Mayor Ed Lee was shocked by two brief power outages during this month’s televised Monday night 49ers game. He called it a “national embarrassment,” demanded an investigation and promised to make sure it “doesn’t happen again.”
I have lived on Treasure Island since 1999. Recently we had six power outages in 30 days. One lasted six hours, another nine hours and two outages on Thanksgiving totaled 10 hours. There are 2,500 people living here, one-third low income and many disabled.
The Treasure Island Development Agency spent some $100 million during the past 12 years while collecting more than $200 million in rents. From 2000 through 2005, I noted 60 utility outages, but I stopped counting — and complaining — after TIDA kept giving me the runaround.
TIDA plans to wait until construction of 6,000 luxury condos before upgrading the power grid. Meanwhile, six outages in 30 days is proof our dilapidated grid is not being maintained to even a minimal safe standard. If only the 49ers played on T.I., then perhaps Lee would make sure the power stays on.
Beware high-speed rail
One of the big reasons that credit ratings for Greece, Spain, France and Ireland were downgraded is government borrowing of billions to construct “high-speed rail” systems. This should be a warning for our state.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s latest construction cost estimate of $98.5 billion to $118 billion is unfunded by $114 billion, since the feds only provide $3 billion and no private investors exist. According to the legislative analyst, every dollar wasted on high-speed rail is $1 less to educate K-12 children and $1 more in university tuition hikes.
California ranks near the bottom in U.S. education scores. Transportation experts confirm that fixing regional traffic congestion does far more to reduce car emissions and gridlock than intercity high-speed rail trains. Sacramento must listen to the people and stop the high-speed rail boondoggle.
Globalization costs jobs
Our shattered economy is making Americans pay attention to threats against our country and our livelihoods that are cleverly hidden behind code words such as globalization, free trade and post-industrial economy. For example, the highly touted “green industry” of solar energy will be based overseas, mainly in China, because Wall Street has successfully steered capital investment to foreign ventures.
President Barack Obama just sounds plain silly when he looks skyward and demands that the Republicans give us jobs. His party and the Republicans are both carrying the banner of globalization. And he knows full well that the job creation demands should be leveled at Wall Street.
Down the road, Wall Street might very well find itself being directed by government to channel investments to America. The United States is not Egypt. We already won our freedom centuries ago. And as it has been said, our ballots are our bullets, so tyrants should beware.
Lee didn't keep guarantee
Mayor Ed Lee wants a guarantee from PG&E that there won’t be future blackouts at Candlestick Park, but he has no ground to stand on. How can he possibly demand that PG&E make a promise, when he does not keep his own?
The people of San Francisco have not forgotten that Lee did not keep his promise not to run for mayor at the end of his one-year appointment.