Category Archives: Liberty Quarry

Granite Construction Purchases Ethics Awards

Granite Construction Named to Ethisphere’s 2011 “World’s Most Ethical Companies” For 2nd Year in a Row

Award Recognizes Exceptional Ethical Leadership Actively Upheld within Various Industries

WATSONVILLE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Granite Construction Incorporated (NYSE: GVA) announced today that it has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies. Out of a record number of nominations for the award, Granite secured a hard-earned spot on the list by going the extra mile and implementing upright business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company’s success, benefit the community, and raise the bar for ethical standards within the industry.

“Granite places a strong value on corporate responsibility. Being named to Ethisphere’s 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies list is a testament to the solid foundation we have in place,” said James H. Roberts, Granite President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to sharing an unwavering dedication to the highest ethical standards from employees at every level of our organization….
( click to read full article at Granite Construction’s website)

Given Granite Construction Corporation’s actions in Temecula, their pay-the-fine-admit-no-fault (see below) policies and their often disingenuous re-interpretation of reality, it was with great interest that I discovered the following article – and the fact that Granite pays for their award either directly to Ehisphere (a for profit company) or one of its affiliates.

It’s All Good

Beware of corporate consulting firms offering awards for corporate ethics.

By Will Evans

Sometime in the next week or so, something called the Ethisphere Institute is scheduled to announce this year’s list of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies.” If past years are any indication, the winners will have their press releases ready to go, and news outlets across the country will eat it up. There’s just one hitch: These ethics awards—let’s call them the Ethies—may have ethics issues of their own. (click to read full article)

Here are some of the fines Granite has paid – yet admitted no wrong-doing:

State of NEVADA – Air Resources (click)

09/22/1993     $3,500.00    #1040                  HUMBOLDT
01/22/1998     $12,000.00   #1270                  LYON
03/25/1998     $8,000.00     #1301,1302,1303  LYON
09/24/1998     $30,000.00   #1334& #1335      ELKO
12/16/1999     $9,670.00     #1386                  MINERAL
04/20/2000     $6,785.00     #1424& 1425       CARSON CITY
08/22/2000     $15,300.00   #1441,1442,1443  CARSON CITY

Air violations raise questions about Granite Construction Quarry Aggregate

Stimulus funds aiding companies accused of fraud, pollution – California Watch

Granite Construction maintains that the cited safety standard is “too vague and ambiguous…”  $60.00 fine.  Who paid for all the fees?  The taxpayers?  Another subsidy for Granite due to the old-boy network of ethics?

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to Pay Nearly $1 Million for Alleged Clean Water Act Violations: Granite Construction pays $250,000

OSHA – Fatal Bridge Fall – Granite Construction Corp. pays $240,000

Agency cites Granite Construction for 40 of 61 violations regarding discharges into Yaquina River and its tributaries from June 2006 through May 2007    $240,000

Granite Pays (reimburses?) San Diego $400,000 for “possible” overcharging and billing
for work that was not done.  Admits no wrong-doing.

Granite Construction to pay $1.1M of $4.6M settlement with government over minority contracts

Banned by the Valley News Network and recent posts elsewhere

North County Times and the Fallbrook Valley News like to delete my comments on articles related to Liberty Quarry.  I wonder why?

I came across some interesting articles the past 24 hours and have posted some comments which I am reproducing here:

Since AB-742 was recently introduced, Granite has been crying for “local government” to decide the issue. Given LAFCO’s denial of the City of Temecula’s original annexation plans due to a request from Granite, I’d be tempted to say some of the $10 million dollars that Garry Johnson has invested spoke louder than local government.

This fight is far from over:  Granite will not go away easily.

Support AB 742. Join both Native American and non-Native Americans to enact legislation which will save Native American sacred sites as well as the LAST wild river and LAST coastal wildlife corridor in Southern California:

EVERYONE needs to stay committed to the political process. We MUST elect officials of integrity – and vote them OUT of office when they cease to represent us.

“The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.” – Brown Act, 1953

Peter  Terezakis
5:53am on Thursday, September 15, 2011


Tribe, Granite Fight Over Sacred Site

The construction company and the tribe argued about whether a site near a proposed quarry is sacred.

Granite cares about nothing except converting rock into cash.  They will continue to use their time-tested scripts to achieve goals and ride over local communities using millions of well-placed dollars to grease the wheels of the corrupt to do so.

