Breves de la Comunidad

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Montebello

Cinco asistentes del Alguacil el lunes fueron llamados héroes por salvarle la vida a un hombre que intentaba ahorcarse del puente Rio Hondo en Montebello. Los cinco agentes subieron al hombre y le quitaron la soga de cable e iniciaron reanimación cardiopulmonar. El hombre fue llevado a un hospital en condición critica después del incidente que se llevó acabo a las 5:30 pm el 22 de abril.

Boyle Heights

La conductora de un auto que chocó a alta velocidad contra un edificio fue hospitalizada el martes, informaron las autoridades. La mujer no parecía gravemente herida después del accidente que se realizó en la intersección de Pleasant Avenue y First Street a aproximadamente 1:05 a.m., dijo el Sargento Eddie Arangure del LAPD. El edificio tiene varios meses vacante, dijo Hoyte. El día anterior, sobre la cuadra 700 de South Soto Street, hubo otro accidente automovilístico en el cual dos bomberos fueron heridos. El accidente se materializo a las 2:30 p.m. cuando una ambulancia de la ciudad y una camioneta se impactaron, de acuerdo con Matt Spence del Departamento de Bomberos de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles. La ambulancia no llevaba un paciente. Los dos bomberos y el conductor de la camioneta fueron hospitalizados.

Lincoln Heights

Después que un equipo de excavación de DWP quebró una pipa de gas natural, se ordenaron evacuaciones el martes como una precaución mientras que la pipa se reparaba. El incidente fue sobre la cuadra 2700 de North Broadway a las 9:30 a.m., dijo Brian Humphrey del Departamento de Bomberos de Los Ángeles. No hubieron heridos ni hubo un incendió, él dijo. Una media cuadra alrededor de la pipa fue evacuada y los autos fueron dirigidos fuera de la zona hasta las 11 a.m. cuando se quito la orden de evacuación.

Este de Los Ángeles

Habrán dos eventos del ‘Día de Los Niños’ en el Este de Los Ángeles este sábado, 28 de abril. Uno será en el Parque Belvedere de las 10 a.m. a 4 p.m., el parque esta ubicado en 4914 E. Cesar Chávez Avenue, Los Ángeles 90022. Para más información directamente con el parque al (323) 260-2342. El otro evento será en el Parque Saybrook de las 11 a.m. a 5 p.m. El parque esta localizado en 6250 East Northside Drive, Los Ángeles 90022. Para más información directamente con el parque al (323) 724-8546.

Bell Gardens Police Accused of ‘Lethal Force’ Against Unarmed Man’

April 26, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department is investigating an officer involved shooting in Bell Gardens on April 20 that left a local man hospitalized.

On Monday, friends of the man’s family spoke at the Bell Gardens City Council meeting and accused Bell Gardens Police officers of using unwarranted lethal force when they shot and injured 20-year-old Johnny Estrada, whom they claim was unarmed.

“Bell Gardens is not a combat zone,” said Alfredo Alvarez, who did not personally witness the shooting.

According to police, officers were responding to a call of a family dispute at around 6:40 pm last Friday on the 6800 block of Marlow Avenue when the suspect, sitting in the driver’s side of a car with its engine running, refused to follow their commands to exit the vehicle. That’s when the shooting started, according to authorities.

Officers shot Estrada after he revved the engine, causing the wheels to spin. They thought he could be using his car as a weapon against family members standing in front of the car, said Deputy Peter Gomez of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

Alvarez said the shooting has shed a negative light on the police department and city council. He said he used to admire the city’s police department, but now it’s lost the trust of the community.

Alvarez and 10 other friends and neighbors at the council meeting, said Estrada was having an argument with his mother when someone called the police. Upon their arrival, the officers drew their guns on Estrada, even though he was not making any violent threats. They told EGP that police pointed their guns at others at the scene, including Estrada’s mother.

Estrada’s mother, Maria Alvarez, told KCAL 9 that officers were trying to break the car’s windows before they shot her son. She said this was not her son’s first run-in with police, adding that he was scheduled to appear in court this week regarding his allegations that police struck him during another incident.

Estrada is now listed in stable condition, according to Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Nicole Nishida. She could not confirm the number of times Estrada was shot or where he was hit, but Alfredo Alvarez told EGP he was shot three times and one of the bullets grazed his face.

