• By Winston Chua

    ARCADIA – The Arcadia
    City Council has made clear plans to brace itself for economically challenging
    times. Facing what was a $2.6 million
    deficit, councilpersons took action to make sure the city is not spending more
    than it is taking in.

    For the city council, that meant freezing positions
    and updating fees to adjust for the staggering economy. It also meant cutting
    some of the benefits that city workers, because of their tenure, were entitled
    to for the coming fiscal year.

    “The economy hits the taxpayer and government hard in
    a rough time like this,” said Arcadia Mayor Pro Tem Peter Amundson. This
    position means that Amundson is authorized to fill in for Arcadia Mayor John
    Wuo in his absences. Both Amundson and the council are known for being fiscally
    conservative, but even their past decisions could not avoid the debilitating
    effects of the economic crisis.

    About three quarters of the way through the last
    fiscal year, the Arcadia City Council noted that they would have less income
    and sales taxes than they had anticipated.

    As a result, Amundson and the council asked all city
    departments to cut about 5 percent of the budget.

    “We wanted to cut portions of the departments that
    will not be bring hurt to the community,” said Amundson.

    Amudnson said that despite the broad-reaching cuts
    proposed in the new budgets that there is “nothing in the budget that city
    department heads could not live with.”

    The city council, in wanting to make the new fiscal
    years as painless as possible, chose not to open new positions or increase
    salaries in certain departments, even though certain city positions were up for
    pay raises. Benefits were eliminated and increases that employees were entitled
    to were left off the table to close the budget gap. These cuts closed the city deficit
    to around $2.3 million.

    To pay for the around $300,000 that was still
    outstanding, the city tapped into its reserves. More than $7 million in reserve
    money is set aside for emergency uses.

    The city council said that they did everything, even
    “cutting to the bone” the new budget for 2009 – 2010.

    The city council must balance the budget because it
    has pledged to do so in its City Charter. That charter states that “the total
    of proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimated income plus
    available reserves.”

    He said it is the responsibility of the council to
    act as wise caretakers of the city’s money and that the council did not wait
    until the end of the fiscal year to bring about the necessary changes to the
    new year’s budget.

    By Winston Chua

    SAN GABRIEL – A house
    is often made up of the people who live in it, often made up of family members.
    Well if that is the case, La Casa de San Gabriel is a big (grande) house, led
    by a family that has helped thousands of people.

    La Casa de San Gabriel began in 1946 as the
    manifestation of the Regional Presbyterian Church’s vision to help immigrants
    and poor people. They are started off in many ways to become the West Coast
    version of Jane Addams’s project in Chicago that began more than 100 years ago.
    Both organizations vowed to help people in whatever way necessary through the
    avenues of education and health services. Today
    La Casa is continuing that mission.

    Cheryl Prentice, executive director of La Casa, told
    the Tribune that the organization is multidimensional in scope. East West Bank
    teaches underprivileged people the basic skills of banking. La Casa is also
    home to groups that help people fight off substance abuse, as well as promote
    higher standards of literacy.

    Food and clothing distribution to San Gabriel
    resident and are also a priority to San Gabriel residents as well as to the
    Tongva who make their home in San Gabriel. The Tongva occupied regions of Los
    Angeles before Europeans, centuries ago.

    The Curves gym of San Marino has been generous to La
    Casa, according to Prentice, especially in food giving during a time when many
    people have lost valuable work hours, homes or jobs.

     

    ARCADIA,
    CA. –Methodist Hospital announced today that philanthropists Tom and Bea
    Hollfelder have made a $4 million gift to The Campaign for Methodist Hospital -
    Creating the Next Generation of Care. To date, this is the largest outright
    gift made by individual donors in the hospital’s 106 year history.

    “In
    our opinion, Methodist Hospital is a very well-run organization that is looking
    toward the future and is providing the same spirit of caring to patients and
    their families that we experienced when we first came here 20 years ago,” Tom
    Hollfelder said. “That our gift would be wisely and effectively used was
    important to us.”

    In
    recognition of their donation, the first floor of the new hospital tower will
    be named the Hollfelder Emergency Care Center, which is scheduled to open in
    2012. This center will serve up to 50,000 patients per year, doubling the
    capacity that the current emergency room was originally designed to serve.

    The
    Next Generation of Care campus expansion project has attracted the support of many
    who, along with the Hollfelders, believe in the importance of access to quality
    medical care. The cornerstone of the plan is a nearly 155,000 square foot
    patient care tower, which includes the Hollfelder Emergency Care Center and
    will also house critical care units as well as three floors for medical and
    surgery patient care. The state-of-the-art facility will utilize advanced
    medical technology and information systems to provide exceptional care in a
    healing environment.

    The Hollfelder’s first-hand experience at Methodist Hospital more than 20 years
    ago spurred their decision to support the hospital’s current campaign. In 1987,
    the Hollfelders’ youngest daughter, Carol, suffered life threatening injuries
    in an accident and was airlifted to Methodist Hospital. After several
    surgeries and follow-up care, Carol was well enough to return home and the
    Hollfelders are still grateful for the care received in their time of need.

    “Like
    so many others whose lives have been touched by the skilled and compassionate
    care of Methodist Hospital, the Hollfelders have found a way to express their
    gratitude in a thoughtful and meaningful way for generations to come,” said Sue
    Francis, foundation president. “It is the kind of investment that will ensure the
    continuation of top quality care at the hospital.”

    The
    Hollfelder Emergency Care Center will play an integral part in the hospital’s
    ability to serve the community in the years to come. The expansion in the
    emergency room has become increasingly important after two acute care hospitals
    in the San Gabriel Valley closed, resulting in added pressure on Methodist
    Hospital’s emergency room. The additional beds in the emergency room should
    decrease wait time in emergency rooms throughout the region.

    “Our
    emergency department’s ability of quick evaluation and rapid treatment is
    critical to the 500,000 people living in the San Gabriel Valley,” said Sue
    Francis, foundation president. “But as demand for emergency care in our
    community grows, we cannot continue providing this vital care without proper
    funding and resources.”

    About
    Methodist Hospital

    Methodist
    Hospital, founded in 1903, is a 460 bed, not-for-profit hospital serving the
    community. Services provided include comprehensive acute care such as medical,
    surgical, perinatal, pediatrics, oncology, intensive care (neonatal and adult),
    and complete cardiovascular services, including open heart surgery. Methodist
    Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission. For more information please
    call (626) 898 – 8000 or visit www.methodisthospital.org.

    ...Read More
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