The Downey Patriot
Voters in the City of Downey will decide in one year—on June 3, 2014—whether they want to change the City charter to give the City Council the authority to disband Downey’s police and fire departments and potentially contract with L.A. County. The Downey Firemen’s Association collected more than 12,000 petition signatures earlier this year, forcing [...]
DOWNEY – The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office was asked Tuesday to investigate allegations of voter fraud after signature gatherers hired by the Downey Firemen’s Association were accused of lying to residents in order to get them to sign a petition. A letter from city clerk Adria Jimenez and addressed to Anne Ingalls of [...]
DOWNEY – Stay Gallery will debut its first collection series with a gala event Feb. 8 from 6-10 p.m. The series is titled “First Glance” and will showcase the J. Arthur Morris Collection. Stay Gallery took the collection on loan after they were contacted by Grace Eshilian, a close friend of the Morris family. In [...]
DOWNEY – Mayor Mario Guerra’s acrimonious battle with the local fire union took a personal turn last week when the mayor was removed as deacon at St. Raymond’s Catholic Church. Guerra announced the news to the Downey congregation this past weekend. He has been reassigned as a stational deacon at the Cathedral of Our Lady [...]
DOWNEY — Believing that “all things are possible,” thenRev. Christie Melby-Gibbons is inviting local residents to join the Moravian Church of Downey in a program that she believes will lay the ground work to “end chronic and veteran homelessness in Downey.” Known as “Registry Week,” the program will attempt to count and create a by-name [...]
LONG BEACH – When it comes to “who done it,” nobody does it better than Agatha Christie. And even amongst Christie’s work, “And Then There Were None” holds top billing as her bestselling book – ever. The book will be performed on the Long Beach Playhouse mainstage, opening Jan. 19 and continuing until Feb. 16. [...]
DOWNEY — With the city’s full-size space shuttle mockup still sitting under a temporary tent on the Downey Studios parking lot, the City Council this week authorized a $3 million loan application with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to construct permanent housing for the shuttle. If the loan is approved, the [...]
DOWNEY — Downey officials announced today that a fire engine shut down last summer due to budget cuts will be put back in service after the city secured a $1.8 million FEMA grant. The money will be used to hire nine firefighters to man Engine 63 out of Fire Station 1 on Paramount Boulevard. The [...]
Lucille Beserra Roybal, the mother of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, died peacefully in her sleep Dec. 23, family members announced Wednesday. She was 95. A viewing is scheduled today from 3-8 p.m., with a Rosary at 6:30 p.m., at Calvary Mortuary Chapel and Cemetery in Los Angeles. The funeral Mass and interment will take place 11 [...]
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is culled from a story by Tina Vasquez in the Downey Patriot.] Is the FBI investigating the death of Michael Nida, the 31-year-old husband and father shot in the back with an MP5 machine gun fired by Downey Police Department officer on Oct. 22, 2011? Maybe. Jean Thaxton—Nida’s mother—says she was [...]
DOWNEY – The cities of Downey, Cerritos and Signal Hill are heading to trial in their dispute with the WRD after a judge issued a ruling last week denying the water agency’s argument that the cities do not have a right to a refund for allegedly illegal rate hikes. A trial next year is expected [...]
DOWNEY — In an emotional ceremony filled with hugs, laughs and photographs, Downey Police Capt. Carl Charles became Downey’s 10th chief of police, sworn-in on Wednesday before an audience of family, friends, colleagues, and city officials. “I’m very humbled by this moment,” said Charles shortly after taking the oath of office. “I want to thank [...]
DOWNEY – Lana Joy Wahlquist of Downey Arts Coalition directs “A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Paula Vogel as the annual Downey First Baptist Church Christmas Show. This play is neither a depiction of the actual war, there are no battle scenes, nor is it an overtly religious [...]
The Downey High School football team will play for its first CIF championship since 1955 on Saturday night at Cal State Fullerton, facing La Serna High at 7 p.m.
DOWNEY – Prompted by the wave of lawsuits beleaguering school districts around the state, the Downey Unified School District board of education will forego at-large trustee elections in favor of a seven district, by-area voting system. “We’ve been noticing the trend state-wide,” said Kevin Condon, assistant superintendent of business affairs. “We’ve heard the horror stories [...]
This Sunday, Nov. 18, the Downey Arts Coalition will host a film screening about the art installations of local artist Polaris Castillo at the Epic Lounge, 8239 2nd Street in Downey. The event is free, with a reception at 6 p.m., and the documentary showing at 7 p.m. Polaris’s signature installation, “Balloonhead,” is a formally [...]
DOWNEY – According to voter registration forms filed at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office, Downey City Council candidate Salvador Franco may have committed voter fraud between 2006 – 2010 by living in Downey, but voting elsewhere. A voting history chronicled by the registrar-recorder’s office reveals that Franco, a consistent voter since 2002, cast a [...]
DOWNEY – The Downey police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man after he fled from police acted in lawful self-defense and in defense of others, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced today. The DA report, signed by L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley, was released almost one year to the day [...]
DOWNEY – Local Downey sculptor Jorge Del Toro will be the featured demonstrator at the free workshop hosted by the Downey Art League tomorrow from 7-9 p.m., at the Barbara J. Riley Community Center in Apollo Park, 7810 Quill Drive. The art workshop/demonstrations are bimonthly events, and often feature traditional media such as oil painting [...]
DOWNEY – A former Downey city worker has filed preliminary paperwork for a ballot initiative that, if approved, would allow the City Council to contract police and fire services with L.A. County without voter approval. Sheila Pautsch, a former recreation manager now working for South Pasadena, filed the paperwork with the Downey city clerk and [...]
DOWNEY – After much fanfare, the long-awaited Stay Gallery will officially open its doors to the public in a two-day event taking place Oct. 11-12. The Oct. 11 grand opening will be geared towards the many volunteers, family, friends, local sponsors, arts organizations, artists, and city officials, such as council members Mario Guerra, Mayor Roger [...]
After 55 years, the Downey branch of the American Association of University Women has held its final meeting—and handed out its last scholarships. The chapter, which began in 1957 by providing scholarship to female graduates of Cerritos College who continued their higher education at four-year institutions, decided to decommission itself because membership had declined to [...]
DOWNEY – Campaign season is in full swing this week after the city received formal filing papers from a total of eight certified candidates who will now run for the three Downey City Council seats up for grabs this November. While prospective candidates have been slowly announcing their intentions to run throughout the summer, the [...]
DOWNEY — Friends and family of Michael Nida, the unarmed man fatally shot last October after running from police, will march to City Hall on Saturday to protest police brutality. They are also asking that “justice be served” on Officer Steve Gilley, who shot Nida on Oct. 22. The rally starts at 10 a.m. at [...]
A Downey woman who admitted in court that she defrauded investors out of nearly $1 million that was supposed to be used for Christian rock concerts will begin serving a 57-month prison sentence on April 2. Lauren Baumann, 43, was sentenced Tuesday by United States District Judge Josephine S. Tucker. Baumann, who was convicted of [...]
DOWNEY (Via Downey Patriot)—Freedom Vacations travel agency will move out of the downtown Downey location it has occupied for more than 20 years to become a home-based business—but not for the reason you probably think. “We don’t want to commute anymore,” said owner Robert Zavala, a former president of the Downey Chamber of Commerce, who [...]
Citing public health concerns, the Downey City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to restrict cigarette smoking at public parks and city-sponsored events. Smoking will still be allowed in park parking lots and sidewalks, and other designated areas within the parks. The controversial ordinance, first introduced two weeks ago, is expected to be ratified later this year. [...]
BY HENRY VENERACION DOWNEY (Via The Downey Patriot)—After 58 years of family ownership—from father, Ralph, to son, Paul—that made their last name one of the most familiar in Downey, Granata’s Italian Restaurant is in escrow, a few shuffles of paper from being sold. The buyer is Frank E. White, a resident of the city for [...]
The City of Downey’s representatives in three government legislatures—United States Congressional Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, state Senator Alan Lowenthal and Assemblyman Ricardo Lara—have synchronized their calendars and will be at Downey City Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with constituents. Admission is free. Downey Mayor Luis Marquez gets the credit for putting all [...]
They were wearing hard hats, but each of Downey's five city council members took only one swing of a sledgehamer at a publicity event that ceremonially initiated the demolition of the Verizon building to make way for downtown apartments. Actually, that's about the pace of the project, which will take a year off in September to raise more funds.
Thirty years after the 1981 release of their first semi-major-label album, The Blasters---Phil and Dave Alvin, John Bazz and Bill Bateman---have become ensconced in Downey's musical heritage, alongside the legends who inspired them.
The City of Downey’s population increased only slightly to 111,772 people during the last 10 years but the number of its Latino/Hispanic residents (78,996) has dramatically increased—from 32.3 percent in 1990 to 70.7 percent in 2010. In comparison, the number of White residents in Downey continues to decline and now represents 17.7 percent of the [...]
“Creativity is everywhere, but it seems to bee [sic] lacking in Downey and its surrounding cities,” said Bumblebee via e-mail. “That really got me thinking about how I could change that, and making my art public was the answer."
Christian Brown & George Manzanilla / The Downey Patriot link=”http://greaterlongbeach.com/04/03/2011/downeys-grafitti-bee-and-ballerinas-might-they-be-banksy”]
Although British street artist Banksy typically targets notable venues and large metropolitan areas, three unique art pieces in elusive locations around the city have residents speculating whether the famed artist ever brought his popular graffiti art to the streets of Downey.
Downey Regional Medical Center is constructing a primary, urgent care clinic focused on relieving pressure on emergency rooms by providing affordable, preventative health coverage to thousands of uninsured and underserved residents of southeast Los Angeles County. “Last year, we spent over $25 million serving nearly 13,000 indigent patients in our emergency rooms,” said Dr. Natalie [...]
Nine months after opening, the Columbia Memorial Space Center was caught between a rocket and a hard place. The legacy of Downey’s role in out-of-this-world exploration was pulling a Major Tom---circuits dead and something wrong. But it's in major turnaround.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget-cutting proposal to do away with redevelopment agencies has entrenched parties up in arms throughout California, but doesn’t scare Downey officials at all. Does it? Mayor Luis Marquez gave that brave impression to the Downey Patriot. He pointed out that Downey’s two project areas have a combined budget of $4.5 million and [...]
DOWNEY—After years of debate, discussion and anticipation, the Downey Theatre will begin the next chapter in its nearly 40-year history Friday night (Jan. 21) with a show featuring six nationally-recognized comics—led by Martin Christopher Lawrence, a regular on the “Chuck” television series. The production, which H & E Entertainment is calling “A Comedy Night,” will be the [...]
DOWNEY—Los Angeles County workers conducting a routine inspection of the Rio Hondo River last week discovered a stream of hazardous waste—including oil and antifreeze—that had originated at Downey Wholesale Auto dealership. County health officials have begun an investigation. According to Chuck Seely, assistant chief and fire marshal for the city of Downey, LA County investigators [...]
These days it seems as though everywhere you look in Downey is soon going to look much different. Blueprints for restaurants, grocery stores and an assortment of civic projects are circulating in some of the best briefcases in town—and as each of these developmental plans becomes a real place, they are going to end up on the [...]
A century later, nobody lives in the Rives Mansion, and people don't seem too excited about the owners’ plans to transform it into a private events center. Private investors are wary of risking their money, city officials are hesitant about expending public funds and residents are divided about how the registered historic site should be used.
Turns out, the reason Alin’s Party Depot couldn’t renew its lease after 25 successful years in Downey was that Wal-Mart, Inc., had quietly bought the Paramount Blvd. property. And while Alin’s continues to liquidate its inventory, the largest retailer in the world is preparing to open one of its new, smaller-format Wal-Mart stores in the [...]
Because their graduation ceremonies will be held later in June than most Southern California high schools---a full week after Disneyland's annual Grad Night promotion ends on June 16---seniors at Warren and Downey highs don't know where they will be celebrating their commencement.
Operations of the publicly owned Downey Civic Theatre will be conducted by a private firm under a five-year contract approved Tuesday night by a 4-1 vote of the Downey City Council. Council member David Gafin dissented, calling for more time for public input. VenueTech currently operates six theaters in the cities of Campbell, Eureka, Vacaville, [...]
Citing a sluggish economy and a competitive business market, two more Downey businesses, Beach’s Market and Alin’s Party Depot, have collapsed, as an intransigent recession continues to cripple local restaurants, supermarkets and retail centers. Sambi of Tokyo, a fixture among Downey eateries since it opened on Firestone Boulevard nearly 40 years ago, closed on Oct. 24. [...]
What the city needs right now is a vision. Boosterism, photo ops, discussion of variances and the water table--though important--aren’t enough. But at last week’s candidates forum, all you got was a steady gaseous release of punishing clichés and useless generalities.
Inside each voter’s ballot, under the name of every candidate, is a job description. According to the elections code of Los Angeles County, this description must not deceive or “mislead the voter,” but rather provide “the current principal professions, vocations or occupations of the candidate.” However, many candidates for elected office take this warning to [...]
The entrance to an executive parking lot behind Downey City Hall—which is also a route of much foot travel by students of Downey High School—has been named “Responsibility Row” by a 4-1 vote of the Downey City Council. That’s pretty heavy, man. But it gets even heavier. The idea behind calling the stretch of pavement [...]
Three cities in the Greater Long Beach area—Downey, Signal Hill and Cerritos—have filed suit against the Water Replenishment District (WRD), claiming gross violations of its constitutional and regulatory mandates that have manifested in its “unfair and inequitable” handling of issues. The WRD is an agency created by law to manage the water used by residents [...]
Citrus trees in the Downey area will be sprayed with pesticide this month in an attempt to eliminate the Asian citrus psyllid, which has been discovered on local trees.
Ed Lee, who the Downey City Council fired as city attorney last week (July 29) because of the controversial work he did as city attorney for the City of Bell, has resigned from the Best Best & Krieger law firm—so he can “focus his efforts” on assisting Bell. As Bell’s city attorney, Lee helped draft [...]
A divided Downey City Council voted 3-2 Thursday to terminate its contract with the law firm Best Best & Krieger, which is representing the City of Bell through its current turmoil. Council members who voted for termination of the contract praised lead counsel Ed Lee but said they were concerned of “guilt by association. Lee, [...]
Another day, another opponent for Downey city council’s District 2 member Mario Guerra in his run for re-election in November. Ronald Kellogg pulled papers on Monday, and Benjamin Coutè was in the city clerk’s office today to collect the forms. Guerra is an effervescent man, but it will be interesting to see whether all the [...]
Animal control officials are searching for the person who dumped a severely emaciated horse in a street gutter in South Gate early this morning. The horse was discovered on the 5400 block of Gardendale Ave. near Gardendale Park. “SEAACA officers received a call at about 6:10 a.m. stating there was a full-size horse laying in [...]
An upgrade to the upstart Columbia Memorial Space Center will be considered by the Downey City Council on Tuesday evening. According to documents provided to the council, a $700,000 federal grant to “expand and enhance the use of state-of-the-art multimedia technology” at the 10-month old attraction will be spent over several phases. The first phase [...]
The new director of the Columbia Memorial Space Center has announced his first change—expanded hours of operation—since taking over for his fired predecessor. Beginning July 6 the glistening tribute to Downey’s space heritage will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission prices will remain the same at $5 per person, groups of 10 [...]
Eight months after presiding over its grand opening, Jon Betthauser has been fired as executive director of the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, where city officials complained about poor fundraising and the fact that the center is not even fully operational yet. “The bottom line is the center is currently average and it should [...]
