Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Action Alert: Tell the Folks in DC to Protect Trestles

As you may know, the TCA appealed the California Coastal Commission decision to reject the toll road through San Onofre State Park. We have until May 28th to contact the Secretary of Commerce and ask him to deny the TCA appeal and uphold the California Coastal Commission's decision.

On April 18, we hand delivered over 3,500 letters to the Secretary of Commerce asking him to grant a public hearing. At this point, we do not know if the Secretary will grant a public hearing (we'll let you know as soon as we know), but in the meantime take a few seconds to complete this action alert.

We are asking the Secretary to review the TCA appeal based on facts consistent with applicable state laws, and to uphold California's right and responsibly to protect coastal resources for those who use (and care for) San Onofre State Beach.

Complete the action alert here: http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/tollroadappeal0408

Ocean Minded to the Rescue!

Ocean Minded is the kind of company that gets its hands dirty to keep the ocean clean.

To kick off Earth Day, Ocean Minded headed down to Trestles for a beach cleanup. Then, a few days later, the company presented a hefty check to the Save Trestles campaign. Founder, Gary Ward, has been on the forefront of the Trestles fight and we owe him, and his eco-friendly company, an enormous THANK YOU! Support those who support us! And be sure to join the next Ocean Minded beach cleanup...they are out there regularly.

Tell D.C. to Deny the Toll Road Appeal

The Transportation Corridor Agency is trying to revive its plan to build the 241 Foothill-South Toll Road through San Onofre State Beach. They have asked the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to override the California Coastal Commission's denial of the road.

Remember, on February 6, 2008 the California Coastal Commission voted to deny the 241 Foothill South Toll Road through San Onofre State Beach. Following thousands of pages of written comments and a 14 hour hearing attended by thousands, the Commission listened to reason and to the law by rejecting the toll road application.

Unfortunately the agency planning this Toll Road has appealed the Coastal Commission’s decision to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The Secretary is accepting comments from the public on this appeal until May 28th. The people in D.C. need to hear from Californians and people from all over the world who care about San Onofre and Trestles!
Your voice is needed! Don't let the TCA's lobbyists be the only influence on this important decision!

Simply click here to send a letter to the Secretary asking that he DENY the Toll Road appeal. Please feel free to edit the letter template we have provided as personal comments are the most effective.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ocean Minded...being ocean minded!

This company gets dirty to keep the beach clean. Please join us for a kick off to earth day at a beach cleanup!!

When: Friday, April 18. 3-5pm
Where: Meet at the Trestles Parking lot.
Visit to found out how AWESOME this company is...and why you should support it! http://www.oceanminded.com/company.html

Friday, April 11, 2008

As the Transponder Beeps....

Daytime producers take note - you couldn’t script a bigger soap opera than the hullabaloo that surrounds the TCA’s campaign to extend the 241 toll road…

When last we peeked in on our friends at the TCA, they were commiserating over their defeat at the hands of the California Coastal Commission and already plotting their motion to appeal the ruling with the United States Secretary of Commerce.

Still fuming after not being heard at the Coastal Commission hearing, San Clemente Councilman and TCA Board member Jim Dahl flew all the way out to Washington D.C. to lobby California Senator Diane Feinstein.** Alas, he arrived to find that Senator Feinstein wasn’t actually in. Oops!

**(Senator Feinstein later issued a statement reminding the public that the newly passed Defense Authorization Bill included an amendment by Rep. Susan Davis that mandates the TCA comply with all state environmental law, before reiterating the Coastal Commission’s 8-2 vote to deny consistency for the project)

Then in March, California Governor and recently professed toll road supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger surprised everyone by relieving fellow Hollywood star Clint Eastwood and his own brother-in-law Bobby Shiver from their positions on the California State Parks Commission. Coincidentally both Clint and Bobby had publicly come out in opposition to the toll road due to its impact on San Onofre State Park.

“Looks like someone has a bee in their bonnet,” said Eastwood.

The Governor, whose state is battling economic meltdown, was quick to retort.

"I know the environmentalists are sensitive about it, and they say it is going through a park, but the road has to go through somewhere," Schwarzenegger said, before hopping on his chartered plane he flies daily between Los Angeles and Sacramento (so much for carbon emissions). "We can't stop progress."

Meanwhile, a month of licking his wounds had done little to ease the bitterness of TCA CEO Tom Margaro. Upon hearing that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were considering holding a public hearing as part of the Secretary of Commerce appeal, the TCA had their attorneys pen a letter complaining that February’s Coastal Commission hearing site was 50 miles away from the project location, and that the hearing itself was largely a “circus like atmosphere.”

In his response letter, California Coastal Commission Chair Patrick Kruer was quick to point out that the TCA had, in fact, helped choose the hearing site, and the TCA’s own supporters (several busloads of laborers paid to attend the hearing) had to be reminded to be respectful during the meeting.

Chairman Kruer also pointed out that the location of the venue was not 50 miles, but rather 37 miles away. While this may seem trivial, consider that the TCA over-exaggerated the mileage by 26%. …Just like they exaggerated the amount of homes and business that could be impacted from widening I-5 by 95%.

Of course the all this exaggeration and misrepresentation was bound to catch up with them …which it did big time yesterday.

In a letter sent to the Secretary of Commerce and the heads of NOAA, Colonel Thomas Magness from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, outlined several instances of the TCA exaggerating or otherwise misrepresenting information in their recent appeal.

Colonel Thomas writes,

“With respect to the Appellant’s (TCA) principal brief filed with your office on February 15, 2008, I noted additional statements that are factually incorrect and in my view mischaracterize our agency’s involvement in the state environmental review process.”

Oy vey!

In response to the TCA’s claim that the Army Corps of Engineers unanimously supports the planned route for the toll road, Colonel Thomas goes on to write,

“These assertions are false... Furthermore, my agency has not concurred with TCA that there are no other reasonable of feasible alternatives other than the applicant's preferred alternative.”


Tune-in next month to see what kind of drama unfolds when that happens!

Until then…

Your pals at the Surfrider Foundation

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Schwarzenegger Fragged by Lieutenant

Want to see how several loose ends tie together? Read this great blog post on the OC Weekly site, by famed writer Alex Brant-Zawadzki.....


Monday, April 7, 2008

California leaders demand that feds let “no” vote on San Onofre Toll Road stand

SACRAMENTO, CA – Lt. Governor and State Lands Commission member John Garamendi, Senate President pro Tem Don Perata, Senate Resources Committee Chairman Darrell Steinberg and Senator Christine Kehoe today called on the Bush Administration to recognize California’s right to protect the state’s precious coastline, saying in a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez that the federal government must let stand the California Coastal Commission’s rejection of a proposed toll road through the heart of the park at San Onofre State Beach.

In the letter, the four state leaders said that the Administration’s reversal of the Coastal Commission’s decision would amount to an unprecedented attack on California’s right to protect its coastline. More importantly, they added, a federal overturn of California’s lawful decision would set a dangerous precedent that would undermine the state’s ability to protect its natural resources for future generations.

“After careful deliberation and an open and transparent public review process, the Coastal Commission did precisely the job it was established to do: to fully and properly carry out the intent of both the California Coastal Act and the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act. A reversal of this decision by the Bush Administration should be seen as no less than an attack on California’s environmental values,” said Lt. Governor John Garamendi

“The California Costal Commission rejected the proposal to put a toll road through the state park at San Onofre State Beach,” said Senate President pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland). “The federal government should respect that decision, made with the input of thousands of Californians who have an inherent interest in preserving their coast.” “The California Coastal Commission engaged in a deliberative process and ultimately voted against a toll road in California State Park at San Onofre State Beach,” Senator Steinberg(D-Sacramento) said. “The Bush Administration should respect the Commission’s vote and leave decisions about California’s beaches and state parks to Californians.”

"The California Coastal Commission acted properly when they rejected the proposed toll road because they understood that it would violate our Coastal Act, and fails to conform to our coastal management plan," stated Senator Kehoe (D-San Diego). "The Bush Administration, which professes to support state rights, should reject the appeal and sustain California's legal right and responsibility to protect our coastal resources."

On February 6, 2008, after a 14-hour public hearing attended by more than 3,500 people, the California Coastal Commission voted 8-2 to reject the proposed Foothill-South Toll Road. The project would site a multi-lane highway through the heart of the California State Park at San Onofre State Beach. The Commission’s rejection of the proposed toll highway followed a lengthy review and a series of findings which outlined serious concerns over environmental destruction from the project, as well as potential damage to Native American cultural resources and diminished recreation opportunities for California families.

The Federal Coastal Zone Management Act requires development projects that require federal approval to first obtain a “consistency certification” from the State Coastal Commission. The California Coastal Commission refused to issue such a certification, finding instead that the project was inconsistent with the state’s imperative to protect its coastline. The project proponents appealed the State’s determination to the Secretary of Commerce in February following the Coastal Commission’s rejection of their case.

The California elected leaders urged the Commerce Secretary to reject the appeal outright. Should the appeal be considered, they said, the Administration must allow the people of Southern California to have their voices heard in the process with an open and accessible public hearing on the matter. The state leaders are also requesting that proponents be prohibited from meeting or negotiating with federal agencies while the appeal is pending. A copy of the letter can be downloaded at: http://www.ltg.ca.gov/images/press/040708%20tca%20toll%20road.pdf


Yep! The TCA has written a letter to Department of Commerce saying no public hearing is necessary...check out this recent article....

By David Reyes, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer April 5, 2008

The agency pushing for a toll road through San Onofre State Beach apparently didn't like being jeered by opponents during the public hearing at which the state Coastal Commission rejected its project....... In fact, there's no reason to hold a public hearing on the appeal for the Foothill South, the Transportation Corridor Agencies argued in a letter to the department late last month.

See full story here: