Roybal Foundation Breaks Ground for Community Garden

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The indigenous dance group Familia Jaimes paraded into the lot beside the Lucille and Edward R. Roybal Foundation office in East Los Angeles last Friday to perform dances honoring the four elements. The dancers blessed the lot’s soil where the foundation, in partnership with the Latino Diabetes Association and other organizations, broke ground on the Lucille Beserra Mother Garden, a new community garden.

The Roybal Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to health and health services, had for years considered starting a sustainable garden, but it wasn’t until two months ago that planning officially got underway, according to the program’s director, Loushana Roybal Rose.

Aztec dancers bless the soil of the Lucille Beserra Mother Garden at a breaking-in garden last Friday. (EGP photo by Ileana Najarro)

Others collaborating in the effort include the Latino Diabetes Association; Velocity 3, a volunteer group that helped prepare the lot for gardening; the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps, which donated fresh produce for last Friday’s ground breaking ceremony, and Al Renner from the Los Angeles Community Garden Council who donated the designs for the garden.

The garden’s produce will be used in cooking demonstrations and other educational services provided by the Latino Diabetes Association, Randy Muñoz, the group’s vice chair told EGP.

“We want to grow specific types of fruits and vegetables, and teach people how to use them to make recipes right off the bat, and we hope to raise consciousness about what they’re eating,” Muñoz said.

“Our raza (people) know how to pick crops, we just don’t know how to eat them,” he said.
The garden will also serve as a model for future sites across the cities of Los Angeles and Commerce, which the Latino Diabetes Association is working on opening.

Commerce Mayor Lilia Leon said she “looks forward to a partnership” with those involved in the creation of the mother garden, and for testing of the soil at some of the city’s vacant lots to get started to determine if they are suitable for growing food.

Michelle Ramirez, a mother of a one year old and a volunteer for Velocity 3 in the Hollywood area, told EGP that the garden will benefit both young and old in the community.

“I think this will be for younger generations that will come, and I imagine this will not only happen in this community but in other communities as well,” Ramirez said in Spanish.

Ramirez added that the ceremony inspired her to consider establishing a community garden in her own neighborhood.

Planning for the garden was an added incentive for finishing the Roybal Community Center, where the diabetes awareness group will make use of the new kitchen to offer cooking demonstrations, hold yoga classes and their self-management program, said Yolie Acosta, executive director of the Latino Diabetes Association and a Commerce city commissioner. The center’s opening ceremony is scheduled for October 25.

Rose said the garden was named after her grandmother who greatly believed in the importance of health and supported her husband, former Councilman Edward R. Roybal’s, health initiatives.

“Health and justice runs in my family,” said Foundation board president, Lillian Roybal Rose. The garden is “absolutely consistent with the dream and the vision that my parents had for this foundation.”

“This is truly [my father’s] legacy because he believed in health, he believed in helping young people get an education, particularly in the field of health, and he believed in giving back to the community and saw this as a vibrant, active place,” Lillian said.

Sex Abuse Case Moves Forward Against Former Bell Gardens Pastor

August 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

(CNS) – A judge has cleared the way for trial of a young man’s lawsuit alleging he was sexually abused by the former pastor of a Lutheran church in Bell Gardens.

Ruling on a defense motion to dismiss some or all of the allegations, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Rosenblatt said both Iglesia Luterana de San Pedro y Pablo and the Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod will remain as defendants.

But she tossed all claims against a third entity, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, finding that its leadership had no knowledge of the actions of the former pastor, Franklynn Brundige.

In total, eight young men – five of them relatives of Brundige – claim they were molested as children by Brundige. They also maintain that as early as 1991, church officials knew of Brundige’s routine sleepovers with young boys and did nothing.

The first civil trial, scheduled to begin Dec. 3, involves a plaintiff identified as Juan Doe 1 who is now 27 years old. Brundige allegedly abused him at least five times from 1997-2001.
The other plaintiffs’ cases will be tried later.

