Posts Tagged ‘stimulus’

OMG, Signs of a Renaissance at Our “Second Renaissance Revival” Federal Building at 50 Fulton – Hurray!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

OMG, it’s “Loin Stimulus,” finally.

These days, there are signs of life at the old Bakewell & Brown Federal Building at 50 Fulton. (Or “50 United Nations Plaza.” Why put the name of that failure all over the place? Yish. The address is 50 Fulton, IRL, right?)

See the workers up there? 

Click to expand

It’s what the Feds call “Recovery in Progress – Working for you. Working for San Francisco.” Gee, thanks, Feds!*

Groove on the architecture.

Looks nice from the inside:

Now, don’t get me started on Lawrence Halprin‘s failed United Nations Plaza, the Mistake by the Lake built atop Yerba Buena Cemetery:

“Halprin was the creative force behind the interactive, ‘playable’ civic fountains most common in the 1970s, an amenity which continues to greatly contribute to the pedestrian social experience in Portland Oregon, where “Ira’s Fountain” is loved and well-used, and which has been a chronic failure at the transient-ridden United Nations Plaza in San Francisco.”

And UN Plaza made the Hall of Shame. Oh well.

All the deets about 50 Fulton:

Significant events

1927: Congress approves $2.5 million for new San Francisco Federal Building
1930: City of San Francisco donates site for building
1934-1936: Building constructed
1975: United Nations Plaza construction commences
1987: San Francisco Civic Center designated a National Historic Landmark
2007: Building vacated
[edit]Building facts

Location: 50 United Nations Plaza
Architect: Arthur Brown, Jr.
Construction Dates: 1934-1936
Architectural Style: Second Renaissance Revival
Landmark Status: Designated a National Historic Landmark as a Contributing Building to the San Francisco Civic Center
Primary Material: Granite
Prominent Features:
Classical Facade with Upper-story Colonnade
Ornate Entrance Vestibule, Lobby, and Elevator Lobby
Naval Commandant’s Office

*Thanks for finally doing something with your aging hulk of a brokedown palace after all these years.

The Reason Why It’s a Little Patronizing to Print Towaway Signs in Japanese on Sutter Street

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

These temporary towaway signs for a stimulus project on Sutter Street near Octavia are close enough to Japantown I suppose, but the idea that it’s remotely possible that this translation would be of any use to any driver is laughable.

It’s a nice gesture, though, I suppose.

But, as stated, it’s a little patronizing…

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:

Click to expand

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


Is Rec & Parks Spraying Herbicides on Twin Peaks this Month? You Bet

Monday, November 16th, 2009

This is what a Notice of Pesticide* Application looks like – it’s from our oddly-named San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. They’re spraying herbicides, like Roundup ProDry from Monsanto and Garlon 4 Ultra from Dow, on 15 hilly acres up there, right above the Midtown Terrace. That’s what Rec and Park is doing this month.

Why? Well, why not?

Targeted for extermination are Cotoneaster, Pittosporum, and Arctotheca calendula. See?

IMG_9578 copy

Click to expand

Maybe it’s that stimulus money they’re spending.

Now, while the impoverished R&P is doing that, they’re also sprucing up, wait for it, the HQ building for the R&P.


IMG_9418 copy

Maybe it’s that stimulus money they’re spending.

Oh well.

*Or “herbicide” –  sometimes people call herbicides “herbicides” instead of pesticides. Sometimes.

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:

Click to expand

IMG_9777 copy


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


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.

A Fired-Up Ross Mirkarimi Calls for Local Hiring on the Doyle Drive Replacement Project

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

San Francisco District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi gave a stem-winder to a crowd of 100 or in the Civic Center on the steps of City Hall yesterday. Why? Because he wants local hiring for the Doyle Drive replacement project (you know, the one with all that President Barack Obama / Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi federal stimulus money) up in the Presidio.

IMG_6368 copy

Here are some deets:

Resolution Urges Local Hiring for the Doyle Drive Replacement Project

On Tuesday, September 15th, the Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution authored by Supervisor Mirkarimi that urges Caltrans and its contractors and subcontractors working on the retrofit of Doyle Drive to hire from local workers, and in particular, workers from our economically disadvantaged communities. Federal stimulus funds will be used to replace the Doyle Drive approach to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Supervisor Mirkarimi has worked hard to strengthen local hiring requirements for City contractors. However, the Doyle Drive replacement project is managed by Caltrans, who is not bound by city policies regarding Workforce development. The non-binding resolution requests that Caltrans and its contractors and subcontractors actively participate in San Francisco’s Workforce Development Programs when pursuing projects within San Francisco.

