Tag Archives: traffic

Henry Waxman Throws Constituents Under The Wheels Of An Oncoming Jumbo Jet

This weekend, Congresswoman Maxine Waters stood in front of a room full of constituents and activists and did something extraordinary – she declared war on fellow Congress Member Henry Waxman.

Addressing a meeting of the Westchester Democratic club on Saturday, Waters told the packed room that Waxman secretly circulated a letter from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce in support of expanding Los Angeles’ International Airport to Congressional colleagues only a day after telling Waters he had not yet made up his mind about the issue. Waters accused Waxman of forming an “unholy alliance” with the Chamber and the construction trades to expand Los Angeles International Airport – a move that some experts believe would create region-wide traffic gridlock.

Waters, who represents the communities directly surrounding LAX supports modernizing, but not expanding, the airport.

I was on hand to record Waters’ remarks. Watch it: http://vimeo.com/62625350

The Chamber is promoting a plan which could expand capacity at LAX by up to 14 million passengers a year, and is advocating moving the North runway several hundred feet, a move some experts say would force the closure of parts of Lincoln and Sepulveda Blvds for at least 2 years, and perhaps even permanently.

Such closures would force thousands of cars onto other surface streets and nearby freeways, creating a near constant “carmageddon” scenario as traffic backed up onto the 405, 105 and 10 freeways, potentially affecting commuters as far away as Orange County, the Valley and Downtown Los Angeles.

The move is also backed by many of Los Angeles’ biggest labor unions, who see expansion as a job-creating engine for the region. Airport opponents say a multi-billion dollar plan to modernize the airport without moving the runway would create just as many jobs.

In a highly unusual move that signaled just how seriously Waters took Waxman’s end-run, Waters very publicly threatened to take the fight to the Congressman’s own district, calling into question Waxman’s motives for being the bag man for an “unholy alliance between organized labor and the Chamber of Commerce”

“Now I can’t say this is why Mr. Waxman is doing what he’s doing,” said Waters.  “But these are the two places they go for money – the Chamber…..and organized labor. And so some of these elected officials don’t feel they can be independent and fight. They say, ‘Hey, you know, this is too difficult, after all, they’ve come together on this issue’.”

Waters then encouraged her constituents  in the room to reach out to their counterparts in Waxman’s district.

“I want you to find all the community activists in his district and ask them to join with us. I want them to call him and tell him to get his nose out of Westchester’s business. He’s thinking, ‘Well, it’s not my district, so I don’t have to worry about my constituents on this issue. I can do what ever I want.'”

“But we have to turn that around. Get busy. I will remind him, every day, that we’re after him.”, Waters said, smiling.

Waters strategy, though unusually pointed and public, might be effective. Last November, Henry Waxman faced the fight of his life when he suddenly found himself representing the beach cities on either side of LAX due to redistricting.  Rather than cruise to victory virtually unopposed, as he had nearly every year since he was first elected to Congress in 1975 to represent constituents in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, the 17-term Congressman narrowly fended off Manhattan Beach resident Bill Bloomfield.

California’s Most Important Traffic Jam

Perhaps the most important part of Barack Obama’s Southern California trip, in my view, was not hearing the perspectives of a nervous public, or checking out battery technology in Pomona, or using the bully pulpit to speak to the nation on the Tonight Show.  It’s that he got stuck in traffic.

He got caught in traffic on the 110. He bantered with Jay Leno. And he sought to reassure people worried about the sagging economy and the spiraling national debt.

President Obama ended a two-day swing through Southern California on Thursday, a trip that exposed him to both celebrity and everyday struggles. Like many people navigating the freeways at midday, he was briefly tied up in traffic, his motorcade wheezing along at 10 mph as he made his way from west of downtown Los Angeles to Burbank. But he also got to trade quips on “The Tonight Show” with Leno, mixing a sober assessment of the AIG bonus scandal with details about his life inside the White House.

