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Mayor Lee presents proposed May 1st balanced budget

Two-Year Budget Proposal for Seven Enterprise Departments Creates

More Than 8,700 Jobs & Infuses $1.3 Billion into Local Economy Through Capital Projects

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today presented his proposed two-year balanced budget for seven City departments totaling $5.2 billion. The May 1st budget focuses on enterprise departments or agencies within City government that generate revenue.

“This May 1st budget focuses on putting San Franciscans back to work, investing in our City’s infrastructure and keeping San Francisco safe, solvent and successful,” said Mayor Lee. “By creating thousands of jobs, seismically strengthening our water system, improving our Airport terminals and runways, investing in Muni maintenance and upgrading our piers, we are ensuring that San Francisco will have a secure economic future. This budget proposal, and this year’s budget process, reflects my commitment to innovate to solve our City’s challenges, involve the public, and invest in our capital assets and workforce.”

The City departments included in this May 1st proposed budget are critical to the short-term and long-term economic health of the City. These enterprise departments include:

• Airport

• Board of Appeals

• Environment

• Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA)

• Port

• Public Utilities Commission (PUC)

• Rent Arbitration Board

This May 1st proposal is an important step toward crafting a balanced citywide budget for the upcoming years. By June 1st, the Mayor must propose a citywide budget that closes the $170 million General Fund budget shortfall in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-13, and a $312 million General Fund shortfall in FY 2013-14. This budget reflects the City’s third year of two-year budgeting for our largest enterprise departments, and the first year that Airport, PUC, Port and MTA will all move forward with a fixed two-year budget.

Innovation. Cities like San Francisco thrive because of their ability to cultivate innovative ideas. This is why Mayor Lee has reached out across the City’s departments and communities to find innovative ways to bring costs down while allowing the City to continue providing the essential services that keep neighborhoods and diverse communities moving in the right direction.

Involvement. Mayor Lee recognizes that achievements as a City are founded in commitment to hear directly from residents, communities and neighborhood organizations about what matters most to them. This is why Mayor Lee co-hosted six district-based budget town halls with all of the members of the Board of Supervisors, met with numerous stakeholders and will continue to work for greater transparency around the budget process.

Investment. By choosing to live, work, and play in San Francisco, we are all investing in the City. The May 1st proposed budget reflects our City’s significant capital investments over the coming years. Over the next two years, for example, the PUC proposes spending $71.5 million to maintain and improve the water, wastewater and power resources for the City. In addition, the budget includes implementation of the San Francisco International Airport’s 10-year $206 million investment in the development of the Runway Safety Area Plan. The Port of San Francisco will continue to invest in our waterfront piers and facilities, including the Cruise Terminal project at Pier 27. These investments will provide much-needed jobs for San Francisco residents as the City works to emerge from the economic downturn. Over the next two years, these departments will support more than 8,700 jobs in San Francisco by infusing $1.3 billion into the local economy through capital projects.

Click here to view: Mayor’s proposed May 1st Balanced Budget

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New Chevron Videos Expose Evidence of Fraud Against Oil Company In Ecuador Case

Chevron Corporation today released a series of videos to demonstrate that the case against the oil company in Ecuador is based on fraud and deceit. Visit:

Chevron released seven videos that provide a never-seen-before look at the case in Ecuador. From the history of oil production in region to the pervasive fraud plaguing the litigation, the videos detail all aspects of the legal and scientific deceptions committed by the plaintiffs’ team in pursuit of a misguided and meritless lawsuit, according to the company.

The videos allow viewers to see new footage from Hollywood Director Joe Berlinger’s movie “Crude,” which was made and financed by plaintiffs against Chevron, but turned into their greatest weapon in proving the fraud behind the case.

Also, evidence shows for the first time, lead plaintiff attorney Steven Donziger in deposition videos personally describing how he directed a number of questionable actions that promoted the fraud against Chevron and Texaco, its predecessor in Ecuador.

Under oath, attorney Steven Donziger admits on tape that none of the recent environmental experts ever visited Ecuador or “did any kind of new site inspection,” “new sampling,” or “environmental testing of any kind.” And the new plaintiffs’ experts admitted when deposed that they relied on the data and conclusions in the discredited Cabrera Report and did not conduct any independent sampling.

Also featured in the videos are the plaintiffs’ Philadelphia attorney Joe Kohn, environmental experts from Stratus Consulting in Denver, and other plaintiffs’ experts who admit that their submissions to the court in Ecuador were falsified and that no contamination exists by Chevron.

