Friday, May 31, 2013

Where O Where have my street sweepers gone?

Has anybody besides me noticed that every time a car drive by in the development, a cloud of dust flies past immediately thereafter seemingly caught up in the draft of the motion?? Have you noticed the brush marks in the dust at curbside, particularly around corners and areas outlining where cars are parked when the street sweepers have to bypass them. Have you noticed the increased trash around the curbs? (pretty sure it's not from landscaping leftovers-but that's another story) Have you noticed the increased amount of trash in the pre-cut/formed areas nears entrance intersections and other areas that are supposed to let the sprinkler water overflow pass unobstructed to the city drains? Have you noticed these areas filling up with blow sand and many types of other trash then turning to sludge, reeking to no end and now holding water for possible mosquito growth, etc... What's happened to our clean city streets? Why has the City cut down to street sweeping every other week rather than every week as outlined in the City's Street Sweeping Program which can be found on the City's website under the Street Sweeping Schedule You can also see the Map for the program by clicking in that highlighted area of the page. or if you're not good with websites, read below: STREET SWEEPING PROGRAM The City of La Quinta is located within the jurisdiction of the Coachella Valley and is thereby impacted by the particulate matter (PM) control measures delineated in the Coachella Valley State Implementation Plan (SIP). The City of La Quinta has adopted an Ordinance, control measures and operating practices that require street sweeping as an air pollution reduction control measure specifically targeting Fugitive Dust Control PM10. PM10 is a pollutant that poses a significant health risk. PM10 is emitted from motor vehicles and other sources, one of which is “blow sand” deposited on roads and arterial highways. As vehicles travel over the roads, the sand is subsequently ground into fine particulates and blown back or “re-entrained” into the atmosphere. Frequent street sweeping is an effective strategy for reducing re-entrained road dust and mitigating airborne PM10. PM10 refers to particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 microns or smaller. For comparison, the diameter of a human hair is about 50 to 100 microns. Exposure to PM10 aggravates a number of respiratory illnesses and may even cause early death in people with existing heart and lung disease. PM10 includes the subgroup of finer particles with aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns and smaller (PM2.5). These finer particles pose an increased health risk because they can deposit deep in the lung and contain substances that are particularly harmful to human health. PM is a mixture of substances that include elements such as carbon and metals; compounds such as nitrates, organic compounds, and sulfates; and complex mixtures such as diesel exhaust and soil. These substances may occur as solid particles or liquid droplets. Some particles are emitted directly into the atmosphere. Others, referred to as secondary particles, result from gases that are transformed into particles through physical and chemical processes in the atmosphere. The City of La Quinta and its private contractor use PM10-efficient street sweepers that are certified by the SCAQMD and meet testing and performance standards set forth in SCAQMD Rule 1186. Each street identified on the Street Sweeping Schedule Map are swept a minimum of once per week, resulting in a minimum of 316 linear curb miles swept per month. The City of La Quinta uses alternative fuel vehicles (see photo below) that are powered by Compressed Natural Gas or "CNG" to perform its street sweeping operations. CNG Street Sweeper The City of La Quinta receives AB2766 Subvention Funds each year. The AB2766 Subvention Fund was adopted in 1990 and provides a revenue source to reduce emissions from motor vehicles. AB2766 Subvention Funds come from the annual DMV registration surcharge of $6 per vehicle, 40% or $4 goes to cities/counties annually. Funds are distributed to 160 participating local governments. The AB2766 funds are used to implement projects that reduce mobile source emissions. The MSRC is the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, established under state law (AB 2766) whose sole mission is to fund projects that reduce air pollution from motor vehicles within the South Coast Air Quality Managment District (SCAQMD). The SCAQMD is a geographic region defined in state regulations to include all of Orange County and portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. While the MSRC is not part of the SCAQMD, it has a unique relationship with the air district. The SCAQMD is one of eight member agencies of the MSRC, and by statute (AB 2766), the SCAQMD Governing Board is required to review and approve the MSRC’s annual Work Program in its entirety. The MSRC staff are located at the SCAQMD headquarters in Diamond Bar, and the monthly MSRC and MSRC-TAC meetings are held at the SCAQMD. Since the MSRC is a multi-agency committee, the SCAQMD also acts on the MSRC’s behalf as its contracting and legal agent. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) administers the AB2766 Subvention Fund Program. Please visit AQMD’s website at for more information about the AB2766 Subvention Fund. Click here to download the City of La Quinta's Street Sweeping Information Flyer. (probably won't work in this blog-just call) For more information on the City of La Quinta Street Sweeping Program, contact James Lindsey, Maintenance Services Division Manager, at (760) 777-7052 or email Ask questions and remember to "Keep the Faith"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Speeding in Desert Pride

