Santa Cruz CA Traffic mess –YES a Rail Trail, NO Train says Jack Brown

Cyclists on Otago Rail Trail – New Zealand

written by Jack Brown

“Unfortunately most of the other commenters are part of the trail advocacy groups that spread misinformation about the trail and  couldn’t care less if the trail is built at all.

“They are rail advocates plain and simple.

“For those of us that do ride know that the the trail design advocated by the rail group is substandard.

“A good percentage of the trail would be diverted back onto the road where the trail will not fit with a train. Their train (unfunded and not scalable) takes priority.

“Also note that all of us of that support a trail only on the rail corridor are not seeing it as an ‘end all’ solution.

“We know a trail by itself will not solve Santa Cruz County’s transportation crisis.

“A trail will not solve the problem, but a train definitely will not solve the problem.

“Those of us on the Trail only in the corridor would like to see Bus Rapid Transit along Soquel Avenue,

 

bus on shoulder of Highway #1 can reduce conjustion

Bus on Shoulder  on Highway 1 along with on ramp metering and other transportation technology improvements to improve flow between all parts of our county.

“A train that is unfunded will not be of the most expensive electric one noted by others on this thread. It will be a noisy, dirty diesel.

“Most of the rail advocates are now pushing for Progressive Rail to take over and to start moving frieght and hazardous materials through the corridor.

“A trail will best protect our environment and keep commuter and freight traffic where it is already allocated, but moving at a higher speed. This has a far greater impact than trying to place a commuter train where there simply is not the width, nor the population to support it.

“The cost for rail will be astronomical with no relief to current traffic. The current proposals run well over $100M to $600M and history of rail projects are massively overshooting their budgets.

“A simple example is the California High Speed Rail project where it was sold to the people as only costing $33B with the federal government paying a third and private business investment covering the rest. Today the cost if esitmated at $77 to $98B with the federal government only proviiding $3.5B in grants and no private investment.

Rail in Santa Cruz is a sham.

There are better, more efficient ways to solve the problem and it’s time we stop spending more good money on a bad idea for Santa Cruz.

written by Jack Brown March 11, 201

Aptos Psychologist:  What do the Rail Trail advocates suggest  for managing health and safety issues? Our hospitals are hard to get to  due to traffic issues.  What about   human feces, people  sleeping along the  Trail,  drug needles? For certain kinds of crimes   Santa Cruz County has some of the highest crime rates in CA.

Cameron Jackson, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist PSY14762

Monerey Bay Forum

127 Jewell Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States (US)
Phone: 831 688 6002
Fax: 831 688 7717
Email: jaj48@aol.com
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Sana Cruz, CA hospital emergency care – jammed to overflowing Feb. 2018 — what to do?

Santa Cruz CA hospital emergency care — jammed  to overflowing the last week of February, 2018. What to do?  What to know?

There are two hospitals in Santa Cruz County:  Dominican Hospital — a Dignity Hospital now — located in Santa Cruz, CA  and Watsonville Hospital located in the southern area  of the County.

The population  of Santa Cruz County has grown enormously.   Infra-structure which  supports the population — such as  hospitals and roads — has not grown. Getting around the County is a major problem only getting worse.

Our politicians and policy makers have served the population poorly concerning roads. Do we need another hospital?

Ever feel  seriously ill?  Experience major symptoms?  Think you need to get to a hospital?

What to do:

1)  Go by ambulance.  Hopefully you don’t have to travel to hospital  during  early and late hours (7-9 & 3:30 to 7).

2)   Take your medications with you.  If you are admitted,   Dominican gives generic medications which can be quite  different from those prescribed by your MD.

3) If available, bring a ‘advocate’/ scribe — someone  who can verbalize what your symptoms are to hospital personnel,  who can keep track of who does what to you   and who can write down the  changing nature of your symptoms.

Once you are in a bed in Emergency,  Dominican Hospital provides  excellent care for life threatening, catastrophic issues.

What  to know:

A  M.D. referred to a ‘Hospitalist’ is the person who decides whether you will be admitted to the hospital, i.e., stay overnight in a bed for further tests, proceedures  and observation.

