Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Greater Threat to Los Angeles's Environment?

You hear it all the time. Los Angeles has millions of cars, and the vast clouds of greenhouse gas emanating from all of those tail pipes every darn day isn't just filling the air with health damaging and toxic chemicals, it is also responsible for heating up the atmosphere and changing the world's climate. That is what they say. But what if I told you it wasn't completely true? No, I am not about to launch into any kind of screed denying (or, for that matter, supporting) the existence of global warming. That is one of the topics I try to avoid covering here, mostly because you can read that sort of stuff at 6 million other places. We do try to be reasonably unique here on The Tattler, you know. Even when we're not.

No, as a matter of fact what we are about to share with you today is based on the very best science. Unshakable, undeniable, with nary a whit of doubt to be found within. Written and researched by some of the top names in the "science of atmospheric composition and structure" field. And, as if these things couldn't be set any more deeply in concrete logic than they already are, published in Scientific American as well (click here). It just doesn't get any more scientifically incontrovertible than that.

L.A. Needs to Stop Being Such a Cow Town: New research suggests that the waste from dairy farms may be a bigger source of smog in Los Angeles than the region's millions of cars.

Early inhabitants of what's now Los Angeles called the region the Valley of Smoke. But it was the car that really made Los Angeles's smog get out of hand. Or was it?

You might not think of Los Angeles as a cow town. But there are nearly 300,000 cattle in the region, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And now flights to measure local air pollution have revealed that the cows may be a bigger factor in dangerous air pollution than the cars are.

Ground-level ozone is bad enough, but smog gets really nasty when it also includes tiny particles of pollution. And the bacteria eating all that dairy cow waste turn out to be as big a source of this type of pollution as L.A.'s nearly 10 million cars and trucks.

This is a pretty astonishing ratio presented here by Scientific American. That 300,000 cows could prove to be more than a match in the pollution category to 10 million cars is quite a remarkable feat.

I personally believe that the Green Committee (or is that Commission?) needs to now begin redirecting its energies towards the greater source of atmospheric environmental collapse here in the Los Angeles basin, flatulent cows. Leave our cars alone and get down to some truly important work. Head out into the nearest dairy pasture with a pack of matches, or something. This time the future of Sierra Madre really is dependent upon them getting it done.

Great News! Sierra Madre is Now Rated a Walker's Paradise!

If you have a keen memory you may recall that on April 14 we published the results of the latest Walk Score.com survey for Sierra Madre. And they were pretty darn good results, too. Especially for people who believe walking is going to save the world from ecological catastrophe. Out of a possible 100 points we came in at a robust 86, which means we'd earned a Walk Score rating of "Very Walkable."

This was deemed important by the editorial staff here at The Tattler because, to our select way of thinking, this means that the downtown area will not have to be plowed under so that a more "walkable and bikeable" (their phrase) "transit village" can be built. Something the likes of the Green Committee (or is that Commission?) claims is necessary in its Environmental Accords. Which they liberally borrowed from a similarly named document put out by the United Nations.

No, I am not making this up. The madness is everywhere, you know. There might actually be a thousand points of light out there, but most of them are due to swamp gas.

Anyway, and for whatever reasons compel me to engage in such behavior, I went back to the Walk Score.com website yesterday, and do you know what I found? Our Walk Score rating has gone up 5 full points in less than a month! And because of this we have evolved from being "Very Walkable" to a "Walker's Paradise!" You can witness this amazing transformation by clicking here.

So now if those allied with the Green Committee should advocate building a transit village downtown, what they would be doing is destroying our walker's paradise in order to get us something we already have. World class walkability!

Which I guess is a good thing. Of course, you could look at history as being mankind's search for ways of avoiding having to walk. The invention of the wheel being hailed by many as an important historical event. But perhaps we are now at a time when that cycle is about to be broken, and having to walk is a kind of transportation breakthrough. Especially when it is others who will have to do it.

As we mentioned earlier, it seems to me that the Green Committee would better serve this community if they directed their energies towards eradicating things that present a greater and more imminent danger, like this cow gas. Even if there isn't a way to spin it as a reason for high density public transportation based housing development.

And honestly, now that we know we live in a Walker's Paradise, how can life here get any better?

Airbrushing at the Sierra Madre Patch?

Is it just me, or are they getting a bit lazy over at The Patch? There has always been a tendency on that site to post press releases as somehow being news (all those Bob Huff articles come to mind), but they are hardly alone in that. Where would Susan Henderson or Bill Coburn be without such predigested fodder for the simple at heart?

However, Patchie apparently has now taken this to a rather extreme new level. Which is publishing a "blog" that is quite obviously Caltrans propaganda without identifying it as such. Posted by something called the "SR 710 Outreach Team" (no actual human names are mentioned), this jargon-rich word jam is actually about building the 710 Tunnel under South Pasadena. And they do it without once even mentioning the word "tunnel." Click here.

Check out some of this bizarre language.

For the SR-710 Study, Metro and Caltrans are evaluating options to improve mobility and relieve congestion within the study area of the western San Gabriel Valley and east/northeast Los Angeles. From May 14 through May 24, Metro and Caltrans will be hosting open houses during which the community will have an opportunity to view alternative concepts for the Study.

Right. With each one of those so-called alternatives leading back to the building of the 710 Tunnel.

In this meeting, people will learn about the multi-modal alternative concepts under evaluation in the SR-710 Study process, including, but not limited to, "no build" alternative, improvements to local streets, expansion of transit systems, as well as freeway options.

The biggest of those "freeway options" (or "multi-modal alternative concepts") being the building of a tunnel that would lead to a truly massive surge of new SR-210 traffic to our portion of the San Gabriel Valley. Much of it truck traffic out of the Port of Long Beach heading inland. And without even once mentioning in the entire "blog" that the tunnel is the actual reason for these so-called outreach meetings. Or even that such a thing might be even be under consideration.

You'd think Patch might have wanted to share that tidbit of information with their readers. Of course, in all fairness it is possible they didn't know, or even understand what it was they were posting. I guess we should include that as a consideration.

All I can say is that we should all be grateful it isn't about building Caltrans cow paths. But then again, given the airbrushed nature of their communique, maybe it is?

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

54 comments:

  1. The Altadena Patch has an article about the Caltrans meetings, and they mention the tunnel. Why did the Sierra Madre Patch leave that out?

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  2. Greener PasturesMay 16, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    Oh Mr. Tattler, you have forgotten one very important element of the Cow Town Fact. Well, first we are not a Cow Town, we are LA and here we would call it a Cow Palace. Any way I digress. Cows produce Cow Pies and these little deposits are very useful. When dried out they can be used as energy to heat your house, really! Not unusual in the past to put some Cow Pies in the old pot-bellied stove and heat the house all night long. Now I don't know if any new research on cow pie energy has been done lately but for sure it is worth looking into. Some scientist may discover a method to release this energy in such a way that the gas from the drying pies could run little personal people movers and the dried pies would heat our homes on cold days. Just think about it, all vacant land could become green pastures "One Carter". Jobs could be created and a whole green industry could become a City grown business. As soon as the cows made there deposits workers would be on hand to get them into gas extracting people movers. Once the gas is used up and the pie is dried they would be sold off as little energy pellets for home heating and air conditioning.

    WOW, Mr. Tattler could be responsible for really greening up our town.

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  3. Publishing a publicity release as a blog is a new low for the Patch.

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  4. The Green Committee needs to research the impact of the tunnel and then make its accords about that. As well as the cows.

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure the Green Committee would have a problem with the 710 tunnel.

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  5. The tunnel is hazardous to the health of the neighborhoods at either end of it.

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  6. Not to mention the expensive training of emergency personal to make that trip underground safe. All this in the heart of Earthquake Country. This just does not figure out. Reduce or maintain density, not increase it, are these people not learning anything in school.

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  7. How much energy would such a tunnel use up? How much pollution would be generated out of such a hole? We could go on and on about what a bad idea that is.

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    Replies
    1. Why is Sacramento pushing all of these sustainability agendas, yet at the same time pushing for a hugely expensive truck and car tunnel?

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  8. Sacramento is driven by things like the trucking lobby and the transit industry that wants public funding (our taxes) to pay for their infrastructure so that cheap trucks can haul freight. Yes, it's a huge number, but they're not paying for it.

    Same as the High Speed Rail boondoggle that's headed for an implosion, hopefully. It's just about capturing money because after it runs out, there's a high-speed train in the middle of the Central Valley? With nothing but bankrupt subdivisions around it? Who pays for the maintenance if there are no riders???

    Politically driven projects like these need to be put out of their misery.

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    1. There must be a legal requirement to hold these gatherings with the public, but nothing about Caltrans having to say what exactly they are about. Minimum transparency seems to be their guideline.

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    2. They don't want everyone to figure out how much increase in cancer and emphysema rates their plans will cause, and they are obligated to disclose that. Better to disclose it in a small group of supporters, yeah?

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    3. If that's true, what happens to the property values in those areas? Does Metro have to buy up a bunch of houses whose worth is going to collapse?

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  9. How many people will be leaving California?
    Where is our tax base going to come from?
    They just passed a law in the State of Maryland to increase taxes to all who earn $100K or more! People are already fleeing that State.
    People are fleeing California in droves. We are the worst State for business in America.
    Even the illegals are going back south. Not enough jobs.
    How is California going to get the money to support all the unions, pensions and welfare?
    The Brown regime needs to make a new rule on pensions....any State pension will be stopped if the retiree moves out of State.

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  10. Chris Holden, candidate for the 41st Assembly District (Sierra Madre), is in favor of the freeway tunnel through South Pasadena. He's a career politician - and "company man." He is not a good choice for those who favor slow growth.

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    1. No he is not a good choice.
      He is part of the establishment causing the problem.

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    2. Holden's answer at the KPCC debate was particularly slick. "I don't favor a surface route." Didn't utter a peep about an underground one.

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    3. The dirty little secret is we no longer control the situation. The large Asian country that finances our nation's vast debt wants a quicker and cheaper way to get it's products from the Port of Long Beach to market. And that requires a tunnel joining the 710 with the 210. There might be some candidates who say they are against it, but once in office they won't raise a finger to stop it.

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  11. I'm assuming the tunnel will be a "walker's paradise."

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  12. Tattler, I sure would appreciate more information like the comment at 8:23. Any chance you'll be able to give a kind of election guide for the sane?

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  13. How much money could California save, if the establishment in power would abandon their slavish devotion to development interests, including all these bogus groups such as SGVCOG, SCAG and of course Sierra Madre's insane "green committee" (or is it "commission").

    A "green committee" (or is it commission) in Sierra Madre is just crazy.
    Sierra Madre has been "green" for decades. All of us trying to preserve the town and the hillsides are "green".
    It is the very people promoting the misuse of this, better known in Sierra Madre as the DIRTS, who are the problem.
    They don't support anything but the development/real estate industry and/or their own selfish "investments" in destroying Sierra Madre.

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    Replies
    1. Where do you go to look at how the state spends our money? Is there a site? Is this information accessible?

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  14. The only thing growing in California is a welfare state that can only exist on high tax rates, powerful public unions and more government regulation.

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  15. Your tax dollars at work. Against you.

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  16. From the LA Times "All told, livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide, according to the U.N. -- more than all the planes, trains and automobiles on the planet." Soon the EPA will require smog check on all cows. What's next? The EPA will soon discover that People Flatulence should be regulated and taxed. There are more people than cows. I propose a "butt tax" on all Sierra Madrians, that will solve our money problems.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps this gas can be captured and used in the City's CNG vehicles? Has Enid been contacted?

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  17. When the AQMD factors in the reduction in greenhouse gasses due to Buchanan's retirement from the city council, their updated report will demonstrate that we now have enough spare oxygen to support another 100,000 cattle.

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    1. LOL! Good one, 9:34

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    2. Yes and yes.

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  18. California has 12% of the nation's population, and 33% of the welfare recipients.

    What, me worry?

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    Replies
    1. All right, then. Time to raise taxes again. And let's aim for 50% of the welfare cases by 2015. You go, golden state!

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  19. A committee isn't a commission until our mayor pronounces it as such. And, of course he will.

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    Replies
    1. Of course he will. How else are you going to get DSP 2012 into the General Plan than by promoting the Green Committee?

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    2. One of our most influencial voices, Mrs. MaryAnn MacGillivray is HERE and will be HEARD, MaryAnn is a true warrior for the people!
      Thank God for her wisdom and strength. You dirts may think you have gotten rid of her, but she will prove to be more influencial off the council as she was on it.
      She will have plenty to say about this General Plan and will have her "army" behind her to back her up.
      We are still very willing and able to fight for Sierra Madre.
      We also have two warriors on the council, Koerber and Capoccia.
      Of course Mr. John Crawford is here!
      We will be heard!

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  20. Some concerned residents of Beverly Hillis just pitched a fit about the plan to tunnel under Beverly Hills High School. In fact the PTA made a vid:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81tihdzaecc

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  21. Great video! And guess who's in cahoots on tunneling under Beverly Hills High? Would you be shocked to hear it's Metro execs and developers?

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    1. Worse than cows these people.

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    2. Yes, 1:27, they are much worse than cows.
      They are worse than pink slime too!

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  22. off subject, isn't that old steamers building taller than 30 feet?

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    1. If so, it doesn't matter before it was standing before Measure V.
      I heard there will be a Subway sandwich shop and a Chinese restaurant there.

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    2. Get out your tape measure and let us know.

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    3. A Subway? Isn't that a chain? Oh, horror of horrors a chain, a franchise in Sierra Madre! Hell and damnation we're going to roast in hades!

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    4. Surely you mean Hades.

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    5. Yes, 5:52 pm, I indeed meant Hades.

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    6. It's hotter'n Hell in Hades.

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  23. Isn't Beverly Hills one of the communities that successfully fights off any RHNA numbers?

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    1. 2:10, yes. I think it was 3. Like Malibu. Like San Marino. Hummmm. Why those communities?

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    2. It's who you know. Towns with rich folks concerned about property values have the sway to hold these idiots off. Our guys just cave in.

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    3. Let's find out just what San Marino, or Malibu, says to SCAG to make them back up.

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    4. Best thing a city can do with SCAG is just ignore them.

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  24. theyare building new construction on topof building

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    Replies
    1. New or repairing? During the last rain, I walked by and saw water on the floor from some large holes in the roof.
      That property already went through the planning process - in fact, it was approved before Dr. Sami's, across the street from it. It involved the demolition of two of those apartments behind it, and a lot of other stuff.

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  25. The power of VOTING really does make a difference, but be sure to read the small print.
    When reading over the information re: the tunnel; just how will the exhaust from the cars be removed? Thru carefully thought out holes cut into the celing of the tunnels? Maybe the government agency of transportation or the airport TSA workers could be in charge of guarding these hot air holes for safety concerns! What about a huge hole cut into the mountain and a very large fan installed to draw out more hot air coming from downtown Los Angeles or appropriately named from the first humans of california, the valley of smoke.

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  26. The Valley of Smoke got its name from all the brush fires that were set by lightening and the early people intentionally setting fire to enhance hunting.

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