A longtime educator and former president of East Los Angeles College has been recognized for his service with the naming of a new 5-story, 135,000 square foot building at the college in his honor.
“Ernest H. Moreno has enriched the lives of community college students for nearly a half century,” ELAC statement following The Ernest H. Moreno Building of Language, Arts & Humanities sign unveiling ceremony on Feb. 8.
Moreno served as Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) employee for 42 years as a faculty member, administrator and college president. In 2013, he was elected to the LACCD’s Board of Trustees.
The naming of the new facility pays tributes to Moreno’s tenure at ELAC, where he served as president from 1994 – with a brief interim assignment as President of Los Angeles Mission College – until his retirement in 2011.
“Ernie Moreno is a legacy in our community,” said Scott J. Svonkin, President of the LACCD Board of Trustees. “Ernie led the effort to build one of the preeminent community colleges in the nation, right here at East Los Angeles College. He took a community college that had buildings in disrepair and with decades-old bungalows in use for classrooms and led the way for ELAC to become one of the finest and largest colleges in California and the nation,” Svonkin said in praise of the San Gabriel Valley native.
“And then he joined our board and led the effort to rebuild our campuses across the district. World-class facilities are now the norm at each of our nine LACCD campuses,” Svonkin told those gathered for the tribute.
According to ELAC, the building bearing Moreno’s name will house several academic departments, including English, Foreign Language, Chicano Studies and Speech; and provides 40 classrooms, three labs and office space for more than 80 faculty. The new central plaza quadrangle the building faces, offers space for students to study, and relax.
Moreno said he is “honored and humbled” by the recognition.
“During my nearly 18 years as president I was able to transform East Los Angeles College from a relatively small college to one of the largest in the nation and plan and guide the rebuilding and expansion of the entire college,” Moreno said. “My vision for the college was motivated by my devotion to the wonderful students and community that ELAC serves. I must thank the dedicated faculty and staff that help make my tenure as president a success.”
“Trustee Moreno led ELAC through significant growth of students and spearheaded the building program at the college,” LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez said. “Under his leadership, the college has become a premier institution that proudly serves the surrounding community.”
Moreno taught business administration, supervision and management, and labor relations at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College from 1976 to 1986, and political science at West Los Angeles College from 1986 to 2006. Educated in the San Gabriel Valley Unified School District, he attended Cal State L.A. where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He earned a Master’s in public administration from Cal State Long Beach.
Moreno is Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of Monterey Park Hospital and a member of the Board of Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health. He was a member of the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2006.
A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted murder and was immediately sentenced to 13 years behind bars for an unprovoked knife attack on a woman waiting in line at a taco stand in East Los Angeles.
Andres Contreras, 30, attacked the 23-year-old woman in the 5100 block of Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles last Sept. 7. She suffered a large laceration to her left hand, according to Deputy District Attorney Stefana Antonescu.
A good Samaritan who tried to intervene also suffered a laceration. Sheriff’s deputies, who were in the area, stopped the attack and took Contreras into custody.
Contreras – who did not know the woman – told deputies that he had been using methamphetamine all day, sheriff’s Lt. Alex Salinas said shortly after the attack.
A pedestrian was struck and killed by a car on the westbound Pomona (60) Freeway in the East Los Angeles area, authorities said Tuesday.
The 28-year-old man was hit by the car about 11:15 p.m. Monday west of Atlantic Boulevard, the California Highway Patrol reported. His name was withheld pending notification of his relatives.
The motorist was treated at a hospital for a minor injury, according to the CHP.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the CHP’s East Los Angeles Area office at (323) 980-4600.
Authorities Monday identified a 16-year-old boy killed in an apparent-gang-related shooting in East Los Angeles.
The shooting occurred at 2:40 a.m. Sunday in the 3800 block of Whittier Boulevard, Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
Joanthony Rodriguez of Los Angeles died at the scene, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.
“When deputies arrived, they checked the area for any suspicious activity and found a bloody trail on a sidewalk, which they followed into an apartment building,” Jansen said. “The deputies found a male lying on the stairwell inside the apartment building suffering from gunshot wounds to his upper torso.”
