Brazilian ethanol

My friend from Brazil mentioned that when she was starting to learn to drive a car, there were a lot of ethanol vehicles on the road. I looked up the history and here is one site I found for information on Brazil’s ethanol development.

Energy agriculture – Brazilian ethanol
By Don Hofstrand, co-director AgMRC, Iowa State University Extension, 641-423-0844,

The energy crisis of the 1970s brought about high gas prices and limited supplies that generated an intense interest in renewable fuels and weaning ourselves from foreign sources of oil. However, when gas prices plummeted in the 1980s, renewable fuels and energy independence were quickly forgotten.

The story went differently in Brazil.

(read the story)


San Francisco Blue Greenway

Madrina Group advocates for preservation and restoration of San Francisco’s natural environment through education projects such as the Kiosk exhibit on the Blue Greenway. Many environmental and government organizations are tackling challenges to the environment brought on by the demands of San Francisco Bay’s increasing population. We tie their efforts together with our graphic displays to illustrate the relationships between them, and to paint a picture of the future, when all their goals are met.
Continue reading “San Francisco Blue Greenway”

3400 Cesar Chavez decision has far-reaching implications in SF

Some of our Supervisors are making a mockery of the
State Environmental Protection Laws they were granted
authority over in 2003, and this project is a prime
example how.

This housing project on the old Kelly Moore site at
Cesar Chavez and Mission is important, because it is
one of the few projects where a developer cooperated
with all the demands of the neighbors and the City,
and is now being challenged by a group (Mission
Anti-displacement Coalition and the Day Labor
Program), who wants the City to turn the project over
to their non-profit team instead, to build all
low-income housing instead of mixed income.

What is before the Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday
July 31, 2007) would set the precedent that replacing
auto-dependant commercial sites with housing along
transit corridors, was somehow bad for the
environment, when this is the “poster project” for
smart growth in an urban center, and has broad support
from actual neighbors.

This kind of back-handed eminent domain is a dangerous
precedent, and is also responsible for the outrageous
cost to build housing in this town. This project does
not meet the threshold to trigger a full EIR, and is
only designed to ensure that government-subsidiz ed
housing projects are the only thing that can be built
in targeted neighborhoods like the Mission.

Hello neighbors

This is a blog designed to provide background and perspectives from within the warehouse district of San Francisco’s changing, industrial east side. Land use debates over the future of these neighborhoods, at the crossroads of South of Market, the NE Mission and Potrero Hill districts, will impact the City and larger Bay Area for decades to come.

City College will open a new campus on Mission Street this summer ’07, with state of art equipment to train local residents for good paying jobs in the emerging medical and digital technologies at their doorsteps. Yet SF City Planning has just released proposed rezoning plans for the area, promoting auto repair and manufacturing as the economic development strategy for low income residents along San Francisco’s BART line.

The main changes in the proposed new zoning will prevent the development of private housing and knowledge-based businesses in the Mission, in order to encourage owners to sell their land to the City for subsidized housing projects. In a city made up of 2/3 renters, the economy and socio-political structure of San Francisco is extrodinarily complex. As a geologist and environmental assessor, I want to provide an additional perspective on the unintended impacts these land use choices may have.

A unique enclave has evolved from the pioneering efforts of Project Artaud in the 1970s, which became the first legal conversion of warehouses into live/work units in San Francisco.
Land around Franklin Square Park is ground zero for urban planners, because large parcels of land there will have corresponding large impacts on the surrounding neighborhood and City.
Large industrial concerns have dominated the eastern waterfront and inland along railroad spurs, extending deep into historic neighborhoods like the Mission. As technology changes the business…

You can find links to maps and reports by City Planning on our web site.