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Dear Neighbors and Friends,
The California State Legislature has reconvened following the summer recess and we are now considering the remaining bills in each house before the end of the month. I would like to thank all the constituents who have contacted my office to voice their opinions and concerns regarding the multitude of bills before the California State Senate. Please continue to take the time to express how you feel about the bills being considered in Sacramento.
In this issue, I will be providing updates on important infrastructure projects occurring within the district. Many of these projects will be providing jobs and supporting commerce while protecting our vital environmental resources. Also included in this newsletter is information on the free tax seminar for non-profit and faith-based organizations I am hosting on August 10th and on an orientation for volunteer tax preparers for the VITA certification program on September 8th.
I hope that you will find this information useful. As always, please feel free to contact my district office if you ever have any questions or concerns at (619) 409-7690 in Chula Vista, at (760) 335-3442 in El Centro or at (760) 398-6442 in Indio.
Senator Vargas Awards Alejandro Escalera Citizen of the Month for his Years of Service in Chula Vista
Alejandro 'Alex' Escalera is currently the Manager of Funeraria Del Angel Humphrey in Chula Vista and has over 20 years of experience in the funeral industry. He graduated from Sweetwater High School in 1991 and has two Associates Degrees: one in Mortuary Science from Cypress College and the other in General Studies from Southwestern College. Alex has been an active civic leader in the South Bay throughout his life and continues to support the local community through his various volunteer efforts. In conjunction with his funeral service, Alex sponsors the annual "Pet Remembrance Celebration" for those that have lost a pet in the community and the annual "Holiday Remembrance Service" for those who have lost someone in the community. He also donates flowers to the Scripps Chula Vista Hospital Semi-Annual Memorial Service and the Chula Vista Garden Club; in addition to giving Valentine's Day cards to Birch Patrick convalescent home every year. This year marked the second annual BBQ he hosts for all City of Chula Vista employees to honor their public service.
As an active member of the Chula Vista Kiwanis (and the current President-elect), Alex volunteers at the annual Breakfast with Santa every year and chaired this year's Chula Vista Kiwanis event for the Special Olympics that took place at Point Loma Nazarene University. He is very involved in the local senior community and has sponsored dances at the Norman Park Senior Center and donated $1200 to the Woman's Wellness Center to help keep it running for the elderly population.
Senator Vargas launched the 40th District Citizen of the Month program to recognize individuals or organizations making a positive impact, through community service or business leadership, within the 40th District.
Free San Diego County Tax Seminar for Non-Profit, Faith-Based and Exempt Organizations
In Partnership With
August 10th, 2012
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Registration at 8:30 pm
Barrio Station Youth Theatre
2175 Newton Avenue
San Diego, CA 92113
Learn about financial planning and management for non-profit organizations and how to avoid activities that could jeopardize your tax exempt status.
- CA State Board of Equalization
- CA Franchise Tax Board
- The San Diego Foundation
- Cal CPA
This is a FREE event
Arrive early for convenient parking in Barrio Station's parking lot adjacent to the swimming pool.
Click here to RSVP
Free Volunteer Orientation for Income Tax Preparers
Senator Vargas is working in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service to provide a free 4 hour introduction to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Certification Program. Certified volunteers will help prepare income tax returns for low-to-moderate income families and individuals.
Topics will include:
- Orientation to the VITA program
- Introduction to Basic Tax Law
- How to become an IRS-certified VITA Volunteer Income Tax Preparer
Saturday, September 8, 2012
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Check-in beings at 8:30 am
Imperial County Department of Social Works|
2895 South Fourth Street, Conference Room A & B
El Centro, CA 92243
For more information, please contact Justine Tate at 760- 736-7349.
To RSVP, please contact 760-736-7418.
Chula Vista Bayfront Masterplan Heads to California Coastal Commission for Final Approval
On August 9th, the California Coast Commission (CCC) will hold a public hearing in Santa Cruz, California, where they will consider the Port Master Plan Amendment (PMPA) as submitted by the Port of San Diego, as well as recommend approval of the Chula Vista Local Coastal Program Amendment (LCPA) with modifications. These amendments enable the Port and City to implement the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan (CVBMP). The CCC staff has recommended approval and I have offered my own personal support to this worthy project that will provide an economic stimulus to the whole region.
What is the Chula Vista Bayfront Masterplan?
At 556 acres, the CVBMP transforms Chula Vista's underused industrial bayfront landscape into a thriving residential and world class waterfront resort destination. The CVBMP is the result of a decade-long joint planning effort by a broad coalition of local and regional stakeholders, including the Port of San Diego, the City of Chula Vista and Pacifica Companies. The Plan is the last significant waterfront development opportunity in Southern California.
The Plan was shaped through extensive participation from community members, a Citizens Advisory Committee and other stakeholders involved with environmental protection, wildlife preservation, land use, water quality, economic development, and resort and hotel development.
The project has been carefully designed to be economically sustainable and is projected to generate $1.3 billion during its first 20 years. Implementing the Plan will create more than 2,200 permanent jobs, nearly 7,000 construction jobs and numerous indirect jobs in the region.
The CVBMP brings much-needed hotels and a resort conference center to the waterfront and also offers a mix of 1,500 town homes and condominiums as well as 236 recreational vehicle spaces.
What are the public benefits?
When completed, more than 40 percent of the project area (230 acres) will be dedicated to parks, open space and habitat restoration/preservation; with 130 acres identified for parks and open space dedicated to public access and use. The visitor-serving amenities and mixed-uses will be clustered in the Harbor District to reduce any impact on environmentally sensitive areas.
The bayfront project also provides permanent protection of wildlife habitat and other coastal resources, as well as the preservation of the sensitive natural environment of the National Wildlife Refuge.
For more information, please visit: http://www.cvbayfront.com/ and http://www.portofsandiego.org/chula-vista-bayfront-master-plan/overview.html.
Demolition of South Bay Powerplant Underway
Since 1956, the South Bay Power Plant (SBPP) has been on the waterfront of Chula Vista. The SBPP is comprised of 150 acres of land and 242 acres of water. The Demolition and Remediation Project is a joint project between the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista. The plant was acquired by the Port from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in 1999 with the purpose of facilitating its removal from the bayfront. Dynegy South Bay, Inc., the current tenant of the power plant, began the decommissioning process on January 1, 2011. Dynegy South Bay, Inc. and the Port of San Diego signed an agreement in October 2011 to approach the demolition project as a two-step process, focusing on removing the above ground structures first. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was its first operator when the plant began generating power in 1960.
In June 2012, both the California Coastal Commission and the City of Chula Vista approved permits to begin the demolition of the South Bay Power Plant. The project is expected to generate about 20,000 tons of recyclable iron and steel and 1,000 tons of recyclable aluminum, copper and zinc. Other potential recyclable materials may include 3,400 tons of non-hazardous waste such as wood and plastic. Since the South Bay Power Plant is adjacent to sensitive natural habitats, implosion work must be conducted outside of the sea bird nesting season, which ends in mid-September and starts back up in April.
For more information, please visit: http://www.portofsandiego.org/south-bay-power-plant.html
State Route 905 Opens to the Public
State Route (SR) 905, a newly-built highway designed to accommodate the growing volume of trucks carrying goods between the United States and Mexico, opened to motorists on July 30. The new highway parallels Otay Mesa Road, a busy surface street that previously provided the only access to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. About 68,000 vehicles a day use Otay Mesa Road to reach the border crossing. The high percentage (16%) of trucks on Otay Mesa Road has compounded congestion and impeded border access.
East-west vehicle traffic across Otay Mesa and from the port of entry is forecast to increase significantly in the coming decades. More than 6,000 acres of land near the international border continue to be developed for commercial and industrial use.
SR 905 was built in several phases. Phase 1A, from Britannia Boulevard to Siempre Viva Road, opened to traffic in December 2010. Phase 2, which included improvements to the Interstate 805 (I-805)/SR 905 interchange, opened to traffic in February. This newest segment, Phase 1B, which extends from just east of I-805 to Britannia Boulevard, completes the connection from the port of entry to I-805.
City of Coachella Receives Community Development Block Grants For Sidewalk Projects
The City of Coachella has begun construction on 2,300 square feet of new sidewalks as part of its Community Development Block Grant sidewalk project. The new sidewalk installation will start in the Pueblo Viejo (Old Town) portion of Coachella near the intersection of Morgan Street and Valley Road, directly in front of Valley View Elementary School.
This project is complementary to the Coachella Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program which provides for a continuous system of safe, ADA-compliant accessible pathways that enhance pedestrian travel and circulation throughout the city. Since 2008, the City of Coachella has secured more than $2 million dollars in outside grant funding to complete more than 75 individual projects for pedestrians, with emphasis on SRTS principles to enhance the safety and wellness of students who can use the sidewalks every day to and from their schools.
About Safe Routes to School:
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are sustained efforts by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state, and federal governments to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school.
