March 10, 2010

LADWP Officially Cancels Green Path North

Mark Sedlacek (1999)
Mark Sedlacek, LADWP Director of Environmental Services

At a press conference in Yucca Valley today, Mark Sedlacek announced that LADWP is ending its drive to build the Green Path North power lines from Desert Hot Springs through the high desert.

Listen to his remarks here. I've edited out three ovations to keep it down to only 44 seconds.

Thank you, my name is Mark Sedlacek from L.A. Light and Power. David Freeman was planning to be here today but other commitments came up at the last minute that kept him in the L.A. area. So, on behalf of David Freeman I want to let everyone know how much we appreciate your input and your patience over the last three years. As of today, we have submitted two letters to the Bureau of Land Management and one to the U.S. Forest Service to withdraw the right of way grant application.

Just in closing, we do remain committed to renewable energy elements. We'd also like to mention that at this point LADWP is recommending that the mayor and city council [of Los Angeles, one presumes] support Senator Feinstein's Desert Protection Act.

I have copies of the letters for you.

UPDATE: The L.A. Times story about the announcement.

permalink | March 10, 2010 at 02:26 PM | Comments (1)

March 9, 2010

Green Path North Message?

From the California Desert Coalition:

We have learned that a representative from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power will deliver a message to our communities this Wednesday, March 10, at 12:30 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center. If LADWP issues a press release that gives more clarity to what is on the agenda, we will forward it to you.

Those of you that can clear your calendars, please attend and learn the latest directly from the source.

April Sall, Chair
Ruth Rieman, Vice Chair
California Desert Coalition

permalink | March 9, 2010 at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2009

Straightening Out A Few More Facts

Right next to the photos of Rick Daniels in the Russell Betts campaign brochure is a box entitled "A note on Green Path North" where it says "In July 2008, when word came out that high voltage power lines proposed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power were going to run behind our homes and through sensitive environmental lands, Russ recognized it was serious."

Actually, word had been out about Green Path North long before July 2008. Here's my first posting on it in April 2007, linking to the first L.A. Times story about it. The first big public meeting against Green Path North came in October 2007. Here's my write up on that meeting. Russell Betts wasn't there.

But he did show up at the July 19, 2008, meeting where he was one of the public commenters. This meeting was larger than the October meeting, and it included TV cameras.

After that Mr. Betts organized the Coachella Valley Coalition which was instrumental in getting every resolution-passing body in the valley to issue resolutions in opposition to Green Path North. And those resolutions have been very important to get LADWP to halt or re-think (or whatever they're doing now) their plans.

permalink | October 23, 2009 at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

October 3, 2009

Nahai Resigns

H. David Nahai has resigned as CEO and General Manager of LADWP, the agency behind the Green Path North proposal to build powerlines through Desert Hot Springs and the high desert. He will "take a position as an advisor to former President Clinton's climate initiative to battle global warming," so, no, he won't be applying for a position at MSWD.

permalink | October 3, 2009 at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2009

LADWP Backing Down On Green Path North?

That's what the L.A. Times, the Press-Enterprise, and Reuters are suggesting. But the California Desert Coalition counsels skepticism:

CDC is encouraged to learn from several news sources that Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa's administration has heard the concerns of desert communities regarding the Green Path North (GPN) Project and that the City of Los Angeles plans on putting more emphasis on utilizing existing transmission lines to transmit renewable energy to the city.

Most encouraging is the Press Enterprise’s report that the mayor’s press secretary, Sarah Hamilton, indicated the city is "seriously contemplating" removing the GPN preferred alignment (from Desert Hot Springs and up through the high desert to Hesperia) from the list of proposed routes for the project.

And, as reported by Reuters, Deputy Mayor David Freeman, who is in charge of the mayor's environmental agenda, has said "We are taking a fresh look at the whole ball game, including the Green Path North transmission line."

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Villaraigosa administration appears to have shifted to a policy focused more on developing renewable energy sources closer to LADWP’s existing power transmission lines, primarily those that stretch to Owens Valley and east toward Utah.

The article also reports that LADWP General Manager David Nahai, who has often claimed that the utility must own GPN transmission lines, says that LADWP "hopes to" share the I-10 corridor with Southern California Edison. CDC also "hopes" LADWP has had a change in its thinking, but until Mayor Villaraigosa has the city-owned utility remove its preferred alignment route from the formal Bureau of Land Management process, we cannot rest in our efforts to stop LADWP from pursuing this route. With the GPN public scoping process coming up the first of next year, we will need everyone’s continuing support to participate in that process and ensure LADWP’s preferred alignment gets removed from further consideration.

We cautiously compliment Mayor Villaraigosa on his reconsideration of the city’s renewable energy planning. The shift to use of existing transmission corridors, when Los Angeles reaches outside of its boundaries for renewable energy, is certainly a move in the right direction that will help preserve pristine desert areas. We will be encouraging the mayor, in his quest to make his city the greenest big city in America, to also shift his administration’s policy away from primary reliance on utility-scale projects to meet his ambitious renewable energy goals. Destroying pristine lands, either with transmission lines or with large-scale solar and wind generation, is not necessary nor appropriate as a way to reach "green" goals. The mayor must allow the citizen’s of Los Angeles to do their part; he must adopt policies that make possible widespread use of solar photovoltaic (PV) on the rooftops of Los Angeles residences, as well as on commercial buildings.

