Monday, July 31, 2006

Robbery Suspect Held (SB SUN 07222006) Man beleived to be Gateway Driver in LL Crrime. His Partner lays Dead in the Morguessssssssssss

Robbery suspect held
Man believed to be getaway driver in LL crime
Joe Nelson, Staff Writer

A suspected getaway driver was in custody Thursday in connection with a botched robbery in Loma Linda on Monday that ended with the shooting death of his alleged accomplice.

Sheriff's detectives arrested Roberto Rivera, 23, at his Rialto home about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was being held without bail at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino.

Rivera faces charges of armed robbery and murder due to the fact that his alleged accomplice, 25-year-old Ricardo Barajas, was shot and killed during the commission of a robbery, which by law opens him up to prosecution for that offense, said Cindy Beavers, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Police say Barajas walked into Nader's Market in the 25000 block of Redlands Boulevard about 8:40 p.m. Monday. Brandishing a handgun, he grabbed an employee and attempted to rob the market. A struggle ensued between the two, and the store's owner, identified by a relative as Ayman Farha, came out of a back office, witnessed the struggle and grabbed a handgun he kept in the market for protection, authorities said.

When Barajas ignored Farha's order to drop the gun and pointed his gun at Farha, Farha shot Barajas, according to police. Barajas fled the store and Farha gave chase. Once outside the market, Farha fired a shot at the waiting getaway car facing south on Poplar Street after the driver pointed a gun at him, authorities said.

A witness jotted down the license plate number of the getaway car, a 2000 Chrysler 300M detectives learned was registered to Barajas.

Fontana police located the car Wednesday morning, abandoned in an apartment complex parking lot near Linden Avenue and Arrow Route, Beavers said.

A combination of witness tips and the follow-up investigation led detectives to Rivera's home on East Van Koevering Street on Wednesday night, where he was arrested, Beavers said.

Sheriff's investigators will submit their case to the District Attorney's Office today for review. Rivera is expected to be arraigned today in San Bernardino Superior Court, Beavers said.

Rivera also has a pending DUI charge and is scheduled to appear in court on that matter Monday, Beavers said.

The robbery investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's homicide detail at (909) 387-3589 or the WE-TIP hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-782-7463). Callers may remain anonymous.

Deputies Union Seeks Seniority Scheduling (073106 Daily Bulletin)

There is not that much any more that the Sheriff Employee gets for direct Benefits, the Seniority benefit for Scheduling is a very small benefit that really goes a long way. The Problem is just what the President is quoted as saying in the Peace, and that is the Ism's have it. In the smaller station the Capt. gets angry at you so he gives you the worse Schedule possible, yet you are the senior guy, how is that fair, the guy that has been there has earned the time go choose when he is going to work and when he/she is going to have days off, pertaining to their seniority. So they picked their schedule they can choose the days off and weeks worked etc etc, only if the person before them didn't pick that schedule, they pick it and the person can then pick behind. The Lt's and brass get upset and don't want to give up their picking the schedule for the people because then they don't have any responsibility, or their responsibility changes to having to hunt down the next person to pick their schedule choice.
It works great and why the Sheriff Department is not doing it by now is beyond me frankly they should be picking by seniority a long time before the Rialto Police Department was ever picking by Seniority, because the Sheriff Department is usually more fair to their employees then Rialto is to theirs.
I Hope that the Sheriff Deputies get the choice, because they deserve it!!
Deputies union seeks seniority scheduling
By Jeff Horwitz, Staff Writer

In an end run around mediations with Sheriff's Department brass, the deputies union is asking the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to impose a seniority scheduling system on management.

The move would alter the legally binding memorandum of understanding the union inked with the board in December, which was supposed to last for three years. The Sheriff's Department has urged supervisors not to impose the union's request, which the union acknowledged could set a precedent for revisiting contracts.

"If seven months ago we all sat down in a room and discussed an issue, why there's a need to discuss that issue in the midterm of a three-year contract makes no sense to me,'' said Undersheriff Richard Beemer.

Bill Abernathie, president of the politically potent 3,100-member San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association, saw the matter differently. The union's memorandum was left deliberately vague on the point of 50-50 seniority scheduling, he said, to allow further negotiations without holding up the contract.

The scheduling change would cost nothing, he said, and it would allow deputies more freedom to choose when they worked.

But in recent months, he said, it became apparent the department wasn't committed to addressing the issue. A department survey was supposed to give his members a voice on the matter, Abernathie said, but the results, in some cases, were in the department's favor by dubiously lopsided margins. In one instance, Abernathie said, the department said its Colorado River Station had voted 40-1 against seniority scheduling.

While Abernathie did not accuse the department of cooking the numbers, "the information I'm receiving is not matching the surveys,'' he said.

"This creates a uniform scheduling practice that takes out favoritism, nepotism, any of those other -isms,'' Abernathie said. "It makes it totally fair across the board.'' Abernathie said that on a hunch, the union did its own survey and found that most stations favored the change.

Beemer, a four-time past president of SEBA himself, disagreed. Management had been working with the union to determine where seniority scheduling was appropriate, he said. Particularly in small stations, Beemer said, commanders needed more scheduling leeway. "Not every schedule fits every need,'' he said.

But the union was unwilling to accept anything but a complete victory, Beemer said, and filed a grievance which was to be mediated Tuesday. At that meeting, both Beemer and Abernathie agree, the union informed management that it had taken the issue to the board over the department's head.

"It was a fight in the midst of us trying to work it out,'' Beemer said.

The supervisors' involvement isn't new, Abernathie said. During the spring budgeting process, he said, supervisors had called Sheriff Gary Penrod to tell him that his budget would be getting held up if he didn't work with the union on senior scheduling.

That discussion had been been conducted without the knowledge of the full board, said 3rd District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger. "A member of the board might have done that,'' he said. "It sounds like a more private discussion than I've been included in.''

Hansberger said he was skeptical of reopening the memorandum. But even on the Friday before the board's next meeting, he said, neither the union nor other supervisors had explained their rationale to him.

"If there's any discussion of opening up (the memorandum), which we literally never do, it needs to be put in writing and be specific,'' he said.

Hansberger said he wasn't sure if it was even possible to make such minor tweaks without embarking on larger renegotiations. "I'm told that once you open (the memorandum), you open it, he said.

None of the supervisors has announced support of the union's request. On Thursday, Postmus' chief of staff, Brad Mitzelfelt, acknowledged that his boss had an interest in the deputies' seniority scheduling. But neither Mitzelfelt nor his boss were prepared to discuss the matter, he said. Closed session discussions are generally confidential.

Any change would have to be brought before the full board during the public portion of the meeting, Abernathie said.

The union president made no public predictions on whether his union would have enough votes to get its way. The board would likely have three options: rejecting the union's request, determining a process for management to negotiate with the rank and file, or simply order the change.

"The precedent would be if the county imposed this,'' Abernathie said. But he added that his union did not expect going to the board to become a staple tactic.

"I think the sheriff should have some control, and be able to negotiate things,'' Abernathie said. "But there may be times when the Board of Supervisors steps in and does what I think is correct.''

Target opens new Rialto distribution center (LA Business 072106)

3.1 Million Square Foot Wharehouse, is huge, they can store so much stuff, in there that I would hate to be in there buglerizing the establishment, because they would not know if I was an employee, or a theif!! The place is so big that you can run inside around the whole facility, during the rain storms and Wind stores of both the Winter, and Santa Ana Conditions, and never feel a puf of wind, along with never getting wet when it is raining, and get a 5to 7 mile run in during my lunch period. That is huge!! big I say!! Hey, did I mention that this place was big!!

I don't know if Target needs it, the distribution Center that it is replacing is located in Ontario, or Rancho off Fourth just E/of the I-15 freeway, well between the I-15 and Etiwanda ave. In fact it is along Fourth Street by the Rail Road Tracks and just at the W/Property edge the Jail. But that Distribution center is combonation store and Center, they train new hires to be clerks there and they sell the off brand stuff that is bronken and no longer in stock.

They have been open there for a while, well since before the jail was there. anyway. But The Distribution Center that is replacing the old one, well, you can fit probably five or six old distrubution centers in the new one, it is that much of a difference. 500 employee's and I bet they are pretty much audomated and but they hire 1000 employee's because they don't lay anyone off and they don't fire anyoen either. Weird system they have.

They would rather have you stay hired then lay you off or Fire you, becuase it is cheaper to keep you on the books as an employee then it is to fire you and pay unemployement, so they have a revolving door of employees. not a great place to work if you ask me, but no one is asking, so everything is great!!


Target opens new Rialto distribution center

Los Angeles Business from bizjournals - 12:34 PM PDT Friday

Target Corp. on Friday officially opened a new 3.1 million-square-foot distribution center in Rialto.

The new facility will be the largest single investment in an operating unit in Target's history, the company said in a release.

Minneapolis, Minn.-based Target now has 30 distribution centers in 20 states. These facilities receive shipments from suppliers, ship products to Target stores and provide storage space for merchandise.

The Rialto distribution center will initially employ 500 workers, with plans to add several hundred employees during the first five years of operation.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) also said it will open 29 new stores in 18 states on Sunday, including one in Irvine. Following the openings, the company will have 1,444 stores in 47 states.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Police Chief Welcome News for Rialto (SB Sun 07222006) Our View: New Leadership promise to strengthen a department seeking to rebuild itself

I am looking forward to seeing what the first Thing that Kling impliments, I know that he has been with Baldwin Park only for 6 years, and he was chief for almost all those years. the trouble with that is everyone wants to know what kind of guy is he. Is Kling the kind of guy that you can trust to leave your wife with, or is he the one that if you left the party you would wonder what happend when you got home and your wife came home later, only she was driven home by the Chief, because the car would not start. But when you get to the car, it starts fine. See that kind of a Chief I don't have any time for, if he is not trust worthy with your wife, then he certantly cannot be trusted with your money, or your personal objects of value. It would just not be wise to allow that. Is Kling the type of a guy that would try to take your wife away from you knowing that you are married to her. That again same thing as the first only this time, he activly persuits her, and the first one you have the little bit of error that your wife might be at fault. Say you don't get along with Kling and he has a different plan for entery on a Warrant service. You interupt him and ask if you can present your idea. He says okay, his mistake. Well you present your idea, and there are a great number of people that are liking your idea beter then the first Idea. Kling gets obviously mad and goes with your idea, but will he forget it and just work around the difference that he has with you or does he hold the grudge and forever hold you in a lover position never allowing you to promote to a hire position...this is not a good style of management, either!! I just hope that Kling is one that gets us to where we should be by merrit, and peronality, more like a family and not a holding one down because of wher he or she beleives in. Mark, I am sorry for posting this on my BLOGer site but there are a lot of unanswered questions that need to be answered. It would be much better if he comes married with children and settled down, then single. if he comes as a single man, then rialto will be in store for more of the same. BSRanch..

Moving forward

New police chief welcome news for Rialto
Our view: New leadership promises to strengthen a department seeking to rebuild itself
The appointment of a new police chief for the embattled Rialto Police Department should add much needed stability to a department the city sought to disband until just four months ago.

City Administrator Henry Garcia announced last week that Baldwin Park Police Chief Mark Kling, 48, will be brought in to help rebuild the Rialto department, much like he did with the Baldwin Park police force five years ago.

Kling's experience in revamping a department that some city leaders said at the time should be scrapped in favor of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department closely mirrors the problems suffered by Rialto's PD, which went through five chiefs in six years before the mottled seven-year tenure of Chief Michael Meyers, who stepped down in December after seeming only to fan the flames.

After years of strife and dissension amid charges of racism, sexism, discrimination and corruption dogging the Police Department, the Rialto City Council voted in September to disband it and go with the San Bernardino County sheriff instead only reversing course in March.

