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

Friday, December 21, 2012

LA Streetcar and Pocket Borough Politics




 OUT OF THE FRYING PAN - This past year saw an election cycle in which democratic voting rights were in question to a very troubling extent, despite claims by proponents of voter ID laws and limitations on early voting –however implausible–that they were concerned with the integrity of democracy. At least Californians could take some comfort in the fact that the state defied national trends and made it easier to register, not harder (or impossible) to vote.

So for me, as an Angeleno, it was both jarring and eye-opening to hear the recent debate surrounding a mail-in election on new taxes to pay for a streetcar loop in downtown Los Angeles. I say jarring and eye-opening because some of the arguments combined a modern confusion with a very, very old prejudice about democracy. It was a reminder that we should never assume democratic principles are secure and beyond doubt.
A little background is in order. By the close of voting a few weeks ago, residents of a specially-created downtown district had approved the new tax assessment. So if – and only if – additional federal funds are won, the central city will get a streetcar loop reaching from First Street to the Staples Center.
The questions about democracy arose in this case because some landlords and commercial property owners didn’t just criticize the streetcar plan or tax policy, but argued that the wrong people were deciding the issue.
Carol Schatz, who actually sits on the board of the group that promoted the streetcar, voiced their criticism. The president of the Central City Association, Schatz put it this way in an appearance on Which Way, LA.?:  
“The people who are voting are not paying the vast, vast majority of the assessment that’s going to be voted on. Commercial property owners are paying for that, and most of them don’t live in the downtown area. So people who are residents, in apartments and so forth, are going to be voting where they have no skin in the game. They’re not really paying for it. Easy vote to make.”
Let’s put aside two very salient retorts here — that many residents are property owners, and that even tenants will almost certainly end up paying the tax indirectly in the form of higher rents.
Schatz’s property owners really had two arguments. One was that there’s something untoward about citizens deciding to spend public funds for a public good instead of somehow “paying for it” themselves. The other was that  property owners in a jurisdiction have some sort of special claim to a political say there regardless of where they live.
First, let’s consider the modern confusion, which is one between the values of democracy and the values of finance. The use of the expression “no skin in the game” gives away what we’re dealing with. “Skin in the game” is investor talk for having your money at risk. And putting your money at risk is supposedly the prerequisite for shaping and profiting from a deal. (Unless you’re a bank trading in mortgage-backed securities, but that’s another story.)
“Skin in the game” is part of a mental universe of private interest, personal profit and gamesmanship. In this world, “money talks” is a point of pride, a principle, not a critique. But these are not the values that should be at work when the public decides about something like the downtown streetcar. Here, the relevant values should be equality, public interest and concern for the common good. Citizens get to decide, on equal terms, about public policy because in a democracy they are the final arbiters of what’s good for the city, the state or the nation, not because they came to the table with the most chips – or the most “skin.”
Next, let’s consider the ancient prejudice: that there are some people who have a special claim to political power simply because they own property. In the US, the searing struggles to extend the suffrage to non-whites and to women tend to cause us to forget the difficult fights to abolish property qualifications for voting. It’s not just that at one time you had to have a certain amount of money to vote. 
In England, before the Reform Bills, there were actually districts, “pocket boroughs,” in which the owners of particular properties effectively chose representatives to Parliament. And the British conservatives of that era thought this was entirely right and fitting.
The idea that nonresident commercial property owners deserve some particular say in downtown tax and transportation policy is certainly a grandchild (probably patrilineal) of the justification for pocket boroughs and the exclusive rule of property.
Now, I’m not saying that certain downtown property owners want to take away some people’s voting rights. Or that they want to bring back pocket boroughs. I doubt they do. But I am saying that these kinds of muddled, pre-democratic sentiments have to be taken seriously and rebutted in a year when a substantial portion of the American right has devoted itself to making it harder for people who are poorer and more transient to vote.
(John Medearis teaches political theory at the University of California, Riverside and has written two books on Joseph Schumpeter. This column was posted first at FryingPanNews.org)

Draft South and Southeast LA Plans Limit Density and Car Use

 http://la.curbed.com/ (Dec. 21, 2012)


