PRESS CONFERENCES, TUES. DEC. 3: Chinatown and North Beach Hurt Financially

Happy Holidays!  Feel free to attend the press conferences.
Media Information—Press Conferences
CENTRAL SUBWAY CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES INTO HOLIDAYS
CHINATOWN & NORTH BEACH HURT FINANCIALLY
Chinatown/ NorthBeach businesses and residents will discuss severe impacts of subway construction.  Unlike wealthy Union Square’s holiday moratorium, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will continue construction in Chinatown and NorthBeach through the holidays.

PRESS CONFERENCES, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2013
12:30 pm at Stockton/ Washington Streets (across Chinatown Station construction site).
1:30 pm at WashingtonSquarePark (across Pagoda Theater construction site).
UNION SQUARE GETS SPECIAL TREATMENT:  SFMTA is opening up Stockton Street and stopping holiday work through January 2.  Everyone loves to shop and dine In Chinatown and NorthBeach.  But they shouldn’t bear an unfair financial burden.  In Chinatown, some restaurants are reporting a 50% to 70% drop in business.  Residents are facing challenges too.  In NorthBeach, work hours will go to 11 pm at the Pagoda Theater.  Now, there’s construction at the Bank of America at Stockton/ Green Streets.

TWO NEIGHBORHOODS – DIFFERENT TREATMENTS
SFMTA Construction Schedule continues in Chinatown while
Union Square Gets Moratorium:  “Stockton Street between O’Farrell and Ellis has now reopened to traffic and will remain open at least until Jan. 2, 2014. Stockton between Geary and O’Farrell is planned to reopen by early next week.”
North Beach Gets Nighttime Work Hours:  “Starting Monday, Nov. 18, construction hours at the Pagoda will be extended.  Hours will usually be Monday to Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.  The longer hours are required to ensure this work is complete in time for the TBMs to arrive at the site.”
SIGN THE PETITION: Stop subway construction during the holidays.

Let SFMTA know how you feel about Muni service cuts and TEP.
Sign the SFMTA CUSTOMER SURVEY
December 3, 2013 MTA Board Meeting – TEP Update – This is a prime opportunity to present public comment to the MTA Board regarding the TEP. Let them know how pilot projects, such as 5 Fulton, are effecting your neighborhood bus lines now, and how you feel about further changes. Send letters and comments to the MTA Board and Supervisors : contacts here.

RELATED INFORMATION:

NORTHERN TUNNEL IS NOT NECESSARY
In 2008, the defendants FTA and SFMTA released a “Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report” evaluating the Central Subway Project.  In it, the northern terminus of the subway line was described as extending north of Chinatown to Jackson Street, one block north of the Chinatown station.
Internal SFMTA documents show that demolition is not necessary:  In SFMTA’s Risk Management Report No. 46, Risk Item 208 notes:
“March 2013:  2. If resolution of costs associated with the Pagoda option is not achieved, the TBMs will be buried to maintain budget requirements.”
http://nonorthbeachdig.org/docs/sfmta/RiskManagement/2.%20Mitigation%20Report%20(Active%20Status%20Sheets)%20-%20May%202013.pdf
Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) can be buried under Stockton Street or extracted in Chinatown, eliminating the empty 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to Washington Square and the Pagoda Project.  Cost savings of up to $79 million can be used to quickly improve Muni throughout northern and western San Francisco.

WASTEFUL EXPENDITURESNORTHERN TUNNEL IS NOT NECESSARY
In 2008, the defendants FTA and SFMTA released a “Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report” evaluating the Central Subway Project.  In it, the northern terminus of the subway line was described as extending north of Chinatown to Jackson Street, one block north of the Chinatown station.
Internal SFMTA documents show that demolition is not necessary:  In SFMTA’s Risk Management Report No. 46, Risk Item 208 notes:
“March 2013:  2. If resolution of costs associated with the Pagoda option is not achieved, the TBMs will be buried to maintain budget requirements.”
http://nonorthbeachdig.org/docs/sfmta/RiskManagement/2.%20Mitigation%20Report%20(Active%20Status%20Sheets)%20-%20May%202013.pdf
Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) can be buried under Stockton Street or extracted in Chinatown, eliminating the empty 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to Washington Square and the Pagoda Project.  Cost savings of up to $79 million can be used to quickly improve Muni throughout northern and western San Francisco.

WASTEFUL EXPENDITURES
Politicians and developers are forcing the Central Subway northward to North Beach without environmental reviews and public processes.  Even though the last Central Subway Station is in Chinatown, two empty 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to Washington Square are being pushed northward.  The 2,000 foot tunnels and Pagoda/ Bank of America projects are totally unnecessary!  The community has legal rights to choices:
·    By stopping the Central Subway at Chinatown, we can begin a public process to discuss public transit needs for northern San Francisco—-including quicker Muni improvements this year instead of continued service cuts.
·    By halting the two unnecessary 2,000 foot tunnels, we can save $21-$70 million—much of which can help Muni transit throughout the city.
·    By halting the Pagoda Theater Extraction Project, we can save $9.7 million of Muni operating reserve funds—needed for quick Muni improvements.

COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE:  “North Beach Residents Fight Big Hole”
http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/11/05/62636.htm
[ONE CORRECTION:  The Pagoda shaft construction is much larger—50 ft.x 50 ft.x 42 ft.]
“The plaintiffs challenge ‘the so-called ‘Pagoda Option,’ a massive excavation project located in the heart of the historic North Beach area of San Francisco, within an historic district and adjacent or proximate to multiple properties and parks.  The ‘Pagoda Option’ is associated with but is not an essential part of a proposed subway (Central Subway Project) connecting San Francisco’s South of market area with Chinatown.”
“Some estimates claim that the cost of bringing the machines to the surface would exceed the value of the machines, which would probably not be reused anyhow, according to the complaint.”
“They claim the transportation agencies violated law by failing to evaluate the potential use of historic resources and by approving a transportation project that will use historic resources or parklands when feasible alternatives exist.”
“They seek an injunction requiring that the agencies take no action to implement the Pagoda Option and withdraw their approval of the Pagoda Option.”
Website:  http://www.nonorthbeachdig.org 

NO DIG: LEGAL ACTION TO STOP PAGODA OPTION—Learn more at a meeting Sunday.

Sunday, November 24, 5:30 – 7
San Francisco Italian Athletic Club
1630 Stockton Street
Light refreshments served

On November 1, 2013 SaveNorthBeachVillage.org filed a federal lawsuit to stop the Central Subway Pagoda Option.  This option proposes to dig two tunnels into historic North Beach with possibly years of construction disruption to businesses and residents, and without regard for historic buildings or parks.  When this 6-year phase is completed there will be no subway station here.

Please join us for a neighborhood meeting this Sunday to learn more about the legal action and how you can support it.  Please consider supporting this legal action by making a donation. 
For more information and a copy of our Complaint see the web site

STOP SUBWAY CONSTRUCTION DURING HOLIDAYS

HELP NORTH BEACH MERCHANTS & SHOPPERS
CHRONICLE:  “Rats scatter from Central Subway construction”
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Rats-scatter-from-Central-Subway-construction-4981540.php

AS PROMISED, LIKE AT UNION SQUARE –  STOP SUBWAY CONSTRUCTION DURING HOLIDAYS:   SIGN THE PETITION
http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-needless-construction-in-north-beach-at-least-for-the-holidays

Central Subway construction will continue through the holidays at two NorthBeach sites, the Pagoda dig and the newly announced Bank of America dig.

Most here figured there would be a holiday construction moratorium, but this applies only to work on City streets and property.  Work on private property is exempt from the moratorium, including the Pagoda and BofA sites.

By signing this petition, you can tell the decision makers below that holiday construction here is unacceptable.  Messages will be emailed automatically to each of them when you sign the online petition.  Call your Supervisor, the Mayor, and Muni (SFMTA) and let them know residents and businesses here have been through enough this summer and fall, and deserve a peaceful holiday season.

Mayor Ed Lee, City Hall, Room 200,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, S.F. CA 94102  (415) 554-6141 , mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org
Supervisor David Chiu, City Hall, Room 244, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, S.F. CA 94102    (415) 554-7450 , David.Chiu@sfgov.org
Mr. Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation, One South Van Ness, S.F. CA 94103  (415) 701-4720 ,   ed.reiskin@sfmta.com

Please alert your fellow merchants and neighbors. 

Regards,
Save NorthBeachVillage
www.SaveNorthBeachVillage.org

North Beach Residents Fight Big Hole

By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM: courthousenews – excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – Neighborhood groups in San Francisco’s North Beach sued the federal and city transit agencies over a “massive excavation project” in the popular tourist area.
SaveNorthBeachVillage.org and NoNorthBeachDig.org sued the Federal Transit Administration and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in Federal Court.
The plaintiffs challenge “the so-called ‘Pagoda Option,’ a massive excavation project located in the heart of the historic North Beach area of San Francisco, within an historic district and adjacent or proximate to multiple properties and parks. The ‘Pagoda Option’ is associated with but is not an essential part of a proposed subway (Central Subway Project) connecting San Francisco’s South of market area with Chinatown. The ‘Pagoda Option’ represents a potential means of removing the tunnel-boring machines to be used for subway construction from the completed tunnel. This lawsuit does not challenge the whole subway project but rather the superfluous and historically destructive ‘Pagoda Option.'”…

