Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 12, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 12, 2015 



LOS ANGELES COUNTY — In his final speech as 
Mayor of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, 
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich discussed the 
year’s successes. He expressed his appreciation for 
incoming Chair Hilda L. Solis, his colleagues on the 
Board, and county departments who have built upon 
past achievements to improve and enhance foster 
care, public safety, municipal services, government, 
interdepartmental communication transparency and 

 “This has been a very exciting year. We hit the 
ground running and we haven’t stopped. This was 
the first time in Los Angeles County history where we 
began the year with two new supervisors--Supervisor 
Hilda Solis and Supervisor 
Sheila Kuehl, a new sheriff Jim 
McDonnell, a new tax assessor 
Jeffrey Prang and Mary 
Wickham, our new County 
Counsel. Additionally, our 
new CEO Sachi A. Hamai has 
rapidly responded to reforms 
critically needed to improve the quality of life for our 
residents. Under Sachi’s leadership, we repealed the 
2007 interim governance structure and eliminated 
an unnecessary $2 million bureaucracy established 
greater accountability, flexibility, transparency, and 

 As far as efficiency is concerned, recommendations 
by the Quality and Productivity Commission saved the 
county $75.3 million this year and $4 billion in total 
since 1981. In addition, we established a coordinated 
health agency to integrate the operations of the 
departments of health services, mental health, and 
public health to improve access to care and streamline 

 We also moved forward with the jail plan, put 
additional deputies in the unincorporated areas, and 
we are moving forward with the trafficking issue. 
District Attorney Jackie Lacey has done a very fine job 
in this area and we were able to help supplement her in 
helping victims with their services. We created further 
savings through an ordinance that allowed us to issue 
rewards for sex offenders who have absconded while 
on probation or parole and we increased the number of 
victim services advocates within the District Attorney’s 

 We successfully executed the Memorandum of 
Agreement with the Department of Justice and we 
expanded necessary programs. For Fire, we leased two 
additional Super Scoopers once again for a total of four 
-- and we have the Ericson Air Crane that responds 
to fires. Our L.A. County Fire Department is one of 
the best in the world. They are often called to foreign 
countries to help with tragedies, earthquakes, flooding 
and tsunamis. We also expanded the public awareness 
campaign for earthquake and other emergency 

 On children’s services, we created the Child Sex 
Trafficking Integrated Leadership Team and expanded 
first responders, initiated public outreach campaigns 
and enhanced the electronic child abuse reporting 
system between law enforcement and child protective 
services. The new Office of Child Protection is 
providing overreaching guidance which Judge Michael 
Nash is now going to be heading when he takes over 

 We advocated state legislation clarifying the 
prioritization of foster youth for subsidized childcare. 
We improved training for qualified social workers 
with a 52-week curriculum that our universities 
will now implement to upgrade the caliber of social 
workers coming out of our universities. We also hired 
additional social workers and support staff.

 We also initiated the Career Development Internship 
Program which provides jobs for former foster youth 
in partnership with 30 cities, schools and government 
agencies to provide valuable workforce experience and 
create a foundation for these young people to succeed.

 With Health Services, Mayor Eric Garcetti and I 
met with Housing and Urban Development Secretary 
Julian Castro and with, to discuss solutions to the 
homelessness problem. And with Supervisor Solis, we 
entered into an agreement to provide trauma services 
for the East San Gabriel Valley at the Pomona Valley 

 We implemented Laura’s Law to improve the lives 
of participants who are mentally ill. This will reduce 
incarceration and homelessness. We transferred 
the Sheriff’s Department’s Medical Services Bureau 
to the Department of Health Services where health, 
mental health and substance abuse services will be 
administered and coordinated through an integrated 

 In economic development, we created a one-stop 
permitting center by consolidating regional planning, 
fire and public health permits at one location. We 
decentralized the locations of conditional use 
permit applications to district offices. We supported 
development efforts with national/international 
partners, bringing in the successful BYD electric bus 
manufacturer and rail car manufacturer Kinkisharyo 
who is building the rail cars for the Gold Line, the 
Green Line, the Expo Line and the Blue Line that will 
be coming on shortly.

