La Mirada Blog

Articles by Tony Aiello

Where Does the La Mirada Blog Go Next?

Where Does the La Mirada Blog Go Next?

Well, I think it’s about time.

You mean an opinion column on my own website? What a novel concept. I hope to produce this on a every-other-month basis so let’s see and let’s go. Thank YOU for taking time out of your busy day to read this and I hope you enjoy it as we move forward.

From the beginning, I am not going to grovel for days over this column or it’s just going to stress me out and I won’t like doing it. So, my goal is to knock it out in 30 minutes and it is what it is. I’ll put a stop watch on my desk and let’s see how it goes.

Where is the La Mirada Blog going and how has it evolved and changed over the years? What’s next, if anything? What happened in the 2017 La Mirada City Council Election, just 27 months ago-the true story, other than me losing? 😊 City Council members are now elected by district, but are they serving in their districts?

The first issue is this website. I hear you, it's outdated. I hope to have it updated very soon and I apologize. Social media took over in 2009-10 as you well know if you’re a long time follower and the website has been neglected, but mostly because of financial reasons. The overhaul is going to cost more than I thought and I hope to have this remedied very soon. However, with that being said, it is still a place for exclusive content and I have some great advertisers!

Minus the website, the La Mirada Blog has 20,000+ social media followers, not to mention the engagement and reach. What does this mean? Nothing, but comparatively speaking, in a town of 50,000 it is significant and sometimes there is a stress and pressure that goes along with it.

Although I knew I loved what I was doing when I started the Blog many years ago in 2003, at times I have had difficulty keeping up emotionally with its tremendous growth, its status in the community and the responsibility that comes with it along with trying to approach it in a non-biased way in a city I have such a personal attachment to.

So, join on this journey with me as I trudge along running the La Mirada Blog and let us all see what’s next. I tell you and you decide. Send me your ideas, questions, topics, stories and story ideas, advice, news ideas and anything to and let’s travel this road called life, together. Till next time.

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FBI Raids La Mirada Home Connected in Credit Card Fraud Ring; Arrests Made Throughout Area

FBI Raids La Mirada Home Connected in Credit Card Fraud Ring; Arrests Made Throughout Area

La Mirada~Authorities served a federal warrant on a home in La Mirada this morning in connection with an alleged credit card fraud ring and methamphetamine distribution operation.

Shortly after 6:00 Tuesday morning, residents told us they heard a loud boom as authorities used a flash-bang device to gain access to the home located in the 13800 block of Mansa Drive.

Agencies involved in the raid included the California Highway Patrol, Huntington Beach Police Department and the FBI as we first reported at 6:41 a.m. local time on our Twitter feed with exclusive photos and video.

Other arrest and search warrants were served in the southeast cities area in connection with the scam as reported by KTLA and the Cerritos Patch.

The La Mirada residents indicted in the case are still at-large at last report.

Local Retailers Burglarized; Crime Continues to Climb at Alarming Rate in La Mirada

Local Retailers Burglarized; Crime Continues to Climb at Alarming Rate in La Mirada

La Mirada~Last night, the Cabo Taco Baja Grill restaurant was broken into, but the thief left with no loot. Cabo’s owner told us the incident occurred around 2:00 a.m. and told us security cameras show a male with a white hoody breaking/shattering the front door glass after attempting to use a crowbar first. Once inside, soon after, the thief flees when a motion detector activates an alarm. He attempted to grab the cash register.

This past early Friday morning, a thief broke into Sami’s Liquor located at Rosecrans and Valley View Avenues. Stolen was the entire cash register which contained about $200. However, Sami’s owner tells us the cash register itself was worth around $2000.

We have also received an unconfirmed report of a similar incident at Flame Broiler recently.

This past Saturday a truck was burglarized-in broad daylight- while parked at Creek Park. A Blog fan messaged us the incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. She told us that after a short walk, she returned to her husband’s truck to discover the window smashed. Her purse was stolen and the thieves attempted to use her credit card a short time later at the Target in La Habra.

Part One Crimes (homicides, rape, arson, aggravated assault, thefts) continue in recent years, at an alarming uptick in town. In 2014 there were 724 Part One Crimes. In 2015 there were 923 and there were 962 in 2016, according to city staff reports.

So far in 2017, sheriff reports indicate a 20% rise in these crimes over the same period last year. If this trend continues, crime will have risen over 60% in La Mirada in a four-year period.

Looking for La Mirada Garage Bands to Perform at Carnival

Looking for La Mirada Garage Bands to Perform at Carnival

Organizers for the “4 La Mirada Kids” Carnival are looking for middle school and high school La Mirada garage bands to perform at this year’s event scheduled for May 5th-7th at Benton Middle School.

Audition dates are Saturdays, March 4th,18th, 25th and April 1st from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Auditions will be held at 15751 Lone Ridge Place in La Mirada.

Interested bands are to call (310) 252-3114 and leave a message. Someone will call you back to schedule an audition time.