A rally and press conference will be held at noon, Tuesday, September 15th to raise awareness on the issue and highlight the successes of the City’s workforce development programs.

Tonight: Public Information Meeting for Doyle Drive, the Southern Approach to the GGB

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Can you see the photo illustration below? That’s the future of Doyle Drive, whether you like it or not!

Parts of it are going underground soon, courtesy of Barack Obama stimulus money and your San Francisco County Transportation Authority, and a few others. Get all the deets of this Big Dig tonight, July 23, 2009 at Fort Mason – 6:00 PM open house, 6:30 PM presentation.


Can you see Doyle Drive in the background? That’s the way it looks today, all concrete and clay, and general decay.


Supervisor Bevan Dufty speaking at the recent ceremony announcing the acceleration of the project.

Here’s the meeting:

*Doyle Drive Community Construction Meeting
When: July 23, 2009 – Thursday
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Fort Mason Center (Marina Blvd. and Buchanan Street) San Francisco Landmark Building A Conference Center, Golden Gate Room, San Francisco
What: Discussion includes construction schedules, road closures and detours.
Lots more deets, after the jump.

Dennis Herrera Kicks Off the City Attorney’s Stimulus Spending Task Force

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced the appointment of a Stimulus Spending Task Force. That sounds like a good thing in these harried times, right?

DH declares he will not abide any federal stimulus “waste, fraud or abuse.”

Fair enough.        

Herrera Task Force to Maximize Efficiency, Accountability in S.F. Stimulus Spending. City Attorney’s Central Role Enables Office to Streamline, Scrutinize Federal Monies “Without Needing to Invent Costly New Bureaucracy”

City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced the appointment of the City Attorney’s Stimulus Spending Task Force to coordinate legal compliance by City departments, and guarantee maximum transparency, efficiency and accountability for City investments made possible by the federal government’s recently enacted $787 billion economic stimulus package. 

Herrera’s Task Force combines expertise and experience in a range of contracting issues from within the City Attorney’s Office, centralizing relevant practice areas and capabilities that include: contracts and grants; Sunshine and open government; construction and public works; land use and environment; federal funds compliance; and fraud investigations and litigation.  Herrera has charged the task force with scrutinizing the entire lifecycle of projects funded by federal stimulus monies — from grant applications, through federal audit processes, to final deliverables. 

“Our paramount duty is to ensure that this unprecedented level of federal funding is invested honestly and in ways that deliver real value to our communities and our children — we will not tolerate waste, fraud or abuse,” Herrera said.  “When President Obama signed the recovery and stimulus package into law, he challenged all of us in public life to prove to the American people that their trust in government is not misplaced.  Because of the central role my office already plays as legal counsel to all City departments, we are uniquely positioned to coordinate, streamline, and scrutinize San Francisco’s citywide efforts — without needing to invent costly new bureaucracy.  I am very confident that the dedicated public servants I have appointed to the City Attorney’s Stimulus Spending Task Force are well matched to the challenges of this important endeavor.”

Herrera has charged the task force with a five-part mission: (1) to guarantee full public transparency for project planning, bidding and expenditures; (2) to assure stringent oversight and accountability over project expenditures, management and deliverables; (3) to fast-track processes to the greatest extent possible for contractors seeking to meet local and state requirements; (4) to coordinate citywide compliance in meeting federal application and auditing requirements; (5) to thoroughly investigate and aggressively pursue waste, fraud or abuse, whether by public employees or private contractors.

San Francisco has identified more than $2 billion in federal funding requests for local investments that include airport infrastructure and security upgrades, Muni service improvements, high-speed rail, creating green jobs, cost-saving medical records technology, and expanding broadband Internet access to underserved communities.  In signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, President Obama identified unprecedented safeguards in how federal recovery dollars would be awarded, distributed and scrutinized.  The President made clear that every taxpayer dollar spent on economic recovery is subject to stringent transparency and accountability standards.

Meet the team, after the jump


Nancy Pelosi and Gavin Newsom Bring the Bacon Home to San Francisco

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Perhaps this morning’s annoucement about funding for the hazardous Doyle Drive approach to the Golden Gate Bridge might be a tad premature, but assistance from federal stimulus is “expected” so that’s cause enough for celebration in today’s economy. And, we’ll get started sooner rather than later:  

“Today Mayor Gavin Newsom and Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined regional leaders in announcing that construction to replace Doyle Drive, the main southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, will be expedited by Caltrans and save taxpayers $90 million dollars. Construction on the project is now slated to begin this year, instead of the originally scheduled date of 2010.”

