Speeding Our Way to Nonsense on the 241

This is the latest part of my special report on the proposed extension of the 241 Toll Road to San Onofre State Beach (aka Trestles), which is also cross-posted at Calitics. If you’d like, you can find the other stories in the “Speeding Our Way to Trestles” series on Calitics. As the debate heats up over Trestles and the 241, I’d like to go in depth and examine all the issues involved… And I’d love for you to come along for the ride as we explore what can be done to relieve traffic in South Orange County AND Save Trestles Beach. Enjoy! : )

There are just some things in life we can always count on. Death. Taxes. Another season of “Cops” on Fox. Thousands more poor souls being told that they have no talent on “American Idol” on Fox. Now for me, the one thing in life I can ALWAYS seem to count on these days is complete and utter garbage from Red County/OC Blog on the proposed 241 Extension to Trestles.

So what nonsense is being spun to death at OC Blogland today? Theodore Judah is claiming that some new screed from the San Diego Business Journal is evidence that the evil “eco-extremists” are stonewalling traffic relief for San Diego. Huh?!

Follow me after the flip as I take out my handy dandy facts once more to debunk the right-wing spin on the toll road to Trestles…

   

So why is the San Diego Business Journal screaming? Apparently because the “eco-extremists” are making it difficult for them to make that ever-so-important commute from the golf course at Rancho Santa Fe to the yacht in Newport:

Eco-extremists have blocked the forward progress of the toll road at each and every twist and turn of the approval process. They’ve spent a decade keeping the route from becoming a reality.

The issue is an important one … because it pits the self-appointed guardians of the ecology against the rest of us, who are trying to muddle through.

Uh-huh. So what is pitting the “self-appointed guardians of the ecology” against the wise wizards of capitalism and captains of industry?

They argue that construction and placement of the highway so close to the ocean could disrupt wave patterns by changing the underlying contours of the beaches, and hence, ruin the surfing along a long stretch of the beach. […]

There’s no proof of this, of course. Just speculation.

The latest obstruction comes attached to a defense authorization bill now before Congress that would force the Transportation Corridor Agencies, sponsor of the road, to submit its blueprints before the California Coastal Commission, among other state regulators, for OKs.

Oh, no! The Davis Amendment is what’s stopping progress on the 241 Extension?! Wait a minute! So state law is what’s impeding the 241 Extension? 

Let’s remember what the Davis Amendment is all about. All the House Armed Services Committee voted to approve was an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill that requires TCA to comply with state law in extending the 241 Toll Road. That’s all. As my fabulous Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez explains:

What concerns me is that the SR241 be constructed with the same care and attention as […] other projects. As the law stands now, it permits the “recipient of the easement to construct, operate and maintain [the highway], notwithstanding any provision of state law to the contrary.” If the Davis amendment is adopted it means that the impact on the environment will be fully reviewed, and labor will be paid according to prevailing wage law.

I have been told that those involved with the construction of SR241 have observed every state law that applies. If that is the case, then the Davis amendment will have no effect. There is a concern that future state laws will prevent construction of the road for one reason or the other. I share that concern. I remain vigilant so that Orange County can determine which roads are built in our community. Our democratic process will lead to the best solution.

So what’s so bad about our democratic process? What’s so terrible about obeying the law? Oh wait, is it possibly because TCA knows that their proposed extension violates state law? 

I guess they’re still afraid of Section 30231 of Article 5 of the Coastal Act

The biological productivity and the quality of coastal waters, streams, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes appropriate to maintain optimum populations of marine organisms and for the protection of human health shall be maintained and, where feasible, restored through, among other means, minimizing adverse effects of waste water discharges and entrainment, controlling runoff, preventing depletion of ground water supplies and substantial interference with surface water flow, encouraging waste water reclamation, maintaining natural vegetation buffer areas that protect riparian habitats, and minimizing alteration of natural streams.

… And I can see why. ELEVEN THREATENED OR ENDANGERED SPECIES WOULD LOSE THEIR HABITAT FOREVER IF THE TOLL ROAD IS BUILT THROUGH SAN ONOFRE STATE BEACH. San Mateo Creek has been named as one of the nation’s most imperiled waterways thanks to the threat of a toll road to run alongside it. This is pristine coastal wilderness that would be destroyed forever if the toll road were to be placed in San Onofre. That’s why it’s illegal under the Coastal Act. 

So why would TCA want to violate state law to build a toll road to Trestles? I don’t know. I just know that TCA is attempting to evade the law by pressuring Congressional Republicans to kill the Davis Amendment that would simply require them to obey state law.

