Have a news tip or comment? Anonymous Tips OK
 email us at: News@Edwardz.com

or telephone 'The Editor':
(888) 867-6620

For Breaking News Follow Us On


La Habra Heights Videos

Heights Live Events

Red Flag Warnings for La Habra Heights and surrounding areas can be heard on the La Habra Heights Fire Watch Inc. network of radio's.  System is licensed to communicate critical weather conditions and prevent wildfires. Note: The city council  put an end to critical fire announcements via  the city's Fire Dept. radio system in 2007....go figure.

11/24/07 Malibu- NewStar staff photographer Jonathan Alcorn, documented the fierce air attack to bring this wildfire under control. Meanwhile in La Habra Heights the City reduced the fire departments available resources by over 50 percent during the Red Flag Warning.

8/26/07 -Arson Fire in Fullerton. Firecrackers thrown from a car apparently was the cause of the 4 acre fire. A large black plume of smoke was visible  throughout the area. 2 Los Angeles County engines out of La Habra  and a Battalion Chief also responded to the incident. 

June 7, 2007 - La Habra Heights
1 of 5 fires that are under investigation
 as incidents of arson.

April 12, 2007 -City Council Mtg.
Fire officials listen to residents concerns regarding the loss of 4 engine companies  over a 5 year period. This per an independent review by ISO. The 2007-2008 budget for fire service continues it's record breaking spending, up over 20 percent!

Fred Klein, onetime supporter & proponent  of multiple cost effective fire stations,  leads the 4 - 1 vote for a record 8.9 million dollar
City Hall Complex.  February 8, 2007

Stopped at Hacienda and West!
Moving the city's one and only fire station onto a 2 lane road and increased response times will be the basis for a legal challenge to the 
city council's New City Hall plan.

LACFD Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman addresses news media on how a small brush fire quickly became an out of control wildfire with millions in losses to residents of Malibu

Happy New Year!
With the new year the city council added new measures to further control the communities "freedom of speech" The $817 device will only serve to create further community resentment that they are not being listened to.

Community involvement has reached a fever pitch. The new timer is to control what the community can voice in 3 minutes.

Los Angeles County Fire Dept.
Station 89 Agoura Hills
"State of the Art Fire Station"
Opened June of 2006 building cost
 4 million including land, soil mitigation and equipment

Large pull through bays, training room, 10 dorm rooms and  Battalion Chiefs HQ's are just a few of the exceptional features of this new fire station.

City of La Habra's new fire station
LACO FD Station 194
Reducing response time now while a new permanent station is built is a top priority of the Los Angeles County Fire Department

Engine 194 in temporary quarters behind a strip mall on Beach Blvd.

Unfortunately the La Habra Heights City Council did not understand the message posted all over town

La Habra Heights City Council meeting Oct. 12, 2006
A packed house demands input in receiving better fire service

La Habra Heights VFD
Fire station 5? (closed)

La Habra Heights Station 5
still has water and power hooked up

Someone really should have told
the Church that they were moving out

Fire station sign on entrance to city limits, Vista Drive. But there is no active fire station for miles?

City Of Brea's Fire Station No. 4
One man, One Engine keep response times to a minimum

"Save the Park" Petition Drive
November 12, 2006

Moving the fire station to the
"Park" would increase response times by 2 minutes to portions of the East & West end of the community

"Save The Park"
and "No New City Hall"

Volunteers and firefighters work together to get the word out
"Build Fire Stations not a new City Hall"

Volunteers mailed over 2000 informational postcards to all residents of La Habra Heights

"Red Flag Warning" Drill
Volunteers pulled 600 feet of 1 & 1 1/2 inch hose during drill, later dug out a drain for local church.

Heights P-61 pushes water up the hillside during wild land drill.

 Heights Patrol P- 61 4X4 Pierce

Heights P-61 pump panel
400 GPM 2 stage pump
250 gallon tank, 10 Gal. foam

Pump Training at Rio Hondo Fire Academy (ex La Habra engine)

La Habra Heights volunteer firefighter demonstrating his proficiency at pump operations (he was one of the best!)

Free car wash!
(Don't run over the hose)

National magazine photo shoot
"Tractor Fire Rig"  Demo

 Heights P-71 Responds to:
"Vehicle into a Helicopter"

Not really, we were asked to
provide fire protection for the new
"Die Hard" movie in Los Angeles

Thankfully all we did was
"Hurry up and wait"

200GPM @ 1OO PSI at nozzle

Hobby on the 1-1/2 inch 
(A big thanks to the donor of the 300 feet of new 3 inch hose)

The Avocado Express
Exclusively Investigating and Reporting News
for La Habra Heights, CA

Daily Fire Weather Forecast for La Habra Heights and surrounding areas. (Courtesy: La Habra Heights Fire Watch) www.LHHFIREWATCH.com

The City Council believes residents are on a need to know basis and they don't need to know, we believe otherwise.

Looking for Breaking News? Click here for up to the minute news and information 24/7: Twitter.com/LaHabraHeights

The News
'You Are Invited'
To a Matrix Oil (under contract w/ Sempra Energy) Texas Hoedown!  Trade your soul for a pork rib!  Learn how to live with big rig trucking in your backyard! Prepare for the sweet smell of crude! (Note: Could make you sick)  -RSVP Today! -Free Valet (Fancy) Parking, for 18-wheelers, Ford & Dodge, pickups and tractors! Sorry no horses or combines.
 -What' tch ya'll waiting for (an EIR?) Steer your way to a phone and call today!
12/13/14 - Correction: 'You Are Invited' only if you are against Measure A. No sitting on the fence on this one.
More at: Twitter.com/LaHabraHeights  Sorry Folks.

NEW! November 13, 2014 LHH City Council Public Comments Period
Exclusive unedited HD, all ROBO CAM and Apple product friendly edition!

Whittier Daily News Editorial: La Habra Heights Council members Higgins/Miller 'Censorship Twins' plan to shut off broadcast of comments made by public. (click to read)

  -October 16th, 2014 La Habra Heights City Council Meeting- 
In La Habra Heights it's a lot of work fighting for Open & Transparent Government when the City Council does not want it!

La Habra Heights City Council comes close to banning Public Comments from TV!
As we reported, embattled Council Member Kyle Miller (pictured right) has a plan to eliminate television viewers' exposure to residents concerns brought forward during the Public Comment period of City meetings (a Brown Act requirement).  Despite a 5-0 vote to table the item until January of 2015, our bet is the City will eventually ban all recording of public comments in order to muzzle anti-oil, anti-tax government transparency champions and trash rate complaints.  We were there to record the meeting despite the City putting up obstacles to keep viewers in the dark.  The City Attorney asked that the microphone placed on the podium be removed.  We said NO!  Learn more about the City Council's issue with free speech by visiting our friends at The Whittier Daily News. (Click Here) You can watch our exclusive coverage of public comments and discussion to delete public comments on your HD set, iPhone/iPad & computer by clinking on this link.

City Seeks to Ban Broadcast of Public Comments
In a precedent setting move, two La Habra Heights Council members; Kyle Miller & Michael Higgins, have asked for an item be placed on the agenda for a Special Meeting of the City Council to be held on Sept. 15th at 6:00 p.m. Both seek discussion and action to eliminate broadcast of public comments made by residents at City meetings.
  You can learn more by visiting (clicking): LaHabraHeights.net and Sierra Madre Tattler.  This move is supported by rather intolerant members of the Improvement Association, Government Officials and Planning Commissioners seeking to muzzle broadcast of free speech.  Can those concerned with fire safety, recent crime wave & wasteful spending be silenced?
   'The People Should be Taxed, Not Heard.'

Government Environmental Specialist says oil drilling does not cause earthquakes!
  Apparently that claim was not meant for public consumption. We now understand why representatives with the Central Basin Municipal Water District asked us not to record a presentation made to local water officials regarding Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking). Click here to view meeting the MWD did not want you to see. 

In a developing story the La Habra Heights County Water District Board of Directors is expected to declare a stage 1 water emergency for community of 6,200.  Back in 2011 rate payers questioned a controversial Water Trafficking deal fearing it would lead to wells running dry and water rationing. The board will meet on Tuesday, August 12th at 4:00 p.m. You can read our exclusive 2011 story and view video by clicking here.
 Click here to view August 12th Water Board

Watch the July 19, 2014 Brea Fracking Forum Exclusively on our YouTube Channel.  Does oil drilling lead to earthquakes, ground water contamination? Learn about the history of oil drilling in La Habra, La Habra Heights, Fullerton and Brea.

