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tv   This Week in Northern California  PBS  January 29, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PST

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approximate. >> closed captioning of this program is made possible by the fireman's fund foundation. >> belva: california improves sweeping new emissions standards that could reshape the american automobile industry. a victory for the city of richmond which was chosen as the site for the second campus of the large national lab after an intense competition by half a dozen east bay cities. the battle over building a stadium for the san francisco 49ers in santa clara may be headed to court. also, mayor jean quan on the challenges of her first year in office and what's ahead for oakland. coming up next.
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>> belva: good evening. i'm belva davis. and welcome to "this week in northern california." joining me tonight on our news can nel are c.w. nevius, "san francisco chronicle's" columnist. amy sanden, reporter with kqu department. and paul rogers, environment writer. paul rogers, california resources have approved this. what impact can we expect or should it have? >> these rules that were approved today, 9-0 in los angeles by the california air resources board, are the most
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far-reaching, toughest environmental laws on cars ever passed in the united states. and so over the next decade, they're going to dramatically change the kind of vehicle that you see on the roads around the bay area, in show rooms, you're going to see a lot more electric vehicles, a lot more plug-in vehicles maybe more hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. they basically require three things. and the first is a 75% reduction in the amount of emissions that come out of tail pipes that cause smog. california already has the strictest tail pipe standards in the united states and a new car you buy right now emits about 98% less pollution than one from the 1980s. so they're going to take that, clean cars already, and make them 75% cleaner, 75% less smog. they could, they have to be a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. the only way you do that is make cars that burn less gas. by 2025, when this rule is
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finalized, cars in california will average 54 miles a gallon, double the cars right now. so-called zero emission vehicles rule. 15% of new cars sold by 2025 have to emit no pollution. and that means electric, plug-in hybrid, or fuel cell. 1.4 million vehicles that are going to be on the road in the next 13 years. right now there's only 10,000 of them. >> that's the question is one 1 of 7 is going to be sold, are people going to buy them? >> that is the holy grail. what's interesting is the auto industry supported this rule. they were, years past, they fought many times, the resources board, it was created in 1967 by ronald reagan, and they were the first in the country to ban leaded gasoline, the first to require smog checks, catalytic converters. all the other states in the federal government copy what we do. the auto industry has off then
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fought. this time they didn't although the car dealer associations were fighting it saying, we don't know if we can sell those. the other people were saying, you're stinking these up with federal rules president obama is putting in. they like that. they're having to do this in europe, japan, other places already. as you can see, some of these cars are already hitting the road. you can buy a nissan leaf right now which is all-electric, a chevy volt which is plug-in electric. >> belva: how did the nonfight bit industry have to do a little bit with government loans, right? >> absolutely. and you know, it's funny because this doesn't get the attention that it should. but far and away the most significant environmental action taken by president obama? his first term was in 2009 when detroit was bankrupt, it was on death's door. he brought them and he said, i will give you tens of billions of dollars in loans but there's a condition. thst this is tony soprano fight. you can't fight any more of these environmental laws.
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they have a rose garden ceremony, shook hands. he raised the gas mile standards from 27 to 35. california said, we're going to up you the next decade and it's going to 54. now he's syncing up with california. and basically the dramatic reductions you're going to see in smog, in use of foreign oil, greenhouse gas emissions, i cannot overestimate that this is an issue that was stalled for many years in congress. remember, the detroit democrats wouldn't let gas mileage be raised and the texas republicans and oil guys wouldn't let it. and this is -- this is really the tipping point. you know. just in the next year, you're going to see six or seven major new models for sale. ford focus which is all-electric. plug-in toyota plea yus, 82 miles per gallon, coming to showrooms in march. these are real. >> what kind of range are we going to see? is battery technology to the point -- >> that's what changed a lot. what the board tried to do 10 or 15 years ago, battery technology
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was not good enough to make a feasible car people could afford. battery technology now, basically copying the same batteries in cell phones, is much better, cheaper, getting better all the time. you can do about 100 miles or more on an electric car without plugging it in. get in the car pool lane, that's another big part for people. most people don't drive more than 100 miles a day. >> we raise the specter of exploding batteries. that's one of those things that all you need to do is hear that and you're thinking, do i want to get in one of these cars? >> that was overblown. if your car gets in an accident the gas engine can explode. the chevy volt had a small problem. batteries had a plastic housing, two examples of a fire, put a metal housing around them, it's fixed. you don't like the volt, there's others to choose from. what happens if the public doesn't buy them? they're going to revisit this rule in five years and they might have to change it if the
