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City attorney sues developer whose house slid down Twin Peaks  
sfgate.com

The San Francisco city attorney€™s office on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against politically connected developer whose Twin Peaks project slid down a hillside in 2013, accusing him of multiple violations of city building codes over more than a decade. The civil complaint against Mel Murphy €” former president of the Building Inspection Commission who now serves as a port commissioner€” accuses him of deception and committing permit violations that ranged from allegedly hiding of rental income from an illegally converted complex to improperly reinforcing the hillside project that later collapsed. The city wants a judge to order that 20 of Murphy€™s properties undergo detailed inspections and that he be sanctioned $2,500 each for dozens of apparent violations of city building and public safety regulations. €œThe conduct exhibits a pattern of brazen lawlessness that really does threaten the health and safety of San Francisco residents,€ City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. Neighbors were opposed to the project, saying the size of the new structure would be out of scale with the neighborhood. The city attorney€™s office said the Alabama Street conversion suggests a €œdeliberate pattern of fraud,€ with Murphy filing elaborate documentation with the city to maintain the fiction of a two€unit project and his consistent failure€™€™ to report the his interest in, and income from the project as is required under city ethics rules for commissioners. In another instance, an 11-unit condominium project at 3418 26th St. in Bernal Heights, the complaint accuses Murphy of illegally installing lifts last year that allowed cars to park on top of each other in the garage, which has room for four spaces. When told he did not have permits for any of the four stacking devices and had not made one of the spaces wide enough for handicapped accessibility, he removed the lifts and painted spaces so look like he had created the required, wider handicapped accessible space, the suit says. The suit also alleges that Murphy allowed parking in the area that should have been clear to allow for handicapped accessibility.
Submitted 9 hours ago by eureka!
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S.F. fire officials reject D.A.â  
sfgate.com

The San Francisco Fire Department has not acted on a warning from the city€™s district attorney that it needs to toughen its alcohol-testing rules for firefighters €” a warning that anticipated a judge€™s dismissal of drunken-driving charges against an ex-firefighter who crashed his rig. Superior Court Judge Kay Tsenin €” citing a €œKeystone Cops€ investigation €” tossed felony charges last month against Michael Quinn in the June 2013 crash at Fifth and Howard streets that left a motorcyclist seriously injured. In addition to police delays in investigating the crash, Tsenin blamed the Fire Department for not properly maintaining equipment that measures blood alcohol content. Nearly a year before the case against Quinn fell apart, District Attorney George Gascón sent a sternly worded letter to Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White about problems with the Fire Department€™s testing equipment €” along with several other €œtroubling practices€ in its anti-alcohol program. Specifically, Gascón faulted the department€™s €œzero tolerance policy€ for drinking that, in fact, requires that on-duty firefighters who test positive €” but below a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 percent €” to remain on duty. €œIt is strongly recommended that the San Francisco Fire Department implements a true zero tolerance policy as it relates to on-duty blood alcohol content,€ Gascón told Hayes-White. The district attorney also said the Fire Department was failing to ensure that its Breathalyzers, which measure blood-alcohol content, were being checked for accuracy every 10 days, the state standard for law enforcement agencies. [...] the department had a policy of checking the equipment once every 30 days, which Gascón said €œmanufactures an inherent challenge to any positive test result by a firefighter in a criminal prosecution.€ €œThe 0.04-or-less standard is the federal standard for flying commercial aircraft or driving a tractor trailer on the highway,€ O€™Connor said. Michael Hardeman, a Fire Commission member who received Gascón€™s letter, also defended the department€™s practices and said blame for the 2013 incident should fall to Quinn, who vanished for two hours after the accident and was seen guzzling water in a nearby bar.
Submitted 8 hours ago by eureka!
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The Nooner for April 1st

 

GOVERNOR PROPOSES SECOND CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT TO ADDRESS WATER CRISIS

Today, at a press conference at the Phillips Station in the Sierras where the April snowpack measurement was taken, Governor Jerry Brown proposed the largest public works project in California's history, continuing the Brown family legacy. A major component of the legacy of the governor's father, Edmund G. Brown, is the California Aqueduct, which is named in his honor.

The news comes amidst what is expected to be the lowest snowpack water equivalent in history.

The new aqueduct would parallel the existing aqueduct and would have tunnels that connect to Sacramento, extending further north than the existing aqueduct, which originates at the southern end of the Bay-Delta.

The aqueduct would also be unique in another way--it ends in water, but doesn't start that way. The aqueduct seeks to solve Califiornia's water problem through the ultimate recycling--turning urine into safe drinking water. "The technology is safe for our astronauts, why can't it be safe for us?" said an administration source who was not authorized to speak on the record. He continued "This is the Tang of our time." 

The aqueduct would collect urine from the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Central Valley and convey the liquids to a purifying plant just north of the Edmonston Pumping Plant at the base of the Tehachapis. Near the huge pipes viewable from I-5 that currently carry water over the pass to Lake Castaic and other reservoirs, a large plant would be built that would use proven technology to convert the matter into safe drinking water and electricity. After purificat . . .

[full Nooner]

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