Montebello, Commerce Approve Asset Swap

November 21, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

The cities of Commerce and Montebello have entered into an agreement that each municipality is calling a win-win situation for its residents.

As part of the deal, Commerce will pay Montebello $750,000 for $1 million in Proposition A transportation funds. The money paid to Montebello will go to the city’s General Fund, but unlike the Prop A funds, can be used on any city service or expenditure approved by the council.

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Both Montebello and the city of Commerce say the fund transfer agreement will help pay for services in their city.  (City of Commerce)

Both Montebello and the city of Commerce say the fund transfer agreement will help pay for services in their city. (City of Commerce)

The fund exchange, according to Commerce City Administrator Jorge Rifa, was proposed by Commerce as a way to obtain more revenue for the city’s transportation operations. Prop A funds are administered by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and may only be used for transit-related projects or a Prop A exchange between cities.

“The key for [Montebello] is that they have a stronger need for General Fund money than they do for special purpose money,” Rifa told EGP.

It’s a financial move Commerce has used for the last 20 years, said Commerce Director of Finance Vilko Domic. The goal is to bring in more money for transportation needs, he explained.

While Commerce plans to use the Prop A funds to continue to provide fixed routes, medi-ride and recreation transit services to residents, Montebello officials say they will use their new revenue “strictly” for street repairs and tree trimming.

Those are areas that residents have complained about in the past that we will now be able to address with this exchange, said Councilmember Jack Hadjinian at the Nov. 13 council meeting where the agreement was approved.

“This happens to be the common denominator among every resident,” he said. “It’s either an overgrown tree or a pothole in front of their house.”

Rifa told EGP these types of agreements have helped the city avoid taking funds from other departments to pay for transportation related costs, and he couldn’t understand why anyone would even consider it “a story.” The Commerce City Council unanimously approved the agreement Tuesday, without discussion.

“When we do a Prop A exchange we basically get 125% in Prop A money,” Rifa said. “We use 75 cents on the dollar of the General Fund to purchase 100 percent of Prop A.”

But those numbers did not sit well with Montebello Mayor Christina Cortez, who at the Nov. 13 public council meeting asked Montebello’s City Administrator Francesca Tucker-Schuyler to explain why the city was “giving up” $250,000.

“We can look at it that way or we can look at it as gaining $750,000 in General Funds,” responded Tucker-Schuyler, who stated that on average the market rates for such exchanges are 65 cents on the dollar.

Seemingly not satisfied with the answer, Cortez asked the city administrator why not just take the $750,000 from the $7 million in reserves in the General Fund, to which Tucker-Schuyler said Montebello needs to “preserve the reserve balance” because the city has ongoing obligations, including unresolved litigation.

Still unsatisfied, Cortez continued to push the issue.

“I’m not sure if I’m willing to give up $250,000 especially when we have reserves and can look at other options. We’re not in the business here to give another city an extra $250,000 because we think we need it [cash] at this moment,” Cortez said.

To which Councilman Hadjinian, visibly irritated by the mayor’s line of questioning, interjected, “You should have done your homework. You should have asked your questions before the meeting.”

He continued to express disapproval of Cortez for not agreeing with the proposal, and for questioning the reasoning behind the agreement in front of residents at the council meeting.

“This is going to afford our cities to pave our streets and trim our trees, if you’re not OK with that then you’re not listening to the community’s needs,” he said.

Earlier in the meeting, Public Works Director Danilo Batson told the council that since July, the city and its contractor had trimmed 436 trees and removed 55 trees with root problems or other issues.

He said adding a new vehicle and staff “would help a lot” in dealing with the city’s deferred tree maintenance. He estimated it would cost $180,000 a year to add two people to the tree trimming staff.

“$750,000 is going to go a long way,” said Mayor Pro Tem William M. Molinari before the agreement was approved.

Clearly outnumbered, Cortez again voiced that she didn’t understand why the city would want to approve a loss, before Hadjinian snapped at her.

“If you don’t understand the matter don’t talk about it,” he said. “You’re putting doubt in the community’s minds.”

Undeterred, Cortez asked Tucker-Schuyler to explain how the fund exchange with Commerce had come about and why she thought the city would be interested in the first place, going so far as to ask if the city administrator had previously worked for Commerce.

Tucker-Schuyler said the proposed agreement was sent out to several cities and with Montebello’s history of General Fund constraints, she thought the city would benefit from the agreement. She also noted that she had previously worked for Commerce as the city’s assistant director of finance.

