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

Thursday, February 21, 2013



The Final EIR was published on February 14, 2013 and will be considered for certification and project approval by the Construction Authority Board of Directors on February 27, 2013.

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), public agencies are charged with the duty to avoid or substantially lessen significant environmental impacts of a project where feasible. This process is undertaken through an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), an assessment that identifies any potentially significant impacts of a proposed project on the environment. The EIR indicates the manner in which those significant impacts can be avoided or significantly lessened; identifies any significant and unavoidable adverse impacts that cannot be mitigated; and identifies reasonable and feasible alternatives to the proposed project that would eliminate any significant adverse environmental impacts or reduce the impacts to a less-than significant level.

The Metro Gold Line light rail transit (LRT) system currently extends from Los Angeles to Pasadena serving cities and communities along the alignment corridor. The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension is a phased project that extends the existing Metro Gold Line by 24 miles to the east, from the City of Pasadena to the City of Montclair. The extension is proceeding in two phases. Construction of the first phase from the Pasadena Sierra Madre Villa Station to the Azusa-Citrus Station began in late 2011, and construction is anticipated to be completed in 2015.
The proposed project, known as the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Azusa to Montclair is the next phase of this planned extension. It would extend the Metro Gold Line alignment 12.6 miles to the east and include six new stations in the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont, and Montclair.
Volume 1: Final EIR
Volume 2: Responses to Comments
Volume 3: Appendices
To access the Draft Environmental Impact Report released in 2012, click here.
To order a copy of any of these documents, complete a public information request here.
To access previously released Environmental Impact Reports please click here.
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A Mapped History of Train Travel in the United States


By James Hamblin, February 21, 2013

The first steam engine railway travel took place 209 years ago today. Here, the story of how the Civil War impeded, and then accelerated, the progress of America's trains.


All maps credit Charles O. Paullin, Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (1932)

That progress you see in the above three maps was because of the steam engine. 1830 gave us Tom Thumb, the first U.S. steam locomotive, in Baltimore. And from there these machines took off.

But before we could build the transcontinental railroad, the Civil War broke out, which temporarily stalled things. Ultimately, however, the war accelerated the ubiquity of trains. Railway and bridges were destroyed, and Americans learned to rebuild them better and faster.
Hanover Junction PA, 1863. A crowd gathers to greet Abraham Lincoln on his way to Gettysburg (Library of Congress)
Steam engines amid the ruins of a Confederate roundhouse in Atlanta in 1864 (Library of Congress)
According to William Thomas, in The Iron Way, "The South possessed some of the most beautiful depots and railroad facilities in the nation in 1861. Sherman's campaigns sought to dismantle the Confederate railroad system and in so doing deny any claim to modernity and progress."
Fortified rail bridge in Nashville, TN, 1864. (Library of Congress)

Meanwhile, guerrilla Confederates would attack trains, so the Union soldiers braced their bridges for attack and put up these block houses for bridge defenders. Sherman, knowing that his supply lines would be under attack, is said to have trained 10,000 troops in railroad repair before he marched on Atlanta. That his men were so adept at repairing their lines contributed to his success during the March to the Sea.

military bridge blackwhite.jpg
Military bridge over Potomac Creek, 1864 (Library of Congress)
This bridge was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In May 1862 it was rebuilt in nine days. By 1864, they could rebuild it in 40 hours. Thomas notes that bridges like this contributed to the sense that railroad were "thought to defy nature."

After the war, many of these men put their railroad-construction skills and experience to use for non-military lines, and by 1930 the travel time from Manhattan to LA was down to three days.
All maps credit Charles O. Paullin, Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (1932)

By 1930, three days brought us 2,500 miles. In 1800, three days would have taken us just 250 miles. Three weeks in 1857 was three days by 1930.

But comparing that 1930 map with Amtrak options today, despite the lack of any civil war to impede our growth since then, we're still at about the same travel times.
twenty thriteen across teh country.jpg.jpg

Today bridge defenders across the U.S. are out of work or under-employed. But it still takes three days to get across the U.S. by train. Atlas has shrugged, or taken a plane. And Lake Superior has never looked more lupine.

