Cypress residents unite against Katella Ave project

The Cypress City Council faced a capacity crowd during its Monday, April 8, meeting that organized and came to express their displeasure over the proposed 33-acre Katella Ave truck project.The project began moving forward last November when voters passed measure L, which changed the zoning to mixed-use and light industrial.Residents complained, saying they were sold a senior project for the area before the election, only to have it switched to a truck center after the zoning changed.City Attorney William Wynder told the crowd that the action had nothing to do with the council, and was voter approved.“The residents voted for this measure,” he said. “The council did not put measure L on the ballot, the owner of the property did.”Mayor Prakash Narain addressed the crowd before public comments, and promised everyone there will be plenty of due diligence before the group makes a decision.“There is a lot of speculation in the community about the 33-acre truck site,” he said. “It is important to wait until all the environmental studies are complete, and we expect during late summer.”Narain addresses the EIR scoping meeting held on Wednesday, April 3, and said the purpose of the meeting was to solicit comments from the public about the project.“This meeting is required by the California Environmental Quality Act, which requires that the project undergoes a thorough analysis before the city can approve the project, and encourages input from all parties interested in the potential impact.”There will be many steps needed before the item can be voted on by the council, Narain said, and residents will be encouraged to provide additional input as the EIR report becomes available.“The city desires to preserve the community the residents enjoy, and will diligently ensure the development complies with the applicable regulations.The city has retained the services of independent environmental experts, who will assist in the development of the project.“The city council will review the project once the EIR and correlating reports are complete,” Narain said. “We will look at the environmental impacts, and offer alternatives and mitigation measures.”The city will keep the residents informed about all the latest developments as the project progresses.“There will be press releases, and updates on the local cable television channel and the city’s website,” Narain said.Cypress resident Mike McGill said he appreciates the comments made by Narain.“The proposed project has 124 truck bays, he said. “I drove around the business park hoping to give myself a better perspective and noticed that Shaw, which was a very contentious project, that worked out very well, has 48 truck bays. I looked at places like Panasonic, Mitsubishi, and Yamaha, noticing that most facilities had 10 truck slots or less.”The total number of truck bays in the business park, by his estimate, is between 130 and 140.“The council needs to look seriously at essentially doubling the truck bays in the community,” McGill said. “Revenue for the city is important, but this is a quality of life issue.”Assemblyman Travis Allen sent his District Director Emanuel Patrascu, and he told the council that the representative supports the project.“When Allen ran for office he promised to work hard and improve the economy,” he said. “He believes the most efficient way to grow the economy is at the local level.”Allen supports the process, which will bring all the stakeholders together.“The final process will benefit Cypress and the surrounding community,” Patrascu said. “It takes hard work to complete such a large project. This will result in local jobs.”Pro Logis representative Pat Maloney attended the meeting, and said the group wants to be part of the community.“We are going through a very lengthy process and I want to thank the council for their comments about the EIR process,” he said. “There will be impact and we plan on building responsibly.”Public comments about the project raise concerns, Maloney said, and he has empathy for the residents.“There have been constructive and destructive comments about the project,” he said. “There is false information being sent out by a group that does not want us to know who they are.”Maloney said Pro Logis is not building a truck terminal.“Our intent is to build a high-image, quality corporate headquarters and business park environment similar to what already exists in Cypress.Many companies in the city are looking to grow and consolidate, Maloney said, and they want to be in Cypress.“We are talking to multiple companies that do business in the city right now,” he said. “They need more space.”Pro Logis is a long-term developer, Maloney said, and the group is open to design changes.“We want to work with the community, and encourage constructive commentary,” he said. “The project being studied is a 725,000 square foot industrial business park. That is a large site, and will require an EIR report because it will have impact in the area.Maloney did not discuss the 129 truck bays at the facility, which drew many angry comments from the crowd. In an interview on March 27, Pro Logis representative Nancy Shultz told the Independent the site would have 129 truck bays.“I live on Cerritos backing the site in question and work as a director for safety and environmental authority, and work on air quality permitting,” Resident Ed Kramer said. “I am familiar with the EIR process and the impact of this project does not necessarily represent the quality of life you would expect in our neighborhoods. As the father of a daughter who suffers from asthma, I expect revenue for the city to be generated by clean-air family businesses, not belching diesel.”Wynder said residents who are looking for the council to stand up against the proposal before its due process reaches a conclusion are going to be disappointed.“Since the area in question is private property, the city council will ultimately have to process an submitted application,” he said. “Once received, the city will have a legal obligation to process the application, take evidence in favor of and against the project, schedule a public hearing and make a ruling. If the council stands up in favor of or against the project before the process is completed, each side can accuse the city of pre-judging the project.”The protest moved outside, and Lois Waddle told the crowd the city stood to lose a little wetland area if the project moves forward.“The golf course is a wildlife sanctuary and birds fly into the marshes and the lakes,” she said. “Cypress residents will no longer have half of a recreational and wildlife park and lose the ability to bike around its parameter.”Deputy City Attorney Lindsay Tabaian said residents need to make their sentiments known to ProLogis.“The best thing residents can do is to help the city create a record, so the developer can respond to the concerns,” she said.The next Cypress City Council meeting is Monday, April 22.

