Posts Tagged ‘city attorney’

PG&E Delivers a Big FU to Superior Court Judge George Miram – PG&E Engineer: “Are We Sitting on a San Bruno Situation?”

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Isn’t it special when America’s worst large utility starts talking smack about pipelines and safety?

Yes it is.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee* might be in the pocket of PG&E, but not the authoritahs down San Carlos way.

How refreshing.

Here’s the latest:

“10/5/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  - PRESS RELEASE #10052013
Subject :

City Activates Limited Emergency Operations Center
Responds to State of Emergency
Contact : Jeff Maltbie, City Manager, City Manager (650) 802-4228
jmaltbie@cityofsancarlos.org
Greg Rubens, City Attorney, City Attorney (650) 593-3117×202
grubens@adcl.com

SAN CARLOS, CA, October 5, 2013 – At 11:30am on Saturday, October 4, 2013, the City of San Carlos activated the Emergency Operations Center in a limited capacity.

At 12:00pm today, the City Manager, City Attorney, San Carlos Police and Fire Departments, and Public Works met via conference call with representatives from PG&E Gas Operations, and State and County Office of Emergency Services, to discuss the current status of Natural Gas Transmission Line 147. Line 147 is a 20″ pipe that is 3.8 miles long and runs from the Interstate 280 corridor, through San Carlos, to the Highway 101 corridor, primarily down Brittan Avenue. The City estimates that some 5000 plus residents live near the transmission line.

Thursday, the City learned that some engineers within PG&E had stated in emails that line 147 may have been structurally compromised by pressure testing that the company permitted in 2011. The City requested PG&E voluntarily shut down line 147, until such time as a neutral third party could examine the data and evidence establishing the current physical condition of the pipe, and its safety. PG&E declined to shut down line 147, and the City was forced to seek an injunction to shut down the line. The injunction was obtained just before 5:00pm Friday.

As of the conclusion of today’s 12:00pm conference call with PG&E, company representatives confirmed that they continue to operate line 147 despite the existence of the injunction, but are analyzing the alleged impacts of shutting down the line. The analysis, according to PG&E, will be concluded by Monday morning, October 7, 2013. Mayor Bob Grassilli responded, stating this timeline is not at all satisfactory. “How can a company which claims safety is their top priority continue to ignore a court order issued to protect the public? It’s 80 degrees outside, PG&E customers in the Bay Area aren’t going to be without gas if line 147 were shut down. They shut down the line for several months in 2011 without impacting customers.” City Manager Jeff Maltbie reiterated for the residents of San Carlos that the City has no reason to believe physical conditions of the pipe have changed in the last few days. He stated, “We’ve declared a state of emergency and obtained a court order because we believe PG&E has incomplete and contradictory information about the safety status and physical make up of line 147. We believe PG&E has a responsibility to our community to shut the line down until they can show the public it’s safe.”

Vice Mayor Mark Olbert stated, “ Our residents deserve to live in their own homes without fear of a pipe line explosion. We are asking that the line be shut down until such time as PG&E can prove to the public in front of the CPUC that line 147 is safe and they know what they have in the ground here in San Carlos.”

*For various reasons. One of them is that he’s enamored by a PG&E lobbyist

Oh, So _That’s_ What the Central Subway Looks Like – A Giant Hole in the Ground at the Foot of Stockton – “Don’t Dig There!”

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

The Central Subway project might make sense politically (let’s take money from taxpayers from all over America to pay for a big project in our little-big city), but it doesn’t make sense from a transit standpoint.

Down down we go, under Market Street, under the MUNI Metro, and under the BART. When you pass by, you should crumple up all your ones and fives on you and throw them into this sinkhole because that’s what you’re already doing and what you will be doing far far into the future.

Click to expand

Oh, what’s that, “transit justice,” they say? Well, most of the victims of this project live in San Francisco and most of them aren’t caucasoids, so I don’t know what the fuck that phrase means in the context  of this ridiculous scheme.

The project promotes transit justice by providing reliable, efficient, and safe transit for those who live in Chinatown and those who want to visit Chinatown.”

Does City Attorney Dennis Herrera believe this bullshit? No. Does Supervisor Scott Wiener? No. How about closeted Republican Supervisor Mark Farrell? No. How about Board of Supervisors President David Chiu? No.

