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SF for Sensible Transit prepares Lawsuit to block MUNI BRT throughout San Francisco

January 18, 2017

The redcarpetmess.org website and the petition page have been updated and include a new video introducing San Franciscans for sensible transit. Please share this link with anyone who supports a more sensible approach to transportation in San Francisco:  https://youtu.be/1aezGHnmsD8

LA Activists Shun SF Millennium Developer

January 15, 2017

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The Coalition to Preserve LA is a citywide movement that aims to reform L.A.’s broken, rigged and unfair planning and land-use system through Measure S, which has been placed on the March 7, 2017, ballot. Vote YES on S

Main points of Prop S:

  • Transparency: Right now, wealthy developers are allowed to write the Environmental Impact Reports for their own projects, a glaring conflict of interest that lets them downplay environmental damage that these projects cause.
    Measure S bans this practice and requires that the traffic and environmental impact be assessed by independent experts, and that the assessment be paid for by the developers.
  • Corruption: Official documents show that billionaire developers have showered the City Council with millions in donations. Then, in backroom meetings, the Council breaks its own rules to allow these same billionaires to build more luxury high rises.
    Measure S will ban these backroom deals and force the City Council to follow its own rules.
  • Traffic: More than 500 intersections in L.A. are gridlocked by irresponsible developers, who are currently allowed to ignore the impact that their buildings have on neighborhood traffic.
    Measure S will end this practice and force developers to prove that each community can absorb the new development.
  • Affordable Housing: L.A. has a growing glut of luxury housing, but regular people can’t pay the rent. Yet the City Council remains only vaguely aware that developers have destroyed 22,000 rent-controlled units since 2000 — to build luxury complexes.
    Measure S will rein in this reckless overdevelopment while encouraging more affordable housing.
  • City Council Negligence: In most major American cities, the City Council is required to update its General Plan for development every five years to adapt for change. But L.A.’s Council has abandoned this duty and our plan is now 20 years old.
    Measure S will force the Council to create an updated plan for balanced growth, instead of allowing developers to dominate the planning process.

We urge you to support Measure S on the March 7, 2017, city ballot.

 

The Spy Who Wrote the Trump-Russia Memos: It Was “Hair-Raising” Stuff

January 14, 2017

By David Corn : motherjones – excerpt

When I broke the story in October, I spoke with him. Here’s what he said.

Last fall, a week before the election, I broke the story that a former Western counterintelligence official had sent memos to the FBI with troubling allegations related to Donald Trump. The memos noted that this spy’s sources had provided him with information indicating that Russian intelligence had mounted a yearslong operation to co-opt or cultivate Trump and had gathered secret compromising material on Trump. They also alleged that Trump and his inner circle had accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin. These memos caused a media and political firestorm this week when CNN reported that President Barack Obama and Trump had been told about their existence, as part of briefings on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia hacked political targets during the 2016 campaign to help Trump become president. For my story in October, I spoke with the former spy who wrote these memos, under the condition that I not name him or reveal his nationality or the spy service where he had worked for nearly two decades, mostly on Russian matters…(more)

Ambushed: Contra Costa County Law Enforcement Sets Up Surprise Stings To Help Federal Immigration Agents Arrest and Deport Immigrant

January 14, 2017

By eastbayexpress – excerpt

Local law enforcement should not be involved in these kinds of activities.

Chris Kim thought it was unusual last year when the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office called him in for an unscheduled meeting. But he showed up — and walked into a trap.

The 38-year-old Hayward resident was convicted of possession of stolen property in 2015. But in-lieu of jail, he opted for the sheriff’s custody alternative program, which allowed him to stay in his apartment and keep his two jobs, one at a hotel, the other a warehouse. All he had to do was wear an ankle monitor and meet in person with a case worker in the sheriff’s office every few weeks.

But Kim says that when he showed up for the meeting at the county’s Custody Alternative Facility in Martinez last June, Specialist Liz Culley ushered him to a back room, not the cubicle where they usually met. When she opened the door, his heart jumped: Several Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents stepped forward and arrested him.

