Breves de la Comunidad

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Monterey Park

Jaqueline Alamillo, 23, fue encontrada muerta en su habitación en Monterey Park el viernes pasado. El hallazgo ocurrió después que la policía recibiera una llamada de familiares pidiendo una revisión para asegurarse del bienestar de Alamillo y su esposo, de acuerdo al departamento del alguacil.

Su esposo Daniel Hernandez fue arrestado bajo sospecha una hora después del hallazgo a las 4:30 a.m. el viernes al estar “actuando sospechoso en el tráfico” de acuerdo autoridades.

 

Montebello

Una mujer de 28 años murió el lunes en un accidente que involucró a dos vehículos en la autopista Pomona (60) en Montebello. Otro conductor fue arrestado bajo sospecha de manejar bajo la influencia del alcohol, dijo la patrulla de caminos de California.

La mujer fue identificada como Lidia Ortega, de Commerce, dijo John Kades de la oficina del forense.

 

Este de Los Ángeles 

Un entrenador de voleibol de la preparatoria Esteban Torres en el Este de Los Ángeles fue arrestado por supuestamente tener sexo con una estudiante de 15 años. Jonathan Adam Roldan fue arrestado en su casa del Este de Los Ángeles, de acuerdo al departamento del alguacil.

El Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles dijo que Roldan estará en descanso sin paga hasta que la fiscalía le formule cargos. Si es hallado culpable será despedido.

 

Los Ángeles

Como ya es tradición Metro ofrecerá  servicio de transporte gratuito en sus autobuses y trenes para aquellas personas que deseen disfrutar las festividades sin tener que manejar. La tarifa gratuita comenzará el martes 24 de diciembre, la Noche de Navidad, a partir de las 9 p.m. hasta las 2 a.m. del miércoles 25. El mismo horario se observará la Noche de Fin de Año. A partir del martes 31 a las 9 p.m. hasta las 2 a.m. del 1 de enero del 2014.

Quienes viajen después de las 2 a.m. en estos días tendrán que pagar por su boleto o utilizar su tarjeta TAP. Para más información visite www.metro.net, twitter@metroLAalerts y facebook.com/losangelesmetro

 

December 19, 2013 Issue

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

131219-RealFrontPages-11

Every Child Deserves a Family

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There are as many as 400,000 children in the United States currently in the foster care system, and more than 104,000 of those children are eligible for adoption. On May 16, 2013, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDF) was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives. ECDF prohibits public agencies that receive federal assistance from discriminating against prospective foster or adoptive parents based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of adoptive or foster parents, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved. ECDF may come across as being a bill that solely protects the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) parents and children, however it also prevents discrimination based on marital status, meaning it protects the rights of unmarried relatives that want to adopt their own kin.

Denying unmarried relatives the right to adopt their own kin puts unnecessary suffering on children that should not be part of the child welfare system. It is crucial for us as a community to be aware of ECDF as a policy that benefits all of society’s social and financial well-being.

For some members of our community, anything that has to do with the LGBT community brings about feelings of hostility. But ECDF is not about the LGBT community; it is about the well-being of our children, children that need stable, nurturing, and loving homes. Members of the community might argue that LGBT parents are not fit to raise children. However, numerous studies have been conducted that prove that same-sex adoptive parents promote healthy cognitive and emotional development in high-risk populations, in a way similar to different-sex adoptive parents. ECDF’s purpose is to benefit the well-being of our children by adding same-sex couples and single-parents to the list of prospective parents, so that thousands of children in the foster care system have a better chance of finding a permanent home.

Finding stable homes for children in the foster care system has proven to be extremely important due to the fact that children in unstable homes have lower cognitive levels and psychological problems. Adding same-sex couples as prospective parents will help a great number of these children find stable homes, which will lead to improvements in the cognitive and psychological levels of the children. When children grow up in nurturing environments, they have a greater chance of becoming productive members of society.

