Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Kelley, Kerns and Carrillo vote YES to amend the General Plan and rezone the Dutra parcels to light industrial. Supervisors Zane and Brown vote NO.
Yesterday the county counsel and planning staff made a mockery of CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), which was created to protect the environment and the citizen’s right to participate in the CEQA process. Yesterday morning at 9 AM 180+ pages of information were released by county planning staff to our attorneys and limited distribution, with only 4 hours until the hearing. The new information was not distributed to the list of interested citizen parties and no one was allowed speak at the hearing.
Sonoma County Legal Counsel advised the Board to prohibit public comment on the Dutra agenda item. Even Mayor Torliatt, Vice Mayor Glass, Council members Rene and Barrett were not allowed to speak.
What exactly did the Supervisors NOT want to hear?
NO information on the environmental impact of building a conveyor belt across Shamrock’s mitigated wetlands.
NO questioning of why there is no Health Risk Analysis for Revision I, the third version of the Dutra project.
NO pointing out that there is no written agreement with Shamrock, indicating Shamrock’s willingness to supply Dutra with aggregate for the next 50 years.
Supervisor Zane did point out that the project cannot operate without SMART approval of the conveyor crossing its tracks. It cannot go forward without Shamrock’s agreement, so she asked why vote to approve a General Plan amendment, with no assurance these pieces will come together? She voted NO.
Supervisor Brown was still concerned with Dutra’s record and voted NO.
Supervisors Kerns, Kelley and Carrillo, willing to sacrifice our public park and fresh air for Dutra’s private profits and 7-10 jobs ,voted YES. Kerns, Kelley and Carrillo continued to ignore the unanimous opposition of the City Council of Petaluma, Mayor Torliatt, and to ignore District 2 Supervisor-Elect David Rabbit’s public statement of opposition.
LEGAL DEFENSE FUND NOW OPEN!
Friends of Shollenberger announce the Legal Defense Fund Campaign to challenge the County’s woefully confused, incomplete, and illegal process.
DONATE TODAY TO SAVE THE PARK
STOP DUTRA FROM DEGRADING OUR TOWN
(donations are tax -deductible)
CLICK DONATE (top-right corner of website)
or Send Checks to:
c/o Friends of Shollenberger Park
PO BOX 2114
ATTEND THE PETALUMA CITY COUNCIL MEETING!
Monday, December 20th
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR OUR COUNCIL’S OPPOSITION TO THE DUTRA ASPHALT FACTORY AT OUR GATEWAY
Monday, December 13, 2010
The County says that the Dutra hearing is "closed to public comment".
Do not allow the Press Democrat or Argus, City councils, County supervisors or any other public boards tell you that you can be prohibited from speaking at a public meeting to any item either on or off the agenda. The Press Democrat has erroneously repeated county counsel's seriously flawed assertion that the hearing for voting on tomorrow's Dutra Asphalt Plant project is "closed to public comment."
Brett Wilkison double checked this afternoon with County Counsel Steve Woodside and assistant County Counsel Dave Hurst, who both repeated that they are acting in accordance with the Brown Act and can forbid public comment on Dutra.
However, the Brown Act requires that you will be allowed to speak. Generally, the public can speak to any agendized item at the time it is being heard. The public can speak to any item not on the agenda during the general public comment periods of a meeting, as set by the public agency or board.
Come on up, and express yourself for your allotted 3 minutes. Dutra will start sometime around 3pm tomorrow, Tuesday 12/14.
As of 4:30pm today, our attorney is also drafting a letter on this for tomorrow, citing also the Bakersfield Citizens case, which clearly holds that public comment must be accepted up to and including the final hearing. The PD is now going to do a story on this for tomorrow, quoting Terry Franke, www.calaware.org, who has litigated successfully a number of times on this area.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
ATTEND THE HEARING
Drop everything, bring the kids, and show up! They count heads, so hold yours up high! Stay for a while, even if you can’t stay for the whole hearing.
If you come at the beginning you can help hold up our sign
“NO ASPHALT PLANT NEAR OUR PARK”
If you’re there by 3 PM you’ll have an opportunity to speak to the Supervisors and put it on the record.
THE LAST SUPERVISORS HEARING ON DUTRA
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010
1:30 – 5:00 PM
Agenda Item 5 – Dutra Asphalt Plant
575 Administration Drive
Santa Rosa, CA
Friends of Shollenberger Park Needs Your Participation to Save the Park!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Is anybody listening?
Poll: Supes made wrong decision on asphalt plant
Saturday, October 30, 2010
The Board of Supervisors’ straw vote on October 12, 2010 is not the end of the line for our campaign. We WILL stop Dutra from locating next to our park. If not with a vote from the Supervisors then in the courts with a lawsuit proving the inadequacy of the EIR and the hearing process, exposing the lack of compliance with CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act).
1. We have exposed Dutra and their hired consulting engineer Al Cornwall, CSW Stueber Stroeh, as giving false map information on the location of the navigable channel and PG&E transmission pipes to the County and the US Coast Guard.
