Purpose

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

All the City's Traffic Lights Are Finally Synchronized

 http://encino.patch.com/articles/all-the-city-s-traffic-lights-are-finally-synchronized

February 19, 2013

 

The last of the city's nearly 4,400 traffic signals were synchronized Tuesday, marking completion of a project designed to lessen the amount of time that drivers spend in gridlock.

The Automated Traffic Surveillance & Control system, a $410 million effort to coordinate traffic signals across the city under a centralized system, could reduce the average amount of time drivers spend in traffic by one day per year, according to city transportation officials.

Synchronization is designed to increase travel speed by 12 percent, while decreasing the time spent stuck in traffic by 16 percent, according to Jaime de la Vega, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

The system coordinates traffic not only for vehicles, but also for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit. Transportation engineers can monitor traffic remotely through cameras throughout the city, make adjustments to signal timing and analyze traffic data to improve traffic flow. Police and emergency vehicles will also be able to take advantage of the new system.

The signals can be programmed to respond to unusual traffic scenarios involving crowd-heavy events at major sports and convention venues like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

"As of today, we have synchronized every traffic signal in the City of Los Angeles," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was on hand at the intersection of South Broadway and Martin Luther King Boulevard to turn on the final traffic signal in the system.

He also commended the effort for potentially reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the city, since vehicles will be less likely to idle and emit exhaust.

"By synchronizing our traffic signals, we will spend nearly a day less (per year) waiting and reduce pollution by nearly a metric ton of carbon every year," Villaraigosa said.

The synchronization system was first proposed prior to the 1984 Olympic games held in Los Angeles. But the project lapsed until 2005, when Villaraigosa lobbied for the allocation of $150 million in Proposition 1B money to complete the program.
LADOT Ready to Embrace “Floating” Bike Lanes for Westwood, But Is West L.A.?

 la.streetsblog.org/2013/02/19/ladot-ready-to-embrace-floating-bike-lanes-for-westwood-but-is-community-ready/
 By Damien Newton, February 19, 2013





  






Tonight, city officials with LADOT and City Planning will present the environmental documents for five Bike Plan projects in West Los Angeles. Highlighting the list of projects is a proposal by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) to restripe 1.6 miles of Westwood Boulevard between National Boulevard and Santa Monica Avenue to create a “floating” bike lane in each direction. LADOT has said they would back such a plan if there were community support.
The proposed floating bike lane for Westwood between National and Santa Monica Boulevards. Image by LACBC via Rancho Park Online

Basically, if a floating bike lane were installed, the city paint what would at first glance appear to be multiple bike lanes. During different periods of the day, the street configuration would change. For example, during off-peak hours there would be car parking along each curb, then a bike lane, then two mixed use travel lanes and a turn lane, then another bike lane, parking, and the alternate curb. At rush hour, there would be two lanes in one direction and one in the other (it changes pending which rush hour) with a turn lane and bike lanes hugging the curb.

For more information on how floating bike lanes work, read this case study from San Francisco. It states that the design, while not perfect, generally works.
While not perfect, with its slightly confusing, unorthodox design, it successfully accommodates cyclists, part-time on-street parking, and motorists needing additional capacity during peak hours. It does so with minimal signs, leading one to conclude that while the design is unorthodox, it uses fairly predictable road-user behavior to its advantage. Cyclists naturally tend to stay to the right, and motorists will use a space even if it is not clearly for their use if traffic congestion reaches certain levels and the space is reasonably accommodating.

Following 150 riders attending the Ride Westwood! ride and rally the previous Saturday, the LACBC’s Eric Bruins attended the Westside Neighborhood Council meeting on Valentine’s Day to press for the “floating bike lanes.” In advance of his meeting, some on the Council circulated a letter deriding the plan, encouraging attendance and even stating that “even the local cyclists find the proposal unworkable.” More of the letter is available at Biking in L.A.
Despite the email blast, Rancho Park Online reported that most of the people in attendance that spoke were in favor of the proposed changes. Conversely, most of those on the Neighborhood Council were skeptical.

Several of the Neighborhood Council members are also members of Neighbors for Smart Rail, which has taken its case against the Expo Line and supported lawsuits alleging that city environmental studies for the Expo Bike Path were flawed.

Against this backdrop, the city holds a community meeting on the Bike Plan tonight at 11214 West Exposition Boulevard at 6:00 p.m. In January, it announced that it would abandon the EIR process for 39.5 miles of bike lanes that will cause a change in existing traffic patterns. Because of a change in state law, a full Environmental Impact Report isn’t necessary for these bicycle projects provided some study and outreach is completed.
More Comments to

Op-Ed

Newton: An MTA power play

L.A. Supervisor Mike Antonovich and others would like to oust a fellow board member.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-newton-column-mta-antonovich-20130218,0,2116555.column#tugs_story_display


J. SooHoo at 10:18 AM February 19, 2013 Fasana says "He was in opposition to a project that's very important to San Gabriel Valley cities,"   What project -- BRT, LRT, No Build, TSM/TDM?  No.   Fasana refers to the Tunnel, supporting what the public & electeds already know –  the decision was made long before the process began, implying the process is biased & not authentic.

In a letter to Metro, Schiff said “The environmental review process Metro is engaged in has been excessively focused on the tunnel option.  I have expressed my concern over Metro's apparent rush to judgment on a tunnel option many times, but without success. This has only confirmed what many in the community suspected, that Metro was once again starting with the conclusion it wished to reach and working backwards.”

Mayor Del Guercio of La Canada Flintridge expressed the same concerns  Mayor Villaraigosa : “From my personal experience in participating in the current environmental process representing my city, I can tell you categorically that this process has been a sham and is nothing more than a post hoc attempt to justify the ill-conceived tunnel project.”

How can we believe the study is neutral when SCAG's Ikhrata says the Tunnel is the only viable option?  ‘I will say that if Metro or Caltrans or together they decide on a different alternative with the same benefits, we'll talk, the plan can be updated, but I'm not expecting that to happen.’”
 
design43 at 8:40 AM February 19, 2013 Some of us in the San Gabriel Valley are not given a choice and are unfortunatly represented by John Fasana and Mr Antonovich on the MTA Board.  Fasana and his cohort Barbara Messina have consistently promoted the BAD SR 710 toll-tunnels over the GOOD Foothill Gold Line Extension.  If a fair vote were ever to be taken, which it never has, the Gold Line would win hands down.
Thank you Mr Najarian for looking out for those of us that are under represented and helping promote, for the greater good, the Gold Line Extnesion, which is a fiscally responsible transportation project not in your district, and shame on you Mr Fasana for not.

