Downey digital newsletter - subscribe today

I'm excited to announce the launch of a new Downey digital newsletter.

The newsletter will be similar to the daily reports I used to publish before they were discontinued last year, but now  arriving in your inbox every morning. 

Subscriptions are free. To subscribe, email me at eric [at]

New city council members start making board appointments

Newly-elected City Council members Blanca Pacheco and Rick Rodriguez have begun appointing their choice of residents to various boards and commissions. Board nominees require approval from a City Council majority, but that typically isn't an issue. 

Last month, Pacheco appointed local attorney Miguel Duarte to the Planning Commission, replacing Hector Lujan. Rodriguez's pick was Steve Dominguez, an aesthetic plastic surgeon who replaced Louis Morales. 

Both Planning Commission nominees were approved by the City Council. 

Tonight, council members will consider more appointments. Pacheco is recommending Carrie Uva, Hellen Carcamo and her mom, Mariana Pacheco, to the Public Works Committee. 

For the Green Task Force, Pacheco is nominating Manuel Salas, an L.A. County Probation employee.

Rodriguez is appointing Haley Guerra, daughter of former mayor Mario Guerra, to the Green Task Force. 

Mayor Fernando Vasquez is appointing Valentin Flores, executive director of Stay Gallery, to the Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board as a Downey representative. 

Downey Unified profiled for high graduation rate

An article in today's L.A. Schools Report profiles Downey Unified School District and its 96 percent graduation rate. Here's how the story begins: 

"Downey Unified School District looks much like others in the Los Angeles area, including LA Unified. It serves thousands of students, the majority of them poor and Latino. But its 96 percent graduation rate and other achievements have won it both recognition and the highest honor — replication."

Read the full article here.

Downey Rose Float profiled in L.A. Times

The Downey Rose Float Assoc. won the Governor's Award in yesterday's Tournament of Roses Parade, drawing praise and recognition from media outlets around the world. 

The L.A. Times interviewed float builder Kelley Roberts, who has been working on Downey's float for nearly 40 years. 

"A state employee by day, Roberts said he has worked on the Gold Rush float pretty much every evening since August. He designed and built the float's roller coaster, which he planned to ride during the parade.

"After the parade is over, Roberts said he will manage it on display near Pasadena High School. And in about two weeks, after the flowers have dried and crumbled, he will strip the float, tear it down and not look back.

"He has next year to think about."

Baby killed in traffic collision is identified

The 4-month-old baby boy killed in a traffic collision Saturday at Firestone Boulevard and Brookshire Avenue has been identified as Xavier Leon, of Bell Gardens. 

The boy was in the backseat of a Mercedes SUV traveling south of Brookshire when it collided with a Chevy Silverado at about 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

Paramedics rushed the baby to a local hospital where he died.

Any witnesses to the crash are urged to call Downey Police at (562) 904-2339. 

Warren High School selling old yearbooks

Warren High School is selling a collection of old yearbooks dating back to the 1950's. 

The sale will be held Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 2:45-4 p.m. in the yearbook room, A-105.

Prices are $30 for yearbooks dated 1980-2000; $40 for years 2001-06; $75 for years 2007-13; and $95 for years 2014-16. 

Prices were not listed for yearbooks pre-1980.

Live streaming and Snapchat

I will be live streaming the public comment portion of tonight's City Council meeting from the Downey Patriot's Facebook page. I've heard it could be interesting.

Also, the Patriot is now on Snapchat under the handle @downeypatriot