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public didn't buying them. >> belva: the good news program, at least for some parts of the east bay. tell bus lawrence labs and the decision. >> sure. this decision is almost a year in coming. lawrence berkeley lab has been overflowing from its campus in the berkeley hills. the question has been, they need a second campus, where are they going to put it? there's no room up near the uc. so the lab said, okay, bay area, tell us what you've got. they had 20 submissions. six cities made the final list. last week richmond was selected as the ultimate future home. and it really is, for richmond, a really good news story. and things have been turning around in richmond for a while. the biggest employer for ever has been chevron. this is very much a city rooted to old technology, old industry. and so what this signals is that, you know, very sort of avant-garde, high-tech, new industry starting up in
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richmond. and the question is whether we're going to be talking about the lawrence richmond national labs one of these days. so no, it's great news for people of richmond. >> for people who may not be familiar with what lawrence berkeley national lab does and what all the scientists work on, can you give them -- >> sure, lawrence berkeley lab is known for particle physics, research. this is the lab that has produced 16 elements in the table -- periodic table of elements. 13 nobel prizes have been done based on work done there. pioneering work in biofuels. that's some of the work people are really excited about now. this is people who are going to figure out how we can run or cars on plants one day. >> battery technology? >> they do a lot of battery technology. it's cutting-edge national research lab not connected to the weapons research. there's always a lot of confusion. lawrence berkeley is very much the renewable energy, physics
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lab. >> the cities that wanted this lab, richmond came out ahead which was great. i was surprised to see people in albany mounting protest. what would be the downside of having a lab like that in your city? >> in albany, that has long been a very controversial piece of land. for zoning reasons it's a place where you would have to pass a ballot measure in order to get approval to build there. there's a racetrack there that a lot of people have sentimental attachment to. people would rather not be running a racetrack in albany. it's more land than they need, more seats than they need, that industry is struggling which is why they invited lawrence berkeley to get sited there. but, you know, you're right, though. there was less opposition to this project than you would see with almost any other project that you could think of. lawrence berkeley is the kind of institution a lot of bay area cities really wanted to be able to call their own. >> belva: i think the one city
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that probably was at top of the list in being disappointed was alameda. >> alameda is saddled with this giant former base that is basically vacant. there's a few things happening on it but it really needs something to kind of root that, you know, bring life back to that area. and what lawrence berkeley sort of promised, which housing projects don't promise, is jobs. alameda put up a big, you know, heartfelt sort of proposal to try and lure the lab there and ultimately they didn't get it. it's a little farther away than a lot of the other sites. there was a requirement that you would have to get from lawrence berkeley to whatever the ultimate site was in 20 minutes. >> that's important, right? because they're not completely moving away from their current location to berkeley hills. >> no. this is -- i mean, this is going to be the life sciences division of lawrence berkeley. so it's people working on biofuels and medicine and so it's work that's related to what will be happening in the hills but there's going to be a lot of
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back and forth and collaboration between the two campuses so it needed to be reachable. >> can we just address the perception of richmond? this is such a huge moment as a turnaround for them. richmond's had nothing -- a lot of bad publicity. they must be over the moon. >> they're over the moon. i think that was part of the attraction of the site, though. this was the entire community coming together and saying, we want you, which was not totally the case in places like albany as you pointed out. >> there was one compelling reason why they decided on richmond. >> thank you. i mean, i think a lot of people, one of the questions after this came out, was it always going to be richmond? you put all these other cities through the motions of putting together these expensive proposals? rich abandon -- the site is already own the by the uc, university of california berkeley, there's earthquake research going on, wood products, labs going on there. it was kind of an obvious site and it was always put out as sort of the default, quauts i
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don't, the site against which other sites sort of had to distinguish themselves. >> belva: we're going to stay on site business here. let's talk about a site for this fabled team that had so many hot, on a high, and fell. >> it was sad. but yes, it's proving to be a lot more difficult to get a stadium for the 49ers than you would think. in the glory days when the 49ers and the nfl and so forth were really able to put these things together, every neighborhood, every area, wrs able to build a stadium. now it's kind of like when you want to buy a house and the housing market's fallen apart. you can't put these things together. they're unbelievably expensive. the one in santa clara is $1 billion. they don't return very well because you don't have ten football games. eight regular season games. you've got to make a lot of money in a hurry. the people are starting to get cold feet which is
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understandable. now they're looking at other options. i think you'll have to say, we can talk about this, santa clara right now is the option. the yorks, the people who own it, the people have voted to it, they are on track to do this. whether or not it pencils out i'm not sure. i think santa clara has to stand or fall before they go somewhere else. that's where we are right now. >> what happens if they fall? >> well, that's a great question. and of course, a fireplace santa clara's coming up with the idea they said -- we were sold a pig in a poke, we voted in 2010, it was going to cost $850 million, now it's going to cost $1 billion, that's not what we voted for. they collected signatures to put this back on. the city said, we've already had a vote, the city council voted to go ahead and proceed with it. whether or not it pencils out that's going to be the real issue. also, if santa clara decides to take it to court, what's their option? what it looks like is more delays for a stadium, more time