The number of  M.D. ‘Hospitalists’ who see you may be one or several.  This is one reason  why it’s important that your ‘advocate’/scribe can communicate with the medical personnel you come in contact with  — especially the ‘Hospitalists’ and Nurses.

Once you are admitted to a bed in the hospital, your  R.N. communicates with the Hospitalist assigned to you.   The name of the Hospitalist is typically written on a board near your bed.

Depending on how your symptoms change and how impacted the hospital is,  you may be moved multiple times to other Units in   the hospital.

While you are in the hospital, you will   come in contact with many person performing  different  medical procedures.   It may be helpful for you to keep track of time of day, date,  and who performed what procedures on you.   That way you know what’s happening and you can better communicate with your Hospitalist concerning your medical needs.

Dealing with the fragmentation due to the  multiplicity of medical contacts and procedures:

What if some of your medial  issues are addressed but from your perspective other crucial ones are not?   If you and your advocate/scribe and family think that your  immediate medical concerns are not getting met, that more is going on than it appears,  you can request  a Rapid Response Team intervention.  This is a team that will quickly come and  evaluate you  and address your concerns.   If issues arise communicating with your R.N. there is a supervisor for all the nurses in your unit, the  Charge Nurse who can address  your concerns. Other eyes, ears and perspectives from the Speech, Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist may provide invaluable  information and evaluation.

Discharge:   Later on, the  Hospitalist  MD assigned to your case is the person who  “discharges” you,  saying  that  you are no longer experiencing catastrophic symptoms,  and certifying that you are ready to leave the hospital for a lower level of  medical care (i.e., nursing home, home health care, out patient care).

If you do not agree with the  M.D. Hospitalist be sure to speak up and say why.

 Did the M.D. Hospialist actually  meet and talk with you before deciding  to discharge you? Did  the the Hospitalist actually  review  the results of  the medical procedures before making and conveying to you his/her  Discharge decision?    The person in charge of the Hospitalists is the Medical Director for Dominican Hospital.

Dominican Hospital has medical personnel performing ‘”Leadership” functions.  These persons (who are in top management positions)  go around to the rooms and initiate conversation  with patients as to  specific needs and as to  the overall experience.  These conversations can and do  enhance overall  communication.  From the patient’s perspective the overall experience can seem quite fragmented as the patient has so many brief contacts with many medical personnel.  

Dominican Hospital posts what it calls  the experience principles.  A promise to our patients and each other:

Know me as a person.  Connect with me, not with why I am here.

Communicate with me.  Keep me informed about decisions that impact.  Listen to me and respond to my concerns.

Empower me.  Allow me to be in charge of my care.  Advocate for me and teach me to advocate for me.

Comfort me.  Notice when I am having dificulty and take action to help to relieve my suffering.

Work together as a team.  Support each other.  Do what you say you are going to do.

Champion the ministry.  Treasure the mission.  Build and strengthen capabilities of the ministry.

Dominican Hospital’s experience principles are aspirational.  Having your own advocate/scribe can help enormously.

Traveling to and from Dominican Hospital:

Workers from Salinas, CA who start work at 6 am at Dominican Hospital  can get to work in 40-45 minutes. When the Dominican Hospital  MRI machine was ‘down’ the last week of February 2018 it took 45 minutes for an engineer to drive from Aptos, Ca to the hospital  wherein he repaired  the machine in 2-3 minutes.

Dominican Hospial’s emergency facilities are impacted by various populations including 1) a large homeless population which sleeps out ‘in the rough’ and gets sick when it’s wet and cold;  2) a  large population of drug addicted individuals ;  3) 30% of Santa Cruz County has families with children whose first language in not English. And more and more people are coming to the County.

The population of Santa Cruz CA has grown enormously in the last 30-40 years.  There were and still are only two hospitals with emergency facilities for catastrophic medical conditions. The roads are impacted and increasingly it’s more and more difficult to get to and from Dominican Hospital.

