Monday, September 22, 2008

THE FLEENER REPORT--241 Toll Road Hearing Sept 2008


“A Toll-tally Lame Meeting”

The first time I wrote about Toll Road 241, I was proud to be an American, because it looked like we were going to prevail, so naturally, I was feeling patriotic. Today, I am not so happy. I am ashamed to be part of the human race, if the truth be told, and it’s not because the road might actually be built, but I am saddened by the way we, the public were treated, and the utter disregard and disrespect shown by the Del Mar fairgrounds, the TCA, (the crooks that are financing this boondoggle), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. After the Coastal Commission voted down the project, the TCA appealed, and stated that because of the “circus like atmosphere”, they wanted to deny the public any access to their meeting with the NOAA.

So we got a compromise, if you want to call it that. We got treated like cattle. We got treated like crap. Anyone wishing to speak had to send a letter via snail mail, and that didn’t guarantee you would be chosen to speak. You could not donate time another speaker, and even if you were a politician, like Pam Slater (who was in Washington), you could not have an assistant or representative to speak on your behalf. That was forbidden. No, boys and girls, these were the Feds and they were calling the shots.

The meeting was held in a huge room with no air conditioning. You were not allowed to bring any water into the room. You could not hold signs over your head. Unless you were the media, you weren’t supposed to take any pictures, and the parking fee was a whooping 9 dollars per car. The sound system was ridiculous and it was impossible to hear what anyone was saying. When I was in the bathroom I almost felt like I was in an old church, the echoing was so bad. We weren’t supposed to clap. We weren’t allowed to cheer. I was asked to sit down several times. Our only form of expression and/or protest was to hold our thumbs up, or down. Quite a few of us starting waving dollar bills in the air when appropriate and one guy showed me how to hold my money using my middle finger, which I did with relish and there wasn’t a damn thing the security could do about it.

I walked around and took pictures anyway, and while I was aiming at the pro toll road people, who were paid to be there, a security guy asked me if I was from the media. I lied and said I was a free lancer. “Oh, OK”, he said. However, an hour later, when he noticed I was taking pictures of everyone, he asked to see my “Media pass”. “I don’t have one, I’m a free lancer, remember?”, I said. “Then you can’t take any pictures. I don’t make the rules.”

Two hours into the meeting, I guess the Feds had enough of letting us exercising our rights, and a woman in a black power suit with a walkie talkie started making the rounds, checking everyone out and making people obey the rules. Of course, I noticed she only mingled with the side of the room that had the potential to become a “circus” and ignored the other side of the room- the pro toll road folks in their ubiquitous orange shirts. It was a rainbow coalition of security, I must admit. There were regular police, sheriffs, the ELITE guys, Del Mar Fairgrounds staff and who knows how many undercover agents.

As for the speakers, I will say this much. The pro toll road people were the best dressed hookers I’ve seen in a while, oh yes, indeed. Oh yeah, check this out: did you know that the toll road will help National Security? If we have a catastrophic earthquake, it’ll come in handy! The surf won’t be affected at all, in fact the waves will be even better! They’ll be less crowded! On yes, all true, all true. Hell, maybe global warming will get better because more cars will be traveling less miles and fewer emissions will be created! The endangered animals will find new places to live and they’ll be even happier in their new locale. The birds will be able to migrate easier because now they’ll have a nice big freeway to point them to their destination!! Never once did anyone bother to mention that a toll road cost money to drive on each and every time you use it, but hey, that’s what credit cards are for, so no biggie.

And then… there’s the children. Think of all the happy kids that get to drive on the toll road when they grow up! It’s a win-win, people. Like one of the signs outside said, are you willing to sacrifice you lifestyle because of all this “disinformation”? Are you willing to sacrifice your entitled place on this planet where you get to consume as much as you want and use as much as you desire because that’s THE AMERICAN WAY? No way, man! I want my toll road and I want it NOW!

Tell you what, this time the pro toll roaders were expertly organized. We, the people against it, were organized, but we should’ve kicked ass this time, and I’m sorry to have to report this, but, we didn’t. If Good is to triumph over Evil, we must make our voices heard and we must go to the next meeting and pack the house. Even if it does mean shelling out 9 bucks for parking.

watch video from the event here.


