Coronavirus Effects Rialto Economy

The Rialto City Council scheduled an emergency meeting to address the Corona Virus outbreak. The enacted an emergency declaration that gave the City Manager supreme powers over events, staffing and public safety. City Manager Rod Foster took this meeting to remind us that even though he works here he is not effected by the decisions made in the city of Rialto as he lives in a wealthy area of Orange County.

Some say that the action is premature given that the school district is on spring break and that there are no confirmed cases in Rialto or San Bernardino County. Others say that we must be early to keep the citizens safe. Councilman Ed Scott (who will comment some inappropriate comments on this post) spoke about being one of the people that is a high risk for having an extreme reaction to this virus given his advanced age and long list of medial conditions. Ed Scott spoke to racial profiling as his wife who is Asian decent were verbally attacked and berated at San Manuel Casino because this Corona Virus originated from China. It was sad to hear that still we are so ignorant because these type of things must stop.

Councilman Ed Scott and Councilman Joe Baca Jr. spoke about the threat to seniors and how we would handle our senior center operations. Councilman Joe Baca Jr. asked that city facilities be deep cleaned and that the senior center would take priority. Councilman Ed Scott said that the City of Fontana told him that they were restricting their senior center to only seniors. That is interesting because that building is a public building and is a community center as well. Many of the people who use that facility rely on the computers and other facilities to function in a tech world.

Clearly this outbreak has made us forget the poor and disadvantaged. Mayor Robertson also pointed out that 80% of the management staff are coming from a county that has had a large number of Corona Virus cases in Orange County. Maybe we should have thought about that when choosing people who live nowhere near Rialto. The reason this is an issue is when it comes to asking people to telecommute what happens if your Director of Emergency Services gets stuck over an hour an way?

The council called for Social Distancing in light of the virus outbreak and were unaware on how we could do this without hurting our new and “vibrant” economy. Rialto Flooring posted a video this morning the day after this meeting of a very empty downtown which they said was extremely rare. The mayor suggested that people utilize the delivery services or ordering out.

Ex-Rialto police officer sentenced to 2 years in prison for having unregistered firearms, silencers

A Corona lawyer and former Rialto police officer was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison after unregistered weapons and bomb-making materials were found in his possession.

Sergio Lopez de Tirado, 44, was sentenced for possessing unregistered firearms, silencers and a hand grenade that were found inside his truck during a law enforcement stop, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

He plead guilty in April 2019 to one count of possession of unregistered firearms and a destructive device.

Law enforcement officials found Lopez de Tirado asleep and apparently intoxicated in the passenger seat of a pickup truck that was parked with its door open, blocking a Norco driveway, on Dec. 21, 2018.

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Lori Daybell Mother of Missing Children Has Roots in Rialto

Lori Daybell the mother who is accused of refusing to inform Idaho authorities on the location of her adoped son JJ and daughter Tylee has roots here in the city of Rialto. Lori Daybell (maiden name Cox) grew up in Rialto and graduated from Eisenhower High School. One of Lori Daybells old high school freinds and fellow cheer team member says that the Lori she new and the Lori now are two totally different people.

Lori was known as the fun loving blonde bombshell that loved to have fun with her friends, got good grades and was the FLYER on the cheer team (the person that the team would throw up in the air). According to friends on the cheer team Lori was a fun loving person that just wanted to hang out with her friends and wasn’t very interested in boys until her Senior year. Lori came from a very large Mormon family and her family never came to her cheer events which friends say didn’t bother her much at all. Lori’s path was directed by her faith and her plans were to go to BYU and to do mission work for the Later Day Saints church after high school common to most Mormon kids.

It was after high school that something went terribly wrong in Lori’s life. She married a non Mormon man right after high school and that was a marriage that didn’t last long and that husband is all but a secret as even larger news organizations have not been able to identify that man. What is known is that Lori’s wild behavior is that multiple marriages, lies, death and now the disappearance of her two youngest children now lay in her wake. A reporter spoke to Lori’s first son Colby about his mother Lori, missing siblings and his dead step father and uncle.

Colby told the reporter that his mother just showed up one day at his place of work with his two step siblings and said I found a new job we are moving, little did Colby know that would be the last time he would see his siblings before they went missing. Colby said that he learned about his moms new marriage, place of residence and disappearance of his siblings through the media.

Lori isn’t the only one in Cox family to go off the deep end in this story or in life in general. Lori’s brother Alex Cox tazzed Lori’s Texas husband and threatened to kill him and shot and killed Lori’s husband in Arizona. Alex Cox passed away a few months after killing Charles Vallow in 2019. Lori Daybell is being investigated for a string of deaths that lay in her wake as well as the disappearance of her two younger kids. Lori had a court date in Idaho where her bail was reduced from 5 million to just 1 million. Recent reports show that Lori only needs $150 thousand at most to bail out. She will need to wear an ankle monitor and remain in the Rexburg Idaho area.

Lori’s children, Tylee and JJ, have been missing for more than five months. JJ was last seen on Sept. 23 in Rexburg and Tylee was last seen Sept. 8 in Yellowstone National Park. The FBI is asking anyone with photos of that day to turn them over to FBI officials so they can try and track where the family may have been seen in the park.

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Two Council Members Enter Runoff For 5th District seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rialto Councilman Joe Baca Jr and Fontana Councilman Jesse Armendarez have finished in the top two spots in the Election to replace termed out Supervisor Josie Gonzalez. In the presidential primary election on March 3, Baca Jr. received 12,442 votes (39.38 percent of the total) and Armendarez gained 8,624 votes (27.30 percent), according to final unofficial results released by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office.

This election had four people running for the newly open seat. Business Owner Nadia Renner & Colton School Board Member Dan Flores both finished at the bottom of the race. Since nobody obtained more than 50% of the total vote the top two vote getters will be in a runoff in the November Presidential Election. One interesting portion of this race was how people decided how and when to enter the race.

Dan Flores more than just a School Board Member for the Colton Joint School District he was Supervisor Josie Gonzalez Chief of Staff. Dan Flores was seen as the heir to the throne when it came to the 5th Supervisors Seat. Dan spent the longest building his campaign and seemed to have support from many areas across the district, that was until the filling period loomed in the distance. Councilman Joe Baca Jr has been seeking an exit to teaching and being a Council Member on the Rialto City Council and it seems he found his out. Even though Rialto seems to be booming with economic activity, there are a lot of looming issues that the current council has been ignoring or kicking down the road. Councilman Jesse Armendez is an entirely different situation because he only got into local politics to be a paid puppet for Fontana Mayor Aquenetta Warren. Fontana Mayor Warren has spent the last six years buying elections and putting people on boards so she can feed contracts to her donors and control elected bodies.

Most people we spoke to thought both Councilmen were grasping at straws entering this race. Joe Baca Sr has done much damage to the Baca dynasty name and Joe Baca Jr seems like a vanilla local elected official looking for new power and a bigger paycheck. Jesse Armendarez looked even worse, with very little elected experience and little to no name recognition outside of the Fontana political structure. Yet both Councilmen used some divisive tactics to overcome the other two running for Supervisor to. Joe Baca Jr used his ability to fund raise from local and regional Democrats as well as using his name recognition to overcome his opponents. Jesse Armendez tactics were business as usual for an Aquentta Warren Campaign. Using the force behind the Inland Empire Business Alliance coupled with some lies in the campaign Jesse finished in the top two.

Jesse Armendez worked to lure in Democrats that were undecided between the two Democrats in the race coupled with his lack of name recognition by putting out different mailers. If you were registered Democrat you got a flyer that said Jesse was a Democrat, Republicans got a mailer labeling him as a Republican. Jesse’s PAC’s also spent money sending out lies in mailers that Dan Flores a long time Democrat was a Trump Republican. Donald Trump should make sure he creates space between himself and Mayor Warren since she seems quick to use Trump hate to derail campaigns. This Campaign came down to Moderate Democrats vrs Progressive Democrats. Political power houses like Congress Woman Norma Torres and Congress Man Pete Aguilar supported Dan Flores.

 

 

After the election turmoil remains high for West Valley Water

After the dust settled after the most recent West Valley Water Board elections the turmoil has yet to settle. Many were surprised to see the current board that was left virtually in tact except for the election of new comer Channing Hawkins and that this board relinquished the seat of President to the newly elected Board Member Hawkins. So have said that this seems to be a trap to set Board Member Hawkins up to fail. We have reached out multiple times to speak with Board President Hawkins about this but have failed to speak to him.

West Valley Water District board member Channing Hawkins reaches after being voted in as President of the West Valley Water District, during a board meeting in Rialto, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (Photo by John Valenzuela, Contributing Photographer)

Whatever the case Board Member Hawkins is the dully chosen Board President and seems to be on a course to make changes within the structure of the Water District. The most notable change is the live streaming of board meetings via Facebook Live and then posting a video recording to the Water Districts newly created YouTube channel. The recent implementation of these two sources have removed a large barrier between the Water Board and the Rate Payers as many people work long hours and have family obligations that make it difficult to show up to regular meetings let alone all the special meeting West Valley has had lately. Now rate payers can remain informed on what is going on without having to disrupt their already busy lives.