High-Speed Rail Buzz Overpowers Daily Chug Of Freight Trains

 http://www.kqed.org/news/story/2013/02/16/116527/highspeed_rail_buzz_overpowers_daily_chug_of_freight_trains?source=npr&category=u.s.

NPR Staff, February 16, 2013

 

From the steam engine to visions of a national high-speed rail system, railroads have made their mark on American culture.

In his first term, President Obama promised to create a national system of high-speed rail, though he was scarcely the first politician to have done so. The January 2010 stimulus bill allocated $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, but Congress rejected federal funding for it.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, the president reiterated the goal of having passenger rail rise again.

But these new projects could conflict with the freight systems that go largely undetected for many Americans.

As it stands now, Amtrak pays private companies in the center of the country to run its low-speed passenger trains on freight-rail tracks. But high-speed trains would need their own tracks, depriving the freight-rail system of some of that revenue.

How to build a high-speed system without hurting the freight industry is a problem that has not yet been solved, says professor Christopher Barkan, director of the RailTEC center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"The freight railroad network is a great asset to our economy and environment," he says, "and we
need to be careful that expansion of passenger service does not harm the viability of that efficient freight-rail transit system we've developed."

Mark Sprague's Illinois farm covers about 3,000 acres near the Mississippi River. He grows mainly corn, soybeans and a bit of winter wheat, and he relies heavily on freight rail to get it around.

"For the past several years, I'd say close to 70 percent of my corn has actually left this area by rail," he says.

Cheap rail is hugely important to Sprague's harvest.

"You can move a ton of freight about 125 miles with a gallon of diesel fuel [by truck]. But by rail, it's more like 500 miles you can move a ton of freight with a gallon of diesel fuel," he says.

From Sprague's farm in Hull, his corn travels 130 miles by rail to the city of Decatur, in central Illinois. He says he feels like he's in a good spot: Freight rail carriers compete for his business, which helps keep it affordable.

"There's good competition between the rail lines. There's several major carriers, and here in the Midwest we're served by all of them essentially," he says.

Edward Hamberger is the president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, a freight-rail industry group.

"We have 140,000 miles of track, an interconnected network that binds this country together," he says.

Hamberger says Sprague is just one of millions of customers served by American freight rail.

"Not everyone knows that the freight-rail system in America is privately owned. This year alone America's private freight companies will spend $24.5 billion — that's 40 cents of every revenue dollar — back into the infrastructure in terms of new locomotives, railroad ties, miles of track, signal systems, rail cars," he says.

Hamberger says freight rail is a geographic necessity in America.

"In the U.S., with 3,000 miles from coast to coast, we better have a pretty effective, efficient and cost-effective way of moving that freight just to get to ports so we can compete in world markets," he says.

Even though freight trains are heavier and slower than trucks, they're more fuel-efficient, and therefore more cost-effective. Plus, many American highways and bridges need infrastructure repair.
But most Americans don't see trains every day, like they do trucks. So Hamberger says their idea of the railroad is kind of out of date.

"Everybody says, 'My grandfather worked on the railroad,' and everybody says, 'My goodness, why don't we have a railroad system like Japan has?' We have the world's best freight-rail system, but no one sees that," he says. "And when they do see it, they're waiting for a mile-long train to go by so they can get to their child's soccer game."

Hamberger says that image could be a problem as America begins to build high-speed passenger rail systems. The issue, he says, is that high-speed passenger trains could actually threaten the health of freight rail if not carefully coordinated.

In addition, political opponents of the president's vision say America is just too spread out, too large and diffusely populated for high-speed economics to work.

"The population densities in countries where it has worked are different than in the U.S.," says RailTEC's Barkan. "Well, that's definitely true out in the West, where you have vast swathes of land with very little population."

It's a different story in large metropolitan centers in the Midwest, though, Barkan says.
 
"If you actually look at the demographics and the distribution of the people and geography, it's not that dissimilar from, say, France," he says, "which is another country that has a very successful high-speed passenger rail system and continues to expand their system."


Passenger Rail and Freight Rail Are Friends, Not Enemies

 http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/02/passenger-rail-and-freight-rail-are-friends-not-enemies/

By Robert Cruickshank, February 17, 2013


When I first saw this NPR story titled High-Speed Rail Buzz Overpowers Daily Chug Of Freight Trains I thought it would be a reasonable look at the challenges that come in certain high speed rail projects that intend to share tracks. But that’s not what this is about:
But these new projects could conflict with the freight systems that go largely undetected for many Americans.

As it stands now, Amtrak pays private companies in the center of the country to run its low-speed passenger trains on freight-rail tracks. But high-speed trains would need their own tracks, depriving the freight-rail system of some of that revenue.
How to build a high-speed system without hurting the freight industry is a problem that has not yet been solved, says professor Christopher Barkan, director of the RailTEC center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Huh? Freight rail will be gutted because passenger trains will run on their own tracks and deprive freight rail companies of precious revenue? That doesn’t make any sense at all.
During FY 2010, the most recent year I could find stats for, Amtrak paid $135 million in track access fees to freight railroads, representing about 6.6% of Amtrak’s total operating costs that year.

In FY 2010 the operating revenues for Union Pacific were $4.981 billion. For BNSF the operating revenue in FY 2010 was $4.5 billion, for CSX the FY 2010 operating revenue was $2.8 billion for Norfolk Southern the FY 2010 railway operating revenue was $2.67 billion, for Canadian Pacific the FY 2010 revenue was C$5.0 billion and FY 2010 revenue for CN was C$8.297 billion. Treating the Canadian numbers at rough parity with USD, that gets a grand total of $28.248 billion in FY 2010 operating revenue for the major freight railroads Amtrak pays. It took me a total of 10 minutes to research those numbers.

So Amtrak’s $135 million payments that year reflect 0.48% of annual revenue for those freight rail companies.

