Taste of Boyle Heights Offers Up Street Vendor Tacos

May 23, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

For the second year in a row, the East LA Community Corporation (ELACC) held its annual fundraising gala in the community where it provides many of its services. Donors got a chance to try some of the local culinary offerings, including a variety of foods prepared by street vendors supported by the nonprofit group.

Street vendor Mario Vallego’s served up his fresh churros (sugar coated pastry) while other street vendors served up tacos. Among the local restaurants featured was Zamora Brothers, known especially for its pork carnitas.

Food sampling, a silent auction of local art, and a concert by Buyepongo brought donors and the general public to Mariachi Plaza on May 16. (EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

The inclusion of street vendors was in line with the group’s mission, which includes working to bring about a policy to legalize street vending in the city of Los Angeles,

Last fall ELACC opened “El Mercado del Pueblo,” an evening farmer’s market-like event designed to give Boyle Heights-area street vendors a place to sell their food without the fear of being shut down by police. The pilot program is held every Saturday at Hollenbeck Middle School.

The Mercado has created an opportunity for participating street vendors to get licenses and health permits.

Assembly Speaker John Perez said the food tasting event that included a free public concert was  “a great example of what makes Boyle Heights such a wonderful community: our ability to come together to support one another.” ELACC’s programs also includes the development of low-income and affordable housing.

“We know that the funds raised tonight will help the members of our community struggling to stay in their own homes, help them get the skills they need to make sound financial decisions and bring more affordable housing to our community,” Perez said, calling the Boyle Hotel across the street from the fundraiser venue a “marvel” restored by ELACC.

The LA Conservancy earlier this year recognized ELACC for preserving the Boyle Hotel – Cummings Block building during its 32nd Annual Preservation Awards.

Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents Boyle Heights and supports the street vending pilot program, was honored at Thursday’s event.

Sen. Kevin De Leon pointed out that Huizar—who was born in Zacatecas, Mexico—is the first immigrant to be elected to the Los Angeles City Council and noted many of his accomplishments including being a graduate of an Ivy League school, Princeton University.

What better way is there to show that Boyle Heights is creating self-sustainability, Huizar asked, referring to all the “great food and culture” on display.

“Right now we have so much activism and so many people involved, that I think all of the city is saying something is happening in Boyle Heights. There is something going on there where people are creating a better community for themselves. One that is self-sustainable, one where neighbor supports neighbor and where we are respecting our history while allowing more people to live here by affordable means,” Huizar said, listing improvements in the neighborhood he represents in recent years.

Rudy Espinoza, the executive director of Leadership for Urban Renewal Now (LURN), a non-profit focused on the revitalization of low-income communities, was also honored by ELACC at the event. LURN was started by a group of friends about 6 years ago, and only formalized its status as a nonprofit organization about two years ago.

“It’s a community development idea lab that designs and implements innovations… it’s been an amazing journey,” Espinoza said.

LURN has been working to “help low-income entrepreneurs, some of which are here today” through ELACC’s campaign to legalize street vending, Espinoza explained.

Following the reception, Los Angeles-area Latin band Buyepongo performed a free public concert.

Funds raised during the event benefit ELACC programs.

Police Officer Accused of Having Sex With a Minor

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A 41-year-old police officer assigned to Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk is behind bars for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Mario Estrada befriended the girl early this year, “and this resulted in an inappropriate relationship and illegal physical contact between the suspect and victim,” Capt. Darren Arakawa of the South Gate Police Department alleged.

Estrada, who works for the California Department of State Hospitals, met the teen through “family and friends,” and she was not connected with his place of employment, Arakawa said.

Estrada, was taken into custody Tuesday and is due in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Thursday morning. The officer was being held in lieu of $15 million bail.

Investigators said it is possible there are other alleged underage victims and asked anyone with information about the case to contact Detective

Scott Guerrero at smguerrero@sogate.org or at (323) 563-5464.

Cal State Names University Presidents in L.A., Dominguez Hills

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Cal State Board of Trustees Wednesday named a Cal State Fresno administrator as the new president of Cal State Los Angeles and appointed the interim president at Cal State Dominguez Hills to the permanent position.

