Norwalk councilman suspected of threatening wife

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It’s a little bit out of our area, but interesting nonetheless:


Norwalk City Councilman Rick Ramirez was arrested late Friday on suspicion of making criminal threats against his wife, authorities said.

Ramirez, 41, was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats and released after posting $50,000 bail, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Gannon said.

He was arrested about 11:30 p.m. at a home in the 11000 block of Pluton Street, he said.
Ramirez’s wife made the initial call to the sheriff’s department, Gannon said.

Few details were available about the incident Saturday afternoon, Gannon said, but the crime Ramirez was suspected of involves making a threat involving “death or great bodily injury.”

Ramirez is due in Bellflower Superior Court for arraignment on Nov. 20.

Ramirez attended Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier and graduated from the University of La Verne with a bachelor’s in Organizational Management, according to his bio on the city of Norwalk’s Web site.

Check out the rest of his bio for yourself.

West Covina resident files campaign violation complaint

You know it’s election time when the district attorney’s office starts getting ethics complaints about campaign literature.

West Covina resident Lloyd Johnson sent a letter to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Friday questioning the legality of three campaign mailers sent to residents about Measure D.

The measure — which has been under debate for months — proposes dividing the city into five council districts.

The mailers support the measure, and one features West Covina Mayor Roger Hernandez superimposed over a chalkboard.

In Johnson’s letter, he accuses the Concerned Citizens for a better West Covina of sending out the flyers but not reporting the postage and printing costs of the three mailers in their Oct. 22 campaign finance reports.

Those reports show a total of $3620,18 in expenditures, including $2,575 for posters and $1045.18 for flyers.

“We ask the District Attorney’s office for swift action with regards to this falsification and illegality in the current election,” Johnson writes in the letter addressed to Dave Demerjian, head of the district attorney’s Public Integrity division. “The residents have a right to know who is funding the Yes on Measure D campaign.”

Johnson also takes issue with the committee’s treasurer Dana Sykescq, who is West Covina Council candidate Fred Sykes’ wife. Fred Sykes is largely behind the push for Measure D and council districts.

Dana Sykes said this is a political ploy by the opposition to Measure D.

“I was a member of the group prior to (my husband’s bid for candidacy),” she said. “When it comes to doing the books, I really don’t do the books, someone else does them because right now I am helping with my husband’s campaign.”

Johnson, a Vietnam veteran, said he is against Measure D, but that has nothing to do with his stance on the issue.

Demerjian could not be reached for comment Friday, but officials in his office confirmed they did receive a faxed letter about the issue.

West Covina residents trapped on upper-level floors

Sounds like someone maybe dropped the ball on this one:

By Daniel Tedford
Staff Writer
WEST COVINA — Wheelchair bound elderly residents of a Holt Avenue retirement home have been stuck in their rooms for seven weeks while an elevator has been out of commission, residents said.

The Bridgecreek Retirement Home in West Covina has about 88 residents. While the first and second floors have an elevator, 28 residents on the third and fourth floors haven’t had a functioning elevator for nearly two months — and some have been stuck up there ever since, residents said.

Owners of the facility had been waiting for a final inspection approval from the city before reopening the elevator. That approval came today and City Council members plan to visit residents today as well.

According to Tedford, the owners of the facility said since this isn’t a nursing home, its the residents’ responsibility to take care of themselves.

But some believe they still have a responsibility to its residents.


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96-year-old Phyllis Beekman was one of the residents “trapped” upstairs. She missed a doctor’s appointment two weeks ago because she couldn’t get down stairs.

Schwarzenegger in town

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In case you missed it, the gubernator himself was in Industry Thursday morning for a ceremonial signing of Assembly Bill 3X81 — which essentially paves the way for the construction of an NFL stadium in Industry.

The bill exempts the stadium/complex project from the state’s environmental laws, and throws out a pending lawsuit by a citizens group in Walnut challenging the project’s environmental impact report.

You know something’s gotta be real big — or be supported by some really big people — for the Ah-nold himself to make a trip out for a staged ceremony like this one.

Huff defends Senate procedural vote

I spoke with state Sen. Bob Huff Wednesday, who was less than pleased over allegations he had a conflict of interest when casting a vote in the Senate last week.

The vote in questions was a procedural one to help move an environmental bill to the Senate floor. Problem is, that environmental bill — which passed — will exempt a proposed NFL stadium in Industry from state environmental laws.

Members of the Citizens for Community Preservation Inc., which has a lawsuit filed against the stadium, said the vote was unethical because of Huff and his wife’s involvement with Industry and the stadium’s developer, Majestic Realty.

Huff called the allegations “about as bogus as the lawsuit,” and said he consulted with legal counsel, who told him there was, in fact, no conflict.

Huff said he originally was not going to participate in the vote at all. But then he was asked to step in, and even the Senate President — along with others — told him there was no legal conflict.

He didn’t vote when the bill finally hit the Senate floor.

Ah-nold’s back in town

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The Governator himself is making a special trip to the San Gabriel Valley Thursday to ceremoniously sign a bill that would essentially pave the way for Ed Roski Jr.’s $800 million stadium project.

The ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the site that will hold the 600-acre stadium, near the interchange of the 57 and 60 freeways.

In addition to Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’m sure a whole host of other local dignitaries will be there.

This comes a week after the Senate approved a bill that exempts the stadium project from state environmental laws.

This also means that the last standing lawsuit against the stadium — filed by eight Walnut residents — is essentially no more.

Ron Calderon’s interesting goodbye

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This tale comes from reporter James Wagner:

There’s a difference between reporting politics locally and covering it in Sacramento.

On the Senate floor, to get a legislator’s attention, you hand the guards your business card and they pass it along to whom you’re hoping to talk to.

So last week, while covering a bill that would essentially allow the proposed NFL stadium in Industry to proceed, I asked to speak to a local Senator who co-authored the bill, Ron Calderon, D-Montebello.

Calderon came to the back of the Senate chamber to speak to me with my card in hand.

But after a few minutes of questioning, as we stood quietly while I jotted down his comments, he took my card, stuffed it into my jacket’s front pocket and walked away.

I guess he thought I was done asking my questions. I wasn’t.

Dyers back in court, but case moving slow

Retired sheriff’s deputy Joseph Dyer, who is accused of embezzling half a million dollars from the city of La Puente, has been ordered to return to court in December for a pre-trial conference in December.

Joseph Dyer and his wife, Lydia Dyer, appeared in Los Angeles Superior court before Judge David Wesley on Monday. Dyer, 53, was indicted last month on charges of grand theft, embezzlement, crimes by a public officer and five counts of filing false tax returns in connection with allegations he stole $501,747.91 in tow fees from La Puente between 2001 to 2007.

Dyer’s wife, Lydia, was also indicted on five counts of filing false tax returns, based on allegations she knew about the false money but failed to report on their joint tax returns.

The couple was scheduled to set a trial date — postponed from an August court appearance. But the matter was held over again, to Dec. 8. This happens pretty frequently with cases like this. It’ll be probably be well into next year until we see any action in the case.

Industry in Venice

I walked into a bookshop in Venice Beach a week ago and what was the first thing I saw?

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A very familiar looking book cover about a strange but financially lucrative town right here in the San Gabriel Valley. I guess we’re not the only ones who would be interested in reading about a city that’s on its way to building an NFL stadium.

On another note, the Los Angeles Times wrote a piece today essentially putting all the puzzle pieces together about Industry, Dave Perez and the monopoly that runs the city.