 Just in time for ChristmaSLA.jpgs, the new draft community plans for South LA and Southeast LA are here. They make a great stocking stuffer! Both plans, which will eventually guide planning and zoning in the 'hoods, are similar to one another, though with its impressive collection of historic preservation overlay zones like Harvard Heights and University Park, the South LA plan has a greater focus on preservation. Taken together, the two plans set out a vision for development over the next 20 years for a swath of the city expected to be home to more than 600,000 Angelenos come 2035. Combined, the area under discussion stretches south from Pico to 120th Street, and is bounded by Arlington to the west and Central Avenue to the east. Each plan's scores of policy recommendations are designed to achieve goals like keeping density low, while making the area's less car-centric, preserving industrial areas while keeping them from encroaching on residential neighborhoods, improving public health, and tackling problems like lackluster commercial corridors.

  To give a sense of the kinds of recommendations made, the phrase "mixed-use" and its variants appear 99 times in the two documents, in the contexts of neighborhoods, boulevards, nodes, and buildings. Other recommended policies include promoting "crime prevention through environmental design," limiting things like motels and liquor stores in residential neighborhoods, incentivizing mixed-income housing especially near transit, and promoting transit-oriented development. The two plans are expected to make their way to the City Council in the new year.

Israel Estrada Announces Candidacy for Pasadena City Council


Published: Friday, December 21, 2012 | 12:55 PM




 Israel Estrada, Director of the Pasadena Marathon, announced his candidacy for Pasadena City Council District 5 last week.

“I am running for City Council in District 5 with the desire to effect positive and balanced growth for the City of Pasadena. I believe the City Council matters to our city’s quality of life and its future. With my skills, knowledge, and experience I can promote Pasadena’s quality of life and help the Council work more effectively, to the benefit of all Pasadenans.”

After graduation from High School, Estrada served as a Marine for eight years where he became a Sergeant. Since concluding his service in the military in 2003, Estrada has served a number of nonprofit organizations as a volunteer and board member for The Pasadena Council of the Navy League of the United States, Leadership Pasadena, and the Recreation and Parks Foundation. In 2004 he founded Pasadena Forward, a nonprofit organization established specifically to support other Pasadena nonprofits. During this time, Estrada also began establishing the Pasadena Marathon which held its inaugural race in 2009, with over 9,000 participants and 1,200 volunteers in participation at its height.

Election day is Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Learn more about Israel Estrada and his campaign by visiting www.israelestrada.com.

Photos of No 710 on Avenue 64

Posted on the No 710 on Avenue 64 Facebook Page


Swapped out Venti for one of the real bad guys Fasana. This will be the t-shirt for tomorrow.

Villaraigosa's Los Angeles: Corruption without Consequence


 Written by Joseph Mailander 

21 Dec 2012




MAILANDER ON POLITICS - Of course, it’s been an awful time.  But those who are naturally depressed during the holidays should not cast their eyes towards Los Angeles City Hall for relief.  The stories of the past month are of a city where corruption occurs naturally, and without consequence.

