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#28589 - 10/20/12 12:08 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: saltydog]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: saltydog
Yeah, God forbid San Francisco should ever consider flushing its toilets, washing its streets and irrigating the Presidio with anything other than pristine Tuolomne water

We're talking about an 8 million dollar plan, here, folks, not a 10 billion dollar demolition project. That 10b was just a number some interested critic pulled out of his ass. The plan is not a commitment: it designed to answer all the questions the wise guys think they know without even looking at the possibilities, that's pretty cheap information compared to the present very expensive ignorance. That's what a plan is for: to test all these bare assertions and assumptions.

What you think people want and what actually gets done are two completely different things. Disney went after Mineral King for "Me, Now!" and ended up with Everyone, Always.

Point is that you don't know what an ultimate project would cost. You don't know what it would look like. You don't even know whether it would require removal of the dam or the hydro facilities.* You don't know that the hydro can't be replaced; you don't know whether a development plan would pave the valley or designate it wilderness or something in between.

* In fact, here's an idea: drain the valley but leave the dam in place, rename it the Gifford Pinchot Memorial Bridge, and let it stand as a perpetual reminder, maybe even a museum.



Actually, all those things are pretty well worked out. We've walked this path before.

What you won't acknowledge, is that it is really about getting the electorate to start saying "yes" to the concept, then creeping the concept along, step by step, until you get things to a place you would not have gotten knowledgable people to in a transparent and straightforward way.

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#28590 - 10/20/12 03:48 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Steve C]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
10 billion seems like a crazy number to remove a dam. They probably want to jack hammer the thing apart and truck every piece of it 1000 miles away.
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#28591 - 10/20/12 04:43 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
There is a relatively small dam in Malibu Canyon which is silted out, but blocking a steelhead run. Price tag for removal 10 years ago was 80 mil or something.

It still sits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rindge_Dam

I've hiked to the dam. It is an impressive monument.

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#28595 - 10/20/12 08:06 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1539
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: Ken

Actually, all those things are pretty well worked out. We've walked this path before.

What you won't acknowledge, is that it is really about getting the electorate to start saying "yes" to the concept, then creeping the concept along, step by step, until you get things to a place you would not have gotten knowledgeable people to in a transparent and straightforward way.


Yeah, Ken, I can see you're right. After all, the Prop requires the City Council to appoint the planning panel, and then put the plan up for a vote in four years. Obviously, the whole thing is going to be done in secret, and no knowledgeable people could possibly be involved, or keep up with such an opaque and complex process, because all the knowledgeable people already know what the plan is: why waste the time actually participating in the process? So, yeah, screw it.

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#28596 - 10/20/12 08:18 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: RoguePhotonic]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1539
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
10 billion seems like a crazy number to remove a dam. They probably want to jack hammer the thing apart and truck every piece of it 1000 miles away.


It's not just a crazy number: its a fantasy number: some critic just made it up. Its a rule, like the one that governs previous lives: no one was ever a peasant in Lithuania: everyone was a spirit nymph in the Black Forest. Nothing is ever projected to cost any number that does not end in a string of zeros numbering at least two thirds of the total digits. What are the odds that an actual, calculated cost of anything equals 10 billion dollars?
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#28597 - 10/20/12 08:27 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: + @ti2d]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 625
Loc: OrangeCounty
Hmmmmm sounds like you and Sierra Nevada have good points.


Steve C. we need a LIKE button next to the posts.

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#28599 - 10/20/12 09:17 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Steve C]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Well it's a good way to manipulate voters who do not study what they vote on. They see 10 billion and decide that not only can the city not afford it but if they are going to spend so much it's best used to help the children.
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#28600 - 10/20/12 09:52 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: saltydog]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: saltydog
It's not just a crazy number: its a fantasy number: some critic just made it up. What are the odds that an actual, calculated cost of anything equals 10 billion dollars?
You're absolutely right, it's not exactly $10 billion. The upper range estimate by the State of California Department of Water Resources and Department of Parks and Recreation is $9,824,000,000.00. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission rounded their estimate to $9,000,000,000.00. I think it would be a fantasy to think it would be less than that. Removing the dam is just a part of it. Replacing the water and power system is what really costs the big bucks. This would be a fantastic boondoggle for consultants and lawyers for a generation before any decision would even be made. By then, the costs will have multiplied.

For comparison:
Oakland Bay Bridge $6.2 billion
The newest air craft carrier $6.3 billion
The newest stadium - Dallas $1.2 billion
CERN Large Hadron Particle Collider $4.4 billion
Boston "Big Dig" Tunnel $14.6 billion ($2.8 billion estimate)
Hubble Telescope $1.2 billion

Edited to add costs and commentary.


