Posts Tagged ‘PUC’

Great Drought of 2014: Ten Percent Mandatory Outdoor Irrigation Conservation Measures Announced for San Francisco

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

As expected, here it is:

“Tuesday, August 12, 2014

S.F. Public Utilities Commission Ratifies 10% Mandatory Outdoor Irrigation Conservation Measures

Restrictions Comply with State Water Resources Control Board’s New Emergency Regulations for Outdoor Urban Water Use

San Francisco, CA – On August 12th, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) passed new emergency outdoor irrigation restrictions for all of its retail customers. The regulations feature a mandate to reduce potable water use by 10% for outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscape and turf. They also require that the SFPUC implement its plan to reduce wasteful outdoor water use.

The new restrictions for outdoor irrigation take effect mid-September and last through June 30, 2015. Only water customers that have metered irrigation accounts will be issued a usage allocation based on a 10% reduction of their 2013 usage. During that September – June timeframe, customers’ usage must not exceed their allocation. Customers will be able to track how they are doing on each bill. At the next scheduled meeting of the SFPUC, Commissioners will consider an excess use charge of 2x the billing rate for every unit in excess of a customer’s allocation. While metered irrigation accounts are the easiest to track, the SFPUC is asking all of its retail customers to comply. Edible food gardens and areas that are irrigated with non-potable water are exempted.

Concurrently, the SFPUC will also be implementing an education-first plan to reduce wasteful outdoor water use by prohibiting certain water-wasting activities, which include:

· Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff;
· Using a hose, without a shut-off nozzle, for any purpose;
· Using drinking water in non- recirculating fountains or decorative water devices; and,
· Washing down driveways/sidewalks except for health and safety purposes.

The exemption for health and safety purposes is strictly limited to: the removal of human and animal waste; the removal of liquids and substances that cause odors, sticky, slick and unsafe conditions for pedestrians; and, the elimination of conditions that attract insects and vermin.
Reports of water waste will be tracked through 311. The SFPUC will be focusing on education and training, not policing and fining. Reported water wasters will be sent a warning notice for reported violations. Only after three warning notifications, clear documentation, and a site-visit by SFPUC staff, will citations be considered. Fines will start at $100 per violation and will require approval by the SFPUC General Manager before issuance. Fines are a last resort only and appeals will be routed through the City Controller’s office.
The new regulations will assist San Francisco in meetings its 10% conservation request. Fortunately, customers have consistently met and exceeded the 10% voluntary conservation request this summer. This savings-spree is making up for lost time earlier in the year when customers were not meeting their goals.

- Total Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System storage stands at 61% of maximum storage capacity.

- As of August 4, total water savings has dramatically swelled to 3.9 billion gallons of water – almost triple from what it was on June 23.

- If the current conservation trend continues, the SFPUC projects meeting the 10% savings goal for the entire year. This will stave off the need for additional system wide water restrictions this year.

“We don’t know when this drought will end,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “The mandatory outdoor irrigation reduction is a small, but important step as we continue conserving and diversifying our precious water supplies.”

The SFPUC provides reliable, high quality drinking water to 2.6 million customers in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. Updates and additional information will be available at sfwater.org/conservation.

Question: How Many Gallons of Water has the City of San Francisco Recycled Since 1850? The Answer Will Amaze You!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Or not. I mean, why would I ask if the answer were anything but zero?

Here’s your super-pure, “better than Evian” Hetch Hetchy drinking water at work right here:

In other news, your SFPUC is working on a plan to downgrade the quality of your water on purpose, because, because…

In still yet other news, the SFPUC is better than you because it paid your money to buy a LEED certification for its new building on Golden Gate from the LEED people – this is so that the SFPUC can be shining exemplar for us all to follow.

