West Nile Virus found in Creekside Park in Walnut

Two samples of mosquitoes found in traps at Creekside Park tested positive for West Nile virus, the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District reported Friday.

This is the second time mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus have been discovered in the San Gabriel Valley in the past few weeks. The discovery in Walnut follows one in San Marino’s Lacy Park earlier this month, according to mosquito abatement officials.

In Walnut, two of the four samples taken on July 11 tested positive for the virus, said Jason Farned, SGVMVCD spokesman. The San Marino discovery was found during the first week of July, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

“We expect it every year so it is not a surprise that they are here in the San Gabriel Valley,” Farned said. “It is not a matter of if, but when, every summer.”

Creekside Park is the site of Walnut’s summer concert and movie series, a Tuesday night weekly event which usually attracts 1,000 people, said City Councilwoman Mary Su.

She said the city will hold a press briefing at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Creekside Park, 780 Creekside Drive, to inform residents and advise them on how to take precautions.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story VIRUS.

City of Walnut drops red light traffic cameras

The only red light cameras in Walnut have hit a stop sign. The City Council voted unanimously to allow a contract with RedFlex Traffic Systems to expire on May 27.

The controversial cameras were installed in 2007 at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Amar Road, next to Mt. San Antonio College. Since then, the digital detectives have caught thousands of unwary motorists, with many complaining about the city’s photo enforcement program. In fact, the city issued more than 5,000 citations in 2013, according to RedFlex reports.

There was no discussion of the consent calendar item, but later Mayor Tony Cartagena said, “the statistical review of the RedFlex camera program did not reflect a reduction of traffic accidents, nor could the data support the cameras made the intersections safer.”

“A great number of residents and public officials here and in other cities no longer support them,” Cartagena added.

During the public comment earlier, RedFlex Program Director Robert Warner disagreed and asked for a one-year extension.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story CAMERAS.

Heavyweights take on challenger for Walnut City Council

Two political heavyweights in local, regional and statewide politics are running together for two seats on the City Council against a lone challenger who’s involved in fundraising for the schools.

Mary Su, an eight-year member of the City Council and two-time mayor, and Robert Pacheco, a recent appointee to the council who served on the dais from 1996-1998 and then in the state assembly for six years, are running to retain their own seats in the April 8 election.

Betty Tang, 46, serving her third term as the president of the philanthropic Chinese American Parents Association, is running for a seat on the City Council for the first time. She’s married to Tony Tang. The two cofounded CCI Group, Inc. in Walnut, which was incorporated in 1997 and has a annual revenue of about $220,000.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story ELECTION

Walut celebrates long awaited Quiet Zone along railroad

Walnut Mayor Mary Su helps workman unveil Quiet Zone sign along railroad tracks on Valley Boulevard. (Photo by Steve Scauzillo)

The City of Walnut celebrated a Quiet Zone designation on the corner of Brea Canyon Road and Old Ranch Road this morning. The public was invited to join the celebration to commemorate the long awaited train horn Quiet Zone along Valley Boulevard.

A quiet zone is a section of rail line that contains one or more consecutive railroad crossings where train horns are not routinely sounded. The train horns can be silenced only when other safety measures, such as railroad crossing enhancements, compensate for the absence of the horns.

Easter egg hunt set for March 30 in Walnut

The city of Walnut and the Diamond Bar Lions Club will hold the annual spring Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 30, in Walnut Ranch Park at 20101 Amar Road.

The fun begins with an pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. The cost is only $5 per person.

The egg hunt is divided up into age groups: Preschool at 10 a.m., 5 and 6 years – 10:10, 7 and 8 years – 10:20, 9 and 10 years – 10:30, and 11 to 12 years – 10:40.

County coming to Walnut to check dog licenses

Department of Animal Care and Control officers will be in the city of Walnut beginning March 20 for three weeks, checking for current rabies vaccinations and ensuring residents are in compliance with licensing requirements.

The licensing fees for city residents are: unaltered dog, $72; altered dog, $27; altered dog belonging to a senior citizen age 65 and older, $9.50; unaltered cat, $10; altered cat, $5. Penalty fees are equal to the license fees.

Residents not in compliance will be subject to license fees and delinquency charges, including a $40 field enforcement fee, to offset the cost of the Department’s field services. Print animal license applications online atanimalcare.lacounty.gov, or by visiting a local County animal care center. Valid licenses can be renewed online.