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Mar. 4, 2016 Hews Media Group-Community News eNewspaper

Screenshot 2016-03-05 09.37.01

  • United HOA says:

    Mark Your Calendar for This Important Event!

    United HOA

    [email protected];

    Dear Neighbor,

    On Tuesday, March 8, from 7 to 8 pm, on the third floor of Cerritos Library, there will be an important and informative speech by Mrs. Carolyn Cavecche, President and CEO of the Orange County Taxpayers’ Association.

    Mrs. Cavecche served for many years as Mayor and City Council member of Anaheim. The OCTA organization under her leadership has been instrumental in protecting the rights of taxpayers and homeowners of Orange County. The positions of OCTA on various ballot initiatives, including school bond measures, are powerful persuaders of OC voters.

    At a time when ABC School District is actively trying to issue a new school bond measure to raise funds for its aging facilities, it is very important to hear Mrs. Cavecche’s insight on how to hold our elected officials accountable and how to work with them on issues such as school facility renovations in a way that benefits everyone in our community.

    Tuesday’s event is hosted by the Cerritos Republican Club. We strongly encourage you to participate. See you all there.

    Best regards,
    United Homeowners Alliance
    A Community Organization

    • Typical Republican Club antics, they did not inform LCCN of this event.

      • Library Gurru says:

        Cerritos republican dont want another fist fite from Barrows, or another word confrontation from Carol Chen, or more legal issues from Grace Hu dirty escrows.. Both Barrows and Chen have tarnished their political name. Both Edwards-Crawley air disaster chaos, have slammed their ID beyond repair.

  • Reagan Country says:

    Mr. Hews:

    It doesn’t appear that the Republicans in Cerritos reflects the true ideology of the party or its membership. Take for example Chen, Barrows, Edwards, Ray, etc. These are individuals whom seem to better fit the description of a “tax and spend liberal.”

    Real Republicans are against most taxes.

    Real Republicans would not spend tax dollars on pork like the CCPA, or power plant, nor do they give tax dollars to multi-millionaire business owners disguised as redevelopment

    Let’s not forget, it was only 2.5 years ago one Republican council member is quoted as saying, “The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt.” This is while Republicans controlled the city’s spending for years.

    When you think Republican think of Reagan and the Shiny City on a Hill.

    When you think of the Republicans running Cerritos think of the cow manure that once covered the city and mess it made if you stepped in it.

    • 2016 GOP says:

      Cerritos Republicans GOP/ Bad Era in Cerritos History:

      Chen, Barrows, Edwards, Ray, Hu, Rabbit, Joynt, Knabe, Bowlen, Pylman, Beaches, Hughlett, Woods, Solansky, Vo, Uttecht, Law, Kauble, Crawly, all think they belong to the elite white mans club, their sh….t don’t stink attitude. Majority of the GOP is white man blood.

      Spend spend spend:………………….

      Astor Museum;
      Disneyland Events;
      Magnolia Power Plant;
      Trains Study;
      Council Ins benefits to death deals;
      Washington DC and Sacramento Junket trips;
      Cerritos Sub sheriff station- Firestation- useless jails-sheriff gym;
      Lavish Library;
      RDA to purchase auto mall pads.
      Hidden Sculpture Garden;
      Whitney Sell-a-thon to Warmington Construction;
      Wasteful La Cuesta Villa Joint Venture;
      Cerritos Overlay project failure.
      Baptismal Party Judgement;
      Freeway sound proof disaster;
      Shoemaker Gore Disaster;
      Over night parking negative cash flow;
      Time Clock Pilaster fiasco;
      Cobblestone Intersection debacle;
      Auto Mall Gazebo grumble;
      Chinese and Mexican Sister Cities to no where;
      Purchase and develop of Towne Center;
      Platinum series trash cans and benches which were stolen;
      $1M Digital Billboard;
      $300K Sheriff RV rotting to ruins;
      $200K Rose Float to cemetery;
      Cycle Ride;
      Airplane Disaster post re-development.

    • Dairy Valley Homeless Increase says:

      Homeless population explodes

      Diana Francis Young Harvey, reading “Sweetheart,” is among a growing number of homeless. Homeless advocates say homelessness in the county is up nearly 20 percent in the past two years. Harvey is camped out near the Santa Ana civic buildings. ,

      Anna Gonzalez scans the crowd at what has become a tent city of homeless at the county’s Civic Center and says, “These are all my children.”

      For Gonzalez, who is known as Mama Brizy and uses a walker as she visits waves of blue tarps, that may be true. “This is not a park. This is a home,” she says. “We are like a family.”

      In two years, Gonzalez’s adopted family in downtown Santa Ana doubled to more than 500, and the annual number of people left homeless in Orange County jumped nearly 20 percent.

      Local homeless experts, law enforcement, volunteers and homeless people point to two key causes for the explosion: Skyrocketing rents forced many out of apartments and into their cars. And Proposition 47, approved by voters in 2014, reduced prison populations by cutting penalties for certain inmates, but it also put them on the streets with little or no support.

      “They come from the jail wearing ankle bracelets,” says Gonzalez, 66.

      Karen Williams, president and chief executive of 211OC, a hotline for people seeking help for a variety of needs, says of Prop. 47’s impact, “I think a lot of people didn’t connect the dots.”

      Unintended consequences

      The spike in homeless at the Civic Center is a visible version of what is often hidden in parked cars, alleys, gullies and riverbeds throughout the county.

      Williams’ organization, 211OC, is responsible for counting the homeless in Orange County. In 2013, an estimated 12,707 people were homeless at some point. Last year, that figure rose to 15,291.

      Another count focuses on the homeless on any given night. In 2013, 1,678 people were without shelter. Last year, that number hit 2,201.

      The total number of homeless, including those in shelters, on a typical night now hovers around 4,500.

      Along with Prop. 47 and high rents, myriad other factors contribute to the rise in Orange County’s homeless population, with the cluster at the Civic Center the most concentrated.

      Experts tick off lingering effects of the recession that hit the poorest of the poor, the opioid epidemic and even well-meaning volunteers who step up to make life on the street more comfortable but sometimes end up enabling the homeless.

      Lawrence Haynes is executive director of Mercy House, a nonprofit that served more than 4,800 people last year. After a quarter century of work, Haynes is considered the dean of homelessness here. He lives in a working-class neighborhood in Costa Mesa and says that for most people, the phenomenon of being unable to afford basic shelter is difficult to understand.

      “We look around at our quality of life, and we’re able to make ends meet,” Haynes says. “But for many people, a mortgage is hundreds of dollars less than rent on a two-bedroom apartment.”

      Williams is more pointed: “Rents have increased, so a lot of people who were barely holding on now live in cars.”

      Still, Prop. 47 is the big dog chasing homelessness. Williams says the nearby jail’s policy of releasing inmates in the dead of night makes matters worse, especially around the Civic Center. She says that when someone is released around midnight, it’s nearly impossible to find them shelter.

      Although evidence remains anecdotal, Haynes says: “I do think a lot of early prison release does impact the Civic Center. My gut tells me it’s significant. There is a nexus between Prop. 47 and homelessness.”

      Santa Ana Police Officer C. Hawkins patrols tent city around the Civic Center in a black-and-white. She is a member of the HEART squad – Homeless Evaluation Assessment Response Team – and her mission goes far beyond what many think of as law enforcement.

      “We’re doing what we can to try and assist people. We work with them so they can get to family,” Hawkins says. “They need mental health, housing and drug help.”

      As Hawkins stops to chat under huge shade trees off Ross Street, a never-ending stream of “residents,” as they call themselves, strolls by. Some might think those in uniform and those in secondhand clothes would clash.

      But interviews with homeless reveal more than detente. There’s appreciation. Hawkins calls it mutual respect.

      A 55-year-old man named Joe who lives in a Toyota Corolla parked near Building 16, a government structure scheduled to be demolished, says he has been in and out of prisons and jails so many times on alcohol and narcotics charges that he’s lost count. He gestures toward Hawkins and her uniformed partner and says cops help.

      Joe says he has stage 4 cirrhosis and doesn’t recall the term “Proposition 47.” But he does remember the change in laws that reduced many drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanor citations. “A lot of people coming out of prison are like me. The prison system is letting people out because we’re soft on drugs and alcohol.”

      Hawkins says that when it’s cold and rainy, a nearby vacant bus terminal opens. But most of the time, hundreds of homeless roam the Civic Center area. She says there are flare-ups, “just like in any other community.”

      Homeless people end up at the Civic Center from as far away as Fresno. One reason people stay is provisions. The area has become so popular with church groups that sometimes as many as six meals a day are offered.

      “Word gets out about the Civic Center,” Hawkins says.

      It’s 11:30 a.m. on a recent day, and a long line of homeless people outside the Orange County Assessor and Treasurer-Tax Collector building waits for lunch. A half-dozen women pile plastic foam plates with chicken mixed with macaroni and cheese, carrot salad, fruit salad, corn and beans, and a brownie. Today, the punch is red cherry.

      Hundreds eat stretched out on clumps of grass and dirt, or they sit on small curbs or retreat to tents of blue plastic, brown blankets and small treasures.

      A man walks through pushing an old cruiser bicycle with an even older boombox strapped to the back. Elton John’s “Your Song” floats through the air. “Don’t have much money, but boy if I did, I’d buy a big house where we both could live,” John sings.

      Charles Coleman, a retired Marine and former Fullerton firefighter, sits on an upside-down white bucket and sifts through a plastic box filled with dozens of files. Each file has someone’s name. Many have mail inside.

      Nearly every address is 316 Cypress Ave., Santa Ana. That’s the address for Isaiah House, a nonprofit run by Orange County Catholic Worker.

