[...] a small number of those unreinforced brick buildings — 29 buildings clustered at 19 sites — never met that deadline and still could be dangerous, especially so because they include structures used by 1,200 staffers at San Francisco General Hospital and students at City College’s Civic Center campus.
City officials view the unreinforced masonry building requirement passed in 1992 as a success — the remaining risky buildings account for only about 1 percent of the roughly 2,100 covered under that law, whose requirements are stricter than those imposed by the state for commercial or residential buildings.
[...] the city is compiling weekly status reports on compliance with its soft-story retrofit mandate, which covers roughly 4,800 multiunit, residential, wood-frame buildings that have sizable openings on the ground floor, such as a garage door or picture windows.
While the city has spent $10.7 billion since Loma Prieta in seismic upgrades for projects ranging from retrofitting City Hall to the ongoing construction of both a new approach to the Golden Gate Bridge and a new patient wing at San Francisco General Hospital, the remaining unreinforced brick buildings are being handled piecemeal.
The city’s Department of Public Health says the brick buildings, ranging from three to six stories and some dating to 1915, were built around steel frames, but the Department of Building Inspection lists them as unreinforced masonry buildings.
The three-story brick building was constructed in 1910 as a public school and now holds classrooms primarily for English learners, offices and a bookstore.
Typically, before the city will issue a demolition permit, approval for the replacement must be in place; the intent is to prevent vacant lots that can attract crime and drive down property values, city planners said.
The vacant former camera shop is one of four buildings to be replaced by a proposed 250-room hotel, 300 residential units and an arts center, but approvals aren’t expected until next summer, with demolition planned a year from now.
Private money and the city’s booming real estate market will eventually wipe out many of the dangerous buildings, but the civic buildings — such as those at San Francisco General — are another matter.
Posted: October 26, 2014, 2:12 am
Kevin Baker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey, estimated that San Francisco could record between a quarter of an inch to a third of an inch of rain from Saturday’s storm.
The Fremont and Dublin/Pleasanton lines were experiencing 30-minute delays at around 7 a.m. due to water intrusion impacting some train control equipment, officials said.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 11:54 pm
The line of parents and nervous middle-school students snaked down the hallway and out the door of the private school enrollment fair Saturday at a private school in the Presidio.
Get traditionally disadvantaged kids into private schools offering the biggest advantages an elite education can offer.
Last year, about 95 students from across the Bay Area participated in the Better Chance program, which guides them through the process of applying to the private schools they choose and then helps them navigate the cultural and socioeconomic barriers they might face once they get there.
Virtually all the participants get financial aid from the schools, which added up to about $2 million total in support for each year’s Bay Area class of students.
Students also participated in mock interviews with Better Chance staff and alumni to get a feel of what the application process will be like.
A diverse enrollment is an important part of the school, and several of its current students came through A Better Chance, said Nahin Jorgge, associate director of admissions, as he manned the table at the fair.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 10:31 pm
The first reports of the crash came in just after 6:30 p.m. A motorcyclist hit a sign south of 13th Street on northbound Highway 101, said California Highway Patrol Officer William Ogilvie.
All lanes of the highway were closed for about an hour and traffic was being diverted onto 13th Street, but as of 8:15 p.m. at least one lane had been reopened.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 4:37 am
Herewith we offer awards to some of the wildest and weirdest mailers arriving in the lead-up to election day on Nov. 4 — and point out where, shockingly, some are straying pretty far from the truth.
[...] accusations that Fang’s cronyism in voting on BART development contracts has cost the agency big bucks.
[...] does that put him in line with, as the mailer claims, Public Defender Frank Egan, who in 1932 conspired with two ex-cons to kill an elderly widow and stage a hit-and-run to make it appear her death was an accident?
Egan was the sole beneficiary of her will, was convicted of first-degree murder, and spent 25 years in state prison.