Americana Awards recognizes Cypress and La Palma citizens

On Saturday, Feb. 28, the Grand Ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel was the site of the 40th annual Americana Awards. The ceremony recognized and honored outstanding citizens who have dedicated their time to serving our communities.The evening was a time to celebrate these community leaders, with all of the proceeds going to the Cypress College Foundation. Pat and Roberta O’ Toole were the recipients of the Citizen of the Year Award for the city of Cypress. And William Meil was the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award for the city of La Palma.The O’ Tooles started working with the local home owners association, which was a springboard to their extensive community service. They have since been involved with the Community Association Institute, the Rossmoor Neighborhood Watch, Cypress Recreation and Community Services, the Cypress Festival, as well as serving our veterans. Roberta is also involved in the Women’s Club of Cypress and has received numerous awards for her goodwill and service.“We lost an important battle with the city,” said Roberta O’ Toole. “We went and asked for advice and were told to learn the system and get to know everyone. That’s what we did.”Did they ever.“If you want to know what’s going on in the community, attend the city council meetings, it is a great place to start,” said Pat O’ Toole.If you are interested in serving the community, they are an example to follow.William Meil is a key figure in the Kiwanis Club of La Palma and in the La Palma Police Department Volunteers in Policing program. His work is ubiquitous within both of these groups, whether it is chairing meetings, creating and distributing monthly duty schedules, serving as treasurer, and serving many other functions for the policing program; or whether it be preparing the meeting room for the Kiwanis Club and restoring it after the meeting, Mr. Weil is a man of service in action.On top of that, Meil is vital in the operation of the Christmas Food Basket project and had served the local Chamber of Commerce.In regard to community recognition of his service and being awarded the Citizen of the Year Award, Meil said, “It wasn’t something that I looked for or thought would happen. The award ceremony was a nice night and I am glad and honored to be a part of it.”Upwards of 500 people attended the event, from honorees and their guests to mayors and city council members. Notable faculty and staff of Cypress College and past recipients were also in attendance. Everyone was in their best attire, tuxedos and formal dresses. The night was truly special.There was socializing and a silent auction to kick off the night. Attendees had the chance to bid on game tickets, off-road vehicles, uniquely designed electric guitars, among many other splendid items. After an hour and a half of mingling and bidding, everyone entered the Grand Ballroom to be seated at their assigned tables.Once seated, people were quickly standing again for the singing of our national anthem and a rendition of “The House I Live In (That’s America to Me).”The Cypress College Americana All-Stars took up the entertainment from there, providing excellent live music until master of ceremonies, Phil Hulett, introduced Jeanette Vasquez, who gave a moving speech. Vasquez is a direct beneficiary and success story of the Cypress College Foundation.This speech was followed by a greeting from the Americana Chair, Jenelle Bader, and by a greeting from Cypress College President Dr. Robert Simpson.The menu was Italian inspired and the first course of a four course meal swiftly arrived at the tables, roasted cauliflower soup. The second course was a burrata and tomato salad. By the time the salad came to the tables, the live auction was indeed live. This salad was followed by the main course, a filet of beef and lemon marinated jumbo shrimp.And to top off the marvelous meal, vanilla bean panna cotta, peach compote and biscotti was served as dessert. By this time, bidding was complete and most folks were settled into the night, ready to honor the deserving citizens of the year.The honorees walked on stage to a round of applause. Each was introduced one by one or as a couple and escorted by a mayor or city council member of their respective cities. A brief, pre-recorded acceptance speech by each recipient was displayed on two large video screens that were located on both sides of the stage.With every introduction, there were loud cheers from different sections of the ballroom. And each recipient was equally gracious in receiving their award. The night concluded with Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens giving her acceptance speech for being chosen for the 2015 Americana Awards Woman of the Year honor. She gave a great speech that tied the idea of community service and the night together.Other recipients for Citizen of the Year included: Joseph and Laura Rodehaver of Buena Park, Reon Boydstun Howard of Anaheim, Debbie and Mark Mahoney of Garden Grove, Tom Barclay of Los Alamitos/Rossmoor, Dee Carey of Seal Beach, and Debbie and Joel Greer of Stanton.

