, 7 p.m.

No. 3 SALESIAN (15-3)

Previous ranking: 3

Update: Beat St. Mary’s-Berkeley 74-40, St. Patrick-St. Vincent 52-39, Moreau Catholic 57-43. Lost to Piedmont 69-63.

Up next: Wednesday vs. Swett, 5 p.m.


Previous ranking: 4

Update: Lost to Archbishop Mitty 65-45. Beat Valley Christian 57-50, Menlo School 66-44.

Up next: Jan. 25 at St. Ignatius, 7:30 p.m.

No. 5 CARONDELET (17-3)

Previous ranking: 5

Update: Beat Bethel-Spanaway, Wash., 67-29, Lakeside-Seattle 56-40.

Up next: Today at San Ramon Valley, 7:30 p.m.

No. 6 OAKLAND TECH (13-5)

Previous ranking: 6

Update: Lost to St. Mary’s-Stockton 65-52. Beat Castlemont 72-16, Skyline 85-7. Lost to Archbishop Mitty 68-60. Beat Pinewood 69-59.

Up next: Friday vs. Oakland, 5:30 p.m.

No. 7 ACALANES (10-5)

Previous ranking: 7

Update: Beat Clayton Valley 95-19.

Up next: Wednesday at Northgate, 7 p.m.


Previous ranking: 9

Update: Beat Dougherty Valley 67-35, California 68-39, Dougherty Valley 80-30.

Up next: Today vs. Carondelet, 7:30 p.m.

No. 9 BISHOP O’DOWD (10-5)

Previous ranking: 8

Update: Beat Castro Valley 67-41, St. Patrick-St. Vincent 59-53. Lost to Archbishop Mitty 61-31.

Up next: Wednesday vs. Piedmont, 5:30 p.m.

No. 10 PINEWOOD (5-5)

Previous ranking: 10

Update: Beat Priory 69-36, Moreau Catholic 58-56. Lost to Oakland Tech 69-59.

Up next: Today vs. Harker, 5 p.m.

No. 11 HERITAGE (13-3)

Previous ranking: 12

Update: Beat Freedom 68-49, Antioch 72-33.

Up next: Wednesday at Deer Valley, 5:30 p.m.

No. 12 MONTE VISTA (13-4)

Previous ranking: 15

Update: Beat Hayward 55-19, Dublin 76-39, California 66-46.

Up next: Today vs. Granada, 7 p.m.

No. 13 MIRAMONTE (16-2)

Previous ranking: 16

Update: Beat Las Lomas 58-18, Alhambra 63-38, Northgate 53-26.

Up next: Friday vs. Acalanes, 7 p.m.


Previous ranking: 18

Update: Beat Swett 77-28. Lost to Salesian 52-39, Bishop O’Dowd 59-53.

Up next: Today at De Anza, 7 p.m.

No. 15 PINOLE VALLEY (13-5)

Previous ranking: Not ranked

Update: Beat De Anza (forfeit), Swett 66-37, Priory 50-37.

Up next: Today at St. Mary’s-Berkeley, 7 p.m.

No. 16 LOS GATOS (12-3)

Previous ranking: Not ranked

Update: Beat Lynbrook 50-43, Palo Alto 55-44, Los Altos 47-29, Evergreen Valley 48-39.

Up next: Today vs. Saratoga, 7 p.m.

No. 17 PALO ALTO (10-4)

Previous ranking: 11

Update: Beat Saratoga 56-36. Lost to Los Gatos 55-44. Beat Monta Vista 54-45.

Up next: Thursday vs. Homestead, 7 p.m.

No. 18 MONTA VISTA (13-1)

Previous ranking: 13

Update: Lost to Palo Alto 54-45. Beat Leland 69-42.

Up next: Today at Homestead, 7 p.m.


Previous ranking: Not ranked

Update: Beat Mission San Jose 33-21. Lost to Pinewood 58-56. Beat Washington-Fremont 64-25. Lost to Salesian 57-43.

Up next: Today at American, 7 p.m.

No. 20 SAN LEANDRO (13-3)

Previous ranking: 20

Update: Beat Berkeley 52-49. Lost to Francis Parker-San Diego 42-41.

Up next: Thursday vs. Bishop O’Dowd, 6:30 p.m.

Teams eligible for the Bay Area News Group rankings come from leagues based predominantly in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. For updated records, please email highschools@bayareanewsgroup.com.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/high-school-girls-basketball-rankings-bay-area-news-group-top-20-6/feed/ 0 8718518 2023-01-17T16:15:20+00:00 2023-01-17T16:15:43+00:00
Antioch: Man dies in fatal shooting in city’s Sycamore corridor https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/antioch-man-dies-in-fatal-shooting-in-citys-sycamore-corridor/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/antioch-man-dies-in-fatal-shooting-in-citys-sycamore-corridor/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 00:13:45 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718490 ANTIOCH — A man died after a shooting late Tuesday morning in the city’s Sycamore corridor, becoming the city’s first homicide of the year, authorities said.

In limited initial details, a police spokesperson said officers responded to Sycamore Drive near Peppertree Way just after 10:45 a.m. for a report of a possible shooting.

A victim found suffering from at least one gunshot wound was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police did not share any suspect or vehicle descriptions Tuesday afternoon. The shooting is the city’s first homicide of the year. According to reporting by this news organization, Antioch police investigated eight homicides in 2022.

Anyone with information may call Antioch police’s non-emergency line at 925-778-2441, or may text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

Check back for updates.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/antioch-man-dies-in-fatal-shooting-in-citys-sycamore-corridor/feed/ 0 8718490 2023-01-17T16:13:45+00:00 2023-01-17T16:13:45+00:00
GOP lays groundwork for impeaching DHS chief Mayorkas https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/gop-lays-groundwork-for-impeaching-dhs-chief-mayorkas/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/gop-lays-groundwork-for-impeaching-dhs-chief-mayorkas/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 00:13:34 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718511&preview=true&preview_id=8718511 By Melanie Zanona, Manu Raju and Annie Grayer | CNN

Senior House Republicans are moving swiftly to build a case against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as they strongly weigh launching rare impeachment proceedings against a Cabinet secretary, a plan that could generate sharp backlash from GOP moderates.

Key committee chairmen are already preparing to hold hearings on the problems at the southern border, which Republicans say could serve as a prelude to an impeachment inquiry against Mayorkas. Three House committees — Oversight, Homeland Security and Judiciary — will soon hold hearings about the influx of migrants and security concerns at the border.

The House Judiciary Committee, which would have jurisdiction over an impeachment resolution, is prepared to move ahead with formal proceedings if there appears to be a consensus within the GOP conference, according to a GOP source directly familiar with the matter. The first impeachment resolution introduced by House Republicans already has picked up support, including from a member of the GOP leadership team.

A GOP source said the first Judiciary Committee hearing on the border could come later this month or early February.

One top chairman is already sounding supportive of the move, a sign of how the idea of impeaching President Joe Biden’s Cabinet secretary has moved from the fringes to the mainstream of the conference.

“If anybody is a prime candidate for impeachment in this town, it’s Mayorkas,” Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told CNN.

It’s exceedingly rare for a Cabinet secretary to be impeached, something that has only happened once in US history — when William Belknap, the secretary of war, was impeached by the House before being acquitted by the Senate in 1876. Yet it’s a very real possibility now after Kevin McCarthy — as he was pushing for the votes to win the speakership — called on Mayorkas to resign or face potential impeachment proceedings.

With no signs that Mayorkas is stepping aside, House Republicans are signaling they’re prepared to move ahead, even as a bevy of members are uneasy about the approach.

Indeed, McCarthy has to balance his base’s demands for aggressive action with the concerns from more moderate members — many of whom hold seats in swing districts central to his narrow majority. And some in safer seats aren’t yet sold on whether the GOP should pursue that route.

“Clearly, the management of the Southern border has been incompetent,” Rep. Dusty Johnson, a Republican of South Dakota, told CNN. “That is not the threshold in the Constitution for impeachment — it’s high crimes and misdemeanors. … I would want to think about the legal standard the Constitution has set out — and whether or not that’s been met.”

