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The Iron Curtain was traced by an electrified barbed-wire fence that isolated the communist world from the West.
It was an impenetrable Cold War barrier — and for some inhabitants of the Czech Republic it still is.
Deer still balk at crossing the border with Germany even though the physical fence came down a quarter century ago, new studies show.
Czechoslovakia, where the communists took power in 1948, had three parallel electrified fences, patrolled by heavily armed guards. Nearly 500 people were killed when they attempted to escape communism.
Deer were also victims of the barrier. A seven-year study in the Czech Republic's Sumava National Park showed that the original Iron Curtain line still deters one species, red deer, from crossing.
"It was fascinating to realize for the first time that anything like that is possible," said Pavel Sustr, a biologist who led the Czech project. Scientists conducting research on German territory reached similar conclusions.
The average life expectancy for deer is 15 years and none living now would have encountered the barrier.
"But the border still plays a role for them and separates the two populations," Sustr said. He said the research showed the animals stick to traditional life patterns, returning every year to the same places.
"Fawns follow mothers for the first year of their life and learn from them where to go," Sustr said.
Wildlife officials recorded the movement of some 300 Czech and German deer with GPS-equipped collars which sent data to computers.
"I don't think it's a surprising result," said professor Ludek Bartos of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, who was not involved in the research. "These animals are really conservative."Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:32:18 -0700
People living on a former landfill known as the Albany Bulb will have to move out by Friday as part of a settlement with the city of Albany.
The Albany City Council voted in May 2013 to begin a process of incorporating the Bulb into the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park and to start enforcing the city's no-camping ordinance there in October.
In October, the council approved a $570,000 transition plan that included assistance and temporary transitional shelter for homeless people.
A group of several law firms, including Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, the East Bay Community Law Center and the Homeless Action Center then sued the city on behalf of the landfill residents in November.
The civil rights lawsuit, lodged in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, asked for a temporary restraining order and/or an injunction barring Albany from removing homeless people from the site until the city found adequate shelter for them.
The complaint asserted that the city's offer to set up temporary shelter in portable trailers parked next to the entrance road to the landfill was insufficient.
It also said many Bulb residents would not have been able to access the trailers due to physical disabilities, there would not have been enough beds for all evicted residents, and that the trailers would not have offered people the right to privacy they enjoyed in their homes on the landfill.
As part of the settlement, 28 of the residents will be entitled to $3,000 in cash in exchange for leaving with all their personal property by Friday. They also have to stay away from the Bulb for a period of 12 months.
Craig Labadie, Albany City Attorney, says the city is pleased to have arrived at a resolution of the case. "We feel the settlement establishes a framework for the cooperative relocation of individuals at the Albany bulb," he said.
Osha Neumann of the East Bay Community Law Center said the settlement aroused more mixed emotions in him.
"I'm glad we got some of them a bit of compensation. That's more than they usually get when kicked out of town," he said. "But the fact that they're getting kicked out of town is the problem. And that struggle isn't over."Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:28:23 -0700
Authorities gave the all clear at a Daly City medical building late Wednesday afternoon when a search for a reported gunman who had fired shots inside the building turned up nothing.
Daly City police told KTVU the incident began just after 1:30 p.m. when a doctor called from inside the medical building at 1500 Southgate.
That doctor told police he'd encountered a man on the second floor who was carrying a gun. Police said the doctor fled and heard a gunshot.
The report prompted a reverse 911 call urging workers in the 40 offices to lock their doors.
KTVU spoke earlier to one medical staffer on the phone who said she and her coworkers were calm and hunkered down, awaiting word from police.
Authorities proceeded to search the building room by room for evidence of a shooter.
"We still believe there are people in the building sheltered in place per a reverse 911 phone call instructions. We are going room by room and clearing any stragglers," said Daly City Police Lt. David Mackriss.
Footage shot by NewsChopper 2 showed some of those workers and patients being led out with their hands on their heads. Officers were seen checking handbags before the people were ushered onto shuttle vans.
Shortly before 5 p.m., police informed KTVU that no gunman had been found after scouring the building. No evidence of any shooting such as bullets, shells or a victim were turned up by the search either.
Neighbor Terri Dalcolletto said she was shocked by the activity.
"I've lived here my whole life. I've never had anything like this happen, said Dalcolletto. You always think it's going to happen somewhere else, y'know what I mean?"Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:24:15 -0700 News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories