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Scandal-prone board president ignores summons in Sun Village defamation suit

SUN VILLAGE - Though his defamation claim against the Sun Village Town Council president was dismissed last Monday, the board's chaplain promises to continue with plenty more legal action against the council for allegedly misrepresenting itself to the community. Kirk Collins, who considers himself a "councilman of the community," contacted the Civic Bee last week to update readers on the board's most recent legal developments. … [Read More...]

GOVERNMENT

A U.S. Federal Court Judge awarded Jennifer and Angel Mendez $4.2 million in a wrongful police shooting action against the LA County Sheriffs Department and the County of Los Angeles

Sheriff candidates address need to rein in excessive force

LANCASTER – Many promises have been made by candidates in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s election regarding change and accountability following the resignation of Sheriff Lee Baca. But no candidate has made mention of the 2010 wrongful shooting of a homeless Lancaster couple by deputies, which has become one of the clearest examples of the […]

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Consumers’ share of water rates is key to ending Calif. water wars

SACRAMENTO – Phil Isenberg wants to end California’s water wars. The member of the Delta Stewardship Council and its past chair wants to connect the cost of water more closely to its users. According to a report by the California Economic Summit, he points out that the cost of water is about $30 billion a […]

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Depressed funds, demanding landowners put Riverside habitat protection in peril

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – A decade ago, Riverside County and 14 cities set up a regional conservation agency to acquire and protect wildlife habitat and remove red tape for developers who want to build in the western part of the county. The setup became a model for local governments in California and elsewhere in the nation. […]

Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco)

Legislative candidates aim to capitalize on Sacramento scandals

SACRAMENTO – A trio of Democratic lawmakers, suspended from their posts and facing possible jail time on criminal charges, are star attractions in legislative races across California even though they’re not running for reelection. Republicans are using the allegations — perjury, bribery, conspiracy — in an attempt to taint their rivals, hoping to prevail in […]

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City Council considers redevelopment support letter for state bill

FORTUNA – During the Fortuna City Council meeting Monday, members will consider authorizing a support letter for a state bill that would create a local entity to provide redevelopment options, and continuing a community input process to identify local funds. The Community Revitalization Investment Authorities – the group created by Salinas Assemblyman Luis Alejo’s AB […]

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Milken Global Conf. addresses local planning challenges amid decreased funding

The following is an excerpt from the Milken Global Conference held in Los Angeles on April 29, featuring a discussion with Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California. Josh Tyrangiel, moderator: To what degree is all of the innovation in cities and metros that we’re seeing in policy and planning a direct result of the lack […]

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House bill to preserve Calif’s Central Coast for future residents

SANTA BARBARA – California’s Central Coast may be getting more federal protection under a bill expected to be introduced next week. The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act calls for nearly 250,000 acres of new and expanded wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest and the Carrizo Plain. U.S. Rep. Lois Capps of California says her […]

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Legislative primary kicks off supermajority fight

SACRAMENTO – The June primary marks the start of a statewide battle between Democrats trying to retain power as a supermajority voting bloc in California’s Legislature and Republicans eager to prevent de-facto one-party rule. And two Kern County races are key battlegrounds in the fight. While 100 legislative seats are up for grabs, just a […]

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California farmer locked in contract battle with union

SANGER – Six months ago, workers at one of the largest fruit farms in the U.S. went to the ballot box to decide if they would continue to be represented by the United Farm Workers, which won that right two decades ago but never forged a labor contract. The ballots, still uncounted by state officials […]

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President’s visit to Bay Area Walmart promotes big energy reform

MOUNTAIN VIEW – In his final stop of a three-day trip to California, President Barack Obama spoke Friday at a Walmart in the heart of Silicon Valley, pushing his plan for energy reform that calls for the conversion of more businesses, homes and government buildings to solar power. The President praised the store’s solar panels, […]

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Phelan group appeals Planning decision on residential solar farm

PHELAN – The county’s recently-approved SunEdison solar project may not be a done deal, after all, according to an announcement from a local property owners association. Socorro Cisneros, president of the White Road Property Owners Association in Phelan, revealed to members of her community on Friday that her group has appealed the San Bernardino County […]

PMC Consultant Mark Teague, right, led a group discussion about what Morongo Basin citizens would tolerate in the way of utility-scale energy projects during an Apr. 17 workshop - courtesy Rebecca Unger, The Desert Trail

Morongo Basin locals express solar farm concerns to SB Co.

YUCCA VALLEY – Citizens met with county officials and consultants in Yucca Valley Thursday night, April 17, in an effort to guide the next 20 to 30 years of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the Hi-Desert. The county is spending some of its $700,000 grant from the California Energy Commission to hire the PMC consulting […]

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Approval of intrusive solar project leaves Phelan residents to focus on failed governance

PHELAN – Despite homeowners’ objections to a proposed solar farm in their immediate community, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission granted a conditional use permit to SunEdison for its White Road solar project at Thursday’s meeting. Some in the desert community look at the commission’s decision to approve a 50-acre solar facility smack dab in […]

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Feds press EPA to toughen penalties for cement plant pollution

LOS ANGELES – People who live near cement plants in California are getting some relief from the risks of toxic emissions. A federal court ruled Friday that the EPA can no longer let cement plants off the hook for fines if the plants spew dangerous pollution and claim it was by mistake. Seth Johnson, an […]

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Phelan residents to continue fight against unwanted solar project at Apr. 17 hearing

PHELAN – News of the Planning Commission’s public hearing to consider a permit for a 50-acre solar facility in Phelan almost went unnoticed. Residents had been waiting to learn of the hearing for the proposed renewable energy project but were surprised to discover from the Civic Bee that San Bernardino County officials had set a […]

Image of Michael D. Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse

Littlerock council rants defiant against prisons, courts and cronyism

The following quotes from the Littlerock Town Council’s Apr. 10 meeting highlight Councilman Carl Iannalfo’s comments, which have become affectionately known on the council agenda as “Carl’s Rants.” LITTLEROCK – “The council sent a letter to (LA County District Attorney) Jackie Lacey,” Littlerock Town Councilman Carl Iannalfo told members of the public on Thursday. “She […]

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EDITOR’S DESK

Reflecting and comforting one another outside the Antelope Valley Courthouse are, from left, Dr. Miguel Suarez Coronado, president of Agents of Change; and Yadira Mendoza, Giselle’s sister

Alleged DUI driver charged with murder in Easter Sunday apartment crash

LANCASTER – A Palmdale man has been charged with murder for allegedly driving under the influence and killing a sleeping teen on Easter Sunday when he drove his SUV into her apartment. At his arraignment Tuesday at the Antelope Valley Courthouse, 20-year-old Roberto Rodríguez pleaded “not guilty” to murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving […]

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Palmdale rates 9th in nationwide progress to decrease gender pay gap

PALMDALE – City officials announced Monday (Apr. 7) that Palmdale is among the top 10 places with the fastest decreasing gender pay gaps. Citing the findings from NerdWallet, a consumer advocacy website, Palmdale revealed its standing in a recent study that compared 2007 and 2012 data from male income as a percentage of female income. […]

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LA County to restructure elderly program contracts for Antelope Valley

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is set to approve a necessary restructuring of contracts to avoid interruption of elderly nutrition, supportive and family caregiver services for the Antelope Valley. The county’s Community and Senior Services recommends the termination of three contracted elderly programs with Antelope Valley Committee on […]

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Palmdale hearing for alcohol sales permit weighs impacts of public safety, free enterprise

PALMDALE – The City Council on Wednesday approved a conditional use permit for a family market to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises despite some protests from public speakers at the meeting. The council’s decision took into consideration the needs and impact of both public safety and free enterprise in the community, ultimately deciding […]

Fred Thompson is sworn in by Palmdale City Clerk Rebecca Smith

Thompson appointment marks 1st African-American to serve on Palmdale council

PALMDALE – The City Council unanimously approved Fred Thompson’s appointment to a vacancy on the board Wednesday evening, making the former Palmdale School District trustee the first African-American to serve on the council. The four-member council voted unanimously in a motion to appoint Thompson to Councilwoman Laura Bettencourt’s vacated seat. Bettencourt resigned her seat on […]

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Sun Village council runs out the clock on both voters, candidates

