Purpose

To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


NFL at Rose Bowl could open can of worms for Pasadena 

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_22038490/nfl-at-rose-bowl-could-open-can-worms

By Brian Charles, SGVN
Updated:   11/20/2012 08:26:25 PM PST
  PASADENA - A 7-1 City Council vote giving the NFL a temporary home at the Rose Bowl - if it needs one - opens Pasadena up to lawsuits, Councilman Terry Tornek said Tuesday.

Tornek, who represents District 7, was the lone dissenter in the 1:30 a.m. vote on a plan to allow more game days - 25 up from 12. The vote came as the City Council agreed to receive and file an Environmental Impact Report detailing the effects of such a move.

"I am 100 percent sure we are going to get sued," Tornek said Tuesday.

The move came despite heated resident opposition to bringing the NFL to Pasadena - even on a temporary basis.

Opponents of the proposal to place an NFL team inside the Rose Bowl temporarily - many of them homeowners from surrounding neighborhoods - attended Monday's City Council meeting with anti-NFL signs. More than 40 people spoke during the public comment period.

And it's those very neighbors of the famed stadium that Tornek worries will sue the city, a lawsuit which he fears will compound the issues at the Rose Bowl.

The Rose Bowl Operating Co., which operates the stadium for Pasadena, is in the midst of an ambitious renovation project. It faces a $50 million funding gap on the stadium project.

Tornek said he warned city officials that the project cost would balloon to more than $200 million,
and he questions how much the NFL will help fill the gap.

The EIR projects at least $5million in annual net revenue to the city, but Tornek said he doubts the city will ever reap that much money from the rental agreement.

"We will never see anything close to $5 million," Tornek aid.

Nonetheless the RBOC spent $400,000 on the EIR even though there are no guarantees the NFL us coming to town.

 "We are out $400,000 for this, and now we are waiting for Santa to deliver the NFL," Tornek said.

"We are out $400,000 for this, and now we are waiting for Santa to deliver the NFL," Tornek said.
A resident lawsuit seems like a long shot to Porfirio Frausto, a formerRBOC board member and local activist, who spoke in favor of the planand said it would provide needed jobs in the community.
Frausto remembers the last time Pasadena flirted with the NFL. In 2006, a ballot measure to place the NFL in the Rose Bowl permanently was rejected. But the deal before voters in 2006 differs greatly from the current plan, Frausto said.
"The NFL wanted to make massive changes to the stadium and wanted to appoint someone from the NFL as a stadium manager," Frausto said. "This is just a rental."
Frausto doesn't believe anyone who sues the city "has a case."
Steven Trejo, who does gang interventions, said young men and women from blue-collar Northwest Pasadena are in desperate need of work and even if it's temporary work at the Rose Bowl it could make a difference in their lives.
"A lot of these kids are willing to work and are asking for work," Trejo said during Monday's meeting.


Read more: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_22038490/nfl-at-rose-bowl-could-open-can-worms#ixzz2Cq1cvilu

A resident lawsuit seems like a long shot to Porfirio Frausto, a former RBOC board member and local activist, who spoke in favor of the plana and said it would provide needed jobs in the community. 

Frausto remembers the last time Pasadena flirted with the NFL. In 2006, a ballot measure to place the NFL in the Rose Bowl permanently was rejected. But the deal before voters in 2006 differs greatly from the current plan, Frausto said. 

 "The NFL wanted to make massive changes to the stadium and wanted to appoint someone from the NFL as a stadium manager," Frausto said. "This is just a rental."

Frausto doesn't believe anyone who sues the city "has a case." 


Steven Trejo, who does gang interventions, said young men and women from blue-collar Northwest Pasadena are in desperate need of work and even if it's temporary work at the Rose Bowl it could make a difference in their lives.


"A lot of these kids are willing to work and are asking for work," Trejo said during Monday's meeting.


Nonetheless the RBOC spent $400,000 on the EIR

Read more: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_22038490/nfl-at-rose-bowl-could-open-can-worms#ixzz2Cq1BFlY1"We are out $400,000 for this, and now we are waiting for Santa to deliver the NFL," Tornek said.

Lots of L.A. County Ballots Remain Unprocessed, Transit Tax Still Lags

 http://www.kcet.org/news/ballotbrief/election-results/xxxxxx-la-county-ballots-remain-unprocessed-transit-tax-slightly-behind.html

  by Zach Behrens, November 20, 2012

County officials still have 215,991 ballots to process, it was announced today in their bi-weekly update. The L.A. County Recorder-Registrar/County Clerk's office has through early December to finalize processing votes.

