The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on April 17, 1989 · 10
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 10

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Monday, April 17, 1989
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SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER OILfromAl Kx!3feac!ll a prcvir.7 cf Vcz - u 7 - ifiV If cloaked in mist tar stains cobbles and drift lop and liet hidden several feet deep in gravela. Monday, April 17, 1989 L . ... XAMNEft PHOTOS tY CRAW Ltt Ifoct i;imtl Carol and Joe Spinali, above, ttand near Safeway at I and Clement, tite of a propottd multirm complex, below. 1 1 P1 W1 SAFEWAY from Al . Richmond District furcr over ccrr.plrc house in the avenues, probably the largest proposed neighborhood ehwpping center in the Sunset and Richmond districts combined," Yentresca said. it would set a precedent, Ven-tieJra said, that threatens the low-density character of all San Fran-$gco neighborhoods, and it would ait a shadow on adjacent Lincoln -. - tBeal estate developer Richard Klein plans to replace a small Safeway market and parking lot adjacent to posh Sea Cliff and Lincoln Park with a layer cake of mixed twes. ; S , . Designed by prize-winning architect Donald MacDonald, the 825,p00-square-foot complex would be snlit into six levels opponents say jt's really seven because of the feafeway's high ceilings including t two floors of underground parKing wiin zoo spaces, in aacu- lon to an enlarged bateway store, it would contain 77 studio and one-bedroom apartments two Stories high. labyrinthine' apartments " j The apartments would be arranged in what architect Donald MacDonald calls a "labyrinthine pattern" at odds with the tradition- 1 - t 1 T l ' A 1 I nicnmona uisinci row-nouse on id-shaped blocks. MacDonald said the project vould create badly needed "afford- lable" housing, with rents about $750 for a one-bedroom apartment jand $650 for a studio. It also would provide convenient shopping services within walking distance of Richmond District residents, he said i " Not since Haight-Ashbury resi-jdents waged war over a proposed Thrifty Jr. store two years ago has Ja neighborhood project aroused jsuch a debate. j : In the project's favor, MacDon-lald claims the support of 2,600 Richmond District residents who have signed petitions taken around by circulators who he says were paid $10,000. In addition, the development has the support of the district's American-Chinese Association and at least part of a local merchant group. Opponents lining up ' , Opponents, meanwhile, say that mole than 500 letters have been seni to the Planning Department a record for a project not scheduled for a public hearing most demanding an environmental unpad report. rAlso opposing the project are ;David Fleishhacker, headmaster of exclusive Katherine Delmar Burke School, a block away, and leaders of 'several Richmond District neighborhood associations. Opponents say they fear that !schoolchildren would be endan-Igered by an additional 5,000 cars per day and that the additional 'traffic would delay Muni buses. ; They also say the development's proposed density is more like that of-downtown's Golden Gateway v X than that of a residential neighbor hood. And they say it would cast shadows, not only on Lincoln Park but on adjacent Marvel Court well "This is going to darken our back yards for at least part of the year," says Jack SpinaH, a fishing writer whose Marvel Court home is behind the existing Safeway store's parking lot Prefect cost underestimated? In addition, opponents argue that the developer underestimated the project's cost by more than $10 million, thereby escaping some $31,000 in permit fees that are based on project cost They say the project would require more than $20 million to develop rather than the $7.4 million the developer stated. - MacDonald who made headlines last year for designing a Pullman bunk-sized shelter for homeless people said that the developer was still estimating costs of the project and would pay whatever was owed to The City. . Opponents also argue that the project violates a 1952 Planning Commission resolution that restricts building coverage at that location to 25 percent of the site. MacDonald says the block's zoning, in fact, would permit far greater density than is being asked an additional 40 units. And he contends that the proposed density would be less than that of nearby apartment houses. Any shadow cast on Lincoln Park would be "not major," he says, contending that the project meets park sunshine ordinance regula tions. As for traffic issues, MacDonald says that traffic studies are under way. The project requires Planning Commission approval before it can proceed. Dutch art-nappers return one van Gogh EXAMINER NEWS SERVICES OTTERLO, Netherlands Thieves have returned one of three Vincent van Gogh paintings they stole from a museum in hopes of obtaining a $2.5 million ransom, police said Monday. No ransom was paid for "The Loom," which was taken from the Kroeller-Mueller National Museum in December and recovered unharmed April 6 from the trunk of a car parked near the home of the museum's