Saturday, January 2, 2010

An Outraged Environmentalist Writes In

Across California a lot of people are just beginning to wake up to what exactly SB 375 will mean for them and this state. This recently enacted law is of an extremely radical concept, one that removes control over development from cities, and is something that will be applied with the full force of the central government and its planning apparatus in Sacramento. This highly ambitious attempt at massive social engineering is designed to get you out of both your car and your house. You see, Sacramento has decided that you, your low density neighborhood, and the car you drive, are now all undesirable. And you need to be moved into a condo, onto public transportation, and you'd better not complain about it. Because you really have little say in the matter.

Our correspondent (who has requested anonymity), is upset that the state has now abolished CEQA review rights in any community that is deemed to be a "Sustainable Communities Project." This happy faced phrase actually denotes an imposed state imperative that in practice means densely packed condo settlements located near public transit. The idea being that people will magically give up their automobiles should they live near a bus station. And short of a nuclear power plant, I can't think of much that could use an environmental review more than additional overbuilt neighborhoods.

Sierra Madre, which is certain to be deemed a "Sustainable Communities Project" area in 2012 because of our proximity to the Gold Line, could very well be forced to accommodate the kind of downtown development that was called for in the Downtown Specific Plan a couple of years back. With Measure V facing strong Court challenges as SB 375 could be found to overrule it.

Here is how the e-mail reads:

I want to express my thanks for all of your wonderful articles regarding Steinberg's CEQA exempt SB 375. Your articles are helping people understand what a hugely destructive scam this is, and also the need to put a stop to Schwarzenegger/Steinberg's use of CEQA Exempt SB 375 and RHNA. This is an enablement designed for the use of corrupted city politicians and boards of supervisors, developers, realtors, greedy land owners in their need to get away with building anything, anywhere regardless of what is involved environmentally.

Thought you might be interested in the San Diego City Beat article below which you might want to reference or use some of the information in it for an upcoming article. The author, E. A. Barrera, along with yourself are shining light on this destructive and exploitive scheme. Keep up the good work.

E.A. Barrera's bottom line in the article below needs to get shouted out during Public Comments at every City Council meeting and Board of Supervisors meeting in California. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Barrera's article gives a pretty good overview of how the process is going down in San Diego County. Its version of SCAG is SANBAG (love these acronyms), and apparently that part of the state has been ordered to serve as the initial rollout for SB 375. With the greater San Diego area being the laboratory for Dr. Schwarzenegger's developmental Frankenstein. And the paragraph cited in the email above makes a very good point. Nobody is really telling the citizens of this state exactly what they are in for.

"It has been said that you don't know what you've got 'til its gone," McConnell said ... "Yet where state environmental law applies, the opposite is true: Citizens and decision makers must, in fact, be informed of what they have before, and not after, it's gone."

Which, of course, is not possible for the likes of Sacramento, SCAG, SANBAG, or its many busy apparatchiks like our Joe Mosca. They really do have a powerful need to keep this thing as quiet as possible. Because if it was explained to the citizens of California that their homes and automobiles have been deemed environmentally hazardous and that there is now a Sacramento stealth law in existence designed to shove folks in in the direction of giving them up, there could very well be an unprecedented political uprising in this state that would leave none of the involved culprits in power.

Here's an interesting thought. The upcoming City Council elections here in Sierra Madre could be the first election in California where SB 375 is an issue. Mostly because Joe Mosca, who is up for reelection in April, is deeply involved in its implementation. An official whose agendas are far more closely aligned with Sacramento than the people he is supposed to serve, this could make Joe vulnerable politically.

A lot of people will be watching.


  1. Thanks for this, Sir Eric.
    Thanks for reminding the folks that "Sacramento Joe Mosca" has been a detriment to this community from the get-go.

    I understand Sacramento Joe is running for re-election. Incredible, considering his horrible performance on our city council.

    Concerned, honest citizens will work for this man's defeat in the April election.
    He needs to go the way of another of the dirt's "fellow travelers", Tonja Torres.

    Joe Mosca simply can't work on behalf of special interests such as the Building Industry Association and the California Association of Realtors and their Sacramento "minions" and expect the good citizens of Sierra Madre to re-elect him.
    It's bad enough being inept, but to be actually working against the people of Sierra Madre is not acceptable.

    I will cast my ballot votes for candidates who will continue to work for me, not Sacramento.
    I urge my fellow Sierra Madreans to do the same.

    Stay tuned.

  2. Damn right Sacramento won't want people thinking about SB375.
    Gives you an idea just how radical our state lawmakers are these
    days. Permanent one party rule has convinced them they can do
    anything they please.

  3. CEQA was the result of a lawsuit by Friends of Mammoth in 1973 to preserve their community. Get your checkbooks ready. Drop the anti-environmental rhetoric a la the rant against green because it has been co-opted by John and Joe. Use “green” to mean what is means=healthy communities, using resources wisely. Fight the builder’s buddies (both structural and body) in Sacramento and keep Sierra Madre healthy and self-governing and green. The chaparral is its own color of green and it is growing loverly on the hillsides.

  4. The vast majority of folks in Sierra Madre are "green", mon oie.
    That is why we choose to live here.
    We value our hillsides, our wildlife and our trees.
    We re-cycle our trash and most of us pick up after our dogs and don't litter our city.
    Most of us value our liberty to elect honest officials who support preservation.

    The problem with Joe and John is they do not share those values, they only claim they do.
    Their records speak for themselves. They lobby for development and greedy politicians in Sacramento.

  5. Sacramento and Joe Mosca use the language of the environmental movement to sell the needs of the folks they really care about, developers realtors, and builders. There is no way turning low density Sierra Madre into Pasadena is going to do anything except enrich Joe's campaign donors. It is big lie politics, and unfortunately one of the victims is the reputation green movement. Their agenda has been co-opted and dragged in the mud.

  6. To say opposing 375 is the same as being anti-green is to fall
    into the trap.

  7. People must start to understand that voting for a politician because that person is a Dem or Rep is not enough anymore. Many are bought by the same interest groups. One must look at how they vote, not what they say, otherwise the people will surely loose, if it isn't too late already.

  8. Amen 9:21. And if a politician is lockstep with everything coming
    out of Sacramento, then you have to assume his first priority is not
    Sierra Madre.

  9. I was against something in Sacramento once. Give me a couple of minutes and I'll try to remember what it was.

  10. Both Joe and John are green and their noses are brown.

    Their green = envy of Kurt, Don, and Maryann.
    Their brown = you figure that one out.

  11. Neuroblast dude?

    How about some additional clips on YouTube of Joe and John showing their absolute "dread" of our current Mayor and former Mayor Zimmerman.
    We have been watching this on Channel 3 over the months and it seems to be getting more pronounced.

    These two "attorneys" who are lobbyists for developers, pander to the corrupt politicians in Sacramento and listen to Bart Doyle, a man of the lowest degree.

    We have already decided to vote against Mosca, no matter what.
    Those who support him are either corrupt or very naive and mis-informed.

  12. mon oie, it's not just "green" spin. What needs to be stunningly clear to everyone is that SB 375 creates a massive, statewide mandate to overbuild beyond our resources (we're already there, actually) that's legally unstoppable.

    The whole bit about communter traffic being of any significance to GHG emissions is just baloney. That's all from manufacturing, power plants, warehousing, industrial and the related transport of goods and construction activites, which are over 70% of the GHG count.

    Keep your eye on the ball. Sacramento is hoping to keep the residents distracted with all this green hype and railroading massive projects to keep the money coming in.

  13. Does anyone else ever consider that the Bart Doyle led Dirts are pushing for the complete collapse of Sierra Madre as a sovereign city?
    It would really please Bart's BIA if we were part of the county, then they could develop everything with no interference by preservationists.
    Our hillsides would look like Glendale and our downtown would look like parts of Walnut Ave in Pasadena.
    Our property values would go down the toilet, but builders wouldn't care, as long as they could just develop and develop and leave us holding the bag.
    It seems the main dirt political agenda is to bankrupt the city of Sierra Madre. Why?
    Why indeed!
    Does anyone else think this is possible?

  14. Poster 10:48. Was that a rhetorical question? Not only is it possible, it almost happened.

    Thank God for Kurt Zimmerman & Kevin Dunn.

  15. Sir Eric. Here's a thought. Every year the Chamber of Commerce picks a citizen (or in this year's case citizens) of the year.

    No surprise, they're always DIRTS.

    Why not have a tattler "resident of the year" to counterbalance the COC's choice. Sort of like the two names just mentioned.

  16. Paul Neiby has been named Citizen of the Year. along with his wife.

    Paul Neiby is responsible for Harriet S. Henderson still being in operation.
    He donates money to that grifter/bad check pusher/liar/deadbeat/cheat.

  17. Neiby is also one of Joe's BIGGEST supporters.

  18. Hall of Shame needs to be on the sidebar

  19. I copied this paragraph from the Barrera article linked in today's Tattler. This is important and needs to be followed up on.

    "SB 375 would exempt from CEQA any transit-oriented project that was declared by the local government to be a Sustainable Communities Project. According to Housing California, a coalition of affordable housing advocates, California will allocate $6 billion a year to transportation projects that implement the SCS, and the SCS will be updated every four to five years as part of the region’s transportation plan. "

    So if this is the process then we need to be sure we vote to Sierra Madre City Council individuals who WILL NOT DECLARE projects a "Sustainable Commuities Project" to get around CEQA.

    Nancy Walsh recently went to the podium in support for John Buchanan's position on something on the agenda. We need to see who is cconnected in this way if it is as reported that the money donations that show these links can come in for final reporting after the election.

  20. I find it odd that nobody I know has heard from Nancy Walsh about her candidacy. Who is she talking to?

  21. A Child of Sierra Madre PioneersJanuary 2, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    If Sierra Madre is going to be the first city to have SB375 as an ISSUE in California, we somehow, someway need to get this out to EVERYONE IN CALIFORNIA THAT THIS IS A REAL ISSUE. I was told that not one newspaper will take on this issue truthfully.

    Dr Neiby seems sweet and trusted, persuading readers of Susan's paper to automatically believe that whoever and whatever she brings to print is honest.

    We must work to win over not just SM, but all of California and find a way to get out word out to
    EVERYONE in CALIFORNIA. We worked this far and dilligently. No one, not even these dirty disgusting rotten people can take it away now. Joe and his friends care about the manipulation of money. We care about our homes and our granparents who came here and worked to have a better life for US. They do not care about a better life for the people here. Keep that in mind. They do not care about US!!

  22. Sierra Madre has defended itself from destructive development for over 100 years. Don't let this be the year it all falls apart.

  23. Mon Oie:
    Good information you post. Thanks.
    I was at Santa Anita racetrack today, ran into an old friend who is now a realtor in Monrovia.
    A SLOW GROWTH realtor.....there are a few of them around.
    She is very impressed with our slow growth leaders here in Sierra Madre. They have worse challenges in Monrovia. A city council that is anything but for the folks.
    She told us to keep FIGHTING, and NEVER give up.
    Only way we can win.
    I share the frustration and anger of you posters here on this thread. Don't give up, fight back, we won Measure V and we got MacGillivray elected, we can and will keep Sierra Madre on it's right path.
    She also warned against the threat of eminent domain. She told me they can and will take our property.
    Please support a ban on eminent domain and vote smart. Stay tuned to this website for the truth.

  24. It's true the Feds must keep spending to stop the private sector's deleveraging death spiral. Bye bye to local and state control...only the Federal Government can print money and run these long-term monstrous deficits.

    That's why Sacramento is overreaching beyond all rational strategies as well as the "given" mandate by the Feds to force development to keep the US of A solvent.

    As always, follow the money. Sacramento is just following the lead from Congress, which has sold out to private sector and special interests.

    You see why we're in such serious trouble as a "democracy"? The special interests have it locked up right now, no matter which party is "in power".

    We, as citizens (NOT "consumers") must speak up now at the ballot box at all levels.

  25. Since the people of the state of California have reserved to themselves the right to legislate (by initiative and referendum), I should think that they would circulate a petition and put this on the ballot and reinstate the Cities' right to make development decisions based on environmental effects. There is no reason to lie back and let this happen to us. This was one of Sacramento's best kept secrets and now that the cat is out of the bag, we should stand up and take back our cities' control of their decision-making.

  26. Dr Staccato is always rightJanuary 2, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Dr. Staccato! Thank you. We are very blessed with your wisdom, instinct and experience. We need to get on this FAAAAST everyone. We have this right and no one has brought this up! I am sure I am not the only one to walk house to house and put this on the internet and is it legal for Neuroblast to YOUTUBE this?

    The www is great and we know Susan will use fear and lies to promote Joe and Co....Let's begin...

  27. Wisdom not used is wasted, so what are YOU going to do?

  28. Susan Harrison has lied to everyone, even Paul Neeby. IMr. Neeby has donated money to protect the lives of Sierra Madre with his support of the CERT graduates (Community Emergency Response Team) and the emergency AM radio station. Last year Tattler bloggers were put out with the choice of Midge Morash as citizen of the year, this year Mr. and Mrs. Paul Neeby--it might be a topic left alone as it is like deciding that you don't like the institution of Homecoming Queen--the prom committee will go on without paying you much mind, in fact they probably like getting your goat. My goat has better things to worry about.

  29. Oh c'mon 11:48. You don't think this is fun? Besides, it is a well known fact that Susan preys on old people and takes their money. She is a grifter, after all. Dr. Nieby is a very ill man, and therefore her kind of target.

    But beyond that particular case, fewer than you seem to believe fall for it.

  30. The issue with Midge was her choice as the 4th of July Grand Marshall over the WWII veterans of the VFW. Not Citizen of the Year.

  31. 6:19

    The people who made that biased mean-sprited decision were Joe Mosca and Matt Bosse.

    Dr. Stacatto:
    Great idea. Thanks as always for your input here on this blog.

