Friday May 24, 2002

Goat killer sought 


OAKLAND — Oakland police are looking for a gunman who killed a weed-eating goat in a park behind an elementary school. 

The goat was part of a herd hired to eat weeds and grass behind Howard Elementary School on Wednesday. A goat herder said he saw a man driving a white truck pull up, shoot the goat and drive off. 

“I think it’s cruel to shoot a defenseless animal. The goat was just there, eating grass, minding its own business,” said Oakland park ranger Keona Johnson. 

Oakland contracts a Davis company to keep 1,000 goats in the 75-acre park behind the school to trim dry vegetation that could catch fire during the hot summer months. 

No other goats were injured in the shooting. 


Bay deemed safe for fishing  


SAN FRANCISCO — Water quality regulators have relaxed restrictions on nickel and copper in San Francisco Bay, saying current levels haven’t appeared toxic enough to harm fish and other organisms. 

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board loosened standards on the metals for waters south of the Dumbarton Bridge on Wednesday. But the new regulations must be approved by state and federal boards before going into effect said Wil Bruhns of the Water Quality Board. 

A group of studies paid for by the city of San Jose persuaded the board to change the standards. Tetra-Tech, the company that conducted the studies, found that levels of nickel and copper in southern portions of the Bay were significantly below national standards determined to be safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, Bruhns said. 

Copper and nickel both are toxic at certain levels. 

The move was applauded by municipal sewage treatment plants and Bay Area cities, who say meeting the current standards is costly. 

Bruhns said that the new regulations were approved along with a plan of action to control the metals if levels start to increase. 


Davis releases dollarsto Napa  

NAPA — Governor Gray Davis announced Thursday the release of millions of dollars to repair earthquake damage in Napa. 

Roughly $4.8 million in funds from the Office of Emergency Services will help fix the city’s largest auditorium in the Old Napa High School building, built in 1923, officials said. 

The 5.2 Napa earthquake of September 3, 2000 rocked the auditorium, bending some wall braces and pulling others apart.