Electric drums will be provided along with all amps and PA, just bring your instruments.

Audition Dates

Saturday, March 4th 9:00AM – 1:00PM

Saturday, March 18th 9:00AM – 1:00 PM

Saturday, March 25th 9:00AM – 1:00PM

Saturday, April 1st 9:00AM – 1:00PM

Annual Lou Piltz Memorial Spaghetti Dinner Set for February 10th

Annual Lou Piltz Memorial Spaghetti Dinner Set for February 10th

Dinner benefits La Mirada Meals-on-Wheels (MOW), serving home-bound residents since 1975

La Mirada~The 30th Lou Piltz Memorial Spaghetti Dinner will be served at the La Mirada Activity Center on Friday, February 10th from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

The menu will be spaghetti, salad and garlic bread for $8.00. Coffee and soft drinks will be available. La Mirada Ebell Womens’ Club will provide delicious desserts.  A 50/50 drawing, opportunity prizes and live entertainment featuring choral and musical groups from La Mirada High School will complete the evening.

Tony Aiello, editor of the La Mirada Blog, will be the guest MC for the evening’s festivities.

Guests are warmly welcomed to attend, and all profits will benefit the MOW program in the community. Tickets may be obtained through any Kiwanis member or may be purchased at the door.

This is a major fundraiser for the La Mirada Meals-on-Wheels organization which is entirely volunteer-driven except for two part-time employees.

La Mirada MOW, since its inception in 1975, has served over 400,000 meals to shut-ins and provides food and comfort along with support and encouragement for those unable to provide for themselves, in our community.

The activity center is located in the Civic Center complex at 13810 La Mirada Boulevard.

The event is named after former La Mirada City Councilman and popular community member Lou Piltz who passed away in 2013. Piltz was a main player and instrumental in the organization of the event.

For more information call (562) 943-0037 or visit the MOW website.

Mike Moschetti Resigns as La Mirada High Football Head Coach

Mike Moschetti Resigns as La Mirada High Football Head Coach

Interview on our radio show last night was apparently his last as official head coach

La Mirada~Mike Moschetti has resigned as head football coach at La Mirada High School according to a story broke by Aram Tolegian of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

As a quarterback in 1992 Moschetti led the Matadors to a CIF Championship. He returned to his alma mater as a coach in 2008 and helped the guide La Mirada to another CIF Championship in 2009 and a state regional bowl championship last year. He also won seven Suburban League titles during his tenure.

We interviewed Coach Moschetti last night on The La Mirada Blog Radio Show. We asked him some pointed questions about his career, not knowing the relevance of the timing. We did not know at the time he would be resigning the next day and it would be his last interview as the official head coach for La Mirada High football.

You can hear the interview by selecting La Mirada Blog Show here.

Duke’s Car Club Collects Toys for La Mirada Families

Duke’s Car Club Collects Toys for La Mirada Families

Members of the Dukes Car Club deliver toys to Fire Station 49 who will distribute to families in need in the La Mirada community.

La Mirada~The Duke’s Car Club of La Habra dropped off toys this past Saturday at La Mirada Fire Station 49 after the club’s successful Toy Drive that took place on November 19th in Brea.

The fire station, in cooperation with Duke’s, will facilitate the distribution of the toys to children in need within the La Mirada community.

Sponsors of the event included SoCal Auto Spa, Prime Motivation and PowerAll. EDCO Waste & Recycling Services provided the recyclable cardboard boxes used for trash at the event and Republic Waste & Recycling Services provided the recycle collectives.

Also, Duke’s has partnered with Pastor Jack Miranda and Living Faith Church of La Mirada to help a family in need.

Money was collected at the toy event that will be donated to help a local family in which a grandmother is now raising a family after a 3-year old and 5-year old lost their mother to a tragic automobile incident.

Miranda said via text the club is not stereotypical, “They are a wonderful asset to the community and can often be misunderstood as a bunch of lowriders.”

Last month, Duke’s also participated in the annual Foster Road Elementary Thanksgiving Feast and the Whittier Boys and Girls Club Thanksgiving Feast where over 500 adults and children were fed.

Duke’s has also appeared and contributed to the La Mirada Relay for Life the last two years.

The club’s mission statement reads: “To continually promote the concept and improve the image of low-riding through dedication, commitment and involvement within our organization and within our communities."

La Mirada Approves District-Based Election System

La Mirada Approves District-Based Election System

La Mirada~The City will be holding a by-district election on March 7, 2017 to fill two City Council seats The third and final public hearing was held on November 8 to gather input on draft City Council district maps.

The City Council initiated the change after a threat of a lawsuit from MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund).

A total of 12 maps were considered by the Council including submittals from residents Dale Nowicki, Noel Jaimes and Zurich Lewis. MALDEF submitted a map as well. A firm the City hired also submitted map choices.

After the public hearing, the City Council approved to change the City Council election system from at-large to by-district and adopted a district map, known as Map 12 (submitted by Lewis), to be in effect by the March 2017 City Council election.

