VENTURA COUNTY, CA, August 6, 2008 – Interested Ventura County residents are cordially invited to attend a McCain Nation Party on Thursday, August 14th at 6 p.m. at the Ventura County Republican Center located at 2219 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 103, Thousand Oaks (across from “The Lakes”). The event will allow individuals the opportunity to learn about John McCain’s agenda for America and learn what they can do to help John McCain win in November. Please join the Ventura County Republican Party for this important and fun event.

Admission is free and refreshments will be served. To RSVP, please contact Natalie Panossian at venturacountygop@gmail.com or by calling (805) 217-2465.

 


 
Safe Neighborhoods Act is a statewide plan that puts money in local communities without raising taxes
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

With gang crime reaching epidemic levels across the state, local governments continue their struggle to respond to this long festering problem. But rather than prioritize existing money toward public safety, Democratic leaders continue to propose higher taxes.

In 2006, the City of Los Angeles hiked trash collection fees to raise an additional $100 million to add another 1,000 officers to patrol the streets. When all was said and done, LA officials used a paltry $42 million of the new funds to add a mere 400 new cops rather than the promised thousand. Recently, Mayor Villaraigosa has proposed another increase in fees to be used to pay for enhanced public safety.

The City of Sacramento is contemplating a voter initiative to pass a "gang crime" tax to deal with its rampant gang problems. Facing an election year and plagued by a rash of crime, city officials want to increase the local sales taxes to 8 percent. This would raise an estimated $16 million a year for prevention and enforcement. Yet this sales tax proposal is ill-planned and hastily pushed and is even opposed by law enforcement leaders.

The City of Oakland joined the tax bandwagon as well by placing a parcel tax on the November local ballot. Officials promise that the money from this tax would be used to add 105 new police officers and 75 technicians. Amazingly, city officials continue to ask for more taxpayer dollars amid allegations of mishandling of existing funds, nepotism and corruption.

While these cities scheme to tax, a plan to infuse local governments with funds and tools for fighting crimes already exists. Proposition 6 -The Safe Neighborhoods Act would guarantee state funding for law enforcement and programs designed to reduce and prevent gang crime.

The LA City Council opposes Prop 6. This knee-jerk hostility toward the measure comes even though the proposition would increase the number of cops on the street – something the council continues to promise but fails to deliver.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums opposes Prop 6 as well, despite its benefits to his city, which is no model for public safety.

While these cities and others continue to wrangle for more taxpayer dollars, they offer few concrete plans on how the dollars will be spent. That's how the LA City Council was able to renege on its promise – by asking voters to approve higher taxes but giving few specifics on how that money would be spent.

Prop 6 will guarantee public safety spending from existing state dollars. This means more officers will patrol the street, more prevention programs, and more rehabilitation without raising taxes. Unlike individual city tax schemes, Prop 6 includes accountability. The measure will ensure that the dollars spent on prevention and rehabilitation will be used efficiently and effectively.

Prioritizing existing dollars is the winning strategy, especially since voters have clearly expressed opposition to increases in their tax burden. Recent PPIC polls show California voters overwhelmingly opposed to increases in sales tax and vehicle fees. With the passage of Prop 6, we can squeeze gangs without squeezing the taxpayers.

 


 

FILLMORE CITY COUNCIL -AND- FILLMORE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 2008 SPECIAL MEETING CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS 6:30 P.M.
FILLMORE CITY HALL CENTRAL PARK PLAZA 250 CENTRAL AVENUE FILLMORE, CALIFORNIA 93015-1907
AGENDA

IF YOU WISH TO SPEAK: Oral Communications is the time for citizen presentations or comments on items not on the agenda, but within the responsibility of the City Council. Please complete an Audience Participation Form prior to the beginning of oral communications and hand it to the clerk if you wish to speak. Please stay within the time limit indicated by the Mayor. If you wish to speak on an item on this agenda, please fill out an Audience Participation Form and hand it to the clerk prior to that item. AUDIBLE DEVICES: Please ensure all audible devices (pagers, telephones, etc.) are off or otherwise not audible when the Council is in session. Thank you.

AGENDA TIMES: Please note the time listed for each agenda item is the suggested/estimated time for that item to begin. Items may be heard earlier or later than the listed time. The estimation includes providing an occasional 10-minute break. No new business will be considered by the City Council after 11:30 p.m. unless a majority of the Council determines to continue. MEMORANDUMS: Memorandums relating to agenda items are on file in the Administrative Assistant's Office. If you have questions regarding the agenda you may call City Hall at (805) 524-3701 or come to City Hall for information. Materials related to an item on this agenda submitted to the City Council after distribution of the agenda packet are available for public inspection in the Administrative Assistant's office at City Hall during normal business hours. Such documents are also available on the City of Fillmore's website at www.fillmoreca.com subject to staffs ability to post the documents before the meeting. REPLAY SCHEDULE: City Council meetings will re-broadcast on Channel 10 on Wednesdays at 10 a.m., Saturdays at 10 a.m., and Sundays at 6 p.m. CITY COUNCIL AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY AGENDAS ARE POSTED AT: http://www.fillmoreca.com/doc_download.htm

ITEM___________________________________________REFERENCE**

1. CALL TO ORDER & PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE " Oral
2. APPROVAL OF AGENDA Oral
3. ORAL COMMUNICATIONS Oral
Oral Communications is the time for citizen presentations or comments on items not on the agenda, but within the responsibility of the City Council. Please complete an Audience Participation Form prior to the beginning of oral communications and hand it to the clerk if you wish to speak. Please stay within the time limit indicated by the Mayor. If you wish to speak on an item on this agenda, please fill out an Audience Participation Form and hand it to the clerk prior to that item.