Most importantly, the videos present unassailable evidence and admissions by the plaintiffs, on tape and in emails, that the ‘independent report’ by Richard Cabrera that found alleged contamination in Ecuador was mostly written by plaintiffs themselves. The “Cabrera Report” found on plaintiffs’ lawyers’ computers matches word-for-word the multi-billion damage assessment filed by Cabrera the next day, on April 1, 2008.

The videos reveal that the final judgment for $18 billion against Chevron in Ecuador was crafted and ghostwritten by the plaintiffs who provided it to Judge Nicholas Zambrano to make it appear as if it was the opinion of the Ecuadorian justice system.

The videos are proof positive that Chevron will likely prevail in the courts and legal systems outside of the corrupt Banana-Republic of Ecuador, which has been manipulated by the plaintiffs. Now that courts in the United States and the World Court in Den Hague are looking into the case, Chevron has a real opportunity continue to expose the fraud and turn the tables on the plaintiffs and the environmental organizations, such as Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network, that fronted for the unethical and fraudulent case concocted against Chevron.

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Mayor Lee launches ImproveSF – A civic problem-solving platform to challenge online community

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today launched ImproveSF, an online social media platform that engages community problem solvers to help solve civic challenges. ImproveSF underscores the Mayor’s commitment to using innovation to provide state of the art access to information, community engagement and government efficiency.

“With shrinking budgets and increasing demand on City services, ImproveSF allows us to engage the creative and entrepreneurial people of our City to help make it work better, smarter and more efficient,” said Mayor Lee. “By embracing innovation, we make San Francisco the ‘Innovation Capital of the World,’ and celebrate and reward the incredible talent and ideas that are fostered here.”

City departments and agencies in the coming weeks will post ImproveSF challenges to the new site, which invite users to submit problem solving solutions, vote on their favorite ideas and comment on concepts that will improve how San Francisco works. ImproveSF embraces a bottoms-up approach to problem solving and makes it easier for the public to communicate and collaborate with City government. ImproveSF can be translated into more than 50 languages.

The first ImproveSF challenge will ask the creative community to participate in San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)’s Centennial Celebration by conceptualizing a new look for the second century of the City’s transportation agency. This challenge asks San Francisco’s designers, art students and graphic artists to submit designs, a new logo and color schemes that represent the SFMTA, which manages and operates the City’s multimodal surface transportation system that includes pedestrians, bicyclists, Muni, parking, traffic, streetscapes and regulates taxis.

The first challenge invites users to leave their mark on San Francisco by working with SFMTA to co-design a new look for their new century. Users have four weeks starting today to submit and vote on innovative design-concepts. The top submissions will be shortlisted and a panel of judges will select a winner from five finalists. The winning design-concept will be produced by SFMTA’s designer and implemented for all SFMTA printed and digital materials for bus fleets, trains and signage across the City. For those who are not the creative-type, residents can also participate by voting on SFMTA problem solving solutions including travel-time reduction proposals as part of the Transit Effectiveness Project.

“The SFMTA is unique in North America in that it oversees all modes of transportation in the city. This includes everything from the iconic cable cars to traffic signals,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin. “As we move into our second century of operation, it’s time for a new look, one that reflects today’s MTA and our role in managing mobility in the 21st Century. We look forward to civic-minded San Franciscans getting involved and making a lasting contribution to this great city and this historic agency.”

The ImproveSF challenges are hosted on the MindMixer platform.

“We are excited to be working with what we consider to be one of most innovative cities in the world, San Francisco,” said MindMixer CEO Nick Bowden. “In addition to the fantastic partnership with the City, we are also thrilled to announce that we are opening a San Francisco office. While we will always consider ourselves a Silicon Prarie based business, a physical presence in San Francisco gives us access to the best tech talent in the world, something we couldn’t be happier about.”

Upcoming ImproveSF challenges will focus on topics such as food justice, the environment and neighborhood resiliency. ImproveSF is part of Mayor Lee’s larger vision for civic innovation. In January, Mayor Lee announced a partnership with Code for America to launch the world’s first Civic Startup Accelerator that will support entrepreneurs who launch companies to make City government more responsive, efficient and connected.  Mayor Lee also joined technology company leaders to launch the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology & Innovation ( to help leverage the collective power of the tech sector to make government more responsive, efficient and help residents find employment.
Click here for more information: <a href=” <> “><strong>ImproveSF<strong></a>

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Mayor Lee urges Congressional support of “Crowdfunding” for startups in Jobs Act

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement urging Congressional support for reforms to the regulatory process required for startups to raise capital through crowdfunding, a fundraising method which pools small amounts of money from many investors:

“Crowdfunding will fundamentally alter how entrepreneurs access capital, democratizing investment in our new economy to many more people. Access to capital is the engine for our startups and letting more people participate in helping growing businesses will be a boon for small investors and businesses alike.

