Marin supervisor calls for consolidation of powerful regional boards

By Richard Halstead : marinij – excerpt

The boards of two of the Bay Area’s most powerful regional agencies should be consolidated into one entity, according to Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, one of 12 Bay Area elected officials charting the course for the agencies’ future.

In 2016, the boards of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted to merge their organizations’ staffs and no later than July 1, 2019, begin discussions on whether the two agencies should restructure their governing boards to better serve the region.

That process began on Wednesday with the first meeting of the Joint ABAG MTC Governance Committee. The committee is made up of six ABAG board members and six MTC board members. The board members were selected by the organizations’ respective chairs.

Rodoni is the only Marin representative on the committee. Marin Supervisor Damon Connolly, who was appointed to the MTC board in January 2017, was not selected to serve on the committee.

“I think the main issue is should we have a combined board,” Rodoni said at Wednesday’s meeting. “If we don’t, then how do we work with two boards and make them function well so we don’t confuse staff?”

Rodoni noted that the MTC and ABAG boards often disagree on important issues, such as which legislation to endorse…(more)

Opinion: Californians’ Transportation Choices Should Be Left to Them—Not Bureaucrats

By Kerry Jackson : timesofsandiego – excerpt

Last month, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Metro system “is hemorrhaging bus riders.” The news was presented as, if not a crisis, at least an urgent matter that needs to be promptly addressed. Yet that’s hardly the case.

It’s troubling, we’re supposed to infer, that “passengers have fled” public transportation “for more convenient options — mostly, driving.” According to the Times headline writer, this bloody mess is “worsening traffic and hurting climate goals.”

“The bus exodus poses a serious threat to California’s ambitious climate and transportation goals,” says the Times. “Reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions will be next to impossible, experts say, unless more people start taking public transit.”…(more)

It started with a couple of chants, “if you build it they will come”, and “parking is a privilege not a right”. Now we see the results of the “Transit for All” gas turned into, “everybody pays in the hope that everyone else will use it.” When will people wise up to the fact that the transportation improvements are a dismal failure because they are not based on what the people need or want.

Massive SF recycling project to save 30 million gallons of drinking water per year

By Dominic Fracassa : sfgate – excerpt

Fifty feet below the platform of the Powell Street BART Station sits the starting point for one of the largest water recycling projects in San Francisco — one that’s transforming dirty groundwater into clean steam heat for hundreds of downtown buildings. In the process, it’s saving tens of millions of gallons of drinking water annually.

For decades, BART officials treated the naturally percolating groundwater that pools beneath the BART stop as a nuisance and a potential flooding risk. After seeping into an underground cistern, millions of gallons of water a month was pumped into the city’s sewer system.

But just across Market Street from the station, one of the largest water users in the city, Clearway Energy, saw a precious resource going to waste and an opportunity to reduce its substantial water bill.

Clearway operates Energy Center San Francisco on Jessie Street behind the Old Mint Building. The center provides steam heat to about 180 downtown buildings. Historically, that meant vaporizing vast quantities of potable water and sending pressurized steam through about 10 miles of pipes. It isn’t a cheap endeavor. Last year, the company’s water bill was around $2.2 million, said Gordon Judd, the energy center’s general manager.

Company officials realized that if they could collect and clean the water draining beneath the train station, they could significantly scale back Clearway’s use of drinking water…(more)

Heat Island Effect Contact Us

EPA – excerpt

Heat Island Mitigation Strategies: How to Keep Your Cool

Learn about the five strategies to reduce the heat island effect: trees and vegetation, green roofs, cools roofs, cool pavements, and smart growth…

The term “heat island” describes built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 22°F (12°C). Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water pollution… (more)

The cement industry produces more CO2 emissions than most countries. It may not survive

By Charles Riley : can – excerpt

London (CNN Business)Investors worried about climate change are warning the world’s biggest cement producers to reduce their emissions or face extinction.

A group of investors that manages $2 trillion on Monday pressured cement makers to accelerate efforts to reduce their emissions. The coalition is made up of members of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and Climate Action 100+, a leading campaign group with 320 supporters.
Cement production, which uses huge amounts of heat and energy, is responsible for 7% of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. If the cement industry were a country, it would trail only the United States and China in emissions of the greenhouse gas.

