Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Updated plans for March opening on Farmer's Market to be discussed tonight

La Mirada- A report from city staff updating the plans and implementation for the proposed Farmer's Market will be discussed by the council at their monthly study session.

The market was originally proposed to be held on Thursday, but at the urging of some community members, a community survey was conducted after receiving feedback from the community that questioned scheduling the market on a weekday before most workers returned home.

The survey results shifted plans to hold the market each Saturday from 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and to a slight change in venue to the Civic Center parking lot east of the Activity Center.

The plan has been put out to bid and a market organizer, VenaVer Events has been chosen based on its success in organizing other local markets in cities that include Norwalk, Lomita, and San Pedro.

City staff is looking at a March opening with 20 to 25 vendors on site each week.

The report notes that during the summer season when Buccaneer Bay is open the market will be suspended and shifted over to be held as the Night Market as part of the annual Concerts in the Park series because of the demands of the parking Splash! requires each summer.

The council study session is tonight at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

FPPC fine levied against friend of council member Sarega for state elections law violations

Stelian Onufrei

A local contractor with close ties to La Mirada Councilmember Andrew Sarega has been fined by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for failing to file timely notifications of campaign donations made during the 2017 municipal election period. 

The FPPC fined Diamond Construction and Design, owned by Stelian Onufrei $484 for failing to report donations to Residents for a Better La Mirada (RBLM)  within 24-hours as required by state law. The donations to RBLM were used to print and mail campaign materials that caused outrage in the community.

Sarega and Aiello image on 2017 mailer

Sarega was the campaign manager in 2018 for Onufrei in a failed bid to win a seat in Congress and is a friend of the Sarega family.

Election finance filings with the FPPC show another Sarega family friend, Ionel Imbre of La Mirada was in charge of RBLM.

RBLM mailers attacking Sarega's opponent Pauline Deal caused the loudest outrage after the mailer called Deal uneducated, having a poor public speaking ability, and an embarrassment to the city. (Opinion: Deal is a well-spoken lady that was wonderful at wishing city employees happy birthdays, anniversaries etc.. each meeting)

The donations from Onufrei were also used to send out mailers attacking District 1 candidate John Lewis who was running against Tony Aiello, another Sarega friend at the time. Lewis defeated Aiello in that contest.

The attacks set off a political firestorm that was aired publicly during a February 2017 council meeting that saw several public speakers condemn dirty campaigning followed by denials from Andrew Sarega that he had any knowledge of the mailers despite using the same company to print and send his own mailers. 

RBLM, Sarega, and Aiello all used the same Texas direct mail business to print and mail out their campaign materials to voters the La Mirada Lamplighter reports.

An FPPC case is still pending against Andrew Sarega who is also under investigation for filing violations as his second term nears an end. 

It is unclear if Sarega will seek a third term after stating during his 2018 campaign materials he sent out in his bid for the 39th Congress District seat that he firmly supported term limits and that eight years was more than enough for any elected official to accomplish their agenda.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Young Americans return to LM with the musical Magic of Christmas

Southern California-based musical tour group The Young Americans has returned to La Mirada for their annual Christmas show of musical numbers.

Good seats are available for the remaining seven shows of The Magic of Christmas appearing live on stage at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts through December 19.

A 45-foot LED Wall will take viewers from the North Pole to the streets of London, Toyland, and more.

Tickets priced from $18 to  $65 can be purchased online at https://cart.lamiradatheatre.com/events or from the box office in person or by phone at (714) 994-6310.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

"La Mirada is dear to his heart"

In the introduction to La Mirada: A Brief History, co-written by Raymond Fernandez, La Mirada pioneer Alice Palicz arrived at the same conclusion as many others have when she writes 'La Mirada is dear to his heart'.

Fernandez is a current member of the La Mirada Community Services Commission and member of the city's Historical Preservation Advisory Council, Rotary Club President, published two books on La Mirada history and much more.

Fernandez shares his passion for La Mirada in a series of local interest videos on YouTube on his These Curious Times channel including a 13-part historical tour of the community, a look at the McNally Altadena home, interviews with locals, and my favorite, a tour of Foster Park/West La Mirada presented by councilmember John Lewis.

There are more videos than the ones described and Mr. Fernandez tells La Mirada News more are on the way, so check it out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

City Council on redistricting- If it isn't broke don't fix it

La MiradaThe city council has voted to use the same council district map that was first adopted in 2016 for another ten-year period noting a lack of interest from the public for change.

Consultants from National Demographics Corporation (NDC) a firm hired to guide the city through the redistricting process told the council the boundaries successfully protect two identified communities of interest in District 1, the Hispanic majority district on the west
side and District 3 protecting the interests of the Asian community in the east.

The absence of public participation in the redistricting process has been noteworthy and corresponds with comments made by Councilmember John Lewis and Steve DeRuse that they have not received complaints about representation issues or requests to be moved to another district.

Councilmember Anthony Otero noted that though the city council operates from districts it acts as one body for the benefit and good of all its residents.

In closing out council discussion on the issue Mayor Ed Eng said he found working within big organizations that making change without a purpose leads to chaos.

