by Winston Chua
San Marino Rotarians gathered for their weekly meeting this past Thursday, one that featured a presentation from Congresswoman Judy Chu, this city’s representative in the 27th Congressional District.
After an introduction by Councilman Richard Sun, Congresswoman Chu lauded the San Marino club as “the only club that thought to honor” recently nominated service academy candidates, thanking Jack Hamilton and the club for recognizing them.
She also touched on a number of topics including new small business development centers (SBDC), the veteran’s medial clinic located at Pasadena City College, wanting to make the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument, clean water and transportation.
Chu recently attended the kickoff for a children’s retail store called Happily Wear After whose founding was greatly assisted by the Pasadena SBDC that she advocated for. The University of La Verne has also recently opened a SBDC which Chu believes will help pave the way for job growth.
The Congresswoman then reaffirmed her commitment to extending the Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont and Montclair, all the way to the Ontario Airport. She, along with Congresspersons Adam Schiff and Grace Napolitano, have advocated to allot funding for such an extension. The line to Azusa should be ready for completion by 2015.
Chu also talked about cleaning up the contaminants that have polluted the SGV’s drinking water and providing Californians with a storage of water than can sustain its needs in the future. She hopes that a bill she introduced will pass and allow for expiring water monies to be extended for another five years.
Also on Chu’s list was discussion about the efforts to make the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument, a designation that would grant the area federal funding which would be used for upkeep, restoration, maintenance, signage and safety.
“What many people don’t realize is just how much strain this region is under to keep up with the growing demand for outdoor space and recreational opportunities,” Chu said, explaining that safety hazards and adverse conditions threaten fire safety, water quality and unique ecology.
San Marino Rotarians Linda Wah and Denise Wadsworth are part of the final issue Chu discussed, that of providing adequate care for veterans.
“I was shocked when I heard that there was no veterans health clinic in the San Gabriel Valley,” Chu said, talking about the importance of having one nearby for medical treatment (Pasadena City College has agreed to host one on campus.).
“Our military personnel have served us well,” said Wadsworth after the meeting. Wadsworth was lauded by Chu during her speech. “It’s essential that we do the same for them.”
Chu said that about $250,000 is needed to make infrastructure improvements.
PCC has the second largest population of veterans in the community colleges with at least 900. Wadsworth, Wah and Chu are working to complete fundraising efforts to have the Veterans’ Health Center of the Foothills completed by the fall of 2015.
Chu has been a vocal advocate for protection against military hazing after her 21-year-old nephew Harry Lew committed suicide while serving in Afghanistan.