The cities of Signal Hill, Downey and Cerritos went to court Monday in an attempt to stop the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) from notifying the public about the rate-setting process and scheduled public hearing. The three cities asked the court to enjoin WRD from sending notices to approximately 800,000 property owners within [...]
Giving a tweak to the meaning of “cover charge,” the Mosaik Hookah Lounge in Downey will give free admission Thursday night to women who arrive wearing lingerie. The Lingerie Night promotion seems likely to provoke the conservative forces that have established Downey’s reputation for party-poopability. This is a city with no strip clubs, no tattoo parlors, [...]
How can the value of an education in the Downey Unified School District be calculated into a dollar ammount? One way might be to take a rough look at the the pay-and-benefits package awarded to Dr. John Garcia this week when he was officially hired as DUSD’s new superintendent. Garcia grew up in Downey’s public schools, [...]
Tbe Rev. Moses Barrios says his Crave Life Church in Downey is "not yo mama's church," and the fact that it congregates for Sunday services in the Columbia Memorial Space Center is only the first evidence of that.
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 [...]
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 [...]
No less than Forbes magazine has discovered Porto's Café and Bakery in Downey, and of course has added its voice to the choir of praise. And I don’t think they do too many bakery reviews.
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 [...]
GreaterLongBeach.com is republishing some of our best journalism of 2012, which we believe once again told this area's most-important stories in the most-compelling, insightful and comprehensible ways. Here, again, are texts from a man who spent a day in April waiting with thousands of others to enter a Job Fair in Downey.
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 [...]
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 [...]
President Barack Obama will move forward with a second term in office, defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney in a close and costly election that saw both parties spend about $6 billion. Locally, the competitive congressional campaigns of Sen. Alan Lowenthal and Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong concluded with Lowenthal’s victory to represent the 47th District. [...]
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the shooting rampage in Downey last Wednesday [Oct. 24] that left three people dead began with a Craigslist ad a family had posted in an attempt to sell their Chevy Camaro. Suspect Jade Douglas Harris remained in jail without bail today [Oct. 30] on charges which include three [...]
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 [...]
"We live in a theme park world," says Charles Phoenix, who presents his 'Big Retro Slide Show' at the Art Theatre on Saturday. "I grew up in a theme park environment, in Southern California, and wherever you go, everyone is trying to be a little bit theme park."
The decidedly political flavor at Taste of Downey included the shirts and stickers of council candidate Alex Saab and a heated discussion between Councilmember Mario Guerra and Firemen's Association president Steve Davis
DOWNEY– The car dealer who illegally demolished much of the historic Johnie’s Broiler in 2007, has lost his lawsuit against the city. An appeals court last week found that a filing by auto dealer Ardas “Alex” Yanik had no merit and that Yanik failed to prove vague claims that the City of Downey was infected [...]
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 (Via Herald American)—Officers from the Downey Police Department are coordinating with law enforcement officials from several other cities to conduct a sweep of the city to verify the addresses of 69 parolees reported to live there. The sweep—similar to others that have already occurred in surrounding cities—is a ripple effect of the realignment of [...]
DOWNEY – A strange feeling crept over Jerry Aguero one day last month as he entered his home. He walked into his room. The family’s jewelry was missing. So were Aguero’s guns. He looked around the house some more and realized his children’s video games were gone. So were the family’s computers. Aguero’s house near [...]
DOWNEY – Hundreds of employees at the local branch of a direct mail company joined the ranks of the unemployed this week. About 263 employees at IWCO Direct’s office in the 7300 block of Flores Avenue were let go as part of a “reset plan,” according to a statement on IWCO’s website. According to a [...]
DOWNEY—After debates, meetings and public hearings, the city has decided to make Firestone Boulevard a six-lane road with no street parking throughout the entire length of the city. The project calls for bus stops, trees, medians, plants and new asphalt. The goals of the redesign are to make the street look better, increase traffic flow [...]
Call it no man left behind, civilian style. When the father of a U.S. Marine learned that 14 military members from Downey were not being honored by banners on city streets because there was no money to pay for them, he hustled up donations of nearly $3,000 in two days. Manny Rodriguez learned of the [...]
Maybe you’ve heard of OLDA—that’s Orange Line Development Authority—the agency overseeing the proposed light-rail train line that would connect Santa Ana with downtown Los Angeles, passing through towns like Downey, Paramount, Bellflower and Artesia along the Pacific Electric right-of-ways that once carried the Red Car. Or … maybe not. OLDA, the agency, acknowledges that OLDA, [...]
The first-ever Relay For Life flash mob at Downey High fell through because of school officials' fears that students might throw things at the dancers. They were right. One student did.
GIVE YOUR 2 CENTS ON $7 BILLION PROPOSAL FOR AN OC-TO-LA TRAIN LINE AT WEDNESDAY MEETING IN BELLFLOWER
The public is invited to an information-and-feedback meeting Wednesday evening in Bellflower regarding the proposed Orange Line, which would connect Los Angeles and Santa Ana—along with in-between towns like Downey, Paramount, Bellflower and Artesia—by running modern trains along the Pacific Electric right-of-ways that once carried the Red Car. The meeting, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 [...]
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D), who represents Downey in Congress, is among 16 members of the House of Representatives questioning the Department of Homeland Security about apparent contradictions between its account of a man’s severe beating and tazing by Border Patrol agents and a video uncovered by the PBS news program, “In The Know.” The man [...]
Barack Obama's ordination as The First Gay President may have popped Long Beach City Council member Robert Garcia's long-range campaign for that distinction, but it's given Mayor Bob Foster's political advisers an idea so crazy it just might work. This week's report from local correspondent Norm de Ploom.
More than a quarter-century after three South Gate teenagers died of wounds they received in a stabbing attack that occurred in the dry San Gabriel River during what was supposed to be a night of fun at Golf 'N' Stuff on the Norwalk-Downey border, the crimes remain unsolved---but the families and law enforcement continue searching for answers.
This is the final weekend for the Columbia Memorial Space Museum’s first first-ever traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution: “Suited For Space” which is about space suits. The museum is pretty much all that’s left of the aerospace industry in Downey, where they built things like the Apollo series of rockets that took people to [...]
“I wake up every day proud to be a bastard …” asserts Nick Velez, who is preparing to open a sports bar and restaurant in downtown Downey, in a story in today’s Downey Patriot by city editor Eric Pierce. So, there ya go—job applicants, beware. But apparently we’ve interrupted Velez, who hasn’t finished his sentence. [...]
"Have a greater weekend!" we cheerily well-wished them. "Don't tell us what kind of weekend to have!" they sharply bubble-popped us. So, instead, we're going to tell you to have a greater weekend ... and how.
"People in line are very nice, quietly conversational, realistic, resilient. Sharing stories of their fruitless job searches, not self-pityingly, but recognizing that the sum of their stories equals a very messed-up state of affairs."
DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)—‘Tis the season for impulsive rabbit purchases. Due to the Easter holiday, a big colony of rabbits is up for adoption at the Los Angeles County animal shelter in Downey. Normally, the shelter has three or four rabbits; now it’s got 12. There are so many, the pound had to bring in extra rabbit [...]
I knew this day would come. I just didn’t think it would come so soon. I hit my article limit on LATimes.com, and I can’t read more without forking over some cash. What a weird feeling I have. On one hand, I’m glad the Times is putting some value on the hard work of its [...]
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 [...]
Vanessa Melendez and her crew of money-raising crazies stole the show from the traditional giant scissors Wednesday at the grand opening of the Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles low-cost medical clinic in Downey. Everybody wanted to talk to the girl featured in the semi-nude calendar. Melendez and the Calendar Vixens presented the [...]
An error by staff members at world-renowned Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center may cost Los Angeles County taxpayers $3.1 million in an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit. The County Board of Supervisors will decide whether or not to authorize the monster payout at its meeting Tuesday (Feb. 28). Robert Vasquez of Whittier was recovering from a [...]
Michael Nida not only was unarmed, innocent and on a date with his wife on Oct 22 when a Downey Police Department officer killed him while investigating an ATM robbery---but the Los Angeles County Coroner has just revealed that the 31-year-old father of four was also shot in the back ... twice.
DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)—While the City of Downey is laying off employees and trying to plug a multi-million budget hole, documents show it has also been writing checks for six-figure, lump-sum retirement payouts. More than $249,000 in unused vacation and sick time was recently paid to former Fire Chief and Emergency Services Coordinator Mark Sauter, who retired [...]
I didn't mean to see you tag that sign in the parking lot---so why did you ask me what I was looking at? I probably wouldn't have called the cops on you if you had let me go on my way. I don't live in Downey, but I'm not going to get threatened on a trip to make copies.
From small children on scooters to elderly anti-war activists, some 150 people marched more than two miles to Downey City Hall to protest the shooting death of an unarmed man, Michael Nida, by a Downey Police officer last fall.
DOWNEY—Friends and family of Michael Nida, the unarmed and innocent man fatally shot last Oct. 22 by a Downey Police Department officer wielding an MP5 machine gun, are inviting people to march two miles with them Saturday—from the site of the shooting at Paramount Blvd. and Imperial Highway to to Downey City Hall—to protest racial profiling [...]
"Suited For Space," an exhibit borrowed from the Smithsonian Institution, opens at the Columbia Memorial Space Center on Feb. 1. The Center's focus on space flight and engineering is a perfect fit with the Smithsonian, which has a huge collection of space-and-flight related material.
[ Story by Matthew Guhit ] DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)—In an effort to reduce energy and water usage, the Southern California Gas Co. hired landscapers to renovate the front of its building on Firestone Boulevard in Downey, dubbed the Energy Resource Center. “We needed to make it a showcase for energy efficiency,” Southern California Gas Co. spokeswoman [...]
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 [...]
DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)– There are fundamental questions one must ask oneself while trying to make sense of this mortal coil. What is the meaning of life? Do I matter? And, finally, “Got Bacon?” Papas and Dogs, a small, brightly decorated new gourmet hot dog joint at 8740Firestone Boulevard in Downey can now answer that third important query. [...]
Through friendship and frank discussions traditionally unheard of on high school campuses, Gay-Straight Alliances like this one at Downey High are normalizing once-taboo subjects, shedding light on human complexity and helping people feel welcomed and accepted.
DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)—A collection of anti-police activists and reformers from outside of Downey are slowly coalescing around the family of Michael Nida, a married father of four who was unarmed and on a date with his wife when he was shot and killed by Downeypolice Oct. 22. Nida’s family members and closest friends began speaking [...]
Roadside memorials like the one in Downey dedicated to Michael Nida, the innocent and unarmed man shot to death by a Downey Police officer in October, present touchy dilemmas for cities, which are legally required to maintain public rights-of-way within their borders.
During their first major tournament, one of three robotics teams from Warren High School in Downey has won top honors at a Las Vegas tournament and qualified for the world tournament. Warren’s Columbia 1 Team captured the Nevada Winter Championships on Dec. 3 and earned entry to the VEX Robotics High School World Championship in [...]
Via DowneyBeat.com: Family members of Michael Nida, who was shot to death by Downey police on Oct. 22 after twice running from them, are calling for a boycott of Downey businesses. Police said that on the night of the shooting they were looking for suspects of an armed robbery at a nearby ATM when they stopped Nida as he [...]
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. [...]
SOUTH GATE (Via the Downey Beat)—On what would have been his 32nd birthday, more than 200 people gathered for a candlelight vigil Tuesday in front of the home in Hollydale where Michael Lee Nida was raised. They mostly reminisced about the many dimensions of their friend—the basketball coach, skateboarder, rap fan, drywaller, kick boxer, father and dedicated husband—but [...]
A 31-year-old father of four was unarmed Saturday (Oct. 22) when he became the second man this month to be shot and killed by Downey Police officers. According to a report by the Los Angeles County Sheriff, the death of Michael Lee Nida of South Gate occurred after he twice escaped and ran from Downey [...]
Steve Perez runs his gardening business without using power tools---even his mower is personally powered push kind---and travels his entire gardening route on a three-wheeled bicycle hitched to a trailer. He insists he hasn't gone crazy. He's gone green.
Downey Mayor Luis Marquez, a senior aide to state Sen. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, will formally announce his candidacy today for the California State Assembly in the newly-created 58th District. Marquez’ candidacy was reported Monday morning by the Downey Beat and was confirmed Monday afternoon by The Downey Patriot. Marquez, who was elected as [...]
A new program that gives small businesses a big advantage on bids for Los Angeles County contracts attracted more than 250 people to a workshop offered Thursday by Supervisor Don Knabe. It was the area’s first county workshop since the Board of Supervisors voted to increase the county’s small-business bid preference from 5 percent to 8 percent. [...]
DOWNEY (Via the Downey Beat)—With hundreds on hand as witnesses, the city on Thursday unveiled a memorial to fallen police officers, with a special emphasis on Officer Wayne Presley, the only Downey officer killed in the line of duty. The bronze statue in front of the Police Department depicts a kneeling officer in a sorrowful [...]
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 [...]
DOWNEY (Via The Downey Patriot) – What does Downey taste like? And don’t say “chicken” … unless we’re going to Toyitos—and you’re buying. Otherwise, it kind of depends on what you’re in the mood for. And if you can’t make up your mind, simmer down until Sept. 30, when the area around city hall will be transformed [...]
An estimated 365 parcels of private property will be taken by the state of California to accommodate a $1.6 billion, six-mile widening of the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) from Orange County line east of Valley View Avenue in La Mirada northwest through Santa Fe Spring, Norwalk and Downey. Most of the affected property owners have [...]
"Defending the Caveman"---straight from the GEICO commercials, we're assuming---is among the acts booked for the Downey Civic Theatre by a company with a $400,000 contract from the City Council to manage the long troubled facility. The other acts? America, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and two dudes from Los Lobos. That's right, $400,000.
"Growing up a block from Skate-O-Rama in the late ‘60s and ‘70s was a most memorable time for me," says Dale Lendrum, now 48, who lived near the intersection of Imperial Highway and Woodruff Avenue.. "At the time we didn’t have a city park nearby---Skate-O-Rama was a place to go for some fun and recreation. It was the Disneyland of Downey!”
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.
DOWNEY (via Downey Patriot)—As opposed to the first round of draft maps, new visualization maps released by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission keep the city of Downey intact in each proposed congressional, state assembly, state senate and board of equalization district. Preliminary maps had prompted angst among city officials who believed they isolated Downey from [...]
Hookah Bars ... a nightclub ... a sports bar ... a micro-brewery ... in Downey? “The city is trying to make a statement,” says Omar Monzon, 29, of Hookah Time Café, part of a flurry of new downtown businesses staying open after dark. “‘We're not dead.’”
Mayors from eight cities in the 27th State Senate District of Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, are urging him to rescind his support of eliminating redevelopment agencies to help balance the state budget, saying that would cost millions to California cities. That legislation has been made part of the current budget signed by Gov. Jerry [...]
The Downey City Council has moved closer to adopting new campaign reforms that would reduce the size of campaign spending by regulating contributions given to candidates. According to the ordinance, written by city attorney Yvette Abich Garcia, candidates in Districts 1 through 4 who accept the voluntary expenditure limit would have a $1,500 per person [...]
Governor Jerry Brown today (June 28) signed multiple budget-related bills sent to him by Democrats holding majorities in the state Senate and Assembly that among other things eliminate local redevelopment agencies and direct resolution of their activities and create an alternative “voluntary” redevelopment program. Gov. Brown proposed phasing out local redevelopment agencies shortly after taking [...]
The Hookah Time Cafe, the second hookah bar to open in Downey within the last three weeks, will celebrate its grand opening Friday, according to its website. The latest hookah bar is at 8323 Firestone Blvd., next to Leeds mattress store. Its owners also appear to operate the Custom Cuts barbershop in South Gate. Mosaik [...]
After a public hearing on June 28, the Downey City Council is expected to approve a $143.6 million budget that will plug a $1.7-million deficit by using the city’s reserves, but will not reduce any city programs or services, although 34 budgeted and/or unoccupied jobs will be permanently eliminated. The city’s reserves are projected at [...]
Mary Thoits of the Long Beach City College Senior Studies Center is among 27 seniors honored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe on the 46th annual Older Americans Recognition Day for the contributions they make to the quality of life by volunteering.
The Downey City Council killed the city’s Art in Public Places Committee by a 5-0 vote Tuesday night, in effect establishing itself as the arbiter of form and content in publicly funded displays—and inheriting the $376,000 currently in the public arts fund. Council member Mario Guerra, who proposed dissolving the committee, insisted that the decision [...]
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.
California Assembly majority leader Charles Calderon, a Democrat who represents most of Downey in the state’s lower house, is accused of making “degrading and inappropriate” remarks about the personality, intelligence and physical attractiveness of California Supreme Court Chief Justice Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. Sen. Noreen Evans, a Democrat who represents Santa Rosa—and heads the Legislative Women’s [...]
The $11,200 grant that Warren High School just received from Lowe’s was the result of the combined efforts and priorities of construction teacher Kent Kiess and film teacher Andy Lundsberg. It shows. The Downey school is using the money to convert an old weightroom into a warehouse for construction classes—and a movie back lot modeled [...]
As plans are made to provide a headstone for a Civil War veteran buried at Artesia Cemetery in Cerritos for more than a century, a worker at Downey Cemetery begins to replace one of four headstones stolen this week from the graves of more-recent veterans.
"I'm 110 percent sure of this," says the Rev. Audie Derryberry, whose 65th birthday---retirement age---would nearly coincide with the end of the world on May 21. "This is not a scare tactic. Do the math---there's a lot of math in the Bible and it's there for a reason.”
The streets of Downey are suburban, almost obliged to be indistinctive, and yet driving them has begun to feel more and more … meaningful? Or maybe … inspirational? And then again, there’s always … corny? Well, at minimum, let’s hope it’s unforgettable—because committing all the new street names to memory is a challenge. Lately, 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."
Raytheon Company, an aerospace and defense company with sales of $25 billion last year, will open a 27,000-square-foot research-and-training facility in Downey and hire 150 people to staff it, city officials announced Monday. The Public Safety Regional Technology Center, to be located at 11899 Woodruff Ave., just north of Stewart and Gray Road, will provide [...]
Bumblebee, born-and-raised in Downey (exit at Firestone, not through the gift shop), has been building such a high profile in the downlow world of street art---not only painting on walls, but sculpting in abandoned phone booths and newsracks---that he has recently brought his stuff into galleries.
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.
A Downey business continues to earn the dubious honor of being California’s largest sales tax delinquent, according to a list published by the state’s Board of Equalization today. The company, which did business as Calif. Target Enterprises, Inc., allegedly owes the state more than $18.1 million in unpaid sales tax. A lien was filed against [...]
A Los Angeles County employee who died in an office cubicle at a county building in Downey on Feb. 11, but was not found until the next afternoon, was working overtime alone, and the lights were automatically turned off to save energy, a county spokeswoman said Friday. Rebecca Wells, 51, who was an auditor for [...]
When elected officials evade questions and fail to be held accountable for their actions, citizens have every reason to be suspicious. So it is that we are suspicious about the Downey City Council’s decision to fire city clerk Kathleen Midstokke at a hastily-called Thursday afternoon council meeting—after The Downey Patriot had gone to press. By [...]
Overstaying your welcome—that is, the parking limitations on curb signs and parking meters—just got more expensive in Downey, where the city council has signed off on a state-mandated $3 increase on all parking citations. Although it will cost the Downey Police Department $5,700 to replace its parking citation inventory and the city will collect the [...]
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—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 [...]
A 52-year-old man on parole for a burglary conviction was arrested Monday at his mother’s house in Downey on charges of stealing money from church donation boxes. Peter Manuel Galindro, 52, allegedly pried open collection boxes at churches in Burbank and Glendale. The stolen money had been earmarked for Haitian relief efforts, officials said. READ [...]
As I watched last week’s news reports bidding farewell to Governor Schwarzenegger, I was still shaking my head with a “What the hell?” Whether you think he did a good job, a bad job, or something in the middle, the reality of “Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger” is still surreal, the punchline of a joke aimed at America’s obsession with media and artifice.
Fernando Vasquez, the newest member of the Downey city council, is falling back upon a well-worn excuse for his failure to report a $2,500 campaign contribution from a local auto dealership before the Nov. 2 election—blaming a subordinate. “It was oversight by the campaign treasurer , who handles our reporting of expenses and campaign contributions,” said Vasquez, [...]
The cities of Norwalk and Downey will be led by part-time city managers for the immediate future, saving both cities some money while still receiving experienced managerial talents. Downey City Manager Gerald Caton, who had planned to retire at the end of 2011, has advanced his full-time departure by 12 months, thus saving the city [...]
Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours became a crazy-popular chain in the 1960s by dressing its employees like they were in the 1890s and making them act like they were on LSD. There used to be a Farrell's at Downey's Stonewood Center, and rumor has it there may be again.
Bearing backpacks and pulling wagons full of supplies, Cub Scouts from Pack 658 will deliver some basic supplies today to the animals sheltered at Long Beach Animal Control’s P.D. Pitchford Companion Village. The items in these care packages—towels, blankets, toys, food and leashes—were collected during a month-long call for donations called “Howls For Towels” that [...]
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.
As Gerald Caton prepares for retirement next December after 21 years as Downey’s city manager, he is asking the city council to take away his fringe benefits in 2011—a move that Caton estimates will save the city more than $100,000. “A great deal has already been accomplished…,” Caton wrote in an agenda memo to the [...]
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 [...]
An unusually high number of rabid bats have been found in LA County this year. Officials advise against begining any kind of star-crossed romance with any bat---no matter how soulful their eyes, tortured their eyes or yearning their love.
KRYLON AND ON … A SUPERHERO FOR OUR TIMES [ By Theo Douglas ] Sorry, Theo, we’ll have to disagree on this one. There’s nothing “cool” about vandalism, whatever form it may take. If you’re “dodging cops to get your shit done” then another term for your “shit” is most likely “crime.” There’s nothing “cool” [...]
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. [...]
The layout for the Downey Gateway Center, 1.5-acre restaurant and shopping area on the southwest corner of Firestone Boulevard and Downey Avenue, has been recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, paving the way for construction next year. Plans for the development were announced last April. Site plan approval clears the way for the developer [...]
Cerritos was honored as Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County for cities with populations under 60,000 people Wednesday night during a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, receiving an Eddy Award from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). Alhambra won the Eddy among cities with populations over 60,000, a category in which [...]
Three cities in the Greater Long Beach area—although not Long Beach, itself, this year—are among 12 finalists for Eddy Awards in the 2010 Most Business-Friendly City competition sponsored by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). Representatives of Cerritos, Downey and Carson will be at the Beverly Hilton Hotel tonight to await the announcement [...]
A gaggle of Downey city officials, a couple of movie stars and a whole lot of Cuban pride greeted the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Porto’s Cuban Bakery and Café, which finally opened Tuesday nearly a year after breaking ground last Nov. 23. In some ways, the wait seemed even longer. Since the disappointing demise earlier this [...]
“MAYOR’S WIFE USES HER FACEBOOK PAGE TO PUSH LB CITY COUNCIL FOR TOUGHER MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORDINANCE,” Nov. 8 [ By Dave Wielenga ] It’s real easy for someone who has all of their needs addressed to dictate to those who don’t. I wonder when she sleeps on her twenty mattresses if she can still feel [...]
Bob’s Big Boy, which successfully rebuilt the Johnie’s Broiler diner after it was illegally demolished in 2007, has met its requirement to maintain 30-40 full-time jobs and is expected to receive $100,000 as part of a package of economic incentives approved by the city of Downey last year. Jim Louder, owner of the local Bob’s [...]
About 100 bicyclists on a nighttime ride were ambushed, ticketed and their bikes confiscated by the Long Beach Police Department. This would have been lame anywhere, but was inexplicable in a town where the City Council (above) in December 2009 posed beneath a sign proclaiming Long Beach "the most bicycle friendly city in America."
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.
Celebrity motorcycle builder/Teutonic history buff Jesse James reportedly will close his West Coast Choppers shop in Long Beach---which named a street after him---and focus on Texas, a state more in line with his political views, especially when it comes to making the trains run on time. The street will likely revert to its original name: Hermann Goering Blvd.
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 [...]
Sambi of Tokyo, a fixture in Downey since it opened on Firestone Boulevard nearly 40 years ago, is closing. The owners confirmed that the restaurant’s last day will be Oct. 24. Employees were notified of the closure last Friday. “It has to do with so many issues. Basically it’s due to the economy, that’s a [...]
George Laine---newspaperman, WWII vet, boxer, jazz critic, union man and recovered alcoholic---dies at 84. We met at the Press-Telegram and he was just about sweetest tough old bird I’d ever met, a grizzled/gracious cross between Burgess Meredith and the Hobbit. No one could tell you to fuck off with more genuine love and affection.
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 [...]
Workers at Rio San Gabriel Park in Downey are putting the finishing touches on a new dog park—and hey, where do you think you and that mutt of yours are going? There’s a lot more to taking your dog to a dog park—this one, anyway—than simply taking your dog to a dog park. For instance: [...]
The Downey City Council has dropped plans for an old-town central business district and instead approved plans for a modern, expanded downtown area. Its Tuesday night actions consisted of tentative approval of ordinances changing the zone classification, general plan designation, height and density restrictions and revoking an Oct. 24, 2000, ordinance calling for an historic downtown [...]
The two candidates seeking to become the next California state superintendent of public instruction will take part in a candidate forum Wednesday in Downey. Larry Aceves and Tom Torlakson will each take questions from a panel and give their take on issues facing K-12 education. They will also answer questions from the audience. The forum [...]
THE HEADLINE: Downey twins win by losing a combined 273 pounds THE STORY: After losing a combined 273 pounds in 20 months, identical 29-year-old twin sisters Tiffany Marie Elizalde (153-pound loss) and Tina Marie Konegni (120-pound loss) of Downey were named among 100 first-place winners nationwide in Weight Watchers 2010 “Role Models of the Year” [...]
APPRECIATING RICH ARCHBOLD WHERE IT COUNTS MOST—AS A HUMAN BEING [ By Louise Cunningham ] Love the article on Rich; he is a very special person and so happy that you did this. I, too, many times use the “Once when I was at the PT … ” / KATHY BERRY At least Archbold was [...]
When you’re in the Long Beach area and the title of the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast Is "The Uncertain Economy" and you're already depressed about your economic future, well, maybe you ought to not bother even reading it. Then again, uncertainty is better than doomsday.
Downey police confiscated five slot machines from a local 98-cent store last week and charged the store owner and an employee with illegal gambling. Members of the Downey Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team seized the electronic slot machines and two “coin-push” machines containing more than $900 from the 98 Cents+ Mart at 13258 Woodruff Ave. [...]
Oh, there is just something so deliciously twisted, so utterly Marie Antoinettish about Long Beach councilmember Suja Lowenthal discussing cuts in basic city services while in a luxurious palace being served exotic fruits by ... please let it be ... a monkey butler.
The City of Downey moved closer to prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries from operating in the city when the Planning Commission on Wednesday agreed with city administrators that the benefits of marijuana collectives to residents are “far outweighed” by the violent crime that oftentimes besiege the clinics. The Commission unanimously approved a resolution that formally recommends [...]
McDonald’s is hold a “Hiring Day” today to fill part-time positions for the company’s Downey-area restaurants. There are seven McDonald’s in Downey. A McDonald’s representative said the jobs can help employees “grow their skills with one of the world’s most successful companies.” “We provide every employee with valuable skills including time management, learning to take initiative and self-confidence [...]
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 [...]
After weeks of ado about squat, Suja Lowenthal---the most baldly ambitious and ethically lithe elected official in Long Beach government---wrangles the title of Vice Mayor. She immediately announces she's not going to attend crucial meetings that deal with the city's massive budget deficit.
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, [...]
Surprised and pleased Downey City Council members have accepted offers from Police Chief Rick Esteves and two police bargaining units to delay a 4.25-percent pay hike that they are contractually promised. “This is almost unheard of,” said City Manager Gerald Caton said, noting that the agreement was unanimous among some 70 members of the Police [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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’s chatterboxing city councilman, Mario Guerra, says he wants another term. Of course, Guerra doesn’t put it so succinctly as that. This guy’s got a mouth, and he likes to shoot it off. Guerra’s the guy who told me last Nov. 23 that Tesla Motors had selected Downey as the site of its manufacturing plant, [...]
BY ERIC PIERCE / DOWNEY PATRIOT After the Downey Patriot’s story last week that Tesla Motors is seeking to lease 51 acres on the former NASA site, likely spelling the end of Downey Studios, city officials are now saying the movie studios “will remain open even after the new tenant arrives.” The Planning Commission approved an IRG [...]
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 [...]