Grass Fire in Montecito Heights Contained

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – A grass fire that broke out near Ernest E. Debs Regional Park in Montecito Heights was contained yearly Wednesday morning after scorching less than four acres.

No one was injured and no structures were damaged in the fire, which was reported around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday in the area of 4235 Monterey Road, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Breves de la Comunidad

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Ángeles

Como parte de una investigación nacional que involucraba ubicar a menores víctimas de la prostitución, cinco menores fueron puestos en custodia protectiva en la zona Los Ángeles y tres personas fueron arrestadas, se anunció el 25 de junio. Uno de los tres arrestados fue detenido como sospechoso de proxenetismo de una menor de edad, dijo Laura Eimiller, portavoz del FBI.

La operación de tres días de duración fue realizada durante la semana pasada y a nivel nacional, 79 niños fueron encontrados, y 104 personas fueron arrestadas bajo sospecha de proxenetismo, dijo Eimiller.

Los Ángeles

Un ex agente del alguacil del Condado de Los Ángeles el lunes, 25 de junio, fue ordenado a dos años en prisión por pasar heroína de contrabando dentro de un burrito en la cárcel de la corte Airport Branch el 23 de febrero de 2010. Henry Marín, de 27 años de edad, fue sentenciado de inmediato después de no disputar el cargo de llevar drogas a una cárcel. Marín retiró una anterior declaración de no ser culpable de dos cargos que dejo su castigo a la discreción del juez.

Montebello y Los Ángeles

El Departamento de Justicia de EE.UU. anunció el 25 de junio que donará $6.4 millones a la ciudad de Los Ángeles para contratar a 25 recientes veteranos como agentes de la policía.

Los fondos son parte de $111,2 millones otorgados a nivel nacional por la Oficina del Departamento de Justicia de Servicios Policiales Orientados hacia la Comunidad, o COPS, para contratar a 800 veteranos de guerra. Los Ángeles recibió la subvención más grande en la nación. Otras dos ciudades cercanas, como Montebello y South El Monte, recibieron $125.000 para contratar a un policía que fue miembro de las fuerzas armadas. Los fondos cubren salarios y beneficios para las posiciones de tres años.

Boyle Heights

Un problema eléctrico provocó un incendio en una fabrica de metal en Boyle Heights el 19 de junio, causando $100.000 en daños, informaron las autoridades. No hubieron heridos en el incendio en el 1465 S. Lorena St., que se reportó a las 8:23 pm, dijo Brian Humphrey del Departamento de Bomberos de Los Ángeles. El incendio amenazaba a estructuras adyacentes, él dijo. Cerca de 100 bomberos respondieron, incluso bomberos de Los Ángeles y la ciudad de Vernon, y extinguieron las llamas en 45 minutos, dijo Humphrey.

Freeway Murals Being Installed Today on Hollywood Freeway

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – Caltrans will install four graffiti- and vandal- resistant mural replicas today along the Hollywood (101) Freeway between Alameda Street and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

“This project has become a viable and tax-free way to preserve art and combat vandals who have aggressively attacked public art on the freeway system,” said Caltrans Deputy District 7 Director of Maintenance Dan Freeman.

The murals are replicas of Jimmy Centeno’s “Viaje” and “Un homenaje a la Mujer Latinoamericana” and Rene Trujillo’s “Birdsee(d)” and “Bomba,” and will join previously installed replicas of works by John Werhle, George Sportelli, Ruben Soto and Frank Romero.

The mural replicas are printed on canvases made of recycled plastic and vinyl fabric designed to be resistant to most paint types, according to Caltrans.

The pilot project began in 2010 with the installation of five murals, only one of which has been the target of any vandalism over the past two years, Caltrans officials said.

Latinos Sufren Disparidades para Recibir los Servicios de Prevención y Tratamiento de Salud Mental

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Los latinos residentes en California sufren grandes disparidades para recibir los servicios de prevención y tratamiento de enfermedades de salud mental, reveló un informe dado a conocer el 25 de junio.

El reporte “Soluciones de la Comunidad para las Disparidades de Salud Mental en los Latinos”, elaborado por el Centro para la Reducción de Disparidades en Salud de la Universidad de California Davis, identificó la depresión, los trastornos por ansiedad y el abuso de alcohol y drogas cómo los problemas más comunes entre la comunidad hispana.

“Las enfermedades mentales de los latinos que no han sido tratadas reducen su expectativa de vida en cerca de 25 años”, dijo a Efe el autor principal del estudio, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, director del Centro para la Reducción de Disparidades en Salud de UC Davis y del programa de Vinculación Comunitaria del Centro para la Ciencia Clínica Traslacional de UC Davis.