And we’re supposed to believe that if that money went away, it’s some mortal threat to the future of freight rail in America? How absurd! Especially since, at least for the time being, most high speed rail plans in America do not envision dedicated passenger rail tracks, meaning that 0.48% of revenue will not be going anywhere anytime soon – except perhaps upward.

The rest of the NPR story is quotes from people waxing rhapsodic about the economic and cultural value of freight rail. And I am in full and complete agreement about that. America needs to shift toward using electrified freight rail for as many of its freight hauling needs as possible, just as we did until the 1980s (well, it wasn’t electrified then). It’s better for the environment and by using electric locomotion it can be better for the businesses who depend on freight rail since the price will not be dependent on an ever-rising cost of oil.

Further, separate high speed rail tracks mean that there’s more room for freight rail to grow. As I said above, there is a genuine issue in terms of capacity when passenger and freight share tracks. It can work as an interim measure, but the best solution for everyone is for passenger rail and freight rail to have their own tracks, allowing both to expand capacity over the coming decades as demand for electric rail rises.

I strongly support further federal investment in all forms of passenger rail – and I also strongly support further federal investment in all forms of freight rail. NPR here implies that there’s only so much money to go around, which just isn’t true. There’s plenty of money to invest in both kinds of rail.

Unfortunately, the folks NPR interviewed are colored by some basic factual errors when it comes to high speed rail:
In addition, political opponents of the president’s vision say America is just too spread out, too large and diffusely populated for high-speed economics to work.
“The population densities in countries where it has worked are different than in the U.S.,” says RailTEC’s Barkan. “Well, that’s definitely true out in the West, where you have vast swathes of land with very little population.”
Actually, California’s population densities and the distances between metro areas are very similar to both France and Spain. The notion that California is somehow less dense is just not true. Barkan acknowledges that the Midwest’s densities and distances resemble France as well, so he appears to have some possibility of being brought around to reason, which is nice.

But that doesn’t redeem this article, which makes some crazy assumptions not supported by the evidence. Passenger rail and freight rail are both important to the transportation future of this country, and both should be supported, rather than artificially and unjustifiably pitted against each other.
LA City Planning to the People and the Pols: Drop Dead, WE Know Better

 http://www.citywatchla.com/lead-stories-hidden/4555-la-city-planning-to-the-people-and-the-pols-drop-dead-we-know-better

By Ken Alpern, February 19, 2013 

 DEPARTURES - In the City of Los Angeles, most of us ordinary citizens are just trying to survive as best we can.  Hanging on by our fingernails as we balance jobs, finances, family and community, our days are exhausting and our nights are replete with homework, bills and “keeping up” with e-mails and personal projects. 

So along comes City Planning with a report that supports a “new and improved” Casden Sepulveda project, which the general public has NOT seen, and which makes it clear that those developing this project are more valued stakeholders than the totality of the Westside neighborhood councils, residents and even City Councilmembers who unanimously oppose this project as is.

The City Planning report, which describes a Casden Sepulveda project likely to have far-reaching negative impacts on the Westside, came out shortly before an upcoming City Planning Commission hearing addressing the project on February 28th that meets in the Valley City Hall during daytime hours—which is probably great for the developers, but a nightmare for impacted Westside residents.

If this isn’t a form of bureaucratic tyranny and favoritism, then I don’t know what is.  Tyranny and favoritism enacted not by the Casden developers (although clearly their overriding and advantageous influence is evident), but tyranny and favoritism enacted by LA City Planning.

The message from City Planning:  Yes, allowing this project with major zone changes and variances has major traffic and densification changes to this region of the Westside compared to projects that stay within zoning codes, but…hey, this region is going to mega-densify and become choked in traffic, anyway, so that’s not the developers’ fault—that’s the City’s problem and responsibility.

The other message from City Planning:  We don’t need any Community Plans that you’ve been begging for, and which are legally required in the City Charter, and which the Neighborhood Councils and community groups have been meeting for on a volunteer basis for years—we’ll make our own rules as we go along, as we see fit, because WE know better.

And yet a third message from City Planning:  For those of you who thought the Expo Line was going to fit into the community (and not transform it), and for those of you who recognize that smaller and appropriate densification works great for a passenger rail line with a much smaller capacity than the future Wilshire Subway, GO DROP DEAD.  This is OUR land, OUR project and OUR region…not yours.

Finally, a fourth message from City Planning:  There are no legal or health liabilities on the part of the City to have children grow up underneath a freeway, and there’s no reality to West LA becoming a group of affordable housing “projects” to serve the commercial centers of Santa Monica.  We’ll scrap whatever industrial or commercial land is left and do whatever we want.  WE know better, and it’s OUR land.

Considering that the Casden developers certainly submitted and presented their new project (whatever that is) to City Planning, and that the same City Councilmembers, Neighborhood Councils and community groups who opposed the original project did not see the new project prior to the City Planning report, the question of the legality of this report MUST be raised.

The Planning report favoring this new project (sans photos or diagrams) came out right before President’s Day Weekend, describes less commercial space but approximately 100 new residential units.  There are fewer parking spaces, accordingly, but this phenomenon is consistent with a ridiculously-outdated City policy that includes senior affordable housing to be assigned half a space for each unit.

There is a recommendation for the developers to work with the Expo Authority for the Exposition/Sepulveda Expo Line station, but unless the Casden Sepulveda developers have suddenly changed their tune, they HAVE NOT, and DO NOT talk to the Expo Authority!

It’s likely that the freeway-adjacent future Expo/Sepulveda station next to the Casden Sepulveda project will attract commuters from the Westside, Valley and South Bay, but the parking structure for this station is on Metro property across the street (and is at serious risk of being utilized by residents and visitors for the Casden project).

This Metro parking structure, which will certainly be insufficient to serve the needs for this station, has no planned supplemental parking facility from the Casden developers, and all planned structural accommodations of the Casden project for Expo Line riders are predicated on nebulous verbal promises from the Casden developers for two reasons:

1) The Casden developers are focusing ONLY on their profits, and NOT what’s good for the City of Los Angeles, Metro, or this region of LA County—any mitigations will be those they’re dragged into, despite pleas for assistance from the Expo Authority and Councilmembers Koretz and Rosendahl for years.

2) This is NOT a transit-oriented project, it’s NEVER been a transit-oriented project, and it remains an AUTOMOBILE-ORIENTED project that even City Planning acknowledges will have significant and unmitigable impacts on over two dozen major regional intersections.

