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New Ferry Service Set To Connect Richmond And San Francisco

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — Starting Thursday morning, Bay Area residents will be able to take advantage of a new commuter ferry service traveling between Richmond and San Francisco.

At 6:10 a.m., the first ferry boat leaves from a brand new terminal on the Richmond waterfront. Just 35 minutes later, it arrives in San Francisco, leaving passenger Elena Elisher wondering why no one thought of this before.

“To me, it’s a life-changing situation,” she told KPIX 5. “I don’t have to drive anymore. I can walk here and be in my office, literally, in 45 minutes.”

The shiny new terminal sits right next to the old Ford Auto Plant building and just steps away from the Rosie the Riveter Museum. Those may be relics of the past, but then, so are the ferries themselves.

Today, they carry about 10,000 people a day to work. But in the 1930s before the bridges were completed, ferries transported more than 150.000 workers into San Francisco each morning.  It’s an idea that makes sense again, says SF Bay Ferry spokesman Thomas Hall.

“We’re able to use the Bay — not as a barrier, as it is for every other service — but it’s really our tool to get from one place to another,” explained Hall.

Aside from getting cars off congested I-80, the service will be a bargain.  Clipper Card holders pay only $6.75 each way.  It’s $4.50 for kids and seniors and 9 bucks if you’re paying cash.  The Richmond terminal even has 362 FREE parking spaces.  And in San Francisco, you’ll pull up to a brand new landing at Mission and Embarcadero.  Ferry operators believe, from the start, the new service will account for 400 trips a day.

“I’m amazed more people don’t do it,” says Alameda resident and ferry rider Dee Keltner. “We love it.  We don’t have to drive our cars over the bridge. We don’t have to park over here. It’s comfortable, it’s warm. It’s nice!”

Officials have plans to vastly expand the ferry network and expect by 2040 to quadruple the number of commuters who use the Bay itself as their highway to work.

The San Francisco Bay Ferry website has published a complete schedule of the new Richmond ferry service.

New Apple Watch Helps Man Detect He Had An Irregular Heart Beat

NASHUA, N.H. (WMUR) — What started as a fun tech gift around Christmas ended up helping detect a Nashua man’s health issue.

Barry Maden thought he was just experiencing anxiety around traveling for the holiday, but his new Apple Watch alerted him that it was something much more serious.

The self-described “tech geek” said he bought the watch in part to keep a closer eye on his health after suffering a brain injury.

“He originally got it because they have a new fall risk app where, if he were to fall and I’m not nearby, the fall sensor will sense that he fell and call 911,” said his wife, Tara Maden.

But the new watch actually ended up detecting something that Maden didn’t even have on his radar.

READ: Search On For Two Men Who Stole A Lottery Machine From A Grocery Store

“And it said, ‘It looks like your heart is in AFIB. You should contact your doctor,” Maden said.

Atrial fibrillation, or AFIB, is an irregular heartbeat. If left untreated or undetected, AFIB can lead to blood clots, causing a stroke or other heart complications.

With the watch showing Maden what his actual heartbeat looked like, he decided to go to a hospital.

“When I got to the ER, they did an actual EKG on a cart — the real deal,” he said.

Sure enough, medical professionals told Maden that he was, in fact, in AFIB.

ALSOCDC: E. Coli Outbreak Tied To Lettuce Appears To Be Over

“It would’ve probably taken me longer had I not had something actually telling me that something’s not right,” he said.

Maden was sedated, and his heart was essentially stopped and restarted by doctos.

Now, the small piece of technology seems like an even greater gift to the Madens.

“Instead of just being a toy or a tchotchke, I think I’ll probably pay closer attention to it,” Maden said.

His wife said she feels grateful and blessed.

Click here for updates on this story

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2018 in books

Last year was the first year in which I kept a more organized list of what I read. I had a loose goal to read a book a week and ended the year having read 48 books. Given that a few of the books were significantly denser academic ones I consider that close enough.

The two best work books I read were Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic and Freedom from Command and Control.

Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic is an in-depth look at how Mayo Clinic works and the service mentality that’s embedded within their operations. I posted some high-level notes over here. If you work in any kind of service team it’s a worthwhile read. It captures in a more structured and easy-to-name way some aspects of effective service that you likely already intuit.

Freedom from Command and Control covers how to apply ideas from Toyota’s production system to service teams of all types. John Seddon is a consultant and covers a bunch of case studies and models for how to evaluate service team performance. Reading it got my mind working more than any service industry book in recent memory. As an aside, it’s $50 on Amazon so I’d generally recommend reading it only if you can find it at a local library. The first two-thirds of the book are fantastic. The last third is more of a rant by Seddon against certain standards bodies.

