All “Consent Calendar” Cypress Council Meeting this Monday, July 14, 2014!

(Cypress, 7/13/2014)  17 numbered agenda items on Monday’s 7 pm Cypress Special City Council Meeting, and every one of them fast-tracked on the Consent Calendar for no discussion passage all with one vote!

As Monday’s Cypress City Council Agenda puts it:

All matters listed on the Consent Calendar are to be approved with one motion unless a member of the Council requests separate action on a specific item. Ordinances on the Consent Calendar should be read by title only prior to taking any action.

If it weren’t for Oral Communications, the Swearing in of new City Manager Peter Grant, and the closing “Items from City Council Members” and from the new City Manager, the whole meeting could be over in about three minutes!

Among those items that don’t even require discussion is adoption of a resolutions in support of this November’s MacKay and District Office Rezoning Initiative Measures, an initiative that 25 year Cypress resident George Pardon says puts the Cypress School Board into the property management and investment business rather than pay down expensive bonds.  (See “Cypress Council puts school sites on ballot”, by George Pardon).

But wait, there’s more:   Continue reading

HG: Who controls your glass of water?

(Los Alamitos, CA, 7/11/2014)  by Highlands Guy:  California residents have been asked to reduce their water use by 20%. At least that’s what our supplier, Golden State Water Company tells us.

Now, I understand the impact of drought conditions on specific geographic regions. The visual and scientific evidence cannot be denied.

But kind of like the divergent discussions one can get into with other environmental issues, there are areas that need to be examined deeper than the headlines. Please note also that what we have done to cope with a finite amount of water and an ever-burgeoning population have made for interesting bedfellows since Continue reading

Traffic Commission tweaks & approves General Plan Traffic Component

The Commission voted to encourage bike and pedestrian trails on some alleys

(Los Alamitos, 7/10/2014)  by Dave Emerson: (Note:  Emerson, one of the founders of LosAlNews.com, is serving this year as Chairperson of Los Alamitos’ Traffic Commission)  After considerable discussion and some modifications, Los Alamitos’ Traffic Commissioners voted to approve the latest draft of the Mobility and Circulation Element of the revised Los Alamitos General Plan.

With the exception of one Traffic Commissioner who was unable to attend, the vote was, perhaps surprisingly, unanimous.

For the first time in months, we also had a print journalist present taking notes on the meeting.  Kudos go the the Register and Kendra Ablaza, their Los Al/Rossmoor/Seal Beach Reporter!

Prior to voting, however, the Commission made several significant changes to the document: Continue reading

Traffic Commission works on General Plan Draft Wednesday 7/9

(Los Alamitos, 7/8/2014) by Dave Emerson  After three years of input,discussion, and consideration Los Alamitos’ Planning and Community Development Staff, Commissioners, and Consultants are finalizing Draft versions of the Revision’s 3 major elements for presentation to the City Council later this year.

This Wednesday night at 7 pm the Los Alamitos Traffic Commission will take what’s expected to be a final look at the proposed draft of the “Mobility and Circulation Element.”

While a lot of attention has been devoted to the plan to attempt to create a “great place” and “downtown” along Los Alamitos Blvd. north of Katella, that is only one part of the “Mobility and Circulation” plan that the Traffic Commission will be considering.

Rather than repeat or try to summarize all 49 pages of the Circulation Element here, I”ll focus on the “Goals and Policies” outlined in the last six pages of the Circulation Element.  Five goals are outlined on topics ranging from bikeways to traffic to walkways to neighborhoods:   Continue reading

What we celebrate: 238 years ago today: The Declaration of Independence

(7/4/2014 , Los Alamitos) In Philadelphia 236 years ago today representatives of 13 British colonies in North America signed the following document, declaring their independence from Great Britain (bold, italics,  bullets and some paragraphs added for emphasis and/or easier reading).

Worth celebrating.

Worth reading.

Worth remembering.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

  • that all men are created equal,
  • that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, 
  • that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-
  • That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 
  • That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Continue reading

H G: Rethinking Los Alamitos’ “Downtown”

Much of the 3 year General Plan Revision has focused on plans for a new downtown on one city block of Los Alamitos Blvd.

(July 3, 2014, Los Alamitos) by Highlands’ Guy:   With draft versions of  three key elements of Los Alamitos General Plan Update currently under review, this week’s Highlands’ Guy’s column couldn’t come at a better time! 

Does Los Alamitos have a downtown? I don’t know. Do I care? I guess I should after reading all the attention the subject gets, especially in the City’s yet to be approved General Plan.

I’ve read it on-line and I attended a few of the “outreach” meetings down at city hall. While there I heard a bunch of comments from friends and neighbors on not only the need for a downtown,  but what it should encompass and what it should look like. And I believe that many of their comments have been incorporated into the Plan,  which will focus our resources into the middle of the 21st century.

So I guess now would be a good time for me to kind of organize my thoughts about this elusive “downtown.”  What is it, what should it look like, what should it do, where should it be? These are the first things that pop into my head. And now that I think about them, I find it’s not that easy trying to pin things down and coherently verbalize my thoughts. Maybe I’ll start with a stream of consciousness approach. Our first idea of what a downtown is, probably starts with a place that we went to when our parents said , “Get in the car, we’re going downtown.” Continue reading