Wednesday morning report, July 22

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) Downey's Special Olympics host town festivities officially get underway today with a welcome concert in the Downey Civic Center starting at 7 p.m. 

Special Olympians and their support staff arrived in Downey last night, and begin training at 9 a.m. 

Ireland's arrival in Downey is big news in their home country.

"Each of these athletes has shown great motivation, discipline and tremendous skill in getting this far and it is worthy of real celebration," Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland, told the Ireland Independent.  "They are all winners and it is a truly remarkable achievement for all our athletes, their coaches, their families and Special Olympics volunteers."

The Special Olympics World Games begin Saturday, and Ireland will be escorted during opening ceremonies by actor Colin Farrel, model Claudine Keane, and Olympic silver medalist John Treacy. 

2.) Downey Rotary President Willie Medina recently attended a President's Dinner at Hancock Park. 

3.) The Downey Insight newsletter, an official publication of the city of Downey, is posted online. It includes an updated list of prospective Promenade tenants. 

4.) Willielyn McFarland has been installed as president of the Assistance League of Downey. 

Willelyn has been an active member of the league for 16 years and has served in several offices.   She and her husband, Jim, have resided in Downey for over 50 years where they raised their three children.  One daughter, Robin Greilach, is a member of the Gypsy Johnson Auxiliary.

5.) In an op-ed, former mayor Mario Guerra endorses an end to the U.S. embargo with Cuba. 

"From a political perspective it would make sense at this time to end the embargo as millennials are far removed the purpose behind the original sanctions. The new generation of Americans and Cubans do not see each other as enemies, nor do they have a reason to have such a viewpoint. If ever there was a plan to end communism on the island it would be through trade, capitalism and generations removed from the infamous missile crisis."