“The cement sector needs to dramatically reduce the contribution it makes to climate change. Delaying or avoiding this challenge is not an option,” Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of IIGCC, said in a statement. “This is ultimately a business-critical issue for the sector.” …(more)

SF to shut down 82 oil wells on Kern County property

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

‘Keep It in the Ground’ legislation prohibits the extraction of oil, gas and minerals from city land

San Francisco’s days of enriching the public library and Golden Gate Park with oil money from city-owned land in Southern California are drawing to a close.

Under a little known arrangement, The City has for years received oil royalties by leasing hundreds of acres it was bequeathed in the Bakersfield’s Kern River Oil Field to Chevron. Lately, that’s been to the tune of $24,000 a month.

But in 2016, the Board of Supervisors passed “Keep It in the Ground” legislation introduced by then-Supervisor John Avalos requiring The City to no longer allow extraction of oil, gas and minerals from the leased property and to figure out an alternative… (more)

More housing approved for Hunters Point despite contamination concerns

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco has approved initial plans for the construction of more homes at the Hunters Point Shipyard, despite pending litigation over health concerns there.

San Francisco has approved initial plans for the construction of more homes at the Hunters Point Shipyard, despite pending litigation over health concerns there, and reports of fraud in the ongoing toxic cleanup of the former U.S. naval base

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton earlier this year ordered an independent investigation led by a panel of experts from U.C. Berkeley and UCSF into the botched cleanup of the Superfund site. Navy contractor Tetra Tech is accused of botching the radiation cleanup at the shipyard following audits by the Navy and the Environmental Protection Agency made public early last year…(more)

Refined Plans for Redevelopment of San Francisco Tennis Club Site

socket site – excerpt (includes graphics)

Plans to level the 41-foot-tall San Francisco Tennis Club at 645 5th Street and build up to 243 feet in height upon its 2.6-acre Central SoMa site could be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission in two weeks time.

In addition to over 840,000 square feet of new office space to be developed in two phases, with the westernmost building first, the proposed “88 Bluxome” Street development would yield over 16,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space and 8,000 square feet of space dedicated to production distribution and repair (PDR), with a basement garage for 163 cars and 318 bikes, a nearly 30,000-square-foot community/recreational center to be dedicated to the City’s Recreation and Parks Department, a 4,600-square-foot child care center, and an all-new private tennis club with (12) tennis courts hidden underground

Keep in mind that 490,000 square feet of the project’s proposed office space has already been pre-leased to Pinterest. And of course, the development is dependent upon San Francisco’s Central SoMa Plan surviving a couple of legal challenges(more)

Lot in San Francisco could become new parking site for people living in vehicles

By Kumasi Aaron : abc7news – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Housing is a big issue where we focus our efforts to build a better Bay Area. San Francisco’s homeless population is the highest in the bay area, and it’s been rising.

Now, there’s a new idea in San Francisco aimed at giving people who don’t have a home, who sleep in their cars, a safe place to park…

Supervisor Ahsha Safai proposed this idea of making the lot the city’s first ever Vehicle Triage Center…

Supervisor Safai told me he wants to hear from the community.

That’s why he’s holding a community meeting this Saturday from 11 to 1 at Balboa High School to hear from residents before moving forward… (more)

Holly Street parking ban stirs conflict: Residents on San Carlos’ gateway street pushing back on proposal

By Michelle Durand :sfdaileyjournal – excerpt

Street parking on San Carlos’ main gateway is at the center of the latest struggle between officials looking to ease traffic congestion and eastside residents who feel the neighborhood yet again is feeling the brunt of city changes.

The San Carlos City Council is being asked tonight to finalize parking restrictions on Holly Street from Industrial Road to Old County Road which will ban on-street vehicles 7 am. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in both directions so that two lanes of traffic can pass through the corridor.

But those who live on or near Holly Street say the city needs to look at other long-term options first and make gradual changes as needed rather than keep residents and visitors from parking on the street for the better part of the day…(more)

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