The President of the Public Works Commission is charged with drunkenness, child endangerment, and is being investigated for child abandonment.  Not only does she keep her $130,000 a year job, the City pays her leave time while she undergoes an undisclosed ...  The public who pays her salary isn’t even privy to what she’s being treated for.  And she finds some sympathy at the local newspaper—who instead assails the young woman’s critics, rather than the process of how she came to such a lofty position in the first place: by virtue of being a Councilmember’s daughter.
One of the young City media officials, one who happens to be very disrespectful to local online media although his own experience is grounded in such, ghost-writes a fictitious letter to a publication, singing the praises of his own Councilman, and is found out by a secondary, declining newspaper. Not only is no disciplinary action taken, the Councilman starts privately lashing out at media members for bringing attention to the story.
The City's order-taking former Housing chief, who doesn't seem to do math very well, or at least doesn't seem to know the number of rentals the City runs, returns from Washington and is reappointed to her lucrative housing post--without even bothering to make an appearance before the City Council that votes to confirm her by an astonishing majority.
After a party downtown, a City Councilmember rear-ends a citizen.  The police are called—and show up over two hours after the accident transpires.  The matter is now being pressed as a civil matter. The local constables praise the Councilmember for being cooperative.
As if all that weren’t enough, the thrice-adulterous Mayor of Los Angeles, many times spotted apparently drunk on the job, even in morning hours—a Mayor who has never shown much interest in democracy, and wouldn’t even debate his opponents in his own last election—is up for promotion to a post in the second Obama Administration.
To cap it all off, the former fishwrap of record for these parts, whose editorial board is stuffed to the gills with overpaid former news schlubs who have no idea how to work opinion pieces, thinks all of the foregoing is simply business as usual for the city, and even often leans on Villaraigosa appointed commissioners to criticize the Mayor’s critics.
It’s not business as usual. Not at all. Los Angeles used to have leaders who actually led by example—by real moral example as well as by instructive political theater, rather than the theater of the absurd we have today.
This will come as a shock to all, I’m sure, but when I worked for Mayor Bradley’s City of Los Angeles, I was once involved in a personnel dispute within my department.  I didn’t like something that had happened to me, and took the matter to the City’s Personnel Commission.
My own story is dull.  But the case that went before mine made an enormous impression on me, about the way a city could really work when the Mayor meant business.
This all happened a little ways after the 1992 riot.
Before my own case, the Personnel Commission, presided over by the Reverend Cecil Flowers, heard a case of suspension without pay of a City Police Dispatcher.
Teary-eyed, the dispatcher pleaded her case.
Yes, she saw on television that she was ordered by Mayor Bradley—as were all City employees—to come to work in the middle of the riot.  But she wasn’t ordered directly, and the riot had scared her, and most of all, it had scared her three little children.
“Don’t go in, mommy,” her little ones pleaded.  “We’re scared for you.”
On the second day of the four-day riot, the dispatcher stayed at home—and was promptly suspended for a month without pay.
Bradley’s Personnel Commission needed no time to deliberate on this one.
“The Mayor said, ‘all personnel,’” Flowers told the woman.  “This was important to the public safety of the city.  We’re sorry.  But we’re upholding your suspension.”
Those days were by no means golden—we of a certain age all remember, it was the hostility between Bradley and his Police Chief that amplified the riot in its nascent hours.  Still, it’s hard to imagine this kind of thing happening on a commission appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa—where the commissioners themselves may be under investigation.
It’s hard to imagine the City punishing any of its own personnel for any kind of action at all.
And the Los Angeles Times will even go so far as to apologize for a poor Commission President, supposedly in a leadership position, who has one drunk driving charge, one child endangerment charge, and one child abandonment charge under investigation.
It’s hard to imagine this kind of editorial effort from real opinion writers.
But it’s not hard to imagine City Councilmembers voting themselves pay raises, nodding and winking to others while letting all transgressions pass, or trying to game the press when they’re caught red handed in yet another ethical circus.
After seven and a half years, at the holidays, this is Mayor Villaraigosa’s city government: a city government of corruption without consequence.  Thank God there’s only six months left of it.  The city's fishwrap, however, may be beyond redemption.
(Joseph Mailander is a writer, an LA observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He is also the author of New World Triptych and The Plasma of Terror. Mailander blogs at www.josephmailander.com.)


Get “Movin’ & Groovin’” with San Diego MTS


 Using the universal language of music, MTS hopes to inspire people to ride public transit. The fun and informative songs give you a taste of local San Diego flavor and show you how easy it is to get around on their buses and trolleys.

Check out the ...  videos and songs here and have a nice weekend, folks!

(These videos are cute.)

Long Beach Unveils Plan to Make “Most Bike Friendly City” the Safest Too


  Brian Addison




Glance to the right of this article and you’ll see ads geared towards bike safety. Sift through the work of this site and you’ll find endless accounts of dooring, commuter frustration, measures to keep one safe, how to “properly” ride a bicycle, riding on sidewalks… The list is as exhaustive as it is important despite its seeming redundancy.
Graphic: City of Long Beach

And Long Beach is taking impressive steps forward in maintaining an aura of safety–particularly as the number of bicycle-related crashes rise with the increasing number of cyclists.

