Monterey Park Considers Adding Emails, Texts to Brown Act Disclosures

July 18, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Monterey Park City Council is considering crafting a policy to regulate the use of electronic communications, such as text messages, email and the Internet during council meetings.

The policy would describe what forms of communication are appropriate, as well as what information should be made available in accordance with public disclosure requirements.

Mayor Teresa Real Sebastian raised the issue during the July 3 council meeting. She said she decided to bring the matter to the council after reading about the issue and its relation to the Brown Act, California legislation that guarantees that meetings held by legislative bodies are open to the public. It also requires that actions by those bodies must not be done in secret.

Many of the technologies available today to communicate were not around when the Brown the Act was passed in 1953, the mayor noted. She asked the council to consider developing a policy defining how electronics devises, such as cell phones and computers can be used during council meetings, especially when it pertains to agenda items.

“After all, as elected members we are engaging in a public meeting and it must be open,” she said, insinuating that electronic devices might be used to convey information and messages without the public knowing during what are supposed to be public meetings.

Real Sebastian said residents have alleged that council members secretly communicate with members of the public during meetings via text messages, a violation of the Brown Act.

“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it is, we need to address it as soon as possible,” she said.

Some council members expressed concern over what the policy would look like and what would fall under the category of communications that should be subject to public disclosure. They noted they sometimes use their electronic devises to do research on topics discussed at the meetings.

Councilman Mitchell Ing suggested the council members should simply turn of their cell phones as a solution to the dilemma, but Councilman Hans Liang, agreeing with the mayor, said communications with family members, especially those involving emergencies, should be exempt in any policy adopted.

The city has to find a “balance,” said Councilman Peter Chan. In many cases the technology is being used to help the council obtain information, he said.  But “If we’re talking about an agenda item, the city council needs to go public regardless of the form of communication,” he said.

Liang said that the policy should also address how it will be enforced. He said he’s not oppose to adopting a policy, but added that it is up to the individual to respect the code of conduct.

“It really falls on the duty of the members that are here to adhere to the guidelines that are already delineated in the Brown Act,” Liang said, inferring that council members are aware what communications are, and are not proper.

The mayor told EGP that city staff is expected to present wording for a possible policy in the near future.

“When the Brown Act was adopted we didn’t have texting, emails or tweeting,” Real Sebastian told EGP “Its better to be proactive and address it in a policy.”

Wheelchair Wash Reminds Disabled ‘They’re Not Alone’

July 18, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

For 10 years, volunteers with Familia Unida have eagerly taken on the task of making the lives of people with MS and other disabilities just a little brighter, literally and figuratively.

Last Sunday, with Mariachis playing, people in wheelchairs and their families had the red carpet rolled out for them at the East Los Angeles Civic Center, where they were treated to a day of entertainment and pampering, including manicures and haircuts.

Volunteers gathered at the East Los Angeles Civic Center last week to provide entertainment and pampering to people in wheelchairs.(Courtesy of Famila Unida)

Volunteers gathered at the East Los Angeles Civic Center last week to provide entertainment and pampering to people in wheelchairs.(Courtesy of Famila Unida)

The nonprofit, East Los Angeles based Familia Unida hosted the event that yearly takes on the task of washing and tuning up the wheelchairs of people with MS and other disabilities.

People in wheelchairs find it hard to do these activities for themselves, and for many at Sunday’s event, paying to get it done is not an option. Some of the repairs and washing was done by individuals also in wheelchairs, a “great example of how people with disabilities have many abilities,” Familia Unida President/Founder Irma Resendez told EGP.

(Courtesy of Famila Unida)

(Courtesy of Famila Unida)

She said that people are already calling to ask when the next event will take place, and told EGP that it already on the calendar for May 25, 2014.

Other activities during the day included free health screenings and information booths, and healthy cooking tips from Chef Parra. Beth D. Zachary, president and CEO of White Memorial Medical Center and Honorary Chair of this year’s Wheelchair Wash was also honored at this event.

 

For more information about the organization, call Toll Free 877-298-3267 or go to

www.lovefamiliaunida.org.

 

Public Meetings to Explain Affordable Health Care Act

July 18, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

A coalition of organizations will offer free seminars in Los Angeles to inform the Hispanic community, especially low-income residents, about the new health law that takes effect in 2014.

With less than six months before the new health reform law is implemented, a large segment of the Hispanic community is uninformed about how the law will affect them and what they need to do to start the pre-registration that begins in October, according to a recent study by the California Endowment.

“The new Health Care Act is a landmark law that in Los Angeles County alone will give more than a million people new access to health insurance,” Anai Ibarra, a spokesperson for AARP, told EFE.

AARP is one of the seminar series sponsors.

A recent survey by the California Endowment found that 63% of Hispanics have a favorable view of the health care law, although more than half do not know what they need to do to get the benefits.

To try to fill this gap, several organizations, including AARP, Kaiser Permenente, Apple Care, Health Net and Cancer Action Network and others,will  this week begin a series of 16 free seminars titled “Health Reform and You,” which will explain the essential terms of the law and how it will affect citizens.

The first of the seminars, hosted by US Rep. Linda Sanchez and California Assemblyman Ian Calderon, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 at the Whittier Community Center, located at 7630 Washington Ave, Whittier 90602. Parking will be free.

In addition, starting on August 1, AARP’s www.mileydesalud.org website will be available, providing a “quick and easy to use resource” that will explain how the new law works, answer simple questions and give customized information in just minutes, said Ibarra.

Aditional seninars will be held will be on August 8 in Maywood, August 17 in Lakewood, October 5 in Pico Rivera, October 12 in Duarte and Huntington Park, October 16 in Downey, November 9 in South Los Angeles and East Los Angeles, and December 14, locations to be announced at a later date.

 

For more information about upcoming meetings visit www.ACAandYou.org

 

CA Farm Workers Seek Pesticide Protection

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

California farm workers want Congress to do more to protect them from hazardous pesticides. More than a dozen workers from California and other states are on Capitol Hill to urge such action.

Among them is Mily Trevino-Sauceda, a retired farm worker who now head ups a farm workers’ advocacy group, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas.

“Looking at all of this and seeing how people are being harmed really angers you,” she declared.

“You know, we want to work to survive and this goes on? It’s not fair, it’s not fair.”

Mily says many companies aren’t following the regulations, and workers are signing documents they can’t read or understand. California uses more pesticides than any other state, with a reported 173 million pounds of such substances used in 2010.

According to Mily, another concern is that many farm workers won’t complain because they’re afraid they will be fired.

“There are many workers also, they’re undocumented, they don’t have their immigration papers,” she said. “The ones that know about that are the crew leaders, so if they complain they can not only be fired, but you know, immigration can be called on them.”

The group is in D.C. to call on Congress to strengthen the Worker Protection Standard regulations. According to Anne Katten, project director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, that’s an immediate goal.

“In the longer term we think the solution is to reduce pesticide use so there’s less pesticide out there,” she said. “But in the short term we urgently need to update the WPS, the Worker Protection Standard.”

Katten said that includes more frequent and comprehensive pesticide safety training for farm workers, including information about the risk to farm worker families exposed to pesticides in the form of residues on workers’ tools, clothes and skin.

LADWP Announces New Electric Vehicle Rebate

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Rebates for electric vehicle charging stations soon will be available under an expanded program that includes businesses as well as residences, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced Wednesday.

More than 500 home charging stations received $1 million in rebates under the “Charge Up LA!” program, which was restricted to residential applicants. That program began May 2011 and ended last month.

The new program will help 2,000 residents and businesses pay for charging stations, with rebates between $750 to $1000, at homes, work places and public areas throughout the city. It will run from Aug. 1 of this year to June 30, 2015.

Unlike with the previous program, the reimbursements will cover equipment costs and would no longer cover installation labor costs, allowing for more applicants to receive rebates, according to utility officials.

The Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved the expanded program Tuesday – calling it “Charge Up LA! – Home, Work, and On the Go.”

The panel directed up to $2 million in Air Quality Management District grants be used to fund the rebates. Another $75,000 a year was also approved for administration costs.

