How Do Heavy Metals Like Lead Get in Baby Food?

N.Y. Times - 7 hours 46 min ago
The problem begins at the farm where plants draw toxins from the soil. There’s no washing them away.
Categories: Local News

The Brooklyn Banks, Famous Among N.Y.C. Skateboarders, Could Reopen Soon

N.Y. Times - 7 hours 46 min ago
Decades ago, a gritty and dangerous spot under the Brooklyn Bridge was the nerve center for city skateboarders. Mayor Eric Adams just announced plans that could fix it up.
Categories: Local News

How East Bay quarterback Jaden Rashada became a major player in NIL phenomenon

San Jose Mercury - 7 hours 52 min ago

Jaden Rashada has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal. His ongoing recruiting drama has made headlines on ESPN’s home page and in the New York Post.

In this new era of college athletics, one that allows independent booster-driven fundraising arms to pay athletes for their Name, Image and Likeness, Rashada reportedly has been offered millions.

How did he get here?

How did an East Bay quarterback who played his freshman season as a backup at Liberty High School in Brentwood, had a brief stint at renowned Florida powerhouse IMG Academy and spent the past three seasons (one spring, two falls) as Pittsburg’s quarterback become one of the faces of the NIL phenomenon?

Rashada, 19, did not lead Pittsburg to a state championship. He did not set state passing records. He wasn’t even the best quarterback in his own section last fall, at least statistically, even though he had three Division I-bound receivers at his disposal.

But that hasn’t stopped some of college football’s top programs from doing what they can to lure the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Rashada to their campus.

PITTSBURG, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Pittsburg quarterback Jaden Rashada (5) warms up before the start of their game against McClymonds at Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Pittsburg defeated McClymonds 39-21. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Pittsburg quarterback Jaden Rashada warms up before a game against McClymonds on Sept. 30, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

If college football is about winning the sport’s two seasons — actual games and recruiting — Rashada is thought to be a home run for the latter. Whether he lives up to his five-star billing remains to be seen.

“Everything with Jaden is based on projection and upside because he doesn’t have the pretty resume other guys do,” 247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman told the Bay Area News Group last summer. “But he’s got as much upside, if not more, than any other quarterback in this class. I watched him for the first time in ninth grade, and I’ve said that this is a kid whose best football will be played in college.”

Rashada is the perfect quarterback where it often matters for high-profile skill players: 7-on-7 showcase camps in which recruiting experts grade and college coaches and boosters observe.

At those camps, which do not include offensive and defensive linemen, Rashada is a Joe Burrow or a Patrick Mahomes. As one source said, he makes all the throws with pinpoint and jaw-dropping accuracy. Couple that with his measurables — it never hurts for a QB to be 6-4 — and arm strength and, well, you have a guy who leaves boosters reaching into their bank accounts and coaches offering scholarships.

“He’s got all the physical ability in the world,” said Brian Stumpf, president of Elite 11, a high-profile camp for top quarterback talent. “I think the sky is the limit for him.”

Physical tools are not the primary reason Rashada made headlines. He made them because of the NIL dollars he was reportedly offered for those tools, first when he made an oral commitment last summer to play at the University of Miami and then when he flipped in November to the University of Florida.

The Miami deal was reportedly worth in excess of $9 million, a figure Rashada denied in a social-media post and refused to address when asked to be interviewed last season. Florida’s independent fundraising arm, Gator Collective, later made a $13.5 million deal over four years with Rashada, and on Nov. 10 the quarterback accepted, according to The Athletic.

Rashada signed a letter of intent — a traditional binding agreement between colleges and athletes — to play for Florida in December. He planned to enroll for the spring semester, which is not uncommon for high-profile football players. They finish high school early to get a head start with their college teams.

But the deal with Gator Collective fell apart. Reports as to why vary. The Associated Press, citing a source close to the negotiation, reported that not all the financial supporters in the Gator Collective were aware that Rashada’s NIL contract had jumped from about $5 million to more than $13 million. Texas-bound quarterback Arch Manning, Cooper’s son and Peyton and Eli’s nephew, reportedly is worth $3.5 million on the NIL market. Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Caleb Williams of USC has a reported NIL valuation in the $3 million range.

Is Rashada worth as much as Manning or Williams?

With the NIL deal in Florida no longer on the table, Rashada did not show up for spring classes. At the time, his dad, Harlen, told 247Sports in response to an On3 Sports report that the QB asked out of the letter of intent, “We’re working through some things right now with Florida and hoping that they get resolved soon.”

A few days later, Rashada asked to be released from the letter of intent. Florida granted the request last week even though Rashada was said to be the “jewel” of its recruiting class.

Back on the market, the quarterback reportedly made an unofficial visit last weekend to Arizona State, where Harlen played defensive back in the early 1990s. Rashada plans to visit TCU this weekend, according to ESPN.

The next letter of intent signing period begins Wednesday.