OK, then. Why is state law so important? Why should TCA be forced to comply with state environmental law, and find another location to extend the 241 Toll Road? Let’s see. Trestles is one of the last best surf spots in California. San Mateo Creek (the watershed that empties into Trestles) is the last unspoiled waterway in California.

Oh, so the environment doesn’t really matter here. Well, how about this? EXTENDING THE 241 TO TRESTLES WOULD DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO EASE CONGESTION IN SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY. That’s right. I-5 would still be congested, and people will still be stuck in grueling traffic.

So why even go there? We know there are better options available. We know we need a comprehensive solution to congestion, just as OCTA suggested earlier this year. Let’s expand Metrolink commuter rail service in South Orange County, and let’s add more express bus lines to connect commuters to Metrolink. Let’s make our communities throughout Orange County “smart communities” that easily connect to reliable commuter rail lines. And yes, in the mean time, let’s extend the 241 to the 5 and the 73 in Laguna Niguel. This alignment would actually connect the 241 to the business centers in Irvine, South Coast Metro, and beyond where people actually need to go.

So enough of the crazy nonsense of OC Blog and the San Diego Business Journal. The 241 can be extended without destroying our natural resources, and without violating state law. Traffic congestion can be relieved in a comprehensive manner that doesn’t rely upon more and more roads that hurt us in the long term. We need common sense, which is why our tax dollars need not be wasted on any more of this Toll Road to Trestles Boondoggle.

  34 comments for “Speeding Our Way to Nonsense on the 241

  1. Anonymous
    July 26, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Andrew,
    I have kept silent on this aspect of the 241 extension long enough. In reference to OC Blog Publisher Jubal, the number one reason that he is in favor of the extension is so that the road can serve the Marblehead Development by Suncal.

    The Marblehead development is on the last remaining coastal bluff in Orange County that was in a wild state and undeveloped. Jubal doesn’t care about traffic going to San Diego. he cares about the marketing of multi-million dollar homes on Marblehead which would be less multi-milliony if they didn’t have that road extension to serve the development.

  2. Andrew Davey
    July 26, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Anon 2:31,

    Is this for real? Figures! I know Jubal/Matt is consulting for Suncal on the Anaheim development. That’s why, for once, he agrees with me on affordable housing! ;-)

    No really, this disturbs me. If what you’re saying is true, then this is yet ANOTHER example of the OC Blog people trying to bend and shape opinion in order to serve their clients. It’s been done before over there, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if that’s what’s happening again.

    So do you have some evidence? If so, PLEASE feel free to email me at atdnextATgmailDOTcom. I promise to keep you anonymous if you so choose. I’d just like to hear some more on this. If it’s true, then OC Blog’s entire case for the Toll Road to Trestles has just been blown out of the water.

  3. July 26, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I’m sure a lot more people, including me, would love to hear about this as well, assuming it is real.

  4. July 26, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Andrew and Anonymous:

    Don’t be idiots. I have nothing to do with the Marblehead development. If I did, I would have disclosed it, as I always do when blogging about something involving a client.

    Andrew, next time you might want to actually call me, rather than take the word of some anonymous commenter who is making things up that you’d obviously like to believe.

    And one of these days, you might want to post a picture from the proposed route of the 241 completion, rather than pretty pictures from the beach — which won’t be touched.

  5. Andrew Davey
    July 26, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Matt,

    Don’t call our commenters idiots. It really doesn’t help your case. And oh yes, if you noticed, I asked the anonymous person to send me evidence regarding this. And once I were to receive evidence, I’d ask you if this is true, and I’d ask around to see whether or not this claim is actually true.

    I didn’t just take the word of the anonymous commenter. Look upthread. I said IF, not SINCE. I’m treating this allegation against you as just that: an allegation. And so long as it’s not proven to be true, I won’t count it against you.

    Oh yes, and the coast IS affected by the proposed Toll Road to Trestles. Believe it or not, there’s something called URBAN RUNOFF. Eventually, the crap from the toll road must go SOMEWHERE. Oh yes, and how about that sediment flow? What about the endangered species who call San Onofre home? So far, the pro-Toll Road to Trestles people STILL haven’t provided any evidence that shows that the toll road to Trestles won’t hurt the park and the beach, just the usual delusional screeds by right-wing tools from here and San Diego.

    But oh yes. I forgot. Facts have a liberal bias. ;-)

  6. July 26, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Andrew:

    1) It is an idiotic thing for anonymous commenter to say.

    2) You said:

    Is this for real? Figures! I know Jubal/Matt is consulting for Suncal on the Anaheim development.

    No really, this disturbs me.

