Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Claremont donut shop owner sentenced for ivory smuggling

The owner of Pixie Donuts on Base Line Road by Vons will not serve any jail time despite pleading guilty to illegally smuggling ivory from endangered African elephants.

In federal court yesterday, Moun Chau was handed 2 years of probation and a fine of $3,800.

Chau pleaded guilty to importing the ivory back in April. He could have faced up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 under the terms of his plea agreement.

You can read more background about this story here.

City Council election update

The March city council election is beginning to take shape. A total of 8 potential candidates have thus far pulled papers for the upcoming city council election. The candidates will be vying for 3 open seats on the council. And the race is wide open. Mayor Linda Elderkin will not run for a second term. Councilmember Peter Yao has resigned from the council due to his selection to the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Mayor Pro Tem Sam Pedroza will be the sole incumbent in the race. Here's a list of those who've pulled papers from the city clerk. The filing deadline is Wednesday, December 15.

Joseph Armendarez
Robin Haulman
Rex Jamie
Michael Keenan
Ed Leavell
Joseph Lyons
Opanyi Nasiali
Sam Pedroza

Commission to consider landfill services

The Community Services Commission will consider the final destination of Claremont's trash at tonight's meeting. The city has received two landfill services bids from the County of San Bernardino for 20 years and from Republic Services in Orange County for 25 years.

The city is recommending the SB County proposal. According to the city staff report, their proposal will save the city $325,652 over the first 10 years of the contract.

Also on the agenda, the commission will hear about a 20-year agreement with Recycled Wood Products for green waste disposal and an update on the Sycamore Canyon Park rehab project. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Smoking ban extended

Smoking is now banned in the Village West public plaza, at the Claremont Depot and on the small 2nd floor balcony in the parking structure on First Street. The city council voted 3 to 2 in favor of the ban at last night's council meeting.

Smoking is still permitted in the walkways going into the Village West public plaza, the adjacent sidewalks and patio areas of restaurants like Casa Moreno and The Back Abbey that are in the plaza.

Smoking is already not permitted in city parks, the Claremont Wilderness Park, on Thompson Creek trail and near the entrances of government buildings.

No smoking signs will be posted in the areas announcing the new regulation. Smokers caught breaking the law are subject to fines.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yao will serve at his final council meeting tonight

After 8 years of service to the city, Councilmember Peter Yao will sit at the council dias for the final time at tonight's meeting. Yao will resign from his position at the end of the month after being selected to serve on the Citizens Redistricting Commission of California.

The council will need to decide how to move forward for the next 2 months with only 4 council members. They can appoint someone to serve in the position until the March 8 council election or choose to leave the seat vacant.

The council will also consider amending an ordinance that bans smoking in city parks to include public plazas. If approved, smoking of tobacco products will be prohibited in the Village West public courtyard outside of the Laemmle Theater.

The meeting beings at 6:30 p.m. in the city council chamber.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yao is in!

Peter Yao will be serving on the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The councilmember was chosen among the 36 finalists out of an initial pool of nearly 31,000 applicants.

"This is an opportunity of a lifetime," he said.

This morning, 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats and 2 from other parties were selected randomly by the State Auditor to serve on the commission. The 8 selected are now tasked with choosing the final 6 to form the 14-member commission.

Yao's selection means he will resign from the Claremont city council sometime before the end of the year. He will not seek another term on the council in the March 2011 election and is barred from serving as an elected officials for the next 10 years.

The commission is charged with redrawing California's Senate, Assembly, State Board of Equalization and Congressional districts based on information gathered during the 2010 census. Their work will continue until September 2011.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yao finalist in state commission selection

Councilmember Peter Yao has made the final cut for the Citizens Redistricting Commission, charged with redrawing California's Senate, Assembly, State Board of Equalization and Congressional districts based on information gathered during the 2010 census.

The 36 remaining candidates, 12 Democrats, 12 Republicans, and 12 not affiliated with either of those two parties, are hoping to be selected to the 14-member commission.

Eight of the final 14 commissioners will be selected randomly tomorrow morning in Sacramento by the State Auditor. The event will be live streamed here for those interested in watching. It begins at 10 a.m.

The State Auditor must randomly draw the first 8 names—3 Republicans, 3 Democrats and 2 that are either Decline-to-State or belong to another party. Those first 8 commissioners will then select the final 6—2 from each subpool—by December 31, 2010, to form the Commission.

Good luck Peter!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend Events

There's a couple fun events going on around town this weekend.

The Pilgrim Place Festival features crafts, food and a Thanksgiving singalong show. Free Admission. It runs today and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For reggae music fans, head down to Pitzer College on Saturday for their annual reggae festival. The lineup includes DON CARLOS, a founder of Black Uhuru, Garth Dennis, Four time grammy nominee from Black Uhuru and Wailin, High Tide, Fountain of Roots, Lionesse and
DJ Neightball. The free event begins at 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Measure CL trailing in early results

It's still early but the numbers aren't looking good for Measure CL, the $95 million school bond. Here's what we have so far from the LA County Registrar/County Clerk.

MEASURE CL Votes Percent
NO 1,639 60.75
Registration 24,617
Precincts Reporting 8
Total Precincts 35
% Precincts Reporting 22