Carmageddon: Warriors Arena at Mission Bay will create dangerous gridlock

The Carrmageddon clip shows how traffic gridlock created by the Warriors Arena at Mission Bay will have life-threatening impacts on emergency services at UCSF Medical Center.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Opponents of the proposed Golden State Warriors Arena in Mission Bay today released an animated video that demonstrates how the project will create a virtual carmgeddon in San Francisco.

The video shows the traffic gridlock San Francisco residents might expect should the arena be built – and the life-threatening impact the traffic would have on emergency services at nearby UCSF Medical Center.

The two-and-a-half minute video, available here,  gives a birds-eye view of the proximity of the proposed arena to the Giants stadium – less than a mile – and the resulting impact the arena crowds will have on traffic in the neighborhood.

By the City’s own estimates, 9,000 to 10,000 people will drive to Warriors games at the arena, which has designated parking for just 200 cars. The video makes clear that combining those Warriors fans with 20,000 to 22,000 people who drive to the 81 yearly home Giants games will result in “Carmageddon” – complete gridlock on neighborhood streets.

The video shows clearly the arena’s proximity to the newly opened USCF hospital complex – just 1000 feet away. The hospital’s pediatric emergency room receives 11,000 emergency visits a year, but access to those services would be extremely difficult if not impossible during arena events, jeopardizing the lives of emergency patients.

The video was released by the Mission Bay Alliance, a coalition of arena opponents, UCSF stakeholders and residents. Earlier this week, the Alliance released a poll of 540 registered voters in the City that showed dwindling support for building the arena in Mission Bay, particularly after voters learn the facts surrounding traffic and other issues.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote today, Dec. 8 on an appeal by the Mission Bay Alliance of the project’s 5,000-page EIR and on the $60 million, taxpayer-funded transportation plan to help mitigate the project’s impacts on traffic and public transportation serving Mission Bay.

The Supervisors’ vote follows a record-fast, rubber stamp approval process that has allowed the ill-conceived project to sail through regulatory approvals without scrutiny. The Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII) certified the project’s EIR on Nov. 3 – only 10 days after releasing the 5,000-page document to the public.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Arrive Alive Tour stops in Antioch, Nov 19, 20

The Associated Student Body (ASB) of Alhambra High School is sponsoring an impaired and distracted driving education program and simulator for students. The Arrive Alive Tour® from UNITE will visit Antioch High School Nov 19, 20

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The Associated Student Body (ASB) of Alhambra High School is sponsoring an impaired and distracted driving education program and simulator for students. The Arrive Alive Tour® from UNITE will visit:

Alhambra High School
150 E. St.
Martinez, CA 94553
On-site location: Performing Arts Building (lower parking lot)

Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November 20, 2015
7:30 AM – 2:45 PM

image002UNITE’s Arrive Alive Tour® program uses a high-tech simulator, impact video, and a number of other resources to educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving and texting while driving. The simulator allows participants to experience the potential consequences of drunk and distracted driving in a controlled environment.

One of the most commonly recognized driving distractions is cell phone use. About 89 percent of all Americans have a cell phone, according to CTIA – The Wireless Association. Drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted. Not surprisingly, they text more than any other age group, and the number of young drivers who text is only increasing.

UNITE brings health and wellness programs to high schools, colleges, and communities across the nation. Its programs are designed to heighten awareness to the dangers and consequences of drunk and distracted driving. These events have a powerful impact on students to reinforce the subjects that schools and parents teach them daily. If you have any questions or for more information, please call Patrick DeGrasse at 888.436.3394.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

San Francisco Mayor threatens UCSF Hospital at Mission Bay — play ball for Warriors or else!