Araceli Martinez says her son is Estrada’s best friend. She said police told Estrada to get out of the car or else they would shoot him in the head.
She and others complained that the police officer who shot Estrada had failed to act in a professional manner.

Estrada was working two jobs and on getting his high school diploma, Martinez said. “He is trying to do good in his life,” Martinez told EGP.

Estrada is not a gang member, but is easy going and lives with his mother, three sisters and a brother, his friends at the council meeting told EGP.

As is customary in officer-involved shootings, Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau detectives are investigating the case. The investigation could take a couple of months, according to Nishida.

At Monday’s meeting, council members wished Estrada a speedy recovery, but said they would wait for the Sheriff’s Department to conclude its investigation before passing judgment.

However, Mayor Pro Tem Sergio Infanzon, addressing Alfredo Alvarez during and after the meeting, said if the community really does fear the police department they should have come forward earlier, and not waited until an incident like this occurred before speaking out.

Responding to an email, Bell Gardens Police Captain Jeff Travis told EGP that the investigation is ongoing, and therefore he could not provide requested information.

Bell Gardens City Manager Philip Wagner said he assumes Bell Gardens Police Officers are not without critics, especially during incidents like this, but he has never heard that the Bell Gardens’ residents distrust the city’s law enforcement officers.

“I don’t believe that distrust is the consensus of the community,” Wagner said, noting the hundreds of Neighborhood Watch Program participants who support the police department.

Bell Gardens Police Department officers are “highly trained consistent with the requirements and standards mandated by the State and no different than any other law enforcement agency in California,” he said, speaking to questions about their professionalism.

Bell Gardens Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carlos Cruz, who heads the Bell Gardens Business Watch, said he isn’t aware of any past incidents or complaints against the Bell Gardens Police Department.

“As far as I know, the businesses don’t have a fear of the police. I don’t know of any incidents where the community fears the police,” said Cruz, who also pointed out some of the police’s community outreach and fundraising events.

The officers involved in the shooting have not been identified.

Information from City News Service was used in this report.

Taller de Ciudadanía este Sábado en Boyle Heights

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Este fin de semana se realizará un taller acerca de la ciudadanía en la iglesia Nuestra Señora de Talpa en Boyle Heights.

El evento será el sábado, 28 de abril, de 9 a.m. a mediodía en 2914 E. 4th St., Los Ángeles, 90033. Las primeras 300 personas serán atendidas.

Varios documentos son necesitados para llenar y completar su solicitud de naturalización. Para más información visite el sitio web LAVoicePico.org o llame al (888) 839-8682.

Metro Did Not Consider Civil Rights Impacts of Route Changes, Says FTA

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Los Angeles county’s largest transit system failed to subject route changes and cutbacks to civil rights reviews required by the federal government and its own agency, according to letter from federal officials

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was ordered to take another look at changes and cuts made to transit service since December 2009 and will meet with Federal Transit Authority, FTA, officials May 7 to review its methodology in making service changes.

There were “disturbing findings” in their ongoing review of Metro, according to FTA officials, including a failure by Metro to comply with federal requirements
for analyzing service changes to to ensure they do not discriminate against certain riders based on “race, color or national origins” before they were implemented. Metro also ignored its own civil rights review requirements the letter stated.

Metro officials insisted however the FTA letter has yet to bring up any new violations and did not document any actual civil rights violations.

“Metro must receive approval from the FTA for the methodology prior to undertaking this new requirement,” according to the agency. “… Metro will comply (with) all FTA directives and expeditiously complete the analysis being requested.”

The letter noted that Metro had made “notable progress” in addressing past concerns that have been raised as part of the ongoing federal review, which was prompted by a 2010 complaint by the Bus Riders Union alleging that Metro was prioritizing rail service over bus service to the detriment of low-income communities.

“While a great deal of work has been done, a great deal more work must now be done to ensure that the cumulative effects of multiple service changes did not in any way violate the civil rights of Los Angeles transit riders,” according to the FTA.

Sunyoung Yang, lead organizer for the Bus Riders Union, lashed out at the FTA for not coming down harder on Metro and finding that the agency had violated civil rights of riders.

“FTA is ignoring the smoking gun uncovered by its own civil rights team,” Yang said. “Rather than hold Metro responsible, (the FTA) is allowing the agency to paper over its civil rights abuses through more studies to make its civil rights violations disappear through administrative sleight of hand.”

