UCSF Facing Cuts in Wake of Sequester; Free Bus Passes for Youth

Ambika Kandasamy, SF Public Press — Mar 4 2013 - 12:40pm

Sequestration isn’t just some Washington abstraction. It’s hitting home. The automatic federal budget cuts that rolled out on Friday — known as the sequester — are going to hurt the University of California, San Francisco. The world-class teaching hospital and research center receives funding from the National Institutes of Health. According to KQED’s “California Report,” the university’s vice chancellor for research, Keith Yamamoto, said that some laboratories have already instituted hiring freezes.

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”)

San Francisco Would Post Signs Warning of Earthquake Risk on Buildings Whose Owners Fail to Retrofit

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Feb 5 2013 - 10:05am

A plan being unveiled Tuesday in San Francisco would require the city to inform the owners of thousands of potentially earthquake-unsafe buildings that they need to retrofit at their own cost or demonstrate why not. If they don’t comply, the city would post a scarlet-letter sign on the property: “This building is in violation of the requirements of the San Francisco Building Code regarding earthquake safety.” (Listen to Public Press reporter Noah Arroyo on KQED Radio’s “Forum”)

Tech Boom Will Spin Off Thousands of S.F. Jobs: Q&A With Supervisor David Chiu

Aaron Tilley, SF Public Press — Jan 23 2013 - 3:53pm

When it comes to jobs, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu is putting his political stock in high tech. Until he and Mayor Ed Lee teamed up to keep Twitter and other information companies in the city, he said, “San Francisco was the least inviting city for tech innovation.”

San Francisco’s Most Urgently Needed Retrofits

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Jan 22 2013 - 12:43pm

There are three types of construction in San Francisco that pose hazards to occupants during a major earthquake. Here is a composite look at the present state of efforts to correct the problem around the city.

No One Wants to Go First: S.F.'s Retrofit Timeline

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Jan 10 2013 - 11:08am

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

A plan to require seismic retrofits on as many as 3,000 “soft-story” buildings in San Francisco can’t be executed all at once, experts say, because there aren’t enough engineers and contractors who know how to do the work. So city officials are developing a system of triage: Deal with the most dangerous buildings with the most people in them first. 

San Francisco to Pilot Participatory Budgeting

T.J. Johnston, Public Press — Dec 10 2012 - 4:11pm

Residents in San Francisco’s northeastern corner will soon get a say in how a small piece of San Francisco’s budget is spent improving their neighborhood. Supervisor David Chiu announced last week that residents of District 3, which includes North Beach, Chinatown and part of the Financial District, could vote on how to spend $100,000 in discretionary funds. It’s part of a civic innovation called participatory budgeting, with the money earmarked for one-time community projects.

A Central Subway North Beach Station? Not So Easy, Planners Say

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Dec 6 2012 - 1:44pm

A proposal to pull out tunnel-digging machines in North Beach has spurred debate about the prospect of building additional stations to extend the Central Subway project north of Chinatown. But transit officials say that’s not in the current plans, and such a move would take years more planning.

Tuition Refund Will Net CSU Students $250, but Set System Back $132 Million

Lissette Alvarez, SF Public Press — Nov 28 2012 - 11:44am

A tuition refund of $249 or more per semester that the California State University system is planning to give most full-time students will be a godsend for thousands feeling financially pinched in their academic pursuits. But the move will also reduce tuition revenues into the system by about 3 percent this school year.

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