The only member of the council, Andrew Sarega who voiced any interest in making major changes in the district boundaries was absent from the meeting.  

The ordinance adopting the district boundaries for ten more years gained approval on a 4-0 vote.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

La Mirada man sent to state prison in 2020 shooting

Norwalk-  A La Mirada man has received a state prison sentence after pleading guilty to firing shots at the home of his former girlfriend in the Foster Park area of La Mirada in November 2020.

Justin Serratos, 21, received the maximum sentence of four years for aggravated assault with a firearm and additional 8-months for firing a weapon in a negligent manner under a plea agreement with prosecutors. In exchange for his plea, charges alleging attempted murder and felony vandalism were dropped.

Serratos was arrested November 25, 2020 after deputies tracked him to his home in the 13900 block of Bora Drive after he fired shots into the home of his ex-girlfriend in the 13200 block of Woodridge Dr the night before.

Serratos initially refused to surrender to deputies, eventually surrendering after a 5-hour standoff that ended without further incident.

There were no injuries in either incident.

Serratos is currently being housed at the LASD North County Correctional Facility pending his transfer to the Wasco state prison intake center.


Friday, November 26, 2021

Controversy continues around local blogger

FPPC hands down $750 fine for election law violations

Aiello and Sarega pictured together
on 2017 mailer together. Both were 
not charged after FPPC investigation

The owner of a local news blog has been fined for violating state election laws during the 2017 contest to fill two seats on the city council.

Tony Aiello, editor of the La Mirada Blog website was hit with a $750 fine by the Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC) after it found that the candidate-controlled committee Aiello for Council 2017 failed to file campaign finance reports to the state commission in a timely manner on three occasions as required by state elections law. 

Aiello was not charged with a second allegation accusing him of campaign coordination with council member Andrew Sarega and Residents for a Better La Mirada (RBLM) after a La Mirada Lamplighter investigation determined all three utilized the same company in Arlington Texas to printed mail campaign materials to voters.

Campaign mailers viewed by many as political hit pieces sent by RBLM attacked Aiello's opponent John Lewis and Sarega's opponent Pauline Deal.

The flyers were funded from a $6,500 donation received from a business owned by Stelian Onufrei, a friend of the Sarega family. Andrew Sarega was Onufrei's campaign manager during a failed bid for Congress in 2018.

Tensions between Aiello and City Hall surfaced into the public eye in late 2019 after the city ended a contract with Aiello for placement of theatre ads on his blog due to a sharp drop off in internet traffic the ads were generating from the ads for the city according to La Mirada News sources who have asked not to be named.  

The drop in ad clicks may possibly be attributed to a lack of content in 2019 that saw only 15 posts placed for the entire year of which most were community event plugs seen on other platforms. The blog has been inactive since Sept. 2020, (14 months).

Mr. Aiello has promised a relaunch of the news blog on January 1 despite cutting ties with City Hall in May when he resigned from the city Historical Preservation Advisory Council (HPAC) after complaining on social media the city failed to notify HPAC that it granted access to a media outlet to produce a video about the contents inside the city archives room.

The resignation came shortly after being informed HPAC lacked oversight authority and served in an advisory capacity only to the city council on projects assigned to it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Railroad traffic through La Mirada is about to get a lot busier

La Mirada- Rail activity on the BNSF line through La Mirada will see more traffic as part of a plan President Joe Biden will announce today increasing operations at the Los Angeles Port to 24 hours a day to eliminate bottlenecks that are hindering economic recovery from the pandemic.

The BNSF rail line through La Mirada plays a significant part in moving the millions of shipping containers that move through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports each year which receive 40% of U.S. import cargo.

Port authorities will nearly double the number of hours longshore workers will offload ships that currently sit anchored offshore in a row extending seven miles to the south off Huntington Beach.

To clear space at the port to receive all the incoming shipping containers commitments have been made by the biggest players at the port to receive and transport out many more of the containers in the coming days as the operation expected to last 90 days gets underway.

Those commitments include Walmart that will receive and transport up to 50% more products, UPS handling 20% more containers, 60% by Samsung, Home Depot 10%, and Target 10%. 

FedEx will make a major shift to nighttime hours through increased use of rail and trucking transport that could result in a near doubling of shipments it handles daily. 

A similar effort is also underway at Long Beach Port.

Los Angeles Port has also seen a 30% increase in exports this year, with 20% more exports being reported at Long Beach.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

House fire near La Mirada causes extensive damage

 A fire in South Whittier this afternoon near Biola Av and Imperial Hwy caused extensive damage to a home and the detached garage that had been converted into a residence.

For more detail follow the link to the La Mirada News Facebook page.


Friday, September 17, 2021

Entertainment and Community News : The return of Broadway shows nears as Theatre opens 44th season

La Mirada native Kenny Metcalf kicked off the 44th season of entertainment at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts last night in a musical  re-creation as Elton John in Elton and the Early Years Band in the first of two shows.

Metcalf and his supporting band perform hit after hit from the early years in a live concert setting that even includes the flamboyant type of attire Elton John was known for.  

Good seats remain available for tonight's performance the last of the TV show series. seats for the 8 p.m. performance are priced from $19- $58. 

