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L.A. Times Calls Beverly Hills PTA Subway Video 'Dramatic'

The video was paid for by Beverly Hills' umbrella PTA organization as part of their fight against routing the Westside Subway Extension under the city's high school.

A Los Angeles Times article quotes an engineer featured in a Beverly Hills PTA Council YouTube video depicting flames engulfing the city's high school as "over the top."

The video titled  was posted in late April. It warns viewers of the possibility of methane gas explosions at Beverly Hills High School should the Metropolitan Transportation Authority tunnel under the campus, which sits on an oil field. The Times article quotes an engineer hired by the Beverly Hills Unified School District who is featured in the video:

"I don't think having the big explosion [in the video] is as helpful as it could be," said Tim Buresh, the district's lead engineer on the subway issue. He said that when he agreed to speak for the cameras, he did not know that special effects would be used.

The PTA Council video has more than 6,000 views as of Monday. At the end of the video, viewers are asked to sign a petition to  from going under BHHS. The ability to leave comments about the video on the YouTube site has been disabled. 

To watch No Subway Under BHHS, click here.

To read the Times article, click here.

cutop May 09, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Thanks for the response, Mr. Hall, and the attempt to answer my question. Good luck on the 17th. Hopefully by then you've come up with a better answer than "it is safe for us to do massive construction under BHHS but it is not safe for Metro to do". I don't think that argument is very sound nor persuasive. As far as your charge that Metro didn't respond to the Exponent report, I'd like to make you aware of their very detailed response: http://thesource.metro.net/2012/04/10/metro-responds-to-report-commissioned-by-beverly-hills-on-seismic-and-tunneling-safety-issues/. That this very thorough response was given just after Metro certified the EIR is NOT "evidence that their disregard to safety has not changed"? Perhaps it is it evidence of a growing disrespect for Beverly Hills, but not of disregard for safety. We've already shot ourselves in the foot, to continue the fight after May 17th will be effectively shooting ourselves in the other foot... and then we won't have a leg to stand on.
bvbulldogmom May 09, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Mr. Hall, You seem like one of the bright minds and I am glad you distanced yourself from the PTA video and had the guts to say so. But, can you in plain language answer the following: 1. Does the School Board endorse the PTA Video? Did your Superintendent authorize its release and him being filmed without Board approvals? 2. If there are concerns regarding methane gas explosions and safety during the subway tunneling, why is everyone including the PTA so silent about the upcoming Measure E construction. It seems like this is akin to saying "don't eat the chocolate chip cookie for it will rot your teeth but the sugar cookie is ok? 3. Tim Buresh the Schools hired consultant was stated in the PTA film that the subway tunnel "won't go under the classrooms but through the classrooms". Now really, do you think that we residents sincerely believe that the tunnel will go thru the classrooms? His credibility is zero with that comment...don't you think? 4. With all the talk about not knowing where the abandoned oil wells are and the fear of the tunnel cracking one...don't we have the same concern when we do building construction? Please Mr. Hall, no spin on the answers just the facts.
Hans Laetz May 10, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Have the good citizens of Beverly Hills also seen "Battle Los Angeles" and are they rushing to their panic rooms as a result?
Lewis Hall May 11, 2012 at 05:51 AM
@cutop I think if anyone is shooting their own feet it is Metro. As far as I'm concerned (and I can only speak for myself), the onus is on Metro to prove that tunneling under our high school is safe. So far I haven't seen, heard, or felt it from their words, actions, or attitude.
Lewis Hall May 11, 2012 at 06:26 AM
@bvbulldogmom I did not distance myself from the PTA video, I simply said that the video did not represent me. I'm made films myself and I would have included more reasons why the subway under the high school is not a good idea and explain why this new route was chosen by MTA. But I know the film was made quickly with the main objective of raising the community's consciousness on this issue. And as such it achieved its objective brilliantly. As for your questions, they seem more provocative than sincere. So I'll reply with something CS Lewis once wrote (I'm paraphrasing): Sometimes we ask the wrong questions. The question that you should ask is why hasn't Metro made any effort to allay the concerns of the City of Beverly Hills or the school district? They started all this last summer with "If you don't like it, sue us!" And since then we have received flawed reports, poor methodology, and lots of arrogance. Three and a half hours to present our case on May 17th? Seriously? This was scheduled without consulting us. To show them our science would require a day and a half and that is with a lot of condensing. And what about time to ask questions of their so-called "experts"?

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