The “Stop the Trucks,” movement is picking up speed. All of our local newspapers have carried articles and letters about this vital issue. Letters and calls have begun to bury Gary Kaiser’s office, but we need, many more from everybody to make Santa Barbara realized what a huge mistake it would be to approve this project. The League of Women Voters is taking a stand. One of our county supervisors, John Flynn, has already made a call. Our city council and the other four supervisors need to step in. You all need to encourage them to act.
You will accomplish this by sending emails. Send them to Gary Kasier; send them to all five county supervisors; send them to all five of the Ojai City Council members; send them to the Ventura County Star, send them to the Ojai Valley News; send them to the Santa Barbara News Press; send them to the Pacific Coast Business Times; send them to all of the Supervisors in Santa Barbara County. Let everyone know how you feel. For more information or to see some of the other lettes that have already gone out, see below:
Stop the Truck: Act Now…
It is fairly obvious to those of us who live in Ojai that the review of the Troesh Ready-Mix proposal as conducted by agencies in Santa Barbara County would best be described as a joke if the consequences to our community were not so grave.
Most of you have heard or read about the pending approval of this project that would put scores of double hopper gravel trucks on Route 33 at all hours of the day and night in numbers that have the potential to snarl traffic and threaten the life and safety of citizens in our valley. Now is the time to take action by emailing your disapproval of this project to Gary Kaiser at firstname.lastname@example.org
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been here six months, ten years or were born here. If you care, the time to act is now before it is irrevocably too late. All it takes is an email or a letter.
Earlier this year, VCEDA, the Ventura County Economic Development Association, in coordination with an ad hoc Water Coalition generated upwards of a thousand individual email petitions to protest the dumping of chloride salts into the Santa Clara River by the LA Sanitation Department. Those email where an essential part of a successful campaign to have the Regional Water Board vote 6-0 to reign in LA San.
If all of your truly care about the valley half as much as you claim here on the Ojai Post, I urge you to set aside your partisan differences, act now, and encourage all of your friends and family to do the same. If we can stop LA, we can stop Santa Barbara.
First: Route 33 north of Ojai to the Santa Barbara County line is mile for mile already one of the most dangerous highways in all of California. A simple check with the California Highway Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service or the ambulance services in Ojai will inform you that during any given week there are at least one to two fatal or near fatal wrecks in the mountains.
Second: Though the EIR report appears to describe 33 as a rural highway that is completely false. Above Ojai it is Scenic Highway, but once you pass Fairview heading south it is the main and at times only traffic artery through the heart of this valley, home to some thirty thousand residents. It passes by our hospital, high school and numerous senior citizen mobile home parks.
Third: Route 33 is already surpasses its maximum traffic loads, particularly during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Adding double long gravel trucks at all hours is not going to help this situation.
Fourth: The numbers given as projections for the number of trips and the hours permitted by these trucks can also only be described as woven only from ones imagination as gravel trucks are already exceeding these limits now. Trucks currently descend into Ojai each morning at least as early as 5:00am and run late into the night. There is no oversight or enforcement of current rules. How can we expect this scenario to improve?
Fifth: Though it may be in the power of Santa Barbara to approve these permits, it is totally within the right and ability of the citizens of the Ojai Valley to protest this dangerous intrusion. Not only is protesting an art form in this valley, I don’t think it is something a public official will want to tangle with. I am encouraging everyone I know to start by immediately emailing Gary Kaiser at the Santa Barbara Planning & Development Department email@example.com their personal disapproval of this permit. All public comments must be received before January 19, 2007.
Send copies of your emails to the Ventura County Star: firstname.lastname@example.org and the Ojai Valley News:
Posted by Howard Smith on December 23, 2006 05:21 PM | Permalink | author bio
If you send a letter to Gary Kaiser, the Ventura Star or the OVN, please post it here as well under “Commments.” See Fred Rothenberg’s letter that follows as an example:
Re: Troesh Ready-Mix proposal
Dear Mr. Kaiser:
May I respectfully sugget that you spend at least 8 hours sitting in front of Vons at the corner of Hwy 33 and Hwy 150 in Ojai. Doing so may reveal the steady stream of double loaders passing that intersection.
You may also see a large number of school children going back and forth between Nordhoff High School and various shops along Hwy. 33.
You will also observe a number of people (including seniors) attempting to cross Hwy 33 at several points along the road at marked intersections. These people are generally visiting the hospital and various physician offices located along the highway. These intersections have few stop lights and crossers are forced to navigate a very wide stretch of road.
I am a volunteer bus driver for Help of Ojai and deliver senior passengers to the hospital, physician offices and Vons market located along Hwy 33. As a result I regularly see these large double vehicles traveling the same path. I shudder when trying to imagine the amount of time it would take for one of these vehicles to come to a stop in case of emergency (e.g. a disoriented senior crossing the highway.)
Increasing the number of vehicles traveling this Hwy. will only increase the possibility of a tragic accident. I suggest that you seek an alternative to the current proposal of expanding the number of gravel trucks that use this path.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Ojai, CA 93023
Posted by: hjs | December 24, 2006 10:20 AM
From Sanford & Christine Drucker:
For 20 years we owned a ranch in Rose Valley, up Hwy 33 from Ojai, and I can personally vouch that Hwy 33 is a dangerous road. Trucks come barreling down and they have little control on the myriad twists and turns. It is a nightmare.
Now, we live in Ojai near where Hwy 33 passes in front of the high school, hospital, and through residential areas. More trucks would be a disaster. It would only be a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed.