El experto destacó que, aunque algunos problemas de salud mental generalmente se manifiestan en edades más tempranas que otras enfermedades crónicas, sin embargo, “son muy pocos los latinos que reciben el tratamiento necesario en el momento adecuado”.

El estudio -el primero de su tipo que utiliza un enfoque de vinculación comunitaria para identificar obstáculos y buscar soluciones en los servicios de salud mental para hispanos- usó información recogida en foros comunitarios en 13 ciudades y dos escuelas preparatorias del estado.

Se realizaron foros en San Diego, Arcadia, Carson, Los Ángeles y Solvang en el sur de California; Fresno, Sacramento, Camino y Stockton en la Región Central; Oakland y San José en el Área de la Bahía; Salinas en la Costa Central y Chico en el norte del Valle de Sacramento.

El equipo de investigación también se reunió con cerca de 90 estudiantes de las escuelas preparatorias de Huntington Park y Tracy, así como de la Universidad Estatal de California Domínguez Hills, para intentar identificar los principales problemas de salud mental en los centros educativos y evaluar los servicios ofrecidos.

Uno de los principales obstáculos encontrados entre los más de 550 participantes del estudio fue la percepción negativa de las enfermedades mentales que hace que muchos hispanos no busquen los servicios de salud mental.

“El factor del estigma es uno de los principales obstáculos para el tratamiento de estos problemas”, explicó Aguilar-Gaxiola al destacar que puede proceder de la sociedad, de los medios de comunicación o de los mismos pacientes, y que la solución es una mejor educación sobre el tema.

“Definitivamente, la solución para los problemas, tanto de los adultos como de los jóvenes, está en educarlos para que entiendan que estos problemas son enfermedades que, como la diabetes o cualquier otra, deben ser tratados y que todos podemos tener algún tipo de afección psicológica”, aseveró.

Otros factores negativos identificados fueron la vergüenza –“directamente relacionada con el estigma”- así como expectativas de masculinidad, riesgo de violencia y falta de información.

“Mi madre está recibiendo servicios de salud mental pero ella todavía lo niega”, respondió una de las participantes en los foros comunitarios, que explicó que su familiar no quiere “hablar claramente” de su situación ni con el profesional que la atiende.

Algunas de las soluciones propuestas en los foros fueron establecer programas escolares de salud mental para permitir el diagnóstico temprano de problemas potenciales de salud mental, así como educar a los estudiantes y sus familias sobre esta materia.

Entre otras recomendaciones, se sugirió además utilizar los medios de comunicación para concienciar sobre la salud mental, reducir el estigma y promover información y recursos sobre la identificación e intervención temprana de estas enfermedades.

House Explosion in Monterey Park

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – A fire that may have been intentionally set destroyed a house in Monterey Park Monday night, police said.

The fire was reported at 9:19 p.m. in the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue, said Lt. Jess Alvarado of the Monterey Park Police Department. No one was injured in the blaze, which did between $300,000 and $400,00 in damage, Alvarado said.

“They were able to put it out rather quickly once they got there,” Alvarado said of the Monterey Park Fire Department.

Firefighters “found some evidence at the scene indicating somebody had set the house on fire,” Alvarado said.

The fire threatened other residences before being extinguished, KCAL9 reported.

Summer Reading Programs Now for Both Adults and Kids

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The City of Commerce Public Library on June 18 started its multiple summer reading programs, including a new offering for adults ages 18 and over.

“Between the Covers,” the library’s first ever-adult summer reading program is now underway and runs through Aug. 4. Adults registered in the program have a chance to win a mug with the “Between the Covers” logo by reading or listening to two books of their choice and filling out a reading sheet or online review for each on the library’s website.

The program includes movie screenings at various Commerce libraries including one on July 31 at Greenwood Library and another on Aug. 2 at the Central Library. They will also have a chance to meet poet Juan Farias Alvarez on July 3, 17, and 31 at the Central Library. All events begin at 6pm. Registration is now open and can be made at any Commerce library or on the library’s website. Those who register will receive a complimentary tote bag; only one entry per person.

Commerce libraries are also hosting an “Own the Night” teen summer reading program that includes a Hunger Games tournament at 6pm on Friday June 29 at the Central Library.

Teens are encouraged to read for 18 hours between now and Aug. 4 to earn a chance to win a computer, which local teens will help build during workshops to be held July 23-26. The program also includes movie screenings and more. To learn more, contact the Commerce Library a t(323) 722-6660.

The Bell Gardens Library is also hosting a children’s reading program. “Dream Big Read!” will be held Saturdays through Aug. 18 at 2pm. Each week there will be new fun activities and events to go along with the problem. The Bell Gardens Library is located at 7110 S. Garfield Ave.

