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.


Trauss Trounced in YIMBY Litmus Test

By Ida Mojadad : sfweekly – excerpt

“If you want to build a movement, you have to include everyone,” said Matt Haney, who overwhelmingly won the seat of District 6 supervisor, of YIMBYs.

Sonja Trauss, the face of the YIMBY Action, handily lost the election to become District 6 supervisors on Tuesday after more than a year of vying to enact aggressive pro-development policies in City Hall.

Despite what some political insiders surmised at the establishment-heavy John’s Grill Election Day luncheon, Trauss did not win in a squeaker — far from it. With full-throated support from her fellow YIMBYs for more than a year of her campaign, Trauss captured just over 2,500 votes, or nearly 18 percent as of Wednesday afternoon….

Until the sentiment that YIMBYs are of the people, by the people takes hold in District 6, Trauss ought not to be so surprised by the abysmal results.. (more)

Community groups call for affordable housing at site of 2015 fatal fire

By Michael Toren : sfexaminer – excerpt (includes video)

Community leaders and a city supervisor gathered Friday morning in the Mission District to protest plans to build a nine-story condominium building on the site of a building destroyed in a fatal fire.

The lot at 22nd and Mission streets has been vacant since a four-alarm fire tore through a large, three-story mixed-use building there in January 2015, killing one resident and displacing some 60 others. That building was later demolished, leaving a fenced-off hole in the ground which can still be seen today… (more)

Canceled meeting on ‘Monster in the Mission’ development sparks dueling rallies

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

The sudden cancellation of a public hearing on a proposed 331-unit housing development at 1979 Mission St. laid bare deep divisions within the community over the project, despite recent revisions.

Plans for the development at the 16th and Mission Street Bart Plaza were first submitted by developer Maximus Real Estate Partners in 2013. From the onset they were challenged over their lack of affordability by community groups united as the Plaza 16 Coalition, who dubbed the project the “Monster in the Mission.”

Last year, the coalition asked the Planning Commission to hold a hearing on the project in the Mission District, so that community members could weigh in. But that meeting’s cancellation this week sparked two competing rallies Thursday — one led by Plaza 16, calling on the developer to provide a 100 percent affordable project, and the other organized by the Maximus-funded group Mission for All, aimed at moving the project forward as is… (more)

Galería de la Raza: Negotiations with landlord break down — eviction imminent

By Julian Mark : missionlocal – excerpt

Galería de la Raza’s landlord on Friday declined to make a deal with the venerable gallery that would allow it stay in a space on 24th and Bryant Street for two years while it searched for a permanent home. This likely means the gallery will have to close down in the near term.

This was laid out in a Friday evening Facebook post by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who had been involved in negotiations between the gallery and its landlord, Lily Ng, since the gallery was served with a three-day pay or vacate notice two weeks ago.

“I feel the landlord is being unreasonable,” Ronen told Mission Local. “I tried to mediate, and I can’t mediate with someone who is being unreasonable, so I’m joining Galería in protest.”

An eviction notice would appear to be imminent…

A press conference will be held at the gallery (2857 24th Street) on Monday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. An “emergency community response meeting” will be held at 6:30 p.m. that evening at the same location... (more)

This is one of the saddest of Mission loses that is turning the city into a soulless pit of self-indulgence lacking in style, class, or cultural wisdom. The tourists have no reason to come here any more and residents have little incentive to stay. That seems to be the goal. Convince us all to leave so they can turn our home into their goldmine, until the next big shaker hits or the tides rise or both.

Puzzling logic in arguments against tax on big businesses to aid homeless

: sfchronicle – excerpt

A slick campaign piece landed in my mailbox the other day, screaming in all capital letters: “Prop. C would spend another $300 million a year on the same failed programs.”

You know, those failed programs that produced the scenes depicted in the mailer’s photographs. The ones of Third World-style tent shantytowns spread along sidewalks in the Mission, with bicycle parts and shopping carts strewn around…

Prop. C is a simple concept, and one that’s getting big-name support. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Rep. Jackie Speier, Assemblyman Phil Ting and seven supervisors support it…

Breed says she opposes Prop. C because she’s not confident the city is spending its money on homelessness effectively, though she didn’t express that concern in backing the two previous revenue measures. Her spokesman, Jeff Cretan, said the mayor’s budget office is analyzing the city’s homeless funding and how it’s being used…

OK, so the programs are successful but they’re also failures. But, really, we don’t know either way and have to audit them. We need more money, but not from the cities’ biggest businesses that can most easily afford it.

