CC: Daily digest for Wednesday, January 6, 2015
Here’s what’s happening in the Bay Area today, as curated by KALW News:
Californians Miss Water Conservation Target // NBC Bay Area
“State officials say drought-stricken California used 20 percent less water in November, once again missing the 25 percent conservation mandate set by Gov. Jerry Brown.
"Still, the State Water Resources Control Board reported Tuesday at a meeting in Sacramento that California remains on course to beat its long-term goal through February.
“Residents have saved a combined 26 percent since the mandate was issued in June.”
Oakland council introduces new gun control ordinances // Oakland Tribune
“The City Council on Tuesday took steps toward strengthening the city's firearm laws, unanimously introducing two ordinances aimed at improving weapon safety.
“Acting on the Dec. 15 recommendation of its Public Safety Committee, the council collectively agreed to introduce a ban on the possession of large-capacity gun magazines in Oakland, unless exempted, such as those issued to police officers. It also introduced the Safe Storage Act, which requires residents to keep firearms in a locked container or only accessible with a trigger lock.
“Council members Dan Kalb and Anne Campbell Washington offered the legislation to strengthen Oakland's gun laws after a series of high-profile slayings in the Bay Area and California last year.”
As Structure Fires Drop Citywide, Mission District Blazes Steadily // SF Weekly
“The San Francisco Fire Department has discovered a dismaying trend: While fires in San Francisco have been on a gradual decline in the previous decade, the Mission District — home of some of the most in-demand real estate in the United States — hasn’t followed suit.
“Citywide, annual conflagrations dropped from 317 in 2005 to a 10-year low of 186 in 2015, with some years showing fluctuations. The worst year was 2007, which saw 350 blazes.
“But it’s a different story in the Mission, which has seen annual counts jump sporadically between a low of 10 fires and a high of 29 during the same period, in defiance of the city's overall downward trend — and meaning that a greater number of the city's total fires are in the Mission than ever before.”
Benicia: Feb. 8 deadline to comment of Valero oil-by-rail project // Contra Costa Times
“The public has until Feb. 8 to comment on the final environmental report, released Tuesday, for Valero Benicia Refinery's proposed crude-by-rail project.
“The final report includes all the comments received on earlier environmental statements, and the responses to those that required them.
“Valero Benicia Refinery applied for the permit for the project in early 2013. It would allow the refinery to transport crude oil through Benicia via two 50-tanker-car trains, which can carry up to 70,000 barrels per day of North American crude oil, rather than shipping the oil by boat. It will not replace the crude that is transported by pipeline, officials said.”
Parking meter rates going up in S.F. for first time since 2009 // SF Gate
“Drivers fortunate enough to find a metered parking spot in San Francisco will soon have to pay a quarter more per hour to cover the costs of smart meters that accept credit cards and payments by phone.
“Municipal Transportation Agency directors approved the 25-cent increase Tuesday in the hourly rates, which vary by zone across the city. They also eliminated a 27-cent-per-transaction service fee instituted in July for parkers using credit cards or their phone to feed meters.
“That fee apparently violated the city’s master credit card processing agreement with Bank of America Merchant Services, according to the MTA. Rescinding it would have left a significant ding of about $6.2 million in the agency’s operating budget, so officials opted to increase the hourly rate for the first time since 2009.”
Housing to replace Lobster Shack site // San Mateo Daily Journal
“A six-story, 90-unit housing project is proposed to replace the strip mall that houses the Old Port Lobster Shack on Veterans Boulevard in Redwood City.
“Sares Regis Group of Northern California, LLC has filed plans with the city to redevelop the parcel adjacent to In-N-Out Burger that includes 135 parking spaces on two lower levels with for-rent housing on the top four levels.
“The application has been deemed nearly complete, said planner Lindy Chan.
“The project will likely go before the Architectural Advisory Committee for review soon before a zoning administrator gives it final approval, Chan said.
“The City Council will then have to approve an affordable housing agreement with Sares Regis to construct seven units of affordable housing on the site at 849 Veterans Blvd.”