2. We have delayed final approval hearing of the project originally on the agenda from December 2008 to December 2010.
3. We have pressured Dutra into scaling back the project – eliminating Dutra’s ability to barge aggregate; eliminating the noisy and polluting recycling of asphalt on the property; lowering the towers 12 feet.
4. We have made public that the Dutra project is no longer a water dependent operation and is in reality a truck dependent project.
It’s important to thank our elected officials who have actively supported us and enabled us to achieve these victories:
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
We very much appreciate Supervisors Brown and Zane's understanding of core issues about the asphalt plant's damaging health and air quality impacts, among other issues. I am very proud of our community, both our old and new friends and allies, who continue to address these problems with vigor, creativity, intelligence, caring and good will.
We will be meeting to determine our next steps shortly. We believe strongly that our community will win, and prevent Dutra from building any asphalt plant at the entrance to our community and the Gateway to Sonoma County. It remains the wrong plant, in the wrong place, with the wrong company.
~ David Keller
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Your Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will decide the fate of the Dutra Asphalt Factory at Haystack Landing in Petaluma, right across the river from Shollenberger Park.
This could be our last opportunity to speak our minds to the Supervisors and show what kind of county we want. Please join us!!
TUESDAY OCTOBER 12TH
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A,
Santa Rosa, CA
The agenda item is scheduled for just after 2pm but arrive early (1pm) to ensure you get access to the chambers.
Bring friends and family...don't forget snacks, it could last hours. Arrive anytime between 1pm and 4pm as it will still be going on.
We will be carpooling at Noon from our Headquarters in Petaluma, located at 322 Western Avenue, next to the Tea Room Cafe.
Thank you for your support and we'll see you tomorrow!
Friends of Shollenberger Park and Moms For Clean Air invited 2 speakers to this event. Dr. James Clark is a toxicologist with 20 years of experience researching the effects of environmental contaminants on human health. Dr. Brock-Utne is a pediatrician and is the Community and Primary Care Project Director of the Region 9 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at UCSF.
The complete health care forum will be broadcast on PCA soon. These are the first clips of this event to become available. They were posted to YouTube just last night!
Dr. Clark's presentation:
Dr. Brock-Utne presentation:
Friday, October 8, 2010
Dutra would have us believe that they can make an asphalt factory without any releases of toxins or noxious fumes and dusts. Ms. Dutra’s p.r. pitch is ‘everything is wonderful’. Tragically, this is not the case.
Having visited Ms. Dutra’s earlier version of what she called their ‘state of the art, ideal Astec plant’ in Ontario, I know first hand of the leaks, the smells, the noise and the dusts coming from not only the plant itself, but also from the trucks hauling in rock and leaving with un-tarped asphalt loads. During peak production, when they are running 24/7 to fill government contracts, that means heavy trucks every 3-5 minutes, all day and night.
And if you want to get to Hwy 101 in the morning or afternoon rush hours, they predict stop and go traffic waiting for trucks at the Landing Way/Petaluma Boulevard So. intersection.
The Dutra Companies have a terrible legal and environmental record, stretching from the Port of Miami (FL) to the Gulf of the Farralones National Marine Sanctuary, filled with illegal dumping, dredging, huge fines and settlements, and bankruptcy. While Dutra has pitched their perfection to the community, the reality is unfortunately way short of their rosy pictures.
Now that Dutra’s fabrications here trying to hide their blocking of the Petaluma River’s navigational channel, and their having falsely mapped PG&E’s high pressure gas pipelines – the kind that just blew up in San Bruno – out of the way and onto their neighbor’s parcel (pipelines marked on Dutra’s parcels with 4×8 signs, “No anchoring. No dredging”), both of which we uncovered (no thanks to Sonoma County’s planning department), Dutra has eliminated their barging of materials.
The operations are not ‘river-dependent’, and Dutra will not bring one ounce of new shipping tonnage to our river. So much for their claims to help with river dredging.
In fact, had the county done their due diligence 6 years ago when Dutra proposed the barging scenario, we would have been able to move this operation to a more suitable location, away from Shollenberger Park, with the residences, businesses and tourists who use it and work near it.
All along, Dutra has fabricated information about their proposal. Why would they stop now?
Those who have recently posted here saying, ‘Petaluma has to take their share of asphalt pollution, and not increase pollution at Santa Rosa’s asphalt plants’ are just echoing Dutra’s perversion of environmental justice. You don’t spread pollution around. Instead, the right thing to do is to clean it up.
Dutra doesn’t get that.
This remains the wrong plant, in the wrong place.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Please email the Supervisors and demand a postponement (sample letter below):
1st District Supervisor Valerie Brown
2nd District Supervisor Mike Kerns
3rd District Supervisor Shirlee Zane
4th District Supervisor Paul Kelley
5th District Supervisor Efren Carrillo
Oct. 6, 2010
Dear Chairman Valerie Brown
Sup. Zane, Sup. Kerns, Sup. Carrillo, Sup. Kelley:
Environmental reports on the Dutra Proposal (Revision II) are arriving piecemeal, incomplete and too late for the public to adequately review and respond to at the Tuesday, October 12th Hearing. Please consider re-scheduling the Dutra Hearing to allow the public reasonable time to receive and review the documents and all back-up data. There is no time for the public and decision makers to make an informed decision in public based on the merits and impacts of the project, as firmly required by CEQA law and case law. Email and printed versions of the documents should be mailed to all "persons of interest" who requested to be kept informed.
