Westside San Franciscans are none too happy about new water mix

By Rachel Swan : sfchronicle – excerpt

Tap-Water.jpg

What is coming out of your water? For now, where you live and work will determine the answer. Photo by zrants

San Franciscans take pride in drinking pristine water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which they treasure as among the purest in the nation.

So a recent move by the Public Utilities Commission to introduce ground water gradually into the city’s drinking supply prompted anxiety and suspicion.

“How will this affect my grandaughter? I feel like she’s the guinea pig,” said Ingrid Eggers, a Mission District resident who spoke at a Wednesday hearing before the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

Eggers was among dozens of residents who had concerns about nitrates, pesticide runoff, sewage, artificial turf particulate and traces of pharmaceutical drugs possibly contaminating the blended water, which will go to about 60 percent of San Francisco residents, mostly on the west side.

City water officials began pumping the new mix in March from wells that draw from an acquifer about 400 feet below ground. They plan to add more ground water over the next four years, but it will allow for more than 15 percent of the mixture…

Supervisor Norman Yee, who called the hearing, asked the PUC to perform new quality tests and return with a new analysis… (more)

A lot of questions remain, especially for people with compromised immune systems and chemical sensitivities. You can’t fault people for drinking bottled water as that will be the preference for many, much to the dismay of the water expert, who was “was actually mildly shocked to hear that, ‘Oh my God, people will obviously turn to bottled water’.”

No doubt many will choose bottled water at a time when there is great concern about increasing bottles in our environment. The issues must be weighed and a balance found. Are we going to increase the use of pesticides into our drinking water and increase the number of bottles to recycles or can we return to clean pure Hetch Hetchy water coming out of the taps?

Rec and Park did not show up to explain their use of poisons on our parks that will end up in our water and neither did the health department official. They will be asked to come to the next hearing along with some answers and new data on the actual tests results since the blend was initiated, not based on questionable forecast data.

RELATED:

City Hall flooded with complaints over SF’s new mixed drinking waterCity Hall flooded with complaints over SF’s new mixed drinking water

by Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Yee vowed that the board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee will hold a follow-up hearing…(more)

Plan Bay Area 2040 Draft Plan

If you are one of the unhappy San Francisco residents or a middle class citizen this plan will not please you.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will host an open house to receive comments regarding Plan Bay Area 2040.  The open house is Wednesday, May 17, 2017 between 6:30pm and 8:30pm at the MTC headquarters at 375 Beal Street ( about a 10 minute walk for Embarcadero Station). DRAFT PLAN LINK

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is now available; comment on the DEIR and the Draft Plan through June 1.

Some statistics include:
*  501,000 jobs added between 2011 and 2015
*  65,000 housing units built between 2011 and 2015
*  Regionally 1 house built for every 8 jobs created.

HOUSING
Where will the region plan for the 820,000 new households forecasted between 2010 and 2040.  Regionally by 2040, 3.4 million households are forecasted. 46% will be in the “Big 3 Cities”  — SF, Oakland, San Jose.

JOBS
1.3 million new jobs  (36% in the Big  3 Cities)

So what does it all mean?  Climate Change, Housing costs and displacement, Economic Development and Environmental Impact and Transportation.

A question raised at a recent MTC committee meeting was: Should cities seeking economic development take responsibility for housing?  (Think the Menlo Park Facebook Expansion).  The local Menlo Park approval for 6,000 more jobs has regional impact.

No mention of a Public Regional Express Bus System to move the population.   More Private Commuter buses operating on your residential street?

Draft Plan and Draft EIR at Plan Bay Area 2040 Draft Plan

RELATED:

It’s not surprising that President Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan would hollow out the middle class. Income tax reductions will be robust for corporations and those in the highest income brackets. Others won’t fare so well.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren warns of the demise of the middle class in her book, “This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class.” She writes about growing up in the 1950s, when minimum wage supported a family of four. In 2017, minimum wage can’t support a household of two.

But hold on a minute before simply bashing Trump. Are you surprised that progressive California Democrats are implementing strategies that increase economic inequality?…

Now Plan Bay Area 2040’s “Regional Forecast of Jobs, Population and Housing” shows the rich and the poor growing to the highest numbers, but not the middle. The historic bell-shaped curve is inverted…

The plan forecasts: “The ‘hollowing out’ of the middle is projected to continue over the next 25 years. Household growth will be strongest in the highest income category, reflecting the expected strength of growth in high-wage sectors combined with non-wage income — interest, dividends, capital gains, transfers.”…

Further: “Household growth will also be high in the lowest-wage category, reflecting occupational shifts, wages stagnation, as well as the retirement of seniors without pension assets.”…(more)

 

Longtime San Francisco residents unhappy with city, says poll

by : curbed – excerpt

SF-skyline

San Francisco’s view-killing wall on the waterfront seen from the bay is unpopular with many long-term residents – photo by Zrants

The longer you’ve been living in San Francisco, the less likely you are to be happy with it.

That’s one of the lessons from the 2017 San Francisco City Survey released Tuesday, in which those with more than 30 years of San Francisco living under their belts generally gave City Hall a thumbs down.

The controller’s office conducts the survey every two years to measure general satisfaction with public services.

Overall, public opinion seems fairly mellow this time; most of the 2,166 randomly selected phone respondents gave the city either a B or a B- grade on things like public safety, transit, and parks. Libraries got a B+.

