Charges in Case Against Chicano Activist Are Reduced

April 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Two of six felony counts against Carlos Montes, a longtime community activist and veteran Chicano leader, were dismissed March 27, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed.

Montes, whose case has received local and national media coverage, says he is one of 24 antiwar activists targeted by the FBI for political persecution.

The two counts of perjury by declaration were dismissed because the statute of limitations barred their enforcement, Shiara Dávila-Morales with the LA County District Attorney’s Office told EGP.

Montes still faces four felony counts, two counts of perjury by declaration and one count each of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of ammunition, Dávila-Morales said.

Montes was arrested May 17, 2011 after the execution of a search warrant turned up a firearm in his possession. As a convicted felon, Montes is prohibited from being in possession of a gun, LA County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told EGP at the time of the arrest.

Montes has denied he is barred from owning a fire arm, but acknowledged that he was charged decades ago with assaulting an officer with a soda can thrown at police lines during a student rally at East Los Angeles College.

“In 1969, during a Chicano student strike and rally demanding Chicano/a Studies, the ELA Sheriffs came on campus and beat, arrested students and dispersed the rally. On the way home, while in a car with my sister and friends, the ELA Sheriffs stopped us and arrested me for assault and battery on a peace office; they alleged I threw an empty aluminum can at a deputy,” Montes told EGP by email on Wednesday. “I believe I was singled out for being a leader in the Brown Berets and speaking out during the strike and rally,” Montes said.

“I purchased guns at a store legally, filled out the applications, took possession after the waiting period and background check was completed. [So] Yes I deny that I am barred from buying and owning a gun.”

Montes thanked supporters who have attended his court hearings and picketed outside the LA Superior Court to demand the charges be dropped and “justice for Carlos Montes.”

His supporters have called President Obama and Attorney General Holder demanding an end to his prosecution, with several different groups sending out mass emails to engage others in their efforts.

His supporters say the FBI, LA Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Sheriff’s Department have manufactured a frame up against him.

“They say that he violated gun ownership laws when he did no such thing. They take a charge against Carlos, from 42 some years ago, stemming from a protest where Sheriffs attacked students at ELA College demanding Chicano and Black studies. The Sheriffs and District Attorney claim that Carlos has a felony on his record so he cannot own a firearm. The legal record does not support that,” said Mick Kelly, of the National Committee to Stop FBI Repression, in a written statement.

Montes’ attorney, Jorge Gonzales on March 27 introduced a request for “discovery and a motion to dismiss.”

“The motion argues that Montes is facing prosecution because he exercised his first amendment rights, specifically he is an outspoken opponent to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Colombia.”

Montes was one of the organizers of a massive antiwar march at the 2008 Republican National Convention, and he is currently calling on people to unite and march in the May 12 “Protest on NATO” in Chicago, and to “denounce their war alliance,” according to a statement released to the media.

The motion to the court also seeks to get information on the FBI’s role in Montes’ case, and requests that all communications between the LA Sheriff’s Depart and the FBI be turned over to Montes’ attorney. The District Attorney’s Office denies that any such documents exist, according to a press release from Montes’ supporters.

Montes next court date is scheduled for April 26.

Mexicano Usa Canciones para Promover la Educación Bilingüe

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

El mexicano José Luis Orozco es un músico que promueve en EE.UU la educación bilingüe a través de canciones populares, por ello, más de mil distritos escolares utilizan su método para ayudar a estudiantes inmigrantes.

“Más que nada consiste en usar las tradiciones que vienen de siglos de los cantos, los juegos, los arrullos, los trabalenguas, las rimas”, dijo a Efe Orozco.

“Todos estos son instrumentos indispensables para la educación de los niños, además de enseñarles el idioma, les estamos enseñando la cultura”, aseguró.

Nacido el 6 de mayo de 1948 en ciudad de México, José Luis Orozco Ramos a los 8 años entró a formar parte del Coro de Niños de México, al cumplir 10 partió en gira internacional con el grupo para ir a cantar a 34 países.

Posteriormente emigró a EE.UU para estudiar educación en la Universidad de California en Berkeley y luego hizo una maestría en Educación Multicultural de la Universidad de San Francisco.