William A. Covino, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cal State Fresno, said he was honored by the appointment and looked forward to moving to Los Angeles.

“The university is uniquely positioned in a global center for the arts, technology and the economy and its boasts a student population as diverse as the city it serves,” he said.

Willie Hagan, the new Cal State Dominguez Hills president, had been in the interim post since June of 2012. He served as the interim president at Cal State Fullerton in 1996.

Auto Club to Lower Insurance Rates

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Starting July 1, Auto Club insurance customers will get a 4.1 percent rate reduction on policies, thanks to new discounts being introduced, state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said yesterday.

“With the economy still recovering, this significant decrease delivers savings to more than 1 million drivers in Southern California,” Jones said.

“The Auto club has again stepped up and put their policyholders’ interests first. They have a history of rate decreases and have set an example I hope other insurance companies will follow.”

New discounts include increased multi-policy discounts for homeowners, new group discounts for alumni association members, expanded discounts for medical professionals and certified public accountants, and student-away discounts for policyholders with children in school out of town and without a car, according to the Auto Club.

Auto Club President Robert Bouttier said the rate reduction was the fourth approved over the past nine years.

May 21 Election – Unofficial Results/Resultados Preliminares de las Elecciones del 21 de Mayo

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

City of Los Angeles /
Ciudad de Los Ángeles
Mayor / Alcalde
Eric Garcetti 53.92% (181,995)
Wendy J. Greuel 49.07% (155,497)

City Attorney / Abogado de la Ciudad
Mike Feuer 62.14% (195,913)
Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich 37.85 % (119,342)

City Controller /Controlador
Ron Galperin 56.20% (171,512)
Dennis P. Zine 43.79% (133,651)

City Council District 1 / Concejo Municipal Distrito 1:
Gilbert Cedillo 52.44% (8,543)

Jose Gardea 47.55% (7,747)

City Council District 13 / Concejo Municipal Distrito 13:
Mitch O’ Farrell 53.05% (11,556)

John J. Choi 46.84% (10,224)

City Ballot Measures / Medidas Electorales
Proposition C – Resolution to support Constitutional Amendment Regarding Limits of Political Campaign Spending and Rights of Corporations. / Propuesta C – Resolución en apoyo a la enmienda constitucional con relación a los límites de gastos para campañas políticas y derechos de las corporaciones.
No: 23.43% (72,070)
Yes / Sí: 76.56% (235,517)

Proposition D – Medical Marijuana Regulation and Number of businesses to approximately 135 that operated since September 2007 and Registered, if they meet other requirements and operational standards. Exempt dwellings of thee or fewer patients/caregivers cultivating medical marijuana for their patients or themselves from regulation. increase taxes on medical marijuana businesses. / Proposición D – Regulación e impuesto sobre la marihuana medicinal. Limitar el número de negocios a 135 aproximadamente que operaban desde Septiembre de 2007 y estén inscritos, siempre que cumplan otros requisitos y estándares operativos. Eximir de la regulación a las viviendas con tres o menos pacientes/cuidadores que cultiven marihuana medicinal para sus pacientes o para sí mismos. Aumentar los impuestos de los negocios de marihuana medicinal.
No: 37.42% (116,024)
Yes / Sí: 62.57% (193,969)

Initiative Ordinance E – Medical Marijuana regulation. Limit number of collectives where six or more patients/caregivers gather to those that operated since September 2007, registered and meet other requirements. Establish operational standards enforced as infractions. Exempt five or fewer patients/caregivers cultivating medical marijuana for collectives, their patients or themselves from regulation. / Ordenanza Por iniciativa E. Regulación de la marihuana medicinal. Limitar el número de colectivas que reúnan seis o más pacientes/cuidadores conservando las que operaban desde Septiembre de 2007, que estaban inscritas y que cumplan otros requisitos. Establecer estándares operativos ejecutados a través de infracciones. Eximir de la regulación a cinco o menos pacientes/cuidadores que cultiven marihuana para las colectivas, para sus pacientes o para sí mismos.
No: 65.44% (184,681)
Yes / Sí: 34.55% (97,499)

Initiative Ordinance F – Medical Marijuana regulation and taxation. Require collectives to register and meet other requirements and operational standards. No limitation on number that can register. Exempt dwellings zoned residential from regulation. Increase taxes on collectives. / Ordenanza por Iniciativa F – Regulación E Impuesto Sobre la Marihuana medicinal. Requiere que las colectivas se inscriban y cumplan otros requisitos y estándares operativos. No hay límite en el número que se puede inscribir. Las viviendas zonificadas como residenciales quedan exentas de la regulación. Aumento de impuestos para las colectivas.
No: 59.11% (169,629)
Yes / Sí: 40.88% (117,305)

Los Angeles Unified School District Offices / Puestos del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles
Member of the Board of Education District No. 6/ Miembro de la Junta Escolar Distrito Número 6:
Antonio Sanchez 51.87% (20,243)
Monica Ratliff 48.12% (18,779)

Los Angeles Community College District Board Of Trustees / Junta de Fideicomisarios del Distrito de Colegios Comunitarios de Los Ángeles
Seat 6 / Puesto 6:
David Vela 42.81% (137,470)
Nancy Pearlman 57.18% (183,578)

Eric Garcetti Gana la Elección para Alcalde de Los Ángeles

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

El concejal Eric Garcetti ganó la elección para alcalde de Los Ángeles, con el 54 por ciento de los votos según informó esta madrugada la oficina electoral de esa ciudad de California.

Según esa oficina, tras el escrutinio de todos los sufragios, Garcetti recibió 181.995 votos (53.92 %), y su rival Wendy Greuel recibió 155.497 votos (46%).

Eric Garcetti se dirige a sus seguidores en su fiesta de noche de las elecciones en el Palladium de Hollywood. (Foto de EGP por Nancy Martínez)

En un mensaje tuiter casi a las tres de la mañana Garcetti agradeció a los votantes. Garcetti, que ocupará el cargo el 1 de julio cuando termine el mandato de Antonio Villaraigosa, será el prime judío elegido para el ejecutivo municipal y, a los 42 años de edad, será también el más joven en más de un siglo.

“El trabajo duro comienza ahora y me siento honrado de estar al frente de esta ciudad por los próximos cuatro años”, escribió Garcetti. “Hagamos de ésta una gran ciudad, otra vez.”

El diario The Los Angeles Times indicó que Greuel llamó al triunfador para reconocer su victoria.

“Felicitaciones”, dijo Greuel, según el Times. “Hizo un gran trabajo y yo admitiré mi derrota, oficialmente, mañana, pero es aparente que los resultados están allí.”

La estación local de televisión de la cadena ABC en Los Ángeles, señaló que, a pesar de que los candidatos gastaron fondos sin precedentes en las campañas — un total de más de $30 millones— la participación ciudadana fue escasa con apenas el 25% de los votantes habilitados en la segunda ciudad más poblada de Estados Unidos.

Our Shelters from the Storm

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Property owners who resent the government for telling them to take steps to secure their buildings against a possible earthquake should take a close look at the devastation and loss of life caused by the massive tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma Monday.
That tragedy should serve as a lesson that there is reason to take steps to protecting one’s assets against a potentially as devastating earthquake.
Many older Americans can still recall that it was a common practice in places like Oklahoma and Kansas and across the region that has come to be known as Tornado Alley, for homes and businesses to have “storm cellars” where people could take refuge from the force of tornado strike. Anyone who has seen the movie the Wizard of Oz will likely remember the frantic effort of Dorothy’s family to escape the wrath of a tornado that ultimately swept Dorothy and her beloved dog Toto away.
It is not our intent to trivialize the recent event, but to call attention to the fact that in the interest of saving a few bucks now, we are at times willing to gut policies that will cost us more dearly down the line.
In this age of instant news, we have all become aware that extreme weather events, such as tornados, hurricanes, floods and windstorms seem to be more common and more devastating. It may be that the constant news cycle is just making us more aware, though we don’t think that’s all it is. Whatever the reason, these tragic events seem to have done little to increase our sense of urgency when it comes to being better prepared.
In California we daily face the possibility of a massive earthquake. No one can predict when or where it will strike, or how long it will last.
But we do know it is coming.
We must make sure that our schools and public buildings have been properly retrofitted for that eventuality.
So as we mourn and attempt to aid the people in Moore, Oklahoma, we should be making sure that we are as prepared as we can be for our next “Big One.”

