The other tracks are merely "rippling".
To override rippling, hold down the Ctrl key (the Cmd key on a Mac) as you add, remove or edit clips on the timeline.
Thanks for the answer. Actually, trying to do timestretch that way (ctrl) for a very large amount of clips, which is what I am doing, is a real pain in the butt and remarkably inefficient so I will just do the adjustments to the right of the end point of the timeline and once I have them adjusted the way I want will drag them to the appropriate spot on the timeline. With all the superflous bells and whistles this program has it's hard to understand why they can't provide a simple way to override rippling (using Ctrl and fiddling with the timestretch tool is not a simple solution for several dozens of clips).
When Adobe was designing the operations on the PrE Timeline, it was determined that the majority of users WOULD want the Ripple. That does seem to be the case. The addition of the Ctrl/Cmd modifier key accommodates those users, or those instances, where the Ripple is not desired.
Interestingly, PrPro, PrE's "big-brother" does things in the opposite order. The user holds down the Ctrl/Cmd key to GET the Ripple. The designers figured that the users of PrPro would have different desires, than those of PrE. As I use both programs, I have to keep reminding myself which program I am using at that time - to get the Ctrl/Cmd modifier key working, as I wish, in each program - just the opposite of each other.