Por su método de enseñanza musical bilingüe, con el que se ayuda a estudiantes inmigrantes y que involucra en los cantos y juegos a sus padres, fue contratado por el distrito escolar unificado de Berkeley.

“Se les ayuda en el idioma español, el idioma que ellos reconocen, eso les ayuda también a sentirse cómodos en la escuela, eso es bueno para el autoestima”, explicó Orozco.

“Si llegan a la escuela y no hablan nada de inglés y se les habla en inglés los niños van a tener más dificultad, si ya hablan español y tienen maestros bilingües, los maestros bilingües les ayudan en español y les ayudan a hacer la transición al inglés”, explicó.

En 1971 lanzó su primer disco de cantos infantiles tradicionales y otras canciones de las cuales él es el autor y hasta la fecha ha grabado 15 discos.

El álbum más reciente se titula “Karamba Kids”, disponible en sitios en internet como iTunes, Amazon y joseluisorozco.com

“Para que tengan éxito los niños en este país tienen que hablar muy bien el inglés; pero con el español van a tener mayores oportunidades de trabajo, por eso hay que enseñarles bien los dos idiomas”, subrayó el educador.

Patricia Vásquez, profesora de la escuela primaria Garza, ubicada cerca de las viviendas Wyvernwood en Boyle Heights, dijo a Efe que cuando ella comenzó a trabajar en escuelas vio como una maestra usaba la música de Orozco para educar a los niños en edad preescolar y primaria.

“Y me gustó que con la música más la rutina de juegos se ponían felices y desde entonces yo uso la música de José Luis Orozco en mis clases”, reveló Vásquez el pasado fin de semana cuando el artista se presentó en la escuela Theodore Roosevelt del este de Los Ángeles.

“Poder cantar, hablar y escribir en español e inglés es un gran beneficio”, destacó Vásquez.

“Y yo les trato de explicar eso a mis alumnos también, porque ya de pequeños empiezan a ver a otros niños que sólo hablan en inglés y yo les digo que es más importante poder hablar dos idiomas”, aseveró.

Verónica Montes es una madre de familia quien dijo a Efe que su hija Meztli de 15 años creció cantando las canciones bilingües de Orozco entre las cuales destacan “La canción de los pollitos”, “Los elefantes sobre la telaraña” y “La víbora de la mar”, entre otras.

“Yo he visto como educan las canciones, además de que los entretienen”, contó Montes.

“Yo les enseñaba el abecedario con sus canciones y me fijé que con el ritmo los niños memorizan las canciones y así van a prendiendo de canción en canción”, añadió.

Montes destacó además que es importante que los pequeños se formen con educación bilingüe y la música de Orozco es un buen recurso que ayuda en el proceso educativo.

“Algo que yo he observado es que los niños que aprenden con su música crecen teniéndole respeto y cariño a su cultura hispana y se sienten bien de ser latinos”, finalizó.

EDITORIAL: Marijuana Industry Is Not Going Away, So It Should be Taxed

April 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

What is the federal government trying to tell California’s Medical Marijuana Industry with their recent raids in Northern California?

Yes, the growing of pot has indeed become big business in the Golden State, though not a windfall for state coffers.

On Tuesday, the DEA, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service, IRS conducted a raid on the nation’s first trade school dedicated to the growing of pot and a nearby medical marijuana dispensary. It is a big blow to those who have been advocating and working to formalize the practice of cultivating and distributing marijuana for medical and other uses.

The raids were directed at one of the most outspoken and provocative advocates for the cause, Richard Lee. It was most certainly an attempt to do damage to the marijuana industry by taking on one of its most visible players.

By sending both the DEA and the IRS to raid Lee’s popular dispensary and his Oakserdam University, we believe the federal government is showing how conflicted it is over the sale of marijuana.

On the one hand, it is “morally” opposed to the production and sale of pot. On the other, it is distresses that it is likely losing out in millions of dollars in potential tax revenue from those same sales.

Try as some may in government to pose the sale of pot as a solely moral issue, in reality it is also an economic issue that must be addressed.

