A giant excavator was parked in the yard of a motel near the MacArthur BART station on Monday afternoon, where dozens of people were taking pictures with the machine that may soon start tearing down the motel rooms. The MacArthur Transit Village project will eventually transform a 7.76-acre site near the MacArthur BART station into a mixed-use area with new housing units and retail shops, along with restaurants and possibly a day care center.

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VANMAN

In 20 minutes, Rick Butler can crochet a yarn ball into a hat that he says is unique. Like a mini handicraft exhibition, the hats are collected on a blanket laid on the edge of a plaza strewn with cigarette butts. The colorful hats easily stand out from the surrounding grey concrete. “Every hat is different,” says Butler. “I take a picture of every hat I make so I remember.”

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Safeway supermarkets plans to demolish its Pleasant Valley shopping mall  — which at 185,000 square feet is about half the area of the Great Pyramid at Giza — and replace it with one almost two-thirds larger. The new mall would be 304,000 square feet with 1,066 parking spaces, or 50 percent more spaces. Neighborhood critics…

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by CLARE MAJOR, MAGGIE FAZELI FARD, and SAMSON REINY Dec. 1 — It was still dark when Josh and Jessica woke up this morning, and there was a damp chill in the air. By 7 a.m., the couple stood outside the MacArthur BART station, each holding a sign printed with an AIDS statistic. Morning commuters…

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