Support AB 742. Join both Native American and non-Native Americans to enact legislation which will save Native American sacred sites as well as the LAST wild river and LAST coastal wildlife corridor in Southern California:

Peter Terezakis

6:36am on Thursday, September 15, 2011


County Planning Commission Rejects Mining Operation
Village News Network
… of its fifth and final public meeting regarding the 414-acre Liberty Quarry, … The city of Temecula attempted unsuccessfully in 2009 to annex the land …

• Quarry jobs:  Most would be taken by unemployed union members from outside of the area.
• There is no way to put a lid over the entire quarry.
• Winds blowing over the quarry will create a partial vacuum pulling material into the atmosphere.
• superfine particulate matter will mix with moisture in the air and form an aerosol which will not fall to the ground.
• ” Editor’s note: This story is actually from a news service; it is not an article written by one of our writers.”  – That is a pathetic excuse for how YOU have chosen to portray this issue to YOUR public.
• “….the news service is from Los Angeles who was there and they are in no way in Granite’s back pocket…”  This is an equally pathetic statement proven wrong by the contents of the article.

The Editor and Staff ought to be embarrassed for printing Granite’s press release spin as fact.  If FVN was at all concerned about advertising from the community which it ostensibly represents; this article would never have come to print.    Since you chose to endorse this article the only question is how much money are you directly taking from Granite or its affiliates?

Support AB 742. Join both Native American and non-Native Americans to enact legislation which will save Native American sacred sites as well as the LAST wild river and LAST coastal wildlife corridor in Southern California:

Peter  Terezakis

Note:  This following comment on the article published above was removed twice by the Village News Network editors and/or staff.  After answering a challenge question on a return visit to prove I was not a SPAMBOT, I was allowed to post this same text a third time.   When assembling this page I went to check to see if my comment was still up.  As of today, my computer has been banned from their network.

Granite Construction Dictates Terms to County of Riverside

Last month, Garry Johnson of Granite Construction Corporation let it slip that to date they had spent nearly $10 million dollars on the Liberty Quarry project.   We now know where at least a portion of this money has been spent.

Mr. Russell Kitahara who manages a 94 acre family farm in Thermal California has disclosed that Mr. Johnson paid $10 for his share of a breakfast meeting.

During this time Mr, Kitahara was chair of the Riverside Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) an extremely powerful regulatory, state-mandated legislative agency.  He was also a member of the  Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD).

Jeff Horseman has written a very interesting article on this and the events as they relate to the Liberty Quarry project.

In June of 2009, LAFCO rejected the City of Temecula’s bid to annex approximately 5,000 contiguous acres adjacent to the Santa Margarita Reserve; which would have included the site of the intended gravel pit.  According to Mr. Horseman’s article, “the Commissioners indicated the quarry was (is) a regional issue, not a matter for the city. “

This would mean that the Commissioners do not believe that the neighboring communities or residents who would be affected by Granite Construction Corporation’s mining, asphalt plants, trucks, etc., should have a voice in the matter.

If you are part of the potentially affected community, you (and your friends) might want to call them and voice your opinion.

The City of Temecula was able to annex a portion of the original acreage; apparently after LAFCO received instructions from Granite on what it should allow the city to annex.

Mr. Horesman’s article reads like a suspense novel.  At the risk of spoiling this chapter you might find the following as interesting as I have:

• Roberts wrote that the sphere stipulation came at the 11th hour and only after Granite raised the issue.

• Kitahara countered that Comerchero offered to have the city remove the quarry site from its sphere to secure the annexation.

• City officials said they felt they had no choice.

• Granite spokeswoman Karie Reuther said in an e-mail Wednesday that company representatives briefed the commission about making Temecula aware they wanted the quarry property out of the city’s sphere.

If I was cynical, I might think that the commission’s actions were a direct response to Granite Construction Corporation getting some of what the remaining $9,999,990.00 might have paid for.

At the very least, the actions revealed in this article are those of a multi-billion dollar corporation ordering an arm of regional government to do its bidding as a means of legally subverting the will of an American community and their city.

This is another reason to support the efforts of both Native and non-Native Americans to protect this particular section of Sacred Land from Granite Construction Corporation:

AB 742


[emailpetition id=”2″]

August 15, 2011
California State Assembly Members and Senators
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: SUPPORT for AB 742 (B. Lowenthal)

Dear Assembly Member and Senator:

I write today to ask you to support AB 742 (B. Lowenthal). AB 742 is an important measure which would provide greater protection for Native American sacred sites by adding aggregate operations to the list of mining activities prohibited near such sites; specifically the project which threatens the creation place of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. This legislation will also help to protect the Santa Margarita River, the 4,500 acre Santa Margarita Ecological Preserve of San Diego State University, and the Quality of Life for residents in the communities of Temecula, Murrieta, Fallbrook and Rainbow.

