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Welcome to Lafayette, CA

Lafayette, California

About Lafayette:

Lafayette is a city located in Contra Costa County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 23,908. (More Info and Source) Lafayette Real Estate

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Lafayette Area News

San Francisco woman assaulted trying to recover stolen bike

While some San Francisco victims of bike theft are having some success recovering stolen property, on Thursday KTVU spoke with a woman who was recently assaulted and pepper sprayed as she tried to take back her bicycle from an alleged thief.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition estimates 11 bicycles are stolen or stripped for parts each day in the city.

While many bike owners post pictures online, file police reports and comb Craigslist in search of their property, bicycling advocates say that until recently, it was almost impossible to recover a stolen bike.

Last week, SF cyclist Jocelyn Drew almost beat the odds.

Her beloved yellow and black Raleigh was stolen last week from a rack aboard a Muni bus as it made a stop in San Francisco's Mission District.

"The bus driver said 'Oh, somebody's taking the bike,'" Drew told KTVU. "And so by the time I got off the bus, the bike was gone."

She filed a police report and posted a picture on social media sites. A week ago on Thursday, she got a tip via her Twitter feed from a Good Samaritan who spotted a man with what appeared to be her bike at the corner of Market and 12th Streets.

Draw called the police and rushed to the scene.

"There were two men, each had a bike, one of which looked suspiciously like mine," said Drew. "And I'm looking at the bike and the guy says to me, 'It's a nice bike, isn't it?' And I said, 'It is a nice bike. It's mine. In fact, it was stolen on Monday.'"

Drew picked up the bike and crossed Market Street. That's when things turned violent.

"He caught up to me and we're wrestling over the bike," said Drew. "He gets me down on the ground, but his friend comes and he pepper sprays me in the face."

The Good Samaritan was also pepper sprayed after he tried to stop the two men as they got away with the bike. But he took cellphone pictures of the two men, which Drew has turned over to police investigators.

Drew said she was frustrated officers did not respond until after she was assaulted, but said she felt she had to take action to recover her bicycle.

"It was just anger and a feeling of 'How dare you?'" said Drew. "In that moment, it was if the police aren't coming, I have to do something, because it would just be heartbreaking to watch it ride away."

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:56:40 -0700

Organization set to push for pro-driver ballot measure in San Francisco

San Francisco describes itself a "transit first" city, but a new group says the city is so in favor of public transit, pedestrians and bicyclists that it is ignoring the needs of drivers.

The group calls itself the "Restoring Transportation Balance to San Francisco" coalition. They say 79 percent of households here have cars, yet drivers are getting overlooked when it comes to setting street policy in the city.

"The problem is our politicians at City Hall are trying to turn us into a 'transit-only' city," said San Francisco attorney Jason Clark, a member of the coalition. "For those of us who need our cars to take our children to school, who need it to go to work, for people who are disabled and don't have any other means of transportation, we don't have anyone sitting at the table providing us a voice."

The coalition on Wednesday submitted papers to the San Francisco Department of Elections office to begin collecting signatures for a non-binding ballot initiative in November. The group's policies include the elimination of fees for Sunday or after-six parking on the street and in garages.

"They're installing parking meters in neighborhoods, outside residential homes now, and it's causing problems for residents parking there," said Clark.

The coalition also wants money from parking or motorist fees set aside to build new parking garages. San Francisco has eliminated 3,000 parking spaces in the last three years -- about one percent of the total spots available here.

Clark said the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board needs members who represent motorists to help shape traffic policy.

"Every single day, we double our population, so that adds to congestion,"  SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose told KTVU. "But over the years past, most of the focus has been engineering or planning for more cars in the street, to make sure that cars can move throughout the city. Now we're trying to move forward policies that move everyone across the city as efficiently as possible."

Clark said the coalition needs about 9,700 signatures to get on the November ballot and hopes to begin signing people up in about two weeks.

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:42:05 -0700

Convicted murderer of Pittsburg cop may get reduced sentence

On the ninth anniversary of Pittsburg Police Officer Larry Lasater's death in the line of duty Thursday, his family members braced themselves for a legal battle by one of his accused murders to have his sentenced reduced by the California Supreme Court.

Lasater’s mother, Phyllis Loya, said it’s become tradition to bring flowers to her son’s gravesite and gather with loved ones on April 25 at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette.

“We remember him every day, but this is the day we come out here to honor him,” Loya said.

Lasater never met his son, but the child knows all about the sacrifice his father made. Lasater was shot and killed while chasing two bank robbery suspects who fled a Pittsburg supermarket in April 2005.

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Pittsburg Police Chief Brian Addington said. “I remember the last time I saw Larry just a few days before he was killed, walking down the hallway of the Pittsburg Police Department. He was laughing. He said, ‘Hi.’”

Now, Lasater’s picture is a permanent fixture in the hallway of the police department.

One of Lasater’s killers, Alexander Hamilton, is on death row. The other, Andrew Moffett, is waiting to see if the California Supreme Court will reduce his sentence of life without parole.

Moffett was 17 at the time of the crime. He had his first appeal denied and he was re-sentenced to life without parole in July 2011. Yet, the California Supreme Court agreed to consider a second appeal to determine whether or not sentencing juveniles to life without parole is unconstitutional.

The third ruling is expected to be handed down in the summer of 2014.

“It just opens up old wounds that shouldn’t have to be opened up,” Addington said.

Loya was in the courtroom for both Moffett’s sentencing and appeal. She said she won’t stop fighting to keep justice from changing, but she’s also not worried about what the third ruling will be.

“I leave that up to God, because I know that God will always give me the strength to fight. And I will fight until my dying breathe for justice for my son,” she said.

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:02:16 -0700

News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories

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