Andy Anaheim's Updates is the city of Anaheim's monthly email newsletter, bringing the latest Anaheim news right to your inbox.
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You can play basketball, shake it at a Zumba class or enjoy a movie under the stars at Anaheim’s newest community center at Ponderosa Park.
But that’s just for starters.
The $15 million facility, which opened in late December, is what we call a family resource center, offering help and support for working families and kids.
It’s playing a big role in the lives of residents, many of them first- or second-generation Americans who live in older, compact apartments around the park.
They can get hands-on help putting food on the table, navigating the complexities of parenting, developing resumes, searching for jobs and accessing healthcare and legal services.
For kids, there is afterschool homework help, an afternoon meal, field trips and board games for a fun break.
“This center literally changes lives,” said Brent Dennis, Anaheim’s community services director. “For a working family striving to make ends meet, a helping hand like this can make all the difference in the world.”
The community center is part of a complete renovation of the 52-year old Ponderosa Park that includes the community center, a recently opened skate park and a playground and outdoor spaces coming this year.
For the makeover, Anaheim asked residents what they wanted to see in their park.
“It was a chance to dream,” said longtime resident Luz Rosales. “It allowed me to think of all the things that would make our community better, safer and happier.”
The community center replaces an outgrown facility at Ponderosa that dated back to 2000.
The new center spans 18,400 square feet and includes a full-size basketball court, two half courts, a teen room, a nutrition program room, demonstration kitchen, class spaces and dance and exercise rooms.
The family resource center at Ponderosa is one of three in Anaheim. The others are at Miraloma Park and at the Downtown Anaheim Community Center.
For more on the Ponderosa Park Family Resource Center, visit Anaheim.net/parks or call (714) 750-2826.
One of downtown Anaheim’s coolest yearly events is coming up with the 38th annual Orange County Black History Month Parade & Cultural Faire on Feb. 3.
The yearly event brings together more than 8,000 people of all backgrounds to mark the contributions of African-Americans to Anaheim and the county.
Anaheim has proudly hosted the parade since 2011.
Some 50 marching bands, parade vehicles, horseback riders and others take part, with churches, sororities and youth and social groups represented.
The parade runs from north of City Hall down Anaheim Boulevard to Broadway before looping around to Center Street Promenade, where the celebration continues with a street fair with food, boutique booths, music and festivities.
As the only black heritage parade in the county, the event showcases Anaheim’s and Orange County’s culturally rich African-American community.
Anaheim is home to about 11,000 African-American residents, or about 20 percent of Orange County’s black population, according to numbers from the Census.
For more, visit the Orange County Heritage Council at OC-HC.org.
The annual State of City luncheon highlighting Anaheim’s accomplishments of the past year and our vision for the new year is right around the corner.
This year’s event is Tuesday, Feb. 6, at City National Grove of Anaheim.
State of the City is an uplifting, inspiring event and a great way to connect with your city.
Businesses and organizations can show their support of Anaheim by helping to sponsor State of the City.
There are several sponsorships available online that allow your company or group to be a part of it.
By sponsoring State of the City, you’re supporting ACT Anaheim, a partnership of philanthropy, business and community stakeholders to support Anaheim youth and families.
ACT Anaheim was launched in 2013 by Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks, which together committed $3 million in initial funding.
Since then, others have joined the effort to provide more than $6 million in grants to nonprofit partners since 2014. Learn more at OC-CF.org/Act-Anaheim.
For tickets and more on State of the City, click here.
It’s hockey season and we’re cheering on our Anaheim Ducks!
Heading to a game at Honda Center? We’ve got your free ride.
Downtown Anaheim, or Center City, and the Platinum Triangle now have a direct link thanks to Anaheim Resort Transportation, which provides free shuttle service throughout the city.
ART’s CrtCity/Platinum Triangle Line is a fun and easy way to enjoy a night of fun.
Buses cater to games and other events at Honda Center and Angel Stadium of Anaheim, with buses leaving the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, or ARTIC, 30 minutes after the end of every event.
And it’s not just for hockey.
Live or work in the Platinum Triangle? Hop aboard to get to the Anaheim Packing District, Center Street Promenade or the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center.
The line runs seven days a week, starting at Center Street Promenade and traveling to ARTIC.
Weekday routes run from 6 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. Weekend routes run from 8:45 a.m. to noon and from 2:10 to 6:40 p.m.
