Month: June 2013

Bishop Chamber asks for your input in proposed FWS critical habitat designation

The endangered Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog. (Creative Commons)
The endangered Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog. (Creative Commons)

Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

Dear Chamber Members and Friends –

You may have heard by now that the US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to designate critical habitat for the yellow-legged frog, the Yosemite toad and the northern population segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog in California.

Inyo County areas proposed for the critical habitat designation would include Rock Creek Lake, Mt. Tom, the Bishop Creek Drainage (including South Lake), Coyote Flat, Big Pine Creek Drainage and Onion Valley.

Outdoor recreation such as fishing, camping, hiking and trail riding could certainly be affected by any such designation. Many businesses and the overall economy of the Eastern Sierra might be impacted.

We understand that the issues of species protection and critical habitat are complex, and the Bishop Area Chamber has not officially taken any position on the matter. We would however like to encourage all members, friends and concerned people to weigh-in on the matter. We truly believe that the only way to create the best public policy is to participate in the discussion!

Please follow the links below to learn more about the two proposed designations (one for critical habitat and the other as an endangered/threatened species).

Please take time to do this ASAP, as the deadline for public comment is Monday.

Click Here To Visit Inyo County Planning Department Webpage. You’ll see maps and related documents.

Click Here To Give Your Comment on the Proposed Critical Habitat Designation

Click Here To Give Your Comment on the Proposed Endangered/Threatened Species Designation

Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau | 690 North Main Street | Bishop | CA | 93514

Metrolink reverses course and commissions health risk assessment

Media contact:
Scott Johnson, Metrolink Public Affairs
(213) 452-0205 or

Metrolink to conduct health risk assessment of maintenance facility

LOS ANGELES — Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Michael P. DePallo announced today he has directed staff to immediately commence preparations for commission of a health risk assessment (HRA) of the agency’s Central Maintenance Facility located at 1555 N. San Fernando Road in Los Angeles.

“This is a significant step to quantify the emissions emanating from the facility and to solidify a baseline,” said DePallo.

Metrolink Board Chair and San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris agreed.

“As the mayor of the city that hosts the largest intermodal rail facility in Southern California, I understand the concerns of those who reside near Central Maintenance Facility,” said Morris. “I, as much as anyone, want to know the results of this assessment, along with the subsequent measurement of the air quality improvements we have already made to the facility.”

Metrolink has worked extensively with community groups, key stakeholders and elected officials over the past two years to implement a wide array of facility and operational improvements.

Metrolink made a major contribution toward improving the quality of the environment and future rail system operations with the purchase of up to 20 new low-emission Tier 4 locomotives. These locomotives produce more than 80 percent less particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen than current older engines and will be delivered in late 2015. Metrolink has allocated $129.4 million for the purchase of the locomotives.

The locomotive upgrades will have system-wide benefits, and as well as help reduce emissions in the surrounding communities.

At the facility itself, Metrolink has implemented a plug-in policy that enables trains to utilize ground power while being cleaned and serviced instead of utilizing the engines that power the passenger cars. Nine ground power stations have been installed, while the facility anticipates an additional four stations being built this year.

Metrolink has installed Automatic Engine Start Stop (AESS) technology into its locomotives and implemented an aggressive fuel conservation program. AESS is a mechanism that prevents unnecessary idling, reducing fuel use and emissions. In 2010-11 AESS reduced the amount of fuel used from the previous year by 860,000 gallons and saved the agency $2 million. Currently 33 of Metrolink’s 52 locomotives are equipped with this technology.

In order to reduce noise at the facility, train maintenance, servicing and testing is done during business hours to avoid disrupting sleep and weekend recreation activities. Additionally, staff has reduced the amount of time trains are on service and inspection tracks by 50 percent.
Without Metrolink service, an additional 18,000 vehicles would be on the roads each weekday.

A health risk assessment (HRA) is an analytical tool used to estimate whether current and/or future exposures to certain air pollutant emissions will pose health risks to a broad population, such as a city or a community.

The CMF, which is located on a parcel of what once was referred to as Southern Pacific’s Taylor Yard, has been a rail facility servicing locomotives and rail cars since the 1920s. Metrolink began servicing trains at CMF in 1991.

Carp Throwdown winners experience deja vu

Does lightening strike twice? Well, for this year’s Carp Throwdown on Lake Henshaw in San Diego County over the weekend, it sure did.

Just like last year, David Wratchford once again captured the wading division with 97 points. And the boat team of Dustin Sargent and John Hendrickson snagged first place with 102 points.

The winners walked away with an Orvis H2 saltwater 6 weight and a Yeti cooler, respectively.

Wratchford also got the prize for “best trash fish,” which includes everything in the lake, excluding carp.When’s the last time you heard of a bass being considered as a trash fish? In Wratchford’s case, it was a catfish, and he won a Galvin T-5 reel for his efforts.

Everyone else, well, you can tell from these photographs, snapped by Bernard Yin, had the swag of enjoying this fab tournament.

If you can’t get enough, consider participating in the Carp-Ocalypse in Seattle, Aug. 10-11.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Quick Mends: Big week for the L.A. River

Rep. Adam Schiff (D.-Burbank) called on MetroLink to commission a health risk assessment for its Taylor Yards facility. (Jim Burns)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D.-Burbank) called on MetroLink to commission a health risk assessment for its Taylor Yards facility. (Jim Burns)

The opening of the rec zone Memorial Day generated a plethora of coverage, both from the blogosphere and MSM. Take a look:

Los Angeles Times





The EastsiderLA

Southern California Public Radio


L.A. Weekly

Also, last week Rep. Adam Schiff (D.–Burbank) held a press conference to demand a Taylor Yards health assessment from MetroLink. Elysian Valley residents have forced changes to the agency’s maintenance facility, which appears in the lower-right frame, but a health assessment measuring the amount of diesel particulate matter in the air and its effects hasn’t yet occurred.

See you on the river, Jim Burns