It looks like things have slowed down. The word according to Norm Hickling, deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich is that negotiations are moving along at last, that someday soon the Briggs Road Community will be free from the landlocking perpetrated by a private LLC, Los Angeles County, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
Whew! What a cast of characters! And to think that all these agencies just happened to deny passage to the residents of our little community all at virtually the same time—supposedly independently of each other!—between 2004 and 2006.
If you are a new reader of this blog, please skim through earlier posts to get a more complete story.
What is happening right now is that a permit for Briggs Road residents to cross the Metrolink tracks was found, after nine years of being lost, somewhere in Los Angeles. Trouble is, the permit was lost for long enough to endanger our court-mandated easement across the LLC Property. If everyone is telling the truth, and the several parties involved are independent of each other and wish to accomplish what they say they wish to accomplish, it really is in the best interest of all involved to unlock this landlocking. Now.
If, on the other hand, this whole issue is as laden with secrecy and malevolence as it would appear, anything is possible. It could well be that the game is being delayed while the obstacles to our access are being reinforced. There remain several ways that our community could be played for fools. Though we are aware of that, we must be very careful with our accusations at this point, for reasons that are easily understood.
Shortly after the errant railroad crossing permit was unearthed, the word came down that Fish and Wildlife was open to the creation of an affordable Arizona crossing of the Santa Clara River, and that Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority was ready to discuss granting an easement across their holdings at the other end of Briggs Road. Also, plans to improve the road out the back way were revived.
That was three months ago. Since then, nothing. I am not aware of the production of a single document, or even a hand-shaken agreement, that takes us any further with either of the two remaining access blockers: California Fish and Wildlife or Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
If my intuition is at all valid—and it often is—I just get such a strong sense that something is dirty. I smell dirt. I suspect that if the human beings behind this effort to choke a good neighborhood to death are successful, they will likely finish their lives content in the knowledge that they killed a community for their own profit. I also suspect that their own grandchildren will correctly despise them, as do the offspring of several recently exposed perpetrators of corruption. I would be delighted to be wrong and, as I have said earlier, proud to be one of the first to admit my error and celebrate the great goodness of those I have maligned in my heart.
Until that happens, I am keeping my eyes open.
I wish to make three entreaties of you, dear reader:
1. Too many have been coddled into complacency by recent assurances that have produced nothing. Please urge your friends to keep up with us, to keep up the communication with us. Please let’s all keep the light on.
2. If you have connections, if you know of an honest government official or a compassionate member of the media, please put us in touch with each other. We are already developing a surprisingly extensive network, but until something real happens with our access, it is not enough. Yet.
3. Stay focused and steadfast on this issue. Granted it is a local issue, fought at a local level against local opponents, possibly outside of your sphere of concern. But have you heard of the Broken Window policy that has been so effective in curbing crime? [Not to be confused with the Broken Window Fallacy.] The theory is that if blight as minor as a broken window is left unaddressed, criminals get the idea that more brazen acts will also go unnoticed. Conversely, repairing windows discourages crime. It does work.
We must discourage corruption and victimization by government in the same way. You may feel that our issue does not touch you, that our broken window does not let freezing air into your home. But if you fight in whatever way you can—by writing letters to Governor Brown or Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, or by spreading the word about this blog, or sending us your ideas—you will be joining us in sending the message to all public “servants” that the People will not tolerate mistreatment. And that may well matter a lot to you one day.
One last point. We are seeing more and more allegations about Agenda 21 these days. Agenda 21 is a 300-page document produced twenty years ago by the UN. Its intent is ostensibly to address the ills of the third world, but the Glenn Becks and other reactionary conservatives have chosen to read it as advocating the shoveling of all of us into urban high-rises. I don’t know how many of the Agenda 21 alarmists have actually read the thing, but I don’t share Glenn Beck’s vision.
Anyway it doesn’t matter. Our local problem may or may not be related to this strange and dire theory. But I fear that if we ascribe all of our troubles to an Agenda 21 or other massive faceless oppressor, we are going to collapse into a soggy, passive muddle, unable to face so large an opponent. Remember the Broken Window policy.
Turn on the light. Focus on the issues at hand.
We’re not done!