Warriors win second court decision in S.F. arena battle

Warriors Stadium project is upheld by higher court


By Roland Li :bizjournals – excerpt

The California Courts of Appeal upheld on Tuesday the environmental review of the Golden State Warriors’ San Francisco stadium plan, allowing construction to begin on the $1 billion arena and office development unless another appeal is filed.

The decision stated that the legal challenge by the Mission Bay Alliance, which has been fighting to block the project, didn’t have merit. The Mission Bay Alliance, which includes University of California, San Francisco staff and donors, alleged that the city didn’t properly study the 18,000-seat stadium’s impact on traffic and the environment. The project also includes two 11-story office buildings…

“The Mission Bay Alliance, Jennifer Wade, and SaveMuni are deeply disappointed with today’s court ruling. Our legal team is reviewing the ruling and considering options. We believe that the proposed Warriors’ arena is incompatible with the Mission Bay South neighborhood and would result in blocked…

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Trump’s sanctuary city threat, shortfalls lead SF to revise budget

Bait and Switch is here.

Grassroots Actions

By Emily Green :sfchronicle – excerpt

It seems like San Francisco — the center of the nation’s tech boom and the strong economy and tax revenues that come with it — went overnight from being flush to having serious financial constraints.

The combination of a ballot measure to increase the sales tax that failed, threatened federal cuts from President-elect Donald Trump and a projected $5 billion pension shortfall means City Hall officials are now considering actions that would have seemed unthinkable just three weeks ago.

Among them: redirecting new revenue generated by the just-passed soda tax from health programs to homeless services, ending the Twitter tax break that was designed to draw
tech companies to the city, annulling a voter-approved charter amendment to pay for street tree maintenance and not spending the money to make City College free.

“The city is in a strong financial position, and the mayor…

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Fail: ‘Google Bus’ lacks mandatory permit on main photo of major tech shuttle report

By sfweekly – excerpt


The City released a hotly anticipated, deeply controversial (to transportation nerds, anyway) report on “tech shuttles” last week, but it may have included a major snafu.

The report, which lays outs the dangers and benefits of moving Silicon Valley commuter shuttles off of San Francisco streets and into hubs, follows The City touting its accomplishments in ticketing law-breaking shuttle drivers…(more)



Commuter  Shuttle Hub  Study November 15, 2016
Links to documents from the November 15, 2016 SFMTA Board Meeting:


Many people noted the Out of Compliance Bus featured on the cover of the report and commented on it. It seems that SFMTA staff is less familiar with the regulations than the public is. For some reason all the photos chosen for the report show the tech buses in Muni stops.

As far as the eye can see7.jpeg*4 buses, Muni, truck2 copy.jpeg
Two photos by Ozzie Rohm of 24th Street in Noe Valley during morning rush hour illustrate why the neighbors want relief from the onslaught on tech shuttles.

The Nov 15, 2016 MTA Board agenda item 11 addressing the HUB analysis and the Six Month Update contained 77 pages.  Only two minutes of public comment was allowed!

Supervisor Wiener request a meeting at the The Board of Supervisors (BOS) Land Use Committee. There is not a date set yet.  We will watch the BOS meeting agendas for updates.

MTA CAC (Citizens Advisory Council) has scheduled a Commuter Bus HUB presentation for Thursday. Dec 1, 5:30pm at 1 South Van Ness, 7th Floor.

SFCTA CAC (SF County Transportation Authority Citizen Advisory Committee) has a presentation scheduled for Wednesday November 30,  6 PM at  1455 Market Street, 22nd Floor. Will follow-up to determine if this may change due to the holidays.

Many thanks for everyone who  wrote letters, emails and personally made public comment.

