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, January 8, 2013

Latest update on Gold Line Foothill Extension: work throughout the corridor!



Move LA Forward!



Calling All Transit Users: LA/2B Needs Your Feedback (That Means YOU, South L.A.)


 Sahra Sulaiman

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


At the end of 2012, LA/2B, the project to revamp the Mobility Element of the General Plan for L.A, announced they had narrowed down the feedback gathered during more than a year’s worth of public engagement to six draft goals and their corresponding policies.

The six goals include finding ways to put street Safety first, building a World-Class Infrastructure,
providing better transit Access for All Angelenos, helping people, agencies, and businesses make better transportation decisions through Informed Choices, choosing policies that help us achieve a Clean Environment & Healthy Communities, and finding the best approach to promote Smart Investments in our transportation system.

Angelenos are invited to vote on the policies they feel will best move each of the goals forward. More importantly for South L.A. residents, perhaps, there are opportunities for people to add their thoughts on the goals or policies. Last August, I wrote about how LA/2B had struggled in their efforts to reach out to South L.A. Considering how much higher transit use is among South L.A. residents — almost 18% vs. 11% city-wide — and the fact that many users don’t have other means of transportation at their disposal, ensuring these voices make it into the mix is important.

Of greatest interest to area residents might be the opportunity to suggest improvements to the Draft Transit-Enhanced Network for North-South and East-West streets. Streets intended for enhancements that fully or partially run through South L.A. include:

Broadway (near Chinatown Cornfield Park to I-105 Green Line Station)
Crenshaw Blvd (Wilshire Blvd to Florence Ave)
Florence Ave (West Blvd to to Metro Blue Line)
La Brea Ave (Hollywood Blvd to Rodeo Rd)
La Cienega Blvd (Santa Monica Blvd to Expo Line Station)
Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (Rodeo Rd to Central Ave)
Slauson Ave (Crenshaw Blvd to the Metro Blue Line)
Vermont Ave (Los Feliz Blvd to Vermont Green Line Station)
Vernon Ave (Crenshaw Blvd to Blue Line Station)
Western Ave (Santa Monica Blvd to Florence Ave)

On the surveys, participants are asked to identify whether they might like to see No change, Moderate, or Comprehensive enhancements to each of the particular streets. According to the website, moderate enhancements might include transit stops along mixed-flow curb-adjacent lanes; the peak-hour frequency of buses at less than 8-minute intervals (all routes on street combined); enhanced late night and weekend service; signal priority and queue jumps for buses; shade, benches, lighting and shelters beyond existing standard; real-time passenger information; intermodal connections (bike and car-share, taxis and local circulators); safe pedestrian and universal access; or secure long-term and short-term bike parking.

Comprehensive enhancements might include exclusive corridors for buses along busy streets, off-board fare collection, a peak-hour frequency of buses at less than 3-minutes (all routes on streets combined), turn prohibitions to promote the free-flowing of traffic, level boardings, or multiple-door boarding of buses.

If, like me, you are not a planning wonk, terms like “mixed-flow curb-adjacent lane” might take you a minute or two to figure out. Some definitions are available here, in the Complete Streets Glossary. “Mixed-flow curb-adjacent lane” is sadly not among them. To the best of my understanding, however, it is a fancy way of indicating a bus stop is at the curb along a street where buses, cars, and bikes all move unrestricted through a lane together. If that is not the case, I’m sure that someone wonkier than I will correct me below.

As with the other topics available on the online town hall, comments are welcome. Just please make sure you do it soon! Comments on the six goals close in approximately 40 days and in 83 days on the transit-enhanced networks. If you’d like to know more about the plans for the South L.A. region in general, please check here for an overview of the draft plans released for South L.A., Southeast L.A., and West Adams-Baldwin Hills-Leimert Park at the end of 2012.

On a planning-related note (but not linked to LA/2B), as part of the effort to turn the Slauson Corridor into a pedestrian-friendly destination hub for local merchants, Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office has been hosting a series of workshops aimed at helping residents re-envision the area. They are asking that you participate in renaming of the area as part of the re-branding process. More information about that effort is available here.

Happy planning!

