Thursday, November 3, 2011

Even the Teeps Can't Qwell Pol's Pet Pork Projects

Go to ( archives of the sadly moribund of late) & especially
and get the MASSIVELY SUCKING YOUR TAX DOLLARS to pay for a destructive and wildly hypocritical white-elephant unneeded project - WHILE THE WHITTIER NARROWS DAM ITSELF IS FALLING APART AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE ABOUT THAT - lowdown on what the 'Discovery Center' is all about - including the board's decision to head the project with a professional contractor whose proven record as dirty crony appointed politician includes another really expensive failure of another 'discovery center'.  Don't think the talk of private funding now includes returning the vast fortune you paid for or will better protect your public spaces.

And have you sadly noted how many things around your community are being 'renovated and improved' by old revenue-alloted decisions or new 'Stimulus' money that didn't need fixing, while the things that need fixing are still going unfixed?  Is the school or city hall or athletic field getting a cosmetic makeover while the cracks in the bridges are widening and the walkways are hedged with  filthy debris and broken glass?  Are the libraries and police services getting new gadget$ while laying off workers and cutting pensions and operating hours?

Cherchez les CRONIES! 

San Gabriel River Discovery Center sheds lawsuit, begins fundraising for Whittier Narrows center

By Steve Scauzillo, Staff Writer Posted: 10/28/2011 04:16:37 PM PDT
SOUTH EL MONTE - The San Gabriel River Discovery Center board last week settled a lawsuit brought by an opposition group, paving the way for a major fundraising campaign and possible construction of the nature center by late 2012.

By settling with the Friends of the Whittier Narrows Natural Area, the joint-powers board overseeing the proposed $22 million, 14,000-square-foot nature and water museum at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area was able to finalize the project's environmental impact report, according to the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority.

The opposition group agreed to drop an appeal of its lawsuit, which claimed the environmental report was insufficient. That petition was initially dismissed by a Superior Court judge in March. The Discovery Center Authority in turn agreed to waive recovery of about $10,142 in court costs, authority officials said.

The agreement did not change the environmental report or the plans for the project, said sources close to the project.

"One reason we decided not to pursue the suit was why spend more of our dollars when we don't think (the project) will go anywhere?" said Jim Odling, leader of the Friends group, which sent out a press release saying the project is "on its deathbed."

"There is public opposition to it, and they can't raise the money," Odling said Tuesday.

However, the authority board, made up of water and park officials, said the project is moving into a
new fundraising phase and is far from over.

The authority so far has $9.8 million for the project, but it still needs another $12 million before the education center can be built, said Jane Beesley, the interim executive officer of the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority..

"In order to move forward to the next step, it needs an infusion of cash," Beesley said.

The authority board last week transferred about $98,000 from its budget to a newly created San Gabriel River Discovery Center Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization as defined by the federal tax code, Beesley said.

The foundation then hired NPO Solutions, a Studio City-based consultant, to form a fundraising board and ramp up a massive campaign. The foundation is paying NPO $80,000, Beesley said. NPO Solutions lists several Pasadena-area clients on its website, including the Pasadena Symphony, Sequoyah School and Pacific Clinics.

The foundation will be soliciting cash from corporations, private foundations and individuals interested in education, water and environmental issues.

"They (the Friends group) may think they've killed the project. But the project is not dead. It will be moving forward," Beesley said Tuesday.

The project absorbed a huge blow this spring when the State Parks Department denied the authority's application for a $7 million grant.

Last year, the Gabrielino Band of Mission Indians came out in opposition to the project.

Opponents want to preserve the 2,000-square-foot nature center on the site, at 1000 N. Durfee Ave. They say the Discovery Center is too large, would destroy local habitat, and would become a monument to water districts and other governmental bureaucracies.

Odling's group took a new tack, asking the authority last week if it will agree to renovate the nature center.

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