For Whom the Toll Roads


An ESM Special Report on the Proposed San Onofre Toll Road

~For Whom the Toll Roads~  by joey racano

Captains Log, High Noon

The Skacciabong ( ‘Ska-Shuh-Bong’, official RV flagship of the Ocean Outfall Group) was moored at KOA campground in Chula Vista, dug in for the battle to stop sewage dumping in San Diego, but it was time to untie the lines and head out early for the Del Mar Fairgrounds where another battle was about to unfold.

We wound the hoses and electric cords, raised the stabilizers, checked solar power instrument panels, retracted slides, topped off some of the tanks and emptied others.

Then I yelled to the first mate:

“Batton hatches above.”

“Aye” came the reply.

“Ice chest full of foods and beer?”


“Head count of doggies?”


“Biodiesel full?”


“We’re underway!”

The Cummins Diesel sang a gritty song as we headed north on the 5 Interstate for what promised to be a contentious meeting between developers who want a toll road built through the State Park at San Onofre, and a crew of altruistic electeds, like Pedro Nava and Christine Keyhoe, ready to go to the mat for the California way of life.

The evil Transportation Corridor Agency had hired a professional biostitute from Scripps Marine Institute to play pretend with science and the health of our children and precious coastal resources, but no one was fooled.

To paraphrase the ol’ ‘Gipper’, “You seen one toll road through a State Park ya seen ’em all.”

Captains Log, 1:17 PM

Have you ever heard the story about Arithmetical Progression? It’s like Geometric Progression, only worse- you get more houses. Case in point; when the kids were finally unchained from the bulldozers and the San Juaquin Toll Road was allowed to be built, it almost immediately resulted in row upon row of cookie-cutter homes along its length, along with Flour Corporation HQ, UPS and a few other corporate HQ’s.

That’s what happens when you build a road through the wild. You lose the wild. And so it will be if the Foothill South Toll Road Extension is allowed to be built. Truth be known, that ‘Arithmetical Progression’ is the only reason this Toll Road is proposed at all- development.  Just like Desalination, it’s only for development.

Bigger scale- the World Bank, and US ‘Aid’- development.

This battle has been a long and interesting one. It has come to a point where the Federal Government, in the form of NOAA, wants to over rule the California Coastal Commission, who recently and courageously voted a resounding ‘NO’ to this desecration of Native land and the dangerous precedent a Toll Road through a State Park would set.

Predictably, the Federal Government (ie: developers) are playing the ‘NS’ card- National Security. They are saying the Toll Road should be allowed to go forward because it would ease mobility for Marines, etc.

The Ocean Outfall Group feels the Marines have jets, tanks, trucks, planes and missiles.  It’s the mobility of the Steelhead in San Mateo Creek we’re worried about, the mobility of a hard-working inland father who needs a healthy, clean and quiet park where he can bring his kids. This is sacred land to Native Americans of the area and certainly sacred ground for the surf culture of California- a place worth saving!

Captains Log, 2:30 PM

We pulled into Del Mar at high noon with 24 hours to spare, the Skacciabong prowling through the back lots like a Jaguar seeking fresh Tapir. We piloted into the rear-most lot behind the O’brien Center and set up shop. In minutes we were indistinguishable from the landscape and our dogs were fighting swift estuarine currents. A train powered across a trestle nearby our salty oasis, and our transition was complete. From San Diego sewage fighters to Toll-Road Terminators!

Time: 10:30am

Place: Obrien Building, Del Mar Fairgrounds

What: NOAA meeting on the proposed Foothill South Toll Road Extension

Why: Because a California State Park is no place for a private Toll Road!

~For Whom, epilogue~

Now it was time to wait and see- to see For Whom the Toll Roads.

joey racano ESM

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.