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Tempted to put a log on the fire, or in the woodstove? The Bay Air Quality Management District says, don't. Tuesday is another Spare the Air day, third in a row, and seventh of the season.
That news fired up Pleasanton resident Terry Baranouskas.
"No, that's gonna be another cold day," he told KTVU, as he cleaned ash from his fireplace, awaiting the all-clear.
Baranouskas bemoans having to crank up his heater, when he prefers the heat from his wood-burning insert.
"It feels like big brother and it feels like they're not really in touch with what's going on outside now," he added
But air regulators say this spell of cold, stagnant weather is exactly "why" the burn ban is neede as unhealthy pollution is trapped close to the ground.
"People are worried about the fines," Paul Miller told KTVU, as he walked through Buck Stove Spa and Fan in Walnut Creek.
The store has seen sales of natural gas inserts double during the cold snap.
"They're (customers) worried about not being able to use what they actually have, and they're fearful of neighbors turning them in," Miller said.
After six years of winter air rules in place, Miller says consumers are warming to the idea of a "fake" fire, and they've never been more high-tech, with remote controls, lights and fans.
While the units can be expensive to install the gas is much more affordable than electricity. An added bonus is the units’ burn clean so there are no air district citations to worry about.
"Customers come in, throwing up their hands, saying 'I gotta do it. I put it off, and put it off, and now I gotta do it’," Miller said.
Air district inspectors watch for violations and respond to complaints. First time offenders have to take a class or pay $100 dollars. And if you get caught a second time, violators have to pay a whopping $500 fine.
But for fireplace fans like Baranouskas, there's no substitute for building an old-fashioned wood fire.
"It not only heats the house, it's kind of fun. Its fun for me to collect the wood, and I like stacking it," he tells KTVU.
Baranouskas says he’s hoping Spare the Air restrictions don’t stretch into a fourth day, which would tie a record for consecutive alerts. When the restrictions ease up, Baranouskas says he’ll be read to light up and get cozy.Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:36:11 -0800
San Francisco police have arrested a man they say is behind a slew of smash and grab burglaries in Union Square over the last few months.
Investigators said they arrested Adrian Attaway, 33, on Nov. 24, in connection with burglaries at Fresh, located at 301 Sutter Street and at Marmot, at 165 Post Street.
Trish Feeney remembers showing up for work at Fresh a few hours after the crime.
"There was glass all over everywhere, all over the product and all over the floor," said Feeney. "You feel kind of violated."
Investigators said since the arrest, they've been able to tie Attaway to many more cases, calling him a suspect in nine other window smash burglaries in Union Square between September and November.
The other stores hit include Coach, Ghiradelli and Ferrari.
Police say most of the crimes happened late at night or early in the morning.
"To me, he was very bold and brazen. It's almost like saying catch me if you can -- and he got caught," said Lt. Ed Santos, of the San Francisco Police Department.
Police said the same day the Fresh store was hit - Nov. 24 - undercover officers reviewed surveillance video and began their own surveillance efforts in the area. They said almost immediately, they spotted the suspect a few blocks away.
Attaway is due in court later this month.Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:17:52 -0800
An attorney with the San Francisco’s Public Defender’s office is accusing San Francisco police of using racial profiling tactics after he says his client was shown a book of photos called the “Lakeview Book.”
"This is a book where police are profiling young African American men," Kwixuan Maloof said.
Maloof says the book includes men with arrests records and known gang members, but also includes men with no records.
"So if there's a 'Lakeview Book', I can assume there's a 'Mission Book'. I can assume there's a 'Bayview Book', but there's probably not a 'Pacific Heights Book'," Maloof said.
San Francisco Police Chief Suhr argues the racial makeup of the book is determined by the gang and their affiliates, not police.
“You've heard the phrase, 'you can't tell the players without a program'. This is the program," Suhr said. "These books are not racial profiling," said Suhr.
While Suhr acknowledges that some of the men in the book do not have arrest records in San Francisco, they have been seen with known gang members – either in person or on social media.
"And if they're in the company of known gang members, they're demonstrating of their own volition they're associated, whether they've been arrested or not," Suhr said.
Maloof says his client, who is on trial for murder, was in the book. He adds that seeing the contents of the book could help his case.
But Maloof says the larger issue is the existence of such books.
"Anytime you have somebody who's never been charged with a crime, but is being labeled something you should be concerned, because you could be in a book, you just don't know it," Maloof said.Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:01:00 -0800 News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories