Subway utlity work begins in North Beach despite lawsuit – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the protests of neighbors — one of whom has sued the city — crews Monday are starting to relocate utility lines in North Beach as part of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Central Subway project…

The planned work has prompted one man to file a lawsuit, and other neighbors and merchants who are angry about how the construction will affect them are threatening to file a second one.

Marc Bruno, a North Beach resident with the group Save North Beach, filed a lawsuit on July 31 asking a San Francisco Superior Court judge for an immediate temporary restraining order to block the project.

That request was denied last Thursday, but an injunction hearing is scheduled in the case on Aug. 29, Bruno said…


Related stories:
Despite Lawsuit, Central Subway Work Kicks Off In North Beach

We just learned that Marc Bruno is running for District 3 Supervisor, against President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, David Chiu.

As filing deadline passes, San Francisco supervisor races take shape

By: Joshua Sabatini : SFExaminer – excerpt

The players are finalized and all that remains now is the drama over who will emerge in November to serve on the Board of Supervisors for the next four years.
There are six open seats on the 11-member board, and after Friday’s 5 p.m. filing deadline there was little in the way of surprises. Perhaps the biggest suspense was whether a serious challenger would emerge to take on board President David Chiu, who represents District 3, which includes Chinatown and North Beach…

While Chiu won’t have those scrapes, he is facing upset hopefuls in architect Joseph Butler, who runs a private firm, and Marc Bruno, who just sued The City over Muni’s Central Subway project. Both candidates are taking on an incumbent who has already amassed $147,000 in campaign donations. Both men gave similar reasons for running: More attention needs to be given to the needs of residents.
“David is just not an on-the-street kind of guy,” Bruno said. “He’s well-intentioned, but he’s a technocrat.”
Butler said there is the need for a “neighborhood up government.”


Judge won’t halt Central Subway construction

By Kristen Go : – excerpt

A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Thursday denied a request for a pre-emptive halt to Central Subway-related construction work in North Beach that is scheduled to start Tuesday.

Marc Bruno, a North Beach resident, had sought a temporary restraining order mandating a 12-day delay, saying dust, noise and inconvenience from at least three months of work relocating utilities around the intersection of Union Street and Columbus Avenue would drive away customers and irreparably harm Washington Square businesses.

The larger issue is 10 months of additional construction in the area set to start in January on a retrieval shaft where machines boring the subway tunnel will exit the ground in the middle of Columbus Avenue. Bruno, who just hours after the hearing filed to run for supervisor in District Three, and a separate group of merchants and resident pursuing legal action contend the environmental impact report for the project, approved in 2008, didn’t adequately address the construction that is now planned.

Deputy City Attorney Audrey Pearson countered that the project has not changed from what the environmental report studied and that delaying the work would cost the city $25,000 a day in contractor payments.

The North Beach groups say they will continue their legal challenge…


Letter to NBBA Members, re: Central Subway Project – excerpt

Dear Members,

You may have been approached and told that the North Beach Business Association is not actively involved in fighting the proposed extraction of the Central Subway machinery scheduled to take place in the heart of North Beach.


When the MTA gave  the first North Beach merchant presentation to the NBBA in May, we were also the first to sound the alarm about the potential devastation that the project would cause in our neighborhood. We rushed to immediately schedule a general meeting, co-sponsored, with the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, so that all of you would have the opportunity to hear the details of the extraction project. Many of you attended this joint meeting which then led to additional meetings regarding the project.

Since then, NBBA board members have been in constant contact with Supervisor Chiu’s office, working with him to try and find a satisfactory alternative which would not destroy the economy of our neighborhood for a minimum of two years. We have also attended every neighborhood meeting regarding the situation.  We would like to thank Marc Bruno for his leadership in organizing meetings and doing extensive research on the subject of the Central Subway extraction project. His participation has been invaluable .

After much discussion and soul searching, the NBBA has concluded that it may very well be necessary for a lawsuit be filed to force the City to conduct a new Environmental Impact Review for the extraction process as the original one does not adequately address the potential impact this project will have on North Beach. To this end, we have decided to provide funds to retain the law firm of Susan Brandt-Hawley, a well-known lawyer who works exclusively on environmental cases such as ours. She has an amazing track record. If you are interested in researching her, her firm’s website is