Say hello to the new face of the Canyon City Alliance

I got a press release from Elizabeth Ramirez yesterday announcing that Canyon City Alliance had hired a one Elizabeth Ramirez. Weird, same name! I wonder if the other Elizabeth Ramirez even knows that!

OK, OK. I know they are the same person. Mostly because Elizabeth Ramirez said they were.

Anyhoo, since I haven’t really talked about them yet, the Canyon City Alliance is a group of businesses, police, and community members who support the newly approved Azusa Rock Quarry mining plan.

Ramirez will be the executive director of the group that also boasts Azusa Chamber of Commerce executive board member Mercedes Castro as president.

Here is the press release:

Elizabeth Ramirez Hired to Lead Canyon City Alliance

Longtime Azusa Resident to Serve as Alliance Executive Director

October 6, 2010 (AZUSA, CA) – The Canyon City Alliance has announced the hiring of Elizabeth
Ramirez as the organization’s Executive Director. Ramirez will be responsible for daytoday
operations of the Canyon City Alliance and will coordinate all community activities related to
the Alliance’s support for the City’s recent approval of the Azusa Rock project.

“We are excited and fortunate to have Elizabeth leading the Canyon City Alliance. As a lifelong
resident of Azusa, she will provide outstanding leadership to our organization. Throughout her
involvement with numerous Azusa nonprofit organizations, she has earned the respect of our
community and we look forward to her joining our team” said Mercedes Castro, President of
the Canyon City Alliance.

The Canyon City Alliance was founded by business, law enforcement and community leaders to
help promote a vibrant business climate in the City of Azusa and throughout the San Gabriel
Valley. The City of Azusa is home to nearly 50,000 residents and will soon be celebrating the
opening of a new Target department store, construction of a Metro Gold Line Station near
downtown, as well as the recently approved requirement to restore Azusa’s hillsides.

“I am excited to be joining a group of such dedicated residents and community leaders.
Working together, the Canyon City Alliance will be able to help promote the programs, activities
and quality of life projects that are critical to Azusa residents and the San Gabriel Valley,” said
Elizabeth Ramirez.

Applebee’s may soon be coming to Azusa’s neighborhood. Is that who you want?

Azusa is near to approving a $200,000 forgivable loan to Applebee’s to entice them into moving into the Citrus Crossing retail center. That “loan” essentially means the restaurant gets to keep $200,000 if they stay in Azusa for more than 5 years.

Talking to City Manager Fran Delach, he said Applebee’s was the top choice and come forward first in a group of national chains considered for the spot. The others mentioned were Roadhouse Grill and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Knowing that, is Applebee’s the restaurant you would want your city to haul in? Or are the other two choices more mouth watering?

I am staying impartial due to my journalist integrity. But I will say that those Buffalo Wild Wings … um… wings are pretty darn tasty. I like the spicy garlic sauce. Traditional style. With a basket of french fries.

Vote in my poll!

Azusa Target grand opening Sunday, soft opening today


The way big chain stories are greeted in cities, with all the deals (for residents) and sales tax revenue (for cities), you would think Azusa would be paving Azusa Avenue with gold, or at least rolling it with red carpet for a day. To be honest, I’ll settle for a giant pair of scissors with a ribbon cutting. Classic stuff.

(Also, I would like to borrow those scissors for Christmas time. I hate cutting wrapping paper and those giant scissors would get the job done it one fell swoop.)

Anyway, the official soft opening for Target is today (Tuesday!) from 5 to 6 p.m. The fireworks extravaganza grand opening is Sunday when Target is opening 10 stores on 10/10/10. The store WILL NOT be open Wednesday through Saturday.

(OK, I lied. There won’t be fireworks.)

Duarte nation’s most expensive zip code?

A Forbes’ list of America’s most pricey zip codes lists Duarte at the top with a median home costing more than $4 million.

But the list has created some controversy (and angry reader mail to Forbes) considering the zip code used, 91008, is actually that of Bradbury. Most Duarte residents actually have the 91010 zip code (as evidenced by the city’s recent celebration on Sept. 10).

Forbes addresses the issue in a blog that outlines its reasoning (USPS designates the zip code as Duarte) and discusses the issue of whether Bradbury is its own city or a town with a city (Duarte).

For those in the San Gabriel Valley, the issue is pretty simple. Duarte is not Bradbury and doesn’t boast the million dollar foothill homes that can be found in the hilltop that is Bradbury.

At the end of Forbes’ blog, they come to a similar conclusion. Bradbury is actually the ritzy neighborhood that takes the title of most expensive zip code. It is the USPS that refuses to recognize it.

Referendum Pandemonium or Lord of the Rock 2: The Twin Ridges

I hope you like sequels.

Round two of Vulcan Materials Co.’s Azusa Rock Quarry mining plan is about to begin after a referendum against the project qualified for the ballot Monday. (I would say let’s get ready to rumble, but I don’t want Michael Buffer to sue me. Besides, let’s get ready to rock has a solid pun to go with it. So…)

Let’s get ready to rock….again!

All your favorite characters will be back including Richard Deem and Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez from Save Our Canyon, Conal McNamara and Fran Delach from Azusa’s city staff, and you can expect City Manager Darrell George, Mayor Margaret Finlay and public relations specialist Mary Barrow from Duarte to all make a cameo appearance.

Some new stars will also be appearing, including Peg Casey who has taken on the spokesperson role for Vulcan Materials, replacing Todd Priest (who is still working on the project with his firm Curt Pringle and Associates) and Paul Naccachian, former Azusa council candidate, and leader of the referendum proponent’s group Azusans Against Mining Expansion.

This battle should be hotly contested. Unlike the council review and vote, the political implications of a referendum throw a few logs on the fire.

If the referendum is put on the March election ballot, it will coincide with the council elections. In addition, the sheer weight of money and political campaigns are sure to amp up the political rhetoric volume throughout Azusa.

Also, in a battle that has mostly been contested from Duarte residents, it will be very interesting to see how Azusa residents will see this project.

Here. We. Go.

What you missed while you were watching football all weekend

Do you ever wish this blog had theme music? Maybe it’s just me.

Investigators with Alcohol Beverage Control said they plan to review a videotape showing Andrew Thomas Gallo consuming eight to nine drinks at a Covina bar hours before he killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others in a Fullerton car crash. There was a breakdown in communication between the department and Fullerton Police, officials said. ABC wasn’t aware of the tape, despite it being used in court, until last week. (Want to guess who was the middle man in informing them about the tape?)

In the wake of Montebello trying to borrow from their redevelopment agency to fund the city’s general fund budget, reporter Bethania Palma delves deeper into the issue and precedent for such a move.

Gerrymandering allows California politicians to stave off political uprisings, experts say. (Doesn’t that word just sound wrong. Gerrymandering. It sounds like a word you would use to describe wrestling an elderly man.)

Agencies desperate to find places to store more water are looking to the Whittier Narrows Dam, despite the dam’s classification as being “very high risk.”

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