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

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Week in Livable Streets Events


By Damien Newton, May 12, 2014

It’s Bike Week, so there are bike-related events nearly every day. We’re not going to mention every bike week event, nor provide a comprehensive list of Bike to Work Day stops and Happy Hours. But you can find that information here for Metro’s calendar and here for the always over-achieving Bike Week Pasadena.
  • Today – From 11 am to 10 pm the Veggie Grill on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica is hosting a fundraiser for SM Spoke. Mention the fundraiser (or show them this poster) and half of the cost of your order goes to benefit Santa Monica’s bicycling advocates.
  • Tuesday – It’s the kitchiest bike/religious event you’ll ever see, the annual Blessing of the Bikes at Good Samaritan’s Hospital. This is the 11th Anniversary of the event. 11 years! Holy Cow! Get more information at Good Sam’s official blessing of the bikes website.
  • Tuesday – Metro hosts a “roundtable” (I guess that’s a more inclusive way of saying “symposium”) on the future of public private partnerships. Speakers include Metro Board Chairs and executives past and present and Mayor Eric Garcetti. The event starts early and ends mid-afternoon, so if you’re interested make your plans now. Read the full agenda, here.
  • Wednesday – The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council Transportation Committee has been cancelled. C’mon Mike! Wendy and Bill held special bike-only meetings on Bike Week. Ok, they each did that once…in their combined 12 years chairing the committee…but, still!
  • Wednesday, Thursday – The Metro Board of Directors hosts a series of committee meetings to decide what motions and reports will be heard at the following week’s Metro Board of Directors meeting. This week’s Finance Committee meeting will also feature a public hearing on the 2015 budget. I think I heard something about a fare hike being considered. Get all the meeting agendas, here.
  • Thursday - It’s Bike to Work Day. Get information on stops in the links at the top. There’s also the “Handlebar Happy Hours” at supportive bars and restaurants around the county.
  • Thursday - Hey, speaking of happy hours…if you happen to be in Sacramento, Streetsblog California is hosting its first ever public event as part of the Peds Count conference put on by California Walks. You can see the flyer, here. Invite your friends.
  • Friday – There’s not one, but two bike-in movie events. One in Pasadena, one at Union Station. If you have a bike, and aren’t going to be on a plane on the way home from Sacramento, you should check one of them out. Details: Pasadena, Union Station
  • Saturday - On Sunday, May 18, Helms Bakery and KCRW present Reinventing the Wheel, the future of mobility in Los Angeles; an afternoon of talk and exhibits focused on the latest in LA’s bike, car, and transit design.  Join DnA’s Frances Anderton in conversation with Geoff Wardle (Art Center College of Design), Craig Hodgetts (UCLA’s Hyperloop Suprastudio), Harald Belker(concept designer for Batman and Robin, Minority Report, etc.) and Michael Lejeune (Creative Director Metro Los Angeles).  For more information, or to get tickets, click here.

Another big EPA court victory — this time on soot pollution


By John Upton, May 12, 2014

cheering man on mountaintop

The National Association of Manufacturers was told on Friday by a federal court that, no, it does not have the right to manufacture as many asthma attacks, heart attacks, and strokes as it would like.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the EPA acted properly in 2012 when it further restricted allowable soot emissions. It was the Obama administration’s third big environmental legal victory in a month. And experts say that bodes well for the administration’s efforts to clamp down on climate-changing emissions from power plants. The L.A. Times explains:

The 11-page decision rejected industry complaints and found that the EPA had acted reasonably and within its bounds when it adopted stricter nationwide standards for fine particulate matter. The tiny, chemical-laden particles and liquid droplets are emitted by power plants, diesel trucks, refineries and factories. They lodge deep in the lungs when inhaled and are linked to heart and lung disease, respiratory illnesses and premature deaths. …

Based on scientific studies, the EPA tightened annual limits on fine particle pollution from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to 12 micrograms per cubic meter and set new requirements for dozens of major cities to install air quality monitors to test for the pollutants near busy roadways.
This follows the previous week’s big Supreme Court ruling that the EPA acted properly when it restricted the amount of smog-causing pollution that can drift from coal-fired power plants in Midwestern states to East Coast states. And nearly a month ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected industry’s legal challenges to EPA restrictions on the amount of mercury and other toxic pollution pumped out by coal power plants.

“The three rulings together create quite the trifecta by significantly furthering the administration’s agenda on addressing climate change through the existing Clean Air Act,” Richard Lazarus, an environmental law professor at Harvard Law School, told the L.A. Times.

Reducing emissions of the tiny sooty particles, called PM2.5, will cost industry $53 million to $350 million a year, the EPA says. But health care costs will come down substantially thanks to reduced instances of stroke, cancer, heart attacks, and asthma attacks. The agency estimates that the health benefits will be $4 billion to $9.1 billion — a return on investment of $12 to $171 for every $1 spent on pollution controls.

But the financial benefits from averted health-care costs don’t directly flow to America’s big manufacturers, so the association that represents them couldn’t care less. Linda Kelly, general counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers, says the group will consider yet another appeal. She complains that the ruling “underscores the difficulty manufacturers face in pushing back against a powerful and often overreaching EPA.”