July 4th: The Truths We Hold

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“We hold these Truths to be self-evident,

that all Men are created equal,

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

— That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men,

deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed,

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States, that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

    —  The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

Ceremony to Honor 84 Airmen and Marines Killed in 1965 MCAS El Toro Crash this Sat., June 27, in Hanger 244 in the Great Park

C135 Fifty years ago, on June 25, 1965, at 0135, an Air Force C-135A Stratolifter took off in fog and light drizzle from Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (in what in now Irvine’s Great Park) and headed for Okinawa. Aboard were 12 U.S. Air Force crew members and 72 U.S. Marines on their way to join the fight in Vietnam. MCAS_ElToroAt 0146, about 4 miles from the control tower, the jet disappeared from radar.

For reasons still unknown, the plane did not (or could not) make a planned left turn and instead flew directly into Loma Ridge.  The plane was destroyed on impact, killing all 84 people on board.

It was the worst air disaster in California history.

At the time of the crash, a Marine officer said if the plane lacked power and went into its bank “it might have wiped out a part of [the City of] Orange.”  He speculated that the pilot might have acted to avert an even worse disaster by keeping the plane on a straight course.

This Saturday, June 27, 2015, in MCAS El Toro’s historic Hanger 244 in the Great Park, there will be a Dedication Ceremony of a  Memorial Kiosk designed by local Eagle Scout Jordan Fourcher honoring the United States Airmen and Marines who perished in the Loma Ridge crash.

Map showing location of where U.S. Air Force C-135 aircraft crashed after leaving El Toro Marine Corps Air Station killing all 84 on board. This graphic was published in the June 26, 1965 Los Angeles Times.

Map showing location of where U.S. Air Force C-135 aircraft crashed after leaving El Toro Marine Corps Air Station killing all 84 on board. This graphic was published in the June 26, 1965 Los Angeles Times.

The Memorial Dedication Ceremony will take place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

There will be a Missing Man formation flyover with WWII aircraft.

Relatives of the men who lost their lives in the crash and many veterans who served with them will be in attendance.

You can find a map and directions here.

Please dress business casual. The U.S. Marine Corps and Boy Scout Honor and Color Guard will be in Full Dress Uniforms.

Pictures and memories of the 84 Airmen and Marines who perished can be found at the 1965 El Toro Marine Crash Memorial Page.

This is another opportunity to learn more about Irvine’s proud military heritage and why the former MCAS El Toro continues to hold such tremendous significance for area veterans. As the daughter of a combat veteran and as an Irvine resident, I believe that a portion of the Great Park in Irvine, once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, is the perfect location for a Veterans Cemetery and Memorial and a fitting commemoration of Irvine’s proud military heritage. I strongly support the veterans who are now insisting that the Irvine City Council keep its promise.

The men who perished were:

United States Air Force Flight Crew:

Pilot: Capt. William F. Cordell, Jr., 27, GA
Copilot: First Lt. John A Zietke, Jr., 27, MI
Copilot: First Lt. Gary M. Rigsbee, 23, CA
Navigator: Capt. Jacques G. Senecal, 32, CA
Navigator: First Lt. Robert H. K. Shannon, 29
Flight Engineer: S/Sgt James E. Burns, 29, IL
Load Master: S/Sgt Bobby L. Calhoun, 28
Flight Engineer: M/Sgt William H. Meredith, 34, KY
Flight Engineer: T/Sgt Marlin W. Tatom, 41, MI
Load Master: Airman 3/C Elwood C. Van Nole, Jr., 19
Flight Traffic Specialist: Airman 1/C Charles A. Reives, 23
Cadet Gary L. Zimmerman, 20, class of 1967, Air Force Academy

United States Marine Corps:

