Friday, October 23, 2009

Is "Green" Something that Only Applies to the Middle Class?

"We're just a group of local citizens expressing our First Amendment freedom of speech. This is happening because someone with money came out of nowhere and paid off the politicians." - Brijid Bjerke

I'm starting to believe that in the eyes of Sacramento there are two distinct tiers of responsibility on the Green thing. That is, when the changes that are being called for are assigned, it apparently won't be those shelling out the patronage to our fine elected officials in the state capital that will be making any of the sacrifices. No, apparently the honor of saving the world is destined to fall on our sturdy shoulders alone.

Now we have talked about SB 375 a lot on this site. This being the bill, signed into law by the Great Arnold himself, that he believes will long serve has his legacy and gift to the people of California. And what this bill claims to do is reduce the amount of time people spend in their greenhouse gas emitting automobiles by rebuilding our cities in such a way that will put the jobs right there next to the places where people live. The goal would be to end suburban sprawl, move people into vast warrens of condos and town houses closer to the urban core, and get people out of their cars and into public transportation. Which, if you're into science fiction ala The Jetsons, probably seems like a wonderful solution. Because that is pretty much what the notion of building our way out of global warming really is. Science fiction.

But who would the brunt of this massive social engineering scheme fall upon? The middle class, of course. All those people currently living in their single family houses and driving their cars back and forth to work. And what SB 375 means in is massive new development in middle class neighborhoods, with much of the purpose being forcing commuters out of their automobiles and onto such things as the Gold Line or, heaven forbid, buses. That this would mean a drastic decline in the quality of life that we were long told was our right to enjoy goes without question. Life in densely packed neighborhoods with small and noisy apartments along with crowded city commuter conveyances being the kinds of things people fled to the suburbs to escape in the first place.

But apparently these kinds of sacrifices are not something everyone will be called upon to share. Because when burdensome environmental considerations come into play and your name is Ed Roski Jr. of Majestic Realty, you can just call the Adonis of the Alps, the world celebrated Mr. Green Legacy himself, and be absolved of the burden.

As you know, billionaire developer Ed Roski Jr. was facing some inconvenient opposition from the people of the City of Walnut. This small city, not that different from ours, and situated right next to the City of Industry site where Big Ed wants to build a NFL stadium, had some concerns. Environmental concerns. Because in addition to this stadium Big Ed wanted to also build a huge shopping mall along with some other "suburban sprawl" kinds of things. And as anyone living next to such Eisenhower Era meccas can tell you, this would cause a whole lot of new traffic. And with traffic comes bad air, jammed freeways, and a lot of that greenhouse gas stuff. Just like SB 375 says.

So the people of Walnut did the one thing anyone interested in defending their homes and quality of life would do, they turned to laws that our state, in apparently better times, enacted to protect them from just such a thing. In this case that law is the California Environmental Quality Act.

But you see, times have changed. Because in Sacramento Ed Roski's money speaks far louder than any laws designed to protect the environment or middle class enclaves like the City of Walnut. And once Ed started calling in favors, the very people who proposed and enacted SB 375 yanked any possibility of a CEQA environmental review away from those who dared to stand in his way.

The result being this very sad story published by the Pasadena Star News.

INDUSTRY - About 150 of Southern California's most powerful people gathered Thursday on what was once a cow pasture ... Under a bright blue sky and taking in a panoramic view of the San Gabriel mountains, they stood among the sun-dried weeds and witnessed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sign legislation paving the way for an NFL stadium ... Separated from the action by a chain-link fence and armed deputies, a group of less than a dozen protesters from nearby Walnut held up signs and decried the action ... The group, led by Walnut resident Brigid Bjerke, consists of eight citizens challenging developer Edward Roski Jr.'s plan to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles ... Earlier this month the group refused to settle its lawsuit against the project ... The State Legislature stepped in and sent a bill to Schwarzenegger exempting the project from the California Environmental Quality Act, nullifying the citizen's lawsuit.

