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Ghost Ship fire: city of Oakland, county and state sued

Ghost Ship fire: city of Oakland, county and state sued

OAKLAND — Two months before 36 people died in the Ghost Ship fire, an Oakland Fire Department employee entered the warehouse and observed exposed electrical wiring, recommending tenants fix the hazard, according to an amended lawsuit filed Wednesday by attorneys representing victim families.The 179-page amended lawsuit adds the city of Oakland, Alameda County and state of California to a growing list of defendents, and alleges the agencies failed in their duties to shut down the crowded fire trap and its illegal parties.There are a few new details including in the complaint, although much...

June 29, 2017
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'I feel like God protected me': Oakland pilot survives total engine failure, lands on Moraga hillside

'I feel like God protected me': Oakland pilot survives total engine failure, lands on Moraga hillside

As Steve Marlin flew his small plane over the Caldecott Tunnel and downtown Orinda on Friday afternoon, everything was smooth. Then he heard a large pop. The sound pilots dread.“It was POW!” Marlin recalled. “The engine was gurgling and I knew it was a matter of time.”At an elevation of 2,000 feet, his 2005 yellow-and-blue Just Aircraft Highlander had a “total engine failure,” he said. The 62-year-old Oakland bush pilot had zero oil pressure and he struggled to keep the plane from stalling. He had seconds to find a place to land in the hilly East Bay suburbs.“I was scared,” he said. “Then...

Mar 13
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50 years after an FBI office burglary, a San Rafael man reveals his role

50 years after an FBI office burglary, a San Rafael man reveals his role

Ralph Daniel squeezed himself through the door and looked around the dark room. They had cased this small FBI office in the Philadelphia suburb of Media for months.Now he was inside.Rows of file cabinets beckoned. This was the moment the group of eight had planned. They had long suspected FBI malfeasance and were convinced these records would prove it.Daniel, then 26, rolled out the first metal cabinet drawer, scooped up the files and threw them into a suitcase. His gloved hands shook. The burglars had to hurry.They had chosen March 8, 1971, because Muhammad Ali’s title fight against Joe...

Mar 7
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Storied S.F. private detective Jack Palladino on life support after attempted robbery in front of his home

Storied S.F. private detective Jack Palladino on life support after attempted robbery in front of his home

An attempted street robbery in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood has left storied San Francisco private detective Jack Palladino gravely injured and on life support.The 70-year-old investigator, who had clients from Hollywood stars to Black Panthers to whistle-blowers over the decades, had just stepped outside his Page Street home Thursday shortly before 5 p.m. when a car pulled up, a man jumped out and tried to steal his expensive camera, police and witnesses said.“As the suspect pulled on the camera, the victim fell to the pavement,” SFPD spokesman Robert Rueca said. Police had few other...

Jan 30
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An 800-mile firebreak once protected California’s forests from flames. What happened?

An 800-mile firebreak once protected California’s forests from flames. What happened?

The world’s biggest firebreak, a nearly 800-mile line cut into the western slope of the Sierra Nevada during the Great Depression, once protected California’s forests from the state’s ceaseless infernos.Built in three years, the Ponderosa Way snaked from the Pit River in the Cascade Mountains down to the Kern River near Bakersfield. Thousands of unemployed men joined Civilian Conservation Corps camps up and down the state, grading steep ravines, erecting steel bridges and stacking stones to create culverts.One fire historian called it the “Great Wall of California.” Another the “Mother of...

Nov 13
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Exclusive: Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy

Exclusive: Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy

Note: This story has been updated with comments from the U.S. Navy and other developments.The captain of a nuclear aircraft carrier with more than 100 sailors infected with the coronavirus pleaded Monday with U.S. Navy officials for resources to allow isolation of his entire crew and avoid possible deaths in a situation he described as quickly deteriorating.The unusual plea from Capt. Brett Crozier, a Santa Rosa native, came in a letter obtained exclusively by The Chronicle and confirmed by a senior officer on board the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which has been docked in Guam...

March 31, 2020
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