PFC Dwight L. Aldridge, 18, AR
PFC Russell J. Babcock, JR., 19, Tomkins Cove, NY
PFC Roger J. Beiter, 18, W. Seneca, N. Y.
Lance Cpl William B. Breen, 20, Bellefonte, Penn.
Cpl James Harold Brock, 25, Birmingham, Ohio.
Cpl Emerson K. Brown, 24, Kent, Wash.
Lance Cpl Jimmie E. Brown, 24.
Lance Cpl John G. Brusso, Jr., 22, Ontario, N. Y.
Cpl George C. Burrow, 20, Norman, Ark.
Cpl Tucker Ross Burt, 24, Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
Cpl Phillip V. Caraccio, 24
Cpl Paul T. Chapin, 21, Coronado, Calif.
Cpl George E. College, 21, Davisburg, Mich.
Cpl Donald A. Davidson, 19, MI
Lance Cpl Douglas D. Everett, 19, Allentown, Pa.
PFC Rosco Ford, 24, Miami, Fla.
Capt Victor M. Girodengo, 28, San Diego, Calif.
Cpl Thomas Barton Gladstone, 25, Largo, Fla.
PFC Dickie L. Glover, 32, Muskegon, Mich.
PFC Gerald Griffith, 18, Jackson, Miss.
PFC Henry D Grimm, 18
Lance Cpl Howard D. Hall, 18, Winfield, Kan.
Lance Cpl Gail K. Haning, 23, Albany, Ohio.
Cpl Charles Harmon, 21, Estill, S. C.
Lance Cpl Robert E. Harvey, 18, Upland, Calif.
PFC Harry R. Hawk, 20, Oberlin, Penn.
PFC Gerald G. Hawkins, 18, Mableton, Ga.
PFC Kenneth J Haywood, 21
Lance Cpl Danny E. Holder, 18, Nashville, Tenn.
Lance Cpl Joseph M Kelly, 18
PFC James T. Kitchens, 19, Madleton, Ga.
Cpl William R. Kittel, 28, Suisun City, Calif.
Sgt James E. Lee, 28, Compton, Calif.
Sgt Richard W Leeman, 19
Lance Cpl Robert C Lisicki, 23
Cpl Michael J. Mando, JR., 22, Tayler, Pa.
Lance Cpl Brian Elvin Martin, 20, Minersville, Pa.
Cpl James V. Matruski, 23, Johnson City, N. Y.
Cpl Henry B McKine, 18, CA
PFC James D Meade, 21
PFC Joseph D Mogelinski, 18, Greenfield, Mass.
Capt Edward M. Morehead, 27, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Sgt James C. Moultrie, 18, Moza City, Okinawa.
Cpl Anthony E. Nelson, 22, Wilmington, Calif.
PFC Franklin Newman, 20, Loomis, N. J.
Cpl Rich G. Pacheco, 20, Portland, Ore.
Lance Cpl Enrique Danny Padilla, 20, Santa Rosa, N. M.
Cpl Michael A. Palmieri, 28, Elmira, N. Y.
Lance Cpl Alfred Eugene Peterson, 20, Littleton Commons, Mass.
Cpl Edward P. Ray, 23,
PFC Robert J. Rhodes, 19, Patterson, N. J.
PFC Ronald Richard Richert, 18, Pontiac, Mich.
Cpl Lawrence O. Rohde, 22, Las Vegas, NV
PFC Gerald W. Ross, 19
Pvt. Robert S. Shedis, 22, Calumet Park, Ill.
PFC Joseph B. Sheppard, 18, Philadelphia, Pa.
Sgt Jackson Sinyard, Jr., 33
Sgt Gerald Skidmore, 18, Cincinnati, Ohio.
PFC Arthur Slaughter, 23, Pittsburgh, Pa.
PFC Quinton Smith, 22
Cpl Theodore Eugene Stark, 24, Louisville, KY
Lance Cpl Charles L. Stevens, 18, Cambridge, Ohio.
Lance Cpl Jimmie I. Swink, 26
Lance Cpl James C. Tischer, 20, Hannibal, Mo.
Cpl Timothy M. Treweek, 24, Los Angeles
PFC Lawrence R. Vanness, 19, Rochester, N. Y.
Cpl Elwood C Vannote, 19
Cpl Harrison Wallace, 25, Clemens, Ala.
Cpl David E. Walsh, 18
PFC Ralph E White, 23, IN
Cpl James R. Wilson, 24, IN
Sgt William J Wilson, 29, MO

Honoring Irvine’s Military Heritage: Reception in Hanger 244 in the Great Park on Sat., June 20th

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From 1942 to 1999, the Irvine area was home to Marine Air Station El Toro, the largest Marine Corps Air Station on the West Coast.

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MCAS El Toro patch designed by Walt Disney in 1944.

During World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, thousands of United States Marines, as well as airmen, sailors and soldiers, departed for war from MCAS El Toro.

Many never returned.

In July 2014 the Irvine City Council voted to approve 125 acres in what was once MCAS El Toro and is now the Great Park as a Veterans Cemetery and Memorial.

As the daughter of a combat veteran and as an Irvine resident, I believe that a portion of the Great Park in Irvine, once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, is the perfect location for a Veterans Cemetery and a fitting memorial to Irvine’s proud military heritage.

I strongly support the veterans who are now insisting that the City Council keep its promise.

This Saturday, June 20, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., the Great Park’s historic Hanger 244 will host an opening reception for the Heritage and Aviation Exhibition, featuring images, displays and artifacts that tell the story of the Great Park’s role as Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.

The exhibition includes:

  • World War II Airplanes – N3N Canary and SNJ-5 Texan
  • Air Force C-135A Stratolifter Memorial – in honor of the 84 United States Marines and Airmen who perished in the tragic Loma Ridge crash 50 years ago on June 25, 1965.

