tv ABC7 News 400PM ABC December 9, 2014 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
good afternoon, everybody. i'm larry beil. >> i'm ama daetz. crews have begun removing loose rock from the lombard street section of telegraph hill. >> the hillside has had problems before and with the heavy rain on the way, the city is concerned about a repeat from 2012 when several boulders threatened an entire apartment complex. >> abc 7 news reporter lyanne melendez is live at telegraph hill in san francisco with more. >> reporter: you can see behind me they are still up there working. the mayor of san francisco says this is one of those sites that the city is really keeping an eye on because of the upcoming storm. now, as soon as it starts raining, they will stop working but it is a project that will go on through june 2015.
you couldn't ask for a more dramatic video as crews were wall scaling on telegraph hill. >> what you are seeing is removing loose vegetation. >> reporter: this is part of a much bigger project to stabilize this hill. in 2012, several days of rain caused a rock slide that not only damaged this car but threatened this apartment complex. after most of the debris is cleaned off, sometime in january, the larger project will begin. >> they are going to use rock anchors. there's about 300 of them they are going to use to install into the hillside. >> reporter: two meshes will be then put in to contain any other falling rock. the mayor of san francisco was there and was told the project should be completed by june 2015 at a cost of $3.9 million. >> maybe down the road this qualifies for some kind of federal aid but i'm not worried about that now. we do have the resources and i want to spend the kind of money
it would take to make sure that this hillside is safe for people. >> reporter: back here in san francisco, telegraph hill, now safety is also a priority in pacifica. remember that cliff that also threatened a few years ago some apartments? well, at 6:00 i will show you what they have done to protect that bluff. it's amazing. lyanne melendez, abc 7 news. storm prep work is under way today in an area of san francisco that's prone to flooding. just last thursday, rain swamped at least two businesses along fulsom street in the mission strict. you can see damage from the storms line the sidewalk. the city is providing funding for flood prevention efforts. crews installed removable flood gates. >> it's rain water coming down from the hill. they have about 20 minute warnings. as soon as it hits a certain amount of rain in volume, they have about 20 minutes to put
these things in place before the street starts flooding. >> pg & e was in the area preparing for the storm. the utility says it has a mapping device to help determine where power outages may happen based on where the storm is located. san francisco officials have activated the city's emergency operations center in anticipation of the severe weather that's coming. as part of that effort, crews are clearing catch basins across the city. the mayor also asking people to clear away leaves and other debris that might clog storm drains. potential street flooding is a concern across the bay area. abc 7 news reporter amy hollyfield has a look at how they are bracing for the storm in the east bay. >> reporter: rain isn't falling yet but people are already thinking about the storm. tom gibbons loaded up the bed of his pickup truck with sandbags. >> the big storm that's coming in in two days is bigger than the last big one we had. our drainage pipe is broken so our driveway kind of fills up with water like a big swimming
pool. >> reporter: the city of berkeley ordered 1800 sandbags for residents this week. one third of them are already gone. many people are using lessons learned from last week's storms to prepare for this one. >> when we had the big storm recently, the water came under the door. we didn't know that was going to happen. it just flooded the whole bottom of the door. we thought this time we would get sandbags. >> reporter: crews are working hard to trim trees or cut down ones that look like they are leaning or weak. the city of berkeley is in charge of 35,000 trees. private companies are getting calls to check on the rest. tree trimming companies say they are getting slammed right now with requests to deal with trees before the storm but even as people race to prepare, they are careful to not sound unappreciative. >> if it gets in if garage, it gets in the garage. but we need the rain. >> we expect storms. we need rain. it's kind of -- it's good. definitely need the rain. i'm glad that it's coming. of course we don't want our house to flood.
