Breed calls for public power study in wake of PG&E bankruptcy announcement

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Following the announcement that PG&E is filing for bankruptcy, Mayor London Breed assured residents Monday there will be no impacts to their power service and asked the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to study possible responses — including transitioning to a public power system.

Options to be considered include buying the existing electrical infrastructure outright, according to city officials.

PG&E announced early Monday morning that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as the San Francisco-based utility company faces an estimated $30 billion liability for damages from deadly Northern California fires during the past two years… (more)

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CASA Compact video clips

For all you out there who want to learn more and share details about the CASA Compact, here is the link to the page that should set you up with more than you need:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_BuJGc-hEs6XaV9ys8Cg0utnt9mrnLt5

 

 

School officials, incoming supes want SF to spend windfall on teacher raises

By Jill Tucker, Trisha Thadani, Dominic Fracassa : sfchronicle – excerpt

All of a sudden, San Francisco has an extra $181 million to spend. It comes from excess education funds, and some officials hope that’s exactly how it will be spent: on education. Specifically, teacher pay raises.

So far, proposals at City Hall exclude using the money for schools, with Mayor London Breed pushing to fund homelessness initiatives. The Board of Supervisors’ three new, incoming members, however, say extra funding for schools will be a priority for them.

The windfall comes as the school district is facing a legal challenge to a new parcel tax that would raise $50 million annually, most of it for a teacher pay raise. School officials say that means they don’t have the expected funding to cover the 7 percent teacher pay hike. So, the windfall suddenly becomes a potential solution… (more)

Industry experts and SF notables reveal which neighborhoods they broke up with in 2018

By : sfcurbed – excerpt

Canceled?

There’s much to love about San Francisco—and much to loathe. And to confuse neighborhood ire and frustration with flippant snark would be a disservice to our readers and to the city we adore so deeply. Which is why we’ve asked our handful of industry experts and local notables to thoughtfully weigh in on the areas of San Francisco they had enough of in 2018… (more)

Not many neighborhoods are spared from distain. Most of the least popular are south of Market with SOMA and Market Street leading the pack. Interesting to note that the least appreciated are the ones with the most construction and the worst traffic. Of course the idea that you could even stem the tide of traffic accessing the multi-billion dollar Bay Bridge was always a farce. Until it falls down, it will be the route of choice for connecting the populace to the city. Until the city authorities establish a fast and easy parking process for people driving across that bridge, they will drive across town or whatever it takes to park.

We know that the cost are prohibitive. What isn’t?  Our regional MTC and other agencies would rather spend the billions of a new headquarters than help people park to get out of the their cars faster once they arrive. This kind of backward thinking makes SOMA and other points near the bay bridge hostage in the game of traffic control.

 

Housing crisis plan discussed in luxury; Marin supervisor not sold on proposed solutions

By Richard Halstead : marinij – excerpt

CASA has three main objectives: to increase housing production at all levels of affordability, preserve existing affordable housing, and protect vulnerable populations from housing instability and displacement.

The committee has come up with 10 actions to achieve these goals: a just-cause eviction policy, an emergency rent cap, access to legal counsel and emergency rent assistance, removal of regulatory barriers to accessory dwelling units and tiny homes, minimum zoning for housing near transit, improvements to state housing streamlining laws, public land for housing production, streamlining of the local housing approval process, new revenue to implement the compact, and creation of a “Regional Housing Enterprise” to manage and allocate the new revenue.

Under the current version of the plan, taxpayers would contribute $400 million in the first year through a new quarter-cent sales tax and another $100 million by approving a five-year general obligation bond.

Property owners would contribute $100 million through a new vacant homes tax of 1 percent of assessed value and another $100 million through a new $48-per-year parcel tax.

Developers would contribute $400 million through two new fees linked to new construction. Employers would contribute $200 million through a new gross receipts tax and another $200 million through a new employee head tax.

Local governments would contribute $100 million through a 20 percent revenue sharing agreement from future property tax growth and $200 million through a 25 percent contribution from revenue set aside for redevelopment.

MTC critics are circulating a video outtake from a CASA meeting in October that has MTC’s Heminger saying, “I doubt that you could put five of these suckers on the same ballot and expect to pass any one of them. So I think No. 1 we’re going to have to be selective. No. 2, as I said earlier some of these may not require voter approval. That is indeed helpful if that is true.”

Hall said, “They’re boasting they can do this without putting it to a vote, and then they’re meeting at a luxury resort to talk about it. I find it counter to democratic values and transparency.”

Susan Kirsch of Mill Valley, founder of Livable California and a vocal critic of Plan Bay Area, said, “CASA is not a group that has had representation from community leaders.”.. (more)

Will our large city communities have to rely on the outlying suburbs and rural area legislators to protect us from the overly heavy hand of the state over our local planning and zoning and rights to determine our taxes? It is beginning to appear that that is the case.

Thanks to Assemblymember Damon Connolly for pushing back on CASA / MTC / Scott Wiener and SB827 one-size fits all policies. Note that this is one of many articles that expresses disapproval of the choice of venues for this CASA presentation.

 

Tell the CPUC: No bailout for PG&E!

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Activists organize to speak out at commission meeting Thursday

The president of the California Public Utilities Commission is prepared to protect Pacific Gas and Electric Company from bankruptcy. Activist say there’s a much better option: The state should take over the company, or break it up and turn it over to existing municipal utility operations…

The CPUC meets in San Francisco Thursday/29. There’s nothing about a bailout on the agenda, but there’s an opportunity for public comment. Democratic Socialists of America is asking people to show up and send a strong message: No to PG&E Bailouts – and let’s take this opportunity to turn a poorly run private company into a greener, cleaner, cheaper public power agency.

From commondreams.org:…

The meeting starts at 9am at 505 Van Ness. A rally will follow.

SF was totally unprepared for the air-quality crisis

The city failed on so many fronts — and now it’s time for an emergency plan that includes stopping the next PG&E bailout… (more)

 

PG&E shares drop by nearly half in 5 days over Camp Fire risk

By J.D. Morris : sfgate – excerpt

PG&E Corp. shares plunged Wednesday after the San Francisco utility warned of potentially serious financial strain if its equipment is deemed responsible for the devastating Camp Fire burning in the Sierra Nevada foothills outside Chico.

Shares of the corporate parent to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. fell as much as more than 30 percent after the energy company said in a regulatory filing that the fire threatens to exceed its insurance coverage… (more)

Looks as if the market is going to make the decision on this matter before the courts get a chance to act on it. Time to reconsider how we assign risk and a few other issues where the once “safe” investment opportunities are concerned. Let’s see what our state and local governments come up with to handle these problems. And what role may the CPUC take in this? Lots of changes appear to be on the horizon.