Late last year the Eastern Neighborhoods Citizens Advisory Committee (ENCAC) approved $800,000 for Esprit Park improvements, which’ll be used to pay for material and labor cost increases largely related to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It really isn’t a case of one particular item. It’s that everything costs more across the board right now. We have to budget to reflect those increases,” said Tamara Aparton, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) spokesperson. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for and expenses associated with things like wood products rose sharply over the past two years.
“As a recipient of development impact fees, RPD regularly updates ENCAC on progress on all projects that are funded through development impact fees, along with other projects in the neighborhood area plan. RPD will continue these updates and will provide an update on the Esprit (Park) project and use of these funds,” said Aparton. Henry Karnilowicz, ENCAC member, said the committee endorsed the funding to support the community. “We approved the monies in fall 2021 even with the uncertainty of the pandemic. That’s because we know progress moves slowly,” said Karnilowicz. “Inflation, rising construction costs, and supply chain issues have only increased the need for a cushion to insure we can move forward as planned,” said Julie Christensen, Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District executive director.
In 2021, the Potrero Dogpatch Merchants Association (PDMA) invested a $50,000 Avenue Greenlight grant to fund a fall closure of the 18th Street commercial strip, and to pay performing arts groups to entertain shoppers and dinners on the car-free boulevard. According to Keith Goldstein, PDMA president, the association was one of the first merchant groups to be subsidized. “Our proposal clearly met the community-focused goals of the funder. We allocated about $32,000 to the 18th Street closure, which ran from April 1 to October 31, 2021. We provided a community hub for locals and visitors to gather along three blocks of 18th Street, with entertainment each weekend,” said Goldstein. The initiative culminated with a Halloween bash, during which 2,000 people enjoyed circus acts and live music from five bands, with entertainment provided by PlayGround, Playwrights Foundation, Smuin Ballet, Crowded Fire, and Golden Thread. “We were able to parlay the Avenue Greenlight funding into a generous sponsorship from Amazon and Cruise…PDMA…give away $25,000 of gift certificates to 50 Potrero and Dogpatch businesses. These were the last types of businesses to open their doors back to paying customers…were most adversely affected by the pandemic shutdown,” said Goldstein.
Last month Shamman Walton launched his re-election campaign for San Francisco District 10 Supervisor, endorsed by more than 45 “local leaders” and organizations, including every member of the Board of Supervisors…Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin has entered the race for California controller. Galperin, who will be termed out of his municipal office later this year, is part of a field that includes Republican Lanhee Chen, a former George W. Bush White House adviser; Democrat Malia Cohen, state Board of Equalization chair and former District 10 Supervisor; and Democrat Yvonne Yiu, a financial adviser and Monterey Park City Councilmember. Galperin would be the first openly LGBTQ state controller if elected. The controller is California’s chief fiscal officer and can audit any government agency that spends state funds.
According to the California Energy Commission, 59 percent of the state’s electricity was generated from renewable and zero-carbon sources in 2020. Thirty-five percent of retail electricity demand was served by solar and wind; the remaining zero-carbon energy came from large hydroelectric projects and nuclear power. In 2019, more than 60 percent of the state’s electricity came from renewable and zero-carbon sources. The 2020 decrease was due to reduced hydroelectric generation caused by drought, as well as pandemic-related delays in new renewable energy projects.