Wednesday, December 23, 2020

La Mirada loses another pillar of the community

 La Mirada has lost another pillar of the community who devoted his life to youth achievement.  Darryl Adams, the vice president of the Norwalk-La Mirada school board passed away earlier this week. He was 59.

Adams was no ordinary elected school board member.  He had been on the school board since 1993 and won re-election six times.

He became a teacher after graduating from USC in 1985 and took on additional work as an team athletics coach where he was mentor to an untold number of youths 

In addition to coaching high school sports for close to three decades he also devoted many years coaching little league.


Adams also served on the Norwalk Social Services Commission, held fundraisers and was a keynote speaker at many functions.

But perhaps his legacy will be how he accomplished the unusual  fete of being an elected official of nearly 28 years in a district encompassing two very distinctly different cities on a board that is elected by voters district-wide.

To those that knew Adams it was not surprising to have been on the board all those years because they knew he cared only about the students in the district and that passion also resonated with voters that participated through the years in local board elections. 

Despite having a Norwalk address he received the endorsements of most of the city council members in both Norwalk and La Mirada and from prominent community members in both cities as well. 

In October when the board was discussing schools on a list recommended for closure due to falling enrollment, Adams said he was against closing Foster Road Elementary I knew it was as good as done because that is the kind of respect he commanded from others around him.

That is because for more than three decades all he really cared about were our children.


Friday, December 11, 2020

 Go Fund Me Support for our VFW! Donate now to help them keep the doors open!

Donate now to help our vets! Click the link - any size donation is appreciated. Support our Local La Mirada Veterans of Foreign Wars Post on Valley View! Please support our Local Veterans! Give to the Go fund Me Account for our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9148! The City of La Mirada and surrounding community should be proud of the La Mirada Post 9148 Veterans of Foreign Wars as it is one of the few Veterans of Foreign Wars Post (VFW) that owns its own property. Many of our Comrades have permanently closed. Please help keep our legacy going. La Mirada Supports it Vets! The VFW is the first community based organization for our new troops to get help and transition to civilian life. Veterans Helping Veterans. Now we need your help to stay open. We have been closed since March and continue to have our bills come due. Many people "Thank us for our service," well we "Thank you for your support!"

Sunday, November 22, 2020

NLMUSD election results update: Rios lead widens to 34 votes

Incumbent Jesse Urquidi, the current vice president of the NLMUSD school board is in danger of losing his reelection bid for a second term to challenger Jose Rios who now has a razor thin lead of 34 votes.

Rios, a realtor from Norwalk saw his lead widen on Friday after overtaking Urquidi earlier in the week by just four votes.

The next results update will be released on late Tuesday afternoon. 

Updated results can be found below.

Results as of Friday Nov. 20

KAREN MORRISON (N)21,02425.15%
JOSE M. RIOS (N)20,26424.24%
JESUS "JESSE" URQUIDI (N)20,23024.20%

Saturday, November 21, 2020

7 arrested at La Mirada DUI checkpoint

Seven drivers were arrested at a Sheriff's Department DUI checkpoint last night on Imperial Hwy. west of Valley View Av. including one driver that was taken into custody for DUI.

Five drivers were arrested for driving without a license or for being behind the wheel with a suspended or revoked license.

The owner of one vehicle was arrested, cited, and released for knowingly allowing an unlicensed driver to operate their vehicle (yes it's a misdemeanor crime) and one driver was cited for having an open container of alcohol in their vehicle.

Deputies towed five vehicles during the operation funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety that began at 6 p.m. and ended at 2 a.m.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Update**Curfew to help battle the spread of the Covid-19 virus announced


The state has announced a 'limited' Stay At Home Order, requiring all non-essential work, movement and gatherings to halt between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the state’s most restrictive “purple” tier of the coronavirus-monitoring system.

All Southern California counties are in the purple tier. The new order will take effect at 10 p.m. Saturday and remain in effect until 5 a.m. Dec. 21.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated earlier in the week he would not have his deputies enforce a curfew on businesses if one were to be implemented. It's unclear what his stance is on a stay-at-home curfew.

County health chief warns stay-at-home home order could arrive as early as this weekend

Los Angeles County is reporting a staggering 5,031 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, raising the cumulative total to 353,232 City News Service reports.

Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis says it’s the highest number reported by the county in a single day since the start of the pandemic, absent a backlog of cases. The county is also reporting another 29 deaths, raising the death toll to 7,363.

