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In-N-Out co-founder makes largest donation in history of Biola University
News Community Schools

In-N-Out co-founder makes largest donation in history of Biola University

Unspecified amount from the burger giant will help fund a $92 million 52,100-square-foot film school studio facility

La Mirada~Biola University will name its top-ranked film school the Snyder School of Cinema & Media Arts in tribute to Esther L. Snyder, co-founder of In-N-Out Burger after the unanimous decision by the Biola Board of Trustees was made to honor the Snyder family for a significant financial gift committed to the school as well as their legacy of godly virtues.

"Our family values the distinctly Christian education Biola University offers and are honored to play a part in continuing to offer students opportunities to make really impactful film pieces that change people's lives," said Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, granddaughter of Esther L. Snyder and current owner and president of In-N-Out Burger. "God is a huge part of the In-N-Out story, and I have no doubt my grandmother would be grateful to know her name is associated with a school recognized for excellence in craft and character." (more)

La Mirada Students Adapt to Covid-19 in Silver Award/Mental Health Campaign Effort

La Mirada Students Adapt to Covid-19 in Silver Award/Mental Health Campaign Effort

La Mirada~Eighth graders Sofia Orozco and Alexa Martinez co-created the “Mental Health Tackle Team” to earn their Girl Scout Silver Award and ended up developing a timely resource for students when school moved outside of the classroom due to COVID-19.

This project has taken away the stigma around mental health and helped students understand, cope and learn to live in an uncertain world.

The girls began planning in September of last year to find a community-centric topic both were passionate about. After much research, it was clear that Mental Health was a much-needed forum in an already troubled world.

The girls met with local counseling centers to explore and develop their plan. They wanted to create a safe forum for open dialogue and education to remove the stigma and help students understand, cope and function during these unprecedented times.

The originally planned four-week campaign was to be launched during Mental Health Awareness month this past May and Sofia and Alexa began with the mission statement, “To promote positive mental health through awareness and open discussion and to encourage students with tools and resources to successfully TACKLE their mental health.”

Their plan was to highlight one topic per week that included coping skills. The sessions were to focus on definitions and discussions around anxiety, depression, and stress. Each week a coping mechanism was presented through video calls, which included; belly breathing, creative outlets and open discussions around social distancing and COVID-19 at Safer-at-Home guidelines.

Tradition of Prudent Fiscal Management Continues as City of La Mirada Approves Budget With Healthy Surplus

Tradition of Prudent Fiscal Management Continues as City of La Mirada Approves Budget With Healthy Surplus

La Mirada~The City Council has approved the City’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 with emphasis on public safety, capital improvements, and quality programs and services.

Developed using the city’s traditional prudent fiscal management practices and a conservative approach to revenue forecasting, the budget provides public safety services at a high level, maintains City programs and services to meet community needs and continues the robust capital improvements schedule.

General Fund operating revenues are projected at $44,166,147 for the year and expenditures are budgeted at $35,017,904 including non-capital project transfers.

Result: $8 million city surplus for this fiscal year.

“The adopted budget puts safety first by prioritizing funding for law enforcement services while continuing our commitment to responsible fiscal management,” says City Manager Jeff Boynton. “City finances have remained stable and investment in key infrastructure projects is evident throughout La Mirada.”

Some $8,926,208 is provided for Public Safety, including general law enforcement services, the Community Sheriff’s Station, probation and district attorney services, emergency preparedness, code enforcement, Neighborhood Watch, and other public safety volunteer programs.

A total of $28,303,000 is allocated for the city’s continued aggressive capital improvements and repair program. Major projects proposed in Fiscal Year 2017-18 include Residential Street Improvement Phases III and IV and the Santa Gertrudes (Alicante to Rosecrans) Sidewalk and Block Wall,

Other projects include the Leffingwell Road Street Rehabilitation, and median improvements on La Mirada Boulevard, Rosecrans Avenue, and Valley View Avenue.

Funding for the proposed projects includes $10.35 million from Measure I, $7.11 million from the General Fund, $2.36 million in Prop C funds, $2.25 million in Gas Tax funds, $2.55 million in Measure R funds, and $950,000 in Agency bond proceeds.

