Ellis Acts

Board of Supervisors Makes Ellis Evictions More Costly for Landlords

The bill, written by Supervisor Campos, will increase relocation payouts to existing residents by around a factor of ten. 

 

 

Whether or not the use of the Ellis Act, which allows landlords to evict tenants when taking buildings off the rental market, is a prime driver of the housing affordability crisis is a difficult question to answer. But what’s more clear, according to tenant advocates and members of the Board of Supervisors, is the high toll that such evictions take on affected individuals—of which there were at least 216 last year

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As part of ongoing efforts to roll back the worst of it, the Board last night passed a bill that would sharply increase the payment that landlords who invoke the Ellis Act are required to make to tenants. Prior to Supervisor Campos’s bill’s passage, landlords had been required to pay $5,261 per tenant.

Under the new law, relocation costs will increase to the difference between the tenant’s current rent and what the tenant would have to pay for a similar apartment  for two years. According to calculations by the City Controller’s Office, that amount could range from $44,000 for a longtime Mission resident to $47,000 for a Sunset renter.

The bill passed on a 9 to 2 vote, with Supervisors Mark Farrell and Katy Tang voting no. The Board also passed a bill by Supervisor Wiener that would allow the creation of in-law units, some of which would be rent controlled, in the Castro.

The move comes as a Sacramento committee passed State Senator Mark Leno’s bill, which would close what he calls a loophole in the state law that allows real estate speculators to invoke the act. 

It’s a political win for Campos, who is running for a seat in the State Assembly against Board President David Chiu. But will the Campos law cut down on the number of Ellis evictions? It seems hard to imagine that raising the disincentives for landlords won’t have an affect—or that it will hit small owners with less working capital—harder than large operations. 

 

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Originally posted on Burrito Justice:

Our friends at the SF Planning Department have released a most awesome map of historic resources and historic districts in the southern Mission, including individual lots. Historic districts are marked with borders. (Thanks, Curbed SF.)

Nice clickable interface with lots to drill into.

Unfortunately, all the information is in a clickable map that you have to drill into.

So as a service to society I present you a “Know Your Trees” type article, with labeled, lettered list of the historic districts, sorted and colored by date, with pictures from their PDFs (which are awesome, so do check them out)

The links go to multipage SFP PDFs with much more information. Let’s begin:

A. Alabama Street Pioneers – 1865-1884

A rare grouping of pioneer-era cottages and houses located on a block that appears to have been settled according to an informal “frontier” (pre-suburban) development pattern: a…

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Calendar

Calendar

San Francisco 1816

A. M. Robertson -> San Francsico One Hundred Years Ago …
San Francisco One Hundred Years Ago
Book Cover
Early on September 20, 1816 (old style, October 2), we came within sight of the coast of New California. The land we first saw was what is known as Point Reyes, to the north of San Francisco. As the wind was favourable we soon passed the Farallones, which are dangerous rocks, and at four in the afternoon we entered San Francisco harbour. The fort, which is within the entrance and on the south shore, is thoroughly equipped for defense. The presidio of San Francisco is about one marine mile from the fort and on the same side; it is square in form and has two gates which are constantly guarded by a considerable company of men. The buildings have windows on the side towards the interior court only. The presidio is occupied by ninety Spanish soldiers, a commandant, a lieutenant, a commissary, and a sergeant. Most of these are married. The men and women are tall and well built. Very few of the soldiers have married Indians. They are all good horsemen and two of them can easily cope with fifty natives.Two leagues to the southeast of the presidio and on the southern shore of the harbour is the Mission of San Francisco, which makes a fair-sized village. The mission church is large and is connected with the house of the missionaries, which is plain and reasonably clean and well kept. The mission always has a guard of three or four soldiers from the presidio. The village is inhabited by fifteen hundred Indians; there they are given protection, clothing, and an abundance of food. In return, they cultivate the land for the community. Corn, wheat, beans, peas, and potatoes – in a word, all kinds of produce – are to be found in the general warehouse. By authority of the superior, a general cooking of food takes place, at a given hour each day, in the large square in the middle of the village; each family comes there for its ration which is apportioned with regard to the number of its members. They are also given a certain quantity of raw provisions. Two or three families occupy the same house. In their free time, the Indians work in gardens that are given them; they raise therein onions, garlic, cantaloupes, watermelons, pumpkins, and fruit trees. The products belong to them and they can dispose of them as they see fit.

