Protestors gather before HSR outreaching  meeting held in Lake View Terrace.

Members of S.A.F.E. (Save Angeles Forest for Everyone), with other residents living in the Northeastern part of the San Fernando Valley, held a protest rally Wednesday, Aug. 31, at a California High-Speed Rail public outreach meeting at the Lake View Terrace Library.

Organizers of the protest called the High-Speed rail Authority’s outreach efforts “disingenuous,” and called the agency’s environmental review process “bogus.”

A statement released by the group prior to the protest read:

“Instead of responding to our communities’ legitimate concerns, keeping their word and acting in good faith, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) continues to hold communities hostage in the northeast San Fernando Valley. The Authority unethically refuses to eliminate route alternatives (i.e. E2) universally opposed by residents, businesses and elected officials, which possess fatal flaws and ‘show stoppers.’

“The Authority is wasting taxpayer dollars on useless, deceptive public meetings scheduled during holiday, vacation and busy legislative time periods that intentionally minimize public and elected official participation. The outreach meetings are a scam that masks the Authority’s refusal to address stakeholders’ concerns resulting in a threat to the region’s future, hardship and stress on families and businesses, and declines in property values as the poorly planned and conceived project remains mired in a financial, scheduling, operational and ethical quagmire.”

The group of residents have pointed out that CHSRA’s meeting held this week is nearly five months behind schedule, and referenced a “backroom deal” involving L.A. Councilmember Felipe Fuentes and CHSRA Chairman Dan Richard that they claim resulted in some above ground routes being removed and some retained.

They oppose all above ground, 220 MPH high speed trains proposed through residential and sensitive environmental areas.