tv Today in the Bay NBC December 15, 2010 4:30am-5:00am PST
new this morning, it could be the end of the road for some east bay schools. i'm christie smith. we're talking closure. we'll tell you which ones are on the list and when a final decision will be made. and a heated fight at the berkeley city council meeting. the hot topic, whether to call an army private who leaked information to wikileaks a hero. a live look outside, the rain is still here. it's december 15th. this is "today in the east bay." from nbc bay area, reporting what matters to you, this is "today in the east bay." good morning, everyone. i'm scott mcgrew. it is 4:30.
let's start with meteorologist rob mayeda, your east bay forecast and commute as well. >> mike has the morning off. i wish the traffic will take the morning off but we'll watch that for you. right now 40s and 50s outside. a little chilly in a few spots. not much wind. patchy fog will be the thing that will slow down your morning commute. it's mainly out toward the delta and up toward napa. visibility less than a mile. here's the radar view across the east bay. off to the east, chain controls up in the sierra along interstate 80 and highway 50 so if you're heading to the high country, look out for that. our next round of significant rain will hold off till friday but it will pack quite a punch. not a bad day around the east bay but a little cool. 55 livermore, 56 richmond, some upper 50s in the warmer places today, but notice as we head inland out towards fairfield, highs in the low 50s. coming up we'll talk more about
pretty heavy rain totals as we approach the weekend and your seven-day forecast. we'll have that for you in a few minutes. now checking your commute along the east shore freeway, travel times looking pretty good there, 61 miles an hour. an 18-minute drive. some slowing approaching the caldecott tunnel westbound on 24. as we head up towards the benicia bridge, travel times looking pretty good. everything at speed this morning around benicia. scott? >> thank you. this morning change in the works for thousands of east bay students. the mt. diablo unified school district a step closer to boarding up a number of schools. christie smith is live in concord with which campuses are at risk. >> reporter: good morning to you. whenever you talk about closing schools, it gets very emotional for families who invested their time and energy in these schools. there are three scenarios on the table, and each one calls for closing a middle school and two elementary schools to save at least $1.5 million a year
because of state budget cuts. now, there is a school closure advisory committee made up of parents and members of the school district. next month they'll make their recommendations. then trustees can follow these recommendations or they can make their own selections entirely. now, one of the more controversial suggestions involved three high-performing schools. they're the only ones that accept students from outside of their academic program that requires parental involvement. if those schools close, then students would basically be sent back to their own neighborhood schools. some of the criteria that they're looking at for closure include the condition of the school, the capacity, and how much it costs to maintain the school. now, the top recommendation for closure includes glenbrook middle school, silverwood elementary and wren avenue elementary school. trustees are expected to make their final decision sometime in
late january. reporting live in concord, christie smith, "today in the east bay." meanwhile, no decision on berkeley city council's plan to grant hero status to the man accused of leaking confidential cables to wikileaks. cheryl hurd reports on that unexpected turn of events. >> reporter: the city of berkeley always full of surprises, so it's somewhat surprising what happened here tuesday night. >> when are we going to have some new ideas from berkeley? when are we going to tell the beard and beaded jesters from the 1960s that we have had enough of them. when is berkeley going to grow up? >> i'm not from the '60s, i'm not wearing beads, i don't really have much of a beard. this isn't about silly stereotypes that you hear on the michael savage show. this is about real wars with real lives at stake, real people dying. >> reporter: those for and against the resolution to give
army intelligence analyst bradley manning hero status for allegedly releasing classified information to wikileaks got heated. >> if he has done what he's accused of doing, he has endangered his fellow troops. >> this city can't get its act together because this country is broke because of these wars. one man, one man dared to show the truth behind what's going on. he did this for us and for this nation. >> reporter: a volunteer organization, the peace and justice commission, came up with the legislation that ended up before the berkeley city council. it praises manning for exposing war crimes by allegedly leaking a 2007 video of a laughing u.s. apache helicopter crew gunning down 11 men in baghdad and iraq. >> we've given an opportunity to the american press to actually put some vanity back into the wikileaks coverage. >> reporter: in the end they voted to table the legislation,
some saying it's too early to call him a hero and others saying they just need more information. cheryl hurd, "today in the east bay." rack socoons attack has bec the dubious distinction of a city. animals entered a home and attacked two dogs on liberty avenue near high street. the dogs are going to survive. animal control officers say the raccoons slipped into the house drawn by the smell of food. >> they probably went to the dog door. there's a flap, you know. it wasn't locked down on the other side and they were able to go in and just following their noses into the food. >> now, this latest incident brings the total number of raccoon-related attacks in alameda to at least seven since june. a 33-year-old woman was among those who were attacked. she has since recovered as well. oakland's police chief asking for a federal investigation into the police shooting of a popular east bay
barber and father. two officers shot and killed derrick jones last month while responding to a domestic violence call at jones' shop on bancroft avenue. officers say he appeared to pull a metal object from his pants before they fired. the chief says he understands some people's distrust in a police investigation, so he's asking federal leaders to conduct an independent probe. another bay area city says layoffs could be on the way. city officials in antioch said that employees there will face layoffs next month if they don't continue to make concessions. workers agreed to skip raises, take pay cuts and do without a cost-of-living increase earlier this year. those items are supposed to be reinstated early next month, but the city says that would create a dire situation. none of the five worker groups involved have agreed to continue concession. but if they don't, the city says it will have to cut staff.
