Cypress girl wins scream contest

Leilani Ngo-Harris, 8, of Cypress won first place in the Scream Contest during the 18th Annual Trick or Treat Festival on Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Orange County Market Place, the weekend swap meet at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. Harris was among 15 contestants to compete in the seven to 12 year old division for the 5th Annual I Scream for Ice Cream Contest presented by Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours. She won a trophy and a $60 zoo party from Farrell’s. Themed “Frightfully Fun”, the all- day event also featured the 16th Annual Halloween Hearse, Bug and Monster Show for classic, antique and restored hearses, ambulances and other funeral cars as well as a division for vintage VW Bugs; the Frightfully Creative Costume Contest presented by Lakeshore Learning Center for handmade costumes, the Frightfully Dead Costume Contest presented by El Torito Restaurants and a Day of the Dead Costume Contest presented by Who Song & Larry’s Cantina. In addition there was free trick or treating, face painting, Day of the Dead dance performances, FreakShow Deluxe’s carnival side show attractions, puppet making, magic shows, a reptile exhibition, strolling entertainment, sing-alongs, karaoke and other Halloween activities. The Orange County Market Place is held every weekend from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa. For more information visit or call 949-723-6660.

Morris School to hold grand reopening

On Oct. 4, at 9 a.m., students and staff at Juliet Morris School of the Cypress School District will give the community an opportunity to celebrate with them at the school’s Grand Reopening.This event will showcase the improvements made possible through modernization funds from the Measure M General Obligation Bond approved by voters in 2008.Morris is the third school in the Cypress School District to be modernized. Highlights of modernization include SMART Board technology in every classroom, including SMART Boards, projectors, and document cameras, new computers, new classroom and lab printers, along with a new server and Reading Counts network software, an electronic marquee, and new playground equipment.The modernization schedule for the rest of the Cypress School District is as follows:-2012-13 school year: Luther modernization-2013-14 school year: Arnold modernization-2014-15 school year: Landell modernization-2015-16 school year: all sites contingency projects

Cypress names Rod Cox as chief of police

Cypress City Manager Peter Grant announced the appointment of Rod Cox, a 24 ½ year veteran of the Cypress Police Department, as chief of police.“Rod’s experience and commitment will serve Cypress well,” said Grant. “Rod is a problem solver and a good communicator. He is widely involved and respected in the community and a valued member of the Cypress team.”Cox started his career as a Cypress police officer in 1990 and worked his way up through the ranks. Under Cox’s leadership, the Cypress Police Department recently completed its first strategic plan. The plan includes goals and strategies developed in concert with employees – a reflection of Cox’s commitment to improving communication with the department and community. Raised in Buena Park and a graduate of Savanna High School, Chief Cox enlisted in the United States Army and served honorably in the Military Police Corps. He earned his bachelor of arts from California State University, Long Beach, and a master of arts degree in Organizational Leadership fromBrandmanUniversity. He is also a graduate of the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute.“I am truly humbled by this honor to serve our great city, its valued community members, and our Police Department as Chief of Police,” Chief Cox said. “I will work hard to strengthen community relationships, to keep people safe, and continue to build upon the quality public safety services that reduce crime and improve the quality of life for the Cypress community.”“It’s great to see one of our police officers come up through the ranks and become chief,” said Mayor Rob Johnson. “I have great confidence in his leadership and look forward to his contributions as chief.”Cox is also very involved in the Cypress community, serving as a board member of the Cypress Police Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Cypress, and through his support of Special Olympics Southern California. He is actively engaged in professional associations, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the California Police Chiefs Association, California Police Officers Association, and the Orange County Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs Association.Since 2004, Chief Cox has served as an executive training officer and adjunct instructor at the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center, where he teaches the next generation of law enforcement. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, riding his mountain bike, traveling, and cooking.A badge pinning ceremony will take place at the Cypress Community Centeron Aug. 18at 5 p.m. The community is welcomed and encouraged.

Americana Awards to honor Pat and Roberta O’Toole

Jenelle Bader, Chair of the 2015 Cypress College Foundation Americana Awards, announced at the Jan. 12 Cypress City Council meeting, the selection of Pat and Roberta O’Toole as the Cypress 2015 Citizens of the Year and recipients of the Americana Award.Long-time Cypress residents, Pat and Roberta O’Toole are well-known throughout the community. Pat served as commissioner on the city’s Recreation & Community Services commission from 2009 – 2013. Roberta is the on-site manager of the Tanglewood North Homeowners Association.Serving as a member of the Cypress Woman’s Club, each year she coordinates a project called the Buddy Boxes that are provided to the veterans at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital. For several years Pat and Roberta were known as the PR team for the Cypress Community Festival Association.They took hundreds of pictures and wrote many articles that appeared in the Event News and the News Enterprise papers, in addition to coordinating the festival‘s printed programs. As a result of their public relations talents, the event became more popular and increased in attendance. Membership in CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) requires members to attend informative training sessions and to pass the required exams.Both Pat and Roberta are CERT members and have assisted with various county disasters such as seasonal fires.The 40th annual Cypress College Americana Awards presentation will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, in the grand ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. On this date Pat and Roberta O’Toole will be recognized as the Cypress 2015 Citizens of the Year, an award of the highest merit for these two extraordinary Cypress residents.

