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SENATOR LARRY CRAIG OFFERS RESIGNATION

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Idaho Republican Larry Craig resigned Saturday from the U.S. Senate in the wake of a sex scandal that caused party leaders to ostracize him.

“It is with sadness and deep regret that I announce it is my intent to resign from the Senate Sept. 30,” said Craig in a news conference in Boise.

“In doing so, I hope to allow a smooth and orderly transition of my loyal staff and of the person appointed to take my place,” he continued.

Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter attended the news conference but did not immediately name a replacement for the remaining 15 months of Craig’s term in the Senate.

Despite nearly two decades in the venerable chamber, Craig lost the support of fellow Republicans after news that he was arrested in June in a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Police were targeting the airport’s men’s bathroom because of complaints of lewd behavior there.

Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in August. He managed to evade media notice both times. But when he was finally found out, he became an object of national derision, not so much for his offense as for his defense.

Having been caught soliciting a male undercover officer, Craig initially pleaded guilty. But now he says he erred in doing so and was only trying to hide the incident from the media.

GOP leaders weren’t willing to support Craig. They stripped him of leadership duties on Wednesday, a day after calling for an investigation of his actions by the Senate Ethics Committee, and repeatedly called for his resignation.

There may have been a time when Craig’s party would have rallied around — or at least dropped a cone of silence over — any embattled member of its ranks.

But as the image of the party that heralds decency, family values and faith-based initiatives has become sorely tarnished lately. Mostly recently, Sen. David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, apologized in July for his use of a D.C. “escort service.”

Nearly a year ago, six-term Rep. Mark Foley, a Republican from Florida, resigned after reports that he had sent sexually explicit Internet messages to an underage male former page.

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GOVERNMENT SAYS companies bribed US officers to win contracts in Iraq

An American owned company operating from Kuwait paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to American contracting officers in efforts to win more than $11 million in contracts, the government says in court documents.

The Army last month suspended the company, Lee Dynamics International, from doing business with the government, and the case now appears to be at the center of a contracting fraud scandal that prompted Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to dispatch the Pentagon inspector general to Iraq to investigate.

Court documents filed in the case say the Army took action because the company was suspected of paying hundreds of thousands in bribes to Army officers to secure contracts to build, operate and maintain warehouses in Iraq that stored weapons, uniforms, vehicles and other materiel for Iraqi forces in 2004 and 2005.

A lawyer for the company denied the accusations.

One of the officers, Maj. Gloria D. Davis, a contracting official in Kuwait, shot and killed herself in Baghdad in December 2006. Government officials say the suicide occurred a day after she admitted to an Army investigator that she had accepted at least $225,000 in bribes from the company. The United States has begun proceedings to seize Major Davis’s assets, a move her heirs are contesting.

The company has been known as American Logistics Services.

Details of the case have come to light because the company contested the Army’s decision, on July 9, to suspend it from obtaining contracts. That forced the government to disclose details in court papers, including a seven-page statement by an Army investigator.

Howell Roger Riggs, a lawyer or the company, denied the accusations and said the company was appealing to have the suspension lifted. Riggs acknowledged that the company was under a Justice Department investigation but said that no charges had been filed against the company or its officials.

“This is based solely on a declaration that is unsubstantiated and uncorroborated,” Riggs said in a telephone interview. “If they want to come forward with hard evidence and accusations, we’ll deal with it at that time.”

The case is now part of a broader investigation in which the Army has a high-level team reviewing 18,000 contracts valued at more than $3 billion that the Kuwait office has awarded over four years.

The Army has suspended 22 companies and individuals, at least temporarily, from pursuing government work because of contract fraud investigations in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, an Army spokesman said Thursday. A total of 18 companies and individuals are barred for a definite period from government work. Seven more face debarment.

The court papers make clear that investigators have concluded that Lee Dynamics paid large bribes to numerous United States officials in Iraq and Kuwait. Major Davis is one official cited. Another is an Army officer, identified in the investigator’s report as “Person B,” because he is now cooperating with the investigation. He acknowledged receiving $50,000 in cash bribes from the company, the court papers said. Two people with direct knowledge of the investigation or the contracting office in Iraq at the time said “Person B” was Lt. Col. Kevin A. Davis, who worked with an officer who has emerged as a focus of the investigation in the weapons case in Iraq.

That officer, Lt. Col. Levonda Joey Selph, was at the heart of the effort to strengthen the fledgling Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005. She worked closely with Gen. David H. Petraeus, who commanded the effort at the time. The general is now the top commander in Iraq. There is no indication that investigators have uncovered any wrongdoing by General Petraeus.

In a brief phone conversation Thursday, Colonel Selph confirmed the connection between her and Colonel Davis in Iraq. “I worked for Kevin Davis,” Colonel Selph said. She said she wanted to consult her lawyer before speaking further and did not respond to subsequent messages.

A woman identifying herself as Kevin Davis’s wife said on the phone that he was out of town and not available for comment. She said that he had gone to work for Lee Dynamics after retiringfrom the army. It is not believed he is related to Gloria Davis.

As the case expands, investigators are looking at the possibility that it has connections to what had appeared to be a separate major corruption scandal. Last week, Maj. John Cockerham, a former Army contracting officer in Kuwait, and his wife and his sister were indicted on charges that they accepted up to $9.6 million in bribes for defense contracts in Iraq and Kuwait.

Court documents, say Major Davis also served as a contracting officer at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, from in 2003 and 2004 and awarded millions of dollars in contracts to American Logistics and its affiliate companies, raising the question of whether the cases are related.

Lee Dynamics appears to be emblematic of scores of companies formed since the Iraqi government fell to take advantage of billions of dollars in contracts to clothe, feed and arm American troops in Kuwait and to sustain Iraq security forces in Iraq.

According to a July 9 statement by Larry S. Moreland, an agent with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, the company’s founder, George H. Lee, and an unnamed person formed American Logistics Services, a Kuwait-based company, to provide logistical support to the military.

