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March 20, 2022



Driving down 101 to Santa Barbara the main crop soaking up water seems to be vineyards. Don’t hear anyone complaining about California wine production.

Looking at you Gavin.


Here is a glimmer of good news from last week:

A long-delayed plan to build a giant reservoir in Northern California to help withstand the U.S. West’s notorious droughts got a huge financial boost on Thursday when the federal government signaled its intent to loan the project nearly $2.2 billion — about half of the cost to design, plan and build it.

The proposal would flood what’s left of the town of Sites, a tiny community with just a handful of residents nestled in a valley of the coastal range mountains in rural Colusa County. The idea has been around since the 1950s, but there has never been enough money or political will to move it forward. It is also in line to get about $875 million from a voter-approved bond, plus another $450 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



Do you know how the Burlingame Park Dept allocate the water they are allowed to have/use?
Grass, Flowers, Trees. What is the priority determined upon?
I think it is "way past due" to spend what it takes to remove and replace all City of Burlingame Grass Sports Fields.
Due to Climate Change, the possibility of less Rain/Snow; maintaining a Grass Sports Field is wrong.
Though there will continue to be a need for maintenance, there is no reason not to seek Funding/Grants from Multiple Agencies.
Where are we with that?

Barking Dog

Hopefully I am long gone from this world so these eyes never see artificial turf at Washington Park. Turf would ruin the crown jewel of Burlingame.


I believe most people would prefer "Real Grass." I would.
That just does not work anymore.
Would you rather take a Shower or admire a "Real Grass" Sports Field?

Just Visiting

In the abstract, grass fields are better, but if you ask the kids who play sports in Burlingame which fields they like best, Murray and Franklin tend to be very high (especially for soccer and lacrosse). The reason? The turf fields have far fewer pot holes, and play consistently all the time. That's why you can reserve space at Bayside pretty easily, but have to fight to get on at Murray (and have you seen the cost of reserving BHS's turf fields!?!). (To be fair, the baseball and softball fields tend to be better kept--but they also put a lot less wear on a field than the sports that require a lot of running.)


I'd like to take shower AND admire a real grass field. Remember astroturf has its own issues: https://www.burlingamevoice.com/2021/10/turf-vs-grass-more-to-it-than-meets-the-eye.html#comments

Elsewhere in water news---EssEff residents will soon be paying more per gallon of water because they are using less water! Love this:

San Francisco residents are about to see another downside of drought: higher water rates.

Like a growing number of water agencies in California, the city’s water department has been losing millions of dollars as households and businesses, doing their part in a third dry year, conserve more and fork over less money to the utility.

To make up for the loss, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to temporarily raise water and wastewater rates 5% for retail customers starting April 1. “We’re not making any profit off of this,” said Julie Ortiz, water conservation manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. “It’s just to recover our cost.”

Because of stellar conservation, officials at the Public Utilities Commission are projecting that the city will lose out on $66 million of revenue in the current fiscal year, from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022 — which represents about 6% of agency’s annual water budget and about 7% of the wastewater budget.

Officials say they expect drought surcharges to bring in about $3 million from water bills and about $3.9 million from wastewater bills in the few months left in the current fiscal year.


And there is this to consider:

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve heard the narrative of a mass exodus from big cities as many offices went remote, and people sought out more space and affordable housing.

But new data from the U.S. Census Bureau gives us a closer estimate of how many people left than ever before, and San Francisco and San Mateo County are near the top of the list with the biggest decreases in population in counties with 100,000 or more residents.

From July 2020 to July 2021, San Francisco’s population decreased by an estimated 6.3%, losing nearly 55,000 people in that time frame. San Mateo County was fourth, with its population decreasing 3.2% and a loss of nearly 25,000 people.


Only Manhattan lost a larger percentage


The same thing will happen with natural gas prices. The fixed costs will be the same with fewer customers as will the rising labor maintenance costs so the price will go up. Any politician that tells you it is just a reach code for new buildings and will not affect you is either lying or stupid.


Why when government or PG&E screws up do the customers have to pay for their mistakes?

Cancel HSR, use the budget surplus to cut back forest fire tinder, build desalination plants and dams and fix these things. Don’t just raise our taxes.

And the Reparation thing. Are we Californians going to pay reparations to a person whose ancestors were persecuted in Slave State Alabama before moving to the Free State of California? What about our Asian neighbors? Or women who were held back in jobs due to the glass ceiling? Or handsome white men who were dismissed as unserious in their jobs?

Once you start trying to pay for your sins you can never stop paying. Forgiveness from those harmed is the only way forward.


I had heard about the failure to approve a desalinization plant in SoCal, but hadn't gotten the details--funny how that happens. We get infinite detail on all sorts of YIMBY BS, but scant details on real issues. Here are two snippets from the story:

On May 12, the California Coastal Commission board of directors voted 11–0 to deny the application from Poseidon Water to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach. Since 1998, Poseidon has spent over $100 million on design and permit work for this plant. At least half of that money was spent on seemingly endless studies and redesigns as the Coastal Commission and other agencies continued to change the requirements. The denial of Poseidon’s application makes it very unlikely another construction contractor will ever attempt to build a large-scale desalination plant on the California coast.

Here in California, “finding” the energy required to desalinate seawater is considered one of the prohibitive obstacles to wider adoption of the technology. But when the alternative to desalinating seawater is paying the energy cost of pumping it from the Sacramento Delta through nearly 300 miles of aqueducts, then lifting it over the Tehachapi Pass, the energy costs become less daunting. If we can use energy to transport water hundreds of miles, we can certainly afford to use the same amount of energy to desalinate an equivalent amount of water.



I think the other cities should band together and sue South City to just STOP IT. This is insane https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/office-campus-ok-d-in-south-san-francisco/article_a4c3a238-0640-11ed-9be2-47bcc4e0e535.html?utm_source=smdailyjournal.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fheadlines%2F%3F-dc%3D1658152812&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

Peter Garrison

We all coordinate to flush our toilets at the same time we turn on our sprinklers and see what gives first…

I bet the poo-plant in Burlingame implodes.


From the city e-newsletter. Don't let me catch you watering your yard on the wrong day......

The City of Burlingame will hold an environmental scoping meeting on August 22, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. (virtual meeting) to solicit input from the public and government agencies on specific topics they believe should be addressed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the redevelopment of a 12-acre site at 1200-1340 Bayshore Highway.

As it is currently proposed, this project includes a multi-lot assembly for the construction of three 11-story office/life science buildings totaling 1.46 million square feet. The project also includes two 10-story parking structures, each with two levels of below-grade parking. For more information regarding the project, visit the project page. The scoping process is designed to enable the City to determine the scope and content of the EIR and identify potentially significant environmental effects and alternatives to be analyzed in the EIR. The Scoping Meeting login information can be found on the Planning Commission Meetings page.

Peter Garrison

1.46 million square feet.

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