Tenant advocates are concerned about the financial impact of a proposal to require owners of earthquake-vulnerable buildings to make safety upgrades.
For more than a decade, The City has struggled with how to get owners of what are known as “soft-story buildings” to upgrade them to withstand a major earthquake, but costs and the debate over who has to pay for fixes have long hampered the effort.
The behind-the-scenes Film Commission drama has intensified, with one employee saying she was fired last year for speaking out against inappropriate conduct.
Last May, Christine Munday was hand-delivered a termination notice from her boss, Susannah Robbins, executive director of the Film Office that’s overseen by the commission. Munday had been a permit issuer for the office for four years.
“I feel like it was retaliation for sure,” Munday said. Read More
Just under half of those recently asked would pay more for green energy under The City’s CleanPowerSF program — an amount that is enough to ensure a successful rollout, says the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
The Board of Supervisors approved the program in September, but since then some of the agency’s own commissioners have expressed uncertainty about it, an electricians union continues to persistently attack it, proposed rates have inched higher and PG&E is planning to launch a competing “green” power program of its own. Read More
Amid an unrelenting effort to restore funding to a popular city program offering rebates for solar installations, Mayor Ed Lee announced Wednesday that he would double the budget by adding $2 million.
Fittingly, Lee made the announcement atop 450 Guerrero St., one of nine Boys & Girls Club campuses in San Francisco. He presented the nonprofit with a rebate of $43,297 under the GoSolar program for its recent installation of a 34-kilowatt solar system. Read More
After months of intense negotiations, the new terms of California Pacific Medical Center’s planned development of two earthquake-safe hospitals in San Francisco were approved Tuesday amid much fanfare. Read More
A law was approved more than a year ago to require that San Francisco dog walkers obtain a city permit, but it remains unenforced as details are still being worked out.
When the law was approved in February 2012, the Department of Animal Care and Control was given up to 18 months to work out the finer details — and it’s taking advantage of the time frame.
But on July 1, anyone walking more than four dogs at a time will have to obtain a permit. The law prohibits walking more than eight dogs at a time. Read More
The Police Department plans to officially open a substation today on Sixth Street, in a rough corridor in the heart of The City’s burgeoning tech hub. Read More
A proposed advertising contract with Clear Channel and the San Francisco International Airport was grounded Wednesday amid concerns about the terms of the deal and allegations of an unfair process.
Under the proposed contract, Clear Channel would continue advertising at the airport for the next eight years and pay $10 million a year, after beating out two other competitors during the bidding process. Read More
Following the lead of other cities like Cambridge, Mass., and companies like Google, San Francisco will begin picking up the federal tax bill for health benefits provided to the same-sex partners of San Francisco government workers.
The Board of Supervisors gave final and unanimous approval Tuesday to legislation introduced by Supervisor Mark Farrell that, he said, “counters what is very much a discriminatory federal tax policy.” Read More
Buildings that suffer damage from small earthquakes would have to be upgraded to withstand stronger temblors under legislation that advanced Monday.
The legislation is the latest effort by San Francisco officials to better prepare The City for a major earthquake. It is another recommendation from the decadelong Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety study. That study is San Francisco’s blueprint for undergoing a major earthquake with less death and destruction. Read More
The Film Commission works to attract moviemakers to San Francisco, but it has recently been dealing with its own behind-the-scenes drama.
Longtime producer and Commissioner Debbie Brubaker has come under scrutiny for her dealings with The City’s Film Office, which is overseen by the commission. Allegations include that she improperly used her position to influence hiring decisions and gain perks for productions. Read More
More of San Francisco’s schoolyards are opening up to the public over the weekends thanks to the efforts of Supervisor Mark Farrell, who is calling on more principals to get on board.
Due to budget cuts years ago, the San Francisco Unified School District started shuttering schoolyards on weekends. But under the Shared Schoolyards project, which is receiving a boost from Farrell, more and more are reopening.
Farrell has spearheaded a campaign that has raised about $100,000 annually to pay for the unlocking and locking of the gates, cleanup and programming. Read More
Polk Street merchants are up in arms over what they call a “radical agenda” to eliminate more than half the parking spaces along the bustling commercial corridor to reduce collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists.
Since last week, a group of merchants along upper Polk Street have posted signs on their shop windows asking passers-by to “Save Polk St.” from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Polk Street Improvement Project. Read More
Despite concerns over the unusual agreement with a nonprofit overseeing management of the Japantown public parking garage, a new 10-year lease was approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.
In the 1950s, the nonprofit parking garage model was established for debt issuance. But when the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was given debt-issuance authority by voters in 2008, that function became obsolete. Since then, a city controller’s audit has advised discontinuing the practice. Such arrangements have been terminated in other garages. Read More
Clothing boutiques, beauty salons, dog groomers, financial providers and art galleries are going mobile in San Francisco, and city officials are drafting regulations as they anticipate a boom similar to food trucks.
When startup hopefuls walk into City Hall about once a week seeking permits for their mobile businesses, those working the counter at the Office of Small Business, overseen by the Small Business Commission, can only shrug; no such permit exists. But that could soon change.