California has already approved the use of marijuana for medical use. It has for the most part decriminalized possession of small amounts for personal use. The marijuana industry is not going away.

In our view, it’s time to tax marijuana production and sales.

Colossal Disaster for Minorities if Supreme Court Scraps Health Law

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

There was never much doubt that if the Supreme Court ever got a chance to decide the constitutionality of the health care reform law that it would be in for rough sledding from the court’s five conservatives. The three days of court questioning on the law more than bore out that dire prediction. From the tone and temper of the four conservatives, biting questions about the law, and the already well known opposition to the law of the fifth judge, Clarence Thomas, who did not break his several years of silence by asking one question or making one comment, barring an epiphany from one of the conservatives, the law is almost certain to go.

The winners will be the conservatives who have waged a relentless war against the law from the instant it was proposed. They claimed that it was too costly, too overburdening on businesses, too unpopular with a majority of Americans. Their biggest gripe, which is the one that the court will latch onto to strike down the law, is that it was a gross infringement on individual liberty. It allegedly whipsawed Americans into buying insurance.

These arguments are less important than how the judicial torpedoing of the law will hurt millions of poor working class Americans that desperately need health care, but couldn’t get affordable care before the law was passed, and are just as unlikely to get affordable care after it’s struck down. It’s no mystery who among those millions will be hurt the most.

A report by the Commonwealth Fund found that blacks and Hispanics make up nearly half of the estimated 50 million Americans with absolutely no access to affordable health care. The even starker reality is that the number of blacks without a prayer of obtaining health care at any price has always been wildly disproportionate to that of whites — even poor whites. It has steadily gotten worse over the years. The great fear of the GOP health care reform opponents and the health care industry lobby, which includes private insurers, pharmaceuticals and major medical practitioners, was that they’d have to treat millions of uninsured, unprofitable, largely unhealthy blacks. That would be a direct threat to their massive profits. This was the prime reason they waged a fierce war against passage of the law.

The majority of black uninsured are far more likely than the one in four whites who are uninsured to experience problems getting treatment at a hospital or clinic. This has devastating health and public policy consequences. According to a study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, blacks are far more likely than whites to suffer higher rates of catastrophic illness and disease, and are much less likely to obtain basic drugs, tests, preventive screenings and surgeries. They are more likely to recover slower from illness, and they die much younger.

Studies have found that when blacks do receive treatment, the care they receive is more likely to be substandard than that of whites. Reports indicate that even when blacks are enrolled in high quality health plans, the racial gap in the care and quality of medical treatment still remains low. Private insurers routinely cherry pick the healthiest and most financially secure patients in order to bloat profits and hold down costs. American medical providers spend twice as much per patient than providers in countries with universal health care, and they provide lower quality for the grossly inflated dollars. Patients pay more in higher insurance premiums, co-payments, and other hidden health costs.

The health care law, even after all its provisions kick in over the next few years, will not completely end the excessively high costs of health care or fully guarantee universal coverage. But it broadened the options for coverage by prohibiting insurers from excluding those with pre-existing conditions, provide subsidies for the poorest of the poor, and guarantee coverage for tens of thousands of children and younger people who did not have access to quality care. For the justices, the potential devastating human consequences of an adverse decision they make is not a major concern. It is strictly a matter of a constitutional interpretation, not how their interpretation will affect the lives of those who have perennially been shut out of the health care system.

There is some possibility that the court’s upending of the law will ignite a firestorm of protest, which will prod Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration to go back to the drawing board and reintroduce a retooled version of the health care reform law. But it won’t happen in the middle of a tough presidential election year campaign, with the public deeply divided over whether the law was ever a good thing or not, in the first place, and with a House still solidly in the sway of the rabid opponents of it.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author, political analyst, and weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. Distributed by New America Media. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

We Deserve the Same Level of Care That We Are Providing

April 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Is waiting eight months to see your doctor a good healthcare plan? I don’t think it is. Yet, for me and many other in-home healthcare providers, that’s often how long we have to wait before we get to see a doctor. As an in-home healthcare worker, I have a health plan provided by the County of Los Angeles. Sadly, this healthcare plan does not reflect the growing healthcare needs of its recipients.

