SOUTH EL MONTE — new nature center starring the San Gabriel River is finally moving forward, with the biggest contribution so far now on the table. The San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy is expected Monday to approve $3 million in state water quality bonds for the long awaited San Gabriel River Discovery Center, which features a 16,000-square-foot “green’ building with an auditorium, classrooms and exhibits on river ecology. “We’re prepared to make that recommendation to the board for approval,’ said Belinda Faustinos, the conservancy’s director. The facility will be on the site of the Whittier Narrows Nature Center. The first phase of the project, including planning and schematic design, is about 65 percent complete. Actual construction on the building will probably not begin until at least 2008, because of the amount of time it will take to raise the rest of the money for the project and gather public input, Faustinos said. @Tagline columnist: Shirley Hsu can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The money comes from Proposition 50 bonds passed in 2002, of which the conservancy received $20 million, Faustinos said. The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District has chipped in $750,000, and the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County has contributed $100,000. The Central Basin Municipal Water District has authorized $100,000 but has committed more, Faustinos said. The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation has committed to funding the costs of complying with the California Environmental Quality Act. The project will cost $12 million to $15 million, Faustinos said. The building is designed to be energy and water efficient with a “green roof’ covered with plants to help with heating and cooling, natural air circulation, daylighting, gray water recycling and ultra low flush toilets. Native plants will surround the building, along with an outdoor classroom. The idea for the center was conceived of about five years ago, said Sam Pedroza, sanitation districts spokesman. “At that time, there was a lot of attention being paid to the river,’ he said.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week That’s why it’s so important for people to cast their votes today. Democracy only works so long as members of a society keep it going. Before you head out, check out www.lavote.net to find your polling place. Also note the summary of Daily News ballot endorsements below. DAILY NEWS SPECIAL ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS: Proposition 73: Parental notification for minors obtaining abortions: Yes Proposition 74: Teacher-tenure reform: Yes Proposition 75: Public-employee union dues: Yes Proposition 76: State budget stabilization: Yes Proposition 77: Revised political districts: Yes Proposition 78: Voluntary prescription-drug discounts: No Proposition 79: Mandatory prescription-drug discounts: No Proposition 80: Energy regulation: No LAUSD Measure Y: School bond: No 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Another November, another election. After weeks of abusive political television ads, mailers and radio diatribes, it’s tempting just to sit this “special election” out, particularly since you could get rained on. But folks who ignore this election will find that it could cost them in the end – in actual dollars. The school bond on the ballot, Measure Y, for instance, would increase property taxes by $27 per $100,000 of assessed value. For a $500,000 home – a bargain, these days – it would cost $135 extra per year. What could cause longer-lasting damage, however, are the state propositions. So many of them are about the fundamental way we do politics in California. The corrupt system has led to the increase of fees and taxes from every agency, making Californians among the most tax-burdened in the country. It’s time to jump-start the reform process, not keep arguing about the best way to do it.