Rashada has stayed silent since speaking optimistically about Florida at a national high school all-star game in Orlando during the holidays. He told The Athletic that he was aiming to gain 25 pounds by the summer.

“I promise you, I’m going to be a whole different person in June,” Rashada said.

Pittsburg head coach thanks his quarterback Jaden Rashada (5) during the final minutes of the fourth quarter of the 2022 CIF State Football Championship Division 1-A game at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Pittsburg coach Victor Galli shakes hands with quarterback Jaden Rashada during the final minutes of the fourth quarter of the CIF Division 1-A state championship game at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo on Dec. 10, 2022. Liberty-Bakersfield won 48-20. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group). 

The quarterback’s high school coaches just want the saga to end and for their former star to finally start focusing on football.

When the Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling in June 2021 that opened the door for athletes to be paid for their Name, Image and Likeness, nobody knew that an East Bay high school quarterback would be in the middle of the wild frontier that the era has become.

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“I know the whole process has been pretty stressful for him before all of this stuff,” Victor Galli, who coached Rashada at Pittsburg, said last week. “I thought it was over where he could just dive in and play some football and really hone in on the tremendous talent that he is and hopefully have a chance to do some really good things in college and maybe play on Sunday someday.

“I just want this (stuff) to end for him so he can concentrate on being a college student and playing football and having fun. I know he loves the game. I feel bad for him. I want this to end for him so he can go and do what he was born to do.”

That could happen, as early as next week.

Categories: Local News

Downtown Los Gatos prime sites are seized by lender in a foreclosure

San Jose Mercury - 8 hours 1 min ago

LOS GATOS — Two downtown Los Gatos commercial properties in prime locations have been seized by a lender through foreclosure of a delinquent loan for the sites.

The Los Gatos properties that were foreclosed are an office building at 2 North Santa Cruz Avenue and an office and restaurant building with addresses of 143 and 151 East Main Street, according to documents on file with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office.

The foreclosure is a reminder that financial setbacks can haunt real estate investors even in upscale commercial property markets such as downtown Los Gatos.

The lender that now owns the property in the wake of the foreclosure auction is W Financial, county real estate records show.

2 North Santa Cruz Avenue, an office budling in downtown Los Gatos. (Google Maps)2 North Santa Cruz Avenue, an office budling in downtown Los Gatos. (Google Maps)

W Financial provided a $20.5 million loan in 2021 to Kenneth Ryan Koch, a real estate executive who has addresses in El Dorado Hills and Grass Valley. A Koch affiliate called Esckoch bought the two properties a few years ago.

The opening bid in the foreclosure auction, which lasted a few minutes with several rounds of bids, was $1 million, which was set by the lender, whose representative was trustee Beacon Default Management.

A real estate investor placed multiple bids, with the lender continuously topping the outside investor’s bids at the end of each round.

Ultimately, the investor dropped out when the lender’s bid reached $7 million.

Since lenders typically are averse to owning foreclosed properties on a long-term basis, it’s possible that W Financial will attempt to find a buyer for one or both properties.

The East Main Street building’s tenants include the Cafe Dio restaurant and espresso bar and the Design by Mish furniture store.

The North Santa Cruz building’s tenants include a real estate office and a travel agency.

Downtown Los Gatos is one of the top-notch real estate markets in the Bay Area, which means commercial property foreclosures due to delinquent loans are a relatively rare circumstance.

 

Categories: Local News

Jason Marsalis brings far-ranging Vibes Quartet to Bay Area

San Jose Mercury - 8 hours 2 min ago

Jason Marsalis makes music with a twist.

An NEA Jazz Master and the youngest musical sibling in the illustrious New Orleans clan, he’s a consummate drummer and skilled vibraphonist who first made a name for himself outside familial settings as a founder of Los Hombres Calientes.

Co-leading the band with Headhunters percussionist Bill Summers and trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, Marsalis inflected an array of African diaspora rhythmic currents with New Orleans grooves, newly illuminating the cultural DNA connecting the Crescent City with Cuba, Haiti, Brazil and beyond.

When the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet checks into the SFJAZZ Center’s Joe Henderson Lab for a four-night, eight-show run Jan. 26-29 (and Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Jan. 30), he’s bringing a game plan that zigzags across eras, styles and idioms.

Instrumental in relaunching the Lionel Hampton Big Band, which documented its resurgence with a 2017 DVD recorded live in the Walnut Creek community of Rossmoor, Marsalis has been deeply engaged with the vibraphone pioneer’s music.

“I’ve been doing some tunes that Hamp played, but we do them in a more modern style,” said Marsalis, 45. “And then we’ll also take contemporary tunes and play them in Hamp’s style. One I had the most fun with is ‘Hold That Thought,’ a John Scofield piece we play as a swing tune.”

