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SIGNAL T R I B U N E Tattoo work by Shay Bredimus See page 9 SERVING BIXBY KNOLLS, CALIFORNIA HEIGHTS, LOS CERRITOS, WRIGLEY AND THE CITY OF SIGNAL HILL Vol. 35 No. 42 Your Weekly Community Newspaper March 21, 2014 Signal Hill City Council names Wilson new mayor CJ Dablo/Signal Tribune Edward Wilson (left) toasts Michael Noll (right) at a reception at the Community Center at Signal Hill Park on Tuesday, March 18. Wilson is now mayor of Signal Hill. Outgoing Mayor Noll finished his fifth time at the center of the council dais that night. CJ Dablo Staff Writer The Signal Hill City Council unanimously voted Edward H. J. Wilson to be the city’s new mayor on March 18. Wilson has been on the Council since 1997. This is his fourth time to serve as the leader at the center of the Council dais for a term of one year. He replaces Michael Noll. Earlier this year, Wilson announced on his website that he had suspended his campaign to run for a state-assemblymember seat. “It is, and always will be, an honor to serve as mayor,” Wilson said in a speech during the Council meeting Tuesday night. “I do not take this position for granted.” Wilson thanked city staff and other supporters who packed into the Council Chamber. The new mayor spoke of his dreams for the city: a hotel on Atlantic, a boutique-designer-outlet mall and restaurants with views. He added that he still hopes that Signal Hill will build a new library. Wilson also voiced concerns about a controversial charteramendment initiative scheduled to be on the ballot on June 3. If passed, the “Taxpayer’s Right to Know and Vote” initiative will require that two-thirds of the voters must approve all taxes, fees and assessments. It also proposes that taxes and fees expire within 10 years and that assessments expire within 20 years. Under the initiative, bonds must be repaid within 20 years. Wilson said that the Council unanimously voted against the initiative, adding that there will be informational workshops scheduled throughout the city in which residents may learn about the proposal and how it could affect Signal Hill. He criticized the proponents of the initiative who have already filed suit against the City. Wilson acknowledged that the initiative has a “catchy title,” but he warned that there are major problems with the plan that proposes significant changes to the City’s charter. The mayor described how the initiative would not benefit Signal Hill. “It had the potential to reverse all the gains the City has made and possibly bankrupt the City,” Wilson said. “I encourage anyone who can vote to educate yourself on this initiative and vote on June 3.” Maria Harris, one of the proponents of the initiative, said later that night that she did not anticipate that Wilson was going to criticize the initiative at length during the meeting. A short, testy exchange between the mayor and Harris ensued. The mayor asked Harris to keep her remarks related to Successor Agency issues since she chose to speak during the Agency’s public-comment period designated for non-agenda topics. In turn, the & Signal & & & & Sean Belk/Signal Tribune Andrea Weber, a member of the San Francisco-based nonprofit environmental organization Center for Biological Diversity, leads a protest against offshore “fracking” in front of the Long Beach Council Chamber, where the California Coastal Commission conducted its regular meeting on Wednesday, March. 12. Environmental groups decry offshore ‘fracking’ in Long Beach while nearby cities propose moratoriums Sean Belk Staff Writer A group of more than a dozen environmental advocates gathered outside of Long Beach City Hall last week, condemning the use of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” on offshore oil islands in Long Beach and surrounding areas. The protest on Wednesday, March 12 took place as the California Coastal Commission was conducting its regular meeting inside the Council Chamber, following a report by the commission’s staff last month that unveiled new information about fracking operations off the California coast. The protesters wore hazardous-materials suits, clutched boogie boards and held up signs reading “Free whales from offshore fracking” and “Tuna against fracking.” Fracking, which involves using highly pressurized water, & & & & Sean Belk Staff Writer A judge has denied a request by proponents of the controversial Taxpayers’ Right To Know and Vote Initiative to change ballot language for the June 3 election in Signal Hill. Maria Harris, a Signal Hill resident and proponent of the initiative, filed a lawsuit, known as a writ of mandate, against the City last week, claiming that the measure’s ballot label is “inaccurate, misleading, incomplete and results in bias against the citizens’ initiative,” according to court documents. Carol Churchill, an attorney and former Signal Hill councilmember who drafted the initiative, is acting as legal counsel in the case. The plaintiffs requested that the ballot label, which was prepared by City Clerk Kathee Pacheco Sean Belk/Signal Tribune and will appear as a small description of the initiative on the official ballot next to where voters decide yes In downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 19, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien rejected a request by proponents of the Taxpayers’ Right To Know and or no, be amended. After a court hearing on Wednesday, March 19 Vote Initiative to change ballot language for the June 3 election in Signal Hill. However, the proponents state that they are filing an appeal against the judge’s decision. see INITIATIVE page 2 see % COUNCIL page% 13% & & & 21 through & & March & Weekly Weather Forecast % % % March 25, 2014 & & & Friday Tuesday & & Saturday & Sunday & Monday && & & & & & & % & % % % % && & 66° % 64° % &% 67° Morning mist, mostly cloudy Low clouds, then sunshine Lo 54° Lo 52° Lo 55° & & 77° & Sunny & and & % & warm & Lo 55° & 73° Low clouds, then sun & see FRACKING page 12 Judge denies request by proponents of SH initiative to change ballot label !"#"$%&'(%")*+,-& .,%/0"(&1#23%/45%/6/("7(%8- Morning mist, mostly cloudy sand and chemicals to break through shale rock in order to capture oil under the ground, has been conducted by the oil industry for decades, but much has been concealed because of industry trade secrets. In recent years, however, the practice has become a highly controversial subject with concerns brought up about whether the oil-extraction method may contaminate underground water wells, increase risk for oil spills in the ocean, emit harmful toxins into the air and induce seismic activity. A new state law, known as SB 4, was passed by the California Legislature last year in an attempt to regulate fracking by requiring that oil operators report certain “well-stimulation treatments,” apply for permits and follow other mandates. The final regulations, which are being developed by the State’s Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources Lo 53° && & & & & !"#$%&#'&())&'* This sponsored by: & week’s & Weekly &Weather Forecast & !"#$%&'()(*+,-%.%/01,23'0+ ',-&.*$/-$#-$'&0$-12'*3&)*4('#*$&5*"& 678)#4&2-)5&9(7)&:&;-4<4)#$%&!7<8(4=&.-$'-"> =6>4?%@@5ABB44 4566%#1*+370,+1%89',:'%+,%;+-,1*%<+** 03-$&?&@(<A&(&B--=&5*"&678)#4&2-)5&9(7) % 03-$&C7-ADE2('D&5*"&;-4<4)#$%&!7<8(4=&.-$'-" & & & % & & &

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