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Dreier talks trucks, taxes

La Cañada Flintridge’s representative in U.S. Congress addresses audience at a chamber of commerce luncheon.

April 23, 2009|By Ruth Longoria

Taxes and truck safety were on the minds of many of the few hundred locals who showed up on April 15 for a La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Descanso Gardens with U.S. Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas).

At the lunch, Dreier offered insight into recent doings in the nation’s capitol, as well as his thoughts on tax issues and the recent double fatality commercial truck crash in La Cañada.

“I don’t want to dictate anything down from Washington, D.C., but, anything we can do, you have my commitment to do that,” Dreier said, after leading the crowd in a moment of silence for the crash victims, Angel “Jorge” Posca, 58, and his 12-year-old daughter Angelina, of Palmdale.

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Dreier said he has called on the safety commission to make sure global positioning satellite (GPS) companies come up with stronger indicators for truck drivers concerning routes, such as Angeles Crest Highway, which are not recommended for commercial vehicles. He also said that other methods of early warnings should be implemented for making the roads safer for residents.

“We’re talking about all of this modern technology with global positioning systems, and it may be that old fashioned signage is what’s needed,” he said.

Calling himself a Reagan optimist, Dreier also commented on the current economic crisis and the fact that private investment is needed to get the economy back on track, rather than public spending, such as a stimulus package that, he said, quadruples the national debt.

“This huge reach of government is counter-intuitive. It’s wrong what we’re doing now, we should be reducing spending on the federal level,” he added.

In answer to a question from a local real estate agent about the future of the housing market, Dreier said that over-extended housing industry loans is what put the economy in its current condition.

“But, I believe the housing industry is going to bring us back. We need to encourage people to have equity,” he said, adding that tax exemptions based on property down payments should be one such incentive.

“I’m confident we will get out of this and back on track, in spite of [current fiscal spending.] We’ve got lots of problems, difficulties and challenges ahead, but, we are going to survive it,” he said.

Mayor Laura Olhasso also took advantage of the Chamber luncheon to get the word out about the four-step comprehensive plan she and the City Council is working on in regard to safety on and around Angeles Crest Highway.

That plan includes: the temporary ban on five-axle trucks recently implemented by Caltrans; creating a permanent ban on commercial vehicles larger than two-axle or 10,000 pounds; a redesign by Caltrans of medians, with sand or gravel to help stop vehicles that have disobeyed the laws, as well as truck barriers and a truck ramp and inspection area above the La Cañada Flintridge city limits; and, federal regulations to require GPS warnings and notes about routes that are not truck approved.

“We will prevail,” Olhasso said, adding, “I am confident that we as a city will be more safe in the future.”


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