 We continued the procurement process through 
technology and e-government, helping small 
minority enterprises, women-owned, disadvantaged 
and veteran-owned businesses to be competitive. 
We altered the list of qualified local workers to 
automatically include veterans. Veterans need to have 
that type of opportunity -- it’s time we serve them 
when they come home.

 We acquired 27 acres in Chatsworth in Brown’s 
Canyon, preserved for multi-use open space for an 
equestrian park and acquired acres along Portal Ridge 
to preserve for public use.

 For Animal Services, we expanded the Department 
of Animal Care and Control broke ground on the new 
Palmdale Animal Shelter, providing new positions, 
and expanded Baldwin Park Care Center. We teamed 
up with NBC4 and Telemundo for the national “Clear 
the Shelters” initiative to find permanent homes for 
unwanted pets. We amended Title 10 of the County 
Code to require mandatory spaying and neutering and 
micro-chipping of cats in the unincorporated areas 
of our County. We had a three-month pilot program 
with reduced adoption fees to help increase the number 
of animals adopted.

 For our veterans, we sponsored the special recognition 
at the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall honoring our veterans of 
the Second World War, 70 years after its end. We also 
did one with China at the auditorium for the men and 
women who served in the war when the United States 
and China defeated Japan. The Bob Hope Patriotic Hall 
is now the largest one-stop center for veterans in the 
County. We continue to work with veterans to ensure 
that VA claims are filed properly and lowering average 
VA wait claim times to less than a month. We created 
additional employment opportunities for veterans and 
expanded veteran internships to assist them in their 
transition to civilian workplace. My office sponsored 
the 18th Annual Salute to Veterans and their families 
to provide public outreach, employment opportunities 
and support and organized free transit passes for 
veterans on Veterans Day.

 The Board was very united in selecting Phil Washington 
to lead the Metropolitan Transit Authority -- he’s a cut 
above. We completed the extension of the Metro Gold 
Line on time and on budget and we opened the Gold 
Line stations at Arcadia, Duarte, Azusa and Monrovia, 
and a new express bus service which will be linking 
the Gold, Red and Orange Lines when the Gold Line 
extension opens in early 2016. We implemented a 
25 percent fare reduction on the Metrolink Antelope 
Valley Line and a second conductor on every Antelope 
Valley Line for greater fare enforcement and security 
for passengers. We advanced the High Desert Corridor 
Project for the environmental impact report in April 
2016 and funding for rail revenue and ridership study 
to support the potential public private partnership.

 L.A. County was named one of America’s best 
employers of 2015 by Forbes Magazine. We received 
the “7 Seals” Award for support of men and women 
who served in the military. We received the California 
Employer Advisory Council Veterans Employer 
of the Year Award for our hiring and promoting 
of veterans. We also completed the countywide 
Dependent Eligibility Verification Project. We 
launched the Financial Wellness Program and created 
the Departmental Leadership and Development Plan 
to help guide the department heads to build succession 
plans. We launched the user-friendly online 
application system to enhance outreach, expanded the 
Career Development Intern Program to L.A. County’s 
88 cities and public and private businesses.”

Change in regional transportation policy opens the way for a 

better approach to mobility in the western San Gabriel Valley

December 8, 2015 -- The Southern California 
Association of Governments on Thursday 
overwhelmingly approved a draft Regional 
Transportation Plan (RTP) that deletes all references 
to the SR-710 tunnel and instead defers an alternative 
recommendation to the outcome of the ongoing 
Caltrans/Metro SR-710 North EIR/EIS process. The 
development marks continuing progress for those who 
oppose a SR-710 freeway tunnel project and instead 
favor replacing the tunnel with a great streets, multi-
modal approach. The approval opened a 55-day review 
period for the RTP and related review documents. 