“I would not call it less pure at all. I would call it very high quality water,” says SFPUC Assistant General Manager of Water

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

This has got to be the SFGov PR blunder of the year 2014:

I would not call it less pure at all. I would call it very high quality water,” says SFPUC Assistant General Manager of Water in a press conference in response to @sfexaminer story pic.twitter.com/dDme0raWw7

I don’t see how you’re going to able to top that.

A Modest Proposal for Steve Ritchie of the SFPUC: Let’s Start Paying Ten Percent of His Salary with Monopoly Money

Monday, April 28th, 2014

From Jessica Kwong of the San Francisco Examiner:

SFPUC Assistant General Manager of Water Steve Ritchie in a press conference in response to @sfexaminer story pic.twitter.com/dDme0raWw7

 “‘I would not call it less pure at all. I would call it very high quality water,’ says SFPUC Assistant General Manager of Water”

And oh, here we go:

“Blending contaminated SF groundwater with Hetch Hetchy supply makes it safe to drink, experts say” by Chris Roberts

You see how that works? The groundwater sources that the SFPUC wants to provide to us don’t pass muster with the Feds as drinking water. So they want to cut it with Hetch Hetchy water and then, and only then, will it meet standards.

Our drinking water will become less pure, right? I mean, that’s the whole plan, that’s the what the SFPUC has decided to do to save money, for better or worse.

Comes now, SFPUC Assistant General Manager of Water Steve Ritchie to state: I would not call it less pure at all.”

All right, well, the reason why SFGov can’t pay Steve Ritchie his inflated, six-figure salary with Monopoly money is because it doesn’t pass muster with the Feds as lawful currency. But what if we cut it with real money, so Steve Ritchie ends up with his salary being paid with 90% real money and 10% fake money?

I wouldn’t call that a pay cut at all. I would call that a “very high-quality” salary, one well above whatever our Federal government requires for the minimum wage.

What say you to that, Steve Ritchie?

A “Ten Percent Request” – The SFPUC Would Like to Lecture You About Water Conservation During These Dry Times

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Which is fair enough.

“SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly’s Statement on Voluntary, 10% Water Conservation Request

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Harlan Kelly issued the following statement today regarding a request for customers to voluntarily curtail water use by 10%.

“On Friday, January 31st, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will ask customers of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System to voluntarily curtail water consumption by at least 10%. Over the next few days, I will be working closely with Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco city departments and our Bay Area wholesale customers to develop strategies to meet this water conservation goal.
I believe voluntary water conservation efforts are the best way to avert mandatory cutbacks and other water restrictions should drought conditions persist.”

A formal announcement and media availability will take place on Friday. Details will be made available in a press advisory the day prior. The SFPUC provides reliable, high quality drinking water to 2.6 million people in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda Counties.

As always, the SFPUC encourages our customers to conserve water. Here are some helpful tips to conserve water around the house.

1.    Turn off the faucet when you are brushing your teeth or doing the dishes – save 2 gallons per minute.
2.    Take shorter showers. Each minute you cut saves 2.5 gallons. Make sure you or your property owner have installed a high-efficiency showerhead.
3.    Operate your clothes and dishwashers with full loads only, even if the machine has an adjustable load setting.
4.    Use a broom to clean sidewalks, driveways and pavement instead of using a hose.
5.    Reduce outdoor watering needs by planting species appropriate for the Bay Area’s dry climate.
6.    Water during the cool part of the day. Reduce evaporation by watering lawns and plants only at night or early morning before dawn.
7.    Detect leaks. Do you hear the toilet running or your faucet dripping? Contact the SFPUC or your local water agency for information on locating your water meter and detecting plumbing leaks using meter readings. Conducting a dye-test in toilet tanks can identify costly silent leaks.
8.    Install aerators on bathroom and kitchen sinks to reduce indoor water use by about 4%.
9.    Many Bay Area water utilities provide a number of efficient conservation plumbing fixtures for free. The SFPUC provides free faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads and garden spray nozzles to San Francisco residents. Pickup in person with proof of address at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco – Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
10.    Replace your old toilet, the largest water user inside your home. New high-efficiency toilet models flush at 1.3 gallons or less compared to older models, which use up to 7 gallons per flush. Bay Area water agencies offer cash rebates for the purchase of select high-efficiency toilets.
11.    Replace your clothes washer, the second largest water user in your home. High efficiency clothes washers can reduce water and energy use by 40%. Bay Area water agencies offer cash rebates for the purchase of select high-efficiency clothes washers.