He’s also been working on another piece by a contemporary guitar master, Pat Metheny’s “So It May Secretly Begin.” That idea came from talking with musicians in the Lionel Hampton Big Band who played with the swing era star before his death at the age of 94 in 2002. “They told about how open-minded Hamp was,” Marsalis said, “and how after one show he was asking about which Pat Metheny records he should listen to.”

It’s not just the role-reversal material that sets this California run apart for Marsalis. This version of his Vibes Quartet features two invaluable Bay Area players, bassist David Ewell and pianist Adam Shulman. He connected with them through San Francisco-reared drummer Jaz Sawyer, whose creative path has intersected repeatedly with Marsalis’ over three decades.

Now living in South Pasadena, Sawyer has been keeping an eye on Marsalis ever since he happened to hear trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis’s 1992 debut album “Pontius Pilate’s Decision,” which featured the 14-year-old younger sibling holding his own on the drums with a fierce crew of young lions, “and since I was about a year younger than Jason that made a big impression,” Sawyer said.

A few years later Sawyer made a point of catching Delfeayo when he played the old Yoshi’s on Claremont “and had Jason with him,” Sawyer recalled. “I introduced myself to Delfeayo as a drummer after the show and he asked, ‘Who’s your favorite drummer?’ ‘Art Blakey.’ And Del says, ‘Sing me a solo.’ ‘Um, what?’ He calls Jason over and says, ‘Sing me some Blakey,’ and Jason starts singing this solo, I think from the album ‘Kyoto.’ I was like, holy smokes! He was completely gifted. I’ve always been an admirer.”

The drummers stayed in touch over the years, and during Sawyer’s early aughts residence in New Orleans they forged a closer bond. When Marsalis decided to move on from Los Hombres Calientes, he tapped Sawyer as the replacement. The band continued to tour internationally, with a particular focus on Brazil, and Sawyer’s stint was documented in 2003 on the DVD “Los Hombres Calientes: Live at the House Of Blues.”

More profoundly, when his work with pianist Marcus Roberts took him out of town, “He’d call me to sub for him with his dad at Snug Harbor,” Sawyer said, referring to the gig with piano patriarch Ellis Marsalis (who died of COVID-19 in April 2020 at the age of 85) as “The University of E.”

“I was grateful he trusted me to do that,” Sawyer said.

They’ll also be drawing on Ellis Marsalis’ music at SFJAZZ, particularly from the pianist’s final album, “For All We Know” (Newvelle Records), a series of vibes and piano duets produced by Jason. “I realized I really didn’t play his music enough on vibes,” he said. “It works well. One tune I know we’ll do is ‘Orchid Blue,’ a favorite of my brother Wynton’s.”

Witnessing a new band take shape can carry its own excitement, but the quartet is built on the tried and true relationship between Sawyer and Berkeley-raised Ewell. They came up together on the Bay Area scene, “and he’s on almost all of my albums, and all my SFJAZZ projects,” Sawyer said. “He’s my man. My go-to bassist. We click up really nice. And Adam is another first-call pianist in the Bay Area. We’ve worked together with Marcus Shelby, but before I ever met him I heard him on shows and recordings and admired him.”

Contact Andrew Gilbert at jazzscribe@aol.com.

JASON MARSALIS VIBES QUARTET

When & where: 7 and 8:30 p.m. Jan. 26-28, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29;
SFJAZZ Center’s Joe Henderson Lab, 201 Franklin St., San Francisco; $30-$35; www.sfjazz.org; 7 p.m. Jan. 30; Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz; $42-$47.25; www.kuumbwajazz.org

Categories: Local News

Who Was Tyre Nichols?

N.Y. Times - 8 hours 4 min ago
Mr. Nichols had a 4-year-old son and a tattoo of his mother’s name on his arm, his family said.
Categories: Local News

Buster Posey, Julie Foudy headline Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023

San Jose Mercury - 8 hours 4 min ago

The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame unveiled Thursday one of its “most beloved and accomplished groups” yet.

Giants legend Buster Posey, former U.S. women’s soccer star Julie Foudy, NBA champion Gary Payton, undefeated boxer Andre Ward and former 49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis will be among the five enshrined into the Bay Area Hall of Fame this spring, the organization announced Thursday.

The induction ceremony — the first since the pandemic — will be held May 25 at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, with proceeds of the event benefiting Special Olympics Northern California.

This year’s group boasts a combined 23 All-Star/Pro Bowl nods, four professional sports championships and three Olympic gold medals, among other accolades.

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“Each of these athletes were among the greatest performers in their particular sport during their careers, establishing a legacy not only in the Bay Area, but around the country,” chairman of the Hall Mario Alioto said in a statement. “The fact that two of them, Gary Payton and Andre Ward, were born and raised here makes this Class all the more special and unique. May 25 will be an exciting night.”

Posey, Foudy and Willis all spent significant portions of their playing careers in the Bay Area, while Payton and Ward hail from Oakland.

