Green City

Connecting the drops

Green City: A controversial proposal to take more water from the Sierra for urban and agricultural uses
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY A controversial proposal to take more water from the Sierra for urban and agricultural uses — and away from environmental and wildlife habitat needs — could be delayed for at least a decade under a proposal now under consideration in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has toyed with these questions in recent years, confronting the reality that its aging water supply system is at risk seismically and predictions that the region faces a shortfall of 30 million gallons per day by 2030.

To address these conce Read more »

From parking to parks

Green City: The word about PARK(ing) Day is spreading to other Metropolitan areas
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY It's a typical San Francisco love affair: boy meets boy, they fall in love, and 18 years later, they get married. But not in City Hall, and not in a crowded banquet room with a dance floor and a DJ. Instead they wed in a 9-by-18-foot parking space in front of their home in the Lower Haight. No, they're not crazy. Just crazy in love — with each other, and with PARK(ing) Day. On Friday, Sept. Read more »

Victorian sensibilities

Green City: "The greenest building is the one that exists now"
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY It's hard to argue with Craig Nikitas when he says, "The greenest building is the one that exists now."

As a senior planner with the San Francisco Planning Department, Nikitas knows that a ton of energy is wasted tearing down the old and erecting the new. Energy embedded in the original materials and construction — which often last a century or longer — is also destroyed. Read more »

The buzz on urban bees

Beekeeping is more than a curious hobby -- it's an essential link in the chain of life as we know it
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY One would hardly even notice there was a beehive in the garden behind the Mission District's Kaliflower Collective, except for the winged traffic shuttling industriously between the four-tiered bee box and the fruit trees flowering just overhead.

It's not easy to imagine, given the scant handful of visible bees, that as many as 50,000 bees might be contained within the modest hive which, at less than two feet square and about three feet tall, looks as innocuous and unthreatening as a stack of closet organizers. Read more »

Unaffordable nation

Will people pay more for slow food?
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amanda@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Bay Area author Michael Pollan opened the first event of Slow Food Nation by pointing out that food prices have risen more than 80 percent in the past three years. Read more »

Reclaiming San Francisco -- from cars

The city's first ciclovia will open a car-free Embarcadero to cyclists
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY On Sunday, Aug. 31, the Mayor's Office and several community groups join forces to bring San Francisco into an international movement to increase physical activity, break down invisible borders, and make scenic space available to all during the city's first ciclovia.

More than 4.5 miles of streets will be closed to cars that day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Sunday Streets, the first of two ciclovias scheduled this summer. Read more »

Feed our elders well

"Good foods are not the privilege of people who have money"
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amanda@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Conventional wisdom is that it costs more to eat well, but Alameda County Meals on Wheels has found real value in switching from processed foods to the kind of fresh, local, sustainable fare being touted at the upcoming Slow Food Nation conference, which begins Aug. Read more »

Sun protection failures

A new report casts a bad light on popular sunscreens
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amanda@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Have you ever spent a day at the beach, dutifully slathering yourself with sunscreen — only to return home with the unmistakable prickle of a sunburn?

It's probably because your sunscreen isn't doing what it claims, according to a recent analysis conducted by the Washington, DC–based Environmental Working Group. 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 »

Opening the corridor

San Francisco is a dangerous town for butterflies
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news@sfbg.com

San Francisco is a dangerous town for butterflies. Xerces blue, a species that once thrived in the city's dunes, suffered a catastrophic demise in 1941, the first butterfly extinction in the United States caused by urban development.

In the years since, local butterflies haven't fared much better. According to lepidopterist Liam O'Brien, 24 of 58 local species have been wiped out in regional extinctions caused mainly by habitat destruction. Read more »