Action Alert March 23, 2015

Santa Barbara County Action Network 
Action Alert 
March 23, 2015

Topics:

  1. Guadalupe City Council to consider taking a position on the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Spur on March 24
  2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Thresholds to be considered by County Planning Commission and the Air Pollution Control District’s Community Advisory Council on March 25
  3. SBCAG Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan workshop on March 25 (and op-ed pieces on the subject)
  4. Comments on the Draft EIR for Pacific Coast Energy Company’s proposal to double its cyclic-steam oil production project on Orcutt Hill are due March 26
  5. Granada Books on State Street in Santa Barbara needs your support

1.  Guadalupe City Council to consider taking a position on the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Spur on March 24.

This is Item 6, the first substantive item after the Consent Calendar, Minutes, etc. The meeting begins at 6 PM. The link to the agenda can be found here: http://www.ci.guadalupe.ca.us/index.php/contact/city-council.

Phillips 66 will be given 10 minutes to present their case, then the Mesa Refinery Watch group will be given 10 minutes, then the city’s Public Safety official will speak, then public comment, then consideration of whether to support, oppose, or take no position on the project. SB CAN will encourage the city to oppose the project in light of the increased risk of crude-oil rail accidents.  You can read our op-ed on this subject at: http://www.sbcan.org/rail_spur_hazard_for_this_county_others.

The Mesa Refinery Watch has a great website: http://www.mesarefinerywatch.com.


2.  Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Thresholds to be considered by County Planning Commission and the Air Pollution Control District’s Community Advisory Council on March 25.

The Air District and the County are both developing GHG thresholds of significance for use in evaluating industrial projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The first of two Planning Commission hearings is at 9AM, March 25 with this item probably coming up about 10:30.  The agenda is here: http://www.sbcountyplanning.org/PDF/boards/CntyPC/03-25-2015/03-25-15reg.pdf and the staff report is here: http://www.sbcountyplanning.org/PDF/boards/CntyPC/03-25-2015/15ORD-00000-00000/Staff%20Report.pdf. SB CAN has advocated a zero-emission threshold and we plan to restate that position to the Planning Commission. The staff report recommends a “bright line” 10,000 metric ton threshold. The Bay Area and LA area use such a threshold, but they are estimated to capture 95% and 90%, respectively of future emissions. In Santa Barbara County it would only capture 82% of future emissions. Zero would be best, but if a “bright line” threshold is used, it should be lower than 10,000 metric tons so it would capture at least 95% of future emissions.

 At the Air District the picture is bleaker. The staff report for the Community Advisory Council recommends two options for consideration: one that appears to be the same as the County recommendation above, and another—supported by industry—that is based on a percentage reduction from “business as usual.” The staff memo is here: http://www.ourair.org/wp-content/uploads/2015-03cac-memo.pdf and the full staff report is here: http://www.ourair.org/wp-content/uploads/2015-03cac-staff-rep-w-atch.pdf. The CAC meeting is March 25 at 6:30 PM in Buellton. The agenda is here: http://www.ourair.org/apcd/next-meeting-of-apcd-community-advisory-council/. The meeting is billed as a public workshop and public comments will be accepted.

 The Environmental Defense Center has submitted these excellent letters: Click here to view 1MB pdf.


3.  SBCAG Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan workshop - seeking input March 25

BikePedWorkshopFlyer.jpg

Santa Barbara
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015  -  6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Casa Nueva, SBCAG, Wisteria Conference Room
260 N. San Antonio Road

FROM SBCAG:

We need your input on a bike plan that stitches together all of the local jurisdiction’s Bike Plans that helps create seamless bicycle connectivity between communities, and a Regional vision for cycling in Santa Barbara County.  It will also insure that all communities in SB County are eligible for State and Federal bicycle infrastructure funding.

Since there is only one meeting in North County, Michael Becker (SBCAG) would be happy to do a quick presentation at one of your organization’s meetings if that is something your members would be interested in.  This would be a great way to get input from local cyclists without having them attend a separate meeting.

Thanks for your help in getting the word out.  

For more info contact Michael Becker at:
Michael Becker, PTP
Senior Transportation Planner
Santa Barbara County Association of Governments
p:  805.961.8912 │ e:  mbecker@sbcag.org

Comments can also be sent by email until March 27 to Michael Becker. 

See also the SB CAN op-ed "Speaking up for better, safer bikeways" as published in the Santa Maria Times: http://www.sbcan.org/speaking_up_for_better_safer_bikeways

See also the SB CAN op-ed on "Safer streets for cyclists, pedestrians" as published in the Lompoc Record: http://www.sbcan.org/safer_streets_for_cyclists_pedestrians

4.  Comments on the Draft EIR for Pacific Coast Energy Company’s proposal to double its cyclic-steam oil production project on Orcutt Hill are due March 26.

SB CAN is preparing a letter commenting on a number of deficiencies we see in the Draft EIR. If you are also interested in commenting, please feel free to contact Ken Hough, at 563-0463.


5.  Granada Books on State Street in Santa Barbara needs your support.

Granada Books has been a great resource for some events sponsored by SB CAN, so we want to pass along this note from one of the owners:

Dear SB CAN Members,

As you may have heard by now, Granada Books: A Community Bookstore has experienced an unexpected stumbling block in our funding. It has been serious enough that my partner Emmett McDonough and I had come to the sad conclusion that indeed, our dream was over. However, buoyed by the enthusiasm and positive energy of our staff, we have decided to not go down without every avenue explored. And our GoFundMe campaign was launched. 

As you know, we have been a community bookstore since day one, we have offered our space for organizations like yours to raise awareness, membership and funds to do your good works. We want to be that Third Place, described here in a Wikipedia entry: 

In community building, the third place (or third space) is the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace. In his influential book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg (1989, 1991) argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.

Oldenburg calls one's "first place" the home and those that one lives with. The "second place" is the workplace — where people may actually spend most of their time. Third places, then, are "anchors" of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction. All societies already have informal meeting places; what is new in modern times is the intentionality of seeking them out as vital to current societal needs. Oldenburg suggests the following hallmarks of a true "third place":

  • Free or inexpensive
  • Food and drink, while not essential, are important
  • Highly accessible: proximate for many (walking distance)
  • Involve regulars – those who habitually congregate there
  • Welcoming and comfortable
  • Both new friends and old should be found there.

Robert Putnam addressed issues related to third place in Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital (1995, 2000).

In the words of Amy Goodman, "If you've done well and you'd like to do good," please consider a donation to our campaign to Save Granada Books. And in our case, no donation is too small nor too large.  http://www.gofundme.com/granadabooks

Thank you for your time and good thoughts,

Sharon Hoshida


Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Thank you,

Ken Hough
SB  CAN Executive Director
ken@sbcan.org
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If you are not already a member, please consider joining SB CAN, a progressive organization working to promote social and economic justice, to preserve our environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities. SB CAN advocates a holistic approach to community planning that integrates housing, open space, and transportation to meet the needs of all members of our community and future generations.

SB CAN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Memberships and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Click here to become a member. Click here to make a donation.

We also have a Facebook page: "Like" us to keep abreast of new developments.

Thank you,

Ken Hough
SB CAN Executive Director

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Santa Barbara County Action Network
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) works to promote social and economic justice, to preserve our environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities.