Add Your Name To Riverside Neighbors Demanding Underground RTRP Transmission Lines

RTRP Route Map

At June’s UNA meeting, we will take a vote to submit the following letter on behalf of our neighborhood group, and joining groups from across the city who are demanding a safer, transmission line project.

Thousands of Riverside residents will be affected by higher insurance rates, lower property values, viewshed  destruction, enhanced wildfire risk, other public safety risks, plus the theft of generational equity from some of our most disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Dear City Council Members,  I am writing to you on behalf of the University Neighborhood Association with a request to reconsider the  vote to stop the working group from obtaining the  information needed to proceed with a request to  underground the power lines in our city.

As a concerned citizen,  who has witnessed both past and  present  Councils echoing the Community’s voice,  saying that we do  not have enough information or cost data regarding this project, I remain dismayed at the refusal to get that information.

Yet we persist in a course of action we all know is fraught with peril and foreseeable public health and safety risks. The very risks you swore an oath to put foremost in your elected stewardship duties. This is a risk to current and future residents as well as a dire risk to our regional neighbors who expect more from a city always eager to take leadership for innovation.

It is especially dismaying that we are proceeding in spite of State requirements that all new transmission line projects shall be underground. Did we not get the memo?

This is information we do have. We also know the easement needed to proceed is not forthcoming unless this project is underground. We know the longer we delay the greater the fire danger and the costs.

I am wondering if any of you have considered the possibility of having a shovel-ready project in three years and built in five?

What is needed is the political will to request a new EIR or Supplemental EIR to include current conditions. I know that if there was political will, time frames can be shortened.

We also have a mayor who is an expert in this arena and I am urging you Mayor Dawson, to bring the best of your considerable talents, experience, and demonstrated love for Riverside to show up on this.  Your legacy is at risk. Have you considered the optics of having an environmental expert as mayor and proceeding with this monstrosity of a project? Even Edison is telling us to underground everywhere except for the City of Riverside apparently.

Political will  gives us all the information we need and the project ready to submit in less than a year – if we require it. And if this project is as critical to our future as Staff, Edison, SEIU, the Chamber and a host of paid performers, shilling during Council deliberations, have said it is, then it is equally critical to listen to your community.

One of you needs to step up and request a reconsideration to get this rolling. If we are serious about need and the speed, then the shortest time frame starts with a new EIR process. One or all of you newly elected has an opportunity to step up and demonstrate the kind of leadership we have seen from Councilmen Conder, Hemenway and Councilwoman Cervantes.

We expect you to do your jobs and due diligence on this or risk the likely result of being a one term councilman.

Gurumantra Khalsa
Co Chair, University Neighborhood Assn.
951-640-3868

 

 

 

RTRP Reconsideration Request To City Council

Our council needs to hear from you on this issue. Thousands of Riverside residents will be affected by insurance rates, viewshed  destruction, enhanced wildfire risk, and a host of forseeable public health and safety issues.

Here’s a sample request from another neighborhood group:

Hi Neighbor,

High Power Transmission Line Tower

I’m asking you to request the City Council reconsider the motion to stop the undergrounding working group.

Click here to send email

Please watch the video and then click on the link above.  This will send an email to all of the City Council Members. All you have to do is click on the link and sign your name.

You can also sign the Petition LINK to have them research putting the power lines underground.

Here is what the email says:  (if you could add a few words of your own at the beginning, that would be great)

Dear City Council Members, I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to you with a friendly request to reconsider the recent vote on stopping the working group for undergrounding the power lines in our city. As a concerned citizen, I believe that allowing the working group to continue its efforts could greatly benefit our community. By exploring the possibility of undergrounding the power lines, we have the opportunity to enhance the safety, aesthetics, and overall quality of life for our residents. One of the primary advantages of undergrounding power lines is the reduced risk of outages caused by severe weather conditions, falling trees, or other external factors. This increased reliability can be particularly beneficial for businesses and essential services, ensuring uninterrupted operations and minimizing economic losses. Additionally, undergrounding power lines can significantly improve the visual appeal of our neighborhoods and public spaces. Removing the unsightly overhead lines and poles can contribute to a more attractive and inviting environment, potentially increasing property values and fostering a sense of community pride. While I understand that there may be concerns regarding the costs associated with undergrounding power lines, it is important to note that Edison’s quoted figures of $40-50 million per mile seem to be significantly higher than the estimates provided by PG&E and the Federal Government, which range from $2-6 million per mile. It would be prudent for the City Council to demand a detailed explanation from Edison regarding this discrepancy. Furthermore, I would like to bring to your attention the new PG&E pilot program called the Ground-Level Distribution System. This innovative approach not only offers cost savings but also promises a quicker installation process compared to traditional undergrounding methods. By allowing the working group to continue its efforts, we can thoroughly explore these alternative options and potentially find a solution that balances the benefits of undergrounding with cost-effectiveness. It is important to note that Edison does not yet possess the necessary easements to proceed with the installation of new towers. This presents an opportune moment for our city to carefully evaluate all available options before committing to a course of action. I kindly request that the City Council reconsider the decision to stop the working group and instead encourage their continued exploration of undergrounding possibilities. By doing so, we can ensure that our city remains at the forefront of progress, prioritizing the well-being and satisfaction of our residents. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to a productive dialogue and a collaborative effort toward finding the best solution for our community.