This specific article of legislation will not affect mining anywhere else in the state.

Granite Construction Company has applied to the County of Riverside for a Surface Mining Permit to produce 5 million tons aggregate (crushed rock) per year from the proposed Liberty Quarry. The proposed quarry would have a working surface area equivalent to 17 football fields and a depth twenty feet less than the Empire State Building is tall. This would be one of the largest open-pit hard rock mines in the United States and it would also be located at the Pechanga and Luiseño Place of Creation.

The referenced site, while critical to the Pechanga and the Luiseño, is important to the people of the Temecula Valley. Tourism is a critical element in the Temecula Valley, employing 6,600 people directly, providing services to 67,000 visitors per month with an estimated annual impact of 605 million dollars per year. A recent report by the Rose Institute of Claremont McKenna College estimated a negative impact of a minimal impact on tourism of 60.5 million dollars. When considering all costs, the Rose Institute estimated an annual cost to the community of over 80 million dollars. While the quarry might create 99 new jobs, it would destroy at least 660 existing jobs in the tourism industry alone.

It is because of these potential impacts as well as impacts on air quality, water quality and traffic, and the loss of the only remaining wildlife linkage between the Santa Ana mountains and inland mountain ranges, that over 30,000 valley residents have signed petitions seeking to prevent the quarry. In addition, over 520 Businesses and Non-Government Organizations have signed up opposing the quarry. These businesses are joined by 159 local physicians opposing the quarry.

Support AB 742: Save Sacred Sites • Save the Last River

The proposed “Liberty Quarry” project would mark the end of the LAST wild river of Southern California and with it the region’s LAST wildlife corridor between the coastal Santa Ana Mountains and inland Palomar Mountains. Granite Construction’s project would degrade this LAST section of living, vital land., which is filled with the living history of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. The area of living earth which Granite has targeted for destruction is part of a greater area which is replete with all the plant and animal life unique to our area. Destruction of the living earth for the sake of profit is easy, and also forever.

Stewardship of this unique gift of a vital, dynamic, living ecosystem for generations to come may be the more difficult route. It is also what the community wants, what the voters want, and what is right for future generations.

Should the quarry go forward its legacy will be the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources, degradation of the environment, and the birth of long-lasting animosity towards all who would have permitted the project. There are currently over thirty thousand signatories who have expressed their desire to NOT have this project in their community. Other sources for aggregate currently exist in San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial Counties.

I respectfully ask you to preserve the Earth and Sky which are Sacred to both Native Americans and to those of us who have made this great land our home. Do not let Granite Construction destroy this land, malign your electorate, and put the business plan of one corporation above the will of thousands who live in the community. Please support AB 742 and help to ensure the preservation of this sacred site for generations to come.

Pechanga Sponsors Legislation to Protect Tribe’s Place of Creation

Pechanga Sponsors Legislation to Protect Tribe’s Place of Creation

Pechanga Indian Reservation, CA, August 4, 2011 – The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians announced that it is sponsoring a bipartisan bill with more than 30 co‐authors in the State Legislature to protect the mountain that is the very birthplace of creation for Pechanga and other Luiseño tribes from being blasted and excavated as a mine for the next 75 years.

Granite Construction Inc. is seeking Riverside County’s approval of its Surface Mining Permit Application to develop the Liberty Quarry, which would be one of the largest open‐pit hard rock mines in the United States generating 5 million tons of aggregate each year. Located just 500 yards from the Pechanga Indian Reservation, the Liberty Quarry would produce 270 million tons of aggregate by blasting a crater as wide as 117 football fields and as deep as the Empire State Building is tall less than ¼ of a mile from the heavily populated City of Temecula.

Upon reviewing Liberty Quarry’s Draft Environmental Impact Report, the Pechanga Band determined the 414‐acre project would cause irreparable and immitigable destruction to this place of creation. “Our Tribe participated in the environmental review process and took extraordinary and unprecedented steps to provide Riverside County with ethnographic and other evidence detailing the significance of this area to Pechanga,” said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro.

Granite’s own ethnographic experts acknowledged the site as significant to the Tribe. Published in May 2009, the Ethnography Study noted, “…it is clear that much if not all of the Liberty Quarry project area… lies within a landscape that the Pechanga Tribe regards as spiritually significant… As such, this landscape is eligible for National Register of Historic Properties nomination as a TCP [Traditional Cultural Property] district.”