>> reporter: in berkeley's department of public works they have all their employees assigned to cleaning out storm drains right now, not just the leaves and mud at street level but putting a rod down into the drain to clear it out. they recommend that you start cleaning the gutters and drains at your home, too. amy hollyfield, abc 7 news. it is a mostly cloudy day around the bay area today. this is a live look outside, it actually looks pretty nice. spencer christian is here with the accuweather update. >> looks pretty calm at the moment. live doppler 7 hd, we have cloudy skies all over the area but a very powerful, potentially damaging storm is headed our way. there is rain up around crescent city but this isn't the rain associated with the big storm. our concern at the moment is also with a dense fog and reduced visibility. dense fog advisory is in effect for this area beginning 1:00 a.m. tomorrow, continuing to 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. visibility is down to two miles at concord, three miles at fairfield.
let's take a look at the big powerful storm building out to sea that will produce some of the stormiest weather we have seen in years. that begins tomorrow night and continues through the overnight period and all day thursday. these are the high risks, not moderate risk, high risks associated with this storm. urban flooding, mud sliding, rock sliding, creek flooding, power outages, winds at times, strong gusty winds arrive ahead of the rainfall, they will gust 50 to 80 miles per hour at times. we expect the storm to produce up to eight inches of rain. i will be back to show you the forecast animation, giving you the timeline and the watches and warnings we need to take seriously. >> spencer, thank you. track the weather where you live with our abc 7 news weather app. it's free on apple's app store or google play. we have more information at abc7news.com/apps. protesters in berkeley vow to take over and shut down tonight's scheduled city council meeting. that's not going to happen now because berkeley decided to cancel that meeting.
>> sky 7 hd shows about 1,000 protesters shut down both directions of interstate 80 last night. the highway patrol arrested 150 of them. >> other marchers stood on railroad tracks forcing an amtrak train to stop. some activists have called on berkeley's mayor to resign because of the way police responded to protests. a woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl after getting stuck on interstate 80 during the protests last night. camila ortiz arrived just after 2:00 this morning. her mother was supposed to deliver at san francisco general hospital. those plans had to change after the protesters blocked the freeway. her sister called 911. pe then paramedics rushed the mother to an east bay hospital. this picture was provided of the new baby and mother, all smiles right there. she also has a 2-year-old son. sky 7 hd shows students walking out of class this afternoon. organizers say they marched in solidarity with protests in
ferguson, missouri. the students then headed to union city police headquarters. that's where they staged a die-in. school officials tell us between 200 and 300 students left class. it's northern california's biggest high school. [ chanting ] reverend jesse jackson led high school students in chants of "hands up, don't shoot" today in oakland. protesters across america have rallied behind that slogan after grand juries declined to indict white police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects in missouri and new york. jackson believes other complaints are also getting aired. >> we must address in a meaningful way the disparities that's driving this quest for equality. inequality leads to anarchy and crime. justice leads to peace. >> it's not right that police are able to pull over any black man or any black child they see just because they fit a description.
>> rev recherend jackson will t part in a rally in cupertino on thursday to focus on the widening income gap in silicon valley. abc news is devoting a full week of program to report on race injustice in america. watch for coverage on good morning america, world news tonight and nightline. tomorrow, george stephanopoulos will moderate a town hall session on the issue on facebook. still ahead on abc 7 news at 4:00, the conclusions of a just released report about the cia interrogating terror suspects. the abuse that report reveals. and a quest for justice. charges against an uber driver accused of hitting and killing a young girl in san francisco. what her family says the driver was doing when that accident happened. new at 4:30, prince william and his wife kate wrapping up their visit to new york. we will see the surprising show of affection from one nba superstar. checking your traffic on the
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tactics used after september 11th. abc news reporter karen travers with more from washington, d.c. >> reporter: humiliating abuse. physical assaults. death threats. it's all detailed in a sweeping damning indictment of the enhanced interrogation techniques secretly used by cia officials after 9/11. >> america is big enough to admit when it's wrong. >> reporter: the senate intelligence committee's so-called torture report looks at 20 specific detainee cases. it concludes that the approved enhanced interrogation techniques were not effective. >> i know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. >> reporter: the abuse began with the cia's first detainee, al qaeda operative abu zubayda, subject to waterboarding. the report says in one session that he became completely unresponsive with bubbles rising through his open full mouth.
the report also says that at one point when he was being waterboarded, several cia officials were profoundly affected. some to the point of tears and choking up. as for the claims that osama bin laden was tracked down based on information gained from enhanced interrogation, the senate committee says that's false. former cia officials, members of the bush administration and some senate republicans say the report doesn't tell the whole picture. and could do more harm than good. >> it will endanger cia personnel, sources and future intelligence operations. >> reporter: president obama banned many of the techniques detailed in this report. the white house says he wanted it released for transparency and to show the u.s. can learn from mistakes. karen travers, abc news, washington. >> senator feinstein faced a lot of resistance from the intelligence community in compiling the report and wanting to make it public. she spoke for about an hour on the senate floor today.
