Claremont Insider: Area News

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Area News

There's lots of local news in the Daily Bulletin and the Los Angeles Times to pass on today:


Will Bigham reports today in the Bulletin that the problem with affordable housing in Claremont isn't funding - the thing that killed the Base Line Rd. project. Rather, Bigham's article says the sticking point is lack of options in a built-out city.

Bigham quotes Claremont commercial realtor and former city commissioner Nick Quackenbos and city of Claremont Housing and Redevelopment Manager Brian Desatnik in his article.

Desatnik, especially, has not been the most reliable source on these matters, and he has seemed more an instrument of the people pushing the Base Line Rd. project than a neutral bureaucrat seeking the best possible solution. We'd take anything he had to say about affordable housing with a grain of salt.


The Bulletin has and article by Fred Ortega reporting that the MTA Gold Line extension from Pasadena to Claremont remains stuck in unfunded limbo, though it seems that most of the cities along the proposed route are going forward with their respective transit center developments:

"It puts a major portion (of these projects) up in the air with respect to economic viability," [Azusa City Manager Fran Delach] said, adding that there is about $40 million to $50 million in development near his city's other planned station, on Citrus Avenue, as part of the massive Rosedale housing development.

Despite Metro's decision, Delach said his city is proceeding as planned in the hopes that the project will eventually be built.

"We are obviously concerned that the projects will suffer (from the delays), but we are going to continue because it is obvious the Gold Line is drastically needed along the 210 corridor," Delach said, adding that the Metrolink line along the 10 Freeway corridor has been extremely successful and should be replicated in the north Valley.

"Frankly, I don't understand what is wrong with the MTA," he said.

Officials in Monrovia and Glendora, which also have development planned around their respective stations, vowed to push forward with their projects.


Will Bigham also tells us that Claremont is rescinding those traffic tickets handed out by the Claremont Police Department last month to people honking in support of anti-war protesters at Indian Hill Blvd. and Arrow Hwy.:
"There's the issue of the Vehicle Code, about excessive honking, but there's also the issue of freedom of expression," said Stephen Patten, one of the ticketed drivers.

Mayor Peter Yao said the ticketing sent "the wrong message to the community."

Cooper and City Manager Jeff Parker met and decided to void the tickets, because "we felt the people who were honking weren't doing it intentionally to violate the law."


The LA Times had an article today about the family of a woman reported missing in Covina. The family received a call from Pomona police telling them that the woman's van had been found parked illegally near the Pomona police station.

When the family went to pick up the van, which had not been checked by police, they were shocked to discover the woman's body in the van. The family was naturally upset with the Pomona PD for not having searched the van, which was found with its windows rolled down.

Pomona Police Chief Joe Romero defended the department, and Pomona Mayor Norma Torres also weighed in, according to the article:
Pomona Police Chief Joe Romero defended his department, saying officers had followed proper protocol. When the van was located, Romero said officers were sent to inspect the vehicle. After running a check of the license plate, they learned it was part of a missing person's report filed in Covina.

He said the officers called Covina police and were told to release the van to the family or it would be impounded, Romero said.

"There is no way the officers could have known" there was a dead body inside, Romero said. "There's no mistake on our part. We have no right to go inside the vehicle."

But the victim's family disagreed. They said that because Ponce-Orta was missing and in possible trouble, police had an obligation to conduct a thorough search of the van.

Pomona Mayor Norma Torres said she wants to know more about the department's protocols in dealing with such cases.

"It's certainly upsetting to hear, and my heart goes out to the family, who had to discover the body," Torres said. "I have a lot of questions that require follow-up."