Appellate Court Rejected EIR That Found Insignificant Traffic Impacts, Despite Consistency With Infill-Promoting General Plan Policy


by Amanda J. Monchamp, Genna Yarkin : jdsupra – excerpt


  • The Court of Appeal of the State of California, Third Appellate District, overturned an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for an urban, residential infill project, rejecting the threshold of significance the City of Sacramento used to determine that traffic impacts were less than significant at two busy intersections.
  • The appellate court held that consistency with an infill-promoting general plan mobility element policy alone does not constitute substantial evidence that there is no significant impact, even where the policy is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using flexible standards to measure traffic impacts in central city areas.

East Sacramento Partnership for a Livable City v. City of Sacramento et al., No. C079614 (Cal. Ct. App. 3rd Dist., Nov. 7, 2016)..(more)

Good news for people claiming traffic impacts are significant under CEQA. There is also a renewed interest…

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Transit director: ‘Unknown’ if Trump threat to federal funding will hurt Muni, SF streets

Good time to write the federal representatives and let them know how you feel about SFMTA projects.

Meter Madness

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez :sfexaminer – excerpt

The recent win of President-elect Donald Trump has sent sanctuary cities into a scramble, with San Francisco agencies asking: Will Trump cut major funds for San Francisco?

The question gained real gravity after Trump pledged to cut funding from sanctuary cities across the U.S., who aim to shield undocumented immigrants from federal agents. Mayor Ed Lee declared last week that San Francisco would remain a sanctuary city.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin told his employees in a mass email Wednesday that threats to Muni’s funding are “unknown.”

In the email, which Reiskin sent Wednesday morning as a post-election message to his staff, he outlined potential peril. “We do receive a considerable amount of federal funds as part of our capital budget,” he wrote.

That funding comes in the form of grants disbursed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission

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Sierra Club Opposes the Proposed Warriors’ Arena in Mission Bay



Nation’s Largest Grassroots Organization Focused on Environmental Protections Says the City of San Francisco Ignored Major Negative Environmental Impacts.

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Today the Sierra Club passed a unanimous resolution opposing the proposed location of the Golden State Warriors arena in Mission Bay.

The Warriors’ ownership is looking to move the team from its current location in Oakland to a site in Mission Bay in San Francisco, which is currently home to a medical campus and an internationally renowned children’s hospital serving the public. The resolution suggests that the City negligently fast-tracked approval of the arena project, ignoring environmental necessities and interests.

“We registered multiple concerns at the project’s onset, but to date, these have not been meaningfully addressed by the City. Our resolution sends a direct message to the City that the Warriors can build a world-class venue, but Mission Bay is…

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Millennium Tower residents and Mission Bay Alliance in court

Millennium Tower Resident Files Conspiracy Claim Against City

nbcbayarea – excerpt – (includes video)

Condo owner, a lawyer, says building inspectors conspired with Transbay terminal and developer in cover-up

In extraordinary legal claims filed Tuesday, Millennium Tower owners accuse officials with the San Francisco building inspection department and the next-door Transbay Transit Terminal of conspiring with the high-rise’s developer to hide evidence that the building was sinking. Jaxon Van Derbeken reports. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016)..(more)

Beware of retired patent attorney, claims Both City and Transbay knew about the sinking and tilting and hid it from the public and home owners, admits it will be hard to prove but looks forward to the effort.. (more)


Mission Bay Alliance appeals Ruling

Members of the Mission Bay Alliance will be appealing a ruling that was levied earlier this year quashing their desperate legal fight to put a hold on the Golden State Warriors’ new arena. Pete Suratos reports..(more)

Proponents claims include: the proposed arena “violated a zoning established by a current redevelopment plan.. the city’s transportation plan can’t accommodate the new arena.. ” They also cite possible health issues from possible contaminants being emitted from this proposed arena … (more)

SF voters approve better transit, reject tax to pay for it

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

San Francisco voters voted overwhelmingly to approve $150 million for improved transit and homeless services Tuesday night — while rejecting by a similar margin a sales tax increase that would provide the funds.

Election night results in San Francisco show Proposition K, a three-quarter sales tax increase that would have taken effect in April of next year, failing with 67 percent of voters against the increase.