here's more on how she described the conditions in one particular location. >> cia detainees at one facility described as a dungeon were kept in complete darkness, constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music and only a bucket to use for human waste. the u.s. bureau of prisons personnel went to that location in november 2002 and according to a contemporaneous internal cia e-mail told cia officers they had quote, never been in a facility where individuals are so sensory deprived. >> she called the practices in the report a quote, strain on our values and on our history. an uber driver accused of hitting and killing a young girl in san francisco has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. he was booked today but released on bail, set to be arraigned
tomorrow. prosecutors say he struck a 6-year-old, her brother and her mother while walking on polk street last december. sofia was killed. her mother and brother were injured. her mother said the driver was on his phone and blames the company for killing her daughter. >> the driver stopped on light, my daughter would still be here. why he doesn't pay attention? he keeps looking at his phone and drive at the same time. it's really bad for public safety. the company have to be responsible. it's so painful for our family. >> the family has filed a civil lawsuit against uber. the driver's attorney denies his client was on the phone. turning back to the weather, spencer christian rejoins us. everybody is calling this the biggest storm we have seen in years. >> at least five years, perhaps longer. we are talking about intense possibly flooding rains, powerful damaging winds, downed trees and power lines are likely. this is not to be an alarmist,
but on a cautionary note, these watches and warnings need to be taken seriously. a look at live doppler 7 hd, we have only cloudy skies at the moment. weather conditions are quiet although we do have reduced visibility over in the delta and locations where the fog is pretty dense at the moment. let's talk about the storm watch. we have strong winds coming our way. a high wind warning, not watch, but warning, meaning these conditions are imminent for 10:00 -- from 10:00 tomorrow night to 10:00 thursday night. urban areas could see gusts as high as 50 miles per hour, higher elevations could see gusts up to 80 miles per hour, downed trees and power lines are certainly a possibility with winds that strong. gale warnings issued over the coastal waters and bay waters. now let's talk about flash flood watch, not warning, but watch, meaning conditions are such that the flash flooding could occur. this is in effect from wednesday evening, tomorrow evening, to thursday night. flash flooding is possible, rapid rises, increase in streams, ponding in poor drainage areas. on to high surf advisory which will be in effect from 10:00
tonight to 10:00 friday morning. wave heights are already increasing above 10 feet in most locations. breakers could reach 20 feet or higher. dangerous rip currents are a possibility, beach erosion also a possibility with these rough waters along the coast and a blizzard warning, not watch, but a warning, in effect for the sierra from 10:00 wednesday night to 1:00 friday afternoon. also means that these conditions are imminent, not just possible. extremely dangerous whiteout conditions are expected, 10 to 20 inches of snow, gusts 50 to 80 miles per hour. the passes may close for several hours in conditions like that. back to our forecast animation starting at 7:00 tomorrow evening, at that point rain will already have moved into parts of the north bay and during the late night and overnight hours, moving into 5:00 thursday morning, beginning around morning commute, we will see heavy rain and strong gusty winds already covering much of the north bay with moderate to heavy rain reaching southward and eastward to other parts of the bay area as well. by 7:00 thursday morning, the middle of the morning rush, we
will see the stormiest conditions reaching through the entire bay area. heavy downpours of rain, driven by strong gusty winds. localized flooding will probably already have begun, ponding on roadways, that sort of thing. the front will start to slice through the north bay in the middle of the day. by late afternoon, the front with the most intense weather conditions will have passed to our south and east but there will still be heavy, steady rains behind that front. that will continue into friday morning and then we will start to break up early on friday but the damage, whatever damage may accompany this storm, will have been done. wind gusts, we will see 40 to 50 mile per hour gusts by midnight tomorrow night already, then winds will intensify. in some places we will see gusts between 45, 55 miles per hour. by 3:00 thursday morning, 45 mile per hour gusts in oakland. by 7:00 thursday morning, look for 50 mile're hour gusts in san francisco, oakland, half moon bay. you can imagine the potential damage with winds that strong. but they will start to diminish in intensity later thursday.