SUN VILLAGE – In next week’s election for two open seats on the seven-member Sun Village Town Council, residents face just as many challenges as the candidates. The greatest concern with the handling of this election is that Sun Village residents and potential candidates have not been given enough time to make informed decisions about […]

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Sun Village Town Council prefers obstacles to openness when addressing public’s concerns

SUN VILLAGE – The Sun Village Town Council has confirmed with the Bee that there will be an April election – to be held at a certain time, date and place. Sarcasm aside, this is the extent of the information that a representative of the council was willing to share with this local citizen reporter […]

33rd Assembly District candidate Rick Roelle at Friday's campaign fundraiser in Apple Valley

Apple Valley event for Assembly candidate Roelle continues momentum in support

APPLE VALLEY – Rick Roelle, a candidate for California’s 33rd Assembly District, continued building support for his campaign with an Apple Valley fundraiser that raised about $13,000, Roelle told the Bee. Raising funds for a state race is critical to both support and success, Roelle said in a Facebook text message to the Bee on […]

Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist and council candidate Johnathon Ervin debate at the League of Women Voters Antelope Valley's Election Forum on Monday, Mar. 10

Lancaster council candidates debate key issues of city leadership

LANCASTER – Vice Mayor Marvin Crist and City Council candidate Johnathon Ervin stood out from other candidates at Monday’s election forum with an intensity of uncompromising views and solutions toward those issues facing Lancaster. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters Antelope Valley and hosted at the Lancaster United Methodist Church, the City Council debate […]

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Supervisors reject solar developer’s appeal for Oak Hills site

OAK HILLS – The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected a solar developer’s appeal to build and operate a 20-acre solar facility in the community of Oak Hills. Supervisors turned down the appeal by Sycamore Physicians Partners, an Ohio-based solar project developer, which upholds the Planning Commission’s decision to deny a […]

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SB Co. DA unmasking human traffickers by releasing names, photos

SAN BERNARDINO – San Bernardino County officials are cracking down on human trafficking throughout the High Desert and Inland Empire, which has become a $32 Billion-a-year global industry. Profits are made through the exploitation of minors, as traffickers participate in the forced indenture of underage girls into sex slavery, according to officials. The San Bernardino […]

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LA Co. Supervisors approve revised CSD for Agua Dulce

AGUA DULCE – Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich’s office announced Tuesday that the Board of Supervisors approved revisions to Agua Dulce’s Community Standards District. A statement from Antonovich said supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the establishment of the CSD to maintain the community’s rural, equestrian-oriented quality of life. “Through the hard work of […]

Speakers at the 2014 Business Climate luncheon included (clockwise from left:) Board of Equalization Member George Runner, State Senator Steve Knight, Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist, and Palmdale Mayor Pro Tem Tom Lackey.

Antelope Valley event features local leadership, business insight

LANCASTER – Local business owners and government officials came together on Friday to discuss prospective business growth and political challenges for the Antelope Valley’s future. More than 50 people attended the AVBizPro luncheon at the University of Antelope Valley in Lancaster, which was organized by Larry Hobson, president of the Antelope Valley Business Professional Network. […]

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Oak Hills braces for rejected solar project’s appeal

OAK HILLS – Residents of Oak Hills are very concerned with an upcoming second round of a neighborhood intruder attempting to muscle its way into the community’s backyard. Citizens recently received notices from the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to hear an appeal by Sycamore Physicians Partners LLC for its solar project that was […]

A Sun Village Town Council community bulletin board at the northeast corner of Palmdale Boulevard and 90th Street East.

Election update still pending for Sun Village residents

SUN VILLAGE – Local residents and potential candidates hoping for any information on the anticipated Sun Village Town Council election in April will continue to wait. And the wait only serves to raise more questions for locals. Interested candidates are eager to know if there’ll be enough time to start an outreach campaign to inform […]

Apollo 7 Crewmember Walter Cunningham - courtesy Larry Hobson

Antelope Valley businessman donates historic images to park

LANCASTER – History of the aerospace industry has left its signature in many public spaces in the Antelope Valley. And sometimes local stakeholders must step up to the challenge of preserving these signs of the past. Larry Hobson told the Bee he recently contributed historic memorabilia to Apollo Community Regional Park, located at 4555 West […]

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