Posts Tagged ‘maintenance’

One Problem, Just One, With SFGov: Planting Trees Without a Plan to Take Care of Them

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

(There is unrest in the (urban) forest / There is trouble with the trees)

Well, read the news and turn the pages – a good part of San Francisco’s “urban forest” is toppling over this AM because of rain. Not due to wind, just a little rain.

Did former Mayor Gavin Newsom run for CA Governor on the number of trees “he” planted in SF? Yes he did. Is that a good thing? No, it’s not.

Here, take a look at what’s going on down in Los Angeles County these days.

Could it be that local governments want to plant too many trees willy-nilly, the same way an alcoholic wants to drink too much?

A solution for that would be a conscious effort to stop planting trees. And also, getting rid of the policy of keeping trees in places where they don’t belong. This is a money issue, this is safety issue.

Oh, here are some facts:

- There is no urban forest. A forest, by definition, can’t be in an urban area. Oh, what’s that , you’re just being aspirational? Oh, you’re just “framing” the issue because you want more trees everywhere and you’ve been able to send the bill to Other People Later On? Oh, okay, well, keep on keeping on then.

- San Francisco doesn’t have any kind of “canopy.” Just look up – if you can see the sky or the fog, then there’s no canopy. Oh, what’s that , you’re just being aspirational? Oh, you’re just “framing” the issue because you want more trees everywhere and you’ve been able to send the bill to Other People Later On? Oh, okay, well, keep on keeping on then.

San Francisco doesn’t have any kind of “cloud forest.” It can’t. We have trees and we have clouds but that’s not enough to have a cloud forest. Of course we have fog and a whole mess of trees from halfway around the world, you know, that don’t really belong here, but that’s not enough.

- Sutro Forest isn’t a “forest.” Do you want to call it a stand or a grove instead? That’d be nice. That’d be accurate too.

Anyway, Supervisor Scott Wiener’s ideas about spreading the cost of tree maintenance over a larger group of tax and fee payers have merit, IMO.

Finally, Graffiti That You Can Understand: “Sinead” in the Panhandle

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Sinead will be with us until our poorly-managed RPD gets done with this maintenance project betwixt Fell and Oak:

Click to expand

This is the most legible graffito I’ve seen in Golden Gate Park since KKKatie…

San Francisco Corruption Revealed on the Floor of the House – Central Subway to Nowhere – A Short Speech

Friday, July 6th, 2012

The Subway to Nowhere. House Chamber, Washington, D.C. June 27, 2012. Remarks by Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA).”

“Mr. Chairman:

This amendment forbids further federal expenditures for the Central Subway project in San Francisco.

The project is a 1.7 mile subway that is estimated to cost $1.6 billion –– and those cost estimates continue to rise.  Its baseline budget has more than doubled in nine years and shows no signs of slowing.  The current estimate brings the cost to nearly $1 billion per mile.  That’s five times the cost per lane mile of Boston’s scandalous “Big Dig.”

It was supposed to link local light rail and bus lines with CalTrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit, but it’s so badly designed that it bypasses 25 of the 30 light rail and bus lines that it crosses.  To add insult to insanity, it dismantles the seamless light-rail to BART connection currently available to passengers at Market Street, requiring them instead to walk nearly a quarter mile to make the new connection.  Experts estimate it will cost commuters between five and ten minutes of additional commuting time on every segment of the route.

The Wall Street Journal calls ita case study in government incompetence and wasted taxpayer money.”

They’re not alone.  The Civil Grand Jury in San Francisco has vigorously recommended the project be scrapped, warning that maintenance alone could ultimately bankrupt San Francisco’s Muni.  The former Chairman of the San Francisco Transportation Agency has called it, “one of the costliest mistakes in the city’s history.

Even the sponsors estimate that it will increase ridership by less than one percent, and there is vigorous debate that this projection is far too optimistic.

I think Margaret Okuzumi, the Executive Director of the Bay Rail Alliance put it best when she said,

Too many times, we’ve seen money for public transit used to primarily benefit people who would profit financially, while making transit less convenient for actual transit riders.  Voters approve money for public transit because they want transit to be more convenient and available…it would be tragic if billions of dollars were spent on something that made Muni more time consuming, costly and unable to sustain its overall transit service.”

This administration is attempting to put federal taxpayers – our constituents — on the hook for nearly a billion dollars of the cost of this folly through the “New Starts” program – or more than 60 percent.  We have already squandered $123 million on it.  This amendment forbids another dime of our constituents’ money being wasted on this boondoggle.