Long Beach's $1B Gerald Desmond Bridge Started Work Today


January 8, 2013





 Work officially started today on a replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge that connects the 710 and Terminal Island at the Port of Long Beach, The Source reports. The old GDB will stay up until the new $1 billion bridge is open--the first incarnation went up in 1968 and is in sad and scary condition, according to Caltrans (it also has to wear a diaper, thanks to falling debris). The bridge's 1.5-mile span will be about 50 feet taller than the old bridge, allowing modern, greener cargo ships to pass under. The upgrade includes additional vehicle lanes, three in each direction, plus safety lanes, as well as bike and pedestrian paths. According to materials from Caltrans, Metro, the Port of Long Beach, and the US Department of Transportation, which are all working on this mammoth undertaking, the new bridge will be an improvement on the former's steep grades, leading to traffic improvements. Construction is expected to take four years.

Groundbreaking ceremony held Tuesday for new Gerald Desmond Bridge




 The new bridge will replace the existing structure that was built in 1968 and at the end of its lifespan. The new bridge will also sport a new design and will continue to be the big link between the 710 freeway and Terminal Island at the Port of Long Beach.

Caltrans and the Port of Long Beach are leading the replacement effort along with funding help from Metro and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Both Metro CEO Art Leahy and Metro Board Member Diane DuBois spoke at the ceremony this morning.
Here's a fact sheet about the project:
Bridge Replacement Fact Sheet

Driverless cars are a hit at Consumer Electronics Show



Audi, Toyota, Lexus, Volvo, and Mercedes are all working on variants of the self-driving vehicle that was initially developed by Google. The basic technology has been taking shape, but applications keep evolving. Much of the debate centers on whether these cars would operate with complete autonomy or require some human involvement - much like an airline pilot flying a passenger plane. Audi, for example, envisions a vehicle that can handle stop-and-go driving conditions, while still allowing motorists "to take control of the car when needed." I suspect this could be more of a political distinction than a technological one. From transportation consultant Richard Gilbert (via the Globe & Mail:)
Surveys on attitudes to driverless in North America and Europe suggest an age divide: young people welcome them; older people do not. In spite of their relatively strong opposition to driverless cars, older people welcomed having automatic safety features and driving aids in regular automobiles almost as much as younger people (63 per cent vs. 71 per cent).
These results are similar to reactions among airline passengers about the prospect of not having at least one pilot at the controls - even if computers are essentially operating the plane. Older people are not entirely trustful of machines, especially when it involves split-second decision making. More than anything else, this apprehension will likely hold up fully autonomous vehicles. More from Richard Gilbert:
My guess is that for insurance and other reasons, autonomous cars will initially be managed by fleet-owners who will use them to provide a taxicab service. You'll order an autonomous taxicab (AT) on your smartphone, specifying destination, number of passengers, and amount of baggage. You'll negotiate exact pick-up and set-down locations with the dispatch computer and the time of pick-up (by spoken interaction or keyboard). An appropriate vehicle will arrive at that time and take you to your destination. When passengers and baggage have been unloaded, the vehicle will be available for a new assignment. For large loads, whether passengers or baggage, two ATs might arrive, linked electronically to travel together to the destination.

The Most Traffic-Congested Cities In North America


 Jim Gorzelany


 If you live in Los Angeles, you’d better own a car that has comfortable seats, a killer audio system and Big Gulp-sized cupholders, as you’re certain to spend a disproportionate part of your time sitting behind the wheel, as compared to other cities in North America.

That’s according to navigation system maker TomTom’s third annual Congestion Index, which determined that the average L.A. commuter spends 34 percent more time behind the wheel than when traffic is flowing freely (at whatever theoretical hour that may be) and 76 percent more time during a typical evening rush. By comparison, the average North American motorist spends 19 percent more time than necessary getting to a given destination during times of peak congestion. We’re featuring the top 10 most car-clogged cities in the accompanying slide show.

In addition to the City of Angels, the rest of the top-five traffic-jammed North American metro areas are all situated in Western states and provinces, including cities otherwise known for their “mellower” lifestyles like Vancouver, San Francisco and Seattle (which probably saves them from winding up on the list of “most road rage incidents”). Oddly enough, while a few of North America’s largest metropolitan areas like Toronto, Montreal and Chicago made the top 10 list, what would seem to be the most-obvious suspects like New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. failed to make the cut.

In Pictures: 10 Most Traffic-Congested Cities In North America.
TomTom’s Congestion Index is based on real travel time data captured by in-vehicle TomTom devices traversing the 57 largest North American metropolitan areas between July and September 2012. Travel-time data was gleaned via cars traversing local roads and arterial routes in addition to highways. The complete Congestion Index can be downloaded here.

“With access to trillions of historical data points and more than 100 million anonymous, real-time data sources, we can effectively identify key congestion hot spots around the world,” says the company’s head of traffic Ralf-Peter Schäfer. “This highly accurate data allows us to provide governments with real insight into the realities on their roads and provide solutions that will help to reduce traffic congestion overall.”

L.A. mayoral race rival accuses Greuel of campaigning on city time




Los Angeles mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel, Kevin James and Jan Perry at a candidate debate in Sept. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times




Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James on Tuesday accused rival Wendy Greuel of unlawfully using her position as city controller to advance her campaign for mayor.

Greuel’s newly released appointment calendars, James said, show an alarming abundance of campaign meetings and events during business hours, often with city staff assigned to attend. Greuel has been “using her controller’s office as a front for her mayoral campaign,” James told reporters outside the City Hall annex where the controller works.

“If you review the city ethics code, you can find any number of violations as a result of these activities,” he said.

In response, Greuel campaign consultant Dave Jacobson denied any wrongdoing by the controller, saying she conducted herself in a manner no different from that of President Obama or any other elected official in campaign season.

“Talk about crime in City Hall,” he said. “Kevin James ought to be charged with reckless endangerment of the truth.”

The heated rhetoric demonstrated anew how James, an entertainment lawyer with a knack for attracting news cameras, poses a threat to Greuel’s candidacy in the March 5th mayoral primary.

A longtime cable TV talking head and radio talk-show host, James is using the media skills that he honed as a lawyer for such stars as Jennifer Aniston to try to block Greuel’s path to winning a spot in the May runoff. He hopes his ability to generate news coverage can offset the advertising that Greuel and other better-funded rivals can afford.

James, the only Republican in the race, argues that Greuel and two other mayoral contenders, City Council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, bear responsibility for the city’s poor fiscal condition and can’t be trusted to clean up what he characterized as corruption at City Hall.

His message is aimed largely at appealing to Republicans in the San Fernando Valley, an important part of Greuel’s political base. Greuel, a former Republican who registered as a Democrat in 1992, represented the Valley on the City Council for seven years.

 “Kevin James is a two-bit political hack with a microphone,” Jacobson said. “Give him a camera, and he’s like a kid in a candy store. We don’t need a candidate who runs for office like he’s auditioning to be the next Rush Limbaugh.”

Greuel’s controller calendars, published Monday on the website of Los Cerritos Community Newspaper, show frequent campaign meetings and events on her city schedule. Staff from her city office were often listed as attending the meetings and events. Jacobson said that in every case, they did so voluntarily on their own time.
 Restoration of Historic Streetcar Service

 Save the Date: 1/23 Streetcar EIR Scoping Meetings

The City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering invites you to attend and provide comments at the Scoping Meetings for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Restoration of Historic Streetcar Service in Downtown LA:
January 23, 2013
10-11am and 6:30-8pm

Caltrans Building
100 S Main St
Conference Room 1A
Los Angeles, CA 90012

All requests for reasonable accommodations and translations in other languages will be provided upon request. Please submit meeting requests 72 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting date via streetcarservice@metro.net, 213.922.3000, or the California Relay Service at 711.
Scoping Period
The scoping period is 30 days: January 3, 2013 – February 1, 2013. You may submit comments by February 1 via mail or email to:
City of Los Angeles
Department of Public Works, BOE

Attn: Jim Doty
1140 S Broadway, Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90015-2213

For more information, and to view the Notice of Preparation and Initial Study, please visit:

Balqon Receives Zero Emission Heavy Duty Electric Truck Grant for Port Drayage Applications


January 9, 2013

 Balqon Corp., a developer of electric vehicles, drive systems and lithium battery storage devices, announced $925,000 in funds earmarked for Balqon Corp. by the Department of Energy to develop three on-road electric trucks, Model MX-30 for use at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

According to Air Quality Management District Board minutes, Balqon would provide three battery electric trucks with 100-mile range and a DC fast charger utilizing 500 kilowatt-hour lithium battery energy storage unit. Demonstration of DC Charging using battery energy storage is expected to reduce charging costs and charge time for heavy-duty electric trucks.

