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Week in review
January 03, 2009, 12:00 AM
New Year’s arrests are up

The number of Bay Area drunk driving arrests on New Year’s Eve more than doubled from the same time last year, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP reported 438 arrests of individuals driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol from 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Arrests are up from last year’s total of 362 for the same 12-hour period. In the Bay Area, CHP officers arrested 84 drivers for driving under the influence, up from last year’s total of 41, according to police.

Police from 125 agencies from across the state have arrested 2,486 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs since Dec. 12. There have been five deaths, so far, attributed to impaired drivers on Bay Area roads.

There were two fatal collisions in Bay Area when there were none during 2007’s year-end campaign to stop drunk drivers.

A Nineteen-year-old San Francisco man was arrested after driving over the cliff at Devil’s Slide early Sunday morning. He was among the five injured after the vehicle left the roadway and landed nearly in the ocean. Airbags and safety belts prevented possible fatal injuries from occurring. Felony DUI charges await the driver.

Office tower on hold

Completion of a $300 million two-tower office and retail space project on the heel of San Bruno Mountain will be postponed due to leasing problems.

San Francisco-based Myers Development made the postponement announcement days before the 12-story tower, which began development in April, is set to be complete. Postponing construction of the second tower is prudent in this economic climate, said Jack Myers, chairman and CEO of Myers Development Company.

"With lease negotiations, our progress is slower than we would like,” he said. Building a second building without leasing the first seemed like a bad decision, Myers said.

Given the economic climate, Marty Van Duyn, economic and community development director for South San Francisco, said the slowdown in construction was expected. Since the city was not banking on revenue from the development in its budget, the delay is not overtly harmful for the city, Van Duyn said.

Work for the visible development off of Highway 101 first came before the city in 2006.

Approved plans call for two towers on eight acres of land bringing in two large office buildings. The area would feature a grocery store, small retail shops, a 150-seat theater and a plaza area. Since the land entitlement is 21 acres, the excess 12 acres would be returned to the city.

Visa moves headquarters to S.F.

Foster City’s largest employer, Visa USA Inc., signed a 10-year lease that will move its headquarters to San Francisco, but city officials said they are not worried.

Visa will move its headquarters into the top three floors at 595 Market St. in San Francisco. The move means the company’s administrative offices will be located in San Francisco but other employees will remain in Foster City, said Assistant City Manager Kristi Chappelle.

The move was news to Councilwoman Pam Frisella, who said she must have missed reports of the real-estate deal because of the holiday.

City Hall did not miss the news and began contacting Visa when it caught wind of the move last week.

Chappelle said she was assured it was a small move.

Frisella said although Visa is the city’s largest employer it has limited corporate contact with the community.

Visa owns three buildings at the intersection of Metro Center Boulevard and Vintage Park Drive. It employs approximately 3,000 people, Chappelle said.

Police search for burglar

A San Mateo neighborhood was on alert earlier this week as police searched for a residential burglar who entered a home while a mother and her two daughters were there, according to San Mateo police.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, police were called to the 200 block of Claremont Street. One of the home’s three occupants walked to the front of her home and found a man wearing black pants, a black shirt and a black hoodie in her front room.

The man’s back was turned, and the victim could not give police a description of the man’s face, said San Mateo police Lt. Mike Brunicardi.

The victim called 911 and police responded to search for the intruder. Police closed a portion of Claremont Street and Monte Diablo while searching the area for the man. A Belmont K9 was called to search the house and property. The man was not located, Brunicardi said.

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