Posts Tagged ‘dam’

Incredibly, Official San Francisco Celebrates the Destruction of Hetch Hetchy Valley – 100 Years of Raker Act

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Here’s the real story.

And here’s today’s feel-good press release from SFGov:

“The Pen That Changed the Bay Area Forever

Bay Area Leaders Celebrate the Centennial of the Raker Act with a New City Hall Exhibit

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today, Bay Area leaders joined the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to celebrate the centennial of the signing of the Raker Act into law at a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall.  The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of a new City Hall exhibit featuring the pen that President Woodrow Wilson used to sign the legislation 100 years ago today.

“The Raker Act enabled the construction of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System and Hetch Hetchy Power System,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly. “Once President Wilson signed the act into law, the San Francisco Bay Area began to construct a public water system that now serves 2.6 million people across four Bay Area counties. It also allowed for construction of a public power system that provides clean hydroelectric energy for San Francisco city services like public buses, schools, firehouses, and more.”

The Raker Act provided the rights of way to construct water and power facilities over federal land in Yosemite National Park and Stanislaus National Forest. Named after its chief sponsor John E. Raker, Congressman from Manteca, the bill granted the rights to build O’Shaughnessy Dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley, and construct water-collection and power-generating facilities stretching from the Sierras to the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The communities and businesses in the Bay Area were able to develop and thrive because of access to high quality water,” said Nicole Sandkulla, Chief Executive Officer of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA). “A true engineering marvel, this system supports the health and economic vitality of nearly 7% of California’s population.”

Despite, countless earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters, each day, 2.6 million people in the Bay Area turn on the tap and quench their thirst with Hetch Hetchy Water – some of the most pristine, cleanest water found anywhere in the world. While this water is delivered to its customers, the system also generates on average 1.7 billion kilowatts hours of clean, greenhouse gas-free electricity for San Francisco and its electricity customers. With no carbon footprint from its electricity supply, the SFPUC is considered one of the cleanest electric utilities anywhere.

The City Hall exhibit features a redwood plaque with a silver facsimile of the letter President Wilson wrote which explained his reasoning for signing the Raker Act. Mounted on the plaque is the actual pen the President used to sign the bill into law.

The plaque was originally presented to former San Francisco Mayor James Rolph, Jr. at the dedication of O’Shaughnessy Dam in 1923. Governor Rolph passed this heirloom on to his son, James Rolph III. Rolph was close friends with SFPUC Commissioner Oliver M. Rousseau, and because of this friendship he gave the plaque to Commissioner Rousseau. In 1970 Commissioner Rousseau officially presented the plaque to our commission as the logical and permanent home for such an historic piece. Until a few years ago, the location of the pen was lost to all.  Curators have now refurbished the piece in time for its public debut in City Hall.

Passage of the Raker Act met with a great deal of opposition at the time, having more to do with protecting states and local water rights. Its most well-known opponent was John Muir, environmentalist and founder of the Sierra Club. The merits of the Act are still debated by some today.

“Love or hate the Raker Act, it is undeniable that its passage was truly historic for the San Francisco Bay Area,” concluded General Manager Kelly. “The Hetch Hetchy Regional Water and Power Systems  have reliably served the region well for nearly 100 years.”

The Mistakes of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee – Chapter One: Calling the Hetch Hetchy Valley Restoration Concept “Insane”

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Here it is, in the national media, in the Washington Post’s blog site, for tout le monde to see:

San Francisco’s Spectacular Hypocrisy

That bit from Amy Crawford has this nice quote about Proposition F (2012) from error-prone San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee:

“As insane as this is, it is, in fact, insane,” sputtered the usually mild-mannered Mayor Ed Lee when the initiative was announced.

Now, was it a mistake for San Francisco’s so-called Consensus Mayor to label Prop F (and, indirectly, the supporters of Prop F) as insane?

Yes. It’s not what he meant to say, it’s not what he actually thinks.

Now it certainly would be inconvenient for San Francisco to lose control of Hetch Hetchy, no argument there.

But IRL, it’s not “insane” to think that maybe, just maybe, it’d be a good idea to restore Hetchy Hetchy at some far off point in the future.

The Valley, the “counterpoint” to Yosemite, before San Francisco improperly grabbed it:

And I can see those waterfalls

And I can see those waterfalls

Click to become as “insane” as the half of San Francisco voters what are going to say “Yes” to Prop F (2012) come November.

Interim San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s Corrupt “City Family” Lines Up Against Prop F – Restoring Hetch Hetchy is a Bad Idea?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Is the idea of restoring Hetch Hetchy (you know, at some point) “insane?” No, not at all.

But it sure would be inconvenient, I’ll grant you that.

