Burning Issues


Wood Burning in San Francisco

Jan. 2002: Fight to clean up Kokkari Restaurant on 200 Jackson St, SF.wood burning in San Francisco Meeting Jan.11, 2002

Please call
Brian Browne 415-399-1642 also see these websites:

Aethalometer monitoring in Downtown San Franciscohttp://www.mageesci.com/sf/downtown_sf.htm
These are great charts of Wood smoke along with city living. Look at Christmas Eve. See how the smoke pollution fills the air and then it doesn't clear out until early morning. This is early data but very helpful.

for raw data: You will be able to pull off the most recent scores from www.h2oecon.com/consolidated.xls as Brian posts them.


Due to the large number of interested people (we expect 40-50 people plus media) Supervisor Peskin has agreed to a town hall meeting (before meeting at Brian's apartment to experience smoke first hand and to view the pollution monitoring device and extremely high readings it has recorded) on January 11th at 7pm, at Togo's Restaurant 570 Battery Street to deal with the public health threat caused by wood smoke.  Flyers are available in English and Chinese - please help spread the word and be there!

Dear Tony,
On Sunday I will send you the all the results to date. "Not hazardous?"
Are we talking about whiffing that level for that period (5 minutes?) or are
we speaking about the cumulative effect of this added pollution to our
neighborhood over the period of their (4 years) operation? Most of the days
you have data for it was raining and a holiday period. I will be curious as
we obtain data for more "normal" days/nights. They also burn in throughout
the summer and periods when we have "air days." Maybe there is a way we can
backcast the valuation (what they have taxed this neighborhood in terms of
opportunities lost) of the negative externalities associated with this
operation? Then do a similar forecast?

Dear Doctor Tony Hansen,
> I am metering the environment on my balcony using the Aethalometer. It was
> placed there by Dr. David Fairley of the BAAQMD. I tried to call you but
> could not get through. I am seeing a wide swing in numbers BC (black
> and UL (ultra violet) -- they appear to correlate mainly with the
> from Kokkari Restaurant on 200 Jackson St, SF. Please call me at
> 415-399-1642 so I may get a layperson's perspective on the numbers I am
> seeing. Many neighbors are extremely concerned for their health. We live
> in a canyon -- man made - the financial district and the pollution has no
> where to go. Your explanation will help many of us understand exactly what
> we are up against.
> Thank you,
> Brian Browne

Reply from Health Dept. of San Francisco 2002

Mr. Browne:
I have informed my Director and Medical Director, Jack Breslin and
Dr.Rajiv Bhatia regarding the Jan 11, meeting. I truly hope that Bay Area Air
quality will attend since they are the only agency that oversees, monitors and regulates smoke emmissions. At the meeting you may want to ask Sup. Peskin to introduce legislation into the San Francisco Health Code authorizing the Health Dept to monitor and regulate smoke emmissions from restaurants. Until that is done, BAAQMD is the only agency with the
authority to modify the smoke.
Lisa O'Malley



Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 11:23 AM
Subject: Air pollution monitoring

Dear Colleagues:
> Did you receive the e-mail that I sent on 1/1/02? - in case not, I have
> appended it. I converted the numerical data top charts and posted them on
> a website.
> Tony Hansen
> At 07:00 AM 1/4/02 -0800, Brian Browne wrote:
> >People:
> >You will be able to pull off the most recent scores from
> >www.h2oecon.com/consolidated.xls as I post them (if you spawn XLS).
Thiswill be more efficient than the www site. Please review and analyze. If
100 is a clean city and we are seeing these scores (la on a smog day is
10,000) -- what are our chances of survival? what do these data mean?
Please help with your analysis. Do we have a problem? If yes? How bad?
The smells are intolerable, but what does that mean to our health in the
context of these readings?
> >
> >www.h2oecon.com/pollution2.html works -- but is slow and cumbersome
> >

> = = = = = = =
> Dear Mr. Browne:
> Thanks for sending me the aethalometer data. I have converted it to
charts and posted them at the following website for your convenience:

