Posts Tagged ‘utilities’

Russian Hill NIMBYs Give the Game Away: “Supervisor Farrell is Also Looking for Ways to Pitch It Beyond Aesthetics”

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Work with me here, people.

Insight #1: Underground can be used as a verb. As in:

“San Francisco Coalition to Underground Utilities”

The name of this NIMBYhood group looked like a typo to me here. This Coalition to Underground Utilities is a really stupid name for various reasons, IMO.

Insight #2: Supervisor Mark Farrell might look like a doofus, but he’s not.

Of course he owes his narrow election victory to a man named Coates. So if Coates wants something done up here in San Francisco* but it doesn’t increase our commonweal, well, that’s what we’d call a conflict of interest (or everyday politics, take your pick.) Anyway, as District 2 Supervisor, he’s well north of his scionic predecessors, but he’ll be sure to tow the party line (the right of the aisle party line) whether it makes sense or not.

Insight #3: Farrell views these Russian Hill cable-burying aesthetic fetishists just as I do.

Here we go, from Report of Meeting with Supervisors Farrell and Chiu”

“Supervisor Farrell is also looking for ways to pitch it beyond aesthetics.”

Oh really! There just might be something more important out in the world than the aesthetic imperatives of a handful of Russian Hill millionaires who want to give the 415 a makeover and who want to tax every San Francisco renter $50 a year for the “benefit?”

So I suppose we’ll soon hear about the important safety benefits of doing whatever it is these aestheticians can dream up?

Hoo boy.

But IRL, Wires are Life. Wires connect people and move people cheaply and safely. Wires are beautiful, man.

See?

Click to expand, if you can bear it. 

*IDK, like the America’s Cup fiasco? Remember, Coates Likes Boats.

Call 811 Before You Dig – Plus What About N11 Codes 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 911?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Your local gas and electric utility monopoly would like you to think before you dig. PG&E reminds us all today to call 811 at least two days before you start digging around, else you might hit a gas main and blow yourself to kingdom come. Some local folks will answer the phone and check things out for you and what’s wrong with that?

But what about all the other x11 telephone services – they are starting to add up huh? Let’s learn about them below.

 

Here there are, all the N11 Codes we have:

211 Community Information and Referral Services

311 Non-Emergency Police and Other Governmental Services

411 Local Directory Assistance

511 Traffic and Transportation Information

611 Telephone Repair Service

711 Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)

811 Access to One Call Services to Protect Pipeline and Utilities from Excavation Damage

911 Emergency

Wow, that’s a lot.

211
(800) 273-6222  Alternative Number
(415) 808-4357  Alternative Number
2-1-1 information and referral service for San Francisco. Information and referral service via regular number for the following counties in California: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Solano.
411
  • Free 411 (800-373-3411)  If you don’t mind listening to a 10-second ad first, Free 411 lives up to its name, giving you free business and residential listings (which can optionally be delivered via text message). Thanks to reader kwright for the tip on this one!
  • GOOG-411 (800-466-4411)  Google’s 411 service is surprisingly ad-free, though it limits you to business listings. Like Free 411, it can automatically connect your call and/or send you the listing via SMS. See it in action in the above video.
  • Live Search 411 (800-225-5411) Microsoft’s 411 service offers not only business listings, but also traffic and weather reports, movie showtimes, travel resources, and more. (Live Search also powers Microsoft’s Tellme service.)
  • 511
    611
    Try it on your phone, see what happens. Probably you’ll get somebody from your phone co.
    711
    811
    See today’s release from Pigs Giraffes & Elephants, after the jump.
    911
    So there you have it, your N11 dialing codes.

    Dennis Herrera Acts to Protect Tenants If Landlord Fails to Pay Utilities

    Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

    Here’s a little equation relevant for these times:

    Declaration signed by Department of Building Inspection Director Vivian L. Day and City Attorney Dennis Herrera + California Civil Code + California Public Utilities Code = Your apartment building not getting cut off from utilities despite your deadbeat landlord not paying the bill.

    Read all about it, below.

    San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera addressing a large crowd in City Hall last year:

    Declaration Triggers State Laws to Protect S.F. Tenants From Utility Shutoffs. Termination of Gas, Electricity Services Due to Owner Nonpayment Poses ‘Significant Threat’ to Public Health and Safety, City Finds

    A declaration signed by Department of Building Inspection Director Vivian L. Day and City Attorney Dennis Herrera triggers provisions of state law that will protect tenants of master metered multiunit buildings in San Francisco from losing gas, heat and electricity services if their landlords stop paying their utility bills. The 2-page declaration issued today concludes that “the termination of private utilities at a master metered building will be automatically deemed to cause a significant threat to the health or safety of the residential occupants or the public,” and establishes that no such utilities be terminated to occupied master metered multiunit residential buildings in San Francisco because of the landlord’s failure to pay. The declaration will remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2010.

    “Given the number of reports of utility shutoffs and the uncertainty in our economy, this declaration is a prudent and necessary step that protects not only tenants, but all San Francisco residents,” said City Attorney Herrera. “The state laws triggered by today’s action were enacted to protect public health and safety in circumstances exactly such as these. DBI Director Vivian Day and her staff deserve credit for their hard work to address these concerns proactively, and I appreciate, too, the efforts of community groups like the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco to protect tenants during these difficult economic times.”

    “We know from experience,” said DBI Director Day, “that interruption of utility services can cause
    residents to try to make due with illegal generators and unauthorized heating devices, and that these pose significant health and safety risks to themselves and their neighbors. This declaration is an important step to eliminate such risks in the midst of the current foreclosure crisis. I am grateful to City Attorney Dennis Herrera for his leadership, the work of his office, and the pro-active efforts by community groups, to help the Department of Building Inspection protect the interests of all San Franciscans.”

    While today’s declaration is not limited to residential buildings facing foreclosure, reported cases of utility shutoffs affecting tenants due to non-payment by landlords have spiked dramatically during the
    recent housing foreclosure crisis. Findings cited in the City’s declaration note that “foreclosures have
    increased by as much as 450% over the past year” in some San Francisco neighborhoods, and one tenant advocacy organization—the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco—is “reporting that they are seeing an average of one case per day” of utility shutoffs to tenants through no fault of their own.
    Today’s declaration follows a public memorandum Herrera issued on Jan. 16 outlining the rights of San
    Francisco tenants under state and local law to remain in their rental units and continue to receive utility service when residential property owners face foreclosure by creditors or delinquency on utility bills. The 11-page memo issued to DBI Director Day, SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington and Director of Public Health Dr. Mitch Katz identified legal provisions in California law that compel such privately owned utilities as PG&E to continue gas and electric service when a public health or building officer certifies it is necessary to protect life, health or safety.

    The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which operates the City’s publicly-owned water and
    wastewater utilities, has a standing policy against shutting off utility services to its customers who are
    tenants for non-payment by their landlord, and rather pursues collections by placing liens on delinquent
    landlord’s building. SFPUC policy additionally affords tenants or their representatives the option of
    establishing a new account for service, directly with the PUC, without being responsible for the past
    delinquencies of their landlord.