Friday, June 29, 2007

Water-Contamination Hearing Deferred Again (The Press Enterprise Sat. June 23, 2007)

Water-contamination hearing deferred again

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10:00 PM PDT on Saturday, June 23, 2007
The Press-Enterprise

A state hearing to assign blame for the Inland region's largest unabated plume of groundwater pollution was delayed until August, marking at least the third postponement in the case.

The hearing was expected to begin July 9 before the chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board. At issue is a six-mile plume of perchlorate -- an ingredient of rocket fuel -- that has tainted more than a dozen drinking-water wells in Rialto and Colton.

The hearing is rescheduled for the weeks of Aug. 20 and Aug. 27 with specific dates to be announced later.

Reach Jennifer Bowles at 951-368-9548 or or visit her blog at


BS Ranch Perspective

Well it seems that this whole thing would go a whole lot smoother if they would allow the companies that said that they would pay for the contamination from the beginning, but Owen wanted to see a larger pay check at the benefit of who, Himself? or was it really for the people of Rialto? I wonder, because the people of 'Black and Decker' have said they were willing to pay for what ever there company was responsible for regarding the Perchlorate contamination.

I am not all together sure that Rialto is the only city on the list of City's that are in the Law Suit against all the Businesses, regarding the Perchlorate Contamination. The list of Cities and or People involved in the Law Suit.

BS Ranch

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Senate OK's Big Fuel-Efficiency Increase (LA Times, June 22, 2007) The Increase is required miles per gallon could make this year's energy bill the mo

BS Ranch Perspective

I beleive that there are contributions to "Global Warming" however it is a little, hard to correct the "Globe" of such a problem when we are the only country that might even take some hipocrit look at mileage as say that it will make a difference. Japan, China, and even Korea The Soviet Union all put out much more Emissions then We as a country do!! When we truly get the whole "Globe" to view "Global" Warming as a "Global" Issue we will always have this problem.

Fuel-efficiency is one way to only do one thing and that is to possibly save money for the Consumer, and that is one thing that the Auto Industry should be doing anyway, and not be told to do so! When they are told to do so, then we, as consumers loose in Horse power, and quality vehicles that we are finally getting now. and even now the vehicles that we are getting are still not the tough trucks that we use to have back in the sixties or the seventies when we first were delivered the all steel construction to the bed of the truck. It was heavy bed of steel that was harder to bend, but it was a great deal tougher then it is now, however they are making it stronger and tougher everyday.

Tougher in our Trucks, Because the Consumer Has Demanded it. The Diesel Engine has been the Power Plant of Choice becuase of the power and Fuel Economy that you get from a Diesel. In Fact GMC added the Diesel to their fleet because of Dodge, then Ford, and GMC had to make a strong, good Engine to power their really good Transmission. Dodge and ford went back and forth, but Dodge always had them beat, with the Cummings, In-Line-Six, lower fuel Economy, with the same amount of Torque as the Ford and GMC's V-8 Diesel, I am sorry to say that the In-Line--Six is the better of all Diesels,

So Dodge is the truck still to beat!!

BS Ranch

Senate OKs big fuel-efficiency increase

The increase in required miles per gallon could make this year's energy bill the most significant in years.
By Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
June 22, 2007

WASHINGTON — Driven by anxiety over global warming and dependence on foreign oil, the Senate passed a major increase Thursday in the average fuel efficiency requirement for vehicles on U.S. roads — to 35 miles per gallon from the current 25.

If enacted into law, the measure, which is part of a much broader energy bill that passed the Senate 65-27 just before midnight, would be the first hike in the fuel efficiency requirement for cars in nearly two decades.

Automakers would have to meet the new fleetwide standard by 2020.

The bipartisan Senate vote gave a powerful boost to the long-discussed proposal as the energy debate prepared to shift to the House next month. And strong GOP support for tougher fuel efficiency standards will probably increase pressure on President Bush to back such a plan.

Cars and light trucks, including SUVs, pickups and vans, account for about a fifth of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.

"It's just amazing," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a leading architect of the emissions plan who has been fighting for years to force automakers to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. "I'm flabbergasted."

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), who also worked on the compromise, called the strong support for it "a monumental change."

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said the new fuel efficiency standards are "a step in the right direction," although the administration is still leery of a broad standard for all vehicles.

A final energy bill may not make to the president's desk until later this summer.

Passage of the Senate measure followed the collapse of two major initiatives many hoped would begin to turn Americans away from their heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

In the face of opposition from Republicans, Democratic leaders were forced to drop an expansive tax package that would have created $28.5 billion in incentives for the development of energy from renewable sources, such as the wind and sun.

Democrats also were unable to include in the bill a pathbreaking requirement that electric utilities nationwide generate 15% of their electricity from cleaner energy sources. Power plants account for about a third of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.

"I'm disappointed," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said after the setbacks. "Our wonderful world is being destroyed by fossil fuels."

But the breakthrough on fuel efficiency standards could make this year's energy bill the most significant in years. Advocates estimate that increased fuel efficiency could also reduce carbon dioxide emissions from autos by 18% by 2025.

Though the new standards attracted widespread support on both sides of the aisle, the broader bill passed only after frenzied late-night cajoling in the well of the Senate.

Twenty Republicans joined 43 Democrats and two independents backing the measure. Four Democrats and 23 Republicans — many of whom objected to the bill's lack of support for domestic oil and gas exploration — opposed it.

California Democrat Barbara Boxer was in California for the birth of her second grandchild and missed the vote.

All four Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate — Delaware's Joseph R. Biden Jr., Connecticut's Christopher J. Dodd, New York's Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois' Barack Obama — voted for the bill. GOP presidential hopefuls Sam Brownback of Kansas and John McCain of Arizona missed the vote.

Automakers have long complained that stricter standards would cost U.S. jobs, and year after year they succeeded in turning aside efforts to raise them.

Particularly galling to environmentalists, the industry clung to a lower fuel standard for light trucks, including sport utilities, pickups and minivans. Currently, an automaker's car fleet must average 27.5 mpg. Light trucks must average 22.2 mpg, a standard that is scheduled to increase to 24 mpg by 2011.

This year, facing new pressure from the Democratic congressional majority and growing public concern about global warming, the auto industry and its allies on Capitol Hill conceded that some increase was possible. But they continued to fight efforts to eliminate the distinction between cars and trucks.

Thursday, senators from both parties resoundingly rejected that. Under the measure, cars and trucks will be lumped together to calculate the fuel efficiency of an automaker's vehicles, requiring that the average 35 mpg standard be achieved by model year 2020.

Senators also voted to instruct the Department of Transportation to develop a plan to ensure that 50% of the vehicles sold in the U.S. be capable of using alternative fuels by 2015.

"Our message to the domestic auto industry is, 'You can do this,' " said Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), another champion of the compromise.

In one nod to the industry, the Senate abandoned a plan to require 4% annual increases in fuel efficiency from 2020 to 2031, giving federal regulators the discretion to increase standards "to the maximum feasible" level.

With Thursday's Senate vote, the energy debate now moves to the House.

In that chamber, Democratic leaders are working to assemble their own package; it does not include new fuel standards, although several lawmakers have expressed interest in adding them.

The Senate's bipartisan embrace of new standards also increases the likelihood that a final energy bill would include the provision.

Bush, who Thursday toured a newly reopened unit of a nuclear power plant in Alabama, has voiced concerns about a number of ideas being advocated by congressional Democrats, including lumping together cars and light trucks in setting fuel standards.

The president has also taken issue with a provision in the bill to make gasoline price-gouging a federal offense. And he has complained that Democratic energy proposals would do little to promote domestic production of oil and gas at a time when consumers face rising gas prices.

"The current plan being debated in the Senate falls far short," Bush said Thursday before the bill passed, as he called for more nuclear power plants and more oil exploration in U.S. coastal waters and in Alaska.

"As we talk about new technologies, we're still going to need oil and gas," he said. "And we can explore for oil and gas in environmentally friendly ways."

Congressional Republicans have also consistently demanded more oil and gas exploration.

Democratic leaders, casting energy as a national security issue, have focused on strengthening federal efforts to encourage the use of renewable sources of energy.

On a visit to the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Ala., Bush chose to highlight the advantages of nuclear power.

"Nuclear power is safe," he said as he visited the first nuclear power plant unit to come on line in the past decade. "Nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases. If you are interested in cleaning up the air, then you ought to be an advocate for nuclear power."

Currently, 103 nuclear plants — including Diablo Canyon near San Luis Obispo and San Onofre in northern San Diego County — generate about 20% of the nation's electricity.


Times staff writers Richard Simon and James Gerstenzang contributed to this report.

Ridgecrest Proposes to Secede From Kern County ( June 20, 2007)

BS Ranch Perspective

It is my believe that since the southern end of Ridgecrest is along the Inyo County Border, that it would more then likely get better services from the Sheriff of Inyo County, and the Sheriff Department. However Inyo County's Budget is much Smaller then that of Kern County's, having said that, I would say that most of Kern County's Budget is not spent on Ridgecrest and I would lay dollars to doughnuts that the people that represents Kern County didn't know much about Ridgecrest until this Secession was brought up!!

I believe that since most of the Surrounding area around Ridgecrest is Inyo it should be Inyo too

BS Ranch

Ridgecrest proposes to secede from Kern County

Last Update: Jun 20, 2007 7:44 PM

Posted By: brynn galindo

Posted 6/20/07
BAKERSFIELD - There are rumblings of a revolt in Ridgecrest.

The city council Wednesday night will discuss a Ridgecrest proposal to secede from Kern County and become part of Inyo County.

The high desert city is located in the far northeastern corner of Kern, and some folks there believe they would receive better public services from Inyo County than they currently get from Kern County.

A spokesman for First District Supervisor Jon McQuiston said backers of the secession proposal are under the misperception they're not getting their fair share of services.

Nevertheless, county accountants are currently crunching numbers to determine the financial impact to the county's general fund should Ridgecrest voters decide to secede from Kern County.

Council Adopts Balanced Budget for City of Fontana (Daily Bulletin June 21, 2007)

BS Ranch Perspective

The city of Fontana has the guts to do the right thing, that is great!! Now I hope that that they can live by the Budget walls that they have set!!

BS Ranch

Council adopts balanced budget for city of Fontana
By Leonor Vivanco, Staff Writer

FONTANA - The checkbook is balanced and there's enough money in the account to pay for the new bills expected to arrive soon.

That's what Fontana officials showed the City Council at a budget workshop Wednesday.

The council unanimously adopted the 2007-08 budget.

The budget lists $83.9 million in the General Fund, which pays for city services and programs using sales tax and property tax revenues, fines and fees.

The city is planning on spending $70.3 million.

For residents, it means more police on the streets, more streets repaved, and more sports and cultural programs.

The budget is conservative, City Manager Ken Hunt wrote in the budget.

Those new projects to open in 2008 are the $60 million Lewis Library and Technology Center under construction downtown, the $60 million Fontana Park and Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Center at the northeast corner of Lytle Creek Road and Summit Avenue, the renovation of the historic Fontana Theater into Center Stage on Sierra Avenue, and the Heritage Community Center. The biggest chunk of the budget - 56 percent - is set aside for the Police Department.

210: Road of Progress, Promise (Daily Bulletin 062707)

BS Ranch Perspective
They show a growth in this area according to Fontana's Tax Base Growth, however they are also showing and taking into cosideration the new businesses that are located along the I-15 that has been there for a long time. I am lost which Freeway are they talking about?
BS Ranch

210: Road of progress, promise
By Leonor Vivanco, Staff Writer
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

It has turned vacant land into cash cows. Auto malls, shops and restaurants have popped up alongside luxury home developments. And it's even provided a smoother commute, for some.

When it opens later this year, the 210 Freeway's final eight miles will connect Fontana and San Bernardino in a project delayed for many years.

And Saturday, there will be a chance to travel the new stretch of freeway in Rialto and San Bernardino for the first time, albeit on bicycles, at the Come Play on the Freeway: The Finale event starting at 7 a.m.

In essence, the last eight miles of the $1.1billion project opens up a new transportation corridor east to the county seat. It also will be a new way for west county residents to reach the 10 Freeway in Redlands.

"It's joining all the cities together. We are going to be a regional powerhouse down that corridor," said Fontana Councilwoman Acquanetta Warren.

The completion of the freeway will provide new access, visibility and promise - promise to transform communities.

Strengthening commerce

For several years, officials in Rialto and San Bernardino have eyed the prosperity the freeway has brought to Upland, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, and are eager to get a piece of the pie.

The freeway has been a marketing tool to lure developers to the area to provide much needed services that help keep residents and shoppers in town.

One of the largest retail developments along the 210 is Upland's Colonies Crossroads.

"It has opened up the city to areas that probably would not have existed commercially," said Warren, also Upland's deputy public works director.

Fontana has dubbed a section along the 210, from Citrus to Sierra avenues, the Miracle Mile.

Along that stretch, the freeway has brought in new residents to Sierra Lakes and new businesses, including an auto mall, a Costco, restaurants and shops, including Home Depot and Lowe's. The Sierra San Antonio Medical Plaza is also there.

In 2001, when a portion of the 210 opened between Rancho Cucamonga and Sierra Avenue, Fontana collected $11million in sales tax.

This year, Fontana is approaching $25million in sales tax and projecting $29million next year. Much of that growth is from the north end where the 210 cuts through the city.

What has led to that sales tax opportunity and viable retail opportunities is the influx of people who come to Fontana via the 210.

The completion of the 210 to the west connected Fontana to the San Gabriel Valley, making it a bedroom community, said Mayor Mark Nuaimi.

It was a city where larger homes were available for lower mortgages. Its trade-off: a little bit longer commute.

New residents have come, and property values have skyrocketed.

"With growth in property value came growth in personal incomes," Nuaimi said.

"We had more people coming with more disposable income, and that created a Miracle Mile," he said.

Extending the freeway east opens Fontana to even more potential residents, he said.

Minutes away from the freeway and just across the street from shopping is the upscale residential development Sierra Lakes.

Some of the adjoining businesses have freeway frontage - a hot commodity when trying to attract residents and shoppers. The freeway makes it easier to see the shops and access them to do business.

Other cities such as Rialto and San Bernardino have taken notice.

"As you look at the 210 corridor going to Rialto and San Bernardino, there are opportunities for that same thing to occur," said John Husing, a Redlands-based economist who focuses on the Inland Empire.

A massive retail and housing project called Renaissance Rialto is poised to replace the city's airport near the 210.

City leaders hope the project brings a burst of economic activity coupled with sales tax to the city.

That project combined with others accessible from the 210 could lead to a rebirth of the city in image and its future.

Bringing retail to areas has helped cities boost tax revenues and homeowners be closer to needed services, said developer Randall Lewis, executive vice president of Lewis Group of Companies.

The firm has developed Sierra Lakes homes and shops just north of the 210. Lewis has proposed Renaissance Rialto.

"It's been a big asset in terms of opening up the market to commuters from the west, and it's also had a benefit that it's made it easier to attract retail that wants to be at a freeway location," Lewis said.

The freeway has also been an asset to the entertainment industry.

Traffic relief

A stressed 10 Freeway will get some relief with the 210 running parallel.

The 210 can also help eliminate the stop-and-go traffic now on city streets.

"My husband and I love the 210. It's because we used to have to take Base Line (Road) or Foothill (Boulevard) until we could pick up the 210," said Marcia Tuzzolino, a Rancho Cucamonga resident.

"It took at least a half-hour off our travel time," she said.

To the San Fernando Valley, it now takes her 45 minutes. Without the 210 reaching Rancho Cucamonga, it took twice as long, she said.

"I especially like it because I can see my granddaughter quicker," Tuzzolino said.

The freeway will not just be moving people, but goods.

"Mostly what it means is an increase in the efficiency in movement of transportation systems," Husing said.