“On October 25, 2013, more than five months after the FTA Determination and just six days before the deadline for claims seeking judicial review of the Pagoda Option, SFMTA issued a ‘Construction Update’ stating for the first time that the Pagoda Option includes a large excavation at 1455 Stockton Street, in North Beach. The excavated area will be at least 20 feet wide and 27 feet deep. None of defendants’ environmental review documents – not the SEIS, not the ROD, not the ‘North Beach Retrieval Option Review,’ not the Addendum, and not the FTA determination – disclosed or evaluated any construction activities at 1455 Stockton Street,” according to the complaint.
This location, as admitted by the FTA and SFMTA, is an historic resource. A March 2008 “Historic Property Survey Report” attached to the ROD stated that the address was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places for its historically significant architecture and as a significant contributor to the North Beach Historic District.
“The Cavalli Building, located at 1435-1445 Stockton Street is an historic resource within the North Beach Historic District. It is immediately adjacent to and will be impacted by the Pagoda Option excavation now planned for 1455 Stockton Street.
“The building at 635-39 Green Street (also known as 36 Card Alley) is another historic resource within the North Beach Historic District that would be impacted by the Pagoda Option excavation,” the nonprofits say.
They claim the transportation agencies violated law by failing to evaluate the potential use of historic resources and by approving a transportation project that will use historic resources or parklands when feasible alternatives exist.
They seek an injunction requiring that the agencies take no action to implement the Pagoda Option and withdraw their approval of the Pagoda Option.
They are represented by Nicholas C. Yost with Dentons US LLP…
http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/11/05/62636.htm

RELATED:
North Beach Lawsuit over Central Subway

MTA BOARD, TUESDAY, NOV. 5, 1PM, City Hall Room 400

MTA BOARD, TUESDAY, NOV. 5, 1PM, City Hall Room 400
AGENDA:  http://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/11-5-13%20Agenda%20-%20MTAB_0.pdf
DOCUMENTS:  http://www.sfmta.com/calendar/meetings/board-directors-meeting-november-5-2013

ITEM 10.6:  On Consent Calendar – comments to:
MTABoard@sfmta.com, or Roberta.Boomer@sfmta.com
DOCUMENT:  http://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/agendaitems/11-5-13%20Item%2010.6%20Pagoda%20Palace%20expenditure.pdf
Item 10.6 adds $550,000 cost to the $9.15 Million Pagoda Theater’s cost—for a new total of $9.7 Million.  This cost increase is a continuing trend of more money being taken from Muni operations.  Especially galling are extra costs for outreach to adjacent businesses—when in reality several businesses have been financially hurt by construction way into the night.  As a reminder, the Tunnel Boring Machines can be extracted in Chinatown, or buried underground like many projects around the world—saving Muni anywhere from $21 to $79 million (depending on which MTA estimate one accepts).  With the Central Subway’s overall contingency falling below 4%, we need to save money for Muni services—not continue to cut services.    

ITEM 12:  Draft Transportation Task Force Report
DRAFT REPORT:  http://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/agendaitems/11-5-13%20Item%2012%20Mayor%27s%202030%20Transportation%20Task%20Force%20Report.pdf
Muni riders want to improve the entire Muni system in every neighborhood—to reverse recent service cuts, route eliminations, shortened lines, missed runs, switchbacks and deteriorating vehicles.  Instead of a well-conceived Master Plan for a world-class transit system, the Transportation Task Force’s Report is merely a pre-determined justification for a huge General Obligation Bond in 2014 and sales tax extensions.
The Task Force’s members put in pet projects and vaguely-defined capital projects.  We need a more holistic Transit-Priority Program throughout the city—like many cities around the world.
Muni riders want SFMTA to address San Francisco’s long-range transportation needs.  The TEP focuses on rapid lines that decreases transit in neighborhoods—hurting seniors, the disable, the disadvantaged and many others.  Also, be aware of hidden agendas.  With looming Central Subway cost overruns, please stop any more funds being taken from the rest of the Muni system.

LUXURY CONDOMINIUMS = DRIVING UP RENTS FOR EVERYONE

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Vote NO on B & C
NO on
Luxury Condominiums that Exceed Height Limits.
$5 Million Condominiums  =  Driving Up Rents for Everyone
EVICTION LOCATION MAP:  http://www.sfbg.com/2013/05/21/urbicide 

EXAMINER:  “Catholic Diocese enters Mission gentrification debate — as landlord”
http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/catholic-diocese-enters-mission-gentrification-debate-as-landlord/Content?oid=2575538

EXAMINER: “Ellis Act evictions changing the landscape of San Francisco housing”
http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/ellis-act-evictions-changing-landscape-of-san-francisco-housing/Content?oid=2585077
 

CHRONICLE:  “Tech boom forcing longtime SF family out of home” http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Tech-boom-forcing-longtime-S-F-family-out-of-home-4843955.php  

CHRONICLE:  “Park Lane tenants protest conversion plans”
http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Park-Lane-tenants-protest-conversion-plans-4853226.php

CHRONICLE:  “Mid-Market artists facing eviction”
http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Mid-Market-artists-facing-eviction-4889314.php

EXAMINER:  “Nonprofits sounding alarm as rents climb”
http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/nonprofits-in-san-francisco-sound-alarm-over-rent-increases/Content?oid=2567178   

SLOW THE WAVE OF LUXURY CONDOS ON THE WATERFRONT—BEFORE A TSUNAMI.