The analysis of these crashes over the past 10 years by Bike Long Beach prove fascinating. According to the numbers, 45% of bike-related crashes are caused by error on behalf of the cyclist, with 35% due to a motorist, and the other 20% undetermined. And the vast majority of these crashes, somewhere around 80%, are due to five main causes:
  • Cyclist riding on the wrong side of the road
  • Cyclist partaking in unsafe maneuvers
  • Cyclist running a stop light or stop sign
  • Motorist running a stop light or stop sign
  • Motorist making an unaware turn
The first and the last account for about 55% of all bicycle-related crashes. What makes the data more fascinating is the fact that, despite who was at fault, a driver was involved 40% of the time, mostly making a right hand turn.

“From a safety perspective,” said Allan Crawford, Bicycle Coordinator for the city, “bicyclists can at times be our own worst enemy. Almost 50% of all accidents that are caused by the bicyclist are related to either riding the wrong way or failing to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle.”

To help curb these numbers and educate the masses, the “Share The Streets” campaign–a collaborative effort between Bike Long Beach, The City of Long Beach, Long Beach Transit, and Metro–has been launched. One can easily call one of the most comprehensive cycling safety programs initiated by a municipality.
Share the Streets news advertisement

While separated lanes and sharrows go a long way to help alleviate safety problems, they can’t solve everything. It ultimately comes down to a matter of cyclists and motorists knowing how they should behave. Intriguingly, this campaign goes beyond those givens and beyond advertising, which has been plastered throughout the city since October on buses and lamppost fliers alike.

They are encouraging everyone, particularly businesses, to hop on their newly designed website and download printable pocket guides, posters with tips, and advertisements to keep at their businesses so that, for example, the business has something to hand out when cyclists ride dangerously on the sidewalk or motorists drive unsafely. And all, of course, are available in Spanish and English.

Visitors can access registration for various classes, workshops, and tours.  Want to take a group of students or employees or friends to a free course regarding traffic safety? They’re happening every month at CSULB until February of next year. Curious about your neighborhood? Tours will launch next year that take riders on an accessible 3- to 5-mile ride to examine parks and green spaces, local businesses, and the historical aspects of architecture and space. Want direct training on how to ride your bike or explore by foot the safest way possible? Free “rodeo” clinics–conducted by none other than Safe Moves–for all ages offer hands-on, interactive training that focus on being visible as a cyclist, learning which direction to ride, and how to obey signs and signals.

CSULB, beyond offering courses, has installed Dero Fixits at both its Student Recreation and Wellness Center as well at its residences. These DIY stations permit cyclists to hang their bikes and access tools needed to adjust their cycle’s woes. A QR code can be scanned by their smart phone which helps the student sort through help to pin point their bike’s problem and instructions on what to do. And during active semester, the second of Wednesday of each month hosts local bikery JAX to offer students free brake checks, tire straightening, chain tension adjustments, lubrication, gear shifting adjustments, and other essentials that help one’s ride become safer.

In its attempt to become the most bike friendly city in the nation, it seems like Long Beach is also trying to be the safest.

Times urges: Hey LA, pay attention to the city election



The Los Angeles Times ran a Sunday editorial urging people to recognize that the election on March 5 is a big one that could shape the future of the city for years to come. I'm not sure it will matter — relatively few people vote in City Hall elections, even when an open race for mayor leads the ballot — but the plaintive cry from the paper's editorial board is right. The editorial offers a primer on how governance in Los Angeles is complex and interrelated.

