Whittier Man Struck and Killed On the 605 Freeway

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A 26-year-old Whittier man who was struck by a vehicle and killed in a carpool lane of the northbound San Gabriel River (605) Freeway was identified as Chante Prieto.

The fatal incident at Beverly Boulevard was reported at 9:30 p.m. on July 4, California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball said.

Prieto was pronounced dead at 9:39 p.m., Kimball said.

Sheriff’s deputies saw Prieto run across the freeway and get struck, but they were not in pursuit of him, sheriff’s Sgt. Ernest Bille said.

Nearly 700 DUI Arrests Over 4th of July Weekend

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Nearly 700 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs last weekend in Los Angeles County, according to preliminary figures released on Monday.

Officials from the Avoid the 100 Los Angeles County DUI Campaign reported that between 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 4th, and midnight Sunday, July 7, 685 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI offenses. The figures were provisional, and could change.

Avoid programs are named for the numbers of law enforcement agencies in each county. Law enforcement officers will conduct other Avoid campaigns this summer, ending with the Labor Day weekend.

East LA Youth Center Offers Affordable Summer Camp

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

ELACYC_Pool 2013

Barrio Planners Inc.

If you are looking for a fun and affordable option for keeping your children safe and busy this summer, the East Los Angeles Community Youth Center Summer Day Camp may be the answer.

Veronica Ortiz, a volunteer developer at the center, said they are inviting people to visit the center and see its new pool, and learn more about the summer program open to youth between the ages of 7 and 17.

The cost to attend is $55 for the first week and $30 for each additional week and there are openings available for the camp which closes on Aug. 2.

 

The youth center is located at 360 Dozier Street. For more information, call (323) 269-4145.

As Pledged, Garcetti Requiring Top Officials to Re-apply for Jobs

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Mayor Eric Garcetti began his second week in office Monday by telling top city officials to reapply for their jobs.

Garcetti gathered nearly 40 of the city’s general managers and executive directors, including the fire chief, into a large meeting room to discuss their future with the city. Those summoned ran the gamut from City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana to the general manager of the El Pueblo de

Los Angeles Historical Monument.

Just before the private meeting, Garcetti told reporters this will be the “most important meeting of my first month in office.”

“I think you have two times in office when you really make an impact — when you promise what you will do and when you hire the people who will do it,” he said.

Garcetti added that while he is not keeping a “secret list” of those he wants in or out of office, he expects he will need to replace a few of the people he met with Monday.

“It will be unlikely that a hundred percent of the folks will return,” he said.

Garcetti is asking each department head to submit a “memo” by Friday describing how they would “jumpstart the economy,” make the city “more sustainable,” make use of technology and “create a culture of customer service.”

Garcetti said he will pay particular attention to the job performances of fire Chief Brian Cummings, Department of Water and Power General Manager Ron Nichols and Department of Recreation and Parks General Manager Jon Mukri, though he noted some of those department heads have also been dealing with the fallout of budget cuts.

The entire review process could take at least two months, Garcetti said.

“I want … people to have a sense of excitement. If they don’t have a sense of excitement about this place, then they probably shouldn’t be here,” he said.

“This is an opportunity for people — even those people who have accomplished great things — to ask, ‘What is the next step in my life? How can we go even further by taking the department to the next level?’ If you’re not constantly reinventing, then you have what we have here, which is too many places in stasis.”

Garcetti complained that many of the city’s programs and methods of doing things are outdated. and he wants city officials “across the board” to be “thinking about being a cutting-edge city again.”

“I think Los Angeles was known for that,” he said. “Few people would be hard-pressed to say Los Angeles City Hall is now cutting edge.”

Even though the charter has, for a couple decades now, allowed the mayor to directly fire and hire department heads, Garcetti said he would be the first new mayor who, upon assuming office, is putting each department head on notice.

“You look at most chief executives, whether it’s at a business or a nonprofit — and certainly in government, the president or governor comes in and assesses his or her own cabinet and makes sure the right people are in place to lead” the departments that handle city services, he said.

Nearly all department heads answer directly to the mayor. The exceptions are the police chief and the Housing Authority president, but Garcetti said he still has indirect authority because he appoints the commissioners who hire them.

Residents Greet New Captains at Hollenbeck ‘Coffee with Cops’ Event

July 11, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Baeza & Sanders - Hollenbeck Captains 2013

LAPD

The new captains of the LAPD Hollenbeck Police Station on Tuesday attended “Coffee with Cops,” a community meet and greet event at El Rinconsito del Mar in Boyle Heights.

Captain III Martin A. Baeza, who replaces Captain Anita Ortega, is the latest addition to Hollenbeck’s new leadership. He joins Captain I Gina Sanders who moved to the Hollenbeck Station earlier this year.

Captain Baeza, a Mexican immigrant who migrated to the US as a toddler, has been with the LAPD for over 28 years. He attended high school in Glassell Park, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management.

Captain Sanders has been with the LAPD for over 30 years, starting her career as a Radio Telephone Operator and joined the departments sworn officer in 1993. Prior to coming to Hollenbeck, she was assigned to Rampart Area as the patrol commanding officer. Sanders has an Associate of Arts Degree from Los Angeles City College and a Baccalaureate Degree in Occupational Studies-Vocational Arts from California State University at Long Beach.

Huizar Proposes ‘Factual Basis’ Stakeholder Status for Neighborhood Councils

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Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar has proposed new rules for eligibility to run for seats or vote in neighborhood council elections.

Huizar said the changes would make it more difficult for outside voters and candidates with little community connections to “overtake” a particular neighborhood council election.

Neighborhood councils are community-based bodies that get taxpayer money to spend on parades, festivals and other projects. They also hand up suggestions to the Los Angeles City Council on a range of issues affecting neighborhoods.

Under the city charter, neighborhood council elections are open to people who live, work and own property in the defined area.

Many neighborhood councils allow “factual basis stakeholders” – such as merchants – to participate. Huizar’s motion, made last week, would eliminate that.

Huizar poked fun at the categorization, calling them “Starbucks stakeholders,” saying they needed only to show a receipt for a cup of coffee in the area to call themselves a factual basis stakeholder.

Huizar wants the language changed to “community stakeholder.”

The category would apply to those with a “substantial and ongoing” connection to the neighborhood, such as people who attend church in the area, have children in a neighborhood school or have ties to a nonprofit in the community.

Voters or neighborhood council candidates allowed to participate under the community stakeholder banner would need to provide the same level of proof of their roots as those who live in the neighborhood.

Under Huizar’s proposal, neighborhood councils would have the authority to limit the number of community stakeholders elected as members of the neighborhood council.

The motion also narrows the definition for property owner to those who own real estate.

Huizar initially proposed the idea in October when 300 people who fit the “factual basis stakeholder” category cast votes in the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council election, rivaling the 500 votes cast by those who live, work or own property in Eagle Rock.

Medical marijuana shops were a hotly debated topic among the candidates for the Eagle Rock neighborhood council election, and critics of the dispensaries complained that outside supporters of medical marijuana shops were encouraged to participate in the election.

The previous election in Eagle Rock drew less than a hundred people, according to Huziar spokesman Rick Coca.

Huizar said his proposals were based on feedback from neighborhood council representatives.

The motion asks the City Attorney to revise the ordinance providing for neighborhood councils. The revised ordinance would be reviewed first by the council’s Education and Neighborhoods Committee.

Any change in the language of an ordinance on the books needs the City Council’s approval and the mayor’s signature to become law.

 

Dog Licensing Deadline Approaches For Some Cities

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A number of cities in Los Angeles County have set July 31 as the deadline for dog owners to purchase or renew their dog’s license. Failure to do so could result in fees and citations.

California state law requires all dogs over the age of four months to be licensed annually. In order to obtain a city license, the dog must have their rabies vaccinations current.

In unincorporated East Los Angeles and the city of Los Angeles, pet licenses are only valid for one year and must be renewed before they expire.

