Monday, August 11, 2008

Chronic Homeless & Wind Power

1) While it is good news, from the Sacramento Bee today, that the number of chronic homeless has dropped—as they are the primary ones who camp in the Parkway in the North Sacrament, Cal Expo, & Midtown areas—it is not so good news that Sacramento has chosen to concentrate housing service to the chronic homeless, which will replicate the neighborhood degrading situation currently existing in the Richards Blvd., 12-16th street areas where a large concentration of homeless services exist serving (among others) those illegally camping on the Parkway.

An excerpt.

“It might be hard to tell from a visit to a local soup kitchen or while walking downtown Sacramento's K Street Mall, but local and national efforts to find shelter for people who are homeless for extended periods are working, officials say.

“Sacramento officials report that from January 2007 to January 2008 the number of chronically homeless was down 5 percent, even as the total number of homeless within Sacramento County increased…

“The Sacramento program got off to a quick start by identifying homes that groups of recently homeless people could share.

“Five larger facilities with onsite supportive services are in the process of being approved and built. Those facilities will add 260 permanent beds for people looking to get off the streets. The program hopes to build or find 1,600 housing units over 10 years.”

2) The Bee reports on a major wind/wave power project that could develop 40 megawatts of clean electricity, while the Auburn Dam could produce 400-600 megawatts.

An excerpt.

“The Electric Power Research Institute estimates enough wave power can be extracted from coastal waters to account for about 15 percent of California's electricity production. Wind could provide up to 110 percent, according to a Stanford University study published last year.

“Wind power off California's coast is now just a thought among power developers, and there are no concrete plans to erect turbines at sea. But optimism is fueled by NASA and university studies indicating wind over waters off picturesque Cape Mendocino is strong and consistent enough to become one of the nation's best sources of electricity.

“Offshore wind and wave technologies are promising, but they're untried. They also raise concerns about potential damage to the coast's prized vistas and fish industry.

“One proposal to draw electricity from waves off the Mendocino coast already has generated problems for developers, government agencies and coastal residents.

“Moreover, the potential for wind and waves depends on someone building transmission lines to connect offshore power to the state's grid.”