Now here is an important question that members may wish to ponder:  “Why should your constituents pay nearly a billion dollars for a purely local transportation project in San Francisco that is opposed by a broad, bi-partisan coalition of San Franciscans, including the Sierra Club, Save Muni (a grassroots organization of Muni Riders), the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, and three of the four local newspapers serving San Francisco?

Why, indeed.

I’m sorry, I don’t have a good answer to that question.  But those who vote against this amendment had better have one when their constituents ask, “What in the world were you thinking?”

# # #

This amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (HR 5972) was approved by the House on June 29th.  The legislation next goes to the Senate.

Don’t Miss Today’s Big Meeting About Adding a Bike Path to the Western Span of the Bay Bridge – 5:30 PM, 100 Van Ness

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Via LivaSOMA comes news of today’s big meeting about putting a bike lane on the western span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.

It’ll look like this:

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All the deets:

“Open House to Unveil Design Alternatives for Bay Bridge West Span Bike/Ped Path Project - December 13 Meeting to Highlight Concepts, Challenges, Opportunities

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m

SFCTA Board Room
100 Van Ness Avenue, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA), in partnership with Caltrans and the City and County of San Francisco, has developed several design alternatives for a bicycle/pedestrian/maintenance path project on the West Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and will present these alternatives for public review and consideration at an informational open house on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m in the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board Room, 100 Van Ness Avenue, 26th Floor, in San Francisco.

The open house will advance development of a Project Initiation Document (PID) for what is formally known as the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Bicycle Pedestrian Maintenance Path Project. The PID is intended to update the feasibility study performed in 2001. In addition to featuring design alternatives, the open house will outline key challenges and constraints, project costs, and the development process for the project. The public is invited to view project exhibits and talk with project team members. A presentation will be made at 6 p.m. and at 6:45 p.m.  Please note the same presentation will be given at both times.

The proposed pathway project would extend the bicycle/pedestrian path already being constructed on the Bay Bridge’s new East Span by taking it around Yerba Buena Island and across the bridge’s West Span into San Francisco. In addition to providing a continuous bike/ped route from Oakland to San Francisco, the path project also would provide improved bridge access for Caltrans maintenance crews, thereby reducing maintenance closures on the bridge. Please note that these are preliminary designs and that funding for this project has not yet been identified.

Project materials will be posted to mtc.ca.gov/westspanbikepath after the meeting. Meeting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations should be directed to Meghan Daniels at m.daniels@circlepoint.com or 415.227.1100 x118.”

Official CA Agency CalRecycle Declares War on Car Dealerships: Says DON’T Change Motor Oil Every 3000 Miles – Let it Slide

Friday, November 4th, 2011

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), a division of our California Department of Conservation, doesn’t want you changing your car oil as much. They want you to follow the recommendation in your car’s owner’s manual, as opposed to your service manager’s “every 3000 miles no matter what” mantra.

(I don’t think car dealerships and oil change places will like this one bit.)

Anyway, CalRecycle is coming to town tomorrow to pay for free parking for motorists who pledge to increase their oil change intervals. (But don’t anybody tell StreetsBlog SF about the free parking reward – they won’t like that at all. Srsly.)

It’s called the Check Your Number campaign

All the deets, after the jump

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Our California Academy of Sciences Goes Double Platinum – Largest Such LEED-Certified Building in the World

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The California Academy of Sciences just got another award – deets below.

Per Dr. Gregory Farrington, Executive Director of the Academy:

“Our LEED Platinum building is a marvelous example of sustainable architecture that has wowed millions of visitors since we opened three years ago. However, it is more than just a building. It is also a stage—one that has allowed us to host a wide variety of programs and exhibits about the history and future of life on Earth. Delivering these programs as sustainably as possible helps us inspire our visitors to make sustainable choices in their own lives.” 

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That’s right, baby – double platinum:

All the deets:

THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES RECEIVES SECOND LEED PLATINUM RATING FROM U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL

Awarded for its sustainable operations and maintenance, the Academy is now the world’s largest “Double Platinum” building

SAN FRANCISCO – On September 27, 2008, the California Academy of Sciences unveiled the world’s greenest museum—an eco-friendly new home featuring a hilly living roof, recycled denim insulation, and many other green innovations. Three years and more than five million visitors later, the museum celebrates another symbolic color: platinum. Today, the U.S. Green Building Council presented the Academy with its second LEED Platinum award, making the California Academy of Sciences the world’s first “Double Platinum” museum and the world’s largest Double Platinum building. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the Academy building houses an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and world-class research and education programs under one living roof, standing as an embodiment of its 158-year-old mission to explore, explain, and protect the natural world.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the Academy for its commitment to high levels of environmental performance, and for setting the example as a leader in the San Francisco green building community and around the world,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. “Their Double Platinum rating is truly a remarkable achievement for our City.”

