Buckboard Days Parade seeks entries in Rowland Heights

Don’t miss the opportunity to appear in this year’s 42nd Annual Buckboard Days Parade and Festival on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Rowland Heights.

The parade is co-organized by the Rowland Heights Chinese Association and the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council.

The final deadline to appear in the Buckboard Parade is this Friday, Oct. 10. Applications at  www.buckboarddaysparade.org, email to buckboardparade@hotmail.com.

There is no parade entry fee for community organizations and individuals. There is a $50 fee for commercial or business applications.             

The parade will feature a variety of local school bands and student performance groups, community organizations, equestrian groups, floats and the Wells Fargo Stage Coach. 

The theme for this year’s parade is “Nature in Our Own Backyard” and local environmental scientist and educator/Rowland Unified School District Parent Kimo Morris, Ph.D., is this year’s Parade Grand Marshal.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. at the corner of Nogales and Colima and will conclude at Rowland Heights County Park.

Following the parade will be a Family Festival at Rowland Heights County Park from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with more than 45 booths offering handmade arts and crafts, food, community information and services organized by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Hacienda Heights Kiwanis will be sponsoring a pancake breakfast before the parade, starting at 7 a.m. Come early and enjoy breakfast at the Bell Memorial Church parking lot on Nogales near the corner of Colima (1747 Nogales St, Rowland Heights). Breakfast is $5 per person.

Parade Co-Chairs are Rachel Fung, Rowland Heights Chinese Association and John Grant, Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council.

It’s Not Too Late to Sign Up! www.buckboarddaysparade.org

Athens prepares for trash service in Rowland Heights on July 1

Just in time for the Fourth of July celebration, Athens Services will roll out the barrels, 33,000 worth. The Industry company will begin trash service in Rowland Heights on July 1.

To do so, Athens plans to deliver 33,000 new trash bins, offering three to each residence. The containers will be the large 95-gallon roll-out cans used by automated garbage trucks.

Athens Vice President Dan Edwards attended the recent meeting of the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council to explain the new service. He noted the family-owned business has collected waste for more than 50 years in Los Angeles.

“For the last two decades, we’ve been the fastest-growing trash company in Southern California, and there’s some very good reasons for that,” Edwards said.

He said the core of the business is 19 exclusive contracts with area cities, where it provides all waste and recycling services. The Los Angeles County Supervisors awarded Athens a seven-year contract in the unincorporated area of Rowland Heights.

“We responded to a large request for proposals on a competitive basis,” Edwards said. “They break it down basically into different elements you can score points on. Price is weighted very heavily.”

But he said the county also looked at other factors such as experience, record and financial capability.

“The benefit to the residents of this community is you’ll be experiencing a savings of almost 20 percent off your rates,” Edwards said. “The county has done a good job of negotiating on your behalf.”

There’s also a 25 percent discount rate for seniors that Edward said is a “below cost” rate of $13.17 a month.

Residential customers will pay $17.26 a month for weekly pickup, receiving a bill for $52.68 every quarter. Residents may request an extra green waste and recyclable barrel at no extra cost.

“That’s the same price we paid when we started with United Pacific Waste seven years ago,” said Ted Ebenkamp, president of the community council. “It’s a good deal for our community.”

When skeptical residents asked if Athens had turned in a low bid only to raise rates later, Edwards assured the audience that wasn’t the case.

For more, read Rich Irwin’s story TRASH.

Community council discusses Athens Services tonight at 8

The County of Los Angeles recently solicited bids from qualified companies to provide trash hauling services for the residents of Rowland Heights. Athens Services was the low bidder and has been awarded the contract.

 James Breitling, the Government Affairs Manager for Athens, will give a presentation 8 p.m. tonight on the provisions of the new contract, including the services to be performed, the fees to be charged, and how and when the switch over to his firm will occur. The meeting will be held by the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council in the upper building at Pathfinder Park.

 The change in firms handling trash hauling services will affect all homes in Rowland Heights. There will be time for questions and answers following Breitling’s presentation.


Canadian developer plans hotel for Rowland property

A Canadian developer is proposing a new 250-room hotel for the old John Rowland property on Gale Avenue. The Parallax Investment Corporation of Toronto will also add 100,000 square feet of retail space, with 30 percent dedicated to restaurants.

“We met with the developer and architect a couple weeks ago to go over their proposal,” explained Ted Ebenkamp, president of the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council.

Ebenkamp said architect Ken Smith will discuss the major development at Monday night’s council meeting.

“They want to get a feeling for the community’s support for such a project,” the civic officer said.

Ebenkamp said the new four-star hotel would occupy 5.5 acres of the 14-acre parcel. The lot just west of Nogales Street has been vacant for many years.
“One developer had plans for a shopping center, but they went bankrupt before they could build there,” Ebenkamp said.

Smith said the hotel will have five or six stories. The representative from Architects Orange pointed out that the hotel will include underground parking.
The Orange County architect wouldn’t say how much the project would cost.

But construction can’t begin for a couple years, while contractors close Nogales Street to build the new railroad underpass.
“An temporary access road is being built on the Rowland property to divert traffic from Nogales, which closes on March 22,” Ebenkamp noted.

The City of Industry joined Los Angeles County and a public construction agency for the $100 million project to widen Gale Avenue and Walnut Drive and build a railroad underpass at Nogales Street.

The project is one many grade separation in the San Gabriel Valley being built by the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE) to alleviate traffic congestion at train crossings.

More than 50 trains cross Nogales Street daily. Officials have counted seven collisions between trains and vehicles at the busy intersection in the past decade.

ACE is the agency leading construction of the project. Nogales will be closed and the 42,680 cars that use it every day will be taken on a detour to the west.

“We had to do a detour. If we don’t do that detour, the impact on parallel streets – Fullerton Road to the west and Fairway to the east – would be substantial,” said ACE’s Executive Director Rick Richmond in an earlier interview.

While the project involved ACE buying almost 40 pieces of land, most of the takes were small parts of properties, Richmond said. Only two complete properties were bought: a closed gas station and a vacant construction warehouse.

The warehouse was taken to make room for ACE to move a major sewer trunk line, Richmond said.

Money for the $96.7 million project is coming from federal transportation funds, Industry, state transportation funds and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
— Ben Baeder contributed to this story.

Architect to present hotel and shopping project to Rowland Heights Coordinating Council on Monday at 8 pm

Architect Ken Smith will present a new Rowland Heights project consisting of a five-story, 4-star hotel and shopping center at 8 pm Monday to the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Pathfinder Park with reports from the offices of local officials, followed by reports from the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The council will also hear from Dick Simmons, a representative from Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe and education reports from Rowland Unified and Mt. SAC.

Pathfinder Park is at 18150 Pathfinder Road in Rowland Heights. For more information, see the Web site at www.rowland-heights.org.


ATF hostage negotiator will speak at Rowland Heights meeting

The Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council will meet 7 p.m. Monday, April 8, at Pathfinder Park.

The guest speaker will be a 17-year veteran in law enforcement with eight years with ATF, spending the first five years working the gang unit. He is also Team Leader of the Crisis/Hostage Negotiator Unit for the ATF Special Response Team (SRT) for the West Coast.

At the monthly meetings, Rowland Heights residents may talk directly with agencies and representatives about the quality of life in this unincorporated community.