Friday, October 07, 2016

Information request: Van Ness BRT and the Polk Street bike project

From: Mary Miles []
Sent: Friday, October 7, 2016
To: Edward Reiskin (
Cc: Caroline Celaya (; SFMTA Sunshine Requests

Mary Miles (SB #230395)
Attorney at Law
San Francisco, CA 94102

Edward Reiskin, Director
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
One S. Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

DATE: October 7, 2016


Having attended the Polk and Van Ness Construction Open House October 5, I request the following pursuant to the California Public Records Act and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance:

1. A list of all the City staff, consultants, and contractors, including MTA, DPW, City Attorney, Walsh, Barbary Coast, and any others who attended the Open House, by name, title, and entity.

2. A list of the collateral materials distributed at the Open House or produced for the Polk Street and Van Ness BRT projects, including coloring books, crayons, earplugs, hand sanitizers, flashing lights, pens, sunglasses, and other items, the quantity purchased, and the cost of each item, including imprinting them with the MTA logo. 

3. Are the MTA-logo-imprinted earplugs supposed to be MTA's "mitigation" of the noise impacts on residents, businesses and travelers who will endure several years of 24-hour construction on Van Ness Avenue and the surrounding areas? Or are they MTA’s idea of a joke? Please provide the full name and title of the person or persons who came up with the earplugs idea. 

4. The cost of the photographer who attended the Open House and the number of photographs taken. 

5. The specific Van Ness construction schedule, including the date that the Van Ness median trees will be removed. 

6. Records related to implementing the recent Board of Supervisors resolution urging the SFMTA "to fully explore the costs and technical feasibility of reuse as well as replication of the Van Ness Avenue Historic Streetlamps, including feasibility of retaining the cast iron fittings and lamps mounted on compatible replacement poles," including the cost and design of the currently planned replacement lamps and poles, and all plans to rehabilitate and/or replicate the existing Historic Streetlamps. 

7. The number of accidents, including deaths, on Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue since 2005, categorized by mode, date, the number of people hurt, and the party at fault, including all of the following:

a. accidents involving automobiles or other vehicles since 2005, including the date, the number of people hurt, and the party at fault;

b. accidents involving Muni buses since 2005, including the date, the number of people hurt, and the party at fault;

c. accidents involving bicycles since 2005, including the date, the number of people hurt, and the party at fault; and

d. accidents involving pedestrians since 2005, including the date, the number of people hurt, and the party at fault. 

8. Current mitigation plans for construction of the Polk Street and Van Ness projects, since it appears that both projects are now planned to be constructed concurrently, including the Traffic Management Plan approved in July 2016.

9. The approval action, body or person approving, and date of the approval action to construct the Polk and Van Ness projects concurrently, along with any approved revision of mitigation measures and the mitigation monitoring report. 

10. The budget, contract, scope of work, and/or task order to Barbary Coast for work on the Polk and Van Ness BRT projects.

I'll let you know if I need anything further. Please mail me the requested materials on a CD. If you will not immediately provide the requested records, please state in your response which record(s) you are providing, referring to the specific item numbers in this Request, and provide the exact date when you will provide the items not immediately provided referring to the specific item numbers in this Request. 

If reference is not made to the Item numbers in this Request in all of your responses and on the disc, I will deem that a denial of this Request. Please advise me if the cost of providing copies of these records will exceed $10. If I do not receive a response to this Request by 4:00 p.m. on October 10, 2016, I shall deem this Request denied.

Thank you for your attention to this IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUEST.

Mary Miles

cc: Caroline Celaya, Custodian of Records

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Question for the candidates: Release the JFK files?

There are stories in the media about the questions Hillary and Trump should be asked Sunday night here and here.

My question: If elected will you ensure that all the remaining documents on the JFK assassination are released as planned in 2017? A follow up comment/question: Will you reject any agency's special request to continue withholding documents only if releasing them will clearly endanger national security? For example, any document that just incriminates/discredits the CIA or the FBI for some involvement can't be withheld on those grounds alone.  

From Politico last year:

Among the 40,000 documents are roughly 3,600 that have never been seen by the public. They have been “withheld in full” primarily because they contain information that was considered “security classified” but also to protect personal privacy, tax and grand jury information, and “because information in the document reveals the identity of an unclassified confidential source,” according to Murphy.

Among the 3,600 are roughly 1,100 CIA documents, which make up the largest share. The second-largest batch belongs to the FBI, according to Murphy, while the rest include testimony and other records of the Warren Commission itself; the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which reopened the investigation into JFK’s death in the late 1970s and concluded it was the result of a conspiracy (though the panel couldn’t prove it); records from the National Security Agency and other Defense Department offices; and files from a pair of 1975 congressional probes of CIA abuses — the so-called Church and Pike committees — and a related commission led by then-Vice President Nelson Rockefeller...

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Paul Krugman in today's NY Times (What about the planet?):

Our two major political parties are at odds on many issues, but nowhere is the gap bigger or more consequential than on climate.

If Hillary Clinton wins, she will move forward with the Obama administration’s combination of domestic clean-energy policies and international negotiation — a one-two punch that offers some hope of reining in greenhouse gas emissions before climate change turns into climate catastrophe.

If Donald Trump wins, the paranoid style in climate politics — the belief that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by a vast international conspiracy of scientists — will become official doctrine, and catastrophe will become all but inevitable.

So why does the media seem so determined to ignore this issue? Why, in particular, does it almost seem as if there’s a rule against bringing it up in debates?...

Thanks to democraticunderground for the video link.

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