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NEWS FROM ACROSS BAY AREA

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POSTED June 30, 2014 6:49 p.m.

• OYSTER FARM OWNERS EYE OPTIONS AFTER RULING: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to consider the appeal of a popular oyster farm that federal officials want to shutter and return to wilderness along the coast of Northern California.

The justices without comment left in place lower court rulings against Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

The owners said later at a news conference in San Francisco that they would keep fighting to stay in business.

“It’s not over until the last oyster is shucked,” Kevin Lunny said.

Lunny said he and his lawyers are considering several options but didn’t specify their next step to keep the oyster farm operating and its workers on the job along Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco.

Lunny said pursuing a legislative solution is one option because Congress could override the Department of Interior and issue the farm a permit.

Lower courts have allowed the farm to keep operating through the appeals process.

The case began in 2007 when the Department of Interior made it clear it would not renew the oyster farm’s 40-year lease when it expired in 2012. The agency cited a 1976 Congressional decision to return the waters of Drakes Estero to wilderness status.

The department also cited research critical of the operation’s effects on harbor seals, which use the estuary to reproduce.

Scrutiny of the research, however, unearthed errors and omissions that critics say showed park officials had an agenda to get rid of the oyster farm.

Lunny bought the oyster company in 2004, figuring he and his lawyers could negotiate a long-term lease extension.

 

• CHARTER SCHOOL SUPERVISOR ARRESTED FOR SEX ABUSE: LIVERMORE  (AP) — Authorities say a former Northern California charter school supervisor is in custody for allegedly sexually abusing a student.

Officer Steve Goard, a Livermore police spokesman, said Monday that detectives on Friday arrested Jason Quero on suspicion of penetration of a minor with a foreign object and oral copulation of a minor.

Goard says the 30-year-old Quero of Mountain House is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who attended the Livermore Valley Charter School in 2010 and 2011.

Police say Quero has been released from his employment at the school, where he has worked since 2005. It is not immediately known whether Quero has an attorney.

A statement from the Tri-Valley Learning Corporation, which operates the charter school, said it is cooperating with the police and conducting a simultaneous personnel investigation.

 

• 3-ALARM BRUSH FIRE IN SAN JOSE PROMPTS EVACUATIONS: SAN JOSE  (AP) — Authorities say crews are on the scene battling a brush fire that has burned at least 70 acres and prompted several evacuations in San Jose.

Fire Capt. Cleo Doss says the three-alarm blaze began shortly before 2 p.m. Monday near U.S. 101 and Highway 85 as several people who live along Scenic Vista Drive and a nearby park were being evacuated as a precaution.

Workers at a nearby IBM research center have also been told to leave the area.

Doss says about 100 firefighters, as well as a Cal Fire chopper and two air tankers are not only dealing with the blaze, but also with temperatures approaching 100 degrees.

No injuries have been reported.

Authorities say that a second fire was burning at a golf course about seven miles away.

 

• SAN FRANCISCO TRANSIT WORKERS REACH TENTATIVE DEAL: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco transit agency says it has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with its union whose workers took part in a sickout that stalled the city’s famed cable cars and disrupted other services.

Municipal Transportation Agency director Ed Reiskin told board members on Monday that a deal was reached with Transport Workers Union Local 250 on Thursday.

Union officials say they will present a contract to members during a special meeting Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The tentative agreement comes about four weeks after drivers called in sick after overwhelmingly rejecting a contract they said would have required them to pay more for their pension. The sickout lasted for three days.

Transit agency spokesman Paul Rose says the union will vote on the contract July 7 and the board will do the same July 15.

 

• Kitten travels 30 miles in engine compartment: SUNNYVALE (AP) — A San Francisco Bay Area man had an unexpected passenger in his car during the 30-mile trip to his parents’ house: a small, stray kitten that had somehow found a place to ride in the engine compartment.

Jim Michelotti says he heard meowing after pulling into a gas station on Saturday. A woman next to him said it was coming from his 1993 Mitsubishi Diamante, so he began checking around.

With the help of a flashlight, Michelotti found the black kitten on a bar between the engine and firewall, just inches from the ground. The cat was greasy and scared, but otherwise OK.

It had apparently ridden from Michelotti’s home in the Silicon Valley city of Sunnyvale.

Michelotti says the cat appears to be abandoned.

 

• 7 MEN SHOT AT SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA HOME: ANTIOCH  (AP) — Seven men were wounded in a shooting at a San Francisco Bay Area home, police said.

The circumstances surrounding Saturday’s shooting in Antioch were not immediately clear. Antioch police Sgt. Tom Fuhrmann said Monday police were not releasing any additional information because the shooting was still under investigation.

Police have not identified a suspect.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting at the home around 11:50 p.m. Saturday.

Five of the victims were found at the home, Fuhrmann said. The two other victims arrived at hospitals while police were at the scene of the shooting. They left before officers could get to the hospitals, police said.

All seven victims were expected to survive.

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