Crime Briefs: Ezra pulls weapon on Cypress cops

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, at approximately 1:42 p.m., Cypress Police Officers were dispatched to the parking lot of the Cypress Police Department (5275 Orange Ave.) in regards to a theft suspect, later identified as Kelsie Ezra, 30, who was brought to the police department by her grandmother.Earlier in the day, the grandmother reported a petty theft and believed her granddaughter was the suspect. As the grandmother pulled into the parking lot in front of the police department, the female immediately exited the vehicle, holding a large knife, and began walking toward officers, who were already waiting in front of the building.The officers began to give verbal commands to Ezra to drop the knife. The female allegedly refused to comply with the commands and then placed the knife against her own neck.While holding the knife to her own neck, she allegedly and repeatedly yelled “shoot me.” She then yelled at the officers that she had a gun and planned to kill them.At the same time, Ezra began making exaggerated, furtive movements with her free hand down the front of her waistband while threatening to shoot the officers.Fearing that the female would either harm herself or assault the offices on scene, a beanbag shotgun was deployed. Two rounds were fired and both struck the female in the chest, causing her to immediately drop the knife and fall to the ground.Ezra was quickly taken into custody and treated for undisclosed injuries at a local hospital. Ezra remains in police custody at an undisclosed hospital for a handful of charges, including threatening to kill a police officer, possession of a dagger, petty theft, brandishing a weapon, and for an outstanding $15,000 warrant.CYPRESSWednesday, Oct. 3Suspicious Person – 10:22 a.m. – 5500 block of Marcella Ave. – A black male, in his 20s, wearing a blue baseball hat, kept walking past vehicles, looking inside the windows and then inside water hoses. The caller said the subject was unknown in the area. Officers responded and found people passing out fliers, but did not locate the subject.Petty Theft – 12:23 p.m. – 9200 Valley View (Cypress College) – Officers recovered a stolen bike that a subject had purchased from an alleged thief. The property was recovered.Suspicious Circumstances – 2:27 p.m. – 6212 Rosemary Drive – Caller knows residents are at work and heard sounds of breaking glass. Caller heard sounds two times in last five minutes. No movement was seen and nothing else was heard. Officers responded and everything checked out.DUI – 5:11 p.m. – Valley View/Lincoln – Caller reported a blue Trail Blazer, which was swerving. Caller attempted to follow the vehicle, and officers attempted to find it, but the vehicle drove outside of the jurisdiction so officers gave up the pursuit.

Race course back on track

Horses were back on the training at Los Alamitos Race Course following the unveiling of the new mile oval. The mile track is open for business,” said track consultant Brad McKinzie.Trainers conditioned their horses on the newly expanded mile track on Tuesday. Thoroughbred trainers across town are currently moving into the Los Alamitos barn area and their horses will likely start training on the track as early as this weekend.“By next Tuesday, we’ll see a lot more horses on this track, McKinzie added.In addition to serving its current horse population, the Orange County oval will also operate as a stabling and training facility for top tier thoroughbreds within the Southern California circuit. Los Alamitos will also host five weeks of daytime thoroughbred racing in addition to its existing nighttime quarter horse and thoroughbred racing meet.Los Alamitos will conduct a two-week thoroughbred daytime meet starting on Thursday, July 3 through Sunday, July 13 and a three-week thoroughbred daytime meet on Thursday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 21.