Camp Cypress registration going on

Summer is almost here! Looking for some summer fun? Sign your kids up to have an exciting summer while meeting new friends at Camp Cypress. Cypress Recreation and Community Services has begun registration for Camp Cypress, a Summer Day Camp for children entering 1st-7th grade. Camp is held at the Cypress Community Center, 5700 Orange Avenue, from June 13 – Aug. 5. Camp fee includes arts and crafts, games, sports, spectacular special events, camp t-shirt, and much, much more! This summer we will be going to many exciting places such as Big Air USA, Discovery Science Center, Aquarium of the Pacific, and Camelot Golfland. Weekly excursions are an additional cost. Camp hours are 9 4 p.m. each day. Extended hours are also offered from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fee is $105.00 per week for five days a week and an additional $25 for extended care. Each camper must bring a sack lunch each day. Registration is already under way and camp enrollment fills up quickly, so come down to the Cypress Community Center, 5700 Orange Ave. between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and sign your kids up for an exciting summer! For more information, please call 714-229-6780 or visit our website

Youth Center’s 2nd Annual Golf Tournament better than ever

Score a hole in one by teeing off for a worthy cause at the Youth Center 2nd Annual Golf Tournament on Thursday, July 14 at Recreation Park in Long Beach.Sponsored by the Garden’s Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, the event promises to be a lot of fun and better than ever. Shoot the links with a whole in one and win a brand new Cadillac. There will also be contests with prizes for putting, longest drive, closest to the pin plus double or nothing as well as activities on the course including massages, delicious pizza being served, cigars on another hole, and beverages including beer all scattered throughout the course.Enjoy a full barbeque lunch and terrific buffet dinner with awards at the end of the day. A raffle and silent auction with prizes will also be held.“Our golf tournament is different from most in that we encourage youth to participate,” said Youth Center Board Member Arnie Fine, golf tournament organizer. “This is a wonderful opportunity for a child to play with his parents, grandparents or siblings. We hope to have even more young golfers participate this year than last.”One returning golfer, Michael Sheets, who won $500 in the ball drop contest last year said, “The golf was a blast with a fun putting contest that was downhill with a serious break.” He continued to say that although he saw no one make the ball in the hole, that he was sure it happened.“Last year’s auction items were unbelieveable,” he said. “An African Safari was offered, and I couldn’t call my wife fast enough to offer a bid, but you’d better believe I’m going to be prepared this year. What a sensational organization and fun event, all in the name of helping children. I’m very happy to participate every year, especially this year at Recreation Park, a very challenging and hilly course.”The Garden’s Casino returns for a second year as presenting sponsor. General Manager Ron Sarabi said, “We proudly give back to the communities we serve.The Gardens Casino supports the Youth Center’s mission of transforming children’s lives one family at a time, and are honored to be a sponsor of this year’s golf tournament.” Participation is limited to 144 golfers and there is an “early bird special” of $20 off the entry fee if you register by June 14.Cost is $160 for individual adults and $120 for individual children. Golfer choices also include a foursome for $640 ($560 early registration), or dinner only for $30. If you’d like to sponsora youth golfer cost is $100. Corporate sponsorships are available and range from $250 to $5,000 which includes things like complimentary playing spots, dinners, and advertisements at tees/greens.Check in is at 10:30 a.m., and includes a complimentary warm up bucket on the range and the barbeque lunch. Shotgun start is at 1 p.m., and the buffet dinner with awards is at 6 p.m. Recreation Park Golf Course is located at 5001 Deukmejian Drive in Long Beach.Reserve your spot today by completing the online form at or by mailing your check to The Youth Center at 10909 Oak Street in Los Alamitos, CA 90720.

