Monday, June 30, 2008

Public Hearing set for July 25th

The biggest hearing yet for Trestles will take place Friday, July 25th at the Bren Center on the campus of University of California, Irvine.

This hearing marks the next critical battle in a decade long fight to protect Trestles!

We already won the battle, here in California, when the California Coastal Commission (CCC) struck down the toll road on grounds it violates the Coastal Act. But, the TCA refused to accept the CCC decision and has appealed it to the Federal Government.

Now, we need to ensure the Federal Government supports important California environmental laws and upholds the Coastal Commission decision.

How do we do that? By coming out in droves to the hearing on July 25th!!

Public participation and your voices were critical in convincing the Coastal Commission to deny the toll road. We need to apply the same pressure to the Federal Government--they must see first hand how many people are invested in protecting San Onofre State Beach and Trestles.

On the day of the event, Surfrider will be running buses from the LA and San Diego areas. If you want to leave from San Diego, please RSVP at: with the subject line: buses to hearing. Please indicate if you want a bus from North or South San Diego County. If you want to leave from LA area, please RSVP: click here Please make plans to attend the hearing at UC Irvine with your friends and family and stand up for Trestles, for state parks, and against the toll road.

Let's do it again--but even bigger this time!
Join Surfrider for a Trestles benefit concert Saturday July 5th

Che Cafe at UCSD 9500 Gilman Dr.
Student Center B-0323C, La Jolla, California 92093
7 PM
$5-- Additional Donations Accepted

Bands Included:

*The Feelings Mutual
*Silent Armada
*Blue's Ruby
*The Variety Show

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

News Flash--Public Hearing to be Held July 24th and/or 25th.

Mark Your Calendars!

The Department of Commerce announced today the hearing for the TCA's appeal of the Coastal Commission decision will be held July 24th and/or 25th. As always, it takes some time for government agencies to nail down the exact date, but at least we know it will be July 24th and/or 25th. The hearing will more than likely be at the Bren Event Center of the University of California, Irvine.

We'll get more details as they come in…. including the exact date, meeting format, agenda, etc... so stay tuned!

Also, we'll be renting buses again (more than likely leaving from LA and San Diego). So if you are interested in riding the bus, please send an email to: with the subject line: buses to hearing. We need you at this hearing! Please make sure our Federal Government upholds California laws and decisions. Remember, in February 2008 the California Coastal Commission voted to deny the toll road through San Onofre State Beach. Following a 14 hour hearing, attended by thousands, the Commission listened to reason and law by rejecting the toll road application.

The people in D.C. need to hear from people 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 !(remember a few weeks ago when we told you the TCA is spending nearly $50,000 a month on lobbying...?).

We must counter their money with our voices!

For Trestles, Stefanie

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Shenanigans from the TCA

Just when we think the TCA can't astound and disappoint us more...they do!

The surprise factor came when the TCA Board of Directors approved to spend nearly one million dollars annually on lobbying expenses! Yep! Just last week, they hired a second lobbying firm and will pay that company $35,000 a month!! Combined with current lobbying expenses, the TCA will be spending more monthly on lobbying, than the average American household earns annually!

Sit on that for a while...and, remember, the organizations fighting the TCA rely on grassroots advocates and volunteers to do most of their "lobbying".

The disappointment factor of the TCA is always there...but was compounded by their participation in secret meetings with key federal regulators. A federal interagency committee (formally known as the South Orange County Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Project) has been tasked with coordinating an objective evaluation of alternatives to the Foothill-South Toll Road extension.

And guess what?...the TCA keeps showing up and meddling with the process, essentially rendering the committee incapable of being "objective". Well, Lt. Governor John Garamendi is not happy about the public being kept out of the process and the TCA having "secret access", the Lt. Governor wrote a very strongly worded letter to the Federal Government asking for the process to be changed. You've gotta read the press release: click here

Are you interested in learning more about the proposed toll road and how it will impact San Onofre and Trestles? Join Stefanie Sekich, of the Surfrider Foundation, on a guided tour and hike of the area on Saturday June 28th. We'll be meeting at the Trestles Parking lot at 10:30. Please RSVP at:


Did you get your Reagan Shirt Yet?
Better hurry! click here to purchase online.... Then Governor Ronald Reagan, along with then President Richard Nixon created San Onofre State Park in 1971. Help us keep his legacy alive...he said: "I believe the greatest legacy we can leave to future generations is the heritage of our land..."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


June 11, 2008

Foothill South Toll Road Opponents Raise Concerns
About an Open, Transparent Public Process

LOS ANGELES – Citing serious concerns about the “extreme secrecy” surrounding the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) participation in a key federal interagency committee (formally known as the South Orange County Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Project – SOCTIIP – Collaborative), Lt. Governor John Garamendi sent a strongly worded letter to Jane Luxton, general counsel at the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration requesting a more open, public process.

