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Bark For Life on Aug. 2 - Register Now
Jul 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
Woof’s happening? Dog of all sizes and breeds are invited to “take a bite out of cancer” at the fourth annual Bark For Life of Pleasant Hill. This cancer-fighting fundraiser will be held from 9 a.m...

Pleasant Hill's Blues & Brews
On Saturday, July 19 crowds of people came to enjoy the 5th Annual Blues and Brews Festival. It was a day of craft beer tasting, beach ball dodging, delicious food and free music, including Caroomp...
Jul 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Free Campfire Program at John Muir National Historic Site
Join the National Park Service for a free campfire program on Saturday, July 26  at John Muir National Historic Site (NHS) in Martinez. The program begins at 7 p.m. and lasts roughly 1.5 hours. Ran...
Jul 18, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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Pleasant Hill Rec & Park's Derby Day- 7/25
On July 25 from 1:30-3:30pm, test your engineering skills and design a boat out of cardboard, recyclables and duct tape. All boats will compete in races across the pool. Wear your swimsuit and prep...
Jul 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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A Chevrolet Corvette passenger who was ejected onto an Oakland highway in a suspected DUI crash early Friday morning died Monday night, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Nicholas Obenchain, 25, of Alameda, died in Highland Hospital after the 1999 Corvette struck a curb and a light pole and overturned on Interstate Highway 580 near Park Boulevard at about 3 a.m. Friday, according to the Alameda County coroner's bureau.

The Corvette's driver, identified as 23-year-old Corey McDonah, was arrested on suspicion of felony driving while intoxicated. He was also taken to Highland Hospital for treatment of major injuries, CHP Officer Sean Wilkenfeld said.

McDonah was previously arrested for doing wheelies on a motorcycle at speeds of up to 120 mph in an incident in April.

He was arrested April 2 on suspicion of driving recklessly after a CHP airplane spotted him doing wheelies near the MacArthur Maze in Oakland.

He reached a plea deal with prosecutors in the earlier case, Wilkenfeld said.


2014-07-22 11:19:44 -0700

There were 25 lightning strikes in the Bay Area on Monday night and early this morning as rain showers and thunderstorms moved through the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Most of the lightning struck the Pacific Ocean. There was one lightning strike to the San Francisco Bay, two strikes in Marin County and four strikes in San Mateo County, weather service officials said.

The lightning strikes did not cause any fires or injuries.

The scattered rain showers and brief heavy rain, which affected most of the Bay Area, had mostly tapered off as of mid-morning, weather service officials said.

2014-07-22 11:03:30 -0700

A San Francisco woman with cerebral palsy is facing a new challenge after her electric wheelchair was stolen.

Maggie Frazier told KTVU she was at her boyfriend's house in the city's sunset district on July fourth.

The 62 year old left her wheelchair outside, next to the house, because a car was blocking the entrance.

A few hours later when she went to leave, the wheelchair was gone.

"He was crying. I was crying," Frazier said. "Both of us crying, crying to each other."

Frazier filed a police report but the black and blue colored specialized chair has yet to turn up.

Determined not to be homebound, Frazier is renting a motorized wheelchair.

But it's expensive especially given her fixed income. "I paid $526," she said. "I had to write a check."

Frazier has been a client of the non-profit, The Arc San Francisco, for several years.

The organization hopes by spreading the word of the wheelchair theft, it can help get a replacement.

"I feel sad," Frazier said. "That breaks my heart."

2014-07-22 08:32:41 -0700

In a sign of increased caution about flying near combat zones, U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Israel Tuesday after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines suspended service between the U.S. and Israel indefinitely. US Airways scrapped its one flight to Tel Aviv Tuesday. Germany's Lufthansa and Air France also suspended flights. The actions come days after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine with 298 people on board.

Following the action by the U.S. airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibited U.S. airlines from flying to the Tel Aviv airport for 24 hours.

The Israelis are fighting Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in the third war in just over 5 years. Israeli police confirmed that a rocket from Gaza landed in an area near the airport. Police spokeswomen Luba Samri said Tuesday's rocket landing was the closest to the airport since fighting began on July 8.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine Thursday while flying at 33,000 feet. Some experts have second-guessed the airline's decision to fly over an area where pro-Russian separatists are battling the Ukrainian army. But Malaysian officials have countered that the plane's path from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was approved by international regulators.

