The Trail to Nowhere Grant Application. A Tissue of Lies

Oh, the potential!

As you might expect, the application form is boilerplate and gives the applicant the opportunity to pick questions that put its proposal in the best light. Reading it gives one the impression that the State doesn’t do a lot of particular investigation; takes applications at face value, assuming applicant to be honest; and doesn’t condescend to concern itself with real field investigations.

The application is replete with traffic and demographic data of the most useless sort. This tripe can be dismissed as bureaucratic string tying and gobbledegooking. The literary answers in it sounds like somebody describing the Yellow Brick Road leading to the fabulous Emerald City.

But there are specific questions on the application that are germane to effective spending of public money, and the answers elicited shed light into the mindset of our Parks Department personnel.

Let’s look at Lie Collection #1. The City is asked to describe boonful economic impacts of the Trail to Nowhere:

Visit local businesses? What the Hell? Like the back of industrial buildings and junk yards? Countless opportunities for economic renewal and growth? Name just one along this dismal “trail.” We now know the proposed “trail” doesn’t even line up with Phase I, a fact omitted in the project budget and description. We also know it doesn’t go east past the abandoned park and doesn’t reach the Transportation Center. An affordable way to travel? For whom, for God’s sake? And how much does it cost to walk to Independence Park, using safe streets? That’s right, nothing. The “trail” links no disadvantaged community with schools (there aren’t any), or local businesses, and of course the “trail” doesn’t get to the Transportation Center. It stops at Harbor Boulevard.

Here’s another packet of misinformation, Lie Collection #2. Get a load of this.

Somehow the author of this application “anticipates” 105,000 users annually, an astonishing 288 users each and every day – 24 every daytime hour. In order to get where? Why to the back parking lot in the northeast corner of Independence Park, that’s where. The statistics thrown into the mush to support this nonsense are of the most generic kind, and .prove nothing. Of course we already know that there is no physical linkage to the half-circle north of the tracks. Calling this strip an “active transportation corridor” is hysterically funny to anyone who has walked the abandoned right-of-way.

I included the paragraph above the c.2 in the snippet just to show the repetition of the lies and the nonsense that this “trail” would be used, miraculously, by bus and train riders. There are no points of connection from the “trail” to either service. And notice that the application includes the names of all sorts of disembodied parks that are nowhere near the “trail” and that are not remotely accessible to it.

Is it safe? Is it clean? Who cares? It’s a transportation corridor!

Now we arrive at Lie Collection #3. This is more of the same rubbish.

This block of lies is nothing but a bureaucratic word salad of nonsense and misinformation. It’s comical that the described location of Independence Park is actually where the large DMV facility is located. You’d think the Parks Department would know where their parks are, but this geographical illiteracy may explain how the “trail” proposal was cooked up in the first place. And we know the “trail” provides no access to Richman Park, and of course the Big Lie about connectivity to Downtown Fullerton, the High School and Fullerton College must be repeated, and repeated and repeated – ad nauseam.

A trail runs through it…

Lie Collection #4 is crucial to understanding how this grant was approved, rather than booted out the door with guffaws of laughter.

Whether this hot mess was really “shovel ready” as confidently asserted here is a matter of conjecture, based on the presence of carcinogenic toxins adjacent and below a significant part of the “trail.” But observe in the red box how the application writer avers that some sort of “Environmental Review process” was completed in 1998, and how no elements of the “trail” were found to require mitigation. There’s a body buried here and it’s toxic, too. We know this claim is a lie because the UP Park was acquired at the same time as the linear right-of-way, and was found to be contaminated much later – in the 2000s, demanding that we accept the idiocy that the “trail” was tested in 1998, but the park site was not. It’s an inescapable conclusion that no environmental “process” was undertaken by the City in 1998 at all. Furthermore, we know that two recent Public Records Act requests for specific information about testing on the “trail” returned no relevant documents. This means that if any documents for Environmental Phase I and Phase II research and testing were performed in 1998, the City is withholding that documentation. Or, alternatively, no documentation exists, meaning that the claim in the application couldn’t have been verified.

Finally, the application conveniently omits any mention of TCE contamination along part of it, and under it, a fact well-known in City Hall and by the State of California for decades.

Wow, this makes my lies about myself look like amateur stuff.

And that leads to a significant question: would the State ever have approved a grant based on this dodge about environmental assessment? I seriously doubt it.

Fortunately the question is moot so far as the future of the infamous Trail to Nowhere is concerned. That proverbial train pulled out of the station with the wise vote by Dunlap, Jung and Whitaker. That’s not what these series of posts have been about. They are about what goes on in City Hall, how decisions are made, or, as the case may be, not made; how there seems to be be little or no accountability for things that are done poorly, illegally, illogically, and untruthfully.

And that’s why FFFF is here.

18 Replies to “The Trail to Nowhere Grant Application. A Tissue of Lies”

  1. Those answers had a wonderful Alice in Wonderland quality about them. My favorite lie is the 105,000 users a year. They just pulled that out of their backsides.

    1. That number was just an honest mistake – a typo. The real figure was supposed to be 1005 users per year. We figured on about 3 users a day although some said that was high.

    1. He and Sharon Kennedy’s only real choice is between defending incompetence of the highest order, or a fraudulent grant application.

      The next line of defense is that “No crimes were committed.” Wait for it.

  2. I guess there would have been potential for a taco truck along the trail to nowhere. But since there wee no customers it would have pulled out in an hour or so. But that counts as economic development, right?

  3. Everyone took it as a given that the application was an honest statement of facts.

    Everyone never met Alice Loya.

  4. You can bet that all the misleading verbiage is simply echoing what the State said it wanted from the “greening” grant money. Connections to schools, parks, businesses, yadda, yadda. So Alice Loya just mimicked that. It didn’t matter that the assertions were false.

    And no one gets punished for fabricating stuff on these grant applications even if they get caught.

  5. The Application says “it is the only trail and bikeway in the southwest section of Fullerton”? Then why are there “Bike Lane” and “Bike Route” signs on both sides of Valencia from Highland to Euclid and on the north side of Walnut from Highland to Richman that parallel the entire length of the “Trail”? Oh I know, our under-payed and overworked Staff must have simply forgotten about those.

  6. By my calculations the project would have required the export of 6000 cubic yards of dirt, a lot of it bound to be contaminated. Guess I missed that in the project budget.

  7. So they wanted the State to believe that a number the equivalent of two-thirds Fullerton’s population was going to use that stinking thing every year?

    I wonder if the applicant had to sign something stating the information was true.

  8. “The literary answers in it sounds like somebody describing the Yellow Brick Road leading to the fabulous Emerald City.”

    Yes, the Holy Grail, in fact.

  9. They were just repeating the same stuff that was in the application.

    Will your project A, B, C?

    Our project will A, B, C.

    Didn’t matter if it wasn’t even remotely true.

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