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Support Sought For Local Stormwater Projects
Our local groundwater supplies are critically important to the communities of La Cañada Flintridge, Altadena and Pasadena. On average, they comprise about half of our drinking water and usually are the cheapest source of supply. The current drought has impacted these groundwater levels and they are at historic lows. Three retail utilities in our local communities have lost most or all of their groundwater well supplies. To solve this problem we need to capture more stormwater in the winter to replenish our local groundwater aquifers. Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Works (Public Works) is currently planning two important projects in the Arroyo Seco Watershed that will directly and indirectly benefit the capture and reuse of stormwater flows. We urge the residents of our local communities to support Public Works in the timely implementation of both projects.

Stormwater in the Arroyo Seco Watershed is the primary source to replenish the basin. Currently, some stormwater can be spread into percolation ponds specifically designed to replenish the Raymond Basin aquifer. These ponds, located on the eastern edge of Hahamongna Park, are owned and maintained by the City of Pasadena. The majority of stormwater during normal and above normal rainfall years, however, is not percolated into the local aquifer. Once the water goes beyond these ponds, it can no longer be captured for use. It flows from Devils Gate Dam down the Arroyo into the L.A. River and then to the Pacific Ocean. Recently, Public Works held public meetings to discuss the Devil’s Gate to Eaton Water Conservation Project. The project plans to conserve the excess stormwater that would otherwise be released to the ocean by conveying some flows captured behind Devil’s Gate Dam to the Eaton Wash area through a pipeline. The project also outlines the possible construction of a facility that could pump excess stormwater back up to the higher-elevation spreading ponds in the Arroyo. Details concerning construction of this pump-back facility and appropriate cost-sharing require further vetting.

The addition of such a facility is of critical importance in retaining local water resources within the Monk Hill Sub-basin that serves the City of Pasadena and many of our local water providers. Coordination and cooperation of the City and local providers will be necessary to recondition those areas within the Arroyo that have historically been used for local water recharge. An ongoing commitment to operate and maintain those spreading areas will be necessary if we are to maximize conservation of our local water supplies.

Additionally, drastic changes since the Station Fire due to an influx of debris flows, hampers the ability of stormwater percolation in the Raymond Basin. Public Works seeks to remove a vast majority of accumulated sediment within the watershed through its Devil’s Gate Reservoir Sediment Removal and Management Project. The primary objective of the project is to maintain flood control capacity and safety. However, the removal of sediment will also provide a secondary essential benefit. It will allow recharge behind the dam increasing groundwater levels and water supply reliability in the area. Public Works has also committed to habitat protection and restoration with this project. Thus, the project will achieve co-equal goals of flood control and conservation and habitat restoration.

We all need to support these stormwater capture projects in our local watersheds for the integrated benefits they provide, especially concerning stormwater capture. We invite our residents to support Public Works for their vision and leadership in creative approaches to protecting our homes from flood and conserving more stormwater, our primary source of drinking water.
Nina Jazmadarian, General Manager
Foothill Municipal Water District
Doug Caister, General Manager
La Cañada Irrigation District
William Kimberling, General Manager
Las Flores Water Company
Robert Hayward, General Manager
Lincoln Avenue Water Company
Lisa Yamashita-Lopez, General Manager
Rubio Cañon Land & Water Association
Bob Fan, General Manager
Valley Water Company
Mel Matthews, General Manager
Kinneloa Irrigation District
Tim Flynn, General Manager
Mesa Crest Water Company

Two Political Conventions and a Dodger Game
After watching both national political conventions last month, I’m very concerned about the future of my country. Both conventions started off with deep divisions in their respective parties. The Republicans treated Ted Cruz and the Conservative wing of the GOP with disdain and disrespect. The Democrats treated Bernie Sanders and the Socialist wing of their party with deceit and disrespect. Both candidates tried to paper over the schisms in their parties with flowery rhetoric instead of compromising to unify their parties.