Here are highlights about this year’s class:

  • Posey spent his entire 12-year career with the Giants until he retired after the 2021 season. Over that span, the seven-time All-Star brought three World Series banners to San Francisco. He also was named National League MVP in 2012 and won a Gold Glove in 2016.
  • Foudy was a four-time All-American as a standout middle fielder at Stanford before leading the U.S. women’s national team to two World Cup wins and two Olympic gold medals. She made 273 international match appearances before hanging up her cleats in 2004. She’s still active in the soccer community. Her Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy has helped shape girls on and off the field.
  • Willis was drafted No. 11 overall in 2007 by the 49ers before going on to have a successful eight-year playing career. He made seven Pro Bowl appearances and has already been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fames for his contributions at Ole Miss.
  • Payton, who went to Skyline High School, won an NBA title with the Heat in 2006. His defensive capabilities earned him the nickname “The Glove” and the nine-time NBA All-Star was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
  • Ward went a perfect 32-0 over the course of his 13-year boxing career. He won Olympic gold in 2004 as a light heavyweight champion.
Categories: Local News

John Mayer brings first-ever solo acoustic concert tour to California

San Jose Mercury - 8 hours 6 min ago

John Mayer is going acoustic.

The acclaimed guitarist/pop-rock star is set to embark on his first ever solo acoustic tour.

And the trek includes a trio of California dates.

Mayer plays April 6 at the Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, April 8 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento and April 14 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.

Tickets go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. Feb. 3. Presales run 9 a.m. Feb. 1 to 10 p.m. Feb. 2. See Johnmayer.com for ticketing details.

The tour will feature “solo performances by Mayer, leaning heavily on his acoustic guitar work with special performances on piano and electric guitar,” according to a news release.

Mayer is known for such hits as “New Light,” “Gravity,” “Love on the Weekend,” “Heartbreak Warfare,” “Daughters,” “Waiting on the World to Change,” “Last Train Home” and “Your Body Is a Wonderland.”

Lizzy McAlpine, Alec Benjamin and a special guest (TBA) open these concerts.

SPRING 2023 TOUR DATES:

Saturday, March 11                 Newark, NJ                            Prudential Center

Monday, March 13                 Boston, MA                             TD Garden

Wednesday, March 15             New York, NY                       Madison Square Garden

Saturday, March 18                Pittsburgh, PA                        PPG Paints Arena

Monday, March 20                 Toronto, ON                           Scotiabank Arena

Wednesday, March 22            Detroit, MI                             Little Caesars Arena

Friday, March 24                    Nashville, TN                          Bridgestone Arena

Saturday, March 25                Cleveland, OH                        Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

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Monday, March 27                 Atlanta, GA                              State Farm Arena

Wednesday, March 29           St. Louis, MO                          Enterprise Center

Friday, March 31                    Chicago, IL                               United Center

Saturday, April 1                     St. Paul, MN                            Xcel Energy Center

Monday, April 3                      Denver, CO                             Ball Arena

Wednesday, April 5                Phoenix, AZ                            Footprint Center

Thursday, April 6                   Palm Desert, CA                     Acrisure Arena

Saturday, April 8                    Sacramento, CA                     Golden 1 Center

Monday, April 10                    Vancouver, BC                       Rogers Arena

Tuesday, April 11                    Seattle, WA                             Climate Pledge Arena

Friday, April 14                       Los Angeles, CA                     Kia Forum

 

Categories: Local News

Seattle to resume late fees for unpaid parking, camera and traffic tickets

Seattle Times - 8 hours 13 min ago

Seattle Municipal Court will resume charging late fees for unpaid infraction tickets, after suspending them early in the pandemic.
Categories: Local News

Orioles avoid arbitration with Austin Voth, signing right-hander to deal with 2024 club option

San Jose Mercury - 8 hours 22 min ago

The Orioles have completed their arbitration process, and possibly their increases to payroll, for this offseason.

Baltimore announced Thursday that it signed right-hander Austin Voth to a one-year deal that includes a team option for 2024. Terms were not disclosed, but the Orioles had reportedly filed at $2 million and Voth at $1.7 million after they did not come to an agreement before the arbitration salary exchange deadline earlier this month. Each of the team’s other arbitration-eligible players — outfielders Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays; infielder Jorge Mateo; and reliever Dillon Tate — agreed to deals without exchanging figures.

Voth, 30, was in his second of what will be four years of arbitration eligibility. After he posted a 10.13 ERA in 19 relief appearances for the Washington Nationals, the Orioles claimed him on waivers and deployed him largely as a starter. With 17 of his 22 outings being starts, Voth had a 3.04 ERA with Baltimore. He’ll enter spring training among the many contenders to be in the Orioles’ rotation but could serve as a long reliever if not.

The agreement means the Orioles still have required only one arbitration hearing under executive president and general manager Mike Elias, with a panel siding with a club to determine Santander’s 2021 salary. Elias has stated the team operates under a “file and go” policy, meaning the team will head to hearings once figures are exchanged, but Voth is now the third straight Oriole to pass the exchange deadline and agree to a deal without a hearing after Trey Mancini and John Means did the same last year.

