Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No Update on Canyon Crest

I received about eight responses through the blog and email regarding the sheriff activity on Canyon Crest this past Monday, but no one knew the circumstances. Still checking with neighbors.

The Bear, The Bear, The Bear is Back

We've had numerous sightings of our favorite bear on El Prieto, Sunmore and Risinghill. He/she has returned to the routine of coming out on trash night to rummage through the garbage cans. (We must all be good cooks!)

Do whatever you can to secure the cans or place them out in the morning of your scheduled trash pick-up.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Anyone Know What Happened?

Just heard from a neighbor that there were 8-12 Sheriff cars on Cloverhill and Canyon Crest (north of Cloverhill) at about 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. today. The neighbor said that the Sheriffs were all over the street and on the roofs of the houses.

Anyone know anything about it?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

County Seeks to Strengthen Jessica's Law

County seeks to strengthen Jessica's Law
By Troy Anderson, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/04/2008 11:03:03 PM PST

The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday called for tougher local restrictions on where the state can place released sex offenders.

The supervisors directed the County Counsel's Office to review Jessica's Law, or Proposition 83, to determine options local government have to restrict the housing of sex offenders in neighborhoods.

"Right now, the state has the authority to place them basically anywhere and, as a result of a great outcry in the Altadena community ... we were able to mobilize the community, and the state has now removed the sexual predators from that neighborhood," Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said.

"But we want to ensure there is no neighborhood in this county or state where sexual predators are allowed to roam and create a danger and threat to young people."
The vote follows a community effort late last month that led state officials to remove six sex offenders placed in an Altadena neighborhood.

Earlier in the month, a judge denied a request by a twice-convicted child molester from Santa Barbara to move to the county, possibly the Antelope Valley.

Those actions followed revelations late last year that about 660 convicted sex offenders were wandering free in California, not wearing the monitoring devices that Jessica's Law requires.
State corrections officials say they removed the satellite tracking devices from the sex offenders who had completed their parole, regardless of the lifetime monitoring requirement.

They argued that the law was too vague and wasn't clear on which authorities - state or local - would be responsible for monitoring them.

"The issue of finding sex offenders housing is one that is complex," California Department of Corrections spokesman Seth Unger said. "And at the state level, the Sex Offender Management Board is actively looking at this issue and making recommendations."

Jessica's Law, co-authored by Lancaster Republican husband-and-wife state legislators Sen. George Runner and Assemblywoman Sharon Runner and passed by voters in 2006, cracks down on sex offenders and sets distances they must live away from schools and parks.

The law includes a provision that authorizes local governments to include additional restricted sites they deem appropriate.

Last month, the city of Long Beach directed its city attorney to draft an ordinance restricting residency requirements of sex offenders in relation to licensed child-care facilities.
The city is also researching the possibility of limiting the number of sex offenders living in the same apartment complex.

The County Counsel's Office is expected to draft a legal analysis for the supervisors, exploring specific restrictions on where sex offenders can live, how they are monitored and an overview of group homes and licensing requirements.

The office will then make recommendations that may include a proposed ordinance similar to the one in Long Beach, along with other steps the county can take.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Brush Clearing to Begin

I know, we've said it before, but this time it's actually going to happen!

The Meadows FireSafe Council received a significant portion of the grant funds from the California FireSafe Council. We will contract vendors to begin brush clearance in mid-April in two of the sections at the top of Risinghill Road. We've asked for the remaining funds which we are assured will be delivered. With those funds, we'll continue the brush clearance behind homes on Risinghill and above homes at the top of Canyon Crest and will start the removal of trees on individual properties.

Even though the delay in receiving the funds has been frustrating, the timing may be to our benefit as the recent rains will cause more grasses to appear this month and next. Performing the brush clearance in April will take care of those new growths.

