Sunday, November 3, 2019

Commentary: Why my visit to an illegal weed shop called 'Dank Dairy' Stank

Dank Dairy on Nov 3, 2019. A LMNews photo

It's no longer a surprise anytime I learn that an illegal weed shop has popped up in the unincorporated areas of Whittier near La Mirada while at the same time remaining amazed at how they open and operate just under the radar.

I was a bit surprised to learn that one has been operating for a month or two no more than 100 feet beyond the city line at a place I drive past regularly.  I had no idea that an even bigger surprise would greet me once I arrived to check out the location.

After moving out of the former Electra Burger site at Leffingwell  Rd. and Corley Dr., Organic Solutions has opened up shop in the old closed-up drive-thru dairy at Imperial Hwy. and Meyer Rd. and is now calling itself the Dank Dairy.

I arrived at this place just before 11 a.m. today and despite it being a perfect location for such an operation I found myself wondering if the information I had verified on Weedmaps had been bogus because there were no cars around and not a soul in sight.

Not to worry, it was very clear just seconds later that Weedmaps is still the leading resource for cannabis users. 

In the time it took to grab my camera a man in a car blasting thumping 'Banda' music parked right behind me in front of a row of well-maintained homes and church on Loma Dr. No more than a minute a shiny newer model BMW stopped on the opposite of the street near the old dairy a few feet from the curb.

Without a hint of shame, the fan of Banda music got out of his car and walked up to the BMW getting into the rear seat and with the car door still open began conducting what was clearly a drug transaction right in front of me as I stood just 40-feet away with a camera clearly in my hands. No more than a minute later both men drove off in their own cars.

No longer focused on the likely drug transaction that just went down I have now focused again on the old dairy and discover several cars are now parked and more are arriving and even more, people are coming to buy a quart of milk on foot. No less than a dozen people were seen coming and going in less than ten minutes. Business was so good it difficult finding a lull in activity so I could snap a few photos that did not show an image of any customers coming or going.

It's not hard to imagine why operators run the risk of a fine and the loss of their inventory once or twice a year in a raid with all this demand. This place is a gold mine. 

Just as I was about to depart I got a better idea of how attached the operators of the Dank Dairy must be to all the tax-free cash when a man emerged from the fenced-off area where the entry door is located and began to intimidate and ultimately make threats regarding my presence.

As I calmly walked off, I got a bit of a kick by the man declaring that I was violating the law and he would call the police if I took his picture without permission.  

Isn't that ironic?  

And to think that this was just intended to be a photo and a paragraph or two about five raids Sheriff's detectives have done in the past month on weed stores in the area last month and that two shops that were already on the Sheriff's Departments radar had relocated.

Now it's quite clear why cannabis stores need to be zoned, permitted, and held accountable for the ill effects they have in the neighborhoods they operate in.

Based on my experience over just ten minutes, Dank Dairy needs to be the first to go.

Friday, October 25, 2019

78 cars impounded in recent street racing crackdown

Industry Ca.-  La Mirada deputies participated in a multi-agency task force crackdown on rampant street racing and intersection takeovers in the area last weekend resulting in several arrests and 30-day impounds on 78 vehicles mostly belonging to spectators.

Please click the link for the rest of the story on the La Mirada News Facebook page.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

City News Council approves 4-way stop for Granada Dr intersection Also: Election season nears

La Mirada-

The city council approved the installation of a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Granada Dr and Los Coyotes Ave/Monticello Dr. during a recent meeting.

The recommendation was made by a county traffic engineer after a comprehensive traffic study was conducted on Granada Dr. from La Mirada Bl. to Stamy Rd.

The study found that children were passing through the intersection as a main walking route to and from school while traffic volume on Granada Dr had increased to an average of 2.740 vehicles per day, an 11% increase from three years ago. 

On Los Coyotes Av which along with Monticello Dr. already have a two-way stop in place at the intersection Granada Dr., has seen traffic volume increase 31% since 2016.

A request will also be made with Caltrans requesting removal of Granada Dr as a designated collector road on maps of the California Roads System to local road.

Classification as a local road will allow the Sheriff's Department to conduct radar speed enforcement at the 25 mph basic speed limit for residential streets. 

Currently, in order to use radar to enforce a speed limit, the state vehicle mandates that a survey must be done on a collector route and the speed limit set at the speed 85% of motorists are driving on the road in free-flowing conditions. The limit can be lowered from that number on roads with high accident rates

The current 85th percentile speed on Granada is 36 mph. and would likely result in a speed limit posted at 35 mph before speed enforcement could take place using radar.  The new designation will allow radar enforcement at 25 mph once the change is accepted.

Date selected for city council elections

         City Council Districts Map (Source: City of La Mirada)

A resolution was passed without discussion setting March 3, 2020, as the date city elections will be held allowing residents to choose the first members to represent council districts #3, #4, and #5.

If it seems a long time since you last voted in a city election, it has been. Here is why.

A state law mandating city elections in general law cities be held on one of the two days statewide elections are held in primary and election years required La Mirada end its practice of holding local elections during years when statewide balloting was not conducted,

Council terms were extended another year so a term for a given seat would expire at the same time the election to fill the seat for a new term was to be held.

In 2015, state lawmakers passed SB-415 establishing California's concurrent-elections in an effort to boost voter participation.