If he loses more than four GOP votes on an impeachment resolution, the effort would fail in the House and could mark a huge embarrassment for the GOP leadership. Already, he has potentially lost one vote — Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas who signaled he is opposed to the effort right now — and several other members who are far from convinced that charging Mayorkas with committing a high crime and misdemeanor is warranted, even if they believe he’s done a lackluster job in helping secure the southern border.

“Has he been totally dishonest to people? Yes. Has he failed in his job miserably? Yes,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican, said of Mayorkas. “Are those grounds for impeachment? I don’t know.”

Indeed, Republicans from swing districts are urging their colleagues to not rush into impeachment, which would be dead-on-arrival in the Senate and could turn the American people off if the party is perceived as overreaching.

“The border is a disaster and a total failure by the Biden administration. We should first to try to force change through our power of the purse,” Rep. Don Bacon, who represents a Biden-won district in Nebraska, told CNN. “Maybe after more oversight we’ll see where middle America is at, but I don’t think independent, swing voters are interested in impeachments.”

Asked Tuesday about his pre-election warning that Mayorkas could be impeached by the House over the GOP concerns about the borders, McCarthy railed on the problems at the border.

“Should that person stay in their job? Well, I raised the issue they shouldn’t. The thing that we can do is we can investigate, and then that investigation could lead to an impeachment inquiry,” McCarthy told CNN, adding it could “rise to that occasion” of an impeachment if Mayorkas is found to be “derelict” in his duties.

Articles drafted up

During the first working week of their new majority, Rep. Pat Fallon, a Texas Republican, introduced articles of impeachment for Mayorkas over problems at the southern border, and Rep. Andy Biggs, a hard-right Arizona Republican, vowed to re-introduce a similar resolution in the coming weeks, which could serve as a template for eventual impeachment proceedings.

Fallon’s resolution says Mayorkas has “undermined the operational control of our southern border and encouraged illegal immigration,” also contending he lied to Congress that the border was secure.

Democrats say Republicans are threatening to impeach Mayorkas for pure political reasons, and say policy disputes hardly rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Mayorkas has already testified in front of Congress numerous times since he assumed his post, and his agency says he is fully prepared to continue complying with oversight in the GOP-led House. So far, there have been no formal requests for hearings or testimony, with congressional committees still working to get off the ground, though Republicans last year sent numerous letters and preservation requests telegraphing their plans for the majority.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Mayorkas made clear he has no plans to resign and called on Congress to come together to fix the nation’s immigration system.

“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. The Department will continue our work to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “Members of Congress can do better than point the finger at someone else; they should come to the table and work on solutions for our broken system and outdated laws, which they have not updated in over 40 years.”

Yet there are signs that the push is gaining steam in the House GOP.

Fallon’s resolution has attracted the support of several Republicans who previously held off on calling for impeachment, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican and member of the Homeland Security Committee, and Oklahoma Rep. Stephanie Bice, a new member of the GOP leadership team — signaling the idea is hardly isolated to the fringe wing of the party.

Fallon, too, had not previously backed impeaching Mayorkas until this Congress. Fallon said that he introduced impeachment articles to help get “the ball rolling,” but still believes it’s key to show the American public why they believe Mayorkas deserves to be removed from his post.

“It is important, it is an emergency, you need to break the glass, you really do need to take it up, and then we’re going to have an additional investigation,” Fallon told CNN. “While that’s why I filed the articles, you can always just sit on them and not do anything with them. That starts the ball rolling, we’re going to give Mayorkas the opportunity to defend himself and his department.”

Meanwhile, key committee chairs are vowing to hold hearings on the crisis at the southern border and prepping plans to haul in officials for interviews. GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who leads the powerful House Judiciary Committee where impeachment articles would originate, suggested the issue would be one of the first hearings when his panel gets up and running.

GOP leaders are cognizant of the fact they can only afford to lose four Republicans on any given vote, and want to build a thorough case for impeachment that can bring the entire party along. But pressure is already building on McCarthy, who has emboldened members of his right flank in his bid to claim the speaker’s gavel — and even given them a powerful tool to call for his ouster if he doesn’t listen to their demands.