Or click here for their phone, fax & address
The environmental reports and their back up data is late and incomplete. The public deserves better! We demand a continuance and that the hearing be rescheduled!
I just read PRMD Steve Padovan’s summary letter to the Board of Supervisors (OCT 4, 2010) reviewing Revision II, as they call the latest Dutra Asphalt Plant Proposal. In it he reviews for the Supervisors’ enlightenment, the two new options proposed by Dutra to replace their original plan to dock barges at their riverside parcel. Remember how green their plan pretended to be? They touted adding tonnage to the river to insure dredging by the Army Core of Engineers, and also taking trucks off the road. Not happening anymore. Now they are adding trucks (47,000+) and slipping in under Shamrock’s use permit for tonnage. No added tonnage. Definitely added traffic.
Dutra’s first plan to dock barges at Haystack Landing was based on falsified maps provided by Dutra to the County. Dutra’s version of the maps conveniently relocated the PG &E’s pipes to intersect with Shamrock’s riverside property and also drew the navigable channel beginning at the eastern bank of the river- not possible, too shallow. Both were lies engineered to make their proposal look possible. They wasted everybody’s time, five years of our time and the Supervisors’ time with a fake map. PG & E ‘s “No Mooring No Dredging” signs at the site indicate major 12-inch tandem high-pressure natural gas transmission pipes( Marin to Ukiah) that intersect Dutra’s originally proposed docking location. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Dutras’ barging plan would never work, but Padovan’s team missed it. Or looked the other way?
The current proposal (Revision II), which will be the subject of TUESDAY OCTOBER 12TH 2 PM Supervisors’ Hearing in Santa Rosa, is summarized in Padovan’s memo. Dutra proposes two options to deliver 500,000 tons of aggregate from Shamrock‘s operation at Landing Way to Dutra’s Asphalt Factory at Haystack Landing (1/2mile south and part of the route is along our roads, Petaluma Blvd So):
1) To build a conveyor belt from Landing Way, across Shamrock’s mitigated wetlands (required by their Use Permit in 2004) across P G & E’s three safety and maintenance easements (Think San Bruno explosion) over the high pressure natural gas pipes, along the Petaluma River and into Dutra’s operational area (it will be elevated over the Smart Train right of way.)
2) To truck the 500,000 tons of aggregate from Shamrock to Dutra :
“the trucking operation will result in 43,478 additional truck trips per year (500,000 tons/23 tons per truck x 2).” Steve Padovan
PRMD says Dutra would like the option to truck for several years until the conveyor option can be put in place or possibly use both means of transport ad infinitem. It’s unclear as Is the whole Project Description.
It is a confused and piecemeal description that does not meet CEQA’s requirements for the public to have a clear description of the project. Padovan’s letter, which is supposed to inform the Supervisors, so they can make an informed decision, refers to the Draft DEIR, “the first project revision”, Revision II, the various versions and computations of the BAAQMD and the OEHHA Health Risk Analyses and we are left knowing less, not more. He tries to conclude whether the new version (Revision II) is better or worse for our health than the old ones, and the answer is: Depends on whom you ask or what you include in the new description.
Padovan discusses diesel exhaust , NOx, ,particulate matter (PM 10 only, not PM 2.5), fugitive emissions, odors (Hydrogen Sulfide.). Whatever the number game, we know that all these toxic by-products are going to be added to our air. Whether or not they are above the legally acceptable limits, depends on which limits you apply.
In this case Dutra wants a “Get Out of Jail Free” card on emissions, because their project application predates the recently adopted by the BAAQMD in June 2010 CEQA standards. We are further confused by new DEIR air quality consultant Baseline, reviewing the previous BAAQMD analysis and including Environ’s analysis (Dutra’s private air quality consultant, which whined that original BAAQMD HRSA analysis was too conservative.)
Too conservative for whom? BAAQMD standards are dated 1999 and do not reflect current science on the link between disease and pollution. PM 2.5 is not analyzed at all and cumulative impacts of 101, Shamrock and other operations nearby are not included. However Padovan does state:
“NOx was previously significant.. and the truck option increases this.” Pg. 5
“As under the Original Project, the overall net increase in NOx from the operation of the revised project would continue to exceed BAAQMD’s 1999 CEQA Threshold of Significance of 80 per day (Note: The 80 pounds per day is an adopted threshold from the BAAQMD 1999 CEQA Guidelines. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) adopted revised CEQA thresholds by Resolution No. 2010-06 on June 2, 2010. Resolution No. 2010-06…” pg. 8
I will go through each section of the letter for you and give you highlights:
PLP04-0406 BOS Memo 10-12-10
First topic: Visual Impact:
“Overall visual character of the site, with large aggregate stockpiles and an asphalt plant” will continue to dominate views.
“The revised Project II would still result in significant and unavoidable impacts to scenic vistas and to the visual character of the project site and its surroundings.”
