Saturday, February 22, 2020

Early voting begins at three La Mirada vote centers

About 200 early voting centers opened this morning across the county including three in La Mirada allowing voters more options to cast ballots than ever before. 

Changes within the Registrar's office will no longer require voters to go to an assigned polling location on Election Day. Los Angeles County voters can now go to any vote center anywhere in the county from now thru Election Day on March 3rd at a day and time that is convenient to them.

The number of voting centers will expand to about 1,000 locations on Feb. 29.  During the last general election, there were 4,200 polling locations across the county.

Hours at Voting Centers: Feb 22- March 2, 8am-5 pm daily and 7am - 8pm on Election Day.

Vote Centers Opening February 22

La Mirada City Hall, 13700 La Mirada Bl Rooms A & B  

La Mirada Library, 13800 La Mirada Bl. Meeting Room

Neff Park Barn, 14300 San Cristobal Dr. Barn Hall

Liberty Comunity Plaza, 14181 Telegraph Rd. Constitutional Hall

East Whittier United Methodist Church  10005 Cole Rd.
(Two blocks south of Whittier Bl.)

Below are the additional vote centers that open Feb. 29 near La Mirada. The will be no additional centers in the city proper.

El Camino High School  14625 Keese Dr. Multi-purpose Room
(Off Springview Dr just south of Telegraph Rd.)

South Whittier Library, 11543 Colima Rd. Meeting Room

Orchard Dale Elementary School, 10625 Cole Rd. Banquet Hall
(Cross street Mulberry Dr 1/4 mile east of La Mirada Bl.)

Whittwood Library, 10537 Santa Gertrudes Av. 
(Between Whittier Bl and Lambert Rd.)

The offices of the Registrar at 12400 Imperial Hwy in Norwalk will have extended hours the night before Election Day, remaining open until midnight.

For further information:

Friday, February 21, 2020

La Mirada Political News Update Part 2- A councilman calls for a resignation and more from Krystal

Part I can be viewed at the following link:

Krystal Part Deux

It would have been hard to predict ahead of time that the daughter of a little known candidate for city council would be the trigger that unleashed all the hostility at last week's council session 

La Mirada News has learned that Krystal Fowler, the daughter of District 4 candidate Jackie Fowler who apparently lives under the same roof attended the meet-and-greet for incumbent Mayor Steve De Ruse using her married name Smith is seen as a poor attempt to mask her identity.  

The Fowler's live on the same block less than 1,000 feet from where the De Ruse event was held so Fowler and her children were quickly identified by some in attendance.

The day before last week's city council meeting, Krystal Fowler appeared on NextDoor stating she had not misrepresented who she was by telling others at Mayor Steve De Ruse's campaign event her last name was Smith because it is her married name that she currently uses and she has not used Fowler in 12 years.

Evidence to the contrary rests in the fact that she is registered on NextDoor and presented herself during the city council session as Krystal Fowler and the name in her professional role as Assistant Director at Empty Nest, the pre-school owned by her mother, Jackie Fowler. 

In a civil online exchange with the Misty Cota chairperson of the city's Community Services Commission, Krystal Fowler stated the reason she went to Mayor Steve De Ruse's campaign event was to learn more about De Ruse for herself and not take the word others.

The younger Fowler has not denied or offered any reason or explanation for allegedly causing a disruption at the De Ruse meet-and-greet or offered any details about her statement that she was forced to pose for a photo at the event.

Krystal Fowler has also failed to explain why she used the word 'violence' when describing the exchange after the candidate's forum at La Mirada High School on Feb. 3rd. Witnesses to the clash tell La Mirada NewsBeat that it was entirely verbal and no threats were made.

Community rallies in support of Misty Cota

Councilmember Andrew Sarega who has stayed below the radar for most of his second term following a first term that saw regular clashes with the rest of the council has returned to old form last week by first taking aim at the mayor the at a city commission member,

Sarega did not mention the mayor by name but it was quite clear who he was lecturing on the need as elected officials to have a thick skin and public speakers (his father) should have been allowed to speak and not muzzled because the line he considered to be unacceptable in society had not been crossed.

Sarega then went on to call for the resignation of Misty Cota, a city Community Services Commission member for allegedly using her position "to put out information disparaging" towards him. He called the alleged remark that he did not belong on the council disturbing since he was elected by the voters.

Sarega did not provide any information about how and to whom the comments by Cota were made.

It appears Sarega's rant may have had the effect of solidifying support for and raising the visibility that Cota enjoys in the community according to comments made by several elected officials and by supporters on social media,

After seeing the rally of support Cota drew from the community, District 3 candidate John Accornero commented on NextDoor "maybe it's a good thing Andrew never endorsed me."  

In addition to serving on the Community Services Commission, Cota donates countless hours volunteering on local organizations including the La Mirada Ebell and can be seen either attending or lending a hand at most every community event and fundraiser.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

La Mirada Political News: A meltdown at City Hall ends council meeting

La Mirada- During the seven years Andrew Sarega has held a seat on the La Mirada City Council he has been the center of discord on a number of occasions.