About the time that Board President Hawkins took the position of Board President many of the Water District Managers took that opportunity to deliver a letter of no confidence in West Valley Water GM Clarence Mansfield. The letter from the West Valley Managers demanded that he be fired because of poor leadership and alleged cronyism. This letter was put out suspiciously close to a SCNG investigation into a laundry list of problems since Mansfield was hired, they also pointed out his salary of $225k dollars as well.

As someone that has been covering this Water District long before the Southern California News Group. There have been problems for 6 to 8 years with West Valley Water Board where former Board President but still a current Board Member has been running the Water District into the ground and has been using questionable hiring practices since he sat on the Water Board. Another thing is I know Mr Mansfield and I haven’t spoken to him recently I can tell you he has learned the hard way to try and get his job done without running directly afoul of the elected people over him. He was railroaded at LA DWP years ago when questioned certain internal practices, then was made the scapegoat for the laundry list of failures in the sale of the City of Rialto’s Water and Waste Water to Veollia where he was the first GM to tackle that project. Now he is the GM for a Water District that was upside down in questionable behavior for years before he got there.

Board President Hawkins seems genuine in his interest to be transparent holding Facebook Lives to go over the agenda with constituents prior to meetings and there doesn’t appear to be any visible bias in the decisions he has led the district to make. Quite the opposite the oldest and most long standing Board Members have openly attacked Board President Hawkins for some of the preliminary moves he has taken.

Only time will tell what these changes will bring about and what if anything will change with the General Manager job for this struggling water agency.

Click here to read about Martin Piñon as Interim Human Resources and Risk Manager

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West Valley Water District Looks To Yet Another Consultant To Solve Internal Problems

On February 4th 2020 West Valley Water put out a press release on the hiring of yet another upper level manager and consultant to fix the laundry list of problems West Valley Water District has faced. The newest person that has claimed they will do what nobody else has been able to do is Martin Piñon who will be acting as the Interim Human Resources and Risk Manager. According to the press release, In addition to implementing best practices and standards for human resources, Piñon will manage the District’s personnel activities including salary and benefits administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, safety, training, employee relations, recruitment and selection. Pinion will also ensure that the District is in compliance with employment laws and work with management to correct employee deficiencies, apply disciplinary actions, address grievances and follow-up with complaints and inquiries.

Among his long list of experience and education the notable piece is that he has a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University San Bernardino. Now your asking yourself why is that the portion of Mr. Piñon you focus on? Well for years Board Member Clifford Young a fixture at Cal State San Bernardino appeared to be using his influence over the hiring process to gift high level positions to people he favored from said college.

Piñon said about his appointment “It’s not rocket science,” said Piñon. “We’re going to turn it all around.”

Board President Hawkins said that Piñon’s hiring was directly tied to his appointment as board president and the district’s “renewed, collective commitment to ratepayers.

All matters regarding employment have been taken off GM Clarence Mansfield’s plate and the recommendations from Piñon will fall to the 2 member committie of President Hawkins and Vice President Crowther. The hiring of additional staff isn’t over as Mr. Piñon has already stated that Legal Counsel and an additional HR firm will need to be hired to fix what is broken. Another very expense and time consuming item on Mr. Piñon’s agenda is a comp and class study to look at pay and wages.

Now we don’t know Mr Piñon and we hope he can accomplish everything he said he can, but knowing the track record of West Valley water over the last 8-10 years this just looks like more of the same and more wasted money being spent!

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Former Officer Glen Anderson Gets Case Heard On Appeal

On November 6th former officer Glen Anderson took his lawsuit over wrongful termination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Officer Glen Anderson’s case was dismissed on summary judgement and his legal team is seeking an appeal of that ruling to send his case before a jury.

Officer Anderson’s attorney does his best to nail down that the career of Officer Anderson was ended because the text he sent to James Freeman was then forwarded to Councilman Ed Scott. He works to show that all of the other cases leveled at Officer Anderson were because they could not legally fire Officer Anderson over the text messages alone.

The attorney for the City of Rialto claim that the claim that Officer Anderson was fired over a text message was false. The attorney for the city of Rialto states that nobody fired officer Anderson over Free Speech issues.

