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parks and open space in the news - 2014

Caltrans Broadens Its Mission As Californians Change The Way They Travel 12-09-14
KPBS - This article contends that times are a changin' with our transportation system. It seems twice as many people are walking or biking to work as compared to 10 years ago.

Protected Bike Lanes Also Help Protect Pedestrians... In So Many Ways 12-06-14
Treehugger - Research indicates that protected bike-only or pedestrian-only lanes reduces accidents between drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

With Latest Land Donation, County Open Space Grows to 60,000 Acres in Past Five Years 11-29-14
OC Register - Check out this OC Register article on the 2,500 acre donation from The Irvine Company. These lands were slated for development with thousands of houses, but now they will be natural lands forever.

Depleting the Water 11-16-14
CBS - Check out this 13 minute video by CBS on new evidence about our groundwater.

Together - We Saved Laguna Canyon 11-11-14
The community of Laguna Beach stopped over development of Laguna Canyon. A community and City collaboration. Led by Lida Lenny - Mayor Pro Tem, Harry Huggins, Charles Michael Murray and many others listed in the video credits.

Volunteers Collect Seeds of Preservation at Banning Ranch 11-07-14
Daily Pilot - Volunteers organized by the Newport Banning Land Trust collected seeds from habitats that will be removed if the Banning Ranch development goes through. These seeds would help revegetate other portions of the property.

The Argument for A Nature Preserve and Park at Banning Ranch 11-05-14
Daily Pilot - Don't give the oil company a pass at Banning Ranch, they are required to do the remediation with or without a development writes Suzanne Forster. This land could be added to the Orange Coast River Park and avoid the development, loss of habitat, and infrastructure, among other things.

Lake Mission Viejo Isn't Feeling California Drought Yet 10-30-14
Los Angeles Times - When some are gathering water from their showers to water their outdoor plants, a wealthy few in Mission Viejo are enjoying their manufactured lake. Some see this as a non-essential (and wasteful) water use.

How California is Turning Drainage Canals Back to Rivers 10-27-14
Los Angeles Times - Before Senator Lou Correa leaves office he authored legislation to focus on improvements to the Santa Ana River Conservancy. It was signed by the Governor and allows for parks, trails and habitat restoration.

OCTA Funds Environmental Clean Up 10-14-14
OC Register - The Orange County Transportation Authority has approved $2.8 million to clean up the County's water quality. THe funds are from a special water quality program aimed at reducing transportation-generated water issues.

When it Comes to Fracking, Fractivist Residents See Red, Not Black Gold 10-11-14
OC Register - Each day more and more residents support the growing effort to ban fracking in California. Residents wonder if there is a link between recent earthquakes and fracking in the area.

President Obama Declares 346,000 Acres of San Gabriel Mountains a National Monument 10-10-14
Whittier Daily News - In a small ceremony in LA County, President Obama designated 346,000 acres as the nation's newest national monument.

Study: Local Mountain Lions Dwindling, Roads and Inbreeding, Endangering Them Further 10-08-14
OC Register - The population of the cougars in the Santa Ana Mountains is being impacted by urbanization and roads. A corridor needs to be permanently protected between the Santa Ana Mountains and Peninsular Ranges.

Irvine Co. Land Grants Mix Altruism and Financial Strategy 09-20-14
Daily Pilot - The Irvine Company proposes gifting 2,500 acres of lands entitled for development to the County of Orange. Though negotiations must occur between the County and Company, this donation completes an open space legacy for the Company.

Metropolitan Water District: Two-Thirds of Reserves Are Gone 09-22-14
KPCC - Without substantial rain or snow in California for three years, the Metropolitan Water District's water storage reserves are now two-thirds depleted. It is expected that the storage tanks have about 18 more months of water left.

Cause of Silverado Fire: Rodent-Proofing Metal Sheet 09-15-14
OC Register - It turns out the Silverado Fire was caused by a metal used to keep rodents out of a vegetable garden. The metal reflected the sun and sparked the fire. It has been deemed an accident. Please be fire aware.