In winter, hands of Indians come from the mountains to be admitted to the mission, but the greater part of them leave in the spring. They do not like the life at the mission. They find it irksome to work continually and to have everything supplied to them in abundance. In their mountains, they live a free and independent, albeit a miserable, existence. Rats, insects, and snakes, – all these serve them for food; roots also, although there are few that are edible, so that at every step they are almost certain to find something to appease their hunger. They are too unskillful and lazy to hunt. They have no fixed dwellings; a rock or a bush affords sufficient protection for them from every vicissitude of the weather. After several months spent in the missions, they usually begin to grow fretful and thin, and they constantly gaze with sadness at the mountains which they can see in the distance. Once or twice a year the missionaries permit those Indians upon whose return they believe they can rely to visit their own country, but it often happens that few of these return; some, on the other hand, bring with them new recruits to the mission.

The Indian children are more disposed to adopt the mission life. They learn to make a coarse cloth from sheep’s wool for the community. I saw twenty looms that were constantly in operation. Other young Indians are instructed in various trades by the missionaries. There is a house at the mission in which some two hundred and fifty women – the widows and daughters of dead Indians – reside. They do spinning. This house also shelters the wives of Indians who are out in the country by order of the fathers. They are placed there at the request of the Indians, who are exceedingly jealous, and are taken out again when their husbands return. The fathers comply with such requests in order to protect the women from mischief, and they watch over this establishment with the greatest vigilance.

The mission has two mills operated by mules. The flour produced by them is only sufficient for the consumption of the Spanish soldiers who are obliged to buy it from the fathers.

The presidio frequently has need of labourers for such work as carrying wood, building, and other jobs; the superior, thereupon, sends Indians who are paid for their trouble; but the money goes to the mission which is obliged to defray all the expenses of the settlement.

On Sundays and holidays they celebrate divine service. All the Indians of both sexes, without regard to age, are obliged to go to church and worship. Children brought up by the superior, fifty of whom are stationed around him, assist him during the service which they also accompany with the sound of musical instruments. These are chiefly drums, trumpets, tabors, and other instruments of the same class. It is by means of their noise that they endeavour to stir the imagination of the Indians and to make men of these savages. It is, indeed, the only means of producing an effect upon them. When the drums begin to beat they fall to the ground as if they were half dead. None dares to move; all remain stretched upon the ground without making the slightest movement until the end of the service, and, even then, it is necessary to tell them several times that the mass is finished. Armed soldiers are stationed at each corner of the church. After the mass, the superior delivers a sermon in Latin to his flock.

On Sunday, when the service is ended, the Indians gather in the cemetery, which is in front of the mission house, and dance. Half of the men adorn themselves with feathers and with girdles ornamented with feathers and with bits of shell that pass for money among them, or they paint their bodies with regular lines of black, red, and white. Some have half their bodies (from the head downward) daubed with black, the other half red, and the whole crossed with white lines. Others sift the down from birds on their hair. The men commonly dance six or eight together, all making the same movements and all armed with spears. Their music consists of clapping the hands, singing, and the sound made by striking split sticks together which has a charm for their ears; this is finally followed by a horrible yell that greatly resembles the sound of a cough accompanied by a whistling noise. The women dance among themselves, but without making violent movements.

California Air
Californian Air
Tremblingly and Mysterious

The Indians are greatly addicted to games of chance; they stake their ornaments, their tools, their money, and, frequently, even the clothing that the missionaries have given them. Their games consist of throwing little pieces of wood which have to fall in an even or in an odd number, or others that are rounded on one side and as they fall on the flat or on the round side the player loses or wins.

Upon the demise of his father or mother, or of some kinsman, the Indian daubs his face with black in token of mourning.

The missionaries have characterized the people as lazy, stupid, jealous – gluttons, cowards. I have never seen one laugh. I have never seen one look one in the face. They look as though they were interested in nothing.

It is reckoned that there are more than fifteen Indian tribes represented in the mission. The Kulpuni, Kosmiti, Bolbones, Kalalons, Umpini, Lamanes, Pitemens, and Apatamnes speak one language and live along the Sacramento River. The Guimen, Utchiuns, Olompalis, Tamals, and Sonomas likewise speak one language. These tribes are the most largely represented at the Mission of San Francisco. The Saklans, Suisuns, Utulatines, and the Numpolis speak different languages. Another tribe, the Tcholovoni, differ considerably in feature, in general physiognomy, and in a more or less attractive exterior from all the others. These live in the mountains. They have formed an alliance with the Spaniards against all the Indian tribes. They make beautiful weapons, such as bows and arrows. The tips of the latter are furnished with pieces of flint fashioned with great skill.

Severe fevers occur constantly among the Indians. These maladies commonly carry off a very great number. Several missions in Lower California have gone out of existence in the past twenty years by reason of the extinction of the Indians.