In 2009, I was diagnosed with diabetes. Since then, caring for my health has been a struggle. This past January, I called my clinic to make an appointment for my six-month check up. I was told the next appointment available would be in August, a full eight months later. As a diabetic, this worried me. What if I am doing something wrong? What if my vision is impaired? What if my sugar levels are wrong?

In addition, our healthcare program only allows us to make appointments on Tuesday and Thursdays between 1:30pm and 4:00 pm. As you can imagine, if you have ever tried to call any customer service number, the hold time seems like forever, and sometimes no one answers.

I try to be proactive about my health because I don’t want to go to the emergency room. I don’t want to be a burden to county services. I simply want to be able to see my doctor without having to wait eight months.

I know I am not alone in this issue. There are hundreds of other home care providers with my same situation, if not worse.

In my everyday work, I and thousands of home care workers care for the healthcare needs of our seniors and people with disabilities. Yet, when it comes to caring for our own health, we are sometimes at a loss.

As we renegotiate our contract with LA County, our two key asks are simple: provide home care providers with a living wage of $9.65 an hour, and to take a look at ways to improve access to the healthcare we need. In order for me to be able to do my job and continue to be a vital part of my community, I need to be healthy; I need to be able to see my doctor.

Jaime Reyna is a in-home healthcare worker with SEIU ULTCW. For more information visit www.ultcw.org/lawins. He residents in East Los Angeles.

Uno en 88 Niños es Diagnosticado con Autismo

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Uno de cada 88 niños en los Estados Unidos ha sido diagnosticado con autismo antes de cumplir ocho años y los hispanos están entre los que han experimentado un mayor aumento en el número de casos, de acuerdo con un estudio de los Centros de Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) dado a conocer el 29 de marzo.

“Parte de este aumento es debido a que se están identificando y diagnosticando más casos en nuestras comunidades, aunque la cantidad que se puede atribuir a estos factores no se sabe”, declaró Coleen Boyle, directora del Centro Nacional de Defectos de Nacimientos y Discapacidades de los CDC durante una conferencia de prensa.

Según el informe, que analizó datos del 2008 en 14 estados, la nueva cifra representa un aumento de un 23 por ciento con respecto al último reporte que se llevó a cabo en 2009 y un 73 por ciento en comparación con el primero que se realizó en 2007.

El número de niños diagnosticados con autismo osciló de uno de 210 en Alabama a 1 de 47 en Utah, revela el reporte denominado Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008.

En total, se analizó información de los estados de Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Misuri, Nueva Jersey, Carolina del Norte, Carolina del Sur, Pensilvania, Utah y Wisconsin.

El informe además encontró que los desórdenes del espectro del autismo (ASD) son cinco veces más comunes en niños que en niñas, con uno de cada 54 niños diagnosticados con la condición comparados con una de cada 252 niñas.

La investigación halló que los menores hispanos y los afroamericanos fueron los que experimentaron un mayor aumento en el número de casos a lo largo del período analizado.

Si bien las autoridades desconocen las razones exactas de este aumento, creen que puede atribuirse en parte a un mayor conocimiento sobre la condición y la necesidad de diagnosticarla.

Pese a que se experimentó un aumento en el número de niños que son diagnosticados antes de cumplir los tres años, la mayoría de los menores no son diagnosticados hasta que cumplen los cuatro años, según el reporte.

“Desafortunadamente, un 40 por ciento de los niños en estudio no tienen un diagnóstico sino hasta después de los cuatro años. Estamos trabajando para cambiar eso”, dijo la funcionaria.

Los expertos destacaron la importancia de diagnosticar temprano la enfermedad para lo que aseguran es vital que los padres estén atentos ante cualquier señal de que un menor no se desarrolla adecuadamente.

“Esto es crítico porque toda la investigación en torno a autismo que nos dice que entre más pronto sea diagnosticado un niño y dirigido a servicios disponibles, más este niño se va a beneficiar de la intervención”, aseveró Boyle.

