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.