Saturday, July 19, 2008

A New Flier and an Article

Here is a flier about the postponement of the meeting originally scheduled for July 22, 2008.

From what I have been hearing, if you really, really want to attend the meeting, please keep September 4Th open.

I am also hearing that the meeting will be a design meeting combined with a meeting about the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is reportedly being published for the public on August 1.

The DEIR is the next step in the processes towards building a new campus.

There will be a 45-day comment period for the DEIR and it looks like the comment period WILL NOT be extended.

The Notice of Preparation and Initial Study that came out ONLY several months ago had a 30-day extension on comments.

It looks like LAUSD doesn't want the same criticisms of the new campus that they found by extending the comment period.

Now below, please read an article that states that a proposed school's studies were so flawed that a judge ordered them to be recirculated.

Imagine that, a document prepared for LAUSD that has major flaw. Who'd a thunk it?

Judge halts construction of Echo Park school

L.A. Unified submitted a flawed environmental impact report, ruling says. District must now consider other sides and gather community opinion.
By Evelyn Larrubia, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer July 19, 2008

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Friday halted construction of an Echo Park elementary school, saying that the Los Angeles Unified School District acted in bad faith by putting together a shoddy environmental review.

Judge John A. Torribio's decision to nullify the district's review is a major setback.

The district will have to consider other sites and gather community opinions before moving forward. That could take months and delay opening of the $60-million school, which was expected in 2010.

School district officials are considering an appeal, district associate general counsel Michelle Meghrouni said.

"We are comfortable that we complied" with the law," she said. She added that district demographers insist the school is still needed, despite plummeting enrollment at nearby campuses.

Friday's decision marks the second time that the Right Site Coalition, a small community group on a shoestring budget, has beaten L.A. Unified. Christine Peters, head of the opposition, said she was almost too tired to cheer.

"I just feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill," said Peters, who has financed a significant portion of the fight, once charging $6,000 on her credit card for a district report. The $50,000 her group has raised through garage sales, silent auctions and $100 individual contributions has not been enough to cover the costs.

For four years, Peters and others have argued against the proposed site on Alvarado Boulevard, complaining that it would displace dozens of low-income residents during a period of gentrification.

Board members were not swayed and moved forward with the 875-seat school.

The group sued, saying that the district's fast-track environmental study was inadequate. Undeterred, the district bought the homes and businesses on the site while defending itself against the lawsuit, which it lost in December 2006. Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Pratt ordered the school system to complete a full environmental impact report to address safety and traffic concerns, including the question of whether a planned street closure next to a fire station would delay emergency response.

The district produced a longer report and the Board of Education approved it. L.A. Unified hired a firm to bulldoze the homes and businesses on the 3.3-acre site.

Again, Peters' group sued and the project was put on hold. The group lost that suit but an appeals court reversed that decision and sent it back to trial.

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