See Machines Tear Up the Bowels of New York


By Samuel Medina, February 21, 2013


See Machines Tear Up the Bowels of New York

Coming soon(ish) to New York, the “East Side Access”! Set to open in 2019, the $7 billion project is one the greatest infrastructural works currently underway in urban America. Every day for nearly seven years now, giant machines and teams of workers buried deep in the ground excavate tunnels through Manhattan’s bedrock core. These tunnels will house the future trains that will traverse the length of the new Long Island Railroad (LIRR) line, connecting Sunnyside, Queens, to Grand Central Terminal. At peak times, the line will route 24 trains per hour and ferry 162,000 trips in both directions.

At present, 5.6 miles of tunnel have already been dug. The MTA recently posted images of the construction progress, which finds workers toiling away in a giant crater beneath Grand Central. This cavernous space will be home to a large platform that will terminate the line.





China's Spectacularly Silly Plan to Curb Air Pollution


By Lily Kuo, February 21, 2013China's Spectacularly Silly Plan to Curb Air Pollution

 A vendor hands barbequed meat to customers at a food stall in Beijing.


Ah, yes—the Chinese government will stop at nothing to reduce pollution that has enveloped parts of the country in a toxic soup. First, Chinese cities restricted the number of cars on the road and scrapped old vehicles. Then the government asked citizens to give up a time-honored tradition of setting off thousands of firecrackers before and on Chinese New Year. Beijing’s next ambitious measure? Banning barbecue.

At least that’s what China’s state media is reporting, though it scrimps on details. China’s environmental watchdog has now issued draft legislation calling on cities to ban "barbecue-related activities." (Does that include just eating barbecue, looking at barbecue, or thinking about barbecue? We don’t know!) One blogger on Sina Weibo indelicately commented in response, "Soon they’ll ban farting in order to clean up the air."

Indeed, that captures our take on the government’s latest efforts at reducing pollution. As one would say in Chinese with emphasis, fangpiwhich means rubbish (or, literally, "fart"). True, coal-burning grills that make Xinjiang-style meat skewers dot many small streets in Chinese cities. But they are far from the real root of China’s pollution: resistance from state-owned companies and local governments, poor regulation, and the country’s large population. However, when pollution in Beijing in January reached more than 20 times international standards deemed as safe, it was blamed mostly on emissions from coal-burning power stations and car exhaust.

The breakneck speed of China’s development has meant that thousands of factories surround cities, spewing industrial waste into the air and surrounding rivers. Officials of provinces and cities encourage industry to increase local output, a key measure of their performance, and then misreports levels of local pollution to Beijing. Its 1.3 billion people drive increasing numbers of cars, use coal to warm their houses, and enjoy a good barbie now and then—which have all contributed to water and air contamination.

Chinese authorities have tended to frame pollution as an unfortunate consequence of China’s fast economic growth. That discussion changed last month with Beijing’s "airpocalypse," leading officials to warn residents to stay indoors. Realizing there was no way to spin the appearance of thick grey smog, officials allowed domestic media to freely report on China’s environmental troubles. Officials have been trotting out new measures since then to show how serious they are about tackling the issue. But as we’ve reported before, a truly ambitious move would be for Beijing to disregard the interests of powerful state-owned refineries and give China’s environmental regulator, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, real teeth to regulate provinces and cities.

Moreover, it seems officials have miscalculated how impressed the public would be. As one user on Weibo said, "This is hilarious. What are they going to consider next?"

Air pollution linked to cardiac arrest


 By Kathryn Doyle, February 20, 2013


Century City and downtown Los Angeles are seen through the smog.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cardiac arrests are more likely when levels of air pollution - especially soot-like particles and ozone - have been high in recent days or even hours, according to a large study from Texas.

Evidence already links airborne particles with heart disease and lung problems but the new findings are the first to show that high ozone may immediately raise the risk that a person's heart will stop beating.

"Heart patients should consider when there are high ozone levels that they should take extra care of themselves," lead author Katherine Ensor of Rice University in Houston told Reuters Health.