The previous program used funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. The new program will use AQMD grants the utility originally received for the purchase of natural gas trucks as well as funds it received as part of the AQMD SoCal EV Ready Grant Agreement.

In additional to residents, businesses with 250 or more employees and that take part in AQMD’s rideshare program are now eligible for the program, along with companies installing charging stations in public areas.

DWP officials wrote in a report to the board that public charging stations will provide a more robust electric vehicle infrastructure for drivers needing to charge up their vehicles while on the road or if they live in apartments, condos or other multi-family housing.

“These significant rebates for our residential and business customers show our strong commitment to supporting electric vehicles,” LADWP General Manager Ron Nichols said of the new program.

He added, “When our customers charge their EVs overnight at their homes, they will be doing so when LADWP’s renewable wind resources are typically at their peak, resulting in a truly zero-emission transportation solution.”

The new rebates will continue to support the installation of “Level 2,’’ or 240 volt, electric vehicle charging stations, which is three to five times faster than the previous generation of charging stations.

 

For more information about the program visit www.ladwp.com/EV or by calling (866) 484-0433.

Baseball’s Manny Mota, Lefty O’Doul & Eddie Feinger Induction to the Baseball Reliquary Shrine of the Eternals

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Manny Mota Photo Lefty ODoul Photo Eddie Feigner Photo

 

2pm—Baseball’s Manny Mota, Lefty O’Doul & Eddie Feinger Induction to the Baseball Reliquary Shrine of the Eternals – Class of 2013 at the Pasadena Central Library. Francis “Lefty” O’Doul (1897-1969) has been lionized as one of the greatest managers in minor league history; Feigner (1925-2007) was the most legendary softball player/pitcher who annually barnstormed 400 towns and cities across the US, recording 140,000 strikeouts, 9,700 wins, 930 no-hitters, and 238 perfect games. Dominican Republic Manny Mota played with the San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos & most notably with the LA Dodgers. Mota appeared in four World Series with the Dodgers, retiring with a .304 career average. Mota was the Dodgers’ longest-tenured coach (1980-2012). Admission is open to the public and free of charge; seating is limited & first come, first served. The library is located at 285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 791-7647 or e-mail at terymar@earthlink.net.

ArtsFest at the East Los Angeles Civic Center

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Saturday, July 20

4-10pm—ArtsFest at the East Los Angeles Civic Center. Event will start with local artists displaying their works, food vendors & a 6pm concert by Conjunto Los Ponchos. The grand finale starts at 8:30pm: 3000 Years of Mexican Art, a Multimedia Presentation by Gregorio Luke at the East Los Angeles Civic Center. Luke is an internationally recognized expert & lecturer in Mexican art & culture. Open to the public; Free Admission, East LA Civic Center is located at 4801 E. Third St., LA 90022. For more information, visit http://parks.lacounty.gov or call (323) 260-2360.

Community Calendar: July 18, 2013 – July 25, 2013

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, Thursday July 18

6-8pm—Summer SR 710 North Study All Communities Convening Information Session hosted by Metro and Caltrans in El Sereno. Learn about five transit options being explored that aim to reduce congestion and improve mobility in the San Gabriel Valley, East/Northeast Los Angeles, and the region. The first of three meetings will take place at the Los Angeles Presbyterian Church, 2241 N Eastern Ave. LA 90032. Additional meetings will be held July 20 at Blair High School, 1201 S. Marengo Ave., Pasadena, 9:30-11:30am. For more information, visit metro.net/sr710study.

7pm—LADWP Presentation to Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council on reporting electricity outages, why outages occur & what to do in an emergency. LADWP reps will take questions on the impact of growth/building on local energy needs. Meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Highland Park Senior Center: 6152 N. Figueroa St., LA 90042. For more .information, visit www.HighlandParkNC.com

 

Friday, July 19

2pm—Conversation With Artist Carmen Argote at ELAC’s Vincent Price Art Museum. Artist/urban planner James Rojas will use Argote’s current installation, 720 sq. ft.: Shape Seeps Through, as a jumping-off-point to discuss how patterns created by childhood spaces drive us to change and to seek comfort in the built environment of both our domestic and public spaces. Free & open to the public. Location: VPAM Large Gallery: 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez Monterey Park, 91754. For more information, visit www.vincentpriceartmuseum.org.