BART Director James Fang has been in San Francisco all his life, and he’s seen a lot of campaigns,” Fang’s campaign manager, Carrolyn Kubota, said in a statement Friday, “but comparing a 20-year old ethics settlement (with no violation found) to the murder of an elderly widow is a definite first.
The mailer also ranks Fang alongside Mayor Eugene Schmitz, who in 1907 was indicted on 27 counts of graft and bribery but later acquitted; City Assessor Russell Wolden Jr., who in the 1960s was convicted of taking bribes in exchange for lowering property tax bills; and, of course, state Sen. Leland Yee, who was suspended after his arrest in March on charges of corruption and gun trafficking.
There’s even a big, smiley photo of him and his wife on the mailer.
Because nothing makes a guy smile like killers of elderly widows!
Alyse Opatowski, campaign manager for the Josefowitz campaign, said, “We’re not comparing Fang’s corruption to a murderer, but we do think his longtime corruption warrants inclusion on the list.”
Labor unions backing Campos have sent mailers saying that since the online communications company that Chiu co-founded did some contract work with the Republican Party, Chiu is basically the second coming of George W. Bush.
Did you know that if voters approve Proposition F to develop Pier 70, couples will lie in the grass stroking their cute golden retrievers?
“You’ll see it does nothing to solve homelessness, public safety, education or the housing crisis,” the mailer reveals on the other side.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 4:27 am
The Art Deco Market Street building that houses some of San Francisco’s hottest new-economy companies, including Twitter, will soon be home to an ambitious startup in a decidedly old-world business: groceries.
Behind the Art Deco facade at 1355 Market St., the old San Francisco Furniture Mart, construction workers are building out a sprawling $5million food emporium that will be a hybrid grocery market and foodie food court.
Chris Foley, a San Francisco real estate investor, said the concept is a Northern California farm-to-table play on the Mario Batali’s Eataly Italian emporiums in New York and Chicago.
Malaysian street food-inspired Azalina’s, Nuubia Chocolat, Blue Bottle Coffee, Farmgirl Flowers, EO Products (skin care) and Project Juice.
“We wanted to create community ... a bunch of different spaces within the market where you can get to know your neighbors and the people you work with,” Foley said.
When the group first drew up plans to open the grocery store, they envisioned an 8,000-square-foot food hall similar to Canyon Market in Glen Park, where Foley is an investor.
Typical supermarkets do 20 percent of their business in prepared meals, but in the Bay Area that number is more like 40 percent, the highest in the United States, said Helen Bulwik, a consultant who works with grocers.
Retail West commercial real estate partner Matt Holmes, who has represented Whole Foods in the Bay Area, said he thinks Market on Market will do closer to 80 percent “consumable foods” — those meant to be eaten on site or within 12 hours of purchase.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 4:13 am
Sen. Dianne Feinstein tells me that if Mayor Ed Lee signs the Board of Supervisors’ legislation legalizing Airbnb-style rentals, she’ll support an effort to overturn it at the ballot.
When we talked the other day, she had pictures of some of the homes that are being rented out to tourists and the like.
[...] I said, In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a dramatic difference between Jerry Brown and Willie Brown.
Not only does he not campaign, he takes off two weeks before the election for his Yale law school reunion.
Two generations were clearly defined at the Giants gala Thursday night at the new Jimmy Herman Cruise Ship Terminal.
Mayor Ed Lee was front and center without his signature radioactive orange blazer, wearing only a checkered orange tie, as were a host of former players.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 3:57 am
A blacksmith first occupied this deep brick box on an alley, followed in subsequent decades by a photographer and other tenants looking for cheap space off the beaten path. [...] towers drew near in the 1990s and the windowless space tall enough for a mezzanine proved ideal for a succession of bars — the newest a muraled eye-catcher snug against the vast construction site of a transit center likely to mix things up yet again.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 2:12 am
Three police officers in Newark are being credited with saving the life of a woman who was trapped in a burning car after she crashed into a tree Thursday evening, officials said.
