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 and it’s predecessor,    He also co-founded and ran Education4Kids (, 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

This Can’t Be OK

(11/7/2016, Los Alamitos, by Highlands Guy:)  It was Saturday (Nov 5) morning, about 10:30 a.m. I was doing one of my, not so favorite, weekend chores of mowing the lawn. I heard the sound of a big vehicle getting closer.  As it turned onto my street I was a bit shocked to see what looked like the Orange County Fire Authority, Station 2 (Los Alamitos)  hook and ladder coming down the street.

Since this was the first time I have seen a hook and ladder truck passing my house in the past 10 years, I was immediately concerned. But that was short lived, since they didn’t seem to be in a hurry, as they were sort of just cruising through the neighborhood.

But, I did wonder what that huge sign was, running almost the length of this very important emergency vehicle. As it turned at the next corner the images were displayed for all to see.  It was a political campaign advertisement for one of the three candidates running for the two open positions on the Los Alamitos City Council. Continue reading

Fact-checking “Yes on GG” Flyers

(Cypress, CA, 11/2/2016)  by Dave Emerson:  Many residents throughout Cypress awoke last Sunday to find a letter from Council Member Jon Peat on their front porch.  Unfortunately, much of the information in the letter was incorrect, as is much of the info in those expensive flyers folks are getting from the Racetrack’s owners.

Here’s just a few examples of the mis-information running wild courtesy of the Racetrack owners and their friends:

The myth of a free park:

1.  ”The owners will be gifting 20 acres…[for a park]” (Cypress Councilman Jon Peat letter, 10/30/16)

WRONG!  GG says nothing about any gift!  All that exists is a 10/24 non-binding letter from Dr. Allred saying the Race Course “intends to” gift any balance due after the City pays the Track owners over $10 million for the 20 acres.   

That letter from Dr. Allred is not a promise, just a statement of intent, and includes at least one specific condition which would cost Cypress taxpayers millions.

Let’s say I wrote a letter to the Los Alamitos City Council saying “I fully intend to give my home to the City of Los Alamitos someday after I no longer need it, to build a library on, as long as the City pays me the first $1 million of my home’s value, and up zones all the surrounding properties to allow for apartments, effective immediately.”   Would anyone say I was giving the City a free library?

What’s wrong with my generous offer to “give” Los Alamitos my home?  Pretty much the same as what’s wrong with Dr. Allred’s offer: Continue reading

Separation of Church and State: Measure GG

(10/31/2016, by J M Ivler)  On a street in Cypress a homeowner pays the government $8,000 a year in property taxes. Across the street a house of worship sits on 10 times the land and pays no property taxes. This boon is granted to the house of worship with some stipulations. The biggest is that the house of worship will tend to the souls of the congregants and stay out of the world of politics. It will not tell the people that this is a right way to vote, or a wrong way to vote. It will not suggest that “God” has any opinion in the mater of the world of politics. It will not move it’s congregants to vote for or against something, because the person leading the services is speaking with the moral authority of the Almighty.

It’s really a simple rule, and shouldn’t be hard for a Pastor, Priest, Minister, Rabbi, or any other cleric to follow.

So I was surprised and disappointed when I learned that at last Sunday’s services  from Seacoast Grace Church’s Pastor decided to wade into the political waters by encouraging his congregants to vote “yes” on Measure GG. This follows a Pastor from Cottonwood Church doing the same in an article in the News-Enterprise just weeks before.

[Editor’s note:  Since JM wrote this earlier today, we have received word that “Yes on GG yard signs were made available to congregants as they left the SeaCoast Grace Church on Sunday, which explains the sudden increase of signs in Cypress neighborhoods. Continue reading

Election recommendations for Los Alamitos Council & School Board

(Los Alamitos, CA 10/14/2016)  This year Los Alamitos voters have a choice of three candidates who are running for two seats on the City Council.  Frankly, this year I prefer our options for Council way above our options for President.

As someone who’s in his second term on Los Al’s Traffic Commission, lived here since 1988, and edited this blog for eight years, I’ve gotten to know all three candidates fairly well.  There’s things I like about each one,  but from my admittedly limited perspective one candidate stands above the others, for several key reasons, beginning with a major change he facilitated over the last four years:

In 2012 an uncivil war had been raging on Los Alamitos’ City Council for over a decade.  Richard Murphy entered the 2012 election as an independent, self-funded candidate with the goal of restoring civility to our City Council.

Amazingly, he did! 

Here’s some pretty convincing proof:   Last January Los Alamitos’ City Council unanimously elected Richard Murphy as Mayor. . . for the second year in a row!   That hasn’t happened in well over 20 years. Continue reading

The $15,000 slap on the wrist


According to the FPPC, George Briggeman, Jr. has “laundered” campaign contributions. We told you that seven years ago!

(Los Alamitos, 10/18/2015)  by JM Ivler:  Some time ago we here at got a letter telling us that we were going to be sued by Mr. George Briggeman, Jr., because we used the term “laundered” when discussing the way he laundered campaign contributions. I guess that Mr. Briggeman is planning on suing the FPPC because they decided that the proper term for how Mr. Briggeman handles his campaign contributions is “laundered.”

Item 3 under the consent items for October 15th 2105 FPPC Commission meeting, under the title “Laundered Campaign Contributions” is “In the Matter of George S. Briggeman, Jr.; FPPC No. 13/936.”

The details of which are: Continue reading