Valero, the nation’s largest oil refiner, wants to start using trains to bring crude oil to its Bay Area refinery. But the project is raising concerns about congestion, safety and air pollution in the East Bay city of Benicia – and the connection it may have to Canada’s controversial tar sands.
Wildfire season in California started early this year, and researchers say the fires are burning stronger because of the dry winter. The news is adding urgency to the effort to prevent fires like the 1991 Oakland Hills blaze that killed 25 people and destroyed more than 3,000 homes. But a proposal to cut 100,000 eucalyptus trees or more has stirred up controversy, and now, a long-running battle over the plan is coming to a head.
Parts of New York and New Jersey are still reeling from Superstorm Sandy, an event that brought climate change and the threat of sea-level rise front-and-center. It’s a looming problem for all coastal cities, and one that San Francisco has been pondering since long before Sandy struck.
Along San Francisco’s western shore, the Ocean Beach Master Plan is a kind of test case for sea-rise planning. It calls for big changes, including a strategy known as managed retreat.
Take a quick look around while on Muni, BART, or AC Transit, and you’ll notice that a lot of the people who depend on public transit are seniors. But not all seniors are that comfortable navigating the system. So at ages 70, 80, and 90, some seniors are going back to school.
In the late 1800s, when the Bay Area was booming, a small settlement bloomed on an island at the southern tip of the Bay. At its height in the 1920s, Drawbridge, CA had about ninety buildings, a few hotels, stores of illegal alcohol, some good poker games, and excellent hunting and fishing. But as the rest of the region continued to grow, Drawbridge faded away. Now it’s a ghost town, off-limits to visitors, and sinking into the salt marsh. I went to take a look at what’s left of the town for the Oakland Standard.