Voters reject Measure A

Voters in Cypress went to the polls on Tuesday, June 25, and voted against Measure A and the proposed development of a portion of the former Los Alamitos Golf Course property.The council approved restrictive covenants on the property on Monday, May 13, and owner Christo Bardis said he wanted to work with the city and make the majority of property residential. The restrictions won endorsement from the council and local group Citizens for Responsible Development, but the days leading up to the election brought many people who opposed the project to the city council, advising residents not to be fooled a second time. Voters approved Measure L in 2012 thinking they were voting for a senior center at Katella Avenue and Enterprise Drive, and now face a proposed truck facility from Pro Logis, based in San Francisco.The unofficial results showed 4,514 “No” votes for 69 percent of the vote, with the “Yes” votes totaling 1,922 for 31 percent. The election attracted 6,211 of the city’s 24,891 voters to the polls. Voters overwhelmingly preferred mailing their ballots as 4,514 voters (72.7 percent) voted from their homes.The end result means no development on the former Los Alamitos Golf Course property, for now, and the area will remain open space.Citizens for Responsible Development Director Steven Mauss endorsed Measure A, and said throughout the special election his group worked hard to help restore integrity and trust in our political process.“Our primary short-term goal was to ensure that voters would get what they voted for,” he said. “If they were presented a plan to build single-family housing, that is what a “Yes” vote would bring. If they chose instead to leave the Measure A land as open space, that is what a “No” vote would bring. The voters have now made their choice and the results of the election must be respected.“We in the CFRD look forward to continuing our work with all interested parties to promote responsible development in Cypress that includes a balance of open space, residential, and commercial land uses, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to participate in our democracy. We encourage all to stay engaged to help promote a high quality of life in our communities through active, civil, open, and honest discourse.”Resident Dave Emerson called the election a huge defeat for golf course owner Christo Bardis and the Cypress City Council.“City Attorney William Wynder and City Manager John Bahorski led the charge, along with Councilman Doug Bailey,” he said “The ‘No’ votes defeated the ‘Yes’ votes by 69 to 31 percent even after Bardis outspent the “No on A” people almost $50 to $1. If the Cypress City Council doesn't change their tune and reject ProLogis outright, unwind Measure L, and get a new City Attorney and maybe a new City Manager, it's time to change the council, starting with Bardis' $30,000 hired gun Doug Bailey.It may also be time for Citizens for Responsible Development to change their top leadership.”An email to City Hall seeking council comment on the election was not returned before press time.The next Cypress City Council meeting is Monday, July 8.

Quirk-Silva has measures signed into law

Over the course of the 2013-2014 legislative session, 15 pieces of legislation authored by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (AD-65) were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva’s chaptered legislation will support California businesses, create jobs, provide crucial services and support for our veterans as well as for some of our most vulnerable populations including foster care youth and the homeless.“This past term in the California State Legislature, I have been so honored to have the opportunity to bring the voices of the 65th Assembly District to Sacramento. Our community stood up for a meaningful, well-rounded legislative package that fights for our veterans, advocates for our children, paves the way for businesses to thrive and provides a better home for all. I look forward to continuing this work with my colleagues to ensure that our communities can continue moving forward,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva.During the 2013-14 legislative session, the following 15 measures authored by Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva have been signed and chaptered into law:AB 13 – Non-Resident Tuition Exemption: VeteransAB 221– Recycled ConcreteAB 409 – Political Reform Act of 1974: Online FilingAB 466 – Federal Transportation FundsAB 530 – Vote by Mail Telephone ApplicationsAB 674 – MicroenterpriseAB 701 – Property Tax Revenue Allocation: Orange CountyAB 1045 – Sterile Compounding & Non-Residential PharmaciesAB 1453 – Orange County Veterans CemeteryAB 1560 – California Competes Tax CreditAB 1733 – Public Records: Fee WaiverAB 2454 – Foster Youth: Non-Minor DependentsAB 2664 – Military Family Relief FundAB 2668 – Foster Care: Non-Minor Dependent Parents AB 1397 – (V.A. Committee) State Workforce: Veterans Preference Data

Steggell vying for La Palma Council

La Palma realtor Michele Steggell has decided it's "her time" to run for City Council.Addressing a crowd of nearly 200 well-wishers and supporters in La Palma City Park Saturday, Steggell said she has three goals for the city.Those goals include: public safety, fiscal responsibility and improving the quality of life in La Palma."Four years ago, I was asked by several people to run for City Council, but 'now' is the right time," said Steggell as she addressed those attending her kickoff. "The people are saying we need a woman on council, so I decided to give it a try."Steggell is a 44-year resident of La Palma, where she attended Walker Junior High School and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School."As a realtor, Michele has walked all of the streets of La Palma and knows the community," said former La Palma mayor Keith Nelson. "She has been very active in the city and it's always important to have divergent views," he said."Michele is an amazing person," said Jan Jensen. "I know her through the Kiwanis, where she has scheduled more than 37 educational and informative programs for our group and she supports education."Jensen explained that Steggell has helped with projects for children in the community with pancake and hotdog events to raise money for schools and the community."She has helped with goodie bags for the 1st CEB Marine Battalion and participated with a bowling fundraiser and organized fundraisers for Kiwanis projects along with the Relay For Life and is already planning the 2015 Relay," Jensen said."Michele has lived in the city since she was 1 year-old, and is truly committed to this city and that's why I support and invite you to support Michele Steggell for the 2014 City Council," Jensen concluded.It's true that Steggell is no stranger to community service, as she is currently a member of La Palma's Activities and Beautification (CAB), a board member and Block Caption of the Neighborhood Watch, the program director of the Kiwanis Club and will be the 2014/15 Secretary.She works with the Cypress Americana College Foundation, where she helps with the Auction and she's also an Americana La Palma Committee Member.