Saturday, November 1, 2014

ALERT: Replacement of our MERA radios is not needed. Vote No on Measure A.

This is just in from the FCC.  MERA no longer needs to upgrade its radios.  Taxpayers can save millions!  See articles below:

From: IWCE’s URGENT Communications   

FCC eliminates 700 MHz narrowbanding mandate, reserves channels for T-Band, air-to-ground comms

Oct 27, 2014  Donny Jackson | Urgent Communications


The FCC issued a report and order on Friday eliminating requirements associated with the planned deadline to transition 700 MHz public-safety narrowband systems from 12.5 kHz to 6.25 kHz channels by Dec. 31, 2016, as well as designating some channels in the band for voice communications with helicopters and other aircraft.

Removing the 700 MHz narrowbanding requirement “will enable licensees to extend the life of existingsystems and will provide public safety with greater flexibility in determining the optimal future use of the band,” according to the text of the FCC’s report and order.

“We conclude that the December 31, 2016 narrowbanding implementation deadline is no longer viable,” the FCC report and order states. “The record indicates that requiring narrowbanding by December 2016 would force many licensees to modify or replace existing systems well before the end of their useful life. In addition, we share the concerns expressed by many commenting parties about the maturity of 6.25 kilohertz-capable equipment, including the lack of developed open standards governing major system components.”

Public-safety officials have been asking for relief from the 700 MHz narrowbanding deadline for several years, noting that many 700 MHz public-safety LMR systems would be less than eight years old when the Dec. 31, 2016, date arrived, because the spectrum was not available nationwide until 2009. Although the FCC had given indications that it would not move forward with the deadline—some waivers were granted that extended the time until 2024—the narrowbanding mandate remained in place until Friday.

In addition, many have noted that there is a possibility that mission-critical voice could be offered over broadband networks like the one being developed by FirstNet, so requiring public-safety entities operating narrowband systems at 700 MHz to revamp them by the previously planned Dec. 31, 2016, date could limit their flexibility in the future.

With the FCC’s decision to eliminate the 700 MHz narrowbanding rules, public-safety agencies can make buildout plans based on capacity needs, instead of having to deploy a 6.25 kHz-channel technology like P25 Phase II simply to comply with regulations, according to Steve Devine, assistant director for the Missouri Statewide WirelessInteroperability Network (MOSWIN).

“It certainly makes it easier [to budget],” Devine said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “There were several places with wide-area systems—countywide, regional and even statewide—that were planning to be Phase II [P25] because of the rule. I would like to think those folks would go back and realize that, now that the rule has changed, they may revisit some places where they don’t need that spectral efficiency.

“That’s saving some real money. In a wide-area system, that can be big dollars. It can be millions of dollars in a statewide system between Phase II and not.”

But the absence of a 700 MHz narrowbanding mandate does not mean that the market for 6.25 kHz equipment in the band will vanish, because it may be the best technology choice—particularly in urban locations with a scarcity of available spectrum, Devine said.

“Those that feel they need to arrive at that efficiency can, but it’s not forced upon them now,” he said. “A lot of this will be subject to the RPCs [regional planning committees]. When there’s channel contention, whoever uses the channels most efficiently probably should get priority—I think that’s a basic tenet in all of the RPC review processes.”

In fact, the FCC order explicitly encourages the use of 6.25 kHz-channel technology for 700 MHz systems in geographic areas where public-safety entities currently utilize systems in the 470-512 MHz known as the T-Band. In 2012, Congress mandated that public-safety agencies with T-Band systems vacate the T-Band spectrum by 2021, and affected entities have been scrambling to find spectrum that will provide a migration path out of the T-Band.



on Oct 28, 2014

All this after Adams County Colorado and Weld County Colorado made their constituent agencies migrate to 6.25 khz radios. Really? Sounds to me like a certain large vendor made bank on the short-sightedness of government officials! Millions of dollars in equipment replaced unnecessarily at taxpayer expense while roads and bridges are literally falling apart around them. Wow. just wow!




