Green City

Complicating the simple

The city had the right to approve its current Bicycle Plan

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steve@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY San Francisco can legally give more street space to bicycles, even if it delays cars or Muni in some spots, a policy that enjoys universal support among elected officials here. So why have all the city's proposed bike projects been held up by an unprecedented four-year court injunction, despite the judge's clear affirmation of the city's right to approve its current Bicycle Plan as written?Read more »

How safe is your cell phone?

The fight to require cell phone companies to post the level of radiowave energy coming out of their products

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By Brittany Baguio

news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY In the wake of recent studies suggesting that extensive cell phone use might be linked to some types of cancer, consumer advocates are pushing to require phone companies to publicize the level of radiation their devices emit.Read more »

From freeway to favas

1,500 neighborhood volunteers help Hayes Valley Farm bloom

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Perhaps you've noticed a fresh mountain of fava beans arising along Octavia Boulevard as you travel toward Market Street, in the spot where a freeway used to touch down. Don Wiepert certainly has. He's a senior citizen who lives across the street from the rows of green sprouts, and even helped to raise the crop in his own living room.Read more »

Loving LaHood

How a Republican cabinet member became a hero to bicyclists and livable city advocates
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By Jobert Poblete

news@sbg.com

GREEN CITY U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wowed urban cycling advocates at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., in March when he climbed atop a table to praise them for their work promoting livable, bike-friendly communities. LaHood followed up that connection with a blog post in which he announced a "sea change" in federal policy, declaring: "This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of nonmotorized." Read more »

Court to Chevron: consider climate change

Environmental and local groups celebrate a ruling against a project that would have fouled Bay Area air

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By Adam Lesser

news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY When a California appellate court rejected Chevron Corporation's attempt to expand its Richmond refinery without clarifying whether it intends to process heavier, more polluting crude oil two weeks ago, planetary concerns loomed even larger than local impacts.Read more »

Dude, where's my car share?

New legislation could make it easier for people to share their cars
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By Brady Welch

news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Owning and storing a car in San Francisco is neither cheap nor efficient, so car-sharing companies have become increasingly popular in recent years. So why can't individual car owners share or rent their vehicles? Right now, insurance law makes that difficult, but new legislation could make it easier for people to share their cars. Read more »

Driving up the cost of housing

Taking public transportation into account

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By Jobert Poblette

news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY If you think living in the Bay Area is expensive, think about what it would be like if you didn't have access to public transportation. A new report by Chicago-based think tank Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) considers just that problem, offering a new way of understanding just what constitutes affordable housing.Read more »

Emerald city

GREEN ISSUE: SF's green go-tos -- a resource guide

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GREEN ISSUE Walk out your front door today and you won't find a corner store that doesn't sell "organic food," a restaurant whose we-buy-sustainable addendum reads "whenever possible," a trash can with a precious separate compartment for your all-natural soda cans. It's hard to forget that it's not all another secret plan from the government to make your life less fun. But it's not! Below, please find assembled an all-star list of resources that are honest-to-goodness designed to help you help out our little ball, spinning all terrestrially out in space.Read more »

Drowned out

GREEN ISSUE: Endangered whales may be threatened by a noisy side-effect of globalization

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rebeccab@sfbg.com

GREEN ISSUE The tiny, rigid-hull inflatable boats that researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography use for whale tagging are a mere fraction of the size of the blue whales they are deployed to search for. But Scripps PhD candidate Megan McKenna says there's no reason to worry about the mammoth creatures — which can weigh as many tons as 27 elephants put together — bumping up against the boat when she reaches overboard with a pole to tag them.Read more »

In the company of bees

GREEN ISSUE: How a strange obsession blossomed into a crucial environmental issue

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Sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN ISSUE On a rainy afternoon in April, I'm standing on an abandoned military base on Alameda Island counting bees on a wild rosemary bush. In the three minutes I've been standing here, I've spotted five large, furry bumblebees, flitting from flower to flower, performing the function that keeps the whole ecosystem buzzing.Read more »