4. CITY COUNCIL CONSENT CALENDAR (6:40p)

4A. Warrant List for August 7, 2008. Copy
4B. Trust Warrant List for August 7, 2008. Copy
4C. Receive and File: City of Fillmore Weapons Policy. Memo
4D. Authorization to Enter into Remedial Grading Agreement: Perry Ranch and Memo KDF Communities.

5. REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY CONSENT CALENDAR

5A. Warrant List for August 7, 2008. Copy
6. C/TV COUNCIL PUBLIC HEARINGS - None.
7. JOINT CITY COUNCIL/REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY PUBLIC HEARINGS - None.
8. JO/NT CITY COUNCIL/REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY BUSINESS ITEMS - None.
9. CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS ITEMS

City Manager
9A. Request from Assemblywoman Audra Strickland to Oppose the Conversion of Memo the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility into a Medical and Mental Health Facility. (6:45p)
9B. Report on Measure 1: North Fillmore Initiative on the November 4, 2008 ballot. Memo
(6:55p)
9C. Investigation into Claims of Harassment and Intimidation Asserted by Marcos Hernandez. Memo (7;45p)

Public Works Director
9D. Reject Bid Received July 15, 2008/Authorization to Advertise for Bids (Re-bid) Memo the Effluent Disposal and Reuse for Fillmore Middle School and Railroad (8:15p) Right-of-Way, Specification No. 08-04/Authorize Work Order #33 for Boyle Engineering.
9E. Release of Construction Bonds on Griffin Housing Tracts. Memo (8:25p)

10. CITY COUNCIL REPORTS, DISCUSSION AND APPOINTMENTS
10A. Information/Direction to Staff on Legislative Matters and Emerging Issues. Oral
10B. City Council Member Travel Reports. Oral
10C. Other Discussion/Information from Mayor, City Council and City Staff. Oral
10D. Any Council Member may propose items for placement on a future agenda. Oral
Members may discuss whether or not an item should be placed on a future agenda and the description of the agenda item. Any direction to the City Manager shall have discretion as to when the item will come back on the Agenda, unless the City Council identifies a specific meeting for the item's return.

11. CITY COUNCIL EXECUTIVE SESSION
11A. Conference with Real Property Negotiators (Gov't Code Section 54956.8); Property:
APN 052-0-071-04 and 052-0-071-055 (Saticoy Lemon Plant on Sespe Avenue);
Property Owners: Saticoy Lemon and Fillmore-Piru Citrus; Agency Negotiators: Glenn Hille, Boyle Engineering, and Heather Johnson; Negotiating Parties: Saticoy Lemon Association and Fillmore Piru Citrus; Under Negotiation: Price and Terms of Payment.

11B. Conference with Real Property Negotiators (Gov't Code Section 54956.8); Property;
Riviera Park Estates, River St. and Highway 23; Agency Negotiator: Tom Ristau, City Manager and Heather Johnson; Negotiating Parties: Riviera Park Estate Homeowners Association; Under Negotiation; Price and Terms of Payment for Easement.

12. ADJOURNMENT- City Council adjourns to a regular meeting set for Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at Fillmore City Hall, 250 Central Avenue, Fillmore, California.______(9:00p)

PLEASE NOTE: If you challenge the actions of the City Council in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in the public notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City Council at, or prior to, the public hearing. (Calif. Gov't Code §65009).
Any legal action by an applicant seeking to obtain a judicial review of the City Council's decision on a Hearing listed on this Agenda may be subject to the 90-day filing period of, and governed by, Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the Administrative Assistant at (805) 524-3701. Notification 48 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting. (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title II)_____________________________________________________

For the complete agenda, click on the link below.

 


 
National Night Out Gives Americans a Fighting Chance against Crime
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

The men and women of law enforcement have an important job. But when communities get involved, it helps them better protect our neighborhoods, streets and schools.

That’s where National Night Out comes in.

Created in 1983, National Night Out brings neighbors together throughout the country to fight crime. The program heightens awareness of crime prevention and improves relationships between police and the community.

It gives power to the people. It gives them a collective voice. People aren’t just talking about fighting crime; they’re doing something about it.

Tuesday, Aug. 5 marks the 25th anniversary of the national event. On this evening, 34 million people in 10,000 communities nationwide will celebrate National Night Out.

Some of the cities and counties that I represent in Senate District 17 will participate – Lancaster, Palmdale (held tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m.), Victorville, Hesperia and Santa Clarita.

In these neighborhoods, organizers put together barbecues and children’s activities. Costumed characters entertain the kids. Local police officers introduce themselves, putting a face to a badge, and inform the community about their departments’ goals for keeping the community safe. They teach crime prevention ideas, and they talk about the dangers of drugs, and encourage kids to avoid trouble and stay in school.

Citizens, for their part, ask questions and voice their safety concerns to the public servants.

In the process, neighborhood spirit is strengthened and community members have a better understanding of one another. Criminals get the message that neighborhoods are organized and law-abiding citizens are fighting back.

I highly recommend attending a National Night Out event to learn more about fighting crime, creating safe neighborhoods and to get to know your local law enforcement and neighbors better. After all, you have a lot in common: You all want a safe, clean and healthy community.

Remember, the more eyes and ears we have in our neighborhoods helping to assist police, the better chance we have to deter crime.

For more information, visit www.nationaltownwatch.org.

Here is more information about cities participating in National Night Out:

SANTA CLARITA: Held Aug. 5 at the Newhall Community Center. For more information, call (661) 799-5158 or visit: www.scvsheriff.com/search.asp?request=national+night+out&submit=search

PALMDALE: Palmdale will hold its National Night out on Thursday, July 31. Click here for more information: http://www.cityofpalmdale.org/cals/calendar.asp

LANCASTER: Held Aug. 5 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Clear Channel Stadium where the Jet Hawks are playing a home game. Contact Community Safety Supervisor Shelli Henson at (661) 723-6160.