Dr. Muntu Davis says if the county’s daily COVID-19 cases continue at the pandemic-high level reported today, the county could find itself under a strict stay-at-home order as early as Sunday. 

Such an order would allow only essential workers to leave their homes, as well as people accessing essential services. It would also include a countywide curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Update: NLMUSD Board V.P. in danger of losing re-election bid

In the race for the third open seat on the Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District board, Vice President Jesse Urquidi has seen his lead on election night of 1.04% disappear and now trails Challenger Jose Rios by four votes.

The updated results released late Tuesday show newcomer Christopher Staples, and incumbent Karen Morrison both from La Mirada continue to hold safe leads for two of the three open seats on the board.

Rios, a realtor from Norwalk had trailed Urquidi by 622 votes on election night now is in a good position to pull an upset but it may take a while to get a final tally.

Votes are still being tallied daily during a 30-day period after Election Day known as canvassing.

It is during this period where election officials will tally vote-by-mail ballots received on or after Election Day that were postmarked honor or before November 3rd, provisional, damaged and writing ballots.

Officials will then do an audit by pulling a certain amount of ballots to ensure the original count was accurate then certify the results.

The next results update is due to be released late afternoon on Friday.

Results: (Three seats available)

KAREN MORRISON (N)20,88225.18%
JOSE M. RIOS (N)20,07724.21%
JESUS "JESSE" URQUIDI (N)20,07324.20%

ALSO: East Whittier City School District #5
Covering parts of N. La Mirada, East Whittier, and Murphy Ranch.

Wendy Cabrera a professor at Rio Hondo College has taken a 50 vote come from behind lead ahead of homemaker Amelia Bakshi of East Whittier.

WENDY CARRERA (N)3,59750.35%
AMELIA BAKSHI (N)3,54749.65%

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Local elections: Urquidi lead narrows in school board race

The race for the third seat on the Norwalk-La Mirada school board tightened considerably Monday with incumbent and Board Vice President Jesse Urquidi now holding just an 82 votes lead over challenger Jose Rios.

The 19,412 votes for Urquidi and the 19,370 for Rios is a difference of .10 percentage points at 24.21% to 24.11%.

Incumbent Karen Morrison and newcomer Christopher Staples, both from La Mirada appear destined to victory for the other two available seats up for grabs on the board of seven board members.

Staples had widen his lead in the contest by late Monday, earning 21,133 of the votes tallied so far while Morrison has received 20,306 this far.

Ballot counting was to resume again this morning.

Meanwhile in the East Whittier school board District 5 race, Wendy Carrera who had been trailing Amelia Bakshi by several dozen votes since election night has come from behind to take a 50.45% to 49.55% lead in the contest.

Carrera a professor at Rio Hondo College has 3,505 votes, a 48 votes lead over homemaker Bakshi's 3,443 with mail-in ballots still remaining to be counted.

East Whittier District #5 represents parts of N. La Mirada, East Whittier, and the Murphy Ranch neighborhood.

Monday, November 9, 2020

La Mirada to honor veterans at public ceremony

La Mirada-  The public is invited to attend a special Veteran's Day ceremony Wednesday at Civic Center Plaza next to City Hall to honor the men and women that have served in the military throughout the history of this nation. 

The event will pay special tribute to La Mirada veterans begins at 11 a.m. and will begin with Bittany Fisheli of La Mirada singing the national anthem.

The ceremony will be streamed live on both the City of La Mirada Facebook page and its Twitter feed.

Social distancing and wearing of masks will be practiced.

For additional information contact La Mirada Community Services at 562)  943-7277. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Late Thursday school board election results

 Local School Board Elections Update:

These are the latest numbers from Thursday evening.

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District- 3 seats available

Christopher Staples 17,382 votes 26.20%

Karen Morrison* 17,263 votes 26.02%

Jesse Urquidi* 16,139 votes 24.33%

Jose Rios 15.553 votes 23.45%


Staples, Morrison, and Urquidi are La Mirada residents, Rios is from Norwalk.

East Whittier City School District

District #5 representing parts N. La Mirada, East Whittier, and Murphy Ranch.

Amelia Bakshi 2,943 votes 50.44%

Wendy Carrera 2,892 votes 49.56%

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Wild swings forecast to bring heat then chilly weather

After several days of normal November weather, an offshore weather pattern will push daytime highs well above average today and Thursday followed by a sharp cooling trend Friday producing the chilliest fall weather so far and even bring a chance of 30% chance of rain over the weekend.

