Rosemead councilwoman turns Tribune photo op into press conference


With staff cutbacks at newspapers large and small, sometimes press conferences these days are lucky to get one reporter or photographer in attendance.

So for Rosemead Councilwoman Sandra Armenta, apparently one photographer has come to equate a press conference.

Yesterday Pasadena Star-News reporter Dan Abendschein was working on a story about a proposal to bring the high speed rail through some San Gabriel Valley communities, including Rosemead.

Councilwoman Armenta opposes the plan – saying it would destroy neighborhoods – so Abendschein asked if the paper could get a photo of her in front of her house for the story. They scheduled it for 4 p.m.

Hours later, Rosemead’s spokeswoman sent out a press release announcing a press conference at 4 p.m. at her home:


WHAT: Council Member Sandra Armenta, residents who could possibly lose their
homes, and businesses who may be adversely affected by the California High
Speed Rails Authoritys (CHSRA) project are gathering today to voice their
opposition to a route that the CHRSA is exploring as an alternative. The
CHRSAs current draft proposed alignment would cause many residents,
including Council Member Sandra Armenta, to lose their homes.

Based on limited information provided by the CHSRA, it is estimated that
homes and businesses located within a 250-foot zone to the north or south of
the I-10 freeway along Ramona Boulevard, would be affected either through
displacement or through the negative impact on property values.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 4, 4 p.m.

WHERE: Armenta Residence

Two-year degree can get $79,000 salary in El Monte

El Monte is hiring. And apparently a higher education doesn’t mean a higher salary.

The city is hiring a city council liaison, who will largely do public relations for the city. The post requires an AA Degree or 60 units from an accredited college and pays a monthly salary of $5,437 to $6,609, meaning $65,244 to $79,308 a year.

There is one caveat – applicants will be required to obtain a bachelor’s degree “within a reasonable amount of time.”

For those who are not interested going that extra step, the city is also hiring a volunteer coordinator who only needs the AA degree for a monthly salary of $3,888 to $4,666, or $46,656 to $55,992 a year.

Meanwhile, a masters degree is needed for the post of program specialist II, who will coordinate senior services in the city. The salary for that post is a mere $4,336 to $5,271 a month, or up to $63,252 a year. That’s less than the lowest end of the city council liaison.

In case you’re interested in employment, you can find more details at:

El Monte students need more awareness of college

Apparently students in El Monte do not have enough awareness of college. The city council will discuss at their meeting tomorrow a resolution declaring February College Awareness Month.

The sign of the times was placed on the agenda at the request of Mayor Andre Quintero.

Here is the resolution:

WHEREAS, a college education will increase a student’s ability to understand developments in
society, to think critically, to express thoughts clearly in speech and in writing, and to make wise
decisions. These skills are useful throughout a lifetime; and
WHEREAS, a college education can help increase a student’s understanding of the community,
the nation, and the world as he or she explores interests, discovers new areas of knowledge,
considers lifelong goals, and becomes a responsible citizen; and
WHEREAS, the world is changing rapidly. Many jobs rely on new technology and require more
brain power than ever. There is fierce competition for jobs that only a few years ago seemed
plentiful. In a student’s working life, more and more jobs will require education beyond high
school. With a college education, students will have more jobs from which to choose; and
WHEREAS, a person who attends college generally earns more than a person who does not.
When comparing salaries over a lifetime, the earning gap is significant; and
WHEREAS, the City of El Monte has proclaimed the month of February 2010 as College
Awareness Month and encourages all educational communities to commemorate this occasion
with appropriate instructional activities; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the City of El Monte proclaims the month of February 2010 as College
Awareness Month and encourages all educational communities to commemorate this occasion
with appropriate instructional activities.
Adopted this 19th day of January 2010, by the El Monte City Council

Rival asks Cedillo to donate campaign contributions to homeless

The money might be spent, but one of state Sen. Gil Cedillo’s political rivals wants him to give it back.

Rafael Nadal, who, like Cedillo, is a candidate for the 32nd Congressional district, is asking Cedillo to donate to the homeless and needy the $125,000 in campaign contributions the LA Times reported the senator spent on lavish hotels, meals and shopping trips.

Nadal is the parliamentarian for the Chicano Latino caucus of the California Democratic Party, and an Army veteran who has championed the cause of homeless veterans.

Nadal wrote Cedillo:

I am writing to you to request that you donate the amount of money that you spent on luxuries as reported in the Los Angeles Times (April 11, 2009) , money given to you by campaign donors. I request that you donate the same amount to food banks, shelters, churches, senior citizens, homeless women and children, and homeless veterans.

As a State Senator you reported spending $125,000 in a lavish lifestyle proper of the rich and famous. Your expenses only compare to those of Fabian Nuez, the former Speaker of the California Legislature. Let’s see, according to the Times you spent $1,203 for dinner in the Patina, the haute cuisine restaurant at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. You spent $5,705 at the Standard, the rooftop bar of the downtown hotel. Your expenses include $7,022 at Nordstrom; $3,483 at Banana Republic; $1,418 at Ann Taylor; $498 at Bloomingdale’s; $450 at Crate & Barrel; and $375 at Macy’s.

At a time of a painful economic crisis in California, I cannot believe that you would relish in such luxuries. While people are losing their homes, children go without eating, and senior citizens have to choose between buying medications or paying their rents. This is an outrage, Mr. Cedillo, shame on you, you must give the money to charities.

On top of living a lavish lifestyle, now you voted to raise taxes that affect senior citizens, when they are barely able to keep their homes, where is your compassion, Mr. Cedillo? have you lost your moral compass?. You are not worthy to serve in the U.S. Congress.
Cedillo claims that his expenditures are “ethical”, but a time where there are hundreds of homeless people in your District, I have to call your expenditures as immoral.

Congressional candidates face off

Voters following the race to replace Hilda Solis and represent the 32nd Congressional District mark your calendars – the East San Gabriel Valley League of Women Voters is planning a candidates’ forum May 6, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The event will be crowded – all 12 candidates are invited.

It will be held at the Baldwin Park Community Center, 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd.

Hagman saves couple from burning car

It’s a good thing Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, didn’t have to sleep in the state Capitol last night, like he and other lawmakers did on Valentine’s day in their failed effort to put together a budget.

The former Chino Hills councilman was at his Sacramento apartment Monday night when he heard a crash outside and ran downstairs to find a car had crashed into a parked truck. He saved the driver, later found to be drunk, and his passenger before the car exploded.

Read about it here:

Chin’s prospects for foundation funding looking slim

Garvey School District Board of Education vice president Janet Chin is hoping to get $57,000 from the Rosemead City Council tonight, but she may walk away disappointed.

Chin is looking for funding for her organization, the M. Janet Chin Youth Foundation.

The city has about the requested amount left in its budget for community-based organizations, but the Rosemead Youth Association is also hoping for some support and city staff has recommended that the council reject Chin’s request for funds.

In addition to lacking the money, staff concluded that Chin’s organization would duplicate efforts already going on in the Parks and Recreation Department.

The funding would go to the Foundation’s Operation Civic Pride program that aims to increase civic engagement among young people. Chin says the program would complement city programs, not duplicate them. It would feature a volunteer database to provide young people opportunities to volunteer in the community, she said.

Lights out for nocturnal councilwoman

The South El Monte City Council has given Mayor Blanca Figueroa a curfew.

The council voted 4-1 last night to prohibit city council members and city staff from using city hall facilities past 11 p.m. most nights. Figueroa is known for her late night office hours that sometimes have her at city hall until the pre-dawn hours of the morning.

Figueroa says she needs to work late to keep up with myriad letters, emails and requests from constituents, after spending her days going to meetings.

The four other council members supported the new regulations out of safety and liability concerns.

Councilman Hector Delgado said Figueroa can work from home using a city-issued laptop computer and cell phone if necessary.

Read more in Thursday’s paper.