In 2004, the company was awarded $11.7 million in contracts to build, operate and maintain several warehouses in Iraq. The court papers contend that as a result of bribes, the company illegally received advance information about the contracts.

In May 2005, the document said, Lee and his son, Justin W. Lee, shifted assets and contracts to Lee Dynamics, and its contract to maintain the warehouses was renewed in July 2005 even though its performance had been abysmal, said two American officials who were in the country at the time.

That month, after Major Davis moved to the Pentagon, Lee Dynamics was awarded a $12 million warehousing contract. Before the award, Major Davis told George Lee that his company would receive a “glowing report” during the bidding, court documents in the government’s case to seize Major Davis’ assets say.

Between August 2005 and April 2006, the company transferred more than $220,900 in three separate deposits to bank accounts controlled by Major Davis, according to the court filings.

According to its Web site, Lee Dynamics’ warehouses in Taji, Umm Qasr, Ramadi, Mosul and Tikrit, all in Iraq, “have received, stored and issued a large part of the more than a billion dollars worth of materials and equipment that has been ordered for the reconstruction of Iraq.”

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COURT ORDER to protect fish species set to cut jobs in California agriculture

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) said Friday that court ordered reductions in deliveries by the State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project would have sweeping impacts across the state.

“The scope of this decision will be felt in nearly every region of California, in some cases within a few weeks,” ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn said.

“These reductions represent the single largest court-ordered redirection of water in state history. It truly hammers home the serious challenges facing our statewide water system.”

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California.

In a highly anticipated ruling yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger ordered the two projects to reduce pumping in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to protect a threatened fish species, the Delta smelt. The reduced pumping translates into a loss of as much as one-third or more of previously available water supplies – or a cut of up to two million acre-feet.

Quinn said the cuts would affect jobs and productivity, especially in the hard-hit agricultural areas from San Joaquin Valley to San Diego. New development in urban areas also could feel the effects in the near term.

“This puts in vivid and real terms the deepening crisis we are seeing in the Delta. It’s an ecological crisis and it’s a water supply crisis. While many factors are affecting the ecosystem, this reinforces the fact that our Delta water infrastructure doesn’t work for the environment or for the state’s economy,” Quinn said.

Wanger’s decision compounds challenges already facing water suppliers this year due to dry conditions.

Many agencies have been drawing on emergency or reserve supplies and asking their customers to voluntarily reduce water use.

More stringent restrictions – including rationing – are expected as a result of the ruling, and the situation could be dire if dry conditions continue.

“If anyone needed a wake-up call, this is it,” Quinn said.

“We need to address fundamental problems in the Delta so we can better protect the environment and the water supplies so critical to our state.”

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STREET VIOLENCE: Two stabbed to death in quiet Ingleside Heights home – Man stabbed to death in United Nations Plaza

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A man and woman were found killed in a bloody scene within an Ingleside Heights home Friday and a man was stabbed this morning in the area where the United Nations was born in San Francisco.

The Ingleside Heights house sat on a quiet neighborhood street with no significant trouble in recent memory, according to a neighbor.

The deceased were identified as Robert Peplies, 45, whose city of residence is not yet known, and Linda Almanza, 31, of San Francisco, were discovered just after noon at a home in the unit block of Sargent Street.

According to San Francisco police Sgt. Neville Gittens, officers received a call at 12:06 p.m. from a man who discovered them.

“The person was familiar with the home and had access to the home,” Gittens said of the caller.

Gittens said the caller had entered the home and found a man dead of apparent stab wounds near the front door.

The caller then went in to a bedroom and found a woman also dead of apparent stab wounds.

Gittens said it is not yet clear if the victims lived at the home.

San Francisco Police Department homicide detectives are investigating what led to the deaths but do not have any suspect or motive information.

An official cause of death for both victims is pending the results of autopsies that will be performed next week, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday police discovered a man who was stabbed on the McAllister Street perimiter of United Nations Plaza.

Paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene.

No arrrests have been made.

Bay City News

See Related: STREET VIOLENCE

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SEPTEMBER 1 Video of The Day – BE STILL – Babies born today will be generous and loyal to kindred – Live radar and weather forecast

September 1 Video of The Day
BE STILL

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SEPTEMBER 1 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are extremely generous in thought and deed, kind, hearty, and robust. You have much sentiment and are loyal to your kindred. You sometimes speak abruptly but do not mean it unkindly. You are demonstrative and affectionate in your love, and you will receive the same in return.

SEPTEMBER 1 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
Sweet potatoes will retain their color if cooked with a slice of lemon.

SEPTEMBER 1 WORD OF THE DAY
Harvest Home. Definition: In Europe and Britain, the conclusion of the harvest each autumn was once marked by great festivals of fun, feasting, and thanksgiving known as “Harvest Home.” It was also a time to hold elections, pay workers, and collect rents. These festivals usually took place around the time of the autumnal equinox. Certain ethnic groups in this country, particularly the Pennsylvania Dutch, have kept the tradition alive.

SEPTEMBER 1 IN HISTORY
Born: Gloria Estefan (musician), 1957. A trace of snow fell at Long Falls Dam in Maine, 1914.

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REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER

Saturday: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 82. West southwest wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 57. West southwest wind between 5 and 11 mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. West southwest wind between 5 and 13 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 56. West wind between 5 and 13 mph.

Labor Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 77.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 56.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 80.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 55.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 82.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 80.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 79.

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BAY BRIDGE NOW OFFICIALLY CLOSED

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is officially closed, Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney reported, and crews have started the seismic retrofit operation that prompted the closure.

Caltrans began closing all bridge onramps at 8 p.m. today.

Ney said the California Highway Patrol officially handed the bridge over to Caltrans at 8:40 p.m., when officials were able to get all the vehicles off the bridge.

“This place is a ghost town,” Ney said. “Traffic is light throughout the entire region.”