A second officer arrived and went to work on the flames with a fire extinguisher and was briefly able to put out the blaze, though it reignited moments later and the officers began to fear the car would explode, police said.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 2:11 am
The California Department of Public Health announced Friday that UCSF and four other UC medical centers are prepared to receive and treat Ebola patients, should any cases of the virus be confirmed in the state.
All California hospitals are trained to screen and isolate patients if they are suspected of having a contagious disease like Ebola, said Jan Emerson-Shea, the vice president of external affairs at the California Hospital Association.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 12:43 am
Philip Stark, chair of UC Berkeley’s statistics department, lunged excitedly for a tuft of dandelions jutting from a sidewalk crack in Richmond, yanked them out and eagerly started chewing.
Stark and his colleague Tom Carlson, plus a handful of adventurous students, make weekly expeditions across the East Bay in search of edible weeds.
Create a website showing where residents can find safe, nutritious and free food growing right in their neighborhoods.
The site will provide locations, soil quality information and recipes.
Almost all of the specimens are invasive species from Europe that have taken hold in the Bay Area’s moderate clime and are familiar sights in overgrown lawns and vacant lots.
The other advantage to focusing on working-class neighborhoods is that some of those areas lack nearby grocery stores, and residents there may find it helpful to learn what fresh produce is growing in their front yard.
Stark only became interested recently, as he started counting different weed species on his walks around Berkeley.
At one house, they were studying an overgrown front lawn when the home owner pulled up, angrily slammed the car door and stomped over.
“My response is always, why not eat dog pee?” he said, noting that dog urine is sterile, nontoxic and easily washed off.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 12:31 am
Campos, running for state Assembly, supported a plan to buy power to resell to city residents.
BART candidate Nicholas Josefowitz is identified with a leaflet claiming his rival, incumbent James Fang, is on a top-five list of corrupt city politicians, people who have gone to jail over the past century.
Fang paid a fine for a campaign finance violation, but his offense is petty compared with the bribery and corruption cases highlighted in the mailer.
Posted: October 25, 2014, 12:24 am
Supervisor Malia Cohen and Mayor Ed Lee this week said a Sausalito real estate investor, who bought the century-old, two-story, wood-paneled building at 66 Raymond Ave. at auction last year, will transfer it free of charge to the city in the coming weeks.
“This is a tremendous asset that has served generations of Visitacion Valley residents,” Cohen said at a Thursday news conference attended by dozens of elderly, Chinese residents who have been playing mahjong in the building over the past year despite its lack of power or water and general state of disrepair.
Posted: October 24, 2014, 11:37 pm
Just one day after it was unveiled to awed crowds in San Francisco, the whopping 'Butte Nugget’ of gold sold Friday to a “prominent Bay Area collector” for an undisclosed amount of money, according to the company brokering the deal.
“The new owner wants to be secretive, so we can’t name him,” said Don Kagin of Tiburon, the coin dealer who acted as middle-man between the buyer and the prospector who found the 6.07-pound gold lump — the biggest nugget of its kind found in modern times in Gold Rush country.
“We spoke to six different people who seemed to have legitimate interest and the wherewithal to purchase the item, but he was the first person to make an offer and he had the right price,” McCarthy said.
Posted: October 24, 2014, 11:36 pm
Moreto, a 68-year-old city resident, was with a group of people returning to City Hall when she was hit by the bus, which was designed to look like a San Francisco cable car, at around 11 a.m. Thursday.
“On behalf of the city and county of San Francisco, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Priscila Moreto who tragically died from her injuries after being struck in front of City Hall,” Lee said in a statement.
Lee said the Municipal Transportation Agency has been planning to install a traffic signal at the crosswalk, which connects City Hall to Civic Center Plaza and has prompted safety concerns in the past.
Posted: October 24, 2014, 10:56 pm