The agreement was approved 4-1 with Cortez casting the lone dissenting vote.

On Wednesday Cortez told EGP that she asks questions during council meetings, even though she may know the answers, as a way for staff to publicly answer questions that residents may have.

“Its not that I don’t understand the information,” she said. “I ask questions for the public.”

Cortez said she is worried the money from the agreement which is expected to go to the General Fund may not strictly be used for tree trimming and street repairs.

“When money gets put in, all of a sudden there is a reason that money is needed [for something else],” she told EGP. “If we leave the money in the Prop A fund, it would ensure that money is used for transportation.”

“Why sell our Prop A to a city that has more than enough money for their own projects,” she told EGP. “They’re not counting their nickels and dimes like we are.”

Teen Suicide: The Military Connection

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Teenagers with family members in the military were more likely to contemplate suicide if their relatives were deployed overseas multiple times, USC researchers found in a study published Monday.

After analyzing survey data from 14,299 secondary school students in California — including more than 1,900 with parents or siblings in the military — the researchers found a link between a family member’s deployment history and a variety of mental health problems, including thoughts about suicide.

Their study, published online by the Journal of Adolescent Health, joins a growing body of evidence that the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have taken a hefty toll on children in military


“Given the link between separation and emotional health, it is not surprising that adolescents experiencing deployments were more likely to report feeling sad or hopeless, depressive symptoms, and increased suicide ideation and that more deployments further exacerbated these experiences,” said Julie A. Cederbaum, the lead author of the study and one of a team of researchers from the USC School of Social Work.

USC researchers piggybacked on a statewide health survey of public school students in 2011 and added questions for seventh-, ninth- and 11th-graders in four Southern California school districts — all near military bases — about the military status and deployment histories of their parents and siblings. Unlike most studies on the mental health of military-connected children, this one is drawn from a nonclinical sample of students in public schools, according to the announcement of the study findings.

Researches compared military-connected youth with nonmilitary-connected youth attending the same classrooms and schools, and living in the same communities. The study found that girls were more likely to report “poor well-being.”

Researchers suggested it could be that adolescent girls may take on more responsibility at home when one parent is deployed.

They further theorized that young teens might feel worse than their younger siblings because they have a better understanding of the consequences of war. While they support their deployed parent, they could also “perceive deployment as a burden on them and on the non-deployed parent,” the authors write.

They suggested that when aware of a student’s family’s deployed status —public schools, mental health providers and physicians should systematically screen adolescents for depression and suicide ideation.

“Providers can be trained to identify warning signs that an adolescent may be experiencing problems and should be supported with referrals to evidence-based interventions that can reduce the long-term consequences of deployment-related stressors,” the authors write.

“Increasing capacity of support personnel in medical and school settings can help identify the mental health risks and needs of adolescents with military-connected parents and siblings,” Cederbaum said.

Monterey Park Opens New Transit Center Near ELAC

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Bus riders from Montebello, East Los Angeles and Monterey Park will now be able to get on their bus at a new transit center just opened near East Los Angeles College.

With 7 bus bays, the transit center, adjacent to the community college on Collegian Avenue, is the first and only of its kind in the area.

In addition to MTA 68, Montebello Bus Line 10, Monterey Park’s Spirit Bus 2 and 5, a shuttle between ELAC and Cal State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) will also stop at the transit center.

“Transportation is key to all of us and this transit center is one more link that connects us together,” said Monterey Park Mayor Teresa Real Sebastian.

In the works since 2005, construction on the center did not begin until early 2012.

Amy Ho, a management analyst with Monterey Park’s public works department, told EGP the project was in the planning stage for “quite a while,” but delayed because the city had to coordinate with ELAC’s construction schedule.

The u-shaped center will offer a drop off/pick up area as well as a place for buses from the four transit agencies to layover. Parking will also be available to passengers in the adjacent parking structure.

The center project cost approximately $1.5 million to build, with funds coming from a federal grant and 20 percent in contributions from Monterey Park and ELAC; Metro contributed $107,000 and Montebello Bus Lines contributed $100,000.

Officials from Monterey Park, ELAC and the various transportation agencies held a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday commemorating the official opening.

The center will be managed and maintained by Monterey Park. Plans for the second phase of the project call for the addition of an information kiosk and restrooms for transit operators.

Estudiantes de Boyle Heights patrocinan el “Viernes Verde”

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

El viernes pasado, por solo un día, el estacionamiento de la preparatoria CALÓ YouthBuild Boyle Heights se convirtió en un centro de compras dividido en secciones de niños, juguetes, libros y otros kioscos que proveían información sobre como llevar una vida “saludable y culturalmente interesante”.

Se trata del segundo festival anual de la escuela YouthBuild “Viernes Verde; un centro de compras completamente gratis”, un evento organizado por estudiantes para la comunidad, el cual consideran es “una alternativa al consumo y materialismo que se propaga en el famoso ‘Viernes Negro’”.

La comunidad de Boyle Heights compraron “gratis” durante el “Viernes Verde”.

La comunidad de Boyle Heights compraron “gratis” durante el “Viernes Verde”.

De acuerdo a información del evento, los estudiantes recolectaron artículos usados en buena calidad como juguetes, ropa, electrónicos, muebles, herramientas y electrodomésticos. Después los limpiaron y renovaron usando productos no dañinos para el ambiente y los pusieron a la venta “gratis” a la comunidad.

YouthBuild no es una preparatoria típica, pues sus estudiantes tienen entre 16 a 24 años de edad. Para muchos de estos estudiantes, YouthBuild es una segunda oportunidad para jóvenes quienes por diferentes razones no pudieron continuar la preparatoria en un sistema tradicional.

“Nuestros estudiantes tienen muchos retos…pero al final son esos retos y sus experiencias que los convertirán posiblemente en los mejores lideres que puedan dar un paso al frente y remarcar los problemas importantes en nuestra comunidad”, dijo Canek Peña-Vargas, maestro de estudios sociales.

El “Viernes Verde” fue creado para resaltar un problema importante durante los días festivos; los gastos. “De la forma que está la economía, no mucha gente tiene dinero para gastar”, dijo Amber Duron, estudiante de 19 años.  “[La Gente] no tiene que gastar dinero aquí, solo un poco de su tiempo para que puedan obtener la información que hemos investigado [en nuestras clases] y después ellos se llevan cosas, cien por ciento gratis”, agregó.

Robert Zardeneta, director ejecutivo dijo que los estudiantes se inspiraron para crear este evento mientras tomaban sus cursos de economía y gobierno puesto que estas clases examinan el ciclo de la vida material y los efectos del consumo excesivo.

En lugar de hacer un examen en clase, los estudiantes tuvieron la oportunidad de poner a prueba su sabiduría y crearon el proyecto “Viernes Verde” para promover los esfuerzos de la ecología y apoyar cambios positivos en la comunidad, dijo Zardeneta.

“Hay jóvenes muy talentosos aquí que de verdad les importa su vecindario, y la mejor forma de ayudarlos a cambiarlo es ponerlos en posiciones donde puedan ver este cambio y sentirse bien de ello”, dijo Zardeneta.

Cada kiosco en el centro comercial gratis proveía información que los estudiantes habían recolectado en sus clases. Por ejemplo, el comer saludablemente, información sobre VIH y como poder pagar estudios superiores”.

El evento también incluyó comida gratis, un centro de ejercicio y actividades para los niños.

“Nosotros le damos conocimiento  a la gente, les proveemos con información y herramientas para que puedan mejorar sus vidas y al mismo tiempo les ofrecemos cosas gratis que nos fueron donadas”, dijo Omar Encinas de 24 años. “Es muy interesante; cambiamos productos por información”.

Zardeneta dijo que la escuela, con 124 estudiantes, espera poder crear más eventos como este para tener una mejor comunidad y al mismo tiempo inspirar a los estudiantes. Agregó que los estudiantes de YouthBuild reciben una educación culturalmente relevante basada en temas como justicia social, desarrollo comunitario, estudios ambientales y proyectos para la comunidad.

“Todo lo que ellos aprenden en la escuela lo están poniendo en esta plataforma para [ofrecer algo bueno] a la comunidad” finalizó.

Pregnant Women, Infants Urged to Get Flu Vaccine

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The flu season poses a higher risk to women who are pregnant and infants than other groups, according to health care professionals.

They are urging all pregnant women and parents of newborns to get a flu shot as soon as possible, and also recommend that anyone who spends time near newborns, such as family members and caregivers, do the same.

“The flu can strike anyone, anytime, but pregnant women and infants are especially at risk from the flu and its complications. And flu season is a dangerous time,” according to a press release from South Los Angeles Health Projects (SLAHP), which operates 11 WIC centers.