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based standard for evaluating high-performance, sustainable buildings. By earning points across a variety of sustainability categories, buildings can earn a basic certification, Silver, Gold, or Platinum rating. In October 2008, the Academy received its first LEED Platinum rating under the “New Construction” category, which focused on the building’s design and construction process. In August 2011, the Academy received its second LEED Platinum rating under the “Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance” category, which certifies that its day-to-day operations and business practices also meet the highest standards of sustainability.

The Academy’s operations and maintenance practices were evaluated and earned points across six different categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. Based on a wide range of green practices and performance metrics, including transportation, purchasing decisions, and waste disposal, it was awarded a total of 82 points, exceeding the threshold for a Platinum certification (80 points).

Founded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s preeminent natural history museums and is an international leader in scientific research about the natural world. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the Academy’s original home in Golden Gate Park, but also provided a silver lining: the opportunity to reinvent the facility from the ground up. After nearly a decade of planning and the largest cultural fundraising effort in San Francisco history, the new Academy opened to the public in 2008. This major new initiative built on the Academy’s distinguished history and deepened its commitment to advancing scientific literacy, engaging the public, and documenting and conserving Earth’s natural resources.

“Our LEED Platinum building is a marvelous example of sustainable architecture that has wowed millions of visitors since we opened three years ago,” said Dr. Gregory Farrington, Executive Director of the Academy. “However, it is more than just a building. It is also a stage—one that has allowed us to host a wide variety of programs and exhibits about the history and future of life on Earth. Delivering these programs as sustainably as possible helps us inspire our visitors to make sustainable choices in their own lives.”

Ever more deets, after the jump.

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“The Bumblebee,” Historic Streetcar #1057, is Back on the Road – Yellow and Green Pay Tribute to Cincinnati

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Click on over to the Market Street Railway Blog to see what’s up with our shiniest Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcar

Check it:

“F-line PCC streetcar No. 1057, painted in tribute to Cincinnati, is known to many of its fans as “The Bumblebee” because of its eye-popping yellow paint and stripes (admittedly dark green instead of a bee’s black). Well, now it’s even more eye-popping following a renovation by Muni’s maintenance team, including an entirely new roof, body repairs, and a complete repainting.”

Fresh paint:

The Muni maintenance team who restored and repainted Cincinnati PCC No. 1057. Top row (L-R): Steve Chu, Carole Gilbert, Arthur Leary, Willie Alexander, Khalil Ali, Leon Bernal, Ontoniel Granados, Patrick Louie, Jose Granados, Alfredo Solis, Raul Alvarez, George Bernal, Peter Kuang, Dick Wie Shi Lui, Priscilla Steuban. Bottom row (L-R): Karl Johnson, Joselito Viernes, Arvin Camposagrado, Carlos Montez, Robert Donahue, Gino Ganoza.

Look for its icon soon here, on the live map.

Hurray!

Don’t be Such an Emo – Get Out and Celebrate the Giant EMO Buttons of Lucasfilm, Letterman Digital Arts Center!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

What would you make of things if you were hanging out in the Presidio and came across this giant cartoonish button?

You’d get on the Yelp and award Five Stars, as so many others have done before you.

Check out what Serge has to say:

“YES! I am glad that I was not the only one to notice this.  First time I walked around the Letterman Digital Arts Center these buttons stood out like a sore emo thumb.  Has anyone ever pressed one? Will the creek flood with emo kids? Will the water run red from razor cut wrists? Will a dark cloud cover the park as the trees die and pigeons turn to black crows?  WHO KNOWS!”

Via A.J.

Bon courage, giant cartoonish EMO buttons of the Presidio!

MUNI Hires a Herd of Goats to do a Little Landscaping up at the Hilly Masonic Maintenance Yard

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Muni Diaries has a nice shot posted today of the herd of goats that have recently been maintaining the Masonic Maintenance Yard, the one right next to the Masonic Trader Joe’s.

You’ve seen these critters about town, right?

Via Mark Wallace

Anyway, speaking of MUNI goats, here’s a nice portrait in white from dragonflypath from a few days back and here’s a good shot of a  flock of MUNI workers dealing with a goat by majarogers from a few years back. Enjoy.