The bridge is closed in both directions through 5 a.m. Tuesday as crews replace a 350-foot, 6,500-ton section of the bridge just east of the Yerba Buena Island tunnel.

The new section of the westbound viaduct is part of a seismic retrofit that Caltrans has been performing on the bridge.

Ney reported tonight’s closure went according to plan with no problems or last-minute traffic rushes.

“It’s a good way to start,” he said.

Bay City News

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PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RON PAUL TO VISIT SAN FRANCISCO – Anti-war Republican

The San Francisco Ron Paul Meetup, a group of 253 unpaid volunteers supporting the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign, announces that Ron Paul will visit the Bay Area on September 13, 2007.

In San Francisco, he will attend two fund raising events sponsored by the San Francisco Ron Paul Meetup:

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Palio d’Asti
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Photos by John Han

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Palio d’Asti owner Dan Scherotter and President of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA), left, with GGRA Vice President Glen Myers.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) is “the leading advocate in the nation’s capital of limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies,” spokesmen said

“Dr. Paul wants to bring our troops home from Iraq, fix our foreign policy to make friends abroad through free trade, and end incursions in our constitutional rights in the name of ‘security.’”

RON PAUL IOWA VISIT

See Related: Golden Gate Restauraunt Association

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SAN FRANCISCO HAS ITS DAINTY NEIMAN MARCUS BUT WHY NOT SLIP OFF TO SAG HARBOR

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BY JAMEE GREGORY

Why is the end of August always dull and rainy? Everyone waits to take vacations at the beach, but it’s better for shopping than sunning. Monday dawned, grey and damp but drizzle free, perfect for a trip to Sag Harbor.

No traffic on Noyac Road, as my friend Lisa drives us past some popular summer restaurants off the beaten track, like The Coast Grill, Thyme and Again and Armand’s. We arrive, ready to explore the wonders of Sag Harbor, the Un-Hampton, as it likes to be known.

THE ALL AMERICAN WORKING TOWN

Main Street is a charming mix of old-fashioned emporiums like the hardware store and grocery shop, now threatened by the arrival of a large CVS. Sag Harbor, with its beloved, if dingy, movie theater, which always shows wonderful foreign films, resists change. The engaging American Hotel with its flower-filled porch and Sen will always draw serious food fans.

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Straw-covered console with woven baskets at Beach Bungalow.

Main Street still looks like a stage set for the early American whaling village that is still Sag Harbor. Gingerbread house still line the streets and boats dock all along the wharf. A day spent here is truly a pleasure!

THE RED AND GOLD

EVA CASSIDY

We begin at the aptly named Beach Bungalow, filled with tasteful furnishings all appropriate for seaside living. Sea horses, shells and sand dollars are the motifs of choice. Next we look for slim-fitting rash guards, worn by surfers under their suits as well as by ladies who aerobic walk and want sun protection. Multi-colored surf boards, wraparound sunglasses and wildly printed surfer shorts capture our attention. We stroll past antique shops and admire windows filled with memorabilia. A small courtyard holds a book store, The Black Cat, Privet Cove, frustratingly filled with treasure but closed, and a tea shop.

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Clockwise from top left: Beach Bungalow’s umbrellas with thatch: Just the thing for your turning your pool into a Polynesian paradise; Terrific prints, beautifully framed sand dollars, just thing for your beach house; Need a knick-knack? Everything from hands, heads and sailboats can be found at Our Gig Two; Emporium Hardware for all your home needs; Flying Point famous for surfers needs. Everything from boards to rash guards.

Our next stop is Australian Femininity; we’re not sure what that means but adore the mix of costume jewelry and hats, leaving with some of each. I’m seduced by a coral heart ring for twelve dollars that goes straight on my finger. Who could resist? Next we visit In.Home, a stylish shop offering French guest soaps in Green Tea, perfect for male houseguests and miniature white colanders, just right for rinsing breakfast berries.

In Fishers Lisa finds a pink and white striped rug for her daughters’ room and a turquoise cotton throw for an afternoon nap at the pool. We’re captivated by the street side display at Annyx, matched by the treasures inside. We stock up on clear boxes of pastel chocolates and sunflower seeds, meant for hostess gifts but too pretty to give away.

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Clockwise from top left: Stop at Black Cat Books to browse or Privet Cove for great gifts, but not on Monday when it’s closed!; Try Australian Femininity for bracelets that look like Dior and multicolored heart and flower rings. I found a pink cowboy hat!; Striped rugs, cotton, in all sizes can be found at Fishers Home Furnishings along with unusual sheets; Annyx, filled to the brim with great gifts. Stop and admire the charming outside display (Inset); .Inside you’ll be torn by heart-shaped porcelain dishes, big enough for rings, to pastel candies and raffia-wrapped candle holders; In.Home a great stop for sleek, modern gifts and French soaps, fluffy white mats.

Starving, we head for Bay Street, unable to resist a visit to Sag harbor Florist, known for its extraordinary orchids. Stopping next door, at Bella Casa, for a quick peek at its ceramic planters then parking ourselves at an outside table at Tutto IL Giorno, this summer’s new hotspot. The bread, pea soup, pasta and grilled shrimp sustain us.

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Calypso Home’s brightly patterned Indian table cloths, cushions and square wax candle holders inlaid with gold coins will keep you shopping.

Heading back to Main Street we pop in Candy and Flowers and the ever-chic emporium, Sylvester & Company before hitting Blooming Shells and admiring twisted corals and rows of shimmering shells.

Calypso Home hits a home run with metallic pillows, Indian print table cloths, and silk cushions, not to mention a pink leather pouf.

Bloom, a sophisticated and well-edited store is filled with everything in navy and cream from espadrilles to jackets.

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Clockwise from top left: Sag Harbor Florist sits in a charming gingerbread house covered with unusual planting (Inset). Inside you’ll find hundreds of orchids of all varieties and a grand selection of cut flowers from pink Snapdragons to rare yellow Hydrangeas, ready to be arranged; Satisfy your sweet tooth at Candy and Flowers, try Hampton’s Popcorn; Sylvester & Co. has gifts galore along with boxers in blue and white. This general store is very sophisticated; Blooming shells, tucked on Washington Street, stuffed with nature’s bounty from butterflies to starfish and in between.

Heading home, I suggest we try Scuttlehole Road and we miss the turn, taking us to Bridgehampton by mistake. But what a detour! We fall in love with multicolored bowls and French polka-dotted cutlery at Loaves and Fishes cook store and adore A Mano, the chicest new store in town. Trays, hand painted with coral motifs, hand bags with your choice of grosgrain ribbon and monogram, napkins in rainbow-hued linen and straw placemats embroidered with bright red lobsters capture our fancy. I leave with pink and yellow patterned placemats and napkins to match. I can’t wait to set the table for breakfast with my new finds!

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Clockwise from top left: Check out the display in front of Sag Harbor Antiques: flags, antlers, quilts, jockeys: an all-American mix; Try Bloom for austerely elegant selections in navy and cream, from espadrilles to shirts and jackets; Lisa and I stop to admire A Mano’s garden, filled with glazed pots; Lisa and I stop to admire A Mano’s garden, filled with glazed pots; A Mano’s was dynamite! Great placemats with lobsters and crabs, shell-encrusted candles, linen napkins in all colors; The shop’s windows filled with hand painted platters.

New York Social Diary

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JUDGE TEMPORARILY BLOCKS federal mandate for employers to crack down on illegal immigrant employees

BY JULIA CHEEVER

A federal judge in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order today blocking a new Department of Homeland Security rule aimed at getting employers to aid in cracking down on illegal immigrants in the work force.

U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney said the AFL-CIO and local labor groups had “raised serious questions” as to whether the rule is consistent with federal laws.

The order will remain in effect until a hearing on the unions’ request for a preliminary injunction is heard by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco on Oct. 1.

The so-called “no match” rule is one of several administrative immigration enforcement measures announced by the Bush Administration earlier in August after Congress failed to pass an immigration reform law.

It requires employers to give workers 90 days to fix problems with Social Security numbers that don’t match information in the Social Security Administration database.

If the problem isn’t resolved, employers must take further steps that could include firing the worker. Those who fail to do so can be considered to be knowingly hiring illegal workers and could face criminal prosecution or fines of $2,500 to $14,000 per worker.

Labor groups claim in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the rule will result in discrimination against and possible firing of U.S. citizens and residents who are legal workers but have problems such as clerical errors with their Social Security numbers.

The temporary order bars the Department of Homeland Security from sending out letters instructing employers about the rule. It does not prevent the Social Security Administration from sending out the previously used type of no-match letters, which informed employers of questionable Social Security numbers but did not require further action.

The new rule had been scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 14.

A Homeland Security spokesman said Wednesday that the lawsuit is “completely without merit” and said, “We intend to fight it vigorously.”

In addition to the AFL-CIO, the plaintiffs include the San Francisco Labor Council, the San Francisco Construction and Building Trades Council and the Central Labor Council of Alameda County.

Defendants include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Social Security Administration.

Bay City News

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IDAHO SENATOR LARRY CRAIG WILL RESIGN SATURDAY, GOP leaders say

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Idaho Sen. Larry Craig will resign from the Senate Saturday after pressure from fellow Republicans to step down after an arrest in a men’s room sex sting, Republican officials said Friday.

Craig decided to resign with plans to make the announcement on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

Craig will hold a news conference in Boise on Saturday, his spokesman, Dan Whiting said, but he would not say whether the three-term senator planned to step down. Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, however, appeared to have settled on a successor: Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, according to several Republicans familiar with internal deliberations.

Craig has been out of public view since Tuesday, but Republican sources in Idaho said he spent Friday making calls to top party officials, including the governor, gauging their support.

Asked Friday at the White House if the senator should resign, President Bush said nothing and walked off stage.

Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Aug. 1, and while he has since said he did nothing wrong, the episode has roiled the Republican Party and produced numerous calls for him to step down.

Republican officeholders and party leaders maintained a steady drumbeat of actions and words aimed at convincing Craig to vacate his Senate seat.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Craig’s conduct “unforgivable” and acknowledged that many in the rank and file believe Craig should resign.

An aide said Friday that McConnell has not talked with Craig since Wednesday, when GOP leaders asked him to step down from his senior positions on Senate committees. He complied with the request, made just one day after they called for an investigation of Craig’s actions by the Senate Ethics Committee.

“I am not gay. I never have been gay,” Craig said at a Boise news conference Tuesday, the last time he has been seen in public. He denied wrongdoing and said his only mistake was pleading guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge stemming from a lewd conduct investigation at the Minneapolis airport.

Republican officeholders and party leaders want Craig to give up his seat in the Senate as soon as possible. Their preference, according to several officials, is for a successor to be selected and ready to take the oath of office when the Senate returns from its summer vacation next week.

Republican Party officials said a statement had been drafted at GOP headquarters calling for Craig to resign. It was not issued, these officials said, in response to concerns that it might complicate quiet efforts under way to persuade Craig to give up his seat.

Republicans, worried about the scandal’s effect on next year’s election, suffered a further setback Friday when veteran Virginia Sen. John Warner announced he will retire rather than seek a sixth term. Democrats captured Virginia’s other Senate seat from the GOP in the 2006 election and have sought to line up former Gov. Mark Warner to run if the seat became open.

The contest for control of the next Senate was already tilted against Republicans, who must defend 22 of 34 seats on the ballot next year. With a GOP candidate other than Craig, Republicans would stand a much better chance of keeping his Idaho seat in 2008.

Idaho is one of the nation’s most reliably Republican states. The GOP controls the statehouse and all four seats in Congress, and Bush carried the state in 2004 with 68 percent of the vote.