VICTORVILLE: Held Aug. 5 at Doris Davies Park from 6 – 8 p.m. Call Karen Hunt at 760-241-1841.

APPLE VALLEY: Held Aug. 5 from 6- 9 p.m. at the Civic Center Park, 14955 Dale Evans Parkway. Call (760) 240-7400 x7428 for more information.

 


 
Deadline is August 18th

The City of Ventura has asked us to help spread the word about a grant program they have this year for artists, including musicians.

The city of Ventura is offering a $2,000 fellowship for "emerging" artists and $5,000 for "established" artists who either live or work within the city of Ventura. The Fellowship, or Grant, can be used anyway you deem necessary to advance your musical cause (buying a new instrument, paying rent, putting gas in the car, etc.)

The City has $40,000 allocated for this fellowship program and all who either work or live in Ventura are not only welcome, but encouraged to apply. There is no fee.

Where do you find an application, you ask? Well, we've placed an easily downloadable copy of both the guidelines and the application on our website at www.MAVRIC-Awards.com - you will find the info as part as our Breaking News on the Main Page as well as on the News page.

This is a great opportunity for any musician who works or lives in Ventura County to receive what could be much needed funding to continue their music endeavors. I can't tell you how proud we are of the City of Ventura for reaching out to its artistic community in this and so many more great ways!

Hurry, the deadline to have your applications in is by Monday, August 15th at 5:00pm.

Good luck to all who are eligible to apply!

 

The Fillmore Gazette welcomes our newest advertiser Construction & Handyman Services


 

You can find the entire City of Fillmore 08-09 budget at the following link: http://www.fillmoreca.com/docs/08-09budget.pdf

 
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed AB 97 by Assemblymember Tony Mendoza (D-Norwalk), which will phase out the use of trans fats in all California restaurants beginning in 2010 and from all baked goods by 2011.

“California is a leader in promoting health and nutrition, and I am pleased to continue that tradition by being the first state in the nation to phase out trans fats,” Governor Schwarzenegger said. “Consuming trans fat is linked to coronary heart disease, and today we are taking a strong step toward creating a healthier future for California.”

Scientific evidence demonstrates a strong association between the consumption of artificial trans fat and the development of coronary heart disease and stroke, as well as other chronic conditions such as diabetes. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, eliminating artificial trans fats from the food supply could prevent between six and 19 percent of heart attacks and related deaths each year. Coronary heart disease is California’s leading cause of death, and AB 97 will be a strong step toward removing this harmful substance from the foods that Californians purchase and consume.

The Governor’s leadership has put in place some of the nation’s most innovative and successful strategies to promote health and nutrition. The Governor has:

Established the toughest school nutrition reforms in the nation, taking junk food and sugary sodas off our campuses.
Banned trans fat and food fried in unhealthy oils in school meals.
Invested millions of dollars in fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals.
Adopted the first-ever physical education standards.
Convened a Summit on Health, Nutrition and Obesity where leaders of public and private sector organizations made significant commitments to change core business practices to help achieve a healthier California.
Reinvigorated the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which focuses on rewarding positive leadership in implementing healthy living in youth.
Proposed a comprehensive health care reform plan that emphasizes prevention and wellness.

Trans fat is linked to the following health issues:

Trans fat increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease – the leading cause of death in the U.S. “Like saturated fat, trans fat also raises the low density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol in the blood. But, unlike saturated fat, trans fat lowers high density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol in the blood. An elevated LDL cholesterol increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease.” (U.S. FDA: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, “Questions and Answers about Trans Fat Nutrition Labeling,” Press Release, 1/1/06)
University of Maryland research suggests that kids who consume trans fats early on will develop heart disease sooner. “Children who start at age three or four eating a steady diet of fast food, pop tarts, commercially prepared fish sticks, stick margarine, cake, candy, cookies and microwave popcorn can be expected to get heart disease earlier than kids who are eating foods without trans fats… Some of our research here at the University of Maryland has shown that kids as young as eight, nine and 10 already have the high cholesterol and blood fats that clog arteries. By starting healthy eating habits early, parents can help their children avoid heart attacks and stroke.” (Mary Beth Sodus, “Trans Fats 101,” University of Maryland Medical Center)
According to the American Heart Association, trans fat should make up less than one percent of calories for Americans over two. “Another major change in the dietary recommendations is a lower goal for saturated fat — from less than 10 percent to less than seven percent — and establishing a goal for trans fatty acids of less than one percent of total calories.” (American Heart Association, “Association releases new diet and lifestyle recommendations,” Press Release, 6/19/06)

 

SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced California will receive more than $25 million dollars in FY 08 grant awards for programs to enhance border protection, regional catastrophic planning and preparedness, and protecting non-profit organizations deemed at risk.

California will receive $13.5 million under the new, Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP), designed to improve all-hazard planning for a catastrophic event. The money will be split equally between the Los Angeles-Long Beach area and the Bay Area (including San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose). California’s share is 14% of the $60m national total.

California will receive $7,650,000 for Operation Stonegarden (OPSG). Under DHS guidelines the intent of OPSG is to enhance law enforcement preparedness and operational readiness along the border. California (San Diego/Imperial Counties/Border Patrol/State) will receive 13% of the $60m national total.

The Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) awarded close to $4.1 million dollars to various nonprofit organizations in these California UASI’s:

Los Angeles-Long Beach $2,650,751

Bay Area (including San $1,139,730
Francisco, Oakland, San Jose)

San Diego Area $ 223,520

Anaheim/Santa Ana Area $ 75,000

NSGP provides funding support for target-hardening activities to nonprofit organizations deemed by DHS to be at high risk of a terrorist attack. 27% of the $15m national total is going to California.

