Week In Review

Glendale News Press

POLITICS City officials said they will take a "wait and see" approach before pursuing possible legal action against Nancy Salas — the Glendale woman who faked her disappearance last month and set off a massive search — after Merced County prosecutors decided to charge her with filing a false police report.

The Glendale city attorney's office is not planning to seek restitution from Nancy Salas' parents, who reported her missing May 12 after she failed to return home from a morning run in Chevy Chase Canyon, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The city will monitor Merced County's criminal case against Nancy Salas, who was charged May 28 with a misdemeanor count of filing a false police report. City officials may reevaluate their position as details emerge from the Merced case, Lorenz said.

The La Crescenta-based Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America filed a $105-million lawsuit Tuesday against the J. Paul Getty Museum, claiming the institution illegally bought seven pages from a sacred Bible.

The Western Prelacy claims that the seven pages, which date back to 1256, were ripped from the Armenian Orthodox Church's Zeyt'un Gospels during the Armenian Genocide, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The church is also requesting that the pages be returned.

The Getty states on its website that the illustrations by T'oros Roslin were "separated from the manuscript at some point in the past" and were acquired by the museum.

Stagnant sales tax revenues and fewer construction permits are expected to leave city revenues $3.6 million in the red at the end of the fiscal year this month, city officials said Tuesday.

The poor returns dashed any hopes that the slowly recovering economy would bring a much-needed infusion to the city. Even so, city officials on Tuesday said they did not project the need for more budget cuts this year because the revenue gap would likely be bridged with the current hiring freeze of more than 80 positions — perhaps even bringing the City Hall a slight surplus.

Homeowners facing legal action for derelict property conditions have a new option for getting their land up to snuff, one that covers any job from removing weeds and overgrown vegetation to hauling away waste and debris.

The city's Property Clean Up Pros Program is an expanded version of what's been offered in previous years. The city's Neighborhood Services Division would oversee court-ordered community service workers who cleared vacant parcels and removed graffiti from the public right-of-way.

The program had been on hold for more than a year after budget cuts kept city officials from filling the position charged with running the daily operations.

To generate revenue for the maintenance program, the city is now offering the property cleanup and maintenance for private property owners for a fee.

EDUCATION Days after Glendale Unified teachers rejected a revised contract that would have saved the district millions of dollars, school board members on Tuesday said increased class sizes were all but certain unless a last-minute deal was reached.

Without a contract resolution for the district's roughly 1,350 teachers, board members said they could not commit to maintaining primary-grade class sizes at 25 students.

District officials had been considering maintaining 25 students to every one teacher in kindergarten and first grade and increasing that ratio to 30 to 1 for second and third grade.

In an effort to tamp down on transportation costs, Glendale Unified officials said many families will likely pay $100 per year to bus their children to and from Clark Magnet High School beginning this fall.

School board members on Tuesday told administrators to draft policies that would charge parents $50 a semester to bus their children to the north Glendale campus, saving the district $50,000 a year. The district spends $800,000 on bus service and is preparing to tackle a $21.8-million deficit projected for 2012-13.

Students who receive free or reduced-price lunch, a poverty indicator, would be exempted from fees.

A bill that would tweak the way California community colleges are funded could change the number of math and English classes offered at Glendale Community College, officials said.

The bill by state Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) would adjust the roughly $5,500 per-student revenue that the state allocates for community colleges by requiring another snapshot of classroom attendance, which drives the bulk of state funding.

In addition to college officials reporting attendance at the end of the course, they would also have to give a snapshot of enrollment one-fifth of the way through the semester, under the bill.

The change gives a more accurate picture of college attendance, and incentivizes community colleges to ensure their students finish the classes they begin, Liu said.

College officials said the new law could push course offerings to cater toward meeting state benchmarks, rather than addressing the wide array of education needs among students.

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