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Pagoda Project in the Press


June 27, 2014: North Beach rallies behind senior facing eviction

Slide show of rally for Diego Deleo of 566 Chestnut St., June 27, 2014, SF Examiner.

79-year-old Diego Deleo is a 30-year resident of 566 Chestnut St. His landlord Mark Coyne is evicting all tenants. A neighborhood group, North Beach Tenants Committee headed by Theresa Flandrich, assembled about thirty residents to protest the senior citizen's eviction.

June 25, 2014: TBM cutting head pulled out at Pagoda site

KCBS video report, June 25, 2014, Don Ford, KPIX News.

Video report showing a tunnel boring machine cutting head being craned out of the extraction shaft.

June 17, 2014: TBMs live on

TBM Extraction Press event, June 17, 2014, Jessica Kwong, SF Examiner.

There was an unannounced press event Monday morning to hail the final stages of Central Subway tunneling. Several speakers touted the extension of the subway to the Wharf. Mayor Lee, Supervisor Chiu, and the Muni and Central Subway brass were there, but noticeably absent were North Beach residents who weren't told of the event.

May 14, 2014: Central Subway: For LaVonda Atkinson, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Number-Crunched: For LaVonda Atkinson, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, May 14, 2014, Joe Eskenazi, SF Weekly.

The former cost engineer for Muni's Central Subway project took a leave of absence last month out of frustration that the agency is "ripping off the taxpayers."

Her whistle-blowing activities have affected her employment opportunities, and she has had to file for bankruptcy.

April 30, 2014: Muni, SFPD: 78-Year-Old Cyclist Blamed for His Own Death

Thrown Under the Bus: Police Blame a 78-Year-Old Cyclist for His Own Death, April 30, 2014, Joe Eskenazi, SF Weekly.

A 78-year-old cyclist who was crushed under a Muni bus last fall was blamed for his own death. The SFPD report said he rode his bicycle into the bus, though the video from the bus hasn't been released to the victim's attorney.

April 23, 2014: Central Subway: Some Wrongs Are Too Big to Make Right

Soft Corruption Blues: In San Francisco, Some Wrongs Are Too Big to Make Right, April 23, 2014, Joe Eskenazi, SF Weekly.

"I wanted to see proper management of the project. I wanted there to be a proper estimation of the costs — because that's what our job is," says [LaVonda] Atkinson. "I would hope someone would be allowed to come in and do the job. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen."

See the April 2 article below for more on heroic whistle-blower LaVonda Atkinson.

April 2, 2014: Covering Their Tracks: The Central Subway Project Buries Millions in a Deep Dark Place

Whistle-blower LaVonda Atkinson points out millions buried in faulty Central Subway accounting. More here, April 2, 2014, Joe Eskenazi, SF Weekly.

Following SF Weekly Story on Muni Whistle-Blower Muni Instructs Employees How to Contact Whistle-Blower Program, April 3, 2014, Joe Eskenazi, SF Weekly.

March 12-16, 2014: A Pagoda Station and subway to the Wharf?

There has been a flurry of articles in local papers recently about extending the Central Subway to North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf. The proponents of these plans are a group called and its spokeswoman Julie Christensen.

Central Subway should extend, March 16, 2014, Joel P. Engardio, SF Examiner.

"The subway is a salvation, not a threat," said Julie Christensen. "Everyone used to come here, but many stay away now because traffic and parking is such a hassle. The subway will keep North Beach viable."

North Beach not viable? As Yogi Berra once said, "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." SFNexTstop is proposing a formidable project: tacking on two stations and 1/2 mile of tunnel to the Central Subway. If the project were to be OK'd by 2025, say, it would probably cost about $1 billion. Wonder if SFNexTstop would also consider surface transit at a few million dollars per year?

Subway wharf extension rides on many things, March 13, 2014, Michael Cabanatuan, SF Chronicle.

A $150,000 study for a transit extension to North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf is being proposed by the SF County Transportation Authority (SFCTA). The SFCTA Board, which is the same as the Board of Supervisors, would have to approve spending for the study.

The current Central Subway is Phase 2 of the T-Third line. An extension north of Chinatown would be Phase 3. This is the first public announcement the City has made regarding a future Phase 3.

Wharf-extension push surfaces, March 12, 2014, Michael Cabanatuan, SF Chronicle.