“The risks facing California are real and we’re glad to see these funds coming into the state,” said Office of Homeland Security Director Matthew Bettenhausen. “California will continue to push for higher funding levels to meet all our emergency preparedness needs.”

For further information regarding the grants and about the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, please visit our website, www.ohs.ca.gov.

 
Honoring Our Firefighters
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Barbara Boxer
US Senator from California

Over the last month, more than 2,000 fires sparked by dry lightning storms and arson raged across drought-ridden land in California. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in twelve counties, and President Bush declared a federal emergency in eleven. Overall, fires have burned across more than 950,000 acres of public and private land so far this fire season. This is the most acreage ever burned in recorded state history.

In the fight against these fires support has come from all quarters, including the National Guards of eleven states, the United States Marine Corps and Navy, even NASA. And we have received welcome international assistance from our allies in Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Canada.

But I want to give special thanks to the more than 19,000 local, state and federal firefighters who have put their lives on the line over the last several weeks and continue to do so to fight these fires and protect our communities.

The people of California owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of CalFire and the US Forest Service as well as the California National Guard and all of the local fire departments who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in fighting these fires.

Their courage and swift action during this recent series of firestorms have been truly heroic. They have risked their health and well-being for the benefit of our communities, and we are grateful.

Some 330 firefighter injuries have been reported in just the past few weeks, a testament to the great personal risk these men and women undertake every day.

I am sad to report that these fires have claimed the life of one of our firefighters. Robert Roland, who had been with the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department in Mendocino County for only three months, passed away on July 3, 2008 battling wildfires near the town of Philo. He was 63 years old.

Mr. Roland was a volunteer fire fighter. One of America’s greatest strengths is its spirit of volunteerism, and nowhere is that spirit more evident than in the tradition of volunteer firefighting.

We mourn his loss, and we remember and give thanks for his selfless efforts and those of all the firefighters – volunteer and professional – who put their lives on the line throughout California.

The scale of these fires so early in the year is a stark reminder that we cannot afford to shortchange our fire preparedness. I will continue to work to ensure that firefighters have the resources they need to effectively protect our communities.

 
It's back - iTax
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

Just when you thought the misguided idea to tax Internet music downloads had died, it has been resuscitated and is back as yet one more bad idea to close a gaping budget deficit.

Assembly Bill 22xxx – a bill re-introduced by a Los Angeles Democrat legislator – would create a 7.25 percent sales tax on all digital downloads, including music, movies, ring tones, games, software and other programs downloaded online.

This is a bad idea that probably won’t get the two-third votes it needs to become law. So the question is: Why re-introduce it under the guise of solving the budget problem?

The reality is that the iTax plan will make nary a difference in closing the budget gap. In fact, according to the State Board of Equalization, it would generate only about $114 million – not even one percent of the deficit.

This idea needs to go away and the Legislature needs to leave the Internet services free of taxation.

The government should not tax internet downloads.

Internet download services, after all, have been a particular boon to music consumers, allowing them to access songs at affordable prices and on demand. Consequently, online music sites like Rhapsody and Yahoo have flourished.

Now, of course, big-government proponents hope to grab a piece of the pie and along the way add a burden to online providers who would be forced to spend more money and time on accounting software and services to make sure California consumers paid their sales taxes.

Consumers wouldn’t fare well either, as they would not only pay the sales taxes but perhaps see the cost of “doing business with Californians” passed on to them.

Taxpayers have said enough is enough in one opinion poll after another.

Still, some Democrats have turned a deaf ear to the protests and still hope to further pick taxpayers’ pockets.

Taxpayers don’t deserve to pay the price of a spendthrift Legislature and Governor. This behavior of “spend today-tax tomorrow” has become a recurring nightmare for California taxpayers (and the reason the state is both broke and has the dubious distinction of being one of the most heavily taxed in the nation) and it must stop.

 

Plese find Judge Colaw's Writ of mandate attached and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board's responce to the Writ in the following story.

 

While committing to comply with a judge’s orders, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board will seek to limit a Superior Court decision that affects the regulation of stormwater runoff in the Los Angeles Region, largely in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The July 2, 2008 court order by Superior Court Judge Thierry Patrick Colaw in the matter of Cities of Arcadia, et al v. State Water Resources Control Board et al, concerns the Board’s triennial review of its Basin Plan. The Basin Plan establishes the region’s water quality standards which are the necessary and desired levels of water quality in the region to protect drinking water, beachgoers, fish, wildlife, and the environment.

At a July 10, 2008 meeting of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board, the members met in closed session to consider the writ of mandate As a result of that meeting and the Court’s writ of mandate, the Executive Officer has directed staff to 1) take immediate and necessary measures to comply with the Court order, and 2) proceed with obtaining relief from the court to enable the Board to continue protecting water quality in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. “The Board respects the law and Court’s directive and is looking forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders so we can resume our basic mission of protecting water quality, public health and the environment from the devastating effects of polluted storm water runoff,” said Fran Diamond, Chair of the Regional Board.” She added, “Nonetheless, all the Regional Board members are very concerned about the impact of this decision on water quality and our community.”

What Board action has been taken to comply with the Court decision?

• Effective immediately, staff has been directed to reevaluate the Basin Plan consistent with the Judge’s order. These activities will include public notices and hearings.

What Court Ordered Limitations have been placed on Regional Board Activities?