Risch, the lieutenant governor, served for seven months as governor last year after former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was named interior secretary. Risch had said earlier he was interested in Craig’s Senate seat if Craig did not seek re-election in 2008.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, also had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Craig, but the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because Craig has not resigned, said Otter would choose Risch.

“We’ve made no promises or guarantees to anyone,” said Otter spokesman Jon Hanian. “We don’t have a successor to name yet. We’re not going to deal in hypotheticals.”

Craig served in the House before winning his first Senate term in 1990 and compiled a strongly conservative voting record.

On Thursday, the Minneapolis airport authorities released a tape recording of Craig’s interrogation minutes after he encountered a plainclothes officer in an adjacent stall in an airport restroom.

Craig and airport police Sgt. Dave Karsnia disagreed about virtually everything that had occurred — including whether there was a piece of paper on the floor of the stall and the meaning of the senator’s hand gestures.

Craig denied that he had used foot and hand gestures to signal interest in a sexual encounter.

“I’m not gay. I don’t do these kinds of things,” Craig told the officer. “You shouldn’t be out to entrap people.”

Karsnia accused Craig of lying and grew exasperated with his denials.

“Embarrassing, embarrassing. No wonder why we’re going down the tubes,” Karsnia said.

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SAN FRANCISCO ENDURES FOURTH SHOOTING IN TWELVE HOURS

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A fourth shooting in 12 hours took place this morning near Alamo Square and sent one man to San Francisco General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The most recent shooting took place around 9:40 a.m. at the intersection of Fulton and Steiner streets, Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

Two suspects in a black car began shooting at two victims who were walking down the street. The victims began to run and one victim was shot three times. The other victim was not struck.

Both suspects were taken into custody and the Gang Task Force is handling the investigation, Gittens said. Police believe the suspects and victims know each other, although the connection may not be gang related.

The first shooting occurred Thursday in the 100 block of Taylor Street in the Tenderloin at around 9:20 p.m., according to a police dispatcher. A 31-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound to his arm.

At 10:06 p.m. police responded to reports of shots fired in the 1800 block of Sunnydale Avenue in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood, a dispatcher said. Police located a 29-year-old man who had been shot four times, once in each arm and twice in his chest.

About an hour later, at 11:10 p.m., police responded to a third shooting in the 1700 block of McKinnon Avenue in the city’s Bayview District, police said. Officers found a 20-year-old man who had been shot once in the back.

All three men were taken to San Francisco General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Adding to the violence of the morning, officers responded to a fatal stabbing around 2:10 a.m. in the unit block of McAllister St., just one block from University of California’s Hastings College of Law, police said.

The victim, a male in his 20s, had been stabbed multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Bay City News

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GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER announces August 31 appointments

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the following appointments:

Asa Bradman, Ph.D., 45, of Berkeley , has been appointed to the Scientific Guidance Panel. Since 1998, he has served as an associate director for the Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research at the University of California , Berkeley School of Public Health. Bradman previously was a research scientist for the California Department of Health Services from 1988 to 1997 during which time he worked in the environmental health investigations branch at Berkeley from 1988 to 1993. From 1984 to 1987, he was a field scientist for the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Bradman is a member of the International Society for Exposure Analysis and the American Public Health Association. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Council for the National Center for Healthy Homes and the California Childcare Health Program Advisory Board. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Bradman is registered decline-to-state.

Dwight Culver, M.D., 86, of Newport Beach , has been appointed to the Scientific Guidance Panel. He has worked for the University of California , Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine since 1972 and currently holds the position of clinical professor in the epidemiology department. Culver previously held several positions with the University including co-director of the cancer surveillance program in the division of epidemiology in the department of medicine from 1988 to 2004; director of the residency training program in occupational medicine in the department of community and environmental medicine and the department of medicine from 1976 to 1991; clinical professor of occupational medicine from 1978 to 1991; and associate clinical professor from 1972 to 1978. Prior to joining UCI, he was president and chair of the Systemed Corporation from 1967 to 1972 and medical director of the Azusa facility of Aerojet General Corporation from 1958 to 1967. Culver also served as a physician for the California State Health Department from 1953 to 1956. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Culver is a Republican.

Ulrike Luderer, M.D., Ph.D., 46, of Irvine , has been appointed to the Scientific Guidance Panel. She has served as an associate professor in the division of occupational and environmental medicine in the department of medicine at the University of California , Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine since 2006 and previously was an assistant professor in the same department from 1999 to 2006. From 1998 to 1999, Luderer was a senior post-doctoral fellow in the department of environmental health at the University of Washington . She served on two National Toxicology Program/NIEHS Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction Expert Panels respectively in 2001 and 2005 and on the National Research Council Methyl Bromide Subcommittee from 1999 to 2000. Luderer is a member of the Santa Ana Mountains Task Force and Society of Toxicology and a past member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Health Committee. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Luderer is a Democrat.

Thomas McKone, Ph.D., 56, of Albany , has been appointed to the Scientific Guidance Panel. He has served as a professor of public health at the University of California , Berkeley since 1996. Additionally, McKone has worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 1996, where he currently holds the positions of acting department head and senior scientist. Previously, he worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1983 to 1995 and served as a fellow for the advisory committee on reactor safeguards at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1981 to 1983. McKone is currently working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Science to evaluate the health impacts of industrial releases into the air, water and soil. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. McKone is a Democrat.

Edward Moreno, M.D., 43, of Fresno , has been appointed to the Scientific Guidance Panel. He has served as the health officer of Fresno County since 2003 and director of the Fresno County Department of Community Health since 2005. Moreno previously was an assistant clinical professor for the pediatric residency training program at the University of California , San Francisco ‘s Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research from 1997 to 2003. Prior to that, he was a pediatric hospitalist for the Specialty Medical Group Incorporated at the Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera and an urgent care pediatrician at the Peachwood Medical Group, both in 2003. Moreno also served as an urgent care pediatrician for PM Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Central California Pediatrics Plus in Clovis from 2002 to 2003. He was a private practice pediatrician for the Edinger Medical Group Incorporated for four years. Moreno serves on the Fresno County Children and Families Commission and the Central Valley Immunization Information Commission. He currently serves as director of the Fresno County Child Health and Disability Prevention Program and is the California Regional Disaster Medical & Health Region V Coordinator. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Moreno is a Democrat.