Oh well.

Don’t dig there and dig it elsewhere
You’re digging it round and it ought to be square
The shape of it is wrong, it’s much too long
And you can’t put a hole where a hole don’t belong

The Hole in the Ground” was a comic song which was written by Myles Rudge and composed by Ted Dicks. When recorded by Bernard Cribbins and released by EMI on the Parlophone label in 1962, it was a hit in the UK charts.[1][2]

The song is about a dispute between a workman digging a hole and an officious busybod y wearing a bowler hat. This exemplifies English class conflict of the era and Cribbins switches between a working class Cockney accent, in which he drops his aitches, and a middle class accent for the gentleman in the bowler hat.

The Mystery of This UberX Taxi Ad Chalked onto a Market Street Sidewalk

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

“If people did research into the scandal … the woman is the culprit.”

That bon mon came from so-called “girl-power” girl jennifer Siebel back in the day.

But it applies these days too, ’cause UberX sent a woman to sullie our sidewalks with unpermitted advertising art just yesterday.

As seen on Market betwixt 2nd and 3rd:

Click to expand

Now is this kind of thing a scandal? Well it sure was when Microsoft did it Down Mission Way back in 2010. Ah, memories.

Anyway, this is how it looked, les mise en scene:

And then, poof, this corporate ad got erased with a quickness after the Uber managed to figure things out, one supposes.

Oh corporate overlords, when will you learn?

Hey, are Ridesharing Companies Allowed to Chalk Advertisements onto the Sidewalks of Market Street? Check Out UberX

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Uh oh

The 10th Anniversary of the SFPD Detention of Lawyer Rodel Rodis – Everything’s About Race? – Scott Wiener Angle

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Yes, everything that ever happens in your life has to do with your ethnic heritage, apparently.

That’s the conclusion you might come to after reading this tale from area attorney Rodel Rodis. It started up ten years ago and ended up involving a former Assistant City Attorney by the name of Scott Wiener.

All right, Rodel, the SFPD took you into a station after thinking you were trying to pass a fake $100 bill, but actually it was real, so look sad, come on, sadder, sadder, cleek:

Via Darryl Bush from a story by Ryan Kim

Uh, dude, you’re telling your story wrong.

And I’ll tell you, if you ever find me with a $100 bill, I’ll know exactly where I got it from.

And you’d think somebody could have entered the phrase “1985 $100 bill” into the Google earlier in this process, back in the day, but oh well. (And IRL, a teller supervisor at a bank in the pre-Internet era could examine a bill and then contact the feds in a New York minute, you know, to check the serial number.)

And if Walgreens ever sends me a giant bouquet to turn my frown upside-down, I’d tell them they should have simply handed over the bouquet money directly to me.

But, In mitigation, you went to the former New College of Law and then, unlike most of its graduates*, you passed the CA bar exam. So good on you. Srsly.

And you escaped the college board before City College came crashing down, so that was a good move as well.

All right, let’s look forward to this incident’s 20th anniversary in 2023, when we’ll surely hear this tale again…

*Such as your fellow area minor celebrity, the ivory-white “Ivory Madison.”

U.S. Supreme Court Sets Prop 8 Date: March 26 – DOMA Challenge Too – Back-to-Back Showdown Over LGBT Civil Rights

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Well here’s the big news, direct from the Office of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, below.

Via Steve Rhodes - click to expand

“U.S. Supreme Court sets Prop 8 oral argument date for March 26

DOMA challenge scheduled for the next day, setting the stage for back-to-back showdown over LGBT civil rights

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 7, 2013) — The U.S. Supreme Court moments ago published its formal argument calendar for March 2013, scheduling oral arguments in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, called Hollingsworth v. Perry, for March 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT (7:00 a.m. PDT).

Another case that is also related to same-sex marriage rights — a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA — will be heard the following day, on March 27, at the same time. That case is called United States v. Windsor.

In granting review to both marquee marriage equality cases exactly one month ago, the nation’s highest court set the stage for potentially landmark rulings on LGBT civil rights that promise to be the most eagerly-anticipated of the current court term. Rulings are expected by the end of June.

