City Council Extravaganza

OK, so maybe not extravaganza. But Glendora and San Dimas both have meetings tonight.

On tap: Glendora, in its consent calender, is approving a number of street and constructing projects. A slurry seal project for Route 66 between Lone Hill Avenue and Lorraine Ave for about $140,000 should be approved. Also a Gladstone Street Water Improvement should be approved for about $612,000.

As for new business on the agenda, Glendora will be discussing the naming of its new Library Expansion Room

In San Dimas, a public hearing will go over the performance report for fiscal year 2008-2009 and the proposed fiscal year 2009-2010 projected use of funds.

Glendora’s city council meeting is in council chambers at 7 p.m., 116 E. Foothill Blvd.

San Dimas’ council meeting is in council chambers at 7 p.m., 245 E. Bonita Ave.

Honoring Obama’s ‘Call to Service’



A comment I frequently hear when I am out and about is that residents want to help their community, but they just don’t know where to go. Now that Obama has called on our public service, I am hoping to provide regular information on the blog about where people can go to help.

I’ll post more as I find them. If you have any ideas, want to volunteer, or need volunteers, keep us posted.

1. One agency is Women At Work, a Pasadena-based career counseling agency aimed at helping women find work. They need volunteers Monday through Thursday. To find out how to volunteer, call 626-796-6870.

2. Cory’s Kitchen in Irwindale also needs volunteers. Cory’s Kitchen is a food bank that provides groceries to the needy. To contact them, call (626) 305-0392. 

San Dimas takes a tour of the foothills

San Dimas City Council members, Planning Commissioners, city staff, council candidates and some locals took a tour of about 200 acres of land in the foothills near Glendora Jan. 24 as a proposal for development of the land will make its way to the city this summer.

The land, owned by NJD and Kim Scott, has been controversial in the past as Scott has had his issues with Glendora.

Scott has previously tried to unload the land, and it appears he finally might have a chance at a development deal in San Dimas.

Mayor Curt Morris said the tour was to give people involved a sense of what is actually on the ground when proposals are presented on paper.

They spent three hours touring the land. Morris said it may be difficult to try and build a residential neighborhood up there as the terrain is rugged. Also, a road that would be adequate for housing would be difficult, he said.

I was also cruising L.A. Observed today and saw they had linked to a L.A. Times story about a D.A. investigating the Temple City mayor and two City Council members for soliciting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes and a condominium from a developer in exchange for their support of a $75-million mall project.

Weird…I have this strange feeling of Deja Vu.

Wait…that’s cause the Tribune and the Pasadena Star-New, written by Alfred Lee, had a story about the beginning of this saga here more than a month ago, Dec. 12. And then this one on Dec. 17. And then there was this one on prosecutors seizing tapes Jan. 8.

Equestrian culture fading?

Is equestrian life fading into the sunset? Well, that’s what an LA Times article concludes. Among the equestrian centers referenced is one out of the city of Industry.

In December, a collection of ramshackle stalls near the city of Industry abruptly shut down, forcing out a small group of Mexican immigrants who had boarded their horses there at low cost.

The stables had been a gathering place for vaqueros from Zacatecas and Guerrero, and the closure prompted some of the families to give up their horses altogether. The loss follows the disappearance of many other stables along the San Gabriel River watershed.

For the horse lovers out there, where do you ride?

City manager gets 10 percent raise

One city manager offers to work for free, while another one gets a 10 percent raise

Temple City-City Attorney City Manager Charles Martin, who gets $96,696 a year as city manager and $61,980, offered to continue working after his retirement free of charge, while La Verne City Manager Martin Lomeli got a pay bump to $194,580.

Temple City has 33,377 residents, and La Verne has 31,638 residents.

Alfred Lee reports:

TEMPLE CITY – As the economy sputters and cities dig deep to avoid cutting services, one high-ranking bureaucrat said he is willing to work for free.

Amidst discussion about his potential retirement and replacement, City Manager-City Attorney Charles Martin has offered to continue on in both of his positions – as an unpaid volunteer.

“I was contemplating my retirement on February 5, 2009, but that if the Council could not find a replacement by that date, I would be happy to return the benefit of my 44 year tenure with the City by continuing in office – even if I had to serve as a volunteer, without pay for a part or all of that time,” Martin, 84, wrote in a Jan. 15 manager’s report.

Wes Woods II reports:

LA VERNE – City Manager Martin R. Lomeli will receive a 10 percent increase of his base salary. The City Council approved the increase Tuesday night by a 4-1 vote.

Later in the week, Lomeli said he was “very grateful” for the increase. The increase was a management performance award, city officials said.

Lomeli’s pay had been $14,741 a month and now will be $16,215 a month, or $194,580 a year.