Children that are placed in permanent homes have higher understanding levels and improved psychological outcomes, which truly reveals the importance of providing foster children with stable homes. Statistics show that gay and lesbian parents are more likely than heterosexual parents to adopt high-risk children, as well as children from a different ethnicity than their own. It is apparent that ECDF will benefit the well-being of many foster children, especially children that are hard to place due to emotional, physical, or cognitive problems.

ECDF will also prevent and address youth homelessness by providing a great number of foster youth with permanent, loving homes. According to the National Coalition for Homelessness, approximately 60% of homeless LGBT youth were previously in foster care. More than 25% of former foster children become homeless within two to four years of leaving foster care, while 50% of foster children aging out of foster care become homeless within six months due to the limited education and support provided to children that age out of foster care. Allowing LGBT and unmarried individuals to adopt or foster children in foster care therefore has the potential for decreasing youth homelessness and improving the lives of children that have already faced adversity simply by being part of the foster care system.

Aside from improving the lives of thousands of children in foster care, ECDF also has monetary benefits for general society. If same-sex couples and single-parents were to be banned from adopting children across the nation researchers speculate this ban would cost $87 to $130 million in increased foster care expenditures, resulting in individual states losing $100,000 to $27 million a year, with California being the hardest hit by such a ban. Decisions made regarding the well-being of children in foster care should not be driven solely by monetary means, however, the monetary benefits of ECDF cannot be overlooked.

Social policies are meant to improve the lives of vulnerable populations and people most seriously in the need of help. ECDF’s purpose is to provide more children currently in foster care with stable homes by allowing same-sex couples and single parents to adopt or become foster parents. The emotional, cognitive, and life changing opportunities that same-sex couples and single-parents can bring to foster children cannot be overlooked.

Rosenda Cabrera-Ortega is studying for her Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of Southern California. She is a resident of Bell Gardens. 

 

Thought Crimes, School Shootings and the State

December 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

In our attempts to stop the monsters terrorizing our children, we have ourselves become monsters.

We never notice when the transformation occurs. We don’t even fully realize it until years into our rampage. But one day, we wake up and look into the mirror, and the face peering back at us is unrecognizable.

On Friday, Gawker posted the result of a nearly yearlong investigation into the arrest of a student at Bartlesville Senior High School in eastern Oklahoma. The arrest, approximately four hours before the Newtown shooting, grabbed headlines and shocked the nation — then faded into white noise, like most stories not actually dripping in blood seem to do. The subject: 18-year-old Sammie Chavez, who told friends the day earlier that he was thinking about committing a school shooting.

The article itself is a stunning piece of long form shoe leather journalism by Camille Dodero. It profiles Chavez, his family, and the town of Bartlesville in great detail. It is a heavy indictment of our entire system — education, justice and otherwise.

At the time of his arrest, Sammie Chavez had an ancient .22 with a broken firing mechanism that he had purchased for $15; no ammo; a small amount of marijuana; and several “therapeutic” journals he had been asked to keep by psychiatrists. His bail was ramped up to $1 million from an initial warrant estimate of $200,000, and he faced 10 years in prison on felony conspiracy charges. More than 20 Bartlesville residents submitted victim-impact statements aimed at increasing his sentence to life in prison. Oklahoma state legislators sought to codify that sentiment into law, writing multiple bills to change the mandatory minimum sentence for the crime of thinking nasty thoughts. Children as young as 13 could be tried as adults if any of these bills pass.

Remember, no one was hurt. In very real terms, no actual crime was committed.

The press called Chavez a monster. He was 18, barely holding it together in school, and had a terrible support structure at home. When he mused aloud that he wanted to commit this act of violence, his friends did exactly what they were supposed to do: Friends told someone else; someone else told their parents; parents called the school; school called the cops; cops got a warrant. No questions asked, no offers of help, psychological or otherwise. Throw the book at him. Instamonster. Gold stars and commendations all around.

