Lucille Bessera Roybal Left Her Own Legacy

January 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

She was perhaps best known as the wife of the late Congressman Edward Roybal, and the mother of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, but Lucille Beserra Roybal should also be remembered for her individual accomplishments, included the co-founding of the Community Service Organization (CSO), and serving as one of the first Latina registrar of voters in Los Angeles.

Lucille Beserra Roybal, passed away Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 at approximately 3:00 a.m., according to a statement released by the office of her daughter, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard.

The matriarch of the Roybal family passed away peacefully in her sleep, two weeks before her ninety-sixth birthday, according to the statement.

Lucille Beserra Roybal was born on January 5, 1917 in Los Angeles, California to Manuel Albert Beserra a and Prudenciana Moreno Beserra. She was the third child of four siblings and was raised in Boyle Heights, in the heart of East Los Angeles.

According to Roybal-Allard’s statement, her mother’s father, a house painter and her homemaker mother “instilled in their children the value of education and encouraged academic excellence, as well as the value of justice for all.”

Beserra Roybal graduated from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights. In September, 1940, she married Edward R. Roybal and they had three children: Lucille, Lillian and Edward, Jr. The couple was married for sixty-five years, until the congressman’s passing in 2005.

Lucille Beserra Roybal was a political activist and played an integral leadership role in her husband’s Los Angeles City Council and Congressional campaigns. She also “lent her time, energy and leadership to various grassroots and community based causes throughout her life,” particularly in areas related to public health issues. She served as an outreach representative for the Well Baby Clinic, The Red Cross and other public health and charitable organizations.

Her contributions were recognized by the Los Angeles City Council with the naming of the Lucille Beserra Roybal Family Source Center in her honor. In 1993 and 1996 the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and MANA (a national Latina advocacy organization) respectively honored Beserra Roybal with their highest award for her tireless dedication to the Latino community both in Los Angeles and nationwide.

Lucille Beserra Roybal is being remembered as a “Latina pioneer, an icon, visionary and a true leader of service, and someone whose spirit and work has had a lasting effect on the Chicano/Latino community.

Funeral services will commence this evening, Jan. 3 with a viewing at 3 p.m. and a Rosary at 6:30 p.m. at Calvary Mortuary Chapel, located at 4201 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023. Funeral Mass and Internment will be held Friday, Jan. 4th at 11 a.m. at Calvary Mortuary Chapel and Cemetery respectively. A reception will follow at Steven’s Steak and Seafood House located at 5332 Stevens Place, Commerce, CA  90040.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to The Roybal Foundation: 5253 East Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA  90022-2020. For more information, call (323) 725-3960.

Vernon-Based Company Develops Recycling Program for Medical Waste

January 3, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

A facility that processes 100 tons of medical waste per year has developed a new recycling program for syringes, needles and containers for their reuse in the healthcare industry.

Vernon-based Waste Management’s (WM) program seeks to reuse some of the material recycled from about 8 million syringes and needles discarded annually in the United States, while at the same time raising awareness among the millions of people who inject themselves at home about the proper handling of these hazardous waste items.

“This plant increases the recycling of wastes that were previously packed and taken to a dump. Now, they collect materials such as metals and plastics to give them a new life,” explains Lily Quiroa, a Waste Management spokesperson.

Every month, the WM plant recycles thousands of pounds plastics and metals, which are extracted from special containers from hospitals across the state.

Administrators know there is a great potential for reusing these materials, especially if one considers that in the last ten years the number of people who inject themselves at home for medical reasons has increased from 9 to 14 million, according to the firm’s data.

“Materials recovered as plastic fibers are treated by a special machine that crushes and separates the metals by powerful magnets, leaving a fiber that is then handed over to the company Becton Dickinson and Co (BD) to turn them into new containers,” said Jesus Olague, an employee at the plant.

However, the proper handling of this type of hazardous waste has for the most part been viewed as a public health issue, since nationwide there are over 600,000 cases of people becoming puncture victims of inappropriately discarded needles and syringes reported annually.

“Many workers in the recycling industry and other victims of mishandled needle sticks are infected with Hepatitis B and C, and HIV,” said Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC), an organization seeking a solution to what is considered a major problem, but in the shadows.

Ideally, says Sanborn, the same producers should be responsible for the complete cycle of needles and syringes, that’s why his organization is calling for a statewide collection program.

“There has been a dramatic increase in needle stick punctures in our recycling staff and waste workers, because there are many needles discarded without their containers. We believe that producers who profit from these needles and inject able medications, should have primary responsibility to design, finance and operate this program,” she said.

For CPSC, the local economic impact totals over $226 million per year, due to workdays lost due to medical exams, infections and treatments victims must undergo.