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee threatens UCSF Hospital at Mission Bay with economic sanctions if it does not play ball for the Warriors and support the last minute arena project that will cause massive traffic gridlock and block access to emergency room

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Opponents of an 11th hour proposal by the the City of San Francisco and the Golden State Warriors of the NBA to shoe horn a new arena and entertainment complex into the Mission Bay development today revealed leaked documents in which San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee threatens UCSF Hospital at Mission Bay with economic sanctions if it does not play ball for the Warriors and support the last minute arena project.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee threatens UCSF Hospital at Mission Ba
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee threatens UCSF Hospital at Mission Bay with economic sanctions
The correspondence (below) between UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood and Mayor Ed Lee expresses the Chancellor’s concerns about parking and traffic impacts of the proposed Warriors arena, and then illustrates the Mayor’s heavy-handed and threatening response. Mayor Lee notes investments in the area by the SF Giants, UCSF, Mission Bay neighbors and (eventually) revenue from the Warriors event center. He then (Sec #5) explains that each property’s “fair share contribution toward public infrastructure,” will be scrutinized, (Sec #6) pointedly referring to the UCSF footprint in the area and its tax exempt status.

Plain as day, Mayor Ed Lee threatens UCSF Hospital at Mission Bay, that unless it supports the City’s plans to bring the Warriors’ proposed arena to Mission Bay, the City will aggressively seek compensation from UCSF and attempt to squeeze every million dollars it can out of the hospital. This is clearly a Chicago-style threat and ham-fisted politics intended to strong arm the Chancellor into supporting the City’s and Warriors’ plans.

Worse, Mayor Lee clearly confuses the public-legal and social benefit roles and obligations of a not-for-profit hospital with the Warriors’ for-profit, commercial enterprise. For the sake of a personal “legacy,” not only does Lee threaten UCSF’s exemption from property, parking, transportation and other taxes, but insinuates that taxation on non-profit institutions ought to support for-profit schemes like the Warriors entertainment center, not the other way around.

UCSF-CCSF Mission Bay Warriors Arena Correspondance

Additionally, in a press release and news conference today, the Mission Bay Alliance released details of 50 violations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), including severe traffic congestion, blocked emergency access, and seismic safety threats, as part of the its filing to the City of San Francisco’s Planning Department. The Mission Bay Alliance is a coalition of UCSF stakeholders, donors, faculty, physicians and the working men and women of San Francisco who are concerned about the impact of the proposed Golden State Warriors’ stadium on the future of the vibrant community and medical campus at Mission Bay.

The Warriors’ proposal calls for more than 225 events at the 18,500 seat arena that provides only 200 parking spaces for visitors. According to Bruce Spaulding of the Mission Bay Alliance, the Warriors proposal is a “fatally flawed project that will gridlock traffic, threaten patient access to lifesaving care and be a disaster for the Mission Bay neighborhood, the hospitals and City as a whole.” Practically adjacent to the UCSF Hospital Emergency Room, street and crowd traffic will severely impact access to emergency treatment and cost lives, say opponents.

The Mission Bay Master Plan never envisioned a entertainment center of the scale proposed for the Warriors Arena
The Mission Bay Master Plan never envisioned a entertainment center of the scale proposed for the Warriors Arena
The Master Plan for Mission Bay Master Plan, located at Piers 30-32 south of AT&T Park, was developed over years of city and community involvement, and never had an arena component despite claims by Lee. Then in April of 2014 Warriors’ owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, shifted plans for a new arena from Oakland to San Francisco. The deal allows the Warriors walk away from Oakland and build on the new site without voter approval. The land for the proposed arena was purchased tech tycoon (Salesforce) Marc Benioff, long-time supporter of Ed Lee who sees the arena as his precious legacy project at any cost.

Opponents of the proposed Golden State Warriors’ arena and entertainment complex today called the project “fatally flawed,” citing more than 50 violations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) including severe traffic congestion, blocked emergency access and seismic safety threats as part of the its filing today to the City of San Francisco’s Planning Department.

The Mission Bay Alliance said the City’s draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Warriors’ Arena in Mission Bay would create a traffic jam that would stretch from the Bay Bridge through SOMA, Dogpatch, and Potrero Hill all the way to Highway 101.

UCSF-CCSF Mission Bay Warriors Arena Correspondance

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Theft at McDonalds in Martinez highlights new crime wave

A new crime wave of brazen robberies, like a purse snatching incident at the McDonald’s on Arnold Drive in Martinez June 12, has become a common occurrence in Central Contra Costa County.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Martinez Councilwoman Anamaria Avila Farias
Martinez Councilwoman Anamaria Avila Farias

A new crime wave of brazen robberies, like a purse snatching incident at the McDonald’s on Arnold Drive in Martinez last Friday between 5:45 and 6:00 p.m., has sadly become too common an occurrence in may towns in Central Contra Costa County.

Residents in the cities and neighborhoods know all about the increasing number of robberies and smash and grabs, But its different when your city councilwoman gets her purse snatched in a McDonald’s in broad daylight in a crowded eatery packed with kids and soccer moms.

This is one glimpse of what the new crime wave looks like in Black & White on the Martinez Police Log. But for 3rd generation Martian and City Councilwoman Anamaria Avila Farias, it’s not just a petty theft but an indication of a whole new level of crime hitting the once sleepy, bedroom communities of Contra Costa.

*==========================================================================

18:00 Robbery 1506120070 Occurred at McDonalds 4 on Arnold Dr. , Martinez. CHP TRANSFER WFA ASSOC W/MALE, STOLE PURSE AND LEFT IN A WHITE GMC TRUCK INFO PROVIDED BY CHP, CALLER DISC PRIOR TO TRANSFER, ATT TO CALL BACK, LEFT MSG. ARRESTED: GILMORE, RAYMOND JEFFREY JR DOB 091592. CHGS; 496 PC ARRESTED: JOHNSON, MICHELLE NICOLE DOB 071379. CHGS; 211 PC. . Disposition: Arrest Made.

*==========================================================================

Eyewitness reports say that Michelle Johnson (36) snatched Farias’s purse. Farias was with other parents and children following a nearby soccer match. Farias then grappled and scuffled with the thief who was trying to and eventually reached what can only be described as the get-away-car, waiting outside that was driven by Raymond Gilmore (23). Several other patrons in the restaurant also tried to detain Johnson. When the ruckus went outside, some attempted to block the get-away by blocking Gilmore’s car with their own. But when it looked like Gilmore was ready to plow through the crowd and cars, the Good Samaritans backed off.

The McDonalds located at 1155 Arnold Drive in Martinez, was the scene of the robbery on June 12.
The McDonalds located at 1155 Arnold Drive in Martinez, was the scene of the robbery on June 12.

The Martinez Police were called during the fracas but did not arrive in time to apprehend the thieves at the site. However, while waiting for the police to arrive, Este of Concord, says she chase after the suspects. After driving for a couple of minutes, her instincts told her to go to Walmart on Arnold Drive. There she saw the car. She drove back to the McDonalds to alert the police, who followed her back to Walmart and the vehicle, where Smalley was able to identify Johnson and Gilmore, who were taken into custody.

Farias’s credit card company had quickly alerted her to numerous rapid transactions taking place from a credit card from her stolen purse. Farias learned that the most recent charge was just rung up at Walmart minutes after the theft, probably while Smalley eyeballed the get away vehicle.

Concord resident Cam (last name withheld on request) says he and his father were in the restaurant at the time leading up to the incident, and described Johnson as “tweaker” “drunk” and dressed in “hookerware.”

“We were near the kitchen and with a clear view of the door. We saw her [Johnson] actually come in and go out of the McDonalds at least four times, practicing the dash to the truck waiting for her.

Detective Ty Mah is the lead detective on the case and will file his report to the district Attorney as soon as today, on multiple charges beyond petty theft, Farias was told.

Editor Note — Mah has not returned two calls requesting photos or place of residence of the suspects from public police records.

“We’ve been hearing about an insurgence of small crimes like this in our community,” said Farias, serving her first term on the Martinez City Council. But it gets very real when it happens to you!”

After growing up in Martinez I’ve never seen anything as outrageous where unlawful residents or outsiders would commit such crime. It looked as if stealing credit cards was something they did every day. It must be routine as [Johnson] was not expecting anyone to fight back.”

Eyewitnesses say that multiple license plates, credit credit cards, and a change of clothes were found in the vehicle driven by Gilmore.