When given the traditional opportunity to lift America up with their vision of a positive future, both candidates chose instead to use their acceptance speeches to demonize each other in the most personal and disgusting terms. Both candidates made it plain that when necessary they would ignore the Constitution.

By the end of their respective conventions, it was clear that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump will run campaigns based on the politics of personal attacks and destruction instead of debating their plans for jobs, national defense, immigration and public safety.

On the other hand, when I tuned in to the Dodger game Friday night, I was pleasantly reminded of what it takes to unite America. The Dodgers got off to an early lead and the Diamondbacks rallied to take the lead in the seventh inning. Then the Dodger hitters came alive and their relief pitchers closed out the game – 17 Dodgers, working together, combining their hitting, pitching, and fielding skills to secure a team victory. The Dodgers demonstrated that it takes the power of people, with a wide range of skills and abilities, working together to achieve a common goal.

Where is the candidate who will unify us as a nation, using the skills and abilities “We the People” have to get our exceptional country back on track?
Lynn McGinnis

Why I Am A Republican
Friends, family, colleagues, classmates and professors (especially professors) all ask me why I am a Republican. To them the current representations of the Republicans seem out of sync with my convictions, but to me there is a very simple answer. The Republican Party was literally created as the anti-slavery party. Former Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens was considered a Radical Republican – which at the time meant he was a Republican who supported the abolition of slavery and African-Americans’ rights to vote and own property.  Today, many Republican Party leaders have been subverted from this egalitarian mission to one that supports racism, harbors hatred towards gays, hatred towards women – pretty much hatred against anyone who is not a white Anglo Christian.

The Republican Party today still stands by the principles of freedom, liberty and justice. The Republican Party today has been co-opted by individuals that have inspired hate, racism, xenophobism and radicalism. Because of these people, the average non-Republican would likely assume that every Republican is a right-wing racist. Would anyone consider Los Angeles County Supervisor and California State Senate candidate Michael D. Antonovich a radical right-wing racist?  With the amount of time, commitment, sacrifice and dedication he has selflessly put toward all the different ethnic communities in the entire County, he should be considered nothing less than a saint. People like him and the beliefs they have fought for are the reasons why I am a Republican. I urge my fellow Americans to look past the divisive rhetoric and remember the original tenets of the Republican Party. Look at the Republican candidates who are running for office, their histories, their records, and their goals. Let’s remember those loftier goals of the Republican Party, that we are all Americans and that we all want what is best for this country.
Alexander Keledjian
La Cañada
Disclaimer: I  currently am an aide to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. In addition, I am a member of the Platform Committee of the California Republican Party and the Central Committee for the Los Angeles County Republican Party. This letter reflects my thoughts as an individual and not in my capacity neither with the Supervisor nor in my capacity as a Republican Party official.

2016 Will Be One Second Longer  Than Expected
People are always praying for more time, more vacation time, more time to finish tests, more time for fishing, or – who knows – more time for Gishwes scavenger hunts, or for writing that great American children’s novel, “Swashbunnies.” This Dec. 31, scientists tracking our days and years will add a “leap second” to make the day and year line up correctly, which is about all science can do to add more time to our day.

The real challenge isn’t to somehow acquire more time; the true challenge is to use what time we have more wisely. Thoreau was thinking of this when he wrote, “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” He’s not arguing against taking breaks, vacations or spending unstructured time with loved ones! On the contrary, the trick is to say “no” to tasks that are less vital.

How do I cope? Limiting my hours of television viewing, not taking on more work than I can do well (if I can’t do it well, it shouldn’t be on my to-do list), and trying to avoid getting distracted by the latest online outrages. I keep struggling to hold the line, and it never seems to get easier. But truly, the more effort I spend picking and choosing my battles, the more time I have for things that matter. And this New Year’s Eve, I’ll gladly spend that extra second with people I care about, folks who really matter to me.
Every second counts, they say.
David Carlson
St. Paul, Minnesota

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