News in brief

  • Posted on 30 September 2004
  • By The Editor

Urban Parks Committee Revived

The Urban Parks Committee had been revived, under the leadership of activist Juanita Dellomes. The Executive Committee of the Angeles Chapter appointed her chair at their August meeting. A vice chair from Orange County remains to be appointed. The goal of the committee is to preserve, protect, and revitalize urban parks. 'For those of us in urban areas, parks are our forests,' said Dellomes, a long-time Echo Park defender and member of the Chapter's Central Group. The committee plans an outreach to all city parks and an adopt-a-park campaign. The actions of the Urban Parks Committee that affect an urban park are subject to the approval of the Chapter's group(s) in which the park is located. To get involved call Dellomes at 213-250-7921.

Dana Point Development Gets Coastal Commission Approval

Despite efforts by the Sierra Club and the Surfrider Foundation, the California Coastal Commission announced its approval of plans to build a resort hotel on environmentally sensitive habitat at Dana Point Headlands in Orange County. At its Aug. 11 meeting, the commission decided to allow for 75-luxury homes to be built in a landslide area that will require over 2 million yards of grading and one of the largest new seawalls ever built in California.

The commission initially approved the project at its January 2004 meeting. Staff and coastal activists had advised the commission to deny the project because of obvious inconsistencies with the Coastal Act. Following intense lobbying by the developer, commission members embraced the project. In addressing the commission, Marco Gonzalez of the Coast Law Group said, 'You've proven that if your project is big enough, if you lobby enough, and you wine and dine the commission enough that the Coastal Act means nothing.' According to the chair of the Chapter's Dana Point Headlands Task Force, Celia Kutcher, the Sierra Club and Surfrider intend to use every administrative and legal means available to uphold the Coastal Act.

--Mark Massara

LADWP halts coal project

Los Angeles mayor James Hahn ordered a halt to the city's involvement in a proposed coal-fired electricity plant in Utah, directing that the money instead go toward increasing renewable power. The Angeles Chapter's Air Quality, Global Warming and Energy Committee was active in organizing a campaign to let the mayor know Angelenos want to invest in renewable energy forms. "Los Angeles has taken action to stop global warming by supporting clean energy instead of coal power-a major source of climate-warming emissions," said Mary Skerrett, the Los Angeles Renewable Energy Organizer with the Union of Concerned Scientists. "This is another great example of cities and states showing our national leaders that switching from polluting coal plants to wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources is both feasible and affordable." To get involved in the Chapter's Air Quality, Global Warming and Energy Committee contact Skerrett at 213-630-1145.

Smog Check Bill passes senate

AB 2683, Elimination of Rolling 30-year Smog Check Exemption Bill, passed the State Senate last month by a vote of 21-15. If signed into law by the governor, the result will be the reduction of six tons of pollution a day by 2010 and more than 12 tons per day in 2015 just by keeping cars 1976 and newer in the smog check program. The Sierra Club and the American Lung Association are up against the likes of talk show host and car collector Jay Leno, who has come out against the bill. The bill is sponsored by Assemblymember Sally Lieber, D-San Jose. Bill Haller, member of Sierra Club California's Air Quality Committee, urges concerned members to call or write the governor and tell him you want AB 2683 signed into law.

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