So, take a look at today’s event and read the deets below.

This is Doyle Drive – see the blissfully unaware tourists waving to the crowd? Like the Bay Bridge, this thing isn’t ready for the next big earthquake. Click to expand:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the aging viaduct that’s not long for this world…

…along with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom:

Jake McGoldrick brought a prop from his shed to show the Feds how “shovel-ready” this project is:

The whole affair had a party-like atmosphere with numerous local pols, such as Senator Mark Leno, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell

…and Supervisor Bevan Dufty:

The United States Park Police, avec dog and pony, were on hand to pose near the Golden Gate Bridge: 

Will Doyle Drive get fixed before this tyke gets into driver’s training?

We can only hope.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today Mayor Gavin Newsom and Speaker Nancy Pelosi
joined regional leaders in announcing that construction to replace Doyle
Drive, the main southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, will be
expedited by Caltrans and save taxpayers $90 million dollars. Construction
on the project is now slated to begin this year, instead of the originally
scheduled date of 2010.
“With California receiving a nearly $2.6 billion share of highway funding
under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we have another
significant opportunity to move the new Presidio Parkway closer to becoming
a reality,” Speaker Pelosi said.  “Together, we will build not only a new
bridge, but a new opportunity for job creation and economic recovery here
in San Francisco.”
“The Doyle Drive Replacement project has been a vision for more than 15
years, and because of the strong regional commitment to partner and
prioritize this critical infrastructure project, it is now a reality,” said
Mayor Newsom. “This project is shovel ready and a signature example of how
the federal stimulus can close the funding gap, stimulate the economy,
improve transportation, and create jobs in San Francisco.”
In the past year, the region has worked together to fill the funding gap in
the reconstruction project.  Last January, the anticipated shortfall was
over $400 million.  The reduction is in part, a result of redirected
federal earmarks, $90 million in savings from expediting the project, and
the State share of federal stimulus funds.
Doyle Drive on U.S. 101 traverses the Presidio of San Francisco and serves
as the southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge.  This badly
deteriorated structure is designated a Post Disaster Recovery Route and is
the only link between the San Francisco peninsula and northern California
counties. The project will replace this aging facility with a new parkway
connecting San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio of San
Francisco, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The
project features six travel lanes plus an eastbound auxiliary lane between
the Park Presidio interchange and a new Presidio access at Girard Road.
The Federal Highway Administration issued a Record of Decision on the
environmental document for the Doyle Drive Replacement Project in December
2008.   Due to its importance, the City and County of San Francisco, the
San Francisco Transportation Authority (SFCTA), and the Metropolitan
Transportation Commission (MTC) have partnered with the Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) and the State of California Department of
Transportation (Caltrans) to advance a project to improve seismic,
structural, and traffic safety along Doyle Drive.  The implementation plan
is the result of about 15 years of planning, studies and negotiations.

Senator Leland Yee Responds to New State Budget, Hopes for Federal Stimulus Package

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Here’s the latest from Sacramento, from San Francisco’s own Leland Yee, Ph.D:

Senator Yee Responds to Passage of State Budget. Yee objects to open primary, draconian cuts to education and social services, weakening of environmental and labor standards.

SACRAMENTO – On Thursday morning, the California Legislature approved an 18-month budget plan that includes expenditure reductions, revenue increases, economic stimulus and spending and government reforms.
Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) praised his colleagues for finding a resolution to this ongoing crisis but remains concerned over the long-term impacts of California’s financial situation as well as policy changes to the State’s environmental and labor regulations.
“Yesterday, the State Legislature was able to avert a potential catastrophe by adopting a budget that addresses the State’s $42 billion deficit,” said Yee. “While I am relieved that we have avoided a potential disaster, I am deeply concerned that many vital services and programs will be negatively impacted.”
The compromise budget package agreement, which was the culmination of over 100 days of negotiations, includes $15 billion spending reductions comprised of numerous and permanent cuts to a broad range of services, $12.8 billion in temporary tax increases, $11.4 billion in borrowing, and establishes a $1 billion reserve. 
If California receives its anticipated funding as part of the federal economic stimulus package approved by Congress, the State may be able to borrow half as much as needed currently, taxes will be reduced and some of the cuts will be restored.
“There remain many challenges ahead for California,” said Yee. “In addition to addressing issues such as healthcare reform and our deepening drought we must work diligently and expeditiously to restore services for working families, for protecting our environment and for providing for the basic quality of life for those in need.”
“While this budget solves an immediate and critical problem, the long-term impacts of the budget cuts enacted will have many unfortunate consequences,” said Yee.

More deets after the jump.