Installation of traffic light finally begins


Residents are always pushing for more traffic signals near schools and in residential neighborhoods — especially after tragic traffic accidents.

The process, however, to get such devices installed is a long one.

In La Verne, one resident claims it took five years and a fatality to get a light installed at Fruit Street and Base Line Road, Daily Bulletin reporter Wes Woods II reports.

Reward may bring closure

Being a reporter is often a thankless job. In fact, it is often one filled with things very different than thanks. In fact, it usually runs more with words that start with an h and sound like bait. Or other people think reporters “b-lame.”

But it is nice when something you do seems to have some sort of a positive impact, if one can be found.

At tonight’s Azusa City Council meeting, Mayor Joe Rocha will bring to the discussion the idea of a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case Pauline Squires.

Squires was killed in a hit and run four years ago, and her mother Yoshiko was disappointed that a reward was never offered. More can be found on this story here:

Who knows if the reward will catch the killer, but if this can bring some closure to the Squireses, I guess that is something.

In other city council notes, chalk another one up against Measure R.

The measure on November’s ballot would institute a half cent sales tax to benefit transportation, but has been widely opposed by a lot of cities in the San Gabriel Valley. Glendora opposed voted to oppose it last week, others have in the past, and now La Verne is getting in on the anti-Measure R party. A resolution to oppose the measure appears on tonight’s council meeting agenda.

La Verne councilmen says he’s innocent


Councilman Steven Johnson pleaded not guilty today to a conflict of interest charge, stemming from a 2007 council vote.

We didn’t have a reporter at Pomona Superior Court when Johnson entered his plea this morning, but my guess is it was probably pretty cut and dry.

If you’re not familiar with the case, the District Attorney’s office filed a misdemeanor count against Johnson earlier this month based on a vote he cast at a 2007 council meeting.

At that meeting, Johnson voted for a University of La Verne expansion plan despite being advised by the city attorney to recuse himself based on a potential financial conflict.

Johnson operates an insurance business along Arrow Highway, a few hundred feet from the campus. He also co-owns the 3,500-square-foot property on which his business sits.

I called Johnson today, and he sounded a little caught off gaurd over the phone. In the end he only had this to say to me: “I don’t have any comment.”

Johnson will be back in court July 2 for a pre-trial hearing. Officials say he’ll have the option to select a jury trial or court trial. Apparentlly, until then, his attorney will be reviewing the DA’s case file including discovery documents.

Johnson faces a maximum of six months in jail and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Also, If convicted, Johnson’s misdemeanor count would be considered a violation of the

Political Reform Act, which would prohibit him from being a candidate in an election for four years from the expiration of his term, Callahan said.

Johnson is up for re-election in March 2011.

Bye, bye Ford

Looks like Foothill Ford in La Verne is the newest victim in Ford Motor Corp.’s downsizing plan.

I confirmed just a little while ago the dealership will shut down on the 31st.
That means about $100,000 yearly loss to the city. The dealership is one of La Verne’s top 10 sales tax generators.

The next door Hyundai dealership that just moved in from Glendora a few months ago isn’t going anywhere I’m told.

In fact, Hyundai will be expanding out when Ford leaves — making it the last standing dealership in La Verne.

Still no word on what city officials will be doing to fill the void, but Mayor Jon Blickenstaff tells me he would just like to see a successful business there.

Wouldn’t we all.

Another day, another politician, another criminal charge

The District Attorney’s office has filed a criminal charge against City Coucilman Steven Johnson, accusing him of a conflict of interest on a vote he cast in January.

The misdemeanor count was filed in Pomona Superior Court late Tuesday and it stems from a January 16 council meeting in which Johnson voted to approve a University of La Verne expansion despite being advised by the city attorney to recuse himself based on a potential financial conflict.

Johnson co-owns a 3,500-square-foot property along Arrow Highway, on which he operates an insurance business.

Because the business is located within 500 feet from the campus, state law presumes voting is a conflict

Johnson didn’t return my calls Wednesday, but he’s said before he doesn’t think the project will affect his property value.

Johnson’s arraignment is scheduled for May 29, and he faces up to six months in jail and a $10,000 fine.