rainfall projections, five to eight inches possible in the north bay mountains, four to six inches in the santa cruz mountains. lower elevations, two to four inches by 7:00 friday morning. these are the totals we can expect. tomorrow, under increasing clouds before the rain arrives, look for highs mainly in the low to mid 60s. here's the accuweather seven day forecast. very stormy day on thursday. the action begins tomorrow night but it will be at its peak during the day on thursday, probably early in the day. tapering off a bit on friday. a dry day on saturday and another storm comes in sunday night and monday. we are in a very stormy pattern but first things first. the one that has our immediate concern is the one coming in tomorrow night. up next, midair delivery. an expecting mother flying out of san francisco lands with a new carry-on. what other passengers say happened on board. new after 4:30, a big sister's convincing argument to get her little brother off the christmas naughty list.
say it isn't so. len goodman is leaving the judges' table on "dancing with the stars" saying the spring season that's coming up will be his last. goodman says the traveling back and forth to england has just become too much. he is also the head judge of the uk version of "dancing with the stars" and says he wants to spend more time with his family. a spokesman for the show had no comment. a flight from sfo had to make an emergency landing today when an unexpected passenger appeared on board. southwest airlines says a mother started giving birth just after takeoff. the flight was headed to phoenix but stopped in los angeles instead. luckily there was a doctor and a nurse on the plane who assisted
until they reached the ground. that's when paramedics took over. passengers were surprised but say everyone stayed pretty cool. >> it was all very calm. it was really amazing. how many people came to help. >> i heard a baby cry. i'm like there's no babies on this flight. then the woman sitting there calmly turned around, said she just gave birth. >> that's a memorable flight. doctors say the mother is doing just fine. the plane was taken out of service to be cleaned. passengers took another flight to phoenix. >> that's the best kind of flight delay. >> i think so. >> a little one on board. a woman drops her wedding ring, actually two rings, in a salvation army kettle. she did it on purpose. >> it happened last week in boston. this bell ringer says he remembers a woman dropping something other than change. it wasn't until officials counted up that night's donations that they realized what had been dropped in the kettle. two wedding rings worth nearly $2,000. >> looked like a sandwich baggie
that had a couple rings in it and a jeweler's affidavit and a small typewritten note. >> this donor wanted to remain anonymous but gave this really remarkable personal sacrificial gift with a specific need in mind to help children this christmas. >> the woman's note stated that she donated the rings in memory of her husband, who was a giver and found joy in buying toys for kids at christmastime. another legal challenge today for a popular ride service. up next, why the l.a. and san francisco d.a. just filed a lawsuit against uber. also, paying respect. the somber start to the royal couple's final day in new york city. a bay area city becomes one of the first in the nation to strike a deal with air b & b. what it means for those renting what it means for those renting out rooms or their entire homes. and the doctor saw a i weblemish on my cheek.ter, he told me it was skin cancer. i was in shock. i wasn't covered with any health insurance. but once i got covered through covered california, i was able to go get the surgery that i needed.
stories making headlines at 4:30, piling sandbags and cleaning storm drains all part of the effort today to prevent damage across the bay area as severe weather comes our way. pg & e says it has crews on alert to respond to any power outages. the storm is expected to hit late tomorrow night, will be packing heavy rain and strong winds. a senate report released today on the cia's treatment of prisoners after 9/11 reveals the
agency misled the white house over its interrogation tactics including torture. abc news tweets citing a u.n. official quote, individuals responsible for criminal conspiracy revealed in cia report must be brought to justice, face criminal penalties. also, the d.a.s of los angeles and san francisco joined forces today to take on ride services. they are suing one and settling with another. abc news reporter vic lee live in san francisco with that story. >> reporter: well, this is the lawsuit against uber, lift, the other on-demand ride service eventually settled with the prosecutors, the san francisco district attorney and the los angeles district attorney. the l.a. district attorney was supposed to be at the presser here at the hall of justice which was held just a little while ago, but her flight canceled. the lawsuit wants uber or rather, wants the state to certify how uber calculates its passenger fees to make sure that
it's reliable and the district attorney says uber has not been doing that. but the big part of this lawsuit has to do with drivers' background checks. the civil complaint against uber charges the company was misleading customers about its drivers' background checks. uber claims that its system is often stricter than those used for taxi drivers. the d.a. says that's false. >> uber relies on information submitted over the internet by its drivers instead of fingerprinting them to ensure that they are who they say they are. >> reporter: he says taxi drivers in san francisco and most other cities undergo checks using their fingerprints. the lawsuit also accuses uber of fraudulently charging an airport fee when they are not even permitted to take passengers there. >> they were charging $4 to passengers for its uber-x service even when the uber-x drivers weren't paying anything to sfo.