From: The New York Times

F.C.C. Delays Auction of TV Airwaves for Mobile



The Federal Communications Commission said on Friday that it would postpone until early 2016 a planned auction of airwaves now used by broadcast television stations for use by mobile phone companies.

The commission attributed the delay in part to a pending lawsuit filed by the National Association of Broadcasters, a trade group for the television industry, and to the need for more time to recruit television stations to participate.

The auction, previously set to begin in mid-2015, is likely to be the largest and most complicated sale of airwaves that the commission has undertaken. It involves a multistep process in which some broadcasters agree to give up their airwaves or move their signals to new spots on the electromagnetic spectrum in exchange for a portion of the proceeds of their sale.


Broadcast stations that do not participate in the auction could have their spot on the broadcast spectrum moved anyway, to help create contiguous blocks of airwaves for sale to mobile phone companies.

A cellular tower in Oakland, Calif. Federal regulators said more time was needed to deal with a lawsuit and to recruit bidders.CreditJustin Sullivan/Getty Images


Most broadcast stations affiliated with the four major networks are not expected to participate in the auction, and the trade association said in its lawsuit challenging the sale that the initial rules laid out by the commission would cause some stations to lose some of their coverage area and viewers.

Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where the case was filed, set out a schedule that calls for final briefs in late January. That means a decision in the case would not be expected until mid-2015, about the time Tom Wheeler, theF.C.C. chairman, had set for the auction to start.

Proceeds from the auction are expected to contribute heavily to the cost of a planned $7 billion nationwide public safety communications network.

In a post on the F.C.C. blog, Gary Epstein, the chairman of the commission’s Incentive Auction Task Force, said the agency was confident that it would prevail in court. But, he added, “given the reality of that schedule, the complexity of designing and implementing the auction, and the need for all auction participants to have certainty well in advance of the auction, we now anticipate accepting applications for the auction in the fall of 2015 and starting the auction in early 2016.”

Dennis Wharton, executive vice president for communications of the broadcasters’ association, said in a statement: “We reject suggestions that our narrowly focused lawsuit is cause for delay.”

“As N.A.B. has said repeatedly, it is more important to get the auction done right than right now,” Mr. Wharton added. “Given its complexity, there is good reason Congress gave the F.C.C. 10 years to complete the proceeding.”

Mr. Epstein wrote that the commission would vote by the end of the year to release for public comment a proposal of the auction’s methodologies. The agency also will vote “in the coming weeks” to release for comment a proposal to set aside one vacant television channel in each market for use by unlicensed devices.

In a separate move, the F.C.C. on Friday said it would fine two companies a combined $10 million for leaving personal data unprotected.

The companies, Terracom and YourTel America, collected the data from consumers to determine their eligibility for a program that offers subsidized cellphone service to low-income Americans. The F.C.C. said the companies stored the Social Security numbers, names, addresses, driver’s license data and other information of customers on unprotected Internet servers “that anyone in the world could access.”

Lax security practices affected up to 300,000 customers of the low-income phone program, known as Lifeline, the commission said, even though the companies claimed to have “technology and security features” to safeguard the privacy of consumers.

The action is the first data security case for the commission and the largest privacy action in its history.

In a statement, Terracom said it had “worked with our vendors to increase data security technology and procedures and completed multiple security audits to prevent further breaches from taking place.”

A version of this article appears in print on October 25, 2014, on page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: F.C.C. Delays Auction of TV Airwaves for Mobile. Order Reprints |Today's Paper| Subscribe


Saturday Night Movies

from Calavera">Calavera> on Vimeo.">Vimeo.>">鳴子系こけし/こけしの岡仁
from dmp">dmp> on Vimeo.">Vimeo.> Melon">">Melon Head
from Andy">">Andy Fortenbacher on Vimeo.">Vimeo.> FartBarf">">FartBarf - Homeless in Heathrow
from Andrew">">Andrew Wilsak on Vimeo.">Vimeo.> Spooktacular">">Spooktacular: An Animated Alphabet
from Adam">">Adam Osgood on Vimeo.">Vimeo.> Kim">">Kim and the Created – Dead to Me
from Nick/Owen">Nick/Owen> on Vimeo.">Vimeo.> Invasion">Invasion
> from Olivier">">Olivier Patté on Vimeo.">Vimeo.> Earthworm">">Earthworm Heart
from Trunk">">Trunk Animation on Vimeo.">Vimeo.> Want">">Want to Believe by Rich Aucoin
from jasoneisener">jasoneisener> on Vimeo.">Vimeo.>

Plan Bay Area flawed"public process"/Doesn't achieve objectives"/Enriches the few at the expense of the vast majority.