With respect to municipal storm water discharges, construction storm water discharges, and industrial storm water discharges, the Regional Board is prohibited from:

• Processing applications for permits required under the Clean Water Act;
• Considering and adopting requirements (called Total Maximum Daily Loads) to reduce pollution in storm water and improve the quality of the region’s most polluted waters;
• Inspecting facilities to assess their compliance with water quality standards;
• Prosecuting violations of existing permits’ requirements to comply with water quality standards;
• Referring violations to the Attorney General for civil and criminal prosecution related to violations of existing permits’ requirements to comply with water quality standards;
• And all other “activities relating to the implementation, application and/or enforcement” of water quality standards as applied to storm water.
What does this mean?
• The potential environmental impact is significant and results in the Regional Board’s inability to protect public health and the environment from even basic threats of harm caused by storm water and urban runoff.
• The writ does not halt the Regional Board’s permitting authority but does prohibit the processing of storm water permits by the Regional Board, since federal law requires most storm water permit to ensure compliance with the Basin Plan’s water quality standards.
• The writ did not waive requirements to apply for and to receive storm water, construction or industrial permits.
• The writ did not address any of the Regional Board’s groundwater policies and non-storm water programs.

When does the writ go into effect?
• The writ went into effect July 3, 2008.

What prompted this decision?
• The decision is the result of a lawsuit filed by the Cities of Arcadia, Bellflower, Carson, Cerritos, Claremont, Commerce, Downey, Duarte, Gardena, Glendora, Hawaiian Gardens, Irwindale, Lawndale, Monterey Park, Paramount, Santa Fe Springs, Signal Hill, Vernon, Walnut, West Covina and Whittier and the Building Industry Legal Defense Foundation
• The lawsuit asserted that the Regional Board was required, but failed to reexamine each of its water quality standards after storm water discharges became subject to the federal Clean Water Act in 1987. The cities contended specifically that, with respect to storm water, the Regional Board was required to examine a variety of factors described in Water Code Sections 13241 and 13000, including whether the standards could be reasonably achieved, the economic effect on the cities, the need for housing, and the competing demands faced by governmental agencies responsible for implementation.

Does this mandate apply to the other eight Regional Boards?
• No. It applies only to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and the State Water Resources Control Board in the Los Angeles Region.

Why is the board pursuing further legal relief?
• The result of the order is that the Regional Board is prohibited from protecting human health, the environment, and water quality from the effects of storm water and urban runoff pollution, including bacteria, pathogens, heavy metals, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Further relief is necessary to ensure that the Board can protect the public and water quality while its proceeds to implement the Court’s directives.

 
Environmentalists block sale of California’s surplus property
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

The economic downturn that California continues to experience further illustrates the importance for the Legislature and the Governor to reign in spending and create a rainy day fund. It also means we need to maximize our state assets.

California owns a variety of assets, including buildings, stadiums, arenas, railroads, fairgrounds, printing plants, parks, prisons, office complexes, golf courses and more. As time goes by, facilities age, become obsolete and priorities change. Agencies find that the cost of maintaining many of these sites outweighs the benefit of the services they provide. Thus, properties become surplus to the needs of the state.

Fortunately, California’s Constitution provides a process for disposing of surplus state property – a process that worked well for most of California’s existence.

Now, unfortunately, state property sales have become entangled in the eco-politics of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires – among other things – an environmental review of some properties.

Historically, the sale of surplus property has been exempted from the CEQA review process since the new owner or developer is required to undergo CEQA requirements if the property is developed.

Prior to 2005, legislation that required the sale of surplus state property contained standard language that provided a legal exemption from CEQA. Year in and year out, the Legislature passed this exemption without controversy or a second thought and the state shed itself from unused property.

But that wasn’t good enough for extreme environmentalists. They vowed to fight in the name of saving the earth and exerting their own power to challenge all legal exemptions to CEQA.

As a result, no surplus property bill has been enacted since 2004.

Surplus property legislation introduced by Republican and Democrat legislators alike has become politicized and Governor Schwarzenegger has vetoed nearly every surplus property bill that did not contain a CEQA exemption. He has vowed to continue this practice.

That means taxpayers continue to pay for the maintenance and other expenses of surplus state property – like the 850-acre parcel in Napa County that the Legislature is eager to sell to the county.

Imagine how much money 850 acres in the heart of Napa Valley is worth. Wouldn’t it be nice if the proceeds from such a sale were used to help pay down the Economic Recovery Bonds, which were sold in 2005 to close California’s deficit?

Thanks to our environmentally sensitive friends, that won’t happen anytime soon and the state must continue diverting taxpayer money to maintain these surplus properties that otherwise could be used to provide services to the people of California.

 
Shielding Californians from Identity Theft, Unlicensed Real Estate Brokers
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Strengthening protections for California consumers, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed AB 372 by Assemblymember Mary Salas (D-Chula Vista) reducing barriers to obtain a security freeze on consumer credit reports and SB 1448 by Senator Jack Scott (D-Pasadena) increasing penalties for acting or advertising as a real estate broker or salesperson without a license.

“As Governor, I will continue to ensure California consumers are protected from deceitful and irresponsible practices. And, with today’s action, we are helping consumers to make informed decisions on how to protect themselves and shielding them from dishonest predators,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing financial crimes in the U.S. and nearly 10 million Americans fall victim to it each year. Unfortunately, most consumers are unaware of one of the best ways to protect against identity theft - placing a security freeze on their credit report. AB 372 aims to ensure all consumers are informed of their right to place a security freeze on their credit report while also making it more accessible and affordable.

Specifically, AB 372 requires a credit reporting agency to disclose the right of a consumer to place a security freeze on their credit report, requires a credit reporting agency to place a freeze within three days of a request, allows consumers to request a freeze by regular written mail instead of certified mail and lowers the fee a credit reporting agency may charge to place a freeze from $12 dollars to $10 or $5 for consumers 65 and older.