Stay tuned and mark your calendars: Attend the October 12 Meeting – take a personal day and protect our Shollenberger Park!
Friday, October 1, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
COME AND LEARN ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IMPACT THIS ASPHALT PLANT WILL HAVE ON YOU AND YOUR FAMILY'S HEALTH.
Don't miss this opportunity to hear experts discuss the impacts of asphalt toxins on air quality and children.
Speaking by invitation of Moms for Clean Air and Friends of Shollenberger:
Dr. Alice Brock-Utne received her BA from the University of California,Berkeley and her MD from the University of California, Davis. She completedher residency at the University of California, San Francisco. A fellow ofthe American Academy of Pediatrics, she is a General Pediatrician with MarinCommunity Clinics. She is also the Project Director, Community and PrimaryCare Projects, Region 9 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit,University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. James Clark is a well-recognized toxicologist, air modeler, and health scientist. He has 20 years of experience in researching the effects of environmental contaminants on human health, including toxicology and exposure assessment modeling, and risk assessment and dispersion modeling. He conducts and manages human health risk assessments for regulatory compliance and risk-based remdiation efforts. Over the course of his career he has authored or co-authored numerous books, book chapters and journal articles on environmental contaminants and human health. He is a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS), California Redevelopment Association (CRA), International Society of Environmental Forensics (ISEF), the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). Dr. Clark received his BS in Biophysical and Biochemical Sciences from the University of Houston, and his MS and PhD in Environmental Health Science from the University of California at Los Angeles. His environmental consulting firm, Clark and Associates, provides services across the United States.
These experts will educate us on the toxins produced by asphalt manufacturing and by truck, tug, and on-site mobile diesel engines.
Dutra's invited speakers are:
Dr. David Weill, a lung transplant and asbestosis expert from Stanford Medical Center and witness for Dutra Materials at the Marin Supervisors' Hearing regarding San Pedro Point Road Dutra Quarry impacts on that community.
Also speaking will be a Sales Representative of Astec Manufacturing, Inc. on the bag filter system technology of the proposed plant.
ATTEND THE FORUM TO ASK YOUR OWN QUESTIONS!
COME PREPARED with written questions. A 45 minute question and answer session with the speakers will follow their presentations.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Petaluma Community Center, Lucchesi Park
320 No. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma
Sponsored by the Petaluma Health Care District
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Dutra Asphalt Factory plus hundreds of diesel trucks coming to Petaluma?
SEPTEMBER 30, Thursday
Please mark your calendars and plan to attend! Print the attached .pdf flyer and post. Put a flyer at each door on your own block.
Put flyers up in all possible venues! Your doctor's office, your haircutter, pet groomer, your favorite restaurant...
Post on all possible social networks! Send to your e-mail lists, Facebook friends, clubs...
Note: Moms For Clean Air, Friends of Shollenberger Park, The Petaluma Health Care District and the Dutra Corp. have mutually agreed that this event will be free of signage, stickers, buttons, etc. either for or against the asphalt plant.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
"An estimated 200 to 600 gallons of gear lubricating engine oil leaked into the river, said state Fish and Game Warden Josh Nicholas...This is a major spill for Petaluma,” said Petaluma Fire Battalion Chief Mike Ahlin. “This entire river area to the citizens of Petaluma is incredibly valuable.”
"At Graffiti, a Second Street restaurant on a downtown bend of the river across from the Golden Eagle Shopping Center, general manager Jaime Marcalo said that while the spill didn't look particularly serious, “it affected our business tremendously.”
He said boat traffic on the river had disappeared and the spill produced an unpleasant odor that drove away customers."
Link to entire Press Democrat story.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Staring straight into the camera, we hear the reasoned, heartfelt, and determined voices of Mayor Pam Torliatt, Vice Mayor Dave Glass, Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams as they outline why Dutra’s Asphalt Plant will be bad for business, bad for housing values, and bad for residents’ health and well being. We hear from ordinary moms, who created an organization Moms For Clean Air, to inform other parents about the health risks this factory will pose to their families. We hear dedicated docents, (who guide schoolchildren through Shollenberger Park, a living laboratory, to learn about stewardship of our environment,) speak out about the inappropriateness of locating a toxic factory in full view of these lessons.
Excerpts from the Town Meeting in May 2009 called by Assemblyman Jared Huffman to educate the citizens about the Dutra Asphalt Plant’s ramifications, highlight Alan Pendley, chemist and materials engineer. His testimony on the toxic impact of asphalt by-products like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Hydrogen Sulphide, and heavy metals rejects Dutra’s claims that the plant’s filtering technology is sufficient to protect the town’s air.
Longtime environmentalist, David Keller, and community activist and founder of Friends of Shollenberger Park, Joan Cooper, discuss the environmental degradation and dangers that a heavy industrial operation pose to this sensitive and nationally recognized wetlands.
Footage of great blue herons nesting, ducks swimming and birds flying in Shollenberger Park and the green vistas of the hillsides beyond are juxtaposed with the grinding engines of diesel trucks at a working asphalt plant and clouds of carcinogenic blue smoke rising from trucks loading up with hot asphalt. Point made.