Two of Class 147’s finest joins Cypress PD

Golden West College Police Academy graduated Class 147 on Friday, March 21, 2104. Among the graduates were two of the newest members of the Cypress Police Department – Officer Terry Mermer and Officer Daniel Shin, who was also Class 147 President.In attendance was Councilwoman Mariellen Yarc. Chief Jackie Gomez-Whiteley was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. Chief Gomez-Whiteley is also an instructor at the Academy and instructs on Ethics, Leadership, and the Recruitment Process. She is also the chair of the Chiefs Advisory Board for the Golden West College Academy.Commander Rod Cox is a Senior Recruit Trainer Officer at the Academy. Lead Police Officer Scott Ausmus and Police Officer Cassie Miller are also Recruit Training Officers at theAcademy. Congratulations to Officers Mermer and Shin and welcome to Cypress! For more information about the Cypress Police Department and its services, visit

Queen Mary presents its new CHILL event for the Christmas Season

The Queen Mary is being overtaken by a deep freeze for the second annual CHILL, an experience that will bring holiday cheer, enchantment and North Pole temperatures to families across sunny Southern California. An event like no other, Chill offers an unforgettable holiday experience.Two million pounds of sparkling ice are used to create larger than life, hand carved ice sculptures that will fill a 14,000 square-foot “igloo” called The Ice Kingdom (housed in The Queen Mary’s Dome). The Ice Kingdom will feature scenes from The Nutcracker including life sized reproductions of Clara, the evil Mouse King, the battle scene, sugar plum fairies and The Nutcracker himself, plus a walk-through castle, and three ice slides off a 30’ high replica of The Queen Mary.Each ice exhibit is meticulously hand carved and created by an international team of ice sculpture experts from Harbin, China and enhanced with LED lighting to create a visually spectacular experience like no other. The Ice Kingdom is kept at a frosty nine degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the ice and event goers will receive parkas to help protect against the Artic-like climate.CHILL also brings ice tubing to the Queen Mary waterfront. Grab an oversized tube and race down one of the six ice slides standing two stories tall and 100-feet long. A A 6,000 square-foot ice skating rink makes for the perfect winter tradition for all to enjoy. Skate rentals are available on-site for $2.95.A holiday village presents gingerbread houses, holiday carolers, the decoration adorned Candy Lane and a visit with Santa Claus. The world’s largest rocking horse and snowman bouncy are ready for holiday merriment by guests both young and young at heart.“We are very excited for the return of CHILL as an annual seasonal tradition for residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Steve Sheldon, director of entertainment events at The Queen Mary. “It’s truly unique to experience the cold winter holiday weather of other areas right here in Southern California. It immediately gets you into the holiday spirit.”CHILL will also feature live entertainment, food and beverages. Pricing starts at $29.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids, and includes The Ice Kingdom and choice of Ice Skating or Ice Tubing. Additional tickets for either Ice Skating or Ice Tubing are available for purchase and start at $12.95.Ice Skating Season Pass is available for $29.95. Lodging packages are also available. CHILL will be open Tuesdays through Sundays beginning Nov. 22 through Jan. 5. For more information, including hours or to purchase ticket online, visit

Los Alamitos debuts Coyote Creek Park

The City of Los Alamitos held its official ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this week in honor of its grand opening of the Coyote Creek Park behind Oak Middle School. The area chosen for the park was on a piece of land that is owned and operated by the Edison Electric Company, and was a joint venture between several local organizations and neighboring cities. Overall, the project was a major event that was 14 years in the making.“It took me three whole terms to fight to get this thing to go through,’ says Troy Edgar, who is a Los Alamitos board member. “The year 2005 was the year in which I officially got this project fully funded and approved.”The City of Los Alamitos wound up receiving a $1.4 million dollar financial grant from “The Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.”Edgar also serves on the board of “The Rivers and Mountains Conservancy,” and is Orange County’s main representative.“The Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, Orange County Flood Control, Edison Electric Company, and The Water Conservation Agency, all partnered with the City of Los Alamitos to make this project happen successfully,” said Edgar. “50 years ago, this small patch of land was known for high flooding. We wanted to put our minds together and change that.”The Los Alamitos City Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Center also lent a hand to the project, and dealt with all of the boundary issues. Still, it was the local citizens of the city who voted to help push this idea into fruition. “It was the faithful citizens of this city who voted for both Proposition 50, and Proposition 84 who made this happen,” rejoiced Edgar. Now, the Los Alamitos City Council are focusing on Proposition 1.The concept behind Proposition 1 is to utilize recycled water to water the plant life within the Coyote Creek Park.“The idea is a water bond proposal that teams up The City of Long Beach, and the Deep Roots Organization, with our own City of Los Alamitos,” explains Edgar. “The mayor of Long Beach (Robert Garcia) will use this water recycling system from their Water Purification Center, and will use revitalized waste water to help nurture our plants here. Of course, the water cannot be drunken by humans, but there is no need to let that water go to waste.”This is a rather brilliant and tactical idea in means of both combating the drought that is consuming various West Coast States along America’s Gulf Coast and Pacific Ocean, while also preserving much of California’s natural wildlife.One of Coyote Creek Park’s main and heartfelt objectives is to strive to preserve plant and animal life that is native and indigenous to the California region.“Everything green that you see here, is all plant life that California is best known for,” explains Los Alamitos Mayor Richard D. Murphy. “We are working on things down here like this, and other cities 20 miles upstream are also striving to do the same. When it comes to preserving water, plant, and wildlife, we are all in this together. We are also just trying to work hard to create things that are beautiful to our citizen’s eyes, and are something to get them excited about while they are on their run or ride to the beach.”Coyote Creek Park does in fact offer a lot to the public in means of how vibrant and bright it looks. Various hues of red, orange, and yellow are sprinkled over the vast landscape which contains drought resistant plants and flowers like California Wild Roses, Sky Lupine, Blue Eyed Grass, and Black Sage. Blue Wild Rye is also a favorite within the area.“The park showcases regional and trademark greenery that is great in withstanding the dry climate that we have here, because of the drought,” Murphy said. “They do not need a lot of water to survive.”The Los Angeles’ Sanitation District will also be providing recycled water to not only Coyote Creek Park to help out with the conservation effort, but will be utilizing the water to help water Oak Middle School’s athletic fields.“The plants that we chose had to live in a drought environment like the desert, mountains, of even salty areas like the beach. They had to fit this criteria of staying healthy in dry conditions,” states Edgar. “The Coyote Creek Park is a passive park, but we still had to do all that we could to complete the tough architectural design.”Both Edgar and Murphy have plans to further beautify the city, and are now looking into fixing various sections of the bicycle path. They also have other projects that they are looking into in means of collaborating with other surrounding cities in the area.“For right now, I’d advise all tourists as well as our own citizens to give our new Park a stroll through, and to start your fun bike ride to the beach from right here. It’s a 5.5 mile run or ride from our trail to the beach,” says Edgar.In the meantime, the citizens of Los Alamitos will just have to wait in anticipation of what other awesome projects that Edgar and Murphy have in store for the city.