Aviation and legal experts said Tuesday that airlines are now taking risk assessment into their own hands, both for the safety of passengers and to avoid claims of negligence.

Aviation consultant Robert Mann said airlines are becoming more proactive in the wake of the Fligth 17 disaster.

"It's really forcing every carrier, every business jet operator to do their own due diligence, do their own risk assessment, given the geopolitical situation," Mann said.

Jonathan Reiter, a prominent New York aviation-accident attorney, said flying into an airport after a near-miss by a rocket could be used to show that the airline was negligent. That explains why airlines are suspending service to Israel.

"I'm sure it is human concern as well," Reiter said, "but I think (the airlines) feel it is wise to err on the side of caution because it is their burden to prove they are doing everything possible to avoid injuries and deaths."

Delta's one daily flight was already in the air. A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board. US Airways and United flights that were scheduled to take off later in the day. A Delta spokesman declined to go beyond the details released in a statement.

Israel's Transportation Ministry called on the airlines to reverse their decision and said it was trying to explain that the airport was "safe for landings and departures."

"Ben-Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize," it said in a statement.

Casey Norton, a spokesman for US Airways' parent company American Airlines, said the airline is "in constant contact with the FAA and are monitoring the situation closely." The airline has not yet made a decision about flights to Israel scheduled for Wednesday and beyond, he said.

2014-07-22 08:18:05 -0700

Two town hall meetings on Monday drew veterans of all ages and branches of the service, with common concerns about how the Veterans Administration is failing them.

"I have a mortgage to pay, and a life to live," Navy veteran Eyvette Johnson told her Congressman, democrat Mike Thompson, of Napa. Johnson bemoaned the fact that she's been waiting more than a year on a medical claim. "It's wrong on every level, it's wrong," she said.

Many in the audience of 100 people nodded in agreement with Johnson. They had come to the cafeteria at American Canyon High School to share their experiences and seek answers from a panel of service providers.

Veterans noted, the VA seems inclined to deny benefits whenever possible. "I feel they call us liars when we put in our paperwork," Navy veteran Gary Smith observed, "they come back saying you weren't there, that ship didn't go there, you didn't do that, and they want proof that no one can produce."

The continuous complaints filled two hours, and at the conclusion, Rep. Thompson, himself a Vietnam veteran, said reforms will take time and money. "Clearly they need to be funded," he told KTVU, noting the need for more doctors, nurses, and claims personnel.

"It's frustrating and it makes you mad, but you just have to keep working at it," he added, recalling his own obstacles years ago, after discharge from the Army. "It's not new; back then I had a medical card I was supposed to be able to use for all health care, but no one accepted it, and it couldn’t actually buy me anything."

Fraud and cover-ups have sent some VA hospitals into turmoil, and even prompted FBI investigations. Northern California facilities are not implicated, but long delays for service still persist.

A watchdog group on Monday detailed retaliation against VA employees who have come forward with wrongdoing or incompetence, despite assurances their whistleblowing will be protected.

One such employee is a pharmacy supervisor at the VA hospital in Palo Alto, who was suspended after he pointed out medication errors and delays affecting patients.

At another town hall meeting hosted by Congresswoman Jackie Speier in San Francisco, X-ray technician Gina Giacometti listened and wondered at the pace of change.

Would she feel safe coming forward with criticism?

"I don't know, I don't know how to answer that," Giacometti responded to KTVU, "I think there are employees that are unhappy with the way things are, and want change. It's just really tough."

Giacometti had spent most of her thirty year career in private hospitals, before coming to work for the VA.

"It's completely different," she said, "Everything is slower, and it seems there's lots of road blocks along the way, or the ball gets dropped a lot."

Still, "I hope things do change because our veterans need our help, they need us to take care of them."

Inside the hospital auditorium, Rep. Speier assured veteran after veteran, their care would get the attention it deserved.

"No buck passing at this point," she declared, "we'll work on it, we'll fix it, okay?" While no one expects a quick fix, at least people came away feeling that they had been heard.

2014-07-22 08:07:03 -0700
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