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ST3530 - Dec. 27_Layout 1 12/27/13 11:51 AM Page 1 SIGNAL T R I B U N E “Ren Olive” glass mosaic on wooden lazy susan by Tina Burnight See page 15 SERVING BIXBY KNOLLS, CALIFORNIA HEIGHTS, LOS CERRITOS, WRIGLEY AND THE CITY OF SIGNAL HILL Vol. 35 No. 30 Your Weekly Community Newspaper Long Beach Council presses for new city ordinance on medical marijuana, prepares for April 2014 ballot measure CJ Dablo Staff Writer long Beach still hasn’t figured out just how to effectively regulate the medical marijuana dispensaries, but city officials are not giving up on the daunting task, in spite of concerns expressed by the police chief– and in spite of a number of advocates of medical marijuana who don’t like the idea of keeping dispensaries in industrial zones. the Council has also laid the groundwork to put a measure on the april 2014 ballot that would establish a city tax on marijuana dispensaries. last week at its Dec. 17 meeting, the long Beach City Council provided additional direction to the City’s planning Commission in order for the commission to develop recommendations for a zoning ordinance. (For the specific details of the Council’s directions, see accompanying box). the planning Commission is anticipated to discuss the medicalmarijuana issue in February. Once the commission completes a study and finalizes its recommendations for a draft ordinance, it is expected to report back to the Council within 60 days. Development Services Director amy Bodek initially estimated that the commission would need about six months to return to the Council with its recommendations for an ordinance because the commission is not familiar at all with any of the Kickstarting taste buds see Marijuana page 6 Sean Belk/Signal Tribune TSA opens PreCheck-application center in Signal Hill for expedited passenger screening Traveleres get on and off flights at the Long Beach Airport on Tuesday, Dec. 24, the day before Christmas. Sean Belk Staff Writer Just in time for holiday travel, the transportation Security administration (tSa) opened three new preCheckapplication centers in los angeles County, including one in Signal Hill, this month. launched two years ago, tSa preCheck is an expedited screening program that allows travelers to pass certain airport-security checkpoints without having to take off shoes, belt or outerwear. the program also allows an airline passenger to keep a laptop in a case and liquids/gels in a carry-on bag. For a fee of $85 for a five-year membership, travelers may apply for the program by first starting the enrollment process online at and then making an appointment to complete the rest of the preCheck-application process in person at an application center. On Wednesday, Dec. 18, tSa opened three new preCheck-application centers in the los angeles area, including one in Carson at 460 e. Carson -plaza Drive, Suite 114, one in Glendale at 603 South Brand Blvd. and one in Signal Hill at 2501 e. 28th St., Suite 105. tSa spokesperson nico Melendez said the application center in Signal Hill is currently the location to apply for a transportation Worker identification Credential (tWiC) card, which is required for workers at the ports of long Beach and los angeles. the office now offers application services for both tWiC and preCheck. Melendez said, last year, tSa expanded the program to about 40 airports, including long Beach airport, and over the last two months the program expanded to about 107 airports. tSa see TSA page 6 Sean Belk Staff- Writer Courtesy Long Beach Creamery Randy Adams prepares some dry ice to make ice cream during a tasting/kickstarter event on Saturday, Dec. 21 for Long Beach Creamery, a new startup that specializes in handcrafted ice cream. At Farm Lot 59 at 2714 California Ave. on the border of Long Beach and Signal Hill, tasters were able to help build the Long Beach Creamery business by making mini “kickstarter” pledges of $4 (for a push-up pop) to $10 (for a pint of ice cream). Starting next year, Farm Lot 59, a one-acre mini farm, will be having a Farm Event, featuring local businesses, on the second Saturday of every month. 27 through Weekly Weather Forecast December December 31, 2013 Friday 78° Increasing cloudiness Lo 48° Saturday 75° Clouds and sun Lo 47° Sunday 78° Mostly sunny Lo 49° Monday 77° Plenty of sunshine Lo 46° Tuesday 71° Mostly sunny Lo 46° This week’s Weekly Weather Forecast sponsored by: OveR 35 yeaRS expeRienCe BixBy KnOllS ReSiDent liCenSeD • inSuReD Call Dennis Bartlett: (562) 427-0688 December 27, 2013 Signal Hill, Cerritos and Downey ordered to pay $15 million in water bills withheld from WRD the cities of Signal Hill, Cerritos and Downey have been ordered by a California appellate Court to pay more than $15 million in water bills they withheld from the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) while in ongoing litigation, but the cities hope to get the money back in a refund. From april 2011 to October 2013, the cities stopped paying replenishment assessment (Ra) payments to WRD, a regional water agency that charges water-rights holders or “pumpers” for replenishing groundwater used by residents and local businesses. the cities, which withheld Ra payments in reserve accounts, won in trial court that WRD illegally raised rates without following procedural requirements of a state law known as proposition 218. the law requires that property owners be notified of any rate changes and given a protest hearing. a los angeles Superior Court judge ruled twice in favor of the cities that WRD didn’t follow the law, but a final judgment that would determine how much money the cities are entitled to in damages has yet to be heard. in response to cities withholding payments, WRD sought a preliminary injunction to force them to pay, threatening to stop pumping water. in april 2012, however, a trial court denied WRD’s request. patty Quilizapa, an attorney representing the cities, said in an email that the California Supreme Court opined that “payment of an invalid tax by a public agency” amounts to a “gift of public funds,” a legal argument that she said is also supported by the California Constitution. after WRD appealed, however, a California appellate Court panel overturned the previous court decision, ruling on Oct. 30 that the cities would have to follow the “pay first, litigate later” doctrine, which requires that any party disputing see WRD page 13 charges imposed

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