  32. Interesting history of CEQA written by the very conservative Pacific Research Institute, which creates policy documents for Republican legislation

  33. PS Democrats have their own captive thinktanks, too.

  34. CEQA is inconvenient to the redevelopment industry, the BIA, the CAR, and the rest of the lobby operatives. That is why it is a key element in SB 375. And as we all know, they own both political parties. On the political party scale of priorities, the taxpayers are somewhere around #3.

  35. January 2, 5:24, you've got to be kidding. "Sierra Madre has defended itself from destructive development for over 100 years." I guess in your Sierra Madre the hillsides don't exist. Carter and Stonehouse are where, Arcadia? Pasadena?

  36. 11:49 - Enjoy your downtown condo ...

  37. Setting CEQA asside will be a disaster for environmental quality in California. This law demands that citizens participate in the environmental review process and it takes more time and energy that any one would ever imagine. The developers just past the cost of defeating CEQA on to the final bill. Heard Bart Doyle brag as to how much he knew about CEQA and environmental issues. He left out the important information that his knowledge came from work to defeat CEQA with every project he ever worked on. Sierra Madre learned this far too late when he defeated incumbent Lee Cline by 12 votes for his bid to City Council and then people could not connect the dots when he was elected to a second term over a sincere attempt by Jim Hester.

  38. A post I posted on Topix recently about the "greeness" of high density:

    Well, while BigHam is off trying to design a perpetual motion machine based on the elevator, let me clear up a few "Smart Growth" misinterpretations, using actual data from a Smart Growth website.. and from our very own Department of Energy.

    If you double the density, then the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per person actually decreases by 30%.(this is empirical data from )

    Sounds great, doesn't it!?!?

    Not so fast. Let's see what doubling the density actually does to the TOTAL miles driven... with twice as many people driving 70% as much, you've still INCREASED the TOTAL number of miles driven by 40%!!!(work out the math for yourself).

    Also, what we are really worried about is the amount of fuel consumed and exhaust created. With 40% more total miles driven, that's AT LEAST 40% MORE gas and more pollution. And, it's probably worse than that.. because with that many more cars on surface streets, there will be more time spent idling, vulturing for parking, stopped in lines or at lights, so there will actually be MORE than 40% MORE POLLUTION, gas consumption, etc.

    Doubling density doesn't sound so good after all, huh?

    MISINTERPRETATION 2: From the DOE, energy consumption on a per household basis appears to be 50% LESS for a condo than a single family residential.

    Sounds great. Makes you want to move into a condo, doesn't it!?!?!

    Not so fast. When the enegy PER SQUARE FOOT is computed, a condo is actually LESS EFFICIENT than a single family home on average. The average number of BTU's per square foot was 39.8 for a single family residential versus 78 for an apartment.

    That's right, actual DOE data shows that single family homes are more energy efficient than apartments on a per square foot basis. So, unless we want to force people to live in a tiny closet... then living in a modest sized house is pretty darn good for the environment.

    Also, this data does not include hidden energy costs of condo living, such as 24 hour underground parking lights, automated gates, elevators, hallway lighting, external structure and landscape lighting, on-site office consumption, etc.

    You see, my house has many windows, to maximize natural light and minimize electric lights. Also, my house is surrounded by deciduous trees, giving nice shade in the summer and sunlight in the winter. That in conjunction with our ability to open windows to get cross breezes greatly reduces our energy bills.

    In addition, my lot is only 25% covered with structure... which is alot lower coverage than a high density site. This has the added benefit of allowing for groundwater recharge, which is 10-15% of Pasadena's water supply. If we pave over the entire city with buildings, then we will be negatively impacting our ability to recharge this vital part of our water supply.

    HIGH DENSITY doesn't sound so good after all? In addition to it's negative environmental impacts in a place like Pasadena, the increase pollution and traffic will:

    reduce bicycling, reduce walking (who wants to walk in exhaust trapped on streets with tall buildings?), increase congestion at shopping places/ parking lots, increase pollution, and decrease our quality of life.

  39. High density means more money for our schools and our kids.

  40. True dreams--I can understand the square footage problem for BTU's when you figure that no matter how small the "condo" you still have a need for hot water (bathing and dishwashing--laundry if you have it "en suite"), refridgeration of food and cooking surface (gas or electric) and then a furnace/AC (but that would be heating/cooling a smaller space)--so the "efficiency" of a single family residence might be a lousy way to frame the argument. Why, then, do the eastern and midwestern cities do heating and cooling co-operatives for the isolated, elderly and poor that we in spacious southern California read about from time to time?

  41. I'm a little slow today and am not sure I understand your question. Would you rephrase?

  42. 10:49 - Great. We wreck the town and pump more money into that bottomless pit known as the Pasadena Unified School District.

    11:21 - High density cities are huge greenhouse gas producers, leading to global warming. Not to mention the contribution made by all those Edison and Sempra coal fired power plants to keep their lights on. Why do you guys hate the Earth?