The exhibition will remain open until 4:00 p.m. following the reception.  Regular exhibition hours will be Thursdays and Fridays from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public.

You can find a map and directions here.

The exhibit is a terrific opportunity to learn more about Irvine’s proud military heritage and why the former MCAS El Toro continues to hold such tremendous significance for area veterans.

I hope to see you there!

Join Me in the Ride of Silence, Tonight, Weds., May 20, to Honor Cyclists Killed or Injured and Promote Sharing the Road

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Join us tonight as we once again meet at Irvine City Hall to remember and honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.

rideofsilence.01We ride tonight to promote sharing the road, and provide awareness of the rights and safety of bicyclists.  Our silent ride also commemorates those who have been killed or injured doing what each of us has a right to do – a right that, far too often, motorists fail to recognize, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Irvine is a wonderful city for biking, whether for commuting, exercising, or just enjoying the outdoors. We have 301 miles of on-street bike lanes and 54 miles of off-street bikeways.  Our bicycle trails are some of the most beautiful, and peaceful, places in Irvine.

Yet in Irvine, as everywhere else, motorists must learn to better share the road safely with cyclists; that cyclists have the same rights to the road as motorists; and that cyclists are the most vulnerable users of the roadways.

Since last year’s ride, 13 bicyclists have been killed in Orange County.  That is far too many. These individuals were fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, co-workers, as well as cyclists.  We have no idea of the impact they may have had in this world because their lives was taken by a motorist.

Tonight’s Ride of Silence is part of a larger, international movement to commemorate cyclists killed or injured while riding on public roads and to raise awareness among motorists of the dangers they pose to cyclists.

As a bicyclist myself, as the mother of a bicyclist, as an Irvine resident and Community Services Commissioner, as an advocate for more active transportation as a way to cut pollution and our reliance on fossil fuels, I am honored to ride with you.

The Ride of Silence asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride. There are no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

When: Wednesday, May 20. Gather at 6 PM. Assemble at 6:30 PM. Ride at 7 PM.

Where: Irvine Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza (near the flag poles in front of the Police Department).

The Irvine Police Department has been invited to participate and provide support in escorting again for the ride.

More information, click here for the Orange County Bicycle Coalition or click here for Ride of Silence Orange County.

You can also learn more, and show your support, on the Ride of Silence – Irvine Facebook page and the Ride of Silence – National Facebook page.

In Memoriam  –  Bicyclists killed in Orange County since last year’s Ride of Silence:

Jordan Ames, 21 (May 30, 2014, Santa Ana)
John Colvin, 55 (June 17, Laguna Beach)
Rafael Correa, 19 (July 5, Fullerton)
Artemio Ortiz, 56 (August 1, Orange)
Michael Bastien, 55 (September 1, Huntington Beach)
William Rowland, 61 (September 5, Huntington Beach)
Shaun Eagleson, 30 ( October 19, Newport Coast)
Daniella Palacios, 44 (November 1, Anaheim)
Cesar Labastida, 74 (November 15, Laguna Woods)
Hassan Davoodiara, 69 (November 15, Santa Ana)
Vihn Tran, 36 (December 27, Fountain Valley)
Timothy Binau, 41 (April 1, 2015, Anaheim)
Robert Horton, 62 (May 4, 2015, Santa Ana)

Swimming Pool Safety: Simple Steps Save Young Lives

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A five-year-old boy in Irvine is in critical condition after being found in the family’s backyard swimming pool.  According to the Orange County Fire Authority, drowning accidents are the leading cause of injury/deaths among children under 5.  More than 80 percent of the drownings occur in residential backyard pools or spas.  It can happen quickly, without warning, without a splash and without a cry for help.

pool safety.01Recently, there has been an increase in pool drownings in Orange County. O.C. Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said that “We need to stop this trend before it gets worse. We’re not even into our summer months and we’re already into our 16th drowning call of the year, eight of those have been fatal.”

To make our swimming pools as safe as possible, please practice Irvine’s suggested pool safety guidelines, learn CPR, and teach your children how to swim.

Here are Irvine’s Swimming Pool Safety guidelines:

SECURE THE POOL AREA

Professionally install a pool fence that is five feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings. Tables, chairs, tree branches or other protrusions should be moved away from the fence to prevent a young child from getting over, under or through the fence.

Gates should be self-closing and self-latching, opening outward, away from the pool. The gate latch should be placed at the top of the gate and be inaccessible from the outside by small children.

All doors and windows leading to the pool should always be secured and locked at all times.

Additional “layers of protection” include safety covers, alarms on doors and motion-detection devices.

Safety equipment, such as a ring buoy and shepherd’s crook, should always be available.