Further information and a link to purchase tickets can be found at:


The wait is almost over

Next Friday, after a season scrapped  due to the pandemic, the wait will be over as Broadway returns to La Mirada with the McCoy-Rigby production of Clue.

Based on the motion picture of the same name, Clue is a comedic whodunit with a cast of zany characters that brings to life the classic boardgame from Hasbro.

Clue premieres Friday September 24th and runs through October 17th with ticket prices ranging from $14 up to $62.90. Matinee shows are offered on Saturdays and Sundays.

The theatre is obligated by state law to enforce a mask and vaccination mandate in place through November 1st for all venues with a capacity of 1,000 or more.  All persons attending an events at the theater are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status or covid-19 test results.

In accordance with state law attendees must present photo ID and their proof of vaccination or a report showing a test of negative within the past 72 hours at the door in order to be admitted.

Sheriff's Dear Awareness Event

WHITTIER- The Sheriff's department will be hosting a deaf awareness inaugural event on Saturday at 10 a.m. to raise awareness of the deaf community and to highlight the Sheriff's Department involvement.

 The event at the Sheriff's STARS Center will feature educational breakout sessions, static displays, food trucks, face painting, and career information.

STARS Center is located at 11515 Colima Rd near Telegraph Rd in South Whittier.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

La Mirada News in Brief 090821 A pursuit, West Nile, new Starbucks, Pepe's and more

 Sunday vehicle pursuit

A suspect was taken into custody Sunday evening after a nine-minute pursuit that went through parts of La Mirada took an interesting twist near the end.

About 7:04 p.m. the suspect driving a 99 Brown Chevy near Rosecrans Av and Carmenita Rd fled when a deputy attempted to stop him for suspicion of reckless driving while under the influence. 

The chase entered La Mirada a few minutes later on Valley View Av at Imperial Hwy moving southbound to Rosecrans Ave.  The suspect then went east to Biola, then south to Stage Rd, and west to Norwalk again.  

The pursuit came to a sudden stop at Firestone Blvd and San Antonio Dr when the suspect collided with another vehicle and the center divider. The occupants of the other vehicle were not seriously hurt.

The man then took off on foot in a futile attempt to escape with a Sheriff's Department air unit overhead. 

After hopping the wall to the Vernola's Tow storage yard the suspect appeared to surrender to the helicopter loudspeaker order to spread eagle on the ground and wait to be taken into custody.

After gaining entry to the tow yard after an employee opened the gate the suspect suddenly bolted out the gate in a second attempt to escape and again hopped another wall, this time into a storage yard for Norwalk Transit buses at Sproul St and Clarkdale Ave.

The suspect became trapped without a way down after he climbed up on the roof of one of the buses and was taken into custody without further incident.

Virtual Neighborhood Watch meeting Sept. 15

The La Mirada Public Safety unit is holding an online Neighborhood Watch meeting on Zoom next Tuesday, September 15 at 10 a.m.

The following information is needed to gain access to the live stream Meeting ID #890 6873 0258  Passcode 585975.

For more information contact Public Safety Officer Mary Cipres at mcipres@cityoflamirada.org.

West Nile infected mosquito found in LM

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District in Santa Fe Springs has reported the first mosquito infected with the West Nile Virus has been located in La Mirada.

Four were found in the city last year.

The district asks residents to not have standing water where the breeding of mosquitos can occur.  

The public can report significant issues or potential breeding spots of standing water they observe by calling (562) 944-9656.

Local Engine on Northern California fire lines

The Los Angeles County Fire Department engine from Station 194 located on Beach Blvd near Hillsborough Dr has been on the fire lines in Northern California since July.

Engine 194 is part of a strike team consisting of five engines and a battalion chief that were dispatched to the Dixie fire shortly after it broke out on July 14. It is likely they were sent to the Caldor Fire in August.

County Fire has six strike teams on loan to the California Office of Emergency Services and will be compensated with disaster funds once they become available for costs incurred.

The personnel on the strike teams are usually relieved after two weeks with fresh personnel.

A fully-staffed reserve engine is now deployed at Station 194 24 hours a day until Engine 194 returns.

A New Starbucks coming to LM?

A notation in a recent city report noted that a new Starbucks would be opening a new coffee shop in the shuttered former Jack-in-the-Box at Beach Blvd and Hillsborough Dr.

No opening date was given.

New Pepe's Restaurant opens on Beach Blvd

Many of you fans out there of Pepe's located at Telegraph Rd and Lakewood Blvd in Downey will be pleased to find out that you will not have to make the trip over there any longer to enjoy their excellent food.

The have opened up a new location in the former Taco Bell in La Habra on Beach Blvd north of Imperial Hwy next to the Tommy's. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

84 year to life sentence handed in 2018 killing at Sportsman's Lounge

Norwalk-  A Montebello man was sentenced last week to serve 84 years to life in the 2018 shooting death of a man outside the Sportsman's Lounge.

A jury convicted John Gilbert Mendoza, 41,  of three felony counts after a trial that lasted seven days in July and reached a verdict the same day it began deliberations on July 26th.