Most cities offer discounts to seniors and for dogs that are spayed or neutered; pet owners should check with their local cities for more details.

Dogs and cats can be vaccinated, spayed or neutered for a fee at L.A. County Animal Shelters. Mobile pet license and vaccination events will also take place throughout the month.

 

Local Dog License Fees and Vaccination Information 

Bell Gardens only allows two dogs per residence.

License Fee: Unaltered Dog $30; Spayed/Neutered $15; Seniors $20/$10. Late Fee: 50% of original fee. Pet owner must pay for every year the pet is unlicensed. Licenses can be renewed by mail or in person at City Hall: 7100 S. Garfield Ave.

A mobile low cost pet vaccination clinic will be held July 18 at Ford Park, 8000 Park Lane, from 6-8pm. For more information call City Hall at (562) 806-7700.

 

Commerce has a limit of four pets per residence.

License Fee: Unaltered $25’ Spayed/Neutered; $15; Seniors $15/ $7.50. Late Fee: 50% of original fee. Pet owner must pay for every year the pet is unlicensed. Licenses can be obtained or renewed at City Hall: 2535 Commerce Way. For more information call the city’s animal control at (323) 887-4460.

 

City of Los Angeles limits pet owners to 3 licenses per residence.

License Fee: Unaltered: City law requires all dogs to be spayed or neutered (check with city for exceptions); Spayed/Neutered $20 Low Income Seniors $10; Late fee: 25% of the fee.

Low cost rabies vaccinations are offered once a month at city shelters. To locate a Los Angeles city shelter visit, laanimalservices.com, or call Los Angeles Animal Services at (888) 452-7381.

 

Unincorporated East Los Angeles-County limit is three adult pets per residence. 

License Fees: Unaltered $60; Spayed/Neutered $20; Seniors $7.50 (altered pets only); fee doubles on late applications. Submit applications to the County of Los Angeles Animal Care and Control: 12440 East Imperial Hwy, Suite 603, Norwalk, CA 90650.

A pet clinics will be held on September 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Los Angeles Community Service Center located at; 133 N. Sunor Dr. Residents can also visit animalcare.lacounty.gov for a list of pet clinics throughout the County. For more information call the County License Division at (562) 345-0400.

 

Montebello city has a limit of three dogs per residence.

License Fee: Unaltered $50; Spayed/ Neutered $25; Seniors $25/ $10. Late Fee: 50% of fee is added; in addition the pet owner must pay for every year the pet was not licensed (3 years max). To apply, residents must visit or mail their application to the Southeast Area Animal Control (SEAACA) located at, 9777 Seaaca St., Downey, CA 90241.

A pet licensing and vaccination fair will be held July 27 from 9-11 a.m. at Montebello City Park: 1300 Whittier Blvd. For more information call City Hall at (323) 887-1449 or SEAACA (562) 803-3301

 

Monterey Park has a limit of two dogs per residence.

License Fee: Unaltered $40; Spayed/Neutered $20; Cats: $10/ $5 (Voluntary); Seniors $7.50 (Spayed/Neutered Only); City Late fee: Double the original fee.

Application may be completed by mail to the County of Los Angeles Animal Care and Control 12440 East Imperial Hwy, Suite 603, Norwalk, CA 90650. Resident may also drop off completed application and check at the Monterey Park Police Department located at, 320 W. Newmark Ave.

The city is planning a pet clinic some time in September. For information call the city’s Animal Control Bureau at (626) 307-1243.


Vernon

License Fee: Unaltered $15; Spayed/Neutered $5; Seniors $3; Late fee: 10% per month after due date. Application must be submitted at City Hall: 4305 S. Santa Fe Ave. For more information, call Vernon’s Health and Environmental Control Department at (323) 583-8811.

 

Creating Clean and Pleasant Neighborhoods

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We find it difficult to understand why people will not make the effort to pick up the phone and dial the three numbers that could help make their neighborhoods more pleasant places to live.

Rather than dial 311, the city of Los Angeles’ general information line, they will for weeks step over, walk around and complain about the sofas, TVs, discarded bookshelves and old mattresses carelessly dumped on city sidewalks and streets.