“They’re here to deport you,” he remembers Culley saying… (more)

 

What Donald Trump Owes Wall Street

January 11, 2017

posted by Public Banking Institute – excerpt Wells Fargo. JPMorgan Chase. Fidelity Investments. Prudential PLC. Vanguard Group. These are among the major financial institutions that own busin…

Source: What Donald Trump Owes Wall Street

The year that local zoning control comes under attack

January 9, 2017

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

A new move to usurp the ability of cities to control development moves forward, quickly and quietly

2017 is already shaping up as a year in which local control of development will come under unprecedented assault in California and in the Bay Area in particular.

We have rookie State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 35, submitted only a few hours after Wiener was sworn in to office on December 5. Still in placeholder form, the measure would put legal teeth into the state’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation and force cities to “meet” the allocation allotted to them by the state. This radical proposal—as Tim Redmond has observed, it could set off a housing war—did not appear on Wiener’s campaign website, nor, to my knowledge, did he ever he mention it on the campaign trail.

And now a new, Bay Area-centric attack on local control is on the way, via the Association of Bay Area Governments’ proposal to have the U.S. Economic Development Administration certify our region as a federal Economic Development District (EDD). Planning for this initiative began in June 2015, when ABAG staff broached the idea to the agency’s Executive Board and Regional Planning Committee.

The EDA requires a planning organization that is applying for an EDA-funded EDD to assemble a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee to oversee the preparation of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The committee must represent “the main  economic interests of the region” and “include Private Sector Representatives…as a majority of its membership,” as well as public officials, community leaders, representatives of workforce development boards, representatives of institutions of higher education, minority and labor groups, and private individuals. (U.S. EDA “CEDS Summary of Requirements”).

Last summer ABAG convened a 38-member committee. The group met in July and September. Its next meeting is on Tuesday, January 10, from 1 to 3 pm in the Yerba Buena Conference Room at the Metro Center, 375 Beale, San Francisco. The agenda was posted on the ABAG website on January 6…

The staff proposals that interested me the most were the ones that would severely curtail local control of development by standardizing permitting and zoning in the region across city boundaries(more)

Thank you Zelda for letting us know how our government is operating on levels that receive little public media attention and less public notice. As many of you must know by now, there is a growing national fight against forced density and infill development. There is also a growing fight against regional non-elected authority usurping local zoning controls. LA has a ballot on the subject coming up on March 7, so these matters are coming to a head at a very fast pace. Details on the LA ballot are at: http://www.voteyesons.org/

These kind of regional efforts to remove local control are going on all over the country. Please comment here if you can to help us spread the word: http://www.opednews.com/Quicklink/The-year-that-local-zoning-in-Best_Web_OpEds-Anti-development_Culture-War_Lifestyle-Preservation-170110-986.html#comment638935

Does Newsom want to be the guv who turns SF into Miami Beach?

January 6, 2017

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The Lt. Gov is pushing a lawsuit to strip voter control over waterfront development

Gavin Newsom seems to want to be the governor who turned the San Francisco waterfront into Miami Beach.

Newsom, who as Lite Guv chairs the State Lands Commission, is suing his former hometown to try to block the voters from limiting height limits on the waterfront…

Now Newsom is essentially saying that the State Lands Commission can decide who controls the San Francisco waterfront. That’s what’s at stake here.

When I asked him about this last year, he shrugged it off, saying he just wanted to enforce state law. But enforcing his vision of state law means a whole lot of inappropriate development – which is the Housing Action Coalition and the building trades, which strongly supported 8 Washington (with its ultra-luxury condos) are siding with Newsom on this case.

I suspect this isn’t the kind of issue that will define the race for governor – but in his hometown, Newsom is going to have to face some questions.

(more)

Didn’t Newsom already try that and lose? I think he is barking up the same lame tree that cost the Democrats the election. Newsom and the Democrats who have been pushing all this dense development on us are not paying attention to the hundreds, if not thousands of “preservationists” around the country who are fed up with forced change. I don’t know a better way to say it. Look up “Save our neighborhood” and see how many cities are actively engaged in the “preservation” movement. Of particular interest is voteyesons.org. Los Angeles needs to know about Newsom.

vote-yes-on-measure-s

The Coalition to Preserve LA is a citywide movement that aims to reform L.A.’s broken, rigged and unfair planning and land-use system through Measure S, which has been placed on the March 7, 2017, ballot.

The whole country is rebelling against forced to change and loss of personal liberty. For a list of many other cities do a search for images for “save our neighborhood”

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