Bell Gardens, 90201. For more information, call (562) 927-1309.

Community Calendar: June 28, 2012 to July 4, 2012

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, Thursday June 28
6-7:30pm—Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz Returns to Cypress Park.
The creator of the politically themed Latino comic strip, “La Cucaracha” will bring the 15th anniversary edition of “Latino USA: A Cartoon History” for discussion and signing. Books are $18; prints of his work are $10. The library is located at 1150 Cypress Ave., LA 90065. For more information, call (323) 224-0039.

Friday, June 29
8:30am-4pm—Alzheimer Association’s “Caring for Yourself First” Annual Caregiver Wellness Day
at DePaul Evangelization Center, 1105 Bluff Rd. Montebello 90604. Focus will be on giving caregivers ways to relieve stress, info on finding resources and support, hear from speakers on medical advances and legal issues. Includes lunch. Event is free, but pre-registration is required. For more information, call Joseph Herrera at (323) 881-0574 or email Joseph.Herrera@alz.org

Saturday, June 30
8am-2pm—ART 2-Ephemeral Performances in Ephemeral Places at La Tierra de la Culebra:
240 S Ave 57, (Highland Park) LA, CA 90042. Artists and landscape architecture students collaborate – “Performances On an Abandoned Railway – art installations and performances. Free.

5-7pm—Lives of City Animals Program at Vista Hermosa Natural Park. Free hands-on program will guide you through the lives of city-dwelling raccoons, birds & other animals. Park is located at 100 N. Toluca St., LA 90026. For more information, call (213) 250-1100. All ages welcome.

Wednesday, July 3
4pm—Red Cross Disaster Safety Puppet Show at the Arroyo Seco Library in Highland Park.
Children learn from Sesame Street characters what to do in an emergency during this educational & entertaining presentation. The library is located at 6145 N. Figueroa St., LA 90042. For more information, call (323) 255-0537.

Upcoming Events
The Arroyo Seco Library in Highland Park will host a free Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Presentation
on July 7 at 3pm. Learn how you can be ready for any emergency. Everyone is welcome. The library is located at 6145 N. Figueroa St. LA 90042. For more information, call (323) 255-0537.

Announcements
The LA Fire Dept. is offering a Free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 7-week training course in Boyle Heights:
Thursdays, 6:30-9:00 pm, June 28-Aug. 9 at the Hollenbeck Police Station: 2111 E. First St, LA 90063. Learn how to help yourself, family, and community during times of disaster. All citizens 18+ years old are invited. No experience necessary. RSVP by email: veradelpozo@yahoo.com and be sure to include your full name and phone number in the email. For more info about CERT, go to www.cert-la.com.

Submit an event or announcement to the Community Calendar: email calendar@egpnews.com. All submissions subject to space availability. Paid advertising available; for more information, email advertise@egpnews.com or call (323) 341-7970.

4th of July Celebrations Kick Off This Weekend

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 


It’s hard to imagine a 4th of July without the colorful pageantry and loud booms and pops of fireworks, but public safety officials are warning residents that backyard displays are not legal in many cities and parts of Los Angeles County.

Fireworks, even when under the control of experts, can be a fire danger, as well as a potential cause of injury.

To help you prepare for the 4th of July weekend, here are some helpful tips and laws to keep in mind before purchasing or lighting fireworks in your backyard.

The private use of fireworks is illegal in the City of Los Angeles and all of the county’s unincorporated areas, as well as 26 cities serviced by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Bell Garden, Commerce, Montebello and Monterey Park permit the use of “safe and sane” fireworks, which have the State Fire Marshal’s seal, do not explode or leave the ground when ignited. Only fireworks sold at fixed places of business licensed to sell “safe and sane” fireworks are permitted.

Public safety officials, however, recommend attending one of the numerous public family-friendly firework shows and events taking place around the County this holiday weekend.

2012 Free Firework Shows and Festivities in Los Angeles County

Saturday, June 30
4-9pm—5th Annual El Sereno Concert & Fireworks Show and 4th of July Independence Day Parade at El Sereno Park:
4721 Klamath Dr. LA 90032. Fireworks will start at 8:30pm. The parade will start at 2pm on the corner of Huntington Drive and Van Horne Avenue and end at El Sereno Park. Events sponsored by Councilman José Huizar. For more information, call (323) 226-1646.

4-9pm—6th Annual Boyle Heights Concert and Fireworks Show. Come enjoy musical entertainment at 4pm and a spectacular fireworks show starting at 8:30pm at Hollenbeck Park, located at 415 S. Louis St., L.A. 90033. The event is sponsored by Councilman José Huizar. For more information call (323) 342-4140.