Are you confused by the No on C side? I am. Maybe I just need some time to meditate in an infrared sauna… (more)

Sen. Feinstein Calls Out S.F. Tech CEOs for Lack of Civic Engagement

By Scott Shafer : KQED – excerpt

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein thinks too many high-tech company leaders in San Francisco are disengaged from local charitable causes, compared with corporate titans of the past…

“What I see as the downside, to be very candid, is I don’t see tech as very civically involved, and I think they have to be,” Feinstein said. “Like when I was mayor, the CEOs of the big banks — I could go in and ask them to help with any civic cause. Cross my heart. I never got a ‘no.’ Bank of America, Wells (Fargo) — all of them said ‘yes.’ ”…

I don’t understand it, to be honest with you,” Feinstein said. “It’s a much more reserved world, sort of a world apart. I have had occasion to meet with some of the tech leaders, and I guess they’re like any other group of people. There are some that want to be helpful, and there are some that don’t.”

Feinstein proclaimed her strong support for San Francisco’s Proposition C, which would tax the city’s wealthiest companies to raise an estimated $300 million a year to combat homelessness…

“I’m for it, because we have to help,” she said. “We don’t have a choice. When you see someone lying — and I just did — on a hot sidewalk sleeping with nothing. That’s not the United States of America.”

Proposition C, one of the most controversial issues on the local ballot this November, is supported by homeless advocates, San Francisco U.S Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. But it’s opposed by Mayor London Breed and other local officials who say the measure doesn’t include a solid plan on how to spend the money…(more)

Housing Authority seeking HUD’s help to close ‘distressful’ $29.5M shortfall: This looks like a good place for the Prop C funds to start with. One would think the Mayor would welcome such a solution to this problem. No more taxes for the residents, just a slightly higher tax on the corporate windfalls that are looking for places to invest. Let them cover for the housing shortage many feel they are responsible for.



Scooter companies are moving fast and breaking people, but they say they’re not to blame

By : theverge – excerpt

Bad actors must be someone else’s problem

As I bike to an Oakland town hall meeting about scooters on Monday, I see two young men riding electric scooters. They both look to be about 15 and neither are wearing helmets. One is with me, on the street. The other is on the sidewalk. We all ride beside each other — though I am slower than either boy, since I do not generally bike at 15 miles per hour down city streets — until I pull over at Frank Ogawa Plaza to park my bike.

At the scooter community town hall, representatives from Lime, Bird, and Skip make a point of telling Oaklanders that teens on scooters definitely aren’t the scooter companies’ fault. “To some degree, this is a parent issue,” says Marlo Sandler, the senior manager of government relations at Bird. Skip requires riders be at least 18 years of age, “so if someone underage is riding, an adult had to provide an ID and a credit card, so certainly parenting issues are part of it,” says Muriel MacDonald, Skip’s director of public affairs. EV Ellington of Lime wisely said nothing about parenting strategies, instead noting the company had implemented no-parking zones around schools.

Scooters on sidewalks? A failure of education, according to the scooter companies. Riders without helmets? Well, more outreach will solve it. The companies’ excuses for abuse aren’t much different from Facebook or Twitter’s: they designed their scooter systems in good faith, so bad actors must be someone else’s problem. You should wear a helmet when riding a scooter, so really riders are responsible for not wearing helmets that aren’t provided with the scooters. (Why anyone would walk around with a spare helmet is left unexplored by Ellington, MacDonald, and Sandler.) And perhaps the city is at fault, too! After all, if scooter riders are on sidewalks, maybe they just don’t feel safe on the streets — you can’t blame the scooter companies for poor infrastructure(more)

And it is the job of city authorities to make room or every possible new business that may want to disrupt our peace of mind in search of venture capital and riches in our “most progressive” of states. No matter that the disruption is closing existing businesses and forcing long-term residents to leave the city, making way for the next breed of greedy newcomers to takeover and turn our once quiet peaceful city into a hotbed of controversy and lawlessness.