Last week a sentence of 50 years to life was ordered on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of 30 year-old Adrian Anthony Quesada of Ontario.

Mendoza also received 32 years to life on an attempted murder charge in the shooting of a Pico Rivera woman who was 25 years old at the time. The woman recovered from her injuries.

Two more years were added on the third charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The shooting occurred early in the morning of February 24, 2018, after Mendoza got into an argument with both victims inside the bar located at 13902 Imperial Hwy.

Mendoza was employed as a security guard, not licensed by the state or permitted to have a gun due to a past felony conviction.

After further arguing occurred in the parking lot, the two victims decided to leave and began to walk to Quesada's car. Mendoza followed the victims and began to fire shots at the two.

The woman collapsed in the parking lot and Quesada, despite being mortally wounded was able to drive about a mile before crashing into a center divider in the 13200 block of Imperial Hwy. Quesada was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mendoza was also hit by rounds fired by Quesada in an apparent attempt at self-defense.

Mendoza will have one more court appearance before being transferred over to the state prison system to serve his sentence. A restitution hearing will be held on November 4th.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Council redistricting process begins with Tuesday public hearing

Tuesday, Aug. 24

La Mirada-  The first in a series of public hearings will be held tonight by the city council as the redistricting process begins to determine boundaries for the five council districts as required by state law every ten years. 

Tonight's hearing and a second hearing on Sept. 28 will allow the city council to gather public comment on redrawing districts before the map-drawing process begins.

The city is contracting with National Demographics Corporation (NDC) to assist with the process. NDC will examine 2020 census data when neighborhood demographic data is available in October to determine if the current district boundaries are diluting or dividing any protected groups and the current population in each district.

If NDC determines that the current districts still comply with the Voter Rights Act and the population in each district is close to the same the city council can choose to retain the current boundaries until 2030 or have new maps drawn up for consideration.

If significant boundary changes are necessary, a complete redistricting process will be conducted.

NDC would create a demographic database utilizing interactive mapping that will be used to draw boundaries for two to four suggested districts for the city council to consider. 

If a full redistricting process is conducted the public will be able to use the online mapping tools and submit suggestions for council consideration. NDC will that all suggestions submitted by the public to ensure compliance with the federal Voter Rights Act if adopted.

Tonight's city council meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Suspect held in La Mirada clothing store robbery

La Mirada- Deputies are detaining are a man suspected of the Monday morning robbery at a local clothing store. A second suspect remains outstanding.

The two men allegedly stole clothing from the Family Store at 12745 Valley View Avenue at about 11:20 a.m. One of the suspects was armed with a switchblade.

A witness followed the suspects to the area of St. Paul Church on Foster Road. Both the school at the church as well as Foster Road elementary School were placed on lockdown for about 20 minutes.

A deputy spotted one of the suspects at Foster Road and Duffield Avenue and placed him into custody pending further investigation. The man was still in possession of stolen merchandise.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Just two Concerts under the Stars remain, Tonight Vintage Rock

 La Mirada-  There are just two shows remaining in the summer Concerts under the Stars series and tonight's show will feature vintage rock performed by Rayford Bros Band.

The performance gets under way at 6:30 p.m at La Mirada County Regional Park  directly across the street from the high school at 13521 Adelfa Dr.

The Night Market featuring food, refreshments, fresh produce and crafts begins at 5 p.m.

The final show in the concert series will be next Thursday at 6:30 p.m  with Upstream performing Caribbean and Calypso music.

For additional information contact La Mirada community services at 562 943-7277.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

State prison sentences handed down in La Mirada fentanyl death of 16 month-old girl

Norwalk-  A Cypress man and woman have been sentenced to state prison for their roles in the Fentanyl death of a 16 month-old girl last August in La Mirada.

Felicia Candelaria, 35 was handed a six-year prison term, and Edgar Becerra, 37 a two-year state prison term in the death of Baby Luna. The girl was found dead inside a room at Marriot Residence Inn at 14419 Firestone Blvd. on August 29, 2020. 

Luna died of an overdose of fentanyl after Candelaria fell asleep leaving the girl unsupervised in the room and in turn allowing the girl access to the drug that had been left unsecured in the room. Fentanyl is a powerful sedative that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Candelaria awoke to find Luna's lifeless body and attempted CPR with the help of other hotel guests until firefighters arrived. 

Paramedics rushed Baby Luna to an area emergency room where she was pronounced dead.

According to friends who asked not to be identified, Becerra and Candelaria had been staying at the $150-200 a night extended stay accommodation for several weeks after one or both received a COVID-19 relief unemployment lump sum payout and had been partying hard during the time leading up to the day of the death.

Both Candelaria and Becerra were arrested on November 18 on charges alleging child abuse resulting in death. Candelaria received the maximum penalty.

Candelaria was being held at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood pending transfer to the state prison system.

Becerra was being held at pictures Detention Center, North Facility in Castaic pending transfer to the state prison.

City Council news: Weekly Farmer's Market proposed

In its second season, the Night Market at the summertime Concert under the Stars series each week has been received by residents enthusiastically. So much so that the city council discussed a proposal by city staff during the monthly council study session to launch a weekly Farmer's Market.