Sunday, July 1
12-9:30pm—ArtsFest “Rock the First of July” All Day Celebration and Fireworks Show at East L.A. Civic Center.
Partake in an ArtWalk featuring 40 local artists, the Natural History Museum Sea Mobile, eateries and more all culminating with a fireworks show at 9:15pm. The event will be at 4801 E. Third Street, L.A 90022. For more information call (323) 260-2360 or visit http://lacountyparks.org.

5-9:30pm—3rd Annual Concert in the Park and Fireworks Show in Eagle Rock Park, located at 1100 Eagle Vista Dr. 90041, attend the festivities with free musical entertainment featuring a Beatles Tribute Band, a moon bounce, giveaways, and a nighttime fireworks show hosted by Councilmember Jose Huizar and the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce. For more information call (323) 254-5295.

Tuesday, July 3
6-9pm—Independence Day Pageant at Civic Center Lawn in Norwalk.
Enjoy the pageantry and patriotism of Fourth of July with food, games, music at the Civic Center Lawn in Norwalk located on 12700 Norwalk Blvd. Fireworks start at 9pm sharp. For more information call (562) 929-5702.

Wednesday, July 4
10am—Rosemead Park Independence Day Parade
starting at Valley Blvd. and Bartlett Ave. heading towards Rosemead Park at 4343 Encinita Ave. For more information call (626) 569-2160.

10:30am-4pm—City of Bell Garden’s Fourth of July Family Recreational Swim at the Ford Park Pool at 8000 Park Lane. Enjoy the holiday with a cool swim in the Ford Park Pool along with music, food, games, and more. First 20 guests will receive a prize and a free raffle ticket for even more prizes. For more information call (562) 806-7650.

12-8:30pm—South El Monte’s Healthy Independence Day. Celebrate this Independence Day with great food, a boxing show, live entertainment, and more at New Temple Park located at 1450 Lidcombe Ave. Then view a fireworks show at South El Monte High School at 8:30pm located at 1001 N. Durfee Ave., S. El Monte, 91733.

3pm—Monterey Park’s Annual July 4th festivities kick off with games and contests in the ball diamond outfield, include live musical performances by the Monterey Park Concert Band and the Rudy Macias Band. The festivities will take place at the Barnes Park amphitheatre located at 350 S. McPherrin. For more information call (626) 307-1388 or raguirre@montereypark.ca.gov. Firework display will begin at 9pm.

2-10:30pm—City of Commerce Independence Day Celebration and Carnival at Rosewood Park: 5600 Harbor Street. Join Miss Fourth of July Jannine Mancilla for delicious food, fun games, and live entertainment for all ages. And don’t miss the Community Carnival starting on Independence Day and going through Sunday, July 8. For more information and the Carnival’s hours call Parks and Recreation at (323) 887-4434.

9pm —Free Firework Show at Almansor Park in Alhambra. See the Firework Show from anywhere in the park. Parking is limited, so arrive early. Bring your own picnic baskets with goodies or purchase food from vendors. Almansor Park is located at 800 S. Almansor St., Alhambra, 91804. For more information visit http://cityofalhambra.org.

9pm—Baldwin Park Hosts Free Firework Show at Sierra Vista High School located at 3600 Frazier Ave., Baldwin Park, 91706.

9pm—The City of Pico Rivera will host a Free Firework Show at Smith Park located at 6016 Rosemead Blvd. Parking available at Smith Park, the Senior Center, Salazar Continuation School (Meller) and El Rancho High School. For more information call (562) 801-4430.

First Phase of Boyle Heights Living Streets Initiative Completed

June 28, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Boyle Heights celebrated the completion of the first phase of its Living Streets initiative earlier this month with folkloric dances, live music, and more. The first phase of the four-part initiative involved installing benches, tables, planters, and community bulletin boards at the corner of Fickette and Bouler Streets creating community living rooms for public use.

The initiative started last year as a collaboration between the Green LA Coalition and the Boyle Heights community and others in an effort to improve the city’s streets. The goal was to first target the residential neighborhood streets of Fickett, Wabash, Whittier, and St. Louis. These streets were discussed among community members at workshops, planning sessions, and street walk audits, as the ones that needed the most attention due to their lack of resources and support as opposed to more commercial streets.

According to Green LA Executive Director Stephanie Taylor in an LA Streets Blog article, the organization received a $240,000 grant from the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department’s RENEW Program to draft up case studies and projects for the area’s improvement. However, Elizabeth Blaney, co-director of the Boyle Heights based Union de Vecinos, in the same article said that the initiative has been developed and controlled by Boyle Heights residents, which is rare in community focused projects.

