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Slate on ‘San Francisco’s spectacular hypocrisy’*

Friday, October 26, 2012

 Hetch Hetchy Valley as it appeared before it was transformed into a reservoir, in Yosemite National Park, California

Writing for Slate, Boston-based freelancer and former Examiner reporter Amy Crawford has a field day with City Hall’s attitude toward Prop F, the ballot measure that would require San Francisco to study alternatives to Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir as a main source of its drinking water. And that of course includes Mayor Ed Lee’s well-chronicled remark that the measure is “insane.” Here’s the lede:

In San Francisco, concern for the environment is a dearly held civic virtue. The Sierra Club was founded here 120 years ago; San Francisco’s mayor issued the first Earth Day proclamation in 1970; and, more recently, San Franciscans have embraced everything from organic food and compostable plastics to hybrid cars and bike lanes. But the green city has a dark secret.

Crawford also posits that the city’s Public Utilities Commission, “which recently moved, with much fanfare, into a $200 million ‘green’ office building downtown, is taking more credit for modernizing its water system than it deserves.”

As for the dark secret, see historic photo above of Yosemite’s once-pristine and now underwater Hetch Hetchy Valley.

[Related: The Examiner has a piece on the hearing called yesterday by Supervisor Scott Wiener aimed at encouraging better care of San Francisco’s “urban forest.”]


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