EPA Chief Lisa Jackson Visits Glassell Park High School

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and Obama cabinet member Lisa P. Jackson paid a visit April 20 to the Los Angeles River Academy, located at the Sonia Sotomayor Learning Center. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and Obama Cabinet Member Lisa P. Jackson on April 20 paid a visit to the Los Angeles River Academy for an Earth Day Celebration.

Jackson participated in a town hall meeting with students and faculty and discussed the EPA’s recent efforts to protect the environment and people’s health, as well as to promote the green economy.

The academy, which opened in 2011, has an environmental studies theme and prepares students for green jobs. The school was built on a former industrial site and has an innovative Energy and Environmental Technology (EET) program component that introduces students to training, college and entry-level employment in the Energy and Utilities Industry sectors, according to the EPA.

The school also has access to a Hydrology and Energy Laboratory with professional testing and research equipment and a 1,200 square food greenhouse. The school shares the campus with four other small schools.

Highland Park To Get New Pocket Park

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Highland Park residents and York Boulevard business owners gathered Saturday, April 21 to celebrate the news that nearly three million dollars has been secured to turn a vacant lot into a pocket park.

A request for Proposition 84 funds — to convert a fenced up, former gas station lot located at the corner of York Boulevard and Avenue 50 to a new green space — was approved, Councilman Jose Huizar announced last week in a press release.

Last week, the office of Councilmember Jose Huizar announced that an application for financing to turn a vacant lot into a park was approved. (Office of Councilmember Jose Huizar)

The $2.85 million will be used to purchase the lot and add several park amenities. The land was subject to mitigation clean up in recent years and is not polluted, according to Huizar’s spokesperson Rick Coca.

A new park was at the top of the “York Vision Plan” wish list, created by community members and Huizar’s office to improve the York Boulevard corridor, according to the councilman’s office.

“This is a great example of what can happen when the community, business owners and local electeds work together toward a single, focused goal,” Huizar said in the statement.

“I am extremely proud to support the efforts of the York Vision Plan,” he said. “This $2.85 million in funding is a major step in our effort to build a park on York Boulevard and bringing a much-needed asset to the Highland Park community.”

Community members have expressed several ideas for the park, including the desire for a playground, benches and walking trail, but future meetings to receive more input and to decide the amenities will take place, Coca said.

The application for the pocket park was submitted by Councilmember Huizar’s office, the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) and the Green L.A. Coalition, which was hired by Huizar to run the community-based York Vision Plan, according to the release.

The city’s Recreation and Parks Department is currently in negotiations with the property owner to purchase the land on York Boulevard and Ave. 50. A deal has not been finalized, according to Huizar’s office.

The park, located just down the street from Occidental College, was one of two L.A. city sponsored park projects approved.

Fifty-three other parks were selected and 11 existing parks will be expanded, a total of $184 million were awarded. The voter approved Proposition 84 was authored by Sen. Kevin De Leon.

Anahuak Da Reconocimiento a Antiguo Entrenador

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hace años que Jorge Romero no ha entrenado a los futbolistas de la Asociación Deportiva Juvenil Anahuak (Anahuak Youth Sports Association) pero sus esfuerzos y contribuciones para inspirar y sacar adelante a los jóvenes aún se sienten en Los Ángeles.

Jorge Romero, foto cortesía de Anahuak Youth Sports Association

El pasado sábado, 21 de abril, en el Home Depot Center, José Arce, representante de Chivas USA y comunidades, presentó en nombre de Anahuak un reconocimiento a Romero, de acuerdo a Raúl Macias, presidente y fundador de Anahuak.

Macias dijo a EGP que Romero siempre ha ayudado a los jóvenes a salir adelante y a llenar sus ambiciones deportivas, él es una “persona con un corazón muy grande para darle su tiempo a todos los chamacos,” explicó.

Hace aproximadamente 7 años, Romero fue entrenador de Anahuak por 8 años y aunque actualmente reside en Sacramento donde entrena el equipo Real Santa Rosa, se mantiene en contacto con Anahuak y ambos equipos viajan para competir en su propio terreno.

“Él es padre de familia y una persona de mediana recursos, es un ejemplo porque hay mucha gente que quiere ayudar a los jóvenes,” dijo Macias.

