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Ashamed to admit I live in San Francisco

September 22, 2018

The Crassness of this place is becoming embarrassing.

When I read articles like this in the press I cannot believe they happened in our formerly well-respected and beloved city. The local media is beside itself these days. Not only do we get to put up with Washington antics, but, we get a daily dose of confounding local jive that is becoming sicker by the day.

Hunters Point Shipyard is now famous for being one of the largest, most potentially toxic  places in the area. There are a number of lawsuits ongoing an at least two people in jail charged with a coverup of the testing of the site. A radioactive device was just uneathed  near the affordable housing section, and now we see reports that claim Lennar is moving ahead with their development plans. This plays very nicely with the cutbacks in nuclear safety and testing at the Federal level. You might say that Trump’s Energy Department is on their side.

In spite of the health threats and obvious lack of concerns for the welfare of the residents you may live on top of one of the US Navy’s most toxic radiation laden parcels of land, the story that really riled me up this week is the one about the new “urban camp” at Candlestick.

Try to read this article it will make your head spin and maybe your blood boil, but, it is hard to imagine a funnier sad tale than this one is. In the week that Mayor London Breed declares a homeless crisis, the city celebrates the opening of a new multi-billion dollar park and this urban campgrounds that you can rent to sleep out under the fog in one of the coldest windswept parts of the Bay. The author of this article dose it justice with a tongue firmly stuck in cheek approach. It is hard not to snicker.

Candlestick Point opening campsites (bring a warm blanket)

by Amy Graff : sfgate – excerpt

Candlestick Park may be gone, but San Francisco 49ers and Giants fans haven’t forgotten how they shivered in the cold at the windswept former stadium.

In fact, when baseball games went extra innings, fans who stayed received a special pin for braving the frigid weather. The Croix de Candlestick pins carried the motto, “Veni, vidi, vixi” — “I came, I saw, I survived.”

Now California is inviting folks to pitch a tent and camp out at one of six designated sites opening Oct. 1 at Candlestick Point Recreation Area.

But don’t let Candlestick’s bone-chilling reputation scare you off from this oasis of nature within the city, says Patrick Marley Rump, executive director of the local nonprofit Literacy for Environmental Justice that helped build the sites with the help of a grant and California State Parks… (more)

This state land could give stability to a lot of homeless people living in RVs and cars, but, it looks like the state prefers to turn it into a $35 a night campground. Amenities include bathrooms with flush toilets, an outdoor mini golf course, food trucks and beer garden.. Campfires aren’t allowed, hence the need for blankets and a tent. Maybe you can rent one from your homeless neighbors, or better still, pay their rent and stay in your nice cozy pad.

 

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Congress Passes Measure to Protect Board that Monitors Nuclear Safety

September 19, 2018

via Congress Passes Measure to Protect Board that Monitors Nuclear Safety

Editorial: We can live without legislators who don’t live in their districts

September 17, 2018

By Chronicle Editorial Board : sfchronicle – excerpt

SB1250: The author of the newly passed bill, SB1250, has made much of the fact that legislators have to be on hand in Sacramento or Washington, where they often maintain residences, and argues they therefore require special dispensation. But residency controversies usually have little to do with time spent in the capital. Wright, for example, was accused of living elsewhere in Southern California, not anywhere near Sacramento

California lawmakers have drawn exactly the wrong lesson from allegations that some of their colleagues don’t reside in the areas they claim to represent. Instead of taking care not to make the same mistake, they’re trying to rid themselves of the apparently onerous requirement that they live in their districts.

Legislation by state Sen. Steven Bradford, a Los Angeles area Democrat, decrees that wherever a member of the Legislature or Congress chooses to vote will be accepted as his or her primary residence as long as the legislator has lived there at some point. For purposes of determining where politicians actually reside, the bill says, such minor details as where they pay taxes, get mail, and house their belongings and children are not to be considered.

The Assembly voted overwhelmingly to send the bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk last week amid the crush of activity just before the legislative session ended. Only seven Assembly members and two senators voted against it… (more)

From Fish to Humans, A Microplastic Invasion May Be Taking a Toll

September 17, 2018

via From Fish to Humans, A Microplastic Invasion May Be Taking a Toll

Tech expansion: Up and out of SF

September 16, 2018

By Owen Thomas : sfchronicle – excerpt

Politics, economics and real estate could make jobs boom elsewhere

If Salesforce seems to be everywhere, you’re not imagining things. The software company is now San Francisco’s largest private employer.