County planning staff in March, however, wrote in the Final Environmental Impact Report “…the County respectfully disagrees with the Tribe’s characterization of the area in and around the Project Site as TCP” and found the devastating cultural impacts to be “less than significant” under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

“That county planners deemed our Tribe’s place of creation ‘insignificant’ under CEQA despite overwhelming and independent evidence to the contrary is disgraceful,” said Tribal Chairman Macarro. “Because county planners have failed to honor the spirit of the law designed to protect such areas, we are forced to seek additional legislation to protect our place of creation from destruction.”

Authored by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, D‐Long Beach, AB 742 would amend the Public Resources Code to include aggregate operations on the list of mining activities restricted near Native American sacred sites.

“I believe respecting one another’s religious beliefs is key to a healthy society,” said Lowenthal. “And there’s probably no better place to demonstrate this than on a mountain where some believe life itself began,” she said.

Scholars say that Káamalam Pomki is analogous to the Garden of Eden as the location of creation or to the Wailing Wall or Sistine Chapel in terms of spiritual significance.

“It is not an option to tell our future generations that their place of creation, the basis of their history and their very identity, used to be here,” said Macarro. “As any other People would, we will bring to bear all of the resources at our disposal to protect this sacred area from the permanent destruction this massive mine would cause.”

The controversial Liberty Quarry is also opposed by the City of Temecula, the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve that is immediately adjacent to the proposed area, thousands of residents, hundreds of businesses, more than 150 physicians that live and work in the Temecula Valley, Southern California Indian Tribes, and every federally recognized Luiseño Tribe.

Proponents of the Liberty Quarry argue that the mine will create a total of 99 jobs. However, the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College analyzed Granite’s economic impact report and found “these quarry jobs will be more than offset by job losses in tourism, real estate, construction, and agriculture.”

Calculating all of the benefits and the costs associated with the proposed Liberty Quarry, the Rose Institute estimates that, “the quarry will reduce property values by $540 million and cost the region an additional $80 million per year” with an “estimated total cumulative net negative impact of $3.6 billion to the region.”

Watch Granite Construction take the land apart at about 4:30

Real-life AVATAR drama re-enacted in Temecula Granite Construction Corporation (RDA) vs. citizens of Temecula and surrounding areaWill Big Government side with Big Business against the will of the people?

Pave the Planet?

At the heart of Granite Construction Corporation’s proposed Liberty Quarry project is a conflict which is theological in nature. The notion that a section of the earth in its natural state is “undeveloped” and therefore available to be exploited in the pursuit of profit is the vision held by many corporations – including Granite Construction Corporation management.

The imprimatur of a bureaucracy condoning the destruction of the living earth represents the worst type of corrupt nineteenth century expansionist thinking. Permitting callous indifference to works of the Creator damages us all.

The intended rape of the land by Granite Construction must be stopped.

There are plenty of resources for construction material in Southern California; even if they are owned by entities other than the Northern California Granite Construction company.

The value of gold is determined by its scarcity. Not all things are fungible. LAST is immeasurably more valuable than something measured in millions of tons. Clean air, water, open space, and the freedom of migrating wild and living things, trump dreams of profit and dust.

Supporting the destruction of an irreplaceable natural resource in a wholesale effort to degrade the land to usher in the reality of a San Angeles is not a positive dream.

Granite Construction Corporation’s proposed Liberty Quarry is a nightmare dwarfing Biblical proportions and consequences. The choice between stewardship of this last remaining section of wilderness or allowing its destruction is clear: Liberty Quarry must be stopped.

All it will take for Granite Construction to triumph is for good citizens to do nothing.” –with respect to Edmund Burke

Don’t let cynicism rob you of your will to speak up for what you know is right. If you elect to do nothing to speak for the land which cannot speak for itself, the corporation will win through the default of your inaction.

Send the petition below, post on FaceBook, make calls to your elected representatives, tell your friends, read more about what we all stand to lose if Granite Construction Corporation has their way. They may win anyway. Guaranteed you will sleep better at night knowing that you at least tried to make a difference.

Peter Terezakis

San Diego • July 15, 2011


[emailpetition id=”1″]

et tu…?


Darrell Issa is taking contributions from Granite Construction. They want to build a huge, open pit quarry in Temecula that will not only be a huge scar on the landscape, it will be an environmental problem. It will put 1400 of those huge trucks on I-15 every day. It’s going to cause silica dust to be blown into Temecula valley, and the way that the environment is there, there’s a nice breeze that blows in from the Pacific, which is why people like to live in Temecula. What that breeze is going to have in it now is the same thing that causes black lung disease, Miner’s Lung. You’re going to have a whole generation of children growing up with asthma and lung disease as a result of this quarry. Darrell Issa takes money from this company, and you can’t tell me that that doesn’t influence his decisions.

— Jeeni Criscenzo