Archive | June, 2016

LH city approves budget, contracts

LH city approves budget, contracts

Posted on 22 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

For the first time in recent years the city of La Habra has approved multi-year contracts with all of its labor units as well as a balanced budget.  La-Habra-logo-low-rez
The La Habra City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve and adopt the contract agreements as well as the nearly $41 million city budget.
The budget includes a surplus of $211,740 for the city that is classified as unencumbered revenue.
“It’s not a huge amount by any stretch, said La Habra City Manager Jim Sadro, “but it’s still nice to have a bit of a buffer to start the fiscal year.”
According to Sadro, the surplus can go into reserves at the end of the year or cover the cost of something that comes up during the year.
In previous years, the city budget has been at a break-even schedule where the city was “dollar for dollar with its expenses to revenue.
It’s a good place to be, “ Sadro added.
The uptick in city revenue can be attributed to the fact that property tax revenues are up and  sales tax revenue are steady with 3-5 percent growth according to Sadro.
Also, La Habra, like many cites, has continued to maintain a streamline operation to keep expenses down.
“We are very judicious with what we decide to put back in or add,” Sadro explained.
This year, the city was able to add an additional police officer from the general fund.  Something city administrators haven’t been able to do for a while.
Within this year’s budget are multi-year contracts with all of the city’s labor groups. This marks the first time in the last decade that the city has approved multi-year contracts with all groups.
“Our negotiating teams worked closely with the labor groups to really identify key issues that were important for the city and for each group early in the conversations,” Sadro explained.
He added that they were successful in finding combinations of ongoing benefit increases and one-time money for the various groups.
“It was important to find what mix is of interest to the various groups and still within what the city can afford,” Sadro said. “And they were successful.”

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Heights sees budget surplus

Heights sees budget surplus

Posted on 22 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

The city of La Habra Heights approved a budget that calls for a surplus of just over $100,000.  The approved budget marks the first time the city has had extra money in about three years for the city’s budget.
The unanimous approval of the $5.3 million budget at the June 16 council meeting included a great deal of discussion on purchases to be included in the budget.  LH Heights Seal
The council approved to work with the La Habra Heights Improvement Association to purchase a new monument sign at The Park on Hacienda.
Concerns have been raised about public safety with the sign because of its size and deterioration.  The LHHIA was looking to purchase a new sign, but the proposed bids for a new sign were around $10,000.
Mayor Kyle Miller and Councilman Michael Higgins echoed the council’s concern for public safety and that the LHH Council also wanted to see the sign replaced.  The council approved to pay half of the cost of the sign, contingent upon LHHIA paying the other half.
Councilwoman Jane Williams motioned to replace the city’s aging phone system. The council approved the purchase unanimously.
The city’s budget includes a surplus based of higher oil tax revenue and slightly higher property tax revenue and the elimination of some staff positions and fewer contracted consultants.
The sharpest increase  to the city’s expenses is in the contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  The increase of nearly $53,000 is due to increased liability costs put forth by the LACSD.
Another increase to the budget include $33,337 to the Public Works budget. The council discussed that this could include items like sinkhole repair. The council further discussed repairs to guardrails along Hacienda Boulevard.

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National Charity League awards outstanding graduating women

Posted on 22 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

The National Charity League, Inc., Whittier Chapter, recently awarded over $18,000 in scholarships to 16 graduating high school seniors.
The young women from La Habra, Sonora, La Serna, Whittier, Los Altos, Wilson and California high schools were honored at the La Habra Community Center.
National Charity League, Inc. is a mother and daughter non-profit organization  committed to serving the local community.  The philanthropic organization is focused on community service, cultural experiences, and leadership development.  Each year, members are required to volunteer a minimum of 30 hours serving our community.
The Whittier Chapter of NCL, Inc., hosts a yearly benefit to raise funds to support local organizations and college scholarships to young women in the local service area.
Selection of the scholarship recipients were based on various criteria, but with an emphasis on their volunteer service to the community.
The following are the recipients from La Habra and Sonora:

Kimberly Arreguin   Sonora
Nikki Chamberlain   LHHS
Carley Christerson   LHHS
Gillian Hart        LHHS
Madison Martin        LHHS
Erin Murphy        Sonora
Lia Oliden            Sonora
Nicole Ramos        LHHS
Kristen Sauceda        Sonora

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Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal 
Trying on for size:  La Habra Police and North Orange County SWAT Team Officer Eric Ocampo helps a young La Habra resident with a gas mask at the department's meet-and-greet event at Primarily Hair Saturday.