A group called NexTstop is proposing an extension of the Central Subway to Fisherman's Wharf with a station at the Pagoda Palace site. The group formed after an April 2013 invitation-only workshop sponsored by SPUR and SFMTA. "The consensus was, yeah, we've got to build it - now," said Julie Christensen, a North Beach resident and the group's spokeswoman.

March 10, 2014: Central Subway mantra "on time and on budget"

Machines quietly tunneling, March 8, 2014, Michael Cabanatuan, SF Chronicle.

[MTA spokesman Paul Rose] said the project is on schedule and on budget.

Tunnel-boring machines push forward, March 10, 2014, Jessica Kwong, SF Examiner.

The project to extend the Muni T-Third Street line from the Caltrain station to Chinatown has been on time and on budget, said John Funghi, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Central Subway project manager.

If the project is on time and on budget perhaps Mr Rose & Mr Funghi could release the numbers needed to back this up. According to the federally-hired project manager no reliable schedule or budget data has been available since May 2013.

January 2, 2014: San Francisco at 1 million: Focus turns to Muni - 200K more riders in two decades

Billions needed to get Muni ready for population swell. January 2, 2014, Dan Schreiber, SF Examiner.

December 20, 2013: Will Chinatown survive the Central Subway?

Note from Wilma Pang:

"Will SF Chinatown Be Able to Survive A Recent "Man-Made" Quake, the Central Subway?"

After the major 8.0 earth quake in 1906 SF Chinatown was flattened completely! Back then City Hall already had plans to rebuild Chinatown in a different location. However, our forefathers banded together and tried to prevent this move. No such luck. Finally, through diplomatic channels, they appealed to the Empress Dowager of Qing (Ching ) Dynasty. Only then did City Hall agreed to rebuild at the present location.

Over 100 years later, the Central Subway Project "projects" this major construction will bring prosperity to Chinatown. Will it? With blocked streets, dust and noise, one of the most important industries for local and tourist income, the restaurants, are being hit hardest. During the next five years of disruption can Chinatown survive this man-made quake?

This interview with Diana Ding of is in Mandarin and will be on air on Sino TV on Thursday Dec. 26 at 11:00 P.M. or watch it online 24/7.

See Wilma's note SF without Chinatown and North Beach?

December 3, 2013: Press Conferences, Tues. Dec. 3: Chinatown and North Beach Hurt Financially

Press briefings have been organized for Tuesday:

12:30 at the Chinatown construction site, Stockton & Washington
1:30 at the Pagoda construction site, Columbus & Powell

The briefings are regarding the continued Central Subway construction during the holidays. Residents and merchants have been invited to speak to the press. Please attend one or both events.

More info on Press briefings.

Followup Articles

Tim Ryan, KCBS Dec 2, 2013 (audio included)

Chen Jia, China Daily USA, Dec 4, 2013 Quotes by Howard Wong (Huang Jianquan) and Wilma Pang.

Wenjie, World Journal, Dec 4, 2013 (English translation by Google) (original Chinese version)

Dan McMenamin, Bay Area News, Dec 3, 2013

Michael Cabanatuan et al,, Dec 3, 2013

November 27, 2013: Transportation task force pushes for $10.1B investment in SFMTA

$10.1 billion needed for Muni repair backlog during next 15 years, Jessica Kwong, SF Examiner.

November 24, 2013: Neighborhood lawsuit meeting

November 24 meeting flyer

Meeting video by New Tang Dynasty TV (English begins at 0:30)

November 22, 2013: Union Square constructions stops for holidays

... but North Beach construction continues at frantic rate., 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Jessica Kwong, SF Examiner.

November 18–21: TBM drilling hours increased to 24/7

Machines begin working 24/7 rather than 10 hours per day. November 21, 2013, Jessica Kwong, SF Examiner.

Muni Press Release "Currently [tunnel boring machine] Mom Chung is mining 20 hours a day, five days a week ..." (page 2), November 18, 2013.

Which is it, 24/7 or 20/5? And why start accelerating the drilling rate now?

TBM progress map. Check when last updated in left panel of Google map.

November 6, 2013 Pagoda demolition cost rises to 1.050 million

$550K extra awarded for Pagoda demolition, Jessica Kwong, SF Examiner.

The SFMTA board approved an additional $550K for the Pagoda Palace demolition, sending the $500K project 110% over budget for a total of $1.050 million.

August 21: Pagoda demolished?

