Energy-saving streetlights and wireless systems controlling them will be tested in three San Francisco neighborhoods next year, and ultimately the technology could be used to control all 18,500 city-owned lamps and other devices such as traffic signals and surveillance cameras.
Eight companies have been selected under a San Francisco Public Utilities Commission pilot program, and they will each receive a $15,000 stipend to demonstrate what their wireless streetlight systems can do. The technology will be tested in the Sunset, Presidio Heights and downtown neighborhoods. Read More
While David Chiu is considered the odds-on favorite to become the first person to lead the Board of Supervisors for three straight terms, no fewer than four colleagues are jockeying to replace him as president.
Moderate Supervisors Malia Cohen and Scott Wiener and progressives David Campos and Jane Kim are all seeking the post, City Hall sources say. Progressive supervisors first elected Chiu as their president in 2009, but two years later he cut a deal with moderates to secure a subsequent term.
With tech firms seemingly the beneficiary of much of the love coming out of City Hall these days, small businesses feel somewhat neglected in the wake of the realization that a voter-mandated report on how to make life easier on them is now years past due. Read More
Large-scale events proposed for San Francisco’s public parks could receive more public scrutiny under a proposal introduced Tuesday by Supervisor John Avalos.
Avalos wants the Recreation and Park Commission to hold special informational hearings for any event that would occupy 25 percent of a park and run for more than 48 hours.
In October, Avalos created a stir when he criticized the Dew Tour — a skateboarding, bicycle and freestyle motocross event — for shutting down Civic Center Plaza for weeks. He questioned whether it was the best use of public park space. Read More
Mayor Ed Lee is taking a wait-and-see attitude toward San Francisco Housing Authority Director Henry Alvarez, who is the subject of two lawsuits filed by two top-ranking agency attorneys alleging racism and other discrimination.
The Housing Authority Commission has contracted with the law firm of former City Attorney Louise Renne to investigate the lawsuits and present findings to the commission and the mayor. Asked Tuesday if Alvarez should be suspended or step down from his post in the interim, the mayor displayed no intention to do so. Read More
San Francisco is snuffing out smoking one law at a time.
The City is on the verge of enacting a smoking ban at public events like Carnival and the Fillmore Jazz Festival. And on top of banning smoking at the public events, the Board of Supervisors may today nudge apartment owners to eliminate smoking by requiring landlords to designate all units either smoking or non-smoking and to disclose such information publicly. Read More
The seemingly never-ending debate over whether to outfit San Francisco police officers with devices capable of shooting 50,000 volts of electricity through the body is recharging once again.
The Police Department’s campaign, which would give stun guns to 103 officers specially trained to handle mentally ill people as part of a pilot program, is kicking into high gear, beginning with a planned Jan. 9 community meeting, Police Chief Greg Suhr said Thursday. Read More
Customers who are automatically enrolled in San Francisco’s ambitious green energy program will have to pay significantly more than was expected when supervisors approved the program less than three months ago.
The adjusted rates were released last week by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the agency charged with implementing CleanPowerSF, a program designed to offer 100 percent renewable energy to residential consumers at an additional cost. Read More
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday declined to eliminate the nonprofit exemption for Muni’s impact fee charged on development, stalled a proposal for a seafood restaurant to open in Marina Green and allocated $2.2 million to help high school students graduate on time. Read More
After flirting with the idea of demanding a recount for the District 7 supervisorial election that was decided by just 132 votes, labor leader F.X. Crowley and his backers stood down on Monday, citing costs.
On Friday, Department of Elections Director John Arntz provided recount proponents with the estimated cost of recounting District 7’s 31,334 ballots, which led to school board President Norman Yee’s 132-vote victory over Crowley in the nine-candidate contest. Read More
Community advocates in Hunters Point are crying foul over paternalistic new rules that public housing tenants must live by if they want to move into the new units replacing the Hunters View housing complex.
The 31 pages of “house rules” (see below) regulate everything from guests, smoking and barbecues to festive decorations and shopping carts. Even after the rules were scaled back amid tenant concerns, they are still causing alarm, with move-ins scheduled to begin next month. Read More
A lucrative garbage contract approved last year in a deal to transport San Francisco’s waste 130 miles away to a Yuba County landfill has been trashed amid three lawsuits alleging improper bidding and inadequate environmental review.
Facing these legal battles, San Francisco and its garbage hauler, Recology, signed an agreement Monday to terminate the 10-year, $112 million contract, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors in a 9-2 vote. The contract termination effectively ends the lawsuits. Read More
The controversy that erupted last summer over political spending encouraging Ed Lee to run for mayor has prompted the San Francisco Ethics Commission to create a new campaign finance category applicable to such groups.
The commission voted unanimously Monday to call any effort supporting an undeclared person for an elected office a “draft committee.” As with independent expenditure committees, draft committees will not be subject to spending or contribution limits. Other filing requirements will be the same. Read More
The future of San Francisco’s dilapidated Pier 70 is coming into focus in advance of today’s Board of Supervisors committee vote on the financial terms of a planned $58.5 million rehab of historic buildings along the central, southern waterfront.
Under the deal, the Port of San Francisco would enter a 66-year lease with Orton Development to complete a $58.5 million rehabilitation of six office and industrial buildings on a 69-acre site in the Dogpatch neighborhood under what is known as the 20th Street Historic Building rehabilitation project. Read More
Supporters of labor leader F.X. Crowley have set in motion a recount of the vote tally that made Board of Education President Norman Yee win the District 7 seat on the Board of Supervisors by 132 votes.
But while Crowley supporters say the margin of victory is close enough to justify a recount, they are not so sure they will actually follow through on their request for one. That will depend on how much Department of Elections Director John Arntz says it would cost.
Arntz is expected to sit down today with recount proponents to flesh out the details and costs. Read More