Two oversight hearings sidetracked when mayoral staffers don’t show

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Peskin says it’s “bizarre and unacceptable” that the Mayor’s Office couldn’t get a key person to a committee hearing.

Two hearings called by Sup. Aaron Peskin were sidetracked last week when two officials from the Breed Administration didn’t show up.

Peskin wanted to know how the city approved a $117 million contract with the Tenderloin Housing Clinic without board approvala violation of the City Charter. But Trent Rhorer, head of the Human Services Agency, who oversaw that contract at the time it was signed, was in Sacramento and couldn’t make the hearing…

Peskin said he would reschedule when Rhorer was in town.

Another hearing, on how the city directs its Sacramento lobbyist, continued despite the fact that Breed’s appointee who chairs the State Legislation Committee just didn’t show.

“This is bizarre and unacceptable,” Peskin told me.

The SLC is an almost unknown city agency – but it has a tremendous amount of influence. The agency oversees the city’s $276,000-a-year lobbyist who tracks state legislation and promotes the city’s position on bills.

In some cases, the mayor – who has the default authority to direct the lobbyist – takes a position on issues that differs from what the board majority may want.

That’s going to be a big deal this spring, since Mayor London Breed has been a strong supporter of efforts by state Sen. Scott Wienerto mandate more dense, market-rate housing in California cities. I suspect at least six members of the current board don’t support SB 50(more)

I planned to listen to hearing live from work, but, It was not broadcast live. When I tried to watch the tape online later, I had to request the broken link to fixed. They fixed that link and I suggest you watch or listen if you have time. Since no one showed up, Peskin used his time to interview the lobbyist. We suspect another hearing will be rescheduled soon so you might want to send some questions to the committee for the next round of conversations with the lobbyist. At least you will recognize him if you run into him in Sacramento. This was a special hearing before the Government Audit and Oversight Committee. We might want to ask for a notice on the next hearing on this.

Item 2

Hearing on the signing of theTenderloin Housing Clinic contract without board approval.

Item 3 Hearing with City Lobbyist on how he and other cities are handling SB 50 and other bills.

An estimated 100,000 homes are sitting empty in the San Francisco metro area

By Amy Graff : sfgate – excerpt

Here’s a number that will make anyone trying to find a place to live in the Bay Area frustrated: An estimated 100,025 households are sitting vacant in the San Francisco metro area.

The number comes from a study released this week by LendingTree, an online service connecting consumers with lenders and banks. The company based in Charlotte, N.C., looked at the vacancy rates in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, revealing some interesting findings

Zabaneh said after the meeting that quality-control teams for Herrick, the steel fabricator; Skanska, the steel installer; and Webcor-Obayashi, the general contractor, failed to notice the oversight.

So did Turner Construction, a quality-assurance contractor that conducted occasional “spot” inspections for the authority to make sure the contractors were following plans and meeting standards… (more)

Potrero View Short Cuts

Potrero View Staff Editorial : potreroview – excerpt

Hotel for Warriors

The Golden State Warriors want to add lodging and condominiums next to the Chase Center basketball arena under construction in Mission Bay. The basketball team plans to propose a 142-room hotel and up to 25 upper-floor condos at the northeast corner of the 11-acre project site, near the intersection of South Street and Terry A. Francois Boulevard. The hotel requires approval from the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, which oversees new Mission Bay projects, as well as other municipal endorsements. If accepted, the team hopes to start building by mid-2021 and open in 2023. Rick Welts, Warriors president, asserted that neighboring businesses and residents have expressed a need for a hotel, especially for visitors to the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. A 250-room Marriott hotel at Third and Channel streets is being erected; Welts claimed it’d complement the Warriors’ lodging…