Innovation is fueling San Francisco’s economic recovery and with crowdfunding, many more small businesses can start, grow and stay here in San Francisco.”

Mayor Lee is the first large city Mayor to support crowdfunding, an important mechanism in the incubation and development phases of many new economy start-ups. Mayor Lee supports the inclusion of provisions in recently-passed U.S. Senate version of the JOBS Act, which grant the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission greater oversight of crowdfunding to help reduce investor fraud. With the legislation back to the U.S. House for approval, the Mayor urges members of the House to include anti-fraud provisions and send the bill to President Obama to sign.

In addition to supporting crowdfunding, Mayor Lee has demonstrated his support of the growing innovation economy through his recent opposition to SOPA/PIPA, support for the “sharing economy” through the nation’s first Sharing Economy Policy Working Group with members of the Board of Supervisors and passing the Central Market / Tenderloin Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion in 2011 to help revitalize Central Market. Mayor Lee recognizes that smart policies can help San Francisco’s innovation economy grow will drive our economic recovery and create good jobs for San Francisco residents.

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Mayor Lee suspends Ross Mirkarimi, appoints law enforcement veteran Vicki Hennessy

Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced his suspension Sheriff Mirkarimi following his guilty plea for false imprisonment and appointing veteran law enforcement official Vicki Hennessy as Sheriff.

“Ross Mirkarimi has now pled guilty to falsely imprisoning his wife. After careful review of the City Charter and the evidence before me, I am suspending and formally charging Ross Mirkarimi with official misconduct,” said Mayor Lee. “I take this action with every conviction that I am acting on a firm legal basis and doing what is in the best interest of the people of San Francisco. I am appointing law enforcement veteran Vicki Hennessy as the Sheriff. With her nearly 35 years of experience, I have no doubt that she will get the job done, lead the Sheriff’s Department and support the good work of our Sheriff’s staff and deputies.”

Hennessy served as the Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and Chief Deputy in the Sheriff’s Department. Hennessy joined the Sheriff’s Department in December 1975 and quickly rose through the ranks becoming the youngest captain in California law enforcement in 1983. She became Chief Deputy in 1997. She has worked in nearly every division of the Sheriff’s Department including Captain of the old San Bruno jail, City prison, the high security jail at the Hall of Justice and the intake jail at 425 7th Street. She was at various times in charge of Training, Administration, Field Services, and the Custody Division.

In 2006, Hennessy was the Deputy Director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Services and Homeland Security where she developed a comprehensive Citywide strategic plan for preparing for, mitigating, responding to and recovering from disasters.

In 2008, Hennessy was named the Director of Emergency Management, where she brought a level of stability to the new department, oversaw the completion of the City’s state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center, ensured the completion of the redesign and update of the 911 Emergency Call taking center, developed the first Combined Emergency Communications Operations Manual and decreased the DEM operating budget by $11 million. Hennessy retired in 2011. She is a native San Franciscan and a Lowell High School graduate. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband, a retired San Francisco police officer. They have two grown children.

Mayor Lee initiated official misconduct proceedings against Mirkarimi by directing the City Attorney to prepare the appropriate documents and notify the Board of Supervisors and the Ethics Commission, suspending Mirkarimi as Sheriff as early as Wednesday. After five days, the Ethics Commission will begin a process to make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

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Mayor Lee announces opening of Canadian Technology Accelerator in Mission Bay

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today joined by Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) announced the opening of a Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA@MissionBay), a new biotech incubator for Canadian life sciences firms. Located at UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus, the Canadian Technology Accelerator brings four new life sciences companies to San Francisco.

“San Francisco sits firmly at the intersection of cutting edge life sciences innovation and global collaboration,” said Mayor Lee. “The opening of the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Mission Bay underscores the strength of San Francisco’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and reinforces the City’s place as the ‘Innovation Capital of the World.’ I am thrilled to welcome these four new Canadian life sciences companies to San Francisco and want to thank Ambassador Doer and QB3 for their leadership in making the CTA a reality.”

“Collaboration is the lifeblood of life sciences, because it fuels inspiration, leverages research, and multiplies commercial opportunities across borders,” said Ambassador Doer. “This partnership is literally a technology accelerator – it marries Canada’s world-class basic research institutions and life sciences companies with QB3’s proven expertise in translating science to commercial success. Faster commercialization means greater ROI, and that means greater success for both our economies.”