Today's update gave Measure J, the proposal to extend an already existing sales tax dedicated to transit funding, another small percent increase -- from 65.06 to 65.33 percent. The tax, imposed by L.A. County voters in 2008, is scheduled to expire in 2039; Measure J would extend it another 30 years to speed up transit infrastructure projects and needs a two-thirds vote -- 66.67 percent -- to pass.

County Clerk Dean Logan has deemed it a "close call," but Metro officials, who are stewards of the special tax money, announced that it lost early on.

"It's possible but unlikely due to two issues," explained Metro blogger Steve Hymon today. The first issue is that although over nearly 216,000 unprocessed ballots remain, not all voters may have voted on Measure J, which was listed last on the ballot. Secondly, Hymon calculated that 75 percent of those remaining ballots would have to be "yes" votes to push the tax over the threshold.

Measure J results updated again; yes votes rise to 65.33 percent

 http://thesource.metro.net/2012/11/20/48805/

Posted on by Steve Hymon


 


Pasadena OKs plan that could bring NFL team to Rose Bowl

 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/pasadena-oks-plan-that-could-bring-nfl-team-to-rose-bowl.html

November 20, 2012 |  6:47 am
 
  Pasadena officials early Tuesday morning cleared the way to begin negotiations with the NFL that could bring professional football to the Rose Bowl for as long as five years while a new stadium is being built in Los Angeles.

Roughly 120 people packed the meeting at Pasadena City Hall, many of them residents of wealthy neighborhoods surrounding the iconic 90-year-old stadium, the Pasadena Sun reported.

They complained that traffic jams, trash and rowdy fan behavior would disrupt enjoyment of the Arroyo Seco by homeowners and recreational users.

More than 25,000 vehicles would hit the area on game days, according to a city study, shutting down the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, Kidspace Museum and Brookside Golf Course.

But allowing a football team to use the Rose Bowl up to 13 Sundays a year while a new NFL stadium is built in L.A. could also be a financial boon for the city-owned stadium.

The price tag for ongoing renovations to the Rose Bowl, once budgeted at $152 million, have grown to nearly $195 million. Barrett Sports Group, a Manhattan Beach consulting firm hired by the city, projects that an NFL lease could raise from $5 million to as much as $10 million for the venue each year.
 
Pasadena City Council members voted 7-1 to increase the number of events allowed at the Rose Bowl from the current 12 a year to 25 if a deal is struck with an NFL team.
“We have a fiduciary responsibility to the whole city to take the next step,” said Councilwoman Margaret McAustin. "I’m not excited about the NFL, and clearly [the Rose Bowl’s neighbors] are not excited, but it’s the responsible thing to do."

“We can’t in good conscience close the door on this,” said Councilman Steve Madison, who represents neighborhoods south of the Rose Bowl that would be impacted by game-day traffic congestion.
Madison cast the swing vote against a 2006 plan to bring professional football to the Rose Bowl on a
permanent basis, “but this is different,” he said. “This is a temporary matter when we have dire financial needs.”

Councilman Terry Tornek was the lone vote against the increase. He said he is not convinced the city should burden neighborhoods near the stadium with shoring up finances for the renovation.

“I think this city has a moral contract with the residents of these neighborhoods,” Tornek said. “Just the prospect of having protections lifted [for an NFL team] will have a permanent effect of reducing property values.”

Leaders of neighborhood groups opposed to professional football at the Rose Bowl threatened to take legal action to reverse the council’s decision. Others said they supported the move as a way to boost the local economy as well as city coffers.

“You’re just trying to shove this down people’s throats,” Paula Shatsky, a resident of the nearby Linda Vista neighborhood, told the council. “This is the dark underbelly of the Rose Parade and all the worldwide press [it gets]."

Another Linda Vista resident, Anita Fromholz, broke from her neighbors' views.

“The Rose Bowl is part of Pasadena’s heritage. Keeping the NFL option open until we know what comes up is one way to preserve it,” said Fromholz. “Until we know how negotiations play out, we should not close any doors.”

Monday’s discussion might also prompt changes in city policy regarding tailgating at the Rose Bowl during college football games, said Mayor Bill Bogaard.

The Rose Bowl is home to UCLA football as well as the annual Rose Bowl game. Members of Day One, a Pasadena nonprofit that aims to prevent youth alcohol and drug abuse, complained that Pasadena police and stadium security officers are not enforcing restrictions on drinking outside the stadium after kickoff that were enacted after a 2010 stabbing in a Rose Bowl parking lot.

“If we can’t manage to monitor a college game, how can we monitor an NFL game? This is revenue-building at all costs,” said Day One Executive Director Christy Zamani.

Bogaard said city officials would review enforcement of tailgating policies and step up efforts to clean up trash left behind by stadium visitors.

 
City Council approves NFL plan after granddaddy of fight at Pasadena City Hall 
 
 http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/
 
 Updated: November 20, 2012 7:14:12 AM PST
 
 
 
 
 Randy Riggs who moved to the Rose Bowl area in 2001 is against the city adopting a new amendment to allow for additional NFL football games at the Rose Bowl. He does not believe football fans will obey the rules. A large crowd attended the Pasadena City Council meeting Monday, to protest the city adopting a new city ordinance that would allow more than double the number events at the Rose Bowl each year. (SGVN/Photo by Walt Mancini)
  


 Jonas Peters, Professor of Chemistry living near the Rose Bowl showing photos of trash around the Rose Bowl one day after the UCLA-USC game. Peters is against a NFL using the Rose Bowl Stadium. A large crowd attended the Pasadena City Council meeting Monday, to protest the city adopting a new city ordinance that would allow more than double the number events at the Rose Bowl each year. This move would clear the way for the NFL to play at the Rose Bowl and would allow extra income to help pay for over budgeted Rose Bowl renovations. The move comes despite mass resistance by neighbors living near the stadium. (SGVN/Photo by Walt Mancini)

PASADENA - By a 7-1 margin early Tuesday morning, the City Council approved an ordinance to double the number of events at the Rose Bowl converged on City Hall.

By the same margin the council also accepted an environmental impact report that looked at the effects the NFL might have on the Arroyo Seco and surrounding neighborhoods. Specifically, the meeting focused pros and cons of the Rose Bowl Operating Company's plan to position the stadium as a temporary home for an NFL team if one moves to Los Angeles or Industry.

With 48 residents scheduled to speak, the decision by the City Council came early Tuesday morning. A press release from City Hall was issued at 1:29 a.m.

But if the city does not adopt the ordinance and certify the EIR, it would stop any attempt to lure an NFL team to Pasadena before it starts.

"If we don't approve the ordinance amendment, if we don't certify the EIR, there will be no deal" with the NFL, Councilman Victor Gordo said at the meeting.

Professional football, its beer- swilling fans, traffic, noise and inconvenience drove several members of the community to protest the proposal.

"I am deeply concerned of the prospect of the Rose Bowl becoming a home for the NFL, even on a temporary basis," said Richard Fisler, who lives near the Rose Bowl and said the facility needs to maintain a balance between large sporting events and casual recreation.

"The entire Rose Bowl loop has been sequestered during football games. How can closing this loop during the 25 events maintain any balance?" Fisler asked.

The NFL fans themselves are among the concerns for some who live within earshot of the stadium.

"I am against this move to have the NFL in my neighborhood. I know what it's like to have 12 events in my neighborhood," said Randy Riggs. "I have been to NFL games and have seen the crowds, and I'm not sure those are the kind of people who follow rules."

Gordo assured residents that the city won't let the NFL run roughshod over the stadium, the Arroyo Seco or the surrounding neighborhoods.

"Any deal would have to be respectful of surrounding park land. This is a stadium in the middle of a park," Gordo said. "Any deal would have to be respectful of the surrounding neighborhood. This is a stadium in the middle of a neighborhood."

But not all who attended Monday's meeting came with anti-NFL signs and armed with scathing criticism.

"I am asking you to extend your hand," local activist Porfirio Frausto said. "We need jobs. We have the opportunity to take advantage of this. Not every community has the chance to take advantage."

If approved, the ordinance opens up the Rose Bowl to 25 major events per year from the 12 allowed now. A major event is one that draws 20,000 people or more to the stadium.

Although residents complained about noise, City Hall has been fixated on numbers - specifically the growing funding gap in the Rose Bowl renovation project. It has ballooned to nearly $50 million. The convergence of financing problems - the city couldn't sell $152 million in bonds before the start of the project - and cost overruns are responsible for the financial maelstrom that is the Rose Bowl renovation project.

