Trash talk isn’t going away

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The city of Baldwin Park is rallying behind efforts to stop a trash-sorting facility from being built on the border of Irwindale and Baldwin Park.

The City Council unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday night opposing the project, created an ad hoc committee to track the project’s progress, and directed staff to look at the city’s options against the project.

Athens Services wants to build a material recovery facility on a 17-acre site across from the Santa Fe Dam at Live Oak Avenue and Arrow Highway in Irwindale.

“We don’t need what potentially could be known as a cesspool right next to the residents of Baldwin Park,” Mayor Manuel Lozano said at yesterday’s meeting. “Yes, obviously they have indicated they have this filtration system that’s state of the art —- my foot … that air has to be let out somewhere.”

Councilwoman Marlen Garcia told me today she hopes Irwindale will see the potential risks to Baldwin Park residents and reconsider the location of the facility. She said Irwindale has had this site in mind for five years, but Baldwin Park just found out about it.

“It’s disheartening to see this, they are our neighbors,” she said.

Athens and Irwindale officials contest the potential risks, and say if any impacts are found, they will be addressed in an environmental impact report. But, they argue, the new state-of-the-art facilities used to sort trash from recyclables are safe — even for the employees working on the inside.

More on the issue in tomorrow’s paper.

Joaquin Lim stands up for Walnut

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It looks like Walnut Mayor Joaquin Lim is getting a little tired of out-of-the-area cities throwing in their two cents about the stadium project.

This from Ben Baeder, who attended an Industry City Council meeting this morning:

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

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

Not only do many of his constituents hate the idea of having a stadium nearby, traffic and air pollution from the project will affect the entire region, he said. “We’re all in this together.”

The Industry City Council on Thursday approved an environmental report regarding the stadium.

At the council meeting, Monterey Park Mayor Frank Venti, La Puente Councilman Dan Holloway and Claremont Councilman Sam Pedroza all spoke in favor of the project.

Wrap up

SGV city hall news wrap-ups:

 – Industry voters – all 82 of them — will go to the polls today to vote on allowing the city to borrow $500 million for infrastructure improvements. And could these improvements help improve roads needed for the proposed NFL stadium? Of course. Read more. (And here’s the LA Times story.)

– The West Covina City Council is meeting tonight to talk about districts, but a memorandum released to the council members tells them that it is a violation of election code to vote on the issue since the petition hasn’t been submitted or approve.

– The Police Officers Association of Los Angeles County is going to recognize Covina Police Chief Kim Rainey tonight at the Covina City Council meeting. Rainey led the department in dealing with one of the most horrific massacres in the region.

Vulcan Materials is going to open access to Fish Canyon Trail in Duarte through its Azusa Rock Quarry site on Saturday.

 

SGV Democrats welcome Obama

I celebrated President Barack Obama’s inauguration this morning by covering an event held by the Democrats of the San Gabriel Valley at the Taste of Texas, a bbq restaurant in Covina. The organizers said that the venue had nothing to do with Texas native George Bush, but that it was chosen because it was in the middle of the 57th District. 

The co-hosts of the event were La Puente Mayor Louie Lujan, West Covina Mayor Roger Hernandez, Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu, who is running for Congress to replace Rep. Hilda Solis, and Assemblyman Ed Hernandez, who was not there because he was in Washington, D.C.

Other elected leaders at the event were La Puente Councilman Dan Holloway and Bassett Unified School District Board Member Laura Santos.

Chu said she listened to Obama’s speech as she was driving between inaugural events. She made it to the Taste of Texas just moments after Obama’s speech, and then she took the stage.

“This is a great moment in history,” Chu said. And then almost a second later, she made her pitch for why she decided to run for Congress — she wants to make sure the San Gabriel Valley gets represetnation — and she hopes she can count on the voters in the San Gabriel Valley.

With a special election expected to be in March, she said, she doesn’t have time to waste.