 “I applaud SCAG for recognizing that the tunnel 
no longer is seen as a likely answer to western San 
Gabriel Valley mobility issues,” said Jonathan Curtis, 
a member of the SCAG Regional Council and the 
Mayor pro Tem of the City of La Cañada Flintridge. 
“The tunnel is an idea whose time has passed. We look 
forward to promoting a solution to these issues with 
our Beyond the 710 proposal.”

 The SCAG action follows a series of other victories 
for anti-tunnel forces. Earlier this year, the San 
Gabriel Valley Council of Governments approved a 
transportation priority list that omitted the tunnel, 
admitting that that the proposed SR-710 tunnel 
suffers from so much opposition that inclusion of 
the controversial freeway in a proposed county-wide 
sales measure would doom it to defeat. In addition, 
the Beyond the 710 proposal was announced in May 
of this year and quickly attracted support from many 
elected officials and organizations. 

 “As a family physician, I am deeply concerned 
about the negative health effects a 710 freeway 
extension would create for many communities if it 
went forward,” said Dr. Marina Khubesrian, South 
Pasadena councilmember, chair of Arroyo Verdugo 
Steering Committee, and vice chair of Beyond the 
710. “We are very grateful for the Regional Council’s 
decision to not include references to the SR-710 tunnel, 
which can clear the way for more holistic proposals 
like Beyond the 710.”

 The Tunnel alternative is not only facing major 
political opposition, the EIR/EIS process currently 
underway has revealed that the tunnel alternative 
would not achieve its two major justifications: 
improving congestion and reaching air quality goals. 
In fact, the draft EIR/EIS shows that congestion 
improvement would be minor, that it would not 
address the local traffic that clogs local streets, and 
that it would actually worsen air quality. Both the 
U.S. EPA and the Southern California AQMD have 
described the EIR/EIS as inadequate. The tunnel 
alternative also presents significant problems in the 
area of historic resources, geology, and financing, 
among many others. 

 “I commend the Regional Council for their 
promoting of 21st century mobility concepts and 
sustainability strategies, including recommending 
more resources for transit in the new draft Regional 
Transportation Plan,” said Diana Mahmud, South 
Pasadena councilwoman and the city’s representative 
to the San Gabriel Valley COG. “However, I would 
recommend that the RTP devote even more resources 
for transit and other alternatives to driving. We need 
to continue with modern mobility solutions, and reject 
out-moded thinking such as calling for new freeways, 
especially the SR-710 tunnel project. The $1 billion 
405 freeway project provides ample evidence that 
expanding freeways fail to alleviate congestion; scarce 
transit funds would be better spent on developing our 
transit and active transportation systems.”

 Senator Carol Liu also presented a statement 
through her district representative Daniel Cedeno 
encouraging the Regional Council to release the draft 
RTP for public review and to maintain the new neutral 
approach to the SR-710 north alternatives. 

 Congressman Adam Schiff also presented a 
statement through Michael Aguilera criticizing the 
SR-710 alternatives being studied by Caltrans and 
promoting alternatives not currently being studied. 
Congressman Schiff is a supporter of the 

Beyond the 710 Proposal.

 The Beyond the 710 Proposal shows that congestion 
can be relieved and economic development promoted 
by removing the freeway stubs at both the I-10 and 
I-210 freeways. The Proposal has started a robust 
community discussion about how to bring about a 
mobility solution that benefits everyone and destroys 
no one’s community. The Proposal can be found at

About Beyond the 710

 Beyond the 710 is a project of the Connected Cities 
and Communities, comprised of the cities of Glendale, 
La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, Sierra Madre, and 
South Pasadena, as well as the National Trust for 
Historic Preservation and the Natural Resources 
Defense Council. 

 Beyond the 710’s Plan is the result of many months 
of study and collaboration to seek solutions that work 
for all the affected communities. The effort was led 
by Nelson\Nygaard, a full-service transportation 
firm, with offices across the United States, committed 
to developing transportation systems that promote 
vibrant, sustainable, and accessible communities. 

 An Economic Benefits analysis led by The Maxima 
Group LLC, a principal-led consulting firm specializing 
in real estate market and economic analysis, is located 

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