Building on Our Mistakes: Sinking Sidewalks in Mission Bay

by Julie Zigoris : potreroview – excerpt

Mission Bay sidewalks continue to sink, a challenge that could point to greater problems than twisted ankles and scraped knees.

“People fall a lot,” said Brian L. who has worked at Cafe Reveille for the past three years. The café, located at 610 Long Bridge Street, is moated by a separated sidewalk edged with a yellow hazard line warning. “It’s always been a problem, but it’s gotten a lot worse in the past year.”

Spanning 300 acres, Mission Bay is built on piles of compacted debris, dirt and silt, making it prone to subsidence, or settling. New buildings are anchored to bedrock deep below; sidewalks aren’t. Since they were first installed barely fifteen years ago, paths along Fourth Street have sunk visibly, with gaps from four inches to almost a foot forming between sidewalks and buildings. Separations have been repaired with caulk, ramps, steps, and not at all.

The issue isn’t unique to Mission Bay, nor new to San Francisco, with the Marina, South-of-Market, and other neighborhoods experiencing intermittent sinking. The American Society of Civil Engineers published Subsidence and the Foundation Problem in San Francisco in 1932…

“Realty has more value than reality,” is the reason for the lack of reason when it comes to building on landfill…“Bayfill is not a great place to build for multiple reasons: subsidence, climate change, and sea level rise,” said San Francisco natural history educator and cartographer Joel Pomerantz. “But people are trying to make as much money as possible.”

Pomerantz is concerned that poor development choices will continue to be made in San Francisco. “Things are not likely to change when land values are so high,” he said.

“The City is becoming more dangerous all the time,” Brechin said. “It’s amazing how we don’t learn from history.”…(more)

It is all about sucking as much money out of the bay mud before the big one hits and knocks it all down.

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on climate change

pbs – excerpt (includes video)

The bipartisan infrastructure bill that cleared the Senate Tuesday represents the largest investment in green energy in United States history. But it faces a tough road ahead in the House of Representatives, where some progressive Democrats say it’s not enough to address the climate crisis. U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm joins William Brangham to discuss…(more)

Ginni Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, exchanged texts with Mark Meadows about efforts to overturn the 2020 election

CBSNews – excerpt (includes video)

Virginia Thomas, a conservative activist married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, repeatedly pressed White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in urgent text exchanges in the critical weeks following the vote, according to copies of the messages obtained by CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.

Those messages — part of 29 total messages obtained — reveal an extraordinary pipeline between Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, and then-President Donald Trump’s top aide during a period when Trump and his allies were vowing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to subvert the election results…(more)

To read The Washington Post article, co-written by CBS News’ Robert Costa and The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, click here.

Stop Herbicides in San Francisco

San Francisco Toxic Herbicides Reduction Act: Collecting PEN-ON-PAPER signatures to put the San Francisco Toxic Herbicides Reduction Act on the ballot.The pet stores listed below kindly agreed to have our form for signing for those who would like to do so. You need to ask for it at the counter.

  • Cal’s Pet Supply at 5050 California St.
  • Cole Valley Pets at 910 Cole St.
  • Mishka Dog Boutique at 2163 Union St.
  • Pawtrero Bathhouse & Feed Co at 199 Brannan St.
  • Pawtrero Hill Bathhouse & Feed at 199 Mississippi St.
  • The Animal Connection at 3401 Irving St. (If a person at the counter doesn’t know about the petition ask for Isabella or Jennifer.)
  • The Animal Company at 4102 24th St.

California’s homelessness crisis — and possible solutions — explained

By Matt Levin, Jackie Botts, Manuela Tobias : calmatters – excerpt

What are other places doing successfully?

Some U.S. cities, counties and states have made enviable progress in reducing homelessness, revealing possible solutions for California. Four communities have been recognized by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness for effectively ending chronic homelessness, meaning that any homeless person with a disability is immediately provided shelter and is able to land permanent housing within 90 days if he or she wants. Three states and 78 communities have ended veteran homelessness…

Houston has reduced homelessness by more than half, from a peak of around 8,000 in 2011 to around 3,000 in 2021, according to federal point-in-time data…

In Atlanta, a city similar in population to Sacramento or Long Beach, the homeless population has also more than halved since 2010, even as rents have raced upwards…

Desperate shortages of affordable housing have led some cities to consider desperate measures.

