Another San Francisco building appears to be sinking

By AP : kron4 – excerpt (includes video)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A few blocks from the 58-story Millennium Tower, dubbed “the leaning tower of San Francisco,” another building appears to be sinking.

According to a report, an 18-story building in the city’s financial district appears to have settled three-eighths of an inch due to construction of two high-rises on either side.

The 18-story building serves as the western headquarters of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation… (more)

in a recent hearing on the Millennium Tower, engineers said that long durations of the de-watering process, may de-stablize nearby buildings. Now a new analysis by the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) calims that thirty-nine high rises in San Francisco are at risk of collapse in a major earthquake.

  • At issue is a building technique that involved welding columns and beams together rather than using bolts and rivets. The strategy was cheaper and faster, but makes the buildings more flexible and at risk during an earthquake… Dive Insight- excerpt.



Another Building is Sinking in San Francisco

Nearly 40 San Francisco buildings at risk in earthquake

  • At issue is a building technique that involved welding columns and beams together rather than using bolts and rivets. The strategy was cheaper and faster, but makes the buildings more flexible and at risk during an earthquake.
  • At issue is a building technique that involved welding columns and beams together rather than using bolts and rivets. The strategy was cheaper and faster, but makes the buildings more flexible and at risk during an earthquake.
  • The welding technique was outlawed by the city in 1994 after the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles damaged critical joints in several buildings that had been welded… (more)

Post Sustainability Institute: The Surviving Lawsuit

ninecountycoaliton – excerpt

Soon after the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved Plan Bay Area in July 2013, opponents of the Plan filed lawsuits.  Of the four lawsuits filed, two were settled out of court, one lost on appeal, and one is still active and awaiting oral arguments at the California Court of Appeals District 1.

The surviving legal challenge to Plan Bay Area is The Post Sustainability Institute et al. v. Association of Bay Area Governments et al, Case, No. A144815.  At present, the last Order filed was on 01/30/18, in response to an MTC/ABAG (Respondents) request for dismissal of the case.  The Order:

Respondents’ motion to dismiss appeal and request for judicial notice in support thereof, filed on August 14, 2017, which are opposed, are taken under submission and will be decided with the merits of the appeal.

In other words, the case is still alive, and we at the Nine-County Coalition hope our readers consider supporting the efforts of the Plaintiffs, Rosa Koire and Michael Shaw, in moving this case forward.  You can find more information on the case at

Background: What is this Case About and Why Still in Appellate Court?

Unlike the other three lawsuits filed against ABAG and MTC, this case seeks to prove that Plan Bay Area claims to be able to accomplish an unfeasible feat, denies Bay Area residents equal protection, undermines private property, and aims gradually to modify California’s Constitutional representative government to allow for rule by unelected bureaucrats.  

The Globalization of California website explains the central Constitutional issues involved in this case… (more)


OPINION: How to fix the toxic Hunters Point Shipyard mess

By Tony Kelly : 48hills – excerpt

The US Navy recently announced the first steps of its plan to re-test some contaminated soil of the Lennar Shipyard, after a faked called “the biggest eco-fraud in US history” was carried out under their noses. Whistleblowers and community groups have sounded the alarm on this scandal for years, and finally the Navy and the Board of Supervisors have admitted that “public trust has been completely eroded” with this development. Yet against overwhelming evidence, the city’s Department of Public Health still claims that “there are no public safety concerns or health concerns out here.”

The city is content to wait for revised cleanup plans, from the same agencies and officials who signed off and certified the faked cleanup.

This should be completely unacceptable to any resident of the Shipyard, the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhoods, or San Francisco (more)

State will test developed portion of Hunters Point Shipyard, but critics say it won’t be enough

 by j.k. Dineen : sfgate – excerpt

…The California Department of Public Health told The Chronicle that the work, which is scheduled to be wrapped up in the fall, will “address the radiological health and safety of the environment” of the area known as Parcel A, where 450 homes are either completed or under construction. The Navy will pay for the work.

But experts and shipyard residents are already questioning whether the proposed method of testing — using sodium iodide detectors — will adequately determine whether the soil at Parcel A is clean.

Dan Hirsch, retired director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at UC Santa Cruz, said that the “gamma radiation” scanners the state is proposing will not detect two of the most harmful isotopes found at the Hunters Point Superfund site, strontium-90 and plutonium-239.

While the sort of Geiger counter the state is planning on using can be helpful in determining whether some radioactive materials are present in the ground, actual soil samples need to be gathered and analyzed in a lab to determine whether soil is truly clean, he said.

“It’ll be like walking around with a blindfold and saying, ‘I can’t see anything,’” he said. Sodium iodide detectors “are never used alone or instead of soil samples — unless you are trying to do a PR stunt for the press and the political figures.”… (more)

This might be a good time to actually overdo the tests instead of taking the cheap way out, to return some basis for trust in the system that so obviously failed before.


The Housing Balance Act

All the Government schemes to balance housing, jobs, infrastructure and taxes to pay for it all has resulted in gentrified cities with mounting debts that depend on unlimited growth spurred by greed to survive, or at least maintain a semblance of order and financial balance.

Social Housing in the Untied States: by Peter Gowan & Ryan Cooper of People’s Policy Project, explores the problem.

People’s Policy Project is a think tank founded in 2017. The primary mission of 3P is to publish ideas and analysis that assist in the development of an economic system that serves the many, not the few:

Major change is always coming, but, fast-paced disruptive change can turn a natural evolutionary process into a revolutionary nightmare.

Read the 43 page online book here: Social Housing in the Untied States


The not-historic laundromat project is being delayed again, developer threatens lawsuit against SF

By Dianne de Guzman : sfgate – excerpt

The will-they-won’t-they dance of whether a Mission laundromat will be turned into local housing has reached another roadblock in its quest, and this time the developer is threatening a lawsuit.

The 75-unit building proposed at the Wash Club situated at 2918 Mission St. recently passed the hurdle of the city determining whether it was a historic site. Spoiler: It’s not — but now the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are onto a new topic regarding the building.

Namely, its shadows.

An appeal was filed by Mission organization Calle 24 which called into question whether the shadow cast by the potential building would have an impact on two neighboring schools.

Sup. Hillary Ronen addressed the issue in a Board of Supervisors meeting, asking whether both schools were considered in the Planning Commission hearing for the building, according to SF Weekly… (more)

There is a bit more to it than is covered in this article. Stay tuned as YIMBY Action and caRLA get ready to flex their newly armored muscles thanks to Scott Wiener’s bills that are being rammed through the state legislation. Next up is a newly amended SB 828, that is stuck so far in the Assembly as the clock ticks toward looming deadlines. See page for actions to oppose the bill:

Legislative Website Info

PG&E picked a dumb fight with SF; will the city now pursue public power?

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The passage of Prop. A means SF now can start building its own electric distribution system – and the folks at PG&E are giving the supes every reason to do so.

Toward the end of a hearing last week on how PG&E is delaying public projects, including affordable housing,by imposing unreasonable connection demands, Sup. Aaron Peskin did something city officials should have done years ago:

He told PG&E to stop messing with San Francisco – or the city will start moving to create its own retail public-power utility and in essence kick the private company out of town.

He couched in the way Peskin likes to do: “I don’t want to go back to the days of pitched warfare between the city and PG&E,” he said. “But I want to send a message to the [company] leadership: I don’t want to be put in a position to go back to those days.

“You can work it out [with the city]. You should do it expeditiously.”… (more)


AB-813 is working through the state Senate. Authored by Holden, and supported by Patterson , Quirk , Stern , and Wieckowski, AB-813 was written for large energy companies to place limitations on relationships between smaller, independent energy companies’ ability to work with regional Multi-state transmission system organizations to obtain better deals on renewable sources. This bill is currently in the state Senate Judiciary Committee.



Supes to radically change notice requirements on development

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The Board of Supes will vote Tuesday/19 on a piece of legislation that would change the way planners give the public notice of upcoming projects. Nobody’s paid much attention to this, but neighborhood advocates say it’s a very big deal…

This matter was continued till June 26, to give the public more time to comment on the various suggestions for speeding up the public review process. Please stay tuned for updates on this legislation, and that “it also eviscerates some of the public notice requirements for commercial projects, including eliminating the requirement that notices be published in a newspaper.”

The legislation, Hestor says, “assumes everyone has computer” – when in fact about 100,000 San Francisco residents lack Internet access. “The legislation assumes that everyone has a printer that can print 11×17 plans. Many, many architects do plans with important details in color, which is expensive to print out.”…

Sup. Aaron Peskin asked for a delay in the Planning Commission’s consideration, saying that most of the public had no idea what this would really do. The commission passed it anyway. So did the supes Land Use and Transportation Committee.

I asked Peskin about Hestor’s concerns that this is a bad piece of legislation, and he said: “I absolutely agree.”

These are significant changes in the Planning Code that have slid by with little public input. The Yimby folks are big supporters. Worth watching, among other things, what Mayor-elect London Breed does on this.

If she supported a continuance, this could get delayed until after Farrell is out of office, she is the mayor, the new D8 supe, Rafael Mandelman, is in office, and her replacement in D5 has been sworn in.

Or she could let it go through as is, to the delight of her Yimby supporters…(more)


CEQA Case Report Year in Review 2017: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development

by Latham & Watkins LLP : jdsupra – excerpt (large pdf attached) or see online.. (more)

California higher courts rule in favor of public agencies on small majority of environmental impact report cases.

Over the course of 2017, Latham lawyers reviewed all 46 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cases, both published and unpublished, that came before California appellate courts. These cases covered a wide variety of CEQA documents and other topics. Below is a compilation of information from the review and a discussion of the patterns that emerged in these cases. Latham will continue to monitor CEQA cases in 2018, posting summaries to this blog.

Please see full Report below for more information… (more)


Delta Tunnels draft environmental document with ‘design changes’ posted online

by Dan Bacher: indybay – excerpt

“Many of these design changes may appear great on paper, but in reality, they will not save the Delta as long as Metropolitan Water District of Southern California maintains their ‘right’ to increase the magnitude of Delta water they take during dry periods,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta (RTD).

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) yesterday posted online a new document that details the environmental impact of proposed design changes purporting to minimize impacts felt by Delta communities and the ecosystem if Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels project is built…

The agency will send a notification out when the public Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS is available for formal public review and comment as required by CEQA and NEPA… (more)

How to sell a bad water project? Pass a restrictive water bill.

Water Rationing Laws Exemplify the Malthusian Mentality of California’s Legislators

By Ed Ring : capoliticalreview – excerpt

As reported in the Sacramento Bee and elsewhere, on May 31st Gov. Jerry Brown “signed a pair of bills Thursday to set permanent overall targets for indoor and outdoor water consumption.”

After pressure from the Association of California Water Agencies and others, the final form of these bills, Assembly Bill 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, and Senate Bill 606 from state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, offers water districts more flexibility in enforcing the new restrictions. But the focus of AB 1668, limiting indoor water use to 50 gallons per resident per day, is a step too far. Way too far… (more)

Looks like a solution in search of a problem. By writing laws requiring expensive new plumbing the state is adding to the exorbitant costs of housing lawmakers claim they are trying to tame. No wonder the public trusts in government is plummeting. They are drowning us in the swamp they claim to be drowning and hoping we won’t notice.

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