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Daily news roundup for Wednesday, August 19, 2015

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news.

Appeal to stop ‘excessive’ sand mining in SF Bay scheduled for next week // SF Examiner

“An environmental group will present arguments in an appeals court next week in what may be the group’s final legal effort to stop what it deems excessive sand mining in the San Francisco Bay.

“San Francisco Baykeeper sued the California State Lands Commission in late 2012 after the commission certified its final environmental impact report, claiming the private companies whose leases were approved that year to mine sand in the Bay for construction projects contribute to erosion at Ocean Beach and threaten the Bay’s ecosystem.

“A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled against SF Baykeeper in April 2014, but the environmental group subsequently appealed that decision and is expected to present its arguments in the California 1st District Court of Appeal on Aug. 25.”


‘I just want justice for my mom,’ says daughter of Bayview homicide victim // SF Examiner 

“Almost seven months after the fatal shooting of a mother in front of her children, the family of Maria Lourdes Soza spoke out about her death on Tuesday and asked the public for answers.

“Maria Lourdes Soza, 32, was struck by a stray bullet outside her Bayview home Jan. 27. She was a bystander in a drive-by shooting near Ingalls Street and Revere Avenue that killed 38-year-old Donte Glenn and wounded one other woman.

“Police said only recently that the two deaths were connected. Although Inspector Chris Canning was tight-lipped about his investigation into the double homicide at a press conference Tuesday, police released surveillance footage which shows the suspect vehicle on Sunday.”


UC Davis report predicts drought causes money, job loss in agriculture // ABC7 News

“A new report out of University California, Davis shows the drought is tightening its grip on California agriculture.

“The report predicts the state's farmers will lose $1.8 billion this year and more than 10,000 farm workers will lose their jobs.

“The losses are about 30 percent higher than last year, but because many farmers have been able to tap into groundwater supplies to make up for most of the surface water shortages, the state's agriculture economy continues to expand.

“The report warns that if the drought continues into next year, farm production will begin to erode.”


San Francisco hires crossing guards to prevent traffic deaths // ABC7 News

“San Francisco city officials ushered in the first day of the 2015-16 school year on Monday by ensuring that classrooms and crosswalks are adequately staffed.

“At least 26 new school crossing guards completed their first day in the School Crossing Guard Program, bringing the total to 193 crossing guards staffing 187 corners at 95 schools citywide, according to the SFMTA.

“Officials from school districts and law enforcement agencies say they are teaming up to tackle this issue. The big message they want to address is to slow down and that's both for people passing through and parents dropping off.

“One CHP officer pointed out children are more often hurt or killed during the loading and unloading of a school bus than they are on the bus. Then, there is the danger of crossing the street while busy drivers try to get through the area.”


Quirky Al’s Place in SF’s Mission named nation’s top new restaurant // SF Gate

“On any given evening, Aaron London can be seen whirling around the cramped kitchen of Al’s Place, his quirky restaurant on the oft-overlooked corner of 26th and Valencia.

“To this point, the 6-month-old restaurant has been on some, but not all, diners’ radars, but that is likely to change in a big way this week. On Tuesday, Bon Appetit declared the humble Al’s Place the country’s best new restaurant. The magazine also touts San Francisco as the best food city in the country right now.

“The last time a Bay Area restaurant made such headlines was 2011, when State Bird Provisions won that same honor. Almost overnight, the Fillmore Street restaurant exploded into a viral sensation. Lines snaked down the block; computer hackers even created programs just to procure reservations.”