The Indians at the missions to the south of San Francisco – particularly that of Santa Barbara – make charming vessels and vase-shaped baskets, capable of holding water, from withes of various running plants. They know how to give them graceful forms, and also how to introduce pleasing designs into the fabric. They ornament them with bits of shell and with feathers.

The Indians build their canoes when they are about to undertake an expedition on the water; they are made of reeds. When they get into them they become half filled with water so that the occupant, when seated, is in water up to the calves of his legs. They propel them by means of long paddles having pointed blades at both ends.

The Missions of San Francisco, Santa Clara, San José, and Santa Cruz depend upon the presidio of San Francisco which is required to succour and assist all the fathers and to furnish them with soldiers when necessary – particularly to accompany them upon excursions into the country. One such expedition, consisting of two fathers and twelve soldiers, returned a short time before our arrival. It had been their intention to ascend the Sacramento River, which empties into the bay to the northeast of the mission. But the Spaniards met parties of armed men at every turn; nowhere were they well received. They were compelled therefore to return after fifteen days without having made any progress towards the end in view.

The rocks near the bay of San Francisco are commonly covered with sea-lions. Bears are very plentiful on land. When the Spaniards wish to amuse themselves, they catch them alive and make them fight with bulls.

Sea-otters abound in the harbour and in the neighbouring waters. Their fur is too valuable for them to be overlooked by the Spaniards. An otter skin of good size and of the best quality is worth in China. The best grade of skins must be large, of a rich colour, and should contain plenty of hairs with whitish ends that give a silvery sheen to the surface of the fur.

Russians from Sitka (Norfolk Sound), the headquarters of the Russian-American colony, are established at Bodega Bay, thirty miles north of San Francisco. Their chief in this new settlement is M. Kuskof, an expert fur-trader. They are thirty in number and they have fifteen Kadiaks with them. They have built a small fort which is equipped with a dozen cannon. The harbour will admit only vessels that draw eight or nine feet of water. This was formerly a point for the selling of smuggled goods to the Spaniards. M. Kuskof actually has in his settlement horses, cows, sheep, and everything else that can be raised in this beautiful and splendid country. It was with great difficulty that we obtained a pair of each species from the Spaniards because the government had strictly forbidden that any be disposed of.

M. Kuskof, assisted by the small number of men with him, catches almost two thousand otters every year without trouble. When not so engaged the men are employed at building and in improving the settlement. The otter skins are usually sold to American fur-traders. When these fail of a full cargo, they go to Sitka where they obtain skins in exchange for sugar, rum, cloth, and Chinese cotton stuff. The Russian company, not having a sufficient number of ships, sends its own skins to China (or only as far as Okhotsk) as freight on American ships.

Two hundred and fifty American ships, from Boston, New York, and elsewhere, come to the coast every year. Half of them engage in smuggling with enormous profit. No point for landing goods along the entire Spanish-American coast bathed by the Pacific Ocean, from Chili to California, is neglected. It often happens that Spanish warships give chase to American vessels, but these, being equipped with much sail, having large crews, and having, moreover, arms with which to defend themselves, are rarely caught.

The commodities most acceptable to the Indians of the coast of Northwest America are guns, powder, bullets, and lead for their manufacture, knives, coarse woolen blankets, and mother-of-pearl from the Pacific which they use to make ornaments for the head and neck.

Ships are often attacked with the very arms that they themselves sold, and even on the same day that they were delivered. Most of them, however, carrying from eight to fourteen guns, are able to defend themselves. Such occurrences are frequently turned to profit, for, should they carry off one of the chiefs, they are certain to get a great deal of merchandise as ransom, and gain greater facilities for trading.

May Heaven defend a ship from being wrecked on this coast! It is said that the barbarous habit of eating their prisoners survives among several of the tribes that inhabit it. When they build a house, or when they carry out some matter of importance, they put to death a number of slaves as is done when a war is ended. Upon a man’s death, they bury with him his wife and the slaves to whom he was most attached.

