Posts Tagged ‘ARRA’

PG&E and Salvation Army Announce TEAF Hardship Program to Pay Your Utility Bill – Act Before September 21

Friday, August 20th, 2010

If you qualify for PG&E’s Temporary Energy Assistance for Families program and you apply in time, you can get your gas and electric bill paid courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - that’s the news of the day.

I’ll note that this joint will get pro-rated if you have non U.S. Citizens in your household only applies to households made up of 100% American citizens. So, if anybody in your crew is a resident alien or is document-challenged, then no TEAF for you. The skivvy:

“Multinational households may still be eligible for program benefits at a pro-rated amount. Customers who have at least one U.S. citizen residing in the home are encouraged to complete the application.”

All the deets:

“PG&E Sponsors New Energy Assistance Program for Customers in Need

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 20 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced a new energy assistance program designed to help families in need.

The initiative, known as Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF), is a one-time payment program sponsored by PG&E and administered by The Salvation Army. This program, authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), along with PG&E customers, will provide up to $1,500 to income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship.

“We know that in today’s difficult economic times, some of our customers may need extra help with their bills,” said Albert F. Torres, vice president of customer operations at PG&E. “We believe this new program provides the perfect opportunity to give our customers additional support during their time of need.”

Customers interested in the program are encouraged to contact The Salvation Army for program details and eligibility guidelines, or they can apply at 1-800-933-9677. They can also visit www.pge.com/TEAF. Applications for assistance will be accepted until September 21, 2010.

In addition to the TEAF program, PG&E offers a host of other programs to assist customers. PG&E’s Breathe Easy Solutions(TM) help customers manage their energy costs when life brings financial challenges or unexpected changes. Additional details, as well as eligibility requirements and enrollment instructions, can be found at: http://www.pge.com/myhome/customerservice/financialassistance/.

Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF)

TEAF

We can help with your energy bill. You may be eligible for a one-time bill payment up to $1,500.

At PG&E, we are dedicated to assisting customers through numerous programs and community outreach projects. We’ll help you manage your energy costs, which can be helpful when there are financial challenges or unexpected changes in your situation. Together, we can find solutions.

Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF) is a one-time payment program sponsored by PG&E and administered by The Salvation Army. This program, authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and made possible with partial funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), helps income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship. Federal rules apply in determining eligibility in this financial assistance. Applications will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis until program funds are depleted or until September 21, 2010.

NOTE: If you have received a 48-hour shut off notice, please call The Salvation Army at 1-800-933-9677

Program Guidelines

  1. The PG&E bill must be in your name.
  2. You must be a parent, guardian, or non-custodial parent of a child under 18 years old.
  3. You must provide copies of the following documents:
    • Your current PG&E bill with a past due amount.
    • Your current photo identification card.
    • Documents* verifying U.S. legal citizenship for each member in your household.
    • Documents** verifying that your total household income meets the income guidelines below.

*Examples of U.S. citizenship documentation: U.S. birth certificate, U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, or U.S. passport (first two inside pages).

**Examples of income documentation: Paycheck stubs; an unemployment insurance benefit award letter or check stub; proof of public assistance (i.e. CalWORKs); Supplemental Security Income (SSI) award letter or check stub; State Disability Insurance (SDI) award letter or check stub; current bank statement showing income deposits; or copy of your 2009 federal income tax return.

Income Eligibility Chart 

Number of persons in Household Annual Income
1 $21,660
2 $29,140
3 $36,620
4 $44,100
5 $51,580
6 $59,060
For each additional person, add: $7,480

Application

The federal government has established program guidelines and PG&E customers who meet these guidelines may be eligible. If you meet the requirements, download an application and mail it to the address below.

TEAF application (PDF, 1.1 MB) (English and Spanish)

All applications are being reviewed by The Salvation Army. Once your application has been processed, The Salvation Army will notify you with a confirmation letter. Mail your application with all documentation to:

The Salvation Army
TEAF Program
P.O. Box 193465
San Francisco, CA 94119-3465
Tel. 1-800-933-9677

We encourage you to share this information with relatives, friends, or neighbors who may also qualify. Together, we can find solutions.