Information about the flu is available at all WIC centers, according to SLAHP, which also noted that free flu shots are available at Los Angeles County-run flu clinics.

“We encourage all pregnant women, parents and grandparents who think they or their children might be eligible for WIC to call us,” Heidi Kent, executive director of South LA Health Projects, said.

“Some people are afraid of shots or don’t believe they will work. But immunization is safe, and shots do work,” said Lizz Romo, SLAHP’s senior immunization project coordinator.

According to Dr. Aguilar, president and CEO of UMMA Community Clinic, it’s important for pregnant women to be immunized because of the changes to their immune system, hearts and lungs, which put them at a greater risk of complications. “For example, her flu could lead to pneumonia and possibly acute respiratory distress syndrome, requiring hospitalization, or to dehydration, which can be very dangerous. Both pneumonia and dehydration can lead to death,” Aguilar said in the press release.

There’s also danger to her unborn infant. “If she has a serious case of the flu, her unborn infant could experience what we call ‘fetal distress’,” Dr. Aguilar said. This infant would more than likely be born prematurely and be underweight, compared to an infant born to a healthy mother.”

There is no flu vaccine available for infants younger than six-months old. A newborn’s immune system is not very strong, so catching the flu can be very dangerous. “The infant could suffer complications such as severe respiratory illness, dehydration or febrile seizures, making hospitalization necessary,” Dr. Aguilar said. He recommends that all infants 6 months and older, children and adults be immunized.

He noted that people who have been exposed to the flu but are not aware of it could still spread the flu to be people who are at greater risk, including seniors, infants and women who are pregnant.

The flu-related death of a Los Angeles woman has already been reported for the 2013-2014 flu season.

During the holiday season, people are more likely to be around large numbers of people, such as shopping malls, parties and church services, being immunized will protect them.

Flu shots can be obtained at a doctor’s office, medical clinic, pharmacies and flu clinics. Free flu shots are still available at a few county-run flu clinics, phone 211 for dates and locations.


Giving Thanks, Salazar Park Seniors Do the Giving

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Friends of Salazar Park started 27 years ago, it only had 10 members.

But they were dedicated, and very determined to improve services offered at the park in unincorporated East Los Angeles, including for residents over the age of 60 who they felt needed more than just a lunch program and games of loteria.

Friends of Salazar Park

Friends of Salazar Park

So they reached out to Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation staff, Director Manuel Escobar and Anthony Montanez, to come up with a plan to expand program for seniors.

Today, the senior center at Ruben Salazar Park is one of, if not the busiest, in the region. There are several clubs that cater to different interests, and as many as 500 people daily take part in one or more of the activities that take place at the center.

For many of the seniors, the senior center is like a second home, where they meet up with friends for fun and laughter, and to console those that experience a loss.

“We keep an eye out for one another,” Chris Mojica, 83, a center volunteer and organizer of many of the center’s activities told EGP. There is a spirit of community, and it goes beyond the center’s doors.

This Saturday, Nov. 23rd, as they have for many years running, the volunteers at Salazar Park will again hold a Thanksgiving dinner for 1,200 people, most of them very low-income, needy or even homeless, Mojica told EGP, a long time sponsor of the group’s activities.

He wanted to give special thanks to Supervisor Gloria Molina, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Sen. Ron Calderon for the longtime support, as well as Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who has joined their efforts this year. Other long time supporters include Rudy’s Baja Grill, Latino American Mortuary and Los Caballeros, he noted.

“But we are getting old, we’ve lost many people over the years,” noted Mojica.

The Friends group recently posed for a group picture to make sure that people who have dedicated so much time to the center, are not forgotten.

To that end, they commissioned a plaque to be installed at the center with many of the names of the people who spent years creating programs, fundraising, teaching, and at times, pushing park and county officials to do more.

“Every time you turn around someone has died, or no longer has the strength to come to the center. The county is not going to remember them, even though they were active there for years, so we will,” he said.

In a letter addressed to the public, Mojica noted that their efforts supported the addition of computer classes, arts and craft activities, expanded lunch program, and a variety of exercise classes for seniors, youth and children of different ability levels and preferences. You can Zumba or do sep aerobics or yoga, whichever you prefer, his letter explains. And the center’s instructors are certified, he adds.

The center offers classes in citizenship, English as a Second Language, and computer literacy.

