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The Baltimore Sun

Governor vetoes bills

The governor said no to two La Cañada Flintridge lawmakers last week.

While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed dozens of bills July 16, two of his four vetoes originated with state Sen. Carol Liu and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, both Democrats.

Liu's measure, Senate Bill 878, would have increased the notification homeowners and renters receive in Los Angeles County when a property is headed toward foreclosure.

Years ago, the county began notifying occupants and homeowners when a new deed was recorded on a property. Part of the idea was to help weed out real estate scams targeting older residents.

With the rise of foreclosures, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors asked Liu to expand the law to provide special notice when a home was on the verge of being repossessed, said her spokesman, Robert Oakes.

The governor vetoed the bill Thursday, saying state law already requires property owners to receive notice when a home slips into default.

"Moreover," Schwarenegger wrote in his veto message, "notices of sale, in addition to being mailed to the property owner, must also be posted on the property, providing notice to both the occupant and owner of a pending foreclosure action."

"We're deeply disappointed," Oakes said. "The governor didn't understand this was a consumer protection matter."

Oakes referred to "horror stories" such as when renters faithfully pay their monthly installments only to find out the owner is not paying the mortgage, or that the bank is about to take over the house. He said the measure had the support of county supervisors, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and others.

Oakes said no one testified against the measure.

Liu may introduce the legislation next session, when a new governor is in office. But Oakes said she would take her cue on that from the Board of Supervisors.

Portantino's Assembly Bill 1992 would have specified that the California Horse Racing Board has the authority to regulate the composition of both synthetic and dirt ovals at tracks, including Arcadia's Santa Anita Park. The park is within Portantino's 44th Assembly District.

Synthetic tracks are controversial. More expensive for track owners, they have proven to be more safe for racehorses.

Portantino's chief of staff, Trent Hager, said the assemblyman wanted to ensure the board had explicit authority over the composition of all tracks, but the governor said the legislation was unnecessary.

"Current law can be applied to all types of racing surfaces," the governor's veto message stated.

Genocide survivor speaks for the record

Haroutioun Andonian's odyssey from hardship in Armenia in 1915 to his 101st birthday in Glendale this year is now part of the congressional record.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) — in carrying legislation to compel the United States to officially recognize the 1915 genocide in which 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of Ottoman Turks — met with Andonian earlier this year. He also made sure Andonian's story is on the official books.

According to a narrative submitted by Andonian's grandson, Nareg Krumian of Glendale, Andonian was born in Gurun, Turkey. His family home was broken up by Turkish soldiers in 1915 when he was 6. He never saw either of his parents again.

He, his sister and grandmother were forced to march from one region to the next, and both his sister and grandmother died from the hardship.

Andonian was placed in a home in the Aintab region of what is now Turkey, and later lived in Lebanon and France. As a young adult he moved from Paris to Aleppo, Syria, to be reunited with his host mother.

He married her daughter, Marie, and started a family. In 1987 they moved to Los Angeles. Andonian became a U.S. citizen in 2002.

"To this day," wrote his grandson, "he maintains that the government of Turkey and its soldiers took away his ability to know what it was to have a family, but that today, living in the United States at the age of 101 amid his two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, he has become a king who has everything."

In the effort to pass the genocide recognition measure, Schiff is encouraging other survivors to tell their stories for the record by contacting his aide, Mary Hovagimian, at

Turkish officials have said that Schiff's largely symbolic legislation would harm ongoing diplomatic efforts between Turkey, the U.S. and Armenia.

Gatto hosts budget talk in Glendale

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) will hold a budget summit at the Glendale Central Library Auditorium from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday. The state budget deficit is $19.1 billion, and lawmakers are struggling to reach consensus on how to balance it.

Gatto is encouraging the public to go to and use an online tool in which participants input their own budget priorities and see how they affect the state's bottom line. He's also pointing constituents to the Democratic Caucus' budget proposal at

Forum to focus on water woes

Water worries are the topic of a Burbank Democratic Club forum July 29. Joe Flores, Burbank Water and Power conservation manager, will provide an overview and discuss efforts to reduce demand, including Burbank's rationing plan.

The free event starts at 7 p.m. at Burbank Senior Artists' Colony Theatre, 240 E. Verdugo Ave. For more information, call (818) 515-5908.

On July 31, the Glendale Burbank Republican Assembly has scheduled a summer party and fundraiser at the Jeffers Estate, 1823 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge. The event starts at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, call (818) 552-5060, or e-mail

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