About 300,000 Americans experience cardiac arrest - when the heart abruptly stops and therefore can't get blood to the rest of the body - outside of hospitals each year and less than 10 percent survive. Cardiac arrest can be caused by electrical problems in the heart muscle, sudden trauma or longstanding disease.

Previous studies have found that living in polluted cities or near highways for many years can raise the risk of heart disease in general, but they mainly point the finger at small airborne particles. Ozone is more often associated with short-term worsening of asthma and other lung diseases.

To see whether various air pollutants have any direct effect on cardiac arrest rates, Ensor and her colleagues compared a database of cardiac arrests that took place outside of hospitals in Houston with air quality records for the city between 2004 and 2011.

Among the more than 11,000 cardiac arrests without an obvious cause (such as a traumatic injury), researchers found a slight rise when ozone levels where higher than usual.

Cardiac arrest risk went up by 4.4 percent for every 20 parts per billion of ozone above average within the previous three hours, according to the results published in the journal Circulation.

A difference of 20 ppb in ozone would be significant, according to Ensor. "In general I think people would notice, the air would feel thick," she said.

Summer ozone levels typically hover between 50 and 60 ppb in the U.S., according to a 10-year study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But lung function in healthy people can start to suffer at about 70 ppb, which is still within the U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standard.
Ensor's team found a similar rise in cardiac arrest risk with elevated small-particle pollution. For every increase by 6 micrograms of fine particulates per cubic meter of air in the prior two days, cardiac arrests rose by 4.6 percent.

A 2010 study from New York City found comparable effects for particulate pollution: cardiac arrests rose by between four and 10 percent with every 10-microgram-per-cubic-meter increase in fine particulates.

The EPA safe air quality standard for such small-particle pollution is 35 micrograms per cubic meter.
Though researchers don't fully understand how air pollution is connected to heart problems, some evidence suggests that irritants like particles and ozone entering the respiratory system create inflammation and a spike in destructive molecules called free radicals, which in turn can stress the heart.

Because there are many risk factors for cardiac arrest, an additional link to ozone could have big implications for people with chronic medical conditions living in urban areas, according to Dr. Comilla Sasson of the University of Colorado, who was not involved in the new study.

Among the most common conditions that raise the risk for cardiac arrest are "stents, heart attacks, bypass surgery, and the standard risk factors of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, emphysema, smoking and a family history or genetic factors," according to Sasson, who works to identify communities at greatest risk for cardiac arrest.

"I would think there are a lot of folks in (urban) areas that have one or two of these conditions," Sasson said.

It's too early to make recommendations based on the new results, Ensor said, but the ultimate goal of the research is to recommend more advanced warning systems to policymakers, to alert physicians who treat high risk patients, and to make ozone forecasts more available to the public.

For example, she added, scheduling outdoor sporting events, like marathons, could be affected by pollution levels.

Sasson said, "On high ozone days or high particulate days should we tell people at high risk to stay inside? If your grandma has heart problems, maybe keep her inside today."

More Comments to 

Has Metro's Sockpuppet "710 Tunnel Coalition" Brought In Mountain West Research's Push Polling Operation?
  1. To TB 2/21/13 6:50 a.m.

    No, the traffic is not so bad in Pasadena, but Metro would lead one to believe that if they could.

    The 710 Coalition is the fake grassroots group of two (Harry Baldwin and his daughter, Kendall Flint, who lives in Half Moon Bay, CA). They are lobbyists for the pro-710 folks.

    The cities of Pasadena, La Canada-Flintridge, Glendale, South Pasadena, and if I'm not mistaken, Sierra Madre, are forming a coalition of cities to collectively conduct their own study of the effects of this 710 tunnel boondoggle.

    I can see where the word "coalition" used for both is confusing. 710 Coalition is a formal name for the fake grassroots folks. The coalition of the affected foothill cities is the forming of a partnership in the study.

    In actuality, the 710 tunnel will impede the businesses of Pasadena, especially those in Old Town, and the parade route will be disrupted. We as Pasadena citizens opposing the 710 have no intention of throwing any of our neighboring cities under the bus (no pun intended). We are watching our elected council members closely and holding them to task.