Restriping Divisidero: A Modest Proposal to Improve Upon the Recent Stimulus Project

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

So, we’re looking at at three lanes of Divisidero in the Western A, see?

The right lane is for parked cars. It’s too narrow. The middle lane is for buses and trucks and bikes and whatnot. It too, is too narrow. The upshot of this is a bunch of frustrated drivers who honk honk honk, just the way the driver of the car you can see did while changing lanes to pass cyclists.

Now, note the “tree lines” that hem in all the lanes. So, all that you can do at this point is shrinkify the fast lane, right? Wouldn’t that make sense?   

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Yep, it would.

How about moving these stripes a foot towards the middle of the street, for starters?

Divisadero Streetscape Improvements Kick Off – Cafe Mojo Parklet Officially Christened

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Here’s the scene this morning at the official ceremony kicking off all the Divisadero Streetscape Improvements and the Cafe Mojo Parklet at 639 Divisidero betwixt Hayes and Grove.

BIKE NOPA has all the deets for the new parklet in front of popular Mojo Bicycle Cafe, where you are beseeched to “ride in – hang out – get your fix – ride on.”

Of course District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimiwas there* – he was working the crowd and expressing his appreciation for improved bicycle and pedestrian safety on the Divisadero Corridor. He also pointed out the success of the nearby Divisadero Farmer’s Market, which is no longer seasonal. It’s open every Sunday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM year-round these days.

Mayor Gavin Newsom addressing a large crowd on the tiny parklet:

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And all the while, the honking yellow Hummer of Main Contractor Synergy Project Management was discretely parked across the street, as discretely as possible given that it’s a honking yellow Hummer:

I’m on the record as not being a big fan of all the changes, but oh well.

SocketSite has more info about Divis and Curbed SF has all the history, as you’d expect.

Brand new median trees and old-school streetlamps for as far as the eye can see:

These days, it’s Mojo a gogo. A fixie bike mounted outdoors as art:

 

Welcome to the New Divisidero.

*Wearing the same drip-dry suit he was wearing at the recent opening of the Hamilton Recreation Center and Pool.

All the deets, after the jump

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Why I Sometimes Ride My Bike on the Sidewalks of Divisadero, and Why You Should Too

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Well the shovel-ready stimulus project on the Div Co (Divisidero Corridor) is nearing completion. Do you see the trees in the widened median and the old-tyme streetlight tops that go from the NoPA to the EaPA? Those are the bulk of the “improvements” that you’re going to notice.

I guess the perfectly fine old aluminum street lights became obsolete or something. And yes, that thing in the median does look like a tombstone. Chestnut Street, here we come:

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Now here’s the beef – what they should have done is just taken out the medians entirely to allow for wider lanes. The problem is that they widened the medians and narrowed the traffic lanes to accommodate trees and shrubbery and nonfunctional whatnot.

Now do you see this cyclist? He’s passing by a truck that’s legally parked on the new Divisidero. Do you think that the slow lane he’s on is wide enough? Of course, arguably, it wasn’t wide enough before but now it’s worse. Why? Aesthetics, that’s why. The drivers in the fast lane need to be near median trees, apparently, they need to commune with nature at 25 per.

Oh, I hear you, “just take the lane,” right? Sometimes I do, effectively. And then sometimes I roll onto the newly-widened sidewalk for half a block or so, late at night when I can see that nobody’s using it. It’s a balance of hacking off the nonexistent peds versus the extant drivers.

(Maybe I’ll get a ticket from the busy SFPD someday, maybe. If I ever do, I’d then consider using Fillmore and McAllister as a substitute.)