 Truth Stranger than Fiction:
NEW How does an investigation into Public Record Act Violations turn into BabyGate?
Read our comprehensive report the City once again does not want you to read.

Our 2010 report on the City of Bell scandal. Is La Habra Heights the new Bell? Can you see the similarities? (click to watch report)



 You won't read this in the La Habra Journal: Matrix Oil document La Habra Heights City Council does not want the public to see.  Letter to City of La Habra Heights from City of La Habra regarding the dangers of restarting production at abandoned well site. (earthquake, ground water contamination and explosion!)  Needless to so say our neighbor is not happy.  (click to read PDF file)
City of La Habra Heights Denies Documents in Discrimination Lawsuit exist. Wrong!  Despite multiple Public Records Requests for information, the City continued to withhold public documents.  Late last week TheAvocadoExpress.com obtained the records the City denied existed. Click here to read Public Record Response Letters and lawsuit against City. ...And Bad Government Plays On.

  NEW! Exclusive:
Proposition A Excess funds could be used to convert abandoned oil field in La Habra Heights into a Wilderness Park!  
Click here to watch and learn how.
 Video: 6/12/14 - La Habra Heights property owners turn out to protest unfair trash deal and to say No to a plan by Matrix Oil to operate up to 30 well in Pristine La Habra Heights.

Have you heard about Matrix Oil's plan to drill up to 30 wells in pristine La Habra Heights?  If not, it's because Matrix Oil and the City of La Habra Heights does not want you to know.  TheAvocadoExpress.com has the videos the City Council does not want you to see online or on TV!

Link: Exclusive! April 16, 2014 Matrix Oil Scoping Meeting
(The Meeting the City Council does not want you to see)
Link: January 21, 2012 Matrix Oil Community Outreach Meeting
(The Meeting Matrix Oil did not want you to see)


 Video of 4/24/14 Town Hall Meeting on Recent 5.1 Earthquake in La Habra
 Presentations by City of La Habra, City Police Department, Los Angeles County Fire Dept., Red Cross and Ready OC

Cuts to Sheriff's Contract Blamed for Spike in La Habra Heights Burglaries! (10/12/2013)
Restore funding for Law Enforcement or Expand City Hall?
Unfortunately you were not given the choice. 

City Hall Expansion Halted Amid Talk of Disincorporation (9/14/13)

Caught on Tape: La Habra Heights County Water District Employee Admits Wrongdoing Against Ratepayers. (6/23/13)

La Habra Heights property owners can protest the proposed "Rain Tax" by submitting a protest (no vote). Download an official protest form and locate your Assessor’s Parcel Number call (800) 218-0018 to request a duplicate copy. Note: Property owners must submit their protest vote by March 12th and they do not have to be a registered voter to submit a no vote.

All La Habra Heights Candidates support the City's General Plan? Not true, four of the five candidates are no shows to forum discussing General Plan.  Only Candidate George Edwards(z) attended, taking numerous uncensored questions from audience. Read more & watch what happened at: LaHabraHeights.net

Exclusive Report: LA County Agency (Habitat Authority) plans to use new (2008) state law, to no longer follow county/local fire code.  SB 1595 allow vacant parcel owners to no longer conduct weed abatement to benefit an adjacent property owners habitable structures. Editor's Note: Firefighters say the new law will result in the loss of Life and Property.  We would agree.

Updated July 20, 2012       
New Road Tax Information
Click to read 2nd Road Tax Informational Flyer.  Taxpayers who have submitted a YES vote but now feel misled by the City and wish to change their Vote to NO can do so by requesting a new ballot (see below)  Reminder: You do not have to be a registered voter or U.S. citizen to vote NO on the Road Tax.  To Obtain a replacement Assessment Ballot for Street Maintenance District (TAX) NO. 5.  Or if you have any questions regarding the assessment ballot procedure, please contact: Trevor Speer NBS, 32605 Temecula Parkway, Suite 100 Temecula, CA 92592. Telephone: (800) 676-7516, www.nbsgov.com

is NBS? NBS is an independent consulting firm hired by the City of La Habra Heights to facilitate the Assessment (TAX) Ballot process.

The TIP Sheet (Here's what we are working on)

15% percent pay raises for City Employees while slashing Sheriff coverage to 14 hours a day.  911 calls going unanswered.  Fire Department reports staffing only one engine despite Fire Tax increase.  New Management Analysis position funded by Fire Tax to blame?

Heights Life editor violates non-profit status by "getting political"

Los Angeles District Attorneys Office investigation into City's Brown Act Violations

City of La Habra Heights reports Water District's shoddy workmanship to blame for road damage.

(Pictured: Valle Road)

Misuse, by government officials of unmarked City vehicles and Fuel for personal use.

Reports of a large number of former La Habra Heights volunteer Firefighters are seeking PERS (retirement) contributions from the City.  The City Council met on Thursday June 28th, during a poorly noticed closed session to discuss the issue. For months we have been hearing unconfirmed reports the City has not been paying into PERS for firefighters retirement.  It is speculated that since some volunteer firefighters were paid, it made them eligible for a pricey retirement on the Heights dime.  It is unclear if Hundreds of past volunteers are eligible.  A government source reports "the City has no money to pay".  The use of past and current "paid volunteers" is feared could bankrupt the City. The Council is looking into options to replace the volunteer fire department.  More to follow.

Exclusive! Do politicians lie to get votes? Water board set to raise rates despite incumbent claim "No Rate Increases for 5 Years" Click here to view video report
Proposed Water Rate Increase Notice (PDF file)
Above: Incumbent Campaign Flyers (click to enlarge)

Video of April 24, 2012, Water Board Meeting: Rate Increase Study & Rowland Water Agreement. (Board members asked to resign after misleading voters)

Our View: An Outsider's Look Inside the Improvement Association
Uninvited we go undercover to attend the organizations "Meet & Greet" Event.

In-depth report:
The Engineering Behind Rowland's Thirst for More Water  More information on a pipeline agreement between two water districts that could fuel development of open space and bidding war for water rights!

On January 23, 2012, Matrix Oil Corporation scheduled a Community Outreach meeting for residents of La Habra Heights. They are seeking to restart resource production within the City.  Watch as a Matrix Oil Goon attempts to stop us from recording and reporting on the public meeting that was being held in a public place.  Editors Note: Can you really trust any organization, corporation or individual that works this hard to keep you in the dark?  Click here to view video.

Water Board candidate Judy Hathaway Francis obtains document confirming Water Board held special meeting behind gates of private country club to discuss controversial Water Trafficking agreement.  Water district continues to claim they are an open and transparent government body. We do not agree.
Read minutes of special meeting by clicking here.

La Habra Heights Trafficking Deal Could Lead to Bidding War! Water District agreement would open Water Market to Rowland Water District.  La Habra Heights facilities to be used as "Pack Mules" for Rowland's Water.

Fear Grows Water Board Agreement with Rowland Water Could Pump La Habra Heights Dry. An agreement that could require La Habra Heights County Water District to traffic 70% more water than ratepayers use.  Is illegally being withheld from public release.  This despite President Brad Cooke confirming the agreement has already been approved by a 5-0 vote of the water board.  Click here to read Brad Cooke's public comments  Mr. Cooke contradicted comments he made previously when on September 27th, told a room full of La Habra Heights ratepayers and press that the agreement had not yet been approved.

La Habra Heights Politicians vote 5-0 to move forward on Water Trafficking Deal. (Hey it's just Business!)  Editors Note: Bet you did not see this coming...but we did.

La Habra Heights County Water District Candidate Statements for November 8th 2011Election  3 incumbents vs. 1 three term former La Habra Heights Councilwoman!

City Slashes Sheriff’s Budget $175,000, seeks to launch Spending Spree with Savings! Confirmation the City's is mismanaged? 

Los Angeles County Dumps on La Habra Heights.  Read our exclusive multipart report on the dumping of hundreds of yards of contaminated dirt East of Harbor Blvd.
La Habra Heights may have it's very own Super Fund Site!

Exclusive!  News crew video capturing wrongdoing by La Habra Heights City Attorney, code enforcement personal and the alleged roughing up of two children by City Manager Shauna Clark. Leads family to file four official complaints with City.
Note: We are told this is a necessary step before a lawsuit can be filed. Click here to read official complaints.

Exclusive! La Habra Heights Man Claims City Stole his Bridge!
Editors Note: We have no problem believing his story.