But the Casden developers, connected and savvy as they are, sang the siren’s song of “affordable housing” and “transit-oriented development” long enough for City Planning to buy Casden’s bill of goods, and enable the Casden developers to build even MORE housing and even LESS parking and create a Westside Jordan Downs Project” adjacent to a freeway--which is everything the Westside doesn’t need.

And to those who fought for the Expo Line to actually reduce traffic and make West LA more livable, and to those who fight for truly-affordable housing and commercial/residential development in the right locations, and to those who believe in the rule of law, Community Plans and the City Charter?

To those City Councilmembers and their staffs, to those Neighborhood Councils and community groups who regularly work and meet with Metro and the LADOT and City Planning…and who wanted a jobs center and Westside Regional Transportation Center at this site (consistent with current zoning) to build the local economy and coordinate traffic and commutes?

Well, a handful of City Planners, led by Michael LoGrande, have decided to tell them and us all that THEY know better, and that our concerns about rules and laws being broken, to create a traffic-choking “Westside Jordan Downs Project” which will drastically and negatively impact regional access to the Expo Line, are too brushed aside.

Brushed aside and confirmed far away in the Valley during daytime hours to minimize the access and ability for those of us neighborhood volunteers (even elected Neighborhood Councilmembers) with jobs and family to work with our Councilmembers and the Expo Authority to have a role in this project and its many zoning changes and variances (normally to be approved by impacted Neighborhood Councils!).

Message received, Mr. LoGrande et al from City Planning:  THIS will be the new future of Community Plans and City Planning Policy.  YOU know better, this is YOUR land, and any and all elected City and Neighborhood Councilmembers can all go DROP DEAD!  


Korean mass transit moving towards wireless power

 http://www.slashgear.com/korean-mass-transit-moving-towards-wireless-power-18269747/

By Craig Lloyd, February 18, 2013


The world is slowly making the switch over to electric power, and while some mass transit systems have been powered by electricity for a while, it’s usually delivered through overhead cables that connect to the buses and trains at all times. However, Korea is moving away from overhead cables in favor of wireless power to its mass transit vehicles.
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Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have ended up making major strides in powering mass transit systems over wireless protocols. The systems are called On-line Electric Vehicles (OLEV), and are actually already being tested on Korean roads today. If all goes well, they may switch to the new system permanently.

The technology uses inductive charging to wirelessly transmit electricity from the ground to coils underneath the floor of electric vehicles. The ground has embedded power cables that transmit electricity to the pick-up coils. So far during testing, engineers have recorded an 85% transmission efficiency with the cables and coils.

The technology is similar to what Utah State University is currently doing. Back in December, they introduced an inductive charging technology that involved the same wireless method, which would allows city buses to quickly charge up while waiting at a bus stop, an initiative that would cut down the amount of fuel needed drastically.

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Establishes National Freight Advisory Committee

 DOT Announces Proposal to Establish ‘National Freight Network’

http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/us-transportation-secretary-lahood-establishes-national-freight-advisory-committee

February 14, 2013

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the establishment of a National Freight Advisory Committee to provide recommendations aimed at improving the national freight transportation system. A strong freight transportation system is critical to the nation’s economy and essential for helping meet President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015.
“Our freight system is the lifeblood of the American economy,” said Secretary LaHood. “We must ensure that our freight system is stronger and better connected.”

The recent transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, signed by President Obama in July 2012, established a national freight policy and called for the creation of a National Freight Strategic Plan.  By engaging stakeholders representing diverse geographic, modal, and policy interests, such as safety, labor and the environment, the Advisory Committee will provide recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on how DOT can improve its freight transportation policies and programs. The U.S. Department of Transportation is soliciting nominations for members of the National Freight Advisory Committee. Instructions on how to submit nominations are available in the Federal Register notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-19/html/2013-03759.htm.

The collaboration of stakeholders will serve to promote involvement and compliance with proposed plans and performance measures. The effort will support the implementation of larger freight policy initiatives, including the Department’s Freight Policy Council, an internal body of DOT leadership created by Secretary LaHood to facilitate cross-modal implementation of MAP-21 freight provisions. The Advisory Committee will comprise at least 25 voting members from outside of DOT who have various perspectives on freight transportation, including mode, region, policy areas, freight customers and providers, and government entities, and will meet at least three times per year.

DOT also proposed the process through which the DOT will designate a national freight network to better focus attention on the highways most critical to the movement of goods. The Secretary will designate the most critical existing interstates and roads as the primary freight network.  This network will consist of up to 27,000 miles of existing interstate and other roadways. It will also include the possible addition of 3,000 miles of existing and planned roadways necessary for the efficient movement of goods in the future.

U.S. freight travels over an extensive multi-modal network that includes highways, railroads, waterways, pipelines and airways. While specific commodities are likely to use particular modes, a significant portion of the freight moved throughout the nation travels on more than one form of transportation to reach its final destination. A comprehensive system is required to meet the growing freight volumes. The Federal Register notice announcing the process for designating the national freight network is available here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-06/html/2013-02580.htm

Additional information on the National Freight Advisory Committee is available here: http://www.freight.dot.gov/freight_nfac.cfm.

Eight-day water shutdown nears in Pasadena, prompting warnings

 http://www.pasadenasun.com/the626now/tn-626-0219-eightday-water-shutdown-near-in-pasadena-prompting-warnings,0,2970429.story

By Jason Wells and Tiffany Kelly, February 19, 2013

 Officials are asking residents and businesses in Pasadena to conserve water during an upcoming eight-day pipeline shutdown starting on Thursday.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is upgrading one of its oldest water lines, which delivers drinking water to 250,000 people in the region.

Pasadena officials are asking the affected communities – including La Crescenta and La CaƱada Flintridge -- to refrain from outdoor watering, washing cars, hosing sidewalks, filling pools and leaving tap water running.


During the shutdown, crews will be carrying out “vital system repairs” and upgrades to the Eagle Rock Tower and to the Weymouth Treatment Plant in LaVerne, according to Pasadena Water and Power.

Chief among the restrictions will be a complete ban on outdoor watering, which, the utility warned, was being enforced “to stretch our limited supply and avert a catastrophic situation where our city runs out of water."