For example, it was Boyle Heights residents who drafted the plans on where to plant trees and who designed and built many of the benches installed in phase one.

Two blocks of Fickett Street were closed off for the celebration, which Councilman Jose Huizar attended and spoke at the opening ceremony that led into the official installations.

Other parts of the Living Streets initiative call for curb extensions, crosswalks, trashcans, bike racks, bike lanes, and more. The projected process is estimated to take 3-5 years to complete.

“We want to keep working to see this plan through to have safe streets,” Maria Lopez, a community resident said. “We hope for the support of the community to do more work and move this forward.

School Sports Cuts Could Hit Students on Many Levels

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

To gymnast Lindsey Oliver, 18, a senior at Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach, her daily gym classes are her motivation for going to school.

“If I don’t do well enough in my classes, I won’t be able to be in gymnastics,” said Oliver, who must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in order to stay in sports.

Oliver said her coach would often allow her and her classmates to apply workout time to their homework to get their grades up if need be.

“Being in gymnastics has helped boost my grades as I have more incentive to try [hard] in school, so that I could compete,” said Oliver.

California’s Budget Crunch
However, like many states California is confronting an ever-tighter financial crunch, forcing near bone-deep cuts in schools across the state, meaning that Oliver’s beloved gym class could soon be on the chopping block.

California Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget in May, aimed at balancing the state’s $16 billion deficit, contains several proposed tax initiatives — a temporary sales-tax increase and higher taxes on the wealthy – that, if rejected by voters come November, could lead to more cuts in school districts.

According to officials from Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), for instance, failure to pass Brown’s tax initiatives would force them to cut around $29 million for the 2012-13 school year. Sports programs would likely be among those to go.

Even if the tax measure passes, they add, the district will still have to make some $20 million in cuts, though sports and physical education classes would likely be spared.

For Oliver, the impact of losing the phys-ed program would go beyond sports, effecting her efforts to maintain good health and the social benefits that come out of working and training with a diversity of people.

“To me, gymnastics is more than just a competitive [sport],” she said. “These girls are my sisters. I have grown in the past three years with most of them. Taking away something like a sport from people who have been in it so long is wrong.”

For others, it is about building a closer relationship with the school community.

Fitness and Community
“I did PE because for two years it was mandatory,” said Ariel Mercado, a Filipino American junior at Wilson High School. She later developed an interest in playing competitive badminton — a rising international sport — after one of her friends complemented her abilities. Mercado says the sport has given her a sense of confidence and of belonging to the school community.

“Badminton is important to me because it has helped me meet a lot of people, become more social, more fit, and feel like a part of something,” Mercado said.

Losing the phys-ed classes, she adds, would mean fewer opportunities to exercise and develop in her sport. Mercado’s family cannot afford a gym membership or a private trainer for her to continue developing her athletic potential.

Many families in Long Beach, where 70 percent of students are eligible to receive free or reduced lunch, face a similar struggle, one compounded by the alarming rate of obesity among this generation of youth.

According to Kidsdata.org, close to 40 percent of California’s 5th, 7th and 9th graders are overweight or obese. In Los Angles County, where LBUSD is located, 41.6 percent are overweight.

Racial Disparities
LBUSD figures show that among Long Beach students, roughly one-in-three African American or Latino youth are either in danger of or already exceed the healthy-weight zone. That compares with close to one in five for Asian and white children.

Studies show that high obesity rates stem from numerous factors, including less time for families to prepare meals at home, high soda consumption, and long periods in sedentary activities like watching TV or playing computer games.
The closure of numerous public parks has also made schools the only place that an increasing number of kids can engage in regular exercise.

“I’ve been fat my whole life, and I just knew if I didn’t change I wouldn’t be happy,” said Jonathan Calix, a senior at Wilson High. He said he was never athletic, but after three years of PE classes, he learned to care about his health.
When he began playing football, he shed many pounds.

Stronger Academics, Less Smoking, Better Motivation
The U.S. Department of Education’s “High School and Beyond” study indicates that students involved in some type of athletic activity while in high school tend to have stronger academic goals and fewer disciplinary issues. The American Medical Association has also found that student athletes are 40 percent less likely to smoke than nonathletes.

Back at Woodrow Wilson High, Lindsey Oliver is adamant in her view that cutting sports would erode students’ motivation for going to school.

“I’d have to say that they’d be getting rid of the reason a lot of kids look forward to going to school,” she said.

Sharee Lopez wrote this article under a New America Media youth-education reporting fellowship, a program supported by the California Education Policy Fund.

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