With today’s announcement, San Francisco is now home to 108 life sciences companies, up from just two life sciences companies eight years ago. This growth has been driven by San Francisco’s aggressive focus on developing Mission Bay, attracting established biotech firms and supporting new start-ups and spinouts from UCSF. The City continues to build on the work of Mayors Brown and Newsom which included the approval of the Mission Bay Redevelopment Plan, the passage of the biotech payroll tax exclusion and the recruitment of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

The opening of the CTA marks San Francisco’s fifth biotech incubator. The City through the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) has worked closely with QB3 through the BioSFinitiative to support the growth of new biotech companies in San Francisco.

“Mission Bay has established itself as a world center for bioscience entrepreneurs. These new companies join a community that is rapidly becoming a United Nations of innovation,” said QB3 Director Regis Kelly, PhD. “We welcome Canada’s entrepreneurs to the QB3 incubator network.”

Canadian companies are chosen for the accelerator based on their ability to grow locally and globally. The first group of four are: Aquinox, BioMark, Clinisys, and Precision Nanosystems.

“This initiative recognizes the continued importance of San Francisco as a global hub for the life sciences industry and an important entry point for Canadian companies like ours that have built strong international programs,” said Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Chief Medical Officer David Chernoff. “It provides a unique opportunity for a small company to formalize its presence and broaden its business relationships.”

The Canadian Technology Accelerator is joining QB3’s network of five bioscience incubators in San Francisco and Berkeley, and will be the newest members of the QB3 Digital PharmChem Garage, housed on the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Together, those incubators have helped launch 60 bioscience companies in the last six years, ranging in focus from biofuels to new therapeutics for cancer. Those startups have gone on to hire more than 280 employees and raise $226 million in follow-on funding during one of the sharpest recessions in the nation’s history.

The four companies located at the Canadian Technology Accelerator are:
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals – a private, venture-backed pharmaceutical company committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel and targeted small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory disease and cancer.
BioMark Technologies Inc. – a Canadian based medical diagnostic technology company developing an inexpensive and non invasive screening test for cancer that detects intracellular enzyme activity. This technology is small molecule based versus proteomics-based, which reduces complexity and lowers cost to the health care/delivery industry.
BioMark Technologies Inc. – a Canadian health informatics company offering software and services to the healthcare industry. Its flagship product is a robust, secure, and scalable web-based Clinical Intelligence Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system.
Precision NanoSystems, Inc. (PNI) – has developed proprietary microfluidic devices for the simple, rapid, reproducible and cost-effective manufacture of next-generation lipid nanoparticles (LNP). LNP can be engineered to package and deliver a wide range of bioactive agents to cells and tissues in the body, including conventional or biologic drugs for disease treatment and imaging agents for disease diagnosis.

About CTA@MissionBay

The Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco and Silicon Valley developed the Canadian Technology Accelerator Program – a program designed to support growth in Canadian technology companies by giving them access to the unique resources of the Bay Area. The CTA consists of in-Canada qualification (e.g. preparation seminars); continued help for qualified companies in San Francisco (Maple Tree Life Science Forum held annually in May); and a longer stay in the Consulate-operated CTA@MissionBay. CTA also arranged mentoring with C100 members (successful expats in the Bay Area) and local venture and technology partners, and an opportunity to spend up to six months in San Francisco to pursue business growth objectives.

About QB3

QB3 is a cooperative effort among private industry and more than 220 scientists at UCSF, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. One of four technology institutes created in 2000 by former California Governor Gray Davis, QB3 has a joint mission of supporting science, driving the California economy and transforming scientific research into public good.

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Mayor Lee’s statement on Sheriff Mirkarimi’s plea to false imprisonment

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement regarding Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s Guilty Plea to Misdemeanor False Imprisonment:

“This clearly remains serious and troubling for our City. The Sheriff, one of our top law enforcement officials, has now pleaded guilty to an unexpected and very serious charge that has introduced a new set of legal issues that must be thoroughly reviewed. I am working with legal counsel to review the facts and determine what options are available to me under the City charter.

I understand the troubling nature that this guilty plea raises, given the Sheriff’s role in overseeing and incarcerating criminals in our county jails.

I intend to make a decision based on all of the facts as quickly as possible.”

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Mayor Lee and BOS Announce Series to Engage Residents in the City’s Budget

Mayor Edwin M. Lee has announced a number of Community Engagement events to get the public more involved in the budget process and educate residents about the Mayor’s budget principles as he builds a balanced two-year budget. The Mayor will co-host District Based Budget Town Halls with the Board of Supervisors and will also provide online forums to hear directly from San Franciscans about their budget priorities and ideas; and their issues and concerns as the City balances its first ever two-year budget.