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican and one of the key negotiators in the standoff over McCarthy’s speakership and who was the first to call for Mayorkas’ impeachment, told CNN: “I’ve been very public about my belief that he has violated his oath, that he has undermined our ability to defend our country.”

Hard-right leading the charge

The primary committees that would be involved in building a case against Mayorkas are both chaired by members of the hardline House Freedom Caucus: Jordan and Tennessee Rep. Mark Green, the newly elected leader of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Part of Green’s pitch to become chairman has centered on how he will hold the Biden administration accountable over the southern border. Green told CNN he has a “five-phase plan” to delve into the issue.

“And if it turns out that (impeachment) is necessary, we’ll hand that over to Judiciary,” Green said. “We’ll have a fact-finding role.”

There’s also been talk of holding field hearings at the southern border, while Republicans plan to keep making visits there, as they did in the last Congress.

Jordan told reporters that the border problems will likely be one of his first hearings as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. But a source close to Jordan, who has become a close McCarthy ally, cautioned that they will not move ahead with impeachment unless the party is fully on board

And it’s clear that House Republicans are not yet in agreement on the issue.

Freshman Rep. Mike Lawler, who represents a Biden-won district in New York, told CNN shortly before being sworn in: “I think the top priority is to deal with inflation and the cost of living. … I don’t want to see what we saw during the Trump administration, where Democrats just went after the President and the administration incessantly.”

But there are some Republicans in Biden districts already lining up behind impeachment articles for Mayorkas, suggesting the politics could be moving in the GOP’s direction.

Freshman Rep. Nick Langworthy, another New York Republican, is among the 26 co-sponsors who have signed on to Fallon’s impeachment articles so far.

And another freshman New York Republican from a swing district, Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, has also expressed support for impeaching Mayorkas.

D’Esposito contended that many Customs and Border Protection agents are tired of the leadership from the top.

“They are the ones that will tell you flat out that Secretary Mayorkas is not living (up) to his oath and he is failing to secure our homeland,” he added.

And South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, also a Republican who hails from a swing district, said Mayorkas needs to go.

“When you raise your hand and take an oath to protect our country’s border, and you intentionally and willfully neglect to do that job, you should lose it,” said Mace, who pointed to the influx of drugs across the southern border. “Either way, Secretary Mayorkas has to go.”

House Republicans who have long been itching to impeach Mayorkas have been trying to keep the pressure on their leadership, holding a news conference last month and urging McCarthy to more explicitly spell out where he stands on the issue before they voted him speaker.

McCarthy traveled to the southern border shortly after the November election, where he called on Mayorkas to resign and threatened him with a potential impeachment inquiry, though he has not explicitly promised he would go that route.

But even if an impeachment resolution is approved in the House, winning a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict Mayorkas has virtually no chance of succeeding. Some Senate Republicans, such as Senate GOP Whip John Thune of South Dakota, were noncommittal about backing such a move. And Democrats are roundly dismissing the idea.

“A wonderfully constructive action,” Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, said sarcastically when asked about the impeachment talk.

Coons quickly added: “I think that’d be an enormous waste of time.”

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California storms: The past three weeks were the wettest in 161 years in the Bay Area https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/california-storms-the-past-three-weeks-were-the-wettest-in-161-years-in-the-bay-area/ https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/17/california-storms-the-past-three-weeks-were-the-wettest-in-161-years-in-the-bay-area/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2023 00:11:03 +0000 https://www.eastbaytimes.com/?p=8718507&preview=true&preview_id=8718507 How wet has it been recently in Northern California?

New rainfall totals show that no person alive has experienced a three-week period in the Bay Area as wet as these past 21 days. The last time it happened, Abraham Lincoln was president.

From Dec. 26 to Jan. 15, 17 inches of rain fell in downtown San Francisco. That’s the second-wettest three-week period at any time in San Francisco’s recorded history since daily records began in 1849 during the Gold Rush. And it’s more than five times the city’s historical average of 3.1 inches over the same time.