This project will help us develop and demonstrate short charge times by using lithium battery energy storage systems we have developed for renewable and energy storage industries, said Balwinder Samra, CEO of Balqon Corporation.

AQMD will be the administrator of this grant with final contracts with the DOE and AQMD is expected to be signed during the first quarter of 2013.

The Problem with ‘Public-Private Partnerships’


 WHEN PROFIT TRUMPS PUBLIC NEED - When a plan to construct the first modern privatized highway in the United States did little to ease congestion, blocked residents from making further improvements and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, Californians had the opportunity to learn a lesson about the folly of privatizing transportation projects.

In 1995, California Private Transportation Company won a contract to complete a $130-million project using mostly private money to build express toll lanes along Orange County’s State Route 91 freeway. To recoup expenses, politicians gave the company a 35-year claim to operate the toll route, promising Californians that privatization would lead to greater safety, efficiency and savings.

The agreement did not alleviate what local traffic reporters called the “Corona Crawl,” and when state and local officials announced plans to make their own improvements, CPTC filed a lawsuit, claiming additions to the road could reduce the company’s profits. In 2003, the Orange County Transportation Authority purchased the SR-91 toll lanes for $208 million and put an end to the disaster.

In 2004, the California State Legislature stopped its experiment in highway privatization. But other states began their own projects. And in 2009, California once again authorized a “public-private partnership”—also known as “P3”—to provide highway services and other public goods.

And then there’s this from Darwin Bondgraham at Dollars & Sense:

P3 is at least three things:

It is a rebranding of privatization. The phrase purposefully evokes a win-win scenario involving equal “partners” working toward a common goal. Government leaders have been sold this new kind of privatization as a solution to declining tax revenues and borrowing capacity, while private companies claim to be offering their expertise and capital in a spirit of public service.

It is the result of a long ideological campaign against public-sector unions and “big government,” which conservative think tanks, pundits, and politicians blame for growing deficits and crumbling infrastructure. This worldview, meanwhile, hails private companies and the private profit motive as the bearers of efficiency and fiscal discipline.

Finally, P3 is obviously a money-making opportunity. It is propelled by an infrastructure-industrial complex composed of global construction corporations, investment banks, private-equity firms, and elite law firms organized as vertically integrated consortiums. Allied through their own trade associations, they are actively pressing for new laws to expand the types of public infrastructure from which they can extract profits, and in recent years they have been quietly succeeding.

Handbook On Applying Environmental Benchmarking In Freight Transportation
 National Freight cooperative Research Program

Click on title to get to the 79 page PDF

$1.1 Million Award Bridges the Gap in San Fernando Valley L.A. River Greenway Trail



Automobile Usage And Urban Rail Transit Expansion

 (48p. PDF : Estimates the impact of rail accessibility improvements on the usage of rail transit, automobiles, buses, walking, and bicycling)
Environment For Development

Click on title for the PDF

Density Reduces Driving (Even At Pretty High Densities) 


 Monday, January 7, 2013 - 7:10pm PST by Michael Lewyn


A few weeks ago, I read a startling claim in an email discussion group  Someone wrote that at densities above 20 households per acre (roughly that of a streetcar suburb),* increased density had little effect on driving.  If this was the case, the environmental argument for allowing higher densities would obviously be weaker.

After searching for data relevant to this claim, I found a 1994 study by John Holtzclaw (available here).  Based on data from numerous California cities, Holtzclaw created a model designed to quantify the relationship between density and automobile vehicle miles traveled (VMT).**

Holtzclaw concluded that even in areas with minimal transit service, density affected VMT.  For example, in an area with only two buses per hour, a census tract with 20 households per acre drove about 40 percent less per household than one with two units per acre (15,374 per year as opposed to 27,339).  But VMT did not stop dropping at the 20 households per acre level.  An area with 100 households per acre drove 1/3 fewer miles than the 20-per-acre neighborhood (10,028 VMT per household) and one with 500 households per acre drove 40 percent less than the area witih 100 households per acre (5781).

A similar density/VMT relationship existed in areas with generous public transit.  Holtzclaw calculated that in a place with 100 buses/trains per hour within a quarter mile, a census tract with 2 units per acre produced 20,308 VMT per household per year, and a tract with 20 households per acre produced about 45 percent fewer miles (11,420).  Under these circumstances, an area with 100 households per acre drove about 1/3 fewer miles than the 20-units-per-acre census tract  (7637), and an area with 500 households per acre drove about 40 percent less than the area with 100 per acre (4295).

