At the March 9, 2017,  members and guests heard a very interesting presentation by Michael Kodama, Executive Director for Eco Rapid Transit.  In addition, pertinent information on the City of Lynwood Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan that has been approved by the Lynwood City Council (with a $800,000 TOD planning grant from LA Metro), was provided by Bruno Naulls, Project Manager for the City of Lynwood Department of Development, Compliance and Enforcement Services.

Before the presentation, President Ramon Rodriguez talked about the Lynwood Union Grand Opening Celebration at Lynwood Park, on Sat., Mar 4, which was organized by the Chair of Lynwood Union, Rowland Becerra.  The Lynwood Rotary table, placed in a very prominent location, was staffed by President Ramon, Joe Wang, Barbara Battle, and Daniel.  Daniel passed out photos of the event.  Rotary District events are the next Rotary District Breakfast on Apr 18.  Also President Ramon again mentioned the District Conference at Lake Arrowhead, May 7-10.  Although the Lake Arrowhead hotel is full, there is other close by locations, where interested Rotary members could stay while attending all or part of the three day annual conference for District 5280.

Guests at the meeting included Maria Viera, very active in the community and a Block Watch Captain, also Block Watch Captain Ana Barraza.   Another guest was Jessica Martinez.  She explained that she is representing the cannabis businesses that seek to obtain permits from the City of Lynwood for its production within the city.  Apparently there is a requirement for these businesses to work with community organizations for the provision of donations to community projects.  She stated that she will seek to coordinate this objective with organizations such as Rotary. President Ramon encouraged members and guests to attend the Ham Park Community Center Opening Celebration on Wed, Mar 22, 5-8pm.  The Center is named the Lucy Avalos Center.  Out of respect and admiration for all the community work of Lucy, to include being a long term member of the Lynwood Rotary, Ramon urged all Lynwood Rotary members to attend this event.  Rotary objectives to increase membership.  President Ramon stated that at the April 6 meeting, one of the topics to be discussed will be possible changes in meeting times, such as a breakfast meeting or an evening meeting, so that persons who cannot attend lunch time meetings, could attend at other hours of the day.  Also to be discussed are additional brochures, which specifically include “you are invited” message to come to a Rotary meeting.  Another Rotary business item is the annual fireworks stand applications.  As the incoming president, July 1, Joe Wang has the lead responsibility for completion of the paper work with the fireworks company and with the city. A last item of Rotary business is that the next meeting on Mar 16, the South Gate Rotary Club will join with the Lynwood club for a combined meeting at Bateman Hall.

Speaker Mr. Kodama, referring to two brochures he brought, described the planned rail line from Artesia to DTLA and then on to its terminal at the Hollywood/Burbank Airport.  He explained that the Eco Rail Project is a Joint Powers Authority of all the cities on line the route, as shown in the route map in one of the two hand-outs.  The planned rail line received funding from Metro Measure R passed by the electorate in 2008, and the project will receive additional funding from Metro Measure M passed in Nov 2016.  The completion date may extend to 2040; he noted that with Metro CEO Phil Washington's push for public-private partnerships, the project could be accelerated with a possible opening as early as 2024.  Some of the rail route will be at grade; in the area of Vernon, at least some of the route will be elevated rail, due to the extensive freight rail operations along this route segment; and in the DTLA area some of the route may be underground.  The route of the line will cross the Green Line, with a station between the Long Beach Blvd. Station and Lakewood Station, at Garfield Ave.  The projected total cost is 4-5 billion dollars.  Bruno Naulls mentioned a process in place within the city, as a result of the completion of the TOD plan that will enhance development opportunities within the plan boundaries with the focus on the Long Beach Blvd. Station.  Mike Kodama mentioned the development opportunities that will be created with the Eco Line in operation.  There was considerable discussion about the transition in the region from a rail oriented system which reached its peak in the 1920's to a shift to auto use and a land use pattern of dispersed development; and now there is a focus on a reorientation to development patterns that are oriented to greater use of public transportation.  There was discussion about the lack of safety on the Metro Rail system, with examples cited.  It was agreed that safety must be enforced / that is, be a high priority in the operation of the regional bus and rail system, in order for the transition to greater use of public transportation to become a reality. 


Daniel Miller / Omar Franco / Rowland Becerra –   

Public Relations and Community Outreach for the Lynwood Rotary Club