The club option in Voth’s deal could allow the Orioles to set his 2024 salary without needing to go through the arbitration process. The associated buyout could also effectively provide a boost to his 2023 salary if the option is declined, which would then prompt Voth to enter arbitration for a third time.

Voth’s uncertain status was the last to-be-determined portion of the Orioles’ current payroll. Using the midpoint of Voth’s and the Orioles’ filed numbers, Cot’s Baseball Contracts had the team’s projected opening day payroll at $64.9 million, the second lowest of the majors’ 30 teams.

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Categories: Local News

Missing teenage snowmachiner found dead in northwest Alaska

Seattle Times - 8 hours 40 min ago

Alaska State Troopers say a teenager missing in northwest Alaska for nearly 10 days was found dead Wednesday.
Categories: Local News

Anti-Gay? Anti-Science? Antisemitic? Run for Governor of North Carolina!

N.Y. Times - 8 hours 51 min ago
A crucial 2024 contest is a potentially nightmarish national mirror.
Categories: Local News

12 must-see, must-sip events at the 2023 SF Beer Week

San Jose Mercury - 8 hours 52 min ago

After all the strangeness of the last three years, February brings the return of San Francisco Beer Week in all its pre-pandemic glory, with the addition of at least one great idea that surfaced last year.

The festival, which runs Feb. 10-19 at venues across the Bay Area, kicks off once again with five regional galas, rather than one giant party. Pandemic-era concerns about crowds prompted the regional approach last year, but the results proved so popular, they’re doing it again.

The East Bay contingent can celebrate the launch of SF Beer Week at 21st Amendment in San Leandro, while North Bay beer lovers congregate at Pond Farm in San Rafael at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 10. The next day, the San Francisco festivities kick off at noon at Barebottle at Salesforce Park; there’s a coastal party planned for 5 p.m. at Other Brother in Seaside and a Silicon Valley celebration at 6 p.m. at Guildhouse in San Jose. Tickets ($65) can be purchased via sfbeerweek.org/kickoffs.

This year's San Francisco Beer Week collaboration beer was made by members of the Brewers Guild's diversity, equity and inclusion committee, which includes brewers from Drake's Brewing Co., Hella Coastal, HenHouse Brewing, Humble Sea Brewing, Dokkaebier and S27 Alehouse & Brewery. (Courtesy Jay R. Brooks)This year’s San Francisco Beer Week collaboration beer was made by, from top, Drake’s Brewing’s Rob Craig and Kyle Murdock; Hella Coastal’s Chaz Hubbard and Dokkaebier’s Youngwon Lee; Humble Sea’s Wayne Kazamjian and HenHouse’s Sayre Piotrkowski; Humble Sea’s Joe White and Drake’s DeVonne Buckingham; and Drake’s Steph Hernandez, S27 Alehouse’s Aaron Ramson and Hella Coastal’s Mario Benjamin. (Courtesy Jay R. Brooks) 

In addition to general gala hoopla, you’ll be able to sample the new collaboration beer, This Beer Creates Opportunity. It’s an 8.5-percent ABV Hazy Double IPA created by members of the Bay Area Brewers Guild’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee, which includes Drake’s Brewing Co., Hella Coastal, HenHouse Brewing, Humble Sea Brewing, Dokkaebier and S27 Alehouse & Brewery. The collaboration beer, which was brewed at Drake’s, is part of an effort to create a more diverse craft beer industry, with proceeds destined for a Guild Scholarship Endowment at UC Davis to create opportunities for the next generation of brewers.

The beer was brewed with London Tropics yeast with Simcoe, Bru-1 and HBC 586 hop varieties. As of now, it’s still in the tank, meaning nobody’s sampled it yet, but the brewers say we can expect a super juicy, double hazy IPA with notes of passion fruit, guava, mango, lychee, citrus and fresh-cut pineapple. It certainly sounds tasty.

Other dates you’ll want to add to your calendar include one of the original beer week marquee events, the 23rd annual Double IPA Festival at The Bistro in Hayward. The hoppy festivities, which will feature unlimited pours of more than 80 DIPAs, plus food trucks and live music, runs from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 11. Tickets ($80 or $100 for VIP access at 11 a.m.) are available online and on site.

Valentine’s Day falls midway through the week, bringing several suitably sweet events, including a Barebottle dessert night with Socola Chocolatier featuring barrel-aged flights and a truffle-inspired Socola Stout (prices vary). Drake’s Dealership is hosting a six-course beer dinner ($140), complete with edible aphrodisiacs. And you’ll have your choice of two Woods locations for a candlelit date night (prices vary) that includes oysters, freshly brewed Raspberry Smooch and sparkling Woods Pet Nats wine.Related Articles

More events are being added to the schedule daily, but some early highlights include the ninth annual West Coast Craft Can Invitational at Devil’s Canyon Brewing’s tasting room, barrel room and beer garden in San Carlos. Sample more than 75 styles of beer during the event, which runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 11. Tickets are $50 or $70 for VIP access at 1 p.m.