VMT statistics in actual neighborhoods supported Holtzclaw's model.  For example, in the city of San Francisco, VMT per household averaged 11,256 miles.  By contrast, in the Nob Hill/North Beach area (which had 100 households per acre, as opposed to 48 for the city as a whole) VMT per household was less than half that (5519).  In sum, it appears (at least based on Holtzclaw's model) that even at densities of 100 households per acre or more, higher density means less driving.

Moreover, Holtzclaw's model may slightly understate the influence of density on driving.  Why?  Because higher density, by allowing more people to live near bus or train stops, makes improved transit service possible- which itself seems to reduce driving.***

Why does any of this matter?  Because if the most compact neighborhoods drive less than 20 household-per-acre streetcar suburbs, it follows that additional infill in  already-compact neighborhoods, by increasing density, will reduce VMT.  If this is the case, then additional infill is justified on environmental grounds, even in neighborhoods that are already far more compact than the average American suburb.

*Because there are 640 acres in a square mile, this corresponds to 12,800 households per square mile in a heavily residential area.  San Francisco's Sunset District has roughly this density, as do the more compact parts of Upper Northwest Washington, DC.

**The numbers produced by Holtzclaw's model are at Table 7 of the paper.

***Though perhaps not as much as higher density.  For example, in the super-dense neighborhood with 500 units per acre, the difference between 2 buses per hour and 100 per hour produced a change from 5781 VMT/household/year to 4295- a change much smaller than the difference between either neighborhood and the lower-density areas.

Density and VMT

Based on the figures I have seen, higher densities have little effect in reducing VMT after you reach the density of European cities (about 80 people per gross acre). Higher density still has some effect, but there are sharply diminishing returns.
I think Holtzclaw's numbers understate the effect because they only look at VMT of people who live in the denser area. Actually, higher density also reduces VMT of people in surrounding areas.
Eg, the high density of Manhattan reduces VMT of people all over the NY metropolitan area. If Manhattan were the density of Westchester, the people in Manhattan would drive more. And people all over the metropolitan area would also drive more, because the entire metropolitan area would be more spread out.

Economic Impacts [of the Port of Long Beach]


 For a good read about some of the economics of the ports, and why this is so important for so. California, read below.  It's short, but shows essentially why California is pushing all aspects of the 710 connector.
And perhaps why we are doomed....[re: the 710 tunnel]

 Home Page

The Port of Long Beach’s impacts on the local, regional and national economies are substantial. More than $100 billion worth of cargo moves through the Port every year, creating jobs, supporting retail and manufacturing businesses, and generating tax revenues.
The Port measures its economic impacts in five overlapping regions: The City of Long Beach, Los Angeles County, the five-county Southern California region, the state of California and the entire United States.
In Long Beach:
  • Port operations support nearly 30,000 jobs, about one out of every eight jobs in the city.
  • Nearly $1.9 billion a year is spent in the city for Port industry services (services purchased primarily by foreign and domestic shippers and steamship companies).
  • More than $800 million a year is spent on wholesale distribution services in the city for goods imported through the Port.
In L.A. County:
  • Port operations support more than 230,000 jobs, about one out of every 24 jobs in the county.
  • Nearly $3.3 billion a year is spent in the county for port industry services.
  • Foreign consumers purchase about $5.1 billion annually in goods manufactured in the county before being shipped to the Port.
  • More than $9.3 billion a year is spent on wholesale distribution services in the county for goods imported through the Port.
  • Retailers in the county spend about $4.1 billion a year selling households goods and other finished products imported through the Port.
In the five-county region (Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside counties):
  • The Port supports more than 315,000 jobs, about one of every 29 jobs.
  • The $14.3 billion in wages and salaries supported by port activity represents slightly more than 4 percent of all salaries and wages paid within the region.
  • More than $10 billion a year is spent on wholesale distribution services for goods imported through the Port.
  • Retailers spend about $7 billion a year selling household goods and other finished products imported through the Port.
In California:
  • Port operations support about 371,000 jobs.
  • Port operations generate about $5.6 billion a year in state and local tax revenues.
In the United States:
  • Port operations support about 1.4 million jobs.
  • About $4 billion a year is spent in the U.S. for port-industry services.
  • Foreign consumers purchase about $18 billion a year worth of American goods shipped through the Port.
  • More than $32 billion a year is spent on wholesale distribution services in the U.S. for goods imported through the Port.
  • Retailers in the country spend more than $25 billion each year selling household goods and other finished products imported through the Port.