The Public Works Department will receive $7,245,978 to maintain the City’s streets, parks, and recreational areas, parkways, medians, public buildings, and storm drain facilities. This department will also coordinate and manage the City’s capital improvement projects.

 La Mirada Independence Day Celebration

La Mirada Independence Day Celebration

A spectacular fireworks show will light up the skies over La Mirada on Monday, July 3 as part of La Mirada’s annual Independence Celebration.

Festivities will take place at La Mirada Regional Park starting at 4 p.m. A variety of food will be offered for sale by local community service organizations.  Live music will be played throughout the evening by Led Zeppelin tribute band “Lad Zep,” and “Hit Me 90’s” playing music from the 90’s.

“The Independence Celebration is a favorite event of the year for many,” says Community Services Director Lori Thompson.  “Bring the whole family to enjoy a fun-filled day as we celebrate our nation’s independence.”

The evening will conclude with a patriotic program and fireworks show.

As a reminder to those planning to attend, charcoal barbeques are not permitted at the park. To help prevent trip hazards, rope and caution tape around picnic areas should not be used.

For more information, contact the Community Services Department at (562) 943-7277.

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Recognizes Benton Arts Educator as Teacher of the Year

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Recognizes Benton Arts Educator as Teacher of the Year

Norwalk~Benton Middle School art teacher Jennifer Hodge has been recognized as Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year for inspiring her students to adopt a lifelong appreciation of the arts and apply their creative, critical thinking skills in other subject areas.

“It's such a privilege to work alongside students as they gain the confidence and skills to communicate an important message and use art as a creative tool for self-expression,” Hodge said. “It's a pleasure to work in a district that allows student choice in selecting electives and pathways that inspire them.”

Hodge started as a substitute teacher at Gardenhill Elementary School 16 years ago and transitioned into Benton’s visual and performing arts magnet as an art teacher in 2010.

She immediately noticed Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s high value on teacher input and collaboration, and various professional development opportunities. Hodge also takes part in the annual Caring Beyond the Classroom event, when teachers provide school supplies to students at the beginning of each year.

“It's an incredible honor to represent the hard-working and highly qualified teachers of Norwalk-La Mirada Unified,” Hodge said. “I look forward to spreading awareness about the great things our teachers do to help students be the best versions of themselves at school and at home.”

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified recognizes outstanding teachers, staff and administrators at each school during its annual Stars Award Night April 6. District-level recognitions went to:

• Chris Moton, Student & Family Services: District Administrator of the Year

• Michael Gotto, Benton Middle School: School Site Administrator of the Year

• Darlene Reyes, Educational Services: Classified Manager/Confidential Employee of the Year

• Heather Yeager, Hutchinson Middle School: Classified Employee of the Year

“Jennifer is an example of the high-quality teachers we have throughout our schools who inspire our students to pursue their dreams,” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Congratulations to all of our teachers, staff and administrators who were recognized for their hard work.”

Northbound I-5 Alondra Boulevard/Freeway Drive On-Ramp Permanently Closed

Northbound I-5 Alondra Boulevard/Freeway Drive On-Ramp Permanently Closed

La Mirada Resident Killed in Crash

Alexis Barragan of La Mirada, 22, was killed this past early Sunday morning after the vehicle she was travelling in crashed near Valley View and Katella Avenues.

The driver, Nicolas Sanchez-McCormick, 22, of Whittier was arrested on vehicular manslaughter and DUI charges. He was the driver of the vehicle and reportedly ran a red light.

Valley View Interchange Project Update

The northbound I-5 on-ramp at Freeway Drive/Alondra Blvd is now closed.

Motorists will now be detoured to proceed west on Alondra Boulevard, then north on Carmenita Road to access the northbound I-5 on-ramp. Heavy traffic and delays in the area are expected. Motorists are urged to use alternative routes whenever possible.

Starting Sunday, April 16 through Thursday, April 20 crews will be performing work in the median island along northbound and southbound I-5 between Artesia Boulevard to Alondra Boulevard.  In order to complete this work, there will be partial lane reductions on I-5 and the northbound and southbound I-5 Valley View Avenue on- and off-ramps may be closed nightly between 7:00 p.m. and 5:45 a.m. 

