Do As We Say & Not As We Do To Avoid A $10K Fine, Upland Solons Tell Residents

Clean up your own backyard
Oh, don’t you hand me none of your lines
Clean up your own backyard
You tend to your business, I’ll tend to mine
-Elvis Presley

Twenty-three of 290 Upland residents whose properties are being encumbered by selectively placed assessments turned the tables on the Upland City Council this week, during a spontaneous rather than planned contesting of those officials’ municipal authority.
Despite the efforts of the council members to brand two dozen of their constituents as scofflaws and impose on them what were labeled as “exorbitant” and “draconian” fines and penalties for their alleged failure to maintain their property, some of those being singled out for the city’s sanctions were able to marshal evidence to demonstrate that the city’s public property – for which all five members of the council are at the ultimate level officially responsible – is being maintained in a state that is equally or more abysmal, in many cases, to their own.
According to the city, 290 primarily residential properties in the city at one point or another this year were overgrown with weeds. Of those, as of last month 24 were yet out of compliance to the point that the city had contractors remove the vegetation deemed to not be in code or which was creating a potential fire hazard. Any property owner whose yard elicited the attention of city employees in this manner were immediately subjected to a $72 fine. That would be the extent of it if those landowners rapidly complied with the city’s demand that the weeds be removed. Continue reading

Matchups Set In All But A Few November Municipal Races

All but a few of this election season’s mayoral and council races in San Bernardino County have shaped up as of today, with the elapsing of today’s 5 p.m. across-the board filing deadline for candidates in 21 of the county’s 22 cities and both towns that are to hold municipal races in November. The lone exceptions are in those contests where the incumbent is not seeking election, which by law requires that the deadline be extended another five days, in this case until August 17. Continue reading

Suit Filed Against Goldman Sachs Over Continuously Smoldering Desert Disposal Pit

Thirty-one residents of the High Desert, represented by two San Diego-based law firms, have sued Synagro Tecnologies and its corporate ownership, the American multinational investment bank
Goldman Sachs, citing the environmental havoc from the fire in its unenclosed waste pit that has been burning out of control for close to two-and-a-half months.
On behalf of Catherine A. Blevins, Barbara Bryson, Alice M. Carrigan, Theresa Carter, Judy Ceja, Guadalupe Ceja, Veronica Davila, Terry Deaton, Justine Dellavecchia, April Evans, Mariah Evans, Patricia A. Evans, Andrea M. Figueroa, Jeff Gerhart, Norman Halstead, Delfina Harrell, Alexandra Hendley, James Hood, Brianna Hoody, Brooklyn Hoody, Erica Jackson, Dorothy Ann Jackson, Sean E. MacDonald, Sandra Martin, Daniela Natale, John Natale, Carlos Ozuna, Helen Ozuna, Bryan Douglas Powers, Ilean Sanchez, and Lisa R. Sollars, attorneys Natasha N. Serino, Alexander M. Schack and Shannon F. Nocon of the Schack Law Group and Gregory J. Hout filed suit, alleging negligence, strict liability for ultrahazardous activity, trespass, public nuisance and private nuisance. Named as defendants in the suit are Synagro Technologies, Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., as well as Nursery Products, LLC and Synagro-WWT, I. Continue reading

West Valley Water District Now Free Of The Young-Taylor Clash That Recently Defined It

By Mark Gutglueck
As much as any political entity in San Bernardino County and far more than most, the West Valley Water District Board of Directors has over the last nine months undergone an orientational, organizational and compositional change.
Despite its size and status among far larger local governmental organizations and its relatively confined function, over the last five years the West Valley Water District has proven to be the most politically contentious governmental operation in San Bernardino County.
The dynamics of the relationship between two of the district’s leaders, which began amiably enough but devolved into a bitter enmity and power struggle, dominated the district. As of last month, both of those personalities have left. Continue reading

Woman, 40, Being Held For Murder & Carjacking After Apparent Lam Attempt To Mexico

Daniella Hess Prieto has gotten herself into a mess of trouble.
Previously, her affinity for methamphetamine had complicated her life. Nevertheless, her previous run-ins with the law generally extended to simple possession of drugs charges, primarily misdemeanors.
Earlier this year things escalated somewhat when she was arrested on a charge of maintaining premises where drugs were sold or could be obtained.
Now she is charged with capital murder. Continue reading