Now I don't know how you feel about bringing the National Football League back to Los Angeles. Honestly I prefer things to stay the way they are now because we get much better games on TV when we don't have some godforsaken loser franchise here in town. And you know that the team that decides to come here will be one of the bad ones. After all, if they weren't why would they need to move? We could be facing a future of having to endlessly hear about something called the "City of Industry Lions."

But the point is a Lion of Patronage like Roski doesn't have to follow California environmental law. Rather, as someone with a lot of money and influence in Sacramento, he called his friends and got the problem fixed. Will we be able to do the same when we try to fight off the environmental damage SB 375 enabled redevelopers could do to our city? Not a chance.

Oh, and get a load of how our fine elected public servants regard those who would attempt to use California environmental law to defend the quality of life in their city.

"These people presented an $800 million wish list of demands that have little to do with the environment," Schwarzenegger said. "I'm here to terminate the frivolous lawsuit and start construction."

And then there is this from a true loudmouthed idiot:

State Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Compton, who authored the legislation, went a step further. He termed the lawsuit "abuse" and "extortion." He went on to say that the state legislature doesn't take CEQA laws lightly, but added these are "extraordinary times."

One other point that needs to be made. Did you know that SB 375 states that when redevelopment is being arranged for some big time building in areas designated as a "transportation corridor," CEQA review rights can also be pulled should the developer so desire? Perhaps a developer just like Ed Roski Jr. of Majestic Realty?

Looks like a trend.

43 comments:

  1. Arnold has turned his "green legacy" into a lie. Just like the
    rest of the Sacramento crowd, he's only Green when it makes
    money for his backers and cronies.

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  2. Outrageous violation of citizens' recourse to respond to big money bullies.

    Is there no help from the National Resource Defense Council?
    Ignoring CEQA should be against the law.

    Or help from the ACLU?
    Taking away those residents' right to sue should be against the law.

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  3. John Buchanan and Joe Mosca who fought so hard to keep Joe on the COG sure proved to me who they work for. I'm convinced they are lobbyists, and only on our city council to promote the agenda of big "green" development.Why are they so interested in Sacramento? Why indeed!

    Anyone who thinks they work for the people of Sierra Madre are naive.

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  4. If there is something worse than denying Walnut its environmental review, it is the hatred and contempt shown to them by Roski's pocket politicians. You want to see what naked state power has in store for those who will try and stand in the way of SB 375, well, you just got a good look at it.

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  5. Truly one of the worst water wasters in our climate zone is golf courses'. Here is a link to an NPR article on the subject.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91363837
    Courses in Palm Spring use 1 million gallons a day. I counted 36 here is the link to that
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91363837
    thats an easy 36 million gallons a day.
    Neuroblast Films

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  6. Just a thought, can't be "green without water"

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  7. Sorry here is the Palm Springs Golfcourses link
    http://www.palmsprings.com/golf/

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  8. Schwarzenegger runs California like Mussolini ran Italy. Nothing but ugly bully politics.

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  9. Sir Eric, you bring to mind that great question the teacher who lives in Sierra Madre asked one night at the council. She was given a "voucher" for a paycheck, and she wondered if any of the legislators were given vouchers, too.
    I guess "public service" has become job security for the incompetent.

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  10. Not entirely incompetent, 8:46.
    You have to be able to meet and greet, give thanks, repeat everyone's name and labels, endlessly promoting self and others with a chipper attitude.
    Sound like anybody on our council?
    Public service as nothing more than public relations.

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  11. Here is the link to see and hear Joe Mosca doing just what you describe.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-RSGocOk3g
    Neuroblast Films

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  12. Sir Eric good story, of course if everybody wants to read the whole sordid story and forearm themselves against the perpetrators in the future, I simply looked up "CA state capitol", then on the State of california web site selected swartzenager, there it is under top story left side, you can click on it and read the authors, the reasons, who voted for it and who didn't. He claimed he signed it because we are in a fiscal emergency..it is sickening to me, of course they even exempted the payments to schools..it is a travesty.

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  13. Sir Eric?

    Am I correct in assuming that Joe and John's trips to Sacramento are paid for by the city of Sierra Madre/us taxpayers?

    If this is true, how about Joe Mosca telling us what he has done for Sierra Madre's residents, all the residents, not just the DIC's.
    How about an accounting of what they spend our money on?
    How about Joe and John telling us how they "fight" for us? All I can figure is they fight for the Edison Co. and Siempre Energy and Bart Doyle's BIA.

    Kurt Zimmerman, Don Watts and MaryAnn MacGillivray do not work for any special interests. They work for the residents.
    The least we can all do is support all three of these public servants.
    I sure appreciate them.

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  14. When Joe, John, and Elaine have a road trip to Saacramento, they should be required to give the city an accounting of every person/group they spoke with and the purpose of the conversation. Timeline = the entire trip.

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  15. Good point, OK. If they're traveling on our dime, we need to know what they're doing in Sacramento. Outside of some Joe happy face BS I cannot recall ever hearing a peep about those trips.

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  16. To be fair and accurate, it should be noted that majestic prepared an EIR. the EIR was objected to by several groups.

    the "people of walnut" - that is the city - and all other objecters settled with majestic for a whole lot of money. that leaves a group of 8 self proclaimed "greenies" who live in walnut as the sole objecters to a project that will create jobs for society as a whole. jobs which the "greenie" spokesman this morning indicated were beneath the dignity of any human being. i will tell that to the nice older and younger folks who work as ushers at the BIG A the next time i see them.

    under these facts it was reasonable to legislate these eight hold outs out of their litigation concerning the placement of a football field at an the idyll existing next to a honda dealer at the junction of two superhighways.

    that said, let me be clear. i am 100% against further development under the facts presented by our lovely little town, I AM 100% AGAINST JOE MOSCA, and i promise to donate the first $500 in the event sir eric decides to run for council.

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  17. i don't believe anything that comes out of the mouth of Joe or John. the "green" agenda they propose is propaganda for their employers.

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  18. 10:12 - not just a football stadium. A rather large mall and other things are all a part of Roskiland. Be sure to ask about Hotdog On A Stick. Limiting the discussion to just a football stadium isn't quite happening for me. And if you were building something large chances are you'd have to submit to a CEQA review. Because you don't have a lot of politicans in your pocket.

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  19. Been there, done thatOctober 23, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    10:12, there is nothing reasonable about buying a way out of complying with CEQA.
    Any restrictions placed on development activity are virtually ignored anyway (been by One Carter lately?), but without CEQA there isn't any hope at all.

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  20. 10:40 - Yeah, but you see, those guys are "greenies" who sneer at honest peanut vendors. Yeah, that's it.

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  21. Committee to Elect Sir EricOctober 23, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    let me be clear. the project has gone through ceqa review. what is left is ceqa litigation.

    the ceqa review and litigation has now been resolved by participants including the cities of walnut and diamond bar. there is one hold out: a "citizens group" representing "green" interests wants millions of dollars of bribes. to what end? to pusue such "green" goals as (i) more freeway offramps and (ii) a stadium roof.

    here, you can look it up!

    http://www.sgvtribune.com/ci_13531078

    this stick up was too much for even our lefty legislature to stomach in the middle of a nasty recession. so they exempted the project from a ceqa review that was essentilly complete. the hundreds of construction workers who will crawl over this MASSIVE project while it is built will thank them.

    as for me, i hate pro football and will probably never visit the stadium, unless of course they put on one of those monster truck shows the my little loved ones enjoy so much.

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  22. The CEQA review was resolved through the large amount of cash Ed sent to the concerned cities. Which actually means it was shelved and not resolved. Maybe you should have read your cite, first? And not everyone went along. But Arnold fixed that.

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  23. Duh? how else do you think these things get settled?

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  24. Bart Doyle For Animal Control OfficerOctober 23, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Yes, but there are always those invconvenient people. Just ask the Downtown Investors Club and that DSP thing they were so very proud of.