Pasadena Water and Power issued an itemized list of restrictions that will be in effect until Metropolitan start delivering water again:
    No outdoor landscape watering (i.e. sprinklers, smart controllers, hose, drip or watering can).
    Leaks must be fixed within 24 hours.
    No filling of lakes, ponds, or residential pools or spas.
    No washing vehicles (except at commercial carwashes).
    No new water service connections.

Metropolitan officials suggest residents put a bucket in their shower to collect water before it warms up and use the collected water to care for sensitive plants.

Fines for water use violations during the shutdown will range from $100 up to $1,000. Water waste violations may be reported at (626) 744-8888.

For more information on the reason for the shutdown, visit Metropolitan's website.
--Jason Wells and Tiffany Kelly, Times Community News
ower to collect water before it warms up and use the collected water to care for sensitive plants.
COURIER CORRECT! MAYOR BRIEN GIVES IN/CITY OF BEVERLY HILLS SUES FEDS ON METRO TUNNELS 
 http://bhcourier.com/courier-correct-mayor-brien-incity-sues-feds-metro-tunnels/2013/02/15

February 15, 2013

 

Late Friday, the City of Beverly Hills announced that it has finally filed suit against the Federal Transportation Administration alleging that its decision to make the Westside Subway Extension eligible for federal funding violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related federal laws.

The move comes after months of stalling by the city council majority led by incumbent Mayor Willie Brien.  The City set aside up to $1.25 million to fight the federal agency, based on alleged deficiencies in the environmental impact statement prepared by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority “Metro.”  The Beverly Hills Unified School District previously filed a similar lawsuit after the School District and City failed to persuade Metro to avoid a route underneath Beverly Hills High School.  Both the School District and the City have also filed suit under California’s Environmental Quality Act.  The NEPA suit has long been awaited.

The Courier, the Beverly Hills Board of Education, parent and community groups have implored the City council to take action against Metro to protect Beverly High.  The council majority of Brien, and members Barry Brucker and Julian Gold regularly ignored pleas in open council session from dozens of local residents to join the struggle to save the high school.

Brien, who faces reelection March 5, voted to oppose strong measures against Metro and has appeared at Metro events with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villiaraigosa to promote the subway.  The City’s press release reflects Brien’s pro-subway position by concluding, “The City of Beverly Hills is a strong supporter of the Westside Subway Extension, including two stops in Beverly Hills, but opposes a route to Century City that tunnels underneath the high school.”  A motion by Vice Mayor John Mirisch to revoke the City’s support if Metro tunnels under Beverly High was defeated by Brien, Brucker and Gold.  Brien told The Courier Wednesday that he will not oppose the subway even if it tunnels under Beverly High.  Mirisch, and candidates Nancy Krasne, Brian Rosenstein and Katherine Cohan all pledged to oppose the subway if it tunnels under Beverly High.

The Courier earlier today reported rumors of the pending filing as Brien’s political advisors told him his reelection was in jeopardy because of his refusal to take action against Metro and the federal agency.  Brien recently led his majority in retaining “fast-tracking” of Metro’s permit requests to drill, core and excavate in Beverly Hills for the subway.

News of the filing confirms The Courier’s reports.


Editorial

Beverly Hills' subway spat

Concerns about the proposed route beneath Beverly Hills High School have become part of the mayoral campaign there. Subway

 Passengers wait for the a Metro Red Line in Hollywood in 2011.

 February 19, 2013


Beverly Hills' embarrassing battle against the Westside subway extension, which emerged as a major political issue last year, is becoming one of the key issues in the March 5 city elections. With the lines hardening between those determined to take legal action to stop the construction of a tunnel under the local high school, which they fear will endanger students, and those who see that route as the safest alternative, we urge residents to consider the scientific and engineering reality rather than merely relying on emotion. In other words: Stop gumming up the rails, Beverly Hills, for your own sake and L.A.'s.

Mayor William Brien has voiced his own reservations about the subway, but to his credit, he has sought to avoid a costly legal fight against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, whose board last May approved a planto route the train under Beverly Hills High School. As a result, Brien has been heavily criticized by his political opponents. We're not endorsing Brien or any candidate in the city race this year, but in the case of the subway, he's right not to pick a fight.

The MTA performed voluminous studies assessing the safety and feasibility of different routes beneath Beverly Hills. As work progressed, it became clear that one of the alternatives — building a station on Santa Monica Boulevard that would have allowed tunnelers to avoid the city's historic high school — would entail crossing active fault lines that could prove highly risky.

Meanwhile, building a station instead on Constellation Avenue in Century City doesn't just make far more sense from a safety standpoint; because it's closer to high-rises than the Santa Monica Boulevard stop, it would bring in more riders. That means taking the tunnel under the high school, and even though many subways nationwide and in Los Angeles run beneath schools, Beverly Hills parents are convinced that the MTA project would risk a deadly methane explosion, or create vibrations that would disrupt school activities, or stand in the way of the construction of a future underground parking garage, or in some other way destroy the tenor of life in Beverly Hills as we know it. MTA analyses have refuted these concerns.

Last week, the city filed suit against the Federal Transit Administration for making the subway
eligible for federal funding; the Beverly Hills Unified School District had already filed a similar suit. These suits could cost the city millions. Both challenge the MTA's environmental analysis of the tunneling routes, which was thorough and scientifically rigorous.
Brien, who faces a campaign battle against former Mayor Nancy Krasne, has largely tried to avoid legal battles against the MTA and has touted the subway alongside L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, which is enough to be branded a villain by local rail opponents. There may be good reasons to vote against him next month, but his subway stance isn't among them.

Beverly Hills' embarrassing battle against the Westside subway extension, which emerged as a major political issue last year, is becoming one of the key issues in the March 5 city elections. With the lines hardening between those determined to take legal action to stop the construction of a tunnel under the local high school, which they fear will endanger students, and those who see that route as the safest alternative, we urge residents to consider the scientific and engineering reality rather than merely relying on emotion. In other words: Stop gumming up the rails, Beverly Hills, for your own sake and L.A.'s.