Get spooky at Shovels Bar & Grill’s Ghost Town Halloween party, which starts at 5 p.m. on Feb. 13, complete with Ghost Town Brewing collaboration beers, a scavenger hunt, costume contest and Halloween candy. And close out the week with a Celebration of Craft Beer Festival at 4 p.m. Feb. 18 at Trumer Brewery in Berkeley.

Find details on these and hundreds of other beer-centric festival events at sfbeerweek.org/schedule.

Categories: Local News

Biden Set to Hammer House Republicans on the Economy

N.Y. Times - 9 hours 4 min ago
The president has found a welcome foil in a new conservative House majority and its tax and spending plans, sharpening a potential re-election message.
Categories: Local News

Jets hire ex-Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett to be offensive coordinator

San Jose Mercury - 9 hours 31 min ago

The Jets have settled on the coach they hope can get their offense to take flight.

Gang Green has hired former Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator.

The Jets have scheduled a noon press conference Thursday with head coach Robert Saleh.

The team ‘parted ways’ with Mike LaFleur after the Jets lost six straight games to end the season in large part because the offense completely lost its way. The Jets failed to find the end zone in their last three games and finished 29th in the NFL in points per game (17.4).

Hackett was fired by the Broncos after just 15 games in his rookie season as an NFL head coach. The 43-year-old, with Russell Wilson at quarterback, had a brutal season from the start and the Broncos finally pulled the plug on Hackett in late December with the team holding a 4-11 record.

But Saleh and Hackett have a history together, and Hackett has a proven track record as an offensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills.

Developing story, check back for details.

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Categories: Local News

Fake nursing diploma scheme in Florida; 25 arrested

Seattle Times - 9 hours 35 min ago

Federal authorities have charged 25 people accused of participating in a wire fraud scheme in Florida that they say created an illegal shortcut for aspiring nurses to get licensed and find employment.
Categories: Local News

Nets Notebook: Kyrie Irving says Brooklyn-Philly is definitely a rivalry

San Jose Mercury - 9 hours 41 min ago

PHILADELPHIA — Oh, it’s definitely a rivalry.

Joel Embiid and Nic Claxton were assessed double technical fouls jawing with one another after Claxton rejected Embiid at the rim.

Montrezl Harrell scored on Kyrie Irving on the low block and was assessed a technical foul after sending choice words his way.

“F—k Ben Simmons” chants rained down from the Wells Fargo Center crowd in his first game against Embiid since the blockbuster James Harden trade.

All the while, Kevin Durant did his best media impression, live-tweeting reactions to Nets plays while nursing an MCL sprain back in Brooklyn.

At Tuesday’s Nets practice, Durant said there’s no rivalry between the Nets and Sixers, that rivalries aren’t a thing in the NBA because teams don’t repeatedly see each other in the playoffs.

Head coach Jacque Vaughn also downplayed the idea of a rivalry between these two teams, saying the juice for the game more so comes from the Sixers being two games ahead of the Nets in the standings.

Wednesday’s matchup between two championship hopefuls, however, proves the opposite. There’s too much recent history between Philly and Brooklyn for this to be just another game.

“Well it is rivalry week, right? So whenever we have divisional games like that, I know it’s gonna be tough. And, you know, there is a bit of an edge,” Irving said postgame after tallying 30 points and 10 assists in Brooklyn’s 137-133 loss. “We’ve got guys that have been traded to our team, guys that feel like they kinda were put out there in the ethos of free agency.

“So we definitely have a chip on our shoulder and every time we go against Philly, there’s something there. It’s not anything outside of competition. It’s just when we get on the court, we definitely want to beat each other, and I love those type of environments, and when you come to Philly, we know what it’s gonna be: a lot of chirping, very physical, the refs could be going either which way and we’ve just got to adjust. So I’m grateful that we got this lesson tonight. It didn’t result in a W but a loss we can definitely learn from and get ready for tomorrow.”

TRASH TALK

Claxton suggested Embiid took exception to the no-call on his massive block at the rim.

“Let me see. I blocked his shot. I think he was upset there was no foul call. I said something to him. He told me to repeat it, I repeated it and he walked up on me,” he said. “I don’t know how I got a tech when I say one thing and I’m just sitting there standing. He walks up on me, I get a tech, but I take it so it’s a double tech.

“It’s just competition. Just having some fun. So that’s how it really is.”

FAMILY MATTERS

Seth Curry was one of the players who accompanied Ben Simmons in last season’s deal between Philly and Brooklyn. He scored a season-high 32 points against his former team on Wednesday.