The text in question was sent to Political Consultant James Freeman who then in error sent that text message to Councilman Ed Scott. Once Councilman Ed Scott found out that Officer Glen Anderson was texting out the council he became irate. When speaking to Councilman O’Connell and former Councilman Ed Palmer at the time of the investigations there was a clear message that Officer Anderson needed to be dealt with over that text message.

We found the words of the Attorney for the city of Rialto puzzling because he claims that neither the Chief or Mike Story the City Manager had any knowledge of the K9 yard or its construction. The K9 yard was well known throughout the department and the community. The only way Chief Farrar or Deanda could claim not knowing about the K9 yard would be because they are lying or ignorant! City Administrator Mike Story sent years back where the K9 yard used to be located as he was on a mission to build Councilman Joe Baca Jr the 2nd most expensive park in the city Bud Bender park.

No matter if the 9th circuit allows this case go to a jury the people of Rialto should question the leadership of city hall and of the police department. Even no the current leadership of the police department allow people who broke more rules and laws continue to work and hold high ranking jobs within the Rialto Police Department still. The only difference between Glen Anderson and other officers is that the other officers protect Ed Scott and don’t hold him accountable. Remember this all started with a text message sent to Councilman Ed Scott!

Meet Channing Hawkins A Candidate for West Valley Water District

Well Rialto it is that time again time to VOTE! Now we all thought we had a break from this since everyone keeps talking about 2020 and the big presidential race. Sorry some agencies out there still run their elections on off years.

Today we come to you with one of our Q&A segments on someone looking for your vote. This election is for West Valley Water District and its boundaries are all over the place landing in both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Channing Hawkins is running for seat #4 which covers the communities of Fontana and Rialto.

This Q&A is simply a way for you to learn something you may not know about candidates seeking your vote. No matter who you choose please get out and cast your vote.

  1. Why do you feel qualified to sit on the West Valley Water Board?

In regard to my background, I am a graduate of Howard University
undergraduate school and Law School. While in law school I learned about public
policy and the law-making process. I have worked for a local Congressman and
Assemblymember, where I focused on constituent services and local
government. My first encounter with our local water issues began in 2005, when I
worked with federal and state agencies to help remediate the perchlorate
problem in our local water system. Since then, I have worked largely as an
advocate for civil rights, particularly for seniors and other vulnerable populations.
In my current job, I monitor county, city and water district budgets. I strategize on
long- term planning and negotiate contractual agreements on behalf of their
workforce. Therefore, I am familiar with budgeting, operations and long-term
planning in public agencies like West Valley Water District. I understand the need
of competent and forward-thinking leaders in government, who are willing to
learn and adapt to the challenges faced in delivering a quality public resource. I
am also experienced in addressing and adapting to technological changes.

  1. Are you aware of the boards changes to the open meeting laws over the last few years? How do you feel about those changes?

Unfortunately, West Valley does not operate in a manner that allows for input
from its ratepayers. Water is our most critical public resource and I am dedicated
to ensuring the affordability, safety and reliability of our local water system.
However, the biggest issue facing West Valley Water District is corruption,
unnecessary lawsuits and kickback schemes. I have spoken with a number of
rate payers who believe enough is enough. Ratepayers know they are not
receiving the quality of water or service they deserve. If elected, I plan to make
West Valley Water District more transparent, accountable and provide local
employment opportunities.

  1. What is your purpose for running for West Valley Water Board?

I am a Rialto resident who has a family that is served by West Valley Water
District. My kids literally brush their teeth and bathe in the water daily. My
concern for our district starts with my family and other families like mine, who rely
on the water to be safe, affordable and reliable.

  1. What is your political party affiliation?

This is a nonpartisan election. I will work with Republicans, Democrats, decline to
state, or anyone other party affiliation, as long as they are committed to
affordable, reliable and sustainable water.

  1. Have you taken any monetary or non-monetary support from large interest groups like unions or environmental groups? If not have you seeked out money or support and been denied?

The average donation for my campaign has been just over $75.00. Most of my
support has been from small business owners, attorneys, sole proprietors and a
few labor organizations.  I have not accepted any  money from current West
Valley Board Members or consultants.

  1. Are you being funded or supported by any current West Valley Water Board Members?

No. Unlike my opponent, who has received over 95% of his support from current
board members or consultants. I have refused endorsement or support from any
of the current board members.

  1. What is your take on the corruption rumors floating around for the last 8 years?

West Valley Water District ratepayers know that we deserve better. It is time to
put an end to the corruption, unnecessary lawsuits, financial mismanagement,
and shady hiring practices.  It is ridiculous that they spend over nearly $130
million a year with little to show for it. If elected, I plan to make the West Valley
more transparent, accountable and provide local employment opportunities.

