Glendora appears on top-ten list of places with poisonous water; city officials not pleased

Note to county officials: If you accuse Glendora of having poisonous metals in its water, expect to receive a scathing letter in return.

Late last month, Glendora appeared on a top-ten list of places in L.A. County with high levels of arsenic in their water. Arsenic is toxic metal used in some pesticides, as a wood preservative and for making transistors.

A county well on Dalton Canyon Road came in sixth place out of the worst offenders. It had nearly twice the recommended level of arsenic for healthy drinking water. Still, its level was only one-fourth of what people in Saugus have to drink.

The list was part of a survey of 195 water wells conducted by the county at the behest of the board of supervisors.

Glendora Patch picked up the story.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Councilwoman Judy Nelson, apparently concerned about having poisonous water in The Pride of the Foothills, asked City Manager Chris Jeffers what the deal is.

“The way that that has been portrayed is greatly misleading,” said Jeffers.

He assured the council that the city’s water is safe — the result of state regulations requiring the city to perform “22,000 tests per year,” using “sub-atomic level analysis.”

“This water is poked, pricked and otherwise analyzed beyond death,” Jeffers said.

Plus, he said, that county well doesn’t even serve Glendora residents.

Jeffers said the county will soon be hearing back from the city about this matter.

“The water division is writing sort of a letter back to the agriculture people and the board (of supervisors) to express our disappointment and frustration with the way that was a carried out,” Jeffers said.

Playing on a theme at Tuesday’s meeting of alluding to vulgarities, Councilwoman Karen Davis said she’ll “edit that colorful language in the letter for you.”

County officials, you’re officially on notice. You heard it here.

County likely to approve $500,000 holiday party

Like many other counties and cities in the state, Los Angeles County is struggling.

The county’s unemployment rate is at 12.3 percent.

Sales-tax receipts were down 19.54 percent for the months of April, May and June compared to the same time in 2008.

And courtrooms were closed and trials delayed early this summer when the county superior court system began monthly employee furloughs.

But at least the county has enough Benjamins in the bank — nearly half a million to be exact — to splurge on the Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration in December.

The county Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the three-hour holiday party on Tuesday.
It’s a 50-year county tradition and is free to the public, county spokeswoman Judy Hammond said.

“It’s a thing they’ve done forever and they have all of these community arts groups that come in and perform,” she said. “The public can come and go as they want.”

Supervisor Gloria Molina, who represents parts of the San Gabriel Valley, hasn’t made a decision yet on how she is going to vote, but is leaning toward approval, her spokeswoman Roxane Marquez said.

Despite hard times, Marquez said the party is an arts programs that is looked forward to by the public.

“It may be difficult for some of the more affluent families in L.A. County to believe, but free concerts like this for the holidays are sometimes the only such activity that our less affluent residents get to enjoy,” Marquez said.

Cable franchise fees are footing the $449,000 bill. The money was previously allocated in the county Art’s Commission’s budget for 2009-10, according to staff reports.

And that half a million dollars is $100,000 less than in previous years, Hammond said.

Hey, it is a recession year.

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…

Hate crime in Covina. Where’s that investigation?

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Supervisor Michael Antonovich is calling for a ‘hate crime investigation’ into a West Hollywood display depicting Sarah Palin hung and John McCain emerging from a fiery chimney. If he is commenting on this ‘hate crime,’ which some are still debating whether it is in fact a hate crime, he should be calling for an investigation into a hate crime that occurred a week ago in unincorporated Covina.

Amanda Baumfeld reports that an African American woman last week discovered that someone spray-painted the n-word on her car.

The house is located in unincorporated Covina, a section of the county that is represented by Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina.

Baumfeld’s story will appear in tomorrow’s paper.

Old building to get new life

A health care facility designed to help low income immigrants will soon have a facility in Alhambra that will serve nearly 9,000 people a year. The building is a national and state historic site, and is right off of Valley. Read more.

ALHAMBRA – A former county health center that has been boarded up for nearly a decade will reopen to offer low-cost care in the West San Gabriel Valley.

The Board of Supervisors last week approved a 40-year lease agreement with Los Angeles-based Chinatown Service Center. The center provides health care to thousands of low-income residents from the San Gabriel Valley.

“We long recognized that with all of our clients in the San Gabriel Valley, we need to make our services more accessible,” said Lawrence Lue, chief executive officer of the Chinatown Service Center. “Having them drive to Chinatown is just not convenient.”

The new site, which will be at 612 W. Shorb St., is expected to open in two years. It will serve nearly 9,000 residents annually.

Alhambra’s gonna get healthy

I just spotted this piece of news:

ALHAMBRA – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to
allow a non-profit Chinese-American health organization to expand into a county building in Alhambra.

The Chinatown Service Center will lease the now-vacant building, at 612 W. Shorb St., for free in exchange for a commitment to invest more than $8 million for upgrades and tenant improvements while establishing a multi-purpose service center, according to a motion put forward today by Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

The lease will last for 40 years, with an option to renew for two additional 10-year terms, according to a statement released by Antonovich.

The center will provide health services, including non-hospital care for families, children and the elderly, he said.

Wow, $8 million in upgrades? I wonder what the vacant building looks like now…

What rights do inmates have?

Should the county make it cheaper for phone calls made by inmates? Well, that was one of the discussions today at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting today.

The board today heard a presentation by the county sheriff’s department about the struggles they are facing with the current inmate phone system. One of the problems, according to a jail worker, is that families of inmates complain of up to $300 phone bills. These are collect calls. Also, the phones cut out and the county is charged additional fees.

The response from the Sheriff: “Talk less.”

Some of the board members expressed empathy for the inmates and their families for having to pay so much money to have to speak to one another.

The county approved a motion by Supervisor Yaroslavsky not to extend a $3.5 million contract to provide inmate phone services at the detention facilities and instead take the issue out to bid.

Motorcycle Awareness Month???

This week on the agenda for the Board of Supervisors is the approval to recognize a week or the month of May as:

1. “Nurse Recognition Week””
2. “Building Safety Week”
3. “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month”
4. “Foster Care Awareness Month”
5. “Mental Health Awareness Month”
6. “Motorcycle Awareness Month”
7. ” AG DAY LA”

I didn’t spot the “Come Into Work Late and Leave Early Month.” Maybe I’ll request that for the month of June.

Welfare costs for illegal immigrants to be $432 million

I spotted this in my email today from the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. It states that welfare costs for illegal immigration in LA County was over $36 million in March, which is projcted to be at $432 million for the year.

I wonder whether the supervisor will be at any Cinco de Mayo events today?


LOS ANGELES COUNTY – According to new data from the Department of Public Social Services, nearly twenty five percent of Los Angeles County’s welfare and food stamp benefits goes directly to the children of illegal aliens, at a cost of $36 million a month — for a projected annual cost of $432 million.

“The total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education,” said Antonovich. “With $220 million for public safety, $400 million for healthcare, and $432 million in welfare allocations, illegal immigration continues to have a devastating impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers.”

In March, illegals collected over $19 million in welfare assistance and over $16 million in food stamp allocations.