The route will help goods get distributed from manufacturing and logistics centers in the county.

"From a retail and service point of view, it's going to be a real plus," said Bill Carney, president and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, a nonprofit regional economic development organization.

"The biggest beneficiary of this is going to be San Bernardino and its environs because it's going to bring people directly into the city," he said.

The freeway will encourage new development and help revitalize older corridors, he said.

San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris acknowledges more people will use the 210 as a gateway into the city.

"That's a blessing, and it's also of some concern," he said.

"The blessing is we will have a corridor of commerce that will come to us and not struggle with the roadway system."

But his concern is where the 210 hooks up with Highway 30, a freeway at that point that is two lanes in each direction, creating a bottleneck.

"That's going to create some heartache and no doubt some backup until we can expand the existing 30 to more lanes," Morris said.

Still, San Bernardino is blessed with more ingress and egress points than any other city in the region, he noted.

Officials in Redlands and Highland, in particular, plan to take advantage of the opportunities made to other cities via the 210.

They believe the freeway will make their cities more attractive for commercial development and already have projects in the pipeline.

But heading east from Rialto is the urban core of the county and not much vacant land to develop, Husing said.

"Traditionally, when you see a segment of a freeway open like this, one of the things you tend to see is an acceleration of housing development," the economist said.

"However, in the East Valley as opposed to the West End, there is less land available to do that."

Not all communities may want to see more shops, people and traffic.

"The one community that will probably change as a result of this will probably be Muscoy, which has been a relatively rural area," Husing said.

"If you are a person who wanted a rural lifestyle anywhere along that corridor, it's gone," he said.

Staff writer Leonor Vivanco can be reached by e-mail at, or by phone at (909) 386-3875.

NO-Fly Zone Press Enterprise 06207

BS Ranch Perspective

I thought that the object was for SBX to get underway to becoming a International Airport, and get some flights to start to fly into this airport other then a shipping company, something other then DHL!
BS Ranch

No-Fly Zone

07:07 AM PDT on Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The March Joint Powers Authority's plan to experiment with having noisy DHL cargo planes take off over San Bernardino County has mobilized elected officials here, from city councils to Congress, to fight the proposal.

On Thursday, Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, fired off a letter to Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, chairman of the March Authority board, to express his concern about DHL taking off over Colton, Rialto and other parts of his district.

"As the congressman who represents these cities, I strongly oppose changes to the existing DHL flight plan," Baca wrote. He'd rather the March Authority adjust DHL's takeoff times or require aircraft to be upgraded to quieter models.

"Please keep me abreast of all further meetings related to this issue as I am vehemently opposed to advancement of this plan," Baca concluded.

A day earlier, San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales urged mayors and council members who sit on the San Bernardino International Airport Authority board to ask Ashley for a meeting on the planned test-flights.

Ashley has said his board has no intention of shifting its problem (residents being awakened by 3 a.m. takeoffs) onto its neighbors in this county.

Folks here may be skeptical.

The March Authority's credibility isn't so hot. It misrepresented where the flight path would be during public hearings before the DHL contract was approved in 2004. And it was less than forthcoming when it discovered estimates of how much money DHL would bring in were off by $12 million.

I hope the authority handles the flight-path issue better.

Fairway Drive between San Bernardino and Colton is looking a lot better. Caltrans crews are staying on top of illegal dumping, and San Bernardino city's graffiti crew is keeping taggers' handiwork covered.

The crackdown on dumping and graffiti came after a Colton resident who wanted to ride her bicycle to work in San Bernardino sought help from officials to make Fairway passable.

The cleanup got completed before Memorial Day, and constant vigilance from both agencies has kept the underpass from deteriorating again.

Unfortunately, it's still too dangerous to ride a bicycle through there. The curving, two-lane road has sandy shoulders unsuitable for bicycle tires, and the asphalt is so narrow, bicyclists would be taking their lives in their hands if they tried to share the road with cars.

There's an asphalt Flood Control maintenance road under the bridge, but Caltrans won't remove concrete barriers that block it because the bridge supports weren't designed for bicycle or pedestrian use. And Flood Control won't permit others to use its maintenance road anyway.

Both agencies should rethink their stances. Government at all levels is trying to encourage people to use alternatives to solo-vehicle commuting.

And it would be simple to make the maintenance road suitable: Just add lights for safety and fences to prevent dumping but allow walkers and cyclists to pass.

It wouldn't take that much money, said Lorna Martinez-Garcia, the county worker who wants to leave her car behind.

I'll keep asking until someone gives me a good reason why it can't be done.

Cassie MacDuff can be reached at 909-806-3068 or

Giuliani Faults Former President Clinton for 1990 Response to Terrorism and Subsequent Attacks During is Tennure! (Assoc Press 062607)

Giuliani faults former President Clinton for 1990s response to terrorism

4:32 p.m. June 26, 2007
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday accused former President Clinton of not responding forcefully enough to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing or later terrorist attacks.

The former New York mayor criticized Democrats, accusing them of weakness and naivete in dealing with terrorism. Giuliani made the comments to about 650 business, corporate and political leaders at Regent University, the conservative Christian college founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson.

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"Islamic terrorists killed more than 500 Americans before Sept. 11. Many people think the first attack on America was on Sept. 11, 2001. It was not. It was in 1993," said the former New York mayor.

Giuliani argued that Clinton treated the World Trade Center bombing as a criminal act instead of a terrorist attack, calling it "a big mistake" that emboldened other strikes on the Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia, in Kenya and Tanzania and later on the USS Cole while docked in Yemen in 2000.

"The United States government, then President Clinton, did not respond," Giuliani said. "(Osama) bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it."

In hindsight, Giuliani said, maybe it's all clearer now, "but now is now, and there is no reason to go back into denial, and that is essentially what the Democratic candidates for president want to do: they want to go back, to put the country in reverse to the 1990s.

"I'm not blaming anybody back then," Giuliani said later in the day at a campaign stop at a Jewish temple in Rockville, Md. "What I am saying is, I do blame people after Sept. 11. Now you have to get it."

Last September, Giuliani defended Clinton's record amid political bickering over which president – Clinton or George W. Bush – missed more opportunities to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The idea of trying to cast blame on President Clinton is just wrong for many, many reasons, not the least of which is I don't think he deserves it," Giuliani said during a stop in Florida. "I don't think President Bush deserves it. The people who deserve blame for Sept. 11, I think we should remind ourselves, are the terrorists – the Islamic fanatics – who came here and killed us and want to come here again and do it."

In his comments Tuesday, Giuliani said Democrats would abandon Iraq while giving terrorists the U.S. "timetable for retreat."

Giuliani remained aligned with President Bush in keeping U.S. forces in Iraq even as two more senior Senate Republicans – Indiana's Richard Lugar and Ohio's George Voinovich – in the past two days suggested the president's policy is failing and said he should begin bringing troops home.

In his Rockville appearance, Giuliani compared the war in Iraq to the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

"What happened in Gaza is a microcosm of what's going to happen in Baghdad" if the United States withdraws. "It will become something that inflames the entire region."

Democrats were quick to criticize Giuliani.

"Rudy's arrogance has gotten the best of him," the Democratic National Committee said in a one-paragraph response. "How can a man who failed to prepare New York City for a second attack after the first one, who sent firefighters and emergency workers into Ground Zero without respirators and quit the Iraq Study Group to raise money keep America safe?"

Speaking at Regent, Giuliani avoided any mention of two issues that put him at odds with conservatives – his support for gay rights and abortion rights.

But he acknowledged the differences indirectly, drawing warm applause from the conservative audience for doing so.

"Don't expect to agree with me on everything because that would be unrealistic. I don't even agree with me on everything," he said.

Giuliani acknowledged there is little difference between his position and the positions of those of other Republican candidates on terrorism and the Middle East, but said his experience as mayor of New York has prepared him to be better at handling presidential responsibilities.

