Rail Trail Surges Forward

Today the Federal Surface Transportation Board (FSTB) approved the sale of the rail corridor by our local Transportation Commission (the SCCRTC), thus clearing the way for the final transfer of the property to public ownership. While more paperwork still needs to be filed prior to the sale becoming final, the FSTB approval is a significant sign-off and represents the only real hurdle left in the process that we are aware of. The transfer of ownership should take place some time in the next few months.

In the meantime, draft plans presented to the public by the Commission staff and their consultant—RRM Design—refer to the rail trail as the spine of the Monterey Sanctuary Scenic Trail. This is a significant and very welcome commitment towards building a practical, linear rail trail as envisioned by People Power and Friends of the Rail Trail.

To learn more about these exciting developments or simply to thank the staff of the SCCRTC for their good work, visit their website at sccrtc.org or email them at director@sccrtc.org.

The SCCRTC published a press release regarding the FSTB actionDetails of the decision are available on the FSTB website.

Cyclists Run For Local Leadership In The Sierra Club

If you are a Sierra Club Member, or know someone who is, please support three People Power members who are running for the local Executive Committee: Tawn Kennedy, Mary Odegaard, and Greg McPheeters. The ballot will arrive in the local Sierra Club Chapter Newsletter in December. Ballots are due by the end of the year. Joint (family) members can vote twice.

Because the Sierra Club represents the environmental movement as a whole, it is important to have a strong and active Club that supports alternative transportation as well as other big picture issues related to climate change and energy consumption; that it participates in elections and other public forums and works with a broad spectrum of environmentalists. Please consider voting for the below 3 candidates and/or contact them to learn more about how they intend to serve the Sierra Club.

Tawn Kennedy

Tawn Kennedy is the director of Greenways to School, the local youth advocacy group for bicycling. He is experienced at environmental education and involving students in a variety of environmental issues and causes. He wants to improve the Club’s outreach to potential new members, with emphasis on potential younger members.tawn.kennedy@gmail.com

Greg McPheeters

Greg McPheeters

Greg McPheeters' interest in climate change led him to spend the last decade as a design engineer of solar systems and a solar advocate. The same interests led him to be an active bicycle and transportation alternatives advocate working with numerous groups in California and making many trips to lobby in Washington DC. In his spare time he has enjoyed leading youth groups on trips into the mountains and believes strongly in connecting our youth with the outdoors at a young age.gmcpheeters@gmail.com

Mary Odegaard

Mary Odegaard has both a college degree and real-world experience in agriculture, our county's biggest industry, and the biggest user of toxic chemicals. Having worked at Blue Heron and other local organic farms, she knows first hand the practices of both organic and conventional farming. She primarily uses a bicycle for transportation.marytodegaard@gmail.com

You will also be receiving by mail a brochure from some of our leading environmentalists and Sierra Club members urging you to vote for Tawn, Greg, and Mary.

Thanks for all you do,

Micah Posner
People Power Director and
Sierra Club member for 12 years