Autumn 2006 Friend to Friend Newsletter, Friends of the Foothills

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Text of Autumn 2006 Friend to Friend Newsletter, Friends of the Foothills

  • 1.friend to friendFROM TRESTLES TO SADDLEBACKPROTECT OUR COMMUNITYSTOP ThE TOLL ROAD SOUThA Project of Sierra Club DECEMBER, 2006transportationfix trafficconcludes toll road wontstudythe Foothill-South Toll Road which would bisect San Onofre StateThis isnt the first time the toll road agency has exaggeratedBeach and the Donna ONeill Land Conservancy will not ease traf- their traffic projections. Inaccurate traffic and revenue predictionsfic on I-5, according to a new study by the Orange County Transpor-for the San Joaquin Hills (73) Toll Road have brought that systemtation Authority (OCTA). to the brink of bankruptcy. And just a few years ago, the proposed The new figures contradict optimistic projections by the toll Foothill-South Toll Road was downsized from 8 lanes to 6 lanes dueroad agency that the Foothill-South Toll Road would eliminate con- to weakness of demand for the project.gestion on I-5 through South Orange County. OCTAs long-range The OCTA has proven that the Foothill-South Toll Road willtransportation plan, which was completed in July, predicts a far not achieve its stated goal of traffic relief on I-5. What it will do ismore congested future for I-5 than the toll agency envisions.ruin Californias 5th most popular state park at San Onofre, threaten Even with a fully functional Foothill South, I-5 will still be the world class surf beach at Trestles, force the abandonment of thebad. The tollway is not as advertised, said Laguna Niguel Mayor San Mateo Campground, and bisect the Donna ONeill Land Con-Cathryn DeYoung, a former OCTA board member who unsuccess- servancy.fully challenged Patricia Bates for county supervisor in the Novem- The TCA should abandon their plans for the Foothill-South Tollber election.Road and concentrate on real transportation solutions like fixing Both agencies should sit down, look at the data and deter- I-5 - that preserve our state park, clean surf and community.mine what they are going to do, DeYoung said.Visit the OCTA website at www.octa.net to view the 2006 Long Range Transportation Plan8th annual hike & holiday party SAVE THE DATE: saturday, dec. 16thhIKE: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PARTY: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. See inside for details.

