Coronavirus Impact: Santa Clara Co. proposal would allow more employees to work from home after pandemic

abc7news – excerpt (includes video)

Board president Cindy Chavez is laying the groundwork for what some are calling a visionary plan.

“Let’s be as creative and innovative as we can. Let’s not let all the suffering that we’ve had for the last eight weeks go to waste,” she said.

After the COVID-19 pandemic is over, Chavez is looking for a commute-free commitment from large Silicon Valley companies, when and where it’s possible.

The proposal would start with the 22,000 employees county-wide, and if approved by the board, departments would be asked to look at ways to support as much telecommuting as possible…

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a diverse public policy organization representing more than 350 companies, supports the idea and says the more participation the business sector can have in formulating the plan, the more it’ll be embraced by others.…(more)

In my opinion working closer to home is the key to making stronger more independent cohesive neighborhoods. If more people work at home they will have more family time and more leisure time and that will translate into more time spent in their neighborhoods. The more time they spend in the neighborhoods the stronger the local communities will be.

MTC Makes a Mockery of Citizen Engagement

By Susan Kirsch : marinpost – excerpt

MTC has devised a frivolous and virtually meaningless two-month public participation process that failed to identify a range of stakeholders or identify appropriately geared activities to engage them. They cheerily call their report Pop-Up Events Get People Talking About Bay Area’s Future.

If you want to good laugh (or cry), go to the Plan Bay Area 2050 website and check out their summary of the results of the pop-ups, called Comments from Plan Bay Area 2050 Fall 2019 Pop-up Events(more)

 

More Building, Lending Catapult San Francisco Office

By Lisa Brown : globest – excerpt

Construction-to-permanent financing of $93 million was recently secured for One De Haro, a four-story 60-foot tall building with two-thirds office and one-third light industrial uses totaling 133,427 square feet.

SAN FRANCISCO—Construction continues in the city, in an attempt to satisfy growing demand. One project in specific, One De Haro, is located at the intersection of SOMA, Potrero Hill and Showplace Square districts. Designed by Pfau Long Architecture, the project is a four-story 60-foot tall building which will have two-thirds office and one-third light industrial uses for a total of 133,427 square feet.

Construction-to-permanent financing of $93 million was recently secured for the mixed-use building. A NorthMarq team led by managing director Dennis Williams and vice president Briana Harney secured the funding through a life insurance company relationship on behalf of the Sponsor, SKS Partners of San Francisco…

Even with the delivery of the fully leased 750,000-square-foot Park Tower, San Francisco supply is exhausted trying to keep up with the ever-increasing tech demand, according to a first quarter report by Avison Young. The first quarter closed with a total of 3.8 million square feet of available space on the market. However, with total tenant demand of 8.8 million square feet and new construction deliveries 67% preleased, this amount of space will not satisfy the overall appetite.…(more)

San Francisco Libertarians File an Election Contest to Invalidate November’s Proposition A Election Due To Violations of New Law

by: Michael Denny : lips – excerpt

The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, Friday April 5, 2019. This is an independent action taken by two members of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, Note: This is an independent action taken by two members of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, Michael Denny and Nicholas Smith, in a citizen’s effort to check the power of Government. The LPSF itself is not listed nor eligible to be listed as a complainant on the suit.

San Francisco Libertarians File an Election Contest to Invalidate November’s Proposition A Election Due To Violations of New Law

There has been an ongoing problem of collusion between government officials and municipal bond advisors who often actually write the bond bills for profit. And then deceptively work with government to sell them to an unsuspecting public. To address this issue, the California State Assembly passed AB-195 which was approved by Governor Jerry Brown and on January 1, 2018 became Law. Sections of that law governs the way local governments can present bond measures on ballots:

  1. Measure shall be a true and impartial synopsis of the purpose of the proposed measure,
  2. and shall be in language that is neither argumentative nor likely to create prejudice for or against the measure.
  3. If the proposed measure imposes a tax or raises the rate of a tax, the ballot shall include in the statement of the measure to be voted on the amount of money to be raised annually and the rate and duration of the tax to be levied.

Section 18401 of the California Elections Code says election officials who allow non-compliant ballots to be put before the public are criminally liable…(more)

Gavin Newsom’s housing lawsuit put 47 California cities on notice. Is yours on the list?

 By Bryan Anderson and Madeline Ashmun : sacbee – excerpt (includes map)

Newsom-Fights.jpg

Sue you, and you, and you! by SF Blue Comics

In his State of the State address, California Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged the state’s housing problem. While he doesn’t intend to sue all of the cities for their failures to meet their housing obligations, he vowed to hold them all accountable.

Encinitas is just the kind of place Gavin Newsom might want to sue.