Natives of California (1816)
Natives of California (1816)
A Residence (1913)
A Residence (1913)
Natives of California (1816)
Natives of California (1816)
A Shop (1913)
A Shop (1913)
Head-Dresses Worn by the Natives of California in Their Dances (1816)
Head-Dresses Worn by the Natives of California in Their Dances (1816)
A Shop (Courtyard and Show-windows) (1913)
A Shop (Courtyard and Show-windows) (1913)
A Dance of California Indians at the Mission (Dolores) of San Francisco (1816)
A Dance of California Indians at the Mission (Dolores) of San Francisco (1816)
Mission Dolores (1913)
Mission Dolores (1913)
A Game of the Natives of California (1816)
A Game of the Natives of California (1816)
A Club Interior (1913)
A Club Interior (1913)
Point Reyes, the Golden Gate, and the Farallones (1813)
Point Reyes, the Golden Gate, and the Farallones (1813)
A Residence (1913)
A Residence (1913)
Weapons and Utensils from California (1816)
Weapons and Utensils from California (1816)
Masonic Building (1913)
Masonic Building (1913)
Indians of the Tcholovoni Tribe Hunting on the Shores of the Bay of San Francisco (1816)
Indians of the Tcholovoni Tribe Hunting on the Shores of the Bay of San Francisco (1816)
A Hotel Bar (1913)
A Hotel Bar (1913)
A Theatre (1913)
A Theatre (1913)
Union Square (1913)
Union Square (1913)
An Hotel (1913)
An Hotel (1913)
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San Francisco Ferry Building

San Francisco Ferry Building

July 13, 2012 by A Golden Gate State of Mind

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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Today is the 114th anniversary of the opening of the Ferry Building in San Francisco. On 13th July 1898 the first ferryboat and its passengers pulled into what was then called “The Union Depot and Ferry House”. At the height of its glory in the 1930s, more than 50 million passengers passed through it each year.

Despite two major earthquakes and the construction of both the San Francisco – Oakland Bay and Golden Gate Bridges, not forgetting a hideous double-decker freeway along the Embarcadero, the latter thankfully demolished after the second of those earthquakes, the building with its 235 foot high clock tower inspired by the moorish belltower in Seville, has not only survived but become one of the most popular attractions in the City.

Once the City’s principal transportation hub and beautifully restored between 2003 and 2007, it is now home not only to two storeys of premium office space, but also a permanent gallery of stalls selling locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, wines, meats, flowers, chocolate and pastries, as well as one of a kind gift items, many related to the kitchen and garden.

An outstanding farmer’s market takes over the plaza on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and especially Saturdays, when celebrated chefs from around the City demonstrate their skills to locals and tourists alike. Several appealing restaurants and cafés complete the scene.

Located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street, it is now one of only a handful of landmarks that I make a point of visiting on every trip to the City, however short. Ten days in April didn’t yield a single cable car ride or journey over the Golden Gate Bridge, but it did include two trips to the Ferry Building, one on the way back from a spending spree at the ballpark (in fact, it is a perfect resting spot if you are making the bracing but arduous hike on a blustery day from AT & T Park to Fisherman’s Wharf, or vice versa).

Its role as a ferry port may have diminished (it now caters only for a handful of local services), and cruise ships may soon be getting their own spanking new terminal, but the building remains at the heart of the City’s transportation system with MUNI (Metro) and BART lines criss-crossing here, and the cranky, lovable F Streetcars rattling by.

Whilst there might be other excellent, if admittedly less expensive, farmer’s markets and wholefood stores around town, the Ferry Building might just be the best. Where else can you pick up those last minute snapper fillets, fresh vegetables, rustic loaves, Californian wines and cheeses, and even pig’s cheeks, to take back to your apartment in Noe Valley or the Sunset? And the visit alone, especially if you tarry awhile and experience everything it has to offer, is worth the journey alone.

Slip into the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants , share a carafe or two of Napa or Sonoma wine, or indulge in one of the special tasting “flights” where you can sample half a dozen wines at once (I would caution, however, that if you are of a nervous disposition, it comes with a lot of (different shaped) glasses, and whilst it looks pretty, the potential for disaster is considerable). What better to accompany it than a tasty cheese board? And you may stumble upon one of the regular lectures on wine or even meet the individual who made the wine you are drinking, as has happened to me!

If the Giants happen to be playing on the live televisions, so much the better, just order another carafe. And don’t forget to pick up a couple of bottles before you leave.

With the closure of the large Border’s and Barnes and Noble bookstores at Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf respectively in recent years, it is heartening also to find the excellent Book Passagein the building. It may be small but it stocks a impressive selection of books on San Francisco and the Bay Area in particular. Pick up a book and a cup of Peet’s (coffee) from the adjoining cafe, grab a seat outside and “waste” an hour enjoying the bay views.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen called it “a famous city’s most famous landmark”, adding that the “waterfront without the Ferry Tower would be like a birthday cake without a candle”.

It is hard to disagree.

So stop by the Black Jet Baking Company to collect a suitable cake, buy a candle (one will do, no need to buy 114) and raise a birthday glass to the imperious Ferry Building.