According to Dodero, “[Chavez] learned about the Newtown massacre from a television in Washington County Detention Center, the Bartlesville jail where police brought him after his arrest. Seeing the news reports, he broke down crying so badly that guards changed the channel.”

Chavez received his sentence in November: 30 months in prison, a $5000 fine and a year of evaluations from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. People from Bartlesville want him locked up longer. Future cases will reflect the “nuance” prosecutors gleaned from dealing with someone who apparently planned a school shooting without having access to the resources for — or the desire to actually carry out — one.

And the rest of us roll on in our “meaningful discussions” about gun control, funding for mental health facilities “that could house someone like Chavez,” violence in popular media, etc. We lament the fact that the system currently in place didn’t notice Chavez before. According to the profile at Gawker, he was a seemingly “perfectly normal teenage delinquent” leading up to his arrest. The entire infrastructure is rotten at the foundation, but according to its rules, everyone did exactly what they were supposed to here, down to the last smug pundit.

We lock our monsters away because we don’t like the fact that we can glean similarities to ourselves from them. We look at their behavior and think, “god, what a terrible human being, why would they do such a thing,” but who among us hasn’t had so much as a terrible thought? Even in passing? We just don’t want to face this.

Earlier this year, I wrote that the occurrence of gun violence was a wicked problem, that it could not be answered simply. I said that even though people would still be raised to love cops and soldiers, praise the wars and accept more casual violence, we could commit to an absurd answer to this wicked problem: we could struggle to teach our own children to reject killing, to reject domination over each other, to reject that systemic violence. It isn’t working. The state, feeding on the anguish of every (domestic) mother who has ever lost a child to the barrel of a gun, is simply going to react more violently every time something like this happens.

It all just needs to stop.

 

C4SS.org contributor Trevor Hultner is an independent journalist and Internet content creator. He is the host and producer of Smash Walls Radio, a weekly news and politics podcast, as well as the host of a YouTube series aimed at spreading Absurdist philosophy.

Common Core — Closing the Math Achievement Gap

December 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

U.S. students’ poor showing in international rankings of math proficiency signals a growing barrier to upward mobility for the nation’s low-income and minority students. Some go so far as to call math the new literacy tests of our generation.

Advocates of the new Common Core State Standards, however, argue their adoption could help close that gap and bring some equity to the math landscape.

Professor Judit Moschkovich teaches math education at the University of California Santa Cruz. She says the new standards will help change the way math is taught in classrooms around the country, making instruction both more relevant to students and aligning it with how math is taught in countries outside the United States.

“What you test is what you get,” says Moschkovich, pointing to the assessments designed for the CCSS. “Assessments lead curricular reform,” she explains. “By changing the assessments, you change the curriculum … and teachers are grounded in curriculum.”

Moschkovich notes that America’s longstanding problem with math is tied in large part to a longstanding pedagogical attitude here that attaches little importance to preparing math instructors.

“I have people who apply to the secondary [teaching] credential who have never had a math class in college,” says Moschkovich. “Something is wrong in terms of the perception that you can teach high school math if you took high school math. This started way before the Common Core.”

The new standards, she explains, attempt to strike a balance between teaching computational skills, on the one hand, with a conceptual understanding of the mechanics at work. “This is what other countries have been doing and is partly why they do better on international comparisons.”

According to the latest PISA (Program for International Students Assessment) study, released by the 34-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), U.S. students ranked 23rd out of 26 developed economies in math proficiency. The survey, conducted every three years, looks at math and literacy skills in 64 countries.

In the United States, low income and minority students – many of them African American and Latino – have traditionally fared the worst when it comes to math, putting them on the lowest rung in an area deemed crucial to academic advancement and access to higher paying jobs.

According to the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 11 percent of African American students in California tested proficient in eighth grade math, while only 15 percent of Latinos tested proficient. That compares to 42 percent for white students.