BS Ranch Perspective

Just a story that says that Rudy is Right!! this whole war that we are in might have been bocked (for lack of a better word) if Bill Clinton had acted stronger faster to the Terrorist bombing to the World Trade Center in 1993, and then the Attacks on our Embassy in Africa, that was now found to have been planned by Bil La din.

Rudy is right on this assessment.

BS Ranch

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rialto City Council Delays Utility Tax Ballot Measure (Press Enterprise June 19, 2007)

Rialto City Council delays utility tax ballot measure

  Download story podcast

10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The Press-Enterprise

A perplexed Rialto City Council agreed Tuesday to hold off on putting the city's utility users tax on the November ballot after a handful of residents expressed concern at extending the tax, saying there was not enough information for them to see how their money has been spent thus far.

The council was reviewing whether to call a special election so residents could vote on extending the tax until June 2018. It was being considered because the tax is set to expire June 2008.

But many of the residents present said 10 years is too long of an extension and added that they are unclear on how the money is being spent.

Toby Polinger, of Rialto, said he wants a clearer picture of how money is being spent because he has not seen any documents outlining expenditures.

"I don't doubt there are reports out there that show it," he said. "I just haven't seen them."

City Administrator Henry Garcia said the money is audited each year and each dollar is accounted for. Several council members said there have been community meetings, although poorly attended, where the use of the money has been explained.

To the residents who requested that the tax be lowered, Garcia said there is no way it could be done.

"It cannot be less than 8 percent under any circumstance," he said. "In order for us to restore the Police Department, sustain the enormous growth in our city and ensure capable funding revenue, it's important this moves forward."

The residents' questions on how the money is spent showed little progress has been made in gaining people's trust, Garcia said.

"If in 36 months, with all we have done to keep the community informed and rebuild, there is doubt, we might as well just wait and let" the tax expire, he said.

Councilman Joe Baca Jr. said he wants to explore the option of putting the tax on the February ballot, although the possibility of doing that still has to be determined.

Residents first voted on the tax in 2003 because there was not enough money in the city's general fund to provide quality services despite eliminating 40 positions from the city's work force, records show. It was approved by five votes.

The 8 percent tax, which applies to all utilities and is levied on every nonexempt resident and business in Rialto, represents nearly one-fourth of the city's general fund, records show. Exceptions are allowed for people age 65 and older and for households that qualify as very low income

"As we stand today, it's a critical revenue source that is being depended upon by the Police Department and Fire Department," Assistant City Manager Kirby Warner said.

Because new technology made it possible for people to avoid the utility tax on their home phone lines by using Internet-based phone service, a broader, more comprehensive definition of telephone communication that is taxable will be included, records show.

City Clerk Barbara McGee said the cost of a November election would be clearer in July, when other cities that will have something on the ballot and will share the cost of the election with Rialto will have filed the required paperwork.

A special election can cost from $30,000 to $100,000, she said.

If the tax is put on the February ballot, it will still be considered a special election, and the cost would be nearly identical, she said.

More discussion on when to put the matter before the voters will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Reach Massiel Ladrón De Guevara at 909-806-3054 or


BS Ranch Perspective

The Rialto City Council is going to put off the Thought of a Special Election right now? I guess that there was to much publicity for this meeting and even thought there was not that many people there at the meeting the Council felt that there was way to many people there to make the Vote Public! The only Voice of Reason again was that of Joe Baca Jr. Asking to look into the possiblity of putting the speicial Election of the City's Utility Tax on Febuary's Ballot to try and save the City some money, Which Makes a whole lot of sense!! Since there has been a whole lot of money that has been waised over the last 10 years!!

Let me see, The City Council Voted to close the Doors on their own Police Department, Then spent  a whole lot of  money  trying to keep their decision to Contract with the Sheriff Department, there is not a anything know or said if the City Council spent money to the San Bernardino Sheriff Department in their Planning to Bring the Rialto Police into their fold!

The Rialto City Council looked at the 3%@50 Retirement plan and said that the Sheriff Department had that retirement plan, so they figured that they would save money and contract with them. Rialto City Council didn't realize that you get what you pay for and there was a great deal of people that came to speak on behalf of that. Adelanto's Crime Rate Doubled in almost every catagory, Schedule One Felonies, Schedule Two Felonies and all Misdemeanors. The City Council was crazy for even thinking about this fact, not only were they willing to do this, but they were willing to fight to keep the contract. Which might mean that there was some kind of penalty for the City of Rialto backing out of the Contract with the Sheriff's Department!

The City Council would have had to let the public know if there was some kind of penalty for not signing the contract when we were so close to signing and didn't due to the pressure brought from the Citizens that live in Rialto, and wanted their Law Enforcement Not to change, after so many years. The fight brought by the Citizens of Rialto, was so powerful, that the Rialto City Council had to sit up straight and take notice and not just read the minutes of what they had but vote the petition into LAW! Especially after their delay tactic was proven to be an Idiot move by the City Attorny, Owen, (whom should find another job either in another city or actually being an attorney for clients instead of one client, the City).

Again, I am asking if the City's Administrator is representing the People of Rialto, The reason that I ask this is that he gets this Utility Tax voted in 10 years ago, and and the then they try to close the doors on the Police Department, instead of embracing what they have in a city and building from there. They could have had the 3%@50 Retirement plan, instead The City Administrator, took the oppertunity to push the Police Department down when the fight began between the Sheriff Contract and Police Department. The Council was shown plans for and Purchased over $10Million (Ten Million Dollars) for Fire Department equipment, not only that but the Fire department and Maintenance got the Raises and Employee Contracts that they wanted, when the Police Department got NOTHING, until they settled the battle of the Police/Sheriff Contract Negotiation situation. When it was found that the Sheriff's Department was not going to be the Law Enforcement Agency for the City of Rialto and the Police Department was going to stay, and all would be well at Rialto City. The only thing was that they needed to get rid of the Police Chief at that time and the "Under Chief" to clean up the corruption within the Department!

When it was time that they sat down and started to Negotiate the Contract for the RPBA (Rialto Police Benefit Association) The first three contracts were not anywhere near what the City promised and or Said that they were going to give in good faith to the Police Department at the time that the contract was negotiated that was the problem because they were backed away from the table several times, all because the City's Negotiator kept pulling away the stuff that was promised by the City Council. Since the City Council was not there they didn't have to answer to the claims of the lies that were being told. It was a great tactic at that time. 

When they finally got a contact that they both could agree to it was Crackers and Crumbs of what they should have gotten in respect to what they were promised. The City Council had spent so much money on the Fire Departments Equipment, that when it came time to Purchase Equipment for the Police Department, they could not and almost didn't have the money for the Police Units, and the Light Bars, and Unitrol Box's etc etc...  At the time that they signed the Police Department's Contract, The Police Department had a Fleet of Police Cars that were well over used with some that had close to two hundred miles on them, the break off before they change them out to a new car was at 90, to 120,000 Miles now. I believe that was the miles that it was at when my accident had occurred, simply because the cars  were lasting longer. They were taken out of  patrol at 70,000 to 80,000 and  then were dressed up for  an Law Enforcement Tech, or a Volunteer, etc etc... some  after that even were used in the  Building Maintenance  Department etc etc... I guess they go all over the city when they  are done.  However this time the city didn't spend any money on any  replacement vehicles.

The City Administrator, and some on the City Council wanted to keep the Officers in the Patrol Units with no Relief in sight, They Kept the Officers in their broken down falling apart Patrol Cars, and what happened was that they kept arresting people and the Crime Rate Dropped in Rialto, Due to the Hard Work that they did from the cars that were breaking down and not running right, They would spend the beginning of the shift getting their Unit running Right!!

Now they are running on new cars, they have a new Chief, Mark Kling, who the RPBA has given approval and Respect to. I have met him once and he has been really nice, Personable, he is a really nice guy!

The Police Department is on the way to recovery, however the City Council has been the one that has brought a little bit of sabotage to their own budget, and now they want to extend the Money, so the Rialto City Council will try to correct the problems that they have made in the previous Council. Surely, you cannot blame Joe Baca Jr. for the problems of the City Council in the past!!

I hope that they Do NOT GET THE TAX EXTENSION!!  