Traffic has actually improved in the LA area over the last six months, at least in peak hours with less workers traveling.  But it remains incredibly difficult to move for large chunks of the daytime, which decreases productivity and causes harmful and unnecessary carbon emissions.  Los Angeles’ transit infrastructure has been abysmal for so long that few remember how it was built, along streetcar lines.  Increased revenue from Measure R can spark a transit revival, with a subway to the sea, a Green Line to LAX, and increased light rail and bus service throughout the region, but that will take years if not decades, especially without federal aid.  

This week, Ray LaHood, the Secretary of Transportation, put a post up at the Department of Transportation’s blog, one of the ugliest-looking blogs I’ve ever seen, what I imagine a blog from 1982 would look like if they had blogs or the public Internet back then… but I digress, because the content is excellent:

Today, I was proud to address my former colleagues in the House of Representatives and co-present a DOT-HUD partnership to help American families gain better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs.

As I told House members, “One of my highest priorities is to help promote more livable communities through sustainable surface transportation programs.” That means roads, rails, and transit. It means safer passage for pedestrians, for bicyclists.

After housing costs, transportation takes the biggest bite out of the typical household budget. That’s why a partnership between HUD and DOT can be so effective; we have the ability to ease the largest financial burden on many American families. We’re talking about 60% of the average working American family’s expenses. HUD Secretary Donovan and I can cut these costs by focusing our departments’ efforts on creating affordable, sustainable communities.

While so many of the decisions about smart growth and livable communities are typically made at the local, the federal government can absolutely play a role in encouraging better development decisions, either through the bully pulpit or grants in aid.  Housing, transportation and energy are all intimately linked.  A community with residential and commercial spaces close together, which provides durable transit options between home and work, whether through bike lanes or light rail or whatever, allows for reducing carbon emissions through auto transit.  It means a more vibrant neighborhood and a higher quality of life.  Communities that cater just to businesses get abandoned at night.  Bedroom communities are sleepy during the day.  It doesn’t make any sense.  Not to mention that reducing housing and transportation costs in tandem frees up money for economic activity for small businesses that cater to the area.

Clearly, the status quo is unsustainable.  Just ask the guy in the motorcade stuck on the 110 last Thursday.

LA transit ridership at an all-time high

People have a funny way of adapting.  They know that the oil companies are as far from committed to lowering gas prices as possible, so they’ll look to lower the cost of commuting rather than search for useless answers to drop gas prices like offshore drilling, which would do absolutely nothing.  The Metrolink rail system in LA isn’t perfect and doesn’t work for everyone, but people are making it work more than ever before.

Commuter rail ridership broke an all-time record this week, and Caltrans reported a dip in freeway traffic as commuters across California struggled with record gas prices.

Metrolink recorded its highest number of riders in a single day ever Tuesday – 50,232 – a 15.6% increase over the same amount of business last year on June 17. Metro Rail ridership last month shot up 6 percent over May 2007, said Dave Sotero, a Metro spokesman.

Meanwhile, Caltrans officials said today that traffic on California freeways dropped 1.5% compared with last year – or the equivalent of a billion fewer miles traveled, said spokesman Derrick Alatorre.

Just that miniscule drop is the difference between gridlock and a relatively smooth ride.  Not to mention the fact that hundreds of thousands of gallons of gas are being saved.  Between all that and not having to be constantly confronted by idiots driving while holding their cell phones, the LA commuting story is a little less bleak.

This is all happening under a BROKEN transit system.  Imagine what could happen with a little investment.

CA-42: The Case Against Dirty Gary Miller

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC and Trash Dirty Gary)

Gary Miller is corrupt. We know that. But why should we be working to unseat him? Why should we invest our resources in a “safe red district” and try to turn it blue next year? Why should we think we have a chance to win in the 42nd Congressional District?