>> reporter: the district attorneys also charged lift was guilty of the same business charges but the d.a. announced the two offices had settled with the company. lift has agreed to a permanent injunction prohibiting it from continuing to make false and misleading statements. in addition, lift will have to pay civil penalties of half a million dollars, $250,000 will be waived if lift complies with terms of the injunction by the end of the year. well, lift did not respond to our e-mail requests but uber did. they sent us an e-mail which said in part uber has met with the d.a.s to address their concerns regarding airport operations. the uber pool product, background checks and operation of its app. uber says it will continue talking with the district attorneys. vic lee, abc 7 news. the recent rains left a mountain of mud and rocks and debris basins in all along the foothills in los angeles county.
crews are clearing them out before the next storm hits. we have more from glendora where crews have a big job ahead of them. >> reporter: one load after another. these truck drivers waited in line to haul away a massive amount of mud and rocks. all of it collected within the last month in several debris basins along the glendora foothills. >> we get the material out of the basins to make sure we have maximum capacity depending on what type of storms might come our way. >> has to be done. absolutely a phenomenal structure. >> reporter: fred says the system works great. the only problem, the county never placed a debris basin in the canyon above his home. >> they are prioritized. we didn't make the first cut. we are hoping for the second cut. >> reporter: now he's racing to finish a wall outside his property. >> any debris that comes down from the road above us won't get in our yard. >> the hillsides behind us are denuded of any foliage. there is nothing much to hold that material up there. >> reporter: the colby fire burned nearly 2,000 acres 11
months ago. mud slides have been a concern ever since, with another significant rainstorm just days away, bob spencer with l.a. county public works says this work being done is critical but he is not concerned. >> we are very confident this entire system is built to withstand that type of event so you know, the system will work. it functions the way it's designed to do. >> reporter: as for fred, he simply wishes he and his neighbors had that same assurance. >> you can't make a debris basin as big as that mountain. it all wants to come down. >> a live look at live doppler 7 hd, all is calm now but that will change by late tomorrow night. spencer christian will have the timeline coming up in the accuweather forecast in just about ten minutes. carolina panthers quarterback cam newton suffered two fractures in his lower back after his truck overturned today following a crash with another vehicle. witnesses told a charlotte area tv station that newton's black pickup rolled over four times.
charlotte police say a car was also involved in that crash. the driver of that vehicle is expected to survive as well. no word yet on who's at fault or really, information as to what happened. the 25-year-old newton won a national championship at auburn, won the heisman trophy as well with the nfl's top draft pick in 2011. the panthers have not said when newton will be able to play again. the royal couple is wrapping up their first official tour of the u.s., one that involved some of america's biggest stars in sports, music and politics. >> britain's duke and duchess of cambridge just arrived at new york's metropolitan museum of art, there for a black tie fund-raiser for the university of st. andrew's. they both got their degrees there. marcy gonzalez has more from new york. >> reporter: on this soggy new york day, a somber stop. the duke and duchess of cambridge visiting the 9/11 memorial. william holding an umbrella over kate as she left flowers and a hand-written note in sorrowful memory of those who died and in
admiration of the courage shown to rebuild. this is the last full day of the royal couple's first official visit to the u.s. and included a visit to this youth center as well as another iconic new york city landmark. the view was less than ideal on this dreary day. the prince visited the empire state building. >> i definitely enjoy new york. i think they really were the last there is in this country and this city for them. >> reporter: they were feeling the love last night. >> everybody is focused on william and kate. >> reporter: courtside at the nets/cavaliers game in brooklyn, no kiss on the kiss cam but there was some surprising affection from lebron james, breaking royal protocol putting his arm around the duchess. king james sending them home with unique souvenirs, including one for baby george, who is back home in england. the fans also loving this moment. the royal couple chatting with jay-z and beyonce. >> it's like the royal families were meeting. it was amazing. it was really exciting. >> reporter: marcy gonzalez, abc news, new york.