SB 1448 will help deter unlicensed individuals from attempting to practice real estate law in California by increasing monetary penalties. It doubles the fine of an unlicensed person acting in a capacity that requires a real estate license to $20,000 and increases the fine for an unlicensed corporation from $50,000 to $60,000. Additionally, it authorizes portions of these fines to go to the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Trust Fund in counties throughout the state to enhance the capacity of local law enforcement to deter, investigate and prosecute real estate fraud crimes.

More information on how to protect against identity theft can be found on the California Office of Privacy Protection Web site at http://www.oispp.ca.gov/consumer_privacy/identitytheft.asp. To file a complaint against a real estate broker or salesperson or check on actions taken against unlicensed persons please visit the Department of Real Estate Web site at http://www.dre.ca.gov/cons_home.html.

 
“Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2008”

Legislative Director says “Argentina can’t be trusted to honor its debt, to not profiteer on its soybean exports or to export disease free beef”

Washington, DC - The National Grange applauded Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) for their introduction of the “Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2008.” This key legislation would ban beef imports from Argentina until that country can guarantee that its beef exports are free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). In addition to Argentina’s unpaid debt, FMD is one of Argentina’s many problems that could potentially harm America’s farming community.

The National Grange Legislative Director, Leroy Watson, thanked Senators Johnson and Enzi for their introduction of this legislation, and called on more Senators to co-sponsor the bill in order to strengthen its support. Watson noted that it is important to keep FMD away from the U.S. mainland. “While there are many dangerous animal diseases that pose an economic risk to family farmers and ranchers, few come close to the nightmare of an outbreak of FMD,” Watson explained.

FMD is twenty times more infectious than small-pox. There is no known cure or universal vaccine. It causes painful blisters on animals such as cattle, swine, goats and deer that can render them unable to walk, eat or drink. While people and other animals do not contract FMD, once exposed, they can carry the virus in their lungs to transmit to other susceptible animals for up to 48 hours. The airborne transmission range for an outbreak of FMD can be a 50 mile radius or an area of more than 7,800 square miles.

Based on experiences with major FMD outbreaks in 2001 and 2007 in Great Britain, once the disease was loose on the mainland U.S., it could require mass slaughter and disposal of potentially tens of millions of individual carcasses of domestic and wild animals. It would require the imposition of draconian human quarantine and decontamination measures that would disrupt general commerce, outdoor recreational activities like hunting, fishing or hiking as well as impede personal freedom of mobility both in and out of the agricultural sector. It would undoubtedly disrupt the domestic and international sale of meat and meat products throughout the nation for months or even years.

“The National Grange believes the ancillary costs to general commerce, outdoor recreation, and impacts on future investments in the livestock sector by family farmers and ranchers would exceed the conservative estimates made by USDA in 2004 of $60 billion in direct costs by several fold,” Watson stated.

“Argentina has proven to be an international pariah with its economic and foreign policies, which hurt America’s family farmers and ranchers,” said Watson. “Argentina repudiated its debt obligations of over $30 billion in public and private debt in 2005 to American taxpayers. After the 2001 default, the Argentine government manipulated its currency, which allowed the country to maintain an unfair export incentive. Argentina recently moved to impose a 45% export tax on soybeans that amounts to “sovereign profiteering” in light of a world food crisis. And at a time when food safety is a rising international priority, Argentina has been unable to prove that its beef exports are FMD free. Clearly, Argentina can’t be trusted to honor its debt to export its soybeans without profiteering on pressing humanitarian needs of a hungry world or export disease free beef. The Johnson-Enzi Bill is a helpful step in the right direction toward making Argentina accountable to the basic standards of the international community.”

The National Grange also calls for additional co-sponsors to this key legislation. In addition to Senators Johnson and Enzi, current co-sponsors of the “Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2008” include the following: Jon Tester (D-MT), John Barrasso (R-WY), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Ken Salazar (D-CO), and Wayne Allard (R-CO). “Senators from across the United States must add their support to this important legislation to protect America’s family farmers and ranchers,” the Grange Legislative Director concluded.

 
Enterprise Zones
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

Congratulations to the City of Santa Clarita, which just celebrated the one year anniversary of its successful Enterprise Zone. Here’s why Enterprise Zones are important: They encourage economic growth – particularly jobs – through offering tax incentives for business. The results are a larger tax base for the community and the improvement of blighted areas.

Furthermore, in Santa Clarita and other Southern California locations, Enterprise Zones are steps in the right direction by encouraging more businesses to keep money and jobs in California.

Enterprise Zones began in the 1980s when the state offered special tax incentives for businesses that chose to locate in designated areas. In an effort to revive economically depressed or blighted regions, businesses received incentives to provide well paying jobs for people living in those communities. This win-win situation provides economically disadvantaged residents with more employment opportunities and businesses with cost savings.

In Santa Clarita, businesses can earn up to $37,000 in tax credits over five years for hiring an employee either living within the targeted development zone, one who was recently laid off, or on one who participated in qualified training programs. This gives businesses the incentive to hire local people who need these jobs the most.

Businesses can also receive a $40,000 business expense tax deduction for purchasing equipment and supplies. All told, the Santa Clarita Enterprise Zone offers $3.7 million in potential savings.

The Antelope Valley Enterprise Zone also provides similar incentives, offering $31,574 in tax credits over five years for hiring, $20,000 in business expense deductions, and providing corporations with up to $20 million for purchasing qualified machinery and equipment.

The Victor Valley offers incentives too through the Local Agency Military Base Recovery Act, which also provides sales tax credits for up to $20 million for qualified machinery and equipment, hiring credits and other deductions.