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spent in candlestick, which is, as we've mentioned, was dedicated by richard nixon in 1960, and he was only the vice president then, that's how old this is. >> it has been, seems to me, some denial among san franciscans, 49ers fans, this team would never leave and go to this other county to the south. as mentioned, the vote was more than 60%. two years ago, a year and a half ago. they have $800 million in financing from people like goldman sachs. this isn't the back of the envelope, they've got the money. they're talking about doing work on the site in the next few months. shovels in the ground. this is pretty far along. is there any proposal in san francisco at all, or i mean -- >> the obvious choices, there are. i think santa clara has to die before that even starts and that starts from ground zero. there are a lot of people as a
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nice site to build this area. >> there are no other sites in san francisco -- >> it's not going to happen anywhere else in san francisco. i think you're right, i think it's the old, but we're san francisco, how could you possibly not stay here? >> you call it the san francisco 49ers. >> exactly. >> belva: i remember when people used to talk the same way about, what would happen for the giants? there's no other place for them to go. >> i tell you what, it's not going to change my season tickets, i sit on the couch and watch tv. that's what most people do. if santa clara takes off and works it's going to be a nicer facility. it's not going to be that much farther away. they're still going to be called the san francisco 49ers. hopefully the team will do well. across the street from the training facility. the makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways. we'll see how it works out. i don't think the alternative is there. >> belva: you missed my point about the giants stadium. that point was, they said it
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couldn't happen, and it did. >> right. >> belva: all you need -- >> like mcgowan, that's right. what they did is went out and financed it themselves, took out a mortgage, like a house. that's the question is, what is the debt service going to be on this stadium? enormous. if they get it done i think it will be a great thing. >> belva: well, we spend more time talking about stadiums in this world today. and yet with all of the numbers coming out and the amount of money spent, people still are willing to get out and risk. >> yes. particularly for the nfl. i mean, the nfl is an incredibly popular sport in the united states. i mean, we're about to have the super bowl. three of the top four all-time most-watched tv programs ever, three of them are super bowls. the other is the farewell of "m.a.s.h." year in and year out it delivers ratings. it is a money machine. the problem is you're now
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concerned about how many people are watching on tv, hi-def tv, slo-mo, super slo-mo, there's plenty of stunt. why do you want to go to the stadium and pay $35 to park, to pay $15 for a hamburger? you'd rather stay at home. >> there's a lot of money and a lot of people in silicon valley. >> that's what they're counting on, seat licenses that silicon valley will bring. >> belva: now another city that has a lot of hope getting return, oakland. there's no question mayor jean quan's first year in office has been challenging. she's faced sharp criticism for her handling of the volatile occupy oakland movement and her car was surrounded by angry activists in washington, d.c. last week. the loss of state redevelopment funds means city jobs will be cut at a time when the city's budget is tight. still, quan balanced the budget twice, hired a city manager, and is still extremely engaged in neighborhood activism. however, there is an effort
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under way to equal her. scott shaffer spoke with mayor quan earlier. >> mayor, welcome. >> thank you very much and happy new year. >> thank you very much. well, your term, you're about a year into it now. >> almost a year, almost exactly a year. >> it began with great promise and hope and it's been a tough year, a tumultuous year. i want to talk about something that happened this week, the budget. the city is about to lose $28 million in redevelopment money. there was a kind of raucous city council meeting wednesday night when you rolled out how you're going to balance the budget. there was a lot of anger at that meeting. i'm wondering, do you think the anger at these cuts is justified? >> it is always hard, and particularly the oakland employees have given up so much. as you know, i actually think we still have great promise. it's been a very tough year. and yes, when you're a new mayor there's a lot of optimism. and i face a lot of challenges. but even then when i became
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mayor i had a $58 million deficit. i had more reserves. and we worked really hard with our employees at the beginning of the year. we got -- >> you got some concessions. >> we got huge concessions. they had given up 5% the year before. they gave up 10% this year. the police, who had never paid into their pensions, paid into their pensions. everybody went to two-tier pensions. the employees felt they really gave. in terms of our budget reaction, we're in probably the best shape of the whole decade. then redevelopment happened. >> i want to ask you about that. this is the brain child of your predecessor, jerry brown, who's now the governor. do you feel in a sense, it's not just oakland, it's cities all over california that are feeling this pinch, do you feel in a sense that he's betrayed oakland by leaving you in a bit of a hole? >> i think it's hard for jerry. nobody saw that this recession would drag on so much. you know, when i watch barack obama, somebody who i know is probably in more pain than me.
