Green City

The "jobs" shell game

Newsom pushes business tax cuts and fee delays despite evidence they do more harm than good

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Written with Nima Maghame

news@sfbg.com

While many San Francisco city officials have been trying to figure out how to close a projected budget deficit of more than $520 million, Mayor Gavin Newsom has spent the last month trying to make that spending gap even larger by aggressively pushing a variety of business tax cuts that economists say will do little to improve the local economy and could actually make it worse.Read more »

Biotech's bonanza

Is the local business tax exemption for this thriving industry worth the cost?

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By Adam Lesser

news@sfbg.com

It's difficult to measure the value a biotechnology company receives from locating in San Francisco. Most measures are qualitative: scientists talk about synergy with other biotech companies in the area, the intellectual community that thrives at the University of California-San Francisco, and support offered at the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3).Read more »

DEIR in the headlights

Rushing Lennar's fishy Candlestick plans through the approval process out of political fear

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GREEN CITY Public comments on the city's draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for Lennar Corp.'s massive redevelopment proposal on Candlestick Point and the Hunters Points Shipyard includes complaints that the comment period was too short (see "The Candlestick Farce," 12/23/09), concerns that the city violated state requirements to notify the Ohlone Tribe, and frustration that the city's preferred plan represents the most significant and substantial impacts of any of the five scenarios analyzed in the DEIR.Read more »

Buzz kill

A petition is filed to regulate the movement -- and destruction -- of nonlocal, commercially reared bumblebees
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GREEN CITY Everyone loves a juicy red tomato. But who knew that the burgeoning hothouse tomato industry, which now accounts for 17 percent of the U.S. fresh tomato supply, imports millions of loudly buzzing commercially reared bumble bees to pollinate its crops? And that pathogen spillover from Bombus impatiens, a bumblebee reared commercially on the East Coast, could be decimating wild bee populations in California and Oregon?Read more »

Saving ocean ecosystems

GREEN CITY: Vanishing acts are becoming common for marine creatures like Pacific leatherback sea turtles
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GREEN CITY In the spring and summer months, pacific leatherback sea turtles arrive just outside the Golden Gate to feast on jellyfish. The turtles, which can weigh up to 1,200 pounds and live as long as a century, are some of the oldest reptiles in existence.Read more »

The truth about San Francisco's budget

Guess what? SF actually spends about what other big cities do

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"San Francisco," SF Weekly recently proclaimed, "is arguably the worst-run big city in America." That's a hell of a claim — the levels of corruption and mismanagement in urban America are legendary. But the Weekly's Benjamin Wachs and Joe Eskenazi set out to prove their case — with a series of mostly anecdotal points that looked at the usual targets: Nonprofits. Unions. And one senior Newsom administration staffer who pretty much everyone agrees was a horrible manager.Read more »

PG&E attack mailer puts City Hall on defensive

Green City: SF officials are investigating whether PG&E broke the law with these misleading mailers

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GREEN CITY On a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. conference call in late October, with top PG&E executives and analysts from Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and other prominent investment firms on the line, PG&E president Chris Johns explained how a company-sponsored ballot initiative could save millions of dollars for the utility.Read more »

Pedaling forward

GREEN CITY: The Bicycle Plan injunction is lifted -- and crews work at a blistering pace to make the city safer for cyclists
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steve@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY San Francisco's top elected and appointed officials made the city a little greener — literally — Dec. 3. Read more »

Should taxpayers subsidize desalination?

Green City: Poseidon Resources may help the drought, but at what cost?
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rebeccab@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Should the state of California hand over a multimillion dollar tax break to a company that is poised to build the largest desalination facility on the continent, just north of San Diego? Read more »

Housing cars or people?

GREEN CITY: Supervisor Chiu introduces legislation that curtails evictions for garages
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu has introduced legislation that would curtail the ability of residential property owners in Telegraph Hill, North Beach, and Chinatown to evict tenants and replace them with garages.

The ordinance, which is currently being reviewed by staff before it is considered by the Planning Commission, seeks to prohibit the construction of garages in rental properties that have been the site of a no-fault eviction in the past decade. Read more »