“Growing” with pot … er pride


Reporter Daniel Tedford went out to a pot farm bust in Hacienda Heights this morning.

A house in an upscale gated community was crawling with about 4,400 marijuana plants, according to authorities.

The story is interesting enough, except Daniel had this tidbit to add about the community’s welcome sign —The motto:

Hacienda Heights.
Growing with pride.

County to vote on Athens contract Tuesday

To all those residents in Hacienda Heights upset at the prospect of a new garbage contract: the county is supposed to vote on this tomorrow. I know, I know. That doesn’t mean much since they’ve rescheduled and postponed this vote several times.

This appeared last week in the Tribune:

LOS ANGELES – Hacienda Heights residents happy with their current trash provider breathed a brief sigh of relief Tuesday when the county postponed a vote on a new contract.

However, next week the county is expected to vote on awarding a seven-year trash hauling contract to Athens Services. The contract would replace the existing residential services provided by Valley Vista Services and Waste Management.

“Supervisor (Don) Knabe asked that this be postponed because he is awaiting some additional information,” said Dave Sommers, Knabe’s spokesman.

Knabe represents the Fourth District, which is the southern portion of the county and includes Hacienda Heights, Whittier and Diamond Bar.

Hacienda Heights residents said they are upset the county is considering awarding the contract to Athens, which has 19 long-term contracts with cities across Los Angeles County, including West Covina, Montebello and Monterey Park.

Athens spokesman Mike Lewis could not be reached for comment.

The proposed contract allows for a $17.72 monthly rate per customer and would be effective as of March 1. Athens was the lowest bidder out of six that responded to the Aug. 6 request for proposals.

“The whole issue is not a black and white thing. To us, it’s not about one price or the other or saving $1.97 a month. It’s much bigger than that,” said resident Suzanne Fratto, who was among about 40 residents who attended the meeting to protest the contract. Read more.

More Athens news….

This time from reporter Jennifer McLain.

The county postponed voting on awarding a seven-year trash hauling contract to Athens Services – which would replace the existing residential services provided by Valley Vista Services and Waste Management.

The issue of exclusive contracts and Athens has been big lately, with contentious debates in Montebellow and Hacienda Heights. In fact, a large group of Hacienda Heights residents swarmed the Tribune offices Tuesday afternoon to express their concerns over the Athens contract.

The county is going to vote next week instead.

Energizing the youth

I just got back from Los Altos High School and their career day. There were a group of nicely dressed students asking me questions from what is the newsroom like to how do you get started in the profession. It was a good exercise for the students and for me. There were a few in the batch that have that go get em type attitude, a few that could easily be the future sports writers and a few who wanted to work for Vogue. I fielded the questions the best I could, but those interested in fashion writing I didn’t quite connect to.

Oh yeah, and the question of salary and a dying profession did come up. But I tried to twist it into: By the time you graduate college and are working for a paper, it will hopefully have adjusted by then. Hopefully.

You want ME to talk to KIDS about JOURNALISM? Uh oh.

I am scheduled to be a guest at a career day today at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights. A group of 19 students want to talk to a journalist, and for better or for worse, I’m what they end up with. The organizer told me I can expect questions like why I got into this business (I wanted to be a sports writer, and decided at 16 that my byline would be JJ McLain so that I could disguise my gender); what the salary range is (worse than a barista at Starbucks); when I decided I wanted to be a journalist (at 14 when I realized how cool it was to see my name in the newspaper from the sports I participated in); what degree I got in school (religious studies with a Middle Eastern studies focus).

I wonder if I should mention anything about how critics feel that our industry is dying and has no future?