“Making plays, trying to be aggressive, getting the ball in my hands a bit, trying to play some pick-and-roll, moving off the ball,” he said. “Teammates set me up a couple of times but just going out there trying to find good shots and do what I do.”

Curry admitted there was extra sauce added playing against his old team.

“It’s just a good environment in here,” he said. “Good fans, obviously a really good team, so just a little bit more emotion when you’re playing in an arena like this with good energy, good fans, I mean it was a big time game tonight.”

Curry just finished a unique stretch of games against family members. He played against his brother Stephen in Brooklyn’s victory against the Golden State Warriors. He played against his father-in-law, Doc Rivers, in Wednesday’s matchup against the 76ers. He also played against his brother-in-law, Damion Lee, who is married to his sister Sydel, in Brooklyn’s loss to the Phoenix Suns.

“It’s been a pretty good stretch like you said. For the most part Steph and Damion have been on the same team, and I’ve been on a team with Doc,” he said. “[I] only play them twice a year so it’s a good little stretch and it feels good to get two wins.

“Or we got one.”

KYRIE TALKS ABOUT WNBA TAKING FLIGHT

Irving says he’s “optimistic” WNBA players will be able to fly charter for the 2023 season.

Irving, who is a Vice President of the National Basketball Player’s Association, said the time is now for the NBA to create a more sustainable environment for WNBA athletes to compete at a high level.

Under current rules, WNBA players are not allowed to fly charter and franchises are penalized if they don’t comply.

“We’ve discussed a range of these things, and I wish it was as easy as getting it tomorrow, but business takes a little bit of patience,” Irving said following Brooklyn’s loss to the 76ers on Wednesday. “Our W ladies have been patient long enough, so we’ve definitely gotta get something done, and I’m with them no matter how much it costs. I think we could all collectively come together and make something very doable happen, and we just want to have our ladies have peace of mind while they’re playing.”

Irving also suggested there may be something in the works to increase WNBA salaries. In 2022, the league’s average player salary was $102,751. As a result, many WNBA athletes play basketball overseas during the offseason.

“They don’t need to be overseas all the time. They need to be here playing in front of their families every single day doing what we do,” he said. “So I think it’s a lesson learned right now of how we can attack this as a family because the W and the NBA, we’re a family. And I think things will be figured out before the season gets started. I’m very optimistic about that.”

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Categories: Local News

No moral victories for Nets without Kevin Durant: ‘We can’t snap our fingers and have him back’

San Jose Mercury - 9 hours 43 min ago

PHILADELPHIA — At some point, Kevin Durant is going to walk through that door.

It’s the silver lining in Brooklyn’s 137-133 loss to the 76ers on Wednesday, the team’s fifth loss in the seven games they’ve played since Durant went down with an MCL sprain in a Jan. 8 matchup against the Miami Heat.

The Nets lost but came back from down 17 and had an opportunity to win in the fourth quarter. Against a fully healthy 76ers team with three stars in Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, the Nets nearly stole a victory.

Without their best player.

The Nets, however, have formed a united front against the idea of moral victories. They know things will look drastically different when Durant — who ranks 14th on the NBA’s all-time leading scorer’s list and averages a hair under 30 points per game — returns to the team, but his return date has yet to be determined.

“I think we’re all saying that [it’ll look different when Durant returns], but at the end of day, that’s just not our reality that we can snap our fingers and have him back,” Kyrie Irving said. “We want him to get as heathy as possible and show it to ourselves and to him and our entire organization. These losses have not been ugly. There are no moral victories in this league, but I can tell you that I would be definitely worried if we were losing by 25-plus or 20-plus or 15-plus.

“Some of our games have just been our mistakes, and I think we can hold each other accountable cause we can control those things. You seen a ton of those in the second or third quarter. If we can eliminate some of those, we’ll be good.”

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn has preached a no-excuses mindset since replacing Steve Nash seven games into the season. With Durant out likely another two weeks, Vaughn has leaned even further into that mantra.

“The result is the result and that’s what I told the group after the game,” he said. “This group that’s in the locker room right now, when we line it up against the opponent, expect to win. There’s no if ands or buts. I don’t mention any other thing but the group in the locker room and this group trying to win. So I don’t think about it that way.”

Nets sixth man Seth Curry has stepped up in Durant’s absence. Curry scored a season-high 32 points against his former team on Wednesday. He is averaging 14.8 points per game in the month of January and 17.1 points per game since Durant sprained his MCL.

Curry said the team can’t take the stance that all will be better when Durant returns — true as it may be — because every team has to compete and win with players out of the rotation.

“You can’t look at it like that in the NBA,” he said. “You got to go out try to play well, try to win. In the regular season, so many of these matchups depend on health and what not. Last time Kev was here, we lost. It is what it is.

“You got to go out and compete. [If] we play well, we can compete with anybody like we showed over the past week. So we got to have that mindset where there’s no excuses.”

Without Durant, Curry said the burden falls on everyone else to pick up the slack.