“It Takes A Community” is one more effort to inform the community of what could happen to our park, our families and our future. It’s a call to action to get informed and speak up before its too late.. Don’t miss it. 55 minutes. Check the Petaluma Community Access and KRCB (Rohnert Park) for for schedule or request a copy for your organization.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
IT TAKES A COMMUNITY by Kaye Chandler
AUGUST 15th, Sunday Evening Movie Premiere and Benefit
5:30-7:45pm ~ Dine Out
8:15pm ~ Showtime
Aqus Cafe - 189 H Street, Petaluma
This one-hour documentary details the grass roots efforts to save Shollenberger Park, the Petaluma Wetlands and our healthy community from the Dutra Asphalt Factory.
Meet for dinner or just come for the movie! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Shollenberger by the generous folks at the Aqus Cafe.
Movie Premiere: 1 Hour documentary, "It Takes A Community" by Kaye Chandler
Seating is limited, so pre-buy your ticket to the film showing ($15 donation requested) at Aqus (cash or check only). Where is the Aqus, you ask? Click here
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
In the face of Dutra's previous fabrications and implausible project proposals, they are now proposing another revised version of their asphalt plant operations:
1. A 600+ ft. conveyor belt to carry aggregate and sand from Shamrock's existing sand and aggregate barge unloading site, just upstream from Dutra's site, to Dutra's asphalt factory. The conveyor belts would cut through Shamrock's previously required mitigation wetlands and over PG&E's high pressure gas transmission pipelines and easement. This arrangement would be a true eyesore and wildlife disruptor.
2. Hauling the 500,000 tons/year of aggregate and sand from Shamrock's facility to Dutra's factory site with thousands of trucks, potentially operating 24/7, creating toxic and noxious diesel exhaust, noise, and bumper-to-bumper traffic at rush hour for people driving to or from Hwy. 101 on Petaluma Blvd. South.
3. A Health Risk Analysis (HRA) prepared by Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the regulatory agency that is supposed to provide air quality analyses and enforce standards, but which will be paid for this work by Dutra ONLY if their project is approved by the County.
4. A Health Risk Analysis which so far has failed to measure the toxic, very small diesel exhaust particulate matter ("PM2.5"), which is a most dangerous pollution leading to cardiovascular disease, cancer and asthma, especially for children and people with breathing and circulatory problems.
5. An Health Risk Analysis which doesn't comply with the newly approved regulations just adopted by the BAAQMD, which require cumulative analysis of sources of pollution within 1000 ft. of the Dutra property, including traffic on Hwy. 101 and on Shamrock's operations.Dutra's Asphalt Plant project application has been altered yet again on paper, in their attempts to slide past all the other huge problems they've run up against. They clearly hope to fool the Supervisors, public and county staff into believing that they are just an innocuous, small, family-owned company with a totally benign operation, suitable for locating adjacent to our Shollenberger Park, Petaluma River and Marsh, and near residents, businesses and tourists in Petaluma and Sonoma County.
Dutra has been wrong and misguided for the past 6 years - whether it's been their claims of no toxic blue-smoke fumes and no diesel exhaust impacts, their destructive impacts to the egret and heron rookery, Dutra's barge and tug intrusion into the river's navigable channel, their lying about the location of PG&E's pipelines, and a host of other problems - and it's time for the Supervisors to reject this hazardous shell-game, and end the Dutra Magic Show.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
We are honored to announce that the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment has awarded us a grant for continuing outreach and community work to Save Shollenberger Park and help move our community in a direction of environmental appreciation and respect. Read more about the great work the Rose Foundation does for California and our environment at http://www.rosefdn.org/index. Thanks to everyone for your help in preserving Petaluma's natural treasures and keeping the spotlight on this important cause to save Shollenberger Park. Your energy, enthusiasm and creativity are essential to our on-going campaign.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Don't forget to vote by MAIL or AT THE POLLS on Tuesday June 8th. We need our community to show up and be counted! Help preserve our park with a strong turnout on the County level!
The Candidates Weigh in on Dutra's apshalt Factory Proposal
Petaluma Argus - May 2, 2010
The city, working with the Coastal Conservancy, Sonoma County OpenSpace District, National Parks Services, private companies and non-profit organizations, has invested millions of dollars to build eco-tourism and attract environmentally friendly businesses to Petaluma. The proposed Dutra asphalt batch and recycling plant puts this huge investment at risk that more than 150,000 people visit and enjoy annually. The visual impacts of the asphalt plant's two 70-foot asphalt emission stacks and storage silos cannot be overcome through mitigation.
I oppose the proposed asphalt plant. I do agree that a south countyasphalt plant would be helpful, if a suitable site can be identified. That hasn't happened yet. But it isn't accurate to imply that the condition of local streets has anything to do with this issue. That is entirely a funding issue.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The following is featured in the May issue of the Petaluma Post:
Rue knew about Shollenberger Park and last fall searched for someone to do a web page for the Society’s visitredwoodcoast.com, then under construction. She finally found me, through David Keller, and the website and the page I fashioned went on line in January, thanks to Rue. I expanded the area to include the adjoining Alman Marsh and recently-opened Ellis Creek area.