Not So Confidential Report on Lough Raid Suggests City Exceeded Scope of Search Warrant.

Exclusive Dysfunctional La Habra Heights Park & Recreation Chair Calls Special Meeting and later Resigns.   Click to read complete story including video excerpt

From: http://www.Twitter.com/LaHabraHeights
Dysfunctional La Habra Heights Park & Wreck Commission has been scheduled for April 7 at 1 PM tomorrow. Item to be discussed: Televising of Park & Recreation Meetings.  View agenda exclusively at: http://bit.ly/g62VxV

And here are the Exclusive videos that forced the City to call a special meeting
 Click here to view the 2/7 Park and Recreation video the City does not want the public to see.

Unbelievable Video!  We were rolling when Park and Recreation Chair Karen Vipperman ordered cameras turned off from recording comments made by attendees at a April 4th public meeting

Learn more and join the discussion by click the following link:  Topix La Habra Heights News

April 1st -Just released on the internet! Inaugural issue of "The Heights Bite"
Proverb: "The more things change the more they remain the same" Enjoy!

City Cracks Down on Animal Keeping!
Read our report and view exclusive photos of City serving a search warrant on residence for having one too many goats.

2/10/11 From: http://twitter.com/LaHabraHeights Today: Canvass of La Habra Heights City Council election placed Roy Francis finishing at top!
Click here to view final results "Adios Three Amigos"

We Support Open and Transparent Government, Shouldn't You?
Read our publication to the Community of La Habra Heights here (PDF.file)

Editor: TheAvocadoExpress.com joins a growing list of news organizations and publications that endorse retired fire captain Roy Francis and educator Phil Lough for a seat on the City Council.  We feel both will bring residents protection from from heavy handed code enforcement and prosecution actions by City staff.  In addition both have pledged to bring much needed openness and transparency to the La Habra Heights City Government.  Ask yourself, should you be made to fear your government?

Learn more about Embattled Incumbent Howard Vipperman and his helicopter surveillance of you at: www.LHHNET.com or at The Vipperman Chronicles

ACLU and First Amendment Coalition Team up to protect media's right to access tonight's La Habra Heights Candidate' Forum. Complete story at: www.WhittierDailyNews.com (Unfortunately the wholesale crackdown on residents rights continues unabated by our oppressive local government)

City teams up with League of Woman Voters to violate First Amendment Rights!  La Habra Heights, CA-  The City of La Habra Heights reportedly, strong-armed the Whittier League of Woman Voters to exclude press from covering City Council Candidate Forum.  ACLU intervenes to protect public's/media's first amendment right to attend public forum.  Read exclusive letters and emails to City by clicking this link. 
Editor Note: Can you really trust a government that fights this hard to keep residents in the dark?

Special Event Coverage! Coalition to Protect the General Plan
Candidate Forum Recorded January 27, 2011 at the McCoy Residence in La Habra Heights.  March 8, 2011 City Council Election
NEW Webcast Part 1 (Questions 1-7)  Webcast Part 2 (Questions 8-17)

Download audio of 2nd Candidate Forum recorded live via telephone on 1/27/11 (36 MB, WMA audio file)

Jean Good Lietzau "…all the terrible things I've done" (part 1)
Scary Paranoid Former Heights Councilwoman Goes on the Attack

There is nothing like a 'has been' politician going after folks that report the local news and a candidate who dares challenge her authority.
Exclusive Investigation! City asks for investigation into City Attorneys conduct at Candidates animal keeping hearing.
Link: Email from City Manager Shauna Clark regarding investigation.
Video of event available at: twitvid

Motorist will want to steer clear of Harbor Blvd Wednesday January 18th to avoid getting caught in Sheriff sting/speed trap.  Click link to read exclusive report.

 Yes we do get mail!  Thankfully no bomb went off when we opened an anonymous package that was also received at the homes of other local news editors'. Click to read story. Complete report and pictures at: www.LaHabraHeights.net

2011 La Habra Heights City Council Election Filing Status (DEC 13, 2010) PDF
Note: Document edited from including email address/telephone number of candidate by the Editor.
Breaking development: Planning Commissioner Larry Black, appointed by embattled incumbent Howard Vipperman becomes 4th and final candidate to file for 2011 City Council Race.
Larry Black and Howard Vipperman expected to be tag team ticket!

Read it here First! La Habra Heights Councilman will not seek re election! Click to read story.  Planning Commission Chair Larry Black expected to run.

Exclusive Special Event Coverage!
The Coalition to Protect the General Plan (CPGP) held a "Meet the Candidates Night" on December 1, 2010 for the March 8, 2011 City Council Election.
A big thanks goes to the CPGP steering committee for their assistance with coverage of the forum. They are committed to transparency in their organization and  local government.

We are also happy to report that no journalists or residents were harmed in covering this event unlike the well documented beating Improvement Association thugs offered up at their June 2010 "Open Meeting." you can read that story at the: Perilous Nation website

Coalition to Protect the General Plan (CPGP)
 "Meet the Candidates Night" Webcast

 Webcast Part 1
 Webcast Part 2
 Download list of eight questions here (pdf file.)


 Exclusive Report!
La Habra Heights City Manager Shauna Clark Misrepresents Fire Services! Ignorant or incompetent, you decide!
Read full in depth report here!


Click here to get up to the minute election results on the Lowell Joint School District race.  Updates begin November 2nd at 8:00PM

La Habra Heights Good Samaritan Becomes Victim!
Three good people stop to reader aid at an accident scene, what happened next should worry everyone.
Note: No word why the La Habra Heights Fire Department interfered with news media personal attempting to report on this incident. Click here to read exclusive story

League of Women Voters of North Orange County Lowell Joint School District Candidates Forum Webcast (recorded live on October 13, 2010)  View webcast exclusively at the following web site:

League of Woman Voters to hold Candidates Forum for Lowell Joint School District Board.  Best part is it will be recorded, webcast and televised! read story!
Open government begins with an open forum!

Exclusive report! Have you driven an overweight vehicle lately?  City manager aims to fight overweight vehicles that tear up the streets by going after pickup trucks and SUV's?  No mention in the report about the City going after real trucks in excess of 20,000 lbs. Click here to read story.

Area Cities Post Employee’s Salaries with One Notable Holdout, guess who?
In an August 3rd press release outlining new reporting rules for salary disclosure State Controller John Chiang stated, “The absence of transparency is a breeding ground for waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars.” Mr. Chiang describes La Habra Heights perfectly! Click to read story.

Video: City of Bell's holdout on public record requests cost residents millions!
The City of Bell operated on a "need to know basis" when it came to public record requests and felt the people did not need to know.  Strangely similar to La Habra Heights

Los Angeles District Attorney's Office Investigates Reporters Question connected to May 2010 house fire in La Habra Heights. click to read more.
City of La Habra Heights does not take kindly to getting found out.  Apparently the City has been misrepresenting the true level of fire protection residents can expect, should we be surprised?  Just a month ago the City was advertising that they staffed two fire engines each day, opps caught in a lie.  City website now states at least one fire engine is staffed everyday, residents should be thankful for at least that!  What's to blame for the willful endangerment of the community and the firefighters that depended on the second engine?  Most suspect bloated City administrative salaries that reach deep into the Fire Fund (TAX) cookie jar.  You can read more about those findings at www.LaHabraHeights.net  Will the Bell soon toll for La Habra Heights government officials?

In keeping with our mission to inform, the following offsite link is provided:  La Habra Heights Improvement Association Protest.

Feeling like you missed something?  You did!  The LHHIA does more than just scare children by dressing an adult to look like a demented 6 foot tall rabbit.  View how the "Welcome Wagon" can be used to trample those who do not comply!  Read more at the following link: www.LHHNET.com


An email, written by La Habra Heights Mayor Howard Vipperman, asking staff to "craft" an agenda item against a resident, is cited as a key finding in a lawsuit against the City. The first of several rumored lawsuits was filed on June 12, 2009, in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Email written by Howard Vipperman to City Staff and Councilmember Layne Baroldi can be viewed at the "The Vipperman Chronicles" site.

"I would like to put it back on the agenda," Vipperman stated in the April 28 e-mail. "I would like to not take public comments if possible. I would like an agenda item crafted to amend our previous decision by removing any conditions. Specifically deny the appeal" -Howard
Click here to read the complaint filed against the City of La Habra Heights (PDF.file)

Exclusive! Los Angeles District Attorney warns La Habra Heights Mayor Howard Vipperman not to violate state law by suggesting Agenda items be "Crafted" in order to deny residents appeals. Click here to read District Attorney letter to Mayor (PDF File) May 29, 2009

La Habra Heights Couple Still Behind Bars, Preliminary Hearing Postponed.  Click to read complete story.