The people most deserving of blame are those that dumped the items in the first place. They could have called the city and arranged for a pick up with significantly less effort than what it took to get the items out of their home and on to the street, if they’d only taken the time.

We’re not sure why, maybe the long holiday weekend motivated people to get rid of those things no longer wanted or unusable, but since the 4th of July we have noticed more discarded furniture and trash of all sorts on the streets of many of Los Angeles’ neighborhoods and in neighboring cities.

Dumping trash in alleys and industrial areas makes no sense and is more time and energy consuming than calling 311 and scheduling a bulky item pick up, and then placing the item on the curb in front of where you live for the city to haul away.

Trash in public areas only attracts more trash, just as graffiti on walls attracts more graffiti. With all the serious issues facing us today you may be wondering why we are spending time on this issue. Well, we believe that quality of life issues such as safe streets and pleasant surroundings create a better environment for residents. It lifts people’s spirits and views of their world. It shows that we care about the areas where we live.

If we don’t show we care, it’s a pretty sure bet that the politicians who decide how to spend our money won’t care either.

‘The Breaking Point’ – Sacrificing All for the Sake of Education

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When I got my acceptance letter from Harvard, my parents decided they would stop at nothing to afford the expense. Raised in immigrant working class families, they knew the opportunity being presented and so decided to sell their San Francisco home to cover tuition.

With the doubling of student loan rates this week, I am reminded of their sacrifice and wonder about the increasing lengths families like mine go to for the sake of education.

 

My parents have worked harder in the past ten years than they ever have. My mom will turn 63 this month and is a bus driver; my dad is in his 50s and working in tech, which is a difficult field to be in if you’re no longer young. He recently asked me to recommend a brand of eye cream because he says he needs to look like he’s in his 30s for at least another 15 years.

We have purchased a cream and are holding our breath.

My maternal grandmother, who lives here in San Francisco, was born to a family of Mexican migrant workers in Candelaria, Texas. Her parents died when she was very young and she spent most of her childhood at an orphanage in Santa Fe. She only recently told me that she never graduated from Santa Fe High. She wishes she could have, but she could only stay at the orphanage until she was 16, and once she was on her own she had to work.

 

In the early 1940s, she came to San Francisco to work on the Liberty ships being built in Richmond – she was a Rosie the Riveter (or in her case, a Rosie the Welder). After the war she worked as a waitress and put her kids through St. Agnes School in the Haight Ashbury. It was just a few months ago that she finally stopped waitressing at Bill’s Place, a little after her 91st birthday.

My dad’s mother came to San Francisco from the Basque Country in the 1950s. She raised my dad on her own and was a waitress at the Fairmont and the Jack Tar Hotel on Van Ness. She died young, when my dad was in his 20s and had just gotten out of the Marines, but not before saving enough money to buy two pieces of property in the city (which would be impossible for a waitress here today). As a kid, my dad would duct tape his shoes back together when they fell apart, but the property his mom left him would be my ticket to private school, and then Harvard.

My mom took her GED exams when I was a kid, and my dad went to City College and then graduated from SF State. As far as money went, the top priority in our household was always education; my three siblings and I all went to Catholic school.

It was there that a teacher encouraged me to apply to Harvard; when I got in, it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to go, despite the exorbitant costs.

Then came the breaking point. My second year at Harvard my dad lost his job at Sun Microsystems and my family quickly moved to sell the house where I grew up in the Outer Sunset. It was a blow, but for my parents, they simply did what many others have done to give their children what they thought was their best chance.

I graduated from Harvard in 2005, and thanks to them have no student loan debt. Still, when not living up to my own expectations, I sometimes ask myself what it was that my parents and their parents worked so hard for. I think about my grandmothers collecting their incomes from among plates on restaurant tables and wonder whether it was worth it.

 

As for the answer, I don’t know. I have freedom and choices, but Harvard didn’t give me those – that was my family. I’ve been able to take a series of jobs that didn’t pay much because I don’t have a mountain of debt on my shoulders. And if I feel like I have options, it’s partially because I didn’t have loans dragging me down before I even got started.