The best way to answer this question is to answer two other questions. Why should we allow such a corrupt individual to stay in office? And what has Gary Miller done for his constituents that has earned him the privilege of earning our votes for reelection? Once we figure out these answers, we can answer those other questions.

You may be surprised by these answers, so follow me after the flip for more…

Well, let's start by answering the corruption question. He'll skirt the law and evade paying his taxes in order to enrich himself on the taxpayers' dime. Now how's that for someone who's supposed to be such a better patriot than those “America-hating Defeatocrats”?

Oh, and who is Gary Miller really working for in Congress? Looking at all the earmarks he's put into legislation and where he's directing these federal funds, the answer is quite clear. He's bought and paid for by the Lewis Group, a real estate development company in Upland. Whatever the Lewis Group wants, Gary Miller delivers… Even if it calls for money spent in Victorville, which is nowhere near the district! Now why would Gary Miller direct federal funds to one interchange in Victorville? Oh yes, that's right… The Lewis Group had a new development right off the 15 in Victorville!

And oh my, look how rewarding all this work has been for Dirty Gary Miller! Look how the Lewis Group has paid him back for all his service. How precious. But you know what? Gary Miller may focus on what's best for his bottom line and the Lewis Group's bottom line, but he's not taking care of what's best for the voters of his own district.

So when did Dirty Gary Miller forget why he's supposed to be in Congress? Doesn't he remember that he's supposed to serve the voters who send him to Washington to represent their interests? Now is it in their interest that Gary Miller abuse “eminent domain land sales” in order to avoid paying the taxes that provide for our national security, our transportation infrastructure, our schools, our parks, and so much more? Is it in their interest that Gary Miller ignore the local needs of the district in order to deliver the desires of out-of-district developers?

What about traffic relief on our freeways? What about helping out our schools in a way that doesn't allow the federal government to take over our schools? What about doing something about the coming climate catastrophe that may not only hurt our businesses, but threaten our very lives? What about ending this failed war in Iraq that has claimed so many of our brave soldiers' lives, and all for our troops to be caught in the midst of someone else's civil war? These are issues that the people in the 42nd District care about, yet these are the issues that Gary Miller ignores as he misuses his power to enrich himself and his developer friends.

So what can be done about this? We can tell all our family, friends, and neighbors about how Gary Miller isn't serving us. I'm doing my part on Trash Dirty Gary, a local blog dedicated to exposing Gary Miller's dirty record AND letting local voters know that we have a better option. Oh yes, and I'll also be uncovering Gary Miller's dirt AND talking about this better option over at The Liberal OC.

OK, so what is this better option that voters have in the 42nd? We can replace Gary Miller with someone who actually wants to serve us! There's an election next year, and Dirty Gary thinks he'll get an easy ride, as he's in a “Safe Republican District”. But Gary Miller has offended Republicans, Democrats, AND Independents in the district by ignoring our local needs while he enriches himself at taxpayers' expense. And if the Democrats in Washington think that Dirty Gary can't get away with his high crimes against the voters of the 42nd Congressional District, why should we?

And guess what! That's where YOU come in. Yesterday, you found out that a blogger will be challenging Dirty Gary in the 42nd. Tomorrow, you'll meet the campaign manager for this special candidate. And on Wednesday, you'll meet this very candidate. And right now, all I can tell you is that this candidate lives in the district, and this candidate actually cares about what's best for the people in this district.

So until then, I rest my case. Gary Miller is guilty of being a corrupt crook who has failed the voters of the 42nd District. And I think we can all take care of his sentence by doing what we can to help this campaign to restore honor and integrity to our Congressional Office! : )

URGENT! Contact Senator Feinstein to Save Trestles (And Our State Parks)

Remember when Susan Davis’ amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill passed the House Armed Services Committee? Remember that this is the amendment that ensures that the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), Orange County’s toll road authority, complies with state environmental laws, which means that a toll road can’t be built through San Onofre State Beach to Trestles? Remember that the bill moved on to the US Senate after it passed the House?