"Pagoda Palace Theater demolished" CW Nevius, August 21 SF Chronicle

Not so fast, Chuck. Either you didn't visit the site or got a bad report from someone, because the 50-foot high outside brick walls and roof were still there as of August 21.

Another photo of the blade sign coming down.

August 7: Pagoda demolition SNAFUs anger restaurant owner

Our friend Dario Hadjian finds more assaults on his restaurant from the Pagoda demolition next door.

"Pagoda Palace: Restaurant Owner Discovers Brick Fragments on Roof, Gets Angry" Joe Eskenazi, August 7 SF Weekly blog

August 6: Flying bricks at Pagoda demolition site

"Pagoda Palace: Falling Bricks Land on Sidewalk Near Construction Site" Joe Eskenazi, August 6 SF Weekly blog

Dario Hadjian, the proprietor of Piazza Pelligrini on Columbus, had a couple of unexpected guests this afternoon: A pair of bricks from the adjacent Pagoda Palace construction site.

July 27, 2013: Former mayor accidentally tells the truth

Willie's World, Willie Brown, July 27, 2013 SF Chronicle.

News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone.

We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it.

In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved.

The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there's no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.

July 16: Muni can't get started on Pagoda project

"The nine lives of the Pagoda Theater" CW Nevius, July 16 SF Chronicle Blog

Interesting post except for the inaccuracy, "The permits were in place ...".

Dorothy, This Ain't Kansas

To: Editor <> July 16, 2013 (Not published)

Isn't it grand living in the land of wishful thinking? Where one throws a yacht party and everyone shows up? Or where zoning rules apply equally to everyone regardless of one's position in the one percentile?

Dream on, Strawman Nevius, because that's not how San Francisco operates. Residents of North Beach want a rail stop, but that's not what demolishing the Pagoda will bring them. Residents want more affordable housing too, but that's not what the City intends with the Pagoda site. North Beach residents also want to preserve their history, right to self determination, and freedom from political tyranny by the Mayor's Office. The Pagoda Demolition is an open pit mine in North Beach to destroy businesses, pollute the air and water, and drive away residents and tourists. How do you like your prosciutto: caked with asbestos or dusted with concrete ash?

The Pagoda demolition is going nowhere fast because it is an idea straight out of the upper rectal reaches of the Mayor's Inner Sanctum: it stinks and is unnecessary. The Planning and Building Departments have not given permits for the demolition because no one with intelligence understands what is happening or why. The SFMTA has repeatedly lied to residents and you are parroting their lies. Digging a $70 million overglorified sewer line dumping into North Beach's Washington Square Park just to salvage a $5 million piece of waste equipment doesn't make sense even by the Chronicle's standards. Darn that hard, cold slap of reality.

Paul Page

May 29: Muni tries to explain away huge service problems

Audit: In April, Muni riders were delayed for a cumulative 19 years and eight months.

"Muni Presents Hideous Numbers at Transit Hearing" Joe Eskenazi, May 28 SF Weekly blog

"... the nascent Central Subway is currently pegged to eat $15.2 million from the agency's Operation and Maintenance budget -- and any cost overruns for the $1.6 billion endeavor will be bled from local funds that could otherwise make vehicles go or fix them up.

Returning the $70 million for the needless Pagoda Big Dig could make a difference in overall Muni service.

Muni's presentation at Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee on May 28, 2031

This report shows:

  • Muni vehicles have only logged a 58.7 percent on-time performance.
  • Muni faces a $320 million annual structural budget deficit.
  • Maintenance meltdowns resulted in an estimated $4.2 million hit to the city economy in April, which extrapolates to some $50 million a year.

All this lends further credence to the futility of the Central Subway in general — this huge money-hog will only further hobble an already weakened Muni system.

May 24: Major Central Subway contractor has cost overrun history

"Subway contractor has a history of big cost overruns" Will Reisman, May 23 SF Examiner

May 20: Federal report: Muni too short on time and money

Central Subway: Federal Overseer Laments "Serious Deficiency" in Time, Money Contingencies

Local news stories on the Central Subway federal overseer report of May 15, 2013:

Joe Eskenazi, May 20 SF Weekly blog

Joe Eskenazi, May 21 SF Examiner

Michael Cabanatuan (City Insider), May 21 SF Chronicle

See corrections to this article

Review the report from the oversight contractor.

May 15: Central Subway contractors' illegal billings include $ 645 cake

Central Subway contractor illegal billings caught by auditor Zusha Elinson, May 15, Wall Street Journal

May 7: Muni spending out of control

Paul Page, Letters to the Editor, May 7 SF Examiner

May 7: Muni Director Ed Reiskin vows to improve Muni service ...

