11/18/2018

News

Ballot measures taking aim at climate change fall short

Efforts to nudge the nation away from burning fossil fuels and toward harnessing renewable source of energy were rejected by voters Tuesday across a swath of resource-rich states in the western United States. Voters in Arizona, one of the nation’s most sun-soaked states, shot down a measure that would have accelerated its shift toward generating […]

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San Francisco ranks No. 1 in US in property crime

It’s official: Your backpack, laptop, tablet or phone — or the vehicle in which you left all these things behind — are more likely to catch the fancy of a thief in San Francisco than any other major metropolis in the country. FBI data released last week show the city had the highest per-capita rate […]

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Transit Week gets off to rough start as train delays disrupt officials’ commutes

San Francisco officials who took light rail Monday morning to kick off a citywide Transit Week event were held up when trains broke down on two Muni lines. What was supposed to be a celebration of mass transit became an indictment of the city’s unreliable light rail system. “This just shows how we need reinvestment […]

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” Americans’ commutes keep getting longer, according to survey data”

Among major metropolitan areas, the nation’s capital trailed only New York, where the average one-way trip to work reached 37 minutes – a full two minutes longer than a decade prior. Washington’s commute times ticked up to 34.9 minutes from 34.8 in 2016, but they are a minute and a half longer than they were […]

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California wants to go carbon-negative. No one knows the cost

By the middle of this century, Gov. Jerry Brown wants California to pull more greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere every year than it puts in. That vision will almost certainly cost Californians. No one can say how much, however, because no one quite knows how we’ll achieve it. California has years of experience ramping […]

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Housing prices are resegregating the Bay Area, UC Berkeley study finds

The Bay Area’s soaring housing costs are pushing poor people into neighborhoods where poverty and racial segregation are on the rise, a UC Berkeley study published Wednesday found. As a result, the region’s low-income families — particularly minority families — are increasingly cut off from relatives, their children may face worse health outcomes and parents’ […]

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Tesla’s battery business is booming amid Model 3 struggles

For the past year, Tesla watchers have obsessed over the Palo Alto automaker’s struggles to build its Model 3 electric sedan and CEO Elon Musk’s erratic behavior — most recently appearing to smoke pot on a podcast. Quietly, another element of Tesla’s business has been booming. Deployment of Tesla’s stationary batteries — designed to supply […]

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California wants 100% clean power by 2045. Wishful thinking?

The state’s solar plants, for example, often pump out more electricity at midday than the grid needs. California still relies on natural gas power plants to supply electricity in the morning and evening, as the sun sets. But low wholesale electricity prices, caused in part by that daily flood of solar production, are making many […]

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Lofty promises, limited results

The 2004 measure was Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. The campaign to pass it was led by a Palo Alto real estate developer whose son suffered from an incurable illness that he believed stem cells, the keystones of human biology, could heal. Other supporters included preeminent scientists, Hollywood celebrities, business […]

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California construction firms have too few workers. Can tech fix that?

U.S. construction companies are grappling with a widespread labor shortage that is exacerbating the cost of housing and other buildings, according to a new survey. Eighty percent of the 2,552 U.S. construction companies surveyed said they are having difficulty hiring construction workers, according to the Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk, an engineering software […]

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California wants 100 percent renewables by 2045. Easier said than done

SB100 requires utilities to receive 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2026. By Dec. 31, 2030, utilities would need to up that target to 60 percent. The bill passed the Senate 25-13 on Wednesday and the Assembly 44 to 33 on Tuesday. Achieving the bill’s goals, however, won’t be […]

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Rev up building approval process, mayor to tell city departments

San Francisco has 900 housing units stuck in the approval pipeline, and Mayor London Breed plans to do something about that Thursday. Breed is set to hand down an executive order to dramatically accelerate the city’s process for assessing and approving accessory dwelling units — starting with clearing the big backlog mired in various stages […]

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SF residential projects languish as rising costs force developers to cash out

While the next crop of luxury condo towers like 160 Folsom, which developer Tishman Speyer has branded as Mira, continue to rise in the fast-growing eastern end of South of Market, other approved housing projects across the city, like 2675 Folsom St., are stalled and on the market because of soaring construction costs and fees, […]

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Garbage companies are refusing your recycling. The trade war with China will make it worse

Across the Bay Area, recycling companies are in a crunch to find places overseas where they can sell plastic yogurt cups and junk mail flyers. China had been a big buyer of reclaimed refuse but recently tightened its rules on the products it accepts, requiring the various materials to be rigorously separated and much cleaner […]

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As California schools wait for state bond money, districts fume at sluggish payouts

It’s been two years since voters passed a $9 billion bond to renovate and modernize the state’s public schools and community colleges, yet classrooms across California are still waiting for the vast majority of that money. Less than 20 percent of the $7 billion in the Proposition 51 bond for the state’s K-12 schools has […]

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