If you share this with colleagues or neighbors, please be very sure to
> it clear that this data is *not* official, nor conclusive, nor should it
used one way or the other to prove or disprove a point. It is simply a
display of the numbers that you sent me. In particular, please check with
David Fairley of the BAAQMD to ascertain his organization's position on
this study.
> In general, the data show that while it is highly likely that smoke from
> the restaurant is indeed reaching your balcony in the evenings,
> nevertheless the numbers are not high enough to trigger an immediate
> Pollution becomes a 'nuisance' long before it becomes a 'health hazard'
> and I am not an expert on these determinations. The black trace of the
> data is quantitative for 'Elemental' carbon particles and these numbers
> well within typical levels for an urban environment. The "blue" trace of
> the aethalometer indicates the presence of certain categories of aromatic
> organic compounds, but does *not* give a quantitation, as there are many
> different organics each with a different UV response. Organics are
> indicated from time to time in the aethalometer data but it would require
> detailed chemical sampling and analysis to determine exactly which
> compounds in what quantities. Wood smoke does indeed contain toxic and
> carcinogenic compounds, but the determination of these requires exact
> chemical speciation. The aethalometer data indicate that these *types* of
> compounds may very well be present at certain times of the day that
> correspond with your observations of activity at the restaurant.
> If you would like to send more data, I will convert it to charts and post
> it to the site. I hope that this helps.
> Best regards
> Tony Hansen

Brian Browne
To: Lisa O'Malley

> > 01/04/02 07:30 dburns@arb.ca.gov
> > AM Subject: 1.04.02 Pollution
> > Lisa -- We have readings. We have people complaining. We have numerous
> > visual sightings, including ARB. I have sent this out to a number of
> > people, hopefully for analysis. What other proof do we require? When must
> Kokkari defend their abuse of our air instead of us having this onus of proof?
We need the SFHD to protect us. What more evidence does SFHD require to
issue a health citation and/or request mitigation equipment? Can you suggest
anyone at USEPA? Please call. 415-399-1642. Even with rain and some
wind Kokkari are overwhelming me and the readings seem to validate this
conclusion. Now it is not just my recall, but a number objectively
The correlation appears significant.

Brian Browne


Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 2:29 PM
Subject: SF HEALTH DEPT. REPLY 1.04.02 Pollution


> Dear Ms. O'Malley,
> Thank you for your email. The correlative readings from the air monitor
> Kokkari's operation appear significant (positive). The high pollution
> may well be untenable for many of us due to age and existing infirmities.
> We live in a "gas chamber" type environment due to the Financial Wall.
> Little breeze penetrates these canyons. Little relief is found. We are
> hostage to environmental plunder. There are many pollution sources, but
> with the "production capacity" of Kokkari. We are amazed that the SFHD
> not already have an ordinance granting them authority to protect us from
> such environmental excesses. With the exception of Dr. Fairley of the
> BAAQMD, many of us have been disappointed with the BAAQMD. I even
> the State of California Air Resources Board for relief. However, I will
> Supervisor Peskin to ensure BAAQMD representation at this meeting. We will
> also ask Supervisor Peskin to follow your (SFHD) suggestion regarding SFHD

> having accountability for restaurant pollution. Many in our neighborhood
> demand an absolute ban on wood burning devices at restaurants. This must
> require retrofitting at their expense. We also need a determination as to
> how the infrastructure impact tax should be applied to people who use
> infrastructure for mainly non-local businesses. We look forward to seeing
> you at the meeting.
> Sincerely,
> Brian Browne
> ----- Original Message -----

> > > People:
> > > You will be able to pull off the most recent scores from
> > > www.h2oecon.com/consolidated.xls as I post them (if you spawn XLS).
> > This
> > > will be more efficient than the www site. Please review and analyze.
> > 100
> > > is a clean city and we are seeing these scores (la on a smog day is
> > > 10,000) -- what are our chances of survival? what do these data mean?
> > > Please help with your analysis. Do we have a problem? If yes? How bad?
> > The
> > > smells are intolerable, but what does that mean to our health in the
> > context
> > > of these readings?
> > >
> > > www.h2oecon.com/pollution2.html works -- but is slow and cumbersome

Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 06:23:03 -0800
From: Brian Browne <h2oecon@pacbell.net>
Subject: Metering pollution
To: Burning Issues <pm10mary@mail.mcn.org>
MIME-version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3

Dear Mary,
Supervisor Aaron Peskin will hold a Town Hall meeting on 1.11.02 at Togo's
restaurant at the corner of Jackson and Battery Street at 7.00 PM. Flyers
are being printed in English and Chinese. We now have a division of labor --
I will focus on the monitoring, others are helping with distribution and
organization. We appear to be gaining community momentum. The options of
not organizing are bleak.