On the fiction side of things my favorite reads were when I branched out from the science fiction I typically read. Pachinko, Into the Distance, and The Sympathizer were three great ones.

I also refreshed my main reading list to start logging things as I go through 2019. I have a vacation coming up over the next week and a half so that list will grow quite a bit by the end of the month.

ASC Launches 100th Anniversary Festivities With Clubhouse Event and a Message From Barbra Striesand

The American Society of Cinematographers kicked off celebrations of its 100th anniversary on Jan. 8 with the official revelation of the ASC 100th Seal, which is being permanently installed in the courtyard of the organization’s historic Clubhouse in Hollywood. Colonel Terry Virts, alongside ASC President Kees van Oostrum and ASC 100th Committee Chair Richard Crudo, […]

Kidnapping Of DePaul Student Reveals Significant Number Of Crimes In Chicago’s Alleys

Chicago (CBS) — In an alley off Fullerton near Halsted, police say a 19-year-old student, walking around 8 p.m. Tuesday, was ordered into a car at gunpoint. He was taken to another location and robbed but escaped unharmed.

RELATED DePaul Student Kidnapped And Robbed Behind Lincoln Park McDonald’s

DePaul students say unfortunately they’re not surprised.

“I have pepper spray on my lanyard that I keep with me all the time just in case,” Gianna DeTomaso said.

Others, like Alyssa Garcia, said they avoid alleys at all costs.

“I never go down alleys by myself,” Garcia said.

And with good reason.

Chicago police data shows of the more than 9,500 robberies last year, 689 of them were in alleys.

While 40 occurred between midnight and 1 a.m., there’s actually a spike between 3 and 6 p.m. with the highest number occurring between 5 and 6 p.m. as people came home from work.

Many students we talked to say they’re never more careful than near an alley.

Police have not released any updates.

Government Shutdown Brews Trouble For Chicago Beer Makers

CHICAGO (CBS)–With more breweries than any other U.S. city, Chicago has earned itself the title of the nation’s brewing capital.

With a growing list of nearly 170 breweries city-wide, Chicago is a beer-lover’s paradise. The government shutdown could directly impact the city’s abundant craft beer scene, however.

That’s because beer makers are unable to get approval for their labels until the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau reopens. Part of the Department of the Treasury, the TTB regulates businesses in the wine, beer, tobacco and firearms industries–controlling which beers can be sold for consumption.

Before brews can hit store shelves, bars and restaurants; the TTB reviews label content for ingredients, alcohol content and even design–to ensure new brews are suitable for consumption.

At Chicago’s Begyle Brewing, owner Kevin Cary managed to escape any potential hardships some other brewers are facing in the throes of the government shutdown because he planned ahead.

Cary’s North Side brewery secured all the labels for its up-and-coming beers months ago, but said he empathizes with his beer industry counterparts, many of whom have batches of brews waiting to be bottled.

“It’s a big frustration both for breweries and for the government employees who have to deal with a backlog of applications when they go back to work,” Cary said. “It’s just not a good way to do business and I don’t think most employers would ever treat their employees like this.”

When government operations eventually resume, TTB employees will return to a backlog of applications from beer manufacturers eager to turn their batches of brews into a profit.

Although the warmer months are still far away, the delay in approvals could dent Chicago’s summer beer variety, according to Chicago beer expert and blogger Karl Klockars.

“The early part of the year is a good time to plan ahead for the spring-summer beer drinking season,” Klockars said. “I was seeing winter beer labels being approved in August–to give a converse example — so if breweries have to push back those beers for any reason, it could represent a large amount of beer that they might not be able to sell in the busiest part of the year. ”

If the shutdown lasts a while, lots of handcrafted beer could spoil before it gets proper labeling. Klockars said at least a dozen new beers should have been popping up on shelves by mid-month.

“Beer is best fresh–so if this shutdown and backlog goes on longer than a few weeks or even months–some breweries are going to have to get rid of that now-stale beer that they weren’t allowed to put into a package,” Klockars said. “And if that’s the case, it’s basically like hitting the snooze button on an entire industry–one that thrives on innovation.”

That means perfectly good beer sitting in tanks waiting to be bottled, kegged or canned could spoil before it’s packaged.

“A perfectly good, innovative beer (could) get dumped down the drain in favor of brewing a beer that’s already been approved,” Klockars said.

On his blog, “Guys Drinking Beer,” Klockars writes about Chicago’s craft beer scene in a weekly newsletter. He also takes the time to pour through the TTB website to find out which new beer labels are approved each month.

In December, 69 new beer labels were approved in Illinois.

Cary thinks the TTB was understaffed before the government shutdown.

He only waited an average of three days for a label to be approved, but said that could change because the agency, in his opinion, isn’t big enough to keep up with the growing number of breweries opening in the U.S.

The U.S. saw a 16 percent growth in the number of American breweries in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the U.S. Brewer’s Association, which reported 6,372 breweries in operation in 2017, the last year statistics are available.

“The agency isn’t adding enough staff to keep up with the number of breweries opening,” Cary said.

Some breweries, like Begyle, submit labels for approval to have them ready to go just in case they decide to release a beer.

Not everyone plays by the rules, however.

Cary said some brewers simply slap labels on their products without government approval, leaving customers in the dark about alcohol content and ingredients.

Without the TTB there to enforce lawful labeling practices, Cary said it opens the door wider for the sale of unregulated brews.

Klockars said that doesn’t mean some beers are unsafe to drink, however.

“Some companies may go a bit rogue and sell beers that don’t have official approval, but that shouldn’t be interpreted as allowing unsafe products to hit store shelves,” Klockars said. “And I doubt there will be much appetite to punish breweries for doing what they need to do to keep the lights on.”

The shutdown is affecting many government operations, including airport security and the farming industry.

CBS 2 has full coverage of the government shutdown. 

How the shutdown is affecting farmers in Illinois 

How airport security is being affected by the shutdown 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact Checking Ads: Gery Chico’s Success Record

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico is largely basing his campaign on his performance at Chicago Public Schools and the city colleges, boasting about success there in his TV ads.

But does Chico’s record match his rhetoric?

In his campaign ads, Gery Chico portrays himself as regular guy from the neighborhoods who’ll protect Chicago’s working families and Chico brags about the job he did on Chicago’s school board.

The ad rings true. When Chico took over in 1995, CPS faced a $325 million deficit. Over his six years there, CPS submitted six straight balanced budgets, spending $2.6 billion to repair old schools and build new ones.

But Chico doesn’t say he did all that in partnership with another mayoral candidate: Former schools CEO Paul Vallas.

And critics point out Chico’s law firm during those years became the biggest lobbyist at City Hall growing from 18 clients to almost 200.

Chico’s campaign responded.

“He has always been transparent about this and his firm clearly states it right on its homepage.”

What’s more, Chico’s law clients received almost $600 million in CPS business forcing Chico to abstain on board votes involving his clients a whopping 400 times.

Cutting waste is a subjective call. But records confirm Chico’s board cut City College property taxes for two years running. As for the conflict of interest accusations, Chico said he never applied pressure for anyone at CPS to hire his clients.

But those clients made plenty of money at CPS and through his law firm, so did Chico.

RELATED: Fact Checking Ads: Susana Medoza And The Window Washers Union

CDC: E. Coli Outbreak Tied To Lettuce Appears To Be Over

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce grown in California is now over. The lettuce that was making people sick should no longer be available for sale, according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Investigators from the FDA, the CDC, and state and local agencies are continuing to look into the potential source of the outbreak of illnesses linked to romaine lettuce grown in California during the fall.

Producers and distributors of the lettuce are encouraged to label their products with the harvest location and date and whether it was grown hydroponically or greenhouse-grown. Doing so will help consumers in the future know if they are buying lettuce from a region affected by an outbreak.

Should You Tip Your Flight Attendant? One Airline Is Encouraging It

SACRAMENTO (CBS) — They take your order, serve up food and drinks, and come back to clean up. But should you tip your flight attendant? Frontier Airlines is encouraging it.

Flight attendants on the Denver-based airline began accepting individual tips on Jan. 1, according to the Chicago Tribune. Frontier made tipping an option three years ago but, until this year, flight attendants were required to pool tips.

“We appreciate the great work of our flight attendants and know that our customers do as well, so [the payment system] gives passengers the option to tip,” the Tribune quoted Frontier spokesman Jonathan Freed as stating.

Passengers who order refreshments get a prompt from Frontier’s payment system that they have the option to leave a tip.

JT Genter, of ThePoints Guy travel blog, shared a photo of the payment tablet displaying a message that reads, “Gratuities Are Appreciated!” It offers customers the options of 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent, “custom gratuity” and “I prefer not to leave a gratuity.”

gettyimages 910690218 Should You Tip Your Flight Attendant? One Airline Is Encouraging It

(credit: RUBEN RAMOS iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

“I’ve flown more than 350 flights on 51 different airlines in the past three years, but I’d never experienced an airline ask for a tip,” Genter wrote.

Genter expressed mixed feelings about tipping flight attendants.

“It feels a bit unprofessional for flight attendants to be seeking tips,” he wrote. But he conceded that it might motivate crew members to provide better service.

Some flight attendants and labor unions are reportedly opposed to the tipping policy.

“The Association of Flight Attendants International, a union that represents 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines including Frontier, opposes the tipping policy, saying attendants should instead be paid higher wages,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Management moved forward with a tipping option for passengers in hopes it would dissuade flight attendants from standing together for a fair contract — and in an effort to shift additional costs to passengers,” the Tribune quoted AFA President Sara Nelson as stating.

The median annual salary for a flight attendant in 2017 was around $50,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Industry experts say no other U.S. carrier gives passengers the ability to tip flight attendants, and they don’t expect other airlines to follow Frontier’s lead,” the Times reported.

 

Former Purple Onion Manager Identified As Victim In Fatal Stabbing

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A man who was fatally stabbed in downtown San Francisco on Monday evening has been identified by the city’s medical examiner’s office as 58-year-old Thomas Guido.

The stabbing was reported at about 5:45 p.m. Monday in the 900 block of Post Street. Guido, a San Francisco resident, had suffered lacerations to his head and neck and was pronounced dead, police said.

Police said the suspect was a 42-year-old man who has not been arrested. No new information on the case was being released by police as of Wednesday.

Guido was mourned on Wednesday in social media posts by people who remembered him as the owner of the long-closed Purple Onion nightclub in the city’s North Beach neighborhood.

It was during the early 1990s that Guido reopened the club. It had an established reputation as popular cabaret and comedy venue during the ’50s and ’60s when it hosted such big names as Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and Barbra Streisand (who opened for comic Phyllis Diller).

Under Guido’s management, the subterranean club became an epicenter for a revival of raw, unbridled garage punk and surf rock. Such notable local bands as the Mummies, the Rip Offs and the Phantom Surfers performed there, as did visiting Japanese punk acts like the 5.6.7.8’s and Guitar Wolf.

tom guido Former Purple Onion Manager Identified As Victim In Fatal Stabbing

Former manager of the Purple Onion Tom Guido (BethZombie.com)

More than just an organizer or even a regular MC at Purple Onion shows, Guido became notorious for commandeering the microphone between (and frequently during) bands, launching into drunken, sometimes incoherent, often hilarious rants. The cantankerous club operator regularly demanded patrons leave the venue from the stage as audience members tried to shout him down.

“Tom was so…unhinged,” remembered Beth Allen, a former Bay Area resident now living in Southern California. Allen and her punk band the Loudmouths performed numerous times at the club, but she was a regular at the Purple Onion well before taking the stage there.

“I literally spent at least six years of my weekend nights at the Purple Onion!” she recalled.

SF scene veteran, musician and writer Eric Shea played at the venue with his then current band Mover. He remembered how there was a certain leveling of the playing field at the Purple Onion.

“He once said, ‘Hey Eric from Mover, meet Roy from the Phantom Movers!’ I looked to my right and saw Roy Loney standing right in front of me,” Shea recalled. “I guess that was part of the magic of The Purple Onion. Rock legends could hang out with nobodies like me and just drink beer and dig music together.”

Like most who attended shows at the Onion, Shea has stories of Guido’s infamous onstage shenanigans.

“Once we were watching Dura Delinquent play and Tom stopped the show mid-song. He ran up on stage, grabbed a mic and pointed at a guy in the crowd, yelling, ‘That guy’s a narc!’” Shea remembered.

As it turned out, Guido’s target was someone Shea knew.

“It was my roommate Billy Bliss (a kind of preppy dressed guy),” Shea continued. “Billy rushed the stage and tackled Tom by his legs and then darted out the door. Tom grabbed the mic and yelled, ‘He’s worse than a narc! He’s a jock!’”

While Guido’s antics were always memorable, as time went on, his outbursts became more disconcerting.

“For many years it was wildly entertaining and funny. But it lost it’s charm near the end of his running the club,” said Allen. “The last time I remember stopping laughing and starting to worry was when he literally ripped a camera off a guy’s neck because he didn’t want his picture taken.”

In an online tribute to Guido and the Purple Onion era Allen put together, she and other friends who frequented the club talk about seeing the club owner at various concerts in recent years, including some garage-rock festivals held in San Francisco that can trace their roots back to the scene he helped cultivate during the ’90s.

The nonprofit North Beach Citizens wrote a post mourning Guido’s passing with a photo.

Shea commented on the post, “Here’s to broken mic stands, tinsel stage garnish, striped shirts, crushed cans of beer, scuffed Beatle boots, cheap gear, jukebox malfunctions, and raw unbridled garage rock. Thanks for everything.”