    There will be a community forum regarding the tunnel issue in La Crescenta on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Rosemont Middle School Cafeteria, 4725 Rosemont Ave., La Crescenta. This forum is structured to answer questions of those who are just becoming aware and want the facts. I would like to invite anyone in Sierra Madre who wishes to attend. This meeting is easy to find. It is not far from the 210.
  2. How about San Marino, 11:55?
  3. Really nice lawns. Pretty much it, though.
  4. I belive San Marino threw in with Alhambra and supports the tunnel.
  5. San Marino is all for the 710 expansion.
  6. Moderator, is there a higher than usual amount of comment removals after TB makes a comment, or writes an article?
  7. Maybe Wal*Mart should build one of their Superstores there. Just so the San Moriniacs understand what it is all about.
  8. 2:19 - not so much anymore. Tony had some stalkers like Pusddad that traipsed over here from that godawful mess at Patch, but they have pretty much given up. The Tattler protects it's friends.
  9. The City Council of San Marino is so old they think getting a date with Barbara Messina is cradle robbing.
  10. San Marino doesn't support the 710 (there are several strong participants in the No on 710 group), but Antonovich supports the 710 and is using the City Council and the City Club to run his agenda over there. Same with Alhambra.

Aiming low

City Council District 3 race degenerates into name-calling contest 


By Andre Coleman, February 21, 2013

Aiming low

With less than two weeks to go before the March 5 election, candidates for the City Council’s District 3 seat are pulling out their big guns — pardon the pun — to take over for former Councilman Chris Holden, who in November was elected to the state Assembly.

The “big guns” metaphor, though perhaps a little tasteless to some, seems appropriate enough, considering all three candidates — John J. Kennedy, Ishmael Trone and the Rev. Nicholas Benson — all own weapons, and two of the three men faced gun-related criminal charges, with Kennedy being acquitted of attempted murder after shooting a man accidentally in 1993, and Trone pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges after being stopped at Bob Hope Airport while trying to get on a plane with a loaded handgun in his bag.

But instead of talking about gun violence, like longtime District 3 resident Mae Gentry wants them to do, the candidates are using their remaining campaign time to smear one another.

“I wish they would talk about the issues,” said Gentry, a onetime journalist with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “When I started looking into the other candidates in the race, I thought I wouldn’t want to vote for any of these guys. We can do better, but I am still going to vote.”

Benson essentially quit campaigning after the Pasadena Weekly reported two weeks ago that he did not attend either USC or Fuller Theological Seminary, as he had claimed, and that he goes by a number of different names besides Benson. He also routinely uses different birth dates.

Trone, too, has seen his share of controversy, with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office investigating complaints that he does not live in the district, at the headquarters of a bail bonds company he owns on East Orange Grove Boulevard, but really resides in Altadena, at a home that he owns along with his estranged wife, Juanita. Trone has emphatically denied the claim.

But just when it seemed as though the campaign could not go any lower, an anonymous flier started appearing in mailboxes and on emails last week, raising questions about Kennedy’s sexuality. Lena Kennedy, the candidate’s sister and campaign manager, called the attacks “sinful.”

“Isn’t it amazing that a man who values women, and is not running through women while he is single, is being lied about instead of being looked up to because he is honoring the example of our father, who waited to find the right woman,” Lena Kennedy said. “John stands for the way our parents raised us, which was to value yourself and other people. This sleazy type of campaigning is not who we are. This is not what our city represents.”

Lena Kennedy was referring to a lengthy article published in 1995 in the Richmond-Times Dispatch detailing Kennedy’s arrest — and subsequent acquittal — regarding the 1993 shooting of Jonathan Thomas in Northwest Pasadena.

In 1995, Kennedy followed former Pasadena Police Chief Jerry Oliver to Richmond, Va., where Oliver took as over as chief and Kennedy became deputy chief. Two years prior to that, the Virginia newspaper reported, Kennedy said he was mentoring Thomas, who was 20 at the time.

“The Trone campaign is spreading innuendo by posting that article,” Lena Kennedy said. “We wish they would talk about the issues.”

