Puente Hills Landfill Park plan is one of the most ambitious parks you’ve seen
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation presented a preferred plan for the county’s next regional park last week, an ambitious design featuring everything from a dog park and a bike BMX track to gondola rides and a three-story cafe.
A draft plan was released Nov. 10 for the $35-million Puente Hills Landfill Regional Park, which will be built atop a shuttered, 40-story garbage landfill that features skyline views of downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains.
Hillary Clinton returns to her mother’s San Gabriel Valley roots, seeks to appeal to Asian Americans
For Hillary Clinton, the San Gabriel Valley didn’t just provide a politically safe spot to launch her effort to attract Asian-American voters and donors, it also provided a link to her family’s past.
Her late mother went to high school in Alhambra, she told a crowd of hundreds of supporters Thursday afternoon at an event at the San Gabriel Hilton launching Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary.
After being “rejected” by their parents in Chicago, Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham, and her younger sister were put on a train by themselves to live with their grandparents in Alhambra. When that arrangement didn’t work out, Clinton’s mother, at the age of 14, began working as a maid in a nearby home.
Her employer soon realized how important school was to Rodham and allowed her to go to Alhambra High School if she finished her housework before and after class, Clinton told the crowd.
“When I think about this part of California, the first thing I think about is my mom, and how kind people were to her here when her own family was not,” she said.
“I know how important family is to all of you,” she continued. “That is how I see our country. I see us when we are at our best, as lifting up families, helping families be strong, helping families get the support they need to do the best they can for their children and for their parents.”
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek remembers when Kaiser Permanente first knocked on the Crown City’s doors.
It was the mid-1980s and Tornek, then the city’s planning director, was tasked with facilitating the development of the Oakland-based company’s new Southern California regional headquarters.
“The city manager really envisioned this was the evolution of a growing relationship and it’s proved to be true,” Tornek said Thursday after the health care giant announced Pasadena would be the location for its first medical school. “It’s a huge thing for Pasadena.”
The company expects to break ground on the new school, which will be built on land Kaiser already owns, in 2017 and to welcome its first class of students in fall 2019. The campus will be located in central Pasadena, adjacent to the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation at the corner of Los Robles Avenue and Green Street.
Kaiser Permanente executives said Pasadena’s proximity to affordable housing, public transit and major freeways, as well as other Kaiser facilities that will play an important role in students’ education, were the main factors in choosing the city. Pasadena’s diverse population also will reflect the communities the health care system aims to serve.
Kaiser Permanente's new medical school will be in Pasadena
Kaiser Permanente is moving forward with its ambitious plan to open a medical school that's more in tune with new technologies and local communities.
The Oakland-based healthcare provider said Thursday its institution will be located in Pasadena. And it talked about how it will try to attract a more diverse student body.
Kaiser said it chose central Pasadena because the site is close to major freeways, public transportation options and affordable housing. Kaiser is also well-established in the surrounding area, with 14 hospitals in Southern California and medical office complexes in Pasadena and Glendale. The school will also be within several miles of facilities where students will be trained.
Monterey Park has become a hub for Chinese tourists, and with it hotel development
“Chinese immigrants continue to come in. The city has become very well known in China,” said Michael Huntley, the director of community and economic development in Monterey Park. “Visitors know that they will be able to find the traditional restaurants they like.”
Every year Chinese travelers spend on average $3,000 on trips to California, more than any other country’s visitors, according to the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.
Well aware of the flow of tourism, Chinese investors are bringing in brand-name hotels like Courtyard by Marriott and DoubleTree by Hilton to Monterey Park.
Set to open next year, the six-story Courtyard by Marriott is on Atlantic Boulevard and Hellman Avenue. The six-story DoubleTree has been granted land use approvals, but developers have yet to submit construction drawings for the city to review. If built, the 180-room hotel will be located at 220 N. Atlantic Blvd. The project will include spaces for restaurants and retail stores, meeting rooms, fitness center and business center.
Aside from the two hotels, Chinese investors are pouring money into the city’s Town Centre development, a mixed-use project building 109 condominiums above spaces for stores.