The City Council pays a wage to Two People that are getting close to $1.75 Million dollars in Annual wages, That was about half as much in the first year that the Sheriff's Department was going to charge for Law Enforcement. So that is a Subsequent amount, and it is a pretty good amount that could be applied towards a 3%@50 Retirement plan for the City of Rialto's Employee's, Now if they get this Retirement in their first year ten the Utility Tax might be something that would be a Necessary, however again Some of the Salaries of upper management has to come down..

BS Ranch

Sending Noise to S.B. County Cities Not Fair? (SB Sun June 19, 2007)

Sending noise to S.B. County cities not null

Noisy DHL cargo planes flying in the middle of the night have proved to be a nuisance in Riverside County, so now, officials there are thinking of sending the planes over Rialto, Colton and Bloomington instead. Does that sound fair to you?

The March Joint Powers Authority, the public agency overseeing the reuse of March Air Force Base, is looking at ways to relieve the noise currently suffered by residents in Riverside County cities. So, it is considering testing new flight paths that would take the aging cargo planes over the southern tips of the three San Bernardino County cities before they turn west.

That could mean 75,000 local residents would be subjected to the noise, to the tune of about 75 decibels per plane.

It's an outrage that March JPA would even consider such a switcheroo as a way around the problem.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales isn't happy about it, and she's leading the charge to right this warped way of thinking. She has asked county officials to investigate the repercussions and wants March JPA to consider other measures instead.

Besides the noise factor, Gonzales also is concerned about the increase in air traffic that could jam air space used by L.A./Ontario International and San Bernardino International airports.

Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, also is "vehemently opposed" to a redirection of cargo planes over heavily populated San Bernardino County.

Baca said Riverside County officials and the Federal Aviation Administration must explore adjusting hours of operation and upgrading DHL technology to use cleaner, quieter planes.

Up to eight DC-9 cargo jets fly as low as 1,000 feet above homes between 2:30 and 4 a.m. several days a week, which has caused an uproar by Riverside County residents.

At least, the FAA says it doesn't arbitrarily shift flight patterns for the sake of noise alone, but looks at safety and efficiency as well.

"Generally speaking, any proposal to shift noise from one area to a lower-income area would encounter some serious environmental-justice issues," said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

Thank goodness for that epiphany.

While we feel sorry for residents in Riverside County who have had to put up with the sound of huge planes lumbering overhead at all hours, we sure don't want to see local residents similarly victimized, especially when Riverside County is reeling in the benefits from DHL operations.

Thankfully, Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster, who is on the March Joint Powers Commission and who voted against the 2004 environmental document bringing DHL to March, is on our side. He has said the night flights must stop until alternate routes are thoroughly studied. Yet he also has said he'd work with Gonzales to make sure the situation isn't dumped on San Bernardino County.

It would be ludicrous to see that happen.


BS Ranch Perspective

You know this argument is just sick, it is a sickness really over money! They both want to get their International Airports Started, San Bernardino International Airport sought help from LAX, However they were not to impressed since they have ONTario to help with any overflow problem. After all that was why The City of Los Angeles Purchased and made the ONTario International Airport what it is Today! I appreaceate what L.A. did by opening Ontario International Airport, it is only 15 to 20 minutes to the airport, and now that that the Ontario was Remodeled it makes it much easier and faster to drop off friends and family to flights!

However, San Bernardino needs to have some Commerce for their Efforts to get the Airport started! The DHL Contract would be Great, they would be Able to fix up the Runways and get the Hangers up to what ever DHL Wants them to have them to be, it would be a great hand shake between two people.

As for the sounds of Jets Landing and Taking off, they would be landing  from the East and  taking off  to the West! Just like Ontario Airport! The Air force used to do touch and goes all day and most of the night, and I don't believe that there was any problems. During the "Operation Desert Shield" The war was run by the Big C-130 Cargo planes and they took off and landed at San Bernardino all day and night. They were taking off and landing every half hour to every hour. No one complained then either. However I believe that they were doing a great cause and so every one was so used to the planes. The only way you are going to know if anyone is used to it or not is to use the airports and try them out. 

Either trade for a short period of time, maybe a month and have DHL use March and see if that Airport is better suited for them then San Bernardino, or the likes of San Bernardino. If they were to choose San Bernardino they would be in a more populated area and closer to San Bernardino, Riverside, Rialto, Ranchio Cucamonga, Ontario, Chino, Chino Hills, Norco, etc etc.... If they land in March they are close to Riverside, but they will be fighting traffic to San Bernardino, Rialto, Fontana, Ranchio, etc etc.. They would be closer to that of San Bernardino, Lake Elsenore, etc etc...

My Self, I believe that the better choice of the two is that of San Bernardino International Airport (SBIA).

BS Ranch

When the Anti-Terrorism Cop is Muslim (LA Times June 20, 2007) An Arabic speaker of North African decent, this Officer says he is Militants' ' worst e

When the anti-terrorism cop is Muslim

An Arabic speaker of North African descent, this officer says he is militants' 'worst enemy.' Europe wants more like him.
By Sebastian Rotella, Times Staff Writer
June 20, 2007

PARIS -- Like the other detectives in his anti-terrorism unit, Mustafa wears a mask during raids.

He calls it "the Spiderman thing." The mask protects his identity and adds to the intimidating effect as he bursts through doors behind SWAT officers aiming laser-sighted weapons at suspects.

During interrogations, the mask comes off. The suspects stare at a young man much like themselves: a son of North African immigrants, an Arabic-speaker, a practicing Muslim. They react with surprise or hate — never indifference.

"I am the worst enemy for them," Mustafa says. "I speak their language. I know how they think. I have gotten a lot of threats. They say: 'You are worse than the Americans. The Americans are Christians. They are fighting their crusade. But you are a Muslim traitor.' … One guy told me: 'If I could get hold of one of your guns and it only had one bullet, it would be for you.' "

But occasionally, encounters with fellow officers leave Mustafa feeling caught in the middle.

"When I am on the street working plainclothes, police have stopped me," he says. "I take out my badge. I tell them I am working anti-terrorism. But they lock the door of their car and call headquarters to check me out. They don't have an image of someone like me as a policeman."

Mustafa — not his real name — is one of a rare breed of police officers who represent the future of European law enforcement. Despite Europe's large immigrant population, predominantly Muslim, police forces are struggling to integrate and to improve relations with minority communities.

"Diversity in the police is a factor of social justice," says French police Capt. Mohamed Douhane, 42, an official of the Synergie Officers union, which represents mid-level police commanders. "It gives greater credibility to institutions. It reduces tensions. Vis-a-vis young people, we are ambassadors."

Anti-terrorism agencies aggressively recruit investigators from Muslim backgrounds, eager to use their skills against an array of extremist networks. But the number of minorities in law enforcement, let alone elite units, remains small, especially compared with the presence of black and Latino officers in the United States. Though immigrants are central to the American identity, immigration began transforming Europe only in recent decades. Integration will take time.

And some Muslim investigators avoid the top-secret world of anti-terrorism, wary of risks and pressures that can make it a no man's land.

"They have chosen to distance themselves from their community, where there are people who now despise them, yet we do not always accept them," says Belgian federal police Supt. Alain Grignard, an anti-terrorism expert who speaks Arabic. "That doubles the pressure. I know officers who have had psychological problems because of this conflict."

On condition that his identity and the country where he works be kept secret, Mustafa agreed to give an inside view of his unique world.

He comes across as cheerful and, in a relaxed way, proud of what he does. He is 30, alert but not intense, solid but not brawny. When he is off duty, he has a stylish look. You can imagine him hanging out at a disco on a Mediterranean coast or playing pick-up soccer in a park.


MUSTAFA grew up in a devout, blue-collar family. He drinks an occasional glass of beer or wine, but attends mosque services and observes Ramadan. His relatives have made the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

"I was taught that being Muslim meant being nice, honest, kind — nothing about killing or hating," he says. "People are using Islam to hate other cultures. So I fight against that. That's my jihad."

