Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 20, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:1



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and current students. Visit the STEAM lab and new Study 
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Pasadena, CA 91107 • • 626.696.4310@LaSallePas

By Dr. Edward C. Ortell

Citrus College Governing Board Member

October 2018

 Each year, our nation’s annual observance of Veterans 
Day pays fitting tribute to the men and women who have 
served in the United States military. As we honor their 
service and sacrifice, it is a good time to reflect on the 
importance of the GI Bill to millions of veterans.

 Nearly all Americans have benefited in some way 
from the GI Bill. My father, a World War II veteran whose 
brother was killed in action (KIA) in the Philippines, used 
the education benefits to change the course of his and his 
family’s future. From his roots as a sharecropper in the 
Midwest, the GI Bill made it possible for him to ultimately 
earn a Ph.D. and become a professor of mathematics and 
astronomy. Over the course of his career, he positively 
impacted the lives of thousands of students.

 Since its inception, the GI Bill has undergone a number 
of changes, but it remains one of the most important benefits 
of military service today. According to, 
“The Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, and dependent 
GI Bill programs help service members, veterans, and 
families reach their education goals.”

 In the next few years, the number of veterans that will 
transition from the military to civilian life is expected to 
grow. Many of them will enroll in colleges and universities 
to gain the necessary skills and degrees that will lead to 
rewarding careers and a good quality of life for themselves 
and their families. And today’s veterans understand that 
attending a community college is a good way to stretch their 
education benefits under the GI Bill. 

 Community colleges are also well-equipped to provide 
the important support services veterans need. Those 
services can include GI Bill processing information and 
assistance, specialized counseling, peer support groups 
and many others. Many community colleges have veteran’s 
centers that provide a “one stop” approach that gives 
veterans a convenient means of accessing the benefits they 
have earned and the academic support they need.

 As Veterans Day approaches, we are reminded that 
we owe our nation’s veterans a debt of gratitude. They 
have made tremendous sacrifices for their country, and 
they deserve our heartfelt appreciation. They also deserve 
an opportunity to acquire an education that will result 
in rewarding careers and will allow them to continue 
contributing to society as they succeed in life.

About the Author:

 Dr. Edward C. Ortell is 
the senior governing board 
member at Citrus College 
and a Professor Emeritus at 
Pasadena City College. He 
has served on the California 
Community College 
Trustees (CCCT) state board 
of directors and eight terms 
as president of the Citrus 
College Board of Trustees.


While Construction Authority committees of 
experts continue to review the design-build team 
proposals for the Glendora to Montclair project, 
work continues on the 12.3-mile alignment to 
eliminate the existing overhead communication 
system for the freight line. Crews have eight phases 
of work to complete at each of the 25 grade crossings 
and at another nearly dozen signal locations where 
the electrical system is being updated (as shown 
below, left), new cables installed, and power 
dropped before testing of the new system will take 
place. The methodical process is progressing well 
and will be completed next summer, well-ahead of 
the design-build team relocating the freight track 
and system. 

 Also, last week during a State Assembly Select 
Committee Hearing on Regional Transportation 
Solutions, I was asked about the status of the 
project and procurement. The purpose of the 
Hearing was to get updates on projects that 
improve inter-connectivity between Los Angeles 
and San Bernardino Counties, and to understand 
the impact Proposition 6 on the November ballot 
(the proposal to eliminate SB1, the recently adopted 
increase in the State’s gas tax, diesel tax and vehicle 
fees) might have on those projects. As you know, 
earlier this year the Foothill Gold Line received 
nearly $300 million from the State of California’s 
Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program 
(TIRCP). TIRCP receives funding from SB1. The 
Construction Authority board of directors voted 
to oppose Proposition 6 earlier this year; as has 
the Metro board of directors and the San Gabriel 
Valley Council of Governments. 

 On the Select Committee were Assembly 
members Chris Holden (Chair) and Eloise Reyes, 
and State Senator Connie Leyva (shown in the 
picture, right). Following my presentation, Senator 
Leyva asked how the Construction Authority 
is controlling costs on the project. I explained 
that the scope of the project has been thoroughly 
refined and optimized and that it is the effect of the 
current market and economy that is the unknown 
that will drive the final cost. We will know more 
once the procurement evaluation process has 
been completed. As we have done before, the 
Construction Authority plans to award the 
Alignment contract to the proposing team offering 
the “best value,” with price and technical factors 
being approximately equal in importance.

Katie Orth626.688.0418 
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