Glendora disclosure statements posted

It’s Monday. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

I had a long weekend myself. I had Friday off and took a trip to the Long Beach Aquarium – the Dragon Horses were amazing – and saw the Greene and Greene exhibit at the Huntington Library which will be there till Jan. 26.

But, as I did have Friday off, I just noticed that Glendora has campaign disclosure statements up.

Check them out, as I will be looking them over myself. If you see anything interesting, shoot me an e-mail: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com

It’s that time again

Here it is, your weekly dosage of Leftovers:

Foul odors, traffic, noise, pollution and declining property values are among a handful of concerns Baldwin Park residents have about a proposed trash-sorting facility bordering Irwindale at Live Oak and Arrow Highway.

More than 200 residents crammed into Irwindale Council Chambers last week to hear Athens Services’ proposal for the 17-acre site. The materials recycling facility would receive a maximum of 6,000 tons of trash a day.

It’s not a trash dump. If approved, it would serve as a location to sort trash from recyclables. It also would bring in an estimated $2 million to $4 million annually to Irwindale’s coffers.

But Baldwin Park residents aren’t having it. They seemed especially irritated it wasn’t Irwindale that notified them about the meeting; it was Baldwin Park City Hall.

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The Independent Cities Association, which is an organization of 52 Los Angeles County cities, unanimously has approved a resolution supporting the proposed NFL stadium in Industry.

Not a member of the ICA is the Walnut, which so far has been the lone municipality against the project. Walnut is a member of the Contract Cities Association, which is expected to decide its stance on the project next month.

Monterey Park Mayor Frank Venti, who is a member of the ICA, said he is “incensed” with Walnut Mayor Joaquin Lim’s continued disapproval of the NFL stadium.
Lim said he has a lot of concerns about the project, including traffic and “the noise factor that could disturb the peace and quiet of Walnut.”

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It seems taggers have taken over the former site of Altmans Winnebago Inc. in Baldwin Park. The Caltrans-owned property that fronts the 10 Freeway has become an eyesore, according to city officials. Walls are tagged from the ground to the roofline.

City officials are in contact with Caltrans to clean up the site. Caltrans spokeswoman Judy Gish said they planned on meeting with contractors last week for graffiti removal.

But she also warned, “Within a very short time of the clean-up, the graffiti will be back.”
It seems graffiti removal is costly and timely, and Caltrans doesn’t have the resources to continuously clean up the site every time a tagger gets his spray paint can on it.
“It is a priority (for us),” Mayor Manuel Lozano said.

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The Rosemead City Council chickened out on plans last week to allow a popular poultry slaughterhouse to stay in the city.

Cal-Poultry will have to shut its doors following the unanimous vote against allowing a municipal code change that would have allowed the business to expand.

The most interesting point: only a month before, three of the council members actually supported Cal-Poultry’s efforts to stay in the city.

Apparently, “passionate pleas” from residents — who reminded council members of the upcoming March election — swayed their final decision.

Don’t count those chickens before they hatch

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It’s only been a week since Rep. Hilda Solis’ Senate confirmation hearing, but Republicans are already kicking up dust over her nomination for labor secretary.

Politico.com has the story…

Here it is in a nutshell:

Senate Republicans, frustrated over the answers they say they’re not getting from Rep. Hilda L. Solis, may try to block her confirmation as Barack Obama’s secretary of labor.

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During the California Democrat’s Jan. 9 confirmation hearing, Solis repeatedly told senators that she could not speak for the incoming Obama administration on the card check bill, and she told Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) that she was “not qualified” to speak about maintaining right-to-work laws that prohibit workers from paying union dues as a condition of employment.

“These aren’t positions that you’re allowed not to have an opinion,” Wyoming Sen. Michael Enzi, the ranking Republican on the committee, told Politico. “These are extremely critical things that she was asked about. Each of the people that asked questions from the Republican side asked about different areas of labor law and wondered what she was going to do. And we still don’t know.”

Enzi said it’s “too early” to say whether he will place a procedural hold to slow down her nomination, saying he was still reviewing her written responses to additional questions from committee members.