I am putting the pollution recordings on the www.h2oecon.com/pollution2.html
site (slow to load -- runs from server software off my PC). These scores
appear to correlate with this immense restaurant's operation (early morning
to late at night). No longer do we have to rely on "recall" or official
"reaction" time and "subjective" (chasing butterflies) judgements. At
least from one small spot we know the status of the air we breathe. I put
your site on the above page. I will ask Andrew Rand to mention your site at
the meeting. We understand that your organization also needs financial
support. Hopefully that issue can be raised also.

The scores over 10,000 amaze me -- so many -- and the correlation with my
upper respiratory discomfort and smell of smoke is uncanny. I feel nauseous
and check the meter and it is high. Should we move? Do we live in a danger
zone? Please give us your input? Your www.burningissues.org site is a
voice of sanity calling out in the wilderness.

Thank you,

Brian Browne

Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 11:44:58 -0800
From: Brian Browne <h2oecon@pacbell.net>
Subject: BATTLE FOR LIFE Re: December 27th 2001

Please make sure that we get a good group here for Supervisor Peskin's visit
on the 11th. Invite people. Supervisor Peskin will come initially to my
apartment. Iris is absolutely correct about last night. Black Carbon and
Ultraviolet readings were high. I am following up on the ballot proposal
idea to ban all wood burning fireplaces in our "gas chamber" environment.
The high-rise buildings (FD) create a "wall" which under most conditions
stop normal air circulation. The main pollution offender in our neighborhood
is Kokkari. The town-houses (54) penthouses(8), commons, and other smaller
restaurants do cause a problem. However, we have lived with them, albeit
sometimes to our discomfort, for years. It was only when Kokkari -- the
"environmental bully" appeared -- that our ecosystem was completely
compromised. One must wonder how complete the environmental impact study
really was for Kokkari? It opened in 1998 and there was then available a
lot of information as to the negative externalities associated with second
hand smoke. People can't smoke inside Kokkari? Kokkari can smoke inside our
environment? Many believe if these apartments were truly rented to
long-term residents as in the past, that there would be many more
complaints. Our residential base is contracting. The de-"hotelization" of
our complex would help us in this fight. De-hotelization would also make a
lot more LT rental space available in SF. The current real and most present
danger is overuse and POLLUTION of our air by Kokkari Restaurant, 200
Jackson St., SF 91111.

Also, we are hoping Supervisor Peskin will be able to tell us if after the
fires at Kokkari, which required roof repairs, were permits to repair
required? If yes, were these permits obtained? If not? The fireplace fire
in 1999 took days to be repaired. The pizza chimney fire in 2001 was
repaired the next day. We have asked Wing Lau, Chief Building Inspector,
SFBD, to answer these questions. No answer as of writing. I also raised it
at a BIC meeting. No answer. An answer would help us understand how SF

On another issue - we all applaud the efforts of Burning Issues at
www.burningissues.org - and ask that you support them in their efforts to
give us a totally clean environment for the entire state. Please visit Ms.
Rozenberg's excellent website and assist if you can.

----- Original Message -----
From: Iris Berman <irisberman@yahoo.com>
To: andrew rand <syrand@hotmail.com>; Brian Browne <h2oecon@pacbell.net>
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 11:09 AM
Subject: Fwd: December 27th 2001
> Iris Berman <irisberman@yahoo.com> wrote: Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001
11:07:12 -0800 (PST)
> From: Iris Berman
> Subject: December 27th 2001
> To: Aaron Peskin
> The fumes from Kokkari Rest. were at their highest last night. At 5 pm it
was starting to build up and so I left for a few hours. I put my new Sharper
Image air purifier on High and when I returned approx. 6:30pm it was as if I
did not have the machine on. I eventually had to close the windows. I had
both of my machines going on high as the smoke would have come in
> I did not move to San Francisco to live in a closed apt. with no ai rand
air purifiers going full blast.
> If you were around when Square One was in business, the neighbors (condo
owners) complained about the smoke and you know what--they did something
about it. Before Kokkari was here,the other restaurant also took care of the
smoke. Do the owners of Kokkari have so much influence that they can get
away with doing whatever they please. Even Burger King has better
> Looking forward to your visit on the 11th of Jan. You will be able to
smell for yourself.
> Iris Berman 421 8108

Burning Issues
Box 1045
Point Arena CA 95468
Tel: 707-882-3601
Email: [pm10mary at mcn dot org]
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