Sarah Phelan

SFPUC shuffle

Powerful commission lies dormant until the mayor can find picks acceptable to the board
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sarah@sfbg.com

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is arguably the city's most important commission. It provides water to 1.6 million customers in three Bay Area counties and handles sewage treatment and municipal power for San Francisco. But right now, it lacks a governing body.

Until recently there were no minimum job requirements for its five commissioners, who are all appointees. Read more »

Lennar's lawsuits

Megadeveloper sues and is sued over toxic dust on Hunters Point
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sarah@sfbg.com

Two years after Lennar Corp. reported that asbestos dust had neither been monitored nor controlled during major grading and earthmoving operations on its Parcel A construction site on Hunters Point Shipyard last year (see "The corporation that ate San Francisco," 3/14/08), the fallout from these failures continues.

On June 19 a dozen Bayview–Hunters Point residents and workers sued Lennar, as well as international environmental consultant CH2M Hill and Sacramento-based engineering consultant Gordon N. Read more »

Clean Energy Act makes ballot

It isn't the only charter amendment on the November ballot, but it's already shaping up to be the political lightning rod of this fall's election
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY The San Francisco Clean Energy Act isn't the only charter amendment on the November ballot, but it's already shaping up to be the political lightning rod of this fall's election.Read more »

Nuclear fallout

Community concerned about the Navy's plan for radiation cleanup at Hunters Point Shipyard
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sarah@sfbg.com

As the US Navy prepares to deal with its radioactive past at the Hunters Point Shipyard (HPS) — inviting folks to submit comments by July 28 on its proposed cleanup plan for Parcel B — community members are struggling to understand the threat and its implications.

Bayview–Hunters Point residents and environmental and public health advocates gathered July 8 at City College's Southeast Community Facility to hear from and question Navy officials, but few came away satisfied. Read more »

Sterile plans

State decides to fight moths with moths after spraying program criticized
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sarah@sfbg.com

When state and federal agencies announced June 19 that they are going to release millions of sterile moths into California cities to combat the crop-threatening light brown apple moth (LBAM), they insisted that their alternative pheromone spray program was safe and would continue to be applied in rural areas.

"Aerial applications will continue to be an important tool, especially in densely forested areas," says the statement on the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Web site. Read more »

How Quickly they forget

Chain stores at the center of the Ed Jew scandal still lacking permits
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sarah@sfbg.com

When former Sup. Ed Jew resigned in January 2008, he did so amid allegations that he wasn't living in the Sunset District when he ran in the 2006 District 4 race, and that he had tried to extort thousands of dollars from the owners of Quickly, a bubble drink chain that has 13 franchises in San Francisco and thousands of stores worldwide.

Although Jew is headed to federal court Nov. Read more »

Local Heroes

Best of the Bay 2008
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Del Martin and Phyllis LyonRead more »

Free solar power?

A new solar incentive program might make the conversion to green power almost free
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY San Francisco's new solar incentive program just might make the conversion to green power almost free to city residents when combined with other state and federal programs, some of which expire at the end of this year.

This is an unlikely city for such a dynamic, as we reported a couple months ago (see "Dark days," 04/16/08), given our small lot sizes, high costs, and the fact that we have about twice as many renters as homeowners. Read more »

And so it begins

Mayor's budget hits poor hard, signaling a big battle with the Board of Supervisors
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sarah@sfbg.com

Mayor Gavin Newsom chose a telling site for the June 2 release of his budget: the San Francisco Police Department's Special Tactical Operations Center at Hunters Point Shipyard. Read more »

Shit equity

At long last, fixing a problem sewage treatment plant
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY At long last, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission appears to be moving forward with plans to address long overdue environmental justice issues ("It Flows Downhill," 08/08/06) that are directly related to its sewage treatment plant in the city's southeast sector.

At a May 27 SFPUC meeting, SFPUC staff recommended that the agency build a new digester facility in the southeast part of town and divert 12 percent of its sewage flow to the west side's Oceanside plant, (which, incide Read more »