In the California State University (CSU) system, 83 percent of African American students and 75 percent of Latinos who enrolled last year were placed in pre-college level math courses, according to a study put out by the advocacy group Campaign for College Opportunity. In community colleges, 85 percent of incoming students were assessed as being unprepared for college-level math. Only one-in-five, the study shows, will go on to complete either a vocational or associates degree.

California adopted the CCSS in 2010, joining 44 other states and the District of Columbia. It is now in the process of developing computer-adapted assessments – called the Smarter Balance – expected to be in place by 2014. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown set aside some $1.25 billion for implementation of the CCSS, including enhancement of school technology and teacher development.

Not everyone is optimistic about the change.

Dianne Resek is professor of mathematics at San Francisco State University. A veteran of the so-called “math wars” – a two-decade old debate over just how math should be taught in schools – she says the new standards set teachers and their students up for failure.

“My problem with the CCSS is that it’s list of concepts of skills … [have] taken us way back to a mile wide and an inch deep” by introducing a “laundry list” of skills that teachers have to cover. In low-income schools, particularly, she says the high teacher turnover rate means students end up with inexperienced math instructors who won’t be able to meet that challenge.

She also echoes other critics of the CCSS, who say the standards introduce concepts to students before they are cognitively ready. “So for example, in kindergarten, [the CCSS] has kids counting to a hundred. And if you come to kindergarten and haven’t counted much before, that’s a huge leap and you’re not going to catch on.”

The worry, she says, is that for traditionally underperforming students the CCSS will only widen an already yawning achievement gap.

Those concerns were fueled by the release of test results in states like New York and Kentucky, early adopters of the Common Core, which showed a sharp drop in test scores even among students that had traditionally done well in math.

Moschkovich says the problem in those states was that they introduced the assessments before making sure teachers were adequately prepared.

“Changing the test without changing instruction and expecting students to do well is stupid. You have to first change instruction,” she says, “then pilot the test. Don’t make it high stakes until instruction has changed.”

Changing instruction is exactly what Jim Ryan, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Executive Director for the San Francisco Unified School District, has been focused on.

“We are offering a great deal of professional development for CCSS implementation,” he says. “We are working with all schools that have come forward, and we continue to solicit more time and effort to work with teachers.”

Much of that work has gone toward developing a new curriculum for the math portion of the CCSS, which Ryan says will be introduced in 2014.

In the meantime, he says he is confident the new standards will help “narrow and hopefully bring together the discrepancy that we see now” in math scores. “The old standards were very algorithmic,” he notes. “Students had to learn processes and rules for how to solve for equations and variables, but it was very procedural. The students who didn’t learn those rules well continued to flounder.”

With the Common Core’s emphasis on conceptual understanding, alongside procedure, Ryan says teachers can now employ various approaches to math instruction that “meet the needs of students at all levels.”

 

U.S. students’ poor showing in international rankings of math proficiency signals a growing barrier to upward mobility for the nation’s low-income and minority students. Some go so far as to call math the new literacy tests of our generation.

Advocates of the new Common Core State Standards, however, argue their adoption could help close that gap and bring some equity to the math landscape.

Professor Judit Moschkovich teaches math education at the University of California Santa Cruz. She says the new standards will help change the way math is taught in classrooms around the country, making instruction both more relevant to students and aligning it with how math is taught in countries outside the United States.

“What you test is what you get,” says Moschkovich, pointing to the assessments designed for the CCSS. “Assessments lead curricular reform,” she explains. “By changing the assessments, you change the curriculum … and teachers are grounded in curriculum.”

Moschkovich notes that America’s longstanding problem with math is tied in large part to a longstanding pedagogical attitude here that attaches little importance to preparing math instructors.

“I have people who apply to the secondary [teaching] credential who have never had a math class in college,” says Moschkovich. “Something is wrong in terms of the perception that you can teach high school math if you took high school math. This started way before the Common Core.”

