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tv   ABC7 News 500PM  ABC  July 11, 2022 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

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>> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions. this is abc seven news. >> it's a sight many of us have seen on san francisco streets, illegal drug use. >> now a video captured how pervasive it is. it shows children returning home from school, passing people who are shooting up right on the sidewalk in front of them. good evening. i'm larry beil. ama: i'm ama daetz. witnesses recently captured the scene in the midmarket neighborhood where there are seven schools within a mile, includine, including a preschool and elementary school. larry: our reporter went to that site. has anything been done to stop the drug use in that area? it's wide open. >> it's hard to believe three
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days after that video was posted, it was today business as usual. the drug dealers were there. the drug addicts were openly using. the midmarket neighborhood, as we know, has been a troubled area, but i feel that some of the people who were in the tenderloin have been pushed out into other areas. that's why you are seeing more of that open drug use. >> yeah, he's definitely looking. >> open drug use in san francisco's south of market area has become predictable. drug users nodding off, shooting up, or smoking pentacle -- fentanyl is a matter of course for residents living here. >> i started filming things. at first, i didn't know what i was going to do with the video. get home safe, ok? >> he posted a video showing a group of kids getting off a bus as they tried to navigate their way through an entire block of
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open drug use. three ghost -- days after he posted the video, we found nothing had changed. he wasn't surprised. >> there's a lot of madness going on down here. >> [indiscernible] >> at one point, we had to pause the interview because we were interrupted by a man yelling at us. abc 7 news first brought this block to your attention?, as part of our ongoing coverag -- your attention last march, as part of our ongoing coverage. >> this is what i do every day. i walked him to school every day because of safety. >> we witnessed how hard it is to push drug users into rehab. >> i don't understand how hard is it to get help, to reach out and get help. >> the thing with programs, programs are meant for failure. >> i asked if he had tried to stop using drugs. >> i tried my own program, love. >> around midday, a paramedic
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came to help clear the area so that city workers could clean the sidewalk. for many, the drug crisis has become unacceptable. >> number one, close the open drug scenes. they are helping no one. they are not helping the users or the community. >> how do you close them? >> you have to use law enforcement. >> but ellen of moms against drug debts -- deaths says it doesn't have to be punitive. >> these little kids have to walk through this. it's crazy. >> he says the city needs to target the drug dealers. otherwise, the universe will -- users will never get help. >> when they are solicited on the street, it's hard for them to have the tenacity and willpower to say no, i don't want that. >> arrest the drug dealers. otherwise, nothing will ever change. that's what people are asking the city to do.
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it's going to be interesting to see if san francisco's newly appointed district attorney will be more aggressive towards these drug dealers. ama: all right. what a sight. thank you for that report. we moved to a massive fire in west oakland that covered the freeway in thick smoke and closed both directions of 880 today. the fire started just before 10:30 this morning on the corner of 34th and wood streets. we see why it was a very hazardous situation for the public and for firefighters. [sirens] >> the fire roared to life at 10:20 monday morning on wood street. it envelops traffic on the interstate 880, to the point it had to be shut down. the timber from an old railroad trestle burned, along with an rv, cars parked illegally in the area, as propane canisters exploded. >> it's very hazardous for the
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public, as well as for our firefighters. numerous explosions from pressurized cylinders here on scene that at any moment could take the life of one of our firefighters. >> the chief said firefighters were forced to battle the fierce blaze downwind and had to deal with extremely toxic gases and fumes. the oakland fire department says this stretch of land along wood street from 18th to 34th is a notorious crisis zone, a hotbed of fire activity. because of the sheer number of cars, rvs, and homeless encampments here. the oakland fire pio said from spring of 2021 two spring of this year, there were 90 fires in this area, of varying survey -- surveyor -- severity. there was a fatality in one place a few months ago. fire crews were able to reopen the freeway and affected ramps early afternoon. there were no injuries or
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deaths, at this point in the investigation. the area of origin appears to be right under a burned-out train truss in part of a homeless camp. in oakland, leslie brinkley, abc7news. larry: a bay area tech executive has been arrested and charged in a strangulation murder that happened 30 years ago. 58-year-old john woodward had been tried twice for the murder of lori houtz back in the 1990's, but the case was dismissed by a judge for insufficient evidence when the jury could not reach a verdict. this time, police used new dna technology to connect the rope used to kill the victim to the suspect. her sister spoke with abc 7 news after the announcement. >> my first reaction was, yes, yay, then you come down for that and you go, she's not coming home. it's not like if we win, we get her back. she's not coming back. larry: john kevin woodward was arrested saturday as he entered the u.s., coming back from amsterdam.
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he faces life in prison if convicted. smoke from a wildfire in yosemite national park has triggered an air quality advisory for parts of the bay area. we have a live look outside. you will see some of the haze in the sky. sandhya patel has a look at the impact. sandhya: the smoky skies from the washburn fire. this is the view from yosemite. it's a live view. you can see how heavy the smoke is. the air quality is unhealthy there. in the bay area, we do have good to moderate air quality. earlier in the day, it was mostly moderate. the air quality advisory is for the entire bay area for today. moderate air quality remains in place tomorrow as the sea breeze strengthens. we will show you the smoke from the washburn fire. it is traveling northwestward towards jackson, bear valley, placerville, putting out a lot of smoke.