In the meantime, the department, under the able-bodied leadership of Interim Chief Frank Scialdone, has fought hard to persevere, and stands to prosper with someone of Kling's caliber at the helm. Moving from captain to chief in 2000, Kling is credited with turning around the 124-officer Baldwin Park department with his zeal for policing. Besides implementing new programs including a full-time gang enforcement team and narcotics squad as well as expanding the traffic detail and upgrading communications and weapons systems, Kling proved himself most successful in boosting morale through strong, accessible leadership. He has been praised for establishing an atmosphere of trust and fairness in Baldwin Park that should translate well in Rialto.

Both Garcia and Kling are intent on changing the culture of the Rialto Police Department, and creating a sense of unity after years of problems that almost led to its demise.

The department already has done a good amount of healing under Scialdone, who has helped reshape it, both physically and emotionally. Rialto police, who have shown a new resolve to fight crime, and not each other, have done an admirable job of facing the increased challenges posed by gang crime and their own dwindling ranks, which have meant copious overtime.

Kling will walk into a department that demands bold, credible leadership, and it is his drive for positive change that will help make the beleaguered department whole again. That is good news not only for Rialto police, but for the greater community as well.

Copper Thefts Add to Recent String (SB SUN 07112006) Rancho Cucamonga. Copper theves Struck again...

I know that with all the construction that has been going on that there is more then likely more thefts, and that is going to be because there are hire prices being paid for Copper, The Copper tubing and Copper pipe is the number one thing that is used in houses now to deleiver the water, it is the longest lasting and best product, but it is also the most expensive.

I hope the Security guards are up and alert to catch the suspects in the act when they start to try to steal the copper pipe from the job site they are protecting.


Copper thefts add to recent string
Melissa Pinion-Whitt, Joanna Parsons and Nikki Cobb, Staff Writers

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - Copper thieves struck once again early Monday morning, stealing wire from two sites in what appear to be the latest in a series of copper-wire heists in the Inland Empire and the High Desert.

Thieves took 40 to 50 feet of copper wire owned by Verizon Communications on Sixth Street and Hellman Avenue wire the company replaced after a July 4 heist involving two sections of copper wire.

"Can you believe that how brazen they are?" said Jon Davies, Verizon spokesman.

On Monday, a compost business near Etiwanda Avenue on Sixth Street was also robbed. The thieves made off with 1,000 feet of copper wire after breaking padlocks to get onto the property, said Sgt. John Nuss of the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department.

Copper cable provides customers with telephone and high-speed Internet service with DSL, Davies said.

Verizon officials first noticed something wrong on their network around 12:45 a.m. A supervisor drove out to the site and found wire cut from a pole. Employees are installing the cable underground in the area, so some of the wire was exposed, Davies said.

Police were notified around 8:30 a.m. of the robbery at the compost business, where robbers made off with wire from an industrial spool, Nuss said.

Verizon restored service to customers several hours after the incident. Although the company has lost nearly $700,000 in stolen cable and other property on the West Coast since 2004, the major concern is how such losses disrupt services, Davies said.

Monday's theft of Verizon's copper wire is valued at several thousand dollars, Davies said. The wire stolen from the compost business at Sixth and Etiwanda is valued at $5,000 to $7,000, Nuss said.

Davies said Verizon officials are considering installing alarms on the cable to notify them when it's being stolen. They are also looking into hiring a security guard until employees finish construction at the Sixth and Hellman site.

Copper-wire theft has been on the rise. Riverside County sheriff's deputies arrested two Riverside men on suspicion of stealing about $30,000 worth of phone lines in Rubidoux on June 30. About 150 copper-wire thefts have been reported since January in San Bernardino County, sheriff's officials said.

AT&T and Verizon Communications have posted $10,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in recent copper thefts.

The cost of copper per pound is up more than five times what it was in 2001 and is about $3.60, according to metal retailers.

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies have conducted stings at numerous recycling yards including Alamo and Bloomington Recycling, both in unincorporated areas near Fontana. The stings have resulted in arrests and the seizure of stolen copper.

