Front page of Issue 16

The winter 2015 print edition is in stores now. Special report on the persistence of segregation in local public schools. Plus: 24-page insert commemorating the now shuttered weekly San Francisco Bay Guardian, produced by the newspaper’s former staff.

Buy a copy for $1 at these retail locations. |  Become a member to receive the next four issues of the Public Press plus additional member benefits. | Request home delivery for single copies or a basic subscription.



“BRACING FOR THE BIG ONE,” a special report in the Winter 2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press, reveals that thousands of homes remain vulnerable to earthquakes because of delays in mandatory retrofitting for problematic “soft-story” buildings. And don’t miss our illustrated guide to what you need in your earthquake survival kit.

Earthquakes

Potentially Earthquake-Unsafe Residential Buildings — a (Very Rough) List

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Jan 14 2013 - 12:51pm

This story appeared in the Winter 2012-2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection has kept a preliminary list of potentially dangerous soft-story buildings since 2009, but inspectors say it has not been verified by actual building inspections, and was never intended for public consumption. Some of the addresses the city generated might be wrong. The Public Press is publishing the list so that residents who might possibly be at risk in their homes can participate in the debate over how best to retrofit thousands of properties in coming years.

Earthquake Retrofit Delays Leave Thousands at Risk

Noah Arroyo and Barbara Grady, SF Public Press — Jan 7 2013 - 5:38pm

It will take at least 7 years to secure older wood buildings dangerously perched above windows or garages

This story appeared in the Winter 2012-2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

One in 14 San Franciscans lives in an old building with a first floor that city inspectors say could be vulnerable to collapse if not retrofitted soon to withstand a major earthquake.While officials have had a preliminary list of nearly 3,000 suspect properties for more than three years, they have not told landlords, leaving the estimated 58,000 residents who live there ignorant that their buildings could be unstable.

S.F.’s List of Quake-Vulnerable Homes Continues to Grow

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 23 2015 - 6:30am

The citys official list of verified earthquake-vulnerable apartment buildings has hit 5,000.

Retrofit Law Has Nearly 100% Compliance Rate, So Far

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 13 2015 - 3:05pm

Two years into operation, the city’s seismic retrofit program is finding some success: Almost all of the targeted buildings’ owners have had them inspected. Only 18 scofflaws remain. But even for most of the compliant owners the hard part is yet to come: They will need to retrofit their “soft-story,” wood-frame buildings.

List of S.F. Buildings Needing Earthquake Retrofits 60% Higher Than Original Estimate

Barbara Grady and Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 8 2014 - 2:27pm

With an estimated 70,000 residents living in vulnerable structures, landlords are moving fast to meet the city’s new retrofit deadlines.

Groundwater Depletion Is Destabilizing the San Andreas Fault and Increasing Earthquake Risk

Katherine Bourzac, San Francisco Public Press — May 14 2014 - 9:01am

Research published today also links seasonal water levels to seasonal patterns in seismicity

Depletion of groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley is having wide-ranging effects not just on the agricultural industry and the environment, but also on the very earth beneath our feet. Massive changes in groundwater levels in the southern Central Valley are changing the stresses on the San Andreas Fault, according to research published today.

Rent-Control Tenants May Foot the Bill for Mandatory Seismic Retrofits

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 3 2013 - 3:53pm

Tenants in 3,000 rent-controlled buildings could potentially pay all the costs of retrofitting those structures against earthquake damage unless they receive a financial hardship waiver from the city’s Rent Board, under the provisions of a new law approved Tuesday by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors will vote again on the retrofit law on April 9, and it will need the mayor’s signature before becoming law.

Tenants Say Earthquake Retrofit Law Could Circumvent Rent Control

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 20 2013 - 3:04pm

A proposed San Francisco law designed to save rent-controlled housing stock from the next big earthquake could actually displace low-income tenants, say tenant rights advocates. Building owners could pass through the cost of the retrofits to tenants in the form of monthly rent increases. Tenants’ only recourse would be to successfully declare financial hardship.

Up-to-Date Earthquake Kit Will Increase Your Survival Chances (Infographic)

Jason Winshell and Anna Vignet, SF Public Press — Feb 11 2013 - 10:58am

It’s never too late to prepare for the next big earthquake. The California Emergency Management Agency advises that the first 72 hours after a disaster are critical. Electricity, gas and water may be unavailable and first responders will be busy focusing emergency services on the most serious crises. Having an earthquake kit is key to toughing it out on your own. Here’s what it should have, at a minimum.

Mandatory Earthquake Retrofit Proposal Advances Quickly in San Francisco City Hall

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Feb 5 2013 - 4:38pm

San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu Tuesday unveiled legislation to make seismic retrofits mandatory for so-called soft-story buildings throughout the city. Chiu called the proposal to make retrofitting mandatory in stages by 2020 the “next major step to ensure that we are prepared for the next big one.” He said he expected a major quake, which could happen anytime, could be two to three times stronger than the 1989 Loma Prieta quake that destroyed 7,000 buildings statewide. (Listen to Public Press reporter Noah Arroyo on KQED Radio’s “Forum”)

Syndicate content