Elon Musk is broke and has been living off personal loans since October 2009, this according to court filings reviewed by online magazine Venture Beat. “About four months ago, I ran out of cash,” Musk wrote in a court filing dated Feb. 23 and reviewed by the website. More from the story: According to the [...]
And just like that, Tesla Motors is gone. Downey fell for Tesla’s phony, flirtatious come-ons like a pudgy teenager speaking to the pretty cheerleader who needs homework help. We fell in love with the ambitious promises, the lofty technology and the national media attention. We fell for it all, hook, line and sinker. But don’t [...]
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has written a letter to City of Downey officials (title: “Downey Is Awesome”) that is apparently intended to soothe their feelings (typical reaction: we were “stabbed in the back”) after he stunned them with his May 20 announcement that his company would not be manufacturing cars in their town. The [...]
Instead of formally ratifying a lease amendment with IRG, one of the final steps before Tesla Motors could begin work on its Model S assembly plant at Downey Studios, the Downey City Council on Thursday instead took turns blasting the electric car company for what Mayor Pro Tem Luis Marquez termed “underhanded negotiation tactics.” Downey [...]
DOWNEY CITY COUNCIL CONVENES SPECIAL MEETING TODAY TO ADOPT “URGENCY ORDINANCE” RELATED TO RECRUITING TESLA
The Downey City Council will convene a special meeting today at 4 p.m. to adopt an “urgency ordinance” to related to amend the ground lease between the city and Industrial Realty Group, operators of Downey Studios and potential home of Tesla Motors. Details of the meeting are vague; the agenda is short on details and [...]
DOWNEY – CIF bylaws may have been broken and penalties could be levied by CIF on Warren High School’s football program after former head coach Chris Benadom and his staff received possibly illegal stipends during the 2009 season. During his second year as head coach, Benadom and his staff may have broken CIF Bylaw No. [...]
Lily Tomlin: “Take me out of Downey.” Tom Waits: “I’m gonna get you out of Downey.” —Scene from Robert Altman’s 1993 film, “Short Cuts.” Downey Mayor Anne Bayer doesn’t like to travel, and apparently, she doesn’t like it when her colleagues on the City Council travel either. Bayer vented to the Herald-American last week that [...]
CERRITOS – A $2.5 million project to rehabilitate portions of the San Gabriel River bike path in Cerritos and Lakewood will continue, Supervisor Don Knabe has announced. “It is important that the bike paths along our riverbeds are safe,” said Knabe of a project that will be paid for in Fourth District Capital Improvement funds. [...]
Documents filed with the federal Department of Energy—and obtained by the Downey Patriot—reveal that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has every intention of building his company’s all-electric Model S in the city of Downey. “It hasn’t yet been finalized,” Musk, still playing coy, told Auto News in an interview that the LBReport.com linked to this [...]
While top officials of public school districts in Long Beach and Compton dangle doomsday letters over the mailbox, the Downey Unified School District has reached a three-year contract with its teachers union that avoids layoffs, furloughs, salary reductions or loss of medical benefits. Instead, class sizes will increase slightly. Meanwhile, Long Beach Unified’s Board of [...]
The Downey City Council has put out a call for someone to manage and operate the Civic Theatre in hopes of getting more programs and bringing in more revenue. After several months of study, Community Services Director Thad Phillips and a subcommittee composed of Councilmen Roger Brossmer and David Gafin have recommended leasing the facility [...]
The new Bob’s Big Boy in Downey has been honored with the President’s Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy, a prestigious recognition that confirms the restaurant’s triumphant comeback after it was decimated in an illegal demolition three years ago. [In the Nov. 18, 2009, issue of The District Weekly, Theo Douglas wrote about the special [...]
DOWNEY – If Tesla Motors can reach agreement on a lease deal, the electric vehicle manufacturer plans to lease 51 acres at the former NASA property, “more than likely” spelling the end of Downey Studios, according to a city of Downey staff report. The Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved an application submitted by Industrial [...]