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as you look at the smoke forecast, that is going to get pushed to the east as the sea breeze strengthens going into tomorrow. even though it's heading northward toward south lake tahoe, out of the bay area, better air quality. a fully the forecast, coming up. ama: efforts to save a grove of iconic sequoia trees from a wildfire sweeping through yosemite national park. the fire is spreading of the southern entrance to yosemite and the grove of mariposa trees. containment has increased to 25%. jessica harrington from our sister station in fresno is live near the fire line tonight, where they are now using a sprinkler system to try to save the trees. jessica: good evening. good news for the giant sequoias. officials have confirmed we have not lost one to displays. although you can tell the fire is still burning, a glimmer of
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hope tonight. the fire is moving toward the burn scar of a 2017 wildfire. that could help with containment, and best of all, it is continuing to move away from the giant sequoias. charred trees were chopped down in mariposa grove monday afternoon. the base of some of the giant sequoias were damaged, but not destroyed. fire officials think preparations in years past helps prevent this blaze from being more damaging to the ounts.>> we did some burning ine grove in 2017, so things are looking pretty good in here. we just hope to continue that way. jessica: a sprinkler has been set up in the hopes of preventing a fire at the base of the second tallest tree in the park. nearby, mandatory evacuations remain in place. the meadows and hillsides, normally visible, were blanketed in smoke. the historic hotel typically filled with guests, eerily silent. >> everyone is spread out
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throughout this entire part of the park. just putting priority on protecting the community of wawona. >> the threat is not far away. just down the road, crews were fighting fire with fire. while they were controlling the burn, the conditions were picking up. fire officials are depending on the people on the ground today. you can see the speed at which the fire is moving up the hillside, but officials say that's ok, as long as it moves slowly down this hillside, so they can use wawona road or highway 41 as a fire break. crews are hoping to claim some containment through the night. as a reminder, if you are heading to yosemite national park, you have to have a reservation in order to get in. the south entrance remains closed, but the highway 140 and 120 entrances remain open. live in oakhurst, jessica harrington, abc7news. larry: keep an eye on our air
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quality any time by using our exclusive air quality tracker on our website, the same one that sandia -- sandhya uses in her forecasts. ama: some sad news to report to you. a longtime member of our abc 7 family has passed away. mike died doing what he loved, working as a photographer. his latest assignment was at laguna seca in monterey county, where he collapsed. you will know his work from the birdseye view he gave us from sky 7 as an employee of helicopters, inc. he graduated from san leandro high school and was a volunteer with the pleasanton police department. he was 54 years old, and we are certainly going to miss him.
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larry: building a better bay area focuses on the economy and the wild swing in the elon musk-twitter deal. the legal battle between the sides is leaving others caught in the middle, mainly employees and shareholders -- namely employees and shareholders. >> the legal battle will be fought by high-powered attorneys, but as that plays out in court, twitter is dealing with additional turmoil. it could end up losing valuable employees to other tech companies eager to poach them. >> i've seen some advertisement on linkedin, some messages on linkedin from companies like amazon and microsoft, offering the employees at twitter, telling them, if you are not happy with the situation, if you want to have a hybrid option of working at the company, we would be more than happy to get you in. >> twitter's employees face uncertainty they cannot control. if musk is forced to go through with the deal, will they want to work for him? would he move operations to texas, at he did with tesla?
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long-term projects twitter might be working on also face disruption. >> it's hard to work on that when, over the next 3, 6, month -- three to six months, one year, two years, there's going to be a radical shift. >> twitter should develop a similar model to china's we chat. some think that concept is popular in asia with 1.3 billion chinese using wechat. the battle over twitter has already heard investors as it stopped right -- stock price continues to drop. shareholders are filing suit against musk. >> these are just everyday people who are holding shares of twitter. they have gotten caught up in the circus that's been going on.