We have seen for ourselves that there are numerous areas in our development that our neighbors, their guests and even their customers seemingly fly down some of our streets in their vehicles. Are they trying to make up for lost time? Are they distracted? Don't they realize this is a community with children and pets? It's downright irritating that they have no concern for us. After interfacing with the City of La Quinta, the traffic division is to start reviewing the traffic flows to determine the best places to install speed limit signs; plus we should start seeing the units placed that let you know how fast your are going ... hopefully this will remind all of us to be careful ... especially those who have been scaring the heck out of a lot of us. As always ... Keep the faith ... and your eyes and ears open !!!

Summer 2013

Warm weather is early this year giving us a taste of what to expect for the next four months. Record highs make one wonder if we are gonna get hit harder this year after the milder summers of the past few years. Most of the snowbirds have gone home, there's lots of parking everywhere and the kids are finishing up the school year and dreaming of that wonderfully imminent summer vacation. Speaking of which, things really do slow down when schools close for the summer. Vacations start, kids go to camp or the beach, etc.; however... not everyone can get away. Boredom can set in quickly when there's little to do and no money to do it with ..... which reminds me of a quote I've cited previously "If the Devil finds a man idle, he'll set him at work - J. Kelly - Scottish Proverbs 1721. or how about the old one about idle hands and the devils workshop ... anyway, you get the point. Don't be a victim - Keep Alert -watch out for strange or new activity not only at your home but your neighbor's too! ... and keep your garage door(s) closed or at least only open enough so that no one can get under it, especially a small unattended child. Anyone can slip out of a car, into a garage and snag golf clubs or something else of value, sling it into the back of a truck and be gone in less than 10 seconds ... and this includes a purse while you carry the groceries into the house. Many people think keeping the garage door open at the bottom relieves the garage of some of the heat while their car cools ... Considering that heat rises, there may be no significant benefit anyway. You'd be better off installing a vent high above the existing vent(s) in your garage to allow a flow of air, getting an attic fan or whole house fan ... or even opening the side door to the backyard if the backyard gate is locked. Watering tip to save money, save water and make your landscape drought resistant: Water once in the morning, a good soak so the water goes deep and the roots will follow. Watering 3-5 times a day, might make you think you're being nice to your landscape but a lot of water hits the sidewalk and gutter 3-5 times a day taking your money with it. There's 3-5 times as much evaporation - wasted water and money; and finally, the roots remain close to the surface where they are subject to higher temperatures and if subjected to severe conditions or a REAL drought came, they have no chance ... plus, many homes have landscapers that set the timers when they scalp and/or re-seed and never change them again. You should investigate this for yourself. Water is a precious commodity. You might also consider a smart irrigation controller from CVWD. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stay hydrated. It's a good habit always but especially important in the summer. When you wake up, have a glass of water. Do you best to continue with water throughout the day. If you drink coffee, soda or energy drinks, you should drink a glass of water for each cup of coffee or can of soda you ingest. Lastly, if you start feeling the effects of the sun, get inside immediately, keep Pedialite or Vitamin Water in the house or car, get some cold water or even just cold compresses on the hot spots (head, wrists, carotid artery and feet), run through the sprinklers with the kids, take a shower if you can or just jump in the pool. Don't have a pool? make friends with your neighbor who has one ... a 5 minute dunk will lower your body temperature and take the teeth out of the hottest day even if your in no danger of heat stroke. As always ... keep the faith !!!