Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Increased advertising on Muni buses approved despite criticism

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 4:00 AM

The number of Muni buses that can legally have wraparound advertisements was doubled by San Francisco supervisors Tuesday, despite objections that the banners would degrade rider experience.

After about a half-hour of debate, the Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 to approve a 15-year contract with Titan Outdoor LLC. The agreement includes a controversial provision that increases the number of permitted advertising wraps, the type of banners that cover the entirety of a bus including its windows, from 15 buses to 30 at any 
A new advertising deal could generate at least $28.5 million for the SFMTA. - COURTESY RAPTORWRAPS.COM
  • Courtesy raptorwraps.com
  • A new advertising deal could generate at least $28.5 million for the SFMTA.
given time. The wraps are most popular between September and December. The contract initially allowed digital ads, but that provision was removed.

Under the contract with Titan, which has the existing ad deal, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency would receive at least $325,000 annually from the bus wraps alone, but potentially far more if ad sales are strong. The agency receives 65 percent of the revenues sold above the minimum payment.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Calle 24 resolution to be voted on at Board of Supervisors meeting this afternoon

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM

A resolution cosponsored by David Campos that would designate the area surrounding 24th Street as a Latino cultural district will be voted on today. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo
  • A resolution cosponsored by David Campos that would designate the area surrounding 24th Street as a Latino cultural district will be voted on today.
resolution to designate a portion of 24th Street and surrounding areas in the Mission District as a Latino cultural district will go before the Board of Supervisors today for approval. 

The resolution, proposed by Mayor Ed Lee and cosponsored by Supervisor David Campos, would establish the area bounded by Mission Street, Potrero Avenue, 23rd Street and 25th Street as an official cultural district, called Calle 24 Latino Cultural District.

Designating the area as a cultural district is a move against the gentrification that has swept through the area and displaced longtime Latino businesses and residents. Although the resolution will have no formal regulatory power, it will ease the process for Calle 24 to become zoned as a Special Use District.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lawsuit calls for increased protection for Bay from industrial pollution

Posted By on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 12:45 PM

A lawsuit alleges the Bay is being contaminated by industrial pollution. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • A lawsuit alleges the Bay is being contaminated by industrial pollution.

A lawsuit filed today by the California Coastkeeper Alliance against the State Water Resources Control Board claims that the agency is not doing enough to protect the San Francisco Bay and other waterways across the state from industrial pollution. 

On April 1, the Water Board approved a new version of the Industrial Stormwater Permit, which regulates over 1,300 industrial facilities in the Bay Area. According to San Francisco Baykeeper, an anti-pollution advocacy group and member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance, the new permit is not in compliance with the Clean Water Act and will allow industrial pollution in the San Francisco Bay.

“San Francisco Bay is plagued by pollutants such as copper, lead, zinc, arsenic and trash; industrial facilities such as scrap metal yards, waste transfer stations, and auto-dismantlers are a significant source,” said Jason Flanders, Baykeeper Program Director. “The State Water Board is required to adopt a permit that protects California communities and watersheds from highly toxic pollutants.”

You can view the lawsuit here.


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Monday, May 12, 2014

David Chiu hosts Reddit AMA about his Assembly campaign

Posted By on Mon, May 12, 2014 at 2:09 PM

chiu_ama.jpg
Board of Supervisors President and State Assembly hopeful David Chiu will answer questions about his campaign in a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything thread starting at 2:15 p.m. Monday. 

AMAs allow Reddit users to engage in direct question-and-answer sessions with politicians, celebrities and other members of the online community. 

Chiu is following in the footsteps of his competitor for the Assembly seat, David Campos, who hosted his own AMA in April. 

In his AMA post, Chiu says he has "changed the tone at City Hall" during his tenure as the Board's president. He also nods to the San Francisco affordability crisis and says he is running for an Assembly seat "to make sure Sacramento delivers our City, and to make San Francisco a place where we come together to find innovative solutions to our problems." 

He also says, "I'm not here to talk about Rampart," perhaps in reference to a 2012 AMA with Woody Harrelson that went awry. We're not sure what Chiu has to do with Harrleson's failed PR strategy — but maybe someone will ask him during his AMA. 

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San Francisco’s pension fund could shift toward local real estate investment; retirement board to vote on office building purchase

Posted By on Mon, May 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

The executive director of San Francisco’s pension fund supports a proposal to use investment dollars to purchase a building for the retirement agency’s office space, according to a memo to the retirement system’s board of directors.

“In general, staff supports the system's pursuit of a permanent headquarters in San Francisco. The majority of California public pension plans that Staff surveyed own the building that houses their headquarters. Many of these plans hold the headquarters building as part of their real estate investment portfolio,” said Jay Huish, executive director San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System, in a memo to the retirement board, which is voting on the issue Wednesday.

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