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Through the cracks journalism

The latest catch.

To Donald, from Ben: Don’t fund Honolulu’s train

April 24, 2017

By Catherine Cruz : kitv – excerpt (includes video) HONOLULU – Former Hawaii governor Ben Cayetano took out a full page ad in Friday’s Washington Post newspaper.  The letter calls…

Source: To Donald, from Ben: Don’t fund Honolulu’s train

Task force would study launching public bank in SF

April 24, 2017

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Supervisor Sandra Fewer last week revived the idea of creating a municipal bank by requesting the budget analyst to update a 2011 study on the idea, but on Tuesday Supervisor Malia Cohen took that effort a step further.

Cohen introduced a resolution calling on Tax Collector José Cisneros to convene a 15-member task force to study creating a municipal bank over a six-month period. Members would include those who work in the Treasurer’s Office, City Controller’s Office, Mayor’s Office of Housing and “an expert on cannabis banking and financing.”…

The task force would explore creating a Municipal Public Bank as separate city department to perform such duties as manage the treasurer’s short-term investment portfolio, provide loans for small businesses and “underserved San Francisco residents,” and accept deposits “with special attention to the operational needs regarding financing for cannabis-related businesses.”

The idea of public banks has grown in popularity since the 2008 mortgage crisis and the effort has become more invigorated as a possible solution to banking for those in the cannabis industry who deal in cash since banks won’t do business with them while the drug remains illegal under federal law…(more)

Marin gearing up for Plan Bay Area revisions

April 24, 2017

By Richard Halstead : marinij – excerpt

When Plan Bay Area was adopted in 2013, opponents in Marin were so numerous they had to charter a 48-seat bus to get everyone to the meeting.

Now four years later, officials are preparing to update the long-range transportation and land-use/housing blueprint for the nine-county Bay Area. This time around, however, the process is expected to generate far less controversy since the revised plan will impose no new demands on Marin to rezone to accommodate new housing…

Plan Bay Area is the product of state legislation passed in 2008. SB 375 requires two regional government agencies — MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments — to adopt a plan that integrates transportation, land use and housing to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the California Air Resources Board.

Plan Bay Area seeks to channel a majority of the Bay Area’s housing and job growth into “priority development areas.” These are areas typically located along existing traffic corridors, near mass transit, jobs, shopping and other services that have been identified and approved by local cities or counties for future growth… (more)

This is where Plan Bay Area loses touch with reality in a way that causes the public to question the validity of the argument for it. The claim is that the purpose for the plan is to ” to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.”  The goal says nothing about increasing density or housing and jobs. All it says is reduce greenhouse gasses. As Thomas Rubin pointed out at the infamous THE GREAT DEBATE! “Plan Bay Area” San Rafael, we have pretty much already reached those goals. The industry has created cleaner fuels and much more efficient engines that use a lot less fuel, and we also have renewable fuel vehicles and more are on the way. The growth factor has nothing to do with reducing greenhouse gasses, but everything to do with benefiting developers and wealthy landowners. That is why the citizens of Marin revolted. They were not buying the plan because it made no sense.

Timeline: Lawyers for Developers Share Tactics to Blunt CEQA

April 19, 2017

Why the rush to build on the lowest levels of the bay?


By Kevin Stark : SFpublicpress – excerpt

In 1995, the Diablo Valley Ranch, a drug rehab facility in Contra Costa County, planned to expa…

Source: Timeline: Lawyers for Developers Share Tactics to Blunt CEQA

Sacramento Pushes Rent Control in Response to CA Housing Problem

April 17, 2017

By James Poulos : capoliticalreview – excerpt

Debate over California’s housing situation ratcheted up amid conflicting data and a flurry of new legislation designed to mitigate high prices and low supply.

Analysts have separated into two camps around Golden State real estate, one more bullish than the other. “Two recent reports — from Fitch Rating, a Wall Street credit reviewer, and Arch MI, a seller of mortgage insurance — attempt to gauge the stability of regional housing markets by tracking changes in real estate metrics vs. other economic measurements,” the Orange County Register reported. “Using a California prism, the studies draw wildly different conclusions. Fitch concludes California housing is among the most overvalued housing markets in the nation. Yet California is not on Arch MI’s list of riskiest places to own.”…

Back to rent control?

The push toward increased rent control has been spearheaded by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica. “Bloom wants to repeal the state law known as the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, named after a moderate-leaning Democratic former state senator from the Central Valley and a short-time Republican assemblyman from Orange County,” the Sacramento Bee recalled. “During 1995, Jim Costa, now in Congress, and Phil Hawkins, who served just two years in the state Assembly, became the face of a disputed political campaign lodged largely by landlords and real estate interests to weaken – statewide – the ability of cities to pass strong rent-control laws. It came nearly two decades after the rent-control movement, born in cities like Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Berkeley, was spreading across the state.”… (more)

Let your state representatives know it if time to Repeal Costa Hawkins. We can’t afford to put it off any longer.


It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

April 14, 2017

Source: It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

repeal costa hawkins.png

None of this development is solving the problem of returning housing to its original purpose of housing people instead of investment dollars. The only way to change that may be to repeal Costs Hawkins. That would open each community up to experimenting on their own and with so many new options available, someone may come up with something that works better than what we have now.

For that reason we are supporting the Costs Hawkins appeal. If you agree, let your state representatives know.

Eviction Crackdown

April 13, 2017

reported by Bigad Shaban, Michael Bott, and Mark Villarreal the Investigative Unit : nbcinvestigates – excerpt
(includes videos and an interactive map to check for fraudulent evictions)

View from Bernal Heights by Zrants

Hundreds of San Francisco residents may have been wrongfully evicted from their homes, according to an analysis by NBC Bay Area. San Francisco lawmakers are now taking action after our 6-month investigation exposed what appears to be widespread abuse by landlords.

Landlords who wrongfully evict rent-controlled tenants in San Francisco could soon face criminal penalties and hefty fines.

Two separate pieces of legislation, scheduled to be introduced during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, call for major changes to the city’s housing laws that would impact renters and landlords citywide. The push comes as a direct result of a six-month NBC Bay Area investigation that exposed what appears to be widespread abuse by landlords kicking out rent-controlled tenants in order to charge new tenants higher rent…(more)


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