“The sad part is we are getting older, some have passed. Today we have over 40 hard working members who donate time at our center; 11 of them are over 80 years old: Gaby Salazar, Daniel Ponce, Carlos and Angelina Rodriguez, Martha Fuentes, Natie Colores, Maria Garcia, Carmelita Ramirez, Frank Villa-Gomez, Alicia Gallardo, and Mojica.

This weekend they will all be out there cooking and serving the food, giving from their heart to our community, as they have done year after year.

November 21, 2013 Issue

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Dreamers participan en Hackaton para promover la reforma migratoria

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Veinte jóvenes “soñadores” seleccionados para participar en la Hackaton que se esta llevando en la sede de LinkedIn, junto a un grupo de líderes de Silicon Valley, se mostraron honrados de ser designados para representar al conjunto de activistas del país.

Durante el evento, celebrado por, una organización presidida por el emprendedor Joe Green, los jóvenes soñadores trabajan con figuras del mundo tecnológico para desarrollar aplicaciones y proyectos que permitan impulsar la reforma migratoria. Entre los líderes empresariales del mundo tecnológico figuran el fundador de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, el creador de Dropbox, Drew Houston, el impulsor de Groupon, Andrew Mason; además de Reed Hoffman, uno de los que desarrolló Linkedln, entre otros.


Dreamers reunidos en la sede de LinkedIn para el Hackaton pro-reforma migratoria. Cortesía de Alida García

Justino Mora, estudiante de Ciencias Informáticas y Ciencias Políticas en la Universidad de California, es uno de los “soñadores” seleccionados y se siente muy honrado de haber sido incluido en la iniciativa, sobre la cual cree que “se lograrán muy buenas ideas y proyectos para seguir trabajando por la reforma migratoria”. “Estar trabajando no solamente con líderes como el fundador de Facebook o de Linkedln sino con otros ‘Dreamers’ lo considero un honor, porque son estudiantes que lo han dado todo a sus comunidades”, explicó a Efe.

Según señaló Mora, su proyecto ya está en fase de desarrollo junto a Luís Aguilar y Kent Tam, además de la orientación de dos mentores. Su propuesta consiste en una aplicación para teléfonos celulares que permitirá ofrecer a los usuarios información de sus representantes ante el Congreso. La aplicación no sólo ofrecerá el nombre del representante, foto, número de teléfono y correo electrónico, entre otros datos de contacto, sino también información actualizada sobre su posición frente a la reforma migratoria.

“De esta forma queremos facilitar a las personas que no tienen los recursos para viajar a Washington, o a sus oficinas locales, que puedan enviarles un mensaje de texto, o llamarlos o mandarles una solicitud, y pedirles que se pongan a pensar en la necesidad de aprobar una reforma migratoria”, explicó.“No es justo que jueguen con las vidas de tantas personas en este país”, resaltó sobre los políticos responsables de sacar adelante la reforma.

Para Sarahí Espinoza, una estudiante de Cañada College, en Palo Alto, California, la Hackaton es una oportunidad para demostrar a través de los desarrollos tecnológicos y aplicaciones la importancia de la reforma migratoria. “La voz de la gente es muy poderosa y la unión de la gente es más poderosa todavía”, comentó esta joven originaria de México y que cuenta con su propia página de Internet (Sarahí.tv), dedicada a estimular a otros jóvenes a que logren sus sueños y hagan lo mejor posible a pesar de sus limitaciones. “No importa cuáles sean tus circunstancias o que tanto hayas podido lograr, siempre saca adelante lo mejor de lo que tienes, nunca te rindas y sigue siempre adelante”, resaltó.

Los jóvenes participantes cuentan con el apoyo de ingenieros, diseñadores y responsables tecnológicos de empresas afincadas en Silicon Valley, para desarrollar durante 48 horas proyectos enfocados a promover la reforma migratoria.

Breves de la Comunidad

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Daniel Zarate-Alvirde de 30 años, residente de Lynwood murió el lunes al chocar en su motocicleta con un camión en la autopista 710 N. Long Beach en la ciudad de Commerce, de dijo la policía de caminos de California.

De acuerdo a una investigación preeliminaría, el motociclista perdió el control y quedó abajo del camión, dijo la policía de caminos. El chofer del camión, un hombre de 48 años se detuvo y llamó a la policía para reportar el accidente. Zarate fue pronunciado muerto en la escena dijo la oficial Mónica Posada.

El accidente ocurrió alrededor de las 12:38 p.m. La entrada al Blvd. Washington fue cerrada por un periodo de dos horas.