2. volunteer profile: carey strombotneinspired into actionDerek, Carey andRex Strombotnewith Buddy,in front of theCarolyn WoodView Knoll and a couple of years ago some friends were heading out to Tesoro High School to a hearing on the proposedthe LagunaGreenbelt. 241 toll road. Living in Laguna Beach, I knew all about toll roads, the years of effort to block the 73 toll road from carving through our gorgeous canyon, and how destructive and wasteful that turned out to be. I had also seen a few Save Trestles bumper stickers around town, and was curious to learn more about the fight to save the famous surf break. That day, when I learned that the Foothill-South Toll Road would go directly through a California state park, I immediatelyknew this was fundamentally wrong. In fact, I was horrified! The more I learned about the plan to pave through San Onofre State Beach,bisect the Donna ONeill Land Conservancy, trounce a Native American sacred site, imperil an entire list of endangered species and foulthe world class surf break at Trestles, the angrier I felt. The impassioned speakers at that hearing and passionate residents who showed upin numbers to oppose the toll road inspired me. Although I had never thought of myself as an activist or environmentalist per se, I decidedto join the fight. My friend Janine Robinson, who was with me that day, also was inspired into action. For several years we had been walking ourdogs through local trails amid Lagunas hard-earned open space. On our hikes, we have no choice but to see the concrete mass of toll roadcutting directly through the hills. This constant reminder inspired both of us to inform our friends of the threat to other precious open space.To learn more, we contacted Brittany McKee of Friends of the Foothills, and invited her to my home to talk to a group of friends. we learned that the city of Oceanside was about to pass a resolution opposing the toll road being built through a state park. Janine and I decided we could help motivate our hometown (Laguna Beach) to pass a similar resolution.About 40 people showed up, and once they understood the impact of the toll road, they were all eager to help stop it, too. Shortly afterthat meeting, we learned that the city of Oceanside was about to pass a resolution opposing the toll road being built through a state park. Janineand I decided we could help motivate our hometown to pass a similar resolution. Using the local media and a growing email loop, we spreadthe word about the resolution. The night that our City Council was set to vote on it, nearly a hundred people packed the council chambers tosupport our efforts. Lagunas council members passed the resolution unanimously to the whoops and cheers of the entire room. Janine and I were further inspired to join a group who were going to Sacramento to demonstrate on the Capitol steps against the tollroad, and help bring the issue statewide. Throughout this process, I have learned that getting involved and taking small steps can add up to making a huge difference. This is afight that we cannot afford to ignore. Together, we can Save Trestles and stop this absurd and destructive toll road!Carey StrombotneVolunteer, Friends of the Foothills/Sierra Club 3. the bolsa chica wetlands:foothill-southan inspirational success story BY JERRY COLLAMER a few months back, a 30 year struggle to preserve and restore somethingtoll road wonderful, necessary and important along Southern Californias coastline succeeded.The Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach had been taken hostage 100threatens years ago by oil drilling interests to be continuously abused and exploited - fi-native american nally to face the ultimate Southern California coastal open space battle-to become a luxury housing development.To stop the destruction of this fragile habitat, local residents organized andsacred sites began educating the public about the value of these wetlands and their impor-BY REBECCA ROBLES, Chair, Native tance to the fragile Southern California ecosystem.American Sacred Sites Task ForceFinally, astonishingly, preservation won out over concrete. The Bolsa Chica Wetlands are preserved and its restoration is now ongoing. A new Coast Highway bridges a newly dredged inlet allowing ocean water to clean and revital-the state park at San Onofre State Beach is atreasure for numerous reasons. To local Native ize the wetlands.Americans, San Onofre is known as Panhe-30-years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent - to put back, as God(Pange or Panxe), one of the original villages originally intended it to be 900 acres of wetlands.of early California. The Portola Expedition ofNow drive 30 miles south from Bolsa Chica, to the perfect San Mateo 1769 provides the earliest written descriptions Creek flowing from its pristine 20,000 acre coastal watershed, to a vibrant wetof this historic coastal region. and wild ocean experience called Trestles. Youve entered San Onofre BeachAs the Portola expedition crossed the State Park.coastal portion of present day Southern Cali-The San Mateo Watershed contains the pristine San Mateo Creek and a vastfornia several villages were encountered. undisturbed coastal watershed. The gold standard for all other south-coast water- Near the mouth of San Mateo Canyon, sheds. Whole and vital. Call it naturally perfect and youd be right. Because thats Francisco Crespi, a member of Portolas expid- what it is.ition, was told about two Indian children whoLet it be. Let it be. Let it be. No toll road. Not here. Not ever.were dying at the inland rancheria and he vis-Our coastline cant afford it.ited them to baptize them before they died. Thisis the origin of the name Los Christianitos. Panhe was the largest village accordingto the traditional history of the AcjachemenNation (Juaneno.) The population of thisthriving village became the labor source forMission San Juan Capistrano. Panhe has beencorrelated with archeological site CA-ORA-22at the mouth of San Mateo Creek. This sacred site is part of San MateoArcheological District, and listed on theNational Register of Historic Places and theNative American Heritage CommissionsSacred Lands file. Panhe was part of a signifi-cant network of villages which are now pavedover and inaccessible for cultural activities. Panhe is an active ceremonial site. Itplays a crucial role in Acjachemen historyand is a place where traditional ceremoniesand reburials have occurred. It is irreplace-Friends of the Foothills/Sierra Club volunteers at the San Clemente Fiesta Day spread the able and cannot be mitigated or replaced inword about the destructive Foothill-South Toll Road. We collected over 1,000 signed cards present time. The loss of this sacred site,which we will deliver to the California Coastal Commission asking that they protect Tres- located on public land, would be a grosstles Beach and the San Mateo Campground from Foothill-South Toll Road.tragedy.If you would like to volunteer at our next outreach event, contact Brittanyat 949-361-7534 or email brittany.mckee@sierraclub.org 4. san onofre state beach on governors websiteCongratulations to everyone who has called, emailed and sent letters to Governor Schwarzenegger to let himknow that you oppose the proposal to extend the Foothill-South Toll Road through San Onofre State Beach. As aresult of your efforts, the governors email page now offers, SAN ONOFRE TOLL ROAD as a subject, along withother state issues including Education, Caltrans, and Immigration. This demonstrates that we have the Gover-nors attention and have succeeded in raising the profile of the campaign to statewide significance.Help us keep the pressure on!Send the governor an email telling himto oppose the Foothill-South Toll Road.www.govmail.c