Well, we have a new problem. One of our own Senators, Dianne Feinstein, is undecided on adding something like the Davis Amendment to the Senate’s Defense Authorization Bill. I guess she’s not sure yet whether California state environmental law is important enough to be enforced. Follow me after the flip to find out what YOU can do to ensure that Senator Feinstein votes to enforce the law, protect our coast, and respect the integrity of our parks…

So what can YOU do to convince Senator Dianne Feinstein to save Trestles and urge TCA to extend the 241 toll road legally? Why not send the Senator an email? Why not send a fax to the Washington, DC, office at (202) 228-3954? Why not contact one of Feinstein’s state offices? Let Senator Feinstein know how you feel about preserving the integrity of our parks, and how important saving this unique coastal park truly is.

So what can you say if you send an email or fax? How about saying something like this…

Dear Senator Feinstein:

Please join us in supporting the addition of language to the Senate Defense Authorization Bill that repeals riders designed to exempt the Foothill-South toll road extension through San Onofre State Beach from state and federal law.

In addition, we urge you to repeal the additional rider that authorizes the Marine Corps to grant an easement for the Foothill South Toll Road that permanently encroaches into Camp Pendleton and compromises their mission.

The proposed Foothill South Toll Road is one of the most environmentally destructive projects in California and sets a dangerous precedent for the intrusion into state park lands well beyond Orange County.

At minimum, this project should have to comply with all the same laws as any other similar project – just like those reviewed at the local level every week. Allowing the federal government to override the Coastal Act sets a disastrous precedent, the Marine Corps should use its own professional judgment in how best to safeguard Camp Pendleton from encroachment, without pressure from Congress one way or the other.

Please support Representatives Davis and Sanchez in their efforts to ensure that the Foothill-South Toll Road complies with all laws of the United States and the State of California. In addition, we hope you will go a step further and remove the riders that currently create unprecedented legal exemptions for the construction of the Toll Road through Camp Pendleton.

Thank you for your past support for California’s unparalleled natural resources, and for your willingness to carefully consider the impacts of the Foothill-South Toll Road on our Southern California coastline.

Your Name Here

Or this, if you’d rather not be so loquacious…

Dear Senator Feinstein:

I am a supporter of the Susan Davis amendment to the Senate Defense Authorization Bill, which repeals the legal exemptions for the 241 toll road extension through San Onofre State Park. I’m writing to ask you to vote in favor of this amendment, and also to vote to remove the riders that give the Transportation Corridors Agency so many legal exemptions for construction of this road.

I believe the builders of the toll roads should follow the same laws that everyone else follows and should not be granted special rights or privileges.

Thank you very much for considering this issue, and for your outstanding and long service to our state and nation.

Your Name Here

Now you don’t have to write something like this or the longer letter. Just use these as ideas for whatever you’d like to say to Senator Feinstein about supporting the Davis Amendment. Just allow these to inspire you to make her heartfelt sentiments about Trestles and our state parks known to the Senator.

Susan Davis and Loretta Sanchez did what needed to be done in the House to save Trestles and our state parks. So now, it’s up to the Senate. And right now, Dianne Feinstein can make the difference between preserving one of our most popular state parks for generations to come and setting a dangerous precedent for state and federal environmental laws to be ignored if they get in the way of a new highway and/or toll road and/or residential development. Dianne Feinstein can make a difference in the Senate this week, and she needs to know that we want her to make that difference.

But first, we need to make a difference. I need to make this difference, and so do YOU. I plan to write to Senator Feinstein about including the Davis Amendment in the Senate’s Defense Authorization Bill. Would you like to do the same? Do you care about keeping our parks open for us to enjoy for many years to come? If so, then please ask Senator Feinstein to support including the Davis Amendment in the Senate’s bill.

Senator Feinstein can make a difference for the better this week, but first we need to make that difference to urge her to do the same. : )

Pulido No Es Un Villaraigosa

In case you missed it, The LA Times still has one reporter/columnist/commentator left in Orange County. His name is Dana Parsons. And on Friday, he talked about his recent interview with controversial Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.

Now Miguel Pulido may be controversial, but not in ways that we’d think a Latino mayor of a heavily Latino city would be controversial. He doesn’t lead immigrants’ rights marches. He doesn’t declare Santa Ana as a “sanctuary” for undocumented immigrants. Actually, Pulido doesn’t really care about immigration.

So how is Miguel Pulido controversial? Follow me after the flip to find out…

“If I were a Curt Pringle [the white mayor of Anaheim], would anybody be saying how come he’s not out there marching?” Pulido says. “And in a way, they’re discriminating – inverse discrimination, so to speak – against me, by making the assertion that because I’m Hispanic, I’m at fault for not participating.”

He notes that his critics on the issue generally are other Latinos. “If I had a different heritage, they’d have a different conclusion,” he says. “That goes against all that I stand for, because I want to treat everybody the same and I want to be treated the same way.”

When I then begin to ask how he wants to be judged on the issue, he says firmly, “As a mayor. Not as an Anglo mayor. Not a Hispanic mayor. As a mayor.”

Another mayor in a heavily Latino city might play it differently, I suggest. “Correct,” he says.

“But don’t say that because this mayor is Hispanic he’s got to behave this way. That really gets to me, because then the implication is that you are different and should behave differently because of that. And to me, I am an American first.”

Wow. That’s deep. Well, I guess people here do wonder why a guy who immigrated here from Mexico City as a little boy wouldn’t stand up for his fellow immigrants, but that’s beside the point. That’s not the only controversial thing about Pulido.

Here are some more reasons why Pulido is so controversial here. He hasn’t done anything about the recent spat of gang violence in Santa Ana. He hasn’t done anything about opening more parks in a city that’s in such dire need of open space. He hasn’t done a good job of keeping our roads in good working condition, as some parts of town look like third-world countries due to the crappy state of their streets. He hasn’t improved our libraries… Oh wait, that’s right, HE’S CLOSED THEM! In his twenty years on the City Council and twelve years as Mayor, I’m struggling just to find good things that Pulido has done in this city.

I guess that’s the real controversy here. It’s not that Miguel Pulido has ever done anything controversial. No, it’s just that HE HASN’T DONE ANYTHING, PERIOD! That’s the difference here.

Say what you will about Antonio Villaraigosa, but a least he’s doing something. At least he cares about Los Angeles. At least he cares about what happens to the people who live in LA. We can’t even get our mayor in Santa Ana to care. He’s too busy comparing himself to Curt Pringle.

How About Some REAL Traffic Relief?

Just when you thought the fight over the toll road to Trestles was wrapping up, another shot is fired! Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates has now entered into the fray, and she has offered a truly bizarre reason for extending the 241 to Trestles in today’s “Orange Grove” column in The Register. You just have to see it to believe it:

The spectacular truck crash and fire that destroyed a freeway overpass leading from the Bay Bridge in San Francisco last month should be a wake-up call for Orange County. Today the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway is the only major roadway in and out of south Orange County. The lack of alternate routes through this area has long been frustrating. But, as the East San Francisco Bay Area has learned, it can also be dangerous.

As reported recently in The Orange County Register, if a similar traffic accident were to occur at the El Toro “Y,” south county would be virtually cut off. Should a freeway accident occur further south, there are even fewer options. In San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, roadway options are limited to the I-5 or city streets.

The Orange County toll road system is nearly complete, but the final 16-mile stretch of the Foothill (241) Toll Road, intended to connect with the I-5 Freeway just south of San Clemente, still needs to be built. This roadway would not only offer commuters an alternative to increasing daily traffic, but an escape route during emergencies.