Members of Districts 1 and 2 will be elected in March 2017, while members of Districts 3, 4, and 5 will be elected in March 2019.  Members must reside in the districts they represent.  To view the District Map, visit the City’s website.

The map pits incumbents Pauline Deal and Andrew Sarega against each other in District 2. Both have already filed for re-election. In District 1, nobody has filed papers as of this time.

The nomination period opened at on November 14 and closes at 4:30 p.m. on December 9. If an incumbent does not file papers by December 9, the nomination period is extended until 5:30 p.m. on December 14.  You must be a registered voter in the City of La Mirada on the date nomination papers are picked up at City Hall to qualify to run for the office of La Mirada City Councilmember.

The last day to register to vote in the March 7, 2017 election is February 20, 2017. Registration forms will be available at City Hall, the La Mirada Library, the Post Office, or you can request it by mail by calling the Los Angeles County Elections Registration Request Line at (800) 481-VOTE (8683).

If you have general questions about the election, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (562) 943-0131.

I-5/Valley View Interchange Project Finally Gets Underway

I-5/Valley View Interchange Project Finally Gets Underway

U.S. Representative Grace Napolitano, Assemblyman Ian Calderon, Supervisor Don Knabe, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, La Mirada Mayor Steve DeRuse await to speak at the I-5/Valley View Interchange groundbreaking. Photo Tony Aiello (c) La Mirada Blog 2016

La Mirada~The time has finally come as Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)  announced construction of the final phase of the $1.9 billion I-5 South Corridor Improvement Project has officially got underway.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at an old furniture store parking lot Wednesday, October 26th.

The sixth and final segment, the $631 million I-5/Valley View Interchange Project, extends from Artesia Boulevard to North Fork Coyote Creek near Alondra Boulevard and will add new carpool lanes and general-purpose lanes in each direction through the cities of Buena Park, La Mirada, Cerritos and Santa Fe Springs.

“This is the final hurdle toward making transportation safer and less congested along this vital stretch of the I-5 South corridor,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. It brings us one step closer toward improving freeway connections for commerce and the local communities.

The project will replace the two bridges at Valley View with a six-lane overcrossing that will span 1,600 feet. Additional improvements include the construction of a railroad bridge, reconfiguring on-and-off ramps and the realigning of Firestone Boulevard.

Guest speakers at the ceremony included Grace Napolitano, U.S. Representative, Congressional District 32; Ian Calderon, Assembly Member District 57; Supervisor Don Knabe, LA County Fourth District and Metro Board Member; John Fasana, Chair, Metro Board and City of Duarte Councilmember; Steve DeRuse, La Mirada Mayor; Eric Garcetti, First Vice Chair, LA Metro Board, and Los Angeles Mayor; and Monica Gourdine, Associate Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.

No closures of Valley View Avenue are expected for the duration of the project; however South Firestone Boulevard will be closed for an extended period of time.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2019.

Reports of Abduction Attempts Continue to Unfold

Reports of Abduction Attempts Continue to Unfold

La Mirada~We recently received multiple messages from concerned parents and residents about a possible child abduction at Windermere Park this past Monday and then at Behringer Park on Tuesday evening, but authorities have told us no crimes have been committed in either instances.

La Mirada Soccer Association President Ruben Orozco sent out a letter to parents Monday evening advising them of an apparent abduction attempt. The letter quickly went viral on social media within the La Mirada area.

Tuesday, a school administrator in La Mirada became concerned when hearing of the letter so she contacted Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District officials, according to our unnamed source.

An e-mail was immediately sent out to NLMUSD board members from the head of security for the district, Elaine Williams, advising that local law enforcement officials had informed the district no crime occurred near a child and there is no merit to the claim.

We contacted Lt. Robin Limon at the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station who said the call came in at 5:40 p.m. but was a “suspicious person only” incident and a report was taken.

However, Limon said there currently is an active ongoing investigation.

The league then sent out an additional letter on Tuesday evening stating a similar “kidnapping” attempt had occurred, this time at Behringer Park.

Limon told us there is no record of an incident at Behringer Park on Tuesday night.

Calls made to La Mirada Lieutenant Kevin Beggs have gone unreturned.

We will have more information here if it becomes available.

UPDATE: 21:28-100616: Since our initial report, the father of the child involved in the incident has contacted us. He advised us the first incident DID occur at Windermere Park on Monday. He asked his name not be used. He said a kidnap attempt investigation is ongoing. He told us his three-year old child was playing near bushes at the park while his five-year old played soccer. He said a male popped out "from behind the bushes" with his arms outstretched towards his daughter. He chased the man away. Report was taken, investigation ongoing.

We apologize if anyone was misled. We only reported the information that we were given. Parent recently exclusively contacted us only.

The family of the child has asked us to share the description of this man:

Hispanic Male, approximately 5'7 to 5'8, about 150-160 lbs, light complexion, dark brown hair, facial goatee, wearing cap; drove away in a tan 4-door sedan.