As I have written before, there are 46 million birders in this country, who create 32 billion dollars in retail sales yearly. I believe the website will attract visitors to our “Petaluma Wetlands." While here, they will not only hike our trails and check out our birds, but also eat, drink and (hopefully) be merry. Petaluma needs this sort of cash infusion right now as we all know.
There are several ways to access this new web page. The full name of the website is "California’s Redwood Coast: Paradise Untamed." On the home page, select "Main Map" for all attractions in the redwood coast. At the right side of this map, hit “Select" to clear out all the check marks, then check “Natural Area” and find the appropriate leaf icon near Petaluma. A shortcut, for us insiders, is just to search under “Petaluma Wetlands” on the Main Map page.
Here is the first part of the text on the Petaluma Wetlands page:
"Less than two miles from downtown Petaluma, California, the Petaluma Wetlands are 500 acres, with trails through or adjacent to a variety of habitats ranging from tidal salt marshes to freshwater marshes. The contiguous wetlands are Alman Marsh, Shollenberger Park and Ellis Creek. To the west a portion of the trail system parallels the Petaluma River and beyond it there are hills clustered with native oaks. To the east lies Sonoma Mountain, once a volcano, millions of years ago.
"200 species of birds have been identified in the wetlands and over 100 plant species. Over 30 species of ducks and geese use the wetlands' food and shelter during the migratory season. Additionally, over 25 species of shorebirds feed in the tidal marshes and around the perimeter of the central seasonal pond at Shollenberger. Immediately across the river from Shollenberger there is a heron/egret colony usually active from April-July. If active, the colony normally has more than 60 nests of Great Egret, Snowy Egret and Great Blue Heron.
"The wetlands provide over seven miles of trails and are used daily by hundreds of people. Individual trails vary in length from 1/3 mile to over 2 miles. They provide a natural experience in what is otherwise an urban setting. Parts of the wetlands are dual purpose. Shollenberger's central pond is used periodically for 'dredge spoils' from the Petaluma River. Ellis Creek opened in mid-2009 as a state-of-the-art water recycling facility and 30 acres serve as polishing wetlands.
"A habitat restoration project is underway removing invasive weeds and introducing native plants. 'Recreational Opportunities' Visitors use the park trails to bird watch, walk dogs, exercise, ride their bikes, eat their lunch or just enjoy a relaxing stroll. Docent-led tours are offered the second Saturday of each month at 9:00 A.M. (Shollenberger entrance) from October-June."
This page has a map that can be expanded to show how to get to the park. I have also added a dozen images. The picture of a Great Egret is alongside the opening text (Figure 1). A recent addition is a map of the wetlands, created by Petaluma Wetlands Docent Ingrid Larnis. It shows all the trails from the Petaluma Sheraton to Ellis Creek, parking areas, and restrooms. Please let your out-of-town friends know about our wonderful wetlands and what they have to offer.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
(Plan on showing up around 8:30am to sign up and get refreshments)
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Petaluma Marina, 781 Baywood Dr.
Join the Petaluma River Cleanup for the 16th Annual Community Spring Cleaning of our Treasured River
Wear gloves & boots: stuff that can get muddy, for land and water based clean-up efforts
Bring your family & friends, watercraft welcome
Help increase community pride. Experience the beauty of the river and learn about wildlife, recreation, and waste disposal. Enjoy an opportunity to conserve the beauty and vitality of our watershed. Become a solution to pollution!
For more information:
Call Bob at: 707-763-5086
Email - Info@PetalumaRiverCleanup.org
Friday, April 30, 2010
Link to Press Democrat article
Saturday, March 13, 2010
The entire file submission is about 500 pages total.
Part 1 - Letter (pdf)
Part 2- Letter & Exhibits A-H (very large pdf)
Part 3 - Exhibits I-J (very large pdf)
Part 4 - Exhibits K-P (very large pdf)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
What: Central Market Fundraiser
When: Wed March 10th 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Where: Central Market @ 42 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma, CA 94952
Reservations are strongly suggested.
Please mention Save Shollenberger / Moms For Clean Air when you make your reservations.;
Monday, March 1, 2010
Thank you to all the people and organizations who have helped restore our wetlands and continue to make it a Sustainable Destination
Click here to read the entire Proclamation
Our Petaluma Wetlands have been named a Sustainable Destination by National Geographic! Click here for the National Geographic listing.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
We need to make a push RIGHT NOW, rally the community and nail home that we do not want an asphalt plant next to our parks, schools, community and as our welcome mat to Petaluma and Sonoma County.
We can make it really easy for you. All you have to do is say YES, let us know your address and “poof” a lawn sign will appear. If you know of anyone else that might be able to do this please pass this information on to them.
Please let us know if you can help with this. It is a wonderful way to raise awareness and show that the community is united against this awful proposal!
Click here to email us your address and you'll recieve your lawn sign ASAP.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Have you ever been near hot asphalt that didn’t smell?