Fairview Park Panel OKs 3 Ideas 09-04-14
Daily Pilot - The Fairview Park Citizen Advisory Committee okays preliminary feasibility studies of three ideas: a native plant nursery, improving bike paths and constructing a concrete path. The City will undertake the studies and then bring them back to the Committee for a second vote.

Supes Ask County HR to Scrutinze Parks Dept. Execs 09-04-14
Voice of OC - Top officials in OC Parks appear to have signed contracts with friends instead of following the usual bid process.

"'Severe' Drought Covers Nearly 99.8% of California, Report Says 08-18-14
Los Angeles Times - In May 100% of the state was in "severe" drought conditions, it had improved only slightly to 99.8% in July. The State Water Resources Control Board implemented harsh fines in July for water wasters.

Anti-Fracking Activists Call for Countywide Ban 08-17-14
Voice of OC - Anti-Fracking activists will call for County-wide ban at this week's Board of Supervisors hearing.

Water Bond Headed to Voters 08-13-14
Sacramento Bee - The California Legislature and Governor have voted to put a $7.5B water bond on the November ballot. The apparent aim of the bond is to "bolster the state's water supply, infrastructure, and ecosystems."

Irvine Company Completes Open Space Master Plan With Gift of Additional 2,500 Acres, Brings Preserved Irvine Ranch Lands to 55,000 Acres - 08-12-14
Businesswire - The Irvine Company is working with the County of Orange to donate 2,500 acres (lands that were entitled to build 5,500 houses). This final gift would complete the open space vision the Company had in mind.

The Santa Ana River is Ready For a Renaissance - 08-07-14
OC Weekly - From the peak of San Gorgonio to the wetlands at the mouth of the Santa Ana River, this river brings life to three counties. Some say an urban river renaissance is happening for the Santa Ana River.

North Orange County Prepares for Fracking Forum - 08-04-14
Voice of OC - Cities are considering signing on to support a forum on fracking next month at Cal State Fullerton. This topic is a controversial one and residents in north Orange County want to learn about it.

Caltrans to Build Bridge For Mountain Lions to Cross Freeway - 07-27-14
Santa Monica Mirror - Worried about inbreeding the National Park Service is working with Caltrans to put in a cougar crossing over the Ventura freeway. Funds are being sought to plan and design the crossing over the 101 freeway.

Community Editorial: Brea Council Playing With Fire on Madrona Development 07-21-14
Voice of OC - After its approval of the hilltop development called Madrona, the City of Brea is "playing with fire." Hills For Everyone and Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks are suing the City of Brea over this project's approval.

Op Ed: How Much Water Does California Have Left? 07-08-14
Los Angeles Times - According to a recent article, the projected water supply in Southern California will only last 12-18 months if the drought continues. The author suggests three immediate steps: 1 - understanding our water supply situation, 2 - mandatory water restrictions and 3 - better groundwater management.

H.B. Ends Some Funding of Poseidon Studies 06-18-14
Huntington Beach Independent - Huntington Beach has opted out of paying money to the Municipal Water District of Orange County for an analysis on the Poseidon desalination plan.

Public Gets Rare Tour of Banning Ranch 06-12-14
Daily Pilot - The California Coastal Commissioners and the public viewed the property (native brush and vernal pools to rusty pipes and oil equipment). No decision was made on the proposed 1,375 unit development.

Huntington Beach Looks Into Desal 06-05-14
Daily Pilot - The Orange County Water District is hiring a consultant to review the District's opportunity to buy water from a proposed desalination plan in Huntington Beach.

Army Corps Backs Comprehensive, $1B Plan to Restore LA River 05-29-14
KPCC - The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to support the restoration of 11 miles of the LA River which will cost $1 billion dollars. This is a critical step converting the channelized river back into its natural form.

Community Editorial: Rio Santiago Project Comes Before Council 05-12-14
Voice of OC - FHBP Board member Jack Eidt writes an excellent recount of the Rio Santiago project and its poor planning in the City of Orange.

Community Editorial: Dangerous Project Being Considered in Brea 04-15-14
Voice of OC - Hills For Everyone and its appellant team has outlined numerous reasons why the project should be denied (unstable slopes, extreme fire hazard, reduced public safety, no economic benefits to the city, etc.). Will the City Council listen?