Vote Tuesday, November 4th (at least Larry Bragman is running for MMWD)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Questions for ABAG about "Fairness and Outreach" in Plan Bay Area

Vote "NO" on Measure A

Armor Plated Humvee with Machine Gun Turret behind the Twin Cities PD on Doheny Dr.
Reports of police surveillance drones in Marin are unconfirmed but are commonly in use in Oakland and elsewhere.

Every major intersection in Marin has video cameras watching you. Why?
 Do we really need a new surveillance/communication center in Marin? Vote No on Measure A.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lack of Debate at Plan Bay Area/ CO2 Capture Technologies on the Horizon

"Larry Bragman for MMWD" Rally at WinCup in Corte Madera

WinCup aka "Corte Mazilla" or Tamal Vista is the first of a transit oriented development for Marin. Steve Kinsey, Liz Crosse and the Green Mafia want add thousands of similar high density housing units everywhere in Marin as part of Plan Bay Area. 

See the construction worker taking picture of us long after all other workers have left the site?
Why is he wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day at 6pm?
 Do you suppose he is adding us to his photo album or is he really a construction worker at all?

Housing Activists should disclose their Government Grants and support.

Powerful Testimony from resident about the public process and the hidden agendas of Housing Activists who are paid by Government Grants and Consulting Contracts.  He also criticizes that the true public voice is being ignored in final reports after public input.  Only the "official" position of Plan Bay Area is recorded.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Southern California stuck in drive

Kotkin & Cox: Southern California stuck in drive

By JOEL KOTKIN and WENDELL COX / Contributing Writers 
Southern California has long been a nurturer of dreams that, while widely anticipated, often are never quite achieved. One particularly strong fantasy involves Los Angeles abandoning what one enthusiast calls its “car habit” and converting into an ever-denser, transit-oriented region.

An analysis of transit ridership, however, shows that the region is essentially no better off than when the the modern period of transit funding began in 1980, with the passage of Proposition A, which authorized a half-cent sales tax for transit. In 1980, approximately 5.9 percent of workers in the metropolitan area (Los Angeles and Orange counties) used transit for their commute. The latest data, for 2013, indicates the ridership figure has fallen to 5.8 percent.

Never ones to let facts get in the way of fantasy, some retrourbanists and media types continue to insist our mass-transit transition is well on its way. Liberal blogger Matt Yglesias, writing in Slate, declared that Los Angeles is destined to become America’s “next great transit city.”

This view is echoed throughout retrourbanist circles. “The City of Angels is noticeably transforming. Our once car-centric town is becoming less car-dependent,” suggests the local LA Streetsblog, “Public transit is having a comeback. Pedestrian and bicycle infrastructures are improving.”
Instead of rushing to rail, Angelenos continue to rely on their cars to get to work. From 1980-2013, the market share of drive-alone commuters has risen from 70 percent to 74.1 percent. There has been an increase in driving alone of approximately 1.4 million daily commuters. Driving alone accounted for d approximately 85 percent of the region’s increase in commuters.

Why do people stick to their cars? For one thing, transit takes longer. The average drive-alone, one-way commute in Los Angeles was 27.0 minutes in 2013, compared with an average commute of 48.7 minutes for transit.

The other big factor is accessibility to jobs. The University of Minnesota Accessibility Observatory produced an estimate for the percentage of jobs that the average L.A. resident could reach within 30 minutes by car. In Los Angeles, the average resident can reach 60 times as many jobs in that time by car as by transit.