Boyle Heights

Edward López de 55 años fue acusado de raptar a una niña de 3 años de edad en una fiesta en Boyle Heights el sábado 16 de noviembre. El hombre la acosó sexualmente según la oficina del fiscal de distrito.

La madre de la pequeña se dio cuenta que su hija no estaba en la fiesta, alrededor de las 11 p.m. Horas después, LAPD encontró al hombre desnudo con la pequeña en una caseta con seguro. De ser hallado culpable, López podría enfrentar cárcel de por vida.


Los Ángeles

La asociación del Alguacil del Estado de California (SCAF) recibió avisos que los ciudadanos están recibiendo llamadas telefónicas sospechosas de un número (916) 375-8000. Se les avisa que si usted recibe esta llamada no provea información personal como seguro social, cuentas de banco, etc. y reporte estas llamadas a su agencia local inmediatamente.

Se les informa que CSSAF no solicita nada por teléfono, dijo el presidente de la asociación, Grez Ahern.


Bell Gardens

La policía de Bell Gardens y el departamento del alguacil investigan la muerte de un jóven que fue baleado el pasado 13 de noviembre alrededor de las 5 p.m. El altercado ocurrió en el 5600 Gothman Street dijo el sargento Rich Pena.

La victima fue llevada al hospital donde fue pronunciado muerto. Quien tenga información sobre el culpable se le pide que lo denuncie al departamento del alguacil del condado de Los Ángeles al (323) 890-5500.

Maestros, Padres y Estudiantes de LAUSD se Unen para Combatir la Obesidad

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

El pasado 17 de noviembre, el estadio de los Dodgers fue escenario del evento “5K ¡Muévelo!”, una carrera de cinco kilómetros celebrada con la finalidad de activar la cultura del deporte y la vida saludable entre los estudiantes del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles (LAUSD), área en donde el 25 por ciento de sus alumnos sufre de obesidad.

La jornada, que pretende combatir la creciente tendencia a la obesidad entre los escolares, fue promovida por los maestros de este distrito escolar y estuvo dirigida también a los padres de familia, quienes participaron de diversas actividades junto a sus hijos.

“Tenemos un gran problema de obesidad no solamente en el LAUSD, sino que en todo el país”, dijo a Efe Debra Duardo, ejecutiva de servicios de salud de este distrito. “Nuestros estudiantes y sus familias no están comiendo alimentos saludables, lo que comen es comida rápida y por eso no están adquiriendo la nutrición que necesitan, el ejercicio que necesitan, y no van a ver a los doctores para servicios de prevención”, resaltó.

Según cifras del Departamento de Educación de California, el LAUSD está compuesto por una población de 655.494 estudiantes, de los cuales uno de cada cuatro sufre de obesidad. Se estima que antes de graduarse los estudiantes de este distrito escolar, constituido en un 72.3 por ciento por alumnos hispanos, desarrollan en una proporción de uno a treinta diabetes del tipo 2 a causa del exceso de grasa en su cuerpo.

El Centro para la Prevención y Control de Enfermedades recuerda por su parte que la obesidad genera ataques cardíacos, derrame cerebral y ciertos tipos de cáncer, entre otros padecimientos que pueden derivar en la muerte.

“Nos enfocamos en toda la familia, porque cuando en las aulas vemos obesidad en los estudiantes seguro que todo su núcleo familiar tiene exceso de peso”, destacó Duardo.

Alrededor del estadio de Los Dodgers corrieron cientos de alumnos, maestros y padres de familia entre los cuales estaba Briana Ramos, estudiante de preparatoria y quien explicó las razones por las que a su juicio los alumnos del LAUSD tienen sobrepeso. “Creo que es por la haraganería de no hacer ejercicios (…) no están haciendo un esfuerzo o simplemente no les gusta ejercitarse”, explicó, a la vez que se refirió al número de restaurantes de comida rápida en la ciudad, “uno en cada esquina, y esas comidas tienen bastantes calorías”, según manifestó.

Karen Figueroa, una salvadoreña que tiene a sus hijos matriculados en escuelas de este distrito escolar, dijo a Efe que “con esa obesidad hay muchos casos de colesterol alto en niños (que están) empezando la adolescencia”. Esta madre de familia destacó las virtudes de hacer ejercicio: “En lo académico les despeja la mente y juegan mucho afuera”. “A veces les decimos: vayan a correr, vayan a jugar; pero nosotros no lo hacemos, entonces el ejemplo de los padres es muy importante”, finalizó.

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