Today and Thursday will be hot and dry with highs reaching into the 90's by tomorrow. Wind prone areas will experience strong northwest Santa Ana winds with low humidity levels that will produce red flag conditions in some wildland fire-prone areas.

A sharp swing in the weather will occur on Friday as a cold-weather system takes hold in the area that will drop daytime highs 20 degrees lower in 24 hours becoming chilly on Saturday where overnight lows will fall into the 40's.

A 10% chance of rain will accompany the cold weather beginning Friday night.

Today's high was forecast to be 86 in La Mirada going down tonight to 61 followed by a high on Thursday jumping to 93.

The dramatic cool off starts to take hold Friday where the high will fall to 72, followed by 66 on Saturday when there will be a 30% chance of rain and a high of 64 on Sunday. It will gradually begin warming up again on Monday. Overnight lows will drop into the 40's on Saturday and Sunday.

Local Election Results:Three La Miradans hold lead in school board race

8 a.m. results 

Potential newcomer Christopher Staples of La Mirada continues to hold the top spot in the race for one of the three seats up for grabs on the Norwalk-La Mirada school board 26.14% of the votes tallied so far with 15,566.

Incumbent Karen Morrison continues to hold second place with 15,496 votes at 26.02%.

The contest for the final spot has narrowed slightly since Midnight between incumbent Jesse Urquidi the current Board Vice President also from La Mirada with 14,532 and challenger Jose Rios's 13,965 votes.

At Midnight, Rios who trailed Urquidi by 1.04% has inched closer and is now behind 0.95% of the vote.

Urquidi surprised many observers last week by introducing the motion that kept open Dulles Elementary School.

NLMUSD Election Results

 Three candidates from La Mirada including incumbents Karen Morrison and Jesse Urquidi and a potential newcomer Christopher Staples were leading in the race for three seats on the Norwalk-La Mirada school board as of Midnight.

Christopher Staples led the balloting with 15,312 and 26.12% of the votes. Staples was just ahead of incumbent Karen Morrison who had 26.10% of the votes tallied with 15,299.
Current Board Vice President Jesse Urquidi finds himself in a tight race with challenger Jose Rios for the third seat with 24.41% of the vote to Rios' 23.37%. Urquidi has a 614 vote lead with 14,311 to Rios' 13,697.
Image may contain: text that says 'NLM NORWALK LA MIRADA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Every Student. Future Ready. Our Promise!'

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Voters finding minimal waits on Election Day

 LaMirada- The long lines and confusion experienced by last minute voters in the 2016 presidential election appears will not be repeated tonight.

As of 4:30 p.m. all voting centers in La Mirada are reporting waiting times at 15 minutes or less. 

At the voting center at the La Mirada County Library there was no waiting to cast a ballot in person.

In addition to the voting centers there are also dropboxes at Gardenhill Park and outside the La Mirada library.

There are five voting centers in the city including the library, the city Activity Center behind Fire Station 49, the La Mirada Adult School on Alondra and Ocaso Av, the Neff Park Barn, and in the lobby at the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts.

Photo: Voters are arriving to find no wait to cast a ballot at the La Mirada Library at 4:30 p m.

****Update 6:15 p.m.****

Voting is going more smoothly than most had predicted as voters are finding minimal or no waiting as the 8 p.m. closing time nears. 

At 6 p.m. at the Neff Park voting center voters were finding poll workers in good spirits, a change from four years ago when workers had to deal with equipment issues that resulted in long lines of short-tempered voters that were left casting votes well after the polls had closed.

Only about half of the voting stations were in use adding to the relaxed atmosphere.

Voters using mail in ballots can drop them off at any voting center in Los Angeles County.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Save Dulles School demonstration planned for today

 Sat. Oct. 24

The fight to keep open Dulles Elementary School open takes to the streets this afternoon.
Supporters of the school that is slated as a potential site for closure will stage a demonstration at 1 pm at Imperial Hwy and Santa Gertrudes Ave.
The school located at 12726 Meadow Green Rd in the Green Hills neighborhood could be shuttered to shore up a growing annual budget deficit.
An advisory committee appointed by the NLMUSD to look at potential schools to close due to declining enrollment is currently operating with a budget deficit pegged at $5 million this school year selected three La Mirada schools including Dulles.
Community pressure appears to have saved one of the other two Foster Road Elementary and area residents hope to replicate that success and keep the eastside campus open as well.
Los Coyotes Middle School is the other campus here under consideration for closure.
Several board members are believed receptive to the idea of deferring a decision until after the COVID-19 pandemic is resolved.
The school board is expected to make a decision at its Monday, Oct. 26 meeting in two days.
An advisory committee appointed by the NLMUSD to look at potential schools to close due to declining enrollment that would help reduce an operating budget deficit pegged at $5 million this school year selected three La Mirada schools including Dulles

