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 27, 2012

War of the Roses heats up in the Arroyo 


 Larry Wilson
Updated:   11/27/2012 08:36:17 PM PST
  NO one who witnessed the recent Pasadena City Council meeting on the NFL coming to the Rose Bowl would reject as far-fetched a characterization of the current civic polarization as "war." Metaphorically speaking, understand.

Battle lines have been drawn, verbal volleys fired deep into enemy territory. It's murder out there.

And, as in any serious local skirmish, there are real geopolitical consequences at stake. The city is a game of Risk made large. Citizens of the various fiefdoms are making their stands, fortifying their territories, establishing alliances. A city councilman, the duke of the Annandale hills, finds his seat threatened with recall after voting to support Pasadena's attempt to temporarily host a pro football team in his neighborhood. He responds, quite correctly enough, that the forces who would take him down were the same legion that less than a year ago unsuccessfully lost at the election, a fight normally and fairly fought.

I am not a partisan necessarily of either side, but a kind of double, perhaps triple agent, skulking my guerilla way back here in the trees, with goals of my own, while the shooting war goes on out in that bloody field.

Whether it's a mere UCLA game down in the Arroyo Seco or, as a 7-1 vote of the City Council would have in our future, the Oakland Raiders vs. the Bay City Rollers or whomever the NFL sends to town while they build a stadium elsewhere in the Southland, I want to permanently improveaccess to the Arroyo at all times. This football season, as I have written here before, the Police Department has cracked down beyond all reason, trying to stop anyone without a football ticket from entering the Arroyo all day, every day, owing to traffic considerations - joggers block cars, see. That means thousands of residents and others are displaced from their favorite place to recreate on a Saturday.

But I thought I had created an exception: the Wilson Trails Rule. Since cars don't go on the dirt trails in the Arroyo, hikers and runners who want to use them shouldn't be blocked from doing so on game days. In a fit of crotchety-neighbor pique, I even called City Manager Michael Beck six or so weeks ago on a Saturday, and he agreed with the WTR, and seemed to have implemented it, talking to the Police Department about this reasonable exception.

So this past Saturday morning, I approached the security guard hired to stop access to the Arroyo on Parkview on the western edge of the canyon.

"Can't allow you down there, sir," he said as I approached.

"Ah, but you can," I said. "I'm not going on the roads. I'm going on the trails." I figured emphasizing those words would jog his memory about the new marching orders.

"What trail? You can't go down there."

I tried to nudge Charlie into a showing of the canine teeth, but fact is, he's not a very vicious-looking dog.

"Look," I said, "it's not your fault. But this was resolved weeks ago." I dialed Beck's number; he was right across the Arroyo on a zanja tour. I handed the guard the phone. "Talk to the city manager." He did so. He handed me back the phone.

"Great," I said. "I'm heading down now."

"I must warn you, sir," the guard still insisted. "I've had military training."

Geez. Had it come to this? Was he going to shoot me? Or just a little hand-to-hand combat? This whole War of the Roses thing was getting a little bit too real.

Other neighbors wanting to take a walk beyond the barricades eventually distracted him. Charlie and I slipped down the hill without any military action being taken. Half an hour later, on our return, a new man had assumed duties, and he was on board with "the trails" exception, as was another guard late in the afternoon.

Next time you want Arroyo access, try the password. It might work. Or, I don't know. You might end up on the business end of an M1.

METRO's SR 710 Study Open Houses Scheduled for January

….Interesting that one of the Open Houses is scheduled for “ Pro-710 San Marino”.  
Is Metro hoping for a more pro-710 audience to counter the voices of opposition? (Carla Riggs)

Please Save-the-Date for our
January 2013 All Communities Convening open houses
We are scheduled to complete the State Route 710 Environmental Study Alternatives Analysis Report prior to the end of the year and begin preparation of a draft environmental document in the early part of 2013. During our open houses we will be sharing information about the five Alternatives* that will be further analyzed in the draft environmental document.

The Open Houses will take place at the following locations:
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 6-8 pm
Maranatha High School
Student Center
169 South Saint John Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 6-8 pm
San Marino Community Church
1750 Virginia Rd.
San Marino, CA 91108

Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 9-11 am
Cal State Los Angeles
Golden Eagle Building: Ballroom
5151 State University Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90032

* The five Alternatives include:
  • No Build
  • Transportation System/Transportation Demand Management
  • Bus Rapid Transit
  • Light Rail Transit
  • Freeway Tunnel
SR 710 Study Open House
For more information on the SR 710 Study preparation and process, please visit www.metro.net/sr710study
or call (855) 4-SR-710-0 / (855) 477-7100.

Pasadena City Council Meeting to be held at the Convention Center

 Change in Venue for December 10th meeting

Save the date:  Monday, December 10th  -  6:30pm
I spoke with the Pasadena District 6 office and the plan is to have the meeting at the Convention Center with details to follow (Carla Riggs).

Steve Madison will probably send out a notice closer to the meeting date.

It is important that we fill the hall for this meeting.  

Remember:  Pasadena City Council will finally be addressing the issue of Measure A's relevance to the Council's ability to consider opposition to METRO's proposed SR 710 F-7 tunnel.