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

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Senator Liu's Letter (dated August 6, 2013)

From Sylvia Plummer, August 10, 2011

Senator Liu has written a letter to Art Leahy and Malcolm Dougherty:  
 August 6, 2013

Arthur T. Leahy, LACMTA CEO
One Gateway Plaza
Mail Stop: 99-25-1
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Malcolm Dougherty, Caltrans Director
1120 N Street MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Sirs:

As you know, on December 10, 2012 I and several of my elected colleagues representing the San
Gabriel Valley requested from you, clarification on the division of authority and responsibility
between Caltrans and LACMTA regarding the SR-710 DEIR/EIS process and project. Yet, over the
course of several meetings with various State and MTA officials and in spite of a recent County
Counsel response to a Board request on this matter, we and our constituents remain confused.

We have been repeatedly told there is no Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) defining the
division of authority and responsibility between Caltrans and MTA. However, a California
Department of Transportation Memorandum dated, June 24, 2004 entitled “Department as CEQA
Lead Agency for Projects on State Highway System” (see attached) states:

In certain limited cases, and only when it is in the best interests of the State, the
Department may delegate CEQA lead agency status to a local agency. Such
delegations can only be made by the District Director. The District Director will
provide a written justification for the delegation, which becomes the authorizing
document for a cooperative agreement between the Department and the local
agency. The delegation is then formalized through an executed written
agreement, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of each party. [emphasis

I am, therefore, modifying my request for an MOU to include a request for the “written justification”
and the “cooperative agreement” referenced above or any other written materials representing or
associated with the delegation of authority from Caltrans than enables LACMTA to prepare the
EIR/EIS. Further, I request the LACMTA Board to release to the public, the County Counsel
response to the Board’s request for information on the division of authority and responsibility.
My overwhelming interest and that of my colleagues is for the transparency and integrity of a process
designed to facilitate public participation and consideration of public comment. We consider an
understanding of to whom our comments are directed and who the ultimate decision makers are to be
fundamental to that process. Thank you for your prompt reply.

California State Senator
25th District

cc: Brian Kelly, Acting Secretary, Department of Business, Transportation and Housing
Bill Bogaard, Mayor, City of Pasadena
Michael Cacciotti, former Mayor, City of South Pasadena
Steven Del Guercio, former Mayor, City of La Cañada Flintridge
Ara Najarian, Council Member, City of Glendale
Frank Quintero, former Mayor, City of Glendale
Laura Olhasso, Mayor, City of La Cañada Flintridge
Marina Khubesrian, Mayor, City of South Pasadena
Dave Weaver, Mayor, City of Glendale

(1) modifying her request for a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to include a request for the "written justification" and the "cooperative agreement" that delegates the authority from CALTRANS to LACMTA to prepare the EIR/EIS for the SR-710.  

(2) also requesting that the LACMTA Board release to the public the County Counsel response to the Board's request (Najarian's Motion) for information on the division of authority and responsibility.

Referenced in Liu's letter is CALTRANS memorandum dated, June 24, 2004:


Posted by Charles E. Miller on Facebook, August 10, 2013:

Yes, there WAS an actual pig's head in the L.A. City Council chambers on Friday. (circled)

Start video clip at the 0:51 minute mark to hear Gloria Castro share this with Herb Wesson (2 min)


Posed by Jane Damian on Facebook, August 10, 2013:

On my way in to City Hall, I had the good fortune to share the crosswalk with the pig face fellow. He held the pig face in a bag, pulled it out to show me as we walked across the street explaining that he had just purchased it in Chinatown. Minutes later he was in the Council Chamber eating the pig face for all to see (and smell).

Werner Herzog Made a Documentary About Texting While Driving. And It’s Haunting.


By David Haglund, August 9, 2013


"From One Second to the Next," the rather unlikely film below, came together when AT&T approached the legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog and asked if he would direct a series of short films warning people about the dangers of texting while driving.

"What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me," Herzog told the AP. "There's a completely new culture out there. I'm not a participant of texting and driving—or texting at all—but I see there's something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us."

The result is haunting. It focuses on four accidents, some of them fatal, and Herzog aims his camera squarely at the faces of both victims and perpetrators, asking them to describe in detail what happened and the aftermath. Herzog emphasizes the change in civilization he perceives in part by examining an accident in which an Amish family was killed and another in which a horse-shoer's truck was involved.

 It is not easy viewing, but, for the "more than 40,000 high schools" and "hundreds of safety organizations and government agencies" where it will be shown, I suspect it will be effective. As Herzog says, "In one second, entire lives are either wiped out or changed forever."