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[By Beat News Service | 18 Apr 2011 | Comments Off]
Gerald Morlidge/ SPECIAL TO THE BEAT

Only one of the three remaining survivors of the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire commemorated the 105th anniversary of the disaster early Monday morning in front of Lotta’s Fountain.

Sirens blared shortly after 5 a.m. to mark the exact time the Great Earthquake struck the city and killed thousands of its residents.

[By Steven Luo | 11 Apr 2011 | Comments Off]
The departures lobby at SFO's Terminal 2 is visually stunning -- and provides an unusually long walk to the checkin counters for those coming through the center doors. (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 is, like many other airport terminals built in recent years, an aesthetic wonder. High ceilings, vast open spaces, ample natural lighting, and artwork combine to create a welcoming environment for travelers — a far cry from the gloomy passenger terminals of old.

But what really sets this terminal, reopening to passengers Thursday after a $383 million renovation project, apart from others is the attention to details — like power outlets and taps to fill water bottles — that the modern traveler will appreciate.

[By Beat News Service | 10 Feb 2011 | 2 Comments]
Caltrain riders are unhappy over plans to cut service by more than 50 percent by this summer.

Caltrain passengers reacted with outrage this week after the agency unveiled a sweeping proposal, set to go into effect this summer, that eliminates more than half of existing train service, closes underused stations and raises fares for all passengers.

The agency warned of an ominous operating deficit of $35.7 million by the end of the 2012 fiscal year and told riders that it would be become impossible to afford operating the current number of trains.

[By Beat News Service | 2 Feb 2011 | 2 Comments]
A conceptual design of a BART car of the future. (Courtesy BART)

A team of BART employees, hard at work designing the agency’s next generation of train cars, is considering the installation of narrower and potentially cushion-less seats in the new fleet.

The agency has been holding a “seating lab” at its South Hayward maintenance yard where collections of transit seats from rail agencies across the United States are being evaluated by employees for the new cars.

[By California Beat | 30 Jan 2011 | Comments Off]
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The hoodie showdown went down on NBC’s Saturday Night Live when “The Social Network” star Jesse Eisenberg and SNL star Andy Samberg were surprised on-stage by the man they portray in film and television: the founder and CEO of Palo Alto-based Facebook Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg stood beside the two — in the flesh — in an uncanny appearance that was in the words of Samberg, “awkward.”

[By Beat News Service | 17 Jan 2011 | Comments Off]
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts (left) is joined by his Assistant Chief of Police Howard Jordan at a community meeting in the Oakland Hills.

A series of leadership changes — including the possible hiring of Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts as San Jose’s Chief of Police — is poised to expand a series of shake-ups affecting three of the Bay Area’s largest and most high-profile police departments — each facing dwindling budgets and public scrutiny from widely publicized scandals.

Batts is competing with current San Jose Police Interim Chief Chris Moore — a favored candidate amongst rank-and-file San Jose officers — to head the police department in the city that coins itself as the “safest big city” in the country, the San Jose Mercury News reported Sunday evening.

[By California Beat | 30 Dec 2010 | Comments Off]
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There was no shortage of news in 2010.

The year’s events spanned the range from triumphant to tragic, from stories with eagerly anticipated endings to wholly unexpected surprises.

[By Lizeth Cazares | 9 Dec 2010 | Comments Off]
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A first-of-its-kind study released this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics confirms what some LGBT advocates say they have known for years: gay teens face harsher punishments in schools, courts and by the police than their straight counterparts.

The study, which covered more than 15,000 teens over the course of eight years, showed that despite the fact that LGBT teens were less likely to commit mild to moderate crimes, they were up to three times more likely to face punishment by school officials and the judicial system.

Johannes Mehserle

On Friday morning, one of the final chapters of a tragic high-profile Bay Area story will be written.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge is set to sentence former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle on Friday for the shooting death of passenger Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station platform on January 1, 2009.

[By Andrew Leonard | 25 Sep 2010 | Comments Off]
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SHANGHAI – Four days in Shanghai barely scratched the surface of what’s possible in this giant Chinese metropolis — a sister city to San Francisco for the past 30 years and accessible via a direct 14-hour international flight from SFO.

Shanghai is the largest city proper in the world by population, topping in at almost 14 million people. As a metropolitan area, it ranks as the tenth largest — home to 16 million people.