naturally you go to twitter and what do you get? references to awkward moments. here's a shot of the duchess perhaps a little uncomfortable. a sweaty lebron james was giving her a hug. others tweeted out duchess of cambridge reacted awkwardly to lebron james tactile breach of royal protocol. and euro sport tweeted awkward, lebron james breaks royal protocol by wrapping arm around duchess of cambridge. cute little number 1 for little george was fantastic. i will remind everybody that lebron james is known as king james, okay? >> he's not actually king so maybe not up on the royal protocol. >> he has his own protocol. coming up on abc 7 news at 4:00, one mother's incredible trek to the south pole on a piece of farming equipment. plus, naughty or nice? one little girl's argument to get her brother back on santa's good list. >> i'm spencer christian for the east bay hills camera, looking
at a colorful western sky as the clouds increase ahead of a powerful storm coming our way. the accuweather forecast coming up in just a moment. at 4:37, a live look at the afternoon commute and rain not a problem right now in san rafael. got about another 24 hours to go before that becomes a factor. you are looking at 101, oncoming traffic is southbound heading into san rafael and traffic -- actually that's northbound. the other way is going back towards the golden gate bridge and san francisco. here's some news you may find surprising. we're for an open internet for all. we're for creating more innovation and competition. we're for net neutrality protection. now, here's some news you may find even more surprising. we're comcast. the only isp legally bound by full net neutrality rules.
sometimes the little ones can get just a little too attached. these panda cubs have become very attached to their keeper and weren't very happy when he tried to leave them on their own. they're grabbing on to his leg. >> don't go! >> he tried to put them in their encloseure. >> no! a pretty sight right here. a guy posted his view as he and friends walked on a frozen lake near the mountains in slovakia. it's beautiful. but look at this. it's like they're walking on air. the ice is so clean that it really appears that the guy is suspended in midair. >> that's really cool. >> totally amazing. >> incredible. it is that time of year when little children are trying to get on santa's good list. >> this is so adorable. 4-year-old rachel knows her little brother, he hasn't been
that good and she's trying to help him out, get him back in good graces. here's her conversation with her mom. >> he has been awful naughty tonight. >> no, i don't want it. >> why? >> because i'm his big sister. >> what does that mean? >> it means i don't want him to. >> to be what? >> to be naughty. >> he's on the naughty list. he's been so naughty tonight. >> i don't want him to. >> what do you want me to do about it? >> i want him to be on the good list. change him on the good list. >> i can't. do i make the list? >> no. >> who makes it? >> santa. >> so what do i have to do about that? what do you want me to do? >> i want you to put him on the good list. >> who do i have to call to do that? >> the elves. the elves do that. >> get the elves on the line. hopefully her persistence pays off for her 2-year-old brother. her mother has put in a request
to the north pole and they are waiting to hear back on the decision. >> that is such a good big sister. >> just because i'm his big sister. that's great. >> i like the hands on the hips. like i need this done. spencer christian, he's on the list. there's no question about that. >> the good list. here's live doppler 7 hd. we have cloudy skies around the bay area right now. all is calm at the moment but a powerful storm, one of the most powerful we have seen in years, is moving in our direction. you can see how close it's getting, producing rainfall already up in the northwestern part of the state out ahead of the main body of the storm. these are our concerns, main concerns from the storm for thursday which will be the day we have most of the storm activity. damaging winds, gusting 50 to 80 miles per hour, heavy rain, we are expecting four to eight inches of rain from this storm, so flooding is likely. in the sierra, blizzard conditions are expected. this will be a powerful storm. statewide tomorrow, notice by afternoon tomorrow, the stormy conditions will already have arrived in the northwestern
corner of the state and will have started to push down towards the bay area, farther southward and eastward. the farther south you go, the milder and calmer the weather's going to be tomorrow. here in the bay area, clouds will increase tomorrow, high temperatures in the narrow range, the mid 60s, and the storm arrives tomorrow night. keep flashlights with fresh batteries handy, bottled water and nonperishable food. be prepared for this storm. >> spencer, thank you very much. still ahead on abc 7 news at 4:00, the apology from an obama care consultant today after making what he says were stupid comments. plus, fighting chronic fatigue. the breakthrough by local doctors of an often misdiagnosed disorder. and looking for a few good helpers. how you can help make the holidays brighter for kids in one bay area city.
