December 2017

NEWS: BART SPECiAL FOCUS: More crowded than ever but ridership down 3%

3rd Annual Holiday Cookie Crawl - Valencia Corridor

Saturday DEC 2 at 12 PM - 8 PM

Accion Latina Presenta

Encuentro del Canto Popular with La Misa Negra

Sun, December 3, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Chapel

Accion Latina's annual concert series, Encuentro del Canto Popular, celebrates its 36th year of celebrating peoples' movements by inviting La Misa Negra to fill The Chapel with some cuuuuuumbia!

La Misa Negra is a 7-piece band from Oakland, California, known for their unique blend of heavyweight cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Latin music. On the strength of their wild and one-of-a-kind shows, they have gained a reputation as one of the most exciting live bands to emerge from the Bay Area in recent years, garnering a diverse fan base that transcends musical, cultural, and generational divides.

Thursday, December 14 -17, 2017

Brava Theater Center - 2781 24th Street

The San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (BATCO) presents La Posarela by Carlos Baron, directed by Marcelo Javier Pereira. La Posarela is the heartwarming “teatronovela” of José y María (Joseph and Mary) who, after leaving their home behind to find a safe life for their baby Jesús, must obey the absurd immigration orders of a mad Emperor. This musical comedy tells the story of how these two immigrants overcome their difficult journey battling racism, xenophobia, gentrification, misogyny and fear. Originally commissioned and produced by the Community Music Center, this revamped tradition is great for all ages

Discover Lots more Mission Miracle Mile Holiday Events at our Special December Annual Events Guide


BART SPECiAL FOCUS: More crowded than ever but ridership down 3%

BART Director Bevan Dufty Wednesday Mornings at 16th St BART Plaza Clean Up

BART Director Bevan Dufty is campaigning for adequate 16th Street BART station maintenance by showing up every Wednesday for a personal cleanup and oversight of progress. He is asking for four hours of power washing a night — up from the usual one hour, a plaza dedicated cleaner on-site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, larger trash cans and improved signs in Spanish and English. District 9 Supervisor Hilary Ronen has also been participating during the November Wednesday mornings.

"They hate me at BART, they really hate me. But I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do,” said Dufty to the Chron's Heather Knight, wearing a bright yellow sweatshirt with the hood pulled up to protect himself from the rain. According to Mission Local, BART employs a system service worker to clean the Mission station at night, and a contractor to power-wash the station for one hour each evening. Public Works also staffs two monitors from the community organization Hunters Point Family to clean and monitor the station’s two public toilets through the Automatic Public Toilet Program, or Pit Stop Program. These monitors work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. shifts on weekdays.

This effort is also a response to another visible 16th St. clean-up campaign related to the upcoming approval process for a 10 story, 345-unit market rate project planned to surround and enlarge the 16th St NE BART plaza called 1979 Mission St. by Maximus Real Estate Partners. This developer, with political consultant Jack Davis has been behind the “Clean Up the Mission” media campaign that Dufty has criticized. Many local affordable housing activists dubbed this project the “Monster on Mission,” and want to see a 100 percent affordable unit project there. So far, Maximus is promising that 24 percent of the units — the city minimum is 12 percent — will be affordable. New housing state laws and the City's low efficiency on affordable housing construction can be expected to impact the upcoming City Hall approval process. BART's growing homeless issues?

New BART Cars to Begin Service

BART will put in service 30 new cars before the end of the year. The new cars, which will feature three doors on each side for quicker loading and unloading, modern signage and automated announcements. BART’s $2.6 billion contract with Bombarder calls for the Canadian railcar maker to deliver about 150 new cars every year until its old fleet of 669 cars is replaced, and expanded to 775, by 2022. BART also hopes to find enough money to add another 306 cars to its fleet.

Addressing Out-of-Control BART Fare Evasion in 2018 Just six fare inspectors or "community service officers" will begin work in teams of two and be required to go from one person to the next in the areas they work, skipping no one and recording every encounter on a body camera. My gut feeling is that it’s not enough, but we’re just starting out,” said BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas.

Under California law, community service officers can write the civil citations, but only police officers can write criminal citations, so fare inspectors would need to summon a police officer to ticket a serial offender. BART director Debora Allen, question whether BART is getting its money’s worth. She voted for the fare inspections but said she was disappointed that the enforcement strategy “didn’t have a little more teeth.”Ordinances adopted by the board call for BART police and community service officers to issue two civil citations — similar to parking tickets — to adult evaders during a rolling 12-month period. Any subsequent citations within that time frame will be considered criminal violations. Youths aged 5 to 17 will receive only civil citations in keeping with a state law that took effect this year.

The light enforcement program for the 46 stations is just one piece of BART’s three-part strategy to reduce an out-of-control fare evasion problem estimated to cost the agency $25 million a year. In addition to ticket inspections, BART police are conducting targeted enforcement campaigns at the fare gates of troublesome stations. Officials also are making physical changes to make it more difficult to sneak into stations: building higher barriers, moving elevator access inside gated areas and closing some swinging gates. The Mission's 16th Street station could especially use some BART police to focus on the many regular patrons go without paying, brazenly ignoring the turnstiles, and letting others know who is the actual boss for the moment.

History of BART - published 2017 by Michael Healy

Bay Area Rapid Transit to Circle Bay by 2026

VTA debating BART over Tunnel Designs for Downtown San Jose

The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), which is building the last tunnel currently planned for BART, has recommended a single 45-foot diameter subway bore. It would carry two tracks within the same tunnel. BART wants a double bore or open trench construction. VTA says their choice could shave 10 months off the four-year tunneling phase, trim $50 million in costs and be less intrusive to pedestrians, merchant operations and traffic. While the twin-bore design has been used globally by transit systems, the single bore is being used for the Chinatown MUNI subway and is likely the future. Completed by the VTA, and opening mid 2018 are two new BART stations in San Jose at Milpitas and Berryessa with the ultimate destination to be the SJ Diridon Station which is fast becoming Northern California's main transit hub where many will be able to catch the electrified Caltrain beginning in 2021 after a $2 Billion upgrade. Meanwhile the discussion of when these transit construction workers might be extending CalTrain to the about to open new SF Transbay Terminal or a 2nd BART tunnel across the Bay remains in limbo. Hopefully the race to replace SF Mayor Ed Lee will include these critial regional transit infrastructure issues.

Governor Jerry Brown backing voters on Public Pension Reform Supreme Court asked to overturn public pension friendly "California Rule" “While a public employee does have a ‘vested right’ to a pension,” Associate Justice James Richman wrote, “that right is only to a ‘reasonable’ pension’ – not an immutable entitlement to the most optimal formula of calculating the pension.” In 1955 the court held a pension once granted cannot be modified. This so called "California ruling" has been the biggest hurdle to sensible pension reform the last few decades.

Were the California Supreme Court to agree with Jerry Brown and uphold the appellate court rulings that seemingly repeal the California rule, it would be a huge setback for the unions – and a black eye for the local unions that opened the legal door by challenging the recent voter approved modest pension reform’s abolition of much-abused pension spiking and airtime.

Dan Walters, the iconic political columnist for 40 years has
joined Cal Matters a nonprofit nonpartisan Public Interest Journalism Venture
California will allow on-demand delivery of recreational cannabis, including for orders placed online

by Laurel Rosenhall Dec.23, 2017 writes for, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

On Jan. 1, 2018 the state will implement a vision the voters endorsed by passing Proposition 64 last year which includes lots of local controls.
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