This stinks, Baldwin Park residents say

Foul odors, traffic, noise, pollution, and declining property values are among just a handful of concerns Baldwin Park residents have about a proposed trash sorting facility to be located at the edge of the city of Irwindale at Live Oak and Arrow Highway.

On Monday, more than 200 residents crammed in to the Irwindale Council Chambers to hear Athen’s Services proposal for the 17 acre site. The materials recycling facility would receive a maximum of 6,000 tons of trash a day. Here is a mock up of the proposed facility.



The site would not be a place where trash was dumped — it would only be a place where trash is sorted from the recyclables. It would also bring in an estimated $2 million to $4 million annually to the Irwindale’s coffers.

Baldwin Park residents seemed especially irritated because even though it is Irwindale’s project, it wasn’t Irwindale that notified them about the meeting — it was Baldwin Park City Hall. Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano and Councilman Ricardo Pacheco were at the meeting. Lozano prepared a statement to read at the meeting expressing his disappointment in Irwindale.

Irwindale Mayor Larry Burrola was there, as was Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District President Al Contreras and a director from the Valley County Water District. Apparently, Valley County has been considering purchasing that property through the years.

More to come later on Tuesday.

Transportation in the SGV

Assembylman Mike Eng, D-Monterey Park, was selected to the California Transportation Commission, it was announced Monday. The commission is responsible for the programming and allocation of funds for the construction of highway, passenger rail and transit improvements throughout California.

Speaking of San Gabriel Valley roads, the streets are being torn up at Temple Avenue and Hacienda Boulevard in La Puente as a part of one of the many street improvement projects in the city.


Trash and hotels in Irwindale

There are a few interesting things coming out of Irwindale over the next few days:

1. Materials recycling facility: There is a meeting tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to talk about a proposed trash sorting facility that will be built at Live Oak and Arrow Highway. The facility will be enclosed, and it will receive trash from across the San Gabriel Valley.

The good news is that for Irwindale, the project will bring in between $2 million and $4 million a year. The bad news is that for nearby residents in Baldwin Park, this could mean more traffic. City Manager Bob Griego said that there won’t be any odors from the place because it is a covered facility.

2. Hotels: The city of Irwindale has many types of businesses, but hotels aren’t among them. That could change, however, if the Irwindale City Council likes what it hears at a special meeting on Wednesday.

The Vimco Hotel Group will present that development commission with a proposed hotel plan for the vacant site at 15744 Arrow Highway. The site was formerly where the casket building business Shannon Casket operated.

Montebello: How do we spend $7 million?

This just in from Amanda Baumfeld:

MONTEBELLO – The City Council will decide if they will spend $7 million in bond monies on projects in the area around the Montebello Hills.

Possible projects the bonds could fund include reconstruction of the Taylor Ranch, which was demolished in December; street improvements along Whittier and a performing arts center feasibility study among others.

If projects are funded with the tax-exempt bonds 85 percent of the projects have to be completed in three years.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. At City Hall, 1600 Beverly Blvd.

Johnson’s trial still yet to be determined

La Verne City Councilman Steven Johnson’s conflict of interest case was tabled again Monday morning.

Johnson’s attorney has had the pre-trial hearing continued more times than D.A. Jonlyn Callahan likes to talk about. The reason being that an expert compiling a report for Johnson needs additional time.

Last time, the expert needed 45 days and got it. This time the “elusive” expert, as Callahan described them, asked for 30 days. The judge granted it, but with the warning that at the next hearing a trial date would be set.

Johnson’s attorney and Callahan will meet again Feb. 17.

This week’s Leftovers

Here is this week’s installment of Leftovers from City Hall

Leftovers from City Hall: Race for Solis’ seat starts to take form
Posted: 01/11/2009 07:09:32 AM PST

The race to fill Rep. Hilda Solis’ seat is setting up nicely.
Solis was appointed Labor Secretary on Friday by President-elect Barack Obama. As a result, there has been much talk as to who will fill her seat in Congress.

The top contenders were Sen. Gloria Romero and Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu – that is until Romero dropped out of the running late last week. Now, San Gabriel Valley politicians won’t have to split hairs over who they will endorse – they can back Chu as she seeks Solis’ spot, and can support Romero when she runs for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

That’s not to say, of course, that all local politicians will be supporting Chu. Romero threw her endorsement to state Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles. Other contenders include Emanuel Pleitez, a relatively-unknown 26-year-old financial analyst from El Sereno.

There’s also been speculation that state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, and his brother state Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Montebello, may also take shots at the seat.

Mayor Manuel Lozano

That trip Mayor Manuel Lozano took to China in 2007 is stirring up more debate.

The District Attorney’s office is reviewing allegations of conflict of interest, stemming from a complaint received in September, said Dave Demerjian, head of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Division.

He wouldn’t say who filed the complaint, but City Council critic Greg Tuttle seems to think the DA’s review comes from a grievance he filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission in August.
In that grievance, Tuttle alleges businessman Nelson Chu paid for all of Lozano’s expenses during the trip – including hotel and airfare – but Lozano never claimed the trip on his statement of economic interests.

Chu, who once owned an industrial warehouse in Baldwin Park, denied paying for the trip. Lozano said expenses were paid for by a bank in Rowland Heights. He also called Tuttle a “congenital liar.”

Tuttle argues his complaint is rock solid.

Council district debate continues

The debate over whether West Covina should form council districts continues to drag on.

It’s been a hot topic since December when a community group started collecting signatures to put the issue to a vote of the people.

Now, Councilman Mike Touhey is considering his own districting measure for the November ballot.

The discussion dominated last week’s council meeting, which ended abruptly when Councilmembers Sherri Lane and Shelley Sanderson walked out while Mayor Roger Hernandez was talking.

Hernandez had accused his fellow colleagues on the dais of ignoring portions of the city where they don’t live. That didn’t sit well with any of the council members.

Lane was the first to walk out. Then Sanderson, but only after she asked Hernandez several times to stop making “speculative” accusations without having all the facts.

Councilman Steve Herfert left prior to Hernandez’s comments. He had a prior commitment.

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