Sanborn says so far firms manufacturing these products have responded positively, though she firmly believes the answer to the problem should be private and not public, especially because she is confident that these companies could handle the process more effectively in terms of cost and performance.

However, she warns that people should be aware of the problem and act effectively as agents of change.

“The important thing for the general population to know is that needles and syringes should not be discarded in the trash,” she said.

Los Angeles County regularly schedules “Too Toxic to Trash” hazardous waste collection events where needles, syringes and other types of hazardous waste can be properly discarded. Once of those events will be held this Saturday in the city of Paramount.

Visit EGP’s Community Calendar or see the announcement on page 10 for more details

Lawsuit Against Toyota Nears Final Settlement

January 3, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

A federal judge late last week granted preliminary approval of a $1.3 billion settlement of a class action lawsuit against Toyota regarding runaway vehicle problems.

Now that U.S. District Judge James Selna has preliminarily approved the settlement, which cover claims of economic loss due to the sudden-acceleration issues, Toyota consumers covered in the class will be contacted starting in March, according to Selna’s order.

On June 14, Selna will hold a fairness hearing on the settlement.

The settlement was reached Dec. 26. Steven W. Berman, one of the lead attorneys representing consumers who say they lost value on their vehicles, said it was the largest agreement of its kind in U.S. history.

The settlement was in the works for about a year, Berman said.

The personal-injury and wrongful-death claims against the international automotive giant will be handled separately. The first of the wrongful death cases was set to go to trial in February in federal court in Santa Ana.

The first wrongful death lawsuit slated to go to trial stems from a Nov. 5, 2010, collision that killed 66-year-old Paul Van Alfen and 38-year-old Charlene Lloyd and injured Van Alfen’s wife, Shirlene, and their son, Cameron, in Utah near the Nevada border.

In the past, Toyota has blamed the sudden acceleration incidents on sticky gas pedals and poorly fitted floor mats. Plaintiffs have alleged Toyota knew of problems with its electronic throttle-control systems and did not fix them with brake-override devices as rival companies did.

Toyota has agreed to put $250 million into a fund for some consumers who lost money on their vehicles from Sept. 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2010, because of publicity about the sudden acceleration issues, according to the proposed agreement.

Another $250 million will be available for current consumers ineligible for a brake-override system.

The cost of installing brake-override systems for some Toyota consumers was estimated at $406 million, according to the settlement proposal.

The company will provide a customer care plan to 16 million Toyota owners offering warranties on some parts that plaintiffs allege contributed to runaway vehicles. That plan will be offered for three to 10 years.

The cost of the customer care plan will not exceed $200 million, according to the agreement.

Additionally, Toyota will contribute $30 million in education grants to fund automobile safety research related to the issues in the litigation, according to the proposal.

Toyota also has agreed to pay up to $200 million in attorneys’ fees and $27 million in costs.

Second L.A. Medical Marijuana Initiative Moves Forward

January 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A city initiative that would apparently allow continued operation of about 100 medical marijuana shops in Los Angeles is significantly closer to enactment, the city clerk disclosed Wednesday.

City Clerk June Lagmay determined through a sampling process that backers of the initiative to allow and regulate a certain number of storefront medical marijuana shops have gathered the necessary 41,138 signatures.

The measure would reduce by hundreds the number of pot shops operating in the city, but it would allow continued operation of about 100. The City Council now may decide whether to enact the measure on its own or put the proposal before voters.

The initiative, dubbed the “Medical Marijuana Collectives Initiative Ordinance,” would put into effect various restrictions on pot-shop operations, including hours of operation and location. If enacted, the measure would reduce the number of medical marijuana stores from somewhere in the hundreds down to about 100.

Key to hitting that target is a provision that would require medical cannabis dispensaries to prove they were operating before Sept. 14, 2007. That is when the city first tried to place a moratorium on new pot shops.

The clerk’s certification sends the initiative to the City Council that can adopt the ordinance as is, call a special election or place the item on the May 21 general municipal election ballot. That election in May will include the race for various city offices, including mayor. The City Council is expected to make a decision on the pot shop measure this month.

The group sponsoring the initiative is called the Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods. It is made up of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance and Americans for Safe Access L.A.

UFCW Local 770 President Rick Icaza said the initiative would “guarantee safe access to medical cannabis for those suffering from debilitating and painful diseases and conditions, while at the same time enforcing the rule of law and protecting neighborhoods.

“It’s time to stop playing politics with people’s health and the safety of our communities,” Icaza added, referring to the city’s years of attempts to regulate medical marijuana. That battle culminated in an attempt in July to ban storefront dispensaries from Los Angeles. That effort was reversed in October when medical marijuana supporters gathered enough signatures to repeal the ban, leaving dispensaries unregulated and possibly illegal. The issue has been the target of lawsuits and conflicting court opinions.

