With $120M+ Diversion Of H2O Funds Yet Unresolved, Ontario Ups Utility Rates

The Ontario City Council this week imposed on its constituents a 6.67 percent water rate hike despite outstanding questions over whether it has adequately addressed diversions of what is reported to be $127.6 million from the city’s water operating and capital improvement/facilities maintenance funds for the years running between 2008 and 2021. Over the last five weeks, as they were moving toward upping the amount of money Ontario residents and businesses will pay for the elixir of life, Ontario city officials have assiduously avoided explicitly addressing precisely how much of the money within the city’s water utility division was loaned or otherwise transferred to the city’s operating budget during the 13 years in question. This week, when confronted directly with requests to quantify the amount of water division money that was used to shore up the city’s general fund for well over a decade and how much of that money had been returned, despite Mayor Paul Leon’s promise Tuesday evening that City Hall would make that clarification, by press time today city officials have not yet done so.
The issue at hand is not entirely the interfund transfers, which while significant, are not unheard of. Rather, it is that city officials are unwilling to fully acknowledge or quantify them, particularly in a situation in which they are calling upon the city’s residents and the consumers of the water provided by the municipal utility department to essentially pay for the upkeep of the system that otherwise would have been provided for by the money which has been diverted. Continue reading

Chino Unified Votes To Require Parent Notification Of Student Initiated Gender Reidentification

The razor sharp philosophical and political divide within the country over transgenderism, gender dysphoria, tolerance and acceptance thereof, compassion that should be shown to those dealing with such issues in their own makeup, the degree to which the community should and will allow those realities to intrude into the lives of those wishing to remain aloof from such influences and the extent to which long extant and traditional norms conflict with society’s changeover in this regard loomed into sharp focus in Chino this week at the Don Lugo High School multi-purpose room on Thursday evening.
The Chino Unified School District Board of Education held its meeting there in anticipation of an oversized crowd, which indeed turned out for an item on the agenda that requires faculty at the district’s schools to inform parents if their child identifies as transgender or insists on using a name, pronoun or facilities other than those traditionally intended for an individual as identified on that student’s birth certificate.
The district took up the issue after Republican Assemblyman Bill Essayli with the introduction of Assembly Bill 1314 in March sought, unsuccessfully, to impose statewide a requirement that school officials not keep information pertaining to the gender reidentification that students insist upon within a school setting from the parents of those children. Continue reading

$4 Million Judgment Against San Bernardino City Unified Over Assistant Police Chief’s Vehicular Negligence

The San Bernardino City Unified School District has sustained a $4.348 million judgment in a lawsuit brought against it by a woman injured in a traffic accident when the district’s assistant police chief, Stephen Donahue, rear-ended her.
According to proof presented at trial in June, LaWanna Martin-Brown had to undergo a total knee replacement when a department-issued car driven by Donahue in after-work hours, while he was either driving home or to a baseball game, slammed into her vehicle.
Donahue was deemed to be at fault in the accident.
In nineteen days of trial proceedings before Judge Corey Lee, including scheduling and jury selection in May and June, Michael Geoola, Chantly Geoulla and Marine Khachoyan represented Martin-Brown while Ryan Miller represented both the San Bernardino City Unified School District and Stephen Donahue and Jeffrey Haynes provided additional representation for the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
It took until May 25, the eighth day of proceedings, to impanel a jury.
Opening statements for the plaintiff were presented on the ninth day of trial on May 30.
There was testimony or presentation of evidence, including the playing of video depositions, on May 31, June 1, June 5, June 6, June 7, June 8, June 12, June 13 and June 14, with the Jury engaging in deliberations on June 15 and again on June 20. Continue reading

Rialto Residents Launch Effort To Second Guess Council With Referendum Of Warehouse OK

Two separate votes earlier this year by Rialto councilmen Andy Carrizales, Ed Scott and Rafael Trujillo to divide the Pepper Avenue Specific Plan finalized in 2017 into two separate areas and add to its permitted uses light industrial zoning so that a 735,185-square foot warehouse/distribution center have sparked controversy that refuses to go away.
The two members of the council who opposed that action – Mayor Deborah Robertson and Joe Baca Sr. – made statements and contacted officials about the location of that warehouse and its proximity to the home in which Carrizales lives, ultimately triggering an official complaint by a Rialto resident, Lupe Camacho, to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging Carrizales had a conflict of interest in voting upon the warehouse project as it carried with it the possibility of impacting the value of his property. Continue reading

County Subsidizing Two Deputy Positions In Adelanto

With one former Adelanto City Councilman sitting in federal prison and his erstwhile colleague as mayor awaiting sentencing, both based on their efforts to profit from their city’s transition to a cannabis-based economy which they championed, federal officials are at a loss to understand why San Bernardino County officials are now subsidizing the city’s operations despite current officials’ insistence that they allowed City Hall’s once discredited marijuana-based revenue enhancement ploy through because it would cure the city’s financial woes.
There being no question that the past generation of Adelanto’s politicians were on the take from the marijuana industry that has now come to flourish in the 37,868-populations city, suspicion has now fallen on the current crop of elected officials running the city. Currently, with members of the board of supervisors and the county sheriff coming in to prop up municipal operations in Adelanto that should, based on the hefty marijuana sales and profit being achieved by the companies functioning there and the permits, fees and taxes those entities should be paying to put the city well into the black, DEA and FBI agents, to say nothing of members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, are wondering what the hell is going on.
Jermaine Wright, who was first elected to the Adelanto City Council in 2012, working with Richard Kerr, who was elected mayor in 2014, and John Woodard, who was elected to the council in 2014, were able to use the pretext of Adelanto’s tenuous financial circumstance to justify the bold move of defying the predominant ethos in San Bernardino County at that time, which had, with a lone exception, held the line against marijuana liberalization. Continue reading

Caregivers Sought For County’s Most Vulnerable Populations

Seniors and disabled adults throughout San Bernardino County are in need of caregivers.

San Bernardino County In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Public Authority is recruiting caregivers to provide personal care and domestic services that will allow seniors and disabled adults to remain in their homes.

Caregiver applicants will be screened and registered in the IHSS Public Authority Registry database and matched with a senior or disabled adult to deliver in-home support services. The types of services authorized through IHSS are housecleaning, meal preparation, laundry, grocery shopping, personal care services (such as bowel and bladder care, bathing, grooming and paramedical services), accompaniment to medical appointments, and protective supervision for the mentally impaired.

“Caregivers are essential to the health and well-being of seniors and disabled adults,” said Myette Christian, acting executive director of IHSS Public Authority. “The care they provide can allow this group of people to remain safely in their homes.”

Caregivers are needed throughout the county, but there is a greater need in Chino, Chino Hills, Rialto, Fontana, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley.

• No experience necessary
• Flexible work schedule
• Access to training

For more information on the IHSS program visit https://publicauthority.sbcounty.gov. To complete an application visit www.sbcarejobs.com. For more information about the Senior Information & Assistance Program, please call 1 (800) 510-2020.