Eagle Rock Duplex Fire

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

 It took 50 minutes for firefighters to extinguish a blaze in the common crawlspace of a residential duplex in Eagle Rock Tuesday, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire at 1312 Yosemite Dr. was reported at 2:46 p.m., according to Humphrey.

Thirty-four firefighters were involved in the effort to extinguish the blaze, according to Humphrey, who said no injuries were reported.

Shooting Death In Bell Gardens Under Investigation

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

An investigation is underway in the shooting death of a boy in Bell Gardens last week

The shooting occurred in the 5600 block of Gotham Street around 5 p.m. Nov 13, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Pena said.

The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Pena said.

The killing is being jointly investigated by sheriff’s homicide detectives and the Bell Gardens Police Department, Pena said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous information can be provided by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA and information to CRIMES (274637).

Motorcyclist Killed In 710 Crash With Big Rig

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

 Authorities Monday identified a motorcyclist who was killed in a crash involving a big rig on the northbound Long Beach (710) Freeway in Commerce. 

Daniel Zarate-Alvirde, 30, of Lynwood died at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 12:40 p.m. Monday near Washington Boulevard, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

According to the preliminary investigation, the motorcycle and the big rig were northbound when, for unknown reasons, the motorcyclist lost control and became lodged under the big rig, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The big rig driver, a 48-year-old Paramount man, pulled over to the right shoulder of the freeway and called emergency personnel, the CHP reported.

The Washington Boulevard onramp and the number four and five lanes of the northbound freeway at Washington Boulevard were closed for a couple hours while an investigation was conducted, the CHP reported.

 

Commerce Library Moving to Temp Location

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The City of Commerce Central Library will move to a temporary location while the library undergoes renovations. The library will close Nov. 28 and reopen Dec. 16 at its temporary location in the West City Hall/Library Parking Lot, according to the city’s website.

Library patrons who have materials due before Dec. 15 can hold on to them and return on Dec. 16 without penalty, according to the city. Commerce’s other three library branches will be open and operational during this time. Visit www.cocpl.org for more information, branch library locations, and updates.

Boyle Heights Students Sponsor ‘Green Friday’ Market

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last Friday, for one day only, the CALÓ YouthBuild Boyle Heights High School parking lot was transformed into a shopping center, sectioned off into departments for children’s wear, toys, books and various other booths, including some that provided information on how to live a “healthier, culturally relevant lifestyle.”

It was YouthBuild’s 2nd annual “Green Friday: A Truly Free Market,” a student led, community event which they call an “alternative to the consumerism and materialism celebrated on Black Friday.”

Children at “Green Friday” convert recycled tiles into original paintings. (EGP photo by Jacquieline Garcia)

Children at “Green Friday” convert recycled tiles into original paintings. (EGP photo by Jacquieline Garcia)

According to materials promoting the event, students collected slightly used toys, clothing, electronics, home furnishings, tools and appliances for the one-day public marketplace. They cleaned and refurbished the items using non-toxic and green cleaning products, and made them available at no cost to the community.

Not the typical school, YouthBuild’s students range in age from 16 to 24. For many of the students, YouthBuild is a second chance for the young men and women who for one reason or another could not complete their high school education in a traditional high school setting.

“Our students have a lot of challenges…but it is ultimately those challenges and experiences that will make them some of the best possible leaders that can step up and address important issues in our community,” said Social Studies teacher Canek Peña-Vargas.

“Green Friday” was created to address an important issue during the holidays: spending.

“With the way the economy is, not a lot of people have money to spend,” said 19-year-old Amber Duron. “[People] don’t have to spend any money, only a little bit of their time, so they can get the information we have been researching [in our classes] and then they get stuff, one hundred percent free,” she added.

Robert Zardeneta, YouthBuild’s executive director, said students were inspired to create the event by their Economics and Government courses that examine the lifecycle of material goods and the effects of excessive consumerism. Instead of an exam testing what they had learned, students were given the opportunity to put their knowledge to work and they created projects such as “Green Friday” to promote sustainability efforts and support changes in their community, Zardeneta said.

“There’s some really talented young folks and they really care for their neighborhood, and the best way to help them make a change is to put them in positions where they can see this change and feel good about it,” Zardeneta said.

