|"Can you sense my concern?"|
First let's go to our Metro example. Doug Failing (pictured here) is the Executive Director of Highway Programs at Metro. One of the big projects falling under his purview these days is the 710 Tunnel, or "gap closure" as he would prefer to have you say it. Euphemisms are important when you are attempting to sell something most everyone doesn't want.
One of the big 710 Tunnel issues as of late has been the possible funneling of vast amounts of truck traffic up from the ports and out into places like the San Gabriel Valley. This is widely held to be a potential health catastrophe for our little portion of the world, with a deterioration of our general environment to 710 "cancer" corridor levels. The 710 Corridor being an environmental debacle ranked up there among the worst in the nation.
Back in March of 2011 the public's attention wasn't quite as focused on the truck traffic issue as it is today. Here is what Doug Failing had to say in a Metro press release back when it was possible for him to discuss what the 710 "gap closure" project is really about (click here):
While this year's 18 projects and the I-405 are designed primarily to give people a better commute, three other high-profile projects in various planning stages but not yet scheduled, address the demands of commerce -- specifically goods movement from the twin ports of L.A. and Long Beach, the two busiest ports in the country, and goods movement from California's Central Valley, America's bread basket.
The I-710 south from the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will involve a freeway widening and possibly a separate freight corridor that could be tolled.
The 710 north gap closure between the I-10 and the I-210 would complete the natural goods corridor that was begun several decades ago. Metro has been holding a series of conversations and outreach with the community, in an effort to collect ideas on best options.
A third, the High Desert Corridor, will be a brand new 63-mile east-west freeway between SR-14 in Los Angeles County and SR-18 in San Bernardino County. It would create a shortcut for goods movement from the Central Valley to the rest of the United States and trim back goods congestion through the L.A. basin.
Like infrastructure investment, goods movement investment is an investment in our future, Failing said.
"What made America great was the building of the system that allowed us to take products to market. America has lost jobs overseas. Even though American workers are still the most productive on the planet, we are not as competitive because we can't move goods within our own country. We need to continue to make these investments so that we can have a healthy economy and we can continue to attract the kinds of jobs that are going to be necessary for us to maintain the standard of living we have."
That was then. Today the feared possibility of massive amounts of truck traffic coming up from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and out through the Pasadena area has become one of the major rallying points of those opposed to building this tunnel. And as such Mr. Failing, who apparently is not a man of any particular honor, has adjusted his message. The letter below was written to a private citizen who had expressed her concerns to him about the 710 Tunnel becoming a conduit for truck traffic from the Ports. Mr. Failing's tale this time is quite different from what he told us back in March of 2011.
Dear Mrs. Xxxxxxx -- Thank you for your recent letter addressed to my attention regarding the State Route 710 Study currently underway. Your interest in this important regional transportation issue is appreciated and I welcome this opportunity to provide you with Metro's perspective on this matter.
Your primary concern is in regards to statements that may have been attributed to me, presented in an article that ran in the publication "Everything Long Beach," asserting that the State Route 710 freeway tunnel option is being planned as a goods movement corridor for trucks. Please be advised that, while this may be the interpretation of the author of the article, that statement should not be attributed to me as the State Route 710 is not a goods movement corridor.
The objective of the State Route 710 Study is to examine a range of alternative concepts in order to find solutions to traffic congestlon in the West San Gabriel Valley area and to promote a more efficient operation of our regional freeway system. The voters of Los Angeles County passed Measure R in November 2008 by a two-thirds majority to approve a half-cent sales tax increase to fund
transportation improvement projects in our county. Measure R specifically allocates $780 million to the State Route 710 corridor. In June 2010. the Metro Board of Directors authorized staff to pursue a robust public outreach effort in pursuit of multi-modal.solutions to congestion in the State Route 710 Corridor. Jeading to the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report I Environmental Impact Statement (DEIRJDEIS).
None of these alternatives are being developed as a goods movement al1ernative. At this time, we are just beginning the environmental process and no decision has been made on a preferred alternative.
Douglas R Failing, P.E. Executive Director. Highway Program
cc: All Metro Board Members Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director, SCAG
Obviously Mr. Failing needs to re-examine his personal relationship with professional responsibility, along with things like truth and ethics. Which, if done successfully, would probably mean his having to depart Metro.
The PUSD Whopper, which is the other fine example of forked tongue governance we have to offer today to you, our reader, is a much simpler matter to discuss. Here they just say something that is blatantly untrue, and then provide all the evidence needed to prove their error. Truly the mark of an organization that is not only supremely confident that no one will care enough to check, but also doesn't seem to care if anybody does.
|PUSD Subdistrict 6 - click map to enlarge.|
PUSD Board of Education Subdistricts: The official filing period for candidates for Seats 1, 3, 5 and 7 on the PUSD Board of Education is now open. Interested candidates can only run for the seat that is in the geographic subdistrict where they reside. PUSD board districts became geographic subdistricts after the passage of Measure A last June, replacing the previous at large system. Board members will be elected to a four year term for subdistricts 1, 3, 5 and 7 next year and subdistricts 2, 4 and 6 will be on the ballot in 2015. The filing period to run for the PUSD Board of Education will close December 7, 2012. Voters in Altadena, Pasadena and Sierra Madre will go to the polls March 5, 2013 for the primary nominating election and April 16, 2013 for the general election (if necessary). Click here for the map of the new geographic subdistricts or visit www.cityofpasadena.net/cityclerk. Information for candidates is available online at the City Clerk’s website or by calling the Pasadena City Clerk’s Office at (626) 744-4124.
On the map we included above you can see that Sierra Madre is a portion of "subdistrict 6." Which, according the the PUSD statement above, means we won't get to elect anyone to the Board of Education under the new Measure A subdistrict representative system until 2015.
So why are these guys also saying that voters in Sierra Madre will go to the polls on March 5, 2013? To vote for what? We have been unfairly (a nice word for it) prevented from putting forward any candidates until 2015. So how can they possibly say we will be casting votes on March 5, 2013?
Our tax dollars at work. Paying the way for people who work against our interests. And they still have the nerve to call it democracy.