Local salon hosts LHPD meet and greet

Posted on 22 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

The North Orange County SWAT vehicle and La Habra Police cruiser surrounded the front of Primarily Hair Salon on Saturday, but it was for a good cause.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal  Trying on for size:  La Habra Police and North Orange County SWAT Team Officer Eric Ocampo helps a young La Habra resident with a gas mask at the department's meet-and-greet event at Primarily Hair Saturday.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Trying on for size: La Habra Police and North Orange County SWAT Team Officer Eric Ocampo helps a young La Habra resident with a gas mask at the department’s meet-and-greet event at Primarily Hair Saturday.

In an effort to reach out to the community, the LHPD partners  with local businesses to offer meet-and-greet information opportunities.
Guests at the event, located at 820 E. Whittier Blvd., were able to check out police and SWAT equipment, talk with officers to learn about police work and take photos with the vehicles.
Many children, as well as their  parents, took advantage of the opportunity to try on some of the gear and see what police officers have to work with.
Employees at Primarily Hair offered cupcakes and snacks for those who attended.
Also, community safety information was available.
Organizers of the event from Primarily Hair and the LHPD are looking forward to doing a similar event again in the future.

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City launches Movies in the Park across LH

Posted on 22 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Naomi Osuna
La Habra Journal

La Habra families and friends gathered to watch the newest “Cinderella” movie at Brio Park on June 17.
Throughout the summer the city of La Habra Community Services Department, Recreation Division, will be presenting Movies in the Park for everyone in the community. The Movies in the Park are held at different parks in the city, but the most frequently used is Brio Park. Attendees can enjoy arts and crafts, and games in addition to the movie, as well as having the opportunity to purchase snacks and drinks or bringing their own food.
The Movies in the Park is a free event and open to all who would like to attend. The Recreation Division encourages everyone to bring family and friends to see the movie and join in on the fun. The movies begin at dusk and most families arrive early to get their choice of seating area for the movie while the kids run around and play on the playgrounds and join in on the activities provided. There are many options to entertain the kids and a variety of snacks and drinks for anyone who doesn’t have time to stock up before the event starts.
Senior Recreation Leader, Jake Lujan, says, “The turnout for the movies in the park has been great”. According to Lujan they have been trying to get more parks in the city involved and so far they have had the best turn out at the Brio Park location. “I’d say we average at about 100 people at an event, and 40 of those are kids. At the last event we had a lot of kids show up, they play games and have a lot of fun.”
Lujan also said that this is their third time at Brio Park this summer. According to Lujan, the Movies in the Park start in the months leading up to and running just after summer, however, “the bulk of them are in the summer.”
When asked why they put together Movies in the Park he said, “we do this to get families out on a Friday night get them out of the house, and to spend more time with their family. They don’t have to spend any money, they get to come to the park, hangout and we get to show them a movie on our big screen. It’s basically a way to get them out of the house without spending a dime. This is our way of giving back to the community.”
Two mothers who attended this Friday’s event are close friends, Cheryl Bidwell and Alicia Burk. They brought their daughters to see the movie. According to Bidwell and Burk, this was their first movie in the park and their daughters seemed happy.
Burk said, “this is a fun thing to do with your kids, and you can turn it into a family thing.” She later said she would definitely recommend the Movies in the Park to other people.
The next Movies in the Park will be “Minions”, on Friday, July 15 at Montwood Park. For more information about Movies in the Park or the dive-in movies you can contact La Habra Recreation Division at (562) 383-4205.

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'Music Man' marches into the LH Depot

‘Music Man’ marches into the LH Depot

Posted on 22 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

Music Man 2016

From left to right: Emily Turner, Lauren Sanders, Nicole Kelder, and Kyra Olschewsk are dancers in The Depot Theatre’s performance of “The Music Man.”