Judge Vickie Nix allowed a news media request for cameras in the courtroom. Both television and still cameras were allowed as long as the faces of the defendants were not shown.  The pictures below must then be considered illustrations, since they include alterations to comply with Judge Nix's order.

Pictured: Kimberly Soares in "cage."
Pictured: Judge Vickie Nix and Kimberly Soares seen at the far right
Pictured: Kimberly Soares TOPIX news wire photo
Pictured: Joseph Perry Soares talks with his attorney, Michael F. Currier

La Habra Heights Improvement Association Vice President Arrested! Click here to read Orange County Register news article.

Exclusive photos, documents and criminal findings only on the AvocadoExpress.com!
Booking Photo of Kimberly Soares (LHHIA Vice President)
Booking Photo of Joseph Perry Soares
View Criminal Complaint (PDF.file)

Shocking information only available here!  Complete complaint (Witch Hunt) and possible witness list submitted to the Fair Political Practices Commission by Howard Vipperman. (PDF.file click here)

EXCLUSIVE AGAIN! Fair Political Practices Commission, clears informational mailers.
Click here to view FPPC letter (PDF.FILE)

Yet another exclusive!
La Habra Heights “Three Amigos“ Flyer Not In Violation of State Law
Click here for complete story.

Click here to view Heights Hiccups editorial cartoon series on La Habra Heights Three Amigos. Brought to you by: TheAvocadoExpress.com

Link: Topix Special Report - La Habra Heights Fire Chief John Nielsen being named in Sexual Harassment claim against the City.
Chief Nielsen can't seem to keep himself out of trouble. News story suggests the City may be forced to settle or risk bankruptcy.

-Link to Lawsuit filed against the City of La Habra Heights, Fire Chief John J. Nielsen and former Fire Marshall Kenneth Hill. (PDF FILE)

-Link to MEMO suggesting Fire Chief Nielsen will sue the City of La Habra Heights (PDF FILE)

Editor Note: Reports that a multimillion dollar settlement is possible with half being paid out of the city's general fund.

Link: TOPIX news story "La Habra Heights' City Council slaps homeowners with record 6% tax increase!" -original story by Mike Sprague, Whittier Daily News
Mayor Stan Carroll, an expected incumbent for the 2009 La Habra Heights city council race. Leads the 5-0 vote to increase taxes for property owners. He also voted to impose a roads tax and a franchise tax on trash haulers that will be passed on to residents, as confirmed by the trash haulers of the Heights.
No reopening of the Westside and Eastside fire stations are expected with the tax increase.
Link to supporting findings: Establishment of the special fire tax for 2008-2009 PDF FILE

La Habra Heights Fire Watch has their own website! www.LhhFireWatch.com
La Habra Heights Residents can now actively get involved in fire prevention within La Habra Heights and surrounding communities!
Fire, weather warnings, Emergency Alerts for LA and Orange county and community announcements can be heard daily on the "La Habra Heights Fire Watch Radio"
To join, visit the La Habra Heights Fire Watch /FSC Inc. on the web at: www.LhhFireWatch.com.

Link: LA Times Story - "La Habra Heights Tussle over Firefighting"
In 2004 La Habra Heights Fire Chief Nielsen reported to the La Habra Heights City Council that 350 homes would burn in a wind driven (Santa Ana) fire storm.  Is your home on the list?  Call city hall and ask to hear and see the findings by the La Habra Heights Fire department.
Link to supporting findings: Minutes of April 8, 2004 La Habra Heights City Council Meeting (Fire Chief's Report) ) PDF FILE

Link: TOPIX  Story - "Residents use private fire engine to save 12 homes!"
In 2006, a wildfire threat was extinguished by one of two privately owned fire engines within the city of La Habra Heights. The city attorney warned the resident firefighter not to put out any more fires in La Habra Heights because it creates competition for the La Habra Heights Fire Department...Huh? A recently affirmed city ordnance by Councilpersons Tela Millsap and Brian Bergman  makes it a misdemeanor to extinguish any fires within the City of La Habra Heights.

Note: In 2009 concerned and informed citizens for the fire safety of La Habra Heights plan to extinguish the political careers of the above mentioned council members.

Link to: "Exclusive wire" story on TOPIX First and most complete news story!
Los Angeles County Fire Department Automatic-Aid, effective Sept. 1st, 2007 at 12:01am.

Supporting documentation to wire story:
-Automatic Aid Agreement with Los Angeles County Fire Department

Legible map of  "Auto-Aid" area.. Note: not an official city/county document

-11/9/04 La Habra Heights termination letter to La Habra for paramedic service (PDF FILE)
-12/3/04 La Habra letter confirming they would no longer respond into La Habra Heights under Automatic-Aid (PDF FILE)
-March 13, 1997 City of La Habra Heights Agenda Report. Paramedic Services with the City of La Habra (PDF file)

La Habra Heights City Manager to propose "Tuff Shed" approach for new fire station.
A solution on how to build the city hall complex has apparently been reached.  Use metal building techniques for the firefighters now, and conventional construction for the New City Hall at Hacienda at West location.  The savings of building  the fire station within a metal garage will also give the city additional options to pursue development opportunities within the city limits for high density housing and possible commercial development. The item will be on the September 13, 2007 La Habra Heights City Council Agenda.

Link: TOPIX "Exclusive" Wire Story - "LA County key to commercial development in La Habra Heights" Plan to acquire 30 plus acres for a fire station to go with a new mini-mall?  
Council members continue to remain silent as to why the city is trying to acquire 31 acres (pictured above) east of Harbor Boulevard within the city of La Habra Heights. 
Note: An inquiry with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's "Public Integrity Division" has been made regarding any possible violation of the Brown Act by the City of La Habra Heights. Apparently, the City made no attempt  to notify the news media of the special "secret" meeting with Supervisor Don Knabe.
(see 2003 Brown Act link here PDF File)

New Los Angeles County map removes major roadblock for AERA's La Habra Heights Project (PDF File)
Speculation continues to grow as to a connection between AERA Energy's plan to build a new housing project in La Habra Heights, and the lack of proper fire suppression ability by the city's volunteer fire department. In order to Annex the property that is currently within unincorporated Los Angeles County, LAFCO would want to see the that the city has adequate fire and rescue services in place prior to a city proposal to annex the AERA property into La Habra Heights.  Aid towards fire protection to the area is coming from the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors who's staff have taken a great interest and gone to great lengths to ensure La Habra Heights gets free fire service, this per an unidentified LACO source speaking on the condition of anonymity. The expected approval of Automatic Aid at the July 31, 2007 Board of Supervisors meeting will will give AERA a firmer foothold into the city of La Habra Heights and further AERA's housing development plans of over 3600 new homes for the immediate area East of Harbor Blvd. La Habra Heights residents will not have to pay for the additional free fire protection plan.

Auto Aid for La Habra Heights held per Fire Chief Freeman (PDF File)
Item 51 (Auto Aid for the City of La Habra Heights) on the Los Angeles Board of Supervisions agenda was held/continued until July 31, 2007 per the Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman. Item 51 will once again be on the agenda for the July 31, 2007 board meeting.  The lopsided agreement is expected to be approved. Automatic Aid Agenda Report (PDF File)
Note: On location reports will once again be available via the "Heights Fire Watch" radio repeater beginning at 9:00am.

"There is a fire bug in the area."
"There is a fire bug in the area. Had 2 fires by the Catholic Church, instances in La Habra Heights , Industry & near the Water District offices. Fire Captain reported 4-5 occurrences within the last week."
-Town Sheriff, Deputy Don McMinn report, RHCCC General minutes June 11, 2007
Editor Note: So what steps are the City of La Habra Heights and the Fire Department taking as a result of the sheriffs' report?  Absolutely nothing, but keeping this information from the public's view.
Example:  At the June 14, 2007 City Council Meeting, Fire Chief Nielsen failed to report the recent brush fires may all be connected and a result of an arsonist. A report was made three days prior to the Rowland Heights Coordinating Council by Los Angeles County Sheriff officials of arson activity in the area.