Same respect as Celebrity Rehab’s Las Encinas

Those opposing the expansion of a public behavorial health care center, Aurora Charter Oak Hospital, at 1161 E. Covina Blvd., will have another chance to voice their opinion about the proposal at the planning commission meeting on Tuesday. 


Last week, residents hosted a meeting with Covina Councilman John King, and representatives from several elected officials — including those from the offices of Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Gloria Molina, Assemblyman Ed Hernandez.

Neighbors are opposing the addition of another 30 or so beds because they say there are already problems at the facility with patients sneaking out and heckling their children from the site.

As one person pointed out, this is the same facility that operates Las Encinas, a posh and well landscaped facility in Pasadena that was the location of Dr. Drew’s TV series, Celebrity Rehab. Las Encinas also got some negative press recently when it was reported as the site of two deaths, a suicide and a rape.

(Pictured is Chyna, a former “star” on Celebrity Rehab.)

At the very least, Aurora Charter Oak residents want a higher wall and better landscaping so that their children and homes are blocked from those seeking help at the facility.

Another round of Leftovers

You’re weekly fix:

It seems like every week now there’s something new in the race for Rep. Hilda Solis’ seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The latest round of politicians to announce their interest in the Congressional seat — which will be empty if Solis is confirmed as President Barack Obama’s labor secretary — are Blanca Rubio and Ed Chavez.

Rubio, president of the Baldwin Park Unified School District Board of Education, said she’s definitely running and thinks her experience would allow her to successfully serve the people.

Chavez, on the other hand, still is tossing the idea around. The recently elected Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District board member has formed an “exploratory committee to gauge the level of support” for his candidacy.”

Chavez lately has been taking some heat in the political community from residents and colleagues questioning why, months after getting elected to the water board, he would consider running for higher office.

According to a recent press release he sent out, Chavez said he wants to “fight for the people and not for the greedy corporate giants.”

If he runs Chavez (and Rubio) will square off against Board of Equalization Chariwoman Judy Chu, who recently was endorsed by two of the most powerful labor unions in the region — the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and Service Employees International Union.


What a week in Industry.

First, 60 voters approved a $500 million bond for infrastructure improvements, about a third of which will go toward improvements around developer Ed Roski’s National Football League stadium slated for Industry.

Then, the City Council essentially paved the way for the stadium’s construction by approving its environmental impact report.

Of course not everyone is happy, including representatives from Walnut and Diamond Bar. Walnut Mayor Joaquin Lim has said Walnut would explore legal options if the EIR was approved.

Lim said he understands the NFL project could bring benefits to the region, but wished politicians would try to look at the project from Walnut’s point of view.

“I have always avoided saying anything about other cities,” Lim said. “But I wish some of the other leaders would put themselves in our shoes.”


It’s official. After a few flubs and two swearing-in ceremonies, Barack Obama is our 44th president.

Residents and politicos alike spent Inauguration Day last week hosting parties and barbecues to watch the historic ceremonies that come with the official swearing-in of the president.

Locally, the Democrats of the San Gabriel Valley hosted their own shindig at Taste of Texas, a barbecue restaurant in Covina. The co-hosts were La Puente Mayor Louie Lujan, West Covina Mayor Roger Hernandez, Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu and Assemblyman Ed Hernandez, who was there in spirit because he actually was in Washington, D.C.

As a side note, organizers said the venue had nothing to do with Texas-native George Bush. The restaurant was chosen because it’s in the middle of the 57th District.

No on districts

There are two letters today that appeared in the Tribune about the proposed districts. Both letters oppose the idea. Here’s the start of one letter:

As a homeowner in West Covina since 1954, I have seen my share of loony, boneheaded schemes presented to the city and its residents over the years for their approval. Remember the giant aviary at the old BKK site, or the “performing arts center” where Target now sits, or the gambling casino atop the Class III landfill or the double decking of the Azusa Avenue/Amar Road intersection? Or, how about the high rise Hyatt or Marriott at The Lakes?

One point made by one of the letter writers is that the information distributed by those seeking signatures on the petition is misleading. We’ve heard this claim before. But who do you believe? West Covina city politics are so divided, and each side has so much disdain for their “opponent” that its been difficult to cut through the rhetoric.

Grades for nursing homes up online

I’m heading to Downtown L.A. later this afternoon for a press conference about the county placing the ratings of area nursing homes on its Web site.

County Supervisor Michael Antonovich — who also pushed for the county’s restaurant grading system — is the man behind the idea. So if you’re looking for a nursing home, not only can you find the information on the county’s Web site, but you can now also see how they fared in the federal government’s five-star rating system.

This comes days after state regulators announced they would be fining Casa Bonita Convalescent Hospital in San Dimas $121,000 after the death of one of their patients.

Here’s the county’s Web site…