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

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.

The city is in good hands with Ed Eng as its new mayor

Mayor Ed Eng


Councilmember Ed Eng was selected as the new mayor during last week's city council meeting and Dr. Anthiny Otero, an LAPD lieutenent was chosen mayor pro-tem.

Eng represents the 3rd council district encompassing Hillsborough, most of Green Hills, and the Behringer Park area.

Eng is the Director of the Economy and Efficiency Commission, which functions as an advisory body for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

This will be the second time Eng serves as mayor and he credits the support and inspiration he receives from his wife Cathy a teacher, his son Brandon and his extended family for his current success.

In a general law city, the mayor's position is often described as nothing more than a ceremonial function with little added responsibility. There was nothing ceremonial or routine by the year outgoing mayor Lewis experienced.

John Lewis

Eng will likely experience much of the uncertainty John Lewis experienced when he was handed the gavel last April just as the coronavirus was tightening its grip on the city.

In the year that followed the city was faced with local food shortages, civil unrest, and prolonged redeployment of some of its public safety resources to help quell the unrest and to battle wildfires. 

With many local businesses and residents facing financial ruin, it was the leadership of the outgoing mayor and a refusal to place a closed for business sign in front of City Hall that helped steer the city and community towards stability.

Lewis, city staff, and the rest of the city council invested a lot of time and effort helping businesses in town keep their doors open by quickly enacting rules that allowed outdoor dining, developing an online directory of businesses, and programs for struggling small businesses and residents that included grants that helped pay the rent or mortgage.

The result is the city projects it will receive 30.4% more or  $2.4 million in additional sales tax revenue going into the general fund that helps turn what started out as a $2.2 million deficit into a $2.7 million surplus forecast for the current fiscal year.

City leaders have many more achievements that good leadership has made possible that include rising 12 spots on the Safewise safest cities in the state list to #38, and 5th in the county, a crime rate that saw reported crime fall in all categories except one, vehicle theft.

More than $8 million in capital projects are underway or have been completed with more to come in the next budget year including traffic signals at Imperial Hwy and Burgess Ave, and a second at Telegraph Rd. and Hutchins Dr.

City staff and council members put together three drive-thru events for the kids last Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, and the expansion at Splash! featuring a new slide has been completed.

While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, city leaders are aware that many will continue to experience hard times for years to come and they are fast at work designing a plan to shift $9.06 million in federal funds for pandemic relief to those that need assistance.

While it will probably be another year until the July 3rd celebration returns to Regional Park, the high school has just received approval for indoor sports competition while the reopening of Splash! is expected in the not too distant future. An abbreviated schedule of events at the theatre should begin in the latter part of 2020.

Ed Eng is a proven leader with a resume of career achievements that indicate the city will be in good hands as our mayor.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Resident finds man wearing no pants in backyard

La Mirada-   Deputies had no idea what they would encounter when dispatchers rushed them to the 14500 block of Florita Rd. Thursday after multiple 911 callers reported a man was pointing a gun at another man ordering him to get on the ground.

Deputies arriving within three minutes of the 5:13 p.m. call found a resident who was an off-duty law enforcement officer found an intruder wearing no pants in his backyard and confronted him about his presence.

The resident drew his weapon after the suspect began throwing lawn furniture at the homeowner.

Deputies immediately recognized the suspect as someone they had arrested several times recently.

The sheriff's Mental Evaluation Team was contacted and the man was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. 

This is the second such type of incident recently in La Mirada. On February 19 a woman living in the 14600 block of Richvale Dr observed a man around 7 a.m. in her backyard who attempted to open a door to get inside the home.

Deputies were summoned quickly and able to detain the man who was also transported to a hospital.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

This book is must if you love La Mirada

The local writing team of Glen Cantrell and Ray Fernandez have come back strong from their first exploration back into local history in 'Reflections from Mc Nally's Mirror' with an even better second volume with, La Mirada: A Brief History, which just hit bookshelves last week.

The writers have smartly avoided taking a  chronological, textbook approach and instead take the reader on a mystical trip back through time to meet the founders of this community. 

The first stop is a visit 120 years ago to McNally Ranch and its acres and acres of olive groves.

Some of the builders of this place called La Mirada you will get to know are Anna J. Martin, the first City Clerk, our first postmaster Lela Criswell and Wayne Grisham a former two-term congressman and longtime city council member.

With each new introduction, it becomes quite apparent that La Mirada's past is more than just idyllic images from the past.  It's a full-fledged community moving forward with a plan created and put into motion by the very same people featured in this book.

La Mirada: A Brief History is available in paperback from Arcadia Publishing for $21.99 and can be purchased at the La Mirada Activity Center and at City Hall.

As of Sunday, the Fullerton Barnes and Noble was sold out of all its copies and the distribution had not yet caught up with the Arcadia rack of local pictorial books at the Rosecrans Av. CVS yet.

The book can be purchased online at Amazon (free one-day delivery with Prime) as well as at the Arcadia Publishing website.

Mr. Fernandez is donating 25% of his proceeds from the book to the LMHS Football program.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Cerritos College awarded U.S. Department of Education grant

NORWALK- Cerritos College' TeacherTrac program, in partnership with the Center for Collaborative Education, El Camino College and Rio Hondo College, has been awarded a U.S. Department of Education grant to advance equity in teacher representation by increasing the number of under-represented groups.

The $900,000 grant will extend over a three year time and will help kickstart The Community Partnerships for Teachers Pipeline, which is aimed at increasing teacher diversity in local Los Angeles communities and improving outcomes for disproportionally impacted students in local public schools.

Effective Educator Development grant program. Cerritos College was one of only 12 successful applicants of 200 that applied for the Supporting Effective Educator Development grants.

Monday, February 8, 2021

La Mirada man facing attempted murder charge after attack on mother

Prosecutors have filed two felony charges against a 34-year-old man alleging attempted murder and kidnapping in connection with an incident last Wednesday evening at a home in the 15200 block of Matisse Circle located in the Villages gated community.

David Kim is alleged to have struck his 60-year-old mother several times in the head with a five-pound candle holder causing serious injuries.

Kim, who fled the home before deputies arrived was arrested a short time later at the Chevron station at La Mirada Blvd and Beach Blvd by deputies that were doing a check of the area attempting to locate him.

At the time of the February 3rd attack, Kim was already facing charges from a May 27 trespassing incidents that prosecutors allege turned violent during a scuffle with responding deputies.

Kim who is being held at North County Correctional Facility in Castaic with bail set at $1,005,000 will be arraigned on the charges Feb, 22 in Norwalk Superior Court.

A conviction carries a maximum sentence of 17 years to life with the possibility of parole.

0DN04135  VA155208

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Highway Patrol officers talk jumper off Alondra overpass

 Santa Fe Springs-  Officers from the California Highway Patrol coaxed a man who was poised to jump off a freeway overhead bridge overnight in the 13900 block of Alondra Bl. 

At about 4:40 a.m. CHP dispatchers began receiving calls from motorists reporting a man had been standing at the edge of a overpass above the freeway lanes of Interstate-5 just west of the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet.

When the first officers arrived the man was observed over the rail and at the very edge preparing to leap onto the northbound lanes.

As officers were negotiating with the man to surrender other CHP officers were dispatched to shut down tràffic in both directions between Carmenita Rd. in Norwalk and at Artesia Bl. in La Mirada sending motorists spilling onto surface streets in the area for a short time.

After a short period of crisis negotiation by CHP officers and Whittier Police, the man surrendered to officers without further incident at 4:54 a.m.  A unit from Sheriff's Mental Evaluation Team (MET) was summoned to the scene to evaluate the man and determine the type of professional intervention needed.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Grants available for local businesses harmed by the pandemic

 City announces grants to assist struggling small businesses due to the pandemic. 

The La Mirada City Council has initiated a Small Business Grant Fund in the amount of $371,000.00 for local La Mirada businesses. The $10,000 grants for up to 37 businesses are available.

The program will be funded through  Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grants from the federal government  and administered by the Los Angeles County Development Agency. 

Due to the amount of funds that La Mirada has available, and the needs of the community, La Mirada will be included in the program. 

The requirements for grant funding in the first round have been modified to allow businesses that previously received CARES Act funding to receive this second round of grant funding, too. Grants will be available to businesses that meet the criteria below:


• Small business with less than 500 employees and impacted by COVID-19.

• Restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, cafés, salons, barbers and other grooming businesses, gyms, day spas and fitness studios.

• Retail and commercial stores such as local markets, consumer goods, electronics, appliances, health and sporting goods, furniture, clothing and shoes, books, and music stores.

• Active business license in the City and in continuous operation for at least two years.

• Not on the County’s list of ineligible businesses.

• Business will be required to create or retain one job for a low to moderate-income person

 This proof would be a self-certification form completed by the employee.

Some ineligible businesses include massage parlors, bail bond services, any national chain that is not locally franchised, bars, liquor stores, smoke/cannabis shops, pawnshops, non-profit organizations, real estate salespersons, and life insurance companies.

The program will be administered by LACDA. 

LACDA will provide marketing materials, accept applications, determine eligibility and issue funds. 

The City of La Mirada will be required to market the program and assist the County in gathering information.

The County expects the program to be completed by the end of April 2021. More information will be made available soon when applications are available.