Every booth in the commercial free marketplace was stocked with information the students had researched during their courses, such as healthy eating, HIV awareness, getting into and paying for college.

The event also included free food, a fitness center and children’s activities.

“We give people knowledge, information and tools to better themselves, and at the same time we give them something free that was donated to us,” said Omar Encinas, 24. “It’s very interesting: We exchange products for information.”

Zardeneta said the school, with 124 students, hopes to create more events such as this one, to both bring the community together and to inspire students. He said students at YouthBuild receive a culturally relevant education based on the themes of social justice, community development, environmental studies and projects for the community, Zardeneta said.

“Everything they are learning in school they are putting it in this platform [to give] back to the community.”

Nickelodeon Premia A Jóven Del Este de Los Ángeles por su Labor Altruista

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Rocio y su familia en la ceremonia de premios 2013 TeenNick HALO.

Rocio y su familia en la ceremonia de premios 2013 TeenNick HALO.

Rocio Ortega de 19 años y nativa del Este de Los Ángeles recibió el premio TeenNick HALO 2013 por su trabajo con GlobalGirl Media y Girl Up y un cheque de $10,000 para su organización para continuar su trabajo al abogar por la educación de las jóvenes.

“Significa mucho el que yo pueda recalcar el potencial que los jóvenes en el Este de Los Ángeles tienen” dijo Ortega, “Mis padres son de Puebla, México y vinieron a este país para darnos mejor vida a mis hermanos y a mi.”

Los premios TeenNick HALO son parte del compromiso que por 34 años Nickelodeon ha tenido para inspirar y motivar a los niños a que hagan una diferencia en sus comunidades.

 

Man Charged in Kidnap, Molestation of Boyle Heights Child

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A 55-year-old Los Angeles man was charged Tuesday with kidnapping a 3-year-old girl from a Boyle Heights party on Saturday and sexually molesting her, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Edward Lopez was charged with one count each of oral copulation of a child under 10, kidnapping to commit a lewd act on a child and lewd act on a child.

The child was kidnapped from the front yard of a home in the 3200 block of Malabar Street at about 11 p.m. Saturday, said Lt. Carlos Solano of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Station.

At about 2 a.m., “we located the person who had taken the girl,” Solano said. He was still in the area of the 3200 block of Malabar. The girl was recovered and transported to a hospital for evaluation, he said.

According to the district attorney, the suspect was nude when he was found with the little girl in a locked shed nearby.

Officers at the scene called for reinforcements for “crowd control,” Solano said. When residents found he was back there, they became a little rowdy.”

The man’s relationship with the girl, if any, was not known, authorities said in the immediate aftermath.

KTLA 5, however, reported Monday that family members said the suspect is a local property maintenance worker. The man and a friend asked to join the party before the little girl’s disappearance, and both appeared intoxicated, according to KTLA 5.

When the girl was found to be missing, a frantic search ensued, and police were called to the scene.

Officers searched the home and the surrounding area, witnesses said.

The alleged kidnapper, who lives in the area, had visible injuries when he was arrested, according to neighbors. Police said the man’s injuries were incurred when he resisted arrest.

On Tuesday, the district attorney’s office said it would ask that Lopez’ bail be set at $1 million.

The mother of the toddler noticed she was missing from a party about 11 p.m. If convicted, Lopez faces up to life in prison.

Feds Fund Nuclear Detection ‘Halo’ for L.A. Region

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

An $11.4 million federal grant will be used to set up a system to detect nuclear and radiological threats around the greater Los Angeles region, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday.

The Department of Homeland Security’s “Securing the Cities” grant will fund the purchase of nuclear and radiological detection equipment and set-up of an analysis lab and command center based out of the Los Angeles Emergency Center, Garcetti said.

The goal is to set up a nuclear detection “ring” or “halo” around the Los Angeles region to monitor potential threats and develop a response protocol.

“By creating a detection halo around our region, we’ll get an early warning of threats which will accelerate response times and could help stop an attack before it begins,” Garcetti said.

Agencies collaborating on the detection system include Garcetti’s office; the Los Angeles Fire and Police departments, as well as the Airport and Harbor police; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s, Fire and Public Health departments; Long Beach police; Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and California Highway Patrol.