By John Francis
La Habra Journal

The famous Broadway Musical, Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” will start its second weekend of performances tonight at the Mysterium Theatre in La Habra’s Depot theater, 311 S. Euclid St., June 23 at 8 p.m.
The production opened last week and will continue running on consecutive weekends through July 17 with performances Thursday through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.
The musical centers around salesman Harold Hill, who enters the town of River City, Iowa to sell its citizens on the idea of having a boys band by getting them to buy instruments and band uniforms, but he gets himself caught up in the stately Marian Paroo, the town’s piano teacher and librarian.
Featured in the leading roles are La Habra resident Mallory Staley as Marian the librarian and Ray Buffer as the fast talking Harold Hill.
Supporting the cast are Eric Cajiuat as Harold’s old friend Marcellus, Janet Arnold Clark as Marian’s mother, Colin Eaton as Winthrop, Robert Purcell as Mayor Shinn, Sarah Hoeven as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, Kyra Olschewske as Zanetta Shinn, Annie Rivera as Ethel Toffelmier, and Mathew Mustafa as Tommy.

La Habra resident Mallory Staley stars as Marian and Ray Buffer as Harold in "The Music Man", which runs through July 17 at the Depot Theatre.

La Habra resident Mallory Staley stars as Marian and Ray Buffer as Harold in “The Music Man”, which runs through July 17 at the Depot Theatre.

Others in the cast include Chad Adriano, Diego Arballo, Stepanie Arballo, Shawn Arballo, Anthony Cavallos, Richard De Vicariis, Faith Foiles, Kara Gee, Stacey Grinder, Elana Harnack, Jason Johnson, Nicole Kelder, Shayna Lee, Eugene McDonald, Lauren Sanders and Emily Turner.
“The Music Man” is directed by John Francis with musical direction by H. H. Hanson and choreography by Emily Turner.  Marla Ladd is the producer.
Tickets for the production are $25 for general admissions and $15 for students, seniors and military.  For further information or reservations call the theater at 562-697-3311 or order tickets on line at mysteriumtheater.com.

Feel free to get a hold of me if you have a play opening or auditions coming up at your theater or if you would like to let us know what your local theater is doing.  Contact me at: johnstoy@flash.net
(John Francis has been a member of the local theater community for the past 50 years.  He has a BA and MA in acting/directing from Cal State University Los Angeles.).

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LH city contracts homeless services

LH city contracts homeless services

Posted on 02 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

In an effort to address a rise in the number of homeless individuals, La Habra has contracted with City Net to help get them off the streets and provide the resources they need. La-Habra-logo-low-rez
The contract, approved by the city council last month, call for City Net to help provide long-term recover options for the transient population, including temporary places to live, mental health and job resources.
The Long Beach-based City Net already contracts with Anaheim, Buena Park and Santa Ana to help provide resources and solutions.
The city has a homeless task force comprised of representatives from various city departments as well as the La Habra Police Department, according to Rob Ferrier, assistant to the city manager.
However, while Ferrier explained that they task force does its best, they aren’t social workers and City Net will help provide resources to help with long-term solutions.
LHPD said that interactions with homeless individuals in the city have increased 10-15 percent from 2014-2015.
In an effort to help address the homeless issue, Orange County Supervisors approved a year-round shelter last year that is being built in Anaheim.  La Habra, along with other North Orange County cities paid approximately $150,000 for the 200-bed shelter that will include resources like a service center aimed at helping people find permanent housing and employment.
City Net will help La Habra work with the shelter as a larger collaborative team that addresses the homelessness issue in La Habra.
LHPD and the city estimate 40-50 long-term homeless individuals in the city.  A number that is much lower than that of neighboring cities
After a less than a month into the contract, Ferrier reported that City Net was already able to successfully get an individual off the streets, into temporary housing and working to stay off the streets.
The $90,000 contract is for one year, but La Habra city staff will assess how things are going after three months.

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Veterans Hall gets new look

Veterans Hall gets new look

Posted on 02 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
The ribbon was cut last Saturday on the newly renovated Veteran’s Hall in La Habra.Veterans Hall
The building, which is home to many organization meetings, including American Legion Post 267, is the original civic center of the city of La Habra.  According to many city staff, it has been in need of updating.
“Our Veteran’s Hall was really looking tired and was poorly maintained over the years,” said La Habra Mayor Jim Gomez. “The council decided to spend the money to restore the building to its original condition…It is now a place our community can be proud of.”
The cost of the four-month renovation was approximately $235,000. According to Assistant City Manager Rob Ferrier, a portion of that money came from the developer City Ventures,and part of the overall larger Civic Center improvement project, which includes five city buildings and the relocation of city hall.