... despite $70 million structural deficit. Will Reisman, May 7 SF Examiner

Financing the agency’s ambitious long-term goals will not be easy, considering that it’s already dealing with a $70 million structural deficit, but Reiskin said it must be done.

May 2: Muni Director Ed Reiskin's Budget Op-Ed

Is this an early installment in SFMTA Board chair Tom Nolan's drive to use "the next 18 months to convince voters that it can be trusted to properly use taxpayer dollars"?

Muni for today, Muni for tomorrow by Ed Reiskin, May 2 SF Examiner

Paul Page has some observations on this Op-ed, including the plight of Muni riders "with our faces squished against bus windows."

Paul Page, Letters to the Editor, May 7 SF Examiner

To: Editor, SF Examiner

Club Muni

In today's op-ed, Muni Director Ed Reiskin complains how MUNI is $510 million in the red each year for the next twenty years just to maintain its current operations. He calls MUNI crowded, late, and dirty. He is a master of understatement.

He doesn't include the cost of Muni's Tunnel-to-Nowhere, the Central Subway, for $1.6 billion dollars. Muni has no problem with going at least $100 million over budget to pay for the lowest bid on the proposed Central Subway stations. Muni has no problem spending about $70 million to drill a hole to North Beach, practically through the heart of Telegraph Hill. This mad plan is needed to extract a piece of equipment, the tunnel boring machine (TBM), that most transit agencies around the world just leave underground. But Muni, in its penny wise pound foolish way, chose to lease TBMs for $10M each, even though each machine costs only $10M to purchase. Telegraph Hill dwellers, the parrots, are starting to squawk curse words whenever they hear a Muni bus.

Where Reiskin comes from, Washington D.C.'s "K" Street, this kind of money is spilled every morning over coffee and biscuits. It is an exclusive club for the rich, but we are the ones paying the fare. Taxpaying riders of Muni may look dumb with our faces squished against bus windows, but we are not stupid. There is no shortage of money at Muni . There is a shortage of oversight and management of how MUNI wastes or invests money. It is time for the Board of Supervisors to create a MUNI Oversight Board (MOB), to advise the Board of Supervisors on more responsible allocation of Muni funds, management oversight, and policy direction. Muni is careening out of control and is going to crash.

Paul Page, San Francisco

April 25: Asian Week coverage of April 17 meeting, plus photos

Scan down to "Whacking Muni Mole," "Light at end of tunnel?" and "Homeless is not one way" in this article. Some great photos of Howard Wong and the crowd as well.

Samson Wong, April 25 Asian Week

April 22: Pricey Central Subway contract leaves little room for future cost overruns

When the Central Subway's 4-station construction contract came in at $100 million higher than expected, the project's contingency fund was reduced by about half.

Will Reisman, April 22 SF Examiner

April 22: Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) arrive in SF; digging to start in June, extraction in North Beach April 2014

The article describes the tail of the TBM, the 300 foot long part that conveys materials in and soil out of the tunnels. Not clear when the cutting head and shields will arrive. Digging to start in June, extraction of heads and shields in North Beach April 2014.

Will Reisman, April 22 SF Examiner

April 20: Honolulu rail project lawsuit: Could this be the end game for the Pagoda Option?

Honolulu rail project halted for EIR, archeology studies. The Pagoda Option should be halted since it lacks all the studies that the rest of the Central Subway alignment received: a proper EIR/EIS study, above-ground impacts, use of the Pagoda site, environmental pollution, loss of parking, business losses, constructive use of two parks, and more.

April 20, Pacific Business News.

See August hearing in San Francisco.

April 20: Meeting with Muni a success!

The North Beach neighborhood meeting with MTA (Muni) on April 17 was a success. There were about 120 people there and many asked tough questions. The main focus was that we don't need to do the tunnel boring machine (TBM) extraction here, whether or not we want a subway. To do the extraction at the Pagoda site would severely impact North Beach for years to come, and the cost of it would be high and would siphon off much-needed Muni operating funds. Thanks to all who came — we made our case to the MTA and united the neighborhood behind stopping the Pagoda option.

Read more about the meeting:

Marc Bruno
Paul Page
C C Curmudgeon

April 17 meeting artwork

One item that was key to the success of the meeting was the flyer sent to 3,000 addresses in North Beach.

