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Saturday, April 27, 2013


We are blessed in San Francisco to have a high percentage of astute constituents - who want to deliberate - and many who can think outside the box - when it comes to laws and regulations.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has it origins in the State of California - and encourages all Californians to use this law - to better comprehend and further to exercise their judgement within the law to address Quality of Life issues.

After all our environment counts and Quality of Life must rule.

In the year 2003 the State of California made a singular amendment - giving the power to local agencies - such as a City Council or in the case of the San Francisco - the Board of Supervisors to weigh in - when an appeal was made to it - linked to CEQA.

Governed by certain rules and regulations. For example a Negative Declaration that some entity thought was not well thought out - and adversely impacted some entity. The SF Board of Supervisors would then fairly adjudicate the matter.

These laws be it a CEQA, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in the case of local and State jurisdictions;  the Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) in case of Federal jurisdictions - allow constituents and others - to improve our way of living, building and treating our environment; as it should be.

Pollution, contamination, transportation, education, health and hospitals, impact on children and seniors, and a host of other issues - that we can do deep into addressing - to better our daily lives.

There are other entities and factors that can trigger many actions - favor or adversely impact the law - and the one singular action that is often ignored - is noticing the public at large - and giving notice - well in advance - so that they may be fair - justice.

If the public at large is NOT noticed - and if the deliberations CEQA or an EIR begins without notice and sound information - then the entity that is adversely impacted - the public at large - more the public in the area impacted - are put in a situation - where they are penalized for NO fault of their own.

In many cases; the San Francisco Planning Department takes the upper hand - and as in the case of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard - left out many pertinent and salient factors.

The entire 700 acres plus has not been archaeologically surveyed and laws like the Native American Graves Protection Act - a Federal law - ignored.

The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is a Superfund Site - contaminated more with radioactive elements - that the United States Navy has failed to address - with sound abatement and mitigation - to this day.

These impacts factor in the Cumulative Impacts that the San Francisco Planning - failed to address in a comprehensive manner - all these years - and more today.

More people suffer from cancer and other chronic diseases all recorded, tons of empirical data - in and around Hunters Point Naval Shipyard - and the SF Planning Department is oblivious to this fact. Shame on them.

Shame on those that have NO moral compass - and cannot take us to a better place.

After all we use laws to further the betterment and the bring about harmony; in the way we live.

When we pollute the land, the water, and the air - we bring about disharmony - that causes the lack of a sound environment - adversely impacting Quality of Life issues - our health and our living.

In the majority of the cases our City of San Francisco - has played with fire - giving Developers for example the liberty to build Market Price housing in areas where the returns are high - like the downtown areas.

Providing a fake recourse - allowing say 15% percent of low income and so called affordable housing to be built off site - on Brown Fields - on such sites in the Bayview Hunters Point. This is totally - wrong.

Supervisors such as Mark Leno favored such gimmicks and introduced such ordinances - helping Big Developers - and such Supervisors must not be trusted - ever.

The lay person does not understand such inconsistencies because most lay person - are not educated on issues.

We do not have forums, any sort of orientation to bring such issues to the lay men in the poorer sections of our City and County of San Francisco.

Rich folks hire Land Use Attorneys - and have a say in such matters - money rules in the land of the corrupt and those that have no morals, less standards - and abhor the poor and disadvantaged. 

It is only recently because of the abuse of CEQA, EIR and EIS, other laws such as the Precautionary Principle which is law - that those who have chosen - of their own violation - to study such mundane actions - that the San Francisco Planning Department, the Staff of the SF Planning Department - have had their feet held to the fire. And rightly - so.

Noticing; is critical and sufficient notice so that the constituents and others is paramount.

In most case the Courts have come to the rescue of the constituents - when those that have garnered funds - have had the Courts to judge and the adjudication by far - have been fair. 

The Bike Coalition got stumped when a group took them to court and stopped the SF Bike Plan abruptly.

The Bike Coalition was pissed - but NOT rightlt so - because in the first place the Bike Coalition was arrogant and defied the will of the people - trying to hoodwink San Francisco - without a sound EIR and less CEQA.

Watering down CEQA and the EIR factored in the Judge - stopping the project in the tracks  and forcing the Bike Coalition  to play by the rules.

Today the Bike Coalition is arrogant and this will come to bite them in the butt - we are a hilly City - and what favors Europe and their culture does not favors San Francisco. 

