[Hpn] local news, actually an "olds"

joe reynolds jos_reyn@yahoo.com
Wed, 4 Dec 2002 22:41:00 -0800 (PST)


The article covers part of the procedings of the
Moreno Valley city council meeting. What gets me was
the comment made that this had come up before the
council six or eight years back. Not this particular
group but the idea of having some sort of service.
Course there isn't any and despite some of their words
the fact is they have no intention even if for the
veterans. So much for honoring our war dead, our
service men and women, so much for honor as well...
Anyway:
MORENO VALLEY: City Council members raise concerns
about the plan for homeless veterans.

12/04/2002

By GUY McCARTHY
THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE

MORENO VALLEY - Supporters of a proposed facility for
homeless veterans at March Air Reserve Base were
disappointed Tuesday night after City Council members
expressed many concerns during a meeting and study
session devoted to the issue.

"We were hoping for consensus on this," said Tim
Cantwell, a manager with U.S. Vets, an Inglewood-based
partnership including a nonprofit service provider and
a for-profit real estate developer. "But obviously
(council members) have reservations."

U.S. Vets is about 10 years old and operates six
facilities for about 1,000 homeless veterans and other
clients in Inglewood, Long Beach, Las Vegas, Phoenix
and Honolulu. Its nonprofit revenue totaled about $12
million last year, and for-profit revenue last year
was about the same, Cantwell said.

The Moreno Valley City Council took no action Tuesday
and does not have final say over whether the U.S. Vets
facility will locate on property controlled by the
base re-use agency, the March Joint Powers Authority.
Two council members, Mayor Charles White and
Councilman Richard Stewart, are on the March JPA
commission.

The re-use agency's executive committee will discuss
the matter today and decide whether further research
is necessary. A decision could be made as early as
Dec. 18.

Councilwoman Bonnie Flickinger praised U.S. Vets'
mission, but said she is concerned about the proposed
location's proximity to a convenience store with a
license to sell alcohol.

Councilman Frank West questioned Cantwell and other
U.S. Vets supporters about whether felony offenders
would be allowed in the program. Councilman Bill Batey
asked whether the proposed facility's proximity to
parks and a residential neighborhood posed any threat
to children.

Cantwell told council members that there have been no
incidents involving clients of U.S. Vet programs that
are adjacent to residential neighborhoods.

Proponents of the proposed facility have been trying
to locate on property overseen by the March JPA since
1998.

U.S. Vets and its for-profit company, Cloudbreak,
first approached March JPA officials about leasing
surplus buildings for the program four years ago.

The nationally recognized vets group proposed training
as many as 200 "clean-and-sober" veterans in need of
job skills. But negotiations with the joint powers
authority stalled last year after re-use officials
questioned the project's scope and possible effects on
adjacent developments.

After the March JPA decided during a closed-door
executive session in October to break off negotiations
with U.S. Vets, veterans advocates and a county
supervisor on the authority board criticized the
decision.

County Supervisor Bob Buster, the authority's vice
chairman, said in November the decision should have
been made in a public meeting. Buster, a veteran, said
he voted to continue negotiating to convert two former
military dorms and a dining hall to use as a
job-training and counseling center.

This time U.S. Vets is asking for use of one military
dorm, a chapel and joint use of a dining hall, said
March JPA Executive Director Phil Rizzo.

Reach Guy McCarthy at (909) 567-2408 or
gmccarthy@pe.com
  Zen hugs in case anyone wonders why I can feel so
dark at times this is one reason but hugs anyhow, joe

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