The shooting is believed to be gang-related, Jansen said.
Anyone with information on the crime was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
A 20-year-old man who was stabbed to death near
Belvedere County Park in East Los Angeles was identified Wednesday by authorities.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon around 8:25 p.m. on Dec. 28 in the 4900 block of East Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, said Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
On arriving, they saw the man, identified by the county coroner’s office as Anthony Nelson III, lying on the ground in a parking lot suffering from a stab wound to his upper body, Schrader said. Nelson was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, she said.
Coroner’s officials did not have a residence listed for Nelson.
Police sought the public’s help Wednesday in solving the murders of two young East Los Angeles women whose bodies were found alongside two Los Angeles freeways a few years ago.
The Los Angles City Council, at the request of First District Councilmember Gil Cedillo, approved $100,000 in rewards, $50,000 for each murder, for information leading to the identity, arrest, and prosecution of the person or people responsible for the deaths of Michelle Lozano and Bree’Anna Guzman.
Lozano, who was a 17-year-old Lincoln Heights resident at the time of her murder, was last seen on April 24, 2011, and her body was found the next day alongside the Cesar Chavez Avenue offramp from the southbound Golden State (5) Freeway in East Los Angeles, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.
On December 26 of that same year, 22-year-old Guzman disappeared after walking to a Rite-Aid store at 111 E. Avenue 26, the statement said. Her body was found on Jan. 26, 2012, alongside the Riverside Drive on-ramp to the southbound Glendale (2) Freeway.
During the course of the investigations, detectives obtained evidence that links the two murders, the statement said.
Anyone with information about the murders was asked to contact the LAPD’s Robbery and Homicide Division at (213) 486-6890.
Thirty deserving children from the East Los Angeles area were able to cross off at least one thing on their Christmas list this year, after receiving a gift card to go on a shopping spree Saturday.
The National Latino Peace Officers Association – East Los Angeles Chapter and the City of Commerce Target Store hosted its First Children’s Christmas Shopping Spree Dec. 3. Each child received goodie bags and a $75 gift card to purchase clothes, shoes, toys, books, movies, games and more.
The children were referred and selected by NLPOA – ELA Chapter through various community resources such as churches, local schools, LA County Children and Family Services, and LA County Sheriffs VIDA program.
Sandra Muñoz has put off getting a green card for decades, always assuming she had plenty of time. But with less than seven weeks until President-elect Donald Trump is sworn-in to office, the East Los Angeles resident is now rushing to learn how to change her status.
Like many others in her position, Muñoz is worried Trump will make good on his campaign promise to deport millions of immigrants in the country without legal status, so last week she attended an information session at Ruben Salazar Park in hopes of getting advise on how to best protect herself.
The first thing to do is stay calm, advised immigrations lawyers brought in to answer questions and to help with the citizenship process.
“People are very scared, there’s a lot of anxiety,” acknowledged Valerie de Gonzalez, one of the attorneys at the event. “As attorneys, though, we know that any change, good or bad, doesn’t happen overnight.”
Trump’s election has cast a cloud of worry, stress and uncertainty over the undocumented immigrant community. They and their loved ones are living in fear of separation if immigration laws and enforcement tightens under the new Republican president.
Nora Phillips, an attorney with Phillips & Urias, LLP in East Los Angeles has been specializing in immigration law for nearly 10 years, but acknowledges that immigration attorneys do not know what will happen once Trump steps into office but believes there is still hope, especially in California where elected officials have sworn to protect the undocumented.
Phillips points out that many people who could qualify for legal residency under current immigration laws haven’t applied and urges they waste no time getting the process started.
A person may be eligible for a Green Card – or permanent residency status – through a family member, their job, asylum or other petitions, it was explained at the forum. Parents of a U.S. citizen 21 and over, the spouse of a U.S. citizen and unmarried children under 21 of a U.S. citizen are given the highest priority for visas. Those who don’t qualify under one of those categories can still apply, but must wait until one of the allocated visas from their home country becomes available, which could take years. Still, even when a person is eligible, the process isn’t always smooth and can drag on.
Just ask Martha Galaviz of East Los Angeles who asked attorneys why the green card petition she submitted on behalf of her brother 10 years ago has still not been approved.
Phillips quickly pointed out that every case is different and the length of the process can vary from a few months to decades.
She advises anyone who wants to fix his or her immigration status to at least set up a consultation with an immigration attorney before the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.
“We’re lucky we’re in Los Angeles and not Idaho,” Phillips joked. “We have a lot of immigration lawyers to choose from here.”
Muñoz, however, is not as confident. She told EGP finding an attorney she could trust has been a challenge, especially with all the notarios or notaries trying to pass as immigration consultants, but have been known to scam people unfamiliar with the immigration process.
“If you don’t feel comfortable and can’t ask your attorney questions, get a new attorney,” Phillips told attendees, emphasizing, “Some lawyers don’t deserve your confidence or money.”
One of the biggest scams perpetrated by unlicensed notarios is the promise to provide a work permit but then failing to fill out the proper, required documents. In fact, many people have been duped into filling out applications for asylum, only to land up in court facing deportation, Phillips warned.
But it’s not only those without legal status who are worried.
Many of the people who signed up for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) — an executive order issued by President Obama in 2012 that has since granted three-quarters of a million undocumented immigrants relief from deportation — are also feeling uneasy since the election.
As part of the DACA process, applicants were required to provide immigration authorities with information about where they live, work, or go to school, and in some cases, about other relatives who may also be undocumented.
“DACA is the big unknown,” acknowledges Phillips. Because it’s an executive order rather than a law passed by Congress, “Trump can end DACA on his first day if he wants.”
Deportation is an undocumented immigrants’ worst nightmare and Phillips says those who have been deported before or been arrested even for minor offenses are at greatest risk for deportation under a Trump presidency.
Yet, even with a deportation on their record, some undocumented immigrants may still be eligible for legal residency. As Phillips puts it, immigration laws are tough but complicated, and whether a person can stay in the country legally could come down to when the offense on their record took place.
“Rules are different for everyone,” emphasized Phillips, so “don’t compare your case with others.”
Phillips told EGP that frantic calls from potential clients have increased dramatically since the election and their staff has been busy trying to reassure callers that Homeland Security will not be snatching people off the streets.
“We know it’s going to get worse, but some of the things he promises are impossible.”
Monsignor John Moretta of Resurrection Church in Boyle Heights is a long time community and immigration rights advocate. Resurrection is not far from Salazar Park, and large numbers of Church parishioners are undocumented, leading Moretta to hope the meeting would be packed, but attendance was small.
“This room should be full because, as you know, it affects almost the entire community,” he said in disappointment.
“If it’s not someone in your house, you know of someone who will be affected by this.”
A mattress caught fire on the Pomona (60) Freeway in East Los Angeles and temporarily shut down several freeway lanes, authorities said.
It happened about 7:50 p.m. Sunday, the California Highway Patrol said.
“A vehicle ran over the mattress and that’s what started the fire,” CHP Officer Michele Bond said.
The freeway fire shut down the number 3 and 4 lanes on the eastbound 60 Freeway.
The CHP also closed the interchange between the 60 Freeway and the southbound Long Beach (710) Freeway.
The two closures lasted for more than an hour.
The CHP declared a SigAlert at 8:13 p.m. The road was cleared and the SigAlert cancelled at 9:07 p.m., according to the CHP.
There were no injuries.
The drum rolls, horns blowing and cheers could be heard blocks away as a popular East Los Angeles tradition made its big comeback Sunday.
Nearly 70,000 spectators turned out to watch the East Los Angeles Christmas Parade make its way down Historic Whittier Boulevard for the first time since 2009.
The parade featured an array of spectacular floats, marching bands, equestrian units, and celebrity guests, thanks in large part to Presenting Partner Supervisor Hilda Solis and a bevy of sponsors that included Coca Cola, SoCal Gas, White Memorial and others.