Mayor William Brien has voiced his own reservations about the subway, but to his credit, he has sought to avoid a costly legal fight against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, whose board last May approved a planto route the train under Beverly Hills High School. As a result, Brien has been heavily criticized by his political opponents. We're not endorsing Brien or any candidate in the city race this year, but in the case of the subway, he's right not to pick a fight.
The MTA performed voluminous studies assessing the safety and feasibility of different routes beneath Beverly Hills. As work progressed, it became clear that one of the alternatives — building a station on Santa Monica Boulevard that would have allowed tunnelers to avoid the city's historic high school — would entail crossing active fault lines that could prove highly risky.
Meanwhile, building a station instead on Constellation Avenue in Century City doesn't just make far more sense from a safety standpoint; because it's closer to high-rises than the Santa Monica Boulevard stop, it would bring in more riders. That means taking the tunnel under the high school, and even though many subways nationwide and in Los Angeles run beneath schools, Beverly Hills parents are convinced that the MTA project would risk a deadly methane explosion, or create vibrations that would disrupt school activities, or stand in the way of the construction of a future underground parking garage, or in some other way destroy the tenor of life in Beverly Hills as we know it. MTA analyses have refuted these concerns.
Last week, the city filed suit against the Federal Transit Administration for making the subway eligible for federal funding; the Beverly Hills Unified School District had already filed a similar suit. These suits could cost the city millions. Both challenge the MTA's environmental analysis of the tunneling routes, which was thorough and scientifically rigorous.
Brien, who faces a campaign battle against former Mayor Nancy Krasne, has largely tried to avoid legal battles against the MTA and has touted the subway alongside L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, which is enough to be branded a villain by local rail opponents. There may be good reasons to vote against him next month, but his subway stance isn't among them.
More news on the SR710 Alternatives Analysis Report


From Sylvia Plummer, February 19, 2013


The City of Pasadena's Department of Transportation has made available two
copies of Caltrans/METRO of the Alternatives Analysis - in hard-copy.

One copy (all 1500 plus pages of it) can be found at the Pasadena Central Library
service desk where it is available to the public for in-library use during
library hours. The Central Library is at 285 East Walnut Street - just north
of City Hall.

A second copy is also available at the Pasadena City Clerk¹s Office at City Hall.

For those of you who would prefer to find a copy from METRO¹s website, go
to:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710study/#heading
Comments to
Op-Ed

Newton: An MTA power play

L.A. Supervisor Mike Antonovich and others would like to oust a fellow board member.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-newton-column-mta-antonovich-20130218,0,2116555.column#tugs_story_display

no719 Tunnel at 9:44 PM February 18, 2013

 Mr. Newton’s article sheds light on the shadowy workings of the Metro Board. He reminds us that this body is tasked with ensuring the future transportation of Los Angeles County. The public has reason to be wary when Metro operates with minimum transparency. The politically motivated attempt to oust an experienced and effective Metro Board member, Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian,  in an unprecedented manner is the unfortunate result.

We need a public transportation system that truly connects our county, moves people and freight cleanly and efficiently, and promotes the sustainability of communities. We have challenges such as the need to reduce fossil fuel consumption and protect the environment. To accomplish this, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky insists that the Metro Board must be able to collaborate. I would insist that the leadership operate with credibility and transparency.  Finally, we need more Metro Board members like Ara Najarian, not less.
 
graceonice at 8:25 PM February 18, 2013

 It is important to note Najarian represents the North County/San Fernando Valley sector.  It does not include all San Gabriel Valley cities.  Why is this important?  Najarian was unanimously nominated by the cities included in the sector to continue representing them.  Fasana’s city of Duarte is not included.  Fasana and Antonovich have attempted to silence not only Najarian, but also the cities he represents.

The ratification process has been “pro-forma” .   I know this because I have examined the Committee’s voting history for the past ten years.  Records demonstrate that the failure to ratify Najarian’s nomination is unprecedented.  Further, this has NEVER happened to ANY unopposed nominee to ANY of the bodies for which ratification is the responsibility of the Committee (MTA, Library Commission, etc).

Congressman Schiff submitted a letter of support to the Committee, saying “The Metro Board is well served by members with a diverse set of views, so that the County has the benefit of a cross-fertilization of ideas and from the scrutiny from a Board that is not a rubber stamp from any particular point of view. Although Ara has served our region extremely well, he has not served in a parochial way; nor should individual voting members of the League of California Cities act parochially in attempting to reject his nomination.” 
 
reality check5 at 6:32 PM February 18, 2013  @ Numan (frm TRAC). You incorrectly state the 710 freeway shouldn't be viewed as a goods-movement only project. The Metro release from Doug Failing, Executive Dir, HP, states that the I-710, SR-710, and HDC projects are intended for goods-movement, not commuters: http://m.metro.net/news/simple_pr/metros-highway-program-shifts-high-gear-18-new-pro/

"While this year's 18 projects and the I-405 are designed primarily to give people a better commute, 3 other high-profile projects in various planning stages but not yet scheduled, address the demands of commerce -- specifically goods movement from the twin ports of L.A. and Long Beach, the two busiest ports in the country, and goods movement from California's Central Valley, America's bread basket.

The I-710 south from the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will involve a freeway widening and possibly a separate freight corridor that could be tolled.
The 710 north gap closure between the I-10 and the I-210 would complete the natural goods corridor that was begun several decades ago...

A third, the High Desert Corridor, will be a brand new 63-mile east-west freeway between SR-14 in Los Angeles County and SR-18 in San Bernardino County. It would create a shortcut for goods movement from the Central Valley to the rest of the United States and trim back goods congestion through the L.A. basin."


 vlkea01 at 6:04 PM February 18, 2013 Why are Antonovich, Messina, and Fasana lobbying against Ara Najarian? It could be for any reason, none of which are in the interest of the citizens who voted Najarian to this position. Ara Najarian is *our* voice, and Antonovich, Messina, and Fasana are attempting to put a muzzle on Najarian and, in the process, on the people who voted him in. Shame on all of three of you. Your individual and collective behavior is unconscionable.

Najarian asks the hard questions regarding this 710 tunnel for *us*. The negative cost, safety, and health ramifications of the tunnel are many and have been proven in many studies. For those of you who would like to read the many reasons why the tunnel should not be built, you may visit no710.com.

I support Ara Najarian 100 percent. He is our voice and will remain a voice in concert with us if this ouster comes to fruition.