HUH?! How the heck would a toll road to Trestles help South County in the event of an emergency? Follow me after the flip as I try to make sense of Pat Bates’ bizarre “logic”…

OK, so let’s go through all these points that Pat Bates is making. And let’s try to separate fact from fiction here:

Some opponents to this traffic relief alternative say we should just widen the I-5, but, as we saw in the Bay Area, no matter how wide the freeway is, if it ever is shut down, alternatives are needed.

The final section of the 241, known as Foothill South, has been on the county’s Master Plan of Arterial Highways since 1981. It has gone through two separate environmental impact studies and, when built, will be one of the most environmentally sensitive roadways in the state.

OK, I’m getting really sick of having to repeat myself here. I think most of us now want to see the 241 completed. I just don’t see why state law has to be violated in order to build a toll road through a state park. There are clearly better options for extending the 241. How about extending the 241 to the 5/73 Interchange in Laguna Niguel, which would actually take people to where they want to go? And while we’re at it, how about a more comprehensive solution for relieving Orange County traffic that includes more Metrolink and OCTA bus service?

But anyways, back to Pat Bates. Here’s more of what she has to say:

This roadway will have a state-of-the-art water-treatment system that will ensure all the initial water runoff, water that contains most typical roadway pollutants like brake-pad dust and motor oil, will be captured and treated. Once the road is built, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) has even agreed to treat the water runoff along a two-mile stretch of the I-5 Freeway near Trestles Beach. Today that water runs straight off the freeway and into the ocean untreated.

TCA also will build wildlife undercrossings so animals can travel throughout that region safely. Future native-habitat mitigation sites are planned and will be similar to the hundreds of acres of habitat throughout south county that TCA has already worked to restore. TCA’s natural-habitat restoration project has gone so well, that gnatcatchers are pairing in record numbers on TCA sites and various other native plants and animals are making a comeback.

Really? Is this why American Rivers named San Mateo Creek as THE MOST ENDANGERED WATERWAY IN AMERICA? Is this why environmental studies have reported that the habitats of the seven endangered species that call San Onofre home WOULD be threatened? Is that why Coastal Commission staffers are so worried about this toll road to Trestles? But I guess so long as Orange County politicians aren’t worried, every thing’s just A-OK.

But wait, Pat Bates’ “argument” gets even more unbelievable!

Orange County residents, businesses and elected officials all understand the importance of traffic relief and the need to connect the 241 to the I-5, but there are several politicians who have attempted to usurp our local decision-making ability. Last month, Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, introduced Assembly Bill 1457 to stop the building of Foothill South. Last week, Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, introduced an amendment to a congressional defense bill, and a House committee approved it, that would give the state of California authority to stop the toll road, even though it is planned for federal, not state, property.

Since 1991, the TCA has been working with five federal government agencies and six state agencies in addition to local and regional organizations to obtain the many permits and approvals needed to build this final 16-mile connector road. Despite what some politicians think, more government is not the answer to completing our regional transportation network.

Ooh, Jared Huffman! We should be so scared. But really, his legislation can’t even make it through the Legislature, let along get a signature from Arnold. That won’t stop the toll road from being built. And all Susan Davis’ amendment to the federal defense authorization bill would do is require TCA to obey state law in extending the toll road. Now if TCA really were obeying the law on building this toll road, then they shouldn’t be worried about having to comply with the law.

So yes, traffic in South County is horrendous. That’s why we need a comprehensive plan to relieve traffic here, such as the one recently proposed by OCTA. We should enhance the 5, but we certainly shouldn’t stop there. Let’s also expand Metrolink service in the area, and let’s add some more express bus lines to make it easier for South County commuters to access train service. And oh yes, while we’re at it, why don’t we make new communities in South County “smart communities” that are designed for an easy commute to everywhere we need to go?

