Airbnb bans parties at listings worldwide

wbtw – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Airbnb has banned “all parties and events” at its listings effective immediately and indefinitely.

Airbnb further announced an occupancy cap of 16 people for stays booked through the platform.

“We’ve historically allowed hosts to use their best judgment and authorize small parties – such as baby showers or birthday parties – if they’re appropriate for their home and their neighborhood,” Airbnb stated in a press release. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Airbnb temporarily banned parties as part of pandemic-related restrictions…(more)

Legislators, Newsom negotiating behind closed doors over energy deal

by Julie Cart and Rachel Becker : calmatters – excerpt

In summary Environmentalists and clean-energy experts say Newsom is pushing to give the Energy Commission sole control over siting of energy plants, usurping local control. The deal also would prolong the life of natural gas plants…

California’s top-ranking legislators, under pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom, are privately negotiating to include a far-reaching energy package in their budget deal that would give the state Energy Commission sole control over siting of clean-energy facilities.

The effort aims to streamline approval of solar and wind projects, and deliver more electricity to California’s aging grid while scaling back reliance on fossil fuels.

But it also could usurp local decision-making over projects, and already has triggered vehement objections across California from city and county officials. The deal also would sideline other state agencies and raise concerns about the environmental impacts of the energy projects…(more)

New state housing laws curb power of Berkeley homeowners

By Nico Savidge : berkelyside – excerpt

The fight over a plan to build a 6-story apartment building on a vacant lot illustrates a power shift driven by California’s housing crisis.

When a developer’s plan to build a six-story apartment building next door to her house came before Berkeley’s zoning board earlier this year, Yvette Bozzini and her neighbors turned out to try to block it.

They argued that the 66-unit building proposed for what is now a vacant lot at 1201 San Pablo Ave. would be too big for their block. That it would overwhelm their neighborhood with traffic from new residents’ cars, putting pedestrians and bicyclists at risk and making it harder to find parking on the street. That it would cast shadows on their yards and one resident’s solar panels…

That’s because of a 2019 state law, SB 330, which requires local governments to approve housing developments that comply with zoning and design rules in most cases, and limits the number of hearings they can be subject to. The project at 1201 San Pablo Ave. met those rules, which meant zoning board members had to approve it that night — and they did…

Laws outflank resistance

Despite opposition from its neighbors, the project at 1201 San Pablo Ave. has cruised toward approval with SB 330 on its side.…(more)

Jeff Bezos-Backed Real Estate Investment Platform Acquires Another $23 Million Worth Of Single-Family Rental Homes

by Kevin Vandenboss :yahoo – excerpt

Arrived Homes, the single-family real estate investment platform backed by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos, is ramping up its acquisitions as demand from retail investors grows stronger for fractional real estate.

In the past 30 days, the platform has fully funded approximately $11 million worth of rental properties, compared to $5 million for the entire first quarter of 2022. The number of investors using Arrived Homes has doubled in the last two months, making it difficult for the company to purchase enough homes to meet demand…(more)

Court Says California Utilities Commission Must Obey State Public Records Act

By Seth Rosenfeld : sfpublicpress – excerpt

After Edison International asked customers to pay some of the costs for the shutdown of San Onofre nuclear power plant, the California Public Utilities Commission fought their requests for related public records until a court ordered the release of some records three years later.

In a broad victory for government transparency, an appeals court has ruled that the California Public Utilities Commission must comply with a state law requiring all agencies to promptly release information to the public.

In a unanimous decision issued Friday, a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said the commission’s lengthy and open-ended administrative procedures violate the strict timelines of the California Public Records Act.

The ruling could bring more accountability to the commission, which has faced criticism of excessive secrecy and ineffectiveness, advocates said. It regulates corporations ranging from utilities to ride-hailing services.

The commission had claimed that a century-old law — intended to prevent abusive litigation by railroad barons fighting regulations — required people requesting records to undergo a convoluted administrative process before they could sue the agency to compel the release of public records.