Second annual '710 Day' in Alhambra aims to 'Close the gap!'
Alhambra’s second annual “710 Day” — a city-sponsored “urban street jam” to promote extending the 710 Freeway — drew hundreds Thursday to Fremont Avenue between Mission Road and Valley Boulevard. Traffic was backed up along Valley and Fremont due to the street closures for the event, which featured carnival games, food trucks, a live band, and pro-710 speeches from representatives from Alhambra, Monterey Park, and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
City leadership backs a proposed 4.5-mile tunnel extending the 710 Freeway in Alhambra to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena. Alhambra officials argue the tunnel would ease traffic by taking thousands of cars off of Fremont.
"This is a neighborhood street, it shouldn't be treated like a freeway," said Alhambra Councilman Steven Placido, addressing the number of cars that exit the 710 and take Fremont to the 210.
Westfield Santa Anita debuts new ‘Food Alley’ to highlight local SGV flavors
When asked if the Food Alley is the mall’s Asian food court, Westfield Santa Anita marketing manager Debbie Oung said that isn’t the case, despite all of the eateries having Asian or Asian-American influences.
“This mall is at the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, which is huge in the food movement,” Oung said. “People recognize the importance of food here, so we know there’s demand for something like this.”
For Glenn Inanaga, vice president of legal at Panda Restaurant Group, the confluence of Asian flavors in the Food Alley is beneficial. Panda Restaurant Group partnered with Uncle Tetsu’s to bring the brand — with 70 locations worldwide — to the United States.
“There’s very good synergy between the restaurants here,” Inanaga said. “We jumped at the chance to help showcase great Asian-inspired brands here.”
Lee agreed, saying he hopes to benefit from having all of his restaurants there in close proximity and having them next to different Asian-inspired concepts.
$55-Million Facility Completed at East L.A. College
East Los Angeles College (ELAC) has completed work on a $55-million expansion of its campus in Monterey Park.
The Arts and Humanities Building, designed by the architecture and engineering firm HGA, consists of a five-story structure featuring classrooms, offices, and language learning labs. It is divided into two separate wings by an open-air courtyard which also serves as a main entrance and vertical circulation point.
City of industry >> A newly formed water and power company managed by a San Diego housing developer is negotiating behind the scenes with the City of Industry on the future of 2,500 acres of undeveloped rolling hills near the borders of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
The business-centric City of Industry has been aggressively trying to regain control of the historic Tres Hermanos Ranch in Diamond Bar and Chino Hills, one of the largest remaining pieces of vacant private land in the region. The city lost access to the land during the demise of local redevelopment agencies five years ago.
Officials in the wealthy San Gabriel Valley city of about 200 residents claim they want to preserve the land for a public purpose. But the city’s unwillingness to elaborate on what that purpose would be has raised suspicions among local leaders and environmentalists that the property could be turned into housing tracts or a power-generating facility.
Industry’s City Council is negotiating “price and term of payment” for Tres Hermanos with a limited liability corporation formed roughly a year ago. The company, San Gabriel Valley Water and Power LLC, is managed by Ambient Communities, a San Diego-based residential and commercial developer, public records showed.
Ambient has built hundreds of homes in Temecula and San Luis Obispo in recent years, according to its website.
Conservationists with Save the Tres Hermanos Ranch have said they would support any plan that preserves most of the land for open space, but the inclusion of a housing developer has them concerned they’re being misled, according to Jim Gallagher, a member of the group.
Wade Hall, principal at Ambient and a project manager for San Gabriel Valley Water and Power, said housing is not part of the city’s plans for Tres Hermanos.
“Even though we’re housing and commercial guys, there’s no intention to do that,” said Wade Hall, a principal at Ambient and a project manager for San Gabriel Valley Water and Power. “The reason we’re managers of that entity is because we’re used to managing entitlement, large projects and large budgets and working with consultants and financing.”
He would not provide any details about what has been discussed, but added the name of the LLC “implies what thoughts are being considered.”