Nesting season in Shollenberger Park starts in March – but will the trees still be there when the herons and egrets return? If approved, Dutra could be sending bulldozers and cut down the Eucalyptus Grove, which is home to the heron and egret nests, the very next day.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE
In the spring, just north of Haystack Landing and across the Petaluma River from Shollenberger Park, giant eucalyptus trees stand leafy green but devoid of any apparent life. Several weeks later, from across the river, white spots can be seen in the foliage – Every year since 2003, Great Egrets have nested in the Shollenberger colony. A healthy colony suggests a healthy environment, and the Shollenberger colony has been devoid of predation or major disturbance since its onset. That could change in the near future.
The $25 you spend today will make a difference in this fight to stop the degradation of Shollenberger Park and the entire Petaluma Wetlands Eco-System.
Please donate today:
1) TO FUND LEGAL ACTION AND SAVE THE HERON AND EGRET COLONY.
2) TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN'S LEGACY OF VITAL WETLANDS AND CLEAN AIR FOR YEARS TO COME.
3) TO STOP THE ASPHALT PLANT AT HAYSTACK LANDING.
Dutra’s lies and their improper influence on our elected officials and County Planning Staff have got to stop. We can stop this charade but we need your help. Our wetlands, our Shollenberger Park, our Gateway to Sonoma County will be degraded and polluted with excessive and constant noise, night flood lights, over 46 toxic by-products of asphalt production and the diesel exhaust of over 100,000 trucks a year. Wildlife will be disrupted, air quality worsened, and a voter mandated Scenic View Corridor blighted with the view of two 64 foot storage silos.
Send your support of $25 or more today and help us be ready to stop Dutra. We called them on their deceptive maps presented to the Coast Guard, we showed them mis-locating high pressure PG&E pipes. Now we need to ask the hard questions about their new proposed mooring location. Each new set of claims and maps needs to be met with hard research and questions. Our County Staff doesn't do it, so we have to. If we each send at least $25, we’ll be ready with enough resources to stop Dutra with legal action the very Next Day!
Personal checks are great too! Please send to this address:
The O.W.L Foundation c/o Friends of Shollenberger Park
322 Western Ave.
Petaluma, California 94952
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Most people reading this column have experienced a ‘con’ at a carnival or fair. The Shell Game, or Hide-the-Ball, is one of the most common magic tricks. A ball is hidden under one of three shells or cups, which are then shuffled skillfully by the dealer. The player gambles that they can spot where the ball is hidden.
The dealer’s sleight-of-hand is designed to confuse players, and distractions by shills deflect attention from the tricks being played. A slippery dealer will never let the player find the ball. While the Shell Game looks simple, the con man always wins.
Dutra is playing the Shell Game with us, obscuring the truth about their Asphalt Factory proposal. The Argus Editorial “Keep Petaluma River Traffic Moving” (1/21/10) echoes Dutra’s p.r. game designed to confuse and scare the public into believing that without Dutra, the Coast Guard will shut down our River, all dredging would cease and we’d be inundated by floods.
Instead of trying to find the hidden ball, it’s really time we just stop playing with the con.
Dutra lied to the US Coast Guard and Sonoma County, saying that their barges and tugs would be moored outside the Petaluma River’s federally-dredged navigational channel. Dutra doctored their official maps so that their barges and tugs appear to avoid interfering with current and future commercial and recreational river traffic. The Coast Guard called them out on this fabrication, stating that the remaining channel clearance around a moored barge is not safe.
Dutra claims they’d moor barges for 4 hours to unload aggregates, averaging twice per week. But observations at Shamrock indicate that actual barge unloading time is closer to 8 hours. In letters to the County, Dutra insisted that when they’d operate 24/7 for large government paving jobs (80% of their asphalt business), they’d need to restock raw materials onsite with up to three 4000-ton barges per day, day and night. During those periods, the entire river channel will be blocked and dangerous by maneuvering and anchoring Dutra’s tugs and barges.
Dutra lied again to the US Coast Guard and Sonoma County, saying that two PG&E 12” high-pressure gas transmission pipelines crossing the River go through Shamrock’s parcel upstream, instead of their real location. We discovered that Dutra fabricated their official maps so the pipelines conveniently appear to bypass Dutra’s proposed tug and barge mooring site. However, the pipelines are on Dutra’s property, clearly marked with two 4’x8’ signs reading, “WARNING. DO NOT ANCHOR OR DREDGE. GAS PIPELINE CROSSING. PG&E”. (see: Dutra has a Terminal Gas Problem post below) Perhaps this is why Dutra has refused requests to dredge into their river bank to get their barges and tugs out of the River Channel.
Dutra still claims that dumping of over 200,000 cubic yards of dredge spoils into our Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (over 200 instances) was only minor ‘leakage’, caused by high seas and defective computer-controlled dumps on their barges. But Dutra paid a $735,000 fine to EPA in 2006 for these violations.
Dutra also claims that Miami-Dade County (Florida) inaccurately marked a dredging site in Biscayne Bay, when Dutra was discovered to have destroyed 3.5 acres of federally-protected sea-grass and coral beds. Yet in 2006, after declaring bankruptcy, Dutra’s insurance company paid Miami-Dade County $22.5 Million in compensation.