Numan Parada at 12:29 PM February 18, 2013 I'm disappointed that people continue to look at the 710 Gap Closure project as a goods-movement-only project when there is ample evidence to the contrary. The tunnel element of the project would give LA a much-needed alternative to going through Downtown LA for travelers. The TDM option would help traffic in the local cities in question. This is not a goods movement project; it's an everyone- and everything-movement project. Yes, this attempt to oust a known opponent is in poor taste and not at all productive. Yes, we should continue to ask the questions and demand the answers for this project. Najarian has done a great service promoting both highway and transit projects in the past and can continue to do so. But we can't sacrifice the needs of an entire region by scuttling a tunnel option at the whims of a select few.
  
 reality check5 at 6:40 PM February 18, 2013

 Numan, how closely have you been following the info regarding the 710 closure? A high priced toll road is hardly a viable alternative to going through downtown LA.

@ Numan P (frm TRAC). You incorrectly state the 710 freeway shouldn't be viewed as a goods-movement only project. The Metro release from Doug Failing, Executive Dir, HP, states that the I-710, SR-710, and HDC projects are intended for goods-movement, not commuters:
http://m.metro.net/news/simple_pr/metros-highway-program-shifts-high-gear-18-new-pro/

"While this year's 18 projects and the I-405 are designed primarily to give people a better commute, 3 other high-profile projects in various planning stages but not yet scheduled, address the demands of commerce -- specifically goods movement from the twin ports of L.A. and Long Beach, the two busiest ports in the country, and goods movement from California's Central Valley, America's bread basket.

The I-710 south from the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will involve a freeway widening and possibly a separate freight corridor that could be tolled.
The 710 north gap closure between the I-10 and the I-210 would complete the natural goods corridor that was begun several decades ago...

A third, the High Desert Corridor, will be a brand new 63-mile east-west freeway between SR-14 in Los Angeles County and SR-18 in San Bernardino County. It would create a shortcut for goods movement from the Central Valley to the rest of the United States and trim back goods congestion through the L.A. basin."


BarrettRoad at 12:05 PM February 18, 2013 It is all about the $$$, power, and legacy.  Will he be another Villaragosia or Alatorre??

He has a big money making MTA project - Palmdale-Victorville "High Desert Corridor" (=LACounty's verison of the Inland Empire Logistic Center) - the "California City" equivalent for freight with the UP/BNSF service, PD Intrnl.Airport, HS-North Rail and LV HS Rail...from open desert land, requiring very little water and sewage so cheap land development - who owns the options - and incremental property tax revenues...

He doesn't like anyone who opposes him or his pets or who shines a light on his operations, or who may compete for the power, his legacy, or eventual replacement...

So what is new in LACo/City politics...he is out of date/touch/view mostly just like AV except for view but we have to worry about what he does against the non-white, non-rich, thinking public and real representatives from the  "ethically-diverse" Glendale area.



thaddius.d.patrizzi at 11:07 AM February 18, 2013 Thank you, Jim Newton. I support Ara Najarian but I don't want to bash Michael D. Antonovich. He has been reasonable in the past and helpful on other issues. This article makes me wonder if I've been fooled by a lack of transparency. I want Antonovich to be an ally on the right side and drop the wrong-headed thinking on bloating the 710. Additional investment in creating more freeways is counterintutive to the signs of the future.

Surely, he must feel this in his bones. Tear down that wall, Mr. Antonovich!


sbolan at 11:00 AM February 18, 2013 kurtstar - Why do you drive so far from North Orange County to Pasadena?  Aren't there any good jobs down there?  I think you may need to make better transportation choices so you won't be so frustrated with your situation.  I chose a job very close to home so that I wouldn't contribute to our huge congestion problem and could spend more time with my family.

I have been following the SR-710 project for about 4 years now and cannot believe the behind-the-scenes, backroom-politicing that I have seen.  I never would have believed the huge power behind Metro, Caltrans, SCAG, and SGVCOG and how things really get done here in LA County.  But my eyes are wide open now.  And apparently if you are not in the "good 'ol boys" club, you are out, gone, stomped on.  It's a shame that open debate, transparency and accountability, and old-fashioned honesty have gone the way of the dodo bird.  I only hope that the future Mayor of LA brings with him or her and fresh new perspective and an educated understanding of the impacts of this hugely expensive and dangerous project.


HighlandPark-No710 at 10:50 AM February 18, 2013 Najarian is asking the questions that no one else is willing to ask. He's the only one standing up and demanding transparency from Metro on the 710 project. Metro has talked in circles pretending to address the questions about this being a toll road building to move goods from the Port of LB and through the region, but they have never come clean. Najarian is attempting to hold their feet to the fire and Antonovich, Messina and Fasana are trying to oust him as a result.
I can't wait to have the opportunity to vote out Messina myself.


No710er at 10:28 AM February 18, 2013 Ara Najarian has been a responsible member of the MTA Board BECAUSE he is asking the right questions.  It is wrong for MTA Board members Antonovich, Fasana and Alhambar Mayor Barbara Messina to try to oust him from the Board because he does not agree with their plans to push through a toll tunnel whose cost has never been firmly established, and whose purpose is to move goods through the region, not to relieve traffic congestion.  MTA "outreach" to the community has not provided adequate information about the cost and purpose of this project, and if anything has contradicted and confused the issue.  It is imperative that residents are educated and informed about these issues.  Ara Najarian has taken on that job and is trying to create some transparency among Metro, Caltrans and residents of the region.  We need someone who is looking out for the residents of this region, not just the special interests who want the tunnel built for their own narrow purposes.  I support Ara Najarian for MTA Board.

 
j.picone at 10:15 AM February 18, 2013 To date, the Metro (MTA) board seems to be the opposite of open and transparent. In fact, the Metro Open Houses and related events regarding the 710 freeway extension have been a study in obfuscation and smoke and mirrors.

Mr. Narajian represents the best interests on behalf of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valley regions. I live in Pasadena and he certainly represents my best interests. Metro board members do not need to match in lock-step with each other. Whatever happened to open and honest debates?

I do NOT support the efforts of Alhambra Mayor Barbara Messina, Duarte City Council Member John Fasana and Supervisor Mike Antonovich to inappropriately exert influence over the vote of cities they do not represent.