Despite the lingering resentments between Sarega and others on the council past and present many were caught off guard by the prolonged hostility directed at Mayor Steve De Ruse at last week's council meeting. 

It is generally accepted among those that follow the local political scene that council candidate Jackie Fowler who is running against Mayor De Ruse in the 4th council district and Matthew Morse who is running against two other candidates in District 5 are proxies in an attempt by Andrew Sarega and his father Ion 'John' Sarega to capture control by controlling three seats.

Morse was appointed to a seat on the Planning Commission last year after Sarega recommended him for consideration. Each council member is afforded one selection each to fill spots on city commissions.

Last week's outbreak of emotions is rooted in the appearance and conduct of Krystal Fowler, the daughter of Jackie Fowler, at the meet-and-greet for Mayor Steve De Ruse at the home of a supporter on Jan. 16.

In this photo taken at the De Ruse campaign event Krystal
Fowler can be seen in the front row extreme left smiling

Several people that attended the event support the claim by the mayor that Krystal Fowler with her children in tow was disruptive at the event. She is alleged to have listened to the mayor address people attending the event for a short time then began to challenge statements the mayor was making.

Krystal Fowler has not explained why she was at a campaign event in support of the man her mother was attempting to unseat and has not denied creating a disruption. Krystal Fowler will only say she was 'forced' to pose a group photo that those in attendance gathered to take and can be seen smiling in the photo.

Fast forward two and a half weeks to Feb. 4th to the conclusion of the final candidate's forum at La Mirada High School.  

After the event, a member of Mayor De Ruse's family was seen having a cordial conversation with Jackie Fowler that turned heated as soon as Jackie's daughter, Krystal became involved. 

 An unnamed source tells La Mirada News that shortly after the incident involving the Fowler's the same member of the De Ruse family was confronted in the La Mirada High School parking lot by John and Andrew Sarega.

Both Fowler's claim they were approached again a short time later by two men as they were leaving the meeting room that the forum had been held at the high school. Both confrontations were verbal and no threats or any other crime was said to have occurred. The identities of the two men were not given publicly if they were known.

Last week at the Feb. 10 city council session the elder Sarega appeared with Jackie and Krystal Fowler appearing intent on shaming the mayor for the disagreements the previous week.

Sarega was blocked from an attempt to criticize the mayor for an argument he had with a member of the mayor's family before the meeting began because it did not involve anyone on the council and verbal conflict was not under the jurisdiction of the city council.

Mayor De Ruse further stated he was not even present when either the Feb 4th or last week's conflict occurred, he also said he had no way of knowing the incidents were to take place.

The mayor allowed both Jackie Fowler and daughter Krystal more leeway with Jackie Fowler stating the 'verbal attacks' made them afraid. La Mirada News has received comments from unnamed residents stating the Fowler's have not taken responsibility for beginning the controversy in the first place at the De Ruse campaign event and failing to offer any explanation should be viewed as a huge 'red flag' surrounding core principles that should be seen in elected officials including truth, honesty, accountability, and credibility.

Decorum in council chambers experienced a meltdown as the mayor told those in attendance that "personal attacks have no place in here".  

As De Ruse explained he chose not to engage in public mudslinging after Krystal Fowler crashed his meet-and-greet, John Sarega, and both Fowler's began yelling at the mayor. 

Ion Sarega was furious that he had been told earlier he could not engage in personal attacks and started shouting at the mayor from behind the audience just inside the council chambers resulting in his ejection from the meeting.

Meanwhile, both candidate Fowler and her daughter continued yelling at the mayor angered he brought up Krystal's behavior at his campaign event offering that they (Krystal and Jackie Fowler)  never called out the mayor or his family by name even though it was clearly worded leaving no question who their target for criticism was.

After John Sarega was ejected, candidate Jacke Fowler and daughter Krista continued almost non-stop yelling at the mayor also from behind the audience refusing to allow Mr. De Ruse to speak free of interruption as he attempted to offer a public explanation through the commotion and yelling the mother and daughter were also doing from behind the audience.  

Once it became obvious the yelling was not going to end and not wanting to escalate emotions any further the meeting was hastily adjourned.  

The final swing of the gavel was hardly noticeable over the shouting from the pair.

Coming Wednesday and later in the week Part II - and Part III Including:

Andrew Sarega slings a little mud of his own
A look at the path to last week's meltdown
A look at some notable  positions seen in the candidate platforms
Candidate endorsements are in
City Council actions (Yes there is still business to attend to by the council)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Man that shot dog to death on a La Mirada street sentenced to State Prison

A Lakewood Man has pleaded no contest to charges in the shooting death of a dog in the industrial section of La Mirada last month.

Shane Michael Dubyak, 25, entered the plea to a charge of cruelty to an animal and to a second charge of using a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Dubyak who had been on AB-109 supervised community release was sentenced immediately to a five-year prison term.

The January 5th incident was captured on surveillance video that shocked many in the community. That video showed an SUV pull to a stop in the 16400 block of Phoebe Ave and then moments later Dubyak is seen placing the fifteen-year-old terrier that he had been caring for in the street and then firing the deadly shots.