La Mirada chose 2020 as the year the change would go into effect making it five years since a majority of residents last voted in a city council race.

Councilmember Ed Eng, a resident of District 3 which covers most of Green Hills, Hillsborough, and the area near Los Coyotes Middle School is expected to seek re-election. Real estate agent John Accornero has announced he intends on running for the same seat while Eng has not made a public announcement yet.

Councilmembers Larry Mowles and Mayor Steve DeRuse both hail from District 4 covering most of the southwest portion of the city and are approaching the end of their extended terms. 

It seems unlikely the two will run again each other for another term. A lot of eyes will be watching to see who takes out nomination papers and who does not. There is a wealth of qualified candidates that have experience serving on city commissions, committees, and local service groups residing in the district. 

This could be an interesting contest if both incumbents decide to step aside.

The District #5 seat will be a wide-open affair with those seeking election not having to contend with an incumbent to compete against.

Located in the north-central area of La Mirada, the district includes the Creek Park area south to Regional Park, then makes a gerrymander-like jaunt avoiding Biola University to include a neighborhood south of the school north of Rosecrans. End-to-end  the district extends more than three miles  

Former Community Services Commissioner Dustin Dahl has expressed interest in a run for the District 5 seat. A well-known local figure is also rumored to be showing more than just a passing interest.

Diamond Anniversary logo considered

During its monthly study session that is held prior to the regular meeting, staff was expected to discuss the design of a special city logo to mark La Mirada's 60th anniversary next year.

Council will choose from three submissions the logo marking the city's diamond anniversary that will be incorporated into a temporary city seal, social media sites including Twitter and Facebook, and on publications including the La Mirada Living newsletter mailed out to residents throughout the year.

La Mirada became the county's 68th city on March 23, 1960, with the name Mirada Hills due to a local formation technicality. Voters approved changing the name of the city to La Mirada eight months later back to the name of which the community was developed and was accustomed to.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

La Mirada Crime Notes Sept 26,19

La Mirada-
A man who fled from a deputy patrolling the area near Gardenhill Park avoided arrest early Tuesday morning after fleeing through the park on a bicycle and disappearing into the rear yard of a nearby home.

At about 1:15 a.m. a man described only as a White Male riding a bike near Biola Av and Tacuba Dr. refused to yield and instead chose to flee south on Heflin Dr from Ragan Dr., then west to Gardenhill Park. 

The deputy lost sight of the man after turing into the darkened park.

Moments later dispatchers at Norwalk Sheriff's Station received a 911 call from an alert citizen a block west of the park stating a suspicious man had just dumped a bicycle on the front yard of a neighboring home in the 13200 block of Fleta Dr. just off Valeda Dr. and ran into the rear yard of the home where he could be seen hiding.

The man was able to avoid arrest after deputies were unable to deploy a heat-seeking search device that helicopters are equipped with and lacking a sufficient number of patrol deputies available to conduct a timely ground search.

(It should be noted with appreciation the two officers from Biola Campus Safety that were on hand to help shorthanded deputies with perimeter containment  Many in the public may not be aware that Biola officers have on-duty peace officer powers and are very well trained and led by a renowned Chief, John Ojeisekhoaba who is recognized as a leader in his field by his peers at the national level.)

Burglary rates skyrocket over the summer

Just about the time, the above incident was concluding, Sheriff's Communications Center received a call from an alarm company that a break-in signal had been received from a business on Knott Ave.  The break-in was verified by responding deputies.

The only thing really noteworthy about this break-in is the timing of the two events shows clearly what deputies are up against. The cover of darkness and very few watchful eyes are an invitation to thieves 

Thefts from unlocked vehicles have been an issue for a year or more and now a huge jump in burglaries was observed this summer versus last. The biggest increases were to homes and garages.

Several local residents expressed concerns about feeling unsafe in their homes in mid-August after residents had reported coming home and finding intruders inside their homes four days apart.

The description of the suspects that were seen fleeing as the resident walked up to the door of the home in the 15200 block of Tricia Lane on August 12 closely resemble the suspects that ended up leading a deputy in a short vehicle pursuit down Imperial Hwy.

The suspects with a good head start lost the pursuing deputy in heavy traffic after they were spotted fleeing the area shortly after the August 16 break-in was interrupted near Oxford Dr and Imperial Hwy.
In 2019 as of August 31, there had been 101 burglaries from 80 during the same period in 2018, a 26% increase.   In the month of August 2019, there were 32 an increase from 17 reported in 2018. 

In recent years criminals perhaps leery of having a strike attached to them that comes with a residential burglary conviction only committed no more than a handful a month. With more than two dozen report in the past three months, those days are over. 

Update from the reported security breach at Granada School

On Tuesday morning we reported on Facebook that deputies had detained a man near Granada Middle School at Stamy Rd. and Lemon Dr after he was observed talking to students on campus. 

The initial 911 caller reported he jumped over the fence, but it is believed he may have used the pedestrian gate between Scott Ave and Granada schools, a statement supported by the fact he was riding a bike.

A Sheriff's official from Norwalk Station said after further investigation that the man was determined to not have made any threats or hold any ill intentions or perceived to be a danger towards the school.  The man was placed under arrest for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

It's not known if school officials had begun or ever intended to place the camps never in lockdown mode because the man had been quickly detained by several deputies in less than two minutes after the call was received.