right now the city says it's saving about $737,000 a year with the concessions in place. the president reaching out to some bay area businesses today to talk about boosting the job market. president obama will meet with nearly two dozen ceos, including those from google and cisco and ibm around 6:30 our time in washington. he wants the private sector to use its money to increase employment. in exchange, business executives are hoping the administration will ease up on some regulations. the ceos will meet with the president at the blair house, that's across the street from the white house. members of the presidential advisory board are also going to be part of today's meeting. immigrant rights activists plan to take to the streets of oakland today in support of the dream act, marchers demanding congress pass the federal dream act before it adjourns for christmas. now, last week the house did pass the act, which would provide a path to citizenship
for undocumented children of illegal immigrants. now it's stalled in the senate. demonstrators also calling for state lawmakers to pass a california version of the same act. that would allow undocumented high school graduates to apply for state financial aid for college. similar rallies have been held across the bay area over the last couple of months. the plan to build a ballpark near the oakland estuary cleared its first financial hearing. the city council voted 3-1 on committee yesterday to pay for an environmental review. the vote was pushed up so the full city council can decide tuesday whether to pay for the report. councilmember has reservations. he wants a guarantee from the a's co-owner or the league that they will consider keeping the team in oakland. something the a's have not done and are not expected to do. he said bringing the raiders to
oakland from l.a. ended up costing millions because attendance never met expectations. drivers will see an unusual sight at the bay bridge the next couple of days. millions of pounds of steel will be hoisted onto a new span. the segments will bring the tower nearly three-quarters of the way to its height of 525 feet. the segments will be placed around the clock beginning tomorrow and the chp asks drivers on the bridge to keep their eyes on the road. the new bridge is expected to open in late 2013. well, speaking of bridges, we're going to have rob do double duty today as we give mike the day off so weather and traffic with rob mayeda. >> the rain for the most part has moved on and behind it we're now seeing kind of some chilly temperatures this morning. fairfield, 44 degrees. 48 in livermore, 50 in hayward. patchy fog a little bit of an issue in some spots. maybe some misty skies.
but for now through thursday for the most part the rain has moved on. starting friday into the weekend we're talking very heavy rain. for the east bay right now radar scans showing nothing showing up right now but up to the east you can see snow still flying in the sierra so chain controls still up. if you're heading out to the high country this afternoon. wednesday into thursday this is the rainfall map. you can see our next system really holding off from thursday night into friday. friday should be breezy at times with moderate rain. then for the weekend, that's when the heavy rain will start to fly around the bay area. high a bit cool, 55 around livermore. we'll see patchy fog around the altamont pass and tri-valley. fairfield 54 degrees. cool start to the morning and a fairly cool afternoon as well. enjoy the brief break between storm systems. it should last through thursday afternoon. through the weekend we're talking heavy rain and localized flooding very possible for this weekend. the east bay lures more businesses into setting up shop.
the agencies moving in and where. plus cured of hiv, a medical break through. doctors claim an hiv man appears free of the disease. his amazing story just ahead. you're looking at a live picture of the bridge still under construction. reporting what matters to you, you're watching "today in the east bay" with scott mcgrewm traffic with mike inouye. you see the big turkey for thanksgiving?
