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POSTED October 7, 2013 9:07 p.m.

 

REPORTS OF POSSIBLE FIREWORKS BEFORE SF BLAZE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities in San Francisco say they received reports that fireworks may have been responsible for a small blaze on Yerba Buena Island.

The island lies in San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland. A tunnel running through it connects the eastern and western spans of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The fire broke out around 8 p.m. Sunday near the bridge's western span. Though it was under control about two hours later, it snarled traffic on the bridge.

San Francisco Fire Department Assistant Chief Matthew McNaughton tells KGO-TV authorities received reports by phone initially that fireworks may have been involved.

BART UNIONS DECLINE TO GIVE 72-HOUR STRIKE NOTICE: OAKLAND  (AP) — Labor leaders for Bay Area Rapid Transit workers say they are not giving 72-hour notice for a second strike.

Antonette Bryant, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, and members of the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 said Monday they are not giving notice because they want to leave every possible option for resolution open.

If no deal is reached, the unions could strike again by Friday when a 60-day cooling-off period expires.

BART spokesman Jim Allison says officials are working hard trying to reach a settlement.

BART officials have said they are about $89 million apart from a four-year contract with the unions, while the unions say the gap is about $30 million over three years.

BART workers walked off the job for four-and-a-half days in July.

THOUSANDS OF OLD PILINGS TO BE REMOVED FROM SF BAY: SAUSALITO . (AP) — Thousands of derelict pilings soaked with creosote will be removed from San Francisco Bay in an effort to clean up an important habitat for Pacific herring.

The state Coastal Conservancy will run a program to remove 33,000 bay pilings after receiving a $2 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The pilings once supported fishing piers and boat launches.

Pacific herring remain the only commercially harvested fish inside the bay, and often use the pilings and other hard surfaces to spawn. Herring are also an important food for whales, birds and salmon.

Since the pilings are covered in creosote, a byproduct of the coal industry, scientists are concerned that chemicals could be leaching into the herring eggs, exposing the larvae.

 

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