Commerce Condemns State Actions On Redevelopment Funds

March 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Commerce city officials last week added their voices to the growing number of cities condeming what they call a Sacramento raid on redevelopment dollars.

In separate actions, Senate and Assembly Budget Committees voted Feb. 18 to allow the state to siphon off the funds to use to balance the state budget.

“These votes fly in the face of the will of California voters who just passed Proposition 22 three months ago to stop State raids of local government and redevelopment funds,” the city said in a written statement.

The committees approved the action despite not yet having bill language available, a decision Commerce calls “troubling.”

“Legislators on the two committees have abdicated their responsibility to voters,” said Commerce Mayor Tina Baca Del Rio. “To cast such an important vote without seeing any language is shockingly irresponsible and tone deaf to their constituents’ wishes.”

The assembly committee voted to “raid” the funds while the senate committee voted to abolish redevelopment altogether.

In Commerce, efforts to revitalize downtrodden communities back to socioeconomic health will be devastated, said city officials who point to Commerce’s use of redevelopment funds to bring about major projects like the Citadel Retail Outlets and the Vista Del Rio Housing Development as examples.
They say the taking of the funds amounts to a shutting-down of the economic engine that creates jobs. Eliminating redevelopment statewide will slow California’s economy, and result in the loss of “304,000 full- and part-time private sector jobs in a typical year, including 170,600 construction jobs; over $40 billion annually to California’s economy in the generation of goods and services; and $2 billion in state and local taxes in a typical year,” the city said in its statement.

Former Commerce Mayor Robert Cornejo Passes

March 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Former Commerce mayor and councilmember Robert J. Cornejo died on February 23, 2011. He was 76.

Cornejo was a 54 year resident of Commerce who was first elected to the City Council in 1984. He was reelected in 1988 and 1992, serving twice as Commerce’s mayor.

During his years in office Cornejo was committed to supporting education, strong public safety services and responding to resident concerns, according to the city.

In a statement, the city said Cornejo was a strong advocate for job creation, and supported the creation of the Youth Employment and Service (YES) summer youth employment program.

He was also a founding member of the City’s Community Anti-Gang Task Force, which continues on today as the Commerce Community Task Force.

Cornejo was also very involved in many of the City’s civic and service organizations, which included the Model City Democratic Club, the St. Marcellinus Holy Name Society, and the Bell Gardens High School Booster Club to name a few, according to a statement issued on behalf of the city.

The city said Cornejo continued to serve his community as a member of the Planning Commission up until his death.

He is survived by his wife Sandy, three daughters Chris, Gloria, and Cynthia, son Robert Jr., 4 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

LA Controller Calls For Cuts To City Cellphone Use

March 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The city of Los Angeles could save almost $5 million a year by recalling more than half of the cellphones issued to employees, according to an audit released Tuesday.

City Controller Wendy Greuel called for a 60 percent reduction in the number of city-issued cellphones starting July 1, the first day of the next fiscal year.

An audit conducted by her office turned up 6,560 cellphones in city-controlled departments, costing about $4.8 million a year. Proprietary departments whose budgets are separate from that of the city, such as the Department of Water and Power, distributed another 5,251 cellphones.

“When we’re closing libraries and leaving potholes unfilled, it defies comprehension that nearly 12,000 city employees need cellphones,” Greuel said.

Greuel said she plans to return her city-issued cellphone and urged other officials to do the same.

Community Calendar: March 3, 2011 to March 9, 2011 Issue

March 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, Thursday, March 3
10-11am—Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for new ADA-compliant Playground in Hermon The new playground at Hermon Park was funded through Prop K funds; it is located at 5568 Via Marisol, L.A., 90042. For more information, call (323) 226-1646.

Noon-1:30pm—Rotary Club of East Los Angeles Luncheon with Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina speaking on the State of the County. Tamayo Restaurant: 5300 East Olympic Blvd, L.A., CA 90022. $15 admission includes lunch. For more information, go to

6pm—Read Across Commerce-Dr. Seuss’ Birthday at the Bristow Park Library: 1466 S. McDonnell Ave. Commerce, CA 90022. For more information, call (323) 265-1787.

6-8pm—Metro SR-710 Conversation-Series 2 Public Meeting at Alhambra Civic Center Library-Reese Hall:101 S First St Alhambra, CA 91801. Series 2 meetings focus on “Protecting Communities through an Environmental Process-CEQA/NEPA. For more information, go to

Friday, March 4
7-11pm—The 7th Annual Rotary Club of East Los Angeles Casino & Mardi Gras at Tamayo Restaurant. The event benefits local youth programs. Tickets are $35 in advance; $40 at the door. Sponsored by Pan American Bank. Tamayo’s is located at 5300 E. Olympic Blvd., L.A., 90022. For more information, contact Carlos Torres at (323) 264-3310 or by e-mail:

Saturday, March 5
1-2pm—Cello Music for a Saturday Afternoon featuring the UCLA Gluck Cello Quintet at the Benjamin Franklin Library in Boyle Heights. The library is located at 2200 East First St., L.A., 90033. For more information, call (323) 263-6901.

2-3pm—Free LACMA Art Class for Kids & Families at the Arroyo Seco Library in Highland Park. Join LACMA teaching artist for a series of hands-on art workshops for kids and families. The library is located at 6145 N. Figueroa, L.A., 90042. For more information, call (323) 255-0537.

2-3pm—Family Storytime & Art Activities Bell Garden’s Library. Activities offered in English & Spanish include: Lotería (Bingo); Playtime; Music; Videos, and Wall Paper Collage (create a collage with scraps of wallpaper). The library is located at 7110 S. Garfield Ave., Bell Gardens, 90201. For more information, call (562) 927-1309.

2-3pm—Hinamatsuri Paper Art Workshop at the Montebello Library. Learn about and celebrate Japan’s Hinamatsuri (or Doll Festival) a paper art workshop making doll bookmarks with origami paper. The Library is located at 1550 W. Beverly Blvd, Montebello, 90640. For more information, call (323) 722-6551.

6pm—Family Nature Hike at the Audubon Center. Meet in the entry courtyard. English and Spanish speakers welcome. The Audubon Center ?is located at Debs Park,? 4700 North Griffin Ave.?, L.A., 90031. For more information, call ?(323) 221-2255.

Sunday, March 6
6 pm—Mujeres de Maiz 14th Anniversary Live Art Show Soldadera de Amor, an interdisciplinary, intercultural, intergeneration experience honoring International Women’s Day & Women’s Herstory Month. The show will take place at the Paramount, 2708 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. L.A., 90033. Admission is $10. For more information visit

Monday, March 7

1-5pm—Free Housing Rights Clinic Serves Eastside and San Gabriel Valley Tenants at the Montebello Housing Development Corp.: 1619 Paramount Blvd., Montebello, CA 90640. L.A. County residents, regardless of immigration status, facing eviction or other housing issues can receive free legal advice and counsel, preparation of court documents and court representation. Tenants must meet income eligibility requirements; provide proof of income for all adults in the household; proof of current address and photo identification. For more information, call the Montebello Housing Rights Clinic contact at (323) 980-3500.

Tuesday, March 8
2pm—Cypress Park Library presents stories, songs and crafts for children and their parents/guardians. The library is located at 1150 Cypress Ave., L.A., 90065. For more information, call (323) 224-0039.

4pm—The Mysterious Laser Beam at the East Los Angeles Library: includes laser show and hands on demonstration. The library is located at 4837 E. 3rd St., L.A., 90022. For more information, call (323) 264-0155.

Wednesday, March 9
2-5pm—The East LA Community Corporation’s Foreclosure Prevention Clinic. The clinics consist of a 30-minute presentation detailing current trends in the housing market followed by one-on-one counseling. Counselors help identify the next steps to save your home.Workshops held most Wednesdays. For more information, email Angelica Rubio at Attendance is limited. To register, call (323) 692-2646.

2pm—Community Open House at Ascot Hills. Tour Ascot Hills Nature Park Phase II improvements by hiking the park’s trails. Improvements include a full stream restoration, an outdoor amphitheater, irrigation and fire safety installations, landscaping, hiking trails, and native plantings. The park is located at Ascot Hills Nature Park, 4731 Multnomah St (at Gateside Drive). For more information, call the CD-14 office at (323) 226-1646.

Residents can dispose of their household hazardous and electronic waste at a free Countywide Roundup on March 12 in Pico Rivera. Hazardous waste includes antifreeze, car batteries, and used motor oil. E-waste includes old televisions, computer monitors, and stereos. It will be held from 9am to 3pm at the Southern California Gas Co located at 8101 Rosemead Blvd. Limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of household hazardous waste per vehicle. For more information, contact the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works at 1 (888) CLEAN LA or or the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County at 1 (800) 238- 0172 or

The Eagle Rock Centennial Committee will meet on March 16 at 6:45 pm. Help make Eagle Rock’s 100th birthday a bash to be remembered. The meeting will take place at Solheim Lutheran Home: 2236 Merton Ave, L.A., 90041. For more information, visit

Monterey Park’s Sister Cities Commission International Ball on March 18 at 6:30pm. Event will include entertainment, music, and cuisines from Monterey Park’s five sister cities. Proceeds from the event will be used toward student exchange programs for each Sister City, including: Nachikatsuura, Japan; Quanzhou, People’s Republic of China; Morelia, Mexico; Yung Ho, Taiwan; and Yeongdeungpo-Gu, Seoul, Korea. Tickets: $50 each or $500 per table. For more information, call (626) 307-1388.

Aspiranet Offers Free Foster Parent Training Classes Every Month for individuals and families interested in becoming foster parents in the Los Angeles area. To learn more or register for orientation and classes, call 1-877-380-4376 or visit

Open Through March 17— LAND MARK: A Group Exhibition including works by James Griffith, Mike Pace, Aili Schmeltz, and Christian Tedeschi at Occidental College Weingart Gallery, 2ND FLOOR, 1600 Campus Rd, L.A, CA 90042. Regular gallery hours will be held from Noon -5pm, Monday – Friday. For more information, contact Jason

Manley at (323) 259-1409, For maps and directions visit
Lincoln High School Class of 1991 Alumni Wanted for the 20 Year Reunion on Oct. 1, 2011. For more information, contact Sonia Puente at (562) 405-6926; Sandra Ramirez at; Albert Vallejo at or through the class FB page:!/pages/Lincoln-High-Class-of-1991/104296726274536.

To submit an event or announcement to the Community Calendar, e-mail All submissions are subject to space availability. Paid advertising available for guaranteed calendar placemen, for more information, contact

Dollar Tree Opening in Highland Park Draws Line of Eager Applicants

March 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Signs posted on the windows of the soon-to-open Dollar Tree store on Figueroa Blvd attracted well over one hundred applicants on Monday morning.

The store is located at 5817 North Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90042.

The line to apply and interview with the discount store team lined the block and went around the corner before noon.

EGP Photos by Gloria Angelina Castillo

The store was previously the Bargain Land discount store, it is now renovated but currently completely empty.

Applications will continue to be accepted and interviews will be conducted on the spot until this Wednesday (3/3/11).

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