So yes, South County needs traffic relief… So why not something that actually DOES THAT? : )

Mr. Republican Insider Does Us a Favor

And if you’re interested in reading some fine examples of Environmental Left blogging against the 241 in which the level of exaggeration, misinformation and confabulation is matched only by the certitude with which they are asserted, then visit anyone one of young Andrew Davey’s posts on his blog or lefty-blog Calitics. But he tries.

At first I saw Mr. Republican Insider’s latest diatribe against me and against this community, and I was pretty peeved. These folks at Red County/OC Blog can’t even offer up their own facts and engage in honest debate. I had once considered these folks to be rational individuals, and I used to like going there (believe it or not). Well, I guess I was wrong about that.

But then, I started thinking about this. I soon realized that Jubal/Matt Cunningham was actually doing us a favor. Follow me after the flip for more as I explain why we should be thanking Mr. Republican Insider for this…

It dawned on me last night: These folks really do reveal the emptiness of today’s “conservative” movement when they have nothing left but personal attacks and payola as policy. They don’t have any new ideas on how to govern. They don’t have any facts to back up their “vision” of what they want to see in government. They just seem to have lost their way. Now that I think of it, I’m starting to experience sorrow for people like Matt/Jubal. They must feel awfully terrible to be stuck in a “movement” that doesn’t know what it really stands for.

Matt/Jubal might be hurling attacks at me and at the site, but I know that’s not really what this is about. Now that I think of it, it’s about far more than just a toll road to Trestles or a failed war in the Middle East. It’s about the emptiness of today’s “conservatism”. They used to believe that government should stay out of people’s private lives. Now, they want to examine EVERYTHING we do in our homes and in our bedrooms. They used to believe in fiscal responsibility. Now, they don’t mind complete fiscal insanity. Is this what “conservatism” has become?

Maybe this is why even the traditional “Roosevelt Republicans”, “Eisenhower Republicans”, and “Goldwater Republicans” are leaving this party. Today’s Republicans just don’t stand for what people used to call “conservative”. The GOP truly has lost its way.

But in the meantime, look at what’s happened here. Look at all the activism happening here. Look at all the intelligent policy discussions that we have all the time. We progressives seem to have no problem coming up with great ideas, sound policy, and factual arguments to back them up. And yes, people are actually excited about what we have to say and about what we want to do.

I guess that’s why I should be thanking Mr. Republican Insider. He can call me whatever names he wants. I don’t care. I just like the fact that he’s only proving the point that today’s progressives are the ones with the sound policy and grassroots energy. : )

Chris Reed Misses the Point on the 241 to Trestles

Oh, gawd! I thought that Mr. Republican Insider didn’t get it on why a stupid toll road to nowhere isn’t worth destroying one of the last great beaches of Southern California. And then, I thought that nothing could be worse than The OC Register’s wacky editorial attacking my fabulous Congresswoman for doing what’s best for the people of Orange County. But my goodness, it gets worse… Now Chris Reed has open his mouth at The San Diego Union-Tribune’sAmerica’s Finest Blog” (yeah, right)… AND INSERT HIS FOOT!

Driving on Interstate 5 from San Diego to L.A. is completely maddening. Sometimes it’s only a minor ordeal. Sometimes it’s a gigantic ordeal. But especially on the south Orange County stretch of the 5, traffic is ridiculous. So any effort to lessen traffic in that area would be wonderful news for the millions of us in Socal who like to go back and forth between L.A./O.C. and San Diego.

But guess who doesn’t care: Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego. She may pretend she’s just interested in proper procedure, but her congressional maneuvering dealing with the planned extension of the 241 toll road in Orange County to the 5 near Camp Pendleton is clearly meant to kill the project.

So the next time you’re sitting stuck on the 5, save a few of your expletives for Susan Davis. She’s earned them.

Oh no, Chris Reed! I’m savin’ all my love for you. Follow me after the flip as I have to explain to Chris Reed why he’s missing the point on extending the 241 to Trestles…

So where do I start? Oh yes, how about that traffic? We all know that it’s horrendous. However, extending the 241 to Trestles would do absolutely nothing to ease traffic in South Orange County! Did you hear me, Chris Reed? Extending the 241 to Trestles would NOT ease congestion on the 5.