Originally posted on Over the line, Smokey!:

mission-district-pond
thumbnail of old map

The City of San Francisco was named after the Catholic mission there, which was in turn named after St. Francis of Assisi. But the Mission there is almost universally referred to as the Mission Dolores. Apparently, it was named informally after a small lake (or a lagoon within the lake) upon whose shores it was built. Early Spanish explorers gave the lake the name Lago de las Dolores because they saw Indians weeping on its bank, or because it happened to be raining that day. The mission was built there because it seemed to be a good place to obtain fresh water and grow crops. The lake no longer exists; it has been largely filled in and almost forgotten.

The best way to understand the lake is to go to the southwest corner of 17th and Mission, and look up and down both streets. You will…

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Originally posted on Burrito Justice:

Allan over at Mission Mission and Telstar Logistics are investigating hidden ponds and creeks of the Mission. Thankfully the all-powerful David Rumsey has given us a gift of kick-ass digitized historic maps, and it gets even better as he has taken full advantage of Google Earth. Combined with the old Coast Survey maps of San Francisco, it makes for an excellent creek detector.

Last month I asked David to add my favorite map of the Mission to his Google Earth collection, the 1859 US Coast Survey Map of San Francisco (which actually shows the state of the city in 1857). While there are several other maps available in Google Earth (specifically the 1869 Coast Survey and the 1915 map), they all show the street grid we know and love today, or like the 1853 Coast Survey, don’t go further south than the Mission Dolores itself.  The glorious 1859…

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Follow the Red Brick Road: San Francisco's Underground Water Supply | Untapped SF

San Francisco, Urbanism — June 29, 2012 2:18 pm

Follow the Red Brick Road: San Francisco’s Underground Water Supplyby alison miller

They might catch your eye as you hike up the hills near Dolores Park, walk through the Richmond fog, or stroll the quiet streets of Cole Valley: red brick circles are embedded in dozens of San Francisco’s roads throughout the city.

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These brick circles might look decorative, but there’s much more to them than what’s on the surface. Underneath each is a concrete tank that holds 75,000 gallons of water. 172 of these underground cisterns exist throughout the city, making up an important component of San Francisco’s Auxiliary Water Supply System (AWSS).

The AWSS was developed in response to 1906 earthquake, which caused a devastating combination of fires and damage to the major water lines that were needed to fight them. Left with few usable hydrants and a lack of sufficient backup water supply, firefighters were unable to stop the blazes for days.

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Smoke billowed over San Francisco as the fires of 1906 spread throughout the city with few available firefighting resources. [Source: San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library]

As city engineers developed plans for a better emergency water system, they noted that San Francisco’s 23 cisterns were among the few firefighting resources that had worked in the aftermath of the earthquake. They called for a much larger network of cisterns throughout the city. Over one hundred were constructed in the next few decades, including one cistern every 3 blocks in key downtown areas. Along with cisterns, the AWSS includes a major reservoir on Twin Peaks and pump systems that draw directly from San Francisco Bay. These backup resources were critical in fighting fires that broke out after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

dolores-cistern-002.jpg

Red bricks outline a cistern on Dolores Street at 24th.

Not all cisterns are outlined by the distinctive brick circles, but you can tell there’s one nearby if you spot a fire hydrant with a green top. Different colors and shapes are used to indicate a hydrant’s water source and pressure level.

IMG_9555.jpg

A green fire hydrant “bonnet” indicates that there’s a cistern nearby. This one is on Castro Street at 14th.

Each cistern is also covered with a manhole that reads CISTERN S.F.F.D., but they’re no longer maintained by the Fire Department. In 2010, the Public Utilities Commission assumed responsibility for the Auxiliary Water Supply System, which has survived several earthquakes but is showing its age with rust and leaks. By the end of this decade, the Public Utilities Commission hopes to have completed major renovations and seismic updates. For more information on these efforts, visit sfearthquakesafety.org.

IMG_9548.jpg

Cistern maintenance moved to the SF Public Utilities Commission in 2010, but S.F.F.D. labels remain on manhole covers. This cistern is at Douglass and Elizabeth.

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No red bricks here: this cistern cover hides in the grass at the edge of Dolores Park.

via Follow the Red Brick Road: San Francisco’s Underground Water Supply | Untapped SF.

 

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(by Darvin Atkeson)

violencegirl:
Since January of this year, I’ve been following with interest the evolving story of a group of young women on the other side of the world. The punk feminist group Pussy Riot immediately captured my attention and my heart with their bold “flash concerts” in public spaces, their… 

Alice Bag: Why Pussy Riot Matters

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