El programa de los CDC “Learn the Signs. Act Early” (www.cdc.gov/actearly) provee recursos gratuitos a los padres para poder seguir el desarrollo de sus niños y poder actuar a tiempo si es necesario.

Los trastornos del espectro autista afectan el desarrollo normal del cerebro en áreas relacionadas a la interacción social y habilidades comunicativas, y en la mayoría de los casos se manifiestan en los primeros tres años de vida, según los CDC.

Congress Opts to Keep Poisoning Children

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Yes, we certainly need to cut unnecessary and frivolous federal spending, because…well, because it’s unnecessary and frivolous.

So Congress has targeted unnecessary oil subsidies and frivolous tax giveaways to billionaires, right?

Uh…no. Instead, our learned solons have chosen to whack the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. In December, our lawmakers slashed this tiny, $30-million fund that’s not even worth a decimal point of the national budget by 94 percent, to only $2 million. Gutting this program won’t save you and me a penny on our tax bills.

Well, retort the whackers, who needs this program, anyway? Some of the poorest families in America, that’s who. Lead poisoning from contaminated paint and soil is a silent epidemic in our country, afflicting some half-a-million low-income children a year with permanent brain damage and loss of IQ. The only safe level of lead in a child’s blood is zero, which is why this program to monitor blood levels of lead and help state health departments inspect homes and contain the poison was initiated.

Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. America has the science and programs to stop this insidious destruction of babies’ brains. Yet even the miniscule $30-million budget the program previously had couldn’t touch the crisis of lead contamination in the 4 million homes in which vulnerable children live.

And now Congress has refused this dollop of funding, responding instead to the wails of Wall Street billionaires that federal spending be cut to preserve their minuscule tax rates.

Imagine the national emergency Congress would declare if 4 million homes of the super-rich posed a danger to their children. But we’re told that such thoughts amount to class war — and we can’t have that, can we? To fight this outrage, go to www.leadsafe.org.

Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed via OtherWords.org.

Eager Job-Seekers Turn Up for Job Fair in Boyle Heights

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of job seekers in local job training programs attended “Boyle Heights Soars Job Fair” on Tuesday at the Puente Learning Center. About 35 employers collected resumes and conducted interviews. Only employers with immediate job openings were allowed to participate, according to event organizers. The job fair offered entry-level and positions requiring more experience with retailers, banks, healthcare agencies and non-profit organizations. Pictured here: Potential employers interviewed hopeful job seekers of all ages and backgrounds. (EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

‘Cross Check’: Resulta en el Arresto de Miles de Indocumentados

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de EE.UU. anunció el lunes, 2 de abril, la detención de 3.168 inmigrantes indocumentados con cargos en todo el país en la mayor operación policial con esta finalidad y reiteró que su lucha contra la inmigración clandestina da prioridad a la persecución de criminales.

“Esta no es la gente que queremos en nuestras calles”, sentenció el director de la Oficina de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE, en sus siglas en inglés), John Morton, en una rueda de prensa en el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional.

De los casi 3.200 arrestados, Morton destacó que 2.834 tienen cargos por presuntos crímenes, incluidos 149 supuestos agresores sexuales, 50 miembros de bandas organizadas, además de personas con cargos por asesinato, robo, amenazas terroristas y tráfico de drogas.

“Somos una nación con una historia de inmigración digna de orgullo; si se llega al país y se siguen las reglas, los recibimos con los brazos abiertos; pero también somos una nación de leyes, si viene y se entra en el crimen, serán detenidos y expulsados del país”, alegó el alto cargo de la Administración Obama.

A parte de los cargos criminales, el director del ICE explicó la operación llamada “Cross Check” arrestó a 698 inmigrantes que habían huido de las autoridades para evitar la deportación y otros 559 que habían vuelto a entrar en el país tras ser deportados.

Hay detenidos de 116 nacionalidades diferentes, un tercio de ellos tienen más de un cargo criminal y el 89 % son hombres.

Para la redada, realizada a finales de marzo en todo el país, se movilizaron a 1.900 agentes del ICE y se colaboró con las autoridades locales, estatales y federales.