Macias dijo que Romero, originario de Jalisco, fue uno de sus mejores entrenadores e inculco un sistema muy practico de entrenamiento que se utiliza hoy para empujar a los niños.

Romero también inspiró a Macias a buscar la afiliación con el U.S. Youth Soccer Association que ayuda a los deportistas ser reclutados para equipos universitarios, profesionales para las Olimpiadas.

Romero dijo a EGP que trabajo con los niños de Anahuak desde 1998 y 2006 y que el reconocimiento, una expresión de agradecimiento, fue una sorpresa.

“Es algo, yo no puedo explicar… en ese momento no llore, pero hace un rato sí se me salieron las lagrimas pensando en los niños que he ayudado,” dijo Romero.

Como entrenador voluntario, Romero no recibe pago por su labor pero el dice estar muy orgulloso de los jóvenes que han tomado el “granito de arena” que se les ha ofrecido.

“El objetivo es no hacer profesionales pero buenas personas en la comunidad,” explicó.

Romero es padre de familia y es recibidor en una bodega en Sacramento, después de trabajar sus 8 horas ayuda entrenar a los niños.

Anahuak Youth Sports Association se estableció en 1994 en el Noreste de Los Ángeles. Actualmente el club entrena alrededor de 2.000 niños y niñas en las zonas de Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights y Highland Park, aunque también participan niños del Este de Los Ángeles y tan lejos como Tujanga, dijo Macias.

Senior at All Girls Lincoln Heights School Wins National Scholars Award

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A senior at a local all-girl parochial high school has been named a Gates Millennium Scholar, the school announced this week.

Katherine Morales attends Sacred Heart High School in Lincoln Heights, and is the school’s first student to earn the prestigious award.

Gates Millennium Scholars can use the scholarship award to attend the college or university of their choice, provided they have already been accepted for admission. The scholarship is “good-through-graduation.”

Katharine Morales

Morales has several admission offers, and is in the process of deciding which university she will attend. She has been admitted into some very competitive universities, including the University of California Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, and Wellesley College.

Originally funded by a one billion dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects only 1,000 talented students nationwide to reach their goal “to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential,” as stated on the GMS website.

The scholarship award provides support for the cost of education by covering unmet need and self-help aid, and is renewable if the student maintains satisfactory academic progress. It also provides graduate school funding for continuing Gates Millennium Scholars in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science, and leadership development programs with distinctive personal, academic and professional growth opportunities, according to the website.

In addition to her academic accomplishments, Morales also serves as the school’s Associate Student Body Vice President, is a member of Sacred Heart High School’s Ambassador Society and is an active leader in Campus Ministry as a member of LIFE (Living in Faith Experience) team.

Monterey Park Crackdown Leads to Discovery of Four Illegal Motels

April 26, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

(EGP News)—Monterey Park’s recent “zero tolerance” crackdown on flyers posted to trees, sign posts and other public property led to the discovery of what appear to be illegal boarding houses in the city.

The “sting” operation conducted on April 11 resulted in the citation of three individuals for operating a business with out a license. A fourth was cited for being an unlicensed driver, and his vehicle was impounded.

City officials say these homes are being run as motels without the proper licensing and permits. City’s code enforcement officers issued citations at each of these homes on April 12. The four homes are located at the 100 block of E. Emerson Avenue, 200 block of N. Lincoln Avenue, 500 block of N. New Avenue and the 400 block of E. Hellman Avenue.

According to city officials, there have been ongoing complaints about unsightly flyers being posted all over downtown Monterey Park on Garvey and Garfield.
Several people cited by code enforcement were posting up the flyers repeatedly, despite warnings from city officials and could also be classified as vandals, according to Police Sgt. Dave Elliott.

Montebello Tax Cheat Sentenced to Five Years, Ordered To Pay Up

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(EGP News) – A Montebello accountant who cheated the IRS out of $8 million was sentenced to 60 months in prison by United States District Judge S. James Otero.

Mario Placencia, 70, of Alhambra must also pay $1.2 million in restitution to the IRS within the next three months. He pleaded guilty to two counts of helping to prepare fake tax returns and documents, and submitting fake documents to the IRS to back up the false deductions on the returns.

Placencia admitted that between 2003 and 2009, he inflated the home mortgage interest amounts on his clients’ federal income tax returns. During audits of some of his clients’ tax returns, he then provided false documents to IRS auditors in order to cover his tracks.

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