Transit needs downtowns

Transit plays an important role in America, but mostly in the urban cores of a handful of “legacy” cities. These core metros (excluding their often-sprawling, low-density suburbs) – New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and San Francisco – account for 55 percent of all transit-work trip destinations, just 6 percent of the country’s employment. Overall, the legacy cities’ transit ridership is nearly 10 times their proportionate combined share of jobs.

To a large extent, this reflects history and urban form. Transit remains largely a matter of downtowns. The cities with transit legacies have an average of 15 percent of their jobs downtown, three times the average for other major metropolitan areas. In contrast, Downtown Los Angeles has 2 percent of the metropolitan area’s jobs. In Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, homes to much of the regional population, there are really no substantial downtown areas.

In contrast, the many regions sharing L.A.’s multipolar form and large-scale transit investments – Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Portland, Ore., – have seen their transit market shares stagnate or decline, despite having built expensive rail systems.

One problem is, like virtually all U.S. metropolitan areas (including the suburbs of legacy cities), the Los Angeles area, which pioneered the multi-polar metropolis, has been becoming more so and is even moving beyond polycentricity. The vast majority of growth in the statistical area encompassing Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties has taken place in precisely those areas – the Inland Empire, South Orange County or the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys in northern Los Angeles County – that also have the lowest transit ridership. In contrast, the core’s growth barely represents a blip. From 2000-10, the functional urban core, which has the strongest concentration of transit destinations, accounted for virtually none of the region's growth.

Dreaming of New York?

For many L.A. planners and urban boosters, more transit – funded from Washington – often seems to constitute an exercise of social engineering on a grand scale. The hope is that, by pushing transit, particularly rail, we will recreate the metropolis with ever-greater density. “We are going to remake what the city looks like,” then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told an approving New York Times two years ago.

Despite the hoopla and the subsidization of downtown Los Angeles, however, relatively few people work in, or even visit Downtown, ecept for sporting or cultural events, although many pass by it on the freeways.

For most Angelenos, Downtown is simply not part of their day-to-day experience the way, for example, Manhattan is for many New Yorkers, or the Loop is for many residents of the Chicago region.

Transit Class Warfare

Developers and their planning allies tend to focus on transit as something that will get middle-class Angelenos out of their cars. But it’s difficult to see this working as long as such an overwhelming majority of jobs (98 percent) are located outside Downtown. Since 1980, driving alone, which was increasing its market share, added 15 times as many new commuters as transit, with its slipping market share.

At the same time, there seems to be a profound unawareness of the low incomes of Los Angeles transit commuters. The latest American Community Survey data (2013) indicates that the median earnings of transit commuters at the national level is more than 85 percent higher than in Los Angeles. In the metropolitan areas around transit legacy cities, the median incomes of transit commuters is 150 percent higher than in Los Angeles.

To some extent, poorer Angelenos, in the government’s expensive shift from buses to trains, are being sacrificed to satisfy the Utopian vision of planners, pad the profits of big urban developers, and to build the campaign war chests of the political class. Indeed, from 2008-12, the bus lines, which carry more than three times as many passengers as trains, were cut 16 percent If L.A. is experiencing a transit revolution, its most dependent riders have been largely left behind.

So What Should Greater LA do?

As anyone who drives the freeways knows well, L.A. has a traffic problem. But Los Angeles also has the shortest average commute time of any high-income world megacity for which data is available, despite having the highest automobile usage, the least transit and, except for New York, the lowest urban density.

The real question is, will more transit, at least in its current form, offer the solution? Certainly, expanding and improving roads – although politically incorrect – has helped make commuting easier for many working in Orange County. Other ways to entice people off the roads, such as telecommuting, should be encouraged. Since 1980, the number of Los Angeles residents working at home has increased by approximately 240,000. This increase – 2.5 times that of transit in total numbers – has come at virtually no cost to taxpayers.

To be sure, many Angelenos, for one reason or another, need decent transit services. Our approach would be for government to find out who these people are, and look for ways to make transit work better for them. Rather than invest huge dollars in rail megaprojects, perhaps we could reduce bus fares, a strategy attributed to the legendary Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn that increased bus ridership dramatically from 1982-85.

