Sarah Phelan

Taking out the trash

Garbage disposal contract headed for approval despite legal and electoral challenges

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sarah@sfbg.com

A controversial city waste disposal contract appeared primed for final approval by the Board of Supervisors on July 26 (after Guardian press time) — despite being challenged by a lawsuit and initiative campaign — after two progressive supervisors rescinded their initial vote in a July 20 committee hearing and supported awarding the contract to Recology.Read more »

Will Kopp's competitive bidding initiative derail Recology’s train to Yuba?

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Sponsors of an initiative to require competitive bidding on all aspects of the city's multi-million-dollar garbage services say they plan to deliver their initiative petitions to the Department of Elections this afternoon. The petitions contain 12,000 signatures, far more than the 7,000-8,000 required, effectively signalling that, even after the city weeds out non-valid signatures, the initiative will qualify for the June 2012 election.

The move threatens to give the Board a political migraine, since the Board is set to vote July 26 on a Department of Environment resolution to expand Recology (formerly Norcal Waste System, Inc)’s monopoly on San Francisco's garbage and recycling services.

In fact, the DoE resolution contains two separate agreements: a $112 million long-term landfill disposal agreement that was competitively bid, and a facilitation agreement that governs how waste is transported to the landfill and that was not competitively bid. As such, the city's facilitation agreement is already the subject of a lawsuit that Waste Management Inc. filed in San Francisco Superior Court last week.

Sponsors of the competitive bidding ordinance, which include retired judge Quentin Kopp, community activist Tony Kelly and Waste Solutions CEO David Gavrich,believe the Board should delay voting on the landfill disposal and facilititation agreements until next summer, after voters have had a chance to weigh in on the bigger question of whether folks want competitive bidding on all the city's garbage-related services, which are worth a quarter of a billion, each year. "

"It would be disrespectful to voters to accept a resolution while an initiative is pending," Kopp stated. Read more »

Recology president Mike Sangiacomo disses the Guardian as landfill agreements head to full Board

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Dressed in neon- yellow vests, a crowd of Recology employees filed into the Board’s Chambers to witness the Board’s Budget and Finance subcommittee, which Sup. Carmen Chu chairs, vote to forward the Department of Environment’s proposal to award the city’s landfill disposal and facilitation agreements to Recology (formerly NorCal Waste, Inc), to the full Board. Read more »

Digging into the juicy details of Recology's proposed landfill disposal and facilitation agreements

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Last weekend, I tried to review online the details of the landfill disposal and facilitation agreements with Recology that the Board’s Budget & Finance committee votes on Wednesday, July 20, (assuming Waste Management’s petition for a writ of mandate doesn’t throw a monkey wrench into the committee’s scheduled vote on those agreements. And when I finally got to view the agreements in person, they raised a number of questions. Read more »

Murdoch meltdown could have ripple effect

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Listening to media baron Rupert Murdoch denying responsibility for the phone-hacking scandal that has Brits in paroxysms, reminded me of former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales 2007 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he couldn't seem to remember anything:  Murdoch is either losing his mind, or is a so-so actor with good legal advisers. But either way, it was hard to buy into his claims that he didn't know what was going on. Read more »

Waste Management sues SF over garbage contract

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The already intense fight between Recology (formerly NorCal Waste) and Waste Management over SF’s next landfill contract just got more intense: today Waste Management of Alameda County announced that it is filing a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court to prevent the final award of a new long-term solid waste transportation agreement and landfill disposal contract to Recology on the grounds that awarding the contract would violate SF’s “competitive bidding ordinances.”

Now, Recology boosters will likely seek to frame this legal challenge as sour grapes over the city's $11 mil Read more »

Repulsed by Recology's tactics, Kopp strikes name from Adachi initiative

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Who knew that a bunch of garbage could get a taxpayer watchdog like former supe/state senator/judge Quentin Kopp threatening not to endorse Public Defender Jeff Adachi's pension reform initiative? But that's what happened according to Kopp, who adds that he was “personally insulted’ by a signature gatherer outside the West Portal post office last week, after he struck his name from a petition he had signed in support of Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s pension reform measure. Read more »

Daly blasts HuffPo SF’s choice of bloggers

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In an open letter to Huffington Post former Sup. Chris Daly lays out why he thinks former Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier, mayoral candidate Joanna Rees and (perhaps not so interim) Mayor Ed Lee aren't the best of choices to blog about San Francisco politics. Read more »

Obama 2012 raises $86 million in small donations

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The Obama 2012 campaign files its first financial report with the Federal Election Commission on Friday July 15. In an email to Obama supporters, the campaign noted that, “the Washington chatter around the report we're releasing has focused on one number: the sum total we've raised.”Read more »

The way forward

Antiwar activists say Obama still needs to be pressured on Afghanistan

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sarah@sfbg.com

Two days before President Obama announced his plan to begin withdrawing 33,000 troops from Afghanistan over the next 15 months, Peace Action West's political director Rebecca Griffin delivered a box containing thousands of toy soldiers to Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office in downtown San Francisco.

Tied to each soldier were handwritten messages that gave reasons for demanding a large and swift withdrawal. Many of the petitions came from folks whose loved ones are in the military or are veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.Read more »