You can “schedule’ your trip to the Emergency facilities at Dominican Hospital.   Sudden major health events cannot be scheduled or dealt with by appointment.

What to do?   Start by talking about your experiences ….

Santa Cruz County has two main hospital  facilities and perhaps, given all the changes of the last 30  years, we need an additional facility located in mid-county.  Or perhaps we need  some additional  smaller facilities that are open 24 hours a day and can handle catastrophic issues?

written by Cameron Jackson   drcamearonjackson@gmail.com

 

 

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Friends in high places … flipflop?

Bayview Hotel

Bayview Hotel in front of development in Aptos

Yes it matters to have friends in high places:   Concerning the We Are Aptos lawsuit against the developers of Aptos Village.

 Written by Becky S:  “I honestly thought that Judge Burdick was going to side with the We Are Aptos claims.

Then, he [Burdick]  pullled out a paper and read the decision, denying all claims put forth in the case, and dismissed the court.

Then, he [Burdick]  asked that the court re-convene, “Bring Mr. Appenrodt back in, please” he said.  Once everyone was again seated and he had established that he was back on record, Judge Burdick disclosed that he is a 30-year friend and past neighbor of Joe Appenrodt, the Aptos Village LLC developer who owns the lots next to the Bayview Hotel.”

[Monterey Bay Forum]  Remember how the FBI Director laid out the case against Hilary Clinton and then flip flopped?  Here, Santa Cruz judge Paul Burdick lays out the case against the County, then turns around and  denies all claims by We Are Aptos.  To set matters  ‘straight’,  Judge Burdick then  on record that he is a 30 year friend of  the owner of the lot next to the Bayview Hotel.  Mmmmm.  Sounds like a flipflop.

_______________________

I [Becky S.]  first of all want to ask that you contact the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors with your thoughts concerning the bid for traffic improvements the County Department of Public Works is shouldering to support the Aptos Village Project.  This coming Tuesday, Sept. 13, as Consent Agenda Item #44,  the Board will most likely reject the only bid received for the traffic work from last summer’s bidding process, and ask the Department of Public Works return Sept. 27 with a new bid package.  Here is what is included in this Aptos Village Improvements Phase I proposal:

*New traffic light at Trout Gulch Road and Soquel Drive
*Relocating existing SCMTD bus turnout on /Soquel Drive (currently between Bayview Hotel and Aptos Station Center) to the area of Soquel Drl opposite Aptos Street BBQ,  which will require excavation toward railroad tracks and a new retaining wall.
*Replace 100’+ railroad track, new railroad crossing, new control box and crossing arms,
*streetlights
*cement curb, gutter and sidewalk at intersection
*ADA ramps at Trout Gulch and Aptos Street, as well as adjacent to Trout Gulch Crossing Center (by JetSet Bohemian)
*road widening on Soquel Drive for dedicated turn lane to Bay Federal and Starbucks
*new paving on Soquel Drive, Trout Gulch Road, Aptos Street and Valencia Street
*relocating fire hydrant
*new wooden fence along railroad tracks from Trout Gulch roughly to existinig bus stop area, to separate parking areas from railroad tracks

The County engineer’s estimate was $1,299,558.00
Graniterock Company was the only bidder at $2,176,947.75

Personally, I do not understand why Santa Cruz County taxpayers are being expected to bear the burden of these improvements, such as the bus stop relocation, that will exclusively serve the Aptos Village Project’s need to create the new Parade Street connector to Soquel Drive for the subdivision.  Where will the people who catch the bus park?  Along Aptos Street, which is already overly congested because none of the businesses on Aptos Street have off-street parking?  And by the way, why did the County restrict parking along Soquel Drive to 2-hour limited parking last January? (No one at the County has answered my letters regarding that issue.)

Under AB 1600 Mitigation Fee Act, the Count has the power to exact development impact fees to protect the public health, safety and welfare and that includes traffic impact.   The Aptos Village LLC developers (Barry Swenson Builder, Aptos Ventures Joe Appenrodt & Pete Testorff) need to pay for the cost of relocating the bus stop, not you and me.  Aptos Village LLC did pay some Transportation Improvement Assessment fees (TIA) but it looks to me, in researching the information from a Public Records Act request, that there may have been some concessions made.