The only three-week period that was wetter in San Francisco — often used as the benchmark for Bay Area weather because it has the oldest records — came during the Civil War when a drowning 23.01 inches fell from Jan. 5 to Jan. 25, 1862, during a landmark winter that became known as “The Great Flood of 1862.”

Chart of historic rainfall in San Francisco. It shows that Dec. 26 2022 to Jan 15, 2023 is the second-wettest three-week period in the city since daily records began in 1849 during the Gold Rush.“The rainfall numbers over the past three weeks just kept adding up. They became a blur,” said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services in Half Moon Bay, who compiled the totals. “We had a strong jet stream that was bringing in storms, one after another. It was hard along the way to separate the individual storms.”

So much rain fell since Christmas in Northern California that some cities, including Oakland, Stockton, Modesto and Livermore, already have reached their yearly average rainfall totals. In other words, if it didn’t rain another drop until October, they would still have a normal precipitation year.

The parade of soaking storms, which have caused flooding in the Central Valley, Salinas Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains, along with power outages, mudslides and at least 20 deaths statewide, left the Sierra Nevada with a statewide snowpack 251% of normal on Tuesday.

Light rain is expected Wednesday night, but otherwise forecasts call for dry conditions for much of the rest of January. River levels now are dropping.

“We’ve gotten so much water and so much snow,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA. “It’s going to help us dry out and dig out heading into late January. It’s really good news because it takes off the trajectory toward worsening flooding.”

For a sense of how much worse it has been, consider the winter of 1861-62.

Between November 1861 and January 1862, it rained so much that the Central Valley became a vast inland sea, 30 feet deep, for 300 miles. Leland Stanford, who had been elected governor, took a rowboat through the streets of Sacramento to reach his inauguration.

Warm storms on a massive snowpack that winter caused immense flooding, wiping farms, mills, bridges and in some case whole towns off the map. An estimated 4,000 people died, roughly 1% of California’s population at the time, and more than the death toll in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

Now, California has large dams and reservoirs that limit flooding in wet years. There also are thousands of miles of levees and pumps, weirs and other flood control projects that were not in place in the 1860s.

A lithograph shows people in boats on K Street in downtown Sacramento during the Great Flood of 1862. (A. Rosenfield, Wikimedia Commons)
A lithograph shows people in boats on K Street in downtown Sacramento during the Great Flood of 1862. (A. Rosenfield, Wikimedia Commons) 

And despite the recent wet weeks, Northern California is nowhere near the final yearly rainfall total of 1861-62. San Francisco on Tuesday had 21.75 inches of rain since Oct. 1. That total would have to more than double in the coming months to reach the 49.27 inches that fell in 1861-62, or the 47.19 inches that fell in the second-wettest year in history, 1997-98.

Weather experts have become increasingly concerned that if another massive winter like 1861-62 hit — and tree rings and other historical records show they have occurred roughly every 100 to 200 years — millions of people could be trapped by floods, freeways could be shut for weeks, and the damage could reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

A study last summer by scientists at UCLA found that the chances of such a series of huge storms, while still remote, have roughly doubled due to climate change. Climate change has warmed ocean waters, allowing more moisture to be absorbed in atmospheric river storms.

Swain, a co-author of that study, said that climate change is already increasing the amount of moisture in such storms by about 5%, and that will climb as temperatures continue to warm.

Very wet winters are nothing new in California. Since July 1, San Francisco has had the fifth most rainfall on record. But all four of the wetter periods were in the 1800s.

“California has always had big storms like this,” said Park Williams, an associate professor of geography at UCLA, whose research has shown that droughts and wildfires are becoming more severe due to warming. “Climate change can make them more intense. But we might have had a year this wet whether or not we had climate change. And 1862 proves that.”

In this photo provided by Mammoth Lakes Tourism heavy snow falls in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. (Patrick Griley/Mammoth Lakes Tourism via AP)
In this photo provided by Mammoth Lakes Tourism heavy snow falls in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. (Patrick Griley/Mammoth Lakes Tourism via AP) 
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