The public ranked homelessness as the city’s biggest problem, with 33 percent of responses highlighting it as their top concern… (more)

What is to like about a city that sold its soul for a few buckets of gold. People used to come for art, culture, social equality and other non-material qualities of life because there was no money. The new San Francisco draws get-rich-quick schemers who believe their virtual reality and future vision is more important than anyone or anything else and can’t wait to kick us out of our homes.

 

Feinstein no fan of Millennium Tower, SF’s new skyline

By Matier and Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

Growing skyline under City Hall density plan photo by Zrants

A San Francisco Chamber of Commerce delegation making the rounds in Washington last week to push for federal funds for a new seawall and Caltrain electrification got more than it bargained for in a meeting with Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“All she wanted to talk about was the downtown Millennium Tower and why it’s leaning, and how could it be fixed?” said one person who met with the state’s senior senator Thursday. “She also talked about how much she hates the city’s new skyline.”

Feinstein peppered a contractor who was part of the delegation about the Millennium’s safety, even revealing that she had toured its water-seeping garage and voicing suspicions that the tower’s developer had cut corners.

Feinstein was also annoyed that high-rises such as the Millennium and Salesforce Tower are soaring far above the downtown height limits she pushed for as mayor…(more)

A lot of former Mayors seem to be opposed to the direction City Hall is heading now. How did we get so out of proportion? Does it correlate with the high taxes and high cost of government seen in our 9 billion dollar plus budget? There may be a few more people living and working in SF now than there were, but not enough to warrant the increase in spending we are witnessing. What are WE the taxpayers buying with that 9 billion dollars? Do we want it?

Scott Wiener’s housing straw man

By Calvin Welch : 48hills – excerpt

The senator misses the point — and the facts — when he attacks people who don’t think the private market will solve our woes

State Senator Scott Wiener, in a recent blog posting, attacked nameless critics of his efforts to produce more market-rate housing by removing local governments from the approval process if those local areas failed to meet regionally determined “housing needs.” Since all localities in the state currently fail to meet these needs, his legislation would, in effect, deregulate housing development all over California, since most housing regulations exist at the local level…

What Does Work? The voters of San Francisco and the Bay Area have an answer: market controls to keep existing housing within reach and public subsidies to build new housing they and their neighbors can afford. As argued earlier on these pages, the passage of more than $1 billion in bonds and sales taxes to build homes affordable to moderate income earners and people at risk of homelessness or homeless is sound public policy. Moreover, the passage of rent control measures is a rational response to a red hot real estate market. Continued effort to regulate Airbnb and other short term rentals is critical — the 10,000 STR’s in San Francisco just about equals the current vacancy rate for apartments. Imagine what would happen to rents if the vacancy rate were doubled because un-registered Airbnb listings were placed back on the rental market…. (more)

Might it be cheaper and easier to give landlords a reason to stay in the game? What would it take to make being a landlord easier and less stressful? Money is not the only thing that motivates people. Onerous laws and regulations and jumping through hoops gets old real fast, convincing many people to get out of the rental business and just sit on the property. As long as the values are going up, why sell?

Tables Turned: High-Paid Techies Priced Out Of Silicon Valley

by CBS : youtube – excerpt (video included)

Too much money is not working out well for any of the workers, included the techies. Around 40% are not planning to stay in the Bay Area for long. Who will live in the city when the workers leave? Who will be paying high rents when robots replace them?

Wiener Slams Housing Opponents

by Randy Shaw : beyondchron – excerpt

State Senator Scott Wiener has written a powerful letter accusing nonprofit housing leaders of providing “significant misinformation” about Wiener’s SB 35, which seeks to expedite housing development in California. Wiener’s April 15 letter directed to Peter Cohen and Fernando Marti of the Council of Community Housing Organizations (CCHO) says he has “a major problem with any person or organization that disseminates misinformation and continues to do so even after being repeatedly corrected.”

In other words, Wiener is accusing CCHO’s leadership of lying about his bill. And he provides a point by point rebuttal to their arguments while noting that “several CCHO members and allied affordable housing partner organizations came out early to endorse SB 35, including Mercy Housing (CCHO member), Mission Housing (CCHO member), Bridge Housing, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, and the California Council for Affordable Housing.”

It’s rare to see an elected official writing a nine page letter to a bill’s opponents. And Wiener joined this with an equally long April 16 article for Medium, “Market-Rate Housing Isn’t a Bad Word, and We Won’t Solve the Housing Crisis Without It.”

Instead of allowing insider politics to derail SB 35, Wiener is challenging opponents to battle him on the merits of his ideas—and may the best ideas for addressing the state’s housing crisis win…

Noe Valley: No New Middle-Class Residents Allowed

Noe Valley has no signs on its borders barring new middle-class residents but it may as well. Home prices and rents are through the roof. Only the upper middle class and higher can now afford to buy a house or rent a vacant apartment… (more)

How are you supposed to build more housing in a completely developed neighborhood like Noe Valley without destroying what is there? How is the destruction worth the lower level of lifestyle and diminished quality of life we see in the city in the newly rebuilt neighborhoods? Why should anyone want to change what they feel is perfect just to make room for millionaires to store their money in new dense, units? When the major driving force is money, it is hard to believe there will be a happy ending for the residents who are being threatened by the greed, especially the tenants.