Monday, April 02, 2007

Weekly News Roundup: March 31 Edition

Better late than never!

City News

March 29, News Mirror, "Yucaipa to maintain Hillside Ordinance"

The City Council has voted to keep the city's Hillside Ordinance. A suggestion to increase the slope threshold at which the ordinance kicks in to 15% from 10% was shot down.
[Mayor Pro Tem] Drusys noted the ordinance has worked well and the only thing to look at are issues surrounding drainage ditches.

He also said he would not support any change in the 10 percent threshold and told McMains, “If you want to allow people to maximize their development potential that's fine. I won't support it.”

Three other council members, Riddell, Denise Hoyt and Bob Lampi agreed with Drusys that the 10 percent threshold should not be increased.

However, Council Member Tom Masner said he supported a threshold of at least 15 percent, if not higher, saying the ordinance was only meant to be applied to the Crafton Hills and hills in the eastern portion of the city, not the relatively flat interior portions of the city.
Masner argued it was unfair to take profits away from developers and "worried that creation of open spaces behind homes had the potential to increase crime" (Do most homeowners wish they had neighbors closely abutting their back yards so that there would always be someone to keep an eye on things? I suspect not.). A revised Ordinance that incorporates some exemptions will be reviewed in 30 days.

You can read the whole March 26 City Council meeting agenda and minutes (pdf).

March 29, News Mirror, "Crime rate in Yucaipa remains stable"

In 2006 aggravated assaults rose by 41% to 65, car thefts dropped by 27% to 133, and the total number of "Part I" crimes (homicide (4), rape (8), robbery (15), assaults (188), burglary (188) and theft) dropped 6%. However, the number of "Part II" crimes (vandalism, petty theft, drunk in public, possession of stolen property and similar crimes) rose 16%. If you factor in the population increase, the per capita rate only rose about 1%. Traffic citations and accidents are up significantly. Overall, however, it's heartening that the serious Part I crimes are not keeping pace with the population.

March 25, Press-Enterprise, "Dry weather had farmers worried about profits" (with podcast)

Inland Empire farmers are worried that record low rainfall will mean a loss of crops and profits.
In Oak Glen, that means watering two months earlier than normal. Avocado and grape growers in the Temecula area are watering more often and concerned the fall grape harvest may be lighter than normal. Wheat farmers throughout Riverside County, who rely strictly on rainfall and don't irrigate, are predicting losses up to $1 million.
The lack of rainfall compounds the fact that this is a drier non-El Niño year. Unless we have uncharacteristically high rain fall in April and May, this is very bad news.

Yucaipans in the News

March 30, San Bernardino Sun, "Yucaipa student wins home economics competition"

Yucaipa High School student Annette Alcala qualified for the state FHA-HERO (Home Economic Related Occupations) competition by sewing a skirt within 90 minutes at a recent contest at Eisenhower High.
Currently, there are 15 students enrolled in the FHA-HERO at Yucaipa High. The students meet every other week and decide what project to work on.

There are more than 20 categories within the FHA-HERO. A few of the categories are fashion design, interior design, child development, prepared speech, and job application interview.

Once a year, the students compete on the region level and those who are qualified will go on to compete in the state competition that is held in Fresno. This year, the event will take place April 28 through May 1, Farris said.
This year, another Yucaipa High FHA-HERO student, Carly Olsen, was elected as Region 10 secretary.

March 30, San Bernardino Sun, "Yucaipa teen gets his long-awaited wish granted

17-year-old Travis Sherman has been living with leukemia for three years. Last week, the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Orange County and the Inland Empire granted his wish by giving him a restored '67 Chevy Chevelle.
"Well, I think it's a great organization and he's happy about getting the car and the Southern California Chevelle Camino Club made him a lifetime member and they did a lot of calling around to get different sponsors to donate parts for the car," said Travis' mother, Vickie. "For people to take on something like this and they've never even met him, I think they really done a good job and we appreciate everything they've done and the Make-a-Wish Foundation."
For more details (and photo), see the News Mirror article, "Dreams do come true, ask Travis"

March 31, Press-Enterprise, "Yucaipa man in lawsuit over Wells Fargo fees(with podcast)
A Yucaipa college student could become the point man in a national class-action lawsuit after stumbling into what his attorney calls a "hidden profit center" in 2002 when he applied for a Wells Fargo credit card, according to a federal lawsuit filed last year.
Former Crafton Hills College student Joshua Endres signed up for a Wells Fargo "College Visa Credit Card account" with overdraft protection and connected checking account little knowing that the bank collected $10 a day for being so much as a penny overdrawn. Endres is represented by Redlands firm Welebir & McCune in a class-action lawsuit against Wells Fargo.

The blog Overlawyered, is totally unsympathetic (and has some legal concerns).

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