    If what you’re saying is true, then this is yet ANOTHER example of the OC Blog people trying to bend and shape opinion in order to serve their clients.

    It’s been done before over there, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if that’s what’s happening again.

    Following your rapturous expression of joy that I could be a consultant on Marblehead and your eagerly expressed willingness to believe it, THEN you asked for evidence.

    So drop the “I’m just treating this as an allegation” act Andrew. It’s obvious to anyone reading your comment that you HOPED it was true. You WANTED it to be true. You wanted it to be true so badly you could hardly contain your excitement.

  7. Alex Brant-Zawadzki
    July 26, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    THREE POINTS

    1. There’s no joy when we discover yet another example of nepotism, back-scratching or self-serving propaganda at Red Cunty, at the Sheriff’s Dept., or in the White House. It’s depressing, disillusionizing, and serves as a reminder that we all have to work that much harder to sniff out the disingenuous and the self-serving.

    2. It’s obvious to everyone that Blubal … sorry, Jubal … would rather focus on the semantics of the reaction in order to distract from what was originally alleged.

    3. “this disturbs me” doesn’t seem like a rapturous expression of joy to me.

  8. Andrew Davey
    July 26, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    “Rapturous expression of joy”?

    Ummm, NO! It’s called being startled by someone saying something interesting about a political consultant who has been working with the accused company on another project. However, I did NOT say that you were obviously guilty. Unlike some kangaroo court that Bush would throw me in if I were to ever be accused of committing a terrorist act, I DID CONVICT. I haven’t seen any evidence, so I didn’t treat it as truth… Just an interesting comment that may or may not be true.

    If this person is saying something completely false about you, then I’m sorry that the person said it here. Please accept my apology. If this allegation isn’t true, then you need not worry about your name being libeled here.

    After all, we try to stick to the facts here at The Liberal OC.

  9. July 26, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Alex:

    Don’t cast stones. It doesn’t become you. Also, I met the allegation from the anonymous commenter directly — it isn’t true. When did you stop beating your wife, Alex?

  10. July 26, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Andrew:

    For the third time, it isn’t true. I never said you pronounced me guilty — but you sure were ready and willing to believe it.

    If someone posted on my blog that “Andrew Davey is being paid by the Surfrider Foundation to attack the 241″ I would:

    1) Delete the comment for being unsubstantiated gossip.

    2) Dismiss the allegation out of hand because while I think your world-view is completely wrong-headed, I do think you would disclose any such relationship to readers.

  11. Andrew Davey
    July 26, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Matt/Jubal-

    If the allegation isn’t true, then we won’t believe it. End of story. So far, I haven’t seen any hard evidence that you’re consulting Suncal on Marblehead. So I haven’t said that you are consulting Suncal on Marblehead. That’s it.

    So why cast stones at Alex if we haven’t even said that you’re doing what the anonymous commenter alleged? I’m not getting it. If what the commenter said isn’t true, then this “story” dies today. I don’t like to spread false rumors, so why scream any more about this?

    Just wonderin’…

  12. Alex Brant-Zawadzki
    July 26, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Far as I can tell, the allegation was nothing more than this:
    Matt Cunningham is interested in the success of the Marblehead development. The same could be said of quite a few Red Countians.
    Point taken on the wife-beating (maybe that’s why I don’t date), but no one ACCUSED you of anything other than interest.
    Matt, if you EVER want to be taken seriously (by everyone), you need to stop hiding behind pseudonyms. There’s too much potential for the appearance of impropriety. The costs really, really do outweigh the benefits.

    Why not just LIST ALL YOUR PSEUDONYMS, we can have a good laugh about it, and post as Matt Cunningham from here on in?

    Everyone, help me encourage Matt to come out of the closet – all the different closets he’s stashed identities in, from OCBlog to Flashreport to Odin-knows-where.

  13. Andrew Davey
    July 26, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Oh, Alex! How kind of you. I wish I had all this help when I first came out fo he closet. ;-)

    But anyways, good point on the pseudonyms. Eventually, you just need to drop them if you ever want to be taken seriously by everyone else. For a long time, I was just another “Kossack” who went by atdnext or atdleft on the big “progressive blog communities”. But ultimately as I made the switch from Daily Kos/MyDD enthusiast to local blogger/commentator, I just felt like it was my duty to drop the false monikers.

    So yes, I don’t see why anyone needs to hide behind pseudonyms if he/she is a reporter/commentator blogger who’s covering serious issues. There’s just no need for the pseudonyms. Be honest, and let us all know who you really are.

    I made the move, and I haven’t regretted it since. :-)

  14. Bystander
    July 26, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    No offense to Andrew and Alex, but how did this post turn into “let’s bash Matt Cunningham” time?

    You made your point and he made his point, what’s the point of continuing your attack on him?

  15. July 26, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Alex:

    Give me a break. On one hand, you (wrongly) claim I am “obviously” trying “to distract from what was originally alleged” but profess uncertainty as to what was alleged via the “as far as I can tell” qualifier.

    You’re smart enough to know exactly what the commenter was claiming — I only care about completing the 241 because I supposedly have some concern for the Marblehead, which is a project of SunCal, a company it is well known I do consulting for. In other words, I’m being paid by SunCal to blog in favor of completing the 241.

    As for hiding behind a pseudonym, Alex, my identity has been quite well known for quite some time.

    And it’s too bad the “Green OC” blog idea I wanted to develop so you could make a living employing your considerable writing talents for a cause to which you are devoted didn’t work out, huh? I was such a jerk for wanting to help you out, wasn’t I?

    What are you doing nowadays since the Weekly parted company with you?

  16. Andrew Davey
    July 26, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Bystander-

    None taken. And if you notice, I’m not attacking Matt. I’m not making any false accusations, or calling him any names. And yes, Alex may be taking him to task, but NOT over any false accusation made by an anonymous commenter here earlier today. We’re just sticking with the facts, and we’ve allowed Matt to respond to our facts and to that unproven allegation made today.

    And Matt-

    Again, I’m sorry if the anonymous person threw a false accusation at you. So long as I don’t see any evidence that you’re consulting Suncal on the Marblehead development, I won’t say this is true. So we call this brawl over yet?

  17. Alex Brant-Zawadzki
    July 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Matt; I’m living in San Francisco, about to start public-interest law school.

    The pseudonym thing isn’t an attack. PLEASE do not take this as anything but an observation, but NOT EVERYONE KNOWS YOUR IDENTITY.

    I know you’re not narcissistic enough to believe that you are well-known outside the OC Blogosphere. It would bolster your reputation and credentials if, every time you threw in your two cents, you attached your name to it. The fact that you are known to have numerous false identities, only some of which you have acknowledged, erodes your credibility. That’s not opinion.

    I have to go put on an aloha shirt. Life is rough.

  18. July 26, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Alex:

    Good luck to you. I assume you’ll be back in OC in a few years filing lawsuits.

    My name is right next to my pseudonym on OC blog. I keep Jubal because it’s sort of a brand.

    And I look forward to you giving the same advice about pseudonymity to BladeRunner that you’ve been giving to me.

  19. July 26, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    So we call this brawl over yet?

    Andrew, as far as I’m concerned it is.

  20. Dan Chmielewski
    July 26, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Actually Matt, I’m weary of the name calling. There are plenty of people who post similar comments on Red County and Flash Report and Orange Juice.

    The biggest difference I see here is that you and Jon are compensated for your partisanship and the Blogpen at the Liberal OC are not.

    Yes, its an anonmous comment with a charge; they were asked for proof; you’ve refutted it. Fair and balanced.

  21. Just Curious
    July 26, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    I’m sorry but did Matt/Jubal disclose his lobbying client list or not?

  22. Just Curious
    July 26, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Is it ethical that a person would take secret money from businesses and then use his supposedly neutral website to argue on their behalf? Probably not. Perhaps, Jubal should decide: am I going to be a lobbyist for developers and GOP causes or a blog news source? Either way, don’t cheat the public. That’s just unethical.

  23. Dan Chmielewski
    July 26, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Matt discloses on each post regarding Disney/SunCal that he is a consulant for SunCal; I’m not sure what he does completely, but his writing style appears on a Pro-SunCal blog..similar stories are cross posted on Red County. The writer on the Anaheim blog is not identified.

  24. July 26, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Just Curious:

    I’m sorry but did Matt/Jubal disclose his lobbying client list or not?

    That would come under the heading of “Who Are You And Why Is That Any Of Your Business?”

    Is it ethical that a person would take secret money from businesses and then use his supposedly neutral website to argue on their behalf?

    “Secret money”?

    As for “supposedly neutral website” — if there’s one thing OC Blog has NOT been from the beginning, it is neutral.

    Perhaps Just Curious should decide: am I going to be an buzzing gnat hashing out straw man arguments and calling other people names while not revealing my own? Or will I stop shooting rubber bands from the comment bleachers, start my own blog, walk my own big talk and see if anyone even cares?

  25. July 26, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Dan:

    The blog you reference is the blog of the Committee to Protect and Defend Anaheim. I set it up so any member of the campaign can post, but thus far I’m the only one who does.