City staff proposes holding the Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Civic Center Plaza between the library and City Hall and in a portion of the parking lot east of the library.

Staff has suggested the market be held in the morning extending into the early afternoon each Wednesday to coincide with the popular Toddler Storytime at the library.

La Mirada businesses and vendors would have priority to operate at the Market. 

City staff estimates the farmers market could be operational as early as this October.

Courtesy: City of La Mirada

Changes proposed to boost attendance to Salute to Veterans.

City staff is also proposing several changes to its annual Salute to Veterans traditionally held at the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts in November.

Attendance at the annual event has fallen in recent years due to the aging of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War vets according to a report prepared for the city council. About 235 people attended the most recent ceremony in November 2019 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The report recommends shifting the ceremony away from the theatre with its seated capacity of 1,251 to the Civic Center Plaza where a scaled-down event was held outside due to Covid-19 and was well attended. 

Civic Center Plaza, located between City Hall and the county library is also the site of the Eternal Memorial Flame that has the names of all fallen La Mirada service members from 1960, the date of incorporation inscribed on it.

Also proposed is shifting the patriotic ceremony to Veteran's Day 11:11 a.m. from Monday evenings enabling more to attend due to the day being a federal holiday.

File Photo: John Lewis, La Mirada Mayor in 2010, speaks at the abbreviated
Salute to Veterans as State Sen. Bob Archuleta at right looks on


The council approved the first reading of an ordinance that designates when city elections will be held to adhere to a state law mandating local elections be held on the same date as state primaries except during years when there was a presidential election when they should be held on the date of the presidential primary.

Elections for city council District 1 and 2 will be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March commencing in 2022, and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June in District 3, 4, and 5 commencing in 2024.

The council will also shift the meeting it chooses its mayor and mayor pro-tem to its first council meeting in June each year.

Final passage will occur at the next council meeting on Tuesday, August 24.

Also on August 24, the city council will hold a public hearing on a proposal to permanently remove the three traffic signals on Firestone Bl. North and replace them with stop signs.

The signals at Gateway Dr. and the driveway to Northwoods Inn are currently on flashing red, and the signal at Trojan Way was removed due to the realignment of Firestone Bl. North as part of the I-5 widening project.

Three-way stop signs controls are already in place at Trojan Way and Firestone Bl North.

The Public Safety and Traffic Commission approved the proposal at its July 22 meeting.

File Photo:  Firestone Blvd and Trojan Way

(March 2021)

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Concert Under the Stars/ National Night Out event tonight

 Thurs Aug 5, 2021

La Mirada-  Representatives from the city Neighborhood Watch program and Public Safety unit will be on hand this evening along with members of the La Mirada policing team to meet the public at tonight's annual National Night Out event.

The event is being held during tonight's Concert Under the Stars at Regional Park located at 13701 Adelfa Drive from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This week will feature music with a Latin theme by Anything for Salinas.

Food and drink will be available for purchase from the Night Market vendors.

Public safety information that will be displayed at several booths and the representatives from both the city and sheriff's department will be available to ask questions or discuss community issues.

There will be fingerpainting activities for the kids and child identification fingerprinting will be available to families that are interested.

Millions of people across the country come together each August for neighborhood and citywide events that highlight crime prevention and drug abuse awareness.

Photo Courtesy: City of La Mirada

Monday, August 2, 2021

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

La Mirada Sheriff's and Public Safety News for May 18, 2021

File photo

 La Mirada -  Sheriff's officials are reporting the crime rate during the first quarter of 2021 is virtually unchanged versus the same time period in 2020 despite a surge in several categories of theft this year,  

A 46.2% drop in violent crimes was offset by a 7.1% increase in property crimes as the number of auto thefts reported both locally and across the region has skyrocketed.

47 vehicles were reported stolen in La Mirada in January, February, and March compared to 30 during the same time period in 2020, a 56.7% increase.

On a positive note, fewer burglaries were reported in the first quarter falling from 33 to 21.

A modest 5.79% increase in all other thefts (128) including from reports of vehicle break-ins, bikes, and shoplifting.

The drop in violent crime through March 31 was due to the number of aggravated assaults falling to 1/3 the number reported in the same time period last year, from 18 to just six. Aggravated assaults are defined as those where a weapon wielded or the victim suffers great bodily injury.

The number of robberies remained unchanged at six. (Editor's notes, armed robberies are uncommon in La Mirada. Many in the robbery category are Estes' robberies where shoplifting turns into a confrontation when loss prevention steps in and a struggle ensues.)

Man injured in LM house fire

A man was sent to a local hospital with possible smoke inhalation injuries suffered during a fire at his home in the 14300 block of Mancecita Dr on Friday afternoon.

According to witnesses, the man re-entered the home several times after family members had evacuated and had been covered in soot by the time firefighter arrived. His injuries were not life-threatening.

The fire reported at 12:02 p.m. started in the garage and spread to the main residence causing moderate damage. The fire was extinguished in 21 minutes.

DUI Checkpoint arrests

Two arrests were made at a DUI checkpoint on Imperial Hwy just west of Valley View Av. over the weekend.