Residents for Responsible Representation

RRR.LaSierra@gmail.com

951.217.7966

In collaboration with:

Mission Grove Neighborhood Alliance

missiongrovena@gmail.com

https://www.missiongrovena.org/

951-394-2526

 

 

 

UNA June 2024 Meeting Agenda

Every 2nd Thursday  6:30 – 8:30

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church
3431 Mt Vernon Ave, Riverside, CA 92507

1. Welcome – Introductions                                         5 min.

2. City Parks Director Pamela Galera   Q&A   40 min.

3. Fire Chief Micheal Moore or                               40 min.

Deputy Fire Chief Steve McKinster      Q&A

4. Announcements Updates:                                      5 min

Take the  RTRP Underground or Above Ground Survey .

Neighborhood  Resources

Follow Our Courts

US Covid Atlas

CA Climate Change Workshop

The Inland Empire Community Foundation is pleased to share the following information on behalf of the California Natural Resources Agency.

State Agencies Host Public Workshops to Inform California Climate Adaptation Strategy

California climate leaders invite public feedback on the Draft 2024 CA Climate Adaptation Strategy outlining the State’s approach to adapting to a changing climate

Join state leaders for a free public workshop during the day and a more informal community meeting in the evening.

RIVERSIDE, CA: June 11, 2024 | Refreshments and Raffles

Location: CARB Headquarters, 4001 Iowa Ave, Riverside, CA

RSVP for the public workshop from 1:00am-3:30pm here.

RSVP for the community meeting 5:30-7:00pm here.

Virtual Workshops: June 12, 2024 

If you are unable to attend these workshops, there will be two virtual workshops.

Afternoon session: 2:00-3:30pm; Please register here.

Evening session: 5:00-6:30pm; Please register here.

Comments can also be e-mailed to climateresilience@resources.ca.gov.

For public engagement updates on the draft please visit here.

Public comment ends July 12th, 2024.

Are Your Rights To Accountability Being Constrained?

We often bemoan after the fact that our right to full participation in public policy has been curtailed. Here’s an  opportunity to voice your thoughts about that.

It’s about accountability

We are writing to alert you to a California bill that would weaken open-meetings protections by excusing officials who serve on a wide range of local government bodies from having to show up in person.

AB 817, a bill by Assemblymember Blanca Pacheco, would allow all public meetings conducted by certain government bodies to take place entirely virtually, even without an emergency or specific personal needs of a given member to do so, reducing face-to-face accountability. The bill would write into the Brown Act an unprecedented level of remoteness to public meetings, such as those held by a new police oversight commission in Vallejo, a controversial civilian elections committee in Shasta County, and a budget committee in San Diego, just to name a few examples.

Consider what an all-virtual government meeting means for community members who make their voices heard on issues using tried-and-true tactics like holding signs, wearing matching shirts or buttons, staging protests outside halls of power, or even holding eye contact with officials. And what it means for journalists who do the important work of keeping Californians informed: When public meetings go entirely online, how can a reporter approach an official to get comment or connect with community members who have views on issues being considered?

State law already allows for ample flexibility for appointed and elected officials to participate in public meetings remotely. The Brown Act has allowed it since the 1990s, so long as certain guardrails were in place, such as informing the public of the official’s location. Yet, state law doesn’t mandate virtual access and participation options for the public, except during limited circumstances. That’s wrong. And we have urged the Legislature to increase virtual options for the people.

But AB 817 doesn’t increase public access. It offers an unfair trade off: Let officials avoid appearing in person in order for the public to have a right to a livestream.

We encourage any concerned Californian to raise your voice and let the Senate Committee on Local Government know you demand that public meetings be held in public places, where those who choose to perform public service are accessible to the communities they are serving.

Read our opposition letter. And tell the Senate Local Government Committee to vote no on AB 817. You can also write directly to the committee chair, Sen. María Elena Durazo, to tell her you oppose AB 817.

Thank you for your interest in our work.

Ginny LaRoe
Advocacy Director
First Amendment Coalition

DONATE

Raise Your Voice Against SCE Lawsuit Threat For Transmission Lines

Hi Power Transmission Tower

Ask for a new EIR with underground option  included

Our city and our region will be severely endangered from building high voltage transmission  lines above ground in a severe fire risk area.