Flyer front   Flyer back

The talent behind the flyer:

  • Writing and design:
    Done by a North Beach author who prefers to remain anonymous.
  • Graphic artist:
    Stephanie Behassa
    Creekmore Behassa
    300 Monte Vista Avenue
    Mill Valley, CA 94941
    415 381 1616   Web site
  • Color printing:
    Helen Chang
    Leader Printing & Graphic, Inc.
    760 Sacramento St (@Grant)
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    (415) 834-0926   leaderpgi at gmail dot com

Thanks to all of the above who accommodated our tight schedule and did a beautiful job.

April 20: ... but apparently the Chronicle thinks differently

CW Nevius' Chronicle blog today has a pro-Muni view of the Pagoda option.

The hole in subway opponents' arguments

(If you're not a Chronicle online subscriber, see the full text below.)

See this letter from North Beach residents about Nevius' article.

Want to tell C W Nevius how you feel? (

Full text of Nevius blog

(Note: There is at least one error in the article — {Expensive machines] "... the city would have to buy them - for roughly $55 million." Should be "$5 million." Elsewhere in the article he claims leaving the tunnel boring machines in the ground would block the tunnel and impede future tunneling — to see at least three other ways to dispose of TBMs without impeding anything review the facts. [For the city's good] "What they don't like is constructing a subway. It's messy, dirty and noisy. But the result is worth it." The Pagoda option has no foreseeable advantage for North Beach.)

The hole in subway opponents' arguments

Central Subway's obstinate opponents have little ground to stand on

By C.W. Nevius

8:44 AM

If you wanted to make a film documentary of how politics work in San Francisco, this week's North Beach Central Subway meeting would have been a perfect place to set up cameras. It was the embodiment of the San Francisco political process — provincial, passionate and sometimes hilarious.

The $1.6 billion Central Subway project, which will create a subway from near AT&T Park to Chinatown, has been discussed since a proposition for transit, including a reference to a subway, was approved by voters in 2003. It became a real plan in 2008, when the Municipal Transportation Agency approved the current alignment.

Then project officials, clearly with an eye toward extending the subway to Fisherman's Wharf, decided they might as well bore all the way to North Beach, even if they didn't have the funding to build a station there yet.

The original idea was to take the huge machines that bore the tunnels out in the middle of Columbus Avenue, but after public outcry they came up with a better idea: tearing down the long-abandoned Pagoda Theater and pulling out the machines there. That plan was voted upon, and approved, by the Planning Commission, the Municipal Transportation Agency board and the Board of Supervisors. The supervisors' March vote was unanimous.

The city signed a lease with the owner of the Pagoda, and the old eyesore should be torn down in the next few months. Construction work is under way on Fourth Street, tunnel boring machines are being custom-built for the project and $942 million in federal funds has been dedicated solely for the subway.

But for a handful of North Beach residents, none of that matters. At a recent meeting about the project, they were sure their ideas and suggestions should and would prevail.

Maybe the boring machines should make a little left turn underground to get out of the way. Others suggested scrapping the North Beach tunnel - or the whole project, for that matter.

Over and over, speakers asked: Why can't the machines be left underground?

It was explained several times. After a few years underground, they're dead. They would be stuck in the tunnel, blocking any tunneling to Fisherman's Wharf.

Expensive machines

Besides, project officials said, the contractor owns the TBMs (tunnel boring machines) and wants to take them out right away, perhaps to use in another project. If the TBMs were left in the ground, the city would have to buy them - for roughly $55 million.

"What?" several attendees said. "You told us the city owned the machines."

MTA director Ed Reiskin said that wasn't true. He said that was explained in their informational handout.

"Do you expect us to read every handout?" the man replied.

Others said that in the majority of other projects the machines are left in the ground. That's true, but in virtually all of those projects the TBM has reached the end of the project. In this case those dead machines will plug up the tunnel.

But, they insisted, we never got to say what we thought.

Actually, you did. There was a community meeting in that very room where options were put to a vote and a majority of the people voted in favor of the Pagoda site. Also, when your supervisor, David Chiu, ran for re-election, two of his opponents ran their campaigns specifically on stopping this project. Chiu got 75 percent of the vote.

The final complaint boiled down to: Construction will damage surrounding buildings and ruin business. And to be fair, it would be a good idea to arrange some compensation for affected businesses. But people seemed to be asking if this couldn't be done without all the construction mess.