Arsonist hits La Habra Heights/Rowland Heights (click here to see the raw news video)
One of 3 fires taking place within a one hour period during the early afternoon of June 7, 2007 is under investigation as arson. La Habra Heights fire department was only able to man one engine company for an initial response. Overwhelmed with thick brush, lack of adequate water and extremely steep terrain, triggered a call to the county to fight the fire. Los Angeles County provided 2 water dropping helicopters and a Battalion Chief to command the incident. The fire was along Fullerton Road, in the city's extreme eastern area and adjacent to what is now being referred to as Powder Keg Canyon, a name given by local residents that view the area as an extreme wildfire risk.

Spring 2006, La Habra Heights City Manager Ron Bates laughs up his good fortune. New never released news video of a brush fire in La Habra Heights (click here for video)
La Habra Heights residents have often complained about of a lack of fire suppression resources on the East and West sides of the community.  The deficiency was confirmed by an independent review and audit welcomed by LHH Fire Chief Nielsen and authorized by City Manager Ron Bates in mid 2006.  The 2007 ISO report confirmed that we no longer have 5 engine companies to respond to fires but only have 1 engine company.  Meanwhile, the city manager received a pay increase, a portion from the fire fund, since 10 percent of his salary comes from monies set aside for fire suppression. Fire Chief Nielsen also confirms in a report that he only had one engine available to respond prior to June 5, 2007 (see report here).  Watch as Ron Bates spins the truth and states a 90 second response time. The correct information  is that a Los Angles County Sheriff Deputy  patrolling along Harbor Blvd. attempted to extinguish the fast moving fire using 2 fire extinguishers. The fire department response was in excess of 10 minutes per an eyewitness. Mr. Bates has come under growing criticism for spinning the truth in an attempt to get the funding for a New City Hall project.  Los Angeles County residents also view Mr. Bates' attempt to obtain free fire service from surrounding communities as "highly irresponsible."

Sierra Madre's new Paramedic program may have a dramatic impact on La Habra Heights medical services
The Cities of La Habra Heights and Sierra Madre share the same pool of ambulance company paramedics to service their citizens with Paramedic Services. La Habra Heights already has serious staffing issues to run their fire department.  Will the city also add paramedic service to their staffing problems?
La Habra Heights uses a pool of 50 paramedics and Sierra Madre uses a pool of 40. From the same pool? (see list on PDF file)
Editor Note: Incident reports obtained by this website already show a lack of a properly staffed Paramedic unit in 2006. The Sierra Madre VFD is a highly respected and well run fire department that is led and staffed by resident volunteers to protect their community of approx. 11,000 citizens. Keeping cost to a minimum with excellent service is their primary goal. And no they do not pay the City Manager's salary from monies set aside for fire protection, unlike La Habra Heights.

Whittier, La Habra and Los Angeles County taxpayers to pay for "Already Paid For" or better known as "free" fire and rescue service for La Habra Heights - Agenda Report (PDF file)
You read about it here first back in February 2007, La Habra Heights City Manager's plan for using paid for fire service is confirmed! "The benefits of this agreement will improve response times for all area residents and more efficient use of tax payer resources. Said another way, fire and emergency rescue services are improved without an increase in taxpayer cost." We assume he means no additional cost to La Habra Heights residents. The city of La Habra pays millions for service from Los Angeles County and Whittier pays additional taxes for improved fire and rescue services for their residents.
Editor Note: So who are the losers? Fire services for the area surrounding La Habra Heights. Since the plan calls for stretching already thin fire and rescue services from Los Angeles County Fire Department to cover the City of La Habra Heights at no additional cost to their residents.

La Habra Heights asks for bid from Los Angles County Fire Deptment (PDF file)
Agenda report for the May 10th 2007 City of La Habra Heights Regular City Council Meeting.

La Habra Heights residents circulate petition 
for Los Angeles County Fire Services

In light of the city's fire departments poor performance and 20 year regression in the recent ISO's evaluation of fire services for La Habra Heights. Residents have started to circulate a petition asking the City Council to get an estimate on services from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
(click here for press release) PDF File

Fire service rating for City of La Habra Heights takes a plunge!
ISO's Chicago office confirms new pending rating of 5/9 for fire prone community. Link to wire story on La Habra Heights 40% drop in fire protection ability and a 20 year "regression" in ISO classification for community. (Click here for story)

2007 ISO Report for the City of La Habra Heights (PDF file)
ISO report detailing: "The new classification is a regression from the former Class 3/9." The City of La Habra Heights fire service has a pending split classification of 5/9 and was only .03% from an ISO 6 classification. A key finding of the independent report is that the city now only averages one engine company, down from 5 engine companies as shown in the previous 2001 ISO Report.
Editor Note: The new classification is a direct result of the closure of all but 1 fire station and the elimination of the resident firefighter program needed to respond to fires. Another factor is the continued reallocation of fire equipment replacement funds and fire tax revenues to the building fund otherwise known as the $8.1 million Civic Center Complex.

La Habra Heights fire chief invites ISO to "Come on down" (click for video)

At the October 12, 2006 City Council meeting. Fire Chief Nielsen stated he did not invite the Insurance Services Office (ISO) for reclassification of La Habra Heights, from an ISO 3/9, viewed as a good rating by firefighting professionals. The results of ISO's August 2006 City of La Habra Heights inspection and findings is a "regression" in classification to a pending rating of 5/9. This represents a drop of 40% in the level of fire protection available to the community by the fire department per ISO standards.
Here is the public records copy of Chief Nielsen at the June 8, 2006 City Council meeting informing the Council that he had indeed contacted ISO. This despite resident firefighter's pleas to the fire chief and city manager that it would only result in a lower rating and subject the community to additional scrutiny and possible cancellation of insurance polices. The information that ISO gathers is supplied to "...insurance companies to use as they see fit." -John Coleman ISO (11/9/06 presentation, CC Mtg. minutes)

Link to: ISO Mitigation
You have heard references to a communities' "ISO Rating". It refers to a communities' readiness and resources to suppress fire emergencies.  Fire stations and certified draft points are big winners when trying to improve a communities' ISO Rating.  Ratings are from 1 to 10 with a rating of 10 not meeting minimum ISO standards for fire service.  Wondering what La Habra Heights' "ISO Rating" is?  It's a pending 5/9.  Are you one of homes in the "9"?, call city hall and ask for the ISO report (get a copy!)
Note: We could improve our "ISO Rating" by reopening 2 fire stations, getting residents to volunteer their time to respond to fires and purchasing a Type II water tender. The positive results for the entire city would be lower insurance rates and a safer community.

2001 ISO Report for the City of La Habra Heights
(referred to at the Nov. 9, 2006 City Council Meeting)

This report obtained from the La Habra Heights County Water District details the city's ISO rating.
In 2001 the community  had an split ISO classification of 3/9. An ISO classification of 10 would indicate no fire protection meeting minimum ISO standards. Also, in 2001 La Habra Heights Fire Department had 5 engine companies. Today the city only averages 1 engine company per the current ISO Report.

1985 ISO Report for the City of La Habra Heights (PDF file)
The last time La Habra Heights had an ISO 5 classification was over 20 years ago in 1985! No evidence can be located that it was a split classification, unlike the pending ISO 5/9 classification. This may be due to the fire department having a water tender available during the ISO inspection back in 1985.

Orange County Fire Authority's new fire station 29 in the high rent district of The OC.
Building cost for the near 10,000 square foot station on a 1/3 acre lot, under $4 million!
At the March 8, 2007 regular meeting of the La Habra Heights City Council, the true nature of the city council's plan was revealed. The plan is for a new "Civic Center" for the city of less than 1,970 homes, not the new fire station as has been spun by the city manager and city council. This would explain how both Los Angeles County Fire Department and Orange County can build fire stations for less than $4 million, when La Habra Heights city manager wants $6.3 million to do the same. In addition, adding the city hall and civic center has driven the price to over $10 million and the need to move to a bigger lot.
Note: So who was the architect that was able to produce such a large fire station on 1/3 of an acre, deep in Orange County for under $4 million but 1 million over budget?  WLC Architect Inc., the same high priced firm the city has paid over $60,000 to come up with a $8.1 million civic center complex.

Link to Fire Orange County Fire Station 29 (then and now)
Great background on how a fire station was rebuilt on the existing site and for under $4 million.

Orange County Register link: Orange gets high end firehouse for $3.4 million complete!
Yet another under $4 million fire station. The City Councils desire to add a civic center to go along with better housing for firefighters, has "muddied up" the waters on what a new firehouse should cost a rural community that averages less than one emergency call a day!

Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman's letter to the Whittier Daily News 
Former Councilman Fred Klein's statement about using "already paid for" fire services for La Habra Heights is viewed as
"erroneous and seriously misleading."

City of La Habra Heights 2/8/07 Agenda Report on City Hall Complex pages 1-4 (PDF)
The actual true cost the city council is willing to spend is 8.1 million dollars on top of what has already been spent.  Many reports had fixed the price at 6.3 million.  Those reports are incomplete since they fail to mention the new city hall portion attached to the "City Hall Complex" plan.
The residents "...will likely have a longer response time as fire/paramedic units will need to travel further..." The city manager warns that the new location will also put the complex on a 2 lane road vs. the 4 lane road of the current location. No mention is made of how the city plans to address fire and rescue protection for the affected areas.

City Council Votes 4-1 to move forward on a record 8.9 million dollar proposed City Hall Complex at the Hacienda and West location.
City of La Habra (yes La Habra) citizens to be made responsible for paying for fire protection of the West and East ends of La Habra Heights! This is as a result of the new fire station location increasing response time by over a minute!.....more to come.

The city council voted to move forward with the Hacienda and West location for a new City Hall Complex that would include a fire station. Councilman Fred Klein led the 4-1 vote to build the project 1/3 of a mile north of the present location despite firefighter and resident protest and testimony that it would increase response times thus further endangering their community as well as possibly increasing insurance rates to homeowners. Also, promises to listen to the public and put it out to a community survey as stated in an official City of La Habra Heights "Top of the Heights" mailing were ignored in order to push the project through before the March 6, 2007 election.
The project would involve the City of La Habra since they have contracted with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire and rescue protection for their citizens in a multi-million dollar agreement. The plan is to have them respond into La Habra Heights free of charge via a currently nonexistent "Automatic Aid" agreement. Two La Habra council members have protested the La Habra Heights plan for free fire service. When asked why the change from building multiple fire stations to a new city hall complex, councilman Fred Klein responded, "Things have changed".

Current Los Angeles County Sheriff Department contract with the City of La Habra Heights. (PDF) file
Note: As requested, here is copy of the current LASO contract for police protection to the community of La Habra Heights.  This may help explain our occurrences of mail theft, vandalism, burglary, assault, graffiti and an alarming amount of arson incidents.
Editor Note: Still think we need to spend millions on a New City Hall?

City of La Habra Heights suggestion on how to prevent mail theft and what to do if you become a likely victim of "Identity Theft" PDF file
In an attempt to mitigate the epidemic level of mail theft and subsequent "Identity Theft", the city has provided this handout to the community.
Note: Identity Theft can cost a resident thousands of dollars. At the same time the La Habra Heights City Council is saving thousands by denying the community adequate police protection and prevention of crime.
The resulting savings will be used to build a new city hall.

Drawing of the then 6.7 million dollar City Hall Complex. Today it's over 9 million, add an additional  1.5 million in soil mitigation, another $725,000 to purchase, design and test the property, include a very large undisclosed amount in legal fees and the price tag keeps growing!
Back in March of 2006 the new city hall added over 2 million dollars to the cost of the complex.  Today the cost of a new city hall is estimated to add 3.2 million to the cost of the complex.
Note: This is based on our own best estimates.  The City Council and city manager have not provided us with the actual cost to share with the public on this website or any website. It seems that keeping the public in the dark and outside the new proposed security gate is a top priority of the La Habra Heights City Council.

Minutes of January 8, 2004 La Habra Heights City Council Meeting (Consent Calendar Item 10). First questions about a rumored move of the La Habra Heights City Hall
Ever wonder where the idea of a "New City Hall" came from?
The idea came from a sub-committee formed by the City Council to get the firefighters better housing. La Habra Heights Council member Fred Klein is a member of the sub-committee that attached a New City Hall to better facilities for our volunteer firefighters.

January 1, 2004, Whittier Daily News article mentioning La Habra disbanding its fire department and La Habra Heights building a new city hall.
In 2004 the city of La Habra Heights still had fire and paramedic service from the City of La Habra to respond and protect the community. In early 2005 the city lost its fire and rescue agreement with La Habra. Today the community of La Habra Heights fire service is at its lowest level in over a decade as a result of the loss of the "1992 Automatic Aid Agreement" with the City of La Habra.

First verified mention of a "possible re-location of the city offices".
Monthly Height Christian Report (letter) dated: December 22, 2003 (PDF FILE)

No mention was made of better fire facilities, only about moving City offices, in this letter to the City of La Habra Heights.
This letter states that the city manager met with the Heights Christian Church about re-locating the City offices. No public mention had been made about moving city hall, only that the fire department was in need of better facilities.
Note: Letter/report obtained from the Jan. 8, 2004 La Habra Heights City Council meeting agenda packet.

Minutes of September 12, 2002 La Habra Heights City Council Meeting
(New Business, Item 14) Formation of a subcommittee for the city's possible future fire department building site.

Mayor Millsap appointed Council member Fred Klein as a member of the sub-committee.
Mayor Pro-Tem  Ed Borrowe's opinion was that residents of La Habra Heights also be appointed to serve on the sub-committee..
Note: Surprise, no citizens were ever appointed to serve on the sub-committee that would result in the purposed new city hall complex that may cost the community over 12 million dollars (our best estimate) before construction ever begins.

Minutes of June 10, 2004 La Habra Heights City Council Meeting (Page 14-16) Item 12 asks the city council to authorize city manager to purchase 2.96 acre lot for fire station not to exceed $480,000
Note: Report states that property was "found suitable to build a Fire Station and City Hall". After the purchase of the county property it was later realized that the property was in need of 1.5 million dollars of soil mitigation in order to build a fire station.

La Habra Heights residents, former Mayor, City Council members and firefighters plan to reduce response times for all residents and meet Los Angeles County Fire Department Standards.
Fire District Map (small)    Fire District Map (large file)
Having only one fire station will not result in any additional lives or property saved, but 3 small stations with Paramedic Rescue will.  In addition the units would also carry water to suppress a small fire from becoming a large out of control brush fire.
Note: 3 small stations would also reduce the size of the main station by 60 percent. Equipment would be distributed throughout the city rather than all housed in one location. Plan was presented to La Habra Heights city management.
MOTS Survey Results: Firefighters agree they do not need a new city hall to provide fire and rescue services to residents of La Habra Heights.

(RESULTS) of the City of La Habra Heights
 April 2002 GPAC Residential Household Survey

This document was mailed out to every household in La Habra Heights. Its purpose was to help identify issues that were important to the community. Question (n) asks "We need a fully staffed fire station in the East Heights". Agree, Disagree or No Opinion (50% of the respondents who had an opinion, agreed with question (n) on the survey)
Note: This survey was done prior to the 2005 loss of automatic aid services from the neighboring fire department (La Habra). Today the city does not have any "Automatic Aid" agreements for Paramedic, Rescue, Structure Fire or Wildfire response into the city limits of La Habra Heights.

November 16, 2006 Third Town Hall Meeting Announcement and exhibit by the City of La Habra Heights on a New City Hall Complex "Public Notice"
$480,000 land parcel purchase quickly becomes a 7.8 million dollar City Hall Complex.
Note: Originally (Sept. 2003) only a fire station was to be built for under 2 million dollars

April 28, 2005, First Town Hall meeting invite and exhibit for a new City Hall/fire station
In April of 2005 the La Habra Heights City Council mailed an invitation for the first "Town Hall" meeting to discuss the proposal to build a new fire station with the addition of a new city hall to go with the project.
Option 1 and 3 allow for the existing location to be remodeled to better facilitate the Volunteer Fire Department's needs.
Note: Option 1 and 3 keep the fire department's response time the same and on a 4 lane road vs. Option 2  moves north onto a 2 lane road with an increase in response time by 1 minute to portions of our community.

Postcard mailed to all La Habra Heights residences. Inviting them to get the facts and plan to attend the "Town Hall Meeting" on November 16, 2006
Privately financed mailing to insure the entire community was notified of the "Town Hall Meeting"

Copy of expired 1992 Automatic Aid Agreement with City of La Habra Fire Department
Agreement between the City of La Habra and La Habra Heights to have automatic responses into the city of La Habra Heights. Exhibit "B" states that La Habra Fire Department would respond "For any structure fire, medical aid or wildland fire".
In early 2005 The La Habra Fire Department was taken over by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.  The agreement became null and void with the takeover.  Overnight, La Habra Heights Fire Department's  response times in many cases doubled and tripled. No Town Hall Meeting, announcement, nor Special City Council meeting was held to discuss this development that would affect the health and welfare of a significant portion of the residents of La Habra Heights. Today Los Angeles County Fire Department does not, and has not had, an automatic aid agreement to respond to structure fires, medical aid or wildfires within La Habra Heights city limits.