Walmart has become a Special Ops Headquarters for criminals that want to bring trouble to Martinez
Walmart has become a Special Ops Headquarters for criminals that want to bring trouble to Martinez

In the fog of the incident, some questioned the time it took for police to arrive. “We’ll look at the logs, but that’s not the point right now,” explained Farias. Residents and outsiders need to know that Martinez is not open-season for petty crime like this. If you come to Martinez you need to know there will be no tolerance for such acts.”

“We’re not San Francisco, Oakland or Richmond,” noted Farias, but we need to recognize that times have changed and Martinez is not the village tucked away like it was 30 years ago. We’ve grown up and need to improve our community policing.”

Anamaria, who has worked with diverse affordable housing agencies in California, San Francisco, and the East Bay, observed that Walmart seems to be part of the problem. “Walmart has become a Special Ops Headquarters for criminals that want to bring trouble to Martinez.

“Walmart crows that the store in Martinez is one of its highest producers but this comes at the expense of the residents of Martinez who suffer from the way they do business,” Farias said.

The Contra Costa Bee wants to know how can stolen credit cards can be used at Walmart? Don’t the tellers even check IDs?

Another public safety issue from this incident is how far citizens should go to mitigate these crimes, as they can quickly escalate out of control and people can get seriously injured. Who knows what idiot has a gun, or is ready to plow through a crowd of kids.

~ Thanks to Anamarie, Cam, Craig, Este, and to Mercy and Irene at the City of Martinez Public Records and Police Department, respectively for their assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

John Gioia on closure of Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo

The closure of Doctors Medical Center is a loss to all of us in West County and reflects the failure of our federal government to adequately reimburse providers of Medicare and Medi-Cal services.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
John Gioia
Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia reports on the April 21st closure of Doctors Medical Center

On April 21, Doctors Medical Center (DMC) in San Pablo closed and is no longer accepting patients. The hospital, owned and operated by the West Contra Costa Healthcare District, has been running at a deficit of over $18 million per year, and lacked the operating funds to remain open.

The closure of Doctors Medical Center is a loss to all of us in West County and reflects the failure of our federal government to adequately reimburse providers of Medicare and Medi-Cal services.  Eighty-percent of Doctors’ patients relied on these government plans, and the federal  reimbursement rate didn’t cover the cost of providing services.

While many of us have fought to get these reimbursements increased, the situation hasn’t changed. Hospitals nationwide are closing for the same reason.

Hospitals like Doctors, with few privately insured patients, struggle to be sustainable.  Survival is especially hard for stand-alone hospitals, such as Doctors, who aren’t part of a larger healthcare system.

For the past decade, I’ve worked very hard along with many others to keep DMC open. When the hospital filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and was set to close, I advocated for the County to provide funding to keep it open. While we cut the hospital’s losses in half and passed a parcel tax in 2011to bring in new revenue, this wasn’t enough to stem the operating losses and debt.

Click here for a chronology of culminating in the closure of Doctors Medical Center.

I understand the frustration that efforts to save the hospital weren’t successful. Up until the last minute, many fought to  find a viable solution that would keep Doctors open and on sound financial footing.

As DMC’s  closure became more likely, steps were taken to make sure everyone in West County has health care. Resources are available.

  • Contra Costa Health Services has compiled a detailed West County Health Care Resources Guide (click on link or see below),and a resource website, which includes information in several languages.
  • A new urgent care clinic has opened at LifeLong Medical Care, which is located across the street from Doctors, at 2023 Vale Road, San Pablo. The clinic is open noon to 8 p.m., seven days a week. 510-231-9800
  • Anyone without private insurance (Kaiser, Blue Cross, etc.) needing health advice is urged to call the County’s free Advice Nurse Health Line as a starting point for getting services. The  line is 1-877-661-6230, option 1. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Firefighter honored for web-based exposure tracker for firefighters nationwide

Exposure Tracker is a web service that lets firefighters easily document toxic exposures, injuries, and communicable disease exposures throughout career

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
On February 10,  Contra Costa County Fire Protection District honored Battalion Chief (Ret.) Clive Savacool for his service and development of Exposure Trackera web service by Track Train that enables firefighters to easily and thoroughly document toxic exposures, injuries, and communicable disease exposures throughout their career.

Continue reading “Firefighter honored for web-based exposure tracker for firefighters nationwide”

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •