Downey’s civic leaders turn out in support of the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation.Read More
Eligible crimes, including bike thefts and child custody violations, can now be reported on the police department’s website.Read More
Dani Moreno, a 2010 Warren High graduate, has found success as a professional trail runner.Read More
If negotiations are successful, the dealership will be operated by Champion, which owns the Dodger/Chrysler dealership.Read More
The 5-concert series begins June 12 at Furman Park.Read More
The group travels the country promoting Cuba’s music and culture.Read More
Apollo and Dennis the Menace parks will see significant upgrades this year, including new backstops, picnic shelters, and synthetic turf.Read More
Building plans have been slowed “due to the complex nature of the old, deteriorated, and obsolete use and design of the former single screen theater building.”Read More
Contractors are fighting over a multi-million dollar construction contract.Read More
Happy spring, Downey! April is a busy month for the City. There are numerous meetings and events scheduled for you and your family to attend.
One of my favorite times of the year is when we get to celebrate STEM education at the City of STEM Big Science Fest at the Columbia Memorial Science Center. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is the driving force in schools to prepare our children for the future. The whole month is packed with activities at the Space Center. Please check out their website for their calendar of events.
April also serves as Volunteer Month. This year, the City will be hosting its first Downey One Day of Service. This will be a community service day in which volunteers will give back by participating in various projects throughout the city. Event will take place on Saturday, April 27 at the new location, the Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center.
Volunteering is multi-faceted in its importance to our society. It enriches our society, brings us together as a community, and helps keep businesses and other organizations afloat. Volunteers are an integral part of our society. I hope you can join me and be a part of this great event.
Downey as well as surrounding communities have seen a rise of urban coyote population. The City of Downey has a Coyote Management Plan in place that explains in detail coyote behavior and strategies that the community can employ to mitigate the frequency of coyotes within City neighborhoods. Join us on April 2nd at 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers for a Coyote Townhall meeting. Speakers will include members of the Police Department, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, members of the City Council and City staff.
The second meeting for the Downey Business Watch Program is scheduled for April 11th at 9 am inside the City Council Chambers. This program is a joint effort between the Downey Police Department and the Downey Chamber of Commerce to help prevent and reduce crime. Through this collaboration, quarterly business watch seminars will be held at City Hall.
Seminars are scheduled for April 11th, July 11th and October 10th. I invite you to complete the Crime Prevention Survey available on the city’s website where you may share your input on which future topics you would like to see discussed at meetings.
Our series of “Walk with your Council Member” has gone great so far. We have had a great turn out and have been given the opportunity to speak with our residents one on one while working on improving our health. The walks are held at the Downey High School track at 7 pm.
This year the Bunny is back in town and the Brunch with the Bunny event is scheduled for April 13th at 9:30 am at Golden Park. Boy Scouts will be on hand serve delicious pancakes and breakfast staples and games and rides will be available for the little ones.
Now that spring is here, it is time to do some spring cleaning and gardening in your home. The City will be hosting a Mulch and Shredding event on April 20th from 8 am till noon at the City Hall parking lot. Please bring your own bags to collect mulch. Also, a Keep Downey Beautiful Clean Up is scheduled for that same day at 9 am. Meeting location will be at the Del Taco parking lot. Please arrive 15 minutes prior so that you may receive a vest and tools that may be needed.
The following week the City will be having their annual Drug Take-Back event at the Downey Police parking lot. The Police Department and community volunteers will be collecting unused, unwanted or out-of-date prescription medications. This event offers community members an opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous drugs and minimize the potential for misuse and abuse. The event will be held rain or shine.
Event attendees will have the opportunity to drop their prescription medications off into collection boxes provided by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A). Over-the-counter medications can also be discarded. Liquids will only be accepted in fully sealed, unopened plastic containers. Needles, sharps and glass containers will not be accepted. The event is co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Division of the D.E.A.
Lastly, I wanted to let you know that I have decided to move the State of the City address to October 9th. This will give me an opportunity to not only speak about future developments in our city, but also highlight the accomplishments made throughout the year. The luncheon is still scheduled for 11:30 am and is open to the public.
For more information please contact the Downey Chamber of Commerce at 562-923-2191.
DOWNEY - Gang’s Out of Downey (GOOD) held its annual luncheon last week, including a message from a former inmate who used his story to take subtle jabs at SB 1437.
The luncheon serves as a yearly fundraising opportunity, as well as a way to communicate the organization’s message.
The event saw several speakers, including Mayor Rick Rodriguez, newly appointed president Julie Garcia, 10-20 Club founder Darrell Jackson, and former GOOD president Captain Mark McDaniel of the Downey Police Department.
McDaniel highlighted the importance of the partnership between DPD and the community in their efforts to keep the city free of organized crime groups.
“The first Tuesday of every month, different stakeholders in Downey meet, collaborate, and share information that’s focused on making our community safe,” said McDaniel. “You will be hard-pressed to find any group such as this in any other city that has the ability to remain focused on their mission, which is to keep gangs out of our city.”
“Crime prevention, including keeping gangs out of Downey has to be a community effort.”
The luncheon’s Keynote came in the form of Ernest Caldwell, who gave personal anecdotes of his rough life on the streets that ended in redemption.
He also took the opportunity to seemingly speak out against recently passed controversial Senate Bill 1437 – which many in the community point to as the reason for the light sentence given to one of the defendants in the Officer Ricardo Galvez murder trial - although he did not mention the bill by name.
“If you do the crime, you need to do the time,” said Caldwell. “There’s going to be some that are going to be released because the governor wants to do it. I can guarantee it’s going to be a problem for us.”
The Dec. 6, 1989 Press-Telegram had an article about a wartime “attack” that stirred Downey. This was an article by columnist Milburn Gibbs, a businessman and Downey resident.
As the story starts, Arvin MacCauley was working the graveyard shift at the South Gate Defense factory when he and his mates ran outside when the noise began. Gordon Madru was a kid and it awakened him from a sound sleep; Grace McCarthy was giving her infant son his 2 a.m. feeding when all hell broke loose.
It was Feb. 25, 1942, the day Downey thought armageddon was unfolding. Anti-aircraft guns blazed away at “unidentified flying objects” — presumably Japanese planes. Following is what really happened on the night Los Angeles became the first -- and only -- mainland U.S. city to be attacked in World War II.
Well, almost attacked.
The Los Angeles Daily News story of Feb. 25 read: “World War II plopped down on Los Angeles’ doorstep today with a reported visit from a score of unidentified planes and a welcoming committee of dozens of anti-aircraft guns in full action…”
The Downey Live-Wire echoed, “Downey and a wide area of the coast area experienced its first general blackout and anti-aircraft action early Wednesday morning on orders from the Army’s western defense command. No bombs were dropped and no airplanes were shot down…”
Folks around Downey were understandably nervous on that February night. Pearl Harbor was only a couple of months before, and one could not know what subterfuge the Japanese might try. There were two batteries of anti-aircraft guns in Downey — one at Sixth Street and Paramount Boulevard, and another at Vultee Aircraft Co., at Lakewood Boulevard and Stewart & Gray Road.
The Paramount Boulevard guns were encased in a house with a retractable roof -- real high tech for the time. They were manned by Battery D, brave New York and New Jersey lads who were to defend us ably.
Jack Cook’s home was only three blocks from this installation and the house rattled during the night of infamy that was to follow. The liquor store beside the gun emplacement is said to have lost much of its virgin nector to the concrete floor that night.
About 2:30 a.m., a plane or planes of unknown origin were reported sighted and guns from San Pedro to Beverly Hills began to blaze. Thousands of rounds pierced the night sky. Tracers lighted the dark and babies clear to Los Angeles cried.
Air raid wardens and block wardens swung immediately into action. They directed traffic away from the gun emplacements, causing a traffic jam of sorts at Lakewood and Firestone boulevards. They diverted traffic away from the likely target: Vultee Aircraft.
In those days, everyone cooperated. Well, most did, and few who didn’t were soon sternly made aware of their patriotic stance and were contrite, the paper said.
News was very much censored during the war. News of great Allied-American victories at Corregidor and Guadalcanal were trumpeted in every paper. The War Department never did admit what really happened the day Downey went to war — one American weather balloon was mistaken for the armada of zeroes.
One other piece of evidence that came out long after the war: there was a Japanese submarine — the I-17 — operating off our coast that night, which did have the capability of launching a float plane. Later we learned that the I-17 went down in the South Pacific in 1943, her crew and logs lost for all time.
The War Department said later there were probably no enemy aircraft within 5,000 miles of Downey or her besieged neighbors that fateful night.
Around dawn, zone and post wardens were given the all clear and a much shaken group of Downeyites tried to re-group and resume their lives.
For more information on this topic, please visit the Downey History Center.
Bobbi Bruce is a docent with the Downey Historical Society.
Registration packets are available at elementary schools but children must meet enrollment requirements.Read More
The hospital opened its pediatric care center in 2017, and now joins more than 220 children's hospitals nationwide.Read More
Customers say goodbye to the Downey City Library (as they know it) as the facility closes 15 months for renovations.Read More
The Argentine steakhouse has updated its menu and consolidated ownership in preparation for a “major expansion.”Read More
Most programs will continue at off-site locations while the library is renovated.Read More
I remember sitting in kindergarten class at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in 1983.
Ms. Frazier had a pretty smile and was very helpful. But I could not sit still. I could not focus nor did anything I was reading interest me, except Ms. Frazier and my coloring book. I drew a lot, mostly doodles, a lot of drawings but I was never focused on my actual homework. Eventually it was decided to hold me back a grade.
So, I repeated kindergarten. My second time in kindergarten was a little different. The teacher this time was Mrs. Richards. Her son was also in the classroom, but so was Marissa Z., and I couldn’t get my mind off of her. She couldn’t get her mind off of me.
My cousin Dennis was in the 8th grade at the time and he had a girlfriend named Susan. Susan used to love to come over and pick me up in the playground and play with me. It drove Marissa crazy, and I remember loving it.
All through my years at OLPH, I remember never being able to focus on much other than drawing, writing, reading, art and girls.
But one thing for sure that I was always interested in was the morning paper arriving outside in front of the garage. On Sundays it was the Press-Telegram or the Los Angeles Times.
I graduated from OLPH in 1992 and went on to St. John Bosco, where much of the lack of interest in school continued. Eventually I found myself in the public school system at Downey High School.
My interests became different at Downey High mostly because there was a lot more to do. I loved my typewriting class, the wood-working class and the architecture class, and there were a lot of girls. But every Friday what I looked forward to the most was the Downey Eagle.
In 1993, the Downey Eagle started showing up at our door. The Downey Eagle was the newspaper that my dad and I enjoyed the most. It featured stories from the local community, high school sports and advertising.
My brother and sister enjoyed the Los Angeles Times. My brother was really into sports and my sister into the entertainment section. But my dad and I really looked forward to the Eagle. It’s too bad that my grades couldn’t have been based on the articles of the Downey Eagle.
The Eagle continued to be published from 1993 until 2002. I graduated high school in 1996 and went on to miscellaneous adventures, but never really had a love for the papers that would arrive at our door.
The computer soon became the interest of the home, with random articles, dating sites, MySpace, and the occasional news pop-up or video games like Lemmings or DOOM.
Then one Friday morning in 2002, right before heading to my job, a shady-looking van turned the corner at Dolan Street and zoomed past my parents' house with the passenger window rolled down and a woman in the passenger seat. An arm slingshot out of the window and an object landed right at my feet. I picked it up and removed the rubber band and opened it up. My eyes opened with excitement.
It was the Downey Patriot!
My life once again was complete.
Michael Chirco is a Downey resident, community volunteer, and owner of the South Downey Facebook page.
DOWNEY – Two people were cited for buying alcohol for minors during a joint “shoulder tap” operation conducted by the Downey and Whittier police departments, authorities said this week.
In the operation, a juvenile under the supervision of a police officer stands outside a liquor or convenience store and asks customers to purchase alcohol for them. The decoy states they are under 21 years old and can’t buy alcohol for themselves.
Adults who purchase alcohol for the minor are cited by police officers.
Downey and Whittier police officers cited two adults for buying alcohol. Another two people were arrested for possession of illegal narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Business stinks. But that’s just how he likes it.Read More