One of the main functions of the federal committee is to coordinate federal agency evaluation of alternatives to the Toll Road proposed to go through the Donna O’Neill Conservancy and San Onofre State Beach Park. As such, this important committee is in a position to determine whether or not new information regarding alternative is objectively considered.

In this June 10, 2008, letter, Lt. Gov. Garamendi stated, “My concern is that these deliberations, so critical to your [NOAA and the Dept. of Commerce’s] final analysis, are being finalized in an environment where ONLY the project applicant examines, presents, evaluates and comments upon evidence. There is no opportunity for the public to participate in or even witness discussions and deliberations.”

“TCA is not a collaborative member, but an observer. The structure of the SOCTIIP Collaborative has created an untenable situation: a project proponent with interests that are potentially adverse to the public or in contravention of law, is provided exclusive permission to communicate freely with federal regulators sheltered from public scrutiny. This set up frustrates the purpose of open government and public records law,” added Lt. Gov. Garamendi.

To resolve this situation, Lt. Gov. Garamendi requests four things: that observers representing the public must be invited to attend and participate in each SOCTIIP collaborative meeting; that all previous and future meetings from Collaborative meetings must be released to the public; that a list of attendees to all Collaborative meetings be released to the public; and that all testimony, documentation and analyses of any kind be made publicly available within a reasonable time after each meeting.

“Given the Coastal Commission’s strong position in opposition to the toll road and the fact that more than 25,000 people have filed comments with the Department of Commerce expressing their views about this controversial project through a state park, it is extremely troubling that the TCA is meeting behind closed doors with federal regulators and that these meetings are completely shielded from the public,” stated Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation and leading member of the Save San Onofre Coalition.

“The TCA has, time and again, sought to stifle public review and participation, and attempted to exert undue ‘behind the scenes’ influence on their deeply flawed toll road project,” added Goldstein. “After TCA made a decision to appeal the Coastal Commission’s rejection of the toll road, TCA, a public agency, actually requested that the Department of Commerce not hold a public hearing – a request that was rejected. TCA should not be allowed to continue to meet secretly with federal agencies about the Foothill South Toll Road. The Collaborative’s deliberations should not be shrouded in secrecy but open to the public and transparent.”


The Save San Onofre Coalition is a diverse coalition of individuals and groups that includes four former state parks commissioners, local, regional, state and national environmental organizations, cities, counties and elected officials statewide. For more information about the Save San Onofre Coalition, visit You can obtain a copy of Lt. Governor Garamendi’s letter at

# # #

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Trestles Trivia and Updates

We all know that Trestles is priceless to us personally, but did you know the beach is worth millions and millions and...millions?

UCLA researchers have found that surfers attracted to Trestles generate millions of $$$$ for the local economy by spending money at restaurants, shopping, buying gas, rentals and other beach-related items. Researchers estimate surfers visiting Trestles generate from $8 million to $13 million a year for the City of San Clemente. Wow!!

The other cool part of the data shows that nearly 83% of the surfers visiting Trestles originate from outside the city of San Clemente...and get this, the whole crunchy, surfer-dude stereotype that most surfers are young and underemployed is now officially debunked. The average Trestles surfer is 35.6 years of age, is well-educated (42% of respondents have a minimum of a college degree), works full time and earns a high wage (41% earn $80,000 or more in individual income). Plus, they really know how to surf! The average Trestles surfer has 19.7 years of surfing experience!

So, What's your surf spot worth?

Help researchers at UCLA conduct a survey of surfers who surf at California surf spots to evaluate their worth. You can help, click here. Your participation can help us better protect and manage California surf spots in the future. To learn more about the economic impacts Trestles has click here

The 241 Toll Road is Missing the Mark--Literally! The LA times recently reported that ridership on the 241 toll road is down 4% and if the trend continues, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) will miss their projected budget by 8%. For the article. click here

PS--we still have not heard when and where the next public hearing will be. We do know that it will be sometime this summer or early fall. Help us start spreading the word now! Last time, over 3,000 people attended the Coastal Commission hearing, and with your help, we can get thousands of people to attend the Secretary of Commerce hearing. Our Federal government needs to see first hand how many people want to protect Trestles and San Onofre State Beach--and your help is key!!!