Chase Parking

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is working to get ahead of an impending parking crunch between 16th Street and Caesar Chavez, Arkansas and Illinois streets when the Chase Center opens this summer, modeling a potential policy after what’s in place around Oracle Park. Under potential new rules, Residential Permit Parking and four-hour limit meters will be enforced until 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday; meter costs will be $7 an hour during events, including on Sundays. SFMTA is trying to calibrate meter prices to balance the needs of event-goers and local businesses, which still operate when there’s an occasion happening and don’t want parking restrictions to impede their customers… (more)


Residents balk at plans for waterfront Navigation Center

By Victor Tence : sfexaminer – excerpt

Residents flooded public meetings Tuesday to object to plans to build a large homeless shelter on a waterfront parking lot near the Bay Bridge.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing presented plans Tuesday to the Port Commission and to neighborhood residents for what is being billed as a Shelter and Access for Everyone Navigation Center on Seawall Lot 330. The Embarcadero property is currently a parking lot with 307 spaces, just across the street from Piers 30 to 32.

Mayor London Breed announced plans for the center, which will include between 175 and 225 beds, earlier this month.

While The City currently operates a number of navigation centers, shelters with fewer barriers to entry and additional services, most of them have between 100 and 150 beds…(more)

Why would Mission Bay residents object to having another hotel, navigation center and reduced parking in their neighborhood? Mission Bay has been hit with two sports arenas, massive new housing projects, and is facing years of turmoil and torn up street construction that has caused many condos to hit the market as resident sell and move to the sunset or anywhere else.

The Giants got their hotel and event parking. Now the Warriors want “their share” of hotel rooms and event parking. “ Talk about a rip off. Mission Bay residents and merchants got less than 10 years before gentrification and Disney moved in.

There is no way to fight a sports stadium or whatever the owners demand. You may stop a navigation center but you cannot stop a sports arena. in LA started fighting displacement in 1959 when the Dodgers Stadium killed their neighborhood. They are fighting SB50 now.

In the face of toxic cleanup, redevelopment, Treasure Island residents fight displacement

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

Treasure Island residents who rallied for increased scrutiny of an ongoing toxic cleanup on the island Thursday said that they have more to worry about than potential health risks stemming from years of living on contaminated land.

With a massive development of up to 8,000 units expected to break ground on the island next year, residents say they are also fighting displacement.

In some cases, residents allege they have been subject to retaliation and lost their homes for speaking out about health issues they believe are caused by radioactive contamination and other toxins on the island.

In others, residents say that a development agreement signed eight years ago is blocking access to the planned new units for those who want to stay, and making it difficult to relocate for those who want to leave… (more)

Homeless Californians find safe haven in parking lots, children not spared in crisis

straitstimes – excerpt

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – It’s a chilly winter evening in Los Angeles as Cameron Jones maneuvers his white sports car into an open-air parking lot and picks a secluded spot where he can recline his seat and call it a night.

“I lost my apartment about 10 days ago because I couldn’t afford the US$2,200 rent and was told this is a safe place to be until I get back on my feet,” said Jones.

“I can sleep soundly here without having to keep waking up at night and looking over my shoulder,” added the 26-year-old Marine Corps veteran, who served in Afghanistan and now works for a company that sells solar panels…

Half a dozen such lots monitored by security guards have sprung up in the Los Angeles area in the last year, offering a temporary safe haven to some of the more than 15,500 people in the region who live in their vehicles.

One “safe parking” is located at the back of a church, another at a synagogue and a third at the sprawling campus operated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Portable toilets and handwashing stations are available to the vehicle dwellers who must fill out an application before being granted access to the lots.


Nearly 554,000 people in the United States were homeless in 2017, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). About 25 per cent of them – or 134,000 – lived in California, the highest number of any state.

California also has the highest rate of so-called “unsheltered” homeless – meaning people who are living in vehicles, abandoned buildings, parks or on the street, according to HUD… (more)

Manohar Raju, Felony Public Defender, Appointed by Mayor to Adachi’s Seat

By Nuala Sawyer : sfweekly – excerpt

Chief Attorney Matt Gonzalez called Raju a “fantastic choice.”

Exactly one week after a memorial for Public Defender Jeff Adachi drew hundreds to City Hall, Mayor London Breed addressed a much smaller crowd of media to announce his replacement: Manohar Raju.

“Mano has the experience, the commitment, and the vision to lead this office and fight for those who need a voice — both in the courtroom and in the community,” Breed said. “He has been an advocate not only in the courtroom but also making policy changes: fighting for more African-American representation on juries, going to Sacramento to push for policy changes to make our courtrooms more equitable.”…

Gonzalez, considered the favorite contender by many who know him across the city, took the mic during Monday’s press conference to applaud the appointment of Raju…

Neither Raju nor Gonzales announced any plans to run for office in November, when a special election will be held for the seat. It’ll no doubt be an interesting race; the seat of district attorney is also open and doesn’t have an incumbent running for the position for first time since 1909… (more)

Welcome to Wienerville

by George Wooding : westsideobserver – excerpt

If you want to protect your neighborhood, street, or house, it’s time to defeat or mitigate State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB-50 legislation.

Wiener and his allies want to replace the single-family housing stock throughout California with dense/multi-family housing. These structures will derisively be called Wienervilles and will feature many of the same sized and structural components as Hoovervilles.

SB 50 will ruin cherished neighborhoods, severely gentrify working-class areas, significantly worsen housing affordability, and displace thousands of San Franciscans.

SB-50 is designed to add housing density at the expense of residential neighborhoods. The least expensive housing is housing that is already built. This bill will impact 100% of San Francisco’s residential housing stock.

Wiener’s goal is to get rid of residential housing by upzoning all of San Francisco. State legislated upzoning encourages development by offering entitlements to developers. Upzoning avoids any serious planning in neighborhoods, or in the city as a whole. Local residents and businesses will not be able to address serious concerns with everything from housing needs to traffic because upzoning regulations are limited to use and density controls…

…developers will only be constructing market rate housing—not affordable housing—under Wiener’s misguided belief market-rate housing will magically trickle down to affordable housing. This will result in housing price increases, but no increase in housing supply and a city filled with eyesores: Wienerville units. Thanks, Scott, and co-author Phil Ting. ” …

Below is a sample of existing local development standards and planning tools. SB 50 will let developers toss out up to three of them at their discretion, including height limits:

• Setbacks: Areas for trees, green belts, and side yards can be eliminated.

• Floor area ratio: Building size/density can grow 47% to 297%. This means developers can build 85-foot structures next to your house and you can’t do a thing.

• Parking: Developers can build apartment towers with no parking.

• Environmental sustainability: Any development standard adopted by a city that isn’t state law can be ignored by developers.

• Onsite open-space: Courtyards and balconies can be killed.

• Historic buildings/zones: Developers can demolish buildings not on the state’s Registry of Historic Resources….(more)


We all have a California Dream of our own. One-Size-Fits-All legislation does not fit every city or situation in the state and kills most of our California Dreams. How did we get to the point where a handful of elected officials can come close to killing our dreams and limiting our personal freedoms to make way for rich millionaires and billionaires to “eat us alive”, as the New York Times put it. Will the new wealthy tech titans rush to buy homes when they cash in their stock after the companies go public as many predict?

California is no better than any other state at protecting our vulnerable citizens when state officials allow corporations to throw them onto the streets to make room for the wealthy carpetbaggers swarming in for the kill. Landlords and banks are to blame for the homeless crisis. They are erasing affordable housing through foreclosures and evictions to make room for the wealthy now. Wiener’s rush to up zone for them will only make matters worse.

Why do Sacramento legislators and agencies. bend over backyards to accommodate the job-killing tactics of the tech giants? Why do government officials always support the corporations against the will of the taxpaying voters, forcing the public to hire private council and experts to defend against the wealthy investors supported by the state?

Why do our elected officials protect the rights of the wealthy instead of the voters and taxpayers who put them in office? As tech companies are poised to expand their power and control over our lives, we must ask ourselves, where is the humanity in California and who has the right to sell our California dream?