Wednesday morning news roundup


Rohnert Park city officials are taking a big step toward a future downtown.

The city’s $12.5 million offer was accepted a week ago on a 30-acre parcel of land at the corner of Rohnert Park Freeway and State Farm Drive.

City Council will make a formal decision on the purchase at a special meeting at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“This is a bold step toward creating downtown Rohnert Park,” Mayor Jackie Elward said in a news release Tuesday morning from city officials. “With this purchase, we are taking our destiny into our own hands.”

The East Bay Regional Park District is trying to figure out what to do with Jewel Lake and wants your input.


Between the accumulation of sediment from Wildcat Creek and the drought caused by climate change, the lake looks more like a swamp these days.

The district is holding a town hall meeting Thursday via Zoom for people to weigh in on four possible plans for the lake, which has been one of Tilden Park’s most popular areas since it was established in 1921 by damming the creek to catch water for human use.

To celebrate Earth Day, four transit agencies in Marin and Sonoma counties will offer free bus service on Saturday.

Participating agencies include Marin Transit, Petaluma Transit, Santa Rosa City Bus and Sonoma County Transit.

Transit officials are encouraging the public to board buses to attend the Earth Day Festival in Santa Rosa, the Butter and Egg Days Parade and Festival in Petaluma or the Apple Blossom Festival in Sebastopol.

Oakland police investigators need the public’s help to determine what caused a man to lose consciousness before he was found lying on the ground at an intersection.

The man was taken to a local hospital, but never regained consciousness and died.

A police spokesman said the man, Jose Eduardo Colon Ramos, was found unconscious just after 10 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the intersection of 23rd Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Paramedics rushed Ramos to hospital for medical treatment. He was pronounced dead on February 18.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney declared himself the winner on Twitter Tuesday night as part of a bid for state assembly.

Haney had won at least 64% of the vote in the race for Assembly District 17 as of 8:45 p.m., with challenger David Campos garnering 36%. Not all votes are counted, but Haney’s commanding lead makes him the predicted winner.

“First results are out: we’re over 27 points ahead. We won,” Haney tweeted.

The special election was to replace David Chiu, who resigned after being named City Solicitor by Mayor London Breed. Breed will now select Haney’s replacement on the supervisory board.

A great way to enjoy spring in the South Bay is to visit the Nola Iris Garden, perched in the hills above east San Jose. The five-acre working farm with over 2,000 varieties of irises is nearing peak bloom over the next two weeks and admission is free.

Wear hiking boots to stroll through the many gardens that Nola and Gary Prevost began cultivating in 2002. A variety of irises spread across the terraced hillsides, along paths and around a horse paddock.

While irises have been blooming for weeks in the lower levels of the Bay Area, cooler temperatures in the foothills are causing perennials to bloom later at Nola. The flowers are a variety of colors including white, yellow, orange, coral and a spectacular display of purple hues.

Two San Francisco police officers and a former San Francisco police officer were arrested Tuesday on unrelated charges, according to District Attorney Chesa Boudin and the San Francisco Police Department.

The two current officers, Kevin Patrick Lyons and Kevin David Sien, were arrested for allegedly destroying evidence last July.

Retired officer Mark Williams was arrested after allegedly stealing an MP5 submachine gun from the department’s Asset Control Division. Williams was also allegedly in unlawful possession of a silencer, according to the district attorney’s office.

According to Boudin’s office, all three should be arrested on May 19.

A former Catholic priest who spent time in jail for pedophilia and is a registered sex offender was arrested on Saturday night after a drunk driving accident that killed a Rossmoor resident.

Walnut Creek Police said Tuesday that 75-year-old Stephen Kiesle was taken to Martinez Detention Center early Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter with an impaired vehicle and impaired driving. Bail was set at $250,000.

Contra Costa County Sheriff‘s Department spokesman Jimmy Lee said Kiesle remained in custody Tuesday. According to the California Megan’s Law website, Kiesle is a resident of the Rossmoor retirement community.

Police said they were called around 9pm to a car hitting two pedestrians who were walking on the pavement of Tice Creek Drive near Fairlawn Court in Rossmoor. The vehicle was on its side and the driver, who was also the sole occupant, was trapped inside.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voiced support for lower tuition at local community colleges.

Supervisors passed a resolution supporting Senate Bill 893, introduced by Sen. Josh Becker, D-San Mateo. If passed by the state senate and assembly, the bill would allow the San Mateo County Community College District to reduce tuition for needy students.

The bill would give the district the ability to waive or reduce tuition fees and use some local funds to offset other student costs.

Currently, the state required tuition rate is $46 per unit. In addition to tuition, rental, food, book, technology and other living costs can add up to more than $15,000 for community college students, according to a staff report.

The National Weather Service forecast Wednesday for the greater San Francisco Bay Area calls for rainy and windy conditions. Highs will be in the 60s with overnight lows in the 50s.

The storm is expected to peak late Wednesday through Thursday and continue through Friday. Dry and mild conditions are expected for the weekend.

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Copyright © 2022 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, redistribution, or other reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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