“We need to hear directly from our residents about the issues that matter most to them,” said Mayor Lee. “We must build a balanced budget that not only ensures that San Franciscans get the city services they need, but one that will set the City on a steady course to fiscal solvency. My goal is to stimulate the local economy, create good jobs, and encourage innovative efficiencies within City departments and programs, and I am eager to share these principles with the public and hear directly from them.”

As part of the budget process, Mayor Lee will continue to meet with the Board of Supervisors, community based organizations and advocacy groups, neighborhood leaders, labor representatives, representatives of City Commissions, and Department Heads to discuss budget priorities and innovative cost savings ideas. He will also begin a series of Community Coffees that will last throughout the year where the public can call in and schedule an appointment to discuss specific topics with the mayor in their neighborhood.

Schedule of Town Halls with District Supervisors

Districts 5 & 6 with Supervisors Christina Olague & Jane Kim

Thursday, March 29, 2012 (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.)

Tenderloin Community School, 627 Turk Street

Districts 8 & 9 with Supervisors Scott Wiener & David Campos

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 (6:30 – 8:00 p.m.)

Horace Mann Middle School, 3351 23rd Street

Districts 2 & 3 with Supervisors Mark Farrell & David Chiu

Monday, April 9, 2012 (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.)

Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, 660 Lombard Street

Districts 4 & 7 with Supervisors Carmen Chu & Sean Elsbernd

Saturday, April 14, 2012 (10 – 11:30 a.m.)

San Francisco Zoo, 1 Zoo Road

Districts 1 & 5 with Supervisors Eric Mar & Christina Olague

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 (6 – 7:30 p.m.)

County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park

District 10 & 11 with Supervisors Malia Cohen & John Avalos

Saturday, April 28, 2012 (10 – 11:30 a.m.)

City Arts and Technology High School, 325 La Grande Avenue

To join Mayor Lee for Citywide Community Coffees, residents are invited to call 311, where they can leave their name, contact information, and brief details about the issue they would like to discuss with the Mayor. Participants in the community coffee with Mayor Lee will be selected at random. Residents will be notified of their appointment the Thursday prior to the meeting.

Schedule of Community Coffees with Mayor Lee

Saturday, March 10, 2012 – District 11

Saturday, April 21, 2012 – District 6

Saturday, May 19, 2012 – District 1

Saturday, June 9, 2012 – District 8 & 9

Saturday, July 14, 2012 – District 10

Saturday, September 15, 2012 – Districts 4 & 7

Saturday, October 13, 2012 – District 5

In the coming weeks, Mayor Lee will launch a new and innovative series of budget outreach efforts to engage San Francisco residents around the budget and introduce a suite of technologies to support these efforts including a more robust City employee driven ideas portal called ideas.sfgov. In coordination with the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, Mayor Lee will engage a wide audience in ways that can create exciting avenues for members of the public to participate in the budget process. Social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, ideation platforms and live streaming will make it possible to dialogue with the City in this important process that affects us as we continue to deliver vital City services.

As part of the goal to create an inclusive budget process, Mayor Lee will also hold a lunchtime digital townhall on Google+ following the success of the White House Google+ Hangout with President Obama. Recognizing that it is sometimes difficult to make it to the traditional community townhall meetings, Mayor Lee is creating an alternate mode to get the public engaged in the process. Mayor Lee will be the first Mayor of a large city to engage residents using the Google+ Hangout platform. The Mayor will sit at the Hub, a San Francisco co-working space, where he will field live questions during the Google+ Budget Hangout. More details to come.

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RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY – Signs Long Term Lease for World Headquarters at 680 Folsom Street

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MOHAMMED NURU – Appointed Director of the Department of Public Works

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and City Administrator Naomi Kelly announced on Friday the appointment of Mohammed Nuru as Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW), the nationally accredited City agency responsible for keeping San Francisco beautiful, livable and sustainable.

“Mohammed Nuru is a dedicated public servant who has proven over the last decade to be one of the hardest working City employees keeping San Francisco clean, green and beautiful,” said Mayor Lee. “His track record of building bridges and partnering with the community aligns with our common commitment to maintaining the City’s infrastructure, delivering outstanding service to residents and visitors, and efficiently managing public works projects that will create jobs and help revitalize San Francisco’s economy.”

mohammed-nuruMOHAMMED NURU

“Mohammed has my full confidence to carry forward Public Works as a world-class organization,” said City Administrator Kelly. “San Franciscans will continue to benefit from his leadership and persistence, building on his numerous accomplishments from improving street and sidewalk cleanliness to the successful management of construction projects that reinvigorate and modernize the public realm.”

