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It’s that time of year, and all around Anaheim people are getting into the holiday spirit with special community celebrations.
On Friday, Dec. 7, west Anaheim’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting is set for Twila Reid Park from 5 to 8 p.m.
The event features a tree lighting, performances by local school groups, pictures with Santa, Polar Express train rides, crafts for kids, a bonfire and food for sale.
You can find out more by calling (714) 609-8070.
Then on Saturday, Dec. 8, head to downtown Anaheim for the 24th annual Nutcracker Tree Lighting and Holiday Village on Center Street Promenade.
Along with the lighting of the 50-foot tree, the event includes performances by the Loara High School Marching Band, Anaheim Ballet and the Anaheim Union High School Combined Choirs.
There will also be a food fair, unique gift shopping, a snow play area, train rides, crafts and photos with Santa.
It all starts at 10 a.m. and culminates with the tree lighting at 6 p.m. You can find out more at Downtownanaheim.com.
Also on Dec. 8 head to Farmers Park, just outside the Packing House, for the annual Anaheim Night Market from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be unique holiday shopping and a free showing of “Elf.”
On Dec.15, bring the kids for free “Selfies with Santa” at the Packing House from 2 to 5 p.m. More at Anaheimpackingdistrict.com.
Later this month, Anna Drive will hold its annual Christmas posada, a Mexican tradition honoring Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. There will be lively music, dancing, elaborate costumes and decorations for a great community celebration.
At Anaheim’s libraries, you can find plenty of free holiday fun including story times, holiday crafts and visits from Santa.
Check out the calendar at Anaheim.net for more information.
Anaheim is moving ahead with plans for shelter space that will allow us to address the impacts of homelessness on our parks, streets and other public spaces.
Work has begun on two temporary emergency shelters that will provide a total of 325 new beds for those living in homelessness in Anaheim.
Grading and other early work is under way in an industrial part of central Anaheim where we are partnering with The Salvation Army Orange County for a 225-bed temporary emergency shelter.
You can view a short video on the progress here.
The City Council this week also approved moving forward with a 100-bed temporary emergency shelter at an industrial building at 3035 E. La Mesa St. The site is just across the way from the county’s 200-bed Bridges at Kraemer Place shelter that opened in 2017.
In addition, the City Council Thursday approved moving forward with an interim emergency homeless shelter to help people out of homelessness during the critical winter months and address growing impacts on the city’s parks and neighborhoods.
The interim emergency shelter will have up to 200 beds, and will be at an industrial building on State College Boulevard just north of Orangewood Avenue.
It is expected to come online by the end of December and operate for up to 90 days, closing once two planned temporary shelters open in January and February.
Extensive security and operational planning will ensure both the temporary shelters and interim facility will be a good neighbor for all of Anaheim.
Security measures, modeled off our successful approach at the Bridges at Kraemer Place Shelter, will include:
- Security plan approval by Anaheim Police
- Initial extensive Anaheim Police patrols followed by consistent, regular patrols
- Onsite security
- No loitering
- Thorough admittance policies
- Contingency plans for those who may walk up and be turned away
- Cooperation and outreach with local businesses
- Security design including potential cameras, deterrent landscaping and lighting
These shelters are part of a settlement agreement signed by Anaheim on Nov. 2 that requires the city to build 325 additional beds by early 2019.
The settlement resolves what is known as the Orange County Catholic Worker lawsuit, which carried the risk of losing our ability to enforce rules against public camping and public property storage.
The agreement allows Anaheim to uphold park hours, park rules and other city ordinances once the additional shelter beds come online.
While never the answer to homelessness, enforcement is one component in a larger, comprehensive strategy that is focused first and foremost on outreach, services and changing lives.
You can learn more about Anaheim’s shelter plan at Anaheim.net/shelterplan.
To learn more about all we are doing to address homelessness, Anaheim.net/homeless.
As Honda Center and the Anaheim Ducks mark their 25th anniversary in 2018, Anaheim has approved agreements for the next generation of great hockey and entertainment at the city-owned arena.