Now, if you wanted real stimulus and actual improvements, here’s what you’d do. You’d have the workers take out the medians (the old narrow median was unnecessary as well) and move the light standards to the sidewalks, if that wouldn’t break the bank. Then you’d do a nice repaving, better than the job that’s being done now*, anyway. Then you’d take the rest of the money and give it in cash to the workers – tell them they need to spend $500 per day on whatever they want for themselves and that they need to bring back receipts as proof at the end of each “work” day. That’d be some local stimulus right there. The workers would be happier, and I would as well.   

I realize that we’re talking in terms of, on average, just inches of width-surrendered-per-lane, just inches sacrificed on the Altar of Aesthetics. And I realize that Octavia Boulevard is a far bigger public policy failure.

Anyway, enjoy your so-called “improved” Divisadero, San Francisco.

*Are they done with that, by the way? Take a look at the macadam near the bulbouts at Divis and McAllister if you want – is that a job well done? I mean, is that quick fix a permanent fix with all the remaining grade changes? I mean, they’re going to end up being forced to do the job properly, right? [UPDATE: Turns out that they weren't finished just yet, good on you Synergy.]

The Fruitless Trees of Divisidero – A False Promise of Livable Streets?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Well they’re finally up, some of them anyway – they’re the fruitless trees of the newly-widened medians of Divisidero Street.

Boy, don’t these new leaveless trees and the the widened median make this body shop sooooo much more livable?

Of course the concomitant lane width reductions weren’t discussed at the time decisions were being made and, I would argue, were actually hidden by the powers that be. Oh well.

In this case, greening the median meant widening it. Does this benefit car drivers, bus drivers or cyclists? No, not at all. So why did we do it? The slow lanes now, in particular, are very narrow considering that big buses (from MUNI but also private employers) are supposed to use them.

Do you see where it says Divisidero Street Streetscape Renewal? What’s being renewed here? Well, let’s take a look at back in the day.

How about 1947? What do you see here? Do you see streetcars and wide lanes and plenty of room for cars and bikes to co-exist? Do you think the pedestrians of ’47 bumped their noggins into each other all the time? I don’t. What don’t you see? A big old median filled with trees and streetlights – that’s what you don’t see. The street lights and trees are off to the side where they belong, not in the middle of the damn street taking up all the space.  

How did our fore mothers and fathers survive with reliable steetcars and wide lanes on Divis? How did they get by, how did they live without a giant median and decimated (and soon to get worse) modern bus service?

The World Wonders.

Plenty of room for the median, not enough room for the #24 Divisidero – your stimulus dollars at work:

Oh well.

The Crushed Cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Littering NOPA – Ironic or Not?

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Gritty Divisadero Street in the North of Panhandle Area (NoPA) part of the western Western Addition has a bunch of crushed aluminum beer cans strewn about these days. 

Is that a sign that the area needs more attention from the Redevelopment Department or, alternatively, is it a sign that things are on the up because the ironic-beer-drinking post-collegiate crowd has decended upon the area?

I’ve drawn my conclusion, but you, take a look and make the call yourself.

The needlessly-widened medians under construction play host to lots of cans of the PBR:

IMG_0998 copy

(NB: There’s a big hint in there.) Click to expand.

The Feds Sure are Proud About Putting San Francisco to Work in the Tenderloin

Monday, November 9th, 2009

It’s not clear what actual work they’re putting us to. Can you tell? The only new thing I can see on this stretch of Tenderloin District is the Wonderland public art graffiti experiment.

See the eyes on the left? They’re all over Mid Market dees days:

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“PUTTING AMERICA TO WORK”

“PROJECT FUNDED BY THE American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” of 2009 (ARRA)

Recovery.org

USDOT TIGER.

But maybe you can figure things out – have at it.

San Francisco is only getting stimulated 354 different ways, so this task should take you no time at all.

So-Called “Great” Streets Initiative Already Fails at Divisidero Street – An Obsession With Medians

Monday, September 28th, 2009

What’s with DPW’s obsession with medians? I mean is there any median proposal that’s too wide for the Little Eichmanns Speers at the San Francisco Department of Public Works? Perhaps Hitler’s proposed Welthauptstadt Germania had Great! Streets! too wide even for DPW’s taste, but there’s no way to tell.

