Bay Area Briefs

Thursday October 17, 2002

Ferry proposal to increase service 

VALLEJO — A $665 million proposal to increase ferries traversing San Francisco Bay and to make them a better option for commuters has Solano County’s ferry service going only to Vallejo. 

Benicia had been a contender, but the state-authorized Bay Area Water Transit Authority, which is presenting its ferry plan around the region, opted not to have a terminal there. 

Seven new routes would originate at Berkeley, Richmond, Treasure Island, Antioch/Martinez, Hercules/Rodeo, South San Francisco and Redwood City and would all go to San Francisco. 

The five existing services would get more boats. The plan sees the Vallejo ferry going from serving about 1,900 commuters daily to 4,220 by 2025. That could mean adding two ferries, said Heidi Machen, a WTA spokeswoman. 

People have until Oct. 31 to comment on the ferry proposal and environmental study, Machen said. The proposal goes to the state in December. 


Principal resigns after high school melee 

SAN FRANCISCO – A San Francisco public school spokeswoman said Wednesday that principal Juliet Montevirgen has stepped down in the wake of criticism over a melee that closed down Thurgood Marshall High School on Friday. 

At a community meeting Monday, some parents and community members clamored for Montevirgen to leave the position she assumed this fall, replacing a popular principal at the academically oriented school in the Silver Terrace neighborhood. 

Police responded to a series of fights there on Friday and within an hour or so had evacuated the school and arrested several students and one teacher on an array of charges including inciting a riot. At least four students from Marshall and 10 people from off-campus participated in the fights, according to San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Jackie Wright. 

The teacher arrested, 29-year-old Anthony Peebles, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the district. Police said he was cited and released. 

Wright said the announcement of Montevirgen's departure came this morning at a meeting with parents of freshman and sophomores, who returned to school for a half-day counseling session. Wright said the outgoing principal, who has been with the district for some-19 years, would fill another spot within the district. 

On Tuesday, seniors and juniors and their parents also had a discussion and counseling session, which emphasized the importance of nonviolent conflict resolution along with coping skills. One more meeting is scheduled this evening for any parents who were previously unable to attend. 

Today will be the first day since the upheaval in which all students will be back in their classrooms with their teachers to tackle subjects like trigonometry and U.S. history.  

“It's back to the races,'” Wright said. 

She said a man named Frank Tom, who has served as an assistant superintendent for instructional operations at the district, is expected to take over as principal on an interim basis.