 

Saturday, July 20

9:30-11am—Summer SR 710 North Study All Communities Convening Information Session hosted by Metro and Caltrans in Pasadena. Learn about five transit options being explored that aim to reduce congestion and improve mobility in the San Gabriel Valley, East/Northeast Los Angeles, and the region.

10am-2pm—Bell Gardens 2013 Business and Community Expo at Veterans Park. The event will feature a job and resource fair, free health screenings, fitness demonstrations, educational workshops and over 50 indoor and outdoor business exhibits. Free admission. Veterans Park is located at 6662 Loveland St. For more information, call (562) 806-2355.

8pm— Metro & Downtown Film Festival L.A. Present Free Screening of “Chinatown” Inside Metro’s Historic Los Angeles Union Station. The Oscar-winning 1974 neo-noir film has long been hailed as one the greatest films of all time & one of the defining movies of L.A. Event is free to the public but RSVP required: www.dffla.com. Show your Metro TAP card at check-in and get access to preferential seating & one free beverage. Picnics ok; no alcohol allowed. Union Station is located at 800 N. Alameda St. LA. 90012. Take Metro for no hassle access.

 

Tuesday, July 23

6-8pm—Summer SR 710 North Study All Communities Convening Information Session hosted by Metro and Caltrans in Monterey Park. Learn about five transit options being explored that aim to reduce congestion and improve mobility in the San Gabriel Valley, East/Northeast Los Angeles, and the region. The meeting will be held at the Langley Senior Center in Monterey Park, 400 W. Emerson Ave. For more information, visit metro.net/sr710study.

 

Upcoming

Town Hall Meeting on July 25 hosted by State Sen. Kevin de León & the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council a the PUENTE Learning Center. Issues to be discussed include public safety, environment, education and immigration. The meeting will take place at 6pm. There will also be a demonstration performance by The LA Opera artists and members of The Zarzuela Project, a collaboration of The Mariachi Conservatory and LA Opera. PUENTE is located at 501 S Boyle L.A. For more information, go to www.bhnc.net.

Garfield Alumni Foundation First Annual Sports Classic Golf on July 29 at the Montebello Country Club. The Shotgun scramble tournament is limited to the first 144 golfers, with registration starting at 7am. $500 for a foursome/$125.00 individual golfers: includes green fees, cart and on course snacks and awards luncheon. All proceeds are tax-deductible, Proceeds benefit Garfield High School Sports programs and the GAF Scholarship fund. For more information, visit www.garfieldalumnifoundation.org or call Rick Sanchez at (626) 290-3535, Joe Espinosa , (562) 896-4788, or Coach Lorenzo Hernandez, (562) 706-9954

52nd Anniversary “Celebrate Bell Gardens!” Aug. 1-4 at Bell Gardens Veterans Park. Four-day event sponsored by the city & the Lions Club of Bell Gardens. Event will include carnival rides, games, salsa preparation contest, pancake breakfast, and the Miss Bell Gardens Mayor’s reception. Park is located at 6662 Loveland St. For more information ,call Alex Noriega at (562) 806-7650.

‘La Fortaleza’ Significa ‘Familia’ en esta Tortillería

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

La familia Ortiz no recuerda cuando se comenzó el mural elaborado sobre la pared sur de la fábrica de tortillas en el Este de Los Ángeles, pero la matriarca Hermila Esparza Ortiz recuerda que su hijo no le pidió permiso.

El mural esta localizado en 525 N. Ford Blvd en el Este de Los Ángeles, justo en la salida Cesar Chávez de la autopista 60 con la conexión a la autopista 710 norte. (Foto de EGP por Gloria Angelina Castillo)

El mural esta localizado en 525 N. Ford Blvd en el Este de Los Ángeles, justo en la salida Cesar Chávez de la autopista 60 con la conexión a la autopista 710 norte. (Foto de EGP por Gloria Angelina Castillo)

El mural esta localizado en 525 N. Ford Blvd., en el Este de Los Ángeles, justo en la salida Cesar Chávez de la autopista 60 con la conexión a la autopista 710 norte).