Pile driving and shoring activities are ongoing on the south side of Valley View Avenue. This work will be conducted weekdays during the daytime between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

National Signing Day: 16 La Mirada Student-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent to Play College Ball

National Signing Day: 16 La Mirada Student-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent to Play College Ball

Earlier this month, under a rainbow of blue, white and yellow balloons, 16 La Mirada High School student-athletes signed their letters of intent on National Signing Day Feb. 1, making official the colleges and universities they will attend in the fall on full athletic scholarships.

As their friends, family and fellow students cheered them on, 10 members of the 2016 CIF State Champion football team, and six members of the 2016 State Champion girls soccer team declared their intention to continue their athletic careers at schools that stretch from the Ivy League to Hawaii.

“There is a lot of Matadore pride today,” LMHS Principal Lisa Reed said. “This is a real testament to all the hard work and dedication of our students, who not only excel on the field, but also in the classroom. Our teachers and coaches work together to instill a student-first culture that starts on the first day of school and continues until graduation day. Congratulations to our amazing kids!”

Relay for Life La Mirada May 14th at Splash!

Relay for Life La Mirada May 14th at Splash!

In cooperation with the American Cancer Society, this year’s La Mirada Relay for Life event is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 15. All residents are invited to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and raise funds for cancer research.

There is still time for families, work groups and companies to form teams and participate in the event to help fight cancer.

Cancer survivors are invited to help open the event by walking the Survivor Lap on Saturday at 9 a.m. Note: Survivors are not required  to join a team or donate any money, just show up.

The Luminaria Ceremony will begin at 9 p.m. that evening. Fun activities will be held throughout the event including riding down the Buccaneer Bay waterslides on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

Admission to Relay for Life is open to the public. For more information or to join the event, here or contact Relay for Life Specialist Silvia Constanza at (213) 700-7485. 

Progress Continues on La Mirada Library Renovation

Progress Continues on La Mirada Library Renovation

La Mirada~As part of Supervisor Don Knabe’s “Operation Libraries” project, over $45 million is being invested into the restoration of County libraries in the Fourth Supervisorial District, including $4 million to renovate the La Mirada Library.

The City is managing the design and construction of the renovation project and the library will be returned to the County following completion of the work.  Emar Studio for Public Architecture is the architect on the project and Citadel CPM, Inc. is the construction management firm.

The project will be completed in two phases, a demolition phase and a construction phase.  The project team has completed the first phase of the project which

The library renovation team completes the first phase of the project which includes the removal of the interior walls and fixtures. The $4 million dollar project is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

included the removal of the majority of the interior walls and fixtures.

The architect also prepared plans and specifications for the second phase. Work includes modifications to the lighting and ceiling; new carpet, paint, and service desks; improvements to electrical, mechanical, and telecommunications infrastructure; installation of new furniture, fixtures, equipment, and signage; replacement of all existing window framing and panels with energy efficient dual glazing; and required ADA upgrades.

The City Council recently awarded the contract to The Nazerian Group. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-April.

The temporary library is located on the lower level of the La Mirada Resource Center, 13710 La Mirada Boulevard. The library operates at the following hours:

Monday – Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday – noon to 5 p.m.
Saturday – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday – Closed
La Mirada Receives High Ranks for Fiscal Health

La Mirada Receives High Ranks for Fiscal Health

The City of La Mirada was recently ranked in the top 96th percentile for overall fiscal health from United States Common Sense. United States Common Sense is a national organization dedicated to opening government data to the public and educating citizens about how their governments work.

The United States Common Sense organization collects Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) statements annually from governments across the United States and uses the data to create a free, comprehensive public finance database.

Since it was founded in 2010, United States Common Sense has been featured in well-known publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Reuters, and more.

For this year’s ranking, evaluators received CAFRs for more than 13,000 local governments and all 50 states, and reviewed almost 10,000 audits. The information is used to rank governments on budget balance, asset flexibility, and pension funding.