The State has mandated all new lines be built underground. SCE is threatening to sue Riverside for protecting our future generations.

Take Action. Here’s  How  Sign the Petition. Here’s the link to the petition https://chng.it/TtdYgZNdmf   

My ask of YOU…as many of you as can do 😊

  • SHOW UP if possible Tuesday May 14th at the CC meeting; RTRP is on the Agenda. 6 pm, Item 25,  Council Chambers.

 

  • Write and CALL ALL Council Members NOW and state your position on a new EIR for undergrounding the RTRP  If they are unsure or unwilling, ask for the issue to be added as a ballot initiative for November. (Include Mayor,  City Manager and DEFINITELY the City Clerk) asking that your emails become public record.

Clarissa Cervantes  Chuck Conder  Jim Perry  Steve Hemenway  Philip Falcone  Steve Robillard  Sean Mill        Mayor Lock Dawson   City Manager Mike Futrell    Donesia Gause City Clerk

  • e-Comment – Agenda item 25
  • Zoom participation:https://zoom.us/j/92696991265
    Select the “raise hand” function to request to speak.
    An on-screen message will prompt you to “unmute” and speak.
  • Phone participation: Call (951) 826-8686, and follow the prompts to access your language of preference.Press *9 to be placed in the queue to speak.Individuals in the queue will be prompted to unmute by pressing *6 to speak. Public comments are limited to 3 minutes.

UCR Spring Splash

UCR Spring Splash Concert crowd and stage

Hello everyone,

I would like to share that on Saturday, May 18th, the Associated Students Program Board is hosting UCR’s annual Spring Splash concert.  We wanted to notify you of potential amplified sound and access that may affect the inner areas of campus.

The event kicks off at 4:30pm and will last until 9:30pm. However, sound checks for the artists will begin at 9:00am until 3:00 pm. Please be advised that the center of campus will be fenced and access to the inner areas of campus will be impacted as a result.  Students, faculty, and staff will be asked to walk around the fenced areas beginning at 12pm until the event ends.  We will provide signage that ensures everyone is able to get to where they need to go. Included is a map outlining the alternative routes once the venue is closed at 12pm on May 18th.

You will start to see the set-up of staging on Wednesday, May 15th;  and set-up of fencing on Friday, May 17th.  Access to buildings will not be impacted before Saturday, May 18th. We appreciate your patience and support of activities for our students that assist them in making a deeper connection to UCR. If you would like more information about the event, please visit our website

Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at UCR (we verify) and pre-registration is required for the event for access. UCR undergraduate students must present a physical R’Card and entry wristband to enter the event. We will not offer student verification at the event; students must have a wristband and their R’Card to enter (no exceptions).

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Jazmin Alvarez Barragan

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) | University of California, Riverside

111 Highlander Union Building Riverside CA, 92521

Office: (951) 827-3615 | jazmin.alvarezbarragan@ucr.edu

 

UNA May 2024 Meeting Agenda

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church
3431 Mt Vernon Ave, Riverside, CA 92507

1. Welcome – Introductions                                     10 min.

2. City Parks Director Pamela Galera   Q&A  60 min.

3. RTRP Underground or Above Ground Survey

4. Announcements Updates:                                   20 min

Neighborhood  Resources

Follow Our Courts

US Covid Atlas

Riverside Neighborhood Partnership

Neighbors Better Together

Support Underground Power Lines Sign The Petition

Riverside Deserves Better

Please open the link below and ADD YOUR NAME TO THE PETITION to underground the RTRP Transmission lines…One click is all it takes to share your voice – and to ask your friends and neighbors to do likewise. This is our stewardship opportunity for Riverside’s future.

https://chng.it/TtdYgZNdmf

“Frankenstein Towers” or Protecting Hidden Valley and Living in Paradise? It’s time to have your say in the matter.

High Power Transmission Line TowerHidden Valley Nature PreserveHidden Valley Equestrian Trail Rivers

STEM HS EIR Public Meeting

Woman's upper body holding a microphone attached to a lecternIf you live in the University neighborhood and you care about neighborhood quality of life, then Tuesday, April 16th’s meeting 5:30-8:00 pm, at the Courtyard Marriott 1510 University Ave. is where you need to show up and speak your mind for the record.

Rich Davis has been actively following the STEM project. He along with other neighbors have reviewed the EIR and have pointed out significant deficiencies, that if left unchallenged, or unvoiced by us, will be at our future peril. Here’s what you need to know:

We need your bodies Tuesday Evening. We’d love your voice for the record if you are so inclined. It is your right to speak. You may also write a letter. If you do, here are some thoughts to consider and where to send your comments. Thank you Rich.

