Wednesday morning report, Sept. 28

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) Gangs Out of Downey is hosting a Public Safety Forum tonight at the Barbara J. Riley Center, starting at 6:30 p.m. 

A panel of expert speakers will engage in conversation about crime trends in Downey. Some of the panelists include representatives from the Downey Police Department, Downey Unified School District and L.A. County Probation, along with other community leaders who lend a hand in keeping Downey safe.

Mark McDaniel, president of GOOD and a lieutenant with Downey PD, will moderate.


2.) DUSD Superintendent Dr. John Garcia will host his first "Coffee with the Superintendent" of the new school year at 6:30 p.m. tonight at school district headquarters, 11627 Brookshire Ave. 

It's an opportunity to share your ideas, thoughts or concerns directly with the man in charge of Downey schools. 


3.) All items were approved at last night's City Council meeting, including the proposed civilian volunteer program within the Downey Police Department. 

Volunteers will be unarmed and are not authorized to take enforcement actions, said Capt. Stephen Garza of the Downey Police Department. 

Total cost to get the program off the ground is about $66,000, which will be used to purchase two new patrol vehicles. Two patrol cars will be taken out of service, repainted and re-purposed for use by the civilian patrol. 


4.) A Downey woman is raising money to bury her infant daughter, who died yesterday during a planned open heart surgery. 


5.) Joslyn Davis is selling a Downey t-shirt with proceeds benefiting TLC.

Tuesday morning report, Sept. 27

Five things to know this Tuesday morning: 

1.) A groundbreaking ceremony was held yesterday for Village Walk, a new development of 28 townhomes at 3rd Street and La Reina Avenue. 

"Housing is integral to the development of Downtown Downey," said Mayor Alex Saab. "This is part of the puzzle we've been envisioning having downtown for many years."

Each of the homes will be three stories tall. The first model homes are expected to be completed by April, and the entire development could be finished by December 2017.

The project is being built over a city-owned parking lot the City of Downey sold to developer the Olson Company last year for $700,000.


2.) The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight inside council chambers at City Hall. Here is the agenda

Most notably, council members will consider the creation of a civilian volunteer program at the Downey Police Department. 

Volunteers wouldn't actually patrol streets. Instead, they would support police officers and administration by providing traffic and crowd control, answering phones, checking on homes when residents are on vacation, fingerprinting children at public events, and generally serving as an extra set of eyes and ears. 

While volunteers would donate their time, the program isn't free. The cost to implement and supervise the program is budgeted at $66,000, plus an additional $27,000 annually for maintenance. 

In a staff report, Police Chief Carl Charles doesn't sound too excited about the program, writing that a volunteer program is "feasible," but that in its current state "the Department does not have adequate staffing, budgeted funds, or equipment to properly implement, maintain, and manage a Volunteer Program, especially considering current responsibilities such as the new Park Ranger Program currently being developed." 


3.) Councilman Sean Ashton is requesting the council take a stand against Prop. 57, which would increase parole chances for felons. 


4.) CareMore is holding a meet-and-greet event at 2:15 p.m. today at PIH Health. 

 

5.) Not a bad idea, though I'd invite Yasiel Puig also.

Monday morning report, Sept. 26

Five things to know this Monday morning: 

1.) A fire near the San Gabriel Riverbed temporarily knocked out power to several Downey homes yesterday. A reader tweeted us the above video. 

And last week, firefighters knocked down a "suspicious" fire at Warren High. 

"The building was evacuated as firefighters extended hose lines and ventilated the smoke from the structure," the department reported on Facebook. "The cause of the minor fire was determined to be intentional."

 

2.) There's now a stop sign heading into the Promenade from the Lakewood Boulevard entrance.

 


3.) I second this tweet.

 


4.) Warren High band took home a bunch of awards at a competition at West Torrance High School over the weekend. 

The Bears walked away with three first place awards (Auxiliary, Percussion and Band), and sweepstakes awards for Visual Effect and High Music Effect. 

Photo courtesy Claudia Cano.

 


5.) Frank Jimenez was installed as president of the Downey Kiwanis Club on Saturday (this is the afternoon club).

Photo courtesy Alex Gaytan.

 

Thursday morning report, Sept. 22

Five things to know this Thursday morning: 

1.) The 710 Freeway will be shutdown this weekend between the 5 and 60 freeways; the closure begins 10 p.m. Friday and lasts through 4 a.m. Monday. 

The closure is part of a $120 million pavement rehabilitation project

From KPCC

"The real choke point will be on the 710, north of the 105 freeway — folks who travel any farther than that are advised to exit once they get to the 5. Detour signs will be posted, but if drivers make it past the 5, they'll have no choice but to exit on Olympic Boulevard, make a right on Eastern Avenue up to 3rd Street to get back on the 60 or 710."

Additional closures are expected through December.


2.) Tonight's meeting of the Downey Sister Cities Assoc. has been cancelled. The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 at Pina's Pizza.


3.) Downey band New American are releasing their latest album, "Being Cognizant is Tired," and have scheduled an Oct. 28 release concert at The Safari in downtown L.A. 

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. 


4.) South Gate is celebrating a "major milestone" in its project to widen Firestone Boulevard over the Los Angeles River.

From a press release: 

"In the late evening hours of September 14, 15 and 16, construction crews completed the installation of concrete girders on the widened bridge pier supports.  The girders will provide support beneath the new bridge deck and form the framework of the soon to be expanded bridge.

This is a major milestone as the contractor is now beginning work to complete the bridge deck. Construction is proceeding on schedule and is expected to be completed in Summer 2017."


5.) Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church has a new pastor. 

Bishop Oscar Solis installed Monsignor Lorenzo Miranda last Saturday. Miranda is a Stanford graduate who was in medical school at UCLA before deciding to become a priest. 

"He is a very spiritual and fun-loving person," church officials said. "Since he came to our parish, you can see him riding his bike on the streets of Downey at 5:30 a.m. every morning." 

 

From left: associate pastor Ambrose Ugoji, Bishop Oscar Solis, Monsignor Lorenzo Miranda and deacon Leo Pinal. 

 

Wednesday morning report, Sept. 21

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) A down payment assistance seminar scheduled for this afternoon at the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center has been cancelled. 

The seminar will go on as scheduled this Saturday at noon. Here are details


2.) The Planning Commission tonight will consider a request to build 39 condominium units on a vacant 1.66-acre parcel of land in north Downey. 

If approved, the units would be built on Telegraph Road at Tweedy Lane. Each residential unit would be three stories with attached 2-car garage, and measure 1,561 to 2,100 square feet. 

Twenty-one of the units are proposed as 3-bedrooms, while the remaining 18 units would feature four bedrooms. 

Here is the staff report, which includes artist renderings of what the complex would look like. 


3.) A man shot and killed at a Bellflower bar Sunday night has been identified as 28-year-old Downey resident Roger Bravo. 

No arrests have been made in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.


4.) Downey Unified has announced plans for a college fair Thursday, Oct. 13, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Downey High. 

There will be free information workshops, raffles, and giveaway bags to the first 1,000 students. 

The fair is open to all K-12 students. 


5.) A 24-year-old Downey man was critically injured after crashing into 11 parked cars in South Gate over the weekend. 

The man's name was not publicly released and police are investigating the cause of the crash. 

 

Tuesday morning report, Sept. 20

Five things to know this Tuesday morning: 

1.) The Downey Coordinating Council announced it will dedicate its Oct. 5 meeting to the proposed sales tax increase Downey voters will decide on this November. 

"Come and hear some of the pros and cons of this measure from their representatives," says Cleola Brown. 

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. at the Barbara J. Riley Center. 


2.) A new meditation class is meeting Tuesdays at Wilderness Park. 

Sitting meditation starts at 6:30 p.m. Participation is free and all ages and skill levels are welcome. 


3.) PIH Health has announced three additions to its Board of Directors: Charlotte Weaver, Jeff Hamar and Patrick Monroe. 

Weaver holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology and is active in health IT policy and legislative efforts. 

Hamar is president of a Santa Fe Springs-based flooring company. He has served as president of the National Association of Floor Covering Distributors and serves with several other volunteer organizations. 

Monroe is president of Rose Hills Company, and has served on the board of directors of several nonprofit organizations. He holds an executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University. 


4.) Speaking of PIH, the Whittier campus has become the first hospital in the state to begin selling California Lottery tickets. 

Powerball, MEGA Millions and SuperLotto Plus tickets can be purchased in the hospital gift shop; scratchers will be available soon.


5.) Mayor Alex Saab and Councilman Sean Ashton comprise a subcommittee to oversee the south Rancho development. 

Monday morning report, Sept. 19

Five things to know this Monday morning: 

Photo courtesy Mayor Alex Saab

Photo courtesy Mayor Alex Saab

1.) Check out the new signage that went up over the weekend marking Downey's Orange Estates neighborhood. 

The signs were an early initiative of Mayor Alex Saab. 

"This not only recognizes the historical name of that area as orange groves, but will also give a sense of pride and ownership and subsequently keep property values up," he said.


2.) After reports of scams in Orange County, the Downey Fire Department is reminding business owners that it doesn't charge for mandatory fire inspections. 

"Please know fire inspectors will never ask for payment during annual business fire prevention inspections," the department posted on Facebook. "Report any suspected fraud to Downey Fire Department at (562) 904-7345."


3.) Local historians will join for a discussion on Downey's 60th anniversary this Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Downey City Library. 

Larry Latimer will moderate, along with former mayors Bob Cormack and Diane Boggs. They'll also be joined by historian Jim Stecklein. 

In addition to the talk, a collection of historic Downey images will be on display. 


4.) Speaking of Downey history, Downey High alum Lash Stevenson has great essays on historic Downey on his personal website (links at the top of the page).


5.) The Stonewood Apartments, an 11-unit complex located near Stonewood Center (obviously), has hit the market with an asking price of $2.1 million. 

Rents at the complex are relatively cheap, with a two-bedroom unit going for an average of $1,050 per month.

Thursday morning report, Sept. 15

Five things to know this Thursday morning:

1.) Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Vasquez will be at the Downey Association of Realtors this morning to speak on the proposed sales tax increase on November's ballot. 

The talk begins at 9 a.m. and is open to the public. Parking is available in the back. 


2.) The Downey Sister Cities Assoc. meeting originally scheduled for today has been rescheduled for a week from today, Sept. 22, at the Embassy Suites. 

Dinner starts at 5 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 6. 


3.) Downey Unified announced it has been named an exemplar school district for 2016-17 following a June accreditation visit from P21 (The Partnership for 21st Century Learning). 

Downey was one of only seven school districts in California to receive the honor. 

“We are very proud of this achievement,” said Board of Education President D. Mark Morris. “We have been patiently waiting for this announcement and now that we have heard the great news, I want to accredit it directly to our amazing teachers, administrators and staff.”

A full story will be posted online later today.


4.) Former Assemblyman Tom Calderon will serve prison time after pleading guilty to money laundering and bribe charges. 

"Citing Calderon’s significant health problems, U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder showed some leniency, ordering Calderon to serve only the first half of the sentence in prison," the L.A. Times reports. "For the second half, Calderon will wear an electronic monitoring device and live under house arrest."


5.) Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard is hosting her U.S. Service Academies Workshop this Saturday at the Downey City Library. Details in the tweet.

 

Wednesday morning report, Sept. 14

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) Huge congratulations to former Downey Patriot staffer Jackie Mejia, who has accepted a job as social media editor at Fusion and will relocate to Miami. 

"Thank you to all my family, friends and colleagues for believing in me and my wildest dreams, and for always encouraging me to aim higher and dream bigger," she says. "I'll be packing up a lifetime of memories and friendships when I leave to Oakland for training this Sunday, and then head directly to Miami from the Bay on the 26th of this month."

Fusion is owned by Univision and Mejia, who was previously with KNBC-4, will work directly with Jorge Ramos. She is a graduate of Warren High and the University of Missouri.


2.) Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed several pieces of proposed legislation yesterday, including AB 1561,  a bill by local Assemblymember Cristina Garcia that would have eliminated sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Brown also "rejected bills to suspend taxes on things like museum materials and animal blood. He rebuffed a measure offering income tax relief to homeowners who got relief on their underwater mortgages."

Garcia wasn't happy about the decision. On Facebook, she said Brown would end up "on the wrong side of history." 

3.) Jimmy John's is hosting a fundraiser this Friday at Stay Gallery to support the family of fallen Downey police officer Ricky Galvez. 

Pre-order tickets are $10, or $15 at the door. The event is from 6-10:30 p.m. 

Jimmy John's says the fundraiser is the first of its "Give Back to the Community" events. For details, contact Angel Duran at (323) 439-7044 or email JJdowneyMarketing@gmail.com.


4.) Mariscos Choix is opening a second location in Pico Rivera.


5.) Planet Fitness is hosting a ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. today. 

Tuesday morning report, Sept. 13

Five things to know this Tuesday morning: 

1.) The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight inside council chambers at City Hall. Here is the agenda

There are lots of interesting agenda items, including a $172,879 proposal to slurry seal the southeast quadrant of Downey. 

If approved, 41 street segments would receive slurry seal coating, which fills in pavement cracks and smooths out the roadway. Doug Martin Contracting Co. of La Habra was the lowest qualified bidder.


2.)  Council members also will consider equipping the Rio Hondo Event Center with wireless internet capabilities. 

Wifi would cost about $19,163, and would allow wireless internet at the banquet center, Hacker's restaurant, the pro shop, outdoor patio and in the driving range. 

After initial set-up charges, the annual cost would be approximately $4,045. 


3.) The city will be shutting down 2nd Street for something called the Downey Art Festival. 

According to a staff report, the festival takes place Sunday, Oct. 2, and will feature art displays, music and food trucks. It's a joint event between the City of Downey and the Downey Arts Coalition. 


4.) Downey has scheduled two meetings to offer details on its down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers. There are only enough funds to help 10 families, so don't procrastinate. 

I also posted more details on Facebook.


5.) Here is a nice round-up (though not all-inclusive) of the sales tax increases L.A. County voters will decide on this November.

Monday morning report, Sept. 12

Five things to know this Monday morning: 

GOOD LOGO BRAND

1.) Gangs Out of Downey is rebranding and has unveiled a new logo. 

The logo was created by Ric Jara and Big City Wraps -- the same company contracted by the Lakers and L.A. Kings -- and incorporates GOOD's core values, which are education, prevention, intervention and collaboration. The goal was to create a new, sleek logo that would accurately represent GOOD as a modern organization and also show well on t-shirts and merchandise. 

Current GOOD President Mark McDaniel was the driving force behind the new look. 


2.) Alex Gaytan of Downey Kiwanis is in need of supplies for a reading room he is opening at Abbot Elementary in Lynwood. 

"We are looking for donations for school supplies primarily for students from 1st - 6th grade. If you can make a donation please message me and I will pick it up or you can drop it off at Downey High School to be delivered to Mrs. Ramirez in room R-3," he wrote on Facebook. "We are also accepting monetary donations to purchase more furniture, please help."


3.) A filmmaker is trying to raise $24,000 for a documentary about the 1956 CIF championship football game between Downey High and Anaheim. 

A full story will be posted on the Patriot's website later today, but details are on a GoFundMe page. Above is the trailer for the proposed documentary. 


4.) Downey firefighters were in New York City yesterday for a 9/11 remembrance. 


5.) St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy will holding a "grand reunion" for graduates Oct. 22 from 5-11 p.m. 

Graduates of St. Pius or St. Matthias from any year are invited. There will be campus tours, dinner, an alumni hall of fame ceremony, live music and dancing.

To register or for more information, contact Gabriela Santos, director of development & alumni
relations, (562)861­-2271 ext. 2205 or gsantos@piusmatthias.org

Thursday morning report, Sept. 8

Five things to know this Thursday morning: 

1.) Tacos Baja celebrates its grand opening with a 3:30 p.m. ribbon cutting today. From 3-6 p.m. all tacos and fish ceviche will be only $1. 

The restaurant is located at 12623 Lakewood Blvd., which was previously the beloved El Coraloense. 


2.) Cerritos Regional Park will be renamed after outgoing L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe. 

The park, which is the largest in Cerritos, is actually owned by L.A. County, so it was the County Board of Supervisors that voted to rename the facility Don Knabe Regional Park. 


3.) Real 92.3 radio personality Big Boy will be celebrating his birthday tomorrow night at Club DB Lounge. 

There will also be surprise guest appearances. For more information, call or text (562) 745-4646. 


4.) Thefts of catalytic converters continue to rise throughout the country, with thefts in California highest among all 50 states, reports the L.A. Times.  

From the Times: 

"Lieutenant Tim Torsney, of the LAPD’s Devonshire division, said thieves steal the converters because they contain small amounts of precious metals — like platinum, palladium and rhodium — they can then sell to unscrupulous salvage yards. Those metals can sell for $1,000 an ounce, and thieves can make $150 or more per stolen converter.

The Prius is particularly targeted, Torsney said, because the converter is easily accessible.

“We’ve seen them removed by crews in less than a minute,” he said.

The NICB said an “aggressive” thief can steal 10 to 15 converters a day, and placed the recycling value of the converters at $20 to $240 each.

The replacement costs substantially more. A nearby auto repair shop charged Peyrot $2,700 to replace the converter and build a steel cage around it to discourage further theft."


5.) The L.A. Times takes a closer look at Commerce, which is facing "another problem that has plagued the region: Government dysfunction. Neighbors like Bell, Vernon and South Gate have been rocked by highly publicized corruption scandals. And Commerce is now also having its own struggles."

More from the story:

"Commerce was founded in 1960 when frustrated residents opposed a move by Downey to annex the industrial parts of town but exclude the neighborhoods, which Downey officials considered too expensive to serve, said Charles Elliott, who was commissioned in the early 1990s by Commerce to write the town’s history.

With a geographic area that is mostly industrial and only a few thousand residents, the city snatched up a tremendous tax base and set about building all those libraries and parks they couldn’t get from county officials.

According to Elliott’s book, the leader of the city’s Industrial Council declared that Commerce would be a “model city” with “no corruption, no gambling and vice, no payoffs, no blackmail.”

Those words wouldn’t stand the test of time."

Wednesday morning report, Sept. 7

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) Soroptimist International of Downey installed three new members last week: Luz Perez, Cecilia Gonez and Melissa Barger. They're pictured above with Soroptimist president Blanca Rochin and VP of membership Dorothy Pemberton. 

To join Soroptimist, call Dorothy Pemberton at (310) 717-3637.

2.) Downey resident Lucy Hickey celebrated her 103rd birthday Sunday at Downey United Methodist Church, where she was presented a proclamation on behalf of the City of Downey. 

Lucy still walks, drives "and is a delightful conversationalist." 

 

3.) I'm experimenting with polls on the Downey Patriot's twitter feed. As you can see we're putting to rest some very important debates:

4.) Two people desperately want to be mayor of Carson, and are embarrassing the city in the process. 


5.) Online registration is now open for Gangs Out of Downey's golf tournament on Oct. 7. Register here.

Tuesday morning report, Sept. 6

Five things to know this Tuesday morning: 

1.) Gangs Out of Downey meets at 7:40 a.m. today in the second floor training room at City Hall. 


2.) Downey High grad and USC linebacker Jabari Ruffin put himself in the national spotlight this past weekend after stomping on an opponent's groin during the Trojans' 52-6 loss to Alabama. 

His punishment: Ruffin has to write a letter of apology and will sit out the first half of USC's game versus Utah State on Saturday. 

“Jabari is a good kid that made a poor, emotional decision,” head coach Clay Helton told the L.A. Times.

 

3.) Apparently there's an abandoned swimming pool underneath Stonewood Center? (Thanks to the Downey Conservancy for the link.)


4.) The Downey Chamber of Commerce has posted more than 200 photos from its golf tournament last week. 


5.) Complimentary tickets to a screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Epic Lounge on Sept. 25 have been claimed, but VIP tickets are still available. 

VIP tickets are $15 and include entry plus two drinks (plus you're supporting the arts in Downey). Buy them here

The screening is being put on by GlennFest Film Festival. 

Thursday morning report, Sept. 1

Five things to know this Thursday morning: 

1.) Here is an Anti-Bullying Week video from Downey High School and posted on YouTube. "We need the Downey vikings to stand up and lend a hand against bullying."

And photos from Anti-Bullying Week across Downey Unified.


2.) KidzPlay, a soccer league that emphasizes recreation and sportsmanship, has announced registration dates for its fall 2016 season.

Sign-ups will be held Sept 10 and Sept. 17 from 1-3 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church for girls and boys in grades 1-6. The cost is $50 per player.

Games begin in October.


3.) Yesterday marked 30 years since the Cerritos air tragedy, when two planes collided mid-air, killing 82 people, including 15 on the ground. 

The Press-Telegram has coverage of Cerritos' remembrance; L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, who was mayor of Cerritos at the time, posted his memories on Instagram and recounted a recent visit to the crash site. 

"It was my first visit to the neighborhood at Carmenita Road and 183rd street in a number of years. Some of the neighbors who survived the air crash on the ground still live there. Others decided the memories were too painful to stay.

"As I turned the corner onto Holmes Avenue, my heart skipped a beat, and it was suddenly hard to breathe as a rush of raw emotions came roaring back. I could smell the burning jet fuel again. I could see the rubble and remains of exploded houses again. I could feel the immense loss of our friends and neighbors and the feeling of hopelessness again."


4.) AltaMed in Downey will host a food distribution for senior citizens from 2-4 p.m. today. 

Seniors can receive canned and dried good, along with information on senior healthcare services. 

AltaMed is at 12130 Paramount Blvd. For more information, call Brenda Orozco at (323) 622-9158.


5.) Check out this amazing use of social media by the Downey Rose Float Association. It's a first-person view of the functioning roller coaster that will be part of Downey's 2017 float.

Wednesday morning report, Aug. 31

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) Price Elementary is holding a fundraiser tonight at the new Chipotle inside the Promenade.


2.) An obscure press release is promoting something called the Best of Downey Award. 

"Each year, the City of Downey, a prominent Los Angeles County City in Southern California located southeast of downtown Los Angeles with a bustling population of over 115,000, awards companies that have achieved exceptional success in their local community and respective business categories (Some of the notable winners in recent years were American Red Cross, Intuit, Best Buy, Zip Car, and Merrill Lynch)."

I have no idea if this is legit or not, but I've never heard of it.

3.) Road work on Lakewood Boulevard near the Promenade is frustrating motorists. 


4.) Speaking of road work, today is the last day of August and the city promised that work at Lakewood and Telegraph would be done today. We shall see.


5.) Bar Louie, a new restaurant/bar opening at the Promenade near Green Olive, is now hiring. Apply online at louiewantsyou.com

Tuesday morning report, Aug. 30

Five things to know this Tuesday morning: 

1.) Raising Cane's officially opens today, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled at 9 a.m. 

The first 20 customers receive free food for a year, and the first 100 dine-customers get a free t-shirt. 


2.) Students interested in volunteering with the city of Downey are invited to an orientation class Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 4 p.m. at the Barbara J. Riley Center. 

Middle school and high school students can volunteer at special events and youth programs at local parks. There are minimal fees and afternoon meetings are scheduled during the year. 

For more details, pick up a volunteer interest form online


3.) An 18-year-old Downey man accused of killing another Downey teen in Long Beach earlier this month made his first court appearance yesterday. 

From the Press-Telegram

"Edgar Miguel Espinoza, 18, of Downey, was arrested in San Diego Thursday in connection with the killing of Nick Cubas.

"Cubas, also of Downey, was found dead about 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 4 in the area of Willow Street and the San Gabriel River, according to the Long Beach Police Department, which has not released additional details.

Espinoza appeared in a Long Beach courtroom Monday where a judge ordered him held without bail. His arraignment was postponed to Sept. 14."


4.) Downey firefighters on their way home from fighting the Chimney Fire in San Louis Obispo County found themselves extinguishing a brush fire that broke out on the 101 Freeway up north. 


5.) Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall has a new library that opened yesterday.

Monday morning report, Aug. 29

Five things to know this Monday morning: 

1.) Check out this cool time lapse video of the Promenade under construction. 

And this one of Cinemark. Thanks to Mario Guerra for sharing the vids. 


2.) Nearly three dozen U.S. postal workers were arrested last week and charged with stealing mail, including pricey electronics. From ABC-7

"The charges include mail theft, stealing packages containing items such as cellphones, prescription drugs and video games and embezzling.

"In one case, a postal carrier was allegedly hoarding mail at her home - some 48,000 pieces of mail that were supposed to be delivered to customers in Placentia.