The grant was awarded to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Urban Areas Security Initiative Approval Authority, which includes top officials from most of the agencies working on the effort.

“The Securing the Cities program will allow us to better support and unite efforts already underway, increasing cooperation and coordination across federal, state, and local agencies,” said Dr. Huban Gowadia, director of the Homeland Security Department’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.

The Los Angeles area has the opportunity to obtain as much as $30 million in federal funding for detection efforts over the next half decade.

East L.A. Teen Wins 2013 Nick HALO Award

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Rocio and her family at the 2013 Teen Nick HALO awards ceremony(Photo courtesy of Rocio Ortega)

Rocio and her family at the 2013 Teen Nick HALO awards ceremony(Photo courtesy of Rocio Ortega)

East LA-Native Rocio Ortega, 19, has received the 2013 Teen -Nick HALO award and a $10,000 check for her organization to continue her work with GlobalGirl Media and Girl Up as an advocate of education for young women.

“The most rewarding experience about receiving this award was being able to represent the community where I was born and raised,” she said, “It means everything to me being able to highlight the potential that East LA youth have and the leadership skills [we] can contribute to this world.”

TeenNick HALO Awards are part of Nickelodeon’s 34-year, ongoing commitment to inspire and encourage kids to take action and make a difference in their communities.

Commerce Propone a Montebello Intercambiar Fondos de Prop. A

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Las ciudades de Commerce y Montebello han llegado a un acuerdo donde dicen que cada municipalidad tendrá un gane redondo para sus residentes.

Como parte del trato, la ciudad de Commerce le pagará a Montebello $750.000 por $1 millón en Propocision A, la cual provee fondos para el transporte. El dinero pagado a Montebello irá a los fondos generales de la ciudad, pero a diferencia de los fondos de la Prop. A, estos pueden ser utilizados en cualquier servicio para la ciudad o en gastos aprobados por el concejo.

Transporte en la ciudad de Commerce. Cortesía de la ciudad de Commerce

Transporte en la ciudad de Commerce. Cortesía de la ciudad de Commerce

El intercambio de acciones, de acuerdo a Jorge Rifa, administrador de la ciudad de Commerce, fue propuesto por Commerce como una manera de obtener más ingresos por parte del transporte en la ciudad. Los fondos de la Prop. A son administrados por la Autoridad de Transportación Metropolitana de Los Ángeles (Metro) y pueden ser utilizados solamente para proyectos relacionados al transporte publico o al intercambio de Prop. A entre ciudades.

“La clave para [Montebello] es que ellos tienen una necesidad más grande para fondos generales que para propósitos específicos”, dijo Rifa a EGP.

Es un movimiento financiero que Commerce ha usado por los últimos 20 años, dijo Vilko Dominic, director de finanzas de Commerce. La meta es traer mas dinero para necesidades de transporte, explicó.

Mientras Commerce planea usar los fondos de Prop. A para proveer carreteras arregladas, servicio de transporte medico y transporte para llegar a las áreas recreativas para los residentes, oficiales de Montebello dicen que utilizarán esta nuevo ingreso “estrictamente” para arreglar las calles y podar árboles.

Esas son las áreas de las cuales los residentes se han quejado en el pasado y ahora podremos abordar con este cambio, dijo el concejal Jack Hadjinian en la reunión del concejo el 13 de noviembre cuando el acuerdo fue aprobado.

“Este suele ser el común denominador para cada residente”, dijo. “O es un árbol que ha crecido de más o un hoyo enfrente de sus casas”.

Rifa le dijo a EGP que este tipo de acuerdos han prevenido que la ciudad tome fondos de otros departamentos para pagar costos relacionados con el transporte y no podía entender porque alguien lo consideraría “un argumento”. El concejo de la ciudad de Commerce aprobó por unanimidad el acuerdo el martes, sin discusión alguna.

“Cuando hacemos un intercambio de Prop. A, básicamente obtenemos 125 por ciento de dinero en Prop. A”, dijo Rifa. “Usamos 75 centavos del dólar para los fondos generales para comprar 100 por ciento de Prop. A”.

Pero esos números no le agradaron a la alcaldesa de Montebello, Cristina Cortez, quien el pasado 13 de noviembre durante la reunión del concejo le preguntó a la administradora de la ciudad de Montebello, Francesca Tucker-Schuyler, por que la ciudad estaba “renunciando” a $250.000.

“Lo podemos ver de esa forma o lo podemos ver como una ganancia de $750.000 en fondos generales”, dijo Tucker-Schuyler, quien especificó que en promedio el cambio en la tasa del mercado sería 65 por dólar.

Insatisfecha con la respuesta, Cortez le preguntó a la administradora de la ciudad porqué no solo tomar los $750.000 de los $7 millones de reserva del fondo general, a lo que Tucker-Schuyler dijo que Montebello necesita “mantener el balance de reserva” porque la ciudad tiene obligaciones constantes, incluyendo una demanda no resuelta.

Aun, no satisfecha, Cortez continuó preguntado acerca del asunto.

“No estoy segura si estoy dispuesta a dar $250.000 cuando tenemos reservas y podemos ver otras opciones. No estamos en el negocio para darle a otra ciudad $250.000 extra solo porque creemos que necesitamos el dinero [en efectivo] en este momento”, dijo Cortez

A lo que el concejal Hadjinian, visiblemente irritado por el cuestionario de la alcaldesa intercedió, “Usted debió hacer su tarea. Debió haber preguntado todo esto antes de la reunión”.

Hadjinian continuó mostrando desagrado ante Cortez por no acordar con la propuesta y por cuestionar las razones detrás del acuerdo frente a residentes en la reunión del concejo.

“Esto permitirá que nuestras ciudades puedan pavimentar las calles y podar los árboles, si no esta de acuerdo con eso entonces usted no esta escuchando las necesidades de la comunidad”, dijo.

Poco antes de la reunión el director de trabajos públicos, Danilo Batson dijo al concejo que desde julio, la ciudad y su contratista han podado 436 árboles y removido 55 árboles que tienen problemas de raíces u otros.

Dijo que agregar un nuevo vehiculo y personal “ayudará mucho” al lidiar con el mantenimiento diferido de árboles y los problemas de pavimentación en las calles. Estimó que costaría alrededor de $180.000 al año agregar dos trabajadores a su personal.

“$750.000 va a ser demasiado” dijo el alcalde a cargo, William M. Molinari antes que el acuerdo fuera aprobado.

Claramente sobrepasando la cantidad, Cortez una vez más dijo que ella no entendía porque la ciudad aprobaría una perdida, pero Hadjinian la interrumpió.

“Si no entiende el problema no hable”, dijo. “Usted esta poniendo dudas en la mente de la comunidad”.

Decidida, Cortez le preguntó a Tucker-Schuyler explique como se llegó al acuerdo del intercambio de fondos con Commerce y como es que ella sabía en primer lugar si la ciudad estaría interesada, y yendo mas lejos le preguntó si la administradora de la ciudad había trabajado anteriormente para Commerce.

Tucker-Schuyler dijo que el acuerdo propuesto fue mandado a varias ciudades y con la historia de restricción que Montebello tiene con los fondos generales, ella pensó que la ciudad se beneficiaría con el acuerdo. También destacó que había trabajado anteriormente como asistente del director de finanzas en la ciudad de Commerce.

El acuerdo fue aprobado, 4-1 con el único voto en contra por parte de Cortez.

El miércoles Cortez le dijo a EGP que ella hace preguntas durante las reuniones del concejo aunque sepa las respuestas, a manera de que el personal responda públicamente a esas posibles preguntas que los residentes podrían tener.

“No es que no entienda la información”, dijo. “Hago preguntas por parte del publico”.

Cortez dijo que le preocupa que el dinero del acuerdo que es para el fondo general no vaya a ser usado estrictamente para podar árboles y reparar de las calles.

“Cuando el dinero se pone [en el fondo general] siempre de repente hay alguna razón para ser necesario [en otras cosas]”, le dijo a EGP. “Si dejamos el dinero en los fondos de Prop. A, hay que asegurarse que ese dinero es utilizado para transporte”.

“¿Por que vender nuestra Prop. A a una ciudad que tiene suficiente dinero para sus propios proyectos?”, le dijo a EGP. “Ellos no están contando sus centavos como nosotros”.

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