Valuing Aesthetics over Life, that Hitlerian tendency certainly appears to be alive and well in San Francisco.

The medians are getting wider on Divisidero, so that means less room for cars and bikes and buses and whatnot. Where did all our lane width go?

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As seen on Friday.

Why do we have a median at all on Divisidero? Why not have that street go on a “median diet?” Does Masonic have a median? No, so why Divisidero? What’s the obsession with trees? I mean who cares what light posts look like except architects like Albert Speer (yes those are his light poles - that’s all that’s left from him) and the fascist ivory tower academics who took in six figures worth of your money to promote Octavia Boulevard? Who wants a fourteen-freaking foot wide median on Cesar Chavez? I mean, where does the original idea come from? Did somebody write a book about medians or something? And what do mike foxtrotting architects know about transit safety? Absolutely nothing. Say it again.

Medians? What are they good for? Absolutely nothing. Perhaps pedestrians would be better off without the Great Tree’d Median of Divisidero and its concomitant “pedestrian refuge?” Yes.

What’s that? “The Feds” demand medians since they’re kicking in money? Not sure about that. Are the Bridge-to-Nowhere Feds responsible?  

What’s that? “The Community” demands medians and DPW is just powerless to say no? Really? No, not really. Here’s a phony balongna rationale for The “Renewal.”

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Do you see “sacrifice safety to widen the median” in there? Do you see “narrow the slow lane so cyclists have less room” in there? And who are these 73 people? Are they from all over the city? Any bus drivers in there? Any commuters?

Signs point to no.

Why not just repave the street and do other non-median-widening activities and then pay the workers as if they did widen the median? That way they workers would get paid and The Community would be better off.

Just asking, DPW.

Yet another DPW improvement on the “World Class” Streets of San Francisco. Do you think this genuine SFDPW light standard was built to last with its hollow fiberglass construction? See how it’s held together with a hose clamp and caulk? Isn’t it beautiful?

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And why is every act of DPW automatically labeled an “improvement” even in the design phase? Have any planned “improvements” of the thousands committed by DPW over the years actually turned out not to improve anything? Yes, some. So why call everything you do an “improvement?”  

Divisadero Street Pavement Renovation Project

DPW will reconstruct 14 blocks of Divisadero Street between where Castro and Waller intersect to Geary Blvd.

This project is tentatively scheduled to begin during the summer of 2009 and last approximately 6 months.   This project will include improvements to the curbs, sidewalks and new ADA curb-ramps. 

Please continue to visit our website for project updates as the start date approaches.

For more information please contact:

Ms. Dadisi Najib

Bureau of Construction Management

Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Ph:       (415) 437-7018

Email:   dadisi.najib@sfdpw.org

Yes, it turns out that the “Divisidero Community” are deputised traffic engineers:

Divisadero Streetscape Improvements

Project Background
In 2007, the Divisadero community, in coordination with the Department of Public Works, Municipal Transportation Agency and Mayor’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development, created a visionfor the Divisadero corridor between Waller Street and Geary Boulevard.

Improvements include new bus bulb-outs, median widening with trees, landscaping and irrigation, lighting fixture upgrades, new street trees and site furnishings.

Construction Information

The Divisadero Streetscapes Improvements begin September 2009. For more information about construction, visit Divisadero Construction Information page.

Budget
The streetscape project is funded through a combination of a Transportation for Livable Communities (TLC) federal grant with local matching funds to total $3.3 million. Roadway repaving will be funded through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to total $3.2 million.

Schedule
Constructions begins – September 14, 2009 
Complete construction – Winter 2011

For more information:
Transit Improvements (pdf)
Streetscape Improvements-Final Community Workshop (ppt)
Divisadero Streetscape Improvements Fact Sheet (pdf)

Contact:
Kris Opbroek
Great Streets Project Manager
Kris.Opbroek@sfdpw.org

Oh well.

Ästhetik über alles

germa