The New Crime of Eating While Homeless

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Whenever one of our cities gets a star turn as host of some super-sparkly event, such as a national political gathering or the Super Bowl, its first move is to tidy up — by having the police sweep homeless people into jail, out of town, or under some rug.
But Houston’s tidy-uppers aren’t waiting for a world-class event to rationalize going after homeless down-and-outers. They’ve preemptively outlawed the “crime” of dumpster diving in the Texan city.
In March, James Kelly, a 44-year-old Navy veteran, was passing through Houston on his way to connect with family in California. Homeless, destitute, and hungry, he chose to check out the dining delicacies in a trash bin near City Hall. Spotted by police, Kelly was promptly charged with “disturbing the contents of a garbage can in the [central] business district.” Seriously.
“I was just basically looking for something to eat,” he told the Houston Chronicle. But, unbeknownst to both this indigent tourist and the great majority of Houston’s generally generous citizens, an ordinance dating way back to 1942 says that “molesting garbage containers” is illegal.
Also, in 2012, city officials made it a crime for any group to hand out food to the needy in the downtown area without first getting a permit. It’s a cold use of legal authority to chase the homeless away to…well, anywhere else.
Such laws are part of an effort throughout the country to criminalize what some call “homeless behavior.” And, sure enough, when hungry, the behavioral tendency of a homeless human is to seek a bite of nourishment, often in such dining spots as dumpsters. The homeless behavior that Houston has outlawed, then, is eating.
The good news is that when Houstonians learned of Kelly’s situation, many reached out to help him get through his hard times. Now they need to reach out to local politicos and get the city to stop cracking down on this abuse of homeless people.

OtherWords.org columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

La reforma migratoria pasa con éxito su primer test en el Senado

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

La reforma migratoria que prevé legalizar a unos 11 millones de indocumentados en EE.UU. pasó el martes con éxito su primer test en el Senado con la aprobación de un proyecto de ley en el Comité Judicial con un amplio consenso bipartidista.

Tras casi dos semanas de debate en ese comité, el proyecto de reforma migratoria aprobado con 13 votos a favor y 5 en contra “satisface el reto de arreglar nuestro sistema de inmigración roto,” resumió el presidente de EE.UU., Barack Obama, en un comunicado divulgado por la Casa Blanca.

El proyecto elaborado por el llamado “Grupo de los Ocho”, formado por senadores republicanos y demócratas, pasará ahora a ser debatido por el pleno del Senado, algo que comenzará previsiblemente en junio.

Obama felicitó al Comité Judicial del Senado y elogió el “liderazgo” de su presidente, el demócrata Patrick Leahy.

El voto de martes fue posible en parte precisamente porque Leahy rechazó en el último momento, ante la oposición de los republicanos, presentar una enmienda para permitir que ciudadanos estadounidenses patrocinen la residencia de sus parejas homosexuales.

“Ninguno de los miembros del comité consiguió todo lo que quería, ni yo tampoco, pero finalmente todos tenemos la obligación ante el pueblo estadounidense de lograr el mejor resultado posible al llegar a la meta,” reflexionó Obama.

El proceso en el comité “mejoró” el proyecto de ley “de muchas formas”, entre ellas “fortaleciendo las disposiciones sobre seguridad fronteriza,” destacó en un comunicado el senador republicano John McCain, miembro del “Grupo de los Ocho” y quien se declaró “cautelosamente optimista” sobre el éxito de la reforma.