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>> david louis, abc7news. ama: there is a new effort underway to allow cars back onto jfk drive in san francisco. a group submitted signatures to put the issue on the november ballot. the measure would restore car access on weekdays and keep the roads closed to traffic on weekends and holidays for six months of the year. one contributor says the effort will pick city hall and the bicycle coalition against two formidable groups. >> one, the residents around the park, who feel that closing these main vehicular arteries has just meant putting the cars on their streets. the second group, the fine arts people of san francisco, the backers of the de young museum, which sits in the park, and loses a lot of its access, as well as other entities within the park. ama: the closures began at the start of the pandemic. the board of supervisors voted to make the closures permanent in april. larry: education is another issue we focus on in our commitment to build a better bay
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area. there is a push to allow voters to decide whether to give more money to san francisco city college. faculty and staff turned in signatures to get a measure on the ballot. if approved, it would give $45 million in funding to the college. the money would come from a progressive tiered increase to the parcel tax. supporters of the measure say funding cuts and the pandemic have impacted city college's ability to serve its students. ama: when most of us will be sleeping tonight, the battle against infection mosquitoes will begin -- infected mosquitoes will begin. larry: and the covid
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ama: in the south bay, it has become a staple of summer. logging to prevent mosquitoes from -- fogging to prevent mosquitoes from spreading west nile virus. the virus has already been detected in the county. we have expert advice to help
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keep you safe. >> in the late hours of the evening, when most are going to bed, workers in parts of the south bay will be heading out with this equipment, designed for an important task. >> they drive throughout the streets, below speed, and just let out this mist that targets adult mosquitoes. >> the vector control district says it has found mosquitoes that carry the west nile virus in parts of sunnyvale and santa clara. the goal is to keep them from transmitting the virus to humans. >> the minority of patients develop symptoms such as fever. one and 200 develop neurological infection. >> lately, bay area cases of human west nile have been low, and it's critical that it stays that way, because, in some cases, it can cause those serious impacts. who it hits hardest is still difficult to determine, but doctors do see similar risk factors. >> the same question you might ask about covid and why people get sicker. one of them is age.
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severe west nile is more likely to occur in those over the age of 50. >> protecting yourself and your family is crucial and also easy. wear light colors and avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. don't forget your insect repellent. keep an eye out for key ingredients. >> deet, ir3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus. >> make sure parts of your home are not creating a home that helps the mosquito population thrive. >> plant saucers that collect water. a pool. make sure you are changing the water out at least once a week. mosquito control and vector control is a community effort. >> zach fuentes, abc7news. >> moore from santa clara county now. covid cases have plateaued to about 1000 per day. the number has changed little since mid-may, but experts tell
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us a serious surge is imminent. masks are not required in most settings, but some people are still keeping them handy. >> i am mostly wearing my mask, especially when i go somewhere where employees are wearing their mask. >> in all public spaces inside. outside, when it's crowded. and a lot of times, just because i want to wear one. larry: the most dominant strain of covid right now is the omicron subvariant ba.5. that makes up about half of the samples tested in the county's wastewater. it has the ability to evade the immune system, even among those who are vaccinated and boosted. drug companies expect a new vaccine for ba.5 will become available later this year. we need something that is omicron specific. ama: all right. it was quite hot yesterday. a little bit cooler today. larry: mid 90's in some places. sandhya: upper 90's in fairfield, concord, 96° in livermore.
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larry and ama, this is the last day of the really hot weather inland. we are going down hill after this. let me show you live doppler 7 and what's going to happen. this area of low pressure is going to our north, but it's going to continue to enhance the sea breeze. as it does, we will notice the temperatures dropping. the marine layer will deepen and advance further. expect cooler weather, at least for a couple days. it is socked in for parts of the coast on live doppler 7. we have a coastal flood advisory the bay shoreline. some of the highest tides of the year. it is just over 7 feet at 9:53 for san francisco. low-lying areas will see some flooding. another coastal flood advisory has been issued for 9:00 p.m. tomorrow until 1:00 a.m. wednesday. that will be 7.1 at 10:45 p.m.
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keep these in mind if you go out for a walk at night. certainly a beautiful view as the marine layer is advancing. mid 60's around san francisco. 70's in oakland. san jose looking at sunshine right now. 82 in santa rosa. petaluma 77. upper 90's fairfield and concord. seeing a beautiful view of clouds, fog, morning fog and areas of drizzle. a much cooler afternoon. continuing cooling wednesday with king tides and low-lying flooding through friday. overnight into tomorrow morning, you will see widespread gray, some drizzle near the coast, and the fog is not going to completely clear tomorrow afternoon and evening. temperatures first thing in the morning will be in the 50's and 60's with the drizzle around. give yourself a little extra time to get where you need to go because of the damp roadways.
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coastal areas will be in the low 60's, places like half moon bay. fairfield up to 89. 72 in oakland. 79° in santa rosa. the accuweather 7 day forecast, breezy and much cooler tomorrow, especially inland. cooling continues wednesday. temperatures rebound, but it's not a big warm up. low 90's inland. 60's co-side. -- coast side. we are into this seasonal pattern. when we get through the heat today, we are good to go. larry: thank you. ama: we are all told to be bear aware. larry: were you aware bear is like to play soccer?
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meet three sisters.
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playing out at yosemite national park. the evacuations. more than 500 firefighters battling to save the ancient sequoias. flames burning across more than 2,300 acres. doubling in size in 24 hours. more than 1,600 residents and campers ordered to evacuate. will carr reporting from the fire zone tonight. also, news on the coronavirus here in the u.s. and what health officials are now warning tonight could be the most transmissible covid variant yet in this country. anwh modernas i tonight about its new booster when it comes to that particular variant. eva pilgrim standing by. just days before his trial for contempt of congress, former trump adviser steve bannon now says he's willing to testify before the january 6th committee. tonight, a judge now saying despite bannon's change of


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