The recent increase in copper thefts has prompted deputies to plan future stings at the scrap-metal plants.

Investigators blame a considerable portion of copper thefts on methamphetamine users.

"The price of it it's almost as good as gold right now for the tweakers," San Bernardino County sheriff's Detective Maggie Finneran said. "They spend all night pulling the insulation off the copper wire and then they're good to go with enough methamphetamine for a week."

Deputies caught two men dumping insulation from copper wire near the corner of Alder and Jurupa avenues in April, she said.

The men had stolen the wire from utility vehicles and trailers near Union Pacific Railroad yards on the border of the cities of Colton and Rialto. They stripped the wire and then recycled it at a Bloomington scrap yard.

One of the men, Jeff Shaw, of Fontana was arrested by deputies while he was free on bail. Deputies found him in possession of more stolen copper, and he is suspected of operating a chop shop out of a home, Finneran said.

Boxes and boxes of receipts from Fontana recycling yards are examined by deputies at the Fontana station daily for any hauls worth more than a couple hundred dollars.

Pacific Coast Recycling is working on a computer database that deputies will be able to access from their station.

But the crime remains a challenge for deputies to investigate, primarily due to certain scrap yards turning a blind eye to stolen goods.

"It's easier to find the crooks that go with the stolen copper wire than finding the victims themselves," Finneran said.

Theft of copper wire has also risen sharply in the High Desert. San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Karen Hunt said the department fields calls several times a month from building contractors or others to report losses of scrap metal on their sites.

"It's a crime of opportunity at this particular time," Hunt said. "A lot of the new construction sites are getting hit really hard.

"And we have a huge amount of construction sites."

Hunt said new residential buildings are being targeted, most likely because there are so many of them. But that doesn't mean commercial-construction sites aren't seeing their share of copper thieves.

On June 7, deputies from the sheriff's Victorville station found a suspicious vehicle in the desert. Inside, they found a large amount of high-voltage copper wire that matched a description of that stolen from a construction site hours before.

The value of the copper wire taken was about $1,500. Ariel Jackson Reese, 27, was taken into custody after admitting to the theft. Reese was arrested and booked at the Victor Valley jail, bail was set at $50,000.

Saturday and Sunday brought more thefts, resulting in the jailing of six people on suspicion of stealing copper wire from the Southern California Logistics Airport, formerly George Air Force Base, in Victorville.

On Saturday, while on a routine patrol, a deputy saw two men loading copper wire into a Chevrolet Suburban at the airport. The deputy arrested Rafael Preciado, 34, Jaime Muniz, 28, and Noemi Perez, 20.

The next day, the deputy returned to the airport and discovered three more suspects stealing copper. Casmiro Robles, 37, Jorge Medina, 32, and Beltran Molina, 40, were all booked into the Victor Valley jail on suspicion of grand theft.

Hunt said patrols haven't been stepped up in response to the increase in thefts. Deputies are too busy running call-to-call, she said, to act as sentries. But they have been asked to look for copper thieves as they go about their duties, she said.

"We cover such a vast area, it's really just a matter of being in the right place at the right time," Hunt said. "If time permits, they're to make an extra effort (to look for copper thieves), even if they're just driving through on another call."

Anyone with information about recent copper thefts may call a local law-enforcement agency, the Verizon Security Control Center, (800) 997-3287, or AT&T at (213) 633-2558 or (213) 633-2405.


Nationwide, air conditioning units, electrical substations, roofs and even graves have been the targets of copper thieves.

  • In May, a 21-year-old Virginia man was electrocuted and killed while attempting to steal copper cables from power lines, according to Gannett News Service.

  • Thieves stole 80, 13-pound flower vases made of 87 percent copper, from graves in two cemeteries in April and May in Sumter, S.C., according to Gannett.

  • Pearl Harbor Naval Base in April reported $150,000 worth of copper cables stolen, according to the Honolulu Advertiser.

  • Media reports have popped up about churches' air conditioners being broken into for the copper cylinders inside. But one church in England had its copper roof taken in April, according to BBC News.