The new standards, she explains, attempt to strike a balance between teaching computational skills, on the one hand, with a conceptual understanding of the mechanics at work. “This is what other countries have been doing and is partly why they do better on international comparisons.”

According to the latest PISA (Program for International Students Assessment) study, released by the 34-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), U.S. students ranked 23rd out of 26 developed economies in math proficiency. The survey, conducted every three years, looks at math and literacy skills in 64 countries.

In the United States, low income and minority students – many of them African American and Latino – have traditionally fared the worst when it comes to math, putting them on the lowest rung in an area deemed crucial to academic advancement and access to higher paying jobs.

According to the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 11 percent of African American students in California tested proficient in eighth grade math, while only 15 percent of Latinos tested proficient. That compares to 42 percent for white students.

In the California State University (CSU) system, 83 percent of African American students and 75 percent of Latinos who enrolled last year were placed in pre-college level math courses, according to a study put out by the advocacy group Campaign for College Opportunity. In community colleges, 85 percent of incoming students were assessed as being unprepared for college-level math. Only one-in-five, the study shows, will go on to complete either a vocational or associates degree.

California adopted the CCSS in 2010, joining 44 other states and the District of Columbia. It is now in the process of developing computer-adapted assessments – called the Smarter Balance – expected to be in place by 2014. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown set aside some $1.25 billion for implementation of the CCSS, including enhancement of school technology and teacher development.

Not everyone is optimistic about the change.

Dianne Resek is professor of mathematics at San Francisco State University. A veteran of the so-called “math wars” – a two-decade old debate over just how math should be taught in schools – she says the new standards set teachers and their students up for failure.

“My problem with the CCSS is that it’s list of concepts of skills … [have] taken us way back to a mile wide and an inch deep” by introducing a “laundry list” of skills that teachers have to cover. In low-income schools, particularly, she says the high teacher turnover rate means students end up with inexperienced math instructors who won’t be able to meet that challenge.

She also echoes other critics of the CCSS, who say the standards introduce concepts to students before they are cognitively ready. “So for example, in kindergarten, [the CCSS] has kids counting to a hundred. And if you come to kindergarten and haven’t counted much before, that’s a huge leap and you’re not going to catch on.”

The worry, she says, is that for traditionally underperforming students the CCSS will only widen an already yawning achievement gap.

Those concerns were fueled by the release of test results in states like New York and Kentucky, early adopters of the Common Core, which showed a sharp drop in test scores even among students that had traditionally done well in math.

Moschkovich says the problem in those states was that they introduced the assessments before making sure teachers were adequately prepared.

“Changing the test without changing instruction and expecting students to do well is stupid. You have to first change instruction,” she says, “then pilot the test. Don’t make it high stakes until instruction has changed.”

Changing instruction is exactly what Jim Ryan, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Executive Director for the San Francisco Unified School District, has been focused on.

“We are offering a great deal of professional development for CCSS implementation,” he says. “We are working with all schools that have come forward, and we continue to solicit more time and effort to work with teachers.”

Much of that work has gone toward developing a new curriculum for the math portion of the CCSS, which Ryan says will be introduced in 2014.

In the meantime, he says he is confident the new standards will help “narrow and hopefully bring together the discrepancy that we see now” in math scores. “The old standards were very algorithmic,” he notes. “Students had to learn processes and rules for how to solve for equations and variables, but it was very procedural. The students who didn’t learn those rules well continued to flounder.”

With the Common Core’s emphasis on conceptual understanding, alongside procedure, Ryan says teachers can now employ various approaches to math instruction that “meet the needs of students at all levels.”

 

 

Council Clears Path to Speed Up Development of Downtown L.A. ‘Historic’ Buildings

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

City officials unveiled guidelines last week aimed at transforming a large swath of empty historic buildings along Broadway in downtown Los Angeles into a bustling area with restaurants, art galleries, yoga studios and other businesses.

The “commercial reuse” guidelines are part of a pilot program that applies just to buildings along South Broadway, between First and 12th streets. Officials said the guidelines should clarify the steps business owners will need to take to rehabilitate historical structures while meeting fire and safety regulations.

Under the program, working elevators will no longer need to be upgraded or replaced; art galleries, yoga studios, restaurants and similar businesses will be allowed in the upper floors of buildings; and fire safety standards will cater more to the needs of older buildings, while taking into account modern fire-fighting capabilities.

“Today, we are knocking the dust off of decades of layers of red tape and impossible and conflicting codes that have resulted in our historic buildings on Broadway sitting empty for far too long,” said City Councilman Jose Huizar, who made the announcement during an event Dec. 13 at the Bradbury Building, an architectural landmark that was used in the dystopian, sci-fi movie “Blade Runner.”

Huizar said a similar “reuse” ordinance for historic, residential buildings in downtown Los Angeles resulted in a population boom, but commercial buildings have not been so quick to fill up.

About 1 million square feet of commercial space remains vacant or under-used in the Broadway area — where buildings often date back to the 19th century — partly because the process for restoring the older buildings for safe, commercial use has long proved a hassle, he said.

The guidelines, which took five years to develop, were met with excitement from architects who said they are looking forward to an influx of creative and professional offices in the area, as well as increased retail businesses.

“Creative office and hotel uses are a big part of the future for Broadway’s buildings, and these new guidelines pave the way for a much easier process than we had before,” said architect Karin Liljegren of Omgivning Architecture & Interior Design.

The guidelines take away much of the “uncertainty” around reusing old buildings and makes it “easier for developers and property owners to reactivate gorgeous historic buildings along this once great theater and shopping street,” Rocky Rockefeller, an architect and senior partner at Rockefeller Partners, said.

Rare Snow ‘Fall’ Makes for Fun In Monterey Park

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Hundreds of children played at the holiday snow village in Monterey Park last week where residents experience their first year of “snow.”

Some of the children were ready for the icy cold snow, dressed in warm jackets and mittens, while many others not dressed for the fluffy icy stuff refused to give in to the cold, but stayed warm by playing and jumping up and down.

The event, held at Barnes Park, kicked off with the traditional tree lighting ceremony and included holiday music performances by local schools and a visit from Santa Claus.

Pictured: “Snow fight” yell children as they play in the snow near the Barnes Park Amphitheater in Monterey Park.

City Attorney to Take On Gun Toting Domestic Abusers

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

City Attorney Mike Feuer Wednesday announced an effort to go after domestic abusers who illegally possess guns or attempt to purchase more.

The Los Angeles Police Department will now alert the city attorney’s office if anyone served with a domestic violence restraining order or criminal protective order owns a registered firearm.

Anyone with a prior conviction for domestic violence is prohibited from buying and possessing guns, and anyone who is served with a restraining or protective order must surrender any firearms in their possession or legally sell them within 24 hours.

Feuer said he is pressing charges against at least four convicted and alleged domestic abusers who tried to violate the restriction on firearms by failing to mention prior domestic violence convictions or restraining or protective orders on gun purchase applications.

His office is also working with social services groups to educate domestic violence victims of their rights and to encourage them to report any guns, registered or not, they find in their homes.

Every week, nine women in the United States are killed by guns used by their abusive spouses or significant others, according to a study by the Violence Policy Center.

A woman’s likelihood of getting killed by her abuser goes up five times if the abuser owns a gun, said Margot Bennett, executive director of Women Against Gun Violence.

“Guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination,” Feuer said amid a gathering of representatives of local law enforcement and social service agencies and domestic violence prevention groups.

“Our office is taking aggressive action to enforce the laws already on the books and work with our community partners to inform the public of how the laws can help protect them and their families,” he said.

A New Model for Youth Probation Camps

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A youth probation camp in the Malibu hills is about to undergo a $48 million renovation that will also include a new probation camp model that’s less prison-like and more therapeutic.

A new report from UCLA and the Children’s Defense Fund-California (CDF) recommends the renovated Camp Kilpatrick replace large dorms with a new small-group treatment model that houses juvenile offenders in groups of 12, so they get more individual attention.

Camp Kilpatrick in the Malibu hills is about to undergo a renovation. (California News Service)

Camp Kilpatrick in the Malibu hills is about to undergo a renovation. (California News Service)

Michelle Newell, the report’s co-author and senior policy associate at the Children’s Defense Fund-California, says the current model is outdated and ill-equipped to address the complex needs of youth in its custody.

“This 80-year-old model to locked facilities is just not designed to meet the complex needs of youth in the juvenile justice system,” she says. “It’s led to decades of abuse and neglect that we’ve seen as of late.”

Work at the 50-year-old Malibu probation camp is set to begin in March.

L.A. County’s juvenile justice system is the largest in the nation, detaining nearly 2,000 youths on any given day.

Newell says the CDF report also recommends the Camp Kilpatrick replacement project be a springboard for greater reform for all youth detention camps.

“We want every young person who needs to be detained in Los Angeles County to be in a facility that is with the times,” she says, “that’s meeting their needs, that’s not based on an 80-year-old outdated approach that’s even more harmful.”

Newell says the state needs a system that’s focused on rehabilitating and improving the lives of young people, and not one that drives them deeper into the cradle to prison pipeline.

54th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration Returns to Music Center

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

More than 20 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies from many of Los Angeles County’s diverse neighborhoods and cultures will take the stage Dec. 24 for the 54th Annual L.A. County Celebration at the Music Center- Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

The free, three-hour holiday show will feature big name artists along with local choirs, dance groups, and other types of performers.

Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, pictured, will be one one of many performances at the 54th Annual L.A. County Celebration at the Music Center-Dorothy Chandler Pavillion on Dec. 24. (Ed Krieger)

Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, pictured, will be one one of many performances at the 54th Annual L.A. County Celebration at the Music Center-Dorothy Chandler Pavillion on Dec. 24. (Ed Krieger)

Highlights include Grammy Award®-winning Chicano rock band Quetzal; Grammy Award®-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea; Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet, celebrating the Aztec roots of Mexican culture; the Gypsy Allstars, featuring sons of internationally recognized Gypsy Kings; and Aditya Prakash Ensemble, blending classical Indian music with jazz and Latin rhythms.

This year’s show — hosted by John O’Hurley (Seinfeld, Family Feud) and Marisa Ramirez (Blue Bloods, Body of Proof) — is perfect for the whole family.

Other performers include the Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy performing a traditional Korean drumming dance; Choral group Artemusica, performing in Baroque style; Colburn Children’s Choir and Young Men’s Chorus, singing in Hebrew and English; Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles; and Immaculate Heart of Mary Children’s Choir, performing traditional Filipino songs, to name a few.

No tickets or reservations are required and patrons can come and go at any time that fits their schedule, but everyone is encouraged to stay for the entire show and enjoy the full range of talent being presented courtesy of the County of Los Angeles.

The Latin Band Quetzalt, pictured, will perform at the 54th Annual L.A. County Celebration on Dec. 24. (Los Angeles County Arts Commission)

The Latin Band Quetzalt, pictured, will perform at the 54th Annual L.A. County Celebration on Dec. 24. (Los Angeles County Arts Commission)

But if you are unable to attend in person, you don’t have to miss out, the show will be presented live on KCET-TV and KCET.org from 3-6 p.m., and again from 8-11 p.m. and on  Dec. 25 at 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Doors open at 2:30 p.m., although the line forms much earlier and entertainment on the Music Center plaza begins at noon. The Music Center is located at 135 N. Grand Ave. in downtown L.A. Parking is free in the Music Center garage.

For more information, call (213) 972-3099 or go to www.HolidayCelebration.org

 

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