you're looking at kind of a misty look at the oracle arena in oakland there. we'll check in with rob in just a minute. it's going to be a rainy weekend, i know that. more business for oakland. federal jobs moving in. a federal agricultural agency relocating operations and 40 jobs from san francisco to oakland. it will rent 18,000 square feet of space on the broadway in downtown oakland. meantime three government agencies, the metropolitan transportation commission, the bay area air quality management are looking for new space. they hope to find 150,000 square feet of offices in one building. charities are low on shelter, food and toys for those in need. this year needy seniors waited out in front of st. mary's center even before the shelter
opened on december 1st, filling 50 beds almost immediately. 250 people showed up at the henry j. robinson center for meals and counseling and showers just about every day. the centers are welcoming the public's help this morning. they need food and clean clothing and money. rob joins us with a rainy, continuing rain throughout the week. >> yeah, things are going to turn really soggy as we head towards the weekend. right now we're catching a little bit of a break. we have some mist and cool temperatures as well. mid-40s in fairfield, 48 in livermore and patches of fog around concord this morning. currently 47 degrees. some of your weather headlines this morning. well, we have some areas of mist along with patchy fog, but for the most part between now and thursday, take advantage of this brief break from the rain because once it kicks up again on friday it's going to be windy and turning extremely wet. right now across the east bay the radar showing nothing showing up of any significant other than the mist, some drizzle in a few pockets. towards the sierra we're still
seeing some snow flying so take the chains if you're heading up interstate 80 or highway 50. this is really the calm before the storms, plural. we'll see these coming through from friday into the weekend. today kind of a cool day. we'll see cool temperatures today, highs in the mid-50s. this should continue on into thursday. for friday and beyond we sometimes refer to this as the pineapple express. these systems come riding in and will fire in one after the other going into the weekend. starting friday we'll see the rain coming back in. saturday and sunday some of that rain could get pretty heavy at times. around the east bay 55 in livermore after patchy fog. we'll see mid-50s over toward the peninsula as well. so kind of just one big microclimate for the bay area today, highs in the mid-50s with patches of fog. between now and tomorrow, we'll be staying dry. once the rain comes back, unfortunately it's going to stick around for a while and that will lead to problems, especially in the coastal mountains where some rainfall
projections could get close to a foot of rain by monday. something we'll watch they closely in the weather center. your morning commute, so far so good on the bay bridge toll plaza. a little patchy fog there as you make the approach. now, to the south around the san mateo bridge this morning, we can actually see across over towards the high rise there off in the distance, so not much patchy fog there. travel times looking pretty good. another check of your east bay travel times, everything in the green. travel times right on schedule, including still along highway 4 this morning. scott. >> thank you for the double duty there. ten days till christmas and, guys, you better get moving. if you're procrastinating, odds are the malls will be crowded. for more on why and other news before the bell, let's turn to courtney reagan live at cnbc headquarters. >> reporter: good morning to you, scott. futures are lower ahead of the opening bell on wall street. we did see stocks end higher tuesday after the fed didn't signal any move away from its bond buying plan saying the economy is improving, but not
enough to bring down unemployment. investors also getting positive data on november retail sales but best buy reported dismal sales and earnings results that caused shares to drop to an eight-year low. asian markets were down a little overnight and europe was also lower. we'll get news on consumer price inflation, industrial production and home builder sentiment. "time" magazine just named mark zuckerberg its person of the year. the dow gained 47 points yesterday to 11,476. the nasdaq was up 2 points to 2627. holiday bargains may have helped motivate shoppers a bit earlier but many have yet to make a big dent in their christmas list. the average person has only finished half their shopping and 17% haven't started. with christmas on a saturday, retailers will be pushing aggressive promotions, reminding shoppers they only have one weekend left. and may i remind you, it's just ten full days. back to you.