As a boy, Mustafa was fascinated by "Miami Vice" and other television police dramas. Although his father wanted him to learn a trade, he applied to a national police academy, becoming one of the few Muslim cadets. Along with the allure of action, he felt a certain patriotic duty. It stirs whenever he goes on missions to North Africa and contemplates the sprawling misery of the shantytowns there.

"My father was so poor when he emigrated that the village chipped in to buy him a suit so he would look presentable," Mustafa says. "He was very well-received here. Yes, there are racists. But my parents integrated well."

Mustafa graduated near the top of his class. Religious discipline helped.

"Because I studied very hard," he says. "No girls, no drinking, no discos."

He started as a patrolman, but things moved quickly after an officer was killed by Moroccan gangsters. Detectives enlisted the rookie to analyze wiretaps in Arabic and gather intelligence.

After Al Qaeda struck the United States in September 2001, counter-terrorism forces across Europe went into overdrive. Mustafa's talents catapulted him into the unit where he works today.

His story has repeated itself elsewhere. Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands have led the way, stepping up recruitment among second- and third-generation populations from former colonies in Africa and South Asia. Spain and Italy have found recruitment more difficult because their immigrant communities are newer.

France's lead counter-terrorism agency, the DST, has had an influx of women of North African descent. Many want "to escape the pressure of the family culture," a top intelligence official says. "They want to be free women."


BUT anti-terrorism is not for everyone. Rookies spend hours of drudgery in headphones, translating wiretaps. France has the largest population of Muslims in Europe, but French society resists identity politics and American-style affirmative action. Some promising officers prefer assignments that don't pigeonhole them on the basis of ethnicity or religion.

Douhane is one of them. He comes from a practicing Muslim family, but is not devout. He was 24 when his father, a bus driver, invited a longtime passenger, a police commander, to Sunday lunch. The commander told him war stories and became his mentor.

"He totally shattered the image I had of the police, which was that they were racist, alcoholic and violent," Douhane says.

Without telling anyone in his rough housing project outside Grenoble, Douhane became one of two minority cadets in a class of 550. He recalls "not racism, but curiosity."

"They looked at me like a Martian."

At his graduation in 1992, the counter-terrorism service courted him unsuccessfully.

"They told me they would train me, teach me, take care of everything, but I don't like to work in the shadows," Douhane says. "I like things to be clear…. There are more minority patrol officers now, but the numbers in anti-terrorism are still weaker."

Like Douhane, Mustafa says he has not experienced bias, other than a bit of jealousy about his rapid ascent. Being a minority helps your career, he says.

"Here in Europe there is everything for immigrants: unemployment [benefits], school, free hospitals," he says. "You live very, very well here. But still some immigrants complain. And they hide behind that curtain of discrimination. Fundamentalists don't work, [they] grow the beard, collect unemployment, but they criticize the society anyway."

A recent case in Montpellier, in southern France, showed that vengeful militants see Muslim officers, especially women, as archenemies. The case began in 2005 when the DST arrested Achlougi Bach, a Moroccan mother of three, and her husband in a raid on a suspected network sending fighters to Iraq.

A female agent of Moroccan origin interrogated Bach, who was released without charges and promptly accused the agent of abuse. Bach, 35, claimed the agent insulted Islam and humiliated her. Her allegations surfaced on Islamist websites, complete with the name of the agent, who then received death threats. An internal investigation cleared the agent, but chiefs decided to transfer her because her identity had been exposed.

Mustafa shrugs off the dangers. He likes that he can get closer to the extremists than most other officers, soaking up nuances of accents and slang on intercepts, prowling hangouts, mosques, protest marches.

"It's easier for me to operate on the street," he says. "I am comfortable in a mosque. I am not worried about getting challenged. Even carrying my gun, I feel at ease about being in there and being able to operate."

He has explored the labyrinths of fanaticism in long conversations with militants bound for Iraq, veterans of Al Qaeda camps, a would-be suicide bomber. Though capable of small talk and jokes, he says, they have been deadened inside, reduced to human missiles.

"The suicide bomber-types are so fixated on their objective," he says. "They could cause an explosion that kills kids, they could care less. They live in a very closed world. And it has become even more closed. It's harder to infiltrate. Now the radicals do what they do in Iraq: To enter the group, you must open up completely. Show them your home, your family, make yourself totally vulnerable."


NOT all of the extremists Mustafa arrests can bring themselves to believe he is a bona fide detective. Some think he's actually a North African spy working with European police; they cooperate because they are scared of being handed over to the tough security services in that region. But Mustafa also wins trust with small gestures, letting them take a break from all-day interrogations to pray or eat a halal meal.

"We have religious debates," he says. "I ask them: 'How did you reach this point? You grew up the same way as me, with the same Koran, the same [sayings of the prophet Muhammad], yet with a totally different mentality.' They are radicalized, but some of these guys can't even read. Or they haven't read the Koran. They just believe what they have heard from others."

There is such a thing as getting too close. Anti-terrorism officers from Muslim backgrounds undergo intense scrutiny for connections — a friend in jail, a foreign relative — that create vulnerability. In a recent case here, a young investigator recruited by an anti-terrorism squad for his fluent Arabic was admonished and transferred after a wiretap detected his friendly conversations with the wife of a suspected extremist.

Corruption can have banal roots. In immigrant communities, family and friends often expect police officers to grant favors and get them out of scrapes. At first, Mustafa tried to avoid entanglements by telling people he was a firefighter.

As he worked high-profile cases, however, people in his old neighborhood gradually learned the truth. Some admire him. Some, especially local fundamentalists, mutter that he is a traitor.

"They say: 'Why are you working in anti-terror? How can you do that?' " he says. "They talk about their sympathy for the Palestinians, the Iraqis, sometimes 'terrorism can be understandable,' all that.

"But I tell them: The day you are taking a bus with your wife and kids and it goes boom, you'll see. You won't have the same view anymore."


BS Ranch Perspective

What this Detective is doing is something special, he is wonderful, by translating and helping in a way that few that are in his shoes would, or even could! It isn't easy being on the religious side of what is considered to be the Enemy, and yet he is doing a great job, indicating that it isn't a religious war, but a war bent on a few of sick individuals that are bent on making the United States or any Country that is a Capitalist Country and not a Country that is one that is considered not to be one dwell-ed upon by Infidel's!

His job is in such demand that I bet that there are many Openings for a Police Officer that can Speak Arabic and not only that but Understand what and where the person (s) are coming from when they are contacted, I can Imagine that his call out overtime alone is really high because of the specialties that this Police Officer can Offer.

Great Job, and I hope that there are more like him and soon.

BS Ranch

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Event Draws a Crowd to 210 (SB Sun 062407)

Event draws crowd to 210
Freeway section hosts activities
By George Watson, Staff Writer

RIALTO - With both of his tiny hands clenched around the steering wheel, Isaac Ruiz found himself buzzing along the freeway.

It was the typical stuff found on Southern California highways: rude drivers weaving to and from, changing lanes without using their signals, and driving inappropriately slow in the faster lanes.

Suddenly, traffic slammed to a halt. He threw his hands up in frustration.

"I was like, `errrarrrrrrrggghhhhhh!"' he said. "Keep it going! Get it going! Get it going now!"

And just like that, the 210 Freeway extension gave birth to its first traffic jam.

Of course, Isaac is 6 years old and was driving a go-cart around a course made of plastic during Saturday's Play on the 210 Freeway event, which was attended by thousands to celebrate the unofficial opening of the east-west artery expected to be an economic boon and a savior for drivers. When power was lost to the machine pumping air into the inflatable course, two large pieces fell to the pristine pavement and blocked the way.

Isaac's father, Carlos Ruiz, said his son and daughter, Naomi, 3, were just enthused to check out the roadway, actually slated to open Aug. 31.

"They've been waiting for weeks, saying, `We

get to play on the freeway!"' said Ruiz, 35, of San Bernardino. "I told them it was the only time I could say to them, `Go play on the freeway."'