Updates and additional information will be available at sfwater.org/supplyupdate.

Is the SFPUC Trying to Buy Off the Ocean Beach Bulletin Blog to Promote the “Sunset Greenway Project?” Sure Looks That Way

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Take a look.

Kind of reminds me of this outfit, which ended up losing relevance after taking money from the SFMTA.

Is this the kind of thing they call co-option?

(I’ll tell you, I’m the only bay area entity I know that turned down an ad money offer from horrible, horrible PG&E. (Can the San Francisco Bay Guardian say that? No. They’ve done at least one ad deal with PG&E. At the time I thought to myself, “Isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think?”)

As always, JMO.

And for every person who voices an opinion like this, there are ten or a hundred who think exactly the same thing but, they’re, you know, too polite to say anything.

I mean, why not say, “We have a contract with the PUC to promote this project” right on the top of the page?

Something to think about…

OMG, New “Leap Transit” Bus is a Replacement for the MUNI 30X – It’s $6 to Ride the Marina Express One-Way to Financh

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

[UPDATE: Kevin Montgomery of Uptown Almanac reacts.]

[UPDATE II: The Twitter-stream of one @kylekirchhoff just went private. C’mon, Bro! You gotta engage with the peeps. Today is your big day. It’s not that incrimernating, is it? Bro discusses how much he doesn’t like Twitter, McAfee Antivirus Inc, and how many people got shot on a MUNI #14 last year. You know, all the usual stuff. But I’ll tell you, withdrawing from Web 2.0 is what criminales do, right? You’re just a bro with a bus. Nothing wrong with that.]

[UPDATE III: Aaron Sankin of Huffington Post San Francisco weighs in.]

[UPDATE IV: And now Ellen Huet of the San Francisco Chronicle:

John Avalos, a supervisor who has fought against private companies use of Muni stops, called Kirchhoff’s comments “very disingenuous.”

“What a crock of s—,” Avalos said. “How does blocking a Muni stop make the city more efficient? You’re trying to make money, and you’re creating a two-tiered transportation system in San Francisco.”]

I’ll tell you, I’ve been waiting years for a MUNI alternative to pop up and look, it’s here.

Now I’m not talking about the corporate buses (like Google, Apple, FaceBook and so on) that have been around for a decade or so, and I’m not talking about Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and the like and I’m not even talking about the private version of the taxpayer-subsidized Twitter Express, the 83X.

No no. I’m talking about Leap Transit duplicating the unpopular MUNI Marina Express 30x with a private shuttle bus that costs $6 one-way.

It looks like this, as seen just yesterday:

Via Gregg Meyer

Here’s what the site looks like:

See that? The bus comes with WiFi and leather seats, but they cost three times as much as MUNI. And I’m supposing you and your wheelchair would be better off on MUNI, just a guess. And, oh yes,  you pretty much need an Apple iPhone (or as close an iOS device as possible) to climb aboard.

Now you’d think the MSM would be all over this new company, but no. So far, Leap has escaped notice, except from this bloke called  from Down Under. (Uh, he’s _not_ a fan. I haven’t seen a booting like this since Bart vs. Australia)

“This little blue bus symbolises everything that is wrong with the current bubble and boom of internet startup culture. It’s in San Francisco. It belongs to Leap Transit. And, on May 13, this “better bus” — OMFG, it has leather seats and wi-fi! — began operating as part of what’s billed as a “shuttle service for San Francisco commuters.”