Bike lanes and those biking in an unruly manners - take on the MUNI buses and other vehicles - have irked so many - that those who once tolerated those riding bikes - do not  - anymore.

This was also the case when People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) - hired an attorney and took the City and County of San Francisco - more the SF Planning Department to Court - and stopped them on Hunters Point - when the SF Planning Commission - passed the EIR.

We also had another glaring example when some years ago - the Housing Element was not deliberated in the proper manner.

Fake statistics were published in a report sent to the State of California - Sacramento - to meet mandatory - requirements.

This matter went to Court and the 10 year projections - linked to housing and other elements - factoring CEQA and other pertinent rules and regulations - were revisited, adjudicated, reviewed in detail - and passed and accepted - but first halted by the Court and sent back for review and the necessary amendments.

In recent years the City of San Francisco has been pandering to Big Developers for all the wrong reasons. Fast tracking - hold key meeting during the holidays. Such shenanigans are not becoming of fairness - but more devious than can be imagined.

San Francisco Planning Department has been wrought with dire corruption. The firing of the SF Planning Zoning Czar - Larry Badner speaks volumes.

He and other Senior Planners - were emailing pornographic material - while working - on the City's dime.

This and other factors that the laymen does not know - is not only startlingly, abhorring - disgusting - but sends the wrong - message to those that are decent, follow the law, pay their taxes - and are good citizens.

It does not help when we have corrupt, spineless, inept Supervisors like Malia Cohen - going before the SF Planning Department and placing a Wellness Center for children - on a site that is contaminated more polluted - 3450 Third Street in the Bayview Hunters Point.

Without have one meaningful meeting in the community. Rezoning many blocks in an industrial area - permitting other uses like clinics and such - which is not becoming. Only the immoral, those lacking standards, spineless, and shallow - would take such a sordid - route.

As an advocate and as part of my work at the Federal level and for many years at the local level - I have encounter the worse type of corruption - that calls for the RICO ACT - when the entities that are supposed to uphold the California Environmental Quality Act - do not.

Today, we have some Supervisors pretending to help the constituents; while deep in the pockets of Developers - both Jane Kim and Scott Wiener belong to this group. So does  David Chiu.

Scott Wiener, David Chiu, Malia Cohen and Eric Mar all Supervisors were taken to task - by the SF Ethics Commission.

The issue at hand was the Parkmerced Housing - that a Developer want to tear down and build high rise - dense buildings. These Supervisor broke the Brown Act - and plotted with the Developer to adversely impact the victims of Parkmerced  - mostly rental housing. 

Thousands of Seniors will be impacted  and no one can help these Seniors; most living on limited income.

Our City does not care - and it does not make it better - when we have Supervisors - who pretend they are helping while all the time - pandering and filling their pockets with tainted money.

Our current SF Planning Commission favors corruption of the worst kind - we saw this with the Parkmerced Housing, the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, 8 Washington by the Ferry Building, the America's Cup, the California Pacific Medical Center - and I can name forty other projects and more - but it will not make the SF Planning Commission, its staff - any less worthy of being decent.

It does not help when matters are sent to the Land Use Committee - and the SF Board of  Supervisors there too rubber stamp and send stuff to the SF Full Board of Supervisors - who as a whole - endorse corrupt and ill thought of actions.

Our Legislative Branch in the last 15 years that been blatantly abusive to those that are decent.

Advocates now cease attending meetings at City Hall.

At public comment - once you had a measly three minutes to express yourself - now they have reduced it to two minutes. This is against the Brown Act and other rules and regulation - including Robert's Rules.

The State laws prevail over the ill thought SF Board Rules - on public comment. Even if two or three are present - the two minute rules is exercised - illegally.

Simply put CEQA and other Environmental laws are in place to garner support and encourage Quality of Life issue for all life. This is also the case with the Precautionary Principle. As it is with the EIR and the EIS.

Never once has Cumulative Impacts been taken into account - the Environmental Review Officer - who is Smithsonian - will argue as one who has full authority - always - fallowing some whim and fancy that has nothing to do with Quality of Life issues - less helping decent human beings - live in a healthy and friendly - environment.

The devious actions of the SF Planning Commission, the SF Planning Department are well known by the Land Use Attorneys - who should take these rascals to court and teach them a lesson. 

The few times we have taken the SF Planning Department to Court - they have fallen flat of their faces.

Good luck with your amendments to the current poor state of affairs - linked to CEQA.

We could begin with proper noticing - something the SF Planning promised a long time - and conveniently prolonged their - senior moment.