Hace unos años, ella y su esposo difunto, Ramiro Ortiz Rosales (padre), regresaron de vacaciones y encontraron un templo rindiendo homenaje a la pirámide mexicana Chichén Itzá pintado el exterior de una pared de La Fortaleza Inc., ubicada en N. Ford Blvd.

Read this story IN ENGLISH: ‘La Fortaleza’ Means ‘Family’ At This Tortilla Factory

De vez en cuando su hijo mayor, David, los sorprendía con proyectos que realizaba durante su ausencia, dijo Hermila a EGP. Hoy David es presidente de la empresa familiar.

A través de los años, el pequeño lote vacante con la pared anteriormente cubierta con grafiti, se ha convertido en un punto de referencia local admirado por los residentes y los automovilistas que hacen viran bruscamente en la salida César Chávez de la rampa de la autopista 60 al 710 Norte.

“Indios Voladores de Papantla” (danzantes de una antigua ceremonia mesoamericana que todavía se realizan hoy en día), una mujer haciendo tortillas con un metate y un comal, loros gigantes, y un ovni con un extraterrestre adentro y, recientemente, se ha añadido la imagen del dios de maíz y se ha instalado una fuente en el lugar.

“Esa es de las ideas de David,” Hermila dijo a EGP, bromando que él se merece todo el crédito por la exhibición.

Pieza por pieza, el mural se ha ido construyendo durante la última década. David dice que planea expandir el mural a lo largo de la pared norte de la fábrica, donde se está ampliando la autopista 710. Él recuerda que un año, sus hijos pasaron el Día de Los Padres con él plantando arbustos y otras plantas para embellecer el lugar.

Los inicios del mural fueron bastante simples. Hace años, La Fortaleza tenía un problema de grafitis, por lo que el difunto Ramiro contrató a un artista para pintar un mural en el exterior del edificio sobre la calle Ford. El mural funcionó, pero el grafiti continuó apareciendo sobre la pared sur.

Así que David, con la ayuda de los empleados de la fábrica, decidió crear la imagen que representa el templo de Chichén Itzá, el cual se extiende actualmente más allá de la azotea del edificio. Se inspiró en un viaje a Cancún, México, cerca del lugar donde se encuentra el verdadero templo.

“Estoy muy orgulloso de mi origen étnico, hablo inglés y español,” David dijo a EGP. “Todo el mundo tiene una oportunidad [en este país], no como antes”, él dijo, explicando que también es orgulloso de ser estadounidense.

A pesar de que el Este de Los Ángeles tiene una gran concentración de inmigrantes mexicanos, el mural tiene un componente educativo para las múltiples generaciones de niños que no tienen lazos con Mexico y no estan consciente de su rica herencia, dijo David.

Ramiro hijo, el vicepresidente de la compañía y el hermano menor de David, dice que el grafiti se detuvo cuando David se involucró.

“[El mural] Contribuye a la comunidad. Creo que la gente respeta lo que él ha hecho allá atrás”, dijo Ramiro hijo. “Es nuestro patrimonio. Somos gente trabajadora con una larga historia. Una de las culturas más grandes del mundo fue la cultura azteca y creo que a veces se nos olvida que venimos de un historial muy distinguido”.

De vez en cuando les da la impresión que los inspectores de sus clientes comerciales ven el mural como poco profesional, pero Ramiro hijo dice: “Creo que esto es una parte de quienes somos, y por supuesto, de donde estamos.”

“La gente se ha bajado de la autopista y me han gritado: ‘¡Me encanta!’”, dijo David acerca del mural.

La única queja que recibieron fue años atrás, cuando un vecino dijo que la imagen de la mujer torteando era demasiado sensual. El vecino hizo su propia imagen para reemplazar el original, dijo la familia Ortiz.

José Valdivia, de 24 años de edad y empleado de La Fortaleza, se crío en el área y dijo que el mural ha sido parte del paisaje desde que él puede recordar.

“No es algo que [la gente] ve todos los días… ¡Hay una nave espacial en el techo de una fábrica de tortillas!”, dijo Valdivia, invitando a la gente a venir y echar un vistazo.

