Bay Area Briefs

Friday October 18, 2002

Community to receive funds for public transportation study 

OAKLAND — Community groups will receive $100,000 to help increase the chances for people to tell planning agencies what they would like to see in public transportation. 

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission wrote the check to The San Francisco Foundation this week. It plans to award the money in grant form to various groups throughout the San Francisco Bay area to increase community involvement. 

The check comes as part of the civil penalty phase of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against the commission in February 2001. The suit claimed the commission was not complying with the Bay Area Air Quality Plan, adopted in 1982. 

The plan was designed to bring the Bay Area into compliance with federal clean air standards by increasing ridership on public transportation. It called for a 15 percent increase over 1983 transit ridership. The suit claimed that although there has been a 30 percent population increase, ridership has stayed the same. 

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson required the commission to comply with the act by 2006. 


Pacifica woman jailed for 

phony bomb threats 

REDWOOD CITY – A Pacifica woman accused of calling in phony bomb threats to the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco federal building last week is being held in a San Mateo County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. 

Authorities say Anita Hanson, 44, was allegedly “very drunk” when she called 911 claiming that bombs had been placed at the two locations late Thursday night and early Friday morning. 

Several law enforcement agencies responded to both locations to investigate and discovered the threats were unfounded. The California Highway Patrol traced the calls to Hanson's cell phone and sent Pacifica police to arrest her. 

Hanson pleaded innocent Tuesday to three counts of making terrorist threats and two counts of falsely reporting the planting of a bomb.  

She returns to court for a preliminary hearing on the charges on Oct. 29. 


Back to school for 

drunk driving suspect 

SAN JOSE — For the second time in less than a year, a Campbell woman faced a judge on drunken driving charges — but this time she agreed to have her trial set in a high school cafeteria. 

On Wednesday, hundreds of students at Branham High School listened with a jury to the state’s case against Lorain Stanchina, 42. On Aug. 13, she backed into a pickup truck in a Jack in the Box drive-through and drove off when confronted by the driver. 

Car accidents are the leading cause of death among 15-to 19-year-olds, with alcohol being the primary factor, according to Paul Gratz, director of the Traffic Safe Communities Network, which coordinates the trial-at-school program. 

Santa Clara County is the only county in the state to host DUI trials at high schools. Branham is the fifth county high school to participate in the program the county hopes to expand.