The city is about to undergo a sweeping turnover in municipal government, electing a new mayor, deciding whether to keep or replace the current city attorney, choosing a new controller and electing more than half — the controlling majority — of the City Council. Voters will also elect nearly half of the board running the Los Angeles Unified School District and nearly half of the trustees running the Los Angeles Community College District. They will decide whether to raise the sales tax, and in so doing will be making decisions about how the city deals with its deep fiscal problems and sustains an acceptable level of essential services, and how Angelenos test their leaders' vision for civic life and their grasp of basic City Hall management. All county property owners will be asked — separately, on a different ballot, mailed to them and returned by mail rather than dealt with at the ballot box — whether to tax themselves for storm water cleanup and reclamation projects.
As voters consider a new mayor, they must ask what kind of city Los Angeles is and what they want it to become. It cannot be Chicago or New York or even San Francisco, where the mayor controls public health, welfare and jails — those are functions that Los Angeles, like most Western cities, cedes to county governments. It cannot be London or Paris or Shanghai, where the national government underwrites economic development and takes the lead on public works projects. And L.A.'s mayor, if he or she is to have influence on schools, must do it with strategy, wisdom and political clout rather than by fiat, because city government here has no formal role in running schools.

But the mayor owns the biggest block of votes at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and so has an enormous role in transportation planning and spending well beyond the city limits. If the mayor is a person who knows and understands how to build relationships with other governments, he or she can harness the power of money and political silo-busting to go well beyond the confines of the basic job description and get federal resources for job growth and infrastructure, county coordination on ending homelessness, poverty and crime, and hyper-local buy-in on improving the quality of life in the city's neighborhoods.

But none of that can happen unless the mayor is also a person with the smarts and the courage to keep the city solvent, and to decide when and how to trade off essential city services: more building inspectors, for example, in exchange for fewer police officers? Better emergency response times but fewer graffiti abatement contracts?

  Road tunnel safety

Keeping out of trouble and dealing with emergencies if they arise




 The UK has an excellent record for tunnel safety but a fire in a tunnel can be lethal

If your journey takes you through one of Europe's longer road tunnels - the longest is 15 miles - it's important to know what to do in the unlikely event of an accident or fire. [See article at the end of this article.]

The UK has an excellent record for tunnel safety but a fire in a tunnel can be lethal. Tunnel fires have killed around 90 people in Europe over the last 10 years.

If there is a fire, you're not just a spectator to an accident. You become a participant in a potential disaster so must know what's best for your own and others' safety.


The heat builds up very quickly. That is why fire detection and ventilation systems, and emergency exits, must be provided, why the emergency services must be summoned immediately, and why tunnel operators must be able to put emergency plans into operation seamlessly.

Driving in Europe

Driving in Europe you're more likely to find yourself using a road tunnel than you are in the UK.
You may well encounter longer tunnels than you're used to in the UK too – our longest tunnel is the Queensway tunnel under the Mersey at 3.2 km while there are many across Europe that are more than 10 km long.

The longest, the Laerdal tunnel in Norway, is 24.5km (more than 15 miles) long.
If you're planning on driving in Europe make sure you're familiar with the safety advice below – there'll be no-one there to tell you what to do if you get caught up in an incident.
Switch on headlights
Switch on headlights

Approaching the tunnel

  • Check your fuel level
  • Switch on the radio and tune into the traffic radio station if there is one
  • Switch on your headlights (low beam)
  • Take off your sunglasses
  • Pay attention to traffic lights and other traffic signs
Keep a good distance
Keep a good distance

In the tunnel

  • Keep a good distance from the vehicle in front
  • Observe speed limits (maximum and minimum)
  • Make a mental note of safety features – emergency exits and phones – as you pass
  • In tunnels with two-way traffic, use the nearside carriageway edge for orientation Never cross the centre line
  • Never make a U-turn or reverse
  • Don't stop, except in an emergency
Leave 5m if stopped
Leave 5m if stopped


  • If traffic slows suddenly, turn on hazard warning lights
  • If traffic stops moving completely, leave a distance of at least five metres from the vehicle in front
  • If traffic stops moving turn off the engine
  • Do not leave your vehicle
  • Tune in to traffic radio if there is a system
Pull over into a lay-by
Pull over into a lay-by


  • Turn on hazard lights
  • Pull over into a lay-by, emergency lane or as far to the nearside as possible
  • Turn off the engine
  • Leave your vehicle – wear a reflective jacket and pay close attention to traffic
  • Notify the rescue services – use an emergency telephone rather than a mobile phone which is unlikely to work
  • Follow any advice from tunnel control – wait for help in the vehicle if there is no other place of safety
Use the Emergency phone
Use the Emergency phone


