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10:00AM To Know
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from the firehose By Brian Hews as a final celebration in their training. The celebration moved Downey Mayor then Guerra has over been elected president of the Independent Citto Downey Firehouse 1 for the Pinies Assn. at their annual meeting this past ning Ceremony. Downey Mayor Maweekend at the Ranch Bernardo Inn. rio Guerraheld then congratulated the new The association is made up of over 50 Firemen and presented them with coins Southern California cities that run their bearing the Downey City seal. "You own police and fire departments, hence are joining one of the most elite fire the “independent” designation. Comdepartments in the state of California. bined, they represent more than 7 million Ipeople. couldn't be prouder of our fire department prouder the of “I am and very couldn't honored be to represent what you have accomplished." Mayor association and will work very hard to Guerra Her- Mayor Guerra (far right) with the AYSO Soccer Champions. Guerra was elected presadvancesaid. the Firefighters goals of the Richard organization,” nandez, number 22 and Adam Above: Guerra badge told the Downey Community ident of AYSO the Independent Cities Assn.with at their annual meeting this past weekend held at Soccer Champions Mayor Guerra. Photos by John Zander Zipperian badge number 28 were then the Ranch Bernardo Inn. Mayor Guerra claimed, “I am honored to be selected by my News. Downey High Girls Soccer Champs. Guerra campaigning state and Sen- Below: sworn in, is awarded their for badges peers, who are elected officials, to lead this prestigious organization. I look forward to ate from 32ndCroom. District in next year’s utilizing my local experience as Downey’s Mayor to help enhance all of ICA’s member pinned bythe Chief
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CANCELLATION A RESULT OF INFORMATION CONTAINED IN HEWS MEDIA GROUP PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST.
By Randy Economy and Brian Hews
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The questioning of information contained in public records obtained by Hews Media Group-Community News have stopped the award of two questionable contracts, valued at over $315,000, between the Central Basin Municipal Water District, former California State Senator Richard Polanco, and a Sacramento based political-lobbying firm. In the documents, Polanco’s firm, Tre Es Consultants, as well as the Sacramento based Political Strategies, Inc., were both being recommended by CBMWD officials to be given served life after a heart the ‘State Legislative Advocacy Services enrollment of attack. The LB0010251452 101812
ot in Cerritos. Old Guard Cerritos elected officials have had a long and well-documented history of extravagancy coupled with loose fiscal management. Whether it be lavish trips and $65 halibut dinners or getting paid for trip mileage while receiving a $500 monthly car allowance, Cerritos residents often find themselves in the dark on what council is spending. Recently, Hews Media Group-Community News was shocked to find out that, when presented a public records request cities. Local government is at the root of serving our residents and ICA is committed for emails written by Cerritos city counto helping all our communities.” cil on a certain subject, council members were using, and have been using, their own private emails and personal cell phones to conduct city business. Even more shocking, the City does not keep the emails therefore all communications are not subject to a public records request. Contract’ at a meeting of the board of diThat’s right. All email communications rectors at the Commerce based agency. Sam Abdelmelek, M.D. by Cerritos publicly elected officials are The contracts stated that Polanco’s Brian Ballard not subject to a public records request. was to be the ‘lead consultant representThe California's Public Records Act is ing both firms.’ clear. Any city business, regardless of deDistrict officials have been shopping By Randy Economy vice or method of transmission, is public for politically connected consultants in Sacramento during the past few months It appears that the November 5th elec- record. Except in Cerritos, and other corrupt ever since they cut ties with ex-California tion for three Hawaiian Gardens City State Assemblyman Tom Calderon who Council seats is going to be a crowded cities such as San Diego. HMG-CN asked for and received collected what is believed to be more than affair based upon early interest by chal$1 million in taxpayer lengers who began the official nomination personal emails related to the Assessor funds over the past sev- process this week to secure a place on the Noguez story, which showed massive property reductions and led to the arrest of eral years. ballot with city officials. Calderon is believed Voters will be selecting three city the Assessor and three others. HMG-CN asked for and received to one of the central fig- council members that are currently being ures in a massive crimi- held by City Councilwoman Michi Oya- personal emails related to Rick Caruso nal probe by members ma Canada, Councilman Reynaldo “Rey” property reductions at the Americana, which showed Caruso taking a massive of the Federal Bureau of Rodriguez and Councilman Barry Bruce. Investigation in connecAll three incumbents have indicated tax reduction check that belonged to Nortion with a complex bid that they will be seeking reelection and dstroms. HMG-CN asked for and received perrigging scheme. this week two of them, Canada and RodriPolanco served as a guez pulled their official nomination pa- sonal emails related to Wendy Greuel, member of both the California State pers, along with at least four people who which showed Ms. Greuel campaigning during regular buisness hours. Assembly and California State Senate want to take their seats this fall. for more than two decades representing a eligibility, LB0010251452 101812
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See EDITORIAL page 8
event with our Mended Hearts Support group. Mended Hearts is a Part B (Outpatient medications, ed Hearts Support group. Mended This Hearts iscoincides a Brian Ballard national and community-based non-profit organization that has been offering the gift of Coverage), treatment goals, and therapeutic ofit organization that has been offering the hope gift of to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers. Part C (Medicare Advantage), Part D lifestyle changes, including diet,RSVP by calling tients, their families and caregivers. Please La Palma Intercommunity Hospital (Prescription Coverage), as well as exercise, and weight management. answer your questions! 562-602-6742 to • 24-Hour Emergency Services We are a full service, Medicine reserve your seat. with our Mended Hearts Support group. Mended Hearts is a •• Behavioral general acute care Maternity Services hospital and have been • of Comprehensive Wound based non-profit organization that has been offering the gift This event coincides with our Mended Hearts Support group. Mended Hearts isCare a a part of the RSVP by calling • Cardiac Catheterization national and community-based non-profit organization that has been offering the gift of art disease patients, their families and caregivers. Laboratory 00254.081611
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8/16/2011 10:16:36 AM
8 JULY 19, 2013
Barrows and Chen attended at the posh Ranch Bernardo Inn on Cerritos’ dime, even though Cerritos is not an “independent” city. Sources tell HMG-CN that Barrows talked more about the Orange Line than Cerritos. The current Cerritos policy is not a simple technical violation of complex legal requirements but a widespread and concerted effort to prevent Cerritos residents from having access to basic government dealings. Fundamentally failing to fulfill even basic government duties, the Cerritos council have engaged in a systematic program to hide records from the public. It is your choice Cerritos city council, full transparency or not. My bet is… Not in Cerritos.
