• WASHINGTON,
    DC – Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) delivered the
    following statement today on the floor of the U.S. House of
    Representatives:

    “Mr.
    Speaker, I have chosen to leave Congress at the end of this term. I
    take the unusual step of announcing this from the floor of Congress for
    two reasons. First, this is where my fellow Californians sent me to
    represent them. Second, I am a proud institutionalist, and I believe
    that this institution is as great as it has ever been.

    “My
    decision has been a deliberative one. Three years ago I contemplated
    leaving at the end of the previous Congress, but I ultimately chose to
    seek reelection for the sake of pursuing four key objectives: (1) to
    reverse the very dangerous 82% increase in non-defense discretionary
    spending that we had in the previous two Congresses; (2) to finally
    pass the job-creating free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and
    South Korea; (3) to enhance our national security by working to
    strengthen the legislatures of new and reemerging democracies across
    the globe through the bipartisan House Democracy Partnership; and (4)
    to ensure, through the Rules Committee, that both Democrats and
    Republicans have the opportunity to offer their solutions by proposing
    amendments on the House floor.

    “Mr.
    Speaker, I have been honored to play a part in the effort to accomplish
    these four goals. Acting in a bipartisan way, we have fundamentally
    altered the federal spending process, focusing on fiscal discipline
    rather than profligacy. We not only passed all three pending free
    trade agreements. We did so with the largest bipartisan support of any
    trade measure in years. The 17 partner countries of the House
    Democracy Partnership are making important strides, and the advent of
    the Arab Spring has brought about the greatest opportunity in more than
    a generation for democracy throughout the Arab world. Finally, both
    Democrats and Republicans can offer their ideas on the House floor.

    “This
    work is far from over, and I intend to spend this year working toward
    greater bipartisan progress. Our economy and our job market remain in
    peril, and the effort to rein in the deficit has only just begun.
    Having cleared out the backlog of trade agreements, we must embark on a
    renewed trade liberalization agenda to revitalize the worldwide
    marketplace. The endeavor to ensure that American workers and
    entrepreneurs are able to grow our economy and increase our standard of
    living is an ongoing one. It is an endeavor that I look forward to
    pursuing as vigorously outside of Congress as I have here.

    “I
    have always believed that Republicans and Democrats alike serve the
    American people best when we find ways to build bipartisan consensus.
    The framers of our constitution envisioned Congress as a forum for a
    great clash of ideas. We all have different, sometimes radically
    different, views of how to build a better and stronger America. I have
    always believed that our efforts must be rooted in our pursuit of a
    free economy, personal freedom, limited government, and a strong
    national defense. Others may take a different view. These differences
    demand a passionate debate, but that debate must ultimately arrive at
    consensus.

    “As
    I prepare to follow the Madisonian directive that Members of Congress
    should one day leave office to live under the laws they passed, there
    are many whom I would like to thank. Family and friends, volunteers
    and supporters, and of course the voters who first gave me my party’s
    nomination in 1978 when I was 25 and lived in the Phillips Hall
    dormitory at my alma mater, Claremont McKenna College.

    “I
    would also like to thank the dedicated public servants in my offices in
    California and Washington, who have so ably worked in behalf of the
    people I’ve been privileged to represent.”

    Stevie Yortsos, a 2010 graduate of San Marino
    High School and standout three-sport athlete, suffered a severe head
    injury Sunday during a soccer game in San Luis Obispo and remains in a
    medically induced coma at USC’s Keck Hospital in Los Angeles. Yortsos,
    a sophomore, is a member of USC’s men’s soccer team. He and an opponent
    stuck heads while attempting to possess a ball and Yortsos was
    instantly unconscious, according to reports.
    Friends and family members have reported indications of improvement and
    Stevie’s vital signs remain stable as of Wednesday, February 28 at
    12:00 noon.
    More information will follow as it becomes available.

     

    Trojan Affiliates of USC, a women’s support located in the San Gabriel Valley invites you to attend their Membership Coffee on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at the San Gabriel Country Club, 350 East Hermosa Drive, San Gabriel. Coffee and refreshments begin at 7:00 p.m. followed by a speaker and brief meeting.

    ...Read More

    by Winston Chua

    SGV – A report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office for the state concluded that the loss of redevelopment agencies to the state may not have the big detrimental financial impact to the state that many had presumed.

    Marianne O’Malley, managing principal analyst for a recent study released by the LAO, said that money will simply be redistributed. She does not foresee any significant change in the state’s overall tax revenue, but does concede that cities will have less access for revenue.

    However, the lost of revenue from cities will be made up for by the increase in county tax revenue and the increase in tax revenue from special districts like water and fire.

    Some may say that cities are at a disadvantage, say, if a prospective Costco were to come to town and not have some of the benefits a redevelopment agency might offer a new tenant. But O’Malley said that such businesses which create private sector jobs for the state will still come in to the state regardless, perhaps not in one specific area of the city.

    Redevelopment agencies have helped specific communities, but the LAO believes that such businesses like hotels or retail outlets, which provide a somewhat limited source of growth to the economy, will still find a home in the state even sans redevelopment agencies.

    Another argument for the elimination of RDAs is that some experts estimate $1 billion in savings while also relieving a chunk of the state’s burden to fund public schools.

    Money saved by the elimination of RDAs will not go to the state, said O’Malley, but will instead take a greater percentage of taxpayer dollars and transfer said funds directly to schools. She said that there will be a longer term fiscal benefit to the state.