For more detailed information on the Port of Long Beach's economic impacts, as well as the methodology used for calculating impact figures, please download the full Port of Long Beach Economic Impacts report. The report is available in PDF format through the link below.

Economic Impacts Report

Is Metro's Doug Failing Attempting to Sell the 710 Tunnel to China?


January 8, 2013 

 The Cone Zoner

 Doulas R. Failing (some names are assigned by fate for a purpose) is the Executive Director of Metro's Highway Program and a lead mouth in the effort to dragoon into existence the 710 Tunnel. This despite massive opposition here to so environmentally devastating a thing. The Doug, sensing the importance of his little public relations problem, has been making plenty of noise lately about this project having nothing to do with funneling massive amounts of truck traffic out of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and up through our little slice of God's Great Reward.

Doug makes these claims despite the existence of plentiful documents from Metro, SCAG and various other American taxpayer funded agents of hostile foreign economic interests, showing that their intention clearly is for this tunnel to serve as a conduit for vast quantities of port generated truck traffic. The unfortunate effect here being the extension of the environmentally toxic 710 Corridor into South Pasadena, and then up through Pasadena, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge and Sierra Madre, among others.

We posted some excerpts from these inconvenient documents last Friday. If you missed all of the excitement the article is called "Metro's 710 Tunnel Disinformation Process," and you can easily access it by clicking here.

Now what often happens here on The Tattler is that we post information that we feel is pretty important, but then in the comments someone will come along and post something else so good that we realize our efforts are no longer complete. At least not until we take whatever that great new information is and bring it to the attention of you, our esteemed and highly valued readers. And on Friday we got that just that kind of comment. Here it is:

There is no doubt that there are many forces trying to get the 710 Tunnel built. Failing, Ikhrata, Fasana, Messina, Huddy and far more than you can imagine. There is so much evidence that it is being built as a freight corridor; this article outlines just a portion of it. High traffic, high tolls, and Level of Service F projected on the 210 from opening day forward. It's in their own reports. 

The surrounding areas will be jammed, including Fremont when people leap off the freeway to avoid the tolls. Be careful what you wish for, Barbara Messina. And speaking of trolls, uh, I mean tolls, how many of you supporters are going to pay up to $20 one-way, just to go 4.5 miles? I didn't think so. 

And yes, Virginia, trucks will choose to use it whether for local or long haul. Forty per cent of US goods come into the LA/LB ports, 70 % continue on to somewhere else, mostly by truck. They already use the 210 as an east-west corridor and this gap closure will allow them to bypass downtown and go directly up the middle. Metro is doing outreach to investors right now using the assumption that the tunnel will be built. 

This particular presentation to the International Chinese Transportation Professional Association outlines the plan to financially bundle the SR-710 with the I-710 and the High Desert Corridor. It also includes tolling on the I-405, Sepulveda Pass and on the I-5 between the SR-14 and Parker Road, which is being advertised as well. Welcome to the "new normal" per Metro. Local taxes and Highway Tolling in LA County!

The document our star poster refers to here is called "Innovative Project Delivery Strategies," and it was delivered to the International Chinese Professional Association (ICTPA) by Doug Failing at a very happening confab held on October 5, 2012. It shows that anyone with a few billion bucks to invest can get in on the action, with the payoff being real time access to vast amounts of toll money reaped not just at the tunnel itself, but throughout the greater Los Angeles region as well. Yes, nearly everything is now up for grabs. Call Metro today and ask for Doug. It's even better than buying the Brooklyn Bridge.

China, of course, being one of those countries pressuring to have the 710 Tunnel built so its cheaply made products can get from the ports to big box retailers all across America much more efficiently. Time is money, as you know.

You can view this amazing document by clicking here. Metro is holding the first of their three latest Truck-Tunnel Denial Process meetings tomorrow evening. This one goes down at Maranatha High School in Pasadena at 6 PM. Perhaps you might wish to print a copy and bring it along so that you can ask Executive Director "Tax & Toll" Failing about it personally. I am sure he will be more than glad to answer any and all of your questions.

Ishmael Trone Launches District 3 Campaign, Chris Holden at His Side


Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 


Assemblymember Chris Holden said Saturday much of his success during his time on the Pasadena City Council was achieved with District 3 Council Candidate Ishmael Trone at his side.

“He and I worked very closely during much of my time in office (City Council),” said the assemblyman while standing next to Trone during an event that launched Trone’s campaign for the now-vacant seat. “He’s been able to see how we’ve accomplished things along the way.”

“As the campaign continues and as more people don’t know him connect with him, and understand what he’s already been able to contribute,” Holden said. “I think they’re going to find it be a rather easy decision (to elect Trone.).”

That sentiment was shared by many of the 150 in attendance at the Eden Garden Restaurant where Trone’s 81-year-old mother and two daughters basked in the light of appreciation from supporters.

“He’s always involved in all aspects of the community and what beautifies the community,” said Pasadena business owner, architect Charles Bryant. “Despite all the work he’s done, he wants to do more work. Let’s give  it to him. He’s the right one for the job.”

“He’s a product of the community,” added John David Duncan, Chairman of the Altadena Economic Development Board. “He knows all of the ins and outs of Pasadena.”

Also in attendance were Chris Chahinian and Ray Boulgourjian of the Armenian Community Coalition, School Board President Renatta Cooper and restauranteur Robin Salzer.

Trone spoke about creating jobs in his district, enhancing the quality of life for City of Pasadena and his efforts to improve public safety while working with neighborhood associations and creating events as well as programs with the police department and community leaders in an effort to build mutual trust and respect.

The candidate also stressed the ongoing need for jobs and reviewed results of his efforts over the years which have an impact on community employment.

The campaign launch ended with Trone introducing his campaign manager, 27-year-old William Symes, who thanked Trone for the opportunity and exhorted the crowd to vote and to support Trone’s campaign financially and by grass-roots spreading the word.

“He (Trone) understands the needs of the small business people. And being a small business owner, that’s why I’m here,” said Vic Baliozian, a small business owner. “He, himself, is a small business owner and that makes me feel good.”

Pasadena to issue $30 million in new debt for Rose Bowl renovation


By Brenda Gazzar, Staff Writer
Updated:   01/08/2013 07:03:48 AM PST
 PASADENA - The City Council unanimously approved a financing plan Monday that will generate $30 million in new bond revenues to help plug the financing gap of the struggling Rose Bowl renovation.
Since the renovation was approved in October, 2010, its cost has ballooned from $152 million to up to $195.3 million largely due to unanticipated costs. The project, which began with a financing gap of about $12.5 million, had reached a funding gap of more than $50 million.

"This is providing $30 million dollars of additional funding to the Rose Bowl renovation project to ensure we have the ability to complete the project," City Manager Michael Beck said before Monday's meeting. "It's a way to fill the gap."

The deal, which involves issuing up to $35 million in tax-exempt bonds and $20 million in taxable bonds, includes the restructuring of $26.8 million in principal still owed from the bulk of bonds issued in 2006 for stadium locker room and other improvements, said Pasadena Finance Director Andy Green.

The council's decision allows the Rose Bowl renovation to have a total of $168.8 million for the project through 2013, of which $150 million has been committed so far, said Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn.

Stadium officials are now committed to completing the bulk of the project with $181.5 million using other revenues, including from monies raised by the private philanthropic group Legacy Connections and the 2014 BCS Championship game, Dunn said.

 Legacy Connections has so far raised about $9 million in pledges, Beck said. Stadium officials are also still considering deferring about $14 million of the project.

The Rose Bowl Operating Co. would pay the city for the bond payments using revenues generated from the completed stadium, such as premium seating and concessions, officials said.

Councilman Terry Tornek, who formerly voted against the plan as a member of the city's Finance Committee, said he supported it Monday due to revisions made in projected revenues.

"I think the projections being made now are much more realistic and conservative," Tornek said, noting the projections assume 1.5 million less revenue a year and project half a million dollars more in expenses. "All this material provided to us has created a very transparent process," he said, referring to the staff report as well as tables and handouts that detail the status of the project.

The debt service from the 2006 bonds was set to mature in 2023. Under the new deal, it would mature in 2043. Due to favorable interest rates, the debt service on the bonds would decrease from $3.1 million a year to $2.6 million a year, Green said.