As Director of the Department of Public Works, Nuru oversees the care and maintenance of San Francisco’s streets and infrastructure. DPW serves residents, merchants and visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week with 1,200 employees, providing mechanical and manual street cleaning, graffiti removal services from public property, and maintenance and care for street structures and the public right-of-way.

DPW also designs, constructs and maintains city infrastructure and public buildings, with 200 active public projects valued at $2 billion, including the San Francisco General Hospital Rebuild, the Cruise Ship Terminal at Pier 27, Moscone Center Improvements, the Public Utilities Commission Headquarters at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, the Chinese Recreation Center, the Bayview and North Beach Branch Libraries, and neighborhood Fire Stations through the Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond Program.

Nuru became Interim Director of the Department of Public Works in August 2011 when former DPW Director Ed Reiskin left to become Executive Director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). As Interim Director, Nuru has been coordinating the expansion of DPWStat, a management tool that helps enhance service delivery efficiency and has shown to improve the department’s responsiveness to street cleaning, landscaping and pothole complaints, and identify areas of opportunity for new and ongoing challenges. In addition, Nuru is overseeing a departmental technology transformation to maximize efficiency and interagency coordination.

In 2011, DPW engaged a record number of 6,600 volunteers in neighborhood cleanup and beautification efforts – a 66% increase in volunteers from the last year. Nuru manages and initiated several apprenticeship programs that give job training and have created over 150 jobs, and he also oversees the $248 million Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond, approved by voters in November 2011, that will repave streets and improve streetscapes throughout San Francisco.

During Nuru’s eleven years of service to DPW as Deputy Director for Operations, he worked closely with the City’s diverse communities, city agencies, businesses, and nonprofit groups to develop innovative programs to ensure and maintain a safe, clean, functional infrastructure. Nuru coordinated the popular Community Clean Team neighborhood volunteer cleanup events, ran the Mayor’s Corridors Program that maintains the City’s busiest merchant thoroughfares, and expanded partnerships with the communities to green sidewalks, street medians and underutilized street parks.

“Mohammed Nuru has shown an amazing capacity to recognize the needs of the neighborhoods, and he compliments that with a keen understanding of how the City operates,” said Middle Polk Neighborhood Association Chairperson Dawn Trennert. “This makes implementing solutions to complex, challenging issues easier and more timely. Our neighborhood group has worked with Mohammed on issues from simple, routine cleaning initiatives to piloting innovative new programs.”

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RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY – Signs Long Term Lease for World Headquarters at 680 Folsom Street


Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that Riverbed Technology, the leader in IT performance solutions, has entered into a 167,788 square-foot lease at 680 Folsom Street to house their world headquarters. Riverbed is expected to move into the building in 2014.

Riverbed, currently at 199 Fremont Street, will expand by 65,430 square feet into five floors at 680 Folsom Street with a 10-year lease term. This expansion will allow for Riverbed’s continued successes as they grow their offices here in San Francisco. Currently with 503 employees in San Francisco, representing almost a third of their worldwide workforce, Riverbed continues to see growth. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) estimates that this expansion will allow for Riverbed’s local workforce to grow to 1,157 employees, more than doubling their local presence.

“Riverbed’s long term commitment to keep their worldwide headquarters in San Francisco through 2024 demonstrates once again that we are the location of choice for high tech companies,” said Mayor Lee. “With dynamic leaders like Riverbed’s Jerry Kennelly, we are making San Francisco the ‘Innovation Capitol of the World.’ I want to congratulate Riverbed, TMG and JLL on the completion of this successful real estate transaction that will create jobs and drive innovation in our City.”


“This is yet another example of how we are working with CEOs like Jerry Kennelly,” said Mayor Lee. “It was last fall that we sat down and we knew they were looking, they knew they were growing. Was it going to be here in San Francisco? Or some other place that we would lose them to? Our staff went to work right away. We found a great partner with TMG and Michael Covarrubias. We just came together very well and focused on what we could do to make sure they stayed here. They know there is talent here – that is unquestioned. The question is, are there other things that stabilize their ideas and their interests in working here long-term and staying here and growing here. We want IT companies to start here. We want them to stay and we want them to grow. As a result, we are evolving our policies on a weekly basis to continue attracting companies like Riverbed and making sure they feel comfortable. The end result is a lot more people get employed.”

JERRY KENNELLY, Riverbed Co-Founder and CEO

“Riverbed is proud to have had its headquarters in San Francisco for the past 10 years. We’re making this investment to support our long-term growth and cement our commitment to the City of San Francisco,” said Riverbed Co-Founder and CEO Jerry Kennelly. “Like many prosperous technology companies headquartered in San Francisco, we think the City is the right location to attract the best talent and provide a thriving environment for our current employees. It is about time San Francisco becomes the capital of Silicon Valley and we want to be a part of that.”