“Obviously Kyrie’s got to do a lot, creating offense for us,” he said. “Ben’s got to help us out and Clax doing a good job making plays with the handoffs and rolling. We just got to create offense different ways.

“The load changes on guys like myself and [we] try to be aggressive and see what happens. We’ve got to stick to it for 48-minute games. On different nights, everybody got to help us out in different ways.”

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Categories: Local News

Larry Magid: Paradigm shifts of yesteryear, today and tomorrow

San Jose Mercury - 9 hours 52 min ago

It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while there’s a major technology paradigm shift with new products or services that vastly change the landscape or empower us to do things we couldn’t do before. These paradigm shifts can also change how the tech affects our lives for better and worse and sometimes elicits both positive and negative attention from the public, the media and policy makers.

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As someone who’s been following technology developments since the 1970’s I’ve seen them all, but whether something is truly a paradigm shift isn’t always obvious until years later.

The Mac and Windows

I’ll start the clock in the late 1970s when personal computers were introduced. At first, very few people took them seriously, but by the time IBM entered the market in 1981, they were starting to reach critical mass. Offices were starting to use them for word processing, database management and other important tasks. Some families bought PCs for things like keeping track of finances or for their kids to do homework. At that point computers displayed mostly text on the screen, but in 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh, which represented the beginning of a paradigm shift. The Mac was not only easy to use, but its “What you see is what you get,”  or WYSIWYG interface, made it a lot easier to create visually appealing documents with integrated text and graphics. A year later, Microsoft introduced Windows, which further reinforced that paradigm shift, though it took several years before PCs with WYSIWYG interface became mainstream.

Other than that, there hasn’t been much of a major paradigm shift in PCs unless you count laptops which are basically just portable PCs.

AOL and broadband

Although PCs were able to connect to online services like Compuserve as far back as the late 70s, they were mostly niche products until the mid-90s when AOL started sending floppy disks to practically everyone in America, prompting millions of people to go online. That was cemented in 1994 with the introduction of Netscape, the first popular web browser.

The next paradigm shift happened mostly in the early 2000’s when broadband began to take off. Before broadband, people “went online” by connecting their PC to a modem and dialing in. Broadband was not only much faster, but it was always connected, making the internet more integrated into our lives.

Cell phones, Blackberry and iPhone

Car phones had been around for decades but were rare and very expensive to own and use until the cell phone networks began to emerge in the early ’80s. But it was handheld cell phones later in that decade that made cellular into a paradigm shift in the way many people communicated. But, until the Blackberry came out in 1999, cell phones were mostly just wireless portable telephones.

Blackberry and iPhone

The Blackberry was a paradigm shift because it moved cell phones into the realm of handheld PCs with the ability to send and receive email as well as organize and share information. But the big paradigm shift came in 2007 when Apple introduced the iPhone. And even that wasn’t a major paradigm shift until 2008 when Apple introduced the app store and the eco-system of third-party apps. The app-enabled iPhone, followed shortly by Google’s acquisition of Android and its app store, had a huge impact on many aspects of our lives, putting enormous computing power into the palm of our hands. It was a major paradigm shift. In some ways, smartphones have become portable terminals, remotely connected to very powerful computers and networks.

Today’s AI and extended reality

Fast forwarding to today, voice enabled smart devices, like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, probably qualify as paradigm shifts along with cars that are on the verge of being able to drive themselves, but it’s a bit too early to know for sure.

There are two major paradigm shifts that could be on the horizon. We don’t yet know if they’re paradigm shifts, but  both extended reality, including virtual (VR) and augmented reality headsets and glasses, and artificial intelligence (AI) might have a huge impact.

I’m very bullish on AI, especially after experimenting with ChatGPT, which is able to write essays, poems and semi-factual articles based on queries from users. I say semi-factual, because while the natural language engine gets a lot things right, it also makes mistakes. But based on the early prototype that I’ve played with, it’s extremely promising and is only going to get better. It is capable of disrupting things, including my cherished profession. I’m not worried about being put out of work in the next few years, but it is clearly capable of writing some types of fact-based articles. Right now, its applications are limited, but it could have a major impact on all aspects of knowledge seeking, reporting and writing as it gets better, faster and more reliable. And that will happen, especially now that Microsoft and Google are among the many companies putting substantial resources into this type of technology

I’m also bullish on extended reality but not so-much on the bulky virtual reality headsets that exist today. I’m looking forward to affordable and powerful smart glasses that will be like smartphones that you wear. There are a few prototypes out there now, but the devices are still pretty primitive. But the day will come when information isn’t just at our fingertips but, literally, in our face as we go about our lives.

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Larry Magid is a tech journalist and internet safety activist.

Categories: Local News

Man tried to rape Seattle woman after following her home, prosecutors say

Seattle Times - 9 hours 52 min ago

The man later groped an EMT as he was being taken from Harborview to jail, according to King County prosecutors.
Categories: Local News

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