With the deficit looming over the Capitol, policy-makers are frantically searching for ways to close the $16 billion hole in the budget. Some suggest eliminating the tax credits for these Enterprise Zones throughout the state. This wrongheaded approach would only serve to drive more businesses away and exacerbate an already sour economy.

With the celebration of the Santa Clarita Enterprise Zone’s one year anniversary, and the continued success in the Antelope Valley’s Enterprise Zone, we should look to expand the tax base by encouraging increased investment in California.

Enterprise Zones are the right approach to fixing blighted areas, and I believe these policies would work statewide. Let’s continue utilizing strategies that encourage growth rather than hinder it.

 
Public Pools not complying by December 2008 will risk fines or be shut down

By Paul Pennington
Founder, Pool & Spa Safety Consortium

With the December 18, 2008 deadline for public pool owners to comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) guideline for public pool safety quickly approaching, pool owners must take action to add a third layer of protection to their pools and spas before it is too late. Pools that do not meet the specified guidelines presented by the (CPSC) in June 2008, risk the possibility of being shut down and owners risk being fined over $1 million.

A frightening and often underreported occurrence, suction entrapment can result when a swimmer is “sucked” onto a pool or spa’s powerful water circulation system much like the way the hose of a vacuum cleaner will stick to a person’s palm. The force of this suction can be tremendous – up to 500 pounds of pressure or more for a main drain with a standard pump! Despite this risk, pools can still be enjoyed safely when the proper safety precautions are in place – a stride that the Consumer Product Safety Commission will help to enforce nationwide.

Statistics show that drowning is the second leading cause of death among children ages one to 14. In addition to the basics such as safety fences, pool covers, alarms and drain covers, additional anti-entrapment devices must be added to all public pools and spas.

What do you need to know to be compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Guidelines (Sec. 1404)?

By December 2008, each public pool and spa in the U.S. must be equipped with anti-entrapment devices or systems that comply with the ASME/ANSI performance standard. Additionally, each pool or spa with a single main drain – other than an unblockable drain – must be equipped with at least one or more of the following layers of protection to prevent entrapment by pool or spa drains:

• Safety vacuum release system (SVRS)
An SVRS must cease operation of the pump, reverse the circulation flow or provide a vacuum release at a suction outlet when a blockage is detected. It also must have been tested by an independent third party and found to conform to ASME/ANSI standard 112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387. An SVRS can be installed in under an hour for about $500 - $700. Representative brands include Vac-Alert Industries, Stingl, Hayward Pool Products, and A.O. Smith Company.

• Suction-limiting vent system
While not widely used, these systems introduce air into the suction line thus causing the pump to lose prime and relieve the suction forces at the main drain. The installation of this system will require significant demolition and reconstruction of the pool.

• Gravity drainage system
These have gained popularity in states such as Florida and are practical for new pool construction only. This device uses a collector tank with a separate water storage vessel from which the pump draws water. Water moves from the pool to the collector tank due to atmospheric pressure, limiting drain suction forces significantly.

• Automatic pump shut-off system
A device that senses a drain blockage and shuts off the pump system. Some SVRS devices may meet this definition. Currently there is no industry standard for automatic pump shut-off systems. However, the current SVRS standards provide release and response time of under three seconds.

• Drain disablement
A device or system that disables the drain of a pool or spa.

• Other systems
Any other system determined by the CPSC to be equally effective as, or better than, the systems described previously.

What option is right for your pool?

All of the options listed above are effective layers of protection against suction entrapment. However, the SVRS remains the most economical option to bring existing public pools and spas up to code. This is because the SVRS is easily installed into the existing suction line from the main drain at the pool pump or the electrical line at the pool pump – both typically in as little as 30 minutes.

What is the definition of a “public” pool or spa?

Under the new legislation, a public pool or spa means that it is either generally open to the public, whether for a fee or free of charge, or is open exclusively to:
• Members of an organization and their guests.
• Residents of a multi-unit apartment building, apartment complex, residential real estate development or other multi-family residential area (other than a municipality, township or other local government jurisdiction).
• Patrons of a hotel or other public accommodations facility.
• Operated by the Federal Government (or by a concessionaire on behalf of the Federal Government) for the benefit of members of the Armed Forces and their dependents or employees of any department or agency and their dependents.

Paul Pennington is a founding member of The Pool Safety Consortium, a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC. Having began as an informative database for industry leaders and tradesmen providing current standards of international and state codes, it has since evolved into much more. Currently, the Consortium works to educate the consumer on current legislation as well as available safety devices to help protect children and the lives of others from swimming pool and spa tragedies. For more information on the Pool Safety Consortium please visit (http://www.poolsafetyconsortium.org).

 
Remembering our patriots, past and present
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

As we celebrate this Independence Day with family and friends, let’s keep in mind the true cost of freedom. The traditional fireworks and backyard barbeques enjoyed by all Americans are possible thanks to our men and women in uniform, past and present.

It has always been the American warriors that have dedicated their lives to protecting our independence.

During this celebration of our national heritage, let us not forget it was the colonial soldiers who gallantly fought the British during the American Revolution. It was the U.S. Marines who fought in the trenches of Europe during World War I and it was American sailors who deftly won the Battle of Midway in the Second World War.

Our troops have fought in the mountains of Korea and the jungles of Vietnam.

Today, our military personnel are again fighting for freedom in the streets of Fallujah, in the mountains of Afghanistan and in oceans around the world – and while they will not be on American soil to celebrate our nation’s birth, our thoughts and prayers will be with them as they continue to fight for freedom.

Happy Independence Day to you and your family.