"In another case, a former president of the local Mail Handlers Union who worked in Moreno Valley was charged with conspiracy and possession of stolen mail after he was found to possess at least 166 stolen mobile phones that he had been offering for exchange online."


3.) Police have arrested two men in connection with the fatal shooting of a Downey teen earlier this month. 

From the Press-Telegram

"Jerome Rueben Ortega, a 19-year-old Lakewood man, was arrested on Aug. 5, and Edgar Miguel Espinoza, an 18-year-old resident of Downey, was arrested Thursday in San Diego, according to Long Beach police who announced both arrests Friday.

"Investigators believe Ortega and Espinoza were involved in the murder of Nick Cubas, a 19-year-old Downey resident.

"Cubas’ body was found around 6:15 a.m. on Aug. 4 near the San Gabriel River and Willow Street, according to police.

"Police declined to say if they suspect Ortega and Espinoza acted alone or if anyone else was involved in the killing."

 

4.) Today is the start of Anti-Bullying Week at Downey Unified.


5.) Benihana opened its doors to Downey YMCA students last week, teaching kids how to roll sushi.

Thursday morning report, Aug. 25

Five things to know this Thursday morning: 

1.) Dr. Mary Stauffer turns 99 tomorrow, but she celebrated early with a party at her namesake Stauffer Middle School. 

More than 100 students, teachers and staff celebrated with Dr. Stauffer. Culinary students baked her cupcakes and Dr. Stauffer sang with drama students. 

“Dr. Stauffer is a pillar of Downey Unified and the community,” DUSD officials said. “There is hardly a student in Downey who has not been touched by her generosity.”


2.) City Council candidate Blanca Pacheco will hold a campaign fundraiser this Monday, Aug. 29, from 6-8 p.m. at Bastards. Sponsorship levels start at $50. 


3.) Save the date: next year's Healthy Downey 5K has been scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. No location was announced. 


4.) The Molina Foundaiton will be distributing 120,000 new children's books to 120 community agencies Saturday, with the distribution taking place at Downey High. 

The giveaway will be the largest one-day book donation in the foundation's history, and will be supported by 200 volunteers from Molina Healthcare, along with helpers from Beacon House of San Pedro and KIWIN's students at Downey High. 

The Molina Foundation has given away more than 4 million books since 2004. 


5.) Downey High's band and color guard is holding a clothing drive Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the band room. 

Bring anything you don't want: clothing, towels, shoes, purses, hats or blankets. (No furniture or toys.) 

For questions or more information, call Louie Flores at (562) 665-2725, Carla Jimenez at (562) 922-9487 or Ana Navarro at (562) 644-5887.

 

Wednesday morning report, Aug. 24 (CORRECTION)

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) Reporter Alex Dominguez covered yesterday's City Council meeting, and he reports that no action was taken regarding fireworks in Downey (legal or otherwise). 

Staff is expected to come back with a more comprehensive strategy. 


2.) Dominguez also reported that Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Vasquez announced (citing the public works) that street repairs at Lakewood and Telegraph, and also Firestone, is on target to be completed by middle of next week. 

I'm still skeptical but we'll see!


3.) Warren High School has announced plans for a Military Appreciation Night on Friday, Sept. 9. 

Starting at 7 p.m., military personnel and veterans are invited onto the football field before the Bears face Buena Park for public recognition. Vets and military also receive discounted admission to the game. 

"As Sept. 11 approaches, we want to share our appreciation and gratitude with those who give selflessly of themselves to protect our country," said Warren High principal Laura Rivas. "We would like to encourage any military member in our community to come to the Warren football game and take part in this celebration while enjoying the game with their family and friends." 


4.) If you haven't already, please read my story on campaign fundraising in the City Council election.

CORRECTION: I initially wrote that "the next round of financial disclosures disclosures isn't due until Jan. 31, 2017, so this is the best information we'll have until after the election." I was incorrect. 

City clerk Adria Jimenez clarifies: 

"For candidates running for City Council, the due dates are September 29, October 27, 2016, and January 31, 2017."

Sorry for the confusion.


5.) The Galleon Apartments on Stewart & Gray Road are for sale at an asking price of $2.475 million. 

Located at 7944 Stewart & Gray Road, the complex includes 10 units, each two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Each unit is approximately 1,000 square feet.