April Sall, Chair
Ruth Rieman, Vice Chair
California Desert Coalition

permalink | September 25, 2009 at 08:40 PM | Comments (2)

May 5, 2009

Hootenanny

Hootenanny

Stop The Towers
Hootenanny
The California Desert Coalition
will be holding its 2nd annual benefit dinner and silent auction at historic

and partially supported by...
Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace
Sat., June 13, 2009, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Don't miss this hootin' hollerin' evening of fun, all to benefit a great cause.

Tickets:
For more information - MJ at [760] 217-2130
$50.00 per person
NO Tickets will be available at the door

Purchase Tickets Online at
www.cadesertco.org

or

send a check [payable to California Desert Coalition, I'm sure] to
P.O. Box 1508
Yucca Valley, CA 92286

Ticket manager - MJ at [760] 217-2130

Final Date to buy Tickets
Friday, June 5

Valuable items from local businesses, artists and individuals have been pledged. Any items big or small are welcome and are tax-deductible.
For auction donations call Carol (760-228-2811)

This is a fundraiser to fight Green Path North.

The Stop the Towers Hootenanny will feature a buffet dinner, great music, no host bar and the opportunity to bid on silent auction items. This festive evening of fun and camaraderie promises to be a real "hoot" and will offer us all the opportunity to hear about the latest progress being made to stop the proposed 500kV power corridor through the Morongo Basin and surrounding communities.

permalink | May 5, 2009 at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2009

Oh, hello?

The anti-Green Path North billboard along I-10 has finally gotten some notice from Los Angelenos, as it is mentioned here on the LAObserved blog. Their concern, though, is that it will affect Villaraigosa's ambition to become Governor.

permalink | March 10, 2009 at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2009

LADWP Discusses New Route For Green Path

A Press-Enterprise article with two big stories about Green Path North. First, the obvious one that they are considering another route (called "A3") that would run from Devers II (near Desert Hot Springs) to I-10, along I-10 to San Timoteo Canyon, and then to Loma Linda, Colton, Rialto and San Bernardino to Lytle Creek north of Fontana. [I wonder if anyone at the Press-Enterprise ever looks at their web articles to see how horrid their graphics turn out.] The route crosses a lot fewer private properties than the other I-10 route that would run lines all the way along the Ten to I-15. LADWP contacted Southern California Edison two weeks ago to re-open discussions for the I-10 route. They have not, however, contacted Union Pacific, whose right of way would be used as well. The Redlands Conservancy is concerned about environmental damage to San Timoteo Canyon.

The second big story is that we are finding out about this proposal now, even though it has not been publicly announced, and there is no detailed information or official maps yet, because the LADWP asked "desert stakeholders" to a private meeting on the subject in Los Angeles last week.

Yes, instead of trespassing and secretly planting survey markers, they are now asking for up-front input from April Sall, Joan Taylor, and (we assume) others unnamed. This is a great improvement from David Nahai's snotty remark last summer, "I didn't have to come out here, you know."

permalink | February 27, 2009 at 06:39 AM | Comments (0)

February 5, 2009

DHS Historical Society Expresses Opposition to Green Path North

At its monthly meeting this morning, the Desert Hot Springs Historical Society approved a resolution expressing its opposition to LADWP's Green Path North project that would construct powerlines on the western side of the city, across Big Morongo Canyon, along the San Bernardinos and into the high desert. The resolution cites the loss of our historic viewshed if the powerlines are built on that route.

Here is an especially relevant passage from The Waters Of Comfort by John J. Hunt (that I've quoted before) describing city founder L.W. Coffee's first night in the desert (it's 1932) that would become Desert Hot Springs:

Coffee's eyes scanned the valley below them in the rich, fading twilight. Ten miles away the splendid spike of granite called Mount San Jacinto stood majestic and proud. From her peak and descending gently over her escarpments was a skimpy mantilla of snow, now glowing in the orangey light. Below this the slopes were delicate shades of lilac and purple and black. The air was keen on the back of the throat and there was a great silence flung over this magnificent desertscape. In his mind, Coffee's dream was already materializing.

Following dinner that evening, Anderson related to his guests how difficult it had been to improve his quarter section and that there were no tangible returns of any kind from the homestead.

"Then how do you make ends meet, Bill?" Coffee asked him.

"Well, times I get over to Indio and do buildin', paintin', you know, odd jobs. Then I'll stock up on basics and head back over here, to the old place."

He drifted to a stop, as the trio became aware of the fading light shooting up behind San Jacinto projecting high over the mountains and the pass into a pale golden, red and purple fan of magnificent beauty.

It was Anderson who broke their reverie. "Like this every night, just about."

Up behind them in a canyon came the short sharp calls of a lone coyote, signaling the beginning of night on the desert.

They kept listening, but there was only the slight rustling of the creosote bushes. "Times it's lonely out here, but it's sure beautiful. I always thought this area would naturally attract more homesteaders like myself. Why, look at this view, and it's far better than you get over there at Palm Springs."

permalink | February 5, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2008

Green Path North Category

I've added a new Green Path North category for Ron's Log postings, since I expect this subject will be continuing for a long time.

permalink | December 31, 2008 at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)