Through the cracks journalism
The latest catch.
by Melody Gutierrez : sfgate - excerpt
Sacramento -- After seven years in the making, the $25 billion plan to build two massive tunnels diverting water out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is up for public review. And one thing is clear: You better grab your reading glasses.
The 9,000-page Bay Delta Conservation Plan and 25,000-page environmental impact report pack a hefty punch, particularly considering the public has 120 days to comment on the documents, which state officials said contain significant revisions since first drafts were released this year...
By Tim Ryan : cbslocal – excerpt
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The streets around San Francisco’s bustling Union Square are back in order after a temporary construction moratorium on the Central Subway Project was called through the holiday-shopping season.
The big dig – the San Francisco Muni light-rail extension – will go on another five years until things come to fruition. Business owners and residents are upset in Chinatown and North Beach, where the subway line extends, because no such moratorium like the one in union square was planned…
No Dig has appealed to City Hall for a similar halt to construction through the holidays, but their efforts, he said, have fallen on deaf ears.
North Beach residents said it’s only fair to treat the north and south ends of the project equally, but concede they don’t have money or the influence of Union Square, not even close… (more)
Sign the petition to Stop the Digging in North Beach.
TWO NEIGHBORHOODS – DIFFERENT TREATMENTS
SIGN THE PETITION: Stop subway construction during the holidays.
Heather Knight : sfgate – excerpt
Have you seen December’s San Francisco magazine? If you caught even a glimpse at the checkout stand, you’ll remember.
It features a large – nay, massive – photo of Mayor Ed Lee‘s head. It’s so close up, you can see every piece of hair in his mustache.
The magazine – called “The Power Issue” – is worth a read. It’s full of interesting profiles of some of the city’s biggest names.
We learn, for instance, that Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is proud of introducing Transcendental Meditation to the jails and enjoys listening to inmates recite the Serenity Prayer.
We learn that Sonya Molodetskaya, former Mayor Willie Brown‘s girlfriend for the past 10 years, isn’t able to commit to jobs for anywhere near that length of time. She lasted as a hostess at the House of Prime Rib for just three days.
Clearly, it’s not the jobs funding her closet full of “enough chinchilla, sable and silver fox coats to inspire a PETA protest.”
The issue inspired us to create our own list. We surveyed more than a dozen movers and shakers – some from inside City Hall, some from outside – to ask who they think runs the show in San Francisco. We promised not to use their names, in part to elicit accurate responses and in part to avoid anybody answering, “Me!”
Here’s who holds the power in San Francisco. None of them wears chinchilla coats. That we know of.
By Willie Brown : sfgate - excerpt
I made the mistake when I was mayor of promising to "fix Muni" in 100 days. Now, Mayor Ed Lee has a task force that says it's going to take another $10.1 billion to get the job done.
Yes, we clearly need a lot more money for our public transit system, particularly since our clogged streets are making San Francisco almost unlivable.
By Joe Rosato Jr. : nbcbayarea.com – excerpt
San Francisco recycling center has been fighting an eviction notice from Safeway…
Gregory Thomas wheeled a shopping cart up Market Street – a collection of empty bottles and cans rattling in large sacks.
“Me and the old lady we go out and pretty much five, six nights a week,” Thomas said. “Collect everything.”
Thomas wheeled his bounty into San Francisco Community Recyclers, the non-profit recycling center that has occupied a corner of a Safeway parking lot near Market and Buchanan since 1987. On a good day, Thomas said he could take home $100.
“It pays the bills, it puts food on the table,” Thomas said.
But since the summer, the center has been fighting an eviction notice from Safeway. In a statement, Safeway listed its reason for the eviction as “to improve the quality of the site, make the customer’s experience better, and in response to the community.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a group of protesters paraded through Safeway’s parking lot, hoisting signs calling for “cans not condos.” Protesters pointed out the recycling center is now flanked by a new Whole Foods, and a high-end condo project under construction.
“We’re seeing as areas get more gentrified and more affluent people moving in,” said Jennifer Friedenbach of the Coalition on Homelessness, “real estate interests really want to push the presence of poor people out.”
But San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner who supports the eviction, said the issue is not gentrification but the center itself…
“Weiner has suggested the city turn to recycling alternatives, such as reverse vending machines that allow people to cash-in recycled goods for the deposit.”… (more)
Reverse vending machines can be used to replace low-skilled humans with corporate-owned robots. A very tidy future city we can expect since robots require less energy and produce less waste than humans, and if they can talk the corporate landlords into housing their robots in the new stack and pack housing the city can run with a lot less people creating congestion on the public roads and sidewalks. The arrangement might also kill off a lot of service jobs since robots would not be going out to wine and dine and take in the nightlife either.
The city’s goal is to move as many people who don’t live in dense stack and pack housing out so developers can replace single family homes and low-rise apartments with stack and pack housing, and then entice young, anti-car, unmarried bike loving techies to move in. Not that the demographic really exists in the numbers they think it does, but that is the goal.
Everyone who lived through the first two dotcom boom and busts in San Francisco recognizes the pattern well and knows that we are in the midst of the third techie boom which will be followed by a bust, but not before many more of us have left the premises.
People living off the trash of others do not fit the vision of the new world-class San Francisco being built for tomorrow. The verbiage has changed but the methods and results are familiar. Where we once tried to preserve the live music scene in SOMA, we are now trying to preserve the neighborhood character and buildings of historical significance. The gentrification wrecking balls swings ever closer to our homes and a new order of NIMBYs follows in its wake. Residents of historical neighborhoods like the Haight, Castro, and Duboce Triangle, once tolerant of odd lifestyles, now demand removal of the poor and their means of support. Wonder how Harvey Milk would feel about that.
By Rose Garrett : sfist – excerpt
Last week came word that construction of the far-off Central Subway project may be displacing an urban rat army. But before freaking out completely (and just slightly after reading the Wikipedia entry on rat kings), we decided to follow up with someone beyond the Chron’s one-man civilian witness. We reached out to Dr. Robert M. Corrigan, an Urban Rodentologist from RMC Pest Management Consulting, for answers to our burning rat-related questions. Here’s what we learned.
On SF’s rats in general: “There are two species of urban rats that live in San Francisco; 1) the Norway rat (or brown rat); and 2) The roof rat (or black rat). If construction impacts the rats below ground, it is usually the ground dwelling Norway rat (weight about 10-16 ounces; length about 16 inches including the tail). The roof rat weighs about 8-12 ounces and is about the same length as the larger Norway rat because its tail is long. This rat, if present in a building, is usually in the upper stories. If the building is taken down, they will disperse. They also live in tall palm trees, thick bushes along the fences, etc. If major construction tears down bushy vacant lots, etc., this rat can be displaced).”
The good news: “There are no ‘super rats’ from deep deep below the city; nor any super rats emerging as a result of climate change (at least not in this early stage in the game).”
The bad news: There are rats that live in palm trees (!), and someone (perhaps a rat insider?) just spent $450,000 to put thirty-odd palms along the new Bay Bridge span. Hello rat condos with a view…