Take for example, a recent proposal out of Oakland, where homelessness grew 47% from 2017 to 2019. City Council President Rebecca Kaplan floated a plan to house up to 1,000 homeless residents on a cruise ship in the city’s port…

Oakland is also home to another controversial solution: move the homeless out of street encampments and into metal structures more often used as tool sheds. The city currently operates four “cabin communities,” which include electricity, security guards and supportive services… (more)

San Francisco Gives Parklet Owners a Break as Pandemic-Era Program Turns Permanent

By Kevin Truong : sfstandard – excerpt

New rules governing the Shared Spaces parklets that have reshaped the city’s key commercial corridors were passed unanimously at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.

The ordinance gives owners of those parklets an additional reprieve from enforcement of city regulations meant to protect mobility and accessibility as the program transitions from an emergency, Covid-era measure into a permanent one.

Introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the ordinance delays fines for parklet owners until April 1, 2023, which is when the permanent Shared Spaces program goes into effect. It also requires city departments to review and issue permit decisions within 30 days of receiving a complete permit application.

Under the Shared Spaces program, structures are required to abide by specific design and permitting rules that depend whether they’re on a sidewalk, take up a parking lane or sit on closed roadways.

Parklets in the parking lane, for example, need to have a 3-feet buffer at each end of the structure, eight feet of clearance from an intersection, and a minimum 3-foot emergency access gap for every 20 feet of structure, in addition to other guidelines…(more)

Does this meet the guidelines? Where is the permit?

Capturing water from the air may help S.F. drought woes

By Jessica Wolfrom : sfexaminer – excerpt

Set against neat rows of lettuce at Hummingbird Farm, a six-acre plot at the western tip of Crocker-Amazon Park, a sleek blue-gray panel stands out among the foliage, gleaming in the sunlight.

This device, called a hydropanel, harnesses the power of the sun to extract water from thin air.

Although it’s still in its pilot phase, this panel is already helping to irrigate the organic produce grown in one of the oldest and most culturally diverse areas in San Francisco. It also represents one way that San Francisco is working to conserve, manage and supply enough water to meet the needs of residents as climate change continues to fuel a “megadrought” parching the state…(more)

Using a technology called atmospheric water generation, the panel, made by an Arizona-based company called Source, deploys solar photovoltaic power to trap and condense water vapor from the air and convert it into liquid as it passes through a series of fans and water-absorbing materials. The water is then stored in a reservoir beneath the panel…(more)

Former Supervisor Jane Kim Targeted in Ethics Complaint Over Stevenson Street Housing Project

By Matt Smith : sfstandard – excerpt

San Francisco’s Ethics Commission has opened a formal probe of former Supervisor Jane Kim in connection with her efforts to garner opposition to a proposed SoMa apartment building, according to a commission letter obtained by The San Francisco Standard.

The inquiry follows a complaint that Kim had not registered as a lobbyist, despite having been paid as a political organizer by the same person leading the campaign to block the proposed 495-unit complex: John Elberling, president of Tenants and Owners Development Corp. (TODCO), the owner of several low-income apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

Kim told The Standard that her work in opposition to the project was done on her own time rather than as part of her work for TODCO, and therefore the law did not require her to register as a lobbyist.

The investigation is the latest volley in a war over the proposed apartment building on the site of a Nordstrom’s parking lot at 469 Stevenson St., just south of Market Street. The Planning Commission approved the project last year…(more)

YIMBY Law defends corporate interests (market rate developers and investors future profits) against the vulnerable populations they claim to be building housing for. Unfortunately, To do so they must first destroy existing neighborhoods. Gentrifiers worship increased future unit numbers and profits while neighborhood preservationists try to preserve existing housing and cultures. Who decided that we need to destroy the present to make room for the future?

How the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Upended Germany

By Alec MacGillis : propublica – excerpt

In the few weeks since Putin’s forces moved on Ukraine, Germany has rethought its energy policy, overhauled its diplomatic stance toward Russia and reconsidered its military role in the world. Said one observer, “It’s staggering.”…

At the heart of the shift is Germany’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, which until recently was not seen as problematic by German leaders. Quite the opposite: It was part of a deliberate, decadeslong effort by Germany to maintain comity with the huge, nuclear-armed neighbor with whom it fought in two bloody 20th century wars. Germany chose its dependence on Russia because it saw the economic links created by fuel imports — physical links, in the form of pipelines through Eastern Europe and under the Baltic Sea — as integral to keeping peace and integrating Russia into the rest of Europe…(more)

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