You may also have some thoughts about the need to improve the railroad tracks but not install a bicycle path adjacent.

CALL AND WRITE THE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS BY TUESDAY, IF POSSIBLE, BUT BY FRIDAY AT THE LATEST.  COPY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR JOHN PRESLEIGH.  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE LOCAL PAPERS WOULD ALSO BE HELPFUL.
Board of Supervisors 831-454-2200
Zach Friend <zach.friend@santacruzcounty.us>, John Leopold <john.leopold@santacruzcounty.us>,
Greg Caput <greg.caput@santacruzcounty.us>, Bruce McPherson <bruce.mcpherson@santacruzcounty.us>, Ryan Coonerty <ryan.coonerty@santacruzcounty.us>, John Presleigh <john.presleigh@santacruzcounty.us>

Santacruzsentinel.com (“opinion”)
Erik Chalhoub <echalhoub@register-pajaronian.com>
goodtimes.sc (letters)

You might also contact the Aptos Times editor, Noel Smith, and verify the recent claim in the September 1 issue that the county will pay for the new streets within the Aptos Village Project (Aptos Village Way and Parade Street) as reported.  I have contacted Mr. Smith, but received no response.

*************************************************************************************

OTHER IMPORTANT MEETINGS THIS WEEK:
1) Wednesday, Sept. 14   Alliance of Concerned Citizens (aka Alliance of Citizens for Common Sense)
7pm
Louden Nelson Center, Santa Cruz
This Alliance of citizens from communities throughout Santa Cruz County is building steam to act as a strong and effective citizen’s group to take action that will address local government policies regarding growth-related issues: water, transportation, historic preservation, and protecting neighborhood character and quality of life.  The group will regularly meet the second Wednesday of each month at 7pm, at the Louden Nelson Center.

2)  Thursday, September 15      MId-County Groundwater Agency
7pm
Capitola City Council Chambers (in Capitola Village)
This consortium of water agencies is developing policy to address critical groundwater overdraft in our area.  There are three representatives for private well owners, along with County, Santa Cruz City, Soquel Creek Water District and Central Water District reps.  The group just adopted an annual budget of $1.2 million and had the Community Foundation hire the manager whose salary is $140,000/year.  The Community Foundation will also be managing the budget…..

The agenda includes a discussion about the progress of the groundwater model that will hopefully provide information about the rate of sea water advancing inland due to years of aquifer overdraft.
Note: Soquel Creek Water District is planning a Community Workshop on Saturday,October 1 (location TBA) to discuss options to address the “Critical Overdraft” status of the area.   Ms. Flock, the District’s Conservation Specialist, recently conceded that there are no projects currently available (to be paid for by developers’ Water Demand Offset fees collected) that will have a substantial effect on stopping sea water intrusion.
www.soquelcreekwater.org

***********************************************************************************************

NOW FOR NEWS REGARDING THE APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT FINAL MAP LAWSUIT STATUS:
We Are Aptos, represented by Mr. Bill Parkin of Wittwer Parkin LLP, sued Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and the Aptos Village LLC (Barry Swenson Builder and Aptos Ventures) over an illegal Final Map for the subdivision.  The points argued were:
1) There are two “Remainder Parcels” on the Final Map…making about 50% of the subdivision essentially a blank check for future developers to do something different than what was approved in 2012 on the tentative map.
2) The two lots next to the Bayview Hotel were also blank, with no notation of common use (free public) parking and exact building footprints.
3)  The Park Parcel was not noted on the Final Map nor was it offered for dedication to the County.

The case (16CV00502) was heard August 25 by Judge Paul Burdick as a Callifornia Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) case.  At that hearing, Judge Burdick admitted he had not had time to read the documents submitted for the case, but the arguments by counsels centered on whether the “Remainder Parcels” violated the Subdivision Map Act and whether the Final Map for the Aptos Village Project was in conformance with the tentaive map.  Judge Burdick ordered that the case would be decided one week later, on September 1.