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#28601 - 10/20/12 11:29 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Steve C]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 625
Loc: OrangeCounty
I like the idea of being able to canoe in the reservoir....it's so beautiful around the reservoir...in So Cal I think all the lakes and reservoirs allow at least some type of watercraft. I have personally been in watercraft on many of the reservoirs...I would love to take my kayak to Hetch Hetchy...what a relaxing day it would be on the water.


Edited by lynn-a-roo (10/20/12 11:30 PM)

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#28605 - 10/21/12 07:49 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: lynn-a-roo]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
Yeah, they're missing the boat on recreational use. How much would non-motorized watercraft pollute the water? Seems like a reasonable compromise to me.

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#28607 - 10/21/12 09:25 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: SierraNevada]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1539
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
You're absolutely right, it's not exactly $10 billion. The upper range estimate by the State of California Department of Water Resources and Department of Parks and Recreation is $9,824,000,000.00. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission rounded their estimate to $9,000,000,000.00.



Well, not exactly. The 9.8 Bil was not the estimate, it was the upper limit of the range of the State's estimate, which was 2.9 to 9.8 billion. And that btw was the highest of the three estimates the PUC looked at which actually started at half a billion. But the PUC essentially accepted the State estimate as the most complete. It established a range, not a single estimate, based on the following (quoted from the page on which the PUC's assessment appears)

"Without any defined project objectives, any cost estimate is conceptual at best. Different concepts of what the project should be lead to different estimates of cost. For example, an objective of draining the reservoir and leaving the dam in place would provide for a much lower cost than an objective to completely remove the dam. Therefore, the cost estimates provided in previous studies are not directly comparable due to the lack of defined and consistent objectives."

"Conceptual at best". I like that. Much more polite than the expression I used, but the point is the same.
Defined and consistent objectives, BTW means formulating a plan, which is certainly NOT any path that has been walked before.
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#28612 - 10/21/12 07:56 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: saltydog]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Well, not exactly. The 9.8 Bil was not the estimate, it was the upper limit of the range of the State's estimate, which was 2.9 to 9.8 billion. And that btw was the highest of the three estimates the PUC looked at which actually started at half a billion. But the PUC essentially accepted the State estimate as the most complete. It established a range, not a single estimate, based on the following (quoted from the page on which the PUC's assessment appears)
==================

Quote:
It's not just a crazy number: its a fantasy number: some critic just made it up.


So what was that you said about the number simply being made up out of thin air?


On top of which, I am hard pressed to think of any public works project that came in anywhere near what the first estimates were for it to cost.


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#28627 - 10/21/12 11:38 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
That seems a bit strong of a response, Ken. I think Salty just didn't read the state report I linked to until now. I wrote in my post this was the "upper range" of the state's estimate. The SFPUC came up with their own estimate of $9 billion.

The other estimates are from "Restore Hetch Hetchy" and Environmental Defense Fund. They left out certain costs like, well, REMOVING THE DAM and RESTORING THE VALLEY. The two environmental organization estimates seem extremely optimistic, which you would expect since it's their mission to tear the dam down. Another big cost that's missing is the escalation that will occur by studying this for 30 years or more. That will multiple this several times over, so even if you took the low ball estimate, it will end up at least $10 billion if it ever happened.

I assume we all pretty much agree this should not have been built in Yosemite in the first place. But as angry as that might make people, it's there and it doesn't make economic sense to dismantle the system and the loss of clean hydro power is not easy to make up. Put the energy and money into other environmentally positive projects that make more sense and will move us forward.

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#28642 - 10/22/12 05:09 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: SierraNevada]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1539
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Thanks SN, but I read it a while ago.

I didn't say "out of thin air", I said "out of his ass".

When someone cherry picks the maximum estimate from a range of numbers that start at half a billion, rounds it up and then cites it as if it is The Number, yeah, I stand by my characterization.

BTW, Prop F doesn't call for a plan necessarily to either remove the dam or "restore the valley", only to drain the reservoir. The PUC expressly noted that dam removal is not necessary to draining the reservoir, and restoring the valley may involve no more than draining it at a rate that allows more or less natural recovery as the water level drops. After all, as Ken has observed, the valley is preserved under all that water, and may need little intervention as it is exposed again. And of course, as required by the Raker Act granting SF the water and power rights, all of the structures involved including the dam are "sightly and of suitable exterior design and finish so as to harmonize with the surrounding landscape and its use as a park", right?
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#28656 - 10/22/12 10:59 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: saltydog]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Quote:
When someone cherry picks the maximum estimate from a range of numbers that start at half a billion, rounds it up and then cites it as if it is The Number, yeah, I stand by my characterization.


That's an interesting concept in planning. So if someone tells you it will take 5 to 10 gallons of gas to get from the last gas station to your backcountry destination and back, I'm curious how much gas you take?