We’ve expanded our partnership with Anaheim Arena Management LLC, operator of Honda Center and owner of the Anaheim Ducks, ensuring home ice here for the Stanley Cup champion team through at least 2048.
We’ll also see more great concerts, visiting basketball and family entertainment in the decades to come, along with continued investment in Honda Center by Anaheim Arena.
An affiliated arm of Anaheim Arena also will take over running the neighboring Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center transit station, also known as ARTIC, which the city will continue to own.
Anaheim Arena’s operation of ARTIC frees us of about $2.5 million annually we have contributed to offset a current shortfall in revenue at the station. That’s money we now can use for public safety, parks and community services.
Anaheim Arena will look to bolster ARTIC’s finances through operational efficiencies with Honda Center and expanded sources of revenue including from a digital display alongside the Orange (57) Freeway.
We’re also selling about 16 acres of land in Honda Center parking lots to Anaheim Arena for $10.1 million.
Down the road, the land could see development as part of our vision for the Platinum Triangle — a downtown for all of Orange County built around sports, entertainment, urban-style homes and jobs.
For that to happen, Anaheim Arena will have to ensure easy-to-use parking for arena visitors, potentially through parking structures.
The $10.1 million in proceeds from the land sale will be available to Anaheim for community priorities including parks, community services, addressing homelessness and public safety.
You can find out more at Anaheim.net/HCNext25.
Anaheim has completed its transition to City Council representation by districts with November’s election.
From west Anaheim to the hills in the east, the Council now will be made up of members who each reside in and represent one of six districts across the city.
Anaheim’s mayor continues to represent the city as a whole on the seven-member Council.
A new mayor, two new district representatives and one re-elected district representative were sworn in on Tuesday.
Anaheim began the transition to districts in 2016, when voters picked representatives for District 1 in west Anaheim, District 3 in central-north, District 4 in central-south and District 5 in central-east.
For the past two years, four district representatives have served alongside the mayor and two previously elected members who continued to represent the city at large.
Joining the Council are new members for District 2 — the area of west Anaheim roughly from Magnolia Avenue to Euclid Street — and District 6 in east Anaheim.
The holiday spirit is in full swing in Anaheim.
Driving through neighborhoods, you see that spirit on display with holiday lights, inflatable Santas and snowmen decorating front yards.
If you’ve seen an impressive display on a home, apartment community or business, the Anaheim-based nonprofit Anaheim Beautiful wants to hear about it.
Each year Anaheim Beautiful holds a holiday lights contest seeking nominations for best holiday decorations.
There are eight categories:
- Grand prize: Miss Anaheim Beautiful’s Choice
- Best display using LED lights
- Best vintage display
- Best animated or musical display
- Best retail/commercial display
- Best spirit of the season
- The WOW factor display
If you’d like to nominate your home or your neighbor’s, head over to AnaheimBeautiful.org/holiday-lights-contest to complete the online form.
You may also submit a nomination by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact info and the address of the home or business you’re nominating.
A judging panel will be made up of members from Miss Anaheim Beautiful, the Anaheim Beautiful board and the community.
The deadline to submit nominations is Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. Winners will be announced before Christmas and then recognized at a city council meeting in early 2019.
Since 2016, Anaheim Public Utilities has partnered with Anaheim Beautiful to sponsor the best LED light display. To promote the use of LED lights, Anaheim Public Utilities is offering a light exchange program through Dec. 15.
When you turn in a string of incandescent lights, you get a free string of LED lights. Visit one of our two exchange program locations to participate.
- Anaheim Central Library, 500 W. Broadway
Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Canyon Hills Library, 400 Scout Trail
Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The holidays are one of the happiest times of the year, but there are always those that are out to ruin the celebration.
We’ve heard of a recent increase in scam calls to Anaheim residents. These callers could be pretending they work for Anaheim Public Utilities, asking for urgent payment or threatening to turn off your power.
If something sounds off, don’t buy it. We’ll never call you demanding immediate payment and we don’t accept prepaid cards or solicit payment in person.
You can always call us at (714) 765-4311 to verify any phone call you think might be fraudulent.
We’re here to help make sure your holidays are safe and merry.
Find out more at Anaheim.net/utilities.
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