City Hall News 

The San Francisco Transportation Authority is poised to begin an environmental review of plans to create a "rapid transit" bus system along Van Ness Avenue, the agency announced Thursday. Bus Rapid Transit is a system of dedicated bus lanes and signal priority technology, among other improvements.

The cost of constructing a BRT system on Van Ness from Mission Street to Lombard Street is from $60 million to $65 million. If implemented, it would be funded through local and federal dollars, according to city officials. The system could be completed by 2010.

Mayor’s Office

Juvenile Probation Department receives $600,000 grant

An overhaul of San Francisco’s Juvenile Probation Department received a financial boost of $600,000, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday. The grant, from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, will also be used to "identify and adopt proven national best practices in dealing with troubled youth," according to a press release from Newsom’s office. In 2005, a civil grand jury report characterized the city Juvenile Probation Department as a "depressing, dysfunctional organization."

Mayor names Hunters Point citizen committee

Mayor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday four appointments to the Hunters Point Shipyard Citizen Advisory Council, an group established to give the local community a voice in the development of the 500-acre formal naval site.

The appointments include Rev. Nina Picerrell, pastor at the Bayview Mission Church; Utuma Belfry, a third-generation Bayview residents; James Hodges, a long-term community leader; and Ava Maria Moore, a homeowner.

The Lennar Corp. has plans to build 1,600 housing units on a portion of the site.

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