  26. Andrew Davey
    July 26, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    OK, everyone! Let’s all breathe. Again, Matt, if the allegation is false, then you have nothing to worry about. If I don’t see the evidence, I won’t call it the truth.

    And you’re totally right on, Dan! None of us gets paid for ANYTHING we say here on The Liberal OC. We do this out of the love of our hearts!

    Oh, and you DO make a valid point, Just Curious, about disclosure. Since none of us gets paid for what we say on The Liberal OC, you all know that we say what we say because that’s what we believe is best for the community. But if any of us happen to blog about someone we’re consulting for and/or selling services to, WE SHOULD DISCLOSE. That should be Rule #1 of Blogworld Etiquette.

    OK, so is this a night? I’m home now, and I’m ready to go to bed. If something else comes up, I’ll see it in the morning. :-)

  27. Anonymous
    July 26, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Jubal are you trying to tell us that you did not conduct any consulting at all for Sun Cal on the Marblehead project? Since when does your group work on a project by project basis? From what I understand as the “Community Outreach” liaison, your consulting firm is in charge of all of SunCals Public Relations.

    Are you asking us to believe that the Marblehead Project wont benefit from the traffic relief that the Marblehead Project actually creates where the is currently none? The traffic in that area won’t be there until the Marblehead project is complete.

    No one else in the area is going to benefit from that Toll Road extension except Marblehead Residents. The value on those Mansions will be considerably affected by a daily traffic jam created by the very enclave they have etched out for themselves on the last remaining Coastal Bluff in Orange County.

    You say you have not consulted on the Marblehead Project. Ok. Has anyone on your team consulted on the project? Has your firm consulted or is your firm consulting on the Marblehead project? I may not be working on the Precedent Setting case of the year but another attorney at my firm may be on the case. So again I ask, is YOUR FIRM or Team Members working on the Marblehead Project?

  28. July 26, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    Jubal are you trying to tell us that you did not conduct any consulting at all for Sun Cal on the Marblehead project? Since when does your group work on a project by project basis? From what I understand as the “Community Outreach” liaison, your consulting firm is in charge of all of SunCals Public Relations.

    I think I understand my own business better than some anonymous commenter. My “group” is me and my wife. I don’t have the bandwidth to handle “SunCal Public relations” even if I wanted to.

    Your comment shows what should be — to you — an embarrassing level of ignorance about me and the nature of my business. You might consider stopping before your embarrass yourself further. But I’ll put it simply so you can understand: My work for SunCal has been on a project-by-project basis. They use different consultants for different projects. I worked on their Del Rio project for three years. Now I work on their proposed Platinum Pointe project in Anaheim. Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s all.

    If you’re going to continue butting into my business and desire any answers, then put your name to your questions. Until you are able to do that, trot along — I wouldn’t want you to miss the last Black Helicopter back to Paranoidville.

  29. July 26, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    As for you, Andrew — we’re cool. Have a good night.

  30. Andrew Davey
    July 27, 2007 at 6:14 am

    That’s good to know. :-)

    And here’s a lesson for everyone to learn: Give some evidence to back your claim as soon as you make it. If you want me to believe it, show me why it’s true. If not, don’t expect me to treat it as truth.

  31. July 27, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Matt,
    Can you provide any significant clear eveidence that this toll road extension is necessary and needed for traffic relief in the area?

  32. Andrew Davey
    July 27, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Good question, Paul. Ya know, I keep waiting for that as well. I’m still waiting to see just how the Toll Road to Trestles would relieve traffic. ‘Cuz so far, all the evidence I’ve seen has shown the OPPOSITE.

    And if the Toll Road to Trestles doesn’t relieve traffic in South County, then why do it? Why destroy the last great untouched surf nirvana of Southern California? Why violate state law? Why waste any more federal funds to promote this boondoggle?

    Why build the Toll Road to Trestles?

  33. Re: Andrew Davey
    July 28, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    “Why destroy the last great untouched surf nirvana of Southern California?”

    You obviously do not surf.

    As an avid surfer I can honestly say I could live without Trestles much easier than other local SoCal surf spots like Black’s, Wind & Sea, and the Wedge (for the crazies).

  34. Andrew Davey
    July 28, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Re: me- You obviously haven’t paid much attention to the struggle over Trestles. You may be able to “live without it”, but NOT the eleven threatened or endangered species who call Trestles home. You may be able to live without Trestles, but NOT all the surfers and beach lovers in South County who enjoy Trestles all the time. Maybe you can just hop on down to San Diego and act like Trestles never existed, but not all us OC locals.

    Try thinking about that.

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