 
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

In response to anticipated forecasts by the National Weather Service of temperatures in the 90s and 100s in many areas of California later this week and added concerns over increased levels of smoke and air pollution, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today directed the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other state agencies to implement activities outlined in Phase II of California’s Contingency Plan for Excessive Heat Emergencies.

“We are coordinating with state and local agencies to help keep people safe during this excessive heat wave,” Governor Schwarzenegger said. “I urge all Californians to take proper health precautions as the temperatures rise into the 90s and 100s across the state – drink plenty of water and check on your neighbors who may be more vulnerable.”

Phase II activities include the coordination by OES of regularly scheduled conference calls with National Weather Service offices throughout the state, county emergency managers and representatives of key state agencies; increased outreach to the public and constituent groups by OES and other state agencies; the opening of cooling centers at state facilities; and contacts with licensed care facilities, hospitals and other facilities that serve seniors, persons with disabilities and other special needs populations.

The State Operations Center is already operating 24-hours a day to manage the state’s wildfire response, and they will now add key staff from other state agencies to closely monitor the heat wave and to respond to any heat-related issues. A list of current cooling centers opened by local authorities along with heat illness prevention tips is available on the front page of the OES website at www.oes.ca.gov.

The Governor urges all Californians living in or planning to visit areas for which extreme heat advisories and warnings are issued by the National Weather Services to prepare for the hot weather and use caution in their activities.

There will also be excessive smoke in many areas as a result of the state’s wildfires, so the Governor and public health officials continue to encourage people in those areas to stay inside and limit their physical activity, especially children, the elderly and people with asthma and other respiratory problems.

Californians can reduce their risk of heat-related illness by:

Creating a cooler environment by making sure that window air conditioners are installed snugly and ducts are properly insulated, weather stripping doors and sills and placing window reflectors made of cardboard covered with aluminum foil between windows and drapes
Drinking plenty of water, especially when taking medication
Wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing
Avoiding physical activities during periods of peak temperatures
Checking on neighbors, family members and pets to ensure they are not being harmed by the heat
Watching for signs of heat-related illness, including fatigue, nausea, headache and vomiting
Visiting malls, theaters and other public places that are air-conditioned if a person doesn’t have his or her own air conditioning

To reduce the risk of heat illness for those working outdoors, drink plenty of water (at least one quart per hour), take necessary breaks in the shade for at least five minutes when an employee believes they need a preventative recovery period and make sure all employees are trained about heat illness prevention before they begin working.

State agency activities in response to the National Weather Service forecast include:

Regular contacts of licensed facilities under the jurisdiction of CDPH, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Mental Health Working to get the word out to vulnerable populations about heat-related assistance and prevention by California Volunteers, in partnership with local non-profits and government agencies in impacted communities Monitoring agriculture impacts by and assessing fairground availability for cooling centers for persons and livestock by the California Department of Food and Agriculture Coordination of daily conference calls by OES with the National Weather Service, county emergency managers and representatives of key state agencies Outreach and the enforcement of heat illness prevention regulations in workplaces by Cal/OSHA Dissemination of information regarding the heat situation by CDPH to local health departments via the California Health Alert Network Posting of heat related information on various state Web sites, including OES, CDPH and Cal/OSHA

 
Click on the play button above to view video.
Enlarge Video
Fillmore Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, shows a map of the city’s 11 storm drains, which flow into the Santa Clara River. A workshop on the new storm water permit and water softener prohibition was held Monday, July 7. Several hundred residents attended.
Fillmore Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, shows a map of the city’s 11 storm drains, which flow into the Santa Clara River. A workshop on the new storm water permit and water softener prohibition was held Monday, July 7. Several hundred residents attended.
Enlarge Photo

A City Workshop was held at the Memorial Building on Monday, June 7, 2008 to discuss three major issues facing Fillmore residents. Approximately 300 citizens and City Council members were in attendance to watch the presentations by Public Works Director, Bert Rapp.
The first presentation was on the EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. The new permit will require, among other things, retrofitting 22 miles of public streets with bio-retention areas and that each existing home and business install onsite storm water treatment. Bio-retention areas are grounds that have been landscaped with plants that can absorb pollutants and naturally convert them into non-hazardous materials. The city installations and maintenance would cost residents $900 per year or $75 per month in addition to their cost to install and maintain their own onsite storm water treatment devices. Existing City storm drains must have treatment installed within two years. Automatic mandatory minimum penalties for violations would be $3,000 per offense. This could escalate into $231,000 per day in fines for the city.
The second presentation was on the chloride levels in city water. The city is exceeding the current 100 milligrams per liter of chloride limit by approximately 37 milligrams per liter. The primary cause of this overage is the approximately 450 Fillmore residents who use Brine Discharging Water Softeners. If all in-home Brine Discharging Water Softeners were eliminated, the city would be in compliance and could avoid charging all residents an estimated $35 dollars per month fee.
The third presentation was on the FEMA Flood Insurance Survey. FEMA is in the process of revising the Fillmore Flood Insurance Rate Map. The preliminary map would require any resident with a federally insured home loan to purchase flood insurance as well as restrict the city’s ability to issue building permits for room additions, new homes, and business buildings. Rapp noted there were several errors in the report and he believes once these errors are corrected, these new requirements will be lifted.
Many public comments were heard by Rapp, city council members, and fellow citizens. One resident, referencing the spirit of the founding fathers of this country, stated, “The presentation, as good as it is, and as accurate as it is, seems to be geared toward: this is what we have to do, we’re asking you, ‘how are we going to do it?’ But I take the attitude is, we’re having to deal with an agency that’s out of control; totally out of control, made up of avid environmentalists. Rather than think, ‘how are we to do it?’ I’d rather have the council and the citizens’ figure out how do we not have to do it.” The sentiment received much applause.

Please find below all three power point presentations that were presented at the meeting.