Furthermore, the additional traffic and air pollution cannot be ecologically sustained by this valley. The traffic increase would impair our already delicate air quality.
Economically, Ojai is positioned as a destination tourist area. Gravel trucks would tear up the roads, clog the traffic, be noxious, and destroy our tourism industry.
The current city manager of Goleta, Dan Singer, was Ojai’s city manager for years. Call him up ~ he can tell you more about the significant and injurious injury that would accrue to our community if the trucks were approved to come through here.
Vote NO on approving the gravel truck plan. It is a very bad idea.
Sanford Drucker and
VP, Ojai Music Festival
Ojai Citizen of the Year 2000
Posted by: hjs | December 24, 2006 01:05 PM
Dear Mr. Kaiser:
As I walk through Ojai early in the morning I am greeted with the sound and sight of gravel trucks thundering along CA 33 in front of Nordoff High School. These trucks present a real and present danger to the numerous students who come to the school early and pass in and out of it throughout the day.
In addition, our community hospital and a myriad of physicians, physical therapists, an outreach community health clinic, and numerous other health care providers are clustered off of CA 33 across from the high school.
California Route 33 is a main street in Ojai. Meiners Oaks and the western section of the City of Ojai funnel onto it as a major transportation pathway. The number of near-miss accidents in the area bordered by Nordoff High School and the “Y” by Vons supermarket is already highly worrisome.
Additional gravel trucks moving through this sensitive area significantly raises the potential for a disastrous tragedy. I urge you to disallow the Troesh Ready-Mix proposal seeking to increase the frequency of large trucks moving through this highly traveled area.
Jonathan W. Lambert
Posted by: Jon Lambert | December 25, 2006 08:51 PM
I would like to add my voice to the many who point out the degradation of the Ojai Valley by the increased traffic of large gravel trucks through the Valley past many sensitive installations. An unbiased and thorough review is necessary.
Posted by: John Mason | December 27, 2006 10:03 AM
Deat Mr. Kaiser
It is my belief that we should be looking into ways to reduce pollution, not increase it. Less trucks not more!
Thanks for listening to your constituents.
Posted by: Michael Didj | December 27, 2006 01:37 PM
Hi Howard and all:
I will pen my missive today — but a question first:
Does it make sense for us to also be forwarding these letters (or versions of them) to the Santa Barbara papers?
The SB News Press wants letters less than 250 words, exclusive to them, and emailed to: email@example.com.
SB Independent wants letters under 250 words w/a daytime phone number for verification and receives them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents of Santa Barbara County have fought very hard to protect their communities; it is unreasonable for us to ask them to help us protect ours?
Thanks and best,
Posted by: Leigh Melander | December 30, 2006 09:57 AM
Yes, please send it to both Santa Barbara papers (separately addressed. However, I suggest everyone send “Open CC’s” of their letters to ALL of the following politicians and newspapers: All Five Ojai City Council members; the Ojai City Manager; All Five Ventura County Supervisors; (John Flynn has already started by calling Gary Kasier on our behalf); the Ventura County Star (letters to the editor as well as Tim Gallagher and Marianne Ratcliff; Bret and Lenny at the Ojai Valley News; and Henry Dubroff at the Pacific Coast Business Times.
It is important that EVERYONE who cares about Ojai send a letter and send copies.
Santa Barbara County will do whatever it wants unless there hear from hundreds of us loud and clear that this is unacceptable.
If the permit is approved, then the only alternative after that is to attempt to have the State (read that as CalTrans) put a weight limit on 33 through the mountains that would preclude gravel trucks. That is do-able but far more difficult than stopping this now.
Remember everything must be in before the 19th of January. Gary Kasier needs to be flooded with letters.
Even the League of Women Voters has jumped into the fray.
Everyone who has ever written anything on the Ojai Post should take at least five minutes of time to send a few emails.
Posted by: hjs | December 30, 2006 01:08 PM
Dear Mr. Kasier
Iím writing to you to ask you to please stop the Diamond Rock Sand and Gravel Mine and Processing Facilities. It will be a disaster for the Ojai Valley, the environment, the native habitat and the scenic Highway 33
Iím afraid for the added noise pollution and air quality that will be affected by the additional truck traffic.
Iím afraid for the students leaving Nordhoff High School
for lunch and after school. The valley suffered the loss of a Nordhoff student many years ago in the cross walk in front of the school already.
Iím afraid for all residents of the valley who shop, bank, have doctors appointments, use the hospital, go to churches
who would be subject to increased danger having to pull out onto the highway.
Iím afraid for all the Ojai Valley residents who swim and park on the side of Highway 33. It is a very narrow road. My brother suffered a serious accident on 33 and help is a long ways away. Will there be more Highway Patrol to enforce speed limits?
I spent a year and half driving the 33 between Ojai and Taft in all types of weather. It is a scenic road full of beauty that will only be destroyed by the addition of big trucks in a hurry to make their quota. The physical road will also take a beating with the heavy trucks. Who will pay for the repairs?
The traffic in and out of the valley is already hectic with out the additional trucks. Limiting the travel time in the morning wonít help the people who leave the valley at different times. It wonít help the people who walk or bike on the trail.
Iím afraid that if this passes nobody will be watching what is going on. Who will count the trucks? Who will ensure that the loads are covered? That they only travel during the approved times?
Please Mr. Kasier protect my valley that has been my home for over fifty years.