The legal issues at stake in the challenge to Prop 8, the controversial 2008 ballot measure that eliminated marriage rights for same-sex partners in California, are two-fold: first, whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman; and second, whether the proponents of Prop 8 have legal standing to litigate the case.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights filed the lawsuit in May 2009 on behalf two California couples who sought to marry: Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo. They are represented by lead counsel Theodore B. Olson and David Boies. City Attorney Dennis Herrera intervened as a co-plaintiff in the case in August 2009, renewing San Francisco’s groundbreaking pubic sector legal advocacy for the broader societal interest to end marriage discrimination against lesbian and gay couples. At trial, Herrera and his legal team provided extensive evidence that state and local governments derive significant societal and economic benefits when same-sex partners enjoy equal marriage rights — and, conversely, that denying such rights inflicts grave injustices on the LGBT community that, in turn, harm government and society at large.

When the high court granted review to the case on Dec. 7, 2012, Herrera said: “The federal challenge to Prop 8 represents one of the most significant civil rights cases to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court in decades, and I’m confident that the high court will reach a decision that reaffirms our Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s argument calendar for March is published online here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_calendars/MonthlyArgumentCalMar2013.pdf

The comprehensive timeline of San Francisco’s legal battle for marriage equality since February 2004 is available on City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s website at:

http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=23

The Prop 8 case is: Hollingsworth v. Perry, U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12-144.  The DOMA case is: United States v. Windsor, U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12-307.”

Tink happy tots…

DJH and company, 2008, Civic Center:

Click to expand

Supervisor John Avalos Throws Down: Regulation of the Google Bus is Coming – Legislation for Corporate Shuttles

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Here’s the news:

“Supervisor Avalos Moves to Regulate Private Shuttle Stops

San Francisco, CA – Today San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos requested that the City Attorney draft legislation to create a permit process to regulate shuttle stops for private employer shuttles in San Francisco.

The number of private shuttles on San Francisco streets has increased dramatically in recent years. The San Francisco Transportation Authority reports that there are approximately 36,000 one-way trips per day taken on private shuttles. These shuttles stop at over 200 different locations in the City. There are currently no regulations governing the locations of these shuttle stops. The majority of these stops are using Muni curb zones, which is currently illegal and impacts Muni service.

“I appreciate how private shuttles help reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions,” Supervisor Avalos said, “but their rapid growth makes it clear that we need sensible City policy to prevent this from growing into an unregulated Wild West era of shuttles competing with Muni for curb space.”

As a member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Mobile Source Committee, Supervisor Avalos recognizes that private shuttles are becoming an important part of the City’s transportation and environmental policies.

Despite their benefits, private shuttles present challenges that the City must manage. In addition to delaying Muni service, these shuttles increase the wear and tear on City streets and impact neighborhood’s quality of life. As chair of the Public Safety Committee Supervisor Avalos says, “I recognize the need to address the safety hazards posed by large, double-decker shuttle buses navigating narrow and hilly City streets.” Less direct impacts, such as the dramatic increase in housing costs near shuttle stops, also warrant study.

Supervisor Avalos is encouraged by the work of the Transportation Authority’s San Francisco Integrated Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Partnership Project in coordination with the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA), the Planning Department, the Department of the Environment, and the shuttle operators. He looks forward to working with all of these groups to develop a comprehensive City policy to foster additional growth in private shuttles while minimizing their adverse impacts.”

Now here’s how we handled things a half decade back, or at least here’s how Supervisor Bevan Dufty handled the NIMBYs of Noe Valley back in 2007. (I think he was holding a photo of a Google Bus but I never saw the photo any closer.)

On It Goes…

PS: MUNI sucks. 

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Stars in “Call Me Baby” Parody for the Money Mart Settlement – Deadline Oct 1st

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Here it is:

I was waiting for a stinger at the end, maybe involving DJH, you know, bookends, but anyway, all the deets:

“San Francisco City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera and Money Mart (also known as Loan Mart) have reached a settlement requiring Money Mart to repay California consumers up to $7.5 million

How much is each repayment?

Repayments will range from $20 to $1,800.

Who is eligible to make a claim for repayment?