City Councilman Paul Koretz has been pushing an ordinance similar to the ballot measure.

“Patients need safe access,” said Freddie Metcalf, who uses medical cannabis to treat symptoms from Sarcoidosis, a disease in which inflammation occurs in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin or other tissues.

Icaza urged the City Council to adopt the ordinance instead of placing it on the ballot.

Meanwhile, a group backing a separate medical marijuana initiative last month submitted more than 73,500 petition signatures to qualify a measure that would place similar time and place restrictions on dispensaries, but would not limit the number to those that opened prior to the Sept. 14, 2007 cutoff.

That initiative backed by a group called Angelenos for Safe Access would allow any storefront medical cannabis collectives that are at least 500 to 1,000 feet from schools, parks, libraries, childcare centers and religious institutions and would also impose a business tax of $60 on every $1,000 of marijuana sold at the dispensaries.

White Memorial Hospital Welcomes ‘Baby New Year’, Celebrates 100th Anniversary

January 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

(Photo courtesy of White Memorial)

What a way to start our Centennial Year! proclaimed the White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights, announcing the arrival of the first local baby born in 2013.

Baby boy Jadian Arian Esquivel (pictured) was born exactly at midnight, according to the hospital. He weighed 7 pounds, 6 oz and is 19 1/2 inches long. Jadian is the fifth child for Boyle Heights couple Roxanna and Jose Esquivel.

White Memorial is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2013, and will hold a number of events to mark the milestone.

Another New Year baby was born exactly at midnight in Los Angeles County. Baby Dorian Martin-Jean Hardy was born to Candice Campudoni and Martin Robert Hardy at Kaiser’s Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center. Dorian weighed in at 6 pounds and 13 ounces, measured 18 and three-quarters inches in length; he has two older siblings.

How to Stay Healthy in 2013: 52 Healthy Monday Tips to Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

(Newswise) — It’s that time of year again: According to statistics gathered by the University of Scranton, 45% of us will make a resolution at the start of 2013, yet less than half of those promises will still be in effect six months later. How can we work our annual goals into our everyday routine and increase our likelihood of success?

(Graphic courtesy of newswise)

Use the Power of Monday

Monday is like the January of the week: the day that we can reset our intentions after the weekend and try again. By recommitting to our resolutions every Monday, we get 52 opportunities to stick with it and incorporate healthier habits into our lives. The Monday Campaigns offers 52 Healthy Monday Tips on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Plus, having a Monday resolution means you don’t have to go it alone. Meatless Monday is just one of many Monday Campaigns: there are a variety of wellness initiatives that can help you stick to your goals for 2013. Take advantage of our free materials and the support of our online communities on Facebook and Twitter. Start planning and sticking to your 2013 resolutions by learning more about the programs that will keep you going week after week.

— Enjoy a More Nutritious Diet: Meatless Monday can help you eat a more diverse, nutrient-dense diet by reminding you to swap meat one day a week for fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Join the Movement on Facebook and Twitter for weekly news and updates, or follow us on Pinterest and Tumblr for delicious Meatless Monday meal ideas. Already meatless every Monday? Become a Mover & Shaker by introducing the campaign to your local schools, restaurants, or community organizers.

— Teach Healthful Habits to Your Kids: Help the little chefs in your life learn their way around the kitchen with The Kids Cook Monday! Families can get cooking with our age-appropriate recipes and helpful Introductory Toolkit, or by following the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Teachers and community leaders can also get involved by using the tips and lesson plans available in our Educator’s Toolkit.

— Quit Smoking for Good: It can take 8-11 quit attempts to kick smoking for good, so gain an advantage by recommitting to your quit every Monday. Quit and Stay Quit Monday offers 52 weekly tips, along with communities on Facebook and Twitter, to boost your cessation success. Join now and help us get ready for a smoke free 2013.

— Get in More Physical Activity: Add more fitness into your daily life by starting the week off on the right (and left) foot! Move It Monday can help you get and stay physically active with Monday Mile markers and weekly reminders on Facebook and Twitter. Get friends and family moving too by resolving to do Move It Mondays together.

— Stay STD Free: Maintain your sexual health with Man Up Monday, your weekly reminder to call the clinic, set up a preventative health appointment, or restock on condoms and other essential supplies. Receive weekly notices and news updates on Facebook and Twitter, or plan a trip to your local health center with Planned Parenthood’s clinic search.

— Maintain Your Health While Caring for Others: Do you tend to special needs child, older parents, or loved ones with chronic illnesses or disabilities? It’s important to remember to care for yourself too! Set aside some time each Monday to plan your needs for the week and ensure that you stay healthy. Our Caregiver Monday tips and supportive communities on Facebook and Twitter can help you reduce stress and learn from others with similar experiences.

January 3, 2013 Issue

January 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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