According to the article, which quotes Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Nancy Naftel, Thomas told Kennedy he would not be sleeping at Kennedy’s home because he was planning to spend that night with his girlfriend. Kennedy then asked Thomas for a .22-caliber handgun that
Thomas had previously shown him and had brought into the car they were driving in. Kennedy then pointed the gun at Thomas’ stomach and pulled the trigger. The gun didn’t go off, but the trigger action slid the lone round left in the gun’s magazine into the chamber of the weapon. When Kennedy pulled the trigger again, the gun went off, the bullet ripping into Thomas’ lower abdomen. Kennedy described his actions as innocent horseplay gone awry.

Kennedy, who testified that he did not know the gun was loaded, drove Thomas to Huntington Hospital, where surgeons saved his life. Kennedy was later acquitted of three felony charges. The jury deadlocked on two misdemeanor offenses, which were dismissed after Naftel decided not to retry Kennedy, who prior to the incident served as president of the NAACP Pasadena Branch.

Kennedy, now an executive with the Los Angeles Urban League, claims he had been mentoring Thomas for about five years by the time of the shooting. He said he often gave Thomas money, food and a place to stay.

Naftel points out in the article that it would not have been unusual for Kennedy to mentor a young man in the community. Several other prominent local African-Americans have mentored young men, including NAACP President Joe Brown.

“We have always tried to specialize and focus on what we could do with the young men in our community,” Brown told the Weekly. “That is part of the core requirement and specialization of the NAACP, and John has always exhibited that leadership quality.”

Brown has not endorsed either Kennedy or Trone for Holden’s seat.

Kennedy was hesitant to discuss the shooting when interviewed by the Weekly. Thomas died several years ago.

Copies of that article were also posted on electjjkennedy.com, and links to the article were posted on Kennedy’s Facebook page. Those links were removed shortly after they appeared. Hard copies of the article were sent to several churches in Altadena and Pasadena, as well as to several Kennedy donors, according to the candidate’s sister.

Trone, who is backed by Holden, told the Weekly on Monday that he was not behind the anti-Kennedy Web site and had no idea who posted the article.

 “I am not even aware of it,” Trone told the Weekly. “I received a copy of the Richmond article in the mail with no return address. I have no knowledge of the Web site. This is the first time I have heard of this.”

The article has prompted the Kennedy campaign to respond with a counter mass mailing to 3,200 District 3 residents.

“An anonymous campaign mailer, with no return address, but with first-class postage, is the latest effort in a not-so-subtle smear campaign against me,” Kennedy wrote in the rebuttal. Just as he declined to address questions regarding the shooting with the Weekly, Kennedy also declined to address the issue in his mailer.

“Several decades ago, I was accused — accused, nothing else — of wrongdoing. I put my faith in our justice system, and I was completely acquitted. Nevertheless, my opponent keeps misleading voters — you — with scurrilous rumor and innuendo.”

Kennedy’s mailer also contains a picture of Trone taken by the Weekly — and used without the paper’s permission — with the words “Shame on you” stamped across the front and the word “campaigning” misspelled. The Weekly has not yet endorsed a candidate in the race.

“I am running to represent you at City Hall, to continue my family’s proud and enduring legacy of service to our country and community,” Kennedy wrote. “I do not — and will not — engage in smear campaigns but, equally, I will not deny any part of my past — because I have nothing to be ashamed of or hide.”
Comments to 

Has Metro's Sockpuppet "710 Tunnel Coalition" Brought In Mountain West Research's Push Polling Operation?


February 21, 2013


  1. Is the traffic SO BAD on the streets of Pasadena and SO CONGESTED that there is a legitimate concern among Pasadena's residents and city government that the tunnel needs to built?

    I would really like to know. I go to Pasadena a few times a week, and I just am not seeing the congestion, and that would be the only legit reason to do this, right?

    I find the lack of a 110 connector to be WAY MORE of a hassle than the 710. Why not just rip the hell out of FAIR OAKS and build a connector there. Oh, I know why. Because that is in PASADENA and would cause problems to the businesses and parade of Pasadena, instead of destroying the neighboring SOUTH PASADENA.

