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New year will follow some familiar stories

The long-simmering Drayman trial is among stories that may lead the news in 2014.

December 31, 2013
  • Former Glendale city councilmember John Drayman arrives at the C. S. Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles to be arraigned on charges on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Former Glendale city councilmember John Drayman arrives… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

Though it’s only the first day of the new year, the calendar is already packed for the Jewel City. A plastic bag ban goes into effect this year, the Museum of Neon Art is slated to open, the city looks to see how Chief Robert Castro will run the police department, and a crop of new fire recruit begins its training.

On the legal front, the criminal trial of former Councilman John Drayman is set to begin, the federal discrimination lawsuits brought by four Glendale police officers are on schedule, and the parents of Drew Ferraro — who took his life in 2012 — look to their day in court against the Glendale Unified School district.

And, that’s not counting the multiple developments in process throughout the city, a special City Council election, or the educators in Glendale’s public schools prepping for the Common Core. The forecast for 2014 is busy, with highs of frenzy and lows of drama.

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Plastic bag ban

The second phase of the ban on plastic bags takes effect on July 1. The second phase will impact smaller grocers, food markets, liquor stores, convenience stores, drug stores, pharmacies and vendors at city sponsored events.

The ban, approved in January 2013, bans plastic bags and imposes a 10-cent charge on paper bags. The Glendale ban, modeled after one in Los Angeles County, aims to reduce plastic waste in the city’s landfill.

The first phase took effect in July at large grocery stores that make at least $2 million in gross annual sales, retailers with at least 10,000 square feet that include a pharmacy and farmer’s markets.

Several California cities have enacted similar bans, including Pasadena, Los Angeles and San Jose.

Drayman trial

Former Councilman John Drayman’s criminal trial is set to begin in April.

The trial date has been postponed several times since Drayman was indicted in May 2012 for embezzling at least $304,000 over seven years from a weekly Montrose farmer’s market he once helped run. He was indicted on several other charges including perjury, money laundering, fraud and filing false tax statements.

Drayman had tried to plead guilty in September in exchange for 300 hours of community service, restitution to the farmer’s market, a lifetime ban from public service and promising to pay $35,000 to the state Franchise Tax Board. However, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge rejected the plea deal because it didn’t include Drayman serving time behind bars.

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