A local voter-approved initiative from 2013 makes planning for affordable homes nearly impossible, preventing the wealthy city of 60,000 from complying with a state law that requires local governments to build more housing.

The city has already spent $3.5 million in the last few years fighting a pair of housing-related lawsuits. The bill could climb if Newsom follows through on a threat to hold local governments accountable to the state housing law.

“I don’t feel proud to be the mayor of a city that is in the midst of costing millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Catherine Blakespear, the city’s mayor. “I want to free up some of our planning ability to talk about other issues. This housing (issue) dominates everything that we talk about.”

Encinitas of San Diego County is one of 47 California cities under scrutiny by the Newsom administration for not complying with a state law that requires them to plan for the construction of affordable housing. Newsom’s administration recently sued Huntington Beach for not keeping up with its housing promises, alarming other local governments… (more)

Fremont Councilman Bacon to run for Alameda County supervisor

By Joseph Geha : eastbaytimes – excerpt

District 1 incumbent Scott Haggerty has been unopposed since 2000

FREMONT — Fremont City Councilman Vinnie Bacon is planning a 2020 run for Alameda County Supervisor in District 1, offering a challenge to longtime incumbent Scott Haggerty, who hasn’t faced an opponent for nearly two decades.

“If you want someone new, here I am,” Bacon said Sunday in an interview with this news organization.

“We need debate,” he said. “It’s just wrong for anybody to go into office without a challenger.”…

Bacon said he’s hoping to win over voters with a platform focused on evening out the jobs-housing imbalance and limiting what he called overdevelopment, which he said have led to cascading effects of untenable traffic congestion and school overcrowding.

“I think my ability to argue for better planning and development that doesn’t lead to all the traffic problems we have, I think that is my experience in Fremont, and it is applicable to a more regional office like that,” he said… (more)

City Attorney Outlines Impacts on Santa Barbara of State Housing Legislation

By Giana Magnoli : noozhawk – excerpt

With laws ‘basically designed to strip local control,’ city planners are working to create objective design standards for development projects.

Santa Barbara city planners will spend the next year creating objective design standards for development projects in response to the package of state housing legislation that then-Gov. Jerry Brown approved for California in 2017.

Assistant City Attorney Tava Ostrenger presented a breakdown of the legislation’s local impact to the Planning Commission on Thursday and said it was “basically designed to strip local control.”

The intent of the legislation is to boost housing development and affordability, streamline development, and increase accountability and enforcement of cities’ and counties’ housing goals… (more)

Lawsuit claims corruption, racism, sexual harassment contributed to Oroville Dam crisis

By Ryan Sabalow and Darrell Smith : sacbee – excerpt

Workers were patching Oroville Dam’s weathered concrete spillway, nearly four years before a massive crater would tear it open.

Michael Hopkins, an employee at the Department of Water Resources, alleges he saw something he would never forget.

A legally deaf woman was assigned to drive a truck down the spillway and listen for hollow sounds in the concrete as her colleagues performed what’s known as “chain drag testing,” Hopkins wrote in a declaration filed last week in Sacramento Superior Court.

“This isn’t going to work,” the woman told her supervisor, who brushed off her concerns and told her to get back to work, Hopkins wrote.

Hopkins’ allegation isn’t the only alarming charge found in a lawsuit stemming from the crisis at the nation’s tallest dam, which began two years ago Thursday when a large crater formed in the spillway, eventually leading to the evacuation of 188,000 people.

The suit before Sacramento Superior Court Judge James McFetridge has ballooned to include allegations that dam officials stole equipment, cooked financial books to conceal wrongdoing, destroyed evidence and fostered a toxic culture of sexual and racial harassment that included slurs and nooses hung where a black worker would find them… (more)

 

Suspect Hunters Point shipyard contractor did similar work at Treasure Island

Corporate managers accused of directing an extensive fraud in the cleanup of San Francisco’s toxic shipyard led similar projects at nearby Treasure Island — work that apparently has never been rechecked since fraud at the shipyard was discovered, even as a $5 billion real estate development on the island speeds ahead.

Tetra Tech EC, a subsidiary of the government contracting giant Tetra Tech Inc., is being sued for fraud by whistle-blowers and the Department of Justice. Federal prosecutors say the firm cut corners and falsified radiation tests while serving as a cleanup contractor at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a mothballed naval base tainted with radioactive substances that last for thousands of years and can cause cancer… (more)

Treasure Island not only is a superfund site tied to the clean-up scandals at Hunters Point, the island has a rash of complaints of health problems and power outages. Not the island paradise it is being sold as.

When we say there is a lack of talented labor we are not kidding. What else explains the new contract awarded Tetra Tech to clean up the Camp Fire sites? There are not a lot of contractors who can pretend to do the job.

RELATED:
Frequent power outages leave Treasure Island residents out in the cold

 

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