Having received several complaints from Riverstown, Essequibo Coast residents about their frustration regarding the manner in which a project was designed and implemented by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure — without any consultation with the Region or residents, Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt and Councillors of the Region Two Administration visited the area on Friday last and met with residents.The team was shocked to see the destruction of many bearing plantain suckers, they having been thrown to the ground.According to a farmer, he lost more than one hundred bearing plantain suckers and is contemplating legal action.Residents are also claiming that the project was done on private farm lands.It was brought to the attention of the visiting team that no engineer or technical staff visited the construction site, and as such, substandard work is being done.It was noted that neither the RDC, NDCs, nor residents were provided with project details and Bills of Quantities.Residents felt they were being grossly disrespected, and therefore compelled the Regional Chairman and Councillors to make immediate contact with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to get details about the construction project.
“This isn’t going to change anything on how the petitioners and the parties before the court are going to do things,” he said. “It’s going to wreak havoc on the administration of these cases. “A new judge would have to be very familiar with her whole docket. Not knowing how long she’s going to stay on the bench, we don’t know how many cases will be turned over to a new judge.” Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer agreed Janavs is an experienced jurist, but said her absence won’t affect the company’s legal responses. “You never know what courtroom you’ll be in,” she said. “We would prefer not to be in any courtroom, but if a lawsuit occurs, and it seems to be standard operating procedures for the anti-growth environmental groups, we want to make sure that the document is strong, whether it’s this judge or any other judge.” Janavs’ rulings have favored local developers and their supporters, though parts have been overturned on appeal. Last year, Janavs found no problems with an environmental impact report prepared for the Needham Ranch industrial park in Newhall. Groups including SCOPE had sued, alleging the city of Santa Clarita violated its own environmental ordinances when it approved the EIR. But the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned part of the decision, citing a section documenting water supply as inadequate. Naficy, who argued the River Village case before Janavs last month, had said the judge seemed more receptive of their water-supply arguments since the reversal. Environmental groups have claimed there is inadequate water in the Santa Clarita Valley to support new development, a lack builders and local water agencies dismissed. “I’ve often, on behalf of my clients, disagreed with the way Judge Janavs has ruled,” he said. “But she’s still a judge who has a lot of integrity. It (the vote) seems really random. … I really doubt the people who voted really had any idea of her judicial temperament and philosophy.” In a 2004 case against the city filed by developer Palmer Investments, which has proposed a 5,800-home community in the Newhall Pass, Janavs ordered the city to provide a detailed environmental study before annexing that property – an attempt by Santa Clarita leaders to kill the project. Janavs threw out a 2003 lawsuit brought by two environmental groups – SCOPE and the Center for Biological Diversity – that claimed plans for four new car dealerships on Valencia Boulevard at Cinema Drive would destroy a waterway’s sensitive habitat. “I’ve never felt she was unfair,” Plambeck said. “I felt that she was rushed. And these are such hard issues to understand, and the hype the other side puts out – that we’re suing to stop growth – people don’t understand what we’re trying to do with the water supply.” Another notable Janavs decision in July 2005 found that area town councils – local elected advisory panels answering to 5th District county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich – are bounded by state open meeting laws. The ruling in the case against the Agua Dulce Town Council forced them to keep electronic recordings of the meetings, and led four council members to resign. firstname.lastname@example.org (661)257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Janavs’ current term ends in January. Incoming Superior Court presiding Judge C. Stephen Czuleger could assign a new judge to take over her docket, though the state Judicial Council also could appoint Janavs to the bench again. At least one local case – litigation by environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, challenging The Newhall Land and Farming Company’s 1,089-home River Village subdivision in Saugus – awaits Janavs’ ruling. She also was assigned a lawsuit brought by the California Water Impact Network and others against the Castaic Lake Water Agency’s 1998 transfer of 41,000 acre-feet of state water from Kern County. “She’s a known quantity, and to the extent that she’s already done some work on the 41,000 acre-feet – hopefully, she’ll stay on it,” said Dan Masnada, CLWA’s general manager. “We want to see it resolved. Success is dependent on having a good judge. Frankly, I don’t think either side would like (if the court change judges midstream).” Babak Naficy, who has argued environmental cases for clients including the Water Impact Network before Janavs over the past five years, foresees trouble if she’s replaced. SANTA CLARITA – The surprise ouster of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs at polls Tuesday shocked both local environmentalists and developers who have waged battles before her over the years. The 20-year veteran is the assistant presiding judge in the Writs and Receivers Court, and is usually the first to hear cases from activists seeking injunctions against a particular development or state environmental law challenges. “I actually voted for her because I didn’t want her to go away amid all these cases,” said Lynne Plambeck of the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment. “She was starting to understand and ask questions that we were asking.” Janavs finished 8 percentage points behind challenger Lynn Olson, a Hermosa Beach resident who practiced commercial law for four years before opening a bagel shop in 1992.