Anyway, here’s the latest:

“City Contractors & City Bureaucracy Team-Up Against Prop F - Pay-to-play politics used to oppose the Yosemite Restoration Campaign

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2012 — San Francisco city contractors and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) have ganged up to defeat Proposition F, the Water Conservation & Yosemite Restoration Initiative, the most recently released campaign finance reports disclosed.  According to the reports(1), 47% of funding for the ‘No on F’ campaign has come from companies currently doing business with San Francisco; companies with past contracts with the City, and labor unions representing contracted workers with the City. In addition, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has spent an undisclosed amount of money entertaining San Francisco community leaders at the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, as well as more than $197,000 in federal funds promoting the “Hetch Hetchy Brand” to San Francisco voters.

“These public records demonstrate that San Francisco City Hall and its employees have arm-twisted city contractors to extract hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose reform. It’s typical ‘pay-to-play’ politics to defend the status quo and fight water conservation,” said Mike Marshall, Campaign Director for the Yosemite Restoration Campaign. “It’s made that much worse by the improper use of rate-payer and federal funds by the staff of the SFPUC in the run-up to, and during, the campaign.”

Proposition F is the “Water Conservation & Yosemite Restoration Initiative.”  It requires the City to develop a two-part plan to build San Francisco’s local water resources and reverse the damage done to the environment by the current water system over the last 100 years.  The plan would need to be approved by voters in 2016 in order to be implemented.

ABOUT THE YOSEMITE RESTORATION CAMPAIGN: The mission of the Yosemite Restoration Campaign is to reform San Francisco’s 19th century water system to allow for the restoration of Hetch HetchyValley and the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park. It is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization. www.YosemiteRestoration.org

‘No on F’ Campaign Finance Fact Sheet

According to campaign finance reports filed on Friday, October 5 the ‘No on F’ campaign received:

–  $131,122 from companies currently doing business with the City and County of San Francisco.

–  $69,729 from companies with past contracts with the City and County of San Francisco.

 –  $43,500 from labor unions representing individuals working on projects for the City and County of San Francisco.

According to public record requests the SFPUC staff has spent:

–  $197,000 in federal EPA funds promoting the Hetch Hetchy water brand. The funds were intended to encourage San Francisco residents to call 311 to report water quality problems. (2)

    —  An undisclosed amount of money organizing eight junkets to Yosemite National Park for local Democratic Club leaders, ‘No on F’” funders, neighborhood association leaders and gay rights activists.  Despite multiple Sunshine Ordinance requests, SFPUC staff have ignored requests asking for a detailed financial accounting of staff time spent organizing these political junkets.

–  An undisclosed amount of staff costs collaborating with ‘No on F’ attorneys to lobby the Ballot Simplification Committee.

(1)  http://nf4.netfile.com/pub2/Default.aspx?aid=sfo&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

(2)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvug-SeFiek&playnext=1&list=PL1CCB2CBC9D71ECB3&feature=results_main

SOURCE  Yosemite Restoration Campaign

Yosemite Restoration Campaign

Web Site: http://www.YosemiteRestoration.org

USF is Wrong, There IS a Moral Compass App – It’s This: Vote the Opposite of How SPUR Tells You to Vote

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

You see, my new moral compass app will crawl through the website of SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association) to find out its election endorsements. Then it will advise you to vote the opposite.

So, in regards to the the recent Prop A, SPUR told you to vote against ending San Francisco’s archaic and wasteful garbage monopoly.

And on the recent Prop B. SPUR told you to vote for the RPD.

My moral compass app would have advised you to favor both props. See how that works?

D’Accord? D’Accord.

Hey SPUR! Maybe everything our City Family wants isn’t “good?”

Hey SPUR! Maybe you have nothing at all to do with promoting “Good Government.” Maybe you just like promoting the government we have.

How wrong you are, University of San Francisco bus ad:

Click to expand

All right, what aboot the next election coming up, mmmm. Hey SPUR? Why not let’s fix the mistake our City Family forefathers made with Hetch Hetchy? How does that grab you?

Oh, here’s the answer:

Why We Need Hetch Hetchy More Than Ever

 Now, realize, SPUR, I’m not saying that it would be easy or cheap for San Francisco to change things at the Hetchy Hetch, I’m just saying, you know, maybe, at least as a goal for the far off future, maybe we could think about taking a look at what we did to the Yosemite area. Yes, we were able to bully other municipalities a century ago, but was that fair? You know, cause the New York Times and the Sacramento Bee and the LA Times and a bunch of others favor looking into changing things at Hetch Hetchy, right?

So don’t you want to think about this? You know, use your own in-built moral compass?

God damn, SPUR, you don’t have any moral compass at all.

Who the Hell put you in charge of Good Government in the 415?

Oh well.

In closing:

SPUR, you suck!

Anyway, here’s some more on Hetch Hetchy, Dear Reader. Leaving you with this:

Drain the Dam!
San Francisco Examiner
February 16, 2012

Will San Francisco Vote to Drain Hetch Hetchy?
Sacramento Bee
February 15, 2012

San Francisco Water Ethos Goes Only so Far
Sacramento Bee
January 25, 2012

Los Angeles Times – Editorial on Hetch Hetchy
Los Angeles Times
January 15,2012

Historical New York Times Articles: