California Lawmakers Pass Medi-Cal Expansion

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

One million more low-income and uninsured Californians are closer to getting health care.

The state Assembly and Senate have passed key legislation that will expand California’s Medi-Cal program and make it easier and faster to use.

Assembly Speaker John Perez says the bills are an important step to ensure those living below the poverty line have access to quality care.

“People living at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line,” will qualify, Perez says. “We’re talking about people surviving on $15,400 a year or less.”

The Senate approved a similar Medi-Cal expansion bill that will also raise the income eligibility level and extend coverage to those under the age of 65, who don’t have children living at home.

The legislation is seen as a crucial step toward the state implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Both bills are now up for amendments.

Some Republican lawmakers question whether California will be stuck paying the entire bill for the expansion. But Perez says the cost of expanding Medi-Cal will be covered by the federal government.

“The cost is 100 percent federally covered for the next three years and then there is a step-down to 90 percent.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, most Americans will be required to buy health insurance by January 2014. According to UCLA and UC Berkeley, if the Legislature passes the Medi-Cal expansion bills, an additional one million to 1.6 million Californians will be covered by Medi-Cal by the 2014 deadline.


Police Seek Information on Lincoln Heights’ Shooter

March 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Police on Monday asked for the public’s help in finding the killer of a 24-year-old man in an apparent gang-related attack in Lincoln Heights. John Anthony Neves was found lying on the ground at the rear of his residence in the 400 block of South Avenue 19 at 8:23 Sunday night. Detectives learned that Neves had been sitting inside his vehicle when at least one armed suspect approached on foot and fired multiple shots at him. He tried to flee, but made it only as far as his back yard. Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Division homicide detectives at (323) 342-8996 or (323) 342-8956.

In a separate incident, another man fatally shot in Lincoln Heights was identified Tuesday.

Hugo Torres, 23, of Los Angeles was wounded about 7:30 p.m. Monday in the 3300 block of Smith Street, and died a short time later at a hospital, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

The circumstances of the crime were under investigation.


Fatally Struck Pedestrian in Bell Gardens Identified

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Authorities on Monday identified a pedestrian who was struck and killed by a vehicle in Bell Gardens.

Luz Hernandez, 69, died at the scene of the collision, which occurred about 6:35 a.m. Monday in the 6900 block of Eastern Avenue, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.

The circumstances of the death were under investigation.


Two Wounded After Gunman Opens Fire In El Sereno

March 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Two men were wounded, one critically, when gunmen in a car opened fire on a crowd of people holding a party in the front yard of a home in El Sereno, police said on Monday.

The shooting outside the home at 4451 South Huntington Dr. was reported around 9 p.m. Sunday, March 17, said Lt. Carlos Solano of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Station.

“There was a party in the front yard. A gold Toyota Camry pulled up and some men in their mid-20s asked guests where they were from,” Solano said.

“They said, ‘we are not gang members,’ and 18 rounds were fired from the car.”

Two men were wounded. One was in critical condition Monday at County-USC Medical Center, where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the back, Solano said, adding that the man is expected to survive. The other victim suffered three graze wounds to the back and one to the posterior, he said. The assailants were being sought.


East LA Woman Killed by Husband at Montebello Job Site

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A 29-year-old man suspected of killing his wife at her job in Montebello turned himself into police on Sunday, a sheriff’s sergeant said.

Tustin resident Arthur Andrade surrendered at 1 a.m to the Whittier Police Department and was later booked in Montebello for suspicion of murder, said Sgt. Rich Pena of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

Andrade’s bail was set at $1 million. The murder weapon and vehicle were still outstanding, Pena said.

The shooting attack took place at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the 100 block of Washington Boulevard, according to Sgt. Diane Hecht of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

“The victim, a resident of East Los Angeles, arrived at her place of employment,” Hecht said. “She was confronted by her husband, the suspect, in the parking lot.”

Hecht said the two were arguing when Andrade reportedly shot the woman multiple times in the upper body.

The victim, Soria Esperanza, was pronounced dead at the scene, Hecht said. Andrade fled the scene in a dark-colored vehicle.


Fiery Multi-Car Crash Shuts Down Freeways Near Eagle Rock

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Four vehicles collided on Sunday on the Ventura (134) Freeway, sending one rolling over multiple times before catching fire with multiple people trapped inside near Eagle Rock, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported at 6:45 p.m. on the eastbound 134 at Orange Grove Boulevard, according to CHP Officer Tatiana Sauquillo.

“There were four vehicles involved in the collision,” Sauquillo said. “One of the vehicles rolled over multiple times and caught fire with multiple people trapped inside.”

Sauquillo said it was unclear how many people were injured and how seriously, but no one had been reported dead


Iraq, Afghanistan Vets, Families Being Offered Free Montebello-Commerce ‘Y’-Membership

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Montebello-Commerce YMCA and Vons are partnering an initiative to help returning veterans and their families.

The Veterans Enrichment Initiative, made possible by a $25,000 grant from The Vons Foundation, aims to empower and improve the lives of recent returning war veterans and the communities to which they return.

“Thanks to the support from Vons, up to 200 veterans and their families will be provided with a free Y membership at our branch,” said Montebello-Commerce YMCA Executive Director Mike Newton in a written statement. “We want to ensure that these special individuals and their families receive full member benefits, including use of all branch facilities, and free participation in dozens of member classes and engagement opportunities.”

The program’s main goal is to move veterans toward employment. The initiative will include a job-training component and the Y is working on creating opportunities that will be offered exclusively to veterans, such as a YMCA Veterans job fair and mental health resources.

“The Y will be inviting veterans to participate in onsite training to gain skills applicable to careers at the Y, Vons and other for-profit organizations,” said Carlos Illingworth, Vons Director of Public Affairs and Chair of The Vons Foundation.

Vons hired over 1,300 veterans in 2012 and has pledged to hire another 1,100 this year, Illingworth added.

For more information or to sign up for the initiative, contact Stephanie Marron, Membership Director at the Montebello-Commerce YMCA at (323) 887-9622, or email her at StephanieMarron@ymcala.org.

The previous version of this story had a typo in the amount of the grant provided by The Vons Foundation for the Veterans Enrichment Initiative.

Monterey Park Man Charged as Ring Leader in Marijuana, Cigarette Scheme

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Eleven Los Angeles-area residents are among 37 defendants charged in a federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday in New York targeting a Southeast Asian marijuana and counterfeit cigarette trafficking organization that operated nationwide.

Prosecutors allege members of the ring conspired to produce and distribute more than $45 million worth of marijuana and illegally distribute nearly 44 million cigarettes, resulting in more than $7 million in lost tax revenue.

According to court documents, the Los Angeles-area defendants fulfilled a variety of roles in the ring.

Several were involved in growing pot, while others oversaw transportation or served as money couriers, federal prosecutors allege.

Nine of the 11 Los Angeles-area defendants were arrested early Tuesday morning by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

They are:

– Paul Coong Lay, 47, of Monterey Park, who along with his brother allegedly oversaw the ring’s marijuana grow operations;

– Steven Qu, 54, of Pomona, owner of Los Angeles-area trucking company Super Quality Logistics;

– Rocky Kuo, 61, of Temple City;

– Fu Chan Chuong, 48, of Temple City;

– Jia Yuan, 33, of San Gabriel;

– Zhu He Wang, 56, of Temple City;

– Hung Ho, 42, of Los Angeles;

– Kit Poon, 42, of Baldwin Park; and

– Qui Sam Ho, 37, of Westminster.

Two other local defendants being sought were identified as Yun Xing, 30, Qu’s wife, and Jonathan Fierro, 24, of Los Angeles.


Policías de Vernon Reconocidos Por Salvar una Vida

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Dos policías de Vernon esta semana fueron reconocidos como héroes por salvarle la vida a un hombre que sufrió un ataque cardiaco mientras conducía hacia un hospital.

(Foto de EGP por Nancy Martinez)

Los agentes Christian Moscoso (al centro, foto de arriba) y Edward Hernández (al centro, foto de abajo), muestran sus placas conmemorativas con los concejales de la ciudad de Vernon. (Foto de EGP por Nancy Martinez)

El 7 de noviembre de 2012 por la madrugada, la policía de Vernon recibió una llamada de emergencia por una mujer histérica que estaba en la calle Soto cerca de Fruitland Avenue. Aunque la operadora no pudo obtener mucha información de la joven que estaba frenética, el oficial Christian Moscoso llegó al lugar dentro de dos minutos de la llamada que entró alrededor de la 1:45 a.m.

Al llegar al lugar, Moscoso descubrió que el padre de la joven, Frank Cervantes de 65 años de edad, había sufrido un ataque cardiaco mientras estaba al volante en camino al hospital. Según el informe, Cervantes estaba inconsciente y no tenía pulso cuando Moscoso lo retiró del vehículo y lo acostó en el piso para realizar medidas de primeros auxilios. Moscoso procedió a utilizar un desfibrilador automatizado externo (AED por sus siglas en inglés), que se utiliza para reanimar el pulso cardíaco a través de descargas eléctricas sobre el pecho, cuando el oficial Edward Hernández llegó para asistir a Moscoso en el tratamiento del residente de Walnut Park.

Read this story IN ENGLISH: Vernon Officers Honored for Saving Man

Durante la reunión del concejo de la ciudad de Vernon, el jefe de policía de Vernon Daniel Calleros dio reconocimiento a Moscoso y Hernández.

“En un momento se perdió toda la esperanza dada la condición del hombre sin vida”, dijo Calleros al consejo.

Esa noche, Moscoso realizó respiración artificial al paciente mientras que Hernández le aplicaba compresiones en el pecho antes que llegaran los paramédicos de la estación de Bomberos de Vernon que al llegar se hicieron cargo y lograron que Cervantes recuperara el pulso y respirara por sí mismo de nuevo.

En la reunión del consejo y en la presencia de sus familiares, compañeros de la policía y funcionarios municipales, los dos agentes de policía recibieron una placa conmemorativa por sus esfuerzos de salvamento.

“Ese es nuestro trabajo, actuamos sin pensarlo dos veces”, dijo Hernández a EGP. “Hemos sido entrenados para este tipo de situación”.

Moscoso, quien entrenó a Hernández acerca de la aplicación de CPR (resucitación cardiopulmonar), dijo a EGP que él anima a todos a aprender CPR.

“En nuestro caso, pudimos ayudar al Sr. Cervantes”, dijo Moscoso.

Calleros dijo al consejo que, de acuerdo con las estadísticas de la Cruz Roja Americana, cerca del 94 por ciento de las personas que sufren un paro cardíaco súbito mueren antes de llegar al hospital.

“Como ustedes saben incidencias médicos de esta naturaleza no suelen tener resultados positivos”, dijo Calleros. “Pero en este incidente la persona tuvo una recuperación completa”.


El Partido Republicano Reclutará Minorías

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Durante una conferencia de prensa celebrada en Washington, D.C. el lunes 18 de marzo, el presidente del partido Republicano, Reince Priebus, presentó un análisis autocrítico sobre las causas del fracaso electoral del 2012.

“El mensaje de nuestro partido fue débil”, reconoció el dirigente y anunció un plan destinado a rectificar esos errores, según se anuncia en el reporte titulado Proyecto de Crecimiento y Oportunidades, preparado por un panel de miembros del Partido Republicano.

Al presentar el reporte, Priebus dijo que la debacle electoral del pasado mes de noviembre no se debió a una sola causa. “Nuestro trabajo de base fue insuficiente, no fuimos incluyentes, nos quedamos atrás en cuestión de datos y en el aspecto digital”.

El reporte destaca la necesidad de incorporar minorías al Partido.

“No necesito de un reporte para entender que necesitamos acercarnos a las minorías, las mujeres y a los jóvenes”, comentó Priebus. “Creo también que dijimos muchas cosas estúpidas durante las últimas elecciones”.

Esto último se refiere a comentarios despreciativos de unos candidatos Republicanos respecto a las mujeres durante debates sobre el tema del aborto. Por ejemplo, los dichos del candidato al senado por Missouri, Todd Akin, quien al expresar su oposición al aborto habló de la “violación legítima”. Akin perdió las elecciones.

Aparte de atraer simpatizantes, los conservadores quieren contar con más candidatos representantes de minorías. El dirigente conservador dijo que de lo contrario, “nuestra capacidad de convocatoria continuará reduciéndose”.

Priebus aseguró que el énfasis del Partido Republicano será inmigración, y que no se trata de oportunismo. “Creemos que esta reforma es consecuente con las políticas económicas Republicanas que promueven más empleos y oportunidades”, aseguró.

Actualmente, ocho legisladores de ambos partidos están trabajando en una propuesta de ley de reforma migratoria.

Es este un cambio de rumbo político del Partido Republicano?

Priebus solo se refirió al mensaje y a la “percepción” que los votantes tienen de su partido, no de cambios estructurales en sus principios. Esto nos hace pensar que los conservadores buscarán presentar una nueva imagen, pero que lo demás seguirá como hasta ahora. Es decir, estamos frente a una agresiva campaña de relaciones públicas.

O sea que el Partido Republicano continuará siendo el representante político de las empresas y opositor a los derechos de los trabajadores; continuará apoyando reducciones de impuestos a los negocios como instrumento de crecimiento económico al tiempo que pretenderá recortar más aún los programas sociales; buscará privatizar el seguro social, la educación y la salud, dejando en manos privadas —interesadas en el lucro— estos servicios vitales para la población.

Pero claro, de aquí en adelante esos principios serán presentados de manera más humana y atractiva. Para esto, ya destinaron 10 millones de dólares para campañas publicitarias y contratación de personal especializado.

Podrá entonces el Partido Republicano atraer a votantes jóvenes y minoritarios? Y cómo reaccionarán sus miembros más renuentes a los cambios?

Pero existe un elemento ausente en el Projecto, un elemento que me hace pensar que los Republicanos solo quieren cambiar de imagen y no de substancia: en ningún momento hablan de la necesidad de escuchar a la población o, al menos, a sus seguidores de base. O sea, escuchen pero no hagan preguntas!

Por el momento, lo único seguro es que los conservadores tienen un partido dividido.

Eduardo Stanley es periodista independiente, visite su pagina web en www.eduardostanley.com


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