Coyote Hills Land Deal Establishes Path to Acquire Property 04-15-14
Fullerton Observer - Chevron, Friends of Coyote Hills, the City of Fullerton and the Trust for Public Land are working to preserve all or a portion of the coveted 510 acre Coyote Hills property.

Mountain Lion Deaths Spike in Southern California 04-07-14
OC Register - Wildlife biologists are concerned about mountain lion populations in Southern California because of the increased development into the wildlands.

Costa Mesa Proposes New Trail 03-17-14
Costa Mesa Website - The City, working with the Orange County Transportation Authority, received $1.7M to fund a one-mile long bike trail.

Brown Appoints Democrat to Fair Board 03-04-14
Daily Pilot - Governor Brown appointed Barbara Bagneris to fill the vacancy of former Director Dave Ellis. She has extensive experience in finance and business.

Community Editorial: TCA Can't Blame Enviros For Its Woes 03-03-14
Voice of OC - Environmental activist Jerry Collamer rebuts the Transportation Corridor Agency Chair Lisa Bartlett's claim that the agency's secret contracts with lobbyists were because of the environmental extremists, like him.

Toll Road Agency Chair' Stripped of Authority to Approve Contracts 02-14-14
Voice of OC - After concerns about hidden contracts, the Transportation Corridor Agency's Chair, Lisa Bartlett (Mayor Dana Point) was stripped of her authority to sign contracts behind closed doors.

California Drought - 02-07-14
NASA Science - California is in the middle of the state's worst drought in decades. NASA has posted images of California from space showing the lack of rainfall.

US Government to Spend $30M on Forest Restoration 02-06-14
ABC News - The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to spend $30 million on forest restoration projects to reduce the threat of wildfires, protect water quality and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species. The plan focuses on private lands not forest lands.

Mesinger to Meet WIth Officials About Trails - 01-31-14
Daily Pilot - Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger plans to meet with representatives of the US Fish and Wildlife Service about the two decomposed granite trails that mysteriously appeared without City permission atop endangered species habitat.

Reclaiming the Alleys of South LA for Parklets 01-30-14
LA Observed - The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is working with residents to close down alleys and convert them to small parks, called parklets. Over the last few years, TPL has garnered support from residents to this end.

Great Park Land Removed From Superfund Hazard Site List - 01-29-14
Los Angeles Times - More than 1,900 acres of land considered to be one of the worst toxic sites in the nation has been clean up and removed from the list. The US Navy and local water agencie spent $165 million cleaning the site up.

Planners in Orange Raise Concerns About Housing Project - 01-28-14
Voice of OC - Members of the Orange Planning Commission raised a series of pointed questions Monday night about a proposal to build single-family homes and senior housing on a former sand and gravel mine.

Mountain Biker vs. Equestrians: An Explanation of Horses to Bikers - Written by a Biker - 01-26-14
Horse and Man - This thoughtful blog by the Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers (an affiliate of the Internation Mountain Biking Association) outlines proper etiquette and trail use between mountain bikers and equestrians.

WIldfires: San Diego's Ecological Elephant in the Room - 01-24-14
San Diego Free Press - The article points out that San Diego was saved because the wind shifted and helped snuff out the mega-fires in 2007. Let's not risk more lives and property by hoping new yet-to-be-invented or purchased technology can save communities built in fire-prone areas.

Community Editorial: Heed the "Sustainable Community Strategy" - 01-21-14
Voice of OC - Activist Gloria Sefton write about how we need to do better meeting state mandated sustainability strategies. She calls the Madrona project a tipping point on sprawl development.

Mountain Lions in Santa Monica Need More Room, Experts Say 01-09-14
Los Angeles Times - One consequence of unconnected habitat areas is inbreeding. This Los Angeles Times article recognizes the need for more habitat and connections between habitat areas.

Celebrating Proposition 12
In 2000 the California voters passed Proposition 12, the Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, and Coastal Protection Bond Act. It included a $12.5 million designated line item to support the parks and preserves in the south coast wilderness in coastal Orange County and was allocated to the California Coastal Conservancy. These California Coastal Conservancy grants were given to help educate the public, acquire more parkland and provide coastal access.


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