The line is thanks to a grant from the Orange County Transportation Authority and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee.
You can find out more here.
More than 50 people living along the Santa Ana River Trail have begun the process of being placed into housing after a community outreach day on Dec. 19.
Some 30 nonprofits, agencies and volunteers came together last month at Angel Stadium of Anaheim to offer housing, services and help to those living along the river trail.
The outreach effort was part of a health and safety state of emergency declared by Anaheim’s City Council in September.
The city is working with the county of Orange to transition people off the river trail with a goal of ending encampments in 2018.
In all, 885 people were contacted as part of the outreach day, including some from beyond the river trail who came from elsewhere to take part in the event.
Nearly three-quarters, or 640 people, took advantage of services including access to transitional housing, drug rehabilitation programs, veterans support and education.
Fifty-five people, including 56-year-old Steven Elizondo, began the process of getting into transitional housing and off the river trail. Elizondo said he was tired of living along the river trail and was ready to make a change.
Since July, the county of Orange, with support from Anaheim, has helped more than 125 people transition off the river trail.
Since early 2014, Anaheim and nonprofit partner City Net have helped nearly 900 people out of homelessness across the city by reuniting them with family or placing them in housing.
To find out more about what Anaheim is doing to address homelessness, click here.
If you don’t have your Anaheim Public Library card, you’re missing out!
Especially since the card now gets you even more than the books and other offerings at our library branches.
Just show your library card to participating businesses on the Center Street Promenade and you’ll get exclusive discounts.Get 10 percent off your purchase at:
- Center Street Cheese Shop
- Good Things
- Healthy Junk
- Ink & Bean
Support local Anaheim businesses, your public library and get great discounts for yourself.
It’s free to get a library card, so what are you waiting for?
Sign up at a branch near you or visit at Anaheim.net/library.
Anaheim is buying a 1950s-era motel along Beach Boulevard as part of efforts to revitalize one of the city’s most important thoroughfares.
The City Council in December voted to proceed with buying the site of the Americana Motel and two adjacent properties that house a car wash and gas station.
The buy is set to close in coming months and pave the way for redevelopment as new homes with shops and restaurants on the ground floor along Beach Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue.
The motel, car wash and gas station will close as the city works with a development partner on a plan for the 3.6-acre site.
The Americana site borders the West Anaheim Youth Center, a community center that opened in 2007.
Like other Beach Boulevard motels, the Americana no longer serves travelers and operates as a sober-living facility.
The acquisition is part of a larger Anaheim effort to revitalize Beach Boulevard, which faces challenges from blight and quality-of-life issues.
In 2016, the City Council approved the sale of 25 acres of land at Beach and Lincoln for development as Westgate Center, a shopping center that’s in the early design phase.
Last year saw the demolition of the former Lyndy’s Motel at Beach and Ball Road to make way for a car wash, which now is under construction.
In 2018, the City Council is expected to consider new zoning along Beach.
The zoning is designed to encourage additional development, redevelopment of underutilized motels and retail space and to addresses blight and quality-of-life issues.
Anaheim Public Utilities takes being green to heart, continuously working to expand our use of electricity that comes from renewable sources.
Right now, we get nearly 30 percent of our electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources that are good for the environment.
We hit a milestone at the end of 2017 when we stopped getting electricity from a coal plant in New Mexico that we had used since 1991.
It’s all part of our work to get to 50 percent renewable energy sources by 2030.
On the water side, we are continuing to replace aging pipes and equipment to ensure your water arrives safely and reliably, which is more important than ever as we saw during the recent Canyon Fires.
Due to the rising cost of the water we purchase for our users and the need to build important system upgrades, you will get a notice in the mail soon with details about a modest rate increase.
We know no one ever wants to see an increase in their bill. But sometimes they are necessary.
And, remember, Anaheim Public Utilities is a not-for-profit municipal utility run for the benefit of ratepayers — our residents and businesses.
Our rates cover the cost of delivering water and power and nothing else. And your utility payments stay right here in Anaheim for the benefit of our city.
Anaheim residents and businesses still enjoy some of the lowest electricity and water rates in Orange County cities, typically paying up to 30 percent less.
And we’re always here to help you find ways to save on your bill, including tips to reduce your usage and rebate programs.
For ideas and more information on your utility, check out Anaheim.net/utilities.