Continued from page 1 Greuel even said that, “I mixed up my personal and business emails.” Yet Cerritos tells HMG-CN that they do not keep any city council emails because they all use their private email accounts. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. Are they exempt from the California's Public Records Act? Absolutely not. Elected Assessor Noguez’ was not. Niether was Caruso’s or Greuel’s. But the Cerritos council acts like they are exempt. The council talks a good game about transparency, posting the one-page dining reimbursement policy online after we exposed Carol Chen, Bruce Barrows, and Jim Edwards eating $65 steaks and $20 desserts, but they do not follow through on overall transparency. This use of personal email accounts by Cerritos city council to conduct city business should raise some very serious concerns. HMG-CN calls for the council to pass a formal policy forbidding the use of personal email accounts for city business. Furthermore, the policy should state that any and all past communication including databases, spreadsheets, calendar entries, appointments, and notes which reside in part or in whole on any City computer or any other electronic system or equipment should be made public. What could be their objection? HMG-CN also calls on the residents of Cerritos to get involved and voice your opinion at the next city council meeting. It is either that or allow council to travel to meaningless meetings, like last weeks Independent Cities Association that
Continued from page 1 election. He already has landed a number of prominent endorsements from elected officials, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, whose district includes several cities in the southeast part of the county. Guerra, who has been a member of the ICA board for a number of years, will take over the position in September from president Juventino Gomez, an El Monte city councilman. Gomez stated, “Mayor Guerra’s leadership on our board of directors has been nothing but stellar. He understands the importance of having local public safety and fire services as well as how to create jobs. I could not be more proud to pass the baton over to Mario. Guerra, owner of one of the largest insurance brokerages in California, emi-
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grated from Cuba with his family when he was six years old and grew up in southeast Los Angeles County. He was elected to the Downey City Council in 2006 and is serving his second one-year term as mayor. Several others also are planning to run for the 32nd District senate seat, including three former state legislators. Democratic Assemblyman Tom Calderon, whose younger brother, Ron Calderon, currently holds the state Senate seat but is leaving due to term limits, and Tony Mendoza former California State Assembly member.
Continued from page 1 City Clerk Sue Underwood told Hews Media Group-Community News on Wednesday that three challengers have started gathering the necessary 20 signatures on petitions to secure a place on the ballot. The challengers include Phil Ahn, Priscilla Kwan, and Valerie Mason. Underwood also indicated that residents Mariana Rios and Adrian Avilar have scheduled appointments with her to pick up nomination packets. Incumbent City Councilman Barry Bruce, who is a Pastor at the Way Out Ministries in Hawaiian Gardens is expected to seek another term on the city council, sources tells HMG-CN. Underwood said that residents who want to run have until 5 p.m. on August 9 to complete the nomination process. If one of the three incumbents decides not to run, then a five day extension period will go into effect per California state election laws. “We encourage anyone who wants to
run, to please do so,” Underwood said, and that no filing fee is required to run. Underwood also said that a $600 deposit will be required by any candidate who wishes to have a statement placed in the official sample ballot that is sent to all registered voters in Hawaiian Gardens. The sample ballots will be printed in English, Spanish and Korean. For more information please call the City Clerk’s Office at (562) 420 2641 ext. 251.
Bellflower Hosting Blood Drive Challenge By Justin Cooley Bellflower will be hosting its 4th Annual City Blood Challenge in the Green Room at Bellflower City Hall, on Thursday, August 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Red Cross claims that in a 30 minute time frame a single person could save over three people. The organization is concerned that the number of donations and blood given is down by over 10%, “resulting in 50,000 fewer pints of blood than expected.” The Red Cross Organization has been hosting blood transfusion drives for the last 50 years and highly encourages the community members to make the difference by taking part in Bellflower’s annual blood drive event. For more information call Wendy Thomas at (562) 804-1424 ext. 2266 or email WJBCA@bellflower.org.
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