California utilities are attacking solar with discriminatory fees

The Solar Bill of Rights (SB 953) will ban fees that discriminate against solar users
Senate Bill 953 is a bipartisan proposal currently being debated in the California State Legislature that would prevent utilities from charging solar users discriminatory fees. Read the bill
Printable fact sheet on SB 953
Printable fact sheet rebutting common utility arguments against solar and against SB 953

Second District Affirms Judgment Invalidating City of Agoura Hills’ Mixed-Use Project

By Arthur F. Coon and Miller Starr Regalia : jdsupra – excerpt

Second District Affirms Judgment Invalidating City of Agoura Hills’ Mixed-Use Project Approvals and Related MND Based On CEQA and Local Oak Tree Ordinance Violations

In a 74-page opinion filed February 24, and later ordered published on March 17, 2020, the Second District Court of Appeal (Division 7) affirmed judgments (granting the writ petition and awarding fees) in coordinated appeals stemming from a CEQA action successfully challenging the City of Agoura Hills’ (City) project approvals and mitigated negative declaration (MND) for a mixed use development project on an undeveloped 8.2 acre parcel. Save the Agoura Cornell Knoll v. City of Agoura Hills (Doron Gelfand, et al., Real Parties in Interest) (2020) ___ Cal.App.5th ___. The Court rejected the City’s and Real Parties’ procedural arguments that Petitioners and Respondents Save the Agoura Cornell Knoll (STACK) and California Native Plant Society (CNPS) had failed to exhaust administrative remedies, and that their claims were barred by lack of standing and the statute of limitations; on the merits of the CEQA claim, it held that substantial evidence in the record supported a fair argument that even as mitigated the project may have significant impacts on cultural resources (i.e., a Chumash Native American archaeological site), three sensitive plant species, native oak trees, and aesthetic resources, and that an EIR was therefore required; and it further held the trial court properly granted writ relief based on the City’s violation of its own Oak Tree Ordinance by approving a project that would concededly remove 35 to 36 percent of the site’s oak tree canopy when the Ordinance prohibited removal of more than 10 percent. Finally, the Court held that the trial court properly awarded Petitioners STACK and CNPS $142,148 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure § 1021.5, made payable 50% by City and 50% by Real Parties, notwithstanding that Petitioners furnished their first amended petition to the Attorney General (AG) beyond the 10-day statutory period for doing so…(more)

COVID-19 Closures and Cancellations Notice, Effective March 17, 2020

Planning Commission Public Hearing

Please click on the attached link to see the items scheduled for the upcoming hearing:

March 26, 2020, Cancellation, Reinstatement, and Continuances
1:00 p.m. City Hall, One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place Room 400

General information about our public hearings, accessible meeting information, and language assistance can also be found by visiting https://sfplanning.org/planning-commission.

For questions, please contact Chanbory Son at chanbory.son.

CPC Cancellation Calendar for April 2, 2020

It appears that the current plan is to move scheduled items to the April 9 meeting.

Kaiser Permanente drops plans for new headquarters in Oakland

By Laura Waxman : bizjournals – excerpt

Kaiser Permanente is pulling out of its planned $900 million Oakland headquarters project, the nonprofit health care giant said Tuesday, in a huge hit to a city and region already reeling from the coronavirus crisis.

The decision to cancel the project is not related to COVID-19, a Kaiser spokesperson said in a statement, but that “delays and increasing costs related to this project” caused the organization to “re-examine the feasibility and focus on renovating our current buildings.”… (more)

Concord sends Lennar Five Point packing

By Richard Eber : capoliticalreview – excerpt

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

T.S. Elliot

With little fanfare without the benefit of advocates from both sides the City Council of Concord terminated their relationship with the countries largest builder Urban Lennar to be Master Developer for the former Naval Weapons property.

By a 3-2 vote with no one in attendance at a teleconference witnessed on the seldom viewed public access channel, the city fathers decided that they no longer required of services of Lennar or their subsidiary Five Point Holdings.

It is estimated that the 5000 acre property will someday be the home for 50,000 new residents, In addition a Cal State campus, commercial, parks, open space and other community benefits are planned on this surplus Naval property.

Why did Concord give the heave ho to Lennar Five Point?

  • The principal issue at the meeting was Lennar’s inability to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with Contra Costa Building Trades Council (CCBCTC) representing the unions in the region. The City wanted the PLA to make sure there was local hire and training while Lennar countered that this pact would not allow them to make a profit.
  • It is believed that Lennar does not have nor is willing to commit the resources to perform the needed infrastructure work for Naval Weapons Station. This was indicated last October when they stopped reimbursing the city for their initial design work which came to some $ 37,000 per month. The project was being managed by Lennar subsidiary Five Point Holdings whose current price in the $ 4.00 range is not enough to buy a Big Mac and a coke at Mc Donald’s.
  • Lennar’s recent history of dealing with Hazmat contamination, broken promises to cities, along with law suits at their developments at Hunter’s Point, Treasure Island, Mare Island, and elsewhere did not bring goose bumps of confidence in Concord.
  • Even though local affordable housing advocates supported the Miami Corporation developing the Naval Base property, they have built less than 10% of promised low income apartments around the state during the past decade… (more)

COVID-19 Highlights Shortcomings

By Marcy Berry : .capoliticalreview – excerpt

Out of greed or foolhardiness oftentimes governments, with the consent of pliable electorates, create incompetent and inadequate social structures. Then when crisis strikes and those structures predictably start to unravel, the response is always the same: “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.”

