HG: The Democratic Process: It’s yours, why not use it?

HG says the three tools of direct democracy can be applied at the City and County level.

(Los Alamitos, 4/16/2015)  by Highlands Guy:   There are three highly effective political processes that are used at the California State level, but are rarely seen in little places like Los Alamitos.

Is there something you would like to see implemented that could increase the quality of civic life in Los Alamitos? Is there something you would like to have eliminated that could have the same effect? Do you continually find yourself at odds with one of the fine folks on the Council dais?

Under State regulations the initiative, the referendum, and the recall, can be effective tools for voters to implement change. These processes are most often seen at the County and State levels, but are available to the voters in tiny places like Los Alamitos also. You don’t need Continue reading

Los Alamitos Blvd. closed today 10:30 – 1:00 for mock “fatal” accident

Los Alamitos Senior Jennifer Ottman “died” at the scene of the school’s 2013 “once every 15 minutes” program

(4/16/2015, Los Alamitos, CA)  This one sounds like it will be the biggest yet.  Fire Department.  Jaws of life,  Emergency helicopter landing.

All hopefully to save kids’ lives.

This year, to accommodate the additional emergency equipment, the bi-annual event had been moved off campus onto the Los Alamitos Blvd.  It will take place today during the High School’s lunch period (11:48-12:30), but Los Al Blvd will be closed from Cerritos Ave. north bound from approximately 10:30 – 1:00 for staging and take down of the mock accident.

“Once every 15 minutes” takes it’s name from the fact that every 15 minutes, on average, someone is killed in the U. S. in or from an alcohol related accident.  The objective is to teach both students and parents about the serious consequences of driving while under the influence.

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Special Los Al Council Meeting at 5 Monday, 4/13

This afternoon the Los Alamitos City Council will take a detailed look at the Los Al Police Budget, about a third of the total City Budget.

(Los Alamitos, 4/13/2015) This afternoon Los Alamitos’ City Council continues their detailed Department by Department budget analysis with a couple added bonuses:

  1. Action on a staff recommendation to oppose AB 1217, a state law that would reduce the representation of smaller cities like Los Alamitos, Cypress, La Palma and Seal Beach on the Orange County Fire Authority.
  2. Another closed session at the end, focused on
    1. Labor negotiations with the City Clerk
    2. Consultation with the City Attorney about anticipated litigation.

Mayor pro tem Edgar, who is in Texas today, will  Continue reading

HG: Bigger is not Better

HG slams the OC Business Council’s new OC Housing Scorecard for wanting to turn OC into LA.

(Los Alamitos, 4/9/2015)  by Highlands Guy:  The headline reads, ‘Report calls for Orange County to build more housing’ (L A Times Business April 1, 2015).

My initial reaction was a simple, why?

My second reaction was, who was proclaiming this? After all it’s my turf that they’re talking about and I figured it’s best to see who wants to mess with it. The article was based on the “Workforce Housing Scorecard” report put out by the Orange County Business Council .  As in the political arena, it’s usually a good idea to take a peek behind the curtain and identify who is supporting the folks making the proclamations.

From their website (www.ocbc.org) the ‘Investors’ groups include some of the biggest names in: Continue reading

Los Al Traffic Commission reviews plans for school traffic Wednesday

This aerial shot of Los Alamitos High School shows 6 recommendations, 2 of which were deemed unfeasible by the LAUSD

This aerial shot of Los Alamitos High School shows 6 recommendations, 2 of which were deemed unfeasible by the LAUSD

(4/7/2015, Los Alamitos) Tomorrow night Los Al’s Traffic Commissioners will review a proposed “Final Draft” of recommendations to improve traffic around the four main schools located in Los Alamitos.

Most of the focus is on the school with the worst traffic congestion, Los Alamitos High.  Parents with kids at Oak or McAulliffe Middle Schools or Los Alamitos Elementary Schools might argue that their school’s got the worst traffic problems.

I’ve spent hours observing morning and evening traffic flow at all four schools, and there’s no doubt traffic is a nightmare at each, but nothing I saw comes close to the insanity confronting the thousands of students, staff, and parents converging on the High School every day, so I’ll focus on 4 of the proposals for the High School:

Los Alamitos Blvd. & Cerritos:
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Gov. Brown’s water math just doesn’t add up

Everybody conserving 10% saves twice as much water as Brown’s proposal that the users of 20% of the state’s water conserve 25%

(Orange County, CA, 4/5/2015)  We all know California’s in the midst of a severe drought.  We also know by know that agriculture uses 80% of the water in the state (see, for example, Wikipedia:  Water in California).

So what does our aging Governor do?  Signs an emergency executive order requiring “cities and communities to reduce water usage by 25%” (Reuters, 4/1/2015).  OK, so, if 100% of the 80% of non-agricultural use as all in “cities and communities,” that would be a 25% reduction of 20% of the state’s water usage, or a whopping 5% reduction in statewide usage.

But check this out:  “A shift to more efficient irrigation methods could reduce agricultural water use by 22 percent [22% of agriculture’s 80% share = 18% statewide, and…], an amount equivalent to all the surface water Central Valley farmers lacked because of drought last year, according to Continue reading