  1. They should have checked green cards at the door.

    Fuckin Unions and politicians, I hate both on almost every level. How much did the dicksuckers get for wearing an Orange Shirt?

    The Republicans and Democrats all suck..... 90% of the people in this country suck.

    To the nice good 10%, I love you.

  2. Mary.
    Thank you for caring and sharing.

  3. I ride asian chicksSeptember 23, 2008 7:23 AM

    Who is that Asian chick in the t-shirt and cap?? She's hot!!! She gives me a boner!! I'm gonna ride a wave in her honor!!!

    Oh trestles!!!

  4. Thank you Mary. It is nice to know that so many care, and take time out of their lives to protest something that everyone really knows is wrong. I would bet that even the people for it, on some level know the toll road is not good for people, animals or the environment. I think one sign I saw said it all: "destroying nature with GREED". I truly hope that humans begin to realize that we would not exist for long without animals and a decent envronment for all. Thanks again Mary, for all that you contribute to this blog. I, for one, appreciate it.

  5. It's baffling that so called conservatives want a pay per use road built through a park founded by their demi-god Ronald Reagan. Even odder they bused in union workers for their cause. Unions? Seriously?

  6. Thank you for reporting this. Fascist America is a reality. Just like the Corporate controlled conventions and pre-raids at homes.

    After the 1st hearing I suspected the suits would find a way to get what they want regardless (like Blackwater, like Murdock, etc. - money trumps democracy and humanity).

  7. What is Hoolihan doing there?? She needs to worry more about H101 than any toll road!! Tell her to get back to work, fixing Leucadia, an area that she has allowed to fall into disrepair for 8 years now!!! Lower the speeds, put in some flowers, add some sidewalk, fix Leucadia first!!! Shame, shame, shame!!

  8. Good job Mary, and as usual, you're on spot...

  9. Great reporting, Mary.

    Thanks for your wisdom and your compassion.

    I want to feel, from what I've read, that the meeting was a success for the Save Trestles position. Time will tell.

    Meanwhile, with our markets in collapse, throw the bums out, and don't give the banks, Wall Street, a blank check with no strings attached.

  10. My name is Robert Wald. I'm the publisher of the Ocean
    Magazine based here in Cardiff by the Sea. Yesterday,
    Monday Sept 22, (at 2:30pm) I arrived in Del Mar with
    a contingency of over 160 surfers and concerned
    citizens who had taken valuable time off from work and
    who had driven miles from different locations in San
    Diego county in their own cars to attend the "Stop the
    Toll Road" meeting that was taking place in Del Mar on
    Sept 22. I had spent the last month
    organizing this group to accompany me to this meeting.
    Shockingly, every car that followed me to the
    main gate at the fairgrounds was going to be charged
    $9 to $15 dollars for parking, and no one had the
    extra money to pay to park in a lot that was virtually
    empty anyway. To take the time and effort to
    participate in an important
    meeting such as this, supposedly a public assembly, no
    one should
    ever be charged for parking or to attend. They didn't
    charge the last time, and they should never have been
    charged this time. On top of this, as publisher of the
    Magazine, I was also denied a press pass.....the
    officials stating that there were only a limited
    number of press passes which I find a very hard pill
    to swallow.
    Not only did I show them my valid U. S. passport, my
    valid california's drivers license, an up to date
    business card and copies of my latest publication,
    they would still not accept this as enough proof of
    being a member of the media.
    I feel the denial of a press pass to a valid local
    publisher who has been in business for over six
    years, plus the audacity to charge money for parking
    to hard working, tax paying people who are having a
    difficult time as it is, is beyond reproach.

    As I found out this morning, you people make the rules
    to fit your own agenda, particularly when it comes to
    excluding the very people that pay your salaries.

    This is all a sham to keep those less fortunate than
    yourselves the
    right to vote or the right to assemble. No money,
    no vote, no assembly. Unconstitutional.
    Were the Feds charged for parking? I doubt it.
    What country am I living in anyway?

    Whoever runs this gig ought to be run out of town on a
    rail. You've defintely lost my faith and support and
    of those
    whom I had invited to attend your party.
    All credibility is lost.

    I am extremely disappointed in how you people
    operate....and there are a hell of lot of disgruntled
    US citizens out there you will be hearing from soon.

    Robert Wald
    the ocean magazine
    box 189 Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007


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