The latest crisis is COVID-19. The help most of us are experiencing include lockdowns, no medical care to speak of, insufficient hospital beds, scarce medical and protective supplies, empty grocery shelves, and massive economic hardship. This list only includes what hopefully will be short-term adversities. Long-term misfortunes will include failures of businesses that could not weather lockdowns, significant unemployment, increase in government spending, and normalization of draconian responses to events.

Meanwhile, reports on COVID-19 blanket all media. Statistics abound. However, numerous factors turn those statistics into wild guesses at best…(more)

Will muddling through this crisis help humans prepare for the next one? Time will tell.

Hand Sanitizer Mini-Factories Popping Up Around Bay Area

By Sam Lew : sfpublicpress – excerpt

Murph Finnicum’s San Mateo garage looks like a scientist’s underground laboratory might. There are gallons of isopropyl alcohol, floors sticky with glycerin, shelves scattered with half-filled beakers and cylinders of mysterious mixtures.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Finnicum’s home has transformed into a makeshift hand-sanitizer workshop that has produced 400 eight-ounce bottles of the liquid gold to donate to community groups around the Bay Area — with plans to fill up 700 more.

“It started out as a joke, but then I thought, ‘I could really do this,’” said Finnicum, after seeing that hand sanitizer was sold out both online and in stores a few weeks ago. “If someone uses it and doesn’t get sick, you’re saving lives, you’re reducing the spread of the disease.”…(more)

We are hearing stories of people sewing masks, manufacturers building respirators, and distilleries producing sanitizing products. The public is reacting to the crisis with ingenious ways. Now we just need to better understand the importance of social distancing to get past this health crisis. It would help if the government would take a reasonable approach as well.

A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients

By Lizzie Presser: prepublication – excerpt It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube.” As of Friday, Louisiana was reporting … Continue reading “A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients”

By Lizzie Presser: prepublication – excerpt

It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube.”

As of Friday, Louisiana was reporting 479 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of the highest numbers in the country. Ten people had died. The majority of cases are in New Orleans, which now has one confirmed case for every 1,000 residents. New Orleans had held Mardi Gras celebrations just two weeks before its first patient, with more than a million revelers on its streets…

I work 12-hour shifts. Right now, we are running about four times the number of ventilators than we normally have going. We have such a large volume of patients, but it’s really hard to find enough people to fill all the shifts. The caregiver-to-patient ratio has gone down, and you can’t spend as much time with each patient, you can’t adjust the vent settings as aggressively because you’re not going into the room as often. And we’re also trying to avoid going into the room as much as possible to reduce infection risk of staff and to conserve personal protective equipment.”

“But we are trying to wean down the settings on the ventilator as much as possible, because you don’t want someone to be on the ventilator longer than they need to be. Your risk of mortality increases every day that you spend on a ventilator. The high pressures from high vent settings is pushing air into the lung and can overinflate those little balloons. They can pop. It can destroy the alveoli. Even if you survive ARDS, although some damage can heal, it can also do long-lasting damage to the lungs. They can get filled up with scar tissue. ARDS can lead to cognitive decline. Some people’s muscles waste away, and it takes them a long time to recover once they come off the ventilator(more)

This report on the uptick in COVID-19 cases 2 weeks after Mart Gras in New Orleans seems to give some credence to the 2 week period of incubation of the virus. We may expect to see similar stories of young people returning from spring break in Florida getting sick. Share with whoever should see this. I was also looking for some information on what the long term damage should be and found it here. So far the only stats being shared with the public are the death tolls and recovery numbers. No information on long term effects of the disease until now. If this is any indication of what recovery looks like, survivors will need long term care.

Gov. David Ige mandates 14-day quarantine for visitors to Hawaii, returning residents

By Timothy Hurley : staradvertiser – excerpt

In the state’s toughest measure yet in combating the coronavirus, Gov. David Ige today ordered residents and visitors returning to Hawaii to undergo a 14-day quarantine starting Thursday.

Ige described the mandate as a first of its kind in the nation as the state Department of Health reported the state’s tally of coronavirus cases jumped from 37 on Friday to 48 today, most of which are travel-related.

“We need to come together as a community to fight this virus,” Ige said at a news conference in the state Capitol this afternoon. “We want this action to send the message to visitors and residents alike that we appreciate their love for Hawaii but we are asking them to postpone their visit.”

Ige held the press conference alongside leaders in the travel and visitor industry, who said they supported the move as a way to provide for the health and safety of the community… (more)

San Francisco’s Move to Delay Public Records Disclosures Criticized

By Brian Howey :sfpublicpress – excerpt

San Francisco’s warning last week that citizens submitting public records requests should expect delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic is already having an impact on journalists’ ability to access and disseminate public health information.

In a March 13 declaration, Mayor London Breed proclaimed that two sections of the city’s administrative code that require city agencies to respond to immediate disclosure requests in a timely manner had been “suspended for the duration” of the coronavirus emergency.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing cited Breed’s proclamation in response to an immediate disclosure request from the San Francisco Public Press, saying the department reserved the right to respond to the request in the 10-day period allotted to normal records requests and to extend that deadline if necessary… (more)

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