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Movies in the park kick off for the summer

Movies in the park kick off for the summer

Posted on 02 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Autumn Whitney
La Habra Journal

With summer just around the corner, the La Habra Recreation Department is starting its second annual Movies in the Park program. Movies in the park 2016
This year’s series began Friday, May 20, with a screening of “The Good Dinosaur” at Brio Park, where all movies were projected last year. The La Habra  Recreation Department is switching things up this summer and holding the events at various parks throughout the city.
“Brio is our home park,” said Katie Elmore, assistant recreation manager. “[In] June, July and August we do two movies in the park – one still at Brio, and the second travels. What we’re trying to do is catch those neighboring communities and homes.”
One of the additional locations is Montwood Park, which has seen renovations in the past month as a result of the city’s collaboration with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that seeks to build playgrounds within walking distance of each child in North America.
“We’re excited to get back to that park for that movie [Minions] and see a lot of familiar faces that helped us with that process,” said Elmore.
When the movies in the park program began last year, the first screening had approximately 50 attendees, according to Elmore.
Now, each night the crowd reaches a few hundred people on average, but never feels over-crowded. The recreation department encourages families to arrive at 6pm to participate in various activities before the movie begins at sundown.
“We have some game booths and a craft booth,” said Elmore. “We usually play some music and we do some dancing – stuff like that.”
All events that take place on movies in the park nights are family-friendly, as recreation staff wants everyone to have the ability to participate. Each of the movies is rated PG for the same reason – to promote the family environment.
City staff works together to select movies for the season, choosing films that are popular and have good ratings while being fun for the whole family. This season offers a mix of animated and live-action films, one of which is the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie, which is expected to receive a large turnout.
When attending a movie in the park, staff recommends bringing something to sit on – either a blanket or lawn chair – as well as a sweatshirt to keep warm, as the films sometimes run late into the evening. Snacks and beverages are sold at the park, but attendees are allowed to bring their own as well.
The next movie in the park is “Hotel Transylvania 2”. It shows on Friday, June 10 at Esteli Park.
For more information and a complete list of the movies that will be shown this year, visit www.lahabracity.com or call (562) 383-4482.

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La Habra teen earns Eagle Badge

La Habra teen earns Eagle Badge

Posted on 02 June 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Naomi Osuna
La Habra Journal

Jakob Parnham has been in the scouting program for 12 years and has completed over 750 service hours at church and in his community and is on his way to earning Scouting’s highest rank—Eagle. Jakob  Eagle
The 18 year old started his journey in the first grade earning his Tiger badge in Cub Scouts. Since earning his Eagle Rank in Boy Scouts, he is now part of their Venture Scout Crew (scouting for older boys and girls).
Parnham, a recent graduate of La Habra High School, is also involved with music and he plays several instruments, including bass, up-right bass, keyboard, drums and guitar.
He plays in St. Bruno’s Life Teen Band every Sunday at the Life Teen Mass, which he has been a part of for the past three years.
He was also a member of the La Habra High School jazz band all four years of high school. He was in the Highlander marching band for three years and also the concert band for three years.
He has taken part in the Coastal Clean-up for the past 10 years helping clean up Coyote Creek in La Habra along with other volunteers.
One of the requirements for the Eagle rank is that a scout must plan and complete a project for the community. Parnham built a patio deck with flower boxes, and rain gutter water pipes for The La Habra Hills Presbyterian Church for the youth room, which is the charter organization for their Boy Scout Troop.
Parnham plans on attending Fullerton College where he will earn an associate degree in music then transfer to Cal State Fullerton to earn his bachelor’s degree in music.
According to Bob Janicki, the Assistant Scout Master of Troop 1814, “Parnham thinks scouting is great, he has learned many things in scouting such as first aid, life saving, cooking, shooting, fishing, boating, swimming, and a lot more, plus making a lot of friendships”.
Janicki added that Parnham knows if he puts his mind to it “there isn’t much that he can’t do.”

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