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.