  • A homeless man was arrested for starting a devastating fire in New York City that destroyed a waterfront complex in May after admitting he was stealing copper wire, according to WNBC in New York. Scavengers usually start fires to clean off the copper, investigators said.
  • Saturday, July 29, 2006

    I wonder who will all run for city council.

    I Hope that everyone votes in the upcoming election this nov. Espeically to get the two incombants out of office.


    Candidates Line up for shot at city Councils (Daily Bulletin 072706) Those seeking Council, School board seats are filing papers...

    I know that the city council of Rialto took us through some very hard times and they spent so much money to try to take the city to a Contract with the Sheriff Department, which they say would have saved money, but when there was closer a closer look done it was determined that there was more money that was going to be spent, so that was not worth it. Ultimately the cost that they put up fighting the Citizens, the People that they Represent or should I say the people that they are supposed to work for. Well in this case I say that they should be fired. Joe Sampson and Debra Robertson should be fired for their support in the in tolerable fight that they put up against the public.
    So, Please all you that live in Rialto be sure to get out and vote, any one but. Robertson or Sampson, better to vote for Baca Jr. and or Farretiz.
    Candidates line up for shot at city councils
    Those seeking council, school board seats are filing papers
    By Mason Stockstill, Daily Bulletin Staff Writer...

    Local elections more than three months away? Not to worry -- the candidates are already lining up.

    Council seats in several cities across the Inland Valley will be contested in November, including seats in Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto and Upland.

    School board seats will be open in the following districts: Chino Valley Unified, Corona-Norco Unified, Fontana Unified, Jurupa Unified and Rialto Unified. Also, the San Bernardino County Board of Education has two contested seats.

    Candidates have until Aug. 11 to file their papers for the November election. Here is a breakdown of those who have already pulled papers to become candidates or filed the documents with elections officials.

    Chino: Two seats are up for election. Incumbents Earl Elrod and Eunice Ulloa have pulled nominating papers.

    Chino Hills: Three seats are contested. Incumbents Ed Graham, Bill Kruger and Gary Larson will seek re-election. Challengers include Frank Fu, Rosanna Mitchell and Peter Rogers.

    Chino Valley Unified School District: Two seats are contested. Incumbents Bill Klein and John Pruitt have filed their paperwork, and former board member Dave Black and Sylvia Orozco have pulled papers.

    Corona: Three seats are contested. Incumbents Eugene Montanez and Karen Spiegel have pulled papers, as has police Capt. Stan Skipworth.

    Corona-Norco Unified School District: Two seats are contested. No candidate has filed paperwork yet, but four have pulled papers: William Hedrick, Michael Martinez Scott, Sharon Martinez and John Zickefose.

    Fontana: Three seats are up for election, including the mayoralty. Incumbents John Roberts and Frank Scialdone are running for re-election; challengers Joseph Diaz and Ralph Dominguez have pulled papers. Mayor Mark Nuaimi is so far running unopposed.

    Fontana Unified School District: Three seats are contested. Incumbents Gus Hawthorn, Laura Abernathy Mancha and Wayne Ruble are seeking re-election. Challengers are Carlos Bravo, Emory James, Julie Ramos, Michael Tahan and Bill Tunney.

    Jurupa Unified School District: Three seats are contested. Mary L. Burns and Sam D. Knight have filed their paperwork, and Adolph Warren Lucio and Michael Rodriguez have pulled papers.

    Montclair: Two council seats and the mayoralty are contested. Incumbents Leonard Paulitz, Bill Ruh and Mayor Paul Eaton have pulled papers. Challenger Mike Mariana has filed for council.

    Ontario: Two council seats and the mayoralty are contested. Incumbent Councilman Alan Wapner faces five challengers so far -- Paul Vincent Avila, Jim Bowman, Gabriel Chavez, Samuel P. Crowe and Josie Estrada. Mayor Paul Leon will be challenged by former Mayor Paul Treadway.