    More on this article to come…

    ...Read More

    ARCADIA – According to the Arcadia Association of REALTORS®, California’s housing affordability rose to its highest level in fourth-quarter 2011, matching a record high set in 2009, thanks to lower home prices and record-low interest rates. This information was obtained from reports furnished by the HYPERLINK “http://www.car.org/” CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

    The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California rose to 55 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 52 percent in third-quarter 2011 and from 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to C.A.R.’s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI). The index was the highest since C.A.R. began tracking this statistic in 1988, and equaled a high set in first-quarter 2009.

    C.A.R.’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. C.A.R. also reports affordability indices for regions and select counties within the state. The Index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for home buyers in the state.

    Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $57,750 to qualify for the purchase of a $282,350 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2011. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $1,440, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.31 percent. The effective composite interest rate in third-quarter 2011 was 4.63 percent and 4.62 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

    ...Read More

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Surveillance video of a strong-arm robbery at an El
    Sereno gas station has led to the arrest of a 41-year-old man, police said
    today.

    ...Read More

    CORONA DEL MAR (CNS) – President Barack Obama concluded a brief
    Southland visit today by making his first appearance in Orange County since
    2009, attending a campaign fundraising breakfast in Corona Del Mar.

    Republican presidential hopeful and former House speaker Newt Gingrich will be in both El Monte and Pasadena today, February 13th and in Tulare on February 14th.

    The San Marino Guild of Huntington Memorial Hospital announces the 44th season of entertainment with its 2012 San Marino Celebrity Series. The popular Dr. Elliot Engel opens the lineup of events with “Happy 200th Birthday Charles Dickens” on Sunday, February 12 at 4:00 at the San Marino Center, 1800 Huntington Drive, San Marino.

    Returning for his 19th season and back by popular demand, this favorite professor, author, scholar and lecturer always delights his audiences as he entertains and educates using anecdotes and humor to illustrate new insights into the lives of his subjects. Dr. Engel will explore the world of Dickens, his unique imagination, and why he is recognized as the greatest novelist in the English language. Engel’s mini-lecture series on Dickens appeared on PBS-TV stations across the country. He is a gifted speaker who enjoys chatting with his audience after the presentation.

    Elliot Engel earned his B.A. at Indiana University and his M.A. and Ph.D. as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at UCLA, where he won the Outstanding Teacher Award. He has written ten books, and lectured all over the world. For over 30 years Dr. Engel has been President of the Dickens Fellowship of North Carolina. His promotion of Charles Dickens during this period has led to his recent induction into the Royal Society of Arts in England.

    The Celebrity Series continues with the 2nd event, “Touched by an Angel’s Inspiration” presented by Martha Williamson, the executive producer and head writer of the TV show of the same name. Her uplifting talk will illustrate the power of positive strength and encouragement. This program will be held on Sunday, March 18th at 4:00 at the San Marino Center.

    San Marino’s own Margie Lowe-Francis of Margie’s Apparel will present her “Dazzling Designs” at a fashion show and luncheon on Thursday, April 19th at the San Gabriel Country Club. Margie’s boutique is a popular shop for unique, eye-catching outfits.

    The final program of the Celebrity Series will be a one-woman play presented by Lissa Layng of the Fremont Center Theater in South Pasadena. After enjoying afternoon tea, guests will be treated to Lissa’s performance of “A Woman of Independent Means” on Saturday, May 12 at 2:00. The story depicts the triumphs and trials in the life of Bess, a woman of the 1900s with an indomitable spirit.

    Season tickets for the four events are $125. Single tickets are $30 each for Engle and Williamson (or both for $50) and $50 each for the fashion show or play. For ticket information or a brochure, call 626.441.1465 or 626.793.1333 or email the Guild at sanmarinocelebrityseries@gmail.com.

    The San Marino Celebrity Series is the primary fundraiser of the San Marino Guild. According to President Mimi Gerhardt, all proceeds will benefit the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the Huntington Hospital.

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Authorities today announced a $50,000 reward for
    information leading to arrests and convictions for the slaying of a 75-year-old
    man who was stabbed during an apparent robbery at a business south of downtown
    Los Angeles.
    Min Yin of Arcadia was stabbed about 8 a.m. on Sept. 2 while he was
    working at the Joy & Louis Corp., 1320 E. 18th St., the Los Angeles Police
    Department reported. Yin was hospitalized in critical condition and died on
    Dec. 26.
    Three Hispanic men were being sought in the crime. Police circulated
    composite drawings of two of the men, and security video of the third.
    “The suspects are considered armed and extremely dangerous,’ said LAPD
    Officer Bruce Borihanh.
    The first suspect was described as 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, in his late
    40s, with dark hair and brown eyes. The second suspect was described as 5 feet
    4, heavyset, in his early 20s, with short dark hair, “small eyes,’ a dark
    complexion, and a tattoo on the left side of his neck.
    The third man, depicted in the security video, was between 5 feet 5 and
    5 feet 8, 200 pounds, in his early-to-mid-30s, with dark hair.
    On the day of the crime, the first suspect entered the business, and
    started to leave. As he was leaving, the other suspects entered the business, a
    struggle ensued, and one of the suspects stabbed Yin, police said.
    The reward was offered by the Los Angeles City Council for information
    leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the suspects. Anyone
    with information on the crime was urged to call LAPD detectives at (213) 486-
    6840, or (877) LAPD-24-7.

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