Bonus bon mot:

“This socialized [x] is slow and unprofitable. Let’s start a [x] for rich people that pays its employees less.”

Leave there be no doubt, Leap Transit is a wannabe MUNI disrupter. See?

So far, reaction around town has been mixed.

To wit:

connie hwong ‏@crh17h This has come to my attention: a $6 shuttle from the Marina to SOMA, with leather seats & wifi. Seriously, SF?”

Check it:

I don’t know, if the 30X just passed you by ’cause it’s raining and you see a Leap bus coming at you and you have an iPhone and you’re already signed up, well then Leap just might be worth the six bucks.

A 28-year-old white man wants you to ride his technicolor submarine.

Will you?

All the deets:

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

Wow, Those SmartMeter Crazies Almost Make Me Feel Sorry for PG&E, America’s Worst Big Utility Company – But Opt Out If You Want

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Well, here it is, your brand new PG&E SmartMeter opt-out option.

Click to expand

David R. Baker was on the scene at the big CPUC meeting yesterday, actually engaging with the crazies, so check that out if you want.

And if you think that a SmartMeter has ANYTHING AT ALL to do with your health (and, oh yes, you yourself are somehow particularly affected by infinitesimal amounts of additional non-ionizing radiation in your life, I hear what you are saying) you’re barking up the wrong tree. People who don’t tell you that are just patronizing you, just saying.

Now here’s what PG&E has to say. Enjoy:

“SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 1, 2012 — Residential electric and gas customers who have concerns about wireless technology can now choose either a new SmartMeter(TM) or a traditional analog meter, following the final decision today by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) supports the CPUC’s decision and will respond quickly to customers who opt-out of the utility’s SmartMeter(TM) program.

“We know personal choice is important to our customers when it comes to the meters on their homes,” said Helen Burt, PG&E’s Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “This final decision in support of analog meters is a positive step forward for those who have concerns over wireless technology. We understand some customers have been waiting for this decision, and we are actively reaching out to those who have expressed their desire for a SmartMeter(TM) alternative.”

PG&E is installing digital, wireless SmartMeters(TM) throughout its service area in Northern and Central California as part of a statewide effort to help customers save on their bills by offering them more control over their energy usage, improve reliability and customer service, and conserve natural resources to help the environment. As part of a global effort to modernize the energy grid and transform it into a digital network that will deliver more reliable power to homes and businesses, similar metering programs are now underway at utilities throughout the country and around the world. To date, PG&E has installed nearly nine million gas and electric SmartMeters(TM), on its way to about 10 million meters in 2012.

Independent studies repeatedly have affirmed the safety and accuracy of SmartMeters(TM). However, in response to comments from some customers, PG&E in March 2011 proposed offering them a choice to turn off the radios in their SmartMeters(TM), and then provided customers with the option to delay the installation of new SmartMeters(TM) pending the CPUC’s final decision. In December 2011, PG&E asked the CPUC to approve analog meters as another alternative to receiving a SmartMeter(TM), which was the central element of the CPUC’s decision today.

Burt added, “The vast majority of our customers are already seeing the many benefits of SmartMeters(TM). By choosing to stay with our program, our customers will continue having control by seeing where they can save energy throughout the course of the day and making simple but effective changes around the home to save money.”

PG&E customers who want to opt-out of the SmartMeter(TM) program can submit their request online at www.pge.com/smartmeteroptout or call 1-866-743-0263. PG&E plans to remove the gas and electric SmartMeters(TM) from the homes of those opt-out customers who already have SmartMeters(TM); those customers who still have analog meters will be able to keep them.

The CPUC’s final decision requires customers who opt-out of the program to pay a $75 initial setup charge and a $10 monthly charge. This will cover the costs of manual meter-reading and associated operational and billing issues. Income-qualified customers will pay a $10 initial setup charge and $5 a month.

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/.

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company”