I DO support Ara Narajian as a Metro board member.


blauhorse at 8:59 AM February 18, 2013 The 710 "Completion" which METRO is trying to push down the throats of our region is a mistake of the highest order.  It is a 20th Century solution (more highways move more goods) for a 21st Century problem (reduction of greenhouse gasses in the efficient movement of goods).  Just yesterday there was a story on NPR about the need for more rail and rail's ability to move tons of goods for a fraction of the cost of trucking.  Trucking through a residential community is not a solution.  METRO needs to think long term and consider the environmental consequences. By the time a tunnel would be completed another solution with less destruction will have been found/invented. Thank you for this OpEd piece on METRO - they have already spent much taxpayer money on community outreach which never reached the community. It's all window dressing for their power plays.


kurtstar at 10:19 AM February 18, 2013 I want the 710 to be completed to I can drive my carpool in my electric car to work.  Right now going that extra 5 miles or so out of the way for me to get to Pasadena from north OC cuts it too close.
 
 
sylviavplummer at 8:35 AM February 18, 2013 As a member of the MTA board, Mr. Najarian has demonstrated leadership on the 710 extension issue. He has asked the right questions about the proposed project, questions that have not been adequately answered by Metro. I am outraged by the actions of Michael Antonovich, John Fasana and Barbara Messina.  What's wrong with Najarian challenging the cost of the project or asking questions?   It’s clear we need more people like Najarian on the MTA board. I’ve been to many Metro-sponsored meetings and have yet to hear anything that clarifies what the project is needed for (such as Goods Movement), or a reasonable cost estimate.   Perhaps Antonovich and his buddies can clarify this for us.
 
 
Charles Miller at 7:19 AM February 18, 2013 L.A. County supervisors oversee a budget of $24 billion/yr. -- more than 27 state governors in the U.S. and over 100 countries in the world -- this is an inordinate amount of power and only the public and the press can keep this in check. Mr. Antonivich is advocating to spend the equivalent of L.A. County's annual budget on just one project (after construction, interest and maintenance costs) and Ara Najarian, a fully voted and supported member of the Metro Board for the L.A. region, rightfully opposes this as fiscally irresponsible. Given the choice, I will support Ara Najarian over Mr. Antonovich in his fight to preserve our tax dollars.
There is a Board of Education meeting tonight 

 http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com/

February 19, 2013

 
It is a kind of special meeting, but then again most of their meetings are special. Even the ghastly boring ones. This one is a joint meeting taking place with the Pasadena City Council at their City Hall. The time is 6:30 tonight. Here is how this one was laid out in an e-mail to me from one of my wise friends:

Very important joint council/school board meeting this Tuesday evening (6:30, council chambers). Honowitz managed to schedule Judy Chu to make a presentation on "community schools." Then, the agenda calls for approval by council and school board of a boiler-plate 3-year city/district plan for non-profit "partners," further eroding the ability of the schools to perform.

In case you are not aware, the "community schools" concept is a cockamamie idea put together by the likes of Peter Dreier, Chris Holden and Judy Chu to build social equity housing on PUSD sites. The idea is to use Measure TT bond money and build low income small unit stacked housing to promote this social engineering concept in the area covered by the Pasadena Unified School District. With the bond money used to finance much of the building of these projects coming out of our pockets. There is also Federal funding as well.

This, of course, at a time when the folks running the PUSD have attempted to convince us that there isn't quite enough money to rebuild Sierra Madre's half-demo'd Middle School like they'd originally promised. And perhaps there is not. How could the $240 million in remaining money be enough when the people running this bizarre outfit have decided to go into the social equity housing business?

This will also be a decision made by the City of Pasadena alone, with Sierra Madre and Altadena left out in the cold. This wasn't even mentioned when the Board of Education came here, Judy Chu or not.

Peter Dreier, in case you are not aware, has an interesting past. Peter was one of the founding members of the Democratic Socialist Party back in the hippy days. The idea was to tear off the left leaning fringe of the Democratic Party and use it to rebuild a long moribund Socialist movement in the United States. This effort failed, and miserably. Peter also spent nine years in Boston as the head of Redevelopment and Housing there, only to be run out on a rail after his various Utopian schemes led to predictable financial disasters costing that city millions of dollars.

Somehow Dreier landed a teaching position at Occidental College where he BS's teenagers for a living. And now he wants to do the same sorts of social equity housing experiments here that he tried and failed at in Boston. He also expects us to meekly accede to paying for much of it out of PUSD bond money that we had approved for the purpose rebuilding schools.

Now a partnership of rapidly aging '60s leftist Peter Dreier and Congresswoman Judy Chu is not as unlikely as you might think. The bromide spouting Congresswoman we know today was not always such an annoyingly generic political figure. Judy was actually quite like Peter back in her golden days, and was even affiliated with leftwing groups considered a bit "out there."

This from a writer named Trevor Loudon, writing on his New Zeal blog (click here):

So where is my evidence that Judy Chu, Congressional Representative of California’s 32nd District, is a long term affiliate of the former Communist Workers Party and its still surviving networks? The first significant evidence of Chu’s ties to the CWP comes through a long forgotten far left umbrella group, the Federation For Progress.

The Federation For Progress described itself in an undated brochure released circa late 1983 or early 1984. It was one of several attempts in the 1970s and ’80s to create a new US Marxist united front organization – this time by the Communist Workers Party.

The FFP put a half-page ad in the socialist weekly newspaper, In These Times in the July 14-27, 1982 issue, p. 8, entitled: “A natural follow-up to June 12: A national conference July 30-August 1 at Columbia Un., in New York City.”

It was a follow-up conference to the major “anti-defense lobby” march and protest in New York on June relating to the U.N. Second Special Session on Disarmament. The ad listed FFP’s “Interim Executive Committee” – the first name on the list was “Judy Chu, Professor Asian-American Studies, Los Angeles.”

Pretty fascinating stuff. If you go to Loudon's site you will find all sorts of documentation and other items that lend some strong credence to his claims about the past, and not so past, affiliations of Judy Chu.

Something that makes a "community schools" alliance of Peter Dreier and Judy Chu, along with Chris Holden, Ed Honowitz and the rest of his PUSD sideshow, not so surprising.

They want to build housing for the poor on PUSD property. The problem is it's your money they're using here, money that was supposed to go to help to rebuild our schools. Something they apparently could care less about.

Just look at our razed Middle School. Then imagine all of the low income housing they could build there instead. I am sure they have.