Category Archives: Government Services

Mike McGroarty

Mike McGroarty, former Fire Chief of La Habra, was honored at Station 193 Thursday morning. He died June 7. (Photo credit: Cindy Cotter)

This morning Mike McGroarty was honored at L.A. County Fire Station 193, in La Habra. McGroarty, former fire chief of the La Habra Fire Department, died June 7 of prostate cancer. Before leaving La Habra, he’d pushed for a station in the hills when new neighborhoods began to spring up in the former oil fields. Later he went on to a distinguished career in search and rescue and disaster management.

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The ceremony was brief. Fire Chaplain Elvin Miranda spoke, a flag was raised to half mast, lowered, then ceremonially folded and presented to McGroarty’s wife, Dee.

A flag was raised to half-mast, then lowered as part of the memorial Thursday morning at Fire Station 193 in La Habra. (Photo credit: Cindy Cotter)

After being briefly flown at half mast, the flag was ceremonially folded. (Photo credit: Cindy Cotter)

Deputy Chief John Tripp presented the folded flag to Dee McGroarty, former chief Mike McGroarty's widow. (Photo credit: Cindy Cotter)

La Habra Mayor Steve Simonian and Councilwoman Rose Espinoza were among those who gathered to honor former Chief Mike McGroarty (Photo credit: Cindy Cotter)

Jarrod Dye, 3 years old, is practicing to follow in his father's footsteps. He's behind the wheel of Engine 29. 1929 was the the year that La Habra's first city fire department was formed. (Photo credit: Cindy Cotter)

Links:
The Orange County Register has excellent coverage of today’s memorial, including photos and a video.

A work-related biography from McGroarty’s own site.

Previous posts on this site about fire services:

Sand Bags were available behind Station 193 during last winter’s heavy rains.

Fire Station 194 Has a New Home, as of March 22.

Dedication of Fire Station 194 (See a councilman slide down a fire pole!)

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Dedication of Fire Station 194

On May 20, the ribbon was cut for Fire Station 194. Here’s a slideshow of the event. (Turn your sound on.)

And here’s my story about the station posted the day after it opened for business:  Fire Station 194 Has a New Home

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Road Work Ahead – Expect Delays

Ten years of planning have finally culminated in an onslaught of road construction projects on Imperial Highway in La Habra. By the end of the year we should have a shiny new street, but the immediate effect has been the opposite. Lanes are closed, traffic is often clogged, driveways are blocked making access to some businesses challenging, and bus stops have been eliminated. Shop owners have told me off the record that their business is down. Continue reading

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Fire Station 194 Has a New Home

I won’t be at La Habra Mayor Steve Simonian’s state of the city address tomorrow morning, but I think I can safely predict one of the accomplishments that he will announce.

In January 2007, Mayor James Gomez  said that property had been purchased  for a new fire station. Mayor Rose Espinoza said a retaining wall had been built in her 2008 address. Mayor Tom Beamish told the assemblage a year ago that construction had begun. And last night a crew of firefighters from Station 194 spent their first night in the newly-finished firehouse. Continue reading

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Protesters March to Fullerton City Hall

Protester marching against development of West Coyote Hills in Fullerton, Feb. 16, 2010. (Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

About 75 people gathered in front of the Fox Theater on the corner of Harbor and Chapman Tuesday evening before marching through Fullerton to the city council meeting in a protest organized by Friends of Coyote Hills to oppose  development of 510 acres of open land in West Coyote Hills. The Council will decide later this year whether to approve a zoning change which would allow Pacific Coast Homes, a subsidiary of Chevron, to build housing there. Continue reading

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Repaving Idaho-Photos

Idaho Street south of Risner in La Habra Saturday late Saturday afternoon. (Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

The stretch of Idaho Street, south of Imperial Highway, is usually a pleasant drive. The road drops out of the Coyote Hills, passing upscale homes, a park and a golf course. La Habra spreads out ahead of you, with the Puente Hills and beyond them the San Gabriel Mountains providing the perfect backdrop. The traffic is light, the scenery is pleasant.

Except for last Saturday.

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

Idaho was being repaved. I was there from about four till a little after five in the evening. The sun was low, the air smelled like asphalt, traffic was backed up, and tempers were rising. Only one lane (instead of two) was open in each direction, but even that was periodically closed by heavy equipment. Cars weren’t moving at all.

Idaho Street in La Habra, just south of Risner, Saturday afternoon, Feb. 13, 2010. (Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

(Photo credit:Cindy Cotter)

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Fallen Tree

On Monday Officer Montanez, from the Santa Fe Springs office of the California Highway Patrol, discovered a fallen tree in at the corner of Larrylyn Drive and Woodbriar Drive by Rancho Starbuck Intermediate School in unincorporated Whittier.

He called Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, then sat in his patrol car, lights flashing, and waited.

He was there when my daughter and I drove past on our way to see The Lovely Bones and was still there when we came home. During that time he kept a watchful eye to be sure the obstruction caused no further harm, leaving only once to back up another officer.

Eventually he was relieved by Officer Aravejo who taped off the tree.

Later in the afternoon a crew from the Department of Public Works arrived in flourescent yellow gear and removed the tree. They were still working after sunset, but by early evening the road was clear and the hazard was gone.

–Cindy Cotter

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