El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional incluso destacó los casos más graves para subrayar que las detenciones “avalan la política migratoria” y “sacan de las calles a delincuentes”, que serán expulsados del país en “las próximas semanas y meses”.

“Lo que estamos haciendo tiene sentido -dijo el director de la agencia federal-. No forma parte de nuestro objetivo alguien que lleva aquí treinta años, con dos niños, dos coches y una hipoteca”.

Preguntado por la posibilidad de detener a estudiantes universitarios indocumentados, John Morton contestó que el Gobierno que representa defiende el “Dream Act” -la ley que permitiría a ciertos jóvenes indocumentados regularizar su situación si estudian en la universidad o se enrolan en las Fuerzas Armadas. Justificó que los recursos limitados de su agencia no se destinarán a perseguir “niños que llevan toda la vida aquí”.

La redada “Cross Check” es la tercera en la historia del ICE, que realizó la primera el pasado mayo con 2.442 detenciones como resultado y la segunda en septiembre con 2.901 extranjeros arrestados.

Desde 2009, cuando esta agencia federal inició sus operaciones contra los inmigrantes indocumentados con antecedentes, también se han desarrollado siete operaciones regionales.

Chain Store Closure Good for El Sereno Area Grocers

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Two grocery stores in the El Sereno area of Northeast Los Angeles say they have seen an increase in business since a national chain store shut its doors to undergo a major makeover.

Since closing down earlier this year, the Food4Less located at 4910 S. Huntington Dr has been nearly stripped down to its frame, at one point leaving only a shell of its former self; work should be completed by sometime in June.

And while some of the retailer’s customers might feel inconvenienced by the closure, for two nearby smaller, yet full service grocery stores, the closing has been good for their bottom lines.

The stores are tight-lipped about their sales numbers, but both Big Saver Foods #2 and Fresco Market — located on opposite ends of South Huntington Drive — say they have experienced an increase in sales.

Ignacio Burgos, manager of Big Saver Foods #2, located at 5168 S. Huntington Dr., says new customers are walking in the front door.

“The closure is something positive, clients are getting to know our business and products,” Burgos said. “We offer a large variety of products for Hispanics, we focus on customer service.”

Burgos said some of their new customers have confessed they didn’t even know the market was there, and he anticipates some of them will continue to frequent the store after Food4Less reopens.

The store is part of Vernon-based Big Saver Foods, Inc. chain of grocery stores in Southern California.

Fresco Market, located at 4617 Huntington Drive, has also seen a gradual increase in sales, according to Manager Shean Beck. He too is hopeful that the market’s new customers will come back once Food4Less’s construction is complete.

The market has long competed with Food4Less for business, he said. It was not too long ago that Food4Less would advertise its weekly specials by comparing its prices to Fresco’s, but they stopped the campaign targeted at vegetables prices when they couldn’t beat Fresco’ low prices, Beck said.

David Hernandez, the assistant manager at the El Sereno Food4Less, is currently assigned to the Highland Park Food4Less on North Figueroa Street. All 40 of the store’s employees were reassigned to other store locations, he said.

When the El Sereno store reopens, it will be “a brand new store, you name it, carniceria, service deli, new everything,” Hernandez told EGP.

“It was a really old store … an old mama papa store. When they’re done, it’s going to look really, really nice … El Sereno is going to be really happy,” Hernandez said.

According to Hernandez, the store could reopen around mid June.

The El Sereno location was much smaller than other Food4Less warehouse-style stores and did not have either a meat counter or bakery, two features popular with Latino customers.

While it’s possible some customers may stay with the smaller grocery stores, one El Sereno resident told EGP he plans to return to Food4Less for most of his shopping.

“It’s close, I could walk down here [to Fresco] but as far as the prices, it doesn’t compare,” he said.

Before the Food4Less closed, 23-year-old Moses Araiza only shopped at Fresco for fresh meats because Food4Less did not have a meat counter. And while Fresco is closer to his home, he says he prefers Food4Less because it’s cheaper, and has the bulk items his large family needs.

Araiza said he might go back to Fresco for the sweetbread.

Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou contributed to this story.

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