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it's time. lower your blood sugar with invokana®. imagine loving your numbers. ask your doctor about invokana®. an apology on capitol hill today came from an economist who helped shape the government's health care plan, commonly called obamacare. m.i.t. professor jonathan gruber found himself in republican crosshairs after comments he shared during speaking appearances last year. gruber said the quote, stupidity of the american voter and a quote, lack of transparency helped pass the affordable care
act in 2010. lawmakers confronted gruber during a house oversight committee meeting today. >> i sincerely apologize for conjecturing with the tone of expertise and for doing so in such a disparaging fashion. it's never appropriate to make oneself seem more important or smarter by demeaning others. i knew better. i know better. i'm embarrassed and i'm sore. >> gruber also told law makers today he was not the architect of mr. obama's health care law. a breakthrough for those of you battling an illness some people don't even think is real. bay area doctors are now silencing the skeptics of chronic fatigue syndrome. abc 7 news anchor cheryl jennings has the story. >> reporter: endurance was never a problem for anne kraemer. for years she competed in long distance runs from california to europe and then at age 30, her health suddenly changed. >> that was the hardest time was when you -- when i couldn't get out of bed.
at times i was crawling to use the bathroom. >> reporter: she went from doctor to doctor for months, searching for the cause of her fatigue. without a diagnosis, she would eventually undergo a battery of tests just to prove she was sick enough to be placed on disability. >> i was called a >> and finally turned to dr. montoya, who diagnosed krchroni fatigue syndrome. he says there is no blood test and while patients can experience debilitating fatigue for years, some doctors are still skeptical that it's a legitimate condition. >> the most important moment when i see a new patient is when we tell them we believe they have a real disease. >> reporter: new discoveries
could potentially give doctors a tool to identify and diagnose it. this doctor and his team use sophisticated imaging techniques to compare the brains of cfs patients with a control group. what they found were three consistent abnormalities in the scans of chronic fatigue patients including a pathway that connects different parts of the brain. >> people who have worse fatigue, this measurement was more. the third thing we found is this track connects two points of the brain. we found that those two points in the brain that happened to be connected by this track were also abnormal. >> reporter: he says the abnormalities would not have been picked up on a normal mri and it's still unclear what caused them. but with targeted imaging, the stanford team is hoping the abnormalities can eventually be used as biomarkers to confirm the diagnosis. ann is now being treated with antiviral drugs and says the early diagnosis would help
remove the frustration so many patients feel. >> it's really only the first step for us and the doctors recognize that as well. we need it to be legitimate and to see how to diagnose it and the next step hopefully is a treatment. >> reporter: cheryl jennings, abc 7 news. a dutch adventurer reached the south pole today after driving this tractor more than 1500 miles from the coast of antarctica in 16 days. the 38-year-old mother set out to make the very same trip from her home in the netherlands back in 2005 but made it as far as africa and literally missed the boat to antarctica. nearly a decade later she has accomplished her goal. she and her team endured unbelievably treacherous conditions, deep climbs, deep snow, get ready for this, minus 130 degree temperatures. >> oh, goodness. >> average speed on the tractor, about six miles an hour.
>> when it's 130? >> you're not going to be on that tour. thank you. >> i don't think so. the post office is looking for a few good elves to help santa answer the letters he gets for christmas. >> some of the letters really tug at your heart like this one from 6-year-old angel. >> my mom said she would get me anything i want when she starts working, santa, and i want something for christmas this year. i really need uniforms for school, santa, because the pants i have don't fit me. >> as you heard, not all kids ask for toys or electronics. some ask for clothes or food. anyone who wants to help santa answer these letters and send a child a present can get them from the san francisco post office. >> santa is on a limited budget so we try to put the more needy letters to the top of the pile. those are the ones we offer up first. but we try to get at least one letter to every child that writes to santa. >> what a great cause. if you are interested in taking part in the letters to santa
program, view those letters next tuesday at the san francisco main post office on evans avenue. coming up on abc 7 news at 4:00, air b & b in san jose. how much more you will be paying to book a rental. i'm dan ashley in the abc 7 newsroom. new at 5:00, protesters have been blocking streets and freeways for days now. at 5:00, the highway patrol explains what you should do if you ever come upon a crowd while out driving. and don't let your holiday packages show up like this. 7 on your side's michael finney has holiday shipping tips. those stories and more when cheryl and i see you for abc 7 news at 5:00.