ALWAYS HAVE ADULT SUPERVISION

Swim lessons, flotation devices and safety equipment should never be substitutes for proper adult supervision at all times. Twenty-five percent of all drowning victims have had swimming lessons.

NEVER leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.

Assign an adult Water Watcher to supervise the pool/spa area, especially during social gatherings.

Babysitters and guardians should always be instructed about potential hazards in and around the pool.

If a child is missing, check the pool first.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Set water safety rules for the whole family before entering the water, including:

a. Always enter the water feet first and look before you leap.
b. Swim with a buddy in a supervised area. Never swim alone.
c. Avoid entrapment: suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer under water.
d. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.
e. Do not let children sit or play on pool drains.

Keep toys away from the pool, when not in use, to prevent young children from falling in after a toy.

Keep a telephone outside the pool area. Post the 9-1-1 emergency number on the telephone.

Another great place to find swimming pool safety tips is here.

Orange County Red Cross aquatics safety classes and training can be found here.

Orange County Red Cross first aid and CPR classes and training be found here.

Swimming is fun and healthy, and we’re blessed here in Irvine with terrific weather for swimming much of the year.  Now let’s do everything we can to protect our children and enjoy our swimming pools safely. Taking s few simple steps will save young lives.

Join the Irvine Police Department this Saturday, May 9, for “Push-Ups for Charity” to Benefit U.S. Military Veterans and their Families

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Join the men and women of the Irvine Police Department this Saturday, May 9, 2015, for the 5th Annual Irvine Police Department Push-Ups For Charity event!

Push-Ups for Charity is an annual event that raises awareness of the challenges military service members and veterans face, and raises money to support their unique needs.

IPD Patch New (Layered)Push-Ups for Charity participants can collect donations from friends and family with the promise to perform as many push-ups as possible in 90 seconds.

It doesn’t matter how many pushups you can do, everyone can do their part to support America’s heroes. Big and small, near and far, we need YOU to get involved.

Each pushup completed raises much-needed funds for the Boot Campaign, a national nonprofit that promotes patriotism, raises awareness and provides vital assistance for our nation’s heroes and their families.

push ups for charity.01Come out to support the competition this Saturday at 9;00 am between SWAT teams from police departments around Orange County, members of the Orange County Fire Authority, military veterans, high school students, and many others!

Do you want to compete? You can sign up as an individual or with a team here:

Anyone interested in participating but not competing can join the open session, which eliminates the pressures of competition. This fun event is open to everyone!

This year, we’ll open the event at 7:30 am with the 2nd annual 5K Fun Run/Walk. This is a great $35 alternative for those who want to get involved, but are not interested in the push up challenge!

Click here to register as a Host for $125 (includes training, marketing materials, and 10 official PUC 2015 t-shirts) or a Participant for $25 (includes an official PUC 2015 t-shirt. Choose your size upon checkout.).

What: Push-Ups for Charity (benefits United States military veterans.and their families).

Where: Irvine Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606-5207.

When: Saturday, May 9, 2015. 7:30 am for the 5K Fun Run/Walk and 9:00 am for Push-Ups for Charity.

Help the Irvine Police Department make a difference in the lives of America’s veterans!

Get Fit, Have Fun and Make a Difference!

Come to the Irvine Animal Care Center’s 2015 Super Pet Adoption Event, Sunday, June 7!

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Be sure not to miss Irvine’s Ninth Annual Super Pet Adoption event on Sunday, June 7 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

More than 50 pet rescue groups and animal shelters will bring more than 800 homeless dogs, cats, rabbits and small animals for adoption.

The event will also feature vendors, refreshments, free veterinarian and trainer advice, low-cost microchips and a silent auction of more than 40 items.

Admission is only $1.00 per person and parking is free.

Irvine Community Services Commissioner Melissa Fox and Scout Fox at the Annual Super Pet Adoption Event in 2014.

Irvine Community Services Commissioner Melissa Fox and Scout Fox at the Annual Super Pet Adoption Event in 2014.

Leashed and vaccinated dogs are welcome.

The event will take place at the Irvine Animal Care Center’s facility located at 6443 Oak Canyon Road, Irvine, CA 92618.

To volunteer, click here.

To apply as a vendor, rescue or shelter, click here.

To become a sponsor, click here.

To see the event rules and regulations, click here.

The Animal Care Center still needs items for the silent auction and opportunity drawing. Sought items include pet items, restaurant gift cards, theme park tickets, electronics and gift baskets. Items are tax-deductible. Please mail or drop off your items by May 22.

If you have additional questions, contact the Irvine Animal Care Center here.

See you there!

What: Irvine’s Ninth Annual Super Pet Adoption Event

When: Sunday, June 7 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. 

Where: Irvine Animal Care Center’s facility located at 6443 Oak Canyon Road, Irvine, CA 92618.