Monday, October 12, 2020

Proposed school closures to be discussed tonight 10/12

A report submitted by a committee recommending three La Mirada schools be closed due to declining enrollment will be discussed tonight during a Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District board study session.
Dulles Elementary, Foster Road Elementary, and Los Coyotes Middle Schools were designated as campuses that should be closed.
The suggested closure of Foster Road Elementary is the most controversial because busing La Mirada students to a school in Norwalk is included as part of that proposal.
The study session begins at 6:30 pm at the district offices located at
12820 Pioneer Blvd in Norwalk.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Man that drove car into gym sentenced to state prison

La Mirada News File photo 3/19/2019

A South Whittier man has been handed a nine-year state prison sentence after pleading no contest to a charge related to a March 2019 incident that involved driving a stolen vehicle into a La Mirada gym after the business revoked his membership.

Sergio Gabriel Reyes, 34, pleaded no contest Monday to a single charge of assault with a deadly weapon after the prosecutor agreed to drop four other charges including attempted murder, vehicle theft and two counts of vandalism. Reyes had faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

With time already served and good time credits Reyes will have to serve up to another 38 months before being eligible for parole.

On March 19, 2019, Reyes was arrested after he drove a stolen car through the front of Crunch Fitness at 12815 Valley View Av after the gym terminated his membership after an accusation by several women that he had been directing sexual harassment at them.

There were a handful of customers still inside the business at the time of the incident and an employee standing near the front desk narrowly escaped injury.

A witness followed Reyes to the 15200 block of Alicante Rd after spotting him run to a second vehicle that was stopped near the gym. The Toyota Corolla that Reyes fled in collided with a curb attempting to elude the following witness and was held until deputies arrived.

The vehicle that Reyes drove into the gym belonged to a relative.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Local deputies and firefighters keep busy on a noisy 4th of July

La Mirada-  Sheriff's deputies and Los Angeles County firefighters were kept busy on the night of 4th of July, and despite a noted upsurge of illegal fireworks heard around the city this year there were only a few outdoor fires blamed on their use. 

Four teams made up of a deputy, a code enforcement officer, and a public safety officer acting as a spotter made their presence know in parts of the city writing $1,000 citations for using fireworks not rated safe and sane.

A heavy sheriff's presence was noted in the Windemere Park neighborhood as well as areas along Alicante Rd and near Los Coyotes Middle School.

One of the citations was issued to a partygoer at a home on  Manzanares Rd. and Alicante Rd where about ten people were celebrating a little too much as two of the special enforcement units passed by. A resident in the area told La Mirada News that he had been seeing people run across Alicante Rd into the park a short distance followed by loud explosions that had been setting off car alarms in the area for several hours. 

A final tally for La Mirada is expected to be revealed next Tuesday during the city council study session however a tweet from Norwalk Station stated deputies at the station had written 48 citations over the four-day period ending July 4th and had confiscated 875 pounds of illegal fireworks during the same time period.

Despite a dramatic increase in the use of illegal fireworks this year,  only a few outdoor fires were blamed on their use including a spectacular Pine Tree fire at a home behind the Rosebeach Apartments at the corner of Faceta Dr and Ashgrove Av. The fire followed what witnesses described as a spectacular exhibition of illegal aerial fireworks at the large apartment complex.

Dramatic video of this fire can be found on YouTube by clicking on the following link:

A hedge caught fire on a cul-de-sac offshoot in the 14200 block of Whiterock Dr and was extinguished by residents before the arrival of the fire department.

More coverage after each photo.

Firefighters from Engine 49 check a smoldering hedge on Whiterock Dr.

As midnight struck the action moved from fireworks-related incidents to those that were more potentially dangerous.

A White Toyota Camry registered as a rental car was traveling northbound on Figueras Rd from Rosecrans Av became flipped over on its roof near the intersection with Badlona Dr. sending one of the occupants to the hospital with minor injuries.

A short time later deputies and fire crews rushed to an occupied home that was reported on fire in the 14400 block of San Dieguito Dr. near Neff Park.