Marc Stern, 63, of Malibu , has been appointed to the California Science Center Board of Directors. Since 2005, he has served as chair of Société Générale’s Global Investment and Services in North America and as vice chair of The TCW Group Incorporated. Stern also serves as a director of QUALCOMM Incorporated, where he has been a member of the board since 1994. He previously served as president of TCW from 1991 to 2005. Stern served as president of SunAmerica Incorporated from 1989 to 1991 and managing director and chief administrative officer for The Henley Group Incorporated and its predecessors from 1974 to 1988. Prior to that, Stern was an attorney for the law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, from 1970 to 1974. He is chair and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Opera Company. Stern is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Caltech Board of Trustees. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Stern is a Republican.

Regina Wilson, 30, of Rialto , has been appointed public information officer for the Office of the Secretary of Education. She has served as managing partner of BPC Media Works since 2004 and advertising director for The Black Voice Newspaper since 2002. Wilson previously served as account representative for Toshiba Business Solutions from 2001 to 2002 and as a 401K specialist for Fidelity Investments from 2000 to 2001. She is a member of the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce and New American Media. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $50,004. Wilson is registered decline-to-state.

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FUGITIVE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FINANCIER jailed in San Mateo

BY JASON BENNERT

Fugitive Democratic Party financier Norman Hsu is in custody in San Mateo County Jail after appearing in a Redwood City courtroom this morning in connection with a 1991 grand theft conviction.

“He was remanded into custody on $2 million bail,” San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

A sentencing date for the 1991 conviction, which involved a fraudulent scheme to sell latex gloves, has not been set.

Hsu’s next court date is Sept. 5 at which time his attorneys will ask to have his bail reduced, according to Wagstaffe.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Lt. Lisa Williams said Hsu is going through the booking process without incident.

The California Attorney General’s Office is handling the 1991 case and an office spokesman was not immediately available for comment on Hsu’s bail reduction request.

Bay City News

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TONY SNOW resigns as White House Press Secretary

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White House Press Secretary Tony Snow had been battling cancer.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, who has been battling cancer, plans to step down Sept. 14 and will be replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino, White House sources said Friday.

President Bush is scheduled to announce the news later in the day.

Snow, 52, a former journalist and syndicated talk-show host on Fox News Radio, has signaled in recent weeks that he probably would not finish out the remainder of the Bush presidency.

“I’m not going to be able to go the distance, but that’s primarily for financial reasons,” Snow told talk-show host Hugh Hewitt Thursday. “I’ve told people when my money runs out, then I’ve got to go.”

Snow, who makes $168,000 a year as the White House spokesman, was treated for colon cancer in 2005.

In March of this year, doctors discovered that the cancer had returned and had spread to his liver.

He has said in recent weeks that his health condition has stabilized.

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AUGUST 31 Photos of The Day – RECYCLED ASPHALT BRINGS CITY COST REDUCTION – Video of The Day – LAST FUNDED OPPONENT TO NEWSOM A BARNYARD ANIMAL – Babies born today will be jolly and marry young – Live radar and weather forecast

August 31 Photos of The Day
RECYCLED ASPHALT NOW BRINGS CITY COST REDUCTION
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Used splalt is scooped into the recycler and emerges as fresh through the bottom.

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Mohamed Nuru , DPW Deputy Chief of Operations lends a hand in the process.

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Mayor Newsom stands in front of the asphalt recycler being loaded.

PHOTOS BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

August 31 Video of The Day
LAST FUNDED OPPONENT TO NEWSOM A BARNYARD ANIMAL

CHICKEN JOHN

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AUGUST 31 BIRTHDAY LORE
You read extensively and assimilate information readily. You are forceful, energetic, and ambitious, and have a liberal, general ability, which will bring success in all you undertake. Your opinions are sought and respected. Marry early in life and you will be very happy.

AUGUST 31 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
Two captains will sink the ship.

AUGUST 31 WORD OF THE DAY
Fathom. Defintion: 1 fathom=2 yards=6 feet

AUGUST 31 IN HISTORY
Died: Rocky Marciano (boxer), 1969. Hurricane Emily lashed the Outer Banks of North Carolina, 1993.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Today: Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 81. West wind between 7 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 57. West southwest wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Saturday: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 79. West southwest wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 57. West southwest wind between 5 and 11 mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. West southwest wind between 5 and 13 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 56.

Labor Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 75.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 55.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 79.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 55.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 56.

Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 79.

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and East Bay media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past three years.

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EAST BAY low-income households increase by ten percent, Census Bureau reveals

BY CAITLIN CASSADY

New statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that the number of low-income households in the East Bay has increased by 10 percent since 2001.

The statistics, which were analyzed by the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, show that working conditions have not improved substantially since the recession in 2001.

The East Bay economy resembles a teardrop, with the bottom level of the economy growing, while the upper echelon of the economy is steadily decreasing.

The number of highest income households has dropped by five percent, according to the alliance.

Overall job growth in the region is stagnant, but the study found that the five lowest paying occupation categories, such as personal care and service occupations, have increased by 9.5 percent.

Other key findings in the study revealed that the number of East Bay residents living in poverty comes to 9.8 percent, while 24 percent of the region’s residents are considered economically disadvantaged due to the high cost of living in the Bay Area.

At 43.1 percent, single mothers compose the largest proportion of families in poverty, while married couples with children make up the second largest group at 25 percent.

Additionally, 46 percent of poverty-stricken adults are working full or part time. The study Indicated that around 40,000 families and 74,000 children in the East Bay
live in poverty.

According to the alliance, advocates will use Labor Day weekend to call on policy makers to renew their focus on creating quality jobs that can support families.

