Re: “Pasadena Must Lead,” by Pasadena City Councilman Terry Tornek, June 18
In response to the letter titled “Pasadena Must Lead,” I want to clarify that Metro is committed to a fair evaluation and an open process for the State Route 710 North Study. To say that the draft environmental document is “rigged” toward one alternative is incorrect.
Metro and Caltrans recently announced the release of the study’s environmental impact report has been postponed to February 2015 to allow more time to complete the technical studies, including traffic, historical properties, safety, air quality and economics. The findings will help Metro/Caltrans and the public better understand the different alternatives and allow a fact-based conversation once the data is known. Metro/Caltrans will extend the public comment period from the standard 45 days to 90 days and hold public hearings throughout the study area to allow for review and feedback from the community.
All of the five alternatives in the environmental document are being equally evaluated in order to provide the best traffic solutions to the local and regional areas. This includes: Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail Transit and Freeway Tunnel, as well as the No Build and Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management Alternatives.
We will continue to work with the city of Pasadena and other regional representatives in an open and transparent process.
Your readers are encouraged to visit http://www.metro.net/sr710study to obtain accurate and most up-to-date information on the 710 North study.
~ VINCENT GONZALEZ, METRO COMMUNITY RELATIONS MANAGER
Setting the Record Straight
Re: “Death by Abstention,” July 3
The writer of the above referenced op-ed criticizes me for not supporting legislation to increase California’s minimum wage.
So, let me set the record straight:
I was an early supporter of legislation that went into effect July 1 raising the minimum wage in California to $9 an hour, the third highest in the nation. That same vote will raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2016.
When another bill came up last month to again raise the minimum wage, I told the author I wanted to wait and see the first increase fully implemented before I voted on any new legislation. It just makes sense.
I have a strong voting record on behalf of California’s workers that includes not only supporting a minimum wage increase, but also other votes to combat theft of employee wages and support paid sick leave for working families.
As mayor of Pasadena, I led the drive to pass one of the first living wage ordinances in the state, fought to keep the city’s public utilities public in an effort to maintain reasonable rates for residents and helped to establish the city’s health clinic for low-income families.
I am proud of my record supporting California’s working families and proud of the 100 percent approval rating I received from the California Federation of Labor last year. But more importantly, I am proud to say I will continue to look for ways to improve the lives of California’s workers through new wage legislation at the state level.
~ CHRIS HOLDEN, ASSEMBLY MEMBER,
Profiting from global warming
Change is inevitable, but we can alter the path. On global warming, let’s ignore politics for a minute and look at world history.
Global warming began at the end of the Ice Age with the end of the Pleistocene epoch approximately 11,000 years ago. It ushered in the Holocene epoch. Temperature extremes are typically based on astronomical factors, variations in the Earth’s orbit. It causes periods when summers are hotter and winters colder, as well as periods when summers are cooler and winters are warmer. But the trend since the beginning of the Holocene has been an increase in Earth’s temperatures.
Politics become involved in studies to gain exposure. One particular study looked at less than one half of 1 percent of the time that the Earth has been warming. Why ignore the other 99.5 percent of time? Because it is boring and not sensational. And sensation sells. Many individuals and corporations have made a lot of money off of global warming fears. Al Gore got richer, and in the last California election we passed a measure that ensured that we would be buying future solar energy equipment from China, making them richer.
What does the future hold? Based on Earth’s history, warming will continue until a period of cooling is ushered in. Will mankind survive? Despite the arrogance of people that they can control nature, their efforts will make little difference, if any. In all likelihood many species of plants and animals will disappear, only to be replaced by other species of plants and animals. With the exception of mankind, nature is adaptable. Will the polar bears survive the melting of the ice caps? There has already been evidence of breeding between polar bears and grizzly bears; they are adapting. What can be guaranteed is that temperatures will continue to climb, and politicians and corporations will continue to politicize the topic and make money off of it.
~ CHRIS ROHLFING, VENTURA
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