Unlike today’s “progressives,” Hahn’s prime interest was serving his largely working-class and poor constituents. Besides cutting bus fares and increasingly service, other solutions, such as more competitively contracted service provided by regional agencies, such as Foothill Transit and the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, could provide less-expensive, more efficient and expanded service.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, has also expressed interest in promoting the use of rideshare services, like Uber or Lyft, and, more importantly, self-driving cars.

Ultimately, rather than try to recreate New York, or undertake the expensive and virtually impossible task of rebuilding Los Angeles in the image of the latest urban planning fad, we should explore a host of innovative solutions that will help transit riders here and now by developing workable, and effective, ways to help them get to the services and jobs they need.

Staff opinion columnist Joel Kotkin is R.C. Hobbs Professor of Urban Studies at Chapman University. He is the executive editor of His new book, “The New Class Conflict,” has just been released by Telos Press Publishing.

Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, a St. Louis public policy consultancy, and a three-term member of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, which established the rail system.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Time For City Planners To Adapt A New Model

See the article in Forbes It's Time For City Planners To Adapt A New Model

I recently had my students study and dissect the plans for five cities, including the historic plans for one.  In all, ten plans.  These are the documents that cities routinely hire consultants to write, often compelled to do so by state statute.

It seems its good municipal management to have a city plan.  Mayors and city councils are somehow more informed as to how to meet the future with ten and twenty year plans in file drawers.  Whether the citizens of a city might be the better for these exercises is open to question but planning is certainly good for the firms of urban planners and architects who prepare them.

Critical analysis by my students revealed several remarkable features.  First, none of the plans ever spoke of what the city’s population might be at the end of the planning period!  The singular measure of whether a city is succeeding or not, namely how many people chose to live there or have jobs to keep them in a particular place, is unexamined.  So, too, is the question of what the profile of persons in poverty will be by the target year.  Given that the ratio of poor residents who subsist on transfer payments to persons in families that are self supporting is among the most important measures of what a city’s economy looks like and will look like it is hard to imagine how anyone can try to better a city’s future, the stated ambition of all plans, without trying to prescribe what the poverty ratio might be.  Finally, not one of the plans discussed the cost of running the city, certainly not the size of the public payroll and the associated benefit costs, including in most cities, the unfunded costs of pensions for retired and current public servants.

Instead, plans discuss and advance a set of what appear to be measures of city health that are clearly more faddish than practical.  Thus, every contemporary plan speaks of how neighborhoods are the strength of any city, which while seemingly uncontestable, is largely not true.  Neighbor health is derivative of city health.  The city celebrates itself, through the words of its consultants, for its commitment to diversity going forward.  Plans speak of why it’s to be desirable for a city to have upwards of twenty languages spoken in its schools (where its students commonly are already doing poorly on basic English competency tests).  Of course, environmental sustainability seems a required discussion in which cities seem to fall over themselves making sure that DPW trucks, buses, police cars are enviro-friendly even as the decay of the streets they roll on, if mentioned at all, are absorbed in the umbrella phrase “infrastructure investment.”  More words are devoted to the “clean” energy required for air-conditioning and heating schools than whether the schools are or aren’t educating the city’s youngest citizens effectively.

Some plans had references to international markets but the references are not to where the city’s industries must compete with their goods but to grocery stores that sell ingredients for burgeoning foreign resident populations. Above all, every plan discusses the important of new buildings for fire stations, community centers, schools, or government offices.  (Remember, architects do a lot of city planning.  To a man with a hammer every problem is a nail.)

None of the plans spoke of the changing nature of the economy.  None set a goal of full employment or even mentioned unemployment.  Poverty was a missing word.  What discussion existed regarding economics was confined to making a specific kind of neighborhood, often called an arts district, to provide propinquity for the city’s “creative” population.  If a link to the economy is mentioned it usually is a passing reference to new and small businesses that would grow up if, again, the physical environment was engineered in a specific way.  The likely center of this new economy is the arts district!

To read a set of plans leads one to the inescapable conclusion that the practice of city planning has escaped reality.  Its highly stylized form, apparently reflective of a settled professional culture, is first and foremost a political document disguised as a physical plan for a specific locale.  Alexander Garvin captures the cynical nature of it all in his new book “The Planning Game.”  Having been a professional planner and a real estate developer, his book is about politics and the importance of “playing” well so that new buildings get built.  There is no discussion of the city’s economy.  The index entry under “economics” takes the reader in every case to a discussion of the financing of projects.  The book rests on the fallacy common to all contemporary urban planning, namely, that the built environment will make the economy happen.  Just as with international development strategy, the artifacts of a successful economy are presumed necessary conditions precedent to a successful economy emerging.

In fact, the “build it and an economy will come” fallacy is but one flaw of contemporary urban planning.  The much larger problem is that the typical plan is really a “retro-static” document, at least for cities not experiencing economic growth.  It sets an implicit idealized state in the past usually the city’s high water mark in population.  Detroit remains hopeful that someday 2.3 million people will live there once again.  President Obama and countless others before him have declared such goals.  Why not plan accordingly, even if the formal plan never mentions a credible strategy to reestablish an economy that would require and support 2.3 million people?

If planning is to be helpful it must see cities first as the economic communities that they were at their beginning. No city ever came to exist but for two forces, security and commerce.  American cities were presumed secure – as modern communities they were and are the creatures of business.  No community, ancient or modern, survives without commerce.  Those cities that no longer produce sufficient commerce to sustain themselves become dependent on others outside, in a modern democracy, to provide for their care they rely on transfer payments.  The cost is local control of their destiny.

Cities that are essentially supplicants to higher levels of government have one of two paths for planning.  One is to become yet more proficient at supplication; in a bad national economy this path spells further decline.  The other is to imagine rebuilding an economy that achieves scale growth.  Planners never speak to the economic possibilities because apparently they don’t know how economic growth actually happens.

Going forward we need “proto-dynamic” plans for cities.  They would sketch out an economic path leading to self-sustenance where the city produces more than it consumes in terms of the larger economy.  This is the only path that will allow a city to anticipate any substantial growth and the capacity to eliminate poverty for those who live there.  To form such a goal a city has to think of how it can generate sufficient industry to provide jobs for its unemployed.  This must be the first order objective and it eludes planners because they have no idea of how the complexities of dynamic economies actually are sparked to life.

The urban plans of the future have to combine the capacity first to encourage a city’s entire population, not just college students – an error commonly made in today’s over emphasized reliance on “creatives” – to take up the possibility of innovating and making new companies that meet unforeseen demands in world markets beyond the city.  Scale production, not small shop keeping or running art galleries, is the only path to growth and urban futures that hold the potential to restore communities which means reducing poverty.  But, of course, this, like the capitalism that holds this promise, appears just too messy for planners who, in the end, see the growth of government and its control over all aspects of the built environment as the pathway to the cities of tomorrow, which in their documents look troublingly nostalgic for the towns that once were.