Copy of the map used by residents to locate the closest fire station to their homes
The 2003 Thomas Guide still showed 6 listed fire stations in the City of La Habra Heights. Residents used that information to determine their fire and safety protection level before they purchased homes in the Heights. Many areas even had a fire station sign along the road indicating a fire station close by. It was later found out in 2005 that all the fire stations, except for 1 that did not ever exist, were closed.  Today The La Habra Heights Volunteer Fire Department only responds from one station located in the back of City Hall and response times now vary from 3 minutes to 19 minutes depending on location, nature of the call and available resources.

La Habra Heights Incident Report 06-197 "Structure Fire on Skyline Drive"
The official City of La Habra Heights Incident Report for a Structure fire on July 25, 2006, Time: 16:47 (4:47pm)
Only one engine, a squad and command vehicle, were dispatched. No call for mutual aid from Area E or Los Angeles County was made. The staffing of this incident is puzzling and needs additional clarification.
Here is a map of the route taken at 4:52pm.  The distance traveled was 5.1 miles. The average speed would have been 43.7 MPH to get there in 7 minutes as the report states. (PDF file)

Minutes of April 8, 2004 La Habra Heights City Council Meeting (Fire Chief's Report)
Fire Chief Nielsen stating that La Habra Heights would lose an estimated 350 homes
to a wind driven fire storm. (wind driven = Santa Ana Winds)

Note: 350 homes would make up approximately 18.5% of the total residences of La Habra Heights. With losses estimated at close to half a billion dollars.

Agoura Hills Fire Station 89 "Ready to Roll"
10 years (Oct. 1996) and 4 millions dollars later Fire Station 89 is operational in June of 2006.

Agoura Hills Fire Station 89 set to open
Los Angeles County Fire Departments newest station opens on June 1, 2006

Agoura Hills Fire Station 89 construction bogs down.
3.2 million dollar project quickly get to 4 million.

Agoura Hills Fire Station 89 construction yet to begin
Article states that project started out at 1.5 million dollar back in 2001.

Agoura Hills Fire Station 89 building contract awarded press release 1999
Press release indicates a 3 million dollar budget.

La Habra Heights County Water District 2005 Water Master Plan Update
Page V-1 of the Water Master Plan suggests that hydrants close to the reservoirs "shall be designated as Draft Hydrants". The structure fire incident on Skyline drive is adjacent to a reservoir.
The only units that currently carry draft hoses in La Habra Heights are the OES engine and the East Heights engine.  Los Angles County Fire Department still equips new engines with 20 feet of 4 inch hard suction hose (draft hose).
La Habra Heights has a "Draft Hydrant" (as needed) requirement on all new swimming pools. (PDF file)

City of La Habra Heights letter stating they do not have a copy of the ISO report
After two release of public information requests and an appearance in front of the La Habra Heights City Council with the City Attorney present, city management responded with a letter on October 5, 2006 stating that they did not have a copy of the ISO report.  So following City management instructions and being a good citizens, we contacted ISO and asked them to send them over a copy so the community could review it. (PDF file)

Brush fire threatens La Habra Heights October 4, 2006
A fire that broke out over the hill in unincorporated Los Angeles County (northern side) made for a sleepless night in La Habra Heights. Our fire department assisted as best as they could but rugged terrain and a lack of man power made for a delayed full response to the brush fire.  Favorable weather conditions aided in the quick work of the small fire that broke out in an area that has had an active fire history.
(see map)

UniSat sets out to demystify "Draft/Dry Hydrants" (Video)  Google version (click here) 
A rough edit version of a satellite news feed was provided to the La Habra Heights Fire Department, city manager and city council.  We would like to thank the Los Angeles County Fire Department for their cooperation in demonstrating the "Draft Hydrant" system that our city has adopted but neglects to enforce. Now the city manager is asking the city council to weaken the fire code so they do not have to enforce compliance uniformly.
Note: This is the same video that has been entered in as part of the public record.

City of La Habra Heights September 14, 2006 Agenda Report
Once again the City Manager asks that the section dealing with "Dry Hydrants" on new swimming pools be eliminated from article 7 (Page 71).
Note: Since the city adopted the Los Angeles County fire code in 1999, not one swimming pool has been constructed with the "draft" hydrant system that is being installed in other high fire danger communities. A reason that may be given to not enforce the ordinance now is:
"Properties that are adequately served by access roads that comply with fire department standards, and have a properly spaced fire hydrant capable of flowing a minimum of 1250 Gallons Per Minute (GPM) for 2 hours, may be exempted. Even though a residence can meet the requirements for exemption, firefighters and the community still need the backup water source in case of earthquake or large brushfire emergency as stated in our general plan. (PDF file)

City of La Habra Heights August 24, 2006 Agenda Report
City Manager asks that the section dealing with "Dry Hydrants" on new swimming pools be eliminated.
Note: Making it more difficult for firefighters to access pool water supplies will only serve to further endanger our community that is within the highest fire risk zone in Los Angeles County (PDF file)

KABC News story of a home saved twice by it's swimming pool
"They say you never make your money back on your pool" (play the video portion of story)

FEMA Wildfire press release

Statement about the property owners responsibility for the safety of their home in regards to wildfires (brushfires) "Protecting your home from wildfire is your responsibility"

EPA government report on communities at high risk of wildfire
Information on communities at risk (Yes, La Habra Heights is one of them)

Los Angeles County Fire Department hazardous wildfire areas in need of mitigation
La Habra Heights is in extreme danger of a wildfire coming from the east. (Tonner Canyon)
Need a reminder that you live in an extreme fire danger area? (click here)

CLAMFA History of fires responded to by Los Angeles County Fire Department
One of the 15 deadliest fires in Los Angeles County  burned through La Habra Heights

Firehouse Magazine story on La Habra Heights resident regarding response times by fire department
Retired veteran fire captain Roy Francis sends letter to neighbors warning of poor response times.
Copy of letter click here (PDF file)

Whittier Daily News
La Habra Heights residents ask for quicker response (PDF file)

KCBS and KCAL visit La Habra Heights residents who have offered to donate a new fire station
See what the mayor really thinks of the fire danger in La Habra Heights

Whittier Daily News
La Habra Heights couple build fire rig after learning that their fire station had moved out! (PDF file)

KABC News visits La Habra Heights own tractor fire rig!
It's not a Ferrari but it just maybe the most responsible thing to sport in La Habra Heights!
(add it to your "must have" holiday wish list)

George Edwardz goes before Los Angeles County Board of

George goes downtown seeking assistance in building a joint fire station to benefit the communities of La Habra Heights, La Habra, Rowland Heights and the Puente Hills Habitat Authority protected lands. Mr. Don Knabe is open to working with the City of La Habra Heights in  JPA (Joint Powers Agreement) 
George follows the highly spirited lady.

La Habra Heights Fire Department District Map (PDF file)
This is the same map that is used by the LHH fire department to respond to fire and rescue calls. A rectangle around an address indicate a swimming pool.
Note: Swimming pools are viewed as extremely valuable sources of water since the use of regular fire hydrants is considered questionable during brush fires.  Why? Lack of pressure or run dry.

City of La Habra Heights April 2002 GPAC Residential Household Survey
This document was mailed out to every household in La Habra Heights. It's purpose was to help identify issues that were important to the community.
Question (n) asks "We need a fully staffed fire station in the East Heights". Agree, Disagree or No Opinion

Old Topanga Incident Report (Malibu 1993)
At the October 12, 2006 La Habra Heights City Council Meeting.  The chairperson of the La Habra Heights Emergency Preparedness Committee stated that La Habra Heights is a Malibu waiting to happen.  She is correct, the professional firefighting community is in agreement with that statement.
To quote a La Habra Heights Volunteer fire Department captain "It's not if it will happen, it's when will it happen"  The link above discusses the incident that La Habra Heights residents should do everything possible to prevent from occurring in the community.

Letter to UniSat from the La Habra Heights City Council denying an offer to bring the Town Hall Meeting live into the homes of the community.
October 19, 2006 letter from the City of La Habra Heights "Thanks but no Thanks letter" to UniSat.
UniSat had offered to donate  services to bring city council meetings live into the communities' homes as far back as 2003. (See email here)
Note: The current City Council and City Manager do edit residents comment's at City Council Meetings when they deem it warranted.