Probablemente, el ovni es el elemento menos estereotípico del mural en el Este de Los Ángeles, donde la Virgen María y calendarios aztecas son un tema más común de los murales. El ovni se hizo de una vieja máquina de metal, y La Fortaleza ha diseñado algunos de sus propios equipos dentro de la fábrica, de acuerdo con David.

El ovni es sólo uno de varios elementos tridimensionales en el mural y mucha gente no entiende su significado, dijo David.

El extraterrestre y el ovni que se encuentran cerca del templo no pretenden dar a entender que una civilización alienígena construyó las pirámides. “Yo digo que es una tontería [que los extraterrestres hayan construido las pirámides], lo que las culturas prehistóricas hicieron es para ser admirado, y rivaliza cualquier cosa en el mundo, las pirámides de Egipto o de cualquier otra civilización”, dijo Ramiro hijo.

Además, él explica que hay mensajes sutiles de política en el mural, pero son muy sutiles.

El mural esta ubicado en una pared de La Fortaleza, una fábrica en el Este de Los Ángeles donde se hacen tortillas de maîz y de harina, y totopos. (Foto de EGP por Gloria Angelina Castillo)

El mural esta ubicado en una pared de La Fortaleza, una fábrica en el Este de Los Ángeles donde se hacen tortillas de maîz y de harina, y totopos. (Foto de EGP por Gloria Angelina Castillo)

El ovni fue agregado durante las grandes marchas de inmigración en el centro de Los Ángeles hace varios años, dijo David. “Bueno, eso es un ‘alien’ (extraterrestre), ¿no? Todos somos seres humanos”, dijo David, añadiendo el término “inmigrante ilegal (illegal alien)” es ofensivo.

Debido a que es un negocio familiar, tienen la ventaja de poder establecer sus propias prioridades y el ambiente de negocios. Para la familia Ortiz, esto significa celebrar su cultura, no dejarla atrás, y tener la voluntad de trabajar duro.

Cuatro de los ocho hijos Ortiz, quienes son hijos e hijas de inmigrantes mexicanos, actualmente gestionan La Fortaleza. Hermila, su madre, es de Jalisco, y Ramiro padre era de Nayarit. La pareja se conoció en 1970 cuando ambos trabajaban en Ruiz Produce. Ramiro mayor operaba una pequeña máquina de tortillas y Hermila era la cajera.

De acuerdo con la familia, Productos Ruiz estaba situado, en aquel entonces, en las calles Primera y Gage en el Este de Los Ángeles y era propiedad de Trinidad Rosales, quien crió a Ramiro padre como madre soltera, de acuerdo con la familia.

“Era un lugar pequeño y allí se vendían tamales, menudo, carnitas y tortillas para el barrio nada más”, dijo Hermila.

Se mudaron dos veces a causa de la creciente demanda por tortillas. Fueron a Whittier, luego a la Calle Soto junto a la Preparatoria Roosevelt en Boyle Heights, y compraron dos negocios familiares que estaban en quiebra (Guerrero y La Fortaleza), antes de comprar el almacén en el Boulevard Ford, donde han tenido su sede durante los últimos 15 años.

Su instalación, que tiene un letrero de neón histórico de Melmac Dishware ubicado aún arriba de los silos, ha sido mejorada durante los años hasta convertirse la fábrica de tortillas que es hoy.

Mientras que la familia Ortiz no eligió el nombre del negocio, se quedaron con “La Fortaleza” porque les gustó. La Fortaleza hoy significa “familia” para ellos, según Ramiro hijo.

La Fortaleza hace tortillas de maíz y harina, así como totopos de tortilla. Ramiro hijo calcula que producen 250.000 bolsas de tortillas de maíz diario en las instalaciones que operan las 24 horas al día. Las tortillas de maíz constituyen el 80 por ciento de los productos de La Fortaleza, aunque la compañía también ha cocinado algunas creaciones únicas para sus clientes: los ejemplos incluyen tortillas de frijoles, pescado, ajo, chía, nopal, chipotle y tortillas de harina de tomate y albahaca.

