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Water issues and local elections

Posted by on Oct 21st, 2010 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By Mike LAWLER

On Saturday, I organized a tour of the Crescenta Valley Water District’s facilities for members of the Historical Society. I’ve done the tour before, but it always amazes me how much work is done for the sake of clean water. Since much of our water comes from wells on the lower side of our valley along the Verdugos, a hell of a lot of energy and resources go into pumping it up the hill to all the homes up-valley. Powerful pumps and high-pressure pipes are a big part of the infrastructure locally that other water companies don’t have to deal with.

We’re lucky here in CV that we can still get about half of our water out of the ground. We haven’t polluted it to undrinkable levels, or drawn it down so far that we can’t get at it anymore. Our local water, although it comes with huge engineering nightmares of treatment, storage, and fighting gravity, costs a fraction of the price of imported water. The pipelines from the Colorado River, Owens Valley and the Sacramento Delta are quite literally drying up. The cost of that water is spiraling out of control as the sources we once deemed inexhaustible have finally been exhausted.

One of the most interesting things we saw on the tour was how much damage to CVWD facilities occurred from the Station Fire and the resulting floods. We got to see a lot of charred, twisted and sometimes broken water pipe running across gullies exposed by the floods, and a lot of CVWD access roads that were washed away. All these repairs will be borne by us ratepayers.

Our water rates will be going up soon and there will be a lot grumbling. I urge you to get involved if you’re upset with the system. The CVWD board meetings are open to the public, and tours like I arranged can be facilitated. Don’t just complain — educate yourself on where your money is going and how the system works.

That brings me to another subject I’m passionate about and that is local government. For those of us that live in the County portion of CV (basically east of Pennsylvania), the Crescenta Valley Town Council is our local government. Officially, it is a conduit, for community concerns, up to Supervisor Antonovich. Unofficially, though, it is much, much more. The Council’s got their fingers in everything from traffic, schools, crime, building codes, and parks — all are driven by the CVTC. Our new library, street lights, bike lanes on Foothill, better development standards, the upcoming dog park are all issues that were handled by them. Sadly, they work silently and without fanfare. Few of us know of their existence, and fewer bother to vote or attend meetings. That has been a huge mistake, as they are critical to our future!

The Town Council elections are coming up on Saturday, November 6th, and this promises to be one of the most dynamic races we’ve ever had. Some of the highlighted candidates on the ballot include a couple of lawyers. One of them, Odalis Suarez, was a critical player in fighting down the Oakmont V development a few years ago. Also running is a twenty-something college student, Charley Shelton, who has been involved in local youth issues. Perhaps most interesting of all is Dr. Suh, a dynamic ball of energy, who promises to awaken and energize the Korean-American community.

Coming up are two candidate forums where you can hear the candidate’s views. Thursday, Oct 21st, is the Town Council’s forum held at 7:00 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library. On Wednesday, Oct. 27th, there will be another forum hosted by the CV Community Association, and moderated by yours truly. This one will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Dunsmore Park community room and will focus on development issues, as I’m hoping this year will mark a re-commitment by the Town Council to keeping an eye on local building.

Once you pick your choices, choose to make a difference and head over to the polling place at La Crescenta Library on Nov. 6th. Mark it on your calendar!

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