The alliance will encourage local governments to pass “living wage” policies that ensure workers are provided with sustainable wages and benefits.

Bay City News

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MENU LABELING BILL passes key hurdle

Californians moved a step closer Thursday to being able to make healthy dining choices when the State Assembly Appropriations Committee passed SB 120 (Padilla). The legislation, which would require fast food and chain restaurants to provide basic nutrition information on menus and menu boards, now goes to the full Assembly for a final vote.

“Californians are now just a vote away from wining the right to have basic nutrition information easily available when they eat out,” said bill co-sponsor Dr. Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. Goldstein calls SB 120 a vital tool to help address the state’s growing obesity epidemic.

The legislation, which won Senate approval in May, is expected to be heard by the full Assembly before September 11. If passed and signed by the Governor, California would become the first state in the nation to provide menu labeling rights to its citizens.

SB 120 requires chain restaurants and fast food outlets to provide nutritional information on standard menu items. Specifically, the bill requires the number of calories to be posted on menu boards. Printed menus would provide the amount of calories, grams of saturated fat plus transfat, sodium and carbohydrates.

The challenge to understand chain restaurant menus was highlighted earlier this year when a statewide Field Research Corporation poll was released showing that only 10 percent of Californians could pick the healthiest item from a short list of common fast foods.

Restaurants and fast-food outlets are a key concern because Americans consume about one-third of their calories at these establishments.

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THE PASSING OF AL PEET – Founder of Peet’s Coffee

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Alfred H. Peet seen at the first Peet’s store
with coffee roaster in 1966. Peet began the
company at Walnut and Vine Streets
in Berkeley.

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BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Al Peet, connoisseur of fine coffee and founder of Peet’s Coffee, died peacefully Wednesday at the age of 87, it was announced today.

Peet brought specialty coffee to mass availability opening the original Berkeley shop in 1966.

By the time of his death much of Peet’s coast-to-coast following insisted on drinking only Peet’s.

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Peet was born in Alkmaar, Holland on March 10, 1920 and died in Ashland, Oregon.

His father had a small coffee roastery in Alkmaar prior to World War II, and Alfred helped his father by cleaning machinery and doing other odd jobs as a boy.

When Germany invaded the Netherlands he was pressed into working for the Third Reich in Frankfurt and witnessed first hand the intensive Allied bombings there in early 1944.

When the war ended, Alfred joined Lipton’s Tea in London as an apprentice and afterwards went out to the still-Dutch colony of Indonesia to work in the tea business there.

He immigrated to San Francisco in 1955 and eventually found a job in the coffee importing business of E. A. Johnson & Co.

But all the coffee coming into San Francisco was relatively low quality Brazils and “Central Standard” Salvadors for the large local roasting companies Folgers, MJB, and Hills Brothers.

This was frustrating to Mr. Peet because he remembered the great high altitude coffees from Costa Rica, Guatemala, and East Africa that his father used to buy.

But there were no customers for them here, so he decided to do something about it.

He scoured the West Coast from Vancouver to Palo Alto looking for a suitable location for a high-quality coffee roastery before a friend told him that she knew the right place for him, right across the Bay in Berkeley.

He installed a small roaster in the shop’s back room, and the revolution began.

As Peet’s in Berkeley flourished, Mr. Peet opened additional stores in Menlo Park (1971), on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland (1978), and another in Berkeley across from the Claremont Hotel (1980).

“The coffee tells my story,” Peet told visitors prior to his death.

The Peet’s company and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past eleven years. Pat scribes an offbeat opinion column of the human family. Email Pat Murphy at SanFranciscoSentinel@yahoo.com.

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SAN FRANCISCO VOTERS RIGHT to determine additional parking spaces is preeminent, judge rules

San Francisco voters right to vote on adding more parking spaces in new developments is preeminent, State Court Judge Peter Busche has ruled.

November ballot measure Proposition H contained a factual error in understating parking now permitted in new residential construction in the downtown area, Busche acknowledged to plaintiff Tom Radulovich, a member of the BART Board of Directors.

However, petition readers are able to understand the measure means to add more parking spaces in new San Francisco developments, he said.

Busche noted, “You need to be awfully careful before you take something out of the hands of the voters.”

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VIOLENCE ERUPTS IN THREE SAN FRANCISCO NEIGHBORHOODS

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BY JESSE DUNGAN

An early morning stabbing in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood that claimed the life of one man followed an evening of heavy violence in the city, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

On Thursday night, officers responded to three separate shootings that occurred in different parts of the city and sent three men to San Francisco General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The first shooting occurred in the 100 block of Taylor Street in the Tenderloin at around 9:20 p.m., according to a police dispatcher.

Police said a 31-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound to his arm.

At 10:06 p.m. police responded to reports of shots fired in the 1800 block of Sunnydale Avenue in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood, the dispatcher said.

Police located a 29-year-old man who had been shot four times, once in each arm and twice in his chest.

The man was transported to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

About an hour later, at 11:10 p.m., police responded to a third shooting in the 1700 block of McKinnon Avenue in the city’s Bayview District, police said.

Officers found a 20-year-old man who had been shot once in the back. The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the dispatcher.

Then, early this morning, officers responded to a fatal stabbing at around 2:10 a.m. in the unit block of McAllister St., just one block from University of California’s Hastings College of Law, police said.

The victim, a male in his 20s, was stabbed multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

No arrests have been made and police are investigating the crimes.

Bay City News

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STATE OF CALIFORNIA ordered to repay Teachers’ Retirement System $500 million

The Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento issued a decision today that will require the State of California to pay the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) $500 million plus interest stemming from a withheld payment for fiscal year 2003-2004.

The three-member panel unanimously held that the state violated its contractual obligation to California’s retired educators when it withheld its contribution to CalSTRS’ inflation-protection program, the Supplemental Benefit Maintenance Account. CalSTRS estimates total interest could exceed $200 million.

