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Up Front - April 3, 2013 at 7:00am

Up Front, for April 3, 2013 - 7:00am

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Up Front, April 3, 2013

UN Passes Global Arms Treaty Andrew Feinstein, author of The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade

Obama visits SF, protests; Daniel Kessler, Media Campaigner

Willits bypass under protest; Falcon, tree sitter protesting Willits bypass, Phil Frisbee, Public Information Officer with Caltrans and Jeff Miller, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity

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Thank you very much for the

Thank you very much for the informative interviews regarding the Caltrans Willits Bypass project and other Caltrans projects throughout Northern California. I think the questions asked by Brian Edwards-Tiekert were insightful and thought-provoking. They illuminate the need for external oversight of the Caltrans project development process.
My experience is with the Niles Canyon "Safety" project in Alameda County. The canyon is a scenic corridor, with several historic sites, and important riparian habitat. What wasn't mentioned during the interview, was that in addition to cutting the 100+ predominately mature and native trees, Caltrans had plans to cut an additional 440+ trees in a second phase, and an unknown number of trees in a third phase of the project. For well over two years Caltrans refused to heed any local community concerns, including letters from the Fremont City Council. It took successful legal action by the Alameda Creek Alliance and admonishments from the court to get Caltrans to go back to the drawing board.
It is becoming clear, as we look across Northern California, there is a systemic problem within the agency. External oversight of the Caltrans project development process is needed to determine whether proposed projects are truly needed, or extravagant wastes of money. If highway improvement projects are required, Caltrans must work with local communities to determine the best alignment and size of proposed projects. Furthermore, Caltrans must be transparent with its project development process, and adhere to environmental laws meant to protect local citizens, our water and air quality, and our natural resources.
Thank you "Upfront" for shedding some light on this important problem.

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