Bay Briefs

Monday July 30, 2001

Port expansion could bring jobs 

OAKLAND – The city of Oakland’s $1.5 million expansion of its ports could create more than 5,000 new jobs. 

The news excites Oakland residents who attended a hearing yesterday on how the expansion will affect the city and surrounding environment. 

Port Executive Director Chuck Foster says the port’s expansion plan also will add nearly 3,000 spin-off jobs. 

Some of those jobs are earmarked for Oakland residents under a historic agreement. 

The city plans to build a 6,000 car parking structure at Oakland International Airport and link its two terminals. 


Oakland zoo hoping for smooth elephant birth 

OAKLAND – Lisa the elephant is a little cranky but her zoo keepers say that’s to be expected. 

The Oakland Zoo’s African elephant is 22 months pregnant and is carrying a 200 pound calf. She’s due to deliver anytime from now until September. 

The zoo’s elephant program has been hit with a series of tragedies over the past decade. Smokey the elephant died in March of unknown causes. He was the father of Lisa’s calf. 

Lisa and another elephant named Donna both lost their babies to a salmonella infection in 1998. And Lisa’s first baby died 11 months after her birth in 1996 after contracting the elephant herpes virus. 


Police to monitor cruising cars in Alameda County 


OAKLAND – In hopes of curbing problems caused by illegal cruising and what officials call “sideshows” in Oakland and neighboring cities, authorities in Alameda County organized a traffic enforcement crackdown along the 880 corridor south of Oakland beginning Saturday night. 

Police planned to use mobile intoxilizers, devices that detect blood alcohol levels as part of an effort aimed at reducing unlawful activity by drivers, including drinking and driving, speeding, doing “doughnuts” and operating a vehicle without a license. 

Officer said a mobile booking unit would allow them to process arrestees in the field and a bus would transport prisoners to the Santa Rita Jail as part of Saturday night’s police action. 

Besides being ticketed, unlicensed drivers could have their vehicles impounded for 30 days. An average of 60-85 vehicles are normally impounded during a typical two-day “sideshow” operation and owners of impounded cars could face tow and storage fees of more than $900, police said. 

“The sideshow constitutes a very serious and pervasive traffic safety problem both in Oakland and surrounding jurisdictions,” said Lt. David Kozicki, traffic section commander. “Collectively, we believe that heavy traffic enforcement is an appropriate means of deterring sideshow activity.” 

Besides Oakland Police, more than 50 members of the California Highway Patrol, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and police departments in Alameda, San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont and Union City all planned to take part in the crackdown. 


Woman accused of locking her daughter in shed 


SAN JOSE – A San Jose woman is accused of locking her mentally disabled adult daughter in a wooden shed up to 12 hours a day for as long as two years. 

Maria Isabel Eugenio, 64, has been arrested on charges of abusing a dependent adult and false imprisonment. She worked at a car wash and told police she could not afford care for her daughter, Socorro Eugenio, 40. 

She is being held in jail on $50,000 bond while awaiting trial. 

“I had asked God for help, but I simply ran out of time,” Maria Eugenio said in a jail interview. “I had to do something to keep her safe.” 

Deputies from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department discovered Socorro Eugenio inside the small wooden trailer earlier this month. She was allegedly kept there six days a week without a toilet – police instead found a 5-gallon bucket. 

Deputies responded to a call that a woman was regularly being locked in a shed, and they used an ax to break open a padlock on the trailer. Inside, they found Socorro Eugenio dirty and unwilling to be coaxed from the building. They estimated the temperature to be above 100 degrees. 

Eugenio allegedly kept her daughter locked up because “she was very mischievous.” Officials say the mother was unfamiliar with social service programs and feared seeking help would hinder her daughter, an illegal alien from Mexico, from gaining U.S. citizenship. 

Eugenio, who was arrested July 6, told deputies her daughter “enters the shed willingly six days a week.” She said she gave Socorro water, a piece of fruit and a toy. 

Dog attacks spur patrol proposal 

CONCORD – Contra Costa County animal control officials are proposing a special enforcement team to crack down on loose dogs. 

The proposal comes after a recent rash of vicious dog maulings, including the recent attack on 10-year-old Shawn Jones of Richmond, who was pulled off his bike by three pit bulls and attacked. 

The team of four would patrol hot spots to rein in loose dogs and take action against their owners if it was deemed necessary. 

County animal services director Mike Ross says he plans to establish the special enforcement unit if the county board of supervisors gives him an extra $225,000 dollars in the upcoming budget.