Richardson Grove Update-State Appeal Filed-Willits Protests Continue

Greetings … lots happening on the CALTRANS front but thankfully for Richardson Grove, the Federal Court injunction is still in effect and it appears that CALTRANS has for the moment turned its attention elsewhere.

You may remember that two lawsuits were filed to protect Richardson Grove, one in Federal Court and one in State Court.  Thanks to an astute Federal Judge we received the injunction that has stopped the project for now. We were not so lucky in State Court.  However, our brilliant enviro-attorneys have filed for an Appeal and attached is our Opening Appeal Brief (warning-it’s 80 pages long.)

But CALTRANS never sleeps -  with 19,000 employees and an operating budget of $12 Billion dollars they must keep busy.  Currently, along with their armed force the CHP, they are laying siege to Willits, 60 miles south of Richardson Grove where they are building a hideously expensive destructive $300 million bypass around the town of Willits to correct a traffic problem they themselves created by re-striping Highway 101 down to one lane at the intersection of Highway 101 and Highway 20.  Believe it or not, the bypass will NOT correct this problem so, adding insult to injury, they have just received an additional grant of millions of dollars of transportation bond funds for ANOTHER project to fix the intersection next year!!

Currently they are dewatering the wetlands of the Little Lake Valley east of Willits so that fill can be brought in and compacted to prepare the roadbed.  But a determined resistance has been built amongst the citizenry called Save our Little Lake Valley (SOLLV.) Today, members of SOLLV and supporters including members of Earth First of Humboldt helped to shut down work on the project using non-violent civil disobedience.

Here is a link to an article with video by ABC news of a similar action that took place recently.  The article also has additional links for more background:
<http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/assignment_7&id=9137120>

SOLLV has more actions planned.  If you would like to receive action alerts please see the SOLLV website at:
<http://savelittlelakevalley.org>
You can also help by making a donation. Instructions can be found on the website.

Other ways to help are to continue to write letters to the editor of your local news media and to your elected representatives.  As a result of their disastrous mismanagement of the Bay Bridge, CALTRANS is now the subject of an independent study by a group called the “State Smart Transportation Initiative.”  Let’s keep the heat on this monster bureaucracy that is bleeding the taxpayers dry!  Think of what all this money could do to help our schools.  Why is this waste being tolerated?

Feel free to send your thoughts by email and thank you for keeping informed.  Regards, Barbara Kennedy

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