Green City

The algae solution

GREEN CITY: The San Francisco Bay may soon host a dramatic new environmental project
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The San Francisco Bay may soon host a dramatic new environmental project that backers say could solve three problems at once: clean wastewater, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and produce biodiesel fuel. Yet it's gotten remarkably little attention.

"For the most part, people are just ignoring me," says Jonathan Trent, a researcher at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, who is one of the driving forces behind the project.

The new technology Trent and his colleagues have created is called OMEGA (Off-shore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae). Read more »

Making great streets

The Great Street Project is helping transform San Francisco's streets into safe, vibrant public spaces
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steve@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY There's a growing movement to transform San Francisco's streets into safe, vibrant public spaces, part of an international trend that has drawn together disparate partners around the belief that roadways shouldn't simply be conduits for moving automobiles.

Recent advances include the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's approval of a package of 45 bicycle projects and the success of the Sunday Streets program, a series of temporary road closures to cars (the next one is this Sunday, July 12, in the Mission District).

And there are new pla Read more »

Selling the park

Environmentalists oppose Lennar's effort to build condos on Candlestick Point parkland
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Considering that it exists just a short hop from the industrial grind of Third Street, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area is a surprisingly wild and peaceful 150-acre bayshore park.

On a recent afternoon, a man practiced his golf swings, a group fished off a pier, and a lizard darted across a trail and into a clump of wildflowers, all apparently unaware of the storm gathering around the future of this waterfront habitat.

State Sen. Read more »

Is there hope?

Public disagreement, locally, about saving the planet from the worst impacts of climate change
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steve@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY They agree global warming is happening, that it's caused by the overuse of carbon-based fuels, that its impact on the planet and its myriad life forms will be devastating, and that Congress is failing to properly address the crisis. Read more »

Which kind of poison?

The push to shut down Mirant's aging power plant advances, but the alternative isn't much greener
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rebeccab@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY The push from city leaders to shut down Mirant's aging Potrero power plant advanced another step June 2 when the San Francisco supervisors approved an ordinance sponsored by Sophie Maxwell and Michela Alioto-Pier that urges closing the entire facility by the end of 2010 and directs the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to update a plan charting the city's energy future.

But the current city proposal for closing the Mirant plant appears to rely entirely on replacing that power with the output of other private fossil fuel plants — in some Read more »

Blocking the Port

A new lawsuit seeks to impede the Port of Oakland's ability to regulate dirty trucks
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY A lawsuit filed against the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports is impeding the Port of Oakland's ability to regulate dirty trucks.

In April, a U.S. Read more »

Mirant's last gasp?

Green City: A multipronged effort -- and raised hopes -- to shut down the controversial fossil-fuel-fired facility
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rebeccab@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY A new multipronged effort to shut down San Francisco's Mirant Potrero Power Plant is raising hopes that the end could be in sight for the controversial fossil-fuel-fired facility.

An ordinance proposed by Sup. Sophie Maxwell suggests that the entire facility — including the primary unit 3 and the smaller, diesel-fired units 4, 5, and 6 — could be shut off without having to create any new fossil fuel generation within city limits. Read more »

Don't drill here

Green City: Polar bears, sea turtles, other marine mammals -- and those were just the protesters
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rebeccab@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY When U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar looked out at a sea of faces during a San Francisco public hearing April 16, a band of activists dressed as polar bears, sea turtles, and other marine creatures stood out from the rest. Read more »

Green-collar heat

Low-income community groups hope to turn Obama's stimulus package into an opportunity to make local government accountable for creating decent green-collar jobs.
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Local residents, workers, and businesses are anxious to learn who and what will be stimulated by the billions of dollars that President Barack Obama authorized for release when he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Since January 2008, unemployment in the Bay Area has risen from 4.9 percent to 8.4 percent, according to the U.S. Read more »

The polluting Port

Diesel exhaust from old idling vehicles has created a serious public health threat
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Manuel Rivas is an independent truck driver working at and living near the Port of Oakland, where diesel exhaust from old idling vehicles has created a serious public health threat.

Officials have long talked about addressing the problem (see "ImPorting injustice," 7/17/07). Read more »