In Memoriam: J. M. Ivler

(Los Alamitos, CA 1/13/2017)  by Dave Emerson.  Once again, a Los Alamitos hero has been suddenly taken from us.

I was shocked and deeply grieved to learn Friday afternoon that J. M. Ivler died of a massive heart attack on Thursday.

J.M. was a courageous, smart, and highly committed advocate for the betterment of our community and our schools.  He  spoke out courageously against corruption and the abuse of power at the local, county, state, and federal levels.

He was a key leader of a small band of local residents who repeatedly thwarted massive overdevelopment and exposed corruption in our corner of West Orange County.  Truly a David who defeated Goliaths that outspent him 100 to 1 with his wisdom, commitment, and the truth.

JM got involved in local politics almost as soon as he moved into Los Alamitos in 1992, joining a fight against Race Track expansion and helping a band of populists wrest control of Los Alamitos’ City Council from a small clique too often put the interests of businesses ahead of residents.  He never quit pushing hard for what he felt was in our community’s best interest.

JM was also co-editor, administrator, webmaster and a regular contributor to LosAlNews.com and it’s predecessor, LetsFixLosAl.com.    He also co-founded and ran Education4Kids (Edu4kids.com), committed to using technology to improve education across the nation.

But J. M’s highest commitment was to his family.   He was the committed and loving husband of his wife, Thuy, since 1991, and proud father of their son, Matt, a Junior at Los Al High & their daughter, Brooke, who graduated from Arizona State University last December. Continue reading

Larry Strawther responds to Highlands Guy on LosAlTV

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(Los Alamitos, 9/25/2015) The following was originally posted as a comment in respoonse to Thursday’s “S’plain It To Me Please” by our Thursday Columnist, Highlands Guy.  Larry Strawther, who is now managing Los Al’s public TV station, is apparently taking HG’s title seriously!

I’m reposting it as a stand alone because it’s easier to read a longer item such as this as a stand-alone post.  From here on the italics indicate citations from Thursday’s column.  (DE, editor)

To Highlands Guy –
This response is way too long and for that I apologize. But some of your recent column is based on so much incorrect information, I felt I had to address it with specifics which are in bold-face.

After years of mismanagement and thousands of tax payers dollars wasted in bolstering the hobby of a few local film enthusiasts, Los Alamitos’ City Council has decided to revive the nearly dead LATV-3.

But after reading the Council agendas and minutes for the last three months and watching the last couple of City Council meetings, I have to admit that I am left with more questions than answers.

In any case, I wish the program much success, but after seeing the City Council meeting on the 21st, I am not confident that we are not headed down the same rabbit hole or that we’re getting the best bet for our taxpayer buck. Which is especially vexing, when we hear over and over again that there is not enough tax money to take care of missing trees, revive Parks and Rec programs that have been deleted over the years, fix the streets that flood too easily, or hire an additional police officer. And you can top this off with the open-ended questions about the money that will be required to relocate City Hall.

For the record: most of the LATV money we are talking about is not city taxes but PEG fees collected and restricted to LATV capital expenses only. Most was set aside from 2000-2006 by the old LATV Non-profit Board for the future purchase of new high-def equipment. The amount in the fund (Fund 28 specifically) was once around $200,000 but is now around $140,000. While most of this money was collected from Los Al residents, much was collected from  Rossmoor through the old Time-Warner playback arrangement. So while I understand that fees are often nothing more than disguised taxes, I feel I this case, it was disingenuous to refer to missing trees, Parks and Rec programs, etc. and refer to it as “my tax money” Continue reading

Round-the-Clock Military Exercises To Take Place At JFTB

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LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – Visiting military units will be engaged in round-the-clock training exercises at Joint

Forces Training Base beginning Tuesday, April 7th and concluding on Tuesday, April 14th. These exercises will include the use of blank ammunition and residents of communities located near the base may hear gunfire and simulated explosions at times throughout the duration of the exercises.

Flight operations at Los Alamitos Army Airfield will experience periods of increased air traffic and aircraft noise connected with the exercises, including aircraft landing and departing outside of normal operating hours on several evenings.

Air operations are tentatively scheduled to run until 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 11th, and until almost midnight on Monday night, April 13th. Efforts will be taken to minimize any inconvenience to our neighbors associated with these training exercises.

For additional information, please contact Col. (CA) Richard Lalor at (626) 733-1170 or at richard.w.lalor2.vol@mail.mil .

HG: A Shout-out For Los Alamitos’ Cultural Side

There's still room for you on the City's "Fun Commission."

(Los Alamitos, 12/18/2014) by Highlands Guy:  Join me on a journey into the ‘cultural side’ of Los Al. I guarantee you a ride that will open your eyes and give you a better perspective on just who we are.

The city does all sorts of things for us. Some more evident than others and some we don’t really think about much. It keeps us safe from the bad guys. It’s easy to get around on smooth streets lined with trees and lights. We never have to think about the intricacies and coordination with the folks that supply our gas and lights and water. It just seems to happen. And our kids can play tennis, or soccer, or baseball, or football, on clean well-lighted fields.

We all know about and can easily all partake of the big events (July 4th Fireworks, Winter Wonderland at the Plaza, Wings, Wheels and Rotors) that draw crowds of our friends and neighbors from the surrounding communities.

City personnel are involved in all this stuff. And because everything I’ve mentioned, and more, takes place so seamlessly, we don’t think about the people and money and processes that make it all happen. The deeper I looked into what Los Al offers us the more impressed I was with the details of the offerings that could be filed under the ‘cultural arts’ part of  Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts.

It is immediately evident that there really is something for everyone. I am first impressed with Continue reading

Mixed use developer offered to cut units in half, double retail before withdrawing

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the original plan

(Los Alamitos, 6/25/2014) by Dave Emerson  Yesterday we were the first to report the withdrawal of the 133 unit 4 story mixed use “Village at Los Alamitos” development Highland Pointe Partners had proposed for the Vacant Lou Webb  property north of Ganahl Lumber.

Today, as promised, we fill in some of the surprising details developer Steve Levenson revealed in an e-mail exchange over the past 24 hours:

Prior to withdrawing the proposal, Highland Pointe made a serious effort to meet community concerns, cutting the number of units from 133 down to 64, less than half.  They also doubled the retail footage to 9,000, enough for a nice restaurant.

In addition, they deleted all Continue reading

We Care needs volunteers this Saturday, 5/10/2014

Help Rossmoor & Los Al Postal Carriers collect food for the hungry in our community tomorrow.

(Los Alamitos, 5/8/2014) Here’s a chance for you or your student to make a difference right here in our community  within a mile or two of home.  This just in courtesy of a caring reader:

We Care in Los Alamitos needs Volunteers tomorrowSaturday, May 10, starting at 8:30 am.  They are a great organization serving families in Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Rossmoor, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Cypress and Stanton.   They are located at 3788 Cerritos Ave in Los Alamitos which is between Bloomfield and Los Alamitos Blvd. 

Details:

1.  Wherever you live, put a bag of non-perishable food by your mailbox tomorrow morning, marked “Stamp Out Hunger donation.”  Your mail carrier will pick it up tomorrow.  All items collected are used locally.  In Rossmoor and Los Alamitos they go to We Care.

2.   (From We Care’s Executive Director Marty Thompson:)

Continue reading