“The court spoke loud and clear today. The state cannot interfere with promised benefits to teachers. We entered into litigation and also sought to work with the administration for a remedy,” said Dana Dillon, Chair, Teachers’ Retirement Board.

“Our most vulnerable members, those who are longest retired and most dependent on these benefits, are the true winners in this ruling.”

In 2003, Governor Gray Davis signed Senate Bill 20, which withheld a $500 million payment to the Supplemental Benefit Maintenance Account that year. The SBMA currently funds quarterly payments to approximately 63,000 retired educators and their survivors when inflation erodes their monthly benefit below 80 percent of its original consumer purchasing power.

“There is nothing ambiguous about today’s ruling. The state’s payments are a vested contractual right and necessary to fund this benefit for our members. CalSTRS current retirees receive only 55 percent of their replacement salary, no Social Security on their teaching earnings and frequently, no employer-provided healthcare benefits after retirement,” said Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS Chief Executive Officer.

“This ruling should permanently put to rest pension raids and allow us to refocus on strengthening retirement security for all.”

The Court of Appeal decision supports a ruling by the Sacramento County Superior Court in May 2005 that ordered the state to repay CalSTRS. The Department of Finance filed an appeal in September 2005.

CalSTRS legal counsel on the case was Olson, Hagel and Fishburn of Sacramento.

With a $169 billion investment portfolio, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is the second-largest public pension fund in the U.S. It administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 795,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.

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SAN JOSE first stop on Jimmy Dean Happy Breakfast Tour next week

Jimmy Dean announced today the return of the Happy Breakfast Tour, a mobile tour providing consumers across America with a free, hot breakfast from Jimmy Dean.

The 12-city tour will kick-off the first week of September in San Jose, California and will conclude in Seattle in mid-November, making stops at community festivals and events to provide a Happy Breakfast to attendees.

In addition, Jimmy Dean will again partner with America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. For every sandwich given away at the Happy Breakfast Tour, Jimmy Dean will donate one dollar, up to $50,000, to help further the organization’s mission to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage the country in the fight to end hunger.

At each stop of the Happy Breakfast Tour, Jimmy Dean will provide visitors with hot breakfast sandwiches, as well as on-site cooking demonstrations by Jimmy Dean chefs preparing recipes featuring Jimmy Dean products.

“We are excited to bring back the Happy Breakfast Tour as our way of thanking our loyal customers across the country for beginning their day the Jimmy Dean way – with a warm, delicious and hearty breakfast,” said Philippe Schaillee, vice president of breakfast and snacking for Sara Lee Food & Beverage.

“Jimmy Dean is particularly proud to continue our relationship with America’s Second Harvest. We are all about offering a hot satisfying breakfast, anytime, anywhere and know that our partnership with America’s Second Harvest will allow us to provide a hot breakfast to those in need.”

Business Wire

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NEW NON-STOP SAN JOSE TO PALM SPRINGS flight added in November

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Horizon Air will offer new once-daily, nonstop jet service between San Jose and Palm Springs, Calif., this Nov. 4 through April 6, 2008.

Additionally, Horizon will add a nonstop jet flight between Portland, Ore., and Palm Springs for the winter season to supplement Alaska Airlines’ seasonal nonstop flight between the two cities. Horizon’s flight on this route will also run from Nov. 4 through April 6, 2008.

“This is in direct response to rising demand from vacationers in the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest for convenient flights to Palm Springs, which continues to strengthen its reputation as a world-class resort destination,“ said Dan Russo, director of marketing and communications.

The new flights will be operated with 70-seat CRJ-700 regional jets and feature Horizon’s special brand of inflight service, including snacks, Starbucks coffee, and wine and microbrews at no extra charge.

The new flightsare available now and can be booked online at horizonair.com or by calling 1-800-547-9308.

Horizon and Alaska currently serve Palm Springs with year-round nonstop flights from Sacramento, San Francisco and Seattle, and winter season nonstop flights from Portland. Palm Springs vacation packages that conveniently bundle air travel, lodging, rental cars and more are also available online through Alaska Airlines Vacations.

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BLACK MUSLIM YUSUF BEY IV pleads not guilty to torture

BY JAMES LANARAS

Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV pleaded not guilty in Alameda County Superior Court today to kidnapping, torture and false imprisonment charges involving two women in East Oakland on May 17.

Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Scott Patton said Bey’s co-defendant Tamon Halfin, 21 did not enter a plea today because he has retained a new attorney, Michael Berger. A third defendant, Joshua Bey, 20, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Aug. 7.

Patton said a preliminary hearing date will be set September 18 for the defendants on the kidnapping case and for Bey, 21, and Halfin on a separate case alleging real estate fraud, forgery and grand theft. The real estate fraud charges were filed against Halfin today. He also did not enter a plea to those charges.

All three men are in custody.

The Bey brothers and Halfin allegedly kidnapped a mother and daughter as the women drove home from a bingo hall in East Oakland. The women were driven to an abandoned home in Oakland where the daughter was assaulted.

The suspects fled when Oakland police arrived and rescued the women.

The real estate charges involve Bey’s alleged use of a fictitious name to buy property at 2514 61st Ave. in Oakland on June 7, 2006. Bey allegedly secured two deeds of trust from CIT Group.

He pleaded not guilty to real estate fraud charges today.

Details of the real estate fraud charges filed against Halfin were not immediately available.

Bay City News

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TONY HALL CAMP cites Ethics investigation in swan song for mayoral campaign

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BELIEVE IT OR WHAT
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BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Scuttlebutt from within the Tony Hall camp is pesky Ethics Commission sleuths are investigating his last camaign for questionable use of campaign funds…

Although ethics gumshoes officially never confirm nor deny investigations, the matter was bound to leak into public glare during Hall’s Quixotic reach for Room 200, Hall may have concluded…

Waving the white flag, right after qualifying for City matching campaign funds, renders surrender logic less oblique

ODDBALL VANGUARD SWAN SONG

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What.

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