News Article About Meadows Victory

Six Sex Offenders to be Moved out of Altadena Group Home
"I was shocked and appalled to learn of their placement," assemblymember Anthony Portantino said
Thursday, February 28, 2008 3:57 pm
The California Department of Parole intends to relocate six, paroled sex offenders living in a group home in Altadena in the next few days, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino said Thursday in a release.
"I am pleased to report that after hearing the concerns of the community, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will be relocating the six convicted sex offenders immediately," Portantino said.
"As were many others, I was shocked and appalled to learn of their placement and I question whether state law was intended to house six convicted sex offenders under one roof," he added. "I want to thank the vigilance of those in the community in bringing this issue out into the open."
According to the Department of Parole, the six individuals will be relocated out of the residence by Monday, March 3, the release said.
After residents of the "Meadows," a small, secluded Altadena community, learned the six registered sex offenders were living together in the neighborhood, they held a community meeting Tuesday.
They sought answers from local officials as to how it happened, whether it was legal, and what they could do about it.
Julianne Hines, Portantino's district director, told the crowd of about 150 people she was told by the Department of Corrections that the residence was selected because, as far as the department knew, it was in compliance with state laws that determine where registered sex offenders can be placed.
The residence was advertised to the parole unit as a "New Beginnings" program that meets the requirements for a program that serves six or fewer people, she said.

Star News Article About Meadows Victory

Officials deem sex offenders' home unfit for neighborhood
By Elise Kleeman, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 02/28/2008 10:53:41 PM PST

Read more from the Crime Scene blog
ALTADENA - Following an outpouring of community outrage, six high-risk sex offenders installed this month at a home in an isolated Altadena neighborhood will be relocated by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, officials announced Thursday.
By Monday, all of the men will be moved from the single-family home on Risinghill Road, said representatives for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich and state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, who worked together to bring about the change.
"Placing one next door to a family with young children would be irresponsible," Antonovich said. "You don't give an arsonist matches and then place them on parole."
Residents of the quiet corner of northwest Altadena known as The Meadows decried the parolees' placement in their community, citing the neighborhood's large number of young children, lack of street lighting or bus service and proximity to parks, hiking trails and a school.
"The community is relieved beyond belief, or we certainly will be by Monday," said Dennis Bridwell, who lives four houses away from the residence.
Four of the men were convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a child younger than 14, including one man who used force and another who sodomized his victim. The others were found guilty of rape by force or fear, with one also convicted of sexual battery. The men ranged in age from 28 to 56.
A representative for the operator of the group home, New Beginnings Sober Living, did not return several requests for comment Thursday.
Roy Cheney, spokesman for the Department of Corrections, did not know Thursday afternoon where the men would be relocated.
Finding housing for sex offenders, he said, "is like trying to push a 18-wheeler up a hill with a rope."
"Some things perhaps weren't taken into consideration when the laws were made," he said.
California's Proposition 83, the state's version of Jessica's Law, bars high-risk sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or half a mile of a school.
Despite some neighbors' contention that the group home violated the law because of its proximity to Hahamongna Watershed Park and the Angeles National Forest, "the house was very compliant," Cheney said.
The men were moved, he said, because their present location "wasn't in the best interest of everyone." He was unable to specify which aspects of the location made it unsuitable.
"We're grateful, we're thrilled," said Meadows resident Jane Scabo. "I feel personally just a tad guilty that they're going to be in someone else's neighborhood. It doesn't resolve the bigger problem of where do these people go."
Portantino said he was "pleased that the parole department rectified the situation and moved these folks out."
"In that way, this worked. But that doesn't mean we can't look at these situations to improve them," he added.
Thursday, Antonovich advocated moving high-risk sex offenders outside any neighborhood with children.
He said he would direct county lawyers at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors' meeting to determine if Jessica's Law will authorize local governments to further restrict the housing of sex offenders in neighborhoods.
"They committed a crime, they were convicted for molestation, and the neighborhood does not have have the responsibility to provide housing for them for the rest of their life," said Antonovich.
(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451

February Rain Stats

Here are the stats for rainfall during February here at the 1650' level in The Meadows. This is provided by our neighbor, Ray, who is quickly becoming our local meteorologist!

2007-2008 2.00 23.30
2006-2007 3.30 5.70
2005-2006 3.85 9.45
2004-2005 16.30 58.00