Brundige, who was a pastor at the church from 1990 until 2007, was sentenced in 2008 to 24 years in prison after pleading no contest to two counts each of lewd acts with a child under 14 and of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Mother Faces Jail Time for Leaving Children in Locked Car on Hot Day

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – An 18-year-old woman who allegedly left her 2-week-old daughter and year-old son in a locked car while she went shopping in Cudahy during the Southland’s heat wave was charged on Tuesday with misdemeanor child abuse.

Prosecutors said Arely Aide Amaya left the windows of the vehicle partially rolled down while she was shopping around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, but the children had to be rescued by sheriff’s deputies.

She is scheduled to return to court Aug. 28 for a pretrial hearing. She faces up to two years in jail if convicted, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Woman Found Stabbed to Death in Boyle Heights

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – A woman in her 40s was found stabbed to death Sunday on a sidewalk in Boyle Heights, a police officer said.

Police dispatched to Seventh and Rio streets at 1:19 a.m found the woman dead on the sidewalk, the victim of an apparent stabbing, said Los Angeles police officer Cleon Joseph of the Media Relations Section.

Joseph said there was no other immediate information.

Hollenbeck Shooting

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – A gunman in a car opened fire on a group of taggers in Lincoln Heights Saturday, but the bullets missed their mark, instead wounding two men in their 20s at a nearby taco stand.

The shooting happened around 1:45 a.m. near Broadway and Avenue 19, Los Angeles police Sgt. Peter Gamino of the Hollenbeck Station said.

One of the victims was struck in a leg, and the other was grazed in the back. They drove to County-USC Medical Center, Gamino said. Witnesses told police the shooter was in a brown car.

Freeway crash in Eagle Rock

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – Two girls remained hospitalized Tuesday with injuries they suffered when an SUV with a possible blown tire crashed off the side of the Ventura (134) Freeway in Eagle Rock, killing four other people in the vehicle.

The girls, ages 6 and 15, were in the 1999 Ford Expedition that crashed over the side of the eastbound freeway near Figueroa Street about 7 p.m. Sunday and plunged onto the roadway below, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Killed were the driver, who was a woman about 40; and three passengers—a man in his 50s, a woman in her 30s, and a girl about 11, authorities said.

Their names have not yet been released.

Community Calendar: August 16, 2012 to August 22, 2012

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Honoring Rick Flores : “La Noche Del Compositor,” Aug. 29 at the Highland Park Senior Center, honors accomplished musician Rick Flores, whose continued dedication has brought musical joy and memorable performances to audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds since 1956. Presented by Celia Arreola from 1-3pm. Center is located at 6152 N. Figueroa St., LA 90042. For more information, call (323) 256-6866. /Homenaje a Rick Flores -La trayectoria de Rick Flores, un músico incansable que con su música ha bailado gente de todas las edades y nacionalidades, empezó desde el año 1956. Es por eso que se ha hecho merecedor al homenaje que le brindará. La Noche Del Compositor presentada por Celia Arreola el 29 de agosto de 2012 de 1 -3pm en el Senior Center de Highland Park: 6152 N. Figueroa St., LA 90042. Tel. (323) 256-6866

Today, Thursday August 16
6-8pm—Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Forum. Ya Basta and the East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce present the forum at La Casa del Mexicano: 2900 Calle Pedro Infante in Boyle Heights. For more information, contact Art Pullido at (323) 854-1473 or email Jose Aguilar at

6:30-8:30pm—Montebello Concerts In the Park Series Presents Cold Duck at the City Park Amphitheater. Sponsored by Cook Hills Properties. Amphitheater is located at 1300 W. Whittier Blvd. For more information on upcoming shows, call Parks and Rec. at (323) 887-4540.

Friday, August 17
3-7:30pm—Dive-in Movies at Bell Gardens Ford Park Pool.
Beat the heat at this pool party complete with music, snacks, and tons of games including old-fashioned popcorn and snow cones. Then dry off and enjoy two movie screenings in the auditorium. Tickets are $5 per person/$15 for a family of four. The park is located at 8000 Park Lane, Bell Gardens. For more information call (562) 806-7650.