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jerry also has a very tough situation, quite frankly. arnold schwarzenegger put the deficit on a credit card for four years. and now there's no choice but to cut. and bad choices. what we're saying about redevelopment is because of a court decision, not only does jerry not get ongoing money for the schools, which he would have in the deal that was struck last august. we don't have the opportunities in redevelopment to have economic growth. the worst of both worlds. when the legislature passed the two byes, they expected one to take away the old redevelopment, two, create new redevelopment where they got more money for schools. the court said, you can't have redevelopment, you also can't bribe the cities and make them give you more money. by striking that down there's no mechanism for affordable housing, for ground fields, for fixing plighted neighborhoods. >> you're going to have to live with that. the police department -- >> i think there will be some
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compromise. >> the police department, i want to talk to you about, it's also been in some turmoil. this week federal judge felton henderson told the police department the acting chief, the interim chief, needs to check off any big decisions with the court-appointed monitor. why has it taken so long? it's been nine years, a problem you inherited, a problem your predecessor inherited. why has it taken so long for what the judge feels are so basic reforms? >> let me just correct you. the judge said on anything having to do with the negotiated settlement agreement, that's on the civil rights issue. the judge doesn't want to run the police department, he doesn't care about how i'm fighting crime in general. he's saying because we're about to make some major reforms i think will be long-lasting, that before those are put in effect he wants us to check off with a monitor. if the chief and the monitor disagree then the chief has to come to us -- >> why has it taken so long? it has been nine years.
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obviously, the judge is very frustrated. >> i think, quite frankly, in the past, that we had chiefs that didn't take much action. and that this is -- it's very hard to make a culture change. you can change the policies put then getting people to change -- to me, it's like racism. when i was a young college student i caught at berkeley. putting structures in place to teach people about minorities here. >> you point out your past. you were an activist, an organizer, a part of the community. there's irony that occupy oakland has turned against you the way it has. in washington, d.c. your car was surrounded. why is it, do you think, that it struck such an angry note with them? >> i think there's occupy and occupy. i think with most oakland residents, they're getting pretty tired of the bay area-wide occupy movement that uses oakland as its staging ground -- >> you don't see that kind of anger in san francisco where mayor lee handled it in a
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different way. >> well, you know, you guys used tear gas and batons too, it's how the media plays it. there's probably a little misogyny and a little racism when i look at what happened in terms of how the national media portrayed and how occupy's intern alameda portrayed it. >> you think they're tougher on you because you're a woman and an asian woman? >> i was pretty disturbed i had to put in filters and cleaning it up, and occupy doesn't listen to anybody but its own media. they have their version of what happened. it is not a true version. oakland was in a very difficult situation. right now, for instance, for the last few weekends they've been marching through downtown, fires that disrupted the lunar new year in chinatown. they're portraying it as the police are harassing them. >> we're short on time and i apologize for that. there are recall petitions on the streets in oakland that i know you're not focused on that
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and i understand that. what message do you have for folks who may be approached and asked to sign one of these petitions? >> i really haven't spent much time. i should mention i had a really busy year. we're trying to reform our police department. i'm trying to adjust the budget once again. i'm trying to still fight to maintain as much redevelopment as we can. i don't get much sleep. so what i've been saying to people is that recalls are supposed to be used when an official is corrupt or totally dereli derelict. i don't think that's the case. people may disagree with me. unfortunately it takes 10% to get the signatures on the street -- >> what's your message to make sure that doesn't happen? >> well, either the labor council, democrats, chinese community -- >> what's your message? what would you tell them? >> i think the recall is divisive, it's unfair, it will be expensive for the city, it
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will destabilize how people see oakland. oakland has just been named one of the five places to visit in 2012. one of the -- i think the 15th most educated city in the country -- >> have a lot going for it. >> we have a lot going for it. most people that i saw to want to keep the city going for it. created 5,000 new jobs, have more business licensesness that in a long time, there's a lot of investment happening in oakland right now. >> it is the year of the dragon. >> it's the year of the dragon. thank you very much. >> i hope all your wishes come true. >> i hope the year of the dragon is as prosperous as it's supposed to be. >> thank you. >> belva: my thanks to you here for joining us tonight. now an update on a story that we previously reported on. the california supreme court ruled today that the state senate maps drawn by the citizens redistricting commission will be used in this year's uping elections. put the new contradicts on hold
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pending a drive to repeal them. some say the new maps favor the democrats' ability too pick up two extra seats big them two-thirds majority necessary to raise taxes without republican support. visit i'm belva davis. good night.
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