ACTION ALERT! Submit comments before Friday, October 31st

Fellow Citizen Marin Members and concerned Neighbors:
We need your help.  Plan Bay II is upon us that will further erode our communities and local control.  It is essential that we have as many comments as possible from Marin as possible to send a clear signal, that Marin will object to ABAGs attempt to urbanize Marin.
Plan Bay Area 2017 is on the horizon and that MTC-ABAG are conducting meetings on the Public Participation Plan that will determine the types of meetings that will give input to the next round of the Plan.
For introduction and to post general comments HERE 
Answer Formatted Survey Questions HERE   
(There are 5 multiple choice questions and 1 open ended question)
To review formatted question input go HERE   
You can view a summary of the answers to date HERE  
We had many private citizens attend the MTC meeting on Oct 8 where they were asking for our input.  We got a lot of good video that can be viewed at .  The kinds of comments we need to drive home are:
1.       There must be an opt-out option if a city does not want to participate.
2.       NGOs should be identified as organizations who are getting money from MTC-ABAG to support PBA point of view
3.       The Plan does not take in to account any improvements in technology that would make the objectives of the plan moot.
4.       There must be an open debate about all the issues.  The flaws of the plan were not openly discussed.  There was only one debate (in Marin) where opposition positions were aired.
5.       The process of forcing people to sit at tables and limiting their choices which do not include “none of the above” makes the process flawed
6.       Plan carries water for the top 1%, the crony capitalists and NGOs that stand to gain from the money spent on the Plan
7.       Questions developed by Richard Hall from Marin
a.      How will neighborhoods this time around get local representation instead of discovering by surprise that they've been nominated for high density growth? 
b.      How can neighborhoods that don't want high density growth, that may happen to be near transit, opt out? 
c.       How will local residents this time around have the more significant representation that they merit on local land use decisions over and above the voices of minority groups that seek to impose alternate visions on their neighborhoods (but who may live many miles away and be small in number?) 
d.      What will the process be this time around when a comment is made on the plan by a resident?
Public Participation Plan (PPP for Plan Bay Area 2017) MTC Meeting (10-8-14)
Thanks to the intrepid souls who showed up at the MTC sponsored PPP meeting on Oct 8, 2014.  Of the 20+ people making comments only 3 expressed support.  Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and Marin Counties were represented in the group.  MTC tried to start the meeting with a standard Delphi technique of having people sit at tables and controlling the conversation.  Most refused to sit at the tables and play their game so we were able to force them to change their agenda and take public comments first.   This is one of the many great comments made by citizens
Here are the links to the specific videos:
Zelda Bronstein on lack of debate :
Peter Singleton on identifying NGOs

Paul Brooks on identifying NGOs:

Pam Drew-Flawed process:

Peter Singleton:  Plan Carries Water for the Top 1%:

Mimi Steel-Technology

Berma Teetson-CO2 Capture technology

Margaret Gordon derails the Delphi:

Mimi Steel asks Richard Hall’s questions:


The attack on SoMa, part two: Why is this happening, anyway?

The attack on SoMa, part two: Why is this happening, anyway?

Editor's Note: Please check out the entire article HERE 

Put enough more rich people and tech companies into SoMa, and industry will have no place to go
Put enough more rich people and tech companies into SoMa, and industry will have no place to go

By Zelda Bronstein

In a story that’s become somewhat legendary of late, David Talbot, founder of, asked whether San Francisco could survive the tech boom: “How much tech can one city take?”

There’s no part of town where that’s a more crucial issue than South of Market, where the city is making plans that could change the character of one of the last places in San Francisco that still has industrial jobs and businesses—what the city planners call Production, Distribution and Repair, or PDR.

And what’s at stake isn’t only SoMa’s PDR but also the neighborhood’s fragile motley character.

It’s hard to see how Central SoMa could accommodate much more tech and still retain its fast-disappearing heterogeneity. According to a report released last December by the commercial real estate services firm CBRE, tech already accounts for 3.5 million square feet, or 58 percent of leased office space, in “South of Market,” an area bounded on CBRE’s map by Bryant, the waterfront, King and 8th; and 657,000 square feet, or almost 21 percent of the office space in “Yerba Buena,” which lies between Market, 3rd, Bryant, and 6th Streets.

Even the district’s office space is getting less diverse, as landlords tailor their holdings to satisfy tech tastes. Not incidentally, since the end of 2009, average asking rents in CBRE’s SoMa have increased by 87 percent, rising from about $30 to $57 per square foot a year, and by 95 percent in Yerba Buena.

Can this go on forever? No – but a city plan for Central SoMa assumes that tech companies are going to keep pouring into San Francisco, and into Central SoMa in particular, for the foreseeable future.

That assumption seems plausible in light of the CBRE study, which says that the outlook for the city’s tech sector is bright and, unlike the first tech boom, sustainable. This time, investors are passing up riskier firms for more established companies, while consumers are spending more and more money on technology.

But CBRE also sees “cautionary signs.” In San Francisco, as for the North American tech industry as a whole, things are getting “frothy” at the top, as valuations of “high expectation firms” are “surging well above more established benchmarks” (see WhatsApp). At some point, it all may... see full article HERE