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bay bridgeThe Bridge Builders by Joseph A. Blum

Exhibition Dates: June 24 through September 27, 2013

Artist Reception: Thursday, July 11 5:30-7:30 pm


San Francisco City Hall, ground floor

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA  94102

Free and open to the public.

The SFAC Galleries Art at City Hall Program presents The Bridge Builders, a photography exhibition featuring more than 80 of Blum’s large-format color photographs that give viewers an all-access look at the making of the new bridge.

Joe Blum has been hard at work on the Bay Bridge’s newly constructed eastern span, but his tools look a bit different than the men and women that surround him – his tools are a 35 mm Nikon camera, and occasionally a large format Pentax camera. From the Bridge project’s inception in 1998, Blum has been dutifully documenting the process of its expansion, and intends to continue until the Bridge’s completion and formal opening sometime this year.

Twenty-five years as a boilermaker, shipfitter, and welder, provide Blum with an informed eye, an expansive mechanical vocabulary, and a unique ability to focus on the important human component of the bridge’s construction. While the artist has photographed all aspects of the structure’s erection, the people who labor to build the new bridge hold the greatest interest for Blum. He explains, “In so far as possible, I have attempted to photograph the building of this bridge from their perspective and I think that the public should get to see their work from that point of view and hopefully honor and celebrate it, as I do.”

Arresting height and gargantuan scale assault the viewer in images that often seem inconceivable. Blum’s images capture the sheer physicality necessary to work in the midst of rebar cages and tower cranes. Men and women are documented in rapt attention as they leverage their weight against steel and concrete, muscles taut and eyes focused. The photographer has infused each of his photographs of the Bridge’s laborers with distinct nobility. It’s clear from the artist’s treatment of his subjects that these individuals are an imperative piece of the project’s puzzle. Blum states, “There would not be a bridge without the men and women who are building it. They are the ones who have transformed the ideas of the bridge designers, architects and engineers from blueprints and drawings into a living structure of steel and concrete.”


The new SF Public Utilities Commission Headquarters, located at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, is possibly the greenest office building in America. Applying evolving water and power technologies with new light management and computer controlled environment, the SFPUC has created a building which looks towards the future of environmental building construction, and reaches for the ultimate green engineering accolade, the LEED rating of “Platinum”.

LaToya Cantrell, President of the Broadmoor Improvement Association, on the anniversary of the levees flooding New Orleans in 2005, shares with NENtv an update on the process of restoring her community and the Andrew H. Wilson School. Specifically she thanks the City and County of San Francisco for all of its support in helping secure funds and resources for her neighborhood.

See more images from the NEN’s trip(s) to New Orleans here.

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Join NEN Director Daniel Homsey and Laurence Kornfield on a visual tour of the Safe Enough to Stay Exhibit at San Francisco planning and Urban Research Association.

Under the leadership of Laurence Kornfield, Program Manager for the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety and the San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR), Safe Enough to Stay was designed to advance the concept of “Sheltering in Place” after an earthquake in San Francisco. The goal of the exhibit is to empower residents with the knowledge that small adjustments to their homes will allow them to continue to use the structure in a sanitary and efficient wayafter it has been deemed structurally sound and livable. For example, residents are advised to utilize plastic sheeting in order to cover broken windows and doors as well as to familiarize themselves with their unit’s gas and water shutoff systems in the event of a leak or failure.

At the heart of the Safe to Stay exhibit is the proof of concept design called the Neighborhood Support Center (NSC). The NSC will function as a neighborhood information center that is designed to provide residents with access to resources and relevant information concerning their community. The idea is that by creating a hyper local informational gathering point that is focused on the needs of the immediate vicinity, the Neighborhood Support Centers will offer an invaluable safety net to residents in the days, weeks and months after a major event.

Safe Enough to Stay [google-map-sc]


654 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA



By Kristin Hogan, SF DEM

Last week the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) opened Safe Enough to Stay, an exhibit for the public that teaches us what steps we should take to make San Francisco a Resilient City. Within the exhibit is a recreation of a San Francisco apartment, which allows visitors to experience what living in a retrofitted home after a major earthquake might be like, along with recommendations to make our homes safe enough to stay. The exhibit is in support of the SPUR report, Safe Enough to Stay.

Several of us at DEM went to the opening and had a similar experience: seeing a San Francisco-esque apartment replica with damages an earthquake would likely cause really drove home (forgive the pun) the core message of the exhibit, that staying at home after an earthquake really is doable.

“People would far prefer sleeping in their own beds as opposed to living in a shelter” said Laurence Kornfield, Special Assistant to the San Francisco City Administrator in the San Francisco Earthquake Safety Implementation Program. “Not to mention, most of us have a big concern about the security of our homes should we leave, so if the building is not leaning or obviously structurally damaged, most homes are safe enough to stay.”

DEM is a leading agency in recovery planning for San Francisco and knows a vital factor in our ability to recover is that San Francisco residents are able to stay in their homes. And as SPUR stated in the report, Safe Enough to Stay, the city has a limited number of emergency-shelter beds, and its ability to provide interim housing is constrained by low vacancy rates and minimal vacant land. This means San Francisco is at risk of losing its most important asset: its people.

Thank you SPUR for creating a resonating experience that educates us on how to stay in our homes after an earthquake. The exhibit is free to the public and will run through April 18, 2012.

Stay tuned for more updates and an inside look of the construction of this exhibit.


Join District 4  Supervisor Carmen Chu for a visual tour of the newly renovated Ortega Branch Library located in the heart of the Sunset District. After four years of planning, the newly finished library boasts LEED certification as well as a newly refurbished playground. Also featuring Michelle Jeffers, the San Francisco Public Library Public Relations Officer and Greg Syler of Friends of the West Sunset Playground.


The Ortega Branch Library [google-map-sc zoom=”13″]

3223 Ortega Street

San Francisco, CA 94122

(415) 355-5700


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                                                  Please use the arrows to navigate the slideshow.

As construction of the new span of the Bay Bridge is well underway, we were able to get a visual tour of the progress and future outlines of what will become a new icon for the Bay Area. With a newly constructed pedestrian and cyclist pathway alongside, this landmark will allow Bay Area residents an unprecedented look at their environment.

For more information please visit


Chinatown SRO Disaster training Graduation from NENtv on Vimeo.


On April 17th, dozens of families in San Francisco’s Chinatown were celebrated for their involvement in a multiweek long disaster preparedness program. The program was designed to extend disaster training to non English speakers and provide assistance to at risk residents. The training was conducted by the Department of Emergency Management. If you would like more information on how you and your family can be prepared, please visit

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