On the hunt

Records are starting to pour in for a request to look at all local agencies that currently employ or have once employed Del Terra, a construction management company that has or has had contracts with five San Gabriel Valley school districts and two cities.

Recently, Del Terra’s owner Luis Rojas tried to negotiate a deal on behalf of his sister’s company, Alliance Services Group, in La Puente, but that failed. Rosemead hired Del Terra more than a year ago.

So what are we requesting? Contracts, payment histories and bid submittals by Del Terra.

What story are we going after? It’s too early too say. It depends on the records. At the very least, it could be a success story about the Industry-based company that is branching out from its school district work to local cities.

Need a hug?

Have you mustered up the strength yet to take a look at your 401k? If you have, here’s a pick-me-up:

Iowa man faces charges after hugging officer
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 09/29/2008 12:41:22 PM PDT

IOWA CITY, Iowa–A hug has landed an Iowa City man in hot water. An Iowa City man who thought a police officer just “needed a hug” faces several charges including assault on a peace officer and public intoxication.

Police said a 21-year-old man was arrested on Saturday. According to police records, the man ran up to the officer and stuck out his arms.

The officer told him to “get away,” but the man didn’t take the hint and embraced the officer.

When the officer told the man to put his hands behind his head, he refused. He was then handcuffed.

 

With the times

A small city is about to open its doors to the world wide web.

Today, the South El Monte City Council will vote on approving a contract with a company that will live stream council meetings onto the city’s Web site.

However, it will only be the audio.

The price tag will be $18,920, and an $815 monthly maintenance. The agreement will be with Granicus, Inc., a company used by other cities such as El Monte and now Rosemead.

As more and more cities move toward getting their meetings online, West Covina in July decided to cut off its broadcasts online and the television as a measure to save money during a deficit.

South El Monte gives thumbs up for stadium

Industry Mayor Dave Perez said that aside from West Covina and Monterey Park, South El Monte is the newest city to voice its support for the NFL stadium in Industry. South El Monte approved it on Sept. 9.

Meantime, Industry officials are still dealing with whether they should approve an extension for those wanting additional time to review the environmental report.

Water races

This weekend I wrote a story about the motivations of local candidates to get on water boards. Of the candidates I spoke to, each said that they have a desire to give back to the community and they are interested in water.

Others were a little more skeptical. Some said these candidates likely want to advance their political careers. The stipends, travel allowances and medical benefits don’t hurt either.

Resumes of current candidates for the Water Replenishment District of Southern California and the Upper San Gabriel Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Three Valleys and Central Basin municipal water districts include former assemblymen, school board members and council members.

Upper District candidates Trevino served on the Central Basin Water District, and Clarence Wong served on the WRD board. Trevino resigned in 2003, and Wong ran but failed to win a second term.

Former Assemblyman Ed Chavez ran unsuccessfully in 2007 for the Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees, and is now running for Upper District. So far, he has raised nothing for the water race, although records show that he loaned himself $14,000 for the school board race.

He could transfer the money from that committee to his current run, according to state campaign finance laws.

Central Basin candidate Phillip Hawkins, who has $22,766 in his coffers, is a former one-term assemblyman who has been on the board since 2000.

Ed Vasquez, also running for a seat on the Central Basin board, is a former Montebello councilman. Vasquez raised $18,904, according to reports. He is married to current Montebello Councilwoman Rosie Vasquez.

These obscure boards are rarely noticed by voters but are in charge of budgets that often are larger than those in our city government’s. Plus, these boards are responsible for managing for a vital, declining resource.

One aspect that the story doesn’t get into is where the money is coming from. The story was already long enough, and I figured the money trail will be worth a story of its own. Look for that later this week.

Rumor control

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Monrovia’s got a rumor control page on their Web site that addresses, well, rumors.

I spotted just this on there:

RUMOR
The City ordered First Christian Church to close down its ministry to the homeless and threatened to fine the church $2,000 per day if it did not comply.

Fact: The Monrovia Police Department informed the church’s leadership on several occasions that neighbors were filing complaints about the homeless people who came to the church to use its showers and to be fed – complaints that they were sleeping in neighboring yards and urinating and defecating on home lawns.

There were many reports of similar incidents on public property and at the nearby Community Center as well. The church was told that the complaints were mounting, that neighbors were considering a Public Nuisance lawsuit against the church and that the complaints on file with the police department could support such a suit.

The church leadership itself then shut down aspects of the homeless outreach program. At no time did the City or the Police Department order the church to end its program.

I don’t remember us reporting on this, but I could be wrong. None the less, it’s a pretty interesting issue…..

Slim pickin’s

I was just sifting through the Baldwin Park City Council agenda for Wednesday, and it’s pretty thin….

I did spot this however:

BIENNIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST CODE
Staff recommends City Council waive further reading, read by title only and adopt Resolution No. 2008-063 entitled, “A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BALDWIN PARK, CALIFORNIA, AMENDING THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST CODE”

Sounds like more of a technical vote than anything, but I wonder what the code says? And I wonder what they are amending?

Craaaaaaaazy Horse

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Looks like West Covina police aren’t too happy with the amount of runs they’ve been having to make to the Crazy Horse bar/night club in West Covina.

Jennifer McLain reports that police officials want the club to hire more security guards – that means a nightly minimum of four in the restaurant and two more in the parking lot.

The Crazy Horse Steak House and Saloon, at 1360 W. Garvey Ave. South,
has attracted large numbers of fights, arrests and calls for service
since it opened nearly one year ago.

“(Calls for service) is running a bit high, but that is a kind of
difficult thing to measure against other establishments in the city
since there is nothing that compares to it,” said Cmdr. Mark Dettor.

At a six-month review of Crazy Horse on Tuesday by the West Covina
Planning Commission, police officials requested that the private
security staff be better trained and that additional guards be placed
in the parking lot.

Records show that while arrests have declined the past six months at
Crazy Horse, the variety and number of crimes have increased and
could be attributed to the lack of police presence.

*********
From August 2007 to January 2008, there were 22 arrests and nearly 30
calls for service, including fights, public intoxication and medical
assists stemming from fights.


During this time, Crazy Horse employed uniformed West Covina officers
on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights until May.


The number of incidents has spiked at the Crazy Horse since theofficers stopped regular patrols, which was required by thecity-approved permit.


From February to August, there were 80 calls for service, including
43 crime reports, for incidents including general disturbances,
fights, carjacking, rape, grand theft and assault with a deadly
weapon. There were 11 arrests.


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