Sean McGee, 7, of San Bernardino, who sang with the Taft T. Newman Children's Choir at the morning ribbon-cutting ceremony, knew he was violating his mother's cardinal rule of "don't go on the street, or you'll get run over," he said. But this time, he had permission.

During any other time, he said, "I'd be grounded."

Lee Burns, 12, of San Bernardino found the pavement to be perfect for skateboarding.

"It's good," he said. "It's not too rough. It's not too hard. It's cool. But it's hot."

In addition to skateboarding and little motorized cars, kids and adults alike could listen to live music, browse through the dozens of booths hawking food and goods, lug their way up a climbing wall, partake in road races or check out some of the classic cars on hand.

Keegan Holden, 31, of Rialto was there displaying his candy-apple red '65 Lincoln Continental for the first time.

But he was just as interested in getting a glimpse of the freeway that will help out his installation business, K's Garage Doors.

"This freeway is going to give me a lot more time to do business," he said.

That was a focal point at the ceremony held to celebrate the freeway and dedicate the roadway to the late Rep. George E. Brown Jr., California's longest tenured congressman.

"The future of this area, as I have said many times, is going to skyrocket," said Josie Gonzales, the San Bernardino County supervisor whose district includes the freeway extension. "Everything you see here, take a look, it will be different."

Speaker after speaker also lauded Brown, a Democrat from San Bernardino, as a visionary leader.

"George would be humbled by the recognition," said his widow, Marta Macias Brown.

And while Brown might have claimed he didn't deserve it, as his widow said, the dignitaries all insisted that the famed congressman, one of the first to oppose the Vietnam War, did indeed deserve the honor.

Opening Day

RIALTO -It was the question on everyone's mind Saturday: When will the 210 Freeway extension open?

As elected leaders and other dignitaries gathered in Rialto to celebrate the near-opening of the east-west freeway, even San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris pressed transportation officials for not only a date, but, with his tongue placed only somewhat in cheek, the exact moment.

"It will be open by the time school starts," Tony Grasso, SANBAG's executive director, said to an enthused crowd.

But when Darren Kettle, director of freeway construction for the county transportation authority, was cornered later in the day, he gave a far firmer answer: "We are saying Aug. 31. If not a little earlier."

Completion of the freeway will provide another direct link between San Bernardino and Los Angeles County.

- George Watson


BS Ranch Perspective

It is my belief that if they are going to have a party then why will they not open the rest of the freeway, the lines are drawn, most if not all the on/off ramps are in repair and ready for use, but they say by the time that school starts, yet they have a party now and get everyone excited about the party now. I for one don't understand, the freeway is done for them to break out the cake and Ice cream.

BS Ranch

San Bernardino Associated Governments Host Festival on 210 Freeway Before it Opens.

San Bernardino Associated Governments hosts festival on 210 freeway before it opens

Download story podcast

11:02 AM PDT on Sunday, June 24, 2007
The Press-Enterprise

Video: Cyclists and skateboarders play on the I-215

As traffic jams go, this was one of a kind.

No bumper-to-bumper, no exhaust haze, no white-knuckled drivers, no blaring horns.

Just a leisurely crowd milling around vintage cars and rows of brightly colored fair pavilions.

And, at one edge of the throng, a knot of government officials, many in shorts or khakis, with a bright red ribbon and an oversized pair of scissors.

The occasion was "Come Play on the Freeway: the Finale," a festival sponsored by the San Bernardino Associated Governments on Saturday to celebrate the pending completion of Interstate 210 in Rialto and San Bernardino.

SANBAG spokeswoman Cheryl Donahue estimated the crowd at about 20,000.

"I thought it was important to be here," said Delores King, of Fontana, pausing as she strolled down the No. 1 lane just west of the State Street offramp.

A few feet away, King's 5-week-old granddaughter, Jaelnn Dixon, snoozed in a frilly pink stroller.

Caltrans spokeswoman Rose Melgoza said officials hope to open the roadway in September, just in time for King's fall semester at Valley College, where she is studying nursing.

King said being able to drive the 210 will cut her commuting time in half.

"I can't wait to use this freeway," she said. "Someday, I'll remind Jaelnn that she was here today."

Completion of what is known as the Foothill Freeway comes 10 years after SANBAG broke ground. The first six miles of the route, from Rancho Cucamonga to Fontana, opened in 2001.

Story continues below
Amanda Lucidon / The Press-Enterprise
Gabriel Perez, 5, and other children ride bumper cars at the San Bernardino Associated Governments' freeway celebration.

Another segment, 14 miles between La Verne and Rancho Cucamonga, was added a year later.

In 2005, a two-mile stretch from Fontana to Rialto opened, leaving only the section between Rialto and San Bernardino.

The completed freeway will span 28.2 miles from La Verne to San Bernardino, where it will connect to Highway 30. Highway 30 will become part of the 210, completing the connection to Interstate 10 in Redlands.

Speaking at Saturday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, San Bernardino City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson predicted that the freeway will help loosen the economic chokehold imposed on his Westside ward by Interstate 215.

That freeway, completed in 1959, split San Bernardino from north to south. Its offramps were built to direct traffic to the east, away from the Westside and toward downtown San Bernardino.

"We've waited a lifetime for this freeway to right some wrongs that were done with the 215," Johnson said.

He predicted that the State Street offramp, the first freeway access to his ward in almost 50 years, will bring a surge in development.

To highlight the transformation, San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris showed off an artist's renderings of historic scenes that will be included in a mural on a Union Pacific bridge spanning the roadway.

He said muralist Edward Perez and a work crew were up until 2 a.m. Saturday, laying down primer over the graffiti that had scarred the bridge.

Perez and students from five San Bernardino high schools will paint the mural within the next five weeks, Morris said.

Reach Chris Richard at 909-806-3076 or

BS Ranch Perspective

I feel that the "Festival" was nice, and there was a great turn out, however I hope that they understand that the people of the festival and myself are expecting that the Freeway is within a week from opening. I do not believe that the people that put this 'Festival' on are not and do not have any clue as to when the freeway will open, however I hope that it opens soon, the traffic by my house and the people that live off Riverside between Cactus and Riverside on Easton Ave know that there are a whole lot of cars that speed by there once peaceful street! Riverside Ave used to be at least 36% quieter then what it is now, with all the added Detoured traffic. It sucks. I cannot wait for the new Freeway to open. I bet that the Traffic on Riverside Ave will drop over 50%!!
BS Ranch

At Least Five Die In Three-Vehicle Crash (Victorville Daily Press June 24, 2007)

At least five die in three-vehicle crash

The shattered remains of a motor home and a sedan involved in a fatal accident block all lanes of Highway 395, two miles south of Kramer Junction. The accident, which occurred Saturday afternoon, claimed at least five lives and injured eight.
Fred Miller / Special to the Daily Press
The shattered remains of a motor home and a sedan involved in a fatal accident block all lanes of Highway 395, two miles south of Kramer Junction. The accident, which occurred Saturday afternoon, claimed at least five lives and injured eight.
KRAMER JUNCTION — A three-vehicle crash left at least five people dead around 3 p.m. Saturday on Highway 395, officials said.

Estimates are that 11 people were trapped in a van that caught on fire, including a couple and nine juveniles, according to Battalion Chief Tim Sappek of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

Three people, including an off-duty battalion chief from Corona, were able to pull two people from the van before the fire got too large to continue.

"The people were alive when the van was on fire. They were trapped and they were screaming. They got one man who was outside the van and a woman from the van out ... when fire got too well established for them to continue," Sappek said.

Off-duty Battalion Chief David Shoemaker, Eric Luning of Bakersfield and Donald Bronaugh of Rialto were the good Samaritans who worked to save the individuals they could after witnessing the crash.

"Someone was able to get the back doors off it and ... it was getting really hot and the flames were starting to come over the inside of the van and a woman was screaming about her leg... eventually we were able to get her leg free and that was great to get her out of there," Shoemaker said.

There was speculation on the California Highway Patrol's Web site that some of the deceased were in a church van at the time of the crash, but that could not be confirmed by CHP representatives late Saturday night.

