Smell of a Land Grab
In My Own Words
By James Marquiss
Note: This letter was sent by James Marquiss … Station Fire victim … to Millie Jones in LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s office.
My name is James Marquiss, I am a victim of the recent Station fire (I lost my house and everything I owned).
My previous address was 2320 Stonyvale Rd. (Which is privately owned land in the Vogel Flats community)
I noticed that Edison was not replacing the power lines to my property and so I stopped in to the command center and spoke with the service planner and the regional manager who told me that the forest Service was not allowing them to re-institute power to certain areas.
I told them that this was a misunderstanding as it privately owned land and the Forest Service has no jurisdiction there. To which they responded something on the order of “we have to do what they tell us”.
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Just a quick reminder that the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council is having a meeting Monday night with the United States Forest Service, County of Los Angeles, LAPD and LAFD regarding the Station Fire. The official agenda is below. For a PDF version of the flyer, click here.
FWIW, it seems the County of LA decided to pull the plug on our CHP coverage to keep forest visitors out. They have declared the canyon a “construction zone” and left signs, but without some kind of law enforcement reinforcement, the signs are worthless. I know that I saw a bunch of folks in the canyon while I was on my way to work this morning, and I’ve had reports from others to that effect as well.
The County’s “executive decision” might be something we residents should ask them about, especially since public dangers remain and clean-up of residences is not complete. Just a thought.
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I am struck by the large number of pianos I have seen among the burned homes. I never knew there were so many pianos in our neighborhood because I never heard them played, and it is tragic to see them lying there. I would like to make a sculpture out of any remains of musical instruments that were lost in the fire, and it is my hope that this could be used as a tool to help raise money to assist victims who lost so much. Perhaps this could also be incorporated with some live music while on display at some time in the future. Please, if you find remains of your musical instruments and would like them to find rebirth in a work of art, contact me directly.
2062 La Paloma
Contractors State License Board
Web site: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) protects consumers by licensing and regulating California’s construction industry. There are more than 316,000 licensed contractors in the state, in 43 different licensing classifications. In addition to educating consumers about contractors and construction law, CSLB activities include administering examinations to test prospective licensees, issuing licenses, investigating complaints against licensed and unlicensed contractors, issuing citations, suspending or revoking licenses, and seeking administrative, criminal, and civil sanctions against violators. In FY 2007/08 CSLB obtained more than $35.2 million in ordered restitution for consumers.On this Web site you can find educational materials about hiring contractors and the construction process. You can also check the status of a contractor’s license, find other important Contractors License Law information and file a complaint.
LA County Consumer Affairs (Contractor Fraud)
Inside LA County: 1(800) 593-8222
Outside the County: (213) 974-1452
Web site: http://dca.lacounty.gov/
Better Business Bureau:
Phone: (909) 825-7280
Web site: http://www.la.bbb.org/Home.aspx
Unfortunately natural disasters sometimes bring out the worst in some people – people who take advantage of those who have already been hard hit by flood damage to their homes by inflating prices for materials and repair services and providing substandard workmanship. When considering hiring any particular contractor, be sure to get and check references from them get a written contract specifying a price and start and end time for the work, and make no payment until after work is completed. If you have any doubts about a specific contractor or believe that you have been the victim of fraudulent business practices by a contractor, contact your county Department of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau for assistance.