You mean build a billion-dollar subway tunnel to North Beach without any construction? No.

For the city's good

Here's the harsh truth, folks: It's not all about you. I believe the vast majority of the city would love to have a north-south subway that extended from SoMa to Fisherman's Wharf.

There has never been a city that has regretted building a subway. It's a great system of transit, it gets people off the street and underground, and it doesn't experience delays like buses.

What they don't like is constructing a subway. It's messy, dirty and noisy. But the result is worth it. Suck it up.

C.W. Nevius is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. His columns appear Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail: Twitter: @cwnevius

Online comments at

JayJayJones 1:18 PM on April 20, 2013

If they don't want it, stop it in Chinatown. This will reduce the amount of waste to taxpayers and satisfy the whiners in T.H.

riskymanager1 10:41 AM on April 20, 2013

Saddling the city & country with long term debt, is how the Rose & Willie show will play out. They are relying on China to bail us all out. If you believe they will, I've got some air purifiers that we'd like to sell in China. If Lee, Rose & Willie think it will work, LET'S THROW OUR $'S AWAY.

It's the AMERICAN WAY!!!

mnh00 9:47 AM on April 20, 2013

Pull the tunnel boring machines out in a Presidio parking lot. Then, it will serve north beach, wharf, marina when money is available to sink stations to the tube.

riskymanager1 9:24 AM on April 20, 2013

The Underground Railroad to Know-Where! As an Engineer and Risk Manager, it is obvious that trenching & tunneling at sea level is moronic. Check the Big Dig in Boston!

Politicians are fraught with ideas and the bureaucrats to try them.

This is Pure Folly @ the Tax Payer's Expense.



IsIndestructibl 9:22 AM on April 20, 2013

I don't need to hit 'click here' to know it's the usual suspects (t.h. dwellers) up to their same old grubby tactics

April 18: Fate Of Central Subway Excavation Machines Stirs SF North Beach Debate

A brief report on where to bury or remove Tunnel Boring Machines discussed at the April 17 MTA meeting with the North Beach neighborhood.

April 18 KCBS News

April 17: Don't Frack it up!

Informative and funny article about the perils of compensation grouting, a technique proposed for stabilizing the soil at the Pagoda site.

Joe Eskenazi, April 17 SF Weekly

April 16: Locals spar over MTA meeting April 17, expect over 100 turnout

North Beachers Jon Golinger, Julie Christensen, and Lee Goodin opine on the Wednesday April 17 meeting.

CW Nevius, April 16 SF Chronicle Blog

April 11, 14: Muni in dire straights over future funding

Two proposed ballot measures to raise $590 million though increased taxes, and Muni mismanagement of Prop A funds.

Will Reisman, April 11 SF Examiner (part 1 of 2)

Will Reisman, April 14 SF Examiner (part 2 of 2)

April 11: Pagoda construction costs up 50%

New documents from Muni show costs of Pagoda construction are up 50%, further reducing Muni bus funds.

Will Reisman, April 11 SF Examiner

April 4, 9: The in-on guys, Funghi & Nevius

Muni's Central Subway Project Director John Funghi sent an April 4 email to North Beach residents inviting us to a meeting. In the email he wants to clear up misleading information, specifically "no construction will occur in Washington Square." The wording used in the draft he saw was "on Washington Square." Talk about misleading information!

Muni's April 4 email from John Funghi

The draft flyer Mr Funghi saw (which was sent to only five people in North Beach for review) then made its way to CW Nevius at the Chronicle for his April 9 blog post. He was able to read it correctly but had a different take on (a) huge hole on Washington Square: "That makes it sound as if the giant machines will be popping up in the middle of the park ...". When someone says "Macy's on Union Square" does Mr Nevius think of a department store popping up in the middle of the ice skating rink?

CW Nevius, April 9 SF Chronicle Blog

The whole episode was amusing given that someone forwarded Muni a draft of our flyer, and the final version mailed used different prepositions. The free publicity was great.

February 27: Pagoda plan strains credulity

The proposed tunneling into North Beach and tunnel boring machine extraction has experts puzzled.

Joe Eskenazi, February 27 SF Weekly

February 24: Restaurants may fail due to Pagoda construction

Restaurants next to the Pagoda site may fail due Muni construction. But officials and others tell Piazza Pellegrini and Bottle Cap not to worry. Incredible!

Will Reisman, February 24 SF Examiner

Web site updated September 7, 2014;