Maintenance Contract for Permanent ‘Bay Lights’ Approved

A maintenance contract approved Wednesday should keep the popular Bay Lights art installation on the western span of the Bay Bridge twinkling well into the next decade.

The Bay Area Toll Authority approved a 10-year, $2.1 million contract for Philips Lighting North America Corporation to maintain the Bay Lights installation once it returns as a permanent fixture next year.

The 25,000 lights were first installed in 2013 as part of the Bay Bridge 75th anniversary celebration. They turn on and off in patterns as programmed by artist Leo Villareal, invoking drifting clouds, sea creatures or just elaborate patterns.

The lights quickly became a fixture of the San Francisco waterfront, and late in 2014, Caltrans and the Toll Authority agreed to take over the installation and make it permanent.

In preparation for the permanent installation, the lights were shut down in March. Illuminate the Arts, the nonprofit group that initially raised the funding for the installation, is working with Caltrans on installing more durable infrastructure.

The Bay Lights are expected to illuminate the bridge again early
next year.

Mayor Proposes Below Average Cost Rental Development to Board

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee introduced a proposal to city legislators Wednesday to build apartments in the Mission neighborhood that sell for less than average, according to the mayor’s office.

The proposal is meant to provide more housing for residents who cannot afford typical apartments, which cost $2,225 per month in the second quarter of 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

If the board approves the proposal, 72 below average priced apartments will be built at 490 Van Ness Avenue, according to the mayor’s office. Before the mayor’s proposal, JCN Developers were planning to build housing that would have cost residents the average rate.

“We must build more housing and stabilize the Mission where two-thirds of residents are low and moderate income families,” Mayor Lee said in a statement. “The Mission is the center of Latino culture in the Bay Area and remains one of our City’s most beloved neighborhoods.”

The mayor is asking the board to approve an $18.5 million purchase and sale agreement that would result in a 7-story, 90,947 square foot building. The building would have retail space at the ground floor.

A representative of the mayor’s office wasn’t immediately available to say how much retail space will be built.

The apartments will be available to families of three who earn no more than $55,000 a year and families of four who earn no more than $61,150 a year, according to the mayor’s office.

“This represents another victory for the people of the Mission who have called upon the City to prioritize the limited land left in the Mission for affordable housing,” Supervisor David Campos said. Campos represents Mission residents on the Board of Supervisors.

A comparison of the benefits and costs of new below average cost housing shows the benefits to residents are about twice the costs to the city, according to the city’s Office of Economic Analysis.

The board will consider the proposal July 28, according to the mayor’s office. If approved, the city could close the sale 30 days later.

Today’s Weather Forecast

Today will be cloudy with patchy fog in the morning. Highs will be in the lower to mid-60s. There will be a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. West winds could reach 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight will be cloudy with patchy fog. Lows will be in the upper 50s and southwest winds could reach 10 to 20 mph.

Friday will be mostly cloudy with patchy fog in the morning. Highs will be in the mid-60s. West winds could reach 5 to 10 mph.

(News Roundup Via Bay City News)