Deputies arrived within two minutes reporting that the home had been successfully evacuated. Flames were visible coming from the garage which appeared to have been undergoing some sort of work by a contractor or the homeowner.

The fire was deemed to be not related to fireworks and was quickly extinguished by firefighters from Engine 194 from the Beach Blvd. fire station. Crews from four other stations also responded to assist in the effort.

As firefighters worked to extinguish the house fire, Norwalk Station dispatchers also began receiving calls about a street takeover that was in progress at Alondra Bl and Valley View Av.

After being dispersed from intersection adjacent to the AM/PM, the crowd of about 200 gathered to shut down Valley View Av once again, this time about a half-mile to the north at Gannet St.

With many of the deputies at the fire on San Dieguito Dr and their cars trapped behind all the fire equipment stopped in the middle of the narrow residential street, a lone deputy was greeted by the takeover crowd on Valley View Av. by occupants from several escaping cars throwing M-80's at the deputy who had staked a location in the intersection to disperse the crowd with the loud explosives narrowly missing the Sheriff's SUV.

The night ended with arguably the most critical incident occurring after a deputy answering a routine fireworks complaint call encountered a car stopped on the lip of the driveway near the liquor store at Santa Gertrudes Av and La Mirada Blvd. about 2:30 a.m.
When the deputy approached the vehicle he spotted a gun and two people that had fallen asleep. After deputies had extracted the occupants at gunpoint it was determined the weapon was a so-called 'ghost gun' that is shipped to buyers in pieces and are assembled by its owners, bypassing gun background checks.

One of the suspects from the car with the 'ghost gun' is handcuffed by deputies

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Council News: New traffic signal approved and Biola Safety Chief to serve on Planning Commission

The city council approved the installation of a traffic signal at Imperial Hwy. and Burgess Ave. during its June 23rd meeting based on the results of a study performed by a traffic engineer.

The engineer's report noted that 16 accidents have been recorded at the intersection in a five-year period, six of them occurring in the final year of the study.

Councilmember Andrew Sarega voiced concerns that a signal would cause further congestion during the morning commute on Imperial and suggested restricting traffic on Burgess to right turns only and instead funnel drivers through neighborhoods to the east of Burgess Ave. towards Biola Ave. to enter or turn from Imperial Hwy.

The other four members of the council failed to support Sarega's suggestion.

Biola Campus Safety Chief and eight others named to four-year city commission terms

The council also approved the appointments of two new commissioners and reappointed seven others to new four-year terms.
John Ojeisekhoba

Biola University Associate Vice President and Chief of Campus Safety John Ojeisekhoba was appointed to the Public Safety Commission.

Chief Ojeisekhoba has received several national honors from his peers including named Campus Safety Director of the Year by Campus Safety Magazine for the many changes he made to campus security, officer training, and preparedness. Officer retention has grown by 150% since he became chief.

Ojeisekhoba's department is well-respected by local law enforcement as demonstrated by the close working relationship his officers enjoy with local deputies and investigators. Biola Campus Safety officers have peace officer status while on duty and the scope of duties and authority of its personnel are outlined in an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Sheriff's Department.

Biola currently ranks as one of the safest campuses across the nation and has received local and national acclaim for its annual earthquake and active shooter drills.

Also returning to the Public Safety Commission to four-year terms are Desiree Johnson and Mark Madison

Phillip Massey was appointed to the La Mirada Planning Commission after a nomination by the newest member of the city council Anthony Otero. Massey previously served on the  Oversight Committee that monitored Measure I sales tax expenditures as its chairman. Measure I was a one-cent sales tax that was collected for four years funding much of the infrastructure rehabilitation in residential areas across the city. 

Returning to the Planning Commission are Richard Cline and Michael Saenz, and reappointed to the Community Services Commission are Misty Cota, Steve Lee, and Susan Savage.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

City Council to discuss temporary expansion of outdoor dining

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The La Mirada city council will discuss this evening a proposal to allow restaurants to temporarily expand outdoor seating in an effort to assist local eateries that are losing indoor capacity due to social distancing requirements increase the number of tables available.

Council members will discuss during today's 5 p.m. study session an ordinance that could allow dining on sidewalks, walkways, and parking areas to assist dining establishments who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Some of the components that are up for discussion are will alcohol service, placement of televisions, and music for guests be allowed and what type of requirements will be in place for outdoor fixtures and barriers.

During its 6:30 regular session at 6:30 p.m this evening, the city council is expected to hold a public hearing  on the proposed 2020-21 fiscal year budget.