The NFL, according to a recent environmental impact report, could toss the city and its aging landmark a lifeline.

If the Rose Bowl plays temporary home to an NFL team, the games could generate between $5 million and $10 million a year in local revenue, according to the EIR.

The NFL has no plans to move a team in 2013, and city officials said they don't expect an NFL team in the stadium next fall.

Beyond the basic concerns about traffic congestion, some neighbors worry that drunken hooligans will converge on the picturesque Arroyo Seco if the NFL plays its brand of football in the Rose Bowl. Unlike UCLA football games, the NFL allows alcohol to be served at games.

After the USC-UCLA game, "this place was trashed," said Dianne Patrizzi, who spoke in opposition to the NFL at the council meeting Monday.

She saw the beer cans and liquor bottles left behind by overzealous tailgaters; so did Day One Pasadena, a local drug awareness group that went to the Rose Bowl during the USC-UCLA game Saturday to observe the level of drinking by fans.

"We witnessed underage drinking, and that wasn't stopped. We saw fans who were visibly intoxicated and suffering from some level of alcohol poisoning," said Wes Reutimann, environmental prevention director at Day One Pasadena. "We witnessed fans who had been beaten and let go by law enforcement."

He said the scene looked like "spring break."

Fans played drinking games, used beer bongs, continued to drink in the parking lot after the game began and played amplified music, all of which is prohibited by the tailgating ordinance adopted in 2010 after a stabbing at the USC-UCLA football game.

Reutimann said Pasadena needs to think about whether it can enforce its current tailgating policy before its considers expanding the Rose Bowl schedule.

"I would certainly hope the evidence over the weekend would give them pause," Reutimann said.

Neighbors cheer, jeer plans for Rose Bowl to host NFL games

 http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1120-pasadena-nfl-20121120,0,3130672.story?track=rss

Proponents say noise and traffic congestion around the stadium are secondary to the jobs and revenue that would be generated.

 

About 120 people packed a Pasadena City Hall meeting Monday night to cheer or jeer city plans to allow the Rose Bowl to host professional football games for up to five years if an NFL team moves to Los Angeles.

Residents of the tony neighborhoods near the iconic 90-year-old stadium say NFL games would unleash rowdy fans and cause traffic jams at the expense of homeowners and recreational users.

More than 25,000 vehicles would come to the Rose Bowl on game days, according to a city study, shutting down Brookside Park, the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, Kidspace Museum and Brookside Golf Course on game days. UCLA also plays its home football games at the Rose Bowl.

Proponents say NFL-related revenue would bail the city-owned stadium out from more than $30 million in cost overruns for ongoing renovation work. Once budgeted at $152 million, the project's cost has climbed to nearly $195 million.

To begin talks with the NFL, the City Council must pass an ordinance to increase the number of large events at the Rose Bowl from a limit of 12 a year to as many as 25. City leaders were expected to vote on the measure late Monday night.

Betsy Nathane, who lives in the Linda Vista neighborhood next to the stadium, said before the meeting started that people from around the region would be put out if a team comes in.

"I use the arroyo nearly every day," she said. "To have [park facilities] closed off for 25 days a year is going to change a lot of people's lifestyles."

Nanyamka Redmond, who lives west of the Rose Bowl, said the economic boost is worth the hassle.

"Traffic and noise are secondary issues compared to jobs," she said. "I understand people east of the Rose Bowl have spent a pretty penny on their houses and want a certain quality of life, but it's not often any city has the opportunity to generate jobs in this capacity."

Earlier this month, consulting firm Barrett Sports Group estimated that the Rose Bowl could raise $5 million to $10 million annually from an NFL deal. The figure does not include revenue from sales and other taxes generated by local businesses.

City voters in 2005 rejected a plan to allow an NFL team to take up permanent residence at the Rose Bowl. No team has committed to Southern California, and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is another possible venue for any team awaiting an NFL stadium to be built in the area.

Councilman Victor Gordo said the city will make accommodations to reduce impacts on residents, but that Pasadena must position itself to negotiate with a team. The Rose Bowl, he said, "was given to us generations ago. It's gone from a park to being America's stadium, and in my mind also a tremendous economic engine for the city and the region."

Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of corporate communications, said in an interview that the league will "monitor all developments in the Los Angeles area" but "has not had any recent conversations with Pasadena or L.A. Coliseum officials."