But its ebullient chief, Marc Benioff, sees a ceiling to the growth that led his company to overtake Wells Fargo, San Francisco’s last big bank. It now has 8,400 employees in the city. With three skyscrapers clustered in the southern Financial District, he sees Salesforce adding thousands more — though he worries about where he’ll put them.

“They’re not creating more San Francisco,” he said…

So the company is growing elsewhere, too. In Indianapolis, it has 1,700 employees in the state’s tallest building. That edifice, too, is called Salesforce Tower. Glass and steel can’t feel, but if it did, you’d think the original would feel jealous. London has a Salesforce Tower, and a New York one opened last year. More are on the way: Salesforce won’t say where, but Chicago and Atlanta are logical spots, based on where it’s adding employees.

The unemployment and office vacancy rates in San Francisco are near historic lows, while tech stocks, including Salesforce, have set new highs. Housing prices continue to soar, with few homes coming on the market. For San Francisco’s fastest-growing businesses, there are two places to put employees: up, or out. The answer is often both, with software engineers more typically getting the pricey space in new towers at headquarters and support and sales going to cheaper, roomier cities… (more)

Climate-change denial, right here in California

September 13, 2018

By Calvin Welch : 48hills – excerpt

Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom and so many other Democrats say climate change is a real threat — but their policies on the local level don’t reflect that.

“In California, facts and science still matter,” said Gov. Jerry Brown in a prepared statement. “These findings are profoundly serious and will continue to guide us as we confront the apocalyptic threat of irreversible climate change.” (on the release of California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, SF Comical, August 28, 2018)

While Gov. Brown loves to bash Trump’s climate change denial as “irrational,” while smugly claiming that “facts and science still matter” in his state, the actual facts on applied climate change denial reveal the exact opposite. Brown and his Sacramento corporate Democrat allies, assisted by the likes of the Chronicle and SPUR, are adopting a pro-corporate agenda that, in fact, denies climate change impacts in an increasingly irrational manner.

While talking climate change, they act as if it simply did not exist.  And they get away with it. Time and again…

The assessment projections of climate change impacts are the most detailed and up-to-date available; they include 44 technical reports, nine regional reports, three topical reports and a Statewide Summary. It lays out the known facts and current science of how rising temperatures affect weather patterns and sea temperatures, which cause sea levels and tides to rise, change rainfall frequency and patterns, and in a California context results in both droughts and periodic “atmospheric rivers.” …

the assessment places a huge emphasis on the role of neighborhoods and communities in both devising plans and implementation strategies, claiming that the role of community organizations and social networks “is now emerging clearly” and may be “a most important factor.”.. (more)

The voices of community organizations and social networks are being silenced or ignored by our state representatives silenced or ignored, so this would be a welcome about-face for them.

What is rational about building on landfill on the waterfront at or near sea level if you believe in climate change and sea level rise and promote yourself as an expert? Now that we have added sinking to the equation, isn’t it time to move the focus on new development to higher elevations away from the ocean?

The wolves of Wall Street, here in San Francisco

September 13, 2018

By Jessica Lindquist : 48hills – excerpt

Why consumer financial protection is a civil rights issue — and the city needs to take it seriously

Consumer financial protection is a 21st-century civil rights issue. These protections are regulations thatprotect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive financial products and services. They favor the consumer over the financial services industry. The financial services industry comprises a widerange of businesses that manage money,which include banks,credit unions, and credit card companies, as well as more nefarious companies such as debt collectors, payday lenders and check cashers.The industry controls many aspects of people’s lives — from the ability to access credit, to cashing a paycheck, to keeping their homes, and everything in between. Consumer rights are vital for protecting and building financial assets, particularly for low-income communities, people of color, the elderly, and immigrants.

In response to the 2008 financial crisis, the Obama administration created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency responsible for protecting consumers from abusive, deceptive and predatory practices of the financial services industry. The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database has been an important resource for the American public for the past seven years. The Consumer Complaint Database is a publicly available collection of complaints made by Americans across the country on a range of consumer financial products and services… (more)

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