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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Trone’s District 3 Campaign Announces Jan. 5 Launch


 Thursday, December 27, 2012



  Ishmael Trone’s campaign and fundraising efforts to catapult him to the Pasadena City Council will officially kick off on January 5 at the Eden Garden Bar & Grill, 175 East Holly Street, Pasadena.

Assemblyman Chris Holden, who endorsed Trone for his now-vacant City Council seat, will serve as special guest for the campaign kick-off and fundraiser.

The event will be hosted by Robin Salzer, Gordan and Kathleen Hamilton, Sandi Mejia,Ken Chawkins, Renee Hampton and Marguerite Abrams.

Trone will be competing for the City Council seat against John J. Kennedy and the Rev. Nicolas Benson. Trone estimated that he’ll have to raise at least $50,000 to stay competitive.
The Trone for City Council campaign has launched with the slogan, “Smart growth, more jobs, safer streets.”

In a previous interview with Pasadena Now, Trone described Holden as his strongest endorsement thus far. “He (Holden) actually came to me [and] asked me to be his successor because of the long-term relationship that we have working in district.”

“District 3 is a service district,” Trone said. “They want a representative who’s accessible and knowledgeable about what they want to take place.

The kick off and fund raising event will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.. For more information about Trone’s campaign go to www.troneforcitycouncil.com .

Man badly injured in 210 Freeway crash in Pasadena 


Updated:   12/29/2012 04:24:28 PM PST
 PASADENA - Rescuers rushed a man to a trauma center in critical condition Saturday after his Ford Mustang was involved in a crash with a big rig, authorities said. The crash was reported about 12:05 p.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway at Allen Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Christian Cracraft said.

Firefighters had to cut the man's Ford Mustang apart to free him from the wreckage, which had become entangled with the big rig, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.

He was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena with major injuries, she added. A description of the injured man was not available.

The crash blocked the Allen Avenue offramp of the westbound 210 Freeway, prompting officials to issue a Sig Alert that remained in effect for more than an hour, officials said.

No arrests were initially made at the scene, Cracraft said.

The cause of the crash was being investigated by the CHP's Altadena Office.

Big issues still unsettled at year's end



 Posted:   12/29/2012 06:12:15 AM PST

 It's hard to believe another year is over already. It must be especially hard for public officials, who have watched another one come and go without fixing many of the big problems facing our cities, state and nation.
The Opinions staff has been looking back at the issues that commanded the most attention in 2012: Education issues. California fiscal issues. Municipal fiscal issues. Taxes and other economic issues. Immigration. Gun laws. Gay marriage. Medical marijuana. Ethics in government.

A theme jumps out: Whether it's because the issues are just too big to tackle or it's because our lawmakers are too small to handle them, these issues are no more settled now than they were a year ago.

Here are the most talked about themes of the year that was - and will continue to be:

  •  Education: From molestation scandals on Southern California K-12 campuses, to the debate over how to evaluate teachers, to funding problems all the way up to the state university level, it has been a year of crises. It's sad how often the people in charge seemed more interested in protecting their jobs and salaries than in doing what's best for students - witness teachers' unions blocking efforts to fire molesters, and the raises given to new Cal State University presidents even as tuitions were rising. The Proposition 30 tax hikes provide an essential bailout, but much needs to change. 
  • Government finances: The recession and irresponsible spending forced belt-tightening not only in education but in pretty much every local and state government department. San Bernardino was the biggest city to face bankruptcy and may not be the last. Two words for any official who thinks all will be well once temporary tax hikes and an improving economy kick in: pension reform. Unmanageable public employee retirement benefits are the major long-term threat to government solvency, and although state legislators took positive steps here, they kicked the rest of the challenge down the road.

  • Bullet train: Gov. Jerry Brown's vision of a $68 billion high-speed rail system connecting the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas became emblematic of a spendthrift state government. It's not a necessary expense right now. Yet the plan chugs along. 

  •  Local transportation: Efforts to reduce Southern California traffic are moving along as slowly as, well, Southern California traffic. Los Angeles County voters rejected Measure J, which would have extended the Measure R sales tax for 30 years and sped up some transportation projects. The county has adopted toll lanes on some freeways, to the apparent confusion of many drivers. 
  •  Immigration: Federal government inaction on a workable immigration system has left individual states and local law enforcement to wrestle with the issue. It's overdue for deep legislative debate on how best to limit illegal immigration and deal sternly with violators, but also to deal fairly with industries that benefit from migrant labor and families with both legal and illegal immigrants. Notice this said legislative debate - it should not be up to individual police chiefs, as when L.A.'s Chief Charlie Beck and Sheriff Lee Baca decided this year not to cooperate with federal authorities on the Secure Communities program.  
  • Medical marijuana: Another issue where federal, state and local laws collide in confusion. California lawmakers need to produce clear rules on how to control medical marijuana dispensaries in the spirit of the 1996 initiative meant to permit therapeutic use - not to set up for-profit pot shops. 
  •  Gay marriage: Weird to think this hard-fought cultural question may be the one that's closest to an official resolution. The U.S. Supreme Court will rule next year on California's Proposition 8 and other states' marriage restrictions. This editorial board believes constitutional principles demand that gay couples be given the same freedom to marry as heterosexual ones.  
  • Gun laws: If U.S. leaders' failure to act is still in headlines a year from now, it sadly will be because more mass murders have taken place. After Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., the debate over how to keep the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people shows promise of moving beyond "do you favor gun control?" vagueness. It is time for passionate and knowledgeable people to contribute to an official discussion producing new policy. 

Unfortunately, most of these issues will endure. It has been - and will still be - that kind of year.

Support for Re-election of Victor Gordo to the Pasadena City Council
January 5th Reception Benefitting
Councilmember Victor M. Gordo
Dear Peggy,
Please join Anthony Portantino and me in supporting Victor Gordo's re-election to the City Council of Pasadena.  He's done a great job supporting our neighborhoods and making Pasadena a better place to live and work.  There's a great event on January 5th where you can show your support (details below).
-Tim Wendler
Resident of District 5, Pasadena
Anthony Portantino
former Assemblymember, 44th District
Gordo fundraiser

Portantino banner
Call to Action for the People of El Sereno by Joe Cano
Here is a call to action for the people of El Sereno. Now, this is an inside conflict, or should I say a family dispute between cousins that I will let those not familiar with this issue in on. Because of Cortez's little courtesy stop in Mexico & fucked everything up, there has been a love hate relationship with Mexico & Spain over 'La Conquista'. You will find no monument in praise of Cortez in Mexico. In turn Spain has white washed their participation and their hand in the destruction of the Aztec empire from their history books. Anyone that sparks a renewal of this family feud will be caught in the middle. Those Spanish of our generation that know better, hate with a blind passion this subject ever be be brought up in public, I just did!, & I will continue to hammer these people on it. Share this with all El Sereno. I have woken up my fellow home owners and will be calling neighborhood meetings next week. Everyone I have informed is outraged at Metro'a game of hide and seek with the truth. I am getting more to commit to attending the So. Pasadena meeting in January.
  We humbly ask Padrecito Mike to gives El Sereno the vision & strength to take on this evil. Solo esto te rogamos. Como llevantastes nuestros padres, llevanta sus hijos. Ya no estamos dormidos.

Housing should be kept back from freeway


 December 09, 2012


Pasadena’s draft General Plan proposes focusing future residential growth in the city around “transit villages,” including three Gold Line stations on the 210 Freeway. Although encouraging transit-oriented development is generally a good idea, doing so along congested highways is not.

In a landmark 2004 study, USC researchers found that children who live within one block of a freeway, 500 feet, suffered from reduced lung development. Since then a growing body of research has found that those who live adjacent to freeways are at higher risk for asthma, heart disease and cancer. There are other health risks too, including increased risk for premature birth and having children with autism for expectant mothers.

 Unfortunately our ability to mitigate air pollution near freeways is limited. Tree buffers and orienting windows away from the pollution source help, but fine particles created by car exhaust, tire rubber, and brake dust, just like tobacco smoke, find their way through the best air filters. Even keeping triple-paned windows closed doesn’t keep the pollution out.

There’s already a surfeit of freeway-adjacent housing in Pasadena, and large multifamily complexes lining parts of the 210 aren’t going anywhere. The question is where the city should encourage future growth. If we listen to the science, it’s clear that placing residents, especially children, close to a freeway is a recipe for poor health.

In 2011, city leaders recognized drifting tobacco smoke as a serious danger to public health and banned smoking in apartments and condos. This choice should be far easier. Air pollution from freeways, like tobacco smoke, can’t be easily contained. City leaders and staff should acknowledge the science and limit further housing density within 500 feet of a freeway.

Wesley Reutimann

Editor's note: The writer is Environmental Prevention director of the community-based nonprofit, Day One.

New air pollution standards restrict soot particles

The Environmental Protection Agency, announcing the limits, predicts that they could save on healthcare costs from respiratory ailments.


 By Neela Banerjee

December 14, 2012

 WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced a new air pollution standard Friday that would bring about a 20% reduction in microscopic particles of soot emitted by coal-fired power plants and diesel vehicles that contribute to haze and respiratory ailments.

The new limit, fought by industry and welcomed by environmentalists, marks the first time the Environmental
Protection Agency tightened the soot standard since it was established 15 years ago.

"These standards are fulfilling the promise of the Clean Air Act," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "We will save lives and reduce the burden of illness in our communities, and families across the country will benefit from the simple fact of being able to breathe cleaner air."

Fine particles from burning fossil fuels can penetrate deep into the lungs and lead to heart attacks, acute asthma and premature death, according to the EPA. The new limit that the EPA set for an annual average of airborne fine particles in a given jurisdiction is 12 micrograms per cubic meter, down from 15 micrograms, a standard established in 1997.

The new standard will have a particular impact on California, due to problems from the burning of diesel fuel. According to the EPA's regional office of the Pacific Southwest, seven California counties may not meet the new standard by 2020: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, Kern, Merced and Tulare. Still, over the last decade, soot levels have been cut by almost 50% in the Los Angeles area and almost 30% in the San Joaquin Valley, the office said.

Industry attacked the standard as onerous and of dubious benefit to public health — and a sign of more regulation in the future.

"We fear this new rule may be just the beginning of a 'regulatory cliff' that includes forthcoming ozone rules, the refinery sector rules, pending greenhouse gas regulations for refineries," said Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's main lobby. "It makes no sense to risk economic harm when the public health necessity of these regulations is ambiguous at best."

Recent research by the Harvard School of Public Health has shown that reducing fine particle pollution even by small amounts can lead to an increase in life expectancy.

The EPA estimated that by 2030, the reduction in soot "from diesel vehicles and equipment alone" could prevent up to 40,000 premature deaths and 4.7 million days of work lost due to illness. The agency estimates that it would cost industry $53 million to $350 million annually to comply with the new standard. But it estimated the annual savings in healthcare and other costs to be around $4 billion to $9.1 billion.

Right now, 99% of U.S. counties are in compliance with the new standard, the EPA said. Of the remaining, many of them will be in California, the EPA said. States have until 2018 to submit their plans to meet the new standards and then until 2020 to comply. Moreover, they could ask for an extension until 2025 "depending on the severity of an area's fine particle pollution problems and the availability of pollution controls," the EPA said.

The new soot limit is the result of a lawsuit brought by several East Coast states, led by New York, against the EPA. Soot pollution in the East is largely from coal-fired plants. California's high levels of soot can be traced to diesel-fueled transportation on its roads and its ports, which can make it harder to meet the new standards.

Paul Cort, a California-based lawyer with the environmental law and advocacy group Earthjustice, said in an email, "We don't have coal power plants in California. The big targets will have to include transportation — trucks, ports, trains — but even that will probably not be enough. These areas are going to have to really look across all industries to find the pollution reductions (a little here, a little there) that will be needed to meet this new standard by the deadline of 2020."

L.A. Traffic Relief Possible If We Targeted Specific Neighborhoods, Says GPS Data



freeway traffic eric demarcq flickr law pool.JPG

Remember car pooling, flexible work schedules and "telecommuting."

Yeah, none of that worked as far as our traffic goes. L.A. still has the worst congestion in the nation.

Will anything bring relief? Researchers at UC Berkeley and MIT think they might have come up with something:

These geniuses took advantage of the fact that we all drive around with virtual GPS devices in our cars whether we like it our not: Smartphones.

Looking at anonymous data and really crunching some numbers, they concluded that, rather than telling wide swaths of people to work from home to help traffic, focusing on specific neighborhoods that seem to affect street patters more would do greater good.

In fact, says a summary, ...

   ... canceling the trips of 1 percent of drivers from carefully selected neighborhoods would reduce the extra travel time for all other drivers in a metropolitan area by as much as 18 percent.

Wow. Traffic could be reduced by nearly one-fifth just by telling those douches from Silver Lake to stay off the road? (We kid).

Although the academics focused on the Bay Area and Boston, the technology to figure out which neighborhoods contribute the most to adverse traffic is in-hand and could be applied to L.A. and even developing nations, the researchers say.

The study was published last week in the journal Scientific Reports (http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/121220/srep01001/full/srep01001.html) . Berkeley's Alexandre Bayen:
Reaching out to everybody to change their time or mode of commute is thus not necessarily as efficient as reaching out to those in a particular geographic area who contribute most to bottlenecks.
We can imagine the L.A. equivalent of East Coast snow days for some of our neighborhoods: Stay-home days. Would be cool.

Caltrans to raise rents on tenants living in the path of 710 Freeway


  By Lauren Gold, Staff Writer