You are eligible to make a claim for repayment if:

1) you borrowed a pay day advance loan (sometimes called a “Cash ’til Payday” loan) at a Money Mart or Loan Mart store between January 2005 and July 2005, or

2) you borrowed an installment loan (sometimes called a “CustomCash” loan) at a Money Mart or Loan Mart store between July 2005 and March 2007.

(more…)

Commercial Folk Art: The Fillmore’s National Dollar Store, Where Everything Costs “‘______’ Or Less”

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Isn’t it beautiful?

All your favorite brands are here:

Click to expand

(And guess who owns the building in the background: Robert Redford / Sundance!)

Of course the National Dollar used to advertise Everything $1 or Less but there came a time when that wasn’t actually true, so City Attorney Dennis Herrera got after them.

So now the sign says “Everything ___ or Less.”

Hurray!

(Bonus: National Dollar Sidewalk Bling)

 

What’s That PG&E? You’re Sponsoring a “Green App” Contest for $25k? Well, That Makes Up for San Bruno and EVERYTHING!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

I don’t know, PG&E. Sometimes I get the idea that you don’t know that you are the suckiest major utility in the United States…

Hey, I know, why not develop an app what tells you how to do your job without blowing people up?

(And then apply to the CPUC to get reimbursed for all your related expenses. Hooray.)

Via David Yu - click to expand

“PG&E Sponsors U.S. Department of Energy Green Button Apps Contest

Utility Offers $25,000 Toward National Prize for Top Energy Apps

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2012 — After seeing the potential for customers to save energy and money by downloading personal energy data through its Green Button service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is supporting further industry innovation by sponsoring a nationwide search for the best Green Button energy apps.

The Apps for Energy contest is a partnership with the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. technology firms. The developer finalists who create the winning apps for phones and computers will take home part of a $100,000 cash prize from sponsors PG&E, Itron and the DOE, as well as national bragging rights.

“Green Button will arm millions of Americans with information they can use to lower their energy bills,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Innovative tools like these are good for our economy, good for the health of our communities, and an essential part of our approach toward a secure and clean energy future that works for Americans.”

PG&E launched the Green Button in December 2011, responding to a challenge from the White House to design a standard format for customers with SmartMeters(TM) to download their energy use data online. The Green Button aims to promote personal energy awareness and development of phone and computer apps to aid customers in making informed decisions about their energy use and help them save money on their monthly energy statement. To date, there have been about 220,000 Green Button downloads.

“There is incredible power and potential in providing our customers with new visibility into their energy use, with information that’s clear accurate, timely, and easy to use,” said Tony Earley, PG&E Corporation’s Chairman, CEO and President. “Today’s announcement shows PG&E’s commitment to stimulating growth and innovation in the developer community. When it comes to energy management, we are driven to help transform the way our customers manage energy in their home.”

The DOE has long supported energy innovation, driving a nationwide push for more renewable energy sources and encouraging every American to become more engaged with how they use energy.

“Providing consumers with easy access to data on their energy consumption can help give them the tools they need to make informed decisions about their energy use,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has said. “Developing applications and services to help consumers understand and control their energy use is a field ripe for American innovation.”

App developers will be able to participate by registering at challenge.gov and submitting a description, video, photos, and a link to their app. The website energy.gov/developer will be the main resource page for developers. Both sites will go live April 5. Until then, the public can submit ideas for energy apps at energy.gov. The winner is planned to be announced in May.

PG&E customers with an electric SmartMeter(TM) and a My Energy account can log on at pge.com/myenergy, click on the Green Button icon, and download up to 13 months of their hourly electric usage data. About half of the utility’s electric customers – or 2.3 million – are registered with My Energy.

Green Button is one of many energy- and cost-saving benefits available to PG&E customers with a SmartMeter(TM). Other benefits include:

– Hourly electric and daily gas usage data charts via a secure PG&E
website
— Energy Alerts to notify customers when they’re approaching a
higher-priced electric tier and to encourage a change in their energy
use
— Outage detection to help PG&E quickly restore service
— Remote service connection as a convenience for customers
— Special time-varying rate programs like SmartRate(TM)
— Enabling in-home energy management devices that display the energy usage
of appliances

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Gas and Electric Company”