  1. Can you promise no new rate increases?

I will not raise rates. I believe all budget matters should have hearing in local
community’s local communities, so ratepayers can have input on the budget and
help to set priorities for the district

  1. Do you support working to create a live broadcast of Board meetings and using a system to archive recorded meetings? Why?

Yes. My two biggest concerns regarding West Valley Water District are transparency and
accountability.  By live streaming and televising the meetings ratepayers like you can
have access to the meetings. I believe we should have budget hearings in the local
communities, so ratepayers can have input on the budget and help to set priorities for
the district. I also believe we should have an email alert system, so ratepayers like you
know when there is an issue with our system. I also believe in accountability at West
Valley Water District. We need to implement fair and open hiring practices, create new

financial controls and change board policy regarding contracting.  There has been zero
action by any of the board members to make West Valley more transparent or
accountable.

  1. Do you support creating rules that bar board members from using West Valley staff and Water District marking materials in future election advertising?

Absolutely.

  1. Any words you would like the Rialto Now readers to know about you?

Ratepayers are tired of the corruption and mismanagement at West Valley Water
District. We can't expect different results with any of the current
board members. Ratepayers need someone who will clean up the mess. The
power is in your hands to make a change at West Valley this November
5th. Vote Channing Hawkins for change.

I encourage any ratepayer to call me at directly at (909) 265-4418 or email channinghawkins2019@gmail.com. For more information www.channinghawkins.com.

Rialto Officers Widow Say Lip Service Isn’t Going To Pay The Bills

The widow of fallen officer Sergio Carrera appears to be having issues getting paid from her husbands death back in 2007. Louise reached out to our staff with angst and frustration over her workman’s comp payments being short, wrong or lost in the mail altogether. Louise says that this has been an ongoing issue for years.

Our city council and city leadership are quick to jump on their soap box and tout that they care about and want to make sure that the families of our fallen officers are taken care of. Sadly this is just lip service it appears because time and time again we hear stories that those families feel tossed aside and not cared for.

In the case of Louise Carrera and her two kids these wrong checks and missing checks are more devastating than most would think. Could you imagine having to borrow money to pay for utilities or being late on your house payment just because the city can’t seem to get your money to you? Rialto touts how 21st Century the city has become yet instead of allowing people like Louise Carrera to have their money put into their bank account via direct deposit, that option isn’t available leaving more opportunities for errors.

Louise said that she has grown tired of the firm the city has hired to process her payments. “Both the city and LWP seem to care less what happens to me and my kids and it is sad” Louise Carrera.

So it seems that the next time a council member or a ranking member of the city leadership claims to care about our staff and their families we can point back to this situation and say, What about Louise Carrera?

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State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Comes To Rialto

On Friday April 12th Rialto had the honor and pleasure to host State Superintendent Tony Thurmond as he formally received and recognized the Green Ribbon School winners from Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. The event took place at Morris Elementary School, with site visits to Milor High School, which showcase the amazing efforts taking place at both schools that promote environmental literacy: environmental impact, wellness, and sustainability.

Additionally, Rialto USD has also been nominated to compete in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition program, which honors schools and districts that conserve resources while promoting health and environmental literacy. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond came in and spent extra time before he sat down shaking hands and acknowledging the students in attendance at the event. Mr. Thurmond even asked his former colleague Eloise Reyes to join him at the podium for a moment as he thanked her for her dedication and service.

After the formal event that recognized Twenty-Four different schools and school districts Mr. Thurmond took a tour of Morris Elementary and Milor High Schools. At Morris Elementary he looked out at a butterfly garden and enjoyed the school’s outdoor classroom and garden area that he wanted to stop and enjoy a meal right then and there. Mr. Thurmond spoke to every child he came across and never took himself too seriously making jokes laughing and enjoying the schools garden.

At Milor High School Mr. Thurmond said he didn’t want to keep the students waiting with photos and walked right over to the students. Mr. Thurmond asked Desiree Ramos, George Falcon and Arianna Ordonez their names and what they wanted to do after high school. Then Mr. Thurmond asked something that threw the students at first “What can we do to support you?” He told them don’t answer now but think about it and handed them his card. Next the students showcased the serenity room a place where students can care for their mental needs. The room offered different areas for groups and individual counseling plus Thrive Thursdays where the students could do yoga. The room was so amazing that School Board President Edgar Montes asked if the School Board could use the room.

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