In the interim, Judge Burdick’s research attorney contacted both counsels and asked for a letter from each to address the possibility of a conditional denial of our case if the County and Aptos Village LLC would agree to uphold the requirements set forth in the Subdivision Development Permit.  This was “unusual, odd, and unique” as Bill Parkin’s assistant stated, in that the Judge seemed to agree that the We Are Aptos claims were valid, but was unwilling to declare them the winner.  She speculated that Judge Burdick perhaps did not want to be responsible for issuing a decision that would stop the Aptos Village Project.

On September 1, Judge Burdick had many questions for Aptos Village LLC counsel that seemed to make them very flustered.  The Judge, as well as Aptos Village LLC counsel, agreed that the “Remainder Parcels” indeed violate the Subdivision Map Act and are not legally Remainder Parcels because those areas were not specified as Remainder Parcels on the tentative map.  So the Final Map is perhaps substantially different (non-conforming) than the tentative map, and should not have been aproved by the Board of Supervisors last December.

The issue of the blank lots (owned by Aptos Ventures Joe Appenrodt and Pete Testorff) next to the Bayview Hotel was discussed at length because the rental apartments on the second story of the two proposed buildings would require dedicated parking for the tenants, therefore removing a considerable amount of parking from the free public common use parking (which was not even noted on the Final Map).  That is another possibly substantial non-conformance in the Final Map and violates the Subdivision Development Permit conditions of approval of the Final Map.

“It seem there is a clear violation by the County to uphold its own requirements in this document” Judge Burdick said, holding up the Subdivision Development Permit.    He asked to hear from County Counsel.  Ms. Brooke Miller, County Counsel, said the Planning Department had assured the County Surveyor, who certified the Final Map’s legality, that all conditions of approval had been met.  Further, when the tentative map expires in 2018, (and the developers will be able to get a Certificate of Compliance from the Planning Department to build pretty much whatever they want) “the County will PROBABLY uphold the conditions stated in the Development Permit agreement.”   ( PROBABLY?!!)  She went on to say repeatedly that the County must be able to have broad interpretation of its requirements to allow the developer flexibility to make the Project feasible. (i.e., the developers want to make all the money they possibly can on this deal).

I honestly thought that Judge Burdick was going to side with the We Are Aptos claims.

Then, he pullled out a paper and read the decision, denying all claims put forth in the case, and dismissed the court.

Then, he asked that the court re-convene, “Bring Mr. Appenrodt back in, please” he said.  Once everyone was again seated and he had established that he was back on record, Judge Burdick disclosed that he is a 30-year friend and past neighbor of Joe Appenrodt, the Aptos Village LLC developer who owns the lots next to the Bayview Hotel.

**************WHY DIDN’T JUDGE BURDICK EXCUSE HIMSELF FROM THE CASE? ***************

If you have thoughts on all this, I would love to hear them.  We are considering various options.  And I have not even discussed the whole issue of the widespread soil contamination and egregious disregard for proper legal handling of the 5,000 gallon diesel tank mess from March 1. 2016.  I will send out information on that in the near future.

Take care …. and write those letters.

Becky Steinbruner

Sep 12 (3 days ago)

to Becky

“It seems there is a clear violation by the County to uphold its own requirements in this document” Judge Burdick said, holding up the Subdivision Development Permit.    He asked to hear from County Counsel.  Ms. Brooke Miller, County Counsel, said the Planning Department had assured the County Surveyor, who certified the Final Map’s legality, that all conditions of approval had been met.  Further, when the tentative map expires in 2018, (and the developers will be able to get a Certificate of Compliance from the Planning Department to build pretty much whatever they want) “the County will PROBABLY uphold the conditions stated in the Development Permit agreement.”   ( PROBABLY?!!)  She went on to say repeatedly that the County must be able to have broad interpretation of its requirements to allow the developer flexibility to make the Project feasible. (i.e., the developers want to make all the money they possibly can on this deal).

 

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