Downey to add sculptures to civic theatre plaza


Staff and Wire Reports

DOWNEY — Two show-business type sculptures will grace the plaza of the Downey Civic Theatre, 8431 Firestone Blvd. Installation is expected to be in January.

Renovation of the 700-seat theater is nearing completion and the plaza also will be upgraded, officials said.

The City Council Oct. 13 approved an agreement with J.K. Designs, doing business as the National Sculptures Guild, to install the sculptures by Guild member Jane DeDecker.

Her sculptures are “The Conductor,” a music director leading his musicians in a selection; and “Waiting In The Wings,” featuring a dancer leaning over to tie her shoe before a performance, said Community Development Director Aldo E. Schindler.

Artist Alyson Kinkade collaborated with DeDecker on the dancer artwork, Schindler added.

Total estimated cost of the artwork is estimated at $70,000, Schindler said. The city also will pay an annual maintenance fee of $1,000, he said.

Funds will come from Downey’s 2005 Art in Public Places law, which assesses developers a percentage of their project value for art wither at the development site or as an in lieu cash payment to the City to place art works on public property.

Live performances at the theatre will resume once state and county health requirements to fight the COVID-19 virus allows.

Intoxicated mother

of infant arrested

NORWALK — Sheriff’s deputies responding to a false home-invasion call wound up arresting a mother who was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol while caring for her infant child, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Police received a 911 call from the woman about 6 a.m. Oct. 26 about a possible break-in, but it was clear when they arrived that no such burglary had taken place, according to Lt. D. Dail, with the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station.

Instead, deputies found that the caller — a drug-addled mother with an infant in her care — was admittedly intoxicated and under the influence of methamphetamine, Dail said.

This person was high on narcotics,” he said. “If for some reason a child is in some type of danger, we have the right to take it into protective custody.”

The woman, in her mid-30s, was arrested, Dail said. Her infant, bundled in a pink blanket, was cared for by deputies at the Norwalk Station until Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services social workers arrived to assume custody.

Arrest made in

El Sereno hit-and-run

EL SERENO — Police said an arrest has been made in connection with a hit-and-run driver who struck and seriously injured a 75-year-old pedestrian Oct. 22.

Oscar Suarez, 44, turned himself in at approximately 11:20 a.m. Oct. 24 and was arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run, as well as outstanding warrants, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.

A 75-year-old man was struck as he was crossing near Bullard and Alhambra avenues, according to Officer William Cooper of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The driver got out of his vehicle but then got back in and fled westbound on Alhambra Avenue from Bullard. His vehicle was described as a 2000-2010 white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with power-washing equipment in the back, Cooper said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department took the man to a hospital, according to Cooper.

Media reports have identified the man as Guillermo Antonio Cartagena, who reportedly remains in intensive care with severe injuries.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Detective Juan Campos of Central Traffic Division at (213) 833-3713 or

Man found shot

to death in Norwalk

NORWALK — A man was shot and killed Oct. 22 and the shooter remains at large.

Deputies from the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station responded to a call of a gunshot victim in the 11900 block of 162nd Street, near Clarkdale Avenue, about 10:10 p.m. and located the victim, who had sustained several gunshot wounds to his upper body, according to Deputy James Nagao of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, Nagao said. A motive for the shooting and description of the shooter were not available.

Downey approves

limited outdoor dining

DOWNEY — The city has reopened Downey Avenue between Second and Third streets but placed a parking ban on both sides of the street to make room for possible parklets (outdoor facilities for adjoining businesses who need more room to meet state and county spacing requirements).

The vote was 4-0 with Mayor Blanca Pacheco recusing herself, a city spokesperson said.

The street section was closed July 29 to make room for parklets. On Sept. 22, the council was informed that four businesses had set up parklets on public right-of-way, said Aldo E. Schindler, director of community development.

The City Council Oct. 14 voted to allocate $80,000 to fund reimbursable grants of up to $10,000 for a business on the east and west sides of Downey Avenue between Second and Third to expand and enhance current parklets or create new ones.

To be eligible for a grant, the business must obtain a no-fee temporary outdoor dining permit, follow safety rules and be in good standing with the city with no outstanding health or code enforcement violations, Schindler said.

“These parklets are intended as aesthetic enhancements to the streetscape, allowing restaurants that would otherwise not be able to serve patrons to repurpose part of the street into a space for customers to enjoy a meal, thereby providing businesses an economic solution while following county health mandates,” Schindler said.