      Coleman lifts out an envelope and hands it to Mama Brizy. Joe hovers but gets no mail on this day.

      Coleman has volunteered since the 1990s and says this is not an easy place to live. Restrooms are few and far. Humans use concrete walls as bathrooms. Dogs poop where people sleep. Mental illness is rampant.

      “It’s a NIMBY thing – not in my backyard,” he says of why many people push away homeless and they end up at the Civic Center.

      Signs of hope

      Haynes and Williams say they’ve seen a massive shift in attitudes toward homeless within the past year. “Attention being given to the homeless now,” Haynes says, “is at unprecedented levels.”

      Haynes says politicians ranging from county supervisors to Newport Beach City Council members are sticking their necks out to support shelters. He cites the Board of Supervisor’s recent decision to build an emergency shelter in Anaheim as the most significant move.

      That shelter will offer 30-day transitional housing and is expected to reduce the numbers at the Civic Center. “It’s a big deal to have politicians step up and do the right thing. There’s more cohesion, more collaboration to really solve this thing,” Haynes says. “I’m bullish on our future.”

      For people who struggle, such as many of those at the Civic Center, Haynes says the best bet is usually something called permanent supportive housing. Addicts and the mentally ill, for example, are placed in supervised shelters.

      Housing homeless is not only moral, it’s good business, advocates say.

      “It is more expensive for society to walk past a homeless person and do nothing than it is to put them in an apartment,” Haynes says. “They clog up emergency rooms in hospitals. They require police response. They require fire department response. They require paramedic response.

      “Property values go down. Home values go down. Businesses lose customers.”

      Lingering impacts

      Gonzalez says she’s been at the Civic Center for nine years. She looks around at the people she calls her “boys and girls” and says she lives in a place where the color of skin doesn’t matter. She says there are leaders for each race and they enforce the rule of respect.

      She makes her way up a ramp to a flat area with a concrete overhang. This is her home, Building 16. She bends down to pet a friend’s Chihuahuas, Lola and Sugar.

      With a massive Civic Center remodel in the works, the clock is ticking on how long her little patch of concrete will last.

      Despite the recent progress, advocates say the homeless problem likely will worsen.

      In its February report, 211OC states, “We expect an increase (in the) homeless population in 2017 count due to Prop. 47.”

  • CERRITOS – Two new pieces of artwork were recently installed in the Cerritos Sculpture Garden as part of a temporary sculpture display program. This took over 2+ yrs to complete. Somewhat saddened by the 2 pieces which were chosen, not anything near the caliber of the existing stock. FAC took too long in going out to bid, as worked on this over 2 seated FAC.

    “Flame” by Lyle London and “Joker” by Jeff Zischke will be displayed for two years, after which they will be replaced by two new pieces.

    London’s “Flame” features an aluminum base and is composed of painted fiberglass. The paint has a metallic sheen that reflects various colors as the ambient lighting changes. The structure stands 10 feet tall and has a 6-foot base. Zischke’s “Joker” stands 8 feet tall on a 4×4-feet base.
    “Joker” by Jeff Zischke

    “Joker” by Jeff Zischke

    The contemporary abstract sculpture is fabricated in steel and painted with a high-gloss red paint.

    Each artist will receive a $2,500 stipend, which is funded through Cerritos’s Art in Public Places Program. The fund is supported by contributions from the business community as part of the city’s development requirements.

    The sculpture selections were recommended by the city’s Fine Arts and Historical Commission and reviewed and approved by the City Council.

    Walked the sculpture garden on same nite as the Neighborhood Watch Group, held its meeting at Cerritos Park East, still many lights non working in the garden. Lights have been non working for many yrs.

  • Bus Trip says:

    The hillsides around the Reagan Museum, reminded me of the countryside in Ireland, green green hillsides. The hills could’ve been any Greener.


    Disappointed when the bus merge upon the hillside, the Ronald Reagan Museum Monument sign displayed neglect, bare dirt, and very few flower arrangements at the base for Nancy.

    Upon entering the museum, main foyer, most disappointing to see the cheap vinyl flooring, Museum of this caliber should have a wood plank floor or marble.

    The room where Nancy Laid for public display, again disappointing there was not very many flower arrangements placed. For such a joyous celebration of life, not expecting a Pasadena Rose Parade, But expecting more flowers then this. They serviced both California and USA.

    The pastoral views surrounding this Museum are out of this world. Both Nancy and Ronald chose a fantastic location for the museum, just wondering how many years or decades will pass before the museum is surrounded by the urban crawl from cities of Los Angeles housing .

    Definitely a plus, Huge Chamber welcome, everybody in Los Angeles and Southern California should at least see this Museum once in their lives. It still has a ways to go, to meet the standards of Richard Nixon’s Museum in Yorba Linda. California is very fortunate to be a state where there is a couple of presidents museums. They are priceless.