Letter to La Habra Heights City Council offering to bring the Town Hall Meeting live into the homes of the community.
October 17, 2006 letter from UniSat offering to donate production and airtime in order broadcast the November 16, 2006 Town Hall on the new city hall project LIVE, completely free of charge.  Our offer included a live broadcast on both cable and direct satellite systems so the entire community could participate by calling in or emailing questions. This offer would have also aided thee elderly and infirmed members of the community by allowing them to actively participate in the town hall meeting.

History of Fire Map for La Habra Heights 1928 to 2005 (PDF File)

Most of our fires have come from the eastern and northern ends. The map also shows a significant fire history for the "Flat Top" area in the western end of La Habra Heights.
Note I: Map only show large fires not the numerous small fires that the resident volunteers quickly put out in the past from 1928-2002. La Habra Heights no longer has a resident volunteer firefighter program
Note II: Map is upside down (Thankz Kinko's) also a large file version is available for those who want it, just let us know and we will send it to you.

History of Fire Map for Los Angeles County 1878-2005

This map shows the areas in LA County that have burned in wildfires. La Habra Heights really stands out in this map. (right side of map on the Los Angeles Orange County line)

La Habra Heights Incident Report OX 99289 8 (response time of 12 minutes!)

Fire Chief Nielsen says he can be anywhere in La Habra Heights in 7 minutes.  Then why did it take a full 12 minutes to get to the corner of Harbor and Fullerton Road? If this would have been a heart attack or stroke it would have resulted in tragedy. (Still think we don't need a fire station on the East Side?) (PDF file)

Original proposal to build a fire station and provide a rescue unit for free!
Here is our family's proposal that was provided to the La Habra Heights City Council to privately finance a fire station.  They have refused to put the item on the agenda. (very accurate assessment of our fire service included) (PDF file)

Copy of email sent to Mayor Milsap and Councilman Bergman asking for assistance in placing  an offer to build a fire station on the east side of La Habra Heights on the agenda
Even though the entire community pays 2 fire taxes, the services are not equally distributed throughout the city. Ever hear that line "If you want it so bad build it yourself"?  We can't even get the city council to even consider an offer to do just that (no strings attached) (PDF file)

Roy Francis letter to community regarding response times
Copy of a May 9th, 2006 letter sent to neighbors urging for their assistance in getting the La Habra Heights city council to hear resident's concerns and solutions. (way to go Roy!)
Note: Roy Francis is a retired veteran firefighter of our own fire department. (PDF file)

1982 Los Angeles County Fire Department Mutual Aid agreement with the City of La Habra Heights
This is the only agreement with Los Angeles County Fire Department and states within that it does not relieve the city from providing adequate fire and rescue services. (PDF file)

Los Angeles County Fire Department "Draft Hydrant" requirements for Fire Zone 4 communities.
The City of Malibu and La Habra Heights both have one thing in common, they are within a high risk fire zone. After the last devastating wildfire in 1996 Malibu adopted stringent safety measures and in 1999 La Habra Heights did as well.  Currently Fire Chief Nielsen and the city manager of La Habra Heights are attempting to strike key provisions in Article 7 (page 71) of the proposed draft ordnances that would insure reliable and accessible backup water supplies in case of fire or as a result of a earthquake damaging our water mains that feed the fire hydrants. (fact: a fire engine can hold 500 gallons of water and an average pool holds 30,000 gallons of water. Do the math. how many trucks can be filled?  Now exactly why would the community not be interested in a reliable water reserve? (PDF file)

City of La Habra Heights General Plan (Final) Safety Element
Within the city's general plan it states that our water storage is inadequate and that swimming pools should be inventoried for use in fire suppression in case of emergency. (PDF file)

La Habra Heights County Water Department fire flow test report (as of Sept. 12, 2006)
Our water department does a great job getting us the water we need on a daily basis. Most of the hydrants flow well for our rural community but still others do not flow the minimum of 1250 GPM.

Los Angeles County Fire Department "Pre-Fire" plan
Extreme fire danger has always been part of living in La Habra Heights.  In our case should extreme measures be taken by our city to protect our families and homes? Los Angeles County Fire Department has some very helpful facts about our level of wildfire danger (PDF file)


Fire response times graded ISO (News Article)
La Habra Heights Fire Chief Nielson stated that the ISO rating for the city was not important or relevant in determining homeowners insurance rates. Someone should tell that to State Farm Insurance

2005 Topanga/Chatsworth Fire picture diary
Interesting link on what can result from a brush fire burning through La Habra Heights

Wildland Fire Statistics
List of the most serious wildfires in US history, sixteen of them burned in California. Oakland Hills in October of 1991 burned 1,500 acres, 2,900 homes and took 25 lives including the fire chief.
La Habra Heights is 4,000 acres with 1,951 homes per the 2000 U.S. census
Professional opinion suggest that a wildfire in La Habra Heights would burn though the 4,000 acres in a few hours.

City of Brea Fire Department
Brea fire department operates a rural fire station (station 4), one firefighter/EMT and one brush engine with medical equipment capable of administering critical first responder services to the community know as Olinda Village.

Los Angeles County Fire Code
Section 903.5*Pool Draft System in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones La Habra Heights has adopted the V.H.F.H.S.Z requirements (And that would be a good thing)

Link to: HeightsVote2007.com
Website location to watch the 2007 La Habra Heights Candidate
This independent presentation is free of government control and censorship. Up to the minute election results to begin March 6th at 8:00pm

Link to Smartvoter.org
All candidates, with the exception of City Council incumbent Fred Klein, support having 24/7 sheriff patrols, equal fire/rescue services to all members of the community and added measures to protect our fire prone community from the threat of wildfire.
With the exception of City Council incumbent Fred Klein, all are opposed to a New City Hall.


Colorado Fire Camp
Where we go to learn to prevent and fight wildfires from burning down communities.

Fire Camp Flyer
Here is a copy of the original invitation handed out at the 2006 Avocado Festival, urging La Habra Heights residents to learn to protect their family's and property. (PDF file)

Rio Hondo Fire Academy
This is where we received our California State Fire Marshall certification to drive, operate and pump rescue engines ( a longtime La Habra Heights resident was the instructor)

Los Angeles County Fire Department "Call Firefighter" program
This program could save La Habra Heights millions of dollars.


ALLSTAR Fire Equipment Inc.
Great local place to get swimming pool pumps, hoses and fire resistant clothing to keep you safe!

Darley fire equipment
They have everything from Kevlar shoelaces to fire engines!

Great resource for water storage for earthquake or fire protection.

eBay motors (fire engines)
OK you have the Jaguar and Hummer great, but how exactly is that going to help protect your family? So for the family or individual that has everything here is a tool that every responsible La Habra Heights resident ....or group of residents should own and get trained on!

Fenton Fire Equipment (fire engines and other apparatus)
Good source of used equipment available throughout the county.  If you got the cash they have the rig!
(Note: Automatic transmission and diesel powered is preferred and keep it small, big engines have no business in the Heights!)

"Your Letters, Your Voice"
Send us your letters and comments. If you give us the OK! we will post it here to share your thoughts, opinions and observations with your community.
"What we have here is a failure to communicate" 12/14/06 letter sent to this website

It was inevitable.  The city council is not responsive to the will of the people in this community and never has been. ---Ron and LeRae Phillips  Date: 02/09/07

"Perhaps they have forgotten their responsibility to this community"  
2/12/07 letter sent to this web site

Dear Santa Letter- "Please bring us two...NEW Council members"
2/13/07 letter provided to this website

"We need a change" Letter from past La Habra Heights mayor Ed Borrowe
2/21/07 letter sent to this website

Published Letter to Editor of Whittier Daily News - Questions newspaper's "Top Picks" for city council. 2/22/07 link to Whittier Daily News

"The tax was never needed for Paramedic service but to build and hide the cost of building a new city hall"
2/28/07 letter sent to this website


                                                Hit Counter            Last updated:  04/02/2015   Copyright: UniSat 2005-2014

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the individual authors and do not necessarily state or reflect the views or opinions of any agency, company or individual referenced on this site.

This site is owned and managed by: Universal Satellite Communications Inc. (UniSat) and operated as a public service to the communities of the La Habra Valley.  Our Mission is simple: Use excess capacity to report and educate with a bias towards protecting the public's right to know.