A lo largo del debate de martes el comité derrotó tres enmiendas del senador republicano Ted Cruz, dos de las cuales intentaban negar la ciudadanía a quienes lograran la legalización y privarlos de ayudas públicas y acceso a la reforma sanitaria, y otra que hubiese incrementado las visas de residencia permanente.

Mientras, los senadores Charles Schumer, demócrata por Nueva York, y Orrin Hatch, republicano por Utah, lograron un acuerdo que modifica el programa de visas “H-1B” para extranjeros altamente cualificados en el sector tecnológico.

El acuerdo entre Schumer y Hatch facilitaría la contratación de extranjeros altamente cualificados en el sector tecnológico, agilizaría un aumento de hasta 180.000 en el número de visas “H-1B” e incluiría protecciones laborales para empleados estadounidenses.

Desde que comenzó el debate el comité ha logrado mantener prácticamente intactos los principales elementos del plan reformista, que prevé dedicar $3.000 millones a la seguridad fronteriza y sanciona a empresas que contraten sabiendo a personas “sin papeles”.

Este lunes se aprobó una enmienda del senador Hatch que exigirá la toma de huellas digitales de todo extranjero que salga de EE.UU. desde diez de los 30 aeropuertos más transitados del país.

Además, se aprobó otra del republicano Mike Lee que criminaliza el uso de documentos falsos en el programa federal “E-Verify”, que permite verificar el estatus migratorio de nuevos empleados.

Obama y su vicepresidente, Joe Biden, se reunieron el martes en el Despacho Oval con siete inmigrantes, entre ellos varios jóvenes indocumentados, a quienes pidieron que continúen con sus medidas de presión para que la reforma salga adelante.

Según Kica Matos, portavoz del Movimiento para una Reforma Migratoria Justa (FIRM, por su sigla en inglés), las familias de inmigrantes “se han convertido en una fuerza inquebrantable a tener en cuenta en Washington.”

“Seguiremos ahí durante el resto del proceso, hasta que el presidente Obama convierta en ley una reforma migratoria que mantenga unidas a las familias y allane el camino a la ciudadanía,” prometió Matos en un comunicado.

La Cámara de Representantes del Congreso, que tiene su propio “Grupo de los Ocho”, anunció la semana pasada un principio de acuerdo sobre la reforma y prevé presentarlo oficialmente la primera semana de junio.

Aunque no se han divulgado detalles, fuentes allegadas a los negociadores sugieren que esa versión será más estricta que la del Senado.

Community Calendar: May 23, 2013- May 29, 2013 Issue

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, Thur. May 23

5-7pm—Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM) Opening Reception for New Summer Shows: 2013 Juried Student Art Exhibition featuring works by ELAC students who have completed a course in studio art, architecture or photography within the last academic year in the Small Gallery; LA-based artist Ana Serrano’s ‘A Daydreamer’s Street in the Hoy Space. Serrano’s hand-made urbanscapes use simple materials like cardboard, glue & paint to create miniature neighborhoods that reference L.A.’s colorful, eclectic street scenes. Both exhibits run through July 26. Free admission. VPAM is at East LA College: 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, 91754. For more information, call (323) 265-8841, or go to vincentpriceartmuseum.org.

6pm—Be Tartuffed! Adaptation of 16th Century French Satiric Comedy at the Foshay Performing Arts Theater. Performed by Scholar-artists of the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) Theater Workshop and Foshay Learning Center. Tickets are $8 at the door. Foshay is located at 3751 S. Harvard Blvd., LA 90018. For more information, visit http://uscnai.wix.com/webs

Friday, May 24

Noon-4pm—Monthly 4th Saturday DIY Marketplace and Music Fair at La Tierra de la Culebra Art Park in Highland Park. Local artisans will show their artwork. Food, kids activities & music. La Culebra is located at 240 S. Ave 57, Highland Park, 90042. Contact Alex for information: alejo.11.am79@gmail.com or (323) 206 1209.

Saturday, May 25

9am-5pm—Endeavor to Achieve Homeownership Fair at the California Science Center. Includes workshops in English, Spanish & Korean on down payment assistance, credit repair, fraud prevention & more. Free admission to the fair and California Science Center: 700 Exposition ParkDr., LA 90037. Pre-registration encouraged, visit http://on.car.org/homefair.

9am-3pm—Too Toxic to Trash: Free Countywide Household Hazardous and E-Waste Roundup—. Residents can safely discard of household hazardous waste such as antifreeze, unused medications, car batteries, used motor oil, paint, pesticides; sharps waste such as hypodermic needles, pen needles, syringes, lancets, and intravenous needles; universal waste including household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, and electronic waste (e-waste) such as TVs and monitors, computers, VCRs, stereos and cell phones. Drop off site: 57th Street and Heliotrope Ave., Maywood Park. For more information, call LA County Dept. of Public Works at 1(888) CLEAN LA or go to www.888CleanLA.com or the Sanitation Districts of LA County at 1 (800) 238-0172 or www.lacsd.org.

10am-12 Noon—Ave 50 Studio’s Poetry for the People/Poesia Para La Gente in Cypress Park – A free one-time site-specific event to stimulate intercultural understanding and erase social stigmas, using poetry in English & Spanish with musical accompaniment. Location: Day-Labor Program at the Community Job Center at Home Depot, 2055 N. Figueroa St., LA. 90065. For more information, call (323) 258-1435.

3-5pm—Diavolo Dance Theater’s LA Familia: A Multi-Generational Family Dance Night at Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center in Lincoln Heights. All ages & ability levels welcome for the free event that explores dance, gymnastics, character gesture & more on special stages for this family-oriented dance & theatrical experience. Plaza de la Raza is located at 3540 Mission Rd., LA 90031. For more information, visit www.diavolo.org.


Free Small Business, Entrepreneur Conference on May 30 at USC Health Sciences Campus, from 7:30am to 12:30pm. Attend “Applying Strategic Planning to Help Grow Your Business” & learn about government & private resources. Topics: strategic marketing, business plan development, preparing a winning loan application & government contracting. Spanish translation will be available. USC Campus is located at 1969 Zonal Ave., LA 90033. For more information and to register, contact Vikki at (323) 264-9020 or via email at vikki@labsc-bpi.org.

Health Justice for Eastside Students Conversation May 30 at Esteban E. Torres High School, hosted by InnerCity Struggle. Learn about the impact school-based clinics and other Community School strategies have on students’ academic success. The event will take place from 9am – 12pm; school is located at 4211 Dozier St., LA 90063. Space is limited, to RSVP email Adrian Escobar at adrian@innercitystruggle.org or call (323) 780-7605 x128.

Classical Repertory Theatre Company A Noise Within Presents: Four Free One-Night Summer Play Readings, starting June 5 at 7pm with “The Heiress” by Ruth & Augustus Goetz, based on the 1880 Henry James novel Washington Square. A Noise Within Theatre is located at 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, 91107. Readings are free, but reservations are appreciated, call (626) 356-3121 or visit www.ANoiseWithin.org for additional dates & titles.

June 6th Town Hall Meeting on State Budget State Budget Hosted by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). Garcia will discuss status of state budget & potential impact on local families & businesses across the district. Bring questions on budget & other legislative issues. Meeting will be held from 7-8:30 pm at Bell Gardens City Hall, 7100 Garfield Ave. To RSVP or for more information, call the Assembly office at (562) 402-4893.
Arroyo Arts Collective’s “Birds of a Feather” Art Exhibit Opening Reception June 8 at the Audubon Center at Debs Park. Exhibit features five women artists concerned with the birds found in Northeast LA community working in a variety of media. Exhibit runs through Aug. 31, Tues-Saturdays 9am-5pm. Free admission. The Audubon is located at 4700 N. Griffin Ave., Highland Park, LA. For more information, go to arroyoartscollective.org.


The Bell Gardens Recreation Department is now accepting online applications for the 2013 Miss Bell Gardens Pageant. Young women who are residents of Bell Gardens and between the ages of 16-22 are encouraged to apply. The deadline to submit an application is 5pm, May 31. Visit www.bgrecreation.org/missbg to apply or for more information, contact the recreation department at (562) 806-7650.

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