Help protect families during COVID-19

Imagine flipping your light switch, but nothing comes on. Or turning your tap, but no water comes out.

This is the situation millions of Americans could face in the next few weeks.

The economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 epidemic has made it difficult for many families to afford basic needs.

Many states and localities have put into place moratoriums on shutting off basic services like electricity and water. This was done to protect public health and safety.

Alarmingly, most of these moratoriums will expire soon. It’s important for the Senate to act immediately.

Please contact your senators today! Urge them to support the federal utility shut-off moratorium included in bill S. 4029.

Act now!

Best,

Zach Schalk

Glen Brand
Solar United Neighbors

Solar United Neighbors is a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

1350 Connecticut Ave NW #412
Washington, DC 20036

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Welcome to the micro-hood: A new vision for downtown San Francisco

By Gregory Thomas and Alex K. Fong : sfchronicle – excerpt (includes graphics)

Due to the pandemic, companies are already mulling how to incorporate social distancing, new cleanliness protocols, workspace redesigns and improved ventilation into their offices. But architects Elizabeth Ranieri and her husband and business partner, Byron Kuth, are thinking bigger.The guiding theory of Ranieri’s and Kuth’s concept goes like this: With COVID-19 amplifying the health imperatives of personal space, and shelter-in-place proving that many companies can operate on full-time remote staffs, we’ll have a permanent surplus of vacant office space in downtown high rises. It’d be only natural then to put that space to new use — perhaps serving San Francisco’s gaping need for low-cost housing and injecting lifeblood into the city’s urban core…(more)

A design concept for re-purposing elegant office space into housing and other uses while retaining most of the structural envelope.

San Francisco residents invited to provide input on the Bay Area of 2050

By Carly Graf : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco residents are invited to give their input on the Bay Area’s future during a virtual town hall Wednesday July 29 at 5:30pm, part of the public comment period on the Plan Bay Area 2050 Draft Blueprint.

The Blueprint paints a picture of what the nine-county Bay Area could look like in 30 years, using 25 strategies to make the region “affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant for all” by focusing on four key areas: the economy, the environment, housing and transportation.

Created by a collaboration of the Metropolitan Transportation Committee and the Association of Bay Area Governments, Plan Bay Area 2050 creates an integrated vision that roadmaps how to achieve the region’s collective priorities. That said, it doesn’t fund any of the recommended projects, change local policy or modify local land use authority.

It does, however, articulate a shared set of priorities and “identify a potential path forward for future investments” that would help achieve a sustainable growth pattern and meet those goals.… (more)

SF Port to begin demolition of Pier 45 shed destroyed by fire as fishers chart recovery

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

City commission to approve loan program for crab trap replacement

San Francisco is expected to begin demolition next week on the remains of the large Pier 45 shed in Fisherman’s Wharf that was destroyed by a May fire along with the thousands of fishers’ crab traps stored inside.

Months later, the cause of the fire remains under investigation, a fire department spokesperson told the San Francisco Examiner this week. The weeks-long demolition work will also help investigators access the site, Port of San Francisco officials said.

The Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on legislation authorizing the Port’s expedited process to hire contractors to perform the emergency work…(more)

Public Transit Use Is Associated With Higher Coronavirus Death Rates, Researchers Find

By David Harrison : wsj – excerpt

African-Americans’ greater use of public transportation could partly explain their higher rate of Covid-19 deaths, two studies suggest

African-Americans may be dying at higher rates than white people from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in part because of black people’s heavier reliance on public transportation for commuting, two new studies by economists suggest.

About 10.4% of black commuters take public transit, versus 3.4% of white commuters, according to the Census. After controlling for the use of public transit, Mr. McLaren finds the racial disparity in Covid-19 deaths is less pronounced.

Both studies raise the possibility that other causes could contribute to the discrepancy in deaths, such as gaps in access to paid sick leave, residential segregation and discrimination in health services. They also cited the higher likelihood that African-Americans work in essential occupations, such as health care, which have required employees to stay on the job through the pandemic…(more)

Homeless in the suburbs

By Jill Tucker : sfchronicle – excerpt

Jeffrey Russell spends his nights in a dilapidated camper on the back of a broken-down truck, parked illegally between a row of pricey homes and the West Coast sunset.

Like all those living in the dozens of RVs and cars lining the streets in Pacifica, Russell, a San Mateo County native, is part of a spiking homeless population in this coastal city.

A decade ago, according to official counts, there were two homeless people in Pacifica. Last year, 116 were living in cars, campers, tents, abandoned buildings or on the streets, with likely more uncounted… (more)

Uber acquires public transportation software company in latest transit expansion

By Tina Bellon : reuters – excerpt

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday announced the acquisition of transit software provider Routematch, marking the ride-hailing company’s latest move toward expanding its business with public transportation agencies.

Uber, which has gradually deepened its collaboration with agencies over recent years, last month announced its first software-based transit deal with an agency in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Harward said Uber’s presence has challenged transit agencies over the past few years by increasing customer’s expectations for the convenience and speed of a spontaneous trip – prompting many to look for more dynamic, on-demand transportation alternatives… (more)

Think they will ever quit? There are so many ways for corporations to take over public transit it is hard to count them all. Buying vendors is just one of them.

UCSF Grand Rounds tackles the questions of COVID-19 transmission and prevention with masks, face shields

By Madison Alvarado : misisonlocal – excerpt

Today, moderator Dr. Bob Wachter kicked off Grand Rounds with two questions that for months have preoccupied everyone from the world’s top epidemiologists to the humble grocery store clerk: How does the coronavirus spread and what are the most effective ways of stopping it from spreading?

To answer these questions about a virus that “continues its rampage through towns and cities” across the world, Wachter recruited a team of experts to talk about three critical topics: aerosols vs. droplets, the importance of masks, and the effectiveness of face shields…(more)

Workplace EV charging: Lessons from sustainability trailblazers

By Marsha Willard : greenbiz – excerpt

Businesses are reaping the environmental and social benefits of providing electric vehicle charging for employees. That’s according to research published last week by Presidio Graduate School (PGS) and ChargePoint, providers of the world’s largest EV charging network.

Last fall, a research team from PGS conducted a study on workplace electric vehicle charging practices. In addition to a review of the current literature, the team interviewed sustainability leaders in 24 organizations across the United States. The findings reveal that while still most common in Europe and in U.S. coastal states, the speed of EV adoption makes creating the charging infrastructure an imperative for both the public and private sector. Leading organizations have made a solid business case for providing workplace charging and other EV related employee incentives or benefits. Below are some key findings of the study:… (more)

It is not a big deal to provide power for EV hookups. Some systems may be faster to charge, but, anyone can purchase an EV convertible car charger.

San Luis Obispo County energizes first solar projects on path to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions

By Sarah Tchechel :globenewswire – excerpt

Developed and financed by ForeFront Power, the two projects are designed to supply over 80 percent of site electricity needs.

San Luis Obispo, California, July 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The County of San Luis Obispo celebrated the completion of two solar projects at the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Dairy Creek Golf Course and the Department of Social Services on South Higuera Street, both located in San Luis Obispo. The first of many planned County solar projects, these solar parking canopies total 552 kilowatts (kW) representing a major sustainability milestone for the County.

Significant County Savings Through Environmental Action

Developed and financed by ForeFront Power, the two projects are designed to supply over 80 percent of site electricity needs. The County is looking forward to more than a million dollars of energy expense savings over the next 20 years…(more)

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