Better Transportation: Your Chance to Make Los Angeles County a Healthier Place to Live

Metro recently released its draft expenditure plan to divide the projected $120,000,000,000+ from a proposed ballot measure for November 2016. This measure, if done right, will help reduce commute times while reducing pollution and connecting people to work and outdoor places to play. Some parts of the plan call for good things like expanding the rail network and operations money to keep public transit affordable.

Unfortunately, the draft plan calls for only 2% of the funds to support regional Active Transportation (biking and walkways) — that’s eight times less than the allocation for highways! In the current draft, there are no funds set aside for improving the networks to allow access to parks and open space — a missed opportunity with the Goldline extending along the San Gabriel foothills, providing a launch point for shuttles into our mountains.

The good news: We still have time to improve the plan. This is just a draft and Metro is taking public comments. Attend the public meetings and take action by writing a comment. We’ll be asking that Metro edit their draft of the plan to put more focus on public transit, active transportation, greenways, river bike paths, railroad and utility corridors, green infrastructure, and regional mitigation plans. Join us! (Can’t make it? See the info below for submitting comments online or by mail.)

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 , 6–8 pm – 29900 Ladyface Circle, Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Thursday, April 7th, 2016, 6–8 pm – 3130 Tyler Ave., El Monte, CA 91731

Monday, April 11th, 2016, 6–8 pm – 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 91401

Thursday, April 14th, 2016, 6–8 pm – 801 E. Carson St., Carson, CA 90745

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016, 6–8 pm – 38350 Sierra Hwy., Palmdale, CA 93550

Thursday, April 21st, 2016, 6–8 pm – 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 10 am–12 pm – One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 6-8 pm – 16401 Paramount Blvd., Paramount, CA 90723

Thursday, April 28th, 2016, 6–8 pm – 915 W. Manchester Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90044

Saturday, April 30th, 2016, 10am–12 pm – online meeting (log on at metro.net/theplan).

Those unable to attend can also send in comments. Email comments to theplan@metro.net or mail them to: The Plan
Metro, One Gateway Plaza, Mail Stop: 99-13-1, Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952. Online comments can be submitted by form or on Facebook or Twitter.

A3PCON/SGMF Event: Poppy Walk

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12.15.47 PMWHAT: Poppy Walk

WHO: A3PCON (Asia Pacific Policy and Planning Council), a member of San Gabriel Mountains Forever

WHERE: The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster

WHEN: Saturday, April 2, 2016 (backup in case of weather: April 9); meeting time is at 10:30 am

RSVP: Please RSVP by March 29

GETTING THERE: Carpooling is encouraged! A3PCON can help to arrange carpools from the Downtown, Long Beach, and San Gabriel Valley areas. Those who are willing to drive other people will be reimbursed for gas. Also, cars with three or more people will get FREE admission (normally $10/car).

Meeting place: The Jack-in-the-Box parking lot off Highway 14 in Lancaster
2443 W Ave I, Lancaster, CA 93536

The drive from Los Angeles to Lancaster is approximately 1.5 hours; please plan accordingly. The group will caravan from the meeting location to the actual Poppy Reserve, which is 20 minutes away, arriving at approximately 11 am.

MORE INFO: Please pack a lunch, water, and snacks to enjoy during our time at the Poppy Reserve

MORE ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA POPPY:

Its botanical name: Eschscholzia californica. It’s also known as the Golden Poppy, the Flame Flower, la Amapola, and Copa de Oro.

It became the state flower for California in 1903.

The California Golden Poppy is a naturally drought-resistant plant that can flourish in the state’s dry environment.

California Poppy Day is celebrated April 6.

Celebrating New California Monuments


We are thrilled with the news that President Obama has designated three new national monuments in the California desert, one year after we won national monument status for our beloved San Gabriel Mountains. Many members of San Gabriel Mountains Forever worked on the campaign to secure protection for these new monuments and it is a victory for conservation we share with them, as well as the Californians and visitors who will be able enjoy these majestic regions for decades to come.

Monument status is a great win for conservation and the surrounding communities. Since the San Gabriel Mountains were designated as a national monument, our work has been focussed on engaging with diverse communities to make sure the management plan protects the region and serves its communities. We’re working on finding more ways to connect people to their public land, as we work to provide access to all. Our advocacy work also continues, as we seek further protections for the region, with a larger vision in mind. We’ve collected thousands of petitions and engaged with hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters on our efforts — and we are proud to say we are seeing progress. Here’s more on what we accomplished in the year since the President designated the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument.

Leadership Academy: Welcoming the 9th Cohort

This past weekend, the 9th cohort of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy had their orientation at the Rio Vista Park and in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Please welcome Henrry Abarca, Diana Esquivel, Ryan Farmer, Marlene Gutierrez, Syllenne Moody, Michelle Okawa, Pearl Omiya, Bonnie Rodriguez, Dení C. Rodriguez, Darlene “Darling” Rueda, Jose “Niko” Salas, Evelyn Shieh, Maria Venegas, Dominique Vitti, and Leo Cordova Walhood.

These 15 individuals come from Los Angeles, Orange County, and the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys. They are diverse in age, work experience, and cultural backgrounds—yet all are committed to protecting and enhancing our parks, mountains, rivers, and wilderness land in the greater Los Angeles area.

The participants work or volunteer with the following organizations: Camp Wrightwood, Community Services Unlimited, design east of La Brea (de LaB), East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center, Garden Studio, Inner-City Arts, Kid City Hope Place, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, National Park Service, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders, San Gabriel River Discovery Center, San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps, Sustainable Works, U.S. Forest Service Generation Green, Watts Towers Arts Center, and YouthBuild Charter School of California.

Participants also include students at the following schools: Alliant International University: California School of Professional Psychology, California State University, Long Beach, East Los Angeles Community College, El Camino College, Long Beach City College and Pasadena City College.

Event: Transforming Recreation Along the San Gabriel River

East Fork PerspectiveWHAT: “Transforming Recreation Along the San Gabriel River.” Join us to learn about the remarkable East Fork Project, which promises to transform recreation and environmental protection along a much-visited 2.5 mile stretch of the San Gabriel River.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 27, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Eaton Canyon Nature Center (1750 N. Altadena Dr., Pasadena)

WHO: Hosted by San Gabriel Mountains Forever and the Forest Committee of the Angeles Chapter of Sierra Club.

Our main speaker is Rob Romanek, Project Manager for the Watershed Conservation Authority, who is heading up the East Fork Project. Rob will let us know how we can become involved to make sure that the project meets its full potential. Opening the evening’s program will be Belinda Faustinos, chair of San Gabriel Mountains Forever, who will provide an overview of how the East Fork Project fits into the larger mosaic of San Gabriel Mountain enhancements.

MORE: National Forest recreation areas along the majestic San Gabriel River north of Azusa have been neglected for decades. They lack basic amenities like safe river access, adequate trash pickup, clean restrooms, and bilingual visitor education. But with the designation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, things are changing.

A social reception with the speaker at 7 p.m. precedes the 7:30 p.m. program sponsored by the Forest Committee of the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter. The program is free and the public is welcome.

CONTACT: For information, email Don Bremner at donbremner [at] earthlink [dot} net or John Monsen at wildernessjfm [at] aol [dot] com.