Cypress Police host National Night Out

The Cypress Police Department hosted another successful National Night Out at Veterans Park on Tuesday, Aug. 7.The event, which unfolded on a beautiful evening, was also held in 15,000 other communities across the United States, such as Hawaiian Gardens and Seal Beach.The purpose: to provide a once a year opportunity for the community and its first responders to become familiar in a non-emergency, non-violent setting.Several notable public figures made an appearance at the event in Cypress. This included Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Prakash Narain and other members of the Cypress City Council.

Magnesium could prevent fractures, say researchers

Bone fractures are one of the leading causes of disability and ill health especially among the aging population and this increases the burden on the health care system. It is well-known that calcium and vitamin D play an important role in bone health. Magnesium is an essential nutrient and is an important component of the bone. Though there have been suggestions that magnesium may have a beneficial effect on bone health, no study has been able to show its effect on bone fractures.

Researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Eastern Finland followed 2,245 middle-aged men over a 20-year period. They found that men with lower blood levels of magnesium had an increased risk of fractures, particularly fractures of the hip. The risk of having a fracture was reduced by 44 per cent in men with higher blood levels of magnesium. None of the 22 men who had very high magnesium levels (> 2.3 mg/dl) in the study population experienced a fracture during the follow-up period. In the same study, dietary magnesium intake was not found to be linked with fractures. A finding that has been consistently demonstrated in several previous studies.

Dr Setor Kunutsor, Research Fellow from the University of Bristol’s Musculoskeletal Research Unit and lead researcher, said: “The findings do suggest that avoiding low serum concentrations of magnesium may be a promising though unproven strategy for risk prevention of fractures.”

Although blood levels of magnesium depend on magnesium intake from food and water, this may not be the case for the elderly, people with certain bowel disorders, and those on certain medications. For such people, increasing the intake of foods rich in magnesium may not necessarily increase blood magnesium levels. Treating the underlying conditions and magnesium supplementation may be another way of avoiding low blood levels of magnesium.

These new findings may have public health implications as low blood levels of magnesium are very common in the population. This is especially among middle-aged to elderly individuals who are also prone to fractures. Majority of these individuals do not experience any symptoms. Since blood magnesium is not measured routinely in the hospital, individuals with low levels of magnesium are very difficult to identify. These findings could help trigger initiatives to include blood magnesium screening in routine blood panels, especially for the elderly.

Professor Jari Laukkanen from the University of Eastern Finland and principal investigator, said: “The overall evidence suggests that increasing serum magnesium concentrations may protect against the future risk of fractures; however, well-designed magnesium supplementation trials are needed to investigate these potential therapeutic implications.”