6pm—Movie Night & Ford Theatre JAM Session at the East L.A. Civic Center. From 6 to 8pm enjoy Hula Fun session followed by movie screening at sundown. The East LA Civic Center is located at 4801 E. Third St., LA 90022. Take Metro, exit ELA Civic Center Station. For more information, contact Los Angeles County Parks at (323) 260-2360, or visit Go Metro, 800-COMMUTE,

6-8pm—Registration for the East LA Bicycle Ride at East LA Civic Center. Come register for this family-friendly event held on Sept. 8 as part of the summer ARTSFEST. The Civic Center is located at 4801 E. 3rd St. For more information visit

Saturday, August 18
9:30am—Chivas at the Park Clinic for boys & girls ages 5-15 at Costello Park
, 3141 E. Olympic Blvd. LA. $5 per child registration fee includes one 90 minute training session led by Chivas USA academy coaches, a pass, good for 2 free tickets to limited Chivas USA home games, a Chivas at the Park T-shirt, and a certificate of completion. To register or for more info, call 1-800-961-1724, or go to Chivas USA website at: .

10am-2pm—Used Book Sale at Cypress Park Branch Library. Shop ‘til you drop at this used book sale with most items priced at 25-cents including plenty of children’s books. Volunteers needed. Library located at 1150 Cypress Ave. For more information on the sale and how to volunteer call (323) 224-0039.

12 Noon-Midnight—LA Plaza de Culturas y Artes Presents 11th Annual “Encuentro de Jaraneros Son Jarocho” Festival. Spectacular event will feature Patricio Hidalgo headlining & 18 Son Jarocho groups, performing music and dance and more. LA Plaza is located at 501 N. Main St. LA 90012. (Across from Olvera Street) Admission is free. Take Metro to Union Station. For more info, go to, or call 888-488-8083.

Sunday, August 19
6pm—“Arms Open Wide” fundraising/comedy event.
Penny Lane Centers hosts this great fundraiser supporting LGBTQ foster youth and their families with comedians featured on Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, and more at the Eleven Bar and Nightclub. Located at 8811 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. For more information visit or email

Tuesday, August 21
4-6pm—Video Game Day at the Anthony Quinn Library.
Spend an afternoon with friends playing video games like Guitar Hero and Just Dance. The library is located at 3965 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. For more information contact the children’s librarian at (323) 264-7715 or email

It’s almost time for the Bell Gardens Chamber of Commerce Charity Golf Classic 2012.
Buy a ticket before they are completely sold out. $175 per player; includes lunch, drinks and dinner. Registration at 9 am; 11 am is the shotgun start and on course lunch; there will be an awards banquet at 4 pm. The Montebello Country Club is located at 901 Via San Clemente Montebello, Ca 90640. For more information call the Bell Gardens Chamber of Commerce at (562) 806-2355.

Learn from a wildlife expert how to protect your home and pets in Cypress Park on August 25 at the home of Alexia Terran at 3319 Alice St from 5-7pm. Bring your own chairs and food for a potluck. For more information call (323) 223-6840.

LA Business Source Center Key Business Growth Workshops present “Developing the Financial Portion of your Business Plan,” Aug. 29 from 6 to 9pm at the Hollenbeck Police Station: 2111 E. 1st St, LA 90033. Space is limited, To RSVP or for more information, call (323) 264-9020.

Submit an event or announcement to the Community Calendar: email All submissions subject to space availability. Paid advertising available; for more information, email or call (323) 341-7970.

Editor’s note: The date for “Honoring Rick Flores : ‘La Noche Del Compositor,’” has been corrected. The event will be held on Aug. 29, not Aug. 20.

Could Romney-Ryan Split the Boomer Vote? What Obama Needs to Do

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Could Mitt Romney’s VP choice of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan—praised widely as the smarter, more pragmatic radical conservative with a plan—split the boomer-generation vote in the GOP’s favor?

After all, the Pew Center’s generational analysis shows a somewhat more conservative swing among younger boomers, who hit their formative political years in the Reagan era. In a vice-tight election, a few electoral votes shaved from any large demographic group might, in theory, swing the Rom-Ryan ticket to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Senior Vote Bigger Than Their Numbers
But the GOP hopefuls shouldn’t count on it. The boomers are not only the biggest generation in American history at 78 million (compared to Ryan’s Gen Xers at 40 million), but they’re more like a generation and a half at 19 years, born from 1946 through 1964.

Who cares? Seniors vote. The over-65 generation, for instance, constitute 13 percent of the U.S. population but, in 2008, 19 percent of the vote, according to the Pew Center.

Still, President Obama will need to work for every vote November 6. For older voters, he’ll have to convincingly distance himself from things like his stated willingness to compromise on entitlement programs in the name of his Grand Bargain with the GOP for some tax increases on the rich.

Evidently, Obama missed that policy changes like raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare would harm many ethnic elders, aging women and a large number of middle class folks who lost their houses and retirement saving in the Great Recession.

As for boomers, some gerontologists make much of differences between “leading-edge” boomers, now turning 66—the full Social Security retirement age—and their middle-aged counterparts, clocking in 48-57.

Political scientists have long shown that “age cohorts” (groups born in a specific time period) change their partisan leanings depending on who is president when they reach the age of political awareness. Old boomers like me reached our teens in the 1960s of JFK’s youthful Bostonian “vigah” and LBJ’s schizophrenic Great Society and Vietnam chaos. Younger boomers had Nixon’s Watergate and Jimmy Carter’s conservation plan—wear a sweater before raising the thermostat.

So those ‘70s kids tend to be wary of the turmoil surrounding their older siblings, but not as conservative as the Eisenhower-era seniors of today (the so-called Silent Generation mostly in their 70s), who are, in turn, less liberal overall than their parents or older siblings’ Depression/WWII Generation presided over by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Elder Vote and Obama
Case in point: Conventional analysis marks that four years ago, seniors were the only age demographic to vote for John McCain. But political scientists on the senior vote note that nobody is getting any younger. Much of the 65-plus age group in 2008 came to political awareness in the Eisenhower years. Measured at 65-plus, John McCain won the senior vote by 53-45 percent in 2008.

The 60-plus voters, though, included more of that 1960s gang. McCain still won, but by a 51-47 percent margin. Obama might have swung that vote his way had his campaign done anything beyond obligatory visits to a Florida nursing home to court the older Democratic vote.

Clearly, the Obama campaign is ready to spike the autumn football in the GOP end zone over Ryan’s budgetary radicalism on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

For instance, Ryan budget’s promise [] to turn Medicare into a voucher program and privatize Social Security have already promoted the Miami Herald to surmise, “Ryan could be a drag on Romney in Florida.”

But the Democrats are yet to exploit significant weaknesses in the arguments for “entitlement reform” by GOP stalwarts, like former Sen. Alan Simpson and Romney. For example, they keep saying the older generation should not object to changes they propose because seniors won’t be affected–it will only start with people 55 or younger today—those supposedly more conservative younger boomers.

The popularity of Social Security and Medicare in particular is not just high among elderly people, but for decades and in multiple recent pools has been clearly shown across all age groups.

Obama’s Toughest Test
One of the toughest tests for the Obama campaign is whether or not the president can sideline enough of his centrism to keep his support from Wall Street Democrats in line while they properly scare the beejeebers out of boomers. Can they energize them with what Ryan’s detailed budget planning will do to them (and to Gen X, their children, now hitting 40).

GOP and Democratic centrists, aided and abetted by the supposedly liberal Washington press corps love to tout bipartisan respect for Ryan’s “intellectual” leadership and integrity. Bob Schieffer’s soft interview with the Romney twins on “60 Minutes” Sunday night littered the campaign trail with enough platitudes to feed Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” with straight lines for months.

Washington may love Ryan’s impression of policy freshness, but he proposes changes too radical for too many GOP voters.

The Tea Party certainly has its sway, but in November it’s not likely to have its day, that is, if Obama doesn’t drop his advantage.

Remember when Newt Gingrich tried to claim more middle ground to distinguish his candidacy by criticizing the Ryan budget plan on “Meet the Press” as “right-wing social engineering”? Never mind that today he’s trumpeting the Romney’s choice of Ryan. A year ago Gingrich declared himself “against a conservative imposing radical change”—and he almost as immediately backpeddled when he was pelted by wet tea-bags of party criticism.

Romney has raised the electoral stakes by diversifying his electoral portfolio with his Tea Party cred—but it’s a Tea Party that remains politically powerful as its popularity in GOP ranks has waned.

The Obama campaign will certainly play off of Ryan’s radicalism–likely using it to define Romney as undefined in his flip-flopping and tea-pandering–raising the question of who will be in charge
in a Rom-Ryan White House?

But also, another responsibility for countering the radical right’s rise to the White House must fall on the spirit, if not the actual leadership (or un-leadership) of the Occupy movement.

Occupy vs. The GOP’s “Fiscal Cliff”
Romney’s advantage in the choice of Ryan, once again sets the onus of national discussion on pulling the federal budget back from the “fiscal cliff”— the national debt and the “entitlement” night monsters that the right and Wall Street want Americans to imagine lurk under our national bed.

But less than a year ago, an unaffiliated, scruffy lot of young people changed the American dialogue to what you might call the human cliff’s edge for so many Americans pushed being over the side by debilitating inequality.

I have little faith that Obama and his West Wing insiders can alter the campaign’s debt-debate framing, at least not alone, in Washington’s atmosphere of parsing polls, messaging and chronic strategizing. But he could gain ground with the huge boomer generation—and young adults, again, too.

Key to motivating both older and younger boomers would be the combination of a well-documented scare using Ryan’s own words, and presenting a genuine alternative that returns to traditional Democratic protection of every family’s future, beginning with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as in, “There but for fortune go any of us.”

Obama’s practice of lowering expectations, though, suggest he will continue to muddle around the angles that have made the center-to-left side of America almost universally describe his performance as “disappointing.” Right now the media refrain is that most voters are settled on their choices, and the Dems and GOP shouldn’t be faulted for catering, once again, to Joe and Jane Sixpack in the swing-state burbs and ex-urbs.

Can Obama re-energized his base against the Rom-Ryan choice? Can he get real about life security and fairness for all? Yeah, sure, “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But what about some genuine words and firm plans to rekindle—dare I say it—“Hope.” That won’t be easy, but he can’t reach voters mired in more questionable budgetary minutia. If Obama wants a second term, he needs to reach them where they live, and fighting to strengthen, not bargain away Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid would be a good place to start.

El Sereno Parcels Rezoned as Green Space

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(EGPNews) – The Los Angeles City Planning Commission voted last week to rezone 56 undeveloped city-owned parcels on Elephant Hill in El Sereno and a large undeveloped parcel next to a Monterey Hills condo for the purpose of preserving green space.

The Planning Commission’s vote now makes the city-owed parcels protected green space, Rick Coca, a spokesperson for Councilmember Jose Huizar, told EGP.

The matter will come back to the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) committee in the upcoming weeks before going to the full city council for a vote, he said. Councilmember Ed Reyes is chair of PLUM, and Councilmember Jose Huizar is vice chair, he added. Both have supported keeping the acreage as open, green space.

Long-term closures of Atlantic, Cesar Chavez on-ramps to 710

August 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

(EGPNews) – The California Department of Transportation will close the westbound Atlantic Boulevard and the Cesar Chavez on-ramps to the southbound Long Beach Freeway (I-710) for approximately 18 months beginning on Sunday, August 19 at 7 p.m.

The closures are needed to replace a freeway bridge and widen the freeway in relation to a $120 million pavement replacement project on the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) from the Los Angeles River Bridge to the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10).

The project will install precast concrete panels as well as concrete slabs in various traffic lanes and locations upgrade the median barrier and construct maintenance pullouts along the route to enhance safety for maintenance crews.

Signed detours will be in place.

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