  2. I wonder, does the 710 Coalition get money from foreign countries? Is there a way to find out?
  3. Sierra Madre, So. Pasadena, La Canada and Glendale will be working with Pasadena

    1. Coalition between cities is code for redevelopment and expansion.
  4. Boycott 710 Coalition cities.
    1. I would, but is there anything in Alhambra to boycott?
    2. Don't go on a tour of Phil Spector's estate.
    3. I can't afford the wigs in their gift shop.
  5. Good info from past poster about the phrasing of questions to get Pre determined results. keep this in mind when those expensive consultants that Walsh,Moran, and Harabedian want to hire to run surveys on Public Safety and increased UUT rates. there will be nothing objective or non-biased I their questions. they are paid to get predetermined results.
    1. Great point. They'll use our money for consultant polls designed to market the UUT hike they want. City Hall needs raises and pensions, you know.
  6. Remind me, what area of Highland was going to be used for low cost housing, oh, wait I just remembered. Wasn't it the church building across from the elementary school? Safety, congestion, school day traffic, but to make it sould better it was then Senior Housing. Well, that is just up a couple of blocks from the ALF. You can just bet that that idea is still on the back burner.
    1. I don't recall it was ever promoted as senior housing. It was supposed to be low to mod housing, 'for teachers and firefighters'.
    2. Johnny B's Bunk House.
  7. This is kind of an outrage-off. Push polling is a craven activity, and then paying for it with the public's dime is a complete abuse of funds.
    1. Wouldn't it be something if Harry Baldwin's 710 Coalition sockpuppet whatever was receiving its money from the Communist Chinese? Wouldn't that make this push poll espionage?
  8. It is amazing that San Rafael School can not be used in the future because it was built over an earthquake fault, but the can build a 5 mile tunnel over one.
    1. Also interesting that San Rafael has survived numerous earthquakes over the years.
  9. What is so annoying about all this is all the time it takes to mount a deflecting response when the citizen goes to work each day and then has to come home to a community fight... it never ends. The opposition is in their work cube getting paid to wage war against us.
    1. Yes! Paid with our money to destroy our cities. This is no democracy.
    2. Yes, it's not a fair fight and citizen activists get tired.
  10. ... the idea of more streets, more freeways--where? You get to bulldoze more neighborhoods, then the little bitty amound of land left over you have to go vertical, see we told ya it won't fit anyway else. Or else you push the housing father out, scrape the desert, but wait, cost of gas is prohibitive, then who is on these expanded roads and freeways bringing you trash trinkets in containers that then has to go into the landfill. Truck it there straighaway. The 10 Freeway already destroyed neighborhoods in the 1950's keep the trucks there. No need for the 710 Tunnel. Turn east at the 10.
  11. I find it entertaining that these cities are attempting to form this secret coalition which is funded by our tax dollars and is headed by a consultant who lives far away and will not be affected by the impacts of this proposed project.

    The consultant is based out of half moon bay, a sleepy little coastal town just south of San Francisco.....a town of about 11,000 with a strong sense of community and little in the way of big development.
    1. Great. Kind of like drone warfare. Push poller in Idaho, and couple of overpaid nitwits in Half Moon Bay, all financed by money that could be coming from anywhere. And probably is. Yeah, some resident coalition.
  12. There is no question! Put containers on rail platforms @ Long Beach & San Pedro and take them to Barstow and rejoin them with Cabs for their trips to wherever. Think of the congestion reversed and minimized right here and right now...really brilliant!

    I'd like to "Push poll" this one. Do you want to know the effect of commercial traffic on the 210 routed by the 710 Tunnel connection? Just travel the 10 and 60 East and pay attention to the kinds of development and zoning that have taken place on each side, because its comercialization and relience on truck traffic. From Pasadena to the 215 @ San Bernadino, towns like Pasadena will deteriorate into warehouses, manufacturing, and weak zoning. Because of its delayed construction East, the 210 has remained a freeway serving bedroom communities (almosst 50 miles of them) and it would be short sighted and a tradgety to undo this because of a Tunnel Project.