Experiencing holiday gifts in a whole new way

Gretchen Wustrack’s family asked her for a Christmas list. But like many people, she found herself thinking,”I didn’t know what I wanted. I have enough stuff, and so do they.” Rather than come up with a handful of half-hearted suggestions, Wustrack, a San Francisco designer, asked her family if they would consider exchanging experiential gifts – classes, tickets or certificates for new, hands-on experiences.  Read more

Treasure Island building plans draw fire

Proposed redevelopment on Treasure Island would increase traffic jams on the Bay Bridge, lengthening commute times and exacerbating Bay Area air pollution, critics say. Residents, environmental organizations and local agencies voiced those concerns this fall in almost 700 written comments on proposed new residential and commercial development that planners have said would make the island a world-class green neighborhood.  Read more

Financial upside for developers is long-term and risky, city says

The developers of Treasure Island stand to earn a potential 20.6 percent return on their investments if the 18-year, phased construction plan and land sales proceed as they predict. That does not include possible future real estate sales. But San Francisco officials say the potential private upside is laced with long-term economic risks — only some of which are calculable — that will be borne mostly by the partner firms in Treasure Island Community Development, and their investors.  Read more

Uncertain about rising seas, developers using mid-range estimate to build up island

Most of Treasure Island will be inundated by the end of this century, if the documented progression of the ocean’s rise caused by climate change continues as predicted. Studies foresee sea-level rise ranging from as little as five inches to as much as six feet. The lowest parts of Treasure Island lie just four feet above the Bay’s low tide.  Read more

Bay Area green firms band together to lobby Washington

Green and socially responsible business are flexing their collective lobbying muscles to have their concerns heard in Washington, with firms from the Bay Area leading the way. The move preceded the departure of several prominent companies from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has historically skewed to the political right and been dominated by large corporations.  Read more