“Estamos aquí para darles a nuestros clientes el mejor producto posible, y nuestro cliente es la persona que disfruta consumir nuestro producto”, dijo David. “Ese es el objetivo de todos aquí, aportar algo para que la gente disfrute su comida—y eso es uno de los grandes placeres de la vida.

La fábrica cuenta con un pequeño mostrador, atendido por el tío de David. Sin embargo, porque La Fortaleza abastece casi exclusivamente a los restaurantes de cadena y distribuidores al por mayor, en realidad no tienen una tienda, por eso Ramiro padre nunca tuvo interés en el uso de las paredes de la fábrica para autopromoción, según sus hijos.

Sin embargo, una bandera con el logotipo de La Fortaleza y el logo de Facebook se agregaron recientemente al mural. A principios de este año, la compañía inició una campaña en las redes sociales. Otros negocios en el Este de Los Ángeles también están tratando de ponerse al día con el uso de las redes sociales, de acuerdo con el consultor de medios de comunicación social, Javier Guillen de goEastLos.

David dice que se preocupan por los 90 empleados de la fábrica, a los que considera como una gran familia, y hasta celebran fiestas juntos. Un ejemplo es la participación anual de los empleados y propietarios de La Fortaleza en la procesión de la Virgen de Guadalupe, y en 2008 tuvieron el honor de cargar la reliquia, dijo David.

Él recordó cómo los empleados ayudaron a extinguir un fuego que dañó parte de la fábrica hace unos años, y cómo, cuando su padre falleció repentinamente hace tres años, los empleados caminaron el cuerpo por las calles con música, como lo hacen en México.

Según la familia, el éxito de su negocio se reduce a mantener el aspecto laborioso de hacer tortillas tradicionales: cocinar y moler su propio maíz.

“Yo lo que les digo a ellos siempre es gracias a Dios que hemos sido muy bendecidos con trabajo, y eso es lo importante. Que tenemos trabajo,” dijo Hermila, reflexionando sobre los logros de la familia Ortiz desde llegar a los EE.UU.

“Nosotros nunca nos dijimos, ‘¿cuándo nos vamos a hacer ricos?’ Solo queríamos tener trabajo. Y es lo que les digo a ellos, no hay que ser ambiciosos, si llegan, que bueno—no ha llegado, hay que estar contentos con lo que tenemos.”

 

Presentación Especial: Tres Mil Años de Arte de México

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Los residentes del Este de Los Ángeles tienen una oportunidad especial este sábado, 20 de julio, para asistir una presentación de multimedia del experto en la cultura mexicana y latinoamericana Gregorio Luke.

Un pasado evento de Gregorio Luke. (Foto cortesía de Gregorio Luke)

Un pasado evento de Gregorio Luke. (Foto cortesía de Gregorio Luke)

Luke, un conferencista reconocido internacionalmente, bajo las estrellas compartirá su lección titulada “3000 Years of Mexican Art” (3000 años de arte México).

“Gregorio Luke da las lecciones más extraordinarias que se pueden ver en el mundo… Nunca he visto nada tan instructivo y conmovedor como sus conferencias sobre los grandes artistas de México, que hace aún mayor con sus obras,” dijo Elena Poniatowska, una de las periodistas y autores más conocidos de México.

Las presentaciones de Luke usualmente no son gratuitas, y otro evento más tarde este mes en Los Ángeles costará $40-60 para asistir.

Sin embargo porque este evento se presenta en colaboración con el festival de las artes “Summer ArtsFest 2013” en el Centro Cívico del Este de Los Ángeles, el evento será completamente gratuito.

Luke es bilingüe y la mayoría de la presentación será en Español, de acuerdo con Alba Ibarra, representante del Departamento de Parques y Recreación del Este de Los Ángeles.

La presentación de Luke será a las 8:30 p.m. (después de anochecer) en el centro cívico ubicado en 4801 E. Third Street, Los Ángeles, CA 90022.

Asista temprano para pasear por la exhibición de obras de artes al aire libre (programación “artwalk”) con artistas locales y artesanos a partir de las 4 p.m., y para disfrutar un concierto por Conjunto Los Pochos a las 6 p.m.

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