Not so for millions of others for whom the mountain of student debt just climbed that much higher.

Those we elect to represent us seem complacent in their willingness to allow the burden of recession-era budget solutions, like the rate hike, to fall on those who can least afford it. I didn’t have to shoulder the expense of college on my own, and neither should anybody who wants an education. We either believe in investing in our future workforce, or we’re content with forcing people to fend for themselves in a world where that’s increasingly impossible.

 

Anna Challet is a reporter and project manager with New America Media working on issues related to young people’s health.

 

The Brutality of “Border Security”

July 11, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The US Senate has passed an expansive “immigration reform” bill. The bill’s Hoeven-Corker Amendment would increase the US government’s “border security” spending to $46.3 billion.

This money will be used to create what John McCain calls “the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” staffed by at least 38,405 Border Patrol agents. That’s a larger force than George W. Bush had stationed in Afghanistan when he left office. No wonder it’s been called the “border surge.”

Those agents will be armed with billions of dollars worth of equipment from America’s leading war profiteers. According to the Washington Post, the bill demands “among other items, six Northrop Grumman airborne radar systems that cost $9.3 million each, 15 Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters that average more than $17 million apiece, and eight light enforcement helicopters made by American Eurocopter that sell for about $3 million each.” As usual, militarization means obscene corporate profits at taxpayer expense.

 

Moreover, increasing “border security” funding means expanding an agency whose members routinely violate civil liberties and have even committed murder. John Carlos Frey has documented 10 instances where Border Patrol agents have shot innocent Mexicans on Mexican soil. In one case, 16-year old José Antonio Rodríguez was shot eight times when he went to buy a hot dog in the border town of Nogales.  In another incident, Frey explains, “a husband and wife were celebrating the birthday of their two daughters. The husband got shot and killed, shot in the heart.” This is what Border Patrol agents do to peaceful people who haven’t even crossed the border.

 

When immigrants cross the border, they are subjected to further violence. In 2010, 42-year old migrant worker Anastasio Rojas was tased and beaten to death by a dozen officers. These sorts of murders are rarely prosecuted. And while such overt murders are relatively rare, the Border Patrol has caused still more deaths indirectly.

Migrants travel across dangerous deserts, and often die of heat exhaustion and dehydration. Activists with No More Deaths regularly leave water on travel routes to try to save immigrants’ lives. Border Patrol agents have slashed open, kicked over, and dumped out these water bottles, effectively condemning immigrants to suffering and death.

 

The Senate bill would spend billions of dollars to support war profiteers and murderers, and for what? The stated goal is to “secure the border.” This is an utterly unjustifiable goal. The border between the US and Mexico was drawn through violent conquest and the theft of indigenous lands. Ultimately, border security is not a protection of property rights, but a violation of property rights. If you want to invite a friend from Mexico to work with you or visit you on your own personal property, the state’s border agents use force to prevent that.

Moreover, “securing the border” particularly means hurting indigenous people. The Tohono O’oodham Nation has members on both sides of the border. As Eileen Luna-Firebaugh explains, “Those who continue to use traditional border crossing areas are in danger of being shot by U.S. Border Patrol personnel, U.S. military, or vigilante citizen groups.

 

For a young Texas shepherd named Ezequiel, U.S. military personnel who opened fire while he tended his goatherd along the Texas-Mexico border cut life short.” Should indigenous communities be split apart by militarized violence so that an imaginary line in the sand can be “secure?”

Ultimately, “border security” means violence and brutality. It means financing murderers and war profiteers. It means impeding freedom of movement, violating individual rights, and dividing indigenous communities. Let’s stop this violence. Instead of securing the border, let’s abolish it.

 

Nathan Goodman is a writer and activist living in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been involved in LGBT, feminist, anti-war, and prisoner solidarity organizing. In addition to writing at the Center for a Stateless Society, he blogs at Dissenting Leftist.

 

 

 

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