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Bay Area briefs

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POSTED August 27, 2013 9:39 p.m.

APPLE REVISES SF STORE PLANS TO PRESERVE FOUNTAIN: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple Inc. has redesigned its plans for a flagship store in San Francisco to preserve a popular bronze fountain that has stood at the site for four decades.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday that Apple is proposing to move the circular fountain by the late sculptor Ruth Asawa while still incorporating the artwork into a plaza outside the new Union Square store.

The absence of the 7-foot-tall fountain from the plans Apple unveiled in May prompted an outcry from residents.

The fountain, installed in 1973, depicts local buildings and characters that Asawa cast in bronze from models that friends and local schoolchildren formed out of bread dough.

Asawa's works are known nationally and are included in the collections of leading museums. She died this month at age 87.

GRASS FIRE BURNS 2 HOMES, THREATENING OTHERS: FAIRFIELD  (AP) — A fast-moving grass fire has burned at least two homes and is threatening dozens more in a crowded neighborhood of Fairfield in Solano County.

A fire department dispatcher says two houses on Marigold Drive near Interstate 80 are engulfed in flames.

KGO-TV shows traffic slowing on the interstate as thick black smoke drifts from a burning hillside into lanes.

Evacuations have been ordered.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

WATER DISTRICT CONSIDERS OIL DIVESTMENT: SAN JOSE  (AP) — A Northern California water agency is set to decide on a plan to drop its investments in fossil fuel companies.

Supporters of the measure before the Santa Clara Valley Water District in San Jose accuse the companies of exacerbating climate change and the resulting water challenges water districts face.

But industry officials and other critics say many fossil fuel companies are working on alternative energy projects, and environmentalists should work with them and government officials to promote such efforts.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the district is scheduled to vote on the measure on Tuesday night. It has only one fossil fuel investment, a $3 million stake in Chevron.

Other cities, including San Francisco, Berkeley and Richmond, have passed similar fossil fuel divestment measures.

FREMONT POLICE WARNING OF SNAKE SCAM : FREMONT  (AP) — Police in a San Francisco Bay Area city are warning residents to be wary of burglary suspects who are posing as city animal control employees looking for a snake.

Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques says the unknown suspects struck at least once on Saturday. They told the residents of a home that they were looking for a poisonous snake that had bitten a girl, and needed to come inside to set traps and take measurements.

While the residents were distracted in the backyard, someone went into the home and stole jewelry and cash. Bosques did not know the value of what was taken.

Police are investigating what appears to be a second burglary in Fremont on Saturday using the same scheme, and Bosques says the incidents sound similar to a recent burglary in neighboring Union City.

OAKLAND POLICE MONITOR TO MAKE $337K: OAKLAND  (AP) — Oakland's court-appointed police monitor will make nearly $337,000 a year under the terms of a settlement over his salary.

The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/14AZ7BB) that a judge approved the settlement with Thomas Frazier on Monday. Frazier will be the city's second highest paid civilian administrator behind City Administrator Deanna Santana.

At issue was whether Frazier should receive the cash equivalent of pension contributions given to full-time city workers. City officials initially resisted that, saying Frazier was not a full-time employee.

The Tribune reports that the city eventually relented. The dispute was over about $57,000.

Ronald Yank, a representative of Frazier's, said the two sides compromised and there were no hard feelings.

Frazier — a former Baltimore police commissioner — has broad authority over the police department. He was appointed to ensure the department implements reforms in the wake of a police brutality scandal.

 

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