“Riverbed is the ideal tenant not only for this space, but to complement the increasing tech growth in San Francisco’s SoMa area,” said TMG Partners Chairman and CEO Michael Covarrubias, the developer for 680 Folsom Street. “It’s very exciting to be a part of this renewed vitality here in the City and we believe it not only indicates the strengthening of our local economy, but indicative of the positive trending in both the residential and commercial space within this area of the City.”

Riverbed was represented in the transaction by the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. “The Riverbed real estate team was excellent throughout this entire process and took a very strategic approach to their future real estate requirements. By being proactive, they executed a headquarters strategy and netted a superb block of quality space which will be the finest development in San Francisco in the last decade,” said Jones Lang LaSalle’s HQ practice leader and International Director David Churton.

With construction now underway at 680 Folsom Street, the building will be fully renovated in time for Riverbed’s occupation. The new headquarters will feature a clear glass wall skin replacing the current concrete façade, a new public plaza and is pursuing LEED Gold certification.

About Riverbed
Riverbed delivers performance for the globally connected enterprise. With Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and intelligently implement strategic initiatives such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery without fear of compromising performance. By giving enterprises the platform they need to understand, optimize and consolidate their IT, Riverbed helps enterprises to build a fast, fluid and dynamic IT architecture that aligns with the business needs of the organization. For more information about Riverbed, go to:

About TMG Partners
TMG Partners, founded in 1984 and headquartered in San Francisco, is a full-service real estate development and management company. TMG has developed more than 18 million square feet of property throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Emeryville, Marin City, Novato, Palo Alto, San Bruno, San Jose and San Francisco. One of the most active developers in this area in the last decade, the company has developed a variety of office, retail, residential and industrial properties, ranging from office campus and multi-story properties in urban, infill locations to mixed-use retail and single-story suburban buildings. For more information, go to:


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SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – Announces 2012/13 Season
EDDIE MULLER – On the Slow Death of 35mm – An Interview with the “Czar of Noir”
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE – 75th Anniversary – “Bridging Us All”
NOIR CITY – 10th Anniversary, 10-Day Festival at the Castro Theatre, begins January 20th
CHRISTINE EBERSOLE – Bay Area Cabaret presents Tony Award winner at the Venetian Room, January 15th
“Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien” – At Davies Symphony Hall, Featuring Damian Smith of SF Ballet, January 12th–14th
NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY – Selects 25 Films for Preservation
JOHN E. BUCHANAN, Jr. – Director of the Legion of Honor and de Young Museum loses battle with cancer
CD, JAKE SCHEPPS – An Evening in the Village: The Music of Béla Bartók
DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY XMAS, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
SF Opera Center Announces the 2012 Adler Fellows
CALIFORNIA DREAMING – At the Contemporary Jewish Museum
BERNINI’S MEDUSA – Now at the Legion of Honor through February 12th
“THE ARTIST” – Silents, please! – A masterpiece in B&W, starring Jean Dujardin
THOMAS JANE – An interview with the star of HBO’s “Hung” and 3D Thriller “Dark Country”
MAHARAJA – The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, at the Asian Art Museum
“XERXES” – A Royally Entertaining Production at SF Opera

