HG: We Can Do Better

Los Al’s TV3 helped persuade ProLogis to move on with a high quality investigative report on the project.

(Los Alamitos 10/22/2014)  Our Thursday columnist delves into the timely topic of public access TV.  And burries a zinger in his fifth paragraph:

By “Highlands Guy:”  Public-access television came about with the rise of cable television in the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s. In the exchange for the rights to lay cable wires on public land, cable companies were required to donate a portion of their revenue to provide facilities and airtime to allow public comment.

The idea was to give voice to ordinary citizens who otherwise wouldn’t have access to media outlets (Mike Rosen-Molina, MediaShift). It was basically the precursor to YouTube in a time when folks were just getting to know the computer world.

I would offer that public engagement is at the heart of public access. It has the potential to be the place where a local community can gather to communicate and share ideas. That said, it will need to adapt to, and harness the new online reality if it wants to continue fulfilling this role. At the same time these new technological issues are being investigated, the exact roles and expectations of the players need to be examined.

Definitions of goals for the City Council, the producers, the technical advisors, the cable company, the local citizens, etc. need to be spelled out with the same preciseness as any other “development” within our borders. And as with any other civic action, the processes and finished product need to be compatible with the very expensive, and much ballyhooed, General Plan.

Thus, with the city at the head of this table, and public money being spent, I expect the quality of this product to be at least as good as Continue reading

Los Al Coucil votes to do survey on “safe & sane” fireworks, includes retail in industrial zone

(Tuesday, 10/21/2014)  First, there was the Special Meeting, where only two of the three Commission applicants showed up.  Unfortunately, James Main, both of whose kids served as student representatives on the  Parks & Rec Commission, missed his interview…again.  Josh Wilson was appointed to Parks & Rec, and Stephen Hammond,  a 19 year Los Al resident sporting red suspenders, was appointed to the Cable Commission.

That means there’s still one regular and one student vacancy on Parks & Rec, and more seats opening up at year’s end on most commissions, with three seats coming up on Traffic with only two incumbants planning to run. Click here for a Commission application you can complete online & mail or hand in.  Click here for links to the members of each Commission and when their terms expire.  Over a dozen vacancies are coming up in December, now’s the time to apply!

Fireworks!

The Council spent over two hours discussing the pros and cons of the Base’s decision to relocate the fireworks almost a mile further away from Carrier Row.   Mayor Pro Tem Murphy summarized the issues into three questions: Continue reading

Fireworks, more retail, union contract, lawsuit & more on 2 Monday Los Al Council Agendas

More fireworks at Monday’s Los Al Council Meeting?

(Los Alamitos, 10/19/2014) Lots of interesting items on the agendas for Los Alamitos City Council’s Meetings this Monday.

We’ll start with the 5 pm Special Meeting, where the open session focuses on interviewing and voting three Commission applicants:

  • James Main, a 32 year Los Alamitos resident is one of two applicants for three vacancies on the Los Alamitos Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Commission.  James is following in the footsteps of his son and daughter, both of whom served as student reps on the Commission.  Ironically, the Commission’s student position is currently vacant, maybe you know someone who could apply.
  • Josh Wilson, the other Parks & Rec applicant, has only lived in the city for two months, but he’s “worked in the City for the past five years for businesses that have helped support City events, icluding Race on the Base,” and is currently on the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.
  • Steven Hammond, a 19 year resident, is applying for the Cable Commission vacancy that will be created when Shelley Hasselbrink is sworn in as Los Al’s newest City Council Member later this year.

9.5% in raises for City Employees:  

Depending on how you look at it, that is.

After voting on the 3 applicants for the 4 vacancies, the Council will move on to discuss and most likely approve the Memo of Understanding covering the next 4 years contract with the Los Alamitos City Employees Association. After Continue reading

SoCal’s largest kite event free at Seal Beach this Sunday

Sunday, 10/19/2014, 10 – 5, North side of the Seal Beach Pier.

(West Orange County, 10/18/2014)  Tomorrow looks like the perfect day to head down to Seal Beach for a while to enjoy the 18th annual Japan America Kite Festival, whether you want to watch, fly, let your kids make a kite for free, watch martial arts demonstrations, or even take a fall dip in the not-s0-warm water.

If none of that appeals to you, you can always pay too much for ice cream at ColdStone, take a stroll out on the pier, or just clear your mind before Halloween,  time change (11/2), & the election(11/4) hit over the next 2 weeks.

Activities:

  • Free children’s kite workshop – 10am to 2pm (while supplies last).
  • Kids game corner (origami, fcarp making, Japanese calligraphy head bands and other games) – 10am to 2pm
  • Introductory lessons on precision sport kite by world champion, Chieko Tagami 
  • Hourly Raffle – win great prizes including toys from Mattel and gift certificates and products from Seal Beach’s local businesses!

Japanese Cultural Entertainment:

Continue reading

How To Save Los Al (& all of West OC) From Doom and. . .

. . . Enhance our Quality of Life:

Our Thursday columnist suggests one key component to helping Los Alamitos not just survive but thrive.

(Los Alamitos, 10/16/2014) by Highlands’ Guy:  There’s not a darn thing we can do about the Ebola virus.

Our increased participation in the defense of innocents in the face of ISIS seems inevitable, and cities across the country have gone under because of their inability to cope with overpowering exigencies of public employee union benefits. And there is seemingly little that a city can do to be exempt from a national economic crisis.

But, we can in fact, take steps to affect the micro economic and quality of life factors in our town. Among the most potent, I would offer, are ensconced in our business community.

The backbone of our economy: Continue reading