SRTS programs examine conditions around schools and conduct projects and activities that work to improve safety and accessibility, and reduce traffic and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. As a result, these programs help make bicycling and walking to school safer and more appealing transportation choices thus encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.
Small Business Contracting Opportunities with the State of California
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), in conjunction with the Department of General Services (DGS), invites Small Businesses (SB), Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE), and non-profit agencies to a workshop to learn how to do business with the State and local government agencies.
August 14th, 2012
12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility
Administration Building, Classroom 1
480 Alta Road
San Diego, CA 92179
At this workshop, you will:
- Be able to apply online for certification or have your paper application reviewed and accepted;
- Learn how to do Business with State Government and R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility; and
- Meet one-on one with representatives from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)/RJDCF, California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet), and Department of General Services.
There is no cost to participate. Please be advised that blue jeans are strictly prohibited. Free onsite parking.
To register for the event go to: www.CDCR.ca.gov/sbcw
For information on the State's certification programs and registration instructions, go to: www.dgs.ca.gov/pd/getcertified.
40th District Internship Opportunity
I am always accepting applications for the ongoing internship program with my office for college students interested in getting involved in the daily operations of state government. We are dedicated to working with interns to provide a "hands-on" learning opportunity. Each intern is assigned to work with Senate staff responsible for Senator Vargas' legislative or administrative operations. An intern's time is divided between substantive projects and support work (data entry, copying, mailroom duty and answering phones). There will be opportunities to be civically engaged with the day to day operations of District Office staff, community members and other decision makers.
Duties will vary based on an intern's skills, experience, and interests, but they will normally include constituent correspondence, casework, research, and assisting in legislative and office duties. A concerted effort is made to ensure that students' educational and professional goals are met.
Interns must commit to a minimum of ten hours per week for at least three months. We cannot offer monetary compensation for our interns but will support students requesting credit through their school or university.
To apply, please send your
resume and cover letter
to the office via fax,
e-mail or regular mail:
Attn: Aaron Allen
333 H Street, Suite 2030
Chula Vista, CA 91910
For more information, contact the district office at (619) 409-7690 or visit the website at http://sd40.senate.ca.gov.
At Your Service
As your State Senator, I am committed to providing the highest quality of public service possible. I want to do everything I can to improve the quality and safety of our community. I am here to respond to your questions and concerns, to make decisions fairly and to put the public’s interest first.
When you call, my office will respond promptly, whether you need assistance with a state agency, information on current or previous legislation, or help filling out government forms. My office is here to serve your needs. I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to represent you in this community and Sacramento. I look forward to working with you to better our neighborhoods, schools and businesses. If I can be of any assistance, please call or click here to submit an on-line form that goes directly to my district office.
I can assist you if you are having
problems in any of these areas:
- Auto insurance
- Consumer complaints
- Unemployment insurance
- Child support and child care
- Disability insurance
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Workers' compensation
- Franchise Tax Board
- Government forms and applications
- Complaints about state departments
- Small business assistance
I want to know how you feel about issues that I may vote on. Also, if you need information about existing or proposed state laws, please contact my office. I can send you:
- Copies of legislation and laws
- Status of legislation
- Bill summaries by issue area
- Analyses of legislation
- Legislative Counsel opinions on state laws and legal issues
- Legislative Committee rosters
- Information on other legislators and the legislative process
If you have an idea for a local project, a problem with a state or local agency that is not getting solved, I can help in these ways:
Public Service Information
Various state agencies print handbooks and brochures on subjects which may be of interest to you. Here are a few examples:
- Mediate between you and government agencies or offices
- Assist you in obtaining funding for local projects, such as bikeways, parks, schools, or senior citizen programs
- Bring state experts into your community for technical assistance or advice on local issues
- Help communicate your concerns to local, state and federal officials
- Bring state administrators into your community so they hear first-hand about local needs
- Visit your neighborhood or group to discuss state legislation or programs
- Consumer protection
- Small business assistance
- Women's rights
- Landlord-tenant rights
- Scholarship opportunities
- Credit discrimination
- Seniors issues
- Child care and child support
|California State Senator Juan Vargas - District 40|
Web site: http://www.senate.ca.gov/Vargas|
State Capitol, Room 3092
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 327-3522
Chula Vista Office:
333 H Street, Suite 2030
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Phone: (619) 409-7690
Fax: (619) 409-7688
El Centro Office:
1224 State St., Suite D
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: (760) 335-3442
Fax: (760) 335-3444
45-125 Smurr St., Suite B
Indio, CA 92201
Phone: (760) 398-6442
Fax: (760) 398-6507
||(c) 2013 California State Senate|