director, police spokesman Theo Reus said. The return of the painting and dealings with the thieves had been kept secret but police decided to publicize the events because a newspaper learned of the negotiations, Reus said. The thieves returned "The Loom" to prove they possessed the other two stolen art works, "Wilted Sunflowers" and an early version of The Potato Esters." Barfed al lavfscM ts! The buried oil comes to the surface with every new storm, hot sun-light and other elements, again coating rocks, logs and sand. Chuck Janda, chief ranger In Olympic National Park, calls the Alaska spill "criminal" and looks with sadness at his own park. "We're looking at a landscape that has been despoiled by oU and the cleanup," he says. "We know well never be able to get the oil out "The best we can do is get the coating off, and let the rest weather. You'll still see patches on the beach. . 1 "What's the damage? It's Eke Monet The price may be several million dollars. The painting is tan gible, even an article of commerce. But its value is based on an aestnet-ic and not the canvas, not the oil, not the frame." Ana towy of a disaster , The Northwest disaster began during a wild winter storm on Dec 23, 1988, when barge laden with oil awaited permission to enter Grays Harbor, a busy port 60 miles north of the Oregon statehne. Tossed by rough waters, the barge, carrying 2.7 million gallons of Bunker C, or No. 6 motor oil, was struck by its own tug. Oil started to leak. The decision was made to save Grays Harbor, the mouth of an important estuary. The state Department of Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard towed the leaking craft 28 miles out to sea until weather conditions improved and it could be repaired, . In the meantime, the barge, owned by Sause Brothers Ocean Towing of Coos Bay, Ore., carrying British Petroleum-refined fuel oil, had spilled 231,000 gallons. Birds started washing up dead in Oregon, and oil fouled three miles of beaches at Ocean Shores, Wash., a seashore development north of Grays Harbor. A week later, the oil that had been observed only as a sheen on the water came ashore the length of Washington and Vancouver Island. In the northwest corner of Washington at Neah Bay, two shell beaches rife in mussels, barnacles, clams and chiton were threatened by the storm-swept slick. Bobby Rose, a Makah Indian, who gathers shellfish there for her children and the elders in the tribe, ' was frightened. "The oil turned the white foam' the color of oil," she says. State officials assured her it was safe, but she didnt believe them. "My friends are 85 years old" she says. "Can you promise me their health? Rose says the Washington Department of Ecology man said, "No. I can't assure you their health." For two months, they ate no creatures off the beach until the foam turned white. The shellfish are good to eat now, Rose says. The winds and tides protected the land, and it didn't get much oil. Up and down the coast, the shellfish don't appear to be tainted, including the beds on the Quinault and Quillayute Indian reservations. Scientist Larry Workman, who works for the Quinaults, says it's because the oil hit the upper beach at high tide and not in the clam beds. High death toll for wildlife But the death toll is high for birds, more than 12,000 bodies, which means the real figure could be four to nine times that high. Janda and other National Park Service officials in the Northwest have taken a tough stance: They refuse to let the spiller off the hook by agreeing that nothing more can be done here to clean up the fuel oil that was lost in the accident The cleanup has so far cost millions of dollars, although Sause Brothers isn't revealing how much, and the Seattle contractor hired to do the job has received praise from state and federal officials. . But the park service wont sign off on the cleanup as long aa any oil remains. Further, it doesn't accept assurances by cleanup experts that "the oil will go away." "Where will it go?" asks Howard Yanish, West District ranger in Forks, Wash. "On the wings of bald eagles, on hikers' packs?" The lesson is heartbreaking: Cleanup is nearly impossible ff rocky, fragile shorelines. The parka tterten ej rewts fcssdl on the Pacific Rim National Park Marine Sanctuary Areas hit by oil" (South to north) 1. Ocean Shore area (North Jetty) 2. Sand Island (In Grays Harbor) IPolntOrtnvlUe (Quinault Reservation) 4 Hogs Back (Quinault Reservation) S. 3rd Besch (Olympic National Park) 6.2ndBesoh (Olympic National Park) 7. Kayostla Beach (Olympic National Park) a. Norwtalan Memorial araa (Olympic National Park) 9. Yellow Banks South (Olympic National Park) 10. Sand Point (Olympic National Park) 11. Wedding Rocks area (Olympic National Park) 12. Cap Aleve (Olympic National Park) 13. ShlShl Beach (National Park Makah Reservation) 14. Sooea Beach . (Makah Reservation) 15. Clo-ooat, B.C. (Pacific Rim National Park) 16.Ucluelet,B.C. Paatic Rim.. Moral rang SOURCE: Washington Dept. el Ecology service says no to solvents, detergents and dispersants,. which it considers too toxic for the sensitive environment On beaches the last resort are bulldozers and endload-ers, brought in by helicopters that frighten eagles and disrupt the quality of silence. Plastic pom-pome Disposable plastic pom-pons have been spread on the beaches to catch and hold oil on magnetic-like tape. Steam-cleaning boulders and catching the oily runoff is one trick left, j , .