    Pomona: Four seats are up for election. Incumbents Marco Robles, Dan Rodriguez and Elliott Rothman are seeking re-election. Challengers who have pulled papers include Stephen Atchley, Pete Garcia, John Mendoza, Jennifer Nesslar, Freddie Rodriguez and Heberto Sanchez.

    Rancho Cucamonga: Two council seats and the mayoralty are contested. Mayor Bill Alexander faces challenger John Kera. Incumbent Councilman Rex Gutierrez has pulled papers, as have Dieter Dammeier, Joseph J. McCaffrey, Jim Moffatt and Nicole Myerchin.

    Rialto: Two seats are contested. Incumbents Deborah Robertson and Joseph Sampson are seeking re-election. Former Assemblyman Joe Baca Jr. and Mark Ferretiz also are running.

    Rialto Unified: Incumbent Joanne Gilbert has pulled papers, as have challengers Alfonso Garcia and Corey Jackson.

    Upland: Three council seats are contested. Incumbents Brendan Brandt, Tom Thomas and Ray Musser have pulled papers, as have Patrick Bowman, Garry Garcia and Arman Khodaei.

    The election will be held Nov. 7. Those wishing to run for local office should contact their city or county clerk for information.

    Staff writers Andrea Bennett, Joanna Parsons, Monica Rodriguez, Canan Tasci and L. Alexis Young contributed to this report.

    Mason Stockstill can be reached by e-mail at, or by phone at (909) 483-9354.

    Fontana Can Help City Employees buy a Home (Daily Bulletin 070606)

    This is a good plan and it is a shame that this report is only showing the success of one Idevidual that has taken advantage of the program. Rialto City had it for a while, but the plan ended some years ago and they have never started it back up for what ever reason. I know that If they had the program when I was looking for my home I would have used the plan.


    Fontana can help city employees buy a home

    By Leonor Vivanco, Staff Writer

    FONTANA -- Over his 18-year career as a city employee, Keith Kramer commuted from various cities where he lived to his job in Fontana. But in January, he became the first and only person to take advantage of the Fontana Employee/Teacher Homeownership Program.

    "It made perfect sense for me to relocate into the community where I serve not only as an employee but as a resident," said Kramer, an operations and construction supervisor in the public works department.

    He got a $50,000 loan to help buy his $450,000 home downtown in a city where home prices are climbing.

    The program is being offered to full-time city employees and teachers in the Fontana Unified, Colton Joint Unified and Etiwanda school districts who never owned a home in Fontana. To qualify for the loan -- which serves as a second loan to buy a home -- employees must be able to afford a 3 percent down payment and must qualify for a first home loan, said Deputy City Manager David Edgar.

    After living at the home for five years, the loan can start to be forgiven if the homeowner shows he or she has made improvements to the property, he said. It can be completely forgiven by the 10th year, he said.

    "It makes good sense for employees to live in the community because they become members of the community and are more in tune with what's going on in the community," Edgar said.

    Kramer said that since he is not commuting as much, he has time to run errands and attend community events.

    "The commute was secondary. My biggest focus was really to be a part of Fontana," he said.

    The recently approved 2006-07 budget included $500,000 in redevelopment funds for the program's first full year. The goal is to assist at least 10 employees, regardless of income, in purchasing a home in the core area bounded by Foothill and Valley boulevards and the city's limits on the east and west.

    The median home price in the area with a 92335 zip code was $375,000 in May, which is a 17.8 percent increase in price from May 2005, according to DataQuick. Home prices in other areas are even higher.

    "For several years, we've heard that new teachers and employees are unable to afford housing in Fontana," said Mayor Mark Nuaimi.

    The program is a way to help employees buy a home, aid in recruitment efforts and add to the resurgence of the neighborhood, he said.

    "Anytime you live and work in the same community or within a short distance, that enhances the quality of life," Nuaimi said.

    Other downtown projects aimed at revitalization include the regional library under construction and the renovation of the historic Fontana theater.

    A handful of people have already submitted applications for the program, which was created in 2005, Edgar said.