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which means it's timeson for the volkswagen sign-then-drive event. for practically just your signature, you could drive home for the holidays in a german-engineered volkswagen. like the sporty, advanced new jetta... and the 2015 motor trend car of the year all-new golf. if you're wishing for a new volkswagen this season... just about all you need is a finely tuned... pen. get zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first month's payment on select new volkswagen models. san jose could become the third city to impose taxes on air b & b. >> tonight the city council is expected to vote on a proposal that would add a 10% tax to a guest visit. >> abc 7 news reporter tiffany wilson is live at san jose city hall with more.
>> reporter: well, san jose officials say they didn't have much of a template to work from but they believe they got the proposal right. rebecca morgan started turning extra bedrooms into extra cash last fall. since then, she has hosted 60 guests. some she now considers friends. >> they hug me when they leave and you don't see that at hotels. they don't hug people all the time when they leave. >> reporter: soon, those who search and select her air b & b site may find themselves paying 10% more. during tonight's meeting, san jose council members will discuss a proposal to tax air b & b guests. >> we all want a reasonably level playing field for anyone in the business of providing hotel rooms. whether that's in their private residence or in a large hotel. i think it's reasonable for us to ensure that everybody is playing with the same rules. >> reporter: the vice mayor believes the proposal will pass, making san jose only the third city in the country to tax air b & b stays like hotel visits.
>> this proposal didn't just come out of nowhere. it's been in the works for a very long time. we are at a point where we are confident we can move forward with it. >> reporter: the money collected would go into san jose's general fund. the city anticipates generating $1 million in just the first year. >> those are general fund dollars. that's the money we pay police officers, firefighters, parks, libraries and we pave our streets with it. there is many many uses for those dollars. >> reporter: morgan supports the tax but does have one concern. guests may opt to stay in neighboring communities like santa clara where they don't have to pay the extra 10%. >> we hope all of the cities adjacent cities adopt the same rules so we are all on the same level playing field. >> reporter: air b & b has already begun collecting taxes on behalf of guests and hosts in portland and san francisco. tiffany wilson, abc 7 news. thank you for joining us for abc 7 news at 4:00. i'm ama daetz. >> i'm larry beil. abc 7 news at 5:00 begins right now with cheryl and dan. coming up next at 5:00, the
impact of the east bay police protests and why demonstrators will not be able to shut down tonight's berkeley city council meeting as planned. also, a bay area mother reacts to the criminal charges filed against the uber driver who it hhit and killed her daug. i'm abc 7 news meteorologist sandhya patel. live doppler 7 hd tracking a powerful storm that's prompting watches and warnings. i'll have details on the timeline coming up. students by the hundreds walked peacefully out of class at logan high school in union city to protest the lack of justice in cases involving white police officers and unarmed black men. their motive to say that black lives matter. thanks for joining us. i'm cheryl jennings. >> i'm dan ashley. the council meeting has been canceled after protesters threatened to shut it down. it's not clear if they will take
to the streets. >> laura anthony finished talking with the mayor and police chief and joins us from city hall. laura? >> reporter: well, i can tell you officially the mayor and police chief in berkeley said they canceled tonight's city council meeting because it's usually held in a room that holds about 125 people. on social media, demonstrators say they planned to come to the meeting, try to shut it down, so the mayor said they were actually canceling or postponing the meeting to find a room that had larger capacity. they also admitted that they had some concerns they might be overwhelmed again by demonstrators. monday night's demonstration in berkeley was perhaps the biggest yet this week. but also arguably the most peaceful. at least compared with the vandalism of the two nights before. yet there was still a fair amount of disruption monday, especially for those driving on interstate 80.
an action that resulted in the arrests of 150 demonstrators. others blocked railroad tracks and amtrak trains. >> we haven't seen protests of this size with this level of violence in many decades. even when we call in mutual aid in this case particularly, we were vastly outnumbered by the number of protesters. >> reporter: in oakland to visit students, reverend jesse jackson reflected on the form the demonstrations have taken in the bay area since the grand jury decisions of ferguson and new york city. >> don't lose the message and the technique. ultimately, you can't beat tanks with bricks. secondly, we lose the message in acts of violence. thirdly, there is no redemptive trans forming power in violence. >> i learned to control my anger. >> reporter: 14-year-old lamar miller told us he has been watching events in berkeley and oakland, too.