  • Turn on hazard warning lights
  • Park as far to the nearside as possible
  • Turn off the engine
  • Leave your vehicle – wear a reflective jacket and pay close attention to traffic
  • Call the rescue services. Use an emergency telephone rather than a mobile which is unlikely to work.
  • Help any injured people
Drive out of the tunnel if possible
Drive out of the tunnel if possible

If your vehicle catches fire

  • Turn on hazard warning lights
  • Drive out of the tunnel if possible – but never make a U-turn or reverse
  • If you can't drive out, drive to a lay-by, an emergency lane or pull over as far to the nearside as possible
  • Turn off the engine but leave the key in the ignition
  • Contact the rescue services – use an emergency telephone rather than a mobile which is unlikely to work
  • Only try to extinguish the fire yourself if is has just started – don't open the bonnet it may be hot and can increase the fire
  • If it's not possible to extinguish the fire, leave the tunnel quickly – move away from the fire and use emergency exits
  • Don't waste time gathering up personal belongings
  • Help injured people get to safety too
Never make a U-turn or reverse
Never make a U-turn or reverse

If another vehicle catches fire

  • Turn on hazard warning lights
  • Keep a good distance from the burning vehicle
  • Park your vehicle in a lay-by, emergency lane or pull over as far to the nearside as possible
  • Never make a U-turn or reverse
  • Turn off the engine – leave the key in the ignition
  • Call the rescue services – use an emergency telephone rather than a mobile which is unlikely to work
  • Only attempt to extinguish the fire yourself it is has just started. – don't open the bonnet it may be hot and can increase the fire
  • If it's not possible to extinguish the fire, leave the tunnel quickly – move away from the fire and use the emergency exits
  • Don't waste time gathering up personal belongings
    Help injured people get to safety too
Don't wait to be told what to do
Don't wait to be told what to do


  • In the event of a fire – don't wait to be told what to do
  • Never forget that fire and smoke can be fatal! Save your life and not your car!
  • Follow any instructions and information provided by tunnel staff

Testing tunnel safety

Motoring organisations across Europe, including the AA, have inspected and rated around 250 road tunnels, including a number in the UK, under the European Tunnel Assessment Programme, EuroTAP.
Search all tunnels tested »

(18 November 2011)


Big rig fire closes lane, onramp to 210 Freeway


Updated:   12/20/2012 08:37:57 PM PST

  (Perhaps truck fires are not such unlikely events as said in the above article.)

PASADENA - A tractor trailer fire led to the closure of one lane and the Madre Street onramp to the westbound 210 Freeway for five hours Thursday.
A fuel leak may have caused the fire which was reported just before noon, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Becky Lynch.

Lynch said the driver, a 37-year-old Duarte man, was on the westbound 210 Freeway, west of Madre Street when he noticed the cab of his truck filling with smoke.

"He pulls over to the right shoulder, gets out and within seconds, it becomes fully involved," Lynch said.

Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said the driver wasn't injured.
Pasadena firefighters put out the fire in about 15 minutes, she said.

While the cab burned, the trailer wasn't damaged.

Lynch said a SigAlert was issued for the No. 6 lane and the Madre Street onramp at 1:30 p.m. The lane and onramp reopened at 6:30 p.m.

- Ruby Gonzales


Gasoline Tanker Truck Catches Fire in Los Angeles County


 Posted: Apr 08, 2012 8:16 PM PDT Updated: Apr 11, 2012 8:17 PM PDT

 Although this was in Los Angeles it's not part of a Hollywood set.

This tanker carrying over 8,000 gallons of gasoline truck caught fire just before midnight Saturday in Glendale, California.

According to the LA Times California Highway Patrol say the 25 year old driver was drunk.

The big rig struck a guardrail before overturning and bursting into flames on a freeway. One freeway was completely closed until this afternoon.

Cleanup crews offloaded the roughly 3,000 gallons of gasoline left in one of the two tankers.

Comments on Metro's January 710 Meetings

Posted Dec. 21, 2012, on No 710 on Avenue 64 Facebook Page 

 Metro sent a public relations rep to Highland Park's neighborhood council tonight to announce the dates, times and locations for the January open houses. Thelma Herrera from KPA Associates distributed flyers, but wasn't able to provide any additional content information except to say that the five options that will be further studied in the EIR will be presented. Has Metro sent PR reps to other meetings?

I tried to clarify what the format will be. It looks like they will once again have boards of information and people available to answer questions. The only public comment format may be feedback cards that people can choose fill in and submit. We need to send a loud message to Metro that the public deserves a chance to weigh in on the alternatives analysis with a formal comment period and public forums. Open houses are for sharing information. They are not effective tools for soliciting public feedback. The alternatives analysis is concluding and moving into the EIR evaluation process. The public deserves a chance to weigh in via a public comment period and public forums. We need to make this happen.
 This is just another flac maneuver to dispel real public discourse.
 Another tactic to diffuse any public discourse about their plans and data. I mean filling out cards and submitting them. We need to remember Ramona Hall CLC meeting when we packed the house there and demanded Q&A. We need to do that again....packing the CalState LA Open House with so many people and ask the questions that we have the right to ALL hear their answers right there.
  Everyone make sure to take a camera and cellphone to catch it all. We need to show Metro we have the people power.
 It is really disingenuous for Metro to send out information operatives to neighborhood meetings who don't provide any information, and who cannot measure public feedback.
 How many millions are they spending for these overpaid Metro servants to show up at our ALL VOLUNTEER neighborhood council meetings?

Alhambra City Councilwoman Messina, Who Paid $20,000 Under The Table To Smear Her Opponent In 2006, Now Runs Unopposed -- Along With Rest Of City Council


 (An old article but one relevant today as Barbara Messina is one of the leading proponents of the 710 tunnel.)

Toll Road Irony NOT Funny


 Written by Lucy Dunn 

21 Dec 2012





 GUEST COMMENTARY - The LA Times recently published an article calling into question the viability of Orange County’s Toll Roads in light of a formal inquiry launched by state Treasurer Bill Lockyer into whether the roads can cover the interest payments to private investors who purchased tollway bonds. This could be a sitcom if it weren’t so serious.

Orange County is the toll road capital of the State of California, with almost 60 miles of toll roads, adding to the highly successful Riverside County/Orange County 91 Express Lanes. As a result, commuters have been able to make choices about travel for decades, paying a little extra fee for faster service, or not depending on the driver’s schedule. 
And now we see Los Angeles following in OC’s footsteps with the opening of the I-110 Express Lanes and coming soon I-10 Express Lanes in downtown.
But the irony of the day is that if, in fact, the Orange County toll road system is in financial trouble, it is due in large part to government officials–including Bill Lockyer, in his former role as California Attorney General–suing to stop the Transportation Corridor Agencies, and others doing everything in their power to prevent, over-regulate or delay the completion of the system to assure financial viability.
TCA has been stopped at every attempt to connect the toll road system to the I-5 freeway (denied last by the California Coastal Commission) and just this month, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) rejected an express lane/toll connection between the I-73 toll road and the I-405 freeway.  
The very folks in the Times’ story complaining about the financial viability of toll roads have actually contributed to the slow torture of a great idea: choice.
P.S.  It’s also time to better align Orange County’s two transportation agencies, TCA and OCTA, now that they are both collecting tolls.
( Lucy Dunn is President and CEO of the Orange County Business Council. This column was posted first at foxandhoundsdaily.com)

Metro Transportation to Rose Parade and Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 2013


 Posted by Anna Chen

 Oh, the places you’ll go…with Metro (and Metrolink)


 Photo from Tournament of Roses Official Facebook

 Avoid paying for parking and crazy traffic by going Metro to the Tournament of Roses or the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. The Metro Gold Line has four station stops near the parade route in Pasadena. Free shuttles to the Rose Bowl leave from the Parsons parking lot located just three blocks from the Gold Line Memorial Park Station. 

Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line will provide additional service to help people get to Union Station, where they can connect to the Gold Line.
The full press release from Metro with parade and game times and service info is after the jump.

For those planning to attend the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade® celebrations in Pasadena, Metro and Metrolink services are great ways to avoid the costs of parking and hassles of traffic in Pasadena.
The 124th Rose Parade® presented by Honda themed “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!™,”will feature floral floats, equestrian units and marching bands.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will provide fast, frequent rail service to and from Pasadena, with four station stops near the parade route.  Metrolink has also modified its San Bernardino Line schedule to get individuals to the parade.
 With this year’s Tournament festivities planned to begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, Metro will be ready with all rail lines – the Metro Red, Purple, Gold, Blue, Expo and Green Lines, and the Metro Orange Line – operating throughout the night on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31-Jan. 1) to enable event-goers to get an early place along the parade route.
In addition to the overnight service on all Metro Rail lines New Year’s Eve, Metro will run additional trains and more frequent service on the Metro Gold Line to accommodate the large numbers of anticipated riders beginning at 5 a.m. and continuing through 9 p.m., with trains running as frequently as every seven to eight minutes to and from Pasadena.

For New Year’s Eve only, Metro will be providing free rides on all Metro bus and rail lines from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 1.  After 2 a.m., regular fares go into effect.  Those attending parade festivities after 2 a.m. New Year’s Day can purchase a $1.50 one-way fare if only riding the Metro Gold Line or a $5 Metro Day Pass on a $1 reusable Tap card if riding more than one line.  The Day Pass allows for unlimited Metro System rides that day.  Patrons can purchase their ticket at their initial boarding station.

Metrolink is also providing service that will connect event-goers along its San Bernardino line with additional transportation options into to downtown Los Angeles Union station, where they can then board the Gold Line to Pasadena.

The first Metrolink train will depart downtown Riverside at 5:30 a.m. and San Bernardino at 6:05 a.m., arriving in Los Angeles Union Station at 7:35 a.m., where paradegoers can then ride the Metro Gold Line to attend the Rose Parade in Pasadena.
Parade goers can access any of four Pasadena train stations close to the Parade route on Colorado Boulevard.  Memorial Park and Del Mar stations are about two blocks from the Parade route; the Lake and Allen stations are approximately four blocks from the Parade route.

Parking is available at several Metro Gold Line Stations, including Sierra Madre Villa, Del Mar, Fillmore, Heritage Square, Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park, Union Station, Indiana and Atlantic.  Additional parking is available at stations servicing other countywide rail lines as well. Visit metro.net for a list of additional park & ride lots on the Metro System.

Football fans attending the 99th Rose Bowl Game®  Presented by VIZIO at 1:30 p.m. should take the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station.  Upon arrival at the station, they should then walk three blocks west on Holly Street to the Parsons Corporation complex to catch the free Rose Bowl Game shuttle bus, with service starting at 10 a.m. The boarding location is on Pasadena Avenue, north of Union Street. Buses will leave continually through the game’s kick-off and first quarter.

Metro is also teaming up with the Tournament of Roses to provide easy access to view the Rose Parade floats after the parade.  Take the Metro Gold Line to the Sierra Madre Villa Station in East Pasadena.  Then board a shuttle bus from the Bus Plaza on the first level of the parking structure that provides direct service to Victory Park, where the floats will be displayed Jan. 1-2.  Shuttles will depart from Sierra Madre Villa Station until approximately 3 p.m. each day.  Return service to Sierra Madre Villa will continue to 5:30 p.m.  Shuttle hours of operation are 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 1, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 2.  On Jan. 2 from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., only seniors and disabled will be allowed into the viewing area. 

During the hours of operation the shuttle buses will pick up every five to ten minutes from the station.  Regular fares will apply. 
Metro does not allow eating, drinking or smoking on board Metro trains or buses. To ensure public safety, Metro prohibits flammable products, barbecues and oversized items such as ladders, umbrellas, tents, chairs and coolers from being brought on board the Metro Bus or Rail system.  For additional information on Metro, visit metro.net.