But you know what would ease congestion? Try these suggestions I made back in February:

[…] We can connect the 241 to the 5 AND the 73 at Laguna Niguel, and avoid the San Onofre wilderness while actually connecting South County commuters to where they want to go in OC! Additionally, we can do away with the non-compete agreement with the TCA that only serve to enrich the toll road operators while doing nothing for the people of Orange County. And perhaps if we start putting into practice better urban planning in South County, we won’t have to worry about losing the beautiful wild spaces that make South County living so fantastic.

Now don’t these ideas make more sense? Instead of building a stupid toll road to nowhere, what if we actually extend the 241 to where people actually want to go in Orange County? Instead of allowing TCA to continue fleecing local taxpayers with these ridiculous non-compete agreements, what if we actually put these roads to work for us? Instead of allowing for any more of this endless sprawl encroaching upon our last remaining open spaces, why don’t we start putting some common sense into our plans for growing Orange County?

But anyways, back to Chris Reed missing the point.

Chris Reed complains about Susan Davis’ amendment requiring TCA to obey state environmental laws in extending the 241. What’s so bad about that? So she’s trying to “kill the project” by simply requiring TCA to honor the law? If TCA can actually extend the 241 in an environmentally sensitive way as they claim on their web site, then why should they be afraid of the law?

Oh wait, maybe this is why they are afraid. This plan to extend the 241 to Trestles violates the Coastal Act. It would send toxic storm water down San Mateo Creek to Trestles, polluting the ocean water here. Oh, and speaking of San Mateo Creek, I don’t think the Coastal Commission would be happy to hear about how the 241 would alter the sediment flow of the creek, destroying the world-famous waves that have made Trestles such a great surf spot. And oh yes, how about those seven endangered species that would lose their native habitat forever if TCA were allowed to build the toll road to Trestles? Is there any chance that the Coastal Commission would agree to this nonsense?

So can Chris Reed understand why this toll road to Trestles is such a bad idea, now that I’ve laid the facts clearly at his feet? This stupid toll road to nowhere would do NOTHING to ease South County traffic. This road would destroy one of the last stretches of pristine coast left in Southern California. And yes, this road would illegally cut its way through a public park, and make the park completely unusable! I made sure to make these points clearly, so that Chris Reed wouldn’t miss them? I hope he doesn’t miss the point now.

CA-47: The Liberal OC Loves Loretta, Too!

Mr. Republican Insider and his GOP insider friends can trash my fabulous Congresswoman all they want, but they won’t ever take Loretta down. I just love Loretta Sanchez too much to ever see her being maliciously attacked by these jerks.

See the extended.

She knows what’s best for Orange County, and for her constituents. They don’t. It’s really that simple. Here’s the always fabulous Chris Prevatt from The Liberal OC:

CA-47 Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has taken a few hits this past week for her support of Congresswoman Susan Davis’ efforts to save the San Onofre State Park from bisection by the 241 toll road extension that has other routes it can follow.

Andrew Davey, over at Calitics, has a post today lauding Sanchez for her efforts. There is a myth out there that somehow her stance will cost her support from organized labor, thus allowing a Republican (Van Tran) to take the seat.

Oh, we love you too, Chris! The Liberal OC is THE BEST LOCAL BLOG in California! But anyways, back to Loretta:

To our friends over at Red County/OCBlog a word of advice…

Don’t hold your breath! The Democrats and organized labor will never let the likes of anti-worker, anti-environment Van Tran skate to victory in the 47th.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: LORETTA IS OUR CHAMPION! She is doing what’s right for our community, and she won’t let a bunch of right-wing bullies pressure her into doing otherwise. That’s why we’ll always love Loretta! : )