-... V :."' Thus, the internationally revered Olympic Peninsula has become a laboratory for studying an oil-despoiled ecosystem. The U.S. Interior Department's Minerals Management Service looks on the Washington event as a "spill of opportunity." The agency has proposed that scientists, including Dethier, study it with an eye to gaining more information on what could lie in store for the Northwest and California, in the event of spills resulting from offshore oil drilling. But environmental specialists agree that petrochemicals don't "disappear" into a black hole. The components that don't evaporate or get eaten by bacteria have an effect somewhere in the food chain, perhaps on species thousands of miles away in other parts of the world. :'A Washington J,i) todtan , 'i " '' v y,". Reservation I - ; ;. , '1'''' f Promoted vi i National - . VL : Park . Paqtic.Rim.. ; , I Ofympk Pemn$ubworktockantrKe$ofaNomfolS&oQqxl Vancouver Island EXAMINER GRAPHICS Marine biologist Dethier says the sinking Alaskan oil slick is not good news. "Just because you can't see it doesn't mean things are all right," Dethier says. "It's still killing things out there. , "We're so vertebrate-biased in our view of the world. We need to think 'food chain.' Birds and sea otters eat fish and sea urchins. Fish eat plankton, and the plankton are going to get lulled by the oil. Oil is sinking into sediments and will kill things there. What happens when a gray whale gets a baleen full of oil?" Explosion, fire hit San Jose paper EXAMINER STAFF REPORT An electrical explosion and fire knocked out telephones and electricity at the San Jose Mercury News plant in San Jose at 6 a.m. Sunday. , Two electricians,installing electrical equipment that triggered the blast, suffered burns on their hands and faces hut were in stable condition at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. - '' Publisher Larry Jinks said in a page one announcement Monday that loss of telephone service and electricity for much of the day Sunday forced distribution of the Monday paper without some sections. 1 i Quinault . I Indian f V " Reservation I National V A Wildlife, N H Refuge Shoalwater : 1 , Indian f : 1 Reservation I teste . teM ; .OllQgiliuDlillg Officials examine firm's deanup plan for tanker spill IXAMMER NEWS SERVICES VALDEZ, Alaska - State and federal officials examined Exxon's plan to dean hundreds of miles of shoreline as an environmentally risky steam-cleaning method was tested on rocks blackened by Amer ica's worst oil spill. . . ' Meanwhile, in testimony in Washington Monday, Exxon officials denied that it had raised gasoline and oil prices in the wake of the spiU. Exxon-paid workers tested cleanup methods on blackened rocks at Block Island Sunday, including high-pressure, hot-water sprayers. The company has about 200 of the sprayers, but they have not been used previously with salt water :.':':' .";'''". Adm. Paul Yost, the Coast Guard commandant sent by President Bush to hasten the operations, watched the steaming streams of water blast ankle-deep muck from a beach about 20 miles from where the Exxon Valdez ran aground. t: '. Cold-water techniques, even those using high pressure, have little impact on microorganisms and small marine life. But the jets of high-pressure steam upend rocks, strip away sand and gravel and kill beach life. Scientists say it takes up to two years for life to return to the sterilized shore. . : Yost, however, said he believes the steam method is the only one that can cleanse the sound's shoreline. .. i ' W Yost said he was unlikely to make public Exxon's shore cleanup plan, which he received Saturday. He said it was the company's plan, and it was up to Exxon whether to release it "and let everybody in the U.S. second-guess them." ' ' But a copy of the plan, obtained Monday by United Press International, indicates that Exxon would try to have 4,000 cleanup workers on hand by June 11. They would have to work at the rate of more than two miles a day to finish the job by mid-September, when bad weather usually sets in. ! The plan identifies 305 nautical miles of shoreline to be cleaned up. Exxon estimated that each mile of soiled beach is coated with an average of 4,200 gallons of oil. ' t Exxon reported that a worker wiping rocks the cleanup method Exxon has employed so far could clean 18 inches of heavily-oiled shore a day, based on an average 30-foot-wide beach. j But Exxon is abandoning that impossible task in favor of what it calls "flush and float" to increase efficiency. ' , That process involves using low-pressure cold-water flooding to flush oil from sand and gravel beaches at the rate of several hundred yards daily. Rock faces would get the high-pressure hot-water wash, cleaning five yards of heavy oil dairy or 10 yards of lightly oiled rock. '

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