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Antonovich calls for teleconferencing

Robert Chacon

At nearly 4,100 square miles, Los Angeles County’s geographic and

demographic scopes are imposing, especially for residents who want to

participate in county government proceeding beyond viewing the weekly


Board of Supervisors meetings on television.

In order to assist the county’s more than 10 million far-flung

residents living in 88 cities and 134 unincorporated communities,

Supervisor Michael Antonovich, whose district includes Glendale and


Burbank, is pushing the board to approve implementing

videoconferencing technology at sites in each of the five

supervisorial districts. The board approved a motion Tuesday

directing the Chief Administrative Office to provide a progress

report on the feasibility of the project.

“The supervisor believes that everyone in our county should be

afforded the right to participate in county government,” spokesman

Tony Bell said. “If you live in the county, there are areas that


cannot be easily traveled in order to attend our meetings in downtown

every Tuesday.”

Antonovich had proposed last year holding meetings in different

regions of the county, but the proposal was determined to be

unfeasible, Bell said.

Videoconferencing sites could be set up at city halls, for

example, in order for residents to give public comments, Bell said.

Congressmen focuses


on Armenian issues

Rep. George Radanovich’s district includes Fresno County, which

has a sizable population of American-Armenians -- author William

Saroyan penned his novels there -- and his efforts are reflecting the

demographics of the community.

On Thursday, Radanovich announced that he co-sponsored legislation

with Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Michigan in the House of Representatives

to bring attention to what he calls a potentially hazardous policy

decision regarding a new railroad in the South Caucasus region of

Europe. The proposed railroad would connect Baku, Azerbaijan,

Tbilisi, Georgia and areas in Turkey, but would intentionally bypass

Armenia. The move would force Armenian people into further economic

isolation, he said.

The South Caucasus Integration and Open Railroads Act of 2005

would prohibit U.S. funding of the project.

“U.S. policy should be inclusive not exclusive,” said in a

statement. “For too long we have turned a blind eye to Armenia’s

genocide and now with the proposed rail link bypassing Armenia, these

people would again be unjustly isolated.”

A functioning rail line, which links the different regions,

including Armenia, already exists, but the governments of Turkey and

Azerbaijan want to construct a new railroad in order to exclude

Armenia, Radanovich said.

Regarding a bill co-sponsored with Rep. Adam Schiff, Radanovich

announced earlier this week that more than 100 representatives have

already backed an Armenian Genocide Resolution that would require the

U.S. government to acknowledge the deaths of Armenians at the hands

of the Ottoman Empire.

More members are expected to join the resolution, he said.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the genocide, during which

1.5 million Armenians were killed.

Dreier supports governor’s request for border security

Congressman David Dreier Thursday announced his support for Gov.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s request to the Department of Homeland

Security for the dedication of newly approved funding for border

security between Mexico and California.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff,

Dreier noted the importance of coupling increased border security

with stronger enforcement of laws preventing the hiring of illegal


Drier supported Schwarzenegger’s request to the federal government

to allocate to the California-Mexico border a portion of the $1.8

billion for border security and $61 million for border security

technology approved by Congress earlier this year.

The money will be used to hire 1,500 Border Patrol agents,

unmanned aerial vehicles and surveillance technology.

Schiff weapons provisions to pass house

Rep. Adam Schiff announced Thursday that the House was set to pass

his State Department Bill, which would expand security initiatives in

regard to weapons of mass destruction.

If passed, the bill would expand the Proliferation Security

Initiative, a program that authorizes the United Nations to stop

shipments of material that could be used to create weapons.

The bill would also set standards for the security of nuclear

weapons and materials and recruit former Soviet republic scientists

to aid in the response in case of a nuclear attack.