The 0.75 percent sales tax increase — to 9.25 percent — would have provided funds for Proposition J that would create the Homeless Housing and Services Fund and the Transportation Improvement Fund… (more)

“San Francisco’s current sales tax is at 8.75 percent, but will decrease to 8.5 percent after Dec. 31, 2016.”

Voters need to look forward to lower taxes in this volatile, unpredictable economy with high rents and evictions looming. They are watching SFMTA roll out one ridiculous future project after another non-stop while they are being squeezed out of the city.

In spite of all the back-slapping at City Hall the public does not appreciate the constant “improvements” being slapped down on the streets at our expenses, and no amount of PR and advertising dollars will convince us to spend another dime on systems we will never live to see.

VOTE: A Brief Election Message

Our votes are not for sale. Our city is not for sale.
Most of us do not want a wealthy oligarchy to displace low and middle-income residents—who provide the spice and variety of San Francisco’s unique character. Voters need to enact checks & balances and elect independent legislators not beholden to special interests. Preserving our way of life trumps the temporal interests of the few.

Third-party spending reaches historic high in SF supervisor races
– excerpt
Specialized industries often pump big money into contested elections to gain influence when their self-interests are at stake, according to Bob Stern, retired president of the Center for Governmental Studies. The result, he said, is distorted elections where “monied interests have more influence than grassroots.”

The sleaze reaches high tide in SF election
– excerpt

YOUTUBE: What Is Dark Money and How Does It Influence Elections?
VIDEO: HOLY SH*T (You’ve Got To Vote)[Funny, a bit R-rated]
With Rachel Bloom, Moby, Elizabeth Banks, Funny Or Die…..
Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) joins forces with Moby and Elizabeth Banks along with a choir of your favorite stars who have resorted to song because HOLY SH*T, You’ve Got To Vote!

VOTE! Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Election
Vote for checks and balances in city government.
San Francisco Candidates

State Senate, District 11: Jane Kim
Board of Supervisors, District 1: Sandra Lee Fewer
Board of Supervisors, District 3 : Aaron Peksin
Board of Supervisors, District 5 : Dean Preston
Board of Supervisors, District 7 : Norman Yee
Board of Supervisors, District 9 : Hillary Ronen
Board of Supervisors, District 11: Kimberly Alvarenga

San Francisco Ballot measures
Prop A – Yes SFUSD $744 Million Bond
Prop B – No Raises & Extends Existing City College Parcel Tax
Prop C – Yes Affordable Housing Preservation Bond Reallocation
Prop D – Yes Elect Supervisors to Vacant Seats
Prop E – Yes Return Tree Maintenance to City Hall
Prop F – Yes Empower Young Adults to Vote
Prop G – Yes Create Department of Police Accountability
Prop H – Yes Create a Public Advocate position
Prop I – Yes Create a City Set-aside for Seniors/Disabled
Prop J – No Misrepresented Budget Set-Aside for Transit/ Homelessness
Prop K – No Regressive General Sales Tax
Prop L – Yes Give Supervisors & Neighborhoods More Say in SFMTA
Prop M – Yes Create Housing & Development Commission
Prop N – Yes Let Non-Citizen Parents Vote for School Board
Prop O – No Rezoning by ballot initiative
Prop P – No Realtors’ Bid to Stop Affordable Housing
Prop Q – No Disingenuous & Duplicative Anti-Homeless Law
Prop R – No SFPD Set-aside for Quality of Life crimes
Prop S – Yes Use Hotel Tax for Arts/Homeless Services
Prop T – Yes Guidelines for Lobbyists’ Contributions and Gifts
Prop U – No Realtors’ Bid to Eliminate Affordable Housing
Prop V – Yes Tax Soda and Sugary Drinks
Prop W – Yes Raise Transfer Tax on Properties Over $5M
Prop X – Yes Save Community Arts/PDR/Small Business Spaces
Prop RR – Yes $3.5 Billion Bond to Upgrade/Maintain BART


LATEST NEWS: Loads of money are being poured into the proponent’s campaign. Agencies and organizations that benefit financially are stumping for the measures. But despite the misrepresentations, critics are becoming aware that there are no net benefits in Prop J & K. The independent City Economist says: “The tax increase is expected to generate nearly as much tax revenue as it costs in consumption spending [lost retail
sales] —approximately $154 million by 2017-18.” And ironically, the disproportionate impact on low-income residents could exacerbate homelessness.

