County creates energy bonds program
The county has announced an energy bonds program to assist homeowners in unincorporated communities, which includes parts of the foothill community, in upgrading the energy efficiency in their homes.
The program could provide up to $100 million in bond money to retrofit homes for water and power upgrades.
The plan is to provide funding for some 15,000 homes for solar retrofit, upgrade of doors and windows and water improvements among other projects. The loans would be secured with bonding to be paid back by present and future homeowners.
The program, known as Los Angeles County Energy Program, could be made available to cities such as Glendale if the demand is there.
County officials estimate some 2000 jobs might be created.

Satellites urged for fire detection
Supervisor Mike Antonovich joined colleague Zev Yaroslavsky in calling for the federal government to use satellites to detect wildfires like the Station Fire, which devastated the foothills.
Commission chair Al Leiga presented the report from the county’s Quality and Productivity Commission.
The Commission found there are options available for early detection of fires and opportunities for pilot tests in Los Angeles County including surveillance satellite and ground-based sensor technology systems. To improve firefighting capability, updated helicopter avionics technology and an automated vehicle locator system are available options for rapid fire suppression.
Lastly, a common set of rules of engagement for suppressing fires in the extended wildland urban interface is highly needed, according to the commissioners.
The report recommended the county partner with federal agencies in a pilot program to evaluate the ability of the Advanced Hazard Support System employing satellites for early detection and location of wildland fires; order the Los Angeles County Fire Department to carry out a field test of ground-based visual surveillance cameras and infrared detection sensors to identify suitable technology that meets geographic and operational needs; charge the Los Angeles County Fire Department to evaluate improved avionics and Automated Vehicle Locator system for improved rapid suppression of fires; create a task force consisting of all fire agencies in Los Angeles county to agree on one common set of rules of engagement for suppressing fires in the extended wildland urban interface.
The Antonovich motion called for a five signature letter to be sent to county fire departments and federal officials.

Scouts to camp
The Verdugo Hills Council of the Boy Scouts of America has scheduled an overnight camp on June 11 and 12 at Crescenta Valley Park. The county has agreed to reduce the rental fee to $150, excluding staff cost and deposit, on a motion by Supervisor Mike Antonovich.

By Charles Cooper