What’s next? Dutra will morph again to cover their exposed messes. Each time their Shell Game is uncovered, they come up with a new game.
Now, in response to insurmountable problems revealed at their site, Dutra is proposing to locate barge facilities at Shamrock’s property just upstream. Dutra will need a new EIR. Shamrock’s permits and operations must be reviewed closely for its capability to add 125 barges and tugs and over 550,000 tons of aggregates to their existing site.
Let’s stop gambling with Dutra with Shollenberger Park, our health, our River’s safety and wildlife, our tourism, and our community’s investments. Dutra has played Hide-the-Ball games too long about asphalt manufacturing capacity not needed regionally. It’s time for County staff to stop being conned by Dutra’s “magic show.” It’s way past time to end Dutra’s Shell Game, once and for all.
David Keller is a former City Councilman, and founder of the Petaluma River Council.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
The actual location of these Gas Pipelines on the Dutra Parcel A conflicts directly with Dutra's proposed mooring location for their barge and tug.
The PG&E Warning signs read: "WARNING. DO NOT ANCHOR OR DREDGE. GAS PIPELINE CROSSING. PG&E 1-(800) 811-4111"
Dutra Haystack Landing Asphalt & Recycling Facility III. Project Description.
Area A: "Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has a high pressure gas transmission main (450 PSI) that runs under the Petaluma River and through this parcel." (DEIR, Page III-11)
According to PG&E, these parallel 12" pipelines are the redundant river crossings of a major high pressure gas transmission pipeline that runs from Marin County to Mendocino County. The two pipelines, approximately 60' apart, are joined back together on each shore of the river at a series of valves. On the Shollenberger Park side, these valves are located just landward of the river-bank walking path, and are contained within the center of a semi-circular berm and path easily seen from aerial photos (Exhibit 1; 6). West of the Petaluma River, the valves and pressure regulator are located within a fenced area just past the railroad tracks, directly west of Dutra's Parcel A. (Exhibit 1; 7)
PG&E staff states that the 4'x8' Warning signs on each bank (Dutra and Shollenberger) are centered directly over the buried gas lines, for a total of four highly visible signs facing the Petaluma River. The accuracy of the Warning sign locations is confirmed by more recent survey markings for both pipelines, painted on the paved path behind one sign on the Shollenberger Park location, and with small yellow and black plastic flags on the ground on both sides of both signs on the Dutra parcel.
As a result of Dutra's failure to accurately represent the locations of the two PG&E Gas Transmission Pipelines crossing Dutra Parcel A, and PRMD Staff and Consultant's failure to follow through with any description and analysis of the impacts of the proposed location of a barge and tug mooring facility and materials unloading facilities directly across these Gas Pipelines, the validity, feasibility and accuracy of the FEIR and this critical Petaluma River-based transportation component of Dutra's proposed Asphalt Plant is in serious doubt.
7. PG&E Gas Transmission Pipeline Valves and Pressure Regulator, west of Dutra Parcel A and Railroad right-of-way.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
By HEIDI RHYMES
Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Shollenberger Park in Petaluma is a park, not an industrial site. This city park is a rich and productive historic wetland area restored to support wetland species and to filter impaired water going to San Francisco Bay. It serves a dual purpose of providing an area for dredged river sediments.
Does this fortunate and rare symbiotic relationship between humankind and the environment imply we should add more heavy industry, pollution, noise and visual blight to this valued resource? Should we forsake its worth as a recreational resource, tourist magnet and wildlife habitat for supposedly cheaper asphalt?
Reestablishing wetlands takes money, commitment and vision. Our city, Open Space District and state have invested more than $4 million and 15 years into this valued community resource.
The Petaluma River will be dredged without the Dutra asphalt plant.
Click here to read the entire article
Monday, January 25, 2010
The Argus' editorial stance over the past year reflects the anti-council sentiment fostered by these large developers' lobbyists. The efforts to shortcut public participation and city review of plans, including Dutra and Regency's mall, are what is driving the anti-incumbent campaign.
Please go to the Argus Poll and let them know what you think of shortcutting the public reviews.
* Online Poll has ended * thanks to those of you that contributed!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Now that Dutra spent the past year convincing the County to rely on their word and to ask the USCG to confirm Dutra's assertion that their barge and tug mooring plan was safe and didn't block the River's other commercial and recreational traffic, Dutra doesn't like the answer the USCG came up with after making a thorough review. Dutra submitted maps that moved the notations for the Navigable Channel location so that their barge and tug appeared miraculously out of the navigable channel, but USCG found out that Dutra's maps were "inappropriately" wrong, and got to the truth of the problems of Dutra's proposal. Now, Dutra is still are lobbying USCG to reverse this latest letter, claiming that the USCG is wrong. What will Dutra invent next?
Following is the documentation in this case:
The above photo is of a Dutra barge and tug going past the Shollenberger Fishing/Observation pier showing just how narrow this portion of the river is, and why the federal narrow channel rules against mooring or anchoring in the Navigable Channel apply in this location.