If a city is going to undertake a public works project, with a range of cost, what cost do you respond may be the final cost...the low, the middle, or the high? How much would you go to the citizens and ask for?

I think most people are pretty fed up with the "bait and switch" tactics of being told about the lowball figure, then getting in the middle of the project, when you can't really stop, and being told "well, that was the low end of the estimate, cough up"

You're telling us you like that approach to planning?

You must LOVE $3,000 toilet seats!

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#28657 - 10/23/12 12:00 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
SaltyDog, you've been misled if you think they intend to leave the dam in place and drain the reservoir. No government agency would allow the dam to remain without a huge notch at the very least. The valley would flood and kill people. The 2005 "Restore Hetch Hetchy" study (one of 7 studies in the last 25 years) proposes the construction of a temporary cofferdam deeper inside Yosemite Park to provide water while O'Shaughnessy dam is dismantled. The plan calls for O'Shaughnessy's 900,000 tons of concrete to be stored at Camp Mather, near the reservoir, until a permanent disposal site is located. Now they call for leaving the dam in place, flooding the valley and drowning people? That's the level of thinking that we're deal with here.

The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club, in consultation with Loma Prieta Chapter, has taken a neutral position Measure F.

SF Mayor Ed Lee calls Prop F "stupid" and "insane."

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously oppose it. President of the Bd David Chiu says, "This ballot initiative is a Trojan horse that threatens irreparable harm to our economy and our environment."

The San Francisco Bay Guardian calls Proposition F "...a huge waste of time and money"

The San Francisco Chronicle calls Proposition F "...a misleading measure that will squander taxpayer money".

Dianne Feinstein says, "The suggestion that San Francisco is not using its water supply efficiently is simply not true.

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#28658 - 10/23/12 12:41 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: SierraNevada]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
Did I mention the San Francisco Green Party isn't even on board with Prop F. Not just the Sierra Club, the SF Green Party is also conflicted about this.

"Because we are almost evenly split on the measure, we urge voters to study this proposition further and make your own decision."

So there's your line in the sand. Are you more liberal than the SF Green Party? Do you believe the Sierra Club doesn't want to protect and restore Yosemite?

Or is there something wrong with this proposition? This will be interesting on election night.

Giants won game 7 tonight, on their way to the World Series again!

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#28659 - 10/23/12 05:23 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: SierraNevada]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1539
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
Did I mention the San Francisco Green Party isn't even on board with Prop F. Not just the Sierra Club, the SF Green Party is also conflicted about this.

"Because we are almost evenly split on the measure, we urge voters to study this proposition further and make your own decision."

So there's your line in the sand. Are you more liberal than the SF Green Party? Do you believe the Sierra Club doesn't want to protect and restore Yosemite?

Or is there something wrong with this proposition?


The "more liberal" question is completely unapt: the GP, being split, is taking no position: it is not opposing it. So are the half that are for it "more liberal" than the party they are members of? Half more conservative than their own party? That's like saying I am not an average human, because I have two testicles, whereas the average person has one tescticle and one ovary.

As for the Sierra Club, as a matter of fact I have come to believe that it does NOT want to restore and protect Yosemite nearly as much as it wants to enhance and protect its own corporate stature and bottom line. I first joined in 1964, after my first Whitney trip, when SC was still a 501 c 3. Since then I have watched Muir's beloved creation turn into just another big commercial lobby. I finally quit this year when I got fed up of being bombarded with its alarmist, shallow emails and its sickeningly commercial magazine. The final straws there were an article on how to return to my primordial roots through minimalist trail running, followed by pages of ads describing all the high tech gear I would need to buy to go minimalist, and another on how green the US military is because it has a couple of solar panels in Afghanistan.

So yeah, I do think the so-called Sierra Club has a couple of priorities ahead of just about anything that goes on in the Sierra. One of those priorities is San Francisco money.
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#28660 - 10/23/12 08:17 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Steve C]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
The progression of humanity isn't progression at all. Nothing is learned only unwanted positions forced upon each other. The regulation of morality and desire. When faced with a choice that one would think was long ago settled the debate begins again.

We are once again in the early days arguing for exploit or preserve. And once again the fact that this is already a national park doesn't seem to have any effect on the debate.

Maybe tomorrow we will be arguing again if we should log off the whole Sierra for the greater good.
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#28661 - 10/23/12 09:16 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: saltydog]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: saltydog
The "more liberal" question is completely unapt: the GP, being split, is taking no position: it is not opposing it. So are the half that are for it "more liberal" than the party they are members of?

As for the Sierra Club, as a matter of fact I have come to believe that it does NOT want to restore and protect Yosemite nearly as much as it wants to enhance and protect its own corporate stature and bottom line.

OK, the "line in the sand" was not a good comment. But it is telling that these groups are not backing Prop F. I never used the word "oppose" - these groups would have an internal revolution if they went that far against this.

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