The nearly 2,000 page Environmental Impact Report  (EIR) has been reviewed by several community members. The EIR failed to give an accurate reporting on its findings and is misleading as to the negative impact this project will have on our community. Here are some of the problems in the report:

PARKING

  • 153 parking spaces are allocated:

    • 60 are reserved for staff.

    • 6 for ADA-compliant spaces.

    • 25 for electric vehicle charging.

    • This means only 62 spaces will be available for student parking, for a school that claims to be able to enroll 1,200 students.

  • There is no available parking on Linden, Blaine, Canyon Crest, Rustin, or the surrounding neighborhoods to  accommodate the additional spaces for students to park.

  • The report falsely implies the majority of students will use buses (or ride bicycles, an even more ludicrous claim given that the student body is projected to be drawn evenly from across the entire RUSD), so additional student parking was not addressed in the report.

TRAFFIC

  • A traffic study was done on November 30, 2021 (a Tuesday) from noon-2pm. According to the study, an average of 760 vehicles traveled on Blaine and 332 cars on Canyon Crest in a one hour period in the middle of the day. As alarming as these numbers appear, this reporting was done during COVID lockdowns when students, including UCR students, were mostly doing online schooling and many people were still working from home. There appears to be no updated reporting since 2021 and no reference of potential traffic reduction due to COVID restrictions.

  • The data from the traffic study was collected between noon and 2:00pm, totally disregarding commuters from the surrounding neighborhoods using Blaine St. to reach or return from the freeway during the time school (and the workday) starts and ends.

  • The report mentions the construction of the new 1,600-student UCR dorm currently being built on the corner across from the proposed school site, but has no mention of the impact the dorm and school would have on traffic on Blaine/Canyon Crest.

  • The report lists the nearly 300-unit apartment complex being built next to Stater Bros. on Iowa, with housing for nearly 1,000 people within a half-mile of the school. However, the EIR fails to consider the impact this will have on the traffic at the corner of Iowa and Blaine.

  • It appears the entrance and exit into the school will be off of Canyon Crest for parent drop off/pick up, and parking just before lot 26. The proposal is to put a traffic light at this location. Canyon Crest is a one lane street going both directions with bike lanes and street parking. Anyone who has ever attempted to drop off or pick up a student knows that huge lines of cars queue up waiting to get to or from a school. The proposed school will be a commuter school, guaranteeing that this dropoff and pickup traffic will be even heavier, totally blocking Canyon Crest and impeding traffic on Blaine with an undoubtedly long line of cars and buses. This is not addressed in the report other than stating that students will take buses and other transportation like a bike.

  • The report states that 10 buses will drop off students at 8:00am, 10 buses will pick up part time students at 12:30pm, and 10 buses will pick up the remainder at 3:30pm. No mitigation is described for the  adverse air quality or impact to traffic of 30 bus trips to the school (in addition to the RTA buses running down Canyon Crest).

  • The nearly 250 high school students attending the current STEM Academy rarely use the buses provided, preferring parent pick up and drop off resulting in long lines on Watkins and traffic congestion on Mt. Vernon.

INTRAMURAL FIELDS

  • The report states the joint use agreement with UCR and the Riverside city government ends in 2027 with no discussion on the possibility of renewing this agreement. These fields are the only Park/Rec fields we have in our community that can accommodate a variety of uses, including lighting.

  • The report implies that the fields are rarely used by UCR students and the community, and therefore losing the fields will have no direct impact. It clearly states those wanting to play baseball, softball, or soccer can go to Highland Park, Islander Park, Patterson Park, and the Stratton Center. NONE of these facilities are equipped to accommodate these sports. The report even suggests that these intramural sport teams could simply pay to rent the facilities at North High, Highland Elementary, and/or University Heights Middle.

  • This intramural field is only one of two on the UCR campus for a student population approaching 30,000 and growing. The report doesn’t address the fact that 1,600 dorm students who will be living right across the street have the potential of increasing its usage.

COMMUNITY PUBLIC INPUT CONCERNS

  • The EIR must address comments made at public meetings and names are included in the EIR. Astonishingly, this EIR states that this project will have no substantial adverse impact on the community. Time and again the justification noted is found to be inaccurate, misleading and lacking critical information to render its conclusion.

It has been a couple of years since our community came together to strongly voice our objections to this project. We must continue to voice our objections by attending a special meeting:

Tuesday, April 16   5:30-8:00pm 

Courtyard Marriott  1510 University Ave.  

Those wanting to speak will be limited to 2-3 minutes. If you wish to be heard, it will be best to read a statement.

If unable to attend you can send a letter to Stephanie Tang1223 University Avenue Suite 240 Riverside, CA 92507 or submit online at CEQA@ucr.edu.