The accident was called out to officials from the CHPs Barstow office and two vehicles hauling trailers are said to have rolled over, possible striking a third, according to the Web site.

Officer Eric Denny of the CHP said the initial call was that people in a three-vehicle accident were caught inside a vehicle. When they arrived they found that a Ford F-250 was traveling northbound when for an unknown reason it drifted into the southbound lanes and collided with the van before hitting a Toyota Corolla.

Initial reports from the location were that up to eight other people were injured, several of whom had to be flown by air ambulance to trauma centers.

The Major Accident Investigation Team was called to the scene to continue the investigation.

Highway 395 was still closed as of 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

BS Ranch Perspective

There still is some great Hero's that work here in Rialto, it is just a shame that they have to make their homes so far away from Rialto, If they had a more affordable wage they could call Rialto home. In order for a Rialto Employee to spend wisely they must purchase their home over a 20 minute away from Rialto,

However, having said that, the people that are in need are comforted to know that they might be on their way home and can offer their help, because they will stop to help as in this case on this particular Instance.
BS Ranch

Friday, June 22, 2007

Council to Decide on Special Election for Tax (SB Sun June, 19, 2007) The Council will vote to have costly Special Election and TAX will Fail!

Council to decide on special election for tax
Jason Pesick, Staff Writer
San Bernardino County Sun

RIALTO - Voters will likely get to decide in November whether to extend the city's controversial utility-users tax for another decade.

At today's City Council meeting, the council is expected to call for a special election to approve extending the tax from 2008 to 2018.

"It's unfortunately a necessary thing right now," said Councilman Ed Scott.

The tax, an 8 percent charge on utility bills, brings in almost a quarter of the city's General Fund revenues.

Officials say they can't run the city at a standard residents expect without it.

During the 1999-2000 fiscal year, the city faced a budget crisis and had to lay off about 50 workers - 10 to 15 percent of its employees, said Assistant City Administrator Kirby Warner.

But residents don't seem to be in love with the tax.

Voters approved it by five votes in 2003.

Pam Machain, who at 50 has lived in the city since she was in third grade, said she doesn't think the tax, which she said costs her about $30 to $40 a month, has helped out that much.

"I'm pretty much decided that I'm not going to vote for it right now," she said.

She said she doesn't trust city officials anymore after the council voted to get rid of the Police Department in 2005, a vote it later reversed.

Getting the tax passed will not be a "slam dunk," Scott said.

"I think it's going to take some significant communication with the community," he said.

The tax has brought in about $12.8 million this fiscal year and is expected to bring in $13.5 million next year, making it the largest source of money to the General Fund.

"It's an essential funding mechanism," said City Administrator Henry Garcia.

Garcia and Warner said they decided to recommend extending the tax for 10 years because it will take at least seven years to rebuild the Police Department.

Even though the tax is the largest source of revenue for the General Fund, about three-quarters of it goes to public safety, Warner said.

Since 2003, the Fire Department has been able to add 10 positions, said Chief Steve Wells.

Before the tax passed, he said, Station 204 in the Las Colinas area was not staffed most of the time, and the department had stopped using the ladder truck.

According to a city fact sheet on the tax, it has allowed the city to eliminate its budget deficit, add 20 police employees in addition to the fire personnel and employees in other city departments, add 59 police and code- enforcement vehicles, add 20 other city vehicles and fully staff Station 204.

With all the economic development taking place in Rialto, especially with the approaching opening of the 210 Freeway extension, some members of the council hoped the tax could be replaced or at least reduced with sales-tax revenue.

But that's just not possible, Garcia and Warner said.

A Wal-Mart supercenter in the planning stages would generate $500,000 in sales taxes per year, Garcia said, which means it would take 24 supercenters to make up for the tax. And the city's needs will only expand as the new development comes online.

Besides, more than 50 percent of California residents pay a utility tax, Warner said.

There are also low-income and senior-

citizen exemptions to make it more bearable.

Don King, a 73-year-old retired pharmaceutical sales representative, said he will probably support the tax. He's noticed city services improving, he said. His street is now swept regularly, which he said hadn't happened in years.

Even though Garcia and Warner say the facts are on their side, a number of residents said the city needs to level with them and hold public meetings on the issue.

Scott said there should be public meetings similar to the large, well-publicized meetings the city has held to talk about drinking water contamination in the city.

Donald Balderrama, a retired high-school teacher who lives in Rialto, said he supported the tax last time but that people are skeptical about whether the tax is necessary.

"I don't think it will pass. I really don't think so," he said.

"People need to be informed."

Contact writer Jason Pesick at (909) 386-3861 or via e-mail at

BS Ranch Perspective

The Rialto City Council will have another Election to vote on Extending the Utility Tax, they will say that it is a necessity to keep the city running the best that it can and keep the employees happy that work for the city. I can tell you that the Police Department has been totally Fixed, they got the Right Chief to return the Police department to the glory days that it was back when Ray Farmer was chief and there was much of more of a watch your partner's Back to the department, that has returned instead of worrying about your own back and now you feel that there are people that are looking out for you as a Police Department should.

The only thing that is missing in the Police Department is the 3%@50 Retirement Plan that 98% of every other Law Enforcement Agency in the United States now has. Rialto is in a Small class of Law Enforcement Agencies that don't have that and what that does it makes Rialto a Training Ground for people that are just out of the Academy! You really would have to take note that if you would want the Officers that you have now to consider to stay here in Rialto and finish their career's here, that they should have this Retirement Plan, the other just is an Obsolete Plan anymore. The Law Enforcement Officer is a Young Game and there are not many Officers that are out there chasing People that are on Narcotics at the age of 50, that don't come up with some kind of injury that they are retired on, with a Full 50% Tax Free Pension, for a say 38% disability, then they go and work at say an Insurance company making say $50,000. a year and another $25,000 a year tax free that is like making a whopping take home of $75, 000.00 if they have tax write offs. So, they don't have much hard work to do and they make pretty good money.

Ten years ago when my accident happened we didn't make as much as they do now, and with my house payment I was close to losing my home, it was a struggle. I Have to say, If it was not for the Men, and Woman of the RPBA (Rialto Police Benefit Association) Members back then that Elected to write myself and my Wife a little bit of money to help us through the hard situation, we would have lost our home. I really don't think that I properly thanked them, I guess it was because I was so over whelmed with the accident, Pain, Doctor Appointments, Pain, The adjustment to medication, Pain, all the new treatment that I had questions about, Pain, and the Physical Therapy, and OH YEA, The constant throbbing Pain, that continues to this day!!! Thank you RPBA, A Little late, and well now it is a little hidden too (I am sorry about that).

The Special Election costs the city some $40,000.00 from previous stated amounts from city council meetings, I could be wrong, they might be a whole lot more. But they are willing just as they were to fight the RPBA, to have a Special Election to continue a Tax that is at a time when people are wanting to lower the cost of their living if anything due to the current cost of Gasoline used to motivate their internal combustion engines to work and to play!

The Only Point that the City Council will have is that you are currently paying the TAX and you will not see it at all! and if we don't get this tax we will be in such a bind that we will fall apart and turn the whole government over to the Sheriff of SB County and they will run the Fire Department and Police Department so you will lose both parts that you fought so eagerly to keep.

However they spent upwards of a million to fight the Police Department, and when it was time to keep the Police Department they had spent all the money that was collected from the Utility Tax Increase on the Millions and Millions of dollars collected on new Fire equipment!! all to make the Police Department Jealous, and to top this all off The Council had asked the Fire Department to Campaign against The Police Department During the Fight for the Sheriff Department with the enticement of a 3% at 50 Retirement in their contract!! But since the Fire Department didn't successfully get rid of the Police Department then they lost their 3% at 50 Contract Special.

Please they are mishandling funds, the City administrator, and the city Councilor should be the ones that go, they make to much money. the city administrator makes $734, 000.00 a year, and the Cities Attorney makes a little less. then that . Together they clear, Almost a quarter million shy of two million.

BS Ranch