There were no further details available from the checkpoint that ran from 6 p.m. on Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday.

Photo Courtesy: LASD/Norwalk

Monday, May 17, 2021

Return to normal operations planned for in proposed city budget

La Mirada-  City Manager Jeff Boynton has presented a $38.52 million general fund spending plan to the city council for the new fiscal year that begins in July that budgets for a return to normal operations as the city enters a post-pandemic period of tempered optimism.

The budget includes a $1.37 million general fund surplus on revenue conservatively pegged at $39.89 million.  

Reserves are expected to be $34 million at the end of the next fiscal year on June 30, 2022.

Sales tax revenue is expected to rise above pre-pandemic levels to $11.75 million up 14.6% from the current fiscal year ending June 30 and property tax collections are expected to hit $7.4 million, up from $7 million this current fiscal year.

The city will also be receiving $9 million in two installments over the next two years from the American Rescue Plan for use before the end of 2024. Guidelines for use of these monies and the first installment should be released soon.

In addition to the general fund operating budget for day-to-day city operations, the spending plan contains an additional $18.45 million for a number of capital works projects that will be paid for from special revenue and reserve funds.

Among the projects that are slated to go forward is a new vehicle crossing bridge at Creek Park to replace one that has deteriorated to the point of no longer being capable of handling the weight of vehicles and a new maintenance building at Regional Park to replace the one displaced by the construction of Splash!

The proposed spending plan includes funding for the installation of a new traffic signal at Alondra Blvd. and Phoebe Av necessitated by heavy commercial vehicle traffic in the area, an overall upgrade to signals and its infrastructure along the Santa Gertrudes Ave corridor some of which dates back close to 50 years and completion of the Valley View median landscaping project.

Phase six of the residential street and infrastructure rehabilitation project as well as slurry sealing of neighborhood and major roadways will move towards completion.

A look into the future shows the city continues to invest in capital projects in the 2022-23 fiscal year commencing July 1, 2022, with a roadway rehabilitation and paving project to be done after the center median landscaping project is complete on Valley View Av between Imperial Hwy and Rosecrans Av, replacement of the roof at the city gymnasium, a new traffic signal at Telegraph Rd and Hutchins Dr and more.

A noteworthy increase in spending has been allocated towards the sheriff's contract to continue to fund six additional hours of patrol time daily that will increase the number of hours of one patrol unit on each shift from an eight-hour car to a ten-hour car. The additional two hours per shift places another deputy on the streets during shift changes allowing a faster arrival to emergency, priority, and response time sensitive calls without having to rely on the availability of patrol cars from outside the city and the travel time required to reach the scene.

A similar move has been put into place in Unincorporated Whittier reducing the likelihood La Mirada units will be pulled into emergency service there.

The adjusted patrol shifts have are been put into place and have already proven effective.

The budget plans for the anticipated September opening of the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts which will feature a season of five Broadway shows including Clue, Mama Mia!, Million Dollar Quartet, Sound of Music, and In the Heights.

The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget in June.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

3rd of July cancellation finalized, City to offer many other summer events and activities

La Mirada- The city council decided reluctantly to cancel its annual 3rd of July Independence Celebration for the second year in a row Tuesday night, after hearing a report from city staff that obstacles presented by the pandemic would not allow an uncontrolled event on a large scale to occur. 

County and state health guidelines require attendance at public events to by ticketed reservation only and social distancing practices are to be strictly observed which is not possible at an unfenced and uncontrolled location such as Regional Park according to the report.

Other obstacles include a lack of lead time to allow for planning a security plan by sheriff officials or the recruitment of 50 to 60 personnel that are needed to be deployed or the permits for use of both the county-owned park or golf course, the launching point for the fireworks display.

The city is moving forward with most of its other recreation and community activities it offers.

Courtesy City of La Mirada

Buccaneer Bay at Splash! premieres its new six-lane slide on May 29th during Memorial Day weekend and will be open daily through August 8th and on weekends through September 26th. 

Park capacity will be restricted and food service will be offered under the guidelines set by health authorities.

Use of the waterpark requires ticketed reservations only and must be made online at 

Splash! will begin taking reservations on Monday, May 17th. For further information follow the link provided or call (562)  902-3191.  

Free swimming will also be offered beginning June 7th daily through August 15th with sessions Monday through Friday Noon to 3 p.m. and offered from Noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The city has announced its Concerts in the Park including the Stroll in the Park series will begin June 7th for eight weeks. The concerts will be held again at Regional Park pending approval from the county. Neff park will be the alternate venue if necessary. The Stroll in the Park will be held at Creek Park.

Also on June 7th, a modified five-week day camp program returns to the Activity Center as well as free drop-in recreation programs at Windemere, Frontier, and Gardenhill Park on Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.

The city will also be offering several summer sports leagues with play conducted on grass due to work on the gymnasium floor and more than 30 recreational classes will be offered to residents.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Anthony Viele 1943-2021

La Mirada-   A local businessman known for his involvement in the community and in his local parish, Beatitudes of our Lord passed away at his home on April, 25th in La Mirada. Anthony Viele was 77.

Viele was probably best known for his part in building with his father Anthony Sr. what would become the regional foodservice supplier giant known as Viele and Sons.

Viele and Sons operated for many years from a 43,000 square foot warehouse on Industry Circle until their landlord refused a request to add space that would the company to continue growing, sending the Viele family to Fullerton where they currently are based.

Viele was born in Chicago in 1943, arriving in Southern California as a child, was the first in a family of five brothers and one sister.  Anthony Jr. worked with his dad from the start when they first began selling groceries stored in their garage in 1958. 

Later in life, he along with his wife Kathy have developed a portfolio of property investments in the area that include a number of apartment buildings located in La Mirada. 

Viele had three sons, one daughter, and eight grandchildren.

Services were held on May7th at Beatitudes of our Lord in La Mirada.

Monday, May 10, 2021

3rd of July Celebration on verge of cancellation

La Mirada- It appears likely that the city will have to cancel its annual 3rd of July Independence Celebration for the second year in a row due to a number of obstacles that seem impossible to overcome in time to allow plans to go forward according to a city report.

The city council will discuss the report regarding the July 3rd event as well as other summer recreation offerings on Tuesday during its monthly study session at 5:30 p.m.

The report states health guidelines still require attendance reservations and social distancing which is not possible at an unfenced and uncontrolled location such as Regional Park.

Other obstacles include a lack of lead time to allow for planning a security plan by sheriff officials or the recruitment for the personnel that will need to be deployed and permits have not been issued for use of the county-owned park or golf course.  The fireworks are launched from a location inside the county golf course.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Monte Vista High Alumni to hold its All-Class Memorial/Reunion in June

After a year on hiatus due to the pandemic, the Monte Vista High School (Whittier) All-Class Memorial/Reunion returns on June 26, 2021.

The day features two events starting with the memorial at 1:30 p.m. at La Mirada Creek Park at 12021 Santa Gertrudes Avenue.

The name of each former student or faculty member that is known to have passed away will be read followed by a closing invocation delivered by Pastor Marty Celaya.

The memorial is part of a commitment that lead-organizer Patty Gray, Cindy Bailey, and a team of volunteers have made that no former Mustang should be forgotten. 

Bailey, who volunteers as a historian for the school alumni Facebook page, spends many hours each year collecting the names and maintaining a listing of departed classmates making the remembrance possible.

The memorial is held on the lawn adjacent to Santa Gertrudes Avenue on the hill above the creek and adjacent to the east parking lot. Additional street parking can be found nearby along Golden Lantern Lane near Kibbee Avenue on the north side of the park. 

La Mirada Creek Park is located at 12021 Santa Gertrudes Avenue 1/4 mile north of Imperial Hwy.

The all-class reunion follows the memorial at 3 p.m. at Bigs, 323 N. State College Blvd. in Fullerton. The venue features a new outdoor patio. All former students and faculty are welcome at both events.

The memorial and reunion were canceled last year at the last minute due to the pandemic summer surge that was just beginning to take hold in the region.  

Monte Vista High School was located in South Whittier at 11515 Colima Rd. and is now the site of the Sheriff's STARS Center. Monte Vista, like Neff High, was also a casualty of falling enrollment.  

Monte Vista closed in 1979 with students half of its student body sent to La Serna High including those that resided in La Mirada, and the other half to California High School.

For further information please go to the event and/or alumni Facebook pages at the links provided below:

Official Memorial/Reunion Facebook page

Monte Vista Alumni Facebook Page

La Mirada NewsBeat file photos from June 2019.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Commentary: Who is George Gascon' and what is all the fuss about?


La Mirada-  At least three cities will be discussing the merits tonight of a series of directives that District Attorney George Gascon' has issued to his Deputy DA's directing them to alter the course of justice in Los Angeles County exciting reform-minded progresses and angering advocates of law and order.

The La Mirada city council fearing such initiatives are a major threat to public safety along with councils in Whittier and Lancaster could join Santa Clarita, Pico Rivera, and Beverly Hills tonight by approving a resolution that is tantamount to a vote of no confidence in Gascon'

But who is George Gascon' and what are these directives that have proved so controversial that Gascon' could join Governor newsom on the ballot in a recall effort.

George Gascon', 65, was born in Havanna, Cuba moving to Bell in 1967. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he became a career cop at LAPD rising through the ranks to the level of Assistant Police Chief before departing to Mesa, Arizona then to San Francisco where he was chief of police of both departments.

Gascon', a co-author of Proposition 47 that reduced many felonies to misdemeanors became District Attorney in San Francisco after Governor Newsom then its mayor appointed him to fill the vacancy left by Kamala Harris who had become the state attorney general in 2011. 

It was there in San Francisco heading the D.A.'s office that Gascon' embarked on a series of directives that discouraged officers from making low-level arrests in favor of diversion. Crime rose 37% during his tenure that ended in 2019 when he resigned in order to run in the election for his current post.

The Directives

Deputy DA's were instructed to not request cash bail for any misdemeanor, non-serious or non-violent felony offense. 

Bail is to only be requested in cases of felony sexual assault, threats of great bodily injury and cases where felony acts of violence had been committed IF there was clear and convincing evidence that release would result in great bodily violence to another or a flight from justice.

Gascon' has instructed that his deputies not file charges in misdemeanor cases including those for trespassing, disturbing the peace, driving while suspended or unlicensed, criminal threats of violence, possession of drug paraphernalia as well as possession of controlled substances including meth, heroin, and fentanyl.  

Charges are also to be rejected in cases involving resisting arrest, drinking in public, being intoxicated in public or under the influence of a controlled substance, or loiter in public for the purpose of prostitution.

Exceptions can be made for repeated accusations in a 24 month period in cases of trespass, disturbing the peace, driving suspended or unlicensed or criminal threats or force was iused against a law enforcenet in a resisting arrest incident. 

In the case where an exception will be made instead of an outright D.A. reject is not handed down, the case will still be dismissed after  completion of a diversion program.

In more serious felong cases Deputy D.A. are not to enfore the voter-approved three strikes law or seek the death penalty.

Gascon' has banned charging juveniles accused of serious crimes as adults and shall not be charged with misdemeanor crimes.  When apprpriate juveniles accused of a misdemeanor or less serious felony can be referred to a diversion program. A juvenile age 16-17 is also not to be charged that a crime that carries a strike. A juvenile that commits an armed robbery will only be charged with grand theft person. An exceptions exists to allow a chjarge of rape and murder.

The sentence sought by the people will be probation of the charge allows with except in extraordinary circumstances with the approval of a Bureau Director.

It's clear that when the new guy makes it a point to meet and confer behind closed doors with the shots callers at Black Lives Matter after being sworn-in before even sitting down to meet the people who work for his office and long serious look is called for.

Tonight will be that night in La Mirada.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Vote of No Confidence for DA Gascon' back up for council consideration

La Mirada-  The city council will resume consideration of a vote of
no confidence for Los Angles County District Attorney George Gascon' after they are briefed on the response to concerns it voiced that public safety is being compromised by a series of directives handed down by the new chief prosecutor. 

During its March 23rd meeting, the city council accepted an invitation from Gascon's staff to meet and discuss their concerns before considering the matter any further.

Those meetings with Gascon's office have concluded and the topic will be reintroduced for consideration at the regular meeting of the city council on Tuesday, April 27.

The council and public will hear a report back from those that attended the two meetings and a possible vote of support or lack of for Gascon's justice reform initiatives is expected to follow.

Tuesday's city council meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday: An in-depth look at Gascon's directives that have created a growing wave of pushback from cities and crime victims across the county.

Note:  The Whittier City Council will consider a similar resolution at its next meeting on Tuesday.  The city council in Pico Rivera passed a vote of no confidence on Tuesday, April 20th.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

La Mirada Sheriff's News Briefs April 25, 2021

La Mirada- 
Deputies were questioning a man Sunday evening that reportedly broke into a home through a rear window a short time ago in the 14600 block of Algeciras Dr in the La Pluma School neighborhood.

A neighbor spotted the alleged ex-boyfriend of the resident enter the home shortly before 6 p.m. and reported what had been seen.

The home was quickly surrounded with the help of several deputies from unincorporated Whittier and a sheriff's helicopter overhead.

A short time later the man surrendered after the observer in the sheriff's air unit spotted him emerge from the home waving a broom.

No further details were immediately available and no crime had been confirmed to have occurred at the time of this post.

Whittier- La Mirada deputies assisted with the capture of two men and a woman suspected of carjacking a victim in the city of Whittier after a high-speed chase overnight.

Just before 3 a.m. deputies patrolling in the area near the South Whittier DMV office at Painter Av and Mulberry Dr spotted a 2008 Infiniti G35 that had been taken by suspects earlier armed with a gun and knife and began following the vehicle while backup units responded to assist.

The suspects deciding a night at the Graybar Hotel was not in their plans fled north on La Mirada Blvd from Mulberry Dr, continuing onto Colima Rd and over the hill into Rowland Heights where they collided into the center divider near Nogales St. 

The three emerged unscathed from the vehicle and ran into a nearby golf course.

With the assistance of deputies from Industry and Walnut station, the three were taken into custody and nobody was injured during the incident.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Sheriff's/ Public Safety News Man shot by deputies charged with felony

Norwalk- A 27 year-old East Whittier man shot by deputies on April 9th during a stand-off with deputies at his home in the 15800 block of Creswick Dr. was released from the hospital last Wednesday and was booked into Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail where he is currently held on $5,000 bail.

Deputies responded to the home after receiving a report that the man was suicidal. A stand-off ensued after the man who La Mirada Newsbeat is not naming at this time refused to come outside and speak with deputies. 

The man was shot after he stepped outside brandishing a shotgun before re-entering the house for a period of time, later surrendering to deputies.

A plea of not guilty was entered at an arraignment last Friday, and a hearing on the charge is scheduled for Friday, April 23 at Norwalk Superior Court.


South Whittier-  Five people were injured in a two-vehicle collision last Sunday night at Florence Ave and Telegraph Rd.

Four were critically injured in the crash reported at 10:55 p.m. and the fifth had minor injuries. The critically injured were transported to trauma centers in the area.