Vote No on Prop K General Sales Tax NO BAD TAXES!
Join a diverse coalition: Supervisor Aaron Peskin, SF Berniecrats, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, San Francisco Tomorrow, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, Young Latino Democrats, Chinese American Democratic Club, District 3 Democratic Club, SF4Democracy, Bernalwood, East Mission Improvement Association, Potrero Views, SaveMuni, Bay Area Transportation Working Group, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Council of District Merchants, SF Apartment Owners Association, San Francisco Taxpayers Association, San Francisco Libertarian Party, San Francisco Republican Party….
From the perspective of the business community (Chamber of Commerce, Council of District Merchants and small mom/ pop stores), a lower sales tax would give San Francisco an economic competitive edge over regional cities with higher sales taxes. Local businesses would lose large volumes of revenue that would otherwise grow jobs and spur entrepreneurship.

From Supervisor Aaron Peskin’s perspective:
“We know that there is currently one shelter bed for every 5.5 homeless people in our city and we have over 800 people waiting for shelter – not homes, but literally just shelter – on any given day. To claim that these measures in any way address this epidemic is disingenuous and wrong. Further, the same sponsors have opted to forgo calls for progressive revenue and made homeless services contingent on the passage of a regressive sales tax (Proposition K). On top of that, Prop K’s sales tax has been deliberately placed separately on the ballot from Proposition J, which actually creates the set-aside for homelessness and transportation, in order to get out of the higher vote threshold mandated by the voters for special taxes. It’s disingenuous and if the City really wanted to take on homelessness, we’d be prioritizing cost-effective and proven solutions in our existing $9.6 billion budget and prioritizing progressive revenue measures to fund them – instead of giving tax breaks to the wealthiest sectors of the City.”

Best wishes on the election, Howard

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Supe. Peskin predicts death of the sales tax

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the last one before next week’s election, Supervisor Aaron Peskin predicted the defeat of a sales tax assumed in Mayor Ed Lee’s city budget, offering some last-minute election drama.

Peskin was the only supervisor who voted against the budget earlier this year, citing objections to balancing the budget by assuming revenues The City had yet to receive. He also voted against placing the sales tax, Proposition K, on the ballot in the first place.

In 2017, San Francisco’s sales tax would decrease from the current rate of 8.75 percent to 8.5 percent, but if Prop. K passes it would increase by .75 percent, to a total of 9.25 percent.

With 25 local measures, supporters of multiple measures have talked about the challenge of reaching voters and getting them to vote down ballot.

“Many of those items are conflicting with one another,” Peskin said during Tuesday’s board meeting. “I want to say as the only member of this body who voted against the budget on the theory that it was being predicated on a tax that would have to pass next week, which is polling terribly, we’ve got to get this right the next time we go to the ballot.”…

Propositions D, H, L and M would, respectively, strip the mayor’s board appointment power, create the position of a public advocate, allow the board to appoint some members of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Commission instead of just the mayor, and create a housing commission, which would oversee the Mayor’s Office of Housing(more)

San Francisco Public Press writes:

Proposition D – “Proposition D Drains Mayor’s Power in Filling Supervisor Seats, Other Major Vacancies” – By Zachary Clark

Proposition H – Creating a ‘Public Advocate’ Watchdog

Proposition L – Giving Supervisors More Say Over Transit

Proposition MThis Charter amendment would make two major city agencies accountable to a new, third body, called the Housing and Development Commission.