“REAL STEEL” – Reels of money-making crap starring Hugh Jackman
“XERXES” – At San Francisco Opera
CD Release: “Feels Like Home”, The Celtic Tenors ★★★★
DON GIOVANNI – It’s smart and new at San Francisco Opera
LEANNE BORGHESI – SF Bay Area Star on the Rise
CAMERON CARPENTER – International Superstar Organist plays “Phantom of the Opera” at Davies Symphony Hall, Friday, October 30th
“LUCREZIA BORGIA” – A Hard Act To Swallow at San Francisco Opera
EDDIE MULLER and “Fear Over Frisco” – An Interview with the Czar of Noir
LEAH CROCETTO – An Interview with “Liu” in SF Opera’s TURANDOT
HENRY PHIPPS – A Conversation with Featured Boy Soprano in SF Opera’s “Heart of a Soldier”
“HEART OF A SOLDIER” – A Rapturous World Premiere At San Francisco Opera
MEET MAESTRO NICOLA LUISOTTI – San Francisco Opera opens 2011/12 season with Puccini’s “Turandot”
“The Glory of Love” – A Salute to Jacqueline Fontaine
“MOZART’S SISTER” – Third string cinema
MEROLA OPERA’S GRAND FINALE – Meet Daniel Curran and Mark Diamond
“CASABLANCA” – The SF Symphony accompanies screening tonight, 7/22
“HE WHO GETS SLAPPED” – A conversation with composer and pianist Matti Bye
ABEL GANCE’S “NAPOLEON” – San Francisco Silent Film Festival to present complete restoration by Kevin Brownlow in 2012
HEIDI MELTON – An Interview with “Sieglinde” in San Francisco Opera’s DIE WALKÜRE
MARY GIBBONEY – An Interview with the star of “ABSOLUTELY SAN FRANCISCO”
SONDHEIM’S “ASSASSINS” – Ray of Light Theatre is right-on target
TIIT HELIMETS – An Interview with “Prince Edvard” of SF Ballet’s THE LITTLE MERMAID
NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Presents “Mastery of Schubert”, Featuring Soprano Melody Moore, 3/24–27
ZHENG CAO – A Conversation with A Miracle Artist
MELODY MOORE – Soprano shines in SF Ballet’s “Nanna’s Lied”
MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
GISELLE – And the Legend of the Wilis
A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA – A Conversation with Richard Marriot
PLÁCIDO DOMINGO – An Interview with the Tenor turned Baritone for “Cyrano”
Dr. ELISA STEPHENS – A Visit with the President of the Academy of Art University
CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
A Look At “Giselle” with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
SABINA ALLEMANN – Former SF Ballet Ballerina Returns In A.C.T.’s “The Tosca Project”
AMANDA McBROOM – A conversation on her recording of songs by Jacques Brel
CAMERON CARPENTER – An interview with Grammy-nominated organist
HANDEL’S “ORLANDO” – An Interview with Conductor Nicholas McGegan
ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
DAVID PERRY – On the “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media”
CAMINOS FLAMENCOS – A Conversation with Yaelisa
JANE MONHEIT – An Interview
DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
A Conversation with Ruben Martin Cintas, Principal Dancer with SF Ballet
THIS GUN FOR HIRE, 1942 – Looking at “Now you see it, now you don’t” sung by Veronica Lake
“My Silver Dollar Man” – from MARKED WOMAN (starring Bette Davis, 1937)
“Would You Like A Souvenir?” – Sean Martinfield and Janet Roitz explore a song from Film Noir classic NORA PRENTISS (1947)

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On Scene with Bill Wilson – Dr. Jill Biden’s SF Visit

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2012

Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the Vice President during a visit to the Code for America offices in San Francisco Photo by Bill Wilson

Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the Vice President used her visit to the Bay Area to promote the Joining Forces initiative, a joint venture with the First Lady to promote efforts that support our troops and veterans and their families. After visiting the VA Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Biden traveled to San Francisco to visit the Code for America offices and learn how technology can be used to help veterans apply for jobs.

Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer, joins Dr. Jill Biden in listening to presentations on “Apps for Heroes” during her visit to the offices of Code for America. Photo by Bill Wilson

Dr. Biden’s visit actually had two parts to it. First she was shown presentations by several people on Apps for Heroes. The presentations ranged from finding the job postings to notifying companies that they are eligible for tax breaks because they hired a qualified veteran.

Jim Brikman, Sr. Software Engineer at Linkedin, shows Dr. Biden and Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer, applications that can be used by veterans to locate job openings and other resources. Photo by Bill Wilson

Translating military training into marketable job skills that companies want can be daunting, but there is an app for that. Since so much of finding a job is about networking it makes sense to use technology to facilitate that communication.

Peter Levin (left), Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Chief Technology Officer for the U S Department of Veterans Affairs and Aneesh Chopra listen as Gunnar Counselman, (seated) CEO of Fidelis explains a point to Dr. Biden.

The second part of Dr. Biden’s visit was a brief talk to an assembled group of Code for America members who are providing the technical skills and energy to come up with the programs that help people and cities connect with solutions for their common problems, which is what Code for America is all about.

Dr. Biden talks with members of Code for America. Photo by Bill Wilson

I admit to being a tech dummy. So it took me a while to realize that Code for America is not only the name of the project, but a description of what they do. When you are writing a program you are basically writing code that tells the computer what you want it to do.

Dr. Biden and Code for America members. Photo by Bill Wilson

Most of Dr. Biden’s time was spent meeting people who had come to the event and learning what they were doing.

Craig Newmark and Dr. Jill Biden. Photo by Bill Wilson

On a personal note, after I had taken this picture of Craig with Dr. Biden I said to her, “This isn’t the first time I’ve taken your picture, the first time was at the wedding reception Senator and Mrs. Hollings gave for you.” She looked at me and said, “Oh my God!” Then as she come over and gave me a hug she said, “That was thirty five years ago.”

See Related On Scene with Bill Wilson Archive

Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at

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