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  25. People who can't be bought? That must
    really confuse the dirts...

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  26. And so it goes..another community savaged by Billions!Their minions are crawling about everywhere.For instance,look at the two pustules sitting on our city council.Do they support the will of the majority regarding the community's future?Their decisions speak for themselves.They are hatchet men for their respective employers.
    Continue to support Mary anne,Don,and Kurt..they listen to us!

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  27. You're right, Trudy.
    And I wonder how many other "Moscas and Buchanans" are sitting on other city councils?
    We know how many of them are sitting in our State Assembly and State Senate.
    Someone should publish the names of all those who voted for SB375.
    They do not deserve any votes from honest citizens.

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  28. One rule for them, another rule for us. That's how Sacramento works.

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  29. I knew there was a dark side to the sierra club they are a sb375 supporter
    http://ventana.sierraclub.org/conservation/regional/SB375.shtml

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  30. There were a lot of environmental organizations that bought into SB 375 in the beginning. A lot of them are now stepping back as the reality of what it will mean to already clogged cities. The preservationist and environmental camps are coming back together. Besides, who else are they supposed to trust? Those circus clowns who have run the state into the abyss? They'd sell their mothers for a campaign donation.

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  31. The environmental movement has been kidnapped by the very people who necessitated it in the first place.
    The rape & scrape proponents are clever, and desperate.
    Their victories, like this stadium and accompanying structures, are our loss.

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  32. 12:54 - so true! Look at what they did to those dedicated Greens John and Joe! Turned them into sales reps for 2 of the biggest greenhouse gas polluters in Southern California.

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  33. The bad guys always try to look like they care and confuse the voters. Anyone remember the "No on V" signs that said "Preserve Sierra Madre"?

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  34. I know someone who taught environmental science who years ago told the students that the environment would not be cleaned up until there was a dollar to be made doing it--that is the basis of this so-called free enterprise system. The environment is messed up for the almighty $ and then bucks are made cleaning up the mess for years to come. Bring on the statium, birng on the problems, watch the people flee for better digs somewhere else, any where but here. Gack!

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  35. Pasta, the No o V signs were a misprint, what they meant to say was No on V - Screw Sierra Madre (paid by you local friendly realtors)

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  36. Speaking of political signs.......
    How about John Buchanan's sign.....with a TREE.
    A TREE!!!!!!!! John the Tree Buchanan. How many trees did John murder at One Carter? How many?
    Is your sign suppose to make up for your crime against our hillsides, Buchanan?

    You are nothing but a lobbyist and a pontificating windbag. City Council meetings would be at least an hour shorter if you weren't speaking. Oh yeah, that's what your hired to do, now isn't it? You and Mosca? Hired lobbyists for development special interests when you have the majority vote, and hired obstructionists when you don't.
    I'll bet there are a lot of people out there that wish they could take back their vote for John "the tree" Buchanan. Add Joe "the SCAGMAN" Mosca. A couple of lobbyist/PR men for the energy companies.

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  37. 6:43, absolutely accurate description of ridiculous hypocrisy.
    Buchanan's election signs should have had a chain saw on each tree.

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  38. With Joe and John its the rule of the opposite. They work for huge polluters, so they're green. They are for preserving Sierra Madre, so they push big developer agendas constantly. They're all about fighting for small cities, so they belong to big regional organizations that enforce the power grabbers in Sacramento. With these two characters it is safe to assume that the opposite of whatever they're saying is true.

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  39. Classic Double Speak! Lookout 1984 here we are again!

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  40. 11:36, LOL! Yes, dirts are all about being bought.

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  41. there should be a three minute limit on John and Joe when they speak, neither can make a clear and concise point and ramble on and on and on and on.

    both are totally in love with themselves.

    both are bores.

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  42. Most narcissists are. No matter what the conversation, the conclusion is always the same: "Aren't I important?"

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  43. small segments of Buchanan with foot in mouth availible @ neuroblast films

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