the controversial don't ask, don't tell policy will be the topic of conversation on capitol hill today. house democrats plan to vote to get rid of the policy, making it legal for gays to serve openly. now, they're hoping the move will force the senate into action. it is a last-ditch effort to get the policy removed before republicans take control of the house next year. the senate had attached the repeal to a broader bill last week, but it failed by just three votes. meanwhile, the deal to prevent new year's tax hikes appears to be headed for final approval in the senate today. tracie potts tells us what we can expect today. >> mr. president, fist these new tax breaks -- >> reporter: despite concerns about tax breaks for the rich -- >> they don't need it and we can't afford it. >> i'm going to vote no. >> reporter: the senate is under the gun. >> the time for gridlock is gone. >> we had to move forward on this. >> reporter: today they'll likely approve the deal that prevents a new year's tax hike
amounting to $3,000 per household but that's only half the battle. house democrats want to viet the generous estate tax. >> it should be stopped right now. we have to stop shoveling money out. >> reporter: but republicans warn they won't go for any changes. >> this agreement is not subject to being reopened. >> reporter: today president obama pitches this deal to big business leaders, ge, dow, pepsi, encouraging them to start hiring and investing. >> they'll want to know what steps we're taking to ensure that those tax credits are there. >> reporter: the president will insist this deal creates jobs, but democrats are skeptical that tax breaks for the rich will put the middle class to work. >> how many jobs will that create? zero. goose egg. none. >> reporter: in washington, tracie potts, today in the east bay. for a look at what's coming up later today, we say hello to laura garcia-cannon. >> good morning, scott. good morning, everyone. starting today you'll be able to pack more than just your clothes when you ride amtrak. we'll take a look at the controversial change that has
some people worried public safety is being put at risk. and we'll hear from the heroes who helped save people in the middle of a shooting at a school board meeting. those stories plus a basketball brawl you have to see to believe. we'll show it to you later. bay area researchers hoping a remarkable patient halfway across the world can help them find a cure for hiv. the break-through happened when an hiv-positive patient in germany got a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia. now, the donor lacked a special gene called ccr-5 that allows hiv to enter a cell. four years later after the man's transplant, doctors found him completely hiv-free. experts at san francisco's quest research are trying to recreate that scenario with gene therapy. >> their own t cells, their own stem cells, manipulating them to remove that gene and then reinfusing them, that is doable.
>> from the experiment so far, my t cells have doubled and my percentage numbers have gone up, so everything is going in the right direction. >> quest research is treating ten patients with this therapy. doctors call the result encouraging and they're looking for new patients to expand that study. well, finding a parking spot at a bay area small seems difficult, even harder, though, during the holidays. we do have a solution. you need to get in and out in a hurry. garvin thomas hit the parking lots to try to figure out how you can spend more time shopping, less time parking. >> reporter: from natural disasters to civil unrest, journalists often find themselves in tricky situations. well, this story is no exception. we're at the mall. on a saturday. in december. it's just before 4:00 in the afternoon and you know it's not off to a good start when you're
stuck in traffic not in the parking lot but in the road trying to get to the mall. when you finally get into the lot, that's when the games begin. the circling, the searching, and of course the stalking. >> i just look for the biggest crowd of people walking out and just try to follow them to their car. >> reporter: finally for us, though, we get the greatest gift a shopper can get this holiday season, a pair of reverse lights in the row of cars ahead of you. >> and we are in, 27 minutes after starting. >> reporter: but if you follow these simple tips at your favorite shopping spot, it shouldn't take you as long. first up, valley fair mall, where the expert says aim high. >> so straight to the top of the parking garage because typically there's always spots on top. >> reporter: sticking in san jose for a moment, over at oak ridge mall, their tip is to miss the target. management there says there are always more spots open on the sears end of the mall rather than the side anchored by the target store. in san francisco, if you are
shopping in or around union square, head to the ellis o'fairel garage. with valet, you can relax and let someone else find the parking spot. if you shop at daly city, the tip there, get off the freeway one exit earlier or later. or just head south. hillsdale mall is the proud owners of 5,900 parking spaces. even on the busiest of days, their lot does not fill up. and finally, there are the tips that work for any mall. shop early, shop late, or, of course, there's always shopping online. garvin thomas, "today in the east bay." this morning the biggest loser celebrating a big win. the live season finale of the nbc show took place last night in southern california. it was close, but in the end patrick house from mississippi was named "the biggest loser."
he dropped 181 pounds from 400 to 219. house talked about his win following the show. >> i was seriously down on my luck. i lost my job in january. i've been having to borrow money from family and friends just to make it through this year so winning this money will help my family get back up on my feet and i couldn't be more happier. >> he said he finds his own transformation unbelievable and he's learned a lot. the as hosting one of the biggest press conferences the bay area has seen in years. matsui has officially signed with the as for one year. he said he's an old as fan, rooted for them back in the '80s. the signing not only brought the attention of america media to oakland but japanese media as well. another plastic bag ban. just ahead, the bay area city that's giving up plastic bags at retail stores. we'll tell you when the ban starts and where it is.