Citing that section of the Public Utilities Code, the agency over the years has blocked requests for records on its handling of disasters such as Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s Camp fire, the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant and thousands of collisions and assaults on Uber and Lyft rides(more)

San Francisco not meeting its goal to plant 4,000 trees annually to reduce emissions

By Jessica Wolfrom : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco’s urban tree canopy is one of the smallest in the nation — and some fear it’s on the decline. While the reasons for this are myriad and complex, new plantings have struggled to keep pace with removals or mortality rates, reports show, leaving thousands of sidewalk basins barren and treeless.

Trees have also been inequitably distributed across The City, which is all too clear on hot, fogless days when neighborhoods like SoMa and Bayview are degrees warmer than areas with ample canopy cover…(more)

Governor Newsom: Don’t Tax the Solar

By Sue Vaughan : burningplanet – excerpt

There are two major downsides to capitalism. One, in capitalism there are winners and there are losers. And two, the end product of capitalism is an unlivable planet.

One year ago, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. D-San Diego, got very confused about who the winners and losers in the energy industry are, and tried to take on a new “enemy” — the California rooftop solar industry…

Gonzalez sponsored AB 1139, a bill that would have decreased the amount that people with rooftop solar would be paid for the energy they pump into the grid and increased the amount they would have been charged for monthly grid maintenance…

According to Dave Rosenfeld, executive director of the Solar Rights Alliance, the average time it currently takes consumers who purchase rooftop solar systems to pay off the installation is six to eight years in California. Consumers who opt for “power purchase agreements” (PPAs) permit solar installation companies to install solar on their rooftops – and they then purchase the electricity generated from the solar installation company…(more)

On June 21, 2022 the longest day of the year, the Solar Rights Alliance is encouraging people to call Governor Gavin Newsom, (916) 445-2841, with this message:

“California solar rooftop systems are the solution to a cleaner more reliable energy system. Do not alter the net metering rates for rooftop solar systems or increase fees for hookups to the energy grid system.”

‘Devastating’: Yosemite National Park accused of clear-cutting acres of trees in the valley

By Andrew Chamings :sfgate – excerpt

Yosemite National Park is under fire for what critics are calling a “large-scale commercial logging program” already underway in the valley…

In a lawsuit brought Monday and first reported by the Fresno Bee, Berkeley nonprofit conservation group Earth Island Institute alleges that the National Park Service is clear-cutting the forest and sending the trees to commercial sawmills. The suit alleges this is unprecedented behavior in a national park and fails to uphold the promise to leave the land “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”…(more)

Red voters for green energy? Conservatives say they support solar and wind power too

By Kyle Pagetose, USA Today : yahoo – excerpt

During the Cold War, John Lehman served as Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. Later, he was appointed a Republican member of the 9/11 commission.

Those experiences led him to see U.S. reliance on “Persian Gulf oil” as a major vulnerability that kept America mired in Middle East conflicts.

Lehman became a champion for renewable energy — “an essential element of energy independence,” he said. He lobbied for it during Congressional hearings, and at his rural estate in Pennsylvania, where a peacock and guinea fowl run the grounds, he installed a 34-kilowatt solar array to provide most of the power he needs… (more)

No good idea will get through the Washington quagmire, or any place where big money feels threatened by public demands.

Ellen Brown: The Food Shortage Solution in Your Own Backyard

By Ellen Brown : scheerpost – excerpt

While the global food systems we depend on come under increasing strain, there’s a solution to the growing crisis that most Americans can find in their own backyards–or front lawns.

A confluence of crises—lockdowns and business closures, mandates and worker shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation, sanctions and war—have compounded to trigger food shortages; and we have been warned that they may last longer than the food stored in our pantries. What to do?

Jim Gale, founder of Food Forest Abundance, pointed out in a recent interview with Del Bigtree that in the United States there are 40 million acres of lawn. Lawns are the most destructive monoculture on the planet, absorbing more resources and pesticides than any other crop, without providing any yield. If we were to turn 30% of that lawn into permaculture-based food gardens, says Gale, we could be food self-sufficient without relying on imports or chemicals.

Permaculture is a gardening technique that “uses the inherent qualities of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life-supporting system for city and country, using the smallest practical area.”..(more)

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